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Does anyone have any info on the pioneer behind the name of the Lester River?

My maiden name is Lester. Through the years we have been told of a great-great grandfather Albert Julius Lester, who fathered a son William O. Lester.

2 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 5 months ago

This topic has come up twice before on Perfect Duluth Day. The first time was in a 2011 post about a lost dog in the Lakeside neighborhood, and spun out of a discussion that resulted after the dog was found.

The second time was in the 2012 post "Who was Lester?"

The general belief is that the area is named for George V. Leicester (pronounced "Lester.") The evidence is somewhat compelling, but not super solid.

Duluth News Tribune
January 27, 1901, p. 16

Tony D.

about 5 months ago

Another issue with Mr. Leicester's claim is that he was just 17 years old in 1854 when he says he built his and Nettleton's cabins and it would be highly unlikely that he ventured to the wilderness by himself to set up a copper mine at that age. Further, the Nettletons had already established a trading post in "Duluth" by 1954 (when Mrs. Nettleton called the future city "a pile of rocks.") and Carlton's trading post was in Fond du Lac (part of the land he owned is now Chambers Grove), quite a distance from the Lester River. That means that if Stuntz's Point was indeed near Carlton's trading post, then Leicester's cabin would be about 20 miles away from the Lester River. So, as Paul suggests, there remains a lot of doubt as to the validity of Leicester's claim.

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