Art lover T.B. Walker: Where it all began

  • by: Mary Abbe , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 9, 2005 - 11:00 PM

Like many self-made 19th-century millionaires, Minneapolis lumberman Thomas Barlow Walker (1840-1928) was full of civic pride and eager to share his art collection. Born in Xenia, Ohio, he studied mathematics in college and then took to the road selling grindstones. Arriving in Minneapolis in 1862, he worked as a surveyor and began buying timber land. Within 20 years, he had built vast sawmills at Grand Forks, N.D., and Crookston, Minn. With his sons, he cornered large timber tracts in the Sierra Nevadas of California. By the time he died, he was trumpeted as one of the world's 15 richest men.

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