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Kittson, Norman Wolfred
B: 1814, Sorel, Quebec
D: 1888, Burial location unknown
M: (1) Agnes La Tender, dau of Pa-Si-Mon and Ma-Che-Quo-Nok
M: (2) Adele Marion
M: (3) Elsie Marion
M: (4) Mary Clarke

FN: George Kittson
MN: Anne Tucker

GFN: Alexander Henry

Member Minnesota territorial council 7th District, 1852-55; mayor of St. Paul, Minn., 1858. Kittson County, MN. and Norman County, MN. are named for him.

In 1844, Norman W. Kittson came to Pembina to manage the fur trade business. He liked Joe Rolette's use of wood carts to move furs to St. Paul, Minnesota. Kittson hired the Metis to handle the Red River carts. Norman helped to finance the Great Northern Railway with James J. Hill.


Children of Norman Kittson and Agnes La Tender:

Therese Kittson
B: 1856
M: Joseph Beaupre'

Child of Norman Kittson and Louise Marion:

Lucie Kittson
D: Age 4, Pembina, ND
Witnesses: Louis Lacerte Michel Cline. Priest: Father GA Belcourt Parents: Norman KITTSON and Louise MARION

Children of Norman Kittson:

John Kittson, Dr.

1. _____ Kittson


Notes for _____ Kittson:

John & Norman are brothers (see Wisconsin Creoles, p. 280 by Rentmeester) working out of Canada during the U.S. control of the Fur Trade from 1815-1834. Source for Kittson information: Wisconsin Fur-Trade People, by Jeanne & Lester Rentmeester, p. 243. Source for lineage: Wisconsin Creoles, p. 280-281.

Wisconsin Creoles book, p. 280: "John G. Kittson ... and his younger brother, Norman, moved to Wisconsin in 1830."

Children of _____ Kittson are:

John G. Kittson
B: 1811
M: (1) Margaret [HAU-KA-WAU-BIE] Robinson, daughter of SO SHOT Carron.
M: (2) Margaret Hardwick, dau of Moses.

Notes for John G. Kittson:

Wisconsin Creoles, p. 280: " In 1849, Kittson drew Menominee mixed-blood payments for his wife, Margaret ... and for two boys and three girls. In 1848, he legally married Margaret Hardwick, daughter of Moses. Some of his children by these two women (plus six others) " are listed here in the family files.

The Rentmeesters do not distinguish which children belonged to which mother.

More About John G. Kittson:

Occupation: Bet. 1830 - 1834, Agent for Fur trade of John Lawe, Oconto, WI

Residence: Berthier, Canada

More About Margaret [HAU-KA-WAU-BIE] Robinson:

Indian Tribe: Menominee Indian Tribe (Part Menominee)

Children of John Kittson and Margaret Robinson are:

4 i. John Kittson, Jr.

5 ii. George H. Kittson.

6 iii. Elizabeth Kittson, born 1833 m. James Dagenait.

7 iv. Margaret Kittson m. Isaac Gagnon.

8 v. Mary Kittson b. 1844.

9 vi. David Kittson b. 1852.

Norman W. Kittson
M: (1) Agnes La Tender, daughter of PA-SI-MON and MA-CHE-QUO-NOK.

Occupation: 1830, Agent for Fur trade of American Fur Company
Residence: Berthier, Canada

Child of Norman Kittson and Agnes La Tender:

1. Therese Kittson m. Joseph Beaupre'; born 1856.

Origin of Kittson County Name: The county is named after Norman W. Kittson, an early fur trader & partner of the American Fur Company. He increased the fur trading traffic significantly by increasing the use of oxcarts. He was also responsible for the pioneering of the steamboat in the Red River and was active with James J. Hill in the development of the railroad. His contributions played an important role in the settlement of the county.


