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. A 2500x1075 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Postcard, 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)

If you want to spend an enjoyable and healthful Sunday afternoon go to the Boom Lake Ice rink. Ice was never better. Good waiting and check rooms. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 January 1908, p. 2, c. 3)

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)

The masquerade at Boom Lake municipal ice rink drew a crowd estimated to have been fully 500. Many fine consumes were worn. The ice was in fine shape and the skaters had the time of their lives. It is proposed to have another masquerade just before the St. Paul carnival of January 27. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 January 1917, p. 2, c. 2)


Ice is in Good Shape and Many Skat-
ers Expected During the Christ-
mas Holidays

Boom Lake ice is in excellent condition and the surface has been thoroughly cleaned so that the lake offers a splendid place for recreation during the Christmas holidays.
Large crowds are expected Sunday. There is a good warming station at the lake. Lights will soon be installed. At present the moonlight is sufficient to illuminate the lake. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 December 1917, p. 5, c. 2)

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

SEE: Ice Rinks

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
In the process of construction at Boom Lake on the southern outskirts of Brainerd, this ski slide (shown in blueprint) will be ready for winter sports lovers of the community soon after the first snow falls.
Built with WPA labor and through the efforts of a newly reorganized Brainerd Ski Club, the slide, when completed will be as modern as any in this area and will furnish many happy hours of entertainment for young and old ski enthusiasts alike.
A natural, made-to-order slope furnishes a perfect spot for the slide. Ski jumpers will ‘take off’ to the northwest, directly facing Boom Lake itself. Very little dirt fill or excavation is necessary to give the proper slope to the hill.
Workers have poured cement for the footings and will begin constructing the wooden framework within the next week. Work is being pushed so that it can be completed before the snow falls.
Meanwhile, members of the Ski Club are engaged in a different—but wholly as important—activity. WPA is furnishing labor for the project, but approximately $250 must be raised for material and engineering. Membership tickets are being sold at $1 each and donations from civic groups are solicited. When built, the slide will be open to anyone who proves capable of using it at no charge whatsoever.
The blueprint, shown in the photo, is the work of Jake Presttun, president of the reorganized Ski Club and one of the most active backers of the project. Possibly Brainerd's most skillful skier, Mr. Presttun has a wide acquaintance with the best in the state and is making plans for meets which will bring experts to Brainerd for interesting exhibitions of one of the most graceful of sports.
Ski enthusiasts, whether members of the club or not, are invited to meetings each wednesday evening in the Farmers’ room of the court house. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 November 1938, p. 8, c.’s 1-4)

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.

M & I Logo, ca. Unknown. A 651x887 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Unknown
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)


General Manager of M. & I. is
Assistant Land Commis-
sioner on N. P.


Will Continue in Position on M.
& I. and Will Fill Both

General Manager W. H. Gemmell, of the Minnesota & International railroad has been appointed assistant land commissioner of the Northern Pacific railroad company, with headquarters in St. Paul. This appointment, it is said, is because of the increase in the work of the land and right of way department of the Northern Pacific. Mr. Gemmell will continue as general manager of the Minnesota & International railroad and will retain offices here as heretofore, Chas. McCarthy, chief clerk being in charge in the absence of Mr. Gemmell.
Mr. Gemmell leaves for St. Paul in the morning to take up the duties of the position, accompanied by his family who go to Canada for a month’s visit. The family will then return to Brainerd and make this their home for the present at least. Their many friends here hope they may remain here permanently. While rejoicing in the advancement of Mr. Gemmell his friends in Brainerd sincerely regret that he will be away from here so much of the time. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 June 1908, p. 3, c. 2)


(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)

Engine No. 23 of the M. & I. has been relegated to the scrap pile. It was a case of “23” for the engine and Northern Pacific locomotive, No. 705, has taken its place. It pulled in the passenger today from the north. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 August 1911, p. 2, c. 3)


Accident on M. & I. Railway Delays
the Morning Passenger Train
Six Hours


Running at Moderate Speed—No One
Hurt—Tender is Jacked Back
on the Track

While running at a moderate rate of speed early this morning the Minnesota & International passenger train had an accident between Northome and Houpt stations. While on a straight track the front truck of the tender leaped the track and bumped the ties. Engineer Herman checked his train in eight car lengths and did not even jar his passengers.
Section crews in the vicinity were speedily routed out of bed and they worked through the early morning hours jacking up the tender and getting the front truck back on the rails where it belonged.
Engines were exchanged near Houpt and the train arrived in Brainerd this morning at about 9:30, six hours late. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1911, p. 3, c. 3)


Train For St. Paul Always Crowded
in the Afternoon and Many
People Have to Stand

For the last two weeks tourist travel from the Minnesota & International railway as well as local travel has been so heavy that the passenger train for St. Paul has been crowded every afternoon. People paying three cents a mile have stood in the aisles until Little Falls was reached when the Northern Pacific railway attached an extra coach.
On the M. & I. train also, especially Saturdays and Mondays many must stand until Nisswa is reached.
Arrangements may be adequate at Little Falls but people, especially mothers and children, object to standing one whole hour in a crowded aisle until that station is reached. A ticket entitles a passenger to a seat and three cents a mile is surely enough to entitle a purchaser to such a seat. If standing room only is to be sold a reduction should be made for the privilege of standing in an aisle and being swung around curves and bumped at stops and starting.
This Saturday the crowd was so dense that the smoker was half taken by ladies and the balance filled by men while many stood in the aisles. The regular passenger coach was also crowded and carried its usual quota of standing passengers. Something or other moved the management to attach a car for the standing people and it was almost half filled in short order.
Many tourists ask for a chair or parlor car and it is thought that such a feature on this afternoon’s train would pay. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 1911, p. 3, c. 4)


President of Northern Pacific and M.
& I. Officials Toured the M. &
I. on Inspection Trip


Special Train Was Switched to the
Canadian Northern and Then
Left For Winnipeg

In his recent trip on an inspection tour of the Minnesota & International railway, President Howard Elliott, of the Northern Pacific railway, took up traffic matters. With the president on the special train were Second Vice President Hannaford and Third Vice President Slade of the Northern Pacific and General Manager W. H. Gemmell, Auditor Downie and Trainmaster Warner, of the Minnesota & International.
The entire line was carefully inspected and in the consultations held measures were adopted to provide for the rapidly increasing traffic on the M. & I.
At International Falls the party was given an informal reception at the city hall, when the matter of improved train service, such as the citizens’ had petitioned for, was discussed and taken under advisement by the visitors. Their train was switched to the Canadian Northern and left for Winnipeg. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 December 1911, p. 3, c. 3)


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)


$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 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)


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)


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)

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)

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)

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)

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



Our Crow Wing County Fair to-day will far exceed, in importance and attractions, the most sanguine expectations of our citizens. We are pleased to know that a general interest has been manifested by all, and the Fair business in this county will to-day be given a most happy and successful start off. We expect to have crowds of folks from abroad, to see what we can do in this line, and we can assure them in advance that they may look out for a big surprise. President L. P. White has “covered himself with glory,” in the matter of getting up our county fair, and deserves a medal of honor for his liberal and untiring efforts to make the Fair what we know it will be to-day. (Brainerd Tribune, 05 October 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

Apropos of the efforts on the part of some of our enterprising citizens to open up a race course, we have been thinking why it wouldn’t be a good scheme to form a permanent organization or stock company, with a view to buying a tract of land near the village for the purpose of holding annual fairs, for exercising horses, and as a general resort for our people during summer evenings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

We understand that negotiations are underway to purchase 80 acres of land near the city to be converted into a race course. This is a move in the right direction which we hope to see consummated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

County Fair at Brainerd.

At the meeting of the Agricultural Society on Saturday last it was decided to hold the county fair at Brainerd instead of Crow Wing as at first announced, the change being made at the request of the farmers interested and the business men of this city. The society will hold their first annual meeting the second week in September, on the grounds of the Brainerd Driving Park Association which are now being put in readiness for the occasion. It is to be hoped that the citizens generally will take an interest in the move and make it a success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Fun for Sportsmen Ahead.

A Driving Park Association has been formed in the this city with C. F. Kindred as president. The work of constructing the track and buildings necessary is under the supervision of S. H. Relf, county surveyor, who is diligently at work upon the same and which is to be completed in time for the county fair in September. Mr. Kindred will bring his trotting stock to the stables of the association, as soon as they are completed, from Valley City, D. T., he having sold his park at that place. This will be a grand addition to our thriving city, and will afford plenty of amusement for the lovers of fine horse flesh of which our city has her share. The park will be located in the south part of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Brainerd vs Aitkin.

Dr. Howes has challenged A. B. Cushing of Aitkin for a race between his horse, Walter Ferris, which has a record of 2:30 and Mr. Cushing’s Kentucky horse, Robin C., to come off on September 17, on the fairgrounds at Brainerd, during the fair. Mr. Cushing has accepted the challenge and will be on hand at the appointed time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 September 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The Races.

The races at the fairgrounds attracted considerable attention this week. The Cushing horse succeeded in cleaning out the Howes horse in fine shape on Wednesday, and he was considered by all to be the fastest horse on the ground, but appearances and opinions are deceptive. On Thursday a race was gotten up between Sleeper & Smith’s horse Dan and the Cushing racer, and considerable money, was put up on both sides. The Sleeper horse made the first and third heats in 1:13 1/2 each and the second one in 1:16, beating Cushing’s horse in three straight heats. Considering the difference in the weight of the drivers and the vehicles, the Sleeper rig being a 4-wheel trotting wagon and Cushing’s a 2-wheel sulky, the record was considered good. We doubt if $1,000 would buy this horse of its owners.
The laurels of the milkmen’s race was carried off by Congdon & Millspaugh’s chestnut pony. It was as amusing a race as came off.
Dave Slipp’s “Black Diamond” won the running race. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 September 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Driving Park Association.

The Brainerd Driving Park Association of Brainerd, filed articles of incorporation Monday in the office of the secretary of state, at St. Paul. The capital stock is $10,000 and the incorporators are Chauncey B. Sleeper, Carl H. Douglas, Wilder W. Hartley, Jno. H. Koop, F. A. B. King, David D. Slipp, Halsey J. Spencer, Jno. R. Howes, Newton McFadden, Chas. F. Kindred, Frank B. Thompson, and J. J. Howe. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1885, p. 3, c. 7)

Fairgrounds and Driving Park, ca. 1885.
Source: Engraving
Carpenters are busy at work at the grounds of the Driving Park Association. A building capable of seating 700 or 1,000 people is being erected, which will be for the accommodation of spectators. This building has been erected on a knoll that overlooks the whole track, and which has been fixed up and leveled off until it is smooth as a floor. A base ball diamond has been cleared off and leveled in the center of these grounds, and take it all in all they will soon become a very important feature in the attractiveness of our city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The Brainerd driving park will be opened Saturday May the 15th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

They Tied ‘Er Loose.

Yankee Doodle takes the cake,
Ice cream, sweetmeats and candy.
The festive cracker bursts with joy
For Yankee Doodle Dandy.

The American bird was tied loose in Brainerd yesterday, and it was by no means a dull Fourth of July. A good many people sought the cool retreats offered by the many lake resorts in this vicinity, but there were enough people left in the city to celebrate in good style. The small boy with the deadly toy pistol and nerve-shattering cracker was ever present. Not only did the small boy show that he was wonderfully pleased to think that this was a free country and that yesterday was the Nation’s holiday, but the large boy, with hair on his whiskers, got out and consumed beer with an appetite that would almost convince a man that two holidays had been boiled down into one—they also contributed to the pleasure of the day. There was not a still moment during the day, from early morn till late at night the cannon boomed and people roamed the streets with flags stuck in their hats bent on enjoying themselves. The day at Rice lake was an enjoyable one and it is estimated that fully a thousand people were in attendance. At the driving park there were races, ball games, club shooting and all manner of sports, and the Northern Pacific people ran an excursion train to accommodate those who desired to attend. There were three thousand people on the grounds at one time. In the evening fire works were displayed in the park fronting Main street, and a grand ball was in progress at the rink. Take it all in all the celebration of 1889 in Brainerd was quite a gorgeous affair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 July 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

Fifth Annual County Fair.

The Fifth annual county fair of the Crow Wing County Agricultural society will be held, as heretofore announced, at the fairgrounds in this city on Friday and Saturday of this week. Although preparations for the fair were delayed much longer than they should have been, everything is now in shape for a satisfactory exhibit of products and for an interesting series of exercises at the Driving Park. Among the exercises will be the following, commencing at 2 o’clock each day:

Double team race for a purse of $50.
Two half-mile running races.
Exhibition drill by Co. K.

An interesting game of cricket.
Brainerd Gun Club shoot for medal.
Half-mile bare-back ox ride.

There will be music on the grounds both days, and each afternoon a train will leave the depot for the grounds at 1:30 and return at 6. Business houses will close Saturday afternoon. Admittance to grounds 25 cents, exhibitors admitted free. A number of the merchants will have exhibits on the grounds. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

A meeting was held in Dr. Groves’ office on Tuesday evening for the purpose of reorganizing the Driving Park Association. About a score of persons were present at the meeting, and the general sentiment seemed to be favorable to reorganization. Another meeting will be held at the Chenquatana Club rooms [Sleeper Block] next Monday evening to perfect the organization by electing officers. It is intended to put the track and grounds in excellent shape and then lock the gate and allow no one but members to enter and enjoy the benefit of the improvements. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 July 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Quite extensive improvements have been made in the road bed of the N. P. between this point and Little Falls during the past month, two work trains being employed during this time, leveling grades and widening the road bed on heavy fills. The trestle over the creek at the Driving Park Grounds, and also the one at Buffalo Creek have been torn out and heavy stone culverts put in their place. It is evident that the company expects very heavy traffic over this part of the road this fall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 July 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

Driving Park Association.

As announced in last week’s issue, a meeting of the Driving Park Association was held at the Chenquatana Club rooms on Monday evening, and the organization was perfected by the election of the following officers:
President—Dr. Werner Hemstead.
Vice President—Dr. A. F. Groves.
Secretary—J. M. Elder.
Treasurer—A. L. Hoffman.
D. D. Smith was elected general manager of the Association with the power to appoint assistants when necessary. A constitution and by-laws for the government of the Association were adopted. It was also decided to close the charter membership list, and fix the membership fee hereafter at $10. Regular monthly meetings will be held the first Monday in each month.
The Association starts out with a membership of thirty-five, including the most prominent business and professional men in the city. The grounds will immediately be placed in first-class shape under the direction of the general manager. None but members will be allowed to use them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 July 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

The Driving Park Association will cover their track with a thin layer of cinders, which will make it one of the best in this section of the state. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 August 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The Annual Fair.

All arrangements have been completed for the successful carrying out of the programme at the county fair, which opens on Thursday, the 25th inst. The grounds and buildings have all been renovated, and the greatest attention will be paid exhibitors. The management has secured six tents from the state, which will be put up near floral hall for the accommodation of the agricultural exhibit, and the building will be used exclusively by the art and mercantile exhibit. The ladies are especially requested to attend, as on them depends much of the success of the fair, and heretofore their attendance and the interest they have taken has been one of the features of former occasions. The business houses in the city will close from 1 until 6 o’clock on Saturday, in order to give everybody a chance to attend. There will be some exciting races, and the occasion bids fair to be interesting throughout. What else you do, attend the fair the coming week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 September 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

A train will leave the depot for the fairgrounds at 1:30 p.m., tomorrow (Saturday). Fare 15 cents the round trip. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 September 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Crow Wing County Fair.

Yesterday was the first day of the Seventh Annual Fair of the Crow Wing County Agricultural Society, and was devoted principally to making entries and getting the different exhibits in readiness for to-day and tomorrow. The display of vegetables, farm produce and live stock is large and attractive, a description of which, with premiums awarded, will appear in our next issue. The display in the art department and the exhibits of our merchants is about on an average with former years. A running race occurred yesterday between Jack Burn’s horse and a broncho [sic] for $50 a side, which was easily won by the broncho [sic]. To-day and tomorrow interesting and exciting races are advertised, so don’t fail to attend and see them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 September 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

The Crow Wing county fair which ended on Saturday evening was one of the most successful of any previous occasion in point of attendance and display. The success of the fair was largely due to the efforts of the secretary, J. M. Elder, and the thanks of the association and the public are due him. The premium list will be published in these columns next week and is now in course of preparation, the reason of the delay being due to the fact that it is desired to have it complete and absolutely correct. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

New Officers.

The Driving Park Association held a meeting on Friday evening of last week at which time the following officers were elected:
President—W. Hemstead.
Vice President—L. Cooley.
Secretary—J. M. Elder.
Treasurer—A. L. Hoffman.
Trustees—H. McGinn, D. D. Smith and Dr. W. Courtney.
Marshals—L. Cooley, Tom Crawford and Dr. Groves.
It was decided to put in a well in conjunction with the Gun Club and Agricultural Society at the grounds, and the trustees were instructed to take immediate action (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

The Council.


The city surveyor was instructed to ascertain how much land would be necessary for the purpose of opening a street from the south end of Sixth street, east to Seventh and from there south to the fairgrounds. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

Motion was made and duly carried that Willow street be widened from Sixth to Seventh, from the west side of Sixth to the west side of Seventh, to 80 feet, and extend Seventh street from north side of Willow street to fairgrounds, Ald. Titze offering the only dissenting vote.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1891, p. 4, c. 6)


Mr. Mahlum Gets His Bridge Money
and F. W. Hall is Elected
Special Judge.


...The following resolution was carried:
RESOLVED, That D. W. Whitford, H. J. Spencer and James Parker be, and are hereby appointed, commissioners to view the premises and to ascertain and award the amount of damages and compensation to be paid to the owners of property which is to be taken or injured by the widening of Willow street from 6th street to 7th, commencing at the west side of 6th street and extending to the west side of 7th to 80 feet, and extending 7th street from the north side of Willow to the fairgrounds, and to assess the amount of said damages and compensation upon the lands and property to be benefited by such widening and extension as provided by law. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The City Council.

The property committee reported in regard to opening Sixth street that they had interviewed Mr. Betzold, and that he would make a release of damages for opening Willow street from Sixth to Seventh, and from Willow street on Seventh to the fairgrounds, amounting to about three acres, for $150, the city to move the fence, providing he had authority, as administrator of the estate, to do so. A motion was made to accept Mr. Betzold’s offer. Carried. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c. 4)


Proceedings of the Crow Wing County
Commissioners Meeting held
July 11th, 1892.

A motion was made and seconded to purchase the fairgrounds for the sum of $3,000 to be paid as follows, viz: $1,000 July 1st, 1894, $1,000 July 1st, 1895, and $1,000 July 1st, 1896, orders to bear interest at the rate of 7 per cent. Ayes—L. H. Stallman, Harry Patterson and J. S. Gardner. Nays—A. P. Farrar and Joel Smith. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

New Grounds.

Owing to the sale of the old fair ground property to Wm. Guthrie for agricultural purposes, the Brainerd Gun Club has been compelled to secure new grounds for their weekly shoot, hence the right to use a tract of land between the electric power house and the river has been secured, the underbrush all cleared off, and all the trap houses and other property of the Gun Club has been moved there and put in position. The ground will be plowed up and put into proper shape as soon as the frost will permit.
The Club has had one or two meetings recently concerning the matter, but the annual meeting will be held in a short time and the organization for the coming year effected. Weekly shoots will be held throughout the summer as in past seasons. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Our Gun Club.

The first shoot enjoyed by the Brainerd Gun Club occurred on Wednesday forenoon at the new grounds at the end of the street car line. The club has been thoroughly reorganized and during the coming summer will be active in their operations. The new location is a very desirable one in many respects. The traps will be worked with electricity, which will be transmitted from the electric plant of the street car line, and the entire arrangement will be superior to that of any other club in the Northwest. A meeting will be held this (Friday) evening, at which time the entire details of the summer’s shoot will be arranged. It is also expected that a tournament will be held the latter part of June. The membership of the Club at the present time is as follows:
I. U. White, F. S. Parker, Dr. S. M. Kirkwood, A. F. Ferris, Geo. D. LaBar, L. W. Chase, John T. Frater, W. J. Bain, Dr. J. L. Camp, J. R. Westfall, G. M. Walker, A. E. Veon, Dr. W. Courtney, Louis Tache, M. K. Swartz, J. R. Smith, S. H. Parker, G. S. McLain, Dan McIntosh, N. McFadden, W. S. McClenahan, Jas. McCabe, W. H. Mantor, J. H. Koop, A. L. Hoffman, G. A. Keene, J. M. Hayes, N. H. Ingersoll, J. J. Howe, Jr., Dr. A. F. Groves, J. J. Frost, J. F. Closterman, W. P. Buckley and John Bubar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1895, p. 4, c. 5)


Will be Constructed in this City Early
in the Spring, by M. K.

Crow Wing County Fairgrounds, ca. 1890’s. A 1518x745 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Mr. M. K. Swartz, the enterprising proprietor of the Central Drug Store of this city, has perfected plans which will result in this city’s possessing one of the finest county fairgrounds, driving park, bicycle track and athletic park in the state. Mr. Swartz has purchased from Judge Holland 80 acres of land in the city limits on Oak street and adjoining the shop yards on the east, which he will use for this purpose, and has his plans all perfected and will commence work as soon in the spring as the weather will permit. About 50 acres of the tract lies south of the Duluth track and this he will enclose with a high board fence 8 feet high. In the enclosure he will construct a half-mile track raising it up some 18 inches or two feet, and give it a surface covering of clay, making as fine a track as could be desired. Inside the race track he will construct a bicycle track, and inside the bicycle track will fit up excellent base ball grounds. His plans also include the building of a amphitheater capable of seating at least a thousand people, and so placed as to have a commanding view of both tracks and the ball grounds. In the amphitheatre building will be placed booths or stands for the sale of refreshments. The structure will also contain a hall for the display of vegetables and farm products. His plans also contemplate the erection of a Horticultural building and a machinery hall and stock barns and stable containing at least a hundred stalls. The Horticultural Hall and Fine Art building and Machinery Hall will be placed near the main entrance to the grounds, which will be on Oak street. The buildings, Mr. Swartz assures us, will be well constructed and will be twice as large as the buildings were on the old grounds, and so built that additions can be made when necessary. All the buildings will be nicely painted and will present a pleasing appearance. The improvements will cost over five thousand dollars.
The use of these excellent grounds Mr. Swartz will offer to the Agricultural Society for the annual state appropriation for fair purposes, and the abatement of the taxes as is customary on grounds of this character. Mr. Swartz laid his plans before the commissioners at their last meeting and they agreed to recommend the abatement of the taxes. A meeting of the Agricultural Society will be called in a few days and there is no doubt Mr. Swartz’s liberal offer will be accepted. Brainerd is sadly in need of a place of this character, and Mr. Swartz is deserving of commendation for his enterprise and public spirit in providing the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1899, p. 1, c. 3)


Meeting of the Crow Wing County Agri-
cultural Society.—New Offic-
ers Elected.

A meeting of the Crow Wing County Agricultural Society was held at the Y. M. C. A. on Tuesday evening pursuant to a call of J. M. Elder, secretary. About twenty-five or thirty business men and members of the society were present. The meeting was called to order and presided over by Dr. Werner Hemstead the last president of the Association, and J. M. Elder acted as secretary. The Doctor explained that the object of the meeting was to make arrangements for holding a county fair in the fall and to consider a proposition of Mr. M. K. Swartz to furnish suitable fairgrounds. Mr. Swartz was called on and explained his plans for the building of a driving park and fairgrounds as published in the DISPATCH of Feb. 17th. Mr. Swartz also had plans of the buildings to be erected, which he exhibited to those present, and made the proposition as published heretofore of furnishing the grounds for the use of the society for a consideration each year equal to the amount appropriated by the state. At the conclusion of Mr. Swartz’s remarks Dr. McPherson moved that the election of officers be proceeded with, which was carried, and the following officers were elected without opposition:
President—Dr. W. Hemstead.
Vice President—Wm. Dodd.
Treasurer—G. D. LaBar.
Secretary—J. M. Elder.
General Superintendent—Dr. G. S. McPherson.
The advisability and advantages of holding a fair and making it a success was then discussed, Messrs. G. S. McPherson, Wm. Dodd, J. J. Howe, L. P. White, Judge Holland and others making short speeches. It was finally decided to call another meeting for Saturday afternoon, March 11th, at 3 o’clock, at the Y. M. C. A. building, at which it was hoped all farmers and business men interested would be present, and further business in regard to the fair and to accepting Mr. Swartz’s proposition was postponed until that time.
A motion was made and carried that the secretary communicate with the county commissioners, requesting their presence at the meeting on March 11th, and that they be instructed to invite and urge their constituents to be present on said occasion, and that the press extend an invitation to all farmers and business men to be present.
The meeting then adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

County Fair Matters.

The meeting of citizens called at the Y. M. C. A. last Saturday afternoon to consider the matter of holding a county fair was not held, as the number of citizens in attendance was not as large as desired. However a meeting has been called for Tuesday evening, March 21, at J. M. Elder’s office, and it is desired that all interested in a county fair be in attendance. Certificates of membership, entitling the holder to a voice in all matters concerning the management of the fair, and also admission to the grounds at all times during the fair, have been printed, and the first ten will be auctioned off on Tuesday evening at the meeting. Mr. Elder has already been offered $10 for No. 1, and a great rivalry for them is expected. The rest of the certificates will then be sold at $1.00 by the board of managers, one of whom will be appointed from each township in the county.
It is the intention of the officers to make a large cash premium offer for the best township display at the fair, all exhibits from a township to be considered. It is hoped by creating a friendly rivalry between the various towns of the county to get a better display. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 March 1899, p. 10, c. 5)

M. K. Swartz has had a force of men at work this week on his new driving park. The track stable is being built this week and will be 24x50. Next week work on the amphitheatre will be commenced, and the building will be made 80 feet long instead of 60 as originally contemplated. Work on the park will be pushed and the whole will be completed at the earliest possible moment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 April 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Street Illumination.

A feature of the county fair next week will be a grand street illumination on Thursday evening at which time the three blocks from Fifth to Eighth streets and the side streets leading to Laurel will be ablaze with Japanese lanterns. The illumination will be put up in an attractive form and will make a very pretty appearance. The illumination will continue during the three nights of the fair.
A grand bicycle parade has also been arranged for Thursday evening at which several hundred bicyclists will appear in uniform. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 September 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

M. K. Swartz is making extensive improvements at his driving park these days. One fine large barn has been completed and the foundation for another is laid. The track has been placed in excellent condition, and fine shade trees have been planted in front of the park and on either side of the driveways in the park. Before the fair is held in September Mr. Swartz will erect a new building for purposes of exhibition. The present building will be used for display of farm produce, and the new building for merchandise and art work. It will be oblong in shape 40 by 50 feet, and two stories high. The first floor will be for the exhibits of merchants and the second for art work and fine needle work. It will be located between the old building and the entrance on high and dry ground. Every effort is being made to have everything in shape for a most successful fair this fall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

Couldn’t Agree

Down at Brainerd the horsemen and the management of the driving park have clashed. They have had trouble over arranging for the use of the track, and it is said that considerable ill feeling exists. Accordingly a good many of the Brainerd horses will come to Wadena for the season’s training. It is expected that not less than eight or nine speedy ones from Brainerd will make Wadena their headquarters this summer.—Wadena Pioneer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1901, p. 1, c. 3)

09 December 1915. The chamber of commerce meeting recorded progress in the steps taken to secure the headquarters for a county fair in Brainerd. Probable location is at the Backus-Brooks old mill site in Northeast Brainerd. The 51-acre site can be leased for $1 per acre per year, plus taxes. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 2015)

...The railroad bridge is a prominent feature in the view, and above it is a rope ferry to West Brainerd, a suburb in embryo. (From Duluth to Bismarck in 1872, Alfred R. Waud; edited by Robert L. Reid, Minnesota History, Summer 1994, Minnesota Historical Society, p. 79)

Board of County Commissioners—Special Session.

The rate of ferry license at Crow Wing was fixed at $10.00 per annum, and the rates of ferriage for that ferry were fixed at 50 cts. for each double team, 25 cts. for each single team, 15 cts. for each loose horse, ox, cow, or mule, and 15 cts. for each foot passenger; and the following rates were fixed for the ferry at Brainerd; 25 cts. for each double team, 20 cts. for each single team, 10 cts. for each loose horse, ox, cow, or mule, and 10 cts. for each foot passenger. (Brainerd Tribune, 11 May 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

FERRY CHARTER.—The Legislature has granted a ferry charter across the river at this place to Alderman Wm. Murphy and C. D. Knappen of Brainerd. (Brainerd Tribune, 08 March 1973, p. 1, c. 7)

THE ferry wire broke, the other night, about 10 o’clock, and the boat, with the ferryman, W. W. Hartley and his team, started for New Orleans. They succeeded in rescuing themselves down at the Pop Factory. They heard the yellow fever was bad at New Orleans, and concluded to defer their visit to the crescent city until fall. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 May 1873, p. 1, c. 2)

...Boats were launched from the ferry and soon at the wreck, and the work of extracting the human victims from the horrible mass began. [NP bridge collapse] ...The transfer of passengers across the river, by the ferry, was commenced the day of the accident, and will be continued until a temporary bridge is erected.... (Brainerd Tribune, 31 July 1875)

WE are informed—though it has not been presented to us—that a petition is in circulation and being very generally signed asking our board of county commissioners to organize a steam ferry across the Mississippi river here in place of the present one, when it shall be turned over to this county by the county of Cass in September next, and recommending the appointment of Capt. W. H. Lester as commander. This is a move in the right direction, and the appointment of the Capt. would be a good one. The editor of the Little Falls Courier has made application, we believe, to furnish the steam. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 March 1876, p. 1, c. 6)


The Accounts Concerning Its
Ravages at Other Points.

Latest Information from all the
Deluged or Threatened Districts.

Condition of Affairs in the
Upper Mississippi and
Its Tributaries.

No Additional Damage Re-
ported—The Worst
Probably Over.

Rum River Rapidly Receding—
The Mississippi Slowly



BRAINERD, Minn., June 11.—The heavy rains of last week did considerable damage in this vicinity. The Buffalo creek and Fort Ripley railroad bridges were carried away. The mill branch track is badly washed, hanging in mid air in several places. The ferry boat was carried away. Schwartz’s brick yard is inundated and the river is still on the rise, raising one foot yesterday. Minneapolis lumbermen have boomed the river at Aitkin to stop the logs. Farms near Brainerd are all under water, and farmers considerably alarmed for their crops.


(Minneapolis Tribune, 15 June 1880, p. 2)

AUDITOR’S OFFICE, July 6, 1880


Commissioners met at 4 P. M. All present. The following resolution was then adopted:
Whereas: Peter Mertz has made application, according to law, for a license to run the ferry between the town of Brainerd in Crow Wing county, Minnesota and West Brainerd in Cass county, Minnesota, for the term of five years, from this date, and offers to take possession of the ferry boat, wire rope and all other property connected with the ferry and keep it in as good condition as the same now is, and to pay a tax of five (5) dollars per year to said Crow Wing county for and during said five years and in addition thereto to pay as rent for said ferry and the use of the same the sum of twenty-five dollars before the license shall issue, fifty-two (52) dollars and thirty-three cents on the first day of November 1880, and twenty-two (22) dollars on the first day of November 1881, said money to be paid into the hands of the county treasurer for the use and benefit of said Crow Wing county, and to collect the rate of ferriage established by this board and no more, therefore:
Resolved: That as the bond required by law and approved by this board has been given the above proposition of said Mertz to run said ferry between the town of Brainerd in Crow Wing county and West Brainerd in said Cass county is accepted by this board, and license is hereby granted to the said Peter Mertz to run said ferry for and during the full term of five years from and after this date which said license is ordered to be issued forthwith, and the rates of ferriage during said five years are fixed and established as follows, to-wit: Twenty-five (25) cents for teams (single and double) and ten (10) cents for foot passengers.
The bond of Peter Mertz was approved.
Adjourned to 3d Monday in July.
(Brainerd Tribune, 17 July 1880, p. 1, c. 3)

Sheriff Mertz is now running his ferry full blast. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 April 1881, p. 1, c. 1)

...[1882] There was no wagon bridge across the river, but a ferry plied the stream in daylight where the concrete bridge now spans the river.... (As I Remember, Biography: ca. 1937; Dr. Werner Hemstead, born April 1860; CWCHS)

Parties desiring to visit Gilbert Lake can always find a ferry at the foot of 7th street for their accommodation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Gilbert Lake Park has been opened to the public. Mr. A. W. Miller the proprietor has spared no pains to make the place convenient and pleasant. He has built a nice, roomy summer house which is enclosed with wire screen entirely protecting the pleasure seeker from the ravages of the flies and mosquitos. It is intended to serve ice cream, lemonade, and all such luxuries in this place which will be fitted up with chairs, etc. The back part of the building is designed for a living apartment for the man who tends to the boat business. A nice boat house has also been built, and supplied with a fine lot of row boats, which Mr. Miller makes himself, and a fine article they are too. A ferry is run from the foot of Fourth [sic] [Seventh] street to the other side of the river from which place a road has been cut to the resort which makes it convenient and handy for people who wish to visit it from Brainerd, as there is a side walk the entire distance to the boat house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Blueberry Picnic.

Miller & Grant will give a blueberry picnic at Gilbert Lake, on Thursday, July 17th, at the old picnic grounds on the north side of the big lake. The woods in the vicinity of the picnic grounds are full of blueberries. Refreshments of all kinds will be furnished at the grounds. The proprietors have reduced the price of boats one-half for this particular day, and a big time is expected. The sail boat will be at the disposal of the party, and everything to make a good time will be provided. MILLER & GRANT.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The blueberry picnic at Gilbert Lake on Thursday of this week, was quite an event. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Miller & Grant have got their pleasure resort at Gilbert Lake in running order and are now ready to accommodate parties with boats, fishing tackle, etc. Mr. Miller informs us he has about twenty-five row boats, and a large sail boat, and also that during the season he will keep cigars, lemonade, ice cream and other refreshments for sale at the boat house on the lake. Parties desiring to reach the lake will always find a ferry boat at the foot of 7th street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Gilbert Lake Park.

I desire to announce to the public that Gilbert Lake Park, situated on the west side of Gilbert Lake, is now open to the public. No pains will be spared to make it the most popular resort on the lake.

A. W. Miller.
Dated May 21, 1885

(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

There is a free ferry at the foot of 7th street now. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Free Ferry.

Commencing on Saturday, June 6th, we shall open a free ferry across the Mississippi river at the foot of Seventh street, for the accommodation of parties who desire to visit Gilbert Lake. Parties who desire to go to the lake will be sold a ticket at the boat landing for 10 cents, which will be good at the boat house for the face value to apply on boats used. If we are unable to meet the demand for boats and parties who have purchased this ticket cannot be accommodated their 10 cents will be refunded at the boat house, and no charge whatever will be made for ferriage each way. We have inaugurated this ticket scheme in order to protect ourselves from impostors and people who would use the free ferry to our disadvantage. Thanking the people of Brainerd for past favors and looking to them for a continuance of the same in the future, we remain the people’s obedient servants,

Brainerd, June 5th.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Miller & Grant’s summer resort on Gilbert Lake will be largely patronized the coming summer, and in order to make the journey to the river more pleasant they have bought a strip of land from the river to the top of the hill and will build a sidewalk thereon. This will do away with wading through the sand as heretofore. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 May 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

The ferry at the foot of Seventh street will be in operation next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Splendid Boating.

The Gilbert Lake summer resort is now ready for business. Nice boats and splendid boating. Ferry at the north end of Seventh street.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

Now Open.

Gilbert Lake park on Big Gilbert is now open to the public. New boat livery just opened. Take the street cars for the power house, cross the river at the dam and you have only a short walk to this beautiful park with plenty of nice boats and good boating and fishing. A beautiful new driveway has just been opened from the dam to the park. Come and have a good time. Refreshments at the park.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Ferry Now Running.

I desire to announce to the traveling public that the Mississippi River Ferry is now ready and in operation and that the following rates will be charged: Single trips 15 cents; over and back 15 cents; foot passengers 10 cents. Special rates will be made to parties using the ferry daily. Business will be received between the hours of 7 a. m. and 9:30 p. m. The ferry is located at the foot of Main street just north of the railroad bridge.
C. B. ROWLEY, Prop.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 September 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

The charge for round trip tickets on C. B. Rowley’s Mississippi river ferry is 25 cents instead of 15 cents as announced by this paper through a mistake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

The Ferry in Operation.

The ferry across the Mississippi river is again in operation. Prices are: teams one way, 15¢; round trip, 25¢; foot passengers 10¢ each way. Reduced or special rates to draymen and milkmen.
C. B. ROWLEY, Prop.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 1898, p. 10, c. 4)

To Gilbert Lake.

On and after Saturday, July 9, the ferry will be in operation across the river at the pump house at the north end of Seventh street to accommodate those who desire to go to Gilbert lake that way. There is a good foot path along the lake to the boat house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

A ferry has been put in operation across the Crow Wing river near Sylvan lake on the road running from Sylvan to Rail Prairie, by Cyrus Dever. It will be of considerable benefit to this city as there are numerous settlers in that locality who will now come here to trade. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Bids will be opened at the auditor’s office on Wednesday next for building a pile bridge across the thoroughfare at Gilbert lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 July 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

We received a pleasant call today from Mr. Jona. Chase, of Leavitt, Chase & Co., of Minneapolis who, in company with Pillsbury & Co., of that city, propose erecting a saw mill on Gull River, six miles west of Brainerd. Let them come—and yet there is room. (Brainerd Tribune, 05 July 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

Kingsley Burrell has accepted the position of engineer in Capt. Chase’s new saw mill on Gull River, above Brainerd. King is one of the best engineers in the country, and a right good fellow, too. He has hired out by the year and will move his family up in the Spring.—[Elk River Star. (Brainerd Tribune, 03 January 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

Gull River Improvements.

Messrs. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. have leased land and water power to a company who will erect the present season a sash, door and blind factory, just south of their mill at Gull River. As the matter stands now, Gull River is to be to Brainerd what Lowell is to Boston, Newark to New York, or Minneapolis to St. Paul. It is only six miles from Brainerd, why not consolidate before Gull River gets to be a larger town than Brainerd? It is worthy of consideration. (Brainerd Tribune, 03 April 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

The Sash, Door and Blind Factory at Gull River is nearly ready for business. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 April 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

M. H. Davis has returned from an extended visit to Ohio and starts Monday to survey the town-site of Gull River for Chase, Pillsbury & Co. (Brainerd Tribune, 01 May 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

The Editor of the TRIBUNE was driven out to Gull River on Wednesday last in one of Mertz’s comfortable rigs accompanied by Mr. Mertz himself, James Dewar and G. G. Hartley, of this city, and was shown by Mr. Chase of the enterprising firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. over their magnificent saw mill, sash, door and blind factory, dry house, store, office, hotel etc., and the new town of nearly three hundred inhabitants which has sprung up around them, all built, within the past year, where less than a year ago we drove over the ground and not a board or a stick of timber was to be seen and not a bush or even a blade of grass had been disturbed. We have not the space this week to do the subject the justice it demands, but shall next week give our readers a detailed account of what we saw. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 July 1880, p. 4, c. 2)

We expected to give our readers this week a detailed account of the numerous improvements at the vigorous young town of Gull River, six miles west and Chase, Pillsbury & Co.’s mills and enterprising operations at that point but not having received the figures and necessary data in time for this week’s issue we are again obliged to defer it. Meantime Chase, Pillsbury & Co. continue to manufacture, and ship about as fast as they can manufacture, about ten car loads of lumber, lath, shingles, etc. daily and the town continues to grow at the rate of a new house every day or two. (Brainerd Tribune, 31 July 1880, p. 4, c. 1)


Wonderful Improvements.

Among other improvements in and about Brainerd, we must call attention to the great mill of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. at Gull River.

Gull River Lumber Company before it was moved to Brainerd, the drying kiln is in the background, ca. Unknown.
Source: Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Carl Zapffe, Jr.
Col. J. H. Burgoyne, a descendent of the brave general of that name of revolutionary memory, broke ground for Chase, Pillsbury & Co. at the Gull River crossing of the Northern Pacific Railroad, six miles west of Brainerd, for this extensive steam saw mill, one of the best in the State, on August 22d, 1879, a little over a year ago. The country in that section at that time was an unbroken wilderness, and the general public had little conception that a town, Minerva-like, was to spring into existence at this point. But in September 1880, what have we? A steam saw mill, 154 feet in length by 60 feet wide, two stories, 30 feet posts, with a gang of 36 saws, and a circular saw, two edgers, two trimmers, a slab and bolt saw, a shingle machine, turning out forty thousand shingles per day, a lath saw, planer, groove and tongue machine, making siding and flooring, and a dry house turning out thirty thousand feet of dry lumber per day, an engine house, the walls laid with Brainerd brick from the yard of Wm. Schwartz, 40 by 45 feet, one story, containing one engine of 175 horse power. This mill works up into lumber 90 thousand feet of logs, scale measure, per day, with a capacity for even greater work. From seven to eleven cars are daily loaded with lumber at this yard for the “Golden Northwest.” The mill was erected during the fall and winter of 1879 and ‘80, and commenced operations about May 20th, 1880, with a stock of 13,500,000 feet of logs on hand, which will be manufactured into lumber during the present sawing season. Just below the Gull river railroad bridge a dam has been thrown across the stream, giving a splendid boomage for logs, besides furnishing a splendid water power of about a 7 foot fall. Last fall a structure was erected and completed to be used as a boarding house commodious enough to accommodate board and lodging for eighty men, and this spring and summer 22 dwelling houses have been erected on the townsite. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. employ about 125 men in and about their mill. A depot has been erected at this point by the N. P. R. R. Co. and a side track from the mill to the main line of the road.
A general store, under the control of the company, furnishes the employees and their families with all the necessaries in the way of merchandise. A machine shop 150x30 feet with an ‘L’ 80x30 feet is being erected to repair mill machinery, and a portion of the building will be occupied as a foundry to supply all necessary castings, and also to manufacture the Clayton plow. Messrs. Seelye & Co. have erected a sash, door and blind factory, 60x40, utilizing the water power, where all kinds of builder’s furnishings and a full line of mouldings will be manufactured.
In addition to these improvements, twenty-two residences have been built by the various employees, and a school district will soon be established with forty-two scholars. All these structures make up quite a large town, and this where a year ago there was nothing but forest and stream. Mr. Samuel McLane, a skillful and experienced mill man, has charge of the mill as foreman, and Mr. Gill fills the position of bookkeeper. The firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. is composed of Messrs. W. Leavitt, G. Horr, Jonathan Chase, Gov. John S. and C. A. Pillsbury, all of Minneapolis, Minn. It is estimated that the cost of this mill has been about $80,000. The general business of the concern is looked after by Mr. Chase, a careful, discreet man and excellent citizen. His experience in lumbering is not excelled, probably, by any man in the State, and if any man is deserving success it is he.
Gull River Mills Ad, 29 January 1881.
Source: Brainerd Tribune
This town of over three hundred inhabitants, which has sprung into existence within a year is but another evidence of the push and energy which is today so rapidly developing the vast resources of the uninhabited and almost unexplored territory of the Northwest, and it indeed excels anything in our somewhat extended experience of rapid growth and development. We went to Gull River prepared to see a big thing, but we are compelled to admit that though we have seen the great Northern Pacific country from Duluth to Bismarck spring from an unbroken forest and a treeless, uninhabited prairie into a vast empire of moving, growing, thriving wealth, abounding in wheat, teeming with a dense population, dotted with metropolitan cities, growing towns, live villages and countless farm houses, mills, homes, shops, school houses, churches, printing establishments and all the usual evidences and results of civilization and progress, all within the short space of ten years, we have never seen anything equal to the rapidity with which the little town of Gull River with its white robed cottages, extensive factories, vast lumber piles and active industry has bounded into existence, a busy mart and manufacturing centre in less than one year’s time.
The Gull River Lumber Company logging camp. Log buildings were used to house the men, ca. Unknown.
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
There is estimated to be over 250,000,000 feet of pine logs on the Gull river and its tributaries, owned largely by Governor Pillsbury and Leavitt, Chase & Co., the gentlemen composing this firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. and this mill has been conceived and erected to manufacture them and with even its gigantic capacity it will take at least twenty-five years to accomplish this task so that it will be readily observed that the town of Gull River is destined to be no mushroom town of a day, but will always be a prominent business centre and manufacturing point of importance. This new town is also sufficiently near Brainerd to make it largely tributary in many ways to our business interests, for to such enterprises here and in the near vicinity does Brainerd look forward for that increase of industries and that development of her advantages which are destined to support a population of more than 10,000 within the next five years. The market for lumber developed and developing in the vast untimbered Northwest must be supplied and is today, not only taxing the utmost capacity of the Brainerd, Gull River, N. P. Junction and other available mills, but will ere long require the product of the upper Mississippi with its 200,000,000 of pine logs annually to meet the demand. The importance therefore of Brainerd, the junction of the great Northern Pacific thoroughfare with the Mississippi river, as a lumber manufacturing centre is readily observed and fully explains the measure of welcome extended by our citizens to any movement calculated to develop this industry in this section and to demonstrate the advantages of the manufacture of lumber here over those of other points. (Brainerd Tribune, 11 September 1880, p. 4, c.’s 1 & 2)

Gov. Pillsbury was visiting his celebrated saw mill and the new town of Gull River, yesterday, en route from the Wadena County Fair. This, we believe, is his first visit since the location of the town. The progress there must be a little surprising to him as well as others who have noticed for the first time the vast improvements made and making in that locality. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 September 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

An alarm of fire at Gull River mills on Sunday afternoon was caused by a spark from a passing locomotive which ignited a pile of siding. It was discovered and extinguished, fortunately, before any damage was done beyond the blackening of the ends of a few boards. (Brainerd Tribune, 09 October 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

Chase, Pillsbury & Co.

