History of Minneapolis

Minneapolis is the largest city by population in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the county seat of Hennepin County. The origin and growth of the city was spurred by the proximity of Fort Snelling, the first major United States military presence in the area, and by its location on Saint Anthony Falls, which provided power for sawmills and flour mills.

Fort Snelling was established in 1819, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, and soldiers began using the falls for waterpower. When land became available for settlement, two towns were founded on either side of the falls: Saint Anthony, on the east side, and Minneapolis, on the west side. The two towns later merged into one city in 1872. Early development focused on sawmills, but flour mills eventually became the dominant industry. This industrial development fueled the development of railroads and banks, as well as the foundation of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Through innovations in milling techniques, Minneapolis became a world-leading center of flour production, earning the name "Mill City". As the city grew, the culture developed through its churches, arts institutions, the University of Minnesota, and a famous park system designed by Horace Cleveland and Theodore Wirth.

Although the sawmills and the flour mills are long gone, Minneapolis remains a regional center in banking and industry. The two largest milling companies, General Mills and the Pillsbury Company, now merged under the General Mills name, still remain prominent in the Twin Cities area. The city has rediscovered the riverfront, which now hosts parkland, the Mill City Museum, and the Guthrie Theater.

Saint Anthony Falls aerial
An overhead view of Saint Anthony Falls, showing some of the remaining flour mills, the Stone Arch Bridge, a hydroelectric power plant, and the lock and dam providing navigation above the falls.

Early European exploration

Minneapolis grew up around Saint Anthony Falls, the only waterfall on the Mississippi River and the end of the commercially navigable section of the river until locks were installed in the 1960s.

Father Hennepin at the Falls of St. Anthony
A painting of Father Hennepin discovering Saint Anthony Falls.

French explorer Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut explored the Minnesota area in 1680 on a mission to extend French dominance over the area. While exploring the St. Croix River area, he got word that some other explorers had been held captive. He arranged for their release. The prisoners included Michel Aco, Antoine Auguelle, and Father Louis Hennepin, a Catholic priest and missionary. On that expedition, Father Hennepin explored the falls and named them after his patron saint, Anthony of Padua. He published a book in 1683 entitled Description of Louisiana, describing the area to interested Europeans. As time went on, he developed a tendency to exaggerate. A 1691 edition of the book described the falls as having a drop of fifty or sixty feet, when they only had a drop of 16 feet (4.9 m).[1] Hennepin may have been including nearby rapids in his estimate, as the current total drop in river level over the series of dams is 76 ft (23 m).

The city's land was acquired by the United States in a series of treaties and purchases negotiated with the Mdewakanton band of the Dakota and separately with European nations. England claimed the land east of the Mississippi and France, then Spain, and again France claimed the land west of the river. In 1787 land on the east side of the river became part of the Northwest Territory and in 1803 the west side became part of the Louisiana Purchase, both claimed by the United States.[2] In 1805, Zebulon Pike purchased two tracts of land from the Dakota Indians. One tract was located at the mouth of the St. Croix River, while a second, larger tract ran from the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers to St. Anthony Falls, with a width of nine miles (14 km) east and west of the river. In return, he distributed about $200 in trading goods and sixty gallons of liquor, and promised a further payment from the United States government. The United States Senate eventually approved a payment of $2,000.[3]

Fort Snelling and St. Anthony Falls

Fort Snelling

Fort Snelling was established in 1819 to extend United States jurisdiction over the area and to allay concerns about British fur traders in the area. The soldiers initially camped at a site on the south side of the Minnesota River, but conditions were hard there and nearly a fifth of the soldiers died of scurvy in the winter of 1819–1820.[3] They later moved their camp to Camp Coldwater in May 1820. Much of the military's activity was conducted there while the fort was built. Camp Coldwater, the site of a cold, clear, flowing spring, was also considered sacred by the native Dakota.[4]

The soldiers needed to supply the fort, so they built roads and planted vegetables, wheat, and hay, and raised cattle. They also made the first weather recordings in the area. A lumber mill and a grist mill were built on the falls in 1822 to supply the fort.[5]

Government Grist Mill and Sawmill-Minneapolis-1858
Government gristmill and sawmill

A settlement on the east bank of the Mississippi near St. Anthony Falls was envisioned in the 1830s by Joseph Plympton, who became commander of Fort Snelling in 1837. He made a more accurate survey of the reservation lands and transmitted a map to the War Department delimiting about 34,000 acres (140 km²) within the reservation. He cleverly drew the boundary line to exclude certain parts of the east bank that had been part of the 1805 cession to Zebulon Pike. His plan was to stake a pre-emption claim at the falls. However, Franklin Steele also had plans to stake a claim. On July 15, 1838, word reached Fort Snelling that a treaty between the United States and the Dakota and Ojibwa had been ratified, ceding land between the St. Croix River and the Mississippi Rivers. Steele rushed off to the falls, built a shanty, and marked off boundary lines. Plympton's party arrived the next morning, but they were too late to claim the most desirable land. Plympton claimed some less desirable land near Steele's claim, as did other settlers such as Pierre Bottineau, Joseph Rondo, Samuel Findley, and Baptiste Turpin.[6] Steele went on to build a dam at the falls and built a sawmill that cut logs from the Rum River area.[1]

The Dakota were hunters and gatherers and soon found themselves in debt to fur traders. Pressed by a whooping cough outbreak, loss of buffalo, deer, and bear, and loss of forests to logging, in 1851 in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, the Mdewakanton sold the remaining land west of the river, allowing settlement in 1852.[2]

Franklin Steele also had a clever plan to obtain land on the west side of the falls. He suggested to his associated Colonel John H. Stevens that he should bargain with the War Department to obtain some land. Stevens agreed to operate a ferry service across the Mississippi in exchange for a claim of 160 acres (0.6 km2) just above the government mills. The government approved this bargain, and Stevens built his house in the winter of 1849–1850. The house was the first permanent dwelling on the west bank in the area that became Minneapolis.[6] A few years later, the amount of land controlled by the fort was reduced with an order from U.S. President Millard Fillmore, and rapid settlement followed. The village of Minneapolis soon sprung up on the southwest bank of the river.[2]

City pioneers

St. Anthony

Ard Godfrey house
Home of Ard and Harriet Godfrey

After Franklin Steele obtained proper title to his land, he turned his energies to building a sawmill at St. Anthony Falls. He obtained financing and built a dam on the east channel of the river between Hennepin Island and Nicollet Island, along with a sawmill equipped with two up-and-down saws. His partner Daniel Stanchfield, a lumberman who had moved to Minnesota, dispatched crews up the Mississippi River to begin cutting lumber. The sawmill began cutting lumber in September 1848. In October 1848, Steele enlisted Ard Godfrey to supervise the mill at a salary of $1500 per year.[6] Steele platted a townsite in 1849 and gave it the name "St. Anthony". The town quickly grew with workers. In addition to the first sawmill and several others that followed, a grist mill was built in 1851. By 1855, the town had approximately 3000 people, and it was incorporated as a city.[6] Godfrey's house, built in 1848, was purchased by the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers' Association and moved to Chute Square.[6] The house was surveyed in 1934 by the Historic American Buildings Survey.[7]


John H. Stevens House
Home of John Stevens

On the west side of the river, John H. Stevens platted a townsite in 1854. He laid out Washington Avenue parallel to the river, with other streets running parallel to and perpendicular to Washington. He later questioned his decision, thinking he should have run the streets directly east-west and north-south, but it ended up aligning nicely with the plat of St. Anthony. The wide, straight streets, with Washington and Hennepin Avenue being 100 feet (30 m) wide and the others being 80 feet (24 m) wide, contrasted with Saint Paul's streets that were 60 feet (18 m) wide.[8]

Early on the community tried several names, rejecting Albion, All Saints, Lowell, Brooklyn, Addiseville and Winona. The twenty four small lakes that are now within the city limits led Charles Hoag, Minneapolis's first schoolmaster, to suggest Minnehapolis, derived from Minnehaha and mni, the Dakota word for water,[9] and polis, the Greek word for city.[2]

The Minnesota Territorial Legislature recognized Saint Anthony as a town in 1855 and Minneapolis in 1856. Boundaries were changed and Minneapolis was incorporated as a city in 1867. Minneapolis and Saint Anthony joined in 1872.[2] Minneapolis changed more than 100 road names in 1873, including deduplication of names between it and the former Saint Anthony.[10]


Hennepin Avenue Bridge 1865
The first bridge over the Mississippi River at Hennepin Avenue, circa 1865.

