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Stairway leading up to Barn Bluff, Red Wing. 1910

Stairway leading up to Barn Bluff, Red Wing. 1910
Goodhue Census Information
Estab:  March 5, 1853
Parent Counties:  Wabasha, Dakota
Goodhue county with county seat

Southeast region of Minnesota Southwest region of Minnesota Northwest region of Minnesota Northeast region of Minnesota Central region of Minnesota

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Goodhue County

This county, established March 5, 1853, was named in honor of James Madison Goodhue, who was the first printer and editor in Minnesota, beginning the issue of the Minnesota Pioneer on April 28, 1849. He was born in Hebron, N.H., March 31, 1810, and died in St. Paul, August 27, 1852; was graduated at Amherst College in 1833; studied law in New York City and was admitted to the bar about 1840; afterward was a farmer three years in Plainfield, Ill.; practiced law in Galesburg, Ill., and in Platteville and Lancaster, Wis.; became editor of the Wisconsin Herald, published in Lancaster; removed to St. Paul in the spring of 1849 and was a most earnest and influential journalist there during the three remaining years of his life.

Goodhue was a man of very forcible character and of high moral principles. As a vigorous writer, he did much to upbuild St. Paul and Minnesota and made strong personal friends and enemies. Because of his scathing editorial against the U.S. marshal Alexander Mitchell and Judge David Cooper, a brother of the latter attacked Mr. Goodhue, January 15, 1851, on the street in front of the building in which the legislature was in session and stabbed him twice, severely wounding him, and being shot in return. From that injury he never fully recovered.

Biographic sketches of Goodhue as founder and editor of the first newspaper of the new Minnesota Territory are in the MHS Collections, by Col. John H. Stevens (6: 492-501) and D. S. B. Johnston (10: 247-53). His successor as editor of the Pioneer, Joseph R. Brown, wrote of him in an editorial tribute a year after he died: "James M. Goodhue was a warm and fast friend of Minnesota to the day of his death. He will be remembered with the small band of sturdy men who labored constantly and with iron resolution to establish the pillars of society in our Territory upon a sound moral basis. His press was always found on the side of law, order, temperance, and virtue."

Information of origins and meanings of these names has been gathered from the Geographical and Statistical Sketch . . . of Goodhue County, by W. H. Mitchell (1869, 191 pp.); History of Goodhue County (1878, 664 pp.); Goodhue County, Past and Present, by an Old Settler, by Rev. Joseph W. Hancock (1893, 349 pp.); the later history, edited by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge (1909, 1,074 pp.); and from Dr. William M. Sweney, Albert E. Rhame, city engineer, and Charles S. Dana, clerk of the court, interviewed at Red Wing in April 1916.