Knute Nelson, illegitimate son of a destitute Norwegian woman, shaped the state, nation, and the philosophy of Minnesota.
Nelson served as a Civil War soldier, county attorney, governor, and U.S. senator. Although a Republican, he rewrote the Bankruptcy Laws, referred to for many years as the "Nelson Laws," to help the poor. He walked a tightrope between the moneyed railroad interests and poor farmers, to help both and bolster a prosperous state while defending the poor. But for his Norwegian birth, he was to be president of the United States.
~Neil Simonson, Morris, MN