Insight News

Feb 06th

Gathering of descendants of the first 85 Blacks to the Northwest

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Photos courtesy of Sylvia Amos On August 11, 2012 at 4 p.m. in Minnehaha Park, descendants will come together to “Embrace and Celebrate” their heritage.  Bring your family and a dish to share. 

Pictured: "The Fur Coat Crew" from left to right are:  Iva Wagner, Armanda Anderson, Minnie Penick, Mattie Anderson, and Sevella Webster.

Around April 1897, 65 Black men and boys and 25 women and girls left Kentucky and arrived in Fergus Falls, MN to engage in farming.  It was the largest influx of Blacks the Northwest had ever seen.  Some traveled on to Aitkin, Hinkley and Sioux Falls, SD.


Photos courtesy of Sylvia Amos

Pictured: Fred Anderson (87), the oldest living direct descendant of one of the First 85.

The heads of the families were Civil War pensioners.  Family names included: Prince Honeycutt, Joe Robinson, Oscar Vaughn, Frank Marshall, John Lewis, Allen & Harrison Webster, Reuben & Patrick Fitch, Joe Himsly, Gene Strader, Alexander & Frank Penick, Frank Curry, John Taylor, Lulu Drew, Jean Frazier, Ham, Hans & Max Denham, Thomas Anderson, Simon, Minor & John Anderson, Luens Anderson (Teamsters), Arthur Edwards, Mattie Patterson, Betty Wench, William Gaines, Harden Tate, Henry Johnson, Frank Taylor, Loraine Crockett, Elizabeth Goodall, Albert Mitchell, Eliza Patrick, Raymond Patrick, John Will Smith, Jane Ingram, Bud Wagner, John Ingram, Katie Cod, Albert & June Madison, Willie Vaughn, Arthur Edwards, Clarence Watkins,  and others.

If you are related in any way, please join us on August 11.  For more information, call Sylvia Amos at 612-522-7508 or Jon Anderson at 612-919-6735.


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