Crow Wing County Historical Society (webpage header)


BUILDINGS and PARKS of SOME HISTORICAL
SIGNIFICANCE to the CITY of BRAINERD


1874-1950 Brainerd Buildings Map
(Adapted from the 1874 Andreas Historical Atlas of Minnesota)
(Click on map to download 900 KB High-resolution PDF file)
A glance backward reveals the fact that Brainerd has experienced some very severe setbacks, a condition quite natural in a railroad town. The Jay Cooke failure of 1873 left the little city flat on its back. The boom of 1881 to 1883 was followed by a reaction. Then came the removal of passenger car repair work to the Como Shops in St. Paul and then the Staples cut-off, removing Brainerd from the main line of the Northern Pacific from St. Paul to the coast. The Northern Pacific hospital was taken away. In 1922 a prolonged strike cost the city one-half million dollars. A great lumber industry came—but left in 1905.
Furthermore, fires have destroyed dozens of large business blocks and scores of homes. Among them were: the Headquarters, Villard, Arlington, Commercial, Antlers, and Carlson Hotels, Bly’s Block, Sleeper’s Opera House, Columbian Block, and the Northern Pacific Depot. If these buildings were restored to us, they would constitute quite a city. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 65 & 66)
The companion map to this document is adapted from the Historical Atlas of Minnesota, published in 1874 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, Illinois. It has been modified to show the locations of the key buildings of early Brainerd. The MAP numbers in the sections below refer to the numbered buildings on this map.

ANNA BLOCK
ANTLERS HOTEL
ARLINGTON HOTEL
ARMORY
BAEHR BUILDING
BANE BLOCK
BANE PARK
BANK OF BRAINERD
BARN
BEARE BLOCK
BLY’S BLOCK
BRAINERD BREWERY COMPANY
BRAINERD ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY COMPANY
BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL (First)
BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL (Second)
MISCELLANEOUS SCHOOL INFORMATION
BRAINERD HORSE-DRAWN STREET RAILWAY
BRAINERD LUMBER COMPANY MAIN OFFICE BUILDING / VAN’S CAFE
BRAINERD STATE BANK
BRAINERD STEAM BRICKYARD
BYE (JOHN M.) CLOTHING COMPANY
CALE BLOCK
CARLSON, JOHN & SON CLOTHING
CARNEGIE PUBLIC LIBRARY
CASS COUNTY COURTHOUSE
CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST CHURCH
CITIZENS STATE BANK
CITY HALL
CITY HOTEL
CITY JAIL (Second)
COLUMBIAN BLOCK
COUNTY / CITY JAIL (First)
COUNTY JAIL / SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE (First)
COUNTY JAIL / SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE (Second)
COURTHOUSE (First)
COURTHOUSE (Second)
CULLEN BLOCK
DEPOT PARK
DOLLY VARDEN SALOON
DRESSEN BLOCK
DUCLOS BRICKYARD
EARL HOTEL
ELKS BUILDING
FIRE HALLS
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
FRANKLIN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL
GARDEN THEATER
GARDNER BLOCK
GATES BLOCK
GLOBE HOTEL
GOTENBORG SALOON
GREGORY PARK
GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT
HARRISON GRADE SCHOOLS
HARTLEY BANK BUILDING
HARTLEY BLOCK
HAYES BLOCK
HEADQUARTERS HOTEL
HEMSTEAD HOUSE
IMPERIAL BLOCK
IRON EXCHANGE BUILDING
JUEL BLOCK
KOOP BLOCK
LAST TURN SALOON
LAUREL BUILDING
LE BON TON SALOON
LELAND HOUSE / COMMERCIAL HOTEL
LINCOLN GRADE SCHOOLS
LIVELY BUILDING
LOSEY & DEAN UNDERTAKERS
LOWELL GRADE SCHOOLS
LUKEN (FRED) & COMPANY
LUM PARK
LUMBERMAN’S EXCHANGE BANK
LUMBERMAN’S EXCHANGE HOTEL
LUMBERMEN’S HOSPITAL
MAHLUM BLOCK
MAHLUM HOTEL
MCFADDEN DRUG STORE and WESTFALL CLOTHING STORE
MERCHANTS’ HOTEL
MICHAEL’S STORE
MIDWAY SALOON
MILT ASKEW’S BILLIARD HALL
MONTGOMERY WARD
MURPHY BLOCK
MURPHY’S DRY GOODS STORE
NASH-FINCH BUILDING
NEVERS CLOTHING STORE
NICOLLET HOUSE
NORTHERN PACIFIC BANK
NORTHERN PACIFIC COLONISTS’ RECEPTION HOUSE
NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (First)
NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (Second)
NORTHERN PACIFIC FOUNDRY
NORTHERN PACIFIC FREIGHT DEPOT
NORTHERN PACIFIC HOSPITAL
NORTHERN PACIFIC HOTEL
NORTHERN PACIFIC SHOPS
NORTHERN PACIFIC TIE PLANT
NORTHERN PACIFIC YMCA
NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL
NUMBER ONE SALOON
O’BRIEN BLOCK
O’BRIEN DEPARTMENT STORE
OHIO BLOCK
OLYMPIA CONFECTIONERY & CAFE
OLYMPIC THEATRE
PALACE HOTEL
PALACE THEATRE
PARK OPERA HOUSE
PARKER BLOCK
PARKS
PHILLIPS BUILDING
POST OFFICE
RANSFORD HOTEL
REILLY BLOCK
RUSSELL BUILDING
SAINT FRANCIS CATHOLIC CHURCHES
SAINT FRANCIS CATHOLIC SCHOOLS
SAINT JOSEPH’S HOSPITAL
SAINT PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
SHERWOOD DRUG STORE
SIXTH STREET SCHOOL
SLEEPER BLOCK
SLEEPER OPERA HOUSE
SLEEPER RESIDENCE
SLIPP BLOCK
STRATTON HOUSE
THEVIOT (BERTHA) MILLINERY SHOP / BROADWAY CAFE
THEVIOT BLOCK
TRADING POST 1870
TRUDELL’S RESTAURANT
VILLARD HOTEL
WALKER BLOCK
WALVERMAN BLOCK
WATER TOWER
WEBB BLOCK
WHITE’S BRICKYARD
WHITTIER GRADE SCHOOLS
WINDSOR HOTEL / NORWOOD HOUSE
WISE BLOCK
WRIGHT’S / WHITE’S PARK / BRAINERD TOURIST CAMP
MISCELLANEOUS BUILDING / BUSINESS INFORMATION
STREETS RENAMED
IMAGE CREDITS
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


ANNA BLOCK (MAP #61)
Built by Ransford R. Wise in 1918 and named for his wife, Anna, it houses several stores and fifteen apartments, located on the southwest corner of Front and Seventh Streets. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 51)

Fire animation On 21 October 1991, eight businesses were ruined and more than 30 people were left without homes as fire destroyed the Anna Block at the corner of Front and South Seventh Streets. Damage from the fire was estimated at over $1 million, according to owner Dave Pueringer.

SEE: 1991 Anna Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Antlers Hotel at 418 Front Street, ca. 1909.
Source: Carl Faust
ANTLERS HOTEL (MAP #14)
This hotel, which becomes a Mecca for the last of the loggers later in its life, is located on Front Street [418 Front Street] next door and just to the west of the Globe Hotel [422 Front Street], which is located on the southwest corner of Fifth and Front Streets between Fourth and Fifth Streets, it burns in 1910. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90 & 111)

NOTE: This hotel did NOT burn in 1910 as stated by Zapffe. It burned on 23 January 1917.

NOTE: The Lumberman’s Exchange Hotel/Antlers Hotel was rebuilt by John Bubar in 1888 after the huge fire of June 30, 1888; its proprietor in 1909 was A. A. Armstrong.

NOTE: This hotel was originally known as the Lumberman’s Exchange Hotel.

Ed. Chamberlain has sold his interest in the Exchange hotel to E. K. Woodin, who is making extensive improvements, and fitting it up in first-class shape. The name will be changed to “The Antlers.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Ed. K. Woodin, who at one time carried on extensive logging operations in this neck of the woods, he belonging as a member of the old firm of Fales & Woodin, was in town this week on a visit to his cousin, Martin Watson. Since leaving Aitkin, Ed. has engaged in the steamboat business on the lower Mississippi, but his love for the North Star state was ever dominant, and disposing of his shipping interests, came back to the state of sunny clime and bracing atmosphere, locating at Brainerd, and for over a year has been Mine Host of the Hotel Antlers at Brainerd.—Age. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 June 1897, p. 1, c. 5)

SEE: Lumberman’s Exchange Hotel

15 April 1913. On complaint of J. E. Robinson of Minneapolis, who is a detective of the Burns National Agency, several arrests were made for gambling on the 2nd floor of the Antlers Hotel and the B. F. Floyd confectionary store. Seven of the card players paid fines of $15 plus costs. (This was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 15 April 2013)

17 April 1913. To date, seven card players have paid fines in court. P. D. O’Brien demanded a jury trial and was found guilty. He appealed. A Burns detective was roughed up by three men in a saloon and he filed charges. One man pled guilty and was fined $50. The others seek a trial. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 2013)

Fire animation On January 23, 1917, a fire destroyed the Antlers Hotel, the Ideal Hotel, formerly the Globe Hotel, and a couple of other buildings, causing an estimated loss of $50,000. William Deering, a boilermaker, and Thomas F. Lamb, 76 years old, a flagman, employed by the Northern Pacific railroad, roomers at the Antlers Hotel, lost their lives in the fire.

SEE: 1917 Antlers Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Arlington Hotel at the southwest corner of 6th and Washington, ca. 1889.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
ARLINGTON HOTEL (MAP #16)
In 1889 Ransford R. Wise builds a hotel in a city in North Dakota, when business fails there, he dismantles his hotel and transfers it by trains, a distance of 322 miles, and reconstructs it in Brainerd without breaking a light or a glass. Each piece is marked to correspond with memoranda showing where it goes, the reconstruction not varying in any detail from the original plan. He operates the Arlington Hotel, located on the southwest corner of Sixth and Washington Streets, until it burns on 01 January 1904. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 51)

The Headquarters Hotel built early in 1871 by the railroad company had been superseded in 1889 by Wise’s Arlington Hotel on almost the same premises. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 86)


Minnewaukan Had Bright Future as Resort Town on Devils Lake


[...]


One who felt Minnewaukan had a tremendous future was R. R. Wise, who built an immense hotel, the Arlington, to cater to summer tourists. The hotel was located on Main Street facing the street on the west side of the railroad tracks. The front of the hotel faced east and was located exactly where three evergreens now grow. The east front of the hotel was 190 feet long, extending north past the south front of the steel building which now houses Helland Welding. The Arlington was approximately 76 feet wide. It was three stories high, had 55 rooms and could accommodate 300 guests. It cost $20,000 to build, more than a small fortune at that time.
The hotel had a bar and billiard room, a barber shop and commercial travelers’ rooms. Mrs. William Plummer furnished much of the support for a free reading room (library) in the hotel. All rooms had electric bells, high ceilings, marble washstands and good ventilation.
The hotel was built in 1884. When the Benson County Commissioners hiked the liquor license to $1,000 annually, payable in advance, Wise closed the hotel and dismantled all but the southwest corner in 1888, shipping it to Brainerd, Minnesota, where he rebuilt it.
There must have been some prohibitionists on the county commission because $1,000 was a tremendous price for a liquor license at the time. If the purpose was to close his liquor business, they were successful. But the town lost a landmark building. However, the lake going down undoubtedly had some effect on Wise’s decision.
The southwest corner of the Arlington which remained was leased to the county for offices.... The last portion of the Arlington Hotel was torn down in 1969....
But in its heyday, the Arlington was really something. R. R. Wise built it and the tourists came. The September 12, 1885 issue of The Siftings stated, “Three trains and the Minnie H arrived at the West Shore metropolis Wednesday. Over 200 people packed in four elegant coaches came up from Jamestown Thursday on an intended excursion to Fort Totten. The excursion was attended by the usual heavenly weep in which part of the program there was no change until late in the afternoon. There were more excursionists than the Arlington could accommodate and the other hotels were all filled....”
The Arlington also hosted church services. An item in the September 5, 1885 issue of The Siftings reported, “A nickel entertainment, consisting of vocal and instrumental music, was given by the ladies at the corner room of the Arlington Saturday evening for the benefit of the church.” (Richard Peterson, Benson County Farmers Press, Wednesday, 30 August 1995, Minnewaukan, North Dakota)

The New Hotel Scheme.


Mr. John [sic] Wise, of Minnewaukan, D. T., was in the city several days this week looking over the city with a view of bringing his hotel here. He has a first-class hotel at that place but when it was constructed the future of the city was overestimated and it has proved a financial failure. He now proposes to take it to some place where it can be run as a paying institution. In these days of modern improvements and appliances it is possible to move a building of its magnitude and replace it in as good shape as when first constructed. It will cost the gentleman $6,500 to have it taken down, transported to Brainerd and put together again. The building is a 60-room frame house and presents a very handsome appearance, the front of the lower portion of it being largely composed of plate glass. The gentleman is a thorough hotel man with ample means and if he removes to Brainerd it will be of considerable importance to our city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

New Hotel Scheme.


The Board of Trade was called together on Monday evening to consider the matter of aiding the new hotel enterprise, and the members voted to give $300 out of the money in the treasurer’s hands towards the bonus of $4,000, which Mr. Wise asks to bring his hotel from Minnewaukan, D. T., to Brainerd. This practically settles the matter and assures to this city the erection of the structure. The building will be located on the site of the old Headquarters hotel and will be equipped with all modern conveniences, steam heat, electric bells and electric lighting. Of this $4,000 the Northern Pacific company have agreed to pay $1,000 and otherwise encourage the proprietor of the hotel to make the change. The bonus is not to be paid to Mr. Wise until the building is under way, and then in three installments, the last one when the plastering is completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The new hotel is being rushed with all possible speed. Several car loads of the material is already here and has been placed in shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The brick work on the new hotel is progressing rapidly, and is already up to the top of the second story. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The new hotel is being pushed forward very rapidly. The brick work was completed yesterday noon and the lathers have nearly completed their labors and the building is ready to put the plastering on. The wires to connect with the electric bell system were put into place on Tuesday. Mr. Wise expects to get things in shape to open up by February 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The new hotel, which will be known as the Arlington, has been opened for business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 February 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

Built the Arlington and Ransford Hotels, ca. 1915.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
St. Paul Daily News: Ever since the destruction by fire of the fine hotel which adorned the enterprising city of Brainerd, Minn., that place has felt the need of more and better hotel accommodations. The city now rejoices in having that want supplied by the opening of the Arlington, under the proprietorship of R. R. Wise, who is a thorough hotel man in every respect. Mr. Wise formerly resided at Minnewaukan, D. T., and moved his hotel from that point, rebuilding at Brainerd. He has made it first class in every respect with all modern improvements. Every room is supplied with an incandescent electric light—water and sewerage appointments are perfect, and in fact, nothing lacks to make “The Arlington” a complete hostelry. The meals are equal to any first class hotel and superior to most. The News congratulates both Mr. Wise and the citizens of Brainerd upon “The Arlington.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

The Arlington has two elegant new signs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

BRAINERD has a hotel to be proud of in the Arlington. The formal opening last night would have done credit to a much larger and more pretentious city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1889, p. 1, c. 2)


The Arlington Opening.
_____


The event of the season occurred last night at the opening of the Arlington hotel. Without any doubt it was the most brilliant event that has occurred here in many seasons. The house was beautifully decorated with flowers throughout, brought here from St. Paul, Minneapolis, and even from Tacoma, on the Pacific coast. The Third Regiment Band occupied the balcony and discoursed sweet music during the evening and until the banquet was at an end. The guests arrived as early as 9:30 and were shown to the parlors of the hotel on the second floor until the announcement was made that the banquet hall was in readiness. When the guests had been seated, President C. L. Spaulding, of the city council, opened with a speech as follows:
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN: In behalf of the host and hostess I welcome you to this banquet with all the cordiality that the word welcome can imply. I welcome you as citizens whose every interest is identified with Brainerd, who are ever ready to encourage any enterprise that will result to our prosperity and conduce to the reputation of the city abroad. I behold here to-night many of our citizens whose remembrance takes them back to early days when the location of our churches, school houses, dwellings and business blocks was covered by the forests primeval when the majority of our habitations was represented by the wigwams and tepees of the savage Indian. I also see the familiar faces of distinguished guests from neighboring cities and towns, who have laid aside their usual vocations for a time that they might be with us to-night and enjoy these festivities. Among this number I observe Mr. B. S. Russell, who is thoroughly conversant with the development of the northwest, having lived to see the claims of Proctor Knott that this section was an arid waste proven false by the country being made into farms now dotted by the bleating flocks, the lowing herd and the waving grain—one who has been identified with the N. P. R. R. for the past twenty years—that magnificent system that has made us a city and developed the whole northwest, which at no distant date will run its limited trains from New York or the Atlantic to Portland or the Pacific. I observe several former citizens, some who have left behind them evidences of their energy in the form of blocks of buildings that are the pride of our city. But while I welcome you in behalf of our hosts, I in behalf of our citizens welcome you, Mr. and Mrs. Wise, to our city, and congratulate you upon the establishment of this enterprise that has filled a long felt want. We trust that your success may be such that you will be warranted in remaining with us for years to come, and that we shall appreciate your efforts in making this a hotel second to none in the state. As citizens we welcome you.
Then came on the eatables and drinkables in the following order:

MENU.

Chateau Yquem
Blue Points
Bouillon
Small Patties of Chickens
_____

Amontillado
Plank Shad, Maitre D’hotel
Shoe String Potatoes
Sliced Cucumbers
_____

Pontet Canet
Tenderloin of Beef, with Truffles
Asparagus
Sweet Breads Glace
Green Peas
_____

Pomery Sec
Broiled Plover on Toast
Baked Mashed Potatoes
Lettuce Salad
_____

Roman Punch
Charlotte Russe
Angel Cake
Ornamented Pyramid Confections
Wine Jelly
Vanilla Ice Cream
Water Crackers
Roquefort Cheese
Coffee


The toasts which came between the different courses were as happily served as was the magnificent menu. To the toast “Our City,” Rev. Geo. H. Davis responded in a very pleasing manner, and we would be pleased to publish his remarks, as well as those of the other gentlemen following him did space permit. B. S. Russell, of Valley City, responded to “N. P. Railway and Improvements,” and a very entertaining talk he gave the assembled audience. To “Mechanical Arts and Sciences,” J. E. Phalen, formerly of this city but now of Mandan, responded and his remarks were closely followed by his hearers. Bro. Stivers, of the Journal, took the subject “The State,” and although his remarks were impromptu he succeeded in interesting the listeners at that late hour. Remarks were also made by W. S. Martin, Hon. L. P. White and others, and at 1 o’clock the guests left the banquet hall and repaired to the armory where dancing was indulged in until the wee sma’ hours.
The Arlington is a hotel that the city need never blush for, and under the management of Mr. Wise, the proprietor, a thorough hotel man, it will continue to take a front rank among the popular hostelries of the state and the northwest. The building is a handsome brick structure and is centrally located. Its accommodations are first-class in every particular and all the modern improvements of the age are included in its make-up. There are sixty rooms and the furnishings are new throughout. The house was moved here from Minnewaukan, Dakota, by Mr. Wise, where it was originally built as a summer resort hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

Although a very large and roomy hotel, the Arlington seems inadequate for the business that it is receiving and a new addition 18x24 is being built onto the west end to be used as sample rooms for commercial men, which will make six rooms for this class of custom when completed. The Arlington is a credit to the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The Presto Change says that Messrs. Petrie & Sitherwood have taken charge of the bar at the Arlington. It will be re-fitted in elegant style and supplied with the very best of everything in the line of fluid refreshments. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The Chenquatana Club will give a hop on Christmas night at the Arlington Hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

A leap year party is on the tapis to take place next Friday evening, the 8th inst., at the Arlington, and it bids fair to be the society event of the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

THE LEAP YEAR BALL.
__________

The Ladies Show Their Ability at Managing a Party.


The leap year party, given by the ladies of Brainerd at the Arlington [Hotel] on Friday evening, was an occasion which will long be remembered by the members of the sterner sex as an exquisite affair in every detail. It seems that the ladies had determined to outdo anything that had ever been attempted in the line of leap year parties, and to show the gentlemen that they knew how to manage an affair of the kind—and they succeeded. The gentlemen were served with notice by their escorts to be dressed and in readiness at not later than 8:10 p.m., as the grand march was set for 8:30, but an observer could easily see that many of the gentlemen kept their partners waiting, a thing never heard of on the other hand, as it was fully nine o’clock before the last of the invited guests arrived. The reception committee, consisting of Mrs. D. D. Smith, Mrs. N. H. Ingersoll and Mrs. Dr. Howes, who were stationed at the entrance of the reception rooms up-stairs, did the honors in the latest approved style and took care of the company with ease and grace. It was here that many of the gentlemen discovered for the first time that the ladies had practiced a unique joke on them by appearing in the calico dresses fashioned after the style worn by their great grandmothers. The secret, however, had leaked out to some—a little bird had probably told it—and about 20 of the gentlemen had full dress calico suits in their inside pockets, which were slipped on quietly in the dressing room after they arrived. The grand march was announced, and when they marched out the fun began. Miss Lottie Grandelmyer [sic] and Mr. George N. Day led the grand march in which some 60 people participated, those not caring to dance amusing themselves at cards in the reception rooms. The party was without exception the most enjoyable and most successful affair ever given in the city, and this without flattery to the ladies. A fine list of dances were arranged, the floor being admirably managed by Misses Flora Merrell [sic], Bertie Robinson and Lotta Grandelmyer [sic], and nearly all in attendance tripped the light fantastic toe until supper was announced at midnight. The supper deserves especial mention as it was served according to directions furnished by the ladies, and was one of the crowning features of the evening. At 2 a.m. the ladies escorted their gentlemen to their homes, and we doubt if any ever enjoyed a more pleasant evening. The following are the names of those present:
Miss Mary Small, Allie Fitch, Lotta Grandelmyer [sic], Flora Merrell [sic], Bertie Robinson, Gertrude Morser, Nellie Howe, Charlotte Cahoon, Minta Holmes, Bessie Small, Lillie Wilson, May Clark, and Mesdames. G. W. Craine, O. C. Foster, G. W. Alexander, E. O. Webb, N. H. Ingersoll, D. D. Smith, Geo. Forsyth [sic], Ed. Breheny, J. C. Rosser, A. P. Farrar, N. D. Root, W. Courtney, Joe Howe, I. E. Fox, Fannie Mulrine, J. E. Goodman, A. F. Ferris, W. A. Fleming and J. R. Howes.
Messrs. Geo. N. Day, W. A. M. Johnston [sic] [Johnstone], F. A. Farrar, Horace Stedman, G. F. Watson, J. R. Westfall, Mark Root, C. E. Chipperfield, H. Linnemann [sic], N. McFadden, Geo. Forsyth [sic], G. W. Craine, N. H. Ingersoll, O. O. Foster, G. W. Alexander, D. D. Smith, Ed. Breheny, A. P. Farrar, A. F. Ferris, W. A. Fleming, Dr. Howes, Dr. Courtney, Dr. Camp, Dr. Groves, Dr. McPherson, Dr. McGregor, J. M. Elder, J. A. Wilson, Leon E. Lum, J. R. Smith, W. B. Heath, C. E. Dickinson and R. J. Hartley. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The people had scarcely quit voting Tuesday night before the improvements began to show up. R. R. Wise on Wednesday morning had a force of men at work on an addition to the Arlington. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The department was called out Saturday night at 12 o’clock by an alarm turned in from the Arlington, but its services were not required. A blaze had been started in the oil house in the rear of the hotel by a careless employee who lit a match in order to draw some gasoline. A pail of water extinguished the blaze. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The dance at the Arlington on Monday evening by the Chenquatana Club was a very pleasant social event, and was greatly enjoyed by the fortunate ones present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Invitations have been issued by Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Wise, of the Hotel Arlington, for a masquerade Ball to take place on the evening of Jan. 19th. It will undoubtedly be the social event of the season, and society people are anticipating an evening of great pleasure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A new oak sidewalk has been placed in front of the Arlington this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A barber shop has been opened in the lobby at the Arlington. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Negotiations are pending between R. R. Wise and G. W. Ingraham for a lease of the Arlington hotel to the latter gentleman for a term of years. Mr. Ingraham was a resident of Brainerd ten years ago. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 January 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

R. R. Wise has constructed a fine cement sidewalk in front of the Arlington Hotel, and will build one in front of his property at the corner of 6th and Front streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1900, p. 10, c. 1)

Fire animation On May 1, 1895, a fire occured in the Arlington Hotel. The building was saved from destruction, but not until somewhere in the neighborhood of $600 damage had been done, the water causing as much destruction as the fire.

SEE: 1895 Arlington Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

The Western Union telegraph office will occupy new quarters in the office of the Arlington Hotel within a few days, Manager Craig having received orders to that effect. The railroad office will handle the night business after 8 o’clock, as heretofore. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

A leap year party will be given at the Arlington this evening, which bids fair to outdo anything of the kind ever attempted in Brainerd. The young ladies who have charge of the details will see that the gentlemen are given all possible attention and undoubtedly the occasion will be a very enjoyable affair. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

IMPROVING THE ARLINGTON HOTEL.
_____

A New Steam Heating Plant and Bath
Rooms Being Put In.
_____


Extensive improvements are underway at the Arlington Hotel. Excavations are now in progress for a large basement under the hotel, and a big 60 foot chimney is being constructed preparatory to putting in a complete steam heating plant, the contract for which will be let in a day or two. The local plumbers are figuring on the work, also J. W. Moore, representing the Moore Steam Heating Co., of Minneapolis, and Allan Black and H. E. Stevens, of St. Paul. The work will be pushed to completion as soon as possible. Over 100 steam registers will be necessary to heat the building. In addition seven complete bath outfits will be put in, two for public use, and five in connection with private rooms. Mr. Wise is sparing no expense to make the Arlington one of the very best hotels in the northwest. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 December 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

A Society Event.


A very pretty social affair was the reception given Tuesday evening at the Arlington by Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Wise in honor of their guest Miss Edna Bonebreak, of Louisville, Kentucky, assisted by Mrs. C. J. Wilson, of Jamestown, N. D., and Mrs. Gov. D. M. Clough, of St. Paul. The hours were from 9 to 11 o’clock, during which time the house was thronged with callers. The reception room was decorated with carnations and roses. The refreshment rooms were trimmed in pink and green, and the color effect was also produced in the refreshments served. A table beautifully decorated stood under the arch between portieres of asparagus fern and from the top of the arch smilax and pink ribbon fell to each corner caught up with a bunch of pink roses. The halls were trimmed in smilax, and in a parlor decorated with chrysanthemums frappe was served by Mrs. R. E. Berry. The other ladies who assisted in entertaining the guests were Mesdames E. M. Westfall, Fannie E. Smith, Misses Amy Lowey, Flo Halstead, and Eloise Smith. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 October 1897, p. 1, c. 3)

SERIOUSLY INJURED.
_____

William Delsworth, Porter at the Arling-
ton, Falls Down a Flight of Stairs
Wednesday.


William Delsworth, porter at the Arlington, had a narrow escape from death Wednesday and the injuries which he received from falling down a flight of stairs at the rear of the hotel, may yet prove fatal.
It is thought that he was somewhat under the influence of liquor and was seated at the top of the outside stairway, and that he finally fell asleep while seated in this position and toppled over. The distance which he fell was about thirty feet, and besides being badly injured during the fall, he struck face downward on a pile of stone and other hard material.
Several large gashes were cut about his face, the flesh of his nose having been almost torn off. Dr. Groves was called and seventeen stitches were taken in the different gashes. While he is resting quietly today, it is thought that the wounds will be painful, and if he recovers at all, it will be a long time before he will be able to be out again. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1897, p. 4, c. 2)

Mr. and Mrs. R. R. Wise gave a Thanksgiving supper at the Arlington last evening in honor of Mr. and Mrs. J. R. Westfall, who expect to leave the city shortly. The banquet was a very elaborate affair. Among those present were Mr. and Mrs. A. J. Halsted, Mr. and Mrs. S. L. Bean, Mr. And Mrs. O. O. Winter, Mr. and Mrs. C. M. Patek, Mr. and Mrs. H. I. Cohen, Mr. and Mrs. F. A. Farrar, Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Westfall, Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Parker, Mrs. J. R. Westfall, Mrs. R. E. Berry, Mrs. Scoville, C. N. Parker, Jay and Harry Patek. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

Fire animation On January 1, 1904, the Arlington Hotel, almost in the twinkling of an eye, was gutted by fire and reduced to ashes. A large amount of the furnishings of the building had been carried out into the street and piled up. Most of the stock of wines and liquors in the bar room were saved, although there was a heavy loss from breakage in handling the bottles. There were no fatalities and the amount of damages was estimated at about $50,000.

SEE: 1904 Arlington Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Armory at the northwest corner of 5th and Laurel, ca. 1930.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
ARMORY (MAP #64)

The City to Support Them.


The members of Co. K, of this city, are feeling somewhat jubilant over the fact that the recent legislature passed a bill which compels the cities in which military companies are located to support them. The law provides that whenever it shall appear by the certificate of the commander of the regiment or battalion to which any company, organized under the provisions of the General Laws of the State of Minnesota (the military code), and the amendments thereof, belongs, that such battery or company reached the minimum number of enlisted men who regularly attend the drills and parades of such battery and company, the commanding officer of the regiment or battalion, the mayor and the treasurer of the city, town or village, or where there is no mayor, then the proper authorities of the town or village in which such battery or company is located, shall constitute a board to erect or rent, within the bounds of such city, town or village, for the the use of such battery or company, a suitable or convenient armory, drill room and place of deposit for the safe keeping of the arms, uniforms, equipments, accouterments and camp equipage furnished under the provisions of this act. And whenever, in the opinion of the officer in permanent command or in permanent charge of any armory, the same shall be unfit for the uses for which it is designed, he may make complaint in writing thereof to said board, which board shall forthwith examine into the condition of such armory and shall have power thereupon to direct the alteration, repair, enlargement or abandonment of the same, and in case of abandonment, to provide another suitable armory. The expenses of altering, repairing, enlarging or renting armories, purchasing lands for the erection of armories, and for providing the necessary camp stools, apparatus and fixtures for heating and lighting and the fuel and gas or oil for the same, and water closets in such building, and for the proper preserving from injury the arms, equipments, uniforms and records stored therein by the construction of suitable lockers, closets, gun racks and cases for uniforms, equipments, arms and records, and for the maintenance thereof in good and safe repair, shall be a portion of the charges of such city, town or village, and shall be levied, collected and paid in the same manner as other city, town or village charges are levied, collected and paid.
The law also provides that a janitor shall be appointed who shall care for the armory, and in case it is heated by steam, an engineer, the compensation for such person not to exceed $2 per day for actual time, and that he shall be paid monthly and be a charge upon the city, town or village in which said armory is situated.
The cost of maintaining Co. K will probably not exceed $900 a year, and as soon as things can be adjusted the city will be asked to either build or rent them a suitable place. The roller rink has been used by them and with some internal improvements can be made suitable for their use and satisfactory to the officers. Should the company desire to have new quarters, and the city be obliged to build, the expense entailed will be quite heavy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 May 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Mayor Hagberg informs us that a formal demand has been made upon him to furnish an armory for Co. K. This demand is made in accordance with the law passed at the recent legislature, and the mayor would like to listen to suggestions from the people before he goes into the matter. There is no doubt about the request being as the law requires and that the City of Brainerd will have to bear the expense until the next legislature meets at least. The law is unjust to any city in which a military company is located as the state should provide for the support of its national guards. As it is now Brainerd has to support Co. K, while the state has full control of them and can call them to any part of its border. We think that if the state desires a militia that the whole state should contribute to their support. Any mention of the law was kept from newspaper publicity during the time that its passage was pending in the legislature for fear it would be killed did it get before the people, this we have from a gentleman who was there. Every company in the state should be supported in good style, but by the state. Company K has been self-supporting up to the present day, and the boys have worked hard to sustain the organization for which they are entitled to much credit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 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.

18 April 1933. An imposing memorial building or armory in memory of Brainerd’s war veterans became possible with presentation of a deed to city property given by Mrs. Sarah Gardner to the American Legion. The property is 75 X 140 feet and lies opposite city hall. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 18 April 2013)

Built in 1936 it stands on the northwest corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. [This building is demolished in 199? and replaced by a strip mall containing offices.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 149)

Baehr Building at the northeast corner of 6th and Front, ca. 1948.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
BAEHR BUILDING
Built in 1936 by the Baehr Theaters Company at a cost of $150,000. It is located on the northeast corner of Sixth and Front Streets where the Depot Park, also known as Hobo Park, is located. It houses apartments, offices and the Brainerd Theater, which begins operation in 1938. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 156)

24 November 1939. Opening of the Credit Clothing Store in the Baehr Building was announced today by Norman C. Hall, owner. A feature of the store will be its credit policy, offering merchandise for sale on a time payment plan. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 November 1999)

21 November 1948. Mr. and Mrs. Bennyhoff are planning the opening of their office supply shop at 615 Front Street tomorrow. Located in the Baehr Building. Mr. and Mrs. Bennyhoff have lived in Brainerd 10 years. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 November 2008)

30 September 1959. Rod and Marge Couture plan a grand opening of Couture Jewelry in Brainerd the first of October. Their lovely new shop is located in the Baehr Building. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 September 1999)

Fire animation On December 28, 1964, a $400,000 fire guts the Baehr building which contained the Brainerd Theater, eleven apartments, nine of which were occupied, and several offices. Four people were injured, one lost his foot. Three tenants were rescued by ladder.

SEE: 1964 Baehr Building Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

31 December 1964. The Brainerd Theater will be back in operation within a month and a new one-story office building will replace the gutted Baehr Building here. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 31 December 2004)

NOTE: In the first week of February 1999 the Brainerd Theater building is torn down and the lot sits empty until it becomes a parking lot.

Brainerd Road Projects Draw Opposition


...Heard a report from City Planner Al Cottingham that the clean-up of the old Baehr building site on South Sixth Street was nearly complete when a 5,000 gallon fuel oil tank was discovered buried under the former location of the sidewalk near the building. He said that the discovery may increase the cost of site clean-up, and that he would keep the council posted. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 March 1999)

Hair Stylists File Suit on City


John Imgrund, owner of the Barber Shop, and Marlys Waddell, owner of the Beauty Nook, businesses previously housed in the former Baehr building in downtown Brainerd, have filed a civil lawsuit against the city of Brainerd.
The city purchased the building in the fall of 1998 and had it torn down earlier this year.
Imgrund and Waddell rented space in the building from the previous building owners, Floyd and Maxine Bunnell.
The plaintiffs, who both vacated the building in the summer of 1998, are seeking relocation expenses.
The Beauty Nook has closed. The Barber Shop relocated.
The civil lawsuit has been filed in Crow Wing District Court. A scheduling conference before Judge Richard Zimmerman is set for Sept. 27. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 July 1999)

Brainerd May Limit Brush Burning to Outlying Areas


...Council members met in closed session with attorney Tom Fitzpatrick and representatives from former business occupants in the now demolished Baehr Building. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 September 1999)

BANE BLOCK
Located at 220 South Seventh Street in 1905.

Located on South Seventh Street, the Brainerd Arena is published from this building until about December 1910. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 154)

April 1904. For rent—Two fine suites of office rooms, steam heated, electric lighted, $9 and $11 per month. Bane Block. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 18 April 2004)

NEW BOWLING ALLEYS
_____

Ralph A. Campbell Alleys in Bane
Block Opened to Public on
Saturday Evening


From Wednesday’s Daily:—
The opening of the new alleys, four Koehler & Hinrich alleys at the Bane Block and managed by Ralph A. Campbell, brought to the place one of the largest gatherings of bowlers seen in the city.
Interest centered on the man who made the biggest score as he was rewarded with a special prize in the shape of a box of cigars. The winner was R. G. Jenkins, who scored 199 pins.
The next high men were G. P. O’Brien, Mr. Dwyer and Art Drogseth, all bankers, and Clark Henry and up to 11:30 these four tied at 197 pins.
The alleys are the acme of elegance and convenience, are scientifically correct and in the finest shape and a delight to any man who wishes to try a game in the king of indoor sports. Mr. Campbell received many compliments regarding his alleys and they made a hit with the boys. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 February 1914, p. 1, c. 2)

Fire animation On December 16, 1914 a fire believed to have started from a defective furnace completely destroyed the E. C. Bane block and damaged the C. M. Patek Building and the Citizens’ State Bank buildings. The Journal Press newspaper lost everything.

SEE: 1914 Bane Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

BANE PARK
Donated to the city on 11 March 1932 by local realtor E. C. Bane and his wife, M. Lurline Bane. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 143)

BANK OF BRAINERD (MAP #5)

William A. Ferris, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Chartered and built by William A. Ferris and George W. Holland in 1879, it is located in a small frame building on the southeast corner of Front and Fifth Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 13)


Bank of Brainerd at the southeast corner of 5th and Front, ca. 1881.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society


SEE: First National Bank Building

SEE: Hartley Bank Building

BARN
April 1946. The whole town’s talking about the new Maid-Rite sandwiches, 15 cents; opening Saturday, the Maid-Rite sandwich shop, Washington Street. This business later became known as the Barn. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 2006)

NOTE: The old barn in the 1910 Carnegie Library picture background.

SEE: Carnegie Public Library

BEARE BLOCK (MAP #65)
Built in 1911 by Phillips-Beare to house the H. F. Michael Company, a dealer in women’s clothing and dry goods. In 1946 this building houses the S & L Department Store. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 114)

MARKOWITZ BROS. GET BEARE BLK.
_____

THERE WILL BE NO CHANGE IN

TENANTS OF THE BUILD-

ING BEARE TO CALIF.


Announcement is made this week that Markowitz Bros. had purchased the Beare block on south Seventh street. There will be no change in the tenants of the building as the new owners have made the purchase as an investment in Brainerd real estate, they being the owners of the Plymouth Clothing store.
Mr. Beare is moving to California to make his home, the winters here being too severe for both Mr. and Mrs. Beare.
Thomas Beare, of Ironton, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Beare of this city is arranging his business affairs there to leave with them for their California home to remain. (Unknown Publication, June 1922)

[Does this become the Gates Block?]

SEE: Gates Block

(Top) Bly’s Block at the southwest corner of 6th and Front, ca. 1904. (Bottom) An ad from the 1888 Brainerd City Directory.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
BLY’S BLOCK (MAP #1)
An early 1871 [sic] [1872] business block, standing on the southwest corner of Front and Sixth Streets, is a frame building measuring 50' x 70'. E. H. Bly, the owner, carries on a general merchandise business on the main floor. Bly’s Hall, on the second floor, is the center of all social and recreational functions from church suppers and sales to public and private dances and parties. Every old timer recalls pleasurable events at Bly’s Hall. The building also contains several offices on the second floor and Masonic lodge rooms in the attic. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 15)

In September of 1871 comes Eber H. Bly. On Sixth and Front Streets, he erects the first general mercantile store. Bly's store is on the first floor; the second is used for theatricals, dances, and political rallies; the attic is used by lodges. This building remains until fire destroys it in June 1904. “Bly’s Hall” is a true landmark for thirty years. Eber Bly is the first mayor. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 7)

Another Splendid Business House.


We are pleased to know that our esteemed fellow-citizen, Mr. E. H. Bly, is about to commence the construction of his mammoth new store-house, on the corner of Front and Sixth street—fronting the Headquarters Hotel. Mr. Bly is the successor to the old and reliable business firm here of Fletcher, Bly & Co. The new building is to be a high two-story building, fifty by seventy feet, and will contain two grand store-rooms below, fitted up in the most modern and convenient style. The two store rooms will both be used to carry on Mr. Bly’s extensive business as a general dealer and supply merchant, and will have a large arched passage way between the two, about the center of the partition. Extensive glass fronts will be put in and there will be a commodious business office and counting room in the rear, communicating with both store-rooms. The upper portion will be finished off in fine style, containing a public Hall, forty by fifty feet in size, with high ceiling and good ventilation. This of itself will be a grand addition to the town. The location is one of the most convenient and beautiful in the city, and deserves the creditable structure it is to receive. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 March 1872, p. 3, c. 1)

The splendid business house of Mr. Bly, to which we referred in our last, is now under full headway, the mechanical supervision being under the direction of that thorough mechanic and gentleman, Mr. Doner, Mr. Lyman P. White having the general oversight of the fine structure. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

MR. E. H. Bly’s mammoth store building is gradually approaching completion, and in truth it is a “whale!” The front elevation is to be quite as tasty and neatly organized as would become the most dignified of business blocks. (Brainerd Tribune, 04 May 1872, 1, c. 5)

Improvements.


[...]


E. H. BLY’s new and mammoth store house and public Hall, is among the greatest and most important in the list. This building is fifty feet front and seventy deep—two beautiful storehouses below, a grand public hall in the second story, besides private offices, and a fine room the full length in the attic story, finely adapted for a lodge room. This building has been put up in the most substantial manner, from cellar to attic, and Mr. Bly deserves more than a passing notice for his great enterprise and liberal public spirit, as so prominently and creditably displayed in this fine structure. The location of the building is one of the very finest, too, in the city—on the corner of Front and Sixth, fronting the Headquarters Hotel. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 May 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

MR. E. H. BLY’S REMOVAL.


On Monday and Tuesday last a force of men were engaged in removing the goods of Mr. E. H. Bly from the old store of Fletcher, Bly & Co., down near the river up to the grand new store block on the corner of Front and Sixth—opposite the Headquarters House and depot. Mr. Bly has finished up in truly metropolitan style his new building, which we have heretofore described. With the fifty foot front, ornamented with rich cornices and great windows, heavy doors and all other things in proportion, beside the rich coating of white paint it is receiving renders it a lasting ornament to our town, and speaks volumes in favor of the proprietor’s unselfish liberality. The inside of the grand structure—70 feet in length—is plastered with hard finish, and divided into two beautiful store rooms all countered and shelved in fine style. The two long rooms, however, are connected by a richly arched passage way about midway of their length, while at the rear end another archway is made where will be the counting room projecting out into either storeroom, and which will be an ornament to the inside arrangement. Each of these rooms will have distinct classes of goods, one from the other, and while they will be separate rooms, yet they will be one to all intents and purposes by many of the archways before referred to—one will contain the heavier, coarser classes of goods, the other the more showy, fancy classes. Above, is the public hall, fifty feet square, and a suite of private offices rooms in the rear, while in the third story is a fine hall 25 by 70 feet, finely adapted for a lodge room. We tender Mr. Bly our best wishes for continued success in businesses in his palatial new quarters. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 June 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

SWING STAGE.


Messrs. Stearns & Louis, the painters who are doing the work on Mr. E. H. Bly’s new mammoth building, have a genuine city rigged swing stage, worked by rope and tackle and suspended from aloft by heavy hooks. It works like a charm in its way. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 June 1872, p. 4, c. 1)

AROUND THE STATE.
_____


BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, July 17.—Bly’s opera house is undergoing repairs. A brick foundation is being laid. The hall is to be replastered; it has been made twelve feet larger. The stage has also been enlarged, which will be an inducement for the best troupes to visit Brainerd, and they will be assured of sufficient room to display their talent and ability. The building will undoubtedly be painted inside and out. (Minneapolis Tribune, 19 July 1880, p. 8)

AROUND THE STATE.
_____


BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, Feb. 8.—The A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen] will give a grand ball at Bly’s Hall the 17th instant. The Wadena lodge, with their ladies will be in attendance, and a “huge” time is anticipated. (Minneapolis Tribune, 10 February 1881, p. 5)

AROUND THE STATE.

BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, Feb. 17.—The A. O. U. W. [Ancient Order of United Workmen] gave their annual ball at Bly’s Hall last evening, and was the crowing event of the season. The St. Cloud band was in attendance, and its enchanting music died away not until the gray morn put it its appearance. (Minneapolis Tribune, 19 February 1881, p. 5)

...At the corner of south Sixth and Front Streets, where the Ransford Hotel now stands and over a general store was Bly’s Hall. The formal dances of the year were the one’s given by the Volunteer Fire Department, the Locomotive Firemen and the O. R. C. (Order of Railway Conductors). After Bly’s Hall was converted into a roller skating rink, Gardner’s Hall was used for dances. Dreskell’s orchestra furnished the music. Dances usually began at eight, at midnight an hour’s intermission for lunch, generally in J. T. Sanborn’s City Hotel, then the dance continued until morning. Winter sleigh ride parties to Toting places, the forerunners of our present day roadhouses and resorts, provided frequent country dances. (As I Remember, Dr. Werner Hemstead, born April 1860; came to Brainerd in 1882)

The double store of W. A. Smith & Co. on Front street is one of the tastiest and neatest in the city. The business is divided into two parts—in one the clothing and gent’s furnishings are kept and a finer array of goods is hard to run across. In the other room is the dry goods department which is replete with everything in that line. Everything about the establishment has an air of cleanliness and general harmony, and the clerks are gentlemanly and obliging, making it pleasant for their patrons, and they are deserving of the large custom which they are receiving. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The building occupied by T. McMaster at the corner of Front and Sixth streets is being raised to a level with the other buildings on the street and will be otherwise improved. Lon. Everett has the contract. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 September 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Large Property Sale.


The most important sale of real estate that has taken place in Brainerd for some time was closed the latter part of last week through the real estate agency of Keene & McFadden. The property sold is at the corner of Front and Sixth streets, known as the Harrison [Bly’s Block] property, 50 feet front and running back to the alley, and the buildings are at present occupied by R. F. Walters, T. McMaster, Peter Johnson, Wm. Dresskell and Bane & Co. The purchaser is R. R. Wise of the Arlington hotel, the price paid being $16,000, half cash and the balance in four years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

Bly’s building burns in June 1904. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100—A. F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947; Carl Zapffe, p. 11)

NOTE: Bly’s building did NOT burn in June of 1904 as stated above by Zapffe. The building burned on 30 January 1905.

Fire animation On January 30, 1905, Bly’s Block aka the Wise Block, owned by Ransford R. Wise, and two other buildings burned. From $15,000 to $20,000 worth of property was consumed. At the time it burned, it was probably the oldest building in Brainerd.

SEE: 1905 Bly’s Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Bly, Eber H.
Arrived in Brainerd in September of 1871 and erected the first mercantile store. In 1874 Bly purchased the first sawmill located in Brainerd from Barrows, Prescott and Bassett relocating it to the north shore of Boom Lake and adding a planing mill. From 01 January 1873 to May 1874, Eber Bly served as Brainerd’s first Mayor. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 9, 199)

When the railroad was built westward from Carlton in 1870, one of the contractors who built the road was Eber H. Bly. We need to say something about him because Bly was probably the best businessman in Brainerd in his days. He seems to have been born and raised to pitch in and do things. When events moved too slowly, he would pull out and go elsewhere because for one like him there is always something to do. He was a builder. He is dead—the year being 1901, and lies buried in Superior, Wisconsin. [sic] [He was buried in Fairview Cemetery, Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota.] His only daughter, Harriet S. Bly, still resides in Minneapolis.

He was born in Ticonderoga, New York, in 1830. He married Francis [sic] [Frances] R. Baker, of Pulaski, New York, in 1856. His arrival in Brainerd is dated September 1871, although due to his work he had been here before that. He came from Superior, Wisconsin. In 1877 Bly moved his enterprises to Bismarck, North Dakota. Without a doubt Bly had done Brainerd much good during the few years he was here. (It Happened Here, Carl Zapffe, Brainerd Journal Press: 1948, p. 18)

Smith, W. A.
Is a native of Franklin county, New York, where he was reared until eighteen years of age, when he went to Syracuse and attended school for some time. He was then employed as a clerk in various mercantile houses until September, 1874, when he came to Brainerd and entered the employ of Mr. Bly, and became a partner the following spring. H. A. Campbell purchased the interest of Mr. Bly soon after, and the business was conducted by Smith & Campbell until March, 1880, when Mr. Campbell retired from the firm. Subsequently, Mr. Smith formed a partnership with W. E. Campbell, under the firm name of W. A. Smith & Company. Their business is quite extensive, carrying a stock of $20,000, and employing four salesmen. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 653)

SEE: Wise Block

SEE: Ransford Hotel

BRAINERD BREWERY COMPANY
A brewery was started in 1872 but it was about 1880 that Peter Ort built a small brewery on the east shore of Boom Lake, or what would be Fourth or Fifth Street if extended that far south. Soon, however, it became idle. In 1882 or 1883 [1894] George Donant [sic] bought and re-opened the plant. Before long, which we believe would be about 1884 [1897], Fred Hoffman purchased the plant. It grew to larger proportion as more lumbermen, more loggers, more lumberjacks and more river drivers came to town to “hoist a few,” in the parlance of that day. Ed Boppel next became a partner. After the institution changed ownership again in 1906, with Boppel and Hemstead as owners, it became Brainerd Brewing Company. Again it grew, having in 1910 a capacity of 10,000 barrels per year. Breweries in this area met their doom when in 1914 enforcement of an 1859 [sic] Indian Treaty was invoked. Although making and selling beer was made legal again, a brewery has never since been operated in Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 44)

As near as can be determined, a brewery is started in 1872; but it is about 1880 that Peter Ort builds a small brewery on the east shore of Boom Lake, near what would be South Fourth or Fifth Streets if extended that far south. Soon, however, it becomes idle. In 1882 or 1883 [1894] George Donant [sic] buys and re-opens the plant. Before long, about 1884 [1897], Fred Hoffman purchases the plant. It grows larger as more lumbermen, loggers, lumberjacks and river drivers come to town. Werner Hemstead and Edward Boppel become partners in 1889. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 90)

John Hoffman opens the Brainerd Brewery in 1872. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 16)

Mr. Hofman’s [sic] new brewery is being pushed toward completion with all possible dispatch. Lovers of good beer will “tally one.” (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 1)

The Brewery.


An 1872 Brainerd Brewery Ad
Source: Brainerd Tribune, 02 March 1872, p. 1, c. 2
On Thursday last Mr. Hofman [sic] commenced operations in his new brewery, and is now prepared to “grind out” lager beer wholesale and retail. If more good quality lager beer was drunk, and less whisky, there would be a better understanding between the stomach and head, and folks’ legs would not become tangled so badly as is too common now-a days. But as for us, give us—liberty or give us the “Wine of Tar.” (Brainerd Tribune, 02 March 1872, p. 3, c. 2)


THE CASUALTY RECORD.
___________

Buried Alive.


BRAINERD, July 14.—A terrible accident, attended with the loss of two lives, occurred here yesterday afternoon. Four men were excavating for the foundations of the new brewery, near the east bank of the Mississippi, south of the bridge, and had dug some distance into the bank, when a large mass of earth fell, covering them all. Two, who were nearest the outer edge of the super-incumbent mass, managed to crawl out with but little injury. Workmen were soon on the spot, but it was several hours before the remains of the other two men were reached. They were both dead when taken out. The victims were single men, one of them being an American and the other a German. Their names are not known. (Minneapolis Tribune, 15 July 1882, p. 2)

Peter Ort has opened a bottling department in connection with his Brainerd brewery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 July 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Peter Ort is in Milwaukee for the purpose of engaging a first class brewer to take charge of his brewery. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

According to the Brainerd Tribune, 16 Jul 1886, Peter Ort’s brewery on the east shore of Boom Lake burned down. (Town of Brainerd, Township 45, Range 31, Anna Himrod, WPA Writer’s Project; CWCHS, Brainerd, Minnesota: circa 1941-1946, p. 24)

Fire animation On July 12, 1886, a fire burned Ort’s Brewery aka the Brainerd Brewery building worth about $22,000 and $2,000 worth of beer stored in the building. Since there was no fire hydrant nearby the entire brewery burned. There was $5,200 insurance on the building.

SEE: 1886 Brainerd Brewery Company Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Peter Ort will begin operations at his brewery at once. It has been standing idle for some months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Brainerd brewery seems to be doing a very prosperous business at present. It seems that Brainerd people are bound to have beer and such being the case it is much better for the prosperity of the town to have it manufactured here rather than to send the money to outside places. The aggregate paid out by the saloonkeepers of this city in the course of a year for beer would astonish most anyone not conversant with the facts. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Ort, Peter
Was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in the year 1849. He came to Brainerd in 1870, and was employed at the carpenter trade for five years. Was then clerk in the “Headquarters Hotel” until January, 1880, when he opened a billiard hall on the corner of Fifth and Laurel streets, of which, he is now the proprietor. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 652)


Fire animation On March 24, 1892, a fire again burned the Brainerd Brewery Company resulting in about $5,000 in damages. The nearest fire hydrant was too far away to save the brewery building but the manufactured beer on hand was saved.

SEE: 1892 Brainerd Brewery Company Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

A New Brewery.


Jacob Dobmeier, of Grand Forks, is in the city making arrangements for the erection of a new brewery and if arrangements can be made Brainerd will have as fine an institution of this kind as there is in the northwest, Mr. Dobmeier proposes to form a stock company and asks that the saloon keepers of this city take stock to the amount of $2,000 in the aggregate. This is simply as a matter of good faith that the product of the brewery will be used in this city, and to get them interested in the concern. At a meeting held last evening a committee was appointed and to-day are endeavoring to fix the matter, and we have no doubt but that they will be successful. The new institution will be located on the flat near the old Northern Pacific pumping station just north of the railroad bridge and will be of solid brick, the cost of the building to be $10,000. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 April 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

There is a prospect ahead for a new brewery in this city, J. M. Engelhart [sic], and Geo. Donat [sic], of Little Falls, being the gentlemen who are interesting themselves in the matter. If satisfactory arrangements as to site, etc., can be made, they will locate here and erect suitable buildings for carrying on that branch of industry. Both gentlemen are practical brewers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 January 1894, p 4, c. 4)

The city council in special session last evening heard the first reading of an ordinance permitting the cutting of ice in Boom lake for cooling purposes, the ice to be used in the district named. It is expected that work on the new brewery will begin at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


[...]


Englehorn [sic] & Donat [sic] petitioned the city council to be allowed to cut ice in Boom lake for cooling purposes, the ice to be used in a brewery proposed to be erected by these gentlemen was referred to the committee on health, sewerage and police, they to confer with the board of health. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 February 1894, p. 4, c. 7)

Peter Ort has the contract for putting up the buildings for the new brewery on the site of the one destroyed by fire near Howe’s mill, and the work will be done as speedily as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Bought the Brainerd Brewery.


Fred Hoffman and Edward Boppel business card, ca. 1905.
Source: Unknown
The brewery in this city has been purchased by Little Falls parties, who will take charge May 1st. Concerning the men the Transcript says:
Little Falls will soon lose one of its most esteemed citizens, Frederick Hoffman, who has been one of our leading business men for the past seventeen years, has, with Edward Boppel, brewer for the Little Falls Brewery, secured control of the plant of the Brainerd Brewing company in that city, and will take charge of the business the first of next month.
It is Mr. Hoffman’s intention to remove his family to Brainerd sometime this summer, and their departure will be regretted by the many friends they have made in this community.
Mr. Hoffman has, besides his handsome residence property on Fourth street southeast, considerable property interests here, some of which he will dispose of, but he intends keeping his home, for the reason that he has lived here so long that he looks upon it as his only home, and may some time decide to return here to live.
However Mr. Hoffman thinks that the business into which he has just embarked will prove a paying investment. Brainerd is not only a good town itself but there are several smaller towns tributary to it, which Mr. Hoffman thinks he can do business in, by paying strict attention to the quality of the article they manufacture.
Mr. Hoffman is not only a man of good business ability, but has had five years experience in the brewing business at Red Wing, before coming to this city. Mr. Boppel, who will have charge of the brewing, is a first class brewer, and the out look is certainly good for the new firm’s success.
While we regret to see a gentleman as enterprising as Mr. Hoffman leave our city, we wish him prosperity in his new location. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 April 1897, p. 1, c. 4)

Brainerd Brewery Company on the eastern shore of Boom Lake, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Fred Hoffmann [sic] returned from Brainerd Tuesday, where he had been for several days, completing the purchase of the Brainerd brewery by himself and Mr. Boppel. They took possession of the property May 1, and are now operating it. Mr. Hoffmann [sic] reports the property in good condition, supplied with good appliances for making beer, but needing a few additions to increase its capacity and add to the convenience of operating. He says there is no doubt of the enterprise paying fairly well, and he is well pleased with Brainerd. The large number of men employed in the railroad shops and the saw mill bring large amounts of money in circulation monthly, and the business men generally report a good volume of trade. The people of Brainerd will find Mr. Hoffmann [sic] to be an excellent citizen, reliable and trustworthy in every particular. He is held in high esteem in Little Falls and has served several terms on the city council and board of education.—Little Falls Transcript. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

The institution changes ownership again in 1906, with Edward Boppel and Werner Hemstead as owners, it becomes Brainerd Brewing Company. It continues to grow, having a capacity of 10,000 barrels a year in 1910. Breweries are doomed in 1914 with the enforcement of an 1859 [sic] Indian Treaty. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 44)

In 1906 Dr. Werner Hemstead purchases the interests of Fred Hoffman in the Brainerd Brewery Company. The amount of the consideration is not given but is reported on the streets to be $20,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 02 May 2006)

Brainerd Woman Dead.


Brainerd, Minn., Nov. 20—(Special.)—Mrs. Edward [Louise] Boppel, wife of a leading resident of Brainerd, died very suddenly yesterday morning of typhoid fever, having been sick only a few days. She leaves a husband and eight children. (Minneapolis Morning Tribune, 20 November 1909, p. 23)

Fire animation On October 23, 1914, a fire gutted the interior of the brick two-story, twenty-five by forty foot Brainerd Brewery building located near Boom Lake. There was no fire used in the building since the machinery was run by electricity. The next day the wreck in the interior was still smoking and piles of glass bottles lay melted in heaps. The remains were allowed to cool slowly so as not to crack the heavy cement floor.

SEE: 1914 Brainerd Brewery Company Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

William “Pussyfoot” Johnson, ca. 1920.
Source: Unknown
Most unique in the annals of any city is the incident that arose in 1911. Brainerd was not alone in this instance. It was a feature in the activities of the Prohibitionists throughout the nation. The Federal Department of Indian Service had in its employ a man named “Pussyfoot” Johnson [William Eugene Johnson 1862-1945]. He came to Minnesota to stop the sale of liquor to Indians and the introduction of liquor into those lands which the federal government had acquired by treaty with Indians. Brainerd was in an area so covered by a treaty made in 1855 [sic]. The experience need not be related beyond the fact that in 1914 the United States Supreme Court also rendered a decision on the matter and the prohibition lid was clamped on tight. Saloons were raided. In some cities beer and liquor were dumped into the gutters in the smashing-up campaign which the federal agents had to pursue to enforce the edict.
In Brainerd the court decision closed twenty-six saloons, which was a very heavy loss of revenue for the city, as the license fee was $750. The money so collected had been put into the general revenue fund prescribed by the charter of 1908. That charter did not prescribe a special fund for the payment of street lighting, hydrant rental and use of water in public buildings and parks. Being deprived of license fees, the council began not paying the bills it had contracted to pay the Water and Light Board; whereupon the Board cut out the lights. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 112 & 113)


BRAINERD ELECTRIC STREET RAILWAY COMPANY

KNOCKED OUT.
_____

The Mayor Vetoes the Street Railway
Ordinance and the Council Refuses
to Pass It Over the Veto.


At the regular meeting of the city council a week ago Monday night Ordinance No. 100, granting a franchise for a street railway, was introduced, and on motion consideration of the same was deferred for a special meeting which was held Thursday evening, June 9th. On that evening the ordinance had its first and second readings and was passed, but a new section, No. 10, had been added. The ordinance as passed was as follows:

ORDINANCE NO. 100.

Relating to street railways and motors, and granting the right to construct them to J. N. Nevers, Henry Spalding and H. J. Spencer.
The council of the city of Brainerd do ordain:
SECTION 1. There is hereby granted to J. N. Nevers, Henry Spalding and H. J. Spencer, and to their successors, assigns and legal representative, for the term of twenty-five (25) years from the date of passage hereof, permission and authority to lay lines of narrow gauge railway for the carriage of passengers with single or double tracks and with all necessary tracks for switches, sidetracks and turntables, together with the right to plant necessary poles and wires for the conveyance of electricity for propelling cars and the right to make necessary excavations for laying cable ropes and appurtenances for propelling cars, in any and all of the streets, and on and over any and all bridges in the present or future limits of the city of Brainerd, and to operate passenger cars thereon upon the conditions hereinafter contained.
SEC. 2. The carriages used shall be of the best style used upon street railways in other cities, and in case they are propelled by steam motors, the motors shall have all modern improvements for the consuming of smoke and to prevent the escape of steam and fire.
SEC. 3. The city council may regulate the speed of running said cars so far as to conform the same to the speed generally permitted for similar cars in other cities.
SEC. 4. The tracks of such railways shall be laid so as to conform to the grade of the streets on which the same are laid, and when the grade is changed, the tracks shall be relaid without expense to the city. In case the city shall cause any street, upon which said street railways are laid, to be paved or otherwise improved, the grantees herein, their successors, assigns or legal representative shall improve in similar manner the space between the rails of their tracks.
SEC. 5. Said tracks shall be laid even with the surface of the street and along the central portion of the street where practicable, and the space between and on either side of the rails shall be kept so as not to interfere with travel over the same, all at the cost of the grantees.
SEC. 6. The rate of fare for any distance within the city limits on any line of said railway, shall not exceed five cents for each passenger with ordinary hand baggage.
SEC. 7. The rights and privileges hereby granted shall be forfeited unless there shall be equipped and in full operation at least one mile of railway on or before July 1st, 1893.
SEC. 8. The running of cars on any part of said railways may be suspended by the city council for such reasonable time as may be necessary on account of repairs of streets, building of sewers or other public improvements, and when it shall be necessary to take up and relay any track for the purposes aforesaid, the same shall be done at the expense of the grantees.
SEC. 9. The said street railway cars shall be entitiled to the track, and in any case any team or vehicle or animal led or driven, or pedestrian, shall be overtaken by or meet, the same shall give way immediately to said cars; nor shall any person willfully obstruct, hinder or interfere with any of said cars, after being warned or notified by the driver, engineer or conductor of any car, by ringing of the car bell, or otherwise, of such obstruction or hindrance.
Whoever shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction of such violation before the Municipal court of said city, be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars nor less than five dollars, and shall be imprisoned until such fine is paid not exceeding thirty days.
SEC. 10. The said street railway shall be located in part of its course on Kingwood and Kindred streets between Eighth street north, in the city of Brainerd, and some one of the avenues in East Brainerd numbered one (1), two (2), three (3) and four (4), and from some point on said Kindred street northerly on some one of said avenues in East Brainerd, numbered one (1), two (2), three (3) and four (4); but this provision shall be binding on the grantees only so long as said streets and avenues are properly kept open and all bridges therein properly maintained and kept open, and in repair for public travel by said city of Brainerd or its successors.
SEC. 11. The right is reserved to the city council to make such police regulations concerning such railways, and the operation thereof, as may be necessary.
SEC. 12. Ordinance No. 81 and Ordinance No. 92 are hereby repealed.
SEC. 13. This ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after its publication; provided, that within three days after the approval thereof by the Mayor the grantees herein shall accept in writing the conditions hereof.
On Tuesday evening of this week the mayor called a special meeting of the city council and returned the ordinance without his signature and the following veto message:
BRAINERD, MINN., June 13, 1892.
To the city council of Brainerd:
I herewith return Ordinance No. 100 to you without my approval. My reasons for not approving this ordinance are: 1st—The western terminus of the proposed line of street cars should not be permitted to rest on 8th street. The road should run into the city south of the N. P. track on 6th street. This enterprise is supposed to be, to a certain extent, for the benefit of the public and ought to be so constructed as to at least, work no harm to any portion of the city or to any business in the city. 2d—There is nothing in this ordinance to compel the operation of the proposed street car line after the completion of the one mile stipulated for. There should be a forfeiture clause, so that, if after the franchise is carried, it should cease to be operated, the city could forfeit the franchise. 3d—The franchise ought to be made non-assignable until after the completion of the one mile made necessary to earn it. This would prevent the franchise from becoming a subject of speculation. 4th—The ordinance ought to compel the use of electricity only. The use of horses and mules in these progressive times ought to be prohibited. Respectfully,
M. HAGBERG,
Mayor.
A motion was made to pass the ordinance over the mayor’s veto, but it was lost, all the members of the council recognizing the force of the mayor’s objections and voting in the negative.
The passing of the ordinance raised quite a storm of protests among our citizens, and a petition against it was talked of, but when it was learned that the mayor intended to veto it, the matter was dropped as it was known that enough of the council men were opposed to it to prevent its becoming a law.
The principal objection to the ordinance was that it did not require the construction of any portion of the system south of the track, and it did not contain a forfeiture clause in case the company who held the franchise ceased operating the railway. It is to be hoped that an ordinance covering all the objections, and jealously guarding the rights of the city will be passed, as the building and constructing of a street railway system will be a great advantage, and the gentlemen who have applied are every way worthy and responsible citizens. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 1, c’s. 4 & 5)

The Electric Railway.


The ordinance relating to the construction and operation of street railway lines in Brainerd which received the mayor’s veto was presented to the council in a revised form on Monday evening and received its first reading and will at the next meeting of that body come up in its regular order. The changes in it require the grantees to have at least one mile in running order, fully equipped, by July 1, 1893, and provides for electric or steam motor lines. The location of the line is as follows:
“The said street railway shall be located, in part of its course, on Sixth street south, in the city of Brainerd, and run from some point on said Sixth street south, and over such other streets as may be selected by the said grantees, their successors, assigns or legal representatives, to Kingwood street, and thence along said Kingwood street and Kindred street to some one of the avenues in East Brainerd, numbered one, two, three and four, and from some point on said Kindred street northerly on some one of said avenues in East Brainerd, numbered one, two three and four; but in such manner as to form a continuous line of railway from said point on Sixth street south to the terminus of said railway on one of the avenues aforesaid, or wherever the same may be after running over one of said avenues, as hereinbefore contemplated and expressed.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Satisfactorily Settled.


The street railway matter has been settled in a manner which suits all concerned. The mayor vetoed the ordinance as it was amended and passed, the reason being that the parties receiving the franchise were not compelled to build the railway any further south than Front street and Mayor Hagberg thought it should at least go to the corner of Quince and Sixth. At a special meeting of the council on Saturday evening the aldermen refused to pass the ordinance over his head by a unanimous vote. An ordinance with the amendment that the line be built from Rice lake to the corner of Sixth and Quince streets was then passed, the rules were suspended and the second reading had and it was placed upon its final passage and the ordinance has received the mayor’s signature. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Electric Street Railway Route, ca. 1893-1897 plotted on a ca. 1948 Brainerd City Map. (See the 860 KB high-res PDF file)
Source: A. Nelson
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 [Broadway]; then it would go north to Kingwood and east to the ravine. At the ravine, Parker erected a private timber-trestle about one hundred feet or so south of the city’s wagon bridge. From the Kindred Street end of the bridge the line went to Third Avenue, then 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 power-house. On the east side of Mill Street the huge plant of the Brainerd Lumber Company and affiliates was erected and to the west of Mill Street was the dam and the city power plant. To the north of the Parker power plant was the depot terminal of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway Company. In 1895 the street railway was operating along its full length. On 02 June 1898, the big windstorm hit Brainerd. It blew down both bridges over the ravine. Parker said the street railway business did not pay, he did not replace his bridge and sold his cars and motors and abandoned everything else. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 66 & 67)

A special meeting of the city council was held last Saturday evening, when an ordinance containing the changes suggested in our last issue was passed, granting to C. N. Parker the right to construct and maintain a street railway. The terms of the new ordinance are the same as the old with the exceptions suggested. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

BRAINERD WILL BOOM.
_____

A $50,000 Electric Street Railway to
Be Built and in Operation
in 45 Days
_____

A Magnificent Three Story Solid
Brick Business Block a
Certainty this Fall.


Charles N. Parker, 1834-1911, founder, Northern Pacific Bank, Brainerd Electric Street Railway & builder of the Northern Pacific Foundry, ca. Unknown.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
If there are any people in this city who have had any doubts in regard to Brainerd’s future prosperity, the developments of the past two days ought certainly to dispel every thought of such a character. When one of the most careful, conservative and successful business men of the state considers it a good business proposition to invest at least $50,000 in an electric street railway in this city, our own citizens certainly ought to have confidence in the future. That this is the case we are most happy to state. The franchise which was recently granted to H. Spalding, H. J. Spencer and J. N. Nevers has been by these gentlemen voluntarily and gratuitously relinquished to C. N. Parker, of Parker & Topping of the N. P. foundry, who will immediately begin the construction of the road and push it to completion, before winter sets in. On being questioned in regard to the matter Mr. Parker not only corroborated every statement made above, but furnished the DISPATCH with additional information that will be of interest. He stated that he had been figuring on the matter for several weeks so that he had all the details arranged and could proceed with active work on the construction at once. Instead of building the road over the line required by the old franchise Mr. Parker will commence at the extreme south end of Sixth street and extend it north to Front, and east on Front to Eighth and north on Eighth across the track to Kingwood and from there over the old line to the new mill at Rice Lake. A special meeting of the council will be called to amend the ordinance giving Mr. Parker the right to make these changes. The power house will be built as closely to the new mill as possible, so as to use the refuse matter of the mill for fuel. Power will be furnished by a 100 horse-power generator which will be propelled by a 125 horse-power engine, two boilers each of 120 horse-power capacity furnishing steam. The track will be laid with forty-pound steel rails. Mr. Parker will not use the wagon bridge over the ravine but will build a trestle expressly for the street car track.
He will put on four motors at once but will have power to propel more than double that number. The length of the track will be nearly four miles and Mr. Parker confidently assures us that it will be built and in operation in forty-five days. The entire cost of the system will be in the neighborhood of $50,000. Mr. Parker will take personal charge of putting in the system himself and expects to save a great deal thereby.
But this is not the only enterprise of importance that Mr. Parker expects to engage in. This fall or early in the spring he contemplates the erection of a three-story solid brick building with all the modern improvements. He has not decided upon the exact location, as he has several in view, but says positively that he will build such a building if not this fall, certainly in the spring. From what we could learn it will certainly be the most pretentious building in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 September 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

A special meeting of the city council was held last Saturday evening, when an ordinance containing the changes suggested in our last issue was passed, granting to C. N. Parker the right to construct and maintain a street railway. The terms of the new ordinance are the same as the old with the exceptions suggested. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Proposals will be received until Oct. 1st for the furnishing of 350 cedar or tamarack poles 28 feet long, and 25 to 30 feet long, from 7 to 8 inches at top, peeled and smoothed; also 8500 sawed pine ties 6 by 8 inches, seven feet long. Delivered on board cars at Brainerd. For further particulars enquire of:
C. N. Parker,
Brainerd, Minn.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

The Electric Line.


The contract has been let by C. N. Parker for the boiler and engines which will furnish the power for the new street car line and they are to be here by the 15th of October. The rails have been bought for three and a half miles and the poles contracted for and they also are to be delivered here by the 15th at which time active work will be commenced. The electric power house will be located on the piece of land which Mr. Parker acquired from the city at the meeting on Monday evening being about one acre in the southeast corner of lot 4, section 18. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The City Council.


A proposal from C. N. Parker to purchase ground for street railway purposes was granted, and a motion was carried directing that a deed of same be drawn and executed. Mr. Parker’s proposition is as follows:

BRAINERD, Minn., Sept. 26, 1892.
To the Honorable City Council of the City of Brainerd.

Gentlemen: I hereby make application to purchase from the City of Brainerd the land hereinafter described; and, in the event of a favorable consideration by the council of this proposition, I will pay to the city the sum of one dollar for a quit claim deed of said land.
My object in purchasing said land is to use the same in connection with my street car franchise, and to erect thereon an electric power house, a car stable and such buildings and structures as may be necessary.
The tract which I desire to purchase is all that piece of land belonging to the city which lies east and south of the right of way of the Northern Pacific Railroad company’s mill track, and consists of about one acre, in the southeast corner of the city property situate in Lot 4, Section 18, Township 45, Range 30.
Trusting that my motives in making this application will be considered by you to be a sufficient inducement to the granting of the same, I am, gentlemen,
Very respectfully yours,
C. N. PARKER,
Per F. S. PARKER.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

PROGRESS OF IMPROVEMENTS.
_____

Now Being Made in this Vicinity, and
Others Contemplated.


[...]


Actual work on the new street railway has been commenced, all the poles for the road and nearly all the ties having arrived, and are now being unloaded and distrubuted along the line of the road. The work of setting the poles will be gigin immediately, and it is expected that the work of laying the track will begin the 15th, when the rails and other material will be delivered here.
The large three-story brick business block which we stated Mr. Parker would construct in the near future, has been definitely located, Mr. Parker having on Wednesday purchased four losts at the corner of Front and Eighth streets from H. Spalding and Leon E. Lum for that purpose, the consideration being $5,000 cash. The building will be built early in the spring.

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The Electric Line.


The bids were opened and contract awarded yesterday for the construction of the power house and the bridge across the ravine for the electric street car line. The power house is to be 40x40 solid brick and Mr. C. Rasmusson secured the contract for $1,200. The bridge contract was let to Fogelstrom & Falconer [sic] for $2,349. The work will be pushed rapidly to completion. The engine for the power house arrived on Monday last, and the rails have been shipped and will probably be here by Monday next at the latest. The ties and poles are being distributed along the line and the work of placing them in position will be commenced in a few days. The track is to be standard gauge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 October 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

The poles for the electric street car line are being placed in position as rapidly as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 October 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Work on the Electric Line.


Work on Brainerd’s new electric street car line is being pushed with all possible speed. The work of setting the poles was finished last night. Yesterday a crew of men were put at work on the track at the south end of Sixth street. The engine and boilers are here and will be placed in position at the power house as soon as it is ready to receive them. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Work of laying the new electric street car line is being pushed with all rapidity. The graders are near the ravine bridge to-day and the track would have been laid to that point but for unnecessary delay in getting supplies. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 November 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The grade established for the electric railway line on Sixth street where the paving is being done was found to be four inches too low after the track was laid and Mr. Parker, was obliged to put a crew of men on Wednesday for the purpose of getting it up to grade. The mistake was quite a serious and expensive one to the proprietor of the line. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1892, p. 1, c. 4)

C. N. Parker yesterday let the contract to Thos. Reilly for paving the center of the electric railway track and it will be done at the same time the street is paved. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

C. N. Parker is having the cross wires for the electric line placed in position this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The bridge built by Foglestron [sic] [Fogelstrom] & Faulkner [sic] for the new electric line has been completed and accepted. The bridge is one of the best of its kind in the state. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

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)

Electric Street Railway Company Car, ca. 1893.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
A Dispatch representative visited the car house of the Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company the first of the week, and inspected the new cars that have just arrived. They are beauties and no mistake. They are about 25 feet long and built after the latest and most improved patterns. They are exquisitely finished and are equal in every respect to any car on the Twin Cities line except the new vestibuled cars. Mr. Parker is certainly doing just what he said he would viz: Putting in a strictly first class electric street railway plant in every respect, without regard for expense. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The new generator for the electric street railway plant has been put in position for operation, and the trolley wire is all that is necessary to begin operations. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The work of placing the new street railway in shape for operation has been commenced. The frame work for the trolley wire on the bridge is being placed in position. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 March 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The work of putting up the trolley wire for the street railway is now in progress, and will probably be finished entirely within a week. This is the last work necessary to operate the line, which will begin immediately after the trolley is up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Elected Officers.


A meeting of the stockholders of the Electric Street Railway was held on Wednesday, and an organization was perfected by electing the following officers:
President—C. N. Parker.
Vice President—R. W. Jones.
Secretary and Treasurer—F. S. Parker.
Superintendent—F. S. Parker.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 14 April 1893, p. 4, c. 7)

It was exactly 2 p. m. on May 4th, 1893, when the first electric street car ever run in the city of Brainerd passed the bank corner at Sixth and Front streets. We are quite metropolitan now. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

BRAINERD has real electric street cars and a line of road in operation, and she’s proud of it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

The First Run.


The first car was run over the electric street car line yesterday immediately after dinner. The trip was entirely satisfactory and was made in sixteen minutes. The cars will begin their regular trips on Sunday morning and a car will pass every twenty minutes. The cars are as fine and nicely finished as any manufactured and presented a novel sight as they moved rapidly over the line. The streets were filled with people to see the first car. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

OUR ELECTRIC LINE.
_____

Brainerd’s Electric Street Car Line is
Formally Opened.


Tuesday last was a day long to be remembered in this city. It was the opening day of the electric street car line and nearly every person in the city who could get a spare moment was out to see the cars. At 4 o’clock the four cars started from the power house running to the bank corner on Sixth street. Here they were met by the Third Regiment Band and hundreds of people who had assembled in honor of this occasion. By request of President Parker as many of the business men and others who could be accommodated took passage in the cars and were given an excursion over the line of road, accompanied by the band. The run to the south end of Sixth street was made and on the return the party went out to the power house, the trip being made without accident and in a very short space of time. Arriving at the power house the entire place was inspected and the workings explained to the visitors. From the street car barn the party went over to the Northern Mill Co.’s plant, which was in full operation, and a half hour was spent there. On the return refreshments were found awaiting the party at the power house, after which came the return trip home.
A review of the building and operation of the plant will not be out of place at this time and from information furnished by Mr. Parker we glean the following:
The length of the road is three and a half miles, ironed with 35-pound steel rails, the ties being hard pine, the track being constructed by John Jackson, of Duluth. The bridge across the ravine was built by P. G. Foglestrom and John Falconer, of this city, and is a very substantial structure. The boilers and engine were made by A. L. Ide & Co., of Springfield, Ill., and were put into position by L. A. Chase, of Minneapolis. The generator and car motors were manufactured by the Westinghouse Electric Manufacturing Co., of Pittsburgh, Pa., and were adjusted and started by J. F. Boustead, of Minneapolis. The overhead structure was furnished by the Northwestern General Electric Co., of St. Paul, and was erected by O. French and D. B. Clark, of this city. The cars themselves are sixteen feet long and were built by the Lamokin Car Works, of Chester, Pa. They are beauties and an ornament to any city.

Brainerd Electric Street Railway Workers and Officials, ca. 1893.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The power house is a brick structure, and the car house is built of wood, both being steam heated.
The road for the present will be operated with three cars, which will be run fifteen minutes apart, the first trip being made at 5:45 a. m., and the last one at 10 p. m.
The road was built by C. N. Parker, of St. Paul, assisted by his son Fred S. Parker, of this city. A company has been organized, with the addition of Ray W. Jones to the above named gentlemen, and incorporated, C. N. Parker being elected present, Ray. W. Jones vice president and Fred S. Parker secretary and treasurer.
The following is the force employed in operating the road at present:
Fred S. Parker, superintendent; D. B. Clark, electrician; Orin French, first engineer; C. Gauvin, second engineer; W. Isackson, fireman; J. Neburg, track foreman; F. A. Bradbury, G. H. Ohstead, A. O. Narrow and W. Wells, motoneers; G. W. Grewcox, C. J. Mitchell, B. H. Smith and W. A. Durgan, conductors.

_____


Any parties desiring street car tickets can obtain them by applying to F. S. Parker.
N. McFadden was the first purchaser of street car tickets, and he is giving them to customers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

The Brainerd Electric Railway Company has moved its office into the N. P. Bank building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The street car company had to do a transfer business for a short time Tuesday morning owing to a sink in the track on Sixth street near the mill track, occasioned by the settling of the sand around the sewer pipe which runs down the center of that street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Cheaper Than Shoe Leather.


Fred S. Parker informs a DISPATCH reporter that tickets will be on sale next week good on the electric street car line which will enable the workingmen to ride to and from their work. These tickets will be good between the hours of 6 and 7 in the morning and 6 and 7 in the evening, and will sell for 50 cents and one dollar, the former being good for fifteen rides and the latter thirty. Tickets will be punched as presented and will not be transferable. This will reduce the fare to three and one-third cents a trip. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The signs on the street cars have been changed to “Sixth and Mill Streets,” which is more appropriate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The street car company has put registers in their cars, the same as those used on all street car lines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The state law requiring all electric cars to be vestibuled for the protection of the motormen against the extreme cold, went into effect Nov. 1st. A penalty of $50 for each car is prescribed for violating the law. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 November 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Brainerd Electric Street Railway Company Car, ca. 1893.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The first real snow storm of the season occurred on Tuesday and for a time during the evening it looked as if we were to have a real old fashioned Minnesota blizzard but the storm abated towards morning after about four inches of snow had fallen. Street car service was not materially interfered with although Supt. Parker was out nearly all night with a force of men keeping the track open. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The cars on the electric line are being provided with vestibules on each end as a protection to the motor men and conductors, and in accordance with the state law. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

On and after January 1st the Brainerd Electric Street Car Co. will cease to issue the cheap rate tickets, but all tickets outstanding will be honored until used. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Three cars are being run on the electric line again, the business calling for the increase. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 December 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Brainerd Electric company are having excellent luck in keeping their street car line open and if it is blocked by snow during the coming winter months it will not be the fault of Supt. F. S. Parker. A snow plow has been constructed at the company’s plant near Rice lake which effectively removes the “beautiful” from the track in a very satisfactory manner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 January 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Koop’s delivery team ran away yesterday and in their flight collided with the water hydrant at the corner of Eighth and Front streets, breaking it off even with the ground and quite seriously injuring one of the horses. They became frightened at a passing street car. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 January 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The cars on the electric line are now started out at 6 a. m. to connect with the trains on the B. & N. M. R’y. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Street Car Line Tied Up.


