Dunn, James Taylor

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James Taylor Dunn was born in St. Paul in 1912, the third and youngest son of Alice Monfort and John Warner Grigg Dunn. He attended Saint Paul Academy from 1921 to 1930 and graduated from the Milford School (Milford, Conn.) in 1932. He pursued his college education at Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y., 1932-1936).

In 1936, Dunn and his two brothers started Globe, a magazine devoted to "travel, romance, adventure, and world interest." Despite contributions from such well-known authors as Ludwig Bemelmans, Vardis Fisher, Langston Hughes, Harrison Salisbury, William Saroyan, Jesse Stuart, William Carlos Williams, and Ezra Pound, Globe folded in 1938 due to editorial and financial difficulties.

After the demise of Globe, Dunn continued his education, earning a degree in library science from Syracuse University (N.Y.) in 1939. After a brief stint at the University of California at Berkeley, he took positions in the public libraries of Chemung County and Olean, New York.

Dunn's library career was temporarily interrupted by World War II. In 1942, Dunn was inducted into the U.S. Army and served as second and first lieutenant with an antiaircraft battalion in the United States. He went overseas in February 1944 and saw action in England, France, and Germany before returning to the United States in December 1945.

During his military service in Europe, Dunn met Marie-Catherine Bach, a native of Luxembourg. The couple were married in 1946 and settled in Cooperstown, where Dunn resumed his work as head librarian of Olean Public Library and later moved on to the New York State Historical Association. Dunn moved back to Minnesota in 1955, when he became chief librarian at the Minnesota Historical Society, where he worked until his retirement in 1972.

Throughout his life Dunn sustained a deep love for the St. Croix River Valley, inspired, perhaps, by the many happy days spent at the family summer home in Marine on St. Croix (donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota in 1999) during his youth. Like his father, he became dedicated to the protection and preservation of the St. Croix River area, and he served on a number of committees devoted to that purpose. In 1965 he published The St. Croix: Midwest Border River and later published several histories of the town of Marine on St. Croix, along with numerous articles and booklets about the region.

Dunn was an avid genealogist and conducted thorough research on his family history. He took a particular interest in his great aunt, Elizabeth Taylor, an artist and writer who traveled extensively, living for ten years in the remote Faroe Islands. Dunn collected and edited her writings, which he compiled in a volume he titled "Elizabeth and the Far Islands: Ten Years on the Faroes." After a 17-year search for a publisher, the book, now titled The Far Islands and Other Cold Places: Travel Essays of a Victorian Lady, was published by Pogo Press in 1997. Dunn's tenacity was rewarded in 1998 when he received the Minnesota Book Award for Personal Papers.

John Grigg, born in Cornwall, England, joined the Benjamin Johnson Book Sellers firm in 1816, eight years after its founding by Johnson and Benjamin Warner. When Warner died in 1823, Grigg expanded the firm to include publication of medical texts and it became one of the largest publishing firms in Philadelphia. In 1850 Grigg sold the firm to J. B. Lippincott.

Nathaniel Pitt Langford was born in New York state (1832) and came to St. Paul in 1854, entering the banking field. He lived in Montana (1864-1868), and was on the expedition that discovered the Yellowstone Park area (1870). Langford authored two books on the Yellowstone and died in St. Paul in 1911.

Chloe Sweeting Langford was born in New York state (1794); married George Langford (1814), another member of the Langford family; and died in St. Paul (1888). Their daughter Chloe (b. 1821) married James Wickes Taylor.

James Wickes Taylor was born in New York state (1918); graduated from Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.); and was a lawyer by profession. He came to St. Paul in 1856 and was appointed U.S. Consul at Winnipeg, Canada (1870), remaining in that position until his death in 1893.

Elizabeth Taylor, daughter of James Wickes Taylor, was born in 1853. She never married, but traveled extensively in Canada and Europe. In the 1880s and the 1890s she made two journeys on the Nipigon and MacKenzie rivers in Canada and visited a number of European countries, residing for a while in England. She also visited Iceland and lived for more than ten years on the Faroe Islands, where she was interned during World War I, finally returning to the U.S. in the 1920s. From that time until her death in 1932, Taylor lived at "Wake Robin," a cabin she had built near Rochester, Vermont. She was an artist and writer, and a number of her descriptive writings were published in outdoor and nature magazines as well as in Atlantic Monthly and Forum.

