home > reference & research > special collections > Minneapolis collection > oral history interviews
Search:

The oral histories housed in the James K. Hosmer Special Collections Library were recorded in the 1970s. Some originally aired on the radio; others were simply captured with an eye toward preserving the memories of interviewees for posterity. The interviewees spanned a variety of professional fields including business, music, art, architecture, and urban planning. The interviewers were a similarly diverse group that included radio DJs, historians, and volunteers.

Oral histories are available in their entirety online in cases where the sound quality is good and a legal release form was signed by the interviewee. Oral histories for which no release form exists or that are of poor sound quality can be accessed on CD at Special Collections. If a written transcript of an interview is available this is noted on the interview description. Transcripts are also available at Special Collections.

Please feel free to contact Special Collections directly if you have questions about this collection.

 Cedar Lake Ice Company
Interviewee: Nassig, George W.
Interviewed by: Benson, Bernard C. in 1977
Summary:
Summary from HCL catalog record: "Bernard C. Benson interviews George W. Nassig, retired employee of the Cedar Lake Ice Company, about the ice business in Minneapolis" (Oral history project. No. 45-47, Cedar Lake Ice Company / George W. Nassig, Summary).
(33 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(64 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #47) Transcript available: no


 Depression, The: Silberman, Ed
Interviewee: Silberman, Ed
Interviewed by: Parish, Audrey H. in 1983
Summary:
This is a taped interview with Ed Silberman who lived with his family in North Minneapolis in the early 1930’s, went to the University of Minnesota where he was compelled to participate in R.O.T.C., worked to help earn his college education and earned a master’s degree in Engineering in 1936. Ed’s father owned a business in North Dakota but the family came to live in North Minneapolis. The Depression hit while he was in high school. His father’s business failed during that time and the Depression began affecting Ed’s life about the time he graduated from high school. He remembers that his parents were very protective of their children regarding money matters. Ed started attending the University of Minnesota where tuition was $20 a quarter. He was conscious of the closing of banks because he could not draw out money for his second quarter tuition. He helped out by working as a grocery store clerk on Saturday afternoons. He was conscious that some of the students had to drop out of school because of the depression. His recollections include the fact that R.O.T.C. was compulsory and was also a controversial matter on campus. While drilling they experienced jeers from bystanders and a popular anti-R.O.T.C. slogan was: “I shall not fight for God or country.” Ed’s beliefs regarding a future were that he could always make a good living following college and that if the could make $5000 a year that would take care of him for life. While his work at the grocery store exposed him to the circumstances of poverty, he does not remember ever seeing anyone in dire straits. His memories include a sympathetic dentist named Henry Strommen who went around to local merchants and collected groceries to make up boxes that were given to people in desperate straits. His recollections of the trucker’s strike were only impressions, nothing first-hand. He remembers hearing of street battles. People fighting each other picked fruit and vegetables from trucks and threw it at each other. There were fist fights and sometimes fighters threw paving bricks at opposition. His sympathies were anti-striker since he worked for people who sold produce and couldn’t sell if there wasn’t anything delivered for sale. He remembers that his father was strongly anti-communist and that there were agitators who pushed for communism. His last year at the U of M was on a fellowship for which he earned $750 a year and he continued working in the grocery store. As part of that fellowship study he worked in the Experimental Engineering Building where he worked on models of the lab that would later become the hydraulics lab created by the Public Works Administration in 1936. He later became director of the Hydraulics Engineering Laboratory. After graduation his first job was with the Minnesota State Planning Board. The Water Resources Program was instituted under auspices of a Federal program. In that position he was required to contribute from his monthly paycheck to the Farmer Labor Party headed by Floyd B. Olson, Governor of Minnesota. His next job was with the Corp of Engineers working on locks and dams.
(91 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Depression, The: Silberman, Idell
Interviewee: Silberman, Idell
Interviewed by: Parish, Audrey H. in 1983
Summary:
Idell discusses her life as a child of immigrants during the depression, and also her work to better society on a local and national level. Her family lived in north Minneapolis. She discusses her family life saying that her community didn’t really feel the depression since they were all have-nots anyway. There was nobody else to compare her life to who had more. Also she describes her very loving family and how they always felt grateful for what they had rather than being envious of what they did not have. Furthermore she discusses relations with those inside and outside the Jewish community, and how businessmen in the community would support each other. She also explains how her mother would help others and how this influenced her to make the community better. She goes on to describe her education, and the fact that it was expected that she would go to college. She describes her college life as one of study without much of a social life. She worked at a department store for $3 a day to pay for her $20 a quarter tuition.

She then describes her marriage to Ed Silberman and how she followed him from post to post during the war. After the war they moved back to Minnesota dissatisfied with community life in Washington, DC. When they returned they found they had to build a new community life with other recent returnees. This began her life of service as she got involved in the school and park boards to make her community a better place. She also worked to get vocational training for students. Furthermore she helped to organize the first charter flights to Europe so teachers and students could have more international experiences. She was also vocal about the need for language training for children after a trip to Russia where she learned all students were taught English. She thought this would bring about world peace. She was also active on the national scene working with the UN and building an educational partnership with NASA. Finally she speaks about her involvement with various Jewish and interfaith organizations and their attempts to educate young people and their parents about Israel. She closes by talking about how important education is to her.
(92 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Effects of the 30’s and WWII on Life Today: Goss, Marie
Interviewee: Goss, Marie
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1986
Summary:
Marie Goss was born in New York City, lived in Washington, D.C. and came to the Midwest and thence to Minnesota in 1947. Her father was a graduate of Harvard Law School and was employed by the Federal Trade Commission in Washington, D.C. Her mother went to Cornell College and got her Master’s Degree before the year 1900. Marie earned a B.A. Degree in Education from George Washington University in D.C. but was unable to find employment as a teacher during that period of time. She went to a business school to learn shorthand and typing and then found employment teaching those skills in a business college.

Later, she met her husband who became employed, as she was then by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the capacity of facilitating personnel. Following that, her husband was employed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where Marie joined him after their marriage. In Illinois Marie became involved with the League of Women Voters. She recalls that her mother had stressed the importance of education which then should be used to benefit others rather than for cultural advancement. Then Marie speaks about her views on equal economic opportunity for women and gives her opinion of how women might effectively represent their views on the subject.

In 1947 Mr. Goss took employment with Pillsbury Company which resulted in the family’s move to Minnesota. Marie managed their household, including their three children, and continued her own interests. An active participation in the League of Women Voters led her into the political arena.

Finally she talks about the Minneapolis Library system and her work on the Library Board. She gives her personal views about women working in public life along with men and she gives her private views about contribution of effort that can be rewarding in public life as well as in private life.
(84 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Excelsior Minnesota History
Interviewee: Moody, Lowell Henderson; Moody, Kitty Stoner
Interviewed by: Justad, Joe in September 25, 1965
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #?) Transcript available: no


 Godfrey Family
Interviewee: Palen, Marguerite
Interviewed by: Baker, Patty in 1977
Summary:
Summary from HCL catalog record: "Marguerite Palen, granddaughter of Ard Godfrey, reminisces about the Godfrey family and house" (Oral history project. No. 44, Godfrey family / Marguerite Palen, Summary).
(47 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Guthrie Theatre
Interviewee: Schoenbaum, Donald H.
Interviewed by: Wuest, Mrs. Frederick in 1974
Summary:
In a 1974 interview, Donald H. Schoenbaum, Managing Director of the Guthrie Theatre and Executive Vice President of the Guthrie Theatre Foundation, discusses the management of the Guthrie Theatre. Schoenbaum discusses fundraising and financial issues stemming from the early private support of the theatre and the attempts to resolve the difficulties by expanding fundraising efforts. Schoenbaum also discusses the early goals of the Guthrie, artistic challenges, the role of the artistic director, program planning, planning a season, future plans for the Guthrie, and the impact of the Guthrie on local and national theaters. Schoenbaum also emphasizes the importance of programs and activities aimed at students and the significant percentage of the audience that is students.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Impact of life in the 1930’s and World War II on life today
Interviewee: Cooper, E.J.
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1984
Summary:
These are the ruminations of a man who held the position of Superintendent of Schools in Robbinsdale #281 for many years. His father and two brothers were teachers, but E.J. Cooper wanted to find his fortune out west. He found employment in Colorado, but his wife did not fare well in the high elevation. From there he went to fill a position as teacher in New Mexico and ultimately came to Robbinsdale.

One of his teaching engagements was in New Mexico where he taught exceptionally bright students. His discovery was that children of well educated parents were better students than many of the children of immigrants. Mr. Cooper speculates about that in the sense that many people who emigrated to foreign lands did so because they were unable to do well in their own land.

He speaks of building up a large district with a good school system, such as Robbinsdale, through use of stringent hiring practices. He would not break in new teachers. If they taught elsewhere for a couple years and then came back, he would try to work them into his system. His soliloquies cover his standards for judging a good teacher. In the matter of teaching practices, Mr. Cooper relates to the custom of teachers weeding out poor pupils by failing them in order to do justice to the remainder of the class.

His interest in slow learners resulted in the system doing a great deal to advance their opportunities. There was emphasis, too, on opportunities in education for the disabled. Mr. Cooper spoke with pride on the excellent math program in Robbinsdale School District.

Mr. Cooper commented, too, on the way World War II changed the nature of the community. Return of veterans to their old neighborhood expanded into the suburbs. As a result, more new schools had to be built which increased the size of the district and expanded opportunities within the system. MEA represents the big teachers’ body in the state of Minnesota more strongly than the union, Mr. Cooper believes, although they co-exist with some harmony. He advances the opinion that positive leadership in management makes it possible to get contracts with teachers without a strike. Since retirement from his job as Superintendent, Mr. Cooper served on the library MELSA board.
(85 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Life in Minneapolis in the 1930's: Fair, Jeanette A.
Interviewee: Fair, Jeanette A.
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1984
Summary:
Jeanette Fair was a teacher and a school principal. Her interview touches upon changes in her profession through a span of thirty plus years. She relates to changes in teaching contracts from the days when a teacher violated her contract by getting married through union-dictated contracts of more recent years. She speaks about her association with the Delta Kappa Gamma Society through which she actively promoted the movements that brought about a broader system of employment rights and advancement for teachers (with emphasis on equal rights for women) on a state, national, and international basis. While her teaching was in a school in a suburban area, her views are those of a Minneapolis and a Minnesota woman.
(81 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Life in Minneapolis in the 1930’s: Cohn, Lillian
Interviewee: Cohn, Lillian
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1984
Summary:
In this 1984 Interview Linda Cohn discusses her life as the daughter of Jewish immigrants in the 1930s and beyond. She discusses several things during the interview. These include her parent’s personal history. Her father was a miller who had to work as a laborer when he arrived in Minnesota. He later made umbrellas and cut keys. These included the keys for the Foshay tower. She had three brothers who became lawyers, and one who became a business man. Her mother was from Austria-Hungary and tramped grapes to make the $25 needed for passage to America. She also discusses her life during the depression. Her family could only afford one year of high school so she started working retail. She became discontented, and her father loaned her the money to go to Business College. She states that she remembers the strikes of the 30’s but they did not affect her personally. She does remember the anxiety they caused though. She also discusses her personal life. She was married to a salesman in 1917, and they had one son: Victor. She worked in a dress shop until the end of the Second World War. She then joined various Jewish activist groups. She describes the women in these groups as aggressive. She also relates the story of former Governor Floyd B. Olson who would turn on the gas for people in the Jewish community on the Sabbath since they were forbidden to do so by religious law. She also discusses her son’s time at the Star Tribune and the Washington Post. Finally she closes with her views on contemporary society versus what she remembers as a young woman.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Life in Minneapolis in the 1930’s: Nellie Stone Johnson
Interviewee: Johnson, Nellie Stone
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1983
Summary:
Nellie Stone Johnson was born into a family of seven children to farmer parents in a North Central Minnesota area. She says being raised on a farm gave her skills to produce and be self-sufficient; it helped her to avoid becoming hung up on status. After going to the University of Minnesota and then to additional college classes in Wisconsin, Nellie went to work for the Minneapolis Athletic Club. Having become involved with young people in political groups, she turned her interests to union affairs where she became a shop steward and then vice president of the union. She was one of the first women to hold vice presidency in a union. That was as high as a woman could go. It was that union which sponsored Nellie’s bid for election to the library board where she served for several years. She remembered the truckers’ strike in 1934 and identified with the strikers. Her father was on his way to the International Marketplace with a load of potatoes and rutabagas when he was stopped by the strikers. He made a deal with the strikers that he would donate his produce if they would pay his gas to that point. Her memories of the strike include the efforts of “Bloody” Michael Johannes, Minneapolis police chief, to break the strike. Women manned strike headquarters during the truckers’ strike, providing coffee and food for picketers. It was a dangerous job. In some parts of the country, headquarters were bombed.

Nellie’s memories include personal recollections of Floyd B. Olson. When he ran for the governorship the second time, she remembers he became much more political. She was aware of that because she, too, was changing. She knew him as dedicated to the people and dedicated to labor. He got into trouble with labor when he called out the National Guard during the truckers’ strike. Nellie left work at the athletic club and went to work in the garment industry. She was deliberately preparing herself for setting up in business. Her first shop was in the old Kresge Building. Her present shop is in the Lumber Exchange Building. The changes taking place for women in employment, business and politics were interrupted by the fact that women were forced to work during the war when men were in armed services. It was not possible to coerce for better working conditions and equal opportunity when employees were essential to winning the peace.

