TIMELINE

I worked on a timeline for years, but gave up when I found out it had already been done!

Below find the work done by Ann Nelson of Brainerd, and a tip of the hat to her tireless work, for which I am indebted. Sit back and enjoy the tour!

Brainerd Events 1850-1999

Ann M. Nelson

15 April 2004

1850-1859

•23 May 1857 Crow Wing County is created by an act of the legislature, but is attached to Morrison County for judicial purposes; it is reorganized in 1870 and the first meeting of the county commissioners takes place on 19 January 1870 at Henry Whipple’s hotel in Crow Wing. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 8-9)

1860-1869

•On 02 July 1864, President Abraham Lincoln signs the Congressional Act which gives federal charter rights to a newly formed Northern Pacific Railroad Company. Through its charter, the Northern Pacific receives the title to every odd-numbered section of land in a belt twenty miles wide on both sides of its main line. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 2, 24)

•The following advertisement of the St. Paul and Pacific Railway Company appeared in the first issue of the Minneapolis Tribune, 25 May 1867:

Notice!

The Minnesota Stage Co. runs a daily line of stages up the Sauk Valley to Sauk Centre and tri-weekly to Little Falls, Fort Ripley, and Crow Wing. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 8)

1870-1879

•On 15 February 1870 the Northern Pacific Railroad begins construction at Carlton, Minnesota.

•Dr. Thayer takes a keen interest in the moral and spiritual as well as the physical welfare of the citizens of the new town. The first religious service ever conducted in Brainerd was by him in 1870 in a little log boarding house near the river. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 16)

•A post office is established at ‘The Crossing’ (Brainerd) on 21 December 1870. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 11)

•A Post Office is established in 1871 in Sherwood’s Drug Store on Front Street. For years it is located in various buildings, the storekeeper receiving a moderate salary and the title of Postmaster in return for the light duties performed. Postmaster McFadden (1873) displays the following notice, “Postage stamps 3 cents; licked and stuck, 5 cents.” No record is found showing the extent by which this device increased his pay. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 40)

•11 March 1871 the Northern Pacific construction train rolls into Brainerd. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 19)

•On 11 March 1871 the first Northern Pacific train arrives at ‘The Crossing’ (Brainerd). (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 3)

•Sheriff-to-be Henry Spalding, is the Conductor on the first Northern Pacific train that makes the run on 11 March 1871 from the N. P. Junction (the present Carlton, near Duluth) to Brainerd and again on the first train running from St. Paul to Brainerd 01 November 1877. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 42)

•Adam Brown, “I was engineer of the locomotive that pulled the first passenger train into Brainerd. That was the 14th day of March 1871. I remember the circumstances. We cannot turn around here and have to back to the Junction [114 miles in something like four hours]. It is extremely cold, and the fireman and I suffer much. We have no curtains to break the wind. ...J. Cooke, who finances the building of the road, is on the train, with many officers and friends from St. Paul and New York City.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 19)

•The Headquarters Hotel, erected in 1871 by the Northern Pacific, is easily the leading building in the town. This three-story structure occupies a two-acre lot where the present depot stands [south west side of Washington and Sixth Streets]. It has fifty or sixty sleeping rooms, a dining room seating over one hundred, parlors, offices, and other rooms. It was 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)

•In March 1871 the Northern Pacific railroad company begins erecting the Headquarters Hotel on the southwest side of Sixth Street; a few hundred feet to the east, the company starts a three-story depot and general office building, where the water tower now stands. About three-fourths of a mile to the east of the depot it starts building car-repair shops. All these structures are on the north side of the track and are completed in 1872. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 5)

•The original city of Brainerd townsite is platted on 19 September 1871. As then platted the Original Town of Brainerd contains all the land north of the railroad track lying between the river on the west and present Tenth Street on the east. The barrier on the east is a wide and deep ravine in which flows a small creek; it seems never to have had a name. South of the tracks the east boundary is Seventh Street as far as Quince Street. The south boundary is Quince Street from Seventh to Fourth. On Fourth Street the boundary is from Quince to Maple. On Maple the boundary is west from Fourth to the Mississippi River. The most northerly street is Bluff Avenue. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 5, 6)

•An early 1871 business block in the city was the frame building; size 50 x 70 feet, at Front and Sixth Streets, where the Ransford Block now stands on the southwest corner. 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)

•Eber Bly arrives in Brainerd in September 1871, he erects the first general mercantile store in Brainerd; Bly’s store is on the first floor, the second is used for theatricals, dances, and political rallies and the attic is used by lodges. This building remains for over thirty years until destroyed by a fire in June of 1904. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 7)

•Circa 1871-72 Brainerd’s first school, at the west end of Front Street, is of hewn logs. Planks laid upon boxes are the seats. The teacher is said to be Charles Lancaster, a graduate of St. Cloud Normal School. Later the building is used as an icehouse. The first effort to have a semipublic school is “by Bean, Prescott, and White, who purchase of John Hess for $50.00 a building of hewn logs near the railroad bridge” and employ Miss Hall as teacher. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

•For several months in 1872 Miss [Julia] Fitzgerald conducted a private school with an enrollment of 22 boys and 23 girls and an average attendance of 30. The studies were: alphabet, reading, penmanship, spelling, arithmetic, grammar, geography and history. ...Later in the year the Brainerd School District was organized. The board authorized that positions be offered to Miss Ladd and Miss Fitzgerald, who taught private schools, to teach from January 1 to April 1, 1873, at a salary of $55.00 per month. (Note: Miss Julia Fitzgerald [Mrs. C. G. Early of St. Paul] was a homecomer in 1922.) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 30)

•BIG FIRE AT BRAINERD.

On our first page a new correspondent gives us a favorable picture of business, etc., at Brainerd. By the the hands of our citizen O. K. Patterson, we receive the following; showing that a somewhat disastrous fire has interrupted the onward march of things in that town:

BRAINERD, Jan. 5, 1872.

To the Editor of the Minnesotian:

Our town has again been visited by fire and seven buildings been destroyed.

The fire broke out day after New Year in a Swede butcher shop, and destroyed the saloons of J. C. Walters, and of Ward & Saunders, and the Scandinavian Hotel; Feac[?] & Livingston who had rented of Ward & Saunders saved their stock, excepting about $300 worth missing. Davenport loses about $350; Ward and Saunders $520; the owners of the Scandinavian Hotel, Ward & Erickson, lost every thing excepting stoves and pipe: their loss is put down at $800. J. C. Walters' loss is very heavy: probably $1500. Fairbanks building which... (Duluth Minnesotian, Saturday, 06 January 1872)

•...in 1872 there is a wholesale liquor dealer, J. C. Walters, who publicly offers free Christmas turkeys to the poor, and invites the clergy to help supply him with names. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 28)

•For wild game this region ranks supreme. Fifty years ago in 1872 one would travel for hours through dense forest before arriving at Brainerd. The country is a paradise for wild game--countless deer, bears, moose, ducks, geese, partridges, and prairie chickens. The waters abound in many varieties of fish. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 28)

•The first newspaper is the Brainerd Tribune, M. C. Russell, publisher and editor. Vol. 1, No. 1, 10 February 1872, is printed at the St. Cloud Journal office, C. W. Kingsbury, foreman, and George Allin, “devil.” Its 300 copies, expressed to Brainerd by stage, are eagerly purchased at ten cents each by the crowd of men who gather at the post office at ten o’clock that memorable Sunday morning. The first issue, as well as succeeding issues, boasts the following claim: ”Our circulation is large throughout this section of country, and is continually increasing.” The Brainerd Tribune, in fact, has the great honor of being the first newspaper on the Northern Pacific, east of the Rockies.

Advertisements have the choicest space in all the newspapers for many years. Sometimes the whole front page is given over to paid advertising. Ads take the form of streamers across the top or bottom or side of a page. Catch words and phrases, like “cheap!” “Bargains!” “Reasonable Prices!” stand out boldly. Liquor ads, church notices, drygoods sales, and news accounts follow in one-two-three order, on the front page. General mercantile stores will advertise: “Groceries, Liquors, Dry Goods, Hardware, etc.” Wet goods, dry goods and hard goods with your groceries! (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 16)

•In 1872 a large, fine, three-story office building and depot is built near where the concrete water tower now stands. For forty-five years, until it burns in 1917, it remains an imposing landmark familiar to every resident and traveler. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 19)

•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 were of the wood burning type. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 19)

•Brainerd’s first fire department is organized on February 13, 1872, in the “fine Billiard Hall of Askew.” Thirty-seven members are enrolled, each paying his initial fee of one dollar.

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)

•We first saw [1872] Brainerd at night and the view was both novel and pleasant. The winds sang through the tops of the pines, the lights in the scattered houses twinkled among the trees, and the whole place seemed like a camp in the woods, or one of the cities of fairy tales.

Long dark vistas opened occasionally through the pines, indicating where some of the principal streets had been extended, and the fires burning in the eastern woods lighted up the heavens and threw a poetic color over the whole.

Leaving our car and its company and strolling out to see the town and its life, we soon found evidence that Brainerd pays attention to more practical matters than moony nights and the poetry of the pines.

The principal street of the town, a long row of everlasting wooden fronts, peculiar to western railroad towns, and hiding cheaper and poorer structures behind, was flaming with illuminated

signs and gambling places indiscriminate, and all of which seemed to be doing a thriving business. The arrival of the company’s pay car in the afternoon doubtless had something to do with the busy aspect of the place in the evening.

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.

Advance in position and population with a good local government, which is near at hand, will doubtless drive the gamblers into retirement, if not out of Brainerd. But meanwhile the railroad company might easily protect its employees and the public morals by exercise of its own authority.