Charles Junius Monfort was born in 1841 in New York state and came to Minnesota in the early 1860s. After serving as clerk to the paymaster, Department of Dakota, during the Civil War, he operated a grocery business (1867 to the 1880s) and later became the proprietor of the Windsor Hotel in St. Paul. He married Alice Taylor (daughter of James Wickes Taylor and sister of Elizabeth Taylor) in 1871.

Alice Monfort, daughter of Charles and Alice Monfort, was born in St. Paul in 1872. She married John Warner Grigg Dunn in 1902 and the couple had three sons. Alice Monfort died in 1954.

John Warner Grigg Dunn was born in Pennsylvania (1869) and came to Minnesota in the early 1890s. He was a sportsman and authored numerous articles on outdoor life. He was also interested in horticulture and maintained extensive gardens in his homes in St. Paul and Marine on St. Croix. His interest in the St. Croix River Valley prompted him to build a home in Marine. "Pine Needles" became the family summer home and was maintained by family members until 1998, when the property was donated to the Science Museum of Minnesota. Dunn married Alice Monfort in 1902 and had three sons: John Warner Grigg, Jr., Montfort (baptized Monfort), and James Taylor. Dunn died in St. Paul in 1941.

John Warner Grigg Dunn, Jr. ("Jack") was born in St. Paul (1903). He graduated from Stanford University (1929), where he studied journalism, and for three years served in the Merchant Marines. From 1931 to 1933 he traveled extensively in Europe, visiting almost every country. In 1937 he and his two brothers started at travel magazine, Globe, which lasted until 1941. Dunn served in the U.S. Naval Intelligence during World War II and then resumed his travels, mainly in Mexico and other Latin American countries. He authored a number of travel guides to those countries, wrote newspaper articles on them, and lived a part of each year in Mexico. He died in St. Paul in 1975.

Montfort Dunn was born in St. Paul in 1907 and graduated from Yale University in 1930. After studying art in Paris under Amédée-Julien Ozenfant and Louis Marcoussi during the early 1930s, he returned to St. Paul to become art director of Globe magazine. In the 1940s and 1950s, he served as gallery director for the St. Paul Gallery and School of Art and the University Gallery in Minneapolis.

