October 22, 1920: Gunplay ends meeting at Duluth’s Cobb Elementary School

On this day in Duluth in 1920, gunplay ended a meeting of the Minnesota Fire Sufferer’s Association taking place at Cobb Public School meeting. Former MFSA vice president Phil Waggoner had been explaining how he had been unfairly removed from the organization by its current president, George Schlect, for misusing funds while on a trip to Washington D.C. Waggoner claimed that Schlect “has starved the children of the fire sufferers on the installment plan” and has “come around for funds and will keep coming around until you get wise to him.” Schlect was then given a chance to speak and repeated the charge against Waggoner. Waggoner rushed the stage to attack Schlect, who placed his hand on his hip—indicating he was carrying a revolver—and said “Don’t you dare come up here. I am not afraid of you even if you have a gunplay; shoot if you dare. Waggoner then mounted the stage to attack Schlect, but was held off by officials and audience members as Schlect jumped into the crowd to avoid him. While half the crowd subdued Waggoner, the other half turned on Schlect, some shouting “Hang him like they hung the niggers,” a reference to the lynchings that occurred in June of that year. They did not hang him, but took his revolver away and held both him and Waggoner until police arrived.

Cobb Elementary School. (Image: Zenith City Press)

Franklin Square: Once a cemetery, now a lot for tots

[NOTE: This article originally appeared in the Duluth News Tribune on September 9, 2020] This month Ted B. of Duluth asks Northlandia, “What’s the history of the cemetery that once stood on the current Tot Lot site on Minnesota Point?” That’s a great question to dig into during the month that ends with Halloween. The…


Sammy Gallop

Americans growing up in the 1940s and 1950s are probably familiar with some of the popular songs written by composer/lyricist—and Duluth native—Sammy Gallop. He wrote the lyrics for the songs “Maybe You’ll Be There” (1947),  which was recorded by Gordon Jenkins and was on the Billboard Best Selling Retail Records chart for 30 weeks in…

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