Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Minnesota

MINNESOTA, a State in the North Central Division of the United States; hounded by Manitoba, Ontario, Lake Superior, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, and South Dakota; admitted to the Union May 11, 1858; counties, 86; area, 79,205 square miles; pop. (1890) 1,301,826; (1900) 1,751,394; (1910) 2,075,708; (1920) 2,387,125; capital, St. Paul.

Topography.—The surface of Minnesota is undulating, with no mountains but having a broad low elevation in the N., 280 miles in length. This elevation constitutes the watershed for three great basins, the Mississippi, the St. Lawrence and the Hudson bay. This elevation is about 1,000 feet above the S. of the State toward which it descends in a gradual slope. There are several elevated plains W. of the Mississippi, of which the Coteau des Prairies, and the Coteau de Grand Bois, are the most extensive. The principal river system is the Mississippi which has its source in this State. The principal affluents of this river are the Minnesota, the Root, Zumbrota, Cannon, Crow Wing, Willow, St. Croix, and Rum. The Red river of the North forms over half the W. boundary line of the State and is fed by the Buffalo, Wild Rice, and Red Lake. Many small streams flow into Lake Superior, and several discharge into Rainy Lake river, and the chain of lakes running along the N. boundary. The State has numerous large lakes, including Red Lake, Leech, Mille Lacs, Vermilion, Big Stone, Traverse, Otter Tail, Itasca, and Winnebegoshish. The Mississippi river has numerous beautiful waterfalls, the largest being the Falls of St. Anthony, and the cascade of Minnehaha.

Geology.—The rocks of the N. and S. E. portions of the State are of Lower Silurian origin, and the river valleys are underlaid by magnesium limestone. The lake shore is principally of metamorphic origin, with schists, alternating with sandstone, basalt, and occasional drift deposits.

Soil.—The soil is of alluvial deposit of great richness, and especially adaptable to wheat-growing. It is a rich loam from two to five feet in depth. The top covering of the land known as “black dirt” is due to the residuum of prairie fires and accumulations of decayed vegetation. The climate is less rigorous than usual in such latitudes. The winters are long, and the temperature even, with but little snow. Annual rainfall from 20 to 30 inches. The principal forest trees are the oak, beech, elm and maple; spruce, pine, and other coniferous trees; ash, birch, linden, basswood, butternut, wild plum, and crab apple.

Mineralogy.—The N. E. portion of the State is known as the mineral region and is rich in mineral resources.

Mineral Production.—Minnesota's high rank as a mineral producing State comes entirely from its iron production. In this it ranks first. There was shipped from the mines of the State in 1918, 43,263,240 tons of iron ore, valued at $144,706,532. The larger part of the production comes from the Mesabi Range, which is the most important iron-producing district in the world. Production was begun in this field in 1892 and has steadily increased. The output from the Vermilion Range has decreased in recent years. The only other important mineral products are clay and stone.

Agriculture.—Minnesota is one of the great agricultural States. The production of the principal crops in 1919 was as follows: corn, 118,000,000 bushels, valued at $141,600,000; oats, 90,160,000 bushels, valued at $57,702,000; barley, 18,200,000 bushels, valued at $21,112,000; wheat, 37,710,000 bushels, valued at $94,276,000; rye, 7,830,000 bushels, valued at $10,179,000; hay, 3,800,000 tons, valued at $55,100,000; potatoes, 26,100,000 bushels, valued at $39,933,000.

Banking.—On Oct. 1, 1919, there were reported 309 National banks in operation, with $33,606,000 in capital, $14,122,000 in outstanding circulation, and $81,249,000 in United States bonds. There were also 1,120 State banks with $24,753,000 capital and $9,342,000 surplus; 19 trust and loan companies, with $5,551,000 capital and $1,440,000 surplus. The exchanges for the year ending Sept. 30, 1919, at the United States clearing houses at Minneapolis and St. Paul amounted to $3,181,855,000.

Education.—The enrollment of the public schools is about 500,000, with an average daily attendance of 375,000. The teachers numbered about 18,000. In 1919 there were 236 high schools in which were enrolled 45,457 pupils, with an average yearly attendance of 37,422. Under the high schools there were 179,637 graded pupils, with an average daily attendance of 148,913, with 5,260 teachers. There are normal schools at Winona, Mankato, St. Cloud, Moorehead, and Duluth. The University of Minnesota is a part of the educational system of the State. Other institutions of higher learning are Carleton College, Hamline University, Macalester College, and Gustavus Adolphus College. Albert Lea College is for women only.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Lutheran, Independent Synods; Methodist Episcopal; Lutheran Synodical Conference; Lutheran General Council; Regular Baptist; Presbyterian; Congregational; and Protestant Episcopal.

Transportation.—The railroad mileage of the State is about 9,000. The lines having the longest mileage are the Great Northern, 2,100; Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie, 1,131; Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, 1,233; and the Northern Pacific, 1,021.

Finance.—The total revenue of the State for the fiscal year ending June 30th, 1919, was $32,493,164. while the total expenditures were $33,689,641. The balance at the beginning of the year was $8,153,000 and at the end of the year was $6,986,513. The State has no bonded debt.

Charities and Corrections.—The State Board of Control has control over 13 of the charitable and correctional institutions. Among these are the St. Peter State Hospital, the State Hospital at Rochester, the State Hospital at Fergus Falls, State Asylum at Onaka, State Asylum at Hastings, and schools for the feeble-minded, deaf, and blind at Faribault.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years. Legislative sessions are held biennially beginning on Tuesday after the first Monday of January, and are limited to 90 days each. The Legislature has 67 members in the Senate and 131 in the House. There are ten Representatives in Congress. The State government in 1920 was Republican.

History.—The site of the present State of Minnesota was first visited by a French exploring party under Louis Hennepin, a Franciscan priest, who ascended the Mississippi river as far as the Great Falls. By the treaty of Versailles in 1763, this region was ceded to Great Britain, and in 1766 it was explored by Jonathan Carver, a native of Connecticut. In 1783 the Northwest Territory, including Minnesota, E. of the Mississippi, was ceded to the United States. No attempt was made to extinguish the Indian title till 1805, when a purchase was made of a tract of land for military purposes at the mouth of the St. Croix, and another at the mouth of the Minnesota river, including St. Anthony's Falls. In 1827 a small tract of country between the St. Croix and Mississippi was ceded by the Indians to the United States, and lumbering operations commenced upon the St. Croix. The Territory of Minnesota was established, and the government organized in 1849. It embraced nearly twice the area of the present State, its W. limits extending to the Missouri and White Earth rivers. In 1851 the Sioux ceded to the United States all their lands in the territory between the Mississippi and Big Sioux rivers and in 1858 Minnesota was admitted to the Union. That portion of the State lying E. of the Mississippi belonged originally to the “territory N. W. of the Ohio,” while that portion W. of the Mississippi was included in the territory known as the Louisiana Purchase. In 1862 the Indians attacked the frontier settlements, and in a few days killed about 800 settlers. In consequence the Sioux and Winnebagoes were removed from the State, and their lands opened to settlement.


Collier's 1921 Minnesota.jpg
Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921