Crow Wing County Historical Society (webpage header)


Throughout the years Brainerd has had many things that turned out to be of a temporary nature such as steamboats, roller rinks, ski jumps, ice rinks, toboggan slides, sawmills, ferries and other structures. Many of them are chronicled in these pages.

Ann M. Nelson

SAWMILL SPUR (Northern Pacific)


Artesian Soda Water.

Advertising drinks containing water from the newly discovered artesian well, 29 July 1892
Source: Brainerd Dispatch
Among the great wonders of the enlightened age is that great source of pure water supply known as the Artesian Well.
Brainerd is now the proud possessor of the only one ever tapped in this section of the country. It is known as [Adam] Brown’s Artesian Well and was drilled in the old well site on the above place which is about one mile from the centre of our city. This stream was accidentally struck while drilling an ordinary pump well, and has proved to be of great value, having a capacity of 40 barrels an hour. As the water from the well has been pronounced the most clear and healthful of any in this vicinity we have found it of benefit to introduce it into the manufacture of soda water, which has been done with good results, and we now boast of the purest sparkling beverage in the city, viz: “Pure Artesian Soda Water.” We can give you the very latest of all drinks, a menu of which will be found elsewhere in these columns. Remember the place.
East Front St.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

An ad for pure spring water from Adam Brown’s well, 1896
Source: Brainerd Dispatch
Those who desire nice, pure spring water can now secure it in any quantity, H. J. Spencer having started his water tank on Wednesday, and is supplying families from Adam Brown’s artesian well. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

To Whom It May Concern.

BRAINERD, MINN., Jan. 11, 1898.
In view of certain rumors in this city regarding the relative purity of the water furnished through the water works and the spring water furnished by H. J. Spencer, we cheerfully state our opinion that the spring water referred to is much more free from unhealthy substances, and that its use for drinking and cooling purposes is conducive to the good health of the community. We do not hesitate to recommend its use to all.
President Board of Health.
Chief Surgeon N. P. Ry., using the water in our hospital.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1898, p. 5, c. 2)

An artesian well has recently been sunk at the N. P. shops. At a depth of 371 feet a plentiful supply of water was found. The flow of the well is estimated to be over a barrel a minute or 70 barrels in an hour. The well was completed last week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1898, p. 8, c. 2)


Brainerd-Cuyuna Mine Shaft 68 Feet
Deep Drains the Adam Brown
Spring Dry


Mine Now Pumping Out 250 Gallons
a Minute From its Shaft Work-
ings With Two Pumps

From Tuesday’s Daily:—
The Adam Brown spring, one of the fixtures of the south side, has gone dry as a result of the mining operations of the Brainerd-Cuyuna Mining Company mine, whose shaft is now dow 68 feet and whose two pumps, a 10 and 9 horsepower Cameron sinking pump, are pumping up 250 gallons a minute from the shaft.
The water streamed into the shaft when the hardpan was succeeded by a seam of gravel and it was along this stratum of gravel that the water supply for the Adam Brown spring existed. When it found vent in the shaft the spring speedily dried up.
Mr. Brown, at present, is in a predicament. The spring which he had commercialized and whose waters he had sold since 1893 [sic] [1892], has passed out of existence. He is a mile away from the city water connections. The creek nearby, called the Brown creek and by some the Rosko creek, is charged with muck and sediment gained from the pump discharge of the mine.
“My cows won’t drink the creek water,” said Mr. Brown this morning. “I have trouble supplying my household with water. The mine is a half a mile north of my spring and I never though for a moment that the operation of the mine would affect my water supply.”
James Cullen, at some expense, piped his water from the spring to his pop factory. Mr. Brown said he expended $3,000 or more for equipment and building.
Joseph Rosko, Sr., had a flowing well on his farm in the city limits When first discovered the water spurted 10 feet high. It was properly capped and a system of pipes installed and the house and barn supplied with running water. Today but a small stream is trickling.
The well at H. H. Baker’s place, situated a short distance from the Rosko farm, is also dry.
As the shaft of the mining company will be sunk probably a hundred feet deep and then probably more into the rock so as to undermine the ore deposits, it follows that still more strata of water will be struck and still more territory drained. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1914)

Eddie Rhodes, who assists A. J. Demeules in the post-office annex, met with quite an accident Monday evening while riding his bicycle. He undertook to make a sudden stop to avoid running over a little girl and took a header, breaking his right forearm at the wrist. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd Bicycle Club.

That Brainerd will have a bicycle club the equal of any in the northwest goes without saying, the preliminary steps having been taken on Friday evening of last week, at which time those interested in the organization met at the Chenquatana Club rooms and a temporary organization was perfected, A. F. Ferris occupying the chair and Geo. D. LaBar acting as secretary. A meeting was appointed for Wednesday evening at which time the committee composed of Messrs. Alderman, McClenahan and Farrar were expected to report on by-laws and constitution, but owing to the absence of Mr. Alderman from the city the meeting has been adjourned until the latter part of the week, at which time the organization will be perfected. The city council has granted the request of the organizers to be allowed to make a track fifteen feet wide around Gregory square, for the use of the club, and work will be commenced on it at once. The club will start out with a membership of at least twenty-five. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

Brainerd Bicycle Club.

The above organization is now fully organized and up to the present time seventeen members have signed the constitution and by laws. At the last meeting officers were elected as follows:
President—A. F. Ferris.
Vice President—S. F. Alderman.
Secretary—Geo. D. LaBar.
Treasurer—F. A. Farrar.
The executive committee consists of the above officers and W. S. McClenahan, Dr. W. Courtney and J. R. Smith.
A committee to take charge of the work in the park where the track is being made composed of F. S. Parker, S. F. Alderman, W. S. McClenahan, L. W. Chase, and F. A. Farrar, was appointed.
Resolutions were adopted as follows:
1. We will not ride our wheels on the sidewalks of any street between the Northern Pacific railroad company’s main track and the mill branch track or between Fifth and Eighth streets.
2. We will not ride our wheels on any sidewalks or footpath in the corporation when it is too dark to see distinctly across the street, without being provided with a good lantern, properly lighted, and then use the utmost care to avoid any accident or annoyance to pedestrians.
3. We will not at any time, on any walk or footpath, ride at high speed when approaching any person who may be walking or standing on such walk or in passing children who may be either on the walk or near enough so they could possibly get in front of our wheels.
4. We will provide ourselves with a suitable bell or whistle and use the same to warn people or children of our approach before attempting to pass them on any walk, unless we know positively they see we are about to pass them, and such warning is not necessary; and in case of people who do not seem to hear our warning, will, if necessary, dismount before reaching them, so as to take no chances of any collision.
5. We will constantly bear in mind that bicycles, like baby cabs and other convenient light vehicles, are used on the walks only by the courtesy of the citizens, and will show our appreciation of the privilege by at all times riding in such a manner as neither to endanger nor annoy them; and, also, remember that it is our place to keep out of their way, and not theirs to keep out of ours.
6. We will endeavor to aid to the best of our ability in having every rider of a bicycle who is a resident of Brainerd join our club by subscribing to these resolutions; and, also aid in giving notices to some of the officers of the club of any seeming disregard of these rules that may come under our notice, the object being to have all bicycles so handled in Brainerd as not to cause any trouble, and thereby save us from the danger of being driven from the walks.
7. We will not loan our wheels to any person other than a member of this club. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 6)

Bicycle Notes.

A number of the bicycle club took a run to Long Lake Sunday morning.
George Brown met with a mishap Monday which he does not care to repeat. In coming down Sixth street and in front of Sundberg’s jewelry store he collided with a dog and for a few seconds the air was full of bicycles, dogs and stars, George being the only person who saw the latter. With the exception of a broken handlebar no serious damage resulted.
The track that has been built around the city park by the bicycle club is indeed a great improvement and adds much to the beauty and attractiveness of that location. The city park hereafter will be patronized by many of our people. Another improvement will be the fixing in proper shape of the speaker’s stand which has been a disgrace to the park for some years. The council will see that it is completed in time for use Memorial day.
A girl cyclist says that she has no trouble in keeping her dress down, and the way she has guarded against a flopping dress skirt is as follows according to an exchange: She made a pair of stirrups of black elastic, and fastened them to a short piece of black tape, which had a button hole worked lengthwise in the other end. On the hem of the skirt on each side, and two or three inches from the bottom, she sewed buttons, to which she buttoned the stirrups. They can thus be removed when she is not riding. She slips her foot through the stirrups when riding, and that holds her dress as smooth and comfortable as though she were in a rocking chair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

At a meeting of the bicycle club on Tuesday evening the matter of joining the L. A. W. was discussed and the secretary was instructed to correspond with the proper official in regard to the matter. A committee was appointed to see about repairing and fixing up the track in the park. Another matter of importance was the discussion of the subject of riding on sidewalks in the business center of the city. The members of the club desire it understood that they are opposed to it, and also that the rules under which they organized prohibit any member from riding on the walks within a certain distance of the center of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The bicyclists of Brainerd have undertaken to regulate the riding of wheels in this city so that they will not become a nuisance to the pedestrian. The city council were urged and petitioned to act at once and shut out all riding on sidewalks, but the better judgment prevailed, and with the understanding that the bicycle club would regulate and prosecute any violations, the matter was laid over for two weeks. If the owners of wheels in this city desire to retain the good will of the public each one will make it a point to call down a rider who is using the sidewalks in the business part of the city, and also to see that such other regulations and restrictions as are made at the meeting of the club this evening are enforced. The large majority of wheelmen in this city will at once see the force of the argument and if they can suppress those who have no regard for foot-passengers and children, who are entitled to the sidewalks, they will save themselves and abundance of annoyance and trouble. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1896, p. 1, c. 4)

The committee appointed by the bicycle club to select men to act as special bicycle police, have decided to recommend to the mayor the appointment of the following gentlemen: E. M. Westfall, Dr. A. F. Groves, Dr. W. Hemstead, Geo. Brown, E. H. Simmons, Herman Casey, R. J. Hartley, and Dr. J. A. Thabes. These gentlemen will be appointed and confirmed at the next meeting of the council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

To Gull Lake by Wheel.

Bicycles became very popular in the early 1890’s in Brainerd and elsewhere, 13 May 1898
Source: Brainerd Dispatch
Active work has commenced on the bicycle path to Hubert lake and it will be pushed to a speedy completion. The path will be made by removing obstructions and leveling the surface where occasion requires and J. R. Smith who has charge of the work reports over two miles completed the first day. The path runs along the B. & N. M. right of way when finished it will be in such position that teams or travel will not disturb it. The path will be extended from Hubert to Gull lake and that part of the task will be easy as there is a good hard road nearly all of the way. The construction of the bicycle path will have a tendency to increase the number of visitors at the lakes mentioned above during the coming summer as it opens a way to cover the distance in a comparatively short time and also to avoid the dusty ride over a sandy road.
On Tuesday evening a meeting of the Brainerd Bicycle Club will be held at the Central Hose House and every wheelman is earnestly requested to attend. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 April 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

The New Bicycle Path.

On Tuesday evening the members of the Brainerd Bicycle Club held a meeting at the city hall for the purpose of discussing the building of a new path to Gull Lake which is now under construction. J. T. Sanborn was chairman of the meeting and W. A. M. Johnstone secretary. J. R. Smith reported on work already done and was instructed to complete the same. It was decided to start a subscription paper and solicit one dollar from each rider in the city to cover the expense connected with the work and F. A. Farrar, W. A. M. Johnstone, C. C. Kyle, A. L Mattes, H. L. Casey and J [sic]. Craddock were appointed to attend to the matter. A committee was also appointed to consider the matter of levying dues for use of the path, it being the intention to issue a neat metal badge to all who respond to the subscription call. On Sunday morning at 9 o’clock the wheelmen of the city will assemble at the Central hose house and go over the proposed route. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

Interesting to Riders.

This evening, Friday, the members of the Brainerd Bicycle Path Association will meet at the Central hose house and transact business that will be of importance to every rider in the city and perfect the organization by the election of officers. It may be interesting also to bicyclists to state that the path to Hubert Lake is completed and ready for travel. The metal tags which were ordered have arrived and many already adorn the wheels of riders and those who have not obtained them should do so at once. The price is one dollar and this goes into the bicycle path fund which will be used to make paths in various directions from the city and also to build paths inside the city limits. A scheme is now on foot and a route has been surveyed to Gull Lake and undoubtedly a path will be made to that famous lake resort. It is also proposed to make a cider path on the line of the present street car track from one end of the city to the other. Every dollar paid into the association is accounted for and it is an investment that will repay every one who rides a wheel. If you are not a member you should not delay the matter but secure a tag at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

Bicycle Club Officers.

Bicycle Club, Left to right: Fred Farrar, Dr. O. T. Batcheller, Allen F. Ferris, Samuel Adair, George LaBar and William A. M. Johnstone, ca. 1898
Source: Images of America: Brainerd, Crow Wing County Historical Society
On Friday evening last the Bicycle Club met at the hose house and elected the following officers:
President—S. R. Adair,
Vice President—A. F. Ferris,
Treasurer—F. A. Farrar,
Secretary—J. R. Smith,
Executive Committee, C. C. Kyle, E. A. McKay, R [sic]. C. Craddock, A. L. Mattes, W [sic]. H [sic]. Isham, Wm. Guthrie, Jens Molstad, E. M. Westfall, S. F. Alderman and also to include the officers first named.
The association holds another meeting this evening at the Chenquatana club rooms. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

Bicycle Business.

A meeting of the executive committee of the Brainerd Bicycle Path Association was held in the Chenquatana Club rooms on Friday evening last. It was declared the sense of the meeting that bicycle paths should be constructed about the city as fast as the money can be collected. A committee consisting of E. A. McKay, J. R. Smith and H [sic]. W [sic]. Isham was appointed to procure an estimate of cost per block to build a cinder path with wood curbing next to the sidewalk.
A committee to assist in soliciting was appointed as follows: Mrs. A. F. Ferris, and Misses Bessie Treglawny, Winnie Small, Daisy Badeaux, Maud Evans, Annie Swanson, Sarah Canan and Carrie Morrison. $70 was reported as collected at the time of the meeting, but other collections since swells the total to over $85. It is estimated that there are 450 wheels in the city, and it is the desire of the committee that all should purchase a membership tage of the association, which would furnish ample means to build a path to Gull Lake and several miles of path in the city. Tags can be procured at S. R. Adair’s jewelry store of of the several solicitors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

The committee having charge of the bicycle path from Brainerd to Gull Lake report collections to the amount of $205 for the fund. The path will be built by L. W. Burrell. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Miss Julia Lynch sustained quite serious injuries last evening by being run into while riding her wheel by a team. Her bicycle was demolished. The young lady is a niece of Rev. Fr. Lynch. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Gull Lake Bicycle Path.

L. W. Burrell who has taken the contract to build a bicycle path from Brainerd to Gull lake already has the work done as far as Sheard’s farm and probably in less than two weeks time it will be completed and ready for travel. The path starts from the Mississippi wagon bridge and crosses the railroad track at the west of the Sanitarium going in a northwesterly direction through a piece of country which is well adapted for its construction, striking the old Gull lake road at Sheard’s place following it for some distance past the Krech school house and going to the south of Hartley lake from there to a point on Gull lake two or three miles from John Bishop’s place, the path from there being up the lake across what is known as the Old Mission. The distance is about eleven miles and when completed it will be one of the most pleasant rides in this section. The Cycle Path Association are entitled to much credit for pushing the plan to a completion and the excellence of the work already done is a surprise to the most sanguine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1898, p. 1, c. 2)

The bicycle path is now finished to Sheard’s farm and Mr. Burrell expects to have it completed to Gull lake by Saturday of next week. The job is said to be a first-class one by those who have ridden over the completed portion of the path. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Some sneaking individual made off with a coat belonging to J. R. Smith Monday, the article of wearing apparel having been laid down by the side of the road for a few moments while the gentleman was inspecting the bicycle path near the sanitarium. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)


The Mayor to Appoint Special Police
to Stop Fast Riding.

The attention of the mayor and bicycle association was called to reckless riding by bicyclists upon the sidewalks in the city and a motion was carried for the appointment of special police without pay from each ward by the mayor to stop such riding. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1898, p. 1, c. 5)

A party of cyclists composed of John Goedderz, John Thompson, Hans Peterson, John Mayhew, Ole Peterson, Claude Burton, Louis LaJoie, N. C. Beaudette, Charles Gravel and Charles Guerno went to Little Falls on their wheels on Sunday, the four first named returned the same evening while the rest of the boys waited for the morning train. John McCarthy, Martin Reuss, Albert Johnson and James Wallace made the trip with a team. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Bicyclists’ Attention.

On Monday evening, Sept. 5, Labor Day, all bicyclists in the city are requested to meet at the Mississippi wagon bridge at 7 p. m. sharp to form in a parade. A prize of $5.00 will be awarded to the most comical costumer and the same amount to the best decorated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 September 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

The Bicycle Path Association is this early in the season contemplating a large amount of work and plans are being laid to improve the paths already made and to build new ones, especially inside the city limits. This will almost be a necessity as the numerous bicycle riders the coming season will drive pedestrians to the woods if they are compelled and allowed to use the sidewalks as in the past. The association has contracted with P. & E. Waite for the construction of a road plow fashioned after the road cutters manufactured by this firm for making roads in the lumber woods, and with it they expect to be able to build many miles of new road the coming season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 March 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

The Bicycle Path Association will hold a meeting on Wednesday evening, April 5th, at Gardner’s hall at 7:30 o’clock. Important business is to come before the meeting that will interest every wheelman in the city and all are earnestly requested to be present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 March 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Owing to the inclement weather the meeting of the bicycle Club called for Wednesday April 5th, was not held, but a meeting of the club will be held at Gardner Hall next Wednesday evening. All cyclists of the city are earnestly requested to be present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Annual Bicycle Meeting.

The annual meeting of the Brainerd Cycle Path Association was held at Gardner Hall on Wednesday evening, about 75 or 100 cyclists being present. Officers were elected for the ensuing year as follows:
President—H. W. Linneman.
Vice President—Henry I. Cohen.
Treasurer—F. A. Farrar.
Secretary—Jas. R. Smith.
A motion was made that the president appoint a committee of five to act with the officers as an executive committee to conduct the affairs of the Association.
The matter of building cycle paths in the city was discussed, and it was declared the sense of the meeting that the Association use its funds to build paths in the city.
On motion the executive committee was instructed to procure 300 tags to be sold at $1 each.
The president was instructed to appoint a committee of five to arrange for a dance to be given by the Association at Gardner Hall on May 5th, the proceeds to be used for cycle paths. The Association intends to raise the necessary money for building paths by receipts from the dance and from selling membership tags at $1 each. Every wheelman in the city should contribute his mite for paths by buying a tag and procuring a ticket to the dance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 April 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

The Bicycle Dance.

The executive committee of the Cycle Path Association held a meeting last night. Committees for the bicycle dance to be held May 5th were appointed as follows:
Arrangements—J. A. Davis, A. L. Mattes, H. L. Casey, R. J. Hartley, Leonard Bergman, Jens Molstad, F. H. Gruenhagen, C. M. Patek, E. M. Westfall, A. L. Hoffman.
Invitation—The Dispatch, Tribune and Arena.
Floor—S. R. Adair, H. W. Linneman, Jas. R. Smith, F. B. Johnson, W. A. M. Johnstone, F. A. Farrar, J. P. Early, Ed. McKay, Ole Peterson, Bert Finne, James Cullen.
Reception—H. I. Cohen, A. F. Ferris, Dr. Hemstead, E. C. Bane, R. F. Walters, Wm. Dresskell, E. M. Irish, J. M. Elder, P. J. Murphy, J. Carlson, Geo. D. LaBar, Chas. Pentin, H. D. Treglawney, Thos. Rutherford, A. F. Groves, R. C. Craddock, J. F. McGinnis.
The following committee was appointed on bicycle paths: S. R. Adair, Wm. Guthrie, Mons Mahlum, A. F. Ferris, J. T. Sanborn.
The following gentlemen were appointed bicycle police, all of whom have been confirmed by the mayor: 1st ward—Roy Guthrie, Louis Hohman; 2nd ward—Thos. Rutherford, James A. Smith; 3rd ward—Edwin Simon, H. L. Casey; 4th ward—Jno. Clark, Chas. Pentin; 5th ward—Ole Peterson, Chas. Guerno. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 April 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

All bicycle riders in the city should patronize the dance which is to be given May 5th at Gardner Hall by the Cycle Path Association as the funds are to be used to build new paths in the city and to improve those already constructed in the country. Tickets are one dollar and if a majority of the cyclists in Brainerd would patronize the enterprise the fund would be of sufficient size as to place the paths in excellent condition. It is purely a movement in the interest of wheelmen and it is hoped they will see the advantage of investing a dollar. It is also suggested that those who have bicycle suits wear them on the night of the party. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

The New Bicycle Ordinance.

The city council at its last meeting passed an ordinance, the full text of which will be found in the council proceeding on another page, that will certainly find favor among wheelmen and pedestrians alike. The terms of the ordinance require that whoever rides or uses a bicycle within the corporate limits of the city of Brainerd shall pay a license of one dollar for so doing. The fund created under this ordinance will be set apart and used exclusively for the purpose of building cycle paths within the city limits thereby making it possible for wheelmen to move about the city without using the sidewalks to the exclusion and inconvenience of pedestrians. Bicycles have come to stay and the question of providing for the comfort of those who do not ride, in cities where the walks present the most favorable place for riders to occupy, has become a serious one in many places, and at the rate the number of wheels are multiplying in this city it is only a matter of a very short time when they must be driven entirely from the walks and the ordinance to that effect rigidly enforced in all parts of the city. Without paths and with the use of the walks forbidden them the wheelmen would be in a sorry plight in Brainerd. Taking this view of it there is not an owner of a bicycle in the city who should object to the tax imposed to provide a fund for the building of paths. The ordinance will go into effect as soon as officially published which will be tomorrow and the licenses and tags will be issued by the city clerk. Let every wheelman in the city provide himself with one of these tags at the earliest possible moment so that the paths contemplated may be pushed to an early completion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 1, c. 4)


The Council Passes an Ordinance Re-
quiring Bicycle Riders to Ob-
tain a License.

The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with a full board present. Routine business was transacted and reports of city officers were received and filed.


Ordinance No. 194 “an ordinance licensing the use of bicycles” was introduced. The ordinance reads as follows:
The council of the city of Brainerd do ordain:
Sec. 1. No person or persons shall ride or otherwise use any bicycle upon any street, alley, highway, path or public ground within the corporate limits of the city of Brainerd without first procuring a license so to do.
Sec. 2. The applicant for such license shall pay to the city treasurer of said city the sum of $1.00 as and for the license fee for each and every bicycle so to be ridden and used, and all licenses under this ordinance shall be granted and recorded as provided in Sections 4 and 5 of Ordinance No. 94, entitled “an ordinance regulating licenses in the city of Brainerd” and every license so granted and issued shall expire in one year after the date of issue thereof.
Sec. 3. Any person who shall fail to comply with the provisions and requirements of this ordinance shall, upon the conviction thereof before the municipal court of said city be punished by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $10, and be imprisoned until such fine is paid not exceeding ten days.
Sec. 4. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication.
A motion to lay the ordinance on the table until the next meeting was defeated by the following vote: Ayes—Ald. Koop, Gardner and Jamieson. Nays—Ald.. Crust, Adair, Low, Cohen, Johnson and Halladay.
The vote on the first and second reading and final passage of the ordinance stood as above. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 4, c.’s 2 & 3)

Something like $140 was realized by the Cycle Path Association at their dance last Friday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

The Cycle Path Association has had a force of men and teams at work making necessary repairs on the Gull Lake path during the week, and is now finished and in first-class shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

Work with the new plow built for the Cycle Path Association by P. & E. Waite will be commenced at once on paths within the city limits. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

Work has commenced on the bicycle paths in various portions of the city, the new bicycle road machine built by P. & E. Waite having been tried for the first time on Wednesday. The plow is all that is claimed for it and its capacity is placed at fifteen miles per day. The Cycle Path Association held a meeting on Wednesday evening and made arrangements to push the work as rapidly as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

The number of bicycle tags issued under the ordinance recently passed by the city council to date is 450. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

The race track, bicycle track and ball grounds at the Swartz Driving Park will be ready Monday for use, and Mr. Swartz in ready to issue season tickets for their use. These tickets entitle the holder to free admission to all sporting events held their during the year, including the horse and bicycle races, ball games, etc. Mr. Swartz has gone to great expense to furnish an amusement place of this character for the city, and his enterprise should be rewarded by a liberal purchase of season tickets. Call and get one. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 June 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

Meeting of the Council.

A motion was made and carried instructing the clerk to draw an order for $400, the amount received from bicycle licenses, in favor of the treasurer of the Brainerd Cycle Path Association, the amount to be expended on building paths within the limits of said city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

That Bicycle Ordinance.

Mayor Koop requests the DISPATCH to inform the public that commencing August 1st the bicycle ordinance recently passed by the council will be strictly enforced by the police as to violations and that all bicycle riders are hereby warned to use the paths instead of the sidewalks. The mayor has been informed by the superintendent of path construction that the paths are now ready for use in every part of the city where necessary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

The city clerk has issued 555 bicycle tags under the ordinance requiring all wheels to be taxed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Attention Wheelmen!

The Brainerd Cycle Path Association will hold a meeting at the Y. M. C. A. Wednesday evening, April 18th, for the purpose of electing officers for the ensuing year, and devise means to raise funds to place the bike paths in shape and to build new ones. All wheelmen are urged to attend. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1900, p. 10, c. 5)


New Officers Elected and Other Business

A meeting of the Brainerd Cycle Path Association was held at the Y. M. C. A. rooms on Wednesday evening at 8 p. m., a large number of wheelmen attending. President H. W. Linneman called the meeting to order. The treasurer submitted a report for the past year. An auditing committee, composed of one member from each ward was appointed, to report at the next meeting, as follows: 1st ward, Louis Hohman; 2nd ward, C. A. Allbright; 3rd ward, Henry White; 4th ward, John Mahew; 5th ward, Fred Gruenhagen.
The following officers were elected:
President—A. F. Ferris.
Vice President—A. L. Mattes.
Secretary—Henry White.
Treasurer—Geo. Brown.
The following committee on construction and by-laws was elected: A. L. Hoffman, W. S. McClenahan, C. A. Allbright, P. J. Murphy, G. D. LaBar, the committee to report at the next meeting.
Three wheelmen from each ward were appointed as follows, to work in conjunction with the officers of the association, as a working board, to have control of the paths:
First ward—Roy Guthrie, L. Hohman and A. H. Bennett.
Second ward—C. H. Paine, C. A. Allbright and H. I. Cohen.
Third ward—Knute Nelson, W. H. Sadler and W. L. Benjamin.
Fourth ward—J. Towers, Jr., Sol Johnson and Chas. Penton.
Fifth ward—Thomas Grant, Chas. Gerno and John Goedderz.
A motion was made and carried that all monies derived from the sale of tags be used to build and improve paths in the city, and that the working committee devise ways and means to improve the Gull Lake and other country paths.
A motion was carried that it was the sense of the meeting that the law with reference to riding on the sidewalk be strictly enforced, and that the mayor be informed of the action of this meeting.
On motion the meeting adjourned for two weeks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 1, c. 4)

A meeting of the Cycle Path Association was held on Wednesday evening at the Y. M. C. A. President A. F. Ferris presided at the meeting. It was decided to go ahead and sell tags, and to put the city paths and Gull Lake paths in shape. It was decided to recommend three wheelmen from each ward to the mayor for appointment as special police to assist the regular force in preventing riding on sidewalks. Other business of minor importance was transacted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

Get a tag for your bike and help construct new paths and improve the old ones. The tags were received last Saturday and can now be obtained at the office of the city clerk and at S. R. Adair’s jewelry store. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

Get a Bicycle Tag.

The council on Wednesday night appointed a special bicycle police force and it is the intention to see that the ordinance requiring all wheelmen to procure a license tag shall be strictly enforced, hence if you haven’t a tag for 1900 for your wheel, you should procure one at once in order to escape arrest. They can be procured of the city clerk or S. R. Adair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1900, p. 1, c. 5)

Keep Off the Sidewalk.

It behooves the bike riders of the city to keep off the sidewalks altogether. From now on E. H. Simmons, special bicycle policeman, intends to cause the arrest of every person caught riding on the sidewalk. On Wednesday H. Veyette, John Larson, Martin Olson and Joe St. Peter were before the municipal court accused of this offense, and were assessed $2.50 apiece, the court remarking that as it was the first offense the fine would be light. On Thursday J. N. Sanborn contributed $2.50 to the city exchequer for the same offense. The riders all agree that it is a hardship to keep off the walks altogether, as there simply are no paths to speak of, but that does not give them a right to the walks, and the court cannot do otherwise than impose a fine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

Get Bike Tag.

Special Bicycle Police E. H. Simmons desires the DISPATCH to state that in a few days the tag ordinance will be strictly enforced, and all riders without tags will be apprehended. All funds for path building have been exhausted, and more work is necessary, hence it is essential that all those without tags should procure them at once. Millmen will be given a few days after the coming pay day and shop men the same, when arrests will be made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 July 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

About 500 bicycle tags have been issued this year. When the number doubles that amount not over two-thirds of the wheels will have tags, as it is estimated that there are 1,500 in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

The council has ordered bicycle tags for 1901, but they will find no purchasers if they do not take active steps to protect what bicycle paths we have from teams that drive over and destroy them with impunity. If the bicycle rider is taxed to provide paths, the paths should be protected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1901, p. 4, c. 1)

Wheelmen, Attention!

A meeting of bicycle riders is called for tonight at 8 o’clock at the Y. M. C. A. for the purpose of appointing a committee to confer with the council in regard to the building and repairing of bicycle paths. The council desires to have such a committee appointed in order that paths may be constructed on such streets and at such places as will best suit the wheelmen of the city. All wheelmen are urgently requested to attend. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1901, p. 4, c. 3)

Cycle Meeting.

About fifteen wheelmen attended the meeting at the Y. M. C. A. last Friday evening called for the purpose of appointing a committee to act with a committee of the council in regard to constructing bicycle paths. R. D. King was elected chairman and C. H. Paine, secretary of the meeting. On motion a committee of one from each ward was appointed as follows:
First Ward—C. B. Rowley.
Second Ward—R. D. King.
Third Ward—W. H. Sadler.
Fourth Ward—John Goedderz.
J. N. Sanborn presented a resolution declaring it to be the sense of the meeting that no special bicycle policeman be appointed to keep riders off the sidewalk, and that the ordinance be not too strictly enforced in those localities where there are no paths and the streets are impassable for wheels. S. R. Adair moved to table the resolution, but the motion was lost and the resolution was carried. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1901, p. 4, c. 3)

Gull Lake Cycle Path.

A movement is on foot to place the Gull Lake cycle path in first-class shape this summer. To do this at least a hundred dollars will be necessary, and to raise this money it is proposed by the Crow Wing County Cycle Path Association to sell tags giving the rider the right to use the path. The tags will be sold at 60 cents each, and it is hoped every rider in the city will come forward and secure a tag and thus contribute to the maintenance of the only good country cycle path in the county. Tags are now on sale at S. R. Adair’s and R. D. King’s. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1901, p. 4, c. 4)



The cycle path supervisors elected at the meeting of the Cycle Path association sent in a report recommending that permanent paths be constructed on 6th street from Main to the park, on Kingwood street from 6th to the ravine bridge, from the bridge on Kindred to 3rd avenue, on Oak street from 9th to 12th street, on Main from 8th to 10th street, on 6th street from Oak to Pine street, and from Quince to Rosewood streets. Also temporary path on 5th street south from Laurel to end of the street. All permanent paths to be five feet wide, curbed on the street side with pine planks 2x8 nailed at the end to oak stakes driven two feet in the ground. Paths to be constructed of sand covered two inches with cinders and well rolled. The cross streets to be dug out three feet wide and six inches deep and filled with cinders to the height of the rest of the path. The council accepted the report and concurred in the recommendations made, and authorized the committee to do the work as far as the proceeds from the sale of tags would allow. The council promptly tabled the resolution adopted at the cycle meeting asking that the ordinance against sidewalk riding be not too strictly enforced. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1901, p. 4, c. 3)


Regular Meeting Held in Council
Chambers Monday and
Much Business

The regular monthly meeting of the city council was held in council chambers Monday evening President Crust presiding. There were present Aldermen Wright, Doran, Rowley, Koop, Erickson, Purdy, Gardner and Halladay.


The secretary of the bicycle Path Association reported that paths had been put in shape something over eleven blocks. A recommendation was made that three bicycle policemen be appointed by the mayor, they to serve without compensation. With this recommendation came the appointment by Mayor Halsted of the following gentlemen to serve in this capacity: W. H. Sadler, Russell Cass and R. D. King. The appointments were confirmed by the council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 2, c. 1)

Up to date five hundred tags have been put out by Bicycle Inspector R. D. King. This exhausts the first supply of tags and he has had to order more. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1901, p. 8, c. 5)

A crew of men is at work putting in a bicycle path along Main street from Sixth street west. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1901, p. 4, c. 2)

GOOD.—There will very soon, with scarcely a doubt, be a contract let for getting out over half a million ties in the Brainerd woods this winter. During the snowy months business and money will doubtless be lying around loose hereabouts.
ANOTHER “GOOD!”—Definite arrangements are now on foot, as we are reliably informed, for the putting in of a $60,000 mill down at Boom lake the first thing the coming winter, to be ready to operate early in the spring, or before. There will another similar mill following close after, and then this particular place can bid adieu to “village life,” and commence to don the habiliments of a manufacturing city—Brainerd’s NATURAL element. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 August 1873, p. 1, c. 3)

E. H. BLY, As a “MILLER.”—Mayor E. H. Bly concluded a bargain with Mr. Canfield, President of the Townsite Company, this week, for one of the two splendid mill sites at Boom Lake, just below the city. This is characteristic and liberal enterprise on the part of Mr. Bly, and we hope and believe it will prove a lucky strike for him. We learn that he will erect a mill early in the spring, and during the coming year put in a very extensive mill and factory combined. This is one of the most fortunate transactions for Brainerd that has yet been consummated, and is a big stride in the right direction. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 January 1874, p. 1, c. 6)


Among the extensive lumbermen of this immediate vicinity this winter is Mr. Eber H. Bly. He has four camps in operation, and expects to get out about 5,000,000 feet. Camps are as follows: On Pine River, in charge of Dennis McNannay; on Gull Lake, Reuben Gray; on Rabbit River, Robert McKee; on the Mississippi, Wm. Dean. It is to be hoped that Mr. Bly may realize well on his extensive undertaking, which he no doubt will, with favorable water in the spring. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 January 1875, p. 1, c. 5)

Bly’s sawmill at Boom Lake by Frank Jay Haynes, 1877
Source: Haynes Foundation, Montana Historical Society
Mr. E. H. Bly returned from Bismarck Monday evening, bringing his saw mill machinery from that place, which he is now erecting on Boom Lake, in this city. He is putting up a frame, large and strong enough for heavier machinery, and intends having it in running order in about six weeks. Mr. Mead will lay a track down to it as soon as he can get the iron to spare, and we predict that this enterprise of Mr. Bly’s will be the commencement of better times in Brainerd. The City of Pines has been running down for the past two or three years, but we think it is now at the lowest ebb, and this is a start in the right direction looking to the prosperous building up of the city. We are glad to see that Mr. Bly entertains faith in Brainerd’s future, and we think he should receive all the encouragement that the citizens of the place can give, for we are strongly of the opinion that Brainerd is just what we the citizens make it. If a fishmonger stands at his shop door crying “stinking fish,” he will have few customers, and as if our citizens run down the city at every available opportunity they cannot expect others to have any higher opinion of the place than themselves. We wish Mr. Bly every success in his enterprise. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 June 1875, p. 1, c. 7)

THE first log was sawed to-day at E. H. Bly’s new saw mill. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 September 1875, p. 1, c. 7)


A Visit to the Mill that Eber H. Bly
Built—And What We Saw There.

Eber Bly’s Ad for provisions, lumber and shingles from his new saw mill at Boom Lake, 01 July 1876
Source: Brainerd Tribune
In response to an invitation the other day, the writer piled himself into a vehicle, with two or three other gentlemen of elegant leisure, and went on a voyage of pleasure and discovery, with Bly’s steam saw mill at Boom Lake as the objective point in our travels. After a fine ride of half a mile from the town pump, we hauled up “furninst” the north-east end of the new mill and a busy scene. Upon arriving, the mill, just for the moment, was enjoying a panicked condition—occasioned, as we learned, by the band getting off the fly-wheel, or the bull-wheel slipping an eccentric, or the saw-dust conductor getting its mouth too full for utterance, or something of the sort. We only had time, however, to play brave, and go round feeling of this thing and that, and to carry the idea among the workmen about the mammoth “sawery” that we knew all about such matters, and had just got along to that part of the thing where the most business was done in a given period, when the score of workmen suddenly distributed themselves, and then something “broke loose,” like. Everything that was circular commenced revolving, everything that was round commenced rolling; straight things commenced going endwise, square things commenced bobbing, and every thing that could, commenced howling. About this time we commenced getting scared, and was afraid to move or even wink, for fear we should, in the twinkling of an eye, be transformed into a thousand feet of common boards; as the thought of such an ultimatum flashed through our mind, we didn’t care half so much about being ground up into that kind of a “bill of lumber,” as we did about being sold afterwards at the insignificant sum of thirteen dollars. One of the generous workmen, seeing that we didn’t seem to hanker after a steam saw mill—not till we became a “little useder to it”—kindly took us by the slack of the pants and deposited us in a place of safety, just in time so that we didn’t obstruct the passage of the log that slid along on a long sliding thing. This act of kindness also prevented the mill being clogged up by an ordinary newspaper correspondent, and a waste of time on the part of the workmen—we felt extremely thankful for this, because, where a mill is engaged in sawing out all the mammoth timber for the new railroad bridge across the Mississippi river at this point, to take the place of the old one that broke down last summer, it would have been a ridiculous thing for us to do, to interfere in the grand work. And this just reminds us that the new mill is not only a proud monument to the enterprise and energy of Mr. E. H. Bly, in the way of a general lumber producer, but that the contract of immense-sized timber for the structure above referred to, is being handsomely carried forward, notwithstanding the difficulties naturally attendant upon an undertaking of the kind at this season of the year. The monster Norway pines—from twenty to sixty feet in length and squaring from ten to twenty inches—are being put through with but slight delays, notwithstanding they are frozen hard as a stone, and more difficult to manufacture in this condition than oak itself. The mill has been placed in the finest condition for winter work, the crew selected with care, so that everything moves off grandly within, though it may blow ever so cold without. All the modern appliances have been put in, and it is interesting in the extreme to watch the systematic manufacture of lumber and timber going on. Aside from the main saws, there are board edgers, adjustable rip-saws—to saw the boards into any desired width—slab-saws, to transform the slabs into stove wood, sawdust conductors, a log-hauling bull wheel, a railroad to take the products from the mill to the yard, and dear knows what all. In short, it is a good thing—a big thing—and an institution that is as much of a pride to our young city as it is a credit to the indomitable owner. Bly is a brick! and that is all there is about it.
We feel called upon, however, to give him a piece of our mind about permitting our ice dealers to cut ice from the bosom of Boom Lake. The lake is his asylum for storing the immense supply of logs he is getting out this winter, for the use of the mill next summer; and, as the ice is two feet thick, you see after a layer is taken off, it must necessarily ensmall the area of the lake and enshallow it as well—hence, it will decrease the booming capacity thereof. Eh, Mr. B.? At all events we charge nothing for this timely warning, shrink or no shrink.
After a thorough look at the elephant, we returned homeward, well satisfied with ourself, with Bly’s steam mill, the world and everybody in it, and—the balance of poor fallen humanity. (Brainerd Tribune, Morris C. Russell, 22 January 1876, p. 1, c. 6)

Dakota Fencing.

Actions speak louder than words. As an inkling of what the Northern Pacific Company propose to do in the future, we would state that Eber H. Bly has obtained the contract to get out cedar posts enough to completely snow-fence the Dakota Division this season, and he now has men engaged in the work. This is conclusive evidence that the Company intend to operate the whole road hereafter winter and summer, and also indicates an early movement in the construction of the Road west of the Missouri river. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 February 1876, p. 1, c. 5)


NP spur to Boom Lake, ca. 1895
Source: MHS
We learn through Mr. E. H. Bly, of this city, that the N. P. officials at New York have rejected his proposition to have a track laid on the Boom Lake branch to his mill; which is, in our opinion, not only an unwise action upon the part of the company for the interest of the road but also very unfortunate for the interests of Brainerd. Mr. Bly proposed to the company that he would rebuild the entire grade, which has become badly demolished and washed out in places, furnish the ties, and build the culverts and trestle work necessary to reach his mill, and that he would enlarge his mill, put in larger boilers and engine and build a dryer and planing mill in addition thereto at a total cost of over $12,000, provided the company would furnish the iron and lay the track. The company it seems to us has old iron unfit for other than such uses, that has been taken out in places on the road because it is partly worn out, amply sufficient for this purpose; and the cost of laying it would not exceed $300, which would be a mere trifle compared with the increase in freight it would afford the road saying nothing of the additional advantage of building up one of its principal towns. In lieu of this the company offers to sell the old iron to Mr. Bly at a low rate, which would add at least $4,000 to his investment, an outlay he does not feel justified in making. In consequence of this he has not only abandoned his project of enlarging his mill, but will not run it at all this summer, and anticipates taking the machinery he has here to Crookston.
This action on the part of the company seems doubly short-sighted in view of the facts that Brainerd is destined with the progress of the road—situated as it is on the Mississippi river, and thus in direct connection with the great pine forests of the north—to become THE great lumber manufacturing point on the road; that Boom Lake will be the inevitable location of our mills; that this branch was graded years ago for this very purpose; and that the final consummation of these things rests only upon the question of a little time, governed largely in its limits by the action and co-operation of the company. As it is, lumber cannot be sawed here to compete with other mills on the line to which tracks are laid, (in every instance we believe to their very doors) for the reason that the cost of drayage from the mill to the road would exceed the profits on its manufacture. We of course do not understand why the company takes the action in this matter it does, but we certainly think if the matter was thoroughly understood by the directors in all its phases their action would be re-considered in very short metre.
In referring to this as we do, we are impelled by our interest in the future of Brainerd, in building up her business and establishing her prime objective—that of a lumber manufacturing centre, and in the interests of the road in building up freight and other business by encouraging the development of manufacturing and other enterprises on its line.
In conclusion, if we were permitted to suggest a remedy in this case we would say, let the L. S. & P. S. Co., being largely interested in Brainerd, step in now and supply the missing link by purchasing the iron of the company and secure the track at once; thus securing the improvements here Mr. Bly proposes to make, and opening up and establishing permanently this branch of industry in our midst. The result is plain—property will increase in value here many times the amount of this paltry investment, sales will be enlarged, and the place will take a stride ahead that it will take years to make without it. (Brainerd Tribune, 08 April 1876, p. 1, c. 6)

VICE-PRESIDENT STARK, of the Northern Pacific, while in Brainerd this week, personally inspected the matter of Mr. Bly’s application to have a track laid to his mill on Boom Lake, and re-considered the previous action rejecting the application, and gave instructions to have it built at once, and grading has accordingly already been commenced. Mr. Bly, owing to the lateness of the season, cannot put in the improvements now that he proposed and that we recited in speaking of this subject two weeks since, but will run his mill as it is this summer and add them next spring. This is certainly good news for Brainerd and looks to the era of better times. Three cheers and a tiger for President Stark. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 April 1876, p. 1, c. 7)

GRADING is progressing rapidly on the track to Bly’s mill, and trains will run over it in two weeks. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 May 1876, p. 1, c. 7)

SEE: Sawmill Spur (Northern Pacific)

MR. E. H. BLY has purchased the engine and machinery at present in Mr. LeDuc’s mill, at this place, and will remove the same to his mill on Boom Lake. (Brainerd Tribune, 20 May 1876, p. 1, c. 7)

From the Moorhead Star, June 3rd.
WE have the best of authority for stating the Dakota Division will be open next winter. Gen. Stark has given orders for the usual preparation—the building of snow fences, Mr. Bly of Brainerd, having the contract for the material. The track through the smallest cuts is to be raised to obviate the necessity of fences, but around the deeper excavations a double line of high picket fence is to be placed. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 June 1876, p. 4, c. 2)

L. Day & Sons, of Minneapolis contemplate leasing Mr. Bly’s saw mill at this place and manufacturing the lumber in their drive, now approaching, at this point. This is a wise project and if carried into effect cannot fail to yield handsome profits. The manufacture of lumber at this point is destined to be a leading feature of Brainerd and it is only a matter of a very short time when the business will be fully developed.
The many thousands who have already settled in the great country west and tributary to this place and the Northern Pacific road, saying nothing of the millions to come, will alone create a market for all the lumber that could possibly be manufactured here with two additional mills, and faster than it can be produced.
Scarcely a day passes that a train load of lumber does not pass through this place for the market named, shipped from the N. P. Junction, Minneapolis, and even from points on the south shore of Lake Superior—Ashland, Bayfield, etc., which must entail enormous expense in freights and handling, that could be saved by operators at this point. Lumber can also be manufactured here at less expense than in Minneapolis, and in addition to this, the cost of driving from this point to Minneapolis would be saved to the Brainerd mills. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 July 1878, p. 1, c. 4)

L. Day & Son, of this city, are to lease Bly’s mill at Brainerd, and will cut up their drive at that point—or a part of it at least. The Brainerd TRIBUNE finds cause for congratulation in the fact, and it sees in it a good business move upon the part of Day & Son.—[Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 July 1878, p. 1, c. 3)

Good News!

Mr. Bly has at last made up his mind (provided other matters in his charge so shape themselves) to put a first-class gang saw mill on his site at Boom Lake. This is just what Brainerd wants, and we hope the work will be soon commenced. This move in connection with Col. Weed’s characteristic enterprise, noted in another column will make things lively in town again. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 August 1878, p. 1, c. 3)

Mr. E. H. Bly finally disposed of his saw mill and site, in this city last week to Jones Bros., of Minneapolis. The new proprietors are live energetic business men, and propose putting a large crew of men and teams in the woods the coming winter to supply the mill, and will run her red hot next summer, determined to supply the demand for lumber at this point, if possible. We are pleased to note the change, and that we are at last to see Brainerd start squarely upon her merits as a manufacturing town. This done and the prospects of the place are settle, and “Onward and Upward” will be our watchword. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 September 1878, p. 1, c. 5)

SEE: Bly’s Block in the Buildings & Parks of Brainerd page.

Mr. Jones, the new proprietor of the steam saw mill at this place, has moved his family to Brainerd, and occupies the Strauss house on Sixth street, near the rail branch railroad track. (Brainerd Tribune, 30 November 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

The saw mill will be running in a few days and then building will commence in earnest. (Brainerd Tribune, 19 April 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

The new steam saw mill of Jones Bros., in this town, steamed up for the first time on yesterday, and is now a model of perfection and strength. Four large new boilers and a ponderous engine embracing the very latest improvements, furnish the motive power; new machinery throughout stands ready to do the business; a mill pond jammed with logs await the process of manufacture, and fifty customers to every thousand feet of lumber their mill can possibly saw are anxiously and impatiently waiting for the opportunity to buy it as fast as it leaves the mill and can be loaded on the cars. (Brainerd Tribune, 31 May 1879, p. 6, c. 2)

An accident occurred at the saw mill of Jones Bros., on yesterday, by which one man, William Bell, lost a finger by means of a circular saw, and another was considerably bruised by a flying board. (Brainerd Tribune, 12 July 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

Mr. Kerr, chief sawyer at Jones Bros.’ mill met with a severe accident one day this week, that will lay him up for some time, and probably cripple him for life. He undertook to tighten a nut near the large circular saw without stopping the mill, and the wrench slipped off the nut bringing his left hand in contact with the saw, severing the knuckles from the first and second fingers. The wounds were dressed by Dr. Campbell, and it is thought he will regain the use of his fingers, though the wounded joints will probably always be stiff. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 July 1879, p. 5, c. 1)

A most frightful accident occurred at Jones Bros.’ saw mill on Tuesday morning last at about 10 o’clock, by which a man named Brooks lost his life in a most horrible manner. He was engaged about the shingle mill and in the act of putting a belt on a pulley when his clothing caught on the shaft in some way throwing him over and jamming him between the shaft and a post, mangling his body in a most horrible manner. Medical aid was promptly called, but the poor man only gasped a few times and was dead before the doctor reached him. Brooks was an elderly man and man of of a family, leaving a wife and two children residing in Minneapolis, where his remains were taken for burial on Wednesday by Mr. A. M. Jones. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 September 1879, p. 4, c.’s 1 & 2)

Parties in this city have finally completed arrangements for the erection of a first-class steam saw mill, to be located just above the railroad bridge in this city. The mill will be equipped with a gang of saws, one circular saw, shingle, lath and planing machines and an extensive dry house. It is intended to be first-class in all its appointments, and from the character of the men in charge we cannot doubt it. One by one the doubts subside, and if Brainerd does not go ahead the coming season it will not be the fault of judicious enterprise. 5,000 inhabitants within three years, or an increase of 2,500, say we. (Brainerd Tribune, 31 January 1880, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

The New Lumbering Firm.

The Jones Bros. have disposed of their sawmill at this point to Messrs. J. A. Davis & Co. of Minneapolis, realizing about $25,000. The new firm, consisting of J. A. Davis, Farnham & Lovejoy, and E. Remick, are men of enterprise, ability and wealth, and Brainerd can well be proud of this acquisition to its business prospects. Lumbering men are beginning to appreciate the fact that Brainerd is to be a prominent manufacturing center, and are looking about for mill sites. A brick planing mill and sash, door and blind factory is contemplated, and the whole to be furnished with sufficient power to rent, for running a flouring mill. A company, we understand, has been formed to put the latter in running shape this spring. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 April 1880, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

Mr. Davis, of J. A. Davis & Co., proprietors of the Brainerd saw mills, informed the TRIBUNE this week in an informal interview that his firm has purchased the vacant block between Front and Laurel and 9th and 10th streets, and proposes erecting a steam planing mill; sash, door and blind factory, and lumber office upon it the coming autumn. He also says that he is now in communication with A. K. Hatterberg, proprietor of a furniture factory recently burned down at Whitewater, Wisconsin, who has been here and looked over the ground with a view to removing his machinery, most of which he saved from the fire, to Brainerd, and erecting a factory on the same ground in connection with their planing mill, using the same steam power, instead of rebuilding at Whitewater. His last letter from Mr. Hatterberg received this week announces that he has decided to accept their proposition to remove here, and will erect his factory at the same time they put up their mill. Mr. Hatterberg says a large proportion of his furniture trade is with the Northern Pacific country, and the Northwest, that he can manufacture as cheaply here as at Whitewater, and will save the additional freight on his furniture between this point and that. Thus the boom increases and Brainerd is becoming properly appreciated as a manufacturing center. (Brainerd Tribune, 19 June 1880, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

The excavations are being made for the new steam planing and shingle mill of J. A. Davis & Co., on the curve in the railroad track, about 600 feet northwest of their saw mill, between the track and the river. The high bluff at that point is being graded down to the level of their present lumber yard, and Stetson, contractor and builder of Minneapolis, is on the ground with a crew framing the building, which will be completed and in running order as soon as men and means can put it there. The motive power will be the 75-horse-power engine formerly in use in the saw mill, and the factory will be a model of perfection when completed. This adds another very important industry to the business interests of Brainerd, and is consequently welcome. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 November 1880, p. 4, c.’s 2 & 3)

SEE: 1880 Brainerd-2 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

J. A. Davis & Co., on Boom Lake, have started up their shingle and planing mills and are now running in full blast. (Brainerd Tribune, 12 March 1881, p. 1, c. 1)

We understand that J. A. Davis & Co., have been making some great improvements about their extensive mill near town. We intend next week to call on Mr. Davis, and find out just what he has been doing. (Brainerd Tribune, 28 May 1881, p. 1, c. 2)


The Extensive Mills Owned and Op-
erated by J. A. Davis & Co.

Yesterday afternoon, desiring a little fresh air, and wishing to ascertain what was going on about the country and town, we donned coat, hat and editorial expression, and, armed with pencil and note-book, sauntered down toward the extensive mills of J. A. Davis & Co., and upon arriving at the location, were at first somewhat bewildered by what could be seen about us. We had been informed that the business was conducted on a large scale, but had no idea of its vastness. We called at the office, and were exceedingly lucky in finding Mr. Davis at his desk. Upon informing him the nature of our errand, and asking a few questions, we were given a little insight into matters pertinent to what was going on. We found Mr. Davis to be an affable and courteous gentleman and ready to impart whatever information might be desired. In Boom Lake they have now some 10,000,000 feet, all of which they expect to manufacture during the season, and have recently fitted up their mills in the best possible manner, so that to find anything in their line which might excel them, one would be compelled to travel a long distance. The new planing mill, which first meets the view on coming in from town, includes servicer, re-saw, siding-saw and planing apparatus, and the way timber flies about in this department is a caution. The lath machine is in the general sawing mill. The shingle mill is in a separate building to the right of the planing mill, and has a capacity of about 80,000 feet per day. The planing mill will turn out over 40,000 feet per day, while the saw mill will score nearly 75,000 feet per day. The planing and shingle mills are entirely new this spring, while the saw mill has been refitted and remodeled throughout, with new engine, and new boiler and smoke-stack, new patent trimmer, new log canter, a Stearn’s new double circular carriage, and in fact everything found in first-class establishments of this nature. Mr. Davis informed us that he now had orders in for more work than could be turned out during the next two months. Their booming capacity, which has been recently increased considerably, is now about 70,000,000 feet. They ship from three to eight car loads of lumber per day, the bulk of which goes west, although orders are frequently in from St. Paul, and other points east. The town trade amounts to a great deal also, owing to the great amount of building now in progress. The estimated shipments per month will reach 1,000,000 feet. Did space permit, we should like to add a great deal more, as there is a great deal more to say concerning this mammoth enterprise, but want of space forbids, and we will only add, if you want to see what they are doing, go and look for yourself. (Brainerd Tribune, 04 June 1881, p. 4, c. 3)

I. E. Dean, operating the large planer in the planing mill of J. A. Davis & Co., of this place, met with a serious accident while on duty at the mill, on Saturday last. Some loose ravelings hanging to the sleeve of his overshirt, caught in the machinery, and drew his right arm under the knives of the plane, terribly mangling the hand and arm, and removing some pieces of the bone. We are pleased to announce that Mr. Dean is doing as well as could be expected, and his arm appears to be healing finely. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 June 1881, p. 5, c. 3)

Ladies are now employed at the shingle mill of J. A. Davis & Co. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 August 1881, p. 5, c. 1)

George Irwin had two fingers of his right hand cut off by the shingle saw at J. A. Davis & Co.’s mills this morning. (Brainerd Tribune, 20 August 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

Last Wednesday another man, whose name we failed to ascertain, had his hand mangled by the shingle saw at J. A. Davis & Co.’s mill. This makes the seventh unfortunate who has received injuries from this establishment. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 September 1881, p. 5, c. 3)

J. A. Davis & Co. have about half a million feet of logs frozen in the lake near their mill, which they will get out by means of dynamite explosion. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 March 1882, p. 5, c. 2)

A large dry kiln will be built at the mill of Davis & Co. as soon as spring opens, and seasoned lumber can be obtained in the future with less difficulty than heretofore. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 March 1882, p. 5, c. 2)

...Otto J. Olson is pushing the work of his new ice rink on Boom lake the posts have been set and the fence is under way of construction. He expects to open to the public next week.
...Frank Howe expects to do some tall skate jumping this season. He will issue a challenge to the state and the United States to jump against all comers.
Otto Olson and Frank Howe will do some speeding on the new Boom lake 4 lap track. It will make a good speed course as the lake is well cut off from windy quarters by the bluffs on the east and north. GILL. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 1, c. 5)

Won the Championship.

On Saturday last at Boom Lake ice rink occurred the much-talked of jumping contest between Frank Howe, of this city, and J. E. Andrews, of Stillwater, for the championship of the world. Mr. Howe only jumped once, making 19 feet and 9 inches. Mr. Andrews jumped repeatedly and tried to best it but could not, so Mr. Howe was declared the winner. This was no jump at all for Mr. Howe, as he jumped 24 feet and 8 1/2 inches last winter, and can do so again if the occasion requires. A fine gold championship medal was awarded him. The St. Cloud Journal-Press says of the contest:
Frank Howe, of Brainerd, is now recognized as the champion long-distance jumper on skates of the world. Howe recently jumped 19 feet 9 inches in a contest with J. E. Andrews, of Stillwater. The latter’s best jump was 10 inches short of Howe’s effort. Frank was given a gold medal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 February 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

Ice Rink—Benefit Dance.

Ice skating on Boom Lake, ca. 1890’s
Source: Brainerd Public Library and the Crow Wing County Historical Society Legacy Program
An organization has been perfected among the young men for the purpose of conducting and maintaining through the winter a free skating rink at Boom lake. In order to provide for funds with which to keep the rink free from snow and to furnish a place where the skaters can get warm a benefit ball will be given at Gardner hall this evening. Ladies will be admitted free, gentlemen paying 50 cents for dance tickets. The hall, music, printing, etc., has been donated and the entire proceeds will go towards making the rink a success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

The boys in the south part of town have cleared the ice on Boom lake and have put it in good shape for skating. There will doubtless be a large number out tomorrow enjoying this sport. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

Ice in fine condition at Boom lake. Open every afternoon and evening. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 December 1907, p. 2, c. 2)

30 December 1912. Fully 500 people enjoyed the fine ice skating at Boom Lake on Sunday afternoon and evening. The ice is being cleaned and kept in good shape by a group of south side boys. The lake is really the only rink in or near Brainerd and is thus well patronized. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 30 December 2012)

02 January 1913. (Adv.) Enjoy the Season’s Sports Best! On Boom Lake at the end of 5th Street - Where the Skating is Fine! We take excellent care of the ice. . .clean and smooth always with a large warming house and splendid music on the ice. Children: 5 cents. Adults: 10 cents. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Wednesday, 02 January 2013)

05 December 1914. The Boom Lake ice is in good condition and there have been large crowds out every night. Another large crowd is expected on Sunday afternoon and evening. The South Side club has put a building near the lake for the use of the skaters. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 05 December 2014)


Boom Lake Municipal Skating Rink
to be Scene of the Gala Affair,
First in its History

Warming House, Benches, Electric Lights,
Fine Ice, Make the Rink Ideal One of
the Northwest

Weather permitting, Boom lake municipal ice rink will feature its first masquerade on Tuesday night, January 9.
Only masked skaters will be allowed on the ice. The rink will be glowing in electric lights, etc.
The warming house, benches and other conveniences provided make the rink an ideal place and the ice is kept in the very best of shape. This municipal project was made successful by the joint endeavors of the Chamber of Commerce, water and light board, park board and young men of the city. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 January 1917, p. 1, c. 1)

26 January 1936. Brainerd skaters, long awaiting the thrill of flying over smooth ice on steel runners, have their first opportunity this season as the city grader has cleared a 200x400 foot rink on Boom Lake. The road to the lake has also been plowed so cars can drive to the edge of the rink. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 January 2016)

Boom Lake Ski Jump, ca. 1939
Source: Images of America: Brainerd, Crow Wing County Historical Society
Boom Lake Ski Jump, note the ducks or geese taking advantage of the ski jump as a launching pad, ca. 1939. A 1330x1922 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
28 October 1939. An attempt to install lights at the ski slide on Boom Lake is being made by the ski club. The club will send a committee before the Water and Light Board to make the formal request. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 28 October 1999)

13 November 1939. Night ski jumping and skiing will be enjoyed on Boom Lake, this winter, it was announced today, with word that lights would be installed near the slide immediately. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Saturday, 13 November 1999)

12 January 1941, the toboggan slides being constructed on the Boom Lake Hill will be ready for use on Sunday afternoon if work goes ahead on schedule. Constructed under NYA [National Youth Administration which was part of the WPA (Works Progress Administration)] work the two slides are rated as among the best in the state. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 12 January 2001)

Boom Lake and the Mississippi River, ca. 1911
Source: Carl Faust
A car near Boom Lake during the 1950 flood and the ski jump on the hill above, ca. 1950. A 1500x914 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Boom Lake Bridge, ca. 1940
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
Construction of the bridge spanning the channel between Boom Lake and the Mississippi River was done by the WPA [Works Progress Administration] sometime after it was created in April 1935 and 1943 when the WPA was closed down.


Permanent Railroad System.

The northern part of Minnesota is now almost a trackless waste, so far as railroads are concerned. But the logging railroads promise to do for it what the same class of roads did for the northern part of Michigan. Wright & Davis are about to build forty-six miles of road, the Northern Mill company is negotiating with the citizens of Brainerd for the building of their road from upper Gull lake to Brainerd. If this project goes through the Northern Mill Company will have about thirty miles of road in operation. The St. Anthony Lumber company and the H. C. Akeley Lumber company have built within the past year logging roads. All of these lines are built standard gauge and sufficiently well to make it possible that they should be used for general traffic. The various lines will undoubtedly sooner or later be made a part of the permanent railroad system of the Northwest.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c. 3)


Of the Citizens of Crow Wing

A mass meeting of Citizens of Crow Wing county will be held at the Opera House in Brainerd on Saturday evening, May 14, 1892, at 8 o’clock, to consider the proposition of the Brainerd & Northern Mill Company. Every citizen and tax-payer of the county is earnestly requested to be present.



The Application of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company to Crow Wing County, Minnesota, for aid for the construction of the railroad to be constructed by said company.
To said county of Crow Wing:
Whereas, this company, the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of Minnesota, proposes and contemplates the construction, for public use and under the authority vested in it by the laws of this state, a railroad commencing at the city of Brainerd in said Crow Wing county and running from thence by the most practicable route, to be determined by said company, to a point in or near the south-east quarter of south-west quarter of section 17, township 135, range 29, in Cass county in said state, upon or near the northwesterly shore of Gilpatrick lake, said point being hereafter referred to as Gilpatrick station, said line of railroad being hereinafter referred to for convenience as the southern division; and it is further proposed to acquire by purchase, lease or other wise, all rights now held by the Northern Mill Company in a certain railroad now operated by said Northern Mill Company, commencing at said Gilpatrick station and running thence in a general northwesterly direction to the present northerly terminus thereof, not far from the north line of section 2, township 135, range 31, in Cass county, hereinafter referred to for convenience as the northern division, and to connect said southern division and said northern division at said Gilpatrick station so as to make both of said divisions together one continuous line of railroad for public use.
For the purpose of aiding said railway company in the construction of said railroad, hereinbefore referred to as the southern division, said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company hereby requests that said county of Crow Wing issue and deliver to said railway company, its successors or assigns, at the time and under the conditions hereinafter set forth, the negotiable bonds of said county of Crow Wing, in the aggregated sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars, each of said bonds to be for the sum of one thousand dollars, and to be payable twenty years from the date thereof, with interest at the rate of 6 per centum per annum, payable semi-annually, which bonds shall conform to the laws of this sate and recite upon their face the validity of the proceedings for the issuance thereof.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railroad Company hereby offers and agrees, in consideration of and as a condition precedent to the issue and delivery as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided of said bonds by the said County of Crow Wing, to build, construct, grade, iron, bridge, equip and complete, on or before the 1st day of May, 1893, unless prevented from so doing by legal proceedings or events over which the said company has no control, said proposed railroad hereinbefore referred to as the Southern Division, and have the same ready for the passage of cars and in operation for the transportation of passengers and freight, from the said City of Brainerd to said point hereinbefore referred to as Gilpatrick Station, and to commence said construction as soon as an agreement hereon shall be arrived at and perfected between said county and said railway company, and prosecute the same to completion with all reasonable diligence, and to locate the station and the main repair shops at or near the City of Brainerd, upon section 17 or 18, township 45, Range 30, in said County of Crow Wing.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company further agree, in consideration of and as a condition precedent to the issue and delivery of said bonds, as aforesaid, that it will, within the time aforesaid, connect, or cause or procure said line of railroad to be connected at said Gilpatrick Station with the said Northern Division so as to make one continuous line of railroad of a uniform gauge, from the present northerly terminus of said Northern Division near the north line of section 2, township 135, range 31, in Cass county, to the proposed terminus aforesaid at the City of Brainerd, for a permanent line of railway for public use, reserving however the right to make the gauge of both said Southern and said Northern Division of some lawful uniform gauge wider than the present gauge of said Northern Division.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway company further agrees, in consideration of said bonds, that it will, at the election of said county of Crow Wing, issue to said county such number of the shares of the capital stock of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota railway company as will, at the par value of such stock, equal the said sum of one hundred thousand dollars.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway company agrees that it will not ask, demand or receive any portion of the bonds hereinbefore mentioned and so desired to be issued by the said county of Crow Wing until the conditions aforesaid shall have been fully performed and completed, as hereinbefore provided.
It is further agreed that when and as soon as this proposition shall have been accepted by the said Crow Wing county, and the said agreement hereon shall be thereby arrived at and perfected, all of the said one hundred thousand dollars of bonds shall be executed and thereupon delivered to the Minnesota Loan and Trust Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in escrow, to be by the said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company delivered to the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, its successors or assigns, only upon compliance with all the terms and conditions of the foregoing proposition and strictly as therein specified, and that if the proper authorities of said County of Crow Wing, shall, on behalf of said county, elect to receive said stock of said railway company, then such stock shall at the same time by likewise delivered to said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company, in escrow, to be by said company delivered to said county at the same time that said trust company shall so deliver said bonds to said railway company, its successors or assigns. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c.’s 4 & 5)

Meeting of the Industrial and Commer-
cial Union.

A special meeting of the Industrial and Commercial Union of Brainerd will be held on Friday evening, May 13 at 8 o’clock, at the office of Leon E. Lum, Esq. The object of the meeting is to consider the application of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railroad Company for $100,000 of bonds, and to take such action in that behalf as will tend to promote the best interests of the county and city. The attendance of every member of the Union is particularly desired.
A. J. HALSTED. Secretary.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c. 5)

The New Railroad.

Articles were filed Monday in the office of the secretary of state, says the Pioneer Press, by the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railroad Company of Minneapolis, with a capital stock of $500,000 and the following incorporators: John S. and George A. Pillsbury, Arthur E. Bardwell, William B. Ransom, James E. Glass, Ray W. Jones and James A. Kellogg, all of Minneapolis. This company will build, equip, maintain and operate a road from Brainerd, Crow Wing county, north to a point in the north line of the state between Rainy Lake and the Red River of the North. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Brainerd’s Opportunity.

In the proposition of the Northern Mill Co. to locate here and build a line of road to connect with their road now in operation above Gull Lake, and to establish the repair shops of this road in Brainerd, all for a bonus of $100,000, is Brainerd’s great opportunity to take a great stride forward towards the place among Minnnesota cities that her great natural advantages entitle her to. The DISPATCH is earnestly in favor of accepting this offer because we believe it will have the effect above described. Brainerd is at the very gateway of the great pine forests of Minnesota, with ample power and booming facilities to easily handle and manufacture a large proportion of the product of these forests into lumber and wares of commerce, and it seems passing strange that she has not enjoyed a large proportion of this industry for many years. To manufacture a large portion of the vast quantities of timber that yearly pass by this city should be Brainerd’s great ambition, and we favor this proposition because we believe this is a large beginning, if for no other reason, although there are many others. We firmly believe that this is only a beginning, and in a short time other wood manufacturing industries will be established here. Why should not this pine be manufactured here instead of being floated 100 miles down the river? Mill men all concede that our booming privileges are unsurpassed, and at present Brainerd enjoys a freight rate on lumber to the markets of the south and west as low as any in the country. Taking these things into consideration it goes without saying that Brainerd will in a short time be a great lumber manufacturing town. There is also vast quantities of wood suitable for manufacturing into pulp tributary to this city, and negotiations are now in progress for securing for Brainerd the largest pulp mill in the state. One industry brings another, and as Brainerd is eminently fitted by nature for these industries to locate in, we favor this proposition to secure one as a beginning, if, as we stated before, for no other reason.
But there are many other reasons among which we might enumerate the following:
The acceptance of this proposition will restore confidence in our city’s future and increase the value of all real property in the county 50 per cent.
It will reduce taxation by increasing the assessed valuation.
It will reduce taxation by preventing the organization of Cass county, and consequently the loss of the revenue derived therefrom.
It will increase our population and make a better market for the produce of the Crow Wing county farmers.
It will bring in new settlers to supply the increased market and thus help to settle up the county.
These are a few of the many benefits that Brainerd and Crow Wing county will secure almost immediately from the acceptance of this proposition. As to the benefits that will probably result at no distant day from the building of this railroad we will express no opinion of our own, but offer the following prediction taken from the Minneapolis Journal and Spectator. The Journal says:
The air is full of railroad projects now, but there is none that seems to promise so well for Minneapolis as the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota project outlined in the Journal a day or two since. But the whole of the story was not told then. The project is larger than then appeared, and if the heavy men back of it succeed in carrying out their ideas not only the lumber but the iron ore of the vast undeveloped regions to the north will be brought direct to Minneapolis. The plan as originally outlined provided for the building of a line northwestward from Brainerd, skirting Leech Lake, Red Lake and tapping the upper Red river country. But it now transpires that this is only part of the plan. It is proposed to build a spur in a northeasterly direction, leaving the main line at some point not far north of Brainerd that shall tap the Mesaba range. This would probably take in, via Grand Rapids or some point on the Great Bend of the upper Mississippi, the whole newly discovered iron country northward to the Rainy Lake region and the international boundary. It will at once be seen that this is a vast project which means much for Minneapolis. It will make the manufacture of iron here not only possible and profitable, but almost inevitable. The whole range is filling up with mining camps, and the business of furnishing them supplies is becoming a great one. This will all naturally come to the jobbing houses of Minneapolis, for the city where the lumber and ore is marketed must become the base of supplies. The country which the new road proposes to open is now totally without railroad facilities. Its resources, while known to be great, are as yet only dimly realized, and it doesn’t take a very active imagination to picture the great volume of trade and raw material which will flow into Minneapolis in the near future over this road. Brainerd, too, will be a large beneficiary, as the junction point of the two branches of the system and as the fitting out place. Already it is beginning to feel the effects of the deal. The Northern Mill Company has decided to remove its saw mill from Gull River to Brainerd, to which place the new road will bring the logs cut on the Pillsbury tracts.
The Spectator, also of Minneapolis, says”
Elsewhere in this issue of the Spectator are printed the articles of incorporation of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company. The parties interested are well known Minneapolis men as follows: Hon. J. S. Pillsbury, Hon. Geo. A. Pillsbury, Arthur E. Bardwell, Wm. B. Ransom, Jas. E. Glass, Ray W. Jones, and Jas. A. Kellogg. The capital stock is $500,000, and the road is not merely “on paper” but this is a bona fide enterprise. Already about 25 miles of track have been built, and 10 or 15 more will be added within 60 days. The road will run northwest from Brainerd, to the state line, and will pass near Leech Lake, Red Lake and other important points. It will traverse a rich timber, mineral and agricultural region, and form an important outlet for a wealth of products. The region which it will open is largely untouched, and forms a vast empire as yet but little known, but endowed with wonderful resources and possibilities. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

Right You Are.

The Northern Mill company is to build a logging railroad in a northwesterly direction leaving the Northern Pacific roadway at Brainerd. Someday some trunk line railway seeking for a line from Brainerd to the grain fields of Dakota and Manitoba will come along and want the road that the gentlemen comprising the saw mill firm are now proposing to build.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c. 4)


Proceedings of Board of Crow Wing
County Commissioners, Meeting
Held On May 17th, 1892.

Pursuant to call the board of county commissioners of Crow Wing county met at the County Auditor's office May 17th, 1892.
All members of the board were present.
The following resolutions were on motion adopted:
WHEREAS, the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Minnesota, has this day made application to the county of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, in due form of law, requesting said county of Crow Wing to issue and deliver to it, the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, the negotiable bond of said county in the aggregate sum of one hundred thousand dollars (100,000), for the purpose of aiding said company in the construction of its railroad from the city of Brainerd in the said county of Crow Wing in a northwesterly direction to a certain point on the shore of Gilpatrick Lake referred to in said application as Gilpatrick Station, in the county of Cass, and
WHEREAS, in the said application of the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company the said company offers, at the election of the said county of Crow Wing, to issue to said county such number of the shares of the capital stock of the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company as will, at the par value of such stock, equal the said sum of $100,000; and
WHEREAS, we, the board of county commissioners of the said Crow Wing county, deem that it is and will be for the best interest of the said county of Crow Wing to elect to waive and decline the said offered shares of the capital stock of the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED by the board of county commissioners of the said county of Crow Wing that the said offer of the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company to issue to the said county of Crow Wing such number of its shares of capital stock as will, at the par value of such stock, equal the sum of $100,000 be and the same is hereby waived by the said county of Crow Wing and that this board of county commissioners for and on behalf of the said county of Crow Wing does now elect to waive, and by these presents does waive the issuance by such railroad company of any such stock to the said county of Crow Wing.
IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that the clerk of this board of county commissioners be and he is hereby directed to give to said Railway Company notice of such waiver by delivering to said Railway Company the authorized agent or officer thereof a copy of this resolution.
The following judges and clerks of election were on motion appointed for special election called by the Auditor for May 31st, 1892:
Bay Lake precinct:—J. D. Tarry, N. Newgard and Albert Erath, judges; G. A. Hunt, clerk.
Albert’s precinct:—J. C. Pointon, H. M. Aye and Stephen Busch, judges; Louis Wicks, clerk.
Fairbanks precinct:—A. Leighton, Martin Kapple and John Chisholm, judges; Eugene Phelps, clerk.
Davenport’s precinct:—J. N. Farrell, A. R. Cass and Louis Nelson, judges; G. G. Thompson, clerk.
Kennedy’s precinct:—J. E. Ireland, Alec. Gordon and James Soreason [sic], judges; E. P. Green, Clerk.
Pine River precinct, (voting place, A. C. Gould’s):—James E. White, Wm. Harmon and A. C. Gould, judges; A. T. Kimball, clerk.
Board adjourned sine die.
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c.’s 4 & 5)


The Bond Proposition will Carry and
the Mill and Railroad be Secured,

Which Means the Establishment of an
Industry here with a Monthly
Pay Roll of $18,000.

An Enthusiastic Mass Meeting Held at
the Opera House Last Saturday

An Election Called by the County
Commissioners on Tuesday,
May 31st, 1892.

The one all absorbing topic of conversation in the City of the Pines for the past week has been the proposition of the Northern Mill Co. and the Brainerd & Northwestern Minnesota Railway Co., whereby both can be secured for this city. Wherever you went, on the street or in the shops or stores, it was all the same, the proposition as published in our last issue was being discussed, and nearly everyone seemed to be of the opinion that it was Brainerd’s opportunity to take a step forward to that prominence which her natural advantages entitle her to. In the city there is practically no opposition, all our citizens realizing that to accept is for the best interests of the city, while the opposition which it was first thought would be encountered in the county is fast dwindling away before the unanswerable arguments that are being presented in behalf of the proposition. Indeed, so rapidly are the ranks of the opposition being thinned out, that we firmly believe by election day there will not be one single precinct in the county that will return a majority against it.


Few of our citizens, we believe, realized the magnitude of the enterprise that the acceptance of this proposition will bring. The Mill Co. binds itself to establish here a mill of the capacity of 175,000 feet of lumber in ten hours, or a duplicate of the mill they are now operating in Minneapolis. When run double time, which is frequently the case, this mill has produced 400,000 feet in one day. At such times the monthly pay roll of the mill alone is $18,000 per month, or about two-thirds of the monthly pay roll of the N. P. company in this city, and when we consider that the company will not only pay the mill men here, but also the men employed on the railroad, both those in the operating department and in the shops which the company has bound itself to establish here, it can easily be seen that the monthly pay roll of this institution will equal, of not exceed, the N. P. shops. Who would not give a bonus of $100,000 to have another such an industry established here as the N. P. shops. He would be a fool, indeed, who rejected such a proposition.


The mass meeting at the opera house last Saturday night, called to have the proposition read, explained and considered, was a most enthusiastic one indeed, the spacious building being crowded to its utmost limits by interested citizens, notwithstanding the extremely inclement weather prevailing that night. The meeting was called to order shortly after 8 o’clock by Alderman Williamson, who proposed the name of L. P. White, Sr., as chairman of the meeting, which met with the approval of the meeting. Mr. White, on taking the chair, set the ball rolling by stating the object of the meeting and the substance of the proposition, and then called upon City attorney McClenahan, who had conducted the negotiations with the Mill Co. on the part of the city, to explain the matter at length. Mr. McClenahan then read the proposition of the railroad company, and explained what the substance of the contract with the Mill Co. would be. He also explained clearly the necessity for the two contracts, and closed his remarks with a few arguments why the city should embrace this opportunity for her advancement. Judge W. A. Fleming, was next called upon for an expression of opinion upon the subject, and delivered the most telling arguments of the evening in its favor. He clearly showed the farmers that of the $6,000 a year interest on the bonds the city alone had to pay $4,600, or over three-fourths of the entire amount, while the entire county outside of the city had but one-fourth to pay, which would be returned to them ten-fold by improved markets and added value to their farm property by the growth of the city. He concluded by assuring them that unless this proposition was accepted the Mill Co. would go to Gull River, Cass county will be organized, and this county would lose the revenue from Cass county, which would raise the taxes twice as much as paying interest on these bonds. Bro. Stivers, of the Journal, followed with a few remarks in favor of the proposition, showing that the value of the real property in a community depended wholly on the improvements made, consequently farms in this county would increase in value with all new improvements. At the conclusion of Mr. Stivers’ remarks the chairman called upon anyone in the audience who so desired to express an opinion in regard to the matter. Dr. Groves offered a few words in favor of the scheme, and then moved that a committee of nine, one from each ward in the city and four from the county be appointed by the chair or audience, with whom the contract and bond for the building of the mill could be made on the part of the county. A motion was made that the committee be appointed by the audience, but as it was not seconded the chair put a motion to have the committee appointed by the chair, which was declared carried. As this appeared to cause some dissatisfaction a new motion was made and carried to have the committee appointed by the audience. At this junction A. F. Ludwig, the Farmer’s Alliance lecturer of the county, arose in the rear of the hall and began to address the meeting. He was invited to take the platform which he did, when he began to deliver himself over the wrongs of the farmer and laboring man. As he ignored the question at issue, some boisterous cries and hisses were indulged in by some impatient ones, and Mr. Ludwig left the stage, declaring he would not finish. Order was soon restored and Mr. Ludwig was invited to give his opinion of the proposition, but he declined to do so. The chair then appointed the following gentlemen as members of the committee:
First Ward—H. C. Stivers.
Second Ward—W. S. McClenahan.
Third Ward—W. W. Williamson.
Fourth Ward—T. W. Crawford.
Fifth Ward—Con. O’Brien.
Ft. Ripley—C. B. Clouse.
Crow Wing—John Drake.
Deerwood—H. Patterson.
Oak Lawn—Geo. Keough.
On motion a campaign committee was then appointed by the chair to have charge of conducting the campaign for the proposition as follows: H. C. Stivers, A. F. Ferris, Dr. Groves, John Willis and Joel Smith. Dr. Groves was, at his own request, excused from serving on the committee, and Dr. Hemstead was appointed in his stead. Judge Fleming then moved that it is the sense of this meeting that the proposition be accepted, which motion was adopted with shouts of applause, but one lone vote being heard in the negative. The meeting then adjourned.


On Tuesday the county commissioners met in regular session and after considering the formal application for aid on the part of the railroad company, adopted a resolution waiving the right of the county to receive stock of the railroad in exchange for the bonds, and instructed the auditor to issue a call for a special election to be held Tuesday, May 31st, and then appointed the judges and clerks of election for the precincts in the unorganized portions of the county, whose names are published elsewhere in this issue.


In order that the farmers might have a better opportunity to have the matter explained to them, another mass meeting has been called for 2 o'clock tomorrow afternoon at the opera house, when all details in regard to signing the contracts will have been completed, and the matter will be fully and freely explained. It is especially desired that all farmers in the county be present at the meeting.


