Researcher's Notebook weblog

June 30, 2009

Lucile Kane Memorial

Filed under: Colleagues, Events — @ 2:17 pm

Colleagues and friends will commemorate Lucile Kane’s life and career at a gathering organized by her friends to be held Monday, July 6, 3:00 p.m., at the James J. Hill House in Saint Paul. Please tell others who knew her and may want to attend.

If you would like to submit a one - two paragraph statement about Lucile Kane for the memorial program, send to Mary Bakeman by July 2.

The Hill House is closed on Mondays, but will be open for those attending this event.

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June 5, 2009

Lucy Kane and John Wood Died This Past Week

Filed under: Colleagues — @ 11:24 am


Lucile M. Kane died May 30, 2009, at the age of 89 at the St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, Wisconsin. She was born March 17, 1920, in the Town of Salem (near Plum City) in Pierce County, Wisconsin, the daughter of Emery and Ruth (Coaty) Kane. Lucile graduated from Ellsworth High School and in 1942 received a bachelor of science degree from River Falls College. She taught for a while at Osceola High School, 1942-1946, and received her master’s degree in history from the University of Minnesota in 1946.

She also worked for the University of Minnesota Press, 1945-1946, and was a research fellow and editor for the Forest Products History Foundation in Saint Paul from 1946-1948. She was curator of manuscripts at the Minnesota Historical Society from 1948 to 1975, and Minnesota state archivist from 1975 until retiring on July 1, 1979. Lucy was then a senior research fellow at the Society from 1979-1985, and a senior research fellow emeritus from 1985-2003.

Lucy edited and translated a substantial book entitled Military Life in Dakota: The Journal of Philippe Regis de Trobriand (1951). She contributed to The Public Lands: Studies in the History of the Public Domain, which was edited by Vernon Carstensen (1963). In 1966 she published The Waterfall that Built a City: The Falls of St. Anthony in Minneapolis, which was later updated and published as The Falls of St. Anthony: The Waterfall that Built Minneapolis (1987). She helped edit The Northern Expeditions of Major Stephen H. Long (1978), and with colleague Alan Ominsky co-authored Twin Cities: A Pictorial History of Saint Paul and Minneapolis (1983). She authored various articles that appeared in such periodicals as Minnesota History, Wisconsin Magazine of History, Business History Review, Agricultural History, and The American Archivist. She also wrote the influential A Guide to the Care and Administration of Manuscripts.

Lucille is survived by her two sisters, Dorothy (Shafi) Hossain of Sherwood and Audrey (Kenneth) Cernohous of New Richmond, sister-in-law, Lennis Kane of Plum City, brother-in-law Robert Eder of Amery, many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.  Funeral services will be 11:00 a.m. Saturday, June 6, 2009, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Plum City; burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call one hour prior to services at the church on Saturday. Memorials proffered to the Alzheimer’s Association, Women’s Shelters, and the Humane Association.

Bruce White wrote this about Lucy on his Minnesota History blog:

Lucile M. Kane died on May 30, 2009. In terms of the profession of history in Minnesota, she was truly one of the “Greatest Generation.”  A historian and archivist, she was committed to collecting and making available to the public the manuscript records of Minnesota’s history, for today and for tomorrow. During her years as Curator of Manuscripts at the Minnesota Historical Society, and as Minnesota State Archivist, she collected many important groups of records and started the ambitious program of microfilming through which the MHS has helped preserve its collections and disseminate the information contained in them. She also wrote and edited several important books on Minnesota history, continuing the legacy begun by earlier generations of curators and archivists at the Historical Society, who combined collecting and cataloging with a vital interest in the history of this state.

Lucile Kane was a modest, pleasant, good-humored, and intelligent person, and a dogged researcher. Through her work she inspired several generations of historians and archivists at the MHS and throughout the country. The best honor that the Minnesota Historical Society can give her is to continue to carry out the important mission of the Historical Society to collect the manuscript records of Minnesota’s past and make them available to present and future generations.


John J. Wood, former deputy director of the Minnesota Historical Society, died June 1, 2009, at age 82 in West St. Paul. He is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Delores; sons James and Robert, sister Margaret, and several grandchildren. He was born April 21, 1927, on a farm near Newton, Iowa, and attended Humboldt High School and Hamline University where he played varsity basketball and baseball, graduating in 1950. John was a World War II Veteran (U.S. Army) and a life member of V.F.W. Post #10424.

Much of his working life was spent at the 3M Company and the Minnesota Historical Society. He joined the Society in July 1966 to serve as business manager.  In 1973 he became the Deputy Director for Finance and also acted as the Society’s chief representative at the Legislature. John retired on December 31, 1991. He was then elected to the MHS honorary council.

Quoting from the article on his retirement in the January/February issue of Minnesota History News: “There are several accomplishments of which Wood is particularly proud. One was his introduction to the Society, in the late 1960s, of the then relatively new conceptat least to public institutionsof the management-by-objectives planning process. ‘This kind of planning helped us to redefine how we planned our work and presented ourselves to others,’ Wood says. ‘It enabled us to describe to the public and the Legislature, in an organized way, the goals and objectives we hoped to accomplish.’

“Wood is also proud of the role he played in drafting and gaining legislative approval of Minnesota Statutes 138 that are the foundation of the Society’s service to the people of Minnesota. ‘These statutes are important because, in essence, they mandate and define the institution’s responsibilities as the keeper of the state’s past,’ says Wood. ‘Without such a statutory mandate, the Society’s influence in effecting the cause of history would be greatly diminished.’”

John also served on various other boards, foundations, and commissions, including the national Association of Accountants, Hamline Alumni Board, State Services for the Blind, and the Mississippi River Parkway Commission. John had a great love for his family and friends. They were the focal point of his life. He enjoyed outdoor activities particularly those that involved his family. He took great pride in being a part of his grandchildren’s lives. Visitation is 4:00-6:00 p.m. Sunday at Willwerscheid West-Heights Chapel, West St. Paul; a memorial service is 11:00 a.m. Monday at St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, 1575 Charlton St., West St. Paul. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to St. Stephen’s Foundation or donor’s choice.

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June 1, 2009

June 2009 Monthly Meeting

Filed under: Monthly Meetings — @ 2:56 pm

This will remind you that the MHS monthly research group meets tomorrow morning, Tuesday, June 2, at 10 am. We meet in the Pillsbury Room on Level A of the History Center. The email function for the Researchers Notebook blog is not working and it’s not clear when it may be fixed, so for now we’re back to plain old emailing.

I’ll be bringing a couple of requests for source suggestions from scholars in Kansas and Oklahoma, one on the housing crisis and mortgage laws in Minneapolis during the 1930s Depression and the other on more-than-basic information on female captives in the Dakota War and afterwards.

Kathie and Debbie look forward to seeing those of you who can attend tomorrow’s meeting and hearing your research reports. Please let us know if you’d like your name removed from the reminder list.

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