The Minnesota

​Territorial Pioneers

Established May 11, 1897 - Incorporated 1924

Pioneer of the Year

Previous Award Recipients

Catherine Harrison


Catherine Elizabeth Cartwright Harrison joined the Pioneers in 1990.  In 2006, she was elected to the Board of Directors.   Her ancestors were Joseph Chipman Swain and Abigal Rawson Swain who settled in Elysian Township in LeSeuer County in 1857.


During her time on the Board, she served as the Social Chair for the organization.  This entailed organizing the Annual Luncheon and Christmas Party, a year round job!  She introduced collecting for the food shelves and for the “Toys for Tots” program.  Both of these have been very successful and the donations have been increasing each year.  She and her daughter donated the plants at the luncheons and she worked tirelessly to ensure the success of these get-togethers.  She retired from the Board in 2011.


In her retirement, she has been active taking care of “retired” pedigree show dogs and enjoying time with her husband, Bill.   She remains active both as a mother, grandmother and student.  She continues to take classes in genealogy and researching her family history; she has a wonderful history to pass down to her children. 


Her many and varied interests were a welcome addition to the Board.  She offered many insights and ideas that helped the Pioneers be more successful with each meeting.    Her wisdom and fortitude helped us get to where we are today. 


Catherine exemplifies the selfless attitude, perseverance and dedication of a true pioneer.  Congratulations on this award!  

2012 Pioneer of the Year