1922 Encyclopædia Britannica/Minnesota
MINNESOTA (see 18.348). The pop. of the state in 1920 was 2,387,125 as against 2,075,708 in 1910, an increase of 311,417, or 15% for the decade, as against an increase of 324,314, or 18.5% for the preceding decade. The total white pop. was 2,368,936, of whom 1,882,772 were natives and 486,164 foreign-born. Negroes numbered 8,809 and Indians 8,761. The density was 29.5 per sq. m.; 25.7 in 1910. The urban pop. (in places having over 2,500 inhabitants) was 1,051,593, or 44.1%, in 1920, 41.0% in 1910, and the rural pop. 1,335,532, or 55.9%; 59.0% in 1910. The following table gives the pop. and the percentage of increase of cities having more than 10,000 inhabitants in 1920.
|Cities||1920||1910|| Increase |
Agriculture and Minerals.—There were 178,478 farms in Minnesota in 1920, an increase of 14.3% since 1910. These farms covered about 30,000,000 ac., two-thirds of which was improved; the total value of farm land and buildings was $3,787,420,118. The state's two most valuable crops in 1919 were Indian corn, of which 84,786,096 bus. were raised, the value being $110,221,931; and wheat, 37,616,384 bus., the value being $88,398,508; the total value of the principal farm crops was $506,020,233. Live stock on farms was valued at $293,373,818. The northern part of the state is developing rapidly as a stock-raising and dairying section. About 60% of the output of iron ore in the United States is mined in the three great iron ranges of northern Minnesota. The Mesaba range, 110 m. in length, embraces 180 active mines. The Vermilion and Cuyuna ranges combined form an additional iron belt of about 50 miles. A total of 43,263,240 tons of ore, valued at $144,706,532, was shipped from Minnesota mines in 1918.
Manufactures.—In 1914 Minnesota ranked thirteenth among the states of the Union in the value of its manufactures. In the 5,974 establishments (not including hand industries) then existing, $354,434,177 was invested, 115,690 persons were employed, and products valued at $493,354,136 were manufactured. The value of the products had increased 20% since 1909. The state's five most important industries, in the order of the value of products in 1914, were the flour-mill and grist-mill, slaughtering and meat-packing, lumber and timber, dairy and creamery, and foundry and machine-shop industries. In 1919 some 300 flour-mills produced 29,337,131 bar. of flour; 811 creameries 143,176,204 lb. of butter; and 85 cheese factories 9,452,191 lb. of cheese. In flour and butter Minnesota's products exceed those of any other state. The total value of all dairy products in 1919 was $155,438,698. Since 1910 the slaughtering and meat-packing industries, centred at South St. Paul, have shown rapid growth. Because of the depletion of her forests Minnesota dropped from third place among the states in lumber manufacture
in 1900 to sixteenth place in 1920; but, though lumbering declined, timber manufacturing increased, so that Minnesota ranked in 1920 among the first states in the production of pulp wood, railway ties, fence posts, and telegraph poles. The foundry and machine-shop industries also have grown rapidly. A portion of the state's iron ore is now worked in huge iron and steel plants on the St. Louis river near Duluth, and farm machinery is manufactured increasingly.
Transportation.—The railway mileage in Minnesota Dec. 31 1919 was 9,230, an increase of about 9% since 1908. In 1918 there were 161.8 m. of electric line operated in the state. The U.S. Government completed in 1920 the construction of a dam in the Mississippi between St. Paul and Minneapolis, which by means of locks makes the latter city the head of navigation on the river. An attempt is being made to revive freighting on the river, between Minneapolis and St. Louis. With the growth of motor traffic, the demand for good roads has greatly increased, and the state was engaging in 1921 in road building on an extensive scale. An amendment to the constitution (1912) authorized the Legislature to levy a one-mill tax, the proceeds to be distributed among the counties and used for road building and maintenance; another amendment (1920) authorized the Legislature to issue bonds and provided for the taxation of motor vehicles in order to finance a system of state trunk highways covering 7,000 m. and comprising 70 routes which will reach every county seat and important community. There were in 1921 about 98,000 m. of public roads in the state.
