Northern States Power Company (Minnesota)

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Northern States Power Company (Minnesota) (NSP) was a Minneapolis-based, publicly held energy company. (After about 2000 it was known as Xcel Energy.) It generated, transmitted, and distributed electrical power and natural gas to customers in Minnesota and in North and South Dakota. A related company, Northern States Power Company (Wisconsin), served customers in Wisconsin and in Upper Peninsula Michigan. Northern States Power Company had its beginnings as the Washington County Light and Power Company (Stillwater, Minn.), organized in June 1909 by entrepreneur Henry Marison Byllesby (ca.1859-1924). Byllesby was at one time a draftsman for inventor Thomas Alva Edison. The company's name was changed later that year to Consumers Power Company, and in 1916 to Northern States Power Company. Byllesby's strategy was to purchase, rehabilitate, and build public utility properties. The company grew steadily through a series of mergers and acquisitions (including 42 companies in just 7 years during the 1920s) under Byllesby's leadership. Some of these firms date back to the 1850s.

The Minneapolis Mill Company and the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company, which figure largely in this collection, were formed by the various owners of water power rights at the Falls of St. Anthony in order to equitably apportion the river water available to the mills and other users at the falls. Both were chartered in 1856 and, while separate corporate entities, they were for most of their existence jointly operated by the same management. These firms leased water for power to the various users in units known as "mill powers." A mill power was the quantity of water required to develop about 75 theoretical horsepower. Mill powers were leased to the users at annual rentals ranging from $100 to $1500 per mill power.

The St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company, based on the east bank of the Mississippi River, was incorporated in 1856, although it had been operating informally for a few years prior to that. Incorporators included Franklin Steele, Thomas E. Davis, John F. A. Sanford, Frederick C. Gebhard, Richard Chute, and John S. Prince. It received its charter from the Minnesota Territorial Legislature on February 26, 1856. The company controlled the water power on the east side of the Mississippi River at the Falls of St. Anthony. The east bank land was at that time owned by Steele, Davis, Sanford, and Gebhard. Chute of Minneapolis and John S. Prince of St. Paul purchased a one-eighth interest in the property from Steele. Chute's interest in the company eventually grew much larger, and by 1875 he and his brother Samuel held a one-half interest in the company. Between 1868 and 1880 a dam was built, sawmills erected, flumes excavated, and mills and factories located on the east bank of the river. The Chute brothers sold the stock of the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company to James J. Hill and his Great Northern Railway Company associates in 1880. Hill managed and controlled the company until it was merged into the Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company in 1889. The company was granted an electrical franchise by the city of Minneapolis in August 1896 to engage in the electric utility business. In 1895 it began to construct a Lower Dam and hydroelectric power generating station, which was leased by the Twin City Rapid Transit Company to help power its street car lines. Electric power was first generated in this plant on November 12, 1897. In 1908 the company completed its new Hennepin Island Plant, another hydroelectric facility leased by the Twin City Rapid Transit Company.

The Minneapolis Mill Company, based on the west bank of the river, was chartered by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature on February 27, 1856. Incorporators included Robert Smith (president), George E. Huy (secretary), D. Morrision (treasurer), Roswell P. Russell, M. S. Olds, and Jacob Elliott. The company constructed a log dam from the west bank of the Mississippi eastward to meet the dam of the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company in 1956-1857. Most of the flour mills and saw mills along the west bank took water from a canal built in 1857-1865 (deepened in 1885), discharging it back into the river through tunnels and tail races below.

Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company, Ltd., was formed in the Fall of 1889 and became the property of a London syndicate. The syndicate also purchased the St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company and the Minneapolis Mill Company, and operated them as separate companies under one management. Pillsbury-Washburn went into bankruptcy in 1908 and, following a long receivership, its assets were acquired by the Pillsbury Flour Mills Company in 1923. These assets included the two water power companies. On December 23, 1923 the water power companies were both sold by Pillsbury to Northern States Securities Corporation, a subsidiary of Northern States Power Company. Northern States Securities was dissolved in 1937, and the two water power companies became direct subsidiaries of Northern States Power Company (Minnesota).

Most of the information on the water power companies was taken from Herbert W. Meyer, History of St. Anthony Falls Water Power Co. and Minneapolis Mill Co. .

