Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 6, Number 2: Fall 1969
Student, Protests, Marches: 100 Years Ago at the University
Author: Edward J. Lettermann
The first years of the University of Minnesota were hard, debt-ridden, and tumultuous. A territorial university had begun in 1852, but closed in 1858. Undergraduate classes at the state university began in 1869 with nine professors and 175 students. Because the state had accepted Federal land under the Morrill Act to support the university, the university was required to offer courses in agricultural science. Students were not interested. The first professor of agriculture, Daniel Robertson, had a hard time. So did his successor, Charles Lacey. It took until the second decade of the twentieth century for agricultural classes to get well established at University.
PDF of Lettermann article
The Letters of Samuel Pond, Jr.: Students Cooked Their Food, Built Their Fires
Author: Samuel W. Pond Jr.
Samuel Pond was a student at the University of Minnesota in the late 1860s and early 1870s. Many letters he wrote to his brother Judson, back home in Shakopee, have survived and some are published here. He wrote of the ordinary events of his student life: his professors, the food, the sermons he attended, his fellow students (“I never saw a duller set”), his long walks over the city, the work going on to repair the St. Anthony Falls tunnel disaster. These letters cover just his first semester, November 1869 to February 1870.
PDF of Pond article
Kellogg Boulevard: The Story of Old Third Street
A very short history of Third Street in downtown St. Paul from roughly 1857 to its renaming as Kellogg Boulevard in 1929. It went from being the city’s prime retail street to a wholesale business street (“this stage probably was the most picturesque”) to a traffic-moving boulevard.
PDF of Kellogg article
Forgotten Pioneers: Bishop Joseph Cretin
A brief account of Joseph Cretin’s early life and his six years in St. Paul, 1851–1857. As a young priest in France, Cretin burned to do missionary work, but had to wait until he was 39; then he was sent to Iowa and Wisconsin. Cretin was appointed the first bishop of the Diocese of St. Paul in 1851. He presided over a huge expansion of the diocese in parishioners, churches and other buildings, societies, institutions, and influence.
PDF of Forgotten Pioneers
Norman Kittson and the Fur Trade
Authors: Clarence W. Rife and Holly Walters
Few Minnesota pioneers painted on a bigger canvas than Norman Kittson (1814–1888). He traded furs around Fort Snelling in the 1830s, then he moved farther and farther north and west, to Pembina. He battled with the Hudson’s Bay Company (and later worked for it), and established the Red River oxcart caravans in the 1850s. He dealt in St. Paul real estate, served as the city’s mayor and in the territorial legislature. He ran steamboats on the Red River and went into the railroad business with James J. Hill. He built an office building, a hotel, a stable, a race track, and a mansion where the Cathedral of St. Paul stands today. He fathered as many as 26 children.
PDF of Kittson article