1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS, the largest city of Minnesota, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Hennepin county, situated on both banks of the Mississippi river at the Falls of St Anthony and immediately above St Paul. Pop. (1870), 13,066; (1880), 46,887; (1890), 164,738; (1900), 202,718; (1910 census) 301,408. Of the total population in 1900, those of foreign parentage (both parents foreign-born) numbered 118,946, and there were 61,021 of foreign birth, including 20,035 Swedes, 11,532 Norwegians, 7335 Germans, 5637 English-Canadians, 3213 Irish, 2289 English, 1929 Russians, 1706 French-Canadians and 1133 Austrians. Minneapolis is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago, Great Western, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Chicago & Northwestern, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Great Northern, the Minneapolis & St Louis, the Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Sainte Marie, and the Northern Pacific railways. It has also three terminal switching lines and the belt line of the Minnesota Transfer Company, serving both Minneapolis and St Paul. With St Paul, which is served by the same system of railways, Minneapolis is the chief railway centre of the Northwest and one of the greatest in the United States, being the principal gateway to the commerce of the Canadian and Pacific north-west. There are a Union passenger station, and separate stations for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Chicago, Great Western and the Minneapolis & St Louis railways.

The city is situated on a high plateau (800–850 ft. above sea-level) above the river, and covers an area of about 53 sq. m. It has an extensive system of boulevards, parkways and parks (aggregating 2465 acres in 1908). Among the parks are Loring, near the centre of the city, in which is a statue of Ole Bull; Lyndale, in the south-west part of the city; Interlachen, just north-west of Lyndale; Glenwood, in the west of the city; Van Cleve, Logan, Windom and Columbia in the part of the city east of the Mississippi river; Riverside, on the south-west bank of the Mississippi; and Minnehaha Park, in which are the Minnehaha Falls, a beautiful cascade of the Minnehaha Creek (the outlet of Lake Minnetonka), near the Mississippi, with a fall of 50 ft., well known from Longfellow’s poem “Hiawatha.” The numerous small lakes in the city (there are about 200 lakes in Hennepin county) have been incorporated in the park system; among them are Lake Harriet (353 acres; in Lake Harriet Park), Lake Calhoun (on which are extensive public baths), Lake Amelia (295 acres), Lake of the Isles (100 acres), Cedar Lake, Powder Horn Lake (in the park of that name) and Sandy Lake (in Columbia Park). Adjoining Minnehaha Park are the grounds (51 acres, given to the state by the city) and buildings of the Minnesota state soldiers’ home (1887); and 2 m. beyond the Falls, at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, is the Fort Snelling Military Reservation (1819). Seven miles south-west of the limits of the city is Lake Minnetonka, one of the most famous summer resorts in the Northwest, a beautiful body of water 15 m. long, with a shore line of 150 m. encircled by undulating wooded hills. Among the most fashionable streets are Mount Curve, Clifton and Park avenues, all in the “West Division” or south-western quarter of the city. The streets in all parts of the city are of exceptional width and heavily shaded in the residential districts. There are handsome residential suburbs. The court-house and city-hall, constructed of red Minnesota, granite and completed in 1902 at a cost of about $3,500,000, is one of the finest municipal buildings in America. Other prominent buildings are the Masonic Temple, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lumber Exchange, the Bank of Commerce, the Auditorium; the buildings of the Metropolitan Life (formerly the Guaranty), the Security Bank, the Northwestern National Bank, the First National Bank, the Andrus, the New York Life, and the Young Men’s Christian Association; Hotel Radisson and West Hotel. Minneapolis is the see of a Protestant Episcopal bishopric. On the east side of the river are the buildings of the university of Minnesota (q.v.). In Minneapolis are the Minneapolis College of Physicians and Surgeons (1883), the medical school of Hamline University; Augsburg Seminary (Norwegian Lutheran, 1869), the United Church Seminary (1890), the Minnesota College (Swedish, 1905), the Minneapolis Normal School for Kindergartners, the Froebellian Kindergarten Normal School, Graham Hall and Stanley Hall, the Minneapolis School of Music, Oratory and Dramatic Art, and the Northwestern Conservatory of Music. Between Minneapolis and St Paul are the main buildings of Hamline University (Methodist Episcopal, co-educational, 1854). The public library (more than 180,000 volumes in 1908) grew out of a private library, the Athenaeum (1860), was reorganized by Herbert Putnam (librarian from 1887 to 1891), and has several branches, the most notable of which is the Pillsbury Library (1904) on the east side; in its main building (Hennepin Avenue and 10th Street) are the offices of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences (1873), which, with the Society of Fine Arts, assisted in erecting the building in 1884. Among the hospitals and charitable institutions are the Minneapolis city hospital, the state hospital for crippled and deformed children, and Asbury Methodist, the Northwestern, the Deaconess’, the Swedish, the St Mary’s, the Maternity and the St Barnabas hospitals, Bethany Home, the Catholic orphan asylum, the Washburn orphans’ home, the Pillsbury House (1906) where settlement work is carried on by the Plymouth Congregational Church, and several free dispensaries. The first newspaper in the city was the St Anthony Express, which began publication in 1851; it is no longer in existence. In 1906 the city had, in addition to numerous weekly and monthly periodicals (English, Norwegian-Danish, Swedish, German, French), four dailies, the Tribune (1867), the Journal (1878), and the News (1903), all in English, and the Tidende (Norwegian-Danish), established as a weekly in 1851.

