Father Genin, the Catholic priest who brought in Sitting Bull from Canada, was the first priest that made regular trips to this reservation, but Father Tomazine was the first priest who located here, and I might say, started the first mission.
GUS. H. BEAULIEU.
Robert Fairbanks was born at Sandy Lake, Minn., on the 21st day of September 1825. When he was quite young he was sent to Fredonia, New York, to be educated, and at the age of twenty he was employed at the headquarters of the American Fur company at La Pointe, Wisconsin, as clerk. In 1846 he married Catherine Beaulieu the youngest sister of C. H. and Paul Beaulieu. He remained at La Pointe until 1851, when he removed to Crow Wing with his family where he remained in trade for a number of years, where he had a comfortable home and family of seven children, four sons and three daughters.
In 1868 he removed to White Earth with his family, where he had taken charge of the store belonging to Joseph Wakefield, which he ran for a year, when he opened up a store of his own which he ran until he died. Benjamin Fairbanks and George A. Fairbanks were sons of George Fairbanks, Sr., a brother of Robert Fairbanks, who was born at Sandy Lake, Minn., on the 26th day of August, 1827. he was for many years a prominent trader at Leech Lake, Crow Wing, and White Earth, where he moved his family in 1878, being one of the first traders at that place.
George A. Fairbanks, Jr., was born at Crow Wing on the 10th day of August, 1851, and went with his parents to White Earth in 1868, and succeeded his father in trade, in which he remained until his death on the 19th of November, 1891.
Ben. Fairbanks was born at Crow Wing, Nov. 4th, 1853.
MRS. JULIA SPEARS.
Frank M. Campbell, of White Earth, was born in Green County, Ill., on the 27th day of January, 1832, and came to Crow Wing, Minn., in 1855. He came to White Earth in Sept., 1868, and has lived there ever since. He says he thinks he is about the only white man who has lived in Northern Minnesota 50 years without drinking any intoxicating liquor.
He is that father of George M. and William F. Campbell, of White Earth.
The former was born at Crow Wing June 29th, 1859, and William was born at the same place on the 12th of March 1865.
Mr. Frank Campbell took the census of all of Becker County in 1870.
Mr. Campbell died January 29th, 1907.
Nearly all the public buildings constructed on the reservation from 1871 till 1878 were built under the supervision of Charles P. Wilcox, whose home was then at Detroit, but who now lives in Pasadena, California. He says:
GEORGE A. MORISON.
Allan Morrison, a younger brother of William Morrison, was born at Teerebonne, near Montreal, Canada, June 3d, 1803, and received a common school education in his native village, which prepared him for a clerkship in a country store.
Being a lad of uncommon physical development and activity, he did not take kindly to indoor life, and his brother William having made his first return visit to Canada in 1820, he was easily induced to accompany him to what the French Canadians called "Les pays d'en Haut" or The Upper Countries.
The delays incidental to the settlement of their father's estate prevented them from starting with the returning boats and canoes, and they were compelled to start much later; so late in fact, that winter overtook them before the journey to the far north was half over.
After staying some days at one of the trading posts, to give time for the ice to thicken, they started on afoot and it was not long before they had to use snow shoes, traveling being made so much easier with them after the snow got to be six or eight inches deep.
Their route from Montreal, was up the Ottawa River to a portage into Lake Nipissing, and thence via Georgian Bay to Saulte Ste. Marie, via Manitou Island, and thence on the ice of Lake Superior to old Superior, Wisconsin, which they reached in February, 1821. There he signed articles of engagement with the American Fur Company, for a five years' apprenticeship and in due course of time was given a small outpost to manage, and later on was placed in charge of the trading post at Red Lake, Minnesota.
About 1825 he married Charlotte Louisa Chabrille, a mixed blood Chippewa born at Old Fort William, on Lake Superior; by her he had several children, the only ones now surviving being Mrs. Mary A. Sloan of St. Cloud, Mrs. Caroline Grandelmyer and Miss Rachel Morrison of Brainerd, and John George and Allan Morrison of White Earth. All have allotments of land on the White Earth Indian Reservation, where John, George and Allan built substantial homes on their farms.
During the many years he was engaged in the fur trade, Allan Morrison was successively in charge of nearly all the American Fur Company's trading posts in Northern Minnesota, and finally he settled down at Crow Wing, on the Mississippi, an important post, where he represented the interests of the late Henry M. Rice, during the period that gentleman engaged in the fur trade in the upper Mississippi country.
He was a member of the Territorial Legislature of Minnesota, and Morrison County was named for him; was also postmaster at Crow Wing, Minnesota, for several years.
Leaving Crow Wing in the fall of 1874, he removed to White Earth, Becker County, where he resided to the time of his death, November 21, 1876, and where he was buried in the Catholic cemetery.
GEO. A. MORISON.
John George Morrison, son of Allan and nephew of William, was born at Lake Winnebegoshish, Minnesota, April 29th, 1843, where his father was managing a trading post for the American Fur Company.
He attended the Mission Schools at Crow Wing and Belle Prairie, Minnesota, for a few years, but was compelled to quit school on account of his father's ill health; he soon became the mainstay of the family and so continued until his brother Allan became old enough to take his place.
While yet a mere boy, he carried on some trading with the Indians around Gull Lake and towards Leech Lake, and became quite popular with them; during the Indian outbreak he was chosen by Governor Ramsey and the Indians themselves to carry messages between the two camps and in that capacity rendered valuable services.
