Charles Duncan Gilfillan

Charles Gilfillan was born on July 4, 1831 in New Hartford, NY. He was the son of a carpet weaver and woolen manufacturer, and the family immigrated to the US in 1830 from Scotland. His name will be permanently associated with the early history of the city of St. Paul, owing to his connection with the water system. He gave the subject much thought and study, consulted all the best authorities and single-handedly proceeded to construct the present system, which he carried successfully to completion. Gilfillan was president, secretary and leading spirit of the old water company until the sale of the system to the city in 1882. In 1882 he built the Gilfillan block in St. Paul at the corner of Fourth and Jackson Streets. This building was at the time the finest of its kind in the city. He owned large tracts of land throughout the state, including 10,000 acres of land in Redwood County, known as Gilfillan, which he bought in 1882.
The Gilfillan Station was established to provide shipping facilities for the extensive Gilfillan estate. It consisted of a depot, elevator and the home of C.O. Gilfillan and his manager, Casper B. Huschke. Gilfillan enclosed the massive estate with miles of barbed wire fence, and on this land, fatted six to eight hundred head of cattle. He gradually made improvements to the site and eventually established 35 rented farms. When C.D. Gilfillan passed away, the remaining 7,000 acres were managed by his son, C.O. Gilfillan. Thousands of bushels of grain, and many carloads of cattle were annually shipped from Gilfillan Station, adding materially to the output of the county in the early days.