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Pillsbury, John Sargent (29 July 1827–18 October 1901), businessman, politician, and "father" of the University of Minnesota, businessman, politician, and “father” of the University of Minnesota, was born in Sutton, New Hampshire, the son of John Pillsbury and Susan Wadleigh. He grew up in Sutton, where his father had a small manufacturing business. There he attended primary school and became an apprentice printer. In 1853 he moved to Warner, New Hampshire, where he worked as a store clerk for his brother and later went into business as a tailor and cloth merchant. It was there he met Mahala Fisk, whom he married in 1856; they had three children and adopted a fourth. In 1853, like many from the East, he traveled to the West Coast in search of greater opportunity and passed through Minnesota. He returned in 1855 and settled in St. Anthony, later incorporated into Minneapolis, and opened a hardware store that he operated for the next two decades. His business was almost wiped out during the panic of 1857 and by a disastrous fire the same year that burned his store to the ground. By living in near poverty for the next several years he paid his debts, restored his business, and eventually prospered....

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Terry Sanford [left to right] President-elect John F. Kennedy and Terry Sanford, 1960. Photograph by the Associated Press. Courtesy of the Library of Congress.

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Sanford, Terry (20 August 1917–18 April 1998), governor, college president, and U.S. senator, was born James Terry Sanford in Laurinburg, North Carolina, the son of Cecil LeRoy Sanford, hardware merchant, and Elizabeth Terry Martin, schoolteacher. After receiving his early education in local public schools, he attended Presbyterian Junior College and then the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating with a B.A. in 1939. After serving as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation for two years (1941–1942), Sanford resigned and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He married Margaret Rose Knight in July 1942; the couple had two children. Sanford saw service as a paratrooper in several European campaigns (including the invasion of southern France and the Battle of the Bulge) and was decorated with both the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. Discharged as a first lieutenant in December 1945, he returned to his alma mater and received an LL.B. in 1946. Admitted to the bar that same year, he remained in Chapel Hill and served as assistant director of the Institute of Government until 1948....

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Swain, David Lowry (04 January 1801–27 August 1868), North Carolina governor and university president, was born near Asheville, North Carolina, the son of George Swain, a farmer and hatmaker, and Caroline Lane Lowry. Upon George Swain’s appointment as postmaster of Asheville in 1807, he moved his family into town, where he continued his previous occupations and served also as justice of the peace and self-taught physician. David Lowry Swain (named for his mother’s first husband) was educated at home and at a local academy. Thus trained, he entered the junior class at the University of North Carolina in 1822, only to drop out almost immediately to read law with Chief Justice ...