Gull River log loading. The cut logs were loaded onto log cars using the cross loading method.  A horse was used to pull the logs up onto the log car one log at a time, ca. Unknown.
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
We have been given a little insight, through the kindness of Mr. G. G. Hartley, of the extensive lumbering business carried on by Messrs. Chase, Pillsbury & Co., of the Gull River Mills, on the N. P. R. R. line, and it is with pleasure that we note the enterprising spirit manifested by this firm in their immense business in logging and lumbering, at their various camps throughout the country during the present season. Mr. Hartley informs us that they are putting in some 18,000,000 feet of choice lumber and are constantly extending their limits, until they have assumed such proportions as would ingraft in any community a spirit of admiration for such an enormous monopoly in any traffic. They are now having built for their especial purpose and use, a side-wheel steamer for towing logs across the lake, and transporting freight to the different points in their line. This new feature is to be 66 feet in length by 17 feet in width, and will carry an engine of some 50 horse power. It is being constructed under the supervision of a competent boat-builder of Minneapolis, and is to be of fine structure and firmly built. This firm is also, in connection with their regular line of business, putting in several new boilers, raising smoke-stacks, and adding a great deal of new machinery, preparatory to an extensive manufacturing business during the coming summer season. Upon the whole, our informant adds, they are probably as well-fitted for filling orders for lumber of all grades and description than any other establishment in the State. (Brainerd Tribune, 12 March 1881, p. 1, c. 2)

Chase, Pillsbury & Co.

This firm, we are informed, just before going to press, have orders in for over three months’ work ahead for lumber, and are so rushed with work, can scarcely see their way out. If this doesn’t indicate business, what does? It strikes us quite forcibly that this would be a splendid location for two or three more extensive saw mills. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 May 1881, p. 1, c. 4)

Yesterday we received a pleasant call from Mr. J. E. Chase, of Gull River, who was in town for the purpose of engaging hands to work at the lumbering business, in which his father is interested. (Brainerd Tribune, 11 June 1881, p. 6, c. 2)

The Gull River Mills, of Messrs. Chase, Pillsbury & Co.’s, are in full blast as usual night and day, working two sets of men, and even at that cannot supply the wants of their numerous customers. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 June 1881, p. 1, c. 4)

Horr, Seelye & Co., at Gull River, have made large improvements to their extensive sash and door factory at that place. A new stationery engine has been placed in position, and the firm are now able to meet the orders which come in thick and fast. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 January 1882, p. 5, c. 2)

SEE: Rice Lake Mill
SEE: Northern Mill Company / Brainerd Lumber Company

BRAINERD SKATING RINK.—A company of our enterprising young men bound not to be outdone by others in the line of healthy and popular amusements for the winter, have determined to open up a first-class park down on the river at the ferry landing. They intend fixing up the rink with all the necessary appurtenances for the comfort of skaters, and will have facilities for flowing the ice as often as they wish, and will keep skates, etc., and charge only a reasonable fee for the privilege of skating to your heart’s content. Now, young lads and lassies is your time for a moonlight slide, and the old boys should stretch their legs a little occasionally, as well. Hurrah for the new skating rink. (Brainerd Tribune, 14 December 1872, p. 1, c. 3)

SKATING RINK.—Extensive preparations are being made for the establishment of a skating rink in the valley between the city and the N. P. shops, with arrangements for overflowing it at will, and the citizens old and young are preparing to enjoy it. The ground has been cleared and a dam built at a large expense and was overflowed this afternoon for the first time. Subscriptions of $1 each are being received by the treasurer, Mr. Thos. P. Cantwell, entitling the subscriber to all the rights and privileges of the rink for the season, which is indeed very reasonable.
Step up and subscribe. (Brainerd Tribune, 19 January 1878, p. 4, c. 2)

THE skating rink was overflowed again last evening and is now in grand condition—glib as a bottle. Many of the subscribers are still in arrears, however, and the corporation is in debt in consequence, and all are urgently requested to walk up and relieve the stringency and pave the way to a jolly good time. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 January 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

NOTE: The above announcement appeared again on 02 February 1878.

The skating rink company has exhausted its funds and that rare sport the “poetry of motion on ice,” will be temporarily suspended on account of the late snow storm until, another assessment can be collected. (Brainerd Tribune, 01 March 1879, p. 5, c. 1)

The skating rink still continues to afford rare sport for the ladies and gentlemen. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 March 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

Repeated efforts have been made in Brainerd for several years past to institute a skating rink for the enjoyment of the youth and beauty of our City of the Pines but, though much labor and means have been expended from time-to-time to that end, all have been attended with indifferent success. A new era may be said to have dawned, however, upon the spirit of the dreams of the projectors of this gilt enterprise, and we feel assured that at last a prediction of success is a safe prophesy. The basis of this assertion lies in the indubitable fact that the ladies, “God bless them!” have at last been induced to take the thing in hand, and they propose to have a skating rink as is a skating rink. The grounds have been selected east of the freight depot on the north side of the track; Mr. Farrar, sup’t. of machinery of the N. P. has given his consent (how could he refuse the ladies?) to the use of the water main for over-flowing purposes. An oyster supper has been devised and advertised for defraying the expense incident to surfacing and fencing the grounds and erecting the necessary buildings, and the subjects of previous failures, through the superior tact of the ladies, are now enabled to see.

How it might have been.

Let everybody turn out, therefore, on Tuesday evening next and help to swell the crowd that will gather in sweet obedience to the gentle mandate peremptorily pronunciated by those we have not yet let learned how to disobey, and get a good dish of bivalves in the bargain. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 November 1879, p. 4, c.’s 1 & 2)

The skating rink oyster supper on Tuesday evening was a grand success, the net proceeds exceeding $80. Work is being pushed rapidly forward on the rink, and it will soon be ready for cold weather. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 November 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

The skating rink is fenced, and the ladies are hoping for cold weather to make ice. Old Probs should govern himself accordingly. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 November 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

Skating Rink.

At a meeting of the citizens of Brainerd, interested in the skating rink, held at Capt. Sleeper’s office last evening, the following officers and committees were selected:
Executive Committee—A. P. Farrar, B. F. Hartley, W. D. Bean.
Finance Committee—C. F. Kindred, T. P. Cantwell, W. A. Smith.
Treasurer—E. M. Westfall.
Secretary—N. McFadden.
Family and single season and monthly tickets are for sale at the Drug Store at the following rates:
Family Season Tickets—$5.00
Single Season Tickets—$2.50
Single Monthly Tickets—$1.00
Single Admission Tickets—$.25
(Brainerd Tribune, 29 November 1879, p. 4, c. 2)

The skating rink was finally opened to the public on Wednesday. Tickets for sale at the Drug Store. (Brainerd Tribune, 20 December 1879, p. 4, c. 1)

At a meeting of the Brainerd Skating Rink Association at the drug store Friday evening, Dec. 26th, to reorganize the same, the following officers were elected: C. B. Sleeper, Pres.; E. M. Westfall, Treas.; N. McFadden, Secretary. Executive Committee—H. A. Towne, A. P. Farrar, E. W. Wood, A. J. Scoville, Thos. Cantwell, B. F. Hartley, John N. Nevers, W. H. Leland and A. Mahlum, J. F. Wheaton, in charge.
The skating rink is in good running order, notwithstanding the snow and extreme cold weather. The association have re-organized and secured the joint efforts of many of our public spirited citizens, and cannot fail of success. As a place for healthful exercise no better means could be adopted. This enterprise deserves the patronage of all good citizens, and we hope they will step forward and help the cause along.
The services of Mr. J. F. Wheaton, an energetic and experienced man, have been secured, and the public will receive kind consideration under his management.
A red flag will indicate when the rink is open by day, and a head-light by night.
Tickets on sale at the Drug Store.
C. B. SLEEPER, Pres.
N. McFADDEN, Sec’y.
(Brainerd Tribune, 27 December 1879, p. 4, c. 3)


The past week has been a merry one for a host of the young people of Brainerd, and many of the older ones. The ice in the skating rink has been in splendid condition, and every afternoon and evening has witnessed a gala crowd enjoying the sliding sport. It is wonderful how rapidly the new beginners acquire confidence and skill in keeping their equilibrium on the glassy surface. Many are already fine skaters, and all the patrons of the rink are making rapid progress in this pleasurable art. The weather has been warm and pleasant, and with bright sunshiny days no more beautiful picture could be seen than the forty or fifty people, young, middle aged and elderly who have been in attendance making the glad welkin ring with joyous shout and glittering blade on the glistening ice. The best feature about all this is that children—all in fact—are perfectly safe here, no treacherous air holes to take the unwary and bring sorrow to any house. Everything is conducted in the most proper and orderly manner—no boisterousness, and the child is as safe from improper influences as at home. Frequently parents accompany their children, and happy groups of spectators seem to enjoy the pleasures as well as do the more active participants. It is the amusement and “life” of Brainerd this winter, and we trust it may be continued through all the winters to come. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 January 1880, p. 1, c.’s 2 & 3)

The skating rink, thanks to the public spirit of many of our citizens, is a success. The ice has been splendid all the week, and lovers of skating have been moving in graceful lines day and night over its glistening surface. For several evenings from 25 to 40 ladies, gentlemen and children have enjoyed the sport. Manager Wheaton is becoming very popular with the patrons of the rink, and keeps everything in first-class order. Everything is conducted with propriety, and children are as safe as at home. Long may it wave. (Brainerd Tribune, 03 January 1880, p. 4, c. 2)

Skating at the rink these splendid days and bright moonlight nights is more than pleasant—it is joyous, gorgeous. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 January 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

The Skating Rink Association has settled all its liabilities and turned the rink over to Mr. Wheaton, manager, who will continue to furnish ice to the skating public for the balance of the season. Mr. Wheaton was tendered a vote of thanks by the association by his efficient administration of affairs, and the patrons of the rink express themselves highly pleased with his efforts to furnish amusement. (Brainerd Tribune, 28 February 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

The Skating Rink Ball.

The ball given Wednesday evening for the benefit of the Skating Rink Association was a decided success. About fifty couples tripped the light fantastic until 2 o’clock in the morning. The music was excellent, and everything moved off in the most harmonious and pleasant manner. The company was composed mostly of our young people, with a slight sprinkling of elderly ones, and all made up their minds to have a good time, and they had it, the only drawback being that of a somewhat crowded hall during a portion of the evening. A noticeable feature of the evening was the large number of ladies present—quite a number more than gentlemen—the first occurrence of the kind at dancing parties in our city. Another agreeable feature was the absence of any attempt by any parties to club together and form “our set,” and to be “exclusive” at a public party—a very disagreeable element for the last three or four years at such entertainments, and one, we hope, no one or more persons will be silly enough to attempt to re-inaugurate. The entire absence of that class was a just cause for congratulation, and the pleasantness of the evening’s amusement was very pronounced. Give us such dancing parties often. (Brainerd Tribune, 03 April 1880, p. 1, c. 2)

The Skating Rink Association gave its second annual ball at Bly’s Hall last evening, and this reminds us that the rink is opened under the popular management of J. F. Wheaton again as last year and the youth and beauty of Brainerd are enjoying the sport every evening to their heart’s content. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

It is proposed that a skating rink be put into operation here. The entire cost of fitting out such an institution would not exceed $200 or $300, and several have signified a willingness to contribute liberally in that behalf. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 December 1881, p. 7, c. 4)

Matinee tomorrow afternoon, on the ice, immediately north of the Northern Pacific crossing. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 December 1881, p. 5, c. 2)

Fun on the Ice.

Last evening a large number of the young people enjoyed themselves quite hugely at the skating rink at the north end of Seventh street. Mr. Wheaton has the rink fixed up in good shape and the ice is smooth and in splendid condition for skating. Among those who enjoyed the sport last evening were Mr. O. H. Havill and Miss Blanche Sleeper, Mr. Gross and Miss Maud Sleeper, Mr. Allie Ferris and Miss Mamie Sherwood, Mr. Robert Smith and Miss Bertie Robinson, Mr. P. N. Wheaton and Miss Phy Pegg, Mr. Dill and many others. (Brainerd Tribune, 07 January 1882, p. 5, c. 5)

Mr. R. N. Wheaton has succeeded in perfecting arrangements so that the lovers of skating may have opportunity to enjoy the sport. A rink has been completed just over the bluff at the north end of Seventh street. No admission fee is charged at the rink, but the boys are requested to “chip in” a quarter occasionally to defray incidental expenses. (Brainerd Tribune, 07 January 1882, p. 6, c. 2)

Skating parties on Gilbert and Rice lakes are the rage at present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Dan Caffery [sic] is making arrangements to open an ice rink and toboggan slide, and expects to have things in shape in a day or two. The rink will be a large one as he will overflow all that part of the flat between the dump and the wagon bridge. The slide will be built just south of the bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Dan Caffery’s [sic] ice rink and slide will be opened to the public on Monday night next for the first time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The new ice rink will be opened Saturday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Skating is reported excellent on Rice lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

A skating rink will be opened on Seventh street north, near Gregory Park, the first of the week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 December 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The ice rink on Seventh street north, was opened for the first time on Wednesday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 December 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The ice rink is having a boom these days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

There will be a masquerade skating party at Hagadorn’s ice rink on 7th street north on Tuesday evening. A very pleasant time is expected. Everybody is invited. Admission 15 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Skating Race.

A skating race has been arranged to take place in this city on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 18th, at Hagadorn’s ice rink on Seventh street north, for a purse of $600. The contestants will be Mr. Oyen of Minneapolis, and Mr. Otto Olsen, of this city, Mr. Oyen, having challenged the Brainerd flyer to skate from three to five miles for $300 a side. Mr. Oyen was at one time a resident of this city, being employed while here in A. Olsen’s tailor shop. The indications are that the contest will be very close and exciting. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

New Ice Rink.

J. C. Gauvin, the engineer at the Street Railway Co.’s power house, has commenced the building of a skating rink on the large vacant tract adjoining the power house, which he expects to have ready in a few days. It will be made large enough to accommodate all lovers of this most healthful sport, and the rink will be kept clear of snow and in prime condition at all times. It will be easy of access, as the street cars will run only a few feet from the rink. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 November 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The Columbian ice rink at the north end of the electric car line, will be ready to commence business by Thanksgiving, so we are informed by Mr. J. C. Gauvin the proprietor. Season tickets can be procured from him, at the power house, or of Fred S. Parker, the price having been fixed at $3 for gents, and $2 for ladies. These tickets entitle the holders to the privileges of the rink at any time during the skating season, which at the Columbian rink promises to be a very merry one during the coming winter months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

An Inside Ice Rink.

W. A. M. Johnstone, longtime Clerk of District Court, ca. 1922.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
F. A. Farrar and W. A. M. Johnstone will undertake to give the Brainerd public some indoor amusement on ice during the coming winter months, and accordingly have flooded the large roller rink at the corner of 6th and Kingwood streets, it being the intention to have the place ready for those who love to skate in a day or two. The floor has been given a thorough soaking with linseed oil, after which about three inches of saw dust was covered over it and frozen by degrees in order to keep the water from soaking through and running out when the flooding took place. The present cold snap came just in time, and the proprietors are assured of an excellent quality of ice. The place will be a very popular resort, and the gentlemen connected with it will see that it is run in an orderly manner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1893, p. 3, c. 5)

The ice rink at the power house will probably be ready to use tomorrow. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The ice rink at the power house will be opened to the public Saturday and will be a very popular resort. The rink has a large skating surface and the ice is in fine condition. The admission has been fixed at 15 cents for gents and 10 cents for ladies and children. Admission and use of skates 25 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Indoor Ice Skating.

The opening of the covered ice rink in the building formerly used as a roller skating rink occurred last evening and the occasion was participated in by a large number of people, and many who did not skate enjoyed seeing the merry crowd on the ice. The idea of indoor ice skating is a new one in this city, and it bids fair to be as much of a rage this winter as roller skating used to be in its palmiest days. The band was in attendance and it was with much reluctance that the skaters left the ice when time was called at 11 o’clock. Messrs. Farrar & Johnstone will use every endeavor to make it a popular resort, and will keep it up to a standard of excellence which will be an inducement for all to attend. The ice will improve with use, as it will be flooded each night after it is used and will be kept in perfect condition. The band will be in attendance on Saturday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The attendance at the covered ice rink during the week has been all that could be expected and the skating public seem to enjoy the idea of indoor ice skating. At the present time there is an excellent surface of ice. The price of admission has been reduced so that ladies are admitted for ten cents. The matter of season tickets has been arranged so that one ticket admits lady and gent at the same price as previously charged for a season ticket for one person. It is a very popular and healthful place of amusement and the interest in it is growing daily. If you haven't been there take an evening off, try the ice. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The ice at the covered skating rink is now in perfect condition. On Monday, Christmas day, the rink will be opened in the morning from 9 to 12, in the afternoon from 2:30 to 5:30 and in the evening from 7:30 to 10:30. The ice will be put in fine shape after each session. The band will be in attendance Christmas evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Columbian skating rink is now in good condition and well lighted with electric lights. It is open every day from 2 p. m. to 10 p. m. Admission price ten cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The covered ice rink has been enjoying an excellent attendance during the past week, and the enthusiasm of the participants in the sport is greatly on the increase. The ice is now in the best possible condition. The proprietors are making arrangements to give a masquerade skating party soon, the date of which has not yet been fully decided upon. It will be one of the novel attractions of the season, and something which has not yet been witnessed in this section. The arrangements will be conducted so that no one need have hesitancy in attending, as respectable parties only will be permitted the use of the skating surface. When everything is completed the details will be published. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

On Saturday at 2 p. m. at the Columbian ice rink will occur some exciting races, and the event will be a very interesting one. John S. Johnson, champion amateur skater of the world, will be in attendance and skate one mile against time. Johnson leaves Minneapolis on Tuesday next to meet Donoughue in a contest in New York and from there goes to Stockholm, Sweden, to take part in the international races. His visit to Brainerd should certainly bring out a large audience. He will also take part in a two mile handicap race with C. A. Lillberg, Frank Howe, Otto J. Olson, and O. Carron. Then there will be a one mile contest between Frank Howe and C. A. Lillberg. Frank Howe will also jump on skates against all comers. If you miss this event you will regret it. Admission, gents 25 cents, ladies and children 15 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 December 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Ice Skating Sports.

A large audience assembled at the Columbian rink on Sunday afternoon last to witness the races advertised to take place. The one mile race between Lilliberg and Howe was won by the former by less than half a lap, the time being three minutes and fifteen seconds. In the handicap two mile race in which Johnson gave Olson half a lap and Howe and Lilliberg a lap the start, Johnson won in five minutes and 45 seconds. Johnson also skated one mile against time, but did not make any great effort at beating his record.
Howe’s long distance jump was 17 feet and 9 inches.
The Columbian rink manager proposed to keep up the interest in ice skating, and has offered a $25 badge to the Brainerd skater who makes the lowest record in a series of six races the first to take place on Jan. 7th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

At the Covered Ice Rink.

Three events are already billed for the covered rink which will prove drawing cards. The first is a number of Boys Races which will take place Feb. 6th. No extra admission will be charged for this event and it will be worth attending as the races will be spirited.
On Wednesday evening Feb. 14th, St. Valentine’s day, a public masquerade, or more properly expressed an Ice Carnival, will occur. This will probably be one of the most largely attended occasions of the season and those who witnessed the carnival of the St. Andrews society at the same rink last week can testify as to the interesting features that may be expected. The admission will be 25 cents.
On Thursday evening Feb. 22d the annual event of the Chenquatana Club will take place in the form of an invitation carnival. Of this latter event we will have more to say in a future issue as the arrangements are not entirely completed, but it may be said that the event will be strictly first-class and thoroughly enjoyable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

There will be a grand masquerade carnival at the Columbian Rink on Friday evening, Feb. 9. There will be a ladies’ race on speed skates for a prize, and a boys’ race, under 15 years of age, for a prize of a pair of six-dollar skates. A grand promenade will take place at 8:30. Everybody is invited to attend. Admission for gentlemen 15 cents, ladies and children 10 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The masque carnival which was to have taken place at the covered ice rink next week, has been postponed, and will not take place as originally intended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Some evil minded person did a very mean trick at the covered ice rink on Wednesday night by putting salt on the ice in different places in order to destroy the fine surface. Luckily the proprietors discovered what had been done before any serious damage had resulted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Covered Ice Rink.

Messrs. F. A. Farrar and W. A. M. Johnstone have decided to again operate an ice rink in the old roller rink building. These gentlemen conducted an ice rink there last winter which was very liberally patronized and greatly enjoyed by all lovers of the exhilarating sport. The rink was then conducted in the most orderly manner, and the ice was kept constantly in fine condition, and equal care will be taken to please this season. Work will be commenced tomorrow, and it is expected to be in readiness for skating by Thanksgiving Day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The covered ice rink will be opened to the public on Saturday evening provided the weather is such that the surface will be in good condition. The proprietors propose to have the best of management this year and all objectionable and disagreeable features will be over come. The price of season tickets for gents with the privilege of bringing a lady friend will be $5. Ladies’ and children’s season tickets will be $3. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

An ice skating rink is being built by Fred Paine and N. P. White on the vacant block on Main street, between 7th and 8th streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Sport Cullings.

A new enterprise will open to the sport loving public on Christmas day (next Tuesday) in the shape of an open ice rink. Despite the fact that several outside parties, being jealous of such a project, interfered with the land lease and tried to stop the work, the new proprietor and manager Mr. Fred G. Paine, has secured a lease of a tract very centrally located on Main street between 7th and 8th streets north. The rink will be 140 x 160 fenced up 6 ft. high, and will be well surfaced and kept clear of snow through the winter months and a good smooth surface of ice always maintained. It will be well lighted and provided with a comfortable office and well warmed waiting rooms for the convenience of the public. The manager of the rink needs no introduction to the lovers of skating in this community, as he is a long resident of the city and recognized by all to be one of the best fancy skaters in this part of the state. He will instruct his patrons, the public, especially the ladies, in learning plain skating and also the execution of fancy figures, and will be assisted in this work by several of Brainerd’s best skaters. The rates of admission are as follows: Single tickets $2; double tickets $3; family tickets $5; general admission 10 cents, skates 15 cents extra. In case the weather does not prove cold enough to open on Xmas day the opening will take place as soon as the weather will permit.
...Messrs. Farrar and Johnson of the covered rink have thus far been unable to induce enough cold air into the building to freeze the water surface. This open weather is not a boom to the rink business especially of the indoor nature....GILL. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 1, c. 5)

The covered ice rink was opened to the public on Thursday evening and a large number of the lovers of this graceful exercise were in attendance. The attendance each afternoon and evening since has been very gratifying to the management. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

A grand skating carnival will be given at the covered ice rink next Wednesday evening, the 23rd. The Brainerd band will be in attendance. Prizes will be given to the most handsomely dressed lady and gentleman, and also to the winner of the boys’ race. Admission 25 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 January 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

The Chenquatana Club has decided this season to substitute an ice carnival en masque at the covered ice rink in place of the masquerade ball it has given annually. The ice carnival will be given Feb. 12th, and like all social occasions of this organization will be a very enjoyable as well as an elaborate affair. Invitations from this organization are always eagerly looked for. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 January 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Ice Carnival.

The masquerade ice carnival at the covered rink given by the St. Andrews society last evening was a great success in every particular. The attendance was large, over 300 people being in attendance, most of whom were masked. The maskers had the exclusive use of the ice until 9:30, when all unmasked, and all present were allowed to skate. Prizes were given for the handsomest costume, both for ladies and gentlemen. Geo. Bartle won the gents prize, a box of cigars, and Miss Nora Theviot received the ladies prize, a silver book holder. A boys’ race was also an attraction which was won by Pete Wolvert. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 January 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

The attendance at the covered ice rink has increased astonishingly since free admission for ladies has been announced. The receipts have likewise increased, for strange to say, the gentlemen “will go where Tilda goes.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The Masked Ice Carnival.

The masked ice carnival that has been announced by the Chenquatana Club this season in lieu of their annual masque ball, will take place on the evening of Tuesday, Feb. 12th, at the covered ice rink. The attendance will be very large, as it is much talked of these days, and all the prominent society people are making preparations to attend, and Messrs. Farrar & Johnstone, the managers of the rink, promise to have the ice in the best possible condition. The galleries of the rink will be heated for spectators, and also the reception room for the skaters. The Third Regt. Band will be in attendance throughout the evening. The grand march will commence at 8:30. Tickets can be procured at Swartz’s or McFadden’s drug store, or of the entertainment committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 February 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

The New Ice Rink.

The new ice rink [at the west end of the East Brainerd bridge] was opened on Thanksgiving day, and Mr. McDonald, the proprietor, reports a very liberal patronage. The warm weather was a disadvantage to the toboggan slide and it could not be operated, but will probably be in form for Tuesday night. The rink is centrally located and undoubtedly will be well patronized by the Brainerd public. Mr. McDonald assures the people that the rink and slide will be conducted in a manner that will be appreciated by them, that no objectionable characters will be allowed, and take it all in all it is bound to become a popular resort during the winter months. From now on the rink will be open every afternoon and evening, except on Sundays, and on Saturday nights the closing hour will be extended. Single season tickets, $2. Family season tickets, $5. General admission, 10 cts. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 November 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

Brainerd Hockey Club.

Monday evening several young men of this city held a meeting at the Y. M. C. A. parlors and organized a Hockey Club. The following officers were elected:
President—Sam. H. Parker.
Vice Pres.—E. H. Simmons.
Sec’y and Treas.—O. M. Green.
Captain—J. M. Johns.
Asst. Captain—Chas. Mitchell.
Patrons—C. C. Kyle, Frank G. Hall.
Committee—Frank Howe, Jno. Congdon and Will Nicols.
The club has secured the use of the center sheet of ice at the Athletic Ice Rink three nights a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings, from 7:30 to 8:30 o’clock, for practice nights. Following is a partial list of the members: Frank Howe, H. M. Johns, James Casey, Jas. Murphy, Nora White, Ferdinand Boor, James McPherson, Chas Mitchell, O. M. Green, Chas. Miller, Lou Wheatley, John Congdon, Will Nicols, Bert Cole, Fritz Tilquist, John Armstrong, Fred Ross, Jack Gidders, James Towers, and Will Georgison. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Manager C. G. McDonald, of the Athletic ice rink desires the DISPATCH to state that the ice at the rink is in fine shape for skating, and that ladies will be admitted free. The rink will be well lighted and every comfort provided for patrons. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

C. G. McDonald is making arrangements to entertain the public in the way of skating this winter and is clearing off the vacant block at the corner of Sixth and Main streets preparatory to enclosing it for an ice rink. The location is very favorable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 October 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

Athletic Ice Rink.

C. G. McDonald expects to give a grand opening at his ice rink, corner of Sixth and Main streets, on Thanksgiving afternoon and evening, if the weather permits. The Northern Pacific band under the leadership of Prof. Graham has been engaged to furnish music twice a week on Tuesday and Friday evenings. The rink bids fair to be the popular place of amusement the coming winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 1897, p. 1, c. 2)

The Athletic Ice Rink, at the corner of Sixth and Main streets, is now ready and open to the public. The ice is in excellent condition. Mr. McDonald has engaged the Northern Pacific band for Tuesday and Friday evenings of each week and from time to time will have special features at the rink. A lunch counter has been put into the waiting room where hot coffee and lunches will be served. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

A grand masquerade will be given at the Athletic ice rink on Saturday evening of this week and arrangements are perfected to make it an attractive occasion. Tickets of admission will be 25 cents, holders of season tickets 15 cents, children 10 cents. Spectators will be charged 10 cents. Mr. McDonald has reduced the price of season tickets for the rink to $1.00 for gentlemen and 75 cents for ladies, children 50 cents or per couple $1.50. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

C. G. McDonald has disposed of his Sixth street skating rink to Sam. Weeks, who will continue to operate the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 February 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The managers of the Athletic Ice Rink have decided to tender to the ladies of Brainerd the free use of the rink for skating the balance of the season and gentlemen will be charged but 10 cents. This liberal inducement should certainly stimulate the patronage of this popular skating resort and insure good crowds. The ice is in excellent condition and the rink is conducted in an orderly manner. If you like to skate there is no better place to pass an evening than at the Athletic Ice Rink. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1898, p. 10, c. 1)

31 January 1914. The YMCA skating pond is in fine shape. Children use it in the day time and grownups in the evening. It is located on the southwest corner of Main and Broadway. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 2014)


Chamber of Commerce and Park
Board Co-operate in Making
Rink Near the Fill


The Rink Will Have a Surface of Ap-
proximately 200 Feet Long by
400 Feet Wide

The arrangements for the public skating rink which is being promoted by the park board and the Chamber of Commerce committee, have so well been carried out that it is anticipated the rink will be flooded and in shape not later than New Year’s day when the public is invited to inspect the first municipal ice skating rink ever undertaken in this section of the state.
Water will be turned into the large vacant lot located between the fill and the Northern Pacific tracks on the west side of the large sewer either this afternoon or tomorrow morning and as soon as the ground has been covered with a thin layer of ice it will be flooded the second time. The tall grass and weeds have been cut and the ground cleared as much as possible. As soon as possible a large arc light will be located in the center of the rink so as to illuminate the entire surface while seats and benches will be provided as soon as practical.
The rink when flooded will provide a skating surface of approximately 200 feet long and 400 feet wide and the committee plans on maintaining the rink in the best possible condition through the aid of the members and an attendant who will have charge. All expenses incident to the construction and maintenance will be borne by the Chamber of Commerce and city park board. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1914, p. 1, c. 7)


A. A. Arnold of Park Board Gets
Appropriation of $25, Meeting
Held on Tuesday Evening

Young Men Appointed by N. E. Brainerd Im-
provement League to Work Out Further
Plans for the Rink

(Sec. N. E. Brainerd Improvement League)

The Northeast Brainerd Improvement League held a special session Tuesday evening in answer to the call of the secretary.
President Crust was present but could not stay for the meeting. Alderman J. H. Strickler acted as chairman and in calling the meeting to order stated that the purpose of the meeting was to establish and maintain a first-class community skating rink in N. E. Brainerd.
An enthusiastic crowd of about 30 young men of the Third ward were present and they expressed their willingness, by offering their time and money, to make this undertaking a success.
A. A. Arnold, member of the Park board, secured a donation of $25 from this body for this rink and the action was greatly appreciated by the league and the boys present.
The space selected for this rink is just west of the Lowell school, between 2nd and 3rd Avenues and Ash and Elm streets, covering nearly one solid block. The matter of securing the use of these lots was left in the hands of A. A. Arnold.
The following young men were appointed to work out further plans and to solicit the funds necessary to organize this rink under the supervision of the N. E. Brainerd Improvement League: Herbert Berry, L. Corcoran, Robert Johnson, Gust Walstrom, Frank Selisker, Ike Johnson, Geo. Eastling, Otto Hubbard, Jake Graff and Ernest Crust, Elon Hokanson was elected captain of this committee and he is the man in charge of all outside particulars.
Another meeting will be held Monday evening, Dec. 17th at 8 o’clock to receive the report of the committee after which the work will be started at once in order to have skating by Christmas. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 December 1917, p. 1, c. 7)


$143.50 Collected by Young Men for
Project, Collections May Total
$300 or More


Matter of Building Warming House,
Securing Water and Light Left
to Proper Committees

(Secretary N. E. Brainerd Improvement League)

The Northeast Brainerd Improvement League met in special session at the hose house. President Edward Crust called the meeting to order and the minutes of the previous meeting were read and approved.
The matter of the skating rink was the main topic of the meeting, and the committee on funds made the following partial report:


Frank Selisker—$13.50
Robert Johnson—$17.75
Arthur Johnson—$10.50
Geo. Graff—$8.25
Geo. Eastling—$12.00
Gust Walstrom—$4.00
Ernest Crust—$32.00
Herbert Berry—$15.00
Elon Hokanson—$30.50
This report is incomplete as the entire committee has not been heard from at this time but it is understood that up to the present time the sum of $200 has been collected.
C. W. Koering was present at the meeting and offered the use of the ball park for the rink but the majority of the boys present were of the opinion that the first place selected was a more desirable location, and block 27 was upon motion definitely decided upon.
It was moved and carried that a vote of thanks be extended to Mr. Koering for his generous offer.
A. A. Arnold reported having seen the property owners of the lots desired and all express their willingness to donate the use of the grounds for this purpose.
It was moved and carried that Alderman J. H. Strickler act as general manager of the community skating rink.
The matter of erecting a big warming house and to secure water and light for the rink was left to the hands of the proper committee and work will be commenced at once. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 December 1917, p. 5, c. 3)

Flooding the Norwood Street ice rink, 1922. A 2046x1094 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Collin Peters
Norwood Street ice rink, 1949. A 716x404 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
Brainerd Skating Rink—Here is a view of Brainerd's new permanent ice skating rink. The site, near the Hickerson garment factory was OK'ed by the city council last fall and the warming house (foreground) built through the local Exchange club winter sports program. The Exchange has also contributed to the maintenance of the rink. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 1949)

NOTE: This ice rink was located on the South side of Norwood Street between SE 11th and 12th Streets.

SEE: Boom Lake
SEE: Toboggan Slides

The proposition to build a wagon bridge across the Mississippi at this point is meeting with considerable favor just now, and stands a fair chance of being consummated. Silas Brockway, an old bridge builder, offers to take the contract at a fair estimate. Several prominent lumbermen have agreed to aid it, and a number of our citizens have said they would take stock in it. Ahrens Bros., proprietors of the West Brainerd town site, have not been seen yet, but undoubtedly will subscribe liberally, and we hope next spring will see it completed. It can easily be done with a little push if the several interests can be properly concentrated, and it would be of untold advantage to Brainerd. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 November 1879, p. 4, c.’s 1 & 2)

The Brainerd Bridge.

Our people are making some progress in the right direction. That is to say, in agitating the question of putting a wagon bridge across the Mississippi at this point. A three-pier bridge, with one span of 80 feet can be constructed for about $6,000—and the coming season is the time to do it. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. are interested as well as every other citizen in Cass and Crow Wing counties, and we have no doubt lumbermen will subscribe liberally to this enterprise. Why not have a meeting of our citizens—have committees appointed and go at this thing in a business-like way. It should be accomplished—must be in fact, and the sooner we take hold of it in earnest the sooner will we reap its benefits. “Penny wise and pound foolish” ought to have no application to this enterprise. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 January 1880, p. 1, c. 2)

Whilst the matter is fresh we would again urge some united and concentrated action with reference to the Brainerd bridge. Why not call a meeting of our citizens, appoint committees and get the thing in shape to insure its accomplishment? Now is the accepted time. Brainerd businessmen should neglect no opportunity to push this enterprise. With a good bridge and road leading northward to the pineries Brainerd would get a much larger trade and reap the benefit of a large and thriving center for outfitting and supplying lumbermen. Can’t you see it? or won’t you see it? Here we are the northernmost point, contiguous to the great lumbering area, and sit down waiting for business and prosperity to come to us. If it will not come we must go bring it. We cannot expect success unless we work for it. (Brainerd Tribune, 07 February 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

The Brainerd Bridge.

A meeting of the citizens of Brainerd was held Friday evening at Mr. Kindred’s office for the purpose of adopting measures to secure the construction of a bridge across the Mississippi at this point. Mr. C. B. Sleeper was called to the chair and N. McFadden, secretary. Mr. P. Mertz briefly stated the object of the meeting. After a somewhat lengthy discussion Mr. C. F. Kindred moved that a pile bridge with sheer booms be built. Adopted. A committee consisting of G. G. Hartley, L. P. White and Silas Brockway was appointed to obtain estimates of cost of construction and length of center span, and report to an adjourned meeting at the same place Thursday evening 19th inst. It is a boom! (Brainerd Tribune, 14 February 1880, p. 1, c. 2)

The bridge meeting was adjourned over to next week for additional information from committee on estimates. Don’t let this thing drag gentlemen. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 February 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

Have our citizens overlooked the fact that there was to be a bridge? Are they to “Dumb forgetfulness a prey?” Communities prosper only where its members are active and vigilant. Do not let this matter “sleep the sleep that knows no wakening.” Up and at it—push it to successful completion, and be self-helps and public benefactors. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 March 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

In 1882 [sic] [1883] a wagon bridge is built across the Mississippi River on Laurel Street; it is built of wood and is replaced in 1898 with one of steel. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 22)

Laurel Street Bridge Construction, 1883.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Left, Laurel Street Bridge of 1883, right, NP Bridge of 1876, ca. 1892.
Source: Photographer, F. J. Trost. Headwaters of the Mississippi, 1892, Glazier
The new bridge at the foot of Laurel street is progressing finely and it will not be many weeks before it will be ready for use. The piers are in and the timbers and stays are up half way across the river. The bridge when completed will do away with the ferry at this place and will be a great convenience, as the delay caused by the running of logs at certain seasons of the year is very annoying to parties who have business on the other side. —Judging by the looks of the timber and iron that is being piled up and put together it will be a substantial structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1883, p. 2, c. 3)

Foreground, Laurel Street Bridge of 1883 and background, NP Bridge of 1876. Notice the log boom in the foreground, ca. 1892.
Source: Photographer F. J. Trost. Headwaters of the Mississippi, 1892, Glazier
The new bridge will be entirely completed and ready for use in three weeks. There is four more bents to put in and the sidewalk on the side of the bridge to finish and the same will be ready for use. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Mysterious Disappearance.

There is something rather mysterious in regard to the disappearance of Frank Spicer, the gentleman who has had charge of the bridge which is being built at the foot of Laurel street. Mr. Spicer was at work as usual on Thursday and was about town on Thursday evening visiting a number of the saloons, since when nothing as been heard of him. It was rumored on the streets that he had gambled away considerable of the company’s money, but on inquiry we find this to be without foundation, as he did not have any of their funds. What can have become of him remains to be seen. There has been some surmises as to foul play, but of course nothing can be stated in regard to this, only what is talked. It is not known to any one that he had any reason for leaving so abruptly, as he had been in the employ of the bridge company for a number of years and was a valuable man to them, as stated in a letter in relation to his disappearance received this week. He is a married man about 33 years old, his wife living in Cleveland, Ohio. The police have the matter in hand and will do all in their power to discover his whereabouts. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 6)

The Brainerd Bridge.

BRAINERD, Oct. 3.—The new wagon bridge over the Mississippi at this point was today accepted from the contractors by the county commissioners, and will tomorrow be formally opened to the public. It spans the high banks 50 feet above low water stage, and is 750 feet long, in three spans with roadway and passenger walk. The bridge is a combination Howe truss, and was build by the King Bridge Company of Cleveland, OH., at a cost of a little under $20,000. The state pays $7,500, under the appropriation secured last winter by Representative Hartley. (Minneapolis Tribune, 04 October 1883, p. 4)

NOTE: Until this new bridge was built in 1883, a ferry was used to transport people across the Mississippi River. The Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge was also used to go from one side of the river to the other.

C [sic]. Gross [sic], the bridge watchman, proposes to see that the law in regard to driving is enforced, and accordingly last Saturday he entered complaint against Dr. Parsons for running his horse across the same. The police justice refused to issue a warrant on the grounds that the sign was not in accordance with the statutes. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 2)

H [sic]. Cross, the bridge watchman has had warrants issued for the arrest of Chas. Pegg, Fred Leland, John Pierre, and Maj. Ruffee for fast driving over the new bridge. Mr. C. is watching things close. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 08 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Is He Guilty.

Laurel Street Bridge on the left and NP Bridge on the right, NP Hospital in the background,1886. A 1908x950 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Marilyn Rubbelke
Bridge Watchman Cross arrested Hon. G. G. Hartley on Monday for driving on the wagon bridge faster than a walk, and Mr. H. was brought before the police court, plead [sic] not guilty and demanded a jury trial which was set for Thursday. George Holland appeared for the county and Mr. Hartley plead [sic] his own cause. The jury impaneled was as follows: C. H. Conklin, J. S. Church, S. Walker, Harry Brooks, E. O. Webb, F. M. Cable, J. McElroy, L. J. Cale, C. M. Patek, H. Rosenblatt, Wm. Dresskell and John Ort.
Three or four witnesses were brought onto the stand who testified that the defendant did on the day mentioned drive on the bridge, or what is generally termed the approach to the bridge, faster than a walk. Mr. Hartley’s only witness being the contractor who built the structure by whom he desired to prove that it would not damage it one cent’s worth to trot across it, but the court would not admit the evidence claiming that it was not pertinent. Mr. Hartley then delivered his maiden speech to the jury in which he claimed that the approach to the bridge, on which he admitted that he drove faster than a walk, did not come under the law as it was not the bridge proper, and even if it was that it did not hurt it one cent’s worth. He also claimed that if this fine business was carried out as it had been commenced, that it would soon be the cause of driving trade from the city and that the streets would soon make good pasture, as the grass would surely grow therein. He also thought it a disgrace to be arrested by a man whose grocery bill was not paid which of course had no bearing on the case, but which the jury listened to patiently. After he had fully spoken his mind on the case, Mr. G. W. Holland addressed the jury in behalf of the county in which he charged them to find a verdict in accordance to law and testimony given, and which was as plain as the nose on a man’s face. He told them that as Mr. Hartley had admitted he did drive faster than a walk on the so-called approach there was no possible way for him to evade the penalty which had been fixed by the state in so many words, and because it was a man who held high honors and was a prominent citizen it was no reason why he should not be dealt with accordingly. The case went to the jury and they stayed out two or three hours, but could not agree, standing six for acquittal and six for conviction, and a new trial was called at 5 o’clock, the jury this time being H. E. Leland, J. A. McColl, Ed Hazen, H. Metzger, A. L. Nutting, Peter Ort, T. Wilson, D. F. Sexton, J. Bubar, H. Gross, C. V. Wadham and J. Frost. The same proceedings were gone over with and the jury stayed out until 11 o’clock, and could not agree and the case was adjourned until 9 o’clock this morning to be tried before a new jury.
LATER.—Since the above was in type the following jury was summoned who brought in a verdict of “Not Guilty.”
S. Foster, Bert Sterling, Geo. McLean, E. M. Westfall, George Hastings, Lep. Metzger, Patsy Clifford, J. B. Long, Joe Cohen, John H. Brannon, A. Orr, T. J. Riley.
There can be no doubt in regard to the offense having been committed, as the law is very precise in its legal definition of a bridge, the stick seeming to be mainly that in the opinion of the defendant it does not damage the bridge to trot across it, and that C. Cross the bridgeman owes grocery bills and does not have the respect of several of the citizens but this should have nothing to do with the question as to the guilt of the party. If we violate the law we expect to abide by the results, and if G. G. Hartley, General Grant or George Washington drives over the bridge in opposition to laws that have been made by the state, they should be dealt with accordingly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

Miss Agnes A. Gillis was arrested for trotting her horse on the approach to the bridge, as it is called, on Wednesday, and brought before Judge Douglas for trial. The lady did not deny that she trotted on the approaches, plead her own case, and was acquitted by the jury. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 15 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The report is circulated that all the bridge fines are paid to the officer making the complaint. This is a mistake, as the bridge-watchman is paid $20 per month for his services. This is published on authority of one of the county commissioners and ought to settle the question. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 15 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Proposals for Painting Bridge.