The Mississippi river, which here has an average width of about 1200 ft., is crossed by 17 bridges (9 highway and 8 railway bridges). The Federal government undertook to deepen the channel by dredging and by making two dams and two locks between the Chicago, St Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railway bridge in St Paul and the Washington Avenue bridge in Minneapolis—a distance of 11·4 m.—from 2 or 3 ft. to 6 ft., and to make the river regularly navigable as far as the Washington Avenue bridge, Minneapolis; the project, first adopted in 1894 and modified in 1907, was 70% completed in July 1908, and up to that time $1,061,397 had been spent on the Work. The enormous water-power of the Falls of St Anthony, yielding about 40,000 h.p., has been the principal factor in making Minneapolis a great manufacturing centre. The rapid erosion of the soft limestone bed at one time threatened the destruction of the power, but this has been prevented by an enormous apron and an artificial concrete floor (completed in 1879). Additional water-power (25,000 h.p.) is derived from Taylor’s Falls on the St Croix river. The proximity of the rich wheat fields of the north-west, and the extensive timber forests, have made Minneapolis the greatest lumber and flour centre in the world. The importance of the flour manufacturing industry was originally due to the excellent water-power available, and dates from the introduction of improved roller-mill methods in the early 'seventies, although there were successful mills in operation twenty years earlier. The enormous flour-mills of Minneapolis (22 in 1907) are perhaps the most interesting sights of the city. Their aggregate daily capacity is over 80,000 barrels, the largest of them having a capacity of 15,000 to 16,500 daily. In 1905 the value of the city's flour and grist mill products was $62,754,446, 51.6% of the total value of the city's factory product, and 8.8% of the value of the flour and grist mill products of the entire United States. Food preparations were valued in 1905 at $1,361,492. Minneapolis is also the greatest primary wheat market in the world, its 40 or more elevators (of which those of the Washburn-Crosby Company, erected in 1907, are the largest) having a net capacity of about 35,000,000 bushels, and handling more than 90,000,000 bushels in 1908. Its commerce in other grains is also extensive; in the amount of barley received and shipped Minneapolis surpasses any other city in the United States, and in receipts and shipments of rye is second only to Chicago. The Mississippi river above Minneapolis is made to serve, by means of a series of extensive log-booms, as the principal source of supply to the great saw-mills, of which there are here some of the largest in the world, with a combined capacity of 3,500,000 ft. a day, and with an average annual cut of 575,000,000 ft. The total value of the lumber products in 1905 was $9,960,842 (lumber and timber, $5,816,726; planing-mill products, including sash, doors and blinds, $4,144,116). Other important manufactures with the product-value of each in 1905 were malt liquors ($1,185,525), foundry and machine shop products ($2,820,697), structural iron-work ($1,991,771), steam railway car construction and repairing ($2,027,248), patent medicines ($1,715,889), furniture ($1,238,324), cooperage ($1,415,360), and hosiery and knit goods ($957,455). The total value of the factory product was $94,407,774 in 1900, and $121,593,120 in 1905, an increase of 28.8%; in 1905 the value of the factory product was 39.5% of that of the entire state.

