Charles A. Pillsbury House, 2200 Stevens Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Razed)

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Charles A. Pillsbury House

ca. 1900
Before demolition, 1937
Address: 2200 Stevens Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Whitter, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1883
Year razed: 1937
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Stone

Whitter Minneapolis Hennepin

Charles A. Pillsbury House, 2200 Stevens Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Razed)
(44.960876° N, 93.275288° WLatitude: 44°57′39.154″N
Longitude: 93°16′31.037″W

The First Christian Church now stands on the site of the former Johnson/Pillsbury House.

The Charles A. Pillsbury residence was originally built for John W. Johnson in 1883 by the architectural firm of Kees & Fisk. Johnson lived in the house for only two years before selling it to Pillsbury.

Charles A. Pillsbury ( -1899,) along with his uncle John S. Pillsbury, was the founder of the flour milling company that grew to be the largest in the world. When Charles A. Pillsbury died, he left the mansion to his twin sons, John S. Pillsbury and Charles S. Pillsbury.

According to legend, the two brothers decided to avoid a family dispute by tossing a coin to decide who would be the sole owner of the house. John Pillsbury won, and Charles S. Pillsbury built a house across 22nd Street, which still stands.

The Johnson-Pillsbury House was razed in 1937 and the site remained vacant until the First Christian Church was built in 1954.

Charles A. Pillsbury Bio

Charles A. Pillsbury (1842-1899) paid $10,000 in 1869 for a one-third interesting a five year-old Minneapolis flourmill. His father, George A. Pillsbury, and his uncle, John S. Pillsbury, staked him. By investing in new machinery that was able to process hard spring wheat into fine white flour, the Pillsburys built a prosperous business.

Also in 1869, Charles Pillsbury joined Cadwalader Washburn, the founder of the company that became General Mills, formed a millers' buying pool, despite the two men being competitors. In 1872, Pillsbury began adding four "X"s to its "Best Flour" packaging, one more "X" than the traditional marks for the highest grade flour. Pillsbury constructed the Pillsbury "A" mill between 1879 and 1881, which was the world's largest mill at the time and set a one day production record of 5,107 barrels of flour in 1882. By 1886, the C. A. Pillsbury Company was doing a $15 million per year business and was the largest milling company in the world.

In 1887, Charles Pillsbury purchased the first Humphrey manlift, a wood frame belt driven elevator device invented by Seth Humphrey of South Dakota and then Faribault, for the Pillsbury "A" Mill.

In 1889, the 20 year-old Pillsbury firm passed into the hands of an English financial syndicate and merged into Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills, including the brother of Cadwalader Washburn. Charles Pillsbury stayed on as managing director but died at the age of 57. Pillsbury-Washburn floundered in 1907 because of bad crops and it fell into receivership. One year later, a leasing company, Pillsbury Flour Mills, was organized. Three of the Pillsbury family were active in the new Pillsbury management, Alfred F. Pillsbury, Charles S. Pillsbury, and John S. Pillsbury. By 1927, Pillsbury became a public company and was first traded on the New York Stock Exchange. The Pillsbury "A" Mill, where Pillsbury’s Best bread flour is milled and various animal feeds are made, is the oldest operating flour mill in Minneapolis. [1]


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