How the City of Proctor Got It’s Name
Did you know that Proctor actually got it’s name from a U.S. Representative from Kentucky?
James Proctor Knott was not only from Kentucky, a U.S. Representative from Kentucky, but he served as the 29th Governor of Kentucky from 1883 to 1887.
So how does a northern Minnesota town get named after a guy from Kentucky?
In 1871, he made a speech to introduce a bill to subsidize westward expansion of railroads. In the speech, later titled “The Untold Delights of Duluth” he highlighted the remote town of Duluth, Minnesota in an effort for the U.S. House of Representatives to decide whether federal lands should be given to the St. Croix and Lake Superior Railroad in order to build a new line that would run from Houlton, Wisconsin, on the St. Croix River, to Superior, Wisconsin and, as it happened, close by a scraggly Minnesota village of some three thousand people, called “Duluth.” Although a serious speech, he got quite a few (62 is the rumored number) laughs from those in attendance.
The Duluth speech was eventually reprinted in several publications and brought Knott national acclaim.
The City of Proctor was officially called “Proctorknott” until 1904 when it was shortened to Proctor. And that’s how the city of Proctor got it’s name!
That’s it for today’s history lesson kids!