Murder Suspects Lynched

Just across the street from the Dolly Varden is a conspicuous sign announcing, the Last Turn Saloon, which takes its expressive name from an incident, which occurred in front of its doors a few weeks ago.

Some time in August, a murder was committed in the neighborhood town of Crow Wing, and two half-breeds, brothers who were suspected of the crime were imprisoned in the Brainerd jail to await trial. But two or three days had passed when a party of Crow Wingers, aided by some of the “citizens” of Brainerd proceeded one night to the jail, took the culprits, marched them out to the principal streets and beneath the largest pine in town, hung them.

No form of trial was suffered to delay the execution, and but few moments were allowed the wretched to prepare for death. While the ropes were being adjusted to the convenient limb, one of the half-breeds carelessly nodding toward its brother, repeated several times, “He did it,” but except this, there was no confession, no plea for life or mercy.

One of the brothers was elevated first into mid-air, the other looking calmly on, and when the latter’s turn came, he never flinched. In his unconscious struggles, however, he clutched frantically at the swinging body of his brother, and half senseless, began climbing up toward the limb from which they were suspended. This was the signal for a pistol shot from one of the lynchers and faster than they could be counted; fifty bullets were lodged in the bodies of the murderers.

Next morning the bodies were taken down and the formal investigation held to discover the participants in the tragedy and sustain the dignity of the law, the result of which was that the only person who was proved to have been present or to have had anything to do with the affair was the individual who kindly offered a prayer for the poor devils just before they were strung up. And this is why the saloon, in front of which stands the gallows pine, is called “The Last Turn.”

The hopes of Brainerd for the future are based upon the facts which have made it; that it is the official headquarters of the Northern Pacific; that the direct line from St. Paul and the south, up the Mississippi reached its junction with the main line here; that the company’s machine and repair shops are here; that steam navigation of the upper Mississippi begins here and that it is a beautiful, temperate, and agreeable place of residence.

All of these things are undoubtedly true, yet my faith that Brainerd is to realize all that she now hopes is not altogether clear. In the first place the town is artificial, the creature and product of the railroad, and the moment the plans of the corporation changes its life is checked and its growth stopped, as though the Merrimac were taken from Lowell or the fishing banks from Cape Cod.

“A very pleasant town,” I remarked to one of the prominent officials who has no land or other speculation on his hands and who looks at things solely with an idea to business, “but there is nothing here which has not been put here and which might not as well have been put anywhere else.” “Just as well anywhere else,” he replied, “and which never ought to have been brought here.”

Skeptical of Town’s Growth

Ex-governor Smith of Vermont may properly be called the father and founder of Brainerd. He gave it the name of his father-in-law, Lawrence Brainerd, the first president of the Vermont Central, has given it a memorial Congregational Church, which is now nearly completed, and had he continued president of the Northern Pacific would have undoubtedly dealt kindly and liberally by the town.

There is no denying the fact, however, that Brainerd is not now the proper and most convenient location for the general office and principal business center of the Northern Pacific.

The officers who are engaged in the daily operation of the road feel this constantly and say so openly and emphatically and one of the most important still disregards ‘orders’ of months standing to remove his headquarters.

He is held responsible for the efficiency of his department, and prefers to disobey orders rather than deprive himself of the absolutely necessary facilities for the discharge of his duties.

The disadvantage of Brainerd as a center of operation and supplies is apparent at a glance, when it is considered that St. Paul, the natural focus of the Minnesota railway system, is two days distant by rail. Duluth is the lake terminus, a day’s journey off that branch to St. Paul.

The Northern Pacific has; however, generous plans for Brainerd, which even modified by the new regime, will make the place one of the most important along the line. A large building for the offices of the company, two stories of wood and fifty by one hundred and fifty, or nearly that size, is just completing, and will be occupied during the coming winter.

The reason of the selection of Brainerd as the location of the main offices and central headquarters of the company appears nowhere clearly understood. When those who should know most about it are asked, they look wise and say, “The Lake Superior and Puget Sound Land Company had something to do with it.”

Churches and Newspapers

The Mississippi is one of the features of Brainerd, but not one particularly important or impressive. The river at this point is not more than 450 or 500 feet wide, and is deep, dark and slow moving. The railroad bridge as substantial and permanent as could be, is wholly made of wood. During the summer small boats ply on the river to Pokegama Falls, nearly 200 miles to the north. Above that the river is still navigable for light draught boats almost as much farther. The boats, however, run only at irregular intervals and do but a moderate business.

Brainerd, like Duluth, is well supplied with the means of civilization--churches, schools and newspapers. The Episcopal Church, standing in a beautiful grove a little distance north of the station, is a commodious well-finished building tastefully arranged and seating 250 persons.

A silver communion plate bears the name of Thomas H. Canfield of Burlington, Vermont as the giver, and William B. Ogden of Chicago has promised the society a bell for their church. Near the Congregational Church the Methodists are building, and the Episcopalians are about fitting up the former freight office of the railroad company for a day school house.

The leading journal of the town is the Brainerd Tribune, weekly, with 750 circulation and an enterprising manager who came up here from Nashville, Tennessee. A campaign sheet called the Greeley Wave is also issued from the same office by an individual [W. W. Hartley] who makes his appearance in his own columns as publisher and proprietor, editor, county auditor, judge of probate, deputy clerk of district court, real estate and insurance agent, liberal candidate for judge of probate, and “will also solemnize marriages.”

The whole force of printers in town consists of two men and a boy, and they work on in contentment, ignorant of the typographical union. Brainerd at present though a city only in name, aspires soon to be one in fact and is preparing for an election under a municipal charter of the last legislature.

She has robbed Crow Wing of the dignity of the county seat, and much nearer the geographical center of the state is ready in her ambition to enter fully organized and equipped to enter the lists with St. Paul for the ultimate possession of the capitol.

She has a company of state guards, fully organized and equipped and is doing herself a more practical service by raising and training an efficient fire department. Two large manufacturers of lumber are now in full operation and flouring mills are projected for next session. Its stores are well stocked with all that the demands of the country people require.

Dry goods stores, groceries and household merchandise of every kind retail almost as cheaply here as in St. Paul and Chicago, and have taken from Brainerd though but two years old, nearly every privation and deprivation which in the early days attended life on the frontier.

All these indications of thrift and independence, encouraging anywhere, are doubly so in Brainerd whose hold upon the exclusive support and patronage of the Northern Pacific is at best not confirmed.

We have seen the town by night and day and tomorrow we “go west” again, to Moorhead at the end of the Minnesota division, the limit of the state, the Red River of the North. (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.’)

•The population of Brainerd is about a thousand people in 1872. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 7)

•The first regular hotel is conducted by Mrs. [Sarah] Chapman [1831-1925] at Sixth and Laurel Streets. The years which follow bring many other hotels to the city, notably the Headquarters, Stratton House, Leland House (18 rooms in 1872, increased to 60 in 1879), Commercial, Globe, Nicolet, French, Antlers, Earl [214 South Fifth Street in April 1913], Mahlum, East, Villard (burned in 1887), City, Arlington, Ideal, Windsor, Palace, National, Central, Ransford, and Harrison. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

•In 1872 Warren H. Leland builds a hotel on the southwest corner of South Fifth and Laurel where the Post Office is currently located. He calls it Leland House. It has eighteen rooms. It becomes a center of activity, which necessitates increasing its size in 1879 to sixty rooms. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 35; Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 31)

•E. H. Davie opens the first hardware store in 1872, it enjoys a large and profitable trade. Building progresses at such a rate that hardware is in constant demand, even at the high prices. Several tinners and clerks are kept busy from the very beginning. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 16)

•W. C. Davie says, “I arrived in Brainerd in May, 1872. In those days we had to go via the St. Paul and Duluth Railway to N. P. Junction, and there after a long wait, take a mixed train to Brainerd.

When I got out of the caboose, I asked the brakeman the way to Davie’s hardware store. He told me to follow a certain path through the timber. The town was so wild and woolly that my uncle had a hard time getting tinsmiths to go there, afraid they would get killed. I had therefore armed myself with a .22 S. and W. [Smith & Wesson] revolver. As I walked through the woods, I expected a bandit to hop out from behind every tree I came to. Soon I heard him coming through the pine needles. My hair began to rise, and out came my cannon. I kept on, so did he, and in my direction. I think my hair must have gone up to the limit of its length. With my artillery all cocked and primed, I was ready for the onslaught. Just at the climax, the enemy issued two loud grunts--HOG!

[I] arrived at the store and couldn’t get in. It seems that the town had had some fires and it was thought some ‘fire bugs’ were trying to burn up the town. So the citizens were taking turns in police duty.” (A letter by W. C. Davie, Steilacoom, Washington.) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 29)

•The first saw mill in 1872 is near the railroad bridge. It is owned originally by Barrows, Prescott, and Basset, but changes ownership several times in the next few years. When Mr. Bly acquires the mill, he moves it three-quarters of a mile south of Brainerd to Boom Lake. The daily capacity of the sawmill is 50,000 feet of lumber, 80,000 shingles, and 25,000 laths. It uses a 125 H. P. steam engine. The mill also has a planing and shingle mill with a 75 H. P. engine. In later years as high as seventy-five men are employed. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 16)

•John P. Dunn has a drug store here in 1872. He sells it in the same year to Mr. Clapp. John Hoffman opens the Brainerd Brewery in 1872. The first lawyer is George W. Holland, for many years prominent in politics, business, and civic betterment. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 16)

•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. (Note: This is the jail from which the two Indians are taken and lynched.) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 39)

•In early May of 1872 a young girl walks through the woods from her home [near Crow Wing] to visit a neighbor, she is never seen alive again. In July it is rumored that two half-breeds had boasted of murdering [a young woman] two months before. Thereupon they are arrested, and word is wired to Sheriff Jack Gurrell, one of the kind we see in the movies, afraid of neither man nor demon. Immediately he sends a deputy, who brings the prisoners to Brainerd and lodges them in the little jail on South Fifth Street, [on the west side near the intersection of Maple], the block in which the present court house is located.

