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The Fraud of the Century

Paul Nelson

St. Paulite Clarence Cochran was convicted of fraud and reported to Leavenworth in 1930. Mugshot courtesy of National Archives of Kansas City, Record Group 129, Records of the Bureau of Prisons, Leavenworth Penitentiary, Inmate Case Files (1895-1952), National Archives Identifier 571125. By Paul Nelson To see this complete magazine…

Decisions, Destiny, and Dreams: Plympton’s Reserve, St. Paul’s Founding, and Desnoyer’s New Bridge Square

Drew M. Ross

The Desnoyer Halfway House located on the St. Anthony Falls-St. Paul Road attracted soldiers from Fort Snelling, residents from growing villages along the Mississippi, and tourists traveling to the area to glimpse the cascading St. Anthony Falls. Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society. By Drew M. Ross To see this…

Stephen Desnoyer’s Halfway House

Drew M. Ross

By Drew M. Ross Stephen Desnoyer is said to be the first permanent resident in Rose Township. He built a tavern on the thoroughfare of the St. Anthony/St. Paul Road which ran roughly along the route of today’s Interstate 94. The establishment was situated just west of what would become…

A Litigious Man: Select Court Cases of Stephen Desnoyer

Drew M. Ross

By Drew M. Ross Early St. Paulite Stephen Desnoyer slipped through the cracks of history. For years, we knew little about him. Even now, we have yet to find a photograph of him and know of only two descriptions of his appearance: short, rotund, jovial, fat (a total of four…

History Revealed: Alvin Karpis and the Barker Gang

Deborah Frethem & Cynthia Schreiner Smith

Alvin Karpis and the Barker Gang in Minnesota With Deborah Frethem & Cynthia Schreiner Smith History Revealed Program Date: Thursday, May 6, 2021 Video on YouTube In partnership with the White Bear Lake Area Historical Society From their home base in Minnesota, the Karpis-Barker…

Diesel Heart: An Autobiography

Reviewer: Mary Lethert Wingerd

Diesel Heart: An Autobiography Author: Melvin Whitfield Carter, Jr. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2019 256 pages; soft cover; 27 b&w photos; $17.95 Melvin Carter and I both grew up in Saint Paul in the 1950s and ’60s. But Carter’s hometown was a world away…

Ramsey County History – Winter 2018: “Terror Visits Fort Snelling: The 1940 Murder of Mary Jane Massey”

Steve Lydon

Terror Visits Fort Snelling: The 1940 Murder of Mary Jane Massey Author: Steve Lydon On the afternoon of July 13, 1940, thirteen-year-old Mary Jane Massey disappeared from the grounds of Fort Snelling, a quiet US Army base on the western outskirts of St. Paul. Mary Jane’s father…

Ramsey County History – Spring 2014: “Kisses in the Parks after Dark: Spooners in the News, 1921–1922”

Janice R. Quick

Kisses in the Parks after Dark: Spooners in the News, 1921–1922 Author: Janice R. Quick Author Janice Quick discusses the challenges that couples (spooners) faced when trying to find some privacy in the parks for hugging and kissing. The police were actually given orders to arrest such individuals who…

Ramsey County History – Winter 2013: “‘Cold Blooded Fraud:’ The White Bear Lake Sewer Project of 1926–1935”

James Lindner

“Cold Blooded Fraud:” The White Bear Lake Sewer Project of 1926–1935  Author: James Lindner In the mid-1920s, the City of White Bear Lake occupied a relatively remote portion of Ramsey and Washington counties in Minnesota, but its population was growing and city leaders decided that they needed to replace…