Captain Alexander Griggs

1838 – 1903

Considered the Founder of Grand Forks, Alexander Griggs filed the first land plat for the Original Townsite in 1875. Steamboat captain and builder, Griggs was an integral part of the steamboat era. He learned his navigational skills on the Mississippi River and earned his pilot’s license at nineteen. Partnering with railroad magnate, James J. Hill, Griggs established a steamboat enterprise on the Red River of the North and built the Selkirk in 1871. Griggs vigorously promoted the early development of Grand Forks, founding the Second National Bank and establishing the gas works. The Captain also built the Grand Forks Roller Mill, the first brick city block of buildings, and a hotel, the Griggs House. Griggs was the city’s third postmaster and was politically active, serving on the City Council, the Board of County Commissioners, the Railroad Commission, the first state constitutional convention, and as Mayor in 1888-1889. He left Grand Forks and eventually established another steamship line in 1893, the Columbia and Okanogan Steamboat Company, at Wenatchee, Washington, where he died January 25, 1903.


About the Statue

Sculpted by Nicholas Legeros and Heidi J. Hoy

Commissioned by the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Commission

Land donated by the County of Grand Forks

Funding provided by the City of Grand Forks , the

North Valley Arts Council, and the

River Forks Commission

Dedicated on May 23, 2001

Located at 124 South Fourth Street on the grounds of the County Courthouse