At the trial, July 16, 1872, the court room is packed with relatives and friends of the murdered girl. The half-breeds enter a plea of ‘not guilty.’ The counsel for Te-be-ko-ke-shick, one of the defendants, asks for and is granted further time to procure certain witnesses. The trial is to be resumed on July 25th, but the unorganized public will otherwise.

Feeling against the prisoners is intense. Other towns in the state, aware of the situation in Brainerd, are not surprised when they learn that a mob has taken the law into its own hands. It is said that a certain believer in immediate and stern justice came here from Duluth for the express purpose of conducting a ‘necktie party.’

On the evening of July 22, a mob of men meet on Front Street, march to Fifth, thence to the jail. ...Some say that the sheriff connives in the arrangements by being absent from the jail. At any rate, the keys to the cells are not wanting, and the frightened Indians soon find themselves in the midst of a large mob of determined men.

The prisoners are marched at once to the saloon at Front and Fourth Streets, forever known as the ‘Last Turn,’ in front of which stands a stately Norway pine, its lowest limb, stout and straight, twenty feet from the ground. A strong rope is thrown over the limb, ready for action. Just then Reverend J. A. Gilfillan, the Episcopal rector, succeeds in breaking through the immense crowd, steps up to the leaders, and pleads with them to let the law take its course. They only permit him to offer a prayer for the doomed half-breeds. The godly rector kneels down beside them and prays fervently for several minutes.

Then Number One is blindfolded and his hands are tied behind him. The noose is carefully adjusted about his neck. Frantically he begs to live, protesting his innocence and then insisting that his brother alone is guilty. In vain. Eager hands pull him up.

Number Two is likewise blindfolded with a handkerchief and his hands bound together behind his back. A second rope sails through the air and over the limb. A second noose is prepared. Once more the hardened frontiersmen pull. But the struggling half-breed has by this time freed his arms and is climbing the rope. He has no more than touched the limb of the tree when a number of pistol shots ring out, and he falls back dead, pierced by as many bullets as there are shots. The bodies are left dangling from the limb until the next morning, when several photographs are taken of them and sold at Thompson’s Gallery tent at fifty cents each. Parts of the old Norway pine also are carried away as souvenirs. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 23, 24)

•In August of 1872 two half-breed Indians are lynched in front of the Last Turn Saloon on the southwest corner of Fourth and Front streets where the current Elks building is located (1998) in Brainerd. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 31; St. Paul Pioneer Press, October 22, 1922, Easterners Found Brainerd Roaring Camp of Vice in Woods 50 Years Ago, H. L. Bridgman) [There are some discrepancies regarding the location of this lynching; the Last Turn Saloon has been described as being located on the southeast side of Front where the old Salvation Army headquarters were located--across the street from the Nash Finch building which is now (1998) a printer.]

•05 October 1872 the first Crow Wing County Fair is held. Only comparatively recently, however, have these fairs developed to importance, and now they are regarded as highly worthwhile. The county fair is held annually at Pequot. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 57)

•In 1873, the Lake Superior and Puget Sound Company, a subsidiary of the Northern Pacific Railroad, spends $7,000 on buildings, streets, and sidewalks, in order to induce men of capital to find favor here. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

•In Brainerd of 1873 the entire business district is located on Front Street, beginning at South Second just off the end of the bridge, and terminating on the west side of South Sixth with Eber Bly’s huge new three story frame building, which will be a city landmark for years to come. There is nothing farther east, until one crosses the big ravine where the Northern Pacific Shops have arisen during the previous year. Two blocks south of Bly, on the northeast corner of South Sixth and Oak Streets, Brainerd’s first city school is just now being built.

Where we currently have our Post Office on the southwest corner of Laurel and Fifth Streets stands the town’s principal hotel, called the Leland House. Across the street to the east, on the southeast corner of Laurel and Fifth Streets, is the old Number One Saloon. Next south of the Leland House is a little two story wooden structure used for a jail; and next south of that, about at the northerly edge of the parking lot behind the Post Office on the west side of Fifth Street just north of the Maple Street intersection, is the little Catholic Church. Every two weeks this is attended by a visiting priest, Father Buh. (Oldtimers II: Stories of our Pioneers in the Cass and Crow Wing Lake Region, Volume II, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing and Printing, Incorporated, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1988; p. 113)

•In 1873 the offices of the Northern Pacific Railway are moved to St. Paul. J. M. Hannaford, until then a clerk in Brainerd, is promoted and transferred. Since then he has advanced steadily. For several years he was president of the road, and is now vice-chairman of the board of directors. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 20)

•In 1873 the Headquarters of the Northern Pacific Railroad move from Brainerd to St. Paul, Minnesota. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 7)

•The first city council meets on 11 January 1873, with the following city officials: Mayor Eber H. Bly, Aldermen Lyman P. White (president), M. Tuttle, W. S. Heathcote, William Murphy, Anton Mahlum, and F. X. Goulett.

C. B. Sleeper is elected city attorney at fifty dollars per month, P. H. Trudell, recorder, Robert Macnider, treasurer, W. W. Hartley, justice, and A. F. McKay, chief of police. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 36)

•On 22 February 1873, Brainerd has 21 stores, 18 hotels and public boarding houses, 15 saloons, 2 billiard halls, 1 livery stable, 1 tailor shop, 3 barber shops, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 brewery, 2 photographers, 1 newspaper, 5 churches, 4 lawyers, and 3 lodges. The population is estimated at 1,500, about 40 percent of who are more or less transient. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 16, 17)

•On 22 February 1873, the Brainerd Tribune lists five churches, twenty-one stores, fifteen saloons, eighteen hotels, boarding places and lodging houses in Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 10)

•On 04 March 1873 the first Hook & Ladder Company is organized by the city of Brainerd; on the 21 of March the council orders four public wells built. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 10)

•At a meeting held on 08 April 1873, the school district votes to erect a public school building that year at a cost of $2,500. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

•On 18 September 1873 the Panic begins with the collapse of the Jay Gould bank, which is sponsoring the building of the Northern Pacific Railroad.

•Anton Mahlum relates, “I was employed in the capacity of yard clerk in the lumber yard under the late J. C. Barber. One day in September 1873, he brought out to me a copy of a telegram announcing the failure of Jay Cooke. The significance did not impress me until a few days later, when I was discharged, along with two-thirds of the entire shop force. J. C. Barber headed the list of the discharged from the car department. Then came several years of the hardest times Brainerd has ever seen; the population dwindled to less than half of what it was in 1872... (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 20)

•Among the leading early institutions in the city is the school conducted by the Sisters of St. Francis, near Tenth and Main Streets, 25 November 1873 to 27 February 1874. They advertise teaching “language, writing, arithmetic, geography, history, needlework, French and German, music, drawing, and painting.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

•The Sixth Street School opens for a three months’ term in January 1874, with Miss Simons and Miss Ladd as teachers. With its additions, built later, it cares for 250 pupils. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 31)

•In January of 1874 a two-room school is built on the northeast corner of Sixth and Oak Streets; it becomes known as the Sixth Street School. In June of 1878 a two-story addition is built. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 15)

•Early Brainerd. Paths and wagon trails among the pines were Brainerd’s first streets. From North Tenth to the old Sixth Street School one could take a short cut through the dense woods, without passing a single building along the way. After storms the railroad often had to cut away trees blown over the tracks. Southeast and Northeast, where now a thousand homes are located, were then but a howling wilderness. The paths leading to those sections were half overgrown with brush and branches, which had to be forced aside as one walked along. Oak and Kindred Streets [‘A’ Street], part of Brainerd’s ten miles of concrete pavement, have taken their places, connecting the city with hundreds of miles of state paved highways. Boardwalks in front of business places were the rule until about 1900. Henry I. Cohen deserves the credit for the first cement walk in Brainerd. When he learned of the railroad’s intention of replacing the old Sixth Street sidewalk (south of the tracks) by another plank walk, and upon inquiry found that cement would cost $120 more, he raised that amount among some of the business men.

Brainerd built up gradually during the seventies, the only setback being the panic of 1873. The boom of the early eighties gave new life to the city. Laborers, fortune-seekers, merchants thronged the streets. The hotels were crowded. Business flourished. The city grew at an abnormal rate.

