Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 45, Number 1: Spring 2010
They Played for the Love of the Game
: Adding to the Legacy of Minnesota Black Baseball
Author: Frank M. White
Based on a Ramsey County Historical Society exhibit, this article reveals the untold story of some of the local St. Paul baseball players who struggled to overcome racial indignities and gain recognition for their abilities. There is some material on the national scene and while there was no Negro League team in Minnesota, many African Americans played on integrated teams. The state did have several semi-pro black clubs prior to World War II. Some of the local standout players included Bobby Marshall, Billy Williams, and Toni Stone, a legendary woman player. Negro League teams did sometimes barnstorm and play in St. Paul from the 1930s through the ‘50s. Although the end of Major League Baseball’s color line in 1947 with the singing of Jackie Robinson was welcomed by many African Americans, it began the demise of the old Negro League teams. The article contains a list of local players and other African-American players, such as Willie Mays, who played in the state’s minor league system before they were called up to the majors.
PDF of White article
“Good Grief!” Said Charlie Brown:
The Business of Death in Bygone St. Paul
Authors: Moira F. Harris & Leo J. Harris
The article outlines the views of death and funeral customs in the nineteenth century, drawing heavily on the archives of the Albert Scheffer family in St. Paul. It examines a variety of contemporary customs and also provides information on the Scheffer family, which was of German origin. At the time, there was often a funeral cortege in which family and mourners would accompany the deceased to the cemetery and, if they were socially prominent, there might be police units and bands. The article includes discussion of topics such as sympathy and flowers; in the undertaker’s shop; wooden overcoats (coffins); embalming; dressing and moving of the dead; a dying art (tombstones); cities of the dead (cemeteries); funeralia; and differences in funerary customs and practices then and now.
PDF of Harris article
William D. Green, A Peculiar Imbalance: The Fall and Rise of Racial Equality in Early Minnesota (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2007).
Roger Bergerson, Winging It at a Country Crossroads: The Ups and Downs of Minnesota’s First Real Airport (St. Paul: Roger Bergerson, 2008).