A major movement for legislation during that time was for Social Security. Many people walked to work and put the money saved into a pot for sending labor delegates to Washington to lobby for Social Security. Almost everybody had an elderly relative in the county poor farm which was considered the greatest evil of the times. The greatest local impact in the fight of black people through the NAACP was to destroy Jim Crowism. In the hotel industry the battle was to give blacks equal opportunity for jobs, for eating in restaurants and staying in hotels. Workers for the cause helped to educate Hubert H. Humphrey to the fact that there was more out there than general politics. The real impact of life in the 30’s was that it resulted in legislation for the betterment of people. The movement of those times led the way to passage of the Civil Rights Act.
(66 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Life in Minneapolis in the 1930’s: Sporre Margaret
Interviewee: Sporre, Margaret
Interviewed by: Loken, Vivian M in 1984
Summary:
In this 1984 Interview with Margaret Sporre she discusses her life during the depression and her views on life now. She begins by talking about her childhood growing up in various European immigrant communities, and her views on their interactions. She discusses her father who worked for the railroad, and was a strong union supporter. It was his views that made her the strong union supporter that she is now. She then discusses her life during the depression. She says that she was more concerned with having a job than she was with feminism. However she states that she very rarely noticed any inequities in the workplace. She also discusses her various jobs from department store clerk to power machine operator to prototype maker. She states that she never had much of a social life due to lack of money. She goes on to discuss her traditional views on the role of women, and her domestic attitude towards what they should do. She closes by discussing her life and job in the present. The tape ends abruptly.
(30 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Linden Hills: Boettcher, Gordon
Interviewee: Boettcher, Gordon
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in April 13, 1995
Summary:
Gordon Boettcher was 89 years old at the time of this interview. He lived at 44th Street and Zenith Avenue South, graduated from Lake Harriet School, and attended Central High School for four years. He remembers events around Lake Harriet and in the neighborhood from the 1920s. Transcript pdf.
(48 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Crimmins, Inez
Interviewee: Crimmins, Inez
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in July 29, 1994
Summary:
Inez Crimmins was a community leader and organizer in Linden Hills from the time the Crimmins’s became residents in 1940. This particular interview explains her involvement in the community, and especially the start of the Southwest Activities Council (SWAC), which she and her husband initiated in 1953 with other community members. Transcript pdf.
(31 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
(34 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 4
Summary:
Inez Crimmins discusses her early community activities in Linden Hills. Mrs. Crimmins was active in SWAC and on the Park Board. Transcript pdf.
(34 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Eckley, Charlotte
Interviewee: Eckley, Charlotte
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg and Ellison, Joanne in September 15, 1994
Summary:
Charlotte Eckley attended Lake Harriet School, Fulton School, and West High School. She attended the first grade at Fulton in 1916, the year that Fulton opened. She talks about local businesses in the mid 1920s. She describes the pavilion at Lake Harriet, the food served there, and the storm that destroyed it in 1925. She recounts stories of the gypsies; the Rose Garden pageants; and of talking to firemen at Station 28, motormen on the streetcars, and neighborhood characters like the “old Scandinavian fellows” who minded the warming house at Lake Harriet and were good to the children. Transcript pdf.
(31 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(31 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Fontaine, Paul
Interviewee: Fontaine, Paul
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in November 13, 1994
Summary:
Paul Fontaine grew up in the Lake Harriet District. He reminisces about his Uncle Jean who was born in 1896 and also grew up in Minneapolis. Both Paul and his Uncle Jean attended West High School. Paul recounts the ways in which his uncle influenced him in school and later in life. He tells about his grandfather, Paul Bruner, his work for the Minneapolis Journal and what became of his children. There is mention of a friendship between the Ebert and Fontaine families. Later Paul discusses his mother’s first marriage and how he got his name. He then talks about his grandfather’s political activities. He helped start the Farmer Labor Party and was mentioned in Tine Thevenin’s book on the history of Lake Harriet. Transcript pdf.
(26 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Johnson, Betty
Interviewee: Johnson, Betty
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in March 12, 1994
Summary:
Betty Johnson was in junior high school and high school in the 1930s. She talks about Calhoun School, Fulton School, and West High School; about parades and holiday programs; and about how they dressed for 8th grade graduation. She and Greg LaLonde discuss the history of Southwest High School and its location and naming. They talk about Pershing Park and athletics and other activities that took place there. Johnson talks about their favorite places to go in the 50th and France area, Lake Harriet band concerts, and canoes, and about the commercial districts in the neighborhood. Transcript pdf.
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(28 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 4
(28 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Kelly, Nancy
Interviewee: Kelly, Nancy
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in July 16, 1994
Summary:
Nancy Kelly talks about the Rose Garden pageants, where children from various Minneapolis parks participated, dressed in crepe paper costumes. Pageants were held in the area that is now the Lyndale Rose Garden, near Lake Harriet. She talks about rehearsals, the costumes, and the staging of the pageants. Greg LaLonde also talks briefly about Philander Prescott. Transcript pdf.
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(29 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Keyes, Robert and Morosco, Bea
Interviewee: Keyes, Robert and Morosco, Bea
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in January 3, 1995
Summary:
This interview is with Beatrice Morosco and Robert Keyes. The discussion includes activities at the Lake Harriet bicycle races, homes overlooking the lake, and social gatherings. Bea recalled the neighborhood in which she was raised and the research she did on the homes and businesses which were there during her childhood. Her research is the basis for her book, The Restless Ones.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(36 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Loney, Lois
Interviewee: Loney, Lois
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in March 13, 1994
Summary:
Lois Loney, in the company of her husband, Jim and son, Mark, talks about the summer pageants held at the Lyndale Rose Gardens in the 1930s. She describes the preparations, costumes, and accessories such as lanterns that were used in the performances. She briefly discusses her speed skating accomplishments and talks about her past homes, including one originally owned by the Grimes family. Mrs. Loney reminisces about childhood friends Mary Perreault and Shiela Best, and neighborhood businesses such as Carlson’s Odd Shop. She also discusses St. Thomas parish where her family attended school and church services. Transcript pdf.
(48 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Morosco, Bea
Interviewee: Morosco, Bea
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in and September 29, 1994
Summary:
Beatrice (Bea) Morosco was one of seven Ebert children whose family has lived in
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
Summary:
This is an interview with Bea Morosco in which she discusses the history of Lake Harriet and Fort Snelling. Lake Harriet School and West High were her schools and she remembers classmates and teachers. After school, Bea started a career on stage at the Shubert Theater in the Twin Cities and then went with a road company and to Chicago and New York in the1920s.
(80 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 4
Summary:
Beatrice Morosco, at age 99, talks about her life in the New York theater, and her childhood in Linden Hills.
(80 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 5
Summary:
In this interview with Greg LaLonde, Beatrice Morosco talks about early movie actors and actresses, Broadway stars, and her experiences in New York. She also recounts many family incidents with her grandfather and grandmother, which were originally in her book, The Restless Ones.
(67 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 6
Summary:
The interview with Bea Morosco by Greg LaLonde on May 18, 1995 contains reminiscences by Bea Morosco of her stage life in New York and the people she knew there. Her husband, producer Lesley Morosco, and his brother, Oliver Morosco, were very prominent in the New York theater scene (the Morosco Theater was owned by their family).
(59 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 7
(59 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 8
Summary:
This interview begins with Greg LaLonde reading excerpts from Beatrice Morosco’s writing on area history, and her comments on them. She continues by recounting her theatrical career from just out of high school in Minneapolis, on to Chicago, and then to New York’s off-Broadway, and finally, Broadway.
(75 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Nyberg, Walter
Interviewee: Nyberg, Walter
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in July 27, 1994
Summary:
The interview is with Walter Nyberg, who was raised in a Linden Hills house that still stands at 53rd and Chowen. The house stood in the midst of farmland in the 1920s. Nyberg described the neighborhood school on 51st and Drew Ave. Riley School meant a lot to the students and parents. He talks about activities during his school years, and businesses that were in the area.
(72 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Parsons, Dudley Jr.
Interviewee: Parsons, Dudley, Jr.
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg with comments by Joanne Ellison in October 12, 1994
Summary:
Dudley Parsons Jr. was born in 1906. He graduated from Lake Harriet School in 1919, after the eighth grade. He talks about early residents of the Linden Hills and Morningside area, and the geography of Edina, Minneapolis and Richfield as their physical boundaries changed over the years. His father was an English teacher at West High School, and his grandfather was a minister in Minneapolis.
(53 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Riley School Group
Interviewee: Robert Johnson, George Ludcke, John Nyberg, Walter Nyberg
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in September 7, 1994
Summary:
The Riley School group consisting of John and Walter Nyberg, Robert Johnson and George Ludcke met at Pearson’s Restaurant for an interview. They reminisced about neighborhood friends and businesses, while pointing out Fulton and Riley School classmates and teachers.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Stutsman, Richard
Interviewee: Stustman, Richard
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in May 31, 1995
Summary:
An interview with Richard Stutsman, whose parents were Howard and Marian Sogard Stutsman. In 1900 Mr. Stutsman’s mother’s parents built a house at 4050 Linden Hills Boulevard, on a lot that was given away free. His father’s parents lived at 3807 Thomas Avenue, beginning in 1907. The interview includes history of Linden Hills and Mr. Stutsman’s family, and review of photo albums and scrapbooks. The transcript was revised to incorporate corrections from Mr. Stutsman.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Ueland, Margaret
Interviewee: Ueland, Margaret
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg in November 21, 1994
Summary:
In this interview, Margaret Ueland, at 90, reminisces about her life and that of the Ueland family, with references to: her college years [University of South Dakota, University of Minnesota, Smith College]; Rolf Ueland, their marriage and early years together, his childhood, education and career. She talks about other members of the Ueland family including Rolf’s father, Andreas, his immigration from Norway, his role in the origins of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Unitarian Society, and Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra; and probable kindergarten classes in the Ueland home, conducted by Rolf’s mother, Clara Hampson Ueland. The interview includes references to the following publications: “Southwest Journal” article by Mary Mason, “The Autobiography of an Immigrant” by Andreas Ueland, and a book for the Minnesota Historical Society on Minnesota women by Barbara Stewart.
(89 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Vanderbilt, Muriel
Interviewee: Vanderbilt, Muriel
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg and Ellison, Joanne in October 3, 1994
Summary:
Muriel Vanderbilt discusses her memories of the Linden Hills neighborhood, including holiday times, band concerts, and summer and winter sports. She comments about her mother’s community involvement through the PTA, Christian Women’s Temperance Union, and charity work. She makes further reference to her father’s architectural career and social life. Finally, she mentions several individual families in the Linden Hills area: the Uelands, the Grimes’s and the Keyes’s.
(70 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Linden Hills: Vanderbilt, Muriel and Eleanor
Interviewee: Vanderbilt, Muriel and Eleanor
Interviewed by: LaLonde, Greg and Ellison, Joanne in October 3, 1994
Summary:
This interview centers around a group of early photographs (1920s) of the Linden Hills neighborhood including parks and pageants, Lake Harriet and its pavilions, and their family in these settings. Most of the dialog in the interview refers to these pictures. Muriel talks about how their father, J. V. Vanderbilt who was born and bred in New York City, eventually came to live in Minnesota. She speaks at length about his prominent architectural work. Muriel also speaks of her grandfather. Eleanor reminisces about neighborhood stores including Gregg’s Pharmacy, Hanson’s Grocery, Hawkinson’s Grocery, and others.
(118 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Literature and Minneapolis
Interviewee: Kittleson, J. Harold
Interviewed by: Bridgman, Betty in 1972
Summary:
Summary from HCL catalog record: "no. 39, 48-50. J. Harold Kittleson, donor of the 19th Century American Studies Collection in the Emerson Room of Minneapolis Public Library's North Regional Library, discusses the Emerson Room, his associations with 19th century authors, and book collecting -- no. 50. Wendell Glick delivers a lecture at the opening of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts exhibit, "Walden to St. Anthony: New England Writers Influence Minnesota," which features books from the 19th Century American Studies Collection" (Oral history project. No. 39, 48-50, Emerson Room at North Regional Library, Minneapolis Public Library / J. Harold Kittleson., Contents).
(81 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Part 3
(64 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Local Architecture: Hall, Kate Dunwoody
Interviewee: Cavin, Brooks
Interviewed by: Baker, Patty in 1976
Summary:
Local architect, Brooks Cavin discusses the 1964 Kate Dunwoody residence hall at 10th street and Lasalle for the Women's Christian Association. *Project files are available in the Brooks Cavin papers at the University of Minnesota's Northwest Architectural Archives, Manuscripts Division.
(26 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Lowry Hill Neighborhood
Interviewee: Hardenbergh, Margaret
Interviewed by: Brink, Lucille and Lehmann, Sally in 1976
Summary:
"no. 43. Margaret Hardenbergh, daughter of the Rev. Harry P. Nichol, rector of St. Mark's Episcopal Church from 1892-1900, reminisces about Lowry Hill" (Oral history project. No. 41, 43, Lowry Hill neighborhood and Minneapolis memories / Helen Jones, Margaret Hardenbergh, Contents).
(61 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Interviewee: Jones, Helen W.
Interviewed by: Anson, Sally and Lehmann, Sally in 1976
Summary:
Summary from HCL catalog record: "no. 41. Helen Jones, daughter of C.J. Winton and widow of Carl W. Jones, recalls her early impressions of Lowry Hill and Minneapolis" (Oral history project. No. 41, 43, Lowry Hill neighborhood and Minneapolis memories / Helen Jones, Margaret Hardenbergh, Contents).
(64 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #41) Transcript available: yes


 Melvin Hansen's Story
Interviewee: Hansen, Melvin
Interviewed by: Stephenson, Sallie in 1982
Summary:
This interview with Melvin Hansen discusses his life in Minnesota in the early to mid twentieth century. He describes his parents’ lives, his mother’s immigration from Norway, and his father’s involvement in a Native American uprising in Montana. He then talks about his early life, and his father’s experiences in the butcher’s trade. His family lived on Cedar Ave. which he describes as being all swamp between Franklin and Lake Avenues. He then moved to 14th Ave, and attended Abbott School. He goes on to describe the various jobs he had in his youth. These included delivery boy, street sweeper, optician’s assistant, and mail order clerk. He then began working for his father moving cattle for butchering and hides. Finally he did a stint as a mail carrier for the Postal Service. In 1917 after the war broke out he decided to enlist in the army. He was trained as a medic due to poor vision in one of his eyes. He was stationed in Mexico with the National Guard. He describes the base that he worked at as the biggest post exchange in the area, and how he made quite a bit of money selling cigarettes. He then talks about his time in France during the war. He describes how many of the soldiers would try to fake epilepsy to get out of the army. He describes the trip to Paris by boat as harrowing. The waters were rough, and the enemy sunk ships in the fleet carrying 50 to 60 thousand men. Upon his arrival in Paris he was instructed to help in the sand bagging of Notre Dame. Next he describes his time working as a medic in Paris. He talks about saving a man with a pickaxe through his head, amputating limbs, and singing to a dying German soldier. After the war he had to travel cross county from New York to get his discharge. He then describes moving into a new house in Minneapolis, and how he used to like to go dancing. He then took a job managing a clothing store in Mapleton but came home to his parents on the weekends. He describes the people he worked with there, and how he would take them with him to Minneapolis on the weekends. However, one morning before he returned to Mapleton he discovered the clothing store burned down. He went back, collected his accounts by memory and decided to go into real estate. It was at this time that he met his wife working in a real estate office. They didn’t get married right away because he could not afford it. In 1929 his brother died. On the way back from the funeral they stopped in the town in which his parents had been married, and his fiancée suggested that they be married on the spot and they were. For a time they lived with his parents until he acquired some real estate that he converted into tenements. They owned the Oak Grove Hotel and lived in it for a time. They were married for 14 years before they had their daughter Cheryl. He goes on to describe his other experiences in real estate in the 1940’s. He bought the Metropolitan Building from Thorpe Realty over the telephone for $250,000. Finally, he shows the interviewer his scrap book, and elaborates on some of the things he has already discussed.
(106 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #115) Transcript available: yes


