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Enterprising Minnesotans

150 Years of Business Pioneers

2005
Author:

Stephen George
Introduction by Marilyn Carlson Nelson

Enterprising Minnesotans

Captivating profiles of Minnesota’s most notable entrepreneurs

In Enterprising Minnesotans we read stories of the men and women throughout Minnesota’s history who have created exceptional businesses from 1849 to the present, including Cargill, the Mayo Clinic, Andersen Windows, Ecolab, Schwan’s, and Leeann Chin, Inc. Through fascinating stories, Enterprising Minnesotans honors the creativity, tenacity, and boldness that enabled these men and women to transform their dreams into success.

The book’s institutions—the old Daytons, Hamm Brewing Company, Land O’Lakes, Best Buy, and Northwest Airlines—have touched us all at one time or another.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Everyone has heard of 3M, General Mills, and Pillsbury, but did you know that companies such as Best Buy, Digital River, Chun King, and the Greyhound Bus Company began in Minnesota as well? In Enterprising Minnesotans we read stories of the diverse men and women throughout Minnesota’s rich history who have created exceptional businesses. Here are portraits of people driven by an entrepreneurial spirit to found enduring enterprises from 1849 to the present, including Cargill, the Mayo Clinic, Andersen Windows, Ecolab, Schwan’s, and Leeann Chin Inc.

Meet visionaries such as Cadwallader Washburn of Washburn-Crosby (eventually General Mills), James J. Hill of Great Northern Railway, Colonel Lewis Brittin of Northwest Airlines, and Earl Bakken of Medtronic. Experience the adventurous spirit of James Madison Goodhue, who established the Minnesota Pioneer newspaper, and African American journalist John Quincy Adams, founder of the Appeal, now the Minneapolis Spokesman-Recorder. Find out how Rose Totino, a daughter of poor Italian immigrants, advanced from running her own pizzeria to perfecting the production of frozen pizzas, to becoming a multimillionaire top executive with Pillsbury. Learn about the strength of entrepreneurial families like the Daytons and Fullers, and partnerships such as Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis, who turned their own successful careers as musicians into an influential R and B production company, Flyte Tyme Records.

Through fascinating stories, Enterprising Minnesotans honors the creativity, tenacity, and boldness that enabled these men and women to transform their dreams into success.

Published in cooperation with the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Carlson School of Management, University of Minnesota.

Enterprising Minnesotans

Stephen George is a management consultant and business writer based in the Twin Cities.

Marilyn Carlson Nelson is chair and CEO of Carlson Companies. She was named one of the “most powerful women in business” by Fortune magazine.

Enterprising Minnesotans

The book’s institutions—the old Daytons, Hamm Brewing Company, Land O’Lakes, Best Buy, and Northwest Airlines—have touched us all at one time or another.

Minneapolis Star Tribune

Rushing into the future without learning from the past is folly. That is one reason why Enterprising Minnesotans will make important reading for today’s business managers.

St. Paul Pioneer Press

Enterprising Minnesotans

Contents

Foreword Marilyn Carlson Nelson
Acknowledgments
Prologue

Pioneering Spirit (1849–1865)
James Madison Goodhue, Minnesota Pioneer
Jane Grey Swisshelm, St. Cloud Democrat
John Quincy Adams, Appeal
Alexander Wilkin, St. Paul Mutual Insurance Company
Alexander Hartman, Duluth Electric Company

Betting on the Future (1865–1890)
Frederick Weyerhaeuser, Weyerhaeuser Company
Cadwallader Washburn, Washburn-Crosby Company
Charles Pillsbury, C. A. Pillsbury and Company
Frank Peavey, Peavey Elevator Company
Will Cargill and John MacMillan, W. W. Cargill Company
William Worrall Mayo, William Mayo, and Charles Mayo, Mayo Clinic
Harvey Fuller, H. B. Fuller Company
James J. Hill, Great Northern Railway
Leonidas Merritt, Mountain Iron Company
Richard Hankinson, Northwestern Telephone

Seizing Opportunity (1890–1915)
Theodore Hamm, Theodore Hamm Brewing Company
Hans Andersen, Andersen Windows
Sister Antonia McHugh, College of St. Catherine
William McKnight, 3M (Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company)
Charles Beckman, Red Wing Shoe Company
Henry Marison Byllesby, Northern States Power
George Draper Dayton, Dayton’s Department Store

Surviving and Thriving (1915–1940)
Merritt Osborn, Economics Laboratory
John Brandt, Land O’Lakes
Jacob Aall Otteson Preus and Herman Ekern, Lutheran Brotherhood
Carl Wickman, Greyhound Bus Company
Colonel Lewis Brittin, Northwest Airways, Inc.
Curt Carlson, Carlson Companies, Inc.

Building on Talent (1940–1965)
Sister Elizabeth Kenny, Sister Kenny Institute
William Norris, Control Data Corporation
Earl Bakken, Medtronic
Jeno Paulucci, Chun King
Rose Totino, Totino’s
Marvin Schwan, Schwan’s

Growing the Business (1965–2000)
Joel Ronning, Digital River, Inc.
Richard Schulze, Best Buy Company, Inc.
Leeann Chin, Leeann Chin, Inc.
Jimmy Jam Harris and Terry Lewis, Flyte Tyme Records Glen Taylor, Taylor Corporation

Conclusion: In a Pig’s Eye
Bibliography

Index