The Pioneer Jews of Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota was the northern-most steamboat landing on the Mississippi River.
It was there that the first Jewish pioneers created Mt. Zion Hebrew Congregation in 1856
Most of these early German Jewish pioneers became clothing and dry goods merchants, fur traders and cigar makers.
The Eastern European Jewish pioneers who arrived in the last 1880’s, became craftsmen on the new railroads, scrap metal dealers, and workers in garment factories.
Jewish pioneers spread into newer towns, such as Austin, Albert Lea, and Mankato, mostly as merchandisers of dry goods.
Once iron ore was discovered, Duluth’s Jewish population soared, reaching a peak of about 4,000.
New towns, such as Virginia, Hibbing, Chisholm, and Eveleth then flourished with Jewish merchants.