Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 48, Number 3: Fall 2013
Remembering Heroes: The Midway Transfer Fire of 1900
Author: Patrick L. Shannon
A major fire broke out at a packing house in the Midway neighborhood of St. Paul on the night of October 21, 1900. It soon spread to nearby buildings and eventually four fire companies fought the blaze. When heavy machinery in one of the buildings caused an exterior wall to collapse, six firefighters were caught in the falling debris, but only one of them could be rescued. This account of the fire is a tribute to the five who lost their lives doing their duty that night.
PDF of Shannon article
Growing Up in St. Paul: My Family and La Nuova Vita
Author: Eugene A. Rancone
This is a memoir of a man who grew up in the neighborhood of St. Paul’s Upper Levee in the 1930s and ‘40s. He recounts his immigrant forebears who came to the city from Italy and worked hard to make a new life in America. Author Rancone stresses the importance of his parents, his Italian heritage, the city of St. Paul, and his Catholic faith in shaping his early years. He graduated from Cretin High School in 1947, enrolled at the University of Minnesota, and joined the Minnesota Air National Guard. Eventually he became a pilot in the U.S. Air Force, served in the Korean War, and married a woman from St. Paul. In 1953 he returned to civilian life and began a career in commercial real estate development and construction. His firm built the city’s Landmark Tower, which opened in 1983 with a statue dedicated to La Nuova Vita in its entryway.
PDF of Rancone article
Present at the Creation: The Turbulent Sixties and Seventies in St. Paul Politics
Author: Ruby M. Hunt
The author, who served on the Saint Paul City Council between 1972 and 1982 and on the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners between 1983 and 1995, recalls several key personalities, primarily Mayor Charles McCarty and Council members Rosalie Butler and Milton Rosen, in a time of change in local politics. During this time, St. Paul slowly moved from a commission form of government with a weak mayor in which council members managed all city departments to a strong mayor system in which this elected official oversaw the administrative branch of city government and managed all city departments. After one failed ballot on changing the city charter to this new system, voters eventually passed the charter amendment and it was implemented in 1972.
PDF of Hunt article