Well, here it is. The end of my week and the very end of my day and I haven’t yet posted to the blog. It’s been quite busy here the last few weeks, with researchers making good use of our museum. I’m going to try to make my description of last week’s Influentials brief so that I can head home at a reasonable time.
56. Alexander Duncan McRae (1874-1946) – If you remember correctly, this man was a bit of a carry-over from last week. He was involved with the same major business deals, including the massive Canadian real estate purchase and the Little Falls Granite Company, as his cousins, Andrew D. Davidson and Alexander Rae Davidson. While as a young man he made his home in Minnesota, he eventually returned to Canada, the country of his birthplace, and continued with his business dealings. He served as a Senator in the Senate of Canada for approximately 15 years. Betty O’Keefe and Ian Macdonald have written a biography of Alexander called “Merchant Prince: The Story of Alexander Duncan McRae,” a copy of which is in the MCHS collections.
57. Dr. G.M.A. Fortier III (1936-1998) – By now you’ve got to be wondering how many Dr. G.M.A. Fortiers are going to make this list. There is one more Dr. Fortier following this one, plus a G.M.A. Fortier V, who just did quite well on the golf course, but we’ll leave them for a future list. Dr. G.M.A. Fortier III, like his father and grandfather, was a physician and surgeon. He expanded the Little Falls clinic and recruited medical specialists to the area. In addition, he developed a surgical outreach program for smaller communities in central Minnesota. Dr. Fortier III was also an airplane pilot and Chairman of the Morrison County Airport Commission for over 20 years, working to improve the facility. He died on June 1, 1998, when the plane he was flying crashed near the Morrison County Airport.
58. Charles A. Fortier (1901-1976) – Judge. Charles Fortier became an attorney in 1927. In 1928, he served one term as mayor of Little Falls. From 1931 to 1951, he served as the City Attorney. In 1957, he was appointed probate judge and then was elected to the office in 1960 and 1966. He retired as probate and juvenile judge in 1971.
59. Moses Lafond (1836-1905) – Moses Lafond was one of the early settlers to Morrison County, arriving in Little Falls in 1856. He owned a number of businesses, including a butcher shop, mercantile business, and saw mill. In 1874, he was a member of the State Legislature.
60. Colonel Raymond A. Rossberg (d. 1975 at age 82) – Colonel Rossberg served as the first commander of Camp Ripley while it was being constructed in 1930. He served in this position until 1959. Under his direction, Camp Ripley grew in size from an area 16 miles around (12,000 acres) to one with a circumference of 54 miles (45,000 acres).
How’d I do in keeping things short? As for next week’s names, they may well be ones that you recognize. We also have to admit that we have a bit of a bias toward putting them on the list. Here goes:
61. Charles A. Weyerhaeuser
62. Maud Moon Weyerhaeuser
63. Richard Drew Musser
64. Sally Walker Musser
65. Laura Jane Musser