Morrison County Influentials: 116-120

Picking up where we left off a couple of weeks ago, here are the last Influentials we introduced:

111. Fred Larson (1892-1974) – Born in Chicago, Illinois, to Ben and Mary Larson. The family moved to Little Falls in 1898. Served as Deputy Register of Deeds under F. X. Bastien for 2 1/2 years.  Elected as Morrison County Register of Deeds in 1922 and served in that position until 1971. He served for 48 years, the longest continuous service in the state.

112. James (Jim) Madden (d. 2001) – Hotel and resort owner.  Purchased the Malcolm Hotel in Little Falls, MN, with his brother Jack Madden in 1939.  The Malcolm was the former Elk’s Lodge.  The Malcolm was renamed the Pine Edge Inn by the Maddens.  In 1932, Jack and his uncle Tom Madden had leased the Pine Beach Golf Clubhouse to run for the summer.  Two years later, they purchased the business.  In 1937, Jim Madden took over Tom’s interest in this business.  Jim and Jack continued on in the resort and hotel business, eventually creating Madden’s on Gull Lake.  Jack died in 1978, leaving Jim to run the Madden enterprise.  [Perhaps this Influential listing should have been the Madden Brothers, or Jim and Jack Madden.]

113. DeZurik Sisters – Carolyn and Mary Jane DeZurik of Royalton, Minnesota, formed a singing group known first as The DeZurik Sisters and a bit later as the Cackle Sisters in the 1930s.  They became radio stars after being discovered at the Morrison County Fair in 1936.  They performed on the Chicago Barn Dance show.  In 1937, Purina named them the Cackle Sisters and had them perform on another radio show the company sponsored.   They performed at the Grand Ole Opry.  In the 1940s, after Mary Jane had children, Carolyn went solo, performing with Sonja Henie’s ice show, then with KSTP’s Sunset Valley Barn Dance in St. Paul, MN.  Carolyn later became part of the nationally-known group Polka-Go-Round with her husband, Rusty Gill.  She appeared on the ABC-TV polka series, “It’s Polka Time.”  The DeZurik Sisters were known for their unique yodelling sound and their ability to mimic birds and other animals.

114. Patricia (Pat) Spence – First female mayor of Little Falls, Minnesota.  She served from 1982 to 1991, resigning from her position in October 1991 after her husband, Guy Spence, accepted a position as an elementary school principal in Alden, MN.  Pat was a home economics teacher before becoming mayor and she and her husband owned a gift shop called the “Treasure Chest” in downtown Little Falls.  Since leaving Little Falls, Pat has served on the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, acting as chair of the board for some time.  Governor Arne Carlson and the Minnesota State Legislature proclaimed Patricia Spence Day (date unknown) to honor her exeptional service to the state.

115. George Edward Wilson (1860-1934) – Born in Canada. Came to Minneapolis with his family in 1882.  Came to Royalton, Minnesota, in 1886 to serve as bookkeeper in his brother’s saw mill operation.  After the saw mill business, he worked in real estate and insurance until his retirement.  He served as Justice of the Peace in Royalton for almost 40 years, and served terms on the Village Council and School Board.  George Wilson left behind 15 small day books in which he recorded events of his daily life.  (Dated 1891-1928.) These came to the Morrison County Historical Society through a donation by Lewis McGonagle.

The next bunch:

116.  R. A. “Tony” Randall

117.  Harry Norr

118.  Marcus Maurin

119.  Z. N. Barnes

120.  Phil S. Randall

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