Saturday, March 02, 2024
Dakota County Historical Society
To preserve, interpret and promote the history of Dakota County.

Location: Wentworth Avenue

In February, 1980, the first historic site in West St. Paul was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, the George Wentworth House. This large Queen Anne style mansion was built in 1887 at a cost of $12,000 by Wentworth, who emigrated from England in the 1860s.

According to Agnes Wentworth Wright, George’s youngest daughter and one of the last surviving members of the family, George came to America because he was the second son of an English gentleman and thus could not expect to inherit his father’s property. In 1887, the year he built his house at 1575 Oakdale Avenue, George helped organize the city of South St. Paul and served as one of its first aldermen. Wentworth was a horse trader at the South St. Paul livestock market.

Between 1887 and 1889 a split arose in South St. Paul between the citizens living near the stock industry along the river and the farmers on the western border, which Wentworth represented. Feeling short-changed in affairs of government, this western faction split and formed their own municipality in 1889, the City of West St. Paul. Wentworth then became an alderman on the new city council. He donated property for West St. Paul’s first school.

Four years after Wentworth’s death in 1908 at the age of 64, the family moved to St. Paul, and in October of 1912 the large eleven-room brick house was sold again for $400 at a sheriff’s sale, and it stood empty for the next fourteen years through the Depression. A Dr. Brown purchased it in 1940 and totally renovated the home with a new furnace, plumbing and wiring. Julie Sorenson purchased the house in 1967 and she was instrumental in placing it on the National Register.

Thanks to Wentworth descendant, Gordon Wright, for clarifications.

Visit one of these Dakota County Historic Sites