The Grand Rapids Weekly Eagle

Itasca County’s First Newspaper

Issue 2: Thursday, July 10, 1890

edited by Don Boese

THE EAGLE is proud of its reception at Grand Rapids. The 2,000 copies of the first issue went off like celluloid cakes. Subscribe for the EAGLE.


Generous Press Notices From the Eagles Neighbors

(Duluth Daily News)

The latest newspaper venture that has come to the News’ notice is the Weekly Eagle, published at Grand Rapids, Minn. This town, as many of our readers know, is located on the Mississippi river and the D. & W. road, in Itasca county, just 100 miles from Duluth. It bids fair to have a very rapid growth in the immediate future and to be one of the most important towns in the state, outside of the three principal cities.

The Eagle is quite a newsy sheet and it is understood that it is published by a company of live men who have undertaken to give that young city a boost and that its editor is Col. Canfield of Brainerd, an experienced newspaper man, who has cast his lot with, and is now one of the fathers of Grand Rapids. The News wishes the Eagle well and hopes to hear it scream every week.

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Over 100 subscribers was the result of the first issue of the EAGLE.

Mike McAlpine, of Our Own spent Sunday in his whilom home, Minneapolis.

The business of the Grand Rapids postoffice increases every day, so says Postmaster Beckfelt.

R. C. Mitchell lead a party of Duluth rest-takers and prospectors in and about Grand Rapids resorts.

The Land and Improvement Company have ordered material for their large real estate office building.

E. T. Dozier, the courteous representative of the Pioneer-Press, was a caller at the Rapids on the Fourth.

Charley Kearney has a young moose which was taken the other day. He will raise it and make a trotter out of it.

Supt. Copeland, of the St. Paul & Duluth, entertained a party of Rapidites, on Tuesday, at the Spalding, Duluth.

Some of our boys spent the Fourth at Aitkin and were disappointed that Hon. Warren Potter did not deliver the address.

The heavy rains have severely tested the railway grade, but with exception of a sink-hole or two, no damage whatever has been done.

Hon. G. G. Hartley is receiving proposals on his new block. It will be of brick, with steam heat, with bank vault and office outfits.

Will Spencer, of Aitkin, was up on the Fourth. As was elsewhere detailed, he has recovered the property lost in ;his late robbery.

Chas. Lyons will build very soon a residence 18×24 feet, two stories. Mr. Keithly has the contract. Carpenters wages are $2.50 to $3.00 per day.

Mr. M. T. Mongoran is just completing a fine building up at the East End. When the snow falls it will be easy to move it to the Rapids on runners.

A shingle mill is said to be secured for the East End, by a bonus of several thousand dollars in real estate. The mill will employ two men, and some boys.

Among the west end neighbors coming to join us, is Budenbeck, the jeweler and the laundry-man. He is to occupy the Beckfelt building for the present.

Large parties are making railway ties along the line south of here. From this on only, (sic) no ties are expected to be shipped in but made along the road as it progresses.

Our old Friend McDonald, formerly of Brainerd, arrived on Thursday evening last with his gaming outfit complete. He had been at La Prairie ever since the opening of the road.

The Grand Rapids railway yards will contain 5,000 feet of siding-this on chief Engineer Knowlton’s authority. There will be five long side tracks, the largest car storage on the line.

A painful rumor got afloat last week that a new deed had been written by our good-natured friend, town-site Smith, at the East End. On investigation the EAGLE found it incorrect.

Postmaster Beckfelt has forwarded the EAGLE’S application to the Washington department, for permanent registration as to its postal nature, as required by law. The EAGLE has come to stay, you bet.

Mr. James Affleck was in on the fourth from his farm and ranch a few miles from town. All crops are reported very promising. Mr. Affleck was one of the pioneer discoverers of iron in this part.

The Land Company are completing arrangements for platting the syndicate division to Grand Rapids. It is owned by Grand Rapids, Duluth and Brainerd parties and will be placed on the market when ready.

Wm. Judd, the well known La Prairie hustler, has sold his Star Restaurant there, and is looking for an opening at Grand Rapids for this store and remaining enterprises. We will be glad to see him located here.

V. H. Blood has the contract for hauling the stone for the basement and foundation of the National Hotel, and is rapidly piling up the hard-heads. This kind of building stone is abundant and can be had on the surface anywhere for the hauling. A large quantity also, lies upon and along the rapids.

Three or four cottages, to go on the west side, directly on the rapids, are being arranged for the Brainerd families. Also Roadmaster Mantson has been tendered a building site and will doubtless build a residence soon.

Mr. S. C. Bootes for some time in the employ of the Wright Mercantile Co., at the lower landing has left that company, and watching for an opportunity to “catch on”, in Grand Rapids. He is photographer, and may open a gallery here.

Subscribe for the EAGLE. Only two dollars a year. Every citizen of Itasca County should secure every issue of the paper, by subscribing for it regularly. Leave order and the money with Postmaster John Beckfelt at the Grand Rapids post office.

Messrs. Knox & DeLaittre, of Aitkin, have contracted for the steamer Fawn, to haul 1800 tons of railroad material for the St. Anthony Lumber Co., of Minneapolis. That company will build 20 miles of logging railroad, northward from a point on Pine river.

Rev. Mr. Carhart is doing Grand Rapids kind service by sending occasional letters to the Duluth Press of matters coming to his notice. Kindly mention, thus secured, is a great value to a rising young town. Rev. Carhart is a close observer and he wields a juicy pen.