Sealed proposals will be received at the office of county auditor for painting the county bridge across the Mississippi river at Brainerd, with mineral (“Iron Clad”) paint and boiled linseed oil. About 3,000 square yards, more or less to be painted. Bidders to make estimate per square yard or the entire job.
Proposals will be received until 9 a.m. Monday, June 15th, 1885.
The county commissioners reserve the right to reject any or all bids.
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Commissioners Proceedings.

Proposals to do the painting on the county bridge were opened. The following is a list of proposals:
Jno. C. Congdon $1217. 40
Andrew Wallace $725.00
Andrew Frederickson $580.00
G. W. Mosher $475.00
Harry P. Cragg 11¢ per square yard
Whitney & Bahan 15¢ per square yard
The bid of G. W. Mosher was accepted.
The following resolution was adopted:
RESOLVED, That the contract to do the painting on the county bridge across the Mississippi river at Brainerd be awarded to G. W. Mosher, and that he be required to furnish a bond in the sum of five hundred (500) dollars, said bond to be approved by the county auditor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The River Bridge Shaky.

The bridge over the river has been declared unsafe and all traffic over it was stopped Wednesday afternoon. The commissioners examined it Wednesday morning and found that some of the timbers in the arch on the east end were so rotten that they could be torn to pieces with one’s fingers. The foundations to the bridge were also found to be crumbling and giving away, although Com. Smith says there is no immediate danger from this source. The commissioners spent the greater part of Wednesday afternoon considering what to do in regard to the matter. A representative of an Ohio iron bridge company was present at their meeting and offered to replace the bridge with a solid, substantial iron structure, at the cost of the present bridge. The commissioners, however, finally concluded to replace the rotten timbers and otherwise repair the bridge to last until winter, when they expect to place it in first-class condition. Work of temporarily repairing the bridge is now in progress. An unsafe bride is a very dangerous thing, and if a great deal of care and good judgment is not exercised in making present repairs, a terrible calamity may be expected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 July 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

The bridge across the river has been fixed to such an extent that teams are now allowed to cross, although the work on it is by no means completed. Its condition at the time travel was stopped was extremely dangerous, the timbers in some places having become rotten two-thirds [of] the way through and they were the ones on which the strain came. The only wonder is that the structure did not fall into the river. The county commissioners will see that it is placed in an entirely safe condition before the job is completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 August 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The extensive repairs on the Mississippi wagon bridge has been a great inconvenience to the traveling public during the past two weeks, but it is now thought that it will be in condition to use early next week. All travel in that direction has to go by the dam, which makes a four mile drive to get across the river. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 August 1890, p. 4, c. 3)


The Sept. term of the district court opened last Monday, with Judge G. W. Holland presiding. The grand jury found no indictments, and was discharged on Tuesday. While in session they inspected the Mississippi river bridge and visited the poor farm. They made the following report:

TO THE COURT: The grand jury having visited the Mississippi Wagon Bridge for the purpose of inspecting the same, would respectfully call the attention of the court and the county commissioners to the present bad and dangerous condition of said bridge, and recommend that the county commissioners employ an expert bridge builder to more thoroughly inspect the said bridge and report to them upon the condition thereof with a view of placing the same in a safe condition for travel.


J. M ELDER, Foreman.
Dated, Brainerd, Sept. 20, 1892
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

The county commissioners are about to fix the Mississippi wagon bridge by replanking the floor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The fire department was called out shortly after dinner today to the Mississippi Wagon Bridge which was discovered on fire. The fire was soon put out without much loss. It was probably caused by a lighted cigar being thrown carelessly aside. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 August 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

In 1897 the council thought the time had arrived when a better bridge should be built across the Mississippi River. They [the County Commissioners] decided on a steel bridge at high line. Bonds in the amount of $25,000 were sold. C. B. Rowley was awarded the contract [Rowley was not awarded the contract.] and he was given a permit to operate a ferry while the wooden bridge was razed. The work was started in 1898. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 80)

A special meeting of the city council will be held tonight, when the matter of repairing the Mississippi bridge or building a new one, will be considered. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Council Meeting.

A special meeting of the city council was held on Saturday evening last, all aldermen being present.
...Communication from the Gillette-Herzog Manufacturing Co., giving estimates of cost in bridging the Mississippi, was read. The company offered to repair the old bridge for $7,500, or build a new iron bridge on the present site for $14,000, or on the new Kingwood street site for $10,500. The street committee was instructed to try and secure the services of Mr. Geo. Schoonmaker, to inspect the old bridge, and report on its condition at the next regular meeting. Council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 January 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Council Proceedings.

The county attorney was requested to call on the county commissioners and explain matters in regard to the Mississippi river bridge, it having been discovered that the bridge act required the commissioners to keep it in repair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Council Proceedings.

Report of the city attorney, regarding the Mississippi bridge was accepted. Report stated that the council was not liable in any manner for condition of bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 February 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

New Bridge.

The county commissioners held a meeting on Wednesday evening to consider the question of the Mississippi wagon bridge. The old bridge is reported in such a bad condition as to be beyond repairs, and a new bridge seems to be the only solution of the difficulty. County Attorney Fleming told the commissioners they were undoubtedly responsible for the bridge and not the city council. The matter of building a new bridge was discussed at length, but no conclusion was reached. As the county has no money, the issuance of bonds is the only way to provide money, and the people would have to vote on the matter, and that would require a special election with all the expense. Commissioner Archibald favored the building of a toll bridge, and thought that any other scheme could not be carried on a vote, as he knew the farmers would not vote any more bonds that they would have to pay taxes for, and he didn’t believe the people in town would. The other commissioners all believe the bridge should be paid for out of the public funds and be free; that toll bridges were out of date and an exaction the people would not stand. The matter was discussed until nearly midnight, when the commissioners adjourned without coming to any conclusion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 March 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

It was reported about the city the first of the week that the commissioners contemplated closing up the wagon bridge across the river about April 1st, and the people living on the other side of the river have become very much exercised over the matter. A DISPATCH representative today saw Chairman Smith, of the county commissioners, who said no such action was contemplated. He said the old bridge would be repaired until a new one took its place. That he will have a force of men there in a short time to make such repairs as will make the bridge safe until a new structure is finished, the putting in of new stringers being the most urgent thing necessary to insure its safety. Steps will be taken very soon to build a new bridge. It is an absolute necessity to the prosperity of the city and county, and the people will undoubtedly see the matter in that light. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 March 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

Build a New Bridge.

The matter of building a new bridge over the Mississippi river here has got to be a serious matter and cannot be delayed any longer. The old bridge has been condemned and any one crossing does so at the peril of his life. It may, by a little repairing, be made fit for use a few months longer, but this even is doubtful. A new bridge must be constructed at once, or all the people in the country living north and west of the city will have no means of getting here to transact business. This is a state of affairs that cannot be thought of for a moment. Means of crossing the river must be had at whatever cost, and it is passing strange that the county commissioners should fool along and neglect the interests of the whole community in the manner they have. But, they say, we have no money, and can not get any unless we issue bonds. Then why in the name of common reason don’t they take steps to issue bonds to get the money. Surely no one with a just appreciation of the necessity of a bridge will object to the issuance of bonds for this purpose. If the county can issue bonds to build useless dams and help railroad companies, there certainly can be no objection to bonds for roads or bridges, for without these this county or city will never amount to anything. Roads and bridges we have got to have, and in this case a new bridge must be built within the next few months or the old one will go down, with loss of life, perhaps. The commissioners are going to put up a sign on the bridge in a few days that it is condemned, and anyone crossing must do so at his own risk. This is a nice state of affairs, a splendid advertisement for this community.
We are reliably informed a new bridge, all steel, one that will last indefinitely, can be built for $10,000. Bonds to pay for it could be issued and sold without question at 5 per cent. This would make an interest charge of only $500 a year, or not to exceed a quarter of a mill addition to the tax levy, an amount so small that no individual tax-payer would feel the few cents that it would cost. In fact, it would be as nothing to the loss that would be inflicted on the people in the western and northern portion of the county by not having one. In view of these facts, it is absurd to say that there would be any serious opposition to issuing bonds for this purpose. Let the commissioners do their duty, and submit the question to the people, and they will decide the matter rightly; and let it be done at once, before any bad accidents happen as a result of delay. Immediate action must be taken by the commissioners or they will neglect what is their clear duty in the premises. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 March 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

The Wagon Bridge.

Contractor C. B. Rowley has had a force of men at work on the old wagon bridge since Monday morning, putting it in shape to use until a new structure can be built. They will finish today.
The matter of a new bridge has not yet been settled, but probably something definite will be decided on it at the meeting of the commissioners on Tuesday. One thing ought to be impressed on the commissioner’s minds, and that is that a new structure must be built, and it must be built of steel, so that it will not have to be repaired continually and renewed again in a few years. A wooden bridge is a poor investment at any cost. A good iron bridge will last indefinitely. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1897, p. 1, c. 3)

To Bridge the Mississippi.

A special meeting of the board of county commissioners has been called for Tuesday, May 25th, for the purpose of making arrangements to build a new bridge across the Mississippi river at the site where the old one now stands. The present bridge has been condemned, and the commissioners in taking the action are only carrying out the wishes of the tax-payers. A law passed by the recent legislature makes it possible for the commissioners to issue certificates of indebtedness for the purpose of rebuilding or repairing bridges that were originally built with state aid without calling an election for the purpose. It may be stated in this connection that no other business of any character will be considered at the special meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 May 1897, p. 4, c. 7)


Proceedings of the Special Meeting of the
Crow Wing Co. Commissioners,
Meeting Held on Tuesday,
May 25th, 1897.


Pursuant to call the board of county commissioners met in special session at 10 a. m. on Tuesday, May 25th, for the purpose of acting on the bridge matter.
All members were present.
On motion the auditor was instructed to advertise for bids to be opened Monday, July 12th, 1897, for an iron bridge, 24 feet driveway, and 8 feet sidewalk, 3 spans 125 feet each, and 4 new tubular piers. Deck not to be less than 6 feet higher than old bridge, and to be planked with 3-inch oak, all old material in old bridge to be used.
Committee of the whole was appointed to confer with bidders.
Board adjourned sine die,
County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 28 May 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

Will Build a Bridge.

A special meeting of the commissioners was held on Tuesday morning to consider the question of constructing practically a new bridge across the Mississippi. It was finally decided to build an iron bridge and the auditor was instructed to advertise for bids. The bridge is to be constructed wholly of iron and steel, and is to consist of three spans of 125 feet each. The foundation will be of the tubular steel variety and concrete. The deck must be at least 6 feet higher than the present bridge and of 3 inch oak plank. There will be a sidewalk 8 feet wide and a driveway of 24 feet. The iron in the old bridge will be used, this action being necessary to make the improvements be classed as repairs, the commissioners not having the power to build an entirely new bridge without submitting the question to the people. The old approaches will also be used. The hill on the west bank will be graded down, so as to make a level approach to the structure. The cost is estimated to be about $10,000, and will be met by the issue of certificates of indebtedness. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 May 1897, p. 4, c. 7)

The superintendent of electric lights was instructed to await further orders before wiring the Mississippi river bridge and the matter of lighting the East Brainerd bridge was referred to the electric light committee with power to act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)





Notice is hereby given that on Tuesday, July 27th, at 3 p. m. at the office of the County Auditor Crow Wing County in the City of Brainerd, bids will be received for the rebuilding of the old combination bridge across the Mississippi river.
Said bridge to be as follows:
Three spans of about 130 feet each. Roadway 18 feet in the clear. Side walk on each side of five (5) feet each. Piers to be tubular piers and concrete, Portland cement to be used. Thickness of plate to be 7-16th inch. Diameter tube about four (4) feet. This bridge is to be a full decked iron and steel bridge. The iron in the old bridge to be used in new bridge as far as practicable. The deck of new bridge to be about eight (8) feet higher than old bridge. Stringers in bridge to be iron or steel. Bridge to be planked with three (3) inch oak plank. Planking to be laid diagonally. Grade of oak to be the same as Northern Pacific Bridge ties. Side walks to be planked with two (2) inch oak, and also four (4) foot iron railing on same. The successful bidder to remove the old structure and place old timber on upper banks. Bidders to bid on the three (3) spans and also on spans and approaches combined. Approaches to be of same material as specified for bridge. All bids to be accompanied by cashiers check on First National Bank of Brainerd, Minn., for 10 per cent of the amount of bid. All bids to be accompanied with plans and specifications in accordance with foregoing statement. The foregoing statement of specifications is not to be considered as final, but may be changed by bidders in their plans and specifications, wherever they think improvements can be made. This bid is to take the place of previous bids. The board reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
Chairman Board County Commissioners.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 16 July 1897, p. 4, c. 9)
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 July 1897, p. 4, c. 8)

Next Tuesday the bids for building a bridge over the Mississippi river will be opened at the office of the county auditor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 July 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

The Mississippi Bridge.

On Tuesday the bids for constructing a bridge across the Mississippi river were opened at the auditor’s office but no award was made. Several bridge firms were represented and the bids ranged from $15,000 to $30,000, some of the companies putting in as high as six different bids for different kinds of structures. The meeting adjourned until Tuesday at which time the commissioners will have the report from an expert engineer who has taken the bids, plans and specifications to St. Paul for examination. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 July 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

The New Bridge.

The county commissioners on Tuesday rejected all bids for the construction of the new Mississippi river bridge, and engaged Chas. F. Loweth, of St. Paul, a bridge expert, at a salary of $600 to draw new plans and superintend the construction when the same is done. The plans will be ready in about two weeks, at which time new bids will be called for, the bidders to be required to conform to the specifications instead of submitting plans of their own and bidding accordingly as they did under the last advertisement, and which made it necessary to do the work over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 August 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

Ferry Now Running.

I desire to announce to the traveling public that the Mississippi River Ferry is now ready and in operation and that the following rates will be charged: Single trips 15 cents; over and back 15 cents; foot passengers 10 cents. Special rates will be made to parties using the ferry daily. Business will be received between the hours of 7 a. m. and 9:30 p. m. The ferry is located at the foot of Main street just north of the railroad bridge.
C. B. ROWLEY, Prop.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 September 1897, p. 8, c. 2)


Proceedings of Meeting of Board of Crow
Wing County Commissioners,
Held September 22nd
and 23d, 1897.



Moved and seconded that the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works of Clinton, Iowa, they being the lowest bidders, be awarded the contract to build the entire superstructure, and the three river piers of the Mississippi river bridge as designated in the first portion of the specifications for the sum of $18,995.00. Ayes—Commissioners Smith, Farrar, Bubar, Cale and Archibald. Nays—None. Motion carried.
Moved and seconded that Canney Brothers of Minneapolis, they being the lowest bidders, be awarded the contract for the substruction, complete excepting the three river piers, being all the work designated in second portion of specifications for the sum of $1830. Ayes—Commissioners Smith, Farrar Bubar, Cale and Archibald. Nays—None. Motion carried. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 1897, p. 1, c. 3)

The New Bridge.

The contract for the construction of the new bridge across the Mississippi river was awarded by the commissioners yesterday, the Clinton Bridge and Iron Works securing the building of the superstructure including the three river piers for $18,995 and Canney Bros. of Minneapolis, the substructure for $1,830. It will be an all steel deck bridge and will be built after the plans drawn by C. F Loweth, the expert employed by the commissioners. The bridge will be raised to a level with Laurel street and the hill on the west end will be graded down. The contract calls for the completion of the work Feb. 15th. The bridge when completed will be one of the most substantial on the river and will be a credit to the county. The structure when completed will cost about $21,000. There were twelve bidders present and the highest bid was $28,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 1897, p. 8, c. 3)

The charge for round trip tickets on C. B. Rowley’s Mississippi river ferry is 25 cents instead of 15 cents as announced by this paper through mistake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 September 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

The farmers on the west side of the river have succeeded in freezing an ice road across the Mississippi at the place where the ferry has been operated during the summer. The road is about three rods wide and the ice is sufficiently strong to hold the heaviest loads and does away with paying ferryage or going by way of the dam to reach the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 December 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

The gentlemen who are to have charge of putting up the new bridge across the Mississippi are in the city and active work will be commenced on Monday. The material for the construction has arrived. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

Lewis Lees was quite seriously injured while at work on the new Mississippi river bridge on Tuesday by a falling timber which struck his right leg breaking it between the knee and hip. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

The Ferry in Operation.

The ferry across the Mississippi river is again in operation. Prices are: teams one way, 15¢; round trip, 25¢; foot passengers 10¢ each way. Reduced or special rates to draymen and milkmen.
C. B. ROWLEY, Prop.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 1898, p. 10, c. 4)

The bridge contractors expect to have the structure in shape so that teams can cross by the 25th of the present month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The bridge across the Mississippi river will be ready for travel some time during the coming week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The Bridge Completed.

Laurel Street Bridge dedication. Pictured at far left is Joel Smith, fourth over is R. K. Whiteley, the man in the center front is Andrew Pierce Farrar, retired Master Mechanic of the NP Shops, next on his right is Lyman P. White and at far right are Samuel F. Adair and Anton Mahlum, 1898. A 831x328 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Laurel Street Bridge completed in early April 1898, looking east, ca. 1898.
Source: Postcard
Laurel Street Bridge, completed in early April 1898, looking east, ca. 1898.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Laurel Street Bridge, completed in early April 1898, ca. 1898.
Source: Postcard
Laurel Street Bridge shortly after completion in early April 1898.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society, Box B-3, photo #17
The bridge across the Mississippi at this point is completed and open to travel, and from the number of teams that daily cross over it one almost wonders how the public managed to get along without it during the time it was building. It is a superb steel structure, and a credit to the county as well as to the builders, and is as substantial as it is possible to make it. The commissioners expect to make some needed improvements in the way of macadamizing the banks at each end of the bridge in order to prevent the sand from washing down and to give it a finished appearance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1898, p. 1, c. 2)

...The superintendent of electric lights was instructed to place six incandescent lights on the Laurel street bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 1, c. 1)

14 April 1913. The Crow Wing County board will open bids for the following bridge work: New decking of creosote blocks on the Mississippi River Bridge at Laurel Street, Brainerd. Length of bridge 731 feet, width of roadway 16 feet. Sidewalk 5 feet. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 14 April 2013)

19 August 1915. The Laurel Street Bridge is repaired and will soon re-open. The bridge was reinforced and painted. Three-inch thick wood planking was laid, swabbed with tar, then covered with felt and creosote blocks. The surface was then covered with sand and gravel. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 19 August 2015)

18 June 1923. The State Highway Department is repainting the Mississippi River Bridge on Laurel Street, at an approximate cost of $2,000. The piers of the structure and the trimmings will be dark orange, the body of the bridge a deep green. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Wednesday, 18 June 2003)

17 September 1935. City engineer Campbell and city attorney Fullerton were in St. Paul discussing with the state highway department the orphaned Laurel Street bridge. During the 10 years the state used it as part of the trunk highway system they did no repairs. Now, the city wants them to put it in shape. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 17 September 2015)

19 November 1935. The city of Brainerd finds itself without funds to repair the Laurel Street bridge over the Mississippi. The city engineer said he was told by the state highway department that because the county commissioners didn’t support the project, state funds would not be available. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 2015)

22 November 1935. Controversy raged between the city and county today over the “orphaned Laurel Street bridge.” The city claimed the county hadn’t supported the repair work. County engineer Rankin fired back saying the city failed to get its work estimates done on time. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 2015)

Laurel Street Bridge before it was demolished in July 1978. A 1451x990 version of this photo is also available for viewing on line.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The old steel bridge across the Mississippi River in Brainerd, built in 1898, is knocked down, to be replaced by a new one. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1978)

Laurel Street Bridge, built in 1898, just before its demolition, 05 July 1978.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Steve Kohls
Laurel Street Bridge, built in 1898, is demolished, 05 July 1978.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Steve Kohls
One moment the old Laurel Street bridge was still standing and in the next moment the old bridge, a part of Brainerd history, went crashing into the water. Workmen had a tough time of it with the old landmark. They began their efforts to put the bridge down at 10:45, but it took three attempts to get the job done, with the bridge finally crashing into the water shortly after noon today. It will be replaced by a new bridge. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 July 1978)

03 December 1979. The new Laurel Street Bridge will open to public traffic at 1 p.m. Dec. 6 according to the City Engineer's office. Mayor C. Elmer Anderson will preside over a brief ceremony at the opening of the $2.2 million bridge which has been under construction since May 1978. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 03 December 1999)

20 May 1980. Members of the Brainerd City Council have voted to dedicate the new Laurel Street bridge in memory of the late Ron Johnson, a 28-year city employee and assistant city engineer. Johnson was supervising the bridge work when he died last November. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 May 2010)

22 May 1980. Members of the Brainerd City Council voted to dedicate the new Laurel Street bridge in memory of the late Ron Johnson, a 28-year city employee and former Assistant City Engineer. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 22 May 2000)

On 28 May 1980 a new Laurel Street Bridge is dedicated in the memory of James Ronald Johnson. The contractor is Lunda Construction Company, Incorporated. The engineers are Toltz, King, Duvall, Anderson and Associates. (Bridge Plaque)

The city council should take some steps toward opening Laurel street across the ravine as soon as spring opens. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The city has advertised for bids for the construction of a bridge across the ravine at Laurel street. They will be opened July 7. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 June 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

The Council.

On motion it was ordered that A. Mahlum be notified to place cautionary fences and signals at the approaches of the bridge over the ravine until the same is completed and ready for travel.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1891, p. 1, c. 4)


Mr. Mahlum Gets His Bridge Money
and F. W. Hall is Elected
Special Judge.

The regular meeting of the city council occurred on Monday evening with a full board present except Ald. Towers who is absent in England. The board opened its proceedings by reading the minutes of the last regular session and a communication from the president of the board of health. Then came claims against the city which were allowed as follows:
A. Mahlum, for bridge—$700.00


(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Injunction on the Bridge Money.

An injunction has been served upon M. Hagberg, as mayor of the city, A. J. Demeules, as treasurer, and A. Mahlum to stop payment on the $700 which was allowed the latter gentleman at the last regular meeting of the city council for building the bridge across the ravine on Laurel street, and an order from the court has been issued calling upon the defendants to appear before Judge Holland on Tuesday, Sept. 1st, to show cause why the injunction should not be continued in force. The plaintiff in the case is William Erb. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

The hearing of the injunction restraining the city authorities from paying a certain order allowed A. Mahlum by the city council was had on Friday afternoon last before Judge Holland, and the case will come to trial at the coming term of court. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 September 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

District Court.

Wm. Erb vs. A. Mahlum, et al, stricken from calendar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

It was moved and seconded that the city engineer’s report on the East Laurel street bridge be accepted, and the clerk instructed to advertise for bids to be opened at the next meeting. A motion was made and carried that the foregoing motion be amended by referring the same to the street committee, said committee to confer with the Northern Pacific Railway authorities in regard to moving the corner of the fence 20 feet back. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c. 4)

Proceedings of the Council.

...Matter of repairs on the Mahlum bridge was referred to the street commissioner with power to act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

02 June 1898. The East Laurel Street Bridge, also known as the Mahlum Bridge was damaged in the tornado of 02 June 1898. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 03 June 1898, p. 1)

SEE: Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company Bridge


The East Laurel street bridge, known as the Mahlum bridge will be closed for wagon traffic from tomorrow for repairs.
By order of chairman of street committee of the city council.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 8, c. 5)

The bond of C. B. Rowley in the sum of $1,000 for the contract to repair the Mahlum bridge by December 31, 1907 was on motion approved. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 May 1907, p. 3, c. 4)


Sank From Its Own Weight
About Five O’clock Last
Saturday Afternoon


Had Been Condemned Four Years
Ago but City Council Ordered
it Repaired

The bridge on East Laurel street known as the Mahlum bridge is a thing of the past. It collapsed utterly late Saturday afternoon, simply going down under the weight of water absorbed by the rotten timbers of which it was composed. The bridge, which was built by Anton Mahlum, in the palmy days of his Northern Pacific hotel, and later turned over to the city for maintenance, was located on the property of the Northern Pacific railroad.
When the matter of its repairing came up about a year ago it was referred to H. M. Woolman, then city engineer. He reported that there was nothing to repair. That the bridge would have to be torn down and rebuilt with new material, or the valley filled, and recommended the latter, providing the railroad company would consent to the legal opening of a street through there. The matter was then dropped as that consent could not be obtained.
After the election of Alderman Fogelstrom to the council from the Fourth ward he took up the matter of having it rebuilt and assured the council that most of the timbers were perfectly sound and recommended the filling in of a portion of the bridge at each end and that the rest of it be repaired. The contract was let to C. B. Rowley for about $1,500. Some six weeks or two months ago a couple of bents were removed at each end and since then the ends have been a dumping ground for manure, etc., in an effort to shorten the bridge. There was at least 300 feet of bridge left untouched and Saturday afternoon the entire structure settled to the west, endways, and went down flat, the rotten timbers not having strength to stand alone.
Had the shops been running Saturday there might have been many men hurt as they had been in the habit of using the bridge despite the fact that it had been condemned and it went down just about the time they would have been going home had they been working.
A. Anderson and a young son of Ira G. Whiting were on the bridge when it went down. Anderson had his nose cut and one arm broken and was taken to the hospital where he is getting along nicely. The boy had his cheek hurt and his bicycle was broken. A cow was caught under the bridge and killed. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 June 1907, p. 3, c. 1)

Alderman Fogelstrom wanted to know what was to be done with the Mahlum bridge. He said it was being stolen and taken away piecemeal for kindling wood. It was suggested that a foot bridge be constructed of the material that was there. It was also suggested that the timbers be used in rebuilding the Kindred street bridge, but Alderman Fogelstrom said none of them were heavy enough for use in that bridge.
The status of Mr. Rowley’s contract was discussed, Alderman Bouck suggesting that he be held under his bond to reconstruct the bridge, because it was left unbraced so that it could sway, which caused it to fall. Alderman Fogelstrom said it did not sway but went down because the ground was too soft. It was finally moved and carried that the matter of releasing Mr. Rowley from his bond be referred to the street committee to report at next meeting and that the city clerk be directed to advertise for bids for the sale of the lumber in the bridge. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 July 1907, p. 3, c.’s 1 & 2)

The street committee also reported that there should be a foot bridge erected on the site of the Mahlum bridge to be 350 feet long and 12 feet high and the cost not to exceed $450, lumber from the old bridge to be used.
A communication from C. B. Rowley, asking that the contract for the rebuilding of the Laurel street bridge be canceled and his bonds be released. On motion the request was granted all voting aye.
An offer of $60 from Iver Benson and J. S. McCullough for the material in the Laurel street bridge, was presented. A motion was made to reject it. Alderman Farrar thought the bid should be laid on the table until the question of building a foot bridge was decided. Mr. Fogelstrom thought he knew as much about building a bridge as any man in the county and claimed that he was working for the citizens of the First and Fifth Wards who worked in the shops instead of for the Fourth Ward in advocating the bridge.
Alderman Farrar moved to amend the motion to reject the bid and to lay the bid on the table. On roll call Aldermen Drexler, Turcotte, Farrar and Johnson voted aye. Aldermen Zakariasen, Bouck, Folgelstrom and Graham voted nay. Mayor Wise voted aye and the amendment was declared carried. The motion as amended was then carried. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 August 1907, p. 3, c’s 3 & 4)

Mahlum Bridge Question Settled
—Lumber to be Used in
Foot Bridge

Alderman Fogelstrom, who at the last meeting had requested an appropriation to erect a foot bridge out of the lumber in the Mahlum bridge, at an estimated cost of $450 announced that if the city would give the lumber those interested would raise funds by popular subscription to erect the bridge without expense to the city. On motion the street committee was authorized to use the lumber from the bridge for the erection of a foot bridge at the same site. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 September 1907, p. 3, c. 3)


Edward Hammersten, 1609 Pine St.,
Picked up Unconscious at
Laurel St. Shop Bridge


Is Supposed to Have Fallen From the
Narrow, Unrailed Bridge in
the Darkness

Between the hours of eight and nine o’clock Monday night Edward Hammersten, 1609 Pine street, walked or fell off the Laurel street shop bridge while on his way home. In the absence of any electric light the night was so dark one could not see one’s hand before his face.
Hammersten was so badly injured that he could not get up. His back was badly strained and several ribs were broken. Another pedestrian, happening along later, heard the moans of the wounded man and got help.
He was removed to the Northern Pacific hospital, an ambulance taking him to the sanatarium.
A telephone message from the N. P. hospital at 3:15 this afternoon stated that the doctors regarded Mr. Hammersten’s condition as serious. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 December 1912, p. 3, c. 1)


The Pillsbury Mill at Brainerd.

William Schwartz returned from Minneapolis Wednesday, and he says he had a long talk with Mr. C. A. Pillsbury regarding the proposed new saw mill to be built northeast of this city. Mr. Pillsbury says the mill is a certainty, and operations will be begun on the construction within two months. He is confident that Brainerd is the place for such an enterprise, and the largest mill north of Minneapolis. (Minneapolis Tribune, 15 February 1882, p. 4)

SEE: Rice Lake Mill


Chase, Pillsbury & Co.’s new sawmill, at Brainerd, will be ready for operations in another week. Its capacity will be 15,000 feet per hour. (Minneapolis Tribune, 04 August 1882, p. 8)

George Muller has secured the contract for building a steamboat at Gull Lake, Minn., for the Northern Mill company, of Minneapolis. The machinery for the boat is to be furnished by the Sheriffs’ Manufacturing company, of Milwaukee. The boat is to be sixty-five feet in length. (St. Paul Globe, 22 January 1891, p. 3, c. 4)

NOTE: This steamship is the Flora.

SEE: 1894 Steamboat Flora Wrecked at Gull Lake in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.
SEE: 1898, 1899 Bloody Indian Uprising at Leech Lake in the Early Accounts of Brainerd page.

We are informed by Seth Phillips, of Gull River, that the Northern Mill Co. have purchased the saw mill and all real estate interests formerly owned by the Gull River Lumber Co. at that place, and that the mill will be operative the coming season. This will be good news to the people who live at that place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 February 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Almost a Go.

It is expected that the particulars of the deal which has been on to secure the location here of the Northern Mill Co. for some weeks, will be made public soon, probably in a day or two, and the people who have been looking for particulars will then be given the entire proceeding. The estimates for the construction of the railroad bridge and mill have been sent in to headquarters by the engineer in charge and all the preliminaries are about completed. The enterprise will be a mammoth one, the mill having a capacity of cutting 75,000,000 annually, and the company will employ in the neighborhood of 300 men. A vote of the people will be necessary before the final closing of the deal, but after the matter has been laid before them in a proper light we think there will be few votes in the negative. We will be able next week to give the entire matter to our readers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 April 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

There has been no developments in the mill deal which can be given our readers this week. The arrangements stand practically the same as at the time of our last issue. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 April 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

The Northern Mill Co.

Matters in regard to the Northern Mill Co. seem to be in very satisfactory shape at this writing. The committee consisting of Judge Holland and Lawyers McClenahan and Lum, who were in St. Paul on Wednesday conferring with the attorney of the company have returned, and now all that remains is for the directors of the company to sign the papers, a meeting been called for that purpose, which will be held within a week. After this is done an election will be called vote the bonds, which will be in the sum of $100,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 April 1892, p. 4, c. 4)


It Now Remains for the County to
Vote the Bonds.

The people of this county will be called upon to vote bonds to secure for it a new railroad and one of the largest saw mills in the northwest and every man who opposes the project does so against his best interests.
The deal which has been so much talked about has been practically closed so far as the company is concerned. W. S. McClenahan, who represents the interests of the county, and who was in Minneapolis conferring with the Northern Mill company in regard to the legal part of the contract returned to Brainerd on Monday bearing the news that the arrangements had been perfected satisfactory to all concerned.

John S. Pillsbury, governor, lumberman, philanthropist, ca. Unknown.
Source: Unknown
The company, in order to fill its part of the contract, found it would be necessary to incorporate under a new name, as under the old corporation they were not empowered to build a railroad to Brainerd. The articles were prepared and filed on Monday with the secretary of state, and published as required by law. The names of the incorporators are John S. Pillsbury, George A. Pillsbury, A. E. Bardwell, W. B. Ransom, James E. Glass, R. W. Jones, and James A. Kellogg, as will be seen in an article elsewhere in this paper.
It was found necessary to make a separate contract for the railroad and mill on account of the legality of the matter, and this will be fully explained at the meeting on Saturday. The mill itself will be a large concern, a duplicate of the large mill operated by the company in Minneapolis, and in addition to this the company binds itself to build and maintain its railroad repair shops in Brainerd.
The names of the gentlemen connected with this enterprise are enough to give the people of Crow Wing county confidence in the project, they cannot afford to lose the opportunity presented, and there is no probability that such will be the case, as after the arrangements are fully explained there will be few, if indeed any, found who are opposed to it.
The board of county commissioners will convene on the 17th inst. and the election will be called to take place the latter part of the month and in the meantime everybody is invited to give the matter the closest investigation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

Those who are opposed to the project for advancing the interests of the county are earnestly urged to attend the mass meeting Saturday night. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

Every citizen and tax payer of Crow Wing county should attend the mass meeting at the opera house Saturday evening. Matters in relation to the new railroad and mill will be fully explained. If you are interested, attend. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

A Letter From Ex-Gov. Pillsbury.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., May 20, ‘92.
Judge Holland, Brainerd, Minn.
DEAR SIR: I have just learned that a rumor is going at Brainerd to the effect that our firm is opposing the removal of the Gull River Lumber Company’s plant, now owned by the Northern Mill Co., to Brainerd, as proposed. I wish to say that this is all a mistake. We have not only consented to the removal of the Gull River mill and plant to Brainerd, but are greatly in favor of having this removal made, in case the Northern Mill Co. so desire. I am glad to say further that the Northern Mill Co. is abundantly able to carry out any agreement, in my opinion, which they may make with the people of Brainerd.
Very respectfully,
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

J. M. Elder has the contract for clearing off twenty acres for the Northern Mill Co. at Rice lake and has a large crew of men at work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Things are Moving.

Yesterday Mr. McCoy, the gentleman who has the contract for taking down the old mill at Gull River and erecting the new one at Brainerd commenced operations at the former place with a large force of men and the work will be pushed with all possible speed. At the Northern Mill Co.’s grounds at Rice Lake a scene of activity is visible, the surveyors are running out the company’s lines and the land is being cleared. The track from the brick yard will be extended to the mill site at once. There will be no cessation of work now until the work is entirely completed and everyone is satisfied that the contract will be carried out and that more benefit will be derived by the city and county than the most sanguine expected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

Ray Jones, treasurer of the Northern mill, left Tuesday for Brainerd to assist in celebrating the victory of his company in being voted a bonus to assist in building their new railroad. It is fortunate that Mr. Jones has an enviable reputation for sobriety, as according to Mr. Glass the company has been endeavoring to reach him by telegraph, but up to Thursday noon without success.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

An Important Enterprise.

Concerning Brainerd’s new mill industry the Minneapolis Lumberman says:
The proposition to issue $100,000 in bonds in aid of the railroad to be built by the Northern Mill company was almost unanimously voted by the city of Brainerd. In Brainerd only two or three votes were cast against it, and fifteen of the sixteen outside precincts voted in its favor. The proposition carries with it the removal of the mill now at Gull River to Brainerd and its reconstruction upon an enlarged scale. This work will be done at the end of the sawing season, and in the meantime the work of building the railroad will go on. The enterprise is an important one to Brainerd. It will give that city another first-class saw mill managed by experienced and capable men who now control a large amount of timber. But the removal of the mill from Gull River promises to make the village of that name only a tradition, as whatever of existence it enjoyed rested only on the mill itself. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

Work on the Mill Progressing.

Work on the new mill and railroad is progressing very rapidly, much more so than was expected. The mill at Gull River is almost entirely torn down and on the cars, and will be shipped here in a day or two, just as soon as the sidetrack to the dam is extended to Rice Lake, work on which was commenced yesterday morning. The work of clearing the ground is almost completed, and actual work on the mill itself will commence in a few days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Boss Mill Site on the River.

J. E. Glass, of the Northern Mill company of this city, is an enthusiastic advocate of logging railways. Said he in discussing the proposed road which the company is to build from Brainerd to connect with the present line running north from Gull lake: “We can haul longs by rail from the end of our line to our mill site as cheaply if not cheaper than we formerly drove them. You can figure yourself. One engine and 20 cars will haul about 350,000 feet a day. It takes four men to operate it at a cost of say $25 a day, less than 10 cents a thousand. We formerly paid 15 cents for towing them across Gull lake and sluicing them into the main river. By the way,” he continued, “we are going to have the boss mill site on the river. It is located on a small lake just above Brainerd, which is connected with the main river. We own all the shore rights which include a number of admirable mill sites from which we will choose. Our intention is to use the logging road for supplying our Brainerd mill during the summer, and during the winter to haul logs to the river for our mill at this city.”—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

Losing No Time.

The Lumberman says: The Northern Mill company is losing no time in making its proposed improvements in and about Brainerd. The Gull River mill is to be removed to Brainerd immediately, and is already half torn down. The company had planned to run the mill until fall at the old stand and move it after the sawing season closed, but it finally decided it to be better economy to put the necessary new machinery in the mill at the new site than at the old. It will be a complete two-band-and-gang mill with every modern improvement. Its capacity will be 200,000 feet in ten hours. The Northern Pacific road is putting in a new spur to the mill site by which the old mill machinery will be carried to the desired location. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

At the Mill Site.

The preliminary arrangements for the removal of the Gull River Mill and the erection of the new one here have been completed and the work will proceed more rapidly from this time on. A DISPATCH scribe was at the site on Rice Lake yesterday and found the work of extending the railroad track to that place progressing rapidly, the grading to the mill grounds being nearly completed, and a crew of men were at work repairing the line already constructed. The land owned by the company has been nearly all cleared and the brush burned. The machinery is nearly all loaded on the cars at Gull River and only awaits the completion of the track to the site before it can be shipped. We understand that the company yesterday closed a contract with J. J. Howe & Co., for twenty-five car loads of heavy timber and dimension stuff for immediate delivery at the point. Three car loads of granite arrived yesterday to be used in constructing the bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

SEE: Gull River Mills

Improvements at Rice Lake.

A large force of men are at work at Rice lake on the new improvements to be erected there. The railroad company have completed the track to the mill site and several cars loaded with machinery and timber from Gull River have already been run over the new piece of road. A spur extends also to the planing mill and through the lumber yards. A. G. McCoy, the gentleman who has charge of the building of the mill and who will run it after it is in proper shape, is on the ground personally superintending the entire work. The excavating for the foundation of the mill is about completed and it is expected that Messrs. Sivney and Nelson, who have secured the contract, will begin on the mason work Monday. The mill when completed will be larger than the mill built at Little Falls by the Pine Tree company and will be second to none in the northwest. A force of men are at work clearing the right of way for the railroad and are making rapid headway. The iron bridge is being constructed in Milwaukee and will be shipped as soon as completed. Taking everything into consideration the work is progressing as rapidly as could be expected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

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: Excavating for the foundation of the mill is entirely completed and a solid granite foundation is being put in as rapidly as good workmanship will permit and framing has been commenced. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

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 Brainerd and Northern Minnesota Railway / Minnesota and International Railway location.

L. B. McEwen has resigned his position with the Northern Mill Co. to take place Sept. 20th. Mr. Robert Stitt succeeds him. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)


Now Being Made in this Vicinity, and
Others Contemplated.


The mill structure is complete and the machinery is now being put in position. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)


A. G. McCoy the Victim of a Most Brutal

A murderous assault was made upon A. G. McCoy, general superintendent of the Northern Mill company’s construction work in this city, last Saturday morning by a man named Amaziah [sic] Davis, blacksmith employed at the mill. Mr. McCoy had given the man instructions about some work and the fellow seemed to be in a surly mood and did not take kindly to the orders and after a few words Mr. McCoy started away and was attending to his duties when Davis came up as he stood talking with another workman and without a warning he struck McCoy a fearful blow in the face with a piece of scantling about four feet in length. The blow crushed Mr. McCoy’s nose flat and otherwise bruising his face, knocking him senseless from which he did not entirely recover until afternoon and it was generally supposed for a time that he would die of his injuries. He was taken to the Lumbermen’s hospital and his wounds dressed and he has so far recovered as to be out, although it will be some time before his face will be entirely well. Davis was put under arrest and lodged in jail until Monday when he was brought before Judge Chiperfield, charged with assault with intent to kill. The examination was adjourned until Dec. 8th, at 10 a.m. Davis was remanded to jail without bail. He is an old man, upwards of 60 years and he says he is extremely sorry he did not kill Mr. McCoy and persists in emphasizing the statement at every opportunity. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)


The Inspection of the B. & N. M. Rail-
way is Entirely Satis-

The Company’s Works at Rice Lake
Looked Over.—Everything
Moving Along Nicely.

