1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/St Paul (Minnesota)
ST PAUL, the capital of Minnesota, U.S.A., and the county seat of Ramsey county, situated on the Mississippi river, about 2150 m. above its mouth, at the practical head of navigation, just below the Falls of St Anthony. It is about 360 m. N. W. of Chicago, Illinois, and its W. limits directly touch the limits of Minneapolis. Pop. (1880) 41,473; (1890) 133,156; (1900) 163,632, of whom 46,819 were foreign-born (12,935 Germans, 9852 Swedes, 4892 Irish, 3557 English-Canadians, 2900 Norwegians, 2005 English, 1488 Austrians, 1343 Bohemians, 1206 Danes, and 1015 French-Canadians), 100,599 of foreign parentage (i.e. both parents foreign born), and 2263 negroes; (1910 census) 214,744. Land area (1906) 52.28 sq. m. St Paul is served by the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy, the Chicago Great Western, the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, the Northern Pacific, the Minneapolis, St Paul & Sault Ste Marie, the Chicago & North-western, the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul, the Great Northern, and the Minneapolis & St Louis railways. Five bridges span the Mississippi, the largest of which, known as High Bridge, is 2770 ft. long and 200 ft. high. Four interurban lines connect with Minneapolis.
St Paul is attractively situated 670-880 ft. above sea-level, on a series of lofty limestone terraces or bluffs, formerly heavily wooded. It lies on both sides of the river, but the principal part is on the east bank. In its park system the numerous lakes within and near the city have been utilized. Of the parks, Como Park (425 acres; including Lake Como and a fine Japanese garden and a lily pond), and Phalen Park (600 acres, more than 400 of which are water area), are the largest. There are also 47 smaller squares and “neighbourhood parks” aggregating 560 acres. In Indian Park (135 acres), at the crest of the bluffs (Dayton’s Bluffs), in the east central part of the city, are burial-mounds of the Sioux. Summit Avenue Boulevard, 200 ft. wide and extending for 2½ m. along the heights, is a fine residential street. Boulevards along the bluffs on either side of the river connect with the Minneapolis park system. Harriet Island, in the Mississippi river opposite the business centre of the city, is attractively parked, and on it are public paths. Adjoining the city on the south-west, at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers, is the Fort Snelling U.S. Government Military Reservation, with a round stone fort, built in 1820. The principal public building is the State Capitol, completed in 1905. It was designed by Cass Gilbert (b. 1859), is of Minnesota granite and white Georgia marble with a massive central white dome, and has sculptural decorations by D. C. French and interior decorations by John La Farge, E. H. Blashfield, Elmer E. Garnsey (b. 1862), and Edward Simmons (b. 1852). Other prominent buildings are the City Hall and Court House, a Gothic greystone structure; the Federal building, of greystone, opposite Rice Park; a Young Men’s Christian Association building; the Metropolitan Opera House; the Auditorium, which was built by public subscription; the St Paul armoury (1905), with a drill hall; the Chamber of Commerce; and the Union railway station. Among the principal churches are the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the People’s, the Central Presbyterian, the Park Congregational, and the First Baptist churches. The wholesale district is in the lower part of the city near the Union railway station; the retail shops are mostly in an area bounded by Wabasha, Seventh, Fourth and Roberts streets.
St Paul has an excellent public school system, which include in 1909 three high schools, a teachers’ training school, a manual training high school, forty-eight grade schools, and a parents school. Among other educational institutions are the Freeman School; St Paul Academy; Barnard School for Boys; St Paul College of Law (1900); the College of St Thomas (Roman Catholic, 1885); St Paul Seminary (Roman Catholic, 1894), founded by James J. Hill as the provincial seminary of the ecclesiastical province of St Paul with an endowment of $500,000, 40 acres of land, and a library of 10,000 volumes; Luther Theological Seminary (1885); Hamline University (co-educational; Methodist Episcopal), chartered in 1854, with a medical school in Minneapolis (chartered 1883; part of Hamline since 1895), and having in the college and preparatory school, in 1908–1909, 17 instructors and 384 students; Macalester College (Presbyterian; co-educational), founded as Baldwin Institute in 1853, reorganized and renamed in 1874 in honour of a benefactor, Charles Macalester (1798–1873) of Philadelphia; and the School of Agriculture (1888) and the Agricultural Experiment Station (1887) of the University of Minnesota, in St Anthony Park, west of Como Park and south of the fair grounds. Among the libraries are the City Public Library, the State Law Library and the Minnesota Historical Society Library. The Minnesota Historical Society, organized in 1849, has an archaeological collection in the east wing of the Capitol. In the private residence of James J. Hill is a notable art gallery, containing one of the largest and best collections of the Barbizon School in existence. The principal newspapers are the Dispatch (Independent, 1878) and the Pioneer-Press, the latter established by James M. Goodhue (1800–1852) in 1849. Among the hospitals and charitable institutions are the City and County, St Joseph’s and St Luke’s hospitals, all having nurses’ training schools; the Swedish Hospital, the Scandinavian Orphan Asylum, the Home for the Friendless, the Magdalen Home and the Women’s Christian Home. Within the city limits (east of Indian Mounds Park) is the Willowbrook (state) Fish Hatchery, second to none in the United States in completeness of equipment; and adjoining the city on the north-west are the extensive grounds (200 acres) and buildings of the State Agricultural Society, where fairs are held annually.
