Carl Rudolf Berghult was the first native-born Duluth mayor. Born on April 15, 1905 and elected in 1937, he was also the nation's youngest mayor of a city of over 100,000 people. As mayor, he secured government funding for the Blatnik Bridge and worked to beautify the city's public land. He also revised the city's debt structure and began several health and work programs for his citizens. After his tenure as mayor ended in 1941, Berghult joined the navy and earned recognition for his service at Normandy Beach and in Norway. He had two children with his wife Eva before his death on February 6, 2000.
Local artist and resident Edgar F. Olson painted the Apostolic Lutheran Church and its cemetery in 1943, using oils. On the back of the painting was the following etching: "My apprecication to you, Rev. Michaelson, for making my mother's last moments happier. Edgar F. Olson, 1937. Old Finnish Cemetery and New Church, Carlton Co., Minn."
Edward Hatch, a native of Truro, Devonshire, England, came to the United States 1887 at the age of five. He worked with several mining companies in Eveleth, Minnesota before becoming postmaster there from 1911-1914. In 1917 he was elected mayor of Eveleth, and after his term there he relocated to Duluth. In 1941 he became Duluth's mayor, concentrating on job growth. He and his wife Ella had no children, and he died on September 2, 1961 in Duluth.
This 1950 oil painting is a self-portrait of Esko resident and artist Edgar F. Olson himself. Born July 25, 1896, in Esko, he did a number of artworks, mostly oil paintings, for the community and its members, before his death on August 18, 1974.
George W. Johnson, born December 22, 1894, was a Minnesota state legislator from 1925-1937, serving as Speaker of the House for the last two years. He was elected mayor on April 3, 1945, and he served for two terms. During his time in office he worked to promote Duluth tourism and implement a social security program for the state. After his tenure, Johnson worked as a home appraiser until his death on January 20, 1974. He was survived by his wife Grace.
Emil Clifford Mork, who usually only used his first initial, was born in Duluth on August 22, 1905. He and his wife operated Mork Food Supply, a business started by Mork's father. Mork was also involved in the Minnesota Food Retailers Association and several other food associations before his election on April 7, 1959. He planned to run for reelection, but he unfortunately (and mysteriously) died in office on August 14, 1962.
Eugene Lambert was the first mayor under a new system eschewing the "commissioner" model. He was born in Duluth on November 5, 1915. He served in the military until 1946 and worked in labor relations until his election in 1956. As mayor, Lambert emphasized long-range planning and improved communication with state and federal agencies. After his term, Lambert worked in many fields, including publishing the Duluth Herald and News Tribune until his death in 1994.
George D. Johnson was born on February 18, 1917 in Duluth. After attending several area colleges and universities, Johnson worked in the American Steel and Wire division of U.S. Steel. He served his first term as mayor from 1953-1956 under the "commissioner" model of government. When Mayor E. Clifford Mork died in office in 1962, Johnson was appointed to take his place and won the subsequent election in 1963 under the "strong mayor" government model. After his terms he rose to prominence in the United Steelworks of America, the Minnesota Mayors Association, the League of Minnesota Municipalities, and the City Charter Commission. He died in 1999, leaving behind his wife Eleanor and two children.
This watercolor drawing depicts "Bear Woman," a strong Chippewa woman with a bear crown. In the background another bear wades toward the reeds and the shoreline. This is one print in a series created for the Freshwater Society in Excelsior, Minnesota, donated to the Westonka Historical Society; one of a limited edition created in 1981-1985.
This watercolor drawing depicts "Eagle Water," a strong Chippewa man with an eagle crown. In the background another eagle soars above the shoreline with a fish clutched in its claws. This is one print in a series created for the Freshwater Society in Excelsior, Minnesota, donated to the Westonka Historical Society, one of a limited edition created in 1981-1985.
Mural painting, "White Bear Captures the Warrior Princess." One of a series of paintings by Gustav Krollmann which illustrate Alice Thorson's novel, "The Tribe of Pezhekee." Photograph by Paul Barsness.
Duluth's longest-serving mayor, Samuel Frisby Snively, was born on November 24, 1859 in Cumberland, Pennsylvania. After earning a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, he and a friend opened a law firm in Duluth in 1886. They did very well until the financial ruin of 1893, after which Snively tried his luck in the Yukon gold rush of 1897. He was unsuccessful, but he returned to Duluth and found prosperity in farmland development. After building a creek parkway (Seven Bridges Road) and several others, Snively was elected mayor in 1921 at the age of 61. He held the office for sixteen years, leaving a legacy of beautiful parkland and boulevards. He continued this work after his four terms until he died a bachelor on November 7, 1952 in Duluth.