 Metropolitan Building: Man Who Tore Down the Met
Interviewee: Jorvig, Robert
Interviewed by: Stephenson, Sallie in May, 1982
Summary:
In May of 1982 Sallie Stephenson conducted an interview of Robert Jorvig about the decision to tear down the Metropolitan building. They discuss the problems with the building, deteriorating plumbing, exterior cracking, and difficulties bringing the building up to code. The interior, elevators, and structural materials of the building are detailed. They discuss redevelopment in downtown Minneapolis, the Gateway project and differences in attitudes toward historic preservation. Jorvig talks about the history of the skid row area of Minneapolis and the relocation of residents when buildings were torn down. There is discussion of the court trials to try and save the building. The interview concludes with the reasons for the decision to tear down the Metropolitan Building.
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Milling History
Interviewee: Moore, Allan
Interviewed by: Narration and unknown interviewer in 1950
Summary:
In a 1950 recording, former Vice President of Pillsbury, Allan Moore presents a brief history of grain milling and discusses milling in Minnesota and the United States. Moore examines advance in milling technology and the impact on flour production and distribution. Moore also discusses wheat farming in the United States. Moore also discusses the economics of flour milling, the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, and wheat quality.
(25 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Pillsbury, Philip W.
Interviewed by: Moore, Allan in 1974
Summary:
During a 1974 interview, Philip W. Pillsbury, a former president of Pillsbury Company, discusses advances in wheat and flour production and their influence on the company's success. Pillsbury discusses his path to becoming Pillsbury's president and working in every department of Pillsbury and the Pillsbury's family milling legacy. Pillsbury also discusses the early history of Pillsbury and its affiliation with an English company until the 1920s. Pillsbury discusses building a research laboratory after WWI to develop new uses for flour, the acquisition of Globe Grain and Milling Company in California, and expansion into world markets in 1954. Pillsbury also discusses the company's goal to have products in every department of the supermarket, including forays into wine, flowers, and meat. Other topics included increasing world population and increasing yield to feed starving populations, hydro-processing to extract proteins from grains, and fortifying flours.
(50 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #22) Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis History: Rimarcik, John
Interviewee: Rimarcik, John
Interviewed by: Lawton, Heather / Skinner, Benjamin in 2011
Summary:
In this interview John Rimarcik describes his experiences with and impressions of Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale as well as the restaurant business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He describes meeting Charles Saunders as well as his feelings about Louise Saunders and the closing of the restaurant. He also describes the Minneapolis restaurant scene and how it has changed over the years. This includes comparisons between Charlie’s and his own restaurants. He explains the differences in service between them, and describes how he feels the atmosphere of a restaurant can affect the taste of the food. In addition he explains some of his feeling about being in the business. Note: This interview was recorded on July 27, 2011 by Heather Lawton and Benjamin Skinner. It took place at the Monte Carlo restaurant in Minneapolis Minnesota of which Mr. Rimarcik is the owner. The interview starts and ends abruptly. A copy of this interview as well as the consent form is located in the Charlies Café Exeptionale Collection (M/A 2000.185)
(37 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Photographer: Peel, Clifford
Interviewee: Peel, Clifford
Interviewed by: Baker, Dr. and Mrs. C. C., Jr. in 1974
Summary:
On January 30, 1974, Clifford Peel, a photographer from Minneapolis, sat down with interviewer Patty Baker and discussed his experiences as a reconnaissance photographer in World War I and his career as a commercial photographer in Minneapolis. He gives personal anecdotes about the French front in World War I and describes the type of photographing missions he took part in. Peel then goes on to discuss how he became a commercial photographer after the war. He summarizes his first job at Hibbard Studios in Minneapolis, which lasted until 1925, and then tells how he created the successful partnership of Norton and Peel Studio on 1004 Marquette Avenue in Minneapolis from 1925-1965. Peel speaks in-depth about the studio's projects, clients, and photography techniques.
(65 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Summary:
Clifford Peel speaks about his Minneapolis photography business, Norton & Peel, in a 1974 speech at the Breakfast Club of Minneapolis. Peel presents several examples of the commercial photograph services offered by Norton & Peel including motion picture photography for entertainment and industry, color photography, and photo finishing. Peel also mentions their large collection of photographs of Minneapolis skylines, street scenes, public buildings, parks, and rivers, photos of northern Minnesota scenes, automobiles, and women's fashions. Peel cites two books published using photos from the Norton & Peel collection: Minneapolis, City of Opportunity and The Story of Progress in Pictures. Peel also discusses photographing the scene of a car accident for insurance and legal purposes, creating murals from photographs for Dayton's and the Nicollet Hotel, and photos for the agriculture industry and the steel industry.
(14 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Public Library
Interviewee: Brown, Martina and Burke, Dorothy
Interviewed by: Leifeld, Beth in 1973
Summary:
Beth Leifeld interviews Minneapolis Public Librarians, Martina Brown and Dorothy Burke, about the library’s plans for an oral history project. They discuss the oral history committee, procedures, volunteers, release forms, transcription, recording equipment and quality, interview topics for oral histories, funding, and other oral history projects in Minnesota.
(51 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #60) Transcript available: no
Interviewee: Gaines, Ervin J.
Interviewed by: Kittleson, J. Harold in 1974
Summary:
Ervin J. Gaines, Minneapolis Public Library director from 1964-1974, discusses his term as director and the initial controversy surrounding his appointment as Library Director. Gaines discusses the work practices at the Minneapolis Public Library when he began as director and his reorganization of the library during his tenure. Gaines discusses garnering support for the library. Gaines discusses the tension between Hennepin County and the Minneapolis Public Library system, Hennepin County's declining financial support for the Minneapolis Public Library, and the county's increasing pressure to merge the Hennepin County libraries with the Minneapolis system in the late 60's and early 70's. The interview includes a discussion of the expansion of library services to non-book materials and access to information for personal, financial, and social use. Gaines discusses the significance of nature to Minnesotans and the creation of the Environment Conservation Library of Minnesota at Central Library. Implementation of INFORM in 1971.
(64 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #30) Transcript available: no
Part 2
Summary:
In this interview, Gaines discusses his early life in New York and his education. Gaines discusses his unconventional career path to becoming a library director. He also discusses his book review contributions to the Minneapolis Tribune newspaper.
(27 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #31) Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Anderson, Cordelia
Interviewee: Anderson, Cordelia
Interviewed by: Saltzman, Muriel in 1987
Summary:
This 1987 interview relates information concerning the Illusion Theater. Anderson begins with discussing the structure of the Illusion Theater: both social service and artistic, a show is a comprehensive package of social education. She then went on to talk about the development of the play “Touch”(for K-6 children); “No Easy Answers”(for Teens), and “For Adults Only” (College age and up). She also discussed the Theater’s touring: both talks by prevention leaders and with the whole cast. The theater also did purely artistic shows and purely educational workshops. Anderson then talks about her own background in Social Service, the development of theater and an Emmy Award for “Touch” in 1984. Anderson starts to discuss how the plays are developed. Development of a play begins with research. Then all the company participates in improvisation. The theater uses color blind casting but must be careful of how color and race are interpreted by the audience. Anderson talked about how theater is rewarding because the company and Anderson believe in it, but funding is always a problem: social service, non-profit, and arts are not well funded at this time and in this society. A concern of the theatre is to keep the balance between the artistic and social service aspects of the theatre’s missions.
(70 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Ballet, Arthur
Interviewee: Ballet, Arthur
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1984
Summary:
In this 1984 interview Arthur Ballet discusses the various things that he has done in his theater career. He begins by talking about his time at the University of Minnesota. Prior to World War II he was a chemistry major. When he got out of the army he switched his major to theater after being cast in an amateur play. From there he got involved in the University Theater, specifically its outreach to high schools. He goes on to discuss his opinion on the University theater program and what he feels is a loss of identity. He feels something was lost between traditional theater, and attempts to make the theater trendier. Furthermore, he also discusses his views on the university student body both past and present. Next he describes the university course that he began teaching after he decided he no longer wanted to direct. He then describes his relationship with Guthrie, the establishment of the Guthrie Theater, and the effect this has had on the University Theater. Next his views on what a theater should be are discussed, and he explains the importance of knowing the audience and community. Also the minimalist theater that was present in the 1980’s is discussed as well as theater in Europe and the Eastern Bloc. Finally he talks about a program to get recognition for new playwrights. He closes talking about his time on television, and the effect the medium has had on theater. A folder on the oral history at Special Collections includes an ad for KSTP TV, channel 5’s Entertainment Reporter, Arthur Ballet, undated.
(95 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Barkla, Jack
Interviewee: Barkla, Jack
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1984
Summary:
In this 1984 interview Dorothy Lamberton interviewed award winning theater designer Jack Barkla. Barkla commented on his early childhood and how he got into design. He then went on to talk about some of his early work with Minnesota theaters. In the summer of 1969, John Donahue asked Barkla to come to work at the Children’s Theater. He then discussed the artistry of Donahue and the relationship with the Children’s Theater and the Art Institute. Barkla also discussed the politics of artistic boards and the philosophy of creative versus business mentality. Barkla was asked to design School for Scandal for Guthrie and then invited to be Resident Theater Designer. He discussed early Guthrie, which was set up to appeal to regional tastes, which has not been lost sight of in its attempt to become “world class.” Guthrie went from small beginnings, 60 staff to around 300 and money became more important than quality of productions. Barkla lamented that unfortunately the Guthrie now holds the view that “good actors” come from New York. He said success for the creative artist comes from a combination of luck, money to begin with, and political aspect of knowing the right people. He then discussed differences of students years ago and now. Now they look for paycheck first before developing their innermost talents. Barkla believed that symbols of wealth were deemed too important rather than the pursuit of excellence. He discussed Guthrie’s penchant now to hire actors from either coast rather than local people of equal abilities, whereas the Children’s Theater did give local people an opportunity to excel. Barkla went on to talk about why he chose to stay in Minneapolis. Barkla was asked how the Guthrie influenced Minneapolis theater. He discussed very early theater activity in the Minneapolis St. Paul area that predated the Guthrie and the fact that this was a center for theater props and painted curtain backdrops for many years. He lamented the fact that many of the Twin Cities scenic and drapery company records and renderings were no longer available and lost to theater history. He briefly discussed his view of the difference of American and European theatrical heritage and present-day audiences here and abroad. Barkla discussed early versus Guthrie today. Early stage was brilliantly designed whereas now there is a front and a side and design now overpowers the actors, where previously the actors were the focus. He mentioned that in theater design, one has to be more authentic because the audience can come from or be familiar with cultures all over the world. Barkla stated that the present art for everybody approach has bowdlerized all areas of art.
(110 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Boesing, Paul
Interviewee: Boesing, Paul
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1984
Summary:
Paul begins the interview by talking about his connection to the Firehouse Theater and the origins of the Firehouse. Paul also gives some background on Marlow Hotchens, the founder of the Firehouse. Boesing then briefly discussed the Repertory Co. Paul describes the Firehouse’s primary intention was to do artistic theater as opposed to political, but the theater changed and also did experimental theater over the years. He discusses Minneapolis theater and the rich tradition of the theater community in the city. After Firehouse closed, many of the people that were working at Firehouse Theater began working with the Main Ensemble Theatre. Jim Stoll took up the Palace Theater. Paul reflected on the closing of the Firehouse and the natural life spans of Theater. Boesing also talked about some of the more successful plays at the Firehouse. Paul composed the music for Jack-Jack, which was a Firehouse original hippie musical. He also talked about the Firehouse touring Europe. Next he talks about his background and his artistic career. Paul finally talks about the Minneapolis theater scene and why he thinks there are so many theaters in Minneapolis. He also touches on the Firehouse’s place in Minneapolis theatre and what is important in starting a theatre.
(58 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Brown, Polly (Olive Case)
Interviewee: Brown, Polly (Olive Case)
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1983
Summary:
Polly Brown discusses the Guthrie Theater and her role as director of development.
(53 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Cowles, John Jr.
Interviewee: Cowles, John Jr.
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1984
Summary:
In this September 11, 1984 interview John Cowles Jr., a former member of the Guthrie Board discusses how the Guthrie got started. He details the process of deciding on a location, and the decisions that led them to eventually build it next to the Walker art center. He then goes on to discuss the process of fundraising and cost estimates for the building of the theater. This involved not only talking to organizations, but also to Guthrie himself. He also explains how the small nucleus of people involved in early administration got together, their further fundraising efforts, and some battles with Guthrie. Furthermore he describes the aftermath of Guthrie’s leaving, and the problems with his successor. Finally he discusses the early operations of the theater, the attempts to open an acting school, and his feelings on how the theater is run today.
(82 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Cranney, Jon R.
Interviewee: Cranney, Jon R.
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1985
Summary:
In a 1985 interview, Jon Cranney, the Artistic Director of the Children’s Theater Company at the time, discussed his background in theater including the influences of his parents and teachers. Cranney also discussed his experiences as an actor, a stage manager, and a production manager at the Guthrie Theater and the Guthrie’s affect on other theaters in the Twin Cities. Cranney also discussed obtaining his MFA and his experiences as a freelance actor.
(65 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Davidson, John B
Interviewee: Davidson, John B
Interviewed by: Lewin, Rhonda in 1987
Summary:
This is a taped interview with John Davidson, one of the founders of the Children’s Theater Company and the Moppet Theater. He also notes his background at the University Theater and in off-Broadway productions. Davidson then talks about his time as the managing director of the Moppets and the early controversy: CTC as a social welfare agency or as good art. Davidson talked about the poor quality of theatre for children in the country at that time. He talked about how Ruth Humlicker was instrumental in getting the group into the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and how the CTC was split on whether or not to move. Davidson also touches on the question of professional theatre and the value of theatre unions. Davidson details the setting up of CTC at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the first production of Sleeping Beauty. In 1967 Davidson left CTC, there was a problem of balance between artistic director and managing director. He then discusses his lawsuit with CTC over the rights to his play Cinderella. Davidson also touches critics and on John Donahue’s troubles at CTC. CTC reached its high potential in the late 1960s. Davidson finishes his critique on Donahue as an epic, talented figure who betrayed the community. He continued to talk about how CTC was playing it safe but lacks artistic vision and how he believes a theatre should have a balance between artistic and managing fine arts. Davidson then starts to discuss his life as a playwright and the beginning of KTCA in 1958, while he was at the University. He then talks about his work with A Little on the Side, a review theatre at 28th and Hennepin; it produced musical satirical reviews in 68 and 69. They also played at Chanhassen the year before big stage and at Dudley Riggs when 26th and Hennepin theatre was opening. Davidson then talked about his beginning in theatre at the University. He went on to talk about what theatre people are like: cast parties. Finally Davidson discussed the reasons for the demise of the Cricket Theatre downtown.
(147 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Diercks, Shirley
Interviewee: Diercks, Shirley
Interviewed by: Lewin, Rhonda in 1983
Summary:
In this 1983 interview Shirley Diercks begins by talking about the origins of Children’s Theater with John Donahue, John Davidson, Martha Pierce Boesing, and Beth Leinerson and their reasons for moving on. She then discussed the Minneapolis Repertory Theatre with Gary Schultz in 1961 and the casting policies. Diercks then talked about the Theatre in the Round and its open audition policy. Shirley then went on to a talk about her time at the University Theatre. She did a total of 60 shows over her 5 years at the University. She regretted that the University theatre was not allowed to be a professional theatre. She then touched on the financial difficulties of actors and the differences between the actor’s unions AFTRA and Equity. She also stressed the importance of being in an actor’s union. Diercks then went on to talk about her time at Chanhassen and how they’ve been successful at getting audiences into the theatre. Lewin then asked Diercks to discuss if there was support between theatres and actors of rival theatres. Diercks finally talks about where she sees Minneapolis Theatre will be in 5 to 10 years.
(123 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Donahue, John Clark
Interviewee: Donahue, John Clark
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1984
Summary:
This 1984 interview relates information concerning the Children’s Theater. Donahue begins by describing how he got involved in the theater. He was a printmaker who became a scene painter, played in the orchestra pit, and became an actor. He states that the U of M was responsible for him discovering the theater. He went on to teach theater, but returned to Minneapolis and got involved in the creation of the Children’s Theater. He wanted to introduce theater to a younger audience. He goes on to explain how he left after two years due to a lack of artistic vision, and how he and some others established what would be the Children’s Theater. He goes on to explain the workings of the Moppet Theater which he was a part of before the Children’s Theater, and how after the split they moved to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. He also describes an art school that he established where artists would donate their time to teaching the children. Finally he describes the growth and issues that the theater experienced in its early days.
(31 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Driver, William - Managing Director Metropolitan Arts Alliance
Interviewee: Driver, William
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1982
Summary:
In June of 1982 Dorothy Lamberton conducted this interview of William Driver about what the Metropolitan Arts Alliance was and its beginning and early history. They discussed the early experience of William Driver and the contribution of the University of Minnesota to the Minneapolis theater scene. They discussed what caused the explosion of theater in the Twin Cities area and the individuals who had significant influence on theater locally.
(63 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Summary:
William Driver discussed the size and scope of Minneapolis Theater and different kinds of Community Theater and have the theater’s carved out different niches and thus they do not compete with each other? Driver also discusses the future of Minneapolis Theater and its impact on theater nationally. In conclusion, he discusses the role of the critics in the development of theater locally.
(63 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Field, Barbara
Interviewee: Field, Barbara
Interviewed by: Saltzman, Muriel in 1985
Summary:
Barbara starts off by discussing her background and involvement with the Guthrie as well as her own work. She was the literary manager under Michael Langham. At the Guthrie, Field tried to enlarge the number of plays, to boost revenue, which necessitated a much larger support staff. Langham hired her because she is a playwright, rather than an academic. She then discussed the transition to Alvin Epstein who brought Michael Finegold as another literary manager; Epstein’s problems at the Guthrie. Field was the first to approach Garland Wright as director for Camille. The search after Epstein: Ramos told the Board that this time artists should be on artistic search committee, (in Epstein’s search there were no artists involved) the search included Terry Hars; Ed Shanon, Ellis Roab, and Arthur Ballet. She then discussed how very shortly after a breakdown between Cueli and management began.
Field then went on to talk about how the unusual shape of the Guthrie stage baffled many directors. She also discussed the adaptations vs. translations and her adaptation of Great Expectations. She talked about how she developed great admiration for Cueli for bringing in outstanding direction. Field went on to discuss how the nature of the Guthrie stage and the size of the theater, the Guthrie should stay with big, epic theater which has big ideas and the need for a small Guthrie stage for smaller plays. She also defined what theatricality is. Finally she discussed her own background: a BA in English at University of Pennsylvania. She also described what a literary manager was and their role in the theater. Finally she talked about the value of reporting for the Guthrie.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Fink, Irving
Interviewee: Fink, Irving
Interviewed by: Lewin, Rhoda G. in 1983
Summary:
Irving Fink discusses directing and acting in the 1983 Theater in the Round Players’ production of “Night Must Fall”. He also discusses Minneapolis theater in general.
(72 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Firman, John W.
Interviewee: Firman, John W.
Interviewed by: Friefeld, Lynn in 1985
Summary:
A 1985 interview with the assistant director of the Minnesota State Arts Board, John Firman, discussed several influences contributing to the growth and development of Minneapolis theater from 1963-1985. Two main influences discussed include the Minnesota State Arts Board and grants for theatrical organizations and individuals. Censorship concerns, administrative concerns, and conflict of interest issues arising from the public funding of theater organizations are also discussed.
(53 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Garceau, Annette
Interviewee: Garceau, Annette
Interviewed by: Green, Max in 1986
Summary:
This 1986 Interview with Annette Garceau talks about how she got involved in the theater, specifically costume design. She speaks about the design process for costuming as well as the materials involved. She also explains why costumes may not be used more than once. In addition she explains technique, and covers what happens when an actor does not want to wear a costume. The recording is unfortunately quite garbled.
(62 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #111) Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Graham, Kenneth L.
Interviewee: Graham, Kenneth L.
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1983
Summary:
Kenneth Graham, an actor, a former University of Minnesota theater arts department chair and professor, as well as the director of the University Theater discusses the development of theater in Minneapolis and the impact of children’s theater on students and the community.
(44 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Part 2
(42 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Green, Max B
Interviewee: Green, Max B.
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1986
Summary:
Max discusses how he became involved in the theater. He first got interested by having a painting and sculpture show at the Theatre in the Round and Charles Russell commented that he would be good at set design and invited him to become active in that aspect of theater. His first experience was at the First Unitarian Society. Max was an English major and made his career in writing and advertising. Also he grew up in a farm setting where he learned to use tools and built animal cages, etc. as a youth, and could transfer those skills to what is involved in building sets. He worked in community as an unpaid volunteer and was asked if he had help in working on the sets. He talked about depending on unpaid volunteers for set construction and how they were utilized effectively for the production. Max then went on to discuss the great challenge in arena staging is to keep it arena but to do venturesome things. He then talked about how he worked with directors as a professional albeit amateur. Max said he always made a scale model and that helped in visualize it rather than merely having blueprints, because it was so much easier for the players to visualize the set, especially for amateur performers. He was asked to give his impression of the Theater in the Round as it has evolved over the years. He then talked about what he attributed to the longevity of Theater in the Round, the large number of individuals who are active at all levels. Max then was asked about whether the problems of community theater have changed or whether they are the same. Finally, he discussed the contribution of the Guthrie and the University Theater have made to the local theater scene.
(51 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Hatfield, Douglas. Hatfield, Naomi
Interviewee: Hatfield, Douglas. Hatfield, Naomi
Interviewed by: Green, Max in 1982
Summary:
Naomi describes the origin of Theater-in-The-Round, which evolved from Frederick Hilgendorf’s Circle Theatre. She was one of the founding members of Theater-in-The-Round in 1952. Search for additional direction brought Doug to the Theatre in 1954. Doug comments that in 1954 Community Theater was not a highly respected term. Theater-in-The-Round tried to upgrade itself and the Community Theater would be doing newer and more challenging plays with new scripts. Theater-in-The-Round uses many different directors each season, to maximize opportunities within the organization. When the Guthrie opened in 1963 Theater-in-The-Round got fallout in the form of directors. Discussion of Theater-in-The-Round problems: they have gotten grants only for special projects such as touring. Community Theater is composed of a moving group, actors and production people who gravitate to various Theaters. A small group stays permanently with Theater-in-The-Round. Theater-in-The-Round has a policy against pre-casting. Doug talks about Technical Advisory Board, a teaching and resource pool, which Theater-in-The-Round uses. In later years Theater-in-The-Round has expanded its community services with tours of Theatre workshops. There is too much static for in this recording to put it online but a listening copy is available at Special Collections.
(72 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #89) Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Haugland, David
Interviewee: Haugland, David
Interviewed by: Friefeld, Lynn in 1983
Summary:
In 1983, Lynn Friefeld interviewed David Haugland, Executive Director of the Affiliated State Arts Agencies of the upper Midwest. David started by talking about the affiliation, its origins and its purpose. He also talks about the staff and membership of the affiliation, as well as, its sources of funding. David describes how the affiliation is involved in Minneapolis theaters and what criteria must be met by theater companies in order to receive consideration from the affiliation. David also commented on the criteria for the sponsoring organizations and how many local sponsors take advantage of the productions the affiliation makes available to them. He goes on to describe how the affiliation contributes to the vitality of theater in Minneapolis, through putting on original theater pieces with a regional theme, extended opportunities and experience for local actors, actresses, and set designers. David finishes up the interview by talking about some of his personal observations about theater in Minneapolis.
(42 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Lawless, Sarah
Interviewee: Lawless, Sarah
Interviewed by: Lewin, Rhoda in 1984
Summary:
Sarah began the interview by discussing her personal and professional history including her time at the Milwaukee Little Theatre, Ford Foundation’s Theatre Communications Group, Actors’ Studio, Guthrie Theatre, Dayton Hudson, Padilla & Speer, Children’s Theatre, and the Denver Center Theatre Co. Sarah then went on to discuss the special qualities of Twin Cities theatre, including wonderful working conditions, funding, and the high standards of theater in the area. She then talked about the future of theater in the Twin Cities and the role of critics in supporting Minneapolis. Sarah then talked about qualities of a good administrator and their training. Lawless also discussed the environment of the theatre and color-blind casting and the actors’ equity union. Finally Sarah talked about arts fundraising and the future of Children’s Theatre Co.
(80 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Lehr, Wendy
Interviewee: Lehr, Wendy
Interviewed by: Miller, Anne in 1986
Summary:
This is a taped interview with Wendy Lehr, one of the founders of the Children’s Theatre Company. Lehr starts off by talking about the beginning of the Children’s Theatre Company from its roots in the Moppet Theater which was located in the Seven Corners area of Minneapolis. 1965 was the first year of the Children’s Theater Company and they did five productions that year. There was an increasing need for more space and more money. Lehr talks about how the theater’s early shows were experimental, but those shows fit well with the more receptive 1960’s audiences. Lehr talked about the different productions the theater put on, including some original scripts. She continued to discuss the many elements in a successful production and how you need a marriage of the audience, actors and other theater workers. Lehr then talks about the difference between child and adult productions. Frequently the adult plays had smaller budgets and were easier to produce. Lehr believes theatre is important for the participants and for the audience. Theater is the “human experience, it is kind of communion.” CTC was operating theatre classes informally for students. The goal was to use the arts as the center for academic study, to integrate the young people interested in theatre into an academic setting. The school was difficult to finance and there weren’t sufficient funds to offer scholarships. Lehr believes the closing of the school will affect the theatre. Finally Lehr talks about her own future, her teaching and her work with regional theatre.
(90 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Lewin, John
Interviewee: Lewin, John
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1987
Summary:
