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Hidden History of the Minnesota River Valley

Hidden History of the Minnesota River Valley

by Elizabeth Johanneck


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Traveled by mammoth-hunters and motorcyclists alike, the Minnesota River Valley shows the traces of a unique legacy: where else are you going to find a political party with ideals based on honest conversation and gymnastics? Not all of it is as lovely as the natural scenery it accompanies—Mankato was the site of the largest mass execution in United States history—but its heritage demands contemplation. Discover the valley’s most enterprising characters, from Fort Snelling bootleggers like Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant to the Granite Falls lawyer behind Prohibition, Andrew Volstead. With a guide like Johanneck, you might meet some familiar figures in surprising circumstances as she steals up behind Dr. Mayo at the grave he was robbing for medical research or catches FBI director J. Edgar Hoover in a moment of unguarded correspondence.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596298811
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 05/28/2010
Series: Hidden History Series
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 571,391
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Beth Johanneck was born a Minnesota farmer’s daughter, with seven brothers and a fabulous sister, and raised on a farm near the tiny community of Wabasso. During her childhood, she was inspired by her mother’s creativity and her father’s gift for storytelling. She received a bachelor’s degree in business from Southwest State University in Marshall, Minnesota, and grabbed an opportunity to work for a tourism office within the central part of the Minnesota River Valley.

She currently resides in the Twin Cities but hasn’t forgotten her rural roots, publishing a blog called the Minnesota Country Mouse Folk Blog, where the “hayseed” in her writing betrays her “city-slicker” aspirations. She subscribes to the early to bed, early to rise philosophy, celebrating the wee hours of the morning in her big chair with a stout cup of coffee and her computer.

Table of Contents

Introduction 9

Fort Snelling 13

Alexander Ramsey Park 37

The Double Hanging of William Rose 51

C.O. Gilfillan 61

Sears, Roebuck and Company's Serendipitous Start 71

The Myth about Scalping 77

The Myth of Andrew Volstead 85

Discovering the Softer Side of J. Edgar Hoover 93

Cut Nose, the Skeleton in Dr. Mayo's Closet 97

August Schell Brewing Company 101

The Historic Olof Swensson Farm 109

The Life and Times of Judge Weiland 119

Turner Hall, Murals, World War I and Prisoners of War Terry Sveine 131

Millions of Cats 135

The Terrible Story of Little Annie Mary 143

Strong Words on Strong Stone at Birch Coulee Audrey Kletscher Helbling 149

The Minnesota River Valley National Scenic Byway 151

Timeline of Events Related to the History of the Minnesota River Valley 153

About the Author 157

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