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge, a suspension bridge that was the first bridge built over the full width of the Mississippi River, was built in 1854 and dedicated on January 23, 1855. The bridge had a span of 620 feet (190 m), a roadway of 17 feet (5.2 m), and was built at a cost of $36,000. The toll was five cents for pedestrians and twenty-five cents for horsedrawn wagons.[11]

The early settlers of Minnesota were anxiously seeking railroad transportation, but insufficient capital was available after the Panic of 1857. Rails were finally built in Minnesota in 1862, when the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad built its first ten miles (16 km) of track from the Phalen Creek area in St. Paul to a stop just short of St. Anthony Falls. The railroad continued building track from Minneapolis to Elk River in 1864 and to St. Cloud in 1866, and from Minneapolis west to Howard Lake in 1867 and Willmar in 1869. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Central, an early predecessor of the Milwaukee Road, built a line from Minneapolis to Fort Snelling in 1865. The railroad gradually extended to Faribault, Owatonna, and Austin. It crossed the Iowa border and met up with the McGregor & Western line. This connection gave Minneapolis rail service to Milwaukee via Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, with through service beginning on October 14, 1867.[12]

A streetcar system in the Minneapolis area took shape in 1875, when the Minneapolis Street Railway company began service with horse-drawn cars. Under the leadership of Thomas Lowry, the company merged with the St. Paul Railway Company and took the name Twin City Rapid Transit. By 1889, when electrification began, the system had grown to 115 miles (185 km).[12]

Business and industry

The Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway monopolized freight service to the west side milling district until about 1879 when Minneapolis Eastern Railway built a competing line closer to the river. This photograph, taken ca. 1878 shows the M&StL trestle built over the 1st Street canal, which supplied water power to the west side mills.

Most of the early industrial development in Minneapolis was tied to St. Anthony Falls and the power it provided. Between 1848 and 1887, Minneapolis led the nation in sawmilling. In 1856, the mills produced 12 million board feet (28,000 m³) of lumber. That total had risen to about 91,000,000 board feet (215,000 m³) in 1869, and 960,000,000 board feet (2,270,000 m³) in 1899. During the peak of this activity, at least 13 sawmills were operating on the falls. The sawmills also supported related industries such as mills that planed and smoothed the lumber; factories that built sashes, doors, and windows; and manufacturers of shingles and wooden buckets.[6][11]

The flour milling industry, dating back to the Fort Snelling government mill, later eclipsed the lumber industry in the value of its finished product. Flour production stood at 30,000 barrels (4,800 m3) in 1860, rising to 256,100 barrels (40,720 m3) in 1869. Cadwallader C. Washburn's imposing mill, built in 1866, was six stories high and promoted as the largest mill west of Buffalo, New York. Other prominent industries at the falls included foundries, machine shops, and textile mills.[6]

During this time, St. Anthony, on the east side, was separate from Minneapolis, on the west side. As a result of inferior management of the water power, St. Anthony found its manufacturing district declining. Some people and organizations started to talk about merging the two cities. A citizens' committee recommended merging the two cities in 1866, but a vote on this issue was rejected in 1867. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867. The two cities found themselves competing with St. Paul, which had a larger population, the head of navigation of the Mississippi River, and more access to railroads.[6]

Threatened collapse of St. Anthony Falls

Pillsbury and Phoenix mills
The Pillsbury "A" Mill and neighboring Phoenix Mill in the early 1900s

The two cities were later pushed toward merger by a disaster that nearly wiped out the falls. The geological formation of the area consisted of a hard, thin layer of limestone overlaying a soft sandstone formation. As the sandstone eroded away, large blocks of limestone would fall off. The expansion of milling and industry at the falls accelerated the process of erosion.[6] If the fragile limestone cap ever eroded away completely, the falls would turn into a rapids that would no longer provide water power. This process came to a head on October 4, 1869, when a tunnel under Hennepin Island and Nicollet Island collapsed and filled with water. With the limestone cap breached, the tunnel quickly created a torrent of water that blasted Hennepin Island and threatened to destroy the falls. The falls were shored up quickly, and over the next several years, the falls were repaired by building a wooden apron, sealing the tunnel, and building low dams above the falls to avoid exposing the limestone to the weather. This work was assisted by the federal government, and was eventually completed in 1884. The federal government spent $615,000 on this effort, while the two cities spent $334,500.[11] Possibly as a result of the bonding needed to rehabilitate the falls, the cities of St. Anthony and Minneapolis merged on April 9, 1872.[6]

Development of flour milling

Pillbury's factory
The Pillsbury "A" Mill on the east bank of the Mississippi.
Mill City Museum
The Washburn "A" Mill, nearly destroyed in a 1991 fire, is now open as the Mill City Museum.
Lithograph from 1895 showing the prominence of the Mills District.

The St. Anthony Express newspaper predicted in 1855 that, "The time is not distant when Minnesota, with the superiority of her soil and seasons for wheat culture, and her unparalleled water power for manufacturing flour, will export largely of this article. ... our mills will turn out wheat, superior in quality and appearance to any now manufactured in the West."[11] By 1876, eighteen flour mills had been built on the west side of the river below the falls. The first mills used traditional technology of millstones that would pulverize the grain and grind as much flour as possible in one pass.[11] This system worked best for winter wheat, which was sown in the fall and resumed its growth in the spring. However, the harsh winter conditions of the upper Midwest did not lend themselves to the production of winter wheat, since the deep frosts and lack of snow cover killed the crop. Spring wheat, which could be sown in the spring and reaped in the summer, was a more dependable crop. However, conventional milling techniques did not produce a desirable product, since the harder husks of spring wheat kernels fractured between the grindstones. The gluten and starch in the flour could not be mixed completely, either, and the flour would turn rancid. Minneapolis milling companies solved this problem by inventing the middlings purifier, which made it possible to separate the husks from the flour earlier in the milling process. They also developed a gradual-reduction process, where grain was pulverized between a series of rollers made of porcelain, iron, or steel. This process resulted in "patent" flour, which commanded almost double the price of "bakers" or "clear" flour, which it replaced.[13] The Washburn mill attempted to monopolize these techniques, but Pillsbury and other companies lured employees away from Washburn and were able to duplicate the process.[14]

Although the flour industry grew steadily, one major event caused a disturbance in the production of flour. On May 2, 1878, the Washburn "A" Mill exploded when grain dust ignited. The explosion killed eighteen workers and destroyed one-third of the capacity of the milling district, as well as other nearby businesses and residences. By the end of the year, though, seventeen mills were back in operation, including the rebuilt Washburn "A" Mill and others that had been completely rebuilt. The millers also took the opportunity to rebuild with new technology such as dust collection systems. The largest mill on the east side of the river was the Pillsbury "A" Mill, built in 1880–1881 and designed by local architect LeRoy S. Buffington. The Pillsbury Company wanted a building that was beautiful as well as functional. The seven-story building had stone walls six feet thick at the base tapering to eighteen inches at the top. With improvements and additions over the years, it became the world's largest flour mill.[11] The Pillsbury "A" Mill is now a National Historic Landmark, along with the Washburn "A" Mill.

