William Colvill
Born: April 5th, 1830


William Colvill was born in Forestville New York in
Chautauqua County.
His father was said to have been Scotoh and his mother

He was married to Elizabeth Morgan. She was from Oneida
County, New York. She was said to have been a decendant
of one of our pilgram fathers, Elder Brewster.

Elizabeth died on November 13th, 1894. She was buried in
the Cannon Falls Cemetery.

He  was admitted to the Bar in New York in the spring after
he read law in Buffalo, New York.

He came to Minnesota and spent a year teaching in St. Paul. He was clerk and then secretary  of the Territorial Council.

In the spring , he moved to Red Wing. He started a paper, the Red Wing Sentinel. He also practiced Law at this time. He had a hand in the planning of Cannon Falls and was said to have spent time in Cannon Falls. Several land partials were owned
by him in Cannon Falls but, he never lived in Cannon Falls. It was said that he olso had property in Minneapolis.

It was siad he attended a meeting to deside what was to be done  in the county
as to the call for volunteers.

Attended a meeting and helped to raise volunteers in the county.He was the first to join in the raising of the company. He was voted Captian. He mustered out of the 1st Minn. as a Col.

Engaged in the Charge at Plum Run, Gettysburg. Led the charge. ans was wouned twice. in the engagment.

Musterd in.
He re-enlisted in the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery. He was commissioned it's Col.

Mustered out.
He was Brevetted Brigadier General.

It was said, he was elected a Representative of the State Legislature from Goodhue County.

He was Attorney General of Minnesota.

Re-elected to the Legislature.

Moved to Duluth as Register of the Land Office. He wa appointed by President Cleveland.

It was said that he left the office and went back to law.

He retired form his professional career. It was a few months after his wifes death occurred in 1894. He moved to his homestead that he had several miles from Grand Marais and was said to have spent alot of time there.

He had come from Red Wing to Minneapolis where he spent the night at the Old Soldier's Home. It was said that he died in his sleep of a heart attack. He was to attend a reunion the following day of the 1st Minn. Regt. and was to lead the regiment in a ceremony of removing the flag from the old capital to the new capital. He was 78 years old. Colvill had been a 50 year resident of Red Wing.

He is buried in the Cannon Falls Cemetery  in Cannon Falls, Minnesota with his wife. Colvill had family in Cannon Falls. He spent a lot of time there. Two Sisters and a Aunt was believed to have lived in Cannon Falls. This would be why both him and his wife are buried there. Because of Family.

The Name is spelled Colvill. This is correct
It has been seen as Colville. This is incorrect.
Died: June 14th, 1905

Spring 1851


Spring 1855

April 17, 1861

April 19,1861

July 2nd. 1863

April 26th, 1865

May 6th, 1865

July, 1865





Courtesy of Cannon Falls Historical Society
All Rights Reserved
Time Line
Colvill Memorial in Cannon Falls
The Memorial was placed in 1909 and the unveiling was on Memorial Day.  For the memorial to be placed in the Cannon Falls Cemetery, a man made hill was made. The monument was placed & the graves of Mr. & Mrs. Colvill were moved to the top of the hill.

The memorial reflects on Col. Colvill, 1st Minn. Regt. Vol. Inf. & ofthe charge at Gettysburg, Penn. on July 2nd, 1863.

On July 29th, 1928 the Memorial was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in a dedication ceremony at the Cannon Falls Cenetery.

This Gold pin dated 1884 is believed to be a pin given to William Colvill at a reunion.
Perhaps at a 1st Minnesota reunion at the 1884 G.A.R. National Convention in Minneapolis or perhaps by the A.E. Welch Post 75 of the Grand Army of
the Republic of which he was a member. Photos are larger for vewinig.
                                Courtesy of a private collector for these photos. All Rights reserved.

Subd. 21. William Colvill State Monument. William Colvill State Monument, in Goodhue County, a granite shaft with a statue of William Colvill (1830-1905), honors the colonel who led the First Minnesota Regiment in the Civil War battle of Gettysburg in 1863, established in 1928.

Colvill Memorial Highway

In 1931, the State of Minnesota named 74 miles of the state highway known in present day as Rt 19 that runs between Gaylord and Red Wing, the Colivill Memorial Highway, and has remained as such through time.


Subd. 2.Colvill Memorial Highway. The following described highway shall be known
as "The Colvill Memorial Highway:"

Beginning at Gaylord and running thence in an easterly direction through Lonsdale,  Northfield and Cannon Falls, terminating at the city of Red Wing.

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State of Minnesota
Highway Department
Highway Sign

These signs were removed by the Highway Dept. as years past and road work was done to the roads,  very few were replaced and they have all now been since removed.
Original Document
Click to enlarge
                          Colvill Park in Red Wing was named after William Colvill

A portion of this land was part of William Colvill's Homestead and the park was dedicated in his honor.
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