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Profile of a Ward Boss: The Political Career of Lars M. Rand *
    by Carl H. Chrislock (Volume 31: Page 35)

* This article is a much expanded version of a paper presented at a conference at St. Olaf College, October 26ó27, 1984, on "Scandinavians and Other Immigrants in Urban America."

During the last weekend of September, 1913, a doleful message passed by word of mouth through the Cedar-Riverside neighborhoods of south Minneapolis: "The barefoot boy is dead." Further identification of the departed one was unnecessary. Nearly all established residents of the sixth ward knew ó or thought they knew ó that fourteen years earlier Alderman Lars M. Rand had delivered a speech containing a startling autobiographical revelation: "Forty-two years ago on the rocky coast of Norway there was born of poor but honest parents a barefoot boy. Who was that boy? That was me, Lars M. Rand." {1} Whether Rand actually said what was attributed to him on that occasion is uncertain. In any event, the barefoot boy image remained attached to him long after memories of other aspects of his career had faded. {2}

During his twenty-year tenure on the Minneapolis city council ó from 1890 through 1910 ó Lars Rand collected a number of other images. Journalists occasionally identified him as "the little alderman" ó in physical stature he was short and in later years his girth expanded. Some dubbed him "the little Norwegian," and although his physique did not conform to Nordic stereotypes his friends insisted that he was a courageous, resourceful modern-day Viking. Viking symbolism is, of course, a double-edged instrument. One cartoon carrying the caption, "This missed being by a thousand years or so," portrayed Rand as a brutal chieftain in Viking attire imperiously commanding two hapless slaves to fetch him his supper.

The Minneapolis Journal, Sunday, December 30, 1906. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Rand was not reticent with respect to his ethnic background. On one occasion he responded to harsh attacks from the opposition by telling his audience: "Your humble servant was born on the coast of Norway, with the rocky hills upon one side and the angry waves of the blue ocean on the other." This declaration inspired a cartoon depicting "the infant Lars" perched dangerously on a narrow ledge between a turbulent sea in the foreground and a massive rock formation in the back. Incidentally, the lad was wearing wooden shoes. {3}

The Minneapolis Journal, Sunday, December 30, 1906. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

Although these images helped to shape the Rand legend, they do little to illuminate the real Lars Rand. His outstanding trait was an uncanny ability to wield power within two chosen spheres, the sixth ward and the Minneapolis city council. Within the sixth ward his power base was built on two foundations: tight control of the wardís Democratic organization and strong appeal to sixth ward voters, an appeal extending well beyond the Democratic electorate. Within the city council his dominance was less impressive than in the sixth ward ó Democratic aldermen were always in the minority throughout the twenty years that Rand was a council member ó but his influence was considerable. Thanks to his mastery of parliamentary procedures, Rand frequently succeeded in manipulating council processes to serve his ends. His superior skill as a legal craftsman was highly valued by colleagues seeking to draft ordinances of dubious constitutionality. Finally, he was a shrewd negotiator who on a number of occasions managed to initiate the formation of bipartisan "combines" that effectively negated control of the council by its perennial Republican majority.

Randís many critics admired his capacities as a vote getter and municipal legislator. Their case against him focused not on competence but on two other complaints: his electioneering tactics and his allegedly total commitment to the parochial interests of the sixth ward at the expense of the cityís broader concerns. On the occasion of his retirement in 1910, the Minneapolis Journal summed up the criticsí case in an editorial titled "A Hero of the Ward System." According to the Journal, Randís political durability was attributable to the stagnant character of the sixth ward, and to the fact that he was personally acquainted with most of his constituents. "He was," continued the editorial, "an ideal alderman of the ward type. If that were the best type, he would have been one of the best aldermen, but as it is a type characteristic of about the worst kind of local government, Alderman Rand need be subjected to no greater criticism than that he was part of a bad system." After paying tribute to Randís ability, the editorial concluded on a note of regret: "It is a pity that he did not have the city as his constituency." {4}

No response by Rand to this evaluation of his career is on record. However, one may assume that he would have reacted with a spirited defense of the "ward system." Throughout his aldermanic career he posed as the uncompromising champion of the immigrants and "workingmen" of the sixth ward, disadvantaged groups whose interests could not safely be entrusted to the cityís "Puritan-Yankee elite." Precisely how much of this pose was demagogic cant and how much a reflection of sincere commitment is difficult to determine. But it can be affirmed that Lars Rand belonged to a species that, according to conventional wisdom, was rare within Scandinavian America: the urban ward boss.

