Sidney Luce, Duluth's second mayor, was born in Kingsville, Ohio, on September 19, 1819. He moved to the Duluth area in the mid-1850s and served as registrar for the U.S. Land Office. He built Duluth's first commercial structure, a warehouse at the foot of Third Avenue East at the lake shore, and helped found the city's first brewery. He was elected mayor in 1872, but resigned while still in office to return to Ohio. His portrait was painted by J.W. Trussler in 1896.
Peter Dean was born in New York City in 1828 and worked in a number of professions in several towns around Michigan before moving to Duluth. He was elected to office twice, once as Mayor of the City of Duluth (1875) and again as President of the Village of Duluth (1880). Though neither of his terms lasted more than a year, he was well-remembered as an eccentric and good-hearted man who cared deeply for the community and its financial troubles. When he died on January 4, 1884, he willed most of his property to Duluth itself, however it was organized at the time.
The first mayor of Duluth, Joshua B. Culver, was born on Sept. 12, 1829 in Armenia, New York. Culver first came to Duluth in the 1850s when he surveyed and plotted the town site. He fought for the Union in the American Civil War, where he rose to the rank of full colonel. He returned to Duluth and became a civic leader, elected as Duluth's first mayor after the community initially became a city in 1870. Culver was elected to a second term as mayor in 1882, but on July 17, 1883, he died while visiting Buffalo, New York. In addition to his role as mayor, Colonel Culver served Duluth as its first clerk of court, postmaster, and superintendent of schools, and founded the first steel plant. His portrait was painted by J.W. Trussler in 1889.
Josiah Davis (J.D.) Ensign was born in New York on May 14, 1833, and he earned a law degree and began practicing law in Ashtabula County, Ohio. He married Kate Jones, but after ten years of marriage she died in 1868. By 1870, Ensign had moved to Duluth, and in 1872 he married Rose Watrous. He served as Duluth's city and county attorney and wrote the seminal work on the history of the Duluth Harbor development in the 1860s and 1870s. In 1880, Ensign was selected to serve out Peter Dean's incomplete term as president of the village, and he was elected in his own right to the office in 1881. He succeeded in expanding the borders of the village of Duluth and was elected to a second (non-consecutive) term in 1884. After his terms he served as a District Court judge for thirty-two years, including work as the first "juvenile judge."
John B. Sutphin was the last mayor of the village of Duluth and the first mayor of the rebord city of Duluth. He was born in 1848 in New Jersey, and he arrived in Duluth at the age of 20. He was elected as village mayor in 1886 and reelected to the same office in the newly restored city of Duluth one year later. He presided over the construction of a new City Hall to celebrate the regained charter. During his time in office Sutphin began Duluth's sewer system and fire department in addition to improving city and harbor infrastructure. He was also involved in quelling citizen unrest with regards to labor issues. Sutphin died in 1908 of kidney failure; he was survived by his only son Robert and his wife Anna Louise Anderson.
Horace B. Moore, born in 1843, was employed with a lumber company before his stint in public office. In 1885 he was elected almost unanimously as the village mayor. Although his time in office was short, only one year, he enjoyed several successful accomplishments, including a new mail delivery system and the erection of named street signs. H.B. Moore died on December 2, 1906 with no known wife or children.
Born on June 2, 1851 in Angelica, New York and well-educated in law, Charles E. d'Autremont, Jr. moved to Duluth on a whim in 1882 with his family. He soon began to make a name for himself, becoming county attorney in 1884 and running for state Attorney General in 1888. In 1892 d'Autremont was elected mayor and served two efficient but unremarkable terms. After his tenure he was heavily and successfully involved in mining throughout western North America. He died in Angelica, New York on July 25, 1919.
This oil painting by John Ruikka (April 16, 1880, to May, 1965) depicts the original Palkki gristmill, which was built on the Midway River and located on property of pioneer Erick Palkki. It was used from 1878 to approximately 1916, was built by pioneers to grind grain into flour, and was water powered. Please note that the original spelling, in Finnish, is "Palkki." The spelling as "Palkie" is an Americanized spelling of the name.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
Trevanion W. Hugo was born in Boddinoc, Cornwall, England on July 29, 1848 but spent most of his youth in Kinston, Ontario. In 1881 he and his family moved to Duluth, and he soon became an alderman and president of the city council for eight years. In 1900 he was elected mayor by just five votes, and he held the office for four years. He was appointed mayor once again to finish Clarence Magney's term in 1920 but declined to run again in 1921. Outside of City Hall, he was a prominent member of the Masons, rising to the rank of grand chancellor of the supreme council of Scottish Rite Masonry. He died on February 27, 1923 of complications from influenza and was survived by two sons.
Born in Camden, Ohio on October 11, 1867, William I. Prince was a very successful banker in Bessemer, Michigan. He was later elected mayor of Bessemer for three terms, after which he relocated to Duluth, Minnesota in 1902 to organize the City National Bank. In 1913 Prince became Duluth's first mayor under the "commissioner" model, which Prince helped to establish. His single term as mayor was unremarkable, after which he was heavily involved in the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. He died on November 11, 1941, leaving behind his wife Mary and two sons.
Roland D. Haven was born the son of a carpenter on October 17, 1866 in Sudbury, Vermont. In 1883 he moved to Minnesota and worked as a carpenter in Northfield, St. Paul, and Minneapolis before reolcating to Duluth in 1889 and becoming a factory foreman. From 1894 to 1908 he worked with several companies in the manufacturing, tug, real estate, and farm implement businesses. He served two terms as alderman (and council president) beginning in 1902, and in 1908 was elected mayor. He served two fairly unremarkable terms, and shortly after leaving office he moved with his wife Belle to Silver City, New Mexico, where he died on April 21, 1930.
Clarence Magney is better known as a judge than a mayor. Born January 11, 1883 in Wisconsin, he was a successful lawyer until his election as Duluth mayor in 1917. During his stint as mayor, Magney worked to preserve and increase Duluth's parkland and parkways. He resigned from this office on September 15, 1920 in order to take a post as judge of the District Court, where he served for 23 years. He then served as associate justice on the Minnesota Supreme Court from 1943-1953. He died on May 15, 1962, leaving behind his wife Lillian and their three children.
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.