In 1891, Northwestern Consolidated Milling Company was formed, consolidating many of the smaller mills into one corporate entity. Between 1880 and 1930, Minneapolis led the nation in flour production, earning it the nickname "Mill City".[11] Minneapolis surpassed Budapest as the world's leading flour miller in 1884, and production stood at about 7,000,000 US dry barrels (810,000 m3) annually in 1890. In 1900, Minneapolis mills were grinding 14.1 percent of the nation's grain, and in 1915–16, flour production hit its peak at 20,443,000 US dry barrels (2,363,800 m3) annually.[14]

Panorama of Minneapolis, Minnesota c1908
Panorama of Minneapolis circa 1908 with the mill district on the right.

Hydroelectric power

Pillsbury A Mill
The 1911 Main Street Station on the east bank of the Mississippi, with the Pillsbury "A" Mill in the background.

In 1882, the first central station (supplying multiple users) hydroelectric power plant in the United States was built at the falls on Upton Island[6]:137. The Brush Electric Company, headed by Charles F. Brush, supplied the equipment, which included five generators. The electricity was transmitted via four circuits to shops on Washington Avenue. The power plant turned on the lights on September 5, 1882, just ahead of the Vulcan Street Plant in Appleton, Wisconsin, which started generating electricity on September 30. The company competed with the Minneapolis Gas Light Company, which later became Minnegasco and is now part of CenterPoint Energy.[6]

In 1895, William de la Barre began building a lower dam, 2,200 feet (670 m) downriver from the falls. His objective was to build a hydroelectric plant that would sell energy to Twin City Rapid Transit, which was then using steam power to generate electricity. The dam was completed on March 20, 1897. Later, in 1906, he began construction of the Hennepin Island Hydroelectric Plant. The plant was leased to Minneapolis General Electric, which sublet the plant to Twin City Rapid Transit. Minneapolis General Electric later became Northern States Power Company, which is now known as Xcel Energy.[6]


The development of sawmills and flour mills at the falls spurred demand for railroad service to Minneapolis.[15] In 1868, Minneapolis was only served by a spur from St. Paul, from the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, and by the fledgling St. Paul and Pacific Railroad. Minneapolis millers found that railroads based in Milwaukee and Chicago were favoring their cities by diverting wheat from Minneapolis mills. In response, the owners of several Minneapolis mills chartered the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway, which would connect the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad through Minneapolis to the Iowa border. Meanwhile, Jay Cooke took control of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad in 1871 with the goal of aggregating it into the Northern Pacific Railway. Bad economic conditions caused the Panic of 1873, and the Northern Pacific had to relinquish control of the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad and the Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad.[12]

The Stone Arch Bridge

James J. Hill eventually reorganized the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad as the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railroad, which later became the Great Northern Railway. The Manitoba line had two lines leading to the Red River Valley, giving it access to wheat-growing regions, and it served several mills in Minneapolis.[12] The Manitoba's small passenger station at Minneapolis had become inadequate, so Hill decided to build a new depot that he expected to share with other railroads. Since the Manitoba's mainline ran on the east side of the Mississippi, a new bridge across the river was needed to reach the station. The result was the Stone Arch Bridge, completed in 1883. The Minneapolis Union Depot was opened for passenger service on April 25, 1885.[12]

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Road expanded their presence in Minneapolis with a "Short Line" connection from St. Paul to Minneapolis in 1880 and through the acquisition of the Hastings and Dakota Railroad, which had a line going west from Minneapolis to Montevideo, Ortonville, and into Aberdeen, South Dakota. They also built a large railyard and shops on Hiawatha Avenue just north of Lake Street, and a large depot on Washington Avenue.[12]

The Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie & Atlantic Railway got its start in 1883, with a goal of serving Atlantic ports via Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan and bypassing Chicago altogether.[12]

Other businesses

Minneapolis Grain Exchange, circa 1939

The Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1881 as a market to trade grain. It helped farmers by ensuring that they got the best prices possible for their wheat, oats, and corn, since the usual supply and demand curves were skewed by similar harvest times across the region. In 1883, they introduced its first futures contract for hard red spring wheat. In 1947, the organization was renamed the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, since the term "chamber of commerce" had become synonymous with organizations that lobbied for business and social issues.[16]

The flour milling industry also spurred the growth of banking in the Minneapolis area. Mills required capital for investments in their plants and machinery and for their ongoing operations. By the early 20th century, Minneapolis was known as "the financial center of the Northwest".[14]

Cultural institutions


DeLaSalle High School exterior

The University of Minnesota was charted by the state legislature in 1851, seven years before Minnesota became a state, as a preparatory school. The school was forced to close during the American Civil War because of financial difficulties, but with support from John S. Pillsbury, it reopened in 1867. William Watts Folwell became the first president of the University in 1869. The university granted its first two Bachelor of Arts degrees in 1873, and awarded its first Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1888.[17] From its beginnings in the St. Anthony area, the university eventually grew into a large campus on the east bank of the Mississippi, along with its campus in St. Paul and the addition of a West Bank campus in the 1960s.

DeLaSalle High School was founded by Archbishop John Ireland in 1900 as a Catholic secondary school. Its early mission was as a commercial school, but in 1920, parents were asking for a college preparatory school. The school has been in operation for over 100 years in several buildings on Nicollet Island.[18]


Bandshell at Lake Harriet, 2006

The first park in Minneapolis was land donated to the city in 1857, but it took about 25 years for the community to take a major interest in its parks. The Minneapolis Board of Trade and other civic leaders pressed the Minnesota Legislature for assistance. On February 27, 1883, the Legislature authorized the city to form a park district and to levy taxes. The initial vision was to create a number of boulevards, based on the design concepts of Frederick Law Olmsted, that would connect parks. Civic leaders also hoped to stimulate economic development and increase land values. Landscape architect Horace Cleveland was hired to create a system of parks named the "Grand Rounds".[19]

Lake Harriet was donated to the city by William S. King in 1885 and the first bandshell on the lake was built in 1888. The current bandshell, built in 1985, is the fifth one in its location.[20]

Minnehaha Falls was purchased as a park in 1889. The park was named after a character in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem, The Song of Hiawatha.[21]

In 1906, Theodore Wirth came to Minneapolis as the parks superintendent. During his tenure, the park system increased from 1810 acres (7.3 km²) in 57 properties to 5421 acres (21.9 km²) in 144 properties. The park system, organized around the Minneapolis chain of lakes (including Cedar Lake, Lake of the Isles, Lake Calhoun, Lake Harriet, Lake Hiawatha, and Lake Nokomis) became a model for park planners around the world. He also encouraged active recreation in the parks, as opposed to just setting aside parks for passive admiration.[22]


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts was established in 1883 by twenty-five citizens who were committed to bringing the fine arts into the Minneapolis community. The present building, a neoclassical structure, was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead and White and opened in 1915. It later received additions in 1974 by Kenzo Tange and in 2006 by Michael Graves.[23]

The Minnesota Orchestra dates back to 1903 when it was founded as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. It was renamed the Minnesota Orchestra in 1968 and moved into its own building, Orchestra Hall, in downtown Minneapolis in 1974.[24]

