Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 14 Number 1: Fall 1978
The Dynamic Sister Antonia and the College of St. Catherine’s
Author: Sister Karen Kennelly
A description of the events leading up to the opening of the College of St. Catherine in January 1905 and its early history. The college grew out of St. Joseph’s Academy and was founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, Sister Seraphine (Ellen Ireland), and Archbishop John Ireland, among others, with the help of a generous gift from Hugh Derham. “That a standard, four-year liberal arts college evolved from these uncertain beginnings as quickly as it did was largely due to the genius of Sister Antonia (Anna) McHugh.” She joined the Sisters as a novice in 1890 and was on the teaching staff of Derham Hall, the college’s preparatory school, when it opened. Archbishop Ireland persuaded his sister to appoint Sister Antonia dean (later president) of St. Catherine’s in 1914. Under her leadership, the college achieved accreditation, built six major buildings and a library, upgraded its faculty, acquired a lay board of trustees, and graduated over a thousand students. Sister Antonia retired on 1936 following a stroke and died in 1944.
PDF of Kennelly article
James Henry Skinner’s Mansion Reflects Summit Avenue in Its Prime
Author: Caroline Harney
A history and description of the house at 385 Portland Avenue, St. Paul, designed by Clarence H. Johnston Sr. The design of the mansion “combines Georgian and neo-classical styles,” and the construction is all brick. “The interior of the mansion is as grand as the exterior, with fifteen fireplaces, eight bedrooms, elegant living and dining rooms, and a billiard room with a nine-foot ceiling in the basement.” James Skinner made his first fortune in the fur business with the firm of Lanpher, Skinner and Company. He and wife, Annie, bought the Portland Avenue land in 1901. Skinner founded the Merchants Trust Company, later First Trust Company, in 1915, and also served the government in London during World War I. He died in 1926, but his wife remained at the house until her death in 1945. Railroad lawyer Edwin Matthias and family bought the house in 1945 and lived there until 1957, when it was purchased by John B. Hilton and family. The Hiltons lived there until 1977.
PDF of Harney article