Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 35-2 Summer 2000

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

Volume 35

Volume 35, Number 2: Summer 2000

Dilettante, Renaissance Man, Intelligence Officer: Jerome Hill and His World War Two Letters from France to His ‘Dearest Mother’
Author: G. Richard Slade
Using letters Jerome Hill sent to his mother during World War II, the author chronicles the experiences of Hill, then an air intelligence officer in the U.S. Army Air Forces and grandson of the Empire Builder, James J. Hill, in Southern France and Paris soon after their liberation by the Allies. As a dilettante born of immense privilege, Jerome Hill matured after earning his commission in the Air Force. His letters are personal, carefully avoiding mention of places or people that might have been of value to the enemy. As he returns to the studio he’d left when France fell to the Germans in 1940, as well as to the apartment he had had in Paris, he conveys his mix of emotions at what he finds with considerable flair.
PDF of Slade article

A Roof Over Their Heads: The Ramsey County ‘Poor Farm’
Author: Pete Boulay
In less than a year after Minnesota became a Territory, Ramsey County hired its first overseer of the poor, the editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press, James Goodhue. The “poor farm” under his authority had several locations for the ensuing 30 years, with its final site being land in today’s inner-ring suburb of Maplewood. At the Poor Farm, there were separate residential rooms for men and women. The farm, mostly devoted to dairy operations, was expected to be self-sufficient, even a money-maker for the county. The 1950s boom of suburbia around the farm resulted in the conversion of the property to sports activities, with the home itself becoming the Ramsey County Nursing Home.
PDF of Boulay article

Plans for Preserving ‘Potters’ Field:’—Heritage of the Public Welfare System
Author: Robert C. Vogel
In early 2000, a management plan was developed for the cemetery on the Ramsey County Poor Farm. The cemetery’s roots go back to 1895 when the county board of commissioners established a “potters’ field” for the burial of indigent persons. It covered about three acres and contained nearly 3,000 unmarked graves.
PDF of Vogel article

Recounting the 1962 Recount: The Closest Race for Governor in Minnesota’s History
Author: Thomas J. Kelley
In the closest gubernatorial race in Minnesota’s history, Democrat Karl F. Rolvaag was elected over the Republican incumbent, Elmer L. Andersen, by the slim margin of 91 votes. After a recount of every vote cast statewide, the final results were settled in Ramsey District Court—nearly five months after the election. The author, a veteran of both Ramsey County and the City of Saint Paul, untangles the complexities of the process with insight and humor.
PDF of Kelley article

Growing Up in St. Paul: After Fifty Years, You Can Go Home Again
Author: Penny Payte McLeaish
After returning to her hometown after a 50-year absence, the writer finds several tokens from her girlhood in the Midway area. Among the buildings she locates that are still extant are the Randolph Heights grade school, The Lexington restaurant on Grand Avenue, and her grandmother’s Portland Avenue home.
PDF of Growing Up in St. Paul

Book Review

John W. Johnson, John O. Johnson: From Norway to White Bear Lake (White Bear Lake, Minn.: John W. Johnson, 1999).
PDF of Book Reviews

PDF of Letters to the Editor