The smoke stack at the power house of the street railway was blown down by the fierce wind about 2 o’clock this p. m. which will tie the line up for three or four days until the damage is repaired, so we are informed by F. S. Parker, superintendent. A staging had been built about the stack to put on a spark arrester, and this was blown away carrying with it the stack. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

The street car company have had a force of men at work on their track during the past week getting it in shape for winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

APPLICATION MADE TO INCORPORATE.
_____

The Brainerd Traction, Light and Power
Co., is the Name of the New
Corporation.


Fred Parker, son of Charles N. Parker., ca. 1893.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
A letter received yesterday by Fred S. Parker, from his father, C. N. Parker, who is now in Chicago, states that on Monday, an application for a license to incorporate was made under the laws of the state of Illinois, and that the name of the new company was the Brainerd Traction, Light and Power Co. The stockholders are:
C. N. Parker, Brainerd, Minn.
E. C. Gibson, New York City.
P. A. Gibson, Erie, Pa.
Fred S. Parker, Brainerd, Minn.
W. S. McClenahan, Brainerd, Minn.
The first board of directors will also be the above named gentlemen, and the officers will be as follows:
C. N. Parker, President.
E. C. Gibson, Vice President.
P. A. Gibson, Secretary and Treasurer.
Fred S. Parker, Manager.
H. D. Treglawny, Assistant Secretary and Treasurer.
The office of the new company will be located on the first floor of the building between the Northern Pacific bank and the post-office, now occupied by Harry Fox.
On January 5th, Mr. Rice, Chief Engineer of the Stillwell, Brice [sic], Smith, Vail Co., of Dayton, Ohio, and Mr. Roe, expert electrician of the General Electric Co., will start for this city to look the plant over and make estimates on improvements, etc., and then the new company will at once begin operations.
The Harrisburg, Pa., Telegram, in speaking of a Consolidated Company just organized at Akron, Ohio, of which Mr. E. C. Gibson, of New York, vice president of the Brainerd Traction, Light and Power Co., is president, and Mr. P. A. Gibson, also of the Brainerd company, is a stockholder, says:
This company of solid financiers will also add numerous new plants, as it is remarkably strong and composed of men prominent in the financial world. That the chartering of this great company means much for Akron and its surroundings goes without saying, and to the city the future vouchsafes much in the way of vastly increased street railway facilities as well as street illumination. No stone will be left unturned in the matter of financial aid to the great work of upbuilding the city in the matter of furnishing and supplying two of the greatest street conveniences, the transportation and illumination. The new consolidation company starts on a solid foundation and its future is decidedly radiant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The election of officers for the Brainerd Traction, Light and Power Co., occurred, as stated in these columns last week, at Chicago, and Messrs. C. N. Parker, F. S. Parker and W. S. McClenahan were in attendance at a meeting of the directors last Friday. They report that the deal between the company and the city will undoubtedly be closed on Feb. 3rd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The storm of Tuesday and Wednesday was the most severe by far of any experienced during the season. The high wind drifted the snow in heaps and railroad traffic was delayed. Over two feet of snow fell on the level. Superintendent Parker experienced considerable difficulty in keeping the electric line open but managed to keep the cars moving. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Supt. Parker found it necessary to put the third car in service on the electric street railway on Wednesday in order to accommodate the increasing travel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

As has been their custom for many years Messrs. Parker & Topping, of the Northern Pacific foundry, presented each one of their employees with a nice fat turkey for Christmas dinner yesterday. The street car company also made their employees happy in the same manner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The street railway company has put on another car, and are now running three cars until 10:30 in the evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 April 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

Electric streetcar at the corner of Sixth and Front Streets looking south, ca. 1894.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
It is the intention of the street car company to close up their business and take up the track not later than August 10th so the DISPATCH is informed by Supt. F. S. Parker. The reason for this action is because the business does not pay and future prospects for the business is not flattering. When the announcement was made public a number of the business men called a meeting to see if some arrangements could not be made whereby Mr. Parker would continue the business but nothing definite was arranged and a further meeting will be held the first of next week. In the event that the line is abandoned the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota will run its trains into the city from the Northern Pacific depot. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 July 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Not Yet Settled.


Electric streetcar at the corner of Front and Sixth Streets looking east, ca. 1894.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Two meetings of the citizens have been held during the week for the purpose of considering some means by which Mr. C. N. Parker could be induced to continue operating the electric street car line. Mr. Parker finally informed the gentlemen in writing that if $2,500 was raised he would operate the line for another year. On Wednesday evening some thirty of the business men were in attendance and a committee consisting of Geo. A. Keene, H. I. Cohen, J. F. McGinnis, Con O’Brien and J. W. Koop were appointed to see what could be done to raise the amount. Yesterday something over $1,000 was subscribed and probably the amount can be raised to $1,500 but it is quite improbable that $2,500 can be made up. The committee expect to meet Mr. Parker today and have a further conference with him. The discontinuance of the line is a matter that would seriously affect business interests and would be a great inconvenience to the traveling public and it is hoped that some arrangements can be made whereby it will be continued. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 August 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

The electric street car company will cease operations on Sunday [15 August] evening and after that date Brainerd’s elegant street car service will be a thing of the past. The track will not be taken up at once but arrangements will be made to have it removed before cold weather sets in. It is an institution that will be greatly missed by our people. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 August 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

The telephone exchange will be removed to the room now occupied by the street car company as an office in the Walker block on Sunday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 August 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

F. S. Parker informs the DISPATCH that work will be commenced the coming week on the removal of the electric street car line. Mr. Parker thinks it will take about a month to take the rails and ties up and remove the overhead work and store it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

NOTE: 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 June 2, 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 lumbershed 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: Gregory Park

A force of men have been at work during the week tearing up the street car track, and when that is finished the wires overhead will be taken down and then the poles will be removed. The rails will be piled and stored until they can be sold. The power house with the dynamos, engine and boilers will be left intact until Mr. Parker can dispose of them. It is with great regret that the citizens of our city witness the passing away of the street car plant, but it has been a losing concern from the start, and can’t be helped. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

WANTED—A man and his wife to live in the Electric railroad power house near the mill. Rent free.
C. N. PARKER.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

C. N. Parker will give the street car ties now remaining in the roadbed free to any person or persons who will fill and level up the places from which they are taken. They will make good fuel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 August 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The Inter-State Traction Co., of Duluth, has purchased the material of the late Brainerd Electric Railway Co. The above company has a horse car line running from the south side of the canal down Minnesota point to accommodate the owners of summer cottages out on the point. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

The rolling stock, rails and material used on Brainerd’s electric street car line were loaded on the cars and shipped to Duluth Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1899, p. 10, c. 1)

29 July 1913. (Adv.) Street Railway Franchise—mass meeting tonight at Gardner Hall. Free expression of opinion on the franchise now before the city council. Special invitation to R. R. Wise and his clique to prove he and his little group are right and everyone else is wrong. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 2013)

27 August 1913. When Mayor Henning returned to the city clerk without his signature the ordinance authorizing the street railway franchise he, in effect, vetoed it. The charter provides for a two-thirds vote of the council to override the veto. The ordinance had passed by 9-1. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 27 August 2013)

(Top) Brainerd High School without the 1903 addition, ca. 1884. (Bottom) Brainerd High School on the south side of Oak between 8th and 9th with the 1903 addition, ca. 1905.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society and Postcard
BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL (First) (MAP #51)
The School Board authorizes a vote on a bond issue of $40,000 for a new high school on 04 February 1884, the proposal carries by a vote of 106 to 3. A lot on the south side of Oak Street between Eighth and Ninth Streets is purchased for $5,200 and the bid to build the building at $27,000 by F. B. King and Company of Minneapolis is accepted. The building is built from Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. On 12 January 1885 the board accepts the new building. In February of 1929, the school burns down. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38, 47, 135, 139)

NOTE: The building did NOT burn in “February of 1929” as Zapffe stated above, it burned on 30 March 1928.

A call has been issued for a special school meeting of the school district of Brainerd on the 4th of February, Monday evening next to vote bonds for the purpose of purchasing a site and erecting a high school building. It is proposed to build a fine edifice that the city will not be ashamed of and one that will be adapted to our growing city. The proposed building will be built of brick and heated with steam, having all the modern improvements. It is hoped that the people will turn out to the meeting and see that the vote carries for if there is one thing that Brainerd needs more than another it is a suitable place of instruction for the young. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

A High School Building for Brainerd.


The meeting called on Monday night to see about voting bonds with which to purchase a site and erect a high school building for the independent school district of the city of Brainerd was called to order at 7:30 p.m. and the object of the meeting stated, and a motion made to vote by acclamation and also one to vote by ballot for the bonds were made, the latter carrying. When the votes were counted it was found that there was 106 in favor a bonding the district and three against it. The action of this meeting isa big thing for the city, for with the $40,000 voted a fine site will be purchased and an elegant high school building erected thereon which will add much to the city not only at home, but in the estimation of the people in other places. Heretofore Brainerd has made no pretensions in this respect and the public can well congratulate themselves upon this valuable acquisition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The school board have selected an architect to draw the plans for the new school house, and will meet Friday night for the purpose of selecting a site for the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The High School Contract.


The bids for the construction of the high school building were opened last evening by the school board. They were as follows:
Haglin & Morse, $28,295.
F. A. B. King & Co., $27,525.
Enos Baker, of Marshalltown, Iowa, $26,200.
Contract awarded to Enos Baker. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

F. A. B. King & Co., have been awarded the contract to build the new school house, which is to be completed Jan. 1st, 1885. This insures a fine structure for Brainerd, for as a builder Mr. King is considered to be of the best. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

Contractor King, is busily engaged in getting the material on the ground for the construction of the new school house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Many are the complimentary remarks that the new school house is receiving as it nears completion. The building is an elegant one and will be a credit to the town, both in appearance and from an educational point of view. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 September 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

School Meeting.


The board of education met at the office of W. W. Hartley on Monday night with a full attendance. The meeting was for the purpose of accepting the new high school building which was done on motion of W. W. Hartley, seconded by J. S. Gardner, with the promise that contractor F. A. B. King put in the rostrum which had been overlooked. The president, treasurer and clerk were authorized to settle with the contractor on the building contract, and storm doors were ordered to be put up on the new building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 January 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The new school house will be occupied next Monday [26 January] for the first time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 January 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

An alarm of fire at the new school house called the department out in a hurry on Friday afternoon. The cause of alarm was from some rubbish in the furnace room that had caught on fire but was put out without damage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 January 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

“On the last day of January, [26 January] 1885, the teachers and pupils of the Sixth Street School formed in procession headed by the city band and school board, marched over with band playing and flags flying, and took possession of the new high school building just completed. Principal J. A. Wilson...and others made speeches. That day was an epoch in the progress of education in Brainerd. Everybody was proud of the fine new building. It was the most complete and finest furnished school building in Northern Minnesota.” (J. A. Wilson) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 31)

School in the New Building.


Monday morning, of this week was an occasion long to be remembered by the pupils of the public schools of this city. It was the occasion of the removal from the old school building, on Sixth street, to the elegant high school building which has just been completed. The building, just vacated, has long been too small and cramped to accommodate the scholars, and for the teachers to do justice to the pupils. Therefore, the thoughts of the coming removal to their now elegant quarters, with its modern improvements, spacious apartments, etc., had made the average pupil “too full for utterance,” and Monday morning, although the weather was bitter cold, the scholars were at their old quarters at an early hour getting in readiness for the removal. At nine o’clock the different teachers formed their scholars in line, and marched in a body to the new building. The citizens of Brainerd had been invited to attend the exercises that were to take place, and a fair representation was in attendance. The scholars were marched up the broad stairway into the room that is to be occupied by the high school scholars, where they were formed into rows and packed closely together, and by tight squeezing, they were all gotten in, three hundred in all. The exercises were opened by prayer from Rev. Dr. Hawley, who was followed by Rev. N. B. Kelly, in a few very pleasing and instructive remarks to the pupils. W. A. Fleming , county superintendent of schools, was called upon for remarks in honor of the occasion, and he responded in his usual easy and suave manner. Editor Stivers also gave the scholars a few, short remarks, complimenting them on their new quarters, pleasant surroundings and the superior advantages the pupil of the present day had over those enjoyed by their parents. A. W. Frater, on behalf of the school board, was called upon and in a few words he impressed upon the minds of the scholars the necessity of education, the pride which they should have in keeping the building in good condition, and explained how the board had exerted themselves in giving to them the fine surroundings which had been that day turned over to their keeping. Prof. Wilson followed these speakers in a reply, on behalf of the different schools, after which came singing by the pupils of Miss Hawley’s school, and then from the scholars of the high school. After the exercises were finished, the teachers conducted the pupils to their several rooms, where they were assigned their places, after which they were dismissed for noon.
The school building is one of the finest in the northwest, and the scholars of Brainerd, as well as their parents, should feel proud of the structure, which they undoubtedly do. The building is heated by furnaces in the basement, and it supplied with water from the water works. The principal has an elegant office, on the second floor, which will also be used for meetings of the board. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 January 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Let the Contract.
_____


...The school board appointed a committee to confer with C. F. Kindred in regard to having the grading of the Eighth street school grounds finished in thirty days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The Brainerd Council.
_____


The regular meeting of the city council occurred on Monday evening. On roll call all the aldermen were found present except Percy and Graham. The report of city surveyor Whiteley on the grade of the high school grounds was read and on motion accepted.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

The school board have concluded to put a neat iron fence around the block, on which the high school building stands. The contract for putting the fence in position will be awarded next Wednesday evening to the lowest bidder. This improvement will cost $1,200. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

At the meeting of the school board on Wednesday evening the contract was let for putting iron fence around the school grounds, for the sum of $1,100 to the Herzog Manufacturing Co., of Minneapolis, this including one coat of paint. The fence will be put into position September 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Board of Education.


The Board of Education met Tuesday evening. After the usual routine business had been transacted Prof. Dresskell appeared before the body and stated that he would furnish the high school building with an electric clock and system of bells, for calling all classes throughout the building simultaneously, for $100. That he would place the appliance in the building for three months, and if not satisfactory at the end of that time, he would remove it without cost. The board accepted his proposition.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

A new furnace has been received by the board of education which will be placed in the High School to heat the hall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A large new addition is completed in 1903. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 32)

Fire animation On March 30, 1928, the Brainerd High School building was completely destroyed by fire. The yellow gray walls that housed Brainerd students for the past 43 years was all that remained. Estimate of the damage placed it close to $150,000.

SEE: 1928 Brainerd High School Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Washington High School on the south side of Oak between 8th and 9th, ca. 1935.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
BRAINERD HIGH SCHOOL (Second) (Washington) (MAP #51)
On Monday morning, 15 December 1928, the first actual work on the construction of the new Brainerd High School will be started. It is expected that labor, to a large extent, will be allowed Brainerd workmen. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 09 December 2008)

December 1929. The Brainerd board of Education will consider acceptance of the new high school in a meeting Friday evening at the new Washington high school. The board has completed an inspection and will conduct another inspection on Friday. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Wednesday, 16 December 2009)

In 1930 the new Washington High School, replacing the burned structure at a cost of nearly $600,000, is ready for occupancy. Circa 1933 it houses grades 10 through twelve. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 49 & 141)

MISCELLANEOUS SCHOOL INFORMATION

SCHOOLS.
_____


At present there is but one school in Brainerd, and that is a private school, taught by Miss Rorick, in a building hired for the purpose, in lower town. We have understood that a public school will be commenced ere long, and we hope so. We have not learned as yet the exact condition of the resources to keep up a public school, but believe there is something of a public school fund now standing to our credit.
We were also informed by Bishop Whipple [Episcopal Church], when here, that he proposed taking under consideration the propriety of establishing here a parish school, designed for girls principally, though small boys would be admitted as well. We heartily wish—with many others here—that the Bishop may find it practicable to establish such a school, for we feel sure such a one would be well supported. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 2, c. 2)

Our County Finances—School Matters, Etc.

[...]


Are we to have a public school this summer? No one seems to know whether we have any school funds or not. It is about time we should hear from those having charge of such matters. We do not know who the school board are, but suppose, of course, they are public spirited citizens. “Let us have light.”
Yours,
WIGWAM.

REMARKS—In regard to our school interests, we are a little rusty on the subject. A few weeks ago we endeavored to arouse an interest on behalf of school matters, and if we succeeded, it merely resulted in a “flash in the pan.” Like Alexander we wept because there was nothing more to say on the subject, and subsided—feeling that we had done and said enough, for a boy, we settled back to see what the men would do, and they promptly went into committee of the whole and did nothing. Seriously, however, we feel a deep interest in the matter of establishing a thoroughly valuable and permanent common school in Brainerd, and do hope that the School Board—if there exists any such body—and our citizens generally, will take immediately hold of this important matter, as it is high time in the season that a school be started and kept up for at least six straight months during the present year. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 April 1872, p. 4, c. 1)

Private School.


OWING to the absence of a public school in Brainerd, a handful of our citizens have clubbed together and formed a private school, hiring an accomplished and experienced teacher, in the person of Miss Fitzgerald. Father Keller kindly donated to the use of this school the Catholic chapel, and those who undertook and have so nobly carried out the enterprise have made regulations which will be sure to accrue to the greatest benefit to the pupils. The school is emphatically a private one, supported by individual subscriptions, and no public funds are asked for or expected. The number of scholars will be limited to thirty, as those getting it up preferred to bear a double expense rather than to have more scholars than could possible received full attention in their studies. Miss Fitzgerald is one of the most accomplished lady teachers in the State, and can conduct her pupils through all the intricacies of a fine education, with ease, bringing to her assistance all the original ideas in training her pupils that great experience in some of the best schools of the West can suggest. She rules with kindness and persuasive influences, and scholars that will not come into perfect deportment under kindness will not for a moment be tolerated in the school. The terms are two dollars per month for each scholar, to be paid invariably in advance, and we are requested to state that perfect behavior on the part of every scholar, while in the school or on the school ground, or on their way to or from school must be strictly observed, and any scholar found guilty of unbecoming language or actions while with his or her school mates will be promptly discharged from the school. THIS IS SOUND DOCTRINE, and we hope it may be followed, to the letter, no matter who it hits. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 May 1872, p. 1, c. 3)

The school board have been talking of offering a reward for the capture of the evil-minded youths who entered the school house on the north side and cut up all sorts of tricks. These boys should be found out and given a taste of the law, as the city has to put in the glass and fix up things that these lads despoil. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

School Matters.


At the school meeting which was on Monday night, Prof. J. A. Wilson of Lexington, Ohio, was elected to the principalship of the Brainerd high schools. Mr. Wilson is very highly recommended as an educator, and is an old acquaintance of A. W. Frater, and parties who are in a position to know, say that the school board are very fortunate in securing his services. The other new teachers engaged are Miss Lizzie Hawley, daughter of Rev. Dr. Hawley, of this city, and Miss Dobner of Lake City, and Miss Loraine Yonker, of Corry, Penn.—The teachers retained, are Miss Louise Smith, Miss Minnie Merritt, Miss Inez Pember and Miss Jennie Partridge.—School will begin September 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Prof. Wilson, of Lexington, Ohio, who has been engaged as principal of the city schools arrived to-day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

High School Commencement.


The first commencement of the Brainerd High School will be held at Sleeper’s opera house, Thursday, June 16th, at 8 o’clock p.m.

PROGRAMME.

Music—Orchestra.
Prayer.
Anthem, He that Dwelleth in the Secret Place.
Solo, Mr. Alderman, assisted by Mr. Bellhouse and chorus.
Solo Obiligato, Miss Campbell, assisted by Mr. Bellhouse and chorus.
Salutatory with Essay—Sue B. Mulrine.
Class History—Jennie Welch ‘88.
Music, When Love is Young—Louise Campbell.
Essay, What’s in a Word—Emily Walters ‘88.
Telephone Talk—Genevieve Paine, Emily Murphy ‘88.
Music—Orchestra.
Recitation, Rock of Ages—May Gleason ‘88.
Prophecy—Amy Lowey ‘88.
Oratica with Valedictory—Henry White.
Class Song.
Presentation of Diplomas.
Music, Yes the Lord is Mindful of His Own.
Solo, Sue B. Mulrine, assisted by Messrs. Bellhouse and Alderman, and High School Chorus.
The friends and patrons of the school are cordially invited to be present. Admission free. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

The School Matter.


At the adjourned meeting of the board of education held last night the matter of hiring a principal was the only important business attended to, and as far as accomplishing any results the meeting did not do much. The members who are opposed to the retention of Prof. Wilson another year in his present position are John Willis, A. Mahlum, N. W. Wheatley and F. W. Mallott, and their objections are based upon what they claim is incompetence, “red tape,” too much discipline, etc. These objections were plainly stated to the board by these different members, Mr. Wilson being present. He explained matter at considerable length but it seems without any visible effect; a number of petitions signed by about one hundred patrons of the schools in favor of retaining Mr. Wilson were read, after which a motion was made to reject his application, four voting in favor of and four against the motion and it was declared lost, and there the matter stands.
It is truly to be regretted that such a state of affairs exist. A talk with Mr. Lagerquist this morning reveals the fact that four of the best teachers in the school with whom he has talked are willing to come before the board and testify to Mr. Wilson’s fitness and capability, and they are teachers of long experience. A large majority of the patrons of the schools are entirely satisfied with the progress their children are making and desire to see the gentleman remain. What the outcome will be is uncertain as the other four members, Mr. Hartley, Mr. Lagerquist, Mr. Keough and Mr. Cullen, are as fully determined that the present principal shall remain. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Commencement Exercises.


The opera house was quite well filled last evening with an appreciative audience, the attraction being the commencement exercises of the Brainerd high school. The rain in the early part kept a large number of people indoors who would otherwise have been present. The stage decorations were very tasty and everything connected with the arrangements were in keeping with the occasion. The class has been under the instruction of Prof. Wilson during their course, having entered the high school under him; during the past year Miss Cooley and Miss Klampe have been in charge. The graduating class consisted of Miss Sue Mulrine and Henry White, the latter not taking part in the exercises on account of not having finished his essay in time, thus leaving Miss Mulrine as the only one to receive a diploma. Mr. White is said to be a bright scholar, and has passed all his examinations. The vocal music and the music furnished by the orchestra was exceedingly pleasing to the ear. Miss Sue Mulrine delivered the following salutation, being first on the programme:
Friends and citizens of Brainerd assembled here for the closing exercises of our school year, we bid you a cordial welcome. We meet to-night, many as strangers, but hope that as the months roll by and the merry June time in all its splendor is here again, another class may greet as friends one and all. In behalf of the school, let me again extend you a hearty welcome.
This was followed by an essay on the “Growth of Fiction,” as follows:
In the material world, the to-days and yesterdays are ever varying; where we once saw the leaf and the bud we now behold the flower, and the to-morrows bring as ripe, golden fruit. Viewing the perfect whole, we are in a maze from which the limited understanding is unable to extricate us. But it tells us not to attempt the whole; with a part we may be more successful. Taking the seed, we ask, what makes it grow? Is it sunlight, warmth and moisture? The scientist tells us it is the, germ or protoplasm, and that sunlight, warmth and moisture are only necessary conditions. We are not a little surprised when we are informed that from this bit of protoplasm, through a series of changes which took place when time was not measured by the rise and fall of nations, was developed the most perfect and complicated work in nature—Man. But that which makes man superior to his surroundings must proceed from some higher source. In every soul are found germs of beauty and perfection only awaiting culture for development. In medieval man as in a child, imagination rules the mind; for he delights in fanciful and unreal because his religious faith has taught him not to reason but to revel in that mystery whose only end is superstition. He hears of strange adventures approaching his ideal of heroism and fancied perfection. He would fain know more of the world beyond the confines of his own horizon. Knowledge through experience being denied him, he must content himself with those accounts which, through the natural laws of development, culminate in prose fiction. Soil and climate exert a universal influence from which even fiction is not exempt, as told by the “Moorish Romances, the Adventures of the Cid,” which partake of a highly imaginative nature when compared with the “Legend of Arthur” in which every line tells of strength and bravery so indicative of the cold compared with sunny climes. In both the characters are real, mingled with the supernatural. As man attained a higher development, he arose above the simple narration of the supernatural, giving the world real men and women. The characters were taken from every station of life, that we might have common interests, serving as a means of studying abstract qualities in the guise of every-day life. The reader finds himself drawn along without resistance by that golden thread of love, to see conditions just as the author intended. Of modern fiction, or the novel, woman constitutes the soul, and not until she assumed her position in society do we find this class of writings. The novel is defined as a large diffused picture, comprehending the characters of life, disposed in groups and exhibited in various attitudes, for the purpose of a uniform plan and general occurrence to which every individual is subservient. For the purpose of instructing as well as pleasing, we are getting real representations—not of individuals, but types in which a proportion good and evil is portrayed, for it is by contrast that the greatest influence is exerted. Those active pictures of social life in which we are something new or unforeseen as a means of interesting us, may pass for a time under the halo of a novel, but they are as short-lived as butterflies, and, like them, when stripped of their beautiful coloring by the rude hand of time, nothing remains. They may possess charms, for those who indulge in imagination, change and excitement as affording pleasure, but for whom reason and reflection are depths untried. The true novel is a philosophy of human nature, in which the joys, sorrows and caprices are not peculiar to individuals; for our natures are not capable of sympathizing where no common bond exists. It requires more than a well conceived plot or pleasing narration to interest through ages. The novelist who gives us more than a pleasing picture, who skillfully interweaves his philosophy in the forms of sentiments, it is he who endures the test of time. What is it that makes the works of a George Elliot so attractive? Is it the plot? The style? No, it is the reflections embodied in heroes and heroines, constituting gems of ethics and aesthetics. The novel has taken the place of the theater in educating the people, the drama being better adapted to an intellect in its infancy than the novel, because in the former the actor interprets the thought, and in the latter it must be gained unaided. From the lowest depths of immorality it has risen to a state almost perfect, becoming one of the strong measures of social reform. Many of our greatest social lessons have been taught in the form of novels. Treatises and editorial, though strong in their way, fail to reach the masses as novel. We can ask for no stranger example than “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” whose influence was felt alike at home and abroad. Who can read the suffering of a “Little Joe” and not be kinder to the poor and distressed, or the villainy and hypocrisy of an “Uriah Heap” without detesting them? What has the irony and sarcasm of a Thackery done for society? The influence of the novel on the side of the good is beginning to be realized, and we hope that the time is not far distant when it will find a cherished place in every library.
Miss Mulrine was the recipient of several elegant presents as mementoes of the occasion and many congratulations on the preparation and delivery of her essay and salutatory were received.
Our space will not permit of lengthy comment on the productions of the class of ‘88. Miss Jennie Welsh [sic], Miss May Gleason, Miss Amy Lowey, and Miss Emily Walters, each did splendidly and may well be proud of their success. Miss Genevieve Paine and Miss Emily Murphy in their telephone conversation pleased the audience very much, and the local application of the “hits” were well studied.
Prof. Wilson presented diplomas and closed the exercises with remarks to the class which were very appropriate. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1887, p. 1, c. 5)

Will Make a Disclosure.


John Willis, president of the board of education, informs the writer that if they, meaning the gentlemen who are opposed to Prof. Wilson’s retention in the city schools, are “crowded too much” they would make certain disclosures that would startle the citizens. The Dispatch does not wish to see any teacher connected with the city schools who would not be advantageous to their interests, and consequently if Mr. Willis, or any other members of the board for that matter, is in possession of any information that would lead the public to believe and understand that the Professor is not the man they want he certainly should not wait until he is “crowded” before he makes the facts public. If the gentlemen who are opposed to Mr. Wilson will show that he is not the man, regardless of any personalities, the public, who elected them to the office they hold, will be very grateful and they will have performed their duty. Don’t be backward, gentlemen, about the matter but furnish the public with the facts if you have any. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The Dead-Lock Continues.


The board of education held a meeting last evening for the purpose of finishing up the business of hiring teachers for the coming year. Four of the teachers, Misses Foster, Merritt, Camp and Summers passed good and satisfactory examinations and were reported so by the board. The matter of hiring a principal is still a dead-lock. A score of applications were read and some were nominated but without avail. The teachers who have been retained are as follows: Miss Loraine Yonker, Miss Florence Foster, Miss Lillie [sic] Klampe, Miss Irma Camp, Mrs. I. H. Davenport, Miss Laura Walker, Miss Rosa Fasching and Miss Minnie Merritt. Miss Cooley was engaged as principal of the East Brainerd schools at $50 per month, and Miss Katie Whitely as teacher in West Brainerd schools at $45 per month. The old janitor was re-engaged for the year at $40 per month. On account of the increased labor and duties the clerk’s salary was increased to $100 and the treasurer’s to $50 per year. After allowing a few bills the meeting adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

A pleasant surprise party called on Prof. Wilson at his residence last Saturday evening. The occasion was to show the gentleman that a good majority of the people of the city appreciated the services he had rendered in bringing the schools to their present high standing. During the evening Mrs [sic]. Wilson was presented with a gold watch, Justice Smith doing the honors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Prof. Wilson is Retained.


The board of education met in regular session on Monday evening, the hiring of a principal being the most important business transacted. W. W. Hartley, who has been a staunch advocate and admirer of Prof. Wilson, moved that he be elected to the position, which was seconded by P. M. Lagerquist. This again opened a discussion on the merits of different applicants, but it was plain to be seen that unless Mr. Wilson was elected the school would go a begging for a principal, for the present at least. A vote was taken which resulted in six votes for and two against, John Willis and N. W. Wheatley voting in the negative, although they stated that their attitude in the matter would in no way interfere with their endeavors to assist the professor in making the school a success, but they could not conscientiously vote for his retention. The outcome of the dead-lock is to be commended, and that Prof. Wilson will satisfy the patrons of the school is beyond doubt.
Miss Gertrude Cooley and Miss Lula [sic] Klampe handed in their resignations, which were accepted by the board. R. M. McKenzie, of Minneapolis, was elected assistant principal at a salary of $75 per month. Miss Sue Mulrine was hired for a primary department at a salary of $45 per month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 August 1887, p. 4, c. 5)


NEW SCHOOL HOUSE ORDERED.
_____

And Other Doings of the School
Board.


The school board met on Wednesday evening at the high school building. The clerk being absent, A. Mahlum was appointed pro tem. The first business to come up before the meeting was the report of a committee that had been appointed to look up a place to hold school in West Brainerd. The committee reported that they could get the old courthouse free for one year provided they would get it insured for $1,000 and pay for repairing the rooms they were to occupy, also, there was another building they could rent for $6 per month by advancing money to fix it up. The board very promptly rejected both proposals, and the president and clerk were authorized to purchase two lots that had been previously reported on, and which were offered at $50 each, on which to erect a new building. A building committee composed of W. W. Hartley, O. H. Hubbard, F. G. Sundberg was appointed to draft plans and get bids on a building to be 20x28, two stories high, the lower story only to be finished up at present, and report Saturday evening when the contract will be let. The house is to be built within thirty days of date of contract. A proposition was also received from the N. P. Ref. Car Co. to sell to the board the two lots adjoining the north side school property on 7th street for $100 each, and the clerk and president were instructed to buy the same. L. P. White was awarded the contract for building a fence around the entire north side school property for $150, the contract specifying the fence to be like the one surrounding the Gleason property on sixth street south. A. Frederickson was awarded the contract to calcimine and paint the school house in East Brainerd. A list of necessary supplies for the use of the school was presented by Prof. Wilson and and after considerable debate the order was authorized to be purchased. Miss McWilliams was hired as instructor in the primary department on the north side. The board then adjourned to meet Saturday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

Let the Contract.
_____


The school board met on Monday night for the purpose of awarding the contract of building the West Brainerd school house. Bids were received from White & White, George Harmon, L. P. White, L. R. Munson and Everett & Miller, the latter gentlemen were awarded the contract. The building is to be 22x32 with 22 foot posts, and is to have a stone foundation, finished down stairs and painted two coats. The building will be commenced as soon as the deeds arrive for the lots.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

A Daily Report.
_____


The school board at its meeting on Saturday night passed the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That any parent dissatisfied with the progress of their pupils, shall, upon written application to the principal, be granted a DAILY report from the teacher of such pupil, stating the pupil’s standing, provided that such parent shall visit the school once a week, during the time such report is required.
Moved and carried that the above resolution be published in all the local papers of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

We are authorized to state to the public that hereafter the school books will be purchased by the board of education and furnished to the pupils as needed at wholesale prices. The board has taken pains to obtain the lowest possible figures for the most approved standard books, thus giving the pupils the benefit of the difference between the wholesale and retail prices, as well as a uniform system of standard books.
The pupil will be required to deposit the price of the book with the principal of the schools, and when books are returned or exchanged, the amount of damage or wear is retained, and the difference refunded to the pupil, either in cash or applied on the price of another book. Thus, while the first cost of the book is taken out of the general fund, the amount is ultimately refunded. The plan of furnishing the books to the pupils free of charge was not thought advisable to adopt as it would have a tendency to invite more carelessness on the part of the pupils than if required to deposit the price of the book, and pay only for the actual wear or other damage the books may have sustained. The old books now in use will be continued so until the pupil advances to a higher grade, when a conformity with the new system will be required. Parents need not keep the children out of school on account of the expense of providing books as the cost will be so low that almost every one can afford to purchase the books required. In case of parents not being able to make the required deposit, the principal will furnish books without such deposit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 April 1886, p. 3, c. 4)

Special Meeting of Brainerd School
District.


Notice is hereby given, that pursuant to the order of the board of trustees of Brainerd school district, a special meeting in and for said district is called to be held at Sleeper opera house in said district in the City of Brainerd, Minn., on Wednesday June 6th, 1888, at 8 o’clock p.m., for the purpose of voting upon the following resolution:
RESOLVED, That Brainerd school district in the county of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, hereby makes application to the state for a loan of $35,000 to be used in paying for the erection of school houses in said district, and that the bond of said district, in the sum of $35,000 be issued therefor.
By order of board of trustees.
JOHN WILLIS, Attest A. MAHLUM,
President. Clerk.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1888, p. 1, c. 4)

Commencement Exercises.


The second commencement exercises of the Brainerd high school will take place at Sleeper opera house on Friday evening, June 1st, and more than usual interest is being taken in the occasion. There are seven in the graduating class, six of whom have been given positions in the schools of the city, to begin with the commencement of the fall term. The programme which we are able to present to our readers this week is as follows:

Music—Orchestra
Prayer—Rev. Bergstrom
Chorus—Song of Welcome
Salutatory and Essay—The House that Jack Built, Emily Walters.
Essay—Alpha and Omega, Genevieve L. Paine.
Music—Orchestra
Essay—Influence, Geneva M. Welch.
Oration—Not for Revenue Only, E. Weed Steel.
Duet—Alderman and Wilson
Essay—The Emerald Isle, Emily A. Murphy.
Class Song
Valedictory—Amy Louise Lowey.
Presentation of Diplomas—Prof. Wilson.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1888, p. 4, c. 6)

New and elegant school buildings will be erected in the Second and Third Wards. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Bond Election.


The meeting held at the opera house Wednesday evening to decide the question of issuing bonds in the sum of $35,000, for the purpose of advancing the interests of education in this city, was not largely attended but the sentiment was in favor of the bonds, the vote when taken standing 37 for to 13 against. The bonds will accordingly be issued and the funds will be used for erecting new buildings in the Second and Third Wards, and otherwise assisting in advancing the general school interests. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1888, p. 4, c. 7)

ANNUAL REPORT.
_____

Of the Brainerd Public School for the
Year Ending June 1, 1888.


No. of different pupils enrolled—1012
No. of pupils entitled to apportionment (30 days attendance required)—936
Total attendance in days by all pupils—109708
No. of days school was in session:
Fall term—80
Winter term—60
Spring term—40
Average daily attendance:
Fall term—685
Winter term—609
Spring term—617
Total for the year—627
Average monthly enrollment by buildings:
High School Building—353
First Ward—162
Second Ward—112
Third Ward—129
West Side—25
Total—781
No. teachers enrolled:
High School Building—7
First Ward—3
Second Ward—2
Third Ward—3
West Side—1
Total—16
Average No. of pupils per teacher:
High School Building—50
First Ward—52
Second Ward—57
Third Ward—43
West Side—27
Average daily attendance by building:
High School Building—308
First Ward—136
Second Ward—81
Third Ward—102
West Side—19
Per cent of attendance estimated on average monthly enrollment—85
Per cent estimated on total enrollment—61
No. cases tardiness of pupils:
High School Building—1005
First Ward—331
Second Ward—534
Third Ward—753
West Side—199
Total 2822
No. cases of truancy—67
No. cases corporal punishment—105
No. volumes in school library—200
Cash value of library—$250
Am’t expended for books past year—$160
Am’t expended for apparatus—$210
Cash value of all apparatus—$300
No. of graduates from High School, males 1, females 6, total—7
Total No. graduates since organization of High School, males 1, females 7, total—8
No. of years High School has been in operation—2
It may be of interest to compare the report of this year with previous reports. In 1885 nine teachers were employed with 927 different names appearing on the roll of pupils while the average daily attendance was 360. In 1886, the report shows an enrollment of 13 teachers with 891 different pupils enrolled, and an average daily attendance of 436. This report shows that 16 teachers have been employed, 1012 pupils enrolled, with average attendance of 627. While the increase in the number of pupils has been gratifying, the increase of zeal and enthusiasm among the pupils has not been less gratifying.

HIGH SCHOOL.


Four years ago there was nothing which might be called a high school. This year finds a high school thoroughly supplied with a library of excellent books, and equipped with fine physical and chemical apparatus. This year there were several graduates from the high school, six ladies and one gentleman. The question may arise why the girls outnumber the boys in the higher classes of the high school. Much might be written in reply to this question. I shall only stop to say that I think the main reason is a want of energy and ambition on the part of the boys, and a lack of authority on the part of the parents. The board of education has made it possible for every boy and girl in the city of Brainerd to obtain not only a common school but also a high school education, and to graduate if they will. It is for parents to make imperative what the board has with great liberality made possible.

GRADING.


Much has been done during the past year in reducing the school to a uniform grade and I feel indebted to the teachers in this work for their hearty co-operation and excellent advice. It is hoped that the coming year will see the work of grading brought to a much higher state of perfection.

TARDINESS.


An examination of this report shows an unpleasantly large number of cases of tardiness. Duluth last year, with an average daily attendance of 820 only, reports 917 cases of tardiness, while Brainerd with an average daily attendance of 627 reports 2822 cases. This largely results from two causes, first, carelessness on the part of parents, second, a slack enforcement of the regulations on the part of some teachers. A few teachers energetically took hold of the difficulty and effectually checked it. The monthly reports of these teachers showed frequently only 4 or 5 cases, while others for the same month reported 50 and 60 cases. For the number enrolled the second and third wards show the greatest number of cases. It is hoped that a strong effort will be made by parents and teachers to correct this evil. Suitable blanks have been furnished each teacher, by means of which they will be able to communicate with parents to secure their co-operation.

ACCOMMODATIONS.


Owing to the crowded condition of the schools, it was found necessary to employ an addition teacher in the third ward and first ward. An additional teacher will be required the coming year in the second ward. In view of the fact that the buildings in the second and third wards are inadequate for the accommodation of the pupils, and that they are poorly ventilated, and that it is impossible to properly warm them in the winter, I have recommended to the board the erection of new buildings in those wards.

TEXT BOOKS.


For the last two years the text books have been furnished to the pupils on the following plans: The superintendent makes requisition on the board for the books required. The board purchases the books from the publishers at wholesale rates and delivers them to the superintendent charging him with them. The superintendent then sells them to the pupils at cost plus freight or expressage. When a pupil has completed a book, he returns it to the superintendent who pays him whatever the book is worth. The plan has proved successful. The pupils obtain their books for less than they could be furnished by a dealer. The children have learned to take care of their books, as the amount received for a book when returned, depends on the care which it has had.

VISITORS.


Examination and report cards can at best only give a meager understanding of the work being done in the schools. I therefore invite the parents to visit the schools as often as practicable, not in a fault finding spirit, but with the desire to see how and what the children are taught. The teachers will give you a hearty welcome and your presence will encourage them in their important work.

J. A. WILSON,
Superintendent City Schools

(Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1888, p. 1, c’s. 5 & 6)

The graduating class this year is small, being composed at present of only three scholars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

“Sweet Girl Graduates.”


On Friday evening of last week the third annual commencement exercises of the Brainerd High School took place at Sleeper Opera House, and very entertaining they were. Rev. Father Watry opened with prayer, which was followed by the Glee Club in song. Prof. Gould, principal of the high school, delivered an interesting and able address and his remarks were followed very closely by the audience. At the close of his remarks Miss Katie Canan, a graduate, delivered her commencement essay, the topic being “The Mission of the Public School,” and which reflected credit to herself and satisfaction to her many friends. After a song, “An Old Letter” by Miss Mamie Smith the other graduate Miss Grace Clark read her essay on “The Student and the State,” which was an excellent effort. The young ladies were then presented their diplomas by Prof. Wilson with fitting remarks, and the exercises closed with a song by the Glee Club. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The High School Graduates.


The high school graduating exercises will be held at the Congregational church to-morrow (Saturday) evening, at which time Miss Hattie Gibson and Miss Daisy Badeaux will receive diplomas. The following is the programme:

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 30 May 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

The new superintendent of the city schools, Prof. Cheadle, arrived from Cannon Falls on Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 August 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

“If Jesus Christ himself asked me to change my opinion I would not do so,” is the sacrilegious and disgusting remark a Third ward member of the board is reported to have made, in speaking of the recent school controversy. This is a good indication of the mental calibre of nearly every member of the board who voted for the unjust treatment of the Second ward teachers. We do not believe, with a single exception, of the members above referred to, there is one who can construct a complete sentence, much less hold a fourth grade certificate, or serve intelligently on a board of education. This, indeed, is a most disgraceful state of affairs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

SCHOOL MATTERS.
_____

Unjust Treatment of Teachers Because
of Personal Spite and Ignorance
of Some Board Members.


Brainerd teachers, both grade and high school, in June 1891. From left, rear: E. K. Cheadle, Superintendent of Schools and Principal of High School, Elizabeth Clark (m. James M. Hayes), Amy Lowey, Gertrude Morser, "Minnie" Merritt, Anna Murphy (m. M. T. Dunn, Sr.), and Bess Mulrine (in hat). Center: Kathleen Canan (m. Joseph Early), Katherine Whiteley, Jennie Welch (m. James F. Hawkins), Jennie Crow, Evelyn Cahoon, and Elizabeth "Bessie" Small (m. Joseph Westfall). Front: Maggie Somers, Emily Murphy (m. Henry Linnemann), Mary L. Small, Caroline Rich, Avis Winchell, and Miss McCleary
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
On Thursday evening last, at its regular meeting, the board of education adopted a resolution calling for the resignation of the two teachers in the 2nd ward school, to take effect March 27th, and elected Misses Lizzie Miller and Toot Clark to take their places. As neither of the young ladies referred to have ever received an intimation from the superintendent or any one else but what they were giving the best of satisfaction, they were greatly surprised, and the people of the city, especially of the 2nd ward, were justly indignant when the facts became known by formal notice to the discharged teachers on Saturday. The matter was freely discussed on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, and the president of the board was prevailed upon to call a special meeting for Monday night to reconsider the matter. Meanwhile a petition was circulated in the 2nd ward and 120 signatures secured, asking that the resolution be reconsidered and the teachers reinstated. The board met in Hagberg’s store as per call, the meeting being attended by a large number of indignant citizens, and the petition was presented. Remarks were made by Messrs. Treglawny, Frizzell, Congdon, Swartz and other 2nd ward citizens, all declaring that they were more than satisfied with the present teachers, and asked that they be reinstated. But all to no effect. The petition and the motion to reconsider was laid on the table by a vote of 6 to 3, Messrs. Towers, Titze, Erickson, Doran, Winters and Pennell voting yea, and Messrs. Hagberg, Willis and McKay voting no. Mr. Lagerquist was absent. Mr. Pennell explained his vote by saying that while he would like to see the teachers reinstated, he would vote against reconsidering because other teachers had been hired, which would cause embarrassment. McKay’s vote was a complete flop from the position he has occupied heretofore, and he explained his vote by saying he thought the board did right, but he would vote to reconsider because his constituents demanded it. This action of the board in thus ignoring the wishes of the people of the 2nd ward in a matter of such vital importance to them and their families has aroused great indignation, and the members who are responsible are being denounced in unmeasured terms as they richly deserve.
This unjust action of the board makes interesting the publication of the true inwardness of a state of affairs which is anything but advantageous to our schools, and shows how far some men will go to gratify their personal spite. About two years ago and some time previous to his election, a 4th ward member of the board said to the writer of this article that he proposed to be a candidate for the school board, and if elected he would see who was running the schools, the board or Prof. Wilson; and further that he would see to it that the Prof. and his friends would be fired without ceremony. This motive has governed the action of the member ever since, and for no other reason than that the board refused to engage his daughter as teacher because she could not pass the necessary examination, for which Prof. Wilson was in no wise to blame. By laboring quietly with members of the board, he succeeded in getting a sufficient number of the board, members equally as ignorant and incapable as himself, to do his bidding, and Prof. Wilson’s application was rejected as a consequence, notwithstanding the fact that fully three-fourths of our citizens desired to see him re-elected. He and his friends now seek to vent their spite upon all the old teachers who served under Prof. Wilson, and who liked him because of his ability as a teacher and his gentlemanly conduct towards them. They tried to prevent these teachers from being re-elected at the beginning of the year. But not satisfied with simply trying to prevent their re-election, they have, at nearly every meeting since, tried to injure their standing as teachers by discharging them, alleging incompetency as the cause. They have succeeded so far as two of the teachers are concerned, but the force of their action, however, we are pleased to state, has been completely overcome, and the charge of incompetency most effectually refuted, by the actions of the parents of the children taught by these teachers, in protesting against their removal, and declaring themselves as more than satisfied with the progress the children were making. But there is no basis for the charge of incompetncy whatever. It is true, that Miss Hall, the state inspector, did report several of the teachers a little lax in discipline, but especially advised that they be retained and corrected, and they would be all right. Concerning their educational qualifications her report was favorable.
But supposing these teachers were not giving the best of satisfaction, the attempt of these members to brand them as incompetent, after re-engaging them for two years in succession, would still be most contemptible in the eyes of all fair-minded persons. Had they waited only two months longer, and then simply refused to employ them again, no harm would have resulted except the loss of good teachers in the school, but to publicly declare them incompetent by dismissing them, without cause, or previous complaint having been made to them, is not only unjust but dishonorable, and we greatly mistake the people of all parts of the city, if these members are not rebuked in no uncertain tones when the proper time arrives.
Prof. Cheadle’s action in this matter, and in fact ever since his connection with the schools here, has been far from commendable. In order to make himself “solid,” he has lent himself a willing tool to this faction of the board, and has embraced every opportunity, as near as we can learn, to magnify little short comings on the part of these old teachers in reporting them to the board, but has never had the fairness to call the attention of the teachers themselves to these faults that they could correct them, which certainly was a duty he owed to them and his position. His great fault lay in his desire, by his actions, to make himself popular with what he conceived to be the controlling element of the board, no matter what injury resulted to the school, or what injustice was done to others. This toadying policy will not work long in an intelligent community like this, and he will have to change his methods, or the people will see that a better man succeeds him.
LATER.—It now transpires that according to the contract the teachers had, the board could not discharge these teachers without paying them their salary for the balance of the year if they refused to resign, unless for good and sufficient causes. Accordingly a special meeting was called last night to consider this new phase of the question, which resulted in the matter being reconsidered and the teachers reinstated, which is virtually an admission that there was no cause for their dismissal. The very member who has been the prime mover in in the whole business, tried to escape the responsibility and shift it entirely on the superintendent's shoulders, by saying the board had nothing to re-consider, that the board had not officially notified these teachers, but it was the superintendent who did so, and he was to blame. This is in keeping with his former actions, and shows the calibre of the man. Thus ends this disgraceful farce. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1891, p. 4, c’s. 5 & 6)

In another column we publish a lengthy communication from Prof. Cheadle, the greater portion of which he devotes to finding fault with the DISPATCH for criticizing his conduct as superintendent of the schools. Now every citizen of this city, the DISPATCH editors included, have a perfect right to criticize the official acts of any member of the board, or the superintendent, and we propose to exercise that right, whenever we feel disposed, without fear or favor of anyone. And when we do so, it will not be as the mouthpiece of either the board, the teachers or the superintendent, but as citizens and individuals conducting a public journal.
Concerning the professor’s claim that we were unjust in charging him with “toadying” because we were not personally acquainted with him, we must say we do not see how a personal acquaintance could have any bearing on the matter, as a conclusion could be arrived at only by considering his official actions, and we are yet of the opinion that these justified our conclusions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

Prof. Cheadle Talks.


EDITORS DISPATCH:—My attention having been called to an article in this week’s issue of the DISPATCH, in which I am assailed, unjustly, as I think, I beg leave to offer the following reply, with the request that it be given as prominent a place in the DISPATCH as the article referred to had.
I do not feel called upon to champion the cause of the Board of Education or of any member of it. I am comparatively a stranger in Brainerd, and know nothing of a part of the assertions in the article in question, except through hearsay, which is a proverbially unreliable source of information. Neither should I feel it my duty to attempt explanation or refutation of these statements, even were I fully acquainted with the facts of the case. Doubtless the members of the Board can defend themselves, if they think it worth their while.
I do not believe there is any basis for a candid assertion that I have “toadied” to the members of the Board, either individually or collectively. When my judgment has differed from theirs, I have not hesitated to express it just as freely as if it had been in accord. It has occurred more than once that I have advocated a different course from the one which I believed to be approved by a majority of the Board. This has occurred even in regard to the very teachers, the tardy request for whose resignations has aroused so great a “tempest in a teapot.”
If I had been in Brainerd long enough to become acquainted with any considerable number of the people, your charge of “toadyism” would be of no effect; but for the reason that I do not personally know many people here, I think it appropriate to say that it seems to me ungenerous, at least, for you to apply the epithet of “toady” to a man whom you do not know. However, “many men of many minds” even in matters of courtesy, and much more so, as regards the ethics and manners of controversy, and it is probably not worth my while to dwell longer on this point.
Next, you charge, if I remember aright, that the petty failures of the teachers under my charge have been magnified by me in the eyes of the Board, and that I have failed to correct the faults of these teachers, and thus enable them to do better. Let it suffice, so far as I am concerned, to deny the first part of the charge IN TOTO. I have never willingly and voluntarily called the attention of the Board to the errors of any of my teachers. Sometimes it has been my unpleasant duty to speak of such matters, but it has never been done in the manner or for the purpose alleged by you. What your authority for this statement is, or whether you have any except unfriendly rumor, you best know.
As regards my failure properly to instruct my teachers, which you allege, or at least imply. I can say honestly that I think there is no foundation for it, although judgments may vary as to what are the proper methods of imparting such instruction I have carefully and definitely arranged the course of study for eight grades below the High School in a such a form as to show exactly the work of each grade, and this enables each teacher to know precisely what is expected of her; and at my request the Board ordered a sufficient number of copies of this course of study printed to permit a copy being placed in each family in the city sending children to school. Furthermore, I have endeavored, in frequent teachers’ meetings, to explain what was to be taught and how it ought to be taught. Both these means of imparting to the teachers a reasonably complete knowledge of what is expected of them, have been supplemented by personal assistance, which I have, at least, attempted to give them in their respective school rooms. My visits to the schools have been frequent, averaging at least one per week to each room, and the longest interval that has elapsed in any instance is, I think, three weeks, and for this there were good and especial reasons. Since the visits are necessarily made during school hours, it is, of course, not my custom to express open disapprobation, at the time of the visit, of anything of which I do not approve. Often, by asking the teacher’s permission to take her class, I attempt to show by personal instruction what I think the proper way of teaching the subject under consideration, and thus indirectly correct an improper method. I am in the habit of using various other indirect methods of correction, and have by no means failed to tell my teachers their faults directly, when I have thought it necessary, or that it would do them any good. This is all that can be expected of a supervisor. If a presentation of correct principles and methods of education, and reasonable assistance in applying them will not enable a teacher to do good work, she is not properly a subject for instruction, but for dismissal.
I wish to say also that you have incorrectly reported the judgment which the state inspector passed on certain of our teachers. I, for one, would not willingly make the opinion of the inspector known, although it would more than justify my own I shall not give it further publicity unless I am forced to so so by the unwise course of their friends.
I did not ask, suggest, or in any way bring about the request for the resignations of these teachers at the present time, nor did I approve of the withdrawal of the request when once it had been made, but as the Board did not ask my advice on this point, I did not give it.
The loss of my position, with which you menace me, would not have enough weight, even were it certain, to induce me to violate my conscience or prostitute my judgment by giving any other than an honest opinion when it is required of me by any man or body of men in whom is vested the right to ask it of me. I shall not allow my conduct to be controlled, or even modified by the contingency of a re-election. I shall stand for what is right in itself and just to all, so far as it is given to me to know it, taking no thought for the fear or the favor of any man. If I cannot retain my present position without debasing my manhood by the expression of opinions framed to meet the wishes of persons who have some private interest in view, I do not wish to retain it.
Do not misunderstand on this point, I am not to be controlled or even swayed by frantic clamors, or revengeful threats. If I cannot serve the people of Brainerd honestly, I will not serve them at all.
Yours truly,
EDWIN K. CHEADLE,
Supt. City Schools.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

A kindergarden [sic] school has been opened at the corner of Kingwood and Seventh streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

The Class of ‘91.


On Saturday evening the commencement exercises of the Brainerd High School will occur at the opera house. The class consists of Miss Nellie Merritt, Miss Etta McPherson, Miss Daisy Bane, Miss Elizabeth Somers, J. Matthew Smith, Clifton A. Allbright and Frank A. Bell. The programme is as follows:
Overture—Orchestra
Prayer—Father Lawlor
Song, Land of Freedom
High School Oration and Salutatory, American House of Lords—J. Matthew Smith
Essay, The Modern Girl—Elizabeth M. Somers
Selection—Orchestra
Oration, America for Europeans—Frank A. Bell
Essay, Success—Etta M. McPherson
Waltz—Orchestra
Oration, Political Corruption—Clifton A. Allbright
Essay, Prospicium in Futuram—Daisy S. Bane
Valedictory—Nellie K. Merritt
Address—Rev. J. A. Jenkins
Presentation of Diplomas
March—Orchestra
(Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

Received Their Diplomas.


The commencement exercises of the Brainerd high school took place on Saturday evening last at the opera house, ending another school year and with it seven students received their diplomas which bear testimony that these graduates have reached that point of perfection in their studies which is required of them on such occasions. The graduates were Misses Elizabeth Somers, Etta McPherson, Daisy Bane and Millie [sic] [Nellie] Merritt, and Messrs. C. A. Allbright, J. M. Smith and F. A. Bell, and while the road to success has been a hard one and lined with many discouraging obstacles it is over and those who have attained the summit are entitled to credit and congratulation, and these they received. The opera house was well filled with interested spectators who had assembled to listen to the exercises which were carried out according to the programme published last week, and in a manner highly creditable to those who participated, and did space permit we should be pleased to produce the essays and orations. At the close of the programme Rev. Jenkins addressed the graduates in a very able manner at some length. The diplomas were then presented after which the orchestra rendered some excellent music and the commencement exercises for the class of ‘91 were over. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1891, p. 1, c. 3)

A special meeting of the board of education was held last evening at which it was decided to establish a school in Southeast Brainerd, and the room over Angel’s grocery store will be secured for that purpose. Miss Florence Miller was engaged as teacher for this room. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

New School Houses.


The board of education at its meeting last night decided to submit a proposition at the coming election to bond the district for money to build new school houses, provided public sentiment in the city seemed to be in favor of such a proposition. School meetings will be held in each ward in a few days, and if public sentiment as there expressed seems favorable, the proposition will be submitted. This proposition, if submitted ought to have the support of every citizen of this city. Brainerd’s school buildings, exclusive of the high school, would be a disgrace to a village like Aitkin. They are old, poorly ventilated, cold, barn-like structures, totally unfit for the purposes they are used for. But such as they are, they are not large enough to accommodate the pupils enrolled by at least 200. The board now rents four rooms outside of the regular school buildings, and all the other rooms are so crowded, that in order to do the scholars justice other rooms ought to be secured and these crowded rooms relieved. Brainerd now has 1,076 scholars enrolled, which, counting 40 scholars to a room, would call for 27 rooms. Instead of this number these scholars are crowded into 21 rooms, and four of these are kept in old store rooms outside of the regular school buildings. This is a disgraceful condition of affairs and should be remedied by voting the bonds and building new buildings. Nothing hurts the population of a city so much as the knowledge that school facilities are inadequate, and if we expect people to move here and help build up our city, we must secure facilities to decently educate their children without endangering their health while at school. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

School Houses Needed.


Circulars have been issued by the board of education directing the attention of the citizens and taxpayers to the need of more school buildings to accommodate the educational interests of the city, and asking that from $40,000 to $50,000 be expended in that direction, giving one new building in each ward, with the exception of the Fifth, which already has the high school building. Meetings have been called in the various wards for the purpose of considering the question of voting bonds for this purpose on Tuesday evening, Oct. 18th, at 8 o’clock, at the following places:
1st ward—Municipal court room.
2nd ward—Court House.
3rd ward—Hose house.
4th ward—Hose house.
5th ward—6th street school house.
It is earnestly urged that the voters turn out to these meetings and express their views on the matter, as it is a subject of vital importance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The School Bonds.


The meetings called in the different wards to discuss the matter of the proposed issue of bonds for school purposes, while not largely attended, showed the sentiment of the people to be largely in favor of such action, and the board of education will therefore ask the people to vote on the question. The board will hold a meeting to-morrow evening, and decide on the date for calling a mass meeting, as the law provides that this is the manner in which the bonds must be voted, two-thirds of those present and voting being necessary to carry the question, and ten days’ notice must be given before the meeting can be held. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 October 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

School District Meeting.


Notice is hereby given that a special meeting of the Brainerd School District will be held at the High School Building, in the city of Brainerd, on Monday, November 7th, 1892, at seven (7) o’clock P.M.
The object for which said meeting is called is to have the legal voters of said Brainerd School District, then and there present, vote upon the question, as provided by law, of directing the issue, by the proper authority, of the bonds of said Brainerd School District in the aggregate sum of Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000), the proceeds thereof to be used and appropriated for the purpose of purchasing sites for, and in the erection, completing and furnishing of four (4) school houses in and for said School District; said bonds, if so directed to be issued, to be in sums of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000), each, with interest coupons attached, and bearing interest at the rate of not more than six (6) per centum per annum, payable semi-annually, and be payable fifteen (15) years after their date and executed by the president of the Board of Education of said Brainerd School District and the clerk of said Board of Education, as provided by law.
Dated, Brainerd this 26th day of October, 1892.

ARTHUR E. PENNELL,
Clerk of the Board of Education
of Brainerd School District.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4 and 04 November 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

The meeting called by the board of education at the high school building on Monday evening was quite well attended although not as largely as was expected. The object was for the purpose of discussing the desirability of issuing $50,000 bonds, the proceeds to be used in erecting public school buildings in the various wards where they are so badly needed. The meeting was addressed by several people and the matter was placed before the audience in as plain a manner as possible, Prof. Cheadle’s remarks in regard to the crowded condition of the schools, the steady increase in numbers and the inability of the teachers to do justice to the large number of pupils which they were required to care for, carrying much weight. A vote was finally taken, the result being 124 for and five against the issuance. The result is very gratifying as the sum indicated will place the means in the hands of the board with which to furnish adequate school facilities in each ward. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 November 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Sale of Brainerd School District
Bonds.


Office of the Board of Education of the Brainerd School District,
WASHINGTON SCHOOL BUILDING, BRAINERD, Minn., Nov. 16, 1892.

Sealed bids will be received by the Board of Education of the Brainerd School District, at its office in the city of Brainerd, Crow Wing County, Minnesota, until 12 o’clock, noon, on the 5th day of January, A. D. 1893, for the purchase of the bonds of said Brainerd School District, in the aggregate sum of $50,000. Further description of said bonds, and of the conditions attending their sale, may be had upon application to the Clerk of said Board of Education.
The said Board reserves the right to reject any and all bids.
Attest:
J. C. CONGDON, President.
A. E. PENNELL, Clerk.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1892, p. 1, c. 5 and 25 November 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

Board of Education.


A regular monthly meeting of the Board of Education was held at the high school building last evening, at which bids were opened for the $50,000 in bonds the board intends issuing with which to build new school houses. There were ten bids, the highest being by Farson, Leach & Co., of New York, through Mr. G. M. Parnell, agent. The amount bid was $4,155 premium with accrued interest to date. If money is not all wanted, he will allow 3 per cent interest for all left in his hands.
Arrangements were ordered made to condemn property in first ward for school property. The property referred to is the Huntington, Riggs and Duchane property on 6th street between Oak and Pine.
The decision of City Attorney McClenahan relative to the time of electing officers of the board was accepted, it being decided that November instead of May being the proper time. A. E. Pennell was elected secretary for the ensuing year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Board of Education Meeting.


A special meeting of the Board of Education was held at the High School building on Wednesday evening to hear the report of the special committee on heating and ventilation which has recently returned from a trip to Milwaukee, and St. Paul and Minneapolis. The committee consisted of Messrs. Congdon, Winters and Titze [Titus]. Two reports were made the majority report by Messrs. Titze [Titus] and Winters, and the minority report by Mr. Congdon. The majority report recommended the Fuller and Warren hot air heater for all four new buildings, and the minority report favored the putting in of a steam heating plant in one of the eight room buildings. The majority report was accepted and the Fuller & Warren Heater was adopted for all the buildings at a cost of $6,500.
The special committee on the selection of a site for the East Brainerd Building reported in favor of purchasing block 26 in Farrar and Forsyth's addition at a cost of $3,000 which report was accepted. Block 26 is on third avenue just across the street from the old [horse drawn] street car barn.
The committee on site for the fourth ward did not report, the chairman of the committee being absent, but there was a delegation of fourth ward citizens present to protest against the proposed recommendation of the committee.
On the matter of the first ward site the board authorized proceedings for condemning the property on the corner of Sixth and Oak streets, the gentleman owning the three corner lots refusing to sell for less than $400 a lot, which is almost twice as much as they are worth. The next three lots are owned by Mr. A. P. Riggs who will sell them with a small house for $1,000 which is not unreasonable.
Bids for furnishing wood were opened and contracts awarded as follows: John Cameron, 200 cords of green pine at $2.00 a cord, Louis Nelson 50 cords at $1.90 a cord, and J. W. Jones 200 cords at $2.00 a cord.
The session of the board was a warm one and lasted until 1 o’clock. There was quite a contest on the matter of heating and considerable feeling was displayed, but the result was the adoption of the majority report. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Board of Education Meeting.


[...]


The secretary was on motion instructed to write to W. S. Pardee, of Minneapolis, requesting him to rush the plans and specifications of the new school houses. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Board of Education Meeting.


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Tuesday evening to take final action on the purchase of a site for the new school building in the fourth ward, and to complete the negotiations with the Fuller & Warren Heating company for the putting in of their system of heating in all the new buildings. The full committee on sites reported unanimously in favor of purchasing ten lots of block 17 in Sleeper’s addition, which report was accepted by the board, and purchase ordered, for a consideration of not to exceed $1,500. The committee attended a mass meeting of the citizens of the ward the previous evening, and discussed the matter, after which a vote was taken by the citizens, which was two to one in favor of the site selected. The committee recommended accordingly.

THE FULLER & WARREN SYSTEM OF HEATING ADOPTED.


The contract with the Fuller & Warren Heating Co., was also signed at this meeting, Mr. F. Van Vechten, a representative of the company being present. The cost of the system for the four buildings will be $6500, and the company pays the expenses of the committee of the board which went to Milwaukee to investigate the merits of the system. This the company agreed to do whether their system was adopted or not.
The members of the board are satisfied that they have a splendid system of heating and ventilating for the new buildings. In speaking of this matter a prominent member of the board says: “After a thorough consideration of the proposals and the terms offered by Mr. Van Vechten, the members present voted unanimously in favor of the proposals, and the contracts were signed accordingly. This system has been adopted by the board after a thorough investigation of the systems at present in use, a committee of the board having visited St. Paul, Minneapolis and Milwaukee to inspect the systems in use in those cities. At the latter city they had an opportunity of seeing and comparing all the systems of hot air and steam heating, and also of inspecting the dry closet system, which seems to be the most perfect of its kind, it being impossible for any odors to escape into the school rooms. As a result of their investigations the committee recommended the Fuller & Warren system as being the best hot air system they had seen, and far more economical than heating by steam, which requires an additional expense, as it is necessary to introduce the single and double fan system to ventilate the rooms, and an additional cost for the dry closets. The hot air system of Fuller & Warren company does all this, and does it for all four buildings nearly as cheap as it would cost to put in steam and the dry closets in one of the eight room buildings. It is provided, also, in the contract, that on any signs of failure in the system, it shall be removed by the Fuller & Warren company at their expense, and all money paid shall be returned to the board; also a trial of one winter is given before the final payment shall be made to the company.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Judge Holland has appointed H. J. Spencer, Thos. Holiday [sic] [Halladay] and Geo. A. Keene as appraisers to determine the value of the lots in block 161 which the board of education have condemned for school [Lincoln] purpose. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Bids For Stone.


BRAINERD, March 3, 1893.

Sealed bids will be received at the office of the undersigned for 100 cords of stone, or less, for foundation purposes. Said stone to be delivered on the proposed sites of the new school houses. Full particulars can be obtained for the next 10 days from

A. E. PENNELL,
16-2 Sec. Board of Education.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Board of Education.


The regular monthly meeting of the board of education was held at the high school last evening, all the members being present.
The text book committee reported favorably on the matter of purchasing a complete set of new maps for the different buildings, and the report was adopted. The same committee reported against the matter of purchasing an encyclopedia of political economy which was also accepted.
A communication from Mr. Lum, the attorney of the board, was read notifying them that judgment had been entered against the board in the condemnation proceedings for the first ward site, and recommending that the proper committee be authorized to satisfy the same, and also complete the purchase of the Riggs and Huntington property for the first ward site. Mr. Lum also stated that he though a quit claim deed for the old Sixth street property could be obtained soon, so that the board could sell it. The board by a unanimous vote authorized the purchasing committee to complete the purchase as recommended above.
The contractors of the city appeared before the board and protested against the form of bid for the new school houses adopted at the last meeting. They objected to the sub-contractor clause. After an hour spent in wrangling concerning the merits of the two systems, the board reconsidered its action of the previous week, and adopted the form desired by the local contractors.
The secretary was instructed to authorize Mr. Lum to correspond with Rollins & Co. concerning the bonds. It seems that the school bonds after being sold, were transferred by the purchasers to another firm, from whom nothing has been heard, although several letters have been sent to them by the secretary, and the board is getting anxious to know when they are going to get the money to pay for all their purchases and proposed buildings.
The secretary was instructed to notify Messrs. Gray & Wheatly of the return of the proposition for the old Sixth street school building.
On motion the board authorized the renting of the opera house for graduating exercises. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 1, c. 2)

A mass meeting of the citizens of the city was held at the high school building on Wednesday evening for the purpose of voting on the proposition of allowing the board of education to dispose of the old school house sites. Although it was a mass meeting it was not very massive, as only fourteen people were present including the members of the board. The proposition carried, however, by a vote of 13 to 1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A Contract Let.


The school board held a meeting on Tuesday evening for the purpose of opening bids for building the four new school houses and awarding the contract. The bids were as follows:
Emil Bruce, Minneapolis—$39,955
Leck & McLeod, Minneapolis—$39,894
Kilroe Bros., Minneapolis—$43,985
Leck & Leck, Minneapolis—$46,344
Erick Lund, Minneapolis—$43,800
A. Tollefson, Minneapolis—$39,672
Minn. Stone Co., Minneapolis—$45,987
G. M. Deeks, St. Paul—$47,987
The bid of L. Rassmuson for the First and Second ward buildings was $22,200.
Everett & Peterson bid for $22,200 on the Third and Fourth ward buildings.
Robinson & Rowley made a bid of $24,446.41 on an eight and four room building to be doubled in case they got the contract as there are two four room and two eight room buildings to construct.
The contract was awarded to Mr. Tollefson, of Minneapolis, his bid being the lowest. It was hoped that the contract would be awarded to a Brainerd man, but the board could not do otherwise as the bid of Mr. Tollefson was over $4,000 less than that of the lowest local bidder. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Change in School Officers.


On Tuesday evening the board of education held a meeting to perfect arrangements in regard to the hiring of a new superintendent, Superintendent Cheadle having resigned to go to Helena, Mont. Prof. B. T. Hathaway, of Owatonna, was engaged. As principal of the high school Prof. Pierce, of Minoka, Ill., was chosen. H. T. Skinner will be principal of the Lowell school and J. C. Hart of the Whittier school. The only other business transacted was the election of W. H. Bondy to superintend the construction of the four new school houses. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The commencement exercises of the Brainerd High School, the Class of ‘93, will take place at the Opera house on Tuesday evening, June 13th. The members are: Misses Lizzie L. Atkinson, Bertie L [sic]. Cunningham, Jennie F. Paine, Louise M. White, and Jennie B. Small. Messrs. John E. Bailey, Fred U. Davis, John H. Kirk and Herbert C. Maughan. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 June 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

To Execute the Bonds.


The board of education held a meeting Saturday evening for the purpose of considering the bond question and other financial matters. After a full discussion the secretary was instructed, in conjunction with the president of the board, to execute fifty of the $1,000 bonds now in his hands, and he was instructed to send twenty-five of the same to Rollins & Son and draw on them for the amount with premium. The secretary was authorized to purchase a seal and to notify the county auditor under seal who the legal officers of the board were. The repair committee was authorized to remove all school furniture from rented buildings and take charge of the same the Journal was designated as the board’s official organ and the body adjourned.

_____


Another meeting of the school board was held last night at which time Contractor Tollefson’s bond of $5,000 was approved. Ambrose Tighe was present and agreed to extend the water mains to the Third Ward school building and possibly to the Fourth ward. Secretary Pennell was instructed to draw an order for 80 per cent of the estimated amount of the material furnished and the labor done on new school houses amounting to $7,293.43.
The salary of the superintendent of schools was fixed at $1,400 per year. Additional teachers were engaged as follows: Miss Norrish, Miss Fuller, Miss Cahoon, Miss Lizzie Somers and Miss Nellie Merritt. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 June 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Honors of Class Day.


Brainerd High School Class of 1893. Left to right: Louise White, Beatrice Cunningham. (Seated, rear) Jennie Small, Jennie Paine. (Standing) John Bailey, Fred Davis, Herbert Maughan, Elizabeth Atkinson. (Note: John Kirk, missing.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Tuesday was class day of the Brainerd high school and another company of young men and women, learned and competent, were graduated. The exercises were held in the opera house and were well arranged and performed in a very creditable manner both to teachers and pupils. The graduates were nine in number and consisted of the following: Misses Lizzie Atkinson, Beatrice Cunningham, Jennie Paine, Jennie Small and Louise White; Messrs. J. H. Kirk, J. E. Bailey, H. C. Maughan and F. U. Davis. The following programme was carried out.
Invocation—Rev. J. C. Huntington
Music—Male Quartette
Opening Remarks—Supt. E. K. Cheadle
Salutatorian—“The Star of Empires,” John H. Kirk
Class President’s Address—“Majesty of Loyalty,” Fred U. Davis
Class History—Beatrice T [sic]. Cunningham
Duet—Messrs. Helme and Webb
Unveiling of class Motto—Louise M. White
Oration—”Liberty the Outgrowth of Tyranny,” John E. Bailey
Class Declaimer—”Briar Rose,” Jennie Paine
Solo—S. F. Alderman
Class Prophecy—Jennie Small
Valedictory—“The Gates of the Future,” Lizzie L. Atkinson
Music—Quartette of Girls
Remarks—Principal W. C. Cobb
Presentation of Diplomas—Supt. E. K. Cheadle
Benediction—Rev. E. G. Sanderson
(Brainerd Dispatch, 16 June 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

Board of Education Meeting.


The board of education held its regular monthly meeting last evening, all the members being present.
Mrs. Cahoon’s resignation as teacher was read and referred to committee on teachers.
Communication from Leon E. Lum in reference to title of lot 3, block 17, Sleeper’s addition was referred to the committee on grounds.
Bill of Architect Pardee for $200 for additional plans was referred to the building committee.
Report of building committee approving of Kasota cut stone was accepted.
The secretary was instructed to draw an order for 80 per cent of the bill of Contractor Tomlinson [sic] for work finished as per report of the Supt. of construction. Amount of bill $12,000.
The secretary was instructed to advertise for bids for the sale and removal of old buildings on the new school site in the first ward; also the building in the Fourth ward. And also for the sale of the building and six lots, either as a whole or separately, in Haines addition.
Finance committee was granted further time on Prof. Cheadle’s financial report.
On motion the matter of purchasing seats was left in the hands of the purchasing committee to report at the next meeting.
Repair committee was instructed to look over the sites and report what cleaning of ground is necessary.
The secretary was instructed to make drafts on E. H. Rollins & Sons purchaser of the bonds, for $15,000 with premium and interest to date.
Committee on janitors was requested to make a report at the next regular meeting as to the salaries to be paid for janitor services for new school house.
Board adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The school board finds itself in a position where it is necessary to ask the state for a loan of $35,000 in order to complete the four new school houses in course of construction. The reason of this is that the eastern parties who bought the bonds issued for that purpose will not take the last twenty-five bonds leaving an amount something like $27,000. The vote upon this matter will probably be unanimous in its favor, as in case they were voted down work on all the school houses would stop at once. The meeting is called for Friday evening, Aug. 4, at 8 o’clock, in the Washington school building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

The newly elected principal of the High school, W. H. Pierce, arrived in Brainerd Thursday morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Want a Loan.


The board of education held a meeting on Tuesday evening at the Washington school building, a full board being present. The stated object of the meeting was for the purpose of considering the application to the state for a loan of $35,000 for the construction of school houses and purchase of furniture, on account of the refusal of Messrs. Rollins & Sons to take the bonds which they purchased some time ago. It was therefore resolved to call a meeting of the voters of the school district for the purpose of voting on the question on Friday evening, Aug. 4, 1893. In the meantime the school board will cause circulars to be printed fully explaining the situation so that the public may be intelligently informed before they are asked to act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

School Meeting.


The Board of Education held a meeting last evening, at which time considerable business was transacted. Contractor Tollefson was allowed $2,000 on the July estimate, the same to be taken from the operating fund for the time being. There is still $7,000 due him on the estimate for the same month.
A bill for an addition $200 was presented by W. S. Pardee, the architect, but as he had already received $500 the board disallowed the bill.
Bids for furnishing 600 school seats were opened and contracts awarded to D. M. Clark & Co., of Brainerd and School Seat Co., of Marshall, Mich.
Secretary was instructed to demand payment on the $25,000 bonds of Farson, Leach & Co., in order to be in position to commence suit for damages.
In case the bond question to be voted on tonight carries the $25,000 in bonds will be destroyed and a resolution to that effect was passed.
It was also arranged that J. C. Congdon go to St. Paul and close up the deal with the state at once in regard to the loan if the vote is favorable. This action was taken to save time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The school board held a meeting Wednesday evening for the purpose of authorizing the president and secretary to execute and sign state bonds for the $35,000 loan. After transacting that business the board adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

School Board Meeting.


A special meeting of the board of education was held at the high school for the purpose of electing janitors of the new school houses, and other important business.
On motion the salary of the janitors of the eight room buildings was fixed at $40 a month, and of the four room buildings at $25.
Bills of H. I. Cohen for $2, and New and Towers for $184.28 were allowed.
The election of janitors was then taken up with the following result:
B. P. Nelson, janitor Lincoln school; H. J. Hagadorn, janitor Whittier school; Wm. Powers, janitor Lowell school; Theo. Kerr, janitor Harrison school.
J. C. Congdon, who was delegated to negotiate with the state for a loan of $35,000, reported that he had been successful, and the report was accepted.
On motion the treasurer was instructed to furnish $35,000 additional bonds to cover that amount be held for building purposes.
On motion the secretary was instructed to order 600 seats, 300 from Marshall Furniture Co., and 300 from Minneapolis Co., as per bids accepted at the last meeting.
J. C. Congdon on motion was allowed $65.40 for expenses incurred in securing the loan.
Board adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The fall term of school in this city will not open until Sept. 18th, on account of the new school houses not being completed. The high school will open Sept. 4th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Special School Board Meeting.


A special meeting of the school board was held on Monday evening for the purpose of electing teachers and transacting business in relation to the new buildings. The committee on teachers made a report which was accepted and the follower new teachers were elected by ballot:
Miss Sarah E. Lewis, assistant of the high school; Miss Lizzie Atkinson, intermediate, Miss Caroline Rich, intermediate; Miss Constance Gillman, intermediate; Miss Georgia Congdon, substitute.
The report of committee on teachers recommending that Mrs. Cahoon’s resignation be not accepted was adopted.
The secretary was instructed to place insurance to the amount of $40,000 on the new school buildings.
The report of the building committee was accepted and the repair committee was instructed to advertise for bids for repairing and varnishing the old seats.
A motion to the effect that contractor Tollefson forfeit $50 a day for every day that the school houses remain unfinished after September 16, was unanimously carried.
The report of the superintendent of construction was received and the secretary instructed to draw an order of 80 per cent of the estimate, amounting to $6,891.01, in favor of Contractor Tollefson after he has signed the agreement relative to the completion of buildings.
The building on the Fourth ward school site was sold to Chas. Mylund for $41.50. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Board of Education Notes.


At the special meeting of the board of education on Friday night of last week the bids of N. E. Paine and James New for plumbing the four school houses were opened, and John Hurley moved to reject both bids. This not meeting with a second the same gentleman moved to second Mr. New’s bid on the ground that it was the lowest. This was objected to by Mr. Britton as the bid was not received in the specified time, and the chairman ruled that the objection was well taken. Mr. Hurley then retired from the meeting, and the contract was let to N. E. Paine, bonds satisfactory to the board to be presented, Messrs. Congdon, Hagberg and Britton voting in the affirmative, and Mr. Preston in the negative, Mr. Winters being excused.
At the special meeting on Saturday evening the contract for cleaning, repairing and varnishing the school seats was awarded to C. G. McDonald and S. J. Kelly. The bonds of N. E. Paine were presented, but no action was taken.
On Tuesday evening a third special meeting was held at the request of the building committee for the purpose of adjusting differences between the board and Contractor Tollefson. The bond of C. G. McDonald with A. Everett as surety was accepted, the work of said McDonald to be completed by September 16.
Six seats were sold to H. Patterson for the Deerwood district at $1 each.
The differences between the board and Mr. Tollefson in regard to certain wood work to be done on heating plant, was referred to the building committee.
The regular monthly meeting of the board was held last evening. The reading of the minutes of previous meetings and adopting of committee reports consumed some time. The payment of $750 interest on 25 bonds due July 1st was ordered.
The claim of the board against Farson, Leech & Co., was referred to finance committee.
The report of the text book committee on inventory of high school library was read and accepted, and the key to the library was ordered turned over to the principal of the high school.
Bill of W. H. Bondy for salary was ordered paid.
The matter of carpenter work connected with the plumbing on the new buildings was left in the hands of the superintendent of buildings with power to act.
Bill of Olmstead & Co., $161.50, was allowed and ordered paid, the same being for maps, etc.
Communication from the Marshal School Furniture Co. was read, and the secretary was instructed to write them declining to purchase desks as they cannot fulfill their part of the contract entered into by their authorized agent, all members voting yes on the motion except Mr. Congdon.
The bond of N. E. Paine was read and considered and a motion made that it be approved. This was amended by a motion to lie on the table until the next regular meeting, which was carried.
A motion was made and carried that the purchasing committee at once procure from the Minneapolis School Furniture Co. 354 school desks and 46 rears. The price to be paid to conform to the bid of that company.
A committee of one from each ward, together with the superintendent, was appointed to decide what rooms in each new building shall be opened up and made ready to occupy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

J. C. Congdon, as president of the board of education, has notified the teachers of the city schools through the official paper that on account of the impossibility to complete the school houses the regular session of all grades below the high school will not begin until further notice. It was expected to begin all the schools on the 18th, but it will be the 25th if not later before the new buildings will be in condition to occupy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

President Congdon, of the board of education, informs the DISPATCH that the city schools will begin either on Monday or Tuesday morning. A meeting of the board will be held this evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

School Board Doings.


