“The hottest issue in Itasca County’s first election in 1891 was whether the county seat should be established permanently at Grand Rapids or LaPrairie. There are several interesting stories in connection with this contest.
Most of the men working in the woods did not care which village won out in this squabble, but were all willing to trudge many miles through the woods to vote, just for the break in the routine and the chance to rub shoulders with other men.
The lumberjacks of Wright & Davis were permitted to vote in that election, though doubtless many of them were not legally entitled to do so, and they walked from their camp to Swan River, where there was a polling place. Jim Woods, camp foreman, had asked them to vote for LaPrairie, and having no personal interest in the matter, they had agreed. But they were met in the woods by one Henry Logan of Grand Rapids, who was quite nifty at political maneuvering. He asked William Hoolihan, the leader, how his party stood on the county seat issue. When told that La Prairie was getting the vote of the group, Logan went into action.
He advanced many reasons why they should vote for Grand Rapids, most of which he thought up on the spot, taking his cue from the reaction of his listeners. He said that LaPrairie was owned, lock, stock, and barrel, by the lumber companies. On the other hand, Grand Rapids was owned by many people and one man had just as much to say as another about the running of the town. That argument made an immediate hit with the men; the idea of doing as you liked always appealed to the lumberjack So William Hoolihan and his crew voted straight for Grand Rapids, and had a large share in deciding the election.”
– page 57