Posts by David Ouse

Boxer-turned-hitman Norman Mastrian

Not all forgotten Duluthians were model citizens. Fifty years ago this spring, Duluth-native Norman Mastrian was convicted of first-degree murder for his role in one of the most famous crimes in Minnesota history. The Mastrians were early residents of the Zenith City. Norman’s grandfather Pasquale Mastroianni (the family later shortened the name) first came to…

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Hannes Bok

Hannes Bok was a difficult, obsessive, nearly friendless recluse who may have died of starvation. He is also considered to be one of the most talented science-fiction and fantasy illustrators of the twentieth century, and got his start in the business with the help of a young Ray Bradbury. But when Bok lived in the…

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Clifton Karhu

Clifton Wayne Karhu was born in Duluth on November 23, 1927, along with his twin brother, Raymond Arthur Karhu. Their parents, Arne H. Karhu and Anna (Lido) Karhu, were both painters. Arne was born in Michigan on August 11, 1902. Anna was born in the state of Virginia on October 15, 1898, and moved with…

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Bertha Lum

Bertha Bull was born in Tipton, Iowa, in May of 1869. Her parents were Joseph W. Bull and Harriet Ann (Boynton) Bull. Joseph was an attorney and a Civil War veteran, having served as a 1st Lieutenant in the 46th Iowa Infantry. The Bulls also had sons Carlton B. and Emerson K. and a daughter…

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William Norman

Artist William Norman was born on September 7, 1904, in Duluth, the oldest of three children of Walter C. and Nellie A. (Parmenter) Norman. Louise D. was born on Feb. 22, 1908, but died at the age of five on Nov. 20, 1911. Alice M. was born on Oct. 21, 1909. Walter and Nellie remained…

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Feodor von Luerzer

Unless you are an art historian, you likely don’t know the name Feodor von Luerzer. Don’t feel bad—most art historians probably aren’t too familiar with his work either. But you may be already familiar with his work, especially if you’ve been to Duluth’s oldest operating restaurant. The Austrian-born landscape painter lived in the Zenith City…

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Henry C. Dworshak Jr

Henry C. Dworshak Jr. was born on August 29, 1894, in Duluth. His parents, Henry Sr. and Julia, resided at 725 East Second Street. The Dworshak family arrived in Duluth in 1879 when Joseph and Maria, Henry Jr.’s grandparents, moved there from Appleton, Wisconsin. They had immigrated to the U.S. from Austria in 1866. Joseph…

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Hugh Fawcett

Duluth pioneer Hugh Fawcett was born into a Puritan family in England on August 7, 1862. His father was a successful building contractor, and Hugh took up that trade. In 1881 he moved to Toronto, Canada, where he worked as a carpenter for a year before moving to Duluth to do the same. In November…

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Mary Allen Hubert

Mary Allen was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on May 26, 1862. Her parents were Charles Allen and Anjenett (Holcolm) Allen. Charles was a doctor of dental surgery. Both the Allen and Holcolm families could be traced back to early Colonial days in America. Dr. Allen moved his family to Duluth in the early 1880s,…

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Lillian Mosher

Lillian Avenue is somewhat of an enigma, a tiny one-block street in Piedmont Heights hosting only four houses. Its namesake, Lillian H. Mosher, was herself much more of an intriguing enigma, and remains so today. As we’ve mentioned before, most Duluth streets that are named for people were given those names by the original plat-developers,…

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