Homes and public institutions
The homes of Grand Rapids present a uniform appearance of thrift found in few western towns. Many of the buildings are of the most modern type, and the tidy aspect of the houses is emphasized by well kept grounds and an abundance of shrubbery.
This is one of the few towns in the state which began at the start to ornament its school grounds and other public places by planting shade trees, incidentally cultivating in the minds of the rising generation a taste which has been too often neglected or perverted. The parklike appearance of the school grounds distinguishes the place fully as much as its substantial brick school buildings. The schools are maintained at a high standard of attainments under the direction of superintendent Edward A. Freeman, who has been in charge since 1904. The high school annual, Pine Needles, ranks among the best publications of its class.
A number of tasty [sic.] churches, a hospital, a public library and numerous lodges and other progressive organizations reflect the enlightenment and culture of the inhabitants. The public library is an institution which merits special mention being, without doubt the best library in the state, built and equipped at the modest figure of $10,000, another evidence of the conservative but liberal spirit which directs the administration of public affairs.
The Itasca County Fair is held annually at Grand Rapids by an association which owns ample grounds, the natural beauty of which is being enhanced by judicious improvements, and the yearly exhibitions compare favorably with similar displays in other parts of the country.
Reishus-Remer Land Company
This organization carries on one of the most extensive real estate enterprises in northern Minnesota its operations extending through Itasca, Cass and Aitkin counties. The company deals in timber, mineral and farm lands, many of its transactions being done in large tracts while more or less lands are also sold to actual settlers.
The company’s investments usually include from 25,000 to 30,000 acres and a considerable commission business in lands is also done. Its holdings comprise more or less mineral lands in the vicinity of Grand Rapids and in the western part of Cass County. The Reishus-Remer Land Company was incorporated in 1901 and is capitalized at $50,000. Its officers are E. S. Reishus, president; E. N. Remer, treasurer and manager; and E. J. Farrell, secretary. Mr. Reishus is a resident of Cottonwood, Minnesota and the other officers are well known citizens of Grand Rapids.
Daniel M. Gunn, a leading citizen
One of the most influential and public spirited citizens of Itasca county is Senator D. M. Gunn, who represents this district in the upper house of the Minnesota Legislature at present and has filled numerous public trusts by the choice of his constituents in Grand Rapids and adjacent places.
Mr. Gunn was one of the pioneers of this town who began life in a humble capacity and has made rapid strides in ascending the ladder which leads to political, social and commercial success. He is perhaps most widely known as proprietor of the Pokegama Hotel, one of the most popular hostelries in Northern Minnesota, which he built in 1894 and has since conducted. It is one of the most conspicuous buildings in the town consisting of three stories and basement.
Mr. Gunn has been a proprietor of enterprises which have contributed toward the commercial supremacy of Grand Rapids. He is a director of the First National Bank of Grand Rapids and was one of the incorporators of the First National Bank of Coleraine and also of the First State Bank of Marble. He recently helped to organize the City Lumber Company at Grand Rapids and is interested in more or less enterprises in adjacent towns. He is also interested in the development of agriculture and stock breeding in this section of the state and has improved several fine farms near Grand Rapids.
One of his first official duties was in the capacity of chairman of the board of county commissioners, which position he filled for several years. He was elected as representative from this district in 1894 and reelected in 1896. In the fall of 1906, he was elected a member of the state senate, which office he now fills. He has been a lifelong Republican, and his influence is often felt in the party councils of this section of the state.
Source (text and images): Iron Ranges of Minnesota, an illustrated supplement to the Virginia Enterprise published in 1909, provided by the Virginia Area Historical Society.