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Thursday October 19th 2017

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Cemetery markers are the “tip of the iceberg” and a book cover of family stories

At 26th St. and 26th Ave. George Thompson II (left photo) owned the Exchange Hotel and Duffy’s Bar here in bottom right photo in the area that became known as the Hub of Hell because of shootings, killings, labor riots and gangster hangouts. Top 1965 photo of  Duffy’s and Mr. Nib’s Nightclub. Duffy’s Tavern became Norma Jean’s Nightclub painted a garish pink from 1979-1984.

By Sue Hunter Weir

August 8th 2014 was a busy day in the Cemetery. Five new markers were placed that day.

Ron Thompson honored George E. Thompson II and August and Maria Seeber.

Ron Thompson of Naples, Florida, purchased three of them: One was for his grandfather, George E. Thompson II, and the other two were for his maternal grandparents, August Friederich Seeber and Maria Werner Seeber.

August and Maria Seeber arrived in Canada from Germany in 1869. Their daughter, Louise, who was born in Germany in 1866, came with them. The family settled in Northfield, Minnesota, where family lore has it that Louise witnessed members of Jesse James’ gang racing through town on the day that they robbed the Northfield Bank.

Sometime between 1885 and 1892, Maria and August Seeber relocated to Spokane, Washington, where they ran an apple orchard. Maria died from gastroenteritis in Spokane on March 19, 1892, at the age of 55. Louise took the train from Minneapolis to Spokane to bring her mother’s body back to Minneapolis for burial. August eventually moved back to Minneapolis where he died on March 26, 1906, from chronic nephritis, at the age of 74.

Louise had married George E. Thompson II, Ron Thompson’s grandfather, in October 1885. George was born in West Union, Iowa, on December 25, 1859. He worked for the railroad for several years before moving to Minneapolis where he owned Duffy’s Bar, a saloon located at the intersection of 26th Avenue and 26th Street. He died from pneumonia at the age of 46 on May 8, 1906. His wife, Louise, ran the hotel and saloon for a while but eventually lost it and moved in with one of their sons.

The three markers that Ron Thompson had placed in Minneapolis Pioneers and Soldiers Cemetery are not the only ones that he has had set for his family members. Not long ago he had five markers placed in Sunset Cemetery for other relatives. Among them is Louise Thompson, the wife of George Edward Thompson II; she died in 1933.

Hans Jeppesen Family honor him again 98 years later

Members of two other families had markers set on August 8th. Members of Hans Jeppesen’s family were in town for a family reunion. A few months ago, members of Hans Jeppesen’s family had taken up a collection and purchased a marker for him. His descendants came from as far away as Alaska, Utah and Illinois. Reverend Hans Jorgensen of St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church in St. Paul led a dedication ceremony that was attended by about two dozen family members. Mr. Jeppesen died from heat exhaustion on July 8,1916, at the age of 41. In addition to his wife he was survived by nine children ranging in age from one to 15 years old.

Infant Ellen Moot honored gain 113 years later.

The other marker was for an infant. Ellen Moot. Ellen died on August 14, 1901, from tuberculosis. Look for her story in a future edition of The Alley.

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