The Walker Art Center was established in 1927 as the first public art gallery in the Upper Midwest. In the 1940s, the museum shifted its focus toward modern art, after a gift from Mrs. Gilbert Walker made it possible to acquire works by Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Alberto Giacometti, and others. The museum continued its focus on modern art with traveling shows in the 1960s and is now one of the "big five" modern art museums in the U.S.[25]


Our Lady of Lourdes

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church was founded in 1854. It is the oldest church in Minneapolis in continuous use. The church was originally built by the First Universalist Society, and later became a Catholic church in 1877 when a Catholic French Canadian congregation acquired it.[26]

Basilica of Saint Mary

The Basilica of Saint Mary was constructed between 1907 and 1915 on land that was formerly a farm, then a zoological garden. Archbishop John Ireland supervised the planning of the church, originally named the Pro-Cathedral of Minneapolis, along with the Cathedral of St. Paul in Saint Paul. He chose architect Emmanuel Masqueray, who was trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. The first Mass was held on May 31, 1914. Church leaders desired to build the finest altar in America, handcrafted of the finest marble they could afford. It was elevated to the rank of basilica and became the first basilica in the United States in 1926. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as one of the area's finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture.[27]

A changing city

In the first few decades of the 20th century, Minneapolis began to lose its dominant position in the flour milling industry, after reaching its peak in 1915–1916. The rise of steam power, and later electric power, eroded the advantage that St. Anthony Falls provided in water power. The wheat fields of the Dakotas and Minnesota's Red River Valley began suffering from soil exhaustion due to consecutive wheat crops, leading to an increase in wheat leaf rust and related crop diseases. The farmers of the southern plains developed a variety of hardy red winter wheat suitable for bread flour, and the Kansas City area gained prominence in milling. Also, due to changes in rail shipping rates, millers in Buffalo, New York were able to ship their flour more competitively.[14]

In 1963 the Stone Arch Bridge was altered to allow clearance for the upper lock

In response, companies such as the Washburn-Crosby Company and Pillsbury began marketing their brands specifically to consumers. Washburn-Crosby branded their flour "Gold Medal", in recognition of a prize won in 1880, and advertised with the slogan "Eventually – Why Not Now?" Pillsbury countered with their slogan, "Because Pillsbury's Best", incorporating their brand name "Pillsbury's Best". Washburn-Crosby invented the character Betty Crocker to answer product questions. They also purchased a radio station in 1924 and renamed it WCCO, standing for "Washburn Crosby Company". Washburn-Crosby merged with several other regional milling companies in 1928 and renamed themselves General Mills. Both General Mills and Pillsbury sought to diversify beyond flour milling by sponsoring baking contests and publishing recipes. They also began developing semi-prepared foods, such as Bisquick and prepared foods, such as Wheaties.[14]

After 1930, the flour mills gradually began to shut down. The buildings were either vacated or demolished, the railroad trestle that served the mills was demolished, and the former mill canal and mill ruins were filled in with gravel. The last two mills left at the falls were the Washburn "A" Mill and the Pillsbury "A" Mill. In 1965, General Mills shut down the Washburn "A" Mill, along with several other of their oldest mills. All milling operations throughout the city's corridors such as Hiawatha Avenue and the Midtown Greenway ceased by the early 20th century. Demand for rail use also fell as a result.[11][14]

To continue economic use of the river, civic leaders pushed for plans to build locks and dams, making the Mississippi River navigable above Saint Anthony Falls for the first time. Congressional approval for the Upper Minneapolis Harbor Development Project came in 1937 but it wasn't until 1950 through 1963, that the United States Army Corps of Engineers constructed two sets of locks at the lower dam and at the falls. They also covered the falls with a permanent concrete apron. The project also resulted in the disfiguration of the Stone Arch Bridge by replacing two of the arches with a steel truss. The rest of Spirit Island was also obliterated in the process.[11][28]

Bigotry and corruption

Around the early 20th century, bigotry took hold in Minneapolis, sometimes persisting for many decades— even to the present time. Sometimes it was shorter-lived. In 1910, and soon copied by other developers, a Minneapolis developer created restrictive covenants in his deeds that were prohibitive for certain races and ethnic groups, preventing minorities from owning or leasing these properties. State law in 1953 and the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968 prohibited discrimination, however restrictions against minorities were still found in many Minneapolis deeds as of 2017.[29]

Minneapolis was known for anti-Semitism beginning in the 1880s and through the 1950s.[30] The city was described as "the capital of anti-Semitism in the United States" in 1946 by Carey McWilliams[31] and in 1959 by Gunther Plaut.[32] At that time the city's Jews were excluded from membership in many organizations, faced employment discrimination, and were considered unwelcome residents in some neighborhoods.[33] Jews in Minneapolis were also not allowed to buy homes in certain neighborhoods of Minneapolis.[34] In the 1940s a lack of anti-Semitism was noted in the Midwest with the exception of Minneapolis. McWilliams noted in 1946 the lack of anti-Semitism in neighboring Saint Paul.[35]

Spreading through family life, for the most part the Ku Klux Klan held power in the city only from 1921 until 1923.[36] From the passage of a state eugenics law in 1925, and throughout the Progressive Era, citizens of Minnesota used laws to control behaviors. The proprietors of Eitel Hospital in Minneapolis provided the expertise to sterilize about one thousand people, primarily female, at a Faribault state hospital for people diagnosed feeble-minded for various reasons.[37][nb 1]

The 1920s and 1930s of Prohibition, gangsters and mobs ruled the underworld of the city. North Minneapolis was ruled by Jewish gangsters led by Isadore Blumenfield, also known as Kid Cann, who was also linked to murders, prostitution, money laundering, the destruction of the Minneapolis streetcar system and political bribery.[38] Chief O'Connor of the Saint Paul Police established the O'Connor System which provided a haven for crooks in the capital city and a headache for Minneapolis Police.[39] Corruption spread to the MPD as an Irishman named Edward G. "Big Ed" Morgan operated gambling dens with bootleggers under police protection.[40] Danny Hogan, the underworld "Godfather" of Saint Paul allied with Morgan and the two competed with the Jewish gangsters until the wane of Prohibition and Hogan's death.[39]

Politics and social change

Hubert Humphrey got his start in Minnesota politics in the early 1940s. He was an organizer of the Minnesota Democratic Party at the time, and he realized that the party's best chance of success would come if the Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party merged with the Democratic party. Other party leaders had been discussing the merger, but Humphrey's idea was to keep the Farmer-Labor name in the name of the merged party, in order to gain the strength of thousands of loyal voters. Thus, the party got the name Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.[1]

Hubert Humphrey crop
Humphrey would later go on to serve Vice President under President Lyndon B. Johnson

Humphrey first ran for mayor of Minneapolis in 1943, losing by only six thousand votes. He campaigned again in the 1945 election, with the support of the city's labor leaders, and found support with the city's African-American community by promising to implement a city civil rights commission. He also appealed to the city's middle class by giving talks on civic virtue at area churches. He was elected in 1945 by the largest margin to date. When elected, he immediately proposed a city ordinance that would make racial discrimination by employers subject to a fine. After a long period of discussion, the Minneapolis City Council finally approved the ordinance by a 21 to 3 margin on January 31, 1947.[41] The ordinance created the nation's first Fair Employment Practices Ordinance and established Minneapolis as the nation's leader in imposing fines for employment discrimination,[41] though pressure from the local Urban League would also limit employment opportunities for African Americans during the ordinance's first few years.[41]

