Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.
Volume 50, Number 3: Fall 2015
ALLY People Solutions: 50 Years of Service to Individuals and the Community
Author: Eileen R. McCormack
ALLY People Solutions, a St. Paul nonprofit corporation that serves people in the community with disabilities, traces its roots to a small group of parents who opened a Day Activity Center (DAC) in 1965 for their adult children who had intellectual disabilities so that they might have social interaction with their peers. Drawing on documentary records, author Eileen McCormack documents how people in Minnesota with intellectual, physical, or mental health challenges were institutionalized and isolated from society throughout the first two thirds of the twentieth century. Change came slowly. The Merriam Park DAC, ALLY’s precursor, was begun by parents at Christ Child School. Although this DAC initially emphasized socialization of its participants, over time it came to focus on helping those with disabilities to acquire living and job skills as steps toward earning a wage and living independently. In 1985 Merriam Park DAC became Midway Training Services (MTS) and moved to a larger facility to serve its growing number of participants. As MTS grew, it moved again, expanded its core programs, and in 2013 changed its name to ALLY People Solutions. Today ALLY depends on both staff members and volunteers to carry out its mission.
St. Paul’s New Directions in the 1930s
Author: James A. Stolpestad
Author James A. Stolpestad recounts how in the late 1920s and early 1930s St. Paul leaders in government successfully campaigned for public funding to build the St. Paul City Hall and Ramsey County Courthouse, remade old Third Street into the esplanade that was then named Kellogg Boulevard, and successfully lobbied the federal government to include funding for a new post office and custom house in legislation passed during the Hoover administration. That federal money resulted in the Post Office and Custom House on Kellogg Boulevard that opened in 1934. At the same time that these major public buildings and spaces were constructed, private businesses in St. Paul were also busy putting up a substantial number of new buildings, such as the St. Paul Union Depot, the Lowry Hotel, the Minnesota Building, the First National Bank, the Women’s City Club, Bethesda Hospital, the Lowry Medical Arts Building, the Northern States Power Building (now Ecolab), the Tri-State Telephone Building, Mickey’s Diner, the Montgomery Ward building, the Ford Motor Company Assembly Plant, new buildings at Minnesota Mining (3M), and an addition to the West Publishing Building. By the time the Great Depression tightened its grip on the city, many of the historically significant buildings in St. Paul that are still extant had been constructed and in the process they changed the face of the city.
Curt Brown, The William Marvy Company of St. Paul: Keeping Barbershops Classic (Charleston, S.C.: The History Press, 2015).
Lori Sturdevant, Her Honor: Rosalie Wahl and the Minnesota Women’s Movement (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2014).