Reporter | Minnesota History


New book traces slavery's reach into early Minnesota

It is a complex legacy for a state that prided itself as an anti-slavery bastion and outlawed the practice in its territorial and state constitutions.


Tireless volunteer unravels graveyard mystery in Eden Prairie

Some people play pickleball when they retire. Others knit or play cribbage. Carol Kissner had a different idea. She became a volunteer cemetery sleuth, poking…


Letters from 1927 an echo from lost era of communication

Handwritten during a couple's courtship, the 100-plus letters were laced with their beliefs, passions and dreams.


Low-profile HCMC museum holds medical gems

It’s a museum hiding in plain sight. Take the elevator down from the chaotic lobby to the basement of Hennepin County Medical Center in downtown…


Minnesota state hospital worker used angel's touch to bring reforms

Engla Schey was determined to make life better for 10,000 Minnesotans locked in seven state institutions in the 1940s.


Softball, Sears filled Dorothy Swenson's active, lively life

Until her retirement in 1987, she spent nearly 45 years as a cog in that giant Sears retail machine, taking her frustration out on the field.


Downtown St. Paul pet store is one for the ages

Sonnen's Pet Shop oozes history at 408 St. Peter St. in the Hamm Building.


Trailblazing legislator fought fiercely for equality

Not surprisingly, Myrtle Cain's dark brown hair had gone gray. After all, she'd been waiting 50 years for this moment.Now 78, she sat in the…


Gertrude Ellis Skinner, trailblazing educator and editor, honored by Austin

When her southern Minnesota hometown came calling in 1890, she faced a career quandary rare for women of the era.


World War II Navy veteran survived a kamikaze attack

"I was one of the lucky ones," Clarence Penaz said of the day when 19 sailors died and more than a dozen were injured.