The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

Pioneer of the Year

Previous Award Recipients

Seraphine Byrne


Seraphine Byrne’s ancestors came to Minnesota in 1842 and 1850. They were Antoine Pepin and Francis Xavier LaVallee who settled in St. Paul and in Centerville.  She joined the Pioneers on August 25, 1974 along with her mother, Rosemary Byrne and several other family members.  She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2002 and served as the Treasurer in fiscal year 2007 and has continued as Assistant Treasurer since then. She also is the Marketing/Sales Committee Chair. As Chair, she is always looking for new items that we can sell, such as the beautiful mugs that have consistently sold out.


She has spent countless hours volunteering at the MTP Log Cabin, both working and demonstrating her many skills.  When she is there, if she is not behind the counter, you can see her knitting hats, pot holders and many other handmade items on her looms. All of the handmade items that she makes are donated to the Pioneers to sell. She has been found down on her hands and knees cleaning and arranging the artifacts in the Cabin in preparation for the Fair. She is always there when you need her. 


Seraphine has represented the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers at many Rendezvous’, talks and various functions throughout Minnesota. There, she helps to promote Minnesota History by sharing stories and displaying our artifacts as well as selling the MTP merchandise.  She has started cataloguing our library of historic books.  She is always eager to learn more about our history and the history of Minnesota. 

Seraphine well deserves this honor. She exemplifies the selfless attitude, perseverance and dedication of a true pioneer. 

2009 Pioneer of the Year