The New International Encyclopædia/Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS. The largest city of Minnesota, and the county-seat of Hennepin County, situated at the Falls of Saint Anthony, on the Mississippi River, above Saint Paul, the suburbs of which join those of Minneapolis, the two municipalities being termed ‘Twin Cities.’ The river, which divides the city into unequal portions, the main portion being on the right bank, is crossed by a number of massive highway and railroad bridges. The Falls of Saint Anthony are in the heart of the manufacturing district.

Minneapolis stands on a gently undulating plateau, 800 feet above sea-level, in a picturesque lake region much frequented as a place of resort. There are several lakes within the city limits, and of others in the immediate vicinity. Lake Minnetonka is the largest and most popular. The city is about 10 miles long by 6 in width, and has an area of 53 square miles. Its streets are broad and regular. An extensive park system has been developed. There are some twenty parks, comprising a proportionately large area of 1581 acres. Attractive driveways, of which the Kenwood Boulevard (150 feet wide) is an example, skirt the lakes, constituting a picturesque feature of the park system. Loring Park, in the centre of the city, contains a fine lake and Fjelde's statue of Ole Bull. Minnehaha Park, of 133 acres, is a picturesque tract, embracing the Falls of Minnehaha, 50 feet in height, which have beeen immortalized by Longfellow's Hiawatha. Adjoining the park are the beautiful grounds of the State Soldiers' Home, occupying 60 acres. Minneapolis has many handsome edifices, both public and private. The Court House and City Hall was completed at a cost of more than $3,000,000 in 1902. It is built of Minnesota granite, and is 300 feet square, inclosing a large open court. The tower commands a superb view of the city from its height of 345 feet. The post-office and the public library are fine Romanesque structures. The latter contains a collection of 12,000 volumes, an art gallery and school of art, and the Museum of the Minnesota Academy of Natural Sciences. The Guaranty Building, 12 stories high, is conspicuous among the office buildings of the city. Other prominent structures are the New York Life Insurance Building, Masonic Temple, West Hotel, Chamber of Commerce, Andrus Building, and the Lumber Exchange. Minneapolis is the seat of the University of Minnesota (q.v.), on the grounds of which is a statue of ex-Governor John S. Pillsbury, by French. Other educational institutions are Augsburg Seminary (Lutheran), established in 1869; the medical department of Hamline University (Saint Paul), the Northwestern Conservatory of Music, Morgan Hall, and Stanley Hall. There are numerous private and public charitable institutions, and a bureau of associated charities which is organized for coöperation and general superintendence.

Commerce and Industry. The conditions which have contributed most to the industrial development of Minneapolis are the advantages afforded by the Falls of Saint Anthony and their convenient location in relation to the abundant grain and timber of the Northwest. Excellent transportation facilities give the city command over these supplies and over the markets of the country. Twenty-two lines of railway, operated under ten systems, enter the city. With these advantages, Minneapolis has developed into the foremost city of the Northwest, being noted particularly for its manufacturing and wholesale interests. The first manufactory in the State was established at the Falls of Saint Anthony. It was used first as a saw-mill and then as a flour-mill. The power afforded by the Falls has been utilized more and more, until Minneapolis has become the largest flour and lumber market in the world. The water power at the Falls of Saint Anthony was developed, previous to 1879, to yield 30,000 horse power, and in 1897 a new dam, giving 10,000 horse power, was completed. The United States Government is (1903) constructing a system of locks and dams below the Falls which will add 10,000 horse power. For a number of years the lumber industry was most important, but after the introduction of improved processes of flour-milling in the seventies, the latter industry surpassed lumber manufacturing, and has since rapidly outstripped it. This relation, undoubtedly, will continue to exist, as the tributary grain-producing area is constantly increasing, while the timber supply is diminishing. The lumber cut by Minneapolis mills increased from 118,223,113 feet in 1870, to 343,583,762 feet in 1890, and 578,113,000 in 1901. The production of flour increased from 940,786 barrels in 1878 to 6,988,630 barrels in 1890, and 15,921,880 in 1901. The daily capacity of the mills in 1901 was 80,516 barrels, and one mill alone had a capacity of 15,000 barrels. Other prominent industries are the manufacture of foundry and machine-shop products, malt liquors, and linseed oil.