On Monday evening, Ray B. Jones, vice president and general manager of the railroad company, and secretary of the Northern Mill company, arrived in the city with the railroad proposition and mill contract both duly signed. On Tuesday afternoon the committee appointed by the mass meeting for the purpose of receiving the mill contract on the part of the county, had a meeting, all being present except C. B. Clouse, of Ft. Ripley. A few changes of the contract was suggested by the committee, and Mr. McClenahan was delegated to go to Minneapolis Wednesday morning to confer with the company in regard to these matters. An agreement was reached with the company by which the bonds were to be held in escrow until the mill as well as the railroad is completed. This is fully as good as the giving of a bond on the part of the company. The following is the mill contract:

THIS INDENTURE made and entered into this 16th day of May, A. D. 1892, by and between the Northern Mill Company, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of Minnesota, party of the first part, and John Drake, Harry Patterson, C. B. Clouse, Geo. Keough, H. C. Stivers, W. S. McClenahan, Wm. Williamson, Thomas W. Crawford, Con. O’Brien, of the County of Crow Wing, in said State, parties of the second part, witnesseth as follows:
WHEREAS the said County of Crow Wing is contemplating proceedings for inducing the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company to construct a line of railroad from the City of Brainerd in said Crow Wing County to a certain point on the shore of Lake Gilpatrick in Cass County, the inducement proposed by said County of Crow Wing to said Railway Company for the construction of said line of railroad being the proposed issue by said County to said Railway Company of one hundred bonds of said County for one thousand dollars each, and the proposition of said Railroad Company required by the statute in such case made and provided, having been prepared, to be presented to the Auditor of said County.
AND WHEREAS the construction of said railroad would enable said party of the first part to locate a saw mill at Brainerd by furnishing the necessary railroad facilities therefor.
AND WHEREAS said party of the second part constitute a committee of the citizens of said County of Crow Wing in this behalf and are desirous of having said first party locate a saw mill at or near the City of Brainerd with a view to the benefit that would accrue to the County and City from the location of a mill at that point.
NOW THEREFORE in consideration of the premises and of the benefits which shall accrue to said parties of the first part by the construction of said road by said Railway Company, thus enabling said first party to locate said saw mill at Brainerd, and for other valuable considerations, said party of the first part for itself and its successors hereby covenants to and with said parties of the second part, their personal representatives and assigns, acting as a committee of the citizens of Crow Wing County and on behalf of said County, that if an agreement shall be arrived at and perfected between said Crow Wing County and said Railroad Company in accordance with said proposition, for the construction of said road by said Railroad Company and the issuance of said bonds by said Crow Wing County, said parties of the first part its successors and assigns, shall and will prior to the first day of May A. D. 1893, build, construct, equip and complete upon some suitable site on Section seventeen (17) eighteen (18) nineteen (19) or twenty (20) in Township forty-five (45), Range thirty (30) in said Crow Wing County, or on any said sections, a steam saw mill with capacity of at least 175,000 feet of lumber per day of ten hours, provided with adequate and sufficient piling grounds for lumber and with all suitable and proper appliances and appurtenances for operation as a permanent industry at all times during the milling seasons from and after its completion.
Said party of the first part proposes in the construction and equipment of said saw mill to use so far as it can be reasonably made available, the materials, machinery and appliances now used and connected with the present mill of said first party at Gull River, in said Cass County and reserved the right to do so.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF said party of the first part has caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed and this instrument to be signed by its duly authorized officers the day and year first above written.
By W. B. RANSOM, Pres.
Attest: RAY W. JONES, Sec’y.
In presence of
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 4, c.’s 5-7)


Notice is hereby given of an election to be held by the legal voters of the county of Crow Wing in the State of Minnesota, at the usual places of holding elections in said county, on the

31st Day of May,

A. D., 1892, for the purpose of arriving at a mutual agreement with the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company upon a certain proposition of the said Railway company heretofore submitted to the county of Crow Wing on the 17th day of May, A. D. 1892, which proposition is in words and figures as follows to-wit:

The Application of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company to Crow Wing county, Minnesota, for aid for the construction of the railroad to be constructed by said company.
To said county of Crow Wing:
WHEREAS, This company, the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, a corporation organized and existing under and by virtue of the laws of Minnesota, proposes and contemplates the construction for public use and under the authority vested in it by the laws of this state, of a railroad commencing at the City of Brainerd in said Crow Wing County and running from thence by the most practicable route, to be determined by said company, to a point in or near the South East Quarter of South West Quarter of Section Seventeen (17), Township One Hundred and Thirty-five (135), Range Twenty-nine (29), in Cass County in said State, upon or near the Northwesterly shore of Gilpatrick Lake, said point being hereinafter referred to as Gilpatrick Station, said line of railroad being hereinafter referred to for convenience as the Southern Division; and it is further proposed to acquire by purchase, lease or otherwise, all rights now held by the Northern Mill Company in a certain railroad now operated by said Northern Mill Company, commencing at said Gilpatrick Station and running thence in a general Northwesterly direction to the present Northerly terminus thereof, not far from the North line of Section Three (3), Township One Hundred and Thirty-five (135), Range Thirty-one (31), in Cass County, hereinafter referred to for convenience as the Northern Division, and to connect said Southern Division and said Northern Division at said Gilpatrick Station so as to make both of said Divisions together one continuous line of railroad for public use.
For the purpose of aiding said Railway Company in the construction of said railroad, hereinbefore referred to as the Southern Division, said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company hereby requests that said County of Crow Wing issue and deliver to said Railway Company, its successors or assigns, at the time and under the conditions hereinafter set forth, the negotiable bonds of said County of Crow Wing, in the aggregate sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars, each of said bonds to be for the sum of One Thousand Dollars, and to be payable twenty (20) years from the date thereof, with interest at the rate of six (6) percentum per annum, payable semi-annually, which bonds shall conform to the laws of this State and recite upon their face the validity of the proceedings for the issuance thereof.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railroad Company hereby offers and agrees, in consideration of and as a condition precedent to the issue and delivery as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided of said bonds by the said County of Crow Wing, to build, construct, grade, iron, bridge, equip and complete, on or before the 1st day of May, 1893, unless prevented from so doing by legal proceedings or events over which the said Company has no control, said proposed railroad hereinbefore referred to as the Southern Division, and have the same ready for the passage of cars and in operation for the transportation of passengers and freight, from the said City of Brainerd to said point hereinbefore referred to as Gilpatrick Station, and to commence said construction as soon as an agreement hereon shall be arrived at and perfected between said County and said Railway Company, and prosecute the same to completion with all reasonable diligence, and to locate the station and the main repair shops at or near the City of Brainerd, upon Section Seventeen (17) or Section Eighteen (18), in Township Forty-five (45), Range Thirty (30), in said County of Crow Wing.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company further agrees, in consideration of and as a condition precedent to the issue an delivery of said bonds, as aforesaid, that it will within the time aforesaid, connect, or cause or procure said line of railroad to be connected at the Gilpatrick Station with the said Northern Division of some lawful uniform gauge wider than the present gauge of said Northern Division.
And the Brainerd and Northern Minnnesota Railway Company further agrees, in consideration of said bonds, that it will, at the election of said County of Crow Wing, issue to said County such number of the shares of the capital stock of the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company as will, at the par value of such stock, equal the said sum of One Hundred Thousand Dollars.
And the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company agrees that it will not ask, demand or receive any portion of the bonds hereinbefore mentioned and so desired to be issued by the said County of Crow Wing until the conditions aforesaid shall have been fully performed and completed, as hereinbefore provided.
It is further agreed that when and as soon as this proposition shall have been accepted by the said Crow Wing County, and the said agreement hereon shall be thereby arrived at and perfected, all of the said One Hundred Thousand Dollars of bonds shall be executed and thereupon delivered to the Minnesota Loan and Trust Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in escrow, to be by the said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company delivered to the said Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company, it successors or assigns, only upon compliance with all the terms and conditions of the foregoing proposition and strictly as therein specified, and that if the proper authorities of said County of Crow Wing, shall, on behalf of said County, elect to receive said stock of said Railway Company, then such stock shall at the same time be likewise delivered to said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company, in escrow, to be by said Company delivered to said County at the time time that said trust company shall so deliver said bonds to said Railway Company, its successors or assigns.
It is further provided that whenever said Railway Company shall notify said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company that said Railroad has been completed in accordance with the terms of this proposition, thereupon said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company shall be authorized to appoint and shall appoint an Engineer who shall examine said road, and when said engineer shall certify to said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company that said Road is completed in accordance with the terms of this proposition and shall furnish to said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company his certificate to that effect, it shall thereupon be the duty of said Minnesota Loan and Trust Company to deliver such bonds to said Railway Company or its duly authorized agent, and said engineer’s certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the fact of such completion and shall operate as full authority to said Trust Company for the delivery of said bonds.
In Witness Whereof said Railway Company has caused its corporate seal to be hereto affixed and this proposition to be signed by its duly authorized officers this 16th day of May, A. D. 1892.
In presence of
Second Vice President and General Manager.
Attest: J. E. GLASS, Secretary.

Raymond Williams Jones, Second Vice President, B & NM Railway, 1892-1894 and Secretary of the Northern Mill Company, ca. 1916
Source: MHS
On this 16th day of May, A. D. 1892, before me a Notary Public in and for said County, appeared Ray W. Jones and J. E. Glass to me personally known who being by me duly sworn did say that they are respectively the second vice president and secretary of the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway Company a corporation and that the seal affixed to the foregoing instrument is the corporate seal of said corporation and that said instrument was signed and sealed on behalf of said corporation by authority of its Board of Directors and they severally acknowledged said instrument to be the free act and deed of said incorporation.
Notary Public, Hennepin Co., Minn.
NOW THEREFORE, each and every of the legal voters of the said County of Crow Wing is hereby notified to deposit a ballot at such election upon which shall be written or printed the words “For the Railroad Proposition” or the words “Against the Railroad Proposition.”
Further notice is hereby given to all legal voters in said County of Crow Wing that such election shall be held in the several election districts at the following usual places of holding elections therein and that the polls of such election districts respectively will be opened as follows, to wit:

First Ward—Front Street Hose House.
Second Ward—Roller Skating Rink Building, Sixth Street North.
Third Ward—Hose House on 2nd Ave.
Fourth Ward—Hose House on Hartley street.
Fifth Ward—Miller’s Carpenter Shop on 8th street between Laurel and Front streets.
Town of Mooersville—School House, Ft. Ripley.
Town of Deerwood—School House on Sec. 8.
Town of Crow Wing—Mill School House.
Town of Oaklawn—School House Sec. 28.
Town of Daggett Brook—School House.
Town of Long Lake—H. C. Hughey’s House.
Town of Garrison—School House.
Precinct Bay Lake—D. Archibald’s House.
Precinct Fairbanks—School House.
Precinct Alberts—School House
Precinct Davenports—W. J. Davenport’s House.
Precinct Kennedys—School House.
Precinct Pine River—A. C. Gould’s House.

In the city polls open from seven in the morning to six in the evening. All other voting places from nine in the morning to five in the evening.
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 1, c.’s 3-5)

NOTE: Raymond Williams Jones was Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota from 1903 to 1904.


The Bond Proposition is Now Prac-
tically Without Opposition.

It is conceded on all sides that the vote for the bonds on the railroad proposition will carry in nearly every precinct in the county at the election next Tuesday. The opposition in the country which was at first thought to be of sufficient strength to cause alarm by the projectors has been nearly overcome and many who were loud in their protestations are now advocating the cause and working hard in favor of the proposition, so much so that there is no doubt but that every precinct with one or two exceptions will vote almost unanimously in its favor.
On Saturday last J. N. True issued bills which were posted throughout the city and county in which he stated that himself and others would speak in opposition to the bond issue and naming a date for each precinct in the country. He also attended the mass meeting on Saturday afternoon and by request took the platform after the other speakers had finished and addressed those who remained to hear him for half an hour. His tirade, however, did not seem to have the effect he had expected. He objected to many points in the contract and endeavored to impress on his hearers that the company was irresponsible and would not do what they claimed. Coming from the source it did, the statements had very little effect, but the committee, after the meeting was over, decided that it would be policy for the people of Crow Wing county to know what kind of a man this was who proposed to question the responsibility of parties known to be men of integrity and financial standing in the commercial world. The Journal accordingly issued an extra on Sunday in which his Dakota record was aired, the court records of Hutchinson county being taken for the article. The papers were freely circulated and Mr. True was followed at his meetings by speakers in favor of the proposition who fully explained everything in connection with the deal, and his following was found to be small. At Crow Wing and Fairbanks the meetings were of the red hot order and when Ft. Ripley was reached Messrs. Stivers and McClenahan were requested by Mr. True to “let up” and he would quietly fold his tent and steal away. In other words he found that he had undertaken a larger contract than he could fulfill and as he saw that sentiment was growing daily in favor instead of against the issue of the bonds, he was willing if the further publishing of his record was stopped to cancel all his dates and not deliver another speech. This was before the Ft. Ripley meeting took place and the enthusiastic audience of nearly a hundred were somewhat disappointed at the change in the programme. Mooersville, which was considered doubtful was found to be largely in favor of the scheme and will vote that way on election day.
Mr. True has returned to Brainerd as per agreement, but Messrs. Fleming, McClenahan, Stivers, Parker, Spalding and others are attending the meetings called in each precinct and explaining to the people the benefits to be derived from the location here of the Northern Mill Co. and the building of the railroad.
The gentlemen connected with the enterprise have been here this week making preliminary arrangements to begin work as soon as the elections is over as there is no doubt but that the people will vote right on Tuesday next. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 1, c. 6)

It is quite probable that not more than two precincts will vote against the proposed bond issue and there are men willing to take odds to that effect. True’s tirade has turned even his best friends in favor of the project. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

It should be thoroughly understood that while the mantle of charity has been graciously thrown over the record of J. N. True and we willingly refrain from publishing the same for the present, that the record is in a safe place where it will not spoil should occasion require that it be resurrected, but that we think will hardly be necessary after what has happened, unless the man is entirely bereft of reason. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

There are men, and we are thankful that they are few, who at the beginning and up to a few days ago endeavored to carry water on both shoulders on the bond question in this city. Whether it was through political fear or for private reasons that the two men, who were the only kickers of any prominence, controlled the actions of these so-called moulders of public opinion we do not know, but it is safe to assert that the lesson has been as severe as it has been instructive to them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Not Quite Correct.

The Little Falls Herald says:
We learn that on Sunday last the Brainerd Journal published an extra in which was an article roasting Attorney True to a turn because he was working against the scheme of bonding Crow Wing county for $100,000 to induce manufacturers to locate in that city. It showed up his past record; which it is said is not an enviable one. Mr. True was to stump Crow Wing county this week against the bond proposition, and we are told by Brainerd parties that he can not hire a horse at any of the livery stables; or get shaved at any of the barber shops. If the measure is defeated he will probably have to leave Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 6)


The People of Crow Wing County
Favor the

Mill and Railroad Proposition.

The Vote Carried by a Majority of
1,518, With Only One Precinct
Against It.

The People are Alive to Their Best

This is the vote:
First Ward, Brainerd
Second Ward, Brainerd
Third Ward, Brainerd
Fourth Ward, Brainerd
Fifth Ward, Brainerd
Bay Lake
Crow Wing
Daggett Brook
Long Lake
Oak Lawn
Pine River
The people of Crow Wing county showed by their ballots on Tuesday that they were almost unanimous in their desire to aid the railway and mill proposition by the issue of $100,000 in bonds. It was a glorious victory and one to be proud of. Out of a total vote of 1,708 only 95 votes were cast against the proposition, and only three out of the 95 were cast in the city. Deerwood was the only precinct that gave a majority against the proposition and there they were nearly evenly divided the vote being 38 to 40. It was known as early as 6:30 on Tuesday night that the result was favorable as returns from the five wards in the city had been counted and messengers from the precincts near the city had brought in the good news to such an extent that victory was assured. When the vote at Pine River was announced every precinct had been heard from and it was then only 11 o’clock. To say the town went wild would be placing a very mild construction on it. Everybody seemed to have appointed themselves as a committee of one to help celebrate the occasion. The Third Regiment Band was called out, the cannon was fired and the populace shouted themselves hoarse. The throng of people marched through the principal streets and speeches were delivered by those who had been instrumental in winning the victory. Mr. R. W. Jones, Manager of the Northern Minnesota Railroad, was called for and he responded at once to the invitation. He told the people that the promised improvements would be started at once and that their magnitude would be even greater than was expected—the mill would be second to none in Minnesota or the northwest and the new railroad would add volumes of business to Brainerd and the county at large, and assured all that no mistake had been made in voting the bonds. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

It will take a few days to arrange preliminaries before active work is begun at the dam on the mill and the railroad bridge, but Mr. Jones, who has charge of operations says the mill machinery will be here before July 1st, and that in 90 days the construction will be completed. The bridge will be of iron and in order to have it ready for use when needed it will be necessary to rush it with all possible speed. The engineers are now at work on the final survey. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Ties for the New Road.

John LaFond, of this city, has been awarded the contract of furnishing 50,000 ties for the new Brainerd and Northern Minnnesota railway to be used in constructing that portion of the road between Brainerd and the present southern terminus of the road. Mr. LaFond begins work immediately on getting out these ties, having advertised for 50 men for that purpose. We understand that Wm. Gergen has also been awarded a contract to get out 14,000 ties to be used at the northern end of the line. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

Line of the New Road.

Work on the new mill and railroad is being rushed, and a glance at the improvements at Rice lake gives one an indication of the magnitude of the improvements:
...The line of the new railroad has been definitely located to within a short distance of Gull lake. The road, after crossing the river, runs almost due north around the north end of Long lake, thence northwesterly around the upper end of Hubert lake, thence almost directly west until the thoroughfare between upper and lower Gull lake is crossed, thence in a northwesterly direction, striking the old road about ten miles above the landing on Gilpatrick lake. The road will be standard gauge, and will be laid with sixty-pound steel rails and built in every way in the most substantial manner possible. The work of clearing the right of way is being accomplished almost as fast as the engineers make the final survey. The old road will be changed to a standard gauge while the new road is being built. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Yesterday one of the teamsters working on the new railroad at Rice Lake drove his team off the dump into the river and drowned one of the horses. The horse was left in the river, but Chairman McNaughton, of the board of health, went up this afternoon and caused the carcass to be removed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Things Do Move.

The improvements at Rice lake are being pushed along with all possible speed and the place is a very bee hive of industry. The frame work on the mill proper is being raised and the engine placed in position. The machine shop is up and enclosed. The pilings for the railroad bridge are being driven as rapidly as possible and the grading is nearing completion. The Minneapolis Lumberman says of the improvements:
The mill and logging roads works at Brainerd are making good progress. The Gull River (old Pillsbury) mill is now all removed here including the engine machinery, which was the last to be moved. Besides the saw mill now building, the company will remove the Gull River planing mill, and also enlarged, locate it here. The site of the latter is near the saw mill on the Rice Lake Point, and on the Northern Pacific main spur. It will be put in operation as soon as it can be got up, not waiting for the completion of the saw mill, stock for it to be shipped temporarily from the Minneapolis yards. The railroad bridge for the logging road (Brainerd & Northern Minnesota), was commenced on Wednesday of last week. The crossing of the Mississippi is directly at the mill site at the Rice lake entrance into the river. Grading on the railroad line itself is going on rapidly and the greater part of the whole to be done is ready for steel. The Northern Mill company are making preparations to cut 80,000,000 feet of timber this coming season. Superintendent McEwen has begun hay cutting, and will put up about 1,800 tons. Hay is an excellent growth, but its gathering is another thing, as the meadows are greatly under water from excessive rains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

NOTE: The above article is repeated at the Northern Mill Company location.

Forty Miles in Sixty Days.

The Northern Mill company is pushing work on its interests in and about Brainerd. The mill will probably not be finished in time to do any cutting this season, but the company proposes to have forty-five miles of road ready for operation within sixty days. Just now the bridge across the Mississippi is delaying the work of laying rails. The boom company compelled them to remove some of their temporary piling at the bridge, delaying work there about thirty days. The company has been doing some summer cutting, having banked upwards of 3,000,000 feet of logs on Gull lake.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 September 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Builder's photo of Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Engine #1, ca. 1892
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
The first of the new engines for the B. and N. M. railroad arrived in Brainerd on Sunday, and was taken to the N. P. Shops where it was put in shape for business. Other engines will be here in a short time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)


Now Being Made in this Vicinity, and
Others Contemplated.

Great progress on the improvements now in course of construction in this city is being made, and others of great magnitude are contemplated and will be realized early in the spring, and all because of the enterprise of our citizens in accepting the proposition of the Northern Mill company last spring. As we have repeatedly said, one industry brings another, and already sufficient improvements have been made and are planned for construction in the early spring, to pay the increased taxation.
Work on the new mill and railroad is progressing nicely. The mill structure is complete and the machinery is now being put in position. The new brick round house is fast approaching completion, and the new bridge across the river will be entirely completed this week, although the construction train for track laying has [not] crossed for several days. The work of laying the track is progressing finely, about five miles being finished last night. The track has been laid at the rate of about half a mile a day thus far, but greater progress will be made from now on as the ties are more convenient to get. The work of ballasting with gravel is following closely on the heels of the track layers. The road is graded for over 40 miles. The large bridge over the thoroughfare at Gull lake is in course of construction by Messrs. McLain [sic] [Robert McLean] & Sons, who will have it completed by the time the track layers reach there. A prominent official said yesterday that logging trains would be run over the road within 60 days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

R. A Sims of Brainerd, connected with the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, was in Minneapolis to day on business connected with the road. He tells the Tribune that the line is entirely completed as far as it will be built this year, which is 40 miles of line. This will begin hauling logs of this fall’s cut by the following week. These logs are to be dumped into the Mississippi at Brainerd, part of them to be sawed by the new mill which the Northern Mill company is erecting at that place, and the rest to be run down the river to the company’s Minneapolis mill in the spring.—Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

On Friday evening last a banquet was tendered J. E. Glass, R. W. Jones, C. N. Parker and F. S. Parker, at the Arlington hotel, the occasion being the completion of the first division of the B. & N. M. railway and the new electric line in this city, by the Chenquatana club. The occasion was first-class in all respects, toasts were responded to by those present and the evening was a very enjoyable one. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

W. S. McClenahan has the honor of being possessor of “Annual Pass No. 1,” over the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

They Are Hustling.

The Minneapolis Tribune of Tuesday says:
The Northern Mill company is pushing its operations in the north part of the state, and will make a larger cut of lumber in the Gull river region than they intended at the opening of the season. The company has also decided to carry the northern extension of their railroad known as the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota on to Leech Lake as rapidly as possible. Their men in charge, Engineer Arms and W. E. Seelye, were in the city today, arranging for pushing the location at once and have the work ready for spring building.
There has been something of a change of plan since the extension was projected. The first plan contemplated going several miles to the westward in the course, swinging over toward Park Rapids and the Crow Wing river. This would have reached Leech Lake in a round-about-line, going as far perhaps, out of the direct line as to have struck T. B. Walker’s proposed town of Akely [sic]. This was for the purpose of running through a large body of timber belonging to the companies interested in the Brainerd & Northern. But investigation, chiefly by Mr. Seelye, has shown, as all who know the country knew, that the better line is to run direct to Leech lake, and to reach the timber by branch lines. To make this change will be to turn the Northern line from the other course, and from about the region of Hubert lake run in the most direct and feasible course to the southeast arm of Leech lake. This is substantially the line of the Great Northern as finally located in 1887, under the Brainerd & Northwestern charter. Thus, as now determined, there will be the spectacle of R. W. Jones’ company building a line on exactly the location of one of the Great Northern route, something that does not happen often in Northwestern railroading. It is usually the Great Northern building across the other fellow’s back yard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

Extension of the B. & N. M.

Manager Ray W. Jones, of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road, the Northern Mill company’s line, is now directing a preliminary survey of the proposed extension of the road on a more direct line from the present line near Brainerd to Leech lake. The new line will leave the line as now laid about five miles out of Brainerd and follow substantially the old survey of the Brainerd & Northern, the Great Northern’s line. The line as now laid and finished for forty-two miles swings toward the west, nearing the Crow Wing river and running through a belt of pine owned by the company. It is thought that to build through from the present terminus to the south arm of the Leech lake will cost more than to build the entire road over the new survey, so rough is the ground for the next ten miles. The timber along the line now laid will have been cut off within a year or so, and if the new route is chosen a spur will be laid to reach the timber designed to be tapped by the first survey. This will also effect a saving when the road becomes a trunk line leading into the new northwest.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Engineer Rich’s Report.

The following is a copy of the official report of Chief Engineer Rich of the Sioux [sic] [Soo] road who inspected the B. & N. M. railroad for the Minnesota Loan and Trust company, who held in trust $100,000 [of] Crow Wing county bonds, to be delivered to the B. & N. M. on complying with its contract with this county:

The Minnesota Loan and Trust Co.,
Minneapolis, Minn.

Pursuant, to your instructions of the 10th, inst., I made yesterday an examination of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway, as provided for in copies of exhibit “A” & “B”, accompanying your letter and which are herewith attached, and returned as a part of this report.
Through the courtesy of Mr. Ray W. Jones, vice-president and general manager, and Mr. J. E. Glass, Secretary of the road, I was taken over the Southern and Northern Divisions, mentioned in exhibit “A” and was given every opportunity for investigation. About thirty of the representative business men, of Brainerd accompanied us.
In performing the duty assigned me reference was had to the conditions and stipulations under which this road was to be built as set forth in exhibits “A” & “B”, which constitute an agreement between the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway company, and the County of Crow Wing, Minnesota.
These exhibits provide that a line of railways, capable of serving the public in the transportation of freight and passengers shall be built and equipped between certain described termini, prior to May 1st, 1893, leaving to the said railway company the selection of the route and the determination of the gradients, curvature, gauge of track, weight of rails, and also the amount and kind of rolling stock to be provided.
If therefore it be found that the line had been actually constructed between the specified termini and trains were in operation over the same and carrying such freight and passengers as the public needs demand, it only remained for me to certify to such facts; but I deem it best to acquaint you somewhat in detail with the physical condition of the road, its motive power and terminal plant at Brainerd.
The Brainerd terminal, in addition to the track leading to the engine house, consists of:
a. A large and convenient ware house and depot building constructed of wood, this is 35 x 90.
b. A five stall brick engine house with iron covering.
c. A brick oil house in process of construction.
d. A brick pumping house.
e. A steel turn table on masonry with brick pit wall.
f. A wooden machine shop and blacksmith shop about 20 x 72 with boiler and engine, and several large shop tools, forge, etc., in actual use.
These terminal facilities are better than are usually provided for new and short lines of railway and far better than I expected to find.
The Southern Division, extends from a point at or near the city of Brainerd, in section eighteen, township forty-five, range thirty, in the county of Crow Wing, to Gilpatrick station, near the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter, southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section seventeen, township one hundred and thirty-five, range twenty-nine, in Cass county.
The gauge of the track is 4 8 1/4. The rails are of new steel, 3 3/4 high with a base of 3 3/4, and weigh 45 lbs. per lineal yard. Point switches are in use and these and the switch stands and track frogs are of good design and workmanship.
The track is well tied, about 3,000 per mile having been put in, and is thoroughly spiked. In addition steel rail braces are used on curves.
The bridges are well built, amply strong for the rolling stock in use, and compare favorably with those of other roads. All these, excepting a “combination” span of 150 feet at mid-channel in the Mississippi river, are pile and timber structures. The track is in fair surface considering its newness and fit for train service at speeds of 15 to 25 miles per hour. The gradients I do not know, but was told that none exceeded one percent. There are a few sharp curves, which, I am informed, are to be reduced, but there are none which should interfere with the safe operation of the line. Embankments have been built with a top width of about 13 feet and cuts taken out on a base of 16 feet.
The Northern Division, lies between Gilpatrick station hereinbefore referred to and a point near the north line of section three, in township one hundred and thirty-five, range thirty-one, in said Cass county.
It is between these points that the railway mentioned in exhibit “A”, had been built and operated by the Northern Mill company. The said Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway company has made use of a portion of this narrow gauge railway, and at other points in order to improve the alignment thereof and effect a saving in distance, has made a new and expensive roadbed. It has also widened the gauge of this old railway to 4 1/2 uniform with the grade of the Southern Division, as required by provisions of exhibit “A” and “B”, and has taken up the old rails weighing 36 pounds, per lineal yard laid in place thereof new steel rails of the same pattern and weight as laid in the track of the Southern Division. It has thus done far more in the way of betterment of the old line than was required by the term of the proposition approved by the county of Crow Wing. A telegraph line is nearly completed for the entire length of both divisions, a distance of about 28 miles.
The rolling stock, consists of two new Mogul engines built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, each having cylinder 16 x 24 and driving wheels 48 in diameter, weight of each with fender 40 tons.
Three second-hand Forney engines each weighing twenty-two tons. One combination passenger, baggage and freight car, having seats for 28 passengers. Besides these there are a large number of logging cars.
I attach hereto a statement made by the said railway company’s Agent showing the number of cars and kind of freight carried over the line from November 30th, to December 12th, both inclusive, which indicates the ability of the company to handle such business as may be offered.
In view of the preceding, I hereby certify that the said Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway company has complied with all the requirements and conditions set forth in the agreement, entered into between it, the said railway company and the said county of Crow Wing, Minnesota, as expressed in copies of exhibits “A” and “B”, hereto attached, and further, that the said railway company might have complied with all expressed conditions and requirement of said agreement had it constructed a line at less expense for grading, bridging, track, rolling stock and terminal buildings and appliances.
In closing this report I beg to hand you herewith, a resolution signed by three of the commissioners of Crow Wing county, which was read yesterday to the car load of business men whom I have mentioned as making the trip over the line.
The very cordial and hearty expressions of these gentlemen, in approval of this resolution, would seem to be an assurance that no objection will be offered to the delivery of Bonds to the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway company.
Very Respectfully,
Civil Engineer.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1893, p. 4, c.’s 5 & 6)

NOTE: The facilities listed above served the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railroad and the Minnesota and International Railroad until the Leak’s cutoff was completed in 1913 and thereafter the Minnesota and International used the Northern Pacific shops.

Sometime ago the B. & N. M bought two locomotives of the N. P., but one having been found too heavy for their track, the N. P. company has taken it back. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The B. & N. M. railroad is now running two log trains each way daily, and bring about 200,000 feet of logs to this city each day. In about a week they will put on two more trains making four in all, which will double the amount of logs now hauled. They are also talking some of putting on four night trains after while, which would make their hauling capacity about 800,000 feet daily. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Duluth News says that the B. & N. M. R. has ordered 150 lumber cars and 10 logging cars of the Duluth Manufacturing Co., to be furnished immediately. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)


A Brakeman Falls Beneath the
Wheels and is Instantly

Andrew Swanson, a brakeman on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota was instantly killed at Birch hill on Tuesday afternoon at 2 o'clock, and the remains were brought to this city where his family lives. Just exactly how the accident happened no one knows. A train load of logs, in charge of Conductor Charles Millspaugh and Engineer J. Hallett was being hauled to camp 8, Mr. Swanson and J. E. Cameron being the brakemen. Swanson was seen on top of a car load of logs as the train was making the up grade for the hill. As the train dropped over the hill the engineer called for brakes and Cameron applied the same to the rear end of the train the strain was such as to cause the train to part in the middle, a link breaking, and on the down grade the two sections came together and derailed a car. When the train stopped, the crew missed Swanson and went back to look for him, finding his body crushed out of any semblance to human form about 300 yards from where the train stopped lying in the middle of the track. Whether he was jerked off the car when the train broke in two or missed his footing while climbing down from the load of logs no one knows or ever will know.
He was a man about 30 years of age and had worked for the company for a long time, being considered by them one of their most careful and trusty men. Deceased was married, his wife at the time of the accident being very seriously ill.
The remains were buried Wednesday afternoon in Evergreen cemetery, the Northern Mill Co., through its agent Mr. Stitt, attending to the details and rendering all the assistance possible.
A coroner's inquest was impanelled at Losey & Dean's undertaking rooms consisting of H. I. Cohen, D. E. Slipp, Geo. N. Day, Fred Luken, R. Parker and E. M. Westfall, who viewed the remains and listened to all the evidence obtainable, going to the Northern Mill Co.'s plant at Rice lake to view the logging cars which are used and after carefully weighing all the testimony and considering the facts in the case came to the following verdict:
"That said Andrew Swanson came to his death by falling from a logging train on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, at or near camp 8, on Tuesday, June 20th, 1893, at 2 p. m., caused by the breaking in two of said train, Swanson being thrown under the wheels. The jury, after carefully investigating the matter laid before them, do fully exonerate the said railroad company from any contributory negligence." (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 June 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

Ira Doney, a Brakeman on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad was instantly killed yesterday while in the act of coupling cars, his head being crushed between the logs. The accident occurred at Monroe [sic] station. The deceased was about 30 years of age and married, his family living in this city. A coroner's inquest is being held this afternoon at Losey & Dean's undertaking rooms. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 July 1893, p. 4, c. 4) 

B. & N. M. Railroad Boys Picnic.

A picnic and steamboat excursion at Gull Lake was given the boys of the B. & N. M. Railroad and their friends last Sunday. About 100 persons participated, and all who went had a most enjoyable time. The excursion train left the depot at Rice Lake about 10 o’clock and went to Stoney Brook station where the party embarked on the Northern Mill Company’s steamer, which had a large barge made fast to either side. The steamer then proceeded to the Gull Lake Club house, arriving there shortly after dinner, where General Manager Ray W. Jones and lady and Dr. Camp were taken on board, when the boat was headed for the extreme lower end of the lake. A brisk wind was blowing and the waves were rolling quite high, but the day otherwise was perfect for an event of this kind. The boat stopped at Dr [sic]. J. McNaughton’s cottage, where she made fast to shore and dinner was served, after which she proceeded up the lake and after landing Mr. Jones and family at the club house, returned to Stony Brook where the cars were boarded and the excursionists returned to this city. A band of music from the city was in attendance and enlivened the occasion with choice selections at frequent intervals, while dancing was indulged in on the entire trip. “I enjoyed the most pleasant day of my life,” said one who was present, and the others all express similar sentiments. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

A telegram from Duluth says that Pat Hughes, administrator of John Hughes, who was killed on the Brainerd & Northern, has sued that road for $5,000 damages. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Silas [sic] Hallett, an engineer on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad narrowly escaped instant death on Tuesday morning. He was on his engine which stood on the track near the coal dock, and was in the act of tightening up the nut on the steam break [sic], when it blew off striking him a glancing blow on the forehead, cutting a gash an inch long. He was insensible for a few moments. The wound was dressed by Dr. Camp, and Mr. Hallett is around again, but it was a very close call, for if the piece of iron had struck him squarely, it would have taken the whole top of his head off. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 October 1893, p. 4, c. 4) 

A party of gentlemen from St. Paul, Robert Peterson, Archie Fonda and H. Newcomb, arrived in the city last evening and went up the line of the B. & N. M. road on a special today. They are bound for the Spider lake country where they will hunt deer with W. H. Lowe who has already established a camp there. Quite a number of Brainerd gentlemen took the trip over the road with them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 November 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

He Owned the Road.

In last weeks issue the DISPATCH made mention of the fact that a party of gentlemen were in the city from St. Paul and that they would be accompanied over the B. & N. M. road by several of their Brainerd friends. A special train was tendered W. S. McClenahan, attorney for the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road, by the general manager, R. W. Jones, and a goodly number of Mr. McClenahan’s friends were invited to join the party. A special car over the Brainerd electric line was placed at the disposal of the excursionists by Superintendent F. S. Parker to convey them to the depot at Rice lake where they boarded the train at 10 a. m. and departed on one of the most pleasant trips that has been enjoyed in some time. The weather was superb and the enjoyment of the party was not dampened by any mishaps. Dinner time found them at Camp 4, where a bounteous meal had been prepared for their especial benefit in true woodsman style and it was partaken of in a manner that surprised even the cook. Everything went merry as a marriage bell and the excursionists returned to Brainerd at 5 p. m., leaving the guests, Messrs. Fonda, Peterson and Newcomb, at Spider lake to enjoy a week’s sport hunting deer. Mac. “owned the road” for that day and his excursion was pronounced a success by all.
Master Mechanic D. McLean accompanied the party and gave his whole time and attention toward making the trip a pleasant one. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 November 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Hereafter regular passenger trains on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad will be discontinued except on Wednesdays of each week. This change will be continued during the winter months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)


The Brainerd and Northern Minne-
sota Road to be Extended.

The Minneapolis Tribune says it is proposed to make the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad part of a new system which shall extend from Minneapolis north, passing through the counties of Chisago, Isanti, Sherburne, Mille Lacs, touching the great inland sea of Mille Lacs Lake, and thence to Brainerd to connect with the road already built. The present road is constructed nearly to Leech Lake, and is operated forty miles north from Brainerd. Heretofore the plan, as far as Governor Pillsbury has been concerned, was to run west of Leech Lake, and thence pass into the grain country, running west and south of Red Lake. It is now proposed to turn to the east side of Leech Lake, and run to Grand Rapids, the county seat of Itasca, and then northeasterly to the Rainy Lake gold fields, provided they promise what is now the outlook for a large settlement in that county. For the present, local assistance would be voted, as several of the counties have notified the projectors that local aid will be given. Itasca county is said to offer $100,000 for the road.
The scheme is largely endorsed and is being set on foot by Maj. R. W. Jones, of the Northern Mill company. During the past 10 days a party including W. H Truesdale, of the Minneapolis & St. Louis road; R. B. Langdon, C. A. Pillsbury, W. F. Brooks, B. F. Nelson, J. W. Day, E. W. Backus, E. L Carpenter and G. H. Cook went over the Brainerd & Northern road constructed by the Northern Mill company with the assistance of the citizens of Brainerd, and inspected the field with the ultimate view of the construction of another line of railway from Minneapolis northward. These gentlemen, it is understood, were very much pleased by the feasibility of the scheme especially as everyone along the proposed line heartily endorsed it and it is claimed that the new road is but a question of a short time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

SEE: Northern Mill Company / Brainerd Lumber Company

Hill Wants It.

It is reported that the Great Northern Railroad Company is figuring on securing the Brainerd and Northern Minnesota for the purpose of construction of the line, long contemplated, from Fosston to St. Paul via Brainerd and Milaca.—Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Regular trains will commence running on the B. & N. M. railroad tomorrow. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Sold.

An order was granted by Judge Russell this morning authorizing the sale by the Northern Trust Company of the stock of the lumbering road leading from the Northern Mill Company’s plant to the lumbering region at Spider Lake. It was shown by the testimony of C. A. and Geo. S. Pillsbury that the road had no commercial value except as a lumber road. The stock of the road had been held as collateral by J. S. Pillsbury & Co., and the sale of the road to the big lumbering syndicate recently formed by Nelson, Tenney & Co., Carpenter Bros., E. W. Backus and others. This syndicate has purchased the land and the road would be of use to them only. The price agreed upon between the parties is $275,000, less the debts incurred in the construction of the road. Possession of the road is to be given Aug. 1, and $25,000 to be paid at that time, deferred payments bearing 5 per cent.—Minneapolis Journal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The Brainerd & N. M. Extension.

The Minnesota Logging Company and the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway Company, composed of the syndicate of Minneapolis lumbermen, have opened up offices in the Lumber Exchange and are preparing for the operation of one of the largest enterprises of which this city can boast, says the Minneapolis Journal of Wednesday. President E. P. Welles was seen in his office this morning. He stated that the principal work of the concern just now is that of pushing the railroad extension through to Leech Lake as rapidly as possible, in order that the company might begin making logging contracts. Said Mr. Welles: “Of course the company can do little actual business until the railroad is finished, and to this end we are exerting all our energies. Our engineer, F. W. Kimball, formerly chief engineer of the Milwaukee road, is pushing the work hard, and has a staff of about 35 or 40 assistants. We are morally certain that the extension of the logging railroad will be completed to Leech Lake some time during the early fall. This however, will not interfere with our making logging contacts before before that time, and we expect to have closed several large contracts before September.
“Work will begin just as soon as the road is completed and will continue through the winter. We expect to run branch lines into such districts as will warrant it, and the season of the year will not effect us one way or the other. We expect to handle the logs all winter, and will dump them on the ice at Brainerd, where they will be taken care of by the boom company. We do not expect to limit the use of the road to our own interests but the line will be somewhat of a common carrier, and we will make regular rates to other interests in that section.”
The office of the syndicate comprise a handsome suite of rooms in the west corner of the fourth floor of the Lumber Exchange, where Mr. Welles is to be found. The detail work and bookkeeping of the concern is in care of Charles H. Smith. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1894, p. 4, c. 4)


Foley Bros. & Guthrie, of St. Cloud,
Get it.

Work to Commence at Once.

The contract for building the extension of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad was let on Wednesday in Minneapolis to Foley Bros. & Guthrie, of St. Cloud, and these gentlemen will have their superintendent of construction, Mr. Chas. Ffolliott [sic], at Brainerd to-day to arrange for the beginning of the work. The extension will leave the old line at Hubert lake, some twelve miles from Brainerd, and will run in a northerly direction to Leech lake, a distance of fifty miles through the timber country. Employment will be given to 2000 men and a large force of teams during the balance of the summer. Brainerd will be the base of supplies for this vast number of men and as the work is to be commenced at once the benefit to our city will be something to appreciate. The road to be a standard gauge and will be ironed with 60 pound steel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 June 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

Our New Railroad.

Active work has been commenced on the new railroad and hundreds of men have been in the city this week looking for work, in fact there are more men flocking here than there are places for. Wages are as low as $1.25 per day and $3.50 per week is charged for board. A large number of teams from St. Paul and St. Cloud have passed through the city to go up on the line.
Speaking of the new railroad, the construction of which has just commenced, the Pioneer Press says:
The resources of Minnesota are inexhaustible and the financial depression cannot disturb the local confidence of her capitalists in the future. The only railroad construction undertaken this year in this part of the country begins this week in Minnesota from a point ten miles north of Brainerd on the old Brainerd & N. M. forty-five miles northeast to Leech Lake, which is the center of the magnificent pine territory. Foley Bros. & Guthrie of St. Paul have received the contract to build this line, which will be known as the Brainerd & Northern Minnnesota, at a cost of over $200,000.
The contract secured by the successful bidders covers all of the work of clearing and grubbing, all grading and the building of all box culverts. The amount of bridging that it will be necessary to build is very small, and nothing will be done toward letting that part of the work until the grading is practically completed. What bridges there are will be short pile bridges. The total amount to be graded is about forty-two miles, and the contract of Foley Bros. & Guthrie covers the whole of this. The work will be pushed to completion as rapidly as possible. The track laying contract will not be let until the grade is ready. The whole work will be finished and the road in running order in time to bring out the logs of next season’s cut.
Before Saturday there will be between five hundred and a thousand men at work, most of the laborers being now engaged at the pineries. The contract was let June 13th, and the road must be completed by October 1, when the logging begins. The roadbed and track will be built for a permanent standard road, which will be used for all kinds of traffic.
The construction of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota will be a direct practical benefit to the Twin cities, as all the timber carried over it will be floated from Brainerd down the Mississippi to these places, where it will be manufactured. There is now a road running forty miles north of Brainerd, known as the Brainerd & Northern, the first ten miles of which will be used by the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, the remaining track being torn up and many of the rails being utilized in construction of the new track. The former road belonged to the Northern Mill Company of Minneapolis, and was built as a logging road four or five years ago. The timber along this line has been nearly exhausted, and the new line will run in a northeasterly direction to Leech lake, in which territory the Minnesota Logging company, which succeeded the Northern Mill company last year and which builds the road, has purchased between 700,000,000 and 800,000,000 feet of timber which supply will not be exhausted for fifteen years at least. The annual output will be about 47,000,000 feet, every foot of which will be sent to St. Paul and Minneapolis, except perhaps a limited amount which will be manufactured at a large mill in Brainerd, which is owned by some of the members of the company, and which was formerly the property of the Northern Mill Company. Negotiations have been going on for a year for the purchase of the timber tracts around Leech Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

Greatest in the West.

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway company, the greatest logging railway in the west, has had the good fortune of being granted a right of way through the Leech Lake reservation. At least that right has been voted the road by the senate and it is expected that the house will pass the bill without serious trouble.—Lumbermen. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Work on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota has now begun in earnest. Fully 300 men are at work, and as soon as the surveying party is completed, the contracts can be let, the remainder of the grading will be contracted, and it is estimated that within two weeks fully 1000 men will be employed. The largest contractor so far is J. V. Nelson of Little Falls. The new line leaves the old track at the point where the road touches Hubert Lake eleven miles from Brainerd, and extends in a northerly direction to Leech Lake. The part of the old road which will be used is to have $8000 expended on it so that when the line is completed the greatest grade will not exceed one foot to the hundred, making a first-class road, not much resembling the old line. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 June 1894, p. 2, c. 3)

Hungry Men Will Eat.

From the country north of Brainerd comes reports of much suffering and destitution among hundreds of men who have been induced to come to this region by the beginning of the operations on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad extension, and who have not found employment as expected. During the past few days many depredations have been committed by men who claim they cannot starve.
At Geo. Barclay’s place on Saturday night his warehouse was broken into and some $65 worth of eatables, such as flour, hams, potatoes, and a quantity of tobacco were stolen. The same day a tote team loaded with provisions and belonging to Backus & Co. was stopped on the road above Gull Lake and all the articles that could be made into food was transferred from the owner’s wagon to a wagon belonging to the men, and they told the driver that it was a matter of life or death with them, as they had nothing to eat for several days but boiled fish without even salt to flavor it with. There were 25 men in this gang and they stated that an account would be kept of the amount taken, and that if they ever got money enough they would pay for it. On Monday night about 10 o’clock Geo. Jenkins was stopped near Long Lake on the Leech Lake road by three men who sprung out of the brush and seized his horses by the heads, while the third man looked his wagon over, and seeing nothing in it that they could eat, he told his companions to let Mr. Jenkins proceed, as he had nothing they wanted. Articles have also been taken from teams belonging to Nelson, Tenney & Co., H. B. Frey and A. Lessard.
It is to be regretted that so many men are being sent to this section for work on the new road when there are twice as many men on the ground as can find employment. We are informed that advertisements are posted in St. Paul and Minneapolis stating that men are wanted here for this work, and it is undoubtedly for the sole purpose of getting the unemployed out of those two cities and dumping them into a country where there is nothing to do with no chance of getting enough to eat even. The men are willing to work and say they will not starve as long as there are provisions in the country that they can get, even if they have to resort to force to obtain them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 June 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Supplies for the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad are being shipped over the Great Northern to Menahga and are toted from there to Spider lake a distance of 25 miles. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The grading of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road has been pushed so rapidly that it will in all probability be in shape by the 10th or 15th of August for the laying of steel. There is nothing definitely known as to who will do the track laying but in all probability Foley Bros. & Guthrie will secure the contract as the railroad company seems to favor letting the work out in contracts rather than doing it themselves. Beginning at Hubert lake the old track toward Brainerd has been raised, leveled and filled in for about a mile and a half so that it presents the appearance of a standard road and a permanent thing. In some places the old road will be lowered four feet and in others a fill of six feet will be made above the old dump. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd & Northern News.

The Brainerd & Northern received 25 new flat cars from the Duluth Car Works a few days ago. The cars are of standard size, 32 feet long and fill a necessity long felt, as the company heretofore has been obliged to hire from the Northern Pacific when cars of that description were needed.
It is not definitely settled whether the main line of the road above Hubert Lake will be taken up this year or not but a large crew of men are now at work taking up the side tracks.
The steam shovel was started Tuesday in the big cut two miles north of Brainerd with a large crew of men who are raising the track and surfacing.
Mr. Timothy Foley came down from Brainerd yesterday afternoon. He states that a large portion of the grade work on the Brainerd & Northern is already completed. The workmen have struck a bad sink hole, and all efforts to fill it with earth have proven futile. Mr. Foley procured some long sticks of timber from the St. Cloud Lumber company for piling and also obtained a pile driver. It will be “treated” in this manner.—St. Cloud Journal Press. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The contract for the bridge work on the line of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway has been let to W. D. VanNorman of this city. The bridges are all short pile bridges and the contract covers the work of driving piles, bridges and building the superstructure. The company has also closed the contract for 2,000 tons of rails. They will be furnished by the Illinois Steel Works.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Sam Simpson, for some years in charge of the Cross Lake Logging Co.’s works has taken charge of the lumbering interest for the syndicate on the line of the B. & N. M. road and we understand will make Brainerd his headquarters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Several cars of steel have arrived for the B. & N. M. extension and track laying will commence next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Mr. Timothy Foley arrived in the city last night says the St. Cloud Journal Press, and this morning left via Park Rapids for the scene of Foley Bros. & Guthrie’s railroad building operations on the Brainerd and Northern. The company’s first contract was for a road about 40 miles in length. This was later extended by the contract for 14 miles additional and now they will build 14 or 15 miles of spurs from the main track into the adjacent heavy timber.
The building now being done is very heavy work, deep cuts and heavy fills being the order, and the additional spurs to be put in with the completion of the main line, it is estimated will take until freezing time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1894, p. 4, c. 7)

Both Feet Cut Off.

A serious accident occurred to Conductor John Cameron, of the B. & N. M. railroad last Sunday afternoon. Mr. Cameron and his brakeman were scuffling in a friendly manner on a flat car which was moving slowly up the track at a point some forty miles above Brainerd when they fell, both men going off the car and Mr. Cameron rolled down the embankment in such a position that the wheels of the car passed over both feet. He was brought to Brainerd as fast as steam could carry him and taken to the Lumbermen’s Hospital where both limbs were amputated, one at the ankle and one at the knee. Cameron is an unmarried man. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 September 1894, p. 4, c. 5)


Lyman P. Arms, of this city, met with a serious accident on Wednesday afternoon whereby he loses a large portion of his right foot. The accident occurred about 50 miles from here upon the B. & N. M. Mr. Arms attempted to get on board a car when his foot slipped and he fell under the car, the wheels passing over his right foot. He was brought to this city and taken to the Lumbermen’s Hospital for treatment. Dr. Camp says that he will lose a large portion of his foot. Mr. Arms is a civil engineer, being the populist and democratic candidate for county surveyor, but it is not thought that the accident will prevent him pursuing his usual vocation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Two Prominent Features.

The prominent features of the logging operations this year on the upper Mississippi will be two great logging railways says the Lumberman, tapping the Leech Lake country and the Swan River road. Both these will dump the logs into the Mississippi and will probably haul more than two-thirds of the logs cut on the river. The quantity which might be hauled on these lines would far exceed the amount required for sawing next year. The good old way imported from the “Scootuck” has passed away and a new method inaugurated. It is a pity that this movement had not been inaugurated twenty years ago when the advantages of it were presented and argued in the columns of this journal. We well remember the investigation of the merits of the system of logging by rail when it was inaugurated by Gerrish & Hazelton in Michigan and insisted upon its adoption here. Had the advice been taken millions of dollars would have been saved to the loggers of the upper Mississippi. It required the second generation of loggers to see the advantages of the new way. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 November 1894, p. 4, c. 4)


James McNaughton Meets a Painful Death
Last Saturday.

On last Saturday morning about 9 o'clock, Jas. McNaughton, son of ex-Alderman Jas. [sic] [John] McNaughton, was fatally injured in the yards of the B. & N. M. railroad, near the Northern Mill. Mr. McNaughton was foreman of the yard crew, and was at work at the time. He had been riding on the foot-board of the switch engine and had jumped off to throw a switch, when his over coat was caught in the gearing of the locomotive as it ran past him, and he was drawn into the machinery, breaking his left arm and completely crushing his shoulder blade and the left side of his chest. The engine was stopped as soon as possible, and although so badly crushed, McNaughton, who had an iron constitution, got on the engine and was taken to the N. P. Sanitarium, where everything possible was done for him, but it was impossible to save his life. He died at 4 p. m. His remains were interred in Evergreen Cemetery on Monday, the 31st, the funeral services being held at the Catholic church, Rev. Fr. Zambusch, of Staples, conducting the services. He leaves a wife and child to mourn his loss, besides his parents and several brothers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Lumber Notes from the Lumberman.

The Minnesota Logging company will extend their line along the west of Leech lake and off north and cross the Mississippi west of Cass lake, and on to the territory east of Red lake. Another branch will run northwesterly toward Clearwater lake from Leech lake.
The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota is running four and five trains per day and dumping logs into the river at Brainerd at the rate of 600,000 feet every 24 hours. Their roads for the hauling of the logs to points where they can be loaded onto the trains are frozen hard and hauling is easy.
It is estimated by those who are best acquainted with the timber of the upper Mississippi that the supply for the mills now located here, with addition of one or two large ones that will probably be built, and to cover the mills of Little Falls and the one at Brainerd, will be able to gather in logs sufficient to keep them running (unless too great an increase is made) for a period of at least 20 or 30 years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 January 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

L. G. Matthews, of the car works, today brought home an order from the Minnesota Logging Company, of Minneapolis, for 300 lumber cars for its Brainerd mill. Some cabooses and rolled iron for the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road are also included. The car company expects to get a [$]300,000 contract from a local railway this week.—Minneapolis Journal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1895, p. 4, c. 3)


A Tail-End Collision which Derails Five
Cars—No One Seriously Hurt.

M & I Depot at Backus, ca. Unknown
Source: Unknown
A collision occurred on the B. & N. M. railroad at about 5 o’clock Tuesday morning, near Hubert station, which resulted in derailing the coach and two box cars and two logging cars. The local is due in this city at 7 in the evening, but two cars left the rails at Backus, which delayed them several hours. On a grade near Hubert the local, which was composed of 25 loads of logs, several box cars and the coach, broke in two, and they stopped to couple. A flagman was sent back to stop a logging train that was following them but not in time to enable the logging train to come to a stand still before striking the rear end of the local. The logging train had all brakes set and its speed had been reduced to not exceed five miles an hour when she ran into the local. The force of the shock, however, was sufficient to throw the coach and four cars off the track. The back platform of the coach was crushed, and fifteen passengers it contained were badly shook up but no one was seriously hurt. The logs on the logging cars were thrown in all directions. The engine of the log train had her pilot and headlight smashed, but she did not leave the track. The officials of the company are congratulating themselves on their luck in having so little damage done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Will Become a Part of the G. N. System.

L. R. Lothrop left Wednesday for the terminus of the Brainerd and Northern Railroad, near which point he will at once commence the construction of a bridge 2,000 feet long over the southwest arm of Leech lake. The Brainerd and Northern now extends from Brainerd in a northwesterly direction about 80 miles, the terminal station being Lothrop, which is within five miles of Leech lake. The road is owned mainly by Minneapolis lumbermen. The construction of this bridge is said to be the first move towards the extension of the Great Northern from Fosston to Duluth. It is said that when this is accomplished the Brainerd and Northern will become a part of the Great Northern system.—Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 February 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

During the season of sawing the logging will go right along on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota with the exception of about a month when the break up comes. This time will be spent in leveling up the track and putting it in first class condition for the work of the summer.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

General Manager Kimball, of the B. & N. M., is suffering with erysipelas, but has recovered sufficiently to again be at his office. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The time card on the B. & N. M. will be changed next Monday. The passenger will leave this city at 7:55 a. m., and arrive at Lothrop at 3:30 p. m. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Log Loading Machine.

Wednesday afternoon a party of Minneapolis men went down to the Minnesota Transfer to see a new machine which is designed to make a great improvement over the present methods of loading logs on the cars of a logging railroad. There are two of the machines which go by the name of the Kaime Log Loader, and they were on their way to Brainerd, Minn., consigned to the Minnesota Logging company for use on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway. The loading mechanism consists mainly of adjustable skids, preferably located on one end of a platform car of special construction, with the power on the other end. These skids are provided with endless chains, on which are suitable dogs for retaining the logs while being carried (not rolled) up to the car. The skids are adjustable to the height of the load, being raised and lowered by a system of worms and gears of sufficient power to handle them even when loaded the heaviest. The skids that extend to the ground are independent of those on the car, except a hinged connection that allows them to be lifted, when moving the machine from one rollway to another. The lifting is done by the power. The loading skids are on a revolving frame or turn-table. Loading can be done from either side of the machine without turning the car, the driving shafts being so arranged as to connect with the loading mechanism which ever side of the car the loading skids are turned. A drum, or spool, of sufficient capacity to hold 150 feet or more of 1 inch or 1 1/4 inch line or light chain; is located near the power, and furnishes facilities for handling logs that may get foul on the rollways; and in connection with a rolling hook, logs that are distant the length of any line that it is practical to handle, may be rolled up to the machine very rapidly. The car on which the machine is located is self-propelling by gear and chain connection with the driving shaft. The capacity of the machine is limited only by the number of logs that can be fed to it or taken care of at the delivery. As the distance between the dogs on the carrying chains corresponds to the circumference of the sprockets, a dog passes every revolution—ten dogs per minute, or ten logs. Three men can handle the machine and do good work with ordinary sized logs, but we find that five men make the best crew.
One of these machines has been used for the past two years by the Lyman Lumber company, of Necdah, Wis., and they found that they had such a good thing that they decided to give the rest of the world a chance. Accordingly they organized the American Manufacturing company for the purpose of putting them on the market. An agent of the Minnesota Logging company, in search for log loading devices, saw their machine working and immediately decided that his company needed just such machines with the result that during the coming summer they will be given a trial on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 1, c. 4)

The depot of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad has been moved to a site near the old brick yard. The change was made because the company desired more room for side tracks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Yesterday was pay day for the Northern Pacific, the Brainerd Lumber Co., and the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, and about $40,000 was distributed among the employees of those institutions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The excursion over the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad to be given by M. K. Swartz, the druggist will take place July 21. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

A Trip to Leech Lake.

The country to the north of Brainerd which has been opened up by the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad is one full of interest to people in this section of the state, and a trip to Leech Lake by rail can now be accomplished in a forenoon with ease and comfort. The writer visited that section of the country on Monday in company with A. F. Ferris. Leaving Brainerd at 8:20 in the morning on the regular passenger train, of which Ed Laughlin is conductor, we were rapidly carried through the pine forests to Lothrop, which is the headquarters for the company, and the present end of the line, although the steel is laid to the lake, but regular trains do not run there yet. Lothrop is quite a business place but the location is a very undesirable one, being almost in a swamp. While the town is not regularly laid out there are streets and business places such as one would find in a frontier town. The company’s buildings are large and well constructed, consisting of a large warehouse where the supplies are stored, boarding house, office building, three stall round house and repair shops, W. J. Bain is located there and is village doctor and postmaster. Fred Luken has a branch store there, and Sisler & Cowan run the only licensed saloon in the place. F. C. Mearns, in charge of the company’s office at that place, took particular pains to show us the town, and is a very pleasant gentleman to meet.
From Lothrop to the bridge which crosses the south arm of Leech Lake it is six miles, and in company with J. O’Leary, who has charge of the construction work, we took passage in a box car to that point. The bridge across the arm is 2000 feet long, and was constructed last winter, and in order to reach the opposite shore one has to walk a 16 inch plank, at an elevation of 20 feet above the lake. The contractors are at work on the grade which is nearly ready for the ties three miles beyond the bridge, and the road follows the shore of the lake about seven miles.
Frost & Shaw run a steamboat for freight and passenger business across the arm, and are doing a good business. Mr. Frost has taken a piece of land some five miles up the lake from the bridge, and has one of the prettiest locations on that beautiful sheet of water. He had arranged a dancing pavilion and a dance was to be given there yesterday, to celebrate the Fourth in fitting style, with a moonlight excursion on the lake. The Indians at the agency were also arranging for a grand celebration with canoe races and athletic sports, an account of which will be given in these columns next week by a special correspondent. Another large steamboat is under construction by N. Dallie, of Eagle Bend, which will be used to haul logs across the lake to a saw mill which the gentleman will erect. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Swartz’s Excursion to Leech Lake.

M. K. Swartz has completed his arrangements for the Leech Lake excursion which will occur on July 21st, over the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad. This will give the people of Brainerd and vicinity an opportunity to visit the much talked of lake, view the country opened up by this new road and have a day’s outing at a very moderate figure, tickets for the round trip having been placed at $1.50. The train will leave the B. & N. M. depot at 7:30 a. m., stopping at way stations to take on passengers, and will arrive at Leech Lake at 10:30. Picnic grounds have been prepared and refreshments will be sold. At Leech Lake a steamer has been charted and an excursion will be run to the Indian reservation, six miles from the stopping point. As the number of tickets is limited to 300, those who expect to avail themselves of the opportunity should procure transportation at once, which can be had at Swartz’s drug store. Out of town parties who desire to go can obtain tickets by addressing M. K. Swartz, Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

A Pleasant Excursion.

The 275 excursionists who went to Leech on Sunday last with the Swartz excursion, report a very pleasant time. The train left here at 8:20 in the morning and reached the lake before 11, stopping at the different stations along the route. Here the pleasure seekers left the train and proceeded to “see the country,” nearly all enjoying the trip on the steamers to the Indian reservation some five miles across the arm of the lake, the two boats making three round trips. An Indian dance was in progress, and several of the lads joined the red men in their festivities. The trip was made without an accident, returning to Brainerd at 10 p. m., and so much was the occasion enjoyed that Mr. Swartz thinks he will repeat it in September. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1895, p. 4, c. 4)


Arrangement All Complete and a Big
Time Assured to All.

Arrangements have been completed for the business men’s excursion which will occur on Tuesday next, the objective point being Leech Lake. The train will start at 7 a. m. promptly on time, and the party will be landed at the lake at 10 o’clock. This will give the excursionists ample time to enjoy their outing, as the train will not leave for the return trip until 5:30 or 6 o’clock. At a meeting of the executive committee on Monday night the following sub-committees were appointed.
Entertainment—C. D. Johnson, C. E. Cole, W. A. M. Johnstone.
Grounds—C. H. Paine, N. H. Ingersoll, Fred Luken.
Boats—I. U. White, J. M. Hayes, Wilmer Holmes.
Printing—N. H. Ingersoll, A. J. Halsted, H. C. Stivers.
W. E. Campbell was elected treasurer of the excursion, and the tickets will be distributed by him among the business men to sell.
Geo. H. Stratton was selected as the marshal of the day with power to select as many deputy marshals as he deems necessary.
According to arrangements made with Superintendent Kimball, of the B. & N. M. Ry, eight passenger coaches will be furnished, together with necessary cars to carry boats and provisions for $350, and in view of the fact that probably not more than 400 people will avail themselves of the opportunity to go, and that of that number one-third will be children, the executive committee agreed upon a rate of $1.25 for the round trip for adults, and 75 cents for children.
The committee on grounds are now at Leech Lake, and were instructed to charter the two steamboats to carry the excursionists to suitable grounds which will probably be selected some two miles up the south shore of the arm, and they have been informed that no suitable place can be found for so large a crowd at the place where the railroad company will unload them. No extra charge will be made for this trip on the boats. It is expected that the entire party can be landed at the grounds within an hour and a half from the time they arrive at the lake, and after that time the boats will be used to carry those who desire to visit the Indian agency or other points of interest, for which a nominal charge will be made.
Mr. Holmes will take his entire lot of row boats from Gilbert lake, so that those who wish to enjoy boating or fishing can do so to their heart’s content.
The Brainerd City Band has been engaged to accompany the excursionists and furnish music for the occasion.
No one who can so arrange as to attend this excursion should miss it, as it will be an occasion long to be remembered, and the business men propose to make it a great success in every particular. A petition has been circulated and has been freely signed by the trades people to the effect that their places will be closed on that day. An invitation has been extended to the business men of Little Falls, Aitkin and Staples, to join the party and enjoy the trip.
The barbers and grocers have organized base ball clubs, respectively, and an interesting game will be witnessed at the picnic grounds. The following are the players and their positions:
Barbers—C. Maynard—Catcher—Grocers—R. G. Vallentyne
Barbers—L. H. Stallman—Pitcher—Grocers—I. U. White
Barbers—F. Roor—1st Base—Grocers—P. O'Brien
Barbers—T. Wicks—2nd Base—Grocers—T. McMaster
Barbers—F. Briggs—3rd Base—Grocers—M. Hagberg
Barbers—O. Carron—Shortstop—Grocers—Con. O’Brien
Barbers—G. A. Raymond—Left field—Grocers—M. A. Davie
Barbers—L. A. Lajoy—Right field—Grocers—Wm. Koop
Barbers—H. Sumner—Center field—Grocers—B. Martin
These will play on the bench: Jno. Baily, James Smallwood and George Redding.
General Manager Kimball has made arrangements to bring the excursion train down the brick yard track into East Brainerd, at the corner of Kindred street and 1st avenue, to save car fare, as it is only a short walk there from the main portion of the city.
The sale of tickets is not restricted to business men and their families, but citizens generally are invited to go. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Contracts for Logging Cars.

Two contracts between the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway company and the Missouri Car & Foundry company, have been filed with the secretary of state, says the Globe. One contract is for the purchase of fifty logging cars at a total price of $6,750, and the other for 175 logging cars for $28,155. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1895, p. 4, c. 7)


The Excursion to Leech Lake on Tuesday
Was a Great Success.

One of the most pleasant occasions in the memory of the Brainerd people was the excursion to Leech Lake on Tuesday under the direction of the business men. All day Monday a drizzling rain descended much to the discomfiture of the originators of the trip and those who had set their hearts on going, and probably resulted in keeping a hundred or more people from enjoying what was really the most pleasant day’s outing of many seasons.
Tuesday morning broke bright and clear with the sun shining, and before the party reached its destination old Sol had dried the rain from the trees and ground, in fact, if the day had been especially ordered, it could not have been more perfect. The time for leaving had been announced for 7 o’clock, but as is invariably the case on such occasions, there was some delay, and it was 8 o'clock when the train left the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota depot. The cars were backed down to Kindred street and First Ave., where the majority of the excursionists got aboard, the street cars being crowded and many walked to the train. There were seven coaches and necessary cars for boats and provisions. The ride through the new section of country opened to civilization and settlement by the building of the B. & N. M. railroad was enjoyed by the 342 men, women and children who were on board, and as very few had been over the line before, there were constant exclamations of delight as the train bore its load of human freight past the many beautiful lakes which dot the country to the north, on many of which the road runs almost at the water’s edge. Along the route here and there are settler’s cabins, with a patch of ground neatly cultivated, showing that civilization is closely following the building of the railroad. A short stop was made at Parker’s, and also at Barclay’s, the latter place being where the road crosses Pine River. At the latter place Geo. Barclay has built a mammoth hotel, and also runs a store and saloon in the same buildings, but keeping up with the times in improvement he has now as fine a building as would be expected in a town of 5000 people. He also has a fine farm, and although there is not a town at the station, the country is fertile and quite well settled in that vicinity. The excursion train pulled into Lothrop a little after 10 o'clock, and here the train stopped for fifteen minutes, the band playing for the edification of the people who had turned out to welcome the excursionists. Lothrop is an original town, probably the only one of its kind in the United States to-day. It is built in the midst of a swamp with business buildings put up of logs here and there where a dry spot could be found, without regard for regularity, and in many instances resting on piling. But the people of Brainerd who did not go have heard all about Lothrop from those who did and we will not attempt a description.

Lothrop, Minnesota and the route of the B. & N. M. Railway, 1895
Source: Rand McNally
Lothrop is six miles from the lake and as the work of ballasting the track has just begun, the train was run very carefully over this piece of road, consuming thirty minutes. Once at the grounds the people swarmed from the train like so many bees from a hive, and soon the point land selected for their reception was occupied by the pleasure-seekers. The two steamers, the Mohawk, owned by Frost & Shaw, and N. Dally’s boat, were tied up to a dock at the grounds and accommodated many who wished to visit the agency. An arrangement had been made for the Indians to come from the agency to the picnic grounds and give canoe races and dancing, but for some reason unexplained the Indians failed to come, and sent couriers to inform the people that exhibitions would be given at the reservation. The committee had also arranged to feed the tribe of red men, and give suitable prizes to winners of games. Probably one-half the excursionists availed themselves of the opportunity to go over to the agency, and they were highly entertained, witnessing the weird dances of the aborigines. Here also took place the game of ball between the grocers and barbers, the former coming out victorious by a score of 12 to 2, the barbers claiming, however, that the grocers took advantage of them by picking up three athletic young bucks who almost knocked the cover off the ball every time they came to bat.
The excursion train left the lake on the homeward trip at 6:30, arriving at Brainerd at 9 o’clock without an accident of any description to mar the pleasure of the day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1895, p. 1, c. 3)

W. S. McClenahan, of McClenahan & Mantor, a legal firm of Brainerd, is in the city today taking the deposition of Dr. Millspaugh in regard to the injuries of Michael Jones. Jones was a passenger on the Brainerd & Northern R. R. on Jan. 28, 1895. The train remained stationary several hours. At 4 a. m. a train was seen coming on the same track, and Jones, in trying to get off, was knocked into the roadway by the concussion ensuing from the striking of his train by the other. The other was loaded with logs, and pushed the passenger ahead, some of the logs falling on Jones. He claims injuries to hips and nervous system, and wants $5,000 from the railroad company. Lindbergh, Blanchard & Lindbergh are his attorneys. McClenahan & Mantor represent the defendant.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Interesting Clippings.

The Mississippi Valley Lumberman contains the following items of interest to readers in this section:
The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota logging railroad is being well patronized these days by sportsmen, as game is abundant and fish plenty along this line northwest of Brainerd, and the scenery is almost beyond description. If it was only “boomed” like some of the trunk lines, it could very easily be made a popular tourist line.


Some crazy reporter on the Penny Press of this city devotes a half a column of space to a story of the reduction in working forces of the Brainerd Lumber company and the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad and the proposed amalgamation of the two companies. It is pure rot and nothing else, the lumber company having no more to do with the railroad company than any one of a half a dozen companies holding stock in the railroad, and vice versa. This sensational sheet also has a committee of both organizations at Brainerd this week considering the proposed “amalgamation.” This statement is evidently based on the single fact that C. P. Welles, president of the lumber company, is spending the week at Brainerd, as he does once each month, looking after the manufacturing.
The last of the Cross Lake and Pine River logs came into the Mississippi river Wednesday. This ends the work of the Cross Lake Logging company’s road for the summer. The tracks are being put into repair for the winter hauling. All the logs above Grand Rapids except the Bear river logs came over the Pokegama dam early this week. The Northern Boom company will wait till the 25th for the Bear river logs, and will then make its last clean drive of the river from Pokegama to Brainerd. It will take about three weeks to bring down all the logs. Every log will be turned over the Brainerd dam. None will be left as last year, for there must be some repairing of piling and piers that cannot be done with the river full of logs. The drive below Brainerd is now at St. Cloud. A day or two was lost getting clear of the Platt river logs that came into the river last week. These logs are last year’s logs, those of this season being still hung up. The rear of the Prairie river drive came past the mouth of Pine river last week, and the Pine river drive was held back till the jam could be worked over the Brainerd dam. There is but a very short jam now at Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1895, p. 1, c. 4)

Term of Court Over.

The business to come before the district court was closed on Tuesday evening, at which time court adjourned. The cases disposed of after this paper was issued last week, were as follows:
Michael Jones vs. B. & N. M. Ry., personal damage suit, verdict for plaintiff for $650. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1895, p. 1, c. 5)

Work of track laying on the line of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad has been going on rapidly, as has also grading on the branches and extensions, says the Mississippi Valley Lumberman. About ten miles of spurs have been laid on the main line branch that runs east of Lothrop, and on the west side of the main line about fifteen miles of spurs have been built. The main line has been extended across the southwest arm of Leech Lake and about four miles beyond the crossing. The Minnesota Logging company has been working all summer hauling to the landing at Brainerd about 225 cars per day. They are nearing the end of their work now as the supply of logs is about exhausted. Logging for the winter will begin about the middle of the next month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Engine #3 pulling a log train, ca. Unknown
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
The last log for the season has been hauled into Brainerd and dumped into the river at that place by the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad company, and the Minnesota Logging company is now making preparations for the winter’s cut. The camps are being built and put in readiness for the logging crews. The Logging company will operate but six or seven camps of their own this year and expect to put in with their own crews, about 60,000,000 feet of logs. Besides these they have made contracts with other loggers to put in about the same amount. The new spurs to the points from which the logs will come this year have been completed and things are rapidly assuming proper shape for the work of the winter.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

A number of the employees of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad and others presented Mr. and Mrs. Clifford W. Holmes a handsome silver tea set on Saturday evening last, at their home on 10th street north. The presentation speech was made by Alderman Adair and was fittingly responded to by the recipients. A banquet was served and a very pleasant evening enjoyed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

A Good Appointment.

W. H. Brimson, recently superintendent of the Rocky Mountain division of the N. P., has been appointed general manager of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, vice F. W. Kimball resigned. Mr. Brimson is a railroad man of large experience and ability, and the B. & N. M., is fortunate in securing his services. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

The Minnesota Logging company has opened the campaign for the winter, and begun on its work of putting in about 120,000,000 feet of logs for the various firms represented in its make up. For itself the company is operating seven camps. Besides these the Nelson-Tenney company has men in six camps cutting timber for the Logging company, and there are five or six other camps in operation. Either the latter part of this week or the first of next the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway will resume the hauling of logs over its line to the log landing at Brainerd.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Information from Duluth states that John Cameron has sued the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road for $30,000 damages, alleged to have been sustained by the loss of both legs below the knee, caused by being thrown from a moving train by a frolicsome brakeman named Vivers. Cameron was the conductor of the train. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

A BILL was introduced in the house on Saturday last by Representative Fletcher granting the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad the right of way for extension of its road, with right of telegraph and telephone lines, through the Leech Lake Indian reservation, extending northwesterly to a point on the western line of the reservation, and also through the Chippewa Indian reservation, extending northwesterly to a point on the western line of the reservation, with the right to load logs at any point contiguous to Leech lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1896, p. 1, c. 2)

The work of the Minnesota Logging company along the line of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad is progressing as well as possible under the very favorable conditions of weather. By the first of January they will have dumped into the river at Brainerd about twenty two million feet of logs and will have about twenty million feet more banked or in the small lakes. For most of their work they are not dependent on a fall of snow and the lack of that article does not delay their work in the woods, says the Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

Deaths of the Week

Moses Livernois, aged 30, a trainman in the service of the Brainerd & Northern Railway at Leech Lake, was instantly killed on Tuesday last while riding on the end of a log car on Camp 4 Branch. An engine was pushing several empty cars out onto the branch; Livernois was on the forward car and another brakeman on the car next to the engine. In rounding a curve a few car lengths from the main line, the train collided with a number of logging cars that had been left on the branch about half an hour before. The trainmen all made good their escape, at the same time warning Livernois of the danger, but the unfortunate fellow had his back turned in the direction the train was moving, and with a sack over his head and shoulders was kneeling, with his hands clasped as if in prayer, upon a package of Bibles, which were being carried into the lumber camps for distribution. Although he could plainly see the movements and signals of his fellow trainmen, he made no move to save himself, and in the concussion that followed he was thrown under the wheels and his head crushed.
      The remains have been turned over to Coroner Dean, awaiting advice as to disposal of same from the father of the deceased, M. Livernois, of Manchester, N. H. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

On Tuesday the bill extending the right of way for the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway through the Leech Lake reservation passed the house. The new line is to be surveyed and work begun within six months and part of it completed within three years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1896, p. 1, c. 2)

Al. Falconer, a fireman on the B. & N. road, was quite seriously injured on Monday. The gentleman jumped from his engine, when it was thought they were about to collide with a load of logs, and was quite badly cut about the head. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 February 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

B. & N. M. Changes Time.

On Monday, March 23rd, the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road will put a new time card into effect. Passenger trains will stay over night at Walker instead of Brainerd. The time card is as follows: Leave Walker at 7 o’clock a. m., and arrive at Brainerd at 10:30 a. m. Returning it will leave Brainerd at 3:30 p. m. and arrive at Walker at 7:15 p. m. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

On Wednesday Wm. McIntosh was seriously injured while at work on the landing at the B. & N. M. A log struck him, breaking his collar bone and one of his legs. He was removed at once to the Lumbermen’s Hospital, where he is getting along as well as could be expected. The injured man is a brother of Dan F. McIntosh. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

Series of Accidents.

Patrick Cunningham was run over and killed by a logging train near Lothrop, on the B. & N. M. road, early Tuesday morning. Deputy Coroner Losey went up Tuesday afternoon and found Cunningham's death due to his own carelessness. He had worked during the winter at Camp 4, for the Minnesota Logging Co., and a day or two before the accident had received his check for $64, with the proceeds of which he proceeded to have a good time. He was at Lothrop on Monday night in an intoxicated condition and probably wandered out on the track and laid down to sleep. On his person was three silver dollars and a receipt for $30 which he had left at McNichol's saloon. He has a brother somewhere in Minnesota, but his residence is not known. The remains are being held at Losey & Dean's undertaking rooms for information (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1896, p. 1, c. 4)

The Weyerhauser party that has been inspecting the plant of the Pine Tree Lumber Co., at Little Falls, arrived in Brainerd on Wednesday in a special car, and left for Walker over the B. & N. M., where they were the guests of B. F. Nelson, one of the owners of the townsite. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 April 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The Minneapolis Lumberman says that it is not the present intention of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway company to build more than a few miles of main line during the present season. There are a number of small lakes to the immediate northwest of Walker, the present end of the line, around which logging can be done, and logs put into them by a short sled haul. In case the logging company decides to cut this timber the main line will be extended about three miles to a point where the log rollers can handle the logs from these lakes. The company is now hauling about 215 cars per day on six trains, making a total of about 600,000 feet that are being dumped into the river each day at Brainerd. They have log-loaders loading logs of Pine Mountain Lake at Backus on the main line, and two others working at Ruth Lake, southwest of Walker, on the branch line. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1896, p. 1, c. 4)

The employees of the B. & N. M. road tendered the retiring general manager, Mr. W. H. Brimson, a token of their appreciation and regard on Tuesday evening at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. C. A. Reuss, the committee in charge being W. M. Simmons, H. P. Gifford, Fred Wehrle, W. V. Stephens, Dr. A. F. Groves and Wm. M. Dresskell. Mr. Wehrle made the presentation speech at which time a silver water service, silver fruit knives, silver fruit and nut dishes, silver shaving set, opera lorgnette and a beautiful clock were presented on behalf of the employees. The gentleman responded to the occasion and a very pleasant evening was enjoyed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

General Superintendent Winters and Auditor Snyder, of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway, returned from an inspection of the road today. Mr. Winters has taken charge and will make his headquarters in this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

On Saturday, July 25, the B. & N. M. road will give an excursion to Leech lake. The train will leave Brainerd Saturday afternoon and on the return will leave Walker about midnight. Arrangements have been made for moonlight excursions on the lake and dancing will be enjoyed on barges especially arranged for the occasion. Round trip tickets will cost $1.00. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Excursion Postponed.

The excursion over the Brainerd & Northern to Leech Lake, which was to have taken place tomorrow, has been postponed until Sunday, August 2nd, on account of the cool weather. The train will leave Brainerd at 7 a. m. and return in the evening. The rate for the round trip will be $1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Excursion to Leech Lake.

The B. & N. M. Railway will run an excursion to Leech Lake next Sunday, August 2nd, and the exceedingly low rate of $1 for the round trip has been made. The excursion train will leave the N. P. depot, Brainerd, at 7:30 a. m., and arrive at Walker at 10 a. m. A visit to the reservation will be made immediately on arriving, returning to Walker for dinner. In the afternoon a tour of the big lake is on the programme. Ample steamboat accommodations will be provided for all, the Flora along with her barges accommodating 250 people. Returning the train will leave Walker at 8 p. m., and arrive in this city at 10:30. Leech Lake is probably the finest sheet of water in Minnesota, and all who can, should take this opportunity of seeing it. Round trip only $1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 July 1896, p. 4, c. 6)


James Thompson, a lumberman aged 48 years, was instantly killed on last Saturday morning at the landing of the B. & N. M. Railway, while engaged in unloading logs. Mr. Thompson had unfastened the chain which holds the logs on the car and had stepped back to get out of the way of the logs, and to get a cant hook to start them, when the top-most log suddenly began to roll, and as it projected farther over the end of the car it struck Mr. Thompson, who thought himself far enough back to escape them, on the head, and knocked him down the landing and killed him instantly. His remains were brought to Losey & Dean’s morgue and held until Tuesday, when they were buried. Mr. Thompson was unmarried and had made his home in this city for the last fifteen years, but no one knew where he came from, further than that he told his associates that he came from Canada. Although at the time of his death he was boarding at the mill boarding house, he usually stopped at the Exchange or Globe. His remains were buried on Tuesday, Rev. Opie conducting the funeral ceremonies. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

W. C. Smith succeeds H. P Gifford as station agent for the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road in this city. Mr. Gifford will remove to Duluth with his family. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

W. H. Simmons, who has held a responsible position with the B. & N. M. railroad in this city for several years past, severed his connection with the road on Tuesday and will accept a position with the Omaha road in St. Paul. Mr. Simmons has been quite prominent in musical circles in this city, and his departure will be greatly regretted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 November 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The B. & N. M. have again commenced running regular trains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 December 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

According to the annual report of the railroad and warehouse commission just published the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road moved during the year 523,191 tons of freight, and the surplus, after paying operating expenses, taxes, interest, etc., including surplus for previous years, is $57,926. The Northern Pacific road, on its Minnesota lines, moved 4,287,524 tons of freight. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1896, p. 1, c. 3)

B. & N. M. Depot Burned.

On Friday night the B & N. M. passenger and freight depot in this city was entirely destroyed by fire with all its contents. Two N. P. box cars that were standing on the side track by the depot were also consumed. How the fire originated is a mystery, but it had made considerable headway before being discovered. The stores of the company were in the depot, and they, together with considerable freight, were a total loss. Agent Smith places the loss of the B. & N. M. between three and four thousand dollars, which is fully covered by a blanket insurance on all the company’s property.
Temporary arrangements for depot facilities have been made until spring, when a fine new depot will be erected. A small building that stood near the mill boarding house has been moved up to the place where the depot stood, which will be used as an office, while another old shed has been moved up to store freight in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1897, p. 1, c. 2)

The annual statement of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway filed with the railroad commission show the earnings of the road last year to have been $220,804.25 as compared with $192,496.12 the previous year, an increase of $28,308.13. They paid taxes of $2,208.04 as compared with $1,924.96 the previous year, an increase of $283.08. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

M & I logging train pulling out of Walker, ca. Unknown
Source: Unknown
The Minneapolis Lumberman says: The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway is now hauling about sixty cars of logs per day from the woods in the neighborhood of Lathrop [aka Lothrop] and Walker. About all of these are for the Brainerd Lumber company and are dumped into their logging pond, Rice lake. The passenger traffic on the road is beginning to pick up, and is expected to improve from now on. The company has erected a temporary depot in the place of the one that was burned, and expects to make arrangements with the Northern Pacific to use their track and depot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 March 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Arrangements have been made with the B. & N. M. people whereby trains will stop at Webb Hill’s place on Fishtrap lake during the coming summer. Mr. Hill will arrange to accommodate parties who desire to enjoy an outing at one of the best fishing grounds in Northern Minnesota and in connection with the trains Oscar Miner is arranging to run his steam boat from Gull Lake daily. This will accommodate parties who desire to go to the Club House or any other point on Gull Lake.
Mr. Miner’s steamer will run over in the morning to meet the down train and back to the lake after the afternoon train has arrived. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1897, p. 4, c. 4)


Auditor Schneider Says the Extension
Will be Pushed This Year.