...Some idea of the city in the late seventies can, however, be gained from “Old Timer’s” account, “The business part of the town is on Fifth, Front, Laurel, and Sixth Streets. Mr. Ferris is on the corner of Fifth and Front, where he is agent for the United States Express Company. John Martin keeps a saloon where the hose house now stands. Mrs. Shupe is keeping a boarding house where the city hall stands. Pete Mertz keeps a livery stable where the Harrison Hotel stands; little Pete Nelson works for him. Mrs. Chapman [1831-1925] keeps a hotel on the corner where McColl is now. W. W. Hartley is editor of the Brainerd Tribune where the Northern Home Furnishing Company is. Harry Quinen [Quinlen?] has a barbershop where the Brainerd Dispatch is now. Richard Parker works for the Brainerd Tribune about three days a week and hunts rabbits in Southeast Brainerd the rest of the time. E. H. Bly has a double store on the corner of Sixth and Front. Harry Campbell has a dry goods store where the pool hall is. S. V. R. Sherwood is postmaster where the City Hotel is. Mrs. Walter Davis has a bookstore in the same building. N. McFadden has a drug store where the Ransford annex is. Miss Mattie Kaley’s restaurant stands on stilts where the First National Bank is now. It is the first building in that block. C. B. Sleeper has an office where the Olympia Candy kitchen is. Judge Holland, county attorney, has an office near the old fire hall. George Whitney is sheriff; the jail is on Fifth Street just south of the hay market. Mrs. C. B. Sleeper keeps a boarding house where Fitzsimmons and Wagner are. R. H. Paine has a meat market on the Hoffman corner. Charlie Wilson has a grocery store and saloon where the Hayes block is. Mrs. Grandelmeyer has a dressmaking shop on Front Street between Third and Fourth. Jack O’Neil, who shot ‘Faker George’ in 1877, keeps the “Last Turn” Saloon. Judge Conant lives where the post office is, and Mr. Holland boards there. J. L. Starcher keeps a grocery store on Laurel Street; Ed French has a saloon, the Le Bon Ton, where the Lively Garage is. Tom Cantwell keeps a grocery store where the Brainerd Grocery is now. Bob McGee runs the little pump station near the N. P. Bridge and furnishes water to the shops. Farnham and Lovejoy have a little sawmill on Boom Lake. L. P. White, Father of Brainerd, is agent for the Puget Sound Company, selling real estate.” (Brainerd Dispatch, June 1, 1922) (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 40-41)

•James M. Quinn writes an interesting article in the Dispatch of May 4, 1922, on Old Lumber Jack Days: “...11 November 1873. ...arriving there [Brainerd] at 1 o’clock in the morning. We go to the old Leland House, kept by Warren Leland, on the [southwest] corner of Fifth and Laurel Streets. Brainerd is composed of that part of town west of Sixth Street, bounded by Laurel Street on the south, Front Street on the north, and the Mississippi river on the west. About all of the buildings are small frame shacks and log houses. There are several saloons along Front Street above the Last Turn. South of Laurel Street is all pine forest, also north of the Northern Pacific right of way is dense pine forest to the Mississippi river.

The old Number One Saloon stands on the [southeast] corner of Fifth and Laurel, across from the Leland House. There is also a bar at the Leland House, and the big strapping lumberjacks make the town howl. There is a man killed that night at the saloon next to the Last Turn, but I do not remember his name.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 44)

•Property valuations, however, were not as high as they are now. For example, one could buy a house and lot on South Fifth Street--bathroom, cellars, furniture, stove, chickens, and pigs included--all for $700. Tribune advertisements of June 1874, offered houses for sale at from $160 to $550. The latter was a ten-room house. For $350 you could have purchased a house on Laurel between Fifth and Sixth Streets. But these prices maintained only immediately after the Jay Cooke failure and Panic of 1873. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

•The population of Brainerd in 1875 is 931 people. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•The population of Brainerd in 1875 is 971 people. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 11)

•Brainerd’s foreign-born residents of 1875 come largely from Canada. One-third that number comes from Sweden. Other countries are represented in the following order: Ireland, Norway, England, Scotland, Prussia, Austria, and Denmark. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•Anton Mahlum relates, “The year of 1875 (27 July at 8:30 a.m.) saw the bridge over the Mississippi River collapse under the weight of a train consisting of twelve cars of steel rails and ten cars of merchandise, killing the engineer, fireman, and one or two caboose passengers. The narrator, then working in the yard as car repairer, under Peter Early, heard the noise of the crash and escaping steam, and ran down the track to the bridge, first stepping in at the Headquarters Hotel for a flask of brandy; coming to the collapsed structure, where on top of the first pier were five survivors sitting on the debris.... There were rich pickings of barrels of flour, pork, and other merchandise floating down the river, and the Indians especially profited by the spill.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 20)

•At 8:30 a.m. on 27 July 1875, the Northern Pacific Railroad bridge over the Mississippi River in Brainerd collapses killing the engineer, fireman and two Native American women from Sawyer. The engine, twelve cars of merchandise and eleven cars of steel rails go into the river. The span from the west side of the river to the center is the portion that collapses. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 12)

•Jeremiah J. Howe comes to Brainerd in 1876. The company has a chain of wholesale and retail lumberyards in various places in Minnesota and North Dakota. It does its own logging in a big way and because the Mississippi River is here, Brainerd becomes its manufacturing point. Its office is established on the second floor of the Hartley Bank Block (First National Bank Building). In Jerry Howe’s twenty years here, he acquires a great deal of city property, builds several buildings and serves many years as an alderman in the First and Second Wards.

In 1876 Eber Bly buys a lumber mill which has been operating south of the east end of the railroad bridge and moves it to the vicinity of Boom Lake. Later in 1876 he sells it to the Jones Brothers who sell it in 1878 to J. A. Davis and Company. By this time it employs seventy-five men.

In May of 1871 a railroad spur is built to Boom Lake. The spur starts at South Tenth and Front Streets and follows the alley between Laurel and Maple to South Fifth, thence southward down the river bank to the mill site. It becomes known as the ‘Mill Spur’. Only the short piece to South Sixth remains today (1946), and is used for unloading inbound coal. Howe erects a mill on the north end of Boom Lake in 1876 and enlarges it in 1880. In 1896 a fire destroys the mill and in June the Northern Pacific starts taking up the trackage from the west side of South Sixth Street to Boom Lake. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 39-40)

•On 20 October 1877, the last spike is driven at Sauk Rapids, connecting the Twin Cities and Brainerd by a direct line. Formerly, all traffic to southern Minnesota had to go by way of Duluth or N. P. Junction. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 20)

•On 02 October 1877 the rail connection between Sauk Rapids and Brainerd is completed; on 22 October 1877 the ‘Spike’ is driven at Sauk Rapids; this gives a direct rail connection between St. Paul and Brainerd and makes stage-driving a thing of the past. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 12; and 100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 12)

•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 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 Brick Yards. 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-Westphal Building, burned[?]; the First National Bank Building (Hartley’s) Sixth and Front; former court house (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; all the grade school buildings, demolished in 1936; C. N. Parker’s street car power-house, demolished[?]; Park Opera House, north side of Front Street at Fifth, demolished, 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 1887 he leaves Brainerd and in 1890 all brick-making stops. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 37-38)

•On the 16 May 1879 the Articles of Incorporation for the Evergreen Cemetery Association are filed. Up to that time, people had been buried among the trees in the northeast corner of the Northern Pacific Railroad company’s shop ground. Most of these are transferred later to Evergreen Cemetery; in 1944 when earth was borrowed at this earlier burial place to fill in low ground east of the shop buildings, the excavators uncovered a dozen or so skeletons. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 13)

•In 1879 W. A. Ferris and G. W. Holland organize the first bank; it occupies a small frame building on the southeast corner of Fifth and Front Streets and is chartered as the Bank of Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 13)

•In 1879-1880 the Nicollet Hotel stands where the Court House is now located off the South end of Fourth Street. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 106)

1880-1889

•The 1880 population of Brainerd is 1,864. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64) and (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 18)

•The year 1881 witnesses the biggest “boom” Brainerd has ever had. The railroad shops are enlarged. Thousands of strangers crowd the sidewalks so much that fast-walking pedestrians have to walk in the streets. The estimated population of Brainerd, including the many transients, is 14,000. The Brainerd Dispatch claims 16,000 two years later, but the year after that only 12,000. Brainerd certainly booms in the early eighties. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 20)

•In 1881 Brainerd has one four-room school on Oak and Sixth Streets and one two-room school on the northeast corner of North Seventh and Grove Streets known as the ‘Green School.’ (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 16, 20)

•In June of 1881 the Northern Pacific Railroad begins to enlarge the repair shops in Brainerd, creating a payroll of 1200 men; two years are required to complete the expansion. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 17, 18)

•On 11 October 1881 the Bank of Brainerd becomes the First National Bank of Brainerd and moves to the Hartley Building on the southeast corner of Sixth and Front Streets. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 20)

•Some time in 1882 C. B. Sleeper, a lawyer and Civil War veteran erects the Sleeper Opera House where Winkler’s Fur Shoppe now (1947) is, on South Eighth Street. The Mason’s use the second floor, which is designed to meet its needs exclusively. Aurora Lodge moves in in 1883 and for reasons unknown it vacates these quarters in 1894 and moves to the Columbia Block. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 11)

•The Villard Hotel may have been built in 1882. (Apparently Zapffe could find no information on this.) It is three stories high with dormers and gables in the roof, which actually make it a four- story building. Descriptions of the interior indicate it is spacious, magnificent and famous for its appointments. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 35)

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

•In February 1882 the three or four city wells in Brainerd freeze. By authorization of the earliest of Common Councils, the source of the city water supply becomes three small wells conveniently placed within the densely populated part of the city. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 21, 27)

•On 03 July 1882 a court house, jail and Sheriff’s home are built in Brainerd. The court house is built on the southeast corner of North Fourth and Kingwood and the jail and Sheriff’s home on Main (Washington) and North Fourth. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 23)

•On 24 September 1882 the Northern Pacific establishes its main system hospital in Brainerd, operating under the name Northern Pacific Benefit Association; it is housed in the railroad company’s building on the north side of the railroad track at the west end of the railroad bridge, sometimes called Immigration Hall. On 21 September 1921 the building is razed and the hospital service is established in St. Paul, Minnesota. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 22-23)

•In 1883 Brainerd has fifty-two saloons according to the newspaper of the day. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 41)

•Brainerd’s first high school was erected in 1883 with an addition in 1903. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 32)

•The most notable event in the history of the Northern Pacific is its completion of a through line to the coast in August 1883. Somewhere out in Montana, where the rails met, thus joining the east and the west by bands of steel, a golden spike is driven, with ceremonies appropriate to the great occasion. All along the Northern Pacific the wire flashes the news. In every town on the line the people give vent to their feelings in celebrations such as they had never seen before or--in many cases--since.

