Andre Jerome is probably one of the most outstanding men to develop Kittson County. He was the first man to settle in the Kittson County and he helped to develop it. He was very heroic, for he suffered at the hands of the British because he took part in activities with Louis Riel. Riel was a revolutionist fighting against the British hold in the Canadian Territory.
Andre's life begins far, far before all those events took place. He was one of a family of seven brothers that weren't about to baby him. Andre, himself, was born near Fort Garry in 1821. Andre had a hard childhood, being of a poor family, but he made it to grow to a young man.
Andre and his brothers were of mixed blood. His mother being of Cree Indian and his father being of French blood. Andre and his seven brothers inherited the intelligence and courage of their father and the skill and cunning of the redman, of which their mother taught them.
Early in life, Andre and his brothers chose their professions. Having the skills of redmen they became voyageurs and scouts. The seven brothers left home and went all over the country, gaining recognition of being great scouts and voyageurs.
Andre got married as a young man. He married a certain Miss Goslin of Kittson County, but Kittson County was not a county as of yet. Miss Goslin was a woman of simple background and of a sturdy body and mind. She was a woman that was hard working and able to take care of Andre and their six children. In all, they were very happily married. But things did get a little tough when Andre had to go out and scout to earn the money that they needed, but they got through these hardships.
Andre, when not at home, was a scout and a messenger for the Hudsons Bay company. This is how he earned his living.
When he wasn't scouting for the Hudsons Bay Company, he was carrying messages and scouting for the American Fur Company.
In 1862, when the Indians attacked settlers and killed them, after supposedly being under a peace treaty on a reservation, Andre proved to be very important to the government. Andre being of Indian blood himself was able to talk to the Indians and try to convince them that they were wrong. He talked to them many times, but he couldn't convince them. As a last resort, he had to call for military help to help suppress them.
Andre also took active part in the revolution against the British government in Canada. Andre followed Louis Riel in his fight against the British crown. Andre did this and was captured by the British. He was sent to Stoney Mountain penitentiary in Manitoba to be imprisoned. Here he was treated very badly. He was put through a sweat process, under which he was bridled like a horse and forced to work in the stone quarries. This cruelty was done to him to make him tell where his leader's secret operations were. He never told and stood the hardships until his release in 1873.
Andre knew everything that there was to know about Northwestern Minnesota. He knew the Indian languages of many leading tribes in Minnesota.
There is no better way to describe Andre Jerome, as those words of J. E. Bouvette "The vast Northwest lay like a map before him and he knew every trail. It is doubtful if there is another human being who has passed through as many thrilling scenes and events of pioneer life as did Andre Jerome."
Yes! It is true that there probably wasn't another man or human being that has been through such a thrilling life. There is probably no other man that has done so much for Northwestern Minnesota. He is the man that really opened up Northwestern Minnesota to the settlers. Yes! Andre Jerome, a man of mixed blood, being of French and Indian, will always be remembered as the man that opened Kittson County to the rest of Minnesota. As long as there is a Kittson County, there will be the remembrance of Andre Jerome as being the first to settle it.
Kittson County Enterprise (Clipping) Sept. 11, 1935
Old Family Papers