There was nothing in Lars Randís background to prefigure the emergence of an urban politician. He was born on January 24, 1857, on the Rand farm in Nordfjord, an area relatively untouched by the feeble beginnings of modernization in mid-nineteenth-century Norway. Available sources reveal little about Randís boyhood. It is known that in 1874 or 1875 his father, Mathias Rand, accompanied by Larsís mother and a large flock of children ó minus the eldest son, who remained in charge of the family property in Nordfjord ó responded to the lure of America, emigrated, and settled in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Whether Lars took passage on the same vessel as the family or migrated either shortly before or after is unclear. In any case, the family established a permanent home in Chippewa Falls and Lars, now approaching his late teens, was on his own.

In the months immediately following his arrival in the new land, young Rand worked at a succession of temporary jobs, most of them agricultural, in Wisconsin, Iowa, and Minnesota. One of his employers, Harald Thorson, the well-known Northfield, Minnesota, banker and benefactor of St. Olaf College, was impressed by the young manís potential. In later years Rand credited Thorson with encouraging him to further his education and also with teaching him the ways of the world. Carl G. O. Hansen recalled Rand remarking "in a facetious vein" that "Harald Thorson and I have sold more blind horses and crippled cows than any two men in the state of Minnesota." {5}

However much he may have valued the relationship with Harald Thorson, Rand soon moved from Northfield to Winona, Minnesota, where he secured employment as janitor in a bank. While working at this job, he completed a course of study at Winona State Normal School. By this time he had decided to become a lawyer, and in preparing for this profession he studied law in the offices of two prominent Winona attorneys. In 1884 he gained admission to the bar, and in the same year was elected municipal judge ó a post which in jurisdictional terms was a justiceship of the peace, but which permitted Rand to use the proud title "judge," as he occasionally did when corresponding with prestigious individuals. Two years earlier he had married Jane Beebe, whom Carl G. O. Hansen characterized as "a refined woman of old American stock." {6} By all accounts the marriage was a happy one: Rand watchers tended to be critical of the aldermanís political morality, but not of the quality of his family life.

It is not difficult to understand why Rand, in 1885, decided to move to Minneapolis. In the 1880s the city was an exploding metropolis dominated by two thriving industries, timber and flour. It also held front rank in the grain trade. The population, too, was growing apace: from 1880 to 1890 it more than tripled ó from 47,000 to nearly 165,000. Scandinavian immigrants, particularly Swedes and Norwegians, but more of the former than the latter, accounted for a healthy percentage of this increase. One can speculate that this influenced Lars Randís decision to seek his fortune in Minneapolis. Upon arriving in the city, Lars and Jane took up residence at 1920 Fourth Street South, in the heart of the sixth ward, the most "Scandinavian" of the cityís thirteen wards. Its boundaries ran west and northwest from Riverside Park along Seventh Street South to Tenth Avenue South, thence east along Tenth Avenue to the Mississippi River, and from there along the southwesterly bend of the river to Riverside Park.

To some extent, popular perception exaggerated the Scandinavian character of this area: the ethnic composition of the so-called Bohemian Flats, a community located under the Washington Avenue bridge on the west bank of the Mississippi, was predominantly Slovak but also included a mixture of Czech, Irish, Polish, and French inhabitants, along with a number of Scandinavians. Nevertheless, Scandinavian concentration in the sixth ward was impressively high in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. According to the Minnesota State Census of 1895, 6,437 of the wardís 15,519 residents were foreign-born Scandinavians: 4,056 Swedes, 2,186 Norwegians, and 195 Danes. If the American-born children of Nordic immigrant parents had been classified as Scandinavian, the total obviously would have been much larger. {7}

The Scandinavian presence was highly visible on the streets and avenues of the sixth ward. Washington and Cedar avenues, the wardís principal commercial thoroughfares, were lined with shops owned by Scandinavian entrepreneurs; and businesses operated by non-Scandinavians frequently displayed signs announcing, "Scandinavian spoken here." The ward also was a center of intense Scandinavian cultural and social activity. Dania Hall, located on Fifth and Cedar, Normanna Hall on the corner of Third Street South and Twelfth Avenue, and Peterson Hall, a third-floor auditorium above the H. O. Peterson dry goods store on Thirteenth Avenue and Washington, provided meeting places for a host of organizations. Such notables as Knut Hamsun lectured in Dania, and Kristofer Janson, the well-known Unitarian clergyman and author, presided over bazaars in Peterson Hall. {8}

