Otto Poirier

Otto Poirier is not only a native son of St. Louis county and a representative of one of the honored pioneer families of this section of the state of Minnesota, but he has also gained secure vantage ground as one of the representative members of the bar of his native county and is established in successful general practice in the thriving city of Virginia, where also he is serving as United States commissioner and where he is known and honored as a loyal, progressive and public-spirited citizen.

Mr. Poirier was born in the city of Duluth, Minnesota, on the 12th of December, 1879, and is a son of the late Camille Poirier, to whom a memorial tribute is dedicated on other pages of this work, so that further review of the family history is not here demanded. In the public and parochial schools of his native city Mr. Poirier continued his studies until his graduation in the high school as a member of the class of 1898. That year marked the inception of the Spanish-American war, and he forthwith manifested his youthful patriotism by enlisting in Company L, Fifteenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, with which he continued in service one year, the command having not, however, been called to the stage of active conflict. Soon after receiving his honorable discharge from the army, Mr. Poirier entered the law department of the University of Minnesota, and in this institution was graduated as a member of the class of 1902. His reception of the degree of Bachelor of Laws was practically concomitant with his admission to the bar of his native state, and for the first year after his graduation he was in the law office of Frank W. Sullivan, a representative member of the bar of the city of Duluth. He then established himself in the independent practice of his profession at Virginia, where the intervening years have been marked by his association with important cases in the courts of this section of the state and by his gaining high standing as a vigorous and resourceful trial lawyer and discriminating counselor. He served two terms as city attorney, and for two terms was assistant attorney of St. Louis county, in each of which positions he added materially to his professional prestige. He has served since 1904 as United States commissioner for the district of Minnesota.

During the nation’s participation in the World war, Mr. Poirier was a member of the Loyal Advisory Board of St. Louis county, which organization gave effective service in connection with registration of young men for military service, besides which he provided legal aid in connection with local war activities. He was also chairman of the War Savings Stamp committee for the northern half of St. Louis county. The political allegiance of Mr. Poirier is given to the Republican party, and he is an active member of the local Kiwanis Club and the Virginia Curling Club.

On the 20th of April, 1910, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Poirier to. Miss Leslie Mitchell, daughter of William B. Mitchell, of St. Cloud, Minnesota, her father having achieved distinction as one of the representative newspaper editors and publishers of this state and having also been the author of a two-volume history of Stearns county, Minnesota. Mr. and Mrs. Poirier have three children—William C., Eleanor and Arthur.


  • Woodbridge, Dwight and John Pardee, eds. History of Duluth and St. Louis County Past and Present Vols. 1 – 2. C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago: 1922.
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