C. W. Schneider, auditor of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, was here yesterday, says Wednesday’s Pioneer Press, arranging plans for conducting the summer business of the road. He stated to a reporter that the line last year carried 150,000,000 feet of lumber, and since the first of the year, 20,000,000 feet. The principal business of the road is logging. The logs are loaded at Walker for Brainerd, where they are floated down the Mississippi to Minneapolis. So great is the logging business of this road that its earnings show better in proportion to mileage than those of any other road in the country. Mr. Schneider stated that the company, or independent concern representing Minneapolis capital, intends to extend the line between fifteen and thirty miles this season. There is a magnificent lumber country north of the present terminus at Leech Lake. The line now comprises sixty miles, and it was built three years ago. During the fishing season it does a large tourist business, which is constantly increasing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 May 1897, p. 1, c. 6)

Oscar Miner’s steam boat on Gull lake now makes regular trips to Webb Hill’s on the B. & N. M. on Fridays and Saturdays in connection with the trains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Brainerd & Northern Extension.

President Carpenter, of the B. & N. M. road, has the following to say regarding the extension of the road, says the Walker Pilot:
“The reports that have been printed about the proposed extension of our road are nearly correct. It is our intention to build about 15 miles of track this year. The business of the road warrants it and there is a large amount of timber to be reached. The only thing that would prevent us carrying out our intention is the condition of the lumber market. However, as that is improving, I think it is safe to say that the extension will be made this year.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 1, c. 5)

Arrested for Grand Larceny.

Jacob Kirsh was arrested Tuesday afternoon by Deputy Cullen and officer Fulton at Koop’s brick yard on a complaint sworn out by J. Harrington charging him with grand larceny in the second degree. In the early part of April the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota depot was burned and Mr. Harrington, who was a train dispatcher for the road, had a quantity of clothing consisting of two new overcoats and a new suit of clothes in one of the rooms of the building. While the fire was in progress this room was entered for the purpose of saving the clothes but they were gone and the suspicion at once arose in the minds of the railroad people that the place had been robbed and then fired to cover the deed. Mr. Harrington has been on the look-out for the articles of wearing apparel ever since and on Monday he found his heavy overcoat at Olson’s tailor shop on 6th street, Mr. Olson having bought it of Jacob Kirsh and on further search the light overcoat was found at H. Turcotte’s shop on Front street where it had been left by the same man with instructions to put pockets on the outside, with the evident intention of disguising the garment. The warrant was sworn out as above stated and when the officers found their man he appeared to be very indignant but proceeded to get ready to go with them. Instead of doing so peaceably he jumped out of an open window and took to the woods and it was only after shots were fired at him and a hard tussle when he was overtaken that he was landed in jail. On Wednesday Kirsh was brought up before the court and at the request of the prisoner’s counsel the hearing was adjourned ten days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 July 1897, p. 4, c. 7)

Brainerd’s Union Depot.

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad have made certain arrangements with the Northern Pacific people by which they will run their passenger trains to and from the depot of the latter company in this city, the same having become necessary on account of the discontinuance of the street car service. The freight and passenger business of the B. & N. M. will be handled by the Northern Pacific agent, Mr. W. D. McKay and his corps of able assistants in connection with their other work. The change will be one that the traveling public will appreciate, as it will avoid the transfer of baggage and passengers coming and going will be landed in the heart of the city. The company has also made some changes in the running time of their train shortening the time between Brainerd and Walker nearly one hour, leaving Walker at 7:40 a. m. instead of 7 and arriving there at 6:35 p. m. The change takes place on Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 August 1897, p. 1, c. 3)

C. W. Snyder, auditor of the B. & N. M., was in the city Saturday transferring the station of that road to the Northern Pacific depot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 August 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

The B. & N. M. give another excursion to Walker on Sunday. The fare for the round trip is $1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 September 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road this week started the season’s work of hauling logs and in a short time the logging trains will be put on for the fall and winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 October 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

Wednesday’s St. Paul train brought up 28 hunters armed to the teeth who were on their way to the big woods in Northern Minnesota in search of deer and moose. Their baggage was so numerous that an extra car had to be attached to the B. & N. M. train to accommodate it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 October 1897, p. 5, c. 3)

The Pilot says the Brainerd & Northern surveyors quit their work and returned to Walker on Tuesday. They got within six miles of Bemidji. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 November 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

W. C. Smith, chief engineer of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway, has been in town most of the week. He is very busy these days preparing the profile of the extension of this road, the contract for which will be let next Tuesday—Walker Pilot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

The officials of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad made a flying trip to Walker on Saturday on a tour of inspection of their line. The special left Brainerd at 8 o’clock in the morning and returned at 4, the officials leaving for their homes in Minneapolis in the evening their car being attached to the west bound Duluth train. The party was made up of the following gentlemen: President C. A. Pillsbury, Vice President, J. E. Carpenter, Directors W. W. Backus and E. W. Welles, and General Manager Hoar. Others accompanying them were Manager Fred Underwood of the Soo, M. B. Koon of Minneapolis, and J. P. Odele of Chicago. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

Wm. Bush, a conductor on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road met with a very serious injury on Monday and luckily escaped death. He was on top of a car of logs, the train being in motion, when suddenly the binder chains broke letting the logs roll from the car and the gentleman was carried to the ground with them. He received a broken leg and was otherwise shaken up but is getting along nicely at the Lumberman’s hospital where he was brought for treatment. The accident occurred at Island Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

What came near being a fatal accident occurred at Island Lake on the B. & M. road Sunday night. Engineer Si. Hallett was taking a light engine to Walker, and at the place above mentioned ran into an open switch, the engine crashing into a string of empty logging cars that stood on the side track. Mr. Hallett and his fireman John Fisher saw the danger just in time to jump and both were more or less injured, Mr. Hallett having his back hurt, and Mr. Fisher wrenching his ankle. The engine and cars were badly demolished. It is thought that the switch was opened and left that way by some one purposely. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 February 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

W. B. Stevens, trainmaster of the B. & N. M., has resigned his position to take effect the first of the month, and with his daughter will shortly leave for Ellenburg, Washington, where he has an old established drug business. Who will succeed Mr. Stevens has not yet been definitely determined. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

A Good Move.

Commissioner Joel Smith informs us that there is a movement on foot to build a bridge across the thoroughfare between upper and lower Gull lake in order to provide an outlet for the people of that section of the country. As it is now it is impossible for them to reach Brainerd in the summer season without going many miles out of their way and as a result this city loses a valuable trade which they would get if the conditions were different. The bridge will be constructed on the piling formerly used as a bridge by the B. & N. M., railway before its route was changed and will cost about $1800. The Gull River Lumber Co. and the N. P. Railway Co. have agreed to give liberally towards the construction of the same as have also several other parties and a subscription will be circulated among the business men in this city for donations. The right of way has been secured and a petition signed by nearly every legal voter in the Stony Brook country has been secured. It is a movement that should be encouraged. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

An excursion will be given over the B. & N. M. to Walker on Sunday, June 26, leaving this city at 8 a. m. Tickets for the round trip $1.00. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1898, p. 8, c. 1)


Excursion from Brainerd to the Above
Place on July 4th.

Our neighboring city of Walker will give a grand Fourth of July celebration under the auspices of the Improved Order of Red Men. An excursion train will run from this city leaving the Union depot at 7:30 a. m. arriving at Walker at 10:30, for which round trip tickets are good to return Tuesday morning will be on sale for $1.00. Immediately upon the arrival of the train there will be a grand street parade ending at the bowery where orations will be delivered by prominent speakers. Steamboats will be running all day and fishing, rowing and sailing can be indulged in by those so inclined. In the afternoon there will be foot races and other games on land and water. There will be canoe races by the Indians, log rolling contests by river drivers and a swimming contest for a silver cup donated by Wm. M. Dresskell. During the afternoon and night there will be dancing at the bowery and a grand ball in the Red Men’s hall. On the lake after sundown there will be a grand naval battle by the Walker Squadron. From the steamboats there will be a grand display of fire works. Dresskell’s City Band and Orchestra from this city will furnish music for the occasion. It will be a fitting celebration for the National holiday and well worth attending. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1898, p. 5, c. 4)

Extend the B. & N. M.

GRACELAND, Aug. 6—It is given out here that the Brainerd & Northern will be extended north this fall into a rich pine township northeast of Bemidji, where the Pillsbury’s are reported to have sold upwards of 100,000,000 feet of standing pine, which is to be run into Brainerd by that road and there dumped into the Mississippi. It is expected that the line will run about four miles east of Bemidji, towards which town the pine land men are supposed to have a special hostility, while the Great Northern is very friendly to it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

The Pioneer says that the Brainerd & Northern construction train is now at work laying steel on the extension of that line from Walker to Bemidji. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

What Bemidji Expects.

The Bemidji Pioneer says that it has been known for some time that the Brainerd & Northern intended to complete its lines to the shores of Lake Irvine this fall, there to handle all the logs of the Pillsbury pine lands in northern Hubbard and southern Beltrami counties. The road has already secured 25 acres of ground on the east side of Lake Irvine for transfer grounds, round house and other purposes, and will at once put contractors to work grading the land for use. The engineers are now in the field locating the line from the end of the present grade to the Lake Irvine grounds, and as soon as the survey is completed the contractors will take the field. This has been definitely determined. This, of course, a practical admission by all the leading lumber firms of Minneapolis, and more especially by Messrs. Pillsbury and Walker and the Brainerd & Northern combination, that Bemidji is to be the future headquarters for all their interests in Northern Minnesota. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 August 1898, p. 4, c. 2)

J. E. Carpenter, president of the B. & N. M., was in the city yesterday on the way to Minneapolis from Walker. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 October 1898, p. 10, c. 2)

Built Into Bemidji.

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad will be into Bemidji by Wednesday, according to a statement made by E. H. Hoar, of Brainerd, yesterday. Mr. Hoar is general manager of this road, which will, before the end of the week, connect at both ends with the Northern Pacific railway system. He says that trains are now running on the extension as far as Nary, twenty-four miles from Walker, the old terminus. It is still eight miles to Bemidji, but the track is within eight miles of the latter place. The recent snow storm did not stop work and track laying is being pushed rapidly. Eight new lumber camps have been put in along the extension this winter, and within ten days logging will be in full operation on the road. It is principally a logging road and haste in completion is being made because the lumber interests demand it. The recent snow fall will cause logging to begin earlier than usual, as snow roads can now be made.
Walker is to have a social event of considerable proportions on the occasion of dedicating the new army barracks there Dec. 13th, says Mr. Hoar. Capt. W. E. P. French, in command of Co. G., Third United States Infantry, and the Gatling gun, is making preparations for a big event. The barracks have been established in a large building which Patrick Henry McGarry, founder of Walker, erected for a Sanatarium, but rented it to the government for a barracks when it was decided to keep soldiers there. Gen. Bacon and a number of people from Minneapolis and St. Paul will go up for the dedication. The Minneapolis contingent will leave over the Northern Pacific road the evening before. General Manager Hoar will provide a special train over his road from Brainerd, which will arrive at Walker in time for the flag-raising and dinner at noon. A number of Brainerd men and women will go up and in the evening there will be a hop in the new barracks.—Pioneer Press. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1898, p. 4, c. 2)

O. O. Winter has been appointed General Manager of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railroad with headquarters in this city, vice E. H. Hoar, resigned. The change to occur January 1st. The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. Hoar and family will be sorry to learn of their intended removal from the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Through Train Service to Bemidji.

On and after Monday, Dec. 19th, the passenger train on the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota will leave this city for Bemidji at 2:10 p. m., arriving at the latter place at 7 p. m. Returning the train will leave Bemidji at 7 a. m., arriving at the union depot in this city at 11:50 a. m. The new through train service to Bemidji will greatly increase the business of the road and will be a great accommodation to the traveling public. The Brainerd & Northern people are making every effort to give the public the best service possible and are succeeding in their endeavors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 December 1898, p. 4, c. 2)

Manager Hoar Gets a Diamond.

The excursion party of seventy-five merchants from Bemidji and Walker, who went down to Minneapolis and St. Paul on Tuesday over the Brainerd & Northern and Northern Pacific roads and were the guests of the Commercial Clubs of the two cities during their sojourn, returned yesterday and went north to their homes at 2:10 p. m. The party was very pleasantly entertained during their stay and speak in the highest terms of the hospitality of the Twin City people, they were wined and dined, shown the ins and outs of city life and in fact saw the elephant. On Wednesday afternoon, immediately after luncheon at the St. Paul Commercial Club, A. G. Bernard, editor of the Walker Pilot, in a few stirring words, presented General Manager E. H. Hoar, of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, with a beautiful diamond ring, the gift being from the business men of the Leech Lake and Cass Lake countries as a token of the good will in which they hold him, and as a slight remembrance of the kindly feelings by the people in the region through which the B. & B. M. road have for him on account of the many courtesies extended by him on his road. Mr. Hoar was completely taken by surprise, but was able to rise to the occasion, and responded with a very neat speech. Among the well known in this city were: ???? Bailey, Mayor Kinkele, A. ????, E. J. Fulton, J. W. Casey, ???? Drysdale, Frank Briggs, P. H. McGarry, A. G. Bernard, James ????, F. W. Street and T. J. ????. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 December 1898, p. 1, c. 1)

Wm. Nelson, a son of Louis Nelson, of this city, was quite badly scalded about the feet at the B. & N. M. round-house on Tuesday afternoon. A quantity of water had gathered in the engine pit and had been heated by the steam pipes almost to a boiling point, and into this Mr. Nelson slipped and fell while working about the pit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Robert Miller, a brakeman in the employ of the B. & N. M. was quite seriously injured in the company’s yards at Rice Lake by being crushed between the car bumpers. He was brought to the Lumbermen’s Hospital for treatment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

Crushed to Death.

Anton Weiner [sic], brakeman on the B. & N. M. passenger train, met with an accident on Sunday morning last, that cost him his life. The passenger does not run on Sunday, and Mr. Wiener [sic] was making a trip on a logging train into Walker, when he fell off the last load of logs next to the coach onto the track and the wheels of the coach passed over both legs crushing them, the right below the knee and the left above. He was picked up and a special brought him to this city for treatment, but he died within five minutes after the train arrived here. His remains were taken to Clark’s morgue, where they were prepared for shipment to relatives at Chippewa Falls, Wis. Mr. Wiener [sic] was a young man about 30 years of age, of good character, sober and industrious, and his violent and untimely death was a sad blow to his many friends. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1899, p. 10, c. 3)

Louis Christenson, an employee at the B. & N. M. shops, had the misfortune to lose a finger on Tuesday by coming in contact with the cog wheels of a machine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 March 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

New Equipment.

The prosperity that has become general all over the country, is enjoyed, apparently, to a very large degree by the B. & N. M. railway. Its passenger and freight business has increased to such an extent that a great deal of new equipment was necessary, and it was ordered and is now arriving. Two fine new compound engines of the Richmond type were ordered and one arrived here on Tuesday. A new passenger coach was also ordered, and will arrive May 1st, when, it is expected, an exclusive passenger train will be run instead of a mixed train as at present. The other coaches of the company will be thoroughly overhauled and refitted and put in first-class shape. 135 new flat cars, of 80,000 pounds capacity, were ordered, and are arriving daily. When this new equipment is all here, the company will be in first-class shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 April 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railroad company have a crew of surveyors at work locating a branch line from Nary to Wolf lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

The B. & N. M. received their new passenger coach on Saturday and it was attached to the train going north for the first time on Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

A telegram from Bemidji says the settlers east and northeast of that place have been scared out of a summer’s growth by the action of the Brainerd & Northern in buying up right of way along its newly surveyed line from here to Turtle River lake, northeast from here ten miles, where it is said the road intends to build this summer for the purpose of bringing in from that direction about 3,000,000 feet of pine timber now standing in that country. It is presumed that this timber is to be hauled to Brainerd and dumped into the Mississippi, but there are knowing ones who say that it is the intention of the pineland men to make Bemidji a sawmill and general lumbering center for all the logging operations of Beltrami county and within the next year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1899, p. 4, c. 1)

Owen Law, a man employed at the slide where logs are unloaded from the cars into the Mississippi, was seriously injured yesterday morning. Law in some manner got tangled up with a log and rolled to the bottom of the slide with it, being severely bruised all over his body and several ribs broken. He was brought to the Lumbermen's Hospital for treatment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

All the logs in the river between Minneapolis and Brainerd are now on the move, says the Mississippi Valley Lumberman, while new logs are pouring into the pond above the Brainerd dam rapidly. It is estimated that there are about 75,000,000 feet of logs in the drive. The logging trains of the Brainerd & Northern, it is stated, are putting in over half a million feet of logs each week at Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

Council Proceedings.

The special committee appointed at the last meeting to consider the application of the B. & N. M. road for right of way on land owned by the city near the dam, reported recommending that the land asked for about an acre, be leased to the company for a period of years to be decided by the council, provided said company agrees to keep its machine shops and round house here, and if this is not satisfactory, to sell right of way for a sum to be fixed by the council. The report was accepted, and on motion the sum was fixed at the amount pro ratio that the city paid for the property, and the committee was empowered to confer with the company on that basis. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 June 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

The Duluth News-Tribune says Mrs. Sara [sic] E. Kindred, of Philadelphia, has filed an action in the United States court, through her attorneys, Lum, Neff & Hartley, against the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway company to recover $500 damages to land owned by her, $2000 a year rental for the use of the land by the defendants, and for $300 attorney's fees. Mrs. Kindred alleges that she is the owner of lots 1 and 2 section 34, in 134-28, and that she has been since 1892. The lands are in Crow Wing county, and the complaint alleges that the lands are chiefly valuable for their proximity to the Mississippi river and to the dam built across the Mississippi by the Mississippi Water Power & Boom company. Damages are asked for the construction of the railroad across the northeast corner of the land, and for the construction of the log roll-way built on the land for the purpose of discharging logs from the trains to the river. The plaintiff in this action is the wife of Charles Kindred, formerly prominently connected with the Northern Pacific. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

Regular Council Meeting.

The mayor and city clerk were instructed to execute an agreement of law on behalf of the city with the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad for one and seven-tenths acres of land for a period of 20 years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

Pleasant House Boat Party.

General Manager Winter, of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway, and his estimable wife, entertained a party of Brainerd friends at a house boat party on Leech Lake Monday afternoon and evening. The excursionists left Brainerd at 2:10 Monday afternoon and arrived at Walker a little after 5 o’clock. Here Col. McGarry’s house boat was in waiting and the party was taken for a trip around the arm of the lake, supper being served during the trip. On the return an hour’s stop was made at Walker and the principal points of interest visited. The party then re-embarked and the evening was very enjoyably spent upon the beautiful lake, dancing being enjoyed, the music being furnished through the courtesy of Capt. Mercer. The guests spent the night on the boat which tied up at the White City, and Tuesday morning the return trip was made to Walker in time to catch the train for Brainerd. Those who enjoyed Manager Winter’s hospitality speak in the highest terms of the pleasant time they enjoyed. Those among the party were: Mr. and Mrs. O. O. Winter, Mr. and Mrs. E. B. McCullough, Mrs. Huffman and Mrs. Fred Huffman, of Clinton, Iowa, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Westfall, Mr. and Mrs. H. I. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Wise, Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Patek, Mrs. Chas. Barnes, Columbus, Ohio, Misses Hester Kite, Jean Small, Winnifred Small, Onolee McCullough, Clotilde McCullough, Maud Davis, Elsie Kees, Messrs. Rev. Thos. McClary, Rev. Chas. F. Kite, Dr. C. R. Clark, Jay S. Patek. Those who joined the party at Walker were Capt. Mercer and daughters, and P. H. McGarry and his daughter, Miss Edna. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 July 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

To enable the citizens of Brainerd and vicinity an opportunity to enjoy an outing on Leech Lake, at limited expense, the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway will make a very low rate of fare to House Boat and camping parties of 20 or more, Brainerd to Walker and return. Parties desiring rates should apply to O. O. Winter, General Manager, Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 July 1899, p. 8, . 1)

Sunday Excursion to Bemidji.

On Sunday, August 27, the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota road will run an excursion from Brainerd to Bemidji, the price of tickets for the round trip having been placed at the exceedingly low sum of $1.00. The train will leave promptly at 7 a. m. and returning will leave Bemidji at 7 p. m. The excursion is run to satisfy a popular demand from a large number of people who were unable to make the trip with the Library Association, and it affords an opportunity to visit this beautiful lake resort which will probably not be presented again this season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

The Sunday excursion train over the Brainerd & Northern road carried 600 people from Brainerd and immediate points to Bemidji. Ten cars were hauled and they were crowded. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 September 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

A brakeman by the name of Betty was quite seriously injured in a collision near Bemidji on the B. & N. M. road yesterday, his left leg being broken. He was brought to the Lumbermen’s hospital in this city for treatment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

The positive assertion is made by the Duluth News-Tribune that the Brainerd & Northern road will be extended this winter 12 miles north from Bemidji to the new town of Twill Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 September 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

A Railroad Rumor.

A railroad rumor is gaining considerable circulation that the Northern Pacific has purchased the Princeton branch of the Eastern Minnesota line and will extend it to Brainerd. The report is far from being credible as the Northern Pacific would have little to gain from such a route as in matter of distance it would be almost an exact duplicate of its present line running up through St. Cloud. If the rumor has any foundation at all it is more likely that it is the Brainerd & Northern that has secured the branch through some mutual traffic agreement with the Great Northern, and will connect it with their system at Brainerd by an extension from Milaca. The Brainerd & Northern needs a direct outlet to the Twin Cities, and the Great Northern needs a direct connection with its Fosston branch from the Twin Cities, and there you have it.—Mille Lacs Times. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 September 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

There will be an excursion to Walker on Sunday at which time a match game of ball will take place between the Walker and Brainerd nines. The B. & N. M. have made a rate of $1.00 for the round trip. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 September 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

A Fine Property.

The B. & N. M. railroad has just issued its annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30th, which shows the property to be a money earner. The gross earnings for the year, were $220,296.22. The operating expenses were $130,406.62, leaving net earnings $89,896. There was a surplus on hand, June 30, 1899, of $35,082. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

M & I Depot at Merrifield, ca. Unknown. A 1160x680 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Unknown
A new time card has gone into effect on the B. & N. M. railroad, which shortens the time of the local 45 minutes between this city and Bemidji. The trains arrive and depart from this city at the same time, but the train going north arrives at Bemidji 45 minutes earlier or 6:45 p. m., and the train coming south leaves that point 45 minutes later or at 7:45. On the new cards the names of the stations known as Cameron and Crookston will hereafter be known as Merrifield and Mildred, the change being made because post officers were established at these points with those names. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

The Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway hauled their first load of logs for the season on Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 December 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

New President for B. & N. M.

The Minneapolis Journal this morning says: A. [sic] [E.] Y. [sic] [A.] Merrill, the attorney, was elected president of the Brainerd & Northern Railroad company at the meeting of the directors held Saturday. No other officers were elected at that time. Mr. Merrill succeeds John S. Pillsbury. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

Matin [sic] Satre, pumper for the B. & N. M. road, was seriously injured at Nary on New Years day. Mr. Satre was at work on the track and was struck by an engine and thrown fifteen feet to the ground below and it is a great wonder that he was not killed outright. The injured man was placed on a special and brought to the Lumbermen’s hospital in this city where he is rapidly improving. Several ribs were broken and he was severely bruised. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Wm. Nolan, a brakeman on the B. & N. M. road, was quite seriously injured last night at Pine River, being thrown from the caboose and striking the ground in such a manner that his head was badly cut. He was brought to the Lumbermen's hospital for treatment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 January 1900, p. 8, c. 1)


Northern Pacific Said to be Coveting
the Property of the B. & N. M.

The Minneapolis Journal contains the following comments on the future of the B. & N. M. road which will be interesting to many of our readers:
Since the election of E. A. Merrill, president of the Minnesota Loan & Trust Company to the presidency of the Brainerd & Northern Railroad company a short time ago, a rumor has become current that the move was preliminary to the purchase and absorption of the road by the Northern Pacific; that Mr. Merrill will simply represent Northern Pacific interests in the matter and would step down and out as soon as it was seen fit, by the Northern Pacific people, to take charge of the Brainerd & Northern. The rumor was perhaps strengthened by the fact that the Northern Pacific was just coming into possession of a large block of cash through the sale of timber lands on the Pacific coast and that there was evidence of a policy on the part of the company of meeting the many advances of competing roads by improving its own lines and invading new territory where it saw a chance of securing good business and meeting competition.
In the absence from the city of Mr. Merrill and Vice President Carpenter of the Brainerd & Northern, E. P. Welles, a prominent director in the company, was asked today what there was in the rumor. He said that he knew nothing of such a deal. Some months ago the Brainerd & Northern directors were considering the plan of bonding the road to meet outstanding indebtedness incurred in the Bemidji extension and with the idea of building further to the north. Mr. Merrill was interested in financing this bonding deal, but before it was brought to a consummation, he came in with a proposition for the purchase of the road, or of a controlling interest. The stockholders being mostly lumbermen and having use for their money in the lumber business concluded to sell. They protected their logging interests by making contracts covering the time which would be necessary in which to get out their logs. Mr. Merrill paid the cash and that was all there was to it. Mr. Welles said that that was all he knew about the deal and he had no knowledge as to Mr. Merrill’s purposes as to the destiny of the property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 January 1900, p. 4, c. 2)

Crushed His Head.

L. M. Brown, a switchman on the B. & N. M. road, was instantly killed at the Backus-Brooks spur, near Bemidji, on Wednesday. The unfortunate man was walking along beside the track to throw a switch when a log fell from the top of a loaded car that was passing and struck him in the forehead, crushing his skull and killing him instantly. The young man was 22 years of age and made his home in East Brainerd with his mother, Mrs. E. H. Green. The remains were brought to this city yesterday noon. The funeral will occur Sunday afternoon at 2:30 o’clock from the Second Congregational church in East Brainerd, Rev. Bortel officiating. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 January 1900, p. 8, c. 2)


Northern Pacific Man Chosen as General
Manager, Which is Significant.

William H. Gemmell, General Manager of the Minnesota & International Railroad, ca. Unknown
Source: Oldtimers II: Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Jr., Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988
General Manager O. O. Winter, of the B. & N. M. Ry, has resigned his position with that company, and Wm. H. Gemmell, assistant secretary of the N. P., has been elected to succeed him. Mr. Winter’s resignation took effect on Wednesday, Jan 31st, and the new general manager is now in charge. Mr. Winter and family will remove from the city leaving next Tuesday. He has worked very hard and confined himself very closely for several years past, and feels the need of rest and recreation before again getting into the harness, hence he and Mrs. Winter have planned a two month’s trip through the eastern states, visiting all the principal eastern cities. They have made many warm friends during their residence in this city who greatly regret their departure. Mr. Winter will also be very much missed by the Public Library board, of which he was an active and energetic member. Indeed it might be said that he and Mr. Cohen have done more to make the library a success than all others, hence his departure will be a serious loss to the association.
The new general manager has had no experience, we understand, in the operating department of a railroad, but he will have the able assistance here of Chief Engineer W. O. Smith and other officials here, and will no doubt soon become familiar with the duties of the position, as he is said to be a man of great force and executive ability.
The Minneapolis Journal, under a Brainerd date, has the following to say in regard to the recent changes that have taken place in the management of the road:
If recent developments do not connect Northern Pacific interests with the purchase of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, they at least indicate that relations between the two roads are to be cordial. Following the announcement that E. A. Merrill, of Minneapolis, has purchased a large block of B. & N. M. stock comes the resignation of General Manager O. O. Winter and the election of Assistant Secretary Wm. H. Gemmell of the Northern Pacific as his successor. The meeting of the board of directors was held in Minneapolis Saturday, Mr. Winter being summoned by wire from Brainerd. Preceding the meeting Mr. Winter and Mr. Merrill were engaged in a brief conference. What transpired is not public property, but on the conclusion of their confidential talk, Mr. Winter stated that his resignation would be forthcoming at once. When the directors assembled it was awaiting their action. Its acceptance was followed by the nomination and election of Mr. Gemmell. The meeting Saturday was an adjourned session. Mr. Merrill was named as president at the recent annual meeting, but beyond that point it was not deemed wise to go. At the time the failure to re-elect Mr. Winter was not considered as significant, and the few who had acquired knowledge of the fact gave it no second thought. Neither Mr. Winter nor his friends anticipated that another would succeed him. Assistant Secretary Gemmell is not reported to be a practical railroad man; that is to say, he is not an operator. For this reason there is some doubt expressed that he will remove to Brainerd, or even sacrifice his position with the N. P. W. C. Smith, the chief engineer of the Brainerd & Northern is very capable, and it is possible that the operating department will be left in his hands, while the general policy of the corporation is determined by Mr. Gemmell. If this is the outcome it will be conclusive evidence in the minds of many that the N. P. has absorbed another of its connections. Mr. Gemmell is a comparatively young man. He was in service with the N. P. at the time of the receivership, though in a modest capacity. His work stamped him as a man of force and intelligence, however, and a promotion was shortly forthcoming. A little later he was made assistant secretary, his knowledge of the affairs of the system being so exhaustive that his services were, in measure, indispensable. He is a graduate of the law department of the University of Minnesota. Mr. Winter has been with the Brainerd & Northern just a year. He was previously with the Great Northern.


According to the Pioneer Press the new president of the B. & N. M. denies he bought his interest in the road for the N. P., but says he bought it for himself. To a Press correspondent he said:
“I have been watching the Brainerd & Northern for some time,” he said, “and have been aware of its earning capacity and its value as an investment, and am perfectly satisfied. The purchase is so recent that I have made no plans, and am in no hurry to do so.”
The road, he said, would maintain its present relations with the Northern Pacific, as well as its traffic agreements with other roads. It had been the expectation of the former owners of the road to make extensions north of Bemidji this year or next, but Mr. Merrill says that he has made no plans for extensions, and can’t say at present what will be done. The resignation of General Manager Winter and the appointment of William H. Gemmell, late assistant secretary of the Northern Pacific, Mr. Merrill says, has no significance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 February 1900, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

Mail Agent for the B. & N. M.

A petition has been circulated among the business men and residents along the line of the B. & N. M., and in this city, for the appointment of a route agent for the above road, and was sent to Washington the first of the week. There is no doubt but that one will shortly be appointed, as it is an absolute necessity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 February 1900, p. 8, c. 2)


B. & N. M. Trainmen Get an Increase
in Their Wages.

On Wednesday General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of the B. & N. M. Railway posted a bulletin notifying trainmen of the following increase in their wages: Engineers from 27 1/2 to 30 cents an hour, firemen from 18 to 20 cents, conductors from 25 to 27 cents and brakemen from 17 to 19 cents, the increase to take effect March 1st. The men some time since asked that they be given an increase, and when the matter was brought to the attention of President Merrill, he without hesitation, complied with their request and directed the increase. The men are much pleased at their success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1900, p. 1, c. 2)


An Engine and 12 Cars Demolished on
Saturday—Another Collision
on Wednesday.

The B. & N. M. Ry. has been having hard luck the past week. One of their best engines and 12 new monster flat cars were demolished on Saturday and on Wednesday a logging car and caboose were smashed and another engine crippled. Both were the results of tail end collisions, owing to a failure of the air brakes.
The first collision occurred at spur 75, about 75 miles from this city. A heavy logging train drawn by engine No. 3, with E. H. Simmons at the throttle, and in charge of Conductor Woods, was pulling off the spur onto the main line, when another heavy logging train drawn by engine No. 8, in charge of Engineer Johnson, came thundering down the heavy grade at this point and struck the first train right in the center. This train was going 20 miles an hour, and the awful force of the blow reduced the engine, one of the fine new compounds recently bought by the company, to scrap iron. Twelve of the new flat cars were completely destroyed. Engineer Johnson saw the train in ample time and tried to stop, but the air brakes failed him, and the collision resulted. All the trainmen jumped off and escaped without serious injury. Mr. Johnson remained on his engine until just a second before she struck, when he jumped and fortunately rolled out of the way. The passenger was delayed several hours by this accident.

Minnesota & International Engine #5, a 2-6-0, ca. Unknown
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
On Wednesday a similar accident occurred at Hackensack at 9:25 a. m. A logging train in charge of Conductor Wynne left a caboose and four cars standing on the main track while the engine and the rest of the train had backed on the side track to pick up some cars. Another heavy train in charge of Conductor Frank Bennett and drawn by engine No. 5, Wm. Goodale engineer, came down the grade at this point and struck the caboose, demolishing it and the next car. The engine was injured somewhat, but not badly. The engineer saw the train in ample time but his air brakes also failed him. This accident delayed the passenger two or three hours that day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 March 1900, p. 1, c. 4)

The gross earnings of the B. & N. M. R’y. in 1899 were $309,435.33 and the tax paid into the state treasury was $6,188.70. In 1898 the gross earnings were $184,58.22 and the tax $3,689.16. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1900, p. 4, c. 1)

Conductor Frank Bennett, of the B. & N. M., had his foot injured on Monday at Pine River. His foot was caught between two cars and quite badly pinched, but he will probably not lose any portion of the foot. He was brought to the Lumbermen's hospital on Tuesday morning and his foot dressed, and then taken to his home on 9th street north. The injured member is now reported doing nicely. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of the B. & N. M., on Saturday was elected vice president of the road and a member of the board of directors, in addition to his present position. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

Yesterday morning a corps of engineers began another survey of a line for the extension of the Brainerd & Northern road from Bemidji to Turtle River, and will have completed the work by next Tuesday evening. From information recently obtained it is believed that the road will be built to this point during the present year. In this event Turtle River is bound to boom, and so far as its natural advantages and beautiful location are concerned, it stands without a peer.—Turtle River Pine Tree. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

Change of Time on the B. & N. M.

The running time of the passenger train on the B. & N. M. will change commencing next Monday. The train will arrive in this city from Bemidji, Walker and intermediate points at 11:30 a. m., instead of 11:50 as at present, and returning will leave at 1:30 p. m., instead of 2:10 as at present. The change was made necessary to make proper connections with N. P. trains under the new time card. For time of arrival and departure of trains at intermediate stations see corrected time card published elsewhere in this issue. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1900, p. 4, c. 3)


The Railroad Gazette says the Northern Pacific has ordered 500 gondola cars from the American Car & Foundry Co. We understand that this road has also ordered from this company 400 flat cars.
According to the Railroad Gazette the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, has ordered two compound mogul locomotives from the Richmond Locomotive & Machine Works. They will have 18 1/2 in. x 29 1/2 in. x 26 in. cylinders; 56 in. in diam. driving wheels; extended wagon top boilers, 54 in. in diam. at smokebox end; steam pressure 200 lbs., and will weigh in working order 104,000 lbs., with 85,000 lbs., on drivers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1900, p. 4, c. 2)

The B. & N. M. has closed its depot at Lathrop [Lothrop], the place now being what the railroad people call a star station. On Monday next the station at Hackensack will be opened with an agent in charge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

The present season will be a busy one for the B. & N. M. railroad. There are more logs to be hauled during the coming summer than the road has hauled during any entire year of its existence. Hauling began last Monday, and will continue throughout the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1900, p. 10, c. 2)


Two Trains on the B. & N. M. Ry. Try
to Pass on the Same Track with
Disastrous Results.


Eighteen Cars were Injured or
Crushed, and Logs were Piled
High in the Air.

A head end collision occurred on the B. & N. M. R. Shortly after dinner on Tuesday, between Island Lake and Hackensack, that totally demolished nine logging cars, partially destroyed as many more, badly injured two locomotives and delayed traffic for over 24 hours before the track could be cleared and repaired.
A work train in charge of Conductor Wood and drawn by engine No. 2, with Engineer Russell at the throttle, was operating between these points, when a heavy logging train coming down a grade ran into them with such force as to badly injure both engines and demolish about twenty logging cars, besides piling logs fully thirty feet high, over a space 100 feet long on the track. The logging train was in charge of Conductor Wynne, and Engineer Thompson was on the engine, which was No. 5, one of the big new compounds. All the trainmen jumped, and fortunately no one was injured.
The track was obstructed for over a day, and all freight business was suspended, while the local was run from this city to the wreck, and the passengers and mail and express transferred and taken on to Walker and Bemidji in cabooses. The next morning a train of cabooses came down to the obstruction and a transfer was again made to the passenger train, which arrived here on time. On Wednesday afternoon the track had been cleared so that the passenger train got through without much delay.
The wreck was an expensive one, as the loss will aggregate several thousand dollars. Who was at fault has not yet been determined, but it seems to be the opinion of the trainmen that the logging train was running too fast, and proper precaution had not been taken against the work train. The engineer of the work train says he was backing away when the collision occurred. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1900, p. 4, c. 2)

The Minneapolis Times says the Brainerd & Northern has placed orders for special equipment, consisting of two locomotives to be used in the logging business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

Articles of Incorporation of Minnesota
& International.

A new line of railroad is to be constructed from Bemidji to a point on the Canadian boundary at Rainy Lake. Articles of incorporation have been filed with the secretary of state. The incorporators are President Mellen, of the Northern Pacific, General Council Bunn, Assistant Secretary Corbett, H. A. Fabian, private secretary to Mr. Mellen, and Emerson Hadley, of the legal department. The new corporation is known as the Minnesota & International.
The proposed line will form a continuation of the Brainerd & Northern, which is now under Northern Pacific control. Bemidji is the northern terminus. The company will build a bridge across the Rainy river into Ontario and will operate steamer lines on Rainy lake, Lake of the Woods and tributary waters.—Minneapolis Times. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 1, c. 5)

Excursion to Bemidji.

There will be an excursion to Bemidji and return over the B. & N. M. next Sunday, July 29th, under the auspices of the Ancient Order of Redmen. The train will leave this city at 6:30 and arrive at Bemidji at 10:30. Returning the excursion train will leave Bemidji about 8 in the evening, and arrive in Brainerd at 11:30 or 12 o’clock. Tickets will be good going on the excursion train only, but will be good to return on the regular train on Monday or Tuesday, July 30th or 31st. Dresskell’s City Band will accompany the excursion and furnish music. The fare for the round trip from this city will be $2.00. Everybody who desires to enjoy a delightful day’s outing should take advantage of the extremely low rate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

Alba Hall, B. & N. M. brakeman, had a narrow escape from death yesterday morning. Indeed it was reported about town that he had been killed. Two cars of logs were pushed off the dock into Rice Lake, and the third car on which Mr. Hall was standing, was partly off. As his car started to go, Mr. Hall, with remarkable agility, slid off the car and under the dock, and thus saved himself. All who saw him go down supposed he had fallen into the lake and was drowned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 1900, p. 8, c. 2)

In Their New Quarters.

The offices of the B. & N. M. were moved into the N. P. depot building last Friday afternoon. They occupy the east half of the second story, the most desirable portion. The auditor’s office has been moved up from Minneapolis, and will be located in this city hereafter. C. W. Schneider has resigned as auditor and has been succeeded by M. W. Downie, who has arrived in the city and assumed the duties of the office. Mr. Schneider was also in the city several days the first of the week, returning yesterday. All the officers of the company are now located here except the president, who has his office at Minneapolis. The old depot building, as a result now presents a livelier appearance than it has since the division headquarters were removed to Staples ten years ago. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

The Cass Lake Voice says that twenty-five miles of the Brainerd & Northern extension will be built this summer. Actual work on the construction will be commenced at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1900, p. 8, c. 1)


Halvorson Bros. of Minneapolis, Award-
ed the Contract for the Brainerd
and Northern Extension.

S. A. Gray, of this city received a telegram this morning saying that Halvorson & Company, Minneapolis railroad contractors, have been awarded the contract for the extension of the Brainerd and Northern. The line will be built north from Bemidji, the present terminus, a distance of 91 miles to a place called Big Fork. Twenty-seven miles will be constructed this fall and the balance next spring. This extension will penetrate a new country and will give an outlet to an immense amount of timber, not accessible to water routes.—St. Cloud Journal Press. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 August 1900, p. 5, c. 2)

The B. & N. M. has received two new engines of the compound type from the Richmond Locomotive works. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1900, p. 8, c. 1)


C. W. Schneider, Formerly B. & N. M.
Auditor is in Trouble.

The Minneapolis Times of Tuesday contains the following concerning C. W. Schneider, formerly auditor of the the B. & N. M. and well known in this city.
Charles W. Schneider, auditor of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, was brought to the central police station last evening, and remained in the captain’s office over night. Schneider was taken in charge by Inspector Howard late in the afternoon, and early in the evening several conferences were held at police headquarters, which were attended by one of the officers of the road. It is further said by the police officers that Schneider was arrested on a warrant charging him with embezzlement, but when he was left at the police station no charge was made against him, his name not even being placed on the “tab,” and furthermore the warrant, if there was any, was not turned over to the jailer.
When Schneider was seen late last night, he said that his detention was entirely due to a misunderstanding. He endeavored, by telephone, to reach certain friends, but was unsuccessful.
From one of the officials of the road it was learned there was a belief that Schneider’s books were in a condition to warrant his being held for further developments. This official said the matter was of long standing, and had occurred prior to the present management, which assumed control last December.
It has developed that the amount of Mr. Schneider’s embezzlement as charged is $6,723. He was arraigned and plead not guilty and was released on bail. The case will be heard next Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 November 1900, p. 2, c. 3)

A New Railroad.

It started on apparently good authority that President J. J. Hill of the Great Northern is planning a new railroad in the northern part of the state to offset the marked success attending the management of the Brainerd & Northern and the Northern Pacific’s new line, the Minnesota & International, now under construction. The latter will run north and may reach Rainy lake. The territory offers valuable lumber, and this fact is said to be the chief reason to impel Mr. Hill in his decision. The exact route of his proposed line is uncertain as yet. It will strike off from the Fosston branch between that point and Leech lake into the lumber belt. Mr. Hill has not yet made an official statement of his intentions in the matter. Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

A way freight to run daily except Saturday and Sunday instead of every other day has been put on the B. & N. M. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

F. C. Cooper, the popular and efficient trainmaster of the B. & N. M., was recently presented with a fine, comfortable office chair by the citizens and business men who have business to transact with him, and who greatly appreciate his uniform courtesy and tact. Mr. Cooper appreciates the chair very much, and desires the DISPATCH to express his gratitude. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1900, p. 8, c. 2)

George S. Stanley has been appointed yard master of the B. & N. M. railway. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

The B. & N. M. Railway during the fiscal year ending June 30th last accumulated a surplus of $241,828. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1900, p. 12, c. 1)

G. D. Ball, formerly chief engineer of the B. & N. M., has been appointed superintendent, which took effect last Saturday, the 15th inst. Mr. Ball’s office is out at the offices at Rice Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1900, p. 12, c. 1)

The B. & N. M. Railway has issued a bulletin announcing that after January first the employees of the company will become members of the N. P. Beneficial Association and will receive medical treatment at the Sanitarium of the association in this city, instead of St. Joseph’s Hospital as heretofore. The cost will be 50 cents a month to each employee, just the same as the N. P. employees pay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1900, p. 12, c. 1)

C. W. Schneider Discharged.

Charles W. Schneider, a graduate of the state university and formerly auditor of the Brainerd & Northern Railway company, at whose instance he was arrested on the charge of embezzlement, was discharged in the police court yesterday. The county attorney, after investigating the case, concluded it was not one which should be prosecuted.—Pioneer Press.
The many friends of Mr. Schneider in this city will be pleased to learn of his discharge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1900, p. 2, c. 2)

Master Mechanic J. N. Sanborn, of the B. & N. M., was presented with an elegant library set by the employees of the company on Christmas day, as a token of the high esteem in which he is held by his fellow employees. The set consisted of a couch and two large chairs upholstered in leather and finely finished, and Mr. Sanborn prizes them highly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1900, p. 8, c. 2)

Carl Rudolph, working on the Brainerd & Northern extension near Bemidji, lost his left foot and arm and sustained fatal injuries Sunday night as the result of a dynamite explosion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 February 1901, p. 16, c. 1)


Robert E. Berry, a Lumberman, Meets
His Death by Falling from
the B. & N. M. Passenger
Near Jenkins.

Robert E. Berry, a lumberman, was instantly killed on Wednesday by falling from the south bound passenger of the B. & N. M. Ry. about a mile above Jenkins station. The body was found by section men, who notified Coroner Reimestead, and he went up that evening and brought the remains to Clark’s morgue in this city, where an inquest as to the manner of his death was held yesterday noon. The jury, after hearing all the evidence returned the following verdict:
“Deceased came to his death by accidentally falling from passenger train No. 2, of the B. & N. M. R’y. Co., and no blame attaches to said railway company or any of its employees or any other person.”
The details of his death as ascertained at the inquest are as follows: He was employed in Hatcher & Lynch’s camp No. 3, near Lothrop, and being sick started for Minneapolis, where a sister lives. At Lothrop, E. C. Bush, another lumberman, helped him on the train, and he was last seen by the conductor sitting in his seat after Pine River had been passed. Near Pequot he was missed, and it was thought he had left the train. On arriving at Brainerd it was learned by wire that his body had been found near Jenkins lying on the west side of the track about two feet from the rail. His face was battered to pieces, and an arm was broken. He had evidently gone out on the platform and in his sick condition had accidentally fallen from the train. Death was produced by the fall, as his body had not been run over. About eleven dollars in money, two pocket books and a watch, and other trinkets were found on his person.
The sister in Minneapolis has been written to, and when she is heard from the remains will be disposed of. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1901, p. 1, c. 4)

Mail Car on the B. & N. M.

General Manager W. H. Gemmel, and Master Mechanic J. N. Sanborn, of the B. & N. M. R’y., were in St. Paul last week to purchase a car suitable for being made into a mail car. The purchase was made of a car off the old St. Paul and Duluth, and it will be fitted up at once for this purpose. This indicated that a mail car will be put on that road very soon, and is a much needed facility. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1901, p. 8, c. 2)



The case of Alice J. Green against the B. & N. M. Railway was on trial last week when the DISPATCH went to press. It was an action for $5,000 damages for the death of her son who was killed by a log rolling off a car on him while employed by the company. The court directed the jury to return a verdict for the defendant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 March 1901, p. 1, c. 2)

The men are coming out of the woods in droves. Every train coming down on the B. & N. M. is crowded with lumbermen. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

Road Extends Northward.

An important sale made last week was that of the logging road of the Red Lake Transportation company, which is identical with the contracting firm of Halvorsen & Richards, of Minneapolis, which is constructing the Minnesota & International road from Bemidji to Koochiching, a road popularly known as the Brainerd & Northern extension of the Northern Pacific road. The railroad purchased is a logging road built by the Halvorson & Richards company between Nebish, the headquarters, and Red Lake, where the company had a steamboat line across the lake to the Red river. The line is about fifteen miles and was constructed three years ago for the purpose of logging the Red Lake reservation for Shevlin, Carpenter & Co., and T. B. Walker, of the Twin Cities. The lumber company’s contract with the road includes a yearly haul of 30,000,000 feet. Probably one-third of the timber has been taken out. It is not known whether the sale will carry with it the logging contracts. The road is to be delivered to the Northern Pacific company completed to the new line of the Minnesota and International road, which will mean the construction of an additional fifteen miles of new road this coming summer. The purchase of the logging road and its constructions will give the Northern Pacific an outlet to Red Lake and into a heavily timbered district. The Halvorson & Richards company is now laying rails on the extension of the Northern Pacific and by the end of the next summer will have about sixty miles of the new road built towards Koochiching.—Bemidji Pioneer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1901, p. 8, c. 3)

Knocked from the Bridge.

Gust Dobinning, a lumberman was struck by the engine of a logging train as he was crossing the B. & N. M. railroad bridge over the river on Saturday last, and the force of the blow knocked him off the bridge onto the ice 15 feet below. Fortunately the force of the blow or fall did not break any bones, although he was knocked senseless and was badly bruised. The man was somewhat intoxicated at the time of the accident. He was put off the train at Walker, but managed to get on and steal a ride down. When the train stopped on the other side of the river he got off and proceeded across the bridge ahead of the train on foot. He was taken to St. Joseph’s hospital, where he has nearly recovered from his injuries. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1901, p. 1, c. 4)

NOTE: From 05 April 1901 information regarding the Minnesota and International railroad can be found here:


The B. & N. M. and Minnesota & Inter-
national to be One Company
Owned by the N. P.

The St. Paul Dispatch last evening contains the following:
The Northern Pacific Railway Co. will apply to the state authorities for permission to increase the stock of the Minnesota & International Railway company, of which corporation C. S. Mellen is president, from $100,000 to $600,000. The purpose is to absorb the Brainerd & Northern Railroad company.
It is the intention of the Northern Pacific to merge the two roads into one, to be known hereafter as the Minnesota & International company. The Brainerd & Northern will pass out of existence.
The step is another move forward toward ultimately pushing construction of the Minnesota & International straight to the Canadian border at Koochiching, through the immense wealthy timber country, into the lake region.
The Brainerd & Northern railroad is largely owned by the Northern Pacific, although the original owners, who were extensive lumber dealers, own considerable stock. The president of the Brainerd & Northern is C. A. Merrill, of Minneapolis. Much of the remaining stock is owned by the Messrs. Backus, Merrill, Carpenter, Lamb and others. The Northern is capitalized at $500,000. There are ninety-one miles of track in operation, extending from Brainerd in a northerly direction to Bemidji. At this point the Minnesota & International line commences. Thirty miles of new roadbed are built and practically ready for rails. Beyond this the Northern Pacific has pushed its surveys, and it has been practically decided to crowd construction northward toward the boundary.
This road, although called the Minnesota & International, is a Northern Pacific company. Its capital stock is $100,000, but as soon as the Minnesota & International is permitted to increase its stock to $600,000 the Brainerd & Northern will be taken over.
The total mileage of the combined roads will be 123 miles, but this will be rapidly increased as the road is pushed northward. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1901, p. 4, c. 3)

A Big Contract.

The Northern Pacific has entered into a contract with the Muscatine Lumber company and William Kaiser, also of Muscatine, Iowa, to haul 20,000,000 feet of saw logs from Bemidji to Stillwater, via Brainerd and the Twin cities. The logs are already cut and are now on the Muscatine track owned by the parties making the contract. It is estimated that in filling the contract the railroad will be obliged to use 4,000 cars. The logs will be transported on the line of the Brainerd & Northern. They will be unloaded into Lake St. Croix and floated into Stillwater. This is one of the largest contracts for hauling lumber ever made in this section. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1901, p. 5, c. 3)

On Monday the Northern Pacific filed with the state railroad commission a petition asking for permission to amend the charter of the Minnesota & International railroad that it might be able to increase its capital stock and absorb the Brainerd & Northern, as has been announced. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1901, p. 8, c.1)

Yardmaster Stanley, of the B. & N. M., had the misfortune last week to again have his hand injured. He lost his second finger above the first joint. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

The Brainerd & Northern will probably hereafter be known as the Minnesota & International, as the railroad commission yesterday granted the latter corporation the right to increase its capital stock a half million in order to absorb the former. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

The first car of the Minnesota and International Railway has been turned out. It is a regulation baggage car repainted and renovated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

J. R. Whalen fell off a car of logs near the mill this morning and quite badly bruised his sides. He was not hurt severely and will be able to be out again in a short time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 8, c. 4)


Conductor John Cox the Victim of an Ac-
cident Near Bemidji Friday

John Cox, freight conductor on the Brainerd & Northern, was brought to Brainerd Saturday suffering from a very painful injury which he received on Friday afternoon.
Mr. Cox was engaged in taking the numbers of cars of a train being loaded with logs near a body of water just south of Bemidji when the accident occurred. The rope which was used to tow in the logs broke while he was standing beside one of the cars. It is thought that the rope in some manner slapped about him throwing him to the ground. He was at once taken to Bemidji where it was discovered that one of his legs was broken just below the knee. He was brought to Brainerd and at once taken to the Northern Pacific Sanitarium where the injured limb was dressed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 2, c. 3)

Auditor Downey, of the Minnesota & International, went to St. Paul last night on business connected with the road. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1901, p. 4, c. 2)


Beginning With July 1, the Brain-
erd & Northern was For-
mally Turned Over.


The New Extension Being Turned
Over to the Operating

The Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Ry., is no more, at least the road designated by this name will be styled differently in the future, the final transfer being made Tuesday to the Minnesota & International Ry. Co. The new company acquires all the stock, franchises and property of the old B. & N.
A circular issued by President C. S. Mellen has been received in the city as a notification of the change, and in this is contained the appointment of W. H. Gemmell as general manager of the company. Of course the matter was but a formal procedure, all the officers of the road remaining the same. It might be stated that Mr. Gemmell has made many friends by his courtesy and obliging business transactions both in Brainerd and along the line of the road.
A circular was also issued yesterday by General Manager Gemmell. He names as the officers of the new company: M. W. Downie, auditor; G. D. Ball, superintendent; and J. N. Sanborn, master mechanic. All are proficient and capable men and have many friends along the line.
The extension of the line north of Bemidji is being pushed and the road will be turned over to the Minnesota & International Railway Co. as fast as it is completed. Already something like fifteen miles has been turned over to the operating department. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1901, p. 2, c. 5)


Foreman of a Switching Crew Caught Be-
neath the Trucks and Severely

Saturday after the passenger train on the Minnesota & International had passed Lakeport a man whose name could not be learned at the local offices in this city was thrown between two log cars and rolled over several times before being extricated from his perilous position. He is the foreman of a switching crew and it is understood that one of his legs was broken. Superintendent Ball was notified of the accident at Pine River. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1901, p. 3, c. 4)

The Brainerd & Northern’s gross earnings for the fiscal year just closed were $316,650.28. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

George Nevers has accepted a position in the office of General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of the Minnesota & International. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1901, p. 8, c. 6)


South Bound Train Goes Off the
Track Near Lakeport


The Wrecking Train at Work
Nearly All Night Clearing
the Debris.

Wednesday night there was a very bad wreck on the Minnesota & International near Lakeport, and although the information received is very meager, it is understood on good authority that considerable damage was done.
The logging train was headed south and when a few miles from Lakeport one of the cars was derailed and in a few minutes something like a half dozen cars were piled in a mass and the logs flew in every direction. It is stated that the wreck was a conglomerate mass of debris piled many feet in the air.
The regular passenger train from the north did not reach the city until long after the scheduled time, having been delayed on account of the wreck.
As far as was learned no lives were lost and none of the train crew were injured, although they got a pretty good shaking up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1901, p. 4, c. 5)


A New Schedule Went Into Effect on the
Minnesota & International

General Manager Gemmell informed a representative of the DISPATCH Monday morning that a new wage schedule was now in effect on the Minnesota & International.
The new schedule affects the trainmen and engineers and they have been made happy with an increase of over 12 per cent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1901, p. 6, c. 3)

The Minnesota & International yesterday received another new coach from the Twin Cities. They now run a full new train. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1901, p. 8, c. 4)


A Rear End Collision on the M. &
I. Saturday Evening Near


Engineer DuBois’ Engine is Ditched
But He Was Not In-

There was a rear end collision on the Minnesota & International Saturday evening about 5:30 o’clock resulting in quite a bad smashup. The accident occurred near Merrifield between the two switches near the siding.
Conductor Logan was in charge of the train ahead and had stopped on account of a hot box. No one was sent back to signal the other train and it came down the pike and rammed into the train ahead with considerable force.
Engineer DuBois was on the engine of the rear train and when he saw that it would be impossible for him to stop the train he and his fireman jumped. The engine smashed into the caboose of the lead train and it was badly demolished, and in the melee that followed several cars were thrown in the ditch, as well as the engine of the rear train. It made a great mixup for a time, as both trains were loaded with logs. No one was hurt.
General Manager Gemmell went out yesterday morning with a wrecker and the debris was cleared and the engine raised before night.
There is a curve just before reaching Merrifield and it is thought that Engineer DuBois could not possibly see the train ahead of him until he was almost on top of it. Still on the other hand it is claimed that the conductor on the lead train should have signaled the train in the rear.
The excursion train which went to Walker Saturday was behind the wreck and it was feared in the city that the train would be held up. It was not, however, as the wreck occurred between two switches and the excursion train easily went around. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 July 1901, p. 3, c. 3)


Trains on M. & I. May Circle the
City and Come in From
the West.


New Line to be Built from Leaks
to Point West on Northern

For some days a crew of surveyors has been in the city getting some lines on the west side of the river from a point on the Northern Pacific track to Leaks on the Minnesota & International line.
It is understood that this work is being done preparatory to making some extensive improvements on the Minnesota & International and if it is thought feasible the trains from off the road will be run into Brainerd over a different line.
The trains from off the Minnesota & International are often delayed a great deal in the N. P. yards and sometimes the delay is quite aggravating but it is thought that by running a line from Leaks over to a point west of the Northern Pacific Sanitarium, all this trouble can be avoided. As it is now the road is built on the west side of the river and the new Northern Pacific bridge west of the city could be utilized. If the line is built about five miles of track will have to be laid. This will be about the greatest expense. It is not thought, and has not been intimated, that the Minnesota & International shops will ever be moved across the river.
General Manager Gemmell was not in the city today, so could not be interviewed on the deal, but it is thought that the matter will be taken up at once by the officials of the road. The trains will then come into Brainerd from the west instead of from the east as at the present time. The trainmen and the switching crews in the yard will be pleased to hear of this improvement. As it is now there is a great inconvenience in running a passenger from off the line into the city.
If it is thought feasible the work will probably be started at once and the track laid before winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1901, p. 1, c. 2)


The Men are Held Responsible For the
Logging Train Wreck and Are

Engineer DuBois and Conductor Logan, who have been on the Minnesota & International for sometime, have both been let out by Superintendent Ball.
Engineer DuBois was in charge of the engine of one train and Conductor Logan in charge of the other in the head end collision on Saturday evening and both are held responsible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1901, p. 1, c. 5)


James Cambridge Brakeman on the M. &
I. was Victim of Painful Acci-
dent Last Night.

James Cambridge, a brakeman, on the M. & I. was brought to this city last night and taken to the Northern Pacific Sanitarium. In making a coupling near Bemidji he had his right hand horribly crushed, and it may be that he will have to have the member amputated.
Mr. Cambridge lives in this city and is married. He has been a brakeman for some time, but this is the first accident that ever befell him. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1901, p. 4, c. 5)


President Mellen’s Special Makes
a Run Over the Minnesota
and International.


President Hughitt, of the North-
western was One of the Party
of Railroad Men.

President Mellen’s special returned from its trip over the Minnesota & International Sunday about two o'clock. The party left at once for the west and it is said they will go over the entire Northern Pacific system, President Hughitt, of the Northwestern accompanying them on the trip. The trip after leaving here will be over the N. P. to Oakes and there where the Northwestern makes its only indenture in the state of North Dakota, it is said the magnates will sort of look over things.
President Burt and party, of the Union Pacific, are still at Leech lake but it is understood that he also will go over some of the system with Presidents Mellen and Hughitt.
All kinds of rumors have been afloat since the three magnates with a coterie of legal advisors and directors have been up in this part of the country. The twin city papers have made some great guesses as to the close proximity of the three heads of the largest railroads in the land. Both the Journal and the Dispatch had President Hill going out of town also and it was intimated that he met at Bemidji with the magnates. This is not thought to have been true, however, and it is certain that if the three presidents who were very close to each other talked business at all it must have been very quick for President Mellen’s special is known not to have stopped long enroute.
The Sunday Pioneer Press has the following to say regarding the trip:
“Some of the wise ones around this part of the country who are usually ready with suggestions galore are giving it out that the meeting of the magnates is in connection with the opening of the Leech Lake reservation, which was thoroughly discussed at a meeting of the citizens of Cass Lake and Walker recently. The Northern Pacific is virtually in control of the Minnesota & International and should the reservation be opened up it would precipitate one of the greatest booms in this part of the state that has ever been experienced and a new field would be opened up for land seekers that would be very tempting. Thus the railroads would be benefitted to a large extent and it is said that the mission of these gentlemen is really to look over the ground in the vicinity of the reservation. Each railroad magnate has his legal advisors with him and it would certainly seem as though the story might be plausible.
It is also stated in connection with the trip that it was a previously planned meeting of the big guns to talk over reorganization or to definitely decide on a date for a future meeting.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1901, p. 6, c. 4)


The Picnic at Merrifield was Thoroughly
Enjoyed Wednesday by a Large

It was a tired looking lot of picnickers who got off the train from up the M. & I. line Wednesday which was good evidence that the day had been pleasant from beginning to end. Most of those who went out were well prepared with fishing tackle and some great fish stories have been told. There were some really good catches, however, and the boys and girls all had fun.
Those who attended said that it was the most pleasant picnic and outing given this summer so far. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1901, p. 1, c. 2)


Some Interesting Data Regarding
Northern Minnesota and
its Future.


Built in a Substantial Manner.
One of the Best Lines in the

Theodore M. Knappen, of the Minneapolis Journal staff is spending sometime in the northern part of the state and he is writing a series of articles for that publication on Northern Minnesota. In the first article he says:
The extension of the Minnesota & International railway—Brainerd & Northern, as it has heretofore been known,—toward the Canadian boundary, together with the influx of settlers into regions farther south, long accessible, but neglected until the last two or three years, is opening up a vast new country in Minnesota. A few years ago it was generally believed, and Minnesota people still think, that that portion of the state north of the Northern Pacific railroad and east of the Red river prairies, is good for nothing except its timber, its iron and its stone and game. It was thought that the soil was worthless and could never be tilled to any great extent.
The Minnesota & International is being built in a substantial manner. It will reach the boundary with a maximum grade of 0.3 percent which all railroad men will recognize as unusual. This low maximum was obtained at the expense of some heavy work just north of Bemidji but Thomas Croswell, the engineer, justly regards the end as justifying the means. For some years to come the principal freight traffic of this road will be the hauling of logs to Brainerd there to be dumped into the Mississippi or forwarded to Minneapolis by the Northern Pacific. A small gradient means more cars to the logging train and more income to the company.

The Minnesota & International used log cars like this one to move logs from the cutting areas in the woods to the sawmill in Brainerd, ca. Unknown
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
It is estimated that in a twelve mile strip along the first fifty miles of the road there are 1,000,000,000 feet of pine which are destined to be hauled out by rail. The maximum number of logging cars to a train is forty-five and each car should carry 6,000 feet of logs, making 270,000 feet to a train; the weight of the load being over 500 tons. At this rate it will take nearly 4,000 trains to move the billion feet of pine above referred to; and that means a lively business for the road and points along it for at least five years to come.
In passing it is worthy to note that the scarcity of labor has almost paralyzed operations on the Minnesota & International. Where there should be at least 500 men at work there were only 75 the first of the week. As the weather is now more favorable to work than it has been at any previous time in a very wet season (for this part of the state knows nothing about drought), the determination of the laborer to make off for the harvest fields is doubly distressing to contractors and engineers. But already the men are drifting back and it is hoped that there will soon be full crews. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1901, p. 4, c. 4)

The Northern Pacific and the Minnesota & International have a contract to deliver a consignment of logs to William Kaiser, of Stillwater, which will require the remainder of the sawing season to fill, counting 48 cars of the logs delivered daily. Two train loads are now passing east over the N. P. daily consigned to Kaiser. They are shipped from the region of Bemidji. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1901, p. 8, c. 2)


Tragic Ending of the Life of Wil-
liam T. Drake Sunday


His Neck was Broken, Hip Dislo-
cated and His Leg Horribly

Sunday morning about 8:30 o'clock William T. Drake, a brakeman in the employ of the Minnesota & International Ry., met death in a tragic manner at the intersection of First avenue and Ferris street in East Brainerd by being thrown off a caboose of a train which was leaving the city for the north.
The train consisted of a string of flat cars and was in charge of Conductor G. W. Harrington. He had as brakemen, Drake, the man who was killed, and Thomas Dwane. The former was on the rear end and the latter up ahead. Conductor Harrington had been ordered out with the string of flat cars to distribute them along the line at the different sidings. He left the yards at 8:20 o’clock and the engine was steaming out of the city at First avenue and Ferris street when the coupling of the caboose broke and of course the caboose stopped very suddenly. The air brakes on the trains are so constructed in these modern times that when a train breaks in two the part of the train that is to the rear is stopped at once, the brakes all being set when the air pipe is broken. Usually this stop is so sudden that anyone seated in the car is thrown headlong. When the train broke in two yesterday morning the unfortunate brakeman was standing on the front platform of the caboose. He was thrown head first off the platform and it is thought broke his neck. Those who examined him do not believe that he was run over by the wheels, but he might have become tangled up under the trucks and sustained the other injuries apparent on his body. His left leg was broken, one of his hips and several ribs were dislocated and his skull was badly fractured.
No one witnessed the accident for Conductor Harrington was at the head end with Dwane at the time, but it is thought that Drake’s death was almost instantaneous.
Conductor Harrington stated yesterday afternoon that at the time the train broke in two he was near the head end, superintending the work of distributing the cars. The train was stopped at once when it was learned what had happened, but even then he did not realize that anyone was injured.
Yardmaster George Stanley just happened to be near and before Mr. Harrington could get back to the caboose, Mr. Stanley gave him the signal to go ahead. Thinking that everything was all right and the break had been repaired the signal was repeated to Engineer Anse and the train pulled out.
Yardmaster Stanley at once notified the authorities and Coroner Reimestead appeared on the scene and ordered the body removed to the D. M. Clark & Co. morgue.
Drake was 28 years of age and he had been braking for the M. & I. for two years off and on. He was a goodnatured jolly fellow and had friends galore among the railroad boys of the city. He was a very well known man. He has a brother, Guy Drake, who lives in East Brainerd. The relatives of the young man live in Wisconsin. Another brother makes his home in this city, but a short time ago he went to North Dakota to work in the harvest fields. He has been notified of the sad ending of his brother’s career.
On Monday Coroner Reimestead decided that an inquest was necessary and he impaneled the following gentlemen: P. G. Fogelstrom, J. A. McColl, Tony Smith, George Keene, William Murray and C. F. Anderson. The examination is being conducted in the morgue of D. M. Clark’s undertaking establishment.
Coroner Reimestead completed his investigation into the death of William T. Drake Monday afternoon and the jury rendered a verdict in effect that deceased came to his death on Sunday morning by an accident for which no one could be blamed, by being precipitated over the railing of the caboose of a Minnesota & International train. The jury was discharged.
The remains of the unfortunate young man were shipped last night to Menomonee, Wis., his old home where they will be interred. Guy Drake a brother of the deceased, accompanied the body east.
It is claimed that the brother of the deceased is slightly wrought up over the matter and the result may be that the relatives will decide on bringing a suit for damages against the railroad company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 2, c.’s 1 & 2)


Over One Thousand Took It In and It Was
Devoid of Accidents—Aitkin Won
the Ball Game.

The excursion to Bemidji given by Company F Sunday was about the biggest thing in that line that has ever been seen in these parts, the number going far exceeding anything of the kind attempted this summer. Over a thousand tickets had been sold before the train left the city and it is understood that there were about two hundred tickets disposed of on the train. Although the exact number of tickets sold has not been made known, it is thought that it will reach at least 1,250.
The train left shortly after 7 o’clock Sunday morning but did not arrive at Bemidji until after 11 o’clock, and on the return trip Brainerd was not reached this morning until after 12 o’clock. It was a tired looking crowd that got off the cars in this city, but the trip seems to have been enjoyed by a majority of those who went.
On the way home it is understood that the train broke in two one mile this side of Lakeport, but fortunately no damage was done and no one was injured. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 3, c. 3)


Minnesota & International Pressing on
Toward the Canadian Border—
Day and Night Crews.

From all appearances the Minnesota & International Railroad company intends to push their road building with all possible speed towards its Canadian terminus, says the Pioneer Press. The work has been at a standstill, practically, this summer owing to the wet and lack of men, and this road which should have been completed to Blackduck by July, has only been finished to three miles this side of Tenstrike, or twelve miles this side of Blackduck.
The spirit of indifference exhibited by the contractors has given the rival towns along the line great encouragement. Tenstrike has hoped to be the terminus or distributing point for the road this winter, and Blackduck has felt sure of that prosperity this winter, provided the road reached that far before snow flies. But now the contractors are working with new speed.
A day and night crew have been placed on the two cuts this side of Tenstrike and rails will probably be laid to that point within two weeks. Liberal wages and treatment is bringing in plenty of help. Over 200 men were brought up from Minneapolis last week. Contracts have been let for the cutting through of the right-of-way between Blackduck and Bridgie, and a crew of railroad engineers are engaged on the final work there. It is quite evident that the road will be pushed through to Bridgie if contractors can be found to do the work. It also is evident that unless the Minnesota & International hurries other roads will beat it to Koochiching. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 4, c. 2)


The Twin City and Duluth Whole-
salers Will Follow Lumber-
men Closely.


Some of the Best Land in the
State Along the Proposed
M. & I. Line.

It seems that the opening up of the northern Minnesota region by the construction of the Minnesota & International is drawing the attention of the wholesalers of Duluth and the Twin Cities and they will follow closely the lumbermen into the regions above mentioned, and there will be a great hustle for the trade. That the road being constructed will be a good thing for Brainerd and the other towns along the line there is not much doubt.
Immigration into the region to the northward of Bemidji has been very heavy during the past eight months and it is said that hundreds of homesteaders have been opened along the route of the road. Stations have already been established from Bemidji clear to Koochiching and townsites laid out. There is bound to be business where there is such an influx of settlers. So far it is claimed that the Minnesota & International company’s work has been of the most benefit to the counties of Aitkin and Cass. The development of both counties means a great deal to Duluth.
The Minneapolis papers hold that the opening of the new country should mean as much to Minneapolis as to Duluth, and that the new road is one that Minneapolis needs and one that should be utilized to the fullest extent. The new road starts from Brainerd, and Brainerd is 119 miles from Duluth and 127 miles from Minneapolis.
The development of northern Minnesota first as a lumbering country and afterwards as an agricultural country is going on clear up to the boundary east of Red Lake and west of the iron ranges, in general, but particularly along the line of the new road.
Rails have been laid on the new road fourteen miles east of Bemidji, and a regular tri-weekly train service has been inaugurated to Turtle Lake station. A contract was let for forty-one miles of construction work this season and the railroad company tried to let contracts for fifteen miles more but none of the contractors would accept the work because of the scarcity of labor. It is not likely that the grade will be far enough along to permit the laying of steel this season much beyond Blackduck, a new town on the proposed line and about twenty-five miles west of Bemidji.
Timbermen and land lookers who are acquainted with the nature of the country in the Rainy River valley region claim that inside the next ten years it will be one of he best agricultural regions of the state. The climate is milder than than in either the east or south, and it is said that there has never been a drought in the region.
The Minnesota & International road is expected to be completed northward to Koochiching by next year where it will connect with the new line of the Canadian Northern from Port Arthur to Winnipeg, and the new country will have an outlet to Manitoba and Lake Superior as well as to Duluth and the Twin Cities. The contractors on the new road are already constructing branch logging roads, the longest of which will be that from Turtle Lake north to Nebish to connect with a 12 mile logging road from Red Lake, that was recently transferred by the Halvorson & Richards company to the Northern Pacific company.
Red Lake is the largest body of water wholly in Minnesota and has an area of about 500 square miles. It lies in a wilderness now. The estimates of timbermen place the amount of timber available along the first twelve miles of the new road at 1,000,000,000 feet, and it will take the railroad company about five years to get it out.
The new railroad construction is booming Bemidji and the town is growing rapidly. Duluth is 181 miles from Bemidji, while Minneapolis is 219 miles. When the new road is completed, it will be 309 miles from Minneapolis to Koochiching and but 271 miles from Duluth to Koochiching. Thus Duluth will have the advantage in the matter of a shorter haul. Then, too, it takes half a day to travel from Duluth to Bemidji, while it takes a day’s travel from Minneapolis to the same point. The trade in the opposite directions is also half a day and a whole day respectively.
Men conversant with the conditions in the new country now being opened up predict that it will be a struggle for supremacy of trade between the Twin Cities and the head of the lakes wholesalers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 5, c.’s 4 & 5)

Last night Guy Winters had a very narrow escape, and as it was he came out with a very painful accident. He had climbed on top of the engine on the Minnesota & International to shut off the hopper. He got his hand caught somehow and his thumb was broken and his hand otherwise bruised. He will be laid up for some time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

Herbert Fuller arrived in the city this morning to take the position as mail clerk on the Minnesota & International. He will make his first trip over the line this afternoon, having left on the regular passenger going north. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1901, p. 8, c. 3)


Rails are Now Being Laid on the Min-
nesota & International Extension
Beyond Bemidji.

Monday the work of laying rails on the Minnesota & International extension between Tenstrike and Blackduck was resumed.
The work had to be stopped for a time on account of the scarcity of men, but now that the harvest is about over in the great grain belts the men are returning and the work will be pushed as rapidly as possible. It is expected that the part of road as far as Blackduck will be turned over to the operating department before snow flies. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1901, p. 2, c. 5)

Disastrous Fire at Bemidji De-
stroys M. & I. Roundhouse

The Minnesota & International suffered a severe loss that morning at Bemidji by the complete destruction of their roundhouse at that place by fire. The fire caught in the engine room somewhere and before the flames could be controlled the entire building went up in flames.
Two engines which were in the roundhouse at the time were burned, and the total loss to the company will be about $10,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1901, p. 6, c. 1)


The Annual Report of Business
on the M. & I. Shows
Up Well.


Net Income for the Year Over

The Minnesota & International Railway company has filed its annual report with the railroad and warehouse commission and it makes a very good showing for the road.
The road operated 98.28 miles in the state running between this city and Bemidji and closes its fiscal year with a surplus of $45,770.97. Its income from operations during the year was $144,673.08.
Gross earnings of the company, which is a Northern Pacific proprietary line, were $432,265.91, of which $263,685 was derived from freight traffic. Operating expenses were $287,695.83, or 66.5 per cent of its total earnings. Total deductions from the income account were $120,655, leaving a net income for the year of $23,998.
The road derived the greater part of its revenue from freight business, and during the year handled 943,602 tons at an average revenue of $0.521 a mile. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 3, c. 2)

The Minnesota & International railroad contractors are paying $2.25 per day for laborers, and yet cannot succeed in getting a sufficient number of men. The company wants to let the work of clearing the right of way between Blackduck and Bridgie—a $20,000 job—but can get no bidders, although willing to pay good prices for the work. It looks as if prosperity had struck the labor world when such a state of affairs exists.—Red Lake News. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 4, c. 6)

Hundred and Twenty
Million Logs.


The Local Work Now Demanding
Attention of the

The big logging contracts taken by the Minnesota & International early in the year to haul logs from the northern part of the state and along the line of road to Minneapolis have been completed and the season’s work has been very satisfactory all around. The road is now doing considerable local work and will be kept busy with this for a time.
It is but a short time ago that hauling logs by rail was inaugurated, but this mode of traffic has grown to be a great industry. This season the Minnesota & International alone has hauled about 120,000,000 feet of logs to the Twin Cities, and has completed all the contracts which were entered into with large logging firms.
General Manager Gemmell is negotiating for the hauling of several more million feet before it freezes up and these contracts will probably be made in a day or two. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 5, c. 4)


The Season Has Been a Very Good
One for Large Logging


In the Drives Now Out there is
About Forty Million

The big drives from the country north of Brainerd are all out, with the exception of one or two which will probably be froze in on White Fish Lake.
The season has been a very good one and the big logging firms are very well satisfied with the outcome.
The drives that have reached the Mississippi river are designated as follows: The Eagle Lake, in which several firms are interested, J. M. Quinn and Bonness & Howe. There are included in these drives 40,000,000 feet of logs and this number is considered a good year’s run.
The logs that will be hung up for the winter are designated as the Nelson-Tenney and the Mud Brook-Little Pine river drives and the logs will probably remain in White Fish Lake during the winter.
In these two drives in the White Fish Lake there are something like 12,000,000 feet of logs. These logs are owned by different firms. Bonness & Howe of this city have something like 4,000,000 in the Mud Brook-Little Pine river drive. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 6, c. 1)

Car No. 5, a new passenger coach for the Minnesota & International, arrived in the city this afternoon and it will be added to the regular passenger train on this line, the passenger business demanding an addition of one more car. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 3)

David Billadeau returned this morning from Bemidji where he has been working for some time for the M. & I., in the hoisting crew. Yesterday he had the misfortune to plunge a peavey into one of his feet, and he will have to lay off for some time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 5)


Besides the One Hundred and Twenty
Million Feet of Logs Already Hauled
the Road Will Transport More.

The Minnesota & International has closed a contract with the Backus-Brooks company for the hauling of 4,000,000 feet of logs to Minneapolis this fall. This will keep the mills of the company running until the close of the season.
The work will commence at once and many of the logs will be hauled to the new mill at that place. The road has handled 120,000,000 feet of logs for the Minneapolis lumbermen this season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1901, p. 2, c. 2)


On the M. & I. Contract to Haul Logs to
Minneapolis—Contract for 6,
000,000 Feet.

The first train of logs under the new contract taken by the Minnesota & International will pass through this city either this evening or tomorrow morning. The road has taken a contract to haul 6,000,000 feet more this season for firms in Minneapolis.
General Manager Gemmell has disposed of all the short cars which have been used for transporting logs, 100 in number, to the Georgetown & Western Ry. The M. & I. will use the regular “flats” in the future, having found the dinky cars inadequate for the purpose for which they were built. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1901, p. 1, c. 4)

General Manager Gemmell of the Minnesota & International announced that commencing with October 15 a new way freight will be put on between this city and Bemidji. The train will leave Brainerd going north at 9:30 a. m. Another feature will be a mixed train on the same line between Bemidji and Turtle Lake, commencing October 15. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1901, p. 8, c. 3)


The Minnesota & International
Has Finally Completed
Season’s Work.


Feet of Logs Have Been Trans-
ported to Brainerd, Minneapolis, Stillwater.

The Minnesota & International yesterday completed its season’s work of hauling logs under contract with different firms in Minneapolis and Stillwater, and also with firms in this city.
The road has transported in all about 130,000,000 feet of logs, being more by one-half almost than was transported last year. All these logs have not gone to Minneapolis and Stillwater. Train after train load were brought to this city and dumped into the river at this point.
The logging trains and hoisting crews will be at work for a short time now picking up the logs along the way that have fallen from the cars. It cannot be estimated how long this will take, but it is not expected that it will take over a week or ten days.
General Manager Gemmell left last night for St. Paul to interview the large lumbering interests there. Mr. Gemmell is very much pleased over the season’s work in the logging line and the experiment of hauling by rail has proven a success in every particular. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 1, c. 5)


While the Tender of His Engine was Being
Loaded with Coal a Large
Chunk Hit Him.

This morning Engineer J. H [sic]. Hallett sustained quite a severe scalp wound while the tender to his engine on the passenger of the Minnesota & International was being loaded with coal north of the city. He had descended from his engine and was doing some work underneath where the coal was being loaded. Quite a large chunk fell, hitting him on top of the head and for a few minutes he was dazed.
The fireman had to run the engine to the city, and on arriving here Mr. Hallett was removed at once to his home and Dr. Camp called. While the wound is quite bad it is not at all serious. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 November 1901, p. 2, c. 4)

Work on the M. & I. is going along more swiftly now since the frost has taken some of the slop out of the ground. Grading is done more easily. Between Tenstrike and Blackduck, about five miles is ready for the ties, including the crossing of Erickson lake. There are three or four large cuts to tackle, and it is said that there is only about two hundred rods of the right of way upon which no work at all has been done except the clearing.—Bemidji Pioneer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1901, p. 7, c. 3)


Yesterday about 3 p. m. the passenger going north of the Minnesota & International struck a farmer, by the name of D. S. Borden who lives near Merrifield.
The man was walking on the track going north and did not hear the approaching train. He was thrown thirty feet in the air. The train stopped and the injured man was brought back to Brainerd and taken to the Northern Pacific Sanitarium. His injuries are very serious. He had a leg and four ribs broken, and suffered severe internal injuries. He will probably die. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1901, p. 1, c. 6)


Brakeman Injured Yesterday at
the Landing Near the Mill
is Dead.