This in-depth interview with John Lewin from 1987 gives much insight into his career as well as to the Minneapolis theater. He begins by giving some background on his feelings on his career, and notes that he has always felt that he was an observer. He explains that there were many things that got him involved in the theater, and lists his experiences in high school and college productions. This included theater work when he was in the Army. After leaving the army he obtained a masters in theater from the U of M, but was dropped as a doctoral candidate by the English department there. He then moved to New York where he got a teaching job, but admits he injected too much psychology into his classes. He returned to Minneapolis, and got involved doing TV commercials and various theater projects. He also describes watching the boom in Minneapolis theater after the building of the Guthrie. He goes on to discuss his experiences with Sir Tyrone Guthrie, and how he “changed his life.” It was during this time that he wrote his English version of The House of Atreus. He describes that it was due to an agreement about royalties from this play, and the inability to reach a contract agreement that satisfied his manager and himself, that he left the theater. However, before this he wrote and got a couple of plays published including one that went to Broadway and failed in one night. After this he moved to Ireland at the invitation of Tony Guthrie to write a version of Oedipus for an Australian theater. This went well so he also wrote a version of Oedipus at Colonus which also did very well. During this time he also rewrote his play on the Crimean War which he hopes will come to full production. He then goes on to talk about the good and the bad of the acting profession, and the early years at the Guthrie. He talks about how the communication between everybody involved in the Guthrie needs to be improved. He is asked about the Board of the Guthrie, but really knew nothing. He also talks about his time working with Chueli, and his dislike of post-modern theater. He then talks about the things that he learned from both Chueli and Guthrie as well as discussing Doug Campbell’s work. He then discusses the differences between two of the early theaters he had been involved in (Chanhassen and The Cricket). Finally he discusses his experiences with directing, why he does not go to many plays, his feelings on repertory, and the need to hire local actors.
(134 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Livingston, Sheila
Interviewee: Livingston, Sheila
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1983
Summary:
In a 1983 interview, Sheila Livingston, the Public Relations Director of the Guthrie Theater at the time, discusses her beginnings at the Guthrie as a volunteer and being offered a professional position with the Guthrie in 1971 to develop programs for students and teachers. Livingston also discusses her position as the public relations director, attracting good artists, Repertory Theater, audience reactions, and attracting non-theater goers. Livingston also stresses the importance of encouraging theater attendance by students to the development of future theater audiences. Television’s impact on theater is discussed, as well as the Guthrie Theater’s influence on local theater.
(63 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Part 2
Summary:
In this part of the Livingston interview, Livingston discusses the opportunities the Guthrie offers for actors. She also discusses the importance in finding a good director, who in turn helps find good actors. The interview then turned to the dilemma that theaters have with letting directors take a creative license with the plays, but not losing the audience at the same time. Finally she discusses putting on musical plays and the complications that arise.
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Part 3
Summary:
This is a continuation of the March 24 1983 interview with Sheila Livingston from tapes 83 and 84. She discusses the affect of reviews on the theater, and the actors. She also discusses what the roles of reviews and reviewers should be. She also talks about her feelings about the various plays that are performed. She tries to have pride in all of the productions despite her feelings about the content of the work. However she does admit that the Guthrie sometimes does put on bad plays, and there is a need to work damage control. She ends the interview by explaining more about public relations, and shares some stories of people who have written to the theater over the years. Also she stresses the need for volunteers from the community.
(21 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Loppnow, Merle
Interviewee: Loppnow, Merle
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1986
Summary:
The interview of Merle Loppnow begins with his background in Minnesota. He talked about going to Minneapolis theatre in the 1920s and 1930s and his time as a founder of the Penthouse Players in St. Paul. He then went on to talk about the University Theater after WWII and becoming the first teacher of arts business management at the University. He also talked about how the University Theater and symphony were a seminal force in Minneapolis culture by bringing children to concerts and shows during school hours. Loppnow then talked about the how the theater guild brought shows to Minneapolis; on tour in the early 1930s. Loppnow then discussed how the Bush and McKnight fellowships at the Guthrie were a great stimulus to the University Theater and how the Guthrie helped to stimulate all the theaters in Minneapolis. He then discussed the importance of liberal education and the Theatre’s place in education. He also discussed the explosion of theatre in Minneapolis had begun before the Guthrie came. Finally Loppnow talked about the need for corporate sponsorship of theater and how the strongest theaters now are regional ones, no single national theater. He closes with the reasons why he is optimistic about theater in Minneapolis.
(94 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: May, Bob
Interviewee: May, Bob
Interviewed by: Lewin, Rhonda in 1983
Summary:
In 1983, Rhonda Lewin interviewed Bob May, Managing Director of the Jewish Community Theater. Bob began the interview by talking about his early life in Florida and California. He then went on to talk about coming to St. Cloud for school and his introduction to theater production. May talked about his early work at the Waverly and Children’s Theaters. May then discussed how he became a primarily musical theater director. Lewin then asked May to explain why he thought Minneapolis has come to have so much theater. May described how the Guthrie’s inspiration, the liberal community, and Chanhassen also added quality to the Minneapolis theater scene. He also talked about the provinciality of the theater world. May continued to talk about community theater and changes in local theater and how he has seen the quality improved. He also talked about how actors use local theaters as stepping stones, rather than citizens using theater as recreation. May then talked about how a director is also a teacher, although with experienced actors he is more of a guide. He also talked about how he would find director jobs in the theater community. Waverly is the one theater May has run. Finally, May talked about the steps a director takes in staging a play.
(120 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Montilino, John
Interviewee: Montilino, John
Interviewed by: Saltzman, Muriel in 1987
Summary:
This 1987 interview with John Montilino gives information on the Illusion Theater of which he is the managing director. He begins by giving some information on the history of the theater. It began as a school for mimes, and eventually moved more towards conventional theater. After receiving a grant from the McKnight Foundation the theater also began to be concerned with preventing the sexual abuse of children and violence prevention. He goes on to describe his previous experience in a corporate setting, and some of his frustrations with the private sector. After he had done some volunteer work for the Illusion he was eventually asked to become the managing director. He then discusses the formation of the board, and how they deal with the marketing aspects of the theater. The development of the board was one of the main concerns that he had upon his arrival at the theater. He also discusses profit versus non- profit cash flow issues, and talks about fundraising activities. He continues to speak about the various jobs that the board members do, and how they really have no interest in each other’s jobs. He describes their current budget concerns, and states that their then current budget was as big as it would get. However it was not bad at 600,000-800,000 dollars. He also states that he would like to get more national talent into the theater, and describes how every theater in Minneapolis has its own niche. The problem of reaching potential audiences is discussed, and the interview closes with his views on the board, and what its powers are reliant on.
(69 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Morosco, Beatrice Shebel
Interviewee: Morosco, Beatrice Shebel
Interviewed by: Baker, Patty in 1975
Summary:
Beatrice Morosco discusses the early South Minneapolis history of Lake Harriet and Nokomis areas. Also discusses early Minneapolis theaters including the Shubert, Woodmen's Hall, and the Lyceum Theater.
(54 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Moulton, Robert
Interviewee: Moulton, Robert
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1983
Summary:
In a 1983 interview, Dr. Robert Moulton discusses his dance and choreography background, his costuming background, and the University of Minnesota theater group in the 1950’s, the Minneapolis theater scene in the 1950’s, and the Guthrie Theater.
(64 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Rapson, Ralph
Interviewee: Rapson, Ralph
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1984
Summary:
This interview of Professor Ralph Rapson deals with Rapson’s role as the chief Architects of the Guthrie. The interview starts out with Rapson discussing how he became involved with the Guthrie and his early work with the Walker family. He talks about how he decided that the Stratford Theater was the model for the Guthrie. He went on to talk of the basic disagreements he and the Guthrie had. Rapson talked about how the lack of funds for the project affected the overall design. He then discussed the changes that were made recently. Rapson was then asked if the new design posed problems with the contractor and how an architect functions after he gets the go-ahead, and discussed how he prepared for the first designs with the Guthrie. Rapson finally talked about how the remodeled Guthrie Theater today fulfills the same mission as the original Guthrie did.
(57 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Reuler, Jack
Interviewee: Reuler, Jack
Interviewed by: Saltzman, Muriel in 1984
Summary:
In this 1984 interview Jack Reuler explains the origins of the Mixed Blood Theater, and his involvement in it. He describes how the theater was started as a summer project for a social services agency he was working for. He wanted to create not a minority, but a multicultural theater. Though it started as a summer project it continued, and became its own entity. He continues by describing the conditions when the theater was founded. They had $60 a week and a crew of 23 people. He explains how they wanted to do plays dealing with social issues, and reach out to lower incomes and minorities. For a time they even offered free childcare and transportation to the theater. He also talks about how the theater began to come into it’s own starting in 1977, and also their practice of color blind casting. Next he talks about how they became an actors equity theater. This was a novelty at the time. He also explains the organization of the theater, and how he has had to take on many jobs. This includes choosing plays finding funding and the hiring of cast. He states that they will be successful when everybody practices colorblind casting. He then explains that he needed an avenue to express his political views and he chose theater. He also talks about his directing influences such as John Donahue, but states that he is mostly self taught. He also freely admits that there are better directors, and says that his plays are charcoal drawings to Donahue’s paintings. The plays that he likes are also discussed as well as the history of plays. In addition he discusses the role of the board of directors, and how he is sure the theater will change when he is gone. He also discusses the need for all youth to experience theater, how he writes plays, and finally how he likes to inject humor and satire into their works.
(86 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Semans, William
Interviewee: Semans, William
Interviewed by: Masiee, Elizabeth in 1982
Summary:
In December 1982 William Semans, founder of the Cricket Theater discusses how the theater was founded and talks about the early shows at the theater. Semans goes on to discuss the differences between large theaters and small theaters. Semans then goes on to talk about the Guthrie Theater and its impact on local theater. He also talks about how he picked plays for the Cricket and the struggles of working in the theater as one gets older.
(31 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Steele, Mike
Interviewee: Steele, Mike
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1984
Summary:
Mike began the interview by giving some biographical information and told how he ended up deciding to become a theater critic. He discussed his early work for the Hutchinson News in Hutchinson, Kansas and how he finally became a Minneapolis Tribune drama critic. Mike then talked about the Guthrie and Firehouse theaters and how they influence each other. He then discussed the quality of theater in Minneapolis and the sense that Minneapolis is a going theatre town. He touched on Minneapolis’ theatre ambience being slicker, but wonders if Minneapolis has reached the limit of growth. Mike then talked about the change from “chaotic creativity” to “consensus management” and how there is a limit to the dynamic life of any theatre. They also discussed the funding issues of the theatre. Mike then touched on musical plays in Minneapolis and the value of theatre training schools. He then talked about the different problems with P.R. and selling poor shows and the problem of predicting what will be good or what will sell. Mike then talked about the problems with the Guthrie. He then touched on the current (1984) state of Minneapolis Theatre. Finally they discussed how the craft of criticism changes over time and the genesis of the Twin Cities Drama Critics Circle.
(120 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Thompson, David W.
Interviewee: Thompson, David W.
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1983
Summary:
Dr. David W. Thompson, a University of Minnesota Professor and Chairman of the Theatre Department from the 1940’s to the 1980’s, discusses his education and background in theater. The interview includes discussions of the evolution of oral interpretation at the University of Minnesota and in the United States; the importance of theater’s role in society related to human interaction, public speaking, and psychodrama; the changes in University of Minnesota theater from the early 1950’s to the early 1980’s; and the Guthrie Theater’s effect on University theater.
(64 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Weirs, Geol. Dowse, Marcy. Olson, Thomas W.
Interviewee: Weirs, Geol. Dowse, Marcy. Olson, Thomas W.
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1983
Summary:
The interview takes place on March 6th 1983. The interview begins with an introduction to the interviewees and to the Children’s theater company. A brief history of the theater and it’s various locations is given. Next they discuss the administration of the theater as well as finance and various logistics. They also comment on the large number of adults that attend productions. Also they explain children’s needs for the arts for their own development. They go on to discuss play selection and the internal workings of the theater. The lives of students at the theater are then described. They go into detail about their academic and theater education, and the various opportunities open to them. The audience then asks questions of the three. They discuss the lack of a traveling theater, and how they have used TV and video to combat this. They also explain the entrance process for students, and give details on the academic program. This portion of the interview closes with a discussion of the production season, how plays are chosen, and what is appropriate for children to view. Tape number 81 duplicates this interview.
(59 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minneapolis Theater: Whiteley, Larry
Interviewee: Whiteley, Larry
Interviewed by: Lamberton, Dorothy in 1986
Summary:
This interview with Larry Whiteley takes place on November 25, 1986, and concerns his long running theater career as well as his involvement in Theater 65. He begins by talking about the various theaters that he has worked at both in Minnesota and in New York. He talks about the lack of experimentation in NY theater, and how regional theaters have overcome this due to having less pressure. He then goes on to discuss the many theaters he has been a part of including college theaters. He continues by discussing the problems having to do with financing, volunteering, and also competition from the large number of theaters. He also discusses the need for changing material to attract audiences. There is also a core group of people that he likes to use, but they are so spread out, and not always available. He is also asked to compare Minnesota and New York audiences. He discusses how the audiences here are more relaxed which leads to less pressure. The audiences also vary more in Minnesota. Also New York productions are more costly which leads to less risk taking. He also talks about how most theaters prefer to work on their own. They are afraid of being too exposed. However sometimes they do sometimes work together. He continues by stating that those who were rejected by the Guthrie have started other companies around Minneapolis. However, he says that the Guthrie should keep to themselves. He discusses theater education, and states that it needs to focus more on economic realities and hands on experience. Finally, he discusses his career at theater 65 and says the only difference between it and other theaters is its focus on seniors. There have been plenty of actors, as well as materials. He closes by talking about the various logistics and jobs he does at Theater 65.
(42 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minneapolis Theater: Whiting, Frank M
Interviewee: Whiting, Frank M.
Interviewed by: Brown, Barbara in 1983
Summary:
Dr. Frank M. Whiting, director of the University of Minnesota theatre arts program from 1944-1971, discusses his theater background in Utah, as well as the importance of audience expectations; high school theater; the value of good theater in Minneapolis; connections between professional and amateur actors; and the benefits of a thrust stage.
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Booth, Cameron
Interviewee: Booth, Cameron
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1974
Summary:
Minnesota artist Cameron Booth discusses his early experience painting signs and his education at the Chicago Art Institute. Booth moved to the Twin Cities in 1921 for a job teaching drawing and painting at the Art institute and he discusses his artistic growth and Minneapolis/St. Paul art community from 1921 to the 1974. Booth mentions his appreciation for the Athenaeum art book collection and librarians Miss Jaegerman (?) and Miss Todd.
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Summary:
Minnesota artist Cameron Booth discusses his career teaching art and the teaching methods he preferred for artistic instruction. He also mentions the influence of Hans Hoffman and Bauhaus on his art.
(65 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Boratko, André and Thwaites, Charles W.
Interviewee: Boratko, André and Thwaites, Charles W.
Interviewed by: Reid, George in
Summary:
Minnesota artist André Boratko discusses murals he painted for the Federal Art Program under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s and 1940s.Also contains an interview with Wisconsin artist Charles W. Thwaites discussing murals he created in Minnesota for the WPA in the 1930s and 1940s.
(43 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Fossum, Syd and Lewandowski, Edmund
Interviewee: Fossum, Syd and Lewandowski, Edmund
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1977
Summary:
Artist Syd Fossum discusses WPA projects and the Minnesota Arts Union. In a separate interview, artist Edmund Lewandowski discusses his involvement with the Works Progress Administration (WPA).
(45 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minnesota Artists: Haines, Richard and Haupers, Clement
Interviewee: Haines, Richard and Haupers, Clement
Interviewed by: Reid, George and Archabal, Nina in
Summary:
Artist Richard Haines discusses his involvement with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) art projects during the 1930s and 1940s. Clement Haupers portion of this interview is not available online.
(53 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Haupers, Clement
Interviewee: Haupers, Clement
Interviewed by: Reid, George and Archabal, Nina in 1977
Summary:
Artist Clement Haupers discusses his involvement with the Works Progress Administration (WPA) art projects during the 1930s and 1940s.
(49 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #53a) Transcript available: no
Part 2
(84 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #54) Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Ibling, Miriam and Booth, Cameron
Interviewee: Ibling, Miriam and Booth, Cameron
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1977
Summary:
Artist Miriam Ibling discusses her Minnesota murals painted for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in the 1930s and 1940s. Also contains an interview with artist Cameron Booth discussing his artistic involvement with the Works Progress Administration.
(45 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Morrison, George
Interviewee: Morrison, George
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1974
Summary:
Minnesota artist George Morrison discusses his early art education at the Minneapolis School of Art and his early influences including local artists, the Bauhaus, and the French school of painting. He discusses going to New York, the New York art scene, and enrolling at the Students Art League and his art becoming more expressionistic in the 1940s and 1950s. Morrison mentions winning a Fulbright to France in 1952. Morrison also discusses being a painting and drawing professor at the University of Minnesota.
(63 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minnesota Artists: Quirt, Walter
Interviewee: Quirt, Eleanor Falk
Interviewed by: Reid, George in 1974
Summary:
An interview with Eleanor Quirt focuses on her husband's, Walter Quirt, artwork. Eleanor Quirt discusses some of the artistic influences, including Stuart Davis, on her husband's work. Quirt also wrote prolifically and his wife refers to his papers. Eleanor Quirt also describes Quirt's friendships and professional relationships with other Minnesota artists and artists around the country.
(57 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minnesota Artists: Reineke, Karen
Interviewee: Reineke, Karen
Interviewed by: Archabal, Nina in 1977
Summary:
Karen Reinke, from Milaca, MN discusses the Work Projects Administration murals in Milaca by Andre Boratko and others. Reineke also discusses logging and dairy production in Milaca, MN.
(32 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Artists: Wedin, Elof
Interviewee: Wedin, Elof
Interviewed by: Reid, George and Archabal, Nina in 1977
Summary:
Artist Elof Wedin discusses his Minnesota arts projects for the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s and 1940s.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Orchestra
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: Woelm, James (Jim) in 1976
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #3) Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Bregmann, Joseph
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
In a 1972 recording Dennis Rooney interviews Joseph Bregmann a former member of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra about his days under conductor Emil Oberhoffer. He played violin under Oberhoffer for one season and reflects upon the farewell concert for Oberhoffer. Further discussion covers length of season, venues where the orchestra played and guest conductors. Bregmann also played under Henri Verbrugghen and Eugene Ormandy. During the Depression under Ormandy the Orchestra took a pay cut and reduced its touring schedule. Bregmann attributes some of these changes to poor management by Mrs. Carlyle Scott. Dimitri Mitropoulos replaced Ormany and the Orchestra toured more often. Bregmann thought highly of Mitropoulos and Bregmann's perspective on his personality and musical ability is enlightening. Bregmann finished his career under Antal Doráti and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski. When Bregmann was playing with the orchestra the first records were cut by Brunswick Company. For the recordings a smaller 50 piece orchestra played. Later the orchestra did recordings for RCA under Ormandy.
(50 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Cisek, Richard
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
A 1972 interview by Dennis Rooney of the Minnesota Orchestra Manager, Richard Cisek, discusses fundraising, promotions, partnerships, and changes to the Orchestra. In particular, Cisek describes how the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (later known as Minnesota Orchestra) successfully expanded their 27 week season to 48 weeks due to increased partnerships and a mailing advertisement campaign, which increased its clientele and revenues. Moreover, the Orchestra was able to expand their local venues with the opening of the I. A. O'Shaughnessy Auditorium at St. Catherine's College in St. Paul. Cisek also gives an explanation to why the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra became Minnesota Orchestra. He describes how the Orchestra's focus became to serve not only Minneapolis, but Minnesota as a whole, with the new name encompassing a larger audience.
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Summary:
In 1972 Dennis Rooney interviewed Richard Cisek, manager of the Minnesota orchestra, for a radio broadcast. Cisek discusses publicity for the orchestra, changes in fundraising from 1958 to 1972, and concert arrangement. Fundraising methods such as the guarantee fund, endowment funds, foundations, and the professional staff that conduct fundraising are described. Costs of running the Orchestra are provided and successful fundraising campaigns are discussed. Changes in musician salaries and benefits and the employment challenges for musicians throughout the years are detailed. Cisek predicts that arts organizations will need to collaborate more to make the best use of funding, since he thinks funding will not keep increasing as it has in the past decade.
(38 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Dalrymple, Bernice
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
Dennis Rooney interviews concertgoer Bernice Dalrymple for a 1972 radio broadcast about the early years of the Minnesota Orchestra. Rooney expressed interest in the years during which Emil Oberhoffer and Henri Verbrugghen conducted the Minnesota Orchestra, although Mrs. Dalrymple says that she has a hard time remembering much about Verbrugghen compared to the other conductors. Mrs. Dalrymple recalls her impressions of the orchestra's evolution from the early 1900's to the 1970's. She describes the public perception of the orchestra's management and her experiences attending the concerts at the Lyceum Theater and then the Northrop Auditorium, especially after becoming a season ticket holder in 1914. Dalrymple mentions her relationship with former orchestra manager, Mrs.Carlyle Scott, her association with the Women's Exchange and the Artists Course during the 1930's, and her disagreements with conductor Eugene Ormandy. She discusses the orchestra's role as a place of refuge during World War I and the Depression, when the Orchestra reduced ticket prices and members agreed to work for half-pay. In addition to the earlier Orchestra conductors, Dalrymple also gives her (mostly positive) opinions of Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor from 1937 to 1949, Antal Dorati (1949-1960) and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, music director from 1960-1979. Rooney asks about Bernice Dalrymple's membership in the Women's Association of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra (WAMSO), an organization heavily involved in fundraising, publicity, and music education.
(55 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Danz, Frank Jr.
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in
Summary:
Violinist and son of concertmaster Frank Danz, Sr., Danz discusses his father's beginnings at the orchestra, and his band concerts at Lake Harriet, at Lake Como, and for James J. Hill. He also recounts his own experiences and acquaintances, and memories of his father.
(6 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #9) Transcript available: no
Interviewee: Ferguson, Donald
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
Ferguson was a music professor at the University of MN and the program annotator for the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. This interview was with Dennis Rooney in August 1972 at Donald Ferguson's home in Minneapolis. Donald Ferguson shares his historical perspective as professor emeritus in the Music Department at the University of Minnesota and as program annotator with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. His vivid memories of working with Emil Oberhoffer, first conductor, and of Henri Verbrugghen, Eugene Ormandy, and Dimitri Mitropoulos are very detailed. He explains how he founded the Bach Society in 1933.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(40 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Harvey, John H.
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in
Summary:
John H. Harvey, St. Paul Pioneer Press music critic, speaks about the early years of the orchestra, including the leadership of Oscar Kalman, and Eugene Ormandy's tenure as conductor (1931-1936), Ormandy's intensity and excitement, his great attention to detail, public reaction to him, and his notable performances. Snippets of these performances are included. Harvey compares the musical styles of Ormandy and Antal Dorati (1949-1960) to that of Dimitri Mitropoulos (1937-1949) and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski (1960-1979), and also describes the period of transition between Ormandy and Mitropoulos, and the public's reactions to both conductors. Harvey also describes the initial opposition to the "twelve tone" programming of Mitropoulos in the face of the dominant neoclassical style (Stravinsky, Hindemith, Copeland, etc.), the physical appearance of Northrop Auditorium at the time, including the design and demise of the orchestral shell, Mitropoulos's collaboration with and the public's attitude toward Ernst Krenek, teacher and composer at Hamline, and the problems the orchestra faced during World War II. He speaks of Mitropoulos at length, regarding his style, attitude, and his programming in comparison to Dorati, and recounts of the events surrounding Mitropoulos's and Dorati's leaving the orchestra. Harvey also describes the conflict about Mitropoulis's guest conducting, after he decided to divide his time between the New York Philharmonic and the Minneapolis Symphony, and contrasts this to the"jet age conductor" (Ozawa, Julini, Previn). He also lengthily discusses the work of the critic that he succeeded at the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Frances Ford, and ends with comments regarding John Sherman of Minneapolis Star.
(62 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Part 2
(4 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Interviewee: Hiscock, Jennie
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
Jennie Hiscock, a regular concertgoer for most of her life, talks about singing in the chorus conducted by Emil Oberhoffer and also attending his concerts. She describes Oberhoffer's practice of controlling the audience and teaching them “how to behave at a concert” and his statuesque style of conducting. Hiscock attended concerts at the Lyceum Theater during Oberhoffer's tenure, and compared the concert-going experience between the Northrop and Lyceum theaters. She preferred the Lyceum's seating arrangements for the better view it offered. Next, Hiscock described her experience attending a Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra concert in Greece with Antal Dorati conducting in 1958. She spoke highly of how Oberhoffer rehearsed with her amateur chorus while she was a University student. She also praised Ormandy as a conductor. Later, Hiscock discusses an overall increase in the Minneapolis Orchestra's audience's knowledge of music from the time when Hiscock first began attending concerts. Dennis Rooney asks if Jennie Hiscock remembers anything about Mrs. Carlyle Scott - she recalls how she would introduce upcoming concerts, and manage temperamental people, and her involvement with the Artist's Course and the symphony's involvement with the University. Rooney asks about Hiscock's interest in other performances besides the orchestra, and she mentions her interest in opera. Finally, Hiscock discusses Anna Eugénie Schoen-René, her sister's somewhat eccentric former vocal coach.
(35 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no
Interviewee: Scheurer, Karl
Interviewed by: Adams, Merle in 1974
Summary:
Karl Scheurer discusses his experience with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. Scheurer discusses joining the orchestra in 1908 as the second concertmaster and later becoming 1st viola. Scheurer describes the touring experience in his early day with the orchestra.
(56 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #5) Transcript available: yes
Interviewee: Sokoloff, Boris
Interviewed by: Rooney, Dennis in 1972
Summary:
Boris Sokoloff was the manager of Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra from 1953 to 1964. This interview was with Dennis Rooney in April, 1972. The interview took place in Philadelphia, PA. Boris Sokoloff discusses his 11 year tenure as manager of the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra. He discusses the financial challenges which each manager of a large orchestra faces. He praises the women's volunteer organization (WAMSO) and their work in increasing orchestra subscriptions. He has vivid memories and personal comments about orchestra conductors he knew and with whom he worked.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(4 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Minnesota Television and Radio: Card, Clellan
Interviewee: Card, Clellan Mrs. (Marion)
Interviewed by: DeHaven, Bob in 1976
Summary:
Marion Card, the wife of Clellan Card, discusses her husband's radio and television career as a WCCO radio personality and Axel of the 1950s-60s Minnesota children's TV program Axel and His Dog.
(29 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Minnesota Television and Radio: Diercks, Shirley
Interviewee: Diercks, Shirley
Interviewed by: DeHaven, Bob in 1977
Summary:
Minnesota radio personality Shirley Diercks discusses her involvement with the actors union, American Federation of Television and Radio Actors-Twin Cities Local, and her acting experiences.
(45 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #61) Transcript available: no


