Attilio Castigliano

Attilio Castigliano. (Image: Minnesota Historical Society)

While people of Italian nationality and ancestry have become so numerously represented in northern Minnesota as to decidedly influence and call for established institutions in church, social, commercial and other affairs, probably no one person represents more truly the great body of Italian Americans in an official way than Attilio Castigliano, consular agent for the Kingdom of Italy at Duluth.

Mr. Castigliano is a man of fine education and in every way highly qualified for the diverse duties and peculiar responsibilities of his office.

He was born in Valperga in the Province of Torino, Italy, March 25, 1881. He graduated from the Agricultural College of Caluso in 1901, and four years later, on March 4, 1905, arrived in the United States. During the following four or five years he had an active business experience connected with the State Savings Bank of Laurium, Michigan.

On March 10, 1910, he was appointed consular agent for the Kingdom of Italy with jurisdiction over the state of Minnesota and northern Michigan.

While his office was temporarily established at Hibbing, it was transferred to Duluth and has remained there since August, 1911.

The duties of his office involve a general protection of the interests of the Italian people in the district where over seventy-five thousand Italians are living; more particularly the furnishing of Italian business concerns in Italy commercial and financial references; in administering to the estates of deceased nationals; promoting friendlier relations between the Italian element and the local public.

The World war naturally brought a great increase and extension of responsibilities and duties. The consular agency was responsible for recruiting and providing transportation both on land and sea to over nineteen hundred reserves. After the United States became involved in the war Mr. Castigliano’s office at Duluth had charge of the inspection of all condensed milk exported from the United States to Italy and of a large number of meat contracts. Through that office in the last week of January, 1919, from Kansas City alone were shipped from five packing companies ninety-two carloads of meat for a value exceeding one million dollars. Mr. Castigliano was also connected with public work and made arrangements for all the conferences held in the territory of his jurisdiction by the military officers, besides giving a great deal of his time to the Saving Stamp and Liberty Loan publicity both in Duluth and in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Through his efforts on October 12, 1919, the sum of 40,000 lire was collected in Duluth and remitted to the Italian War Orphans’ Relief Committee at Rome.

When Mr. Castigliano opened his office at Duluth in August, 1911, he comprised its entire personnel. Now the office has an assistant in the person of Edmund T. Powers, attorney at law, and two secretaries, Miss Louise Signorelli, who has been on duty there for over seven years, and Mjss Mary Brocco. In recognition of his services the King of Italy has recently honored him with the appointment as Knight of the Crown of Italy.

Sources:

  • Van Brunt, Walter, ed. Duluth and St. Louis County, Minnesota Vols. 1 – 3. The American Historical Society. Chicago: 1922.
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