March 30, 1914: The first residents of Morgan Park move into their homes

On this day in Duluth in 1914, the first residents of Morgan Park—a “model city” (or “company town”) built by U. S. Steel to house some employees at the adjacent Minnesota Steel Plant—moved into their home. According to historian Arne Alanan, those first residents were “steel plant brick works superintendent John McLimans, his Canadian-born wife, Emmy, and their four daughters. They were quickly followed by several other families, including electric power supervisor Charles Sampson, his wife, Mary, and their two children; assistant timekeeper James Aird and his wife, Margaret; and [Morgan Park] police chief Albert Solomon, his wife, Ida, and their three children, two of whom also worked at the steel plant.” By May 14 between 200 and 300 people occupied 60 houses. Fifty families arrived the next month, and 100 more in October. At the end of the year nearly 600 people lived in Morgan Park—the families of foremen, supervisors, and skilled mechanics. The unskilled laborers (many of them recent immigrants) who worked at the steel plant lived in New Duluth and Gary in boarding houses and, later, barracks-like facilities built by USS. Morgan Park was named for J. P. Morgan, president of USS; Gary was named for Elbert H. Gary, Vice President of USS.

This postcard showing a scene in Morgan Park was made between 1915 and 1925. (Image: Zenith City Press)