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John S Pillsbury
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John S Pillsbury

07/29/1827 – 10/18/1901

Disposition

10/20/1901 (Burial)

Location

Fridley Monument on NW Corner
Section 2 Lot 285 Grave 3
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John Sargent Pillsbury (July 29, 1827 – October 18, 1901) was an American politician, businessman, and philanthropist. A Republican, he served as the eighth Governor of Minnesota from 1876 to 1882. He was a co-founder of the Pillsbury Company. Pillsbury wa s born in Sutton, New Hampshire of English descent, the son of John and Susan (Wadleigh) Pillsbury. He was a descendant of Joshua Pillsbury, who emigrated from England to Newburyport, Massachusetts in 1640. In 1851, he opened a store in Warner, New Hampsh ire, partnering with Walter Harriman, a future Governor of New Hampshire and Civil War general. Pillsbury came to Minnesota from the Eastern U.S. in 1855 and settled in St. Anthony (now part of Minneapolis). The entrepreneur tried his hand at several diffe rent types of businesses (after his business with Walter Harriman) including hardware, real estate, and lumber, though his greatest success came when he co-founded C. A. Pillsbury and Company along with his nephew Charles Alfred Pillsbury, for whom the com pany was named. Pillsbury attended the University of Minnesota, where he joined Chi Psi. After the American Civil War, Pillsbury was elected as a 3rd class companion of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States. Pillsbury served in the M innesota Senate for several years before becoming the 8th Governor of Minnesota. He served as governor from January 7, 1876, until January 10, 1882. During the Grasshopper Plague of 1877, Governor Pillsbury called for a day of prayer on April 26, 1877. A subsequent sleet storm killed all the grasshoppers. In Cold Spring, Minnesota, a chapel was built to honor the miracle. Pillsbury married Mahala Fisk on November 3, 1856. He and Mahala had four children, daughters Addie, Susan May, and Sarah Belle, and then son Alfred. Addie married Charles M. Webster, but died at the age of 25; Susan married Fred B. Snyder and died at the age of 28; Sarah Belle married Edward C. Gale, an area lawyer and son of the area's first real estate developer, Samuel Chester Gale. Edward Gale was also an art collector and contributed to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) as well. Alfred did not go into business, but instead became an art collector. When he died in 1950, the works were donated to MIA

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