Family Tree Tuesday – Charles Pillsbury
Charles A. Pillsbury was the founder and namesake of the Pillsbury Company and was a flour industrialist. He was a flour miller in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Pillsbury was a Minnesota State Senator from 1877-1897 and held the chairmanship of the Finance Committee of the Senate.
Charles Alfred Pillsbury was born on December 3, 1842 in Warner, New Hampshire to George Alfred Pillsbury and Margaret Sprague Carleton. Pillsbury married Mary Ann Stinson who was the daughter of Captain Charles Stinson and Mary Ann Poore.
Pillsbury had created his own brand called “Pillsbury’s Best” and was claimed as the finest flour in the world. The use of a series of carefully gauged steel rolls in the crushing of grain into flour effected an entire revolution in all the large flour mills of the United States since it was efficient and produced excellent quality. In 1872, he had persuaded his father and his uncle, John S. Pillsbury, to join him in an expansion of the business. Pillsbury introduced a system of company profit sharing in addition to regular wages to his employees as a reward for their interest in the success of the business. As a consequence, no strikes ever interrupted the Pillsbury business.
John S. Pillsbury was a politician, businessman and philanthropist. He had served as the eighth Governor of Minnesota from 1876-1882. He often anonymously donated funds to causes he favored. Pillsbury helped the University of Minnesota recover from debt in its early years, later served as a regent and became known as “The Father of the University.”
Charles A. Pillsbury’s great-grandson is Charles A. Pillsbury, he is a lawyer and community activist in New Haven, Connecticut. He ran for United States Congress as a Green Party candidate in Connecticut in 2002. Pillsbury was college roommates with cartoonist Garry Trudeau at Yale University. The comic strip Doonesbury created by Trudeau used the combination of the word doone and the surname of Charles A. Pillsbury.
Check out Charles A. Pillsbury’s family tree and see how you may be related!