Notwithstanding its reputation as a notorious saloon stronghold, the sixth ward could also be called the cradle of Scandinavian Lutheranism in Minneapolis. The Augsburg Seminary campus, on the corner of Seventh Street and Twenty-First Avenue, was on its border; and three of the cityís significant "mother" churches, Augustana Lutheran, Trinity Lutheran, and Our Saviourís Lutheran, were initially located within the wardís boundaries. During Randís aldermanic tenure, two prominent churchmen, Sven Oftedal, an Augsburg Seminary professor, and M. Falk Gjertsen, Trinity Lutheranís longtime pastor, played an active role in civic affairs.

Even before the sixth ward achieved full stature as a center of Scandinavian life and activity, its desirability as a residential area began to decline. Two factors were primarily responsible, industrial encroachment and the so-called patrol limits. Well before 1890, multiple railroad trackage diagonally bisected the northern part of the ward, a development that displaced homes, created an intolerable smoke nuisance, and encouraged a proliferation of spurs and warehouses along the railroad right-of-way. The patrol limits, established by the Minnesota legislature of 1884, defined the boundaries within which liquor dispensaries and saloons could be licensed. The ostensible purpose was to confine the liquor trade to areas within walking distance of police precinct stations, thereby facilitating the difficult task of enforcing liquor ordinances. Whether or not they accomplished this goal, the patrol limits had a significant impact on the neighborhoods immediately within and adjoining their boundaries. Writing in 1903, Lincoln Steffens described them as running "along the river front, out through part of the business section, with long arms reaching into the Scandinavian quarters, north and south." {9} The southern arm followed Washington Avenue to Seven Corners, and from there along Cedar, assuring these two thoroughfares an extraordinarily high concentration of bars and saloons.

These two adverse factors ó industrial encroachment and proliferation of saloons ó contributed to a gradual alteration of the sixth wardís class structure. Upwardly mobile Scandinavians moved to more desirable locations farther south. Following a familiar pattern, incoming immigrants of other nationalities moved into some of the vacated sixth ward residences. However, a considerable Scandinavian population, consisting of those unable or unwilling to move as well as incoming Nordic immigrants who arrived in large numbers in the early 1900s, remained until well into the twentieth century. Again following a familiar pattern, the perception of the ward as a Scandinavian area was reinforced by the continued presence of Scandinavian churches and businesses, neither of which immediately followed the migration of their more affluent compatriots. {10}

Soon after settling in Minneapolis, and before becoming securely established in the practice of law, Lars Rand plunged into Democratic politics, seeking and winning election as a delegate to the Minnesota Democratic convention of 1886. At the convention he was more than a nominal participant. Despite his youth and recent appearance on the scene, he was appointed chairman of the conventionís platform committee. {11} Apparently he had placed himself in the good graces of Michael Doran, who a few years earlier had established himself as leader of the Minnesota Democratic organization. Although available sources fail to disclose information on Randís connection with Doran, it is known that Doran was actively recruiting promising young Scandinavians into the party in the hope of broadening its narrow Nordic base. {12}

The Democratic state ticket, headed by Dr. Albert Alonzo Ames and running on a platform emphasizing "personal liberty" (code word for opposition to anti-liquor and other "sumptuary" legislation), lost the fall election by an extremely narrow margin. The Minneapolis city elections, which up to 1887 were held in the spring, had produced happier results: the Democrats captured both the mayoralty and a majority on the city council. In distributing the patronage now available to it, the council appointed Seagrave Smith, a respected jurist and staunch Democrat, as city attorney. Smith in turn appointed Rand to be his assistant.

