Benjamin Franklin Mackall was born in Elkton, Maryland, October 8, 1851. He was the son of Henry Clinton and Ann W. Mackall. B.F. Mackall attended West Nottingham Academy and Georgetown College. The impact of the Civil War made it impossible to continue his education. B.F. Mackall went to Moorhead, Minnesota in 1873. In Moorhead he went into partnership with Dr. John Kurtz, a former family friend who had preceded Benjamin in the move to Moorhead. Benjamin bought sole ownership of the drug store and continued to run the business for sixty years.
On Benjamin’s way to Moorhead, he had stopped in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he met Bishop Whipple. Bishop Whipple gave Benjamin some prayer books and a book of sermons so Benjamin could hold services in Moorhead. Benjamin conducted the first service of St. Johns Episcopal Church and he continued to hold offices and support St. Johns until his death.
He was the first pioneer druggist in Moorhead. Benjamin was also appointed postmaster, county auditor, clerk of the villages; and served on the city council, library board, and school board.
Benjamin married Mary Kurtz, sister of John Kurtz, Benjamin’s associate. Mary died in 1902 and in 1909, Benjamin married Fanny O. Cardin. Benjamin died in April 1935 and Fanny died July 18, 1953.
Henry Clinton Mackall, son of Benjamin and Mary Mackall, was born February 8, 1885 in Moorhead. Henry’s preliminary education was in the public schools of Moorhead. He then attended Moorhead Normal School from which he graduated in 1902. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1906 with a BA and in 1909, LLB from Harvard University.
After he was admitted to the bar of Minnesota in 1909, Henry joined the practice of Cobb, Wheelright, and Dille. In 1918, he joined Judge Robert Jamison, Frederick Stinchfield, and John R. VanDerlip to form their own law firm. Henry had been treasurer and director of the Day Development Company of Minneapolis; president and director of Public Markets, Inc.; president and treasurer of Henapag Corp; director and treasurer of National Realty Company; director of Sperzel Company of Minneapolis, and also director of the Princeton State Bank of Princeton, Minnesota.
Active in civic affairs and bar association activities, Henry was Minnesota Commissioner of the National Commissions on Uniform Laws during 1933-1939. He had been a trustee of St. Mary’s Hall, an Episcopalian girl’s school in Fairbault, Minnesota. Henry was an honorary member of the Board of Managers of Wells Memorial House, a settlement house in Minneapolis since 1935; a trustee of the Minneapolis Foundation; chairman of the Advisory Committee for Steven Square which is a home for elderly people in Minneapolis. He was the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of Minnesota Foundation and honorary lifetime member of the Board of Governors of the Minikahda Club on which he served for 50 years. Henry was also chancellor of the Sixth Province of the Protestant Episcopal Church. For twelve years, he was also the senior warren of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Minneapolis.
From 1916 to 1920, Henry served as captain in the 4th Minnesota Infantry. During 1920-21, he was aide-de-camp to Perry Harrison, a general in the National Guard. Henry was a fellow of the American Bar Foundation and a member of the American, Minnesota State and Hennepin County Bar Associations; American Law Institute; American Judicature Society; Minnesota State and Hennepin County Historical Societies; American and Twin City Philatelic Societies; Aero Philatelist Society; American and Minnesota Mycological Societies; National Audubon Association; and American Nature Association, Isaac Walton League.
Henry was a member of Sigma Alpha Epselon, Delta Chi, Scabbard and Blade, the Minneapolis and Minikahda Clubs of Minneapolis, the University Club of Chicago and the Pohlman Gun Club of Heron Lake, Minnesota. His religious affiliation was the Episcopal Church. Politically Henry was republican.
Henry Mackall was married in Excelsior, Minnesota on May 10, 1916 to Louise Camp Jamison, daughter of Judge and Mrs. Robert Jamison of Minneapolis. They had two children, Nancy Lou, who married John Edward Sperzel, and Henry Clinton Mackall Jr., who was killed in a plane crash in 1951. Louise Mackall died in 1945 and in 1947 Henry was married to Margaret Robertson, the daughter of D. William M. Robertson, of Warren, Pennsylvania. Henry died in 1979.
The Benjamin F. Mackall and Henry C. Mackall papers have been arranged by family, in alphabetical and chronological order when possible. This collection contains biographies of both Benjamin and Henry, correspondence, documentation of generations of family histories dating back to 1745, newspaper clippings, obituaries, speeches on St. John’s Episcopal Church and St. Marks. Three volumes, diaries kept by Benjamin, record his daily life from 1865 to 1867, his experiences in Moorhead from 1873-74, and a record of the weather in Moorhead from 1876 to 1939. (B.F. Mackall died in 1935 but his diary has entries up to 1939, the author that kept up B.F. Mackalls record of the weather is unknown.) Several family histories are included with these papers complete with genealogy charts. Over half of this collection is comprised of photographs and about half of them are identified.