Franklin Steele (1813 – September 9, 1880) was an early settler of Minneapolis, Minnesota.Born in Chester County, Pennsylvania, of Scottish descent, Steele worked in the Lancaster post office as a young man, where he once met James Buchanan.
STEELE, Franklin The following memoir, by Rev. E. D. Neill, was read at the meeting 6f the department of American History of the State Historical Society, in October, 1880. In memoriam: Franklin Steele. This evening we assemble under the shadow of a sudden and painful loss. Among the twenty-five or thirty present at...
- Washington, District of Columbia
- Davidson, Lot 33 East
Name: The park was named to honor Franklin Steele, one of the first European settlers in the area and a civic activist. Steele built the first bridge over the Mississippi at Nicollet Island. He was also president of the first board of regents of the University of Minnesota. The land for the park was donated to the city in 1882, prior to ...
Aug 22, 2014 · Franklin Steele, the sutler (civilian storekeeper) at Fort Snelling, staked his claim in a moonlight caper that beat out the fort's commander. Handicapped by lack of capital, he was slow to develop the waterpower.
Mar 19, 2021 · Franklin Dee Steele, age 78, of Elkton, MD, passed away Thursday, March 18, 2021. Born in Racine, WV, on February 10, 1943, he was the son of the late Woodrow and Nellie Burgess Steele.Mr. Steele reti
Franklin B Steele was born on month day 1814, at birth place, Pennsylvania, to James Steele and Mary Steele (born Humes). James was born in 1763. Mary was born in 1782. Franklin married Anne Eliza Steele (born Barney) on month day 1842, at age 27 at marriage place. Anne was born in 1825, in Baltimore County, Maryland, U.S.A..
- History of Minneapolis
- So, Who Founded Minneapolis?
- More About Minneapolis Founder #1: Franklin Steele
- More About Minneapolis Founder #2: John H. Stevens
In order to understand who founded Minneapolis, you first have to understand just how crazy property rights were back in the wild-west era of the 1800s. First off, after “negotiating” the land from Native Americans, most of the area around Minneapolis existed in a weird no-man’s land. It was simply owned by the government and had literally never been sold to anyone, ever. The law worked like this: If you were first to “settle” some land (aka… squatted on) then you would get first dibs to purchase whenever the government offered it up for sale. Keep that in mind while we roll through this wild timeline.
All that to say that from 1838 to 1872, Minneapolis was founded by two clever settlers named Franklin Steele and John Stevens. Both men used some interesting techniques to take advantage of 1800s property rights and claim first settlement on present-day Minneapolis. Both would also go on to leave an impressive legacy on the city of itself.
Franklin Steelewas born in 1813 in Pennsylvania. He traveled to Minnesota in 1838, the same year he started working as a shop keeper at the Fort and foiled Joseph Plympton’s crooked plans to settle the east side of Minneapolis. His half mile claim of the St. Anthony riverfront meant he also grabbed power rights to the water rushing through St. Anthony Falls, so he created a sawmill and a power plant at the location. The sawmill became a booming success, selling lumber to much of the developing Minneapolis area. The power plant, on the other hand, struggled. At least until Steele eventually hired new officers at the company, including John S. Pillsbury. (Yes, that’d be the Pillsbury of future dough boy fame!) Steele continued his impressive legacy in Minneapolis by forming the Mississippi Bridge Company in 1852. By 1855, the company completed Minneapolis’s first permanent bridge across the river. Not bad for the 1800s: By 1858, Steele was so wealthy that he purchased Fort Snelling fo...
What about the first official resident of Minneapolis? Well, John Harrington Stevenswas actually born in Brompton Falls in Quebec, Canada. He eventually joined the U.S. army and fought in the Mexican American War, achieving an unofficial ranking of Colonel. Soon after, he started his ferry service and built the first house in present-day Minneapolis. (That first house is now known as the Stevens House. It’s been moved several times, but it now sits as a museum in Minnehaha Falls Regional Park.) After founding Minneapolis, Stevens went on to serve in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1857 to 1858, then the Minnesota Senate from 1859 to 1860. (He did serve one last term in the Minnesota House, in 1876.) He died in 1900, at age 80.