As assistant city attorney Rand developed the reputation of being a "law and order" prosecutor, which within the context of municipal court jurisdiction meant being "tough on drunks." He also acquired an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of Minneapolis city government and the complexities of the city charter, knowledge that would stand him in good stead following his election to the council. However, his tenure as assistant city attorney was brief: in the next election Minneapolis Republicans recaptured control of the council, whereupon Rand resigned and entered into a law partnership with Henry J. Gjertsen. Notwithstanding Randís and Gjertsenís opposing partisan affiliations ó Gjertsen was an active Republican ó the partnership continued for many years and, by all accounts, prospered. {13}

Entry into private law practice did not diminish Randís involvement in politics; and as the campaign of 1890 approached, a combination of factors enhanced Democratic prospects. Municipal elections were now held on the same date as federal and state elections, an arrangement that to some extent linked the fortunes of Minneapolis Republicans to those of the national and state GOP administrations, both of which were highly unpopular. {14} On the municipal level, the unpopularity of the scandal-ridden GOP administration headed by Mayor E. C. Babb further depressed Republican hopes. It is not surprising, then, that a mood of hopeful optimism animated the Minneapolis Democratic convention when that body met on August 27. Philip B. Winston, a native of Virginia and one of the relatively few Democrats in the upper echelons of the cityís business community, was selected to head the ticket; and Kristian Kortgaard, a Norwegian-American banker, was nominated for city treasurer ó "in deference to the Scandinavian element," as the Minneapolis Journal remarked. {15} The platform extolled the hallowed Democratic "personal liberty" ethos; endorsed the eight-hour day for public employees; called for strengthening the powers of the mayor; and accused the Babb administration of favoritism to the cityís "privileged classes."

In the separate ward conventions following adjournment of the city convention proper, the aldermanic candidates were named. Rand, of course, was nominated by his sixth ward colleagues. The extent to which he was obliged to fight for the honor is uncertain. Contemporary journalistic accounts suggest that the proceedings were cut and dried. On the other hand, James Gray recalled years later that a spirited contest preceded Randís nomination, and that the decisive factor in his favor was the support of top party leaders who had come to value the young attorneyís effectiveness as a party orator. {16}

In any case, the November election brought considerable joy to Minneapolis Democrats. A Minneapolis Journal headline reporting that "Minneapolis has gone Democratic all the way" succinctly summed up the outcome, although the incumbent Republican governor William R. Merriam won statewide by a paper-thin plurality. {17} In the sixth ward, Rand buried his Republican opponent Fred Youngren in an avalanche of votes: the official count was Rand, 2,252; Youngren, 516. {18} The size of Randís margin suggests that his victory cannot be attributed solely to the strength of the 1890 Democratic tide, although that certainly helped. One can perhaps assume that the celebrated Rand electioneering tactics ó torchlight parades enlivened by spirited band music, emotionally charged mass meetings in Normanna Hall, and demonstrations organized with the mission of disrupting opposition meetings ó also played a role. Unfortunately for the historian, political reporters failed to cover Rand as fully in 1890 as later when his prominence made his activities more newsworthy.

The Democratic sweep on the city council of 1890 failed to produce a Democratic majority. Democrats captured a number of seats formerly held by Republicans, but not a sufficient number to overcome Republican predominance among the holdovers. At that time, an aldermanic term ran for four years; each of the cityís thirteen wards was represented by two members, whose terms expired in alternate even-numbered years. {19} The city council was the real center of authority in city government. Next to power over the purse, its most significant prerogative was a commanding control over patronage. A recent charter amendment had vested authority over the police department in the mayorís office, but the council reigned supreme, unhampered by a merit system, over the other branches of city government except those under the supervision of elected boards. As in all legislative bodies, the status and prestige of the individual council member ó including ability to influence the flow of patronage ó depended to a considerable degree on his committee assignments. Following each biennial election, the council would choose a president who in turn would appoint the various committees. His selections were subject to council confirmation, which usually was a matter of course, since the president was the chosen leader of the council majority.

As a freshman member of the council minority, Rand began his aldermanic career in a modest but by no means inconspicuous role. His appointment to the committee on licenses and police was less important than it would have been before the police department was placed under mayoral authority, but the council floor was a forum well suited to his oratorical talents. In the first year of his incumbency, he emerged as the eloquent champion of several causes dear to the "working-men" of the sixth ward, notably the eight-hour day. He also led a successful fight to defeat a council resolution that would have given preference in city employment to full-fledged citizens over "first-paper" citizens ó a victory that in the opinion of James Gray "gave Rand his first opening." {20} At the same time he cultivated the reputation of being incorruptible by announcing that he would never accept a streetcar pass. {21}