When the proposition was made Crow Wing county by the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway company to build a road north from Brainerd into the timber country in consideration of $100,000 in bonds it was agreed that the road should be inspected by a competent man and accepted, before the bonds were turned over to the company by the Minnesota Trust company with whom they were placed after being executed by the county. Accordingly on Monday it was decided to ascertain whether the company had filled its part of the contract and Mr. W. W. Rich, chief engineer of the Soo line, in company with J. E. Glass and R. W. Jones, arrived for that purpose. A large number of citizens were invited to accompany the party and those who accepted the invitation were:
Leon E. Lum, John Nevers, Henry Spalding, J. M. Elder, N. McFadden, H. C. Stivers, C. E. Chiperfield, John Cochran, H. E. Richmond, A. F. Ferris, Rev. G. H. Davis, L. P. White, John T. Frater, A. J. Halsted, D. M. Clark, J. W. Koop, Joel Smith, A. P. Farrar, J. J. Howe, A. F. Groves, O. C. Foster, Louis Tache, C. D. Johnson, S. F. Alderman, Con. O’Brien, E. M. Westfall, J. S. Gardner, W. S. McClenahan, D. E. Slipp, Frank Bell and N. H. Ingersoll.
The party were taken from the Arlington in rigs to the new passenger and freight depot of the company and arrived there at 10:30. From here the party was divided up into squads and a general inspection of the plant of the Northern Mill company was commenced. It is a scene of activity, the large mill being alive with workmen in all parts fitting the machinery and placing it in position. Everyone was well pleased with the progress made and many were surprised that so much work had been accomplished. The machine shops, round house and all other points of interest were visited and at 2 o’clock the party boarded the train and started northward over the line of road. The engine which pulled the train was the “Josephine,” named in honor of the young daughter of Mr. Glass, and was handled by Fred Stillings, while Conductor Charles Reilley [sic] had charge of the train. The coach was comfortably well filled and everyone enjoyed the trip of thirty miles over the road and through a country familiar to many, the only means of access heretofore being tedious team trips. The stations on the new line are Parker, Hubert Lake, Gull Lake, Ransom, Stony Brook, Glasston, Munroe and Gardner, and the distances from Brainerd are respectively 6 1/2, 10 1/2, 14 1/4 [sic], 16 1/2, 20, 28 1/2, 37 1/2 and 42 1/2 miles, but the road is not yet quite finished to Gardner.
On the return trip the train was stopped at Camp 8 and the passengers were invited to partake of a good, hearty dinner and as the hour was 4 o’clock everybody did justice to the sumptuous meal which had been prepared by Sam Long, the cook. After dinner the train at once started homeward. During the trip Inspector Rich paid very particular attention to viewing the road and its construction and was highly pleased to find it in such good condition, in fact at many places more has been done than the specifications in the contract called for, and his report to the Minnnesota Trust Co. will be highly satisfactory to all parties interested.
A vote of thanks was tendered to Messrs. Jones and Glass and the company for their generous treatment of those on board.
A resolution, prepared by Leon E. Lum by request of the commissioners and signed by the three county commissioners on board was read as follows:
Resolved, That the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railroad Company has, in our opinion, fully and satisfactorily performed its contract with Crow Wing county, made preparatory to issuing of bonds in aid of said company, and after this day personally inspecting the railroad contracted to be built, and the mill contracted to be built by the Northern Mill Company, we recommend the acceptance of the road and delivery of the $100,000 of bonds.
County Commissioners.
After this resolution was read a motion was made and unanimously carried by all on board that the action of the three commissioners be sustained.
When the train arrived at the station the teams were found in waiting and the party was left at the Arlington at 5:30.
R. N. Stitt, general manager of the company’s work in the woods, joined the party at Camp 8 and remained with them the balance of the trip. Mr. Stitt is doing excellent service for the company.
On Monday regular trains will commence running for the purpose of accommodating the passenger and freight business. They will leave Brainerd in the morning and return in the evening.
The Northern Mill company has fourteen camps busily at work in its timber in the Gull lake country. Ten of these camps are operated by the company and four by contractors. They will bank a total of 80,000,000 feet, all of which will come over the company’s road the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota—to Brainerd. A considerable part of these logs will be put into lakes this winter and the hauling by rail will be continued throughout the summer. The company will also haul 2,000,000 feet of T. B. Walker’s logs over the road to Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 December 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Ed. Jones, of the Northern Mill Company, had the misfortune to freeze his nose recently. This is to notify the public so they won’t ask him what’s the matter with his face. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The Northern Mill Co. has banked 15,000,000 feet of logs at the landing at Rice Lake, and is bringing over 400,000 feet in daily. They run three logging trains each way daily. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Inspected the Road and Mill.

Supt. Kimberly’s [N. P.] private car came up from Minneapolis on Tuesday evening containing a distinguished party of gentlemen who are connected with the B. & N. M. railroad and the Northern Mill Co., of this city. Their mission was to inspect the new road and mill, which is now practically completed and will begin operations next week we understand. The party consisted of ex-Gov. J. S. Pillsbury, Geo. A. and C. A. Pillsbury, and two young sons of the latter gentleman, and C. A. Smith and R. A. Leavett, of Minneapolis, the owners of the timber to be used by the Northern Mill company here. They were accompanied by W. B. Ransom, J. E. Glass and Roy W. Jones the officers of the mill company. The party left the N. P. car on the side track while they went up over the new road, taking dinner at camp 4. On their return they thoroughly inspected the mill and improvements at Rice Lake. They were very well pleased with what they saw. They returned home yesterday morning.
Messrs. Musser and Sauntry of the Weyerhauser syndicate were in the city the same day, and this gave rise to more talk concerning the rumored purchase of the Northern Mill company’s interest by the Weyerhauser syndicate. This Mr. Jones, when questioned, emphatically denied. He said if there was any intention to sell, or if any steps had been taken in that direction, he as general manager of the company, would know something about it. He knew nothing of any sale made or contemplated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Northern Mill company has just about finished all hauling with teams but work on the logging road goes on and will all summer. They are bringing to Brainerd 500,000 feet daily by rail.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

An Interesting Law Suit.

The case which was on trial in the district court here on Wednesday, Judge Searle, of St. Cloud, presiding, is a peculiar one, and one of great interest. The facts in the case as near as we can ascertain are about as follows:
In February, 1892, a number of the citizens of Brainerd were requested to appear at Leon E. Lum’s office. When they assembled there, Mr. Lum told them that a certain individual, whose brother was a director in a saw mill company, could have a saw mill and railroad come to Brainerd merely by saying so. That he would do so if he was paid $5,000; that a note for that amount could be given, due when the mill and railroad were built here. It was then considered, that if by paying $5,000 they could get a railroad and mill here, it should be done. The man referred to, who could bring the mill and railroad here, afterwards proved to be L. B. McEwen, his brother being one of the Northern Mill company’s directors. D. M. Clark was the middle man, who had been telling Mr. Lum about the influence of Mr. McEwen, and his ability to bring the mill and railroad here.
It was agreed there among the citizens so assembled, that Mr. Lum should give his note for the $5,000 to Mr. Clark, who was acting as agent for McEwen, due within a certain length of time after the mill and railroad were built here, and those so assembled should give their notes to Mr. Lum to make up the $5,000. They did so by giving their notes to Mr. Lum, as follows:
M. L. Swartz—$500
J. N. Nevers—$250
N. S. Hoffman—$250
G. W. Holland—$500
C. A. Walker & Co.—$250
S. F. Alderman—$100
A. F. Ferris—$250
Geo. D. LaBar—$250
S. & J. W. Koop—$250
Con. O’Brien—$250
Wm. Williamson—$100
N. W. Wheatley—$250
W. E. Campbell—$150
Lyman P. White—$200
L. J. Cale—$300
Thomas Halladay—$50
E. Y. Farrar—$500
J. L. Camp—$250
B. A. Ferris—$250
C. N. Parker—$250
H. J. Spencer—$250
Some time after this, Mr. Lum learned that Mr. McEwen had entered into a written agreement with J. M. Elder to have a quarter interest in his land around Gull River if the mill stayed there, and the railroad from Kilpatrick [sic] [Gilpatrick] lake was built down to Gull River. Mr. Lum found that McEwen had an arrangement at Brainerd, and one at Gull River, to get a bonus which ever place the mill remained at, or removed to, and had said that he would not do anything about the mill, it might remain at Gull River, or be removed to Brainerd, he would be a winner anyway. Mr. Lum, after learning this, called the parties together who had given him their notes to make up the $5,000, and told them how it was. They told Mr. Lum not to pay his note, as it was obtained by fraud; that McEwen could not influence a railroad to come here and a mill to be built here when he had said he could.
The note was sent to the First National Bank for collection, by McEwen but payment was refused. Mr. Lum then commenced a suit by injunction to restrain the bank from disposing of the note, and asked for a decree canceling and making the note void and worthless. The suit was tried before Judge Searle, Wednesday. The case was fully tried and taken under advisement by the judge, but the decision has not yet been rendered. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Wm. E. Seelye and Barney Dolan leave next week on a cruising expedition for the Northern Mill Co. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mr. Lum Wins.

Judge D. B. Searle has handed down a decision in the case of Leon E. Lum vs. L. B. McEwen. The case was one in which a note of $5,000 was sought to be canceled. Judge Searle decided that “The note was given without consideration. That it was given and received by McEwen as a bribe and was against good morals and public policy, and because the conditions upon which it was to have been paid were not performed or fulfilled or even substantially complied with. Plaintiff is entitled to have said note and contract delivered and surrendered up to him for cancellation.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Best in the Land.

The Northern Mill company’s plant at Brainerd is running in good shape. C. M. Sawyer, who has just returned from that place, says that the facilities there for handling logs are the best he ever saw.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The Northern Mill Co. have commenced tearing down their dwelling houses at Gull river. They will take them down in sections and rebuild them in Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1893, p. 4, c. 7)

The Northern Mill company has commenced the construction of a large planing mill to be used in connection with its saw mill at Brainerd, Minn. It will have a capacity of 200,000 feet in ten hours, and in the future the company will be able to fill orders for finished lumber from its Brainerd mill as well as its Minneapolis mill.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 June 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

A party of cruisers headed by N. B. Chase returned from the woods the latter part of last week, where they had been for nearly three months estimating the standing pine on 100,000 acres of timber land owned by the Northern Mill company of this city. The amount of timber on this land is estimated at 900,000,000 feet. Mr. Chase says the mosquitoes are more numerous this year than ever before in his experience at cruising. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 July 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The shaft which was broken at the Northern Mill some days ago, and which occasioned a shut down, arrived from below yesterday by express, and the mill will be running again as usual as soon as it can be adjusted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

R. W. Jones, of the Northern Mill Co., was in the city several days this week. He says that the mill will run until December 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Joseph Alberts, an employee of the Northern Mill Company met with a severe accident on Monday. He was helping to unload a train of logs, and in some manner slipped and fell from the car twenty feet onto a pile of timber below. The bones of his left arm were fractured, and he was otherwise bruised, but he is able to be around with the aid of a crutch. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1893, p. 4, c. 7)

Logging Will be Light.

Ray W. Jones, of the Northern Mill company, came down from Brainerd this week. He says that from all that he can learn the operations in the woods this winter will be very limited. Speaking for the Northern Mill company, he states that they would carry over from forty to fifty million feet of logs this season, and consequently they do not intend to log more than twelve or fifteen million feet this winter. The company has already established five camps and has sent 125 men into the woods. The wages that were being paid average all the way from twelve to twenty dollars, which is fully twenty per cent lower than last year. The fact that labor and supplies are cheaper this year does not cut much of a figure as an inducement for more extensive operations in the woods, Mr. Jones thinks, as money is proportionately hard to get, and as there is a big supply of logs already cut for next season much logging this winter would be wholly impracticable. Of course the old contracts must be attended to, but beyond this the new contracts will be very few this fall.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 November 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

The Pioneer Press gives the decision of the supreme court in the McEwen case, in which Leon E. Lum was respondent, as follows:
The superintendent and general manager of the business of a mill company agreed in consideration of the payment to him of $5000 by a third party to use his influence and authority as superintendent and manager to secure the removal by the company of its mill to another place, and the extension of its logging road to that place.
Held that such agreement was illegal and against public policy; that it placed the agent in a position where he would naturally be tempted by his own private interests to disregard those of his principal.
The facts that the policy to be advocated by him may have been for the best interests of his principal and that his conduct was not in fact influenced by his personal interest are not material. Order affirmed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 January 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Assignment of the Northern Mill Co.

While not entirely unexpected the news that the Northern Mill company had made an assignment on Wednesday morning was received by many with considerable surprise and the subject has been one in which great interest has been taken since it has been definitely settled that such a move has been made. In business circles it has been known for some time that the company were financially embarrassed, and the hard times coming on made it impossible for them to meet their indebtedness. With the assignment comes a change of management, the Gull River Lumber Co. having assumed the business interests here which is under the personal supervision of Messrs. Nary and Horr. On Wednesday a special car arrived over the N. P. conveying to this city the following gentlemen:
C. A. Pillsbury, R. B. Langdon, B. F. Nelson, W. H. Truesdale, W. F. Brooks, W. M. Tenney, W. H. H. [sic] Day, E. L. Carpenter, Geo. H. Cook, Ray W. Jones, A. E. Horr, E. W. Backus, Geo. McCray and D. Willard.
These gentlemen were all from Minneapolis and represented lumber companies and financial institutions, and the object of their visit was to look over the Northern Mill Co.’s interests here. They were carried to the mill at Rice lake over the electric line, leaving here at 6:30 in the morning and after inspecting the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, returned at noon and leaving at 1:20 for Minneapolis.
The gentlemen appeared to have enjoyed their trip and were much pleased with what they had seen, but were reticent regarding giving out for publication any news as to the probable outcome of the matter. It was stated however for the benefit of the skeptical that whatever changes were made would be favorable to the interests of Brainerd, that the industry established here would be carried on by men thoroughly capable of handling it from a financial point of view as well as otherwise.
The Minneapolis Tribune has the following to say in regard to the matter:
The affairs of the Northern Mill Company as connected with those of the Gull River Lumber company, came to a focus this morning by an assignment of the former company, and with it was a personal assignment of Ray W. Jones, secretary and treasurer of the company’s paper. The mill company assigns to the Northern Trust Company and Mr. Jones to H. C. Akeley, of the Akeley Lumber Company.
The aggregate of liabilities in both cases is several hundred thousand dollars, and the assets are believed to be about equal to the liabilities, but detailed schedules are not yet made up.
The failures are the result of a complication of matters in reference to certain large contracts the assigned company had with the Gull River Company, and extensive operations in the Northern part of the state, which had not yet been brought to a fortunate conclusion when then the times of last summer came.
The Northern Mill Company built a line of railroad known as the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota, of which Mr. Jones was general manager, which runs from Brainerd north to Leech Lake, and also had just completed an extensive manufacturing plant at Brainerd. Stagnation in business and the maturing of large sums of indebtedness, made it hard sledding during all of the latter part of the season, and their pay rolls at both Brainerd and Minneapolis were paid in time paper, which has since matured in large amounts. This will also be paid without loss, and it is said for Mr. Jones that his personal assets will pay dollar for dollar.
The Gull River company have assumed the business at Brainerd, and the contracts which the Northern Mill Company had with them, so that there will not be any cessation in the business either there or at Minneapolis, as the assigned company were operating both of their mills on the Gull River contracts.
The Minneapolis Journal says: Last Monday, it will be remembered, the Northern Mill Company deeded its mill and yard in Northern Minneapolis to the Gull River Lumber Company, one of its heaviest creditors, and it is thought that the other creditors will try to have this deed set aside on the grounds of preference. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 1, c. 3)

The Lumber Cut.

Statistics just published in the Mississippi Valley Lumberman, show the following output of the four largest mills in the country:
Pine Tree Lumber Co., 56,000,000 feet of lumber, 10,000,000 shingles and 14,000,000 lath.
Northern Mill Co., Brainerd, 23,000,000 feet of lumber, 3,462,250 shingles and 3,542,150 lath.
St. Cloud Lumber Co., 12,000,000 feet of lumber, 865,000 shingles and 4,000,000 lath.
Mille Lacs Lumber Co., Milaca, 10,000,000 feet of lumber, 3,000,000 shingles and 1,000,000 lath. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Liabilities are Large.

The Minneapolis Lumberman has the following to say in regard to the Northern Mill Co.’s assignment:
While the aggregate liabilities are very large there is little doubt but that the enormous assets of the company will be sufficient under proper management to meet all demands in due season. A detailed schedule of the company’s affairs will not be ready for a week or more, and at the present time it is only possible to give a rough estimate. It is thought that the liabilities of the company will exceed something over one million dollars, while the assets are roughly placed at $1,600,000. The value of the combined property of the company at both Minneapolis and Brainerd is well known. The company owns a large saw mill and planing mill besides a large stock of lumber in pile and logs in this city, while at Brainerd there is also an extensive manufacturing plant together with a stock of lumber, a large amount of logs and a railroad over 40 miles long, that extends as far north as Leech lake, known as the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota. The latter is a separate corporation, of which the members of the Northern Mill company are members.
A transfer of property was made some time ago by the Northern Mill company to the Gull River Lumber company which is the largest creditor. This comprises a lease of the two mills for manufacturing the logs on hand and the business will be conducted without a break with the same attention and considerations. J. E. Glass will continue to be identified with the management, but other arrangements have not yet been decided upon. The failure of the Northern Mill company will in no way effect the J. E. Glass Lumber company, as the latter is a stock company and entirely independent in its position. It is a matter of regret on the part of the lumbering fraternity at large that this enterprising company was unable to realize its legitimate end. The property is one of the finest in the northwest, and but for the depression in money affairs and business at large in the country during the past year the company would undoubtedly have pulled through in good shape. The officers of the company are well known for their integrity and honesty of purpose in all their transactions, and they will do the best for their creditors to the very last shilling. All claims for labor will be given the preference and settled as fast as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Northern Mill Company Assets.

It is expected that the schedules of the Northern Mill Company will be filed today. According to the statement the assets of the company are about $1,400,000, and the liabilities $1,200,000.
The assets consist largely of lands, timber, contracts, and the mills at Brainerd and Minneapolis, and the Brainerd and Minnesota railroad. The chief term of the liabilities is $200,000 due the Pillsbury.
It is said that the schedules in detail will show an enormous shrinkage in values, the railroad being put at $150,000 less than its cost or what it was supposed at one time to be worth. There is a shrinkage of about $200,000 on the mills, timber lands and other property, and it is this tremendous shrinkage to which is attributed the company’s disaster. It appears that the amount of due bills in which labor is chiefly interested, both here and also at Brainerd, amounts to $25,000. Two-thirds of this is here, and the balance at Brainerd. It is estimated that about three-fourths of the amount is secured or securable by liens.
It is said in lumber circles that the company’s failure, while unfortunate for the individuals interested, is more than likely to result in great benefit to Minneapolis and to Brainerd. The interests are such that in order to protect them it is necessary to greatly enlarge the operations. For this there is a large deal on which cannot be stated as yet, but which contemplates adding to the contracts of the Northern Mill Company more than double what they had contemplated. Instead of the few years the contract with the Pillsbury will run the proposed combination will mean 20 years of operation. More than double the amount of timber that was to come out at Brainerd by the railroad will be gotten out at that point. A deal has been substantially completed by which the mill at Brainerd will by another season be run to its fullest capacity and a still larger plant made of it. The Gull River Company will probably not operate the plant beyond this year.—Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 March 1894, p. 4, c. 5)


A Gigantic Pine Deal Consummated
Which will Greatly Benefit
This City and County.

One of the most important sales of pine lands, so far as Minneapolis is concerned, that has been made for a long time, has just been closed. The large tract of pine timber owned by T. B. Walker and C. A. Pillsbury and Co. in the vicinity of Leech Lake, amounting to upwards of 1,500,000,000 feet, has been sold by them to a syndicate consisting of Nelson, Tenney & Co., E. W. Backus & Co., Shevlin-Carpenter Company, Carpenter Bros. & Co., Leavitt, Horr & Co. and J. W. Day & Co., of Minneapolis, and Welles Bros. of Clinton Iowa. The sale includes the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, which runs from Brainerd northwest into the timber covered by this sale, and also the large sawmill, planing mill and plant at Brainerd, formerly owned by the Northern Mill Company.
The Brainerd mill plant will be operated by Messrs. Welles Bros., of Clinton, Iowa, while the railroad will be operated by the syndicate who have bought the timber for the purpose of hauling the logs to the Mississippi river at Brainerd. This deal is of great interest to Minneapolis as it insures the bulk of the lumber coming from the above district being manufactured here, and the parties buying the timber are insured a stock of logs for the sawmills for the next 15 or 20 years.
This, in brief, is the statement of one of the most gigantic lumber deals ever consummated in this great lumber region. The experience of the various large lumber organizations on the lower Mississippi has been that they could operate with greater profit to themselves by working together instead of pulling against each other. Some such deal as the above has been considered by the Minneapolis lumbermen for some time past, but has been kept strictly quiet by the parties interested for various reasons, the principal one the fact that the Weyerhausers have been figuring on the purchase of the same property for a long time. In fact, it was stated on presumably good authority last summer, that the sale had been made to the Weyerhausers. Such was not the case though, and however much that organization desired to acquire possession of the valuable tract of land, the chance is forever gone. The magnitude of the deal may be comprehended when the fact is known that the land on which the pine is standing, comprises 225,000 acres, or 20 townships in the northern part of the state. The road will also be extended to Cass Lake, so as to bring the logs in the Mississippi and Turtle river tributary to that point over the same line to Brainerd.—Minneapolis Journal.
The above announcement means much for Brainerd and Crow Wing county. While Minneapolis is so highly elated over the deal and the papers of that city lay before their people what a vast benefit it will be to them, the benefits to this city will be double that reaped by the down river city. The entire plant formerly owned by the Northern Mill Company will be operated to its full capacity. The timber cut for the mills below will be gotten out and hauled over the B. & N. M. Ry. and dumped in the river at Brainerd. This means that Brainerd will be headquarters for supplies and outfitting the vast number of men and lumber camps that will have to be supplied to carry on this vast amount of work. The railroad facilities will necessarily have to be enlarged and improved and the number of men employed in operating it will probably be ten times the number formerly employed. Had the Weyerhauser syndicate effected the deal for the pine in northern Minnesota for which they were negotiating they would have controlled all the Mississippi pine and the lumber industry of Minneapolis would have ultimately been ruined, but with the supply of timber just acquired, about 1,500,000,000 feet, they will have all they can saw during the next fifteen years, and the deal is put up in such shape that Brainerd will be benefitted by every foot of timber that is cut. The project to extend the B. & N. M. road into the Leech lake country so as to be ready to operate before the season closes, to deliver the logs into the Mississippi at this point. Besides this it is altogether probable that the syndicate intend building a road from Minneapolis to connect with the logging road at this point, and from Leech Lake to the Rainy Lake country. It is stipulated in the deal that none of the pine is to be sawed at Leech Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1894, p. 1, c. 2)

Assets and Liabilities of the Northern
Mill Company.

The daily papers of Minneapolis on Saturday contained a detailed schedule of the assets and liabilities of the insolvent Northern Mill Company as follows:
The detailed schedule of the assets and liabilities of the Northern Mill Company, which made an assignment some time ago to the Northern Trust Company, are now completed. The sum total of the assets is $1,293,174.65 and the liabilities are $1,160,394.20. Following are some of the principal creditors:
First National Bank of
Minneapolis on notes—$100,000.00
Labor account—50,904.00
National Bank of Com-
merce, notes, etc.—75,000.00
Notes held by banks in Ia.,
Wis. and other states ne-
gotiated through brokers—98,000.00
C. A. Pillsbury & Co.—250,000
Gull River Lumber Co.—538,000.00
On accounts payable the largest item is unpaid labor, the aggregate of which is $50,904.53. This includes all that is due men for labor in the woods and in the mills here and at Brainerd and on the railroad, and the paper representing it is scattered all over the country. The assets are:
Mills, Minneapolis and at
B. & N. M. Railway—350,000.00
Logs and lumber—448,062.60
Personal property—30,000.00
Real estate and timber—44,000.00
Assets receivable—46,102.05
Among the assets of the insolvent concern are said to be notes from the officers, and the total of those, it is said, will aggregate a large sum:
Among the items that go to make up the total of $98,000 in the liability column are the following: American Exchange National Bank, N. Y. $5,000; Cochran & Walsh, $1,200; W. A. Newton, $9,250; Northwestern National Bank, $1,200; Chas. Reed, $2,000; Fred Huntzecker, Neilsville, Wis., $5,000; The Lehigh Coal and Iron Co. of Superior is also a creditor to the amount of $5,447.45.
Among the bills receivable appear the following entries: William B. Ransom, $10,194.61; J. E. Glass, $10,266.88; Ray Jones $27,934. The total bills receivable amount to $56,192.11. The property of the defunct concern consists of everything from office furniture in Minneapolis valued at $877.16 to railway stock. The personal property at the mill in Minneapolis is listed at $7,216 and the mill property itself at $200,000. The Brainerd Mill is estimated to be worth $152,000. The logs at Minneapolis are worth $27,005.05 and the logs in the Gull River at $89,038.13. The lumber at the latter place is entered in the schedules to be worth $222,657.64. Among the assets are fuel accounts worth $2,631.35, logging equities worth $17,124.60, and there is due from the Logging Exchange at Minneapolis $1,532.95. The real estate owned by the concern consists, among other things, of a lot in St. Paul valued at $3,000; the Dole house, Minneapolis, $1,500; some property in Highland Park, Minneapolis, $8,000; a town site at Leech Lake, $800; a store at Gull River, $500; a farm at Gull River, $5,264.18, and a number of dwellings at Gull River worth $23,000. Besides the above, the company had a steamboat at Gull lake said to be worth $5,000, and a dam in Gull River listed at $4,000. Its interest in the Hasty timber is fixed at $2,100 and in the Darrar [sic] land at $18,319.77 more. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1894, p. 1, c. 3)

Men to be Paid.

Judge Russell signed an order yesterday, which will have the effect of distributing $50,000 among the working men of Minneapolis within a very few days.
The order is in connection with the assignment of the Northern Mill Company, and the money is the wages due mill hands and others engaged in the sawing of the lumber. It appears that the Gull River Lumber Company claims most of the property of the assigned concern, and the Northern Trust Company will be obliged to bring suit against the company to secure certain of assets which are the major portion of them. Laboring men to the number of 1000 have claims against the assigned company, and they were greatly alarmed for fear their claims would not be paid. The law gives a preference to claims for wages for work performed within six months prior to the assignment, but even then, if there were no funds in the hands of the assignee, or if a sale were necessary to secure some, the chances were that the men would be obliged to go without their money which would be a great hard ship. This matter was finally overcome by a petition presented to the court yesterday, in which the Gull River Lumber Company and the assignee joined with certain attorneys for the laboring claimants. This petition asked that an order of court be issued allowing the claims to be paid in full. The order arranges matters amicably. The Gull River Lumber Company is to advance the money to pay the claims, paying it into the hands of the receiver, and is to be an advance only, which will apply on an account depending upon the manner in which the litigation between the assignee and the Gull River Lumber Company turns out. It was further ordered that, as some of the men have been paid some part of their money, and most of those who have accounts running prior to the six months, the money already paid be credited to that part of the account which is prior to the six months limit, so that the men will receive all their pay for the six months. The attorneys in the case are very complimentary to Judge Russell for his prompt action in signing the order. They assert that it required some little firmness and bravery to sign such an order without delay, even upon a petition in which all parties agreed. He took the position however, that the men had earned their money in sawing the lumber and contributing to the success of the company as far as it went, and they should be given their money at once, especially in view of the hard times. The money, it is understood, will be turned over to the Northern Trust Company immediately, and the men will be paid off within a day or two.—Minneapolis Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The [Pioneer] Press of yesterday says that the negotiations which have been pending for the last two months between the Gull River Lumber company and the E. W. Backus company were closed last evening, the latter named firm purchasing the entire plant, which includes a saw mill, planing mill, machine shop, stable and piling grounds, the latter about thirty acres, formerly owned by the Northern Mill company. This firm is one of the syndicate which, a few days ago, purchased the Pillsbury and the Walker and Akeley timber in the northern part of the state, together with the Brainerd mill and Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway, formerly owned by the Northern Mill company. The purchase price is said to be between $150,000 and $170,000 for the Northern Mill property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1894, p. 1, c. 3)

Details All Fixed.

All the details in the big pine land transfer to the syndicate of Minneapolis lumber manufacturers have been completed and the contracts were signed Monday morning, says the Minneapolis Journal of that date. This important work having been completed, the next thing in order is the organization and incorporation of the syndicate. This will take place in the next 30 days. The purpose of the organization is accomplished as soon as the logs are turned into the boom limits at Brainerd. Here they are to be divided and distributed to the various companies in proportion to the interest of these companies in the recent deal. The plans for the season’s work and the extension of the lumber railroad to Leech Lake, will not be taken up until organization is completed. The companies comprising the syndicate are not all equal owners, but nearly so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

To Help Brainerd.

Brainerd was honored with a visit from Ex-Gov. A. R. McGill and B. F. Nelson on Wednesday, their business being an inspection of the Northern Mill Co.’s interests here. The former gentleman represents the Northern Trust Co., of Minneapolis, and the latter is a member of the lumber firm of Nelson, Tenney & Co. An offer has been made for the mill property and the visit was to determine as to whether the price named was enough for the plant. Mr. McGill stated that the deal would be closed up on his return to Minneapolis. It is altogether probable that the transfer of the property, together with other deals that are being made will help Brainerd materially. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Will Not Affect the Sale.

The Pioneer Press says Ex-Gov. McGill and party returned Friday from the trip to Brainerd, where they went to look over the property of the Northern Mill company, lately assigned to the Northern Trust company, of which Mr. McGill is president. The Northern Mill company’s assignment will be settled without recourse to law. A law suit of large dimensions, two suits in fact, arising from the relations of the assigned company to the Gull River company, are about to be begun. Something like two-thirds of the total assets are involved, or an aggregate of about $750,000. This amount represents the assets of the Northern Mill company as security for the amount due the latter. It is claimed that this transfer was illegal, and that the assets so involved belong to the whole creditors. The Gull River company has made a sale of the Minneapolis mill to E. W. Backus & Co. and it is claimed that there was no right to sell this property. The Northern Trust company, under such claim, has applied for and been granted an order of the court to commence a suit for the recovery of the mill, and another for recovery of the remainder of the transferred property. It is understood that these actions will not affect the sale to Backus & Co., as the Gull River company are bound to defend the title to the mill. The suits if successful, will simply add the amounts recovered to the available assets of the assigned company, for the payment of their creditors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The Northern Mill.

A telegram that might better have been suppressed was sent to the Minneapolis Tribune on Wednesday in regard to the running of the Northern Mill at this point the coming summer. In response to the telegram J. E. Glass stated “that he knew no reason why the mill at Brainerd should not be run next summer, it being the intention of the company now to do so. The company have 45,000,000 feet of lumber to cut, 20,000,000 of which will be cut in Minneapolis by the C. A. Smith company, and the remainder in the Brainerd mill.”
Ray W. Jones also writes H. C. Stivers that in all probability the mill will be operated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

Good Times Coming.

The Minneapolis Lumberman in its last issue makes the following editorial comments in regard to the mill situation in this city:

There is more or less dissatisfaction among the citizens of Brainerd because the Northern Mill company mill at that place, which is now the property of Welles Bros., of Clinton, Iowa, is not to run this season. The citizens voted $100,000 in bonds to secure the mill, and the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railroad, and feel that they are not being treated right when their workmen are obliged to remain idle. If the people of Brainerd would consider the fact that the new syndicate which bought the railroad intends to spend thousands of dollars in improving and extending the railroad this summer, and will employ a thousand men where the mill employed only a couple of hundred, there really is not much cause for complaint. The supplies for the work on the railroad will be secured at Brainerd, and as soon as the new syndicate, the Minnesota Logging company, begins active operations, probably 200,000,000 feet of logs or more will be annually banked at Brainerd instead of the 50,000,000 feet that the Northern Mill company handled. The mill, too, will be operated next season by Welles Bros., and in all the change is by a long ways the best for the city of Brainerd, although for a few weeks the benefits that are to accrue from it may not be realized. Brainerd citizens should not overlook a dollar ahead to be possession of a cent at hand. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

C. F. Welles, one of the proprietors of the new saw mill, was in the city on Saturday last and stated that the work of improving the plant would begin at once and we are informed today that a force of men were put to work this morning. A complete electric light plant will be put in and a system of water works constructed for fire protection. The planing mill is to be enlarged and a refuse burner and dry kiln built. As much of this work as possible will be completed this fall and the improvements will amount to over $40,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Logging Operations.

During the past week the Minnesota Logging company has let contracts for the cutting of an aggregate of about 30,000,000 feet of logs in the neighborhood of Pine Lake, says the Lumberman. Of this Clough & Hurd will log about 15,000,000 feet, and the rest will be divided between J. J. Howe and James H. Morrison. The logging company has let the contract for the building of the spur from the main line to Foley Bros. & Guthrie, and they are working night and day to get it completed in time for this season’s hauling.
H. B. Frey of Nelson, Tenney & Co., who has charge of the firm’s logging operations, came down from the woods a few days ago. He has in operation five camps, with an aggregate of about 200 men, who have begun cutting and skidding. The forces in three of the camps are cutting the timber of the Minnesota Logging company, one of them is cutting for the Bovey, DeLaittre Lumber Company, and the other for Nelson, Tenney & Co. On Thursday Mr. Frey was shipping to the scene of operations a car load of horses and outfits for work in the woods. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 November 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

A section of the landing at the Northern Mill gave way yesterday morning and one man had his foot injured somewhat. It was reported about town that two lumbermen had been carried down under the ice in the river and drowned, but there is no truth in the report. It is astonishing how such stories originate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 February 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Brainerd Had a Strike.

The men on the landing at the Northern Mill struck last Friday for shorter hours. The men have been working 12 hours a day and then in addition would have to get out and unload all logs brought in after those hours. They wanted the company to put on a night crew of 9 or 10 men to do the extra work, but the company did not see it that way and refused to accede to their demands, hence the men numbering about 50 quit in a body. The company took the men from the repair shops to fill their places temporarily until they could get other men. They brought a large number up from Minneapolis to fill the striker’s places, some of whom stayed with them but others worked only a short time and quit, but work is scarce and men wanting places are numerous, hence the company in a day or two was able to fill the striker’s places. No violence or intimidation was attempted, and everything passed off as smoothly as if there had been no difficulty. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

George H. Cook, superintendent of the Brainerd Lumber Co., Brainerd, Minn., was in Minneapolis several days on business, returning to Brainerd Tuesday. The company’s plant is being put in excellent shape for running as soon as the weather permits.—Minneapolis Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1895, p.4, c. 3)

The work of fitting up the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill and yard with electric lights is being pushed rapidly, Mr. Gray, of Minneapolis, having the work in charge. He has five men working with him and expects to have everything in order in a week. The building will be lighted by incandescent lights, while 40 arc lights will transform night into day in the lumber yard, and 20 arc lights will be put on the landing across the river. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Improvements at the mill of the Brainerd Lumber company are being pushed rapidly and the mill will be ready to run before the first of May, the date that has been set for the finishing. The three hundred trucks that are to be used in the yards have arrived from Duluth and will be ready to use in moving lumber from the mill to the piling ground when the mill starts. For the first week the mill will run with only the day crew. After that the all day run will be inaugurated. The mill is more fortunately situated than the mills farther down the river, in that it has at hand in the lake a sufficient number of logs to keep it running during the season. The company is already prepared to do business as it recently secured a stock of 1,500,000 feet of lumber that was the property of the Gull River Lumber company.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

From the Lumberman.

The mill of the Brainerd Lumber company is about ready for work and will begin sawing not later than the first of May. The mill is equipped with two bands and a gang and the company has been striving hard to make it the best mill on the river. It is thoroughly modern in all its appointments and fitted out with the best of everything in the way of machinery.
The Pine Tree Lumber company, of Little Falls, is now running both of its mills with day crews, but if it does not rain in a few days they will have to shut down. They had intended to have both mills running night and day by this time. Logs are being sluiced over the Brainerd dam but the river is so low between there and Little Falls that the logs cannot reach the latter place.
The Boom company has started sluicing logs over the Brainerd dam and operations have been conducted under favorable circumstances thus far. After coming over the dam the logs will float down the river with an occasional push as far as Crow Wing. All along down the river from Brainerd to Minneapolis the company is hauling the dead-heads out into the sun to dry, and many thousands of feet of timber are thus reclaimed to be sawed into lumber.
J. E. Glass, of the Gull River Lumber company, returned the last of last week from a ten days’ visit at his old home at Shelbyville, Ky. When Mr. Glass left Minneapolis he informed his office force that he would be gone just seven days. Soon after he arrived in the blue grass region he wired back home that he guessed he would stay a few days longer. The effect that the exhilarating climate of old Kentucky has on western people is remarkable. Mr. Glass visited the scenes of his childhood and found his mother, who is 82 years old, in excellent health and spirits. As he went for pleasure and paid no attention to business, Mr. Glass states that he is not able to make a comparison of business conditions but he enjoyed himself just the same.
On Saturday last the Minnesota Logging company held its regular annual meeting in the offices of the company in the Lumber Exchange. About the only business of interest that was transacted was the election of officers. But one change was made, that being in the office of vice-president, to which J. E. Carpenter, of Clinton, Iowa, was elected. During the year this office was held by E. W. Backus. The other officers of the company are, E. P. Welles, president; E. L. Carpenter, treasurer; W. F. Brooks, secretary. Mr. J. E. Carpenter, besides being vice-president, will act as the general manager of the company. During the first year of its existence the company has accomplished more than any similar company ever did in so short a time. It has built an entire railroad through some of the finest timber lands in Minnesota, and cut and logged in the neighborhood of one hundred and twenty-five million feet. A large part of this cut has been brought in to Brainerd and dumped into the Mississippi at that point, the rest has been skidded or banked in convenient places where it can be hauled in by the road during the summer. The company has enough logs to keep the road busy until the first of September. For some time past the road has not been hauling logs, but has had the road bed put into shape for the summer’s work. Log trains are again running. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1895, p. 1, c. 5)

A young man by the name of Hermann, son of Charles Hermann, met with an accident at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill yesterday by which he lost one finger. The young man is employed in the shingle department and he accidentally got his hand too near the knot saw. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Speaking of the Brainerd Lumber Company, the Lumberman says: The company is preparing to begin business as one of the leading business firms of the Northwest. Besides having an office at the point of manufacture in Brainerd, they will have offices here in Minneapolis where the bulk of the wholesale business will be done. Mr. C. F. Welles, the president of the company, will be in the Minneapolis office most of the time, and T. S. McLaughlin, who has until now been in the office of the Gull River Lumber company, will take the position of head bookkeeper at Minneapolis. At the Brainerd office E. B. McCullough, who for a number of years had been in the employ of Gardner, Batchelder & Welles, at Clinton, Iowa, will have charge. Mr. McCullough is now in Minneapolis, but will go to Brainerd the first of next week. For the present the company is occupying the office at 829 Lumber Exchange, but as soon as the Carpenter-Lamb company moves to the office at the mill, the Brainerd company will occupy the offices now occupied by them on the fifth floor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Mill Business Brisk.

Business at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill presents a very lively aspect these days, and nights also, for the mill started sawing on Monday with a night crew. This plant has attracted hundreds of visitors since it started up nights, the mill and grounds being illuminated with electric lights, and presenting a very pretty appearance. On Saturday a cut of nearly 200,000 feet was made and it is expected that the average run from the season will be 400,000 for every 24 hours.

Brainerd Lumber Company mill, yards and main office building, ca. 1895.
Source: Engraving
The company is building a new office on the corner of their property near the street car track, which, when completed, will be a very unique affair.
Business on the B. & N. Ry. is also in a very healthy condition, from three to four trains of logs being dumped in the river at Brainerd daily. The depot has been painted this week and everything along the line of the road has an air of prosperity about it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The mill of the Brainerd Lumber company has been running with a day crew since the first of the month and the night crew went to work Monday night of this week. The mill is practically new and like all new mills everything does not run smoothly at first. The best of everything in the way of equipment has been put into the mill and it is one of the best plants on the river. When settled at work the company will turn out about 400,000 feet every 24 hours. Their new planing mill is rapidly approaching completion. The machinery is on the way and will be put in place as soon as it arrives. There is already quite a stock of new lumber in piles in the yard and with the stock that was purchased from the Gull River Lumber company the company will soon be prepared to enter the wholesale field.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)


The Northwestern Lumberman Gives Our
City and the Northwest a Write-up.

Layout of the Brainerd Lumber Company, including railroad trestles and booms, 1898.
Source: Mississippi River Commission, Modified Chart No. 226
Under date of June 14th, Mr. A. E. Hayden writes in the above paper as follows:
About the first of March, 1894, came out the first news of the immense sale of timber by the Walker, Akeley and Pillsbury interests to the new company that was thereafter to be known as the Minnesota Logging Company. The individuals making up the new company were E. P. Welles and J. E. Carpenter, of Clinton, Iowa; C. F. Welles, of Lyons, Iowa; E. W. Backus, B. F. Nelson, W. M. Tenney, E. L. Carpenter, Davis Willard, W. F. Brooks, S. J. Carpenter, J. W., W. H. H. and L. A. Day, E. J. Carpenter, C. R. Lamb, Geo. Cook, A. E. Horr, and R. C. Leavitt of Minneapolis.
The organization was not completed until about the middle of April when the company was incorporated with an authorized capital of $500,000. The company has already passed through a year of life and the officers of the company for the present year are:
E. P. Welles, president.
J. E. Carpenter, vice president and general manager.
E. L. Carpenter, treasurer.
W. F. Brooks, secretary.
Sam Simpson, manager of logging operations.
The timber purchased by the concern is located mainly in Cass county, in the neighborhood of Cass and Leech lakes, and amounts to something like 1,500,000,000 feet of white and norway pine. There is enough pine here to keep the company cutting for from fifteen to twenty years.
The main operations of the company are over the line of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway. The logs are hauled and skidded at points favorable for the building of spur tracks and the railroad then takes them to Brainerd where they are dumped into the Mississippi river. From there they are distributed to the Brainerd mill and to the boom company which drives them to the mills at Minneapolis.
During the past winter there have been cut by this company about one hundred and twenty-eight million feet of logs, the largest cut ever made by any one company. A large part of these have already been hauled to Brainerd and dumped into the Mississippi, but there are still millions of feet in the various streams and lakes that will be hauled out during the summer, or driven down the streams into the main river. The company now has two new loading machines that are at work at Pine Mountain lake and are loading about one hundred and fifty cars per day. They are soon to buy two more loading apparatuses of a different kind which will increase their loading capacity to about two hundred and fifty cars per day.
During the winter the logs can be dumped on the ground landing at Brainerd and go into the river all right but for a summer landing the company has just completed a large apron or inclined slide from the tracks to the surface of the water. The landing is 800 feet long and constructed of four layers of pine plank covered with one layer of two-inch oak, all on a substantial foundation. The layers of plank are laid alternately in different directions. The construction of the landing required in all about 240,000 feet of pine and 30,000 feet of oak.
Samuel Simpson is in charge of all the logging operations of the company, and the work of the past winter has shown that he is thoroughly capable of handling the immense interests of the company in the woods.
At about the same time that the purchase of the timber and railroad interests were made the mill of the Northern Mill company at Brainerd, passed into the hands of members of the logging company. Nothing was done with the plant during the early summer except to look it over for the purpose of finding out what would be necessary in order to put it in shape for manufacturing.
The Brainerd Lumber company was finally organized and incorporated beginning business on the 1st day of November, 1894. The organizers, who also constitute the board of directors and officers, are:
C. F. Welles, president.
C. F. Alden, vice-president.
E. P. Welles, treasurer.
E. L. Carpenter, secretary.
George H. Cook, superintendent.
The day foreman at the mill is A. L. Mattes, formerly with the Shevlin-Carpenter company, and the night foreman is Robert Considine. E. B. McCullough is manager of the office of the company at Brainerd.
When the company took hold of the plant it was found that in order to have it come up to their [standards] a great deal of work was necessary. They started out with the idea that nothing but the best was good enough, and as there was plenty of capital back of it and a thoroughly competent man in the position of superintendent, the result has been that the company now has as complete an equipment for the manufacture of lumber as is in existence.
To start with, Rice lake makes as fine a natural mill pond as could be found, and with the facilities for getting logs from the logging road of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway company, the company is always sure of a sufficient supply of material on which to work.
The plant is about two miles from town and as there are at the disposal of the company about three hundred acres of ground they are not cramped for room.
The Brainerd Lumber Company sawmill at Brainerd, the tall slender structure is the sawdust burner, ca. 1895.
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
The equipment of the mill is two bands and a gang besides the other necessary machinery, such as trimmers, edgers, shingle mills, lath mills, etc. One of the bands is of the manufacture of the Edward P. Ellis company, of Milwaukee, and the other was made by the McDonough Manufacturing company, of Eau Claire. The gang saw is a 52-inch, and was made by the Union Iron Works, of Minneapolis. One of the steam feeds is of the Gemlo Iron Works, of Minneapolis, and the other of the Union Iron Works. The two edgers were made by the Diamond Iron Works, of Minneapolis. The shingle machines, of which there are two, one a 10-block and the other a hand machine, were both made by Perkins & Co., of Grand Rapids, Mich.
The power is furnished by a battery of seven boilers and two Buckeye engines, one of 800-horse power and the other of 200-horse power. When the company took the mill the 800-horse power engine was alone, but that there should never be a lack of power to keep the machinery running smoothly, the smaller engine was added to relieve the load when all the saws were loaded. It is frequently noticed in mills that when the band saws are running with a load and there is also a load on the gang, the latter slows up in its movement, and it was to obviate this that the additional power was added. That the desired result has been accomplished is plainly evident from watching the saws at work.
Brainerd Lumber Company mill and yards, ca. Unknown. A 1834x1268 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The logs come up from the lake and are converted into lumber in the mill, from whence it passes into the sorting works, which are the most complete of any mill on the river. The sorting shed is 326 feet long. The lumber comes out on conveyors overhead and there are several drops for the several lengths, each falling to its own platform where it is graded by experienced graders and loaded on lumber trucks to be transferred to different parts of the yard. Tracks run out from both sides of the sorting works and go to all parts of the yard, and the system is so well arranged that it keeps but two horses busy to handle the entire cut of the mill.
In the yard there are now eight miles of track and the company has ordered and has on the way enough more to make the total ten miles. There is a natural incline from the mill through the yard to the planing mill, and the grade of the tracks is down hill for the loads.
As there is at Brainerd no market for the refuse of the mill such as slabs, edgings and sawdust, to get this out of the way it is necessary to burn it. For this purpose the company has had erected an immense burner 100 feet high and 30 feet in diameter, into which goes everything that cannot be made into marketable lumber. The iron work was done by Turnbull, of Minneapolis, and the stone and brick by Congdon, also of Minneapolis.
There is now in process of erection a four-room Sturtevant dry kiln, 75x85 feet, to which tracks run from the sorting works and from the mill. As all the logs that go through the mill are green and not wet from having floated in the river, a dry kiln can be used without having the injurious effect that artificial drying sometimes has on wet lumber. By a gradual process of drying the sap can be dried out and leave the lumber in good condition.
The planing mill is not yet completed, but will be in a short time, and like everything else the company has built, it will be one of the best. The power will be furnished by a battery of boilers and a 200-horse power Buckeye engine purchased from the Robinson & Cary company, of St. Paul, as was also the smaller engine at the saw mill. The remainder of the machinery will be the best manufactured. From the planing mill along one side of the yard to the Northern Pacific spur track that comes from the main line to the vicinity of the plant, the lumber company has 1,000 feet of standard gauge track over which will be switched the cars to be loaded for outside shipment.
The company has its own water and its own lighting plant as well. As the mill is run both night and day it is necessary to have electric lighting facilities and the company has placed in the lighting plant two dynamos each capable of running 500 lights. There are now in the yard and mill about 500 incandescent lights and 15 arc lamps. Across the river at the landing of the logging company there are ten lights for use when that company is running night trains from the woods. At night the yard and mill are as light as in the day. There is also a complete machine and blacksmith shop where all repairs can be made.
The company has erected for the use of the employees, of whom there will be about 400 men when the mill is running at its full capacity, a large boarding house, where those who are not residents of Brainerd can make their home.
Throughout the mill and yard there is a complete system of fire protection. From the water plant power house there are pipes running to all parts of the yard. Ten-inch mains run laterally through the yard from the mill to the planing mill and there are several cross mains of eight-inch pipe. Hydrants are placed at sufficiently frequent intervals so that with the hose in hand all parts of the yard can be reached. Steam is always carried in the engine room of the water pump and there is an automatic connection so arranged that when any hydrant in the yard is opened the pump immediately starts. Throughout the saw mill and the planing mill there is a complete system of Grinnel sprinklers. To do away with danger from the mills there is no lumber piled within 200 feet of either.
At present the mill office of the company is in the building occupied by the railroad offices, but there is in process of erection a neat office at the corner of the yard nearest town.
A long log dock has been built about twelve to fifteen hundred feet out into Rice lake on which are run the trains that bring the logs to the mills.
From the mill to the town there is an electric car line and a large portion of the patronage of the line comes from the employees of the mill company.
There is probably no mill in the country that is more advantageously located as regards the getting the timber, and the shipping facilities over the Northern Pacific are such that the company commands the market both to the east and the west. Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway is bound to develop and this market is also at the feet of the Brainerd Lumber company. The men at the head of the company are all thorough lumbermen and success was assured before a stroke of business was done. By the end of June the company will have in stock about twelve million feet of new lumber and it will be at that time ready to compete on an equal footing with the firms of many years standing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1895, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)

A Record Breaker.

