Hugh E. Maloney

Yet I think that the real pioneer of Red river navigation was Capt. H. E. Maloney.  He brought the first steamboat up in 1872, continued freighting for four years, and then became proprietor of the “Ingalls House” at Grand Forks. (An Angler’s Reminiscences, Charles Hallock, Sportsmen’s Review Pub. Co., Cincinnati, Ohio, 1913, Page 31)

Captain H. E. Maloney.  One of the popular and well known citizens of the Red River Valley is Captain Maloney, whose interest in Grand Forks dates from 1872.  For several years he was a Captain on the Kittson line of steamboats.  Previous to coming here was engaged in the same vocation on the Mississippi, with the K. N. L. Packet Company, and the Diamond Joe line.  Captain Maloney erected the first frame building in Grand Forks, which he still occupies as a residence.  He also built the Mansard House, the first large hotel in north Dakota, of which he was proprietor for two years and still owns.  It is now the Ingalls House.  Captain Maloney was the first Marshal of Grand Forks, is a member of the City Council at present.  He has been among the leaders of all commendable enterprises that would further the interests of Grand Forks.  (Andreas Historical Atlas of Dakota, A. T. Andreas, Chicago, The Lakeside Press, 1884, Page 254)

Capt. H. E. Maloney, Grand Forks, is an old-time steamboat captain who walks the deck of a Red river steamer from Grand Forks to Pembina.  As he walked through the corridors of the St. Paul hotels it was evident that he was a steamboat man, his physique and make-up, fat and jolly, being that of an occupant of the Texas.  He said that years ago he ran on the Mississippi from St. Paul to St. Louis.  The business grew less and he moved up north and commanded a boat on the Red river.  It was his opinion that the business of the latter would be materially increased if the railroad line to the Hudson bay country was constructed.  (The Saint Paul Daily Globe, Wednesday Morning, May 26, 1886, Volume VIII, Number 146, Page 2)

Charles Maloney, son of Captain Hugh and Mary (Smith) Maloney, was born in this house (Mansard House), June 19, 1875, was the first white male child born in Grand Forks.  Captain Hugh Maloney was a seaman at the time of his engagement with Miss Mary Smith, now Mrs. Maloney.  He was in charge of a boat on the lake plying between Milwaukee and Chicago.  Mrs. Maloney is of German descent.  She was reared near the border line between France and Germany, but early in life was brought to this country by her parents, who located near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  She was married to Captain Maloney July 12, 1867, at Hancock, Michigan and they came to Grand Forks in 1874, although he had been here steamboating on the Red River since 1872.  He died June 16, 1897.  One son and two daughters were born to this union.  (History of the Red River Valley Past and Present, Volume II, C. F. Cooper & Company, Chicago, 1909, Page 624)



One of Grand Forks’ Pioneer Citizens the Victim of a Fatal Stroke of Apoplexy From an Attack Early Yesterday Morning He Never Rallied and Died at 8:30 Last Evening – An Interesting Sketch of His Career as a Navigator on the Red and Other Rivers of the Northwest – Universal Sorrow at His Untimely Death

Capt. Maloney is dead.

Startling are these sad words, for comparatively few of The Herald readers know even of the brief illness of the veteran proprietor of the Ingalls house.  He had been in his usual good health up to an early hour yesterday morning, except that he had suffered severely from the extreme heat of the previous days.  Soon after midnight yesterday morning he was stricken with apoplexy.  Physicians were hastily summoned, but everything that medical skill could do proved unavailing and his death occurred at 8:30 last evening (June 16, 1897).

The announcement of his sudden and untimely death will bring sorrow to a host of friends throughout the northwest, for few men were better known than Capt. Maloney.  He leaves a widow, two daughters, Mrs. Sattler of Duluth and Miss Suzy, and two sons, Frank, residing in Detroit, Mich., and Charlie, of this city.  The bereaved family have the sympathy of the entire community in their bereavement.  The city of Grand Forks loses one of its most esteemed and honored citizens.

