Stone polisher

Stone workers and stonemasons have created buildings, monuments, roads, and many othe types of structures since before the existence of civilization. Examples of stone work and stonemasonry can be found world wide. It utilizes a number of different types of stone and methods for creating foundations, walls, and covernings on buildings. Modern stonemasons learn their craft by serving an apprenticeship and they learn how to measure, cut, and install stone materials by using both hand tools and pneumatic power tools. The Minnesota State Captiol building was largely built by stone workers who used steam powered saws and polishing machines, and hand tools. Stone polishers were a specialized group of stone workers who used special abrasives to give the stone a smooth surface or lustre. The Capitol construction site contained a stone shed which utilized steam powered polishing machines. The first worker killed on the construction site was stone polisher Phelix Arthur of Tate County, Georgia in 1898.

There are numerous photographs on this website that show stonemasons, stone materials, and the tools that were used in the Capitol construction. For other information about stonemasonry and stonework see:

Bricklayers and Allied Craft Workers, Local 1 of Minnesota and North Dakota at:

Wikipedia "Stonemsonry,"

Stone Quarries and Beyond at:

Phelix Arthur

Felix Arthur boarded at this address along with stone cutters James King, William Hamilton and Peter Diamond. He died on May 4, 1898 when his leg was caught in a belt on one of the machines in the stone cutting shed. Arthur had come from Georgia along with the marble to work on the building and his body was sent to Nelson, Georgia for burial.

Isaac Suddeth

1899,1900, 1902 and 1904 City Directories. Isaac Suddeth (1865-1909) was an African-American from Tate, Georgia where the marble was quarried. He first came here to work on the Capitol alone in 1899 but by 1905 he was living at this address with his wife and five children. Fellow Capitol worked, Judge Jarrett, also lived here in 1905. They stayed here and Suddeth died in in St. Paul in 1909.
Isaac's son, Oscar, born in Georgia in 1887, worked on the Capitol as a "polisher" in 1904 at the age of 17. Oscar died in St. Paul in 1915.

John Dahlin

John Dahlin ("Delen" in the 1898 CD ) was born in Sweden in 1871 and came to America in 1889. He married Jennie Nelson (1871-1965) on September 14, 1895 in St. Paul. The couple had three children, Oscar Leonard (1896-1988), David H. (born in 1898) and Amy Marie, (born in 1908).

Although John Dahlin is identified as a "polisher" when he was working for Butler-Ryan in 1898, he said he was a carpenter in the 1900 Census. He continued working as a carpenter and raised a family in St. Paul. He died around 1950 at the age of 79.

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