Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 4, Number 1: Spring 1967
Early Explorers’ Trails Criss-Crossed Today’s’ Ramsey County
Author: Alan R. Woolworth
A summary of the deeds of explorers who passed through or near Ramsey County (the piece in fact covers Minnesota generally) before 1840, including LeSueur, Carver, Hennepin, Pike, Long, Cass, Schoolcraft, and Nicollet.
PDF of Woolworth article
Restless, Troubled Opportunist: Portrait of a Pioneer Photographer
Author: Henry Hall
William H. Illingworth, born 1844, came to St. Paul in 1850 and became a professional photographer in 1867. A pioneer of outdoor wet-plate photography, he went on an expedition with Custer in 1874, then illicitly sold the prints he made but was not convicted. Back in St. Paul, he made many images of the young city that are prized today. Illingworth had a tormented personal life; he married three times, was widowed twice, and divorced once. He took his own life in 1893.
PDF of Hall article
A Bridge, A Street, A Levee: Louis Robert’s Name Lingers in St. Paul
Author: Patricia Condon
He was one of Minnesota’s pioneers: early settler, merchant, fur trader, steamboat captain and entrepreneur, real estate speculator, and politician. He even got in on the U.S.–Dakota War of 1862, narrowly escaping with his life. Robert came to St. Paul from Prairie du Chien in 1843, bought, sold, and gave away huge portions of what became the city’s downtown, ran a fleet of five steamboats in the 1850s, built the first frame and then the first brick residences in town, and participated in the organization of Minnesota Territory. He died rich in 1874.
PDF of Condon article
The Saga of Charley Pitts’ Body
Charley Pitts was part of the James-Younger gang that robbed the First National Bank in Northfield in September 1876. He was killed by a posse two weeks later. His body was exhibited at the Minnesota Capitol. What became of it after that? In 1946 Lillie Gibbs LeVesconte wrote of what she had seen and heard as a girl in St. Paul—details of the body’s treatment and fate.
PDF of Pitts article
Forgotten Pioneers: Rose Township
Roseville takes its name from Minnesota pioneer Isaac Rose, but he never lived there. A soldier and farmer, Rose came to St. Paul in 1843 and farmed mostly in what became the Merriam Park neighborhood. He once owned the land now occupied by Macalester College. Rose Township received his name because he helped map the area in 1850.
Time, Luck, Stamina—Pioneers Needed Them All When Seeking a Farm
Coates P. Bull of St. Paul, age 93, recalls the story of how his parents came to Minneapolis in 1857, found and bought farm land at what became 50th Street and France Avenue in Edina, and began farm operations.
PDF of Pioneer Farm