The distinguished Yngve family of attorneys made a great impact and contribution to St. Louis Park. Thanks to John and Albert Yngve for sharing their family history and memories with us.
Also see the North Side neighborhood.
Anton Yngve was born on September 26, 1890 – Yngve is a first name in Sweden. He started his career working for the State. He became a lawyer late in life in 1932 at the age of 58. In October 1942 he was appointed Justice of the Peace. He also served for three years on the St. Louis Park school board.
ESTHER JOHNSON YNGVE
Esther Johnson Yngve was born on November 17, 1894, and came to the Park in 1899 from Richfield. In 1907/08 she lived in a house on a farm around where Aldersgate Methodist Church is today. One of her friends was Reta L. Shepard, daughter of farmer Nate Shepard. Esther graduated from Park High (Lincoln School) in 1912. The family has shared with us the journal that Esther created during her senior year. At first she trained to be a home economics teacher, because women couldn’t be hired as engineers, and married women weren’t being hired during the depression. But she graduated law school in 1941 at the age of 47.
JOHN A. JOHNSON
Esther’s father was John A. Johnson, who owned farm land in the north side of the Village. The 1914 map shows that he owned two large undivided lots in Section 4. In 1928 he platted John A. Johnson’s Addition, between 14th and 16th Streets, and between Dakota Ave. and the Canadian Pacific (aka Dan Patch) railroad tracks (which had run through one of his undivided lots). He built 15-20 low cost homes out of material purchased from the Rose Brothers Cleveland Wrecking Company, located on Glenwood Ave. near downtown Minneapolis. Not all of them had bathrooms or running water, at least at first. Johnson wanted to make the homes affordable for ordinary people. None of these house survive except perhaps 1332 Colorado Ave., which the City lists as 1930. Johnson also ran a creamery at Zarthan and Wayzata, delivering dairy goods downtown with a horse-drawn truck.
YNGVE & YNGVE
Together, Anton and Esther Yngve started St. Louis Park’s first law firm, Yngve and Yngve, in January 1941, first located in the Park Theater Building (4825 Minnetonka Blvd.). From 1950 to 1966, they were located in a small concrete building that they built at 3881 Highway 100. In 1952 they were listed as Yngve, Yngve, and North. At one point the firm was called Yngve, Yngve, and Davis, Davis being Herb Davis, who said that because many folks weren’t sure how to pronounce Yngve, they would ask for Davis. There is a picture in the May 23, 1957 edition of the Dispatch. Both Anton and Esther Yngve served on the School Board. Since 1932, the family residence was at 6105 14th Street, which is now a part of 6009 Wayzata Blvd. They retired in late 1966 and rented out the building until it was torn down in 1983. Esther died in September 1968, and Anton died in May 1978.
JOHN A. YNGVE
Son John Yngve, born in 1924, took his law degree from the University of Minnesota. He was a Deputy Registrar for the Motor Vehicle Registration Bureau from 1945 to 1954. In 1962 he was elected to the State Legislature. He served on the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Foundation. The was on the Plymouth City Council and chaired the Metropolitan Transit Commission. He has been a science advisor to the governor and chair of Minnesota Project Outreach, Inc.
At one time he was also the President of a company called Nortronics, Inc., which made tape recorder heads. From 1991 to 2002 he served as chairman of Minnesota Technology Inc. He also served as Chairman of Bondhus Corporation, a tool manufacturer in Monticello, Minnesota. He has served as an officer or member on the boards of the Minnesota Council, national board of the American Electronics Association, Minnesota High Technology Council, and the Citizens League.
All the while, John carried on his law practice. Among his clients was Riley Tar and Chemical (the creosote plant). He worked to get fair value in condemnation, and the case went to the Minnesota Supreme Court. There is an article about John in the September 25, 1969 edition of the Sun.
ALBERT B. YNGVE
Albert, born in 1929, graduated from Park High in 1947. In 1949, he and his brother John were partners in the Pylon Drive-in, located across Highway 12 from the family home. After a year at Gustavus (having too much fun), he went to the U of M and attended the Minneapolis College of Law, which became the William Mitchell School of Law. He took classes at night, some in the old Metropolitan Building. He entered the bar in 1957 and practiced in St. Louis Park for ten years. In 1966 the Yngves built a building at the site of the old Pylon Drive-in site (6250 Wayzata Blvd.) – in 1967 we see a listing for Yngve Yngve and Reirsgord. Albert eventually changed careers and went into the travel business, owning Travel Specialists, Inc. At one time the agency was located at 1021 Idaho Ave. No. in Golden Valley.