Historian for The Streets of St. Paul and Minnesota Then. I'm using this platform to share stories about Minnesota history and whatever else (or wherever else) I find interesting at the time.
The Death of "Dapper" Dan Hogan
Gangster Dan Hogan, nicknamed “Dapper” because of his stylish dress, was not only a hotel proprietor and restaurant owner in St. Paul, but an essential liaison between criminals and local police. He helped make sure incoming criminals didn’t commit crimes in the city. Today, we recognize this understanding as the O'Connor Layover Agreement. Hogan controlled this deal until his death.
The Gruesome 1909 Murder of St Paul Butcher Louis Arbogast
Locals were shocked when prominent St. Paul, Minnesota butcher and prominent local citizen Louis Arbogast was murdered. Arbogast, his wife, and four daughters lived a mundane, uneventful life in a large home near the city’s downtown. From the outside, they appeared to be a happy family that loved each other.
The Fatal Stabbing of Professional Wrestler "Bruiser Brody"
“[Brody] was very much what the wrestling business needed … a big, strong, athlete that could let people know that they better think twice before they step into the ring against him.” ~ Dory Funk Jr. (former professional wrestler)
The Kidnapping and Killing of Amber Hagerman
On Saturday, January 13, 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman and her five-year-old brother Ricky went with their mother Donna Whitson to Arlington, Texas, to see their grandparents. At around 3 PM, the two kids, who had bicycles at the house, asked if they could ride in the neighborhood. It was 70 degrees, and the kids wanted to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.
The High Price of Being Poor
Living paycheck-to-paycheck leaves one in the unenviable position of knowing that their hard work does little more than sustain their restlessness. The rut cuts deep, and the energy needed to get out of it soon gets replaced by shuffling bills on the kitchen table to try and pay every utility before its cut-off date.
The Shocking 1912 Murder of Twenty-Year-Old Alice Matthews
The March 23, 1912, death of Alice Matthews shocked the city of Minneapolis. Attacked by a dark, brooding figure only a few doors from her home, she did everything possible to save her own life. Matthews fought bravely, but her cries for help went unheeded. Her case dominated local papers for a few weeks. However, the story eventually became old news, and her attacker was never found.
Hunting for Family Stories
I recently subscribed to a newspaper's historical archives service to research an article. In a fleeting moment of too much free time and nothing to watch on TV, I put the names of a couple of my family members into the search box and saw what would happen.
The Lottery of the Ruling Party Begins at Midnight
They took us from our homes and without telling us what was going on forced all us onto large trucks. Each of us stared out of the window as a long line of trucks pulled up to the stadium. When we stopped, a strange group of men and women dressed in fatigues appeared and corralled us into the building and onto the field. It was dark, almost too dark to see the person standing in front of you.
The Gift of a Green Vase
No one was surprised when Kim and I ended up working in the same office. After all, we’d grown up in the same neighborhood, living just a couple of houses down from each other. We went to the same high school. Heck, we even left for college together.