Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 25, Number 3: Fall 1990
The Saint Paul Foundation and Its Past Fifty Years
Author: Virginia Brainard Kunz
The Saint Paul Foundation began in 1940 with nothing. Ten years later very little had changed. Thirty years later it was rich and helping other foundations find their way. How did this happen? This article follows the foundation’s history in detail. It took 40 years for the foundation to reach a level of wealth and expertise where it could undertake significant grant making. The foundation’s giving then focused on areas of particular local need: Southeast Asian immigrants, adult literacy, education of minority children and youth, public libraries, Pacific Rim economics, an Emergency Care Fund, battered women, the homeless, a Community Reinvestment Fund, AIDS, renovation of the Landmark Center and construction of the Ordway Center, and a host of others. By 1990 the Saint Paul Foundation had assets of $175 million and ranked in the top ten of community foundations nationwide.
PDF of Kunz article
PDF of St. Paul Foundation photo essay
No Cash, No Credit, No Jobs—St. Paul and the Panic of 1857
Author: Ronald M. Hubbs
The nationwide Panic of 1857 shattered the booming – and enthusiastically speculating – St. Paul. This piece follows the crisis mostly through the pens of newspapermen, chiefly those of the Daily Minnesotian and St. Paul Advertiser. The editors watched and commented as a crash was rumored, then struck Wall Street, then made its way inexorably west. Banks closed, money dried up, businesses went under, great men were ruined, the wharfs went quiet. It took the Civil War to bring full recovery. This article teaches us not only about the Panic, but also about a style of newspaper writing now gone.
PDF of Hubbs article
“West against East in the Land of Oz”
Author: Daniel John Hoisington
The author looks at The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a metaphor for the national East vs. West political struggle: gold vs silver, McKinley vs. Bryan. “To Baum, the treacherous gold standard could be remedied only by silver—the heart of William Jennings Bryan’s platform.” The metaphor is borrowed from writer Henry Littlefield.
PDF of Hoisington article
Reshaping the River: The Man-made Mississippi
Author: Virginia Brainard Kunz
The author compares the man-made Mississippi of today with the natural river. “If one of the colorful French voyageurs who once paddled the Mississippi could return as a time traveler, it is highly doubtful that he would recognize the river that was his highway.”
PDF of Mississippi River article
What’s Historic About This Site? Macalester’s Old Main and Its First Century
Macalester College’s Old Main has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. The author describes the building and the early days of the college.
PDF of Historic Site
Evelyn Fairbanks, Days of Rondo (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1990).
Roy Wilkins, Standing Fast (New York: Viking Press, 1982).
Gordon Parks, A Choice of Weapons (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1986).
PDF of Book Reviews