History of Hennepin County and the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota
We live not alone in the present but also in the past and future. The radius that circumscribes our lives must necessarily extend backward indefinitely and forward infinitely. We can never look out thoughtfully at our immediate surroundings but a course of reasoning will start up leading us to inquire the causes that produced the development around us, and at the same time we are led to conjecture the results to follow causes now in operation. We are thus linked indissolubly with the past and the future.
"Now for my life," says Sir Thomas Browne, "it is a miracle of thirty years, which to relate were not a history, but a piece of poetry, and would sound to common ears like a fable. * * Men that look upon my outside, perusing only my condition and fortune, do err in my altitude; for I am above Atlas his shoulders. I take my circle to be above three hundred and sixty. Though the number of the arc do measure my body, it comprehendeth not my mind."
If, then, the past is not simply a stepping-stone to the future, but a part of our very selves, we can not afford to ignore it, or separate it from ourselves, as a member might be lopped off from our bodies; for though the body thus maimed might perform many and perhaps most of its functions, still it could never again be called complete.
We, therefore, present this volume to our patrons in Hennepin county, not as something extrinsic, to which we would attract their notice and secure their favor, but as a part of themselves, and an important part, which it is the province of the historian to re-invigorate and restore to its rightful owner. Moveover, we can not but hope that we shall thus confer much pleasure. The recounting of events which have transpired in our own neighborhood is the most interesting of all history. There is a fascination in the study of the intermingled fact and fiction of the past which is heightened by a familiarity with the localities described. The writer remembers the glow of enthusiasm with which he once stood at the entrance of the old fort at Ticonderoga, and repeated the words of Ethan Allen: "In the name of the Great Jehovah and the Continental Congress, etc." "The river which flows through our native village acquires a new interest when, in imagination, we see the Indian canoe on its surface and the skin-covered tepee on its banks, as in days of yore. Log cabins, straw roofs, and the rude "betterments" of the hardy pioneer, are the next changes on the scene, followed soon by mushroom towns, some of which perish as quickly as they spring up, while others astonish us by their rapid growth ; cities are built, and moss and ivy, the evidences of age, soon accumulate. The log cabin and all the incipient steps of first settlement are things of the past; "The place which knew them shall know them no more forever."
Our purpose is to present these pictures in their natural succession, arousing the enthusiasm of the reader, if possible, giving him a more vigorous enjoyment of the present by linking it with the past. The compass of the work is wide, extending over a long period of time, embracing the accounts of early explorers, also reaching back among the legends of the past, and approaching the events of to-day, almost undesignedly casting a prophetic glance forward at what must be the future after such a beginning.
St. Anthony P'alls and the environs present an exceptionally rich field for a work of this character. By situation, it was the highway of travel for Indian and white man, explorer, missionary, voyageur and trader. This was the favorite hunting ground as^well as the battle-field of our savage predecessors. Here, too, they calmed their barbarous hearts, and bowed in worship of the Manitou, whose abode was at the great water-fall.
Incidents connected with the early settlement derive interest from the military reservation, and are unique in character. While reviewing these events and enterprises inaugurated for the development of the county, we come to regret that we can not claim the prestige belonging to the aristocracy of early settlers.
To give in detail all the various sources from which the facts here given have been obtained, would be tedious if not impracticable. It may be sufficient to say that it fairly presents the history of our remarkable development and a faithful picture of our present condition. We must, however, express our obligations to a host of living witnesses, from whom a large portion of the facts have been obtained and doubtful points verified; they have our hearty thanks. Material has been drawn largely from the columns of newspapers, which have given, from time to time, a record of passing events. The contribution of Rev. Edward D. Neill will be of great permanent value in imperishable print, and will be greatly prized by histographers everywhere. We have also drawn upon the accumulation of facts in the possession of the Minnesota Historical Society, for a valuable paper by its secretary, Mr. J. Fletcher Williams. The value of a reservoir of historical data at the capital of the state, for such purposes, was fully appreciated, and the maintenance of such a centre of information can not be too strongly advocated.
Table of Contents
Map opp. 1
Explorers and Pioneers of Minnesota — Rev. Edward Duffield Neill1 128
Outlines of the History of Minnesota from 1858 to 1881 — J. Fletcher Williams 129-160
Fort Snelling 161-166
CHAPTERS XXXI— XXXIV.
Hennepin County History 167-187
War Record 188-211
Eden Prairie 231-237
Crystal Lake 278-284
Maple Grove 322-328
Minneapolis, Town of 339-353
Saint Anthony, Town of 353-356
Minneapolis, City of 357-499
Minneapolis, City, Biographies 499-662
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The Dakotahs, called by the Ojibways, Nadowaysioux, or Sioux (Soos), as abbreviated by the French, used to claim superiority over other people, because, their sacred men asserted that the mouth of the Minnesota River was immediately over the centre of the earth, and below the centre of the heavens.
While this teaching is very different from that of the modern astronomer, it is certainly true, that the region west of Lake Superior, extending through the valley of the Minnesota, to the Missouri River, is one of the most healthful and fertile regions beneath the skies, and may prove to be the centre of the republic of the United States f)f America. Baron D'Avagour, a brave officer, who was killed in fighting the Turks, while he was Governor of Canada, in a dispatch to the French Government, dated August 14th, 1663, after referring to Lake Huron, vvTote, that beyond " is met another, called Lake Superior, the waters of which, it is believed, flow into New Spain, and this, according to general opinion, ought to he the centre of the country."