Deceased was a Young Man in
Prime of Life, Son of Martin

The accident which befell John A. Bridgeman, a brakeman for the Minnesota & International, brief mention of which was made in the DAILY DISPATCH of yesterday, was one of the most painful in the catalogue of fatalities in this city for a long time, and the young man, not being able to withstand the horrible shock, died at the Northern Pacific Sanitarium last night at 8:30 o’clock.
Young Bridgeman was a brakeman on the M. & I. and has engaged recently in working on logging trains. Yesterday afternoon he came down the line on a logging train and when the accident occurred he was assisting in switching the logging cars onto the landing on the north side of the river. He was standing on a car when going over the bridge across the river and in some manner his foot slipped and he fell to the track. Twenty-four cars are said to have gone over both his legs and when the unfortunate young man was found both members were severed from the body. It was also seen that there was a wound on the head, which later upon investigation, was found to be a very bad one, his skull having been fractured. He was otherwise mangled about the head and body and the wonder is that he did not die immediately.
Deceased is a son of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Bridgeman, who live at the mill. He was twenty-four years of age and had been working for the M. & I. for about a year and a half. He is well known in this city and has scores of friends.
The blow was a severe one to his parents, who seem to have their share of sorrow.
After the accident happened yesterday afternoon the man was removed to the Northern Pacific Sanitarium. A hurried examination brought forth the fact that the boy could not live much over two hours and sure enough he died between eight and nine o’clock. The remains were this morning moved to the undertaking establishment of Losey & Dean and this afternoon to the home of the late brakeman.
The funeral will be held on Thursday morning at 9 o’clock at St. Francis church. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 1903, p. 3, c. 3)


Freight Train Derailed Two Miles Beyond
Merrifield and Passenger
is Held Up.

There was a wreck on the Minnesota & International yesterday afternoon, which caused considerable damage to rolling stock and greatly inconvenienced a large number of people who were enroute north along the line.
A freight train in charge of Conductor Hall, bound north, was derailed about two miles north of Merrifield, ten cars were piled in a heap and the track was torn up for a long distance. All the trainmen managed to escape without injury, although they were rather severely jolted. For some reason or other the rails spread at this point and the cars that were huddled together were nearly in the center of the train. Fraser Smith was on the engine, but neither he nor the fireman were in the least injured.
The wreck occurred before the regular north bound passenger passed over this point and it caused quite an inconvenience to the large number of passengers enroute north. The passenger left Brainerd on scheduled time but the wreck occurred just before she reached Merrifield. The passenger was backed down to Brainerd again and was held here until nearly 6 o'clock this a. m. until the debris could be cleared away.
Conductor Hall and the rest of the crew arrived in the city about noon after clearing the debris away. The train due to reach Brainerd at 11:55 did not reach Brainerd this afternoon until nearly 3 o’clock. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 June 1903, p. 3, c. 2)


The passenger rate on the Cass Lake division of the Great Northern has been reduced to three cents in conformity with the rate established by the Minnesota & International on July 1. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 July 1903, p. 3, c. 2)


Jury Brought in a Verdict this
Afternoon in Case of Abra-
ham John vs M. & I.


Plaintiff Was Hurt While Employ-
ed by the Railroad Company
at Landing Near Dam

Late this afternoon the jury in the case of Abraham John vs. the Minnesota & International Ry., brought in a verdict of $750 in favor of the plaintiff.
The plaintiff sued the company for personal injuries sustained while he was working at the landing near the dam on August 29 last. As he was unloading a car of logs he was caught and pinioned between two logs and was quite badly hurt about the legs, body and shoulders. Attorneys Polk & Polk appeared for the plaintiff and Attorney Hollister, of Duluth, appeared for the defendant company. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 December 1903, p. 3, c. 4)


Brakeman on Minnesota & International
Rescues Drunken Woodsman from
Instant Death

John Clulow, the brakeman on the southbound passenger on the M. & I. this morning, may railroad for the next twenty years and not have as narrow an escape from death as he had this morning, when by his presence of mind he saved a drunken woodsman from having his life crushed out beneath the wheels of the passenger train as it was backing into the depot siding.
The exits of the cars and the steps were crowded and Clulow was doing everything he could to keep the crowd back. One of them was a woodsman much in red liquor. He had gained a position on the last step of the second smoker and was lurching in the most dangerous manner when he first attracted the attention of the crowd on the depot platform. Clulow stood behind him. Finally the lumberman lost his hold. The brakeman grabbed him and both rolled between the platform and the coach. Clulow landed on top of the woodsman, kicked one of his feet from the track and held him fast until the train had stopped. The bystanders on the platform threw up their hands in horror and turned away confidently expecting both to be crushed to death. There was visible relief when both got up uninjured.—Bemidji Pioneer (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 January 1904, p. 3, c. 2)


Minnesota & International Officials Claim
That the Log Hauling Business is
Looming Up Good.

Officials of the Minnesota & International railway company report that they are agreeably surprised with the log hauling business as it is opening up. They are doing as much, they say, as they were a year ago now and the prospects are bright for a good season’s run. The company has increased its forces some and will continue to keep the same nearly all the year. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 January 1904, p. 3, c. 3)


Party of N. P. Officials and Officials of
M. & I. Return From the North Sun-
day Afternoon.

The party of N. P. officials and the M. & I. officials who went north on the Minnesota & International on Saturday evening, returned Sunday afternoon at 4 o’clock, having inspected every foot of the line by daylight. This was the first trip of President Elliott over the line and he expressed himself as very much pleased with the prospects of making this one of the most important roads of the entire N. P. system.
“I was agreeably surprised,” said Mr. Elliott on his return, “to find so many thriving little villages along the way, which give evidence that the territory tapped by the Minnesota & International railway is productive and the future for those who have cast their lot along this line should be bright. Much of the country yet to be reached by the M. & I. will be equally as good if not better.”
Included in this party was President Howard Elliott, A. F. Mitchell, superintendent of motive power, E. G. Pearson, acting chief engineer and H. E. Still, general freight agent, all of the Northern Pacific and General Manager W. H. Gemmell, Auditor M. W. Downie and Superintendent W. H. Strachan, of of the M. & I. Dr. W. Courtney, of the N. P Sanitarium, went along as a guest of General Manager Gemmell. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 March 1904, p. 3, c. 3)


Backus-Brooks Company Interest-
ed in Extension of M. & I.
to International Falls


And a Dam Will be Built that
Will Cost in the Neighbor-
hood of $300,000.

Lyman W. Ayer, of Belle Prairie, a veteran timber estimator and explorer, has returned from the north, and in an interview gave some further particulars of the improvement that are to be made on the Rainy River at Koochiching and Fort Francis.
“It is understood that the Backus-Brooks syndicate, which has secured water power rights at Koochiching and Ft. Francis also owns 30 per cent of the Minnesota & International road, which is heading from Bemidji for the Rainy River,” said Mr. Ayer, “and the Northern Pacific own the other 70 per cent.
“Now that the Backus-Brooks people have completed their negotiations with the Canadian government in regard to water power rights, they are preparing to at once go ahead with their proposed improvements for the development of the power. The dam to be built will alone cost $300,000, and vast quantities of material for the development of the power and for the construction of plants by associate companies will be used.
“In order to get a direct railroad into the Rainy River country for the delivery of the material, the Minnesota & International road is to be pushed through to completion this season. The associate plants to be established are paper and pulp mills. The construction of the railroad is going to open up communication with a new territory naturally tributary to the head of the lakes. It is 65 miles from the end of the line to the Rainy River. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 March 1904, p. 3, c. 3)


On the Minnesota & International During
the Summer as Several Logging
Trains Will Be Put On

The Minnesota & International Railway company will have a rather busy summer if present indications are a criterion. Several trains will be put on at once to haul logs for the Brainerd Lumber company of this city and also for other companies down the line which were not able to get in all their logs this spring. The logs will be brought to Brainerd in large quantities so that the Brainerd mill will be supplied from now on until it freezes up. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 May 1904, p. 2, c. 4)


Wednesday Afternoon Things Looked
Serious on the Different Lines
Leading to Brainerd.

On account of the heavy rains and the high water resulting therefrom railroad men are experiencing some rather hard times these days. The Minnesota & International has been most seriously affected by the high water. There were two washouts up the line yesterday and the passengers did not get down until after 3 o’clock. The most serious washout was at Jenkins. A stub train was run up from Brainerd to meet the regular passenger at Jenkins. This morning the report comes that there is a washout near Crow Wing and that while trains may pass over the track there is some danger. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 July 1905, p. 3, c. 2)

The Minnesota & International railway will sell tickets during the summer for one fare for the round trip to all points on the line, good going Saturday and returning Monday. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 July 1905, p. 3, c. 2)


Of the Extension of the Minnesota & In-
ternational North of Northome has
been Constructed

Supt. Strachan returned Saturday afternoon from the north where he has been looking after the work on the construction of the new extension from Northome to Ripple on the Minnesota & International. Mr. Strachan stated that 14 miles of the road has been laid already and if the present weather continues for about two weeks the balance of the 32 miles will be about completed. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 November 1905, p. 3, c. 2)

11 August 1906. Wm. Wood and A. D. Polk have secured the site of the old M. & I. shops adjoining the Brainerd Lumber company’s land to put in a lath mill and manufacture box lumber. Mr. Wood expects to go to the Cities in a few days and secure the machinery. They expect the plant to be ready for business in a couple of months. It will employ from 20 to 25 men on the day shift and 30 to 40 when running night and day. (Brainerd 25 Years Ago, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 August 1931, p. 2, c. 3)


President Elliott, of the North-
ern Pacific Accompanied by
Other Officers


In Company with General Man-
ager Gemmell and Supt.
Strachan of the M. & I.

President Howard Elliott, of the Northern Pacific railroad company, arrived in the city last night as stated in yesterday’s DISPATCH. He was accompanied by Wm. Moir, mechanical superintendent of the system, by W. H. Gemmell, private secretary to President Elliott and general manager of the Minnesota & International railroad and E. D. Clark, stenographer to President W. W. Backus, of Minneapolis, was also with the party as the guest of President Elliott.
The gentlemen spent a large portion of the forenoon inspecting the improvements under progress at the shops and also visited the hospital and tie plant. The party left shortly after noon today for Big Falls on a special accompanied by Supt. Strachan in his private car.
The special was in charge of Conductor Coppersmith, who will remain over at Big Falls until Monday when he will bring down his regular train, while Conductor Bush, who came down on No. 30, doubled back on No. 31 and will bring the special down Sunday, reaching here probably about noon. Wm. Moir, who came up with Mr. Elliott, did not go north with the party, but returned to St. Paul, going via Staples.
When seen by a DISPATCH representative President Elliott, who was on the point of leaving, said that he had nothing of especial interest to give out. The company was, he said striving to get all the contemplated improvements at the shops completed this season, but such work always dragged. The party visited the foundry this forenoon, going over the situation as to the needs of that branch of the work, but gave out no statement as to what was intended regarding a new building.
In a recent interview given the St. Paul Dispatch, President Elliott had the following to say regarding the conditions the coming summer and as to the possible car shortage and the improvements in trackage proposed:
“We are doing everything possible to insure good traffic facilities this year. The work on the double-tracking and side-tracking is going on as rapidly as possible, and our terminal facilities are being increased to handle greater business. We are getting new cars and locomotives as quickly as they can be turned out. Other preparations are being made from the results of last year’s experience.
“I do not look for trouble again this year, either from an inability to move all of the grain and merchandise, or from a coal shortage.
“Especial efforts will be made this year to prevent any difficulty because of a coal shortage and I do not think that there will be any trouble from that source. The facilities in the Twin Cities and at the docks in Duluth and other points are being greatly enlarged. Arrangements are being made to have the cars of coal deposited at various western stations without delay, and this summer we will do everything in our power to induce consumers to get their coal orders in as early as possible. If they will order their coal before the season opens for transporting grain there will not be any danger of a shortage.
“By this time it is generally understood that the shortage last year was due to lack of trackage and facilities. The growth of the west was greater than we could keep pace with. We are now preparing for this, however, by double-tracking our lines as much as possible, and especially in the vital points. If we had double-trackage all the way we could more than quadruple our business.
“At present work is being rushed on double-tracking the system, between Casselton and Staples, about 130 miles. There is now a double-track from St. Cloud to this junction, so by autumn we will have double-tracked the most vital part of the line. Double-track work is also in progress at various places around Valley City, and several other points will be improved. The number of spurs will be doubled in the state, thus making greater facilities because more trains can pass each other on the line.
“We have added a great number of new cars to our equipment as well as a large number of locomotives, so in this line, the Northern Pacific will be able to handle a great deal more business than they could have done last year.”
Mr. Elliott stated that he expected to have the Northern Pacific a double-tracked road clear to the Pacific coast within a few years.
“Of course,” he said, “this will take a great deal of time, as we can only go a certain distance every year.”
When asked if he believed electricity was the motive power of the future, Mr. Elliott said: “That is almost too far ahead to speak of. We will have to endeavor to get our road in condition to handle all the business as it is just at present, but I have little doubt but what in time electric motors will be installed. It may be within a short time or it may be years.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 May 1907, p. 3, c.’s 3 & 4)


Assistant General Manager Kline of
Northern Pacific Joined President
Elliott Here Sunday

Brainerd seems to have been the mecca of all good Northern Pacific railroad men the past few days. First came President Elliott and party, including Mechanical Superintendent Wm. Moir, who returned to St. Paul from Brainerd Saturday noon. Assistant General Manager Kline came in from Staples on No. 14 Sunday morning and joined President Elliott and party here on their return from their trip over the Minnesota & International. The entire party, in a special train consisting of a combination baggage and the private cars of President Elliott and Mr. Kline went to St. Paul Sunday afternoon under the charge of Conductor Jernegan, with Emory Scott at the throttle.
Supt. E. C. Blanchard came down from Duluth this noon, going through to Staples and returning on No. 12. He will remain here until tomorrow morning when he will go to Duluth on No. 14. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 May 1907, p. 3, c. 4)


Oldest Employee of the Minnesota
& International Passed Away
at His Home


Mr. Hallett was Well Known and
Universally Liked Through-
out the City

“Si Hallett is Dead,” were the words that were passed from mouth-to-mouth shortly before noon today, and always with an intonation denoting personal sorrow and loss. Mr. J. M. Hallett was one of those with whom all men were friends and whose open-hearted joviality caused him to be affectionately called by his abbreviated given name as naturally as it is for others to be addressed formally. Death was caused by Bright’s disease, he having been sick for two or three months.
Josiah M. Hallett was born in Oakland, Me., April 1, 1856. He was married in Dover, Maine, November 15, 1879, to Hattie Emma Lanpher, who survives to mourn him. To them were born two daughters, one of whom died in infancy and the other is Mrs. Mabel, wife of P. G. Clarkson, of Duluth.
In April 1880 Mr. Hallett came to Minnesota, settling at Gull River, where he was employed as a steamboat engineer for the old Northern Lumber company. When they decided ot build their Gull Lake railroad, in 1889 or 1900, which was the forerunner of the Minnesota & International, he was in charge of the work of building a temporary track from Sylvan to Gull to take over the first locomotive, and has been with the company ever since. He worked as fireman during the following winter and the next spring running a logging locomotive for the Gull Lake logging road. He pulled the first train of logs ever brought into Brainerd and pulled the first regular train into every terminal the Minnesota & International. He was the oldest man in point of service on the road in any department, and was a man who counted his fellow employees as his friends and was very popular with them all.
He was a member of several of the Masonic bodies having taken the Knights Templar degrees but a few weeks before he was taken sick. He was also a member of the B. P. O. E. and also of the Royal Arcanum. He will be laid to rest in Evergreen cemetery with full Masonic honors, the Elks and Royal Arcanum attending also as escorts in in all probability. The funeral will be at the Congregational church at 3 o’clock Friday afternoon.
Besides his widow, daughter and her husband and brother Lee, who were at his bedside when death came, he has a sister, Mrs. Olive Stevens, and two brothers, Elias and Howard Hallett, living in Maine. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 July 1907, p. 3, c. 1)


The Minnesota & International is now putting into service the last of a hundred box cars built for that road in St. Louis. These are the first box cars ever owned by the road, it having depended upon the Northern Pacific for its supply heretofore. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 July 1907, p. 3, c. 2)


Dennis O’Neil, a Homesteader, Was
Struck by a Freight on the M.
& I. Last Night

Dennis O’Neil, a homesteader living near Punk lake was instantly killed by an extra freight on the Minnesota & International last night. He is said to have been intoxicated and laid down on the track to sleep. The accident occurred near Blackduck, and only meager particulars have been received by the officials of the railroad here. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 August 1907, p. 3, c. 1)


W. H. Gemmell Arrived with His
Private Car Friday Night and
is Arranging Office


Has Very Pleasant Office in the
Rooms Formerly Occupied
by the Public Library

W. H. Gemmell, general manager of the Minnesota & International railroad arrived in the city today, and with the assistance of Mr. Harry Graham, of President Elliott’s office, is arranging his office today. He is very pleasantly located in the rooms in the northwest corner of the second story of the depot building and seems glad to get back to Brainerd.
His private car, No. 50, came up last night and is now in charge of George Todd, a colored man, who has been porter to Assistant Superintendent Kline’s car for the past two years. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 August 1907, p. 3, c. 1)


Engineer De Mueles Injured by
Jumping from Engine and Strik-
ing Log Pile


Was Brought to This City Monday and Taken to the Hospital
—Improving Nicely

A couple of light engines came together early Monday morning on the Big Falls and International Falls railroad above the former town. Henry L. De Mueles who was on one engine, was hit by Harry Bridgeman’s engine, which was in charge of the night watchman at the time. De Mueles’ engine was struck on the side and as she began to tip he jumped, landing in a sitting position on a pile of ties fifteen feet below the cab. He was badly jarred and it was thought at first that he was badly injured, but he was brought to this city and placed in the Northern Pacific hospital. Reports from there are that he is not seriously hurt and will soon be out. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 September 1907, p. 2, c. 4)

It is expected that regular train service to the border over the M. & I. will be established about October 1st, according to the advices sent out from International Falls. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 September 1907, p. 2, c. 2)


Depot Buildings on the Minnesota &
International Extension are
Nearly Ready

The work on the depots along the line of the Big Falls extension of the M. & I. are being rapidly pushed to completion. They will all be ready for business, it is thought, by the time the ballasting is completed. The ballasting is also progressing as rapidly as is possible in view of the scarcity of help, but the passenger service will be put on the first of November as was hoped for. It is probable that it will be about the middle of the month, though the date has not yet been definitely decided upon. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 October 1907, p. 3, c. 3)


Attempted to Board Moving
Freight Train at Big Falls
This Morning


Name Was Louis Bentke and
Little is Known of Him—
Thought to be Lumber Jack

Word was received at the Minnesota & International railroad headquarters here today of the killing of Louis Bentke, at Big Falls this morning. Bentke, according to the advices received at headquarters was drunk, having fallen down twice between the hotel and depot. He attempted to board the local freight, No. 46, of which Conductor Griffin was in charge, while the train was in motion. He fell between the cars and his body was severed in twain, causing instant death. He was almost unknown but is thought at the railroad headquarters to have been a lumber jack. the accident occurred at about 9 o’clock. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 December 1907, p. 5, c. 3)


Unknown Man Crawled Under
Coach at Kelliher and Laid
His Head on the Rail


Tried to Board No. 30 at Black-
duck Friday Night and Fell
Under Wheels

Last night was a bad night for lumberjacks on the Minnesota & International railroad. One named Jefferies attempted to board the north bound passenger at Blackduck while drunk and fell under the wheels. His feet were badly mangled and he will probably be obliged to undergo amputation.
An unknown lumberjack crawled under the coach at Funckley this morning and evidently laid his head on the rail, deliberately committing suicide. It was dark at the time and none of the train crew saw him, but after the train started he was found with his head severed from his body. A passenger had seen him crawl under there, but supposed it was a train man fixing the air line or something and paid no further attention to him. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 December 1907, p. 3, c. 3)

New Territory Opened by M. & I.

Not the least of the good things which has come to Brainerd during the year 1907 has been the opening up of much new territory tributary to this city by the completion of the Minnesota & International railroad to the Canadian border at International Falls. The road was opened to traffic to Littlefork in August and regular passenger service to International Falls was inaugurated on December 3.
Another great benefit growing out of the extension of the Minnesota & International railroad was the removal of the office of General Manager W. H. Gemmel and his office force from St. Paul back to Brainerd which took place August first. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 December 1907, p. 3, c. 3)

The Minnesota & International passenger train was two hours and a half late in arriving from the north today. A log rolled off a car at Funkley and rolled onto the track derailing three cars of logs, blocking the track and delaying the passenger train. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 January 1908, p. 3, c. 2)

Conductor J. W. Bush came in from his run Saturday almost sick with the grippe. He was not able to go out today and Conductor Moerke took No. 30 out in his stead. “Bill” says he would not make another trip feeling as he did for the whole of the Minnesota & International railroad. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 1908, p. 2, c. 3)


General Manager Gemmell and
Supt. Strachan Returned
Tuesday Night

Continued Soft Weather Will
Mean Untold Loss to Lum-
ber Interests

General Manager Gemmell and Superintendent Strachan, of the Minnesota & International railroad returned last night from a trip up the line, having been at International Falls Tuesday. Mr. Gemmel stated this morning that they met a number of the leading lumbermen of that section while on the trip and that those gentlemen were getting pretty badly worried over the continued warm weather. It is a pretty serious problem which confronts them, especially those dependent upon snow roads, and a continuation of the warm weather would mean a disastrous reduction in the output. Mr. Gemmell, therefore was much pleased to observe the cold wave flag out this morning.
Mr. Gemmell and Mr. Strachan drove to Rainier Tuesday morning and took a trip down over the Duluth & Rainy River railroad. Mr. Gemmell states that they have a fine road, though there will have to be considerable work done on the road bed in the spring. They, like other roads are having a light business in the spring.
W. W. Backus, the promoter of the water power company at International Falls, is expected in this city tomorrow on his way to that place and it is hoped that the coming presages a renewal of work on the dam in the early spring. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 January 1908, p. 3, c. 1)


Miscreants Disconnected Switch
and Removed Fish Plate
Belts and Spikes


Had Train Been Derailed at
Switch it Would Have Been
Plunged Into Swamp

Wreck of M & I Engine No. 13 on 05 June 1908
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The passengers on the special from International Falls had a narrow escape from death at the hands of dastardly train wreckers about a mile and a half north of Nisswa Monday. The train was bowling along about twenty miles an hour when the engine struck a loose rail and after careering along on the ties and tearing up the track for about four car lengths, plunged nose on into the bank on the east side of the cut. The engine, No. 13, tipped half way over against the side of the cut and the baggage car was left in about the same position. The day smoker and day coach were also derailed and tilted up, the sleeper stopping just on the end of the solid track. Supt. Strachan’s business car, the No. 50, was on the rear end of the train, but remained on the rails.
Charles Horn, who was running as baggage man, and who was lying on some trunks asleep, was thrown against the side of the car, with the baggage on top of him. He received a nasty cut over the eye and had his side, shoulder and knee bruised, but is able to be around today. Engineer O. W. Merwin and Fireman Matt Williams, both stuck to their posts and escaped injury, and no one except Horn was hurt.
That the derailment was the work of wreckers was shown beyond a question as soon as daylight appeared. The fish plates of the joint where the derailment took place were found lying out by the whistling post, which stood nearly opposite the joint. One of the bolts of the plate was found with the nut turned off and not a sign of stripping of the threads as would have been the case had the bolts been in place when the wreck occurred, even had the nut been off at that time. It was also found that the ties had been cut into with an axe and the spikes driven clear of the rails. Had the train gone toward the loose rail, as it might have been expected to do, instead of going in the other direction and forcing the rail with it, the train must have gone over an embankment.
Nor is that all; about 500 feet back of where the wreck occurred there is a switch to what is known as the sinkhole spur. This switch was found, later in the morning, to have been disconnected. The train trailed this switch safely and remained on the track, but how it did so is a mystery to railroad men. Had the train been derailed at the switch it must almost inevitably have gone over the bank into the sinkhole, a swamp of almost unknown depth. That it could have done that and any person aboard escaped serious injury, if not death, is hardly possible.
There were about 65 passengers on the train at the time, and a large number, nearly if not quite half, were residents of Brainerd. The results of the derailment at the switch would have been too awful to contemplate.
The only possible motive which can be assigned is spite, and the railroad officials are at a loss for a clue to the guilty parties. Had he been caught by the passengers that morning there would have been summary vengeance dealt out to him.
The wreck was fortunate in many ways. Mr. Harmer, repair man for the Northwest telephone company, was on board with his repair and tapping outfit along, and within a very few minutes after the accident Superintendent Strachan was talking with Train Dispatcher Carleton at Brainerd and had notified him of the occurrence. The line was not working well, however, and there being a telegraph outfit in Conductor Coppersmith’s kit, Mr. Harmer climbed the telegraph wires and soon had the instrument cut in. It was then an easy matter for Mr. Strachan to get things moving. M. & I. engine No. 7, was ordered out and with the equipment of the N. P. train No. 10, due to leave Brainerd for the Twin Cities at 5:45 a. m. was soon on its way to the scene of the wreck, accompanied by Chief Dispatcher Warner. In the mean time the big wrecker from Bemidji had also been ordered out immediately after Mr. Strachan got in touch with the operators. The train from Brainerd arrived in a short time and the passengers and baggage were transferred, those going to the Twin Cities getting out of here only about three-quarters of an hour late. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1908, p. 7, c. 1)


(News Tribune Special)
BRAINERD, Minn., Feb. 10.—Superintendent Strachan, of the Minnesota & International railroad, fully agrees with the answer to the old conundrum, "What is better than the presence of mind in a railroad accident?" The answer is "absence of body." Mr. Strachan intended going north in the company's business car attached to the No. 31 Tuesday afternoon, but changed his mind and postponed his trip. When the train was standing taking water at Walker on its way north it was struck by Engine No. 13 which was pulling the north-bound local freight, Engineer Stillings being at the throttle.  The freight [train] was following the passenger [train] and because of the snow storm Mr. Stillings was unable to see the passenger train until too close upon it to stop his train until it struck.  The draw-head on the rear coach, was smashed and the draw-bar pulled out of the mail car.  Fortunately no one was hurt.  Had the business car, which is very light, been on the rear of the passenger train there is little doubt that it would have been crushed and some of the occupants injured if not killed.
The same evening a log fell from a car at Turtle River and broke a switch, derailing several cars. Little money damage, however, was done and passenger traffic was not delayed.(Duluth News-Tribune, 11 Feb 1909)

ASKS THE M. & I. $50,000

Typewriter Salesman Says He Was
Injured at Bemidji While Get-
ting Off Train in Dark

The Minnesota & International railroad was Friday made defendant in a $50,000 damage suit by John C. Watson, who claims to have been permanently disabled by falling between the steps of a passenger coach and the station platform at Bemidji, August 11 last.
Watson is a typewriter salesman, twenty-four years old. His complaint states that he boarded a passenger train at International Falls and that while alighting in the dark at the Bemidji depot he fell between the platform and the cars and sustained injuries which have permanently disabled him. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 January 1910, p. 3, c. 2)


Minnesota & International Train
From the North had Bad
Luck Last Night

The south bound passenger train on the Minnesota & International railroad, en route from International Falls had a series of minor accidents last night. The engine out of International Falls broke down near Northome and it was necessary to requisition a freight engine to bring the train to Bemidji. About 2 o’clock this morning, at Cyphers, a “blind siding” between Hackensack and Walker, the tank trucks jumped the track damaging the track so badly that it was necessary to get the section men out to repair it, and delaying the train about six hours more. It was necessary for a passenger brakeman to walk to Walker to notify the dispatcher and secure the necessary aid. None of the coaches were derailed. The train arrived here about 10:36 this forenoon. The northbound train was delayed somewhat awaiting the repairs to the track. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 February 1910, p. 3, c. 4)


Change in Handling M. & I. Traffic
Will Take Place Soon—Train
Service the Same

The Little Falls Transcript says:
A change which is soon to take place in the handling of part of the Minnesota & International traffic will take A. E. Wheeler, who has been in charge of the local baggage room, from the city. Mr. Wheeler has been secured as an additional baggage messenger and will run from St. Paul to International Falls. As soon as his successor has become acquainted with the work in the local depot, Mr. Wheeler will commence work on the road and at that time the messengers will commence running straight through.
In accordance with the present system the messengers as well as the train crew run only from this city to International Falls and part of the train equipment is secured from trains 15 and 16. Under the new system, the messengers will run straight through from International Falls to the Cities. The train service will, however, remain the same according to the present plans and the north bound train will receive part of its equipment from No. 15, while the in-going train will transfer part of its equipment to No. 16. The change will also effect Alvah Longley of this city, who is messenger on the Minnesota & International run.
After May 1 it is planned to make the International Falls run a daily one rather than six days a week as at present. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 April 1910, p. 1, c. 2)


Wm. Moody, of this City Was Ser-
iously Injured by Falling Off
the Cars

William Moody of 812 Northeast Eleventh street, a young brakeman employed by the Minnesota and International railway, fell off a freight car while switching at Walker, Minn., at 11 o’clock last Saturday morning.
A heavy gale was blowing from Leech lake, making footing on the cars extremely precarious and this may have tended to make him lose his balance and pitch off the car. He fell face downward on the track, striking between the ties. He was promptly taken to the hospital at Walker and as Dr. F. L. Wilcox was absent the resident physician at the State Sanatorium for consumptives, Dr. Marclay, was summoned. It was at first said that his head was crushed and that his condition was serious. He was removed to his home in Brainerd, where it was found his injuries were not as serious as first reported and that he will come through all right. He was unconscious for a while. His head bears several gashes, one eye is black and closed and he is otherwise badly bruised. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1910, p. 3, c. 2)


Commencing May 29th, Passenger
Trains Nos. 33 and 34 Will be
Run Daily

On Sunday, May 29th, the new time card will take effect under which trains Nos. 33 and 34 of the Minnesota & International railway will be run “daily” instead of “daily except Sunday,” as at present.
The northbound train will leave St. Paul at 8:15 p. m., arrives at Brainerd at 12:55 a. m. and departs at 1:05 a. m.; Bemidji 4:40 a. m.; Turtle River 5:09 a. m.; Tenstrike 5:25 a. m.; Blackduck 5:47 a. m.; Funkley 6:05 a. m.; Northome 6:27 a. m.; Mizpah 6:29 a. m.; Gemmell 6:48 a. m.; Margie 7:09 a. m.; Big Falls 7:26 a. m.; Littlefork 8:03 a. m.; and arrives at International Falls at 8:25 a. m.
The southbound train will leave International Falls at 6:40 p. m.; Littlefork 7:12 p. m.; Big Falls 7:49 p. m.; Margie 8:06 p. m.; Gemmell 8:27 p. m.; Mizpah 8:36 p. m.; Northome 8:48 p. m.; Funkley 9:10 p. m.; Blackduck 9:28 p. m.; Tenstrike 9:50 p. m.; Turtle River 10:06 p. m.; and arrive at Bemidji at 10:35 p. m., and at Brainerd at 2:10 a. m. and leaves at 2:20 a. m., reaching St. Paul at 7:25 a. m. as at present.
This change in service is given to enable Twin City patrons and others from the east and south to spend the weekend in the northern territory fishing and enjoying the outings on the lakes in the regions covered by the Minnesota and International railway and still be able to reach the Twin Cities in time for business on Monday morning.
Pike fishing is great this season and the bass, so the game wardens assert, will be the most plentiful northern Minnesota has ever seen. A Twin City man who has never caught a bass in northern Minnesota waters has missed the most exciting and exhilarating sport he has ever dreamed of. Business cares may have kept him away before but the new train will enable him to fish, catch his bass and be at his desk in the cities on a Monday morning with the greatest fish story any northwest editor could possible imagine. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 May 1910, p. 2, c. 5)

Jos. McGivern Killed Thursday
Neck Broken by Fall from Car while Switching at Little Fork
A Popular M. & I. Employee
Son of Barney McGivern, Staples
Has relatives in Brainerd, Staples and St Paul

From Friday's Daily
Joseph W. McGivern, aged 22 years unmarried, a brakeman of the Minnesota and International railway, was instantly killed while switching on a work train at Little Fork.
The crew had come in from their run and were switching, a bull dozer being a part of their train equipment. Reports state that no one saw the accident. It was dark and it is presumed he fell from a car, struck on his head, dragging two car lengths and was then flung into a ditch where the crew found him dead, with his neck broken and one leg broken. Near him his lantern, still burning, was found.
The deceased was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Barney McGivern, residing at Staples. His mother and Mrs. James Willis of Brainerd are sisters. The body will be shipped today arriving in Brainerd tonight. The deceased was a member of the Catholic church. No funeral arrangements have been announced, as there are relatives in Brainerd, Staples and St. Paul to be consulted.
"Joe" as he was always known, was a popular employe [sic] of the M. & I. and it is with sincere regret that his many friends heard of his sudden demise. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 08 July 1910)

The M. & I. passenger set fire to a section of the shop yards while passing north yesterday afternoon. The blaze was promptly extinguished by Sam Lind and William Dougherty. The fire department of the shops responded quickly. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 August 1910, p. 2, c. 4)


Train No. 34 Ditched and 16 Passen-
gers Bruised and Slightly In-
jured at 1 a. m.


Charles Bush, Brakeman, Has Ribs
Broken—Sleeper and Two
Coaches are Derailed

The Minnesota & International railway had a passenger train wreck at one o’clock this morning north of Bemidji and three cars were derailed and 16 passengers injured.
W. H. Gemmell, the general manager of the railway, made the following statement this morning: “What is believed to have been a broken rail derailed the Minnesota & International passenger train, No. 34, at one o’clock this morning at Farley, a station 13 miles north of Bemidji.
“A sleeper and two coaches were derailed and 16 passengers bruised and slightly injured. No one was killed. Charles Bush, a brakeman of Brainerd, had two ribs broken.
“The temperature registered 40 degrees below zero. The baggage car was not derailed and the passengers on the train, of which there were not many, were loaded into it and taken at once to Bemidji, thus avoiding suffering and exposure to the weather. Two patients are at the Bemidji hospital.
“The engine, mail and baggage car kept the track for the train was moving slowly. Traffic was not delayed by the accident.”
The conductor of the train was Jerry St. Cyr and the brakeman, Chas Bush. The engineer was Joseph W. Springer.
At about 10:30 this morning the Minnesota & International morning passenger arrived in Brainerd carrying many of the passengers who had been in the wreck.
Three were taken to the Northern Pacific sanitarium. The most badly hurt is believed to be Charles Bush, brakeman, who was in the day coach when it was overturned. He has several ribs broken and his collar bone or shoulder is also thought to be broken.
Mrs. St. Cyr, the wife of Conductor Jerry St. Cyr, had her back severely strained or wrenched when she was thrown from her seat to the side of the car as it was overturned.
O. V. Einerson, residing at 1093 23rd avenue, Southeast, Minneapolis, had his leg severely injured and it may be broken.
Doctors boarded the train as it arrived at Brainerd and accompanied the injured ones to the hospital.
Passengers say that eight patients were taken to the hospital at Bemidji and that of these eight, two are very seriously injured.
When the accident occurred the day coach, sleeper and smoker were derailed and the couplings broke. The sleeper and day coach toppled into the ditch and fell on their sides. No passengers, it is said, were injured in the sleeper. Those in the day coach suffered the most. The smoker, although off the rails, retained its upright position.
Breaking glass hurt many. The trainmen hurried and broke open windows and took immediate precautions to prevent any fire. The baggage car was warmed up by steam from the engine and the passengers, as quickly as they could dress and pick up their belongings, were taken to this shelter and then removed to Bemidji. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 January 1912, p. 3, c. 1)


Stops Passenger Train Abruptly by
“Dynamiting” it While Going
15 Miles an Hour and


Who Had Tried to Cross Tracks in
Front of Engine and Had Fall-
en Between the Rails

By doing some chained lightning thinking and handling of his engine, Engineer Tom Russell, guiding passenger train No. 1 into Brainerd, qualified for the hero class.
While swinging along at a 15 mile an hour gait, Russell saw three little children attempt to cross the tracks ahead of him shortly before the train got near the shop yards. Panic stricken by the whistle the little toddlers, holding hands stumbled on the track and fell between the rails directly in the path of the roaring train.
There was but one thing to do and Russell did it in a second. He “dynamited” his train. This is accompanied by throwing on the emergency, throwing on full air and reversing her. The train came to a stop in a car length and a few feet from the struggling children who still lay panting on the ties where they would have been ground to pulp had the engine and train struck them.
The name of Tom Russell is revered in the homes of two East Brainerd families, for Tom saved their children. And every night three little night-gowned figures remember Tom Russell in their prayers for he was the man who stopped the big engine. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 September 1912, p. 3, c. 3)

15 August 1913. This month the payrolls of the large industries of Brainerd reached the enormous total of $137,000. The NP Railway maintained an average payday, but the M & I Railway really had two payrolls, one for regular work and one for building the cutoff. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 15 August 2013)

Minnesota and International Railroad crossing the Mississippi north of the dam, ca. 1900
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
In 1913 when the Minnesota & International Railway Company quit crossing the river at that place [Brainerd dam] and routed its trains westward out of Brainerd, its bridge was donated to the county, which converted it into a wagon bridge still being used as part of State Aid County Highway Number 3. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 118)

22 January 1914. It is reported that a sick lumberjack boarded the M & I train and got off along the line for medical treatment. His illness proved to be smallpox, and the physician in charge wired the railway to close the car and fumigate it. All passengers crowded into the smoker car. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 2014)


Formed to Promote Safety and Effic-
iency in All Branches of
Railway Travel


G. W. Mosier, First Agent of Entire
System to Wear Button—Mr.
Banks in City Today

In its desire to promote safety and efficiency in all branches of railway travel the Northern Pacific railway company has recently established “The Careful Club.” All employees of the Northern Pacific railway are eligible to membership, which is voluntary, and there are no dues or fees. Employees joining the club sign an application which reads:
“I wish to become a member of the Careful Club because I believe it is better to be careful than crippled. I will avoid all risks, take the time to do all work carefully, and in every way possible endeavor to prevent accident or injury to others.”
Charles T. Banks, special representative of the Bureau of Efficiency, was in the city today, having recently completed with W. H. Gemmell, general manger of the Minnesota & International railway, a trip over that system.
Mr. Banks mentioned the lapel button which the members of the “Careful Club” will wear. They were just received by the company on Monday and are now being distributed. They are gold plated and enameled, bearing the Northern Pacific trademark with the words “Careful Club, Bureau of Efficiency” around the edge of the button.
Mr. Banks mentioned that G. W. Mosier, agent at Brainerd, was the first man in Brainerd to wear the button and also has the distinction of being the first agent on the entire system of the Northern Pacific to wear the emblem.
General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of the Minnesota & International railway, wore a button this morning. Conductor John McNaughton, his brakeman and train baggageman, of No. 55 were resplendent with their new buttons.
That the movement for safety and efficiency is gaining ground is noticeable when one reads of the figures given out by Mr. Banks. Statistics compiled show that in 1913 the last six months revealed fewer men killed than in the first six months, the figures showing a 58 percent decrease in deaths.
The Northern Pacific, with a mileage slightly less than the Chicago & Northwestern, had 50 percent less accidents than the Northwestern in the year of 1913.
The establishment of the Careful Club arose out of the work of the Northern Pacific’s Bureau of Efficiency, Mr. Charles T. Banks, special representative. First Vice-President George T. Slade, in charge. This Bureau of Efficiency in the short year in which which it has been in operation has accomplished a great deal in the way of instructing Northern Pacific employees in methods of carefulness, in checking waste and dangerous practices, and in promoting safety. Under the methods adopted by the bureau the men may be said to practically become their own inspectors. By means of bulletins and circular letters the attention of the employees in the railway shops, yards, on and about trains, at railway stations, etc., is called to conditions, habits or practices which endanger life or limb and may result in more or less serious accidents. The pride of the men is enlisted in this regard and they themselves become keenly alive to all improvement in these respects. A few examples will indicate the methods of the bureau:
Attention has been given to keeping railway yards and shop premises clear of all obstructions; to the boxing of guy wires, the removal of old posts and other objects and matter which served no purpose.
Repair track clearance cards have been put into general use. This clearance card is, in fact, a train order—is issued by the car foreman and certifies that no men are working underneath or between the cars on the repair track. The engine foreman or conductor must have one of these clearance cards before entering a repair track. There is no record, up to date, of a violation of this order, and no man has been killed or injured on account of cars being moved on repair tracks since this order became effective.
A system of having all shop tools, jacks, etc., inspected by the rank and file of shop employees and a detailed report made by them of tools, etc., found to be defective or unsafe and the taking out of service of all such was made effective in Feb., 1913, since which time injuries due to defective tools, machines, jacks, etc., have been almost entirely eliminated.
A change in the type of locomotive shaker bars has been made which has resulted in eliminating injures caused by shaker bars slipping off from the nipple.
To eliminate injuries caused by tool handles breaking and to save time, incidentally, in fitting new handles to tools, a superior grade of tool handles has been made standard.
Walks and hand rails have been placed on bridges inside or just outside of the yard limits of station grounds, etc., where trainmen are obliged to work.
All coal docks on the system have been inspected and such changes as seemed desirable made to minimize accidents.
The standard clearance, or distance of switch stands from tracks has been changed from six to seven feet.
Station platforms where passengers might step off and be injured have been protected by railings, and hand rails have been attached to steps, etc.
The walls of turntable pits have been whitewashed to light them up and prevent men from accidentally walking into them and being injured.
As the result of precautionary measures adopted by this company through its Efficiency Bureau, the percentage of fatal accidents to employees has been reduced from .04 percent in January, 1913, to .009 percent in October, 1913, and while this number of injuries sustained in the same period does not show as marked a decrease in terms of percentage the seriousness of the injuries has been very materially lessened.
In January, 1913, 72 percent of those injured were off duty more than three days; the other 28 percent lost less than three days in the time required to recover. In October, 1913, 57 percent of the accidents were slight, and only 43 percent were what might be termed “serious” or which necessitated a layoff of more than three days, a gain of 29 percent in favor of efficacious measures put in use.
Of the total number of persons killed during this period (employees, passengers, pedestrians, trespassers) etc., 97 percent were the result of negligence and but 3 percent could be attributed to physical causes. Eighteen percent of the accidents resulting in injuries only were due to physical causes and 82 percent were chargeable to negligence of the individuals themselves.
The examples and statistical matter here given will tell better than argument can of the general lines along which the Bureau of Efficiency works, of the beneficial results already obtained, and will also indicate how valuable the Careful Club may become in preventing accidents and injuries. The work is yet in its infancy, has been really but fairly established, but it can readily be seen that it will, without doubt, increase greatly the factor of safety and prove a beneficial and valuable adjunct in all lines of the Northern Pacific railroading. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 March 1914, p. 4, c.’s 1-3)


General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of
M. & I., Gives Out Plans of the
M. & I. and N. P.


Cafe-Observation Car on Day Train
Between St. Paul and Bemidji
an Innovation

An M. & I. An ad extolling the virtues of northern Minnesota along the M. & I. railroad line. A 1070x1016 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 November 1912
In a statement made today by W. H. Gemmell, general manager of the M. & I. railway, he outlined great improvements in train service for Brainerd, Bemidji and other points. Mr. Gemmell said: “Pursuant to our constant aim to improve the passenger train service in our territory, the Minnesota & International railway in connection with the Northern Pacific has arranged, commencing about Decoration Day, to put on an exclusive sleeper to operate between Bemidji and the Twin Cities on the night train in addition to the one now running between International Falls and St. Paul; and to operate a standard cafe-observation car on the day train between St. Paul and Bemidji. This latter arrangement will afford the people going to our lake resorts a comfortable ride to the lake territory, permitting them to secure their luncheon on the train—the same being true on the southbound trip.
“This innovation will be of especial and particular interest to the people of Brainerd who use this afternoon train in going to the Twin Cities, and who desire to avail themselves of the luxury and comfort that is to be obtained in riding in an observation car. This observation car service will probably be operated until the end of August when summer vacations are over, if the business warrants it, and the Bemidji sleeper as long as there is sufficient patronage to call for it.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 April 1914, p. 3, c. 3)


The New Farms Dairy, Poultry and
Potato Special Car on the Min-
nesota & International


D. E. Willard, Development Agent of
Northern Pacific and Prof. Mc-
Kerrow Visiting Towns

The Northern Pacific and Minnesota & International railways, continuing the policy of co-operation with the State Agricultural College in promoting and fostering better livestock and more profitable and productive farming, will operate the “New Farms Dairy, Poultry and Potato Special Car” on the Minnesota & International line during two weeks from June 8th to 20th.
The plan to be pursued in this campaign is unique. Living accommodations for the speakers will be furnished in a private business car. Meetings will be held whenever practicable at country points, rather than in the towns. The car will be placed on sidetrack and will stand there a full day. In the forenoons, automobiles and teams, to be supplied by the communities, will be used in visiting the farms in the neighborhoods where meetings are to be held for the purpose of the study of local conditions. In the afternoons, two or more meetings will be held at such points as may be designated by the local committees, and lectures and demonstrations will be given by specialists in the subjects of the feeding and care of livestock, dairying, poultry, and potatoes. No exhibits will be carried, but livestock and other material from the neighboring farms will be used for demonstration purposes.
The exact date that the car will be at the various stations on the Minnesota & International line will be announced as soon as the itinerary is completed.
D. E. Willard, Development Agent of the Northern Pacific, and Professor W. A. McKerrow are visiting towns on the line this week making preliminary arrangements. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 May 1914, p. 5, c. 5)

Conductor Joseph Golemboske lost some keys and Yardmaster George E. Lowe found them. The boys in the yards kindly attached every old key they had to the key ring, making several pounds in weight. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 August 1914, p. 2, c. 3)


Northern Pacific Railway Adds Coach
for Extra Travel From Brainerd
to Little Falls

In response to the general demand for more train equipment, the Northern Pacific railway has added an extra coach to the St. Paul afternoon train for service between Brainerd and Little Falls, and if necessary to the Twin Cities.
Yesterday the travel was so heavy this coach was not detached at Little Falls but continued on to the Twin Cities.
This improvement of service on the part of the Northern Pacific railway is hailed with gratification on the part of travelers. The observation-cafe car is doing a large business. On the whole, the heaviest northern Minnesota tourist travel is on at the present time and the accommodations of the Northern Pacific and Minnesota & International railway are now highly spoken of by travelers. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1914, p. 3, c. 3)


Head of Northern Pacific Railway
Said There is Every Prospect
of a Large Grain Crop


First Worked for Northern Pacific Railway in Brainerd Forty Years
Ago, Said Pres. Hannaford

J. M. Hannaford, president of the Northern Pacific railway, visited at Brainerd last night at the conclusion of an inspection trip over the Minnesota & International railway.
“There is every prospect of a fine grain crop,” said Mr. Hannaford. “This, more than anything else, gives assurance of increased business. The Northern Pacific will soon increase its haulage of iron ore from the Cuyuna iron range. Shipments from the Kennedy mine at Cuyuna started this week.
“I always entertain a hearty interest in Brainerd,” continued Mr. Hannaford. “Forty years ago I went to work for the Northern Pacific and my first fourteen months out of New England was spent in Brainerd. I boarded at the old Headquarters hotel across from the depot.”
Accompanying Mr. Hannaford on his tour of inspection of the Minnesota & International railway were W. H. Gemmell, general manager; W. H. Downie, auditor; G. H. Warner, trainmaster; H. Mills roadmaster. Northern Pacific officials included W. L. Darling, special engineer; and Henry Blakeley, general freight agent, of St. Paul. Mr. Hannaford expressed himself as well satisfied with the Minnesota & International and the business handled. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 July 1915, p. 5, c. 1)


Up Country Paper Says Mail Clerks
on the M. & I. are Kids Being
Trained in the Service

The Pine River Sentinel-Blaze gives the mail service that is being handed out to the public on the Minnesota & International a good sound roast in the following language, and which, by the way, is verified to a certain extent by people who have make kicks in other places along the line—including Brainerd:
“The present postal department is busy these days training a lot of kids whose grandfathers were Democrats. They are being trained in the railway mail service at the inconvenience and expense of the public. And the service that the people living on the Minnnesota & International get is certainly in a class by itself.
Letters mailed here in the evening to be taken out by the night train, addressed to Brainerd, are invariably carried past Brainerd and returned from Little Falls the next day at noon. Might just as well have waited and sent them down the next morning on the 10:39. Hardly a day passes but the forenoon train from the north brings mail that was carried by on the night train. Newspapers mailed here Friday morning at 4:17 are scarcely ever delivered in Minneapolis until Monday morning. Just think of it! Three days in transit from Pine River to Minneapolis.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 October 1915, p. 5, c. 1)


Bemidji Commercial Club Takes Up
Matter of Better Train Service
from the M. & I.

At the meeting of the Commercial club the matter of securing better railroad service for Bemidji was taken up and a committee consisting of Frank S. Lycan, A. P. White, H. H. Mayer, J. J. Opsahl, E. H. Dunn and E. A. Barker was appointed to take the matter up with W. H. Gemmell, manager of the Minnesota & International railroad.
On account of the cancelation of a train on the Northern Pacific railway at Little Falls the train from Brainerd to the Twin Cities is delayed three hours each day. The Sunday night and Monday morning trains to Bemidji have also been taken off, on the Minnesota & International railroad.
The members of the club, when called upon for personal opinions by President Schumaker, said that while they did not want the railroad companies to operate their trains at a loss they would appreciate any move on the part of the railroads to better the Bemidji service.
At a special meeting held later, Mr. Gemmell said he would do all he could to improve the service. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 November 1915, p. 2, c. 4)


Service to be Resumed Soon on the
Minnesota & International
Railway, Starts May 27

This train order has been received relative to improvement of train service on the Northern Pacific and Minnesota railways:
“Superintendent of Transportation advises that with train No. 9 from St. Paul, May 27th, and M & I train No. 32 from Bemidji, May 29th, will operate cafe observation car daily except Sunday, between St. Paul and Bemidji on trains 9, 10, 31 and 32, using cafe observation cars 1762 and 1765.”
This resumes the service, which is much appreciated by tourists and others visiting the lake region of Minnesota. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 April 1916, p. 5, c. 4)


Early Morning Fire Monday Destroys
Every Vestige of the Landmark,
Building Valued $27,000

Fire Started in Ladies Room, Was Apparently
Subdued, Then Flared up with
Greater Fierceness

Brainerd’s Northern Pacific railway station, built in 1872, valued at about $27,000, was burned to the ground at 3 o’clock this morning, the fire starting in the ladies waiting room.
According to a report of the Minnesota Railroad and Warehouse Commission of June 30, 1915, station buildings and fixtures were valued at $26,422.57.
The structure was two and a half stories high. On its main floor were the waiting rooms, ticket office, yardmaster’s office and express and baggage department. On this floor everything was saved, including mail, express and baggage.
On the second floor were the general offices of the Minnesota & International railway. Considerable office furniture was saved, the engineering books, etc. It is believed the claim records and accounting records of the road are lost.
On the third floor were stored old papers, etc. There were three vaults in the building, of which one had a wooden door. If the vaults withstood the fiery siege, many valuable records will be saved.
The safe in the express office was saved. That of the ticket office and auditor are in the ruins.
Many of the department men on the second floor lost personal articles including many typewriters. H. A. Rahler, traveling auditor of the Minnesota & International railway, lost a typewriter. Lowry Smith, superintendent of the Northern Pacific tie plant, lost heavily. I. C. Strout and W. E. Paul lost typewriters.
The switching crew, Pete Wolvert foreman, and Wm. Hogan and D. V. Nies moved out forty cars from the fire district. With the temperature at 15 below and a fierce wind raging, the main business section of Brainerd 200 feet away was endangered for a time.
Sparks and cinders shot up high in the air and made a fiery halo blocks in extent. Many people sat on the roofs of their homes and extinguished the brands.
The Western Union and railway wires came down in the crash as burning walls fell. Linemen from Staples are repairing breaks. The Y. M. C. A. building, near the station, will be used as a temporary ticket office and telegraph station.
The fire was first discovered at 1:15 Monday morning, said D. Van Campen, night ticket clerk. Some one in the waiting room gave him the alarm. Van Campen, Chief Train Dispatcher Edward L. Orth, of the Minnesota & International railway and Pete Wolvert used fire extinguishers and believed it to be put out.
Twenty minutes later it broke out again back of the studdings with great violence, the flames shooting up to the roof.
All express and baggage was saved. Switchmen moved up three box cars and loaded in fixtures, books, etc.
The station had solid beams of white pine, said to have been hauled from St. Cloud. One of its builders was the late candidate for governor, Wm. E. Lee, of Long Prairie. Jule Hannaford, president of the Northern Pacific, worked as clerk in the station in the early days.


Express office of the Northern Express Co. at 512 Front street.
Telegraph offices of train dispatcher at the Y. M. C. A. building.
Freight depot not damaged.
Yardmaster’s office in the switch shanty at east end of station brick platform.
Ticket office will be established Tuesday.
M. & I. general offices will be housed by Tuesday, probably at city hall.



W. H. Gemmell, Returning From St.
Paul Last Night, Was at Sta-
tion at Start of Fire

The St. Paul train Sunday night, delayed over an hour, ran into Brainerd and past the burning station.
One of the passengers was W. H. Gemmell, general manager of the Minnesota & International railway. Mr. Gemmell, R. E. Quinn and other willing helpers put up a ladder and gained access to the second floor of the burning structure, anxious to recover valuable papers. They were were barely on the second floor when all the lights went out. In the dense smoke it was impossible to see a foot ahead.
A search light was requisitioned and with its rays Mr. Gemmell was able to see his desk and save a few papers.
Then the walls began to crash down, the firemen yelled to them and they barely made safety as the building became a fiery furnace. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1917, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)


Meeting by Chamber to Assist Nor-
thern Pacific Railway Co. to Find Suitable Quarters

Council at Session Tonight to Consider M. &
I. Having Office on Second Floor
of City Hall

A special meeting at the Chamber of Commerce at 8 o’clock tonight to extend assistance to the Northern Pacific railway company!
All having the interests of the railway at heart are requested to be at the meeting and that means every man in Brainerd.
Rooms must be found for the general offices of the Minnesota & International railway company, for the Northern Pacific force, etc.
The Chamber of Commerce promptly wired offers of assistance to President Jule M. Hannaford at St. Paul, and promised its co-operation in every possible way.
Mayor R. A. Beise and members of the city council will tonight consider the plan of having the Minnesota & International railway general office force occupy the second floor of the city hall.
These would make fine quarters, being provided with plenty of light, floor space, telephone, toilet, etc.
The city can do no better deed than to come to the prompt assistance of the railways. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1917, p. 1, c.’s. 6 & 7)

Brainerd citizens, collectively and individually, are alert when it comes to prompt action at critical times, as has been in evidence today following the disastrous fire of last night which destroyed the Northern Pacific building which houses the Minnesota and International officials and force as well as the local business of the former company. Early this morning the Chamber of Commerce called a special meeting for tonight, at which time the consideration of what Brainerd can do to relieve the situation will be discussed, and at the same time the city council will take of the matter of offering the second floor of the new city hall to the Minnesota & International for use of their force of employees. Brainerd’s commercial organization, its civic bodies and its private citizens all feel that every assistance possible should be given the Northern Pacific company in arranging the local business affairs with as little inconvenience as possible. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1917, p. 4, c. 2)


On behalf of officers and employees of the Minnesota & International railway who lost their general offices with all their contents in the unfortunate fire which destroyed the Northern Pacific depot building early this morning, I beg to thank the city officials of Brainerd and various citizens for their prompt and generous offer of temporary quarters and any other assistance which they could render us.

Brainerd, Minn., Feb. 5, 1917
Genl. Mgr. M. & I. Ry.

(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05, February 1917, p. 5, c. 1)


One man carried down an adding machine and carefully placed it on the brick platform at the foot of the main stairs. Another helper gathered it to pack it into a waiting freight car, slipped on the ice and wrecked the adder to a finish.
Clarke Henry saved the engineering books of the M. & I.
The vaults withered before the fierce blast of flame and it is thought much of their contents were destroyed.
Barely had the embers cooled this morning before gangs of men were on the site of the ruins, cleaning them up and loading the debris on flat cars.
So hot was the fire that the plank depot platform to the south of the brick was badly singed by the flames and some stringers burned.
Passengers on the St. Paul night train were treated to a view of the burning building.
The shop whistle uttered heavy blasts early in the morning and routed every shop man out of bed.
The Northwestern Telephone Exchange company answered an enormous number of calls in the early morning hours.
Dick Herbert’s lunch room served as a waiting room for passengers bound east on the Staples-Duluth train.
A guest at the Ransford dressed by the light of the fire.
“Fatty” Wood returned home last night on the belated St. Paul train and was surprised to see the structure in flames.
The engineer of the St. Paul night train pulled up at his usual stopping place and then became aware of the fire and moved on to quarters not so hot.
“What will happen to the Brainerd Outdoor Carnival?” asked one enthusiast.
“The carnival will go on just the same. It’s an outdoor affair, you know.” was the reply.
No tickets were sold today.
Forty men were employed by the M. & I. in their offices including operators. Half are men with families. Northern Pacific employed 10 in the depot.
For fire insurance see J. H. Krekelberg and J. F. Hurley at 306 Citizens State bank building, or call N. W. 368-L. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05, February 1917, p. 5, c. 1)


General Offices Established on Sec-
ond Floor of the Building, De-
partments Moving in Today

The Minnesota & International railway company, through its general manager, W. H. Gemmell, has accepted the proffer of the city of Brainerd, of the second floor of the city hall for quarters to carry on its business, the company having lost office room when the Northern Pacific depot burned up.
Today the company is moving fixtures and office supplies to the city hall.
The Bemidji Commercial club wired an offer of offices at Bemidji, and Mr. Gemmell thanked them for the courtesy, but assured them they were already well established at Brainerd.
At the council meeting Monday night the council voted unanimously on the proposition of leasing the second floor of the hall to the railway company. Ninety dollars a month was the concluded price, either party having the option of giving two months notice if the lease was to be terminated.
The council received the deputation from the Chamber of Commerce, which voiced the desire of the Chamber to do everything possible for the railway company.
Routine bills occupied the attention of the council for the remainder of their evening session.
The general manager’s offices will be in the room vacated by City Clerk Anton Mahlum. Auditor Downey’s force will be in the room vacated by council and municipal judge. His private office will adjoin the main room. The engineering department will be across the hall, north of the general manager’s room. The tie treating plant will have its offices just to the east of the engineering department.
City Clerk Mahlum takes the first room north of the water and light board committee room on the first floor. His next door neighbor to the east is the county agricultural agent.
The council chambers and the municipal court will be held in the room occupied by the chief of police. Vacant rooms are being filled with maps and papers hitherto stored on the second floor.
The Minnesota & International people are working energetically and business is going along as usual. The second floor offers them fine vault room, plenty of light, lots of room and is an ideal place for them.
What was considered by many Brainerd people as a disadvantage in the city hall, so much unused floor space, has now turned out to be a real blessing in housing on such short notice the railway company’s departments. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1917, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)


Special Call Brought Out Representa-
tive Number of Loyal Citizens
to Discuss


At Chamber of Commerce Last Night
—Railroad Committee Instruct-
ed to go to St. Paul

The call for a special meeting at the Chamber of Commerce rooms last evening to discuss the ways and means in assisting, if possible, in securing quarters for the official family of the Minnesota & International railroad and to express sympathy and offer aid in any manner that the Northern Pacific may need or suggest during the time that their local business is in its present chaotic condition owing to the fire that destroyed the depot building on Monday morning, was well attended and the interest manifested was fully in keeping with the occasion, showing that the people of Brainerd are ready and willing at all times to give the best that is in them to foster and promote the welfare of home institutions and make them feel that their interests are our interests.
The meeting was called to order by President Cohen who stated in a few well chosen words the occasion for the call and also what meetings of this kind mean, especially in connection with the present case. He took occasion to refer in very kindly terms to Mr. Gemmell and his official family in connection with the loss sustained by the Minnesota & International.
C. A. Allbright after a few words regarding conditions moved that the meeting pass resolutions covering the subject that would be fitting and R. B. Withington presented the following resolutions which were unanimously adopted:
Resolved that the Brainerd Chamber of Commerce tender to the Northern Pacific Railway company its sympathy on the loss and inconvenience caused by the destruction by fire of the railway company’s passenger station building on the morning of February 5th, 1917, and that it hereby expresses its willingness and desire to co-operate in every way possible in securing temporary offices for the various departments which have been burned out.
Resolved further that the railroad committee of the Chamber of Commerce send a delegation of five to wait upon President J. M. Hannaford of the Northern Pacific railway company to confer with him with reference to the construction of a depot to replace the burned structure that will be fully adequate to take care of the present and future needs of Brainerd.
Resolved further that it is the earnest hope of the Chamber that satisfactory quarters may be found for the general offices of the Minnesota and International Railway company so that those offices may be retained here.
That these resolutions be made a part of the Chamber records and a copy thereof be transmitted to President Hannaford and other officials of the road.
Following the adoption of the resolutions it was stated to the meeting that the city council was in session and that they had before them the proposition of tendering the use of the entire second floor of the new city hall to the Minnesota & International railway company. The matter was discussed and it was deemed appropriate that a committee of citizens be appointed to wait on the council and urge that such action be taken. Henry P. Dunn, S. R. Adair and F. G. Hall being named by the chair to meet with the council members and inform them of the action. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1917, p. 5, c. 1)


Company Has Put in Better Accom-
modations Between Pine River
and Brainerd


Heavy Passenger and Express Traffic
on M. & I. Increasing Receipts
of Popular Line

(Walker Pilot)

The M. & I. railway appears to have taken cognizance of the need for better railway facilities between Pine River and Brainerd. In the past, passengers from Walker for points below Brainerd always were compelled to “double up” as the cars filled, and the arrival at Brainerd almost invariably found a number of people standing in the aisles, at least on day trains in the summer time.
Wednesday, on the return trip from Brainerd, a couple of extra cars were added, and set off at Walker. The down train Thursday morning picked them up and took them down again. It is not known whether this will constitute a feature of the permanent service, but it is hoped that it will.
The trains of the past week have been late nearly every night because of the heavy passenger and express traffic on the road. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 August 1917, p. 5, c. 4)


New Service will Start Monday, June
30—Run from St. Paul to


That Will be Greatly Enjoyed and
Appreciated by the Travel-
ing Public

An observation cafe parlor car will be put on the train running from St. Paul on the Northern Pacific up the Minnesota & International to Bemidji, beginning Monday morning, and thereafter probably until late into the fall. This will be greatly appreciated by the traveling public, as the slow local train running between those points is usually considered a very tiresome trip without the accommodation of a parlor or cafe car for ladies and children especially. The company will find, we are sure, that the venture will greatly pay them in stimulating travel of the ladies of this upper country.
Complaints have been made to the company of the lack of this accommodation and it is very gratifying that it has seen fit to comply with the desires of its patrons. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 June 1919, p. 4, c. 4)


New sleeper service established on the Minnesota & International railway is the Bemidji sleeper, St. Paul to Bemidji, which is set out at that town in the early morning. Brainerd people going northward can secure reservations by having the agent here wire to St. Paul, they can then board the sleeper at Brainerd at 12:20 and get a good night’s sleep, being awakened at Bemidji at 7:30 in the morning. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 July 1919, p. 5, c. 4)


Returning from a trip of inspection up the Minnesota & International railway, a party of prominent railway officials were in Brainerd a short time before returning to St. Paul. They included Thomas Cooper, president of the Minnesota & International and vice president of the Northern Pacific railway; J. M. Hannaford, federal manager of the M. & I. and Northern Pacific; Mr. Perkins, corporation engineer; A. T. Stevens chief engineer; R. W. Clark, assistant federal manager; Mr. Dakin, assistant comptroller.
The special train consisted of three coaches. The Minnesota & International for its mileage, is one of the heaviest feeders of the Northern Pacific and its territory, first devoted to lumbering, is now changing in places to farming, stock raising, dairying and other kindred pursuits which build up communities. Wood, pulp, lumber, logs, etc. continue to be shipped in vast quantities. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 July 1919, p. 5, c. 3)


International Falls, Minn., Aug. 14—On the Minnesota, Dakota & Western railway, a small branch of the Minnesota & International railway, the fifteen or twenty shop men on strike have returned to work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 Aug. 1919, p. 5, c. 1)

To Move to New Depot

In a letter to the mayor and city council, W. H. Gemmell, general manager of the Minnesota & International railway, advised that the offices rented in the city hall, including those used by the Northern Pacific tie department, will be vacated as of the evening of February 28. The new quarters in the new Brainerd depot are completed and the company will move into them commencing Thursday, February 26.
“I take this opportunity of extending the thanks of myself and my associates,” wrote Mr. Gemmell, “to the city council and all the city officials with whom we have come into contact, for the very courteous treatment accorded to us at all times since we have been tenants of the city.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 February 1920, p. 5, c. 1)

Drays are taking Minnesota & International railway general office desks, supplies, etc., from the city hall to the new depot. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 February 1920, p. 2, c. 2)

Emigration is increasing to Minnesota & International railway points. The March report on emigrant cars handled by the railway showed Pine River the banner station with 22 cars, Blackduck came next with 8, Backus 4, Jenkins 3, Laporte 3, Tenstrike 2, and Northome, Margie and Big Falls 1 each. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 May 1920, p. 2, c. 2)


Encountered Deep Snow in Cuts North of Bemidji This Morn-


Repeated Program at Big Falls and
Hines, Finally Made Brain-

Railroading has been put to the hardest test of the entire winter the past week, is the way Minnesota & International officials sum up the trouble their road has experienced with the unusual cold weather and storms for this season of the year.
As a record-breaker for any Good Friday in recent years, at least, is the fact that the early morning passenger train from International Falls, due in Brainerd at 3:35 a. m., did not arrive until after four o’clock this afternoon, on account of being stuck in snow drifts north of Bemidji.
The first trouble this train had was at Little Fork, seventeen miles south of International Falls, where it buried itself in a drifted cut. It was cleared out of this snow bank only to repeat the program sixteen miles further on at Big Falls and again at Hines, six miles south of Blackduck.
Fred Moerke, conductor and Fred Bispham, engineer were in charge of the ill-fated train, which has had band luck from the time it left Brainerd, three hours late on account of engine trouble Wednesday night.
Several freight trains were stuck in snow banks north of Bemidji on Thursday night, one derailed three cars, delaying the passenger from Kelliher one hour.
Brainerd is facing a coal shortage, which ordinarily would cause very little comment at Easter time. It is reported that unless Turcotte Bros. receives a shipment which they are expecting, there will be no coal in the city Saturday.
Moerke, it will be remembered, had charge of the train which successfully bucked the Washington’s birthday heavy snowfall of a year ago, and has a record of bringing in his train no matter what happens. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 March 1923, p. 6, c. 1)


Inaugurated Between International Falls and Brainerd, Fast
Connections Here


Operated Northward Too, Undoubt-
edly to be Permanent
Feature of Road

A fast freight service has been inaugurated by the Minnesota & International railway, plying between International Falls and Brainerd, and connecting with fast freights out of Brainerd.
Newsprint, lumber and all other shipments at International Falls and Bemidji loaded today, for instance, reach Brainerd the following afternoon, and are carried through to the Twin Cities that night giving 24 hours quicker service than in the past.
This fast freight is also operated northward and gives Bemidji and International Falls 24 hours better service on their merchandise and other shipments. It was inaugurated as a trial the latter part of April and has given such satisfaction and worked so successfully that it will no doubt become a permanent feature.
Train and engine crews come right through from International Falls to Brainerd, making a 200 mile “highball run.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 May 1928, p. 7, c. 1)


Lee Hallett Collapses as He Boards
Passenger Coach, Dies
in Hospital


Was Familiar Figure on M. and I.
Train, in Run, Brainerd
to Bemidji

Lee Hallett, familiar figure to people traveling the M. and I. passenger train from Brainerd to Bemidji, came to the close of 25 years of passenger run as brakeman last evening.
The veteran brakeman, a bachelor, was suddenly stricken at 11:25 o’clock last evening as he boarded an extra passenger coach at the Brainerd depot preparatory to the start of his run.
Only a few minutes earlier he had replied to greetings of a friend at the depot as to his health. “I’m feeling fine.” With his lantern in his hand he collapsed at the top of the steps of the passenger coach. Fellow employees of the railway came to his assistance, called an ambulance and had him taken to the St. Joseph’s hospital. He died a few minutes after his arrival there.
His death was ascribed as due to apoplexy.
Mr. Hallett was born in Maine 67 years ago. He came to Gull River 48 years ago and came to Brainerd 48 years ago, making his home with his brother, J. M. Hallett, who preceded him in death 23 years ago.
Well liked, he was a member of the Brotherhood of Trainmen, Brainerd Lodge of Elks and Masons.
He is survived by one sister, Mrs. Olive Stevens of Oakland, Maine, the last of a family of 13, also a sister-in-law, Mrs. H. Emma Hallett and a niece, Mrs. Mabel H. Clarkson, both of Brainerd.
Funeral arrangements are pending. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 October 1930, p. 7, c. 1)

03 August 1934. Forty-seven more carloads of cattle passed through Brainerd today on the M & I Railroad to green pastures between here and International Falls. Nearly 100 carloads with 10,000 head of emaciated cattle from drought-stricken southern Minnesota have moved through thus far. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 2014)

The Minnesota & International Railroad, which had operated as a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific since 1900, became part of the Northern Pacific’s Lake Superior Division with division headquarters in Duluth, Minnesota. (22 October 1941, Source Unknown)

15 August 1985. All things eventually end, BN Railroad locomotive No. 2037, four empty freight cars and a caboose left the Brainerd rail yards this morning bound for International Falls. It would be the last freight train for that stretch of track before the track is abandoned. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 2015)

NOTE: This was once the Brainerd & Northern Railway, aka the Minnesota & International (M&I)

Mississippi Water Power & Boom Company. This company was formed by Chas. F. Kindred about 1884. In 1886 the officers were C. F. Kindred, president; F. B. Thompson, secretary, John N. Nevers, treasurer; G. S. Fernald, counsel. Its purpose was to build a dam across the Mississippi River. They claimed that available were to be twenty feet of head which were expected to develop 25,000 horsepower and the backbay would provide boomage for 50,000,000 logs. The claim about the horsepower was, we say, grossly in error. All logs destined for Minneapolis would be chuted through the dam. Above the dam a little rice bed would become an enlarged bay, of the Mississippi River, now named Rice Lake.
Delay about building was occasioned by the inability to come to terms with owners of land on the west bank of the river. The dam site was intended to have been a little north of the present Washington Avenue bridge. Had the dam been built there, much of the present lowland within the city in the Second and Third Wards,—the athletic field at the junior high, for example, would today be sloughs or bays. It would have cost much to acquire these flowage rights. Although the delay was aggravating, it eventually became a benefit to all concerned in ways not expected. The dam was built about a mile to the north in what became known as the Mill District. When completed it was made of wooden piling driven inside a belt 100 feet wide and the spaces between were filled with rock. On top the piles were bolted together with heavy planking like a cover. A sluiceway inserted was 50 feet wide. It is recorded that the material used was 2,500,000 feet of pine, 70,000 feet of oak, 800 tons of iron, and 2,800 cords of stone. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 30 & 31)

A bill was introduced into the House on Monday last by Mr. Nelson to authorize the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Company of Brainerd to construct a dam across the Mississippi at this place. This is said to be Mr. Kindred’s object at Washington instead of the Dakota Governorship as has been stated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

A Sure Thing.

A Washington telegram of the 22nd says that the sub-committee of the committee on commerce, to whom was referred Mr. Nelson’s bill to authorize the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company of Brainerd, Minn., to construct a dam across the Mississippi river, have agreed to make a favorable report on the bill to the full committee. The bill provides:
The company be authorized to construct across the Mississippi river, not more than two miles from Brainerd, a dam, canal, etc., for water power and other purposes, and in connection therewith a wagon and foot bridge for public travel; provided that the government can at any time construct in connection therewith a suitable lock for navigation purposes; also that the government may at any time take possession of said dam and control the same for purposes of navigation by paying said company the cost of the same, but not to the detriment of the water power created by said dam. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1884, p. 3, c. 4)


The bill introduced by Congressman Nelson, authorizing the building of a dam at Brainerd, is one of a number of pieces of legislation to be asked in congress and in the state legislature, in which the lumbermen of the Northwest are vitally interested, says the Pioneer Press. The proposition to build the dam is part of a scheme matured some time since, in which Hon. C. F. Kindred is a prime mover, to develop a large lumber business at Brainerd, where two mills have already been built. The banks of the Mississippi are high at that point, and so far as the lumber business is concerned the dam is designed less to furnish a motive power than to create a body of water in which logs can be stored and held. If the company who ask the legislation are successful in their effort to secure permission to build a dam at Brainerd, they will ask the state legislature, at the approaching session, to grant a charter for a boom company. It is part of the project of Mr. Kindred to eventually effect a continuous boom from Brainerd to the limits of the Mississippi and Rum river boom company now at Monticello. There has been nothing recently in the condition of the lumber market to encourage increased lumbering at Brainerd or anywhere else. The manufacturers along the Northern Pacific have, in fact, with but a single market, and that along the railroad, felt more seriously than anybody else the depression in the market. Mr. Kindred, urges, however, that this is only a temporary condition of things, and that on other streams the tendency has been for the business to work up the river toward the forests. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 December 1884, p. 3, c. 3)


During the past few days there has been considerable stir on the question of bonding the county of Crow Wing to aid in the construction of a dam across the Mississippi river at this point, and while there is no one who understands anything at all about it denies that it would prove an incalculable benefit to Brainerd and the county, there are some enemies to the scheme, but there is an overwhelming sentiment in favor of the dam and of bonding the county, provided the necessary guarantees are given that the dam will be built. As an explanation to such doubting parties as there may be, we publish in this issue a letter from Mr. C. F. Kindred, which makes the plan and in fact the whole thing clear.
The act passed by the recent legislature authorizing Crow Wing county to issue $50,000 in bonds to aid in constructing a bridge, and which act is published in full in this issue, is what has puzzled many of the voters, as it is known that another bridge is not necessary at this place, but the state constitution forbids the voting of bonds to aid corporations or companies and this is why the project was put through in the shape of a “bridge” bill, and only for the purpose of furthering the project of building the dam. The people are willing to vote the bonds, and we believe they would be willing to vote twice the amount, if they are sure there is no robbery or game intended, but by reading the act it will be seen that the entire matter, so far as the county’s interest is concerned, is left entirely under the control of county commissioners. The DISPATCH would be among the first to protest did we not think that the scheme was straight in every particular, and inasmuch as Mr. Kindred, in behalf of the Dam and Boom company, has offered and agreed to enter into a written agreement with the commissioners of Crow Wing County, if the contract be let to this company, to commence active work on the construction of the dam at once, and to complete it by Jan. 1, 1886. The commissioners will be expected to pay to the company out of the money coming from the bonds such sums as they deem proper as the work advances, and the remainder of the $50,000 on the completion of the work. A bridge will be built on the top of the dam to fill the requirements of the law.
There is work being done with the secretary of the interior to get a permit to dam the river at this point, and it is quite certain that it will be granted, inasmuch as a favorable report has been made by the government engineer for such dam to be put in. The county commissioners have authority from the statutes to grant a permit to dam the river as will be seen by the following, which is found on page 350, section 41: “LICENSE, WHEN AND TO WHOM GRANTED:—The board of county commissioners may grant a license to any person applying therefore, to construct and maintain a dam or dams across any stream within their respective counties and counties thereto attached for record or judicial purposes for the purpose of raising a head of water sufficient to sluice logs, timber or lumber upon being satisfied that such dam is necessary at the point applied for, and that the land on both sides of the stream is in the possession or under the control of the person so applying.”
The county commissioners have been interviewed and they are in favor of issuing the bonds, but to a man would oppose anything where the interests of the people will be put in jeopardy.
The time for voting for or against these bonds has been called for the 7th of April, which will be one week from next Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

An Explanation From Mr. Kindred.

To the voters of Crow Wing County:
Gentlemen: Some misapprehension having arisen regarding the proposition to be submitted to you on the 7th prog. to vote $50,000 in bonds to aid in the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi river at this place, I will say as follows by way of explanation of the proposition, on behalf of the Brainerd Dam and Boom company:
The proposition is designed primarily to cover a dam for water power purposes and a bridge, but the fact that the constitution of the state forbids the granting of special privileges by the legislature to private companies and corporations, would have rendered entirely worthless, even if we could have procured its passage, any act authorizing the county to vote aid to our company to build a dam. But the legislature had authority and it did authorize the people to vote aid to the construction of a bridge, that bridge to be such a bridge as the county commissioners agree upon. Thus this act leaves it with the commissioners to require this bridge to be set upon a pier or abutment of solid masonry running clear across the river, and suitably based upon a solid foundation in the bed of the river, and protected above and below by suitable structures; or, in other words, upon an eighteen or twenty foot dam, thereby creating a water power. Title 8 of chapter 32 of the general statutes give the commissioners the power to grant to our company the right to construct and maintain a dam across the Mississippi at this place.
Owing to the inhibition of the constitution referred to, it was not possible to frame a law any more specific than the one passed, which leaves the power with the county commissioners, if they see fit, to appropriate the $50,000 to the construction of a bridge alone. I only wish I could have had a legal act passed conclusive on all the points on both sides, though I have no doubt whatever that the commissioners will appropriate the money if voted, in accordance with the generally well understood wish of the people, viz., for the construction of a dam for a water power and bridge. At all events this much had to be entrusted to them if anything was done, and I think there is no division of opinion upon the question that we have got to do something. I have used my best judgement under all circumstances, and gotten the matter in the best shape I was able. The result rests with yourselves.
So far as our company is concerned, we are ready and would gladly enter into contract with the county commissioners at any time after or before the election; if desired, upon condition that the bonds are voted and the money paid to us from time to time as the work progresses, to erect the dam during 1885, in a good substantial manner, according to the plans in my office, and thus give us the second water power, as well as one of the most substantial and finest structures, in the state of Minnesota, bringing mills, factories, capital, enterprise, population and prosperity to Brainerd, as nothing else I can conceive will.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 March 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Will the Bonds be Voted!

In our last issue we printed a letter from Mr. Kindred in regard to the building of the proposed dam at this place and which had a tendency to allay the feelings of doubt in the minds of many as to the feasibility of voting the bonds asked for, and at the present time there is no doubt but that the election will carry without any serious opposition, although there are a few persons who are doing what they can to defeat the bonding of the county. There must be some object that these men who are opposing the scheme have which has not been explained. The building of the dam across the river at this point will be the biggest boon to Brainerd that could be imagined. For direct and lasting benefit it will be worth more than a dozen railroads. There are a few people who are raising the cry that these bonds will increase our taxes. There is not one property holder in the whole county who will not be benefitted at least ten times the amount of the increase in taxes. On the other hand it will increase the taxable property in Crow Wing county and in Brainerd so that we will be the gainer in that respect. Over a half million of dollars will be added to our resources for manufacturing and other business purposes. Pine lands and lumber will advance in price, real estate will increase in value, farmers will locate in the now sparsely settled portions of the county, and the direct result of the consummating of this project will be visible on every hand, and every dollar of new capital that is invested here will be taxable, which will, in our estimation, reduce taxes instead of increasing them. Ask any man who is well posted what the immediate benefit would be if active work is commenced this spring. For instance, ask any business man who has been paying $100 or over a month for rent, ask the laboring man who has been idle during the long winter months, ask the hotel keepers what effect it would have on them, ask the real estate men if it would not brace up their business and if they would not get better prices, and ask the farmers if they would not find a more ready market for their products at advanced prices. This matter is of the most vital importance to the future prospects of our city and county, and it is to be hoped that as such the voting for the bonds on Tuesday next will be carried unanimously and without opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Bond Meeting.

A meeting will be held at the Opera house on Saturday evening, April 4, to discuss the question of issuing bonds to aid in the construction of the Brainerd dam. Everybody is invited to be there. Come out and hear the question talked over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The Bond Vote.

The election called on Tuesday to vote on issuing $50,000 of Crow Wing county bonds to aid in the construction of a dam across the river at this place was a very quiet and orderly occasion. In the city there was 731 votes polled, 725 for and six against issuing the same. The vote in the different wards was as follows:
First Ward—239 for and none against.
Second Ward—174 for and two against.
Third Ward—126 for and three against.
Fourth Ward—186 for and one against.
The vote in the outside precincts, as far as have been heard from, stood as follows:
Deerwood—Seven for and eight against.
Bay Lake—Eight for and none against.
Mille Lacs—Seven for and seven against.
Fort Ripley—Five for and sixty-four against.
Fractional township 44—33—Fourteen for and none against.
Thus it will be seen that out of the whole county vote in which there are some 1,500 or 2,000 voters there are less than a hundred men who were opposed to the issuing of the bonds, and these men were undoubtedly misinformed as regarded the real intention of the election. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

Water Power Company.

The annual meeting of the Brainerd Water Power and Dam company was held on Tuesday, and the board of directors was reorganized. No change of importance was made. An assessment of 2 per cent on the subscribed stock was made toward the preliminary operations of constructing, and a surveying contract to ascertain the overflowage of the river above the dam was left to F. B. Thompson and O. H. Havill. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The engineers began the final survey of the proposed Mississippi dam on Wednesday to determine the amount of damages that will accrue from overflowage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Late in 1886 the aldermen studied a proposal to build a dam and a bridge across the river. They decided $20,000 would be needed to pay for damages due to flooding land south of the brick yard.
This proposal stirred up the electorate. The people in the First Ward hoped to swing influence to build a dam at about where the present bridges now are or, as they said, between Maple and Kingwood Streets. The Brainerd Water & Power Company opposed this site, claiming that the ensuing flooding would put its water plant out of business. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 31)

Dam Statistics.