 Near-North Minneapolis: Hobbs, Marabeth
Interviewee: Hobbs, Marabeth
Interviewed by: unknown in 1974
Summary:
Marabeth Hobbs describes North Minneapolis neighborhoods, businesses, and schools during the late 19th century and the early 20th century.
(30 min.)
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #29) Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Abrams, Mrs. Erma; Rambert, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
The interview takes place in 1976. There are 2 women and one man being interviewed. It’s difficult to tell the women apart as they don’t state their names. The man talks the majority of the time. The man, Oscar, was born in 1898. He worked in construction his whole life since 1915. He was a resident of St Anthony Village since 1932 when he built his home on 2705 29th Avenue. One woman is now 66 and she was born in 1909. She discusses her school on 33rd & Stinson Blvd which was a one room schoolhouse, and the only school in the Village. They had to walk to the streetcar at 29th and Johnson. They had a horse they used for transportation. Oscar says that all the neighborhood kids would play on their 5 acre property with his children and he enjoyed that. They had horses too which attracted the children. The newspaper boy would get distracted and play games with the other children most of the day. They all fondly discuss community entertainment in the village. Picnics, potlucks, plays, and dances were popular in 1928 in their community. Oscar discusses winning a dance contest with his wife (then girlfriend). It cost $1 per couple for dancing and dinner. The whole family went to the dance. There was no such a thing as babysitters back then. The children would fall asleep at the event and then everyone would walk back home. The neighborhood was like a family. If anyone in the neighborhood was in physical or emotional distress, the rest of the neighbors would come to the rescue. Everyone would help each other out. Oscar discusses petitioning the local government about getting 29th Avenue to go through from Stinson Blvd up to Highway 8. They discuss how St Anthony was fairly undeveloped. A lot of the people who settled were either gardeners or pig farmers. They talk at length about their local parade that started with their Centennial in 1947. The village was incorporated in 1847, one year before Minnesota became a state. Oscar was the chairman of the parade committee. There were 47 people and 48 horses were in the parade. The parade looked like pioneers going out west. They had a covered wagon. They had a wagon with a wigwam depicting Native American women. The parade went down Broadway to Johnson, then up Johnson and Central. He was a resident of St Anthony Village since 1932. He saw St Anthony transformed from a township to a village and then to a city. He says that when St Anthony went from a town to a village there were many problems. He says that it involved much difficulty, heated arguments, and public meetings. They discuss the prices of taxes and goods. His taxes started out around $8. Oscar feels good about paying his taxes because he’s happy about where his tax money is going. Oscar says he lived in St Paul in 1912. He lied about his age saying he was 16 so he could operate a machine. He worked 66 hours per week. He was paid $9 every 2 weeks. Woman discusses making their own clothes until they were in about 7th grade. They had hand me downs that her aunt had sewed. When Oscar was courting his wife, he lived in St Paul and he would travel 7 miles in his Model T to St Anthony. He remembers when St Anthony Boulevard was primitive. In 1911 he would bicycle from St Paul to St Anthony to go fishing on Silver Lake and it was not developed and very woodsy. There were leeches in the lake so they were worried about swimming. One of the women discusses the dark woods which were on 33rd, West of Silver Lake. The children were scared to walk past. Oftentimes there were hobos that would come from the train tracks to the Dark woods. They talk about all of the different religious denominations getting along. They discuss the Hillside cemetery that was a part of their village. They recap a bit at the end saying they enjoyed their lives in St. Anthony and they speak about other interviewees.
(72 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Christian, Mrs. Flossie
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Flossie starts out talking about the new school that was built in 1918 on 33rd and Silver Lake Road. All of her children went to that school. There was no high school in the village so the children went to Edison. They would hitch a ride to school and walk home. Flossie and her husband were on the School Board. Flossie was president of The Mother’s Club. They would can vegetables from their gardens so they could have hot lunches for the children during winter time. They would have card parties, small dances and dinners, once a month. They would put on plays to raise money for the community. She says that she got to know her neighbors very well. Her neighbors children were her children and her children were her neighbor’s children. She laments that life isn’t really like that anymore. She discusses the Hillside cemetery and how old it is. She says that all of Northeast Minneapolis at some time was St Anthony. They were a township and they didn’t want to be a part of Minneapolis. Flossie talks about her experience of the Depression. They built their family home in 1929. She mentions how the Depression was tough but God got them through it. The bank gave them a warning, but they managed and were able to pay for their house. Her husband’s parents had 26 acres in 1905. She was married in 1912. Her and husband took over the family business of raising hogs in 1913 when their parents died. Each brother got 13 acres. The village wanted more of their land for the park, so finally they conceded and sold it to them. Flossie and her family wound up with just 2 acres. Her husband smoked his whole life and he got cancer and died in 1968 at age 78. Flossie has 6 grandchildren. She says her children are great and they look after her. She talks about how they used a horse and buggy for transportation. She talks about their grocery store, Hart’s grocery. She discusses the cost of goods: $2 for shoes and $1 for a dress. She said that they would make their goods last because they couldn’t afford to buy new ones. Flossie recalls her husband saying that he wouldn’t want to see their children go through the Depression but maybe they could just get a taste of it so they would have greater appreciation. She talks about how she currently attends the Westland Methodist church on 33rd & Lincoln and she says that they are real good to her. Flossie mentions how she used to play cards and still does even though her church doesn’t approve. They used to attend dances with live musicians. They would dance until 2 or 3am. They would serve dinner at midnight. They would dance the 2 step, waltzes and square dances. She discusses the parade that she took part when she was younger. Flossie says there is crime today and that she didn’t know about crime when she was younger. She says when she grew up they didn’t have TV, radios or even a daily paper.