Attorney F. F. Price returned Thursday evening from Brainerd where he transacted some legal business. “If anyone had told me except Judge Holland I wouldn’t have believed, and I hardly expect you will believe me, but I’ll tell it just the same,” said Mr. Price to the Herald yesterday. “Proceed,” interrupted the Herald, “your word is as good as your note.” “Well, the Brainerd & Northern Mills did what appeared to me a wonderful stroke of business this week in the line of lumber manufacturing. The company cut logs on Leech Lake, hauled them to the mill, sawed them into boards, run them through the dry kiln, loaded cars and started a full train of the finished product on its way to Winnipeg as kiln dried lumber all within sixty hours. If that isn’t a record breaker I don’t know anything about log-rolling.”—Grand Rapids Herald. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

John Willett, an employee at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill, suddenly became insane at the mill boarding house on Wednesday, and proceeded to smash things right and left. He was taken in charge and in the evening was brought before Judge McFadden and adjudged insane, Deputy Sheriff Slipp and G. H. Herriott taking him to the asylum at Fergus Falls on Wednesday night’s train. He had worked all the season at the mill and has a family in Michigan. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Recently C. F. Welles, president of the Brainerd Lumber company, wrote up to Superintendent Cook and asked him to make a note of how long a time it was from the time that the logs were in the pond until they were loaded into cars in the form of lumber. This Mr. Cook did, and found that they could load dry lumber into cars just seven days after it was in the pond in the form of green logs. As it takes but a day for the logs to come from the woods to the pond, dry lumber can be shipped out of the yards of the Brainerd company in eight days from the time that it was standing in the tree sixty miles away. Rather quick work, don’t you think?—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd Lumber Co.’s Cut.

The cut of the mill of the Brainerd Lumber company during the past season was well up along with the leaders in the manufacture of lumber on the river. The mill was built over in the spring and was practically a new plant. During a part of the season the mill was run nights. The cut in lumber was 40,500,000 feet; shingles 5,500,000, and 5,000,000 lath. The logs cut by the mill were of the best that came down over the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota railway, and a large percentage of the cut was a first-class quality of shop lumber.—Lumberman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

On Saturday forenoon last Samuel Waters, an employee at the planing mill of the Brainerd Lumber Co., met with an accident which later resulted in his death. One of the machines needed cleaning and in attending to the matter the wheels caught the mitten on Mr. Waters’ right hand and his arm was drawn in and crushed in a frightful manner, being broken at the shoulder. The injured man was taken to the Lumbermen's Hospital where on Monday it was found necessary to amputate the arm, and although he had careful attention the shock was too great for him to stand and he died on Tuesday, Jan. 21st. On Wednesday his brother, Benjamin Waters, arrived from Lyons, Iowa, and accompanied the remains to the above place, the members of Unity Lodge, I. O. O. F., escorting the body to the train, the deceased being a member of that order. Mr. Waters was 45 years of age and unmarried. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Wind and Fires.

On Monday the wind blew at the rate of about 40 miles and the consequence was that the fire department had a lively time of it. The first fire occurred at a little before 6 in the morning, and was in the large new boarding house of the Brainerd Lumber Co. This three story building was built last summer and was occupied by Mrs. C. Hanson, who managed the same. The building and contents were destroyed, causing a loss of $3,500 on the former and $2,500 on furniture. The building was fully insured and Mrs. Hanson carried $1,000 on her goods. Besides the above many of the boarders lost their personal effects. The building will be rebuilt. The origin of the fire is unknown. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Michael Beecher, an employee at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill, met with a probably fatal accident on Tuesday morning, falling from the dock to the ground, a distance of 30 feet, striking his head and causing a fracture of the skull. He was taken to the Lumbermen’s Hospital. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1896, p. 1, c. 4)

John Skanks [sic] had his foot badly crushed Wednesday morning at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill, the wheels of a push-car running over it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1896, p. 1, c. 4)

An accident to the conveyor shaft at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill last night caused a shut down until this morning. The Brainerd mill and the one at Little Falls, are the only two saw mills on the Mississippi that are being operated owing to the high water. All the big mills at Minneapolis are idle, but it is expected the Nelson & Tenney mill will start up next week. The boom company is at a stand still with its work, and no one knows when they will be able to release their logs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Joe Matthews, a young man about 19 years of age, who operates one of the shingle mills at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill, had the misfortune to badly mutilate his left hand on Wednesday, by accidentally bringing it in contact with the saw. The first finger was completely severed and the second and third fingers badly cut, but will probably be saved. He was taken to the Lumbermen’s Hospital for treatment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 July 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

President C. F. Welles of the Brainerd Lumber Co., is in the city. He says the mill will begin work about May 1st, or as soon as the weather and ice will permit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

The Mill Begins.

The Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill began operations Tuesday morning, and the loud blasts of the whistle were joyous sounds to a great many men who have been waiting for the mill to resume operations to get work. It is reported there were enough men there looking for jobs to run three mills of that size. Everything ran as smoothly as when the mill closed down last season, and lumber is being turned out to as good advantage as during the middle of the season. Night work will commence next Monday, when as many men more will be needed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 April 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

A. L. Mattes, who was injured at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill on Friday evening last, is getting along nicely, although at one time it was thought his injuries were much more serious than they proved to be. Mr. Mattes, who is foreman at the mill, was walking over a pile of logs when they rolled and he was caught between them and three of his ribs broken. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

On Monday the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill in this city will be in full operation and in a very short time after that date the night crew will be put on. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 April 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill started on the night run Wednesday and is now in full operation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Mill Men’s Patriotic Association.

On Sunday evening a mass meeting of the employees of the Brainerd Lumber Co. was held at the store of Joncas & Son near the mill, and officers of the association above named were elected as follows: President, C. S. Martin; Vice President, H. Joncas; Secretary, C. G. Margrave. The object of the meeting was to form an organization that would show that the patriotism of the people of this city had not been squelched even though we were overlooked in the call for troops. It was decided to erect a flag pole 100 feet high at the Lumber Company’s plant, procure a suitable flag and have a raising with appropriate ceremonies, amusements and dance at the bowery on Saturday evening, July 23. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

Flag Raising Saturday Night.

Mr. J. C. Smallwood informs the DISPATCH that arrangements have been completed to have the flag raising in front of the office of the Brainerd Lumber Co., on Saturday evening, July 23d, as originally intended. It was thought some days ago that the matter could not be arranged in time and that it would have to be postponed until the 30th, but everything is now ready and the celebration will take place tomorrow night. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1898, p. 1, c. 3)


Saturday Evening, July 30, will Witness a
Flag Raising and Patriotic Celebra-
tion at the Brainerd Lumber
Company’s Plant.

The Mill Men’s Patriotic Association
Have Charge of the Affair and
Everybody is Invited.

On tomorrow evening, Saturday, July 30th, the stars and stripes will be hoisted and floated to the breeze from a flagstaff 98 feet high near the mill of the Brainerd Lumber Co. and the flag raising will be accompanied by ceremonies appropriate to an occasion of the kind commencing at 8 o’clock. The demonstration is in charge of the Mill Men’s Patriotic Association and will be a very interesting event. The Brainerd bands will be in attendance, a grand bowery dance will take place and a display of fireworks will be given. For the accommodation of the public trains will be run from the depot to the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s office from 7:30 until midnight. The following program has been arranged:
Firing of salute.
Music by the bands.
Address of welcome by Wm. Dodd.
Response by H. C. Stivers.
Firing of salute and music by the bands, during which the flag will be raised.
Flag salute and address by Rev. D. D. McKay.
Music by the bands.
Address by Rev. Fr. Lynch.
Music by the bands.
Address by A. J. Halsted.
Song, “My Country ‘tis of Thee,” by everybody.
Address by C. D. Johnson.
Song by Y. M. C. A. Quartet.
Address of thanks and dismissal by Col. S. C. Martin, president of the association. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1898, p. 8, c. 2)


The Mill Men’s Patriotic Association
Publicly Show Their Love for
the Flag.

‘Tis the star spangled banner, O long may it wave,
O’r the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

One of the most pleasant as well as soul inspiring events that have occurred in our city in recent years was the flag raising, the flinging of “Old Glory” to the breeze at the Northern Mill on Saturday evening last. A mammoth crowd of people was in attendance, the N. P. running special trains from the depot in the city. A fine flag staff 98 feet in height had been erected in front of the company’s office building, and here the exercises were held. Seats had been provided for 1000, but there were people enough to fill them several times. Dresskell’s City Band was present and enlivened the occasion with appropriate music. C. S. Martin president of the association, was chairman and director of the exercises.
The services were opened by prayer by Secretary Thomas of the Y. M. C. A. Wm. Dodd delivered an appropriate address of welcome, which was responded to by H. C. Stivers, after which amid the roar of the cannon and the soul inspiring strains of the “Star Spangled Banner” as rendered by the band, “Old Glory,” that beautiful emblem of freedom, was flung to the breeze, and then three rousing cheers direct from the heart of every person present was given with a will.
Addresses interspersed with music were then given by Rev. D. D. McKay, Rev. Fr. Lynch and A. J. Halsted. At the close Chairman Martin made a short address of thanks, after which the audience dispersed.
A bowery dance with music by Whitford’s orchestra furnished amusement for the balance of the evening.
The members of the Mill Men’s Patriotic Association are delighted at the great success attending the flag raising exercises, as are also all those who had the pleasure of being present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1898, p. 1, c. 3)

The Brainerd Lumber company received orders for 40 car loads of lumber on Monday, and the company is steadily shipping from 12 to 15 cars a day. The lumber industry certainly is prosperous. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

C. F. Welles, president of the Brainerd Lumber Co., was in the city over Sunday, the guest of his sister, Mrs. Isham. Mr. Welles was also inspecting the mill plant here. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 March 1899, p. 10, c. 3)


The Brainerd Lumber Co.’s Saw Mill
Resumes Operations and Mill
Will be in Full Blast on

Brainerd & Northern Minnesota loaded log car at the sawmill. In the background there are piles of lumber stored at the sawmill, ca. Unknown.
Source: Northern Minnesota Railroad Heritage Association, Inc.
Preliminary to the commencement of the sawing season the mill of the Brainerd Lumber company was started yesterday and tomorrow will be given a thorough test and on Monday will be in full blast there being every indication of a steady and successful season’s run. Many improvements have been made during the past few months and besides putting the machinery in first class order, the capacity of the shingle mill has been increased by fifty thousand, improvements have been made in the large refuse burner and new log chutes have been constructed. The Brainerd mill has an advantage over other mills in the state in that it does not have to depend on the river for its logs as they are brought to its very doors from the forest where they are cut by rail and dumped into the mill pond, there being something like twenty-five million feet on hand at the present time.
About 500 men will be on the pay roll when the work is in full operation, and as the company always pays its employees good wages the industry is no small affair and goes a long ways in making our city one of the most prosperous in Northern Minnesota. Through the courtesy of E. B. McCullough we are able to give the names of the following men who hold the more responsible positions about the mill:
Superintendent of yard—Wm. Dodd.
Foreman of planing mill—Thomas Esmay.
Chief engineer—W. E. Stickney; engineer planing mill—John Davidson.
Tallyman—Mike Lillig.
Day Sawyers—W. H. Sadler, A. F. Elliot.
Night sawyers—P. Fortier, Joseph Lebo.
Gang sawyer, day—P. F. O’Brien.
Gang sawyer, night—Thos. White.
Head millwright—E. G. Angie.
W. E. Higgins, Otto Nelson and Fred Peterson have charge of the pumps and electric lighting.
John Leckie is foreman of the boom crew.
The lath and shingle mill will be in charge of H. Joncas on contract. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

John Leckie, boom foreman at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill, left Wednesday morning for Fargo to take part in the log rolling contest, one of the attractions in connection with the Fire Festival being held there this week. The log used in the contest on Labor Day in this city was shipped to Fargo on Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

On Thursday morning during the electrical storm the armatures of the two dynamos at the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s plant were burned out, leaving the workmen in total darkness. As a consequence the mill will be shut down nights until Monday, as the repairs cannot be completed before that time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

Lumbermen’s Wages Higher.

An exchange predicts that lumbermen are facing an almost certain shortage of men for their work in the woods this winter. There is need for a big cut of logs, and if sufficient good labor can be secured, anywhere from 800,000,000 to 900,000,000 feet of logs will be cut. Higher wages will be paid than last year, but this will not enable the lumbermen to get the labor desired. The Mississippi Valley Lumberman has the following to say of the situation:
It is true that the closing of the mills, the end of threshing, of plowing and of railroad construction will free an army of men and horses. But these same men and horses were in existence a year ago, and every man who went into the woods for logs at a late day knows what trouble he had in getting his crew and horses together. It promises to be worse the coming winter. Wages last year ranged from $22 to $30, the former for common labor, swampers, sawyers, roadmakers, etc. the latter for four-horse teamsters. Possibly better wages than this were paid in certain instances. This year the wages will probably run from $24 to $35, while the resulting labor will probably be less and of poorer quality than it was under lower wages. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 1899, p. 4, c. 2)

J. A. DeCoster while at work at the mill on Saturday received a severe injury occasioned by a fall in which his hip was broken. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

After a run of seven months, from April 15 to November 15, the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill closed down for the season on Saturday last. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1899, p. 8, c.1)

The Brainerd Lumber company’s mill will begin work for the season in about two weeks. A week later a night crew will be put on, and the mill will then run night and day throughout the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

The Mill Starts Next Wednesday.

Brainerd Lumber Company, ca. 1900.
Source: Unknown
The Brainerd Lumber Co.’s mill will commence the season’s sawing next Wednesday. The mill will be started on Tuesday, but only for the purpose of seeing whether everything is in working order or not. The following morning active work will begin unless the ice in the lake prevents.
The past winter has been one of exceptional activity for this company. The sales of lumber have been the largest in its history, and a steady stream of lumber comprising several car loads a day, have been shipped from the yards of the company during the winter, leaving the stock very low, hence the company is very anxious to begin work to renew its stock. About 200 men have been working in the yards and planing mill during the winter, and when the mill begins running night and day, which will be one week after starting, a force of about 600 men will be needed to operate the plant, who will have steady employment until late in the fall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

In 1900 the Brainerd Lumber Company owns a controlling interest in the railroad to the north, the Minnesota and International Railway. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 46)

The Brainerd Lumber Company is an industry second in importance only to the Northern Pacific shops. It is one of the finest lumbering properties in the state. The capacity of the mill (in 1900) is "from fifty to fifty-five million feet per annum, with an average daily shipment of twenty cars of lumber." From 450 to 500 men are employed during the sawing season, and about 600 men in the woods in the winter. By 1905 the available supply of logs has dwindled to such an extent that the company is obliged to withdraw its mills, and move.... This action marks the passing of a great industry.... (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 46)


A $500 Loss in the Brainerd Lumber
Company’s Yards.

Fire destroyed about $500 worth of lath in the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s yard yesterday morning. How the fire originated is unknown, but it must have been of incendiary origin, as the lath pile is quite a distance from the mill or the railroad track and could not have caught from a spark. The fire had made considerable headway before being discovered, and 200,000 lath, valued at $500, were consumed before the flames were extinguished. The loss is fully covered by insurance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1901, p. 1, c. 2)


Dangerous Occupation of the Lumber-
men and River Drivers.

The Bodies of Two Men Have Been
Recovered, While One is Yet
in the River’s Cold

Three lumbermen lost their lives in as many days in Brainerd and vicinity the first of the week, by being thrown in the river and drowned before aid could be extended to them.
The first case occurred on Saturday evening last about 200 yards south of the wagon bridge, and the victim was Jas. Schwartz, a laborer, who has been recently employed in the construction of the new steel railroad bridge. His work there being concluded he got a job on the drive. Never having been on a drive before he got a pair of driving boots, and in company with three companions went to the river that evening to practice. He got on a large log and pushed himself some distance from shore, when he lost his balance and was thrown into the river. One of his companions jumped in and tried to get him out when it became apparent that he could not help himself, but he sank to the bottom before he was reached and did not rise again. The river was dragged that night until 11 o’clock and all the next day and on Monday, but his body could not be found, and it will remain in the river until some river driver accidentally finds it.
Deceased was a man about 35 years of age and has been in the city some weeks stopping at the French Hotel on east Front street. His home is in Eagle Lake, Blue Earth county, about nine miles from Mankato, where he leaves a wife and one child.


The second death occurred the next afternoon at Billings mill, three miles up the river, the unfortunate victim being Edward Morrison, an old and experienced driver. In company with several other men he was working on a raft of logs some distance from shore. He got on a large log and pushed himself away from the raft and started for shore. When part of the distance had been covered the log began to roll and he was thrown into the water. His companions saw him fall and went to his assistance in a boat, but he went down and did not come up again and no aid could be given him. An effort was made with poles and hooks to rescue him as soon as they could be provided, but he could not be found, and until the next forenoon his body remained in the cold waters. His remains were brought to Losey & Dean’s in this city when recovered, and are now being held there to ascertain if he has any friends or relatives to claim them. He was 30 years of age, and unmarried, it is supposed, although no one seems to know anything about him. A piece of paper with the address Geo. Hinterman, Long Prairie, Minn. was taken from his person by the coroner, who viewed the remains and pronounced an inquest unnecessary.


The saddest case was that of Alfred Kernosky, who was drowned Monday morning at the B. & N. M. landing, as he leaves a wife and five children without a father’s support. Kernosky was a cant hook man engaged in unloading logs, and was thrown into the river by a rolling log, as frequently occurs to men handling logs at the landing. Several men were working there at the time, but right near him was E. Lorti who saw him fall and threw a stay chain to him to pull him out by, but the chain was not long enough to be reached by Kernosky, who went down. His companion then waded into the river and with a long hook pole succeeded in getting hold of the clothes of the victim and pulled him ashore. He was placed on a flat car and brought to the Sanitarium, but was dead when examined by the doctors. It is said he was not in the water over ten minutes before being recovered. The remains were taken to Losey & Dean’s where they were viewed by the coroner, and no inquest was deemed necessary.
The funeral services were held on Wednesday afternoon at the residence of the deceased on 4th avenue, East Brainerd. He was 31 years old and leaves a wife and five children to mourn the untimely end of husband and father. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1901, p. 1, c.’s 3 & 4)


Thomas Thompson Dies at St. Joseph’s
Hospital Sunday Afternoon—A
Sad Ending.

A very sad death was that which occurred at St. Joseph’s Hospital Sunday afternoon about 3 o’clock. Thomas Thompson, who has been employed at the Brainerd Lumber company’s mill for some time on the boom met death as a result of injuries received at the mill Saturday morning about 10 o’clock. One of the large cables used on the boom broke and Thompson was caught in a jam and was rendered unconscious.
He was taken to the hospital but never recovered, passing to the great beyond Sunday afternoon.
Deceased leaves a wife and two small children. Funeral services will be held Tuesday morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1901, p. 2, c. 2)


Brainerd Lumber Company’s Business
Never Better at This Time of
the Year.

There has hardly been a time in the history of the Brainerd Lumber Company when business was more active than it is at the present time. The company is rushed almost to a standstill and the orders now coming in will not be filled very soon.
The company has a large southern trade and the trade on finer grades of lumber from the south has been something enormous this year. Now orders are coming in from the west for heavier material, and the orders are piling up wonderfully. Business is particularly active in all lines, but the record of sales of pine since July 1 is something marvelous. Over 4,000,000 feet of pine have been sold since the first and the sales are still continuing.
The price has been very good for a considerable amount of this lumber, most of it grading higher than usual. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1901, p. 6, c. 2)


The Large Gang at the Brainerd Lumber
Company Mill Incapacitated for
a Short Time.

Work at the mill of the Brainerd Lumber Company was suspended for a short time until today on account of a rather bad break. A pin in the shaft crank of the big gang broke and it took some time to repair the same.
A crew of experts worked on the break for a day or two but this morning the work was resumed as usual. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 August 1901, p. 4, c. 6)


The Pay Roll at the Brainerd Lumber
Company’s Mill Larger than Most
People Think.

The pay roll of the Brainerd Lumber Company in this city each month would startle most concerns of this nature, but it gives an idea of the large volume of business turned out every thirty days by this company. A visit to the plant at any time is interesting and strangers who come to the city and who are taken to the mills find them a marvel.
The pay roll for the past month, Monday being payday, footed up to $26,500. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1901, p. 7, c. 4)


The Brainerd Lumber Co. Mills Have Closed
Down Nights—Lake Will Soon
Freeze Over.

The night shift at the Brainerd Lumber Co. mills in this city was let out the first of the month and the present indications are that the mill will close for the winter very soon.
Nearly all the night men have gone to the woods and most of the men who are now on the day shift are expected to go into camp as soon as the mill is closed down. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1901, p. 1, c. 4)


The Five Hundred or More Men
Being Paid Off by Brainerd
Lumber Company.


Company Has Sawed in the Neigh-
borhood of Fifty-Three
Million Feet.

The mills of the Brainerd Lumber Co. in this city close down tonight with the sound of the whistle and the work of sawing logs for the season of 1901 will be at an end.
This is earlier than the mills usually close by some ten or fifteen days, but the recent cold spell with the heavy snow has made this move necessary.
The company has experienced an especially successful run this past season, something like 53,000,000 feet of logs having been sawed.
The closing of the mills leaves the company with a very good stock of lumber on hand, although in some respects it is quite depleted. There has been an unusually big demand the past season from the south for the best grade of lumber, and for this reason the best grades are pretty well sold out.
Something like 500 men are being paid off at the mill today. These men will go to the woods for the winter in all probability, as wages this year are very good. The night crews have already gone out in large numbers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 November 1901, p. 6, c. 1)

The planing mill of the Brainerd Lumber Company closed down today. The mill will be closed down until an inventory is taken of the stock. The management will also make some extensive repairs before starting up again. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1901, p. 8, c. 2)

A large force of men is now engaged in tearing down the last of the Brainerd Lumber Co.’s buildings. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 March 1906, p. 2, c. 2)

By 1906 the last part of the Brainerd Lumber Company had been dismantled and moved away. After only thirteen years from the day of its beginning every vestige of that industry had been obliterated. The vacant office building stood there for awhile as a silent sentinel. A Brainerd "chef" purchased it in 1908. He moved it intact [sic] and set it over the basement excavation on North Sixth and Main started in 1888 by C. F. Kindred for his projected second Villard Hotel. The building was redressed, but it still retains its general appearance, even though the main floor has been converted into a restaurant and the top floor into living quarters. Today [1946], remodeled in modernistic style, it is known as Van's Cafe [Sawmill Inn after 1982]. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 65)

NOTE: It does not seem the building was moved intact as Zapffe states above.

Big Mill Company Office to be Moved Down to City
and Made Into a Restaurant

C. D. Herbert has purchased the office building formerly occupied by the Brainerd Lumber Company, in East Brainerd and will move it down town and onto the lots at the corner of Main and Sixth streets recently leased by him from Mrs. Mary Howe and will fit it up into a first class restaurant on the first floor and will have his residence up stairs. A. Everett will move the building. This will be a large undertaking and amount to more than the purchase price of the building which was at a decided bargain. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1908, p. 2)

The work of erecting, or rather re-erecting the building purchased by C. D. Herbert for a restaurant, commenced yesterday. Francis Britton has the contract and expects to have the building ready for occupancy in about two weeks. The Slipp-Gruenhagen Co. also has a crew of men at work connecting the building with the Sixth street sewer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1908, p. 2)

C. D. Herbert has a crew of men working on the re-erection of the building he purchased from Mrs. Francis Britton. It required considerable work to take this building down and move it from North Mill street to the corner of Sixth and Main streets, but “Dick” will have a fine restaurant when it is finished and will no doubt do a good business. He contemplates fitting the second story into modern rooms, with bath, hot and cold water, to accommodate transient trade. (Brainerd Arena, 06 November 1908, p. 5)

NOTE: Before it was moved in 1906 to become Van’s Cafe, the Brainerd Lumber Company’s main office building stood on the northeast corner of Mill Avenue and Walker Street (now “Q” Street).

SEE: Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway / Minnesota & International Railway


Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge colorized version of an engraving, 23 March 1872.
Source: Scientific American, Volume XXVI, Number 13, New York
At 8:30 a. m. on July 27, 1875 the first Northern Pacific Railroad bridge collapsed under the weight of the locomotive and twenty-two cars. The engineer, fireman and two passengers were killed and several others injured. Less than two weeks later a temporary bridge was completed on August 14, 1875. On March 31, 1876 a permanent bridge was completed. In April of 1901 a new steel bridge was completed.

SEE: 1875 NP Bridge Collapse in the Northern Pacific R. R. in Brainerd page.

On Tuesday evening we were invited to go and take a look at the new bridge that is being built at the foot of Oak street, where the railroad crosses it. This bridge has been built by Mr. Wm. Paine at his own expense, which will not fall short of $400. The bridge was ordered put in by the council some two years ago, Mr. P. informs us, but for some reason it was not done and as he had guaranteed a crossing at that point to several parties to whom he had sold lots, he concluded to put it in himself. The bridge part of the crossing is 185 feet in length, and is built very strong, being made of Pine logs, framed together and covered with plank. The hill on the west side of the track will have to be graded down which will be a big job but Mr. Paine does not propose to stop at trifles and will have the street in fine shape in a few days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

A Special Meeting.

At a special meeting of the city council on Tuesday evening Ole Larson was awarded the contract for the construction of a culvert and earth embankment where the Oak street bridge now is, and to remove the bridge, the city to furnish the lumber for the culvert, and to pay Mr. Larson $200. The city clerk and mayor will execute the contract.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 May 1890, p. 4, c. 4)


Paul Bunyan Comes to Life

Girl sitting on model's knee gives an idea of its size. The figure talks, rolls its eyes, and moves its head and arms. Buttons are big as pie plates, shirt would make 80 blankets, September 1949.
Source: Popular Science
Paul's moustache gets a final touch-up from artist's brush before the head is hoisted into place. The model's makers call it the largest animated figure anyone has ever built, September 1949.
Source: Popular Science
This view of the half-completed figure shows the details of its structural-steel skeleton. The feet are 4 feet, 9 inches from toe to heel, boot caulks are big as railroad spikes, September 1949.
Source: Popular Science
Paul Bunyan at the 1949 Chicago Railroad Fair, September 1949.
Source: Postcard
Visitors to the 1949 Railroad Fair in Chicago can have a heart-to-heart chat with Paul Bunyan, legendary super-lumberjack of the North woods. A complex array of microphones, sound-recorders, speakers, electric motors, and gears enables the giant figure to talk with passersby and answer their questions. Sitting down, Paul towers 23 feet above the floor. If he stood up he’d stretch 35 feet. He wears size 69 boots, a 42 cap, size 80 shirt, and pants with a 150-inch waist. The Gardner Displays Co. Built the gigantic model for the Chicago and Great Northern [sic] [Chicago and North Western] Railway exhibit. (Popular Science, September 1949, p. 141)

The Giant Mechanized Figure of
Paul Bunyan is Coming to Brainerd

Paul Bunyan located at the junction of highways 371 and 210 in Brainerd, ca. 1950.
Source: Unknown
The giant mechanized figure of Paul Bunyan which was one of the outstanding features at the Railroad Fair in Chicago this summer has been purchased by J. S. (Sherm) Levis and is being shipped here now.
The figure will be erected on the corner at Club LaGuyal as soon as it arrives according to an announcement released today.
The figure was constructed in Pittsburgh for the Chicago and North Western railroad for a reported original cost to the company of $30,000. It has the proportions of a 35-foot man. The head size is given as 42. It has 16 foot arms and a size 69 shoe which measures 57 inches from toe to heel. It wears a shirt made of 76 square feet of woolen cloth, and the whipcord trousers fit around a 150-inch waist.
The mechanized figure answers questions with the help of a system of microphones, sound recording devices and a half-dozen motors which synchronize the movements of the arms, head, eyes and jaws.
Groups from both Bemidji and Hibbing are reported to have bid on the figure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 1949)

Paul Bunyan Arrives Here Today to Make His Home

Paul Bunyan at the Paul Bunyan Amusement Center at the junction of highways 371 and 210 in Brainerd, ca. 1950.
Source: Postcard
“The Big Fellow” has settled down at last. After years of wandering the mighty woodsman, Paul Bunyan, has chosen Brainerd for his home, here to live out those happy years when a man asks only the right to peace and contentment and the privilege of reviewing the accomplishments of a fabulous past.
After hob-nobbing with celebrities and dignitaries, the great and near-great at the Chicago Railroad Fair, the super-lumberjack arrived at 3:15 a. m. today. Without fanfare, yet with quiet dignity, he arrived as he would be expected to arrive, in a mighty van that dwarfed the average car on the highways he traveled.
Here, he was greeted by J. S. (Sherm) Levis, the man who was personally responsible for persuading him to select Brainerd as his home. However, Paul did not visit long. Content to be home and with the cares of his journey and the exploits of his youth only a happy memory, it was indicated that he will sleep throughout the winter, not in an ordinary home, but in a warehouse where he can stretch his mighty frame secure and unruffled by the wintry blasts.
But with the coming of spring, seated and refreshed by his winter’s nap, “The Big Fellow” is scheduled to take his place on a gigantic stump. From this vantage point, and in his own jovial fashion, he will welcome the multitude of visitors who come to pay him homage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1949)

13 December 1950. Paul Bunyan, who entertains tourists and resides at the Paul Bunyan Amusement Center, didn’t just come traipsing in from the woods one day. He was brought up in pieces from Chicago by Oscar Larson and assembled by Larson in 1950 for the park’s opening. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 2005)

Many Attractions at Paul Bunyan Center

Babe, the blue ox of Paul Bunyan fame is lowered ever so gently aboard a railroad flat car in Kansas City for shipment to Brainerd, Minnesota, where it will stand next to a statue of Paul. Jac T. Bowen sculpted the 23-foot long statue for an amusement park operated by Larry Lopp. It's 15 feet to the top of the hump above the shoulders. It's painted in Paul Bunyan blue and the horns are Minnesota sunshine yellow. Five railroads are involved in getting the 3,000 ton statue to its destination, 21 May 1965.
Source: AP Photo
Babe the blue ox at the junction of highways 210 and 371 in Brainerd, ca. Unknown.
Source: Postcard, Miriam Loukusa
Babe wears his holiday coat, ca. Unknown.
Source: MHS
GETTING READY—Crewmen are shown here as they prepare to move Babe the Blue Ox from a flatcar to a truck. The huge statue required a crane for the moving operation, May 1965.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
ON THE WAY—Big Babe was eyed with some surprise by out-of-town motorists as he made his way to the Paul Bunyan Center yesterday on a truck. This picture was taken on Washington Street, May 1965.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
ARRIVES HOME—This photo shows Babe the Blue Ox arriving at his new home, the Paul Bunyan Center. The huge statue has come all the way from Kansas City, Mo., on a flatcar. Babe has been on display near the train depot here for two days, May 1965.
Source: Brainerd Daily Dispatch
New and exciting attractions are constantly being added to the Paul Bunyan Center and this year is no exception. New this year are the Flying Cakes and the Tractors.
As an added attraction this year the Center is putting on two giant fireworks displays, the first of which will be on the evening of June 22. The second display will be August 31.
Paul Bunyan Center, which is Paul’s home, is filled with many interesting and unusual sights. There is a logging camp which houses the bunkhouse and cook shack and also a miniature animated lumber camp.
The old Fort Sherman stockade will delight the young Crocketts and Boones of the country.
You could enjoy a whole day in the Center visiting the displays and enjoying the rides. You will see Henry, the giant squirrel, and Sport, the reversible dog—the children can mount them and have their pictures taken. There are many logging camp relics and equipment to see. You can see the animals in the zoo and write letters or cards to your friends to be mailed in Paul’s giant mail box.
Paul Bunyan sits on the huge stump just west of Brainerd and proudly watches his domain grow each year.
When the thousands of children and grownups from all over the country stop in to see Paul this year, his booming voice will have some wonderful new stories to tell. He continues to thrill the children with his ability to know their names and other information about them.
Paul Bunyan reaches skyward 23 feet. He has a waistline of 150 inches and a neck size of 80. His feet measure four feet nine inches from toe to heel and he wears a size 42 lumberjack cap.
This year Paul is sporting a bright new red and black checked shirt which was made to order for him by the Hickerson Garment Co. here in Brainerd.
There is a full-sized Merry-Go-Round, seating over 30 people. Horses are of the carousel type, going up and down and around, always a favorite with the kids.
The Birthday House is something entirely different and novel. It is built like Paul’s big birthday cake and is large enough for a party of 16 or more youngsters. Available for complete parties including cake, refreshments, hats, favors, and rides.
For thrills there’s the 50-foot ferris wheel and the jet fighter ride and to add to the festive air there is an old time circus organ. Camera fans will always find a variety of picture props, such as an old miner, a dance hall girl, covered wagon, and many others.
The Paul Bunyan Miniature Golf Course provides 18 holes of novel and amusing entertainment for both young and old.
The Paul Bunyan Center has gone to great expense to install the finest railroad equipment available in the country. The children will really enjoy this train ride. . . it is as close to a real train as you can get. The locomotive is modeled upon the F-7 General Motors locomotive. There is also the fabulous real Hot Rod ride.
A well-groomed FREE picnic area is provided with tables, stoves and a well. The fabulous giant mushrooms provide shade for the picnic tables. (1963)

NOTE: After fifty-four years located at the junction of State Highways 371 and 210, Paul Bunyan was moved, in 2003, to This Old Farm on State Highway 18 east of Brainerd.

Paul Bunyan Land, Brainerd

Brainerd’s Paul Bunyan—the legendary 26-foot lumberjack—almost ended up on the treeless prairie of South Dakota seven years ago when his old neighborhood was bulldozed to make way for a Kohl’s department store. But thanks to a local businessman and antique collector, Paul is still greeting kids and telling tall tales while seated on a stump in Minnesota’s central lakes region.
Brainerd’s Paul Bunyan is one of dozens of Paul statues throughout the country that pay homage to the folkloric axe man, including one in Bemidji, which has made it a centerpiece of the community’s tourism campaigns.
But the Brainerd Paul, who moves his head from side to side, lifts his right hand and opens and closes his eyelids, is likely the one Minnesotans remember best from their childhood. The most miraculous thing about the Brainerd Paul, who for years was advertised as “the world’s largest talking animated man,” is that he can recite from memory the first names of children and their hometowns.
“Well, hello there, if it isn’t my old friend Jimmy from South St. Paul.”
An amusement park was built around Brainerd’s Paul that eventually included a variety of rides, a magnetic mine shaft where things appear to roll uphill, a haunted house, performing chickens and animated exhibits.
Paul Bunyan Land had been a staple tourist attraction for more than a half century when owner Don McFarland announced in 2002 that he had reached an agreement to the sell the park and would close it the following year.
Dick Rademacher, a retired Brainerd area businessman who has operated a private museum called “This Old Farm” on his farmland east of Brainerd for nearly 30 years, approached the McFarlands about buying the rides and other exhibits at Paul Bunyan Land.
Today, This Old Farm Pioneer Village and Paul Bunyan Land features more than 35 rides and attractions as well as thousands of antiques. (Rochester Magazine, ca 2010)

Paul Bunyan Land — A Land of History and Memories

When children walk through the entrance gates at Paul Bunyan Land and see the 26-foot high statue of Paul — who has a boot size of 80 and a belt size that is 12 1/2 feet long, with a 500-pound ax — they are already giddy and full of excitement.
But when Paul opens his mouth and says, “Hello, Bobbie” or “Hi, Suzy,” the expression on the child’s face is priceless. This memory is one that the child and the parents or grandparents will treasure forever. It’s a magical moment.
The owners of This Old Farm Pioneer Village and Paul Bunyan Land, located six miles east of Brainerd on Highway 18, cherished these memories that were instilled in them when they were little.
Owners Lois Smude and Alan Rademacher, who are siblings, remember going to Paul Bunyan Land as kids with their parents, Dick and Marian Rademacher, when the park was located at the Highway 210-371 junction in Baxter. The two never thought they’d own the famous Paul Bunyan Land, home to Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. 
They purchased Paul eight years ago with no intention of buying the amusement park. When Don McFarland put Paul Bunyan Land up for sale, Rademacher approached McFarland wanting to purchase the log house only to use as a showcase in his father’s This Old Farm Pioneer Village, an antique farm equipment museum that has been in existence for 33 years.
“It snowballed from there,” said Rademacher. “By the time I walked out of there I had purchased the whole park.”
The family had the space for the amusement park in what was previously a corn field. And the park was a nice addition to the Pioneer Village. The family’s biggest challenge was letting the world know that Paul Bunyan Land still exists in the Brainerd lakes area.
“We’ve done everything in marketing to get the word out, but we still get calls from people all over wondering if we are the real Paul Bunyan Land,” said Smude. “People thought the park was closed after it sold, but we moved everything out of there and onto our property.”
Smude and Rademacher both have full-time jobs so having the park was an undertaking, but one they don’t regret and one they now cannot fathom of not having. Smude said the amusement park sees about 2,000 customers a week and they are often thanked for keeping the park and all the history that goes with it alive in the Brainerd area.
In order to run the amusement park from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend they have 50-60 part-time employees and four full-time managers.
Most of the employees are high school and college students, but there also are other age groups working at the park.
Smude said the employees all have a good bond with each other and they all consider themselves family. Employees even call Dick and Marion Rademacher, who are at the park often, Grandma and Grandpa.
Smude and Rademacher have a theory that “if you treat them (employees) right, they’ll treat you right,” and that has instilled a good, working relationship with everyone involved.
“They know that they have a job to do and they know our expectations,” said Smude. “We make sure we’re all on the same page. We want a safe and clean park and they (employees) are proud to work here.”
Smude said jobs at the amusement park consist of operating the 17 rides, taking admission at the entrance and running the candy and gift stores and the petting zoo. Smude said most of the shifts average about six hours so the employees don’t get burnt out.
Paul Bunyan Land includes “Old Tyme Photo,” where three employees are trained to take photographs in a scene from the past as customers dress up in clothing ranging from gangster to a cowgirl costume with a variety of vintage backgrounds.
There are about 17-20 rides operating per day and they can operate up to two rides at a time if they are next to each other. 
Smude said workers who are under age 18 who operate the rides must fill out a state permit because rides are considered machinery. Employees must be at least 16 to operate the rides. Smude said the employee fills out a form for the permit and they and their parents/guardian must sign it. The employees also have to go through job training to learn how to operate the ride safely.
“We make sure the employee feels safe and comfortable operating the ride,” said Smude. “If they don’t feel comfortable with one ride they may feel comfortable operating another ride.”
Dave Hays is a full-time manager of the park and he oversees the ride operators. Hays said he also inspects the rides daily.
“I know every click and clank of every ride and if it doesn’t sound right I know there’s something wrong with it,” said Hays. “They (employees who operate the rides) come to me whenever they think there may be something wrong with a ride.”
Hays said he has worked at the park for four years. Before coming to the park he worked in retail.
“I love this job,” he said. “It’s fun and I love the history of this place. Hearing the stories over and over again, it’s why families come here. People are coming with their kids because they remember the old Paul Bunyan Land and people love it here with all the vegetation.”
Kailey Westvig, 18, has worked at the park for four years and has done most everything one can do there. She has done concessions, worked on the rides, learned to do the photographs and done maintenance in the Pioneer Village.
“I got this job because I needed a job and my dad knew Al,” said Westvig. “I was always here, I feel like family. I hope I can come back next year.
“When I have kids I’ll tell them that I worked at Paul Bunyan Land and they’ll be like, ‘Wow.’”
John Hartwig of Brainerd took the job for the first time this summer. He said he needed a job since he was unemployed. Hartwig does two main jobs: He’s one of the several voices of Paul Bunyan and he operates the rides.
“I took this job for two reasons. One is I love kids and the second is I love the great outdoors,” said Hartwig. “This is a very people job and I like working with people who want to enjoy themselves.”
Braydee Turner, 17, worked at the entrance taking admissions from customers in her first summer working at Paul Bunyan Land. Turner admitted that she didn’t know much about the amusement park until after she got the job.
“I like it,” she said. “The employees are really close, we’re good friends.”
Shania Villnow, 15, works at the petting zoo. Villnow takes care of the 18 animals at the park and helps customers make rope.
“I like animals, I grew up on a farm,” said Villnow. “This is my first job and it’s going great.”
Andrew Ladoucer, 18, has worked at the park for two summers and operates the rides.
“It’s nice here,” said Ladoucer. “I like to be outside and this place is close to where I live so it’s easy on gas. It’s a good environment. The best part of the job is the other employees, we all work together and have fun.”
Ladoucer said he plans to help out the family in the fall with the corn maze and the haunted house. The family runs the Haunted Corn Maze that opens Fridays and Saturdays during four weekends in October. The family also has the Enchanted Holiday Village that consists of more than 40 holiday and winter scenes that is open Fridays and Saturdays Nov. 26 through mid December.
Rademacher said 80 percent of the employees return to work season after season because they enjoy the job. A lot of the employees who can’t come back to work will come back just to visit because they feel like they’re family.
Rademacher said he feels that the admission price is reasonable: $14.95 for children age 17 and under; $12.95 for 18 and older; $11.95 for senior citizens; and free to age 2 and under. He said a family of four can spend the day for less than $100 and he feels that is reasonable. 
For one admission price a person can go into the amusement park, which includes the rides, a haunted house and the magnetic mine  They also have access to order off the menu in the Lumberjack Cafe, visit the Old Fashioned Candy store, Paul’s Arcade and the “Old Tyme Photo & Tattoo Shop,” shop in the Souvenir Shop; and send a letter or postcard to someone from “Paul’s Mail Box” which can be accessed by walking up a ladder.
The admission fee also gives people free access to the Pioneer Village, which includes a barn, blacksmith shop, Birch Ridge Depot, a doctor’s office that includes equipment from the early 1900s, a 1948 filling station used for repair and servicing of cars, a granary, log house, Paul’s pocket watch that once was in downtown Brainerd, a post office, print shop, a “Red Shed,” saloon, school house, “Sweet Shoppe,” trading post, church, boutique, music box and “Rads Sport Shop.”
The family is looking to expand the park and the village in the future, but they have put their park plans on hold because of the poor economy. They hope the economy will turn around and then they can do some additions to the park. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 September 2011)

The county commissioners are considering the advisability of buying a tract of land to be converted into a poor farm. The county now pays something over $75 per month for the support of the poor and although the amount is comparatively small at present it is increasing each year. Whether it would pay at present to run a poor farm is a matter of considerable doubt, but if the county contemplates the purchase of land for that purpose the sooner it is done the better, on account of the rise in real estate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 November 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The Poor Farm.