The following article, although somewhat lengthy, is of an interesting character. After stating a few facts the correspondent of a St. Paul paper says that the mere throwing of a dam into the Mississippi at Brainerd, even though it were known that it would make a big head of water, for power purposes, would be no more than has been done at other points in the river above St. Paul, as at St. Cloud, now constructing, and at Sauk Rapids, long built. But the difference in the Brainerd case is very material, arising primarily in the natural condition of the stream at Brainerd, and above is for twenty or thirty miles; and with in the next place a marked difference in the shape of the stream, depth, banks, etc., at Brainerd, for adaptation to water power and navigation, when improved as proposed. This primary difference will be best set forth in an account of what the dam, as the survey shows, will accomplish, in transformation of the rapids and present impediments to navigation, the other respect of difference may be thus described: At twelve to fifteen miles above Brainerd begin a series of lakes close to the main stream, with inlets more or less marshy, and then follow small rapids, at intervals of a few miles, down to the last rapid, a mile or so above the city limits of Brainerd; also Rice lake comes in at nearly the same point. Immediately below Rice lake and the last rapid the banks of the river become loftier, the bottom lands disappear until the banks now become uniformly of a height on both sides, and that from 35 to 50 feet, approach to a comparatively narrow throat at one particular point. This point is at the Schwartz brick yard works, back of East Brainerd, the particular spot being on a line almost exactly with Fourth avenue prolonged northward to the river bank. From this narrow throat above, over the whole distance mentioned, past the rapids and lake inlets—twelve miles or more, the stream is not navigable, even in a medium stage of water, and only in the very highest of water, at a flood tide, could merchandizing boats of any size get over at all. As a rule, even logs in running from the pineries experience difficulty in passing. The upper narrow throat is one possible site of the dam. From this point downward the stream makes a great sweep around almost three sides of the city of Brainerd, viz., the north side, west, and bending somewhat at the south side. The same high banks continue following the stream downward from Schwartz, but widening out very much while passing the north and northwest faces of the city, forming extended and greatly indented bottom lands along these faces, but coming together closely again when just abreast of the central line of the city east and west, at which point the Northern Pacific crossing was selected, its present bridge lies but a few hundred feet below this second narrowing. Then below this the stream continues narrow for a few hundred yards, then widens again into a bottom land, there is a small (Boom) lake, and here are located the mills and yards including the flouring mill of Howes & Davis and the lumber mills of J. J. Howe & Co. At the second narrowing mentioned viz., less than 1,000 feet above the Northern Pacific and the present wagon bridge is the second proposed site for the dam, directly abreast of the city, and the choice between the two is the active and important question agitating the people, the points concerned which, are influencing the decision, to wit: That it is entirely a question of damages charged by property owners for overflowed lands.
As between the two sites, the difference in estimated cost is not so much, and whether either site is selected the main effect on the stream as to improvements for navigation purposes and as to water power is not materially different. Either would give, on the bottom lands and lakes, large boomage for log storage for mills. But taking up the lower site in detail, the following are the rough figures. The banks at the points of contact of the dam structure, are close to 50 feet above mean water, and the dam face would be about 475 feet. The mill dam surface and pond measurement would give with a dam height of 20 feet, 25,000 horse power. The surveys which were all completed last fall, were 18 foot tall, which will flood 250 to 300 acres of bottoms on the westward of the channel, and about 400 acres on the side, making 650 to 700 acres in all, flooded before the proposed site above is reached at all adding that much to the mill dam capacity over what the upper site would secure. Also these bottoms would be covered by the dam height of 18 feet, with 10 to 12 feet of water, making a great body of water navigable for all boats immediately abreast of the city, with the banks now known as the boulevard stretching around in such a manner as to be most advantageous for docks and wharves. With this arrangement the mills and factories would perhaps go below to the bottom areas toward the present Howe works, the power transmitted by race. Going on up stream as the levels have been run, we will note the effect from this lower dam. At two and one-half miles up Rice lake will be reached, a body of water about one-half by three-fourths of a mile in extent, with deep water. It will be raised over 10 feet and its mouth into the Mississippi, now a small brook, made of large size, all of slack water. Above this lake are fully 3,000 acres of flats, which will be flooded into a heavy body of water. Nine miles up is Rabbit lake, a body two miles long of deep water, a great ducking and fishing ground. This will also receive back water, and its outlet converted into the same water storage. Returning south on the north side, almost abreast of Brainerd proper is Gilbert lake, the city summer resort, now lined with cottages. This lake is several miles in extent, and a very charming place with evergreen banks, high and beautiful in summer with flowers of every description, and the lake itself in nooks and bays in that season is covered with pond lilies and other water flowers. This lake lies in such a manner to the north bank of the river that a cutting of less that 20 rods will equalize this lake to the dam level and connect its waters to the great system. The rapids previously mentioned as in the way of use of the river are known as French and Flat rapids, and that at the north of Rabbit brook all very formidable obstructions, and all completely flowed out by this dam—completely restoring a reach of over fourteen miles by the river, and making navigation good—Brainerd to Aitkin from which latter place it is now good to Grand Rapids, 150 miles making a total of navigable water from Brainerd of some 225 miles. What of water power and log boomage the dam will afford is easily estimated. The mill dam surface and acquirements actual and possible, from flooding the lakes and bottom areas and flats, about 4,000 acres; total 8,100 acres, or exceeding 20,000 square feet, at an average depth of ten feet this would make the enormous amount of over 200,000,000 cubic feet of water, exclusive of the cubic contents of the body of the river itself, through its course of fourteen or fifteen miles, that this dam would accumulate, from the waters above, and add to the bodies and volumes of waters as existing without the dam. It is such an enterprise as thus outlined, leaving out of the question all discussions as to advantages as for milling operations here; at the base of all the upper Mississippi lumber cut of exceeding 325,000,000 annually, and setting aside the question of bearing on the future of this city and other parts of the state in securing such a water power as this, that has engaged the efforts and attention of the public spirited gentlemen pushing it. They began two years ago, expecting at first to obtain from the state legislature all the needful legislation for thus going into the Mississippi. Congressional action was found necessary, and, after tedious work in the last congress, to which Mr. Nelson, the representative from the Fifth district, gave his best efforts, they were disappointed to see congress adjourn and the bill die with the session. For the present congress, forearmed by being forewarned, Mr. Nelson was one of the earliest on the ground, and with the outside assistance simply in the way of presenting the fact that there was nothing interfering, and that the government engineers approved the work, as an addition to the Mississippi reservoir system, Mr. Nelson worked it through the house nearly a month ago, and now Senator Sabin has done the same thing with the senate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1886, p. 3, c. 6)

Geo. S. Canfield and A. McDonald returned on Monday last from a cruising expedition up the river, where they had been sent by the Brainerd Dam Co. to ascertain if there was sufficient stumpage on the lands condemned for overflowage to furnish the necessary piling for building the dam. They reported an abundance of timber and the company will in a day or two send in a crew of men to get out the piling. It is now understood that the work will be pushed rapidly forward and that the dam will probably be completed next summer. If this should be the case the town would certainly experience a boom next spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Actual Work Begun on the Dam.

Charles Firman Kindred, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Actual work has been begun on the dam. At least one half of the piling necessary for its construction, and a great deal of timber has already been gotten out by a crew of twenty men who have been employed at Rabbit Lake under the foremanship of Geo. S. Canfield, for the past two weeks, and it is reported that the driving of the piles will begin within a week. Stone has also been contracted for in small quantities in this vicinity where it can be obtained, and additional contracts are being awarded every day. Certified checks have been placed on deposit with Clerk of Court, S. F. Alderman to pay claims for damages for overflowage of lands to those who have not appealed from the decision of the commissioners appointed to appraise the amount of damage sustained by each individual on account of overflowage. Mr. Kindred informs a DISPATCH scribe that new plans and specifications have just been completed by Mr. C. J. A. Morris, the engineer who had charge of the construction of the St. Cloud dam, and who will also have the supervision of the building of the dam here. Mr. Kindred also emphatically states that the work will now be carried steadily forward without intermission until the dam is completed, which Mr. Kindred thinks will not take over six or eight months. As to the location Mr. Kindred did not know definitely whether it would be just above the bridge or at the brick yard, but he gave the impression that the lower site would be selected. He said, however, that it would be definitely known in a day or two, as the delivery of the material for construction would begin shortly. It is to be hoped that the lower site will be selected, as it will increase the value of town property in a greater degree than if constructed at the brick yard. Mr. Kindred is to be commended for the push and energy he has displayed in the matter, and he should have the hearty co-operation of all our business men, as it is certainly going to be a great benefit to our town. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 December 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

That Dam Business.

A meeting of the citizens was held at the Villard Wednesday afternoon to look into the matter of the location and which the people are desirous of having near the old ferry. This place the dam company finds impracticable on account of not being able to get a clear title to the land on which the west abutment must rest from Chas. Ahrens, he having appealed from the award. A committee consisting of L. P. White, Geo. Holland and J. H. Koop was appointed to see if it was possible to overcome this difficulty and also to see what arrangements could be made in regard to the damage that would arise by overflowage between that site and the brick yard site. In case no arrangements can be made active work will be commenced at the up river site, nearly all the piling and considerable other timber having been already cut. The building of this dam will be a good thing for Brainerd no matter where it is put but there is a divided opinion as to which place would benefit us the most. There is no doubt but that the majority of our citizens desire to see the improvements located as near the city as possible for if the upper site is selected there is no doubt but that a small berg would spring up around it and although in the city limits it would not cause the immediate result to real estate and other interests that is desired. The DISPATCH would like to see the dam located where the majority of the people want it but if that is impossible we shall be satisfied to see it constructed at the most available place. It is now expected that the improvements will be completed by July next. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

To Be or Not To Be.

The location of the Brainerd dam has not yet been settled, or rather there are a good many who desire to see it built on the lower proposed site and are striving to bring about a state of things that will succeed in getting it there. To do this it will be necessary to raise money to pay all damages below the brick yard for flowage, which will amount to some $15,000, as the company are willing to locate at this point providing the citizens stand the extra expense. Mrs. Schwartz, it is stated, asks $20,000 damages, and Chas. Ahrens has finally said that he would settle for $5,000. A meeting was held Wednesday evening at the Villard hotel to hear the report of a committee appointed some days ago to look into the matter, and the committee reported that they had not been able to accomplish much. After a general discussion of the subject a motion was made and carried that “it was the sense of the meeting that the city be requested to pay these damages,” and Wm. Paine, W. W. Hartley and J. N. Nevers were appointed a committee to confer with the city council in regard to the matter and report next Tuesday evening at the same place. Mr. Kindred informed the gentlemen present that he expected his pile-driver here next Monday and wanted the matter settled immediately as he desired to get to work as soon as possible. Different opinions were expressed by different people present and there seemed to be a division of sentiment in regard to its location, a good many taking the stand that the brick yard site would be as good a place as any. It is not known what action the city council will take in the matter but it seems to be the prevailing feeling among the people that it will be impossible to meet the necessary requirements in order to secure the lower location and that construction will be commenced at the brick yard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

The matter of the location of the dam is still agitating the minds of property holders. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 1, c. 4)

Brainerd seems to be willing to bond herself in order to secure the location of the dam at the ferry. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 1, c. 4)

In Favor of Issuing Bonds.

There has been considerable agitation during the past week over the location of the Brainerd dam. On Monday night a lively discussion was indulged in by the city dads in in regard to taking steps for the city to issue bonds to pay [for] the overflow below the brick yard in order to secure the lower site, which resulted in a committee being appointed consisting of Aldermen Gardner, Graham and Hemstead and George Holland to look the matter up and report at a meeting Tuesday night, the following being the


To the City Council of the City of Brainerd. Gentlemen: Your committee appointed to confer with the owners of property whose lands will be damaged by the building of the dam at the old ferry, beg leave to report as follows:
S. B. Hitt will take $200 for the damages caused by flooding his lands, and D. A. C. Stoops will accept $400 for damages to his property. We think these amounts reasonable.
Charles Ahrens, for himself and his brother, will take $5,000 for damages caused by the flooding of their lands. He wants $2,000 down and some guarantee for the balance.
Mrs. Schwartz wants $20,000 for damages to her property; that is, $16,000 for damages to the brick yard property, and $4,000 for her bottom land.
F. Hansmann asks $1,200 for damages to his land, and Miss Gillis wants $700 for damages to her land.
John McCarthy will settle the damages to his lands (lots) for $150.
Wm. Paine will donate to the city or Water Power company the damages caused to his land, which the commission fixed at $400, provided the dam is located at the old ferry.
L. P. White, L. E. Lum and G. G. Hartley ask nothing for damages to their lands.
These are the only parties we have talked with or could see in the time given us.
In talking with the attorney of the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, and on examination of the records in the clerk’s office, we find that Mrs. Schwartz has appealed from the award of the commission only in fixing the amount of the damages to her lands in section 24, but has not appealed from the award of the commission fixing damages to the brick yard property in section 19. We are also informed that the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company have paid the award of damages of the commission to brick yard property, which reduces the amount in question $16,000.
We are agreed that the dam should be located at or near the old ferry, just above the railroad bridge, and that it can be built there without much difficulty, if the city council and the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company work harmoniously together.
We believe that all damages below the brick yard, caused by the over flow, can be settled for less than $15,000. This includes the $5,000 wanted by the Ahrens Bros.
With your permission we would recommend:
1. Ascertain whether the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company will build the dam at the old ferry, if the city council pays the damages caused by flowage below the brick yard.
2. Have the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company appoint a commission forthwith on both sides of the river similar to those heretofore acting.
3. Settle with and pay all those damaged below the brick yard. Be liberal with them, but not extravagant. This should be done as soon as possible.
4. When the commission are qualified and ready to act, bring before them all those cases that cannot be compromised.
In order to carry out these recommendations it will be necessary to have the legislature authorize your honorable body to issue bonds, from the sale of which you will secure the money to pay these damages. We recommend this, and believe the money thus spent will be well invested.
Dated Dec. 21, 1886.
I cordially approve of the above report.
This report was adopted by a vote of five to four the nays being Aldermen Forsyth, Graham, Percy and Sundberg.
It was decided at this meeting to call an informal election in each ward for Thursday night in order to get an expression from the people in regard to this matter of bonds. Accordingly circulars were issued and scattered over the city, stating, among other things, that the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Company had offered to build the dam between Maple and Kingwood streets, provided the city would pay the damages to be awarded by the commission below the brick yard, and that the works would go in above unless such action was taken; also, the Water Power Company to give stock in its company to the extent of damages paid, and that the vote would not be final, but just an informal expression. The election came off last night in the different wards, there being 634 votes cast, which were divided up as follows:
First ward
Second ward
For 100
Third ward
Fourth ward
Fifth ward
Thus it will be seen that of the tax-payers who were interested enough to come out and let people know how they stood there were a 430 majority in favor of bonding the city $20,000 or a less amount as is found necessary to secure the lower location. This vote of course gives the city council an idea of what the people want and their action will be governed accordingly. Before these bonds can be issued an act must be passed by the legislature authorizing the same. In the meantime work must proceed in order to keep the contract with the county good and probably the matter is settled that the ferry site will be the location as in the face of the result Thursday night the dam company could hardly put the work in above the brick yard if they so desired to do.


On Friday afternoon last the county commissioners issued bonds in the sum of $50,000 to the Water Power and Boom company, they giving a bond of $55,0000 signed by the following citizens: H. J. Spencer. L. P. White, L. E. Lum, J. A. Davis, J. N. Nevers, Geo. Forsyth, E. Y. Farrar, A. E. Taylor, S. Walker, C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, who agree to see that work is commenced before January 15th, 1887, and that the dam is completed inside of ten months, and who are to see that the money is expended judiciously and for the purpose that they were issued. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 December 1886, p. 4, c.’s 4 & 5)

The Vexed Dam Question.

The location of the dam has not yet been satisfactorily settled. The city council at its special meeting Monday evening appointed a committee consisting of A. E. Taylor, W. A. Fleming and Dr. Hemstead to confer with the president of the water power and boom company to see if an agreement could be made between the city and the company to insure the construction of the dam at the old ferry, provided the city pays the additional expense for overflow below the brickyard. An agreement was drawn up by City Attorney Fleming and the committee waited upon Mr. Kindred, Wednesday evening, at which time he told them it would be impossible to sign it, as the agreement that the company had offered was that the city give to them the title to the lands to be overflowed, and that he considered the written agreement impracticable, stating his reasons at length. Material is being hauled to the upper site, and if we not miss our guess the works will be located there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

Commissioners’ Proceedings.

...The chairman of the board made report that he had disposed of the $50,000 bonds as authorized by the board at a special meeting of said board held Dec. 17th, 1886.
The following resolution was adopted:
WHEREAS, The chairman of the board of County Commissioners of Crow Wing county, Minn., has in pursuance of the resolutions of said board passed Dec. 17th, 1886, sold the fifty thousand dollars bonds of said county authorized by an act of the legislature of the state of Minnesota, approved March 4th, 1886, to Chas. F. Kindred for the sum of fifty thousand dollars.
RESOLVED, That the action of said chairman in making said sale is hereby ratified, confirmed and adopted as the action of this board of County Commissioners.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 December 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

The City Council.

The council met in regular session last Monday night. All present.


City Attorney Fleming made a report regarding the riparian rights connected with the Ahrens property in West Brainerd. The report showed that the shore right needed on the west side for the proposed dam at the old ferry was owned by L. P. White and J. A. Davis.


Reports were then read regarding the location of the dam, including the proposition made by the city to the Water Power and Boom company; the opinion of G. S. Fernald, the attorney of the company, as to the legal effect of entering into such an agreement as was contemplated in the proposition, and the decision of the board of directors of the company, which met on the preceding Saturday, to not enter into such and agreement. Attorney Fernald’s opinion showed that the city, in its proposition, did not agree to do anything but “make efforts” to do certain things; and many other points were referred to and explained. The opinion, in short, was to the effect that the proposed arrangement would leave the company without any legal remedy to secure it in case the city should be unable or unwilling to settle with the claimants of overflow damages.


On motion a committee was appointed consisting of City Attorney Fleming, and Aldermen Taylor and Hemstead, to confer with the board of county commissioners and secure an extension of the time for the company to commence the work of construction from Jan. 15 to Feb. 1, to give time to complete negotiations between the city and company.
The council then adjourned, to Wednesday evening.


A special meeting was held Wednesday evening. All present.
The committee above named reported that they had conferred with the board of county commissioners and secured the above named extension until Feb. 1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)


Of the Board of County Commissioners Jan-
uary 4th [?] 1887.


...Agreeable to request presented by a delegation from the city council in reference to extension of time for commencement of work on dam from Jan. 15th, to Feb. 1st, 1887, it was resolved that the time for the commencement of the construction of the dam and bridge mentioned in a certain bond of $55,000 given to this board on the 17th day of December, A. D., 1886, by the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, with C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer, J. A. Davis, John Nevers, George Forysth, E. Y. Farrar, Lyman P. White, A. E. Taylor and S. Walker as sureties, is extended from the 15th day of January, A. D. 1887 to the 1st day of February, A. D. 1887, by request of said Mississippi Water Power and Boom company and said sureties. Ayes—A. P. Farrar, P. G. Folglestrom and J. S. Gardner. Nos—J. M. Martin and Harry Patterson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

The Tribune at first strongly favored the ferry site for the dam and almost yelled itself black in the face. It now thinks the upper site is preferable. If some one will only suggest to the venerable editor of that sheet that the dam should be built at Jerry Howe’s mill the entire edition of this week will contain reasons why it should be constructed there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Give Us the Dam.

It has been finally settled that the dam will be located and constructed at the brick yard site or not at all. Much as the DISPATCH would like to see the works go in at the old ferry, we do not like to see the scheme die before it has hardly been born because we cannot be entirely pleased in regard to having it exactly where we want it. We are sorry to say, however, that there are in this city a half dozen or so of citizens who are of that make-up, and that preparations have been made by them to serve an injunction as soon as work on the structure has been commenced at the upper site; and they openly avow that they would rather see no dam at all than to see it constructed at the brick yard. Why do they do this? is asked, and the only answer that the writer has heard is because their financial interests are considered instead of the good of the city at large. If this dam is not built now, Brainerd might as well hang up her fiddle for the future, and the fact stares us squarely in the face. Business men, property holders, etc., have been waiting for the last three years for the completion of this enterprise in the hope that it would give new life to our city and make it a prosperous and healthy business place. The time has come, the company are ready to commence work and we are about to enter upon a new era, when a few gentlemen step up and say, “This dam must go in where it will benefit us personally, or we will serve an injunction on it and stop work. We will have it where we want it or the people of Brainerd shall not have a dam at all.”
There is no doubt but to some the action of the Water Power and Boom company looks obstinate when so many people would like to see the dam go in at the ferry, but they state that considering the shape things are in it is impossible to construct it at the lower site. In the first place it is impossible for this city to convey the title to the overflowed lands in time to complete the work this year, which must be done, and it would be impracticable and impossible for the company to do the work without it. It is to be hoped that these gentlemen will overcome their feelings in regard to this matter, and place no obstruction in the way of the early completion of the dam, as it is a settled fact that we must have it and that if it does not go in at the brick yard it will not go in at all.
The following letter was circulated on Thursday for signatures:


BRAINERD, Jan. 13, 1887.

To the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Co., Brainerd Minn.
Gentlemen: Recognizing the fact that there has already been a great deal of delay in the enterprise you are undertaking, some of it necessarily incurred in obtaining the requisite legislation and in other legal proceedings, and more thrown away in futile efforts to effect a compromise on location, and believing no arrangements are possible within any reasonable time by which the lower site can be obtained, the time already getting very short for the completion of the work the present season, we, the undersigned citizens and tax-payers of Brainerd and Crow Wing county, being extremely desirous that the dam be completed the present season, earnestly request that you entertain no further delays, but push the work to an early completion at the upper site, if the lower is unobtainable forthwith. We want the dam somewhere, and want it now, not next year, or after we are all dead; therefore, relying on your own interests to induce you to do all for the best, we urge you to proceed, and pledge you our aid, sanction and moral support.
Respectfully yours,
K. S. PAINE & CO.,


Brainerd, Jan. 12, 1887.

Mr. J. H. Koop: You desire to know my sentiments on the “dam” question. I say emphatically, if the Water Power Co. and owners of flowage cannot agree so as to build the coming season at the old ferry, then build the dam across Rice lake, French rapids, or the brick yard. We want and must have the dam this year 1887.
Truly yours,
(Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 1, c.’s 5 & 6)

The location of the dam is a thing of the past. It is located and work on it is progressing rapidly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 3)

The dam is now fairly underway despite all efforts of the kickers. The threat by letter to “put a bullet through Mr. Kindred” if he built the dam at the brick yard did not stop the pile driver for a moment and the work goes merrily on. The man who wrote that letter should be found out and given a chance to leave town or be punished for his murderous threat. Talk about the Chicago anarchists, we should say our city comes very near having as dangerous characters located right in her midst. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 4)

Alas! Too Late!

C. F. Kindred is about as clever a politician as I have met for a long time, and a good illustration of his shrewdness cropped out at the capital yesterday. Mr. Kindred had a bill introduced into the house and senate Friday for a change in the location of a dam in the river at Brainerd. It was rushed through with lightning like rapidity in both branches. Friday evening Mr. Kindred got the speaker and clerk of the senate to fix the bill up for the governor’s signature, and aroused the latter from his bed to sign it. Yesterday a delegation came from Brainerd to oppose the bill, but found it had already been made a law.—Minneapolis. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 6)

Red-Headed People.

Charlie Kindred, of Brainerd, is keeping up his record for scheming. He induced the county commissioners of Crow Wing county to consent to the location of a dam about a mile and a half above Brainerd, and to issue a $50,000 bond for it, although the city council of Brainerd was opposed to it. He then prevailed upon representative Lum to introduce a bill legalizing the action of the county commissioners. It went through both houses, and Kindred drove around in a hack and got Gov. McGill to sign it before anybody tumbled. Now Messrs. Howe, Pain and Taylor are down here red-headed, and say that Kindred has got a monopoly on God’s water.—Pioneer Press.
The red-headed part of the article is undoubtedly true, but the county commissioners never consented to any location and the city council had nothing to do with the county commissioners issuing bonds, and last Mr. Lum did not introduce the bill to legalize the action of the county commissioners as Mr. Flynn had the honor. The Press man must have been “stuffed” by some interested party. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 7)

The people of the Third ward will meet in mass convention Saturday evening at the hose house and will pass resolutions denouncing the scheme of trying to stop the construction of the dam. We have casually heard it remarked that it will be a d----d interesting meeting, especially to the opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Wants to Realize.

The following letter was received at the Dispatch office this morning:
MR. EDITER:—I want tew ask you a questen. I can to Lotts nere the park whitch i wanter sell so that I can gow away from hear. If the damm is bilt up to old Miss Swarts brick yard I cant never do it; neither kan Billy Paign, nor Mr. tailer, nor mister Steal or davis, and a lot more whitch I no wont to. Now wat I want tow no is what rite that skunk of a kindred hass to put that damm up there so we cant sell out. Me and my wife is ankshus to go awa and i think something cood be done to help up. So does all of us men. Cant you ask governor McGill to kum up hear and stop Kindred from bilding the damm up the river.
Yours truely,
J. B.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

They Will Bridge It.

During the past week various rumors have been afloat in regard to the much talked of dam. In fact the subject has almost degenerated to a chestnut. Nevertheless work is progressing rapidly, another pile driver has been put at work and about 90 piles have been driven. People talk that the work will be stopped in a few days but the indications are entirely in the other direction. The theory is advanced, by the the few who would rather deprive the people of the city of Brainerd of the dam entirely, than to let it go in at the brick yard, that the work is only a sham in order to sell off real estate in that vicinity and then suspend operations, and in the meantime that the Water Power and Boom company will succeed in expending the $50,000 of county money and we will be no better off. This is all bosh, at least we believe it is, for in the same breath they say that Kindred will never get a cent of the county money. If this is a fact why endeavor to throw obstructions in the way of the work? If the gentlemen who are straining every muscle to stop the building of the dam succeed in so doing, which is not at all probable, and the dam is not constructed, before the year is out there will be such an outburst of indignation among our citizens that these gentlemen will be glad to escape to some secluded retreat, no matter how sincere they may be in the matter at present.
We were at the site this morning and found the work progressing much more rapidly than we supposed, and as we left the 98th pile was being driven, the steam pile driver being at work on the east side of the river, and the horse power on the west side. Instead of being mere fence posts as has been said by some of the kickers, the piles are all of sufficient size to insure a good solid structure, and are driven about eighteen feet into the ground, the water being but three feet and a half deep at that point. There are some twenty teams engaged in hauling rock and timber to the place, and about 30 men are at present engaged in driving and getting the piles in shape. If there is a man in the city that can go there and view the work and the arrangements that are being made, and then say that they actually think the whole proceedings is a fraud and only for effect, we would like to see him.
Another new feature is the erection of a sawmill which has just been begun. This mill will have a capacity of 75,000 feet daily and will be used to saw the timber for the dam, after which it will be converted into a saw mill for general use. The foundation for the same was being commenced while we were there, and it will be rushed to completion.
Mr. Kindred informs us that the obstructions placed in the way of getting the money that was voted for the construction by the people, will not stop the work, and that he will go ahead and fill his contract with the county and that the money part will come all right; that the Boom Company is entirely competent to manage and sustain their rights in the matter. The people who expect to stay in Brainerd and depend on it for their livelihood are all anxious to see the work go ahead at this point because it is impossible to build it anywhere else, while the people who want to sell out and realize their property are on the opposition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Work Progressing.

A DISPATCH scribe visited the site of the Brainerd dam this morning and found that the work was being carried on with the utmost speed. There are up to to-day 350 piles driven and by Tuesday noon all the piling in the river will be in. One hundred and fifty-two men are employed on the work, the greater part of whom are engaged in excavating the west bank of the river for the abutment. The machinery for the new saw mill is expected to arrive to-day and will be placed in position immediately with Wm. Seelye in charge. Mr. Kindred informs us that he contracted with a Mr. Lennon of Minneapolis to put in a large flour and feed mill, power to be 600 horse, and the dam company proposes to give any company or corporation the use of the power free that will put in mills at this point, the time to run twenty-five years. It is something to the credit of the company to see that they are not trying to make a large sum from the use of the power, but on the contrary are offering to donate it to anyone who will utilize the same. This shows conclusively that the dam company are trying to benefit the city and county in return for the money which was voted by the citizens to help the project along. Even the gentlemen who were so much opposed to building the dam at the brick yard are now convinced that everything is for the best and that the work is being put in in good faith, although they stated at first that the project was only a scheme. The dam is being put in to stay and Brainerd’s future prosperity is assured. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 1887, p. 4, c. 5)


Parties Who are Opposed to Building
Up Brainerd and Improving the
Water Power Succeed in
Getting an


Will it Stick?

Last Saturday, much to the surprise of a large portion of the people of this city, it was ascertained that injunction papers had been issued to stop payment of the $50,000 which had been obtained from the sale of county bonds, to the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company. Friday evening an attorney came here from St. Paul representing O’Brien & O’Brien, lawyers, and Saturday he commenced proceedings by serving a notice on the First National bank where the money is on deposit. The complaint was filed with the clerk of the court, and the names appearing thereon as plaintiff’s are as follows:
J. J. Howe, A. E. Taylor, Walter Davis, Wm. Steel, Max Shapiro, J. M. Gray, A. E. Losey, J. C. Congdon, I. T. Dean, T. R. Congdon, C. H. Douglas, G. H. Stratton, S. H. Relf, Henry Mahle, A. O. Narrow, John Anderson, Thomas Wilson, August Hallquist, Peter Nelson Buck, H. Rosenblatt, John Murray, H. Guillot, John Bubar, P. D. Davenport, John De Gregg, James M. Quinn, Iver Benson, Christ. Nelson, August Beck, Hans Svorkmo, John Hultin, John Iverson, Hans Hauker, W. H. Erb. Geo. Wilson, Geo. F. Burton, Martin Anderson, Charles Greve, John Willis, Andrew Anderson, Ole Erickson, Louis Larson, Andrew Peterson, Charles Peterson, Joseph Blomberg, John F. Jackson, O. A. Lindberg, A. M. Peterson, John A. Johnson, Ed. Hazen, Charles Otto, Nels Paulson, Carl Gustafson, Nels Nelson, Geo. C. Hastings, A. F. Daggett, James McDonald, Nicolai Eilerton, J. E. Ambly, J. A. Eckberg, A. V. Snyder, K. S. Paine, F. M. Cable, W. S. Martin, J. Young, R. Parker, J. M. Hayes, Fred. Luken, Peter Mertz, Wm. Paine, Jr. and S. W. Searles.
The Defendants are named in the complaint as follows:
The board of county commissioners of the county of Crow Wing, the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, the First National Bank of Brainerd, C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, N. McFadden, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer, J. A. Davis, J. N. Nevers, George Forsyth, E. Y. Farrar, L. P. White, A. E. Taylor, S. Walker, J. M. Martin, Edward Mahan, Louis Tache, J. S. Gardner, A. P. Farrar, Harry Patterson and P. G. Fogelstrom.
The complaint sets forth among other things that each are residents and tax payers of Crow Wing county, and that their taxable and real property in said county and state amounts to $150,000. That during the year 1885 the plaintiffs and other residents were desirous of having a bridge built across the Mississippi river, and that the legislature authorized the county commissioners to issue bonds not exceeding $50,000 to aid in such construction, provided that a majority of the voters were in favor of so doing. That all these things were done and that the county commissioners issued the bonds on Dec. 17, 1886, and that the chairman of the board without seeking or advertising for bids sold them to C. F. Kindred for their face value, although the plaintiffs claim they are informed they were worth much more than their face value. It is claimed further that this Water Power Company never intended to build a bridge or to use said money in building a bridge but intended to build a dam SEVERAL MILES outside the city limits, and that to give color of compliance with the law they intended to build a small structure on top of the dam as a bridge. That the county commissioners well knew what was intended, and the said board of county commissioners and the Water Power and Boom company for the purpose of cheating and defrauding the county and diverting said proceeds from the sale of the bonds turned the proceeds over as aforesaid. They claim further, that the company has no authority from the United States to construct the bridge where it is being constructed, and that it will constitute a nuisance and obstruction to navigation. That unless restrained by injunction the Boom Company will spend all or nearly all of said funds in building a dam by consent of the county commissioners and bondsmen, and appropriate the same to this use to the great and irreparable injury of these plaintiffs as well as all other tax payers of said county.
The plaintiffs demand judgment that said proceeds be declared to be the property and funds of Crow Wing Co., and that the company and bondsmen be enjoined from drawing or receiving any of said fund from said bank, and that the commissioners be forbidden from paying said money to the Water Power company for the building of a bridge at the place where the dam is now being constructed, or at any other place than as specified in the act of 1885. The complaint ends with the request that these funds be declared the property of Crow Wing county, and they be turned into the county treasury.
The object of these proceedings is well known to every resident of the city, though previously the scheme is more clear to-day to some of the gentlemen who were induced to sign the paper when the petition was being circulated, and that is, to get the matter before the courts in such a light as to prevent the building of any dam at all at Brainerd. The gentlemen directly interested did not inform the men they induced to sign this paper that they intended to stop the whole proceedings if such a thing was in the power of man to do. Oh, no. These men were led to believe that it was a last resort as a remonstrance to building at the upper site, and would serve as a leverage to bring it down to the ferry; and while they wanted it at the latter place, still they desired to see it constructed somewhere, and at the brick yard if it was impossible to get it where they most desired. Have you, dear reader, any remote idea that Minneapolis wants this city to build up into a large manufacturing town? Do you think Minneapolis lumbermen desire to see a fine water power here at Brainerd with lumber ills, etc.? If you do you are mistaken, and the power behind all these proceedings lies right in that direction urged on by men directly and indirectly connected with lumbering concerns of that place.
When the people of this city voted those bonds they did it with a direct understanding that the money derived therefrom was to be expended in a dam. Why do some of these same men now step up and say “you are defrauding us by building a dam instead of a bridge?” It is simply a thin, gauzy excuse and the people of this city know it. Over half the names on that list were obtained by misrepresentation and several have told us that they never signed any paper at all. Is that what is called a good square business transaction between fellow citizens? If the gentlemen who signed the petition ten days or two weeks ago could have their names taken off to-day not ten would appear upon the list.
It is a settled fact that if the work is stopped now we will not get a dam at all, but it is not probable that such will be the case. Col. C. D. Kerr, of St. Paul, and G. S. Fernald of this city have been retained for the Water Power company and the hearing will be had some time the following week and Mr. Fernald expresses it as his opinion that the matter will come out all right.


A meeting of indignant citizens was held at the opera house Monday evening and even the standing room was taken. Hon. L. P. White presided and in a few words expressed his views on the subject. He wanted the dam built below but could not be pleased in that respect and he was willing to see the work go on at the brick yard. C. B. Sleeper, H. C. Stivers and others addressed the meeting. John Willis stated publicly to the audience that he should ask to have his name taken from the injunction paper. The following resolutions were adopted without a dissenting vote:
WHEREAS, A few obstructionists whose action is based exclusively on selfish interests, and not the public good, whether as hired attorney or owners of river front property, by overt act indicated that if they could not rule they are disposed to ruin the best interests of the citizens of Brainerd; and,
WHEREAS, The power behind the throne in this obstruction movement has always opposed the development of a water power at or near Brainerd and, in the opinion of this people would have interposed, if possible, total obstructions to the construction of a dam at the old ferry; and,
WHEREAS, This attitude is not or plainly manifest in the effort to now lead many of our citizens by using their names without their authority to institute proceedings to prevent the dam from being built, but inventing a malicious and vindictive spite by using the same influence to detach Cass and Itasca counties from Crow Wing, thus taking from our county treasury considerable of the annual revenue, as appears from the effort on the part of this power to carry these measures through the present legislature; and,
WHEREAS, This power behind the throne only regards its monopoly, and desires to shut out any line of competitive manufacture in the city of Brainerd; and,
WHEREAS, We find amongst us these self-styled liberal, whole-souled citizens who would sacrifice a dollar in one minute to make $400 for themselves, and not a dollar in ten years to help any one else make anything, and whose almighty self is pregnant with lofty aspirations for self enrichment, while the public welfare goes to an old maid’s grave without the promise of even a jack pine headboard.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That we, as citizens of Brainerd, believe that the general prosperity of this community is worth the individual enrichment of a dozen obstructionists.
RESOLVED, That we sincerely believe that the construction of the dam on the upper site is in the best interest of Brainerd, and that it would be a great injustice to the Water Power and Boom Company to be compelled to build on the lower site at an extra cost of $50,000, merely to oblige a few people who own property adjacent and on the river front.
RESOLVED, That we as earnestly condemn the efforts of attorneys and others in misleading citizens to sign a petition purporting to express a preference simply for the lower site, when in fact said petition is an attempt to prevent the construction of a dam anywhere, by interposing judicial proceedings to embarrass, hamper and worry said Water Power and Boom company in its efforts to establish a manufacturing centre at Brainerd.
RESOLVED, That while we so condemn, we believe that no citizens of Brainerd, except paid attorneys of non-residents, realize what a calamity such opposition is likely to result in, to the industrial development of the city; and that we believe and predict that in a very short period of time no man can be found in our midst who will have the effrontery to father the action for an injunction, or will be willing to pay his share of the costs and attorneys’ fees, or put up his share of damage the Water Power and Boom company is likely to demand for any hindrance or delay occasioned by said injunction.
RESOLVED, That we extend to said Water Power and Boom company our hearty support in carrying on this enterprise to completion, believing that nearly all the people of Brainerd deplore any delay, and condemn any interference with the work now in progress, and that the selfish obstructionist should be ignored, in view of the vital question of a dam, and that at once and now.


We, the undersigned, wish to state to the citizens of Brainerd that we are not plaintiffs in the action taken against the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, and that our names were used unauthorized. If any petition we signed was intended to put an injunction upon the money voted by the county to be used in the construction of the bridge and dam, we did not understand it. We want the dam, and want it built where it is now located and under construction.

I want the dam built.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 1, c.’s 4, 5 & 6)

Not Consistent.

Mr. Holland, the county attorney, seems to lack that very essential qualification which is called consistency. He is one of several gentlemen who are opposed to the putting in of works at the upper site and was foremost in getting petitions around for signers to stop the work. When the injunction papers appeared for inspection it was noticed that the constitutional objection of issuing money for a dam instead of a bridge was the strong and principal point that the injunction papers contained. Let us go back a few weeks and see how Mr. Holland stood on that point at that time. It will be remembered that the talk of raising money to pay for overflow by the city was indulged in and a meeting of the council was held to discuss the matter. Mr. Holland was present and his opinion was asked in regard to this matter of constitutional objection, and he gave it out cold that it didn’t make any difference, that that part of the question was no figure in the case, and the city could lawfully vote the money to be used for that purpose. His attitude at this stage of the game is entirely different. If he had desired to appear in a just light before the people who elected him to that office he would have requested the county commissioners to secure some other legal advice during this case which has been brought against them, considering his attitude in the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 1, c. 7)

Jas. Gardner, chairman of the board of county commissioners had called a special meeting of that body for Monday, the 14th inst. Although not stated it is understood that this meeting will be to take steps toward employing an attorney and getting legal advice in regard to the suit brought against the commissioners by the obstructionists for DEFRAUDING and CHEATING the county. It looks well in print, don’t it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The City Council.

...A motion was made to instruct Hon. L. E. Lum to introduce a bill in the legislature to repeal the act authorizing this city to issue $25,000 to aid in building a bridge, which was carried without a dissenting vote. This latter action now practically does away with any forlorn hope that may exist in the breasts of some that the dam company will finally build the dam at the lower site if plenty of kicking is done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Items of Interest Briefly Told.

The bridge will be built in spite of all the DAM kicking.

Let the croakers croak, the moss on their back will be thicker still if they succeed in their undertaking.

How’s the dam! Rats. Better ask how the gentlemen who are opposed to a dam under all circumstances. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The new saw mill at the dam is being pushed to completion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Everything is Lovely.

The order of Judge Mills dissolving the injunction which had been placed on the $50,000 which was received by Attorney Fernald last Friday afternoon after the Dispatch had gone to press, was very pleasant news to the people of this city. The following memoranda which accompanied the order will be of interest to our readers:
It is conceded that the bonds were properly issued, and I can find nothing irregular in their sale, much less any conspiracy. It is quite common in issuing county and city bonds in this part of the state to have a purchaser in view before the same are issued, and there is nothing unusual in completing the sale on the day of the issue of the bonds, and six per cent bonds of northern counties sold at par are generally considered well sold. The act of 1885 authorized the bonding of the county, and fixed the location of the bridge, and the amendatory act of 1887 allows the change of the location and ratifies and confirms all proceedings already had. I can see no constitutional objection to the amendatory act. The title shows just what act it intended to amend, and there can be no doubt of the authority of the legislature to amend it so as to change the location of this bridge, and the insertion of a provision legalizing the proceedings had under the former act is not objectionable. They were already legal, and under the law as it stood the commissioners undoubtedly had a right to contract for building a bridge, and had so contracted with the defendant, the Mississippi Water Power and Boom company, a corporation organized under the general laws of this State. But it is urged that this corporation had no right to enter into this contract, and the contract on its part was ultra vires. This contract had been made and fully completed so far as the county of Crow Wing is concerned, and this corporation has received the benefit thereof, and where a private corporation has entered into a contract with a third party, which has been fully performed by the third party, and the corporation has received the benefits thereof, the corporation will be held bound by its contract, even if in the first instance it was ultra vires.


...From a careful examination of the complaint and answer, I find that all the equities alleged in the complaint are fully met and denied in the answer, and in such case the general rule is the injunction should be dissolved, and there is nothing in the case why an exception should be made to the rule. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 February 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The work at the dam goes merrily on and everybody is happy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1887, p. 4, c. 7)

View above the completed dam, ca. 1888
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
View below the completed dam, ca. 1888
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
Work at the dam is being pushed with all possible speed, the pile driver being at work day and night in order to get the sheet piling in before the ice goes out. The progress so far has been entirely satisfactory and it is indeed surprising that so much should have been accomplished in so short a space of time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The railroad company has extended the brick yard track to the dam which will greatly facilitate work at the latter place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The case of R. K. Whiteley against the Mississippi Water Power & Boom Co. for damages on account of overflowage on his land was on trial Thursday and Friday last before the district court. The jury was out until Sunday morning and then brought in a verdict of $2,500 for Mr. Whiteley, but we understand the company will endeavor to get a new trial and that the hearing will be had April 5th before Judge Sleeper. In the case of Mrs. Whiteley against the same company the jury awarded her $10 an acre. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

Wanted at Once.

The undersigned want immediately, delivered at the dam, 500,000 feet of oak timber, 20 to 30 feet in length, that will square not less than 8 inches at the top, for which $9 per thousand feet will be paid; also 1,000,000 feet of Norway or white pine, in 16 or 24 foot lengths, same size, at $6 per thousand feet. Also 1,000 tons of stone for which $7.50 per cord will be paid.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1887, p. 4, c. 7)

Rushing Things.

Brainerd Dam Construction, ca. 1887
Source: Carol Weise
Brainerd Dam Construction, ca. 1887
Source: Carol Weise
We were at the dam yesterday looking over the improvements that are being made. Everything is rushing and the eighty men constantly employed are as busy as bees. The work has progressed to such a degree that it is not difficult to detect the progress which is made from day to day. Just above the dam a track has been laid out over the water and a dump-cart is continually piling sand from the hill into the river, although not actually necessary this will be followed up across the river and when completed will take the greater part of the strain off the dam proper. A large force of men are at work loading flat boats with stone and floating them down to the works where they are used to fill in with and still another crew are at work rolling cord after cord of stone down the bank which is conveyed by a push-cart to its destination. Men are at work placing the timbers that form the apron and also laying the floor of the flume, which will be corked with cakum.
Brainerd Dam is complete, ca. 1908
Source: Unknown
The west abutment or crib rises some thirty-five feet above the water and the hill back of it is being graded down to fill in with and a large force of shovelers are at work. When completed the dam will be as solid as a wall of rock. It is claimed that when completed there will be power enough to drive the wheels of all the factories that can find location in this vicinity. As soon as things are in running order the pump house of the water company will be removed to the dam and run by water power which is much cheaper, as statistics show that in Philadelphia the cost of pumping per million gallons by steam was $38.51 and the same amount by water power cost but $1.35. Of course fuel in this region is cheaper than in the east and the difference would not be as great but the saving will be a big item to the water company alone. The completion of this work will be something more than the average Brainerdite imagines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

In October of 1887 the city council issued $25,000 in bonds to build and acquire land on which to build approaches, at or near the city. It has often been charged that about $2,500 of the total was spent on building a bridge and the remainder used for the dam. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 32)

Brainerd Dam, ca. 1895
Source: Postcard
Last Sunday was a beautiful day, and fully five hundred people viewed the improvements at the dam. The street cars were crowded all day long. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council to be Asked to Give
$25,000 to the Dam Company.

A Scheme That Didn’t Work.

Our citizens will remember that at the last session of the legislature there was passed a bill authorizing the City of Brainerd to issue bridge bonds to the amount of $25,000. The real purpose of this bill was to enable the city to pay for the overflow of lands, provided that Mr. Kindred built the dam at the lower site, and it was the understanding of the city council when they authorized this bill to be passed that the dam would be placed there providing they would take care of the overflow. Finding that the dam was to go above the city near the brick yard, before the bill became a law, they sent a delegation to St. Paul to stop the passage of the act but it seems they were unsuccessful, and the dam company now proposes to ask the city council to issue these bonds to aid them in the completion of the work.
A meeting of the council has been called tonight (Friday), and we are informed that the matter of issuing these bonds is to be discussed. Inasmuch as several of the aldermen are on the bonds of the company given to the county guaranteeing the completion of the dam at a certain date, the question as to their right to vote on the matter, being interested parties, will be brought up.


On Friday evening last at about six o’clock the city clerk notified the aldermen that a call for a special meeting had been issued by President Taylor and Alderman Forsyth at 8 o’clock that evening. The matter in some manner leaked out during the afternoon that a quiet meeting was to be held and promptly at 8 o’clock the council room was packed by tax payers and interested parties. Occasionally an alderman would drop in look around and retire, and after waiting until 9 o’clock the crowd left the room and the lights were put out. It was a very mysterious proceeding to the average citizen, and the idea exists in many minds that the council was called together to secure the issuing of the $25,000 before the people of the city had time to know what was going on. But as the scheme was frustrated the issuing of the bonds will be asked for publicly, as it should have been done in the first place, and it would have stood a greater chance of success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Done in Council.

...C. F. Kindred then appeared before the council, and, after explaining that the dam company had expended the $50,000 county money besides $40,000 raised in other ways, and the work was still unfinished, asked the council to issue bonds in the sum of $25,000 in order that the work might proceed. At the conclusion of Mr. Kindred’s remarks Alderman Gardner made a written motion to the effect that the bonds be issued. The motion was put to a vote and carried, Aldermen Gardner, Searles and Cullen voting in favor of it, and Aldermen Doran and Graham voting no. The president and Aldermen Spencer and Forsyth were excused on the ground of being interested, as they were in the bonds issued by the county as sureties. The council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 6)


The Brainerd Dam is completed in April 1888, Frank Jay Haynes, 1888
Source: Haynes Foundation, Montana Historical Society
The Brainerd Dam is completed in April 1888, Frank Jay Haynes, 1888
Source: Haynes Foundation, Montana Historical Society
The city council at its meeting on Monday evening authorized the issuing of city bonds in the sum of $25,000 to aid the Mississippi Water Power and Boom Co. in constructing the dam at this place. The action of the council, while supported by a majority of the citizens, has received much adverse criticism and elicited considerable comment unfavorable to the aldermen who voted for the measure. While we do not favor the issuing of bonds on general principles, nor as a remedy for every strait into which bodies and corporations may get, we are of the opinion that the aldermen who voted for the measure did so honestly and conscientiously, and, having the welfare of the city at heart, we think they were justified in so doing. The county had given the dam company $50,000 to aid the enterprise which had been expended and Mr. Kindred had himself put in $40,000 more, and being unable to raise money on the dam as was expected, a difficulty arose, and there was only one way out, for the city to come forward and by voting these bonds secure the completion of the work which otherwise would necessarily have been stopped. There is not a candid, intelligent citizen in Brainerd to-day but what will say that he would rather the city would issue these bonds than to see the project abandoned just as we were about to reap the benefit of the gigantic enterprise. There is sense in everything, and if Brainerd ever expects to take her place among the leading cities in the state as a manufacturing center, the people must work in harmony and unity. Look at other cities, St. Cloud, Little Falls, and elsewhere, rivals of Brainerd we might say, are they opposed to aiding legitimate enterprises that will build up their town? Do they wait until there is a pressing demand on them to help these projects out for fear they will fail for want of aid? No, they have voted $100,000 in one instance and $125,000 in the other and this before the work was commenced. But in regard to the Brainerd dam it is different, for we have a structure in the river that has already cost $100,000, built in a substantial manner and lacking completion only for the want of funds, $25,000. The city council is asked to extend this aid and after discussing the matter they concluded that the best thing they could do was to comply with the request, and they did so. We think that insinuations made by some parties that there was any “boodle” connected with the transactions are entirely unwarranted and uncalled for, and that the man who will so far forget himself in his frenzy and hatred of certain parties, regardless of logic or common sense, should be made to prove his assertions, or answer to the law for criminal libel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 1, c. 5)


The rumors that have been afloat that there was a heavy opposition to issuing the $25,000 bonds is in part erroneous, and some of the gentlemen who opposed the measure the strongest say they believe that if the matter had been put to a vote in the city it would have carried. That they themselves are not opposed to it if the sum was actually necessary to complete the work, which would otherwise have been stopped. The fact is, the city of Brainerd cannot afford at the present time to be niggardly when so much is at stake. The sum given the dam company will finish the work, and such being the case, we doubt if there are any who will say six months hence the council did an unwise thing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 1, c. 6)

The dam company have granted a perpetual franchise of 200-horse power to the city at the dam. This the city can use as they see fit, sell it or give it away. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd Dam, ca. 1895
Source: Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923
The water at the dam is now running entirely through the canal, consequently work is progressing much more rapidly than heretofore. The completion of the dam is now a matter of but a few days time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Over 100 men are at work on the dam and it is expected and hoped that the completion will be effected early next month. Parties who have not paid much attention to the matter can hardly appreciate the gigantic enterprise, but to a comprehensive mind the building of this dam is one of the grandest accomplishments that could have been devised for Brainerd’s future welfare. Take a stroll up the river some of these balmy days and see if you are not surprised. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1888, p. 1, c. 3)

It is expected that the bridge at the dam will be ready for teams to cross Saturday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 March 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Mart Scott was in Brainerd a few days ago and says that the dam at that place makes the best boomage facilities he ever saw. There are good facilities for storing and handling all the logs that are cut on the upper Mississippi, and that city has all the advantages necessary to make it a great lumbering point.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The water at the dam began running over the structure for the first time on Tuesday. Above the dam the water has reached the depth of about 25 feet while below there has hardly been enough to float a log. The marshes and boom reservoirs have all been filled and are ready to hold every log that comes down the river if necessary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: For more about Mr. Kindred follow the links at:
SEE: Brainerd Gas & Electric Company / Northern States Power
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)
SEE: 1878 Brainerd by a Stranger-1 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

The water mains will be extended to the dam immediately and the power for driving the electric light machinery will be furnished by the dam as soon as it can be removed to that place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

There is a plan on foot to build a boat house at the dam and stock it with a good assortment of pleasure boats. The stock is nearly, if not all, subscribed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Boat Club Formed.

For the purpose of building a suitable boat house on Rice Lake and near the dam, and having in view the formation of a boating club the undersigned have agreed to take stock in the same to the amount of $5 each:
N. W. Wheatley, C. B. King, F. W. Mallott, Geo. C. Hastings, I. E. Fox, Fred Allen, W. A. Fleming, Jas. Dewar, G. H. Gillman, A. T. Taylor, Thos. Blackburn, Jas. Clark, V. H. Smith, L. Cooley, A. M. Wallace, John Temlin, A. G. Michie, Dan. Caffrey [sic], Fred Laufer, W. J. Bain, J. L. Camp, G. W. Holland, C. F. Miller and Wm. Dresskell.
Geo. Hastings is doing the soliciting and has met with good success so far. It is expected that as many more names will be added to the list during the coming week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

There is talk of having a celebration over the successful completion of the water power in this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Rice Lake Celebration.

The members of the Brainerd Boat Club can congratulate themselves on their successful celebration at Rice Lake. Of course the demonstrations were not on a gigantic scale but everything passed off satisfactorily and nothing happened to mar the pleasure of the occasion. The dancing was one of the principal features of the day, and we are informed that the club intend to enlarge and greatly improve their hall in the near future, and erect a platform 30x60 feet. The grounds will also be improved and the place will soon become a favorite resort for picnic and pleasure parties. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 4, c. 6)

About twenty-five couples were in attendance at the dance given by the Brainerd Boat Club, last evening. Under the inspiring musical strains of Messrs. Whitford and Coutu these happy people enjoyed themselves until the morning dawned. A special train was run and private conveyance was furnished, all free of charge. Many of the visitors taking advantage of the occasion, enjoyed a pleasant boat ride upon the lake. Altogether it was a first class time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

We understand that the Brainerd Boat club have purchased the steamer Lotta Lee from the owners and are bringing the boat to this city where she will be repaired and put in the water at Rice Lake for a pleasure boat. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Mike Cullen went to St. Paul Tuesday to purchase a new boiler and engine for the steamer Lotta Lee, the new pleasure boat which will be put on Rice Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

SEE: 1888 Mr. Kindred Takes his Leave of Brainerd in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

R. K. Whiteley vs. Brainerd Water Power & Boom Co., damages for overflowage. Verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of $1,800. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 4, c. 6)

We understand that several gentlemen at the shops, among whom are N. W. Wheatley and Wm. Percy, have purchased 16 acres of land of Mrs. Robinson, in the vicinity of the dam, for which they paid $2,000. This looks as though the rumor that men high up in the N. P. railroad company had acquired control of all the enterprises formerly owned by Mr. Kindred, was true. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

As early as November of 1888 the council authorized buying timber to repair the dam. Next it purchased wood to build a railing for the bridge over the dam. As late as 01 May 1899 the council condemned the bridge over the dam and ordered it closed, not repaired. Thereby getting into Brainerd from the north was stopped, not facilitated. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 32 & 70)

As to the Syndicate.

It is not known as yet what date the members of the syndicate will visit Brainerd, H. C. Davis [Northern Pacific], whose return from the coast was looked for before anything definite could be stated, is back but he will go to New York immediately, and it is not known whether the party will come before he is able to accompany them or not. He stated to a couple of gentlemen from this city, however, that the deal has been closed. Wm. Seelye, who is in charge of the men in the woods, went to St. Paul yesterday and on his return will go up to be absent three weeks. Geo. S. Canfield has not yet returned from Chicago,, but it is understood he has sent some very encouraging news by wire to parties in this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

To Remove the Dam.

R. K. Whiteley, through his attorney, Leon E. Lum, has commenced suit against the Water Power company to compel them to remove the dam in the Mississippi river, or pay the amount of the judgement obtained by him against the company for overflowage of his lands. The amount of the judgement is $1,800 and the time for payment has expired, hence Mr. Whiteley’s action in bringing the suit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The Dam Sold.

A letter has been received by W. E. Seelye, of this city, from C. F. Kindred, in which Mr. Kindred says that the Water Power Co. has sold all its right and interest in the dam to a syndicate headed by P. Lorillard, the millionaire tobacco manufacturer, of New York City. The possession of this property by such a powerful syndicate as this must be, judging from the name of the gentleman at its head, means everything for this city. We have always possessed superior advantages, but not the means to utilize them. And as Mr. Lorillard alone is worth many millions this syndicate will have the means to develop and utilize these resources and advantage, and while conferring a blessing on this community, will be amply repaid themselves. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 February 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The repairs on the dam so badly needed will be begun in a few days, W. E. Seelye having charge of the work. The cost of the repairs will be nearly $3,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Council Proceedings.

The council met in regular session on Monday evening, Ald. Graham, Cooley, Searles, and Mr. President being present.


A. W. Atkinson was directed to place railing on the bridge at the dam, under the direction of W. S. McClenahan, receiver of the dam company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 4, c. 7)

The dam is now undergoing the repairs needed to withstand the June freshets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

The repairs at the dam have just been completed. Some $5,000 have been expended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Last week we published an item concerning a telegram from Mr. Kindred, asking the council not to dispose of the dam until they heard from him. Well, Mr. Kindred has been heard from and he wants the council not to dispose of the plant to the syndicate unless the syndicate would admit the validity of certain bonds that the Water Power and Boom company had issued. As this council isn’t disposed to conduct the affairs of the city for Mr. Kindred’s personal benefit, no attention has or will be paid to his communication. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 May 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Satisfactorily Settled.

The deal will undoubtedly be completed in a short time whereby the syndicate will become the owners of the dam property and the entire Swartz [sic] interests in that neighborhood. Mrs. Robinson [Magdalena Schwartz married Andrew Robinson on November 28, 1887.] has received $5,000 of the $30,000 that she is to have, and there is probably nothing that can now happen to stop the improvements at the water power, although it is not expected that immediate work will be commenced, as Mr. H. C. Davis was in Brainerd last night and in consultation with Leon E. Lum told him that they were not quite ready to close the deal, and that he was on his way to the coast to see Mr. Oakes in regard to the matter that concerned the railroad interests probably in regard to the N. P. pine. However, he left word for Mrs. Robinson that everything was all right and that she would get her money, but for her not to stop operations at her brick yard. That is exactly the way the matter stands at present, and although we may not see any active operations for some weeks, there is no doubt but that these things will all come. A good healthy growth will be worth more to Brainerd for time to come than a wild cat boom. The Weyerhauser Lumber Co., a firm with unlimited means and probably one of the largest institutions in the United States of its kind, are interested in this deal, and their mill which is to be located here will employ from 400 to 500 men. Large bodies move slowly, and in a business transaction of this magnitude it takes time to complete all the details and get things in shape. Our people can congratulate themselves on the bright prospect for future prosperity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

H. C. Davis, of the Northern Pacific, one of the syndicate who have acquired the water power privilege at Brainerd, is endeavoring to interest P. Musser, of Muscatine, and other of the Middle Mississippi lumbermen, in the opportunity presented at Brainerd for the development of the lumber business at that point. Mr. Musser looked the property over last week.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

We understand that a party of gentlemen interested in the improvement at the dam are expected on the noon train tomorrow, (Saturday). (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

They Saw It.

A party of business men, accompanied by H. C. Davis, of the Northern Pacific, and three brothers of the Musser family, members of the Weyerhauser Lumber Co., made a trip to the dam and Rice lake on Sunday morning, these gentlemen having arrived the night before in their special car. After thoroughly viewing the improvements at the water power the party was invited aboard the steamer Lotta Lee, and were taken around the lake and up the river some six or seven miles. As the gentlemen had never seen the excellent advantages that we possessed in the way of boomage, etc., they were surprised and pleased with the facilities offered for safely handling an immense amount of logs. The gentlemen express themselves to individual members of the party in the strongest terms regarding the boomage as they had nowhere seen anything to equal it and they are lumbermen of experience. There is no doubt but that as soon as the question of timber can be settled that these gentlemen will begin the construction of mills as that appears to be the only matter now to be considered. It is expected that they will be here again on the 27th, when the estimates of stumpage, etc., will all be in and some definite understanding will be arrived at. An extract from a private letter to the editor by a gentleman who accompanied the party of mill men from Brainerd reads as follows:
“I came down with the gentlemen last night and feel certain that the matter is a go. They are well pleased with Brainerd and the people, and the only thing it hinges on is the amount of pine the Northern Pacific has tributary to the Mississippi and Brainerd.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The suit brought by R. K. Whiteley against the Dam Company, seeking to get the dam cut down in order to take the overflow from his lands was heard before Judge Holland the first of the week. Ambrose Tighe successfully defended the interests of the bondholders on the dam property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The cruisers who have been looking over the N. P. lands estimating the timber for the Weyerhauser Lumber Co., have completed the job and returned to this city. It is said that the amount of timber is fully up to the expectations and that the mills will be built. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

C. F. KINDRED is endeavoring to prove to the citizens of Philadelphia that unless they get their drinking water through a canal, of which he owns a controlling interest, they will be liable to sickness and death from impurities. There are no flies roosting on Charlie’s clothes even in that large city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 1, c. 5)

The case involving the validity of certain Water Power & Boom company bonds amounting to $50,000 was argued before Judge Holland on Monday. C. F. Kindred desired the case transferred to the United States court and previously the case had so been transferred, and the petition was to rescind the order. Judge Holland reserved his decision. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

On Tuesday another party of cruisers of the Weyerhauser Lumber Co., left for the woods. It is evident that the company means business, and actual work on the establishment of a saw mill will probably be commenced in the near future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The work of cruising the lands belonging to the Northern Pacific in Minnesota, which it is proposed to sell to Peter Musser and others, is still in progress.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

They are Troubled.

A good many contradictory reports are afloat concerning the proposed purchase of the Northern Pacific pine by Mr. Weyerhauser and his syndicate. The trade two weeks ago was declared off, because a condition of the proposition was that the timber should be manufactured at Brainerd. If the negotiations have been resumed, as it is asserted is the case, it can be put down as a fact that there has been important modifications in the terms, and, especially, in the condition as to where the timber should be converted into lumber. In the meantime a trade is pending for other pine on the upper Mississippi not included in the scattered holding of the Northern Pacific, and which cannot bring their real value without the purchase at the same time of contiguous tracts belonging to private parties.—Northwestern Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 1890, p. 1, c. 4)


The Weyerhauser Syndicate Have
Closed the Contract for all the
Northern Pacific Pine Lands.

Frederick Weyerhaeuser, lumber baron, ca. Unknown
Source: Unknown
A meeting of the citizens of Brainerd was held at the council chambers at 4 o’clock on Monday afternoon, which was called to consider matters concerning the purchase of the Northern Pacific pine lands tributary to the Mississippi river and Brainerd, by the Weyerhauser syndicate. The meeting was called to order by J. H. Koop, president of the board of trade, and Mayor Hemstead was called to the chair to preside, A. J. Halsted being elected secretary. Geo. S. Canfield, who was instrumental in calling the meeting, was called upon to explain the object, and in detail he took up the matter of the negotiations from the start down to January 7th, of the present year, at which time the contract was closed between the syndicate and the company, and $150,000 was received by the Northern Pacific as first payment on the purchase. On January 10th the syndicate held a meeting in Chicago and arranged their business in a manner to begin operations. The gentlemen who are connected with the enterprise are: Frederick Weyerhauser & Sons, of Rock Island; the Mussers, of Muscatine, Ia.; Sauntry & Tosier, of Stillwater, and the Messrs. Lamb of Davenport, Ia., and Stone, of Winona. The plan of the syndicate was [to] put in a mill here that would be similar to the one at Chippewa Falls and that the amount of lumber to be manufactured was fully twice as large as had ever been expected by the parties who have been on the inside during the negotiations. Minneapolis parties have endeavored to head off this deal and have done everything in their power to defeat Brainerd’s chances of getting the location by stating that the town was a place inhabited only by thugs and toughs and not a place in which the gentlemen would desire to live with their families, that trade had been retarded and business men driven out by the Knights of Labor who were in power here. Parties who are acquainted with the status of things here have disabused their minds of all these malicious falsehoods and the crusade against Brainerd by Minneapolis will cut no figure in the case. The syndicate, according to its contract, are at liberty to do their manufacturing at any point on the Northern Pacific road, but it is now the intention to locate at Brainerd if everything is as has been represented to the gentlemen, and they will be here within a week to look the ground over and examine into the details. The matter of appointing a committee to meet the gentlemen was suggested and it was left to the chairman to appoint a committee of twelve. The matter of exempting the plant of the company and their logs from taxation for a number of years was then discussed and it was the general impression of those who spoke on the subject that there would be no opposition to such a move if it could be legally done. The matter of labor and labor organizations was touched upon and it was the universal sentiment that there was no city in existence where there had been so little trouble between laboring men and employers, in fact, there had never been an instance in the history of Brainerd, and the N. P. company would confirm the statement. Several gentlemen were called on for expressions and after a general discussion the meeting adjourned. Chairman Hemstead has furnished the names of his committees as follows to the press for publication:
On reception—J. H. Koop, A. L. Hoffman, J. J. Howe, L. P. White, Sr., Dr. A. F. Groves, J. N. Nevers, A. F. Ferris, M. Cullen, Geo. N. Day, R. R. Wise, H. Spalding and J. M Elder.
To confer regarding property—J. H. Koop, Sam. Walker and H. C. Miller.
The reception committee held a meeting on Wednesday and agreed that said committee should be a working committee, but that besides such working committee a considerable number of names should be added to the list, and that the persons whose names were so added would be expected to be present at the reception and assist in carrying out the arrangements. Mayor Hemstead was added to the working committee, and the additional list agreed upon was made up as follows:
C. N. Parker, Sam. Walker, H. J. Spencer, Judge W. A. Fleming, N. McFadden, Hon. Leon E. Lum, Geo. S. Canfield, Wm. E. Seelye, D. D. Smith, J. B. Douglas, H. C. Miller, W. S. McClenahan, E. W. Lynch, W. P. Spalding, Walter Davis, W. P. Percy, John Willis, Dr. J. L. Camp, M. Hagberg, H. C. Stivers, A. J. Halsted, N. H. Ingersoll, D. M. Clark, N. W. Wheatley, A. P. Farrar, Judge G. W. Holland, E. M. Westfall, Wm. Paine, C. H. Douglas, D. E. Slipp, Ed. Hazen, R. J. Hartley, S. F. Alderman, Dr. J. R. Howes, D. S. Forgy, W. M. Dresskell, J. M. Gray, John Bubar, A. E. Veon, C. E. Cole, F. M. Cable, J. J. Kennedy, Henry McGinn, Thomas McMaster, H. I Cohen, Wm. Koop, C. D Johnson, W. E. Campbell, I. T. Dean, A. F. Leopold, G. S. Fernald, Con. O’Brien, James Dewar, F. G. Sundberg, Geo. Forsyth, E. Y. Farrar, R. Parker, A. V. Snyder, C. M. Patek, J. S. Garner, G. H. Burton, Thomas Crawford, Adam Brown, Peter Walters, John Parsons, R. F. Walters, Wm. Hack, Ole Erickson, Wm. Bredfeld, J. E. Wilson, J. A. McColl, Fred. Luken, Wm. S. Brockway and P. H. Carney. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1890, p. 1, c. 2)

A Complete Surprise.

If Wm. Seelye was never surprised before in his life he had the pleasure of experiencing that agreeable sensation for the first time last evening. “Bill,” as he is commonly known, has been instrumental in bringing certain matters about relative to the Weyerhauser pine land deal which bids fair to be of so much importance to Brainerd, and some of his friends, under the leadership of Henry Spalding, conceived the idea of presenting him with a gold watch and chain as a token of their regard for him and his untiring efforts in behalf of Brainerd. Accordingly a paper was quietly circulated around among a few of his friends and the required amount was soon subscribed. In the evening Mr. Seelye was asked to attend a meeting at Lawyer Lum’s office, in the bank block, where his friends had assembled, and Mr. H. C. Stivers at the proper moment stepped out and addressed him with a neat presentation speech in which he stated that he had been requested by the gentlemen present to express for them their feelings of gratitude for his untiring energies in the matters now underway in regard to the present deal, that they had a kindly interest in his welfare and as a token of their regard they had prepared a present in the shape of a gold watch, chain and charm, which he presented to the gentleman. Mr. Seelye was so completely taken by surprise that he could hardly find words to express his thanks, but he finally managed to collect himself and did credit to the occasion, one which he will probably remember as long as he lives. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Col. Geo. S. Canfield was presented on Friday evening last with a beautiful gold watch and chain at the rooms of Lawyer Lum, he having been led to believe that there was a real estate syndicate to be formed there that evening. The presentation was made on the same grounds that Wm. Seelye received his the night before—for services rendered in the late syndicate deal. Alderman Koop was the prime mover and H. C. Stivers made the presentation speech, to which Mr. Canfield feelingly responded. He was completely taken by surprise but was none the less pleased over the occasion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

As to Taxation.

The city council held a special meeting on Tuesday evening, all the councilmen being present, the object of which was to consider the exemption from taxation of the Weyerhauser Lumber Co.’s property, should that company locate in that city. The following resolution was unanimously adopted:
RESOLVED by the council of the city of Brainerd, That it is the sense of this council that, in the event of the location and establishment in the city of Brainerd, by the Weyerhauser Lumber company, or those associated with said company in business, of a manufacturing enterprise of the character and extent referred to and contemplated by the resolution of this council passed May 17, 1889, the plant of said enterprise, if located within this city, and the logs owned by it or them; if the business be for the manufacture of lumber, and said logs be properly taxable in this city, be exempt from taxation for a reasonable period of time, not less than five years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

And Still They Sneer.

The citizens of Brainerd are still clinging fondly to the belief that the Weyerhauser syndicate are to purchase the Northern Pacific pine, and will manufacture it at Brainerd.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The case of J. J. Howe & Co. against C. F. Kindred, which was carried to the supreme court by the defendant, has been decided against him. The sum in controversy was about $4,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

The Weyerhauser Deal.

Several prominent pine land owners of Minneapolis will meet Frederick Weyerhauser at Brainerd in relation to the proposed great pine land deal, and it is quite probable that the Minneapolis men will sell their land to Weyerhauser.
The above item is clipped from the local columns of yesterday’s Minneapolis Times. The report is current that the Pillsbury’s have sold their pine to the Weyerhauser syndicate and the above item would tend to confirm the report.
The following is from the local columns of the Minneapolis Tribune:
It is highly probable that the Weyerhauser pine land deal will go through. Several of the local pine land men have been notified to meet Mr. Weyerhauser at Brainerd very soon, and it is likely the deal will be talked over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1890, p. 1, c. 4)


How Gilbert Lake May Be Used for
Log Storage.

BRAINERD, Feb. 12.—Wm. Long, of Stillwater, representing the Weyerhauser Lumber Syndicate, is here again to investigate further the matter of location of the syndicate’s mill or mills at this place. It seems that the Ahrens Bros., owners of lands on Gilbert Lake, made such representations as to turn the flowage of the dam into that lake for a log storage, as to induce investigation. Mr. Long came here last week and made a partial examination and returned yesterday to run a line of levels from the dam flowage over to the lake level. He is non-committal as to results. Such use of Gilbert lake would dispense with the necessity of acquiring the Mississippi Water & Boom Company’s property.—Minneapolis Journal.
Mr. Ahrens interviewed as to the above states that some talk has been indulged in as to the feasibility of the scheme, and while something may come of it it will not interfere with the original arrangements. If it should amount to anything Mr. Ahrens thinks it would be of vast importance to this part of the city as mills would be built on the opposite side of the river just above the old ferry or in that vicinity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

Minneapolis is Frightened.

The Minneapolis Lumberman is very much disturbed over the recent developments in the Weyerhauser syndicate deal by which they are to locate a mammoth plant in this city. The fact that when the arrangements are completed and operations are commenced at this point it will forever place Minneapolis in the shade as a lumbering center is enough to put the people of that city on their mettle. This extract, from the columns of that paper, shows how badly they dislike to admit the facts:
There has for a long time been a current rumor that is conceded to have an element of probability about it to the effect that the Weyerhauser syndicate would erect a big mill at Brainerd and acquire large tracts of pine land in that vicinity. The Brainerd people have all the time referred to these possibilities as a fact settled beyond all dispute instead of as a rumor.
Following this is another article intended to show why it would be the height of folly for any one to build mills at Brainerd, but a careful perusal of the article dispels the terrible hallucination. The article is as follows:
The Gull River lumber company at Gull River and Curtis & Lawrence whose mill is at Motley, Minn., are not to operate their mills during the coming season. This conclusion has been reached in view of the fact that the lumber trade in North Dakota, upon which these manufacturers must be necessarily dependent, is pretty sure to be limited during the coming season. The owners of these mills are probably wise in their conclusions. The circumstance only demonstrates, however, that manufacturers who are dependent upon a single market are at a disadvantage by the side of the lumbermen located at other points, where if one market fails another becomes available. The day will undoubtedly come when there will be business enough for the mill men now located on the Northern Pacific, but until it comes it will be folly for Mr. Weyerhauser or anybody else to build mills at Brainerd or any other point where the product must be distributed over the line of a single road. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 February 1890, p. 1, c. 4)

Still Squirming.

The Lumberman says: It is understood in this city on exceedingly good authority that the purchase of the Northern Pacific pine by Messrs. Weyerhauser, Musser and others has finally been affected, although the contract does not carry with it the obligation to build at present. It is estimated that there is in the contract about 275,000, 000 feet of stumpage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 March 1890, p. 1, c. 4)

The sale of the Brainerd dam has again been postponed, this time until May 5th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 April 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

It is now claimed that the Weyerhauser syndicate will visit Brainerd next week, and look the ground over preparatory to commencing work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 April 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

The Brainerd Dam Sold.

The property of the Brainerd Water Power and Boom Company was sold at sheriff’s sale on Monday afternoon at 2 o’clock sharp, to satisfy a judgment of $17,657.37. The property was bid in by Ambrose Tighe, for Finnessy, Armstrong & Co. subject of course to the valid mortgage bonds of $50,000 and $49,000 worth of other bonds the validity of which is disputed. Parties in the city, headed by Geo. S. Canfield, claim that there is something behind this hurry to sell the property and assert that it was distinctly understood that an adjournment for another week would be granted, Mr. Canfield having paid to Mr. Tighe $50, the cost of the adjournment. The sale of course has to be approved by the court and there are legal complications which are now liable to arise that may tie the property up in litigation and retard the improvements contemplated. On the other hand it is claimed that this sale does not in any way tend to prevent the proposed improvements and that, in fact, things are in a trifle better shape than before. Mr. Tighe offered to sign a contract with Mr. Canfield agreeing to sell the claim of his clients for the amount of the judgement but the gentleman refused to accept it. No new developments have been brought to light since the sale. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 May 1890, p. 4, c. 5)


George S. Canfield, timber cruiser, ca. 1900
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
The Minneapolis Tribune of Wednesday contained the following letter from Mr. Canfield, giving his side of the story of the much-talked of sale of the dam property:
BRAINERD, Minn., May 6.—I have seen, with your other reader in this city, your publication in recent issues regarding the so-called “Sale” of the property of the Mississippi Water Power & Boom company and the purported denials made by Attorney Tighe, of St. Paul, attacking your correspondent’s reports. In justice to the Tribune and for the general information, so important interest being at stake, and inasmuch as I am personally cognizant of all the facts and that it was thought a breach of agreement with me that Mr. Tighe effected the sale, I gave you in the following an exact statement of all the circumstances, to the truth of which I will make affidavit if desired, and for which there is any amount of corroborative evidence.
With prominent and able Northwestern business and railroad men who believe in developing the Northern wilderness of this state, I have devoted a solid year to the so-called Weyerhauser syndicate deal, and have in that way been familiar with every step taken. The syndicate required as a basis, after the timber on the Upper Mississippi was secured, the acquisition of the dam company’s property of water power, flowage for logs, storage and lands for mill sites at this city. The company got into [the] hands of [a] receiver, how it is needless at this time to state, but the receiver, W. S. McClenahan of this city, had for his attorney Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, who represented Finnessey & Armstrong, of Springfield, Mass., who are holders of $50,000 of the company’s bonds. There was $50,000 more bonds out, held by New York, Philadelphia and Western parties, $100,000 in bonds having been issued in all. The last named $50,000 of bonds were held by parties who also owned a controlling interest in the company’s stock. When the syndicate was apparently ready to get the dam I was sent on east and negotiated for the control and secured in through C. F. Kindred, of Philadelphia, for an agreed nominal sum, which was the amount that had been obtained on the bonds, a little over $20,000, the owners of stock yielding to aid the project of securing the Wyerhauser people at Brainerd. Meanwhile the Tighe party had attacked the other or Kindred party by suit against its bonds, but the latter relying on our agreement with him, made no fight, submitting the case on the pleadings, as Mr. Atwater, of your city will inform you; although as a matter of reserve of rights an appeal from the court’s adverse decision has recently been taken to the supreme court. Meanwhile, also, the Tighe party pressed for a receiver’s sale, got through a cast-iron decree of foreclosure and receiver’s sale without redemption, and its date approved, set for March 25. The syndicate not yet ready to close for the dam, the Kindred party threatened action in United States court in self protection, members of the syndicate urged us to secure more delay. Receiver McClenahan, so urged Mr. Tighe, but he would not consent, and in the dilemma citizens of this city which has $75,000 in the property while Mr. Tighe’s principals have perhaps two-thirds as much in, secured an order of Judge Holland for four weeks’ postponement, to April 21. Again the sale date approached, and delay was as imperatively needed as before by all interests, and certain members of the syndicate wrote me that with two weeks more delay they could get around and act. Telegrams also informed me of the beginning of dreaded litigation unless postponement was again sure. I went to St. Paul and on Thursday forenoon, April 17, had an interview with Mr. Tighe in his office. He was at first very bitterly opposed to postponement, but finally said he would postpone for two weeks if I would pay the expenses. I asked how much it would be and he said $50. I agreed, made him a check for the amount, which he sent immediately and had certified. We agreed as to the notification of those interested, he to notify Receiver McClenahan at Brainerd. I notified all my parties, including Attorney Atwater. Mr. Tighe, instead of so notifying his, came to Brainerd on the sale day, April 21, and had Judge Mills make an order postponing for one week, and those persons, including Receiver McClenahan, Leon E. Lum, Sheriff Spaulding and others, who, having been informed of the two weeks agreement (I have meanwhile gone to Chicago) were naturally anxious, he quieted with the statement that he “preferred to postpone from week to week.” At the end of one week, viz., April 28, Mr. Tighe arrived here a few minutes before the hour set and sold the property through a deputy sheriff, exactly in the manner described in the Tribune’s reports, with not a solitary bidder present except himself. This community are very emphatic in the view that the proceeding constituted what the Tribune’s headlines denominated the act, viz., “Snap Judgment.”


(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 May 1890, p. 1, c. 5)

It is reported that the Weyerhauser syndicate has purchased the Pillsbury property at Rice Lake for a mill site. We hope so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 May 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

Watches and Syndicates.

It is now stated authoritatively that the Weyerhausers have closed the deal with the Northern Pacific company for lands between the 20 and 30 mile limits.—Exchange. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 June 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

Mayor Stivers has called a special meeting of the city council for tomorrow evening, to consider a proposition from Ambrose Tighe, receiver of the Water Co., relative to the extension of the water mains recently ordered by that body. Mr. Tighe, we understand, will make the extensions if the council will agree to take the additional hydrants provided for by the ordinance governing extension of water mains. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 June 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The Syndicate Arrives.

A special train arrived from St. Paul at 4:35 yesterday afternoon having on board members of the Weyerhauser syndicate, who have been expected for some time. The gentlemen of the party were Messrs. Weyerhauser, Sauntry, Musser, Davis [Northern Pacific], Laird and Pillsbury. Immediately upon the arrival of the train the party went by carriages to the dam, where the improvements were looked over and the party returned to the city, and Messrs. Weyerhauser and Davis boarded the special, which was awaiting them, and were immediately taken back to St. Paul. The balance of the party remained over night, and in company with J. J. Howe this morning went to Gull River to look the plant over at that place. The party are on a tour of inspection, and what conclusions have been reached or just what the import of the visit means has not been disclosed. It is stated, however, that the trip to Gull River this morning is with a view of accepting a proposition which has been made by the proprietors of the mill at that place and the site at Rice Lake which they are desirous of selling in a lump. If the proposition is accepted the plant will be removed to this city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 June 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

Surveyors have been looking over the grounds on the west side of the river this week to ascertain the feasibility of putting in mills on that side. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 August 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

More of the Syndicate.

The estimators of the Northern Pacific who have been so long in the timber region south of this place, estimating timber on the Weyerhauser purchase, have been increased by an additional force to the westward, in vicinity of the headwaters of Willow river. Their work about Pokegema has been highly satisfactory, they finding some very fine timber there. On Wednesday of last week, Mr. Sauntry of that concern, was in St. Paul continuing negotiations regarding their location at Brainerd for manufacturing. The difficulty now as was foreseen, appears to be as to the Brainerd dam and its control. As matters crystalized, the point was reached, substantially, that if the Brainerd people would secure land for a mill site to be given the company the company would, if within reasonable reach, undertake to secure control of the dam and flowage. There was another concession asked, however, regarding the electric light plant which has been given by Brainerd as a bonus—that the plant should be given without reserve—that is, the city pay for public light it uses.—Grand Rapids Eagle. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1890, p. 4, c. 7)

Pine Tree Lumber Co.

The members of the Weyerhauser syndicate arrived in Brainerd on Wednesday morning. The members present were the locating committee and the object of the visit was to examine as to a site for their mills. The party consisted of Frederick Weyerhauser and F. C. Deuckman [sic], of Rock Island, M. G. Norton, of Winona, Peter Musser, of Muscatine, Iowa, Wm. Sauntry, of Stillwater, E. Rutledge, of Chippewa Falls, and H. C. Davis [Northern Pacific]. The dam and the works in the river were carefully examined. The party went up eight miles on the Lottie Lee to give the party a chance to obtain some knowledge of the log storage. The party were interviewed on their return but nothing definite as to the location could be learned, except that the company would build their mills where the best facilities were offered, and that the talk of bonuses cut no figure at all. They did not want a bonus and would not accept of any such offering in selecting their site. This is the last trip of the party and as soon as they have returned home a decision will be made. The party were to stop at Little Falls and St. Cloud. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 1890, p. 4, c. 6)

What it Means to Brainerd.

