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Sections: Home | Early Years | Air Travel | Automotive | Bands | Banks | Bataan | Businesses | Clubs and Organizations | Crow Wing County | Education | Fairs and Festivals | Farming | Fires and Fire Departments | Government | Healthcare | Hotels | Libraries | Liveries | Lumbering | Personal Memories | Military | Native Americans | Natural Resources | Newspapers | Officials | Papermill | Parks | Police | Railroads | Religion | Resorts | Sports | The Watertower | Complete Article List
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Early Years:
photo: 1002030001 Centennial Recalls big News Stories of city's 100 Years

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 In Brainerd's 100 years of life thousands and possibly millions of events have occurred which were newsworthy but standing out from the mass of news are a few occurrences which attracted unusual attention in their time and have become subjects of much conversation since.
The Railroads:
photo: 1002030058 Brainerd owes its existence to Northern Pacific Railroad

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The city owes its existence and much of its importance to the Northern Pacific Railway. Before it was decided that the railroad would come to the area, there was no Brainerd and no thought of a settlement here.
photo: 1002030059 Lumbermen Attacked Heavy Forests in Brainerd Area

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Sixty to 90 years ago, in the days of lumbering, the lakes in the Gull Lake area were surrounded by dense forests of Norway and white pine.
Crow Wing County:
County Dates to 1857
Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Crow Wing County was established on May 23, 1857 and organized March 3, 1879. The county is named for the Crow Wing River.
photo: 1002030028 Death March Struck at Heart of City

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Though much of the history of Brainerd deals with progress and good times, there have been moments of deep sorrow and tragedy as well.
The Papermill:
photo: 1002030071 Paper Mill Began in 1898

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Northwest Paper Company which started in business 73 years ago has grown to be one of Brainerd's largest industries. It produces about 265 tons of paper each day and employs 68O persons.
The Watertower:
photo: 1002030011 Tower Built, 1919-22

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 When the Brainerd water tower was built over a four-year period from 1919 to 1922, it was the first all concrete elevated tank used by a municipality in the United States. It came to be widely known from being pictured on postcards, maps and letterheads.
photo: 1002030141 Lake Farm Became Resort as Mrs. Ruttger Began Feeding Fishermen

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The year was 1890. A fisherman had just dropped anchor near an island nestled in the wilderness of Bay Lake. From the island, he heard the lyrics of an old German love song beautifully chorded on a piano.
Native Americans:
photo: 1002030085 Chief Hole-In-The-Day

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 EDITOR' S NOTE: The information contained here was excerpted; from a story written for the Minneapolis Tribune in 1953 By Bob Murphy. The story was given to the Dispatch by James Alderman whose late wife spent a life-time studying Chief Hole-in-the-Day and on whose property on Round Lake the Chippewa Chief is said to have camped.
photo: 1002030086 Brainerd Education, 1871-1971

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 One hundred years of education in the City of Brainerd starts with one teacher in a one-room school trying to teach children of all ages to read and "figure."
photo: 1002030121 Warrior Gridders Perfect Only in '38 Since 1925

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Only one perfect season in records dating back to 1925 has been enscribed in Brainerd high school's football annals, that the 7-0 standard established by Coach Ben Taylor's Warriors of 1938.
photo: 1002030003 Horse Power to Engine Power Was Big Shift

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Brainerd's first mod of transportation was by true horsepower ---- usually one of two horses pulling a wagon, carriage or cart over city streets paved with sand.
photo: 1002030007 Well-Planned Crime-- Five Gunmen Robbed Bank in 1933

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Editor's note: Reprinted below is an account of the 1933 robbery of Brainerd's First National Bank, one of Brainerd's most notorious crimes. Although the bandits escaped, it was later indicated that they were led by Baby Face Nelson, a well-known gunman of the prohibition period. Nelson and members of the gang were later slain. (Journal-Press Oct. 27, 1933)
photo: 1002030017 St. Joseph's Here, 1890

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 From accommodations for 15 patients to those for 150; from minimum facilities for care to a wide expanse of treatment-- thus is marked the progress of St. Joseph's hospital in Brainerd over an 81-year history.
photo: 1002030006 Early Policemen

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 TWO 1918 Brainerd policemen pose for a picture in full iniform.
Fires and Fire Departments:
photo: 1002030009 Many of City's Hotels Destroyed by Fire

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Brainerd has had about 25 hotels in it's hundred years of history but most of them have now disappeared with many of them being victims of fire.
photo: 1002030004 Liveries Rented Buggies Sunday Drive in 1910

Web-posted 3/4/2004
  If you wanted to take a Sunday drive in 1910, you didn't turn the key in the ignition of a high-powered auto, you went to the local livery and rented a horse and buggy.
photo: 1002030066 Papers in Early Years Had Turbulent Times

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Newspapers in Brainerd in the city's formative years were as robust and active as the frontier itself.
photo: 1002030005 Gregory Square Was Pine Forest City Won Ownership in Court Fight

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Gregory Square, a park-like beauty spot near the center of Brainerd, was once a huge stand of stately virgin Norway and Jack pine surrounded by a wooden fence.
Clubs and Organizations:
photo: 1002030023 Brainerd's First YMCA Was Constructed in 1882

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 "The Young Men's Christian Association we regard as being, in its essential genius, a world-wide fellowship united by a common loyalty to Jesus Christ for the purpose of developing Christian personality and building a Christian society."
Air Travel:
photo: 1002030018 Walter Wieland Founder of Brainerd Airport

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The Brainerd Airport traces its history back to 1947 when; at the urging of Walter Wieland, the city council adopted an ordinance setting up an air p o r commission.
photo: 1002030002 Business District Started Near River and Spread Eastward.

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Starting near the Mississippi river on Front street, Brainerd's retail business centers have presented a changing picture throughout the hundred years of the city's history.
photo: 1002030020 Bands Played by 1882

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The Brainerd City Band came into existence in 1882, organized by William Dresskell, a band leader at the age of 17 years. Dresskell had served in the 55th Ohio Volunteer Regiment in the War of Rebellion, playing in the regimental band during his term of service. He had also been a cornet soloist with a well known group, Peake Family Bell Ringers, traveling extensively throughout the country. Dresskell operated a jewelry store, specializing in watch repairing, and handling bicycles.
photo: 1002030010 1st Council Passed Law On Liquor

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Records show Brainerd's first City Council meeting on January 11, 1873, with Eber H. Bly as Mayor.
photo: 1002030061 Extension Work Began in 1914

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Agricultural Extension work started in Crow Wing County in August, 1914 when A. G. Galke was employed.
Natural Resources:
photo: 1002030157 Pillsbury State Forest Was First in Minnesota

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 Pillsbury State Forest, ten miles northeast of Brainerd, made history by being a forest of "firsts." It was the first state forest in Minnesota and contained the first state nursery.
WWI Barracks Organized To Assist Vets
Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The Barracks of World War One Veterans is a chartered organization consisting of four degrees -- local, district, state or department and national. All of these organizations hold regular meetings with the local units electing delegates to the higher groups.
Fairs and Festivals:
photo: 1002030074 County Fair Began in 1897

Web-posted 3/4/2004
 The Crow Wing County Fair had its beginning in 1897 and despite a few setbacks has had a steady history of growth.

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