Soon after the “Driving of the Golden Spike” Brainerd received a most severe and permanent setback when the main car-shops were removed to Como, St. Paul. About five hundred employees were taken away, including a large number of well-paid mechanics, such as coachbuilders and painters. In the late eighties, the next serious set-back to the Brainerd interests took place when the management built a cut-off line from Little Falls to Staples, thereby taking away many other high-priced men--engineers, firemen, brakemen, and conductors.

About this time the Brainerd and Northern Railroad was built. Originally a logging road, it has steadily developed in importance, and now serves an increasingly prosperous section of the state. It is now the Minnesota and International Railway. W. H. Gemmell, president, and M. W. Downie, auditor. Its headquarters are in Brainerd. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 20-21)

•In 1883 the Northern Pacific moves its main car shop to the new Como Shops in St. Paul and five hundred men and their families leave Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 42)

•A writer in 1883 describes “Brainerd (as) a busy town of railroad mechanics and trainmen, built in the pine woods on the high bank of the Mississippi; and the people, with a good taste rare in new western communities, have refrained from slaughtering the stately trees, and planted their pretty cottages among them, finding shelter from the keen Northern blasts in winter, and from the summer sun under the evergreen canopies. The town boasts of 7000 inhabitants, and is wholly the creation of the railroad.” (History of the Northern Pacific Railroad, E. V. Smalley)

Front Street is, for the most part, a row of little stores. Within hailing distance are any number of saloons, boarding houses, and some general merchandise establishments. Seth C. Thomas, father of Mrs. Judd Wright, receives deposits and makes loans in his little “banking” office in the rear of the Hill & Co. store. The Bank of Brainerd opens at Fifth and Front, where Larrabee’s Cafe is now. Nearby are E. M. Westfall’s Clothing store, McFadden and Johnson’s Pharmacy, J. T. Sanborn’s City Hotel--the place to go after dances--a regular landmark. Among the many business houses advertising in the newspapers during the eighties are: W. A. Smith and Co., “Nobby and staple things in boots and shoes;” Leopold, “The Boss Clothier;” F. G. Sundberg, jeweler; the Proud Bakery, C. B. Sleeper’s real estate and law offices; C. V. Wadham, boots and shoes; the Brainerd Bazaar: “See our 5 and 10 cent counters;” Linneman and Koop, dry goods; Conklin, Clark, and Co, hardware. This list might be continued indefinitely.

One of the early theaters is the “Variety Theatre,” a ramshackle affair near the old hay market, destroyed by fire shortly after it was built.

The Sleeper Opera House, just north of the O’Brien Mercantile Company, is one of the finest amusement houses outside of the metropolitan cities. It is built of Brainerd red brick, and is 62 by 125 feet in extent and 63 feet high. The auditorium seats 1000 people. The building is destroyed by fire.

The Park Opera House has for years been the leading playhouse in central Minnesota. It is also used for conventions, mass meeting, and high school commencements. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 42, 43)

•On 08 September 1883 the Northern Pacific Railroad is completed; the tracks are joined with a golden spike at Gold Creek, Montana. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 19)

•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 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. 47, 135, 139)

•In 1884 there are 960 pupils enrolled during the year, however, attendance is recorded as 320. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 32)

•The population of Brainerd in 1885 is 7,110. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64) and (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 18)

•There have always been more males than females in Brainerd. The ratio thirty-eight years ago in 1885 is 4,199 to 2,911. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•”On the last day of 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. ...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)

•In 1885 the Villard Hotel is located on the northwest corner of Sixth and Main (Washington). The opposite corner from where Van’s Cafe (Sawmill Inn) is now is vacant and on the southwest corner, the Headquarters Hotel once stood. On the southeast corner where the water tower currently stands, the Old Depot-Northern Pacific office building stands. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 33)

•Charles F. Kindred’s house, his office and his large horse barn stands on the southeast corner of Sixth and Kingwood. Kindred starts the first Brainerd Street Railway Company in October of 1885. In the middle of the intersection of Main and Sixth, Kindred puts in a turntable. That is one “End-of-the-Line.” Tracks are then laid north one block to where his house stands and then turn eastward on Kingwood. The City’s wagon bridge across the ravine is used to get over to Kindred Street (‘A’ Street) in East Brainerd. In crossing the bridge, a horse cannot exceed five miles per hour. On Kindred Street also lays the passing track for the other car, which makes its start on a turntable in the middle of Ash Avenue (‘H’ Street) and Third Avenue and moves south down Third Avenue. The track is to be extended to the site of the dam; however, as built, the system is one and a half miles long and the horse is the motive power. The horse barn is on the corner of Ash and Third Avenue. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; pp. 33, 34)

•In June 1885 the Villard hotel is described as “. . .the most conspicuous building in Brainerd and handsomest in northern Minnesota.” It is described as having seventy-five bedrooms, a 38 foot by 50 foot dining room with several adjoining “sample” rooms, a big office, and parlors which can be opened into a single larger room and made “. . .a fine place for large banquets.” (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 35)

•Sometime in 1886 the Haymarket fire in Brainerd takes place. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 18)

•The years, which followed, brought many other hotels to the city, notably the Villard, which burned in 1887. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 15)

•Sometime in 1887 (by about June) the Villard Hotel in Brainerd burns down. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 18); (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 34)

•In 1888 Charles F. Kindred’s various business enterprises are failing. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 34)

•In 1889 R. R. Wise erects the Arlington Hotel on the southwest corner of Sixth and Main where the Headquarters Hotel once stood. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 37)

•In 1889 R. R. Wise builds a hotel in another city, 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 just east of the present depot) until it burns, January first, 1904. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

•In April 1889, the city orders the rails of the Brainerd Street Railway removed for a distance of one block from each end of the ravine bridge and in 1890 the street commissioner is ordered to take them up wherever they interfere. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 34)

1890-1899

•In 1890 the population of Brainerd is 5,703. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 18)

•In 1890 the membership of Aurora Lodge is 118. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 13)

•Ransford R. Wise is instrumental in the building of the Park Opera House (1890), of which association he is president for a number of years. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

•Circa 1893 W. D. McKay erects a red brick building on South Sixth Street at the place now (1947) occupied by the Brainerd Office Supply. It is called the Columbia Block, a two-story building. George West has the Golden Horseshoe Restaurant on the Laurel Street corner (where the Korner Kut-Rate Drug Store is located) and the Odd Fellows Building is at the alley. M. K. Swartz has his drug store where R. D. King is and D. M. Clark has a hardware and furniture store where the Woolworth store is (1947). [On the west side of Sixth Street about midway between Laurel and Front Streets.] In 1909 the Columbia Block burns and all the buildings except the Odd Fellows Hall in the quarter block are a total loss, including all of the Mason’s records, since they are holding their meetings in the building. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 18)

•Sheriff Henry Spalding hangs John H. Pryde on 23 July 1896 in Brainerd; it is the last hanging in Minnesota. (Aitkin Independent-Age, 25 July 1896; Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 58)

•On 02 January 1898, the beautiful Sleeper Opera House burns and is not replaced. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe pp. 11, 12)

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

•1899 BARGAINS! 22 pounds of sugar, $1.00; 13 pounds of good roasted coffee, $1.00; 20 pounds of oatmeal, $.50; 36 bars of Santa Claus soap, $1.00; 6 packages of yeast foam, $.25. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 February, 1999)

•02 February 1899, the Brainerd Ice Company has commenced its annual ice harvest, giving employment to 40 teams and 30 men. The ice on Rice Lake measures 18 to 20 inches. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 02 February 1999)

•11 February 1899, Mr. M. K. Swartz, the enterprising proprietor of the Central Drug Store in this city, has perfected plans which will result in this city’s possessing one of the finest county fairgrounds, driving park, bicycle track and athletic park in the state. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1999)

•On 22 March 1899

Men’s Clothing--Boy’s Clothing

Blue overalls only 39 cents; fine sweaters only 50 cents; lace or buckle shoes per pair 85 cents; black sateen shirts 39 cents; blue-checked or striped shirts 25 cents. L. J. Cale, Front Street. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 March 1999)

•06 April 1899 the Brainerd Ice Company is now prepared to furnish ice to all customers for family use at the following rates:

By the month ice delivered every day, per month $2.00

By the month ice delivered 4 times a week $1.75

(This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 April 1999)

•The city council at its meeting on Monday [16 April 1899] night passed an ordinance restraining cattle from running at large in the city. This is a measure that the citizens of the city have labored for in vain for many years. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 16 April 1999)

•21 April 1899 the Northern Pacific granted its machinists a raise of 1 1/2 cents an hour. For some years the company has paid its machinists 27 1/2 cents an hour. The request for 30 cents an hour was not granted but a satisfactory compromise was effected providing for a rate of 29 cents. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 April 1999)

•22 April 1899 the city council, at its last meeting, passed an ordinance requiring that whoever rides or uses a bicycle within the corporate limits of the city of Brainerd shall pay a license [fee] of one dollar for doing so. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 April 1999)

•25 April 1899, Dr. H. M. Bracken, secretary of the state Board of Health, was in the city on Monday, and while here took occasion to examine the city water supply. He pronounced it perfectly pure and wholesome. Another matter called to the attention of the board was the indiscriminate dumping of manure into the streets. Steps will be taken at once to prevent a continuance of the practice. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 25 April 1999)

•13 August 1899, George 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. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 August 1999)