On Friday evening last a meeting of the school board was held at which C. L. Young was engaged as assistant high school principal at a salary of $60 per month.
The matter of claims against contractor Tollefson was referred to a committee.
On Saturday evening a meeting was held at which time the new school buildings were accepted. The proposition of Contractor Tollefson to settle his own bills and to grant school orders to those who preferred them was accepted.
On Tuesday evening the board again assembled to settle matters with the contractor. The old buildings on the First ward site were sold to Mrs. Frank Osborn for $15, she to remove them at once. A bill of $44 for extra work was allowed. A. Tollefson, and the secretary was instructed to draw orders in favor of all parties to whom Contractor Tollefson had given orders on the board for labor and material, and the secretary was instructed to give the contractor an order for balance due him.
Last evening a further meeting was held at which time part of the pupils from the Washington school were ordered sent to the Lincoln school to relieve the primary grades.
Miss Bessie Small was made principal of the Lincoln school.
The finance committee submitted its report and recommended that a tax levy of 10 mills for the year be made. On motion the levy was raised to 12 mills. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The board of education held a special meeting on Wednesday evening, nothing but routine business being transacted. Another room in the Harrison school was ordered opened and additional seats purchased for the new rooms recently opened. A new oak side walk was also ordered laid in front of the Lincoln school on Sixth street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Special School Meeting.


At a special school board meeting held on Thursday evening at the high school building the bid of D. M. Clark & Co., for furnishing storm sash for the Washington school was accepted, the price being $142.46.
The petition from the third ward citizens asking the board not to transfer the grammar grade from the third ward to the second ward, and signed by 51 citizens, was read. The petition was referred to the committee on teachers, asking them to report at the next regular meeting.
The repair committee was authorized to put up the storm sash. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

President Congdon’s Protest.


J. C. Congdon, president of the board of education entered the following protest to the proceedings of the board at a special meeting held last Saturday evening, and the business was practically re-transacted last evening in business form:
To the Board of Education, Brainerd School District:
As a member of the board, nor as president of the board, can I approve of the attempt to hold a special meeting of this board and transact business, that without a compliance with the by-laws adopted by this board as to notice of special meetings. I also desire to protest against the unbusiness like method of doing business, in usurping the rights of the repair committee by taking the business from them, and contracting the same before the said committee reported their work and recommendation to the board. I further desire to say that I absolutely disapprove of doing business or making contracts as pursued by one of said committee, in accepting the bid for storm sash for the Washington building with no specifications by the board. Such a method of doing business would not be adopted by us in doing our own private business, and it would seem to be the duty of this board to take the same care of the interests of the district that they would take for their own interest. For the reasons above set forth, I cannot approve, as president of the board, of any action taken at the meeting of Nov. 11, 1893.
J. C. CONGDON,
President Board of Education.
Dated Nov. 14th, 1893.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

School Board Meeting.


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Monday evening to consider bids for wood, and hear the report of the special committee appointed for the purpose of looking up Mr. Tollefson’s bond. The contract for 300 cords of green jack pine wood was let to J. W. Jones at $1.75 per cord, and also to Larson & Walters for 150 cords at $1.78 per cord. the special committee reported that a decision from the attorney general had been given stating that Mr. Tollefson’s bond was legal. The committee recommended that if the Tollefson creditors assign their claims to the board, as trustee, and assume all expenses of a suit, and save the board free from all claims and costs whatsoever, then and in that case the board in behalf of the creditors, will sue the bondsmen for the sum of $5,000, but otherwise not. The motion to adopt the report was carried, and the board adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Bring a Good Premium.


The board of education met on Friday evening of last week and disposed of the $40,000 worth of school bonds. The bids on the same were as follows:
Farson, Leach & Co.—$42,883.50
N. W. Harris & Co.—$42,627.00
W. J. Hayes & Sons—$42,526.00
Lamprecht Bros.—$42,400
Minn. Loan & Trust Co.—$41,400.00
Geo. A. Lewis & Co.—$41,157.00
By a unanimous vote of the board the bid of N. W. Harris & Co. was accepted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Opening of the Kindergarten.


Miss Lucy Sterns will open a kindergarten school at the Guild rooms on Monday morning, May 6th, and will be assisted in the work by Mrs. J. C. Atherton. Miss Stearns has just returned from Minneapolis where she has been fitting herself for the work for some months past and has undergone a thorough training in all the branches, having also the advantage of practice as she was actively engaged in teaching while there. The age of pupils who will be received at the kindergarten to be opened next Monday will be from 3 to 7 years and the tuition fee will be $1.00 per week, except where there are two pupils from the same family in which case the price will be 75 cents. The hours will be from 9 to 12 o'clock each day except Saturdays and in cases where the children live too far from the school a conveyance will be furnished. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Price Reduced.


Being desirous of reaching more children and interesting more parents in the kindergarten, I have reduced my price to 50 cents per week for one and 75 cents for two in the same family, and until further notice the kindergarten will be conducted at the residence of Mrs. J. C. Atherton, corner of Main and Second Streets.
LUCY E. STEARNS.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 May 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Commencement Notes.


On Friday evening of next week, June 14th, the commencement exercises of the graduating class will be held at the opera house. The public is invited to attend.
The Baccalaureate exercises of the graduating class will be held in the Congregational church next Sunday evening. Rev. Edmands will deliver the sermon.
The senior class had a picnic Wednesday at Gilbert Lake, the young ladies of the party preparing an excellent lunch, and an excellent time was enjoyed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Commencement Exercises.


Brainerd High School Class of 1895. (Front row, left to right) Olive M. Knevett, George H. Smith, Flora L. Halsted. (Second row) Fred W. McKay, B. T. Hathaway, Superintendent, Professor Young, Earl P. Mallory. (Back row) Ethel M. Fulton, Ben. J. Smith, Jessie I. McKay, William A. Spencer.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The commencement exercises of the graduating class of the high school takes place this evening at the opera house, and the occasion will be a very interesting one, especially to the intimate friends of the graduates.
The programme is as follows:
Address by Class President—Wm. A. Spencer.
Oration and Salutatory, “The Destiny of America,” Geo. H. Smith.
“Class Chronicles”—Olive M. Knevett.
Address by Class Orator—”The Progress of Civil Liberty,” Earl P. Mallory.
Oration—”Pen Pictures of Bismarck,” Benj. J. Smith.
Class Prophecy—”Painted Pictures,” Flo. L. Halsted.
Oration—”The Nicaragua Canal,” Fred W. McKay.
Address to Juniors—Ethel May Fulton.
Valedictory—”The Class Motto,” Jessie I. McKay.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 14 June 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Closed the West Brainerd School.


The board of education held their regular session on Monday evening. Regular business was transacted and a contract was entered into with T. L. Miller to saw all school wood at 30 cents per cord. A contract was also entered into with H. J. Spencer to supply all school houses with spring water at $10 per quarter.
The purchasing committee was empowered to procure a supply of laboratory apparatus from W. A. Olmsted, of Chicago. The matter of purchasing new text-books, chairs and other supplies was left in the hands of committee.
The repair committee was instructed to prepare a room in the old Sixth street building for school purposes, the West Brainerd school having been closed by a unanimous vote of the members present. The reason given for the action is that there were but twelve resident scholars in attendance, and the total enrollment was 20. As the schools in other parts of the city are crowded it was deemed advisable to open a room in the Sixth street building, and place the West Brainerd teacher in charge, where 45 children could receive the benefit that was being given to twelve. The change was made as a matter of economy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

West Brainerd School Matter.


The board of education held a special meeting on Monday evening for the purpose of hearing the report of the committee appointed to examine the matter of opening the West Brainerd school. The report showed that there were eleven children eligible to attend said school, and a motion was made and carried that the school not be re-opened, but that a committee, consisting of Messrs. Pennell, Preston and Hurley, be appointed to confer with the county superintendent and request him to lay the matter before the county commissioners and request them to open a district school in that section. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 January 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

Senior Class News.


The long looked for certificates arrived last Friday, and gladdened the hearts of many.
The Senior Class organized and elected the following officers:
President—Daisy E. Millspaugh
Secretary—Nell B. Nelson
Treasurer—Elizabeth Prince
Also the honors for commencement exercises have been elected as follows:
Valedictorian—Lena Mix
Salutatorian—Harry McKay
Orator—Wm. L. Bean
Class President—Daisy E. Millspaugh
Class Prophet—Florene G. Merritt
Class Historian—Elizabeth D. Prince
Class Motto—Alice G. Hurley
Class Essayist—Millicent V. Mahlum
Class Declaimer—Nell B. Nelson
Address to Juniors—Inez C. Eastman.
The class have chosen for colors: pale blue and gold. They have selected for their motto those simple but expressive words: “Toil, Trial, Victory.”
We understand that the Juniors organized last Friday, and we suppose Whitely and Burns were there. They no doubt made it a very interesting meeting.
We regret to say that those noble Juniors have not yet learned the use of the cloak room, but decorate the walls and ceiling of the high school room with their caps and overshoes, much to the displeasure of the rest of the school.

Respectfully,
THE CLASS EDITORS.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Senior High School Class.


The article which appears below was ordered printed by the board of education at its meeting on Monday evening, in order that any misunderstanding which might have arisen from the items published in our last issue by “The Class Editors,” which were handed us for publication, may be righted:
The communication which appeared in the last issue of the Dispatch over the signature of “The Class Editors.” was to some extent misleading in the information which it conveyed to the public. The Board of Education decided at its last meeting to have this statement fully corrected by publishing the names of all the members of the Senior class in the High School. The following names of all the members of the present Senior class appear in the order of their standing and scholarship, as the same has been recorded in the High School register.
Jay S. Patek,
Lena Mix,
Millicent V. Mahlum,
Florene G. Merritt,
Daisy Millspaugh,
Wm. L. Bean,
Henry S. McKay,
Elizabeth Prince,
Inez Eastman,
Nellie B. Nelson,
Alice G. Hurley.
The above order of scholarship and standings of each individual member of the Senior class may or may not be changed as a result of the next state examination in June. The Board of Education understand from the Superintendent’s report rendered at the last meeting that there is a grave doubt in his mind whether all of the above named members will obtain credits enough to warrant him in recommending all of said class for the honors of graduation. All of said class may participate in the commencement exercises.

A. E. PENNELL.
Secretary

(Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1896, p. 1, c. 3)

Miss Lucy Stearns will re-open her kindergarten on Monday May 4th, in the north room of the Baptist church. Prices the same as last term. School hours from 9:30 until noon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

These Graduated.


On Friday evening last at the Sleeper opera house the commencement exercises of the Brainerd High School occurred at which time Henry S. McKay, Daisy E. Millspaugh, Elizabeth D. Prince, Alice G. Hurley, Inez C. Eastman, Jay S. Patek, William L. Bean, Millicent V. Mahlum, Florene F [sic] [G]. Merritt and Lena N. Mix received their diplomas. The exercises were exceedingly fine, but space will not admit of an individual mention of each member of the class. The audience assembled to listen to the oratory and essay filled the spacious building and many were unable to gain admission, the aisles and every available inch of space being occupied. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Greeting from the Class of ‘97.


The Senior Class of the High School held a meeting February 24th, with the following members enrolled: Belle Wilson, Mabel Early, Geo. F. Murphy, Keivin Burns and Eugene Whiteley. At this meeting officers were elected as follows:
President—Mabel Early,
Secretary—Belle Wilson,
Treasurer—Geo. F. Murphy.
Class adjourned until the next regular meeting, March 5th, at which time committees on motto, yell, color, flower, invitation, pins. etc., were appointed. The Class Extends a greeting to the public.
SENIOR EDITORS.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 12 March 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

The Class of ‘97.


Commencement exercises of the graduating class of the High School will be held at the opera house on Friday evening, June 11th, 1897. The class this year is very small, consisting of but four scholars, two misses, Mabel Marie Early and Anna Belle Wilson, and two young gentlemen, Geo. F. Murphy and Keiven Burns. The class motto is “Constantia Successum Promittit.” The following is the programme of exercises:
Salutatory and President’s Address—Mabel Marie Early
Class oration, “The Democracy of the Future”—George F. Murphy
Essay, “The Latin Race”—Anna Belle Wilson
Oration and Valedictory, “Constantia Successum Promittit”—Keiven Burns
(Brainerd Dispatch, 28 May 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Juniors Elect Officers.


The Juniors of the Brainerd High School on Tuesday evening organized by the election of the following officers:
President, Fritz M. Hagberg; vice president, Gertrude F. Caughie; secretary, Lenora L. Peabody; treasurers, Rose F. Lillig; class editor, David B. Rosenblatt. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 October 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

Commencement Exercises.


The graduating exercises of the Brainerd High school will occur this Friday evening at Gardner Hall, and a very interesting program has been arranged as follows:

Orchestra
Invocation—Rev. Father Lynch
Selection—Aeolian Quartette
Salutatory and Essay—Common Sense, Genius and Learning, Jessie P. Gibb
Song—Fly Away Birdling, Misses Marie Edwards, Gertrude Wilson and Dollie Stratton
Essay—Nature’s Voices, Mary A. Doran
Solo—Mr. Joseph Murphy
Class Oration—The Cuban Question, James J. Nolan
Duet—Mrs. Atherton and Miss Mitchell
Class Prophecy and Address to Juniors—Edith V. Fulton
Solo—Mr. S. F. Alderman
Valedictory—Class Motto, “Not Finished, But Begun,” Mabel R. Patterson
Selection—Star Quartette
Presentation of Diplomas
Benediction
The graduates are Miss Mabel R. Patterson, Miss Edith V. Fulton, Miss Mary A. Doran, Miss Jessie P. Gibb, and James J. Nolan. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

Miss Bertha M. Rhodes will open a kindergarten in the Guild room of the Episcopal church on Monday morning, July 11th, at 9 o’clock. Miss Rhodes has taken a two- year’s course with Miss Gean [sic] McCarthy of Froebel Normal Kindergarten College of Minneapolis and also conducted a successful kindergarten school at Little Falls during the past year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The DISPATCH inadvertently failed to mention last week that Henry I Cohen, the Front street dry goods merchant, had made a present to the board of education of five fine flags, one for each of the school buildings in the city. The old flags on the various buildings had become faded and worn, and Mr. Cohen in his intense patriotism determined that in these stirring war times bright new flags would be more appropriate, and with characteristic generosity made the board a present of a flag for each building. The board at its meeting on Monday night accepted the flags and gave Mr. Cohen a vote of thanks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

The Class of ‘96.


On Friday the Class of ‘96 met with their president, Miss Daisy Milspaugh, where they spent a most enjoyable evening.
Father time was cheated by the reminiscences of former days, and once more they were happy-hearted school children.
After refreshments had been served a business meeting was held.
The records of the organization were entrusted to the care of Miss Nellie B. Nelson.
Committees were appointed for the entertainment next year, and for the purpose of organizing an Alumni Association.
The work of these committees will be published later for the benefit of all graduates of B. H. S.
The class parted with the class yell ringing in their ears and echoed in their hearts. CLASS EDITORS. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1898, p. 8, c. 3)

SWEET GIRL GRADUATES.
_____

Commencement Exercises of the Brain-
erd High School to be Held
Tuesday, June 5th.
_____


The commencement exercises of the graduating class of the Brainerd High School will be held at Gardner Hall on Tuesday evening, June 5th. The class of 1900 will not be large consisting of only four young ladies as follows: Miss Mabel McKay, Miss Florence Shepherd, Miss Mamie Bolin and Mis Georgia Martin. They all graduate from the Latin-Scientific course, which admits them without further examination to the State University.
The exercises will consist of the reading of an essay by each member of the class and music and addresses appropriate to the occasion. The programme has not yet been fully prepared, hence we are unable to give it to our readers this week, but will give it in full in our next issue.
Following the commencement exercises the graduates will be given a banquet at the Arlington Hotel probably, by the Alumni association of the school, for which a fine program of entertainment is being arranged in addition to the feast.
The state examinations for the members of the 8th grade and the high school will be held all next week except Memorial Day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1900, p. 1, c. 5)

GRADUATING EXERCISES
_____

Of the Brainerd High School at
Gardner Hall on Tuesday
Evening.
_____

Four Young Ladies Composed the
Class—a Large Audience in
Attendance.
_____


The commencement exercises of the graduating class of the Brainerd High school were held at Gardner Hall on Tuesday evening, before an audience that filled every foot of space of the spacious hall. It was composed of the best and most representative people of the city, who were present not only to enjoy the exercises, but by their presence attest their interest in the welfare of the schools.
The stage decorations were not elaborate, but very beautiful in their simplicity. An immense flag, the starry banner, was draped in the rear of the stage, forming an artistic background. A pyramid of potted plants occupied the center of the rear of the stage, and on either side extending to the wings were seats for the graduates and teachers of the high school. The front of the stage was also decorated with potted plants and flowers and the class colors, pink and green, were draped from the stage to the chandelier. The class motto “Altior et Altior,” appeared in large letters over the stage. The stage was occupied by Prof. Hartley, Prof. Hanft, and Misses Newman and Fox, Fred Swanson, who delivered the opening address, and the four graduates.
An overture by the Kelsey orchestra at 8:30 opened the exercises. Fred Swanson, of the sophomore class of the high school, made the opening address, in a very creditable manner.
Miss Marian A. Bolin was the first member of the class to greet the audience, and presented an essay on “My Observations on School Life.” She was perfectly at ease and spoke in clear and distinct tones that could be plainly heard in every portion of the large hall. Her gestures were easy and graceful, and her manner was so earnest and forceful as to carry conviction. She was generously applauded at the close, and was the recipient of several bouquets of fragrant flowers from admiring friends in the audience.
Miss Bolin was followed by a baritone solo by S. F. Alderman. Mr. Alderman was given an encore and he responded with “Davey Jones,” which greatly delighted the audience.
“Visible Air” was the subject of an essay by Miss Florence May Shepherd. Miss Shepherd treated the subject in an exceedingly interesting and able manner, and showed how the future progress of the world was dependent on visible or liquid air, as it undoubtedly would be the only motive power of the future which would be as boundless as the air itself. Her tones were so low that many in the audience could not hear her, but all who did greatly enjoyed her essay.
“The Uses of Photography” were explained by Miss Georgia May Martin in a very able and interesting essay, which she delivered in a very creditable manner. She also spoke too low to give the entire audience the benefit of her very able production.
The Aeolian Quartette next favored the audience with a selection. This quartette is a great favorite with Brainerd audiences, and did not fail to please. They sang a comical song for an encore that was exceedingly pleasing.
Miss Mabel Sarah McKay was the last of the class to greet the audience. Her essay on “Secrets of the Deep” was very able and instructive, and Miss McKay presented it with such force and expression as to hold the close attention of the large audience during its delivery. She was distinctly heard in all parts of the audience. She delivered the class farewell to the teachers and scholars and to the board of education with an earnestness and touch of feeling that affected all present.
A song by the Misses Mayme Mitchell, Bertie Robinson and Lucy Stearns followed, after which Prof. Hartley presented the diplomas to the class in a short but appropriate address, which concluded the exercises. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1900, p. 1, c’s. 3 & 4)

Special Board Meeting.


A special meeting of the board of education was held Tuesday evening. A resolution was adopted by the board requiring all scholars attending school to be vaccinated, the rule to go into effect Jan. 1st. A resolution was also adopted that the board pay for the material for vaccinating all scholars unable to pay, the doctors to perform the work gratis.
A comunication from the city clerk with reference to the city using the West Brainerd school house as a pest house was received and the board fixed the price at which the city could buy it at $250.
Another special meeting of the board will be held tonight to consider bids for furnishing wood. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

May 1913. Brainerd high school will graduate a class of 49 this year, which is one of the largest ever graduated and one of the largest in the state outside Duluth and the Twin Cities. The enrollment of the high school stands at 248. The school is now on the accredited list. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 May 2013)

34 TO GRADUATE FROM HIGH SCHOOL
_____

Pres. George Vincent, of University of
Minnesota, to Deliver Com-
mencement Address
_____

THE BACCALAUREATE SERMON
_____

To be Preached May 31 by Rev. Sher-
idan at the First Congre-
gational Church

1914 Graduates of Brainerd
High School


Lillian Croswell
Ruth C. Dahlstedt
Ingolf Dillan
Stanley Durham
E. Mildred Farwell
Alma M. Fenske
Ester N. Fogelstrom
Jeanette Clark Gibson
Lily Pauline Gilbertson
Mabel Regina Graham
Leslie L. Halladay
Christine L. Ilse
Howard G. Kronberg
Laura Alice McKay
Beatrice V. Noble
Hildegarde Olson
Burton W. Orne
Eunice J. Parker
John W. Pendergast
Thelma Margaret Reis
George H. Ribbel
Agnes A. Swanson
Mary K. Toohey
Maude S. Williams
Leigh B. Slipp
Robert A. Stickney
Judith Erickson
Marie Elliot
Marie Archibald
Mamie F. Funk
Eula Michael
Sadie E. Peterson
Sadie A. Welliver
M. Julia Wilson

The commencement exercises of the Brainerd high school will be held on Monday evening, June 1, and the commencement address will be delivered by George Vincent, president of the University of Minnesota.
On May 29 the class day exercises of the class of 1914 will be held in the assembly room of the high school, the seniors giving the comedy, “A Case of Suspension.”
At this time the class memorial, a beautiful large panel picture, the equal of any of the fine pictures of the high school, will be unveiled to the school. This picture, a fine Copley print from the original paintings by Abbey, would be a credit to any school. It represents scenes from the “Holy Grail” and was secured through D. E. Whitney of this city, who will frame it and place it in the high school, where it will be a fitting companion piece to the picture presented by the class of 1912.
The present senior class will also have a special edition of the Spectator, the last number of the year, for sale at 15c per copy.
On Memorial Day, which occurs on Saturday this year, the schools will participate as usual and will furnish the wreaths and flowers with which to decorate the graves.
The class officers of the class of 1914 are President George Ribbel, vice president Mildred Farwell, secretary Leslie Halladay, treasurer Alice McKay, sergeant-at-arms Maude S. Williams. The class colors are cadet blue and gold, the class flower the peony. The class motto is “To Be Rather Than to Seem.”
The baccalaureate sermon will be preached by Rev. G. P. Sheridan at the First Congregational church on Sunday evening, May 31. On Saturday the juniors gave an excursion up the river for the seniors and members of the faculty. A picnic was given at Riverton. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1914, p. 7, c. 6)

SCHOOL BOARD CONSIDERS PARKS
_____

Board Takes up Proposition Broached
by the Park Commissioners
at Last Meeting
_____

TO IMPROVE LINCOLN SCHOOL
_____

Ventilating System to be Installed—
Washington School to be
Painted


From Wednesday’s Daily:—
At the regular school board meeting all members were present except Messrs. Wise and Moilanen and Rev. Elof Carlson. Vice President Geo. D. LaBar presided.
Members of the park board, Messrs. Adair, Strickler and Linnemann, appeared before the school board and asked that some plan be carried out in conjunction with the city council and city attorney to use the Sixth street school lots and grounds in Southeast and Northeast Brainerd for park purposes. The school board appointed a committee of one member from each of the first, third, fourth and fifth wards, being Messrs. Purdy, Hohman, Barron and McCloskey, to act with the city council and city attorney.
The Northern Plumbing & Heating Co. of Eveleth was authorized to draw plans and specifications for a ventilating system in the Lincoln school
The special committee appointed in the past to report on the advisability of plastering the auditorium in the Washington school said it should not be done owning to the lack of funds.
The building committee made a verbal report on repairs underway. These included the new domestic science kitchen, plastering the manual training rooms, fixing the steps at the entrance of the Washington building, fixing boilers, etc. The committee further reported that outside of these repairs there was nothing else demanding attention except the painting of the exteriors of the school buildings. The board could not paint all buildings this year. The building committee was authorized to have the Washington building painted and to receive bids for the work.
Bids were opened on supplying coal for the coming year, and the Mahlum Lumber Co. being the lowest bidder it was awarded the contract.
The teachers’ committee reported the present janitors for re-election at their present salaries. At the Lincoln building the board increased the salary of Andrew Anderson, the janitor, $10 a month and owing to the fact that more space is needed for the school, Anderson is to leave his present quarters after September 1 and reside outside the school ground.
The building committee was authorized to advertise for bids for the installation of the plumbing system at the Harrison building as soon as the city officials demonstrated that the sewers would be put in. The payrolls were allowed and the meeting adjourned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1914, p. 1, c. 7)

BRAINERD HORSE-DRAWN STREET RAILWAY
Kindred called his company The Brainerd Street Railway Company, he was president, A. E. Taylor secretary, and W. J. Bain was the third director. In the middle of this hotel-depot street corner, on Main [Washington] and North Sixth Streets, Kindred put in a turntable. Charles F. Kindred lived on the southeast corner of North Sixth and Kingwood. His home, his office and his large horse barn stood where the parking lot of the Sawmill Inn is now located. Tracks were laid north one block to where his house stood and then turned eastward on Kingwood. The city’s wagon bridge across the ravine was used to get over to Kindred [“A”] Street in East Brainerd. In using that bridge he had only to observe that horses walk at not to exceed five miles per hour. On Kindred [“A”] Street lay also the passing-track for the other car, which made its start on a turntable in the middle of Ash Avenue [“H” Street] and Third Avenue and moved south down Third Avenue. The horse barn was on the corner of Ash [“H” Street] and Third Avenue. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 33 & 34)


An Interesting Meeting.


...The ordinance relating to the Brainerd Street Railroad had its first reading and was referred to a committee of three appointed by the President consisting of Aldermen Keene, Hempsted [sic] and city attorney Lum.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Will We Have Street Cars.
_____


Rumor hath it that ere long Brainerd will have a street railway in full operation. It is said that the line will connect south Brainerd with the postoffice center and that another line will run to East Brainerd to accommodate the vast amount of travel to and from the Northern Pacific shops. The road when built will probably pass over the bridge that has been ordered over the ravine. Just keep your hand on your pocket and have the exact change ready for pickpockets will undoubtedly abound in profusion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS.
_____

The City Bonded for Ten Thousand Dollars—
The Street Railway Ordinance Passed.
_____


...The street railway committee reported in regard to limiting the time that the franchise shall extend, and also other minor matters, which report was accepted.
...Ordinance 38, relating to street railway had its second reading, and the ordinance was passed, all aldermen voting in favor of it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

The Brainerd street railway will be in full operation by the first of July next, and by October the gas and electric light plant will be put in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1887, p. 1, c. 3)

Mr. Kindred in conversation with a Dispatch scribe stated that by the first of July he would have over a mile of street railway in operation. It will be built from the Villard hotel across the ravine bridge through East Brainerd to the dam. Mr. Kindred’s contract with the city requires that a mile of railway be built and in operation by the above mentioned date, and it is too valuable a franchise to let it go by default. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The Brainerd street railway company will have to rustle if they get their track down in time to hold the franchise. But parties that know claim that it will be done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 June 1887, p. 1, c. 4)

Part of the iron for the street railway has arrived. Brainerd and East Brainerd will soon be connected by a “hoss” car track. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The street car stables will be built in Farrar & Forsyth’s addition out of the brick saved from the Villard hotel. The grounds have been purchased. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

C. F. Kindred will have to commence rustling in order to get the street car line built and in operation before the extension of thirty days expire. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The city council at a special session last Saturday night extended Mr. Kindred’s street railway franchise for sixty days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 August 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The ties for the street railway will be sawed out next week. Something like 3,000 ties will be required. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 August 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The preliminary work on the Brainerd street railway has been begun, the timber having been distributed along the route through East Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 September 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

When the street cars begin to run you can go on a fishing excursion to the dam and back for 10 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 September 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The street railway is in course of construction with A. E. Taylor in charge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Brainerd’s New Street Cars.


Charles Firman Kindred, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The new street cars for the Brainerd street railway arrived Wednesday morning and were unloaded at the freight depot in the afternoon. The cars are of the improved style and are fitted up with modern improvements having stoves in to heat them in cold weather. The track is laid from the depot on Sixth and Main streets to Kingwood street where it turns east and runs out across the dump into East Brainerd and at present the end of the track is about three blocks beyond Ed Breheny’s residence on Third avenue. It is the intention to complete the line to the dam which will be done shortly.
It was discovered when the first car was put on the track Wednesday that the rails were too far apart by an inch and a quarter to fit the trucks of the cars. The parties who sold the cars to Mr. Kindred wrote him that they were made on the three foot and a half gauge and consequently the track was laid accordingly. The man who made the measurement of the car trucks was full or made a bad blunder and they had to be taken to the N. P. shops and the wheels spread before they could be used—nothing serious but making a vexatious delay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 September 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The turn tables and side tracks for the street railway have been placed in position. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

A building to be used by the street car company is being erected in East Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 October 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

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

The extension of the street railway to the dam will be commenced immediately. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Street cars now leave the N. P. depot every 40 minutes during the day, beginning at 7:20 in the morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

At the corner of Main [Washington] and Sixth Streets, 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
The street cars were laid off yesterday in order to fix up the track and rolling stock after the heavy travel of the Fourth. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Canfield telegraphs the St. Paul papers that C. F. Kindred has sold the street cars and rails to the Fargo Street Car Company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

We understand the Brainerd Railway has been leased by St. Paul parties and will be run at its full capacity this season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 February 1889, p. 4, c. 3)


Council Proceedings.
_____


[...]


On motion it was decided to remove the street car rails 200 feet distance from the east and west end of the East Brainerd bridge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 4, c. 7)

City Matters.


[...]


Ordinance No. 79, which revokes ordinance 39, had its first and second readings and [was] adopted. Ordinance 39 gives the street railway franchise to C. F. Kindred, and as it has been forfeited, it was thought best to have the matter in shape for future use, provided some one else desired to run a street railway. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 June 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Claims Mr. Spencer Worked the
Council.


The case of the First National Bank of Brainerd, against the Brainerd Street Railway Company and C. F. and Sara E. Kindred and A. E. Taylor, to recover $4,002.50 was transferred yesterday from the district court of Crow Wing county to the United States circuit court upon the affidavits of C. F. Kindred, Sara E. Kindred, J. B. Douglass and H. D. Powers, under the act of congress of March, 1887. The act provides, says the Pioneer Press, that where in any state court an action is brought, in which local influence and prejudice may imperil the interests of either party, the same may be presented to the court and the cause transferred to the United States courts. The present case is the first one ever transferred under the act in Minnesota since the decision of Judge Brewer on the case of Short vs. the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railway Company, in which he held the law to be constitutional. The action is based upon a note given by the Brainerd Street Railway company to the bank and endorsed by C. F. Kindred and Sara E. Kindred, for the sum of $4,000, with $2.50 for the fees paid in protesting the note. For answer, the defendant, Kindred, sets up a statement of facts as follows: That he deposited in the case of H. J. Spencer, president of the plaintiff’s bank, bonds of the street railway company to the amount of $51,000 as collateral security for the note endorsed by him, and that said bonds were worth at that time $30,000. That Spencer induced the city council of Brainerd to annul, cancel and void the franchise of the railway company whereby the bonds were made worthless. Therefore a judgment for the balance of $26,000 is asked by the said defendant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1889, p. 1, c. 3)

The case of the First National Bank vs. The Brainerd Street Railway will come on for trial in St. Paul next Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The First National Bank of this city secured a judgment of $5,000 against C. F. Kindred in the United States court at St. Paul on Monday last. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

Council Proceedings.


[...]


...On motion the street commissioner was instructed to take up the rails of the street car track wherever it appeared as a nuisance, and to have said rails and outfit put in [the] street car barn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 July 1890, p. 1, c. 6)

Brainerd Lumber Company Main Office Building aka Van’s Cafe, moved to the northeast corner of 6th and Washington, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
BRAINERD LUMBER COMPANY MAIN OFFICE BUILDING / VAN’S CAFE
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).

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)

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 mills of the Brainerd Lumber Company 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. Something like 500 men will go to the woods for the winter where wages are very good. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 11 November 2001)

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 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)

C. F. Kindred will commence the erection of a hotel on the vacant lots opposite the former Villard site immediately. The lower floor will be made into store rooms and we understand that they have already been spoken for. Ed. Mahan has the plans and specifications. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Throwing Dirt Lively.


Excavating for a new block at the corner of Main and Sixth streets was commenced Tuesday morning and a large force of men are at work. It has not been given out definitely whether the building is intended for a business block or a hotel but the probabilities are that it will be used for the latter purpose. It is also stated that it will be built with a view of starting a bank on the lower floor. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

C. F. Kindred has sold the stone which he had hauled to build the new block to the parties who are rebuilding the burned district. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 July 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

NOTE: The three articles above refer to the basement excavation on North Sixth and Main started in 1888 by C. F. Kindred for his projected second Villard Hotel mentioned by Zapffe above. It would appear that the excavation hole remained open for twenty years before the move below occurred.

SEE: Villard Hotel

Mill Business Brisk.


[...]


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. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

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


C. D. Herbert’s Lunch Room, unknown waitress, ca. 1910’s, the small sign hanging below EAT says "Tables for Ladies"
Source: Nancy Silvernail
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)


N. P. LUNCH ROOM

Opens Under New Management And
Will Hereafter be Known as
“Van’s Lunch Room”


Van’s Cafe showing the slightly modified office building, ca. 1928.
Source: Van Essen Family Archives
Mr. and Mrs. C. C. Van Essen who have been connected with the N. P. lunch room for the past three years will continue to run this establishment. They have taken over the interests of DeRocher Brothers who are now operating the New Brainerd Cafe and expect to see many new patrons and friends.
Mr. Van Essen states that there will be some changes in prices as well as additions to the menus. “Van’s Lunch Room” will serve nothing but the best of eats and assures their many friends the best of quality and service at all times. Saturday’s Dispatch will advertise their special Sunday dinners. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 27 January 1925)

10 January 1933. Consummation of a deal whereby C. C. Van Essen acquires the property in which his café is located was announced today. The sale involves $12,000 and includes the two-story building housing Van’s Café and two smaller buildings facing Washington Street. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 2013)


WORLD’S FAIR INSPIRES DESIGN OF CAFE
________________________

NEWLY REMODELED ENLARGED VAN’S
CAFE MODELED AFTER MODERNISTIC
MOTIF OF WORLD’S FAIR STRUCTURES
_________


Even before the world’s fair in Chicago had officially opened but when the modernistic motif began to take shape in the early construction stages of the international exposition, the inspiration had been provided for the remodeling and enlargement of Van’s cafe, now completed in its every detail and open for public inspection.
Patterned after the world’s fair structures, in modernistic design throughout, the newly enlarged cafe carries out the architectural theme throughout.

Finished in Cream

Van’s Cafe at the northeast corner of 6th and Washington, ca 1933.
Source: Postcard, Van Essen Family Archives
Its exterior, transcending from the semi-gabled roof with cupolas, to the cornice and side walls, is of the latest design in architecture, modernistic in vogue and application.
Finished in a cream stucco, the building rises in prominence by virtue of its design. It has an asbestos roof of colored and ornamental shingles transcending down to the cornice that folds into the walls.
Five metal strips, dressed in duco finish, surround the building to emphasize the modernistic touch. The five are approximately six inches in width and are finished in black.
To complete the color effect, a two foot black vitriolite strip appears at the base. The color is harmonious and welcome, carrying out the theme in appealing design.
Adding to the exterior significance are sand-blasted windows of modernistic design with horizontal windows in the side walls.
Ornamental awnings complete the exterior design.
The windows are decorated with chromium, adding to the attractiveness.

Interior in Tiffany

Nearly doubling the seating capacity on the interior, the foyer opens on a clever arrangement of tables at the left. If you choose, booths are available to your right. It is a sort of horseshoe shape with a half partition separating booths from the tables and lunch counter. In the middle, the service counter finds at its back the beer and soda fountain and equipment for handling pastries, etc.
The cashier’s desk is at the front, meeting both sides of the service accommodations.
The interior walls are colorfully depicted in tiffany, blended in drapes at the windows of red with the customary shades of kindred hue.
Standing nearly 4 feet high, is a strip of paneling. The paneling and wainscoting are of birch, carried out in artistic and modernistic style.
Expressive lighting effects are found throughout and ceiling fans add comfort for the summer patron. Etched mirrors also are found at the door.
Another feature of comfort and convenience is the washed air cooling system which changes the air in the interior at regular intervals insuring crisp, fresh air at all times.

Second Floor Modernistic

With the cafe occupying the entire ground floor, a look into the upstairs finds eight bed rooms, a living room and two bathrooms. The second floor, likewise, is carried out in modernistic vogue, emphasized in the trim of the interior walls, lighting fixtures and other appointments.
Electrical devices are stressed in other commodious equipment. Four large compressors generate refrigeration for the large vegetable storage vault, the beer and soda fountains and the all service refrigerator. All are powered by electricity. (The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Saturday, 26 August 1933, p. 5 , c’s. 1 & 2)

OWNER DEVELOPS CAFE FROM SMALL
LUNCH COUNTER TO ONE OF FINEST
EATING PLACES IN NORTHWEST AREA
___________


In developing Van’s cafe to a point where it has become known throughout the United States, being a popular eating place for tourists as well as for an established local clientele, C. C. Van Essen has stressed service and congeniality.
Mr. Van Essen assumed ownership of the cafe, then a small lunch room of about one-fourth the present size and boasting of only a lunch counter, in 1924. Since that time he has gradually expanded the business until it had outlived its size and development was necessary to take care of the fast growing throngs that frequented Van’s cafe for their meals.
It was in 1916 that Mr. Van Essen first came to Brainerd. He was sent here as manager of the F. W. Woolworth store. He remained here for one year and then was transferred to F. W. Woolworth Co. at Kenosha, Wis., where he remained until 1921.
Then it was that he entered the restaurant business, becoming associated with his father-in-law, M. DeRocher, in the operation of the lunch counter. In 1924, Mr. Van Essen purchased the business and immediately expanded it, adding new fixtures and otherwise modernizing it.
Since 1924, the cafe has gradually outgrown its size, winning a high class clientele by virtue of its fine foods and excellent service. He expanded the place in recent years until expansion was inevitable. He then purchased the real estate and immediately began plans for the development that now is being heralded as the finest in the Northwest.
Mr. Van Essen is married and has three children. Mrs. Van Essen was the former Miss Clare DeRocher, who married in January 1917. (The Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Saturday, 26 August 1933, p. 5 , c’s. 4, 5, 6, 7)

BRAINERD STATE BANK (MAP #32)
This building located on the southwest corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets becomes the Citizens State Bank in 1927. Remuddled.

The bank was originally incorporated 11 April 1908 as the Security State Bank of Brainerd. On 10 September 1910 the name was changed to the Brainerd State Bank. In May 1920 Carl Zapffe took over as President.

While the men were being helped back to jobs, the nation was creeping out of a year of depression that led to a widespread epidemic of farm failures and bankruptcies. In that net was caught the Brainerd State Bank which, in April of 1924, ended its career. It had erected a beautiful bank building, opened 02 January 1923, situated on the southwest corner of Laurel and South Seventh Streets. It is now [1946] occupied by the Citizens State Bank. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 130 & 131)

SEE: Citizens State Bank

SEE: Northern Pacific Bank

SEE: Parker Block

BRAINERD STEAM BRICKYARD

Schwartz Brickyard, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Between 1878 and 1890 making brick constitutes a major industry in Brainerd. It reaches its peak between 1882 and 1886. The premier brick-maker is William Schwartz, a German who comes to Brainerd about 1875 and in 1878 purchases a piece of land about a mile up-river from Main [Washington] Street. (Now bordered on the east by Mill Avenue.) The land contains a bed of clay thirty feet thick; when fired, the clay turns to an attractive cream or buff color, Schwartz calls his business the Brainerd Steam Brickyards. His process makes an exceptionally tough and durable brick which quickly becomes famous and is called “Milwaukee cream brick” for the city which is known for such brick. He ships to Duluth and the Twin Cities and places in between. The business becomes so big that it warrants the Northern Pacific building in May of 1881 a mile and a half long railroad spur, north from its shop yards to serve this infant industry brickyard. [The spur currently runs down the avenue adjacent to Evergreen Cemetery to the paper mill in northeast Brainerd.] Among the local buildings of note built with Schwartz’s steam brick: the Hartley Block, burned; the McFadden-Westfall Building, burned; the First National Bank Building (Hartley’s) Sixth and Front; former courthouse [apartment building on the southeast corner of Fourth and Kingwood]; the Sheriff’s home, [demolished]; the old city jail, once a part of Meyers Cleaners and Laundry, [demolished]; the Northern Pacific shop buildings; the old high school building, burned in 1928 or 1929 [burned in 1928]; all the grade school buildings, demolished in 1936; C. N. Parker’s street car power-house, [demolished ?]; Park Opera House [not built with Schwartz bricks], north side of Front Street at Fifth, [demolished in 1995]; and several dozen north side residences erected by C. B. Sleeper, W. D. McKay, and others. In 1884 Schwartz is divorced and he quits making bricks; in 1884 he leaves Brainerd and in 1890 all brick-making stops. [Brick making does not stop.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 37-38)

NOTE: Carl Zapffe claims, in Brainerd 1871-1946, p. 38, that the Park Opera House was built of Schwartz cream brick, this appears not to have been the case.

SEE: Park Opera House

Ebinger Brickyard, ca. 1908.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NOTE: According to the 1888 Brainerd City Directory, David Ebinger works at the Schwartz Brickyard. He is also listed as owning a brickyard in 1905 and 1907, this brickyard is known as the Ebinger Brickyard aka Brainerd Brickyard. In 1903 J. W. Koop is listed as a Brick Manufacturer. It seems unlikely that “in 1890 all brick-making stops”.

Evergreen Cemetery is reported in a shocking condition and should, in the name of decency if not of humanity, receive some attention from the citizens if not from the trustees. A large portion of the fence has been torn away and destroyed; a road to the brickyard has been located through it over graves and against palings in the most heartless sacrilegious manner imaginable, defacing and obliterating lines, marks and mounds with a brutal indifference. Why in the name of all reason is a public thoroughfare permitted to be opened through the resting place of the dead? We will venture the assertion that these despoilers would not thus deface the burying place of their own children; parents or friends, and why should they be permitted to intrude upon others? (Brainerd Tribune, Saturday, 19 April 1879)

Mr. Wm. Schwartz gave us a call this week to say, with reference to the article appearing in the Tribune last week, that his teams in crossing the cemetery grounds do not pass over any graves or against any palings, but keep the avenue the entire distance, which he claims they have a right to do, though he says other teams do travel promiscuously over the grounds defacing and mutilating the graves, palings, etc., as stated by the Tribune last week. The Tribune did not state, because it did not know, what teams were doing the damage, nor did it care. It was enough that it was being done, and that a public road was being located across the grounds, which we insist should be stopped short. We also insist that Mr. Schwartz is in error when he claims the right to use the cemetery avenue as a public thoroughfare, which will be made apparent if an organization is ever perfected. Mr. Schwartz also informed us that the fire which raged with such destructive fury in that vicinity on Sunday last destroying the fence, palings, headstones, etc., was set by a lot of boys who were seen in the act by Mrs. Weist, his partner's wife, and we are informed that an effort will be made to identify the young villains and mete out to them the punishment they so richly deserve. The fire referred to, in addition to the destruction of the cemetery property, came very near consuming the buildings, machinery, wood and outfit of Mr. Schwartz's brickyard, and did burn two or three cords of wood. A clean sweep of everything was only prevented by the most arduous efforts of Mr. Schwartz and his entire crew who fought fire continually from Sunday night until Tuesday morning without sleep, rest or cessation. The Tribune article of last week is, however, we are pleased to observe, having the wholesome effect to awaken an interest in this sadly neglected subject—our cemetery—which has resulted in the call for a public meeting appearing elsewhere in this issue, the object of which is to elect a board of trustees and otherwise perfect an organization which can sell and give title to lots, and thus create a fund for the improvement and protection of the grounds. We hope the attendance will be large and that the effort will not meet the fate of its several predecessors, that of a fizzle. (Brainerd Tribune, 26 April 1879)

THE NEW DELUGE.

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
Rising.

THE MISSISSIPPI.
______

AT BRAINERD.


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 brickyard 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)

BRAINERD.


Schwartz’s brickyard is running at full blast. They employ forty men and turn out about 21,000 bricks per day. The brick is shipped to all parts of the state and Dakota. (Minneapolis Tribune, 19 July 1880, p. 8)

AROUND THE STATE.
_____


BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, Feb. 12.—Wm. Schwartz is burning a large kiln of brick preparatory for the spring rush. It is feared he will experience some difficulty in burning his brick the coming summer. The extreme depth of the snow makes it impossible to cut and haul the 1,500 cords of wood that he says he must have, and he cannot get it out of the marshes when the spring opens. (Minneapolis Tribune, 14 February 1881, p. 5)

AROUND THE STATE.

BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, Feb. 17.—Wm. Schwartz is paying $1.10 per cord for chopping wood. It is the extreme depth of the snow that brings the price up so. The weather is fine; cold nights, but pleasant during the day. (Minneapolis Tribune, 19 February 1881, p. 5)

AROUND THE STATE.
_____


BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, May 16—General Manager Sargent, of the Northern Pacific Railroad, has signed a contract with Wm. Schwartz for three million brick with which to build the new round-house and enlarge the present machine shops in this city. The new buildings to be constructed of brick are to be located on the south side of the track, east of the paint shop, and the general repair shop on the north side of the track. (Minneapolis Tribune, 18 May 1881, p. 2)

Seven car loads of Brainerd brick were shipped to Duluth last Thursday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 1)

The Brickyard Dissolution.


Wm. Schwartz and wife have finally come to the conclusion that they cannot pull together in the matrimonial traces as man and wife should and have separated and divided up the property of which there is considerable. Mrs. Schwartz retains the brickyard and the addition to Brainerd, while it is understood that Mr. S. gets some equally as valuable property and half the cash on hand. Madam Rumor sayeth that there is a fair young Adonis mixed up in the business and he it is that has caused all the trouble that has been public talk for some time past, but whether this is true or otherwise deponent sayeth not. Mr. Schwartz left on Thursday morning with his son for Hanover, Germany, where he will put the boy in school to finish his education. He will return to Brainerd in the spring to settle up his business. The lady pays all bills. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 22 August 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

Wm. Schwartz, who left this city for Germany last fall, returned to Brainerd on Friday. Mr. Schwartz left his son in school in that country. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 March 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

BRICKYARD TROUBLES.
_____


A special to the St. Paul papers from this city says:
“A social upheaving on quite as huge a scale as the new railroad excitement, was the arrest by the police at an early hour this morning, of Mrs. Swartz [sic], proprietress of the large brick works here, and her bookkeeper, John Keifer, both charged with living in improper relations. Last spring, on account of alleged misconduct with the bookkeeper, Mr. Swartz [sic] settled all his business affairs with her amicably, leaving her the whole business and quite a fortune. Swartz [sic] subsequently got a divorce, and has since been in Europe, where he took his son to be educated. A few weeks ago Swartz [sic] returned, and, it is said, found matters as bad as ever, but regarded the matter as no concern of his. The indignant people of the vicinity, however, took the matter in hand, and last evening armed and equipped a tar and feathering party, but were anticipated by the police, who went to the Swartz [sic] residence and pulled the alleged unholy pair. Keifer was lodged in jail, and Mrs. Swartz [sic] permitted to return home under promise to report in the municipal court to-morrow forenoon.”
The correspondent evidently sent the above telegram on the impulse of the moment and got the young man’s name, which is Adolph Thies [sic], wrong, and also the statement in regard to the tar and feathers is entirely untrue, the balance of the article having some foundation. Theis [sic] and Mrs. Swartz [sic] were arrested, and subsequently Theis [sic] agreed to leave town if proceedings would be stopped, but the next day he took legal advice on the subject, and concluded to tarry a while longer. Rumors of a suit for damages are reported but nothing certain can be learned in regard to it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Work at the Brickyard.
_____


Mrs. M. Schwartz informed a Dispatch representative on Tuesday that work in the brickyard would be started up on Friday of the this week and active preparations are being made for a busy season’s work. The season has been a little backward and in consequence the clay has not thoroughly dried out or work would have been begun previous to this. The capacity of the yard is about 4,500,000 brick during the season and if run at its full capacity would require about 125 men. Already 2,000,000 brick have been contracted for by Duluth parties and it is expected that there will be other orders for brick which will increase the number to the full capacity of the works. At the start there will be about fifty men employed, wages ranging from $1.40 to $1.60 per day to laborers. Mrs. Schwartz has made quite a number of noticeable improvements at her place during the past six months, among which has been the erection of a $2,000 brick barn, it being one of the finest in this section. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Brainerd Brick Abroad.
_____


Mrs. Schwartz, proprietor of the celebrated brick yards at Brainerd, was in the city yesterday and closed contracts for furnishing bricks for the new board of trade and Fargusson buildings.—Duluth Tribune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

It may not be known to some what causes the different colors in bricks. The red color of bricks is due to the iron contained in the clay. In the process of burning, the iron compounds are changed thus developing the color. Certain clays—like those in the vicinity of Brainerd for instance—contain little or no iron, and the bricks made from them are light or cream colored. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 1, c. 3)

Mrs. Schwartz has sold 300,000 brick to Warner Bros., of Minneapolis. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

A. Gordon has leased Mrs. Schwartz’ brickyard at the dam for a term of years and commenced on Monday to put things in shape for the season’s work. He expects to manufacture nearly three million brick this season and will employ a large force of men. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Work at the brickyard is being pushed with all possible rapidity. The lessees expect to get out three million brick before the season closes but the weather has materially interfered. The first of the week the wind blew the covering off and 75,000 brick were washed down by the rain. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The mayor was instructed to close a contract with Mrs. Magdalena Robinson for right of way across her land for erection of electric light poles. The price to be paid is $72 per year. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

TO BOOM BRAINERD.
_____

A Monster Mass Meeting at the Opera
House to Consider a Pro-
position.
_____

Capitalists With Unlimited Means Want
the Electric Light Plant.
_____

In Consideration They Will Build a Mil-
lion Dollar Manufacturing Establishment.


The meeting at the opera house last night was one of the most harmonious, for a mass meeting, that it has ever been our pleasure to attend. Nearly every man, woman and child in the city knows by this time what the meeting was for. A syndicate of eastern capitalists having secured an option on nearly all the available property at the dam, including the Swartz [sic] property, the Rice lake property, the water power property, the city water works and valuable pine land, desire the city of Brainerd to turn over to them the electric light plant and franchise and pay all claims against it, they in return to give to the city fifty arc lights free for twenty years. This was what the people were called together to consider, and as the company do not ask the city to turn over a dollar’s worth of property to them until they have fulfilled their part of the contract by erecting manufacturing establishments on the power to cost in the neighborhood of a million of dollars and to employ from 300 to 500 men the year round, the matter is looked on with favor by nearly every man in the city:
The opera house was filled to its utmost capacity and C. L. Spaulding was chosen chairman. In order that the people might know that there was sufficient evidence of good faith telegrams were read as follows:

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 1889, p. 1, c. 2)

Satisfactorily Settled.


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

Mrs. Magdalena Robinson, for many years proprietor of what is known as “Swartz’s [sic] brickyard,” in this city, has sold out all her property interests here, and is going out west with her husband and try farming for awhile. Her interest in the brickyard has been purchased by J. W. Koop, we understand. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 October 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

A Thriving Industry.


The Brainerd brickyard, as conducted the present season by Messrs. Kelehan & Brosson, has undoubtedly been one of the most thriving and profitable industries in Brainerd this season. Over three million brick have been manufactured and a ready market has been found for the entire output at high prices. The bricks produced are pronounced of even better quality than those manufactured in former years, and brick from this year have always been considered of excellent quality. It is undoubtedly the quality of the article produced that makes them in such demand. Mr. Kelehan informed a DISPATCH scribe that the output this year is the largest ever produced, not excepting 1881-82, the years of the boom in this city. Mr. Kelehan also said that they could have sold more than twice as many as they could produce, and another season will probably see at least five million brick produced by this yard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 October 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The brickyard will be started up next week for the season. Mr. Kelehan expects to run a crew of 50 men and says he will be able to dispose of all the brick he can manufacture. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mrs. Magdalena Robinson, formerly owner of what is known as the Swartz [sic] brickyard near the dam, died at Salem, Oregon, Feb. 25. She was suffering from gangrene of the leg, and the limb was amputated twice, her death being the result of the second operation. Peter Swindemann [sic] is a brother of the deceased. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

Reward Offered.


Ten dollars reward will be paid for the apprehension and conviction of any person or persons destroying fences, breaking into buildings or stealing any kind of property from lot 2, section 19, town 45, range 30, better known as the Schwartz Brickyard property.
Will also pay a reward of Fifty Dollars for the apprehension and conviction of any person or persons who set fire to the building located on the same property that was burned on the night of September 12th.

C. N. PARKER.

(Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Struck by Lightning.


During the violent thunder storm that occurred on Tuesday noon, the old Swartz [sic] residence property at the brickyard was struck by lightning, and almost instantly the whole top of the building was in flames, and it spite of the heavy rain falling, was burned to the ground. The building was occupied by J. J. Hunt and family, who conducted a private boarding house, and the family had just sat down to dinner when the lightning came. So quickly was the building in flames that the boarders were unable to save their clothing and personal effects in the rooms above. Most of the household goods were saved. The loss on the building was $1,000, with $600 insurance in the Keene & McFadden agency. The building was the property of C. N. Parker. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 June 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

BYE (JOHN M.) CLOTHING COMPANY
First opened in April 1907 in the rented L. J. Cale [Mrs. L. J. Cale arrives in Brainerd in 1880, according to Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 123] store building located on Front Street, formerly occupied by John Carlson. It was called the Model Clothing Company. In 1931 John M. Bye Clothing Company was located at 609-11 Laurel Street [Elks Building], John M. Bye was the President, Hannah Bye was the Vice President and Henry A. Cunningham was the Secretary-Treasurer. [In 1949 Bye’s Clothing was located at 718 Laurel Street.] (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 2007)


BYE & PETERSON
IN NEW QUARTERS
_____

Well Known Clothing Merchants Lo-
cated in Attractive Quarters in
Walverman Block
_____

MODERN FRONT WAS BUILT
_____

Windows are Finished in Golden Oak
With Paneled Ceiling, Walls in
Tiffany Blend


Bye & Peterson, well known clothing men, are located in their new and commodious quarters in the Walverman block, to which they removed from their former location in the Cullen block.
       Business had so increased that greater room was required to carry larger stocks. The new place gives them more floor space and better opportunity to display their goods.
       Many new fixtures were installed, together with display cases, etc., thus making it one of the most modern and convenient stores for shopping in the city.
       A modern front was built by White Brothers which offers every advantage for continuous display of goods. The windows are finished in golden oak with paneled ceiling and the walls are finished in a leather effect with a Tiffany blend. The lighting is a Brasco light, semi-indirect.
       A mirror 30 by 60 in size, was installed by D. E. Whitney and is one of the features of this metropolitan store. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 February 1917, p. 5, c. 3)

SEE: Walverman Block

CALE BLOCK
Located at 620 Front Street in 1905.

L. J. Cale’s new building on Front street is being hurried along with all possible speed. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

Among the more important buildings going up in Brainerd at the present time is the new flouring mill, the opera house, Witt & Leland’s brick hotel [Villard], L. J. Cale’s three-story store on Front street, the new Catholic church and the N. P. Hospital. The actual valuation of the above six structures amounts to $200,000. Not bad. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

The Cale building at the corner of Front and 7th streets is being underpinned and repaired. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The “Owls” is the name of a new organization which has been lately instituted in this city. Their first dance occurred at Cale’s hall on Tuesday and was a very enjoyable affair. Their next party will take place on the 28th inst. at Gardner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 February 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Fire animation On January 26, 1904, the Koop Block located on Front Street was wiped out by a spectacular fire along with the Linneman Brothers clothing store, Caroline Grandelmyer’s millinery store and Louis Hohman’s confectionary store. The total damages were about $100,000.

SEE: 1904 Koop Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

SEE: Post Office

SEE: Gardner Block

CARLSON, JOHN & SON CLOTHING
Located in the L. J Cale store building on Front Street sometime prior to April 1907. In 1931 the store is located at 608 Front Street and Harry J. Carlson is also shown as an owner. In 1949 the store is listed at 624 Front Street and Harry J. Carlson is listed as the sole owner.

John Carlson's mercantile experience began as a clerk for Westfall Brothers. Eight years later (1901) H. W. Linneman and he formed a partnership, purchasing the J. F. McGinnis & Company stock of merchandise. In 1904 he bought his partner's interest and on January 1, 1914, associated with Harry Carlson, his son. John Carlson and Son carry a complete and reliable line of shoes, luggage, men's clothing and furnishings. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 112).

26 March 1904. It will be surprising news to many Brainerd people to learn that the firm of Linneman and Carlson, one of the leading clothing firms of the city today dissolved partnership. H. W. Linneman has sold out to John Carlson. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 2004)

Carnegie Public Library at the northeast corner of 7th and Washington, ca. 1910, notice the Barn in the background.
Source: Postcard
CARNEGIE PUBLIC LIBRARY (MAP #17)
On 02 [sic] June 1872 a meeting was called by Dr. S. [sic] W. [sic] Thayer and Reverend J. A. Gilfillan of the Episcopal Church, to speed up the promoting of starting a public library. This was an ambitious enterprise. They had collected $160 as a contribution toward a fund. Let it be noted here that an association did not come into existence until 1882, when other new comers were fired with the same zeal. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 8)

NOTE: Zapffe’s above date and the doctor’s name are incorrect.

At a meeting held in Bly’s Hall on 22 June 1872, with Dr. C. P. Thayer chairman, Reverend Gilfillan reported that $160 had been raised for library purposes. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 34)

BRAINERD LIBRARY.


A number of citizens, interested in the foundation of a free library, met at the store of E. H. Bly, Esq. on Saturday evening last.
Dr. C. P. Thayer elected chairman.
Rev. William Gilfillan reported that $160 was already subscribed to the enterprise, although the largest part of the community were not informed as yet concerning the project, and Mr. Holden stated that mechanic were pledged to put up the building necessary free of cost, if the material were furnished.
It was also stated that Mr. L. P. White, agt. of the L. S. and P. S. Co. had offered a lot for the purpose.
After remarks by several present upon the general objects of the association and the great need of a library and reading room, a committee of three was appointed, Rev. Mr. Gilfillan, Lyman Bridges and L. H. Bunnell, to confer with property owners and others interested with reference to the selection of a site for the necessary building, to report at the next meeting.
Adjourned to meet over the store of E. H. Bly, Saturday, June 29th, at 8 P.M. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 June 1872, p. 1, c. 3)

BRAINERD LIBRARY ASSOCIATION.


At a meeting on Saturday evening last, composed of many of our best citizens, a library association was formed, and officers elected. The design is to build a building expressly for the purpose of a free public library, where the hundreds of young men and others may spend their evenings and other leisure hours in reading from a well stocked library, and in a fine suite of rooms. There will be a second meeting, this Saturday evening at Bly’s new hall, to complete the arrangements and hear the reports of committees that have been to work the past week. This is an enterprise eminently commendable in character, and one that we know will meet with prompt and substantial assistance from all. Let the matter be put forward with all energy by all means. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 June 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

The present Library Association was organized in 1882 with Henry I. Cohen president. A room upstairs in the old depot was fitted up as a library, interested friends furnishing free all the paper, paint, lumber and labor necessary. Lectures and entertainments netted large sums for the purchase of books. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 34)

Henry I. Cohen, a brother-in-law of the Pateks, arrived in 1880. In 1882 he led in organizing a “Library Association.” He adopted what Thayer and Gilfillan had begun in June of 1872. However, Cohen started a library in fact when years later he procured permission to use a room in the top story of the old railway depot building. It was a starter. Little is known about its career. It was a voluntary organization and depended on donations of books and services. Twenty years later Cohen became identified again with a permanent public library. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 21 & 22)

Mrs. C. M. Patek, a natural leader in cultural pursuits, arrived in Brainerd in 1882 and for forty years was very active in literary circles. The public library was one of her principal activities. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 21)

An excursion to Walker in 1892 [1899] added $500 more for books, for O. O. Winter, superintendent of the Brainerd and Northern Railroad and a member of the library board, returned one-half of the ticket money to the library. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 34)

NOTE: Zapffe says the above excursion to Walker took place in 1895, which is also incorrect.

O. O. Winter arrives in Brainerd to serve as the manager of the Brainerd & Northern Minnesota Railway Company. Being a strong advocate of libraries he soon allied himself with H. I. Cohen who had ever been persistent about getting a library started in Brainerd. It was a personal undertaking. The Common Council took no definite steps to establish a public library. From Winter this private movement got its first boost when he offered to run an excursion trip and take Brainerd people to Walker for a day of picnicking and share the passenger receipts with the Library Association. A picnic was held, and as a result of the sale of tickets the library emerged with $500 in its treasury. This struggle to have a public library and maintain it at public expense culminated ten or twelve years later in the next century. We would like to be able to relate more about what a library board may have been in those years, but there is no record of any sort about it. By all the fragmentary signs it was only a group of people who were enthusiastic and persistent. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 76)

The Brainerd Public Library Association is the latest organization in the city and is one which instantly commends itself to public favor. The city of Brainerd is perhaps the only one of its size in the state without a public library, and the promoters of this organization feel that such a distinction is not in the least complimentary. The association is composed of some of our leading business and professional men, and it is their determination with the co-operation of the general public to secure for our townspeople one of the best circulating libraries in Minnesota. To this end the association has already arranged for ten high class entertainments to be given in the city this winter under its direction, the first being the famous Carrington Co., on Nov. 28th and 29th, in a series of three performances embodying history, music, science and novelty, allegoric and pyrotechnic displays, etc. It is hoped that our people will duly appreciate the efforts of her citizens in this matter and give these entertainments their cordial patronage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 November 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

In Fine Shape.


The Brainerd Public Library Association, through its committee in charge, is pleased to announce that as a result of the generous patronage accorded its first entertainment and the liberal purchase of season tickets it now has sufficient funds in hand to pay its guarantee and hall rent for the entire course and from now on all monies received will go directly toward the library fund. This statement is made in order that the friends of the enterprise may know the condition the association has attained and to encourage them to further efforts for its successful consummation.
HENRY I. COHEN, Pres.
P. S. WARE, Sec. and Man.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

EXCURSION TO BEMIDJI
_____

For the Benefit of the Brainerd
Public Library As-
sociation.
_____

FARE $1.00 FOR THE ROUND TRIP.
_____

Splendid Program of Entertain-
ment at Bemidji—The Chance
of a Lifetime.
_____


On Tuesday next, July 25th, the people of this city will practically move en masse to Bemidji to spend the day. On that date there will be an excursion from Brainerd to that thriving town for the benefit of the Brainerd Public Library Association, and although the distance is nearly 200 miles there and back, the fare will only be $1.00 for the round trip, scarcely a half cent a mile. And as the proceeds of the excursion, except the bare cost of operating the train, will go to establish a free library here, the one thing this city needs above another, it will be readily seen that every citizen who has a particle of pride in the place will purchase tickets for himself and family and go and have a good time. This splendid opportunity to raise money for the association is due to the public spirited generosity of General Manager Winter, of the B. & N. M., who, although a resident of this city only a few months, is very active in every undertaking to advance the city’s interests. The idea originated with Mr. Winter and Henry I. Cohen, the president of the association, and with them, to think is to act, hence with H. D. Treglawny, treasurer of the association, they went to Bemidji on Monday and perfected the arrangements, and got the citizens of that enterprising little burg to hustling to make the excursion a most enjoyable occasion.

William Dresskell, city band leader, orchestra leader, jeweler and electrician, ca. Unknown
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Bemidji is one of the most attractive spots in Northern Minnesota. It is situated right upon the shores of beautiful Lake Bemidji with its splendid beaches and beautiful hard wood groves. It has unusually good accommodations to entertain a large crowd. Over 60 fine row boats are available besides six or eight gas and naphtha launches, and a large steamboat capable of carrying 150 people. A fine grove on the lake shore adjoins the depot grounds, and here a large dancing pavilion will be erected, and dancing can be indulged in free. Dresskell’s orchestra of this city will furnish the music. Bath houses will be erected to accommodate bathers, so take along your bathing suit. Over $400 has been raised by citizens of Bemidji to provide suitable entertainment, which insures ample amusement for all.
These gentlemen returned on Tuesday delighted with their success, and a special meeting of the association was called on Tuesday evening to hear their report. Mr. Cohen presided, and Dr. Frederick was elected temporary secretary. Mr. Cohen stated what had been done and the association endorsed their action. Mr. Winter, on motion, was elected an honorary member. The chair was authorized to appoint an executive committee of five, the president to be an ex-officio member, the committee to have power to appoint sub-committees. The following gentlemen have been appointed: H. Treglawny, Dr. Frederick, Dr. Groves, R. F. Walters and Geo. D. LaBar. Mr. LaBar was given charge of the distribution and sale of all tickets.
The committee got to work immediately and tickets have been issued and put on sale in every business house in town. Bills announcing the excursion have been issued, and under the energetic and skillful management and direction of President Henry I. Cohen nothing has bee left undone to make the excursion a great success. All business houses have agreed to close and the shops will probably be shut down. Dresskell’s City Band has been engaged for the occasion, and a grand balloon ascension and parachute leap has been arranged for.
The train will leave this city at 6:30 sharp on Tuesday morning, and returning will leave Bemidji about 7 p. m., arriving here about 11 p. m. The committee desires to say there will be no delay in starting, hence be promptly on hand to go at 6:30 o’clock sharp.
This excursion will undoubtedly be one of the most enjoyable occasions of the season. The ride through the pine forests past the beautiful lakes will be delightful, and at Bemidji, when one considers the elaborate preparations being made there by the citizens, it is safe to say it will be more enjoyable still. Everyone will have a delightful time, and at the absurdly cheap price of $1.00. The opportunity will not be offered again, and besides you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you assisted in establishing a free public library.
Take your lunch baskets along and enjoy a picnic dinner. They will be checked on the train. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 July 1899, p. 1, c’s. 3 & 4)

If there is one thing more than another that this city needs it is a public library. On Tuesday next an excursion for the benefit of the public library will be run to Bemidji, one of the most delightful and attractive spots in Northern Minnesota. Contribute your mite towards procuring a library, and at the same time enjoy a pleasant outing, by purchasing tickets for yourself and family. The fare is almost nothing, only $1 a ticket for a railroad ride of nearly 200 miles, on one of the most delightful excursions it will be your privilege to enjoy. Let every citizen attend. Not less than one thousand citizens should participate in this most commendable enterprise to start a library in our city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 July 1899, p. 4, c. 1)

A Card.


The executive committee of the Brainerd Library Association wish to express their sincere thanks to the generous public who patronized the excursion under their auspices, the editors who assisted in advertising the undertaking, Dresskell’s City Band and the N. P. band who tendered their services, as well as the citizens who assisted directly in various ways to its final success. We tender our particular thanks to Mr. O. O. Winter for his share which cannot be repaid. Mr. Winter is satisfied with the self-consciousness of a worthy deed—well done. We extend to the citizens of Bemidji the hand of fellowship for their hospitality, headed and aided by the energy and ability of Mr. Street and Mayor Smith, who were on hand from first to last. The result of this excursion places the Library Association in working shape for a practical start. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1899, p. 1, c. 2)

THE EXCURSION A GREAT SUCCESS
_____

Brainerd People Enjoy a Days’ Outing
at Bemidji and are Royally
Entertained.
_____


The excursion to Bemidji on Tuesday for the benefit of the Brainerd Public Library Association was successful beyond all expectations, and everyone of the large multitude of people who attended declared it one of the most enjoyable outings of the season. The day was an ideal one for the occasion, the weather being cool and delightfully refreshing in the morning before the excursion started, and the rain of Sunday evening had laid the dust so that the ride to Bemidji was not hot and dusty as anticipated, but cool and pleasant.
The excursion train was run in two sections, the first section containing 12 coaches completely filled, but all found seats. The start was made at 6:30 sharp as advertised, and the second section, which contained five coaches and three cabooses, left just ten minutes later. The second section was not as thoroughly filled as the first. Both bands accompanied the excursion, Dresskell’s City Band being with the first section, and the Northern Pacific band with the second. Something over 1,100 people went on the trains, and the city was as quiet as the grave all day, all business houses being closed. The run to Bemidji was made in four hours and a half, the first train arriving at 10:55 and the second at 11 o’clock. A reception committee headed by Mayor Smith, of Bemidji, and County Attorney Street, welcomed the excursionists on alighting at the depot, and figuratively speaking, gave them the town. A large banner bearing the words “Welcome Brainerd,” was suspended across the street at the depot, and an arch containing the same words spanned one of the business streets. The crowd at once repaired to the picnic grounds near the depot on the lake shore, and all were delighted at the thoughtful preparations made for their entertainment by the good people of Bemidji. Tables and chairs innumerable, enough for all to use for luncheon, were found, and barrels of ice water were placed every few feet throughout the grounds. All were hungry and enjoyed a delightful picnic dinner. After dinner the City Band discoursed delightful concert music on the grounds, while the N. P. band went on board the steamer which made numerous trips out on the lake, taking a large crowd each trip, and the band entertained the people on the boat with music.
After dinner, too, dancing was indulged in without cost at the pavilion erected for this purpose, Dresskell’s superb orchestra of this city furnishing the music. And while large numbers danced many others went boat riding on the electric and naphtha launches, and the sixty available row boats were constantly in use. Many had their bathing suits, and the magnificent beaches were alive with the merry bathers. Indeed, it seemed as if all were enjoying themselves to the utmost, and the time for departure passed all too rapidly.
At 3 o’clock the Brainerd and Bemidji ball teams, led by the N. P. band, repaired to the base ball grounds adjacent to the splendid $12,000 school building of which Bemidji is so justly proud, and an interesting and entertaining, if somewhat one-sided game, was enjoyed by a large crowd. The score was 19 to 3 in favor of the Brainerd club, Frank Howe, of this city, officiating as umpire.
One of the attractions was a shooting tournament by the Bemidji Gun Club, in which several Brainerd boys participated. Jas. R. Smith, of this city, won first money, and I. U. White, W. S. McClenahan and H. L. Casey got a share of other purses.
Exactly at 7 o’clock as previously arranged, the first section left Bemidji on the homeward trip, and the second section left five minutes later. Both arrived here about 12 o’clock. The ride home, unlike most excursions of this kind, was not tiresome, but pleasant and enjoyed by all. There was no dust and it was cool and refreshing, and the delightful stay at Bemidji was so short that the ride home was enjoyed as part of the days’ pleasures.
It was indeed a delightful excursion, and those having the arrangements in charge are deserving of great praise for their efforts. Everything went off as planned without a hitch. The trains were managed in a perfect manner, thanks to the untiring efforts and forethought of General Manager Winter, who gave them his personal attention. The executive committee, led by President Henry I. Cohen, are deserving of great praise, also for their foresight in providing ample accommodations for all. The crowd was on its good behavior and no disorderly or boisterous conduct whatever marred the occasion The crowd was made up of the best people of Brainerd and nothing else could be expected.
But to the enterprising citizens of Bemidji the thanks of every excursionist should be extended for the perfect and thoughtful manner in which they provided everything that would add to the comfort or pleasure of the party.
The association realized over $500 above all expenses from the excursion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1899, p. 1, c’s. 4 & 5)

Library Meeting.


The Brainerd Public Library Association held a business meeting on Friday evening at which time Dr. J. L. Frederick was elected secretary to succeed P. S. Ware who has removed from the city. A committee on constitution consisting of W. S. McClenahan, P. J. Murphy, J. L. Frederick, and H. I. Cohen was elected, and they will at once commence securing data for the purpose of drafting by-laws and constitution for the governing of the association.
The library committee, appointed under resolution, consists of O. O. Winter, Rev. G. W. Gallagher, Howard Isham, Dr. A. F. Groves and Henry I. Cohen.
It was decided to place a book for the reception of new members in Dresskell’s jewelry store where the names may be enrolled, and which will be published from week to week in the local newspapers, the following being elected active members at the last meeting: Dr. Hemstead, Rev. G. W. Gallagher, Rev. C. F. Kite, Mr. and Mrs. O. O. Winter, A. F. Ferris and Howard Isham. The membership fee is $2.
The executive committee was given authority to select permanent quarters for the library, and a committee consisting of Rev. Fr. Lynch, Rev. G. W. Gallagher and Rev. C. F. Kite, were appointed to select two ladies from each of the five wards of the city to solicit membership. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 August 1899, p. 1, c. 6)

The Public Library.


While the number of people who turned out to the mass meeting at Gardner hall on Monday evening was not as large as had been hoped for there was a good attendance and of the kind of people necessary to the support of a public enterprise such as the Brainerd public library is to be. Henry I. Cohen, president of the association opened the meeting by explaining to the audience the position that the association is in and gave a history of the movement since it was started some time ago. The sum of $500 was realized from the business men’s excursion over the B. & N. M. to Bemidji last summer and in addition to the above sum about $100 was in the hands of the treasurer. With this amount 1000 volumes of literature have been selected and purchased which will be placed upon the shelves as soon as the room is placed in shape for their reception. Some valuable additions to the library have been made in the way of gifts from Mr. and Mrs. E. B. McCullough, Dr. McPherson and John Hurley. Ambrose Tighe, of St. Paul, has also made a voluntary contribution of $25 to the fund. The association is also indebted to Mr. Kendrick, of the Northern Pacific for a present of a five years lease of rooms in the depot building, and added to that is the gift of the material for shelving from Geo. H. Cook, of the Brainerd Lumber Co., and the building of the shelves free of charge by White & White. Following Mr. Cohen were remarks by Rev. Gallagher, Prof. Hartley, O. O. Winter and Dr. Groves. A short programme, musical and literary, was listened to with interest by the audience, Mrs. J. C. Atherton, Mrs. Dr. W. Courtney, Misses Davis, Mitchell, Gallagher and Mr. Jay Patek, furnishing the talent. The association adopted by-laws and a constitution for their government and following this a board of directors was elected consisting of Rev. G. W. Gallagher, Harry Treglawny, W. S. McClenahan, E. O. Parks, R. F. Walters, C. M. Patek, O. O. Winter, A. J. Halsted, Henry I. Cohen, Dr. G. S. McPherson, Rev. D. W. Lynch, Prof. Hartley, Mesdames Henry I. Cohen, J. N. Nevers, Fannie E. Smith, C. M. Patek, O. O. Winter, E. B. McCullough, Geo. Forsyth, J. P. Early, E. M. Westfall, G. W. Gallagher, Dr. W. Courtney, Dr. W. Hemstead and Miss Amy Lowey.
Fifty-five persons enrolled their names as members on Monday evening and twenty have joined since which with those who had previously taken a membership makes the number of members now nearly 100. Those who wish to become members and those who have already joined and wish to pay their fee can do so by calling on H. D. Treglawny, H. I. Cohen or Wm. M. Dresskell. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 October 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

WOULD CONSOLIDATE.
_____

An Effort Being Made to Consolidate
the N. P. Library with the
Public Library.
_____


A special meeting of the members of the Public Library association was held at the Y. M. C. A. parlors on Monday evening to elect directors to succeed Mrs. H. I. Cohen and Mrs. C. M. Patek, resigned.
On motion the resignations were accepted and three nominations were made to fill the vacancies as follows: Miss Katherine Gallagher, P. J. Murphy and Howard Isham. Messrs. Murphy and Isham were elected. The meeting then adjourned.
A meeting of the newly elected board of directors was held, and the following officers of the association for the ensuing year were elected:
H. I. Cohen, president.
O. O. Winter, 1st vice president.
Mrs. E. B. McCullough, 2nd vice president.
Miss Amy Lowey, secretary.
H. D. Treglawny, treasurer.
The following committees were appointed:
Ways and Means—Mrs. J. N. Nevers, Mrs. Dr. Courtney, Mrs. Geo. Forsyth, Mrs. H. I Cohen and Mr. A. J. Halsted.
Library Committee—Mr. Howard Isham, Mrs. O. O. Winter, Mr. P. J. Murphy, Mrs. J. P Early, Prof. T. B. Hartley, Mrs. C. M. Patek and Mrs. E. O. Parks.
The board discussed the matter of making an effort to consolidate the N. P. library with the Public library all expressing the belief that it was a consummation to be desired, and on motion Rev. Geo. W. Gallagher, Mrs. J. N. Nevers and President Henry I. Cohen were appointed a committee to confer with the N. P. library directors concerning the matter.
We understand a meeting of the directors of the N. P. library will be held at the shops tomorrow afternoon after closing hours to confer with the above committee. It is earnestly hoped that the matter can be satisfactorily arranged, as it would give this city a public library that would be a credit to it, and at the same time better serve all classes of citizens. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 October 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

Public Library Ball.


The ways and means committee of the Public Library association has decided to give a grand ball at Gardner hall on Friday evening, Nov. 10, to raise funds to furnish the library rooms. The executive committee has decided that funds now on hand contributed for library purposes cannot rightfully be used for furnishing the rooms, hence the newly appointed committee on ways and means held a meeting on Wednesday evening, and after discussing the matter of raising funds with which to furnish the rooms, decided to give a grand ball at the Gardner Opera House on Friday evening, November 10th. The Kelsey orchestra has been secured for the occasion, and the ladies of the association will do everything possible, by their presence and personal assistance to make the occasion a grand social success. Tickets will be $1.00.

_____

Will Not Consolidate.


The consolidation of the N. P. Library and new Public Library cannot take place, because of an insurmountable obstacle in the way. The constitution of the N. P. library reserves the use of the library for the use of the employees of the railroad only, which makes it impossible to consolidate although it would be beneficial to both. A meeting of the N. P. Library association was held last Saturday as announced, and the committee from the Public Library was present and explained the object of their visit, but a discussion revealed the above state of affairs, which settles the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 November 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

Elected a Librarian.


The executive committee of the Public Library Association held a meeting on Saturday evening, and elected Mrs. Irma Hartley as librarian. It was also decided to keep the library rooms open at present two evenings and one afternoon each week. The time has not yet been definitely decided, but it will probably be Wednesday evening, and Saturday afternoon and evening.
During the past week the library rooms have been put into shape for use. The shelving has been completed and nicely painted, and the walls of the rooms papered and decorated, and the books purchased are now being unpacked and placed on the shelves ready for use in a few days, probably tomorrow afternoon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 November 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

Library Matters.


The grand ball given at Gardner Hall on Friday evening last by the Public Library Association to raise funds to furnish the library rooms, was a splendid success socially and financially. A large crowd composed of the best people of the city was in attendance, and a very pleasant evening was enjoyed by all. The association realized $102 net from the ball.
The library committee has had several meetings during the past week to classify and arrange the books, which is being done rapidly. The rooms have been furnished and look very pleasant and cozy with the spic and span new furniture and new wall decorations. The library room will be open from 7 to 9 Wednesday evenings and from 1 to 5 Saturday afternoons, and from 7 to 9 Saturday evenings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

Official Announcement of the Opening
of the Public Library.


The rooms of the Public Library are open to the public now at stated times as follows:
Every Saturday afternoon and evening, and every Wednesday evening from 8 to 9 o’clock.
The rooms of the library are situated on the second floor of the N. P. depot in the northwest corner of the building.
Citizens wishing to borrow books can procure a card from the librarian when the rooms are open. The public is cordially invited to inspect the library.
By order of the executive committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1899, p. 8, c. 4)

Public Library a Free Library.


The officers of the public library, having been asked repeatedly the question, “What is the charge for drawing books?”, wish to state emphatically that the public library is free, and that there is absolutely no charge for drawing books.
The library is open to the public Wednesday and Saturday evenings and Saturday afternoon.
H. W. ISHAM,
Sec. Library Com.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1899, p. 10, c. 3)

The Brainerd Library Association held their first quarterly meeting on Friday evening last, and the report of the librarian showed that 372 cards had been issued and 1297 books had been taken out. There are now about 745 volumes on hand and in a short time 300 more will be added. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 January 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

Library Board Meeting.


The regular quarterly meeting of the public library board was held on Tuesday evening. Considerable business of a routine character was transacted. R. F. Walters was elected vice-president vice O. O. Winter, resigned, and Rev. Gallagher was elected to fill a vacancy on the library committee. Mrs. C. M. Patek was elected chairman of the library committee. An animated discussion relative to the raising of funds for library purposes was held, but no method was adopted. It was decided that hereafter children under 14 years could have the privilege of drawing books only on Saturdays.
On Saturday the library received 63 volumes of government reports of various kinds, and they will be catalogued and placed on the shelves. Henry I. Cohen, the president, while in Washington recently, arranged for the sending of these reports free. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1900, p. 10, c. 6)

LIBRARY BALL.
_____

Splendid Social Function to Raise Funds
for the Public Library.
_____


A meeting of the ways and means committee of the Library Association was held on Tuesday evening, and it was decided to give a grand ball at Gardner Hall, on Friday evening, May 11th, to raise funds for the Library Association. The committee also determined to make the ball one of the most pleasant social events of the season, and to that end decided to introduce a new and pleasing feature for the amusement and entertainment of the guests, which consists of the dancing of the German by about thirty young couples. This is undoubtedly the most beautiful and imposing of dances, and it will be a great treat to witness it. Dr. and Mrs. A. F. Groves have been chosen to lead the dance. Rehearsals are now being held and it will no doubt be perfectly mastered and splendidly executed on the occasion of the ball. Kelsey’s full orchestra will furnish the music. The floor managers have been selected and are as follows: Henry Linneman, R. J. Hartley, Geo. LaBar, Geo. H. Speer, Dr. Hemstead, C. C. Kyle, Dr. Batcheller, C. A. Allbright, Dr. Fredericks, W. A. M. Johnstone, P. J. Murphy and S. R. Adair.
While the ball will be, probably, one of the most pleasant social occasions of the season, and those attending will be repaid many times the cost of the ticket, yet every citizen, whether able to attend or not should purchase a ticket and help maintain the library, which is doing a magnificent work in brightening the minds of the people of this community. Tickets are $1.00 a couple, and 50c for extra ladies. If you don’t dance it will pay you to purchase a ticket and see the beautiful and imposing German. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 May 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

The library ball at Gardner Hall last Friday night was brilliant success socially and financially. It was one of the most delightful social occasions of the season, and a snug sum of money was realized for the benefit of the library. The feature of the evening was the dancing of the German by about thirty couples, led by Dr. and Mrs. Groves. The many beautiful and artistic figures were much enjoyed and liberally applauded by the spectators. The net receipts were $125. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

Annual Meeting.