Although as a manufacturing city St Paul, not possessing the wonderful water-power of its sister city, does not equal Minneapolis, yet as a commercial and wholesale distributing centre it is in some respects superior, and it is the principal jobbing market of the North-west. Situated at the natural head of navigation on the Mississippi, it has several competing lines of river steamboats in addition to the shipping facilities provided by its railways and the lines of the Minnesota Transfer Co., a belt line with 62 m. of track encircling St Paul and Minneapolis. St Paul is the port of entry for the Minnesota Customs District, and imports from Canada and from the Orient via the Pacific railways constitute an important factor in its commercial life, its imports and exports were valued at $6,154,289 and $9,909,940 respectively in 1909. Coal and wood, grain, farm produce and dairy products are important exports. St Paul is the principal market in the United States for the furs of the North-west, and there are extensive stock-yards and slaughtering and packing houses in the neighbouring city of South St Paul (pop. in 1910, 4510), St Paul ranks second to Minneapolis among the cities of the state as a manufacturing centre. The total value of its factory products in 1905 was $38,318,704 an increase of 27.5% since 1900. The following were among the largest items: fur goods; printing and publishing—book (especially law-book) and job, newspapers and periodicals; malt liquors; steam-railway car building and repairing; boots and shoes; foundry and machine-shop products; lumber and planing-mill products; men’s clothing; tobacco, cigars and cigarettes; and saddlery and harness.
St Paul is governed under a charter of 1900, which may be amended by popular vote on proposals made by a permanent charter commission. The mayor, comptroller and city treasurer are elected for two years. The mayor has the veto power and appoints the members of boards of police, parks, library, fire, water-supply and education. The legislature is bicameral, consisting of an assembly of nine members elected on a general city ticket and a board of aldermen chosen one from each of the twelve wards. The water-supply is pumped through 275 m. of water mains from a group of lakes north of the city, and the system has a capacity of 40,000,000 gallons per day.
History.—The earliest recorded visit of a European to the site of St Paul was that of the Jesuit Louis Hennepin in 1680. The traders Pierre Le Sueur and Nicholas Perrot visited the region between 1690 and 1700, and apparently established a temporary trading post somewhere in the neighbourhood. The first man of English descent to record his visit was Jonathan Carver, who, according to his journal, spent some time in the vicinity in 1767-1768. In 1805 Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike concluded a treaty with the Sioux. The first steamboat made its way up the river in 1823. The site of St Paul was opened to settlement by the treaty of Prairie du Chien, negotiated by Governor Henry Dodge of Wisconsin with the Chippewas in 1837. Two years later (1839) the first permanent settlement was made by Swiss and Canadian refugees from Lord Selkirk's Red River colony. In 1841 Father Lucien Gaultier erected a log mission chapel, which he named St Paul's; from this the settlement was named St Paul's Landing and finally St Paul. On the erection of Minnesota Territory in 1849, St Paul was incorporated as a village and became the Territorial capital. Its population in 1850 was only 1112. It was chartered as a city in 1854, and continued as the capital of the new state after its admission (1858). The first railway connecting St Paul and Minneapolis was completed in 1862, at which time St Paul's population exceeded 10,000 and in 1869 through railway connexion with Chicago was effected. The city of West St Paul was annexed in 1874. The growth of the city had been comparatively slow until 1870, in which year the population was 20,030; but the rapid railway construction and the settlement and clearing of the Western farm lands increased its commercial and industrial importance as it did that of its sister city, Minneapolis. In 1884 the city limits were extended to the Minneapolis line.
See F. C. Bliss, St Paul, its Past and Present (St Paul, 1888); C. C. Andrews, History of St Paul, Minnesota (Syracuse, N.Y., 1890); Warner and Foote, History of Ramsey County and the City of St Paul (Minneapolis, 1881); C. D. Elfelt, “Early Trade and Traders in St Paul,” and A. L. Larpenteur, “Recollections of the City and People of St Paul,” both in the Minnesota Historical Society's Collections, vol. ix. (1901).