NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
Thursday September 20th 2018

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‘Tales from Pioneers & Soldiers Cemetery’ Archives

Geneology Second only to Gardening

Geneology Second only to Gardening

by Susan Hunter Weir Genealogy is the second most popular hobby in America (gardening is first). Genealogy is like solving puzzles—finding that one clue that leads you to the maiden name of your great-great-grandmother or locating the name of the town where she was born. Millions of people spend their leisure time searching the internet, [...]

Squire Borden, Tender of first Bridge Across the Mississippi River

Squire Borden, Tender of first Bridge Across the Mississippi River

by Susan Hunter Weir Squire Borden was born on the Atlantic Ocean on August 25, 1823. Perhaps that explains his life-long attraction to water. For many years, he worked as the bridge-tender on the first two suspension bridges that spanned the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, and since everyone who crossed the bridge encountered him, his was [...]

Momentary absence.Flames prevail. Mother burned, and grieving

Momentary absence.Flames prevail. Mother burned, and grieving

By Sue Hunter Weir In the early years of the last century the Minneapolis Tribune’s coverage tended toward the sensational, especially when it came to covering tragedies involving children. But every now and then a reporter captured the sense of loss and grief, like in this excerpt from a story written by an unidentified Tribune reporter on [...]

Bartered Health Care Fails in court

Bartered Health Care Fails in court

by Sue Hunter Weir A word of warning—don’t write your last will and testament on wallpaper and expect it to stand up in court. That’s especially true if you don’t want your relatives to inherit your money. George Strebel may (or may not) have done just that, and it led to what the Minneapolis Tribune called “one of the most unusual [...]

Readers may decide “The Rest of the Story” of Ruff Neff may be hopeful

Readers may decide “The Rest of the Story” of Ruff Neff may be hopeful

by Sue Hunter Weir In 1909, when she was 15 years old, Ruth Neff was arrested for indecent conduct. After that, things went straight down hill. She was sent to a reform school for a few months but her mother managed to persuade the court to let Ruth out on parole. According to her mother, Ruth had always been a difficult child. Ruth’s parents [...]

157th Cemetery Season Ends as Picket Restoration Begins

157th Cemetery Season Ends as Picket  Restoration Begins

By Sue Hunter Weir Another cemetery season (the 157th) has drawn to a close:  the Cemetery officially closed for the year on Friday, October 15th.  You will still see plenty of signs of life during the next few months, though. On September 20th, restoration work began on the Cemetery’s fence and gates.  The thirteen sections of the [...]

P.T. Barnum Circus’ elephants, tigers, tents, and Tom Thumb, amidst urban, pioneer, frugal splendor “paints” image of the Layman Family and their Cedar Avenue homestead

P.T. Barnum Circus’ elephants, tigers, tents, and Tom Thumb, amidst urban, pioneer, frugal splendor “paints” image of the Layman Family and their Cedar Avenue homestead

by Sue Hunter Weir When Martin and Elizabeth Layman arrived in Minnesota in 1852-53, they set up housekeeping in a log cabin. It was a tight fit. They had ten children at the time and three more after they arrived. In 1857, Martin Layman built what is believed to be the sixth permanent house in what later became Minneapolis. There is no [...]

Great Granddaughter ‘Uprights” Legacy and Its Marker for Another Century

Great Granddaughter ‘Uprights” Legacy and Its Marker for Another Century

By Sue Hunter Weir Setting grave markers is a tough business. Wrestling blocks of stone that weigh several hundreds of pounds into place requires muscle and planning. Ensuring that the stones are level when the ground is uneven is tricky and tree roots don’t make the job any easier. On Sunday, August 22nd, staff from Grave Groomers, a local [...]

Casper’s Ghost says, “‘People were dying to get into the cemetery.’ But were they really dead?”

Casper’s Ghost says, “‘People were dying to get into the cemetery.’  But were they really dead?”

by Sue Hunter Weir Casper Link was terrified of being buried alive, and he was not the only one. There is a word for this fear—taphophobia—meaning the fear of graves. Mr. Link died on Sunday, July 21, 1872, but not before his wife and friends promised that they would not bury him until three days after he had been declared dead. Mrs. Link [...]

Alice’s murder exploited by vagaries of politicos and publishers

Alice’s murder exploited by vagaries of politicos and publishers

Roosevelt, Taft, politicos, prostitution, Titanic dominate headlines by Sue Hunter Weir Alice Mathews led a rather ordinary life except for one thing: she was murdered. On Saturday, March 23, 1912, the night that she was murdered, Alice was twenty years old. She worked as a packer at the Pillsbury C Mill and lived with her father, stepmother [...]

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