In support of all the Minnesotans competing in the Border Battles Facial Hair Competition, sponsored by The Minneapolis Beard and Moustache Club on June 8, 2013, the Minnesota Historical Society presents a selection of some our favorite beards of Minnesota’s past.
This is a portrait of Harry Wild Jones who was an influential Minneapolis architect and lover of goatees. He is credited with introducing the Shingle Style of architecture to Minneapolis and is probably best known as the designer of the Lakewood Cemetery Chapel and the Washburn Park Water Tower.
The man in this ambrotype portrait is John Harrington Stevens, an early settler of what would become Minneapolis and member of the first state legislature. You can admire his beard in person by visiting a statue of him located in Minnehaha Park.
As you can guess from the photograph, this is William B. Mitchell. Minnesota Supreme Court Judge, namesake of the William Mitchell College of Law and moustache aficionado.
William Watts Folwell, in addition to having a rather contemplative beard, was the first president of the University of Minnesota and has a building on the East Bank campus named after him.
This tintype portrait, circa 1880, is of Judson A. Bly a miller who lived and worked in Forestville, Minnesota. Forestville is now a ghost town located in Forestville State Park and is still reportedly haunted by Bly’s Hulihee style beard.
The man with all the medals on his chest and hair on his lip is Lucius F. Hubbard. He was an orphan who moved to Red Wing, Minnesota at the age of 21. He joined the 5th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at the outbreak of the Civil War and in 1881 he was elected governor. The Minnesota county of Hubbard is named after him.
The man with the sideburns is Dorilus Morrison, the first (and third) mayor of Minneapolis and founder the Northwestern National Bank of Minneapolis which would later become Wells Fargo.
Last but not least, this photograph made by a Minneapolis Star-Tribune photographer in 1937 shows the world famous professional wrestler Farmer Tobin taking in a relaxing game of golf in Minnesota between bouts. He combined a 6 foot 7 inch frame with a tattoo collection and massive beard to make a formidable wrestling persona.