In his first year on the council, Rand also forged an alliance that in the near future would have a significant impact on Minneapolis politics. Among the Democrats winning election to the council in 1890 was an ex-butcher of German background, Joseph L. Kiichli. Born in 1854 or 1855, Kiichli had come to Minneapolis in search of fame and fortune in 1873. Eventually he established a small meat-processing plant in north Minneapolis. Evidently the enterprise prospered, but by 1886 Kiichli concluded that small operations like his could not compete with giants like Armour. Acting on this conviction, he shifted from meat to real estate and politics. He lost his first bid for aldermanic honors; but in 1890 his grip on the political process of the third ward, coupled with the strong Democratic tide of that year, yielded him victory. {22}

Kiichli and Rand had much in common. Both were loyal Democrats, firmly committed to their partyís creed of personal liberty; and both were of immigrant background. Their wards also shared similarities. Like the sixth, the third was heavily populated by first-generation immigrants, many of them day laborers. And both wards were blessed or cursed with a heavy concentration of saloons, a reality that no third or sixth ward alderman could safely ignore.

Problems relating to the regulation of the liquor trade provided the basis for the first major cooperative venture between Kiichli and Rand. For many years the issue of Sunday closing had agitated the Minneapolis public. State law appeared to require saloons to close on Sundays. However, depending on how the law was read, it also seemed to require other businesses ó confectionaries, for example ó to suspend operations on the Sabbath. Representatives of the liquor industry professed a willingness to keep their establishments closed on Sundays if the closing law was uniformly applied; until it was, they could in good conscience remain open.

Unimpressed by this logic and convinced that the police were not enforcing the law with sufficient vigor, a group of zealous Sabbatarians organized the Minneapolis Law Enforcement League for the purpose of mobilizing private initiative in the cause of Sunday closing. In the autumn of 1891, "spotters," ostensibly working under the auspices of the league, organized systematic patrols of the saloon districts. Upon discovering a suspected violation, they would swear out a complaint against the alleged offender, a tactic that challenged law enforcement officials to take action. According to the Minneapolis Journal, whose editorial policy strongly supported Sunday closing, the league campaign was approaching its goal by late October. On October 26 the newspaper reported that on the previous day, a Sunday, most of the cityís saloons were closed, and that "saloon matters are approaching some sort of a crisis, and the worm is about ready to turn." {23}

Indeed it was, but not in the direction anticipated or desired by the Journal. As the weeks passed, some citizens unconnected with the liquor trade began to suspect that the Minneapolis Law Enforcement Leagueís campaign was crossing the boundaries of legitimacy and becoming a nasty vigilante crusade. {24} Not surprisingly, members of the city councilís personal-liberty faction shared this view; and encouragement from those interests whose economic welfare was at stake no doubt reinforced their inclination to move against the spotters. However, there was a problem. The council president, a Republican, was disinclined to challenge the league; and theoretically the Republican majority on the council was pledged to follow his leadership. The task of the ten personal-liberty Democrats was to induce a sufficient number of Republicans to join them and form an ad hoc majority committed to action against the spotters.

Under the leadership of Rand, Kiichli, and James C. Haynes, a future Democratic mayor of Minneapolis, such a majority emerged during a stormy council meeting on February 12, 1892. At 10:30 p.m., following completion of a lengthy but mostly routine agenda, the presiding officer declared the meeting adjourned. Fifteen council members, ten Democrats and five Republicans ó a clear majority ó voted to prolong the session in order to consider a liquor ordinance drafted by Rand; nine aldermen voted to adjourn. A confusing succession of amendments, motions, points of order, and other parliamentary maneuvers followed; but, throughout, the fifteen to nine division held firm. The end result was passage of the so-called Rand ordinance, one of the most controversial measures ever passed by a Minneapolis city council. {25}

Although it endorsed Sunday closing in principle, the Rand ordinance took the bite out of this endorsement by limiting authority to file complaints against suspected liquor law violators to police officers, thus undercutting the Minneapolis Law Enforcement Leagueís campaign. In a message affirming that law enforcement was the responsibility of constituted authorities, Mayor Winston signed the ordinance. Evidently the mayor accepted the reality that Sunday closing was as difficult to enforce as the statutes against prostitution. Under police supervision the problem could be contained and managed by permitting discreet violations on the understanding that blatant flouting of the law invited police retribution. {26}

