Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 34, Number 2: Summer 1999
The St. Paul Figure Skating Club and Those Popular Summer Pop Concerts
Author: Kathleen C. Ridder
Minnesota’s long, cold winters have provided a climate that encouraged the development of amateur and professional ice skaters of all types beginning with St. Paul’s Eddie and Roy Shipstad and Eddie’s partner, Oscar Johnson, in the 1920s. Out of their skill at skating grew Shipstad and Johnson’s Ice Follies in the early 1930s. The St. Paul Figure Skating Club figured prominently in developing other skaters, men and women, who went on to achieve national competitive success on the ice. This article covers all the major skaters from St. Paul. In the early 1950s, the Skating Club turned its attention to developing skaters for the annual Summer Pop Concerts at the Auditorium. Changes in the greater availability of rinks and local demographics with increased emphasis on ice hockey and figure skating by the late 1960s brought on the demise of the Pop Concerts.
PDF of Ridder article
Growing Up in St. Paul: The Story of Life on the Farm in a Changing World with Changing Fortunes
Authors: Henry H. and Samuel H. Morgan
This is an account of the authors’ mother’s side of the family on their large farm in what is today the Midway area of St. Paul from the 1860s to about 1910. Much of the source material can be found in Henry H. Morgan’s book, Four Pioneer Families of Minnesota (1998). Their great-grandfather, Judge Daniel A.J. Baker, purchased the land for the farm in the 1860s at the western edge of Ramsey County. Grandmother Cornelia Baker was a source for much of what they learned about the early years at the farm. In 1880 she married Henry Rice Hollinshead, a civil engineer who worked for the railroads. The result is a rich, lively, and entertaining family portrait that ends with the farm having to be sold off in parcels in the 1890s and 1900s to pay off multiple mortgages that the family was not able to refinance following the Panic of 1893.
PDF of Growing Up in Saint Paul
Two Who Were There Remember: How Ramsey County’s Governance Moved into the 20th Century
Author: Thomas J. Kelley
When the author took office as Ramsey County auditor in January 1967, county governance had remained “virtually unchanged” for 50 years. This is an account of the reason why the earlier form of county governance, which was deliberately fragmented by law, needed to change to stay abreast of the population growth and other needs of Ramsey County. The goal was to modernize and streamline county government to better meet the needs of the citizenry. The author was one of the leaders in the effort to persuade people in county government and at the Minnesota Legislature to make the needed changes and to strengthen county administration. Included in this article is a long sidebar written by Judge John T. Finley with his recollections of this reform effort of the early 1970s. Most of these changes were implemented between 1971 and 1975 and they “moved Ramsey County from a nineteenth-century operation into the 1970s.”
PDF of Kelley & Finley article