Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 12-1 Spring/Summer 1975

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 12

Volume 12 Number 1: Spring/Summer 1975

James J. Hill: A Search for the Man Behind the Legend
Author: Virginia Brainard Kunz
Late in his life James J. Hill remarked, “I’ve made my mark on the surface of the earth and they [the U.S. Supreme Court] can’t wipe it out.” He knew he’d been a titan. Hill’s legendary “empire builder” image has obscured other qualities, including “a Celtic sense of humor and a flair for descriptive narrative.” Always a man of action, in his youth especially, Hill was physically intrepid, traveling the prairie in summer by caravan and in winter by dogsled. But above all he was an audacious and persevering man of business. This piece summarizes Hill’s early life, his start in business, and some of his major accomplishments.
PDF of Kunz article

Author: Lansing Shepard
An essay on fences, followed by a two-page photo essay (11 images, historical and contemporary) of fences and fence-building.
PDF of Shepard article

How St. Paul Came to Lose the “Red River War”
Author: Dennis Hoffa
The Selkirk or Red River Colony, later Winnipeg, so far from St. Paul, was a vital source of commerce and wealth in the city’s first few decades. Starting in 1844, the ox carts trundled south laden with furs, then north again piled with supplies purchased from St. Paul merchants. The St. Paul trade route at first competed with and then conquered, the Hudson’s Bay Company’s northern route. In 1858 the Company adopted the southern route, enriching St. Paul still further. The Red River Colony was so important that prominent Minnesotans pushed for its annexation in the 1860s. When the Hudson’s Bay Company ceded the Colony to Canada in 1869, Louis Riel launched a rebellion in opposition. Both annexation and rebellion failed; the colony became part of Canada in 1870.
PDF of Hoffa article

Volstead and Prohibition: A Roaring ’20’s Memoir
Author: Helen Warren Pfleger as told to George A. Rea
The author worked as a receptionist in the Federal Prohibition Administration office in downtown St. Paul in the 1920s. There she came to know Andrew Volstead, the former Congressman who had drafted the Prohibition amendment to the Constitution, and also to witness the daily workings of Prohibition enforcement. She found Mr. Volstead “a dignified gentleman, quiet and unassuming, but most affable,” old, short, and slight. The author also recalls other jobs she held and the popular entertainments of the time.
PDF of Pfleger article

PDF of Board of Directors