The regular annual meeting of the members of the Brainerd Public Library Association will be held at the Y. M. C. A. building on Friday evening, Oct. 5th. A new board of directors will be elected and other business transacted. All members are urgently requested to be present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

Annual Meeting.


The annual meeting of the Public Library Association was held at the Y. M. C. A. Saturday evening.
Annual reports of the secretary and treasurer were read. The treasurer’s report showed $1137.18 receipts, $964.88 disbursements and $172.30 balance on hand.
The library committee reported 1296 volumes in the library.
Directors were elected as follows:
Messrs.—
M. McFadden,
A. J. Halsted,
W. H. Gemmell,
W. A. Fleming,
J. L. Torrens,
H. I. Cohen,
Dr. Hemstead,
Rev. Gallagher,
R. F. Walters,
H. D. Treglawny,
Howard Isham,
J. T. Frater,
P. J. Murphy,
Mesdames—
C. J. Merritt,
Julia McFadden,
J. P. Early,
E. M. Westfall,
E. B. McCullough,
C. M. Patek,
Emma Forsyth,
A. V. Snyder,
Walter Courtney,
J. N. Nevers,
B. A. Ferris, and Miss Bess Mulrine.
A meeting of the directors was held after the association adjourned. H. I. Cohen was elected president, R. F. Walters and Mrs. E. B. McCullough, vice presidents, P. J. Murphy, secretary ahd H. D. Treglawny, treasurer.
Committees were appointed as follows:
Ways and Means Committee—Dr. Hemstead, chairman, W. H. Gemmell, Mrs. E. B. McCullough, H. G. Isham, Mrs. E. M. Westfall
Library Committee—Prof. J. L. Torrens, Mrs. J. P. Early, Mrs. C. M. Patek, Rev Gallagher, P. Jp. Murphy, H. G. Isham, Mrs. Dr. Courtney. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1900, p. 2, c. 4)

It was a time when Andrew Carnegie, the steel maker, was displaying magnanimity toward small cities in donating libraries. Carnegie’s offer, made in January to Brainerd, was that he would pay $12,000 toward a building provided the city contribute the site and arrange to raise not less than $1,200 annually for maintenance. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

At long last, in June of 1902 to be precise, the Common Council began to consider building and operating a public library. The records regarding a library in Brainerd are very few. One thing is certain; it was ever entirely a voluntary function and always led by Henry I. Cohen. He continuously saw such a need, never recognized defeat, and was patient with delay. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

On 15 September 1902, the council accepted Carnegie’s offer and in November the people voted a one-half mill levy for the maintenance of the library. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

$1,000 was raised through public subscription and with it a deed was procured, on 25 May 1903, which conveyed the site to the city. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

In June the Common Council accepted this deed, and Mayor Halsted thereupon appointed a Library Board consisting of nine members. H. I. Cohen was one of the nine and acted as convener for a meeting held on 28 July for the purpose of organizing. He was elected president of that new Board. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

On 28 August the Library Board engage R. D. Church, a Minneapolis architect, to design a building. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

The present library was built in 1905 at a cost of $12,000. Andrew Carnegie donated the building; the city pays for its maintenance. The library is a valuable adjunct to the public school work in the city. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 34)

Late in the fall of 1908 a new City Charter was adopted and a Library Board was prescribed. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

On 04 May 1908 Mayor Ousdahl appointed six men and three women to the new Library Board. Cohen was not one of them, but his sister-in-law Mrs. C. M. Patek, a highly cultured woman and a leader in many literary activities, was one of the three women. She continued as secretary for a long time and performed with the same enthusiasm and diligence that Cohen had always displayed. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 85)

The city acting as a whole could well afford to establish a new public library as a memorial to the Brainerd men who participated in the Bataan Death March during World War II. A library has the advantage that it is already provided for by charter and taxation. One need only expand on this. The present library has now 17,000 volumes, which is a credit to Brainerd, but is too large a stock of books for so small a building. The ever-increasing demand for superior books is so high, particularly during the vacation season when summer visitors abound, that a larger and more commodious building should be provided. It is bound to come some day; but it would be a marvelous memorial of high intellectual value. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 174)

NOTE: National Register of Historic Places, added 1980; classical revival style of granite and brick. The front of the building features a portico with four columns supporting a pedimented gable.

03 April 1984. The first major step to replace Brainerd’s 80-year-old library was taken at the city council meeting where aldermen approved an option to buy adjoining lots at 5th and Norwood Streets. Alderman Don O’Brien thought the acquisition cost of the land was too high. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 2014)

Cass County Courthouse located in West Brainerd, 1875.
Source: Engraving, Halsted Map 1875

CASS COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Cass County was created by an act of the Legislature on May 1, 1851. It originally included the portion of modern-day Crow Wing County west of the Mississippi (including the city of West Brainerd consisting of 35 residents in the 1880 census). It was first organized in 1872, with the county seat located in West Brainerd in a building that was used as a courthouse. It remained attached to Crow Wing County for administrative purposes. The organization was abandoned in 1876 and Cass County was not reorganized until 1897, with Walker as the county seat. The portion of Crow Wing County west of the river was annexed from Cass County by an act of the Legislature on February 18, 1887, nearly doubling the size of Crow Wing County.

A gentleman by the name of Wright [sic] from Toronto, Canada, has rented Chas. Ahrens building, formerly the Cass county court house, and will immediately put in a plant for the manufactory of lumbermen’s implements of all descriptions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The work of putting the Ahrens building, on the west side, in shape for the reception of the machinery to be used by P. & E. Waite in their new factory is being rapidly pushed. The gentlemen expect to open for business June first. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

A meeting will be held this evening at Keene & McFadden’s office to discuss matters in relation to getting the manufacturing concern of P. & E. Waite moved to this side of the river. The institution manufactures all kinds of lumbermen’s implements, sleds, etc. Snow plows for logging firms are also made. It is hoped a large attendance will respond. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 February 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

On Friday evening last a meeting of the business men was held at Keene & McFadden’s office for the purpose of considering the project of removing the manufacturing concern of P. and E. Waite to this side of the river, and to take under advisement the formation of a stock company. The company manufactures logging sleds and all kinds of tools and implements used by lumbermen, besides snow plows, the patentee of the latter machine, Mr. Brazil, of Sheboygan, being present at the meeting. While no final conclusions were arrived at, it is understood that an effort will be made to secure subscribers sufficient to put in a plant of from $5,000 to $10,000, the gentlemen already interested signifying their willingness to take a majority of the stock. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Fire animation On November 26, 1894, the old Cass County Courthouse burned. At the time, it was owned by Charles Ahrens and was occupied by a company that manufactured lumbermen’s supplies such as logging sleds, tote sleds, snow plows, cant hooks, etc.

SEE: 1894 Cass County Courthouse Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

CHRISTIAN SCIENTIST CHURCH
In April 1905 the Christian Scientists of this city are to erect a new church on the lots which they bought recently of Mrs. C. Grandelmeyer on the corner of Eighth and Kingwood Streets North. It will be one of the prettiest churches in the city. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 11 April 2005)

This church is currently located on the northeast corner of Fifth and Kingwood Streets; the lot was purchased in 1923.

Citizens State Banks, both of the buildings shown here were, at one time, the home of the Citizens State Bank. The building on the left was known as the Brainerd State Bank when it was built in 1923, the building on the right is the Parker Block, the two buildings are at the southwest and northwest corners of 7th and Laurel, picture ca. 1923.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
CITIZENS STATE BANK (MAP #32)
SEE:
Brainerd State Bank

SEE: Northern Pacific Bank

SEE: Parker Block


Fire animation On January 27, 1907, a fire wiped out the Reilly block containing the Reilly drygoods and hardware store, M. J. Reis drygoods store, Brockway & Parker, grocers and the Citizens’ State Bank building. Losses amounted to about $80,000.

SEE: 1907 Reilly Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Fire animation On December 16, 1914 a fire believed to have started from a defective furnace completely destroyed the E. C. Bane block and damaged the C. M. Patek Building and the Citizens’ State Bank buildings. The Journal Press newspaper lost everything.

SEE: 1914 Bane Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

City Hall at the northeast corner of 5th and Laurel, ca. 1950.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
CITY HALL (MAP #66)
The city is looking around for a site for a new city hall which is a very wise move. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

ONE DOLLAR PER MONTH.
_____

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


...On motion the chair appointed a special committee consisting of Aldermen Sanborn, McMurtry and Ferris for the purpose of looking up a suitable location for a new city hall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

The City Council.


The city council met in regular session Monday evening.
The report of special committee on city hall location recommending that no further action be taken at present was read and accepted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 August 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

NEW CITY HALL

The Council Considers the Matter of
Building a New City Building.


[...]


The matter of building a new city hall was discussed, the general sentiment of the aldermen being that a new city hall is a necessity. On motion of Alderman Fogelstrom a committee of five aldermen, one from each ward was appointed to look up a location and consider the matter. The chair appointed: 1st ward, Geo. Gardner, 2nd ward, F. A. Farrar, 3rd ward, Geo. Halladay, 4th ward, F. G. Fogelstrom, 5th ward, S. R. Adair.

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 February 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

04 March 1913. The most important business transacted at the regular council session was the decision to purchase three lots on the northeast corner of 5th and Laurel Streets as a city hall site. The vote was 6-3, with one member absent. The Salvation Army hall is currently on one lot. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 2013)

12 March 1913. The Trades and Labor Assembly of the city, in a special meeting at the Labor Temple, voted to raise $50 to finance a fight against the proposed location of a city hall at the corner of Laurel and S. 5th Streets. At its last meeting, the council purchased 3 lots there. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 12 March 2013)

02 May 1913. A petition bearing almost 300 names has been filed with City Attorney Ryan and objecting to the city’s payment for the site purchased for a new city hall. The matter will be thrashed out by the city council. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 02 May 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 $75,00 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)

CITY HALL BONDS SELL AT PREMIUM
_____

Wells & Dickey Company, of Minneapolis, Take the $75,000 Issue
at $3,025 Premium
_____

CITY FINANCES THE BRIDGE FILL
_____

Six Local Bidders Take $7,500 and
Sinking Fund Commissioners
the Balance of Issue


From Wednesday’s Daily:—
Wells & Dickey company, of Minneapolis, who have been the best boosters of Brainerd in recent years, having bought two other issues of bonds made, last night bought the $75,000 city hall bonds at a premium of $3,025 after spirited bidding with the Harris Trust & Savings bank, of Chicago.
The $22,000 bridge fill bonds in the bidding, got the highest bid from the Wells & Dickey company, a premium of $375. The council rejected the bid and awarded it to the local bidders at par and accrued interest.
The selling of bonds witnessed the first entry of local individuals as bidders. The $22,000 bond issue is distributed among these buyers: Peter Larson $1,000, Charles Barrett $1,000, Mrs. Maggie McPherson $500, Mrs. Louise Congdon $500, the local Eagles lodge $2,500, Torger Peterson $2,000 and the sinking fund commissioners take the balance $14,500.
The city hall $75,000 issue bears interest at 5 per cent, payable semi-annually and the bonds mature in 20 years. Interest is payable at the First National bank of Minneapolis.
The bridge fill $22,000 issue bears interest at 5 per cent, payable semiannually, and the bonds mature in 10 years. Interest is payable at the city treasurer’s office in Brainerd.
All members of the council were present last night. On motion, it was decided to sell the bids at auction. The sealed bids were first opened.

[...]


Wells & Dickey thereupon offered $2,000 premium on the city hall bonds. Then followed a line of spirited bidding for the city hall bonds. The council chambers were filled with interested onlookers, the bond buyers themselves occupying half the room. In weight of financial interests the houses represented more money than had ever come to Brainerd in any time of its history.

[...]


In bidding on the $22,000 bridge fill bonds, Wells & Dickey made the premium $150, Minneapolis Trust Co. $200, Harris $220, Minneapolis Trust Co. $230, Wells & Dickey $250, Minneapolis Trust Co. $275, Wells & Dickey $300, the Minnesota Loan & Trust Co. first and only bid in the auction $350, Wells & Dickey $375.
The motion then carried to reject this bid and award the bonds to local parties.
The Wells & Dickey Co. offered to re-sell to local people, making the bonds 4 1/2 per cent. Frank Russell, of the Eagles lodge, said the local people bid because they thought they had a preference. Mayor Henning said the bids of local individuals should not be disregarded.
Other members of the council favored selling to the Wells & Dickey Co. for by so doing they would be passed on and made negotiable. The point was raised that if the sinking fund commissioners wished to sell these bonds, they would have to be passed on before being negotiable.

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 13 February 1914, p. 1, c. 3)

On 02 March 1914 the Common Council issues $75,000 in bonds for a new City Hall and Fire Hall. The City Hall is built on the northeast corner of Laurel and Fifth Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 123)

80 CARS OF GRAVEL ORDERED
_____

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

TO BE USED AT THE CITY HALL
_____

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. On motion, eighty cars of gravel were ordered to be shipped from Ahren’s hill on the Minnesota & International railway and unloaded in the city at the most convenient place for the city hall construction. The gravel is to be loaded by the city forces.

[...]


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

Alderman Peterson reported on the gravel, and recommended the installation of a conveyor into which the men could shovel and thus load the flats at the Ahrens hill pit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1914)

QUARTER BLOCK CITY HALL SITE
_____

Council Favors Purchase of Dr. E. F.
Jamieson Lot if Salvation Army
Lot Can be Bought
_____

GRANT TWO LIQUOR LICENSES
_____

The 10 Hours Pay 9 Hours Work
Schedule Proves Confusing—
New Standard Adopted


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
Monday night’s session of the council was most prolific in discussion. All members were present except Aldermen Stallman and Smith. But it is a difficult matter to follow aldermen in their talks when the talk ends in nothing definite, in no motions. Yards of opinion indicate no concrete action. It would expedite business in a great measure to have committees report in writing and to do away with verbal reports which in large measure have little cognizance taken of them in official reports.

[...]


Alderman Mahlum read a letter from Dr. Earl F. Jamieson, the latter offering his alley lot near the city hall site for $950. Mr. Mahlum also reported that it was practically assured that the Salvation Army was willing to exchange its Fifth street location for a lot on Front street. Mr. Mahlum said the Front street lot could be bought for $250.
It was ascertained that there was $1,000 in the general fund and the question was where to get the balance. Alderman Lagerquist said it could be raised by subscription.
A. L. Hoffman urged the acquiring of the entire quarter block site. It meant a gain in civic beauty. He advanced various reasons why it should be bought now.
On motion of Alderman Mahlum the purchase committee was empowered to negotiate for the purchase of the Jamieson lot providing the city can gain title to the Salvation Army lot.
Alderman Peterson reported on the gravel question. On motion the city engineer was instructed to go to St. Paul and confer with the Northern Pacific railway officials regarding shipment of gravel.

[...]


The city engineer was instructed to look up the location of a gravel pit and the city will then by purchase or condemnation acquire it.

[...]


The city engineer was instructed to run the line of the streets in the sand pit.

[...]


City Hall Architect Parsons, of Minneapolis, wrote that the plans for the city hall and jail were about completed and asked for a council meeting to consider the same. A special meeting will be held on Monday evening, April 27. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1914, p. )

Brainerd’s new city hall and fire hall will soon be in use by the city. The city clerk’s office and the water and light board offices will be in their quarters in the city hall by Friday morning, April 30.
At the fire hall some cement work must be done and when completed the truck will be placed the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

BIDS TO BUILD THE CITY HALL
_____

Council May Advertise for Bids on
May 11 for Construction of
Brainerd’s City Hall
_____

Specifications are Expected Soon—
Council Building Committee
Going Over Plans


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
At the special meeting of the city council last night, Architect C. Howard Parsons, of Minneapolis presented his plans for the new city hall in Brainerd and the council, as a whole, considered them.
It is expected that on May 11 will be advertised the desire of the city for bids to construct the new public building. The specifications are expected soon.
The plans have been referred to the building committee, Aldermen Smith, Hess and Stallman.
In excess of 100 cars of gravel at $7.50 a car will be loaded by the city to take care of all contemplated street work this season including sidewalks and furnishing of gravel for the city hall cement work, and the street committee and the city engineer were given power to act to arrange for the price of gravel to be paid Richard Ahrens.
The building committee is to look over the city hall plans and report in two weeks, when the architect will be here. In the meantime the plans are on exhibition at the city clerk’s office and the public is invited to examine them and to comment on the same. The specifications are expected today or tomorrow.
The matter of acquiring two additional lots for the city hall site so as to make it a complete quarter block is now assured. The Lieutenant Colonel of the Salvation Army has consented to trade the present army lot for the A. L. Hoffman lot on Front street. The price for the two additional lots will be about $1,200. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

CITY HALL CONTRACT LET
_____

Hodgin Construction Co. of St. Paul
Get General Building
Contract
_____


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
The city council met last evening at the council chambers with all members present.
The matter of the lots on which the new city hall is to be place was taken up and the Salvation Army was given permission to move their building now located on lot 22, block 45, to lot 15, block 17. This clears the lots in question and leaves them clear for the construction of the new building which will commence as soon as the contractors can get their material on the ground.
When the bids were opened for the city hall and jail building they were confronted with a mass of applications with which they wrestled until nearly 12 o’clock when they adjourned until 9 o’clock this morning. The council again took the city hall matter up and behind closed doors sorted and tabulated the figures as given by the several applicants with the result that the contract was let as follows:
The general building contract was awarded to Hodgin Construction Co. of St. Paul.
Jail cells, corridors, doors, vault doors, etc., went to the Diebold Safe Co. of St. Paul, at $4,000.
The electrical work was given to Nemis & Nemis of St. Paul, at $718.
The plumbing and heating contract was let to Slipp-Gruenhagen Co. of Brainerd, at $3,673 for the plumbing and $3,811 for the heating plant. The material to be used to be purchased of Crane & Ordway Co. and approved by the architect.
A bill of $1,600 was awarded the contractor [sic] [architect] for the drawing of the plans and other work incurred in the preparations for the bids.
Brainerd is now assured of a public owned city hall, jail and fire station, all to be complete in the most up to date construction and a credit to any city of this size in the state.
The building will be of dark pressed brick variegated in color and trimmed with light granite and dark stone.
At the regular meeting held last night a communication was read from Geo. F. Reid, president of the street railway company, having the franchise to construct and operate a street railway in the city of Brainerd, asking for an extension of time for the commencement of actual work of construction until Sept. 15, 1915. The city attorney was instructed to draw up an amendment to so change the ordinance to read as Mr. Reid desired. The war scare and the condition of the money market was given as the cause of the delay but it was stated by Mr. Reid that actual work would commence in a short time as the company was now incorporated in another state which would remove the restriction of selling the bonds at less than par. The company is said to be in good financial condition and no further hitch on the development work is anticipated, according to Mr. Reid.

[...]


On motion the council adjourned until Monday night, Sept. 25 at which time any points overlooked in regard to the city hall may be taken up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 August 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

WORK STARTS ON CITY HALL
_____

City Engineer C. D. Peacock Has Sur-
veyed Out the Foundation
Lines of Structure
_____

EXCAVATION WILL START SOON
_____

Hole to be Dug 140 by 150 Feet in
Extent and Five Feet Deep
—W. E. Hodgin in Charge


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
Work on the new $75,000 city hall has been started. The Hodgin Construction Co., of St. Paul, has the general contract and as soon as the Salvation Army building is removed they will put a force of 15 Brainerd men and 8 teams at work excavating the basement.
The excavation for the main structure is to be five feet deep and about 54 by 90 feet in size. Including the jail the basement measures roughly speaking about 140 by 150 feet.
W. E. Hodgin, of the construction firm, is on the ground and tomorrow will put up an office on the site. At present he is stopping at the Ransford hotel. He hopes the Salvation Army building will soon be removed from the grounds, the local contractor having already spent a week on the job.
City Engineer C. D. Peacock has surveyed out the foundation lines. Throughout the entire building Brainerd material and Brainerd labor will enter into the construction of the building as much as possible.
The Brainerd Booster club early in the year favored getting lists of Brainerd workers in all lines, to be furnished the contractors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 August 1914, p. 1, c. 3)

City Hall, Jail and Fire Hall


New City Hall completed in April 1915, ca. 1915.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Bidding was opened on February 10, 1914 for $75,000 worth of bonds to finance the building of a new city hall, jail and fire hall. City Hall architect C. Howard Parsons, of architects Alden & Harris, Minneapolis, wrote that the plans for the city hall and jail were about completed and asked for a council meeting to consider them. On March 16 eighty car loads of gravel were ordered to be delivered on the Minnesota & International Railroad from Ahrens’ Hill to the site. It was later recommended that a conveyor be installed into which the men could shovel and thus load the cars at the Ahrens’ Hill pit.
Architect Parsons presented his plans for the new building on April 27 and it was expected that the city would advertise for bids on May 11. The plans were on exhibit in the City Clerk’s Office and the public was invited to view them and make comments. On August 17 the general building contract was awarded to Hodgin Construction Company of St. Paul. Jail cells, corridors, doors, vault doors, etc., went to the Diebold Safe Company of St. Paul, at $4,000. The electrical work was given to Nemis & Nemis of St. Paul, at $718. The plumbing and heating contract was let to Slipp-Gruenhagen Company of Brainerd, at $3,673 for the plumbing and $3,811 for the heating plant. The plumbing and heating supplies to be used were to be purchased from the Crane & Ordway Company of St. Paul and approved by the architect. A bill of $1,600 was awarded the architect for the drawing of the plans and other work incurred in the preparations for the bids. The building would be of dark pressed brick variegated in color and trimmed with light granite and dark stone. Excavation for the main structure was begun on August 25 and was to be five feet deep and about 54 by 90 feet in size. Including the jail, the basement measured about 140 by 150 feet.
The plasterers, George Thill & Sons of St. Paul, were putting on the finish coat on February 12, 1915. Molded beam ceilings were created, the only work of the kind resembling it was in the post office which was built in 1910. The council chambers, situated at the east side of the city hall, were elaborately decorated with a ceiling of four full beams and two half beams. The cornice molding consisted of six members and molding plaster, plaster of Paris and stucco were used in its composition. About this time the jail was ready for the white coat. By Monday, February 15, the last of the plastering was underway in the fire hall and all plastering was finished by about Thursday, February 25.
Without ceremony, the new city hall was occupied on Thursday, April 29, 1915. City Clerk Anton Mahlum, with his employees, worked heroically and were the first to be established in the new space, occupying the southwest corner of the building on the second floor. City Engineer Peacock’s office was next door. The municipal court moved to its new quarters on the second floor. The first case, regarding a deal on a horse, to be tried in the new court room was that of Ole Lawson vs. Frank Veillette; W. H. Crowell was the attorney for the plaintiff and M. E. Ryan the attorney for the defense. The plaintiff rested his case and it was dismissed by Judge J. H. Warner. The council chambers, said to be light and airy, offering comfortable space to all who wished to hear the proceedings, were occupied Thursday evening by the council assembled in a special meeting. At the Water and Light Board offices, situated on the main floor in the southwest corner of the building, William Nelson, secretary, installed the equipment. The Hotel Antlers was one of the first to pay its water and light bill. The Water and Light Board also had the southwest corner of the ground floor for its workshop and additional rooms for storage. The farmers’ restroom was also located in the basement. The new city jail was unoccupied, no one seemed to be rushing for the distinction of being the first to get a cell.
The fire hall was to be occupied as soon as cement work near the entrance had been completed. The fire truck was on hand and ready to be run into its new quarters. Of the $75,000 in bonds voted to build the city hall, jail and fire hall, about $4,500 was left in the building fund. (An Overview of Happenings in the City of Brainerd for the Years of 1914 and Early 1915, A. Nelson)

SEE: Fire Halls

City Hotel at 510 Front, ca. 1892.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
CITY HOTEL (MAP #4)
The City Hotel and Restaurant, by E. A. Summers, was opened on Thursday to the public. The premises have been thoroughly fitted up and the proprietor has one of the finest restaurants in the northwest. Everything about the establishment is new and neat and we are informed that the place is already enjoying a good custom. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Notice to the Public.
_____


Having purchased the City Hotel and Restaurant business from Mr. E. A. Summers, I wish to notify the public not to allow any bills to be run in my name by any one unless on my written order.
S. WALKER.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The City Hotel will be moved into the building formerly occupied as a clothing store by E. M. Westfall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

E. A. Summers has moved his city hotel and restaurant to the building formerly occupied by E. M. Westfall as a clothing store. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

NOTE: I believe this is the location at 510 Front Street.

Located at 510 Front Street in the late 1890’s, next west of the McFadden-Westfall Stores. John Thomas Sanborn is the proprietor from 1886 to 1904; in 1902 he becomes Judge of Probate. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923)

SEE: Sherwood Drug Store

J. T. Sanborn, of the City Restaurant, will shortly add to his lunch department one of the very best short order outfits, and hereafter will cook to order any thing that the market affords, such as oysters, fish, game, steaks, chops, etc. “Prices way down” at his old stand, 40 Front Street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 February 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

T. McMaster contemplates the making of extensive improvements in the City hotel and restaurant property. The business of this popular hostelry has increased to such an extent that more room is absolutely necessary. Mr. McMaster now has in view the building of a third story on the present building which would add 14 more rooms, and he will probably ask council at its next meeting for a permit to do so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

T. McMaster proposes early in the spring to build a brick veneered addition to the rear of the City Restaurant 20 x 80 feet, two stories high, which will be used as a kitchen and laundry and the portion now used for a kitchen will be made a part of the dining room. The second story of the new portion will be used for sleeping rooms for the servants of the hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Sanborn’s Restaurant Ad
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1892, p. 4, c’s. 1 & 2
Lunch counter and restaurant inside the City Hotel, ca. 1909.
Source: Brainerd Tribune
The new addition to the City Hotel and Restaurant has been completed which gives the popular hostelry one of the largest and best dining rooms in the city. A magnificent new antique oak lunch counter has been put in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

The City Hotel and Restaurant in this city has been sold to Mrs. Kate Closterman, of Staples, who expects to take possession April 1st. Mr. and Mrs. Sanborn will reside in their residence on 4th street north. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

A Bold Robbery.
_____

Mrs. J. R. Crane Loses Nearly $1,500 by
Some Light-Fingered Gentry.
_____


On Wednesday of last week Mrs. J. R. Crane, of this city, suffered the loss of diamonds and jewelry valued at $375, and over $1,100 in currency, through a boldly planned robbery, and the exasperating thing about the whole matter is that not the slightest clue has yet been obtained as to who the villains are.
Mrs. Crane has been making her home with her sister, Mrs. Sanborn on the north side, but on that day she came down to spend the day with her mother, Mrs. Closterman, at the City Hotel, bringing her jewelry and money with her in a small satchel. At noon she left the satchel in the parlor of the hotel while she went to the dining room for dinner. On her return she found the satchel in the place she had left it, securely locked, but she could not find the keys some time afterward when she wanted to get into the satchel for some purpose. She thought nothing of this, supposing she had mislaid them. However, not finding the keys by Friday, she became uneasy and had a key made, only to discover when she unlocked the satchel that the diamonds and money were gone, taken, undoubtedly, while she was at dinner in the restaurant on Wednesday. Mrs. Crane is very much distressed by her heavy loss. She had received the money by express only a day or two before, intending to deposit it in the bank here, but neglected to do so at once, much to her sorrow. It is sincerely hoped that the guilty culprits may be apprehended and the lady recovers at least a portion of her property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 December 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

Found Her Diamonds.


Mrs. J. E. Crane, who recently had the misfortune to lose a satchel containing, among other things, her diamonds and several hundred dollars in money, has been fortunate enough to recover her diamonds, and also her pocketbook containing $4.50 and the keys of the satchel from which the things were taken. The pocketbook containing the diamonds and keys was found in the closet of one of the rooms at the City Hotel between a lot of blankets that were piled upon a shelf in the closet. It was probably put there by the person who stole the money, but who did not care to keep the diamonds and pocketbook, as they might have led to his discovery. The lady is to be congratulated on her good fortune. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Robbed a Blind Man.


George West, a blind man, who was in the city on his way to Ann Arbor, Mich., to have his eyes operated on, was robbed of $14.50 at the City Hotel on Monday night by a fellow named Jim Morris who was employed about the hotel in the capacity of porter. Morris took the blind man up to his room at bed time, and, according to Mr. West’s statement, requested him to turn over what money he had for safe keeping, stating that he would put it in the safe. Mr. West objected but Morris insisted and gained his point, taking $14.50 out of West’s pants pocket, and when he left locked the door on the outside. With the money Morris proceeded to the west end of the city and had a high old time, leaving on an early train for Staples, where he was arrested and turned over to Sheriff Spalding on Wednesday. A petition was circulated and $12 raised for Mr. West to replace the money he had lost. The charge against Morris is petty larceny. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

J. T. Sanborn yesterday morning took charge of the City Hotel and hereafter will have charge of it. Mrs. Closterman will return to Staples where she will again engage in the hotel business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

Mrs. Kate Closterman has again taken charge of the City Hotel, having bought out Mr. Sanborn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1896, p. 4, c. 4) 

J. T. Sanborn has again assumed control of the City Hotel and Restaurant, buying out Mrs. Kate Closterman the latter part of last week. Under Mr. Sanborn’s control the City was one of the most popular hostelries in the city, and deservedly so, and Mr. Sanborn will no doubt again enjoy the public favor. He contemplates making considerable improvement in the near future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 February 1897, p. 4, c. 3)

The work of putting in the steam heating plant of the City Hotel has been completed by F. J. Murphy, the plumber. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

...At the corner of south Sixth and Front Streets, where the Ransford Hotel now stands and over a general store was Bly’s Hall. The formal dances of the year were the one’s given by the Volunteer Fire Department, the Locomotive Firemen and the O. R. C. (Order of Railway Conductors). After Bly’s Hall was converted into a roller skating rink, Gardner’s Hall was used for dances. Dreskell’s orchestra furnished the music. Dances usually began at eight, at midnight an hour’s intermission for lunch, generally in J. T. Sanborn’s City Hotel, then the dance continued until morning. Winter sleigh ride parties to Toting places, the forerunners of our present day roadhouses and resorts, provided frequent country dances. (As I Remember, Dr. Werner Hemstead, born April 1860; came to Brainerd in 1882)

In 1904 extensive improvements are made at the City Hotel. New carpeting and new furniture, rooms are being re-painted, the walls in the lobby are being touched up. Mr. Sanborn is expending something in the neighborhood of $1,000 in these improvements. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 15 April 2004)

In 1906 James Smith, for many years a conductor and well known in this city, closed a deal by which he became landlord of the City Hotel. He bought the entire equipment and assumed the lease. He expects to make it the best popular priced hotel in the city. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 2006)

Fire animation On January 20, 1916, a fire believed to have been started by defective wiring destroys the City Hotel, owned by Judge J. T. Sanborn and occupied by C. J. Evensta, as well as a building owned by James Cullen [Midway Saloon]. The buildings and contents were valued at about $17,000.

SEE: 1916 City Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

City Jail located next to the County Sheriff’s home and jail at the northeast corner of 4th and Washington, ca. 1910.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
CITY JAIL (Second) (MAP #43)
In March of 1886 land is acquired from the county, since it is part of the courthouse half-block, and the second city jail is constructed of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick and is located east of the sheriff’s house and county lock-up on Main [Washington] Street. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38 & 50)

The City Council.


...The report of the committee to obtain a lease of the grounds for the new city prison reported that they had conferred with the proper railroad officials and found that they could get the grounds for that purpose, for as long as was necessary.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1886, p. 3, c. 6)

The question which is now agitating the minds of the councilmen is whether it is feasible to build a $2,000 or $3,000 brick jail building on the railroad grounds adjoining the hose house, which stand exactly in the middle of Fifth street, but which has never been opened across the railroad track. Of course the railroad company is perfectly willing that this building should go up on this site as it insures them of having the benefit of the unopened street which would otherwise cut their yard in two, but on the other hand if the railroad company so wills they would be obliged to remove the brick structure. It does not seem to be a sensible idea, and we doubt if any of the men who will have charge of locating it would put $2,500 of their own money into a building erected on railroad land, knowing that they would be obliged to take it off when said company got ready to so order. It is to be hoped that some good central location will be selected for the new building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 6)

The contract for building the new city jail was awarded to F. A. B. King & Co. at $2,259. Several other bids were in among which was that of A. Everett for $2,300, H. C. Miller, wood work for $1,168 and Denis Bro. iron work for $1,200. Aldermen Gardner, Keene, Percy, Doran and Hemstead will superintend the construction of the new building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 May 1886, p. 4, c. 5)

The council held a short session on Monday night while the balance of the citizens were celebrating the national holiday. Very little business was done except the allowing of sundry bills and receiving the reports of police and street commissioners. The purchasing committee was instructed to procure the necessary material for water closets for the new jail, this part of the structure having been entirely overlooked by that august body until brought to their notice, and no arrangements had been made in the contract with the builder. The clerk was instructed to issue an order to King & Munson for $1,000 as a part payment on contract.

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 July 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

The new city jail is fast nearing completion, the structure being finished to the roof. Denis Bros. are doing the iron work for the contractor. Over the door is the ominous word “Lock-up” carved in stone. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

...The jail committee accepted the new city jail building and allowed the bill of $2375.88 for its construction. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 November 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Crow Wing County’s Poor.


[...]


THE BRAINERD CITY LOCKUP.


The lockup at Brainerd was built from plans furnished by the state board of corrections and charities, at a cost of $2,300. The building has a stone foundation and is fire-proof throughout. It contains four cells, each 4x7 feet, separated by a middle corridor like that in the Goodhue County jail, and is divided into two sections for heating purposes. The floor is of concrete; each cell is well ventilated and is supplied with a swinging hammock. The outside walls are of brick, built hollow with an air space. The inside walls are unplastered, but are finished up smooth. The iron front of each cell is composed of lattice work, admitting light, air and heat freely. The whole can be readily washed with a hose. When visited, the jail corridor on one side of the lockup was occupied by the chief of police, as a lodging room. The building was entirely free from vermin and bad smells. This building could have been constructed with two additional cells for about $2,700, or $450 per cell. These cells are designed for one prisoner each, but are of a size commonly used in lockups for two prisoners each.... (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1887, p. 1, c. 9)

GRAND JURORS REPORT.


“The grand jury found an apparent lax management of the county jail, touching safety of prisoners. Several articles were picked up in the jail, and found under the closed cages, that may have been or might be used as weapons or as means of effecting escape. The sanitary condition was found reasonably good. It was recommended that prisoners be locked in their cells at night from sunset to sunrise. The city jail was found in apparent better condition than the county jail, but in both there was the evident practice of permitting the prisoners to sleep in the corridors. The jury criticizes this, and recommends that the officers be required to remove the cots of prisoners into the cells. The grand jury agree that the buildings are in condition ample both in sanitary and safety conditions to answer all present purposes, if the officers in charge only do their duty carefully and intelligently, and as a precaution necessary, it is recommended that the sheriff and officers be required to prevent communication through the windows, and that notices prohibiting such communication be posted, and infringement of the rule be punished.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

AS TO MURPHY’S SHORTAGE.

The Committee Gets at the Bottom of
Affairs and Reports.


[...]


At the request of Chief Brockway a stove was ordered put into the ladies department of the city jail.

[...]


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

Brainerd policemen now present a handsome appearance in fine new uniforms with brass trimmings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 April 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Business of the Council.


The city council met in adjourned session on Wednesday evening with Vice President Ferris in the chair. The minutes of previous regular and special meetings were read and approved.
A communication was read from the mayor in which he requested that some means be devised to prevent outsiders from passing liquor into the city jail, and suggested that a high board fence be built around the lock-up or that wire cages be attached to the windows in such a manner as to effectually prevent anything being passed through the grating. The matter was referred to the committee on health, sewerage and police to report. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 1, c. 3)

DISTRICT COURT NEWS.


The September term of the district court opened on Monday morning with Judge Holland presiding. The work of the grand jury occupied two days....
The grand jury made the following report:

REPORT OF THE GRAND JURY.

To the Hon. G. W. Holland, judge of the district court.

[...]


The city lock-up was also visited and the contrast was so marked that this jury feel it their duty to call the attention of the court to its filthy and unhealthy condition. At present there is but one water closet in the lock-up which is situated on the side used for the male prisoners, the side used for the female prisoners being with out conveniences of this kind. The grand jury would suggest that this matter be brought to the attention of the city officials. Besides this the windows are in such shape and condition that liquor can be passed in to the prisoners from the outside and frequent complaints of this nature have been made by the officers. The court is requested to urge upon the city officials the necessity for immediate remedy of this condition of things.
[SIGNED.] G. W. STRATTON,
Foreman.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 September 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

Court Matters.


[...]


...The following is the report made to the court:
To the Honorable Judge of the District Court of the 15th Judicial District:
We, the grand jury, have visited the county jail and the city lock-up, and find the county jail in excellent condition. The city lock-up was found in a bad sanitary condition, with dirty, filthy cots, unfit to be slept on, and we recommend to the court that the proper authorities be requested to remedy the matter at once. To procure new iron cots, and to have the place thoroughly cleaned and repaired and kept so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 September 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

Grand Jury Report.

BRAINERD, March 8th, 1899.


The grand jury met and transacted such business as properly came under its notice. We inspected the county jail and make the following recommendations: We find after investigation,
1. That we find the sleeping apartments of the jail as inadequate and insufficient; we therefore recommend that hammocks be provided.
2. That spittoons be provided for prisoners.
3. That commissioners be instructed to furnish sufficient coal and wood for heating and cooking.
4. That any reasonable request of the sheriff for necessaries to supply the jail be complied with.
5. Aside from these recommendations everything is satisfactory.

[...]


JOHN A. MARTIN,
Foreman.

06 January 1913. The city jail is now steam heated. But, to prevent a general emigration to Brainerd of all hobos in the country who may relish a warm room and a nice bed, Chief of Police Ridley remarked that rations would not be elaborate, probably just bread and water. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 06 January 2013)

24 October 1913. The state board of control, in a letter from its chairman, has notified the city that its lockup is in bad condition, unsanitary and unfit for use. Brainerd has been notified that it is unlawful to use it to hold any prisoners. The council has called a special meeting. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 24 October 2013)

POLICE CALL SYSTEM VOTED IN
_____

Four Call Boxes to be Supplied—
Gong to be Attached to the
Hose Houses
_____

POLICE MATTERS TO BE AIRED
_____

Officer Chris Mattson Discharged by
Mayor, to Have Hearing at
Friday Meeting


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
The council last night unanimously voted to install a police call system supplied by the Northwestern Telephone Exchange Co., consisting of four call boxes to be placed in designated places in the city, to which there shall later be added gongs to the hose houses. As explained by Fred Speechley, of St. Cloud, of the telephone company, the call boxes are telephones enclosed in metal boxes and attached to poles. Several feet from the ground the gongs are placed and when rung by the telephone operator they can be heard for several blocks. Each policeman is supplied with a special key enabling him to open the box. He answers the call, talks over the telephone and is thus in direct communication with the chief. The telephone operator, by pressing the proper button at the telephone office, can call any certain policeman or can ring all gongs simultaneously.
Four of these stations were installed at St. Cloud and each telephone supplied with a six inch gong at a cost of $32 each for the entire equipment. The telephone company charges $2 a month for service. During the night the policemen travel their beats and regularly ring up central whose report shows just where each policeman has been and if he has traveled his beat properly.
A Fergus Falls a 16 inch gong is at the fire station. At Sauk Center a red light was tried to summon the policeman, but it was no good on a stormy night. Small gongs may be bought at $7.50 each.
On motion, a contract for four stations similar to those of St. Cloud, is to be made with the Northwestern Telephone Exchange company.
The discharge of Officer Chris Mattson from the force is to be investigated at a meeting on Friday evening, the policeman being given a chance to be heard in his own defense. The appointment of Charles Varner, by Mayor Henning, to take the place of Chris Mattson, discharged for the good of the service, as stated by the mayor, was held up by the council and no action taken.
In the discussion over the matter, Alderman Mahlum wanted to know if Mattson wanted a hearing.
Alderman Lagerquist said Mattson had a right to be heard.
Alderman Anderson said the mayor must have been justified in his action or he would not have dismissed the policeman.
Mayor Henning said it was agreeable to him if they wanted to grant the discharged man a hearing. He maintained that such a request should come from the officer himself. He said a chief and three men were inadequate to handle the city’s business. Somebody had to be responsible.
The mayor said he had discharged Mr. Mattson. If Mr. Scott and Mr. Olson had disobeyed him (the mayor) they would also have been guilty of disobeying orders.
Alderman Hess said Mattson had told him he wanted a hearing.
The mayor submitted the name of Sam Bourquin, filling one of the places made vacant by the resignations of Officers Schulte and Nordstrom

[..]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

SCARLET FEVER IN CITY LOCKUP
_____

Thomas Clark, a Transient, Gets the
Disease While Serving Time in
City Jail
_____

NOW REMOVED TO W. BRAINERD
_____

Claims he had Worked in a Rooming
House in St. Paul that had been
Recently Fumigated


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
Hoboes will give Brainerd a wide berth this spring for the city lockup has housed a virulent case of scarlet fever.
Thomas Clark, a transient, was serving time there and took sick and Dr. R. A. Beise was called. He diagnosed it as scarlet fever and the patient was removed to a house the city designated in West Brainerd.
The jail was fumigated. However, a few microbes, hardier than the rest, may have run the gauntlet of all the fumigating stuff and may be in waiting ready to pounce on any “bo” consigned to the city bastile and accordingly it is better to stay out of jail than to be consigned to the place.
A municipal rock pile or wood pile is bad enough, but a scarlet fever jail caps the climax and there is nothing in a tramp’s hieroglyphics attached to a gate post which cover such a situation.
Clark says that he had worked in a rooming house in St. Paul that had recently been fumigated and believes he got his scarlet fever there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1914, p. 1, c. 2)

14 July 1988. One of Brainerd’s earliest city jails has been lost from Washington Street despite efforts to save it for posterity sake. In the jail’s place will be a parking lot. [This is the historic 102 year old building destroyed by Meyer’s Cleaners.] (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 14 July 2008)

NOTE: This is the building which was located on Main [Washington] Street near the northeast corner of North Fourth Street.

COLUMBIAN BLOCK (MAP #24)
Built by W. D. McKay in 1893, it is located on the west side of Sixth Street, mid-block between Front and Laurel Streets. It burns down 28 October 1909 and is replaced by the Iron Exchange Building built in 1910-11. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 74 & 75)

W. D. McKay has purchased the property on 6th street occupied by C. H. Paine & Co. Meat Market and we understand has arrangements all completed to put up a fine two story solid brick building early in the spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

BRAINERD WILL BOOM
_____

The Coming Season as It Never
Has Before
_____

Many Thousands of Dollars to be
Expended in New Buildings
and Other Improvements.
_____


[...]


W. D. McKay, ca. 1922.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
W. D. McKay last week purchased the property occupied by Paine’s meat market, and on Monday he bought the property adjoining occupied by J. A. Denis’ saloon. Here he contemplates the erection of a magnificent new brick block [Columbian Block] which will be one of the finest brick business blocks in the city, and have a tendency to make Sixth street more of a business street than Front street. Plans for the construction of this building have not been made yet, but Mr. McKay expects to make the improvement if satisfactory arrangements can be made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1893, p. 4, c. 5)


ONE DOLLAR PER MONTH.
_____

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


...The petition of W. D. McKay to erect a three story solid brick building on lots 3, 4 and 5, block 45, and the removal of the old buildings to lots 13, 14 and 15, block 71, was granted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

The work of removing the three buildings on Sixth street to make room for the new three story brick building to be erected by Mr. McKay is being pushed by Mr. L. Rasmusson who has the contract. The buildings will be taken to the corner of Seventh and Laurel streets, and C. H. Paine & Co., and John Denis will remain in the buildings while they are being moved. C. H. Paine & Co. will occupy one of the new buildings at the old stand when the new structure is completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The foundation of the new McKay block is finished and brick laying will begin at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The “Columbian.”


Columbian Block built in 1893.
Source: Brainerd Tribune
The handsomest new block being erected on Sixth street by W. D. McKay has been christened “Columbian” and a very appropriate name it is too, the stone on which the inscription is carved having been hoisted into position yesterday. The building is being pushed with all possible rapidity, the front being completed except the washing down, and the plastering begun. As soon as the block is finished the DISPATCH will give it a fitting write-up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

A Grand Dedication.


The third floor of the Columbian block on Sixth street will be the new home of the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities as soon as it is completed and the various lodges of the different orders have combined to give a grand dedication on the evening of Dec. 8th at the new quarters, and for which occasion invitations will be issued as soon as they can be obtained from the printers. The evening’s entertainment will consist of a short but spicy programme, to be followed by a grand ball and banquet. The hall on the same floor as the lodge rooms will be used for the dancers while in the lodge and ante rooms tables will be provided for those who desire to enjoy themselves at cards. The banquet will be served in the room which has been set apart as a banquet hall, and all the details will be so arranged that those in attendance can enjoy themselves to their fullest capacity. The committees having charge are as follows:
Printing—G. D. LaBar, A. F. Groves, Henry Robson.
Invitation—Geo. N. Day, W. A. M. Johnstone, F. A. Farrar.
Banquet—Jas. Towers, A. J. Forsyth, A. G. Gallup, George Herron, J. W. Bailey.
Music and Entertainment—C. D. Johnson, A. F. Groves, A. J. Forsyth, John Bailey.
Floor—F. A. Farrar, Geo. N. Day, A. F. Ferris, G. D. LaBar, W. A. M. Johnstone.
Decorations and Furniture—W. A. M. Johnstone, Geo. Herron, A. G. Gallup, James Towers, J. J. Thornton, Henry Robson, C. D. Johnson.
Reception—Rev. Geo. H. Davis, J. Lowey, J. T. Frater, W. A. Fleming, S. F. Alderman, F. B. Johnson, E. M. Westfall, Geo. Forsyth, M. McFadden, John Congdon, W. Hemstead, George Bertram. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 November 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

OPENING OF THEIR NEW HALL.
_____

The Masonic and Pythian Fraterni-
ties Give a Grand Ball and Ban-
quet in Honor of the Event.
_____


On Friday evening last occurred the much talked of entertainment and uniform ball given by the Masonic and Pythian fraternities of this city, and it was a very elaborate affair in all respects. The new home of these societies is located on the third floor of the Columbian Block, and since their occupancy has been newly furnished with elegant carpets and draperies, and presents a very handsome appearance. On the evening in question the entire floor was thrown open to the guests, and a very happy throng of people assembled to do honor to the occasion. The members of Brainerd Div. No. 7, U. R. K. P., and Ascalon Commandery K. T., appeared in full dress uniform while the Pythian and Masonic brethren were distinguishable by ribbons pinned to the lapel of their coats. On every hand was heard complimentary remarks as to the neat arrangement of things and the elaborate preparations which had been made for the comfort and pleasure of the invited guests. At 9:30 a musical and literary programme was given as follows:
Overture—Orchestra
Address—Rev. G. H. Davis
Instrumental Duet—Misses Small and Wilson
Recitation—Mr. Geo. Herron
Song—S. F. Alderman
Instrumental Duet—Mrs. and Miss Robinson
Vocal Duet—Misses Nellie and Mary Edwards
Recitation—Miss Mamie Carney
Quartette—Messrs. Webb, Thompson, Wheatley and Alderman
Recitation—Miss Nellie Nelson
The opening address by Rev. G. H. Davis was brief owing to the lengthy programme, but was well received. The entertainment was highly enjoyed by the listeners. After the exercises the party filed into the dancing hall, where about one hundred couples joined in the grand march, after which dancing was indulged in until a late hour.
The banquet, which was a very tempting affair, was served by the ladies of the Pythian Sisterhood and the Eastern Star, and was laid in the banquet hall adjoining the lodge room. The ladies received much praise and many compliments upon this successful feature of the evening. The tables were handsomely decorated, and the large number of guests were served in elegant style.
The occasion throughout was one which will long be remembered, and was considered by all to be the social event of the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

D. M. Clark & Co. have leased the two vacant rooms on the ground floor in the Columbian block and will remove from their present quarters about May 1st. Some improvements in the arrangements of things will be made to accommodate the large stock of furniture and hardware, an elevator will be put in and when they are located in their new quarters the firm will have the finest store in the Northwest. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The store rooms in the Columbian block are being fitted up for the reception of their new tenant, D. M. Clark and Co. Mr. Clark will begin moving his stock next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

A Mammoth Institution.


The firm of D. M. Clark & Co., general outfitters, are this week removing from their present quarters in the Swartz building on 6th street, to more pleasant and commodious quarters in the Columbian block opposite their old location. A DISPATCH representative dropped into the Columbian block yesterday where the workmen are fitting up the rooms for the reception of the new occupants. The firm will occupy the two vacant rooms in the block, and when every thing is arranged, will have as fine a store as there is in the northwest without exception. The location is peculiarly adapted to the immense line of goods which is carried, the furniture, carpets, draperies, etc., being displayed in one room, while the hardware and harness department will occupy the other. With the new quarters Mr. Clark will add many new novelties to his stock, which is now one of the largest carried in this part of the state. Everything in the line of house furnishing goods is carried, and if you are thinking of starting an establishment of your own, they can fit you out from cellar to garret. The enterprise shown by the firm of D. M. Clark & Co., deserves recognition, and they should be given a good patronage by our citizens. The idea of sending out of town for goods when they can be purchased at home and from people who pay taxes and contribute largely to the institutions and welfare of the community at a price equally as low, should be frowned down. Buy your goods at home, of responsible dealers such as D. M. Clark & Co. are, and you will be better satisfied in the end. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1894, p. 1, c. 4)

C. M Hertig, the St. Paul capitalist, was in the city the first of the week, closing a deal whereby W. D. McKay secured a loan of $15,000 on his magnificent new Columbian block. The loan was made at 7 per cent, which is none too low considering the large amount and the splendid security offered. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 January 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

The installation of the chiefs of Red Cloud Tribe No. 13, took place on Friday evening last at the wigwam at Peabody & Baker’s Hall, the chiefs being duly raised to their respective stumps, and will preside over the tribe for the ensuing six moons. The meeting was largely attended and the occasion was an enjoyable one. The ceremonies were conducted by Deputy Great Sachem A. E. Frost. There were also nine pale faces adopted. Red Cloud Tribe No. 18, which was organized by Mr. Frost and instituted Nov. 22, has now a total membership of 63, and is increasing rapidly, having no less than 8 to 15 applications at each council meeting. The tribe will kindle its next council for this (Friday) evening in their elegant new quarters in the Columbian block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

A New Lodge Room.


W. D. McKay is fitting up the large room on the third floor of the Columbian block heretofore known as Columbian Hall, into a magnificent lodge room, and he already has contracts with four secret societies to occupy it, viz: Brainerd Lodge A. O. U. W., Brainerd Lodge No. 2337, Modern Woodman of America, the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and the Red Cloud Lodge of Red Men. It will consist of an ante room, parlor and lodge room, besides plenty of closets and a toilet room and lavatory. The rooms will be carpeted with body Brussels carpet and furnished with finely carved antique oak furniture. Mr. McKay will expend over $800 in fitting up the rooms, hence it will be seen, with electric lights and steam heat, he will have one of the finest lodge rooms in the northwest. In fact, it is his intention to fit it up so nicely that all newly organized societies will desire quarters there. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The lodge rooms in the Columbian block occupied by the Masonic and Knights of Pythias fraternities have been newly papered during the past week. The job was done by Wm. Guthrie, and is a very fine piece of work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 April 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

A new cement sidewalk is being constructed in front of the Columbian block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 June 1900, p. 12, c. 1)

Fire animation On October 27, 1909, a fire started in the M. K. Swartz Drug Store which destroyed the Columbian Block and two frame buildings. The fire broke out at 7 a.m. and by 8 a.m. the Columbian building had collapsed. Total losses were expected to exceed $200,000.

SEE: 1909 Columbian Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

04 November 1909. D. M. Clark and Co., which was burned out in last week's fire, is opening their hardware business in the store room next to Murphy's plumbing establishment. Their undertaking department has reopened. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Wednesday, 04 November 2009)

07 November 1909. For the first time after the fire the Ransford Hotel bar was reopened this morning with George Ridley again in charge. The sign was also replaced. They hope to get the kitchen and dining room in shape to serve Thanksgiving dinner. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Saturday, 07 November 2009)

COUNTY / CITY JAIL (First) (MAP #44)
Sometime early in 1872 a contract is let to L. P. White for $971.60, to build a jail on Fifth Street, between Laurel and Maple Streets. The building measures 18 feet by 28 feet, two stories high, having four 4 by 8 cells and two 8 by 8 cells, sheriff’s offices, and on the second floor a court room. “The jail part,” quoting the Tribune, “is constructed of scantling lying flat, and spiked together with innumerable nails, making the walls solid as Gibraltar, and utterly impregnable to ordinary tools.” 958 pounds of nails and spikes are used in the construction. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 39)

In 1874 [sic] [1872] the council votes the sum of $2,500 to build a jail. L. P. White is ordered to build it on South Fifth Street, opposite the present Bus Depot; it is a small wooden building that costs $971.60. It burns in the Haymarket Fire of 1886. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 50)

NOTE: There were no big fires in Brainerd in 1886. There was a huge fire in July 1888 which burned west and south along the railroad tracks and Front Street from approximately the middle of the block between Sixth and Fifth Streets south to Laurel Street and all the way west to the river. Another huge fire in October 1890 burned west and south from the SE corner of Laurel and Fifth Streets to Maple Street—this is the fire that burned the jail building cited above. The 1888 fire may be the fire referred to by Zapffe as the “Haymarket Fire” above.

NOTE: This building is built as the first county jail in February 1872, sometime after the new combined county jail and Sheriff’s residence is built in 1882, this newly built jail becomes the first city jail.

Our New Jail.


We are pleased to be able to announce that Crow Wing county now possesses a county jail, which is a most respectable appearing and really substantial structure. The building committee appointed by the County Commissioners, at a recent meeting, let the contract for the building of the jail to Mr. L. P. White, for the sum of $971.60. The size of the building is 18x28 feet, and two stories high. On the first floor there are four cells, 4x8 feet each, and two 8x18 feet for a Sheriff’s office. The jail part is constructed of scantling, lying flat, and spiked together with innumerable nails, making the walls solid as Gibraltar, and utterly impregnable by any ordinary tools. There were consumed in the construction of these cells alone, 958 pounds of spikes and nails. The second story is finished off in good style for a court room, and is nicely adapted to the use for which it is intended.
The builder was Mr. David L. West, one of our most enterprising and accomplished builders, who not only did his work in the most satisfactory manner, but made champion-time thereon. He put his men to work on Wednesday at noon, and by the next week Thursday at noon his contract was finished, to the last nail. We are highly gratified to learn that Mr. West is soon to establish in Brainerd a factory for turning out doors, sash, blinds and finishing stuff, with a view to furnishing himself with all things necessary in the extensive building operations he designs carrying on here during the present year, as well as in years to come. This will be an accession to Brainerd which will be hailed with the greatest satisfaction by our people, and Mr. West will doubtless meet with the success his enterprise and energy deserve. His machinery will be here about the first of next month. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 4)

Theft of Blankets.


On the night of the 26th ult., the warehouse of John Morrison, Esq., in rear of the Bishop House was broken open and some forty pairs of blankets taken therefrom It appears that the thieves were seen in the act by a attaché of the hotel, and recognized; but before he could notify the Sheriff or others, the lovers of warm blankets had succeeded in folding them up and silently stealing away. They were subsequently arrested, however, by Sheriff Gurrell, and proved to be somewhat noted characters known by the names of John Landon—alias “Limpy Jack”—and John Chisholm. They were brought before his Honor, Justice Conant, for examination, resulting in their being bound over for their appearance at the next term of the District Court, in October, in default of acceptable bail for $400 and $500, respectively they were committed to jail. At last accounts, received by us, the property had not been recovered. Limpy Jack made a confession to Sheriff Gurrell, to their having stolen the blankets, and told where the property was, having sold the blankets, receiving on them about $17.00; but the Sheriff did not find them, they having been removed—in “self defense,” we presume. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

Taken Possession.


“Limpy Jack” & Co. took possession of their new and substantial quarters—the county jail—two days before it was completed, and were the pioneers, in that line in this county. This is enterprise, and this firm cannot fill two of the apartments full (of devilment) then go no further for “lads” that can. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

NOTE: This is the jail from which the two Native Americans are taken and lynched.

A Faithful Officer.


We think Crow Wing county can boast of as accomplished, faithful and untiring a Sheriff as any county in the State. Sheriff [John/Jack] Gurrell has had an extended experience as an officer of the law, principally in the country west of the Missouri River. All the way from Mexico to Montana, and from the Missouri to the Pacific, he is well known as a terror to all evil-doers. He was City Marshal of Cheyenne during its bloodiest history, and U. S. Marshal in Wyoming and other of those gold-bearing territories, besides serving a long term as a U. S. officer in Utah among the Mormons. He has a jail-pet confined in our county jail that he has arrested before in three different territories west of the Missouri. Sheriff Gurrell has, probably, a better knowledge of all the roughs, and their deeds and character, that have been or will be along the Northern Pacific Railroad during its construction, than any other man in this country. We feel gratified, with the entire community, that we have an officer in Mr. Gurrell who knows his duties and is willing to perform them to the letter. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 February 1872, p. 3, c. 4)

Broke Jail.


On Wednesday evening last, about dark, and during the time Sheriff Gurrell and Deputy Cassety were gone to supper, the prisoners in the jail went through that institution and betook themselves to tall timber. They were all in, charged with larceny of various kinds and degrees, and were committed for their appearance at the next October term of the District Court. There were five of them:
—John Langdon, John Chisholm, John Lynch, Patrick Morrow and Charles Monroe. The first two had too much to do with a lot of blankets that came up missing last winter; Lynch and Monroe, for stealing a watch. They made their exit through the floor of the rear of the building—the day-time quarters—and crawling out from under the building—it being set up some ways from the ground. The sheriff is of the opinion, from the appearance of the orifice, that they were assisted by some outside party, cutting from underneath the building, while the prisoners were provided with a case-knife saw above. The cells were carefully inspected daily, by the sheriff, and although the greatest vigilance was heeded, it proved of no avail. The whole transaction was gone through with inside an hour, and although the floor was made of two by four pieces set edgewise and spiked, there appears to have been no spikes in the way of their cutting. There can be no blame attached to the sheriffs, so far as we can learn, and outside of the principle of the thing, it is a god-send that the county and community are clear of them. (Brainerd Tribune, 13 April 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

Officer Shontell has moved his family into the rooms over the city jail and will hereafter board the prisoners that seek nourishment and rest under its hospitable roof. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 11 October 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

There came very near being a jail delivery [sic] last night at the city cooler. About 11 o’clock Officer Shontell hearing a suspicious noise in the room below got up and dressed himself and proceeded to examine things. When he got to the front of the building he saw a man stick his head out of the window, and knowing that he had no business there he shot at him. On investigating he found the fellow had pried up the window and unlocked the door which leads to the cells with the intention of liberating the prisoners, but none of them had escaped. The man was so badly scared when the officer shot at him that he ran into the back part of the jail and into an unoccupied cell where he was found and locked up without further ceremony. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 4)

Complaint will be made by the health officers to the council on Monday night in regard to the condition of the city jail (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The county will deed the lot and building known as the “city jail” to the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Report of the Grand Jury.
_____


To the Honorable District Court of Crow
Wing, Cass and Itasca counties.
The grand jury submit to the court that all bills have been disposed of which have been submitted to the jury, and we further report that the jury have visited the county jail and find it in good repair and in good sanitary condition. The jury further report to the court that they have visited the old jail building on 5th street now used as a city prison, and find the same to be in a filthy condition, without proper ventilation and an improper place to keep prisoners.
We respectfully protest against its being used as a lockup or prison. It is in a locality jeopardizing other property, increasing fire risks and is dangerous as a fire trap. We recommend its sale and the procuring of other premises for a city prison.
LYMAN P. WHITE,
Foreman of Grand Jury.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 16 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

Proposals.


Sealed proposals, marked “Bids for jail,” for the purchase of the old county jail and lot will be received by the county auditor up to May 1, 1888. No bids for a smaller amount than $500, [will] be entertained.
The board of County commissioners reserve the right to reject any or all bids.
A. MAHLUM,
Deputy Auditor.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

Fire animation On October 10, 1890, a massive fire burned the Commercial Hotel aka the Leland House, the oldest hotel on the line of the Northern Pacific, the old city jail, and the Catholic Church and parsonage and the Number One Saloon. About a block and a half in the business district was burned, the total damages were estimated to be between $75,000 and $150,000.

SEE: 1890 Leland House / Commercial Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

(Top) Sheriff’s Residence (Bottom) attached to the County Jail at the northeast corner of 4th and Washington, ca. 1910.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
COUNTY JAIL / SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE (First) (MAP #22)
On 03 July 1882, Crow Wing County issues $30,000 in 7% bonds to erect a courthouse, a home for the sheriff and a jail. The courthouse is erected on the southeast corner of Kingwood and North 4th Streets and the sheriff’s home and jail on the northeast corner of Main [Washington] and North 4th Streets. These buildings occupy an entire half-block owned by the county. They are built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. Today the courthouse building is an apartment house and the sheriff's house and jail have been demolished. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 23)

What came very near being a jail delivery [sic] occurred on Saturday last while Deputy Sheriff Matteson was at Crow Wing on business. It seems that in some way the prisoners had managed to make a hole about half way through the brick wall, which had been secreted by one of the beds. The officer thought the prisoners acted rather strange, and he ordered them into the steel cage, to which they objected but finally obeyed. He then called in police officer McMahon and examined the room, when the wall was found in the above condition, and the steel cage was found to be sawed and cut considerably, these cuts being plastered up artistically with soap, so that a casual observer would not notice them. As the steel is very hard and no common saw would make an impression on it, it is a mystery as to how they got in possession of the tools and what they have done with them, as nothing can be found that the work was done with. Peter Mertz, sheriff, was absent at Stillwater and Deputy Matteson remained on guard continually until he returned on Tuesday morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 5)

On Wednesday last a party consisting of Henry Leland, Peter Mertz [Sheriff], A. W. Frater and S. P. Douglas started out on the Crow Wing road for a prairie chicken hunt, having cigars and all the luxuries of the season packed away to use in case of an emergency. Along towards evening they came back the luxuries being consumed, and exhibited a fair sized mosquito which was captured by the sheriff [Peter Mertz] of Crow Wing County. They claim that it was a prairie chicken. There are grave doubts as to its identity. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 August 1883, p. 4, c. 2)

OFFICE OF THE SHERIFF OF CROW WING
COUNTY.

BRAINERD, MINN., OCT. 4, 1883.


To the voters of Crow Wing County:
It is not only a courtesy due you, but in recognition of your past expressions of confidence toward me, that suggests the announcement to you, that, responding to what I know is the desire of a large majority of my fellow citizens of this county, I will be again your candidate for sheriff. I know I need no introduction to or advertisement among you, or endorsement as to my record. That speaks for itself: and yet I can but remember the many disadvantages of the early part of my services as sheriff. I was then the only officer in the city of Brainerd. There was no police force even. It is a pride, at least, that I have been able to see the improvements which have attended the prosperity and improvements of the city and county, all the facts of which are well known to most of you. I am proud to believe that these friends are as numerous as in the days which were not so bright and promising. I feel also that I need make no special pledges in regard to discharging my duties, that it is sufficient that I acknowledge your past favors and say that if re-elected, I shall labor earnestly and conscientiously as heretofore, to serve you acceptably. I am well acquainted not only in the city, but in all parts of the county, and feel that my record is sufficient introduction to all. In my candidacy for re-election, I shall be not only grateful to all, but proud of the continued confidence of my many friends, whose warm and cordial support I have enjoyed so fully in the past.
P. Mertz,
Sheriff.
(Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 04 October 1883, p. 3, c. 5)

Parties desiring to purchase the old county jail building can have a chance to bid for it until the 13th of Nov. All bids should be addressed to the county auditor. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 1)

More Cells.
______


The grand jury at its recent session recommended that a new tier of cells be constructed over the old ones now in use in the county jail as the present accommodations are not ample to receive all the criminals and law breakers that need to be caged up. They also recommended that arrangements be made to heat that portion of the jail which is intended to receive the female prisoners, and also to whitewash the inside of the prison and have the floor fixed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

A party of hunters consisting of Capt. [sic] Sleeper, Sheriff Mertz, Dr. J. L. Camp, S. F. Alderman and W. H. Topping, started Friday morning for a prolonged hunt in the Pine River country. The party looked like original frontiersmen when they started out. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Crow Wing County’s Poor.


[...]


The county jail which was built in 1882 at a cost of about $8,000 does not seem to meet with the approval of the inspecting board as a reading of the following contained in the published report will show:

CROW WING COUNTY JAIL.


The jail is in the rear of the sheriff’s residence. The brick cell room is 24x24 feet, 22 feet high. The steel and iron cage contains two cells 6 1/2x8 feet and designed for four prisoners each. The jailer’s corridor surrounding the cage is too narrow, being only four feet wide on the north and south and six feet to the rear. The floor of the cell room is of concrete, a very poor job, already out of repair. There are twelve windows nevertheless the jail is unusually dark even for a cage jail; the windows are in two tiers, the lower tier having the abominable iron blinds, which shut out the light but do not prevent communication nor the introduction of tools. The interior of the cage is so dark that a lamp is necessary for reading even in the daytime. Heat is furnished by a box stove, and excellent ventilation by a fine 2 feet square with a 10-inch smokestack inside. There is a water closet in the cage, supplied with city water and connected with a sewer which works well in summer but has given great trouble by freezing and closing up in winter. Furniture: canvas, hammocks, woolen blankets, table, benches; one prisoner slept in a bed outside the cage. There are no peep holes for the observation of prisoners. Women and insane persons are provided for by two commodious cells, each 6x12 feet, and lined with light boiler iron, well lighted and comfortable, but there is no provision for heating them in winter—a surprising oversight. One of these cells was used as a store room. The jail was not very clean. Prisoners admitted having some vermin upon them. The prisoners do their own washing in the corridor, and have good facilities for bathing in a wash tub, having a boiler to heat water on the stove; bathing is not compulsory and is somewhat neglected. The darkness of the cell has led to the practice of giving prisoners the liberty of the outer corridor; an escape was made some time ago by digging through the brick wall with a knife. The sheriff stated that boys are not kept separate from older prisoners. Capacity, 10. Too small as the sheriff has had repeatedly to have prisoners sleep outside the cage at the risk of escapes. The sheriff’s residence is inadequate. The kitchen and dining room are in the cellar 5 feet below ground, damp and unwholesome. On the first floor is the sheriff’s office, 12x14, which serves also for his family sitting room and bedroom. He has also a parlor 12x14. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March, 1887, p. 1, c. 9)

GRAND JURORS REPORT.


“The grand jury found an apparent lax management of the county jail, touching safety of prisoners. Several articles were picked up in the jail, and found under the closed cages, that may have been or might be used as weapons or as means of effecting escape. The sanitary condition was found reasonably good. It was recommended that prisoners be locked in their cells at night from sunset to sunrise. The city jail was found in apparent better condition than the county jail, but in both there was the evident practice of permitting the prisoners to sleep in the corridors. The jury criticizes this, and recommends that the officers be required to remove the cots of prisoners into the cells. The grand jury agree that the buildings are in condition ample both in sanitary and safety conditions to answer all present purposes, if the officers in charge only do their duty carefully and intelligently, and as a precaution necessary, it is recommended that the sheriff and officers be required to prevent communication through the windows, and that notices prohibiting such communication be posted, and infringement of the rule be punished.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

The county jail building has been fitted up with storm doors and windows. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Grand Jury’s Report.


The grand jury at the close of their session made the following report as to the condition of the county jail:
TO THE HONORABLE COURT: We, the grand jury, in and for the county of Crow Wing, having visited the county jail of said county, beg leave to report that they find the same overcrowded accommodations entirely inadequate for the health and comfort of the inmates, and that there is a deplorable lack of proper beds and bedding, they recommend that steps be at once taken to enlarge the jail and provide such additional accommodations and supplies as a common humanity demands.
We take pleasure in stating that the condition and care of the prisoners reflect no discredit on the sheriff who is utterly powerless to remedy the defects complained of. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

The Sewer Agitation.


The matter of putting in a sewer from the county jail buildings to connect with that at the Arlington Hotel has been the subject of considerable discussion during the past week, but from present indications it is doubtful if the city council will sanction the scheme if they are supposed to help bear the expense. While the cost would be a nominal sum, as only about 600 feet of pipe would have to be laid, the council think the county should bear the expense if they deem the enterprise a necessary one. On the other hand, the city jail would reap the same benefits from the sewers as the county buildings do. There is no doubt but that a system of sewers in the place mentioned would be a very good thing, in fact really necessary, and will have to be constructed sooner or later, as at present the refuse and filth of the jail buildings are run into cesspools which have to be constructed every year or two. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

We don’t believe the council at the present time should consider putting in a new sewer on Main or Kingwood street, from Eighth street to the river, unless the property owners benefitted are willing to bear the expense almost entirely. The city is in debt enough now. And it seems to us if the county commissioners want sewer connections for the court house and jail, the county should bear at least half of the expense of extending the main from the Arlington Hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

DISTRICT COURT NEWS.


The September term of the district court opened on Monday morning with Judge Holland presiding. The work of the grand jury occupied two days....
The grand jury made the following report:

REPORT OF THE GRAND JURY.

To the Hon. G. W. Holland, judge of the district court.
The members of the grand jury have this day visited the county jail and given it a thorough inspection. They beg leave to report that they find it in excellent condition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 September 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

Business of the Court.


...The following report was made by the grand jury which is published by order of the court:
STATE OF MINNESOTA,
County of Crow Wing.
District Court, 15th Judicial District.
To the Hon. G. W. Holland, judge of District Court in and for the Fifteenth Judicial District of the State of Minnesota.
The grand jury of the county aforesaid would respectfully submit the following report:
That they have examined and visited the county jail in and for said county, and that they found the same in a first-class condition.
That the court house and grounds connected with the same have been duly inspected and they are in a good condition.
Dated Sept. 20th, 1894.
LYMAN P. WHITE,
Foreman.
Attest, F. A. FARRAR, Clerk.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1894, p. 4, c. 5)

Sheriff Spalding has six boarders at his hostelry, and judging from what the inmates say he uses them right royally. On Christmas day the prisoners were given as fine a dinner as they could have secured if at liberty. Turkey, mince pie, plum pudding, and all other good things incident to the day were on their bill of fare, followed by a box of cigars and a generous quantity of apples and pop corn. One of the “boarders” confidentially remarked to a reporter on Wednesday that the fact was that Sheriff Spalding took as good care of his prisoners as could possibly be asked at all times. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Court Matters.


[...]


...The following is the report made to the court:
To the Honorable Judge of the District Court of the 15th Judicial District:
We, the grand jury, have visited the county jail and the city lock-up, and find the county jail in excellent condition. The city lock-up was found in a bad sanitary condition, with dirty, filthy cots, unfit to be slept on, and we recommend to the court that the proper authorities be requested to remedy the matter at once. To procure new iron cots, and to have the place thoroughly cleaned and repaired and kept so. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 September 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

JAIL DELIVERY PREVENTED.
_____

Sheriff Spalding Very Cleverly Catches
the Prisoners as They Were
About to Depart.
_____


What came very near being a jail delivery occurred last evening. Sheriff Spalding has confined in the county jail seven prisoners, and among them are some tough customers. For some time he had been apprehensive that an attempt would be made by them to gain their liberty before the term of court opened, which convenes Nov. 16th, and he has kept a close watch on them. Last night about 1 o’clock he became suspicious that something was wrong and he arose, going to the door that leads into the jail part and listened, but the only noise he could hear was that of the water running from the faucet inside. Knowing from that fact that there was something up he tried to turn the electric lights on but they would not work and he lighted a lamp, unlocked the door and stepped inside with a gun in his hand. The first glance showed him that the seven men were out of the cage, and he immediately leveled his gun on them and told them in plain English that the first man to make a move would be shot down. His wife, who had locked the door behind him, summoned W. E. Seelye, who was stopping at Mr. Nevers’ across the street from the jail, and when he arrived the men were locked up in one of the cells inside the cage. It was found that a piece of steel floor, 10x18 inches, and which is 8/16ths of an inch thick, had been cut out of the cage, and the men had dug a tunnel to the outer wall, where work had already been commenced to effect an opening, and in an hour more the prisoners would have all been outside and at liberty. The instruments used were two case knives, which had been fashioned into saws, and it must have taken some time to have accomplished the work. In the nine years Sheriff Spalding has held his position he has never lost a man, and he feels very much pleased to think that he found out what was going on before it was too late to prevent the escape, and it was certainly a very clever piece of work on his part, and one which deserves credit. The names of the prisoners connected with the job are: Dave Deloney, assault; Frank Amberger, forgery; Martin Johnson, forgery; Jos. Gardin, larceny; H. M. DeMars, larceny; Chas. Slimmer, larceny; James Fisk, burglary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 November 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

District Court.


The grand jury in their report to the court on adjournment Friday evening last made several recommendations among which were that a steel ceiling was needed in the county jail and also screens over the windows, and that hammocks should be furnished; the closets were found in bad shape and badly in need of repair. Vermin was found in abundance and the grand jury suggested that more bedding and some additional clothing be furnished so that the sheriff might be able to remedy the matter in regard to cleanliness. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 September 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

In Good Condition.


John F. Jackson, of St. Paul, secretary of the state board of correction and charities, was in the city on Tuesday. Mr. Jackson is making a tour of inspection of the correctional institutions of the northern part of the state. During the day Mr. Jackson inspected the county jail, the city lock-up and the county poor farm. To a DISPATCH representative, Mr. Jackson expressed himself as well pleased at the manner in which all three institutions are kept. The jail he says is bad and poorly fitted for the purpose intended. However, the worst defects can be remedied at comparatively no cost. The walls should be whitewashed, and a new floor constructed, the present one being in bad shape. An iron or steel roof or ceiling is an absolute necessity, as a prisoner could go through the present one with a jack knife. The lock-up was good, almost a model institution for the use intended. The poor house he considers not properly constructed, but he was lavish in his praise of the splendid way in which the house and rooms are kept, and the splendid treatment of the inmates. He considers it one of the very neatest and best kept places of this character under his jurisdiction. Mr. Jackson talked entertainingly of the subject of prisons and correctional institutions and said that Minnesota was slowly getting the best institutions of this character in the country, not the most expensive, but the best adapted to the use intended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 November 1899, p. 10, c. 2)

A steel ceiling is being put in position at the county jail. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 December 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Attempt to Escape.


An attempt has been made during the past week by the prisoners in the county jail to escape by sawing off the bars in the northeast window of the jail. The sheriff, in examining the jail, made the discovery, and the window will be repaired today, and a search made for the saw and coal chisel which they apparently have to do the work with. An attempt was made about a year ago to break jail at this same place, which was also discovered. This time three bars were sawed about one-half off, and if not interrupted it would not take more than three or four hours to complete the job. The work has to be done in the day time when no one is around, as the prisoners are confined to their cells at night. There are at present six prisoners in the jail, two safe blowers from Bemidji, two from Cass Lake, one from Walker and one local man. The work was undoubtedly done by the Bemidji men, as they are professional safe blowers, and understand the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

BROKE JAIL.
_____

Bemidji Safe Blowers Make Their
Escape.
_____


The last issue of the DISPATCH, which went to press about 10 o'clock Friday morning, contained a notice of an attempt of the prisoners of the county jail to escape, by partially sawing off the window bars, but which had been discovered by the sheriff and the attempt frustrated. The attempt, however, proved to be successful later in the day, when the prisoners were released from their cells for dinner. The sheriff had left the city, leaving Deputy Winters in charge. When the prisoners were fed, they were, as usual, released from their cells, and during the absence of the deputy for a few minutes, two of the prisoners, Edwin Decker and Geo. Gardner, held for safe blowing at Bemidji, succeeded in finishing the job of sawing off the lower end of two bars, which they bent upward by main force, and jumped from the window and escaped before the deputy returned. Sheriff Erickson’s little girl saw them throw their coats from the window, and gave the alarm, and Officer Brockway got there in time to prevent the other prisoners from escaping. The released men ran as fast as they could in the direction of the mill, and although Chief Nelson mounted a bike and rode in that direction as fast as possible, no trace of the men could be found after they left the immediate vicinity of the jail. Deputy Winters telegraphed to all the surrounding towns, and sent out postals notifying the authorities in neighboring places, but nothing has as yet been heard from them. It is known, however, that they have a lot of burglars’ tools and considerable money which they took from the safe at Bemidji, hid somewhere near the latter place, and the sheriff hopes by keeping a sharp lookout in that vicinity to recapture his prisoners. They are tough characters, and it is to be hoped the sheriff will be successful. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

Sheriff’s Residence attached to the County Jail at the south side of Laurel between 3rd and 4th, ca. 1922.
Source: Postcard
COUNTY JAIL / SHERIFF’S RESIDENCE (Second) (MAP #77)
In 1919 the Board of County Commissioners purchase two blocks of land on the south side of Laurel Street between Fifth and Third Streets upon which is built a new courthouse, completed in 1920, and a new sheriff’s home. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 123 & 127)

January 1982. The campaign to finance the remodeling of the old county jail and sheriff’s residence for a county historical museum has reached its goal. John Stensrud, president of the County Historical Society, said the goal of $265,000 was raised, spearheaded by the Rotary Club. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 13 January 2012)

September 1983. The dedication of the Crow Wing County Historical Society Museum will be held Sunday at 2 p.m.—public welcome. Nina Archabal of the Minn. Historical Society will be the speaker. Work to renovate the old jail into the museum began in 1979. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 05 September 2013)

NOTE
: National Register of Historic Places, added 1980.

Courthouse at the southeast corner of 4th and Kingwood, ca. 1912.
Source: Postcard
COURTHOUSE (First) (MAP #18)

NORTHWESTERN NEWS NOTES.


Brainerd has let the contract for building her new court house to Haglin & Morse, of Minneapolis, for $31,018. (Minneapolis Tribune, 21 June 1882, p. 8)

THE STATE.

BRAINERD.


Our court house still hangs fire, the action of the commissioners in giving the contract to parties bidding $5,000 higher than other responsible bidders, being condemned on all sides, as well as their action in making selection of an unsuitable site. (Minneapolis Tribune, 25 June 1882, p. 8)

On 03 July 1882, Crow Wing County issues $30,000 in 7% bonds to erect a courthouse, a home for the sheriff and a jail. The courthouse is erected on the southeast corner of Kingwood and North 4th Streets and the sheriff’s home and jail on the northeast corner of Main [Washington] and North 4th Streets. These buildings occupy an entire half-block owned by the county. They are built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. Today the courthouse building is an apartment house and the sheriff's house and jail have been demolished. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 23)

The courthouse has been so cold for the past week that it has been uncomfortable for the occupants thereof. The heating apparatus in the basement is a decided failure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Three new Stewart coal burners have been put into the courthouse this week. The furnace will probably be discarded as a useless piece of furniture. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Made at Home.


The stone coping for the wall about the courthouse grounds has arrived and will be placed in position in a few days.—[Daily] News.
The [Daily] News reporter saw the coping piled up around the courthouse and supposed it had just arrived from foreign parts. If he had taken the trouble to inquire he would have found that it was manufactured not fifty feet from where he saw it in the basement of the courthouse by C. Peterson, the gentleman that laid the stone wall around the courthouse. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

The courthouse fence is nearly finished. The improvements which have been made on the grounds around the county buildings this summer are the subject of much favorable comment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 October 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Hereafter municipal court will be held in the county court house, a committee of the council securing the permission of the county commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday. The hose house will no more be frequented by the energetic vag or the gay and festive “jag.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Repair the Court House.


A very prominent gentleman, at one time a resident of Brainerd, who was recently here on a visit was asked what he thought of the city. He replied everything looked flourishing and prosperous. But, he added, “there is one place in town that is a disgrace to the city. I refer to the condition of the offices and hall in the court house. The walls are grimy and black and cracked, and dirty looking bills are posted everywhere. The floors are all rough and so worn and slivered that it is not safe to walk on them. It is not economy to be positively and indecently dirty as are those offices. By the expenditure of not to exceed $200 new hardwood floors could be laid and the walls cleaned and papered, and put in nice shape. The court house is a very nice and comfortable building, but the condition of the rooms are disgraceful, and it is false economy to leave them so.”
The gentleman certainly reflected the sentiment of almost every citizen of the city in his remarks, and it is hoped the commissioners will immediately authorize the necessary repairs to make the various offices presentable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1900, p. 1, c. 2)

The cement walk around the court house, on the south and west sides of the lot, has been completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

J. C. Congdon has a crew of men at work at the court house and everything is being torn up preparatory to painting and papering the different offices. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 2)

13 November 1913. The citizens committee in charge of the court house proposition is sending cards to people of the county asking their opinion as to whether a new court house should be built or the old one improved. This should help decide the sentiment of the people. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 13 November 2013)

Old Courthouse, Landmark of Early History Offered for Sale.