As one might expect, Minneapolis Sabbatarians declined to accept the Rand ordinance gracefully. Instead they waged what turned out to be an eight-year battle in the Minnesota courts to invalidate it on constitutional grounds; their final victory was won in 1900 when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the ordinance was indeed unconstitutional. While this was a defeat for Rand, he could take a degree of comfort from the opinion of some observers that the durability of his handiwork ó attested to by the extraordinary effort required to undo it ó was a tribute to his legal craftsmanship. {27}

The animated discussion provoked by the Rand ordinance made the aldermanís name well known throughout Minneapolis. It also marked him as a staunch friend of the saloon. Such a reputation did not improve Randís relations with the vocal total-abstinence, anti-saloon sector of the cityís Scandinavian community. At a meeting of the South Minneapolis Total Abstinence Society called to protest enactment of the ordinance, Reverend M. Falk Gjertsen focused his attack on the two Norwegian aldermen who had backed it.

"It brings a deep blush to my cheek," declared Gjertsen, "when two of my countrymen, one a Democrat [Rand] and one a Republican [C. H. Blichfeldt] ó and God knows there is little difference between them ó are on the city council and vote for this ordinance . . . God have mercy on a man who will shame his friends, and dishonor his home, his word, his church, and his pastor." A brief biographical sketch of Rand published a year later by a Swedish-American writer delivered a similar indictment in somewhat less emotional language: "As a member of the city council of Minneapolis, [Rand] became very unpopular with the temperance loving element, because of his obnoxious liquor ordinance." {28}

Although Gjertsen undoubtedly was the most popular Scandinavian clergyman in the sixth ward, his attack on Rand did not seriously threaten the latterís political fortunes. Rand was, of course, not up for reelection in 1892; but he did want a compatible sixth ward colleague on the council, a goal he achieved. With Randís backing, Andrew Anderson, a Swedish American, won the Democratic nomination and also the final election. He won reelection in 1896, but was defeated for renomination in 1900 in the cityís first primary election. It could be said of Andrew Anderson that he was obscure before becoming an alderman and remained so while in office. In effect, his presence on the council placed Rand in control of sixth ward representation with everything that this implied. {29}

Minneapolis Democrats hoped to gain control of the city council in the 1892 election, but the electorate frustrated this hope. The new council was Republican by a margin of fourteen to twelve. {30} When it organized in January, 1893, the Republican majority elected Dr. H. W. Brazie, a respected physician, to the council presidency. Brazieís performance soon demonstrated that medical experience does not necessarily sharpen the skills needed to exercise effective political leadership. His committee assignments antagonized members of his own caucus, and minority members ó Rand in particular ó were offended by what they felt was his cavalier style in presiding over council meetings. {31}

These discontents created the setting for the famous Kiichli-Rand coup of March 10, 1893, a coup executed at a regular council meeting. At 8 p.m. Rand gained the floor and proceeded to make a speech. "We Democrats," he declared, "believe in democratic principles, in rotation of offices. One man, a Republican, has held the office of president for three months. It is now time for him to step down so that the rest of us can have our turn. I therefore move that the presidency be declared vacant." Before the Brazie people could recover from the impact of this bombshell, Rand took charge of the roll call. With the backing of the twelve Democratic aldermen and two anti-Brazie Republicans, the motion prevailed. {32}

Following passage of Randís motion, a comprehensive plan to reorganize the council unfolded. Kiichli was elected president, and choice committee assignments were divided among the Democrats and the two insurgent Republicans. Rand, whose previous committee assignments had been less than satisfactory from his point of view, was appointed chairman of the public grounds and buildings committee, a post that "gave him virtual control of the labor in . . . city hall." He also was made a member of the committee on gas, fire department, and railroads, "which in those days were all important." Implementation of this carefully planned design was not achieved in a few minutes. The council remained in session until 3 a.m. on the morning of March 11. Proceedings were marked by a succession of parliamentary maneuvers on both sides. According to one calculation, Rand introduced 144 motions in the course of the meeting. {33}

The Kiichli-Rand coup evoked a furious reaction from the Republican press. The Minneapolis Journal likened it to a "Mexican revolution" and predicted that it would impair the cityís credit in the national money markets. "The performance last night," continued the Journal, "was a high-handed piece of business that should have resulted in handing some of the members of the council over to the police." The Brazie faction appealed to the courts, alleging that the March 10 proceedings had been irregular and that Brazie had been wrongfully deprived of the council presidency. Significantly, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Kiichliís title to the post. As Carl G. O. Hansen put it, "There was not a [legal] flaw in the Democratic attack." {34}

