Morrison County Influentials: 31-35

Ann Marie introduced you to five Morrison County Influentials last week. Here’s what these notables were known for:

26. S. M. Putnam – Samuel M. Putnam was a surveyor who drew the original Little Falls village plat in 1856.

27. Nathan Richardson – Oh, I could write a book about “Uncle Nate,” as he was affectionately known. Wait a minute, we have a book on Nate, which MCHS published in 2006. It’s called “A Big Hearted Paleface Man: Nathan Richardson and the History of Morrison County, Minnesota.” Nate is known as the Father of Morrison County. He helped organize the county and was first Clerk of the Board of Commissioners and first Register of Deeds. He served as the first Mayor of Little Falls and held more public offices than anyone else in the history of the county. He also wrote the first two histories of Morrison County – one in 1876 and an updated version in 1880. These histories can be found in “A Big Hearted Paleface Man,” along with a list of Nate’s offices and his inaugural addresses as Mayor. The book is serving as my handy reference in writing descriptions of our early Morrison County Influentials.

28. M. M. Williams – Milton M. Williams was a railroad man originally. He worked for the Northern Pacific Company and later on the Little Falls and Dakota Railroad. While he was working on the latter project, “he became interested in the water power possibilities of the Mississippi River at Little Falls. A company was formed, of which he was chosen Secretary-Treasurer and Manager of this company.” (From a brief history by Gladys Coenen) Williams supervised construction of the third dam at Little Falls after finding investors from Louisville, Kentucky, to finance the project. The third dam led to a major boom in population and prosperity for Morrison County. Milton married Florence Bennet in 1889. The couple was part of a group that founded Pine Grove Park in Little Falls.

29. C. B. Buckman – Clarence Buckman had a large farm in Buckman Township, which is named for him. According to a sketch given by his son Mark in Harold Fisher’s book, “The Land Called Morrison,” Buckman “was elected Justice of the Peace in 1873. In 1881 he was elected to the [State] House and in 1883 was elected to the State Senate, where he served three terms. He served two terms in [the U.S.] Congress, and became a Deputy U. S. Marshall.”

30. Peter Roy – We’ll let Nathan Richardson describe the life of the Honorable Peter Roy: “Hon. Peter Roy, a mixed blood consisting of French and Chippewa Indian, was born on Rainy Lake in 1829, within the limits of the present State of Minnesota. At the age of 10 years, he was sent to Lapoint, Wisconsin, where he was educated. At the age of 21 years, he came to the Chippewa Agency at Long Lake, and received the appointment of Indian interpreter. Two years afterwards, the Agency was removed to Crow Wing river where he went and continued to hold the office of interpreter until the fall of 1853. He then resigned that position, and was elected that fall to the Territorial Legislature. He also served in the Session of 1854. He moved to Belle Prairie and opened a farm in 1855. He went to Crow Wing in 1857; became a member of the State Legislatures of 1860 and 1862. he then returned to his farm on Belle Prairie where he resided until he sold out in 1866. He then purchased the Northern Hotel in Little Falls where he was a genial and accommodating landlord. Not meeting with much pecuniary success, he sold out about two years since, and bought a private residence in town [Little Falls] where he now resides.” Note: While serving several terms on the Legislature, Peter Roy would have represented what is now Morrison County, even though he was living in Crow Wing, because the legislative districts were much larger.

Okay, time for 5 more Influentials:

31. The Louisville Syndicate

32. Francis Eliza Babbitt

33. B. F. Nelson

34. Cass Gilbert

35. Gertrude Staples

2 Replies to “Morrison County Influentials: 31-35”

  1. Peter Roy is my great, great, great Grandfather. My Grandfather, James Ross Sullivan was also of French/Chippewa descent. He come down from one of Peter Roy’s daughter’s. He seemed to live a short but meaningful life.
    I plan to write a story based upon his life.
    Still have more research to conduct.
    Thanks for posting on Peter Roy’s life.

  2. Peter Roy is also my 3rd great grandfather, from his daughter Isilda. I too wanted to wright about Peter, however, I think time is getting shorter. Mariah, are you aware of the legislative bill that Peter stole in order that our State Capital would not be named Pigseye, and be named St. Paul instead. I am looking for information and pictures of the hotel that he had in the 1870s.

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