In contrast to similar measures passed in Milwaukee and Chicago, the Minneapolis Fair Employment ordinance gave the city's newly created Fair Employment Practices Commission (FEPC) authority to not only impose fines, but also prison sentences for employers who enacted job discrimination.[41] Larger banks and department stores saw the value in civil rights and began to hire more African-Americans. Humphrey also recognized that city police officers operating under racial and ethnic prejudice were causing urban unrest, so he instructed the city's police chief to have officers in minority neighborhoods keep in contact with clergy, teachers, business owners, and other neighborhood leaders. This helped to redefine the issue of prejudice and got its attention as a problem that could be solved, not just a fact of life that had to be taken for granted.[3]

Humphrey's progress with civil rights in Minneapolis gained national attention, with many cities inquiring about how they could establish their own civil rights commissions. In 1947, he was reelected with 102,000 votes over his opponent's 52,000 votes. As a delegate to the 1948 Democratic National Convention, he led the call for a strong civil rights plank.[3] In his address, he said, "There are those who say to you – we are rushing this issue of civil rights. I say we are 172 years late. There are those who say – this issue of civil rights is an infringement on states rights. The time has arrived for the Democratic Party to get out of the shadow of state's rights and walk forthrightly into the bright sunshine of human rights."[42] Humphrey was elected to the United States Senate in the 1948 election and served many years as a prominent Minnesota politician, including Vice President of the U.S. from 1965–1969.

W. Harry Davis, who later served 20 years on the Minneapolis School Board, agreed to run for mayor in 1971, becoming the city's first black mayoral candidate supported by a major political party. White supremacists were still present in Minneapolis, and threatened his family daily during the campaign. The police department guarded their home and the FBI gave them protection dogs. Davis also received support from white politicians including Humphrey, Donald M. Fraser, and Walter Mondale.[43] Twenty years later, Minneapolis elected its first African American mayor, Sharon Sayles Belton. To date, she has been the city's only non-white mayor.[44]

In 1968, Dennis Banks and Clyde Bellecourt were among those who founded the American Indian Movement to advance civil rights for Native Americans.[45]

A growing city

TCRT PCC streetcar
A former TCRT streetcar now operates between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet as part of the Minnesota Streetcar Museum.

From about 200,000 in the 1900 Census, Minneapolis soared to its highest population recorded in 1950 of over 521,000 people. The main growth of the city was in part due to an organized private streetcar system. With 140 million passengers by 1920, the streetcars ran down important roads extending from Downtown Minneapolis. Neighborhood residential development out of the core mostly dates around the turn of the century as a result of this system.[46][47] This growth also allowed Minneapolis to annex land from neighboring villages and townships which subsequently pushed the incorporation of today's inner ring suburbs.[48]

The streetcar system was built by Twin City Rapid Transit and operated efficiently through 1949, with a program of reinvesting their profits into system improvements. However, in 1949, New York investor Charles Green gained control of the system, halted the rebuilding program, and announced a goal of completely converting the system to buses by 1958. These policies alienated the public and he was ousted in 1951, but his successor, Fred Ossanna, continued to cut service and replace the system with buses. On June 19, 1954, the last streetcar took its run.[49] A photo taken in 1954 shows James Towley handing Fred Ossanna a check while one of the streetcars burned in the background.[50] Later on, it was discovered that Ossanna and associates had plundered the streetcar system for personal gain.[49] A small section of the line between Lake Calhoun and Lake Harriet is now operated by the Minnesota Streetcar Museum.

Reshaping downtown

Minneapolis City Hall circa 1900
Minneapolis City Hall

Downtown Minneapolis was the hub of business and financial activity. The Minneapolis City Hall (which also served as the Hennepin County Courthouse at the time) was the tallest building in Minneapolis from its construction in 1888 until 1929. A municipal ordinance instituted in 1890 restricted buildings to a height of 100 feet (30 m), later raised to 125 feet (38 m). The construction of the First National – Soo Line Building in 1915, with a height of 252 feet (77 m), caused concerns among the real estate industry, so the 125-foot (twelve story) limit was reimposed at the request of the Minneapolis Civic and Commerce Association.[8]

The twenty-seven story Rand Tower, built in 1929, was the next major challenger to the height limit. The thirty-two story Foshay Tower, also built in 1929, was the highest building in Minneapolis until 1971.[8] Its builder, Wilbur Foshay, wanted a tower built along the lines of the Washington Monument. He staged a lavish dedication ceremony complete with a march composed by John Philip Sousa. About six weeks later, Foshay lost his fortune in the Wall Street Crash of 1929.[51] Foshay's $20,000 check to Sousa bounced, and Sousa forbade anyone else to play the march until the debt was repaid.[52]

During the Great Depression, buildings suffered from a lack of maintenance. Writer Sinclair Lewis, returning to Minneapolis after a long absence, said, "Minneapolis is so ugly. Parking lots like scars. Most buildings are narrow, drab, dirty, flimsy, irregular in relationship to one another — a set of bad teeth."[8] A decade later, downtown and surrounding areas would be reshaped radically by urban renewal and freeway construction. After World War II, businesses and residents started moving to the suburbs, and downtown Minneapolis, along with downtowns across the nation, was perceived as dying. Urban planners, such as Le Corbusier, were advocating radically rebuilding downtowns by complete rebuilding and forcing out manufacturing and warehousing. The Federal Housing Act of 1949 provided funding for clearing blighted areas, and city officials interpreted the definition of "blighted" liberally. The Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 provided funding for an interstate highway system, which would also transform Minneapolis.[8]

Kasota building 1927
Kasota building in 1927 Gateway District.

The Gateway district, centered around the intersection of Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues just west of the Mississippi River, was the major casualty of urban renewal. The neighborhood had become known as a slum with cheap hotels and flophouses. When General Mills announced in 1955 that they were moving their corporate headquarters to Golden Valley, city planners decided to implement a large-scale Gateway district plan that included demolishing a large number of buildings. Between 1957 and 1965, one-third of downtown Minneapolis had been leveled, including the Metropolitan Building and Kasota building.[8]

Freeway construction had its impact on the city, with neighborhoods disrupted and housing stock lost. Between 1963 and 1975, Interstate 35W from the south border of the city to its northeastern corner, Interstate 94 from the St. Paul border into downtown, and the Crosstown (County Road 62, later to become Minnesota State Highway 62) on the southern boundary of Minneapolis were built. The remaining portion of Interstate 94, from U.S. Highway 12 to the northern boundary of the city, was completed in 1982. Highway 12 was later rebuilt to Interstate standards in 1992, at which point it was renumbered Interstate 394. Several proposed projects never were built, though. Minnesota State Highway 55, running southeast from downtown to the Fort Snelling area and the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, was slated to become a freeway, but the upgrade was canceled due to neighborhood opposition. Similarly, a proposed Interstate 335 was to run from Interstate 35W in northeast Minneapolis to a connection with Interstate 94 just north of downtown. This project was also canceled due to neighborhood opposition.[53]

Modern Minneapolis

Shaping the skyline

IDS reflecting Wells Fargo
The IDS Center with the Wells Fargo Center reflected in its windows.
Minneapolis 1991
Skyline of Minneapolis in 1991

While the destruction of the Gateway district left a large gap in downtown Minneapolis, other developments would reshape it and transform the skyline. One of these developments was the building of the Nicollet Mall in 1968. Previously known as Nicollet Avenue, the portion within the central business became a tree-lined mall for pedestrians and transit. The mall forms a kind of linear park, with trees and fountains and a farmers' market in the summer. It also boosted the city's retail trade.[8][54] The most dramatic change to the skyline came in 1974, when the IDS Center was opened. At a height of 775 feet 6 inches (236.37 m) when built, it dwarfed the previous highest building, the Foshay Tower. Other additions to downtown included the Multifoods Tower (668 feet; 204 m) in 1983 now known as 33 South Sixth, Norwest Center, built in 1988 and now renamed the Wells Fargo Center, the Campbell Mithun Tower—previously Piper Jaffray built in 1985, and Capella Tower, built in 1992 as the headquarters of First Bank. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, opened in 1982 and demolished in 2014, served as the home of the Minnesota Vikings and previously hosted the Minnesota Twins, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. Now on the site is U.S. Bank Stadium, home of the Minnesota Vikings, host of Super Bowl LII, and the 2019 Final Four. In the 1990s, the last wave of downtown development filled in parcels around the skyscrapers with towers 40 stories or less from companies such as Target, Ameriprise Financial, and AT&T.

