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James Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

James Douglas (13 March 1821 - ) was a merchant and steamboat operator. He was born in Scotland and came with his parents to the United States in 1832, moving to Minnesota in 1871, and settling in Moorhead where he served as Moorhead’s first Postmaster.

In 1875, he built steamboats named the Manitoba and the Minnesota, the largest boats on the river at the time, for the Red River trade, and secured the building of a flouring mill.

The new steamboat line was called the Merchants International Line. It is reported that the Manitoba arrived in Winnipeg in May 1875 with 102 cabin passengers and 181 deck passengers. In addition, it carried 365 tons of freight. First class passenger fare (cabin and meals) was $24 in 1875. However, in that same year it was in a collison with a competotors steamboat and sank. Competition was short-lived as the two new boats were soon sold to the Red River Transportation Line.

The Douglas House, built by James and Wilhelmina Douglas in 1873 and occupied by them until 1887, still exists. Douglas, a Great Northern railway station two miles south of Georgetown was named in his honour being one of the first settlers of Moorhead.

He was brother of John Douglas, of St Paul

 

 

 

 

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Last modified: Saturday, 16 June 2018