Mary Louise Cross Burnquist

Mary Louise Cross Burnquist, wife of Joseph J.A.A. Burnquist, 1916First Lady
December 30, 1915 - January 5, 1921

Born: May 1, 1880
in Cannon Falls, Minnesota

Died: July 18, 1966
in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Married January 1, 1906 to Joseph A.A. Burnquist

Mary Louise Cross was born in 1880 to Rev. Rowland S. Cross and Mary Elizabeth Weeks Cross in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, the eldest of eight children. She met J.A.A. Burnquist while both were students at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota. Mary graduated from Carleton in 1903 and the couple were married in 1906 by Mary's father in Dawson, Minnesota. The family, which grew to include four children, lived in St. Paul where Burnquist was an attorney.

Burnquist was elected lieutenant governor in 1913 and became governor in January 1916 when Gov. Winfield Hammond died unexpectedly. As first lady, Mary accompanied her husband on a number of state business trips, both within the state and nationally, including a trip to aid victims of the 1918 Moose Lake fire. She also hosted events in their home and at the State Capitol, including meetings of the Dome Club, whose members were spouses of state officials and legislators, and several events surrounding the visit of President and Mrs. Woodrow Wilson to St. Paul in 1919.

Mary was involved in numerous organizations, including the Sunshine Club, the Monday Literary Club, the Colonial Daughters of American Revolution, and the State Women's Home Missionary Union of the Congregational Church. She was also president and longtime member of the Tourist Club of Minneapolis, whose purpose was to prepare members for travel by studying geography, history, art, literature of countries of the world. Mary Burnquist died in 1966 at the age of 86.

Photographs of Mary Cross Burnquist