Recent content from Curt Brown
A part-time bank clerk at 16, Carlos Ellis became a Rochester race-car driver and Dr. Charlie Mayo's chaffeur.
The deaths of Alvira Lundeen Johnson and her seven children are the topic of a new book.
Larry LaLonde's stories provide an unvarnished history.
There are power couples, and then there are brainpower couples such as Apostolos Kizilos and his late wife, Betty Ahola Kizilos.
The ruling, denying rights to free and enslaved black people, is widely considered among the triggers that sparked the Civil War.
Kubel Island is one of the rocky outcrops dotting the lakes way Up North along the Canadian border in what became Voyageurs National Park.
Considered the father of so-called rigid dirigibles, Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin at age 25 made his first flight above downtown St. Paul.
They defied the odds: Nearly 60,000 people applied to join, but only 3,000 were selected and dispatched abroad.
Elizabeth Hughes enlisted right after President Franklin Roosevelt created WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
The Rev. Malchior Falk Gjertsen became ensnared in a scandal that would cleave his congregation and cloud his legacy of good deeds.
The death toll, far greater than the Chicago fire 23 years earlier, would have been even worse without John Blair's calm heroics.
Built with thick stones in the late 1800s, the Red Wing reformatory provides the setting for an obscure Bob Dylan song — first performed in…
On the first day of 1924, a little St. Olaf College radio station broadcast New Year’s greetings in 19 languages. WCAL’s feel-good message from Northfield,…
The discovery of a fading image kindled a 15-year plunge into the history of Ramsey County's last eight-sided house.
Lillian and Margaret Yates plied their trade in Waseca, Waterville and later Worthington.
Alvhild Sherve of Northfield, 91, is a living link to a largely forgotten but quietly influential pioneer of progressive politics in Minnesota.
Herbert and Nicholas Brand, both crew members on the warship U.S.S. California, were left for dead after the attack. Except they weren't.
She opened an art colony and caught the attention of renowned nature writer Sigurd Olson.
Wilhelm Muelbe and Fred Keller fought and played in military bands on opposite sides of World War I a century ago.
Al Cassidy, a St. Paul candy salesman in the 1920s, played a sweet but little-known role in world history.
Mayer, who died in 1949, sported all sorts of hats in his 70 years in St. Paul.
Florence Bramhall and Maria Louise Sanford came together in the early 1900s to preserve what is now known as the Chippewa National Forest.
Wayne Brabender is the greatest Minnesota basketball player you've never heard of.
Bernie Lieder was the last WWII vet to serve in the Minnesota House.
The life of a first-generation Norwegian offered few comforts.
Paul Arneson will discuss his book about Bayer Ross next month at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis.
Writing optimistically in her native German, Catherine Hoofhower poured her heart out in an 1877 letter from her log cabin in Lydia, Minn., to her…
She rolled her own cigarettes, played guitar, painted with oils and watercolors and insisted her grandchildren mind their manners and use proper English. “She was…
Edward Schwartzbauer found himself at the center of mayhem 50 years ago this week.
Two years before the Alabama victoriously led the American fleet into Tokyo Bay in 1945, the 45,000-ton ship was anchored off Trondheim, Norway.
The friendship is going strong four generations after it was forged by a Minnesota dentist and a French professor's daughter.
Margaretha Sevshek's immigrant story is tinged with pain and perseverance.
Although far from the violent racism that erupted in the South, Minnesota's racial history is punctuated with chilling tales of hate.
While Bob Bergstrom's days are sweet, his nights have been wracked with nightmares from a 1951 bombing mission over North Korea.
Built with limestone blocks near hillside cooling caves in the 1860s, the 152-year-old brewery operated until 1949.
Joseph Graham arrived in Eden Prairie around 1870 and spent his last 30 years there.
Talk about a rocky start.Betsey Streeter Chowen was born on a ship in the mid-1790s as her family emigrated across the Atlantic Ocean from England.…
U.S. Secret Service agents seized the family's store as part of a Treasury Department effort to freeze all Japanese funds in the country.
Minneapolis cop Joseph Ollinger had an eerie feeling when he headed to his beat on the night of July 15, 1911.
He just might just be the most influential person in Twins history you've never heard of.
His name is among 144 engraved on a bronze tablet listing Minnesota Marines who died in World War I.
By the time word of the buried gun finally surfaced, a young, hard-luck, one-armed farmer had been locked up in Stillwater prison for seven years.
In a city known for colorful characters, Butler's rags-to-riches tale still bedazzles 50 years after she finished second in the 1968 mayor's race.
