The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

Previous Award Recipients

Ilyne Nesheim  (1912-2008)

Ilyne was born September 8, 1912 in Warroad, Minnesota, where she also grew up.  Her father was James Holmes, an attorney, and her mother was Mollie Hassenstab, a business woman from Young America.  Ilyne was the youngest of three children, one brother and two sisters.  In her early years she and her family traveled the United States and Canada.

She graduated from Warroad High School and went on to become a hairdresser.  In 1937 she married Hildor (Abe) Julian Nesheim who was from Lakeville, Minnesota.  She has two daughters, Mollie and Katherine, who are both Life Members of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, Inc.  In 1973 Ilyne’s husband died leaving her a widow.

She was in business for 27 of her 40 years in hairdressing.  She retired in the early 1980s.  In her retirement she has been able to enjoy the company of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  She is still living independently.  She has a fiery spirit and joyfulness which lets her live life to the fullest.  She definitely keeps the Board in line.

Ilyne became a Life member of the MTP on August 31, 1953, just in time to start working in the Log Cabin at the Minnesota State Fair.  She has enjoyed participating both as a member in the organization and serving on the Board of Directors.  Working at the Log Cabin has been something Ilyne has enjoyed over the years.  She is truly a “Pioneer” in spirit and in dedication to the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers.

Her pioneer ancestors are Caroline Freund (Friend), who came to the Minnesota Territory in 1855 and settled in St. Paul, and the man she married, James Brickle Holmes, who came to St. Paul in 1855.

Ilyne says that she has enjoyed her 93 years of life and being a part of this wonderful organization.

We are honored to present the “Pioneer of the Year” award to her for her dedication, perseverance, zest for living and her contributions to the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers, Inc.  Congratulations!

Pioneer of the Year

2006 Pioneer of the Year