Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 39-2 Summer 2004

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

Volume 39

Volume 39, Number 2: Summer 2004

From Farm to Florence: The Gifted Keating Sisters and the Mystery of Their Lost Paintings

Author: Margaret M. Marrinan
This article centers on two Irish farm girls, Anysia and Sophia Keating who became nuns and developed into prolific painters. The mystery had to do with a search for information on how that happened and the location of their mostly forgotten paintings. The article also relates some of the history of the College of St. Catherine and of St. Agatha’s Conservatory of Art and Music, which was operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Sister Anysia entered the convent in 1884, followed by Sister Sophia two years later. Because they excelled in visual arts they were sent for three years of study in Europe. There they expertly copied over 300 old paintings to use at the school and did some of their own original work as well. After St. Agatha’s closed and because tastes in art had changed, their paintings were scattered to the wind, sold or given away. Along with help from Keating relatives, the author was able to locate a number of their works of art.
PDF of Marrinan article

Say It Ain’t So, Charlie!
 The 1897 Dispute between Charles Comiskey and the St. Paul Labor Trades and Labor Assembly over the Opening of Lexington Park

Author: David Riehle
On April 30, 1897, the famed Lexington ballpark opened to the public. The St. Paul Saints were then managed by Charles Comiskey and were part of the Western League. At the time, professional baseball was the most popular sport with members of the public, many of whom were part of a growing labor movement. As the ballpark opened, a series of disputes arose with organized labor. The union leaders fought against signage in the park for non-union businesses and demanded that only union musicians play at the games. To enforce their position, the Trades and Labor Assembly instituted a successful boycott until matters were resolved.
PDF of Riehle article

The Rondo Oral History Project
Buelah Mae Baines Swan Remembers Piano Lessons and a ‘Nice Vegetable Garden’ Out Back


An Interview by Kate Cavett

This article is from an oral history interview with Beulah Mae Baines Swan, who was raised near Como and Dale in a very small black community in St. Paul. Her father’s business was in the Rondo area, where he sold coal, wood, and ice. The family struggled as they made it through the Great Depression. Swan offered memories of going to Gorman School. Most of her friends were white and she wasn’t highly race conscious until searching for employment. She started out working for a private company and then had a job at the post office for twenty-six years. She took college business courses and then worked as a stenographer for the state for several years.
PDF of Rondo article

Spring Wagons and No Roads:
 A Gibbs Daughter Remembers a Pioneer Family’s Sunday as a ‘Serious Undertaking’

Author: Lillie Gibbs LeVesconte
This is a reminiscence of the youngest daughter of Heman and Jane Gibbs. She recalls that getting to church services was no easy task in the 1870s. It meant traveling in the family’s two-seated spring wagon more than three miles with no available public road. The Gibbs family attended a Methodist church in northeast St. Anthony, where LeVesconte vividly remembers hearing a visiting woman evangelist and how cold the little church was in the winter. Shortly afterward there was a road to the church—today’s Como Avenue.
PDF of LesVesconte article

Book Reviews

Jennifer A. Delton, Making Minnesota Liberal: Civil Rights and the Transformation of the Democratic Party (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002).

Biloine W. Young and Melvin L. Fowler, Cahokia: The Great Native American Metropolis (Urbana, Ill.: University of Illinois Press, 2000).
PDF of Book Reviews

PDF of Letters to the Editor