loader from loading.io

Fall 2014 Ramsey County History Podcast

Ramsey County History podcast

Release Date: 10/06/2014

March of the Governors #16: Samuel Van Sant show art March of the Governors #16: Samuel Van Sant

Ramsey County History podcast

March of the Governors, Podcast #16 Samuel Van Sant Samuel Van Sant was Minnesota’s fifteenth governor—the first to serve in the twentieth century and the first to occupy the current capitol. After three years of combat duty in the Union cavalry  (1861-1864), Van Sant joined the family steamboat business in LeClaire, Iowa. In 1883, he moved to Winona and soon went into politics. A Republican, he was elected to the legislature in 1892 and rose to speaker of the house just two years later. A gifted public speaker, he was elected governor in 1900 and reelected in 1902. In...

info_outline
March of the Governors #15: John Lind show art March of the Governors #15: John Lind

Ramsey County History podcast

Three-term US congressman John Lind, a traditional Republican with a stream of populism coursing through his veins, made a major political course change in 1894. Unhappy with Republican policies, Lind, the first Swedish-American elected to Congress, opted not to run for a fourth term and quit the party. Two years later a fusion of Democrats, Populists and left-leaning Republicans convinced him to run for governor. David Clough narrowly defeated him. In 1898, Lind returned for another gubernatorial run, this time cruising to a convincing victory. A self-described political orphan during his...

info_outline
March of the Governors #14: David Marston Clough show art March of the Governors #14: David Marston Clough

Ramsey County History podcast

David Marston Clough was a lumber baron and politician who served as Minnesota’s Republican governor from 1895 to 1899. Born in New Hampshire in 1846, he moved with his family to Spencer Brook Township, Minnesota, in 1857. He was successful in the lumber business and moved into politics, serving as a city council member in Minneapolis, state senator, and lieutenant governor before his elevation to the gubernatorial seat upon the election of Governor Knute Nelson to the US Senate. He was then elected in his own right and served one two-year term before declining to run for reelection (and...

info_outline
March of the Governors #13: Knute Nelson show art March of the Governors #13: Knute Nelson

Ramsey County History podcast

Knute Nelson (1843-1923) spent two years as Governor of Minnesota on his way to becoming a representative in the US Senate, where he served for twenty-eight years. Nelson was the first prominent Scandinavian-American politician in Minnesota and in the United States. He immigrated from Voss, Norway, to Chicago as a six-year-old child and spent most of his upbringing in Norwegian-immigrant communities in Wisconsin. He made his way to Minnesota after serving in the Union Army during the Civil War and apprenticing to become a lawyer. As a politician, Nelson leveraged his dual identity as a...

info_outline
March of the Governors #12: William Merriam show art March of the Governors #12: William Merriam

Ramsey County History podcast

Ramsey County Historical Society presents March of the Governors #12: William Merriam. William Merriam (1849-1931) was the first Minnesota governor born into wealth and the first to break an unwritten code of the Minnesota Republican Party when he wrested the party’s nomination from the incumbent governor, Andrew McGill, in 1888. He proved a much better vote-getter than McGill (that year, anyway), but still won his first election with only 51 percent of the vote. The next time around he did much worse—he was re-elected, yes, but with only 36 percent of the vote in a four-way contest. With...

info_outline
March of the Governors #11: Andrew McGill show art March of the Governors #11: Andrew McGill

Ramsey County History podcast

Andrew McGill (1840-1905), our tenth governor, served one tumultuous term in office after 13 years as state insurance commissioner. Because of divisions in the Republican Party and the strength of his main opponent, Alonzo Ames, he won by only 2600 votes in the election of 1886. After a moderately successful two years as governor, the Republican Party, doubting his ability to win, dumped him in 1888. This was the first time a sitting governor had been denied renomination. McGill’s post-governor career was more successful: He served four terms in the state senate and as postmaster of St....

info_outline
March of the Governors #10: John Pillsbury show art March of the Governors #10: John Pillsbury

Ramsey County History podcast

John Pillsbury, a Republican, served three terms as governor of Minnesota, from January 1876 to January 1882. An immigrant from New Hampshire, Pillsbury made a fortune in the grain milling business, in the company that still carries his name. He also had a strong commitment to  public life. Serving in the state senate from St. Anthony, Pillsbury was a major force in the establishment of the University of Minnesota. As governor he championed accountable and efficient government and struggled to find a humane response to the grasshopper plague that...

info_outline
The March of Governors #9: Lucius F. Hubbard show art The March of Governors #9: Lucius F. Hubbard

Ramsey County History podcast

Possessing little more than a drive to be a success, 21-year-old Lucius F. Hubbard reached Red Wing in spring 1857. Unimposing in size and stature, the clean-shaven, boyish New York-born newcomer appeared a long shot to make it on the rugged Minnesota frontier. But by age 30, Hubbard was a celebrated American Civil War hero, rising from the rank of private in the Fifth Minnesota infantry to brevet Brigadier General, a thrice-wounded combat leader, and recognized hero in battles at Corinth and Nashville. Lucius Hubbard returned to Minnesota as the King Wheat Era blossomed, becoming a grain...

info_outline
The March of Governors #8: Cushman Davis show art The March of Governors #8: Cushman Davis

Ramsey County History podcast

Minnesota’s seventh governor, Cushman Davis, served only one term from 1874 to 1876 during which most of the state recovered from the Panic of 1873. Highlights of his time in office include amending the state’s constitution to allow women to vote in school board elections and serve on the boards; establishing (and a year later abolishing) a railroad regulatory commission; and providing limited state assistance to farmers affected by the grasshopper plague. A prominent St. Paul attorney, Davis is most remembered today as a US Senator representing the state in Washington, DC, from 1887 until...

info_outline
March of the Governors #7: The U.S. Dakota War of 1862  show art March of the Governors #7: The U.S. Dakota War of 1862

Ramsey County History podcast

The US Dakota War of 1862 was a unique event in Minnesota history. In his recent book, Massacre in Minnesota, the eminent historian Gary Clayton Anderson calls it “the most violent ethnic conflict in American history.” It was a calamity that we Minnesotans are still trying to deal with today. One of the remarkable things about it is that all six of Minnesota’s first governors participated in it: Alexander Ramsey as sitting governor and the five others as army officers or emergency volunteers. To discuss the actions of these governors, we assembled a panel: Sydney Beane, a...

info_outline
 
More Episodes

What can an anti-Nazi writer and intellectual, exiled in the United States, do for his beloved Germany? Over 70 years ago Prince Hubertus zu Lowenstein visited St. Paul and met Hamline University student John Larson. A lifelong friendship and flood of letters ensued. John Larson has now assembled some of these letters, from World War II and after, into a book entitled The German Friend. We interviewed Mr. Larson at his home on Taylors Falls.

The Minnesota Historical Society has created a new venture called MNopedia: short-form articles of state history -- including several Ramsey County stories -- in an on-line encyclopedia. We interviewed MNopedia's then-editor, Molly Huber.