Another old Brainerd landmark, probably the most outstanding memento linking the city of today with its earliest history is doomed.
Bids for the sale of the old courthouse, the old sheriff’s residence and the jail have been asked by the Crow Wing county board of commissioners. The offers will be opened at a meeting the board set for March 4 at 3 o’clock in the office of the board in the court house.
Fronting on Fourth street and embodying the property extending from Main to Kingwood and a half-block deep, the old courthouse has long been idle except for a short period when the county historical society had their exhibit in the building.
Only a cryptic notice to bidders is the procedure involved in its sale but announcement of the intention will revive many reminiscences of stirring legal battles and other historical data linked with the old structure during its many years of useful service as Brainerd’s courthouse.

Here is the notice:
Crow Wing County is the owner of lots 10 to 24 both inclusive of block 48, town of Brainerd, in the county of Crow Wing, State of Minnesota, known as the old court house, sheriff’s residence, jail, and lockup.
And Whereas, Crow Wing county has no further use for the said property and being desirous of returning said property to the tax rolls.
Now Therefore be it resolved, that on Saturday the 4th day of March, 1933, at 3 o’clock p. m. at the office of the county board in the county court house in said city of Brainerd be and the same is hereby fixed as the time and the place for considering offers to the purchase of said property, and making such orders as may be deemed conducive to the interests of the inhabitants of said County.


A short historical review of the building is interesting. It was on February 29, 1872 that the courthouse, then a long sought objective became a possibility for it was on that date that the state authorized Crow Wing county to issue $30,000 in bonds for its erection.
The bonds bore a maturity date of 20 years drawing interest at the rate of 7 per cent.
Haglin and Morse were the general contractors for the building. The structure was completed in August 1883 and immediately accepted by the board of commissioners. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 January 1933, p. 1)

Courthouse at 4th and Laurel, ca. 1950.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
COURTHOUSE (Second) (MAP #67)
In 1919 the Board of County Commissioners purchase two blocks of land on the south side of Laurel Street between Fifth and Third Streets upon which is built a new courthouse, completed in 1920, and a new sheriff’s home. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 123 & 127)

NOTE: National Register of Historic Places, added 1980.


CULLEN BLOCK (MAP #72)
Built by James Cullen, who starts a small pop factory on Second Avenue in northeast Brainerd in the 1880’s [circa 1884], later moving it, in 1895, to Meadow Brook/Slaughter House Creek on South Seventh Street and selling it in 1921. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 133)

Depot Park on the east side of 6th just south of the railroad tracks, ca. 1896.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
DEPOT PARK (MAP)
Located on the east side of Sixth Street just south of the Northern Pacific Railroad tracks.

Gil Hartley [G. G.] presented to the city the band stand which stood for many years in the Depot Park on Front Street. He also gave band suits to the twenty-four members of Dresskell's Band. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 35)

Sometime prior to 1887 C. F. Kindred erected a bandstand in the center of Gregory Park. On 02 June 1898 the bandstand was blown down by the tornado that swept through Brainerd. Shortly thereafter it was re-erected to the east of the depot, then moved to Depot Park where it was used until 1920 when it fell apart and was replaced by the Parker Memorial Bandstand erected in Gregory Park in 1920 [1914]. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 52 & 53.)

NOTE: The Parker Memorial Bandstand was erected in 1914.

In June 1908 at the request of Messrs. Wise and LaBar the Brainerd Lumber and Mercantile Company donated cedar posts for the construction of a fence around the N. P. Park on Front Street. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 04 June 2008)

June 1911. The first concert of the summer season will be given by the Brainerd City Band at the band stand at depot park. After much persuasion, Dr. F. J. Sykora, the organizer of the present band and the old Brainerd Marine band, will again take up the baton. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Saturday, 25 June 2011)

DEPOT PARK NOW OPEN TO PUBLIC
_____

Supt. W. H. Strachan, of Lake Super-
ior Division, Issues the
Necessary Orders
_____

F. E. EBNER’S GENEROUS GIFT
_____

Gives $100 to Buy Seats to be Placed
in the Park and Thus Make
it a Real Place of Rest


From Friday’s Daily:—
Superintendent W. H. Strachan, of Duluth, of the Lake Superior division of the Northern Pacific railway, has issued the necessary orders which make the depot park situated south of the tracks and the depot, open to the public. Two entrances will be made on Front street and one on Sixth and Front.
Attorney F. E. Ebner, of Mantor and Ebner, has given $100 for the purchase of seats to be placed in the park, thus making it a real place of rest and one of comfort to the visitor in Brainerd who may have to wait an hour or so for the next train.
It is needless to say that this act of Mr. Ebner will cause the traveler and casual visitor to carry with him more pleasant memories of Brained and it serves to continually advertise Brainerd and its beautiful little park. It shows also that citizens are awakening to the fact that the extension of the park system and its use by the people makes Brainerd a better and more home-like city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1914, p. 7, c. 2)

July 1928. During the storm Sunday evening the electric wires fell into the tops of the trees in the Northern Pacific Park and electrocuted hundreds of sparrows which were seeking shelter in the branches. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 03 July 2008)

DOLLY VARDEN SALOON (MAP #75)
The Dolly Varden is across the street from the Last Turn Saloon, [The Dolly Varden was actually two doors to the west of the Last Turn Saloon.] which is located on the southwest corner of Front and Fourth Streets.
The most conspicuous and evidently the “highest toned” of the numerous sporting establishments on the streets sailed under the popular name of the “Dolly Varden Club,” and desirous of seeing all the life on the frontier I took personal observations of the place.
The building was a rough, wooden affair, whitewashed inside and the ground strewn thickly with sawdust in lieu of a floor. No attempt of concealment was made, but the gambling was carried on in full view of the street and every passerby.
The first room, entered directly from the street was perhaps forty feet long by twenty wide, and arranged around this at intervals were the tables where the various games were played. A cotton rag bearing in red paint the name of the game going on beneath it was affixed to the wall above each table and served as a guide to the inquiring speculators.
The games in this room were all of the cheaper and commoner sort—”chuck-a-luck,” “high dice,” and “mustang,” while a new scheme that was called “grant and greedy” attracted little attention and no business. These back woods sports evidently do not bet much on certainties.
In the rear of this large place was a smaller room where the more aristocratic games were dispersed and where the true royal tiger may be met and conquered—if you have the luck. The faro and rough-et-noir tables were well patronized and a crowd of eager spectators throngs each group of players.
The company, though largely of coarse material, is however singularly ordered and quiet. No liquor is sold on the premises in compliance with the conditions of the deed by which the site of the building was conveyed, but placards in red announced that “gentlemen will be furnished with refreshments” by the proprietor, for which they will please pay in advance.
On either side of the Dolly Varden are several similar establishments, the bulk of all their business coming, of course, from the employees of the railroad. Usually the stakes played for are small—the dealers will take anything from 10 cents to $50 but somehow in Brainerd, as in all other places, the leeches manage to make large and handsome livings out of the earnings of the working men. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 22 October 1922, H. L. Bridgman, ‘Easterners Found Brainerd Roaring Camp of Vice in Woods 50 Years Ago; Wicked Town with No Future as Rail Center, View Expressed by Visitors, Gambling Open at Dolly Varden Club and Other ‘Joints’; Hanged Suspects.’)

DRESSEN BLOCK
Plans are being drawn by I. U. White for a brick block to be erected on the present site of the saloon building so long occupied by James Dewar and owned by Mrs. C. Dressen. The building will be erected as soon as spring opens. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

James Dewar vacated the Dressen building on 6th street on Tuesday, and it will be immediately pulled down to make room for a handsome brick block, the material for which is partly on the ground. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The City Council.


A permit was granted to Mrs. Dressen to move the Gem building on Sixth street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1892, p. 1, c. 4)

Construction work on the new Walker block and also on the Dressen building is progressing rapidly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

J. M. Quinn and Mike Cullen will open a new saloon in the new Dressen block now being built on Sixth street. Magnificent new saloon fixtures have been purchased below the past week, it being the intention of the proprietors to make it the finest place of its kind north of St. Paul and Minneapolis. They will open about July 15th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Their Opening.


The new saloon of Cullen & Quinn will be formally opened on Tuesday next in the brick building just completed on Sixth street. The place will be called The Gem, and will be first-class in all its appointments. The stock of liquors and cigars will be of the best, and their customers can rely on being courteously treated at all times. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

The new sample room of Cullen & Quinn will be open on Monday next. An unexpected delay in receiving their fixtures put them back a week in their arrangements. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1892, p.4, c. 3)

Cullen & Quinn have received the balance of their saloon furniture and had it placed in position and their place now presents a very handsome appearance and is probably one of the finest sample rooms in the northwest. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The firm of Cullen & Quinn, conducting a saloon business in the Dressen building, has been dissolved by mutual consent, Mr. J. M. Quinn retiring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

M. Cullen has sold his saloon business on Sixth street to W. P. Buckley, of Staples, and the latter gentleman has assumed control. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

A formal grand opening of W. P. Buckley’s sample room on Sixth street occurred last night at which time a very fine lunch was served and the guests were entertained with fine music. Mr. Buckley is the successor to M. Cullen & Co. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Good Chance to Buy Property.


Mrs. C. Dressen offers her desirable residence property on Seventh street and her business block on Sixth street for sale at a bargain and will make terms to suit purchaser. Both places will be sold for a cash payment and balance on easy monthly installments. If you desire to secure a bargain call on her at her residence or consult J. R. Smith, Sleeper block, at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 March 1899, p. 1, c. 2)

A new front is being put into the Dressen building on 6th street, which will be occupied by Houghton, the jeweler, after necessary repair's are made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

NOTE: I believe the Dressen Block became the building where the Brainerd Dispatch was located, the address of the Dressen Block in 1905 was 215 South Sixth Street and the address of the Brainerd Dispatch in 1920 was 215 South Sixth Street. Now a parking lot.

DUCLOS BRICKYARD

Ho! Ho!! Ho!!!


We are soon to have a No. 1 brickyard established in Brainerd, by Duclos & Bro. They have found splendid clay for making the cherry-red brick, and their reputation as brick manufacturers stands very high. See their advertising elsewhere. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 March, 1872, p. 3, c. 3)

DUCLOS & BRO., the gentlemen who advertise in the TRIBUNE as intending to go into brick-making here, have arrived, and are making their arrangements to commence operations at an early day. This will be good news for our citizens, as they understand their business, and have obtained the very best quality of clay close to town. (Brainerd Tribune, 20 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

EARL HOTEL (MAP #15)
The Earl Hotel, Jule Jamieson, proprietor, is of brick veneer and is located mid-block on the west side of Fifth Street between Front and Laurel Streets, when it burns down in 1910, it has become a Mecca for the last of the loggers. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90 & 111)

NOTE: This hotel did NOT burn in 1910 as stated above by Zapffe. It seems to have burned sometime between 1913 and December 1917. This was the Stratton House [13 South Fifth Street in 1892 and 214 South Fifth Street in 1903].

J. C. Jamieson is improving his Fifth street property by putting in a basement, raising the main building one story and brick veneering the structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

In 1908 landlord Jamieson gave the front of the Hotel Earl a new coat of paint and provided some comfortable lawn seats on the porch for the benefit of the boarders. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 28 April 2008)

The Earl Hotel is listed in the Brainerd City Directory of April 1913 as being at 214 South Fifth Street.

Elks Building at the northeast corner of 6th and Laurel, ca. 1926.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
ELKS BUILDING (MAP #57)
Built in 1926 on the northeast corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets, it houses the Elks Lodge quarters and hotel accommodations. The cost of the lots, the building and the furnishings (exclusive of store spaces) amounts to $175,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 134)

April 1944. All was in readiness this afternoon for the three-day celebration of Brainerd Elks Lodge marking the burning of the mortgage and the end of indebtedness on their beautiful three-story Elks building. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 11 April 2004)

The basement of the Elks building contained a bowling alley operated by Clarence Van Essen.

FIRE HALLS (MAP #25 and #26 and #76)
Brainerd’s first Fire Department is organized on 13 February 1872, in the “fine Billiard Hall of Askew.” Thirty-seven members are enrolled, each paying his initial fee of one dollar. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 38 & 39)

A committee is appointed to wait upon the town board and ask them to pass a resolution regulating the condition of stove pipes and chimneys in this town. ...Chief dependence for the fire fighting fluid [water] is in the two wells on Front Street. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, pp. 38 & 39)

SEE: Milt Askew’s Billiard Hall

The matter of getting the water works in running shape is progressing finely, several cars of pipe arriving last Saturday. The city has received several new hose carts and when the water commences to be carried from one end of the city to the other the chances of burning out will not be half as dangerous. What the city needs now is an efficient fire department. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The city council will meet Friday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. to see about bonding the city for fire purposes and call a special election for the purpose of voting on the same. It is proposed to build a city hall, the lower part to be used for the fire department and the upper story for city purposes. This is something that is an absolute necessity and now that the city has its hose companies organized and the various apparatus purchased they have got to have some place to house the same, and a place to dry the hose in cold weather. The location of the same has not been fixed upon but it has been suggested that either Seventh or Fifth street, near the railroad track, would be the proper place for the hall, as it would be convenient to the business portion of the city in case of a fire, as well as the residence portion of the same. Next week we shall give a full description of the proposed building and the action of the council in the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 06 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The vote for the issuance of the city bonds on Saturday should receive a rousing majority. Unless it is carried the hose carts and other fire apparatus that is now on hand will have to be returned. See that your ticket reads: “For issuing bonds, erecting engine and house house, and purchasing fire apparatus,” and vote no other ticket. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

The city election held on Saturday last to vote on the proposed issue of city bonds to the amount of $5,000 to purchase fire apparatus and equipments and build a hose house and city hall, resulted as follows:
First ward:
For—141
Against—0
Second ward:
For—57
Against—2
Third ward:
For—59
Against—10
TOTAL:
For—257
Against—12
We understand that in the Third ward many of the ballots were written wrong, and were counted contrary to the intention of the voters. The opposition to the bonds was much greater in the Third ward than was shown by the vote as counted. Very little interest was manifest in any of the wards. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The city council are advertising for bids for the erection of a hose house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Notice.


Notice is hereby given that sealed bids will be received by me up to 3 p.m. of Monday Feb. 11th 1884 for erecting an engine and hose house according to plans and specifications on exhibit at my office. The right is reserved by the council to reject any and all bids.
R. G. SPARKS,
City Clerk.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

The council failed to let the contract for building the hose house last Monday on account of a dead-lock, three being in favor of awarding it to Mr. F. A. B. King and three against. The council meets again next Monday night when the matter will probably be disposed of. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

At two different times within a week have the fire companies of Brainerd saved the city from thousands of dollars loss and still there are men who begrudge the boys protections from exposure to the fire and water in the shape of suits. The council has ordered the purchasing committee to procure these goods but they have refused to comply with the order. It is a significant fact that Jas. Dewar voted against the purchasing of these suits first, last and all the time and the boys will undoubtedly remember him at the polls Tuesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 February 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

On Wednesday forenoon bills were issued calling a meeting of the fire department composed of hose companies No. 1 and 2, and the hook and ladder company, signed by F. W. Farham [sic] chief of [the] fire department, to [be] held on Friday of this week at 2 o’clock p.m. for the purpose of taking action with reference to disbanding on account of the refusal of the purchasing committee of the city council to purchase firemen’s goods as ordered by the council. The firemen think that it is no more than right that they should have some protection from the fire and water and these goods ordered were for that purpose. Brainerd’s fire department has done excellent service since its organization and has received much praise and if they disband it will be hard to find as active and thoroughly competent men to fill their places. The companies are composed of men who have had experience in this business and new hands would be apt to make many blunders that would cost the city and property holders many thousand dollars. If the company was a paid institution there would be a little more reason for the refusal, but as it is the firemen are exposed to a thorough drenching, which is anything but agreeable [in] this weather, to say nothing about spoiling their clothing. It is but right to say the least that the companies should be provided with suitable goods for their protection at fires and that these articles should be provided by the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 February 1884, p. 3, c. 3)

The new hose house will be built by the city under the supervision of a committee appointed by the council. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Central Hose House located mid-block on the north side of Front facing 5th, the picture was taken shortly after the ‘twister’ of June 2, 1898.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
(Top) Inside the Central Hose House on Front and 5th ca. 1898. (Bottom) The Fire Brigade on parade, ca. 1898.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
A Fire Hall is located mid-block on the north side of Front Street facing Fifth Street.

REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON
CONSTRUCTION OF HOSE HOUSE.


We the undersigned beg leave to report that we have endeavored to comply with the wishes of the council, and have had a “hose house and a city hall” constructed at a cost of $1,437.73 up to this time; and would enclose along with the report the receipted bills marked:
“A” Labor $393.20
“B” Hauling and grading in front of building $6.00
“C” Red lead for roof $1.58
“D” Paints, oils, etc. $36.85
“E” Doors, 6 panels, front of house $4.75
“F” Hardware, nails, etc. $83.94
“G” Lumber bill $743.88
“H” Building chimney $47.50
“I” Sash, blinds, mouldings $112.10
“K” [sic] Blocking, etc. $7.23
“L” Guilding [sic] on ball and staff $.75
Total bills $1,437.38 The foreman, Ed. Mahan’s estimate of extra work and material furnished amounts to about $257.26; this would be charged to us as extra work and material if we had contracted the same. We will but add that out of all the men employed all were tax-payers but three and they were laborers. We recommend that the upstairs part be lathed and plastered some time in May, after the weather gets warm and the ground settles. All of which is respectfully submitted for your approval.
THOS. WATT,
A. E. TAYLOR,
E. R. FRENCH.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 09 April 1884, p. 3, c. 6)

The rooms over the hose house have been fitted up in fine shape, and will be ready for occupancy in a couple of weeks by the city officers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 June 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

The new fire bell for the hose house has arrived. It is much larger and better toned than the one which has been discarded. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The new Council rooms and firemen's department, which has just been finished over the hose house, are indeed specimens of elegance and convenience. The front room will be occupied by Judge Douglas, and is finished off with a private consultation room, a Judge’s stand, and a raised platform for the accommodation of the jurymen. A railing has been built across the room for the purpose of keeping the spectators in their proper place. The room in the rear of the building is for the use of the firemen, and it will make a fine place for their meetings. Both rooms are wainscoted and grained, the painting being done by A. Frederickson, and which is a credit to himself and also to the city. The city now has a building that it need not be ashamed of and one which was needed long before it was built. All that is necessary now is for the city to build a suitable jail building, as the one which is used for that purpose is not fit for a hog pen, and should be discarded as soon as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Prof. Dresskell is getting up an alarm for the pump house to use in case of fire, and when finished it will be a very useful thing. Each one of the three hose houses will be connected with the pump house and by touching a button a gong will be set in motion which will ring for six minutes. As it is now many times the pump house is only notified of fire after some one has gone there in person, the telephone being unreliable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

Weather Signals.


It is expected that the new weather signal flags will arrive next week and the service begin. The flags will be displayed from the staff at the hose house. A square white flag means clear or fair weather; the blue flag indicates rain or snow; the white and blue flag (parallel bars of white and blue) indicates that local rains or showers will occur and that the rainfall will not be general; the white flag with black square in center indicates the approach of a sudden and decided fall in the temperature—a cold wave. The black triangular flag always refers to temperature. When displayed above either of the other flags it means warmer weather; when placed below another flag it indicates colder weather; when not displayed at all the indications are that the temperature will remain stationary. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1891, p. 1, c. 4)

Alderman Folgelstrom is at work straightening up the city hall building, which has sunk several inches out of plumb on the east side. There are several causes for this condition of the building. Poor workmanship in the first place, and the extraordinarily large crowds that sometimes fill the municipal court room, are the principal reasons. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 November 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Alderman Fogelstrom has been putting storm windows onto the hose house this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

The Boys Want Horses.


The members of Hose Companies No. 1 and 2, held a meeting recently and produced the resolution which will be found below. The city council at its meeting received the same and ordered it filed, no action being taken on account of the lateness of the hour and the number of other matters requiring attention. The council will do well to consider this matter thoroughly before taking action, and undoubtedly will see the necessity of the request. The resolution is:
To His Honor, the Mayor, and the City Council, Gentlemen:
At a meeting recently held by the officers of Hose Companies Nos. 1 and 2, of the fire department, it was decided to request of you in this form to purchase a team of horses and apparatus for better fire protection. While our firemen are willing and always have been to do their utmost in case of fire, they feel that hauling the carts many times for long distances through the snow and thereby arriving at the fire often too late to render valuable assistance, that their efforts are not crowned with the success that they really deserve. We trust, gentlemen, that you will readily see the propriety of granting our request and thereby assist a willing volunteer fire department and undoubtedly save more than your expenditure by the saving of property. We feel assured that unless something of this kind is done that it will be impossible to keep up the interest of our companies. Hoping that you will give this your earliest attention, we are,

Respectfully yours,

John Bubar, foreman, J. C. Jamieson, first assistant, James Buley, second assistant, A. Rosenberg, secretary, J. Kelleher, treasurer, Hope Hose Co. No. 1.
L. D. Mattison, foreman, E. D. Wilkins, first assistant, Wm. Paine, Jr., second assistant, R. L. Weeks, secretary, N. McFadden, treasurer, Brainerd Hose Co. No. 2. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The Weather Signals.


City Clerk Farrar now regulates the weather in this city, in other words he has charge of the weather flags which are hoisted each morning from the hose house. The flags are five in number and in their position on the pole should be read downward. The white flag indicates fair weather; the blue flag indicates rain or snow; the black triangular flag always refers to temperature and when placed above either of the flags above mentioned indicates warmer weather, when below colder weather, and when not displayed the indications are that the temperature will remain about stationary; the white flag with black square in center indicates a cold wave, and is not displayed unless it is expected that the temperature will fall to forty-two degrees or lower. The blue and white flag indicates local rains, the forecast is always for the following twenty-four hours after the flags are displayed. A cut of the flags can be seen at the head of Henry I. Cohen’s advertisement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1891, p. 4, c. 6)

The City Council.


[...]


The fire committee requested more time to report on the question of buying a team for the use of the fire department, and the request was granted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Special Meeting of the City Council.


The city council held a special meeting last Monday evening. All present but Aldermen Lagerquist, Johnson, Fogelstrom and Titze.
The meeting was called to hear the report of the fire committee. Said committee reported and recommended that a hose wagon, one team of horses and apparatus for use of the Central hose house be purchased, and that a place for keeping said team be provided by building an addition to said hose house.
A motion was carried to accept the report and to purchase property and build an addition to the hose house as recommended therein, the whole not to exceed $1,200 in cost.
A motion was carried to appoint a committee composed of two members of the fire committee and the chief of the fire department to inspect and purchase said wagon, team of horses and apparatus. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

D. W. McIntosh, chief of the fire department at Brainerd, and Alderman Barber, of Brainerd, were in the city yesterday, purchasing horses to be used by the Brainerd fire department. While here they were shown the working of the Kunzelman steering apparatus in use on the hook and ladder truck, with which they were delighted. Mr. Kunzelman’s patent is becoming popular, and will soon be adopted in several cities.—Stillwater News. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Aldermen Ferris and Barber and Chief McIntosh went to St. Paul on Friday last for the purpose of purchasing a hose wagon and team of horses for the Brainerd fire department. Mr. Ferris returned on Saturday night, the other two gentlemen remaining as the purchase had not been completed, and they are expected home to-day. It is understood the gentlemen will bring with them a fine team of trained horses which they have purchased from parties at Stillwater for $375. The hose wagon, which is being made to order, will not arrive for several days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

New City Purchases.


A special meeting of the city council was held on Monday evening to consider the matter of building an annex to the hose hose for the accommodation of the team which has been purchased for the fire department. The council appropriated $1,200 to be expended in the new purchases and improvements, but as the sum was found to be inadequate the committee desired to explain matters and have all members perfectly satisfied before they proceeded further. Ald. Barber explained that a team had been purchased at an outlay of $400, and that a hose wagon had been ordered built which was to cost $450, besides this a harness costing $60 had been bargained for and $20.75 expended in feeding and conveying the city steeds to Brainerd, the total being $930.75.
It had been deemed advisable to put up an addition to the hose house two stories high and bids had been solicited for the construction, which were as follows: F. Britton $280, Davenport & Woodbury $325, I. U. White $350. After some discussion it was agreed to accept Davenport & Woodbury’s bid as in the bid of Mr. Britton’s no painting was mentioned.
The building will be 14x26 with 16 foot posts, the upper rooms to be plastered and used by the city teamster in order that he may be on the ground at all times, and is to be ready for use by Tuesday next.
A lumber wagon was ordered purchased by the committee for use until the hose wagon is finished, and for street work.
The city clerk was instructed to issue a city order in favor of D. Farmer for $400 to pay for the team.
C. A. Walker was granted a permit to erect a brick veneer building 25x60 feet two stories high, on Laurel street, adjoining Moberg’s saloon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Walker Block

The City Council.

[...]


James Buley, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The application of James Buley as driver of the fire department team was read, and a motion was made and carried that Mr. Buley be appointed driver of said team at a salary of $50 per month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1892, p. 1, c. 3)

The new fire team are being trained in excellent shape and already are quite proficient in their duties. At the sound of the gong they come from their stalls on a run and take their places at the pole of the wagon. Considering the short space of time that they have been trained they are exceeding the expectations of the driver, Mr. Buley, and also the public. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 February 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Hose Co.’s Nos. 1 and 2, and Hook & Ladder Co. No. 1, have decided to furnish the room over the new addition to the hose house, and a man from each one of those companies will room there. The room will be papered and carpeted and three wire spring cots will be placed in the room with other suitable furniture. The companies will pay for the outfit from their treasuries, the expense being about $75. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 March 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Serious Accident.


The fire department has at last received the new hose wagon which was ordered some weeks ago and in the language of the small boy “she’s a daisy.” The vehicle was taken to the central hose house on Saturday and was viewed by many spectators during the afternoon. On Sunday morning Driver Buley hitched the fire team to the wagon and in company with Chief McIntosh started down Front Street. At Sixth street where the wagon went over the crossing the jolt caused the snap on one of the collars to loosen and let the horse through the harness when the animals became frightened and unmanageable. Mr. McIntosh, with the intention of stopping the team, jumped from his position on the seat to the ground turning one of his ankles and breaking a small bone of the leg. He is consequently laid up and will be for some weeks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

More improvements have been made at the central hose house this week. A new floor has been laid in the building and a shed has been built on the west side of the house to keep the hook and ladder truck in and also to store hose in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Fire Department Election.


The annual election of the Brainerd Fire Department took place last Monday evening, and officers were elected as follows:
Dan. F. McIntosh, Chief.
Thos. Crawford, First Assistant.
Si. Hall, Second Assistant.
C. D. Johnson, Secretary.
Wm. Bredfeld, Treasurer.
This makes a strong staff of officers. D. F. McIntosh, who is re-elected chief, has already served several terms, and has given such excellent satisfaction that he can hold the office as long as he will accept it. The department has been very efficient under his direction. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Regular Council Meeting.


[...]


A motion was made and carried to place a telephone in the central hose house when the system is put in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 May 1895, p. 4, c. 7)

In 1898 the Fire Department consists of 100 volunteers, 3 paid men, four Independent Hose Carts, 3,500 feet of two and one-half inch hose, one Hook-and- Ladder Truck and an Electric Alarm to the Pump House. (1898 Sanborn-Perris Insurance Map)

New Insurance Rates.


The insurance rates for this city have not been adjusted since July, 1893, and it is expected that within a very short time W. R. Burch, the new inspector who succeeds J. B. McLaren for this district, will visit Brainerd for the above purpose. The natural condition of things existing when the examination or inspection is made will have a bearing on the rate that is fixed and it lies a good deal with our citizens whether the rate is raised or lowered. Piles of rubbish, old boxes, barrels, straw and such things in the rear of business houses and in the alleys that go toward making a risk hazardous are all noted and the man who carries an insurance has to pay for it in an increased rate which when once fixed cannot be changed by the local agents no matter how much they might desire to so do and it stands until the next adjustment is made by the inspector which may not be for some years. New maps of the different districts have been made and it is hoped that the general public for their own good will see that their premises are cleaned up so they may get the benefit derived from such action. Insurance policies that are written in the city all have to pass through the hands of the inspector who is located at Duluth for his approval as to rates, etc., before they are approved by the company in which the insurance is taken. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

Bought a New Fire Team.


At a special session of he city council on Monday, at which all members were present excepting Alderman McGinn, a new fire team was purchased from A. Lessard, the price paid being $200, and P. H. Miller was engaged as extra driver at $1.50 per day. It is the intention to keep both teams, and work one of them on the street, and it is this work that Mr. Miller will attend to. Other fire department matters were attended to, among which was instructing the clerk to write to the parties of whom the fire wagon was bought in relation to exchanging for a lighter vehicle, and also the building of an addition to the hose house in which to store hay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 April 1898, p. 8, c. 3)

The new city team gave an exhibition of their speed this afternoon and incidentally distributed a quantity of electric light supplies from the railroad track to Laurel street. The team was driven over the the Sixth street crossing in front of an engine which caused the trouble. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 April 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

The steel bell tower at the Central hose house was raised this afternoon. It is 70 feet high and on top has a flag staff which reaches 25 feet above the tower. E. Hessel, the machinery man, did the job. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 July 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

One of the work team horses belonging to the city received quite a serious injury on Wednesday, the animal kicking part of the partition to the stall down and in the fracas running a large piece of the splintered board into its body on the inside of the left hind leg. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 December 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Some Interesting Figures.


A. H. Bennett janitor of the Central hose house and secretary of Hose Co. No. 2, in his annual report of the business done by the fire department during the year 1898, gives the following interesting data and has kindly furnished the DISPATCH the following figures:
Number alarms during year—53
Miles run during year—181
Hours worked at fires—47
Number feet of hose laid—21,300
The amount of loss by fire during the year is placed at $42,612 and the amount of insurance paid on loss was $20,462.
Mr. Bennett in his report makes mention of the fact that had it not been for the disastrous opera house fire which also consumed the building and stock of Con. O’Brien, the fire loss would have been but about $8000 which is extremely low for a city the size of Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1899, p. 8, c. 5)

Hereafter municipal court will be held in the county court house, a committee of the council securing the permission of the county commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday. The hose house will no more be frequented by the energetic vag or the gay and festive “jag.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

The city council has purchased a new fire team and is now going to ascertain the ages of the horses. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1899, p. 4, c. 2)

City Legislation.


The special committee appointed to ascertain the ages of the new fire team made a report stating:
“Mr. James Parker, horseman, and Dr. C. S. Reimestead gave it as their opinion after careful examination that the age of the nigh horse of the team is six years and that of the off horse seven years. Furthermore the nigh horse is not considered the equal in many points to the off horse. Your committee recommend that the night horse be exchanged by Mr. Newman as per contract made with him by the special purchasing committee for a horse equal to the off horse for fire team purposes.”
The city clerk was instructed to notify Mr. Newman and demand that he replace the horse with one that will prove satisfactory. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 December 1899, p. 4, c. 2)

FIRE CHIEF’S ANNUAL REPORT.
______

Fire Loses During the Year about
$12,000—Great Disparity in In-
surance and Premiums Paid.
_____


City Fire Chief L. H. Stallman has made his annual report covering the year 1899, which contains some very interesting information. The report shows fire losses for the year to be $11,960, and insurance collected $6,652.84, about half. During that period the property owners of the city paid $24,984.96 insurance premiums, or nearly four times amount received from the insurance companies. Considering the great disparity in the amount paid the insurance companies and the amount received, isn’t it about time a reduction in insurance rates was made in the city? An effort should be made to have the rates reduced.
The department cost the city $1,756.50, in addition to $5,328.70 paid for the rental of 71 hydrants at an average cost of $65 each. The department has three paid men, all others being volunteers serving without pay. The city now has 3500 feet of hose, and over 1000 feet of additional hose has been ordered. There were 31 fires during the year, two being of supposed incendiary origin, ten were caused by defective chimneys, two by lamp explosions, three by children playing with matches, six by overheating, and eight were of unknown origin. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1900, p. 8, c. 4)

METER QUESTION TO BE INVESTIGATED.
_____

On Motion of Alderman Wright
the Matter was Referred to
the City Attorney.
_____

REGULAR MEETING OF COUNCIL.
_____

Resolution Passed by City Council
Vacating Seventh Street
as Requested.

The city council met in regular session Tuesday evening in chambers with President Crust in the chair. The following aldermen were present: Halladay, Gardner, Purdy, Erickson, Rowley, Fogelstrom, Doran and Wright.
...Chief Bennett, of the fire department, asked the council that the room now occupied as council chambers be turned over to the department’s use after the new quarters in the new opera house are completed. The matter was referred to the fire and water committee to report at the next meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 2, c’s. 1 & 2)

QUARTERS FOR FIRE LADDIES.
_____

It is Thought That the Fire Committee
Will Act Favorably on Chief
Bennett’s Request.


The matter which was brought up by Chief Bennett, of the fire department, at the meeting of the city council Tuesday evening in regard to securing more room for the boys at the hose house will probably be favorably acted upon by the fire committee, to which it was referred.
For some time the boys have been cramped for room, and now that the city officials have made arrangements to move to new quarters Chief Bennett conceived the idea that it would be a good plan to transfer the room now used as council chambers into a general assembly room for the fire boys, and to use the room to the rear now used by them for sleeping purposes.
He also suggested that the boys be furnished with a bath and other conveniences which are extended to volunteer departments in other cities. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 3, c. 2)

March 1903. Painters have commenced to work on the old Hose House, next to the Opera, and in a few days the building will fairly dazzle with a new coat of paint. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 28 March 2003)

Fire Hall completed in 1915, ca. 1915.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Fire Hall located on the east side of 5th between Front and Laurel Streets, ca. 1936.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
On 02 March 1914 the Common Council issues $75,000 in bonds for a new City Hall and Fire Hall. The Fire Hall is built mid-block on the east side of Fifth Street between Front and Laurel Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 123)

A MOTOR FIRE TRUCK FOR CITY
_____

Council at Monday Night’s Meeting
Decides to Advertise for Bids
on January 5th
_____

ADJOURNED SESSION THAT DATE
_____

Equipped with Two Tanks Machine
Can Extinguish Fires in Sec-
tions Beyond Hydrants


The city council, at its Monday night’s meeting, went on record as favoring the purchase of a motor fire truck.
President of the Council C. A. Lagerquist reported on the trip of inspection made by Aldermen Stallman and Gallupe and himself when they visited St. Paul, Minneapolis and Sioux City, Iowa, examining the fire trucks in use.
The city clerk was instructed to advertise for bids to be opened at the adjourned meeting of the council to be held Tuesday evening, January 5.
Agents of the Wilcox and White trucks addressed the meeting. The Wilcox man said fire apparatus was never built under two tons weight. Each manufacturer tried to get his motor to handle its load on any kind of a road. Two and a half inch fire hose weighed a pound to the foot. With the right kind of a driver a motor fire truck would negotiate 12 to 14 inches of snow. Chains were needed the year around. Twenty to twenty-five miles an hour was the average speed now generally made by fire apparatus in cities he was acquainted with. A high gear machine was not needed. Power developed from the gear ratio. His truck had a double chain drive. The Wilcox people guaranteed their trucks three years against defects and flaws. The kind of tires was optional, either solid or pneumatic. If the truck was liable to stand for months and fires were not frequent, he advised hard tires.
Alderman Mahlum asked if the purchase and use of a motor fire truck would not lower insurance rates in Brainerd.
The Wilcox agent said he did not know. He believed the insurance underwriters encouraged their purchase.
Alderman Smith said there was no reduction in fire rates unless there was a reduction in fires.
The Wilcox agent, in answer to a question, said a gasoline pump was not advisable. It bucked sometimes and this uncertainty mitigated against its use.
Clarence Olson, of Brainerd, addressed the council and introduced the White agent.
The White agent said an important specification in the purchase of a car was whether four or six cylinders were to be used. He explained the standard combination chemical and hose truck and its equipment. Hose was either on a basket or reel and 1,000 to 1,200 feet of hose was carried. Most fire companies ran from 25 to 35 miles an hour. At Minneapolis he had followed the fire equipment in his car and they reeled off 45 miles an hour on a short stretch.
A speed of 25 miles an hour is generally made in the first few blocks by a horse fire truck, said the White agent. He coincided with Alderman Smith’s statement, saying that a reduction of fires in a three year period would work a reduction in fire rates.
Mayor Henning in a communication to the council called attention to the finances of the city, especially the current expense fund and the firemen’s relief fund. The two funds did not have very much money and 1,000 feet of hose bought was to be paid for from the firemen’s relief fund. A question had been raised by the deputy examiner of the state examiner’s department about the legality of payments from those funds with the possible result that the city may have to reimburse one of the funds out of the other. He suggested using the surplus from the city hall building fund, subject to the vote of the people. In the purchase of fire trucks he counseled advertising for bids.
In the discussion following apparatus, Mayor Henning favored a two tank proposition, for it would be of assistance in extinguishing fires beyond where the fire hydrants are, which at present had no protection.

[...]


A dozen mitts and a half dozen coats were ordered purchased for the Northeast Brainerd fire department. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1914, p. 1, c. 3)

New City Fire Truck


The White fire truck, purchased by the city, was given a trial spin on the afternoon of April 8, 1915 by the demonstrator, Joseph Cornelius, of Cleveland, Ohio. The truck made a straight shot up North Sixth Street and at about a speed of forty-five miles an hour flew around the corner of Kingwood. The passengers gasped, expecting to be hurled out with the ladders and other paraphernalia on top of them. Before they got another gasp, the truck let out another link of speed and was shooting down the straight-away path and onto the sand hills near the river bank. It was raced out to northeast Brainerd, over the bridge fill, through back alleys, out on Oak Street, turned around in sand and given every kind of a demonstration in Brainerd’s streets and alleys to show what the truck could do. Tears streamed from the eyes of all the occupants of the truck, as no one was wearing goggles. The truck, to be housed in the new fire hall, was equipped with a large searchlight illuminated by electricity and provided with all kinds of fire fighting apparatus, ladders and lanterns, etc. (An Overview of Happenings in the City of Brainerd for the Years of 1914 and Early 1915, A. Nelson)


SEE: City Hall

First Congregational Church at the northwest corner of 5th and Juniper, ca. 1872.
Source: The Word, a Century with Our Churches, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971
FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH
The First Congregational Church is one of the pioneer churches in Brainerd, dating its organization from 13 August 1872. The first house of worship, a gift to the congregation by Governor J. Gregory Smith, president of the Northern Pacific Railroad, was erected in the summer of 1872. This building burned on 07 January 1881. The present building was erected in the summer of 1881. (The Word, a Century with Our Churches, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971, p. 6)

AROUND THE STATE.
_____


BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, May 16.—The Congregationalists will replace their church with a fine brick structure—nearly $4,000 having already been subscribed, and as soon as spring begins to dawn they will commence operations. (Minneapolis Tribune, 18 May 1881, p. 2)

BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, July 4.—...Mr. Turner, the gentleman who is superintending the erection of the Hartley block, will also have charge of the Congregational church and work is to be begun at once. (Minneapolis Tribune, 05 July 1881, p. 8)

The carpet for the Congregational church arrived this week and the ladies are very busy sewing it, and it is hoped to get it down before next Sunday.
The church will be dedicated the last Sabbath in this month, Sept. 31st. Rev. R. A. Beard, of Fargo, will deliver the dedication sermon. Rev. E. S. Williams, of Minneapolis, a former pastor here, will be also present and assist in the dedicatory services and preach the evening sermon.
Rev. E. C. Evans will preach at the church next Sabbath evening from the text: “Beware of dogs.” (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 5)

The Congregational church will be dedicated next Sunday morning. There will be preaching morning and evening. Rev. R. A. Beard and E. S. Williams, of Minneapolis will address the people. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 27 September 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The handsome new brick Congregational church, replacing that destroyed by fire two years ago, was formerly [sic] dedicated Sunday in services which extended into the evening. In a successful effort to clear the building of a final debt of nearly $2,300. Rev. R. A. Beard of Fargo preached in the forenoon and Rev. E. S. Williams of Minneapolis in the evening; over $1,100 were raised by the joint efforts of Revs. Beard and Williams and the pastor, Rev. E. C. Evans, the balance was secured. The building is one of the finest west of St. Paul, and stands on ground which is the gift of ex Gov. Smith of Vermont. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 04 October 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

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)

The work of renovating and re-papering the 1st Congregational church of this city has been completed, and the interior of the church now presents a most pleasing and artistic appearance. This is an improvement long desired, and great credit is due to the ladies of the congregation, who furnished the means to carry on the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Congregational Bazaar.


The ladies of the First Congregational Church have arrangements all completed for their coming bazaar which they will give in the roller skating rink on Wednesday evening of next week, Nov. 22. The ladies are desirous of having a good attendance, and will do all in their power to entertain the patrons of their bazaar and supper. A number of booths will be arranged, at each of which articles will be for sale, and they have been arranged as follows:
Oyster Booth—Hot oysters served during entire evening, in charge of Mrs. A. F. Ferris, assisted by Miss Mamie Smith and Miss Maggie Atherton.
Ice Cream Booth—In charge of Mrs. H. E. Richmond and Mrs. H. D. Follett assisted by Misses Amy Brockway and Minnie Chase.
Booth for Little Folks—Pop corn, home made candies and cut flowers, in charge of Misses Maybelle Davis and Mamie Mitchell.
Fancy and Domestic Table—In charge of Mrs. Fannie Smith and Mrs. N. H. Ingersoll.
Cake and Home Made Fruit Table—In charge of Mrs. F. W. Wieland, Mrs. D. D. Smith and Miss Bessie Treglawny.
A first-class supper will be served from 5:30 until late in the evening for 25 cents. The public generally is invited to be present. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The bazaar and supper at the rink on Wednesday evening by the ladies of the Congregational church was a very successful affair and about $125 was realized. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 November 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

PAY THE CHURCH DEBT.
_____

Congregational People Making the Rus-
tle of Their Lives to Clear the Church of Debt.
_____


The Congregational church people are determined that the coming of the new year will see their fine church structure entirely free of debt. The church was built some twelve or fifteen years ago, and has been ornamented with a mortgage ever since. The amount of the indebtedness has been slowly whittled down each year, until the balance is only $923, and for the past few weeks several of the members have been agitating making a heavy effort to raise money to pay the same at once. A meeting of the trustees and members was held after the mid-week meeting last Thursday night, at which a committee to solicit subscriptions to raise the funds was appointed, as follows:
P. M. Lagerquist, G. D. LaBar, S. L. Bean, Rev. G. W. Gallagher, H. W. Isham, Frank White, Mrs. M. McFadden, Mrs. Isham, Mrs. F. E. Smith, Mrs. J. N. Nevers. and Mrs. E. H. White. A list of fifteen or sixteen names of persons likely to subscribe was given to each member of the committee, who will visit them personally and urge the necessity of a liberal contribution. We understand the committee has met with great success, some of them securing over a hundred dollars in a short time. Enough has been subscribed to insure the raising of the amount. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 November 1899, p. 1, c. 3)

LIFTED THE MORTGAGE.
_____

The Congregational People Raise Money
Enough to Pay Off Their Church Debt.


First Congregational Church, 1899.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1899, p. 7, c’s. 3 & 4
On Sunday evening last Rev. G. W. Gallagher gladdened the hearts of his people by informing them that sufficient funds had been raised to pay the debt on the church property which had remained thereon for eighteen years. During three weeks a committee of eleven persons under the able leadership of S. L. Bean and Mr. George LaBar, have been canvassing the city for subscriptions to pay off the debt. The committee were Mrs. H. W. Isham, Mrs. E. H. White, Mrs. J. N. Nevers, Mrs. Milton McFadden, Mrs. Fannie Smith, Mr. S. L. Bean, Mr. George LaBar, Mr. P. M Lagerquist, Mr. Frank A. White, Mr. Howard Isham and Rev. G. W. Gallagher. The committee worked quietly but effectively. On Saturday night last, they met and compared notes, when it was found that $784.50 had been collected in cash, that $162 in reliable subscriptions were guaranteed, $42.45 had been gathered from the missionary jugs, and $15.00 were promised from the Christian Endeavor Society, making in all $1005.96. The committee sang the doxology and thanked God for his rich blessings to the church. It was then determined that the remaining outstanding debt of the society should also be raised, making necessary the collection of $60.00 more. On Sunday evening the Congregational church being packed, Mr. Gallagher stated that he would depart from the usual order of service and mention the fact that the church had been greatly blessed in raising $1000 for its debt, that it was an occasion for great rejoicing, he would, therefore, call upon a few of the ladies and gentlemen who had been instrumental in collecting this money to make some remarks. He then invited Mrs. E. H. White to speak, who gave a bright entertaining speech, thanking the friends of the church for their generous gifts. Mrs. J. N. Nevers thereupon reported the amount of money contained in the little jugs that had been placed about town. Mr. S. L. Bean, president of the board of trustees, was then called on and he spoke very pleasantly upon the benefit of having the church free from debt and how grateful the church was for the general response of those who had been solicited to give. Mr. Gallagher arose and said: That this was the time for rejoicing. $1005 had been collected in three weeks to pay off an old debt that had been standing for eighteen years. The quickness with which this money had been raised was itself something that should awaken the congratulations of everyone present. He must first congratulate the church on having this debt removed. It was always a hard task to pay an old debt. It required honesty, persistency and courage to do this. He congratulated the solicitors who had worked so faithfully in obtaining these splendid subscriptions. They now know how many good friends the church had, and they had learned what generous hearts there were in Brainerd. Mr. Gallagher congratulated the people who had responded so willingly. The scriptures teach us that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Benevolence always opens the heart to high spiritual influences. One magnanimous emotion will prepare the way for another. A generous giver has his heart softened and the spirit of God will quickly enter where a noble emotion has already dwelt. The raising of this money proves that Brainerd has resources in itself, which may yet be invested in productive home industries instead of being sent to some far away place. Mr. Gallagher said he must congratulate himself in having a church out of debt. Spiritual gifts would now come to the church. He wished there were fewer churches and more powerful ones among us. The efforts of all the churches were directed to pay current expenses and the pastor’s salary. If we had fewer churches and better paid ministers, we could do more for the town, for libraries, for institutions of benevolence and agencies to help the poor. It was a pity that we moderns had dragged into this new nest the ancient controversies of the old world. We should have left the theologies of England, Ireland, Scotland, France, Germany, Italy and Spain where we left old armor—in the museums. Mr. Gallagher said the church needed sixty dollars more to pay off all its debts. A collection was then taken up for that purpose. It gives us much pleasure to say that all the money required to pay the church indebtedness was raised. In this connection it might be interesting to give a brief history of the church. The First Congregational church was organized in August, 1872, with nineteen members, in the Baptist church edifice, which was then unfinished. Governor Gregory Smith, of Vermont, donated a whole block of land to the church and presented the society with a building that cost $4000. Mrs. Gov. Smith gave the church an organ. This building was burned on January 1st, 1882. Steps were immediately taken to rebuild. Mr. Wm. Ferris, deceased, was one of the prime movers in this work and was untiring in his efforts to secure a new structure, giving liberally of his time, of his labor and of his money to the enterprise. Under the pastorate of Rev. R. A. Beard, the present brick edifice was erected at a cost of $13,000. The church was dedicated in the fall of 1882. There have been fifteen pastors over the church since its organization, the first of whom was Rev. Samuel Ingham and the fifteenth, Rev. G. W. Gallagher, the present pastor. These faithful pastors have all labored zealously for the upbuilding of the church and for the cause of Christ. Some day they will have the reward of the servant of God and enter into the joy of the Lord. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 December 1899, p. 7, c’s. 3 & 4)

First National Bank at the southwest corner of 6th and Front, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
FIRST NATIONAL BANK BUILDING (MAP #6)
Located on the southeast corner of Front and Sixth Streets, better known as the First National Bank building, it is built in 1882 by W. W. Hartley. In 1916 the building is purchased by the officers of the bank and is remodeled—the first of three such remodelings. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 22)

Remuddled for the fourth time, it stands on the southeast corner of Sixth and Front Streets.

NORTHWESTERN NEWS NOTES.


BRAINERD.


This city is not boomed much, but for all that few places in the Northwest can show a better and healthier growth. The number of new residences built and being built is something remarkable, while not a few business houses are being put up. Hartley Brothers and Mr. Sleeper have both built double brick blocks, and the former are laying the foundation for another and larger block. Grygla & Salden, of Minneapolis did the galvanized iron cornice work and roofing on the former buildings [Hartley Block & Sleeper Block], and have the contract to finish the latter [First National Bank Block]. Much of the beauty and symmetry of the buildings is due to their good work. Davis & Co.’s Sawmill is in full blast, cutting 60,000 a day. They are to have the electric light at once, which will enable them to run nights and days as well. Brainerd is to have telephone connections at once. Messrs. Carver, Mohl & Co. have organized as the Brainerd Telephone Company, put up their poles and are daily expecting their wire. They have already twenty-five subscribers, and the Northern Pacific company will use it between their offices and shops. (Minneapolis Tribune, 18 June 1882, p. 8)

The First National Bank building is being fitted up for a steam heating apparatus. The pipes and boiler are here and are being placed in position and will be ready for use by the time cold weather sets in. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

George LaBar, ca. 1922.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
15 January 1892. The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank was held on Monday, at which time the following directors were elected: G. W. Holland, B. A. Ferris [Beulah], Adam Brown, A. F. Ferris, Leon E. Lum, H. J. Spencer and G. D. LaBar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The annual meeting of the stock holders of the First National Bank was held on Tuesday, and the following were chosen directors for the ensuing year: G. W. Holland, Adam Brown, Leon E. Lum, B. A. Ferris [Beulah], F. A. Ferris, G. G. Hartley and Geo. D. LaBar. A meeting of the directors will be held next week for the purpose of electing officers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The annual meeting of the board of directors of the First National Bank was held on Monday the 23 inst., and the following officers were elected for the ensuing year, A. F. Ferris, President, Leon E. Lum, Vice President and G. D. LaBar, Cashier. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The stockholders of the First National Bank of this city held their annual election on Tuesday, the board of directors being elected as follows: G. G. Hartley, Adam Brown, A. F. Ferris, Leon E. Lum, Geo. D. LaBar, Mrs. B. A. Ferris and Geo. W. Holland. The election of officers will take place next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 January 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The rooms of the First National Bank are being re-decorated. The work is being done under the supervision of J. C. Congdon, who has a reputation for artistic work in this line. When completed they will probably be the handsomest suite of rooms in the city. The improvements will cost several hundred dollars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 February 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The stockholders of the First National Bank elected the following directors at their meeting on Monday: Leon E. Lum, A. F. Ferris, G. W. Holland, Geo. D. LaBar, Adam Brown, Mrs. B. A. Ferris and T. J. Sharkey. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 January 1896, p. 4, c. 3)

On Monday the First National Bank elected officers for the ensuing year, no change being made, showing that the business is being conducted in a manner entirely satisfactory to the stockholders. The officers are: A. F. Ferris, president; L. E. Lum, vice president; George D. LaBar, cashier; George Brown, bookkeeper; Herman Casey, clerk. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

The First National Bank has just put in a new Cary screw door safe, which was placed in position yesterday. It weighs over three tons, and is a beauty, being the latest improved piece of furniture of that description manufactured, costing in the neighborhood of $1900. These safes are manufactured at Buffalo, N. Y., and are absolutely burglar proof. Mr. J. A. Modisette, of Minneapolis, is in the city superintending the job and putting the machinery in running order. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 March 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

A Work of Art.


Allen Frank Ferris, ca. 1895.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Many of our citizens have seen the portrait in oil of Hon. A. F. Ferris which adorns the walls of the First National Bank, from the brush of Col. Freeman Thorp, the noted artist who last spring established his home at Hubert Lake in this county. The picture affords the first opportunity our people have had of seeing Col. Thorp's work, and it fully justifies the great national reputation he has. The gentleman for many years occupied a studio built expressly for him by the government on the roof of the capitol in Washington. President Grant sat for him for a portrait for the war department historical collection, and when it was finished the President liked it so well that he ordered another for himself. The State of Ohio employed Col. Thorp to paint a portrait of President Garfield that is now in the state capitol at Columbus. A large number of portraits from his brush are in the government historical collections, and in many state collections. The gentleman is as adept in landscape gardening, and to make for himself and family a home with picturesque surroundings in a wonderfully healthy region he has chosen the lake region in the northern part of Crow Wing county. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

Annual Meeting.


The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank, of this city, was held on Monday last, and the old board of directors was re-elected as follows: G. W. Holland, Leon E. Lum, Adam Brown, A. F. Ferris, B. A. Ferris, T. J. Sharkey and G. D. LaBar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

A meeting of the new board of directors of the First National Bank was held on Monday, and the old officers were re-elected for the ensuing year as follows: A. F. Ferris, president; Leon E. Lum, vice president; Geo. D. LaBar, Cashier. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 4)

Annual Bank Meetings.


The annual meeting of the stockholders of the First National Bank was held on Tuesday morning, and the old board of directors was elected as follows: Judge G. W. Holland, B. A. Ferris, Adam Brown, Hon. A. F. Ferris and Geo. D. LaBar. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

First National Elects Officers.


The directors of the First National bank at a meeting on Monday forenoon elected A. F. Ferris president and G. D. LaBar cashier for the ensuing year. The positions are the same as held by these gentlemen for some years and under whose guidance the bank has attained a leading position among the solid financial institutions of the northwest. The other positions were filled by electing Geo. H. Brown and Fred A. Farrar bookkeepers and W. H. Koop stenographer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 January 1900, p. 8, c. 2)

A Fine Machine.


The First National Bank, on Monday, received a Burroughs Registering Accountant from the Arithmometer Manufacturing Company, of Chicago. This little machine is no larger than a typewriter, but it is almost human in its work, except that, unlike humanity, it will not err. It is operated with keys like a typewriter. A column of figures a yard in length, or any number to the capacity of the machine, can be listed, and when completed the sum of the figures is given. What time and labor it will save in adding can readily be imagined, and the saving will not only be in adding. but the figures can be taken down much quicker than they can be written, and all errors, that sometimes take hours in finding, are avoided. This machine is very small, but it is very intricate, and cost $276. It would be a good investment at several times that sum where much adding is required. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

DARING MACHINE GUN MOB
ROBS FIRST NATIONAL HERE

ROBBERY OF FIRST NATIONAL
FIRST IN HISTORY OF CITY; OTHER
TOWNS AREA ROBBED RECENT YEARS
_____


Robbery of the First National bank today marked the first time in history that Brainerd was singled out as prey for holdup men.
Although bank robberies have occurred in several other towns and cities flanking Brainerd on all sides, never before in the memory of officers and old timers had there been a raid on the local bank.
Last bank holdup in this section occurred several years ago when a Staples band yielded a large loot to a bank bandit gang.
Previous to the Staples robbery, the bank at Pequot was raided. That was about four or five years ago. Also in Recent years was the robbery of the Ironton bank.

Brainerd Area
Pays Big Tribute
to Gangs Few Years


The ever mounting tribute being paid to bank bandit gangs, through raids made on banks and voluntary surrender at the risk of their lives—the measure of existence being a pawn in the hands of the heavily armed desperado, today mounted through loot obtained in the robbery of the First National bank.
With the loot estimated by bank officials at between $15,000 and $30,000 in this morning's holdup, the Brainerd community has paid in loot approximately $75,000 to bank robbers in recent years, figures show.
Plunder of bank bandits mobs who terrorized the Brainerd community in recent years ranged from $5,000 to $30,000.
Several years ago from a bank at Staples, the bandit gang obtained approximately $10,000. Loot of about $20,000 was obtained by bandits from a bank at Pequot while an Ironton bank yielded about $5,000 to robbers.

CUFFS ON JAW, BLOW WITH BUTT END
OF REVOLVER AND PUMMELING WITH
GUNS IN BACK FELT BY 3 EMPLOYEES
_____


Threatening gestures of the bandits who made up the “inside” crew in the First National bank robbery today brought cuffs on the jaw, pummeling at the back with revolvers and a blow by the butt of a revolver on the wrist for three individual members of the bank personnel.
C. H. Boetler, vice president, was struck on the wrist with the butt end of a revolver when one of the bandits interpreted his swinging of his arms as a gesture toward pressing an alarm button.

Warn Employees to Wall


As the 12 employees were being herded from the customers’ room to the washroom, where they were imprisoned with the admonition, “We’re leaving now but anyone who sticks his head out of the door will get his head blown off.” Boetler walked swinging his arms. The bandit, fearing that he might attempt to contact an alarm buzzer, cracked him on the wrist, slightly bruising the member.
Zane Smith who, by the way, was the first of the regular bank employees to come in contact with the bandits as he entered the front door for work about 8:15 a. m., was slow in realizing what it was all about and one of the bandits hit him on the jaw, almost knocking him from his feet.
Mraz was pushed rudely in the back and pummeled when he failed to answer the queries of the bandits and failed to act as quickly as the desperadoes thought he should.
Outside of the minor cuffing, no one was injured.

CHICAGO MAN, WHO BANTERED WITH
BANDIT ON OUTSIDE AND NARROWLY
ESCAPED BARRAGE, TELLS OWN STORY
_____


Editor’s note: Following is a story in the words of S. H. Gregg, of Chicago, representative of the Zurich General Accident Insurance company telling of his contact with the robbers and of his narrow escape from being struck by a machine gun barrage.

_____

By. S. H. GREGG
As Told to Members of DISPATCH Staff


“I came to Brainerd last night from St. Paul thinking I could get more work done to be on the scene here early this morning. I was here to appoint agents for my company but I find it hard to even think of anything after what I went through this morning.
“I arose about 7 a. m. and went to Van’s Cafe where I had breakfast. Finishing my meal about 8:20 I started downtown, walking across the tracks I noticed a tall gangling fellow standing on the corner with a large basket in his hand. He apparently was waiting for the bank to open I passed him and I noticed his cap pulled down over his eyes but didn’t pay particular attention.
“Going over to William Graham’s store where I was to contact him on insurance, I found he was out. I went to Burton’s radio shop to talk to him about my car radio but he, too, was out. I sauntered over to the bank about 8:45 o'clock, jiggled the door and attempted to get in. The man with the basket was still on the corner. I said to him: “These bankers don’t open until 9 o’clock on the dot, do they?” He answered: “I guess they don’t.” I turned and then found a revolver in my face. “Get in there and make it snappy,” the man said. About that time, the three on the inside opened the door and started out. They pushed me inside and the next second the machine gun which the smaller and more chunky of the three men carried, opened fire. I made a dive to get around the corner of the foyer, I felt that I wasn’t hit.
“For a few minutes I lay there, I glanced up warily and saw an overcoat and a hat slumped over a desk. I thought it was a person slumped over a chair or desk. It made me shiver. I called ‘Help’ and then ran outside and yelled for someone to call the police.
“Before I went out I looked around, walking in the lobby. It was like a tomb, all bank employees having been herded into a rear washroom. Not a sound could be heard except for the scurrying of feet on the outside.
“It was an experience that I don’t want to go through again. And I thought I would save time by coming up from St. Paul last night. Well, I didn’t.”

FIREMEN TELLS HOW
YEGGS ENTERED BANK


“Like h___ you haven’t, you’ve been opening the door for the last ten days.” That was the answer in menacing tones that George Fricker, fireman at the First National bank and the first man to come in contact with the robbers, received when he told a man who had approached him and ordered him to open the front door about 6 a. m. this morning.
Telling his version of the robbery, Fricker related:
I was standing at the entrance leading to the basement on the Sixth street side of the building shortly before 6 a. m. when a man approached me. Before I could turn about, I felt a gun sticking in my ribs. The man demanded that I open the front door.
“I told him I had no key. The bandit then prodded me with the gun and said, “like h___ you haven’t, you've been opening that front door for the last ten days.’
“There was nothing for me to do. He pushed me to the front door and unlocked it. He then waved his hand from inside the door and within a few minutes two more men were in the lobby. They demanded to know when the next person would come.
“Shortly later, Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Peterson, janitors, arrived and we were all huddled in the customers’ room just off the lobby. As the other employees came in they were met and forced to sit on the floor. There we all were but what could we do?”

_____

Escape After Firing
Barrage Machine Gun
Bullets Into Places
_____

Five Bandits Force Fireman to Open Front Door and
Then Lay in Wait for Rest of Bank Staff; Get
Between $15,000 and $30,000
_____


Brainerd today fell prey to a marauding band of bank robbers with the First National bank, Sixth and Front streets, the victim of a raid that netted five machine gun bandits loot estimated at between $15,000 and $30,000.
Every law enforcement agency in Minnesota had been pressed into service in the hunt for the bandits this afternoon. Last trace of the fleeing band was reported from Paynesville, west of St. Cloud, where it was said that the bandits separated continuing their mad flight from the law in two cars.

Lay Down Gun Barrage


State bureau of criminal apprehension agents arrived shortly afternoon to augment a force of city, county and other state officers in the search.
Making their getaway under a screen of murderous fire from two machine guns, blazing away and damaging buildings on the route of escape, the bandits flight was traced from the corner of Sixth and Laurel where their car was parked parallel to the curb. It swung down Front street, machine guns marking and clattering against the walls of the bank, Murphy Clothing store and Y. M. C. A. as the car gained momentum and sped to Fourth street. There, it swung north on Fourth to Bluff street and east on Bluff to the cemetery hill where the machine bumped over the sandy road and out through Northeast Brainerd.
At Ash and Fifth avenues, drivers changed and the bandits threw out a quantity of empty shells, spat out by the machine guns in their near death-dealing bombardment that provided their measure of escape. The car continued to Eighth avenue and then swung to highway No. 2 continuing to the ’gun club’ road where it doubled over to highway No. 18. There the trail was lost until the report reached here from Paynesville.
The car, a large sedan but with varying colors reported by various witnesses, bore a North Dakota license No. 10-285. A check revealed that the license plates were from a car stolen from A. E. Billinger, of Fargo, North Dakota.

Employees Fire No Shots


There was not a shot in retaliation as the bandits made flight, the guns having been taken away from the watchman and other persons scampering for cover as the bandits sprayed the corner with a deadly barrage of machine gun bullets.
Fair description of the bandits was obtained although most of them wore white handkerchiefs and wore hunting clothes or had overalls over their suits. All five appeared to be under 38 years of age ranging up from 25. The leader, a short, chunky man with a commanding voice, handled the machine gun and barked all the orders.
Ingenuity marked with a smooth working plan of action effected the robbery. After accosting George Fricker, fireman, at 5:55 a. m. as he was about to enter the basement, they forced him to open the front door, and then herded the employees as they arrived one by one into the customer’s room just off the lobby and then waited for the time lock to release the vault.
That the gang was professional bank robbers was beyond question, according to officers. Their methods and smooth execution, threatening gestures and apparent knowledge of the entire habits and working personnel leading to this belief.
Reconstructing the bold and daring holdup, which apparently had been planned for some time is evidenced by the actions of the bandits, bring the following story.

Employees of Bank Known


As Fricker was going into the basement at 5:55 a m., a stranger accosted him and ordered that he open the front door. The man brandished a revolver and upon Fricker’s answer that he did not have a key the man said: “The hell you haven’t, you’ve been opening it for the last ten days.”
As Fricker and the bandit entered, the bandit waved his hand and a few minutes later two more bandits joined him in the lobby. There, one fingered a machine gun trigger while waiting for other bank employees. Soon, Mr. and Mrs. I. A. Peterson, janitor and janitress arrived and they were met at the door and huddled in the corner.
About 7:50 a. m. R. S. Titus, the watchman, walked in and was met by the bandits. The machine gun muzzle was pointed in his face and then the parade of employees started, each being met with “Hey Speed.” Turning, they faced the array of weapons and were forced to huddle in the corner. C. W. Boetler, vice president, arrived next and following closely on his heels were Zane Smith, Ben Lagerquist, A. P. Drogseth, Russell LaCourse, Gerhardt Flaata, Elsie Schwabe, Edith Frost, Georgia Thompson, Ed. Bjernberg and Esther Butler.

Save Bonds, Negotiables


It was about 8:20 a. m. The bandits started menacing Boetler to open the vault. He said he couldn’t. They warned him and threatened him. They, then turned to Al Mraz and forced him to open the vault.
The reluctance of the officers of the bank passed several minutes probably saving thousands of dollars of valuable bonds and negotiable securities from falling into the hands of the bandits.
Stressing familiarity with the employees, the bandits walked five of the men to the vault and directed each of the tellers to open his cashbox in the vault. They scooped out all currency, ignoring silver, and pressed it into a large white canvas bag, about the size of a regular mail pouch. It appeared new, the white canvas gleaming in the light.
Then, they herded all 12 of the employees into the wash room in the rear threatening to “blow your door.” Stay there for several minutes, they declared.
About that time S. H. Gregg, of Chicago, was forced into the bank as the bandits fled. He no sooner had stepped in when the machine gun barked a gaping hold in the door narrowly missing Gregg.
A few minutes later, the bank employees filed out of the washroom.
Meanwhile, the bandits backed out of the bank, one of them struggling with the heavy bag filled with money. They were about to step into the car when the machine gunner fired on the pavement. Getting into the car, machine guns were employed to intimidate employees in surrounding buildings, the bandits spraying Murphy’s clothing store, the Y. M. C. A. and the Ransford hotel in their escape.

If You See These
Men, Notify Police
_____


Herewith are descriptions of individual members of the bandit gang.
No. 1—Five feet, eight inches tall, about 30 years old, smooth shaven, wearing blue suit with dark mackinaw jumper, gray cap, about 150 to 155 pounds and chunky. Apparently the leader and operator of the machine gun.
No. 2—Five feet, 10 inches tall, weight about 170 to 175 pounds, 35 years old, blue overalls over suit, khaki cap, mackinaw.
No. 3—About same as No. 2, slightly shorter. Looked almost like a brother of No. 2. Affable in disposition.
No. 4—The man with the basket, outside spotter. Five feet, 11 inches tall, weighs about 175 pounds, wore hunting clothes.
No. 5—Driver of the car and occasional contact man with No. 4. Wore hunting clothes with corduroy hunting cap.

St. Paul—Agents of the State Bureau of Criminal Investigation curbed a motor car containing six men near Monticello this afternoon on the suspicion that it might have been the machine used in the Brainerd bank robbery.
The sextet were found to be young men who convinced the officers they had no connection with the holdup. The development, said Melvin Fassell, head of the bureau gave more weight to the theory that the robbers fled in an airplane that flew southward over Brainerd 25 minutes after the holdup. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 October 1933, p. 1)

BETWEEN 75 AND 100 SHOTS FIRED IN RAID
_____

BULLET MARKS SPATTER BUILDINGS
CENTERED ON ROUTE OF ESCAPE WITH
BANK, MURPHY’S AND “Y” DAMAGED
_____


The machine gun barrage, the screen by which the bandits intimidated possible snipers in nearby buildings after the raid on the First National bank, left mute evidence on the walls and windows of buildings of the death-dealing and devastating force and power of that type of gun.
Between 75 and 100 shots were fired in the parting salutation of the robbers. Their first blast was a volley of machine gun bullets through the front door of the bank. It left a gaping hole in the heavy plate glass with the bullets spattering to the ceiling and in the interior finishing of the bank.
On the street, the bandits laid down another barrage, pointing their guns at the pavement according to Hans Olson, N. P. crossing watchman, and John Johnson, section foreman. They heard the bullets, skyrocketing from the pavement and whistle through the trees of the railroad park.

Bandits Fire from Fleeing Car


Inside the car bandits leaned out of the windows on either side, spraying machine gun bullets. The Murphy clothing store was the target for the one on the left and the Y. M. C. A. felt the damage from the one on the right. Meantime, Ernest Butler attested to revolver fire as the car sped by his hotel.
At least two machine guns were brought into play as the five men fled in their dark colored car before the startled eyes of a score or more of Brainerd people. Too stunned to do anything and too frightened to act as the machine guns barked out in staccato notes their song of death for any person happening within range, Brainerd citizens viewed the devastation of machine gun bullets, vividly marked in the buildings of the bank, the Murphy clothing store and the Y. M. C. A.
The clean-cut holes, bored into walls of the buildings, provided a sinister and ominous threat the bullets hold for human mankind.
In the barrage of machine gun bombardment, which provided a screen of safety as the bandits made their getaway. 14 slugs entered the Y. M. C. A. building. The pattern, sprayed in perfect cylindrical shape, penetrated through the wall of the Y. M. C. A. building ricocheting into the ceiling.
Eleven slugs entered the first floor of the building and three on the upper floors. Ora Duncan, janitor at the “Y” narrowly escaped being struck.
Six slugs found their way into the Murphy clothing store. The bombardment on the store was the first in the bandits’ flight after they had gone into their car.
In the bank marks of bullets were found on the ceiling. The windows on the Sixth street side were spattered with bullet holes and the heavy plate glass in the front door was shattered. Bullets found their way into a pillar just in front of the door and other marks were perceivable in the mass of broken glass and shattered plaster in the bank.
The barrage of machine gun bullets brought speculation as to the type used, perhaps after the revelation of how Verne C. Miller, nationally known arch criminal and much sought fugitive, fashioned a machine gun to fulfill his murderous assaults.
Scores of fired slugs were found on the streets and in the buildings.

NOTE: 01 December 1933. Government agents and Detroit police searched the underworld for companions of Verne Miller, the desperado and former Brainerd resident who was found beaten to death in a roadside ditch. He was a trigger man in the Kansas City massacre, among many crimes. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 01 December 2013)

Empty Shells Found N. E. Brainerd


Later, it was reported that a handful of shells, already fired, were found at the corner of Fifth and Ash avenues, presumably being thrown from the bandit car in its mad dash of escape. The find included scores of empty shells spat out by the ejector of the machine gun and offering mute evidence of the barrage laid down by the bandits as they fled from the bank.
It has been established that the machine guns were of the type capable of firing 150 rounds a minute. The guns were probably regulated to fire about 50 bullets a minute.

J. MURPHY, BUTLER, DUNCAN, CHICAGO
MAN FEEL WHIZ OF BULLETS AS
BANDITS SPRAY BUILDING IN ESCAPE
_____


The death dealing spray of the machine guns, trained at the various buildings in the bandits’ route of escape bore mute evidence of the narrow escape from the murderous fire for at least four Brainerd persons.

Chicago Man Dodges Death


It was S. H. Gregg, of Chicago, who came as close as any of the four without feeling the spray of machine gun bullets. Ironically, perhaps, Gregg is a representative of the Zurich General Accident Insurance company.
Gregg narrowly missed being struck by a volley of machine gun bullets as he was pushed into the door of the bank just as the three desperadoes, one of them laden with a large white canvass bag filled with loot, were making their way out of the building.
Just as the bandits stepped from the building, the short, chunky one unleashed a barrage of the machine gun fire into the door. Gregg dove to the floor and pulled himself to the right just escaping the line of fire.
Gregg’s eye-witness account of his escape will be found elsewhere in this edition.
Sitting at his desk reading his morning’s mail, James Murphy, operator of a clothing store, felt the force of a machine gun bullet that crashed through the window of his store, smashed through the paneling of the store window and narrowly missed splitting the letter he was reading. “I felt at once that the bank was held up,” he said. Several other shots splattered against the clothing store, leaving their marks on the building.

Butler Target for Bandit


A target for pistol fire by one of the robbers was Ernest Butler, operator of the Ransford hotel. Going about his accustomed way of feeding birds in front of his hotel, Butler stepped from the foyer with a piece of bread in his hand. He started tearing off bits to toss to the birds when he heard the opening gun of the machine gun barrage. He looked to see the large sedan swing in front of the building and then felt a bullet whiz by his face, fired from the hand of one of the bandits in the speeding car.
He thought that several bullets were fired but the mark of only one bullet, a hole in the glass, was the only evidence of his narrow escape.

Y. M. C. A. Riddled by Slugs


Ora Duncan, janitor at the Y. M. C. A., just missed being hit by about a foot. Standing in the window of the building facing the bank, Duncan heard a shot and looked out. At that moment, the fleeing bandits turned the machine gun on the “Y” spattering it, two slugs shattering the window just above his head. He dropped to the floor, only to be coated with dust and plaster that crashed to the floor as the bullets penetrated entirely through the wall of the building lodging in the ceiling and in the interior walls.
Hans Olson, watchman at the N. P. crossing and John Johnson, section foreman, heard the bullets whistle through the trees of the railroad park as they stood at the crossing.
Olson saw the men leave the bank. A switch engine was at the crossing.

All But Three of
Bank’s Entire Staff
Present at Robbery


All but three members of the entire personnel of the First National bank found what it means to face a machine gun and the threats of daring bank robbers today when the five robbers raided that institution.
The only three absent were George D. LaBar, president, Fred Farrar, vice-president and Henry White, auditor and member of the board of directors.
White was away on his vacation and LaBar and Farrar just missed the bandits presence by a few minutes arriving there shortly after the bandits had fled.
Those herded together in a huddle in the bank include C. H. Boetler, vice-president; Ben Lagerquist, cashier; A. P. Drogseth assistant cashier; Gerhard Flaata, Russell LaCourse, Elsie Schwabe, Edith Frost, Georgia Thompson, Ed. Bjernberg, Esther Butler, George Fricker, janitor; Mr. and Mrs. Peterson janitors.

Lookout Man, Stationed on Outside of
Bank, Shelters Machine Gun in Basket


This is the basket held by the ‘lookout’ outside the First National bank which contained a machine gun covered by a flour sack, 1933
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Ingenuity of the bank robbers was demonstrated in the raid on the First National bank with the ‘lookout’ man stationed on the outside furnishing proof of their versatility of deception.
Dressed in hunting attire, the man stood on the corner near the bank for several hours while his accomplices waited patiently for the bank employees to arrive.
The man allayed suspicion and sheltered a machine gun with which he was equipped with an ordinary woven basket covered with a piece of cloth made from a flour sack.
A cloth, believed to have covered the gun, was found by reporters of The Daily DISPATCH working on the robbery. It was found on what is known as the “gun club” road over which the bandit car is believed to have traversed from No. 2 to No. 18.
The basket, discarded by the bandits when they made their escape was found at the intersection of Sixth and Front streets.


3 Phone Operators
Added to Handle
Huge Volume of Calls


Robbery of the First National bank precipitated such a volume of telephone calls that the switchboard was swamped and three additional operators had to be added by the Northwestern Bell Telephone company here.
Thousands of local calls were handled as neighbors telephone one another of the news of the robbery. The Daily DISPATCH office was flooded with calls asking details.
Scores of long distance calls were received with the bank being the principal point desired, press associations asking details from The Daily DISPATCH and scores of other persons called in an effort to receive news of the robbery.

YOUTH TALKS TO
ROBBER, GETS NO
ENCOURAGEMENT
_____


When Ross Olmsted, Brainerd youth, was walking downtown about 8:30 a. m. this morning, he stopped at the corner of Sixth and Front streets where two men were petting a police dog owned by Egon Reese, local man.
Olmsted stopped to pet the dog and spoke to the men. He received no encouragement from them getting only what he said was a ‘grunt’ in return for his greeting.
The men were the “lookout” and the driver of the car. One of them had a basket which contained the machine gun under his arm.
Resuming his walk down the street, Olmsted a few minutes later returned only to see the men run to their car as the others emerged from the bank.

Girl Brushes Robber


Dorothy Kinney, Brainerd, was on her way to work and was passing the bank just as the robbers backed out of the door. She brushed against one of the bandits and his mask slipped from his face. She just stood and stared, she said. The bandit then brushed her aside and the firing started, the girl stated. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 October 1933, p. 2)

23 October 1933 “Baby Face” Nelson and his gang rob the First National Bank of Brainerd of $32,000, the marks of the bullets can still be seen in the original facade of the bank building. (Witness to Notorious Bank Robbery Dies [Zane Smith], Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 2003)

24 March 1934. That Tommy Carroll and “Baby Face” Nelson are both definitely sought in the $32,000 robbery of the First National Bank here last October was evidenced when law officers received wanted posters showing their pictures, criminal records and fingerprints. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 26 March 2014)

08 June 1934. A man identified as Tommy Carroll, notorious Dillinger gangster, was shot and critically wounded in Waterloo, Iowa, today. Employees of the 1st National Bank in Brainerd had identified him through photos as being one of those who held up the bank last October. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 2014)

SEE: Bank of Brainerd

SEE: Hartley Bank Building

FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The church was officially organized in February, 1888. This church held its first meetings in Gardner Hall. A year later it met in the YMCA building and began raising funds to build their own structure. In May, 1890, work was begun on a building on land purchased at Eighth and Norwood. On 18 September 1890 the first service was held in the newly completed building. (The Word, a Century with Our Churches, Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971, p. 24)

Franklin Junior High School at the corner of 10th and Juniper, ca. 1950.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
FRANKLIN JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL (MAP #58)
Built in 1932-33, at a cost of $300,000, on the corner of North Tenth and Juniper Streets, it houses grades seven through nine. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 49 & 141)

02 December 1931. A 58-year-old bricklayer’s helper was killed today at the construction site for the new junior high. He fell through a guard rail on scaffolding 20-feet above the auditorium floor and died instantly. There were no witnesses and no inquest will be called. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 2011)

Renamed the Franklin Arts Center.


GARDEN THEATER
Gray’s Variety Theatre will open up again on Monday evening with an entire new programme. The theatre building has been entirely over hauled and the stage enlarged so that its now 20 by 25 feet. New curtains and scenery are being painted, the work being executed by Mr. A. F. Daggett, of this city, and are specimens of fine workmanship. Altogether the institution has been fixed up in first class shape. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 August 1883, p. 4, c. 2)

The Garden Theatre is said to have some attractive features now-days. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

It is said that the Garden Theatre will change hands soon. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 01 November 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

Summerfield & Wheeler have leased the Garden Theatre and took possession Monday. They have as good a show as can be found along the line. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 08 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Again the Garden Theatre has changed hands, R. L. Elder and W. J. Summerfield being the new proprietors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

J. M. Gray has taken the Garden theatre property again. He will continue the saloon and restaurant right along, but will not re-open the theatre until times are a little livelier, probably several weeks from now. Mr. Gray is not satisfied with the way things went when the establishment was run by the parties he leased it to, and he says that hereafter he will run it himself and will not lease it to anybody. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

H. E. Sholes, of Minneapolis formerly manager of the Brown Theatre Comique in that city, has leased the Garden Theatre on Fifth street of J. M. Gray for one year, and will open the same on the evening of March 17th. Mr. Sholes is spoken of as a gentleman in every respect and the indications are that he will run a first class show. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

Harry Aman has again taken charge of the Garden Theatre, which will be opened on the 17th of the present month. Harry’s name is a sufficient guarantee of respectability. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

J. M. Gray will reopen the Garden Theatre about September first. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

The Garden Theatre closed up on Saturday night. The variety business has not been a profitable one in this city for the past five months. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 July 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The old Garden Theatre is being fitted up for a hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 December 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: In March of 1886? [1888?] the Garden Theater was transformed into a hotel and on 30 June 1888 it burned along with a number of other buildings.

Fire animation On June 30, 1888, a fire broke out in Lyman P. White’s planing mill on South Fifth Street between Front and Laurel Streets; owing to a lack of water it spread from building to building and before it was over the fire had burned about a block and a half in the business district.

SEE: 1888 Garden Theater Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

It has been rumored for several days that J. M. Gray contemplated the immediate re-opening of the Garden Theatre in the Last Turn Building, but Mr. Gray informs us that he probably will not do so before fall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

SEE: Earl Hotel

GARDNER BLOCK (MAP #27)
...At the corner of south Sixth and Front Streets, where the Ransford Hotel now stands and over a general store was Bly’s Hall. The formal dances of the year were the one’s given by the Volunteer Fire Department, the Locomotive Firemen and the O. R. C. (Order of Railway Conductors). After Bly’s Hall was converted into a roller skating rink, Gardner’s Hall was used for dances. Dreskell’s orchestra furnished the music. Dances usually began at eight, at midnight an hour’s intermission for lunch, generally in J. T. Sanborn’s City Hotel, then the dance continued until morning. Winter sleigh ride parties to Toting places, the forerunners of our present day roadhouses and resorts, provided frequent country dances. (As I Remember, Dr. Werner Hemstead, born April 1860; came to Brainerd in 1882)

The Coon building, corner of Fifth and Laurel streets has been purchased by George Gardner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Geo. Gardner has moved his European restaurant to the Coon building, corner Fifth and Laurel streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 October 1886, p. 4, c. 3)

NOTE: The above mentioned building was burned down in the fire of 10 October 1890.

Some Spring Building.