From the guide to the James Taylor Dunn and family papers, 1813-2000 (bulk 1860-2000)., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf St. Croix River Association. Association records, 1917-1988. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Marshall, George. 456th Antiaircraft Artillery Automatic Weapons Batallion collection, 1939-2009. University of Georgia, University of Georgia, Main Library
creatorOf Dunn, James Taylor. James Taylor Dunn and family papers, 1813-2000 (bulk 1860-2000). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn St. Croix River Association records., 1917-1988. Minnesota Historical Society.
creatorOf Dunn, James Taylor. Journal of trip to Cornwall & England, May 6 - June 3 1980. University of St Thomas, UST
creatorOf Saroyan, William, 1908-1981. Correspondence with James Taylor Dunn, 1936-1979. UC Berkeley Libraries
creatorOf James Taylor Dunn and family papers, 1813-2000 (bulk 1860-2000). Minnesota Historical Society.
creatorOf Oxford Skating Club (Saint Paul, Minn.). Membership records, 1921-1927. Minnesota Historical Society Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Adams, Samuel Hopkins, 1871-1958. person
associatedWith Biegler, C. A. person
associatedWith Biegler, C. A. person
associatedWith Curran family. family
associatedWith Curran family. family
associatedWith Draper, Nelson Cutler, 1835-1883. person
associatedWith Dunn, Alice Monfort, 1872-1954. person
associatedWith Dunn family. family
associatedWith Dunn family. family
associatedWith Dunn, John W. G. (John Warner Grigg), 1869-1941. person
associatedWith Dunn, J. W. G. (John Warner Grigg), 1903-1975. person
associatedWith Dunn, Montfort. person
associatedWith Dunn, Montfort. person
associatedWith Elwell, Tallmadge, 1828-1903. person
associatedWith Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940. person
associatedWith Garrett family. family
associatedWith Garrett family. family
associatedWith Gaskill, James R. M. person
associatedWith Gaskill, James R. M. person
associatedWith Grigg family. family
associatedWith Grigg family. family
associatedWith Grigg, John, 1792-1864. person
associatedWith Hall family. family
associatedWith Hall family. family
associatedWith Hamilton College (Clinton, N.Y.). Emerson Literary Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Henry Miller Literary Society (Minneapolis, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Hoffmann, Heinrich, 1809-1894. person
associatedWith Langford family. family
associatedWith Langford family. family
associatedWith Lindquist, C. G. person
associatedWith Lindquist, C. G. person
associatedWith Marine Cornet Band. corporateBody
associatedWith Marine Cornet Band. corporateBody
associatedWith Milford Academy (Milford, Conn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Historical Society. corporateBody
associatedWith Monfort family. family
associatedWith Monfort family. family
associatedWith Northern States Power Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Northern States Power Company (Minnesota). corporateBody
associatedWith Oxford Skating Club (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972. person
associatedWith Research Foundation for World Peace Through Tourism (Saint Paul, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith Rydquist, Ludwig. person
associatedWith Rydquist, Ludwig. person
associatedWith Saint Paul Gallery and School of Art. corporateBody
associatedWith Saroyan, William, 1908-1981. person
associatedWith Schubert Club (Saint Paul, Minn.) corporateBody
associatedWith St. Croix River Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Sweeting family. family
associatedWith Sweeting family. family
associatedWith Taylor, Elizabeth, 1856-1932. person
associatedWith Taylor family. family
associatedWith Taylor family. family
associatedWith Taylor, James W. (James Wickes), 1819-1893. person
associatedWith Wickman, Bertram. person
associatedWith Wickman, Bertram. person
associatedWith Zeppelin family. family
associatedWith Zeppelin family. family
Place Name Admin Code Country
Saint Croix River (Wis. and Minn.)
Marine Mills (Minn.)
Marine on Saint Croix (Minn.)
Canada
Cornwall (England : County)
Faroe Islands
Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Minnesota--Saint Paul
Africa, North
Faroe Islands
Alaska
Luxembourg
Normandy
Canada
England
Irvine Park Neighborhood (Saint Paul, Minn.)
Luxembourg
Occupied territories
New York (State)
New York (State)--Clinton
Saint Croix River Valley (Wis. and Minn.)
Africa, North
Irvine Park (Saint Paul, Minn.).
United States
Alaska
Minnesota
Subject
World War, 1939-1945
National socialism and literature
Fishing--United States
Women travelers
Air defenses
Gardening
Libraries
Book industries and trade
Tourism
Students--New York--Conduct of life
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
Libraries--Minnesota
World War, 1939-1945--Normandy
Manuscript preparation (Authorship)
Periodicals--Publishing--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Exiles' writings
Inventions
Book industries and trade--Pennsylvania--Philadelphia
Art schools
Universities and colleges
Hunting--United States
Maple syrup
World War, 1939-1945--Antiaircraft artillery operations
Universities and colleges--New York--Clinton
Students--Conduct of life
Environmental protection
Gardening--Minnesota
Inventions--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Fishing
Air defenses--United States
Hunting
Music
Steam power plants--Minnesota--Saint Croix River
Women authors
Music--Minnesota
Literature publishing
Art schools--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Libraries--New York
Periodicals--Publishing
Journalism--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Environmental protection--Minnesota--Saint Croix River
Journalism
Literature publishing--Minnesota--Saint Paul
World War, 1939-1945--Occupied territories
Outdoor life
Steam power plants
Occupation
Art school directors--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Librarians--Minnesota
Editors--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Inventors--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Librarians--New York (State)
Journalists--Minnesota--Saint Paul
Function

Person

Birth 1912

English,

French

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