The Northwestern Lumberman publishes the following article which shows what Brainerd will gain when the syndicate officially announce their intention of locating in this city:
It is doubtful whether the lumber trade as a rule fully comprehends the meaning of the purchase by the Weyerhauser syndicate of all the standing pine in Minnesota acquired by the Northern Pacific road with its land grant. The timber upon which the syndicate begins operations will approximate 600,000,000 feet. The deal will net the Northern Pacific a million dollars on the sale, something like $400,000 of which has already been paid. This timber by the terms of the contract must be manufactured at some point on the line of the Northern Pacific, although any point for manufacture that will guarantee to the Northern Pacific the hauling of the product will be deemed a sufficient fulfillment of the terms of the agreement. This is a plain statement of a simple contract, bargain and sale, but examined closely it will be found to be a transaction of importance to more than one interest in the northwest. First, the amount of pine purchased is about equal to the total cut of two whole years on the Mississippi above Minneapolis, and is certainly of great importance to the lumber market generally. Second, the purchase contract requires operations to begin at once and it puts actively at work $1,000,000 of new capital controlled by such conservative lumber kings as Messrs. Weyerhauser, Denkman [sic], Musser, Norton, Rutledge and Sauntry. Third, it means the absorption of a considerable amount of surplus labor and the securing of fat contracts for machinery and equipment by some of the Lumberman’s lucky advertisers.
But it is not lumbermen alone that are interested in the syndicate deal. The general public can see that the Northern Pacific officials had a business head on their shoulders when they inserted the clause in the contract which secures the traffic to their road. It is figured that one acre of average pine land will produce as much revenue for one year for a railroad as 100 acres of agricultural land. These figures were also prominently in the mind of the Milwaukee & St. Paul management when it recently acquired the Milwaukee & Northern. It preferred to extend northward and secure a heavy and well paying lumber traffic rather than to cross the Missouri river and push westward through a sparsely settled agricultural county. In line with the Northern Pacific-Weyerhauser deal also, is the action of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe road, which on Oct. 2, sold to Mitchell Bros., of Michigan, at $10 an acre, 300,000 acres of pine land at Grant Station on the Atlantic & Pacific. The terms of this sale likewise provided for the adding of the manufactured product to the tonnage of the road, as soon as possible, and the fulfillment of the contract may make considerable difference in the vexatious question of lumber rates as between northern and southern points.
With the railroads pushing for the timber rather than the prairie country for their sources of revenue, Minnesota and Wisconsin are likely to experience years of unparalleled activity and business enterprise. Manufactories will follow as a matter of expediency and economy, and the prevailing universal prosperity will be doubly manifest in the northwest.
As a straw which shows which way the wind blows the Weyerhauser syndicate Northern Pacific deal has a public importance outside of itself. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

Some extensive repairs are contemplated at the dam. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

W. A. Fleming has been appointed receiver of the dam property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Slush boards are being put on at the dam and the water will be raised some eighteen inches in order to increase the power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Wonderful Facilities for Handling

It takes a season like this to demonstrate the wonderful facilities for handling the Mississippi out at this place that the Brainerd dam and booms afford. The flowage thereof extends, in high water, over twenty miles and in low water ten to twelve miles. A week ago there was twelve to fifteen miles of solid logs in the flowage, all of which were as safe and secure, as would be a handful in any mill pond. A guess is that half of the whole upper Mississippi cut or 150 to 200 millions, is thus safely housed in these booms, and can be so held until the Boom company wish to let them into their limits, then they can be sluiced out at any desired rate per day, without the shadow of danger of a jam or break beyond control.
It looks like a continual picnic for the Boom company, from here down, the whole season. There is not a stick of timber afloat, to Little Falls, all gone down. J. J. Howe & Co., a little below the upper limit, are naturally a little anxious on account of so many logs in the flowage, but have enough logs in their own side boom to allow a reasonable time for getting a clear river above. A noteworthy innovation has been the steam whistle of the little boat of the Boom company, which now covers the river between here and Little Falls, the first steamboat of any kind ever on this part of the river, with a single exception. This was a little boat called Lottie Lee, brought from Shell river by the Crow Wing. She was transferred to above the dam, and run in the log business as far as Grand Rapids, until last season. This spring the early logs down caught her and smashed her to pieces and she lies a wreck in the Brainerd flowage.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


The report of the water committee regarding reports on the dam was accepted, and an extension of time granted with power to complete the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Mayor Hemstead is corresponding with Mr. Frederick Weyerhauser in regard to the location here of a large mill by the syndicate. It seems to us that this would certainly be the most available point for the location of the mill taking everything into consideration. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The board of directors of the Industrial and Commercial Union of this city held a meeting in J. M. Elder’s office last Saturday evening. Mayor Hemstead read a letter from Frederick Weyerhauser, and after some discussion a committee consisting of W. S. McClenahan, J. J. Howe and Dr. J. Camp was appointed to confer with the members of the syndicate with a view of getting their proposed large saw mill located here. A letter was read from the land commissioner of the St. Paul and Duluth railroad stating that an illustrated pamphlet was about to be issued by his company, and that if information was furnished concerning the resources of Brainerd and Crow Wing county, besides cuts of our principal industries, he would insert them free of charge. On motion the board appointed J. M. Elder, A. J. Halstead and the chairman of the board a committee to comply with the request of Mr. Clark, the land commissioner of the above mentioned road. This company owns a great deal of land in this county which it desires to sell. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The dam in the Mississippi is being thoroughly repaired this spring under the direction of J. N. Nevers, receiver of the dam company. A. G. McCoy has charge of the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Have a Clear Title.

The Brainerd dam was sold by Deputy Sheriff Slipp on Tuesday morning at an execution sale, which has been advertised for several weeks past in the Journal. There were present at the sale, Mr. H. J. Jaquith, of Boston, president of the Traders bank of that city, who owns forty-one of the bonds issued by the Water Power company, and Judge T. M. Brown, a capitalist of Springfield, Mass., who owns the other thirty-four bonds, there being seventy-five in all. Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, attorney for the bond holders, was also present. The property was bid in by Mr. Jaquith for $5,015.37, which amount does not represent the value of the property by any means, but covers all outstanding debts against the property for repairs and other expenses. The title to the property was acquired by the bond holders at the foreclosure proceedings instituted a couple of years ago, so they now are absolute owners and have a clear title without an encumbrance of any character.
In the afternoon after the sale the above named gentlemen, with W. E. Seelye and H. C. Stivers, of this city, chartered H. Poppenberg’s steam yacht and made a trip up the river with a view of ascertaining if sufficient land had not been condemned by the dam company to raise the height of the dam five or six feet without causing a great deal of additional overflowage. The party were unable to proceed but four or five miles up the river on account of the jam of logs, but they were satisfied that the improvement could be made without much damage, and a large amount of additional power obtained. These gentlemen stated that they intended to put the property in first-class shape to accommodate any enterprise needing power, by building canals and making other necessary improvements, and they are men of large capital and are able to do as they say. In fact these improvements are necessary to put the property on a paying basis, hence we have no doubt but that it will be done at once. And the influence of these wealthy men will also be exerted to securing manufacturing establishments to locate here, so that their power will be utilized and their property put on a paying basis. It is exceedingly fortunate for this city that the bonds have fallen in their hands. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The lumbermen of Minneapolis will hereafter keep their logs above Brainerd until they are needed below and will settle with drivers at the point where they bring the logs out into the Mississippi instead of paying for the driving of the logs over the dam at this point. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

The Lumberman says that Minneapolis lumbermen are now confronted with the question as to just how many logs they want turned over the Brainerd dam for the season’s sawing. Only so many can be sawed this summer and with the large number left over in the store boom between here and Brainerd it won’t take many additional new logs to suffice for the season. The old logs must be sawed first for the longer they remain in water, of the less value they become. The intention now is to bring down to the mills the old logs and only turn below Brainerd such additional logs as will be needed, and at the same time, when the drives on the tributary streams come out onto the Mississippi they will be left at the place where they come into the main river, and the river above Brainerd will not be driven until late in the summer. Minneapolis lumbermen are going slow on the log question and are not going to take any chances on any of them going over the falls at the first high water next spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Extensive improvements are being made at the dam under the supervision of Wm. E. Seelye. The sluice way will be entirely rebuilt and the entire structure will be overhauled. The expense will be something like $8,000, and the work is well under way. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Fathers.

A communication from the superintendent of electric lights was read, stating that it was necessary that the flush board be placed on the dam again and that the sluice way be closed. A motion was carried that the city pay one-half the expense of doing the above work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The work of repairing the dam is progressing slowly under the supervision of J. N. Nevers. About ten or twelve men are employed there at driving piles for the new pier. Mr. Nevers says the cost of the repairs will aggregate six thousand dollars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

$75,000 Bridge Nearly Wrecked.

A portion of the landing at the dam above the bridge gave away on Monday, and crashed with its enormous weight of logs into the river, shoving the ice against the piling supporting the bridge. As a result two of the piles were broken off, so weakening the structure that it was unsafe for travel. The damage is being repaired. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

The Boom company began sluicing logs at the dam yesterday, and unless the wind interferes, the work will be be continued day and night at the rate of 10,000,000 a day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Flush timbers, 22 inches high, are being placed on the dam to raise the water for the electric light station, and also to assist in sluicing logs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Regular Council Meeting.


A communication from Stevens, O’Brien, Cole & Albrecht, ordering the city to remove the water wheel and other fixtures from the dam, was read and laid on the table.
A motion was made and carried to place a telephone in the central hose house when the system is put in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

Higher Than Ever Before.

The high water, mention of which was made in our last issue, continues unabated. On Friday night of last week the water reached the grates in the fire box at the pumping station, but Mr. Elder raised the grates and kept the fires going, leaving open the doors of the furnace to create a draft. The fireman at the pump house stands continually in water above the hips as he feeds the fire in the furnace. The water has raised slowly but steadily since our last issue until the last two days when it has remained stationery, but quite a raise is expected again today, as a gain of several inches is reported from Aitkin yesterday. Aside from the inconvenience at the pumping station not much damage has been done by the extraordinary stage of the water here. The dam is so solidly built that a considerable increase could be experienced without affecting it. The fine booming facilities at Brainerd Mill Co.’s mill are such that the high water has not interfered at all with the working of the mill, and while this mill here continues to manufacture over 300,000 feet every 24 hours, the mills at Little Falls, Cloquet and other points have had to cease operations. This is a great advantage for the local mill, and more lumber is shipped every day in consequence.
Our neighboring city of Little Falls is not so fortunate as we are in this matter. A jam of many million feet of logs blocks the river a short distance above that city, which, if it should give way under pressure of the high water, could not help destroying all the works and improvements of the water power company, and flood large portions of the city with several feet of water. It is said the water above the jam is sixteen feet higher than below, so it can readily be seen that the releasing of this enormous head of water at once by the jam giving way, could not fail to bring destruction to everything in its path below. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1896, p. 4, c. 7)

How the Logs are Moving.

The Mississippi & Rum River Boom company has matters on the river as well in hand now as though the ice and logs had not seriously crippled them during the early part of the season. Every thing at Minneapolis in connection with the turning of the logs to the mills is working smoothly. There are about 30,000,000 feet of logs at the upper gap and more are running in all the time. There is a crew of men at Elk River working the logs out of the sloughs and moving gradually in the direction of Minneapolis. The logs are coming over the Little Falls dam at the rate of from six to eight million feet per day. There is a crew working at Olmstead bar about five miles above that place getting off a lot of logs that have stranded there. They are working to finish while the water is held up by the big jam above Little Falls dam. Logs are being sluiced over the Brainerd dam and being allowed to run down the river. Above that dam the logs that were out and put into the river this winter have been stopped by the boom, and all the old logs will be over the dam in the course of a week or ten days.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

Repair the Dam.

The city council should take steps at once to repair the Brainerd dam. The dam is said to be badly in need of repairs, in fact it is intimated by some who are capable of judging, that extensive repairs are necessary before the spring rise in the river to prevent the dam from being taken out. If the dam should go and the magnificent booming privileges at Rice Lake be destroyed, there is no doubt that it would result in the moving of the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s extensive plant elsewhere up the river, a loss which would be fatal to the city. Hence, as a measure of self-protection, the council should see to it that the dam be repaired at once and all danger removed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1898, p. 4, c. 1)

The Dam Will Be Repaired.

A committee of the council and Mayor Koop on Tuesday inspected the dam to see what repairs were required to render the structure safe during the spring freshets. The committee found the dam badly in need of repairs, in fact an expenditure of three or four thousand dollars is necessary to put the property in first class shape, but the expenditure of several hundred dollars it was thought would render it safe for the present, and it was decided to do the work at once, and deduct the amount from the annual power rental. But this will not be necessary, as the mayor today received a letter from the Mississippi & Rum River Boom company authorizing the city to go ahead and made necessary repairs and the Boom company would foot the bill. Hence the dam will at once be put in proper shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1899, p. 1, c. 4)


The Council Passes an Ordinance Re-
quiring Bicycle Riders to Ob-
tain a License.

The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with a full board present. Routine business was transacted and reports of city officers were received and filed.


The bridge across the Mississippi river at the dam was condemned and the street commissioner was instructed to close the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 4, c. 2)

Water Too High.

Edward Lavoy, foreman of the Mississippi & Rum River Boom company, who took a crew of men to Brainerd several days ago to repair the sluiceway of the Mississippi dam at that point, returned home Sunday morning with his crew without having accomplished the purpose of the trip. The reason for his failure was that the water is too high to permit the work to be done at present. About six feet of water is running through the sluiceway and it is impossible to do the work required under such conditions. An engineer was there for the purpose of directing the work, but under the circumstances, it was not advisable to begin, so the work has been deferred to a more opportune time.
Mr. Lavoy says that the logs have done considerable damage to the sluiceway, and are continuing to do so, but sluicing will not be stopped at present.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 4, c. 3)


Only Very Hard Work Prevents a
Bad Washout.

A break occurred in the Brainerd dam on Tuesday evening that came very near destroying the entire structure, and it was only the hardest work on the part of a large force of men and teams that the calamity was prevented.
The break was discovered on Tuesday evening about six o’clock by a river driver. He was walking along the embankment between the power house house and the retaining wall of the flume when he noticed a slight depression in the embankment. A hasty examination revealed the fact that the embankment had been pierced beneath the surface and the waters were rushing down through the break which led beneath the flume. He hastily summoned all the river men, and all the men and teams that could be found were rushed to the spot, and an attempt made to stop the hole by throwing in logs and timber and brush and bags of earth and sand. The force of the rushing water, however, rendered all efforts futile until early Wednesday morning, when the flume gates were all opened, which relieved the rush of water to the break, and the opening was gradually closed during Wednesday and Wednesday night, and the flood has now been entirely stopped. It can only be temporary, however, until a retaining wall is built or piling driven and sheeted with plank. This should be done at once, and another bad break prevented. Had the water been high, as in previous years, nothing could have saved the dam. It was fortunate, too, that the break occurred in the day time. Had it been at night when no one was about, the property would have been destroyed before it was discovered.
The flow of water was so great from the break and gates that it raised the river nearly four feet at the pumping station on Wednesday morning, and the water in the dam was reduced to such an extent that it was doubtful if the wheel at the electric light power house could be operated, but the lights were not interfered with. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1900, p. 1, c. 5)

The M. & R. R. Boom company, owners of the dam, reported that they would repair the dam as requested as soon as the stage of water would permit, and that a shut down of the electric light plant for two weeks would probably be necessary in order to do so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 October 1900, p. 2, c. 1)

The electric light will not be shut off at present as reported and expected, as the repairs to the dam will be postponed until after the holidays. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1900, p. 8, c. 1)


A Petition of Citizens to that Effect—
Must be Repaired at Once
if at All.

The DISPATCH is requested to give publicity to the following:
A petition signed by more than a hundred of the prominent tax payers of this county, many of whom pay heavy taxes, asking that the bridge across the Mississippi river at the dam be repaired and a road be opened between the river and Gilbert lake, to connect with the public road at or near Billing’s saw mill, was presented to our commissioners at their meeting in December. Our commissioners did not give this petition a hearing. There was not even a mention of its being presented to them, in their proceedings, as published in the county papers.
Everyone familiar with this part of our city and county will recognize at once, the great need of the improvement, as asked for in the petition, for the benefit of the whole up river travel, to say nothing of the thousands of citizens of Brainerd and their visiting friends who wish to visit Gilbert lake every summer. If a settler any where in this up river country wishes to go to the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill for lumber, he being on the hill opposite the dam, is a half-mile from the mill; but without this bridge, he is obliged to travel half way around the city, always in sight of it, though unable to get into it until he has traveled over three miles and then another three miles back through the city to the mill, making more than twelve miles travel to go one mile.
Signed by some of the tax payers: J. L. Camp, M. D., J. A. Arnold, Mrs. E. E. Forsythe, Edward Crust, W. R. Clark, D. W. Billings, Brainerd Lumber Co., R. R. Wise.
The bridge at the dam ought certainly be repaired and put into shape for use. It will require considerable outlay as the bridge is in very bad shape, but it will be money well expended, as it is a public need. But repairing the bridge will not be sufficient. A good road should be built up the side hill, so that access to the bridge may be had without endangering one’s life. And the matter will have to be attended to at once, if at all, as the piling can only be renewed while the river is frozen, hence the commissioners should take action not later than the next meeting. Let the bridge be repaired. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 January 1901, p. 1, c. 3)


Owners Have an Offer for All Power
Not Leased by the

Hon. Leon E. Lum stated yesterday to a DISPATCH representative that Mr. Chute, manager of the Mississippi and Rum River Boom Co., the owners of the dam, had stated to him a day or two before that the company had an offer from a big manufacturing concern for all the power there is at the dam except the 500 horse power the city uses. As this power is variously estimated from 3,000 to 5,000 horse power, it can readily be seen it must be a mammoth concern that is negotiating for it, and whatever it is will mean a great deal to the city. Mr. Chute also told Mr. Lum the company had decided to accept the offer, if a better one was not received, so the power will surely be leased, and it must be a responsible concern and a bona fide offer, or the Boom Company would not waste its time considering it. Mr. Lum did not ask his informant what concern it was and Mr. Chute did not volunteer the information, but no matter who it is, it cannot help but make Brainerd the largest city in northern Minnesota. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 March 1901, p. 1, c. 2)


A Special Meeting of the County Com-
missioners Will be Held Mon-
day to Consider the

A special meeting of the county commissioners will be held on Monday to consider the question of rebuilding the bridge at the dam. The old bridge has been in half wrecked condition for the past year, and people living in the county above have been compelled to go about five miles out of their way to the Laurel street bridge to get into town. This has been a great hardship, and a petition to rebuild the bridge has been before the commissioners for some time but the board did not see its way clear to build the bridge on account of a lack of funds, so nothing has been done.
Last week a committee of influential citizens waited on the city members, and urged upon them the necessity of building the bridge at once. As a result the special meeting was called and provision will undoubtedly be made to rebuild at once.
As the old bridge is absolutely worthless, it will have to be practically a new bridge. Only the old pilings can be used when sawed off at low water mark. Additional piling will have to be driven however, as it is intended to raise the new bridge at least 20 feet above the level of the old, and it will take new piling in order to give the necessary strength to the high structure. By raising the level 20 feet, an easy grade can be made on either side so that full loads can be hauled. At the old level the grade was so steep on either side that it was a load for a team to haul an empty wagon up the hill.
The building of this bridge is a necessity, and the commissioners should be commended for so doing, even if the necessary money must be borrowed and interest paid thereon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1901, p. 4, c. 2)


Proceedings of the Meeting of the Board
of Crow Wing County Commis-
sioners. Meeting Held
March 25th, 1901.
10 A. m.



All members being present. The object of the meeting being to consider the matter of repairing the dam bridge.
On motion made and duly carried, the county attorney was directed to draft a proper bill for an act of the legislature, amending Chapter 194, general laws of 1897, so that said Chapter 194, when so amended, shall apply to bridges erected in whole or in part by funds derived by the issuance of bonds by the county, and forward the same tour representatives and senators for passage by the legislature.
On call for ayes and nays the commissioners voted as follows. Commissioners Paine, Erickson and chairman voted aye, and Commissioners Kienow and Maghan voted nay.
Motion declared carried.
On motion duly made and carried, the members of the board residing in the city were authorized to have plans drawn for the repairs of the bridge, and the auditor was directed to advertise for bids for the repairs of said bridge.
Board adjourned.
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1901, p. 2, c. 1)


Proceedings of the Meeting of the Board
of Crow Wing County Commis-
sioners Meeting Held
April 9th 1901.


Pursuant to adjournment the board met at 10 o’clock a. m., all members being present.


Wagon bridge crossing the Mississippi River in Northeast Brainerd, ca. 1910. A 912x491 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Carl Faust
The board proceeded to consider bids for repairs of bridge at the Brainerd dam at 2 o’clock p. m. William D. Hewitt & Co., of Minneapolis, submitted a bid for a combination bridge on piles with approaches for—$2,075.00
For steel bridge on piles—$2,450.00
For steel bridge on steel tubes—$2,940.00
P. G. Fogelstrom submitted a bid for the reconstruction of said bridge for $4,790 and $3,750 respectively, and A. Everett the same work for $4,498.00, the several bids according to specifications and plans accompanying said bids. After the consideration of the various bids the following resolution was unanimously passed:
RESOLVED, That the bid of William S. Hewitt & Co. for the construction of a new bridge across the Mississippi river on the site of the old bridge at the Brainerd dam, said bid being for a steel bridge on steel tubes, with approaches and to cost $2,940.00 be accepted, conditioned on the furnishing by said Hewitt & Co. of complete plans and specifications to be approved by the board on or before May 7th next.
Board adjourned till May 7th.
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1901, p. 2, c. 2)

...It seems that there has been another gymnastic maneuver in the ownership and control of the dam in this city, which until last night was supposed to be the property of the Mississippi & Rum River Boom Co. Some time ago a communication was received from President Chute, of the boom company, in which was enclosed a bill for $2250 rental for water power. The bill at the time was referred to the city attorney with instructions that he notify President Chute that the city held a contra bill against the company. City Attorney Crowell did as he was instructed and a communication was received in reply, which was a surprise to the councilmen. The communication was from Cohen, Atwater & Shaw, attorneys, of Minneapolis. It was stated that the Brainerd dam is the Northern Water Power Co.’s interest and not the Mississippi River Boom Co. As regards the city’s claim against the company for reduction of rent and expenses incurred in work on the dam Mr. Chute informed the attorneys that his experts reported that the break was caused entirely by the negligence of the city improperly placing its wheels. The matter was finally settled by motion, which was unanimously carried, instructing the city attorney to write the gentlemen interested in the dam that if the amount of the claim of the city of $400 was reduced from the amount of the bill the balance due the company would be forth coming at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1901, p. 3, c.’s 2 & 3)

Northwest Paper Pulp Mill located on the north side of the river just below Ahrens Hill, ca. 1910
Source: Postcard
Northern Water Power Company eventually became the owner of the dam, and in 1903 this company was purchased by the Northwest Paper Company. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 32 & 33)


Lines May Be Taken in the Near
Future Near the Pulp Mill for
a New Structure


The Dam Will Have to Be Raised
a Foot Before Enough Head
Can Be Secured.

There is a matter which the Commercial Club can take hold of and do some good for the city in connection with the Northwest Paper company property in this city. There is some talk that there will be something doing in a short time in the vicinity of the dam and that action may be taken shortly to ascertain the most advantageous location for a large paper mill. The DISPATCH reporter had a conversation with one who is well acquainted with the condition and he stated that he thought something would be done this summer in this direction, but he stated also that there was another question which would have to be settled first and that is the matter of more power for a paper mill. The dam at its present status will not meet the requirements, but will have to be raised a foot before enough head can be secured. This will also mean that some action will have to be taken regarding the securing of the necessary overflowage rights from the owners of the land. The raising of the dam a foot would raise the water a foot for twenty miles up river.
If the proper arrangement can be made, however, it is thought that the Northwest Paper company will proceed very soon with the work. It is said that when they do build a paper mill here it will be of the most modern type, of large capacity, and over 400 people will be employed.
The pulp mill here has been a great success, as evidence that for the first time since the cold weather set in the mill will, if this weather continues, shut down from six o’clock tomorrow morning until seven o’clock Monday morning. The machinery has been running continuously, night and day for nearly four months and much repair work has accumulated which must be attended to. During cold weather it is impossible to shut down because of the danger from ice in the flume, but with the present soft weather it will be possible to give the hands a Sunday once more and do the needed work on the plant. In summer the machinery is started at 7 o'clock Monday morning and not stopped until six o’clock Sunday morning. The run has been very satisfactory to the management as they have turned out about thirty tons of pulp daily. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 February 1905, p. 3, c. 2)


Putting the City in Semi-Darkness. One
Waterwheel Put Entirely Out of Com-
mission for the Present

Through the breaking of a pinion at the power plant one of the waterwheels of the light plant is entirely out of commission and a large part of the residence district is again in darkness. There was not sufficient power Saturday night to decently light the downtown district. Supt. Baker had duplicate parts ordered before the accident and as soon as they arrive they will be put in place. They should be on the way now as it was promised that they would be shipped last Wednesday. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 March 1907, p. 2, c. 4)

The water in the Mississippi river is reported as falling very rapidly and it will probably be necessary to put flash-boards on the dam it is said in order to supply water for the pulp mill and electric light plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 January 1908, p. 2, c. 3)


Electric Light Station Burns to Ground


Two Piers and Five Gates of Weyer-
hauser Dam Burned Down—Repair Work
Commenced at Dam—City Will Make
Temporary Connection With Shop
Electric Light Plant.

The city electric light plant at the dam burned to the ground at nine o’clock Saturday night. Nothing was saved, arc machine and alternators, pulleys and shafting being reduced to a tangled pile of scrap.
John B. Lanouette, electric light engineer, was on duty at the time and states that the fire started on the north end of the building near the roof at about nine o’clock in the evening. As everyone who was on our streets that day or evening is aware, there was a fierce wind, and when the fire started it did not take the gale long to envelope the whole plant in a blast furnace blaze. The fire burned from the north end to the south end of the building.
Lanouette states there was no wiring near the fire when it first started. The nearest wiring was over twelve feet away. He telephoned for help and rushed back to save something. Of all his belongings he was able to save only his wheel.
He is not sure how the fire really started and believes it may have commenced from outside sparks, claiming sparks may have come from the saw mill immediately north of the light plant. He said he saw steam coming from the McKinley mill, as it is usually called. Lanouette is an old city employee, having worked for the city over eight years and during that time, as he states, never having had any trouble.


The building rests on a stone and cement foundation on the east side of the dam and near the two large wooden piers on that side. The fire quickly ate its way through the light frame building of the power house and leaped to the piers. These were soon a blazing mass. When the writer stood on the high bank east of the fire at about ten o’clock in the evening the foundation stringers of the building were reduced to blazing lines of light and the two piers were silhouetted in flame against the dark rushing waters of the dam.


The city department could not do much as this territory is out of the fire district. No adequate fire protection seems to have been provided for an emergency of this kind. For a time it looked as though the fire would spread to the Northwest Paper Co.’s pulp mill, which occupies the west bank of the dam. It was reported first that a pile of coal near the electric light plant and at the east foundation of the dam was on fire, but later reports discredit this and it is said no coal was stored near the dam.


A member of the city water and light board stated that the electric plant and building is covered by sufficient insurance to cover financial loss on machinery and building.
Insurance carried was $4,600 which was as much as the water and light board could place on the building and contents. The new dynamo was insured for $1100, its full value. While this amount is not large it is probably all the old plant was worth.


The two main piers on the east side of the dam are burned to the water’s edge. Three gates are burned on the outside of the flume. The pier foundations appear to be sound. The wheel pit of the dam is safe, the cogs being burned out.
Mr. Lanouette says he believes the state of water now to be about normal. The loss of the gates released the water and it is said to have fallen 14 inches at a point above the dam.


As stated by a member, the water and light board will meet the emergency by installing a steam or gasoline plant and providing service just as soon as a new plant can be built, which will be from 60 to 90 days.


The water and light board is making arrangements with the N. P. railway company to connect with the electric plant at the shops, and it is thought the necessary arrangements can be made by Tuesday or Wednesday. To do this it will be necessary for the board to provide two transformers at a cost of over $3,000, as the current at the shops is a higher voltage and two phase while the city plant was a single phase, but the board has rightfully decided that it was its duty to serve the public no matter if it does cost considerable. However, it is thought that the electrical company will take them back charging only for their use.
The destruction of the plant is a great inconvenience to concerns using motors for power and they have resorted to all sorts of schemes to keep going. The Northwestern Telephone company has a storage battery system that will keep them going for a week, but they got busy and connected with the N. P. wires on Sunday.


Koop’s Unique theatre hustled around and installed a gas plant and never missed a performance. They played to crowded houses yesterday.
Mahlum Lumber Co.’s planing mill shut down on account of no power. They always handle a lot of custom work.
The Daily Dispatch is badly put out by the fire as the machinery of the office is run by motors. A gasoline engine has been installed temporarily to run the presses, but we are unable to use the linotype and hand composition must be resorted to which will reduce the local reading matter considerably.
The lecture by Dr. Laura Lane at the Methodist church was in progress when the lights went out, plunging audience and lecturer into darkness. The lecturer calmly continued her address and resolutions were adopted in the dark urging Congressman Lindbergh to assist in establishing a national department of health.
Charles Weyerhauser, accompanied by Messrs. Musser and Richie, came up from Little Falls Sunday afternoon in his Packard automobile and the party inspected the damages sustained to the Weyerhauser dam. The gentlemen returned to Little Falls in the evening.
Fred W. Low, of the new Grand theatre, stated his theatre would open tonight with the usual vaudeville features.
T. L. Truss, of the Bijou theatre said his house would run with the usual vaudeville features.
Thomas G. Johnson, superintendent of the Northwest Paper Co. and a crew of men are engaged in throwing up a wing dam from the east shore of the river to the burned piers. Water has fallen so rapidly that it is necessary to sheer the water to the west bank to keep the pulp mill going. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 April 1910, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)


A Hole Formed Near the East Bank
Which Nearly Proved


Foreman Tom Long, and a Crew of
Men Worked all Night Repair-
ing Break

The Weyerhauser dam nearly gave out last night. A big hole is reported to have formed at the east bank near the burned piers and for a time it looked as though the water would sweep through the break and carry everything before it.
Tom Long, of the Northern Boom Co., with a crew of men worked heroically all night repairing the break. The dam itself is holding its position. The danger now, as it showed itself last night, is in the crumbling of the bank near the east shore.
Should there be heavy rains or a sudden rise in the river it would prove a menace to the dam. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 April 1910, p. 3, c. 3)


Officials of the Company Owning the
Dam Inspect It This

Monday night’s break in the Weyerhauser dam has been promptly repaired and the immediate danger is past.
Men of the Northern Boom Co. and the Northwest Paper Co. pulp mill are engaged in the repair work. They are putting in a wing dam from the east shore to the burned piers and are placing slush boards in positions.
Messrs. Charles Weyerhauser and R. D. Musser, of Little Falls, Pres. Chute of the Mississippi & Rum River boom Co., and C. I. McNair, of Cloquet are in the city personally inspecting the work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 April 1910, p. 3, c. 2)

W. F. Benjamin, of St. Cloud, is engaged in making repairs on the Weyerhauser dam. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 May 1910, p. 2, c. 3)

The minutes of the Board of County Commissioners on Oct 14, 1911, show that the State Highway Engineer in that year condemned the bridge again. By an election on March 12, 1912, the Board of Commissioners was authorized to issue $35,000 in bonds to build a bridge; but instead in April it ordered repairs to the old one. On 13 April 1912, $4,797 was appropriated to virtually rebuild the bridge. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 70)



Broke Away at 3 o’clock This Morn-
ing, Releasing Head of 16 Feet,
Nearly Drowned Pump House

Waters Crept Within Inch of Fire Boxes of
Pumping Station, Supplies City and
Shops with Water


At 3 this afternoon the river had receded 23 inches at the city pump house and it will soon be possible to drive teams across.

Brainerd faced a catastrophe at 3 o’clock this morning when the old flume at the old pulp mill went out at the west end of the Mississippi river dam and the rush of water, a sixteen foot head, nearly submerged the city pump house below.
The water crept within 6 inches of the fire box at the pumping station and the crest of the flood appears to have passed. Ice has been dynamited out below to reduce any possible gorge forming.
The section of the dam out will have to be coffer dammed. The water rose and reached the grinder room of the Northwest Paper Co.’s new plant.
Stations south of Brainerd were warned to prepare for the rush of water. The city pump house men are working valiantly at the plant which is a tiny island in a water waste. If submerged Brainerd would be without water and the Northern Pacific shops would have to lay off.
The city pump house men were heroes. They stuck to their post as the water raised to within an inch of the fire box. The water is now receding and is 16 inches from the fire boxes. The city plant supplies Brainerd and the Northern Pacific railway shops with water.
Rice lake, an arm of the Mississippi north of the dam, fell five feet and ice cutting operations were abandoned. The island in the river below the dam is nearly submerged.
The water is flowing under the ice and raising it. The worst danger appears over at 10 o’clock.

At 3 o’clock Monday morning the old pulp mill flume at the west end of the dam at the Northwest Paper Co. plant on the Mississippi river in Northeast Brainerd went out, carrying with it a section of the west bank of the river, the old site of the old pump mill and some material stored on the bank.
The break released a 16 foot head of water which quickly submerged the flats below and came with an inch of putting out the fire box of the city pumping station.
The island directly below the dam is covered with water, only tree tops being visible. Considerable working equipment, pile drivers, engine, etc. are under water at the new plant.
The log chute was being repaired and a week more would have witnessed the cutting open of the west bank so as to bring the water to the new power plant. The old pulp mill house, however, was not able to stand the pressure centered there and gave way.
The old wagon bridge, directly north, has given way in the center and may wash out any time.
At Boom lake water forced the ice up five feet or more. The hockey rink, where Ironton and the St. Paul Northern Pacifics played at the Brainerd Outdoor Carnival, is now an elevated one. Below Boom lake the flats are rapidly filling up.
Ice piling up at the Northern Pacific railway hospital bridge was dynamited early in the morning.
E. E. McQuillin, engineer at the pumping station, went to his work by paddling out in a boat. Charles H. Varner stayed at his post all night, keeping pumps going when the water was within an inch of the fire box.
Ice above the dam is holding, and the natural flow of the river is now following the new channel cut through at the west side.
At 11:30 in the morning the water had fallen 10 inches and no more danger was feared. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 February 1917, p. 1, c.’s 1 & 2)

Break in Dam Closed Rapidly
at Brainerd, Minn.
Old Dam Across Mississippi Breached February 12
Was Restored and Power Service Was
Resumed April 16

Brainerd Dam Repair, 28 March 1917, A Century of Papermaking: 1898-1998
Source: Potlatch, Brainerd, Minnesota
Brainerd Dam Repair, 1917
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
On Feb. 12 part of the old pulp-mill dam near the site of the Northwest Paper Co.’s new plant at Brainerd, Minn. gave away, causing the Mississippi River to make a detour to the west, carrying out more of the old structure and cutting its way through and washing out the westerly bank, 75 ft. high, a distance of 800 feet. Representatives of George F. Hardy, consulting engineer, New York, the C. L. Pillsbury Co., Minneapolis, and N. F. Helmers, of the contracting firm of Siems, Helmers and Schaffner, St. Paul, at once made tentative plans for a structure to replace the break. The contract was awarded to the latter firm.
Working in the most severe winter weather, with the railways blocked by snowstorms, and in the face of the abnormal car shortage, 8,000 yd. of rock and more than 500,000 ft. of timber, 10,000 ft. of piling and 12,000 yd. of earthwork were placed and the full head of 16 ft. developed by Apr. 12. The work was carried on day and night, being illuminated with arc lamps.
Not the least obstacle was the inaccessibility of the work, which necessitated the rebuilding of 100 ft. of trestle highway bridge 60 ft. high, and the reinforcing of 300 ft. more, the placing of two cableways, erection of two piledrivers and laying of a mile of track before work was under way.
A temporary barrier dam was first built out from the shore 110 ft. into the stream, across the washout, to retard the current. It consisted of random piling driven to refusal and filled around with rock. At the same time tons of rock were hauled across the bridge in 1 1/2-yd. cars and deposited in the washout by skidding down the bank or unloaded from the 1-yd. skips of the cableways to pave the bottom of the river. Cribs 3, 4, 5 and 6 were then built and slid into position after cutting the necessary opening in the ice.
The two key cribs for closing the dam were floated into position Apr. 4, and filled with rock.
The work was carried on under the direction of N. F. Helmers, of the contracting company. D. Fairchild, superintended the construction. H. Bennett, civil engineer, represented George F. Hardy, of New York, and the paper company’s interest. (ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD, 16 August 1917, p. 313)

Since 1942 city, county, state, and federal governments have been cooperating to get a substantial steel-concrete bridge built to replace this wooden wagon bridge. It is a very urgent need, Federal legislation was enacted authorizing the erection of the bridge and the state has made all the necessary plans to do the work. The cost will be about $250,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 181)

Ice Damages
Northwest Paper
Mill Dam Here

Ice is endangering the Northwest Paper Mill dam here, it was reported today.
Leo Gayou, manager of the mill, said ice has damaged the superstructure of the dam and two of the 13 spill gates went out yesterday.
Until the water recedes, Gayou said, it will be impossible to estimate the damage to the superstructure done by the ice.
At present, engineers and officials are attempting to spill water from the dam to relieve it of pressure.
Gayou said there was an unusual amount of water at the dam site. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 May 1950, p. 1, c. 5)

Rising Waters
Threaten Power,
Pumping Station

Rising flood waters of the Mississippi river here today were threatening the city power and pumping station and at least one family was evacuated this morning from lowlands along the river.
Water which showed a rise of six inches during the night was within one-half inch of the floor of the pumping station today and crews employed by the water and light board constructed a dike in a move to save the station from inundation.
The family of Robert Hunt, living at the foot of Pine street was moved out of its home this morning as waters crept around the house. The family was moved by the fire department who assisted in removing the family and valuables.
At the Northwestern Paper mills today the public was barred from mill properties while workmen battle to strengthen the mill dam where four gates had given way under the pressure of water Saturday and Sunday. Machinery was in use on the west side of the river today building a dike in a drive to halt the rush of waters through the dam.
Four gates, two on each side of the dam, were reported out and at the mill it was said that the dam today had not been threatened by ice from the upper river.
Waters from the river rolled over the road which separates Boom lake and the river and covered most of the river flats which border the Mississippi.
Crews began working at the dike at the power and pumping station Saturday morning, worked through the night and all day Sunday.
The dike is holding the water back from the station, while a small “puddle” inside the dike was being pumped out Sunday at the rate of 750 gallons an hour.
Estimates of the expected rise of water at the pumping station indicate that the water may rise a foot from its present flood stage.
Had the water been allowed to enter the power and pumping station, the city may have been without electricity and water. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 May 1950, p. 1, c.’s 6-8)

New Break in Dam
Renews Threat to
Pumping Station

A new threat to Brainerd’s pumping station and power plant developed last night when about six feet of superstructure of the Northwest Paper company’s dam washed away. The remaining spill gates were opened.
But paper mill officials are working closely with the city authorities to prevent the excess water from reaching the power and pumping station.
Crews worked through the night filling and sandbagging at the dike. The road near the pumping station is completely under water from the turn-off which leads to the sewage disposal plant.
But crewmen believe they can keep the water from the pumping station barring a large and sudden surge of water.
The superstructure, usually extending about six feet above the water at normal stage, gave way to the pounding pressure of water behind the dam. Besides the water pressure, debris had piled up behind the dam, exerting added weight on the superstructure.
All but about six spill gates broke through and the remaining gates were opened after precautions had been taken at the pumping station to handle the excess water.
The remaining gates were opened to protect the banks of the river on both sides of the dam, officials report. Opening the gates allows the water and debris to flow down the river instead of wearing the banks on each side.
Paper mill crews have been working continuously to prevent wear on the banks by filling and sandbagging. At present there is about six feet of fill and sandbags on each side of the dam.
The water at the dam is approximately five feet above the normal river stage.
While the superstructure has gone, officials and engineers believe the base of the dam is intact, but they cannot be sure since the base is several feet below the surface of the water.
Paper mill and city authorities are working hand-in-hand to prevent disaster at the power and pumping station. This was manifest last night when the gates were opened at the dam.
Such action would, of course, send more water into the Brainerd lowlands where the power and pumping station is situated. Paper mill officials, keeping in close contact with city maintenance crews, warned of the necessity of opening the remaining gates.
The power station dike was checked so the surge of water would not reach the station.
A rumor began circulating last night that the dam would be dynamited. The story probably grew from action of the officials of blasting the debris behind the dam.
Leo Gayou, manager of the mill, said the dynamite used was not at the base of the dam. It was used to break loose the debris piled against the dam. The amount of explosives used would have been insufficient to damage the dam itself, Gayou added.
Meanwhile, engineers expect the river to continue to rise for several days, which means Brainerd’s crest will not come for three, four or five days. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 May 1950, pp. 1 & 2, c.’s 6-8)

Red Cross, Army
Alert Equipment
For Brainerd

Water purification units and power generator equipment was alerted at Red Cross and Fifth army headquarters in St. Louis to be flown to Brainerd in the event the Brainerd pumping and power stations are inundated due to rising waters in the Mississippi river here.
Major Rae M. Smith, officer in charge of the Organized Army Reserve here, contacted both the Red Cross and army headquarters at St. Louis last night. This morning the major was informed that necessary equipment had been alerted in St. Louis for immediate transport here if needed. Crews to fly this equipment here, Major Smith said, are under standby orders. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 May 1950, pp. 1 & 2, c.’s 6-8)

Local Flood
Drops; May
Hold Steady

1950 Mississippi River floods lower portion of the road to Evergreen Cemetery, 15 May 1950
Source: Postcard
Head waters at the Northwest Paper mill dam have receded, according to officials of the paper company.
The water dropped three-tenths of an inch, and the tail water, that portion in front of the dam, held its own.
Flood waters lapping the power and pumping station dike in Brainerd also held their own last night.
A spokesman at the pump house said the dike is holding well and crews are working continuously to strengthen and enlarge the dam.
Meanwhile waters from the Mississippi have seeped into the fill by Franklin junior high school, covering the football field and Cemetery road.
Predictions of when the flood will reach its crest cannot be made accurately, but the river is still rising at Aitkin. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 May 1950, p. 1, c.’s 3-5)

12 July 1950. A prominent improvement underway in the lakes area is the new steel and concrete bridge which will span the Mississippi River at Mill Avenue. Fast flood waters delayed work this spring, but approaches are complete and the bridge should open in July, 1951. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Monday, 12 July 2010)

29 March 1951. Two 85-foot gates, each seven feet high, have been installed in the new dam at the Northwest paper mill. The local paper mill site is one of five dams in the nation equipped with such gates, the others all being found in New England. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 2011)

City Will Pursue Dam in Bidding Process

Brainerd city officials will bid on the hydroelectric dam that once helped power Wausau Paper.
The Brainerd City Council voted during a closed meeting Monday to draft a letter of intent to buy the dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river. The letter of intent will serve as a formal bid.
The bid amount and just how the purchase would be funded cannot yet be made public, said City Administrator Theresa Goble.
The council will hold another closed meeting Friday morning to approve the wording in the letter of intent and to set a dollar amount for the bid, she said.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said.
“We’re not going to see our bills go down $10 because of this,” he said.
Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller, he said.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that its cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
At the closed session meeting, Goble said council members talked about the pros and cons of buying the property.
“This is a rare opportunity. These things don’t come up for sale very often,” Wicklund said.
Wicklund added: “I think this will be a good investment. It’s just a line of business we haven’t done in the past because there was no opportunity.”
There’s a big interest in hydro facilities, Wicklund said, and therefore there is the potential for several bidders on the dam.
The bidding session closes Friday afternoon and the bid winner will be announced after Wausau officials accept an offer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 July 2013, p. 1)

City Submits Bid for Wausau Dam

Brainerd city officials submitted a bid on the hydroelectric dam that once helped power Wausau Paper.
After the conclusion of a closed meeting Friday, the Brainerd City Council approved submitting an offer to Wausau Paper Mills to buy the dam and the 37 acres of land to the west of it.
At a previous closed meeting Monday, the council agreed it would submit a bid, but the wording and the bid amount was approved at Friday’s closed session.
The bid amount will not be made public until after the bidding session is closed, city officials said.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
The city expects to hear from Wausau on Monday regarding its proposal. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 2013, p. 1)

Wausau, City Officials to Discuss Dam Bid Further

Wausau officials are interested in “further discussing the city’s offer to purchase the hydroelectric dam,” according to a statement released by Brainerd officials.
Late last week, the Brainerd City Council agreed to draft a letter of intent to buy the dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river.
The bid amount is still not able to be released, said City Administrator Theresa Goble.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
No meetings have been set yet between the city and Wausau to discuss the offer to buy the dam.
“The city and Brainerd Public Utilities Commission continue its due diligence in the research of all the issues involving ownership of a hydroelectric dam,” the statement read. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 2013, p. 1)

Wausau Plant Facility has Potential Buyer
City Enters into Letter of Intent Over Dam

The Wausau Paper facility might have a potential buyer.
City officials will soon meet with the potential buyer of the facility “to discuss options or alternatives that might be available to facilitate the return of the mill to productive operations,” according to a statement released by city administrator Theresa Goble.
The name of the potential buyer hasn’t been released, and Wausau officials did not return a phone call Wednesday for comment.
Wausau Paper closed its production doors in April, citing an exit from the print business and economic weakness as key factors in the decision.
Since then a task force made up of representatives from the city and business committee was formed to help pull in potential buyers.
The city of Brainerd also placed a bid on the hydroelectric dam last month, which is being sold separately than the building facility itself.
The dam bid was “looked favorably upon” by Wausau officials, who drafted a letter of intent with stipulations on officially accepting the bid.
The letter was reviewed by the city attorney and changes were suggested, and recently the two lawyers agreed on a final document.
The letter of intent allows the city 90 days to do their due diligence with an 10 percent escrow amount paid to Wausau. If, after the 90 days, the city decides not to move forward with the purchase, the escrow amount is refunded.
Goble said in that period, there will be inspections done by Brainerd Public Utilities consultants and review of any reports that will be made available to BPU.
On Monday, the Brainerd City Council adjourned into closed session after the regular meeting to receive a status report on the letter of intent to purchase the dam.
During the meeting, discussion was held on the proposed letter of intent drafted by the two lawyers, Goble said.
After the closed session meeting went into open session, the council voted unanimously to approve the letter of intent and to authorize proper signatures.
The letter of intent and purchase price are not public information yet, Goble said.
The council then voted to a form a committee of the mayor, council president Bonnie Cumberland and Goble to meet with BLAEDC, PUC officials, and the potential buyer of the Wausau plant facility, to discuss options or alternatives that might be available to facilitate the return of the mill to productive operations.
“We hope it works out with the potential buyer,” said Wausau Task Force member and city councilman Gary Scheeler. “To put a business in this plant would be extremely good news for the area. It’s too early to tell exactly what the outcome will be.”
Scheeler added that there’s been 100 percent agreement within city council in moving forward with the dam purchase
“It says something about the direction we are going,” he said. “For Brainerd, we couldn’t ask for a better thing to happen.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 September 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd Officials Tour Wausau Dam
City has Submitted a Bid on the Hydroelectric Dam

City officials tour the Brainerd dam, 24 September 2013
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
Brainerd city officials Tuesday received an up-close look at the Wausau Paper dam, a facility the city has expressed interest in buying.
The dam, which Wausau officials said dates back to the late 1800s, generated electricity for Wausau Paper before that company ceased production at the northeast Brainerd plant in April. City officials said earlier this month they were in discussions with an unidentified potential buyer for the plant facility. The dam would be sold separately from the Wausau Paper facility.
The tour was part of an adjourned Brainerd Public Utilities Commission meeting and included some Brainerd City Council members. One of the council members, Mary Koep, said at the conclusion of the tour she wanted to know the immediate and the long-range cost to the city that would come with a dam purchase as well as significant and verifiable evidence indicating benefits outweighed the cost. She suggested two years was a suitable time period for when the city should realize the benefits of a potential dam purchase.
“If you can’t do that, then to me, it’s not worth it,” she said.
Council member Chip Borkenhagen said Tuesday that immediate payback is not always possible and sometimes an investment has to be made in the future. Borkenhagen said the city has made no final decision on the possible purchase of the dam.
“There are all kinds of stones that have to be overturned,” he said.
Koep said she’ll be interested to see what the city’s consulting engineers on the potential purchase have to say about the dam’s potential benefit to the city.
Shawn O’Brien of Wausau Paper, who conducted one of the tour groups, said the dam generated an average of 17 to 18 million kilowatts a year, which is sold back to Minnesota Power.
O’Brien said four full-time personnel and some part-time relief help staff the dam 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The grates in front of the generators are operated manually, he said. The heat source for the dam building is steam and electric, he said.
“These generators are not new but they’re built like a tank,” he said. “Not much can go wrong with them.”
He said government regulations strictly dictate the level at which dam operators can keep the river. O’Brien also described how the cement apron immediately downstream of the dam helps break up the flow of water and protects the dam’s structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd City Council: Environmental
Law Group to Look at Wausau Dam

The city will retain the Environmental Law Group to provide legal counsel and assistance to city officials in the potential sale of the Wausau Paper facility.
City officials approved the move at the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday. There will be no cost to the city.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on the hydroelectric dam in August, which is being sold separate from the building facility itself. A potential buyer of the building facility has been in discussions with city officials but the name has not yet been released.
Brainerd legal counsel from the Kennedy & Graven law firm requested city officials retain the law group to provide advice on specific environmental issues relating to the project and to identify any concerns on the site.
City Administrator Theresa Goble said there will be no cost to the city, as Minnesota Power pledged $5,000 and the Initiative Foundation pledged funds as well.
Goble said the potential facility buyer offered additional monetary help, should the city request it.
City councilwoman Mary Koep questioned how reliable the study would be if it is funded through a group that might have interest in the outcome. Koep said she would vote against the motion if the bill came to the city.
Goble said the law group will not know who is contributing the funds, as it is the city that is paying the bill with funds given to the city beforehand.
After the city placed the bid on the dam a few months ago, the bid was “looked favorably upon” by Wausau officials, who drafted a letter of intent with stipulations on officially accepting the bid.
The letter was reviewed by the city attorney and changes were suggested. Recently the two lawyers agreed on a final document.
The letter of intent allows the city 90 days to do their due diligence with an 10 percent escrow amount paid to Wausau. If, after the 90 days, the city decides not to move forward with the purchase, the escrow amount is refunded.
In that period, there will be inspections done by Brainerd Public Utilities consultants and review of any reports that will be made available to BPU. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 October 2013)

Brainerd City Council: Purchase Agreement
to be Signed Wausau Dam

A purchase agreement will be signed by the city in regard to the potential purchase of the Wausau dam.
The unanimous approval at the Brainerd City Council meeting Monday was to have officials sign the agreement.
With the signing of the purchase agreement, the official 90-day due diligence period can start. During that time period, there will be several studies and inspections into the facilities at the dam to make sure it would be a good investment for the city.
Even with signing the purchase agreement, the city can still back out of buying the dam should those inspections come up unfavorable.
City councilman Kelly Bevans said he supported the purchase agreement completely.
“To produce electricity without burning something is a huge step forward for the city,” he said.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on Wausau Paper’s hydroelectric dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river in August, after the paper company close its doors earlier in the year.
The purchase price will be $4.115 million. This is the first time the price has been publicly available.
The purchase price will be offset by the cost to connect the dam’s powerhouse to city water, sewer and natural gas lines, all of which Wausau officials agreed to pay for by lowering the purchase price.
Mayor James Wallin said this is an “opportunity few cities have.”
Wallin said there are probably other costs involved but he said in the long run, the dam would be a benefit to the city.
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, said Todd Wicklund, Brainerd Public Utilities finance director. The dam gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city is awarded the bid and buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said.
Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller, he said.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
Wicklund addressed the concern from a letter from former council member Bob Olson, who suggested a dam might be better run in the hands of a private entity or business.
Wicklund said dozens of cities own various types of power generating devises, a few being dams.
With Brainerd potentially owning a dam, it’s a step forward in trying to keep energy costs as low as possible in the future.
He noted this is just one way BPU is looking at to make the city more energy efficient.
The dam is being sold separate from the building facility itself. Liberty Paper Co. officials showed interest in buying the facility, but officially backed out a month ago.
City councilwoman Mary Koep said there should be a public hearing on the proposed dam purchase, as well as an informational session about the benefits and potential costs.
City councilman Gary Scheeler added, “this is the smartest, biggest investment the city ever made.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 2013, p. 1)

Brainerd City Council: Due Diligence Extended
in Dam Purchase

The due diligence period in regard to the potential purchase of the Wausau dam has been extended so officials can gain legislative approval for acquiring the dam.
The Brainerd City Council approved the move at its meeting Tuesday.
The official 90-day due diligence period started in November with the signing of the purchase agreement and it was set to expire at the end of the month.
City leaders recently found out that in order to buy the dam they need legislative approval. It was found that state law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it, said council member Gary Scheeler, who also is a member of the Wausau Task Force.
Scheeler continued that the requirement is in place because transferring the dam to a public entity means additional liability, as well as state grants will become available for future maintenance.
During the due diligence period, there have been several studies and inspections into the facilities at the dam to make sure it would be a good investment for the city.
The city of Brainerd placed a bid on Wausau Paper’s hydroelectric dam and the adjoining 37 acres of land on the west side of the river in August after the paper company close its doors earlier in the year.
The purchase price will be $4.115 million. The purchase price will be offset by the cost to connect the dam’s powerhouse to city water, sewer and natural gas lines, all of which Wausau officials agreed to pay for by lowering the purchase price.
The dam is expected to generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day. It gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, officials previously have said. Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 February 2014)

Brainerd City Council: Koep Voices Disagreement
for Closed Session

Brainerd City Council member Mary Koep disagreed with going into a closed session meeting Monday concerning the Wausau dam.
“I don’t see anything in the material presented that it shouldn’t be public,” Koep said. “It’s all about the dam and the studies done and the consultant report.”
The city first signed a purchase agreement with Wausau for the dam late last year. There are 10 days left in the due diligence period of the agreement.
The meeting can be closed because the council will consider if, based off the engineering reports recently received, the city should stick with the initial $4.115 million purchase price or adjust it based on what is inside the reports, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
According to state statute 13D.05, Subdivision 3 c3, a meeting may be closed “to develop or consider offers or counteroffers for the purchase or sale of real or personal property.”
During the open forum of the regular meeting Monday, resident Jeff Czeczok also spoke his opposition to the closed session meeting.
Czeczok argued that the document given to council members in regard to the meeting should be public. He also argued that there was a violation in the open meeting law because the city has already offered a purchase price in the letter of intent.
City Attorney Eric Quiring said that offers and counteroffers are an on-going process, and the ability to close a meeting on that topic continues until an offer is accepted or withdrawn.
Koep wouldn’t say the meeting was against the law, but argued that since public funds were used to pay for the engineering firm to complete the studies, the findings should be public.
“The public’s right to know is very much compromised,” she said. “So much of this has been done behind closed doors.”
Those engineering reports will be public if the city buys the dam, Wussow said. Should the city decide to not buy the dam, the reports will be destroyed, per an agreement with Wausau.
Koep said she could see why the meetings were closed initially when first setting an offer price.
“But after that, nothing should be closed,” she said.
Still, Koep participated in the closed meeting to voice her thoughts and hear what happens.
“I gain nothing if I don’t participate,” she said.
Koep said her fear is that if the city moves forward with buying the dam, the talk will be brief and won’t allow for adequate discussion with the public and won’t give people enough time to “mull it over.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 2014, p. 1)

Public Hearing is Needed

It’s clear the Brainerd City Council needs to conduct a full public hearing before it makes a decision regarding the purchase of the dam at the former Wausau Paper plant in northeast Brainerd.
It’s a big decision that involves considerable financial resources and one that isn’t within the normal realm of council decisions. In other words, the council doesn’t negotiate a deal to buy a dam every day. The price could be more than $4 million as well as ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities.
As far as we know the Brainerd City Council has every right to meet in closed session on this issue. However, the potential price of this purchase — possibly more than $4 million — and the ongoing maintenance costs and responsibilities that would accompany the purchase make it imperative that all sides of the issue be fully examined. The council makes better decisions when it fully involves staff, outside experts and its citizens.
Buying the dam might be the best decision for the city but there are still many unanswered questions. We have yet to hear anyone fully articulate why the purchase makes sense for the city.
The city shouldn’t let the approaching end of the due diligence period be an excuse for a rushed decision. This due diligence period can likely be extended. There has been no evidence that another potential buyer for the dam has been knocking down the doors.
The Brainerd City Council should take its time on this decision. Supporters of the purchase should fully explain why it makes sense. To rush into a purchase without a full public hearing would be short-sighted and possibly harmful to the interests of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 March 2014)

Council Agrees on Lower Hydro Dam Price

The purchase price for the Wausau hydro dam has been lowered to $2.6 million. That’s a drop from the original $4.115 million.
At a special Brainerd City Council meeting Monday, the group voted to accept the lower purchase price.
The purchase is contingent on legislative approval, which the city recently found out was required. State law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it.
The council also voted to extend the due diligence period until April 1 so the city can complete the reviewing of the title work for the hydro dam.
Voting against the purchase price was city council member Mary Koep.
With the vote, the city will also be responsible for water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000.
City Council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force, said the move was “the best thing we ever did for the city. It’s one of the biggest investments we can make.”
Scheeler added that Wausau took the “lion’s share” of the capital improvements.
Those specific capital improvements are not able to be named, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
Contrary to what Wussow previously said, the five-page summery engineer report on the dam will never be public information.
Wussow said he was misinformed when he said the engineer’s report would be public information if the city buys the dam. Instead, it cannot be released because Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulations make the reports non-public because it has information on specific engineering, vulnerability, or detailed design information about critical infrastructure.
The dam is expected to generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day. It gives the same output as a typical wind turbine.
If the city buys the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, officials previously have said. Instead, it could help keep future rates level or smaller.
Another benefit is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 2014, p. 1)

Needed Upgrades Revealed in Brainerd
Hydro Dam Purchase

“It’s a piece of crap, pure and simple,” city council member Mary Koep said. “It will be difficult for both the city and (BPU) to show it’s not for the next few years.”
Key reasons for the lowering of the hydro dam purchase price are now being named by Brainerd Public Utilities officials

Brainerd Dam, 23 June 2014
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
The biggest factors are needed upgrades, including a $1.5 million spillway apron, as well as total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000, which would most likely be spread over a five-year period.
The Brainerd City Council recently agreed on a lowered price of $2.6 million for the hydro dam, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. Voting against the agreed price was city council member Mary Koep.
The dam purchase, as well as the major upgrade projects, will be funded through local bonding.
The purchase is contingent on legislative approval, which the city recently found out was required. State law says the city can’t buy the dam until it gets approval from the Legislature or the legislative session ends without the Legislature prohibiting it.
The council also voted to extend the due diligence period until April 1 so the city can complete the reviewing of the title work for the hydro dam.
Between maintenance, yearly inspection costs, insurance, wage costs and utilities, the annual cost to operate the hydro dam will range from $600,000-$700,000.
Maintenance costs will be similar to any other facility that Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) operates, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
The costs that are avoided are what offsets that, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director. The city is expected to save $1 million in avoided costs, which would have gone to buying energy from Minnesota Power, he said.
“The annual cost savings compares what we currently pay as to what we project our annual operating costs are anticipated to be,” he said.
“So the bottom line is, it’s a $250,000-$300,000 net benefit a year at the end of the day,” Wicklund said.
There are a few upgrades that need to be addressed right away, which helped lower the purchase price to $2.6 million. Those are:
-The spillway apron (the concrete flat area below the dam) will need to be rebuilt this summer at an estimated cost of $1.2-$1.5 million. This project is required by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), so there are some time issues, as the city can only go out for bids after the ownership is completed.
-Water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000.
-Automation improvements could cost $100,000 to $200,000, and should be completed in the next several months. The upgrades would allow the machines to run semi-automatically, therefore reducing staff levels from the current 24-hour-a-day operation to staffing just a single shift.
The four full-time and one part-time Wausau dam workers will become BPU employees with the purchase. When the automation improvements cause for less staffing level needs, some of those five employees will be placed in other positions at BPU.
Wicklund expects to lose some of the current dam employees over time to attrition. He doesn’t think any will be laid off.
“We hope to keep them around,” he said. “They have the experience.”
Not unanimous agreement:
There has been one city council member who has objected since the beginning over the lack of public input in the hydro dam purchase.
“I’m very disturbed that there’s been no opportunity to hear what the public has to say or to be involved and ask their questions,” she said.
Koep is not only against the “secrecy” of the purchase, but says the dam is a bad idea in general.
“It’s a piece of crap, pure and simple,” she said. “It will be difficult for both the city and (BPU) to show it’s not for the next few years.”
Koep argues that the engineer report on the dam should be made public, although other city officials argue it can’t be because FERC regulations make the reports non-public, as it has information on specific engineering, vulnerability, or detailed design information about critical infrastructure.
Despite BPU’s calculations of an annual $250,000-$300,000 net benefit, Koep argues it will be hard to prove there will be money made in the purchase.
City council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force and who first brought the idea of the dam purchase forward, said it’s the numbers that make the purchase smart.
“The revenue exceeds expenses. As business person, the first place I look is at revenue,” he said.
Scheeler argues there are no downsides to the dam purchase.
According to BPU, three engineering companies and FERC inspected the dam and there were no findings noted of the dam being in poor condition. The hydro dam was also inspected by the Department of Natural Resources, which listed the dam in “fair condition,” and by the League of Minnesota Cities insurance underwriters, which listed nothing about the dam being in poor condition.
An early March underwater dive inspection “showed no significant dam safety design issues.”
The dam would generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd’s power on a normal day, Wicklund said.
With the dam, Brainerd residents won’t notice a big dip on their electric bill, Wicklund said. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, Wicklund said, is that it’s cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
The dam would also invest in energy independence and puts a stake in renewable energy, BPU leaders say.
Several utility companies and outside parties have approached the city to inquire about possible partnerships in running the hydro dam, Magnuson said.
“Right now we just want to get through the transaction,” Wicklund said. “We’ll deal with partnerships down the road.”
In the end, if the city doesn’t buy the dam, there are potential buyers “lined up” for it, Scheeler said.
He also noted that the city can always sell the dam down the road.
Wicklund said contrary to some public belief, “we’re not trying to pull wool over people’s eyes. We’re trying to do the best thing for city of Brainerd.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 2014, p. 1)

Hydro Dam Responsibilities Named for City

A few responsibilities the city will undertake with the possible ownership of the hydro dam were spelled out Tuesday.
Bill Forsmark, director of business development and vice president at Barr Engineering, told the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission about some key duties at its meeting Tuesday.
“It’s my responsibility to teach, inform you folks so you become independent in owning and operating the dam,” he said.
Forsmark added that the city has a lot of resources to turn to, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Wausau officials, Barr Engineering, and other state municipalities that own dams.
The Brainerd City Council recently agreed on a lowered price of $2.6 million for the hydro dam, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. Voting against the agreed price was city council member Mary Koep.
Here are the responsibilities Forsmark said the city will be tasked with in buying the dam:
-Safety elements: The city will need to have an “owners dam safety program.”
City leaders need to be sure that if an employees sees a safety issue, they know who to bring it to and will do so without worry over fiscal responsibility or other concerns.
Dam safety can be added to the BPU safety committee, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
-Security needs to be a No. 1 concern, especially with any potential acts of terrorism or vandalism.
-Training in unique operations: Some operational issues might be similar to existing utilities that BPU operates but other issues are unique to a dam. Staff needs to be trained properly.
-Public safety: The public will want as much access as possible, but safety and security need to be a concern.
The purchasing process for the hydro dam is still moving forward, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director. The title work is getting close to being completed.
Purchasing the dam is still important, he said, as the city aims to manage its costs of buying power.
Over the last 11 years, the average annual adjustment was a 6.7 percent increase in power costs in buying from Minnesota Power, Wicklund said.
“The rates can’t keep up to that rate of growth,” he said. “Using a hydro facility, it’s a hedging mechanism to reduce rate adjustments.”
Wicklund added that it makes sense for the city to look into options like the hydro dam.
“It makes sense when we have adjustments like this,” he said.
Still, there are questions in the purchase, which the public has yet to weigh in on officially through a public hearing.
During open forum, Koep presented the commission with three pages of questions she wants answered about the hydro dam.
Koep said she didn’t expect answers right away, but would like a response in a couple of weeks.
The list included questions such as:
What in the engineer’s reports do you believe are addressed in homeland security rules? What funds will be used to pay for the engineer’s reports? Will those funds be contained in the accounting of funds for the dam? How will the costs of the dam be kept separate from other public utility costs? Has a business plan been developed for operating and maintaining the dam?
“Transparency had been a stranger in this project and now the public is being fed only what you want them to know,” Koep said. “The questions I ask are relevant to the public and assessment of this project.”
Koep added that she will ask the questions and try to “separate the hype from the truth.”
There have been five engineer reports done on the hydro dam since the process started last summer, Wicklund said.
Each has been paid for by BPU and is listed in the bills approved at each meeting, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 2014)

Resolutions to Help Secure Hydro Dam,
Project Financing

Two resolutions approved Monday will help secure financing for the purchase of the Wausau dam and future projects at the facility.
The resolutions were approved by the Brainerd City Council at its meeting Monday.
Voting against both was council member Mary Koep.
The first resolution is an official intent of the city to reimburse certain expenses from the proceeds of bonds to be issued by the city related to the dam.
The second resolution is an official intent of the city to reimburse certain expenses from the proceeds of bonds to be issued by the city related to water system improvements.
The move doesn't issue debt. That will come before the council at a later date.
The dam will be purchased later this week, said City Administrator Patrick Wussow.
The council's move Monday is part of the process to secure financing for the hydro dam and water projects that Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will complete in the next few months.
The resolutions are similar to what the city does when there's a street improvement, said Connie Hillman, finance director for the city.
In having a reimbursement resolution in place, the city is able to reimburse itself from the bond processed for expenses until financing is secured, she said.
The council also approved a two-year contract and authorized signatures to bring on the five hydro dam employees as city workers.
It's "very similar" to what other city employees receive, Wussow said.
The significant difference is that each dam employee works a 12-hour shift instead of the regular eight.
The dam employees will also teach BPU officials information about the dam.
Koep questioned the number of dam employees being brought on to the city, saying that she remembers four employees being estimated, and with anticipated automation, leading to two employees being needed.
"That clearly is an increased cost," she said.
Automation at the dam is still in the works, Wussow said.
At least one of the dam employees is at the edge of retirement, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 2014)

Hydro Dam Purchase by City Now Official

Brainerd Public Utilities Superintendent, Scott Magnuson, stands at the dam once owned by Wausau paper, 23 June 2014
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
It's official. The city of Brainerd is now the owner of the hydro dam, formerly operated by Wausau Paper.
All of the papers were signed and documents exchanged last week, said Scott Magnuson, Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) superintendent.
City council member Gary Scheeler, who serves on the Wausau Task Force and who first brought the idea of the dam purchase forward, said the move marks a "golden" investment.
"I wouldn't sell it for $20 million. It's worth at least that to the city," he said. "It can generate $20 million worth of energy in 15 years."
The purchase price was $2.6 million, which is a drop from the original $4.115 million. It included 37 acres of land and a dam substation.
The dam purchase, as well as the major upgrade projects, will be funded through local bonding.
The biggest factors in the price drop are needed upgrades, including a $1.5 million spillway apron, as well as total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000, which would most likely be spread over a five-year period.
Work will start some time this year for the spillway, Magnuson said. Work for water and sewer connections to the site, which could cost about $330,000, will start in a couple of weeks.
Automation improvements could cost $100,000 to $200,000, and should be completed in the next several months. The upgrades would allow the machines to run semi-automatically, therefore reducing staff levels from the current 24-hour-a-day operation to staffing just a single shift.
Brainerd Dam, 23 June 2014
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
"The dam and equipment are in good shape," Magnuson said. The only major issue, he said, was the spillway.
"There's no downside," he said. "The only problem would be is if there's a natural disaster. Otherwise it's a win-win. It's free power."
The dam will generate just under 10 percent of Brainerd's power on a normal day, BPU officials say.
Brainerd residents won't notice a big dip on their electric bill. Instead, it could help keep future rates more level or smaller.
Another benefit, officials say, is that it's cheaper for the city to generate its own power. Currently, Brainerd buys all of its energy from Minnesota Power.
"It's going to be a good thing," Magnuson said of the purchase.
City council member Mary Koep, the sole voice of opposition in the purchase among the council, said buying the dam is a "mistake."
Instead of saving residents money, Koep says it will instead be "very costly."
"It's a disaster for the city," she said. "It's a terrible mistake. There's a lot of misinformation put out. That bothers me. The public has been kept in dark so much on this. Information has all been hush hush."
Koep questioned how the city would repay the bonds, questioning the projected revenue that would be generated from the dam.
Between maintenance, yearly inspection costs, insurance, wage costs and utilities, the annual cost to operate the hydro dam will range from $600,000-$700,000.
The costs that are avoided are what offsets that, said Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, in a previous interview. The city is expected to save $1 million that would have gone to buying energy from Minnesota Power, he said.
“It's a $250,000-$300,000 net benefit a year,” Wicklund said.
"It's still the best investment and time will prove it," Scheeler said.
He added that there's already informal talk of extending a trail to the dam and adding a visitor site.
Scheeler said the move puts Brainerd ahead of the curve when it comes to producing good, clean energy.
"It's the way the economy is going," he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 2014, p. 1)

Council Approves Bonds Issuance for Hydro Dam

A total of $5.3 million in bonds will be issued and sold to fund buying the hydro dam and for some initial improvements.
At Monday's Brainerd City Council meeting, the group voted to approve the issuance and sale of the $5.3 million in electric utility revenue bonds on behalf of Brainerd Public Utilities. The bonds will reimburse the commission for the cost to buy the hydro dam, as well as fund some improvements.
Voting against the move was council member Mary Koep.
The purchase price for the hydro dam was $2.6 million, which included 37 acres of land and a dam substation.
Some improvements included in the bond issuance are: a $1.5 million spillway apron; total generation equipment improvements at the cost of $600,000; water and sewer connections to the site at about $330,000; automation improvements could cost up to $200,000.
Proposals will be received on the bonds Aug. 4, and the council will award them at its meeting that night.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 2014, p. A5)

'First of its Kind' Turbine to be Installed
at Brainerd Hydro Dam as Part of Study

A hydroelectric turbine generator will be installed at Brainerd's hydrodam next spring.
The new, improved technology will hopefully generate more electricity for the city, said Bob Schulte, vice president of marketing for Amjet Turbine Systems, the Iowa-based designer of the turbine generator.
At least that's the goal with the project, which is the first of its kind, he said.
Amjet will pay for just about everything during the study, like the installation, cost of the turbine and the operation.
The only tab Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) will pick up comes with a feasibility study, said BPU Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
Up to $15,000 will be paid by BPU, with the rest being covered by Amjet.
The study, which was conducted Tuesday, will detail the potential future capability for technology at the hydrodam.
It can be used in the future as the city looks to upgrade the hydrodam, Magnuson said.
The next step is to install the unit at the dam, which will happen sometime next spring.
"We're hoping to demonstrate to the world that this technology works," Schulte said.
Brainerd will be the sole test site. Three other dam operators were interested in the study, but Brainerd proved the best, Schulte said.
A neutral third party, Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, will follow and document the test throughout the six-month period.
The turbine itself is 5 feet long and 7 feet in diameter, which is smaller than traditional turbines. It can generate enough to power up to 600 homes, Schulte said.
The goal is to produce electricity at dams for significantly lower costs, Schulte said.
The city will keep any profit and electricity generated during the six-month study.
The current five generators were installed at the hydrodam site 80 to 100 years ago. While they still operate well, the older technology isn't as efficient as the new, Schulte said.
"The new technology allows for more electricity to be made," he said. "There's more water there than the dam uses to make electricity. We think Brainerd can get more electricity out of the dam than it's currently getting."
Just how much more isn't clear yet, but Schulte says it's "significant."
The hydroelectric turbine generator that will be installed in Brainerd is the first of its kind, Schulte said.
The Department of Energy helped fund the project through grants, and will be watching the project closely, Schulte said.
If it's successful, it could have international attention, he said.
At the end of the six months, the city will have the choice to keep the hydroelectric turbine or not.
If they don't, Amjet will absorb the costs and remove the turbine. Amjet will restore the site to what it was.
If the city keeps it BPU can buy the turbine right away or wait as long as it wants.
The cost is yet to be determined, but Schulte said it would be discounted.
The decision to buy the turbine falls to the BPU Commission, Magnuson said. Though if BPU has to borrow money, it will be a city decision.
Either way, Brainerd will have the knowledge of what works and what doesn't in advanced technology for the future, Schulte said.
Magnuson said there are no cons in the deal.
"If we don't want it, he takes it out," he said.
Magnuson added that if something happens to the current generators in the future, they'll have an existing plan of what they can and can't do to remedy the problem, and if the new technology works. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 August 2014)

Hydro Dam Work Delayed, Design Plan Being Altered

Repair work at the city's hydro dam is taking a lot longer than expected following this year's high water levels.
There's also a hiccup in the project that will likely change the original design of the new spillway apron, which crews started working on earlier this year.