After the Civil War, in 1865, the United States government, desiring to ascertain the true conditions and feelings of the Indian tribes, organized, at all Indian agencies, bodies of scouts, whose mission was to inquire into and report the causes of troubles and dissatisfaction among the Indians. These scouts were chosen from among the intelligent and loyal mixed bloods, and were place under the supervision of the military authorities.
Upon the recommendation of the officer then in command at Fort Ripley, John George Morrison was placed in charge of the scouts at the Crow Wing Agency, and so remained until the corps was disbanded. July 3rd, 1863, he married Margaret Elizabeth Fairbanks, daughter of Robert Fairbanks and Catherine Beaulieu. Ten children were born to them; six in Crow Wing and four near White Earth Agency. Two lived only a few years, the others are, with the exception of his daughter Mrs. Julia A. Spears, (the second), who lives at Red Lake, all members of the White Earth Reservation, and possess valuable landed interests there. He removed to the White Earth Reservation, from old Crow Wing, on the Mississippi, in the fall of 1874, and some years afterwards entered the government service and occupied several positions, being successively captain of Indian police and judge of the court of Indian offenses, and later government farmer, which position he held until the winter of 1892-3. In the fall of 1893, he removed to Red Lake, and has since successfully carried on hotel keeping and trading.
GEO. A. MORISON.
George A. Morison, nephew of William and Allan Morrison, was born in St. Hyacinthe, Province of Quebec, Canada, October 4th, 1839; his father being Donald Geo. Morison and his mother M. A. Rosalie Papineau, daughter of D. B. Papineau, and niece of the Hon. Louis Papineau, the talented leader of the French element in Canada, and the principal instigator of the Canadian rebellion of 1837.
Morison attended common schools until nearly ten years of age, then went to college for five years in his native village, rounding up his education with a four year term in a large village store.
He visited the west in 1858 and 1859, spending several months in Old Superior, Wisconsin, in Crow Wing on the Mississippi, and also at Long Prairie, the old agency for the Winnebago Indians.
That was in the early days, when travel was by canoes or over Indian trails, and the trip from Superior to Crow Wing was made in a birch canoe, up the St. Louis River to Floodwood River, which was followed nearly to its source, thence over a portage into Prairie River, which flows into Sandy Lake, and thence into he Mississippi River.
He returned to Canada in November, 1859, where he remained a few years. In May 1865, he landed in St. Paul, Minnesota, and lived in Little Falls and Crow Wing during the next three or four years.
He started in business at Leech Lake in January, 1869, and in the fall of the same year came to White Earth annuity payment with a stock of goods which he eventually closed out to Wm. W. McArthur, then a licensed Indian trader there. In August, 1870, Morison and McArthur combined their business and carried on trading in the Indian country, under government license, at Leech Lake, Red Lake, White Earth and Otter Tail, under the above firm name, dissolving co-partnership in August, 1871; Morison retaining all trading posts in the Chippewa country, except that of Otter Tail, where McArthur continued in business. Morison remained in the Indian trade until July, 1880, and made his headquarters at White Earth Agency during the last five years of his career as an Indian trader. He, however, continued to live on the reservation, where he carried on farming and stock raising, on a small scale, with his cousin Allan Morrison, Jr.
In the fall of 1882, he in company with Arnold A. Ledeboer, also of White Earth, opened a general store at Red Lake Falls, Minnesota, (at that time a very much boomed town), but owing to a series of bad crop years, low prices, and general dull times, the venture was not successful and they closed their business in 1887; Morison returned to White Earth.
In the fall of 1894, he entered government service at White Earth Agency, and later, in January 1896, was stationed at Red Lake Sub-Agency, as reservation overseer, a position he held until July 1st, 1901, when he returned to White Earth. Since January, 1905, he has formed part of the office staff at the agency, having charge of the allotting of land under the provisions of the "Steenerson Act."
By an Indian wife he has one son, Allan F. Morison, born February 6th, 1882. He has been in the government Indian service for a number of years and is now attached to the agency office force.
It will be noticed that William and Allan Morrison wrote their names with two r's, while Geo. A. Morison writes the name with only one r, as did a long line of ancestors before him. This difference in writing the name, was brought about in a curious manner. When William Morrison joined the Northwest Fur Company, he had to sign article of engagement, as they called it at the time, to serve for five years, and the notary who did the writing, wrote the name Morrison, as did other branches of the family; when William came to sign, he called the notary's attention to the error in spelling, but was told that it mattered little, to sign it as written and it would be just as good. Several years later when Allan Morrison, his brother, came to Lake Superior, he also had to write his name as his elder brother did, and hence the change in their manner of writing the name. In the Island of Lewis, Scotland, which is the cradle of the family, the name has been spelt for a thousand years or more, with only one r, thus, Morison.
GEO. A. MORISON.
Mrs. Duncan McDougal, who lives on the White Earth Reservation a little north of the village of Richwood says:
MRS. MARY McDOUGAL FOSTER.
John Rock, a Pine Point Indian, who was born at Floyd Lake in Detroit Township in 1844, says:
"FATHER" GILFILLAN'S SELF-SACRIFICING LABORS IN THE NORTH WOODS.
Clipping from the first number of the first volume of the first newspaper ever printed on the White Earth Reservation:
Gus. H. Beaulieu, Publisher
Theo. H. Beaulieu, Editor
White Earth Agency, Minn., Thursday, March 25, 1886.
ARROGANT SUPPRESSION OF THE PRESS!
A MENIAL AND SERVILE ACTION.