Individual Stories

Charles Abbott

Occupation: 

Charlie Abbott, though he names Butler-Ryan as his employer in the 1898 City Directory, was architect Cass Gilbert's inspector for the job. Abbott and the Butler Brothers, the contractors for the construction, had an extremely contentious relationship. Finally, according to Emmett Butler's memoir, Coolie Butler beat Abbott up and got him fired. This incident is even alluded to in Gilbert's architect log of Aug. 22, 1898.

John Acker

Occupation: 

Blacksmith John Acker (1852-1919) was born Jun. 22, 1852 in Rogaland fylke, Norway and emigrated with his wife Bertha Karine Kolbeinsdatter Acker (1851-1916) from Norway in 1881. They raised a large family in their house at 757 Cook Ave. John died in St. Paul on February 10, 1919.

Most of the workers who constructed the Minnesota Capitol belonged to unions. A specific union affiliation has not been found for this particular worker, though other Capitol blacksmiths were organized in St. Paul at the time the Capitol was built, so it's probable he was a union member.

Acker grave stone
Acker grave stone, Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Maplewood, MN
Photo courtesy of Angels All Around Us
John Acker grave inscription
John Acker grave inscription
Photo courtesy of Angels All Around Us

William Aitken

Occupation: 

1899 Saint Paul City Directory. William Aitken (1847-1929) was born in Scotland and came to America in 1886. The Union Advocate newspaper of April 1, 1904 reported that he and fellow Capitol stone mason N.I. Nelson were serving on a committee of the Stone Masons Union together. Aitkin and his wife, Margaret, raised their seven children in this house as he worked as a stone mason.

William Albrecht

Occupation: 

Dale and Bumgardner Payroll. William Albrecht was born in Germany in 1834 and emigrated in 1880. In 1905, at about the age of 70, worked as a teamster on grading the Capitol grounds. He was still working as a teamster for the city of St. Paul in 1910.

Albert Anderson

Occupation: 

1904 Payroll and City Directory. Albert Anderson was born in Norway in 1878 and came to St. Paul in 1902. He joined Carpenters Local 87 on April 26, 1904, probably when he got hired on at the Capitol. He and his wife raised a large family at this address.

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