B. T. Colquhoun, of Sault Ste Marie, and his son F. S. Colquhoun, of Washburn, Wis., are among probable locaters at Grand Rapids. Their line is hardware, but that field having been taken on a large scale by the Powers concern, Mr. C. elder will probably go into something else.

It is found that building sand of prime quality abounds in the bank of the ravine immediately back of the National hotel site and not 500 feet of haul to be central to all the new buildings in progress. This is a great discovery and will lessen the cost of building several per cent.

There is a great lack of carpenters in Grand Rapids. Fifty good workmen could find work immediately. Also, lumber is very slow of coming. Our friends at Cloquet, the lumber dealers, owe it to themselves to be prompt in filling orders. We presume the rail road company may be somewhat at fault, while so crowded, in handling material.

Contractor Keithly has the following contracts for building to be built immediately; Postmaster Beckfelt, 22×60, two stores, for a store and public hall. It will be finely finished, with plate glass and illuminated front and the hall suited to dramatic and other entertainments; Sims, the barber, a shop, 18×24 feet; County Surveyor E. R. Lewis, residence 16×26, two stories, and an “L” afterwards; the frame of this house is up; A. T. Nason, addition to residence 18×24, this two stories, also.

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The Fourth was a great day for the giant young city of the north, being the first time that day was ever publicly observed here, and to put it into one word, the result was gratifying to every single participant, and should be highly gratifying to the public committee in charge, Mr. Chas. Kearney, John McDonald, A. ?. Cleveland, Fred Collett, and M. Marshall. Mr. Cleveland was secretary, and Mr. Collett effected the arrangements of printing, &c., in Duluth. A cash fund, entirely adequate was forthcoming, and the result was a fine program, lasting from 1 p.m., until customary “wee sma” hours of the morning of the 5th. The day was opened at its first dawn with a salute of 10 guns from the Grand Rapids battery which was bravely served by Andrew Nelson, who wore a miniature flag over his right or left breast. Bob McCabe, and Secretary Cleveland took turns in supplying the ammunition from the magazine in Knox’s store.

The town was beautifully decked out, in bunting and evergreen, and the flag with the stars (states) on it, sailed out proudly from many a staff, including Knox’s and McCabe’s, and a tall liberty pole erected on the grounds on the south side. In fact all the stores, shops, and hotels, were fenced in with evergreens decorated with flags and banners. Grand Rapids had on her togs.

The grounds, which adjoined the High School block, were made attractive with booths and pleasure places, not forgetting Colored Walt’s “3 for 10” snap. There was a good third-of-a-mile race track with judges stand, and opposite it a large dancing pavillion. The latter in the afternoon, evening, and to the late hour was filled with pleasure seekers participating in the “mazy”.

The following was the afternoon’s programmed races and sports, with the winners of each event:

100 yard foot race-Larry Whalen, winner, Clarence Sherman, 2nd.

Foot race 100 yards and return-Clarence Sherman first, Whalen second prize.

Fat men’s race — Entries, M. McAlpine, Frank Bell and Rhody Hawley, McAlpine won Hawley taking second money.

Free-for-all horse race, running, dash of one turn of course-Won by F. R. Lewis’ bay horse, ridden by Larry Whalen.

Running race, best two in three-Entries Kearney’s bay, (the Lewis horse), Lemon’s sorrel, and Miller’s black. First heat won by Kearney’s, Miller second, Lemon third. Second heat, Lemon first, Kearney second, Miller third. Third heat won by Kearney and the race. Miller given second money. This was the principal event of the day.

Men’s three-legged race-Glover and Grady winners, Sherman and Whalen, second. Wheelbarrow race-Won by Tom Brady.

Sack race-Dave Wilson first, Frank Boquet second, G. T. Glover, third.

The greased pole was not attempted and the five dollar note on its top was taken down by a ladder and saved.

In the evening the grounds were made beautiful by Chinese lanterns, and full attention given to the “merry dance.” There was a large display of fireworks and night balloons.

It was somewhere toward daylight when the last had departed, and Grand Rapids’ first Fourth of July existed only in remembrance.

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During the past week the logs in the Mississippi, above Pokegama dam, have been still held back by winds. Those remaining there to the last were Sherry’s, Clough’s and Fraser’s. C. A. Smith had 1,500,000 from Winnebagoshish. These drives are the very rear of the Mississippi logs and as they go down the whole stream will be cleared. Two weeks more out to see the river cleared to Brainerd.

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On Saturday last, Will Spencer, of Aitkin, came to La Prairie and found his watches and jewelry, about $1,000 worth, that was taken in the robbery of his store. The swag was buried in the woods and was found through the efforts of Sheriff Markham, who did some very fine work on the case. The men arrested, Jas. Roach and Frank Anderson, alias the “Swede Kid,” are in the Aitkin jail.

On Tuesday Sheriff Markham brought the recovered property back to Spencer’s store, not a shilling’s worth missing. It seems that the accommodating persons who aided in worming out of the thieves, where the plunder was planted, was the lad arrested some weeks ago for the theft of a pair of shoes.

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Going down the line on Saturday last, a few miles out, three lively, gay bronchos jumped upon the track ahead of the train, and sped away toward Duluth, the train close behind. All efforts of the engineer to scare them from the track were useless, and soon it settled down to a chase at about all the speed the stock could stand, lasting for some three miles, when some section hands headed the horses off. Only careful management by the engineer saved the horses, and they were well winded as it was.