From the guide to the Records of predecessor companies., 1856-1983 (bulk 1879-1948)., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. MPIRG records, 1970-1982, 1992. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Energy Division. Administrative hearings files, 1980-1981. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Public Service Division. Litigation files, 1975-1983. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn MPIRG records., 1970-1982, 1992. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Northern States Power Company (Minnesota). [Pamphlets. Financial history.]. Yale University Library
referencedIn Coalition to Advocate Public Utility Responsibility (Minn.). Organization records, 1970-1977. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Environmental Quality Board Division. Litigation files, 1975-1984. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Division of Parks and Recreation. Upper St. Croix River Project files, 1967-1978. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Energy Division. Litigation files, 1980-1983. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minneapolis (Minn.). Office of the Mayor. Fraser (Donald M.) subject files, 1979-1994. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn United Handicapped Federation. United Handicapped Federation records, 1973-1993. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Pamphlets relating to nuclear power plants in Minnesota, 1967- Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Minnesota. Governor (1971-1976 : Anderson). Miscellaneous records, [1975]. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Munger, Willard. Willard Munger papers, 1959-1999 (bulk 1980s-1990s). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota Environmental Control Citizens Association. MECCA records, 1958-2004. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Northern States Power [graphic], 1920-1926. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Minnesota. Dept. of Public Service. Certificate of need applications, 1975-1978. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Northern States Power Company (Minnesota). Records of predecessor companies, 1856-1983 (bulk 1879-1948). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Litigation files., 1961-1992. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Davis, Kellogg & Severance (Saint Paul, Minn.). Law firm records, 1878-1941. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota Association of Cooperatives. Association records, 1943-1996. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn MECCA records., 1958-2004. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Central Council of District Clubs (Saint Paul, Minn.). Organization records, 1928-1940. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Issel, Carl. Carl Issel papers, 1923-1959. State Historical Society of North Dakota State Archives
referencedIn Hill, Hibbert. 1900-. Hibbert Mosse Hill and Rachel Hanna Hill family papers, 1830-2004 (bulk 1900-1996). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn King, Allen Stewart, 1900-1979. Allen S. King papers, 1915-1979. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Save the Saint Croix (Hudson, Wis.). Save the Saint Croix records, 1962-1968. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Meter, Kenneth. Newspaper clippings regarding Northern States Power Company, 1970-1974. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Division of Water Quality. Hearing files, 1946-1975. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press (Saint Paul, Minn.). Historical materials, 1862-2001 (bulk 1862-1948). Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. Litigation files, 1953-1987 (bulk 1970-1980). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Wadley, Denis. Minnesota ADA Chapter files and related papers, 1948-1984. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. Miscellaneous records, 1980-1982. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. Subject files, 1970-1987. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Dunn, James Taylor. James Taylor Dunn and family papers, 1813-2000 (bulk 1860-2000). Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Northern States Power Company (Minnesota). American bald eagle at Poynette state game farm photographs, circa 1967. Wisconsin Historical Society, Newspaper Project
creatorOf Records of predecessor companies., 1856-1983 (bulk 1879-1948). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Saint Paul (Minn.). Office of the City Attorney. Commodore Hotel fire litigation files, 1978-1983. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Council for Corporate Review. Organization records, 1967-1976. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Historical materials., 1862-2001 (bulk 1862-1948). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. Hearing records concerning Northern States Power Company's Prairie Island plant, 1980. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Association records., 1943-1996. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn St. Croix River Association. Association records, 1917-1988. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Administrative proceedings files., 1948-1990 (bulk 1970-1990). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Leventhal, Larry. Larry Leventhal Lac Courte Oreilles-Northern States Power Legal papers, 1920-1986. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, McIntyre Library
referencedIn Papers., 1959-1999 (bulk 1980s-1990s). Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Grove and Greenwald Lighting and Power Company (Meire Grove, Minn.). Company records, 1915-1928. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Wolverton (Minn.). Records, 1913-1982. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Lloyd Lyman Smith, Jr. Papers, 1937-1979 University of Minnesota Libraries. University Archives [uarc]
referencedIn Law firm records., 1878-1941. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Administrative rules proceedings files., 1968-1993. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. Hearing litigation files, 1971-1984. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Minnesota. Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, and Landscape Architecture. Complaint files, 1925-1983. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Webber, C. C. (Charles C.), 1859-1944. Charles C. Webber papers, 1915-1938. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Minnesota. Division of Environmental Health. Environmental quality review files, 1959-1986. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