The county commissioners at the meeting on Tuesday entered into verbal agreement with Henry [sic] Spalding for the purchase of his farm in Oaklawn township for the specific sum of $4,000. Nothing concerning the transaction appears in the minutes of the meeting which appear elsewhere in this issue, for the fact that they have no authority to transact such business only at their January and July meetings. If the farm was to be purchased this season the arrangements had to be made immediately in order to get in a crop. At their July meeting the commissioners will pay a certain part of the purchase price and receive a deed but in the meantime the work of getting things in shape will be carried on by them. Mr. John Milem was engaged as overseer at a salary of $60 per month and board for himself and family and he will move onto the place immediately. The paupers who are now scattered over the county will be brought to the farm and be taken care of there, and for the accommodation of which an addition will be built onto the house. It is the intention of the commissioners to make this farm self supporting, or as near so as possible. The first year of course will entail considerable expense as teams and cows will have to be purchased and additions made to the house and out buildings. The move in buying this farm may seem to some as an act not warranted at the present time, but it is a matter that would have had to be done eventually and could be carried out at much less expense now than at some future time. The expense of supporting paupers at boarding houses, hotels or in private families as has been done in the past is too expensive a luxury to be indulged in for years to come, as the paupers are increasing in number as the county grows older. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1888, p 4, c. 5)


Proceedings of the Board of County
Commissioners Held Monday,
July 23rd, 1888.


On motion the following resolution was adopted:
RESOLVED, That the S. W. 1/4 and the S. 1/2, of the N. W. 1/2 of Section 33, Township 45, N. of Range 30, West of the principal Meridian, containing 240 acres according to the U. S. Government Survey, be purchased of W. P. Spalding for the accommodation and support of the poor of the County of Crow Wing, for the sum of $4,000, and that the said W. P. Spalding be paid the sum of $3,000 in cash, and that said county assume and pay the sum of $1,000 which is now secured by a mortgage on said land, according to the terms of said mortgage.
On motion the following resolution was adopted:
RESOLVED, That the sum of $3,000 be loaned from the general county fund for payment of a poor farm this day purchased of W. P. Spalding, and that said general county fund be reimbursed therefore by a special levy to be hereafter made as provided by law.


County Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

The Contract Let.

The county commissioners have let the contract to I. U. White for building the new poor house at the county farm in the town of Oaklawn. The bids were opened on Saturday last and were found to be as follows:
H. C. Miller—$4,440
A. Everett—$4,395
T. P. Russell—$3,700
I. U. White—$3,500
The specifications call for a building the main part of which is to be 28x60 with 20 foot posts and an additional 24x32 with 10 foot posts. The upper story of the main building is divided into two wards and six bedrooms with a hall between; on the lower floor there are two entirely separate compartments, one for women and one for men, and [are] composed of a sitting room and two bed rooms each, with closets, etc. The addition will be used for a kitchen and dining room. Under this there is a stone basement 24x32. The building is to be finished in good style, with a portico 32 feet long and eight feet wide on the front. When completed Crow Wing county will have as fine a poor farm and buildings as there is in this section. Mr. White expects to complete the job in about sixty days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 August 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The new poor farm structure is completed and the commissioners will view it today. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

J. A. Bixby has moved his family back to this city from his claim in the second indemnity belt, as he has accepted the position of superintendent of the poor farm and will move out there the coming week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 January 1890, p. 4, c. 4)


The Sept. term of the district court opened last Monday, with Judge G. W. Holland presiding. The grand jury found no indictments, and was discharged on Tuesday. While in session they inspected the Mississippi river bridge and visited the poor farm. They made the following report:



And we would respectfully report further that we have this day visited the county poor farm and are pleased to report that we found the same in a good condition and that the farm is well conducted and that great credit is due to Mr. J. A. Bixby, the overseer of said farm, for the excellent condition of the same.
J. M. ELDER, Foreman.
Dated, Brainerd, Sept. 20, 1892.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

The county commissioners at their regular meeting elected George McCulloch overseer of the county poor farm, Mr. J. A. Bixby having tendered his resignation. The selection seems to give universal satisfaction as the gentleman is thoroughly conversant with the task before him. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1894, p. 1, c. 3) 


Proceedings of Board of County Com-
missioners Meeting Held Jan.
2nd, 1894.


An informal ballot was then taken for overseer of poor farm. R. J. Cochran received 1 vote and G. S. McCulloch 2.
Formal ballot being taken, G. S. McCulloch received 3 votes and was declared elected as overseer of poor farm.
Motion made and carried that said overseer be hired by the month at a salary of $50 per month, and he to furnish all female hired help. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

The County Poor Farm.

The annual report of the superintendent of the county poor farm will be found in this issue of the DISPATCH and it should be the business of every tax payer to look it over carefully.
For some years past considerable adverse criticism has been directed toward this county institution in reference to its maintenance and the feeling has gained considerable headway that the county had an expensive luxury on its hands, in fact that the poor farm was a white elephant and that it could be dispensed with and the county poor taken care of at a much less expense than was being incurred by operating the farm. A careful study of the figures in the report is sufficient to convince the most skeptical that it is a county safe guard and a saving to the tax payers of at least a thousand dollars each year.
During 1897 it will be found that there has been twenty-six inmates taken care of at the farm, many of whom were sick and maimed and who required such care as would necessarily cause the county extra expense were these county charges cared for in any other manner. The expenses of caring for these twenty-six inmates aggregating 2,402 days, including necessary clothing, washing, mending, drugs, etc., on a basis of 50 cents per day, which is a very conservative rate and which probably could not be duplicated considering the class of people, would be $1,201. The expense account for the year according to the auditor’s statement is $1,467.09.
As an offset or credit account the farm has returned in cash to the treasurer, permanent improvements and produce sold in trade the sum of $1,079.77 leaving as an actual expense for the maintenance of the farm the small sum of $387.32, or an expense of 16 1/2 cents per day for each inmate, or a saving of 33 7/8 cents per day per inmate which in the aggregate for the year would amount to $818.68. In other words the poor farm saves the tax payers nearly a thousand dollars a year even in its present condition and under circumstances that have not been altogether favorable.
A fairly liberal policy on the part of the county toward improving in the way of drainage and clearing will make the farm self supporting and able to care for double the number of inmates, and the expense need not be large. While adverse criticism has and always will be directed toward public institutions of this kind the commissioners will find that a majority of their constituents will uphold them in any needed, careful expenditure which in the end will make one of the best institutions of the kind in the state. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1898, p. 1, c. 3)


Of the Superintendent of the Crow Wing
County Poor Farm for the Year
Ending Dec. 31st, 1898 [sic] [1897].

No. of inmates, Jan. 1, ‘97—5
No. inmates received—21
No. inmates discharged—15
No. inmates sent to state school—3
No. inmates died—2
Present No. at farm—6
Farm credit for keep of inmates 2402 days at 40 cents per day including clothing, medicine, nursing, etc.—$960.80
Credit by permanent improvements and increase in stock—$335.45
Credit by produce sold in trade—$143.03
Credit by cash to county treasurer—$601.29
Farm Dr.—
Total expenses as per county auditor’s statement $1467.09
Respectfully Submitted,
G. S. McCULLOCH, Supt.
JOEL SMITH, Chairman of Board of County Commissioners.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1898, p. 4, c. 2)



The Committee Gets at the Bottom of
Affairs and Reports.


The bridge on Quince street was reported to be in a dangerous condition.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

The bridge across the stream running through the “dump” is sadly in need of repair and should be promptly attended to, as an accident is liable to occur any day, owing to its precarious condition, which would involve the city in a big suit for damages. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 April 1882, p. 5, c. 2)

The City’s wagon bridge across the ravine is used to get over to Kindred Street (‘A’ Street) in East Brainerd. In crossing the bridge, a horse cannot exceed five miles per hour. One would wonder why the place had not been bridged earlier. Even in the fall of 1885 no more was done by the council than build—well, what shall we call it; it was made of plank, was 24 feet wide and a mere 18 feet long with a sign board erected saying: “Teams Must Walk.” Obviously, the plank lay barely above the water; and to get to it required driving in a circuitous manner down and up the hillsides to make the climb of about fifty feet. Said an old-timer: “Them were the days!”

East Brainerd people are afraid to cross the ravine between East and West Brainerd after nightfall, on account of suspicious looking characters who are on the watch for anything of value. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

An Interesting Meeting.

...A resolution was presented and read relating to building a bridge across the ravine between Brainerd and East Brainerd and was carried, Alderman Keene of the Second ward being the only one voting against and Ald. Ort, Howe, Percy, Taylor, Hempsted [sic], Doran and President Forsyth voting in favor of it. The resolution is as follows:
“That a bridge be built across what is known as the Ravine from Kingwood street to Kindred street according to the specification hereto attached or such other as may hereafter be agreed upon, and the clerk is hereby instructed to advertise for bids for building such bridge according to the specification, reserving the right to reject any or all bids.”
The vote of Ald. Hemsted [sic] in favor of it was conditional, “provided that the bids were considered reasonable.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

On 28 [sic] September 1885 the council passed a resolution that a bridge also be built from Kingwood to Kindred streets. This was to be a high-line bridge. It was known as the Ravine Bridge, and sometimes the East Brainerd Bridge. Now it is the Fill. It was to be eighteen feet of driveway and six feet more for a walk. A sign was ordered erected on all bridges to read: “$5 Fine for Driving Faster than a Walk.” This was an ordinary wooden bridge, costing only $2,375. On 08 June 1888, His Honor the Mayor appointed a “Custodian of East Brainerd Bridge,” who was paid $15 per month. The horse traffic had created a job opportunity for that fellow. On 02 June 1898 the big windstorm hit Brainerd, it destroyed this bridge over the ravine.

We understand that it is the intention of the railroad company to fence in their grounds at the shops on the north side with a high board fence this fall. This will cut off the roadway that is now commonly used to reach East Brainerd and will make the new bridge across the ravine a necessity, as the other road is very steep and sandy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

That Bridge.

The council met on Monday evening to take action on the proposals for building a bridge across the ravine from Kingwood to Kindred street. The Aldermen were all present with the exception of Alderman Graham. Four proposals were read as follows:
Bid of L. R. Munson to build a bridge 22 feet wide, the maximum height to be 43 feet for $2,400, the bridge to be complete in all details.
Bid of S. M. Hewitt, of Minneapolis, to construct a bridge consisting of 650 feet of bent work, eighteen feet of roadway and a sidewalk 5 1/2 feet wide for $2,875. This bid comprised three plans and specifications, the other two being several hundred dollars higher.
Ed. Mahan submitted a letter to the council in which he stated that the bridge could be built for $2,375. He also stated to them that he would take the contract by the day and guaranteed satisfaction at $4.00, he hiring all the men and furnishing the heavy tools. Mr. Mahan further stated to the council that he would like to bid on the bridge, if they would furnish sufficient plans to make an estimate from.
The bid of F. A. B. King was to the effect that he would build a bridge according to specifications furnished by him for $2,375. The bridge to be 24 feet wide, with an eighteen foot roadway and six foot side walk.
After a discussion of a half hour Ald. Percy moved to accept Mr. King’s bid, subject to contract to be drawn up by city attorney Lum and that his bond be fixed at $2,500. This motion was seconded by Ald. Ort and the council voted on it as follows: Yes—Ort, Taylor, Howe, Percy, Hemstead and Forsyth. No—Keene and Doran, and the motion was carried.
Alderman Hemstead made a motion which was seconded and carried, that the President appoint a committee of three to superintend the construction of the same and accept it in the name of the city when completed. Ald Taylor, Percy and Hemstead were appointed. Council adjourned.
To a man up a tree it would seem that the council were in somewhat of a hurry for this bridge. The advertising for proposals was not done officially until Saturday afternoon and the council was called to let the contract Monday night. This did not give much chance for competition or sharp bidding; of course it gave one or two men who knew what the specifications were a chance, but the city is not in shape to pay out any more money than is actually necessary and had the council seen fit to publish specifications in the three newspapers and given a week longer for the bids to be received we think they would have done a wise thing both for themselves and for the city. There is no doubt but what Mr. King will build just as good and substantial a structure as any man that could have been selected, but that is not the point, the city is already quite heavily in debt and to a good many of our citizens this bridge at the present state of circumstances is looked at as a luxury and not a necessity—at least until spring—but if it must be built immediately in the wisdom of the council why rush the matter through in so short a time without giving all contractors a fair show. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

The Brainerd Council.

...According to Surveyor Whiteley’s report the center of the west end of said [Ravine] bridge will commence at a point 61 feet north of the north line of Kingwood street and 23 feet east of the east line of Bluff avenue [This would be North Tenth Street now.], and the length of the bridge will be 572 feet. The center of the bridge will be 438 feet west of the west end of First avenue in East Brainerd. The report further stated that the bridge was on a level grade, and has 33 spans of 17 feet and four inches from center to center, and will be supported on 32 bents.
...The bond and contract of F. A. B. King to build the ravine bridge was accepted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The ravine bridge is about half completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Mr. King and his men are getting on rapidly with the new bridge over the ravine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)


...The street committee was instructed to put up signs at each end of the ravine bridge to prevent fast driving thereon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The New Bridge.

Ravine Bridge, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Quite a blow out occurred at the East Brainerd end of the new ravine bridge on Saturday evening last it being a sort of jollification over the completion of the same. At 8 o’clock a huge bonfire was in progress, and a large crowd had assembled, the cannon was booming and the small boy was enjoying himself to his fullest capacity. The assemblage was addressed by Alderman Forsyth, who stated to the people why the bridge had been constructed, and that it was a necessary improvement that had long been contemplated. His remarks were very pointed, and were well received, and in substance were as follows:
“Ladies and gentlemen: As most of you are aware, I am no public speaker. We have assembled here tonight to celebrate the completion of a bridge to connect the Third ward with the business portion of our ambitious city. The first plan of this character was suggested some two years ago, when a drawing was made of an earth road or fill, with a stone culvert, between Kindred and Kingwood streets, which we found on inquiry would cost, on a grade of one foot in twenty, $3,100; and on a grade of one foot in fifteen, $2,600. Finally, when we considered the matter over, we came to the conclusion that a bridge on a level from Kindred to Kingwood streets was what was needed, and that is what we have here to show you tonight. I consider this bridge a benefit to the entire city of Brainerd. In the first place when the railroad company build a fence around their grounds, which I understand is contemplated, without a bridge we would have no outlet, except by way of the cemetery, which would be a great inconvenience to the public. In the second place the proposed dam, when constructed across the Mississippi river, it is thought will place three or four feet of water in the ravine, then a bridge would certainly be a public necessity. How many times have your wives, daughters and children had to cross over to town through the railroad yards, endangering their lives among moving engines and cars. This bridge is safe and convenient. It reminds me much of the old picture many of you have seen, entitled “From Shore to Shore.” It only needs the water which will come when the dam is built to make the resemblance complete. This bridge, my friends, is one of the many improvements in the city of Brainerd that we are all proud of; and the members of the city council, I am satisfied, will feel by this demonstration tonight that their labors have not been wasted. They have been the means, as representatives of the will and resources of the people, of making this fine improvement, which will save all of you many long and weary steps in your daily avocations. This bridge costs the city $2,875 completed. I do not think you can regret the expense when you consider the benefits to be derived by the city. It will be paid for out of the proceeds of the sale of city bonds bearing six per cent interest, so that the annual interest on the cost of the bridge will be only $142.50. The construction of this bridge has been under consideration a long time, but was brought to the notice of the council on the evening of Sept. 21st. The contract was let to F. A. B. King on the 28th of Sept., and now we are here celebrating the completion of the structure. The committee that has represented the interests of the city in the building of the bridge has done its duty well. I will refer to another matter of much importance to the city, and will state that from the $5,000 in city bonds issued for fire equipments, we have two good hose houses, three hose carts, one hook and ladder wagon all equipped, 2,000 feet of good rubber hose which cost the city one dollar per foot, and our firemen have their uniforms. I feel that this money has been well expended. We have our water works in good running order, and our fire equipments in good shape. The fire department is thoroughly organized, prompt in response to fire alarms and efficient when at work. I thank you all, ladies and gentlemen, for your attention, and I will now give place to others who can do the subject more justice than myself.”
Then followed remarks by Aldermen Percy, H. C. Stivers and ex-Alderman Thos. Watts. The speech making was enlivened by remarks from Jimmie Casey, and although Mr. Casey had entirely different views from the balance of the speakers, he received the most hearty applause. Jimmie is a character in himself. Geo. Hasting’s band was in attendance, and after the exercises at the bridge were concluded, the crowd fell in behind the music and proceeded to the business part of East Brainerd where refreshments awaited, and which the boys seemed to relish fully as well as any part of the programme.
The new bridge is surely a great convenience to the public as it enables them to go from one part of the city to the other without experiencing any more fatigue than is incurred in walking along the principal streets, the advantage pertaining to teams even more than pedestrians, for it was impossible heretofore to carry a full load up and own the sandy hill on either side. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)


Facts and Figures Picked up by Our Pry-
ing Reporter.

...Our people have reason to feel proud over the new ravine bridge, as it will be a great convenience to them. Alderman Forsyth deserves much credit [for] his untiring efforts in securing this invaluable improvement for the people of his ward, as well as for the city at large. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 October 1885, p. 3, c. 5)


The City Will Fight the Park Matter
to the Bitter End.

The East Brainerd bridge was reported in bad condition and it was deemed advisable to re-plank the same, and the matter was referred to the street committee with power to act.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

City Legislation.


The East Brainerd bridge matter came up and a motion was made to re-plank it with three-inch plank. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1891, p. 1, c. 3)

The Council.


The bid of W. W. Winters, $607, was accepted for re-planking the East Brainerd wagon bridge, subject to conditions of contract. Council then adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

The City Council.

The council met in regular session last Monday evening. All present but Alderman Parker.
A motion was carried to have a board placed along the north side of the East Brainerd Bridge the entire length of the bridge, to make the snow drift on the roadway sufficiently to make sledding. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

The City Council.


Report of committee regarding condition of East Brainerd bridge was accepted and filed. The report was to the effect that the mud sills, and the lower ends of posts resting on mud sills, were rotten, but that the bridge would be safe with careful driving this winter, also that it would be necessary to make repairs in the spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 6)


That is the Salary the Chief of Police
Will Draw From the City.

...The street committee made a report recommending that the bridge across the ravine between Kindred and Kingwood streets be repaired; also the making of a road on Washington street, in Schwartz’s addition between Fourth avenue and Mill street and also to put Mill street in a passable condition. The report was accepted.
...The street committee were empowered to act in regard to improving and repairing the East Brainerd bridge and grading the road to Rice Lake. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

The superintendent of electric lights was instructed to await further orders before wiring the Mississippi river bridge and the matter of lighting the East Brainerd bridge was referred to the electric light committee with power to act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

On 02 June 1898 a tornado destroys both the wagon bridge called the Ravine Bridge or the East Brainerd Bridge as well as the Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company Bridge built by Parker. In desperation to re-establish traffic between the two parts of the city, J. M. Elder canvassed enough citizens to procure a subscription of $4,900 to pay for a wooden bridge. This time a bridge made of pine was advertised. On 19 December 1899 [sic] [1898] an award was given to a local contractor for $3,965. Such a bridge could not with safety support an electric railway. Building the bridge did not start until 02 February 1899 and was completed on 01 May 1899. In August 1899 the city repaid the citizens who made the voluntary contributions to build this bridge. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 34, 50, 53-54, 67)

SEE: Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company Bridge

NOTE: On page 67 of his book Zapffe says 19 December 1899, however, the year is INCORRECT and should be 1898.


The City Council Awards the Contract
for a New Steel Structure Between
Brainerd and East Brainerd.

Minneapolis Parties Get the Contract
for $7825 and the Bridge to be
Completed in Four Months.

On Friday evening last the council met in adjourned session for the purpose of considering bids on the construction of a bridge to replace the one destroyed by wind in July [sic] [June] between the city proper and East Brainerd. There were fourteen bidders and each concern had from one to four propositions on different kinds of bridges.
The council went into executive session and when the doors were opened it was moved and carried that the different plans and specifications be referred to the street committee in conjunction with the city engineer to report on Monday evening.
At the Monday evening session when the bridge matter was reached the council went into executive session and when the doors were opened a motion was made to take a vote as to whether a steel or wooden structure be built and the result was in favor of the former as follows:
For a steel bridge, Ald. Adair, McGinn, Molstad, Crust and Halladay.
For a wooden bridge, Ald. Peterson, Wicklund, Gardner and Smith.
On motion all bids were rejected and the proposition of L. H. Johnson of Minneapolis, was accepted. The contract for the structures calls for the construction of a bridge across the ravine from the east end of Kingwood street to the west end of Kindred street for the sum of $7,825 conditioned upon the furnishing by Mr. Johnson within one week from this date of the working plans to be approved by the council and city engineer before the execution of any contract for the construction of said bridge and upon furnishing of same and their approval the mayor and city clerk be and are authorized to execute a contract for the construction of said bridge according to the plans and specifications submitted within four months from this date. L. H. Johnson to furnish a bond in the sum of $10,000 executed by himself as principal and some surety company to be approved by the council as surety conditioned for the faithful performance of the contract.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 16 September 1898, p. 1, c. 3)

Council Meeting.

The city council met in a special session on Monday evening, all aldermen being present except Alderman Molstad.
The city clerk was instructed to write to Mr. L. H. Johnson and inform him that the council would not comply with his request to have money for cost of building East Brainerd bridge appropriated in advance and placed in a third party hands, he to give bonds for proper performance of contract. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1898, p. 4, c. 2)

The subscriptions to the bridge fund now amount to $5,100 and have been subscribed as a guarantee to the contractor who builds the bridge across the ravine to replace the one destroyed by wind last summer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Bids for Bridge Called For.

The city council met on Monday evening with all members present.
Report of special committee appointed to procure plans and specifications for the construction of a white pine bridge across the ravine to East Brainerd, stating the same were in course of preparation and would be in the clerk’s hands Dec. 9th, also recommending that the council call for bids on same, was read and accepted.
In accordance with the above the clerk was instructed to advertise for sealed bids for a bridge across the ravine from Kingwood to Kindred streets, according to plans and specifications on file, bids to be opened Dec. 19th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1898, p. 1, c.’s 2 & 3)


The City Council Awards the Contract
For Building the East Brainerd
Bridge to C. B. Rowley
For $3,965

The city council met on Monday evening with all members present. Routine business was transacted and the following bills allowed:
A. Everett, plans for bridge...$50.00


The council then went into executive session, and when the doors were opened a motion was made and carried awarding the contract to Mr. Rowley at the above price. Those voting in favor being Ald. Crust, Koop, Adair, Low, Jamieson, Gardner, Fogelstrom and Halladay [sic]. Those voting no were Ald. Cohen and Johnson.
A motion was carried requiring Mr. Rowley to enter into a bond in the sum of $7,000 with the city of Brainerd conditioned for the faithful performance of the contract.
The street committee was instructed to act in conjunction with the city attorney in drawing up the contract for the building of the bridge, with full power to act.


The following resolution was adopted:
RESOLVED, By the council of the city of Brainerd, That Henry I. Cohen and Geo. E. Gardner be, and they are hereby designated, appointed and authorized to secure from the signers of that certain subscription paper, dated Nov. 26th, 1898, and having for its purpose the guaranteeing of a sum not to exceed $4,000 for the construction of a wagon and foot bridge therein mentioned, the cash or bankable paper therein referred to, and that all said bankable paper be made payable to the order of the First National Bank of Brainerd.
The First National Bank of Brainerd was designated as the depository for the funds collected for bridge purposes.
The city clerk was instructed to advertise for bids for the purchase, taking down and removal of the East Brainerd bridge, bids to be opened January 3rd, 1899....
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 December 1898, p. 10, c. 4)

Council Proceedings.

The city council met in regular session Tuesday evening, all the aldermen being present.


[A] special committee [was] appointed to collect notes given by citizens to guarantee the construction of the bridge, reported that they had in their possession notes aggregating $4,900, and were ready to place said notes in a depository as designated upon receiving a receipt for same.


Bids were received for taking down and removing old East Brainerd bridge as follows:
C. J. Carlson and C. Earkson [sic]—$10.50
C. B. Rowley—$10.00
A. Mahlum—$26.50
On motion the highest bid was accepted, and the matter of drawing up a contract was referred to the street committee in conjunction with the city attorney.
[The] contract for building the East Brainerd bridge was read and adopted, section by section, and on motion the amount of time to be consumed by the city engineer in inspecting the bridge be left in the hands of the street committee.


Mr. Rowley appeared before the council and suggested that the plan of the bridge be changed from an overhead truss to a deck bridge with the truss underneath the bridge, the change to be made without additional cost. The offer of Mr. Rowley was accepted and the change ordered. The change is a good one, as it will result in a much better looking bridge and a stronger one, and will give two additional feet of roadway that would have been occupied by the overhead truss. The contract as a whole was then approved and the mayor and clerk were instructed to sign said contract on behalf of the city on approval of Mr. Rowley’s bond.


Council adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1899, p. 4, c. 3)

Hon. A. F. Ferris has introduced a bill into the house authorizing cities of 5,000 and not more than 10,000 to issue certificates of indebtedness to build a bridge destroyed by storms during 1898. This is a general law made to cover the case of the destruction of the East Brainerd bridge, and to provide funds to replace it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1899, p. 8, c. 3)

15 January 1899. The Street Committee reports at the city council meeting that an agreement has been entered into to remove the old East Brainerd Bridge. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1999)

P & E. Waite have been given the contract to furnish the iron work for the new bridge, and Parker Waite was in Duluth last Saturday to purchase the raw material, which will amount to several tons. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

The bill under which the city is authorized to issue certificates of indebtedness to build the bridge across the ravine to East Brainerd has passed both houses and has become a law. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

The City Dads.

The city council met in regular session on Monday evening with all members present excepting Aldermen Cohen and Low.


A motion was made and carried that the request of C. B. Rowley for an extension of time until April 18th to complete the ravine bridge be granted provided that the surety company be notified and consent to the extension, and that the matter be referred to the street committee for the purpose of obtaining the consent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 March 1899, p. 8, 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 street committee made a report stating that they had examined the East Brainerd bridge and found the same completed and the workmanship and material furnished according to plans and specifications and recommended that said bridge be accepted and that C. B. Rowley be paid the sum of $2344.80, the balance of the contract price. A recommendation was also made that six addition sway brace rods be put on the bridge. The report was accepted and the clerk was instructed to draw an order in favor of Mr. Rowley for the above amount. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1899, p. 4, c. 2)


Woe to the Howling Purp that Hath
been Ridden of Bed and

The committee consisting of Messrs. Gardner, Halladay, Rowley and Fogelstrom, to which was referred the matter of locating a city pound, went out Wednesday afternoon and looked over several locations.
The gentlemen finally decided to locate the pound under the East Brainerd bridge, and Street Commissioner Weitzel is busy today building a fence around a one-acre patch. He is putting up a five-foot woven wire fence and at the top of this barb wire will be strung so that if mayhap some nimble cur is incarcerated he cannot scale the wall and make his escape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 June 1901, p. 1, c. 4)


John Wilson Fell From Top of East Brain-
erd Bridge and Hardly Sustained a

John Wilson had a novel experience last night. He was walking home from downtown and fell off the East Brainerd bridge at a point where it was the farthest from the ground. He fell forty feet and when taken to St. Joseph's hospital it was thought that he must surely be badly injured. Upon examination, however, it was discovered that he was not injured at all but was as badly frightened as the man in the story which describes him as being chased by a bear through the woods. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 July 1905, p. 3, c. 2)

R. A. Henning appeared in behalf of the fireworks committee of the Fourth of July celebration and asked that the city take some action which would prevent the overloading of the east Brainerd bridge during the fireworks on the evening of the fourth, which it was the intention of the committee to set off from the bank of the ravine on the north side of the bridge. After due consideration the council ordered the street commissioner to close the bridge at 8:30 p. m. on that evening and Mayor Wise agreed to have several policemen on hand to keep the crowds off the bridge until 11 o’clock, no one to be permitted to cross during that time except doctors’ rigs and fire teams. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 June 1908, p. 3, c. 2)

31 October 1908. The East Brainerd Bridge is in dangerous condition and needs immediate repairing. The walk on the bridge is full of holes. The railings on both sides are in bad shape. On the north side at least seventy feet of the lower part of the railing is missing. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 31 October 2008)

10 October 1911. The latest development in the bridge tangle in Northeast Brainerd is the condemning of the structure by the state engineer. The bridge will not support heavy loads, and travel is limited to four miles per hour. This is the bridge the county commissioners wish to rebuild. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 10 October 2011)

28 October 1911. Street commissioner Barron has a crew of men at work replanking the East Brainerd bridge. An examination proved that extensive repairs were necessary. At the next council meeting Barron will recommend that fast bridge driving be prohibited. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 2011)

03 July 1913. Notice: Pedestrians are notified not to congregate on the East Brainerd bridge at the ravine. The crowding of people on the bridge during baseball games or 4th of July fireworks is forbidden because the bridge will not support the additional weight. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 2013)

22 August 1913. The city council, at its special meeting, authorized repairs to the Northeast Brainerd ravine bridge, which had become quite dangerous. George Reid, of the Central Minnesota Railway, said they might build a steel bridge if the city stood part of the expense. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 22 August 2013)

26 August 1913. Businessmen and Northeast Brainerd residents are objecting to the delay in repairing the bridge over the ravine due to lack of workers. It is closed to traffic and wagons must make a detour of three miles by way of the cemetery or by Oak Street and past the shops. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 August 2013)

03 September 1913. City Engineer Peacock submitted to the council his estimate for repairs to the East Brainerd bridge, coming to $2,120. Its original cost was $16,000. Pedestrians in Northeast were in a sad way, having to walk through the cemetery to downtown. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 September 2013)

01 December 1913. The city council demonstrated last night that it stood in the first rank of the progressives, voting to put these items on the Jan. 4 ballot: Bond issue of $22,000 for a fill to replace the Northeast Brainerd bridge; bond $75,000 for a new city hall; build it at 5th and Laurel Streets. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 2013)

07 January 1914. The result of yesterday’s special election saw the proposed new charter defeated, but not by a large margin. The $22,000 bond for bridging the fill and $75,000 bond for a new city hall were both passed. The proposition to build the city hall at 5th and Laurel passed 550 to 529. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 2014)

A very important item on the ballot was passed in the fall of 1908 [sic] [1914]; it was a $22,000 bond issue to pay for replacing the wooden bridge over the ravine. It was to be a dirt fill that would end for all time the squabbling about how many vehicles could use that crossing at one time. It would also end the argument about how slow the travel must be and, above all, wind could not destroy it. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 94)

NOTE: Zapffe is incorrect regarding the date the $22,000 bond issue was passed.


McCullough & Cheney, of Minneapo-
lis, who Put in M. & I. Cutoff,
are the Successful Bidders


First Steps Taken for a Sewer in
District No. 3, of Southeast

From Friday’s Daily:—
The council met in adjourned session at the council chambers Thursday evening, all being present.
Bids for the fill in Kingwood street were opened. John Moberg of Bemidji, bid 30 cents per cubic yard. Peter Nelson of Minneapolis, bid 24 9/10 cents. McCullough and Cheney of Minneapolis, bid 24 9/10 cents.
McCullough & Cheney received 6 votes and Peter Nelson received 4, McCullough & Cheney were declared the successful bidders.
Bids for constructing the culvert under the fill were rejected. They included the bid of F. A. Glass, being $13.50 per cubic yard of concrete, reinforced as shown on plan. 70 cents per cubic yard for excavation, $2 per lineal foot for wooden connection to sewer. The bid of Libby & Nelson was $1 per cubic yard for excavating, $14 per cubic yard for concrete, and $38 per thousand board measure for wooden sewer connection.
On motion the city engineer was instructed to construct the culvert under the fill as soon as possible.
The city clerk was instructed to draw city warrants not to exceed $70 per man for the payment of labor claims for labor on the construction of the culvert under the fill.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1914, p. 7, c. 3)


Council to Have City Forces Load up
from Ahrens’ Hill, Shipping on
M. & I.


Liquor License is Granted to John
Hughes—Labor Payroll on Fill
to be Insured

From Tuesday’s Daily:—
The city council had a short meeting on Monday evening, adjourning to Wednesday evening, March 18.
All the aldermen were present except Alderman Anderson.


The labor payroll on the Northeast Brainerd bridge fill is to be insured under the provisions of the workmen’s compensation act. This matter was left to the committee on property and city printing to act in conjunction with the city engineer.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

The Fill

Men standing on the old Ravine Bridge working on the Fill, ca. May 1914. A 674x448 version of this photo is also available for viewing online.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
On February 10, 1914, at the same time bidding was opened on $75,000 worth of bonds to pay for the new city hall and fire hall, bidding was opened on $22,000 worth of bonds to pay for the dirt fill to replace what was known as the Ravine Bridge connecting northeast Brainerd with Brainerd proper. $7,500 worth of these bonds were taken by six local bidders, $2,000 of which were taken by the Brainerd Eagles Club, the city financing the rest. On March 7 bids for the fill were opened and McCullough & Cheney of Minneapolis were declared the winners. Two days later powder was ordered for blasting the frozen ground in preparation for the city to build the culvert under the fill; City Engineer Peacock was authorized to pay a minimum wage of twenty-five cents an hour for labor in building it. On the same day a steam shovel and two steam-powered dinky engines arrived. W. E. McCullough, member of the firm of McCullough & Cheney, was in the city in late March to look over the ground and examine the work the city was doing putting in the culvert. He said his firm was ready to go on the fill as soon as the culvert had aged sufficiently to stand its weight. About forty men were employed in the filling operations, including a foreman on the dump, two men for track repairing, four in the pit, three engineers, a crane man, shovel man and night watchman. Over a mile, about 6,300 feet, of narrow gauge tracks were laid in early May for the twenty dump cars hauling gravel to the site. The tracks started at the hill on the Holland land, circumvented the swamp on its north end, extended down Pine Street [“D” Street] to Fifth Avenue, then to Kindred [Washington Street] and on Kindred to the end point on the bridge. A switch was located at Forsythe [“C” Street] and Fifth Avenue; a standpipe was situated at the corner of Farrar [“B” Street] and Fifth, this supplied water for the two locomotives. In order to sustain the weight of the cars being run out on it and dumped the old bridge required reinforcement. A couple of weeks later the huge steam shovel was chewing its way into the Holland hill; the massive jaws of the steam shovel dipper tore away the bank, grabbed a mouthful of soil, rocks and stumps and dropped them into one of a waiting string of dump cars. A second dipper load of dirt filled the car. A signal was given by a man on the bank; the miniature engine answered with a tug and moved the next car in line for its two dipper loads. Two industrious pint-sized dinky locomotives hustled through the streets each pushing ten cars of dirt, dumping them and then scurrying back with the empties for another load. Late in June the fill was completed. (An Overview of Happenings in the City of Brainerd for the Years of 1914 and Early 1915, A. Nelson)

Note: Dinky/dinkey engines/locomotives were small steam-powered locomotives primarily used in mining operations.

Although at a special election on 03 November 1908 [sic], the voters authorized $22,000 worth of bonds to enable replacing the wooden bridge over the ravine by a substantial structure, such as a dirt fill then envisioned, it was not until 01 March 1914, that such work was attempted. The hill of sand on the land Holland had bequeathed the city as a likely iron mine was used as the source of material [south of the Nelson-Doran Funeral Chapel in 2008]. To McCullough & Cheney of Minneapolis was awarded the contract. The dirt was hauled in narrow-gauge cars along Kindred Street and soon the fill was completed. No more do people speak of the East Brainerd Bridge. Now it is The Fill. It is topped with cement roadway and sidewalk and dressed up with iron railing and ornamental lighting; fortunately, it forms the south embankment of a natural amphitheatre for the high school athletic field formerly the slough or ravine. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 113)


Representatives of the street committee of the City Council, will explain to the Chamber of Commerce at their meeting


Why the “Fill” should be paved with macadam instead of cement, everybody invited to hear this discussion—if you want cement paving.


(Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 August 1916, p. 2, c. 3)


Expected that Steel Will be Shipped
Within a Few Days. Smaller
Sections to be Made

Expansion steel joints have been ordered for the concrete paving at the fill and are expected soon. City Engineer Louis Knudsen expects paving to be in progress this week. Smaller joints will be made.
In streets the joints bound sections 25 feet long. At the fill they will make areas 15x17 1/2 feet in size, and any damage occasioned by any possible settling will be reduced to a small territory. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 August 1916, p. 5, c. 4)

06 September 1935. Taking the initiative for completion of a community recreation center on part of 25 acres at the “fill” grounds, the Rotary Club donated $100 and said it would raise $600 more in Brainerd. The city and a private citizen have already contributed half of the $1,500 needed. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 06 September 2015)

A new saw mill on Rice Lake is at last an assured fact. W. E. Jones of Jones Bro.’s this city, and R. N. Goodsell of Grand Rapids, Michigan, have finally perfected or nearly perfected the preliminary arrangements, and the mill is to be expected forthwith. Mr. Towne superintendent of the Northern Pacific, thinks this will assure a track by the way of Mr. Schwartz’s brick yard, which will add to the availability of brick, and will start the boom in Brainerd in earnest. Mr. Towne says he will put up his contemplated brick block at once if these things are accomplished, and we are confident others will follow. Mr. Goodsell will be in Brainerd next week. (Brainerd Tribune, 05 June 1880, p. 1, c. 4)

At Last.

The firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co., proprietors of the Gull River mills negotiated the purchase, this week, from the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Co. of the Rice Lake mill site, in the north part of town, where they propose to erect at once a steam saw mill with capacity to cut 90,000 feet of lumber per diem and have it in running order within one year. This is indeed good news for Brainerd and indicates that the time is at hand, at last, when the anticipation of our citizens for Brainerd as a great lumber manufacturing centre, are to be fully and speedily realized. We wish this enterprising firm unlimited success in this undertaking and welcome them most heartily to our town and business circles.
This movement will soon be followed by others until a very few years will see Rice and Boom Lakes and Brainerd and West Brainerd flats covered with saw mills, factories, lumber piles, etc., and Brainerd the smartest lumber town in the west.
So mote it be. (Brainerd Tribune, 09 October 1880, p. 4, c. 2)

Rice Lake Mill.

The papers were finally drawn up this week by the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company conveying the Rice Lake mill site to Chase, Pillsbury & Co., of Minneapolis, and the cash was plunked down thereon. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. join in a contract with the company to, within a year from date, complete thereon a steam saw mill of capacity to cut 100,000 feet of lumber per diem, and have already commenced preparations for erection of the structure. By spring they will have the frame sawed and everything possible done by way of preparation and as soon as the frost is out of the ground the foundation will be laid and the mill erected, with all possible speed. It will be after the plan of their Gull River mill and will be located on the south shore of the lake at the point nearest the railroad, distance about 200 rods, and a branch will connect it with the main line of the Northern Pacific east of the shops. This is another step towards the certain future of Brainerd as the greatest lumber manufacturing centre in America and as such will be gladly welcomed by our citizens, the value of whose property in this town is largely enhanced by this transaction. Next.
LATER—Senator Pillsbury, one of the firm of Chase, Pillsbury & Co. was in town yesterday, and after the above was in type. In company with L. P. White, Esq., agent of the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company, and the editor of the TRIBUNE, he drove out to Rice Lake and looked over the ground somewhat. It is his opinion that the mill should be located at the outlet of the lake instead of as above. This would bring the railroad tract to the mill by the way of Mr. Schwartz’s brick yard, and would, in our opinion, be a much better arrangement for the interests of Brainerd as well as the mill company. The Senator returned home last evening. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 November 1880, p. 4, c. 3)

The Greatest in America!