Vertical residential housing also followed the corporate development. The 1970s condo boom saw many discreet high-rises blanket the former milling districts and Downtown West. Riverside Plaza, formerly Cedar Square West, was completed in 1973 as a six tower mixed-income self-contained urban village that originally was much larger and contains the tallest buildings outside Downtown. The plain modern and brutalist concrete styles of that period however were contrasted in the late 1990s to 2000s that brought in more prominent residential towers to the skyline with varying colors and architecture themes. The Carlyle residence one block south of the Mississippi River is 41 stories built in art deco style and is the most recent addition to the skyline. Grant Park and Skyscape, though not as tall at 27–28 stories, have begun extending the skyline south into the Elliot Park neighborhood. The two contrast as one is traditional with red brick proportions while the other is in modern glass.

Light rail made its debut in Minneapolis with the opening of the Blue Line on June 26, 2004. This line, part of the METRO system, starts in downtown Minneapolis and progresses southeastward along Minnesota State Highway 55 (also known as Hiawatha Avenue), passes Minnehaha Park on the west side, and serves the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport before it terminates at the Mall of America in Bloomington. In 2014, service began on the Green Line which connects downtown with the University of Minnesota and downtown St. Paul.

Rediscovering the riverfront

Mill Ruins 009
The output of the tailrace canal at Mill Ruins Park, with the Stone Arch Bridge above and to the right.

As industry and railroads left the Mississippi riverfront, people gradually became aware that the riverfront could be a destination for living, working, and shopping. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board acquired land along the river banks, including much of Nicollet Island, all of Boom Island, and the West River Parkway corridor. These properties were developed with trails and parkways, and this spurred the development of private land adjacent to the riverfront, creating the new Mill District neighborhood. The Stone Arch Bridge was opened to pedestrian traffic in 1994, creating a link in the trail system and providing extensive views of Saint Anthony Falls. Some of the old commercial buildings were adapted to new uses. The Whitney Hotel was built in what used to be the Standard Mill, while the North Star Lofts was a new use for the former North Star Woolen Mills building. Other projects, such as Saint Anthony Main and a number of condominium and townhouse projects, provide residents with the opportunity to live within view of Saint Anthony Falls.[11]

Urban archeology along the riverfront has uncovered remnants of the flour mills built in the 1860s and 1870s, along with the headrace canal that once supplied water to the mills and the trestle supports for the Minnesota Eastern Railroad. These ruins, which had once been buried with gravel and fill, are now open to the public as Mill Ruins Park. The park has signs interpreting the history of the area and the buildings that had once been there. The Washburn "A" Mill, severely damaged by a 1991 fire but now stabilized, now hosts the Mill City Museum, opened in 2003 by the Minnesota Historical Society. The museum presents a history of flour milling and industrial development along the river, and an eight-story elevator ride shows the various steps that turned wheat into flour.[11] The Guthrie Theater moved to a new building along the riverfront in 2006, just southeast of the Mill City Museum.


  1. ^ Molly Ladd-Taylor found that many of those labeled feeble-minded had experienced "family violence, sexual abuse, disability, and abject poverty."[37]


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  29. ^ About 10,000 such covenants remain as of 2017, in: Furst, Randy (August 26, 2017). "Massive project works to uncover racist restrictions in Minneapolis housing deeds". Star Tribune. and Delegard, Kirsten; Ehrman-Solberg, Kevin (2017). "'Playground of the People'? Mapping Racial Covenants in Twentieth-century Minneapolis". Open Rivers: Rethinking the Mississippi. 6. doi:10.24926/2471190X.2820. Retrieved October 1, 2018.
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Further reading

  • Hofsommer, Don L. (2009). "'Temples of Mammon and Hives of Industry': Railroads and the Minneapolis Milling District". Minnesota History. 61 (6): 248–259. JSTOR 40543907.
  • Hofsommer, Don. Minneapolis and the Age of Railways (2008)

External links

1888 Minneapolis General Conference

The 1888 Minneapolis General Conference Session was a meeting of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in October 1888. It is regarded as a landmark event in the history of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Key participants were Alonzo T. Jones and Ellet J. Waggoner, who presented a message on justification supported by Ellen G. White, but resisted by leaders such as G. I. Butler, Uriah Smith and others. The session discussed crucial theological issues such as the meaning of "righteousness by faith", the nature of the Godhead, the relationship between law and grace, and Justification and its relationship to Sanctification.

1892 Republican National Convention

The 1892 National Convention of the Republican Party of the United States was held at the Industrial Exposition Building, Minneapolis, Minnesota, from June 7 to June 10, 1892. The party nominated President Benjamin Harrison for re-election on the first ballot and Whitelaw Reid of New York for Vice President.James S. Clarkson of Iowa was the outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee. J. Sloat Fassett of New York was Temporary Chairman, and Governor William McKinley Jr. of Ohio was the Permanent Chair of the convention.

Harrison's Secretary of State James G. Blaine, who had resigned from the cabinet on June 4, 1892, the eve of the convention, had his name submitted for consideration by the delegates, but drew little support. Future president William McKinley tied Blaine for second place among the delegates.

Although successful in his bid for renomination, President Harrison's performance was underwhelming for an incumbent due in part to the crushing defeat that the party's Congressional candidates had met in the 1890 off-year elections. He would lose the fall 1892 election to former president Grover Cleveland.

The 1892 RNC was also the first convention where women were allowed to be delegates. Therese Alberta (Parkinson) Jenkins, delegate from Wyoming, cast the first vote by a woman for president. Wyoming had granted full suffrage for women at statehood in 1890.

2005 Minneapolis municipal election

The 2005 Minneapolis municipal elections in the U.S. state of Minnesota held a scheduled primary election on 13 September and a general election on 8 November. Voters in the city elected:

1 mayor

13 city council members, elected by ward

6 Minneapolis Public Library trustees

2 members of the Board of Estimate and Taxation, and

3 at-large and 6 elected by district members of the Park and Recreation Board.


Dayton's was an American department store chain founded in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1902 by George Draper Dayton. In 1969, the Detroit-based J.L. Hudson Company merged with the Dayton Company to form the Dayton-Hudson Corporation, adding 21 Michigan-based stores to the total. In 1990, the department store division of Dayton–Hudson (now Target Corporation) acquired Chicago-based Marshall Field's. Both Dayton's and Hudson's retained their individual store names until 2001, when they were united under the Marshall Field's nameplate. Prior to changing its name to Marshall Field's, Dayton's stores numbered 19, serving communities throughout the upper Midwest.