referencedIn Hibbert Mosse Hill and Rachel Hanna Hill family papers., 1830-2004 (bulk 1900-1996). Minnesota Historical Society
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Baker, J. T. fl.1899. person
associatedWith Baker, J. T. (John T.), fl. 1899 person
associatedWith Butterworth, Eli, 1866-1947. person
associatedWith Central Council of District Clubs (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Coalition to Advocate Public Utility Responsibility (Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Consumers Power Company (Minnesota). corporateBody
associatedWith Council for Corporate Review. corporateBody
associatedWith Davis, Kellogg & Severance (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith De la Barre, William, 1849-1936. person
associatedWith Dunn, James Taylor. person
associatedWith Edison Light & Electric Power Company (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Farquhar, F. U. person
associatedWith Farquhar, F. U. person
associatedWith Ferriday, C. V. (Charles V.), fl. 1899 person
associatedWith Ferriday, C. V. fl.1899. person
associatedWith Grove and Greenwald Lighting and Power Company (Meire Grove, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Hennepin Island Plant (Northern States Power Company (Minnesota). corporateBody
associatedWith Hibbard, C. J. person
associatedWith Hill, Hibbert. 1900- person
associatedWith Hill, Hibbert Winston, 1871-1947 person
associatedWith Howe, T. P. A. fl.1899. person
associatedWith Howe, T. P. A. (Thomas P. A.), fl. 1889 person
associatedWith Hunt, C. A. (Charles A.), fl. 1896 person
associatedWith Hunt, C. A. fl.1896. person
associatedWith Issel, Carl. person
associatedWith King, Allen Stewart, 1900-1979. person
associatedWith Leventhal, Larry. person
associatedWith Meter, Kenneth. person
associatedWith Minneapolis Mill Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Minneapolis (Minn.). Office of the Mayor. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Association of Cooperatives. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Energy Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Energy Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Environmental Protection Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Environmental Quality Board Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Pollution Control Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Attorney General. Public Service Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Board of Architecture, Engineering, Land Surveying, and Landscape Architecture. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Dept. of Public Service. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Division of Environmental Health. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Division of Parks and Recreation. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Environmental Control Citizens Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Environmental Quality Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota. Governor (1971-1976 : Anderson). corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Division of Water Quality. corporateBody
associatedWith Minnesota Public Interest Research Group. corporateBody
associatedWith Moore, A. R. person
associatedWith Moore, A. R. (Adelbert R.). person
associatedWith Munger, Willard. person
associatedWith Northern Heating & Electric Company (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Northwest Light & Power Company (Hutchinson, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Pillsbury-Washburn Flour Mills Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Plank, C. E. person
associatedWith Plank, C. E. person
associatedWith Rickey, J. W. fl.1899. person
associatedWith Rickey, J. W. (James W.), fl. 1899 person
associatedWith Saint Paul (Minn.). Office of the City Attorney. corporateBody
associatedWith Save the Saint Croix (Hudson, Wis.). corporateBody
associatedWith Smith, Lloyd Lyman, 1909- person
associatedWith Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Anthony Falls Water Power Company. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Croix River Association. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith St. Paul Dispatch-Pioneer Press (Saint Paul, Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith St. Paul Gas Light Company. corporateBody
associatedWith St. Paul Gas Light Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas, Ralph D. d.1949. person
associatedWith United Handicapped Federation. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. Engineer Office. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Army. Corps of Engineers. St. Paul District. corporateBody
associatedWith Wadley, Denis. person
associatedWith Webber, C. C. (Charles C.), 1859-1944. person
associatedWith Wisconsin. State Game Farm. corporateBody
associatedWith Wolverton (Minn.). corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Minneapolis (Minn.).
Minnesota--Becker
Mississippi River
Saint Anthony Falls Historic District (Minneapolis, Minn.).
Saint Anthony Falls (Minn.).
Minneapolis (Minn.)
Anoka (Minn.).
Minnesota--Monticello
Mississippi River
Anoka (Minn.)
Minnesota
Minnesota--Minneapolis
Wisconsin
Saint Anthony Falls (Minn.)
Subject
Public utilities--Accounting
Water-power
Waterfalls
Public utilities--Minnesota--Accounting
Lumber trade
Flour mills
Hydroelectric power plants--Finance
Waterfalls--Minnesota
Wheat--Storage
Dams--Minnesota
Lumber trade--Minnesota
Nuclear power plants
Water levels--Mississippi River
Water-power--Minnesota--Minneapolis
Flour mills--Minnesota--Minneapolis
Grain elevators--Minnesota
Hydroelectric power plants--Minnesota--Finance
Gas companies--Accounting
Gas companies--Minnesota--Accounting
Electric utilities--Minnesota--Accounting
Nuclear power plants--Minnesota--Monticello
Grain elevators
Coal-fired power plants--Minnesota--Becker
Wheat--Minnesota--Storage
Electric utilities--Accounting
Bald eagle
Coal-fired power plants
Dams
Water levels
Occupation
Civil engineers--Minnesota--Minneapolis
Activity
Civil engineers--Minnesota--Minneapolis
Accounting

Corporate Body

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