The Brainerd TRIBUNE announces that the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Land Company have sold a tract of land known as the Rice Lake mill site, to Chase, Pillsbury & Co., proprietors of the large saw mill at Gull River. This firm have contracted to complete within a year a saw mill with a capacity of 100,000 feet a day. The mill will be located not a great distance from the Northern Pacific shops, and the Brainerd TRIBUNE proudly remarks: “This is another step toward the certain future of Brainerd as the greatest lumber manufacturing center in America, and as such will be gladly welcomed by our citizens, the value of whose property in this town is largely enhanced by this transaction. Next.” Brainerd will be an important point for the manufacture of lumber, we have no doubt, but as to its being “the greatest lumber manufacturing center in America,” if Mr. Hartley will excuse the slang, we will venture the remark that it is “all in his eye.”—[Duluth News.
This indicates how much, or rather how little, the News editor knows about Brainerd and its prospects and advantages. Instead of a mill with a capacity of 100,000 feet per day, we are informed, since the publication of the article referred to by the News, that Messrs. Chase, Pillsbury & Co. propose erecting a mill of 200,000 feet capacity per diem. In addition to this the two extensive steam saw mills, two planing and shingle mills, and sash, door and blind factories, etc., we already have running night and day, to their utmost capacity, there are several other firms looking over the ground with a view of putting mills here, and the ground has already been secured near the ferry landing for a mill and lumber yard, to be erected the coming summer. The News forgets the immense untimbered territory from the Mississippi to the Yellowstone opened up by the great Northern Pacific thoroughfare, and being rapidly settled by the immense rush of immigration that must be supplied with lumber from the vast and inexhaustible supply of timber on the upper Mississippi which floats directly to our doors. No other lumber point in the world is supplied with so extensive and promising a market and so great a supply of the raw material. And we repeat, without fear of successful contradiction, that a very few years will see Brainerd the greatest lumber manufacturing center in America. Do you hear, Bro. Woodbridge? (Brainerd Tribune, 20 November 1880, p. 1, c. 1)

Chase, Pillsbury & Co., owners of the Rice Lake Mill site, north of town, will not build their mill this year, but will devote their time and attention to their big mill at Gull River, six miles west. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 January 1881, p. 1, c. 3)

Gov. Pillsbury expects to visit Brainerd in about six weeks, from whence he will take a prospective tour to Rice Lake, with the intention of locating the site for the immense mills he expects to erect at that point. The governor contemplates putting in the foundation of the buildings this fall and finishing up during the winter. This looks like the true push toward success, and we predict that he will be amply and abundantly repaid for this venture, as the rapid growth of our community as well as the demand for supplies from other points warrants the birth of such enterprises as this, and will soon need still more to meet the requirements. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 April 1881, p. 1, c. 3)

Chase, Pillsbury & Co.’s proposed new sawmill at Rice Lake will be one of the largest ever erected. (Brainerd Tribune, 15 May 1881, p. 1, c. 1)

The Pillsbury Mill.

The new sawmill Gov. Pillsbury is to erect next spring at Brainerd is to cost about $125,000, will occupy several acres of land and have a boom large enough to hold 50,000,000 feet of logs.—Minneapolis Daily Tribune.
The above item signifies a matter of intense importance to the people of this city. A saw mill costing $125,000, as a matter of course, will have a capacity to turn out an immense amount of material. A booming capacity for 50,000,000 feet is a matter not to be winked at. There is an immense amount of “lucre” back of this enterprise, and it may be assured that no expense will be spared to make this new mill surpass anything in this section of the state, by way of general utility and beneficial results to the community in which it is located. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 January 1882, p. 1, c. 5)

The Pillsbury Mill.

Wm. Schwartz returned from Minneapolis Wednesday, and he says he had a long talk with Mr. C. A. Pillsbury regarding the proposed new saw mill to be built northeast of this city. Mr. Pillsbury says the mill is a certainty, and operations will be begun on the constructions within two months. He is confident that Brainerd is THE place for such an enterprise, and the largest mill north of Minneapolis will be put in operation. (Brainerd Tribune, 11 February 1882, p. 5, c. 3)

SEE: Gull River Mills

One of the latest additions to Brainerd’s amusements is the new roller skating rink which will be opened November 19th or 20th by L. E. Armstrong. Mr. A. has rented Hartley’s Hall [Bly’s Store] for one year and will at once commence arrangements to fit the same up. The partitions will all be taken down and a new floor laid. The room will be 40x70 feet and when completed will be one of the finest in the northwest. The proprietor has already ordered 150 pairs of regular rink skates and several pairs of club skates. The band will be engaged to play two evenings each week, and every thing for the comfort and accommodations of those attending will be provided. The rink will open each day from 9 to 12 in the morning, 1:30 to 4:30 in the afternoon and from 7:30 to 10:30 at night, and the charges will be fixed at 25 cents to join the skaters, or 10 cents for spectators, except on the evenings when music is in attendance, when the charges for spectators will be 25 cents and for skaters 40 cents. Saturday mornings will be devoted exclusively to the children. This will offer a healthful and pleasant amusement for the lovers of the graceful art, and will undoubtedly be well patronized. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1883, p. 3, c. 4)

The roller skating rink will not be opened until a week from next Monday, on account of the skates not arriving in time, so we are informed by Mr. Armstrong. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

L. E. Armstrong received a dispatch yesterday stating that one case of his roller skates left Boston on Monday.—The manufacturers by not getting the skates here when promised has caused the unavoidable delay, but the rink will be open soon as the skates are on the road. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

We understand that another roller skating rink will soon be built and that an ice rink will be started near the freight office building. Truly, Brainerd will roll around on wheels and runners when they are all in successful operation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

On New Year’s Eve a grand ball will be given at the roller skating ring for the benefit of the Catholic Church.—Prof. Dresskell’s orchestra will be in attendance and a general good time may be counted on. Tickets will be sold at the low price of $1.00. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

New Skating Rink.

L. E. Armstrong informs us that a new skating rink will be built by Mr. D. E. Slipp and himself on the vacant lot just north of the Villard hotel [southwest corner of Kingwood and North Sixth Streets], they having obtained a lease of the same for five years. The building will be 50x140 feet and the skating floor will be 40x120 feet. There will be a 5 foot platform around the hall raised from the floor 8 inches, and above this will be a gallery for the accommodation of visitors. In the front of the hall will be a fine restaurant where refreshments of all kinds will be served. The gentlemen propose to make the rink and restaurant first-class in all their appointments, and expect to have the institution ready to open about the 15th or 20th of January, at which time a grand masquerade skating party, dance and supper will be given. Mr. F. A. B. King is drawing the plans and will have the supervision of the building of the same which is sufficient guarantee that it will be one of the best rinks in the northwest. Mr. Armstrong will continue to operate the skating rink in the Hartley [Bly’s Store] building until the new building is ready for occupancy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 December 1883, p. 3, c. 5)

The new roller skating rink is being pushed with all possible speed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

A lemonade stand has been placed in the skating rink. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Attend the egg contest at the rink on Monday evening next. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Dresskell’s orchestra will give a dance at the roller rink on New Year’s Eve, and invitations have been issued. The price of admission has been fixed at 75 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Mr. Armstrong desires us to state that no parties of a doubtful character will be admitted to the skating rink, so that respectable people need have no fear of coming in contact with them at this place of amusement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

Fun at the Skating Rink.

L. E. Armstrong proposes to make the Brainerd skating rink a place of amusement and as attractive as possible and has therefore arranged for a grand egg contest to take place at the rink on Monday night next, New Year’s Eve. The way this thing is arranged is by placing fifteen eggs on a line at one end of the hall and a basket at the other, and the contestants will start at a given point, one at a time, and pick the eggs up, skate around the hall and deposit them in the basket and continue doing so until all the eggs are in the basket. The person who succeeds in depositing all the eggs in the least time without breaking them will be awarded a beautiful pair of nickel plated club skates. The contest will take place at 9 o’clock, and the contestants, five in number, as near as can be obtained are A. C. Farrar, D. B. Kelsey, C. M. Hogeboom [sic], Harry Gross and we suggest the name of H. C. Stivers, the lightning skater of the Journal, for the fifth man. The admission will be 25 cents. Dresskell’s orchestra will be in attendance and an exciting time is expected. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 4)

Brainerd has a roller skating rink and hard times. These two make it rather sore for some of the people up that way.—Sauk Centre Tribune.
This soreness seems to be confined to a few regular attendants at the rink who are in the habit of sitting down suddenly when in the act of cutting the “pigeon’s wing.” The times in Brainerd will compare favorable with Sauk Centre or any town of it’s size. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 4)

The egg contest brought out a large crowd on Monday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The contest at the roller rink on New Year’s night for a pair of nickel plated club skates drew a large crowd of people and was highly interesting. The parties mentioned in this paper of last week participated, with the exception of H. C. Stivers, Fred Stanley filling his place. The contest opened at 9 o’clock, Chas. Hageboom [sic] being the first to start off, he making the circuit in one minute and 28 seconds and succeeded in placing all the eggs without breaking. Arthur Farrar, the next on the list made the ten rounds in one minute and 20 seconds, but on the last round his foot slipped and he over turned the egg basket, breaking one, which debarred him from claiming the skates. D. B. Kelsey made the round in 2:10 and Harry Gross in 1:30 1/2, Fred Stanley succeeded in carrying off the prize by three-quarters of a second, he making the circuit in 1:27 1/4. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

Rink Masquerade.

The proprietors of the new skating rink, Messrs. Armstrong & Slipp, are completing arrangements for a grand skating masquerade to take place as soon as their new rink is completed, which will be in two or three weeks. All parties desiring costumes can leave orders with L. E. Armstrong who will order them from below, and you can get just what suits you from the sublime to the ridiculous. The price to spectators will be 25 cents and 25 cents extra for skates. None but maskers will be allowed on the floor until ten o’clock, when all will be privileged to skate. Every person going on the floor or in the building with a mask on will be inspected by Mr. Armstrong or Mr. Slipp in person, so that no one will run any danger of skating with people of doubtful character or reputation. This being the first masquerade of the kind in the city it is expected that a large crowd will be in attendance. The new hall will give the skaters plenty of room to exercise in and a very pleasant time is anticipated. It was expected to have a dance and supper after the skating, but owing to circumstances it has been postponed to some future date, when a fancy dress party will be given. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

We understand that a scheme is on foot to build another skating rink and that a stock company is being organized. It is said that the new rink will contain a gymnasium and also a bicycle track. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The Masquerade.

The much talked of Masquerade skating party came off as advertised on Monday night in the elegant new rink erected by Armstrong & Slipp. At 7 o’clock the spectators began to arrive and long before the maskers put in an appearance the gallery was filled and all the standing room taken, but still they came, believing the old saying that “There is always room for one more” would hold good in this instance. At quarter past eight the floor was filled with elegantly dressed and horribly disfigured costumers who commenced their merry making much to the satisfaction of the crowd assembled. No one was allowed on the floor but maskers until 9:30 when the masks were taken off and all were allowed to join in the merry throng until 11 o’clock when the party broke up. The following are the names of the maskers and the personages they represented as near as could be obtained, although the report necessarily has some omissions, the crowd being so great that it was impossible to get them all:
D. A. Sizer, Spaniard, Pat Connors, Knight, Max Stevens, Louis the 4th, A. J. Hawks, Frederick the Great, J. W. Maxwell, Knight, Mrs. F. E. Parson, Egyptian Princess, Rosa Guillott, French Pompadour, D. Cohen, Ku Klux bandit, Bessie Hellen, Morning Glory, Chas Smith, Sailor—Plumber—Fisherman, D. B. Kelsey, Brazilian, W. Bishop, Sailor, R. Keyes, Spanish Cavalier, Henry Bradley, Knight, P. W. Weeb [sic], Ed. Pegg and Chas. Pegg, clowns, Ed. Gray, English Prince, Mrs. B. E. Whitney, English lady, Mrs. I. T. Dean, Gypsy girl, W. H. Cummings, dressed as a lady, Maud Baldwin, representing night, Annie Steege, frost, J. Cohen, Irish character, W. E. Seelye, Sitting Bull, Henry McGinn, Prince, A. F. Leopold, representing the German nation, Geo. Holland, Ku Klux bandit, Lucy Gleason, popcorn girl, Mrs. N. H. Ingersoll, flower girl, A. C. Farrar, suit made of playing cards. The following costumes we were unable to get a description of: Gulda Peterson, T. Kelley, J. Morrison, R. W. Morrison, Annie Hayes, Emma Wadham, A. F. Alivul [sic], Miss Goodspeed, G. W. Vanderslice, T. A. Bradley, F. Sterling, J. W. Reese, C. Hageboom [sic], D. Haley, Mrs. L. Everett, Minnie Meddaugh [sic].
At the close of the masquerade the prizes were awarded to Mrs. Forrest Parsons for having the most elegant costume and A. F. Leopold, for having the most comical make up. Mr. Leopold’s costume was not what won him the prize as much as the way in which he carried out the character on the floor. He has had considerable experience in the dramatic business having been upon the stage for some years which made the task comparatively easy for him. There was a somewhat divided opinion in regard to the first prize awarded, some claiming that Ed. Gray had the finest out-fit, but everything passed off smoothly and to the satisfaction of all. The judges were G. G. Hartley, F. A. B. King and E. M. Westfall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

New Proprietors.

The roller rink in this city has changed hands. Mr. L. E. Armstrong will go to Duluth where he expects to erect a fine rink provided a suitable location can be secured. The new firm Slipp & Spalding will run the rink as heretofore using every effort in their power to make it a first class amusement place for all respectable people and the unlimited patronage that has been given it in the past will be none the less in the future. The calico party set for the 14th and other entertainments will come off as advertised, due notices of which will always be given through these columns. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

A Good Time Coming.

The calico ball to be given at the roller rink by Slipp & Spaulding on Monday evening next will be one of the finest of the season. Everything is to be first class, the music, the fine floor for the dancers, the supper to be gotten up by Mr. Ingraham, all coming under this head. The management have arranged so that no objectionable parties shall be admitted. It is hoped and expected that all shall dress in costume, but no one will be refused skates or dance tickets who are not in costume. The managers have built a fine elevated platform in the center of the rink for the accommodation of the orchestra and all the arrangements are being completed with which to make it THE occasion of the season. Admission to the rink will be 10 cents and 15 cents extra for skates. The skating will last until 9:30, when the floor will be cleared and possession given to the dancers. Tickets to the dance will be $1, and parties who desire supper can obtain the same at the rink at $1 per couple, which will be gotten by Mr. Ingraham. The floor managers are N. McFadden, F. B. Hartley, J. B. Douglas, Harry Gross and C. D. Johnson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 April 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

The calico ball was a success so far as the enjoyment was concerned, although the rainy weather kept a good many away who would otherwise have attended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The Brainerd roller skating rink is for sale. Here is a chance for some party to catch onto a bonanza. The rink is a paying institution and the business part of the year is just commencing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 August 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

For Sale.

The Brainerd Roller rink and fixtures. A grand opportunity for the right parties to secure a bargain. This is the only rink in the city and has a good patronage. For particulars, terms, etc., call on or address,
Brainerd, Minn.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 15 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The Rink Enlarged.

It has been evident for some time that the roller rink at this place, although as large and commodious as any in this section of the country, is too small for the number of skaters that nightly seek enjoyment within its walls. The proprietors, Messrs. Slipp & Spaulding have accordingly concluded to enlarge the same and will commence on it as soon as the lumber can be gotten here from Minneapolis, probably in two weeks. The floor will be, when completed, 50 by 140 feet and will be entirely new. In order to get this much surface the restaurant and offices will be removed and the gallery and the seating [sic] room on the south side of the rink taken out. New offices, waiting rooms and restaurant will be built on the lot adjoining, which has been leased for that purpose. One hundred and fifty pairs of new skates have been ordered, and will be here before the improvements are completed, which with their old skates with new wheels and remodeling, will give them plenty of rolling capacity. The rink will be closed during the time that it is being fixed and will be opened with a grand masquerade. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 September 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

A large crowd attended the roller rink on Tuesday evening, it being the last night it would be open to the public until the improvements which have before been mentioned, were finished. Active work is being done on the same and in two weeks Brainerd will have the finest rink west of Chicago. It will be reopened with a grand masquerade party. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The Masquerade.

Messrs. Slipp & Spaulding will open their rink to the public on Tuesday evening, Oct. 14th, with a grand masquerade skating party. Two prizes will be given as follows: To the most comically gotten up gentleman skater, a pair of Vineyard club skates, and to the most elegantly attired and graceful lady skater a similar prize. The managers will have costumes at the rink that can be rented for use on that evening, and which will consist of complete outfits for ladies or gentlemen, and will be of all kinds from the sublime to the ridiculous to please the fancy of all. The masked party will occupy the floor until 10 o’clock, during which time no one only those in costume will be allowed to skate, after which it will be free to all and skating will be continue until after 11 o’clock. The price of admission has been fixed at 25 cents and 15 cents extra for skates. There will be no pains spared by the proprietors to make this the most interesting and amusing occasion of the season, and with the enlarged capacity for skating the pleasure cannot be anything but enjoyable to the participants. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 October 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Work on the roller rink is being pushed with remarkable rapidity. The band stand has been removed to the opposite end of the room, and so arranged that the skaters will pass under it, thus utilizing every inch of the room. The rink will reflect much credit to the town and also to the proprietors, Messrs. Slipp & Spaulding. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 October 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The Masquerade.

On Tuesday night the Brainerd roller rink was opened to the public after being closed two weeks for improvements, with a grand masquerade. The masked participants began to arrive at an early hour and increased in number as the evening advanced until the floor was filled. Many of the costumes were rich and expensive while others which were gotten up for the occasion presented a very fine appearance. The prize which was to be given to the most elegantly dressed and graceful lady skater was awarded to Miss Bertha Dustin by the judges, Messrs. Barron, Bain and Ingersoll, while Lep. Metzger in his character of the “dude” carried off the other prize, being in both cases a pair of Vineyard club skates. Among the many noticeable costumes was the one worn by Miss Mary Gleason, representing the “Brainerd Dispatch,” and which was made up entirely of late issues of the paper, and arranged in artistic taste so as to attract the attention of all. Al Leopold in his Dutch character was also quite a feature, many mistaking him for our friend Rosenblatt. Lu Lee, the chinaman who runs the laundry under the post-office, was quite a curiosity; his appearance on the floor was heralded by much applause and the way in which he tried to smash a hole in the birch floor with his head brought down the house. Mrs. Everett’s costume, representing “Frost” was also very handsome. There were many others who deserve mention, but to enumerate them all would consume too much space. After the party unmasked many of the spectators joined the throng of merry skaters and the amusement was kept up until after 11 o’clock. The rink as improved is now one of the finest places of amusement in the northwest, and bids fair to be a good paying investment for the proprietors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 October 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Bicycle Riding.

Slipp & Spaulding have engaged Geo. A. Johnsen, a celebrated bicycle rider for an entertainment at their rink next week Thursday and Friday evenings Nov. 27 and 28. The gentleman is said to be a daring expert, and his exhibitions consist of tricks and fancy riding. There will be an admission fee of 25 cents charged, with 15 cents extra for skates. The Brainerd band will be in attendance. The entertainment is unlike anything ever given in the city before and doubtless the rink will be crowded both nights. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Bold Burglary.

On Wednesday morning, after the fire on Sixth street, some thief or thieves gained an entrance into the skating rink by forcing the bolt that secures the back door. They proceeded to the room where the skates were kept, which on this particular night happened to be unlocked, where they made short work of the skates. They were evidently in a hurry and took the first skates they came to, which were the ones owned by private parties, and kept in a rack for that special purpose. So far the parties who are losers are: J. W. Brelsford, D. Hartley, Geo. Lundberg, Miss Flora Robinson, Mrs. Frank Thompson, John Bean, Geo. LaBar, Ed. Gray, J. F. Corcoran, ____ Felton, C. Atherton, D. A. Sizer, Joe Cohen. Besides these skates they took two or three new pairs, which had never been taken from the boxes, and somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five pairs of strap skates. The whole job looks to be the work of some very short minded person, or the skates would never have been disturbed, as they can never be used in the Brainerd rink, and, as for selling them, no one is going to buy second-handed skates from parties who are liable to have gotten them dishonorably. It has been suggested to us that when the matter has been sifted to the bottom and the truth comes out, as it surely will, it will be a surprise to the people. The proprietors of the rink have their own suspicions in regard to the matter, and they will do all in their power to bring the guilty parties to a speedy account. In the meantime they offer $100 to any person who will furnish proof that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the thieves, and we think that by another issue we shall be able to give our readers a history of the whole affair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

There is no clue yet as to who stole the skates from the roller rink. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 February 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Pleasant Party.

The ball and supper at the roller rink on Tuesday evening next, the occasion being the evening of St. Patrick’s day, bids fair to be a very pleasant social time. This party is not an invitation dance by any means as some suppose, but all respectable people of the city are invited. No pains will be spared by the committee, who have the matter in hand to make this the occasion of the season, and parties who attend can depend on being well used and also on enjoying themselves to their fullest capacity, for the boys never do things by halves. The following are the floor managers: Wm. Brannon, Pat. Murphy, Pat. McDonald, John Hughes, Michael Riley [sic] and John Cannan [sic]. The committee of arrangements consists of John McDonald, John Kennedy, D. M. Clark, Johnny Burns, W. Koop and John McGivern. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Roller Rink Change.

On Tuesday forenoon H. Spaulding sold his interest in the Brainerd roller rink to his partner, D. E. Slipp, who will hereafter conduct the business. During the time that Slipp & Spaulding have owned the rink they have met with merited success, and have succeeded in pleasing the public to such an extent that Mr. Spalding many friends will be sorry to see him retire from the rink as a half owner, while at the same time, they are satisfied that Mr. Slipp will continue to make the place as attractive, under his sole management as it was under the style of Slipp & Spaulding. Mr. Spaulding has not, as yet, decided in what he will engage, although he does not contemplate leaving our town, which has such a bright future before her. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

St. Patrick.

The dance and supper given on St. Patrick’s night at the roller rink, was an occasion of much pleasure to those participating, and was a success financially and otherwise. The large floor of the rink was covered with merry dancers, who seemed to be vying with each other as to who could get the most pleasure out of the occasion. The supper was given in the west end of the rink, and was well-patronized, the tables being laden with a bounteous supply of the good things of this earth, and which was partaken of with a hearty gusto. The music, by Dresskell’s orchestra, was the best that can be procured in the state, a fact which is well known. The only drawback to the enjoyment was when a couple of urchins deposited a quantity of red pepper in the drum of the stove, and which had a tendency to destroy the equilibrium of the managers, and it is not necessary to add that had they been detected they would have had to stand up to eat their meals for some days; otherwise everything passed off satisfactory. The entertainment netted the managers $110, which will be given to the poor and to the church.
THANKS.—The managers desire the Dispatch to extend thanks on their behalf to the citizens who helped make the occasion a success, and to the parties who took an active part in the preparations. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March, 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Prize Masquerade.

On Thursday evening of next week, April 23d, the grand masquerade skating party that has been agitated for some time will take place at the rink. The costumers will provide their own costumes which will made the expense light and at the same time will be fully as well as though costumes were to be rented from St. Paul, thereby giving everybody, the rich and poor alike, an equal chance to compete for the prizes which are to be awarded. Mr. Slipp, the proprietor, desires us to say that no objectionable parties will be admitted to the floor and that none need hesitate to take part for fear of coming in contact with parties whom they would otherwise not associate with. No skaters will be allowed on the floor only those who are in costume until the party unmasks. The admission will be 25 cents and skates free. The prizes, which will be awarded on this occasion by a committee picked from the audience, will be four in number and as follows:
First prize, to the lady who has the handsomest costume, an elegant cashmere dress.
Second prize, to the most graceful lady skater, a handsome cashmere shawl.
First prize to gent, who impersonates some certain character the best.
Second prize to the gent who is dressed in the most comical attire. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

D. E. Slipp was arrested on Wednesday for keeping a roller rink without paying license therefor. The city has been rather tardy in endeavoring to enforce this matter, probably with the hopes that Mr. Slipp would pay the license without taking it into the courts, but Dave stands as firm as the rock of Gibraltar and the case is being tried with Leon E. Lum and E. N. Donaldson for the city and Holland and McClenahan for the defendant.
LATER—As we go to press we learn that the case against Mr. Slipp has been dismissed on the grounds that there were two charges in the complaint that of keeping a roller rink, and of giving an exhibition. Mr. Slipp will probably be arrested again Saturday on a new complaint. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1885, p. 3, c. 3)


Charlie Congdon has purchased the Roller Rink Restaurant of W. Stager, and has commenced a thorough overhauling of the same. He has taken the partition out and let the small room back of it into one room; he will lath and plaster the place and fit it up as a fine ice cream parlor. A door will be cut through on the south side, and a walk built from it to the street to accommodate parties who do not wish to go through the rink. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

C. H. Congdon has remodeled the restaurant part of the rink into an elegant ice cream parlor, with an outside entrance. This makes the finest resort of its kind in the city. Besides the delicious ice cream he will keep a choice line of confectionery, cigars and fruit. The place was opened on Thursday last, but the inside is yet to be grained and carpets laid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The Roller Rink Ice Cream Parlors are now running in first class shape. Mr. Congdon has had the place plastered and enlarged, and it now looks as neat as a pin, especially since he has had the main room carpeted. Charlie has a reputation of making ice cream second to none, and he is enjoying a good trade at his new stand. If you want some of the delicious cream just give him a call. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The Rink Case.

The case of the city against D. E. Slipp for running a roller rink without license, which has been under advisement by the judge for some time was decided on Tuesday, and the defendant discharged. It will be remembered that at one time Mr. Slipp tendered the city $75, but they concluded to fight the matter, and are consequently out about $100 costs. Judge Douglas did not render his decision without consulting good authority in the matter and it was ascertained that unless the legislature gave the city authority no license could be imposed. St. Paul and Minneapolis license their rinks but they were sharp enough to get authority for so doing at the recent session of the legislature. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The Brainerd roller rink will open on the 29th inst. with a grand masquerade carnival, which will far out rival anything of the kind yet given in this city. Further particulars will be given in a later issue. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Masquerade Skating Party.

We are informed by Manager Slipp that the details and arrangements for the Masquerade skating party to take place at the roller rink on the evening of the 29th have been completed. There will be no prizes given, but the maskers will be given admission to the rink, and skates free. To spectators the charge will be 25 cents. After 9 o’clock skating can be indulged in by parties not masked at the usual price, 15 cents extra. The Brainerd Band will be in attendance, and as this is the opening night of the rink after having been closed for two months, it is expected that a most enjoyable occasion will be had. Mr. Slipp desires us to say in this connection that on and after Monday, Aug. 24th, parties who own skates can have them repaired at the rink as there will be a man there for that purpose. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The masquerade at the roller rink on Saturday was not as large a party as was expected, although everything was provided for a good time and those who participated seemed to enjoy the fun. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 September 1885, p. 3, c. 2)


The roller rink will be opened for skating on Saturday evening, Oct. 3d, by the Brainerd city band. It will also be open Thursday and Saturday evenings of next week, after which time it will be open three nights in the week. Thursday nights will be devoted entirely to dancing, a large canvas 65x45 feet having been made for that purpose. Ladies will be admitted free. To others the usual charge will be made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1885, p. 3, c. 7)

New Year’s Night Enlivened by a Grand Con-
cert and Ball at the Roller Rink.

The Library Benefit.

It is with much satisfaction that we chronicle the fact of the immense success of the concert, conversazione [sic] and ball given on New Year’s Night by the members of the N. P. Library Association of this city. Long before the time appointed for the entertainment to take place the mammoth rink was filled until it seemed there was hardly room for another person, but still they came; the gallery, the seating room and the standing room was all occupied. The first thing that met the gaze of the spectator as he entered the room were the beautiful decorations of evergreens, which hung in festoons and were twined into different shapes. Over the entrance of the rink on the inside was an arch make entirely of evergreens, and on which was a motto “Welcome All,” the “all” being in the shape of a shoemaker’s awl. Over the stage was a banner on which were inscribed the words “Happy New Year,” underneath which was a large open book and on the right hand page the words “N. P. Library Association,” the left hand page containing the words “Knowledge is Power.” Over the band stand was a large half circle bearing the name of the association and which was finely decorated and trimmed with evergreens; underneath the stand was spread the national color. The hall was lighted with the usual lamps with the addition of four headlights, while the light for the stage was given out by four beautiful hanging lamps which were furnished by Walter Davis for the occasion.
When everything was in readiness for the literary exercises, Capt. Spalding arose from his seat on the stage as chairman, and greeted the audience with a very neat and appropriate speech in behalf of the association, thanking the audience for their attendance and liberal patronage which had been of material aid in getting the association under headway. Mr. Spalding filled the chair with much credit to himself and to the association, and the committee are to be congratulated upon having made so excellent a selection. After concluding his remarks Mr. Spalding announced that the exercises would begin with and overture by the City Band entitled “Poet and Peasant,” which was delightfully rendered. Next was a chorus by the Brainerd Musical Society that was quite heartily encored. Then came a rendition of the famous quarrel scene, act iv scene 3, Julius Caesar, between Brutus and Cassius, by Al. and George Leopold, Al. impersonating Brutus while George did Cassius. This was one of the richest treats of the evening, for no where off the stage and rarely among professionals can be found a better interpretation of these characters than was here displayed by the brothers. Their make up was faultless, and must have required no little trouble and expense. They did not rant and rave as is so commonly done by amateurs, but rendered their parts with expression and in a manner that would have done credit to professionals. Not a few in the audience were surprised [to] find such dramatic talent in our midst, and they were encored with a gusto which indicated that their efforts were appreciated. Next came a recitation by Chas. Johnson, whose “Extraordinary Pleading” brought down the house, after which the audience was favored by a song, “The Village Blacksmith,” by John W. Wood. The glee club, composed of Messrs. Camp, Congdon, Hitchcock and Alderman, sang “Take me back to old Virginia” in such a credible manner that at its conclusion they were recalled and again favored the audience; the club never fail to arouse the enthusiasm of their hearers. The next on the programme was the guitar solo by Messrs. Shaw and Daggett, and the gentlemen displayed no little skill in the manipulation of the strings of this favorite instrument; they were recalled a second time. The piano solo by Mrs. H. J. Small came next and was executed in a manner that indicated the fine musical culture of this lady. A character song by Miss Katie Meekins was sung in such a manner as to completely captivate her hearers, and she was recalled and sang “Pretty Pond Lillies,” which was also well rendered, although we think the music was rather difficult for one so young. Master W. N. Wood then appeared before the audience in a character song “Papa’s Little Boy,” which was so well carried out that the audience was convulsed with laughter, and especially was that part of the audience pleased who had experienced the same thing themselves, and Master Wood was called again to the stage. Dr. Hawley was then called upon for a few remarks, and addressed the audience as follows:



After the reverend gentleman concluded his remarks which were very attentively listened to, the band played a grand selection entitled “Maratina” which was the first it had been listened to by a Brainerd audience. Then followed a chorus by the Brainerd Musical society, after which came the imitation of the famous Westminster Abbey Chimes by Geo. Wood, which was certainly very interesting. The instrument used by Mr. Wood to produce the imitation is called a bellina, and is of his own manufacture; the instrument has ten wires, and on it he can execute anything from a hornpipe to the “Bluebells of Scotland.” Messrs. Shaw and Daggett again favored the audience followed by Prof. Dresskell in a cornet solo, which did not fail to draw enthusiastic applause from the hearers. The base solo by S. F. Alderman “Curfew Shall not Ring To-night,” was one of the finest selections of the evening; as a singer Mr. Alderman has few equals in this section. The following song by Mrs. Dr. Courtney was also well received; this lady has a clear soprano voice remarkable for its sweetness and strength. The programme was concluded by a song from the glee club “The Bugle Horn,” which well deserved the applause it received.
Immediately after the concert was over it was announced from the stage that the matter of deciding who was the most popular lady, would be the next proceeding. No names were allowed to be brought forward unless accompanied by fifty votes to start with, showing that they were popular to the amount of $5. The candidates were Mrs. Geo. Forsyth and Mrs. H. J. Small. The voting was spirited and lively, and at the conclusion the vote stood, for the latter lady, 502 votes, and for the former 293, and the handsome pyramid fruit cake made and given to the association by Mrs. Jas. McNaughton, was presented to Mrs. H. J. Small.
Immediately after this part of the programme was finished, the floor was cleared for dancing and over one hundred couples joined in the grand march. The lovers of the art tripped the light fantastic toe until late in the night, and every participator vowed on going home that the evening had been one of the most enjoyable that had ever been spent in Brainerd.


David Smith as “caller” for the dance gave good satisfaction.
There was somewhere in the neighborhood of 1260 people in the rink.
The proceeds from the sale of the “cake” paid all expenses within a few dollars.
Dresskell's orchestra was up to the times, as it always is, and furnished the finest music that Minnesota affords.
Three car loads of evergreens were brought to the rink for decoration purposes. On account of so much other work the committee did not have time to get it all into the rink.
It was generally noticed and remarked that there was never a more orderly crowd of people together in Brainerd than on this occasion. Everything passed off like clock work.
The several committees can congratulate themselves on the universal satisfaction expressed by all present, for it was to them mainly that the success of the entertainment depended on.
Besides being a very pleasant occasion, it was also a profitable one to the association, the receipts being about $550 and the amount netted $465, which will be used to purchase books for the library rooms.
The supper gotten up at the English Kitchen restaurant was one of the most elaborate ever set out to a hungry throng of merry dancers in this city. The decorations at the restaurant were very unique, and everything was in keeping with the occasion.
The only thing that did not pass off as the committee would have wished was the distribution of dance programmes. It was their intention to give them out to the dancers as they formed on for the grand march, but through some misunderstanding many of the spectators got programmes, which left them short when the dancers began to form on and consequently many had to do without. It was not expected that there would be such a turnout, and in this respect the committee could not remedy the annoying mistake:


On behalf of the committee on the late concert, conversazione [sic] and ball given by the Northern Pacific Library Association, we desire to express our sincere thanks for the many courtesies received at the hands of the public generally, and to those who participated in the concert, the success of which was largely due to the efficient manner in which they acquitted themselves.
B. HASKELL, Sec’y.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1886, p. 3, c.’s 4 & 5)

Moccasin Dance.

This evening a dance will be given at the roller rink, the proceeds to be given to the band to pay for their new uniforms. The Brainerd band is an institution that we are all proud of and it is hoped that they will be greeted by a large attendance. The rink will be warmed by extra stoves and it is guaranteed that the room will be comfortable. Ladies and gents having toboggan suits will appear in uniform, but all are invited whether in uniform or not. The music will be furnished by the brass and string bands. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The Brainerd band will give a second moccasin dance at the roller rink next Thursday night, Jan. [sic] 10. The object is to raise funds to complete the payment on their winter uniforms. It is hoped and expected that the dancing capacity will be entirely taken up. Brainerd’s band is an institution that every citizen is proud of, and every encouragement should be offered them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Co. K. give their ball tonight at the rink. A large number of tickets have been sold and an enjoyable occasion is anticipated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The B. of L. F. Ball.

Invitations have been issued by Pine City lodge No. 81, B. of L. F. for their seventh annual ball to take place at the roller rink Friday evening April 20th. The committees are as follows:
Arrangements—Henry Dingwall, W. T. Colby, J. T. Wahlen, G. M. Haas, Chas Congdon.
Reception—Geo. Watts, D. H. Wilson, A. Brown, E. Scott, G. P. Gavin, E. Davenport, W. T. Lowery.
Floor Director—W. J. Bain assisted by John Downey, S. W. Greene, Hugh Murphy and W. F Ripson.
Dreskell’s full orchestra has been engaged for the occasion and the firemen are making due preparations for an excellent time. Tickets $1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

B. of L. F. Ball.

The seventh annual ball of Pine City Lodge, No. 81, takes place at the roller rink this (Friday) evening. Every possible arrangement has been made and a very enjoyable time may be depended upon. The rink has been beautifully decorated with evergreens which hang in festoons all over the spacious room. Dresskell’s orchestra will furnish the music. The program is appended below:


(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The Festival of Days.

The entertainment given at the rink on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings under the auspices of the Ladies’ Aid Society of the Congregational church was a magnificent success financially and otherwise. The splendid success achieved is due entirely to the tireless energy of the ladies in charge, who spared no pains or labor to make everything as pleasant and agreeable as possible to all in attendance. Decorating the rink and constructing the different booths must have required a great deal of time and labor, but the ladies feel amply repaid for their exertions by the splendid success that greeted their efforts. The rink with the different gaily decorated booths and handsome and smiling ladies in attendance did present a most pleasing appearance. The first booth was made to represent Monday or Washing Day, and was constructed and filled with articles suggestive of that most important day. The second booth represented Tuesday or Ironing Day, and contained newly ironed clothes hung on clothes-bars, which seemed a very natural sight for this day. Wednesday or Mending Day, was represented by a booth containing articles used for this purpose. The booth representing Thursday or Reception Day, was an elaborately constructed affair, and it was presided over by a bevy of young ladies who cordially received all visitors. Here also May’s delicious Minneapolis ice cream, and also strawberries, were dispensed. The next booth represented Friday or Sweeping Day, and was decorated by brooms of all kinds and sizes, and other articles suggestive of this day. This was presided over by young ladies in fancy dusting caps who looked very pretty and home-like indeed. The booth to represent Saturday or Baking Day, was constructed to represent an old fashioned kitchen, and presented a very home-like appearance. In addition to the booths representing the several days of the week, was a candy booth, where sugared sweets were purchased in a lavish manner by the young beaus for their ladies. All who attended report having had a splendid time. We are pleased to state that the ladies have realized a snug little sum from the entertainment, which they will use to refurnish and refit the church. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24, May 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

Merchants’ Carnival.

Brainerd will have a carnival even if the mild climate renders an ice palace an impossibility. The ladies of St. Paul’s church will hold their annual bazaar, for the sale of useful and ornamental articles, at the rink on Monday and Tuesday evening of next week. Elaborate preparations have been made for a Merchants’ Carnival. Seventy young ladies, in striking and beautiful costumes, with banners and music, will appropriately represent the merchants of the city. The sight will be novel and beautiful. Supper served during the evening. All are invited to come and are assured that the reputation of these ladies for giving “value received” will not suffer on this occasion. The sale will commence at 7 o’clock. Grand march at 8:45. Tickets 25 cents, for sale at Keene & Never’s drug store. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 November 1889, p. 4, c. 5)


The Merchants’ Carnival at the Rink
a Great Success.

