US Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District

St. Paul District History Books

Steward of Headwaters: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, 1975-2000

This book is the sequel to "Creativity, Conflict and Controversy." It covers the history of the St. Paul District from 1975 to 2000 and a little beyond and explores of the extension of the Corps' mission to include regulatory, cultural resources and environmental missions.

CITATION: Catton, Theodore and Matthew C. Godfrey. Steward of Headwaters: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, 1975-2000. St. Paul, Minnesota: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District, 2004.

Link (PDF)


Creativity, Conflict and Controversy: A History of the St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from 1866-1975

"The history of the St. Paul District is the history of the upper Midwest and its growth over more than century," according to Col. (Ret.) Forrest T. Gay, III, the district's 49th district engineer.

Published in 1979, the book examines the history of the district, starting with the area's exploration by the French and ending with the Corps' work up to the mid-1970s. Merritt details the major projects undertaken by the district, including dam construction on the waterways in the Upper Mississippi Valley.

But far from just a list of projects, the book examines the various conflicts and controversies surrounding the Corps, such as environmental issues. As Merritt wrote in the preface, "The current popular image of the Corps - good, bad or indifferent - is largely myth." By making this book available to the public through the internet, we hope to be able to inform the public of all the Corps has done for the Upper Mississippi Valley and the Corps' role in their lives.

CITATION: Merritt, Raymond H. Creativity, Conflict and Controversy: A History of the St. Paul District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1979.

Link (PDF)

Contact History Office

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
St. Paul District - History Office
180 5th St. E., Suite 700
St. Paul, MN 55101
Phone: (651) 290-5680
Fax: (651) 290-5752
cemvp-pa@usace.army.mil

Celebrating 150 years

two people sift dirt
Vice President Al Gore fills a sandbag at Breckenridge, Minn., April 11, 1997. --St. Paul District File Photo
Matt Bray and Tim Grundhoffer, engineering; Pete Corkin, Rock Island District; U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy; Col. Mike Wonsik, St. Paul District commander; and Maj. Gen. Russell Fuhrman, Mississippi Valley Division, at Breckenridge, Minn., during the floods of 1997. --USACE St. Paul District File Photo
Aerial photo of the flooded downtowns of Grand Forks, North Dakota, and East Grand Forks, Minnesota, on April 20, 1997. --USACE St. Paul District File Photo
President Bill Clinton hosts a press conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, April 21, 1997, after the city is inundated. --USACE St. Paul District file photo
Floodwaters inundate 4th Street N., downtown Grand Forks, N.D., April 25, 1987. The photo is looking towards Demers Avenue. The second, third and fourth buildings on the left hand side were torn down after the flood.  --USACE St. Paul District file photo
Aerial photo of downtown Grand Forks, North Dakota/East Grand Forks, Minnesota, taken April 20, 1997, after the cities were inundated. --USACE St. Paul District file photo
The St. Paul District kicked off its 2016 sesquicentennial celebration with an anniversary ball at the Lost Spur Golf Course in Eagan, Minnesota, Feb. 13. Hosted in the style of the military dining out, 208 people attended the event. Festivities included a social hour, formal program then dance. --USACE photo by Wendy Medlin
BRAINERD, Minn.—Rick Magee, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, sign program manager, discusses what life was like in the Headwaters region before the Corps built reservoirs. The Corps celebrated the 100th anniversary of the Gull Lake Dam, near Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 4, 2012.
The Dredge William A. Thompson leaves the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers service base in Fountain City, Wis., for the last time June 12. The Thompson’s new home will be with the Community Development Alternatives, Inc., in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Dredge William A. Thompson approaches Lock and Dam 5A, as it makes its way down the Upper Mississippi River for the last time June 12. After more than 80 years of service with the Corps, the Thompson will retire in Prairie du Chien, Wis.
Meeker Lock and Dam under construction Sept. 27, 1905.
St. Paul District Dredge William A. Thompson is launched at Dravo's shipyard in Pittsburgh, Penn.
St. Paul District Dredge William A. Thompson is launched at Dravo Corporation's shipyard in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Statue of General Gouverneur K. Warren at Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Statue of General Gouverneur K. Warren at Gettysburg National Battlefield.
Captain Hiram M. Chittenden’s served as temporary District Engineer for four months in 1901 during which time he gets credit for the conversion of Leech Lake Dam from a timber to a concrete structure and the design of Twin Cities Lock and Dam #2. Chittenden was assigned to St. Paul District for much of his career, more than those four brief months of command.
Henry Bosse was born in Prussia November 13th, 1844. He immigrated to the United States in 1865 and by 1870 was working in a book and stationary shop in Chicago.  He began working for the Corps of Engineers in Chicago in 1874 and was soon transferred to the Corps’ River and Harbor Improvement Office in St. Paul.  In 1878 he transferred to the Corps’ Rock Island District.
Lock and Dam 8, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1944.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin, circa 1941.
Lock and Dam 8, Genoa, Wisconsin
An 8-foot bronze statue of Maj. Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren, the district’s first commander, stands atop Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. Members of Warren’s Fifth New York Volunteers placed the statue at the site in 1888.
MCGREGOR, Minn. -- Members of the St. Croix Ojibwe Tribe launch their hand-made birchbark canoes at Big Sandy Lake, near McGregor, Minn., July 31. About 200 people gathered to remember the more than 400 Anishinaabe people that died during the winter of 1850-1851. (Photo by Patrick Moes)
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Nov. 21, 1935. Construction trestle completed.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Oct. 18, 19335. Plant layout and storage yards.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Oct. 23, 1935. Driving wood piling in spillway section.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Sept. 18, 1935. Top surface of land wall upstream from control station.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., April 3, 1934. General view southeast of coffer dam.
Construction of Lock and Dam 7 on the Upper Mississippi River in La Crescent, Minn., Jan. 31, 1934. View downstream.
Upper Mississippi River, Construction of Lock and Dam 7, view of site looking upstream. Photo taken Dec. 17, 1933.
Former Dredge Thompson at its new home on the Prairie du Chien, Wis., waterfront.