Sample Minnesota newspaper articles, photos and ads dating back more than 140 years. Fresh items are posted weekly. Go here for tips on how to track down old newspaper articles on your own. Follow the blog on Twitter. Or check out "Minnesota Mysteries," a new book based on the blog.
In search of a Father’s Day photo for the Sunday paper, I scoured more than a dozen manila folders in our library last week. The “Father’s Day” folder was a disappointment, packed with staged shots and visual clichés. The most intriguing: A series of 60-year-old photos of new fathers peering through the hospital glass at their newborns. Appealing – but all verticals, and the page designers require that I supply only horizontal photos for Yesterday’s News. Sorry, new dads of 1951!
Then I remembered a Minneapolis Star story about the birth of Minnesota's largest baby, Jacob Schmitz, in 1936. I posted the story and several photos in 2007, along with an interview with one of Jacob's brothers. The Schmitz photo file produced another photo worth republishing. Here it is:
Two important people are not in this photo from July 1936: Veronica Schmitz, 37, and Jacob, the largest baby born in Minnesota. She and her 15-pound, 15.2-ounce newborn were recovering in the Graceville hospital after a difficult birth. Jacob Sr., a farmer in western Minnesota, made sure the other dozen kids finished their chores and cleaned up in time for a visit from a Minneapolis Star photographer. At top, from left: Donald, 13; Vivian, 14; Valeria, 15; Victor, 18; Reinhard, 11; Eugene, 10, and Louise, 8. Below: Katherine, 7; Laura, 6, and Elizabeth, 3. Holding Vernon and Veronica, 16 months, was dear old Dad, 40.