Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 54, Number 3: Fall 2019
Three Jewish Writers
Authors: Steve Trimble and Paul Nelson
What do three men who grew up in St. Paul’s predominately Jewish neighborhoods in the first half of the twentieth century have in common? Quite a bit, actually. Authors Steve Trimble and Paul Nelson highlight the lives of Max Shulman, Norman Katkov, and William Hoffman. All studied journalism at the University of Minnesota. All served stateside in the U.S. military, and all worked as writers. Katkov and Shulman made it “big” as authors before writing for television and film in Hollywood. Hoffman remained in St. Paul as a social worker, penning nostalgic newspaper columns (and a few books) related to his beloved childhood. Sadly, much of their literary work has been forgotten. Trimble and Nelson reintroduce the legacies of these writers while highlighting the city’s rich and varied Jewish history.
Growing Up in St. Paul: Reflections of Three Jewish Writers
Authors: William Hoffman, Norman Katkov, and Max Shulman
William Hoffman, Norman Katkov, and Max Shulman grew up in the West Side Flats and Selby-Dale neighborhoods. All three passed away years ago, and yet, through a bit of luck and determined research, Steve Trimble and Paul Nelson (authors of the “Three Jewish Writers” article above), discovered that each of these men, at one time or another, wrote short profiles of “their St. Paul,” unwittingly sharing memories with twenty-first century audiences, likely unfamiliar with their work . . . until now.
Creating Communities of Interest: James J. Hill and the Minnesota Transfer
Author: Brian McMahon
Railroad magnate James J. Hill was a busy man, with little patience for inefficiencies. So he initiated a partnership that some might consider counterintuitive. Hill met with other railroad directors— intense competitors—to collaborate, coordinate, and establish a transportation and freight logistics plan that would not only cut through the chaos but establish news business ventures, reduce congestion, and generate fortunes. Author Brian McMahon tells the story of the Minnesota Transfer located in the heart of the city’s Midway district.
Ramsey County Historical Society reviews three recently published books:
- Melvin Whitfield Carter, Jr., Diesel Heart: An Autobiography (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019). Reviewed by Mary Lethert Wingerd.
- Greg Gaut, Reinventing the People’s Library (St. Paul: published with assistance from Minnesota Historical Society with a grant from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, 2019). Reviewed by Anne Cowie.
- Willard L. “Sandy” Boyd, A Life on the Middle West’s Never-Ending Frontier
(Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2019). Reviewed by Meredith Cummings.