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Inez M. Torell papers

 Collection — Box: SC
Identifier: S6145

Scope and Contents

The collection contains a photograph album, a scrapbook, and correspondence. The photograph album (1910-1935) has images of Inez Torell, her family members and friends, and images of and from the various hospitals she stayed in - including staff members and patients. Many of the photographs include handwritten names, locations, dates, and comments. The scrapbook contains newspaper clippings of family, friends, hospitals, hospital staff and patients, cards and letters from friends and acquaintances, and a few photographs. The small amount of correspondence includes letters and cards from family and friends.

Of note are three letters from Inez to her parents when she was hospitalized in St. Paul (1913, 1915, and 1917); a letter and a card to Inez from Elizabeth McGregor, who was superintendent of the Gillette State Hospital from 1914-1949; and a letter to Inez from her brother Ben while he was in the military in 1918. There are many photographs and mementos of Nopeming Sanatorium and images of patients and staff at Nopeming, Phalen Park Hospital, and St. Luke’s Hospital.

The photograph album has been digitized and is available through the Minnesota Digital Library


  • 1910-1949
  • Majority of material found in 1928-1931


Conditions Governing Access

Open for use in the Kathryn A. Martin Library, Archives and Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

This collection may be protected by the Copyright Law of the United States (Title 17, U.S. Code). It is the user's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and to obtain all necessary permissions prior to the reproduction, publication, or other use of any portion of these materials. Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law.

Biographical / Historical

Inez M. Torell grew up in Duquette, Minnesota. She spent many years of her life in hospitals and sanatoriums beginning at age 6. The class history for her eighth grade states about her “Entered the Duquette School, but after a few days attendance, she was taken to the Phalen Park Hospital where she remained for five years.” Inez Torell eventually died as a result of tuberculosis and the condition that prompted her hospitalization in 1912 had lasting effects on her health. She was a long term patient, with repeated admissions, at Nopeming Sanatorium, Duluth, Minnesota.

Inez Torell completed eighth grade, graduating as class president from the Duquette Consolidated School in 1922 at age 16. She attended Duluth Central High School in 1924 and 1925, and received a stenography certificate from Young & Hursh Business College, Duluth in 1926. She was employed as a stenographer at the George A. Gray Company in Duluth from 1926-1928 and at Nopeming Sanatorium from about 1945 until her death in 1960, where she was also a resident.

Her many hospitalizations included:

1912 Moose Lake Hospital, Moose Lake, Minnesota; 1913-1918 Phalen Park Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota, known as the Minnesota State Hospital for Indigent, Crippled and Deformed Children in 1911, and renamed Gillette State Hospital for Crippled Children in 1925, it is now Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare; 1928, 1931, 1960 St. Luke’s Hospital, Duluth, Minnesota; 1928, 1936 St. Mary’s Hospital, Duluth, Minnesota; 1928-1939 Nopeming Sanatorium, Duluth, Minnesota; 1954, 1956 Nopeming Sanatorium, Duluth, Minnesota.

The Torell family was of Swedish descent. Inez Torell was the daughter of Christine M. (Nyquist) Torell (1877 February 6-1969 January 14) and Elick Torell (-1948 March 24). Her older siblings Ben W. Norell, Ida Norell, Mrs. Myrna E. Norell O’Brien, Mrs. Alice G. Norell Uppman, were likely Christine Torell’s children from her prior marriage to Peter Norell. Younger siblings were Ernest R. Torell, Clifford Torell, and Mrs. Edna W. Torell Enstrom. Brother Ben served in France during World War I.


6.00 Linear Inches

Language of Materials



The collection contains a photograph album, a scrapbook, and correspondence.

Physical Location

This collection is located at the University of Minnesota Duluth Archives. For more information about this collection or to make an appointment, contact us at or 218-726-8526.

Guide to the Inez M. Torell papers
Finding Aid Authors: M. David.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University of Minnesota Duluth Archives and Special Collections Collecting Area

Kathryn A. Martin Library
University of Minnesota Duluth
416 Library Drive
Duluth MN 55812-3001
(218) 726-8526