From present appearances there will be considerable building going on as soon as spring has opened. George Gardner has already a crew of workmen clearing his lots on Laurel street from rubbish left by the fire [10 October 1890] and will be ready to begin the erection of a fine brick block as soon as the grounds are in shape. The block will be 125x50 feet, two stories high and will be brick veneered. [This is the Gardner Block.] The lower floor will be finished off into five stores, and the upper floor into offices and a large hall. The building will be rushed through to completion as soon as possible, most of the material being already on the ground.
Chas. Kinkele has begun work on a brick veneered barn 30x50 feet on his Fifth street property, which was burned over in October [1890]. As soon as this building is completed he will erect a market building 50x75 feet, which will also be of brick and will occupy the ground where the old market stood. As soon as the building is finished he will occupy it as a storage house for meats.
Wm. Bredfeld has the brick on the ground for the erection of a two story brick building 25x75 feet on Front street, next to Luken’s bazaar. The building will be occupied by Mr. Bredfeld with his shoe store and factory. The upper story will be occupied as a residence. He expects to begin work on it in two or three weeks. The building will be of solid brick. [This is a new building—not one that burned.]
Wm. Gergen will rebuild his livery stable on Sixth street south immediately. [Burned 26 December 1890.] The new building will be 62x100, the same as the old one. Mr. Gergen’s present quarters are entirely too small, and he is anxious to get the new building up and completed. Two or three parties are figuring for the contract. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 April 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Work on Gergen’s new livery barn and on Gardner’s and Kinkele’ new brick blocks is now in progress, and the merry ring of the carpenter’s hammer can be heard in various other parts of the city, all of which has a tendency to produce a buoyancy of spirit in the average citizen. Let the good work go on. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

Geo. Gardner will give a grand opening ball in his new hall on the evening of July 4th. The new building will be nearly finished by that time and Mr. Gardner proposes to have the event celebrated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The opening ball at Gardner’s hall on Saturday evening was a very pleasant occasion and well attended. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Geo. Gardner will move his saloon into one of the rooms in his new block next week. Orth’s tailor shop and a barber shop will occupy two of the other apartments. The new block is about completed and is a handsome structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 September 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Gardner’s new hall was used for the first time last night by Canton Adar. The hall is superbly arranged for dances and banquets, and will probably come into general use on such occasions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

A New Year’s Ball.


The members of the Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1, have made arrangements to give their annual ball on New Year’s night, Jan. 1st, 1892, at Gardner’s new hall. This ball will be one of the most enjoyable of the season, and a nice assemblage can be depended on. The hall will be beautifully decorated and every possible arrangement will be made for the convenience and comfort of those in attendance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 December 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The “Owls” commence to march at 9:15 o’clock sharp, next Monday evening, Dec. 28th, at the new Gardner Hall, at which time and place they give their second social hop. [Their first was at the Cale block.] Their programme for an evening of amusement is complete in every particular. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 December 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

A grand masquerade ball will be given at Gardner Hall on Thursday evening, Jan. 21st, by the Owl Club, and invitations will be issued the first of the week. The gentlemen who have charge of the event promise that it will be strictly first-class in all particulars, that no objectionable parties will be admitted to the hall, and that the people who attend will never regret that they did so. Mrs. H. Theviot will have costumes from Milwaukee, where parties who desire to rent them can do so. More particulars will be given next week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The Coming Bal Masque.


EDITORS DISPATCH: The Owl Club has issued 200 invitations for the first and initial grand masquerade ball in Gardner Hall on Thursday evening, Jan. 21st. Suits for hire can be procured at Mrs. H. Theviot’s store on Tuesday, Jan. 19, for those who want them. Whitford’s orchestra furnishes the music for the occasion. The programme of dances will be enjoyed by all. The members are known to all or should be (and a guarantee for those in attendance) that everything will be first-class in every respect. Every body mask. Tickets for sale in drug stores, post office, Linneman Bro.’s store, and by the members. Enjoy yourself while young. Come early and avoid the rush and not miss any dances, for the Owls always commence to march at 9:15 p.m. sharp. Don’t forget the date Jan. 21, hour, 9:15 p.m.
Yours Etc.,
GOOD TIME.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The bal masque of “The 7 Owls” last evening at Gardner Hall, a was a success in point of attendance and pleasure. The spacious dancing floor was well filled with handsome as well as grotesque figures, and all seemed to be enjoying the fun to the greatest extent. What room was not occupied by the participants was taken up by spectators. The organization can well feel elated over the success of their efforts in giving the first masquerade of the season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

To the Public.


The “7 Owls” will conclude their evening parties of pleasure by giving their last party on April 22nd, 1892, at Gardner Hall. This last party will eclipse all previous entertainments which have been given. The Owls are going to be generous, from the last two dances a surplus of $32 is on hand, and will be spent in furnishing every couple present a sumptuous repast at Sanborn’s popular restaurant on Front street, free of charge. One dollar per couple will be the price of admission, for expenses run high. Invitations will be issued in sufficient time. Price of admission collected in the hall. We have endeavored in the past to please everybody, and earnestly hope we have succeeded. All our parties have been well conducted in every point, at least no complaint has been received yet. The members of the Owl Club are some of the most popular young men of your city, and their idea is to have the young and old enjoy themselves during the winter’s long evenings, if they don’t it is their own fault. The best of music is always on hand and the latest dances have been tried to be introduced and [have been] particularly successful, and the best hall in the city engaged, and in fact the best of everything prevails. The list of dances cannot be duplicated. An entertainment given by us is past, but not forgotten, so don’t miss half your life by not attending our last party. Will you be in it?
We wish to express our sincere “thanks” to all who were present at our bal masque, masked or otherwise, the number exceeded our own expectations, the hall being full, and such a sight is very pleasing to all, especially the members. Remember the date, April 22nd, the day is Friday, the year 1892, at Gardner’s new popular hall.
OWL CLUB.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 February 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

Ball and Banquet.


The Owls will hold the third of their series of their social hops at Gardner Hall, Friday evening, April 22nd. Supper will be served to their guests at the City Hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 April 1892, p. 4, c. 6)

N. E. Tuttle will move his grocery store from its present location at the corner of 6th and Laurel into the Gardner block at the corner of 5th and Laurel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Fourth of July Ball.


On the night of July 4th Geo. Gardner will give a grand ball at his hall on Laurel street to which the public generally are invited. Mr. Gardner assures the people that the best of order will be maintained and guarantees a first-class party in all respects. Whitford’s orchestra will furnish the music. Tickets $1.00. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 July 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

New Shoe Store.


Geo. N. Day has just received a large line of shoes and has this week been busy placing the goods in position in his new store in the Gardner block on Laurel street, next to Veon’s jewelry store. A repair shop is to be run in connection. Mr. Day desires all his former customers and friends to call and see him in his new quarters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 July 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

Geo. Gardner is having the hall over his business block on Laurel street wired and will light it with electricity. Arc lights will be used. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The ‘49 Club Party.


Invitations are out for a social dance to be given by the ‘49 Dancing Club at Gardner Hall on Christmas night. This is the first of a series of dances to be given by this club during the coming winter. The names that appear on the invitations is ample assurance that the even will be a social success. Whitford’s full orchestra has been engaged for the occasion. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 December 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

The ‘49 Club dance was one of the most enjoyable occasions of the kind reported yet. The members of the Club have established a reputation that will insure crowded houses at their coming parties during the winter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 December 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

A Magnificent Dancing Hall.


Gardner’s Hall, in this city, has been in the hands of the decorator for several weeks past, and the result reflects great credit on the artist having the work in charge, Mr. Wm. Guthrie. The work is in paper in imitation of frescoing, and speaks volumes for Mr. Guthrie’s ability as a paper hanger. The walls of the main hall are done in panels of ingrains of alternating colors. Arising from the heavy oak wainscoting between and separating the panels are Corinthian columns with capitals and bases, which support the decorations of the ceiling. These panels contain the graceful figures of dancing girls in flowing costumes of soft material, which add greatly to the beauty of the walls. The immense ceiling is done in 19 panels of figured paper with a large panel in the center. This is in imitation of frescoing and is so natural that no one could tell the difference. In the center of the room in the large panel is a magnificent center piece 18 feet in diameter, done in colors which harmonize beautifully. From the middle of this center piece is suspended a magnificent new brass chandelier containing myriad's of electric lights with beautiful shades, which, when lighted, present a most entrancing appearance. The electric lights in the hall have been arranged in clusters, which makes the lighting of the hall much more effective. The hall and ante-room have not yet been completed, but Mr. Gardner assures us they will be as elaborately decorated as the main hall, especially the ladies waiting room, which he proposes to make a thing of beauty.
All this has cost Mr. Gardner a great sum of money, and it is but just that he should have ample return for his enterprise, hence he has concluded hereafter to charge $20 for the hall for dances and $25 for banquets. This includes the use of the piano. Special rates for a series of dances will be made on application.
When it is completed this city will have in Gardner’s hall, undoubtedly, the most beautiful hall in the northwest for dancing purposes, and Mr. Gardner’s enterprise in this matter should, and, undoubtedly, will be appreciated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1895, p. 4, c. 4)

The Great Powwow.


Red Cloud Tribe No. 13, I. O. of R. M. [International Order of Red Men], will give a grand ball at Gardner Hall, on Monday evening, Feb. 14, and invitations have been issued for the event. The committees having charge of the affair are:
Arrangements—George Sargeant, Dave Smith, N. L. Linnemann, Jas. Cummings and John Much.
Floor—N. L. Linnemann, W. A. M. Johnstone, G. A. Raymond, L. A. Lajoie, J. F. McGinnis and Jas. Cullen.
Reception Committee—A. J. Halstead, J. J. Howe, D. M. Clark, A. F. Ferris, J. H. Koop, W. A. Fleming, Jas. Wallace, D. Mahoney, W. H. Crowell and A. Armstrong. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 February 1898, p. 1, c. 4)

A MAGNIFICENT SUCCESS.
_____

The Social Event of the Season Was
the Grand Military Ball at
Gardner’s Hall.
_____


Gardner Hall, Company L, National Guard, State of Minnesota, ca. 1899.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Captain Samuel Robert Adair, Company L, National Guard, State of Minnesota, ca. 1899
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The grand military ball given by Co. L, 4th regiment, N.G.S.M., at their armory, (Gardner hall) on Friday evening, was a magnificent success, socially and financially, and the boys are much pleased at the result. The attendance was large, in fact much too large for even this spacious hall, and was composed of the very best people of the city. The hall was beautifully decorated with flags, bunting and the national colors, and varied colored electric lights. In fact, the decorations in artistic arrangement and beauty of design, surpassed anything before attempted. The decorations were also of a martial character, the bunting being so arranged as to form the national ensign and huge cannons, and camp equipment, and at the east end of the hall on the wall overhead, the name of the company and regiment was formed out of red, white and blue bunting. At about 8:45 the bugle called the company to attention, and after First Sergeant Nelson had formed the company and informed Capt. Adair, he was directed to drill the company in the bayonet exercise. The movements were executed in splendid time and with precision and promptness considering the time the boys have been drilling. Lieutenant C. A. Wilkins then put the boys through the manual of arms, after which Captain Adair took command and marched the company about the hall, wheeling them about in fours, platoons and company front without a hitch and without a mistake. The efficiency of the company was a surprise to the audience and they were enthusiatically applauded. At 9:15 the grand march occurred, the company presented each lady in the grand march with a bouquet of cut flowers. Dancing then continued until the wee sma’ hours of the morning. Everybody in attendance pronounced it one of the most pleasant events of the season. Kelsey’s orchestra furnished the music. This was but the first of a series of dances that the company proposes to give, the dates of which are not yet fixed. The next one will be some time the latter part of the month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1899, p. 8, c. 4)


New Opera House.


Recognizing the extreme need of the city for a place of amusement, Co. L have decided at considerable expense, to fit up a permanent stage in Gardner’s Hall with dressing rooms and other accessories, besides purchasing a full set of scenery with wings and borders, so that theatrical entertainments of any character can be presented. To do this will take an outlay of several hundred dollars, and the boys feel the general public will be glad to assist in bearing the expense, hence they have decided to put on a minstrel entertainment by local talent on Friday evening, Feb. 17th, the proceeds of which will be used for this purpose. The entertainment itself will be well worth the price of admission, and will consist of a minstrel first part, and a long list of songs and specialties in part second. Such well known talent as S. F. Alderman, A. L. Mattes, E. O. Webb, C. D. Johnson, C. C. Kyle, Dave Smith, Chas. E. Wilson, Joe Murphy, Messrs. Simpson, Nevers, Kelly and Haas, P. J. Murphy, C. A. Allbright, and others have been secured. R. J. Lambert and wife, recently with the Eunice Goodrich Co., well known professional specialty people, will take a part. The new scenery will first be used on this occasion. Let everybody turn out and pack the hall and help the boys in their good work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1899, p. 10, c. 3)

Geo. E. Gardner is laying a cement sidewalk in front of his business block on Laurel street which will be a valuable improvement to the property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

CITY COUNCIL PROCEEDINGS.
_____

New Superintendent of Electric Lights
Elected—Petition Received to
Vacate a Portion of Bluff
Avenue.
_____


[...]


On motion it was ordered that the city furnish wood and lights for Gardner Hall, it being used as an armory for Co. F. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 December 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

METER QUESTION TO BE INVESTIGATED.
_____

On Motion of Alderman Wright
the Matter was Referred to
the City Attorney.
_____

REGULAR MEETING OF COUNCIL.
_____

Resolution Passed by City Council
Vacating Seventh Street
as Requested.


The city council met in regular session Tuesday evening in chambers with President Crust in the chair. The following aldermen were present: Halladay, Gardner, Purdy, Erickson, Rowley, Fogelstrom, Doran and Wright.
...A communication was read from Capt. Adair of Co. F in which he stated that the three year’s lease of Gardner hall for armory purposes would expire November 1. He stated that he had understood that there was a desire not to renew the lease. He recommended that the council make arrangements to build a new armory. The matter was referred to the purchasing committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 2, c’s. 1 & 2)

Built of brick by James S. Gardner [built by George E. Gardner] in early 1891, it is located on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. The Gardner Block has store space on the street floor. The second floor is a hall, which is used for dancing and a roller rink. This is a very popular place for dances during its first decade. The building is torn down in 1945 and is replaced by the Greyhound Bus Depot. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 7 & 84)

NOTE: The Gardner Block was NOT built by James S. Gardner as stated by Zapffe above. It was built by George E. Gardner.

SEE: Greyhound Bus Depot

GATES BLOCK (MAP #65)
Owned by E. F. Gates, it is located mid-block on the east side of Seventh Street between Front and Laurel Streets and houses six apartments in 1931. The address is 213-215 South Seventh Street. In 1946 this building is called the Phillips Building and houses the S & L Department Store.

SEE: Beare Block

January 1926. A business transaction that will be of interest to many and a loss to the city of one of its leading citizens is that of the transfer of the H. F. Michael Company Store to E. F. Gates of Beloit, Wisconsin. Mr. Michael expects to leave Brainerd. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 January 2006)

Globe Hotel at the southwest corner of 5th and Front, ca. 1900.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
GLOBE HOTEL (MAP #13)
Located on the southwest corner of Front and Fifth Streets [422 Front Street]; this is a favorite gathering place, since it has a bowling alley in the basement; it burns down in 1910 [sic]. Late in its life this hotel becomes a Mecca for the last of the loggers. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 90 & 111)

NOTE: This hotel did NOT burn in 1910 as stated by Zapffe. It burned on 23 January 1917 along with the Antlers Hotel which was located next door.

J. L. Neary, of Northome, has leased the Globe Hotel from William Wise, and will take possession March 1, 1909. Mr. Wise will retain the saloon and bowling alley. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 26 February 2009)

Fire animation On January 23, 1917, a fire destroyed the Antlers Hotel, the Ideal Hotel, formerly the Globe Hotel, and a couple of other buildings, causing an estimated loss of $50,000. William Deering, a boilermaker, and Thomas F. Lamb, 76 years old, a flagman, employed by the Northern Pacific railroad, roomers at the Antlers Hotel, lost their lives in the fire.

SEE: 1917 Antlers Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

GOTENBORG SALOON (MAP #28)
Built circa 1871, on the west side of the Last Turn Saloon on Front Street between Fourth and Third Streets.

(Top) Gregory Square, ca. 1887. (Bottom) Gregory Park after the ‘twister’ of June 2, 1898.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society and Crow Wing County Historical Society
GREGORY PARK (MAP)
On 19 September 1871, Thomas H. Canfield, president of the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Company, signs a plat that has been staked out and filed for record on 25 September 1871. Near the center of the plat is a square area measuring two blocks on a side, but not subdivided into lots or streets, this area is simply marked GREGORY SQUARE. How did this name come to be selected? The president of the Railroad Company at that time is John Gregory Smith. Thus, the name of the president of the railroad is being carried forward every day. The People begin getting park conscious and in 1885 they appeal to the council and ask them to do something about it. The plat of Brainerd which Lake Superior & Puget Sound Company file for recording with the Register of Deeds does not show in so many words that GREGORY SQUARE has been dedicated to the use of the public—like for a park. It is simply marked “Reserved,” but no reason is given. Not until the city grows in population and houses are built around the SQUARE does the need arise to question this because a dense pine forest of four square blocks, such as this is, needs patrolling, lighting, paths and maintenance. The question of ownership arises in February of 1885 when the residents request the council cut paths through that forest. If the city does not own the SQUARE, it will be the responsibility of the Lake Superior Company to spend money for maintenance. The danger to the local people is that the company might decide to subdivide the SQUARE into city lots, to the detriment of the city. Controversy arises about who controls the SQUARE; therefore, in May the council goes on record to the effect that the city is the owner and can maintain and develop the SQUARE as a Park; and in June it instructs the City Attorney to investigate the title and, if necessary, bring suit to establish the ownership. Then begins a long legal battle. A suit is started in the United States Circuit Court. Things move along favorably for the city; so, on 18 May 1891, the Company proposes a compromise and offers to deed one-half of the SQUARE to the city. Upon advice given to the councilmen by City Attorney McClenahan the offer is refused and on 25 January 1892, the Circuit Court decrees the ownership to rest fully in the name of the City. The SQUARE thereupon becomes Gregory Park. That summer (1892) the citizens present a petition that requests appointment of a Park Commissioner to supervise cleaning and improving the place. They also want a cinder bicycle path built around the exterior but inside the fence. Incidentally, the park must have looked neglected because while the suit is in progress, the citizens’ request, in May of 1887, that a fence be built around the SQUARE, and in September, upon order of the Common Council, White & White actually do build a fence. It is a two-board fence capped with a flat top-board that encloses the entire park. It has swinging gates at the corners. Long before this and in the exact middle of the Park, C. F. Kindred erects a bandstand for his band boys. The people also ask for a drinking fountain to help make it more pleasant for picnics. The city repairs that fence and plants trees as late as 1894. On 02 June 1898 a tornado sweeps through Brainerd and among its victims of destruction are all but a few of the trees in Gregory Park. That creates the new problem of clearing and grubbing. Bids are promptly called for, but the offers submitted are so small that the council decides to do the work with day labor. In March 1899 the council authorizes spending $200 for new plantings in Gregory Park. In September of 1900 it adds $100 for the same purpose. Where once stand majestic pine they plant fragile box elder and ugly poplar, because these are fast-growers. On 04 May 1909 a new Park Board, with S. R. Adair as its first president, promptly applies itself to making Gregory Park an attraction and not just a place for a few cross-corner footpaths. It builds a concrete wading basin with a fountain, for several years used as a goldfish pond, and encircled by a vine-covered pergola.
Gregory Square Pergolas, ca. 1909.
Source: Postcard
Gregory Park Pergolas, ca. 1910.
Source: Postcard courtesy of Carl Faust
Trees are trimmed; cinder paths are built; grass is cut; and slowly a transformation sets in. In 1912, a year after his death, the Charles N. Parker family erects a substantial bandstand in the Park as a memorial. In 1930 Cornelius O’Brien, Sr. presents the Brainerd Park Board with the sum of money needed to erect a cut-stone gateway to Gregory Park as designed by a landscape architect. The gateway is built at the Sixth Street entrance on the south side of the park. It carries a bronze plaque, which now serves to memorialize the donor. In the 1940’s the Park Board in landscaping and beautifying the Park with flower beds and trimmed shrubbery undertakes further aesthetic development. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 51, 52, 97, 112, 140, 162)

J. A. Bixby had a narrow escape one evening last week from being robbed. He was going through the park [Gregory] when he was sprang upon by a thug but escaped. These occurrences are getting to be too numerous for the comfort and safety of our people and a close lookout should be kept for these scoundrels who infest the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 06 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Our Eavesdropper.
_____


Chief Shontell says that these days, or nights rather, are seeing dire proceedings going on in the city park, but that he is using every effort to put a stop to it. No less than three working girls have been escorted to their abode by the police during the past week with the admonition that if found there again under such circumstances that they would be locked up. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

It has been reported this week that Gregory square has been sold to the B. & N. W. railway company for $10,000, the same to be used for depot grounds, but the report as yet lacks confirmation. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Gregory park will be fenced and a fountain erected in the centre of it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 May 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

The park fence matter was taken up and bids read. Ald. Doran moved to reject all bids which was promptly seconded by Ald. Graham, whereupon Ald. Spencer moved to amend the motion and recommend that the offer of Scheickler & Wilson, of a style of fence be accepted, which was seconded by Ald. Searles, the vote standing Ald. Searles, Spencer and Taylor for, to Gardner, Forsyth, Graham and Doran against. A vote was then taken on the original motion which was carried. Alderman Gardner then made a motion to appropriate $600 towards placing a fountain in the park and improving the grounds which was seconded by Ald. Doran and carried, the street committee to have charge of the work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1887, p. 4, c. 6)

Suit has been commenced by the city against L. P. White, as agent for the Puget Sound Land Co. to quit title to Gregory Park. This matter has been in controversy for some time, and it was deemed expedient to have the matter settled at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

WORK OF THE COUNCIL.
_____

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


[...]


The council went into executive session, the lobby being cleared of spectators, the matter under discussion being the suit now pending between Lake Superior & Puget Sound Land Co. and this city regarding Gregory Square. An offer had been made to City Attorney McClenahan to settle the suit by splitting the park in two parts, giving the city half and the company half. This proposition, however, did not meet with the approval of the council, and the attorney was instructed to reject the offer and let the court settle the matter. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 May 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

City Attorney McClenahan returned Tuesday night from Vermont, where he has been taking evidence in the suit of the Lake Superior and Puget Sound company against the city to secure Gregory Square. Mr. McClenahan says that he has no doubt but that the city will win the suit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 June 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The suit over the possession of Gregory Park between the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Co., and this city, is to be called to trial to-day at St. Paul, before Judge Nelson in the United States court. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The Park is Ours.


Judge William S. McClenahan, ca. 1890’s.
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
The courts have decided that Gregory Park, the title of which has been in dispute for some time, belongs to the city of Brainerd. The arguments of the Lake Superior & Puget Sound Land Co., and the city were heard on the 10th and 11th of the present month, and the matter taken under consideration by the court. On Saturday last City Attorney McClenahan received a telegram stating that the city had won the suit. Mr. McClenahan is entitled to much credit for the able manner in which he conducted the action and was the recipient of many congratulations over his success. The title of the city to the park is now beyond dispute and the property is valuable. At intervals, and as fast as the city government can see its way clear, the premises should be improved and in the next few years Brainerd can have as fine a park as any city in the northwest. It is a matter in which all should interest themselves. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 July 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Settled for all Time.


The suit in regard to the ownership of Gregory Square is finally ended and the city comes out victorious, inasmuch as the Puget Sound Land Co. decided not to appeal from the decision and have allowed the time for appeal to go by. City Attorney McClenahan brought back with him on his return from St. Paul Saturday a copy of the decree which is as follows:
United States Circuit Court, District of Minnesota, Third District:
City of Brainerd, Complainant,

vs.

Lake Superior & Puget Sound Co., Defendant
This cause came on to be heard at this term and was argued by counsel; and thereupon upon consideration thereof it was ordered, adjudged and decreed as follows, viz:
Those certain premises in Brainerd, Crow Wing county, Minnesota, commonly called “Gregory Square,” being a parcel of ground bounded by Seventh, Holly, Fifth and Juniper streets, according to the plat of Brainerd, Crow Wing county, of record and on file in the office of the Register of Deeds of Crow Wing county, are and were when this suit was commenced, dedicated to public use and the right to the possession and use thereof for a public square or park is vested in the complainant as the representative of the public.
All this right, title and interest of the defendant is in all respects subordinate to the public rights and the rights of the complainant, and the defendant, its officers, agents, servants and employees are perpetually enjoined from interrupting or interfering with such public use or with the complainant’s possession for public use, so long as said public use continues.
That complainant recover of the defendant its costs to be taxed.
Signed at June term July 21, 1891.
AMOS. THAYER,
District Judge.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 29 January 1892, p. 4, c. 5)

The city park has been treated to a thorough cleaning, all the undergrowth and down trees having been removed, and the change is very gratifying. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The city park was cleaned and placed in fine shape some time since and it was hoped that no acts of vandalism would be perpetrated within its borders. However, some one, probably boys, has chopped down two trees since the work was done. The city authorities will keep a watch on the park hereafter and anyone caught in the act of perpetrating any damage in or about the enclosure will be promptly brought to answer. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 June 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

SPECIAL MEETING.


The [city] council met in special session Wednesday evening with Ald. Anderson and Paine absent.
The purchasing committee made a report recommending that 200 trees be placed in the city park at a price not to exceed $200. The report was read and adopted. The mayor and city clerk were instructed to enter into a contract with Oscar Wicks for planting the trees in said park, and the clerk was instructed to draw an order for $50, payable to Mr. Wicks when the trees are planted, subject to the approval of the purchasing committee, and also an order for $150 payable one year from date of fulfillment of contract, said order to draw interest at 7 per cent. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1894, p. 4, c. 6)

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)

Meeting of the Council.


[...]


The contract and bond in the sum of $500 for setting out 450 trees in the City Park by Oscar Wicks was accepted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June, p. 8, c. 2)

GIVE BAND STAND TO CITY
_____

Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Parker and Family
Give the Same as a Memorial
to Late C. N. Parker
_____

GIFT IS MUCH APPRECIATED
_____

Stand to Have Cement Foundation,
Pressed Brick Walls and to be
Octagon in Shape


From Wednesday’s Daily:—
As a memorial to the late C. N. Parker, there has been presented to the city of Brainerd a beautiful band stand to be erected in Gregory park and the donors are Mr. And Mrs. F. S. Parker, Mr. and Mrs. Clyde E. Parker, Mrs. R. T. Campbell of St. Paul, Mrs. George H. Brown of Miles City, Mont., and Mrs. Allen Lowry of St. Paul.
Their generous bequest happily solves the difficulties of the park board. The latter had advertised for bids to construct the stand, plans and specification of which had been drawn by White Brothers. Two bids were received that of White Brothers being $868 and that of E. H. Husemann $962. Both were considered out of reach of the board owing to the limited funds on hand and it was thought advisable to advertise for bids on changed plans.
Then came the offer of Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Parker and their children and the board gladly accepted it. It is a gift to the city which will be appreciated by every resident and serves as a fitting memorial to C. N. Parker, who in former years did so much for Brainerd.
The band stand will have a concrete foundation and cement floor in the basement. The stand will be octagon in shape. Stairs will lead to the main floor. This floor will be of wood to insure good sounding properties. The walls will be of pressed brick, of a design to be selected by F. S. Parker, who, it is said out of deference to his father may select the same kind of brick which the late Mr. Parker chose for the building of the Citizens State bank. In the walls will be place a white granite slab and this panel will bear the name of Parker.
Construction of the band stand will be started as soon as the material can be assembled. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

TO DEDICATE BAND STAND
_____

Structure Donated to City by F. S.
Parker and Children, is Near-
ing Completion
_____

Built of Pressed Brick—Band Stand
Was Designed by White Bros.
of Brainerd


The band stand donated to the city by Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Parker and children is now rapidly nearing completion. The structure, designed by White Brothers of this city, is situated in Gregory park.
It is built of pressed brick. A panel bearing the name of “Parker” and set in the wall is the modest token to show that it is a memorial for the late C. N. Parker.
Preparations are being made to dedicate the stand. The Brainerd City band will play an appropriate program and the occasion will be made a scene of rejoicing on the part of Brainerd citizens who thoroughly appreciate the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. F. S. Parker and their children. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1914, p. 1, c. 2)

WILL DEDICATE NEW BAND STAND
_____

The Exercises Will be Held Sunday
Afternoon, October 11th, at
Gregory Park
_____

CITIZENS APPRECIATE DONATION
_____

The Donors Have Erected Lasting
Memorial to the Memory of the
Late C. N. Parker


From Thursday’s Daily:—
The band stand which has been erected in Gregory Park by F. S. Parker and family as a memorial to the late C. N. Parker will be dedicated with appropriate ceremonies on Sunday afternoon at 3 o’clock, Oct. 11th. The memorial is greatly appreciated by the people of Brainerd, and it is a work of art in its line not only affording an appropriate place for the music that will be heard for years to come in what will be one of the most beautiful parks in northern Minnesota but also helping to beautify that public place. The announcement is made in connection with the program that in case the weather is unfavorable the services will be held in St. Paul’s church. The program follows:
Selection by Brainerd City band.
Mayor R. A. Henning, master of ceremonies.
Invocation by Rev. Caleb Benham.
Song, quartette, S. F. Alderman, Al Mraz, Wm. Vernon and John Bye.
Remarks, A. J. Halsted.
Section, Brainerd City band.
Remarks, Mal. D. Clark.
Song, quartette.
Benediction, Rev. Caleb Benham.
Reception, city council and park board.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 9 October 1914, p. 1, c. 1)

Parker Bandstand


Original Parker Bandstand, ca. 1914.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Parker Bandstand, July 7, 2010
Source: Carl Faust
In August 1914 the Charles N. Parker family offered to donate a bandstand to be erected in Gregory Park. The bandstand was to be a memorial to the family patriarch, Charles N. Parker, who came to Brainerd in 1872 to start the Parker & Topping Foundry, which provided metal castings for the Northern Pacific Railroad. During the ensuing years, Charles Parker was responsible for, among other things, erecting the Parker Block which first contained his Northern Pacific Bank, later becoming the Citizens State Bank on the northwest corner of South Seventh and Laurel Streets as well as for building the Brainerd Electric Street Railway which opened for business on May 9, 1893.
The bandstand was designed and built in the shape of an octagon by the White Brothers of Brainerd. It was composed of a concrete foundation and a cement floor in the basement with stairs leading to the main floor which was built of Washington fir in order to ensure proper acoustics. The walls were of red pressed brick selected by Fred S. Parker in honor of his father who chose that color and type of brick for his bank building. An ornamental railing surrounded the main floor and the lighting facilities were the best, consisting of eight groups of cluster lights, twenty-four lights in all. In Gregory Park the bandstand was accorded a position on a slight knoll, the highest spot in the park. When the city band played at the dedication ceremonies, it was noted the tunes were heard in every section of the park, thus demonstrating that the selected site was a most appropriate one. The soft tones of the band were distinctly heard within a radius of four blocks from the park. The bandstand cost in the neighborhood of $868 and was dedicated on October 11, 1914. (An Overview of Happenings in the City of Brainerd for the Years of 1914 and Early 1915, A. Nelson)

In 1912 [sic] [1914], a year after his death, the Charles N. Parker family erects a substantial bandstand in the Park as a memorial. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 112)

Gregory Park bandstand donated by the family of C. N. Parker, ca. 1914.
Source: Postcard
The Parker Memorial Bandstand is erected in Gregory Park in 1920 [sic] [1914]. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 53)

NOTE: Zapffe is incorrect above regarding the dates the Parker’s gave the bandstand to the city.

May 1930. F. M. Hickerson of Bemidji has been awarded the stonework contract for the ornamental arch being constructed at the Sixth Street entrance to the south edge of Gregory Park. Con O'Brien will cover expenses, which will include 154 trees and shrubs. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 17 May 2010)


Greyhound Bus Depot at the southeast corner of 5th and Laurel, ca. 1979.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
GREYHOUND BUS DEPOT (MAP #27)
Built by the Greyhound Interstate Bus Company in 1945, it is located on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets, replacing the Gardner Block. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 180)

March 1945. Plans for the erection of a new $50,000 Greyhound bus terminal building in Brainerd are announced. The building will be at the site of the present Gardner building across from the city hall. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 2005)

06 October 1945. Formal opening ceremonies for the new Greyhound bus terminal at Laurel and Fifth streets to be held Saturday, October 6. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 18 September 2005)

06 October 1945. Singing by the Greyhound Girls’ Chorus, Flag-raising and band furnished by the Minnesota State Guard, drills by the Ladies Drum and Bugle Corps, will highlight features of this official opening of the new Greyhound terminal at Fifth and Laurel Streets. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 29 September 2005)

SEE: Gardner Block

One of these identical four grade school buildings is the Harrison Grade School on Oak between SE 14th and SE 15th, ca. 1894.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
HARRISON GRADE SCHOOLS
Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on the north side of Oak Street between Southeast Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38 & 49)

School Board Meeting.


[...]


A report of the committee on sites, signed by four members of the committee was made, but the president refused to entertain the report for the reason that no meeting of the committee had been called by the chairman or had been held, and the report was referred back to the same committee for future action. The report recommended the purchase of 10 lots in block 17 of Sleeper’s addition to Brainerd at a cost not to exceed $1,500. A petition signed by 60 property owners in the ward was presented asking the board not to purchase the site above recommended, but instead of it what is known as the Murray property, or any of the blocks between 12th and 14th street, and Oak and Quince streets. The chairman of the site committee, Mr. Congdon informs us that a meeting of the committee will be held tomorrow afternoon and the different sites inspected, and a hearing will be accorded to all interested on the subject before any recommendations are made. There seems to be considerable difference of opinion over there as to where the building should be located, and it is but just that all should be accorded a hearing before the matter is settled. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

Board of Education Meeting.


[...]


The committee on site for the fourth ward did not report, the chairman of the committee being absent, but there was a delegation of fourth ward citizens present to protest against the proposed recommendation of the committee. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Board of Education Meeting.


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Tuesday evening to take final action on the purchase of a site for the new school building in the fourth ward.... The full committee on sites reported unanimously in favor of purchasing ten lots of block 17 in Sleeper’s addition, which report was accepted by the board, and purchase ordered, for a consideration of not to exceed $1,500. The committee attended a mass meeting of the citizens of the ward the previous evening, and discussed the matter, after which a vote was taken by the citizens, which was two to one in favor of the site selected. The committee recommended accordingly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 February 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The four new school houses are all sufficiently advanced for putting on the roofs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

School Board Doings.


[...]


...The old buildings on the First ward site were sold to Mrs. Frank Osborn for $15, she to remove them at once. A bill of $44 for extra work was allowed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

The board of education held a special meeting on Wednesday evening, nothing but routine business being transacted. Another room in the Harrison school was ordered opened and additional seats purchased for the new rooms recently opened. A new oak side walk was also ordered laid in front of the Lincoln school on Sixth street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Board of Education.


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Tuesday evening....

[...]


It was also ordered that the repair committee seat an additional room in the Harrison school. A motion was also carried to relieve the over crowded condition of the schools by hiring teachers for additional rooms in the Lowell and Harrison schools. The matter of purchasing shade trees was left to the repair committee to report at next meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Over thirteen hundred scholars were enrolled in the public schools on the first day of the present term. Two hundred of these were in the Harrison building in the Fourth ward, or an average of fifty to a room, the building containing only four rooms. It will thus be seen that this building is already too small to accommodate the children of that ward. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

Mothers’ Club Meetings.
_____


The Mothers’ Meeting of the Harrison school was held on Wednesday. The object of the meeting was explained by Prof. Carleton, and the following officers elected for one year:
President—Miss Kathleen Canan.
Secretary—Miss Anna Fuller.
The following committees were appointed:
Decorative Committee—Miss Knevett, Mesdames Clark, Mahlum, Buckler, Hurley and White.
Executive Committee—Miss Halstead, Mesdames Falkner, Bissiar, E. Ellison, Brandt and Preston.
Entertainment Committee—Mesdames Britton, S. Johnson, A. Peterson, J. J. Peterson, M. Peterson and Kerr.
Visiting Committee—Mesdames Graham, Banta, Towers, A. Olson, Hastings and J. H. Peterson.
Committee to write a Constitution—Misses Canan, Kenevett, Halstead and Fuller.
Papers for the next meeting Mesdames Clark and Britton, and Misses Canan and Fuller.
Meeting adjourned to meet again February 17th, 1897.
ANNA FULLER,
Secretary.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

SEE: Miscellaneous School Information

HARTLEY BANK BUILDING (MAP #6)
Located on the southeast corner of Front and Sixth Streets, better known as the First National Bank building, it is built in 1882 by W. W. Hartley. In 1916 the building is purchased by the officers of the bank and is remodeled—the first of three such remodelings. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22 & 38)

Hartley Bros. have removed the store house just back of Hagberg & Honnett's store on Sixth street and we understand will put up a building there soon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Hartley Bros. new building on 6th street will soon be completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 April 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Hartley Bros. new building on 6th street, is nearly completed and will be ready for occupancy soon. Metzger Bros. will occupy one room with their jewelry store, which will give them as fine a business place as there is in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

NOTE: I believe this was a separate building the Hartley’s built behind the bank building on South Sixth. I think it housed the post office in 1884.

SEE: Post Office

W. W. Hartley has gone to Tacoma, W. T., to engage in the real estate business. W. W. is a rustler and will probably meet with success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 April 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

SEE: Bank of Brainerd

SEE: First National Bank Building

Hartley Block on the south side of Front between 5th and 6th, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
HARTLEY BLOCK (MAP #2)

Hartley Brothers & Co.


Are fast pushing their fine store-building toward completion. We have before referred to this new firm, and it gives us great pleasure to note their progress. They have a handsome location on Front street near Fifth, and the fine building they are putting up will be a credit to the location and the town, and the firm will be among the soundest and most popular in our young city. (Brainerd Tribune, 23 March 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

Hartley Bros. have their fine new store-building enclosed and it will very soon be ready for occupation. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

NOTE: The above mentioned building is the forerunner of the brick Hartley Block.

B. F. and G. G. Hartley erect the Hartley Block circa 1881, which stands where part of the Ransford Hotel is later built, on the south side of Front between Fifth and Sixth Streets. It is the first brick building in town and was built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 35-38)

B. F. Hartley was testing the speed of his fast horse on Sixth street yesterday when the animal got a little too fast and began to kick. Hartley was in a gig and the horse kicked him twice in the breast knocking him out of the gig. The horse ran around several blocks and was captured. Hartley was not very much hurt. (Minneapolis Tribune, 04 April 1881, p. 5)

BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, July 4.—...Mr. Turner, the gentleman who is superintending the erection of the Hartley block, will also have charge of the Congregational church and work is to be begun at once. (Minneapolis Tribune, 05 July 1881, p. 8)

NORTHWESTERN NEWS NOTES.


BRAINERD.


This city is not boomed much, but for all that few places in the Northwest can show a better and healthier growth. The number of new residences built and being built is something remarkable, while not a few business houses are being put up. Hartley Brothers and Mr. Sleeper have both built double brick blocks, and the former are laying the foundation for another and larger block. Grygla & Salden, of Minneapolis did the galvanized iron cornice work and roofing on the former buildings [Hartley Block & Sleeper Block], and have the contract to finish the latter [First National Bank Block]. Much of the beauty and symmetry of the buildings is due to their good work. Davis & Co.’s Sawmill is in full blast, cutting 60,000 a day. They are to have the electric light at once, which will enable them to run nights and days as well. Brainerd is to have telephone connections at once. Messrs. Carver, Mohl & Co. have organized as the Brainerd Telephone Company, put up their poles and are daily expecting their wire. They have already twenty-five subscribers, and the Northern Pacific company will use it between their offices and shops. (Minneapolis Tribune, 18 June 1882, p. 8)

The front of the Hartley Block is being painted red to conform with the building next to it which is built of red brick. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 May 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

Fire animation On April 27, 1904, fire destroyed the Hartley bock including the Moberg Drygoods store and Slipp Brothers Hardware store. It was the general conclusion throughout the city that the fire started from spontaneous combustion in the basement of the Slipp store. The fire caused about $67,000 in damages.

SEE: 1904 Hartley Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

May 1904. The sidewalk in front of the site of the old Hartley block has been nailed up and pedestrians walked up to their ankles in mud through the street this morning. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 27 May 2004)

SEE: Ransford Hotel

HAYES BLOCK (MAP #20)
Built by J. M. Hayes in the 1870’s, it is located on the southeast corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets; it burns in 1913. In its place he erects the Lyceum Theater, [which becomes the Coast-to-Coast Hardware Store, which became a radio station, etc.]. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 111)

30 July 1913. Standing as a sentinel for 45 years at 6th and Laurel Streeets, the J. M. Hayes building is being torn down and will give way to a two-story brick building. The first occupant in 1868 [?] was Charles Wilson, who ran a grocery store and saloon there. (This was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 30 July 2013)

28 January 1914. The new Columbia Theater, located in the Hayes Building, will give its first performance tomorrow night. Prof. Edwin Harris Bergh, manager, says there is seating for 550, a four-piece orchestra for music, and 4,000 feet of film will be shown at each performance. (This was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2014)

22 December 1928. The Brainerd Theater is to receive talkies when the theater is remodeled. Synchronized phonograph music may soon be installed at the Lyceum theater as an added musical feature, Mr. Heller, manager, said. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 22 December 2008)

25 October 1930. The Burg Co. will open business in the old Lyceum Theatre location on the corner of Sixth and Laurel Streets on December 1. The lease was transferred by the Publix Theatre Co., which now operates the new Paramount Theatre on Front Street. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 2010)

(Top) Headquarters Hotel at the southwest corner of 6th and Washington, ca. 1871. (Bottom) Croquet on the grounds of the Headquarters Hotel, ca 1873.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society and Crow Wing County Historical Society
HEADQUARTERS HOTEL (MAP #12)
Built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in March 1871, it is located on the southwest corner of Sixth and Washington Streets. This three-story structure occupies a two-acre lot. It has fifty or sixty sleeping rooms, a dining room seating over one hundred, parlors, offices and other rooms. It is exactly what the name implies, “Headquarters.” Water from an overhead reservoir is piped to all the rooms. The hotel has an icehouse of seven hundred tons capacity, arranged so as to provide refrigerator storerooms for fruits, vegetables and meats. The building has “a great many chimneys and over six hundred joints of stove pipe.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 19)

The wolf, the two deer, and the sand-hill crane in the Headquarters Park, are in splendid condition, and the severe weather has made his wolfship, particularly, all the more “peart.” Next season the collection of wild animals, etc., will doubtless be materially added to. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 1)

“The Big Hotel.”


We were politely conducted, a few days since, over, through, around and beneath the “big hotel,” or Headquarters Hotel, as it is commonly called, by mine host, Mr. Wm. Lytle, of that institution. The new mammoth wing is about completed in all its parts, and the whole establishment—containing equivalent to three stories, and basement—with its necessary outbuildings, occupies something over two acres of ground. We cannot, for want of room, go into the details of the grand hotel—which has been built by the Company for the accommodation, strictly, of the heads of departments on the line, their families and friends—but will give only a few items, to show its capacity, and excellent management under the accomplished and thoroughly business administration of Mr. Lytle, who is one among the very few men who could successfully and acceptably hold the reins of government over so gigantic an institution.
There is room to comfortably seat at the table in the new dining-hall something over a hundred guests; there are between fifty and sixty beautifully arranged and commodious sleeping rooms, fitted up in rich and modern style, with all needed furniture, such as spring beds, wash-stands, mirrors, bureaus, clothes presses, etc., and all handsomely carpeted. Besides these and the dining-hall, are parlors, offices, promenades, an immense kitchen, cook and pastry rooms, large basement story and cellars, wash room, bedding presses, etc., all arranged and fitted up with every imaginary article and appliances, for “speed, safety and comfort.” The whole building will be supplied with water, by pipes leading from an elevated reservoir to all rooms in the house. The ice-house—containing 700 tons of the congealed fluid—is wonderfully convenient and was planned by Mr. Lytle himself, and for genuine utility goes ahead of anything we ever noticed. There are several small rooms along the side of the building, entered by as many doors. These rooms are constructed so that a heavy body of ice surrounds them on every side and over head—rendering the necessity of keeping ice in the rooms with the meats, etc., wholly unnecessary. The butter and milk room is distinct, as is the meat room and the other rooms for containing various articles, giving no chance whatever of one article flavoring the other; and the extraordinary convenience of the whole is remarkable. Notwithstanding the many fine chimneys in the hotel, there are now in use more than six hundred joints of stove-pipe. Mr. Lytle’s management of this hotel is marked for its economy, courtesy and thorough business properties, rendering him deservedly popular both with the guests under his care and the public at large. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 February 1872, p. 3, c. 4)

SEE: Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church

News and Cigar Stand.


Master Jimmy Lytle, in the office of the Headquarters Hotel keeps a very neat and fully supplied cigar-stand and news depot. His cigars are No. 1 in quality, and Jimmy is always on hand to supply the wants of all lovers of a choice Havana. Give him a call. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 February 1872, p. 3, c. 1)

Theatrical.


Master Jo. H. Lytle [sic] and Jimmy Lytle had their second entertainment last Monday, at the Headquarters Hotel, and it passed off splendidly. It consisted of charades, songs, tableaux, and dancing. Jimmy Lytle, in the song, “Girl with a Roguish Eye,” gave us a good clog dance. Jo. H. Linsley [sic] appeared as Nilsson in the song “Up in Das Palloon,” and did exceedingly well. Miss Fannie E. Linsley appeared as a Gypsy, in a tableaux, and did very well; also Miss Clara Lytle, in the character of a young lady in the same tableaux. They propose to give us another entertainment in three or four weeks, which they think will be better. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

A big Easter Dinner was given the guests at the Headquarters Hotel last Sunday by mine host, Mr. Lytle. Egg was miscellaneously considered, and the dinner as a whole could discount Delmonico’s and beat it on the first round. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

Improvements.


[...]


THE Railroad Headquarters building and hotel and its surroundings are being beautified in various ways. A lot of new picket fence has been built, the grounds raked up and cleared away and the offices newly fitted and painted. The hotel office has been furnished with a handsome counter—the design and workmanship of Mr. Doner—which is such a production as would ornament any first class hotel. It was painted by Mr. Foss, one of the champions of the brush in this western country. Mr. Foss, with his crew of artists has also been giving the outside of this mammoth building its final coat this week, and to say the thing has been radically changed in appearance, does not express it; the “Headquarters” really presents an imposing appearance as it now is, compared to what it then was. (Brainerd Tribune, 25 May 1872, p. 1, c. 4)

Hicks, Joseph W.
Was born in Xenia, Ohio, on the 25th of December, 1848. He came to Brainerd in 1874, and was employed in the Headquarters Hotel till June, 1881, when he opened a billiard hall, which he still conducts. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 648)

Ort, Peter
Was born in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, in the year 1849. He came to Brainerd in 1870, and was employed at the carpenter trade for five years. Was then clerk in the “Headquarters Hotel” until January, 1880, when he opened a billiard hall on the corner of Fifth and Laurel streets, of which, he is now the proprietor. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 652)

...fires have destroyed dozens of large business blocks and scores of homes. Among them were: the Headquarters Hotel.... (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 66)

Sometime during the night in the winter of 1882 the Headquarters Hotel burned down. (Biography: 1936; Fred Hagadorn, born 27 July 1870; Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 1881-1981 Heritage Edition, p. 3B)

The Headquarters Hotel built early in 1871 by the railroad company had been superseded in 1889 by Wise’s Arlington Hotel on almost the same premises. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 86)

A fire destroyed it [Headquarters Hotel] in 1889 [sic] [1882], whereupon the company [NP] encouraged R. R. Wise to erect his Arlington Hotel on the same site. (It Happened Here, Carl Zapffe, Brainerd Journal Press: 1948, p. 30)

NOTE: The above date is incorrect, the hotel burned on 27 November 1882.

Fire animation On November 27, 1882, at about 9:30 p. m. a kerosene lamp exploded in the ladies’ waiting room of the Headquarters Hotel, the resulting fire destroyed the hotel causing between $26,000 and $28,000 in damages. Some of the guests had to jump from the roof of the porch to the ground.

SEE: 1882 Headquarters Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

NOTE: Sometime between the burning of the original Headquarters Hotel above in November 1882 and the remodeling of the Northern Pacific Depot in late 1883, I believe the Northern Pacific built a temporary building also known as the “Headquarters Hotel.”

Over four hundred people were fed at the Headquarters hotel yesterday. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The building formerly used as the Headquarters hotel and ticket office is being taken down and removed by the railroad company. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 April 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Hemstead house at the northwest corner of 4th and Kingwood, ca. 2003.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch
HEMSTEAD HOUSE (MAP #8)
Located at 303 North Fourth Street, the house was built in 1900 by Margaret and Werner Hemstead.

A FINE RESIDENCE PROPERTY
_____

Will be Constructed by Dr. Hemstead
Corner 4th and Kingwood
Streets this Fall.
_____


      Dr. Werner Hemstead on Tuesday, through Keene & McFadden, real estate agents, purchased three lots at the corner of 4th and Kingwood streets, of Mrs. L. M. Follett, and will immediately begin the construction of a fine modern residence property for a home. The doctor has sent to James Kees, the Minneapolis architect, for plans which he expects to get in a few days, when he will immediately contract for its construction. It will be modern in every way, with a basement under the whole, containing a laundry, storage cellar and heating plant, and will be two stories high, and will cost over $5,000 when completed. It will be one of the finest houses in town, and will be a splendid addition to 4th street, now one of the best streets in the city. Let the good work go on. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1900, p. 1, c. 4)


A Charming Social Affair, Beautiful Home of
Dr. and Mrs. W. W. Hemstead Thrown Open Yesterday


For the first time since it was erected, the beautiful residence of Dr. and Mrs. Werner W. Hemstead was the scene of a social function, one of the most pretentious ever held in the city, when Mrs. Hemstead, Mrs. J. F. McGinnis and Mrs. H. W. Linneman were hostesses at a reception to a large number of ladies of the city yesterday afternoon.
The beautiful residence was completely transformed into a retreat of beauty and never before in Brainerd has there been anything that will compare with the elaborateness all around. The color schemes throughout the house in the different rooms were carried out with most charming effect, the varied colored candles throughout, interspread with clusters of flowers of different hues, and with long trails of smilax clinging here and there over the bric a brac and hung from the chandeliers and large banks of palms and ferns serving as a delightful background. These decorations coupled with the rich finish of the parlors, the German room, the library and the dining room, lighted throughout with the candles and electric lights reminded one of a garden covered with garlands of flowers and plants.
The German room or den was done in red, beautiful red tulips being the predominating flower here, and they seemed to vie with the other pretty things in the room in making the scene a brilliant one as they drooped their heads gracefully out of the large vases. There were banks of ferns and palms here to add to the richness of the scene.

Margaret Johnson Hemstead, ca. 1899.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The parlor was done in yellow and the flower than occupied a conspicuous place here was the beautiful yellow rose. Here the clinging smilax and large palms and ferns were used to good advantage as they served as a rich background to the brilliant coloring in the room. On a center table in this room there was a plateau on which stood a large candelabra with a dozen or more beautiful yellow candles, which carried out the color scheme to perfection.
Pink was the prevailing color in the library and here more than in some of the other rooms, smilax and fern were used in profusion. From the four corners of the center table long strings of smilax extended to the chandelier where they were caught with dainty pink bows. The mantel was lined with beautiful flowers and smilax, all the flowers being pink.
The dining room was a thing of beauty and a joy forever, the predominating color being red, and red roses were used in profusion. A cluster of flowers served as the center piece. Red candles placed here and there flickered and shone on the deep, rich mahogany furnishings of the room, creating an effect like the shimmer and glint of a stream of placid water. The scene was very beautiful.
Mrs. Hemstead, Mrs. McGinnis and Mrs. Linneman received in the parlor, and the guests were assisted at the door by Miss Kitty Johnson. Others who assisted throughout the house were Miss Sadie Reilly and Miss Mary Murphy, who helped in all the rooms. Mrs. W. A. M. Johnstone and Mrs. J. J. Howe, Jr., received in the library and Mrs. J. P. Early and Mrs. A. L. Mattes in the German room.
Mrs. M. J. Reilly and Mrs. R. J. Hartley presided over the destinies of the dining room and they were assisted in serving refreshments by the Misses Clothilde McCullough, Kitty Keene, Vera Nevers, Rose Poppenberg and Maud O’Brien. The Misses Winnie Smith and Onolee McCullough presided at the frappe bowl while Mrs. R. J. Hartley poured the coffee.
Upstairs in the retiring room the Misses Maggie Coenen [sic] and Ida McGinnis presided.
On the third floor of the beautiful home Graham’s full orchestra discoursed music and the sweet strains were wafted down the wide hallways with pleasing effect.
Mrs. Hemstead was attired in a white net spangled robe embroidered with silver braid. Mrs. McGinnis wore a gown made of gray voile and was trimmed in pink. Mrs. Linneman was attired in black with pink trimmings. The ladies looked very charming.
The affair was by far the most pleasant and elaborate socially that has been given in Brainerd for a long time. Several hundred ladies called during the afternoon and evening.
In the evening the husbands and gentleman friends of those who assisted were entertained by the hostesses. (Brainerd Dispatch, ca. 1903)

Werner Hemstead came in 1882 to serve as Assistant Chief Surgeon in the NP Hospital. He was employed in that capacity from 24 September 1882 to 30 September 1888. He long displayed much activity in Brainerd’s political arena. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 21)

Dr. Werner Hemstead moved to Brainerd with the NP Hospital in 1882 and practiced medicine before becoming a City Alderman and later Brainerd Mayor. He also served in the State Legislature [He served in the House of Representatives from 1891-1892 and 1901-1902 per the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.] He was a Northern Pacific Bank director and an organizer of the Brainerd Grocery Company. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 22 August 2003)

Dr. Hemstead was still living in Brainerd in 1912 but by 1922 he was living in St. Cloud and by 1946 he was living in Fergus Falls. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 127) (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 160)

Dr. Hemstead died in Rochester, Olmsted County on 11 March 1952. According to the information in the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, he was born in 1860.

NOTE: National Register of Historic Places, added 1980; classical revival architecture.

IMPERIAL BLOCK (MAP #29)
Built by W. D. McKay in 1904, it is located on the southeast corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. Purchased by Con O’Brien in 1917, he renames it the Juel Block after his eldest daughter, Juel. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 75 & 113)

SEE: Juel Block

In November 1906. Brainerd is to have another theater. Chas. Milspaugh has rented the two east rooms in the Imperial block and will fix them up as a first class theater. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 19 November 2006)

Iron Exchange Building on the west side of 6th and Front, it occupies almost half the block between Front and Laurel, ca. 1926.
Source: Postcard
IRON EXCHANGE BUILDING (MAP #56)
Built of yellow-enamel brick by W. D. McKay, Ransford R. Wise, George Holland and George LaBar in 1910-11, it is the largest single business structure in the city. It occupies almost the entire south half of the block on the west side of Sixth Street between Front and Laurel Streets and contains store space, office space, lodge rooms, a restaurant and a hotel. [The building burns on 22 July 1970.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 74 & 75)

08 May 1928 the Woolworth Company expects to enter the Iron Exchange Building store site within a few weeks. Improvements to the building are rapidly taking form. The building is owned by Gould-Gray Company. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 08 May 2008)

On June 5 1928 the F. W. Woolworth, Company, announced the re-opening of their new 5 and 10 cent store located at 216-218 South Sixth Street. No expense has been spared to make this a most modern and up-to-date Woolworth 5 and 10 cent store. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 05 June 2008)

Fire animation On July 22, 1970, a fire dooms the landmark Iron Exchange building which contained the Gibson Store, the Vogue Supper Club and Dugout, a hotel, King’s Sporting Goods store and several other stores as well as the Masonic Lodge.

SEE: 1970 Iron Exchange Building Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

09 September 1970. The Brainerd City Council last night ordered owners Dick Knudsen and Bob Alderman to demolish the Iron Exchange building within 90 days. The building, at 6th and Laurel Streets, was heavily damaged by an early morning fire in late July. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 September 2011)

JUEL BLOCK (MAP #29)
Built by W. D. McKay in 1904. Purchased by Con O’Brien in 1917 and named after his eldest daughter, Juel. It is located on the southeast corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. At one time it houses the Olympia Candy Store and eight apartments.

In 1924. The O’Brien building, containing four store rooms on the ground floor, three store rooms in the basement and eight flats on the second floor will be called the “Juel” building named after one of Mr. O’Brien’s daughters. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 10 November 2004)

SEE: Imperial Block

KOOP BLOCK (MAP #53)
Fire animation On January 26, 1904, the Koop Block located on Front Street was wiped out by a spectacular fire along with the Linneman Brothers clothing store, Caroline Grandelmyer’s millinery store and Louis Hohman’s confectionary store. The total damages were about $100,000.

SEE: 1904 Koop Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

An Important Sale.


On Monday S. & J. W. Koop bought the vacant lots at the corner of 7th and Laurel streets, opposite Angel’s grocery store, of L. M. Koop. It is the intention of the purchasers in the spring to commence the erection thereon of a large solid brick double store building at least of the size of Con O’Brien’s store rooms on 8th street. The intention is, we believe, to build only one story, with walls strong enough for another story when desired. Large warehouses will also be built to contain the principal part of the large stock of goods carried by this enterprising firm, keeping only sufficient goods in their present building to supply their daily trade. The firm had intended to build a more pretentious building where their store now is, plans having been made and a permit from the railroad company secured to move their present building across the street while the new structure was being built. But this idea has now been abandoned. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 February 1900, p. 8, c. 2)

On Tuesday C. B. White entered into a contract to construct the new brick block for S. & J. W. Koop at the corner of Seventh and Laurel streets, mentioned in these columns some weeks ago. Work will be commenced as soon as excavating can be done. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

All the brick work on the new Koop block has been completed except the cornice. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 June 1900, p. 12, c. 1)

The brick work is all completed and the roof is being put on the new Koop block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 July 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

A fine cement sidewalk is now being laid on both sides of the new Koop block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 August 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Fine New Quarters.


S. & J. W. Koop have moved from their old location on Front street, where they did business for 15 years, into their new block on 7th street. That they have the finest grocery quarters in the northwest, there is no doubt. They are not settled yet, but will be in a week or so, when they will be pleased to greet their customers. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 September 1900, p. 1, c. 4)

L. M. Koop have moved their clothing department into the store room formerly occupied by Koop Bro.’s grocery store. A big archway has been cut between the two rooms, making it practically one large room. The office has been removed into this archway, which makes it handy and convenient for both departments. This gives this firm the largest store in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 8, c. 5)

Fire animation On February 11, 1923, another spectacular fire burned the Koop Block located on the corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets along with a building just vacated by the Brainerd State Bank. The Gruenhagen building and the H. F. Michael store were damaged by the fire, smoke and water. The losses were estimated at about $140,000.

SEE: 1923 Koop Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

The above mentioned Koop Block is rebuilt beginning in May 1923; the new building eventually houses the J. C. Penney Company until it moves to the east Brainerd Mall in the 1960’s.

Last Turn Saloon at the southwest corner of 4th and Front, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
LAST TURN SALOON (MAP #9)
Located on the southwest corner of Front and Fourth Streets. Circa September 1872, two half-breed brothers who allegedly murdered a young girl, Helen McArthur, are lynched in front of this saloon. (St. Paul Pioneer Press, 22 October 1922, H. L. Bridgman, ‘Easterners Found Brainerd Roaring Camp of Vice in Woods 50 Years Ago; Wicked Town with No Future as Rail Center, View Expressed by Visitors, Gambling Open at Dolly Varden Club and Other ‘Joints’; Hanged Suspects.’)

Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] ran the Last Turn [Saloon]. He always wore a red undershirt and no top shirt. (Biography: 1936; Fred Hagadorn, born 27 July 1870; CWCHS)

There was the time Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] shot ‘Faker’ George [1881]. I was standing on the sidewalk, right beside Jake Payne [sic] [Paine] and saw that myself. O’Neil [sic] grabbed a big .45 and shot ‘Faker’ George right through the back. Then he yelled, “There now, heal yourself, you faker!” (Biography: March 1936; Joseph Kiebler, born 06 April 1860; CWCHS)

Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill], who shoots ‘Faker’ George in 1877 [sic] [1881], keeps the bar at the Last Turn Saloon in November 1873 [sic]. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1922)

Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill], a saloon keeper of Brainerd, shot and killed a notorious and quarrelsome character named [‘Faker’] Geo. Smith on Friday. Public sympathy is with O’Neill. (Minneapolis Tribune, 29 May 1881, p. 1)

THE BRAINERD MURDER.


BRAINERD, Minn., May 30.—The preliminary examination of Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] for the murder of [‘Faker’] George Smith took place today. Judge Sleeper reserves his decision until tomorrow at 9 o’clock. (Minneapolis Tribune, 31 May 1881, p. 2)

In 1883 Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] held a liquor license in the city of Brainerd. (Brainerd Tribune, 1940)

The O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] building on the corner of Front and Fourth streets, is going up rapidly under the supervision of White & White, and will be quite an addition to that corner. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 06 September 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

O’Neill, John [‘Jack’]
Dates his birth in Steubenville, Jefferson county, Ohio, on the 11th of July 1827. He learned the trade of stone-cutter when young, followed the business for a number of years, and was afterward employed on the Ohio and Mississippi river boats. He came to Minnesota in 1872, and after living in Lake City, Mankato, and Red Wing, came to Brainerd in 1877 [sic], and has lived here ever since. He is the present proprietor of the saloon known as “The Last Turn,” in front of which still stands the pine tree on which the two Indians were hung in 1872, for the murder of Miss McArthur. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 652)

The Last Turn saloon building has been pulled down and moved back and a new building is going up on the old site which will be used as a saloon, and will be occupied by Jas. Mehan. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 06 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Jas. Mehan opened up his new saloon on Monday night, in the new building which stands on the old site of the “Last Turn.” (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

NOTE: There were at least TWO “Last Turn” saloons built on the southwest corner of 4th and Front Streets. I don’t believe the picture shown is that of the first one.

Pete Brannigan, a sporting man well known in these parts died at Mandan [North Dakota] on Monday forenoon. He fell dead while in the act of taking a drink. He used to run the “Last Turn” saloon in Brainerd. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

John Brannon has moved his saloon into the Last Turn building which was vacated by Burns [?Jack] & Hallton [sic], they moving their sample room into the basement of the Nicollet House. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 July 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

On Monday afternoon quite a fracas occurred in the saloon which stands where the old “Last Turn” building was located. It seems that a couple of men by the names of McCormick and Crossman got into a dispute over some trifling matter and were soon engaged in a “catch-as-can-catch” fight. The man McCormick had his lower lip bit off and they were both badly used up, being covered with blood from their neck to the top of their heads. The lip was sewed on by Dr. Hudson and it is thought that he will come out all right. It is reported that the police have had orders not to molest a fight or row until called in by the owner of the premises where the same is going on, unless they think there is foul play or murder being committed, and as Mr. Mehan, the owner of the sample room, was away from home on that day the officers did not go in until the front widow was broken in by the combatants, when they were separated and allowed to go their way rejoicing. This looks rather slack. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 4)

A. E. Losey has received a beautiful bronze monument which is to be placed at the grave of Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill] in Evergreen cemetery in the spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

A. E. Losey erected a beautiful white Bronze Monument in Evergreen Cemetery, to-day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

SEE: Losey & Dean Undertakers

Trouble with the Women.


Jennie Sawyer, an old offender, and who was the cause of trouble at the Malloy saloon some time ago, was up before the court Monday morning charged with assault and breaking the peace. The trouble occurred at the Last Turn saloon, and the victim was Cole Younger, a one-eyed siren whose hair was originally black but which has been turned yellow by use of acids. Cole has got a record and she was not at all backward about her pedigree in the court room. After letting the women run out the length of their rope Judge Fleming announced that the matinee would close with one more act, that of the frail Jennie paying $8.00 into the city treasury. Producing a large gold watch and a 38-calibre self-cocking revolver she asked the court to allow an officer to escort her to some three-ball [pawn shop] institution where she could “put them up” and keep out of jail.
Mable Smith was arrested for indecent language and dancing the can can on the street, Wednesday. When brought up before the court she denied the latter charge and demanded that the chief bring up Jennie Clark who was as much of an offender as she. From the facts it was thought best by the court to dismiss the case unless both parties had a chance to be tried. As long as the city is in partnership with these people who make Rome howl in the vicinity of Third street, they must expect people to be insulted and to have those vile creatures before the courts daily. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Last Turn Saloon at the southwest corner of 4th and Front, 1892.
Source: 1892 Sanborn Map
J. M. Gray is moving the long building that stood back from the street behind the Last Turn saloon up even with the sidewalk and will fit up a first-class bowling alley in it. The building was fixed up for that purpose some years ago by Jack O’Neil [sic] [O’Neill]. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 July 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

Sudden Death.


Wm. Showen, formerly proprietor of the Last Turn saloon, died suddenly at Gull River on Tuesday evening. He was employed in Nixon’s saloon at that place, and although he was not feeling well no serious results were anticipated. He retired as usual but was found dead in his bed in the morning. Coroner Camp was notified and went to Gull River but decided no inquest was necessary, as in all probability death was caused from rheumatism of the heart. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

A good many people have been looking at the cellar hole near the rear of what was the bowling alley [Last Turn Saloon], since the fire. On the west side of it are two tunnels running out under the ground to a considerable distance. It is surmised that these underground passages were used by tough characters in the early days of Brainerd either for hiding places or for the secretion of stolen property. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1888, p. 4, c. 4) 

1888 Brainerd City Directory
Last Turn Saloon, Ten Pin Alley, corner 4th and Front [Saloon]
Gray, J. M., corner 4th and Front [Saloon] [Last Turn Saloon]

A ROW.
___

Jack Keefe Fires Five Shots at a Gambler Named Jones.


BRAINERD, Feb. 23.—Jack Keefe, a pugilist of Minneapolis, fired five shots at a gambler by the name of Jones in Gray’s saloon [aka Last Turn Saloon] last night, each ball striking a post behind which Jones was standing. The row started by Keefe slapping Jones, when the latter pulled a gun, but it misfired and Keefe then began firing at him. Keefe is out on bail and Jones has skipped the town. (Minneapolis Tribune, 24 February 1888, p. 2)

The old “Last Turn” is receiving some additions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 March 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Police Court Notes.
_____


Cole Younger got on a tear Saturday evening and smashed up the glass and mirror in the Last Turn. She paid ten and costs on Monday morning and immediately swore out a warrant against Wm. Crummit [sic] for threatening to kill her, but her heart softened to William and she failed to show up and prosecute after having had the warrant served. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 July 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Wm. Crommet [sic], the keeper of the Last Turn saloon, has been having a lively time of it this week in municipal court. May Crommet, or Cole Younger as she is known, had him arrested on Tuesday for assault and on this charge he was convicted and assessed $10 and costs, but his attorney will appeal the case. On Wednesday Crommet was again arraigned on charge of robbery by the same female who claims that he forcibly took from her person $50, and at the trial enough evidence was produced to hold him to the grand jury in the sum of $300. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Robbed While Drunk.


Phillip O'Neil came into town last Saturday and got paralyzed drunk and when Officer Derooch [sic] found him in the alley back of the Last Turn saloon he was almost in a state of unconsciousness. When he regained his senses he found he had been robbed of $90, the largest portion of which belonged to the school district of which he is treasurer. Cole Younger was arrested on suspicion of having had a hand in the "rolling" and part of the money was found on her person, and at the examination Monday she was bound over to the grand jury in the sum of $300, and she lies in jail in default of bail. We understand that this notorious female claims that she only got her share of the money and that it was divided among the gang at the Last Turn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The District Court.


[...]


Wm. Crummet [sic] came into court Monday afternoon and withdrew the plea of not guilty to the charge of robbery, and on consent of the county attorney plead guilty to the charge of grand larceny in the second degree. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

They Were Sentenced.


Judge Holland yesterday at 2 o’clock sentenced the two prisoners, Crummet [sic] and Holdship, who had plead guilty respectively to grand larceny in the second degree and indecent assault. Crummet [sic] was sentenced to pay a fine of $200 or be confined 100 days in the county jail; he paid the fine and was released. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1889, p. 4, c. 6)

Escaped from the Officers.


On Wednesday night Officers Derocher [sic] and Brockway arrested a man by the name of Billy Harkins for stealing clothes, and were taking him to the lock-up, when, by a quick movement he escaped from the clutches of his captors and ran for dear life. The officers had gotten him to the jail building and one was unlocking the door when he made his break for liberty. He ran across the railroad yards towards the Last Turn saloon, hotly pursued by both officers who, between them, fired five shots at the culprit, but failed to bring him down. He ran into the front door of the Last Turn and out of the back door, then into the back door of the place adjoining, slamming each door as he passed through in the officers face. He is supposed to have run out in the street and down towards the river, but this the officers do not know positively, as they lost sight of him as he went out of the back door of the Last Turn. Search has been made for him in every place imaginable that he could hide in, but no trace of him has been found as yet.
He is wanted for stealing a couple of suits of clothes out of an N. P. caboose, belonging to a man by the name of Reilly. He had some of the clothes on when arrested, the officers having a sample of the cloth in their pockets, which was furnished them by Reilly, he having suspected this man Harkins from the first. Harkins is a nephew of the bar-tender at the Last Turn, and was employed as a brakeman some time ago, but recently has been doing nothing. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 June 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

A Bold Robbery.


Nels Oving [sic] was robbed on Tuesday evening of his winters’ wages in the vicinity of the Last Turn saloon, and as a consequence Robert McNaughton, Phillip Howard and Henry McGraw are now in jail to await the action of the grand jury on charge of having done the job. Oving’s [sic] story is that on the evening mentioned while around the city he met the man Howard, who, by the way, is a saloon piano player, and that he was working under the guise of a lumberman, and hired Oving [sic] to go into the woods for him, or made him think so. After drinking once or twice, Oving [sic] and Howard left the Last Turn, and when somewhere near the rear of the saloon McGraw jumped onto Oving [sic] and held him down while McNaughton went through his pockets and extracted $20.50. Howard stood by and refused to help him. In the court Howard admitted that he saw him robbed, but said he was afraid to help him for fear he would get hurt. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

A BATCH OF CRIMINALS.
_____

Eight Men Convicted in the District
Court, a Majority Getting
Penitentiary Sentences.


[...]


Henry McGraw was convicted of robbery in the second degree and sentenced to serve three years at hard labor in the penitentiary at Stillwater.
Phillip Howard plead guilty to robbery in the third degree and was sentenced to hard labor for two years at the Stillwater penitentiary.
Robert McNaughton plead guilty to robbery in the third degree and was sentenced to the state reformatory at St. Cloud.
The three men named above were connected in the robbery of a Swede named Nels O. Wing [sic] in February. Wing [sic] had come to the city from the woods and had about $21. He fell in with Howard who concocted a scheme to get his money, with the assistance of McGraw and McNaughton. Howard hired hired him to go into the woods in order to get into his confidence, and from the Last Turn saloon, after taking a few drinks of beer, they started to go to the train, as Wing [sic] supposed, but they had hardly left when McGraw jumped on his back and held him while young McNaughton went through his pockets, according to the evidence, and extracted his money, $20.50 In the case of McGraw, the jury recommended him to the mercy of the court. McGraw and Howard are probably two as tough crooks as have infested the town in some time, the former having been mixed up in several shady affairs, while the latter has ostensibly been gaining a livelihood by playing pianos in saloons and such like. Robert McNaughton, on account of his age, was sent to the reformatory where it is hoped the influences will be for his good. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

Justus Gray has sold his saloon business to Crommett & Osgood. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1891, p. 4. c. 4)

It has been rumored for several days that J. M. Gray contemplated the immediate re-opening of the Garden Theatre in the Last Turn Building, but Mr. Gray informs us that he probably will not do so before fall. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

John Skog was arraigned in the municipal court on Wednesday on complaint of Martin Englebresen, charged with extracting three 10 and four 20 dollar bills from his vest pocket while he, Martin, was in an intoxicated condition. It seems that Skog and another man whose name cannot be learned, induced Martin to go with them to a room over the Last Turn, where they filled him with booze and then robbed him. Skog pleaded not guilty and his examination was set for next Wednesday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 November 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

John Skog, whose arrest for stealing $50 from Martin Englebresen was mentioned in these columns last week, had his preliminary examination before Judge Alderman on Wednesday morning. The facts in the case as brought out in the trial were substantially as stated. Mr. Skog was held to the grand jury in the sum of $500. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

A Daylight Robbery.


On Saturday afternoon Alf. Simpson was robbed of $20 in money and a watch at the Last Turn saloon. It appears that Simpson and three other fellows were drinking together during the day and in the afternoon were enjoying themselves at the above place when Simpson was gotten into a back room or in the alley when two of the fellows held him while the third one went through him for his valuables and immediately fled. Complaint was made to the authorities but two of the parties had gotten out of town and telegrams were sent to the neighboring cities, the thieves being taken into custody at Detroit, to which place Sheriff Spalding went on Monday and returned with them. They gave their names as Ole Jacobson and Tom Lee. Their trial will come on April 24th, the charge being grand larceny in the second degree. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1896, p. 4, c. 6)

A Serious Charge.


Deputy Sheriff Slipp went to Duluth Monday at which place he took Arthur Johnson in custody and brought him to this city where he is wanted for house breaking and robbery. The Last Turn saloon was entered a few nights ago, and the cash register taken into the alley and broken open, $1.80 being taken from it. Johnson was arrested, but as nothing could be proven against him he was allowed to go, but his pal gave him away after he had made himself scarce, and he was apprehended at the above place. His hearing is set for Monday next. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1896, p. 4, c. 5)

A stranger giving the name of Napoleon Dary was arrested on Saturday morning last for attempting to pick the pockets of a drunken lumberman at the Last Turn the night before. Dary was arranged and plead not guilty to a charge of attempted robbery. He had his preliminary examination on Monday, and was discharged, the evidence not being sufficient to warrant holding him to the grand jury. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 October 1897, p. 8, c. 2)

Saloon Prosecutions.


Iver Holden, proprietor of the Eau Claire saloon on Laurel street, and A. Cushion, proprietor of the Last Turn, will shortly be arrested for keeping their saloons open on Sunday. The complaints will be made by the police, who claim to have information that both places were open and doing business last Sunday. The arrests would have occurred before this, but it is the intention to proceed under the ordinance instead of the state law, and care is being taken to draw the complaints so that no flaw can be found in them.
Mayor Koop intends to strictly enforce the law for the balance of his term, hence any violations will be punished. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

OLD LANDMARK IS BEING
TORN DOWN
_____

“Last Turn Saloon,” Notorious in
Early Brainerd Days, Was
Built in the ‘70s


The old “Last Turn Saloon,” filled with its memories of events in the early days of Brainerd, is no more—workmen were busy today tearing down the old building.
Built in the middle seventies, the “Last Turn Saloon” was known as one of the most frequented places of early Brainerd days. For many years it was the most easterly building of the city, corner of Front and Fourth Sts.
This building will be remembered by all old timers as the place of trial of the two Indians and it was outside of the saloon that they were hung from a Norway pine. The stump of the tree was painted red, and was removed just a few years ago.
An oil company plans improvements on the site. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 July 1913, p. 7, c. 5)

SEE: Number One Saloon

LAUREL BUILDING
Located at 720 Laurel Street, houses the National Tea Grocery Store in 1931.

LE BON TON SALOON (MAP #30)
In the 1870’s Ed French has a saloon, the Le Bon Ton, it is located where the Lively Garage is mid-block on Laurel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1922)

Fire animation On January 23 1882, a lamp left burning in the Le Bon Ton Saloon exploded burning the American House, Spalding’s Saloon, Hagberg’s blacksmith shop, Perley’s wagon shop and Hendrickson’s gun shop. The damages were estimated at $17,500.

SEE: 1882 Le Bon Ton Saloon Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

French, Edward R.
Is the eldest son of A. R. French, who was born in the state of New York on the 25th of November, 1802. He came to Minnesota in 1834, and was a soldier in the Regular Army, stationed at Fort Snelling. In 1836, he married Mary Ann Henry, a direct descendant of Patrick Henry, and was soon after ordered away on duty. His wife returned to her home in Ohio, where our subject was born on the 24th of January, 1838. In June, 1842, she, with her son returned to her husband at Fort Snelling. The father remained in service till 1848, when he engaged in farming, between St. Paul and the Fort, till the spring of 1849; then lived in St. Paul till 1853. In the latter year, he removed to Dakota county, of which he was the first Sheriff. He served in the civil war, as did also the subject of this sketch. In 1867, Mr. French, Sr. received an appointment in the Auditor’s department at Washington, D. C., which position he still fills. Edward R., has spent his life in Minnesota, and since 1872, been a resident of Brainerd. Has since kept a house of public entertainment, and is at present proprietor of the new Le Bon Ton. He is a member of the board of County Commissioners. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 647)

Extensive repairs have been put on the old Bon Ton saloon building, corner of Fifth and Front streets, which will hereafter by occupied by the W. C. T. U. The old stand of the notorious Jack Burns is to be converted into a temperance headquarters as a coffee and lodging house. This is certainly a very marked reform for that quarter of the town. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 May 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Lively Building

Commercial Hotel aka Leland House at the southwest corner of 5th and Laurel, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
LELAND HOUSE / COMMERCIAL HOTEL (MAP #19)
Built by Warren H. Leland in 1872, it is located on the southwest corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. It originally has eighteen rooms but it becomes a center of activity, which necessitates increasing its size to sixty rooms in 1879. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 639) (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 35)

02 August 1883. On Monday the proprietor of the Leland House raised a 20 foot flagstaff on the new addition to his hotel, and will, throw the stars and stripes to the breeze from the same. The hotel has now plenty and ample room and good accommodations and the weary traveler findeth rest under the management of mine host Douglas. The old dining hall will be converted into a pool and billiard hall and sample room, and the dining hall will be located in the new addition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1883, p. 2, c. 3)

The Leland House is being finished and painted up and is a fine place. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 August 1883, p. 4, c. 1)

The painters are putting the finishing touches onto the Leland House. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The Commercial house is now under a new management, Mr. Douglas having leased the hotel to Messrs. C. M. Miller and A. S. Small. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 22 November 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Over three hundred lumbermen have stopped at the Commercial during the last two weeks on their way to the woods. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The Commercial Hotel will soon have as fine a bus on the road as there is in the Northwest, J. C. Congdon is putting the finishing touches on it at his paint shop. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 March 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The Commercial Hotel will be remodeled and the corner fronting the street will be built up to a level with the balance of the building. Increasing business demands increased facilities. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 May 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

The addition to the Commercial Hotel is being pushed to completion as rapidly as possible and Landlord Douglas will be happy when the attractions to his house are ready for occupancy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 June 1887, p. 4, c. 5)

Auction! Auction! Auction!


An auction sale of household furniture will take place to-morrow afternoon at 2 p. m. in front of the Commercial Hotel on 5th street, at which some very rare bargains can be had. Any person in need of any of the following named articles should not fail to be present, as they will undoubtedly be sold at less than half of their actual value. The following is a list of the articles to be sold: 16 carpets, 13 bed springs, 16 mattresses, 18 bed quilts, 29 sheets, 30 pillow slips, 6 bed spreads, 24 pillows, 30 chairs, 11 stands, 2 center tables, 2 mirrors, 5 small looking glasses, 2 heating stoves, 12 lamps, 1 sewing machine, 1 what-not, 4 dining room tables, 5 silver plated casters, 40 table knives, 40 forks, 25 silver tea spoons, 24 goblets, 3 glass cake stands, 12 linen table cloths, 2 silver sugar bowls, 2 silver cream pitchers, 4 glass cream pitchers, 5 glass celery dishes, 5 glass spoon holders, 1 cook stove and cooking utensils 40 pieces, and dishes 200 pieces. These will be sold at a bargain. Don’t fail to be present and bid. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 March 1889, p. 1, c. 4)

SEE: Number One Saloon

...There was wild life in those days—something doing all the time. Frank Hartley was the Mayor and Pete Mertz was the Sheriff. One day in about 1883, I was carrying Dad’s dinner down to the saw mill. The path went through timber all the way. Just east of the Trading Post, I saw four or five men and one on the ground so I went over to see what was going on. A man [G. Washington Van Arsdale] lay on his back with a plug of tobacco, a big revolver and fifty cents on his chest. The Sheriff was there and Warren Leland who ran the Commercial Hotel [Leland House]. The man had shot himself in the right side of the head. Pete felt the other side of his head. “There it is,” he said and took out his jack knife and cut the bullet out and saw that it came from the man’s revolver.
Well, I felt sick all day and could think of nothing else. The man was well-dressed. I heard that he had a family back East and, at one time, was well-to-do. He came to this place to get into the logging business and went to the dogs. Whiskey got him and he went broke. (Biography: 1936; Fred Hagadorn, born 27 July 1870; Brainerd Dispatch, 1881-1981 Heritage Edition, p. 3B)

Fire animation On October 10, 1890, a massive fire burned the Commercial Hotel aka the Leland House, the oldest hotel on the line of the Northern Pacific, the old city jail, and the Catholic Church and parsonage and the Number One Saloon. About a block and a half in the business district was burned, the total damages were estimated to be between $75,000 and $150,000.