One of the most brilliant occasions of the season was the Merchants’ Carnival given by the ladies of St. Paul’s church at the roller rink on Monday and Tuesday evening of this week. The representation of the different business houses of the city by young ladies in beautiful costumes, sparkling banners and smiling faces in the grand march was a very pretty sight, the effect was pleasing to the eye and the young ladies who had worked so hard to do credit to the occasion were entirely repaid for their trouble by the many compliments paid them by the spectators. The drilling was done under the instructions of Mr. R. E. McClean, and the formation of the word “Merchants” when the march ended was a very happy thought. The north side of the rink was arranged with booths in which fancy articles were disposed of and were in charge of Miss A. Loraine Youker, Mrs. N. McFadden, Mrs. Chas. Metcalf, Mrs. E. M. Westfall, Mrs. J. A. Walker, Mrs. G. S. Fernald and Mrs. B. F. Hubbard. Refreshments were also served. The profit which the ladies will net out of the carnival will be something over $300. The following is a list of the houses represented together with the young ladies and a short description of their costumes:

Geo. N. Day, clothing, boots and shoes, carpet, etc.—Miss Ollie Closson, Madras draperies, trimmed with gilt curtain hangings, bell sleeves of damask silk handkerchiefs, puffed at shoulders with gilt chains. Smyrna rug for banner. Decorations very fine and appropriate.
Leopold Bros., clothing and furnishing goods—Miss Addie Bennett, blue and red dress, elaborate decorations with collars, suspenders, mufflers, neck scarfs, etc. Banner with name of “Leopold” artistically formed of collars.
Slipp Bros., hardware—Miss Jessie Clark, red dress heavily trimmed with sleigh bells, spoons and various ornamental articles in the hardware line. Handsome decoration on neck and wrists. Nice banner, black and gilt, mounted on pitchfork.
Peter Walters, dealer in ice—Miss Jennie Paine, white dress spangled with diamond dust. Imitation of block of ice on head, and imitation of bands of snow on shoes. Nice banner.
E. M. Westfall, clothing, furnishing goods, boots and shoes—Miss Pauline Avery, dress of black with overdress of silk handkerchiefs and mufflers, four-in-hand lace down sleeves and necklace of cuff-buttons. Very handsome banner with the words, “E. M. Westfall, the Leading Clothier.”
H. Rosenblatt, dry goods, furnishing goods, etc.—Miss Grace Bullis, skirt of heavy winter goods, fine decoration with Turkish toweling, fancy articles, sash and cape. Appropriate banner.
J. C. Atherton, flour, feed, grain, etc.—Miss Jennie Towers, brown checked dress profusely decorated with corn ornaments, square hat trimmed with corn, and banner with corn letters.
Charles S. Hazen, coal and wood—Miss Minnie Chase, dark coal-black dress and appropriate banner.
Eames Bros., meat market—Miss Bessie Towers, red dress with flowers, sausages and geese feathers, saw, leather apron, meat carver, hat with feather ornaments. Appropriate banner.
Speers Bros., meat market—Miss Marcoe, steels and saws suspended from belt, trimmings of turkey feathers mounted on rings. Handsome blood-red satin banner.
Ed. H. White, guns, ammunition and second-hand goods—Mrs. J. E. Goodman, gun and rod, belt with cartridges, revolver and sheath, Bowie knife and sheath, etc. Appropriate banner.
N. McFadden, drugs and medicines, toilet and fancy articles—Mrs. Bert Hines, black silk dress and lace trimmings, drapery in front with capsules, panel on side ornamented with tooth brushes, back dotted with sponges, neck trimmed with powder puffs, headgear of sponges and powder puffs, fringe around bottom of skirt, also pink and white frills. Back edged with fringe of bottles, beaded with row of corn plasters. Basket with sample bottles of perfumery to give away. White Kangaroo banner.
Hugh Riddle, livery stable—Miss Laura Walker, green lady’s cloth riding habit trimmed with garniture of martingale rings and bells, silk hat and banner with picture of Spokane, mounted on a whip.
R. F. Walters, boots and shoes—Miss Brutia Walker, dark dress trimmed with silver foil and ornaments of colored shoe laces, button hooks and small gilt shoes. Headgear of pasteboard and gilt shoes imitating fancy patent leather. Nice banner.
Halsted & Pennell, editors and proprietors of Brainerd Tribune—Miss Flo. Halsted, black and white cashmere dress with white Surah sash, black crown with “Tribune” in silver, satchel with strap, the word “Tribune” on each in silver; also “Brainerd Tribune” in silver across bottom of dress. Satchel trimmed with calling cards, and an appropriate banner with picture and words on each side.
H. C. Stivers, editor and proprietor of Journal—Miss Nellie Nelson, black satin skirt with mottoes and the words “The Journal” printed in gilt in front and on both sides, profuse decoration with fringes and ornaments of bright new type, and appropriate banner with words in gilt on both sides.
A. E. Veon, jeweler—Miss Fannie Carpenter, dress of pale blue cashmere, and profuse and rich decoration with handsome jewels. Nice banner.
J. B. Robinson, art gallery—Miss Josephine Furlong, gray dress trimmed in black. English hat with black veil, decoration with the cabinet picture, nicely lettered banner and a camera.
J. E. Ireland, grocer—Miss Nanny Ireland, red dress trimmed with red plush, jewelry ornaments on neck, handkerchiefs, dolls, toys, white lace, drapery and beads. Nice banner.
I. U. White, guns, ammunition, fishing tackle and builder’s hardware—Miss Violet Hagadorn, dress of hunter’s green, with belt, revolver, hunting knife, cartridges, gun, compass, skates, hunter’s cap, fish hooks, etc. Nice banner mounted on rod in gun.
R. R. Wise, Arlington hotel—Miss Maud Brinson, black dress trimmed in gold. Menu in gilt words on front panel, cap with name of hotel in gilt and ornaments of gold fringe and gold letters.
Dr. J. C. Rosser, physician and surgeon—Miss Isabelle Iaichner, pink and baby blue dress trimmed with small bottles, neck, shoulder and wrist ornaments. Nice gilt crown.
J. S. Gardner, groceries—Misses Edith Gardner and Amy Furlong. The former wore a pink dress trimmed with cranberries, corn, crackers and picture cards. The latter wore a wine colored plush dress trimmed with pink, and carried a basket of apples, candies, nuts, etc.
Hope Hose Co. No. 1 of the Brainerd Fire Department—Miss Ida Knudson, dark dress nicely ornamented, the lady wearing the fireman’s bell and cap and carrying a horn and very rich and beautifully lettered banner, the banner being the one presented to the company by Mrs. Ambly, very highly prized by the company for its richness and appropriate design.
Gergen & Mooers, livery stable—Miss Alma Iaichner, lap-robe dress trimmed with horse shoes, sleigh bells and gilt horses, jockey cap and appropriate banner.
C. M. Patek, furniture—Miss Lottie Walters, wall paper skirt with lace drapery, trimmed with handsome curtain chains, beads, etc., red satin cap with gold spangles. Appropriate banner.
A. V. Synder, boots and shoes—Miss Bessie Mulrine, dressed as Galtea, banner of kid richly decorated. The costume was one of the neatest in the procession.
Johnson & Bain, druggists—Miss Winnie Small, dress trimmed with sponges, tooth brushes, powder puffs, fancy combs, and druggist’s sundries of all descriptions, banner with mortar of gilt on black background.
R. Parker, confectionery and Christmas goods—Miss Lillie Paine, her dress was decorated profusely with toys and goods from a five and ten cent counter, banner of gilt and black satin.
Wm. Bredfeldt, boots and shoes—Miss Jennie Small, costume trimmed with shoe laces and button hooks, apron of wine colored sheepskin, for a cap she wore a shoe upper, banner russet sheepskin with a last resting on top.
F. G. Sundberg, jewelry—Mrs. Nichols, evening dress, diamond necklace, ear drops, rings and breast pin. Dress draped with sparkling and expensive jewelry, coronet studded with diamonds. Unique banner, sparkling with precious stones.
Northern Pacific Bank—Mrs. E. O. Webb, dress trimmed with bank checks, banner neatly decorated.
J. M. Elder, real estate and loans—Miss Carrie Morrison, antique costume plaid and rouave. Gainsborough hat, nice banner.
J. J. Howe & Co., lumber, lath and shingles—Mrs. E. E. Walsen, costume decorated with sawdust, shingles and shavings, dog cart following filled with diminutive lumber and little girl seated on top.
J. W. Slipp, groceries—Miss Lillie Phelps, decorated with fruits, canned goods labels, nice banner.
Ingersoll & Wieland, Brainerd Dispatch—Miss Mary Small, cream colored dress decorated in front with black panel and mottoes in gold, entire dress trimmed with “Brainerd Dispatch,” and hat trimmed in similar manner. Banner of black satin and gold letters “For all the news take the Dispatch, $1.50 per annum.”
A. Olson, tailor—Miss Annie Stein, dress trimmed with fashion plates and samples.
M. D. Ford, dairy—Mrs. J. McLain, milk maid’s costume, cart with milk cans, filled with milk which was given away to the crowd.
Keene & Nevers, druggists—Miss Amy Lowey, dressed elaborately with druggists sundries artistically arranged over costume, with brushes, powder puffs, fancy glass bottles, sponges, etc.
D. M. Clark & Co., hardware—Miss Louise Hauke, armor made of wire dish cloths, tin helmet, chopping bowl with star made of tin and gold headed tacks. Dress draped with scissors, spoons and stars of wire nails, and a crescent made of screws, the latter attracting a deal of attention on account of exquisite design, girdle of dog chains, banner of tin on spear.
Wm. M. Dresskell, jewelry—Miss Blanche Powers, wine colored dress richly trimmed and studded with diamonds, rubies, pearls and precious stones, draped with exquisite designs in chains and jewels, crown of diamonds and rubies, diamond ear drops, banner of elaborate design on black silk velvet done in diamonds and brilliants.
A. P. Riggs, insurance—Miss Annie Vigal, well displayed costume and black and gold banner.
Mrs. C. Grandelmyer, millinery—Miss Gratis Walker, Pongee silk costume draped in tulle, had ornaments of black birds and canary birds on shoulders, dress rich draped with feathers, plumes and flowers. Gainsborough hat bedecked with white plumes, ostrich tips and flowers, banner of blue and gold with diamond dust.
Mrs. C. Grandelmyer, dress-making—Miss Lottie Grandelmyer, fancy China and faille silk costume, turban to match, banner of white and gold draped with ribbons anc covered with diamond dust.
Koop Bros., grocers—Miss Irene Lowey, dress trimmed with labels of California fruits and artistically decorated banner on broom.
Fred Luken, notions and toys—Miss Mamie Wheatley, dress trimmed with Christmas goods and carrying miniature Christmas tree loaded with trinkets.
W. J. & H. D. Powers, hardware—Miss Collier, dress trimmed with cutlery, sheath knives, chains, augur bits, screws, nails, mechanical tools, files, hinges and arranged very prettily. Unique tin banner with black lettering.
J. H. Koop, insurance and loans—Miss Hattie Sturgeon, dress draped with signs. Appropriate banner.
J. L. Smith & Co., insurance, real estate and loans—Miss Bell McKay, pink silk banner on silvered pole.
J. A. McColl, photographer—Miss Mary Canan, dress draped with panels of cabinet and card pictures arranged in artistic designs, appropriate banner.
Mrs. H. Theviot, millinery—Miss Bessie Small, costume richly trimmed with plumes, ostrich tips and ornaments, elaborate banner of carmine and gold.
Davis Music House, musical instruments—Miss Ethel Small, elaborate costume and black and gold banner.
Mrs. J. K. Pearce, millinery—Miss Katie Pierce, costume trimmed with plumes, ribbons and ornaments, elaborate banner.
Beach, Cole & Beach, grocers, successors to A. E. Taylor & Co., and C. E. Cole—Miss Vigal, black and gold banner, and dress trimmed with labels.
Co-Operative Store, groceries—Miss Nellie Edwards, costume trimmed with labels, and handsome banner.
P. O. Annex, A. C. Demeules, cigars, confectionery and new stand—Clara Small, costume trimmed appropriately with mottoes, fancy articles, pink banner.
Henry I. Cohen, dry goods—Miss Maggie Meekins, costume of old blue China silk trimmed in old rose ribbons and Persian band, draped Greek style in old rose China silk, pink and blue satin banner, hand painted. Also Miss Nellie Chase, cardinal plush costume trimmed with light lynx fur, red and pink satin banner, hand painted.
Wm. Hack, furniture and wall paper—Miss Jennie Gilby, costume trimmed with curtain chains, upholstery trimmings and designs in wall paper. Neat banner.
M. Hagberg, groceries and provisions—Mrs. Henry Robson, rich brown dress appropriately decorated and nice banner.
F. M. Cable, druggist—Mrs. H. E. Brooks, white satin dress, belt of fine-tooth combs, necklace of compound cathartic pills with cut glass pungent as pendent, crown of cut glass stoppers, elegant banner of white kid with artistically formed letters and picture. The lady carried sachet papers, an atomizer for perfumery, large bonbon box filled with cashews, etc. The above named druggist was also represented by a large labeled bottle, six feet tall, inside of which was a boy, who walked round with it.
Campbell & Smith, dry goods, clothing and furnishing goods—Miss Bertie Robinson and Miss Irma Camp. The former represented the clothing department and wore a full dress coat and vest with black moire skirt, silk tie, diamond shirt stud and cuff buttons and fob chain of unique design. She carried a cane, and a banner composed of lumbermen’s frock, German socks and toque, with placard of firm name. Miss Camp represented the dry goods department and wore black silk and lace skirt, yellow Surah blouse, black velvet rouave jacket, Roman sash with orange ground, necklace of embroidery silk on spools with pendents of skeins of embroidery silk, various articles of fancy goods as ornaments and rich jewels in hair. The banner was a Cashmere shawl with letters and ornaments.
First National Bank—Mrs. C. D. Johnson, red velvet dress with profuse decorations of gold coin, bangle bracelets, rows of gold coin from necklace downward, back of skirt decorated with $5 bill, epaulets of bangles, girdle of gold rope, hat in imitation of sack of money, rich black velvet banner adorned with 212 concaves. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 November 1889, p. 4, c.’s 5 & 6)

Gypsy Fair.

The ladies of St. Paul’s (Episcopal) Church will hold their annual bazaar on Monday and Tuesday next, at the rink. This year the special feature of the bazaar will be a gypsy fair, which they believe will prove as satisfactory and entertaining to their friends as have their previous efforts. A large variety of useful and ornamental articles will be offered for sale, and an excellent opportunity presented to procure Christmas gifts at reasonable rates. Everything will be sold at a fair price. An admission fee of ten cents will be charged. Supper will be served from 5:30 until 6.
The dining room has been enlarged and separate entrances will admit to this room and the main hall, so that those who wish only supper will not be called upon to pay the fee for admission. Prices: Admission to gypsy fair 10 cents; supper, 25 cents; supper with oysters, 35 cents; oysters 15 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

The ladies of the Episcopal church are very much pleased over the outcome of their bazaar which was a success in every particular, the net receipts being $325. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

It looks now as though an attempt would be made to revive the roller skating craze in this city, as the rink as been leased to LaGrave & Rowley for two nights each week during the winter for that purpose. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 December 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Charles B. Rowley, 1856-1941, ca. 1900.
Source: Meg McGowan
The roller skating rink, after being closed for skating purposes for several years, will be re-opened tomorrow night, under the management of C. B. Rowley, who holds the championship medal of the state of Minnesota as a roller skatist. The rink will be open to the public every Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and evenings. The Brainerd Band will furnish music for the evening skating. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 December 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The roller skating craze is apparently being revived in various parts of the country, and Brainerd is no exception. The attendance since the rink has been opened here has been large, and the enthusiasm among the skaters is just as great as in the days gone by. The rink is opened to the public on Wednesday and Saturday afternoons and evenings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 December 1890, p. 4, c. 6)

Interest in roller skating seems to be on the increase, large crowds being in attendance at the rink every Wednesday and Saturday evenings. On Wednesday evening there was a two mile race for amateurs, which was easily won by Albert Hall over eight other contestants. Quite a large crowd was in attendance to witness this contest. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Grand Masquerade.

On Wednesday evening, January 28, there will be a masquerade skating party at the roller rink, which promises to be the most interesting and attractive event of the season at this popular place of amusement. Six prizes will be given as follows: One each to the lady and gent with the most elegant costume; one each for the most original costume; one each for the most comical costume. That no objectionable characters will be present each masker will be required to unmask at the door before entering. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 January 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The third annual masquerade ball of the Chenquatana Club will occur Monday night, February 9th, at the roller skating rink. It is expected to be a very elaborate affair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The bal masque by the Chenquatana Club on the evening of Feb. 9th, is already the absorbing topic of conversation among the society people of the city, and, many a feminine head is busy these days, devising ways and means to secure a costume that will out-shine all others. Judging by the interest taken in this coming affair by the feminine portion of the community, it will be the great social event of the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The third annual bal masque, of the Chenquatana Club, will be given at the armory on the evening of Monday, Feb. 9th, and it is already the all absorbing theme in society circles. The Chenquatana Club have an enviable reputation of giving the most exquisite masquerade parties, and the elite of the city will be in attendance. No person can gain admission to the armory in mask until their identity is disclosed to a committee appointed for that purpose, thus relieving those who do attend, from the feeling that there may be objectionable characters participating in disguise. It will be a strictly first-class affair and there is hardly anyone who has been fortunate enough to receive an invitation but who will attend. The Smith Costume Co., of Minneapolis, will have a representative here on Friday, Feb. 6th, with a full line of costumes, and they will be displayed at the Arlington, where those who desire to can have an opportunity of obtaining something entirely new in style. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 January 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: In January 1891 the roller rink also became known unofficially as the armory. On November 1, 1898 Gardner’s Hall became the armory through a lease of three years, expiring in 1901.

The masquerade by the Chenquatana club will be the greatest social event of the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 February 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

A week from Saturday night a hat carnival will be given at the roller rink. According to the description, the occasion will be very interesting. There will be prizes for the largest hat, the smallest hat and the handsomest hat. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 February 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

The hat carnival which takes place at the rink Saturday evening will be very interesting and will undoubtedly call out a large audience. Three prizes will be given, one for the largest, one for the handsomest and one for the smallest hat. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 February 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

A Social Hit.

Such was the masquerade ball given by the Chenquatana Club on Monday evening. Long before the masked revelers began to arrive the seating and standing room in the spacious rink was occupied by an anxious throng of spectators and especial attention was given to each disguised individual as he, or she, as the case might be, entered the hall. In fact we believe those who composed the lookers-on enjoyed the party as well as the vast crowd that made up the merry throng of dancers in their graceful, and in many instances grotesque costumes. The grand march took place at 9:15 and was led by Miss May Campbell and F. A. Farrar, representing Columbia and Uncle Sam respectively, and it was an imposing spectacle, there being over 100 couples in the procession. The climax was capped, however, when “King Bill” made his appearance, led in by Barnum’s boss clown. The clown was Charlie Johnson, while Bill was none other than A. F. Ferris and W. A. M. Johnstone. The representation was true to life and as a gentleman at our elbow remarked, was worth the price of admission. At 11 o’clock the party unmasked and while many dispersed to their homes a majority remained and dancing was continued until 1 a.m. The party was a complete success in every particular. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 February 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The roller rink is receiving a new roof this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The Brainerd public will have a chance to slide on roller skates again this winter. C. B. Rowley is fitting up the rink and will open it on Christmas. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The roller skating rink will open for the season on Christmas afternoon and evening, and will be open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday afterwards, both afternoon and evenings. Rowley & Co. expect to make things both pleasant and agreeable for those who enjoy this kind of sport. The rink has been greatly improved and everything put in first-class shape. The skates have all been overhauled and refitted. The admission will be 15 cents to all in the evening, while the afternoons will be free. The rink will be open on New Years’ day also. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Don’t forget the social hop at the roller rink on every Tuesday evening from 10 to 12 o’clock p.m. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3. )

About 35 couples were in attendance at the social hop at the rink last Tuesday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The Chenquatana Club are making arrangements for their third annual bal masque which will be given at the roller rink on the evening of February 29th. It is the intention of this club to make it the most interesting of any previous occasion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The event which is expected to eclipse everything to come will be the Chenquatana Club’s masquerade ball which is to take place at the roller rink on February 29th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The coming masquerade by the Chenquatana Club is the one theme of conversation nowadays. An elegant line of costumes has been arranged for with the Smith Costume Co., of Minneapolis, and Mrs. A. F. Smith will be in the city on Saturday, Feb. 27th, at which time all who desire can secure costumes. It is said that the stock is much finer than has been displayed here before. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 February 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Tomorrow (Saturday) the Smith Costume Co., of Minneapolis, will have a representative at the Arlington Hotel with a full line of masquerade costumes to accommodate those who contemplate renting suits for the Chenquatana ball on Monday evening. The event will be a very fine affair, and nearly all who have been favored with invitations are making preparations to attend. None but maskers will be allowed on the floor until after 11 o’clock, and all persons must present their invitations at the door. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 February 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

A Pleasant Social Event.

The grand bal masque by the Chenquatana Club at the rink last Monday evening was one of the most pleasant social events of the season. The attendance was large, fully 500 people including nearly all the prominent social lights of the city being present. During the early part of the evening the dancing floor was occupied exclusively by the maskers, while the galleries and available floor space below were thronged with eager spectators. At about nine o’clock the grand march was called, and it certainly was a curious array of characters that appeared upon the floor. Almost every character imaginable, from the lords and ladies of the middle ages to the peasants in homespun, and every conceivable modern character, was represented. There were many very handsome costumes, and others, while not so elegant, were nonetheless interesting because of their originality. Among the most original was that worn by Dr. Groves, who represented the town pump, and bore the most appropriate motto “The milk man’s friend.” Undoubtedly the most original and pleasing characters present were those impersonated by the four gentlemen representing the Smith Family, W. A. M. Johnstone appearing as the mossback father, A. F. Ferris as the mother, and F. A. Farrar and C. D. Johnson respectively as the unsophisticated son and daughter. The idea was taken from a comical picture in Puck, and the boys all impersonated their respective characters in a manner that would have delighted the originator of the sketch, their make-up being perfect. There were a great many other costumes worthy of special mention, but lack of space forbids. The maskers occupied the floor exclusively until nearly 11 o’clock, and a merry party it was, the curiosity to know and identify each other adding greatly to the pleasure of the occasion. At 11 at a signal all unmasked, and after a few minutes for rest the dancing was commenced again and continued until the most ardent lover of the terpsichorean art was more than satisfied.
The ball was not only an unqualified success socially, as are all entertainments by this organization, but it was also a success financially, the club realizing considerably over a hundred dollars net from the occasion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

The Chenquatana Bal Masque.

The annual bal masque of the Chenquatana Club will be held at the roller rink, on the evening of Monday, Feb. 13th. This club is probably the most popular social organization in the city, and its entertainments, especially of this character, are invariably great social successes, and the members of the club are making every effort to make the coming event even more enjoyable than any preceding ones. Costumers from the cities will be here several days before the ball with elegant lines of costumes, which can be rented at a reasonable figure for the occasion by those who have not the time and inclination to prepare an original costume. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The bal masque of the Chenquatana club which will be given next Monday evening will certainly from all indications be a very enjoyable affair, as the members of the club are sparing neither pain or expense to make the occasion one to be long remembered in the annals of the society. After mature deliberation upon the part of those having the matter in charge, it has been decided to require those in mask to remove the same at the door for the purpose of allowing the committee to identify those applying for admission in order that they may guard against the admission of parties who have failed to receive an invitation. A costumer from Minneapolis will be at the Arlington hotel early Monday morning and all those desiring to engage costumes can do so at that time. Grand march promptly at nine o’clock. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mrs. Smith of the Smith Costume Co., Minneapolis, will be at the Arlington Hotel on Saturday next with a large and varied line of costumes, suitable for the masquerade on Monday evening. After Saturday evening these goods will be displayed at Mrs. Grandelmeyer’s [sic] millinery store where selections can be made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The annual Masque Ball of the Chenquatana Club, which has been previously mentioned in these columns, will be held next Monday evening at the roller rink, and is the one all absorbing topic of conversation in social circles at present. Like all its predecessors it will be “out of sight.” No one who has an invitation can afford to miss it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Chenquatana Bal Masque.

The annual bal masque of the Chenquatana club, held at the rink on Monday evening, like all preceding occasions of the kind, was a great success in every particular. The floor of the rink was crowded with a gay throng of maskers, while every available foot of space in the galleries and on the floor for spectators was filled. The costumes were many and varied, almost every conceivable character being represented. The feature of the evening was the appearance on the floor of four young men dressed as ladies with hoop skirts of no small dimensions. It gave the ladies present an opportunity of seeing themselves as others will see them in a short time, when the decrees of [the] Dame of Fashion will compel them to attire themselves accordingly. Their appearance on the floor was greeted with applause by the audience. There were many other costumes worthy of mention, but lack of space forbids. All present enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The club will probably net about $100 from the dance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Fire animation On May 5, 1904, a fire destroyed the roller rink built in 1883. The rink was a popular site for large parties and at one time it was the location of the armory. On December 1, 1893 the rink was flooded and it became the first indoor ice skating rink.

SEE: 1904 Roller Rink Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

SAWMILL SPUR (Northern Pacific)

Shows the route of the NP railroad spur from the main line to Boom Lake built in May 1871.
Source: 1871 Turner Map
The Northern Pacific engineering department records show that on 17 May 1871, a contract was let to Augustus Wilgus and Charles Thayer to build a railroad spur to Boom Lake. The spur started at South Tenth and Front streets and followed the alley between Laurel and Maple to South Fifth, thence southwardly down the river bank to the mill site. It became known as the “Mill Spur.” Only the short piece to South Sixth Street remains today [1946] and it is used mainly for unloading in bound coal, not for hauling outbound wood products as before. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 39)

NOTE: The Charles Thayer mentioned above is likely Dr. Charles P. Thayer, son of Dr. Samuel W. Thayer, the first Medical Director of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Both were employed by the railroad and both were located in Brainerd in the early 1870’s.

SEE: Bly’s Sawmill

A bad washout on Fifth street is the result of yesterday’s very severe rainstorm. The railroad track for some distance is suspended in mid air. (Brainerd Tribune, 12 June 1880, p. 1, c. 4)


The Accounts Concerning Its
Ravages at Other Points.

Latest Information from all the
Deluged or Threatened Districts.

Condition of Affairs in the
Upper Mississippi and
Its Tributaries.

No Additional Damage Re-
ported—The Worst
Probably Over.

Rum River Rapidly Receding—
The Mississippi Slowly



BRAINERD, Minn., June 11.—The heavy rains of last week did considerable damage in this vicinity. The Buffalo creek and Fort Ripley railroad bridges were carried away. The mill branch track is badly washed, hanging in mid air in several places. The ferry boat was carried away. Schwartz’s brick yard is inundated and the river is still on the rise, raising one foot yesterday. Minneapolis lumbermen have boomed the river at Aitkin to stop the logs. Farms near Brainerd are all under water, and farmers considerably alarmed for their crops.


(Minneapolis Tribune, 15 June 1880, p. 2)

A bridge of a substantial character has been put in over the washout at the Fifth street crossing by the railroad company. (Brainerd Tribune, 19 June 1880, p. 4, c. 1)

On Wednesday afternoon a freight car loaded with lumber from J. J. Howe & Co.’s mill was run off the track near the Fifth street crossing. This was caused by the rail spreading. The side track is in poor condition. Many of the ties being so rotten as not to hold the spikes. The lumber had to be taken out of the car in order to get it back on the track. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

On Wednesday afternoon as the switch engine was pulling out a train load of lumber on the mill track one of the cars jumped the track near the Fifth street crossing and broke through the bridge. One car was overturned and the other badly racked. The bridge is a total wreck. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

An engine ran off the mill track near the Broadway crossing on Thursday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

The railroad company has put in crossings on Seventh street, each side of the mill track, as requested by the council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1887, p. 4, c. 2)

In 1896 a fire destroyed the lumber mill at Boom Lake and in June, the Northern Pacific began pulling up the “Mill Spur” trackage west of South Sixth Street to Boom Lake. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 40)

NOTE: The “mill track/spur” refers to the 1871 Northern Pacific Railroad spur running to an early sawmill located on the river flats near Boom Lake, in later years it served the J. J. Howe mill.

On 05 August 1885, the Common Council ordered a bridge built on South Seventh Street over “Meadow Brook.” That is the stream more often called Slaughter House Creek, Betzold’s Creek and Little Buffalo Creek. That is the stream where the Coca Cola bottling plant now [1946] stands. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 53)

Public Improvements.

...The city council has decided to build a new bridge on 7th street over the creek near the fairgrounds. This bridge is to be constructed for $350 and we are informed that W. W. Hartley will have the contract. The bridge will be raised so as to make a straight drive across the gully or ravine, and which is a necessary improvement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

When the bridge is built on 7th street there will be a straight drive to the race course and fair ground, which will make it much more convenient than at present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

An Interesting Meeting.

...It was ordered that signs be procured and placed at each end of the Seventh street bridge to prevent fast driving on same.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Council Meeting.

A motion was carried to build a bridge across the ravine on Seventh street south, but the motion was afterwards reconsidered and lost on account of the expense of building the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 6)


An order was made and carried that the plank taken from the north side bridge be used in repairing and raising the south side bridge.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1891, p. 4, c. 6)


The Committee Gets at the Bottom of
Affairs and Reports.


The street committee were instructed to take immediate steps in repairing the bridge near the fairgrounds.


(Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

Proposals for Work.

Sealed proposals for the extension of a bridge across ravine and creek on the north end of Hartley street, and grading approaches to same, will be received at the City Clerk’s office in the City of Brainerd until 12 o’clock, noon, Aug. 15, 1892, said proposals to be marked, “Proposals for the Extension of Bridge and Approaches.” The work is to be done according to specifications now on file at the office of the City Engineer in the City of Brainerd. The council reserves the right to reject any and all such proposals.
BRAINERD, Aug. 3, 1892,
Attest, F. A. FARRAR,
City Clerk.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1892, p. 4, c. 7)


Street Paving Ordered—The City
Assessor’s Salary Fixed.


The street committee recommended that the city surveyor be instructed to make a survey and estimate of the cost of grading and bridging the ravine on the south end of Seventh street. The same was read and accepted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 5)


The North Star was re-christened the Anson Northup and was the first steamboat on the upper Mississippi River, ca. 1858.
Source: Manitoba Archives
In 1858 Anson Northup, a St. Paul contractor and builder, purchased the North Star, a steamboat which had been operating between St. Anthony and Sauk Rapids. The boat was renamed the Anson Northup and, according to the Sauk Rapids Frontierman of May 6, 1858, the new owner took his craft over Sauk Rapids and left immediately for Pokegama Falls, near which Grand Rapids was later located. No details of the trip are available, but the boat apparently reached the upper falls and returned to Sauk Rapids without difficulty. In June, the boat made a second trip, on which it crossed Sandy Lake. The Anson Northup was dismantled during the winter of 1858-59 and the parts transported overland to the Red River. No further attempts at steam navigation were made on the upper Mississippi until 1870. (Steamboats on the Mississippi, Irving Harlow Hart, Minnesota History, Spring 1952, Minnesota Historical Society, p. 9)

The Anson Northup was rebuilt at Lafayette, North Dakota by Anson Northup of St. Paul, the machinery, cabin and furniture were transported overland from the Crow Wing River, Minnesota. The boat’s capacity was 50 to 75 tons. Its hull measured 22 feet wide and 90 feet long, equipped with engines capable of producing 100 horsepower. The boat drew only 14 inches with crew and fuel on board; with passengers and freight she sunk four inches lower. (Steamboating on the Red, Molly McFadden, Manitoba Historical Society Transactions, Series 3, 1950-51 season)

In the spring of 1868, Captain Houghton, who for many years operated a steamboat between Brainerd and Grand Rapids began operating a steamer up river from his headquarters in Crow Wing. (Town of Brainerd, The Crossing, Anna Himrod, WPA Writer's Project; CWC, BC8.1.w 956, box 219; CWCHS; ca 1941-1944, p. 6)

Steamboat Landing located on the west side of the Mississippi River somewhere north of the railroad bridge, ca. 1872.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
Of great interest and some importance [1870-1877] was Captain George Houghton's steamer Pokegama which made regular trips up the Mississippi to Aitkin and Pokegama, carrying lumbermen's supplies and camp outfits. The windings of the river are well illustrated by the fact that Aitkin is seventy-one miles up the river and only twenty-seven miles away by rail. Naturally, the railroad proved to be an effective competitor, and when the steamer burned a few years later, it was not replaced. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 22)

THE NORTHERN PACIFIC had completed its line from the Twin Cities to Duluth by 1870, and had begun a western extension which was designed to reach the Mississippi far enough north to be of service to the rapidly expanding lumber industry in this region. At least one man saw the opportunity and the need for steamboat transportation north of Sauk Rapids and with characteristic pioneer energy, he proceeded to do something about it. That man was Captain George H. Houghton who had previously been engaged in steamboating on the Minnesota River and who, for more than twenty years to come, was to be so prominently identified with the upper Mississippi that he earned the title of father of navigation on this stretch of river.
In the winter of 1869-70 Captain Houghton built at Sauk Rapids a boat which was launched on April 13, 1870, and christened the Pokegama. It was a stern-wheeler, a hundred feet long, with a twenty-four foot beam and a two foot draft. The Pokegema started its first trip upstream on June 20, reached Crow Wing on June 24, Sandy Lake on June 26, and the foot of Pokegama Falls on June 27. During the rest of the season, it ran from Crow Wing, at that time the most northerly village of any size along the upper river, to Pokegama Falls, making such trips as they were needed. ...On November 12, 1877, the Pokegama was destroyed by fire after it had been put up for the winter.

...Captain Houghton [built] the Fawn. This boat, his third, plied the waters of the upper Mississippi from 1882 to 1894—longer than any other steamboat on this stretch of river. The Fawn was built in 1881 and came into service the following season. It was originally ... eighty-five feel long with a fourteen foot beam and a draft of fourteen inches empty and two and a half feet when fully loaded. Later both its length and its breadth were increased. It could carry sixty-five tons of freight when there was a good stage of water and no logs were running.
In 1885 the Fawn was purchased by Captain C. C. Sutton, who served either as pilot or captain for the greater part of the boat’s thirteen years of service.
...Occasionally a boat went down to Brainerd or Pine River and back, but these trips were not regularly scheduled and were made only when there was some special need.

UPPER RIVER commerce in 1878 was handled by a side-wheeler named the White Swan, a boat built at Brainerd by Alsop and Mahlum. It was seventy feet long, with a sixteen foot beam and three foot draft. In the Brainerd Tribune of June 15, 1878, it is described as “remodeled”; probably it had been rebuilt from a small forty-five foot side-wheeler which operated between Brainerd and Boom Lake in 1877. (Steamboating on the Mississippi Headwaters, Irving Harlow Hart, Minnesota History, Spring 1952, Minnesota Historical Society, pp. 9-13)

SAUK RAPIDS.—Capt. Geo. Houghton is still at work on his steamboat, which is to run from the Rapids to Pokegama Falls, well toward the source of the Mississippi. (St. Cloud Journal, 18 November 1869, p. 3, c. 2)

We learn from the Minneapolis Tribune that Capt. Houghton, who has built a steamboat to run on the Upper Mississippi from this place and Sauk Rapids to Pokegama Falls, has taken the machinery out of the Cutter, sunk near Stillwater, and will use a portion of it in his new boat. (St. Cloud Journal, 17 March 1870, p. 3, c. 3)

SAUK RAPIDS.—Capt. Houghton launched his steam boat, which is to ply between Little Falls and Pokegama Falls, last Wednesday, at Sauk Rapids, where it was constructed. (St. Cloud Journal, 21 April 1870, p. 3, c. 1)

CAPT. HOUGHTON’S new steamboat left Sauk Rapids on Monday and reached Little Falls on Tuesday, all right. It will start for Pokegama Falls on Saturday. (St. Cloud Journal, 23 June 1870, p. 2, c. 2)

It is understood that Capt. Houghton will soon commence the construction of his new steamboat, to be run in connection with the Pokegama between Crow Wing and Pokegama Falls. It will be built with a view to accommodate passengers as well as carry freight, and a cabin is to be put on the Pokegama. (St. Cloud Journal, 06 April 1871, p. 3, c. 3)

Captain Houghton, owner of the steamer Pokegama, which was frozen up last fall, twenty miles above the mouth of Sandy River, passed up last Monday to look after his steamer, and bring her down as soon as the ice goes out. He expects to make one or two trips from here to Pokegama Falls this spring, in bringing out the lumbermen in that upper country, when he will lay her up till early autumn again; then she will be run during the fall months in taking up the Pinery supplies for next winter’s lumbering operations. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 April 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

Our “river exchanges” down below us are full of river news; the arrivals of and departures are duly anticipated in long lists, etc., etc. Brainerd is a “river town” too, we wish our brethren in the lower regions to remember, and we have arrival and departures also—or expect to have soon. We have one boat at least on these upper waters of the great Mississippi, and her name is Pokegama; she will run between here and Pokegama Falls—which falls are two or three hundred miles above Brainerd—and our upper announcements will be something like this:


Steamer Pokegama from Pokegama.
Boat Pokegama from Pokegama.
Steamboat Pokegama from Pokegama.
The Pokegama from Pokegama.


The Pokegama for Pokegama.
Boat Pokegama for Pokegama.
Steamboat Pokegama for Pokegama.
Steamer Pokegama for Pokegama.

The Pokeg-steam-for-good-loggers-the-boys. Po-steam-ing-heavy-steam-for-log-ging-Po-“help us up? (Brainerd Tribune, 27 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

FIXING HER UP.—Capt. Houghton has engaged lumber with which to lengthen out the cabin of the Steamer Pokegama, and otherwise improve her accommodations for the passenger trade. The new cabin is to have a dozen or so comfortable sleeping berths, with sitting room, wash room, etc., so that ladies and gentlemen can be accommodated with comfort. She will commence regular trips from Aitkin to Grand Rapids again about the 10th of July, and continue to the close of navigation, when lady and gentlemen excursionists can visit the romantic Upper Mississippi at pleasure. The Pokegama has powerful machinery, and can run like a disgusted wolf. All who can, should improve the opportunity of a trip during early autumn. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 May 1873, p. 1, c. 2)

THE steamer Pokegama arrived here on Sunday last, from Grand Rapids, laden with horse and lumbering outfits, and will remain here until the July trip up, probably. She met with quite an accident just as she came into port, by running into the ferry wire which is elevated above the water a few feet. It seems she whistled several times, loud and long, as she came near the city, so as to notify the ferry-men of her approach, so that the wire might be lowered into the river. As the boat came around the point just above the ferry, Capt. Houghton and Pilot Russell could not discover any wire above water, and at first supposed it had been lowered as per warning; but on coming nearer they saw the wire, and Mr. Russell at once stopped the boat. The wind blew very heavy down the river, and, as the shores were filled with overhanging trees, he could not run her to shore above the ferry without tearing her to pieces. Just as the wheel stopped, a saw-log—the river being full of them—floated right into the wheel, so that when he came to back her, the wheel could not be moved in that direction, and aided by the wind and current, she went onward in a helpless condition toward the ferry wire, and swinging broadside as well. In a moment he saw that the only chance left—and it was a mere shadow of a chance—was to give the wheel still another turn or two ahead, so as to get the log out of the wheel, and then he could back her up stream, or shoot for the shore and take the consequences among the trees, in preference to being caught by the wire. The time, however, as well as the distance, was too short, and ere he could carry out the only plan left, the wind blew the steamer broadside on the wire, which caught just under her boiler deck, after tearing away the jack staff, guards, stanchions, etc., including one of her smoke stacks. The boat, of course, pressed the wire down stream until it was tight as a fiddle string, ere she stopped. Being loaded as she was, laying broadside to the current, and the logs accumulating on her upper side, she was slowly settling that way, and in a few minutes more would certainly capsize with all on board. Capt. Houghton, comprehending the situation in a moment, got a sledge hammer and ax, and by a few well directed strokes cut the wire, when the steamer righted and swung around to the shore below. Fortunately no one was injured, although the damage is considerable to the boat. The escape of her total destruction and the loss of several lives was a narrow one. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 May 1873, p. 1, c. 5)

GRAND STEAMBOAT EXCURSION.—Capt. Houghton arrived here on Thursday, and is making repairs on the steamer Pokegama, and getting ready to build a new barge. He will commence the fall run between Aitkin and Grand Rapids about the 10th of next month; but as his boat will be here till after the 4th of July, a project is on foot to have a grand picnic excursion from here down to the beautiful groves at Fort Ripley and return, on the Fourth. The Captain will place his boat in the finest possible trim for the holiday occasion, and if a hundred or two of our people desire to spend the Fourth in so fine a way, at a small cost each, he will take great pleasure in doing his best to make them happy. By the next issue of the TRIBUNE we can say more about it, but in the meantime, all those who would like to enjoy a splendid steamboat ride, see Fort Ripley and its garrison and have a fine basket picnic in the groves down there, with lots of music in the air, we would suggest that they register their names during the coming week with us at the TRIBUNE office, so that it might be seen what could be done in the way of getting up a pleasant company. Further details next week. (Brainerd Tribune, 07 June 1873, p. 1, c. 4)

OIL and water won’t mix worth a cuss; hence, the grand 4th of July excursion by steamboat, contemplated in our last issue, will probably not come off. All right; we used to live in a western town where a similar spirit prevailed, and if we ever get time we shall give some incidents in the history of that town, and also what it finally amounted to, in a social sense, which, in short, was just this: 00000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1873, p. 1, c. 4)

THE pleasure trip on the steamer Pokegama, to Fort Ripley and return, on the Fourth, was enjoyed by some fifty of our citizens, and all unite in voting the trip a fine success. Three or four hours were spent at the Fort in looking about and picnicking, after which they started back arriving home in the evening about 9 o’clock. Capt. Houghton did everything to make the trip an enjoyable affair, and it must be gratifying to him to know that he succeeded so admirably. (Brainerd Tribune, 12 July 1873, p. 1, c. 3)

NORTHERN NAVIGATION.—Captain Houghton, the pioneer steamboat man, who for the past two years has been running a steamboat on the Mississippi river from Brainerd, on the Northern Pacific Railroad, 280 miles north, to the foot of Pokegama Falls, not being content with his achievements in pioneering through the wilderness, proposes to run another steamer above Pokegama Falls for two hundred miles. The rapid extension of lumbering in that region will make this a profitable venture for Capt. Houghton, and a great convenience to all doing business in that region. The lumber is all sawed for the new steamboat, and the Captain proposes to push things. (Brainerd Tribune, 09 August 1873, p. 1, c. 5)


The following Table of Distances from here up to Pokegama Falls, has been kindly furnished us by the officers of the steamer Pokegama, which runs regularly between Aitkin and the Falls, leaving every Saturday at 1:30 p. m:


French Rapids—6 MILES
Rabbit River Rapids—12
Big Eddy Rapids—15
Old Mission—21
Pine River—29
Tow Head Rapids—37
Dean’s Island—41
Pine Knoll—49
Little Willow—61
Rice River Portage—81
Rice River—86
Island Rapids—95
Willow River Portage—98
Willow River—101
Smith’s Landing—102
Scott’s Meadow—111
Moose Rapids—113
Portage City—126
Sandy Lake Rapids—131
Sandy Lake—136
Eight Mile Rapids—144
Ox Portage—148
Crooked Rapids—154
Pokegama Brook—157
Pine Rapids—160
Bald Bluff—164
Swan River—174
Swan River Portage—176
Birch Portage—178
Battle Hill—184
Split Hand—194
Upper Cut-off—201
Long Island—209
Hales’ Landing—216
Day’s Landing—222
Bay Logan—228
Prairie River—230
Rabbit’s and Clark’s Landing—231
Grand Rapids—234
Pokegama Falls—237
(Brainerd Tribune, 11 October 1873, p. 1, c. 6)

CAPT. GEO. HOUGHTON was in the city on Monday evening, and proceeded to Aitkin on Tuesday morning to look after the condition of his steamer Pokegama and get her in shape for spring trade. (Brainerd Tribune, 14 April 1877, p. 4, c. 1)

THE steamer Polaris, a stern-wheeler, arrived at the Brainerd docks on Monday evening from below, being the first steamboat that has passed up over the Little Falls and Sauk Rapids in several years. She was loaded with a shingle machine and outfit for a shingle mill to be established at Swan river. The engine and boiler will be taken from the boat when she reaches her destination to run the mill. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 June 1877, p. 4, c. 1)


Some two months since, Messrs. Chas. H. Alsop and C. E. Williams, of this place, conceived the happy thought of building a small steamboat to be used for pleasure excursions on the river here, and they proceeded at once to put their ideas into plans, and those plans into execution, by the actual construction of a small side-wheeler about forty-five feet in length, to be run by a twenty-five horse power engine.
The hull was completed yesterday ready for launching, and loaded upon two flat cars, was run down the Boom Lake branch this morning at six o’clock and safely launched in the lake, where her construction will be pushed forward to completion and the machinery put in her with all possible dispatch. She will carry, when completed, about twenty-five persons, and will probably weigh anchor in about thirty days. (Brainerd Tribune, 21 July 1877, p. 1, c. 3)

Steamer Pokegama Burned.

AITKIN, Minn., Nov. 13.—The steamer Pokegama, owned by Geo. Houghton, of Carver, was burned here last evening. The fire broke out in the cabin and is thought to have originated from a candle which was left burning in the office by a drunken watchman. The value of the property destroyed will aggregate $12,000. This loss is total, as the property was not insured. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 November 1877, p. 1, c. 5)

CAPT. GEORGE HOUGHTON, proprietor of the steamer Pokegama, recently burned at Aitkin, intends, we learn, to build another boat to take her place in time for the spring trade. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 November 1877, p. 1, c. 6)

CAPT. GEORGE HOUGHTON has been in town several days this week superintending the raising of the hull and machinery of his steamer, Pokegama, recently burned at Aitkin, from the bed of the river and, preparing to rebuild her. Uncle Ed. White has the job, and ex-Master Mechanic W. H. Lewis [formerly Master Mechanic of the Northern Pacific shops] will probably overhaul the machinery. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 December 1877, p. 4, c. 1)

C. H. ALSOP, of this city, is having built at Bly’s mill a steamboat for the upper Mississippi, which it is his intention to have make regular weekly trips from Brainerd to Pokegama Falls, and return, during the coming summer. This is a movement that cannot fail to be of vital importance to our business men. The trade of the country it is Mr. Alsop’s intention to tap with his boat is large, and it is something our people should be reaching out for and using their best efforts to obtain. The steamer Pokegama will run as usual from Aitkin in the spring and fall, and Mr. Alsop’s policy to make regular trips throughout the entire season is the only course to bring the trade here. In connection with this an effort should be promptly made to open the road through to Pokegama from here that was cut part way this winter. A good wagon road can be obtained by this route at trifling expense—in fact it is the only route available to a wagon road—and no delay should be made in securing it forthwith. This road and Mr. Alsop’s boat will bring to Brainerd nearly the entire lumber trade of the upper Mississippi, which, when our merchants become prepared to meet and handle it, will amount to a million dollars annually, or more. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 February 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

HURRAH for a boat launch. The hull of the new steamer being built by Messrs. Alsop & Mahlum at the docks below the railroad bridge has nearly reached completion, and will be launched upon the broad Mississippi on Wednesday. The machinery and boilers are being made at the North Star Iron Works, of Minneapolis, and will be here in a few days. The engine is a 50-horse power, the hull 70 feet long, 16 feet wide, and the hold 3 feet. The work is being pushed with all possible dispatch on account of the very early and unexpected opening of the river, which is now entirely free from ice, and the steamer is expected to commence regular trips to Pokegama by April 1st. Success to the enterprise, and may no accident befall the White Swan of the Upper Mississippi. (Brainerd Tribune, 16 March 1878, p. 4, c.’s 1 & 2)

The White Swan will be launched this afternoon. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 March 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

As announced last week, the steamer White Swan was launched safely on Saturday afternoon last, and sits upon the water in a manner quite appropriate to her name, and worthy of her builder, Mr. Ed. White, of this place. She will leave Brainerd on Thursday, for Pokegama Falls prepared to take passengers and freight. A number will take passage as far as Aitkin, and return by rail, thus making a pleasant little pleasure trip. (Brainerd Tribune, 30 March 1878, p. 4, c. 1)

A steamboat, and a side-wheeler at that, is to run regularly between Brainerd and Pokegama Falls, way up on the upper Mississippi.—[Elk River Star. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1878, p. 1, c. 5)

TRIAL TRIP.—The steamer White Swan was steamed up this afternoon by Captain Alsop for her first or trial trip, and though the experiment was sought to be privately made, a goodly number scented the game from afar and were promptly on hand and on board long before the starting time. The TRIBUNE editor was, of course on hand, and at the proper time she left her moorings at the docks at the N. P steam water-works, heavily freighted with many happy hearts and Captain Alsop’s countenance beamed with satisfaction and pleasure as she steamed gaily and proudly off up the river. She soon, however, reached the ferry rope, and no one being on hand to obey the demand for passage, the only alternative was to turn about and run down stream. In doing so she unfortunately struck a blind pier sunk just below the ferry landing in the channel of the river for holding a boom buoy, and careened once or twice causing the steam to escape from the escape valve of the boilers, and considerably alarming most of the ladies and some of the gentlemen, and Mr. Alsop was importuned to run ashore and leave some of his passengers behind he had on board. It was not necessary that the demand be repeated and the guards had scarcely struck the shore when the exodus from her reminded one of a flock of sheep passing through a gap. With her load greatly diminished she started once more at about 5 o’clock, this time heading down stream, and those who remained on board enjoyed a delightful trip of about five miles and return, upon which the plucky little steamer proved the success of the enterprise and demonstrated the wisdom and judgement of her builders. She will start on Monday on her first trip for the Upper Mississippi and here are three cheers and success for the White Swan. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1878, p. 1, c. 7)

The steamer White Swan returned to Aitkin on Tuesday from her first trip to Pokegama Falls, having demonstrated the success of the enterprise beyond further dispute. Her trip, a comparatively light one, netted over sixty dollars to her proprietors and good prospects for a large run of business in the future. She started aga