June 12, 1853: Birth of Chester Adgate Congdon

On this day in 1853, future Duluthian Chester Adgate Congdon was born in Rochester, New York. Congdon attended Syracuse University as a member of the class of 1875. There he met fellow student Clara Hesperia, daughter of Rev. William Bannister of San Francisco, whom he would marry in Syracuse; together they would raise seven children. Congdon first acted as a school principal in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, before moving to St. Paul to practice law. In 1892 the family moved to Duluth, where Congdon practiced with William Billson. Congdon would become wealthy as a partner with the Oliver Mining Company and eventually own mines in Minnesota, Arizona and elsewhere. He also helped develop Washington State’s Yakima Valley, where he had fruit orchards. In 1905 the Congdons broke ground on Glensheen, their now historic estate at 3300 London Road in Duluth, where Tischer Creek empties into Lake Superior. Congdon served in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 1909 to 1911 and died in 1916. Read more about Chester Congdon here.

Chester Adgate Congdon. (Image: University of Minnesota Duluth Kathryn A. Martin Library Archives and Special Collections)ngdon