Minneapolis is governed under a charter adopted in 1872 (when St Anthony and Minneapolis were consolidated) and frequently amended. It provides for the election of a mayor, treasurer and comptroller for two-years terms; for elected boards of control for library, parks and education, and for a unicameral city council, half of which is chosen every two years for a term of four years. The mayor, whose veto may be nullified by an adverse vote of two-thirds of the council, has very limited appointing powers, the head of the police department being the most important of his appointees. The city council elects the city clerk, city attorney, city engineer, chief of the fire department and most of the minor officers. Under a provision of the charter adopted in 1887 saloons are not permitted outside the “patrol limits of the business district”; so that there are no saloons in the residential districts of the city. The municipality owns the waterworks system, the water supply being obtained from the Mississippi river.

History.—The first recorded visit of a European to the site of Minneapolis was that of Father Louis Hennepin, the French Jesuit missionary, who discovered and, named the Falls of St Anthony in 1680; but it is almost certain that he was preceded by some of the adventurous coureurs des bois, few of whom left records of their extensive wanderings, and Radisson and Groseilliers seem to have visited this region two decades before Hennepin. The land on which the city lies, being divided by the Mississippi river, was for many years under different sovereign ties, the east side becoming United States territory at the close of the War of Independence, while the west side, after being under Spanish and French rule, did not become a part of the United States until the purchase of Louisiana in 1803. In 1766 the site was visited by the American traveller, Jonathan Carver, and in 1805 by Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike; the military reserve which Pike bought from the Indians included a greater portion of the west side of the present city. After the erection of Fort St Anthony (1819; later called Fort Snelling), a water-power saw-mill was erected (1822) to saw lumber for the fort on the east bank of the river at the Falls of St Anthony. Later flour was also ground in this mill, which thus became the forerunner of the greatest of the city's industries. Gradually as the Indian land titles became extinguished the east bank was settled. The first settlement on the west bank was made by Colonel John H. Stevens in 1850, but the land was not opened to settlers until 1855. The village of St Anthony, on the east side of the river, was incorporated in 1855; Minneapolis, on the west bank, was incorporated in 1856. St Anthony became a city in 1860, and Minneapolis, which then had only 2564 inhabitants, soon outstripped its neighbour after the Civil War, and received a city charter in 1867. In 1870 Minneapolis alone had 13,066 inhabitants (18,079 with St Anthony), and in 1872 the two cities were united under the name of Minneapolis. The Republican National Convention met in Minneapolis in 1892 and renominated President Benjamin Harrison.

Authorities.—Isaac Atwater, History of the City of Minneapolis (2 vols., New York, 1893); G. E. Warner and C. M. Foote, History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis (Minneapolis, 1881); Hudson's Dictionary of Minneapolis and Vicinity (Minneapolis, annually); A. Morrison, The Industries of Minneapolis (Minneapolis, 1885); S. P. Snyder and H. K. Macfarlane, Historical Sketch of St Anthony and Minneapolis (Philadelphia, 1856); and C. B. Elliott's “Minneapolis-St Paul” in L. P. Powell's Historic Towns of the Western States (New York, 1901).