•13 August 1899, an arch has been erected over Sixth Street at the corner of Front which will be decorated with the national colors, evergreens and a profusion of electric light, in honor of the soldiers who will visit the city next week. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 August 1999)

•14 December 1899 the electric lights were turned off on Sunday night and will not be turned on again until the improvements at the city’s plant are completed which will be the latter part of next week. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 December 1999)

1900-1909

•In 1900 the population of Brainerd is 7,524. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•In 1900, the following are the [Crow Wing] County [population] statistics: Sweden 945, Canada 723, Germany 610, Norway 602, Finland 239. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•In 1900 the membership of Aurora Lodge is 156. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 17)

•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 Committee on Sidewalks in conjunction with the Purchasing Committee was instructed to purchase lumber to the best advantage for the use of the city. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 2000)

•The Northern Pacific Shops in this city will be enlarged and improved fully doubling their present capacity. An attempt was made to get some information from the local officials concerning the matter, but they were as dumb as oysters. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 March 2000)

•Work begun on new shops. Machine shop, blacksmith shop and boiler shop to be more than doubled. Contract requires all to be under roof by January 1. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 09 August 2000)

•Brainerd is open to congratulations. The shop improvements, which early in the season were sacrificed to the necessity for retrenchment, have been formally approved a second time by the Northern Pacific management and work under the contracts will begin at once. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 2000)

•Free mail delivery is instituted in 1901 under Postmaster N. H. Ingersoll. The first carriers are James J. Nolan, Russell Cass, John Thompson, and Carl Philo Brockway. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 40)

•The council has ordered bicycle tags for 1901, but they will find no purchasers if they do not take active steps to protect what bicycle paths we have from teams that drive over and destroy them with impunity. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 23 March 2001)

•A new clothing store will probably be opened in this city soon. Walter Davis has received an offer to lease his storeroom on East Front Street now occupied by himself from the Vanstrum Clothing Company of Minneapolis, who propose to establish a branch house here. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 11 April 2001)

•The Brainerd Depot-master complains that the ladies gather at the station for social converse and that he cannot hear the trains come in. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 10 May 2001)

•Monday noon the hearts of about 150 men employed in the Motive department of the Northern Pacific Shops of this city were made glad, each one receiving a notification from Master Mechanic Bean, that the wages had been advanced voluntarily by the company. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 29 June 2001)

•Officer R. D. King: “The residents along North Ninth Street do not seem to think it necessary to cut the limbs along the bicycle paths. It would be a great convenience to all if this was done.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 12 July 2001)

•Master Mechanic S. L. Bean said: “The residents along Fourth Street do not seem to care whether the weeds are out or not along this thoroughfare, not withstanding that mention has been made of the matter in The Dispatch.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 17 July 2001)

•Dr. J. L. Camp has purchased the home of Joseph Slipp at 21 Bluff Avenue. The consideration was about $3,000. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 24 July 2001)

•Master Mechanic Bean was very much wrought up this morning when two or three of his best men at the shops walked into his office and tendered their resignations and when asked the reason for this they stated that they could not get houses in the city to live in. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 10 August 2001)

•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. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 11 November 2001)

•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 Daily Dispatch, Friday, 28 March 2003)

•The machinists’ helpers in the Great Northern Shops struck yesterday for an increase in pay from $1.50 to $1.75. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 18 July 2002)

•There ought to be an arc light in the center of the park and in fact the whole northeast end of the city is inadequately lighted. It is a welcome invitation to the thug and holdup artists to get busy.

(This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 03 October 2002)

•Interest in these [iron ore] deposits begins in 1903, following the appearance of a rough sketch in a report of the United States Geological Survey, describing the probable course of the Mesaba Ore District if continued westwardly. Prospecting begins. The Orelands Mining Company is formed, but at first no Brainerd men will buy stock. Later, a few local men do purchase shares, and are really surprised a few months later to learn that their stock has appreciated in value and is actually bringing dividends. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 58)

•The Northwestern Telephone Company has just finished putting in another circuit between the Twin Cities and Brainerd, making three in all now. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 10 April 2003)

•In 1903 contractor Rowley commenced laying brick on the new addition to the high school this morning. He has a large crew of men at work and expects to finish the building before school commences in the fall. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 17 June 2003)

•The National Hotel is now nearing completion and landlord Swanson says that he will move in and occupy the rooms in about two weeks now. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 02 September 2003)

•The Arlington Hotel [owned by Ransford R. Wise] in Brainerd burns in 1904 [01 January]. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 18)

•During that year [1904] he [Ransford R. Wise] builds the Ransford Block at Sixth and Front Streets. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

•The Ransford Hotel is built in 1904 by Ransford R. Wise. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 87)

•W. D. McKay builds the Imperial Block in Brainerd in 1904; it becomes the Juel Block located on the east side of South Seventh Street between Front and Laurel Streets. It once houses the S & L Store and is owned by Con O’Brien. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 75)

•Eber Bly’s Mercantile building on the southwest corner of Front and South Sixth Streets is the first big business structure in Brainerd (1871). His store is on the ground floor. The second floor is an open-space hall, used for dances, political rallies, theatricals and social gatherings. That is Bly’s Hall. The third floor is what one might call an attic and the Mason’s board this off into a long, narrow alley-like hall and use it for their lodge room until 1883. The building stands intact until fire destroys it in June of 1904, after which it is rebuilt to be part of the Ransford Block. Today (1947) that ground floor portion is being used partly by the Standard Parts Service Company and partly as the Ransford Hotel Bar Room. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 11)

•At the last meeting of the city council it was intimated that it might be a good thing to tackle the Northern Pacific on the proposition of paying their share of the expenses of constructing the general sewer. Their share will amount to $2,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 March 2004)

•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 Daily Dispatch, 26 March 2004)

•A question of great importance is manifested in Brainerd. It will be taken up this year by the International Association of Machinists. It has to do with an attempt to have the regular working day changed from ten to nine hours at the same pay. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 April 2004)

•After the Bly Building burns in June of 1904, R. R. Wise erects the Wise Block in its place and uses the upper part for Ransford Hotel rooms. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 87)

•The population of Brainerd in 1905 is 7,916. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•Carl Zapffe says: To the newcomer, Brainerd, in 1905, appears like a place gone to seed. The city has suffered many reverses in its day, but has always bobbed up smiling and better. In 1905 Brainerd is still mourning the loss of the sawmill and what went before that. Logging has disappeared from the vicinity and log-drives on the Mississippi river are of the small, cleanup order. Lumberjacks, who formerly were numerous here, can be seen then for only a few minutes at the depot, when changing trains. Lath mills fail to survive. Even Indians are rare topics of conversation hereabouts, and with their disappearance from the vicinity has gone also trading in furs and blueberries, which at one time were handled here in stupendous quantities. Frequently Brainerd has had wrested from it portions of its railroad prestige and railroad equipment, and now talk is current that the railroad shops might be taken away. People, in general, do not seem busy, and are wont to congregate in the Ransford Hotel lobby, and observe the strangers. Front Street is the premier business street, but the drift of business to Laurel and toward Seventh is evident and the loss of the prestige of Front Street is imminent.

There are still some old land marks near Fourth and Front, including an old bowling-alley in a dingy basement; and on Fifth and Front are old shacks in one of which is a lady-barber shop. The Earl Hotel, Jule Jamieson, proprietor, is of brick veneer and stands opposite the present Fire Hall; it is destroyed by fire about 1910. The Horse Shoe Saloon and restaurant, George West, proprietor, is on Laurel and Sixth. The only paved street is Fourth Street North; the pavement is a mixture of dirt and stones and called macadam. Anyone “Seeing Brainerd” is taken up Fourth Street and then down Fourth Street, and the ride ended. All other streets are but two ruts in sand, with sand and more sand ahead and to the sides, and always an abundance of sand burrs to prick one’s ankles. Gregory Park is nothing but a promiscuous collection of young trees.

It takes three hours to drive a team of horses with a buggy through the sand from Brainerd to Round and Gull Lakes. In the same time one can drive to Deerwood. Today [1922] one can make either trip in thirty minutes.

...The disappearance of the logger, lumberman, Indian trader and the like are being mourned; pioneer methods of settlers and farmers are tolerated; it is evident in Brainerd that the people are living in the past. The businessmen are not united; they will not work together for the common good. Yes, a few will fish together. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; pp. 59-60)

 

•Dresskell’s Band, organized in 1882, is one of the best amateur bands in the state, and for more than twenty years, literally plays a big part in the city’s development... The present Municipal Band, organized June 28, 1907, has its beginning in Southeast Brainerd. The first leaders are William P. Bartsch and Dr. Frank Sykora. ...Music lessons are taught in Brainerd as early as 1873. Perhaps no persons, however, have done more for the musical training of the youth of the city than Mrs. W. A. M. Johnstone and William P. Bartsch. They possess a rare combination of musical talent, enthusiasm, and teaching personality. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 35)

•One of Brainerd’s great fires on 28 October 1909 wipes out an entire quarter block including the Columbia Block built in 1893 by W. D. McKay; George West’s Golden Horseshoe Restaurant on the corner of Laurel and Sixth Streets, a hardware and furniture store owned by D. M. Clark and the M. K. Swartz Drugstore also burn. The block is replaced in 1910-11 by the Iron Exchange Building and the Ransford Hotel. (Oldtimers . . . Stories of Our Pioneers, Carl A. Zapffe, Echo Publishing Company, Pequot Lakes, Minnesota: 1987; p. 60)

1910-1919

•The 1910 population of Brainerd is 8,526. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•In 1910, the Crow Wing County population statistics are as follows: Sweden 1183, Norway 721, Germany 594, Canada 556, Finland 356. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•In 1910 the membership of Aurora Lodge is increased to a total of 234. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 20)