Dayton's was the parent of Target, opening the first Target in 1962 as the discount store version of Dayton's. Target quickly grew to become the majority of the company's business. In 2000, Dayton–Hudson was renamed Target Corporation. In 2004, Target finally divested its department store division to focus on discount retailing. May Company purchased the stores prior to its own acquisition by Federated Department Stores, which rebranded all the Marshall Field's stores as Macy's. Many Minnesotans have resisted the double name change, and continue to refer to "Dayton's" when speaking of the stores in Southdale, Rosedale, Ridgedale and the flagship downtown Minneapolis location, now closed.


Donaldson's, also known as The L. S. Donaldson Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota is a defunct department store company.

Hennepin Avenue Bridge

The Hennepin Avenue Bridge is the structure that carries Hennepin County State Aid Highway 52, Hennepin Avenue, across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, Minnesota, at Nicollet Island. Officially, it is the Father Louis Hennepin Bridge, in honor of the 17th-century explorer Louis Hennepin, who was the first European to see the Saint Anthony Falls, a short distance downriver. Two of the three previous structures have been suspension bridges, while a third—which existed nearly a century—was composed of steel arch spans. The original crossing, which opened as a toll bridge on January 23, 1855, is believed to have been the first permanent span across the Mississippi at any point. Other bridges were completed in 1876, 1891, and most recently 1990. Today, the bridge's main span is 190 metres (620 ft) in length, making it rather small by modern standards.

Jay's Longhorn Bar

Jay's Longhorn Bar, most frequently referred to by patrons as The Longhorn, was a nexus of the punk music scene in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, described by music critics as a "legendary" part of the genre's history and a "punk rocker's paradise." One of the earliest clubs in America to regularly book punk, New Wave, and alternative-rock bands, the Longhorn was the only concert stage in Minnesota where touring acts in those genres could regularly perform until the opening of what would become First Avenue in 1980. "The Police, Blondie, all the big acts played there," wrote Hüsker Dü guitarist Bob Mould, who frequented the venue and noted that he considered Hüsker Dü "an actual band" only after they had performed on the Longhorn stage. Robert Wilkinson, singer for Minneapolis punk band Flamingo, noted that in terms of importance to the scene, “The Longhorn was Minneapolis’ CBGB’s.”The Longhorn was also an important crucible of the local punk-rock scene. It was the first bar ever played by both of the scene's most highly influential bands, Hüsker Dü (on May 13, 1979) and the Replacements (on July 2, 1980). Peter Jesperson, the Replacements' manager and a founder of Twin/Tone Records, who was also a DJ at the Longhorn at that time, signed the band to Twin/Tone immediately after that performance. Influential Minneapolitan New Wave band The Suburbs also had their first major success at the Longhorn; drummer Hugo Klaers said that after getting regular gigs at the venue, "we went from nobodies to this super popular band. It was just crazy. The Longhorn shows were always packed."

Located at 14 South Fifth Street in downtown Minneapolis, the Longhorn was opened by owner Jay Berine on June 1, 1977, with help from general manager-artist director-musician/Songwriter Al Wodtke (of Badfinger, KYX, Crow, and Apostles). Its first headliner was Minneapolis band Flamingo, while the first national act to be booked was New York rock group Mink DeVille. The Longhorn became a notable punk rock and hardcore punk venue, booking bands such as the Clash, Buzzcocks, Gang of Four, Talking Heads, Dead Boys, Robert Gordon, Iggy Pop, the Stranglers, the Flamin' Oh's, The Suburbs, the Suicide Commandos, the Hypstrz, Naked Raygun, the Effigies, the Ramones, Pere Ubu, Lily Tomlin, the Plasmatics, Elvis Costello, Curtiss A, and the Nerves. Before it was an established punk rock venue, the Longhorn hosted a thriving jazz scene. It was home base for the progressive jazz group Natural Life and brought with it many national and international jazz acts.Chris Osgood, singer-guitarist of the Suicide Commandos, described the Longhorn as "like CBGB in that it was a long bar with a low ceiling and the band was up on a riser at one end of the room. It had been a Nino's Steakhouse before it turned into a bar, so it was not a dump."The bar was later sold to a new owner, Hartley Frank, who changed it into a pizzeria called Zoogies in the spring of 1982. The location is now a storage center for Xcel Energy.

John H. Stevens

John Harrington Stevens (June 13, 1820 – May 28, 1900) was the first authorized colonizer invading the Dakota homeland on the west bank of the Mississippi River in what would become Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was granted permission to occupy the site, then part of the Fort Snelling military reservation, in exchange for providing ferry service to St. Anthony across the river. The Stevens House was moved several times, finally to Minnehaha Park in south Minneapolis in 1896. The house is now a museum, with tours available on summer weekends. The home was considered to be a civic and social hub of the city, and was used to organize both Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis.

Stevens was born in Brompton Falls, Quebec, Canada. He attained the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army, and was involved in the Mexican–American War {John Stevens did not have official rank of Colonel in the U.S. Army; this was an unofficial title commonly used}. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives in 1857–1858 and the Minnesota Senate in 1859–1860. He returned to the house once later in 1876.

Minneapolis and St. Anthony merged in 1872, so there are others who can claim to be earlier Minneapolis residents. The oldest existing house from that earlier settlement was built by Ard Godfrey in 1848, two years before Stevens' home; that house is now at the small Chute Square park in the city.

Louis Hennepin

Father Louis Hennepin, O.F.M. baptized Antoine, (12 May 1626 – 5 December 1704) was a Belgian Roman Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollet order (French: Récollets) and an explorer of the interior of North America.

Mill City Museum

Mill City Museum is a Minnesota Historical Society museum in Minneapolis. It opened in 2003 built in the ruins of the Washburn "A" Mill next to Mill Ruins Park on the banks of the Mississippi River. The museum focuses on the founding and growth of Minneapolis, especially flour milling and the other industries that used hydropower from Saint Anthony Falls.

The mill complex, dating from the 1870s, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is part of the St. Anthony Falls Historic District and within the National Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Area.


Minneapolis ( (listen)) is the county seat of Hennepin County and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. As of 2018, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th-largest in the United States, with an estimated population of 425,403. The Twin Cities metropolitan area consists of Minneapolis, its neighbor Saint Paul, and suburbs which altogether contain about 3.6 million people, and is the third-largest economic center in the Midwest.Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. The city is abundantly rich in water, with 13 lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls; many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber. The city and surrounding region is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle. In 2011, Minneapolis proper was home to the fifth-highest number of Fortune 500 headquarters in the United States. As an integral link to the global economy, Minneapolis is categorized as a global city.Minneapolis has one of the largest LGBT populations in the U.S. proportional to its overall population. Noted for its strong music and performing arts scenes, Minneapolis is home to both the award-winning Guthrie Theater and the historic First Avenue nightclub. Reflecting the region's status as an epicenter of folk, funk, and alternative rock music, the city served as the launching pad for several of the 20th century's most influential musicians, including Bob Dylan and Prince. Minneapolis has also become noted for its underground and independent hip-hop and rap scenes, producing artists such as Brother Ali, Atmosphere, and Dessa.Daniel Payne, John Stevens, and George Bowman contributed to replacing Albion, the original name suggested for the city. The name Minneapolis is attributed to Charles Hoag, the city's first schoolmaster, who combined mni, a Dakota Sioux word for water, and polis, the Greek word for city.

Minneapolis, Kansas

Minneapolis is a city in and the county seat of Ottawa County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,032.

Minneapolis Public Schools

Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) or Special School District Number 1 is a school district that covers all of the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Minneapolis Public Schools enroll 36,370 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about one hundred public schools including forty-five elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, nineteen contract alternative schools and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. Students speak ninety different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.