She talks about how their roads were muddy and in the winter time they would have to clean their own streets, the city wouldn’t do it for them. All the men would plough the roads together. She discusses her neighbors, their land, and farming. Flossie asks the interviewer who else she has interviewed and Flossie knew everyone that the interviewer mentioned.

(49 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Hertog, Mr. & Mrs. Leo
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Leo was born in Holland. He came over with Mrs. Van Druten’s husband. He came to Canada in 1916 when he was about 17 years old. He stayed in Canada for three years and then he moved to St. Anthony where he’s been all his life. When they first were living in St. Anthony the few people who lived here were older and lived on farms which were spread out. People would go into the city. Mr. & Mrs. Hertog met at a dance. They have been married for 54 years. They’ve lived in St Anthony most of this time. St Anthony was mostly farm country at that time. Mr. Hertog bought the local schoolhouse and moved it onto his property and worked on it to make it more like a home. It was the first schoolhouse in the area. The names of the children who went to school there were carved into the siding on the house. He was in the florist business and he continued his trade in St. Anthony. They have many greenhouses on their property. Many people were farmers, worked for the Sioux Railroad line, or made moonshine. Mr. Hertog speaks fondly of his neighbors. He served 12 years on the town board. There were three of them who were on the town board and basically ran the town. They had monthly meetings. They didn’t have much money so they didn’t spend much money. They tried to improve the village. They discussed laying out streets in St Anthony. St Anthony had two churches, a Lutheran and a Methodist church. The city kept taking more and more of the St Anthony land so it became a lot smaller. There was no city water; each person had to dig their own well. They had 3 wells and 3 water pumps which they needed for their greenhouses. Mrs. Hertog belonged to The Mother’s Club but she didn’t go as often. There is a little cemetery in St. Anthony. It wasn’t taken care of well so they removed a lot of the stones. Johnson Street had the post office, drug store, grocery store and other places to shop. That was the closest place to shop but it was in Minneapolis, not St. Anthony.
(56 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Jenniges, Henry
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Henry Jenniges came to St Anthony in 1928 and was active in politics. He was elected as clerk in 1949 when the existing mayor and clerk attempted to close the Lowry trailer park. He served as clerk for 12 years with about 5 different mayors. He had a fight with the mayor at the first council meeting. They relied on the trailer park for revenue for the village to support the general government of St. Anthony. They collected $1.50 per month for every trailer located in the park. When the village became incorporated, there were business men on Central Avenue that attempted to annex 40 acres of choice land from St. Anthony. The villagers got together to stop this. The case went all the way to the Supreme Court. The St. Anthony incorporation was a landmark. As a result, St. Anthony had a $10,000 attorney bill that took the town about 10 years to pay off. There weren’t many businesses in St. Anthony until about 1950. They built a municipal liquor store. It was very lucrative for the village. Highway 8 came through around 1929. Highway 8 which was a direct route from Minneapolis to Duluth. Highway 8 is now Kenzie Terrace. He mentions the Saturday night dances and community club. A tornado came through in 1951. There there were a few fires also. Henry discusses the difficulty with getting water into the village. They finally voted to spend the money on it. It was about $450,000 and there were only 1400 people in the village. People spent about $1500 for every well put in. Lots of people didn’t want to vote for water as they had their wells. They used revenues from liquor to pay for part of it and finally got water in 1953. There were hassles in the village with establishing the fire and police department along with everything else. Henry says the fire department was run by volunteers until about 1956. Henry recalls that they started putting in streets in 1952. He says that the village grew by leaps and bounds. Armour Company owned practically all the land east of Silver Lake Road, and out to New Brighton. The company had planned to put in stockyards. He mentions greenhouses and pig farming being some of the businesses in the area. Henry says in 1951 there was a huge snowstorm and it was the most snow they ever had. St Anthony had a $3,000 bill for snow plowing. As Minneapolis grew, St. Anthony was pushed out further and further.
(37 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Kenzie, Louis S.
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Louis was a resident of St. Anthony for 65 years and lived in Northeast Minneapolis before that. His family lived on the corner of Lowry and Taft. They had to go through the woods to get to school because there was no road to the schoolhouse. They had to trudge through the snow to school. The schoolhouse was located on 33rd & Stinson. They went to the Lemke’s Greenhouse for water and outdoor toilets. There was only one teacher for all the children, she lived in Hopkins. He talks about getting his hands beat with a ruler, and his head banged into the wall for misbehaving. The teacher was going to expel him but his dad was on the school board. He talks about all of the farms in the area. His father was a clerk for 45 years on the local government council. His father really enjoyed it. When his father first came here, he herded cows in the park on Lowry and he would pick cranberries on Lowry Avenue between Cleveland and McKinley. He says there was nothing but swamp there. Lowry Ave was part gravel and part mud. From Lowry Ave to the golf course was owned by Armour company. Spring Rose Pickle factory rented that area. Throughout the interview Louis talks about the various odd jobs that he did. They had to walk down to Central Ave to catch the streetcar. He says that they had one horse that they would use for transportation. They had 4 ½ acres of land. In 1925, Louis was renting a room at 10th Street & 8th Avenue. The people who he lived with were bootleggers. He says it was the depression and it was nearly impossible for people to find work. There was a Butcher’s shop there, a basement and then under the basement there was a sub-basement where they would make moonshine. Louis was able to get his room, the use of a car, and all the booze he wanted for free- all he had to do was to take care of the cops. One day someone told him that a meat truck driver quit and he ran all the way down to there to try and get the job and they hired him. He worked at this job for seventeen and a half years. He earned $22 per week. They would work about twelve hours a day, six days per week. Then the Armour Company bought them out. He says that Armour had a bad name and so he wouldn’t work for them. His father owned the Kenzie gas station and the tavern next door. His father gave his brother-in-law the gas station and he gave Louis the tavern. Louis owned it for 34 years until 1968. It stood empty for 4 years before Louis sold it. His dad originally bought it for $4,000, sold half for $4,500 and then in 1968 Louis sold for the other half for $125,000. He mentions that his brother bled to death when he was seventeen years old from getting his tonsils taken out. He mentions the thick woods where two people hung themselves. He mentions all the residents who were pig farmers. He talks about local apple orchards and how he and his brother would steal apples.
(46 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Klappenbach, Julia
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Julia and her husband moved to St. Anthony in 1941. No water at their house or sewer, just electricity. She says that they were roughing it. They carried water from the neighbor’s house. She would send her laundry out since they didn’t have water. Julia said that the water came through in 1949. They had a garden and a chicken barn. They sold some of their eggs for 30 cents a dozen. They would butcher chickens for meat as well. Once the feed became too expensive, they stopped raising chickens. They canned a lot of their vegetables. Julia felt lonesome and she wanted to work. She got a job and she would have to walk to 29th & McKinley to catch a bus. She worked from noon to 9pm. In the winter time it was quite a hike to the bus stop. There were no houses along the way either. She talks for quite some time about repairs that they’ve made to the house. She talks about converting from coal to gas. She talks about the lack of streets and curbs in the village at first. She remembers when they put lights along Silver Lake Road. One of her sisters lived in St. Paul and other one lived in Minneapolis. Julia would go visit her sisters and they would come visit her on Sundays to have dinner with her. She says that the first few years out here were lonesome for her. Her friends in her sewing club lived in Southeast and so they couldn’t visit each other, her friends didn’t have cars and didn’t know how to get out to St. Anthony. She talks about how St. Anthony was a farm country. She talks about the lack of fire protection and people would have to fight their own fires because there was no fire department. They would charge you $250, Julia said. She talks about how terrible the snow was in the winter time. She said that once they had a snowstorm so bad that no one could get to work. She says there were no snow plows and everyone had to come out with snow shovels and clear the roads. She worked downtown. She babysat for twelve years. She also took care of older women. She did it to make a little extra money and for something to do.
(25 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: McGraw, Genevieve
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1975
Summary:
This interview takes place on January 6, 1975. There is a different interviewer on this recording than on the other St Anthony oral history recordings. The interviewer states that Mrs. McGraw has lived in St Anthony since 1968, but her knowledge extends back to the 1930s when she grew up in St. Anthony. Her family owned the area now known as Lowry Grove – the south western corner of St Anthony, adjacent to Stinson Blvd. Armour wanted to buy the property to build a packing plant. Her father wouldn’t sell. He thought it would spoil Minneapolis to have a packing plant. Armour owned all the property where the cemetery and golf course are but they didn’t build a packing plant because they couldn’t acquire enough property. She recalls that St. Anthony became a city in 1950. Before then it was a town and Mr. Kenzie was the board chairman of the town board for many years. The street Kenzie Terrace was named after him. Many of the street names are taken from some of the early residents. They lived on Lowry Ave and ran Lowry Grove. They had a business of renting cabins on their property. They had about 15 cabins. People would come with tents and travel trailers as well. They rented the cabins for $1.50 per night. They were extremely busy. It started out with 20 acres but then they sold 5 acres for Stinson Blvd and Kenzie Terrace and her brother sold a couple. They did their grocery shopping down on Central Ave. Genevieve discusses transportation. There was a bus that ran down Stinson Blvd. The buses came to the Northwest terminal. She muses that if the Northwest terminal wasn’t there no buses probably would have come. She talks about the only school in St Anthony that was on the corner of Silver Lake Road. For high school they could go to University High or Edison. The town paid their tuition. University High wanted St. Anthony children to attend their school. They wanted to have diversity since most of its students were professor’s children. Genevieve discusses recreation in the town. They had skating and tennis. They would have singing contests in the park. She talks a bit about prices taxes in the early 1930s. They paid about $500 a year for the whole Grove (about 15 acres). She says coffee costs a nickel and so did doughnuts. Hamburgers cost a dime. In 1945 young men were coming back from the war and they and their families would be living in trailers in St. Anthony. They had 200 trailers in Lowry Grove at that time. The lots were small.
(24 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Mohn, Lucille Kenzie
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Lucille was born and raised in the Village 61 years ago. Old Highway 8 is now named Kenzie Terrence in honor of her father for being on the Village council for 42 years. She went to school on 33rd and Silver Lake Road. There was Lutheran church in the basement of the school on Sundays. She went to Edison High and had to walk all the way there. There were less than 30 children that attended the school. Only two houses between their house and the school. Her mother would walk up and meet her halfway with warm clothes. On Silver Lake Road there was only one house and now, she says, there isn’t room for another one. Her husband grew up in Northeast and moved to the Village when he was 14 years old. Four houses in a row on Lowry Ave are owned by her family. The Village now goes up onto the other side of Apache – it used to be a part of New Brighton. St Anthony used to only go up to 37th. They didn’t have much, her father made $12 per week raising a family of 6 children. Lucille discusses some activities the children would do. There was a big farmhouse where the municipal liquor store is now. They would have ball games next to the farmhouse. They would pick raspberries and sell them for 15 cents per box. They would walk all the way to Lake Johanna. They wouldn’t swim at Silver Lake because there wasn’t a beach there. As a part of the Community club, the children would put on plays. One play they put on was a benefit for a young girl who lost her leg. The proceeds went towards buying her an artificial leg. They also put on minstrel shows. They would practice for weeks and sell tickets to the shows. Lucille was president of the mother’s club. She was also involved in the hot lunch program for the kids. She says that more people would be involved in activities back then and today people are too busy. The mother’s club would get together once a month to have a meeting. She discusses some recreational activities. The Community club would have a big dinner once a month. They would have socials, oyster stews, and dances as well. Everyone brought their kids with them to the events. Lucille talks about the Aquatennial parade. Her husband dressed up as an African American and drove a team of horses in the parade. Once a year at Christmas they went to her Grandfather’s house. The house is still standing. She guesses that the house is 80 or 90 years old which would mean the end of the 19th century.
(28 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: Swan, Hobart
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. In 1932 and 1933, Hobart worked building cabins at Lowry Grove. In 1936, he co-ran the gas station on the corner of Lowry and Stinson. This was prior to the building of the Blvd north of Stinson. In the late 1940s Armour Terrace was under development. All the homes came up north of the park. He says that the ground was changed considerably. They had to fill areas in with soil. The kids dug tunnels and caves to play in and build tree houses. He was asked to join the community club. It was open to all of those who lived in the village. 33rd & Silver Lake Road was where the school was and the Community Club met in the basement. The mayor appointed him to the planning board. He declined the reappointment because he was too busy running the trailer park. In 1939 he left and moved back in May of 1946. He came back from the war in 1942 on a furlough. In 1947 he started doing construction. In 1948, his uncle wanted to lease the park for him and his sister to operate. So, he took over the management of the trailer park in 1948 and tried to remedy all the problems. Hobart mentions that the cabin industry diminished and the trailer aspect grew. During WWII, for the lack of other housing, people began using the travel trailer for year round housing even though it wasn’t built for that. There was no state or local licensing for the trailer or the cabin. He was at the mercy of the local official whether or not he would stay in business. The trailer park had a bad reputation he says. In 1951, the state passed the trailer coach law (mobile home). This gave the state the power to regulate. Hobart says that was fine. If you were up to code, then your license could be renewed. This way they weren’t at the mercy of the local officials. This way he had assurance that he would continue to be in business. Some of the residents didn’t want there to be a trailer park in the village. He talks for a while a few different times about the bad reputation and how it isn’t true. He says that the history of St. Anthony is not taught in school, at least when his daughter was going to school. He says that St. Anthony is very unique. It started at the falls. St. Anthony was a large township. St. Anthony School was the second school established in the state. The only portion left of the St. Anthony Township, was the portion that was east of Stinson, north of Lowry and south of 37th. The area became much smaller. When the village was established it was a good identity that they were going to lose their identity. He likens it to the Louisiana Purchase. St. Anthony became district #2. He was involved with the community. Hobart says his theory is that you should give more to the community than you take. From 1956 -1969 he worked as a volunteer firefighter in the community. He was a charter member of the Colonus Organization in 1961 and they met at Apache, and now they’re meeting at the Salvation Army. He was also a charter member of the American Legion which began in 1949. They met in various places, the school, and the old tin shop among others. In 1960 his wife was involved with the Auxiliary. She was president for 2 years. Hobart was commander of the Legion for 2 years. He made some changes. He stayed on as a secretary for 9 or 10 years. He laments that many don’t understand what the Legion stands for. There was a military service requirement for joining and people were under the impression that it was a military organization. The American Legion wanted people, not to support the war, but to support the soldiers. Peace groups criticized the Legion. The Legion was against Communism. Its prime purpose in the community is community service. They work a lot with the youth. He says that the Legion supports Americanism, which is being proud of your country. He talks about the Legion planting trees in the village in honor of servicemen. Hobart says that the American Legion suffers from St. Anthony being too close to Northeast Minneapolis. Many residents are coming to St. Anthony from Northeast. These folks wouldn’t join the St. Anthony organizations, jobs and churches; they would continue to belong to their same organizations, jobs and churches that they belonged to when they lived in Northeast. He lists this as a reason for St. Anthony losing its identity. Participation in community events has lowered. He says that New Brighton has a celebration called Old Timer’s Day and there is a lot of participation. He talks about the two shopping centers in the village. He says that the community has been splitting instead of coming together. Kenzie Terrace, on all the plaques, is still known as Taylor Falls Road, Highway 63 (before it was Old Highway 8). He discusses the roads and their various different names.
(90 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Saint Anthony Village: VanDruten, Anna
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: in 1976
Summary:
This interview takes place in 1976. Anna moved to St. Anthony from Canada in 1920. She is originally from Holland. They moved to the Lemke’s Greenhouse which is where her husband worked. Her husband and Mr. Hertog came from the same small town in Holland. They came across the ocean from Holland to Canada together. The first school was built the summer after she moved to St. Anthony. The playground equipment for the school came from the Mother’s Club. She talks about having to pump water and how hard it was. She says one time she had to pump 75 times to get water, but it was easier than carrying water up the hill. They didn’t have city water until 1933. She talks about the Armour Company owning land in St. Anthony. Anna mentions an old farmhouse on Highway 8 and 33rd. They had to go to 29th & Johnson for grocery shopping. She says that the children would have to walk all the way to Edison High. They would have to brave the snow to get to school. Anna speaks about living in the depression. She thinks that her generation is better off than the younger generation because they can live with little. She says you would have to make something out of nothing. She would remake clothing, for example, she would make a dress out of a skirt. She says if you could get one new dress per year you were lucky. Anna says that her husband was unemployed quite a bit so she would have to work. She started out working at a drugstore. Then she worked for 30 years on 6th street. She started out doing dishes and eventually became an assistant supervisor. Anna talks about a family reunion in Canada. She has 7 sisters and 5 brothers. One of her sisters has 40 grandchildren. She talks about building rooms for their house. They would make improvements a little at a time. She talks about having a lot of wood to keep them warm through the winter. She says her husband had a bicycle and then he bought a motorcycle. They eventually traded it even for a car. They got their car in 1923. Her husband worked for Lemke’s greenhouse, then Hertog’s greenhouse, then he was out of work and he was snow shoveling to make extra money. After that he worked on the railroad.
(28 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Barton, Don
Interviewee: Barton, Don
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Originally from Columbus, Ohio, Don Barton moved to the Seward neighborhood in the early 1970’s while working for VISTA. Don lived at 2311 23rd Avenue South after moving from his first home in Seward on 22nd street. Don participated in ad-hoc committees to plan the urban renewal process for Seward West and discusses the colorful cross-section of participants at these meetings. He describes much of the direction many parts of the neighborhood eventually took as a result of the anti-war movement at the time. Milwaukee Avenue is mentioned throughout the interview. Though homes on it had originally been built as temporary housing, Don describes the process involved in rehabilitating them. Also discussed are grants awarded the neighborhood for renovating the houses. Don’s first memories of 22nd avenue include the statement “in the early 70’s you could walk down 22nd avenue and get high without lighting up.” This refers to the hippies who lived in that neighborhood at the time due to the cheap housing available there. Along with the hippies, other members of Seward included ultra-conservatives and several people who planned to move out of the neighborhood though nevertheless had a strong impact on its renewal. He describes roving horseshoe pits moved to the nearest vacant lot made up of up to twelve guys in the neighborhood active also in the redevelopment. Also, there is mention of how people in the evening came out to their front porch, creating a lot more eyes on the street than there are now so “crimes could not have occurred”. Included throughout the interview are mention of prominent residents who oversaw and contributed to the improvements brought about, including Dick Westby, Bob Scroggins, Jerry Dodge, Bob Roscoe, Charles Horn and Tony Scallon. The interview provides an individual perspective for those interested in the housing and urban renewal that took place in Seward in the 1970’s.
(39 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Benson, Steven
Interviewee: Benson, Steven
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Reverend Benson was the pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church. He speaks about keeping the church relevant in the urban core after it no longer can rely in its historic Norwegian ethnic base. He got a degree in Islamic studies and spent time working on Christian-Muslim relations in India. He always was a bridge builder and continued to be in Seward, bridging with the Oromo congregation in Seward. Bethany Lutheran Church A congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 2511 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406
(47 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Brown, Don and Eleanor
Interviewee: Don and Eleanor Brown
Interviewed by: Westby, Dick in 2001
Summary:
Don and Eleanor discuss with Dick Westby their lives in Seward together beginning with their earliest memories. Don was born in a house on 2414 E 24th Street in 1929. Though Eleanor was born in St. James, Minnesota, at age three she moved to her grandmother’s house in Seward at 2812 E. 25th Street. They discussed their early years in school including the characters they can recall from childhood. Don talks about the many employers he had in his early years and why he had to change jobs often. Don describes the influence his father and grandfather had on his life. His father was a military man and Don discusses how that has influenced his own views growing up. Also, Don recounts an experience where his grandfather taught him the importance of commitment. Eleanor mentions how they used to skate in a home-made skating rink her friend’s made by flooding the backyard with water. She also describes her and her friends using a chicken coop next to it to change skates. Donna also discusses her father and the important role he and her grandmother played in her life. Several businesses are mentioned in their neighborhood growing up such as Conner’s Meat Market, Stillman’s, Orvilles and Egeqvist bakery. The tape concludes with a discussion of what has kept the Brown’s in the Seward neighborhood.
(73 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Bursch, Del
Interviewee: Bursch, Del
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Del Bursch, owner of the Burschwood (Birchwood) Dairy was interviewed by Camille Kudzia in 1980. Mrs. Bursch started working at the Burschwood Dairy in the early 1950’s. At that time it was a dairy, selling primarily milk, eggs, butter and cheese. They sold almost no groceries, and the store was very tiny. She says the Dairy was built in 1926 as a creamery, selling primarily buttermilk. During the Second World War they sold the milk business, and concentrated on eggs. Then gradually they began carrying fruits, and then other groceries. As other small grocery stores in the neighborhood closed, the Burschwood started carrying more and more items. Ms. Bursch’s father-in-law Albert Bursch built the Dairy. Her own husband was Cy Bursch, one of Albert Bursch’s four children. Cy worked for his father even as a child at the Dairy. At one point there were 30 to 40 people employed at the Dairy, as they had a large delivery business. She then goes on to describe a typical day working at the Burschwood Dairy (store) in 1980. She enjoys meeting and making friends with members of the community and she lists a number of them. She estimated that at that time they had about 200 customers per day.