The funeral will be held Friday morning.


Capt. Hugh Maloney was born in Canada near Montreal in 1843, and came to the United States when but 9 years of age.  He was married thirty years ago to the esteemed lady who now survives him.  For years Capt. Maloney was engaged in navigating the great lakes and the Mississippi river.  He was one of Grand Forks’ earliest settlers.  It was in 1873, 24 years ago that he resigned the command of a Mississippi river steamer and came here at the instance of Commodore Kittson to navigate one of the first steamers that sailed the Red River.  During the latter part of the same season he was called to Winnipeg to navigate a lake steamer for three months and then returned to Grand Forks.  During the same year he built a residence where the Ingalls house now stands.  There were a few houses in that time along the river front, but the captain’s house was out on the prairie with a field of grain extending to the west and south.  In 1878 he built the portion of his hotel now forming the wing, and the next year built the main portion.  It was for years called the Mansard house but was afterwards changed to its present name, the Ingalls.  Capt. Maloney sailed the “Raging Red” for a number of years.  In 1876, at the instance of Hugh Sutherland, then at the head of public works in Manitoba, he took a large 70-foot steamboat overland from the Lake of the Woods to the Red river, a distance of 110 miles, sailed the boat down the river and across Lake Winnipeg, and then after making another portage of six miles, took the steamer up the Saskatchewan river to Battleford, the new metropolis of the Northwest Territory.

Capt. Maloney made another trip to the Northwest Territory in 1885 during the Riel rebellion and navigated a steamer carrying supplies on the Saskatchewan.

He was also engaged in navigating the Red River Transportation company’s steamers for some time with Capt. Alex. Griggs.  Later he removed to Duluth where he engaged in lake navigation for several years.  In 1893, the captain and family returned to Grand Forks and again assumed the management of his hotel, of which the captain has been the host ever since.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday Morning, June 17, 1897, Volume 16, Number 195, Page 1)



Obsequies of Capt. H. E. Maloney Yesterday Morning from St. Michael’s Church
Impressive Ceremonies – A Large Concourse of Friends and Neighbors in Attendance – An Eloquent Tribute by Rev. Father E. J. Conaty to the Life of the Departed Dead

The funeral of Capt. H. E. Maloney took place yesterday morning from St. Michael’s Catholic church, of which the deceased had been for years a devoted and conscientious member.  The large auditorium was crowded to its greatest limit by a vast concourse of friends, neighbors, citizens, old settlers from far and near and many out of town people, all present to thus testify their esteem for the departed.

Rev. E. J. Conaty officiated and the services throughout were very impressive.  The large choir under the direction of Mrs. Burton rendered a beautiful musical program and the service was at times very affecting.  The casket containing the remains was covered with beautiful contributions from loving friends.  The pallbearers included Wm. Budge, George H. Walsh, Jas. Elton, D. M. Holmes, Richard Fadden and Stephen Collins.  Father Conaty’s funeral discourse was peculiarly fitting to the occasion, eloquent and impressive.  In concluding his remarks the pastor said:

“An old settler of the Red River Valley is at rest.  There is something pathetic, beautiful, in the devotion of the friends about his remains which we – who have come down from another generation – cannot fully appreciate.  We sit not in judgment – God judges.  The old settlers, like the veterans of the war, one by one are fading from our sight, and soon we shall stand alone.  They have blazed the way of liberty and progress in which we advance.  Like the gnarled tree of our rivers, riven by the lightning and broken by the storms, they are majestic in their fall.  I cannot express what you must feel, but as friend and pastor I offer the tribute of respect and affection to the dead, with a heart-felt hope that life eternal may be his.”  After the services at the church the remains were escorted to their last resting place in the silent city of the dead by one of the longest funeral processions ever seen here.  (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Sunday Morning, June 20, 1897, Volume 16, Number 198, Page 5)


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