•In 1910-11 the Iron Exchange Building is built by W. D. McKay, R. R. Wise, George W. Holland and George LaBar; it replaces the Columbia Block in downtown Brainerd. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 23; and Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, p. 74)

•Brainerd’s first real Federal building and Post Office is erected on the southeast corner of Sixth and Maple in 1911. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 40)

•On 29 April 1913 the Northern Pacific Depot is being painted. The body color is to be a deep red and the trimmer a dark green. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 29 April 1913)

•”In 1914 there were 52 cottages on Gull Lake; now [1922] there are 618,” says I. U. White, who had the first of them all. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 63)

•The W. W. Hartley building on the corner of Front and South Sixth Streets in Brainerd is best known as the Bank Building. The downstairs on Front Street becomes the new home of the First National Bank; in 1916 the bank purchases and remodels the building. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 22)

•Between 1916 and 1918 the Tri State Telephone Company operates in Brainerd. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 119)

•”I only weigh 484 pounds now,” says Fat Woods to the Courier-News in Fargo in October 1917. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 October 1917, p. 4, picture)

•In 1918 Ransford R. Wise builds the Anna Block at Seventh and Front Streets, which includes several stores and fifteen fully equipped apartments. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 51)

•Hilding A. Swanson has returned from a trip to St. Paul. Aside from four punctures and some engine trouble, the trip home was without incident. He left St. Paul at 2 in the afternoon and arrived at Brainerd 9 o’clock the next morning. (Brainerd’s Oddest Stories, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 April 1918)

•The class of 1918, graduating from Brainerd High School, was the largest in history with sixty-two graduates. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, May 1918)

•Road improvements increase interest in the land between Gull and Round lakes with a 100-room summer hotel planned and talk of lake lots and a golf course and clubhouse. “This is a natural beauty spot facing both lakes where there is always a cool breeze.” (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 24 May 1918)

•02 November 1918 the Spanish Flu makes its appearance in Brainerd.

•15 January 1919, no event has surprised Brainerd more since the signing of the armistice than the announcement that the Northern Pacific Railway Co. budget for 1919 includes a $65,000 appropriation for a new passenger depot for Brainerd. The new depot is to replace the little barn-like contraption that nestles near the Belgian-like ruins of the 40-year-old remains. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 15 January 1999)

•11 February 1919, Tommie [Fatty] Woods of Brainerd is said to be the biggest man in the states. When Woods can’t go to war--they don’t make uniforms his size--he does the next best thing. He tours the camps cheering the men as he put it “with a little song and dance.” He gives the profits to the Red Cross. Woods is 23 years old, weighs 484 pounds, and has a chest expansion of 5 1/2 inches. His “mile of smiles” is to be seen on the screen. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 February 1999)

•On 22 March 1919 these are the specials listed for Friday and Saturday:

Fresh dressed chicken--lb. 30 cents

Beef pot roast--lb. 20 cents

Shoulder roast--lb. 22 cents

Round steak--lb. 25 cents

Leg of lamb--lb. 30 cents

Liver sausage--lb. 20 cents

Fresh pickerel--lb. 12 1/2 cents

Sauerkraut--lb. 5 cents

(This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 March 1999)

•On 23 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 Daily Dispatch, 23 March 1999)

•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 Daily Dispatch, 16 April 1999)

•Beginning 11 May 1919 meals at the Central Hotel will be 40¢. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 May 1999)

•The West Cafe in the Iron Exchange Building conducted by Mrs. George R. West is meeting with increasing success and on Sunday, 11 May 1919 the cafe is crowded with many of the old friends of the restaurant. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 May 1999)

•22 June 1919; Tom Wood and Charlie Chaplin in Sunnyside. See our own Fat Woods, first Minnesota man in movies. Little Mary Pickford, Fat Arbuckle, in fact the whole bunch in Los Angeles, California is sitting up watching our Fat Wood go. PARK THEATRE. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 22 June 1999)

•Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 July 1919

Class of 1919 statistics:

Class beauty: Hazel Worden

The Laziest: Gordon Myrick

Greatest Social Light: Mildred O’Brien

Most Popular Girl: Hazel Robinson

Best Athlete: Our Captain, Henry Cunningham

Brightest Boy: John Thabes

Brightest Girls: Kathleen Weisz and Mildred O’Brien

(This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 July 1999)

•On 12 August 1919 about 1,300 shopmen of the Northern Pacific Railway Shops, walk out at 10 o’clock Tuesday after serving notice to Superintendent J. P. Anderson. For the first time in the history of Brainerd and the Local Shops such a walk out has taken place. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 August 1999)

•On 13 August 1919 it was no rest for some of the shopmen when they walked out yesterday. Their wives commandeered them and made them go out into the countryside and pick blueberries for the household. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 August 1999)

•On 19 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 Daily Dispatch, 19 August 1999)

•12 December 1919, Brainerd street lights have been dark since November 3. In the meantime the city at night has the look of a town suffering from a coal shortage. The cause of the darkness is the lack of rectifier bulbs. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 12 December 1999)

1920-1929

•In 1920 Brainerd’s population is 9,591. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64) and (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 27)

•There have always been more males than females in Brainerd. The ratio now [1920] is 4,915 to 4,676. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 64)

•In 1920 the membership of Aurora Lodge is 340. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 22)

•In the 1920’s [December 1923] Kindred Street in Brainerd is renamed ‘A’ Street. (Brainerd 1871-1946, Carl Zapffe, Colwell Press, Incorporated, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1946; p. 24)

•20 January 1920, a change of interest occurred at the D. M. Clark & Co. store when J. E. O’Brien acquired the interest of D. M. Clark, Mel Clark and James Alderman, the transfer taking place the first of the month. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 January 2000)

•Brainerd’s new Northern Pacific Railway Depot, an imposing structure built of brick, three stories high, is expected to be occupied on 01 March 1920 by the Northern Pacific and Minnesota and International Railway office and other forces. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 February 2000)

•11 May 1920, Advertisement, Rosko Brothers, 9th and Oak Street: 1918 Studebaker, winter top included, $800; 1919 Ford Touring, with extra equipment, $650; 1918 Ford Sedan, $600; 1912 Pierce Arrow, Chummy $500. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 May 2000)

•The handsome and commodious passenger station just completed by the Northern Pacific Railway Company will be opened for public use on the afternoon of Saturday, May 15, 1920. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 08 May 2000)

•15 May 1920 the grand opening of the new Northern Pacific depot brought out the crowds in Brainerd.

•May 1920. Today is “Depot Day” in Brainerd. The civic celebration is one commensurate with the importance of the occasion, the formal opening of the new Passenger Depot of the Northern Pacific Railway Company. Brainerd now possesses a depot, which is the equal of any town of its size in the United States. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 May 2000)

•June 1920. The paving of Oak, Kindred and Kingwood streets is now largely up to the owners of property abutting on these streets. If a majority of these people can pay in advance for the improvement the council now believes that it can be successfully done. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 20 June 2000)

•August 1920. The little crew of two engaged in stuccoing the water tower cement tank 150 feet above ground has nerves of steel. Gunion and his partner climb up and down the ropes to their swaying staging with as much unconcern as though they were working down on the sidewalk. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 29 August 2000)

•September 1920. Without any civic ceremonies of any kind, but nevertheless marking an epoch in Brainerd’s history, the bars are taken down by the contractors and the new pavement paving on Kingwood Street opens to the public. In a minute the street swarms with traffic. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 September 2000)

•September 1920. Kingwood Street’s new cement paving is being used as a speedway so some of the residents complain. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 September 2000)

•September 1920. Complaints are heard about the terrific speed of cars on the new paved streets in Brainerd. “Something should be done without delay to insure safe driving. Forty miles per hour is too fast for city streets. It is positively dangerous,” said Reverend Fred M. Ohms. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 September 2000)

•October 1920, water is being pumped into the new water tower today. The 300,000-gallon concrete water tower of the new waterworks system near the Depot is being filled. A full tank means an added weight of over 2,000,000 pounds. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 October 2000)

•In October 1920 a fire of unknown origin starting at 10:10 Tuesday night destroys the old car shop brick building 200’ x 300’ in size, a story and a half high, of the Northern Pacific Railway Shops. Nineteen freight cars, some timbers, lumber, steam heat pipes, etc. are burned. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 06 October 2000)

•Tuesday, 23 November 1920, the farewell reception given the Reverend Father J. J. O’Mahoney on Tuesday attested to the high regard in which the popular priest is held and many an eye was dimmed with tears when the thoughts of him leaving the parish became a reality. He leaves for Hibbing church. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 30 November 2000)

•December 1920. John H. Krekelberg, well known real estate man and the bank have built five cottages on Bluff Avenue at the east end of the avenue where the scenery is most inviting. To the north one sees the Mississippi, and to the east the pines lining the ravine between the north side and northeast Brainerd. These are four and five room cottages. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 December 2000)

•In 1921 the leading industries in Brainerd are at the railroad shops, paper mill, tie plant, and foundry. The business firms include wholesale houses in groceries, meats, fruit, flour, feed, and lumber, all having a large trade. Retail merchants number about two hundred. The four banks have on deposit well over three million dollars. There are many hotels, numerous garages, a public library, three newspapers, including one daily, a business college, eight grade schools and one high school, twenty churches, two fine hospitals, beautiful parks and playgrounds, magnificent public buildings, miles of concrete streets, the best water works to be found anywhere, electric light and power, gas and innumerable other assets. Brainerd has two thousand homes. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 65)