SEE: 1890 Leland House / Commercial Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Ackerley, Allen
A native of New Brunswick, was born in 1848. In 1871, he came to Brainerd remained a year and returned to his native place, where for four years he was engaged in farming and lumbering. Then went to Pennsylvania for a year, and in April, 1876, came again to this place and carries on a boarding stable, which is connected with the Leland House. He also owns a half interest in a livery and sale stable, which was started a few months ago, his partner being George H. Stratton. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 644)

Heath, Charles L.
Was born in Lincoln, Maine on the 12th of December, 1856. He was reared on a farm, and the year 1877 was spent in the lumber business in Michigan. He came to Brainerd in 1878, and the following year, in company with G. H. Stratton, rented the Leland House, of which they are at present the proprietors. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 648)

Leland, Warren H.
Was born in Chester, Penobscot county, Maine, on the 18th of August, 1837. He resided on a farm until twenty-two years of age, when he went to New Brunswick and engaged in mercantile pursuits. Returning to the States, he came to Monticello, Minnesota, in 1866, and was in the lumber business till coming to Brainerd in March, 1872. For about six months after coming, Mr. Leland was engaged in the manufacture of railroad ties, then built the Leland House, of which he was proprietor till July, 1880, then rented it, and in 1881, sold to W. W. Hartley. In 1877-78, our subject, in connection with the hotel, was engaged in lumbering, and also carried on a store of general merchandise; but on account of poor health, was obliged to suspend business for a time. Is at present dealing in real estate. Has filled the office of County Commissioner two terms, besides other local positions. Miss Ellen Young, of York county, New Brunswick, became his wife on the 30th of July, 1859. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 649)

Stratton, George H.
Is a native of Chester, Maine, born in the year 1835. When he was fifteen years old, he became engaged with his father in the hotel business, continuing until twenty-one years of age, when he became proprietor of the Fire Island House in the town of Winn, Penobscot county. In 1861, he enlisted in the Eleventh Maine Volunteer Infantry, as a private, but was soon after promoted to Second Lieutenant, but discharged on account of ill health, after one year’s service. Returning to Maine he again engaged in the hotel business, in connection with lumbering, carrying on the same until 1865, when he entered the employ of Henry Poore & Son, who had an extensive tan-yard in the town of Winn. In 1874, he removed to Michigan, and was in the lumber business until 1879, when he came to Brainerd, and after conducting the lumber business about a year, formed a partnership with Charles L. Heath. They are now the popular proprietors of the Leland House. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 652-653)

One of these identical four grade school buildings is the Lincoln Grade School on 6th between Oak and Pine, ca. 1894.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
LINCOLN GRADE SCHOOLS (MAP #54)
Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on South Sixth Street between Pine and Quince Streets, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 38 & 49)

Board of Education.


[...]


Arrangements were ordered made to condemn property in first ward for school property. The property referred to is the Huntington, Riggs and Duchane property on 6th street between Oak and Pine. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 January 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

Board of Education Meeting.


[...]


On the matter of the first ward site the board authorized proceedings for condemning the property on the corner of Sixth and Oak streets, the gentleman owning the three corner lots refusing to sell for less than $400 a lot, which is almost twice as much as they are worth. The next three lots are owned by Mr. A. P. Riggs who will sell them with a small house for $1,000 which is not unreasonable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

Judge Holland has appointed H. J. Spencer, Thos. Holiday [sic] [Halladay] and Geo. A. Keene as appraisers to determine the value of the lots in block 161 which the board of education have condemned for school [Lincoln] purpose. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Board of Education.


The regular monthly meeting of the board of education was held at the high school last evening, all the members being present.

[...]


A communication from Mr. Lum, the attorney of the board, was read notifying them that judgment had been entered against the board in the condemnation proceedings for the first ward site, and recommending that the proper committee be authorized to satisfy the same, and also complete the purchase of the Riggs and Huntington property for the first ward site. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 1, c. 2)

Work has already been commenced on the excavation for the new first ward school house on Sixth street south. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 May 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The four new school houses are all sufficiently advanced for putting on the roofs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

School Board Doings.


[...]


On Saturday evening a meeting was held at which time the new school buildings were accepted.
Last evening a further meeting was held at which time part of the pupils from the Washington school were ordered sent to the Lincoln school to relieve the primary grades.
Miss Bessie Small was made principal of the Lincoln school. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1893, p. 4, c. 6)

...A new oak side walk was also ordered laid in front of the Lincoln school on Sixth street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 October 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mothers’ Club Meetings.
_____


There was a good attendance at the Mothers’ Meeting held at the Lincoln building on Monday, February 18th, there being sixty-five present. After a very interesting address by Supt. Carleton, the following officers and committees were elected:
President, Miss Bess. A. Mulrine; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. Bolin, Mrs. Simpson, Misses C. M. Rich, L. Sommers, D. A. Badeaux, and H. Thompson; Secretary, Miss Daisy Badeaux.
Executive Committee—Mesdames Britton, Doran, McCabe, Abear, Hagberg, Deering, Gallup, Bean, Dickinson, and Thompson.
Decorative Committee—Mesdames Wilson, Gustafson, Sherman, Purdy, Kellehan, Bennett, Carlson, Angel, Jamieson, and Orth.
Entertainment Committee—Mesdames Witham, Lessard, Bidwell, Wilkins, W. H. Lawrence, Keleher, Siveney, Harmon, Tiffany, and Frey.
Visiting Committee—Mesdames T. Lawrence, Jenkins, Howe, Abbott, Edwards, Benson, Lagerquist, McElroy, Hallquist, and Turcotte.
DAISY BADEAUX,
Secretary.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

STEAM HEATING ADOPTED
_____

For the New Lincoln School Building
at a Special Meeting of the Board
on Saturday Evening.
_____


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Saturday evening, called at the request of the building committee, to consider the question of heating the Lincoln building after it is enlarged. After considering the different estimates for heat Dr. Groves moved that the board adopt the direct system of steam heat, and that the specifications call for a return flue boiler of sufficient capacity to give 2,500 feet of radiation, and the motion was carried, and the secretary was instructed to notify Pardee & Pardee of the action of the board.
On motion of Mr. Skinner the board decided to adopt the open system of plumbing, and the committee on building was instructed to secure bids from the local plumbers for installing a direct steam plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1900, p. 4, c. 2)

Specifications for a steam heating apparatus in the Lincoln building were read and Dr. Groves moved that the board adopt the direct system of steam heating, with the addition of one ventilating radiator in each room, of sufficient capacity to ventilate the same, which was adopted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

ROWLEY GETS THE CONTRACT
_____

For Building the Addition to the
Lincoln School—F. J. Murphy
Does the Plumbing.
_____

Regular Meeting of the Board of
Education Held on Monday
Evening.
_____


A regular meeting of the board of education was held on Monday evening, at which a great deal of important business was transacted. C. B. Rowley was awarded the contract for building the addition to the Lincoln school for $9,144, and F. J. Murphy got the contract for putting in the steam heating plant and taking out the old hot air system for $1,490, both being the lowest bid.
Supt. Hartley submitted his monthly report, which showed a total registration of pupils of 1,910, and a daily attendance of 1,723.

[...]


Bids for building the addition to the Lincoln building were opened as follows:
C. B. Rowley—$9,144.00
A. Everett—$9,200.00
Mr. Rowley’s bid being lowest was, on motion, accepted, and a contract with Mr. Rowley was ordered made, requiring him to have the building completed ready for use the morning of Sept. 4, 1900, and that he furnish a bond of $10,000 for the faithful performance of the contract. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 June 1900, p. 5, c. 1)

The addition to the Lincoln school is completed to the first story. Only about five weeks more elapse before school commences, but Mr. Rowley, the contractor, thinks he can have it finished by that time by rushing the work. He has been delayed by lumber getting lost enroute from the coast. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 July 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Several rooms in the Lincoln school were closed a day and a half the first of the week because they could not be heated properly owing to defects in the ventilating systems. The matter has been remedied and school is now being held in all the rooms., and all are comfortably heated. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

SEE: Miscellaneous School Information

(Top) The Lively Garage located at 512-516 Laurel, ca. 1930. (Bottom) An ad in the 1920 Brainerd City Directory.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
LIVELY BUILDING (MAP #30)
Located mid-block on the south side of Laurel Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets, it houses the Lively Auto Company which is owned by W. E. Lively, the business operated 24 hours a day. In 1923 Lively Auto was purchased by Stewart Mills, Sr. During World War II the second floor of this building was used to make adapter boosters for bombs. The first Fleet Farm Store in Brainerd was housed in this building.

December 1911. “I don’t know any news today,” said W. E. Lively, the Brainerd businessman, “except that a man who owed me $2 for 10 years surprised me so that I nearly fell over when he handed me the money yesterday.”

May 1913. W. E. Lively says that his motorcycle business is very lively at present. He has sold a number of Harley-Davidson machines locally, and one at Pillager. The motorcycles are giving general satisfaction and, as better roads are planned, should result in future sales. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 03 May 2013)

May 1913. When W. E. Lively left his store Saturday, he glanced at the nail kegs in a corner and saw a wisp of smoke. Looking more closely, he found matches that rats has nibbled and were about to start a blaze. If unchecked, it might have destroyed the entire store. (This was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 24 May 2013)

January 1914. W. E. Lively sold several Harley-Davidson's last week during his big motorcycle sale. He is arranging the second floor of his building to be used as a hall for the newly formed Harley-Davidson motorcycle club. It will be ready in a few weeks. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 12 January 2014)

BIG SHIPMENT RECEIVED
_____

W. E. Lively Gets a Whole Carload of
Harley-Davidson Motorcycles
for His Trade


From Tuesday’s Daily:—
One of the biggest shipments of motorcycles ever received in Brainerd was that of W. E. Lively, the local dealer handling Harley-Davidson machines, who on Monday received 13 twin two-speed machines, a single and three side-car machines.
Those buying motorcycles were William Englund, Clarence Hall, Jens Yde, Pete Peterson, Ludwig Dahl, Frank Alexander, Ernest Brand, Charles Erickson, Frank Vorlick, Frank Budtke, Theodore Miller, E. Olson, R. L. Ludlow, Wm. Lee.
Those to whom side cars are to be delivered are R. S. Elder, of Barrows; Ray Hall and Albert Young, of this city. Hall is a letter carrier in the city and Young is rural mail carrier and both will use the side cars to facilitate their work of delivering mail. Both are to be complimented on the endeavors they are making to increase the efficiency of the United State mail service by buying motorcycles.
On Monday afternoon A. M. Opsahl took a picture of all the machines and their riders. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 March 1914, p. 1, c. 4)

March 1919. A new idea in the buying of oil, gasoline, auto supplies, etc. is that of the auto sales company formed in Brainerd by uniting nine garage interests of the city whose purchases will be made through that company. The company is capitalized at $25,000 and is composed of these members: Rosko Brothers, W. E. Lively, Brainerd Motor Company, Sherlund Company, John T. Imgrund, Motor Inn, Boarquin & Norton, Turcotte-Hardy Company and Charles W. Hoffman. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 23 March 1999)

September 1928. Free with every change of oil we will install a beautiful presidential campaign radiator emblem. Smith for President, Hoover for President. Lively Auto company. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 19 September 2008)

July 1933. A special Studebaker car that raced in the Memorial Day classic at Indianapolis this year will be in Brainerd on July 4th thanks to the Lively Auto Co. The car which finished 6th in a field of 50 racers, will be accompanied by its driver, Tony Gulotta. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 04 July 2013)

SEE: Le Bon Ton Saloon

LOSEY & DEAN UNDERTAKERS
In 1883 Losey was located on Sixth Street. In 1888 Losey & Dean Undertakers were located at 18 E. Front Street. In 1903 Losey & Dean Undertakers were located at 720 Front Street. In 1914 Daniel E. Whitney, an employee, bought the undertaking business and it became Whitney Funeral Home located at 720 Front Street. Daniel Whitney died in 1954 and the business was purchased by John A. Nelson, becoming Nelson Funeral Chapel. In 1956 Hector Hoenig moved to Mandan, North Dakota; Thomas Doran buys the Hoenig Funeral Chapel located at 502 Front Street and renames it the Doran Funeral Home. In 1960 John Nelson and Thomas Doran combine their two funeral homes and become Nelson-Doran Funeral Home located in a new facility at 202 Eighth Avenue, NE.

Losey, Albert E.
Dates his birth on the 5th of October, 1849, at Galesburg, Illinois, where he learned the upholstering trade. He was engaged at his trade in Nelson, Pennsylvania, a few months then in Buffalo and Addison, New York, after which he returned to Pennsylvania and remained five years. For one year he was traveling for a Philadelphia publishing house, and after residing in Iowa a year, took a trip to Florida, and in August, 1879, came to Brainerd. He has since been superintendent of the upholstery department of the Northern Pacific Railroad shops. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 649)

In 1882 Albert E. Losey became an undertaker.

Losey & Dean Ad for white bronze monuments, 1887.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, 22 June 1888, p. 4, c’s. 1 & 2
A. E. Losey will occupy the basement of the Smith block on Sixth street as it is completed with his undertaking establishment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

A. E. Losey has moved his undertaking establishment to the basement of C. E. Smith’s new brick block on Sixth street, where he can be found ready to minister to the wants of the public. Mr. L. has as fine apartments as any firm in the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

Losey’s new sign shows up good at his new undertaking rooms under the new Smith block on 6th street. Mr. L. is centrally located and has fine quarters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

Anyone wanting A. E. Losey, the undertaker, at any hour of the night can call him by telephone from [the] central office, Commercial House, or any telephone. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

A. E. Losey, Sixth street, has received the finest line of mouldings ever brought to this city. The mouldings [sic] are especially for picture frames and for style and beauty can’t be beat. If you desire any thing in this line call at his rooms under the new Smith block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

A. E. Losey has received a beautiful bronze monument which is to be placed at the grave of Jack O'Neil [sic] [O'Neill] in Evergreen cemetery in the spring. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

SEE: Last Turn Saloon

John ‘Jack’ O’Neill’s, owner of the Last Turn Saloon, gorgeous white bronze monument in Evergreen Cemetery. White bronze monuments were made from 1875-1912 by the Monumental Bronze company in Bridgeport, Connecticut, July 2010.
Source: Courtesy of John Van Essen
A. E. Losey erected a beautiful white Bronze Monument in Evergreen Cemetery, to-day. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

A. E. Losey and James Harris have bought out A. E. Veon's undertaking business and will hereafter be monopolists in this particular branch. The new firm of Losey & Harris have fine quarters on Seventh street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 July 1884, p. 3, c. 1)

A Change.


The firm of Losey & Harris, undertakers has been dissolved, Mr. Harris retiring. I. T. Dean has bought Mr. Harris' interest. The new firm will be Losey & Dean. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 September 1884, p. 3, c. 4)

Losey & Dean were reimbursed $4.00 by the city for a coffin for a pauper. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 October 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

A. E. Losey informs us that someone stole a coffin box from the rear of his store the first of the week. This box was brought to his place with a coffin inside it which contained a corpse. The party who got the box is requested to call and get the coffin. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3) 

Losey & Dean are getting ready to move into new quarters on Front street in the Theviot block. They will have fine quarters. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 July 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Theviot Block

Losey & Dean have commenced the erection of a new business block on Front street, adjoining the building they occupy at present. Mr. Miller, the contractor, is to have the premises ready for them to move into by the 15th of May. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Losey & Dean have moved into their new quarters and have a very convenient and commodious business place. they have had the construction of the building made with a special view to accommodating their line of trade and have built a morgue in the rear which is separated from the main building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May, 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Losey & Dean are building a morgue in the rear of their undertaking shop on Front street, and, when completed, will enable them to take care of bodies left in their charge in as satisfactory a manner as could be done at home. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

We are informed that a new undertakers establishment is to be opened in this city shortly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

It is reported that E. W. Lynch proposes to open a new undertaking establishment in the city just as soon as he can procure a suitable location. Mr. Lynch is well known in both the city and country, having resided here for several years, and would undoubtedly do a prosperous business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

E. W. Lynch & Co. received their new hearse to-day. It is a very fine one. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Lynch & Gallup, proprietors of the new undertaking establishment on Laurel street between 6th and 7th are now ready for business, their new hearse, the finest in the northwest, having arrived, and their stock of coffins, caskets, and everything required in their line of business being complete. They make all necessary preparations for burial. Mr. Gallup, thoroughly understands the work of embalming, holding a diploma of an embalming school. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The Brainerd steam laundry has removed from 78 Front street to permanent quarters on Laurel street in the building recently vacated by Lynch & Gallup, undertakers. New machinery has been added and the establishment will be fitted up in metropolitan style. If you want good work take your laundry to this institution. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 February 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

Sacred to the Memory of John O’Neill, born July 11, 1827, died July 12, 1883, age 56 years, July 2010.
Source: Courtesy of John Van Essen
Lynch & Gallup, the Seventh street undertakers, have this week received some of the finest caskets that can be obtained in the markets. The caskets are of silk plush and are elegant. New goods in their upholstering department are also constantly arriving and their stock of tapestry, in all designs and at prices to suit, is as complete as possible. A very choice and select invoice of burial robes arrived this morning. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 April 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

A bloodless battle between the Brainerd undertakers is on. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The undertaking firm of Lynch & Gallop has dissolved, the latter gentleman continuing the business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 March, 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Losey & Dean, the enterprising Front street undertakers, have purchased a magnificent new hearse of an eastern firm, and will have the one now in use made into a fine white hearse for use in funerals of children. They expect their new hearse here in about 60 days. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1893)

Losey & Dean have made arrangements to furnish cut flowers and set pieces and hereafter they will be pleased to receive orders which will be filled at Minneapolis prices. (Brainerd Dispatch, 17 February 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A. G. Gallup has sold his undertaking goods to Losey & Dean and quit the business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 March 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

D. E. WHITNEY IN NEW SPHERE
_____

Buys Out Losey & Dean, One of the
Oldest Firms in the History
of Brainerd
_____

ART GOODS AND UNDERTAKING
_____

I. T. Dean Retires After a Quarter
Century Active Participation in
Business Life


From Monday’s Daily:—
Daniel E. Whitney has taken over the business of Losey & Dean, engaged in the sale of art goods and the conducting of an undertaking establishment at 720 Front street.
I. T. Dean, well known and very popular and for 25 years engaged in active business life, retires at the age of 75. A. E. Losey passed away December 28, 1910 and since that time Mrs. Losey had retained her interest in the business. Mr. Whitney now takes over all the building, stock, fixtures, equipment and good will.
He had been with Losey & Dean since October, 1906, when he came from Clearwater and originally intended to locate in Ely, Nevada. He remained a month in Brainerd while Mr. Losey was on a vacation and then a month with the firm while Mr. Dean had a vacation and at the end of that period both liked him so well that he continued at the store and gave up all intention of going to Nevada. Since 1910 he had entire charge of the Losey & Dean business.
Previously he had worked for Hume & Davies of Minneapolis a year and three years for Noble & Calef of St. Cloud. Mr. Whitney is very popular in the city. He is a memeber of the Minnesota Funeral Directors association and belongs to the Blackhawk club and the Masonic organizations. He is the treasurer and a deacon of the First Congregational church. All his friends know him as “Dan” and they all wish him the best of success and good fortune in his new business enterprise. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 January 1914, p. 7, c. 5)


LOWELL GRADE SCHOOLS

Lowell Grade School on NE ‘G’ between 3rd and 4th Avenues, ca. 1936.
Source: Out of the Woods
Built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick in 1894 on Northeast ‘G’ Street between 3rd and 4th Avenues, it houses the kindergarten through sixth grades. A large new addition is completed in 1903. (Brainerd's Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 32 & 38)

Board of Education Meeting.


[...]


The special committee on the selection of a site for the East Brainerd Building reported in favor of purchasing block 26 in Farrar and Forsyth's addition at a cost of $3,000 which report was accepted. Block 26 is on third avenue just across the street from the old [horse drawn] street car barn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The four new school houses are all sufficiently advanced for putting on the roofs. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Board of Education.


A special meeting of the board of education was held on Tuesday evening....

[...]


A motion was also carried to relieve the over crowded condition of the schools by hiring teachers for additional rooms in the Lowell and Harrison schools. The matter of purchasing shade trees was left to the repair committee to report at next meeting. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 April 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Miscellaneous School Information

In 1936 the old school is razed and replaced by a new structure, which costs nearly $225,000. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 49)


LUKEN (FRED) & COMPANY

Fred Luken’s Store on East Front Street, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
F. Luken & Co. is the name of the firm that has just started in the building on Front street, occupied by H. Theviot & Co. The stock consists of general produce. Mr. Luken is well known to Brainerd people and we bespeak for him a liberal patronage. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 January 1885, p. 3, c. 2)
 
F. Luken has purchased the lot on Front street, just east of Walker’s meat market, and will commence the construction of a veneered brick building at once. The building will be two stories high and about 60 or 70 feet in length. The first floor will be a large store room which Mr. Luken will occupy as soon as completed with his stock of notions and fancy articles. The construction of this building will add much to the appearance of Front Street in that locality. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 April 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Work has been commenced by Fred Luken on the second story to his store on Front street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 October 1899, p. 8, c. 1) 

Lum Park on the east shore of Rice Lake, ca. 1927.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
LUM PARK
Lum Park Beach, ca. 1940.
Source: Postcard
On 23 November 1909, Leon E. Lum donates to the city a patch of land on the east shore of Rice Lake for use as a park. The park takes its name from this donor. On 21 June 1926, which was after Leon Lum had died, his brother Clarence, acting as Administrator, donates an additional abutting acreage. An artistic stone gateway is erected in his memory. This has become a favorite picnic ground, and to some degree has been used ever since then as a municipal bathing beach. In the 1940’s the Park Board contributes to further aesthetic development by landscaping and beautifying Lum Park with flower beds and trimmed shrubbery. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 97, 134, 162)

28 July 1913. Complaint is made by residents of Northeast Brainerd that boys frequenting Lum Park are bathing in Rice Lake without swimming suits. The matter has been brought to the attention of the police as there is a law regulating such things and should be enforced. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 2013)

Lum Park opens 02 May 1919. The large open-air dancing pavilion has been improved and will be used both for roller skating and dancing. The bathhouses have been put into shape and the work of the renovation is in evidence throughout the park. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 16 April 1999)

2,500 WERE AT PARK OPENING
_____

Brainerd People and Those of Vicini-
ty Enjoyed Safe and Sane Fourth
at Lum Park
_____

DANCING, BOATING, BAND MUSIC
_____

Bathing, Fireworks, Picnicking, Pro-
gram of Sports and Other Amuse-
ments During the Day


Brainerd spent a safe and sane Fourth by attending the opening of Lum Park. The amusement place was crowded and it is estimated 2,500 people, local and from the vicinity, were present.
Picnic parties were so thick that they formed a continuous community. There was something to amuse and interest everyone. The Brainerd City band paraded the downtown district at 9 o'clock in the morning. At 10 o’clock the band concert commenced in the park and the band occupied the new band stand. Luncheon was served from 12 to 1:30 o’clock. The concert was resumed at 1:30 o’clock.
The program of races started at 2:30 o’clock. In the free for all race Ingberg Peterson scored first prize of $1.50, Otto Kretchman second prize of $1, and Gerald Enmark third prize of 50c.
In the small girls’ race Bertha Erickson won first prize of $1.50. Marie Kramer second prize, $1; Doris Kuehmichel third prize, 50c.
In the ladies’ race the first prize, a diamond ring valued at $25, was won by Violet Fogelstom; second prize of a lavaliere, by Mrs. G. Small; third prize of shirt waist set, by Mrs. A. C. Weber.
Dancing in the pavilion attracted many. The hours were from 3 to 5:30, from 7:30 to 12 o’clock.
The winners of the prize one-step were E. H. Nelson and Miss Kate Bruhn. The winners of the prize waltz were Sig Sheflo and Mrs. Leo A. Rifenrath. The prizes awarded were donated by the Olympia Candy Kitchen.
At 9 o’clock the fireworks blazed forth, being shot into the lake. The band played its most patriotic music. Jitneys traveled all day and most of the night carrying people to the grounds and back, supplementing the work of the Lum park bus. One Ford jitney made 83 trips.
The lake was dotted with steamboats, launches, boats and canoes. The bath house was in constant use and many enjoyed the bathing. “Fatty” Wood gave an exhibition of swimming. “Billican’s” orchestra furnished the music for the dance.
It was a fine day, a much enjoyed occasion and Brainerd is proud to have this amusement park included in Brainerd’s attractions. It will soon be the scene of the Community Picnic and the G. A. R. session July 13. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 05 July 1916, p. 2, c. 1)

LUMBERMAN’S EXCHANGE BANK

New Banking House.


For some time it has been rumored that Brainerd would have a new bank, but the full particulars as to who the interested parties were, and when the doors would be opened to the public was not given out until within the week. It is with much pride that the Dispatch makes the announcement that the gentlemen who are connected with the new enterprise are of Brainerd’s first and best citizens, gentlemen who are noted and respected for their honesty and square dealings with their fellow men and in whom the people have the greatest confidence. The following being the proprietors as well as the officers of the institution:
President—John N. Nevers.
Vice President—Geo. A. Keene.
Cashier—C. L. Spaulding.
Each one of the above named gentlemen are men who have been in Brainerd long enough to gain the good will of the people who reside in our thriving little city. The two former are the oldest residents, Mr. Spaulding having come to Brainerd some two years ago, being previously engaged for five years as head book keeper in the First National Bank of Minneapolis and also connected with banks in eastern cities. The institution will be a private banking house, and its advent into Brainerd’s business circles is considered exceedingly advantageous to its interests by men who are in a position to know. The business will be carried on in the room occupied by Keene & Nevers on 6th street, and it is expected that active operations will be commenced on or before the 15th of the present month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 January 1885, p. 3, c. 5)

Some fine lettering has been done on the windows of the Lumberman’s exchange bank. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 February 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

Dissolution Notice.


Notice is hereby given that the firm of Keene, Nevers & Spalding, co-partners in the real estate and insurance business and in the Lumberman’s Exchange Bank of Brainerd is this day dissolved by mutual consent, Geo. A. Keene and Jno. N. Nevers retiring from said firm and C. L Spalding continuing said business.
GEO. A. KEENE,
JNO. N. NEVERS,
C. L. SPALDING
Brainerd, Minn. Jan. 5, 1887

A CARD.


In retiring from the firm of Keene, Nevers & Spalding, we thank our patrons for business entrusted to us as members of that concern and ask a continuation of same to our successor, C. L. Spalding.
GEO. A. KEENE,
JNO. N. NEVERS.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

LUMBERMAN’S EXCHANGE HOTEL (MAP #14)
John Bubar has hoisted a flaming new sign at his place of business which bears the legend Lumberman’s Exchange. The hotel was formerly the Clarendon. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 September 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE:
The Lumberman’s Exchange hotel was rebuilt by John Bubar after the huge fire of June 30, 1888.

John Bubar expects to have his elegant new hotel building completed and ready to throw open to the public in about two weeks. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 October 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Lumberman’s Exchange hotel will be opened by a grand ball next Tuesday evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The opening ball given at the Lumberman’s Exchange hotel on Tuesday evening was a brilliant success. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

John Bubar is having a wind mill erected in the rear of his hotel, with which he expects to supply the place with water from a drive well which was put down ninety feet. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Lumberman’s Exchange Hotel Leased.
_____


County Commissioner John Bubar has leased his hotel property, the Lumberman’s Exchange, to Ed. McDonald, of Little Falls, who will take charge May 1st. Mr. Bubar is just recovering from a long spell of sickness and feels the need of rest, hence he determined to retire from the active management of the hotel. Concerning the new proprietor the Little Falls Transcript says:
Ed. McDonald has returned from Brainerd, and informs us that on May 1st he will take charge of the Lumberman’s Exchange hotel at Brainerd, formerly run by John Bubar. Since selling his saloon here some weeks ago Mr. McDonald has been on the lookout for a location, and finally made a deal with Mr. Bubar on Tuesday. The hotel has always enjoyed a good business and Mr. McDonald will certainly conduct it to the satisfaction of his patrons. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 April 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

Again Has Charge.


County Commissioner John Bubar, the veteran hotel man, on Monday again took charge of his hotel property, The Exchange, after a rest of three or four months, during which time the business was conducted by Jas. McDonald, of Little Falls, who did not seem to succeed very well. Mr. Bubar has for years conducted this popular hostelry in a highly successful manner, and no doubt will do equally as well in the future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1895, p. 4, c. 6)

The Exchange Hotel has been leased again by Mr. Bubar, the proprietor, to J. P. Taylor, who has been managing the business for Mr. Bubar for some time. Mr. Taylor is an experienced man at the business and will make a success of it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 September 1895, p. 4, c. 3)

The Lumberman’s Exchange hotel, formerly owned by John Bubar, was purchased this week by J. N. Nevers, R. J. Hartley and M. Hagberg. E. Chamberlain, who has been proprietor of the Stratton House for some time, has leased the property from the above gentlemen for a term of years, and is moving into it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 October 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

NOTE: The Lumberman’s Exchange Hotel eventually became the Antlers Hotel.

Ed. Chamberlain has sold his interest in the Exchange hotel to E. K. Woodin, who is making extensive improvements, and fitting it up in first-class shape. The name will be changed to “The Antlers.” (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Antlers Hotel

LUMBERMEN’S HOSPITAL (MAP #41)
The new boarding hall on 1st avenue is nearly completed and will be occupied soon. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 5)

Peter Ort has rented the old First Avenue Hotel in East Brainerd, and has had it thoroughly refitted and furnished. The formal opening of the hotel will occur on Saturday night, Dec. 20th, with a ball and fine supper. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 December 1890, p. 4, c. 5)

Dr. Camp began the Lumbermen’s Hospital which later became St. Joseph’s Hospital, ca. 1914.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
In 1890 Dr. James L. Camp buys the hotel of William S. Brockway and converts it into what he calls the Lumbermen's Hospital, containing fifteen beds. This is located on the northeast corner of what are now First Avenue NE and “A” (Kindred) Street. Its principal advantage is that it stands alongside the railroad spur between the new mill at the Potlatch site and the main line of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Strangely enough, the very shop employees who always "jumped out the window on payday" when boarding at Brockway's East Hotel, now agitate for the return of their boarding house. So Camp, in November 1892, leases the First Avenue Hotel a half-block north and still on the line.

A year later, in 1893, an outfit called the Northwestern Hospital Association of Minneapolis buys property at the west end of Holly Street about where St. Joseph's now stands and proceeds to plan construction of a hospital. But the Brainerd City Council objects because the sewage outlet would be just upstream from where the City cuts its ice. Camp steps in, buys the property from NHA, acquires other surrounding lands, makes changes accommodating the desires of the City Council, and moves his Lumbermen's Hospital Association to that site in September 1893, this hospital contains thirty-five beds. When it is purchased from Camp by the Benedictine Sisters' Hospital Association, on 17 September 1900 [09 August 1900], the institution known as St. Joseph's Hospital comes into being. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 72 & 73)

Note: Zapffe is incorrect regarding the sale date of the Lumbermen’s Hospital, the sale occurred on 09 August 1900 NOT 17 September 1900. The Benedictines took possession on 15 September 1900.

New Institution.


Dr. J. L. Camp, A. F. Groves and H. E. Richmond, formerly with the Lumbermen’s hospital in this city, have withdrawn from that institution and associated themselves together in a venture of their own. Temporary quarters have been secured in East Brainerd, the building known as the First avenue hotel having been leased, which is now undergoing a thorough course of refitting and will be ready for occupancy in a few days. In the spring a commodious building will be erected on lots owned by Dr. Camp on Bluff avenue, which will be modern in all its appointments and will be the permanent home of the institution. The gentlemen start in with every prospect of success, several of the largest logging firms in the northern part of the state having made contracts with them. Mr. Richmond will be the general superintendent and Drs. Camp and Groves will attend to the medical and surgical duties. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 December 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

Arrangements have been completed so far that it is expected the Lumbermen’s hospital in East Brainerd will be opened tomorrow. It will be a first-class institution in every respect. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 December 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The Lumbermen’s Hospital association, of Brainerd, has purchased the buildings on Bluff avenue recently occupied by the Northwestern Hospital association, of Minneapolis, and is having them repaired and fitted up in first-class shape. The adjoining property has also been purchased and additional buildings are being erected thereon to accommodate the ever increasing business of the association. The work is being carried on under the personal supervision of H. E. Richmond, the general manager, who seems to be unusually successful in managing this class of work. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

On Monday last the Lumbermen's hospital moved into their new quarters on Bluff avenue from East Brainerd where the institution has been located since it was opened. The new place has been entirely remodeled and placed in first-class condition. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Lumbermen’s Hospital Sold.


Mother Superior Scholastica Kerst of the Benedictines, founder of St. Joseph’s Hospital in 1900, 1878.
Source: Thomas M. Swem
Dr. Camp yesterday sold the Lumbermen’s Hospital to the Benedictine Sisters, of Duluth, for $9,000. Mother Superior Scholastica, who has been in the city several days, conducted the negotiations. They will take possession Sept. 1, and will greatly enlarge and improve it at once. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1900, p. 1, c. 6)

The Benedictine Sisters, of Duluth, who recently purchased the Lumbermen’s Hospital of this city will take possession tomorrow, when Dr. Camp will move out. Six of the sisters will remain here in charge. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Fire animation On December 17, 1903 a fire completely destroyed the First Avenue Hotel in northeast Brainerd. This building was, at one time, the Lumbermen’s Hospital started by Dr. James Camp. When it burned, the building was owned by Emma Forsythe and the hotel was conducted by George Rappel.

SEE: 1903 First Avenue Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

SEE: Saint Joseph’s Hospital

MAHLUM BLOCK (MAP #31)
Built by Anton Mahlum located on the southeast corner of Laurel and South Eighth [Broadway] Streets.

Fire animation On March 7, 1914 the Mahlum Block located on the southeast corner of Laurel Street and Broadway [South Eighth Street] containing the Levant Department Store and two apartments, one occupied by the J. P. Early family and a building owned by the O’Brien Mercantile Company burned in a spectacular fire, damages amounted to about $13,000.

SEE: 1914 Mahlum Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

MAHLUM HOTEL (MAP #31)
Anton Mahlum, early Brainerd resident, owner of the Mahlum Block, ca. 1920
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
Located on the southeast corner of Laurel and South Eighth [Broadway] Streets.

Anton Mahlum kept a hotel on the corner of Laurel and South Eighth [Broadway] Streets. (Biography: March 1936; Joseph Kiebler, born 06 April 1860; CWCHS)


Wick & Mahlum Hotel Ad
Source: Brainerd Tribune, 13 April 1872, p. 4, c. 6
Wick & Mahlum, the proprietors of the splendid new hotel on the corner of Laurel and Broadway, call their house the “Hotel Svea.” The term “Svea” is the name of a beautiful and fertile district in Sweden—their native country. The hotel is certainly an honor to the name, and they cordially invite our citizens and the public to call and see them. They also wish to return their sincere thanks to Mr. Edward Selander, the architect and builder, and the other mechanic, and laborers for their noble work in the building of so creditable a structure. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

Wick & Mahlum Hotel Ad
Source: Brainerd Tribune, 22 June 1872, p. 1, c. 2
BARN AND TEAM BURNED—Yesterday afternoon as Mr. Wick, one of the proprietors of the Hotel Svea, corner Laurel and Broadway, was raking up his yard and burning the rubbish, near the barn, that structure caught fire and was speedily consumed. It contained a team of mules, harnesses, and considerable other property, all of which was burned before it could be got out. (Brainerd Tribune, 27 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

Loss Paid.


The loss sustained by Messrs. Wick & Mahlum in the recent destruction of their barn by fire, has been promptly and fully paid up by the Hartford Fire Insurance Co. F. F. Knappen, Esq., is the local agent here, and will insure all insurable property in this first class company. (Brainerd Tribune, 18 May 1872, p. 1, c. 6)

Liberty Hose company No. 3, will give a social dance at the Mahlum house in East Brainerd, next Friday evening the 23d inst. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The dance given by Liberty Hose Co. No. 3, of East Brainerd, at the Mahlum house, Friday evening, was a very pleasant occasion, and the managers have reason to feel proud of their success in getting out so select a party. The room on the floor was all occupied, and the music by Dresskell’s orchestra was fully appreciated. We have not learned how much the boys realized out of it. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1885, p. 3, c. 4)

A. Benson will give a dance at the Mahlum House Tuesday evening, April 28th. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Mahlum Hotel in Southeast Brainerd has been leased to P. H. Gramer, who will run a boarding house there. A ball will be given there Wednesday evening Nov. 28th, to which a general invitation is extended to the public. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1894, p. 4, c. 4)

Mahlum, Anton
Was born in Norway in the year 1849. He came to America in 1869, and after three years spent in the lumber yards at Minneapolis, came to Brainerd and has lived here ever since. During the first three years of his residence, he was employed in various occupations, being Deputy Sheriff a portion of the time. In the spring of 1875, he was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad Company as car repairer, and in the fall was given the position of assistant store-keeper and time-keeper for the shops, which he held four years, and on the death of C. E. Williams, succeeded to the position occupied by him, that of chief clerk in the machinery department. Mr. Mahlum has recently completed a hotel for the accommodation of the railroad employees. It is 26 x 80 feet, and three stories high, with a wing, 26 x 40 feet, and contains seventy sleeping rooms (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 651)

McFadden Drugstore and Westfall Clothing Store located mid-block on Front between 5th and 6th, ca. 1886.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
MCFADDEN DRUG STORE and WESTFALL CLOTHING STORE (MAP #3)
Westfall Clothing and McFadden Drug stores are located in the middle of the block on the south side of Front Street between Fifth and Sixth Streets. The center doorway leads to apartments above the stores. It is built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 38)

A Two Story Brick.
_____


During the past few days there has been a rumor in circulation upon the streets that a building was to be erected upon the vacant lot adjoining W. A. Smith’s store. The Dispatch is happy to be able to state for the benefit of its readers that the rumor is correct and that active operations will be commenced by or before the 15th of the next month. The gentlemen connected with the enterprise are H. A. Towne, formerly general superintendent of the Northern Pacific road and who was located at Brainerd for some seven years, the other gentleman being Newton McFadden, our city treasurer. The building will be one of the handsomest in the city when completed and will be 50x80 feet, two stories high with a basement. In order to make room for this building the building now occupied by McFadden & Johnson as a drug store will be removed and will stand on the now vacant lot just east of E. E. M. Smith’s confectionery store where they will carry on their drug business uninterrupted until the new building is ready for occupancy, which will be from sixty to ninety days after operations are commenced. The contract for the brick has already been let and as the building will be built solid it will require somewhere in the neighborhood of 190,000 brick to complete the structure. The front of the building to be adorned with pressed brick and mammoth French plate glass windows, a five foot hallway leading to the rooms above, which will be fitted up for offices, etc., will divide the stores, the two walls which are used for the stairway running through the entire building on the ground floor, the space of which will be made into closets back of the stairway. The plans and specifications have not yet arrived, but a Dispatch scribe gleaned this much from reliable authority. The building will be put up at a cost of from $7,000 to $10,000 the east wall of the building being already up, Mr. McFadden having anticipated just such a contingency as this and took time by the forelock when the Smith store building was erected, and having paid for ten inches of the wall which was then built. McFadden & Johnson will occupy the store next to W. A. Smith’s with their stock of drugs, the other store room being already bargained for by E. M. Westfall who will occupy it with his elegant stock of gents furnishings and clothing. The building will be one of considerable importance to Brainerd and is one of the many which we hope to see erected here the coming season. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 April 1885, p. 3, c. 4)


BRAINERD.


Mssrs. E. M. Westfall and N. McFadden have contracted for the erection of a new brick business block on Front street, adjoining the Hartley block. (Minneapolis Tribune, 28 April 1885, p. 5)

Not Dead Yet.
_____

[...]


NEW BRICK BLOCK.


A DISPATCH reporter was informed by Mr. E. M. Westfall, this afternoon, that he had just received a telegram from H. A. Towne, which conveyed the news that he, Mr. Towne, had just completed arrangements to build the brick block on Front Street himself, instead of letting the job out by contract. Work will be commenced early next week in removing McFadden & Johnson’s drug store, and in excavating for the basement. The brick has been contracted for at Schwartz’s brickyard. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1885, p. 3, c. 2)

E. M. Westfall and McFadden & Johnson expect to occupy their new quarters about September 1st. The masons will finish their work on the new building this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 August 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

E. M. Westfall and McFadden & Johnson each have a new sign over their place of business, the work of A. Frederickson. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 October 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

E. M. Westfall is putting a steam heating plant in his store room in the Towne-McFadden block. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

McFadden, Newton
A native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was born in the year 1850. He learned the drug business in early life, and has followed that profession ever since. He went to Duluth, Minnesota, in 1870, and after clerking in a drug store for eighteen months, went to Detroit Lakes, Becker county, and eight months later [c1873], came to Brainerd and was clerk in Mr. Sherwood’s drug store until 1874, when he purchased the business and still carries it on. He was elected to the office of County Treasurer in the fall of 1874, and has been retained in that position ever since, faithfully discharging the duties devolving upon him. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 650)

Westfall, Eugene M.
Ticket and freight agent of the Northern Pacific Railroad at this point, was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on the 1st of December, 1848. When a child, his parents removed to Hannibal, where he was engaged with his father in the lumber business until twenty-one years of age. He then entered the employ of the Hannibal and St. Joseph Railroad Company, as clerk in the construction department. He came to Brainerd in July, 1874, and has been in the employ of this company ever since; first as clerk in the office of the master mechanic, and then in the superintendent’s office, coming to his present position in June, 1881. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 655)

May 1928. J. Herschel Hardy, of Chicago, has purchased the Ransford Hotel, stores and annex, Towne and McFadden block, Wise block from the Gould-Gray Company this was the largest real estate deal in Brainerd for many years. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 02 May 2008)

MERCHANTS’ HOTEL
Sarah Chapman, one of the earliest Brainerd residents., ca. 1920
Source: Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan
Mrs. Sarah Chapman came to Brainerd in 1872, erected the house which she named the Merchants’ Hotel, and has since conducted it. It is a two and a half story frame building, containing fifteen rooms. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 645)

Two new hotels are soon to be put up on opposite sides of Sixth street, where it intersects Laurel—one by a Mrs. Chapman, of Crow Wing, the other by P. Greene of the St. Paul House. (Brainerd Tribune, 06 April 1872, p. 1, c. 6)

THE STATE OF TRADE.


BRAINERD, May 14.—...The Merchants’ to be enlarged to twice its present size. (Minneapolis Tribune, 16 May 1881, p. 2)

BRAINERD.


BRAINERD, July 4.—...The Merchants’ Hotel changed hands the 1st. (Minneapolis Tribune, 05 July 1881, p. 8)

The new Merchants’ Hotel which has been opened within the past few weeks is receiving a large share of the public patronage. The hotel is centrally located and is first-class in every particular, and under the management of C. D. Herbert, the proprietor, it will continue to be one of Brainerd’s popular hotels. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 August 1883, p. 2, c. 3)

The New Merchants’ hotel on Sixth street has been closed up. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 16 August 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

The new restaurant and lunch counter on 6th street, the Merchants’, is the boss place to satisfy the cravings of the inner man. The new proprietors dish things up in fine shape, which you can find out to your satisfaction by giving the institution a trial. We will warrant you that it will be all that is desirable. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 23 August 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

Aman & Giles at their Merchants’ restaurant are doing a rushing business. Oysters always on tap. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The old Merchants’ Hotel building at the corner of Sixth and Laurel streets, is undergoing quite extensive alterations and repairs. The building will be raised a couple of feet and a good brick foundation put in, and other repairs made. Frost & Kellehan have temporarily moved their sample room around on Fifth street while these repairs are being made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 July 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

MICHAEL’S STORE
September 1905. The latest improvement at Michael’s store is the installation of a complete new cash system. At the rear of the store a large well arranged cloak cabinet has been erected, something entirely new. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 22 September 2005)

Fire animation On February 11, 1923, another spectacular fire burned the Koop Block located on the corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets along with a building just vacated by the Brainerd State Bank. The Gruenhagen building and the H. F. Michael store were damaged by the fire, smoke and water. The losses were estimated at about $140,000.

SEE: 1923 Koop Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

MIDWAY SALOON (MAP #5)

Midway Saloon at 508 Front, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
Located at 508 Front Street in the mid-1890’s, it is a popular saloon run by William Buckley before he moves to the bar at the Arlington Hotel.

Opening of “The Midway.”


W. P. Buckley’s new saloon, “The Midway,” was open to the public on Wednesday night with elaborate ceremonies. Dresskell’s orchestra furnished music for the occasion. The following was the

PROGRAMME:

March—”The Heptasoph,” R. H. Barker.
Medley—”Southern Plantation Songs,” E. Boettger.
Italian Waltz—”La Seranato,” Darey Jaxone.
Overture—”The Bridal Rose,” J. Lavallee.
Schottische—”Twilight Shadows,” Theo. Tobani.
Overture—”The Belle of the Village,” P. Bouillan.
Waltz—”Beau Brummell,” C. A. Ware.
Medley—”Bonnie Scotland,” Catlin.
Overture—”La Flandre,” Couilon.
Chinese Gallop—”Ching Chang”
We see by a notice elsewhere in this issue that the opening will be discussed next Sunday evening at the Baptist church by Rev. Rowe. It seems to us that it would be a good idea for all to attend and hear the other side of the story. (Brainerd Dispatch, 29 March 1895, p. 1, c. 2)

The Midway saloon was closed the first of the week and Attorney P. J. Murphy was appointed receiver of the property of W. P. Buckley, who left for Alaska a few days ago. Mr. Murphy has engaged E. J. Kohl to take charge of the saloon. The action was taken on application of the creditors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 February 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

L. H. Stallman has bought the Midway saloon, formerly owned by W. P. Buckley, and has taken possession. Mr. Stallman’s popularity will insure him a good business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1898, p. 8, c. 2)

Raffle at the Midway.


J. A. VanDyck has arranged for a raffle at his place of business which will be conducted during the day and evening of Saturday, Dec. 24th, tomorrow. A large number of the finest turkeys to be procured in the market have been secured for the occasion and there will be other choice articles included on the list, such as oysters, chickens, geese, etc. If you are looking for a nice quiet time just drop into the Midway on Saturday and see what is going on. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 December 1898, p. 1, c. 3)

Fire animation On January 24, 1899 a blaze was discovered in the attic of the Midway Saloon, which was owned by Walter Davis. The fire did about $300 in damage to the roof of the building. Had the fire department not responded quickly, the frame buildings on both sides of the Midway would have gone up in flames.

SEE: 1899 The Midway Saloon Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Fire animation On January 20, 1916, a fire believed to have been started by defective wiring destroys the City Hotel, owned by Judge J. T. Sanborn and occupied by C. J. Evensta, as well as a building owned by James Cullen [Midway Saloon]. The buildings and contents were valued at about $17,000.

SEE: 1916 City Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Milt Askew’s Billiard Hall on the south side of Front, ca. 1874.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
MILT ASKEW’S BILLIARD HALL (MAP #76)
Brainerd’s first fire department is organized on 13 February 1872, in the “fine Billiard Hall of Askew.” Thirty-seven members are enrolled, each paying his initial fee of one dollar. This white frame establishment is located on the south side of Front Street next west of Trudell’s Restaurant circa 1872. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 38 & 39)

Organization of the Brainerd Fire Company.


Ad for Milt Askew’s Billiard Hall
Source: Brainerd Tribune, 02 March 1872, p. 2, c. 6
On Tuesday evening last a large company of our citizens organized in the fine Billiard Hall of Milt Askew for the purpose of effecting the permanent organization of the Brainerd Fire Company. The meeting was called to order, and W. M. Falconer chosen as Chairman and W. W. Hartley as Secretary. After a general expression by those present upon matters kindred to the objects of the meeting, the following officers were elected:
M. W. Stone, Captain; J. W. Reed, 1st Lieutenant; H. M. Mixter, 2d Lieutenant; W. W. Hartly, Secretary; Thomas Cantwell, Treasurer.
The Captain, Secretary and Treasurer were appointed a committee to draw up a constitution and by-laws, and report at next meeting.
The initiation fee was fixed at $1.00, and thirty-seven members were enrolled at once—which smacked of “business.”
The first Lieutenant, George Clapp, and D. McNannay were appointed a committee to solicit members.
The Treasurer, Milt Askew, and John Bishop were appointed a committee to wait upon the Town Board and ask them to pass a resolution regulating the condition of stove-pipes and chimneys in this town.
It was ordered that D. McNannay be appointed a committee to keep in repair the well and buckets belonging to block No. 47.
The meeting then adjourned, to meet again on Tuesday evening next at the same place. (Brainerd Tribune, 17 February 1872, p. 3, c. 4)

ATTENTION FIREMEN.—There will be a regular monthly meeting of the Brainerd Fire Company, at Milt Askew’s Billiard Hall on Monday, April 22d inst. A full attendance is requested. By order of
THE FOREMAN.
(Brainerd Tribune, 20 April 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

SEE: Fire Halls

Fire animation On August 1, 1876, a huge fire beginning at the corner of Fifth and Front streets burned westward consuming the Sherwood Drug Store, Pine Restaurant, Trudell Restaurant, Askew’s Saloon and approximately nine other buildings.

SEE: 1876 Sherwood Drug Store Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.


MONTGOMERY WARD
In March 1929. Construction work on the block to house the new Montgomery Ward Brainerd store will get under way next week on the southwest corner of Laurel and Broadway [South Eighth Street]. The store is expected to be ready for occupancy by July. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 06 March 2009)

NOTE: Sometime in the mid-1960’s O'Brien’s Department Store moves into this building.

MURPHY BLOCK (MAP #63)
Located on the south side of Front Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets and between the First National Bank [W. W. Hartley Building] and the Webb Block. In 1931 it houses the Henry P. Dunn Drug Store and the offices of Dr. Otto E. Hubbard, MD and Dr. Harry E. Murphy, DDS.

MURPHY’S DRY GOODS STORE (MAP #55)

G. F. MURPHY BUYS THE PARKER BLOCK
_____

“Store of Quality” Now Owns Build-
ing in Which it Has Been Lo-
cated Past Three Years.
_____

BLDG. HAS DISTINCTIVE FRONT
_____

Its Display Windows are Large and
Well Designed and Permit Lav-
ish Display of Goods


George F. Murphy has bought the store building in which his “Store of Quality” has been located for the past three years. The property was purchased from Mrs. Elizabeth Parker.
The building measures 60 feet frontage by 80 feet in length, and is two stories in height. The main floor is occupied by the “Store of Quality.” Mr. and Mrs. Murphy will make their home on the second floor where the seven rooms will be finished to suit their requirements.
The Parker Block is a new structure, having been built about five years ago by White Brothers. Its white enameled pressed brick front is of a distinctive design and stamps the building as one of the handsomest in the city. The display windows are of adequate size and enable Mr. Murphy to show many of the new styles of the season and to display their pretty goods for which the store is noted, always having something new. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 March 1914, p. 3, c. 3)

Built in 1910 [NO] by George F. Murphy mid-block on the south side of Front Street between Seventh and Eighth (Broadway) Streets. Its motto was, “Quality, style and service.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 111)

NOTE: This store was NOT built by George Murphy as stated by Dillan above. The store was in business for over fifty years, finally closing in ?1964.

NASH-FINCH BUILDING (MAP #10)
The business is first known as Brainerd Wholesale Grocery Company, organized by three [W. H. Cleary, J. F. McGinnis, Werner Hemstead] local men in 1901. In the late 1920’s it is sold to the Nash-Finch Company. [The building is located at 401 Front Street and is currently (2004) a printing business called First Impression Printing.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 83)

1901 - Brainerd Flour & Feed Company
1905 - Brainerd Wholesale Grocery Company
1927 - Nash Finch Company
1985 - Country Foods & Produce, Incorporated
1986 - vacant
1996 - printing shop. Just removing the 6 walk-in coolers took more than a month helping to ready it for a printing press, weighing 18,000 pounds. The building was set along the railroad track with a spur to accept groceries on a covered dock. The area from here west to the river was the commercial dockage location for non-railway company freight, including a host of brewers, petroleum products and gaseous bottled fuel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 October 1996)

Dr. Werner Hemstead moved to Brainerd with the NP Hospital in 1882 and practiced medicine before becoming a City Alderman and later Brainerd Mayor. He also served in the State Legislature [He served in the House of Representatives from 1891-1892 and 1901-1902 per the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.] He was a Northern Pacific Bank director and an organizer of the Brainerd Grocery Company. (Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 22 August 2003)

02 May 1901. The contract to build the new wholesale house of Clary [sic] [Cleary], Hemstead and McGinnis will not be let until the first of the week, the plans having arrived only yesterday. The work of excavation for the basement has been completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 May 1901, p. 1, c. 4)

Cleary, McGinnis & Hemstead have had placed on their building a fine sign advertising the “Robert Burns” cigar, for which they have been made distributors for northern Minnesota. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 8, c. 1)

On 01 July 1908 W. H. Cleary closed a deal by which the Brainerd Grocery Company passes into the possession of J. J. Reilly, of this city and E. N. Ebert of Little Falls. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 01 July 2008)

On 15 August 1924 formal announcement was made by W. H. Cleary, president and manager of the Brainerd Wholesale Grocery Co. that the business has been sold to the Nash Finch Company of Minneapolis. [William H. Cleary was the owner of the house at 511 North 5th Street.] (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Saturday, 14 August 2004)

J. N. Nevers Clothing Store, ca 1881.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
NEVERS CLOTHING STORE
In 1883 John Nevers was a partner in a grocery business located in the eastern half of Bly’s Block on the south west corner of South Sixth and Front Streets. He was the Mayor of Brained from 1896-1898.

Nevers, John N.
Is a native of New Brunswick, and came to Brainerd in 1872. Six months after his arrival he engaged in the lumber business, continuing it for four years. He then formed a partnership with B. F. Hartley and kept the LeLand House for one year, since which time he has been in the mercantile business. He carries a stock of about $13,000, consisting of clothing and furnishing goods, and also carries on a merchant tailoring department. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 651)

Gilbert Lake is patronized very much now on account of the accommodations in the line of boats which can be hired there instead of pulling one over the hill. Six new ones have been added to the outfit by Mr. Nevers. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 09 August 1883, p. 4, c. 2)

Mr. Nevers has built a house at Gilbert Lake to accommodate parties who go there for a few hours recreation. The place is fixed up for comfort, with chairs and on one side is a counter where you can get a lunch, cigars, lemonade, etc. Gilbert Lake is getting to be quite a resort for pleasure seekers, and Mr. Nevers has the thanks of many for taking the pains he has to make things agreeable and convenient. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 30 August 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

The firm of Nevers & Westfall has been dissolved, Mr. Westfall having purchased his partner’s interest. The change took place Wednesday morning. Mr. Nevers will collect the outstanding accounts and will make his headquarters at the store. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 November 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

BRAINERD, Oct. 22—The new state bank, to be known as the Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd, opened for business today in the rooms of the Lumbermen's Exchange Bank, with J. N. Nevers as cashier and Capt. I. Seymour, late of the Northern Pacific, as teller. The bank starts with large deposits and has fine prospects of successful business. (Minneapolis Tribune, 23 October 1889, p. 6)
 
NICOLLET HOUSE
In 1879-1891 the Nicollet Hotel stands where the courthouse is now located off the South end of Fourth Street.

Leland, Henry F.
Is a native of Penobscot county, Maine, born on the 18th of October, 1849. He was reared to agricultural pursuits, and in 1867, came to Monticello, Minnesota, where, for ten years, he was engaged in the lumber business. In 1877, he removed to this place and has since been engaged in the hotel business. Since the spring of 1881, Mr. Leland has been the owner and proprietor of the Nicollet House, which is a two-and-a-half story frame house, with twenty-four guest rooms. (History of the Upper Mississippi Valley, Winchell, Neill, Williams and Bryant, Minnesota Historical Company, Minneapolis: 1881, p. 649)

The Nicollet House has undergone another change of management, T. C. Kinney is now the landlord. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 September 1883, p. 3, c. 1)

FOR RENT.—The Nicollet House situated on Laurel street west. For terms and particulars, call or address,
J. A [sic]. [S.] GARDNER,
Brainerd.
(Brainerd Dispatch, 29 May 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Jct [sic] [?Jack] Burns and D. Hameltos [sic], have leased the Nicollet House, and took possession last Monday. These gentlemen have lately had charge of the Brainerd House, and are said to be proficient in the business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 June 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

Mrs. Curo has taken charge of the Nicollet house. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 January 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

A. A. Miller is fitting up the Nicollet House preparatory to opening it the first of next month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 24 February 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Fire animation On February 3, 1891, a fire burned the Nicollet House on west Laurel Street. The building was an old Brainerd landmark hotel, built sometime in the early 1870’s. At the time of the fire the building was being using as a boarding house and only one family was living in it.

SEE: 1891 Nicollet House Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Northern Pacific Bank interior at 201 South 7th, ca. 1890.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC BANK (MAP #32)
In 1903 the Northern Pacific Bank is located at 201 South Seventh Street. (1903 Brainerd City Directory, p. 126)

This building at Seventh and Laurel, still a well-known landmark in Brainerd, is the home of the Citizens State Bank from 1909 to 1927, when the bank moves south across Laurel Street.

Organized on 01 November 1889 by Charles N. Parker. Parker was the president, but for him the bank was only a side-line enterprise. For several years John N. Nevers was the cashier and Werner Hemstead later became the active manager of the bank. The bank changes its name to the Citizen’s State Bank in 1906, when M. T. Dunn purchases the controlling interest. Dunn then became president, Parker became the vice president and Hemstead stepped out. After 1909 the Citizen’s State Bank is located in the Parker Building on the northwest corner of Laurel and Seventh Streets. After the death of M. T. Dunn in 1915, the vice president, A. G. Trommald is elected president and in November 1920 he purchases the Dunn holdings in association with Mons Mahlum, Edgar P. Slipp, Theodore H. Schaefer, M. E. Ryan and R. J. Tinkelpaugh. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 103 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 56)

Citizens State Bank, formerly the Northern Pacific Bank, is organized in 1889, by C. N. Parker. The name is changed to the Citizens State Bank in 1906. Parker proceeds to erect the present Parker building, on the corner of Seventh and Laurel, to which the Citizens bank moves early in 1909. On the ground floor it occupies specially constructed quarters. The second floor is designed for office space and the third floor for lodge rooms. The building is equipped with the first elevator service in Brainerd, and it is the first elevator taken out. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 90)

Another Bank.


Preliminary arrangements have been completed the past week for the forming of a new banking company in this city and the immediate establishment of a new bank. The capital stock of the new bank will be $35,000 all of which has already been subscribed for. The prime movers in the matter are Parker & Topping, J. N. Nevers, Sam Walker, Koop Bros., J. H. Koop, J. J. Howe, and several other equally prominent citizens. Although no organization has yet been effected, it is understood that J. N. Nevers will be the managing officer, and the bank will be located in the room next to Cohen’s dry goods store, now occupied as an office by Postmaster Koop. The name of the new bank will be the Mechanics’ Bank, of Brainerd and will be incorporated as a state bank. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 August 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd.
_____


A meeting of the stockholders of the new bank will be held on Monday next to perfect a permanent organization and elect a president, vice-president and cashier, and at which time the final arrangements will be completed for opening the institution for business. It was first thought that the name would be the “Citizen’s Bank of Brainerd,” but upon further consideration it has been decided to call the bank “The Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd.” At the meeting held on Monday last at which C. N. Parker presided, it was decided that $25,000 was all the capital that would be required at present and accordingly the subscriptions, which amounted to $33,700, was cut down to that amount, but the right is reserved to increase the stock to $100,000 at any time should the business require. The amounts subscribed by stock-holders will be paid in on Monday next. The board of directors consists of C. N. Parker, H. W. Topping, Sam. Walker, J. J. Howe, J. W. Koop, J. N. Nevers, M. Hagberg, J. L. Camp and A. V. Snyder. A committee consisting of J. N. Nevers, H. W. Topping and L. E. Lum was appointed to secure suitable rooms for the bank with full power to act. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 September 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd filed their articles of incorporation with the state public examiner on Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 October 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

BRAINERD, Oct. 22—The new state bank, to be known as the Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd, opened for business today in the rooms of the Lumbermen’s Exchange Bank, with J. N. Nevers as cashier and Capt. I. Seymour, late of the Northern Pacific, as teller. The bank starts with large deposits and has fine prospects of successful business. (Minneapolis Tribune, 23 October 1889, p. 6)

The newly organized bank which goes under the name of the Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd, began business on Tuesday in a part of the room now occupied by the Lumberman’s Exchange Bank. J. N. Nevers is cashier, and I. Seymour, formerly N. P. store-keeper, is teller. The Lumberman’s Bank is still doing business at the old stand, although we understand that Mr. Spaulding will close up his banking business as soon as possible, and devote his whole time to the post-office. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

The annual meeting of the stock holders of the Northern Pacific Bank was held on Tuesday, and the following gentlemen were elected directors for the ensuing year: C. N. Parker, J. N. Nevers, J. J. Howe, S. Walker, J. W. Koop, H. Ribbel and E. M Westfall. The election of officers was postponed for some future time, so the present officers continue in their respective positions. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The property occupied by Redding & McCarthy at the corner of 7th and Front streets has been purchased by the N. P. bank officials and it is probable that the bank will be removed there some time in the near future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 January 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The Northern Pacific Bank will be moved and ready for business in their new quarters next Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Northern Pacific Bank is now nicely located in its new quarters at the corner of Front and Seventh streets. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05 May 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

A two-story building is being erected in the rear of the Northern Pacific Bank. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 June 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

At a meeting of the board of directors of the Northern Pacific Bank on Monday. H. J. Spencer, formerly president and cashier of the 1st National Bank of this city, was elected cashier of the Northern Pacific and will assume the duties of his new position immediately. The former cashier, J. N. Nevers, has been elected vice president. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 March 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Annual Meeting.


[...]


The annual meeting of the Northern Pacific Bank was also held the same day, but on account of the absence of C. N. Parker, the principal stockholder, from the city, the meeting was adjourned until tomorrow. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 January 1897, p. 4, c. 6)

New Burglar Proof Safe.


The Northern Pacific Bank has added a new Mosler screw door time lock safe which was put into their vault the first of the week. The safe is one of the best made, and so far these safes have withstood all attacks of burglars, and are guaranteed to be absolutely burglar proof. This handsome piece of furniture cost over $1600, but its usefulness will repay the owners for the outlay. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 September 1898, p. 8, c. 4)

The Northern Pacific Bank is being treated to new paper and paint this week and the interior will present a very neat appearance when finished. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 June 1899, p. 8, c. 1)

Annual Bank Meetings.
_____


The annual meeting of the stockholders of the Northern Pacific Bank was held on Tuesday afternoon, at which the old board of directors was re-elected as follows: C. N. Parker, J. J. Howe, W. S. McClenahan, S. Walker and H. D. Treglawny. A dividend of 8 per cent was declared. At a subsequent meeting of the board of directors the old officers were re-elected as follows: President, C. N. Parker; vice-president, S. Walker; cashier, H. D. Treglawny; assistant cashier, R. L. Georgeson; teller, Henry Linneman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1899, p. 1, c. 4)

The annual meeting of the stock-holders of the Northern Pacific Bank was held on Tuesday afternoon, at which the old board of directors was re-elected as follows: C. N. Parker, J. J. Howe, W. S. McClenahan, S. Walker and H. D. Treglawny. A dividend of 8 per cent was declared. At a subsequent meeting of the board of directors the old officers were re-elected as follows: President, C. N. Parker; vice-president, S. Walker; cashier, H. D. Treglawny; assistant cashier, R. L. Georgeson; teller, Henry Linneman. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 January 1900, p. 1, c. 4)

N. P. BANK SOLD.
_____

C. N. Parker Sells His Interests to Dr.
Hemstead and J. F McGinnis.
_____


A most important business change occurred on Monday afternoon. On that day Mr. C. N. Parker, who organized and for several years as president has controlled this popular banking institution, sold his interests to Dr. Werner Hemstead and J. F. McGinnis. The sale included 288 shares of $50 each owned by Mr. Parker and 15 shares owned by P. S. Ware, formerly of this city, and 15 shares belonging to F. S. Parker. This gives these two gentlemen a holding of 318 shares out of a total of 500. The stock was sold at par. As this leaves Mr. Parker without any interest in the bank, he will, of course, at once retire from the presidency of the institution. At the annual meeting held in January no directors or officers were elected as the change was then contemplated, so an adjourned meeting of the stockholders will be held Tuesday, April 24th, when new officers will be elected. Dr. Hemstead will probably be elected president and Mr. McGinnis vice president. The present force of employees will undoubtedly be retained.
Messrs. Hemstead and McGinnis are two of Brainerd’s most substantial and enterprising citizens, and their connection with the institution cannot help but strengthen its credit and increase its favor with the business interests of this community and the northern part of the state.
Mr. Parker’s object in disposing of his banking interest is to retire from active business as much as possible. He desires to feel free to come and go as he pleases, and to spend his winters in a warmer climate if he desires, which he could not do if he was actively interested in the bank. He expects, however, to make his home here in the future as in the past, and will always lend his aid and experience in forwarding any movement for the benefit of the city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1900, p. 1, c. 3)

The DISPATCH was in error last week in stating that 13 shares of the N. P. bank stock bought by Messrs. McGinnis and Hemstead was owned by P. S. Ware. The stock was at one time owned by Mr. Ware and was by him sold to Mrs. Ellen Carney, who sold the same to Messrs. Hemstead and McGinnis. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1900, p. 10, c. 2)

BRAINERD

Bank Closed By Order of Public Examiner Yesterday.

Absence of Cash On Hand Is the Cause Given Out.

Thorough Examination of the Institution’s Affairs Will Be Made.

President Hemstead Says He Has Money Enough To Pay All.
______________


BRAINERD, Minn., May 17.—Brainerd people were surprised yesterday afternoon to find the curtains of the Northern Pacific bank drawn and the following notice placed on the door:
“Closed by order of public examiner for a thorough examination.”
At this time little was known regarding the affair and it was stated that Superintendent of Banks P.M. Kerst was not in the city, but that the notice had been posted by one of his deputies who was in the city and who had been going over the books of the institution.
Nothing definite was given out until late yesterday afternoon when Superintendent Kerst arrived in the city from St. Paul. He was seen at the bank and gave out the following statement:

Statement is Made.

“The Northern Pacific bank has been temporarily closed by the superintendent of banks for the purpose of making a thorough examination of its affairs. As soon as the examination is concluded a statement will be made to the public.”
This, in brief, is about all that could be secured from Superintendent Kerst yesterday. He did state in answer to the question asking for a reason for the state of affairs, “the immediate cause for closing the bank is the absence of cash means.”
The Northern Pacific bank was capitalized for $25,000 and had a surplus of $13,000. It had deposits of $165,000, including bills payable and its total liabilities are $200,000.

An Absence of Cash.

The superintendent of banks states that there was no other reason for closing the bank than that there was absence of cash. His deputies have been in the city for several days and they noticed a natural drawing out of money, what is termed in banking business, “a still run on the bank.”
The bank officers are among the best known business men in the city.
The president is Dr. Werner Hemstead; vice president, J. A. McGinnis; cashier, H. D. Treglawny.
President Hemstead authorized the following statement:
“I have enough available resources to place the bank on a footing to pay every depositor dollar for dollar and this we will do at once.”

Plan Complete Reorganization.

It is understood that the directors contemplate a complete reorganization and the bank will be opened on a sounder and larger basis than ever.
There are a great many anxious depositors but the bank officials offer encouragement in the fact there is enough of the resources in the way of good paper to meet all liabilities.
It was rumored on the streets yesterday afternoon that the bank would be in shape to open up for business by next Monday morning.

Gov. Johnson Talks of Bank.

“All that I know of the situation,” said Governor Johnson last evening, “is what Mr. Kerst told me before he left for Brainerd a few days ago. I understand that complaints have been received at the examiner’s office that certain funds of the bank had been impaired. The investigation is being made to verify the statements made in the complaints.”
Inquiry at the office of the public examiner disclosed the fact that the public examiner has been in Brainerd for several days. Beyond this, no information as to the details of the complaints filed would be given out. (Minneapolis Tribune, 17 May 1905)

On 14 September 1906 public examiner, P.M. Kerst, authorizes the Northern Pacific Bank of Brainerd to change its name to the Citizen’s State Bank of Brainerd. Every state bank must have the word ‘state’ in its title. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 15 September 2006)

Fire animation On January 27, 1907, a fire wiped out the Reilly block containing the Reilly drygoods and hardware store, M. J. Reis drygoods store, Brockway & Parker, grocers and the Citizens’ State Bank building. Losses amounted to about $80,000.

SEE: 1907 Reilly Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

On 15 May 1908 at a meeting of the board of directors of the Citizen’s State Bank this afternoon a proposition from the owners of the corner lot south of the Bane Block was accepted. The bank will now erect its new building on that site. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 2008)

On 30 June 1908 the plans for the new Citizen’s State Bank building have been received. The plans show what will be, without a doubt, the finest and most up-to-date building in the city. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 30 June 2008)

SEE: Brainerd State Bank

SEE: Citizens State Bank

SEE: Parker Block

Northern Pacific Colonists’ Reception House aka Immigration Hall located at the west end of the railroad bridge, ca. 1872.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC COLONISTS’ RECEPTION HOUSE

More Residences, Etc.


[...]


The new Immigrant House across the river is about completed, and is one of the finest of its kind in the west. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 June 1872, p. 1, c. 5)

There is to be given on Thursday evening next a grand ball and opening “blow-out” at the splendid new Immigrant Reception House, belonging to the N. P. Railroad Co., on the opposite side of the river. Three hundred invitations have been sent out, and it is expected that a great number of persons of note will be here from abroad. Our friend T. B. Shoaff, is one among the number who is superintending the preparations for this grand time. Music will be furnished by a string band from Duluth. (Brainerd Tribune, 22 June 1872, p. 1, c. 6)

SEE: Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church

In June 1872 the Northern Pacific Railroad opens the Colonists' Reception House in Brainerd. On 24 September 1882 the Colonists' Reception House, aka Immigration Hall, becomes the first Northern Pacific Hospital.

GRAND OPENING BALL.


THE party at the Headquarters Hotel on Thursday evening in honor of the opening by the N. P. R. R. Co. of the Colonist’s Reception House, located on the west bank of the Mississippi, was the most complete affair ever gotten up in these pines. It was a brilliant array of the beauty, talent, and worth of the city of the pines—rendered more beautiful by the graceful presence of the beaux and belles of Duluth, Fort Ripley, St. Paul, Minneapolis, James River, D. T., Hastings and points east and west on the line of the N. P. The company was very large, the music and prompting unexceptionable, the refreshments choice, and richly served, and the enjoyment of those present most complete. The opinion has prevailed, and been to some extent demonstrated, that it was very difficult to get up a party of ladies and gentlemen, “to trip the light fantastic toe,” in Brainerd, without drawing the lines of class so taut as to raise objections and insure financial failure. From this time forward, this impression ceases. The moral and cultivated sentiment of the community has asserted its prerogative to rational amusement and enjoyment, and future calls from as respectable a corps of managers, and under the countenance of so worthy a person as the host of the “Headquarters” will be answered by the same array of beauty and real worth, as formed the basis of the attendance at the party of last night; may that call be not long distant.
The following is a list of guests, from abroad, in attendance:
Duluth, J. H. Hepham and wife, Maj. J. L. Smith, L. L. Trumbull and lady, H. Russell, W. P. Sargent, Mr. Munroe, Mrs. R. S. Morford, Miss Morford, S. Seaton and daughter, Hazen and wife, Miss D’Unger, H. A. Stratton, C. Adams, J. H. Shoenberger, Col. W. B. Gaw, Geo. H. Shoenberger, E. L. Bailey, Mr. Gates, E. W. Brady, A. J. Sawyer.
St. Paul, Charles Commisky, Temple Clark, E. C. Judson, James R. Day, C. D. Lombard, J. D. Sturgess, B. Hedge, Geo. B. Wight, Minneapolis; M. L. Knotten, N. P. R. R.; Mr. and Mrs. Doty, J. D. Weed, Capt. McCorsky and three ladies from Fort Ripley; Mr. Brown. (Brainerd Tribune, 29 June 1872, p. 1, c. 3)

...Another favorite place was the Colonists’ Reception House in West Brainerd, built by the Northern Pacific for prospective settlers and later turned into a hospital. When the Ahren brothers lived at the place, hundreds came to their picnic parties and to dance a jig, sing a song, or tell a story. (Brainerd, Minnesota 1871-1971, reproduced from the Centennial Edition of the Brainerd Daily Dispatch, p. 69)

Fire animation On January 22, 1883, a fire destroyed the Northern Pacific Hospital and Colonists’ Reception House. Patients were safely removed from the building still in their beds via two baggage cars in -40 degree temperature and lodged in an empty building at the shops.

SEE: 1883 Northern Pacific Hospital Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Northern Pacific Railroad Ad for the sale of land along the new RR lines. (See the 600 KB high-res PDF file)
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
On February 1, 1871, the board of directors of the railroad named a five-member Land Committee, under the chairmanship of Frederick Billings, to organize the Land Department and oversee its operations. The Land Committee served as the link between the Northern Pacific's board of directors and the Land Department. Billings chaired the committee until October 20, 1875.
Under Billings' direction, office space for the Land Department was rented in New York City. Two other offices were opened: the Minnesota district office in St. Paul and the Pacific district office in Kalama, Washington Territory. All Land Department business between Lake Superior and the Rocky Mountains was to be handled by the St. Paul office; all business west of the Rockies was to be the responsibility of the Kalama office.
The main duties of the district offices were threefold: first, they were to supervise the examination and platting of the company's lands; second, they were to promote the sale of the lands; and third, they were to handle all the office work necessary to expedite the sales. In addition, the district offices performed a multitude of ancillary services. They answered inquiries regarding the company's lands; helped newly arrived settlers find temporary lodging and procure supplies, equipment, fuel, and other necessities; escorted excursion groups, land selection committees, influential investors, government officials, and others on tours of the line and the surrounding communities; reported on and attempted to prevent illicit logging in the vicinity of the line; sought to maintain good public relations with the local communities; and kept the New York headquarters informed about conditions and significant events in the districts.
Preparations to open the Minnesota district office were begun late in the spring of 1871. Most of the efforts of the St. Paul office during this first year were directed toward examining and mapping the lands in preparation for putting them on the market. In the spring of 1872, four local Land Department agents were hired to handle all sales in the vicinities of Duluth, Wadena, Audubon, and Glyndon, Minnesota.
Free colonist sleeping car used by prospective Northern Pacific land buyers, ca. 1880.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
Activity remained high throughout that summer. Several immigrant reception houses were opened along the line to provide temporary lodging for newly arrived immigrants who intended to purchase lands from the railroad. Numerous persons traveled along the line in search of lands for themselves or for future colonies. In the late summer and early autumn, the St. Paul office was busy collecting agricultural and mineral specimens for display at fairs and exhibitions in the United States and abroad.
Despite the elaborate preparations and fevered activity, relatively few of the company's lands were sold in 1872. The first sales contract was not signed until the end of May, 1872, a full year after the St. Paul office was opened. Sales during that summer were greatly hampered by delays in getting the company's European operations and promotional activities underway. The poor sales of the 1872 season, coupled with the general financial malaise of the company, prompted Billings to order district operations cut back severely.
In spite of optimistic projections, sales in 1873 were not much better than they had been in 1872. With the failure of Jay Cooke & Co. in September, nearly all Land Department activities in the Minnesota district came to a halt. The field operations were abandoned and only a skeletal office staff was retained. Expenses were further reduced by moving the district headquarters to Brainerd where other company offices were located. Thenceforth, the Minnesota office restricted its activities solely to performing whatever office work was necessary to expedite the company's land sales.
Ironically, the collapse of Jay Cooke & Co. achieved for the Land Department what no amount of labor had theretofore been able to accomplish. Land sales in Minnesota and eastern Dakota Territory mushroomed as settlers and investors from all over the country rushed forward to exchange their nearly worthless bonds for the company's valuable lands. By September, 1873, the Land Department had been able to sell only about 41,000 acres of land in the Minnesota district; by the end of the year, another 22,000 acres had been disposed of. In 1874, the company sold nearly 190,000 acres in Minnesota and Dakota Territory, over three times as much land as it had sold during the entire first three years of operation. In 1875, sales more than doubled again when the company sold in excess of 475,000 acres. By January, 1876, the company had sold a total of 728,000 acres in its Minnesota district. (Guide to a Microfilm Edition of The Northern Pacific Land Department Records, William M. Bomash, 1983: Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul; pp. 7-9)

The Northern Pacific Manual for September is before us and among the interesting reading therein we find the following for our “City of the Pines,” which will be found to be nearly correct:
Brainerd, Minn., is beautifully located on the east bank of the Mississippi river, in a lovely forest of tall, straight pine trees. In building the business portion of the place the trees were necessarily cut down, but the residence part of Brainerd is built among the trees in lovely groves, thus giving it a novel and pleasant appearance. The population is 12,000, and rapidly growing in consequence of the company’s shops and buildings being erected here, which when completed will employ 1,200 men. These buildings consist of a machine and erecting shop, 120x250; round-house 316 feet in diameter, has stalls for forty-four engines; boiler shop, 80x175; engine room with Corliss engine, 40x40; blacksmith shop, 80x195; copper shop, 80x75; tank shop, 80x97; and paint shop, 100x200 feet. Brainerd has six hotels, one public hall, splendid school edifices, and two weekly newspapers, a bank, seven churches and three public parks. As a summer resort it presents every rural attraction. Lakes are numerous in all directions and full of fish, such as pickerel, pike, muskallonge [sic], whitefish and bass. Gull Lake, twenty miles northwest, has accommodations for fifty persons. Serpent Lake, seventeen miles east, can accommodate as many more. A steamboat for the the use of summer visitors, is provided. Game, both large and small, is very plentiful in this vicinity, in fact, it is the local point from which the sportsman can diverge in any direction and find deer, bear, duck, geese, chicken, partridge, grouse, snipe and woodcock. This is also the initial point for the pineries located just to the north and east. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 6)

BRAINERD BOOMS
________

In a Quiet Way is Big Lure.
________

But a Careful Look over the Town
Shows More Building and Improvements
going on than in any
Town on the line of the Northern Pacific.
______


The costly and noticeable improvements constantly being pushed forward in Brainerd, says the Minneapolis Journal correspondent, compels the admiration and surprise of transients as well as our own citizens.
Brainerd is progressing more rapidly than any of the other similar cities in the state, is a frequent ejaculation of the stranger. First comes our nearly completed and most excellently arranged system of water works, which will supply the entire city with a pure article of water in a few weeks. The city is completely encircled with twelve inch main, a total of ten miles, affording the very best protection against fire. Another institution of which Brainerd has always developed a tender and solicitous care, is the new Northern Pacific hospital, now nearly completed, at a cost of $50,000 [sic] and built by the Northern Pacific railroad, and supported by a system of assessments upon the employees, the benefits of which are equally available to the most humble tracklayer, or the superintendent of a division. The new opera house and Masonic temple, when completed, will certainly rival anything in the country for convenience and elegance. The opera house will occupy the ground floor, and the temple the third floor, the structure to cost $50,000 [sic]. The new Villard house is nearly enclosed, and will be a strictly first-class hotel when completed. The building will be three stories high, and a model in point of architecture and convenience. Our already mammoth railroad shops are receiving healthy additions, which will necessitate and make room for at least 400 additional laborers, everyone of whom will source or later erect for himself a home. During the summer, fifteen miles of substantial sidewalks have been laid, the new wagon bridge across the Mississippi has been completed, and the elegant Catholic church placed ready for the worshippers. The above are but the more important and noticeable of Brainerd’s substantial improvements, and upon which, with our consequent population, now reaching nearly 14,000, we base our claim of being the third city in Minnesota. (The Northern Pacific Manual, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 3)

SEE: Northern Pacific Hospital

NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (First) (MAP #11)
Originally built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in March [sic] 1872 as its headquarters building [and remodeled in 1883-84], it stands on the southeast corner of Washington [Main] and Sixth Streets, near where the concrete water tower now stands, this depot burns down in 1917. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 19)

THE NEW PASSENGER DEPOT AT
BRAINERD.
_____

Full Description of the Grand Structure.
_____

AN ARCHITECTURAL ORNAMENT TO
THE TOWN
_____

And a Credit to the Company.
_____


Northern Pacific Depot at the southeast corner of 6th and Washington, ca. 1872.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
We have, from time to time during the past few weeks, heard fragmentary sentences in reference to the new Passenger Depot to be put up at Brainerd, and although from what we could gather, we were prepared to believe that at least we were to have quite a respectable structure, yet were not prepared to see so creditable a display of enterprise on the part of the Company as we now know is contemplated. We were shown in the the office of Lyman Bridges, the architect and builder of stations on the road, and Mr. Jas. H. Place, the complete designs, elevations, plans, etc., of the new depot executed by him, the properties of which we give below, to wit:
The building is to be 40x80, two stories high with attic. The style of architecture is Italian, with projecting turrets at each corner, 6x6, running high above the roof, and terminating with mansard roof and ornamented pinnacles, through which are to be ventilators from the closets and wash rooms of both stories below. The grand tower of the main front entrance to the building is 16x16, projecting six feet from the main part, and 60 feet from base to pinnacle, beautifully ornamented from the top of the building upward, with mansard roof, and great clock in front. The lower story is to be arranged thus: Entering the front through the main tower, you enter a hall 14x14; to one hand is the entrance to the ladies’ parlor, to the other the gents; out of this hall goes an easy and graceful stairway to the second story. On the first floor are the two passenger rooms, 32x39 each, a ticket and telegraph office in the center with openings into each of the passenger rooms, and two commodious fireproof vaults, 8x12. The passenger rooms will each be supplied with wash rooms and closets—in the corner turrets—provided and arranged after the most modern and improved style—the upper story being also provided in a like manner. Ascending from the front hall you come to an upper one similar in proportion, on the one side of which is the office of Geo. P. Lee, General Disbursing and Financial Agent of the N. P. R. R., and on the other the office of Col. John S. Loomis, General Land Commissioner of the road. These two offices are very similar in size and arrangement—being each 32x27 clear of private offices, vaults, closets, wash rooms, etc. In the center, between these two suites of rooms, and corresponding with the ticket and telegraph office below, is the office of Geo. W. Sweet, the attorney for the road and local law agent at Brainerd. The attic story will be lighted by dormer windows, and the building throughout the inside supported by ornamental iron columns. In front of the building, its full length, will be an overhanging protection, supported by immense brackets, and around the whole will be a finely constructed platform of ample space.
Specimens, displayed in the first NP Depot in Brainerd, consisting of potted plants, a rack of antlers, sheaves of grain and framed pictures, ca. ?1877
Source: Frank J. Haynes Collection, NDSU
This building will compare, both in beauty and convenience, to any in the western country, and if executed in accordance with the plans we have examined will prove not only a mere ornament to our town but will alone enhance the value of real estate belonging to the Company in Brainerd, sufficiently to more than pay the whole expense. We, in common with every one else, are delighted to see that the Northern Pacific Company propose to go to work in a proper, and in the end, economical manner, in putting up, to start with, buildings that will serve a permanent purpose, enhance the beauty of their respective localities, as well as the value, instead of doing as many railroads have done, particularly in the past, of putting up buildings along their lines that would not make respectable “gin-mills” nor barns; rendering new buildings necessary almost before the road-bed had fairly settled. In every sense, worthy of consideration, we think that at the prominent points on the line similar buildings to the one in question should be built, and at all points be governed by principles of economy at first, not extravagance at last. (Brainerd Tribune, 24 February 1872, p. 3, c. 3)

THE NEW DEPOT.—Stakes were driven this week for the magnificent new passenger depot described in the TRIBUNE a few months ago, and a crew of workmen are now employed in getting out the timber for it. This will be a beautiful ornament to our town, and of a character that would do credit to any city, great or small. So must it be. (Brainerd Tribune, 27 April 1872, p. 1, c. 4)


STATE NEWS.
_______

CROW WING COUNTY.


