Jed Washburn

Jeb Washburn. (Image_Duluth Public Library)

Jed Washburn  was born in 1856 in Indiana and was brought to southern Minnesota with his family when an infant. He practiced law in Mankato where he met and married Alma Pattee in 1882. In 1889 the couple moved to Duluth, where he continued to practice law.

Washburn was notably involved in education as a member of the Duluth School board and a director of the Duluth State Teachers College, now the University of Minnesota Duluth. Duluth’s Washburn Elementary was named for him, as was Washburn Hall, the first dormitory for women at the teachers college. He also played a key role in the development of Jay Cooke State Park. Always civically and socially active, Washburn held memberships in the Kitchi Gammi Club, Northland Country Club, and the Duluth Curling Club.

His business interests outside of his law firm were varied, as he invested in the Spalding Hotel, Union Match, Northern Shoe, Oneida Realty, Northern National Bank, Minnesota and Oregon Land and Timber Company, and many others.

Alma Washburn was born in Wisconsin in 1856. By the time she met Washburn, she had already established a reputation as a prominent figure in education and charity work throughout the state. She was a founder of the Duluth Women’s Club and also served as both state and national president of the Federation of Women’s Clubs.

Washburn died in 1931, Alma in 1943.


Jed L. Washburn, a lawyer of Duluth, Minn., is a native of Montgomery county, Indiana, but has lived in Minnesota since he was six months old. He was born December 26, 1856. His father was Christopher C. and his mother Julia A. (Showen) Washburn. He received a common school and academic education in his boyhood, then studied law and in May, 1880, was admitted to the bar.

During the next ten years Mr. Washburn practiced his profession at Mankato, Minn., and early in 1890 removed to Duluth, where he has since continued in active practice, being at the present time, 1909, senior member of the firm of Washburn, Bailey & Mitchell, with offices in the Lonsdale building, who make a specialty of corporation and real estate law.

He has served much on non-salaried charitable and educational boards. Was president of the board of education at Mankato, Minn., at the time of his removal to Duluth; member of board of education, Duluth, from 1900 to 1907; resident director of State Normal School at Duluth since 1903; president Minnesota State Bar Association, 1907-8.

He was interested in many financial and industrial enterprises.

President Northern National Bank, Duluth; Boston & Duluth Farm Land Company; Spalding Hotel Company; Riverside Land Company; Minnesota and Oregon Land & Timber Company and Youngs River Company; vice-president Royal Mineral Association, Oneida Realty Company, Consolidated Abstract Company; officer or director in Union Match Company, Northern Shoe Company, Alworth-Washburn Company and many other industrial corporations.

Mr. Washburn is a member of the Kitchi Gammi Club, Commercial Club, Duluth Boat Club and Northland Country Club of Duluth, Minnesota Club of St. Paul, Minneapolis Club and Minikahda Club of Minneapolis, and Chicago Club of Chicago.

In June, 1882, he was married to Miss Alma J. Pattee, who has been prominent in educational and charitable work and women’s club work in Minnesota, having served on numerous boards by appointment of state authority, and served as president of the Minnesota State Federation of Women’s Clubs and has been prominent in the national organizations of women’s clubs.


  • Dierckins, Tony and Maryanne C. Norton. Lost Duluth: Landmarks, Industries, Buildings, Homes, and the Neighborhoods in Which They Stood. Zenith City Press, Duluth, Minnesota: 2012.
  • 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.