(50 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Clardy, James
Interviewee: Clardy, James
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
James Clardy was born August 24, 1919 at 2437 27th Avenue south in the present location of what is now Matthews Park. James recalls throughout the interview several businesses that were located in the neighborhood, often sharing his memories about the families that owned and ran them. James discusses his parents, who moved from Arkansas so his father could work for the railroad in Minneapolis. He also talks of his sister Erma and his brothers Felix and Fletcher. James mentions how eating together at mealtime was important for his entire family. Though racial prejudice was rarely ever encountered in the Seward neighborhood, it occurred after he left the neighborhood and moved to the suburbs in 1956. James discusses challenges he experienced both in finding a suitable neighborhood as well as living in the new neighborhood once one he and his wife found one they liked. James recounts a time when he and his friend fell through the ice while walking across the Mississippi river between the Lake Street and Franklin bridges and how it was the last time they ever walked on the river ice again. He discusses the friends he usually spent time with and other activities they engaged in for recreation as children like baseball and ice skating. Since childhood, James was very industrious at times holding down two full time jobs at once. While his longest employer was the Post Office, James also worked for Northland Creamery where he became the first black milkman in the city of Minneapolis. He spent four years in the army after which time he attended the University, which is where he met his wife.
(95 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Cook, Floy
Interviewee: Cook, Floy
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Floy Cook was born and raised in Mora, Minnesota and moved to the Twin Cities about 1940. After working a few years with Brown and Bigelow in St. Paul's midway area, she went to Northwestern Bible College which was in downtown Minneapolis then. She also worked part-time at Dayton's Department Store which became her full-time employment for 37 years. Floy moved into the Seward West building in 1987, 11 years prior to this interview. She lived in Seward West, one of the high-rises near Franklin Avenue. In this interview shares what life is like as a resident of the tower, including the view from her unit, which on a clear day allows her to see all the way to Buck Hill in Burnsville and at night to Koch Refining in St. Paul Park. She also discusses how the governing boards such as Seward Housing Cooperation and Seward Redesign are organized and her service with them. The organized recreation and entertainment activities for the residents of Seward East and West towers are discussed which include an option to take part in regular exercise classes, shopping trips, luncheons, walking groups, as well as classes in quilting and beadwork. Floy talks about how enjoyable life in Seward has been for her and how she likes the convenience of living in the neighborhood.
(51 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Craven, Jim
Interviewee: Craven, Jim
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Actor Jim Craven discusses what it was like growing up in an African American family in the Seward Neighborhood in the mid-1900’s. His earliest memories include moving to Minneapolis from New York to live with his grandparents and uncles. This was to get away from political problems his mother had from her college days in the 1930’s when things like racial equality were considered not only unpopular but at times controversial at the time. He recalls experiences such as a boy’s rite of passage in the neighborhood, which required each boy to jump off the railroad bridge at least once despite the extreme danger, and how some boys died in the process. Also he discusses the paper route and certain organizations in the area such as Connor’s Market and the Salvation Army Disc 139B Jim expands on the memory of his mother’s life including as a student at St. Scholastica in Duluth, moving to Milwaukee and then to New York where Jim was born. Jim discusses what it must have been like for his mother transitioning from New York back to Minneapolis and how she worked for Traveler’s Aid at what is now First Avenue though was the bus station back then. Later, Jim recounts his mother’s work for the Humphrey and Kennedy campaigns including his meeting Robert Kennedy. Jim discusses his mother’s love of travel, including trips twice around the world and a supernatural experience which he witness occur as she was dying as well as other similar experiences.
(47 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(47 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
(21 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Gabrick, Helen
Interviewee: Gabrick, Helen
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Helen lived in Seward at 2506 30th Avenue South. She met her husband Mike in her hometown of Wyoming, Minnesota and they moved to South Minneapolis soon after getting married. While the first place they lived was a converted chicken house, then a house on Lake Street, after a few years they settled into the Seward neighborhood. She shares her experiences as a teacher first in a one-room schoolhouse then later at an integrated school in Wyoming. After moving to Seward, Helen was active in the PTA and discusses their planned events such as Indoor Picnics and the Fall Festival. Helen also discusses the creation of Matthews Park, including the building of the hill on 27th Avenue South and its impact to nearby businesses. Besides Matthews Park, Brackett and Riverside Park are both discussed. Helen shares stories of her sons growing up in Seward, and then going on to South High and the University. She tells how she helped them with their homework including calculus.
(73 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Gilbersten, Ralph
Interviewee: Gilbersten, Ralph
Interviewed by: Westby, Dick in 1978
Summary:
In 1978 Dick Westby interviewed Ralph Gilbertsen who was born in Seward in 1901. He attended Seward School and South High School, graduating in 1919. At the time of the interview he lived at 2320 30th Ave S. where he had been for many years. Describing what school was like back then, Mr. Gilbertsen shared several anecdotes of what being a student was like at both Seward and South schools. He maintained a well-known flower/rock garden at the NW corner of 24th Street and 30th Ave. S. on the site where a grocery store stood for many years. People would come from around the neighborhood to view the garden. Mr. Gilbertsen names and describes the many businesses which were along Franklin Avenue and at the commercial intersection of 25th Street and 27th Ave. S. He also discussed many people of note in the neighborhood during the early 1900’s. The interview highlights changes in the Seward neighborhood from the early 1900’s to the mid-1900’s as a result of both urban renewal and natural progress.
(70 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(26 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Greenfield, Lee
Interviewee: Greenfield, Lee
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Seward resident Lee Greenfield talks about graduate school at the University of Minnesota and working in politics (anti-war, DFL) and working at the State Legislature. Known as a radical from his early days in the legislature, Lee shares the story of his decision to decide to first run for office when Martin Sabo chose to run for Congress instead of the stay in the state legislature. He reflects upon the golden years of the DFL in the legislature (before the 1994 Republican revolution) and that the state got close to passing universal health care. Greenfield talks about Minnesota care and health care reform in Minnesota. Lee shares the story of his decision to decide to run for office when Martin Sabo chose to run for Congress instead of the stay in the state legislature. Legislative Career: House 1979-82 (District 57B); House 1983-92 (District 61A); House 1993-2000 (District 62A)
(70 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Hall, Frank
Interviewee: Hall, Frank
Interviewed by: Kreilkamp, Ben in
Summary:
Frank Hall, owner of The Diner, was interviewed by Ben Kreilkamp. (Lots of background noise on this tape; handwritten interviewer’s notes difficult to read). Mr. Hall has various memories. He remembers the Metro Theatre where in 1929 admission was 5 cents. He remembers Auralea Hupp who owned the Hexagon Bar in the “Hub of Hell” intersection. As a teenager he raised pigeons and got the grain to feed them from sweeping out railroad cars. He also raised chickens and owned approximately 50. He sold them at Christmas and New Years for $1 apiece. At the age of 21 he got a job as a switchman for the Milwaukee Railroad. He married and eventually bought a house at 22nd street and 32nd Ave. S. for $1500 in 1942 or 1943. He was in the Air Force as a turret gunner from 1943-46. In 1950 he bought a diner called from then on “The Diner” at 2526 27th Ave. S. . He describes various bars, restaurants and other businesses in the area of 26th Ave S. and 26th Street E. He describes the variety sandwiches he served in his diner, including the “Elizabeth Taylor.” After his divorce he said he “played the field” – all ages, 20 to 70. He reminisces about his childhood – ice skating in Riverside Park, amateur football. He played baseball at Brackett’s field. He went to Nicollet Park sometimes to watch the ball games. He ran the diner and also owned a lumberyard in Farmington MN for 9 years. Many stories are included about The Diner.
(65 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Hupp, Auralea
Interviewee: Hupp, Auralea
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Auralea recounts her early career as a singing waitress at The Tempo Bar, which she began at age 22. She speaks of how she won a singing contest at Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale though was afraid to take the job. The history of the Hexagon bar is shared in great detail by Auralea whose husband was one of the partners who owned the bar via inheritance. Auralea shares many stories that centered around or took place in the Hexagon as well as neighboring bars and their history throughout the years. Auralea talks about her father's early years growing up in the Riverside area and how later he helped manufacture the first cars. Once he got older even though he started to lose his vision, he was able to diagnose what was wrong with a car just by hearing the sound it made. Auralea describes her early singing days and how she got started thanks to the encouragement of her brothers. She shares how her entire family was musical. The interview ends with some singing and just before saying goodbye, Auralea recites a poem she wrote which she dedicates to her family.
(74 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Lamere, Roy
Interviewee: Lamere, Roy
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Camille Kudzia interviewed Roy Lamere in 1980. Mr. Lamere grew up in the neighborhood between 25th and 26th Street S. and between 24th and 27th Avenue. He says this area was given the nickname “the Hub of Hell” because of all the saloons and the resulting fights and bad behavior. He attended Seward School which was then at 24th street between 28th and 29th Avenue. He graduated from Seward (eighth grade) in 1916. When he was married to his second wife, Mr. Lamere lived at 2400 29th Ave. S. Mr. Lamere was a carrier for the US Postal Service for 38 years. He remembered delivering mail to Orville Freeman at 2316 Seabury Ave. He remember Elmer Freeman (Orville’s uncle) starting a clothing store at 27th Ave. S. and 25th Street where SKOL Liquor now stands. He describes a circus coming to town near Minnehaha Ave between 24th Street and 26th Streets. He also remembers some of the fights at the Hub of Hell. He also describes Cyerson’s Dairy south of the street car tracks on 26th Street from 31st to 35th Ave. He remembers playing football, boxing and ice skating in the neighborhood. His describes how he enjoys retirement by talking with people and gardening.
(81 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Lindberg, Edith
Interviewee: Lindberg, Edith
Interviewed by: Westby, Dick in 1978
Summary:
Edith Lindberg was interviewed by Dick Westby in 1978. She was born in Minneapolis November 6, 1889. When she was four, her father bought a house at 2515 E. 25th Street. They later moved to 27th Avenue. She attended Monroe School, Seward School and then South High. She also attended the Minnesota School of Business. She loved the neighborhood, and remembers walking along Cedar and Riverside Avenues, and going into many Swedish stores. She attended the Bethel Baptist Church at 25th Street and 29th Avenue while she was growing up. At the time of the interview she lives in an unspecified high rise apartment in the neighborhood, where she moved in 1967. She has memories of many stores and other businesses including Hoppy’s Bakery, the Hall Novelty Co. which was a “doll buggy factory,” Hagman’s Store, Peterson’s Drug Store (at 7 Corners), Inges Funeral Parlor on Cedar Avenue, and Hoglanders Grocery Store on Riverside and 27th Avenue. Mrs. Lindberg was took great comfort in religion, and describes at length her efforts to be a good Christian.
(72 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Marsh, Hulda Anderson
Interviewee: Marsh, Hulda Anderson
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Camille Kudzia interviewed Hulda Anderson Marsh in 1980 at 2415 23rd Ave. S. Mrs. Marsh’s parents came separately from Sweden, her mother at age 18 and her father at age 16. He arrived in 1884 alone and knowing only one English word “work” when he arrived in Minneapolis. Her parents met in Ortonville, Minnesota and moved to Minneapolis when they married. Mrs. Marsh was born in 1899 and raised in the house at 2309 E. 24th Street. The house had no bathroom and no heat on the second floor where they slept in winter coats and hats. Her father wrote for local Swedish newspapers. He was well known, and eventually got a job at the Capitol for Adolph “Ernie” Eberhart (Governor of Minnesota 1909-1915). Mrs. Marsh’s father helped him campaign for the job. Her father did many odd jobs for the Governor, including refinishing furniture in the Capitol building and serving as a guide when members of the public came to visit. He worked at the Capitol until Harold Stassen became Governor. The area where they lived (near the corner of 23rd Avenue and 24th Street) was near the railroad tracks, and quite wild. The children would play in the fields and also go down to the river which was also quite undeveloped. She mentions lamplighters coming around in the evening. She describes the home they lived in, the porch, the piano, and the lace curtains. She said they bought many items at Holsterman’s store. She remembers taking a bath in a tub on Saturdays. There were eight children and each of them would have a bath, starting with the smallest. Then her mother would put all their dirty clothes in the bath water to soak overnight. Ms. Marsh mentions a store called Huffies “in the middle of 23rd Avenue” where they bought many items. She describes decorating the Christmas tree with items purchased at Huffies. And she describes the delicious Scandinavian dinner they had on Christmas Eve. In the teens they finally had water installed in their house, and in 1921 electricity. She had a job for four years as a ticket taker at the Star Theatre on Washington Avenue S. She married in 1921 and lived in Seward for the rest of her life. She discusses the shops that were on Franklin Av. Near 24th Av. She discussed transportation in the early 1900’s, remembering horse-drawn street cars.
(61 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(43 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Miller, Meryl
Interviewee: Miller, Meryl
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Born in 1920, Meryl grew up on a farm near Atwater, MN. Her father reinvested in the farm with any profits. She moved out of home at age 18 when her father died. The farm went back to the bank. She lived in Minneapolis for a short time. She moved to Iowa to find a job, ended up marrying her father’s former hired hand (Walter Miller) in Mason City, Iowa in 1939. She was a housekeeper for a Jewish family for a short time. They moved a lot to work at various jobs. Her husband joined the Navy during World War II, Meryl left her boys with her sister in Iowa to work at the Holman Airport (Northwest Airlines) in Minneapolis to be a riveter. They moved back to Iowa after the war. Her husband had a drinking problem he got arrested and fired by his employer. They separated afterward. She moved up to Minneapolis to live with her younger sister. She then moved to Grove City/Windom to live with her older sister. In 1951 she moved back to Minneapolis and got a job at Honeywell. She worked at Honeywell until 1984. She remembers the Agate theater and local tippling houses that were both nearby her house she shared with her mother and 3 sons.
(69 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Nordberg, John and Mabel
Interviewee: John and Mabel Nordberg
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Camille Kudzia interviewed brother and sister John and Mabel Nordberg in 1980 at 2628 E. 22nd Street. The interview starts out with Mr. Nordberg describing in detail horse-drawn street cars which ran on 22nd and 26th Avenues. He worked for a while at United States Homesteading Locating Company, and then later at Stillman Machinery, when he was a teenager. They both recall many residents of the neighborhood including specific addresses of their houses, buildings and parcels of land. They mention shopping for Christmas ornaments at Holsterman’s store. Mr. Nordberg recalls knowing George Mainey (Mamey?) who became a well known structural engineer and professor at Northwestern University.
(74 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(38 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Norman, Ruby
Interviewee: Norman, Ruby
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Camille Kudzia interviewed Ruby Norman at her home at 3007 E. 24th Street in November 1980. Ms. Norman describes attending Seward School and South High School (which was at 24th and Cedar), her teachers and classes and various school events. She remembers in great detail thriving businesses along Franklin Avenue and at the intersection of 27th Ave. S. and 25th Street, where a streetcar ran. There were numerous bakeries, hardware stores, grocery stores, shoe repair shops, drug stores and even a movie theater. She also recalls the controversy over urban renewal in the early 1970’s, when Seward was divided by people who wanted the projects to proceed and those who were against them. It bitterly divided the community for several years. She remembers a number of churches, their locations and congregations and buildings some of which were moved to new spots in the neighborhood. She was one of the original members of the Seward Neighborhood Group and was active in the organization from 1960 to 1973.
(68 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(45 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Pautz, Richard
Interviewee: Pautz, Richard (Dick)
Interviewed by: Westby, Dick in 1997
Summary:
Dick Westby interviews Richard (Dick) Pautz in 1997. Mr. Pautz came to Seward in 1933, living first at 2512 38th Ave. S. and then at 2554 38th Avenue S. He graduated from Augsburg College in 1937, and married Gertrude Erling in 1939. Their five children went to Seward School and South High School. Mr. Pautz was on the faculty and staff of Augsburg College. When he opened a real estate office at 27th and Franklin in 1950, the neighborhood was “run down to some extent.” He describes the negotiations related to the building of the freeway (Interstate 94) through the neighborhood. He was President of the Seward Civic & Commerce Association in 1950, and later active in the Seward Neighborhood Group. He did “a lot of work for the hospital.” He helped set up the Augsburg campus, when the school decided to stay in the city rather than move to the suburbs. Disc 146 covers Augsburg College (and Theological Seminary) more in depth, including the contribution of Dr. Bernhard Christiansen who was president of Augsburg 1938-1962. He discussed the possibility that the Augsburg board was entertaining in 1946 to consider moving the campus to Richfield, Minnesota to the property they owned at the time which is now known as Augsburg Park. Once the decision was made to stay where it was, Richard Pautz worked to purchase property for Augsburg to expand its original campus. Dick Pautz also recounts how the original plans for highway 94 were to go right through the current day Augsburg College and Murphy Square and how negotiations were successful to have the highway built ½ block south so the Augsburg property could stay where it was. Dick shares how property around Murphy Square was acquired in the post-war years and the attempts made to even try to acquire Murphy Square itself for Augsburg. The formation and purpose of the Minnesota College Fund is mentioned. It was created for colleges like Augsburg to raise funds. Dr. Christiansen’s successor, Oscar Peterson, is also briefly discussed.
(47 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(88 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Reminiscing evening with Del Bursch
Interviewee: Bursch, Del
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Del Bursch is described in how she went above and beyond in serving the community. Her and Cy Bursch ran a dairy store in the Seward area for many years. Cy went out of her way to care for the dogs in the neighborhood, ensuring that they were being fed properly. People felt that Del provided a center for communication within the community that was much appreciated back then.
(27 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Reminiscing evening with Dick Westby
Interviewee: Westby, Dick
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
In this group discussion led by Dick Westby, the history of Seward School is discussed, including the building of the new school in 1966 and the adjoining Matthews Center in 1969. Each participant shares their connection with the Seward neighborhood. For example, playwright Ben Kreilkamp, himself having conducted several interviews of Seward residents, discusses how the hill built near the school was an inspiration for his play “Under the Hill.” Centers that served the community civically such as Pillsbury Center and the Citizen’s club are mentioned, along with the businesses in the area, including the liquor establishments in “the hub of hell.” Former schools are discussed such as Monroe, Adams and Clay as well as churches including the former Danish, Norwegian and Swedish Lutheran churches as well as what they have since become. Also churches such as St. Alban’s are discussed.
(72 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Reminiscing evening with Jean Johnstad
Interviewee: Johnstad, Jean
Interviewed by: in 2000
Summary:
Jean Johnstad facilitates this discussion in the media center of Seward school on January 26, 2000. Members of the discussion include Donald Brown, Olive Goodell, Paul Lutsen, Betty Woodward, Marie Ladwig, Bob Dietz, Dick Westby and others. They discuss what being a student was like in the early half of the 1900s. The Seward School and other schools in the area (Monroe, St. Albert’s, Holy Rosary) are described. What it was like being a student in the early 1900’s was discussed including being sent to the principal’s office. People who made deliveries such as the milkman are discussed along with Cyerson’s dairy farm and Franklin Creamery. The Municipal Baths also known as Riverside Pool are mentioned. Several personal stories are shared on this tape along with tidbits of wisdom learned while growing up in Seward. The tape ends sharply at 60 minutes.
(60 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Schauer, Henry
Interviewee: Schauer, Henry
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Longtime Seward resident Henry Schauer reminiscences about the 1940 Armistice Day blizzard and shares his love of poetry. Schauer was born on May 4, 1914 in Almont, North Dakota. He taught, farmed, worked in factories before finishing his career on the janitorial staff at the University of Minnesota. Upon first moving to the Twin Cities in 1944, he lived on Franklin and remembers duplexes being moved for development. He also talked about how the automobile culture has taken over the city and what it is like to use transit as a senior citizen. Schauer worked in the wartime industries and talked about life at the home front during World War II
(56 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Suneson,Eleanor
Interviewee: Suneson, Eleanor
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Her grandparents emigrated from Norway in 1882. Her grandfather built a house at 2413 27th Ave S which is where Eleanor grew up. Her mother was Swedish and her father was Norwegian. She went to the Seward school. She graduated from South High school in 1938. She remembers her childhood fondly. Eleanor has photo albums out and is showing the interviewer. She talks about making paper dolls, play houses out of cardboard boxes. She talks about the greenhouse attached to the Seward school. She remembers the first book she ever checked out at the Seward Library, the Sun Bonnet Babies. She loved to read. It cost 5 cents for her to go to the movies on Saturday afternoon. She says that the Talkies came about around that time. She learned to dance the Pillsbury House. She liked to go to the Coliseum Dance with her girlfriends on 27th & Lake, which is where she met her husband Arthur. They started dancing together but it took a while for them to start dating. She says he was a marvelous dancer. They were engaged and then he was drafted into WWII. He told her that when he got a furlough, he wanted to get married. They were married at Bethany Covenant Church. Eleanor talks at length about her wedding. Her husband built their house in 1953, they were the only house on the block, the rest of the block was wooded. She discusses all the people from her street, the businesses, her friends and relatives. They would have parties and all gather around the piano and sing songs together. Eleanor still plays piano. Her family was very musical. She reminisces about happy memories of her father. She says that she feels blessed to have such a loving family. The tape cuts off the before they have wrapped up.
(95 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: no