For years, relatives of 1st Lt. Robert Niemann have tried to get answers gnawing questions about just what happened to him.
Bootleggers, gamblers, racketeers and a boxing champ lined up at a St. Paul hospital offering to donate blood to keep "Dapper Dan" Hogan alive on Dec. 4, 1928.
Joseph Killpatrick doesn't fly or build airplanes. But he joined four fliers and an airport operator inducted in the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame at…
The early Cold War mission was so cloaked in secrecy that reporters weren't told why they were summoned until just before James Gallagher landed.
The 1900 census shows Van Buren March working as a house painter and living on Second Street in Slayton, the Murray County seat near the…
The childhood flashback struck documentary filmmaker Kelly Nathe as she watched HBO’s Prohibition-in-New Jersey series “Boardwalk Empire” at her home in Los Angeles. Although she…
Amy Robbins Ware was born in 1877 in her uncle's art-filled home in Minneapolis. A daughter of privilege, she could have lived a life of leisure like many ladies of her era. But Ware made a name for herself on the trench-pocked battlefields of France during World War I as a Red Cross canteen worker, radio operator and front-line nurse.
They were a quirky couple, both 44, who had ditched their Chicago careers in 1954 to hunker down in a rustic log cabin on Gunflint…
Noel Beaudette flashes back fondly to his first shift on what he insists was his best job ever — sorting the mail on trains zipping…
George Herter and a pal once covered their hunting boat with mirrors so ducks wouldn’t see them. It sank from the weight. After growing up…
The framed photograph on the mantel shows an older-but-dashing man wearing a derby, three-piece suit and bow tie — the chain from a pocket watch…
Two Minnesota teens — separated in life by 60 years, nearly to the day — pulled on military uniforms and soon witnessed two of the…
A 26-year-old is charged with puffing new life into the state's oldest house museum, the 180-year-old Mendota home of Henry Hastings Sibley, the state's first governor.
Nazis had just torpedoed Winfred Polzin’s landing ship. “There was an awful jolt,” he recalled recently from a rehab center in Cambridge, Minn., where he’s…
Approaching his 75th birthday celebration Wednesday, Charles Monroe Schulz could wax nostalgic about growing up as a barber's kid in the Twin Cities. But forget…
Billie Jo Boehmke remembers the hatch door in her sister Jennie’s second-floor bedroom closet. “She kept her shoes there,” Billie said, “but if you moved…
A recently unearthed glass-plate photograph, about 150 years old, puts a new face on a pivotal figure in perhaps early-Minnesota's grimmest moment.
Fourteen-year-old Frank Hrvatin had quit school to work in one of Minnesota’s mines. That wasn’t unusual in 1924 for the son of Croatian immigrants. But…
It was one of those "Eureka" moments that family-tree buffs crave, but this one connected a Mahtomedi 12-year-old to history.
The front page of the Minneapolis Journal on March 21, 1905, included a story about a Wayzata man committing suicide “in preference to a lingering…
Nina Marcum is the last living person who once called Fort Snelling's iconic Round Tower her home.
She's faced off against the CEO of General Motors, attended a congressional hearing and filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in Minnesota. Recent weeks have been a whirlwind for Jayne Rimer, more than seven years after her only child was killed in a crash now suddenly linked to a defective ignition switch.
The oil frenzy has thrust quiet, tiny dots on the map such as Keene, N.D., into cataclysmic change — forever altering the stark landscape and the lives of families whose ancestors settled here generations ago.
Years of planning and work are about to fulfilled as Minneapolis takes advantage of the showcase that is the Midsummer Classic.
Experts say the mental health of kids and teenagers often falls through the cracks of a system built to handle perpetrators and direct victims of violence.
The Mankato businessman looks forward to the latest addition to his corporate family: the Star Tribune.
Kolstad, 24, suffered serious brain damage and other injuries during a fight that erupted May 11 after Mankato bars closed.
Activists want city leaders to buy the Depression-era school building for $1. Demolition may cost as much as $225,000.
Gov. Mark Dayton hinted that he might need to call a special legislative session to allocate flood-relief dollars to nearly three dozen counties under a disaster declaration.
After 30 years of talk and $957 million in public money, the area's second light-rail line got off to a soggy start Saturday, connecting the two downtowns, myriad neighborhoods and the University of Minnesota.
While the state fights to preserve the ban — and reportedly refuses to process any of the new marriage licenses — county clerks are caught in the middle and left to decide on their own whether to allow gay couples to fill out a marriage license.
Frank Warren Preeshl would hop in his 1951 Ford and drive 50,000 miles a year around Minnesota in the middle of the last century —…
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