July 8, 1918: Death of Duluth pioneer Edwin Hall

On this day in Duluth in 1919, pioneer Edwin Hall died in his home on Regent Street. Hall, a native of New York City, first came to Duluth from St. Paul in January, 1855, walking from St. Paul with a group of men that included Dr. William Mayo, whose sons would create Rochester’s Mayo Clinic. The trio took six days by snowshoe. Hall was just 20 years old when n he arrived at the Head of the Lakes. He and Reverend Edmund Ely named Oneota Township, using the Ojibwe word for “the rock from which the people sprang.” He became the proprietor of Oneota’s general store during its early years. Alfred Merritt remembers meeting Hall the first time he rowed from Superior to Oneota, when he was just a boy: “We rowed on up to old Oneota, and I recall my legs were too short to reach the bottom of the boat. We landed on the shore between what is now Forty-fourth and Forty-fifth avenues, West, at the foot of the old saw mill log slide…. On landing there the first man that I remember of seeing was Edwin H. Hall…. Mr. Hall was dressed in a red shirt with a white bosom, a red sash, broad cloth pants and fine boots. He was a regular frontier dandy.” In 1859 that frontier dandy returned to New York to take charge of his father’s Brooklyn Gas Company—the elder Hall served as Brooklyn’s first mayor in 1854. He returned to the Zenith City with his wife and five children some years later and never left. While in Duluth, Hall served his city: he was elected alderman five times and served on the Board of Education during the time historic Central High School was built. He made his living here as the the secretary of all the Merritt mines—until they were taken over by J. D. Rockefeller. You can read about that here.