Minneapolis general strike of 1934

The Minneapolis general strike of 1934 grew out of a strike by Teamsters against most of the trucking companies operating in Minneapolis, the major distribution center for the Upper Midwest. The strike began on May 16, 1934 in the Market District (the modern day Warehouse District). The worst single day was

Friday, July 20, called "Bloody Friday", when police shot at strikers in a downtown truck battle, killing two and injuring 67. Ensuing violence lasted periodically throughout the summer. The strike was formally ended on August 22.

With a coalition formed by local leaders associated with the Trotskyist Communist League of America, a group that later founded the Socialist Workers Party (United States), the strike paved the way for the organization of over-the-road drivers and the growth of the Teamsters labor union. This strike, along with the 1934 West Coast Longshore Strike and the 1934 Toledo Auto-Lite Strike led by the American Workers Party, were also important catalysts for the rise of industrial unionism in the 1930s, much of which was organized through the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Minneapolis–Saint Paul

Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers in east central Minnesota. The area is commonly known as the Twin Cities after its two largest cities, Minneapolis, the most populous city in the state, and Saint Paul, the state capital. It is an example of twin cities in the sense of geographical proximity. Minnesotans living outside of Minneapolis and Saint Paul often refer to the two together (or the seven-county metro area collectively) as "The Cities".

There are several different definitions of the region. Many refer to the Twin Cities as the seven-county region which is governed under the Metropolitan Council regional governmental agency and planning organization. The Office of Management and Budget officially designates 16 counties as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area", the 16th largest in the United States. The entire region known as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul MN–WI Combined Statistical Area", has a population of 4,014,593, the 14th largest, according to 2018 Census estimates.

Despite the Twin moniker, both cities are independent municipalities with defined borders. Minneapolis is somewhat younger with more modern skyscrapers downtown, while Saint Paul has been likened to an East Coast city, with quaint neighborhoods and a vast collection of well-preserved late-Victorian architecture.Minneapolis was influenced by its early Scandinavian and Lutheran heritage. Saint Paul was influenced by its early French, Irish and German Catholic roots.

Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 307

Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 307 was a scheduled domestic flight in the United States routing Washington, DC–Detroit–Madison–Rochester–Minneapolis-St. Paul–Winnipeg. On 7 March 1950, the flight was operated by a Martin 2-0-2, registered N93050, when it crashed into a house on approach to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport after first hitting a flagpole. The three crew members and ten passengers on board were all killed, as were two children in the house.

Occupy Minneapolis

Occupy Minneapolis [OccupyMN] is a grassroots collaboration that began in October 2011 with a series of demonstrations in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protesters have staged numerous occupations, most notably of the Hennepin County Government Center plaza.

Occupy Minneapolis is allied with New York City's Occupy Wall Street and is part of the global Occupy movement. The main issues that organizers seek to address are social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the undue influence of corporations on government. Occupy Minneapolis protesters engage in direct action and use consensus decision-making in their general assemblies.

Occupy Minneapolis began as a protest encampment at Hennepin County Government Center plaza on October 7, 2011, renaming the site "The People's Plaza". It was eventually cleared out by law enforcement agencies after members of the Hennepin County Board chose to create new rules restricting the use of the public plaza. As a result, police began to selectively enforce these rules and issue trespass orders against those who were found in violation of them.As a part of the Occupy Homes movement, Minneapolis activists coordinated the occupation of homes threatened with foreclosure by US Bank and Bank of America, successfully preventing evictions and securing loan modifications.

In early 2012, activists from Occupy Minneapolis helped establish the Paper Revolution Collective which is a decentralized global network of individuals who work to educate communities and promote conscious initiatives to preserve and restore both humanity and the earth. The collective continues to exist today and is composed of various cells which act independently in pursuit of a freer and more joyous world. They help coordinate and organize events around the planet to inspire change.In Spring 2012, protesters set up dual occupations of Peavey Plaza and Loring Park in downtown Minneapolis. Organizers and activists were told that they could erect tents for the use of storage during the resurgence. Late in the day of the reoccupation police communicated to protesters that they were planning to selectively enforce ordinances derived from the Minneapolis City Attorney's office stating that protesters and their equipment were interfering with, and blocking the public right of way. This selectively enforced local ordinance led to an escalation that resulted in both arrests, and the excessive use of force by the Minneapolis Police Department.Occupy Minneapolis continued to engage in organized meetings, events and actions throughout the summer of 2014, with their emphasis shifting away from occupations of public spaces and towards addressing the foreclosure crisis through the Occupy Homes movement. along with creating active support networks for other locally-based movements and issues.

Sound 80

Sound80 is a recording studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States founded by engineer Tom Jung and composer/musician Herb Pilhofer in 1969. Largely involved with local artists, the studio is best known for recording portions of Bob Dylan's Blood on the Tracks in 1974 and Cat Stevens' Izitso in 1977, as well as demo tapes for Prince's first album For You in 1977. On June 2 of the following year Sound80 also made what is the first digital audio recording win a Grammy Award—The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra's recording of Aaron Copland's "Appalachian Spring" and "Short Symphony," and Charles Ives' "Symphony No.3."

Theodore Wirth

Theodore Wirth (1863–1949) was instrumental in designing the Minneapolis system of parks. Swiss-born, he was widely regarded as the dean of the local parks movement in America. The various titles he was given included administrator of parks, horticulturalist, and park planner. Before emigrating to America in 1888, he worked as a florist and landscaper in Zurich, London, and Paris. He married Leonie Mense, the daughter of his employer in Glen Cove, Long Island, before taking a job as superintendent of parks in Hartford, Connecticut in 1896, where he developed the first municipal rose garden in the country.In 1904 the city of Minneapolis offered him the position of Superintendent of Parks in that fast-growing Midwest city. His goal provided for a playground within a quarter-mile of every child and a complete recreation center within a half-mile of every family. During his 30-year tenure there, he expanded the park system from 1,810 acres (7 km2) to 5,241 acres (21 km2), in a city of 37,387 acres (14%). Park land included parks, golf courses, flower gardens and boulevards. Unlike earlier park planners, he believed that parks ought to be used by the residents. His park development is enjoyed daily by residents and visitors on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway, at Minnehaha Falls, along the 12-mile (19 km) path following Minnehaha Creek, at Lake Harriet, Bde Maka Ska, Lyndale Park, and scores of other public open spaces in Minneapolis. The lakes, parks, and outdoor recreation areas that Minneapolis features are often cited by users as one of the most important factors in their quality of life.

Several Minneapolis recreation areas bear his name, including the 38-acre (150,000 m2) Wirth Lake, which is in Theodore Wirth Park. At 743 acres (3.0 km2), it is by far the largest park in the Minneapolis park system. The Theodore Wirth House-Administration Building is on the National Register of Historic Places because "it was built as a home for Theodore Wirth, an international figure in the field of park design" and "his administration offices within the building were the actual location where Theodore Wirth designed or redesigned the award-winning Minneapolis parks."The house was constructed to Wirth's specification and located in a corner of Lyndale Farmstead Park. Wirth wanted to be inspired by watching people using parks. In 2004 the Theodore Wirth Statue Garden, designed by his grandson Theodore J. Wirth, was opened. The sculpture, by Bill Rains, consists of a 115%-sized bronze statue of Wirth surrounded by twelve children representing the diverse population of Minneapolis and his policies of equal access for all people regardless of race or economic status.

Wirth left his legacy in Minneapolis and via his three children: Conrad L. Wirth became director of the National Park Service; Walter L. Wirth was superintendent of parks in New Haven, Connecticut, and superintendent of the Salem, Oregon, Regional Parks System. The third son, Theodore, enjoyed a distinguished career, attaining the rank of admiral in the U.S. Navy.


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