Morrison County Influentials: 86-90

By now, you all know the routine.  Here is last week’s set of Influentials described:

81. Alonzo D. Harrison (1857-1922) – Contractor. A.D. Harrison was born in Maine and came to Minnesota in the early 1880s, settling first in Minneapolis and shortly thereafter, moving to Little Falls. He was responsible for building many of the large, notable structures in the city.

Among some of his first contracts were the old dam, Antler’s hotel, Buckman hotel, Major Morrill home at Little Elk, and the first four schools. In partnership with Jerome McCusker he built the Broadway bridge over the Mississippi in 1902 and the library in 1904. In 1903, the firm of Harrison & Peterson laid the first paving in the city, a stretch on Broadway. For four or five years he engaged in county ditching, putting in 19 complete ditches in the county. The Harrison & Peterson building, now the K. C. Home building, was erected in 1910. Among the business blocks which he built were the Golden Rule, Joslin block and Sprandel block. The academy at Belle Prairie was also built by him, as was the hospital at Breckenridge. The [Little Falls] city hall* is probably one of the oldest of his works. (Little Falls Daily Transcript, December 2, 1922)

As if that’s not enough to make you thoroughly exhausted, Harrison also built the Charles Weyerhaeuser and Richard Drew Musser homes that were designed by architect Clarence H. Johnston.

*(The City Hall referenced here was the old Little Falls City Hall that was located near the Buckman Hotel, not the current City Hall.)

82. John Workman – According to Nathan Richardson’s 1876 history of Morrison County, John Workman was one of the first settlers in Little Falls. What is now Culdrum Township was beginning to be settled by J.C. Stebbins in 1859, but the Civil War caused him to leave and Culdrum was deserted. John Workman served as a soldier in the Civil War. When the war ended, he moved to Culdrum and named it for his native town in Ireland. Workman served as Culdrum’s first treasurer, and he ran the post office and a hotel there. Richardson names Workman as one of the men who helped him to get a portion of Todd County attached to Morrison County.

83. Dr. Earl McGonagle (1890-1983) – Dentist. Dr. McGonagle served as a dentist in Royalton, MN, for 67 years. (For 63 of those years, he was Royalton’s only dentist.) As part of his profession, “he held offices including president of the West Central District Dental Society, Vice-President of the Minnesota State Dental Association, and was associate editor of its (Northwest Dentistry) Office magazine for 15 years.” (Morrison County Record, March 28, 1983) Dr. McGonagle was no mere dentist, however. He was also heavily involved in the community or Royalton, serving as Mayor of the city for two terms, and sitting on the school board and village council for several terms. In addition, he “organized the Royalton Municipal Band, serving as director for 30 years.” (MC Record, March 28, 1983) The trombone was his instrument, although he could also play French horn, flute, and piccolo. Dr. McGonagle also helped to organize the Royalton Historical Society (not that we’re biased in favor of history, mind you. Ahem.)

84. John Simonett (1924- ) – Minnesota Supreme Court Justice. Born in Mankato, Minnesota. Settled in Little Falls after college and practiced law in the city for 29 years. His law partner was Gordon Rosenmeier. In 1980, he was appointed to the position of Supreme Court Justice, replacing Walter Rogosheske. He served in this position for 14 years.

85. Anne Simonett (1952-1995) – Daughter of John Simonett. Grew up in Little Falls. Was a partner in the Faegre & Benson law firm. Served as a District Court judge in Hennepin County. Was the first woman appointed to hold the position of Chief Judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Here’s next week’s set of Morrison County Influentials:

86. Neal & Simmons

87. Frank Nelson

88. Elizabeth Bovy

89. W.E. Christnagel

90. Gordon Guy

They all have something in common. Can you guess what it is?

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