Repairs to Brainerd's hydro dam are taking longer than expected. The spillway apron is being rebuilt. High water levels have delayed the project extending past the November 28 expected completion date, 2014
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
At a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday, the group heard an update on the project, as well as residents' concerns about whether the public is being informed on the changes.
The spillway apron (the concrete flat area below the dam) started being rebuilt this summer. This project is one of the upgrades needed at the site, per the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). It comes at a cost of about $2.4 million.
The project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels. That means it won't be completed before winter hits, so officials are contemplating what to do for an "interim fix," which means just getting the slab done and getting it back to the correct elevation, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent.
"We're not going to be able to get the whole project done, so we need to concentrate on getting ready for spring, but move forward with the design," he said. "We don't want to pour this concrete and tear it out in the summer."
Magnuson said those suggestions should be brought forward by the engineers in the next few days.
One other issue that might alter the project is the thickness of the current apron. Radar showed some areas might not be four feet thick as originally thought, Magnuson said. So crews are continuing to assess the thickness of the apron, and might have to alter the project based on what they find.
That could mean a change to the cost, whether it be an increase or decrease, Magnuson said.
If there is a price increase, it would have to come before the BPU Commission for approval.
During the public forum at Tuesday's meeting, Brainerd residents Guy Green and Jeff Czeczok took issue with the extra work and both questioned if the public was being made aware about the new work and potential new costs.
Czeczok said the public needs to know if "unforeseen issues" will cost money.
"You are saying there's a likelihood that there will be more cost," he said.
Magnuson said, "There's a likelihood that the design will change."
Officials don't know how that will alter the cost. It could be less, Magnuson said.
Green pushed the issue further, noting that the cost will likely go up.
"Did (officials) offer you a scenario in which the cost would not rise?" he asked.
"No," Magnuson said.
There is no estimate on when the project will be done.
Water is still flowing at the site, though normally generators are shut down by this time of year, Magnuson said.
"Water is higher than high," he said. "That's good for making power, but not good for construction work."
The project should be ready to operate by March 1, he said.
Construction work can be done year-round, but it isn't optimal for crews because of the cold conditions.
An interim plan will get the hydro dam through winter and able to operate in the spring, when the work can be continued.
In the meantime, BPU officials are looking into breaking up the repair work into up to three separate projects, to maximize on potential Department of Natural Resources grants.
For this first part in the project, BPU was too late to apply for DNR grants. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 November 2014, p. 1)

Hydro Dam Contractor Wants Payment,
BPU Suggests Mediation Over Disagreement

Top construction company officials are demanding $554,000 they say they're owed for work they've done at the hydro dam, or hinted at a possible lawsuit.
At a tense Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of five "non-conformance issues."
"We're heading toward litigation because we're not getting paid," Carlson said.
Ultimately, after a closed session, the BPU Commission decided to pursue mediation to mend the tension.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
"I have real issues with this project. It's not the same project we bid on," Carlson said, noting that there are "errors and misrepresentations" in the plans.
Short added, "We were asked to do a patch. What is out there is really bad concrete and we've been asked to patch it. It's not what we originally bid to do on the project."
The condition of the apron concrete is "horrific" Carlson said.
It ranges from six inches thick to three feet in most areas, he said.
Here's the timeline of events, according to Park Construction:
Oct. 15, 2014: Park Construction told Barr Engineering about the severe deterioration in the apron.
Nov. 5: Park Construction wrote a letter to Barr Engineering, asking how to proceed. Getting no immediate response, Park Construction finished up the work they could do.
Nov. 25: Park Construction wrote another letter to Barr Engineering, explaining that they had to stop work at the site because they were never told how to proceed. Park Construction pulled its workers from the job.
Dec. 23: After nearly two months, Park Construction got a letter from Barr Engineering, instructing them to make the interim repairs right away. The company put workers back on the site to complete the work.
Jan. 8: Park Construction met with BPU officials to address not getting paid for the work. There was no resolution at that meeting, though Park Construction was told they would get paid.
"For months, we notified Barr of major problems. They just don't respond at all. Nothing," Carlson said.
"We'd be done with this project by now but Barr doesn't respond," he said.
Carlson said, "My company is a 100-year-old company. We're not getting paid for the work we've done and you want to force us into continuing working, which we have on good faith."
He continued that five non-conformance issues identified by Barr as to why Park Construction is not getting paid are "absolutely false."
Those issues were not publicly released Tuesday.
Park Construction listed a few other demands at the meeting:
● A written letter of commitment that they'll be paid another $515,000 for the interim apron repair, which is the work they're doing now at the hydro dam.
● That Adele Braun, a representative with Barr Engineering, be removed as the liaison between the engineering firm and Park Construction. Carlson said Braun hasn't communicated well with Park Construction during the project. "We have no respect for her," he said.
● That Park Construction not be responsible for liquidated damages, which resulted after the company put work on hold when not getting direction from Barr Engineering on next moves. The damages were not detailed Tuesday.
BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim said BPU has a "different interpretation" on the situation.
Commission member Mark O'Day said this was the first he was hearing of any problem, so he suggested they meet in closed session to decide what to do.
Brainerd City Administrator Patrick Wussow pointed out Park Construction has been paid for some pieces of the project.
Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, said the money the company is requesting comes from some "disputed items" that were initially shot down for payment.
Gary Scheeler, Brainerd City Council liaison to the BPU Commission and supporter of the hydro dam since the beginning, said he's "sick to his stomach" over the new information presented about the structure's condition.
That should have been brought to the attention of the council and commission by the engineers well before Tuesday, he said.
"None of us were informed that this was going on," he said. "Now we're on the back side where we have to make knee-jerk decisions based on timing."
Scheeler said he's "mad" that there isn't a plan in place today for a permanent fix on the apron repair.
"We're doing an interim plan, but the long-term plan should be in front of us now," he said.
He added, "This on-the-fly engineering has got to stop."
While the hiccup in the apron repair wasn't planned, Scheeler cautioned people from rushing to conclusions about the cost.
"We don't know the final dollar amount," he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2015, p. 1)

Former Hydro Dam Worker Concerned
on Condition of Brainerd Dam

A former worker on the hydro dam apron repair was cut off from expressing concerns at a public meeting after he started sharing what officials said was confidential information.
"You guys got your heads up your (explicit)," said Larry Prahm, a retired crane operator for Park Construction, the Spring Lake Park company completing the apron repair on the hydro dam, before storming out of the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday.
Prahm was at the meeting to spell out concerns he had over the condition of the hydro dam, as well as the work currently being done at the site.
Repair work on the hydro dam's apron began late last year.
The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In November, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, said Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said. There's no estimate on what plan alterations could cost, whether it be an increase or decrease, he said.
But that delay in work is problematic, Prahm said.
It is "critical" to have the dam repaired by the spring thaw, Prahm said in an interview with the Dispatch. If something isn't done there is "a danger of washing the whole dam out."
Prahm, who lives on Gilbert Lake, said his previous projects included work on the 35W bridge project in Stillwater. He recently applied to be on the Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission, but was turned down because he lives outside the city.
He retired Dec. 1 from Park Construction in good standing, company officials confirmed.
Prahm argues the structure is "capable of failing" and the BPU Commission or Brainerd City Council should know it.
Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director, said The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) gave its approval on the interim repair, and that if the agency had any concerns, BPU would address them.
Wicklund added that leaving the dam the way it is - with a foot of concrete off - would create a problem with water flow in spring. But the BPU Commission has no intention of halting the project. On the contrary, the first phase of the apron work is in motion and scheduled to be done mid-February.
March 1 is the federally regulated date that a dam must be ready to take water, Magnuson said.
"The dam is not in imminent danger of washing downstream," Wicklund said. "To say that (it is) is not true."
"I think you're wrong," Prahm shot back.
His evidence: A photocopy of an X-ray Prahm said he got from the worksite. The X-ray shows that "90 percent of the dam is in failure mode," he said.
Park Construction officials said they did not give Prahm the X-ray.
Commission member Mark O'Day said he doesn't believe that Prahm got the image from the Brainerd dam site.
After Prahm showed the image, BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim cut him off and said he was done talking.
Just before leaving the meeting, Prahm shot back, "You guys got your heads up your (explicit). Have a good day. That dam better get fixed before water starts running."
Adele Braun, a representative with Barr Engineering, assured the commission that the needed repairs does not mean the hydro dam "is going to imminently fail." (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2015, p. 1)

Disagreement on Actions Taken Following
Closed Brainerd Public Utilities Meeting

There's a disagreement on the action taken following a closed session Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting last week, where officials discussed a contractor's demand for payment for work done on the hydro dam apron.
Park Construction Company wants $554,000 they say they're owed for work already completed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit.
According to BPU Commission President Lucy Nesheim, the motion made after the closed session meeting last week was to authorize payment to Park Construction, contingent on proper documentation being provided (for work done up to that point) and having it reviewed and approved by Barr Engineering. It was a unanimous agreement, she said.
Gary Scheeler, Brainerd City Council liaison to the BPU Commission, who was in the closed session meeting when the action took place, had a different account of what happened.
Scheeler said he knows nothing about the vote Nesheim said took place.
"I don't remember them authorizing payment or the motion," he said. "I don't know where the motion came from."
Scheeler said he left the meeting with the understanding that the commission had a consensus that they would pursue mediation. That could include negotiation all the way up to mediation, he said.
Scheeler said the city attorney and the Park Construction attorney are already working on steps toward mediation.
The meeting was not recorded during the motion.
Commissioner Bill Wroolie agreed with Nesheim's account, along with both Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent, and Todd Wicklund, BPU finance director.
The other commission members could not be reached as of late Friday.
Wroolie said the group talked about the idea of mediation, but mediation can't happen until someone makes a formal demand.
"That hasn't happened yet so you can't go into mediation," he said.
The BPU Commission will conduct a special meeting at 11 a.m. Monday to talk about the payment dispute and possibly take action on the payment request from Park Construction. The meeting will likely be closed, due to attorney-client privilege.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't four feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan, Magnuson said. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue, Magnuson said.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting last Tuesday, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when.
Carlson said the two entities are heading toward litigation although Park Construction continues to work on the project.
"I have real issues with this project. It's not the same project we bid on," Carlson said last week, noting that there are "errors and misrepresentations" in the plans.
Short added, "We were asked to do a patch. What is out there is really bad concrete and we've been asked to patch it. It's not what we originally bid to do on the project."
The condition of the apron concrete is "horrific" Carlson said.
It ranges from six inches thick to three feet in most areas, he said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 2015, p. 1)

Partial Payment for Dam Work Approved by BPU

The Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission authorized a partial payment in a dispute with Park Construction Company, the contractor repairing the apron at the city's hydro dam.
After a closed session meeting Friday, the commission unanimously approved a partial payment of the $554,000 Park Construction says they're owed for work already completed on the hydro dam.
Just how much of a payment was approved, among other details of the contract, will only be public information after Park Construction agrees to the terms, said James Strommen, an attorney representing BPU.
As of late Friday afternoon, that had not happened.
"We're hopeful that they will agree," Strommen said.
If Park Construction doesn't agree to the payment amount, that could mean more negotiations, mediation or having the issue possibly ending up in court, he said.
Friday's meeting was a continuation of a closed session meeting Monday on the same topic, where no action took place.
A light was first shined on the payment dispute when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when.
Carlson said the two entities are heading toward litigation, although Park Construction continues to work on the project. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 2015)

Contractor Accepts Partial Payment for Hydro Dam Work

Park Construction will be paid $380,000 for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
It's a partial payment agreement that covers some past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site, said Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
The BPU Commission approved the partial payment late Friday afternoon, pending Park Construction officials agreeing to it. Park Construction signed the agreement later Friday evening, which made the dollar amount public information.
"It's basically an agreement to get them money they're owed and get the concrete poured and get this (apron) ready for spring runoff," Magnuson said.
The payment serves as an avenue to keep the project moving forward. Officials from both sides will continue to talk about the rest of the money Park Construction says they're owed, as well as future costs in the project.
The disagreement between the two entities will likely end up in mediation, Magnuson said. A tentative date for that is March 2.
This step is "good news," Magnuson said, noting that BPU officials know they owe Park Construction more money.
"It's just a matter of how much," he said.
Park Construction did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
The company started pouring the concrete for the apron Monday.
According to the signed agreement, Park Construction will complete the project while the payment dispute continues.
The issue of the payment dispute came to light when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 2015, p. 3)

New Committee to Keep Tabs on Hydro Dam Finances

A new committee of Brainerd City Council members will aim to eliminate questions surrounding the finances of the city's hydro dam.
It's an effort to create transparency in anything related to the hydro dam, said Brainerd City Council President Gary Scheeler, who first promoted the idea.
"The public comes to the council for answers," he said.
"This (committee) will create transparency between BPU and the council, and the council can give that information to the public."
At a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) meeting Tuesday, the group heard details about the committee, which was set up at the last city council meeting. It's called the "finance overview committee for the dam."
On the committee will be council members Scheeler, Mary Koep and Kelly Bevans.
The three will meet with BPU leaders sometime in the next month to get on the same page over issues like Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) compliance, future repairs and the upcoming mediation with hydro dam contractor Park Construction.
The committee will also help at the end of the year during the budget session, Scheeler said. It will help avoid confusion and get questions answered about hydro dam finances before the BPU budget is presented to the council, Scheeler said.
"In the past, it was a quick decision to approve their budget when they brought it to us," Scheeler said.
With the committee, the council will have designated spokespeople to keep the group up to date on hydro dam finances and issues throughout the whole year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 February 2015, p. 1)

No Resolution Yet on Brainerd City
Hydro Dam Payment Dispute

The dispute continues between Brainerd Public Utilities and Park Construction for work the contractor did on the dam, 2015
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, Steve Kohls
Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) and Park Construction officials have met in one mediation session over a payment dispute and came out with no resolution.
No future meetings are set.
The two groups have been communicating via phone since the March 2 mediation session, said BPU Superintendent Scott Magnuson, adding the mediation is still active.
Details of the mediation session and on-going discussions are confidential, he said.
The mediation stems from a dispute between the two entities for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
Recently, the BPU Commission agreed to pay Park Construction $380,000, which served as a partial payment for past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site.
The rest of the dispute will be combed through mediation.
Meanwhile, Park Construction continues to work on the hydro dam site. There’s probably a couple of weeks left of work, Magnuson said.
Background on the dispute:
The issue of the payment dispute came to light when Park Construction recently appeared before the BPU Commission, demanding the $554,000 they said they're owed. Company officials hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU not pay up.
Park Construction was first brought on last year to complete the repair work on the hydro dam's apron. The $2.4 million project, which was originally scheduled to be done Nov. 28, has been delayed several times because of high water levels.
In October, officials discovered the apron wasn't 4-feet thick in every area, as originally thought. That meant officials will have to alter the original project design.
With the delays, officials needed an interim fix to get the hydro dam ready for spring.
To do that, Park Construction crews are currently replacing the one foot of concrete they took out on the east side, which is part of the original plan. That will make the hydro dam ready to take water come spring.
When that's done, they'll concentrate on how to fix the concrete thickness issue.
But there's a disagreement between Park Construction and the project engineers/BPU when it comes to payment and the project itself.
At a BPU meeting a couple of weeks ago, Park Construction president Jeff Carlson and company attorney Justin Short said the company is due the payments, despite being denied because of "non-conformance issues."
Those issues include disagreements between Park and the engineers on specific areas on the contract that spell out when parts of the project should be done and the amount to be paid for each part and when. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 March 2015, p. 1)

Brainerd Public Utilities:
First Phase of Hydro Dam Apron Repair Done

The first phase of apron repair work is done at the city's hydro dam.
Now, crews have about a half day of work left in cleanup, which will be completed sometime this week, said Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Superintendent Scott Magnuson.
Magnuson gave an update on the project at a Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission meeting Tuesday.
"It looks good," he said of the site. "They did a very good job cleaning it up."
Park Construction will finish the cleanup after more ice melts.
Meanwhile, BPU is still in mediation with the contractor, Park Construction, over a payment dispute on the project. Officials met in one mediation session and came out with no resolution. They continue to talk, Magnuson said.
The mediation stems from a dispute between the two entities for work the contractor did on the city's hydro dam.
Recently, the BPU Commission agreed to pay Park Construction $380,000, which served as a partial payment for past work the company did, as well as some future work at the site. The rest of the dispute will be combed through during mediation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March 2015)

BPU Commission Authorizes
Second Partial Payment for Dam Work

The Brainerd Public Utilities (BPU) Commission unanimously agreed Thursday to pay Park Construction another $30,000 for its work on the hydrodam.
The dollar amount was agreed upon at a March 2 mediation session by Jeff Carlson, president of Park Construction, and Bill Wroolie, a BPU commissioner, and came before the full commission in closed session for approval.
The partial payment is the second one approved since Park Construction leadership appeared before the commission in January, demanding $554,000 they said they were owed for work on the dam apron. Company leadership hinted at a possible lawsuit should BPU fail to pay.
Since then, the parties have met in mediation sessions in an attempt to resolve the dispute. In February, BPU agreed to pay $380,000 to the company, covering past work at the dam site and some work that had not yet been completed. Work was completed on the apron at the end of March, in time to prepare the dam for the impending spring thaw.
The partial payment authorized Thursday does not represent a full resolution of the disagreement and mediation will continue, said Scott Magnuson, BPU supervisor. Many of the details of the dispute will continue to be withheld until a final agreement.
There is no date set for the next meeting between the parties. Included in the agreement was a provision noting by agreeing to the payment, the BPU commission was not admitting fault and should the dispute reach court, BPU is free to argue for the return of the money paid should they find reason.
The disagreement over payment stems from different readings of the company's contract to complete the repair work by officials from Barr Engineering and Park Construction. Payments were withheld because of "nonconformance issues" on the $2.4 million project.
The project was originally scheduled for completion by Nov. 28, 2014, but high water levels caused delays several times. In October, officials on the project determined the apron was not 4 feet thick in every area, as was originally thought. This meant the original project design would need alteration and a temporary fix to prepare the hydrodam for spring became the focus.
A more permanent fix needs study and it will be six months to a year before officials know what work needs to be done at the site, Magnuson said. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 2015, p. 1)

Settlement Reached on
Brainerd Dam Project Payment

A settlement has been reached between the Brainerd Public Utilities Commission and a construction company tasked with working on the city's hydro dam.
The terms of the settlement include BPU paying Park Construction Company $675,000 for work done at the dam, and both sides agree to make no more claims on the issue. The figure was more than the $554,000 partial payment the company was seeking, which led to the mediation.
"We did a lot more work than we requested at that point and time," Jeff Carlson, Park Construction President/CEO said. "They continued to direct us to do more work after that, and would not pay us."
Carlson said he's not satisfied with the resolution.
"In layman's terms, the BPU did not act in good faith, they did not pay us for the work we did," Carlson said. "They forced us to do work, otherwise they'd file on our bond."
Scott Magnuson, BPU commissioner, said he's happy the situation is resolved and avoided going to litigation.
Issues with the project arose when Park Construction inspected the dam's apron and found it ranged in thickness from 3 feet to 3 inches, instead of the assumed 4 feet.
Park Construction informed BPU of the issue in October, Carlson said, and BPU didn't provide a fix for the problem until right before Christmas. The parties then differed over what the company should be paid for the new task.
"We just wanted to get paid for what they wanted us to do," Carlson said.
BPU filed a work change directive, which required Park Construction to complete the tasks not outlined in the original contract, Carlson said, like pouring a temporary concrete cap over the apron.
Park Construction ended up settling with BPU because attorneys' fees started accumulating, Carlson said.
"We took our losses, and didn't want this carrying on for another year and a half in court, and sucking up everybody's time," Carlson said. "So we decided to settle, and we settled at a loss."
Now, BPU is going to "take a step back," Magnuson said, and evaluate the downstream part of the dam, which is the river bottom below the apron. A redesigned project probably won't be let until March of 2016.
"We can stop, and not have to worry about going to court," Magnuson said. "Stop, file that, and go forward." (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 May 2015, p. 2)

BPU to Have Model Built of Hydro Dam

The Brainerd Public Utilities Commission Tuesday approved a contract to construct a model of the city's hydro dam.
Scott Magnuson, BPU superintendent, presented to the commission a contract from Barr Engineering to develop and complete a model of the dam in order to come up with a better design for the facility.
The contract, totaling $130,100, is for building the model and testing 20 different modifications for the dam, Magnuson said.
"(They'll) put some riprap in, see what happens, put an end sill in, see what happens," Magnuson said. "To come up with the ultimate design of what is needed out there."
The contract also includes work on an emergency action plan BPU has to complete, Magnuson said.
The commission approved building a model pending attorney review at its May 26 meeting. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is also "excited" about the model, Magnuson said.
"When the actual testing is done, FERC wants to go out there and look at it," Magnuson said.
"They're definitely involved and want to be involved."
The motion to approve the contract passed on a 3-2 vote, with commissioners Don Samuelson and Dolly Matten voting against.
Matten said she thought the commission approved building a model, but not the engineering firm that would complete it.
"I didn't know we actually approved which engineer would be moving forward with it," Matten said.
Magnuson responded BPU had been working with Barr Engineering "all along."
"I guess we never confirmed that they would be the engineers helping us," Magnuson said.
In other business, Magnuson presented the commission with a contract to install a new drain and driveway at the dam. The current driveway and drains are old and outdated, BPU reported.
Magnuson presented a contract from Anderson Brothers Construction for $26,864 for the project, and it was the only contract submitted for the project. Commissioner Mark O'Day said he'd like to see more bids for the project before committing to one.
"I don't know what the costs are," O'Day said. "I always like to see more than one."
There is no start date for the project, so Matten said it could be put off while BPU seeks more bids for the project. Magnuson confirmed he would seek more bids for the project.
O'Day referenced the previously approved contract from Barr Engineering to build a model of the dam, which was the only bid received for the project.
"If we have more than one, I feel a little more comfortable," O'Day said. "Because I don't know if we're getting screwed or not."
Commissioner Lucy Nesheim said BPU has worked with Anderson Brothers in the past, and they have "been very satisfactory." O'Day said he didn't disagree with Nesheim's assessment of Anderson Brothers' previous work for BPU.
It should become BPU's common practice to get multiple bids for a project, in order to ensure the organization isn't overpaying, Matten said.
"If they're all within a few percentage difference, that's one thing," Matten said. "To me, it's just always nice, regardless of the project."
The commission asked Gary Scheeler, who was in attendance, for his opinion on the issue. Scheeler serves as the Brainerd City Council's liaison on the commission.
Scheeler said when contractors are busy, they will bid projects high in order to control the amount of work a firm is doing.
"If they're really super busy, they're going to throw out twice the number," Scheeler said.
"That's how they curb the amount of work that comes in their door."
During the president's report, Nesheim provided a summary of performance evaluations of Secretary/Finance Director Todd Wicklund and Magnuson, which had been conducted in an hour-long closed session at the May 26 meeting.
About Magnuson, Nesheim said he "is a great team player and works effectively with our other employees. He does a good job of mentoring new, young employees."
Nesheim said Wicklund "is an excellent employee in all aspects of his position. His leadership and management, his efforts have been outstanding."
Nesheim also thanked both Wicklund and Magnuson for their "hard work this past year, especially regarding the dam projects and everything else." (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 2015)

SEE: 1927 W. D. McKay’s Talk on Public Utilities in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

Charles N. Parker was given a thirty-year franchise by the city beginning on 17 September 1892; he was to have a line in operation by 01 July 1893; and he was to build his own power plant. The route of the Electric Street Railway would begin at Willow and South Sixth thence north to Front Street, turning east at the First National Bank corner and going to Eighth Street then it would go north to Kingwood and east to the ravine. At the ravine, unlike Kindred, Parker erected a private timber-trestle about 100 feet or so south of the city’s wagon bridge. From the Kindred Street end of the bridge the line went to Third Avenue, thence north to Ash (“H” Street today), east on Ash to Mill, and north on Mill to virtually its present end. That made four miles of track. There, on the west side of the road, Parker erected a car barn and an electric generating powerhouse. By 1895 the street railway was operating along its full length. On 02 June 1898 the big windstorm hit Brainerd, it blew this bridge down and it was never replaced. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 66 & 67)

Repairs on the bridge crossing the ravine have been in progress this week, which necessitated the transfer of street car travel over the wagon bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

NOTE: It appears the electric street car business was discontinued on 15 August 1897, before the “twister” mentioned below.

It Was a Twister

Brainerd Visited by the Worst Wind
Storm in its History

The East Brainerd Wagon Bridge and the Electric
Street Car Bridge Are in the Bottom
of the Ravine

Four-Fifths of the Trees in the City Park Leveled to
the Ground, and the Beauty of the
Park Ruined

Damage to Residence and Business Property Cannot
Be Estimated at This Time But is Very
Heavy—No Fatalities Reported


(Top) Street car and the railway bridge. (Bottom) Street railway bridge after the ‘twister’ of 02 June 1898
Source: Frank Butts Collection and Crow Wing County Historical Society
Brainerd was visited by one of the worst storms in its history last night. The clouds looked threatening during the afternoon but it was shortly after 5 o’clock when the fury of the gale made itself felt. A strong wind was blowing from the northeast and a bank of black furious looking clouds came up from the southwest directly against the wind and when directly over the city the wind changed in an instant to the north and torrents of rain fell accompanied by a slight fall of hail and the terrific wind swept through the city leveling trees, tearing off chimneys, unroofing buildings and shattering things generally. The two bridges that spanned the ravine at East Brainerd were picked up and thrown to the bottom of the gully and are both a total wreck. The electric street car bridge was owned by C. N. Parker and the loss will be fully $2,800. The city wagon bridge was built some years ago and while the loss on it is not as great as on the other bridge, it comes at an inopportune time and will be a matter of great inconvenience to the public. The Laurel street bridge [This bridge was also known as the Mahlum Bridge.] across the same ravine was badly damaged and is not considered a safe structure. A string of freight cars standing on the dump were all derailed and piled up together.
The City [Gregory] Park, the pride of every resident of Brainerd, is certainly a most desolate looking place today. The fury of the storm seemed to have centered on that one spot and nearly all the pines were leveled to the earth and piled in great windfalls in every direction. The beauty of the place is forever gone as the pines cannot be replaced and new trees of some other variety will have to be reared in their stead.
The bell tower at the central hose house used for fire alarm purposes was blown down directly across Front street and demolished but the bell was not broken although it fell directly on the pavement.
At the railroad shops the cupola which runs the entire length of the blacksmith shop was unroofed and the slate roof badly damaged.
In Southeast Brainerd the new two-story brick store of John Backler in course of construction, was demolished and the dwelling house of Henry Holm unroofed.
The machinery warehouse of J. C. Hessell near the railroad crossing on Fourth street was practically wrecked being shaved completely off its foundation and the heavy weight of machinery in the building only saved it from being blown down. In this building was 1,000 bushels of wheat and the loss on it will be considerable on account of the rain beating in on it. The building is damaged to such an extent that it will have to be torn down and rebuilt again.
Nearly every tin roof in the city was blown off, including the buildings owned and occupied by L. J. Cale, Losey & Dean and Wm. Bredfeld.
From all parts of the city come reports of demolished chimney’s, broken window glass, shade trees uprooted and outbuildings blown down.
A large Norway pine standing near H. Ribbel’s residence on north Fifth street was blown on the house but luckily no serious damage was done.
A. W. Miller who lives near Gilbert Lake lost a large barn and reports the ruin of his garden. The barn was practically a new one.
Nearly all the pine trees in the 2nd ward along the river bank and in various other places were leveled, the pines seeming to become a much easier prey to the storm than the shade trees.
The store fronts blown in include those of A. L. Hoffman & Co., A. Z. Renslow, J. A. McColl, C. M. Patek, Mrs. Grandelmyer [sic], Northern Pacific Bank, Albert Angel and Mrs. Pearce.
The warehouse of the Cross Lake Logging Company was blown off the underpinning and damaged to quite an extent.
The large lumber shed at the Northern Pacific shops was completely demolished.
The railroads suffered considerably there being a bad washout near Pillager and one near Adam Brown’s place.
The telephone company sustained a severe loss, the wires in the Second ward being nearly all down. The electric light wires are also in bad shape.
The rain continued falling in torrents during the entire night.
Work will be commenced at once to put a roadway in condition to be traveled across the ravine in East Brainerd. The street committee of the council has decided to build a culvert over the creek and fill in on each side of it. A temporary roadway will be made using the old road that was traveled before the bridge was built between the bridge and the dump.
The members of the Northwestern Editorial Association who were to have reached Brainerd today on their way to Walker are delayed at Little Falls and Staples as the track is under water in both directions, Secretary Bernard had telegraphed that the excursion will run tomorrow afternoon leaving Brainerd at 2:20 p. m.
Washouts are reported between Brainerd and Staples and also between this city and Little Falls and it is also reported that the “cut-off” is badly washed. No trains ran over any of of these tracks last night and one or two trains were caught between washouts and are waiting for the tracks to be fixed before they can proceed.
The Brainerd & Northern suffered but little damage there being but two washouts, one on this side of the river and one two or three miles up the road. The track has been repaired and trains are running, the passenger train today being four hours late. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 03 June 1898, p. 1)

SEE: Mahlum Bridge / East Laurel Street Bridge
SEE: Ravine Bridge-Kindred Street Bridge-the Fill



The franchise for a gas plant known as Ordinance No. 259, as asked for by the Light & Power Co., of St. Cloud, was given its first reading. A. G. Whitney, president and H. A. McKenzie, secretary of the Public Service Co., of St. Cloud, were present. Mr. Whitney said, that if given the franchise, the Brainerd Gas Co. would be organized to handle the Brainerd plant. Mr. Whitney offered Brainerd a gas plant built by a company which had the financial strength to immediately commence work and which offered 1,000 cubic feet of fuel gas for $1.25 net and 1,000 cubic feet of gas for lighting at $1.40 net. These were figures which would give service of a standard kind with no breaks. In the six years that Mr. Whitney had managed the St. Cloud gas plant there had not been one second’s interruption in service, said he.
The vote on the first reading of the ordinance stood 6 in favor and 3 against it. Those for it were Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist. Against it were Aldermen Anderson, Betzold and Haake. Excused from voting was Alderman Gallupe.
Alderman Haake said later he voted against it because of his stand on franchises. he favored a municipal project whenever feasible. Where such a plan was not possible, then he favored the best that could be secured in the way of a private plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 1914, p. 3, c. 1)


By a Vote of 6 to 4 Council Favors
Project of St. Cloud’s Leading


Construction is to Begin in Six
Months, Operation Within
Eight Months

The council passed the gas ordinance last night by a vote of 6 to 4. The aldermen voting for the proposition which gives a franchise to some of the leading capitalists of St. Cloud were Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist. Opposed to the ordinance were Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake and Gallupe.
The franchise Ordinance No. 259, as given to the Light & Power Co., now needs the mayor’s signature to become a law. Applying for the franchise were A. G. Whitney and H. A. McKenzie of St. Cloud. These gentlemen are president and secretary respectively of the Public Service Company of St. Cloud. Mr. Whitney has said that if the franchise was awarded them, they would organize the Brainerd Gas Company.
Under the terms of the ordinance fuel gas is to be furnished for $1.25 net and gas for lighting for $1.40 net based on a consumption up to 20,000 cubic feet with further reductions on a sliding scale to persons using more. It is agreed to commence construction of the plant within six months and operation within eight months and to install nine miles of mains. When the consumption reaches 25,000,000 cubic feet it is proposed to reduce the cost 5 cents per thousand cubic feet.
A suitable plant will cost in the neighborhood of $100,000 and its installation means the spending of a lot of money in Brainerd for labor and material. When mains are laid it means that grades will have to be furnished for streets traversed.
Gas is something that the majority of Brainerd people want. The matter has been agitated for two or more years past. This council has taken the first step to pass a gas ordinance and has awarded the franchise to men financially able to immediately commence operations.
Of the four councilmen against the proposition Alderman Anderson said he favored a municipal plant and on that account voted against the franchise. He wanted the people to express their opinion by a vote as to whether they favored a municipal or private plant.
Alderman Lagerquist retorted that to have added this amendment to the last election ballot would have resulted in a defeat of all the bond issues.


During the discussion over the gas franchise Mayor Henning read two letters, one of them from the Empire Gas and Construction Co. of New York City, referring to prices charged for gas.
Alderman Mahlum said the city was amply protected by the state law which allowed the acquisition of a public utility in any five-year period, the valuation to be determined by arbitrators. This, in his mind, was public ownership with a vengeance. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)


If You Want Gas in Brainerd Let
Mayor R. A. Henning Know Your



Telephone, Write or Call on the May-
or, at Least Do Something if
You Want Gas

There now rests with the mayor, R. A. Henning, for his approval, the recently adopted gas franchise and if people want the St. Cloud company to furnish Brainerd with gas, if they approve of the terms of the franchise, let Mayor Henning know about it.
It will take but a short time to telephone, to write or to call on him. The franchise was passed by a 6 to 4 vote. Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Smith, Hess, Peterson and Lagerquist voted in favor of the gas franchise.
Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake, and Gallupe, of the socialist party and of which party the mayor is a member, voted against the franchise.
Alderman Anderson stated he wanted the matter submitted to a vote of the people. He favored a municipal plant where possible. Some comment was made that the rates proposed were too high. Alderman Mahlum referred to the state law under whose terms the city can purchase the plant, thus giving municipal ownership whenever so desired.
There the matter stands. If the gas users in Brainerd desire a voice in the matter, now is the time to address the mayor and state your opinion.
The ordinance as prepared by the gas company is practically the same as the one prepared by Charles L. Pillsbury, consulting engineer of Minneapolis, who was employed by the special gas committee last summer to prepare an ordinance that would safeguard the interest of the city. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1914, p. 3, c. 1)


City of Brainerd Protected at All
Times by the Terms of the
Franchise Granted


Permits the City to Purchase the
Plant at Any Five-Year Period
it May Designate

Some of the strong points of the proposed gas ordinance as adopted by the city council and which now awaits the signature of Mayor R. A. Henning are as follows:
This is not an exclusive franchise, its operations being limited to thirty years, and during its entire period it is covered by the laws of 1905 which permit the city to purchase the plant at any five-year period.
It requires the gas company to file annually with the city clerk a sworn statement of its gross earnings and expenses.
The ordinance provides that the company must at all times furnish an adequate supply of gas of a gross heating value of 550 British Thermal Units and of 16-candle power.
The company must commence work on the plant within six months and have at least nine miles of mains in operation in eighteen months.
The rates are on a sliding scale from $1.25 per thousand cubic feet down to $1 per thousand cubic feet to large consumers.
The ordinance makes the gas company liable for all damages or damage suits that may be brought against the city on account of any negligence on the part of the company.
It further provides that the ordinance may be annulled by the city council if at any time the gas company fails to operate or to furnish an adequate supply of gas for thirty days.—Advt. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 February 1914, p. 3, c. 3)


The people of this city should bestir themselves in the matter of securing the gas plant, the proposition of which is now up to Mayor Henning, and which hinges on his approval or veto. For years the people of Brainerd have endeavored to accomplish something along this line but success had not crowned their efforts in the past and now that it is among the possibilities to secure for the city a gas plant backed by parties financially able to build and operate it it would seem that there should be no hesitation on the part of the mayor in signing the ordinance which has been passed by the council granting a franchise.
The people of this city should not be denied the privilege and benefits to be derived from a plant of this kind because those who are opposed to it favor a municipal ownership plant, for the city is in no position now to finance a proposition of this kind and within a reasonable time the state law provides that the city may take the plant over upon an appraisement by arbitrators, which is a safeguard as to the city’s interests in the matter and could be acted upon whenever the city sees fit to take the matter up and its finances are in shape to handle the proposition. Mayor Henning should look at this matter from the standpoint of the welfare of the city instead of from the standpoint of immediate municipal ownership. He has it in his power to give the people who elected him mayor a commodity they have long wished for, and it is his duty to do so. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 4, c. 2)


Says Mayor Should Sign the Ordinance—Gas Needed in

Editor Brainerd Dispatch,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
Dear Sir:
Last fall when Bush won a game of ball from New York, the citizens of Brainerd spent considerable money telegraphing congratulations and they also tendered him a banquet on his return, all of which was perfectly proper. All this was done because they thought it was a good boost for Brainerd.
Now the city council of Brainerd has passed an ordinance granting a gas franchise and there seems to be some doubt as to the mayor signing same. As a citizen of Brainerd, I consider this the most important thing they have done in Brainerd for many a year and it ought to receive his signature without a question. If the people will get together and show the same interest that they do over winning a game of ball, they might be able to show His Honor that he ought to sign it. I, for the life of me, cannot see how anyone can object to it.
Let those who do not want to use gas leave it alone, and let those who want it and are willing to pay for it have the privilege of having it. I know there are a lot of people who do not really know the advantages of gas as a fuel. There is nothing nicer for a quick meal, and I as a taxpayer want to go on record as being in favor of this franchise and want to congratulate the members of the council who voted for it.
Respectfully yours,
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c. 1)


Forfeiture Clause in Gas Ordinance
is Well Drawn, Says M. E.


Council Can Put Gas Company Out
of Business if Terms Not
Lived up to

Former city Attorney M. E. Ryan in an interview with the Dispatch representative this morning said:
“I have given the gas franchise considerable study and particularly have I studied the forfeiture clause. The forfeiture clause of any franchise is by far the important feature of it and that clause in this franchise is certainly well drawn and amply protects the citizens of Brainerd. Under this clause the city council retains absolute control of the gas company’s conduct and unless the company measures up to the full requirement of the contract, the council can put it out of business in thirty days. The forfeiture clause, together with the right given by the statutes to take over the plant at any five year period is absolute protection to the people of our city.
“No, I don’t believe the city should even think of building a gas plant. My activity in this organization, and work in the old municipal ownership league which resulted in taking over the waterworks system is sufficient evidence that I believe in municipal ownership, but the taking over of an established utility that is on a paying basis and the installation of a new utility, followed as it always is by several lean years, is a vastly different thing.
“My plan would be to give the franchise and just as soon as they got it to paying operating expenses, take it away from them under the statutes and add it to our water and light business.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c. 2)


If Committees Have Failed to Get
Your Name on the Petition in
Dispatch Office


Five Days for Mayor to Consider Gas
Franchise are Up on Monday,
Feb. 9 at 11 A. M.

Today committees are working energetically in every ward of the city getting signers to the petitions favoring the gas ordinance as granted by the council.
If your name has been omitted, call at the Dispatch office and affix your signature to the petition there. The more names that can be added the more formidable the petitions become and the more effect it will have on Mayor R. A. Henning.
At 11 in the morning of Monday, February 9, the five days’ limit expires. If the mayor has not vetoed the ordinance, it becomes a law without his signature.
The time to get gas in Brainerd is now. Think of the industries booming Brainerd within a short time! A $75,000 city hall, $22,000 bridge fill, $100,000 gas plant, if the gas ordinance is signed by Mayor Henning, a street railway system, and lots of other businesses of all kinds.
Don’t throw any monkey wrenches in the wheels of progress. The sentiment of the people is for gas NOW not ten years hence.
There have been circulated in every ward of the city petitions bearing this heading:
“We the undersigned, residents of Brainerd, desiring the use of gas for cooking purposes in our homes, and having familiarized ourselves with the provisions of the gas franchise recently passed by the city council, and now awaiting the signature of Mayor R. A. Henning, and realizing that the city is in need of this modern necessity, and now has the opportunity of securing a gas plant that will be a needed convenience in our homes and a credit to our city, do respectfully urge Mayor Henning to sign said franchise.”
In the first ward are these signers: Nick Lauer, of the Iron Exchange Hotel; Henry Spalding, of the Spalding Cafe; Maurice LeMoine, of the Antlers Hotel; W. T. Larrabee, of the Ideal Cafe; Andrew Carlson, of the Hotel Earl; O. H. Johnson, of the Ransford Hotel; Iver Holden, of the Central Hotel; Henry I. Cohen, T. H. McIntyre, T. H. Schaefer, Wm. Ragan, Wm. Brady, W. V. Turcotte, A. P. Drogseth, M. W. Price, Ed. Ovig, O. L. Ovig, A. G. Parker, J. A. McMannis, C. J Evensta, of the City Hotel, Wm. Schlange, H. B. Van Sickel, Severn Swanson, C. A. Bevier, B. L. Lagerquist, A. B. Anderson, Fred Drexler, R. W. Sherlund, Andy Wesley, S. V. Long, George H. Gardner, P. B. Nettleton, Andrew Fall, Lars Ericcson, of the Ericcson Brothers Bakery.
These are just a few names gathered this morning and indicate that practically every hotel man approached is in favor of gas.
In the second ward these have signed the petition: D. E. Whitney, E. S. Houghton, J. A. Cochran, F. S. Parker, John Carlson, Sam Parker, W. E. Parker, O. D. Larson, R. L. Russell, O. A. Peterson, H. F. Michael, G. A. Beale, F. M. Koop, J. W. Koop, I. U. White, C. M. Patek, Dr. H. Ribbel, Senator C. D. Johnson, Judge Mal Clark, S. P. Coffrain, Clyde E. Parker, E. F. Murphy, Dean White, Fred L. Sanborn, R. J. Hartley, R. M. Johnson, Neil I. Brooks, J. E. Brady, Si. Hall, James Buley, Julius Deering, Dr. J. L. Camp, Lewis Lee, James Fraser, Mrs. J. A. McColl, Carl J. Wright, Dr. H. G. Ingersoll, F. W. Wieland, W. W. Latta, James M. Elder, J. B. Schmidt, David R. Craig, G. E Neegard, Louis Sandberg, V. Dewald, Erick Kronberg, Mrs. John Willis, J. St. Cyr, A. J. Ellison, Gill G. Mantor, Geo. Berggreen, Fred Luken, W. J. F. Peiffer, J. W. Lee, W. W. Brandt, G. W. Mosier, J. A. Larson, E. E. Calkins, S. E. Engbretson, F. S. Vanderwerker, G. T. Fenno, C. Bruhn, Mons Mahlum, E. B. Darling, A. T. Fisher, L. S. Budd, W. S. Orne, H. A. Kaatz, John Peterson, B. C. McNamara, H. E. Kundert, L. M. Depute, E. P. Slipp, R. P. Nolan, W. D. McKay, Carl Zapffe, J. E. Rotthaus, Dan C. Peacock, C. J. Duffey, A. P. Reymond, P. Johnson, Frank G. Wright, J. P. Barney, Wm. Bartsch, G. W. Chadbourne, F. A. Farrar, R. B. Withington.
The petition circulated in the fifth ward bears these names: G. Halvorson, A. J. Starritt, Mrs. George Hess, Mrs. Englund, Mrs. M. E. Morrison, E. E. McQuillin, J. H. Roderick, F. H. Grant, Rev. M. L. Hostager, A. P. Cardle, F. B. Winslow, W. B. Cutler, E. L. Stallman, A. P. Nelson, C. Kaatz, W. H. Britton, Christ Schwabe, A. K. Lukens, Jens Molstad, W. H. Johnson, L. T. Gresbeck, Robert Peterson, Pat Shannon, W. L. Curtis, C. E. Peabody, J. McNaughton, Wm. Burris, Fred J. McNaughton, Mrs. A. Angel, Mrs. George Williams, Mrs. W. H. Nelson, Mrs. J. Hanson, L. T. Noggie, Mrs. C. G. Waffle, Mrs. W. H. Everest, Frank Wise, August Beck, Mrs. G. M. Lukens, Wm. Bourquin, Mrs. C. A. Nelson, James W. Montgomery, Mrs. J. C. Conant, Mrs. F. Brending, George Kaupp, J. I. Dillan, Mrs. M. L. Nelson, Charles Peterson, Mrs. A. Purdy, Fred T. Lux, A. Hagberg, John A. Hoffbauer.
The notable feature of the fifth ward’s petition is the number of housewives signing the same. There are other petitions out in the fifth, one bearing 200 names and the circulator was so busy he could not be reached to bring it to the Dispatch office.
On Saturday the other ward petitions and other names added to the petitions mentioned above will be published. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c.’s 3 & 4)


P. B. Nettleton Urges Strong Points
in Favor of Gas

To the Editor:
I have been asked my opinion on the gas question which is now agitating the minds of many citizens. It is a very important matter and the correct solution has quite a bearing on the subject of making Brainerd a desirable city in which to live. It would be a good thing to say of Brainerd, we have both electric lights and gas.
I have had 20 years experience with gas in Minneapolis and Seattle, “Cook with Gas” is the slogan of the gas company. My wife says she couldn’t keep house without gas for cooking. She simply turns on the gas, lights a match, a flash and the fire is built.
When through using simply turn off—no wood box, coal scuttle or ashes. No extra heat in summer. In a house without a heating plant, I used a common heating stove below, upstairs in the bedrooms and bath I used small gas heating stoves costing $1.50 to $3.00 each. Before retiring I light the gas stove—in a few minutes the room is warm then turn out and turn in.
In the morning, repeat, light the gas, turn in—in a few minutes turn out into a warm room to dress. In late fall and between seasons in spring, the gas stove will take off the chill in any room before starting main fires.
The greatest gain is the convenience and comfort in cooking. I pity any woman who has to cook without gas after having once used it. I scarcely need mention the saving of time and temper in starting a fire especially when in a hurry, and the advantage of regulating the blaze instantly. As to cost, that depends largely on the user much like burning lights, one may be wasteful or economical like burning lights. My gas bills in Seattle run from $2.50 to $3.50 per month for cooking gas. It would be very convenient for heating here but whether it would be economical or not can only be told by trial.
For cooking I would choose gas at almost any price because of its convenience and comfort. Women who do their own work are more interested in this gas matter than anyone else and if any of them have any influence with Mayor Henning or the four aldermen who opposed it, they would do well to shout in their ears the slogan, “Cook with Gas.”
I believe this gas franchise means much to Brainerd and that if the mayor and opposition aldermen were familiar with the practical advantages and the importance of saving time in starting they would withdraw all opposition. If we act favorably now it will be one and a half years before the plant is finished. Who wants to wait longer?
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 5, c.’s 4 & 5)

The people of Brainerd would like a gas plant and if Mayor Henning has his ear to the ground he will hear the rumble. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 2, c. 2)


Resolution Presented by P. B. Nettle-
ton is Adopted at Meeting Last
Night by 30 to 6 Vote.


Said Appeal Could be Made to the Wards

There were busy times at the Booster club meeting in the council chambers last night. By a vote of 30 to 6 the Booster club placed itself squarely on record as favoring the gas franchise. The discussion on gas lasted two hours or more.
Mayor R. A. Henning outlined his position at this meeting of the Booster club and went into details regarding municipal plants, their construction and operation.
The resolution favoring the gas franchise was introduced by P. B. Nettleton and reads:
“Resolved by the Booster club of Brainerd in regular meeting assembled that we hereby go on record as favoring the gas franchise recently passed by the city council and respectfully express the hope that our honorable Mayor Henning may see his way clear to approve the same.”
Mr. Nettleton said gas was one of the most important propositions before the people of Brainerd. The ordinance had been passed by the council and now lacked only the approval of the mayor to make it a law. A gas plant meant payrolls for labor, the laying of many mains, the expenditure of money for gas fittings, etc. The city was safeguarded insofar as it had the privilege of acquiring the plant at any five-year interval.
“I tell you,” said Mr. Nettleton emphatically, “if we do not approve this gas ordinance, let us change our name from Boosters to Kickers.” And he sat down amid heavy applause.
All speakers of the evening paid Mr. Nettleton the courtesy of standing very near him so he was enabled to hear most of the discussion on hand and was thus able to champion the cause of the people who want gas now and who consider the St. Cloud people as competent to install a plant satisfactory to all.
Mayor R. A. Henning took the floor when the discussion was opened on the resolution. He spoke of the information bureau which the socialist party maintained at Milwaukee and which was in charge of Carl Thompson. Brainerd had solved its, water, electric light and street railway problems and that of gas remained. He took exception to Mr. Nettleton’s assertion that Brainerd could not get a municipal plant at this time. Mr. Henning claimed it was more to the credit of Brainerd to say, “We own this gas plant and not St. Cloud.” He believed the question of municipal ownership should be submitted to the people at an election. He quoted from a letter that the Empire Gas Co. of New York offered $1,000 for a gas franchise in Brainerd and further offered the city 10 percent of everything in excess of 10 percent profits. He quoted from a letter from C. F. Kindred, of Philadelphia, and said Kindred had offered to furnish gas at $1.20 net and to finish the gas plant in a year.
He suggested that a gas franchise be drafted by the city and that it be advertised in the gas papers for bids. He quoted southern cities which were supplying gas and their rates. He dwelt on the savings effected in the water and electric light departments of the city. He said Brainerd was paying $27 for arc light service and St. Cloud $65. In issuing bonds for a municipal gas plant the city would start under fairer conditions than it did when taking over the crippled water plant.
Mr. Nettleton, in reply, said he did not want to dispute the figures given, but would like to have an expert figure them. He mentioned that under municipal ownership of electric light current, there was a fixed charge of 75 cents a month for each householder, regardless of whether a house was occupied or vacant. He was not against a municipal plant, but he did not see how the city could finance one at present. It would take a long time to vote on it, issue bonds, and build the plant.
“Take these improvements while you can get them,” said Mr. Nettleton in conclusion.
Richard L. Spiering, a practical gas man of 21 years’ experience and for years superintendent of A. G. Whitney’s gas plant at St. Cloud, stated he would answer questions about the proposed gas plant, its operations, etc.
He said gas could not be manufactured as cheaply in Brainerd as in Virginia. Fuel cost more in Brainerd than it did in the south.
Mr. Spiering said that 18,000,000 [sic] cubic feet were manufactured at the St. Cloud plant. Coal near some of the southern gas plants sold as cheaply as $1 a ton. Mr. Spiering said he had built three plants and would like to build the Brainerd plant. He had been seven years with Mr. Whitney, and a fairer and squarer man was hard to find. Gas was being sold to big consumers in St. Cloud at $1 a thousand.
President Anton Mahlum, of the Booster club, on request explained the provisions of the 1905 state law which permits the city to buy at any five-year period a public utility like the proposed gas plant, the cost to be ascertained by two arbitrators acting for the company, two for the city and one appointed by the four. The goodwill of the company or the value of the franchise were not to be computed in a valuation of the plant. The value was to be estimated at the actual cost of reproduction at that period.
A. L. Hoffman said the city could decide to buy just when the plant was making money at the end of the first five years.
Mr. Spiering said he had built four [sic] plants, one at LaCrosse, Wis., another at Appleton, one at St. Cloud and it took three years or more to put a gas plant on a paying basis. He said money had to be made in summer to carry a gas plant through the winter. It would take energetic work to get enough consumers to make enough to pay the interest charges on $100,000. In Brainerd it would be good figure if the consumers all told averaged $2.25 each a month.
There was more power in the hands of the people to condemn or control a plant owned by Mr. Whitney, than a municipally owned plant, said Mr. Spiering. The council can shut down the Whitney Brainerd plant if it does not conform to the terms of the contract. That is more than can be done with a city plant. It would take an election there to do it.
P. T. Brown said he believed in municipal ownership, but thought it better to go easy and wait for some other offer.
P. B. Nettleton said the subject of gas had been talked on four years in Brainerd. There was but one proposition before us and that was the franchise as passed by the council and which awaited the signature of the mayor. He hoped the mayor would act to his best judgment and for the whole people. The plant would give employment to many men who would bring their families here. Brainerd was on the upgrade and was prospering. There was but one way to vote and the club should vote for the gas franchise now passed by the council.
Alderman Haake sounded a new note in the proceedings. He urged that ward meetings be instituted through the third and fourth wards the same as was carried on during the street railway discussion. The people of these wards could register their opinions and the vote would serve as a guide to the aldermen in voting for that ward.
George I. Reid was called on. The president of the Minnesota Central Railway company, which has a franchise to put in and operate a street railway in Brainerd and which also contemplates an interurban line with Brainerd as its center, spoke shortly and said to the point:
“Mr. President and fellow members of the Booster club. I am a writer, not a speaker, and so I have set down briefly my opinion as to the future of Brainerd.
“Brainerd, I believe, will soon be the fourth city of Minnesota. Your water power means more for the industrial development of Brainerd than you realize. Brainerd is the center of a great iron range, likely to rival any iron range in the world in richness and extent. Surrounding Brainerd is a splendid agricultural country which is being developed rapidly.
“A second great railway system is within a dozen miles of Brainerd and is bound to come into this city soon. Brainerd is the geographical center of the state and therefor a logical distributing point. Eventually Brainerd will be an important railroad, manufacturing, jobbing, mining and agricultural center.
“Brainerd, like Duluth, is just on the eve of its greatest growth. Brainerd will rank next to Duluth in the list of Minnesota’s principal cities.
“From personal knowledge I will say that the Booster club has been foremost in every movement for the betterment of Brainerd.”
There was loud applause when Mr. Reid closed his crisp, short words, eloquent in their appeal and convincing to all.
“I have every dollar I have invested in Brainerd,” said Mr. Reid. “I think Alderman Haake’s suggestion of carrying to the wards the final decision on the gas franchise is a good one. Let the third and fourth wards express their opinions and let their aldermen be guided by the sentiment of the people.”
“Gentlemen,” said Mr. Mahlum, “I hope you will all be as good Boosters after this discussion as we have been before. Let this argument embitter no one. We have our differences of opinion on many subjects and if this was not so, there would never be any debates. We will now take a vote on the resolution endorsing the gas franchise and passed by the council and expressing the hope that the mayor will sign the ordinance. You will please rise and be counted, all those in favor of it.”
A total of 30 votes was recorded for the resolution. Six voted against it. President Mahlum declared the resolution adopted. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 3, c.'s 1 & 2)

SEE: Brainerd Dam and Bridge
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)


If Committees Have Failed to Get
Your Name, Sign the Petition
at Dispatch Office


Five Days for the Mayor to Consider
Gas Franchise are Up on Mon-
day, Feb. 9 at 11 A. M.

Committees are still energetically circulating petitions about the city and it is difficult to corral them all for publication, for many would rather get more names than give them for publication, losing that much time in the campaign.
This afternoon the Brainerd Musical club meets at Elks hall and the ladies will discuss gas and Mayor Henning will face 200 or more women and the great majority of these favor gas, and favor it now under the ordinance as passed and which plant is to be installed by St. Cloud people.
Additional names on petitions are A. Keating, Thomas Pillon, J. M. Quinn, R. E. Quinn, J. J. Quinn.
The fourth ward shows up with this imposing list of names: P. G. Fogelstrom, Hulda C. Fogelstrom, Hannah Swanson, H. A. Swanson, J. P. Finne, Mrs. Pete Anderson, Fea Finne, W. E. Erickson, K. S. Bredenberg, O. F. Erickson, A. C. Erickson, J. Stenberg, Mrs. John Stenberg, Mrs. E. H. Jones, Walter H. Northrup, Sadie Hill, Julius Twist, Mrs. Julius Twist, Mrs. K. S. Bredenberg, Bessie Bredenberg, Mrs. Andrew Anderson, Mrs. H. Wade, Mrs. K. A. Gustafson, K. A. Gustafson, Henry Squires, Mrs. Henry Squires, Thos. Evans, Mrs. Thomas Evans, Mrs. W. E. Erickson, R. Peterson, Esther Fogelstrom, F. M. Milloch, Mrs. Maria Heimblad, P. A. Erickson, R. L. Erickson, Matt Olson, Arthur Olson, Wallace Olson, J. A. Erickson, Amy Erickson, Mrs. J. A. Erickson, Felix Graham, Mrs. Felix Graham, D. M. Graham. Size up this fourth ward petition and see the number of Southeast Brainerd housewives who have signed the petition and want the St. Cloud company in Brainerd.
Here are some of the fifth ward signers: Dr. C. A. Nelson, Lou Swelland, C. H. Turner, A. Hagberg, Helen Gustafson, Mrs. M. Bone, Mrs. Ed. Hall, Mrs. Gendron, Mrs. B. S. Armstrong, Mrs. W. F. Kunitz, Mrs. C. D. Peacock, Mrs. August Swanson, Mrs. Conrad Fosth, Mrs. O. M. Olson, Mrs. August Hallquist, Mrs. L. Broman, Mrs. G. Swanson, Mrs. R. Peterson, F. F. Wise, Mary Wise, A. G. Schnell, Charles Warren, J. M. Hayes, P. J. Daveau, D. Frayer, Mrs. G. R. West, Mrs. V. N. Roderick, W. A. Warnecke, Mrs. J. Merkouris, Mrs. A. F. Victor, Mrs. M. A. Warnecke, A. N. Jacobs, Mrs. E. Levant, E. G. Rau, James Graham, Mrs. F. B. Winslow, Mrs. W. N. Dix. Ed. Levant, H. A. Levant, Mrs. E. Lund, Mrs. Harry Wikie, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Early, Mrs. W. I. Rounds, Mrs. R. L. Mathews, Charles Goeirch, C. H. Krech, Mrs. George Rappel, Chris Jensen, Mrs. E. Darling, Mrs. M. K. Martin, Mrs. Oscar Hill, Mrs. W. R. Ashby, Mrs. H. McGinn, Mrs. W. F. Dieckhaus, Rev. W. J. Lowrie, H. P. Dullum, J. A. McKay, Mrs. M. Hoerner, Mrs. Martin Olson, F. W. Frost, John D. Gile, Ole H. Nilson, Mrs. Ages Thoe, Mrs. Annie Wilson, Mrs. H. Betzold, Henry Hurley, A. M. Opsahl, Charles S. Olson, Mrs. W. B. Cutler, Mrs. G. P Thienes, Mrs. Wm. Butts, A. Morton, R. Knutson.
The 2nd ward have been added these names: James Alderman, Karl H. Hoorn, W. H. Onstine, A. G. Trommald, Fred J. Reid, W. A. M. Johnstone, H. D. Treglawny, S. R. Adair, H. W. Linnemann, Charles E. Cole, Martin Berggreen, Frank G. Hall, P. W. Donovan, W. F. Wieland, Dr. C. G. Nordin, Louis Johnson, J. Henry, I. R. Bolstat, G. F. Heck, H. A. Rahler, Dr. C. D. Blackford, W. W. Michael, Thomas Beare. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 February 1914, p. 4, c. 4)


It is Not an Exclusive Franchise and
Does Not Defeat the Municipal
Ownership Idea


Franchise Void if Gas Company Fails
to Operate or Furnish Gas for
30 Days

It is not an exclusive franchise and does not defeat the idea of municipal ownership for the reason that it is governed during its entire period by the state law which permits the city to purchase the plant at any five-year period.
The cancellation clause in the franchise provides that if the gas company fail to operate or to furnish an adequate supply of gas for a period of thirty days that the franchise becomes void.
The gas company agree within six months to commence work upon the plant and to have it in operation with nine miles of mains laid within eighteen months.
All work in connection with installing the gas plant and mains must be under the supervision of the city engineer and upon plans and specifications that have been duly approved by the city council.
All streets, avenues and alleys must be replaced at the expense of the gas company and the ordinance provides a penalty if the same is not done promptly.
The gas company is also required to change the location of mains whenever required by the city council without expense to the city.
The gas company is made liable for all damages or damage suits that may be brought against the city caused by their negligence and they are required to furnish the city a two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) surety bond during the period of construction.
The gas company is required to file with the city clerk on April first annually a sworn statement of their gross income and expenses.
The ordinance requires the gas company to furnish either coal gas, carburetted water gas or a mixture of the two of a gross heating value of 550 British Thermal Units, and of the standard of sixteen-candle power at the following schedule of rates:
For the consumer using 20,000 cubic feet or less, one and 25/100 dollars ($1.25) per thousand cubic feet, with a reduction of five cents per thousand cubic feet for each 10,000 additional cubic feet consumed, thus reducing the price for large consumers to one dollar ($1) per thousand cubic feet.
The ordinance further provides that when the annual output of the plant shall have reached 25,000,000 cubic feet that the price will be reduced five cents per thousand cubic feet.
The gas mains are to be extended upon a petition of residents on any street in the proportion of one consumer for every 125 feet of main.
All meters are to be furnished by the company and may be tested for accuracy as often as every six months.
The city officials have free access at all times to the plant of the gas company for the purpose of testing the quality of the gas furnished.—Advt. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1914, p. 2, c. 4)


States His Objections in a Lengthy
Communication Covering
Three Columns


Is Given as His Principal Objection
—Several Provisions of Fran-
chise Are Inadequate

The Mayor has vetoed the gas franchise is a lengthy communication to the council, courteously supplying the Dispatch with a copy for its readers, as follows:

Brainerd, Minn., February 7, 1914.
To the President and Members of the
City Council, Brainerd, Minnesota.
I am returning to you, unsigned, Ordinance No. 259, same being an ordinance granting to the Light and Power company, a corporation organized under the laws of the State of Minnesota, the right to construct, operate and maintain a plant for the manufacture and supplying of gas for all purposes in the city of Brainerd, and fixing the rate to be charged for supplying gas for household, domestic and other purposes.
In considering the question of a franchise to be given to a private corporation, for the operation of a public utility concern, for the purpose of distributing to the citizens of Brainerd a commodity that will be commonly used by our citizens, I have considered the question of granting the franchise from the following standpoints:
First. The question of the city establishing a municipal gas plant.
Second. The advisability of city officers granting to private corporations the right to use our streets and other public property without the consent of the citizens of Brainerd.
Third. The question of the amount of protection afforded to the citizens of our city, in the various clauses or sections of the franchise.
Fourth. The question of comparison between the franchise which the city council has passed, with other offers made the city, with a view of determining who has and will make the city the best offer for a gas franchise in the city of Brainerd.
Taking up briefly each of the questions enumerated above I have the following to say:
FIRST. The question of a Municipal Gas Plant in Brainerd, is not a proposition of such colossal proportions, that it is beyond the possibility of accomplishment in the city of Brainerd. Unlike the street railway franchise wherein we realized that it would be necessary for the corporation to extend its field of operation beyond the limits of our city, in order to derive sufficient revenue in order to be self-sustaining, the question of a gas plant and its field of activity can be limited to the city of Brainerd and still be made to be a paying proposition.
It has been repeatedly said of late years that the government and development of American cities has been improving at least fifty percent faster than the government of our states and nations. In other words the progress of government in cities is improving faster than in states or the nation.
Considering the question of public ownership of public utilities the history of American cities shows that after they have acquired and operated as municipal enterprises the Water & Light utilities of their city, that the acquirement and operation of the gas plants is the next step in the advancement of public ownership of public utilities, and therefore the question of municipal ownership of the gas plant in Brainerd should receive serious consideration before a franchise is granted to a private corporation.
SECOND. The granting of the franchise to the private corporation grants with it the right of the corporation to the use of the streets and other public property of the city, for the purpose of using the streets and other public property in its endeavor to make a profit for those interested in the corporation.
The streets and other public property together with such values as the franchise and good will of the city of Brainerd, are the property of all the citizens of Brainerd, and in my opinion, no officer of a municipality has, and should not have sufficient power to give away that which is collectively owned without direction from the citizens he represents.
Therefore I, as mayor of the city of Brainerd refuse most emphatically to give away such rights as may by ownership be vested collectively in the citizens of our city. Every city today that is at all progressive has a charter in which is a clause which explicitly forbids public officials from doing that which our city council is doing, and I can conceive of no reason which would warrant me in placing myself in a position of authority, above that which time and experience has demonstrated that it is not safe to place in any set of officers.
THIRD. The question of the amount of protection afforded by this franchise to our city, involves a careful examination of the franchise, both from the standpoint from the office of mayor and the office of city attorney, and in addition to my objections to various sections of the franchise, I attach herewith a letter from our city attorney, Mr. Haggard in which he outlines the objections from a legal view, in response to my request that he advise me of any legal objections that he may have in the different sections of the franchise.
Section 1. This section permits of the sale by the corporation of gas for lighting purposes, and while the extent of the competition with the city municipal light plant would depend to a great extent upon the rate charged for the gas, I am not in favor of permitting competition to enter into Brainerd, in competition with any public utility now owned by the city.
Section 3. This section provides for filing with the city by the gas company of detailed plans of the mains, etc. showing the location and also, etc. but does not include the location of valves, and in referring to the plans of the building does not demand that detailed plans be filed of the location of the gas plant, and of the buildings and equipment as proposed to be installed under this ordinance. This I consider to be important as when taken in connection with the provisions for the purchase of the plant would enable the city if complied with, and with the additional requirement of the following paragraph of the franchise enable the city to at all times have on file a complete set of plans of the entire gas plant and distributing system.
Section 4. In this section I believe that the objection can be raised to the words “as in the judgment of the grantee” and I would recommend that they be stricken out of the franchise and make it obligatory upon the part of the company to place their mains at sufficient depth so that frost will not interfere with the quality or flowage of the gas supplied.
Section 7. This section does not in my opinion fully protect the city. I recommend in lieu thereof the section recommended by Mr. Pillsbury and which has also received the approval of parties to whom I have submitted the franchise. This provision to be as follows:
“The grantee shall furnish said city a proper indemnifying bond in the amount of the ten thousand dollars, ($10,000.00) for the period of construction and of not less than five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for the balance of the life of the franchise, same to be furnished by some responsible surety company, and approved by the common council, conditioned that said grantee, his associates, successors or assigns, shall faithfully observe and fulfill all the terms, conditions and requirements of this ordinance; and the common council may require the renewal of said bond from time-to-time in the same amounts, with the same or additional securities. Said bond shall be furnished and approved by the council before any work shall be done by the said grantee hereunder.”
Section 8. This section in a measure is condensed from the report of the expert employed by the city of Brainerd at an expense of $150.00 and while it in a measure might meet all the demands that may be placed upon it. I am of the opinion that on account of the value being attached to the purchase clause in this franchise, that the sections recommended by the expert Mr. Pillsbury are of considerable importance and therefore recommend the substitution of Mr. Pillsbury’s recommendations as follows:
“The said grantee shall file annually, at such time as may be designated by the council of the city, at the office of the city clerk such financial and operating statement, and such other information relative to the plant of grantee, and to the business transacted under the franchise and privilege hereby granted and conferred, as may be from time-to-time be required by said council. All such information and settlements furnished to the council by the grantee under the provision of this section shall be in writing and shall be certified to under oath by the President, Secretary or other officer of the company.
“The grantee shall at all times, keep within the city, proper an accurate book of accounts, records and vouchers, which shall at all times show correctly and in detail all its financial transactions, including all its receipts, and disbursements, and the particulars thereof, and all data needful for the preparation by competent accountants, of complete bills and vouchers of the said grantee, relative to the said business, shall at all reasonable times, be opened to inspection and examination by such officer of the city or person or persons as said council may by resolution designate.”
Section 9. This section does not meet with my approval, in that it specifies that the gas furnished shall have not less than five hundred fifty (550) British Thermal Units power per cubic foot of gas.
In my estimation this should not be less than 600 British Thermal Units, and in support of my contention submit the following from men well versed in the gas business.
From H. J. Thorkelson, professor of steam and gas engineering the University of Wisconsin:
“For heating purposes gas is compared upon the basis of heat generated, the unit of measurement being the British Thermal Unit, which is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit, and a gas of 600 B. T. U. will give ten times as much heat as one of 60 B. T. U.”
From E. W. Bemis a noted gas expert:
Since gas of 16-candle power is nearly as good for all purposes, save in open flame burners as a 20 or 22-c. p., and is much cheaper to make the tendency is to permit 16-c. p. and 600 heat units with corresponding low prices.”
From Mr. C. L. Pillsbury in his recommendations to the city:
“The gas furnished by said grantee to the city and its inhabitants shall have a monthly average gross heating value of not less than 600 British Thermal Units per cubic foot of gas; and the daily average gross heating value of the gas shall not, on any day, be less than 550 B. T. U’s., nor shall a minimum of 550 B. T. U’s. be maintained for more than three successive days.”
From the opinions of three experts it is easy to see that 600 British Thermal Units is the minimum number of B. T. U’s. which should be required and therefore the number required being 50 B. T. U’s. below the amount set for the securing of most efficient service, or that gas of 550 B. T. U’s. will only produce ninety-one and two-thirds percent of the value in heat units as compared with gas of 600 B. T. U’s. Considering that it is expected that the gas will be used mainly for cooking and heating purposes it is the heating value of the gas which is one of the most important features to be considered.
Section 10. This section relates to the price to be charged for the gas and provides for a discount if the consumer pays his bill before the 20th of the month, the amount of the discount varying so that the larger the consumer the larger the discount thereby bringing the net cost of the large consumer down to a possible $1.00 per 1,000 cu. ft. as compared with the net cost to the small consumer of $1.25 per 1,000 cubic feet. There is considerable objection to this feature of the franchise whereby the large consumer gets his gas at a less rate per 1,000 cu. ft. The arguments in favor of this plan are all commercial in nature. At the least the small consumer ought to have an equal chance for an equal rate. The principle of an equal charge is already well established and the best authorities agree with Delos Wilcox who says:
“Generally speaking, public utilities are in such wide-spread demand, that good public policy would tend to favor the maintenance of a uniform rate per unit of service to all consumers irrespective of the amounts they use.” Municipal Franchises, v. 1, page No. 54.
“While I do not desire to take issue with the amounts to be charged for gas upon commencement of the operation of the gas plant, I do desire to criticize sharply the term of the franchise which permits of only one reduction of 5 cents per 1,000 cu. ft. of gas used during the life of the franchise. This provision for reduction in price of the cost of gas to the consumer is not sufficiently protecting the interests of our citizens. In marked contrast with the provision in regards to the rates to be charged by the sections in this franchise, is the report of the expert hired by the City, wherein he provides that there shall be provision made in the franchise whereby the Council at every five-year period can review the rates charged for gas and the business of the company and regulate the rate to an amount commensurate with the earnings shown by the company. Further his provision of a means of arbitration of the rate at these five-year periods give to the company protection that it should have in that rates should not be arbitrarily set at an amount which will not bring the company a fair revenue.
Section No. 16. In this section as outlined by the opinion of our city attorney, I believe there should be incorporated the statement that in case the city desires to purchase the plant at any five-year period that no value shall be placed upon the earning power of the plant, nor any value upon the unexpired term of the franchise.
Section No. 17. This section provides that the franchise extends for a period of thirty years. In my opinion twenty years should be the limit for which any franchise is granted.
There should be added as recommended by Mr. Pillsbury a section providing for the pressure to be uniform and describing just what is required from the corporation.
In preference to simply referring to section No. 2843 of the revised laws of 1905 in the matter of the purchase of the plant, it is my opinion that the franchise should specifically provide for the manner of purchase by defining the appointment and selection, number of arbitrators and such other conditions as it would be necessary to include in such provisions.
There is absolutely no provision made for labor in connection with either the construction or operation of the gas plant. In my opinion the franchise should grant certain protections to the labor that may be necessary in its construction and operation, namely:
First. The guarantee of the right to organize, with provision for manner of handling questions of differences which may arise between employer and employee.
The franchise should contain provisions whereby the number of hours of labor shall not exceed at any time nine hours per day and when the eight-hour day is established for any considerable number of Brainerd citizens, then also shall eight hours be the length of the days labor performed under this franchise.
The franchise would contain an agreement that labor shall be paid an amount equal to the standard prevailing union-wage in Brainerd wherever possible and in no case when in comparison with labor in unorganized fields as common labor (generally termed) shall it be less than the rate paid for like service in Brainerd.
The franchise should make definite provision for arbitration between employer and employee so that some assurance will be provided for the protection of both labor and the interests of the city.
That covers most of my important objections to various sections of the franchise, but does not cover all of my objections as many of them are of minor consideration and should be easily worked out by the seeker of the franchise and the city.
In regards to other offers from other sources I have to again inform the city council that the Empire Construction Co. of New York City, has made an offer to take the same franchise now known as Ordinance No. 259, pay for it to the city $1,000.00 before beginning work and ten percent of all profits in excess of ten percent. Mr. C. F. Kindred has offered to put in a gas plant and furnish gas at $1.20 per 1,000 cubic feet to the consumer.
These offers contain advantages to the citizens of Brainerd which if other conditions in regards to the protection necessary to the city could be arranged satisfactorily should receive the consideration of our city council.
In conclusion let me state that the very best franchise is not as good as public ownership. Sometimes things that seem impossible can be accomplished, and we ought not to lose a chance in any direction to secure the greater good and the real solution.
In my opinion after carefully considering the various franchises that have been before the City of Brainerd, the report of the expert that was employed by the City of Brainerd, Mr. Pillsbury of Minneapolis, and the recommendation of men qualified by experience with whom it has been possible for me to get in touch and get information, I have come to the conclusion (with all due respect to the petitioners) that this franchise is not for the best interests of the city of Brainerd, and that it is my duty to veto same.
Yours very truly,
Signed this 9th day of February, 1914.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2; p. 4, c.’s 1- 4)

SEE: Brainerd Dam and Bridge
SEE: Electric Power House (Dam)
SEE: 1878 Brainerd by a Stranger-1 in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.


Mayor Henning’s Action Causes No
Cessation to the Circulation of
Petitions for Gas


Petitions Generally Circulated at the
Shops Receive Many Signers

Notwithstanding the mayor has expressed his disapproval of the gas franchise, the petitions favoring gas from the St. Cloud company continue to have names attached by the score.
These names were secured in the shops: Fred Allison, L. A. McCulloch, C. W. Eastman, J. F. Lawrence, Charles Holmstrom, Thomas Russell, Arthur Cartwright, Oscar Killin, Fred Cartwright, H. F. Kleinschmidt, O. E. Anderson, A. Backen, M. Fortie, H. A. Edstrom, Andrew Hill, Tom Kocaliares, Sverie Peterson, J. M. McIntyre, Lucas Boeman, Simon Pederson, Alfred Severtsen, Elmer Montgomery, Chris Temple, Otto Johnson, Louis Johnson, Ed. Nolan, Chas. Dahl, L. Petterson, O. B. Rasmussen, H. W. Kitchen, V. A. Root, L. P. Gray, Aug. Homblad, H. Hanson, G. Twist, H. Bullock, O. C. Elledge, Rudolph Lindbergh, Ernest Hunt, G. A. Tracy, Joe Midgley, Jack Mooney, Martin Olson, Chas. Nash, H. G. Thaw, A. J. Temple, O. F. Erickson, Theo. Miller, C. H. Ohm, A. M. Anderson, F. G. Drilling, E. R. Blake, A. A. Anderson, H. George, J. J. Cummins, H. A Carmichiel, A. D. Johnson, W. P. Barker, Louis O. Johnson, O. C. Johnson, Martin Anderson, Ed. R. Murphy, W. W. Anderson, J. M. Mraz, B. V. McGivern, Henry Shields, E. A. Ohm, Carl Sorman, Peter Englund, Gust Krueger, N. A. Jeppson, E. O. Webb, A. Funk, Henry Stein, Ray Heller, A. C. Lemon, Paul Kalucha, Andrew Anderson, A. Ludwig, J. Kulba, Victor Lund, L. Moilanan, A. Holm. C. Isle, Sr., A. Spengler, A. Aro, H. Kretzman, H. Albers, F. Kinsmiller, M. Lund, D. McGill, Chas Volke, N. Sundberg, C. P. Horton, P. Anderson, O. Nilson, F. Blanck, Con Isle, Jr., Joe Liners, John Hackett, Edward Wallace, John A. Peterson, Henry Buchnass, Allen McLearie, E. A. Luck, M. E. Holmes, H. C. Behme, J. A. Maloney, Harry Taylor, Ernst Richman, F. Stycke, C. H. Ritter, H. C. Hansen, H. Greener, T. A. Skatten, C. A. Wood, T. F. Mooney, H. C. Stunt, Joe Goedderz, Geo. Leitner, Pete Goedderz, N. Mattson, J. L. Neary, Louis Nelson, Isaac Sundquist, Jule Voss, J. H. Emmels, C. E. Wittner, Joe Hoerner, Joseph Koeppl, H. Wassermann, Val Furst, H. Blanck, Louis Olson, J. P. Goedderz, John Kangas, Frank Keneger, Wm. Lee, Fred Seller, Frank Betzold, P. Peterson, J. Christianson, Ira Connolis, Omar Liners, F. Beckley, F. E. Jackson, Chas. Mohler, Paul Kretzman, David Smith, James Work, Pat Burke.
Downtown these additional names were added: Mrs. Joseph Flanagan, Peter Umhofer, John Ernster, Judge W. S. McClenahan, Judge W. A. Fleming, Judge A. D. Polk, Judge S. F. Alderman, George W. Moody, Dr. J. A. Thabes, Dr. Bergh, Mrs. Grandelmyer.
On a 5th ward petition have been attached these additional names: Aloys Maine, J. Hehtran, Vicktor Erickson, S. H. Turner, R. L. Maine, Paul Wutrens, J. W. Blake, John Nolan, Edwin Anderson, Thos. C. Deakes, Joseph Miller, Dan Tough, Albert Pfremmer, C. H. Lawson, Anton Anderson, W. H. Cartwright, W. H. Durham, Mrs. John A. Hoffbauer, W. K. Mack, W. J. Seacox, C. Newgard, Joe Brandt, F. C. Reese, C. H. Stedfeldt, Joseph Baakkonen, Elsa E. Warren, Erik M. Seger, Adolph Peterson, Philip Teichner, John Olson, Alex Nykonen, Albin Nelson, Fred Hass, John Olson, Andrew Anderson, E. L. Ellison, Henry Hass, Rob Silverberg, G. A. Erickson, C. R. Benest, Swan Anderson, Charles Tindell, J. C. Alexander, John Rosslund, J. A. Liad, Gust Maxe, C. A. Menz, Herman T. Menz, John K. Johnson, John Lund, Nicholas Beste, C. G. Howe, Wm. A. Hanna, R. A. Kunde, J. A. Erickson, J. F. Kobel, Bruce Meyer, J. A. Peterson, A. L. Biern, Arthur Finney, M. H. Mayo, Jacob Wotl, Charles Devieau, Joe Devieau. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 2 & 3)


Said that Mayor R. A. Henning Ex-
ceeded the Time Limit and Gas
Franchise is a Law


Claimed that Presentation of Ordin-
ance Was Made on Evening
of February 2

There are rumors in the city that the gas ordinance became a law without Mayor R. A. Henning’s signature and that the executive of the city returned the ordinance after the five days time limit had expired, thus nullifying his veto.
It is claimed that on Monday evening, February 2, in the presence of councilmen, the ordinance was presented to the mayor by the city clerk.
The mayor, says the city clerk, thereupon returned the ordinance to him and then asked that it be sent to him on the morning of Tuesday, February 3. On Tuesday morning it was sent to the mayor, Chief Quinn acting as messenger.
The point now argued about in the city is regarding the date of presentation. The Dispatch previously telephoned the city clerk as to when the time for returning the ordinance expired and he said it was Monday morning, February 9.
However, the law governs what a presentation is. Section 18 of the city charter reads in part: “If any ordinance or resolution shall not be returned by the mayor within 5 days, Sundays and holidays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall have the same force and effect as if approved by the mayor.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1914, p. 3, c. 3)


Given to Mayor R. A. Henning Be-
fore He Vetoed the Gas

Feb. 7, 1914.

Honorable R. A. Henning,
Mayor of the city of Brainerd.
Dear Sir:
Replying to your request of the 7th last for my opinion as to the legal sufficiency of the gas franchise, being Ordinance No. 259, recently passed by the council of the city of Brainerd, I beg leave to submit the following opinion:
1. The ordinance expressly incorporates by reference Section 2843, Revised Laws 1905, which provides for purchase of the plant by the city at any five-year interval, but does not include a reference to Section 1376, General Statutes 1913, which provides that, in the event of such a purchase, neither the value of any earning power of such utility, nor the unexpired portion of the franchise granted, shall be included in the valuation at which the city may purchase.
2. The ordinance provides that the quality of gas furnished shall not fall below sixteen-candle power, nor below five hundred and fifty British Thermal Units, but provides no way for enforcing such provisions other than the general forfeiture clause, which, would not furnish an adequate remedy, since it would be manifestly inexpedient to forfeit the franchise after the citizens had placed themselves in a position where they would be more or less dependent upon a supply of gas. In my opinion there should be a provision imposing a penalty in the shape of liquidated damages, or a reduction the price of the gas, in case this provision in the ordinance is violated.
3. There is no provision in the present ordinance requiring a constant pressure. Mr. Pillsbury, the expert to whom the question of a gas franchise was submitted last summer expressed the opinion that such a provision should be in a gas franchise.
4. Section 6 of the ordinance provides that the council shall have the right to condemn any pipes or other appliances placed in the streets “whenever the same are unfit for use, or dangerous to life or property,” but leaves the question of fact as to such unfitness or dangerous condition one which should have to be determined as the result of litigation. In my opinion, this section should provide for condemnation by the council, or preferably by the city engineer, whenever, in his opinion, the conditions mentioned exist.
For the reasons above indicated I cannot give my approval of the ordinance in its present form.
Very truly yours,
(Signed) D. A. HAGGARD,
DAH-N. City Attorney.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1914, p. 3, c. 4)


To Members of Brainerd City Council,
Dear Sirs:
Whereas, the citizens of Brainerd are desirous of securing the service of gas, it being a modern convenience, and
Whereas, it has been fully demonstrated that municipal ownership of all public utilities is the only logical manner in which a commodity commonly used by a community should be supplied, and
Whereas, the city council refused by a 6 to 4 vote to allow the people to decide the question of ownership at the special election, therefore
Be it resolved that we, the members of the Pine City Lodge No. 116 of Boilermakers and Iron Ship Builders of America, hereby go on record as favoring a municipal gas plant, and
Be it further resolved that we enter our emphatic protest against the dictatorial conduct of our six aldermen in attempting to decide this question of public importance, and
Be it further resolved that we demand of our city council that they submit this matter to the people and that they be governed solely by the express wish of the people in all matters of granting rights pertaining to public welfare, and
Be it further resolved that a copy of this resolution be sent the City Council and a copy to the daily and weekly papers.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 February 1914, p. 2, c. 4)


A. G. Whitney Addresses the Council
and Says Work Will be Com-
menced Under Same


All members of the city council were present Tuesday evening. President Lagerquist presided.


A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, addressed the council and said he and his associates had a valid contract with the city of Brainerd for building and operating a gas plant and that they would proceed to work under its provisions. He was very sorry the aldermen had not seen fit to vote unanimously on the proposition. He and his associates had accepted the contract as made and would build the plant. He hoped it would not be necessary to engage in any litigation.
“We shall stand on the contract as made,” said Mr. Whitney in conclusion.
Alderman Haake, seconded by Alderman Betzold, then made a motion that the gas ordinance be adopted.
Alderman Mahlum, seconded by Alderman Stallman, amended the motion to read that action be deferred to the next regular meeting. On a roll call on this motion the vote stood:
6 ayes, Aldermen Mahlum, Stallman, Hess, Smith, Peterson and Lagerquist. 4 nays, Aldermen Anderson, Betzold, Haake and Gallupe.
A. G. Whitney said he had been let to believe upon inquiry and reading of the franchise discussion that at least 90 percent of the people of Brainerd favored the gas ordinance and that was what he had based his present action on.
Mayor Henning addressed Mr. Whitney and said that in response to the appeal made by the Dispatch to have people write, telephone and talk to him on the matter of a gas franchise, he had received 7 letters, 4 telephone calls and the petitions. Then they had ceased. He said no people had stopped him on the street to protest about the franchise.
President Lagerquist then said, “You know why that happened,” and the mayor answered, “Yes.”
Mr. Whitney said there was not a fairer or more equitable franchise in the state of Minnesota. Any engineer would say so who had examined its provisions.
Mr. Whitney asked Mr. Henning where he gained the material for some of his objections and he said from engineers’ reports and from the city attorney, the latter giving him the legal phase.
The mayor started to talk to the council on the gas franchise and the president of the council waved his gavel. Mr. Henning sat down, objecting.
“You are on the floor more than any other citizen,” said Pres. Lagerquist. “You must give the ten councilmen some credit for having brains of their own. When we want information we shall ask you for it.”
Mr. Whitney resumed the floor and said that any competent engineer would give it as his opinion that the city was amply protected. Regarding the 550 British Thermal Units so much referred to, he said their plant at St. Cloud ran from 575 to 625 British Thermal Units year in and year out. The city had the right to inspect the quality of the gas. He believed in being conservative in his statements regarding gas pressure. But he assured people that Brainerd gas which he would furnish and the gas at St. Cloud which he now furnished would come nearer the 600 mark when tested. It was in the interest of every gas company to keep its gas near the 600 British Thermal Units work. The standard throughout the country was 16-candle power and 550 British Thermal Units.
A resolution from the boilermakers union on the gas franchise stating they favored a municipal plant was read, accepted and filed without debate. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 February 1914, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)


Judge C. W. Stanton Sustains Attor-
ney M. E. Ryan on Every
Point He Advanced


Judge Stanton Reviews Controversy—Determines Date of Present-
ment as February 2

A decision by Judge C. W. Stanton, of Bemidji, sustains in every point the contentions of the Light & Power Co., of St. Cloud, that Mayor Henning’s veto was too late to invalidate their Brainerd gas franchise. It is a great victory for Attorney M. E. Ryan, counsel for the company.
The case was taken to the district court and entered State of Minnesota ex rel, Light & Power company, a corporation, petitioner, vs. V. N. Roderick, as the city clerk of Brainerd, correspondent.
In legal phraseology it states that “the above entitled proceedings came before the court at chambers, in the city of Brainerd, in said fifteenth judicial district, on the 16th day of March, 1914, the return day of the alternative writ of mandamus theretofore issued herein, Mr. M. E. Ryan appearing as attorney for the relator, and Mr. D. A. Haggard appearing as attorney for the respondent. On petition and motion Mr. R. A. Henning was permitted by the court to intervene as a party respondent and to interpose his answer, to which order objection was by by the relator. To the ruling of the court the relator excepted.
Respondent V. N. Roderick made return and answer to the petition and alternative writ, whereupon the relator demurred to the answer of both V. N. Roderick, the respondent, and R. A. Henning, intervener, on the grounds that the facts alleged in said answers, and each of them, failed to show a defense to the petition and writ herein.
After careful consideration of the petition and answers and the arguments of counsel, and being fully advised in the premises,
It is ordered that the demurrers to each of said answers be and they are hereby sustained; and
Ordered further that a preemptory writ of mandamus issued herein as prayed for.
Let judgment be entered accordingly.
Dated April 1, 1914. Signed, C. W. Stanton, District Judge.
In his memorandum Judge Stanton reviews the case and says: “the determinative question in this controversy is whether, under the agreed facts as disclosed by the pleadings, the ordinance was ‘presented’ to the mayor on February 2nd or on February 3rd. If it was presented on Monday, February 2nd, it must have been returned by the mayor not later than Saturday, February 7th, in order to give the mayor’s objections any legal effect; or, in other words, if not returned on or before February 7th, it became a legally adopted ordinance without reference to any subsequent act of the mayor. But, if it was not presented until February 3rd, the mayor could make his objections effective by returning it on Monday, February 9th.
“That the ordinance was not only presented to the mayor by the city clerk on February 2nd, but then actually delivered to and taken into physical possession by the mayor, is admitted by the answers; and the mayor’s answer recites, further, that he ‘returned said ordinance to the city clerk’ and requested the said clerk to ‘take back said ordinance.’
“There seems, therefore, to be no room to doubt that the ordinance was fully and completely presented to the mayor on February 2nd and that he knew and understood just what it was. His duty and responsibility was then plain. He had five days thereafter in which to act, and if he failed to act within that time the ordinance would become a law pursuant to the mandatory provisions of the city charter. He certainly could not avoid this responsibility and nullify the requirements of the charter by returning the ordinance to the clerk and directing him to ‘take it back’ and to present it again on the following day. If he could thus extend the time in which the city charter required him to act, for a day, it follows logically that he could in the same manner have extended it for several days, or a week, or a month, or for any period of time to suit his convenience or inclination.
“On principle it therefore seems plain to me that the ordinance was presented to the mayor on February 2nd. And there is judicial authority to sustain this view.
“The substance of the opinion in State of Louisiana vs Michel, 49 L. R. A. 218, is set forth in the syllabus as follows:
“A bill which has passed both houses of the general assembly, and been signed by the presiding officers thereof, is presented to the governor within the meaning of the constitution, when the clerk of the house of representatives or secretary of the senate carries the same to the executive office and offers or tenders it to the governor or his secretary.
“See also McKenzie vs Moor, 14 L. R. A. 251.”
The franchise of the gas company having thus been declared legal by a court decision, Brainerd may soon see the building of the plant, the laying of the mains, the erection of the gas tank, all giving employment to many men and being a contributing factor to an era of prosperity this season such as Brainerd has never witnessed before. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 April 1914, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)


Whitney Says Gas Plant Contemplat-
ed for Brainerd Will Cost from
$100,000 to $125,000

The St. Cloud Journal Press quotes A. G. Whitney regarding the recent decision in the gas plant matter as follows:
“A. G. Whitney of this city, president of the Light and Power company in speaking of the matter said that the decision was just as he expected it to be but said nothing in regard to the erection of the plant would be done for several weeks.
“We expect,” said Mr. Whitney, “that Mayor Henning and the City Attorney of Brainerd, since they are firm in the belief that they are in the right, will not stop with the district court on so grave a matter, but will appeal to the supreme court in an effort to prove the righteousness of their stand. In view of this belief,” Mr. Whitney went on, “the Light and Power Co. do not feel justified in going to any more expense than is necessary until assurance is given that the gas franchise ordinance question is entirely settled. Our opinion is that the decision of the district court was proper and we believe that the supreme court will sustain and confirm the decision of the lower court. However, until this is done we will hold from doing anything definite in the way of the erection of a plant.”
When asked what sort of a plant the company had in mind, Mr. Whitney replied: “Our present idea of the gas plant to be erected in Brainerd is an exact duplicate of the plant in this city, which we think is as perfect as a gas plant is able to be. The capacity is sufficient to supply gas to the city without being taxed and since Brainerd is not larger than St. Cloud we think a duplication of the local plant in that city will be entirely satisfactory. The erection of such a plant will cost between $100,000.00 and $125,000.00.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 April 1914, p. 3, c. 3)

Hunters shooting at insulators on the Cuyuna Range Power Co. pole line are reported to have caused the temporary breakdown in service from 2:30 to 4 o’clock this morning. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 September 1914, p. 2, c. 3)


Gas Company People Headed by A. G.
Whitney Purchase Location
and Deal is Closed

The St. Cloud people headed by A. G. Whitney who are to put in a gas plant in Brainerd are reported to have decided upon the site and the purchase price and the deal will be closed in a few days. Abstracts of the property are now being examined by the attorneys. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 October 1915, p. 5, c. 2)


Light & Power Co. of St. Cloud, Com-
menced on Sewer, 200 feet
Being Laid


Site of 300 Feet Square Near Laurel
St. Bridge Purchased from
A. A. White

The Light & Power Co. of St. Cloud, headed by A. G. Whitney, has commenced operations in Brainerd starting their gas plant. A site measuring a whole city block 300 feet square was purchased from A. A. White and is situated near the Laurel street river bridge.
George Spiering is in charge at Brainerd and a crew of men brushed out a path 10 feet wide and the laying of a sewer from the river to the site is underway, some 200 feet having been laid. Plans are now being made for the plant proper and the gas holder. Plans have also been made for nine miles of mains in the city. These will be five inch mains.
Supt. Spiering showed his goodwill toward Brainerd by purchasing every bit of material and supplies in Brainerd. Labor will be trained to various positions at the gas plant thus making it practically a house concern. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 October 1915, p. 5, c. 1)


A. J. Bemis, General Manager of the
Light & Power Co. Gives the
Dispatch an Interview


Company Anxious to Push the Work
and It is Hoped Suitable
Trackage Can be Located.