Workmen have commenced on the new passenger depot at Brainerd. (Minneapolis Tribune, 24 July 1872, p. 2)

The new [remodeled] depot is about finished and will be a convenience to the traveling public that they have not experienced in Brainerd for some time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1883, p. 3, c. 2)

The ticket, baggage and express office were removed on Saturday last to the newly arranged depot in the first story of the headquarters building. The rooms have been nicely arranged and fixed up for the convenience and comfort of the public and the employees. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 January 1884, p. 3, c. 2)

The railroad company have been painting up their passenger depot here during the past week. It was a needed improvement. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 September 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

The railroad company have made improvement by putting up three lamps on the depot platform and placing a bell there which is rung before the starting of trains. Heretofore when the passenger train was cut for the crossing and backed down there was a general rush and this bell and sign has been put up to do away with mistakes. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 December 1886, p. 4, c. 4)

The band stand has again been removed, this time to the site immediately back of the depot on Main [Washington] St. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 October, 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The railroad company has made some needed improvements in sidewalks and platforms around the depot grounds during the past week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 09 September 1892, p. 4, c. 3)

The Northern Pacific railroad is making some extensive improvements at the depot, a new platform being laid entirely around the same. (Brainerd Dispatch, 10 August 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

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)

A penny-in-the-slot weighing machine has been placed in the waiting room of the N. P. depot. Every depot on the line of the road has been provided with like machines. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 August 1897, p. 8, c. 1)

28 January 1913. Leon Lum of Duluth, who has large interests in Brainerd, was interviewed today regarding the need for a new railroad depot. “Brainerd has no need of a new depot. But the one Brainerd now has is in filthy condition, a disgrace to the railway and the city.” (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 28 January 2013)

The Northern Pacific Depot is being painted. The body color is to be a deep red and the trimmer a dark green. (Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 29 April 1913)

The band stand will be removed from its present location in the rear of the depot to a position opposite the Y. M. C. A. building today, between the railroad track and Front street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

14 October 1913. The depot platform is finished and is an excellent piece of work. The brick has been carefully laid under supervision of Sam Sorenson of Superior. There are new water closets on the men’s side, proving the the NP Railway is meeting demand for improvements. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 14 October 2013)

Fire animation On February 5, 1917 a fire destroys the landmark first Northern Pacific Depot built in 1872. The building also housed the offices of the M & I Railroad. The fire was believed to have started in the ladies’ waiting room. The depot was valued at about $27,000.

SEE: 1917 Northern Pacific Depot Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

August 1919. When the new depot is completed, the old buildings that now mar the landscape at the site of the old depot will be torn down. For nearly three years now these shacks have been used for accommodations of the Brainerd public and it will be a glad day when something of beauty takes their place. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 19 August 1999)

Northern Pacific Depot on the south side of Washington between 4th and 6th, ca. 1920.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC DEPOT (Second) (MAP #59)
Built on the south side of Washington [Main] Street between Fourth and Sixth Streets by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1920, the grand opening occurs on 15 May. The depot costs $100,000 and is built by St. Paul contractors, McMannus and Turnowski, it is a two story structure with six dormers in the third floor. Platforms allow the flow of passengers at each end of the building. The exterior is of red brick and West Bedford cut stone. The inside is trimmed in oak and wainscoted with Ludowski Imperial French tile. Until they close in 1933, it houses, on the second floor, offices of the Minnesota and International Railway, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific. Other office space in the depot is leased to federal government offices, such as the Farm Security Administration in July of 1941. The Northern Pacific Credit Union office is located on the second floor of the building from 19?? to 1968. The depot is demolished circa 18 October 1968. A strip mall and a grocery store replace it.

The grand opening of the Northern Pacific Depot brings out the crowds in Brainerd on 15 May 1920.

October 1968. The wrecking ball is poised to raze the Northern Pacific Depot in Brainerd. [Friday, 18 October 1968] (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 18 October 1998)

Northern Pacific Foundry located on the grounds of the Northern Pacific Shops, ca. 1888.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
NORTHERN PACIFIC FOUNDRY
On 18 April 1885, Charles N. Parker arrives to make Brainerd his permanent home. He had come in 1872 to build the foundry for the Northern Pacific Railroad and get the operation started, but in 1885 he and his partner H. A. Topping lease the plant and name it Parker-Topping Foundry Company. It depends essentially on a contract entered into by the railroad for all its castings. That business grows to employ up to 150 men. In the course of time E. O. Webb and the grandson Clyde E. Parker became part of the organization. In 1888 the Northern Pacific foundry, being as aforesaid leased to Parker-Topping Foundry Company, is supplying castings for the entire system west of Spokane, Washington and provides a payroll that year amounting to $60,000. Sometime around 1917 the Northern Pacific replaces its old foundry building with a new one of double capacity. During the railroad strike of 1922-23, the railroad discontinues its contract with the Parker & Topping Foundry, the strike scatters the employees and the firm ceases to exist. In 1924 a few former participants, such as the grandson, Clyde E. Parker, and Fred E. Kinsmiller and E. O. Webb join their experiences into a partnership. They name it Brainerd Foundry Company and erect a building of their own at 801-807 South Tenth Street. With two employees they begin work at casting grey iron. In 1925 this new company makes its first brass castings and on 01 January 1928, negotiates its first contract with the Northern Pacific Railroad Company for brass castings. Things pick up enough to justify incorporation in 1930 by Parker and Kinsmiller. As of 1945 the company employs about thirty men and makes 2,200,000 pounds of brass castings and 400,00 pounds of grey iron castings per year. Much of its work is for Cuyuna iron mines; more goes to the pulp and paper mill at International Falls; and most of it goes to the Northern Pacific Railway Company for use between here and Spokane, Washington. [Many years later the foundry is torn down, the site is fenced and declared a hazardous waste site. To the best of my knowledge the site is still hazardous and has never been properly cleaned up.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 50, 51, 55, 112, 131, 132)

Leased the Foundry.
_____


C. N. Parker has leased the Northern Pacific foundry at Brainerd and taken a contract to furnish the road with their iron and brass castings for a term of five years. The Brainerd foundry has a capacity of from fifty to seventy-five tons a day. Mr. Parker takes possession on the 1st of April. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 March 1885, p. 3, c. 6)

Ald. Topping, who is to remove from St. Paul to Brainerd to engage in business, was pleasantly remembered yesterday by the employees of the foundry and a number of his friends. They presented him with an office desk, chairs, lounge, bookcase and sideboard.—Pioneer Press. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 April 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

NORTHERN PACIFIC FREIGHT DEPOT (MAP #45)
The wooden freight depot on the North Eighth Street side of the tracks is discontinued and a long brick building is opened for use in 1904. This building is located on the northeast corner of Front and Eighth Streets. The wooden building is razed about four years later. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 87)

A car was lately shipped directly through from Brainerd to Boston, loaded with 12,000 pounds of venison, one ton of turkeys, 2,000 pheasants, 4,000 pounds of butter and two carcasses of youthful bear. (Minneapolis Tribune, 23 January 1873, p. 2)

...My father drove the [Northern Pacific Railroad] express wagon here at just about the time the wild game hunting and the blueberry picking were right at their peak. Sometimes there were from two to six express cars loaded with nothing but blueberries. Then, later on, in the fall during deer season, there would be carloads of venison. The critters, when brought in, were cut in two crossways, or skinned out from the front and the heads thrown away; the skin was wrapped back over the saddle and was tied. These were shipped in cold weather, mainly to Chicago and other eastern markets. The same was true of fish and other wild game, such as grouse, partridge, prairie chicken, etc. This game was all packed in barrels and shipped East to markets there. At that time there was no bag limit as far as any wild game was concerned. People were employed [market-hunters] for the sole purpose of slaughtering game for money. (Biography: June 1937; Louis Hohman, Jr., born November 1878; came to Brainerd in 1887; CWCHS)

Northern Pacific Hospital on the north side of the railroad tracks at the west end of the railroad bridge, ca. 1902.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC HOSPITAL (Northern Pacific Beneficial Association [NPBA])
A frame structure at the end of the railroad bridge in West Brainerd, formerly called Immigration Hall [Colonists’ Reception House], is converted into the Northern Pacific Beneficial Association Hospital on 24 September 1882; this is the main hospital for the entire Northern Pacific Railroad system. It stands on the north side of the railroad track at the west end of the railroad bridge. It burns the following year and is replaced by a $25,000 [sic] building. A new operating room and laundry are added in 1898, a three-year nurses' training school in 1901. The Northern Pacific Railroad moves its hospital services to St. Paul on 21 September 1921 and the building is razed. In its early years, the building is heated by wood-burning stoves and has no running water. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22 & 23)

The nurses’ quarters were designed in 1901 by Reed and Stern of St. Paul. The same architectural firm that designed the Grand Central Terminal in New York. (Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 06 December 2009; “BIZ BUZZ: Ad Agency Making Move to West Bank”)

Fire animation On January 22, 1883, a fire destroyed the Northern Pacific Hospital and Colonists’ Reception House. Patients were safely removed from the building still in their beds via two baggage cars in -40 degree temperature and lodged in an empty building at the shops.

SEE: 1883 Northern Pacific Hospital Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

The NP Hospital burns and is replaced by a $25,000 [sic] building. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22 & 23)

The NP Hospital at Brainerd was a small and inferior structure, originally built for a stopping place for immigrants. It was burned in the winter of 1883 [sic] [1882] when the mercury was forty-five below zero, but the thirty-five patients were all safely removed. The new Sanitarium, with its commodious wards, its airy halls, its excellent health appliances, its handsome grounds, and the efficient service for which it serves as headquarters, are the outcome of Dr. Bigger’s skill and administrative talent. The people of Brainerd are proud of this institution and hundreds of men owe their lives to its care. (The Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888; E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher, p. 10)

The Northern Pacific Beneficial Association maintains a large Sanitarium at Brainerd, by contributions of sums ranging from twenty-five cents to $1.50 per month from all the employees of the railway company on the divisions east of the Rocky Mountains. Each employee is entitled to receive free treatment and nursing, in case of sickness or accident, either in the Sanitarium or at his own home. The Sanitarium is a handsome building standing in the midst of spacious grounds in a commanding situation on the west bank of the Mississippi and overlooking the city. It is a model of neatness, order, and successful remedial effort. The death rate is surprisingly low. During the year 1887 the Association treated 1,050 patients, with only thirteen deaths, and of these five did not reach the hospital and three were mortally wounded. The building cost, exclusive of furniture, $27,000. The Association is free from debt and has a surplus fund of $35,000. Its chief surgeon is Dr. D. P. Bigger. (The Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888; E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher, p. 10)

Dr. Bigger’s grizzly bear which he had confined in an enclosure at the N. P. Sanitarium succeeded in escaping on Tuesday night by digging out and has not been heard from since. The animal was valued very highly by the Doctor, it having been a present to him. The bear was brought here from the [Yellowstone] National Park. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 September 1885, p. 3, c. 3)

Dr. Werner Hemstead has resigned as assistant surgeon of the Northern Pacific sanitarium and departed for his former home in Iowa, though he will return and retain his residence here. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

The following circular was issued Monday by Assistant General Manager Ainslie, of the Northern Pacific, being dated back to Sept. 25:
Dr. Walter Courtney is appointed surgeon-in-charge of the Sanitarium and medical service on the Eastern divisions, appointment taking effect this date, with headquarters at Brainerd, Minn., vice Dr. D. P. Bigger, transferred.
The circular is issued by Mr. Ainslie as president of the Northern Pacific Beneficial Association. (Brainerd Dispatch, 12 October 1888, p. 1, c. 4)

Dr. D. P. Bigger, who has been residing in St. Paul in needy circumstances for several months past, has made a raise of $1,000 on his life insurance policy, consequently the genial doctor and his affectionate son, will be in clover for some time. The doctor, according to the Pioneer Press has left St. Paul to visit a sister in Des Moines, Iowa, who he has not seen for 17 years. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 March 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Death of Dr. Bigger.


Dr. D. P. Bigger died at Kansas City on Sunday last. The deceased was for many years in charge of the Northern Pacific Sanitarium in this city and was instrumental in building the institution up to its present standard. He was succeeded by Dr. Courtney about a year ago and immediately left for St. Paul where he opened an office and practiced during the winter but his health failed and he was obliged to give up work entirely and went to Kansas City, where his wife was living with her aged mother. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

SEE: Northern Pacific Colonists’ Reception House

NORTHERN PACIFIC HOTEL
The Northern Pacific House, in East Brainerd, is having a good run of custom these days. The hotel is owned by Mr. J. H. Koop, but is under the immediate supervision of J. H. Brannon, a gentleman who thoroughly understands the hotel business, and who is just the man for the place. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 23 August 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

The Northern Pacific House in East Brainerd, now owned by J. H. Koop, is receiving a liberal share of patronage these days. Since it has been remodeled and repainted it makes a very handsome appearance. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 1883, p. 2, c. 2)

FOR SALE.


The Northern Pacific Hotel containing 57 rooms, close to the large N. P. R. R. Shops at Brainerd for sale cheap. Inquire of Capt. I. A. Owens, St. Paul, or J. G. Huber, Brainerd, Minn. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 May 1884, p. 3, c. 5)

The notice of speculators and real estate dealers is called to the administrators sale of real estate by auction, to take place on August 2nd, 1887. The premises are known as the Northern Pacific hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 July 1887, p. 4, c. 3)

We understand the N. P. House in East Brainerd will be opened for business in a short time. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 September 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

BRAINERD BREVITIES

Reopening of the Northern Pacific Hotel


BRAINERD, Sept. 9.—A new sign of prosperity is the prospective opening of the Northern Pacific hotel [814 Front Street], at the shops on the East side, which has not done any successful business since the Villard downfall in 1883. The shops now contain more employees than at any time since that event. (Minneapolis Tribune, 10 September 1888, p. 8)

NOTE: This building still stands at 814 Front Street.

(Top) Northern Pacific Railroad Offices and Shops, ca. 1875. (Bottom) Northern Pacific Roundhouse, ca. 1875.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC SHOPS (MAP)
The first railroad shops are all on the north side of the tracks, and are of wood. The old brick smoke stack bears the date 1872. In February 1872, the total number of engines on the entire road is but 22; all are of the wood burning type. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 19)

We learn with satisfaction, that that good fellow and excellent workman, Daniel S. Childs has received the contract for building the (frame) Round House for the Northern Pacific R. R. at Brainerd. It is to contain twelve stalls for locomotives, and must be... (Duluth Minnesotian, 11 November 1871)

The Round House for the Northern Pacific R. R. at Brainerd, contracted for with the Duluth Manufacturing Company on Monday last, was, we understand ready for raising yesterday—Capt. McQuade and Dan Childs having “pushed things.” (Duluth Minnesotian, 25 November 1871)

The round-house with capacity for twelve engines, at this point, has been completed by the contractors, Messrs. McQuade & Co., of Duluth, and is one of the most substantial and fine-appearing structures of the kind we ever saw. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 1)

Progressing.


Under the supervision of that accomplished builder, Mr. Cruikshanks, of Chicago, the mammoth railroad machine shops here are progressing splendidly, notwithstanding the severe weather we have experienced, at times, lately. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

Finely Executed.


We have seen the plans, specifications, and drawings in detail, of the machine shops, engine house, and other buildings here, executed by Mr. J. H. Place, who has heretofore been the Architect for the N. P. R. R., but who is now operating with Mr. Bridges as architect in the construction of many buildings along the line. They were, so far as we could judge, as handsomely executed plans as we have ever noticed—and we have seen many from the hands of the first architects of the country. The extent of the plans may be inferred by giving the size of a few of the buildings, as follows:
Machine shop, 240x65 feet.
Boiler shop, 60x60 feet.
Blacksmith shop, 60x60 feet.
Round-house, as to be when completed, 28 stalls, accommodating 28 engines—12 stalls now completed—besides many others of minor importance. (Brainerd Tribune, 10 February 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

Progress of the Car Shops.


The progress being made in the construction of the great car shops at this place, is of the most flattering nature. We visited the scene of operations a few days since, and after seeing what had been done in the space of a few weeks, we cannot refrain from complimenting Chief of Construction Cruikshanks and his gallant crew of artists upon the good management and splendid progress so evident. There has been no squandering of time nor “wood-butchering” done there; the great structure stands out in its immense proportions, a type of architectural and mechanical perfection, and is as graceful in appearance as a swan upon the water. The other two buildings which are sixty by sixty feet each, and a part and parcel of the whole, are also fast approaching an upright position. These two, with the grand main building, the round-house and tank, cover a large area of ground, and with the two or three score of residences that are to be built in the vicinity of these works, will of themselves make a village of no mean pretensions in size and respectable appearance. Some idea of the extent of the car-works may be had when we state that in the main building alone there are some 200,000 feet of lumber, and we have been informed by railroad men that the structure is the largest of its character anywhere west of Albany, New York. (Brainerd Tribune, 02 March 1872, p. 3, c. 2)

NP President Frederick Billings plans the enlargement of the repair shops in Brainerd. This work begins in June of 1881. The new shops, as they come to be known, are of a size to create a daily payroll of 1200 men. They require two years to build. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 15 & 16)

BRAINERD’S BOOM.

The Great Railroad Shops Under Construction
by the Northern Pacific
Railroad Company.

Something About Their Cost and the
Number of Men They Will Give
Employment.

PROGRESS OF THE WORK.


Few that have not been there have any correct idea of the number and magnitude of the railroad shops built and being built by the Northern Pacific company at Brainerd. Nor can they know with what regard to solidity and beauty they are being erected. The time has long since passed when the permanence and success of the road is questioned. They no longer build for a season, but are putting up structures that seem to say, Your service will be needed for a long time.
The round house, which makes a complete circle and contains forty-four stalls, is, as are all the new shops, built of brick with iron trusses and a slate roof. It has in and about all the conveniences in shape of heating, lighting, water, center turn-table, tracks, etc., that can be imagined, and is without doubt the most complete engine house in the state if not in the union. Of the machine shops to be built only one-half of one is finished. This directly east of the round house. Its dimensions are 120x250, one side for machinery, the other for engines. Solid granite foundations have been laid for all the machinery, which is being put in place. The engine room, 40x80, is built on the north side, and a 150 horse power Corliss engine with five boilers, is ready for work. The other half of the machine shop which will be built in the future, is to be of the same dimensions as the part built. West of these shops and parallel with them, are the tank, repair, copper and boiler shops, making, when finished, a building 80x175. These parallel buildings have running between them a transfer which will run an engine into any part of the two shops. It runs on six tracks, the motive power being a small stationary engine on one side of the carriage which moves the wheel by cogs. The foundation of the latter building has been laid and the balance of the work has been contracted for and will be done at once.
North of the boiler shops is the oil house. This is to be 40x60, two stories high. The ground floor is to be built partly underground and to be filled with wrought iron oil tanks fifteen to seventeen feet in diameter, holding from 15,000 to 25,000 gallons each. Pumps are to be arranged on the next floor and oil is to be pumped up as needed. This building is very well built and is as nearly fire proof as possible.
Between the main track and the round house a storehouse and office is being built in one large building 44x280 two stories high. Seventy five feet of the west end is to be cut off to be used as offices for the superintendent of construction, master mechanic, etc. On the front a clock tower 65 feet high is to be erected. The foundation of this building is completed and walls are being built. It will be of brick with iron truss and slate roof.
The new blacksmith shop south of the round house is to be a very large one. The shops and yards are to be lighted by the Brush electric light. The chimney, which is 106 feet high, has been utilized as a tower. Fred R. W. Gilbert, assistant engineer of the Chicago shops, estimates the cost of the new shops, when completed, at $450,000 and that they will employ from 600 to 800 men when finished, which they will be in the fall. The old shops on the north side of the track will be used for car building and car repairs, while the new ones will be for the motive power works.
About a year ago the Northern Pacific company had made for their use nine powerful engines, with large fire boxes, in which they supposed they could burn the soft coal found on the west end of their line. It was given a good trial and failed; then Iowa coal was tried, but that would not work, so they are all being rebuilt with smaller fire boxes.
There are now in course of construction sixty caboose, 200 hand cars, twelve boarding cars, two baggage cars and one new pay car. The pay car, which is nearly finished, will be a great improvement on the old one, being of the same length as the baggage car, having sleeping and eating accommodations, and having in the end two doors for men to pass in and out. All these improvements give work to nearly 2,000 men, who are paid nearly $75,000 a month. Brainerd owes much to the Northern Pacific company, and Minnesota should be grateful that so good a company is doing so much in her borders. (Minneapolis Tribune, 04 July 1882, p. 4)

The Northern Pacific Railroad begins building a car repair shop in March 1871, it is located on the north side of the tracks about three-quarters of a mile east of the depot, this shop is completed in 1872. These shops are enlarged in 1881-1883. These early buildings are built of Brainerd-made Schwartz cream brick. In early 1886 the wooden car shops burn and are replaced by a new brick building 200' x 300' that is a story and a half high. In 1900 the capacity of the boxcar plant is doubled. In January 1901 the machine shop, blacksmith shop and boiler shop are more than doubled in size. In 1907 the Tie Plant is built in west Brainerd. In 1909 another addition is made to the machine shop in east Brainerd. In October 1920 the old brick car repair shops in east Brainerd are destroyed by fire. In 1944-45 the Tie Plant operation in west Brainerd is enlarged. Also in 1944-45, a new steel and brick building 916' long is added to the east shops, this location is one of the largest steel freight car building shops in the country. The power plant in east Brainerd is also upgraded in 1944-45. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 54, 82, 180)

The new NP shops built in Brainerd in 1882 cost $260,006.12. (Minneapolis Tribune, 01 January 1883, p.12)

On 08 September 1883, the golden spike is driven at Gold Creek, Montana completing the Northern Pacific Railroad from the east to the west coast.

TRIUMPHANT SUCCESS.
_______

Brainerd’s Celebration Proves Her
Greatness and Shows her Gratitude
to the Gentlemen who
have just Completed the
Gigantic Scheme.
_______

A Blaze of Banners and Pageantry.
_______

Moving Exhibition of Manufacturers
and Trade never
Equaled in a city of
her size.
_______

Decorations so Lavish as to Call
Forth Comment and arrest the
Attention of All.
_______


The day set for the driving of the Golden Spike, Saturday, September 8, 1883, will be one long to be remembered by the people of the northwest, and Brainerd in particular. The weather was fine, a sky of Minnesota’s bluest and brightest, a sun beneficent, and air pure and fresh, and no mortal could complain that the elements had not combined to do honor to the occasion. And then the enthusiasm—there was enough of it to have survived the drenchings of the severest thunder shower or the blinding shadows of a storm. Imagine the condition of our reporter, if you can, in trying to do descriptive honor to the event which in all truth and soberness cannot be too highly lauded. Beautiful, grand, elegant—it was all of these and more too. It was unique in conception and execution so far as the industrial exhibition was concerned. The decorations were elegant and tastefully arranged and were worth a “Sabbath” day’s journey” to see, nearly all the buildings were decked out in flowers, flags, wreaths and emblematic banners. The ordinary gained the gala air to the fullest extent, while the smaller cigar or fruit stands launched out into an excellence no one would have thought possible to acquire. The procession moved as if by clock work, not a serious accident marring the line of march which extended nearly two and a half miles and not an iota of space was wasted. So far as details are possible they are given below, but none know better than the writer how poor comparatively the descriptions necessarily are.
At 1:30 p.m. the different divisions of the trades procession commenced to get in line and at 15 minutes to 3 commenced to move along the streets laid out by the committee.

THE FIRST DIVISION


was headed by W. P. Spaulding, the chief marshal of the day, and assistants E. R. French and P. Mertz, and the chief of this division G. G. Hartley, riding on horseback. Behind came the police force in uniform, and the Brainerd Cornet band discoursing martial music. Then came the carriages containing the city officials and other prominent guests. The procession that followed was as follows:
Twenty boys in uniform under the supervision of Master Joseph Howe drawing fire extinguishers.
The Brainerd Hose company No. 1, A. J. Hawks foreman.
Brainerd Hose company No. 2, S. Hall foreman.
Brainerd Hook & Ladder company, F. Davenport foreman.
Cohen Bros. with 18 little boys representing their 99 cent store.

SECOND DIVISION


headed by H. J. Small and assistants, mounted.
N. P. engineers corps, C. F. Hollingsworth, S. H. Relf and clerks, with instruments and various tools used by them.
The N. P. locomotive and car drawing shops were next represented under the supervision of Messrs. Reynolds and Carter. The wagon had men at work and got out the blue print work with the gold spike and lettering which were prominent ornaments on the various wagons.
Then came the display from the machine shops which was certainly the most elaborate and finely arranged of any department in the procession. The description which we give cannot convey to the mind of the general reader an inkling of the trouble and ingenuity that it took to get it up. The wagon belonged to Hartley Bros. and Deware [sic] [Dewar] and was drawn by Carver & Mohle’s team. On the right hand side of the wagon was a large circular board on top of which rested a miniature steam boat, which by the way is quite a relic, being made by Warren Mallot, a young boss at the shops, when he was only 12 years of age, at Logansport, Ind. under which came the motto “Cooke & Villard” with a representation of clasping hands. This motto was neatly executed on brass and does much credit to the author of it, and was original, it being the first used at the shops. Below this were drawing instruments and all the various tools and instruments used by the men in their work at the machine shops, numbering 150 distinct and separate pieces. On a nail hung a shaving taken from a driver wheel which measured over one hundred feet in length. At the bottom was the motto “Linked at Last” with the name of Brainerd on one side and Albina [Oregon] on the other. Around the sides of this board arranged in order were forty standard gauges, ranging in size from one-half inch to four and a half inches. Those arrangements were supported by brass standards highly polished and made especially for the occasion. In front was a very handsome and elaborate design of a wreath and star made from Dakota wheat heads and decorated with artificial flowers. The design was gotten up by Phillip Brown, of the round house, and the flowers were furnished by Mrs. Brown. On the left hand side was a similar board on top of which was perched a brass engine, below this was the words on a brass standard “Machine Shops” with a large spread eagle in the background. Below was an elegant display of the bass steam fixtures which are found on an engine which were all made at the machine shops, and were all burnished and polished to the highest degree, presenting a grand spectacle. The first was the large steam gauge with a bouquet of flowers which were presented by Mrs. Favrou. On each side was a very fine water glass, said to be the very best turned out by any institution, under the steam gauge was an elegantly executed compound injector throttle, and on each side of it a large steam whistle. The balance of the board was covered by brake valves, large and small lubricators, hose nozzles, gauge, cylinder and drip cock, injector and intermediate checks. Above these decorations was an engine bell weighing some 400 pounds which kept up the merry ringing during the entire line of march. Behind these was a steam gauge testing machine, and still further came a Fox brass finishing lathe in operation. To get these things in position and in running order it took four days and nights and much credit is due to A. Bardsley, general foreman, and Jas. McNaughton foreman of the machine shops, together with the assistance of the men employed under them. Behind this wagon came a full sized engine made of wood and fully equipped which was built by Wm. McLean, B. Hascall and Abe Adams, assisted by the men under them. Its construction was not thought of until 11 o’clock on Friday and it was rushed through with speed that was astonishing and when finished made a very creditable appearance bearing the name “Old Ironsides No. 999.” But this was doomed to destruction and was wrecked near the freight house, the horses that were pulling it becoming unmanageable and threw it over on its side where it took fire and was consumed. No lives were lost, although the wreck was a bad one. The escape (!) of the fireman and engineer being miraculous.
The entire outfit from the machine shops was valued at over $3,500 and the display was not equaled in St. Paul or Minneapolis during the recent festivities there.
The next to come was the N. P. Fire department, J. E. Wilson chief.
Hose company No. 1, Charley Pegg foreman, with sixty men drawing hose cart, men dressed with red shirts and uniforms.
Hose company No. 2, H. Child foreman, with 55 men drawing hose cart, men dressed in blue shirts and uniforms.
N. P. Hook and Ladder company with J. D. Doyle in charge, H. J. Small chief and F. Howard, assistant.
Man bearing banner “The Last Spike.”
The car shops were next and their display was fine, the first representative being a passenger coach on wheels and drawn by a span of horses. This coach was gotten up on short notice, the most of it being finished after 9 o’clock on Saturday morning, and Mr. Frank Howard, master car builder, informs us that the “entire painting was done on all the work from that department Saturday forenoon.”
A small caboose painted red and fixed off with all the requirements of a full fledged caboose came next.
Behind this came a freight car on wheels.
The cabinet shops were next represented and the carpenter shops after them in their turn.
The pattern makers came next in charge of Jack Zuber with two wagons. These were making patterns.
The second wagon represented the different patterns, and the interior of the pattern shops.
The foundry department under the supervision of Mr. T. A. Burns had a fine display. They were followed by workmen on foot. The brass foundry, Mr. Randolph foreman, came next with men at work moulding and casting brass.
The blacksmith shops, N. W. Wheatley foreman, had one wagon with forge and men at work, and a steam hammer in operation.
The tin shops was next represented, headed by the Tinker’s band, which by the way was quite a novel feature. The band consisted of seven pieces, four whistles or flutes, two drums and a triangle. The drums and other instruments were all made by the boys at the tin shop and created many remarks and much praise from the lookers-on. Their caps were decorated with tin and had the inscription “Tinker’s Band” cut into it. The drum major was Mr. Rosenblood, Joseph Midgley being the originator of the band. Three wagons followed, the first being the tin workers busily engaged in turning out cups and oil cans, of which they made 12 dozen of the former and 6 dozen of the latter on the march. The second wagon contained the sheet iron workers, engaged on locomotive stack and on galvanized iron work.
The third wagon had the coppersmiths and steam fitters at work on copper pipes and steam fitting. The entire outfit at the tin shops was gotten up at the expense of the employees, under the supervision of Mr. Watts foreman, and much credit is due to the men who worked faithfully.
The boiler shops, Wm. Allen foreman, were represented by men at work on a stationary boiler, followed by men with tools on foot, and preceded by the foreman on horseback.
The paint shops, J. C. Congdon, foreman had an elegant display. The first wagon having canvas stretched the whole length on which was painted a facsimile of the “Pioneer” coach with men putting the finishing touches onto it.
The second wagon represented the freight car painting department, with men at work mixing paint, &c., with Skip Dean in charge.
There was 12 stationary engineers behind in charge of Thos. Wadham, chief engineer, with badges representing the different engines they worked at.
One hundred track layers on foot.

THIRD DIVISION


headed by J. J. Howe and assistants mounted.
Garden theatre band of seven pieces.
T. R. Congdon, art gallery with six pictures, pastel painting, very fine and showing the artist to be one skilled in his profession.
Peter Ort’s brewery wagon making beer and everything in full blast.
Team with a large load of keg beer belonging to the same man.
Then followed the display from J. J. Howe & Co.'s lumber, lath and shingle mill which was one of the main features and did much credit to the gentleman who studied out the various contrivances for operating the machinery, Mr. R. E. Gleason. The first wagon was the representation of a logging camp in full blast with the cook turning out pies, cake and “sich,” and as the scribe had the honor to do justice to one of the aforesaid pies he can testify to the fine hash that the boys in the woods must be accustomed to who work for this firm.
The next team was two yoke of cattle [sic] [oxen] drawing a load of pine logs with the motto “The pines of Minnesota meet the firs of Oregon.”
Then came the saw mill in full blast. On this wagon was rigged a large circular saw, beside which was the carriage in full operation, moving back and forth with a log on it and with men going through the operations the same as in a mill. This was the crowning feature of the mill exhibits and was a more novel sight than was exhibited at St. Paul in all the display that was made there.
Three wagons containing loads of lumber, representing lumber yards.
Dry kiln wagon with fixtures representing the men at work.
Wagon containing blacksmith shop, ironing bobsleds and doing other work.
Shingle mill wagon with 14 men at work turning out shingles, edging them and packing. The machinery was rigged to run by a belt from the hub of the wheel and was as regular as clock work.
Then the lath mill followed which was fixed out and in running order, the saw buzzing merrily and the lath flying in all directions.
Then there was a wagon representing the filing rooms with men at work.
C. M. Patek & Co., furniture, with a fine display of goods from his store at the corner of Sixth and Laurel streets.
C. Roth, clothing store with a fine display of goods in his line.
W. Bean, vegetable wagon, showing that garden sass will grow as well on the sandy soil of Brainerd as elsewhere.
Cutler’s pop factory wagon, making pop on the run and bottling the same.
Leopold, the “Boss” clothier, with an elegant display of gents’ furnishing, trunks &c.
McFadden & Johnson, druggists, with wagon richly decorated. The cross bones and skull being a prominent feature on the sign.
E. E. M. Smith, confection and fruit dealer, tastily arranged to show off goods to the best advantage.
D. D. Smith, finely arranged pyramid of canned goods, groceries, &c.
Boston One Price clothing store, an elegant and very nicely arranged wagon, showing off their gents’ furnishings and other goods in a pleasing manner.
W. & J. Paine, gunsmiths, a very fine decorated pyramid of their wares, arranged with taste.
F. H. Elvidge, coal and wood, wagon with wood piled up in center and other fixtures pertaining to the business. On the back of the wagon was a negro and a woman (!) and child which called forth rounds of applause.
H. S. Totton, boots and shoes, with neatly arranged case of goods.
D. C. Herbert, representing Brainerd in 1871 in tent and showing how the pioneers roughed it that first settled this section.
C. V. Wadham, with a finely gotten up wagon, showing off his boot and shoe store to good advantage.
Kentucky liquor Co.’s wagon.
W. A. Smith with two wagons loaded with goods carried at their double store on Front street. Their carpet and dry goods display was very fine.
Hagberg & Honnett, grocers, with a wagon loaded down with wares that made a fine appearance.
Brainerd bottling works, with a fine display of their wares.
Tailor & Lagerquist, wagon loaded with groceries.
L. J. Cale, dry goods, groceries, etc.
Slipp & Long, hardware merchants, very fine display of goods.
Brainerd water works, wagon with pipes, &c.
Northwestern Tribune, press in motion and men at work at case, fine display.
Congdon’s milk wagon.
Crow Wing dairy wagon.
Pony dairy wagon.
C. E. Smith & Co., two wagons, the first loaded with bed room furniture of the the finest grades, the second with parlor furniture, showing some elegant samples.
F. M. Cable, druggist, a very fine display, with emblematic mottos suspended from pole and a “medicine man” dressed in the habitments of the noble red man, that are on exhibition at his store, and which at one time belonged to Sitting Bull.
Conklin, Clark & Co., an elegant showing of hardware, tastily arranged, and making a fine display.
Linnemann & Koop, with an elegant display of dry goods, clothing, provisions, two wagons loaded down with as fine a display of goods as has been seen in many a day.
N. P. Steam laundry wagon.
A. Olson, merchant tailor.
W. W. Hartley, sewing machine wagon.
Heard & Koop, jewelers with a very valuable display of wares.
During the entire line of march there was comments of praise from the citizens and visitors. It surpassed the expectations of the most sanguine and was a sight that will not be witnessed in Brainerd again for years, if ever. Parties from Chicago, St. Paul, St. Louis and elsewhere who happened to be in the city on this memorable day say they never saw the like before, and our people can well congratulate themselves on the grand success. It was not merely a show, but exhibited to the inhabitants and others the vast greatness of the business that is going on within the limits of our modest but thriving city, in such a light as they never thought of before.
Upon reaching Gregory Park the procession gave way and the participants who were tired out with exertion during the miles of travel and dust-begrimed, took part in the refreshments that were offered, beneath the towering pines. After which came speaking from the band stand by the following gentlemen, who were first introduced by Mayor Hartley: W. P. Spaulding, Hon. L. P. White, Rev. Dr. Hawley, C. F. Hollingsworth, Dr. J. C. Rosser, Ex-Senator J. Simmons of Little Falls, Rev. W. W. Regan, Rev. E. C. Evans, and Rev. M. D. Terwilliger. It would be impossible to go into details in regard to the speech-making on account of the space already taken, but suffice it to say that each and every one done their level best and their efforts were appreciated by the assembled crowd.

NOTES BY THE WAYSIDE.


The grand arch across Sixth street where it merges into Front was most elaborate, being made of evergreens and trimmed up in fine shape. The motto on the north side is: J. Cooke, 1870 Commenced {Our City} H. Villard, 1883 Finished.
On the south side [it] reads: Cooke, 1870 {Hands clasped.} Villard, 1883
These emblems or mottos are made so that they can be illuminated and presented a very pleasing aspect on the evening of the 8th inst. It is intended to leave this arch in its present position until the 18th or 20th, when the Villard party will return.
The golden spike was driven at 6:15 p.m., somewhat later than was intended on account of some slight accident to the train. Immediately upon receipt of the news a cannon, made for the occasion, was fired several times near the offices and after which it did good service at the Park.
There was a general kick in regard to the charge for supper at the Park for the church benefit, but we are informed that the different organizations were not to blame, as it was suggested to them and they merely followed out the plans that were laid down for them. It did seem as though it was tucked on a little steep, to ask the citizens especially the members of the bands and fire companies after having traveled around all the afternoon through the dirt of the streets on foot, to “whack up” the fifty cents before they could partake of the tempting viands spread out before, them. But such was the case, nevertheless, and many left the park in disgust, while others who are more apt to take things as they come, quietly submitted and took their medicine. We hope the next time a public demonstration of this kind is gotten up here that no society whatever will try and make profit from any of the proceeds.
The fire works that were touched off at the park at just dusk were very fine, and much credit is due the gentlemen who had charge of them for their excellent selection and the manner in which they were discharged.
We understand that the Tinker’s Band will be a fixed institution hereafter. The boys intend to organize with a band of 20 members and they say Prof. Dreskell with his fine brass band will have to get up and dust, to keep ahead of them.
Mr. A. Bardsley wishes us to say through the columns of the Dispatch that he desires to return thanks to the shop employees for their hearty co-operation and willingness in helping to make the display at the celebration on Saturday a success.
We are informed that all the flags that decorated the railroad exhibits on Saturday were donated by “Yankee” Thompson, an engineer, the oldest on the road.
After the boys got through celebrating with their cannon at the park it was taken to East Brainerd, where it was placed in front of a store and fired, the force of the shock knocking out the front and smashing the glass, costing the boys some $15.
Among the various decorated store buildings the most noticeable was that of H. A. Hay’s Chicago Hat Store on Sixth Street. The front was finely decorated with evergreen and flags artistically arranged.
Conklin, Clark & Co. have the thanks of the machine shop men for assistance rendered last Saturday.
Several business firms that would have been in the procession on Saturday, were unable to procure conveyances and in consequence were unable to parade.
The Dispatch acknowledges the receipt of two or three of the blue print mottoes, which was handed the scribe as the locomotive and car drawing exhibit went by. These souvenirs will be kept by many in memory of this great day. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 14 September 1883, p. 3, c’s. 3-6)

Gen. Grant and Mr. Billings passed through Brainerd on Monday morning on their way to Duluth, in the cars “Yellowstone” and “Adirondack.” They stopped and looked over the shops and expressed much surprise at the mammoth enterprises. They were accompanied by other notables, among who were Jessie Grant and Mr. Billing’s son. (Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 20 September 1883, p. 3, c. 3)

(Top) Northern Pacific Railroad Shops, ca. 1885. (Bottom) Northern Pacific Railroad Shops, ca. 1910.
Source: Minnesota Historical Society and A. Nelson
The Brainerd shops are the most extensive owned by the Northern Pacific company and rank with the most important plants of the kind in the country. They represent a value of nearly $2,000,000. The buildings are of yellow brick, with slate roofs, the machinery includes every approved labor-saving invention applicable to car building and locomotive repairs, sanitary conditions have been carefully studied, there is a reading room for the free use of the workmen, the wages are as good as are paid anywhere in the East in like establishments, and life is made attractive and secure. A remarkably intelligent and thrifty class of mechanics fill these shops. Most of them own pleasant homes in the city and look upon it as their permanent residence. They take part in public affairs, secure a good education for their children and with their fast friends, the locomotive engineers, form a stable, conservative element in the population of the city. These mechanics number nearly 800 in all and they do most of the freight car building and locomotive repairing for all the Northern Pacific main line and branches east of the Rocky Mountains. The road has a number of division shops for lighter repairs, but the heavy work comes to Brainerd. The shop buildings consist of an office and storehouse, 43 x 282 feet, two stories high; boiler and tin shop 80 x 224 feet; a machine and erecting shop, 120 x 244 feet; a boiler annex 40 x 80 feet, with a 1,500 horse-power Corliss engine; a round-house, 316 feet in diameter, with stalls for 44 engines; a black-smith shop, 80 x 197 feet; an oil house, 45 x 62 feet; two iron and coal store houses, one 26 x 57 and the other 26 x 98 feet; a paint shop, 50 x 240 feet; a foundry, 80 x 235 feet; a wood working shop, 65 x 160 feet, with an annex for axle and car wheel work, 40 x 65 feet; a freight car repair shop, 80 x 160 feet and a lumber dry kiln, 40 x 70 feet. The present monthly pay roll of the shops amounts to about $80,000.
Next to the shop mechanics the train men form numerically the largest element of the city’s population. Headquarters of the Minnesota division are here, and about eighty locomotive engineers and probably five times that number of conductors, firemen and brakemen make the place their home. Shop men and train crews, with their families, must number in all not far from four thousand souls—a pretty solid basis for a large town by themselves. Sturdy, self-reliant men, they are, too, and worthy members of the great American industrial army. (The Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, "The City of the Pines;" Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888; E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher, p. 8)

Fire animation On March 28, 1886, a fire burned the following Northern Pacific shops buildings to the ground: Planing mill, machine shop, pattern shop and upholstering shop of the car department; the old roundhouse, where the freight work was done, and the general foreman’s offices. These were all wooden buildings. The damages amounted to between $100,000 and $200,000.

SEE: 1886 Northern Pacific Shops Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Fire animation On January 26, 1891, a fire burned the old Northern Pacific paint shop which was being used as a car repair shop amounting to between $10,000 and $12,000 in damage; this building was nearly the last of the original old wooden buildings.

SEE: 1891 Northern Pacific Shops Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Fire animation On June 1, 1893, a fire destroyed the Northern Pacific car repair shops. The building, a structure 80x160 and the last of the old wooden shops, was entirely consumed, together with ten cars, two refrigerator, one furniture and seven box cars.

SEE: 1893 Northern Pacific Shops Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

In 1924 surveyors lay out the site for the new power plant at the Brainerd shops, and actual construction is to be started soon. This power plant will be 101 feet by 109 feet ground measurements. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 13 July 2004)

NOTE: National Register of Historic Places, added 1989; 10 buildings, 25 acres

Northern Pacific Tie Plant located in West Brainerd south of the railroad tracks and Highway 210, ca. 1912.
Source: Postcard
NORTHERN PACIFIC TIE PLANT
At the tie treating plant of the NP Railroad, situated in West Brainerd, 35 men are at work, with A. J. Loom being the foreman. Work has been hampered by a scarcity of cars on which to load shipments. With the plant at full capacity, three times as many men will be at work. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 22 February 2013)

The Burlington Northern tie-treating plant, a fixture in the Brainerd area since the early 1900s [1907], will be closed by the end of 1986. The closure will result in the layoff of 14 of the plant’s current 24 workers. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Thursday, 19 January 2006)

Dismantling of the Brainerd tie plant began today, 01 October 1986, and will continue for six weeks, leaving only the plant office and garage standing. The plant opened in 1906 [sic] [1907] and contained up to 1 million ties at one time. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 01 October 2006)


Northern Pacific YMCA located on the west side of 6th between the railroad tracks and Front, ca. 1889.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NORTHERN PACIFIC YMCA (MAP #33)
In 1885 the Northern Pacific Railroad offers to provide a YMCA building “…to give aid to sons of railway men and not cause them to seek asylum and pastime in saloons.” In 1887 the YMCA consists of two reading rooms. They are rooms numbered 9 and 10, upstairs in W. W. Hartley’s [First National] Bank Building. The YMCA is incorporated 06 September 1888. According to minutes of the Common Council, digging the basement is started that May. It is reported that work on the building is still going on in 1889. Circa 1901, the railroad is about to replace the board sidewalk in front of this building, when it is discovered that a new cement sidewalk would cost about $120 more, the citizens of Brainerd donate that amount and the first cement sidewalk is laid in front of the YMCA. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 50 & 83)

Throwing Dirt Lively.


The work of excavating for the basement of the Y. M. C. A. building commenced yesterday noon at the corner of Front and Sixth streets. The work of laying the foundation will follow immediately and the work pushed to completion as rapidly as possible. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 May 1885, p. 4, c. 4)

Y. M. C. A. Building.


The Young Men’s Christian Association of this city are about to erect commodious quarters for the accommodation of the members. The building will be put up in the centre of the railroad park between Fifth and Sixth streets opposite the Towne-McFadden block, the [N. P.] company having given free use of the ground as long as they desire it. In addition to donating the ground the [N. P.] company will contribute $500 toward the erection of the building provided $1,000 can be raised in this city by subscription for the same purpose, and up to to-day something like $400 has been pledged. The building is to be two stories high, with libraries, reading rooms, etc., below and a hall above. It is also the intention to add bath rooms and a gymnasium as soon as practicable. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1887, p. 4, c. 4)

New Y. M. C. A. Building.


As soon as the weather will permit in the spring the Young Men’s Christian Association of this city, will begin the erection of a handsome and durable structure for the accommodation of the association, the stone for the foundation of which is now being hauled. The building will be located in the center of the park on Front Street, between 5th and 6th, the N. P. company having generously given the association a lease to the property. The building will be two stories, with a 16 foot basement underneath, in which will be located a gymnasium and bath rooms. In the first story will be the library, reception room and parlor, and in the second story the assembly room and kitchen will be located. The gymnasium will be furnished with all the latest conveniences and appliances. The bath room will be for the convenience of the members of the association, who will have access to them at any and all times. The building when completed will cost between $3,500 and $4,000, over half of which has already been raised. Besides granting a lease for the ground free of cost and giving $500 a year for annual expenses, the N. P., through Mr. Harris, the president, has agreed to give $1,000 to aid in constructing the building, provided that enough money can be raised by subscription to complete the building and place the association out of debt. This will require the raising of about $2,500 among our citizens, who should subscribe liberally, as it is a worthy enterprise, and the building will be an ornament to our city. (Brainerd Dispatch, 03 February 1888, p. 4, c. 5)

The building committee of the Y. M. C. A. are advertising for bids on excavation and stone work for the new building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 April 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Work has been resumed on the excavation for the Y. M. C. A. building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 May 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

Work on the Y. M. C. A. Building is being pushed rapidly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 15 June 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The foundation of the new Y. M. C. A. building is nearly completed and the erection of the building will be commenced at once. It is expected that the building will be ready for occupation before snow flies. The entire cost of the building will be about $5,000. It will be a handsome structure, one and one-half stories high above the basement and will be an ornament to the city. In the basement will be located the gymnasium, bath-rooms and bowling alley. On the first floor will be an audience room capable of seating 150 persons, and also a parlor, library and reception room. On the second floor will be a kitchen and several smaller rooms that can be utilized for various purposes. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 September 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

The new Y. M. C. A. building will be open to the public for the first time on Tuesday evening of next week, the occasion being a fine oyster supper, given by the Ladies Auxiliary. The proceeds will be used for the benefit of the association. Supper will be served from 6 to 10 p.m. Let everybody get their supper at the new Y. M. C. A. building on Tuesday evening. Price 50 cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 January 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The Oyster Supper and entertainment at the new Y. M. C. A. building on Tuesday evening was a success in every particular. The tables were crowded constantly from 6 to 10 p.m., and all went away well pleased with the manner in which they were provided for. Supper being over the guests were entertained by the following literary and musical selections: Song, by male quartette, piano solo, by Miss Carrie Martin; vocal duet, by Miss Spears and Harry Craig; song, by male quartette; recitation by Miss May Gleason; song, by Miss Spears and Miss Martin. The association will clear at least a hundred dollars from the supper, which will be used to purchase furniture for the new building, which is almost completed and ready for occupancy. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 January 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

A Phonographic Entertainment.


There will be a phonographic entertainment and exhibition in the Y. M. C. A. hall next Wednesday evening, Aug. 20th. L. H. Everts, of St. Paul, will be present and conduct the entertainment. He will explain the construction and use of the phonograph, and the machine will reproduce singing, speaking, band and piano music, etc. It exactly reproduces every sound, and is the only means by which you can hear your own voice accurately reproduced. Nearly everybody knows something of the phonograph in a general way, but comparatively few have ever seen one in actual use. The entertainment will therefore be an exceedingly interesting one. The price of admission will be twenty-five cents. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

The entertainment given at the Y. M. C. A. rooms by H. L. Everts and his phonograph were not as well attended as could have been desired although it was probably one which the people would enjoy more than that of the average traveling troupes. The association realized a small sum over expenses. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 August 1889, p. 4, c. 3)

A Magnificent Gift.


Secretary Van Campen, of the Brainerd Y. M. C. A., yesterday received a telegram conveying the good news that Henry Villard, formerly president of the N. P. company, had given $2,000 to the building fund of the Y. M. C. A. of this city. This sum is amply sufficient to put in steam heating apparatus, bath tubs and gymnasium. As Mr. Villard is the guiding spirit of the N. P. company, this indication of his faith in the future of Brainerd is received with delight by our citizens. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 December 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

A. C. Van Campen has completed arrangements for the gymnasium and bath rooms at the Y. M. C. A. building and they both will be ready for use by March 1st. (Brainerd Dispatch, 31 January 1890, p. 4, c. 3)

The Y. M. C. A. bath rooms and gymnasium are now in perfect running order. Drills are held every Tuesday and Friday evenings. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 April 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Y. M. C. A.


Did you notice those enameled letters over the door of the Y. M. C. A.? They were presented to the Association by J. C. Congdon. They are initials and mean Young Men’s Christian Association, which, when interpreted aright, means large, well lighted and heated, social and game rooms, reading room with over fifty of the leading papers and magazines on file, free to the public from 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Membership cards at $5 will entitle you to bath rooms with three fine tubs and one shower, hot or cold, gymnasium with three sets of standard pulley weights, parallel bars, traveling rings, Indian clubs, dumb bells, etc. The Association at Brainerd desires through these methods to reach young men, and every young man is invited to the rooms. Young men away from home influences will find a warm welcome within its doors. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 December 1891, p. 4, c. 5)

The New Year’s reception given by the Ladies Auxiliary of the Y. M. C. A., was a success in more ways than one. About 300 men visited the rooms during the day and evening, and partook of the light refreshments provided by the ladies, and enjoyed a social visit. In the evening an impromptu programme was arranged in two parts. The first part consisted of an exhibition of gymnastics, under the directions of Mr. Tracy. This was followed by a well rendered programme of singing, reading and recitations. All of the participants won the hearty applause of the audience. The following persons took part: Misses Brockway, Ware, Gleason and Clark, Mrs. Alderman, Steadman, Cable, Thabes, Craig, Larson and Koefoot. The Bartelle family furnished the instrumental music. The Association entertainment committee have arranged a course of popular entertainments for the winter, the first one will be held on Wednesday evening, Jan. 13th. Mr. J. C. Small, chairman of the committee, promises a new departure along this line. The admission to non-residents will be 10 cents, and we hope to have our hall filled at these entertainments. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 January 1892, p. 4, c. 4)

The building is located on the west side of Sixth Street between the railroad tracks and Front Street; its address is 124 South Sixth Street. The railroad contributes $500 a year toward its support. Its Board of Directors closes the building in June 1923. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 09 June 2003)

18 May 1924. The Brainerd YMCA has undergone extensive repairs, improvements, and alterations during the past month and will be opened on Friday, May 23 with appropriate ceremonies. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Tuesday, 18 May 2004)

Northwestern Hospital at the northeast corner of 8th and Kingwood, ca. 1922.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
NORTHWESTERN HOSPITAL (MAP #35)
This hospital is organized through a stock subscription by Dr. Joseph Nicholson on 01 August 1908 and is erected on the southeast [sic] [northeast] corner of North Eighth [Broadway] and Kingwood Streets. It is well equipped with an operating room, X-ray apparatus and laboratory. The hospital has twenty-five beds. From 1908 to 1920 nearly thirty-two hundred patients are admitted. On 07 August 1920, the directors of the Northwestern Medical and Surgical Association, Incorporated take over the Northwestern Hospital ownership, management and hospital activity. On 15 October 1922 the formal opening of the new addition takes place. It is a three story brick building connected with the old building by corridors. The many modern features include an electric elevator, automatically controlled, a five thousand dollar X-ray outfit and well-equipped laboratories. The rooms are elaborately furnished for the comfort of patients. The capacity is seventy-two beds. The hospital maintains free beds for the worthy poor. A training school for nurses is conducted under the direct charge of the superintendent of nurses. The Northwestern Hospital is a monument to Brainerd. In August of 1924 the Northwestern Hospital goes into receivership and never comes out of it. The hospital building is subsequently converted into an apartment building called Kingwood Apartments. [Sometime in the ?1950’s the section of the hospital purchased in 1908 is torn down and replaced by the existing one story structure. The entire building then becomes the Good Samaritan Nursing Home. Sometime in ?2001 the building becomes the Senior Citizens’ Center.] (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 106 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 73, 94, 129, 132)

In 1908 Dr. Joseph Nicholson purchases the large residence owned by Walter Davis at the corner of North Broadway [North Eighth] and Kingwood Street. Dr. Nicholson states that he will convert the building into a private hospital as soon as possible. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 06 April 2008)

MANY ATTEND THE EXERCISES
_____

Four Nurses Graduated from North-
western Hospital Training
School for Nurses
_____

JUDGE B. F. WRIGHT SPOKE
_____

Rev. W. J. Lowrie Presided at the Program Given,—Hall was
Beautifully Decorated


From Monday’s Daily:—
The graduation exercises of the Northwestern Hospital Training School for Nurses were held in Elks hall on Friday evening and were largely attended. The hall was beautifully decorated with the class colors, potted plants and flowers.
The graduating class numbered four, being Miss Hilma Marie Nygren, Miss Edythe Olive Phillips, Miss Anna Lydia Michaelson and Miss Maybelle Alvenia Schelin.
Rev. W. J. Lowrie presided. The program included the entrance march, an invocation by Rev. M. L. Hostager, two vocal solos by Mrs. S. B. Christopher, a piano and violin duet from Beethoven by Mrs. W. A. M. Johnstone and Edwin Harris Bergh, the commencement address by Judge B. F. Wright, vocal solo by Mrs. Christopher, presentation of diplomas by Dr. Joseph Nicholson, piano solo by Miss Jennie Wilson.
Rev. Lowrie, in his address, praised the hospital for the painstaking care and cleanliness shown. Dr. Joseph Nicholson he praised as being a physician of the body and the soul.
Dr. Nicholson, in presenting the diplomas, gave a measure of praise to Miss Hildur T. Palm, the superintendent; to Dr. C. G. Nordin and praised the young graduates for their successful record as students.
Judge B. F. Wright, of the district court, who delivered the commencement address, said in part:

[...]


(Brainerd Dispatch, 05 June 1914, p. 7, c. 5)

In 1924 the Protestant Church’s Hospital Association of Brainerd are trying to secure funds for the purchase of the Northwestern Hospital in Brainerd. The new, modern, fireproof, 52-bed addition is now in the hands of a receiver. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 31 December 2004)

In 1927 J. H. Krekelberg, representing the bond holders of the Northwestern hospital announce the hospital building will be changed into an apartment building to be known as the Kingwood Apartments. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 29 July 2007)

NUMBER ONE SALOON (MAP #27)
Stands on the southeast corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets, across from the Leland House. [Still listed in the 1888 Brainerd City Directory.] (Brainerd Dispatch, “Old Lumberjack Days,” James M. Quinn, 04 May 1922)

Fire animation On October 10, 1890, a massive fire burned the Commercial Hotel aka the Leland House, the oldest hotel on the line of the Northern Pacific, the old city jail, and the Catholic Church and parsonage and the Number One Saloon. About a block and a half in the business district was burned, the total damages were estimated to be between $75,000 and $150,000.

SEE: 1890 Leland House / Commercial Hotel Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

SEE: Leland House / Commercial Hotel

A new steel ceiling is being put in No. 1 [sic] saloon, and Mr. Gray is having all the other portions of the house repapered and painted. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 December 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

NOTE: This may be a reincarnation of the old Number One Saloon which burned on October 10, 1890 but I think it is actually the Last Turn Saloon.

SEE: Last Turn Saloon

O’BRIEN BLOCK (MAP #37)
O’Brien Block located at 307 South Eighth Street [Broadway], built by Con O’Brien and houses O’Brien & Sons Wholesale Grocery and two apartments.

Con. O’Brien will open his new grocery store a week from next Monday. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 October 1891, p. 4, c. 3)

Con O’Brien has opened his new grocery store near the opera house, and has a very neat establishment. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 October 1891, p. 4, c. 4)

Con O’Brien is building an addition to his grocery store room on Eighth street, made necessary by an ever increasing business. When completed it will give Mr. O’Brien a store room 50x100 feet, one of the very largest in the city. He has also closed his bar and is using the room occupied by it as a warehouse, which adds greatly to the capacity of his grocery establishment. A large addition to his stock is being made. (Brainerd Dispatch, 20 September 1895, p. 4, c. 5)

A Bad Runaway.


Con. O’Brien’s grocery team ran away last Tuesday and made things lively about town for a short time. They started from O’Brien’s store and ran on Eighth street to Front, down Front to Fourth, south on Fourth to Laurel, and down Laurel to Walker’s meat market, where they ran into a team driven by Chas. Tifft. The pole of the runaway team struck one of Tifft’s horses in the neck, penetrating it, besides knocking the other horse and man and sleigh all in a heap. The horse died of his injuries, and the sleigh was quite badly broken. Mr. O’Brien has settled with Mr. Tifft for his loss. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 January 1897, p. 4, c. 5)

Con. O’Brien has the material on the ground for an addition to his store on Eighth street and will begin operations at once. The new building will be 48x55 feet and when completed his store building will cover an area of 48x140 feet. This improvement is made necessary by increased business. Mr. O’Brien has just completed a large addition to his residence and has put in a hot water plant. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 June 1899, p. 8, c. 2)

In 1904 Mayor O’Brien purchases the Farmer’s Home Boarding House on the corner of Ninth and Laurel Streets [821 Laurel Street], the consideration being $2,200 spot cash. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 28 November 2004)

O’BRIEN DEPARTMENT STORE (MAP #36)
Originally established in 1883 as a saloon by Cornelius (Con) O’Brien, Sr. Located at 221 South Eighth Street [Broadway], later the building houses the O’Brien Department Store. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 22)

Burglars are Abroad.
_____


On Sunday evening the store of Con O’Brien was broken into and about $100 worth of clothing, hats, caps and boots and shoes taken. It is thought the burglars gained entrance by the front door, as the lock apparently had been tampered with. There was no cash taken except possibly a dollar or two in pennies which had been left in the cash registers. As the registers could not be opened without ringing the bell, both were taken some distance in the rear of the store and opened and the pennies taken. On Monday morning Mr. O’Brien notified the police of the theft, but thus far nothing has been discovered to indicate who the rascals are. Mr. O’Brien thinks probably they were strangers, as there were many dollar’s worth of his checks in the store that pass readily at any of the stores in town, and had the thieves lived here they would have known this and taken the checks. It is to be hoped the guilty parties will be apprehended and punished. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 October 1896, p. 4, c. 4)

Fire animation On January 3, 1898, the Sleeper Opera House, one of the finest play houses in Northern Minnesota burned along with Con O’Brien’s store. Theviot’s millinery store was badly damaged. The fire began in the rear of the opera house.

SEE: 1898 Sleeper Opera House Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

MR. O’BRIEN WILL REBUILD.


O’Brien’s store burns along with the Sleeper Opera House, 1898
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
...No sooner had the flames subsided than Mr. O’Brien began arrangements for the construction of a new building on the site of the one destroyed and White & White have drawn plans for the new structure. It is to be a one story building 48x84 with 16 foot ceiling, of solid brick with steel roof and plate glass front, and will be equipped with steam heat and modern appliances. Mr. O’Brien has been continuing his business just the same as though the big fire had not occurred. In the meantime he has rented the new store building of A. P. Farrar at the corner of Sixth and Laurel streets and has moved into it where his business will be carried on until his new business block is completed. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 January 1898, p. 1, c. 3)

White & White have been awarded the contract for building the new O’Brien block at the corner of Eighth and Laurel streets and already have a force of men at work clearing the grounds preparatory to commencing the work of construction. The details of the building were published in this paper some time ago. The work is to be completed by May 1. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 January 1898, p. 10, c. 3)

The handsome new store building at the corner of Eighth and Laurel streets, being erected by C. B. White for Con. O’Brien, will be ready for occupancy April 1st, a month earlier than the contract called for. It will be a model store in all particulars. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 March 1898, p. 10, c. 2)

Con. O’Brien is now located in his new store at the corner of Eighth and Laurel streets and he has as fine a business place as there is in the northwest. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 April 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

James Wickham has just turned out a new delivery wagon for Con. O’Brien which for style of workmanship and finish will be hard to beat. (Brainerd Dispatch, 13 May 1898, p. 8, c. 1)

Con O’Brien’s delivery team made things lively on the north side for a few minutes on Monday noon. They ran away on the east end of Juniper street while the driver was delivering some packages. The encountered an electric light pole at the corner of Juniper and Third street, one horse passing on each side. The pole of the wagon struck the electric light pole with such force as to badly shatter the wagon, and move the electric light pole several inches out of position. The shock loosened the horses and they continued down the sidewalk scattering the pedestrians in every direction. It was surprising to see with what agility such staid citizens as Mr. C. M. Patek, W. D. McKay and Judge Alderman went over high picket fences as though they were mere particles of sand. No runaway horses could catch them. The horses were finally caught and controlled, being quite badly bruised while the wagon and harness were very badly damaged. (Brainerd Dispatch, 06 July 1900, p. 8, c. 1)

Fire animation On November 13, 1953, a fire of undetermined origin gutted the Early Block and O’Brien buildings at Laurel and S. 8th St. They housed the Super Value Foods, Bob’s Cafe, Gruenhagen Plumbing and O’Brien Realty. Some 16 apartment dwellers are homeless.

SEE: 1953 Early Block Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

Sometime in the 1960’s the O’Brien Department Store moves to the old Montgomery Ward store on the southeast corner of Laurel and Broadway [South Eighth Street].

25 November 1972. The O’Brien Department Store will close its doors in February and reopen a few weeks later as an Ehler’s Fashion Center operated by new owners, it was announced today by Tom O’Brien. He will open an office on S. 8th Street to conduct other family business. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 25 November 2012)

OHIO BLOCK (MAP #68)
Built by Ransford R. Wise and named after his home state, it is located mid-block on the west side of South Seventh Street between Front and Laurel Streets. [At one time this building houses the Red Owl Grocery Store and seven apartments.] (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946, p. 57)

OLYMPIA CONFECTIONERY & CAFE
Originally located at 612 Front Street and known as the Olympia Candy Kitchen, later moved to 702 Laurel Street. Owners in 1931 are the Adams Brothers, Steve N. Adams and Peter Adams.

OLYMPIC THEATRE
Work is being done on the new variety theatre and will be crowded right along until it is finished which will be by July 1st. The location of the building is on Fifth street south of Laurel and the construction is under the supervision of W. B. Chambers who thoroughly understands the business. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 April 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

NOTE: This building was located on the west side of south Fifth Street, mid-block between Laurel and Maple Streets.

A BUSINESS SESSION.
_____

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


[...]


Permission was granted Kellehan & Quinn to erect a two-story brick veneered building on lots 6 and 7, block 65. (Brainerd Dispatch, 05, May 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

A Fine Theatre.


James M. Quinn, ca. Unknown.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society
The magnificent new Olympic Theatre which has just recently been constructed by Messrs. Kelehan and Quinn was formally opened to the public on Monday evening to a crowded house. The house has a seating capacity of nearly 500, besides four proscenium and four balcony boxes, which were all filled and a great many were standing. While the theatre is not large, its capacity is amply sufficient for a city of this size, but what it lacks in size is more than equaled by the elegance and beauty of the interior decorations. It is a marvel of the decorator’s art, and reflects great credit on the manager, Mr. W. B. Chambers, under whose personal direction the work was executed. The stage is large and commodious and better supplied with all kinds of scenery than many more pretentious houses in the cities. We venture the assertion that a better house in a city of this size can nowhere be found.
The management has also been exceedingly fortunate to secure for the opening week ladies and gentlemen who are masters in their profession. There is usually, in opening a house of this character, more or less hesitation and delay in the performance, but Mr. Dolan, the stage manager, is a master at the business, and the performance progressed as smoothly and with as little drag as though they had been in operation for months. Mr. Dolan seems certainly to be the right man in the right place. We have not sufficient space to dwell at length on the merits of each performer, suffice it to say, that they were all excellent considering it was their first appearance. Miss Nellie Allen is a pleasing songstress and a fine dancer, and was repeatedly encored. Conroy and Dolan are indeed a “pair that beats fours” as they were irresistibly funny. Miss Belle Irving has a fine contralto voice and is a fine dancer and merited the generous applause she received. Mr. Geo. W. Allen and Miss Elotta Delmaine are a strong team and will undoubtedly be favorites as long as they remain. Miss Josie Wood has an excellent soprano voice and sang with great force and feeling. Haynes and Leigh, the skatorial artists are the best in their specialty that we have ever seen. They are wonders and should be seen by every one. The bill as given on Monday night will be continued during the entire week with new and interesting specialties each evening. Next Monday there will be an entire change of programme. (Brainerd Dispatch, 30 June 1893, p. 4, c. 5)

The New Olympic Theatre.


This popular place of amusement continues to do an excellent business and gives good entertainments. Besides the specialties mentioned in our last issue, several new and interesting ones have been added this week, among which the performances of Leoni, the human fly, are the most wonderful. “Jack the Ripper,” a drama in two acts, has also been presented this week. Next week several new specialties will be added and a strong comedy entitled “The Rough Diamond” will be presented. A visit to this popular place of amusement will well repay you. (Brainerd Dispatch, 07 July 1893, p. 1, c. 4)

The Olympic Changes Hands.


James Kelehan has bought out the interest of his partner James Quinn, in the Olympic Theatre and is now the sole proprietor. Mr. Chambers still continues in his position as manager of the popular place of entertainment, and is keeping up the reputation for first class amusement. New performers and artists are introduced each week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The Olympic has thrown open its doors and is giving a free show, and a good one too. A fine programme is presented nightly. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The entertainments being given at the Olympic are first-class in all respects, and in fact are much better than one would expect to see. The best bill of the season is on this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 04 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The new Olympic theatre will be supplied with a steam heating outfit. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

The entertainments at the Olympic this week are unusually good and are well attended. Several new artists appear for the first time, among whom are Charles and Julia Emmonds and Mort Emerson, all first-class artists. Billy Madden, the popular comedian, is still on the bill, and Maggie Darling, only nine years of age, the famous child actress, appears to better advantage than ever as the black pickaninny from South Carolina. “The Brainerd favorite,” Mamie Scanlon is still one of the principal attractions, while Victorellis & Thurrell appear for the last time with their panoramas, shadow views and scenes. If you want to see a good show, don’t fail to attend. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

James Kelehan will begin work the first of the week on the veneering of the Olympic Theatre building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 08 September 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The Olympic Theatre will be closed for two months after the Saturday evening’s performance this week. (Brainerd Dispatch, 22 December 1893, p. 4, c. 4)

The Olympic theatre opened on Monday evening under the management of Matt Dee. A very good bill is presented each evening. (Brainerd Dispatch, 02 March 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

The Olympic theatre has been leased by Matt Dee, heretofore manager, who will conduct the business in the future. (Brainerd Dispatch, 11 May 1894, p. 4, c. 3)

Fire animation On August 30, 1894, the Olympic Theatre, constructed in April 1893, was totally destroyed by fire together with all the contents of the building. The building watchman, Humphrey Lynch, was barely able to escape before the building collapsed.

SEE: 1894 Olympic Theatre Fire in the Brainerd: City of Fire page.

An 1888 ad for the Palace Hotel at 422 South 6th.
Source: Northwest Illustrated Monthly Magazine, Volume VI, Number 7, July 1888, E. V. Smalley, Editor and Publisher
PALACE HOTEL
422 South Sixth Street

J. S. Gardner is building a 16 foot addition to the north side of his Palace Hotel on 6th street. (Brainerd Dispatch, 01 June 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Excavating for the new brick block to be erected by J. S. Gardner on Sixth street, has been completed and the laying of the foundation has begun. Mr. Gardner intends to rush the work in order to have the building entirely completed this fall. It will be solid brick, 25x80 feet, two stories high, with basement under the entire building. The first floor will be used as a store room by Mr. Gardner himself, who will put in a fine stock of groceries as soon as ready. The second story will be a public hall, intended for the use of secret societies, etc. As this hall will be 25x80 feet, about as large as the Odd Fellow’s hall, it can readily be seen that it will be a very desirable place for the use of such organizations. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 September 1888, p. 4, c. 4)

Mr. Gardner has his new brick building on 6th street completed and expects to open a first-class grocery store in it the middle of next month. (Brainerd Dispatch, 23 November 1888, p. 4, c. 3)

The Palace Hotel of this city on Monday quit business, and Mr. Loomis, the proprietor, is now selling the furniture and fixtures at private sale. The Palace has been in operation under its present management for about a year, and has gained a reputation as a first-class hotel, at least so far as the table is concerned, and its numerous guests greatly regret that it has been closed. The closing of this popular hotel is probably due to the loss of transient trade after the opening of the Arlington. Before the Arlington opened the Palace had three-fourths of the transient trade of the city, but on account of the nearness of the Arlington to the depot and the business portion of the city, the traveling men chose the latter place. (Brainerd Dispatch, 19 April 1889, p. 4, c. 5)

J. S. Gardner will build another new brick store on Sixth street south. (Brainerd Dispatch, 26 July 1889, p. 4, c. 4)

Mrs. C. H. Douglas has leased the Palace Hotel, and the place opens up to-day under her control. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 November 1890, p. 4, c. 4)

Albert Angel, the southeast Brainerd grocery man, has purchased J. S. Gardner’s stock of groceries on 6th street south, and took possession on Monday morning. He has moved his grocery stock in southeast Brainerd to his new store. (Brainerd Dispatch, 21 April 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

Mrs. C. H. Douglas will shortly retire from the management of the Palace Hotel, and J. S. Gardner, the owner of the building will assume control. Chas. Eliott will continue as manager for Mr. Gardner. (Brainerd Dispatch, 14 July 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

J. S. Gardner is having the second floor of his brick store building on Sixth Street divided into sleeping apartments for the Palace hotel. (Brainerd Dispatch, 18 August 1893, p. 4, c. 3)

PALACE THEATRE
In April 1931 Brainerd’s newest theatre, the Palace, has opened at 708 Front Street. It is a show house of English architecture featuring colorful drapes, views of bungalows and blue sky ceiling effects. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 17 April 2011)

Park Opera House on the north side of Front just east of the 5th and Front intersection, ca. 1905.
Source: Postcard
PARK OPERA HOUSE (MAP #34)
Ransford R. Wise is instrumental in the building of the Park Opera House in 1890 [sic] [1901], of which association he is president for a number of years. The building is located on the north side of Front Street directly across from the southeast corner of Fifth and Front Streets; it eventually becomes the Paramount Theater owned by Clyde E. Parker. In 1928 the theater is sold to Finkelstein & Reuben and eventually becomes part of the Berger Amusement Company then it becomes part of the Baehr Theaters. [The building is demolished in April 1994.] (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923, p. 51 and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 134 & 135)


ROWLEY’S BID WAS LOWEST.
_____

Brainerd Man Captures the Con-
tract to Build New
Opera House.
_____

WORK TO COMMENCE AT ONCE.
_____

The New Play House Will Cost
Nearly Twenty Thousand
Dollars.


There was a meeting of those interested in the new Park Opera House Tuesday afternoon after the bids had been opened and after figuring the different proposals the contract was awarded C. B. Rowley, of this city, he being the lowest bidder. The bid was $13,299. This of course was the general contract, the bids for the other work such as plumbing, lighting, etc. will be let later. The total cost of the building will be between $17,000 and $20,000.
The following firms bid on the work: C. B. Rowley, Fred Kreatz and C. B. White, Brainerd; Otto Johnson and Schlennes & Sampson, Duluth; and Fred Nordlauder, St. Paul. There was quite a difference in the figures of the different bidders, although there were one or two who were not far off from those of Contractor Rowley.

Park Opera House, ca. 1905
Source: Postcard
Contractor Rowley had not had the contract but a few minutes when he began to make a hustle for the stone, etc., and in a few days the site of the new playhouse will be a busy one. Work will commence in a few days on the excavation and the work will be pushed as rapidly as possible and it is expected that the house will surely be ready for occupancy by October 1.
This contract includes all the stone and brick masonry, all carpenter work, painting, tinning, etc., and everything and anything necessary to complete the building ready for use, except the electric wiring, heating, plumbing, light fixtures, stucco and decorating work.
The building will be 59x111 feet and it will have a seating capacity of something over eight hundred. The entrance to the building will be at the center of the block and there will be a vestibule 9x12 feet. In the vestibule the door leading up stairs to the city offices will be located also the door down stairs to the office of the superintendent of the electric light plant. From the vestibule two large swinging doors will open into the lobby which is 16x25 feet. In the lobby will be located the ticket and the manager’s offices—and a large and commodious store room. The entrance from the foyer to the lobby will be by two sets of double doors one at each side of the lobby.
The lower floor or the parquet and parquet circle will seat something like four hundred. There are two boxes one at each side and a stairway leading from these to the boxes above in the balcony. From the foyer there will be a stairway at each end going up to the balcony. This division will have a seating capacity of something like two hundred and fifty.
Charles B. Rowley, 1856-1941, ca. 1900.
Source: Meg McGowan
The stage has a curtain opening 26x21 feet, and it will have a depth of 35 feet. Right off the stage will be two star dressing rooms. Ample provision has been made so that the greatest convenience will be enjoyed by the actors, large and commodious dressing rooms will be put in both under the stage and over it. A rear entrance will be put in for the actors and a side door for hauling in scenery, etc., is a feature not overlooked. The sanitary conditions of the building will be good; two toilet rooms are to be put in under the foyer in the basement and two under the stage.
The building will be lighted by 271 incandescent lights which will make a capacity of 4336 candle power.
Every attention has been given to the acoustic proprieties and the architect is sure they will be perfect. The stucco interior decorations are to be especially fine and the masonry and stone work on the outside will be beautiful from an architectural point of view.
The brick to be used in the building will be the best Duclos, of Little Falls manufacture, and all four sides are to be laid in colored mortar. The trimming stone, as shown in the plans and specifications, is to be “Portage Entry Stone,” free from any white spots, and the arch over the main entrance and cap stones for windows are to be of sandstone, of full thickness of the walls, with cut sides and beds and rock face. The steps of the front entrance and door sills throughout are to be of Kettle River sandstone, of brush hammer finish.
The entire building will be a perfect model of architecture, the interior and exterior being planned after the most modern styles. (Brainerd Dispatch, 28 June 1901, p. 1, c’s. 3 & 4)

NOTE: Carl Zapffe claims, in Brainerd 1871-1946, p. 38, that the Park Opera House was built of Schwartz cream brick, this appears not to have been the case.

SEE: Brainerd Steam Brickyard

STAGE DIMENSIONS ARE ENLARGED.
_____

Board of Directors of New Park
Opera House Decide to
Make Change.
_____

CONTRACT LET FOR LIGHTING.
_____

There Will be Two Hundred and
Seventy-Nine Lights in
Opera House


The board of directors of the new Park Opera House have decided to make some additional improvements to the original plans and at the last meeting the changes were decided upon, Secretary LaBar having just returned from a consultation with the architect.

Paramount Theater, ca 1943
Source: Out of the Woods
The stage will be enlarged so that it will make one of the very best in towns of the size of Brainerd in the state. Under the arrangements as now planned from the stage door to the gird iron it will be 48 feet. The distance between the two walls, north and south, will be 57 feet and 45 feet between the fly galleries. The new plan provides for a stage 32 feet deep. The new improvement will cost an additional amount to the original contract price of $500.
At the same meeting of the board the contract for the lighting of the new house was let to the city of Brainerd. This contract includes the wiring and the furnishing of the entire electrical fixtures. The contract price is $814. There will be 279 lights for the opera house part and 27 lights for the city part of the new building. (Brainerd Dispatch, 16 August 1901, p. 1, c. 5)

The roof of the Park Opera House has been put on and the building begins to assume a dignified appearance. (Brainerd Dispatch, 27 September 1901, p. 8, c. 3)

Manager Walker, of the Park Opera house, has consummated a deal whereby Prof. Graham will furnish the opera house orchestra. The orchestra will start out with six pieces. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

Manager Walker, of the Park Opera house has been busy today getting locations for bill boards to be used in connection with the house. He will put up about eight or ten. (Brainerd Dispatch, 25 October 1901, p. 8, c. 4)

07 October 1911. The Park Opera House gave its first public performance of moving pictures last night and a large audience was present despite the inclement weather. A feature of the evening was the opera house orchestra, five pieces playing under the baton of William Graham. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Friday, 07 October 2011)

TO IMPROVE OPERA HOUSE
_____

Contracts Let Today to Brainerd
Firms by F. E. Nemec, Lessee
of the Opera House
_____

REPAIRS COMMENCE APRIL 20
_____

House Will be Dark Until About May
10—Mr. Nemec Announces Pol-
icy of the House


From Thursday’s Daily:—
F. E. Nemec, of St. Cloud, is in the city today and announced that the following contracts have been let for the improving of the Brainerd opera house:
Decorating to Frank H. McCaffrey; carpenter work to White Brothers; plumbing to L. W. Sherlund. Work will commence Monday, April 20, and the house will be dark until about May 10.
Mr. Nemec says that the plans for the alterations at the opera house include needed changes in the ladies retiring room, the interior decoration of the house, new scenery, new drop curtain, etc.
He has a long term lease of the opera house and will make of it a house booking the large attractions, vaudeville, tabloid plays, and the big theatrical successes in moving pictures. The house will be open every night commencing about May 10.
One of the contracts just booked is the Sam S. Schubert Amusement Co., theatrical attractions which include May Robson in “A Clever Woman.”
(Brainerd Dispatch, 17 April 1914, p. 4, c. 3)

16 May 1914. (Adv.) The Brainerd Opera House has been remodeled into the new Park Theatre! “The People’s Playhouse” will hold its Gala Opening on Monday, May 18th - fully remodeled and redecorated. The Hon. A. O. Eberhart, Gov. of Minnesota, will make the opening address. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 16 May 2014)

06 September 1985. The Paramount Theater will show European Vacation, its last regular movie for the final time tonight. Farewell celebrations for the theater are planned for Friday and Saturday nights. The Spanish Mediterranean interior design was added to the theater in 1929. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Monday, 06 September 2005)

Although the Paramount Theater is closing September 7, 1985, the building won’t go to waste if area supporters have something to say about it. A proposal is afoot to convert the 84-year old building into a performance and visual arts center. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, Sunday, 21 August 2005)

20 April 1994. (Photo) The east wall of the empty Paramount Theatre was brought down by a Hengel Construction employee as he worked on demolition of the Brainerd landmark. The building was once the site of an opera house, then later a theatre. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Dispatch, 20 April 1994)

Parker Block at the northwest corner of 7th and Laurel, ca. 1908.
Source: Crow Wing County Historical Society</