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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10022
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10022

Title: Lulah Cavileer Papers

Dates: 1874-1930

Collection Number: 10022

Quantity: .25 feet

Abstract: Papers consist of diaries relating to family affairs, letters from Charles Cavileer, A. L. Larpenteur, Mary T. Hill, Louis B. Hanna, Tracy R. Bangs, W. C. Wardwell, and George B. Winship relating to personal and business affairs, newspaper clippings relating to the death of Charles Cavileer, notes, and a speech by Charles Cavileer.

Provenance: The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired this collection from Albert Cavileer on October 22, 1938.

Property Rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements are needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.


Lulah Belle Cavileer was born March 26, 1864, to Charles Turner Cavileer and Isabelle (Murray) Cavileer. Lulah was born at Kildouene (Kildonan), near Winnipeg, although her parents had established residence at Pembina, Dakota Territory. Educated at Pembina, then St. John’s Academy at Winnipeg, and finally at Carleton College in Northfield, MN, Ms. Cavileer specialized at painting and voice culture. Lulah Cavileer was a member of the Episcopal Church at Pembina for many years. She had four siblings, Sarah, who died in infancy, Edmund Kittson, William McMurray, and Albert Donald Cavileer. Lulah Cavileer passed away September 5, 1930, in Winnipeg, after treatment for cancer. She was survived by her brother, Albert, proprietor of the Cavalier Hotel, where Lulah spent the later years of her life.


Charles Turner Cavileer, known as “the father of Pembina,” was born in Springfield, Ohio, March 6, 1818, to Charles and Rachel (Trease) Cavileer, of Maine and Pennsylvania, respectively. At 17, Charles, moved to Mount Carmel, Wabash County, Illinois, where he learned the saddler’s trade. He worked there as a journeyman until 1841, when he moved to Minneapolis. In 1845, he established the Pioneer Harness Shop of the State of Minnesota at Red Rock near St. Paul. In 1848, with a Mr. Dewey, Charles Cavileer opened the first drug store in St. Paul and in the state. The same year, Cavileer was appointed the first territorial librarian by Governor Alexander Ramsey, a position he held until 1851, when President Fillmore appointed him the first collector of customs for the district of Minnesota.

Pembina was the port of entry for the district, and he arrived August 17, 1851. He engaged in the fur trade in 1853 with Norman W. Kittson and W. H. Forbes. For five years, he made regular trips to St. Paul with trains of from 80 to 100 Red River carts loaded with furs and pelts. These trips were long, tiring, and often dangerous. From 1864 to 1884 he was postmaster at Pembina; his son Edmund took over the position in 1884. The original plat of the city of Pembina was laid out by Charles Cavileer. In 1857, Charles Cavileer married Isabella Murray, who was 16 years old, of Scottish descent, daughter of Donald and Jean (Herron) Murray. They were the parents of two daughters and three sons: Sarah, who died in infancy, Edmund Kittson, William McMurray, Albert Donald, and Lulah Belle. Hon. Charles Cavileer died at Pembina July 28, 1902. The first permanent white settler in what is now North Dakota; Cavalier County was named for Charles T. Cavileer, as it was created from a part of Pembina County in 1873.


Box 1:
1 Correspondence and addressed envelopes (mostly to Lulah, but also to Charles and Isabella), 1886-1930
2 Diaries (three), 1888 & 1914-1915
3 Address delivered by Charles Cavileer before a meeting of old settlers at Grand Forks "the Red River Valley in 1851," December 10, 1891
4 Publication, baptism and confirmation certificates, card, post card, stock purchase form, address, business card, notes, boudoir perfume, church program (Pembina Community Church), 1874-1929
5 Newspaper clippings - obituaries of Mr. Charles Turner Cavileer, Mrs. (Isabella Murray) Charles Turner Cavileer and Edmund K. Cavileer (and photocopies), 1902-ca 1923
6 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings, 1920s

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