Maginnis, Martin, 1841-1919Alternative names
Martin Maginnis was born near Pultneyville, New York on October 27, 1841 to Patrick and Winifred Devine Maginnis, He moved to Minnesota with his parents in 1852 where he eventually became a newspaper editor. During the Civil War, Maginnis enlisted as a private in the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, eventually reaching the rank of major in the 11th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. He moved to Montana Territory with his brothers in 1866 where he tried his hand at mining and returned to newspaper work in Helena. In the election of 1872, Maginnis won the position of territorial representative to the United States House of Representatives where he served until 1885. He also served as the Montana State Commissioner of Mineral Land from 1890 to 1893. Maginnis eventually moved to Los Angeles, California where he died on March 27, 1919
From the guide to the Martin Maginnis Incoming Correspondence Transcriptions, 1964, (Montana State University-Bozeman Library, Merrill G Burlingame Special Collections)
Montana journalist and territorial delegate to Congress.
Martin Maginnis was born in western New York in 1841. The family later moved to a farm in Minnesota. Maginnis served in a Minnesota regiment in the Civil War, rising from sergeant to major. After the war, Maginnis joined the gold rush, arriving in Helena, Montana Territory, in Sept. 1866. Finding little success as a gold prospector, he turned to journalism. In partnership with others, he published the Rocky Mountain Gazette, which later became the Helena Independent. In 1872, Maginnis was elected Montana's territorial delegate to Congress. After his retirement from Congress in 1885, Maginnis continued his political activity as a delegate to the 1889 Constitutional Convention and as an unsuccessful candidate for Montana's first U.S. senatorship. Maginnis later served as U.S. Mineral Land Commissioner. Martin Maginnis died in 1919 in California.
From the description of Martin Maginnis papers, 1864-1912. (Montana Historical Society Library). WorldCat record id: 154692664
Martin Maginnis was born in western New York on October 27, 1841, the son of Irish immigrant parents. He later moved with his parents to a farm in Minnesota. After finishing school, Maginnis started work as a newspaperman on the Redwing Sentinel.
In response to President Lincoln's first call for volunteers, Maginnis joined the First Minnesota Infantry Regiment as a sergeant. He served with his regiment in the battles of First and Second Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and others. By the time of his discharge at the end of the war, he had risen to the rank of major.
After a brief return to his newspaper career in Minnesota, Maginnis joined the gold rush, arriving in Helena, Montana Territory, in September 1866. Finding little success as a gold prospector, he resumed his journalism career. In partnership with others, he published the Rocky Mountain Gazette, which later became the Helena Independent.
In 1872, Maginnis, a Democrat, was elected Montana's territorial delegate to Congress. As a non-voting delegate, he promoted military expansion, reduction of the size of Montana's Indian reservations, railroad building, and land and timber laws to encourage settlement of Montana. After his retirement from Congress in 1885, Maginnis continued his political activity as a delegate to the 1889 Constitutional Convention and as an unsuccessful candidate for Montana's first U.S. Senator. He and William A. Clark were defeated by Republicans Wilbur F. Sanders and Thomas C. Power. Maginnis later served as U.S. Mineral Land Commissioner. In this position, he was successful in preventing the railroad land grants from including mineral rights. These rights were reserved by the federal government for individual developers.
Martin Maginnis died in 1919 in California.
From the guide to the Martin Maginnis Papers, 1864-1912, (Montana Historical Society Archives)
- Indian reservations
- Public contracts--Montana
- Public lands--Montana
- Railroads--Design and construction
- Indians of North America
- Patronage, Political--Montana
- Parks and Playgrounds
- Government contractors--Montana
- Civic Activism
- Indians of North America--Government relations-1869-1934
- Representatives, U.S. Congress--Montana--Correspondence
- Indians of North America--Land tenure
- Government and Politics
- Native Americans
- Military Bases
- Territorial Government
- Indians of North America--Government relations
- Indians of North America--Montana
- Railroads and state
- Trading Posts
- Crow Indians--Government relations
- Mines and mineral resources--Montana
- United States (as recorded)
- Helena (Mont.) (as recorded)
- Montana (as recorded)
- United States (as recorded)
- Montana-Politics and government-19th century (as recorded)
- United States-Politics and government-1865-1883 (as recorded)
- Yellowstone National Park (as recorded)