Minnesota Author Biographies.

Charles D. Gilfillan

Charles Gilfillan

From The Early Political History of Minnesota (1901) by Charles D. Gilfillan

In 1840, Bishop Loras of Prairie du Chien, being desirous of developing the truths of Christianity, sent the Rev. Lucian Galtier as a missionary to St. Peter and Fort Snelling, situated on opposite sides of the mouth of the St. Peter river, then so called. He found a number of Catholic families located at a point about six miles below the fort, some of whom had been driven off the Military Reserve, which extended then, according to military authority, down to what is now known as the "Seven Corners." He at once called the good people together and in a very short time a log chapel was erected and dedicated to their patron, Saint Paul, and hence the name was given to the settlement, and from that day attention was drawn to its locality. Subsequently, when the territorial organization took place, the name was permanently adopted.

Biographical Notes

Birth: July 4, 1831, New Hartford, New York
Death: December 8, 1902, Redwood Falls, Minnesota

Pioneer Redwood County farmer and lawmaker, Charles Duncan Gilfillan, was born a year after his parents came to the United States from Bannockburn, Scotland. He attended Homer Academy and Hamilton College, both in New York. At age eighteen he taught in Potosi, Missouri. In 1851, Gilfillan moved to Stillwater, Minnesota and taught school and studied law. He was admitted to the Minnesota bar in 1853 and elected first town recorder of Stillwater, Minnesota in 1854. Gilfillan practiced law with his brother, James Gilfillan in St. Paul from 1857-63. Charles Gilfillan was elected first chairman of the Minnesota republican central committee in 1856 and he was a republican candidate for St. Paul mayor in 1860. He represented Ramsey County in the Lower House of the State Legislature from 1864-66 and he was a state senator from 1866-76. Gilfillan served on the board of directors for the First National Bank, St. Paul from 1865-1902. He was instrumental in the planning and construction of the St. Paul waterworks system and an organizer of the Minnesota Valley Historical Association. He moved to Redwood Falls, Minnesota in 1882. Gilfillan received an honorary M.A. from Hamilton College in 1895.

Selected Works

The titles below link to the catalog record in MnPALS, the Minnesota Historical Society’s library catalog. Please click on your browser's back button to return.

The Early Political History of Minnesota

Additional Resources

Minnesota Historical Society Links

• Search MNHS Library and Archives Catalog for author - Searches for works by this author in the Minnesota Historical Society’s library
Minnesota Historical Society Collections Online
Charles D. Gilfillan, Builder behind the Scenes by Merrill E. Jarchow
Like Father, Like Son: The Gilfillan Story by Merrill E. Jarchow

Web Links

Minnesota Legislators Past & Present - Brief biography and a list of sessions served

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