•In 1922, speaking of the Pioneer Days in Brainerd, an old-timer remarked about the change, which was wrought in the district court room when Judge W. S. McClenahan came on the bench. He ordered the sawdust taken from the floor, had cuspidors installed and ordered lawyers and jury and spectators to keep their coats on while in the court room. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 29 March 2002)

•03 May 1922, Martin H. NELSON and several others found the Brainerd Savings and Loan Association. It continues today at the corner of Sixth and Oak in Brainerd. “The purpose of the association is to help finance prospective home owners upon mutually advantageous terms. Already a number of dwellings have been financed through this association.” (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 47)

•A major strike against the Northern Pacific Railroad takes place from 01 July of 1922 to 05 February of 1923. (Brainerd’s Half Century, Ingolf Dillan, General Printing Company, Minneapolis, Minnesota: 1923; p. 22)

•In July 1922, promptly at the stroke of 10 o’clock Saturday morning Northern Pacific Railway Shopmen numbering approximately 1,250 laid down their tools and quit work. This walkout takes out all shopmen except laborers, clerical force, storeroom and roundhouse. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Monday, 01 July 2002)

•City welcomes men of Northern Pacific! [July 1922]

Since 01 October 1870 Northern Pacific Railway synonymous with growth of city. New passenger station, pride of Brainerd, is completed in 1920 at a cost of $116,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 07 July 2002)

•In July 1922, the Northern Pacific Railway Company will employ men at rates prescribed by the United States Railroad Labor Board as follows:

Machinist, 70¢ per hour

Blacksmiths, 70¢ per hour

Sheet metal worker, 70¢ per hour

Electricians, 70¢ per hour

Freight carmen, 63¢ per hour

Helpers, 47¢ per hour

(This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 18 July 2002)

•In August 1922, [Joe] Bush, Brainerd’s biggest hero, is going like a house on fire in the New York Yankees. He started the season by winning seven games right in a row. No Yank pitcher has equaled the record made by Bush. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Tuesday, 06 August 2002)

•August 1922. Judge W. S. McClenahan’s pretty cottage on Gull Lake is rapidly nearing completion. It adjoins the R. J. Tinkelpaugh cottage and the A. C. Weber summer home. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 21 August 2002)

•September 1922. Work on Brainerd’s Half Century, the history of this city in word and picture, is fast drawing to a close. Ingolf Dillan is its chronicler. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 14 September 2002)

•In February 1923; Joe “Bullet” Bush arrives in Brainerd on the night train from St. Paul and it is fitting that our citizens meet and greet Brainerd’s pitching ace and his accomplished wife when they arrive in our city tonight. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 06 February 2003)

•In June 1923 the Board of Directors of the YMCA at a meeting Thursday vote to close that institution which had been serving the younger generation for approximately 35 years. Northern Pacific Railway Company has been generous, contributing $500 annually toward support. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Monday, 09 June 2003)

•In December 1923, the Brainerd City Council takes on the task of renaming the streets in Northeast Brainerd. To clarify Northeast Brainerd, that designation applies only to streets in what is considered East Brainerd. Beginning with Kindred Street and following with all streets north that run east and west; letters of the alphabet are to be used. The local postmaster objects to no avail. Kindred becomes “A” Street, Farrar “B” Street, Forsythe “C” Street, Pine “D” Street, Prescott and Oak “E”, Myrtle and Maple “F”, Pear and Elm “G”, Ash “H”, Rosabel and Pascal “I”, Kinsey and Firman “J”, Quincy “K”, Washington “L”, Schwartz and Woodward “M”, Whiteley “N”, Lake “O”, Elder “P” and Water “Q”. (Taken from the Crow Wing County Historical Society Newsletter of March 1999; column, Lost in the Shuffle by Lucille Kirkeby.

•05 February 1924, the Milford Mine, three miles north of Crosby, is flooded by a nearby lake; forty-one miners are killed and the disaster is labeled as an “act of God.” Of the forty-eight miners working that afternoon, most were near the cave-in. Seven miners reached the main shaft and climbed 135 feet up a ladder to safety.

•March 1924. To Rosko Brothers, Dodge car dealers, goes the honor of being the first to introduce balloon tires in Brainerd. Your car can run over curbs or other obstructions without any appreciable jar to the driver. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 March 2004)

•April 1924. At the meeting of the Whittier Parent Teachers Association, there was staged a most unusual demonstration. The committee made this the occasion for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Miss Louise Barrett’s teaching in the Whittier building. About 300 friends and former students were present. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 11 April 2004)

1930-1939

•In 1930 membership in Aurora Lodge increases to a total of 375. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 30)

•Sometime in 1933, Art Dondelinger buys the “bankrupt” Security Loan and Thrift of Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, p. 1; Obituary, 22 February 1999)

•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.

•14 September 1939, Sunday’s shooting at Uncle Tom’s Gun Club on North Long Lake brought out 30 shooters. Jim Tinkelpaugh led all shooters with a 95 percent average, breaking 190/200. He had a long run of 107 straight. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 14 September 1999)

1940-1949

•In 1940 membership in Aurora Lodge decreases to 305. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; containing 75th Anniversary History, 1947, Carl Zapffe, p. 33)

•April 1940, the official seal of the city of Brainerd in use at the present pictures a farmer plowing a field with a gun leaning on a stump nearby. That motif years ago replaced Brainerd’s first official cachet struck in 1882 that bore a pinecone and a locomotive. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 10 April 2000)

•April 1940. Razing operations on the old Brady property, northwest corner Kingwood and North Sixth Streets, today are well under way and development of a four-apartment building by Ray Beckley will be undertaken. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 23 April 2000)

•July 1940. W. D. McKay begins his 87th year active and alert as secretary of the Brainerd Water and Light Board. He is honored on his 86th birthday at a dinner in Starell’s Cafe Saturday, with guests including 16 members of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Parish. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 21 July 2000)

•February 1941. The full force working full time at the Brainerd Shops of the Northern Pacific is indicative of present activity along the entire system as it shoulders its part of the war load. The 1941 payroll in the Brainerd Shops is $1,800,000. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 01 February 2000)

•October 1942. Art Dondelinger, Tracy Barton, Chuck Burton and W. P. Tyrholm have returned from a weekend hunting trip to South Dakota, where they shot 100 pheasants and 80 mallards. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 11 October 2002)

•September 1943. Captain Neil Gordon of the State Highway Patrol issued a warning today to motorists in this area that observation of the National 35 mile an hour speed law must be obeyed. Some motorists have been found driving 60 and 70. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Sunday, 24 September 2003)

•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 Daily Dispatch, 11 April 2004)

1950-1959

•In 1950 membership in Aurora Lodge stands at 502. (100th Anniversary, Aurora Lodge, No. 100--A.F. & A. M., 1973; Walter Armstrong, p. 60)

•13 December 1959, Art Lyonais, 1102 South Sixth Street, has returned to Brainerd from Rochester, after undergoing major surgery at the Mayo Clinic in November. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 13 December 1999)

1960-1969

•In December 1960, the planning committee for WHS Class of 1926 reunion are: Esther Girard, Gladys Nygaard, Gladys Swanson, J. Henry Nolan, Ernest Lively, Ann Leese, Evelyn Hall, William Backen, Beatrice Burton and Eleanor Nolan. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 07 December 2000)

•In June 1962 the fact that there are no longer hitching posts in Brainerd doesn’t bother Treasure Jordan, Rt. 3, Brainerd when she rides her horse into town. Miss Jordan, who graduated from high school Thursday, had ridden her horse into town to pick up her report card. When she decided to stop for a coke, she simply tied the horse to a parking meter and put a penny in to make sure she didn’t get a parking ticket. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 03 June 2002)

•In June 1962 purchase of the old Post Office building and site by the City of Brainerd for development of a metered parking lot means that Brainerd at last will be beginning a program which has been found to be completely satisfactory in many other cities. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 17 June 2002)

•In July 1962 the Brainerd City Council has said that the old Post Office Building will be given away free of charge to anyone who will move it from the present site within 30 days. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Friday, 19 July 2002)

•In August 1962, two old friends meet again, but in new surroundings. They didn’t shake hands or say anything. They just looked at each other. “She looks exactly the same only cleaner now,” said Tom Walsh, Sr. The “she” is Northern Pacific yard engine number 10, which is on display in Lum Park. (This Was Brainerd, Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Wednesday, 07 August 2002)

•On 29 December 1964 a large fire occurs in the Baehr Building, which houses the Brainerd Theater.

•01 July 1968 the old steel bridge across the Mississippi River in Brainerd, built in 1898, is knocked down, to be replaced by a new one. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 01 July 1968)

•18 October 1968 the wrecking ball is poised to raze the Northern Pacific Depot in Brainerd. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, 18 October 1968)

1970-79

•22 July 1970 the Iron Exchange Building on Sixth Street between Front and Laurel Streets burns.

•October 1971, for more than half of Brainerd’s history Mary Tornstrom is one of the best loved and most admired residents of the community. Her death this week brings recollections to thousands of Brainerd and former residents of kindnesses, which she performed over the years. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, Thursday, 25 October 2001)

1980-89

•In January 1984 Brainerd’s 83-year old railroad bridge is getting a face life. The bridge’s three 95-ton truss spans will be replaced with 160-ton girder spans. (Brainerd Daily Dispatch, This Was Brainerd, Monday, 05 January 2004)

•26 February 1987 fire consumes several businesses on the south side of Laurel Street between Sixth and Seventh Streets. Some of these businesses are Roberts Drug (Skauge Drug), Alderman’s Hardware, and what was once called Esser’s Bar.

1990-99

•In the first week of February 1999, the Baehr Building on the southeast corner of Sixth and Front is torn down.