Among the railroads that contribute to the high commercial and industrial rank of Minneapolis are: the Chicago and Northwestern; the Burlington Route; the Chicago, Milwaukee and Saint Paul; the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific; the Northern Pacific; the Great Northern; the Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Sault Saint Marie; the Chicago Great Western; and the Saint Paul and Duluth. The Mississippi River is navigable to Minneapolis, but vessels practically go no higher than Saint Paul. In the crop year 1891 there were received in Minneapolis 81,961,600 bushels of wheat, 9,266,300 bushels of corn, 12,909,710 bushels of oats, 5,348,940 bushels of barley, and 7,180,060 bushels of flax. In 1901, 118,650,000 feet of lumber, lath, and shingles were received, and 465,405,000 feet were shipped.

Government. Minneapolis is governed under a charter of 1872, granted at the consolidation of Minneapolis with Saint Anthony. This charter has been frequently amended by the Legislature. The city, through a commission consisting of fifteen resident freeholders appointed by the district court, now has the power to draft a new charter and amend it, subject to ratification by the people. The main elective officers of the city are the mayor, treasurer, comptroller, two municipal judges, and the members of the city council, twenty-six in number, two from each ward elected for four years, one being chosen in each ward at every biennial election. The council is a unicameral body. The mayor, treasurer, and comptroller are elected for two years. The mayor's veto may be overridden by a two-thirds vote of the council. There are also the following elective boards: Library board, park board, and board of education. The police department is under the control of the mayor, who appoints the superintendent and all members of the police force, the appointment of the superintendent, however, requiring confirmation by the city council. The mayor is ex-officio member of the park board, the library board, the board of sinking-fund commissioners, and the board of charities and corrections. The last-named board consists of five members, the other four being appointed by the mayor.

Finance. The city had in 1902 a funded debt of $8,269,000, which was partially covered by a sinking fund of $1,634,331. The charter limits the municipal debt to 5 per cent. of the assessed valuation. The assessed valuation of real and personal property in 1902 was $121,279,537. The legal basis for assessment of property is 100 per cent., or the full market value, but in practice the basis is about 60 per cent. The tax rate for 1903 was 2.533 per cent. The total receipts in 1902 were $4,559,505. The expenditures for maintenance and operation were $2,944,208; the main items being: for schools, $805,289; for the fire department, $346,999; for interest on debt, $310,085; for the police department, $224,999. Minneapolis owns and operates its water-works, which represent an outlay of $4,602,708.

Population. Minneapolis is the largest of the American cities which have developed wholly since the middle of the nineteenth century. Its population by decades has been as follows: 1860, 2564; 1870, 13,066; 1880, 46,887; 1890, 164,738; 1900, 202,718. The total population in 1900 included more than 61,000 persons of foreign birth, or 30.1 per cent., while the persons of foreign parentage represented 69 per cent. of the total. Scandinavians compose the majority of the foreign-born element. The negroes numbered 1548.

History. Father Hennepin visited the Falls of Saint Anthony in 1680 and gave them their name. Though the United States Government in 1819 built Fort Snelling at the mouth of the Minnesota, and in 1822 erected a large mill within the present limits of Minneapolis (then included in the ‘Military Reservation of Fort Snelling’), no real settlement on the west side of the river was made until 1850, when Colonel J. H. Stevens established a claim overlooking the falls. Owing largely to the uncertainty of land titles, few settlers came until after 1855, when Congress first granted a right of preëmption. The settlement, having previously borne several names in succession, was incorporated in 1856 as the town, and in 1867 as the city of Minneapolis. In 1872 the city of Saint Anthony, directly across the river, which had been settled in 1837, and incorporated in 1855, was annexed. After 1860 the growth of the city was exceedingly rapid. From 1886 to 1893 a large Industrial Exposition was held here, and in 1892 the Republican National Convention met in the Exposition Building. On September 23, 1891, there was a notable ‘Harvest Festival’ to celebrate the return of agricultural prosperity in the Northwest after a period of poor crops and general depression. Consult Atwater, History of the City of Minneapolis (New York, 1893).


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COPYRIGHT, 1903, BY DODD, MEAD & COMPANY.