Education.—The State Department of Education, as reorganized in 1919, consisted of five citizens, appointed by the governor for terms of five years. The board appoints the commissioner of education, who is actual head of the Department, and holds office for six years. In 1920 240 high schools, 261 graded schools, 255 consolidated schools, and 6,107 rural schools fulfilled the requirements of the Department of Education and therefore received, in addition to local support, state aid, derived from a one-mill tax, from the income on the permanent school fund ($30,920,032 in 1920), and from legislative appropriations. During the year 1920 $38,358,555 was expended upon public education, an average of $76.16 per pupil. A new normal school, the sixth, was opened at Bemidji in 1919. By an Act of 1921 the state normal schools were renamed state teachers' colleges and were authorized to award appropriate degrees. These colleges are controlled by a board consisting of the commissioner of education and eight members appointed by the governor for terms of four years. The university of Minnesota at Minneapolis comprises 13 colleges and schools, those most recently organized being the school of nursing (1909) and the school of business (1919). A noteworthy development in the medical school is its affiliation with the Mayo Clinic at Rochester. In 1915 William J. and Charles H. Mayo, the famous surgeons, established the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, endowed it to the amount of $1,500,000 and gave it to the university. By virtue of this gift the university controls practically all medical instruction in Minnesota and has been enabled to develop research and graduate instruction in medicine. The Department of Agriculture includes a college of forestry, a school of traction engineering, and a department of home economics. Schools of agriculture and experiment stations at Crookston, Morris, Grand Rapids, Duluth, Waseca, Cloquet, and Zumbra Heights afford assistance and instruction to farmers and students of agriculture in all parts of the state. The university library of 350,000 volumes is supplemented by a number of other libraries accessible to students. These are the Minneapolis Public Library and, in St. Paul, the state Law Library, the library and manuscript collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, housed in a new building erected by the state in the years 1916-8, and the St. Paul Public Library, which with the Hill Reference Library, established by the late James J. Hill, occupies a new and beautiful building. In 1919-20 the university had 9,027 students; in 1920-1, 930 faculty members and 231 buildings (including agricultural schools and experiment stations), erected at a cost of $6,177,443. An extensive building programme covering a period of 10 years was initiated in 1919, when the Legislature appropriated $5,600,000 for this purpose. Besides this the university's income from the state amounts to about $7,500,000 for the biennium 1921-3. Since 1911 the university has had three presidents: Dr. George E. Vincent, 1911-7; Dr. Marion L. Burton, 1917-20; and Dr. Lotus D. Coffman.
Government.—In 1921 the state's machinery for the supervision of labour was reorganized. An industrial commission of three members appointed by the governor superseded the single commissioner previously controlling the Department of Labour. As reorganized, the Department consists of seven divisions: workmen's compensation, boiler inspection, accident prevention, statistics, women and children, employment and mediation and arbitration. The law creating the industrial commission vests it with special powers and duties: (1) to administer the workmen's compensation law; (2) to establish and conduct free employment agencies, supervise the work of private employment agencies, and deal with the problem of unemployment; and (3) to promote voluntary arbitration in labour disputes by appointing, if desirable, temporary boards of arbitration or conciliation and by conducting investigations and hearings.
The consolidation of the direction of the state's charitable and penal institutions under the state Board of Control was completed in 1917, and the Board in 1921 had charge of 17 institutions. Two new ones are an asylum for the insane, with a special ward for inebriates at Willmar (1914), and a state reformatory for women at Shakopee (1920). The new state prison buildings at Stillwater, completed in 1912, cover 22 ac. in a tract of 1,000 ac. The most advanced methods of discipline and management are used, and prisoners are paid wages for their labour. During the year 1919 the per capita expense for each prisoner was $368.30 and the earnings averaged $906.66. In the fiscal year ending in June 1920, receipts from prison industries were over $5,000,000. The remarkable development of the prison was due largely to Henry Wolfer, warden from 1892 to 1914. The Legislature of 1921 increased the membership of the state Board of Control from three to five and provided that two members shall be women. The policy of establishing and maintaining state parks, of which Itasca state park was the first in 1891, has been followed consistently, with the result that there were in 1921 14 such parks, located on tracts of land selected for scenic beauty or historic interest. Those recently established are Alexander Ramsey state park in Redwood county (1911); Fort Ridgely state park, Nicollet county (1911); Horace Austin state park, Mower county (1913); Jay Cooke state park, Carlton county (1915); Sibley state park, Kandiyohi county (1919); Toqua Lakes state park, Big Stone county (1919); Whitewater state park, Winona county (1919); Scenic state park, Itasca county (1921); and Sleepy Eye Lake state park, Brown county (1921). In addition the state maintains the Pillsbury state forest, Cass county, and the Burntside state forest, St. Louis county. Two Federal forest reserves are also located in the state: Superior National Forest in St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties; and Minnesota National Forest in Itasca, Cass and Beltrami counties. In 1913 the number of legislative districts in the state was increased from 63 to 67; and in 1920 the term of judges of probate was lengthened from two to four years by constitutional amendment. Over 60 cities of the state, including the three largest, have adopted home-rule charters under the constitutional amendment adopted in 1896 and readopted with some slight changes in 1898. Minneapolis, after many unsuccessful attempts, finally voted favourably on a home-rule charter in 1920.
