Individual Stories

Nellie Downing


Cleaning payroll July 1905. Nellie Downing worked on a crew cleaning the Capitol. She was born in Iowa in 1886. In the 1905 City Directory she said she was employed by Hart and Murphy, a cigar manufacturer. Fellow Capitol cleaner Jennie Sheeran also worked for Hart and Murphy.

Carl Herman Dreher


1903 City Directory. Carpenter Herman Dreher was born in Mankato, Minnesota to German parents in 1867. He and his wife, Minnie, moved to Minneapolis where they raised a family while he worked as a carpenter. Herman died in Minneapolis in 1929.

Carl Herman Dreher with son-in-law Melvill Dromer and sons Alvin and Homer Dreher, 1928
Carl Herman Dreher with son-in-law Melvill Dromer and sons Alvin and Homer Dreher, 1928
Photo courtesy of Maryann Bergantine
Carl Herman Dreher and grandson Richard (Dick Dreher,1927
Carl Herman Dreher and grandson Richard (Dick) Dreher,1927
Photo courtesy of Maryann Bergantine, great granddaughter of Carl

Jerome Drew


Dale and Bumgardner payroll. Jerome Drew was born of German parents in 1869 in Minnesota. He worked as a teamster on grading the Capitol grounds.

Most of the workers who constructed the Minnesota Capitol belonged to unions. A specific union affiliation has not been found for Jerome Drew, but other Teamsters in St. Paul at the time the Capitol was built were members of Local 120 (co-founded by John Geary, another Teamster who did grading work at the Capitol), so Drew was most likely a member of the local too.

Charles Duchene

Charles Duchene was born in Canada in 1863 and came to St. Paul in 1898. In 1900 he and fellow stone cutter Xavier Moore lived at this house with their wives and children - 13 people in all. Duchene was active in the Journeyman Stone Cutters Union and was elected vice president of the St. Paul Local in December of 1904. Information provided by his great-great-grandson indicates that the full name of Deschenes (Duchene, Duchaine, etc) was Charles Miville dit Deschenes; "dit" being the French word for "called." He was also a stonecutter on the St.

John Duckett


1899-1902 City Directories. John Duckett was born in 1880 in Georgia and came here in 1899 with the marble and worked as a "stone sawyer" in the shed. He became a union bricklayer and although he was in Atlanta in 1905 working as a bricklayer (Union Advocate Feb. 5, 1905), he returned, married, and raised a family in St. Paul. He died here in 1952.

John Duncan


1904-1905 Butler Bros. Payroll. John Duncan was born in Minnesota in 1889 and lived here with his parents. Though he was paid as a laborer, he gave his occupation as carpenter in the 1905 Census.