Search more than 160,000 names in the Minnesota State Census from May 1, 1875, only two years after the Panic of 1873 and the first state census since the end of the Civil War. In the census you will find you ancestor’s birth and the birth place of his/her parents. The state census is a great way to keep tracing your family history in the years between the federal census records.
Each record includes a transcript of the original census. The amount of information in each record can vary but most will include:
Ethnicity - Nationality
Father’s birth place
Mother’s birth place
Volume and line number
Below the transcript you will find a list of names that appear on the same page of the index. Some of these names may be other relatives or neighbors.
A state census is just as important as the federal census. These are a great way to keep track of your ancestors between the years of the federal census records. For the state these census records were important in deciding how to allocate state funds and they were used to verify the population of the state to determine how many representatives the state would send to Congress.
The Minnesota State Census of 1875 was the first state census since the end of the American Civil War. During the war Minnesota was the first state to volunteer soldiers to defend the Union.
Minnesota was the 32nd state admitted to the union. It was admitted as a free state in 1858. The state capital is St. Paul. At the time of this census the President was Ulysses S. Grant and Vice-President was Henry Wilson. The Minnesota state governor was Republican Cushman Kellogg Davis.
Plague of Locusts
One year before the Minnesota State Census 1875, Minnesota experience the Locust Plague of 1874. The infestation continued until 1877. Rocky mountain locusts descended on the farmlands and towns of Minnesota in biblical proportions. The locusts caused $200 million in crop damage.
A fictionalised description of the event can be found in the novel On the Banks of Plum Creek by Minnesota resident Laura Ingalls Wilder. Laura Ingalls can be found in the census living with her parents Charles and Caroline, older sister Mary and younger sister Carrie. Laura Ingalls Wilder is most well known for her Little House children’s book series.
The wave of locusts were described as a snowstorm rolling towards their fields. They ate through wheat, oat, corn and barley fields. The state continued to be plagued by the insects until 1877 after a harsh winter destroyed many of the locust eggs. Governor John S Pillsbury declared a day of prayer on April 26, 1877 since many attributed the end of the locusts to divine intervention.
Panic of 1873
At the time of the census many people were experiencing financial difficulties caused by the Panic of 1873. The panic triggered a depression in America and Europe until 1879. It was the first global depression caused by industrial capitalism. It was the beginning of the regular boom and bust cycles that we still experience today. The pressure was first felt by investment bankers. Jay Cooke, a Wall Street banker, had been heavily involved with selling bonds during the Civil War and in the construction of railroads after the war. His firm was about to break ground on a second transcontinental railroad near Duluth, Minnesota in 1870 when rumours of the firm’s credit began to circulate. By September that year, the firm was bankrupt.
Following Cooke’s collapse, a chain of banks failed and the New York stock market temporarily closed. These events eventually led to large scale layoffs, failure of businesses and the halt of new construction. The Panic of 1873 led to the end of the Reconstruction period in the South as federal resources needed to be redirected. The country’s finances became more concentrated into the hands of the few like Andrew Carnegie and John Rockefeller. The country experienced a slow recovery. Another result of the crisis was the creation of many trade unions. In 1881 the first Knights of Labor was established in Duluth, Minnesota. It became one of the largest labor organizations in America.
Originals and microfilm copies are available at the Minnesota Historical Society