December 6, 1895

A Claim to Millions

Attorney E. J. Goodrick, of this city, returned Thursday from St. Paul, where he had been several days acting as counsel in the celebrated Kittson case.  Mr. Goodrick represents the petitioner, Margaret Kittson, who is endeavoring to obtain a share of the vast estate left by Norman Kittson.  Mr. Goodrick finished his argument in the case, which has not yet been decided.  This suit has features of a decidedly romantic character.  Norman Kittson came to this state in 1814 and engaged in fur trading with the Indians along the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers.  In the course of time he met and fell in love with a very comely Indian maiden.  The result was the two were married in 1833, the ceremony being performed in a Catholic church at Little Chute.

Some years later Kittson went west, settling at Minneapolis, and in time became fabulously rich.  During his early residence in Minnesota he sought to induce his wife to go with him to his new home, and visited her several times for that purpose.  Her parents, however, opposed her going, as they had heard that Kittson was paying attention to another woman.  She did not go. Kittson still provided for her wants for a number of years, sending her money, clothing and provisions, and as late as 1880 he sent her a photograph of himself.  He died in 1888.

Kittson had four children as the result of his first matrimonial venture, and some time after settling in Minneapolis he took another wife and raised a family.  This wife and other heirs are now in possession of the fortune accumulated by him, estimated at $5,000,000 or $6,000,000, and it is to establish her claim to it that the action is brought by the erstwhile Indian maiden, wife and mother.  Mrs. Kittson No. 1 resides near Shawano.

The testimony in the case is exceedingly voluminous, covering 852 type-written pages.  Sixty-five or more witnesses were examined. ­ Oshkosh Times.

Elise Marion, daughter of Blacksmith Narcisse Marion of Norwood, married Commodore Norman W. Kittson, millionaire head of the Red River Navigation Company's fleet of sternwheel steamers which served Winnipeg in and through the early days.

Commodore Kittson was nearly sixty when he came seeking a bride at the house of Narcisse Marion. Elise Marion was hardly twenty. Bridegrooms of pioneer days were often elderly; but Kittson, who had made a fortune in the fur trade and another fortune in the steamboat business, had since he was a young man carried a weight of responsibility which, had brought early wrinkles and the aspect of age.

Elise Kittson, in her grand home on Summit Avenue, St. Paul, was a hostess of hostesses when her Norwood friends came to visit her. She and the Commodore lived on congenially till, in the late eighties he died in a sleeping car en route to Chicago.

KITTSON, NORMAN WOLFRED - He was born in 1814 at Sorel, QC, the grandson of Alexander Henry, a celebrated explorer of the 1770's. In 1830, at the age of only 16, Kittson engaged as an employee of the American Fur Company, and was stationed at the trading post between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers between 1830-32. In 1834, Kittson came to Fort Snelling where he was engaged in the sutler department until 1838. After spending the winter in Canada, he returned to St. Paul on his own business, as a fur trader, near what was then called "Cold Spring". He continued there until 1843, when he reentered the American Fur Company as a special partner, having charge of all the business on the headwaters of the Mississippi. During that year, he set his headquarters in Pembina, and shipped large quantities of furs by Red River Carts. This was the origin of the heavy trade that ensued between the Red River and St. Paul in later years.

In 1854, Kittson entered into partnership with William H. Forbes in St. Paul, in the general Indian Trade and Supply business, which was well-known in St. Paul and referred to as "The St. Paul Outfit". In 1843, he had purchased a claim that in 1851, he laid out as "Kittson's Addition". In 1851, he had been elected a member of the Council of the Minnesota Legislature from Pembina, and served until 1855. In 1858, he was elected Mayor of St. Paul, the last time he served in public office. He was married to Louise Marion, and had at least one daughter, Lucie (1849-1853), who was buried in Pembina.

Kittson continued in his Red River trade until 1860, and soon after accepted the position of Agent of the Hudson's Bay Company, and established a line of steamers and barges on the Red River, a firm which became the very successful "Red River Transportation Company".

Sources: for family genealogies

Kittson County Historical Society, Lake Bronson, MN, Cindy Adams

Roxanne Woodruff, Portland, OR