By John S. Adams;Barbara J. Vandrasek
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Extra resources for Minneapolis-St. Paul: People, Place, and Public Life
Industrial boom of the midnineteenth century came great overcrowding and poverty in the large urban centers of the East Coast. Many abandoned or orphaned children fended for themselves on the streets of big cities, or were taken in by private charities. In 1854, New York City's Children's Aid Society undertook a bold solution to its problem often thousand vagrant children: it loaded them, with escorts, onto westward-bound trains, in hopes that midwestern families would take them in. At that time there were about five hundred children in ten orphanages in Minnesota, and the Minnesota Children's Aid Society had just been organized.
The flaxseed produced in the agricultural hinterland led to linseed oil production and a growing paint industry. The credit and banking services required by the wheat brokers boosted development of the city's financial sector. Milling dominated the city's skyline as well as its industrial structure (fig. 16). The mills clustered around the falls and the grain elevators that today line railroad tracks throughout Minneapolis make "Mill City" a sobriquet that remains appropriate even though milling's heyday ended with World War I.
Pillsbury and Company was the largest. The Washburn-Crosby Milling Company (later General Mills) ran a close second. " Ancillary industries, however, actually provided more jobs than the mills themselves. Thousands of people worked in companies manufacturing bags, barrels, breakfast foods, livestock feeds, milling machinery, and vegetable oils. The flaxseed produced in the agricultural hinterland led to linseed oil production and a growing paint industry. The credit and banking services required by the wheat brokers boosted development of the city's financial sector.
Minneapolis-St. Paul: People, Place, and Public Life by John S. Adams;Barbara J. Vandrasek