Ramsey County History Magazine: Volume 51-1 Spring 2016

Ramsey County History magazine offers a wide variety of articles on the people, places and history of Ramsey County.

Volume 51

Volume 51, Number 1: Spring 2016

Building the New Salvation Army Rescue Home of St. Paul, 1913
Author: Kim Heikkla
The first Salvation Army Rescue Home to assist women who were either homeless, prostitutes, addicted, or unmarried mothers, opened in St. Paul in 1898, but it and its successor were soon outgrown. Adjutant True Earle, superintendent of the Home from 1913 to 1918, then enlisted the financial support and assistance of a number of St. Paul business leaders and their wives, particularly Joseph and William Elsinger, to build a new Home at 1471 Como Avenue. Celebrated architect Clarence H. Johnston designed the much bigger facility, which opened in October 1913. By 1920 the Salvation Army made unwed mothers the sole focus of its rescue work with women. The Home ended its unmarried mother program in 1973. Today the building is the Salvation Army Booth Brown House and provides housing assistance for young people.

Albert Wolff: Brilliant Career, Tragic Death
Author: LaVern J. Rippley
Albert Wolff (1825–1893) was a German Forty-eighter; that is an out-spoken liberal who left Germany in the wake of the revolutionary spirit that swept much of Europe starting in 1848. Wolff’s participation in street fighting led to the commutation of his death sentence on the condition that he went into exile. First and foremost a journalist, Wolff was also a politician who arrived in Minnesota in 1852, where he and Friedrich Orthwein started the first German-language newspaper in the Territory. Wolff subsequently became Minnesota’s Commissioner for Germany (1869) and he worked hard to bring German immigrants to his adopted state. In the 1870s Wolff returned to skillfully editing a German-language newspaper in St. Paul, but he later became increasingly depressed and in 1893 took his own life.

Carl Florin, Ray Florén, and Eleven Houses near Hamline University
Authors: Barbro Sollbe and Ann Thorson Walton
Carl O. Florén (1884–1948) came to the United States in 1900 from Sweden. He eventually made his way to St. Paul about 1906 and began working for Hamline University. He subsequently married (1911), changed his surname to Florin, and in 1912 began building homes in the bungalow style in the neighborhood around the University. Two of his brothers, John and Gustav, also emigrated and joined him in the home construction business. Between 1912 and 1924, the three brothers built at least 11 homes in St. Paul’s Midway. Returning to Sweden in 1921 due to his wife’s health problems, Carl fathered a son, Ray Florén (1923–2015), who later became a distinguished civil engineer.

Book Reviews

Jane King Hession and Tim Quigley, John H. Howe, Architect: From Taliesin Apprentice to Master of Organic Design (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015).

Frank M. White, They Played for the Love of the Game: Untold Stories of Black Baseball in Minnesota (St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2016).

Scott Wright, Carrying the Mummy: The Museum Years and Coming of Age on St. Paul’s East Side, 1954–1960 (St. Paul: SW Mindfulness Press, 2015).

Doug Hennes, That Great Heart: The Life of I.A. O’Shaughnessy, Oilman and Philanthropist (Edina, Minn.: Beaver’s Pond Press, 2014).