Finance.—On June 30 1920 there were 1,584 banking institutions in Minnesota, of which 1,151 were state banks, 24 trust companies, 9 savings banks, 69 building and loan associations, and 331 national banks. Their deposits amounted to about $800,000,000. The Federal Reserve Bank for the ninth district is located in Minneapolis. All banking institutions other than national banks are under the supervision of the superintendent of banks. This official, or his deputies, according to the Act of 1909 which created the Department of Banking, examines at least twice a year the banks and other moneyed corporations created under state laws. In 1918, $15,262,760 in income taxes was paid by 84,515 Minnesotans on total net incomes amounting to $291,074,629. The total value of taxable property in the state was $2,084,000,000 in 1921 as compared with $1,194,962,312 in 1910.
History.—The most important political movement of recent years was the growth of the Non-partizan League. The League, organized in North Dakota in 1915 by Arthur C Townley, aimed to secure “state ownership of elevators, flour-mills, packing-houses and cold-storage plants, the central equipment concerned with the marketing of the farmers' products.” The League's organizers began to work in Minnesota in 1916, and in Jan. 1917 its national headquarters were established in St. Paul. To enlist support from the urban population the League attempted to ally itself with labour, through the organization of a Working People's Non-partizan Political League. In June 1920 this movement nearly captured the Republican primary in spite of the fact that the regular Republicans held a pre-primary convention to choose one candidate on whom they should concentrate their votes. Organized labour has rapidly increased its membership, the figures of July 1920 indicating 717 labour unions with a membership of over 90,000. The members of over 80% of the unions reporting to the state Department of Labour received wage increases during the biennium 1918-20. In the same period the Department received reports on 74 strikes, involving 51,940 persons.
Probably the two most important pieces of legislation in the decade 1910-20 were the primary law and the so-called tonnage tax. The former, passed in 1912, provides that candidates for state and county offices be nominated at primary elections in June preceding the general election. With the exception of the state executive officers, the railway and warehouse commissioners, and the clerk of the Supreme Court, all state and local officers, including members
of the Legislature, are nominated, and consequently elected, on a non-partizan ballot. The 1921 Legislature provided for pre-primary conventions, but all attempts to modify the non-partizan features of the law have failed. The same Legislature passed an Act for a 6% tax on the net value of mined iron ore, tonnage tax bills having previously been vetoed by Governors Johnson and Burnquist. The alignment on the question was largely sectional, legislators from the mining districts opposing. In Oct. 1918 occurred the most severe forest fires that the state ever knew. The fires burned over 770,500 ac., principally in Aitkin, Pine, Carlton, and St. Louis counties, caused 432 deaths, destroyed about $25,000,000 worth of property, wiped out the thriving towns of Moose Lake and Cloquet, and threatened Duluth. Since this disaster the state forestry board (created in 1911) has greatly increased the state force of forest patrolmen, and during the season of danger local authorities supplement this force. During the unusually dry autumn of 1920, 860 fires were reported (as compared with 525 in 1918), but these were so promptly extinguished that less than 100,000 ac. were burned over.
The following governors held office after 1909: Albert Olson Eberhart (Rep.), 1900-15; Winfield Scott Hammond (Dem.) (died in office), Jan.-Dec. 1915; Joseph A. A. Burnquist (Rep.), 1915-21; Jacob A. O. Preus (Rep.), 1921-.
During the World War the Minnesota National Guard, after serving on the Mexican border in 1916-7, was incorporated in the army, and a total of 123,325 Minnesota men by enlistment and draft entered various arms of the service. The 151st U.S. Field Artillery and Base Hospital No. 26 were probably the most distinctively Minnesotan units in the service. War training schools in Minnesota included the reserve officers' training camps at Fort Snelling, the U.S. Air Service Mechanics' School in St. Paul, the Dunwoody Naval Training Station in Minneapolis, and the Students' Army Training Corps, organized at the state university and at numerous smaller colleges and schools. In order that “Minnesota might have, during the period of the war, a governing body capable of efficiently mobilizing its resources in men and property, and applying them to the war's successful prosecution,” the Legislature in April 1917 created the Minnesota Commission of Public Safety, the first of such commissions in the United States, and appropriated $1,000,000 for its use. The people of Minnesota purchased $483,642,950 worth of Liberty Bonds and war savings stamps and contributed about $10,000,000 to war relief agencies. (S. J. B.)