 Seward Neighborhood: Verona Walter, Evelyn Saterbo and Olga Prince
Interviewee: Verona Walter, Evelyn Saterbo, Olga Prince
Interviewed by: Westby, Dick and Hage, Al in 1978
Summary:
Dick Westby and Al Hage interviewed Verona Walter, Evelyn Saterbo and Olga Prince in July 1978 at 2244 Seabury Ave. All three women lived on the eastern edge of Seward at the time of the interview. The houses in this neighborhood were built about 1913. They describe lamplighters coming every evening, and wagon trails nearby. Most people owned cows, and they all went to 33rd Avenue between 24th and 25th street to graze. They describe parts of West River Road as “just a little trail.” The children of the neighborhood played on the grass in front of their homes (at Seabury Ave) until the Park Board planted trees which prevented most games. They describe fashioning a nine hole golf course by sinking cans into the ground, and skating near the Franklin Bridge on a huge rink. They also used to go down by the river to play. They describe a number of street vendors - a beer truck pulled by white horses, a scissor grinder man who would walk down the street with a little bell, and even the fire truck (pulled by horses) at 21st and Franklin. They all attended Seward School, and listed some of their teachers. This was in the 1920’s. They described the many games they would play. They also went to movies and discuss all the theaters nearby. Lastly, they discuss early childhood experiences unique to each of them and also how different it was as a child growing up back then compared to 1978, when the interview was done.
(66 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(15 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Vikingstad, Ivar
Interviewee: Vikingstad, Ivar
Interviewed by: Johnstad, Jean in 2008
Summary:
Ivar Vikingstad was interviewed on a number of occasions in 2008 by Jean Johnstad. Mr. Vikingstad faced numerous physical challenges, including deafness and throat cancer, but was nevertheless able to answer many questions. He was deaf from childhood, but became an excellent lip reader. He was born at Deaconess Hospital in 1928, and his family lived at 2510 25th Avenue. His father was a truck driver who lost his job during the Depression, and his mother worked in a laundry. He received no special education during school, and was simply promoted each year because he caused no trouble. He eventually went to a trade school where he learned electronics, and he opened a TV repair business in the Cedar Riverside area. He also held other electronics jobs at various times. He became an expert in electricity and even gave presentations and classes on the subject. Mr. Vikingstad was also the Minnesota State Champion weightlifter/bodybuilder in his weight class in 1955/56. During the time when the Milwaukee Avenue renewal was taking place, Mr. Vikingstad was the last hold-out, as he owned a home at 2311 Milwaukee Avenue. The city tried many times to take the property, and he finally sold it to them. In spite of his deafness Mr. Vikingstad learned to play the harmonica and the guitar. At one time he lived at the corner of 25th and 25th in a duplex, and he remembers the Agate Theater and the Metro theater nearby. He also recalls the trolley lines in the neighborhood. He discusses his philosophy of life at length on these recordings. http://www.bridgelandnews.org/7285
(91 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
Summary:
He had a hard time finding a job in the depression. No one would hire him because of his bad hearing. Ivar describes his house at 2311 Milwaukee Ave that he bought in 1953 when he was 25 years old. He describes the period of urban renewal. The city tried to force him out of his house. In 1976, they offered him $5,000 for his house, if it passed inspection. Ivar didn’t want to sell his home and he ignored them. Everyone else on his street had agreed and sold their home. The title to his house had disappeared. The city wanted to have a meeting with him to negotiate a value for his property. He went to the meeting and countered with an offer to base the sale price on the current value of gold to the property value. They hadn’t come to a decision yet and then the city cut off his electricity without consulting Ivar. His mailbox was taken also and he realized the city was trying to make his house look abandoned. So he decided to sell his house to the city. He worked as an orderly at the Swedish Hospital until he paid off the contract for deed. He quit his job because he wanted a change. He entertained himself by studying mathematics, other subjects and enjoying life. He had lived through the Great Depression and because of this had always tried to live frugally. He started weightlifting. In 1955/56 he won the state weight-lifting championship for his weight class. He traded his photographs and paintings in exchange for a gym membership. Some of his artwork was published. He got another job as a model at art schools. There was still trouble with the city. He said that his old house was his home and he felt very emotional about the city tearing down his house. He eventually got his present house plus $3,750 for his old house. He says he’d still rather be in his old house. He discusses his interest in electricity since he was a child. He even developed a stage performance featuring his interest in electricity. At age 60 he became interested in music. He taught himself to play harmonica and then he taught himself guitar. At the end of the interview, he plays a couple tunes on the harmonica. He then plays a song he wrote on guitar and sings along. He says that he can’t really even hear what he is playing. During the time when the Milwaukee Avenue renewal was taking place, Mr. Vikingstad was the last hold-out, as he owned a home at 2311 Milwaukee Avenue. The city tried many times to take the property, and he finally sold it to them. In spite of his deafness Mr. Vikingstad learned to play the harmonica and the guitar. At one time he lived at the corner of 25th and 25th in a duplex, and he remembers the Agate Theater and the Metro theater nearby. He also recalls the trolley lines in the neighborhood. He discusses his philosophy of life at length on these recordings. Http://www.bridgelandnews.org/7285
(96 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 3
Summary:
Ivar’s neighbor Sue joins them. Ivar shows them a small wooden box which he built that contains matched weights he machined from stainless steel. Ivar dicusses his system for musical chord notation. He says it will help people transpose easily from on key to another. He says if he finds a cheap deal, he will buy an instrument. He bought a zither and an accordion at an estate sale. He says he can write music but he can’t really read music. Ivar says how he attended the 20th Anniversary Open Stage performance at Walker Church. He plays music and performs but at this event he told stories. He talks about performance and how you can’t be afraid of embarrassing yourself. Ivar shows them a document stating his expression of intention regarding his wishes for medical caregiving during his terminal cancer. Ivar talks technically about his deafness and what the causes might have been. He talks about hippies and says his neighbors worried that they were criminals. Ivar says he was too old to be a hippie. But that the hippies thought he was a hippie. He says that he looks like a holocaust survivor or anorexic. He has been forcing himself to eat but it is painful. He weighs 91 pounds. He breathes and notes that it sounds like snoring. He has a prescription for methadone for pain relief. He reads a few of his essays. He says his should have a warning label on his book of Philosophy. He reads an essay about how some people view spouse as property. He says that jealousy is selfish love. He reads from another essay about religion and science. He says that faith-based thinking will be the root cause of human destruction. This leads to a discussion about philosophy. He describes Minneapolis Moline and the Third Precinct Station on Lake Street. He talks about his friend’s brother who had been arrested and at the station pulled out a gun and was shot by the police. He tells a story about a friend of his who opened at bank account at Franklin bank and after she deposited money, they told her there was no money in the account. Ivar went with her to the bank and brought a tape recorder and a camera.
(106 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 4
Summary:
Ivar discusses his pain and medications he is on. He didn’t expect to live through the winter. He talks about the Agate Theater and the Metro Theater on 27th Ave. He mentions the old trolley that ran on 25th street. He compares city transportation to now when there is much more traffic. He talks about his father’s Ford Model A. He talks about Indian head pennies. Due to his condition, he has to force himself to eat. He talks about foods that he has enjoyed. He was a vegetarian for several years. He talks about enjoyed Chinese buffets. The cancer has affected his ability to appreciate flavors. One of the interviewers offers to make him a dish in a blender but his pride is offended. He discusses his ideas on marriage. He says that “Romantic love appears to me to be a form of insanity.” He got married when he was young and it was short. His second marriage was in 1954 to Carol. He was open with Carol about his views on conventional marriage. He sees marriage as an equal partnership. He says their marriage is based on friendship. He talks about Carol and saying how creative she is. He discusses his views on gender. To illustrate his point, he tells an anecdote a group of people were conversing and how men dominated conversation over women. He thinks that women don’t have enough belief in themselves and men have too much belief in themselves even if they have no reason to. He says women aren’t given the space to actualize their genius and they give up their power to men. His wife Carol went to college without graduating high school but they didn’t have enough money for her to finish college. Carol and Ivar got a divorce but were still friends. Talks about his severe weight loss due to his illness, he says he weighs 90lbs and he is jealous of larger people that he sees who are happily eating. He discusses a couple of his friends’ injuries and deaths. He discusses Carol’s sickness and her diabetes at length. The doctor said she needed to be on insulin and also that Carol should be put into a nursing home. Instead, Ivar agreed to provide care for Carol. Ivar talks about helping Carol buy a house and the legalities surrounding this. Mr. Vikingstad faced numerous physical challenges, including deafness and throat cancer, but was nevertheless able to answer many questions. He was deaf from childhood, but became an excellent lip reader. He was born at Deaconess Hospital in 1928, and his family lived at 2510 25th Avenue. His father was a truck driver who lost his job during the Depression, and his mother worked in a laundry. He received no special education during school, and was simply promoted each year because he caused no trouble. He eventually went to a trade school where he learned electronics, and he opened a TV repair business in the Cedar Riverside area. He also held other electronics jobs at various times. He became an expert in electricity and even gave presentations and classes on the subject. Mr. Vikingstad was also the Minnesota State Champion weightlifter/bodybuilder in his weight class in 1955/56. During the time when the Milwaukee Avenue renewal was taking place, Mr. Vikingstad was the last hold-out, as he owned a home at 2311 Milwaukee Avenue. The city tried many times to take the property, and he finally sold it to them. In spite of his deafness Mr. Vikingstad learned to play the harmonica and the guitar. At one time he lived at the corner of 25th and 25th in a duplex, and he remembers the Agate Theater and the Metro theater nearby. He also recalls the trolley lines in the neighborhood. He discusses his philosophy of life at length on these recordings. Http://www.bridgelandnews.org/7285
(125 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Williams, Rose
Interviewee: Williams, Rose
Interviewed by: Kudzia, Camille in 1980
Summary:
Camille Kudzia interviewed Mrs. Rose Williams in December 1980. Rose Williams was born in Lonoke, Arkansas in 1914. She and her husband Brunswick, both Pentecostal ministers, came to Minneapolis in 1945, and moved into Seward at 2019 22nd Avenue S. in 1952. They later lived at 2015 22nd Ave. S. Brunswick Williams was a minister at the church “on East 22nd Street and 25th Avenue.” Their home was very close to Milwaukee Avenue. They were one of the few African-American families living in the neighborhood. Mrs. Williams describes a number of their neighbors as well as the businesses in the area. Rev. Williams died in 1971, and Mrs. Williams remained in the house. In later years she was very active in the original Seward Co-op on Franklin, close to her house.
(51 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes
Part 2
(43 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Seward Neighborhood: Woodward, Betty
Interviewee: Woodward, Betty
Interviewed by: in
Summary:
Betty lived at 2817 S 9th street before Highway 94 was built. She describes the changes that have occurred in her neighborhood. For example, on hot summer evenings she’d go with her family to sleep overnight in Murphy Square to stay cool. She discusses how her ancestors, who originally lived in the Oklahoma territory before it was a state eventually moved to Canada before settling in Minnesota. She tells the story of how she met her husband and her work as a dressmaker which she did for many years leading up to her marriage to Clyde. She describes how the Citizen’s Club was a center of social life in the Seward community back then, welcoming a very diverse group of people. Prejudice was not part of the Citizen’s club, which was exemplified by people of all ethnicities who generously donated blood for her husband’s surgery in the 1930’s to repair a ruptured appendix which at that time was an often fatal condition. She describes how her neighborhood changed with the construction of I-94 which caused a fence to replace neighbors she had had, and how she preferred the neighbors to the fence. She recounts exploring various modes of personal transport from a car to a bike, then settling upon a three-wheeler and why this option proved best for her. Her vast doll collection is discussed including how she got started collecting dolls, then learning to make them. She shares stories of her siblings and children including her brother, her two sons and her daughter.
(70 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes


 Walker Art Center
Interviewee:
Interviewed by: Woelm, James (Jim) in 1976
This oral history is not available online. Contact Special Collections staff for more information. (ask for interview #2) Transcript available: yes


 Wilbur B. Foshay and Minneapolis
Interviewee: Gow, Harry and Mrs. Gow
Interviewed by: Baker, Patty and Chorn, Irving in 1975
Summary:
Harry Gow, a former employee of William B. Foshay, discusses Minneapolis businesses and residences in downtown Minneapolis and south Minneapolis in the 1920's and 1930's.
(22 min.)
Get the Flash Player to see this player.
Transcript available: yes

hcl mobile app
hclib
mobile
app
Facebook Twitter Tumblr YouTube Vimeo Flickr Federal Depository Library Federal
Depository
Library
Hennepin County Government Hennepin
County
Government
© 2014  Hennepin County Library12601 Ridgedale Drive, Minnetonka, MN 55305 Comments and Feedback    |    RSS