The problem of writing the story of the development of St. Louis Park is something like that of a pioneer who is given unbroken land where he must break the sod and try to raise a crop. Only one article had been written about St. Louis Park and the rest of the material was gathered from unused sources. The pioneer could not plow his land completely the first year and one feels that there are many areas in the writing of this story where one could not explore all sources in the short season allotted to the writing and research. Thus it is hoped that a future writer will discover new materials and review the materials which have been uncovered.
The writer has tried to keep errors at a minimum and they have been corrected whenever found. The best sources have been used where ever possible but perfection is difficult to secure in the first researches on a subject.
One owes a debt of gratitude to the scores of people who contributed information, gave moral support or helped with the financing of the project. Everyone consulted has given freely of his time and patience and it is doubtful whether anything could have been written if those informants had not been so pleasantly cooperative. One cannot mention them all but the names of a few can be noted. Bertha Bates, Mrs. Delia Hamilton, Ruth Waddell, Mrs. Arthur Anderson, Mrs. Fred Eustis, Mrs. John T. Watson, Mrs. ‘S. E, Ainsworth, Margaret Fletcher, Mrs. Jerry Whelan, Mrs. Florence Earle Wichman, Mrs. John Le Due, Miss Rose Schussler, Miss Clara Kelson and many others answered questions patiently and helped the writer find answers to others. One must thank Verne Langdon. J. A. Werner, George Gibson, C. M. “Pete” Williams. Joe Justad, Howard Perkins, Mrs. Gertrude Renner, Dorothea Nelson. John Louis, Harold Whalen, E. S. Hatch, George Whipple, C. L. Hurd, Russell Dietrick. E. R. Ludwig, and Otto Domian for their aid in helping find information. Mr. Edward M. Conant and Joe Williams were particularly helpful in giving information about the founding of the Industrial village. I have also talked to and secured information from Harold Enestvedt. Barney Gross, Erilng Shursen, C. Ed Christy, Claude W. Rossman, J, Lynn Nash, Wayne Martin, Jack Roberts, Frank Donovan in addition to that secured from the Great Northern Railway through the help of Ray Sieverson and W.G. Gordenier. The libraries have been especially helpful. The staff at the Minneapolis Public Library gave assistance especially Elizabeth Bond, and the Minnesota Historical Society helped measurably. Lucile M. Kane gave aid in finding material, as did Mrs. C. H. Stewart of St. Paul. Clergymen and church people helped also, either by giving of direct interviews or filling out questionnaires. I appreciate the aid given by the Reverends B. G. Brudevold. Mr. Lyle Halvorsen, Orval Peterson, Robert Schumann. A. 0. Dressell. Paul Obenauf, George Lundquist, Korman Neilsen, Lloyd Nordstrom, Lester Nelson and Einar Martinson. Father Francis Wilkins and Father Thomas McNamara also aided as did Pastor Milo Gerbering, Sister Albertine of Most Holy Trinity Convent. Mrs. A. M, Engel, Jeanne Gronli, Mrs. Carl Anderson, Dorothy Stewart. Mrs. H. 0. Westerdahl gave aid about many matters.
The maps were drawn by George Gibson and the photographs were collected from many sources. [none found]
Especially one should thank S. Earl Ainsworth for his aid and encouragement, as well as the help given by Barney Gross.
And last, one ought to congratulate the Village of St. Louis Park on reaching its one hundredth birthday. May the second century be as interesting and profitable.
Norman F. Thomas
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