A. J. Bemis of Chicago, recently appointed general manager of the A. G. Whitney public utility interests arrived in Brainerd last night and will be in the city for a few days.
“Construction on the Brainerd gas plant will begin just as soon as the council passes favorably on the location of the side track to the proposed plant on the south side,” said Mr. Bemis in an interview given the Dispatch. Mr. Bemis’ trip to Brainerd has been to get in touch with the local situation, meet the people, look over the ground and see what has been accomplished.
“We hope to complete the plant before May,” said Mr. Bemis. “Three months from the time the frost is out of the ground we should have all mains laid to the business district and to most of the residential sections.”
“Delay in operations cannot be traced to the Light & Power Co.,” said Mr. Bemis. “The company has been anxious to push the work and it is hoped that suitable trackage can be located in the most advantageous situation for the company, for upon it will be brought in the material and equipment and unloaded directly upon the ground.”
“The company will spend in Brainerd from $50,000 to $100,000. Local men will be employed except where experts are necessary. The gas holder will be one of about 50,000 cubic feet capacity, and the plant modern in every respect.”
Mr. Bemis will devote a good deal of his time to Brainerd in connection with the new work and is very much impressed with the town’s future.
The public utilities controlled by A. G. Whitney embrace the electric, gas and street railway at St. Cloud, together with twenty other towns which include Annandale, Paynesville, Cokato, Maple Lake, Dassel, Howard Lake, Eden Valley, Watkins, Kimball, Waverly, Rockville, St. Joseph, Richmond, Cold Springs, Sauk Rapids and of these properties and the gas plant at Brainerd, Mr. Bemis is general manager. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 January 1916, p. 5, c. 1)


Trackage Ordinance Permitting Gas
Company to Cross Laurel Street
Adopted Unanimously

The most important business considered was the trackage ordinance which was adopted without a dissenting vote, all aldermen being present, and which gives the Light & Power Co. and Northern Pacific railway the right to cross Laurel street with a continuation of the spur track now passing the flour mill and extending to the site of the proposed gas plant.
The city attorney maintained that some compensation should be named for the use of the street as provided by statute and $1 was designated. A. J. Bemis, general manager of the Light & Power Co., thanked the council for the consideration shown the company and stated that material would be on the ground as soon as the frost was out of the ground. The best gas plant known was to be built. They wanted to boost Brainerd and make it twice its size.
Accompanying Mr. Bemis was C. D. Grinnelis [sic] of St. Cloud and H. G. Williams. Mr. Williams has had much experience in the manufacture of gas having been with the United Gas Improvement Co. of Philadelphia and the American Gas Co. of the same city. He has put in the past ten years with gas companies. He will have charge of the gas plant in St. Cloud, Brainerd, Sauk Rapids and East St. Cloud.


(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

Now that the matter of trackage is settled it is expected that work on the new gas plant will be pushed to completion as soon as spring opens. The St. Cloud gentlemen who appeared before the council last evening and who have been gathering data in the city for some days expressed themselves as well pleased over the prospects and assured the people of Brainerd that the plant would be in operation by July 1st. It now seems that the long expected advent of a gas plant in Brainerd is to become a reality. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 1916, p. 4, c. 1)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., of St.
Cloud, Makes Brainerd Princi-
pal Place of Business


Northern Pacific Railway Co. to Soon
Build Spur Track, Gas Tank
to be Built Soon

The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has been incorporated for $100,000, by St. Cloud capitalists, with Brainerd as its principal place of business and St. Cloud as its principal branch office. The incorporators are President, A. G. Whitney, vice president, R. L. Gale; secretary, A. J. Bemis; treasurer, F. H. Collingson, and G. W. Plank.
Mr. Whitney is one of the most prominent capitalists of the northwest, being at the head of the Whitney utilities of St. Cloud and surrounding territory, his activities include the operation of gas and electric plants, electric street railway and other industries.
R. L. Gale is the president of the Cold Storage Co. of St. Cloud A. J. Bemis is a well known engineering expert and the general manager of all of the Whitney utilities. F. H. Collingson is of St. Cloud. G. W. Plank is the private secretary of Mr. Whitney.
Construction work will soon be underway for the large gas plant in Brainerd. the Northern Pacific railway is about to commence construction of a spur track to the gas plant site. Mains will soon be laid and the town served in summer.
Mr. Whitney has been in Florida some time and is expected in Brainerd and St. Cloud within two weeks and will devote much personal attention to the project. H. G. Williams in charge of gas plants, will superintend operations in Brainerd and is enthusiastic over Brainerd and the prospects for doing business.
G. W. Plank, private secretary of A. G. Whitney, was in Brainerd today and recorded the incorporation papers. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 April 1916, p. 5, c. 1)

...The extra gang of 25 men is now engaged in laying the spur track to the site of the new gas plant, the track to extend 400 feet south of Laurel street at a point near the Mississippi bridge. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 April 1916, p. 5, c. 1)


Two Cars of Brick, Three Cars of
Tank Material Arrive at Gas
Company Plant in Brainerd

On completion of the spur track to the site of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. proposed plant, two cars of brick and three cars of gas tank material have arrived and it marks the commencement of active work at the plant. The gas company superintendent of construction is on the ground and has established his home in Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 April 1916, p. 5, c. 3)


45 to 50 Men Under Orton Houck
Putting in Mains for Brainerd
Gas & Electric Co.


House-to-House Canvas to be Made
for all Desiring to Use Gas—
Route of the Mains

Forty-five to fifty men are now given employment in Brainerd laying the mains for the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Orton Houck is in charge of the work. Mains have been laid down Broadway to Oak and east on Oak.
Wednesday a four-horse breaking plow attacked the alley between Front and Laurel streets, on the north side, starting work for the pick and shovel men and today they are out in force digging from Broadway west to the plant.
In a few days solicitors for the gas company will make a thorough canvass of the city to get subscribers for gas service. The company is fulfilling every pledge made and is assured of doing a successful business in Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 May 1916, p. 5, c. 4)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Company has
About Two or Three Miles More
to Lay in City


Machinery Being Unloaded—Pushing
Machine Shoves Mains 182 Ft.
Under Railway Crossing

G. E. Whitney, head of the Whitney Public Utilities, of St. Cloud and A. J. Bemis general manager, were in Brainerd today, accompanied by H. G. Williams, general superintendent of the gas departments of the company, and inspected construction work at the site and the laying of mains being done by the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co.
Mr. Whitney presented gas to Brainerd early in July, and the novelty of a Fourth of July dinner cooked on a gas range is a possibility. Mr. Whitney has recently returned from the south and Panama where he spent the winter. After a short swing about the streets inspecting the varied activities of his many companies, he will attend the graduation exercises of his son at Yale and his daughter at an eastern school. He looks well and hearty and his southern trip has restored him to his usual good health.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is making continual progress and is rapidly finishing its system of mains about the city. Two or three miles more remain to be laid and will be put in within a week. Orion Houck has charge of the crews.
What bothers some Brainerd people is wondering how the company will shove a main under cement paving. They have a pushing machine for such a purposes. The machine has pushed 182 feet of gas main under one of the railway crossings. Under the Broadway crossing the machine pushed 161 feet.
25,000 gallons of crude oil have been received. A carload of machinery is being unloaded at the site today. Within a week six or seven crews of five or six men each will start on service work connecting houses to the gas mains.
Sales and display rooms will be maintained in the Citizens State bank building, 613 Laurel street. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 June 1916, p. 5, c. 1)


Crews Take up Sod to Lay House
Connections and Replace Grass
Very Carefully


Fifteen Houses Connected Saturday
—Three Pipe Fitters and Help-
ers are at Work

The gas company is now busily engaged with crews laying connections from the street mains into the residences. One of the Dispatch subscribers says that his heart jumped when he looked out of his window one morning and saw 75 feet of his sod dug up, but when he returned later in the day it was virtually impossible for passersby to see that the lawn had ever been stepped on, much less cut into. He is full of praise for this crew and wants to advise others who have smart looking lawns that they need have no fear when they see the “gas men” in their yards. It is seldom that laborers take such pains not to undo in one day what a property owner works at for a long time to have appear neat.
On Saturday connections had been made with 15 houses on the north side. Canvas is placed on the lawns and the sand from the excavations is placed on the same. Dirt is tamped from the bottom up when replaced and the utmost care is exercised so that the lawn shows no ill effects.
Three pipe fitters and a crew of helpers are working steadily putting in the connections.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. will have its offices at 613 Laurel street, Citizens State bank building. Brainerd paperhangers and decorators were sent to St. Cloud to view the company’s offices there and to gain first hand the style of decorations to be used at the Brainerd quarters. It is expected to open the Brainerd office within ten days. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 June 1916, p. 5, c. 3)


H. G. Williams, Superintendent of
the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co.
Made the Statement


Meters to be Installed Just Before
Service Given—Restaurants
and Others to Use Gas

In a statement made, H. G. Williams, superintendent of gas plants of the Whitney Utilities, promised gas in Brainerd on August 10. Delays have been occasioned by the non-delivery of needed material in the construction of the gas plant. These have now all been surmounted.
Crews are at work connecting houses with the mains. Meters will be installed shortly before the plant operates.
It is expected to start with at least 400 patrons when gas is turned on.
To many a Brainerd housewife this will be her first experiment in cooking with gas and the results will be watched with interest in every block in town. Confectioners, newspapers, garages, restaurants, hotels, etc., are also installing gas.
The local plant will be managed by Supt. Williams. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 August 1916, p. 5, c. 1)


Following a satisfactory adjustment of the differences at the gas plant, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., where tanks and holders are in course of erection, the strike of boilermakers and helpers has been called off, said J. G. Brown, business agent of the boilermakers’ union.
There was no trouble whatever with the gas company, the differences arising over wage scales as paid by the subcontractor of the general contractor. H. G. Williams, superintendent of the gas company, and C. O. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., were anxious to adjust all matters and things have been arranged to the complete satisfaction of all involved. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1916, p. 5, c. 2)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Gives
Deed to Chicago Savings Bank
& Trust Company


Real Estate Enumerated, Conduits,
Etc., Secured by First Mortgage
6 Percent Gold Bonds

The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has given a trust deed to the Chicago Savings Bank & Trust Co. and William T. Bacon, Trustee, covering their gas plant in Brainerd, real estate, conduits, etc., secured by a first mortgage of 6 per cent gold bonds of a total authorized base of $600,000, dated September 1, 1916 and due Sept. 1, 1936.
The real estate includes all that portion of government lot 2 to section 25, township 43, range 31, lying and being between the southerly line of Laurel street and the north line of Bluff Avenue (now Maple street) produced west, and between the west line of Bluff Avenue and the Mississippi river, the company excepting riparian rights therein from its warranty of the real estate mentioned.
It is expected to supply Brainerd with gas on or about August 25. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1916, p. 5, c. 2)


Machinery Started up at Brainerd
Gas & Electric Co. Plant in Pres-
ence of Invited Friends of


Head of Whitney Public Utilities
Much Pleased to See the Plant
Commence Operations

At the invitation of A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, head of the Whitney public utilities, the man who made possible a modern gas plant in Brainerd, friends witnessed the starting up of the machinery and the making of the first gas ever manufactured in this city.
The plant of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is situated near the Mississippi bridge and Laurel street. The gas station is a two-story brick building 85 feet long and 45 feet wide, two stories in height. In it are located the generator room, compressor room, etc., and attached to it is the coke shed.
At 12:30 o’clock in the presence of President Whitney, D. C. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., H. G. Williams, general superintendent of the gas department, Jerome Spiering, the local superintendent, and these Brainerd citizens, Henry I. Cohen, N. H. Ingersoll, F. A. Farrar, R. R. Wise, R. M. Sheets, M. C. Sheets, J. W. Koop, F. H. Simpson, John A. Hoffbauer, Carl Adams, C. E. Hansing, steam was turned on and the blower started. At 12:55 the compressor started in action.
The making of gas was now underway and by evening the gas lights will be turned on at the office of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., 612 Laurel street, in the Citizens State bank building. Tuesday morning the installation of meters will be carried on at homes, restaurants, schools and other places contracting to take gas, following which the mains will be pumped clear of air and the gas turned on.
D. C. Tenney, constructor of the plant, gave a talk on how the gas was manufactured and explained every step of the process. It is known as the Tenney carborated water gas process. The visitors inspected the generator, blower, holder, condenser, two purifying boxes, compressor, the six gas storage tanks, each having a capacity of 10,000 cubic feet at 80 pounds, and the oil tank nearby. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)


A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, Host at
a Dinner at the Ransford Hotel
at 1 O’clock

At 1 o’clock A. G. Whitney, president of the Whitney Utilities, was the host at a dinner at the Ransford. It was an informal affair and signalized the auspicious day when gas was first supplied the city of Brainerd.
At the head of the table sat Mr. Whitney. The guests included R. R. Wise, F. A. Farrar, N. H. Ingersoll, C. E. Hansing, R. M. Sheets, M. C. Sheets, A. B. Witling, H. G. Williams, Jerome Spiering, J. W. Koop, F. H. Simpson, John A. Hoffbauer, Carl Adams, Henry I. Cohen.
Mayor R. A. Beise was out of the city and so was not able to respond to the invitation to dinner.
As the meal progressed, Mr. Whitney told of his experience in Brainerd.
“Two years ago in May I asked for a gas franchise in Brainerd,” said Mr. Whitney. “Since then it has been steady work and the surmounting of considerable obstacles in the securing of material and supplies to finish the plant. Brainerd now has one of the most modern gas plants in the country.”
“Henry I. Lee of Chicago, a gas expert, said it was just a little better than the best he had seen,” said Mr. Whitney.
“I want you all to take a look at the lights at the offices of the gas company in the Citizens State bank building this evening. You will find them the best lights Brainerd has ever had.”
Sixteen years ago, said Mr. Whitney, he took over the gas plant at St. Cloud, which was then in the receiver's hands. By close application to business, by putting in needed improvements, by giving the best of service, the plant has been put on a good paying basis and it has the good will of the citizens.
“You have capable men in your employ,” said Mr. Cohen, as he waved his hand in the direction of Mr. Williams, Mr. Spiering and the others.
“Yes,” said Mr. Whitney, “I have not been in Brainerd since June 1. At that time things were in such fine shape that I went home pleased and happy over everything. Since then the boys have worked hard to complete the plant and they have been successful inspite of all obstacles which may have cropped up.”
Mr. Whitney motored to Brainerd this morning, making the trip from St. Cloud to Brainerd in two and a half hours. He praised the good roads.
It is no wonder that operations conducted by Mr. Whitney are successful. He has that eye for detail and that grasp of affairs which spells success, and he stirs up the enthusiasm of all associated with him in his numerous enterprises. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c. 5)


D. C. Tenney of American Gas Con-
struction Co., Tells How Gas
is Made

D. C. Tenney, vice president of the American Gas Construction Co., explained the process of gas making to the visitors. The gas is what is known as carborated water gas, being the latest thing for towns of 15,000 people.
The blower, which was first started up, gets the heat on the gas generator, which is heated to about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit. The steam is introduced on the body of coke and decomposes the steam into blue water gas.
From the generator the gas passes into the carburetor, where oil is jetted on the gas, giving it its illuminating qualities. From there it passes through the super-heater, where the gas is fixed. From there it goes to the wash box and then into the relief holder.
It is then brought back through the purifier to the compressor and pumped into the high pressure storage tank and then distributed through the governor to the street mains.
It enters these mains at a pressure of five pounds and is reduced down to supply gas to the consumer at two and one-half inches.
The gas is of standard quality running from 18 to 20 candle power and has a heating value of 550 British thermal units. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1916, p. 5, c.’s 5-7)

Brainerd now ranks with those cities which offer among other commodities for the comfort of present and prospective citizens gas for lighting and cooking purposes, and the people of this city hail with delight the fact that work on the plant of Brainerd Gas & Electric company has progressed so far that the product is now being made and that within a very few days the gas plant will be in full operation. The acquisition of a gas plant gives Brainerd one more point to her advancement and Mr. Whitney and his associates, who made gas possible in this city, are to be congratulated upon their efforts. The plant is up-to-date, adequate, neat in appearance and furnishes Brainerd one more industry that employs labor and adds to the wealth of the community. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1916, p. 4, c. 1)


Offices of Brainerd Gas & Electric
Co. 613 Laurel Street, Illum-
inated Last Night

The offices of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. 613 Laurel street, of the Citizens State bank building, were illuminated Monday evening with gas. The new fixtures showed up in fine shape. Many visited the offices and examined the gas stoves, fixtures, etc.
Today men are busily engaged in installing meters in the residences, restaurants, schools and other places contracting to take gas. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1916, p. 5, c. 3)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Soon to
have Twenty Men at Work
Putting in Service Mains in City

Shortly Afterwards the Crew of Ten will Fol-
low and Make the Connections
for the Gas Ranges

From 200 to 400 residences are to be given gas service this spring and the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. will soon have a crew of twenty men, all experienced, at work under the direction of Foreman Fred T. Tracy adding so many more patrons to the service.
Miles of gas mains were laid last year and the company was unable to supply all with gas as it was impossible to lay the additional service mains after the heavy frosts set in.
Shortly after the service mains are put in this spring, a crew of ten men will follow and connect up the gas ranges. Supt. Jerome C. Spiering has local men for all this work, men who take pride in doing as little damage, if any at all, to any lawn which must be taken up in spots to permit excavation work. Every bit of sod is carefully replaced, and all dirt is placed on canvas, to be replaced when the job is finished. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 April 1917, p. 1, c. 1)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. and Do-
mestic Science Girls Received
the Visitors


Food Prepared Before Visitors’ Eyes,
Gas Shown to be a Cheap Fuel
in This City

The gas range demonstration given under the auspices of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. at their offices in the Citizens State bank block attracted scores of visitors July 9 and 10.
J. W. Forbes, of Aurora, Ill., who has been twenty years with the Rathbone- Sard Co., manufacturers of gas ranges and A. J. Allen of Minneapolis, district salesman of the company, and a number of the domestic science girls of the Brainerd high school demonstrated the advantages of cooking and baking with a gas range.
Mr. Forbes is sales manager for western territory and in addition a designer and so knows the ranges and every point of excellence.
“During the demonstration here,” said Mr. Forbes, “the main object was to show the operation of the gas ranges and the efficient work that can be done with them.”
“It is a fact that gas is the cheapest fuel in the city today,” said he.
“The splendid cooking and baking as exemplified by the domestic science girls shows that by the perfect operation of gas as fuel a girl 13 or 14 years old can step into a kitchen and bake and cook as the best housewife. Their results attained shows the ranges hold the proper heating temperature. A gas range will produce any amount of heat required by any housewife,” said Mr. Forbes in conclusion.
Miss Grace Drexler marshaled the girls and those present were the Misses Myrtle Bredenberg, Martha Moe, Helen McCaffrey, Myrtle Olson, Cecilia Furst, Mary Peterson, Elsie Anderson, Marie Gabiou and Cleo McGill.
That the demonstration was a success it may be noted that 95 stoves including two hotel ranges were sold and are ready to be set up as soon as the crew of men get to it.
The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. wished especially to thank Miss Elizabeth Sheldon, Principal R. R. Denison and their pupils in the high school for their kindly cooperation. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 July 1917, p. 5, c. 3)

Four connections a day with home ranges are being made by the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Ten men are engaged in ditch work and two house piping crews are steadily at work. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 July 1917, p. 2, c. 3)


Citizens of Brainerd:
No one regrets as we do the shutdown of our gas plant on December 24th. All of the gas making machinery was furnished by one of the largest and best manufacturers of gas machinery in the country, approved by our Chicago engineer of national reputation, and we believed that from an operating standpoint a shutdown of the plant was practically an impossibility for many years to come. However, the flues in the boiler gave way and the only thing we could do was to shut down the plant and make the necessary repairs. This has been done by working a crew of men night and day and the gas was turned on to the mains this morning.
I want to say to the citizens of Brainerd that we are ordering a second unit, which will be installed in the gas plant as soon as it can be delivered and as soon as this unit is installed, we will have everything in duplicate, putting us in position to eliminate the danger of a recurrence of a shutdown of this kind. Under present conditions it will take a reasonable length of time to get the necessary apparatus on to the ground and get it installed, but I can assure you no time will be lost on our part. I have been engaged in the public utility business for eighteen years and this is the first trouble of this kind that has ever occurred, and no one feels this loss of service as I do, not only for myself but for our many good customers at Brainerd.
Thanking you for your patience, I am,
Yours very truly,
President of the Brainerd
Gas & Electric Company.
December 27, 1917.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 December 1917, p. 5, c.’s. 4 & 5)


The Brainerd Gas and Electric Com-
pany Announce that They Have
Purchased and Will Install


Of $10,000 This Unit by June 30
Which Will Insure Continuous
Service at the Plant

The Brainerd Gas and Electric company announces the purchase of a duplicate gas generating set. This machinery will be shipped to Brainerd on April 1st, 1918, and be installed and ready for operation by June 30th, 1918.
This unit will represent an additional investment by the company at this time of over $10,000, and is being installed to insure a continuity of service, and will practically preclude future shutdowns at their plant.
The American Gas Construction company, of Newton, Ia., have the contract for this installation.
The company aim to make the Brainerd plant second to none in the northwest and will give the best service that any first-class institution of this character can be expected to furnish. It is the wish of the officers to cooperate with patrons in every way possible and any complaints will be taken care of in a perfectly satisfactory manner. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 March 1918, p. 5, c. 3)


Year’s Business Ending Dec. 31, 1917
Conducted at a Loss of Over
$8,000 in Brainerd

A. G. Whitney Exhibits Faith in Brainerd by
Ordering Installation of Additional
$10,000 Unit

The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. has filed with the city clerk its statement of the gross earnings and net earnings of the gas plant and property for the period commencing January 1, 1917, and ending on December 31, 1917 and shows a net loss of $8,582.77.
Gross earnings on gas were $13,386.23 and custom work and merchandise $4,221.68, making a total of $14,607.91. The operating expenses amounted to $23,190.68.
When the franchise was first granted the gas company, A. G. Whitney anticipated some loss would be incurred in the first five years, especially as gas was a new thing in Brainerd and time would have to be spent in a campaign of education in the use of gas.
The war raised the price of coal and coke to high points never figured on. The war has also advanced the costs of oil, machinery, etc.
In the face of all these high costs, the company exhibits its unlimited faith in Brainerd and plans the addition of a duplicate gas generating plant costing over $10,000, the machinery of which will be shipped to Brainerd on April 1 and be installed and ready for operation by June 30.
The unit is being installed to insure a continuity of service and will practically preclude any future shutdowns at the plant. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 March 1918, p. 1, c. 7)


When A. G. Whitney promised Brainerd good gas service he meant it and his words have been backed up by the announcement of the installation of a second unit to supplement the first and to obviate any breakdowns and guarantee continuity of service.
Mr. Whitney is not a man given to words and lets his deeds speak for themselves. The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is daily extending its service to the homes of Brainerd and housewives have become so accustomed to the use of gas for cooking that many could not get along without it and all wonder how they ever attended to kitchen economics without such a great convenience.
The company is facing high costs in coal, coke, oil, machinery, etc., war costs never anticipated by an engineer, but Mr. Whitney maintains his faith in Brainerd and the country at large and orders the extra unit.
Brainerd may well be proud of the St. Cloud man and his company who are in charge of the gas utility of this city. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 26 March 1918, p. 4, c. 2)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Asks for
Increase in Gas Rates Owing to
Increased War Costs

A. G. Whitney Presents Cause of Company

A. G. Whitney of the Gas & Electric Company presents his case to the public for an increase in rates, 11 May 1918. A 864x1344 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud appeared in behalf of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. and asked for an increase in rates on gas charged consumers, owing to the increased war costs on materials, supplies, labor, etc.
Wages, said he, had increased from 10 per cent to 40 percent. Steam coal had increased 120 percent in cost since the war started. Gas coal increased 160 percent. Gas oil 233 percent. Lubricants 40 percent. Boiler room supplies 29 percent. Wrought iron pipes 150 percent. Fire bricks 100 percent. Purifying materials 60 percent. Generating apparatus 100 percent.
The scale of rates for Brainerd under the ordinance had been prepared under normal conditions and no one at that time anticipated a European war. Taxes had increased, freights, etc.
On August 28, 1916, the plant had been started in Brainerd and it was expected to lose money the first two years. Last year the people did not buy stoves as freely as anticipated. The year 1917 was closed with 475 consumers in Brainerd. Today a high mark of 495 had been reached. There was carried $9,000 in supplies, stoves, etc., and on account of the war the company could not get the business.
There was a heavy loss for the company of $8,582.77 as mentioned in the statement filed with the city clerk.
Mr. Whitney asked for a general increase of 50 cents a thousand and the council committee had suggested 35 cents. Mr. Whitney asked for the raise during the war or until conditions had stabilized.
Last winter the company experienced a shutdown and to obviate any more trouble another unit had been ordered costing $10,000. The people of Brainerd were entitled to 100 percent efficiency in gas, water, electric light or any other public utility. He said the rates in Brainerd were low at the beginning and lower than many cities of the state enjoyed. Brainerd’s rate was $1.35 a thousand while Hibbing paid $1.80. Bemidji $1.85 and Crookston, too, was higher.
An increase of 35 cents a thousand would enable the company to do business until conditions became normal. It was the intention of the company, said Mr. Whitney, to extend gas service from Brainerd to neighboring towns. The Brainerd gas plant was essentially a Brainerd institution, at Brainerd and for Brainerd. The company had subscribed to the Liberty Loan, Red Cross, were members of the Chamber of Commerce.
Mr. Plank of the company had been in conference with the council special committee, Aldermen Stallman, Lyonais, Strickler and Hall.
Another meeting called for Monday was not held, said Mr. Whitney, as he had arrived late in Brainerd and believed that a complete report made to the council as a whole would do away with covering the same ground twice.
Alderman Lyonais said he thought company representatives would meet the people at a mass meeting. The people had some voice as they paid for the gas.
Mr. Whitney said the council represented the people, all the wards.
Alderman Andrew Anderson said there were three public utilities, and telephone and electricity and care should be taken in setting precedents.
The average bill for gas in Brainerd, counting 475 consumers, was $2.63 a month, said Mr. Whitney. A great deal depended on the care exercised in using gas. They had a cook in their family who served good meals and gave them plenty to eat and the gas bill was $7 a month. Another cook was engaged later when the first one left them, and she used $16 a month in gas and gave them nothing to eat.
Alderman Strickler wanted to know how the present gas tested, and was informed it was 16 to 18 candle power and that there was testing apparatus at the plant.
Alderman Anderson said the special committee should make a report. There was a recess of ten minutes and they conferred and then said they would report on Tuesday evening, at which time the council elects new officers.
Aldermen Hall and Turcotte expressed themselves in favor of granting the increase asked. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 May 1918, p. 1, c. 1; p. 5, c. 4)


Gas Company to Send Man to Brain-
erd to Visit Various Homes in the
City for Rechecking

A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, was in the city from St. Cloud this morning and in discussing the matter of a raise in the price of gas in Brainerd owing to war conditions, said:
“It has been brought to my personal attention that with some of the gas ranges the flame is too high and too red and that the flame pops out, and that some of our consumers have thought it was due to the quality of the gas. This is not the case. The gas manufactured in Brainerd averages fully 580 British Thermal Units in heat value and 16 candlepower continuously, while the standard is but 550 British Thermal Units and 16 candlepower. I know positively that there is not a plant in the state of Minnnesota that is furnishing a better quality of gas than the Brainerd plant. This trouble is purely local and is due wholly to improper regulation of the air mixer on the stove or an accumulation of dust in the burner. In order to correct this condition we shall send to Brainerd at once an expert gas engineer to visit the various homes in this city and carefully recheck and regulate, where necessary, every range and gas appliance including the governors. This expert will also give special instructions to all housewives and servants in the regulation of their ranges and other gas appliances. It is always our aim to furnish the best possible service to our consumers.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 May 1918, p. 5, c. 3)


A. G. Whitney of Brainerd Gas &
Electric Co., Wished Action on
Gas Amendment


Gives Order to Hold in Abeyance In-
stallation of New Unit—Boiler
Trouble at the Plant

In an interview with A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., the latter said:
“We were disappointed last night when your city council failed to pass the ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas and Electric company to add a surcharge to its gas bills during the period of the war. Much to our regret the matter was laid over for two weeks. This delay is exceedingly serious in view of the fact that our plant is not safe to run in its present condition with only one generating unit. We will have faith in the fairness of your local authorities and instead of canceling the order outright for our duplicate unit, costing $10,000.00 which unit is absolutely essential for continuity of service—the only service we would think of giving Brainerd—we have this morning sent the following telegram to the American Gas Construction Company of Newton, iowa, from whom we are purchasing the new unit:
Brainerd Minn., May 21, 1918.
American Gas Construction Co.,
Newton, Iowa.
Please hold order in abeyance, if possible, until after June third next council meeting here. Cannot accept any part of apparatus at this time and unless council permits increased rates will necessitate our canceling the order outright June fourth. Letter follows.
of St. Cloud,
A. G. Whitney, President.
“Yesterday, unfortunately we had the same trouble with our boiler that we had last Christmas and it was only the very best of good luck and by working a large force of men continually yesterday and all of last night that we were able to resume the making of gas this morning at 6:30. Due to the city water being shut off yesterday without notice we were not able to carry the usual quantity of stored gas. Our anxiety and haste in this matter is due to the fact that with but one generating unit installed, which has been in continuous service since August 28, 1916, the plant is left in a dangerous condition as it is well known that it is necessary to shutdown a boiler at regular intervals in order to keep it in a high state of efficiency. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 May 1918, p. 5, c. 2)


Not many months ago, the Brainerd gas plant failed to deliver the goods and many of our good housewives lost what they had prepared for the feast days of that time.
Mr. Whitney was very sorry that such a thing should come to pass and stated that in his many years of serving the public he had never failed before—or words to that effect. He added that a second unit would be ordered without delay and that it would be rushed so that no interruption would occur again. He would give this fair city of ours the kind of service it should have, the best, and asked us to have patience for just a short time and all would be satisfactory. We do not attempt the exact words of the head of our gas plant—they are a matter of record in the press—but we repeat the usual understanding taken from the statements made by Mr. Whitney and his superintendent at the time referred to.
On the 21st of this month, the Dispatch printed an interview with Mr. Whitney in which that gentleman is reported to have said that he is sorry that the city council failed to “pass the ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas & Electric company to add a surcharge to its gas bills during the period of the war.”
Right there is the first thing that causes us to question the whole proposition and we ask why the whole condition was not mentioned in Mr. Whitney’s statement for that ordinance so reads that the surcharge might be claimed for a very much longer period than for the duration of the war.
The gas company have given us all to understand that we would be supplied in the best manner with a good quality of gas and that it was only right that another unit should be added to the first one and that such was the original plan.
We have been given to understand that a plant would be installed in Brainerd which would give service equal to that given in any other city and the rate to be $1.35.
This rate looked pretty high when considered with the Duluth rate and the difference in cost of coal at the two places. However, we wanted gas and were willing to stand for the rate and otherwise boost for the improvement.
It would seem from the interview given out by the gas company on the 21st inst., that they have changed their minds about what is the right thing to do and now modify that proposition about installing the second unit unless the consumers pay for it by standing for a “surcharge” of 35c for the duration of the war and then some.
To show that the gas company is not bluffing (?) in this matter, they gave the press a copy of a telegram which, when given space in the paper, is only another way of saying that unless the gas consumers get this measure through there will be no second unit and they may not get uninterrupted service as was promised by the gas company.
Mr. Whitney states that his plant, or the boiler part of it, at least, is in a “dangerous condition” owing to there being only one unit installed. It would seem to us that it would be good business on the part of the gas company to install another unit and thereby protect its plant and keep to its word and agreement.
The city has done its part, just as it has agreed to do it and the consumers have done what they agreed to do. Both the city and the consumers have a right to expect the gas company to do as they have said they would do.
It is to be regretted that the war has reached its awful arm in our direction and we wish it might be over with as soon as possible. However, it is one of those conditions which have to be discounted when undertaking and business. If all the contracts being carried out by the consumers or some of them could also be favored with a ”surcharge” it might make a difference. Some of the rest of us did not figure the discount large enough and we are having to stand for it. We fail to see why we should have to stand for the failure of the “other fellow.”
If the city of Brainerd or the consumers have to pay for a second unit for the gas company, it might be good business to buy it for themselves and call it their first unit. It might be a good business. It is in Duluth and the rate there is 75c per. They have a good rate and good gas.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 May 1918, p. 4, c. 2)


The council Monday evening with seven members present voted 6 to 1 and passed the amendment to the gas ordinance permitting the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. to raise the price 35c a thousand for the duration of the war and not to exceed two years after peace is declared. (when it is believed normal conditions will be restored), and the older cheaper rate automatically takes effect again.
Voting aye were Aldermen Turcotte, Ole Anderson, Andrew Anderson, Gustafson, Stallman and President Koop.
Voting nay: Alderman Strickler.
Absent: Aldermen Hall, Peterson and Lyonais.
The amendment takes effect a week after its publication.
Speakers for the gas company and favoring granting the increase included M. E. Ryan, O. J. Oberst, F. H. Simpson, Henry I. Cohen and Carl Adams. Mr. Adams asserted that at the $1.60 net rate consumers would save 40 to 50 percent over any other kind of fuel. It must be remembered that all kinds of fuel have advanced in Brainerd.
Alderman Andrew Anderson reported a meeting of gas consumers he had called in the fourth ward for the purpose of getting their attitude on the increase in rates. Thirty-six were notified and twenty-five came to the meeting. When a vote was taken, twenty-three favored the increase. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 04 June 1918, p. 1, c. 1)


An Ordinance to amend Ordinance No. 259 of the city of Brainerd, Minnesota, entitled “Ordinance Number 259, an Ordinance granting unto the Light & Power Company, a corporation, organized under the laws of Minnesota, its successors and assigns, the right to construct, operate and maintain a gas plant and works for the manufacture and supplying of gas for all purposes in the city of Brainerd, Minnesota, and fixing the the rate to be charged for supplying gas for household, domestic and other purposes.”
The Council of the City of Brainerd do ordain:
Section 1. That Ordinance No. 259 of the ordinances of the City of Brainerd, Minnesota, is hereby amended by amending Section 10 thereof to read as follows, to wit:

Section 10. For and in consideraton of the rights and privileges granted by this ordinance, the said Grantee hereby agrees during the term hereof to furnish an adequate supply of gas of standard make, either carburetted water gas, or coal gas, or a mixture of the two, of the quality in this ordinance set forth, at a maximum price to private consumers not to exceed One and 50-100 Dollars ($1.50) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used for illuminating purposes, and not to exceed One and 35-100 Dollars ($1.35) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used for fuel purposes.
It is provided, however, that a discount of ten cents (10) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet shall be made to any consumer who shall pay the amount of his bill, less said reduction at the office of said Light & Power Company, its successors or assigns, in the City of Brainerd, Minnesota, in cash on or before the 20th day of the month succeeding that for which his bill is made; this discount to be for those using twenty thousand (20,000) cubic feet or less per month. For those using over twenty thousand (20,000) cubic feet and less than thirty thousand (30,000) cubic feet, fifteen (15) cents per thousand cubic feet; for those using over thirty thousand (30,000) cubic feet and less than forty thousand (40,000) cubic feet, twenty (20) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet and less than fifty thousand (50,0000) cubic feet, twenty-five (25) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet; for those using over fifty thousand (50,000) cubic feet and less than sixty thousand (60,000) cubic feet, thirty (30) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet; and for those using sixty thousand (60,000) cubic feet or more, thirty-five (35) cents per thousand (1,000) cubic feet.
Provided, further that the said Light & Power Company, its successors or assigns, hereby agree with the City of Brainerd, Minnnesota, by the acceptance hereof to furnish said city for street lighting purposes only, street lamps to be furnished by the city, wherever its pipes may be located, such gas as may be required by the city for ninety (90) percent of the regular minimum price at the time gas is used.
Said Light & Power Company, its successors and assigns, further agree to reduce the price of gas at the rate of five (5) cents per thousand cubic feet when the output shall have reached twenty-five million (25,000,000) cubic feet per annum.
Provided, however, any provision of this ordinance to the contrary notwithstanding, that, by reason of the sudden and unprecedented increase in the costs of manufacturing and supplying artificial gas resultant from conditions brought about by the present war, said Grantee, its successors and assigns, is hereby granted the right, for and during the period of the present war and thereafter until conditions again become normal, meaning by normal condition the conditions which would have been attained normally had war conditions not intervened, which shall not exceed two (2) years next following the date of the Proclamation by the President of the United States of the exchange of ratifications of the Treaty of Peace, to add to its bills for gas furnished to said city and its inhabitants for illuminating and fuel purposes an emergency “surcharge” of thirty-five cents (35c) per thousand (1,000) cubic feet of gas used.

Section 2. That the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company, the assignee of the Grantee named in said Ordinance Number 259, shall file its written acceptance hereof with the City Clerk of the City of Brainerd within thirty (30) days after the passage and publication of this ordinance.
Section 3. this ordinance shall take effect and be in force for the period hereinbefore specified from and after one (1) week after the day of its publication, it being the intention of said council that at the expiration of said period said Section 10 of said Ordinance No. 259 shall forthwith be reinstated according to its original terms.
Passed at a regular meeting of said council held on the 3rd day of June, 1918.
President of the Council of the
City of Brainerd, Minnesota.
City Clerk.
(Seal of the City of Brainerd)
Approved this 6th day of June, 1918.
Mayor, City of Brainerd.
Published June 6th, 1918.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 June 1918, p. 6, c.’s 5 & 6)


Brainerd Gas Plant Installing New
Unit Fire Brick Coming
From St. Louis

The Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. is installing its second unit, having boiler and shell work in. A special size firebrick is coming from St. Louis and construction work awaits its arrival. Packing, valves, fittings, etc., are here. H. S. Boyd, constructing engineer, is in charge, with a crew of five men.
J. H. Viereg, superintendent came from St. Cloud to view construction.
A. B. Willing, local superintendent, has a crew laying mains and putting in new service connections. Four hundred feet of new main was laid last week. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 19 June 1918, p. 5, c. 1)


Mrs. A. M. McQuaig of New York
City in City to Interest People
in New Laundry Method

An ad for the Locomotive Electric Washer, soon to be demonstrated by Mrs. McQuaig, 13 October 1919.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Mrs. A. M. McQuaig of New York City has arrived in Brainerd and will demonstrate at the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., the new Locomotive washing machine. She is well versed in the capabilities of washing machinery and believes the electro-gas type one that all women should see. She will remain a week or more at the gas company offices. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 October 1919, p. 3, c. 2)


Statement of Secretary of Brainerd
Gas & Electric Company is


Net Earnings Were $27,758.50
General Expenses Were

According to the statement of the secretary of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. as filed with the city clerk, the Brainerd Gas & Electric Company did business here last year at a loss of $14,637.85.
The net earnings were $27,758.50 and the general expense $42,396.35.
In the section devoted to gross earnings, the gas sales amounted to $27,952.43. Merchandise sales amounted to $9,180.27 less labor $1,040.58 and material $6,762.17 total of $7,802.75 leaving net $1,377.52. This plus the gross gas sales made $29,329.95 less discounts gave the net earnings at $27,758.50.
In deductions figured the production expenses amounted to $15,147.22, the distribution expense $2,365.29; the general expense $21,883.74, making a total of $42,396.35. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 April 1920, p. 5, c. 4)


Arthur B. Willing, Popular Superin-
tendent to Leave Brainerd Gas
& Electric Co. Employ


In Brainerd Built up Gas Users from
No Customers to 715, In Ser-
vice Here 4 Years

Arthur B. Willing, superintendent of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. plant in Brainerd since May 8, 1916, has severed his connection with the company to take effect June 15 and will leave Brainerd and engage in the electrical business in the vicinity of St. Cloud.
Mr. Willing came to Brainerd when the mains of the company measured 10 miles. Today the mileage has increased to 13. He came when the plant had no gas users and he leaves 715 patrons and gas installations being added to ten additional homes this week. He sold practically every gas stove used by patrons.
The multifarious duties of Mr. Willing were not those of a superintendent who merely holds down a desk job. They included such things as general manager, superintendent, salesman, pipefitter, trouble man, gas maker, coal unloader, tar pusher coupled with a diplomatic nature and fund of conversation which would appease an angry patron who believed she had a complaint.
Mr. Willing and his estimable wife enjoyed a wide acquaintance in Brainerd and took part in much of the social life of the city and their many friends regret seeing them leave and extend to them their best wishes for prosperity in their new location.

Clerk Changes

Miss Elsie Carlson, efficient bookkeeper and office assistant of the company since 1916, leaves the employ of the company and will be succeeded by Miss Vivian McPheran. Miss Carlson also possessed in the highest degree tact, patience and ability and her ready smile will be missed. Miss McPheran, her successor, was stenographer at the Chamber of Commerce and previously graduated from the business department of the local high school. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 June 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


No Water, Gas or Electric Current
for a Considerable Period of
the Sabbath Day


Notice Given in Dispatch of Turning
Off Water, Gas Man Should Have
Stored Up Reserve of Gas

Sunday was a decidedly “off” day.
As previously notified citizens by the Dispatch, the water was to be turned off early Sunday to permit of water main connections. So Saturday enough baths were taken and enough water stored away to last over Sunday.
About 11:20 of the Sabbath the gas fiddled low and was soon out, just as meal time approached. Inquiry at the plant elicited the fact that the pump was minus water, which any one knows would happen when the water department had given notice of shutting off the water. The man at the plant said he did not pay much attention to the daily paper and that nobody had notified him of the water being turned off. The plant has many gas storage tanks there and these should have been filled with gas to tide over an emergency such as that of Sunday.
To add to the general discomfort some repair work had been done at the electric power station and suddenly the power was turned off in the city. The man at the plant said everything was all right at his end of the line and examination was made throughout the city for the break. At length it was located. The switch had been turned off at the power station.
The worst part of the day was at dinner time. There was not any water, or electric current and everybody in town ate cold dinners, pickled dinners, canned dinners. Some went to the hotels, but they were in as much of a quandary as any householder for they were also minus heat for cooking except for meager wood supplies.
With such an example of “off” things in town June 6, it’s no wonder the ball team was “off” too and lost 7 to 0 to Crosby. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 June 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Claim Made That a Raise is Neces-
sary in Order to Continue Its
Service to People


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Claims
to Have Stood Heavy Loss the
Past 3 1/2 Years

The Brainerd Gas & Electric company desires an increase in rates, claiming the company has lost money on its Brainerd gas plant for the last three and a half years.
This statement was given the Brainerd Dispatch as the gas company side of the case:
“The emergency confronting the gas companies all over the United States is immediate and far reaching and the evidence presented by gas manufacturers, advising the public of the real conditions, is not for the purpose of obtaining excessive rates or unwarranted returns upon invested capital, is the declaration made by Mr. Geo. B. Cortelyou, President of the American Gas Association, Mr. Cortelyou in a brief statement sets forth the immediate needs of gas companies, that they may continue a service so vital to such a large percentage of the people in the United States, that the interest of the public is just as great as the interest of the manufacturer. Mr. Cortelyou’s statement is as follows:
“The emergency is immediate and far reaching. It embraces the entire gas industry. Economic conditions—many of them of world-wide extent and influence— affecting the supply of coal, oil and other essential materials required in the manufacture of gas, of labor and of the funds needed to maintain and develop our properties, are not bogies invented by the industry to secure preferential treatment, excessive rates, or unwarranted returns upon the investment. They are plain facts.
“All over this land today gas companies, great and small, are rendering, often under most adverse conditions, this service so vital to the welfare and comfort of our people. What they need and should have, in the interest of the public, is the reasonable certainty of adequate rates and a sufficient supply of oil, coal and other necessary supplies, and such manufacturing and operating conditions, as will utilize and conserve these materials, as well as contribute to all other economics of production and distribution.
“It is absolutely necessary that the gas rates in this city be increased to a sufficient sum to save the company from losing any more money on the gas plant. The company has stood this burden now for the last three and one-half years, but it will be necessary that immediate action be given.”

Submitted to Council

On June 7 of this year the gas company applied to the council for a raise in rates and the application was tabled.
An increase of 90c per 1,000 cubic feet over rates now in force was asked.
The application stated in part:
“When this is added to the original increase of 35c, it will mean a complete increase from the original ordinance rate of 100 percent, which will then not be sufficient to pay operating cost of the plant and we will still be losing quite a sum,” wrote President A. G. Whitney of the company. A request has also been made to increase the minimum to $1.25.
The original rate was $1.50 per 1,000 feet for illuminating gas and $1.35 per thousand for fuel gas, with a minimum charge of 50c. On June 3, 1918 an emergency surcharge of 35c per thousand cubic feet was added by order of the council. A ten percent discount is made if the payments for gas are made on or before the twentieth of the month.
“Taxes,” wrote Mr. Whitney in June, “were heavy in Brainerd and a large amount of water is used from the city water plant. Two years ago a second unit was added at a cost of $10,000. It is necessary to add another boiler now. 704 customers are using gas.”
The company, it may be stated, have also recently added a pump to furnish water during the many shutdowns of the city plant or sections of the city while mains are being connected in the new water system.
It is expected that the council will consider the company’s application more fully at the next regular meeting on Monday evening, August 2. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 July 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Blow Off Pipe on Safety Valve Gave
Way and Steam Filled the Boil-
er Room in Morning

The city was without gas for a short period Friday morning near the noon hour when a blow off pipe on the safety valve gave way and steam filled the boiler room. Repairs were made as quickly as possible and service restored. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 July 1920, p. 5, c. 2)


Council Decides on Joint Meeting of
Gas Company, Council and Gas

The council, with all members there, had a long session Monday evening lasting until well past the midnight hour.

Gas Company Wants Raise

G. W. Plank of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Company addressed the council and made a plea for increased rates for gas service. He explained the company’s side, their need for increased rates, asserting the company had lost over $42,000 in running the plant since its inception and that $12,000 had been lost the last year, and that while A. G. Whitney, head of the company, had asked for a 90c increase in his letter to the council and mayor, that a larger increase was imperative. The minimum, said he was to be set at $1.25.
He asked further that a committee be named by the council to investigate his statements on running costs, expenses of the past, etc. Mr. Plant maintained the company should have a fair return on its investment in order to exist. In any investigation of company books, Mr. Plank said the company would pay the cost of a certified accountant if necessary.
On motion of Aldermen Koop and Lyonais, carried, the council and gas company are to make a joint request for a mass meeting to be held August 12 or later, that the gas company notify the city clerk of the date of meeting set, and the gas company also notify each consumer, and that the chairman of the meeting be the mayor, Hon. F. E. Little. Such meeting will probably be held in the district court room in the court house. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Half of Roof of the Plant Blown Into
the Air, Explosion Scared
Residents Nearby


No One Killed or Injured—Cylinder
Claimed Overheated With Low
Water Pressure

The compressor of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. gas plant blew up at 5:20 o’clock this morning and the noise of the explosion scared people for blocks around the gas plant. They fled for their lives. Some went under the Mississippi river bridge, others to the north side.
Edward Sargent and family said there was a roar as the first intimation of trouble and then followed a sharp explosion and the fire bell rang. Mr. Sargent took his family to the pop factory near the tracks.

Hero of Explosion

No one was killed or even injured. The compressor is badly wrecked and half of the steel roof was torn off. All windows at the plant were smashed. No damage was done to any buildings in the vicinity of the gas plant.
The hero of the explosion was Fay Davis. He and Leonard Ongman were at the plant. When the cylinder of the compressor snapped off, Davis ran to the engine room and grabbed the steam valve of the compressor and turned off steam, thus checking the speed of the flywheel.
As he turned the valve, sections of the compressor flew past his ears, one large chunk missing his head by a few inches.

Gas Flames Belch Forth

A withering gas flame belched from the wrecked compressor and the fire department, responding to the alarm, turned on its hose. It could not be put out that way, and was extinguished when the valve at the tank was closed.
Men of the plant lost considerable clothes and tools which they had in the engine room.
The superintendent of the gas plant claimed that low water pressure overheated the piston cylinder and that it ignited the gas, resulting in the explosion. A new compressor has been ordered and other repair parts needed.

Trying to Furnish Gas

The gas plant superintendent said efforts would be made to supply Brainerd with gas by feeding directly through the holder on low pressure.
Workmen were busy at the plant today cleaning up wreckage and making what repairs they could.

Company Officers

St. Cloud officers of the gas company were expected in Brainerd by automobile
A joint meeting of gas consumers, city council and gas company officers is scheduled at 8 o’clock this evening at the district court room in the court house to consider the company’s appeal for a raise in rates. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Joint Meeting of Gas Users, City
Council and Company Represen-
tatives at Court House


Claims Higher Rates Required to
Make a Reasonable Return on
Their Investment

At 8 o'clock this evening a joint meeting of gas consumers, city council and gas company representatives will be held at the district court room of the county court house, Mayor F. E. Little presiding.
The gas company claims that higher rates are imperatively necessary to give the company a reasonable return on its investment. They claim the price of everything which enters into the making of gas, materials and production expense, has risen beyond anything contemplated when the company first started in the city.
The city council wished to permit consumers to have a voice in the matter too and so the arrangement was perfected for a joint meeting.
The explosion of Thursday morning has handicapped the company in making gas and the city may be without this public necessity for two days or until such time temporary arrangements will bridge over matters until the new compressor arrives. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)


“After Accident and Losses Only
Thing Left for Us to Do,” Said
A. G. Whitney


Joint Meeting Held Thursday Even-
ing of Council, Gas Company
and Consumers

Brainerd today has no gas plant functioning and seems in a fair way to lose the plant, according to the statement made by President A. G. Whitney of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company at the joint meeting of city council, gas company held at the court house on Thursday evening.
Every seat was taken in the district court room by men and women and as many more as could stand in the room and hallway were sandwiched in to hear what action the mass meeting took.
Mayor F. E. Little presided and made a short talk. He was followed by Mr. Whitney of the gas company.
Mr. Whitney recited the losses claimed to have been sustained by the company by rising costs of coal, coke, oil, in fact everything that entered into the making and selling of gas.
Mr. Whitney gave figures on costs of gas for various months of this year, the bare cost and then the cost plus depreciation and interest charges, and both largely exceeded the rate charged in Brainerd, which with discounts amounts to $1.60. “For instance,” said he, “gas cost the company $2.10 a thousand in the month of January, and $3.28 when allowing for depreciation and interest. In May the cost of gas was $3.36 and plus interest and depreciation $4.15.”

Recites Heavy Losses

Up to April 30, as he said his books showed, the company had lost over $42,000 in operating its Brainerd plant.
“Our losses have been such that we cannot continue,” said Mr. Whitney.
He said he had come to Brainerd Thursday to ask for an increase to $3 a thousand, and that rate would have to be one varying according to coal, coke, etc., prices, raising as these advanced and lowering as they decreased.
Then came the accident at the plant of Thursday morning when the compressor and other valuable machinery was wrecked. He was no engineer, but estimated the damage at $8,000. Mr. Spiering, when interviewed later, said the damage to the plant included loss of all instruments to test gas pressure, gauges, damage to compressor, etc.

Close the Plant

“The only thing left to do is to close the plant,” said Mr. Whitney. “We do not think you would grant us an increase large enough to continue. The company could not raise $8,000 on our record of losses, unless I advanced it myself, and that I did not care to do under present conditions.”

Answering Questions

Mr. Whitney answered a number of questions in regard to cost of gas in other cities. Minneapolis with 93,000 consumers had $1.14 gas. The St. Cloud old rate was $1.35 and they were asking for an increase there.
The gas plant in Brainerd had the benefit of any profits made in their store at Brainerd.
The company had not made a sufficient charge for interest and depreciation in Brainerd.
The city can take over the plant at an appraisement arrived at by one appraiser named by the city, one by the company and a third selected by the two.
It would give Brainerd a black eye to lose its gas plant.
As to the cause of the accident it was believed that low water pressure had heated the compressor. The company is putting in an independent water supply, but had not used the same as yet. It would have been completed Saturday.

Motion to Buy Gas Plant

A. L. Hoffman made a motion that it be the sense of the meeting that the city purchase the gas plant.
F. E. Ebner offered a substitute motion that inasmuch as the meeting had been called to consider a raise in gas rates, and failing in that, we adjourn which carried. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


A. G. Whitney, President of Gas Com-
pany, Proposes Brainerd Buy
Stock in Plant


Minimum at $3, Rate at $3, to Assure
7 1/2 Per Cent on the Invest-

Pres. A. G. Whitney, of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., met with businessmen of the city late Friday afternoon and it is believed a plan will be worked out to continue gas making in Brainerd. The committee named is expected to have a report formulated to present to the council meeting next Monday evening.
At 1:30 Friday afternoon a conference of businessmen of the city, many being large users of gas, was addressed by A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., who explained his position, the needs of the company, the necessity of a sliding scale of rates based on a guarantee of at least 7 1/2 percent on their investment and the necessity of selling $25,000 of stock in the company in Brainerd in order to assure local backing and cooperation.
R. R. Wise was temporary chairman. On motion of Con O’Brien, carried, a committee of three was appointed to examine into conditions meeting with Mr. Whitney’s request and the committee is to report by Monday evening or sooner.
On the committee are Con O’Brien, George D. LaBar and M. E. Ryan.
“With a $3 minimum and a $3 rate I think the company can pull through,” said Mr. Whitney, “providing, of course, that the stock was sold.”
Of this $25,000 amount, he was satisfied if $8,000 was cash and the balance in installments.
The Northern Pacific has proffered the company the use of a compressor, gauges and other instruments have been ordered by the company and it is expected that 36 hours will witness a change in the local situation again assuring gas to the community.
With a makeshift arrangement gas could be made now, but it would be dangerous in a way, as not a pressure gauge of any kind is on hand, all the instruments having been blown up by the Thursday’s explosion. Mr. Whitney assured his hearers his aim was to get 100 percent efficiency if the company resumed operations and not run an emergency proposition which might fall down in a few hours.

Committee at Work

Of the special citizens’ committee appointed by R. R. Wise, two members, Con O’Brien and M. E. Ryan, have been in conference. The committee will meet again on Sunday. Mr. LaBar was called out of town.

Gas Consumers Meet Monday

The committee is working diligently on the matter so as to be able to make a report to the meeting of gas consumers called for 7:30 o’clock on Monday evening at the court house, and having the committee recommend what shall be the right thing to do. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Mass Meeting Called for 7:30 P. M.
at the District Court Room of
County Court House


Recommendations of Mass Meeting of
Gas Consumers Will be Made
to the Council

Gas consumers of Brainerd will meet at the district court room in the county court house this Monday evening at 7:30 o’clock to listen to the report of the citizens’ committee of three of which Con O’Brien is chairman.
They will then take action and report to the council which meets this Monday evening. It is hoped on all sides that the Brainerd Gas & Electric company may soon resume operations and restore gas service to its 705 patrons patrons some of whom, like the bakeries, have nearly been put out of business by the explosion at the plant and stoppage of gas making. The company’s request for a raise in rates will also be considered. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Mass Meeting of Consumers Takes Ac-
tion at the Court House on
Monday Evening


Consumers Also Favored a Sliding
Scale Going Up or Down as Costs
of Materials Varied

The gas difficulties of Brainerd appear to be slowly reaching a solution and it seems possible that gas may soon be manufactured again and the gas public utility retained in Brainerd.
Gas consumers of the city met at the court house on Monday evening and with but one dissenting vote favored a $2 minimum, a $3 rate and a sliding scale of rates to be adjusted at quarterly periods and based on costs of materials including coal, coke and oil, the rates advancing or decreasing from the $3 rate as these materials, necessary in gas making, increased or declined in value. The sliding scale was based on a similar one in use in Minneapolis as defined by the courts there.

Con O’Brien Chairman

Con O’Brien was chairman of the gas users’ meeting. He is also chairman of the citizens’ committee of three which has been investigating the gas question, rates, etc. The committee is composed of Mr. O’Brien, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams the latter taking the place of George D. LaBar who did not serve.
The committee has devoted hours each day to the gas problem, examining statistics and records, getting gas rates from other towns, holding conferences with the local superintendent and other officers of the gas company, inspecting the damage done at the plant by the explosion, examining into needed repairs and costs, etc.

Consumers Ask Questions

Chairman Con O’Brien replied briefly to a running fire of questions from consumers. He said that a rate should be agreed upon which would give the gas company 7 1/2 percent on its investment.
Lars Ericsson of the Ericsson Bakery said his gas bill at present rates amounted to $25 and the raise might make it $50. Nevertheless, gas was the most convenient to use in his business. Everyone once using gas wanted the public utility restored.
Mr. O’Brien said Mr. Whitney’s losses in regard to the local gas plant were over $40,000. He said the sliding scale was to be reviewed every four months, raised or lowered, as the price of coal, coke and oil increased or decreased.
F. H. McCaffrey spoke on the minimum rate.
Richard Isle wanted a majority vote of all gas consumers taken.
Mr. O’Brien replied that each consumer had notice of the meeting by the daily paper’s reference.
R. R. Wise favored the sliding scale. If gas of good quality was furnished he was sure the number of patrons could be doubled.
George D. LaBar spoke on points regarding the sliding scale.
C. L. Motl said he had tried oil, wood, coal, electricity and gas, and gas was the cheapest and most convenient for cooking purposes.
W. H. Gemmell spoke about the franchise.
M. E. Ryan said the present franchise gave the city access to the company’s books and Mr. Ryan suggested that the water and light board be given the power to change rates insofar as they became effective through the sliding scale.
Some thought the raised rates might not be liked by some consumers, but each had a remedy there, if he could not stand the rate, he could have his service discontinued.

Motion is Put

F. H. McCaffrey, seconded by Wm. Garvey, then put the motion that the consumers favored an increase in rates to take care of the Brainerd situation, and that the minimum be set at $2 and the gas rate at $3 per thousand cubic feet, subject to a sliding scale to be revised every four months and that the committee so notify the city council. The meeting then adjourned. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Motion of Alderman Michael Provid-
ing 90 Day Gas Rate to Bridge
Emergency is Carried


In the Meantime City and Company
to Negotiate New Franchise With
Satisfactory Provisions

The city council, by motion, made the $2 minimum and $3 gas rate as favored by the gas consumers effective at once and run for a period of 90 days to bridge the emergency and in the meantime the council and gas company are to negotiate and arrive at an amended franchise whose provisions will be acceptable to both.
Gas matters were threshed out at the council meeting on Monday evening. Con O’Brien, chairman of the citizens’ committee of three, making the opening statement to the council.
Chairman O’Brien gave the report from the consumers’ meeting which favored a $2 minimum and at $3 gas rate and the sliding scale of rates adjustable every three months and raising or lowering as coal, coke and oil costs increased or decreased in price.

How Efficiency Was Lowered

M. E. Ryan of the committee explained how Mr. Whitney, anxious to buy as much from and in Brainerd as possible, did not put in his own water supply although close to the river, and bought his water from the city. Inadequate and irregular city water pressure had caused much trouble at the plant and lowered the efficiency of the plant, said he. It was necessary to reduce gas to a temperature of 70 degrees and when the water pressure varied it produced changes in the gas quality. Naphthalene lodged in the governors. Brainerd’s new water supply and tower would give adequate and continued pressure. To meet the emergency Mr. Whitney had put in an independent water supply and was about to use it when the plant was damaged by the explosion.
He explained the sliding scale used in the gas receivership in Minneapolis.
The cut of the increase in rates can be passed on by the water and light board, Mr. Ryan suggested and was approved by the council.

Aldermen Talk

Alderman Michael said he was a gas user. He was aware that the gas consumers were willing to pay a fair rate to get the utility working again. The difficulty was to arrive at a fair rate. He favored a temporary rate to bridge over the difficulty, saying the city faced the same emergency as occurred when the electric light plant near the dam was destroyed and the city then paid a high rate for electric current until matters were adjusted as at present.
Alderman Andrew G. Anderson asked if Mr. Whitney’s point blank statement made earlier at a court house meeting to consumers that he was to close the plant operated as a revocation of the gas franchise. It was stated 30 days notice, given by either party, was provided in the franchise.
Alderman Andrew Anderson referred to statements made by Mr. Plank of the gas company when addressing the last council meeting and that the rates then asked for varied from the present ones. Those statements, however, were made before the the plant was wrecked by the explosion.
City Attorney Fullerton wished to have the sliding scale cover also possible contingencies wherein the minimum and regular rates might produce greater revenue than anticipated and occurring when the company increased the number of consumers from 705 to say a thousand or more. Such increase in revenue should tend to a lowering of rates or provide for a payment to the city.
Alderman Michael then made his motion that the minimum be increased from 50c to $2 and the gas rate from $1.70 to $3, effective at once and to govern for 90 days, during which time the city and company to negotiate and arrive at an amended franchise whose provisions will be acceptable to both.
On an aye and nay vote the vote stood:
7 ayes: Aldermen Lyonais, Rasch, Hugdahl, Michael, Koop, A. G. Anderson and Witham.
3 nays: Aldermen Cordes, Andrew Anderson and President Strickler. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 3 & 4)


No Gas. No Electricity. No Water. No
Meals. No Way to Wash. Town
in Hard Times

To the Editor of the Dispatch:
Lately the water has been turned off again and again during the noon hour. This is due to the power company turning off electric current to make repairs at that time. The water and light board has appealed to the power company not to do this but the power company replies that the noon hour is the best time to make repairs.
Once the city can use its own water tower, then the water supply will be continuos, power or no power, but with both gas and electricity turned off, what will our cooks do about preparing meals. Undoubtedly because of the gas situation many electric stoves will now be put in, but what’s the use if the current goes off at 12 o’clock. It would seem that the power company could defer its repairs until 12:30 o’clock and at least give housewives a chance to cook the meals and then leave washing the dishes as an afternoon pastime.
Shopmen say that when they get home they find no gas, no electricity, no water, no meals, and no way to wash. If there is nothing to eat, why wash; so after all we believe the power company is the important link in the chain right now.
Dispatch Reader.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)


The citizens’ committee on the gas situation has written A. G. Whitney of St. Cloud, who is president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, giving him the action of the mass meeting and council and asking for a reply from him. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 August 1920, p. 5, c. 4)


A. G. Whitney Replies to the Citi-
zens’ Committee on Setting of
Gas Rates for City


“Personally,” Writes Mr. Whitney,
“He Would Much Prefer to Sell
Plant to Brainerd”

The citizens’ committee has received this letter from A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric company, in response to the committee’s report on the action of the gas consumers’ meeting and of the city council.

August 19th, 1920

Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman,
M. E. Ryan
Carl Adams,
Gas Consumers’ Committee,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
My Dear Sirs:
We fully appreciate your letter of August 17th and are not unmindful of the position in which the gas consumers of your city are placed, and deeply regret that the accident at the plant occurred causing a shutdown at this time.
Upon going into the question involved more fully, we find that in order to put the Brainerd gas plant into A-1 working order with all of the necessary repairs and including the new boiler which we wish to install, it will be necessary for us to expend at this time a sum considerably in excess of $10,000. We have just learned that the renewal of the flues alone, which are necessary for the boiler, will cost us $450 f. o. b. Minneapolis. If these repairs and improvements are made we believe the plant will be in most excellent shape and with a dependable water supply that we would be in a position to give first-class service.
However, to be perfectly frank and open, we have reached the conclusion that as outside investors we cannot operate the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company at a profit and for that reason we cannot see our way clear to start up the plant again ourselves unless every requirement necessary is complied with before resuming operation and, with that object in mind, we are today writing our local superintendent to postpone further repairs and improvements until every detail has been definitely settled.
We submitted to your committee last Monday night before you met the gas consumers and went to the council meeting, the lowest rates under which we could operate, namely, a minimum bill of $3.00 per month and a rate of $3.25 per thousand cu. ft. These figures are net and the bills would necessarily have to be rendered at not less than $3.50 per thousand cu. ft. with a discount of 25c per thousand cu. ft. for the prompt payment of bills with a minimum of $3.25 per month, subject to a discount of 25c for the prompt payment of bills.
However, with reference to the minimum bill, we would not object to accepting a net minimum bill of $2.50. These figures are final and are made with the express understanding that if the cost of coal, coke and oil increase, we will add 4 1/2c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of 1c in the cost of oil, 2 1/2c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of $4.00 per ton in the cost of coal and 2.6c per thousand cu. ft. for every advance of $1.00 in the cost of coke.
The above raises do not provide for all of our interest charges and for none of the depreciation, hence if the cost of fuel goes down, the $3.25 net rate is to be continued until such time as our losses are fully made up so as to take care of the depreciation charges from this date on. When these depreciation charges and other losses are taken care of at 100c on the dollar, we will then lower the rate of $3.25 net per thousand cu. ft. to the same proportion as it would be increased in case of an increase in the cost of oil, coal and coke as above noted, until the rate has been reduced to $2.00 net per thousand cu. ft., but the rate never to go below $2.00 net per thousand cu. ft.
These rates do not provide $1.00 for an administration, supervision, engineering or bookkeeping expense at the St. Cloud office excepting $40 per month, and this is an expense that as soon as the company is again squarely on its feet must be met by the company.
Gentlemen, if it were possible to accept your proposition, we would do so without hesitation, but after having lost something over $42,000 to your city we feel that we must protect ourselves for at least from this date on.
Again, this plant cannot be started without considerable cash being put into it and the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company is not in shape to finance itself for so much as a single dollar, unless the citizens of Brainerd, coupled with myself individually, will see fit to provide the Company with sufficient money in some satisfactory and equitable manner to put it on its feet with a small sum of working capital. $10,500 of outside indebtedness, and the necessary money to take care of the repairs and start up the plant.
Personally, I would much prefer selling this plant to the citizens of Brainerd and it might be well for the businessmen of your city to consider this in a very serious way. We will sell you the property on the following basis: that you select an engineer, we will select one to represent the Company, and these two can select a third, all three of these men to be high-class gas engineers and after these men arrive at a valuation of this property, we will give you a liberal discount from that valuation.
We will also make this same proposition to your city, if the city sees fit to buy it, and, strictly speaking, why is it not better for your city to buy it and operate it in connection with your other municipally owned property, namely your electric and water works utilities, and in that way your city council can make its own rates and the city as a whole, can make up the losses through its taxes. There is one thing sure, the loss of the gas plant to your city is a serious one and it will probably mean that no private parties will ever again have the courage to enter the gas field in Brainerd.
Feeling that we should not spend any more money at the plant until this matter is settled, we are going to put this matter in your hands for acceptance or rejection and I would ask that you let us have your decision at the earliest date possible.
The rate above stated, $3.25 per thousand cu. ft., will be subject to an adjustment every four months, it being understood that if the prices of coal, coke and oil go higher, the rates will be enough higher for the next period or periods to cover the additional cost.
Again, and after the depreciation charges and losses from this date on have been met and as the prices of these commodities go lower, the prices are to be decreased accordingly.
If our proposition as stated meets with your approval, we will prepare an amended franchise and submit it to your city attorney for his approval. It will be necessary that definite action be taken before we can proceed further.
Awaiting your reply, I am
Very truly yours,
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)


Pete Wolvert, of the yards, has a hard-luck story. It concerns washing dishes while his wife was out of town. That was in the days, sometime past, when Brainerd had gas and Pete had bought one of those “Locomotive” washers. Pete put the dishes in the washer and they sloshed around beautifully. Just about that time, he was called away and when he came home some hours later, the washer was still chugging away and the dishes had followed that figure eight route in the washer and had been reduced to smithereens. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)


Brainerd Gas & Electric Co. Given an
Ultimatum by City Council on
Saturday Evening


All Members of Council Present Vot-
ed Unanimously in Favor of the

Refusal on the part of A. G. Whitney to make gas within 30 days and at the $3 rate proposed by gas consumers and council, resulted in the council taking the gas bull by the horns and issuing an ultimatum to Mr. Whitney to make gas within 30 days or have his franchise annulled.
On Saturday evening the council took action on the gas franchise. All members were present except Aldermen Koop and Lyonais.
The gas consumers’ committee, Con O’Brien, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams referred to the council all correspondence between committee and the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., which on motion was placed on file and the committee given a vote of thanks.
The fact that Mr. Whitney would not accept the proposition of the council providing for a temporary rate of $2 minimum and $3 gas to bridge over the situation for 90 days until a satisfactory amended franchise could be gained by council and company, stirred the council to action and the resolution was then adopted unanimously, giving Mr. Whitney 30 days from date of publication of resolution, August 23, to make gas of merchantable quality or forfeit his franchise.
The water and light board was instructed to correspond with cities having gas and endeavor to ascertain where secondhand gas stoves, heaters, washers, mangles, etc., could be sold to advantage.
Should Mr. Whitney refuse to continue making gas, the city is not helpless for it offers a cheap electric rate for ranges. The outcome of the gas controversy will be awaited with interest and the next move is on the part of Mr. Whitney.



Whereas the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company, by virtue of Ordinance Number Two Hundred and Fifty-nine, as amended by Ordinance Number Two Hundred and Ninety-five, was granted a franchise to operate a gas plant and gas supply system in the City of Brainerd;
And Whereas said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company has failed and neglected, and does now fail and neglect to operate and maintain said gas plant and supply system, and does not furnish the ample and adequate supply of gas, of the kind and quality provided for in said Ordinance;
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved by the City Council of the City of Brainerd that notice is hereby given to said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company that if said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company fail to furnish, within Thirty (30) days from and after the date of publication hereof, an ample and adequate supply of gas, of the kind and quality and in the manner provided for in Ordinances Number Two Hundred Fifty-nine (259) as amended by Ordinance Number Two Hundred Ninety-five (295), then all and any rights, authority and privilege granted to said Brainerd Gas and Electric Company by virtue of said Ordinance shall forthwith terminate, and said franchise be void.
Adopted August 21, 1920,
President of the Council.
Approved August 21, 1920,
City Clerk.
Published August 23, 1920.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


“The gas plant,” said Carl Adams, “has considerable scrap value.”
“Yes,” said a hearer, “the plant has certainly started a lot of scraps.”


When we used to have a gas plant may soon be as historical a quotation or reference as when we used to have a street railway. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Substitutes Large Electric Hotel
Range for Cooking With Gas,
Equipment Being Installed

The Model restaurant, located in the basement under the Best theatre, has installed a large electric hotel range and expects to reopen for business on Monday.
The equipment was sold to the restaurant by the Northern Home Furnishing Co., the order being placed Tuesday afternoon at 3 o’clock and installation being underway on Wednesday.
Mr. Walker, owner of the restaurant, has been seriously handicapped by the lack of gas, his business having closed down since the compressor blew out on the morning of August 12. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 1)


Reported that Portion of Brainerd
Gas Machinery May be Used in
St. Cloud Soon


Reported Lines May be Run Into East
St. Cloud—”Brainerd’s Heavy Over-
head Expenses”

The St. Cloud Daily Journal Press of Tuesday has a half column on the gas situation in Brainerd. The gas question interests St. Cloud because A. G. Whitney has also made application there for a raise in rates, and so far nothing has been granted, although the application was made months ago.
“In an interview this morning,” says the St. Cloud Journal Press, “Wheelock Whitney stated that a gas company could not operate a plant in Brainerd without loss. Overhead expenses will assume such proportions that it will be impossible to adjust rates to meet the requirements of the maintenance of a plant. It is likely that Mr. Whitney will not reconsider reopening the plant.
“It has been mentioned as a probability that a portion of the machinery of the Brainerd plant will be moved to St. Cloud and gas mains extended to East St. Cloud. Nothing definite on such a proposition has yet been announced.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 2)


Brainerd Electric Company Supply-
ing Ranges and Other Equip-
ment to Householders

Many people are changing from gas to electricity and the Brainerd Electric company, B. E. Dunham proprietor, reports the sale of many electric ranges to householders.
In addition to this, the sale of electric appliances in general has been greatly stimulated by the shut down of gas. Toasters, electric plates, electric washers, etc., have added to the total of sales made.
Quick delivery is made on all orders placed with the company. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 August 1920, p. 5, c. 3)


St. Cloud Public Service Co., Which
is Headed by A. G. Whitney,
Wants Higher Gas Rates


City Commissioners to Hire Gas Ex-
pert to Pass on Quality of Gas
Furnished St. Cloud

The St. Cloud Journal Press records further steps in A. G. Whitney’s campaign for higher gas rates in that city.
The St. Cloud Public Service Co., thru its attorney, J. D. Sullivan of St. Cloud, filed with the city commission a petition asking the commission, in accordance with chapter 469 of the Minnesota laws of 1919, “to investigate the question of the cost of producing and supplying gas to the citizens of St. Cloud and that after such investigation you prescribe such a rate for gas as would permit the undersigned to make a reasonable return upon the capital invested in their business of producing gas under an economical and efficient management of the same.
“The Public Service Co. offers complete access to its books so that the officials may obtain such information as is necessary and proper for the determination of what is a just rate for gas in the city of St. Cloud under existing conditions.”
This petition is dated May 4, 1920 but was not presented until the afternoon of August 25, 1920. It puts into definite and concrete form the request of the Public Service Co. for an increase in gas rates, which has been the subject of much discussion for the past three months without any definite action being undertaken on either side, other than several oral pleas by A. G. Whitney, president of the Public Service Co.
J. D. Sullivan as attorney for the Public Service Co., made an impressive appeal to the commissioners yesterday afternoon urging that prompt action be taken to investigate the actual condition of the gas company and a rate prescribed in accordance with the results of that investigation.
The law on which the petition filed yesterday is based on an enactment of the 1919 session of the Minnesota legislature which empowers cities in the state of Minnesota, existing under a home rule charter, to prescribe reasonable rates under which a public service company supplying gas may operate within such city.
Under the provisions of the law, the rate must be prescribed “by ordinance,” which seems to place the ultimate enactment of any new rate in the hands of the city council.
The law says in part: “Such rates shall be prescribed only after hearing and 20 days’ notice of the time and place of such hearing shall have been given to such public service corporation, which notice shall be served in the manner prescribed by law for the service of summons in district court.
“Failure on the part of such council or other governing body to make a determination as to such rates within sixty days after such petition is filed with the clerk of said city shall be deemed a denial of such petition and a determination adverse to such petitioners, provided, however, that such council or other governing body of such city shall not be required to get upon the petition of any such public corporation which shall refuse to give such council or other governing body access to the books of such corporation, and other information relative to the operation of the business of such corporation necessary and proper to the determination of such rates.”
In making their investigation the city commissioners propose to have a gas expert pass upon the quality of the gas furnished, and in any new rates that may be made to stipulate the grade of gas that shall be given the consumers. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 August 1920, p. 3, c. 1)


Letter Given in Full as Written by A. G.
Whitney to City Clerk of


“Citizens of Brainerd Should Buy
Preferred Stock and Become In-
terested in Plant,” Says He

The gas question in Brainerd seems to have resolved itself into a deadlock so far as negotiations with A. G. Whitney are concerned. The council gave him 30 days notice commencing August 23 to make gas or forfeit his franchise.

August 27th, 1920

Mr. Severn Swanson,
City Clerk,
Brainerd, Minn.
Your valued favor of the 20th is to hand wherein the council has offered an increase of from 50c to $2.00 as a minimum rate and from $1.70 to $3.00 per thousand cu. ft. of gas for a period of ninety days, said raise to be effective from and after August 16th, 1920.
It is with much regret that we cannot accept your offer. The only proposition that we can entertain and reopen the gas plant in your city, is the one submitted to your committee, Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman, M. E. Ryan and Carl Adams as of date August 19th and this proposition is made for an immediate acceptance and as a permanent rate, the amendment to the franchise to be passed by your city before starting up the plant or an absolute agreement that it would be passed to that effect.
In other words, we know what our investment is and what returns we must receive and if the plant was started up on a ninety days basis, we might be confronted with the same difficulties as we are today and for that reason and as a business proposition we can do nothing further whatsoever unless all of the requirements named in our letter to your committee of August 19th are fully complied with, which also means that the citizens of Brainerd take a portion of our preferred stock, becoming interested in the plant and its operation, which will aid very much in making it a financial success.
Regretting that it is an impossibility for us to accept your proposition. I am
Very truly yours,
The letter in which Mr. Whitney takes cognizance of the council’s ultimatum is covered in the following letter:

August 23rd, 1920

Messrs. Con O’Brien, Chairman,
Carl Adams,
M. E. Ryan,
Gas Consumers’ Committee,
Brainerd, Minnesota.
Dear Sirs:
Your letter of August 21st is received in which you advise you are turning our letter of August 19th over to the city council with the “hope that the council may see its way clear to do something to the end that gas will be again supplied to the citizens of Brainerd without delay.”
We have been unofficially advised of the city council’s action at their meeting held last Saturday night and are informed that it was stated at such meeting that it was believed the Brainerd Gas and Electric Company were “bluffing,” so to speak, by rejecting the $3.00 rate and the $2.00 minimum heretofore offered for the term of ninety days, during which period thorough and complete investigations were to be made.
We have submitted our proposition, which we know from our four-years experience in Brainerd and our general experience in the gas business, to be more than fair and equitable to the consumers and if our offer is accepted it means a loss to us for some time of all of our depreciation and quite a percentage of our interest with the provision, however, that before the rates are lowered this loss of depreciation and interest is to be made up.
We wish to assure the good citizens of Brainerd that is the question of our minds and we mean just what we say. From a business standpoint we would not consider for one second starting up the plant again unless every provision were to be absolutely settled and agreed upon and a further provision made for taking care of the loss of interest and depreciation, which we would continue to suffer for quite a length of time.
It must be borne in mind that the freight rates will be largely increased this month, adding about $1.50 per ton to our coal and coke costs, aside from a heavy increase in our off costs.
Further, the question of an amended ordinance can be settled just as well today as it can in ninety days from now.
If the City’s action is final, it is not necessary that the thirty days’ notice be required on our part as we are ready to surrender and cancel the franchise today.
Very truly yours,
P. S. If your city sees fit to accept our proposition it also means that the citizens take a block of our preferred stock in line with our other correspondence.
(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 28 August 1920, p. 5, c.’s 1 & 2)


Head of Brainerd Gas & Electric Com-
pany Seems Anxious to Resume
Relations in Brainerd


New Idea is to Have City Buy Its Gas
Wholesale Just as It Buys Its

A. G. Whitney, president of the Brainerd Gas & Electric Co., who to the meeting of gas consumers announced he would quit Brainerd, who then proposed to council municipal ownership or large increases in costs of gas and purchase of stock by citizens and a sliding scale, etc., and was offered an adequate rate by the council and failing to accept same was given 30 days to make gas or quit, has now come forward with a letter which broaches some new ideas on the part of Mr. Whitney.
He brings up the purchase by the city of the street mains, street and house connections, governors and meters, etc. The street mains are firmly attached to city streets and according to many authorities revert to the city.
Mr. Whitney may dismantle his plant without interference, but the city, it is conceded b