George Stuntz

George Stuntz, first of the Old Settlers’ Association. (Image: Duluth Public Library.)

George R. Stuntz came to the head of the lake in the year 1852, and during that year he surveyed and (definitely located a portion of the northeastern boundary line between Mlnnesota and Wisconsin, starting from the head of navigation on the St. Louis river at Fond du Lac, .and running south to the St. Croix river.

He was born December 11, 1820, in Albion, Erie county,Pa.; was brought up on a small farm to the age of 19 years, receiving a common school education; and at 20 years continued his studies by attending Grand River Institute in Ohio, where he took a two years’ course in mathematics, chemistry, engineering and surveying. Before coming to the head of the lake, Mr. Stuntz had been engaged as a deputy United States surveyor in surveying land in Wisconsin. He probably surveyed more government land than any other man now living, as he was engaged in that business for more than fifty years. His surveys covered principally the previously unknown parts of northeastern Minnesota and Wisconsin. From important and valuable information voluntarily supplied by him, many have become rich, while he, withal, in his old age, was poor, and well deserved a pension from the government. He platted many townsites, yet I know of none that he ever owned or in which he was largely interested.

He had been a continual resident of St. Louis county since 1853, at that time locating at the lower end of Minnesota point, where he built a dock and warehouse, and where in 1855-56 he carried on a forwarding and commission business under the name of G. R. Stuntz & Co. In those years, Stuntz’s dock on Minnesota point was the only landing place from steamboat and sail vessels for passengers and freight destined for Superior, Wis., to which place they were shipped across the bay in Mackinaw boats. Mr. Stuntz came to live permanently in Duluth in 1869, where he resided until his decease. He held the office of county surveyor for several terms.

You can read Mr. Stuntz’s autobiography here.

Sources:

  • 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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