The election of 1894, which reduced the councilís Democratic bloc from twelve to six and increased Republican representation to twenty, terminated the Kiichli council presidency. Kiichli was not one of the remaining six; he had chosen to make what turned out to be an unsuccessful race for the legislature. {35} Rand, on the other hand, won a magnificent reelection victory, swamping his Republican opponent by a vote of 1,697 to 889. {36} Although less impressive than his 1890 triumph, Randís performance in 1894 should be judged within the context of the universal disaster suffered by the Democratic party that year ó disaster in large part attributable to the "Cleveland depression." In Minnesota the Democratic vote for governor fell from around 95,000 in 1892 to about 50,000 in 1894, and Hennepin county was again a Republican stronghold.

Randís landslide victory in the face of these odds invested him with an aura of invincibility. While somewhat exaggerated, this "superman" image was not completely illusory. The aldermanís agility in parliamentary situations, both on the floor and behind the scenes, assured his continued mastery of the sixth ward Democratic organization. More important, an overwhelming majority of sixth ward voters firmly believed that Rand was their friend. Beyond the Rand rhetoric, which consistently and persuasively stressed the aldermanís commitment to the "workingman," was the reality that he controlled a vast patronage pool. Not all the jobs at his disposal were lucrative ó many, in fact, were menial and low-paying ó but in a time of high unemployment such as the nation was experiencing in 1894, a job was a job, especially in low-income neighborhoods.

In addition, the Rand organization provided free entertainment at a time when austere sixth ward family budgets severely limited expenditure for the amenities of life. A Rand rally may have contributed minimally to public enlightenment, but its mix of spirited band music and demagogic oratory, spiced with the aldermanís brand of humor, was good entertainment. Occasionally, too, libations flowed; legend has it that on election eves free beer was dispensed on the Bohemian flats. Critics raised questions about how Rand, who personally was not wealthy, paid for these spectacles, implying that the saloon proprietors of the ward picked up the tab. No conclusive answers to these questions were forthcoming, but clearly financial stringency never handicapped a Rand election campaign. {37}

The ethnic factor also worked for Rand. As already noted, he made no secret of the fact that he was born "on the rocky coast of Norway." But he took care to avoid the impression that his organization was an exclusive Norwegian or even Scandinavian club. The roster of his associates in the 1890s included not only an Anderson and a Hagman, both Swedes, but also a Flaherty, a Sweeney, and, above all, a Matt Walsh. Unlike those Scandinavians who insisted that the Nordic-Irish relationship was adversarial, Rand stressed immigrant solidarity; in his view, all immigrant groups shared an interest in maintaining a common front against the power of the cityís "Puritan-Yankee elite." {38}

The 1894 victory marked Rand as a possible candidate for higher honors. In commenting on the outcome of the election, Folkebladet, a church paper published in the ward, characterized Rand as the "most formidable Democrat in the state." {39} This was an exaggeration, but Randís role in state politics was expanding. In 1894 he toured Minnesota on behalf of the state ticket. Given the dismal electoral prospects in that year, this was a thankless task. Perhaps that was why in addressing a small crowd in Princeton Rand chose to focus on Ohio instead of Minnesota. Unfortunately, his account of the Ohio situation was factually incorrect, an embarrassing reality fully exposed through a series of questions put to Rand by Robert C. Dunn, editor of the Princeton Union. The speaker responded in characteristic style: "Say, Bob, stop asking me such damn fool questions and Iíll treat you when the meeting is over." Dunn then abandoned the interrogation and, as he recalled years later, "Lars made good at the close of the meeting, but he made no converts in the cause of democracy [Democratic party] that evening." {40}

On a more significant level, Rand was moving into closer association with the anti-Doran wing of the Minnesota Democratic party, a group opposing the conservative hard-money stance of the Cleveland administration and its staunch friend, Michael Doran. Hitherto the alderman had avoided conspicuous identification with any of the factions battling for control of the state party, but at the 1894 state convention he backed the renomination of State Auditor Adolph Biermann, whose defeat was being sought by the Doran people. After the convention adjourned, the anti-Doran faction strengthened its position by gaining the upper hand in a reorganization of the state central committee. Rand was appointed a member of that body. {41}

Two years later the victory of free silver and the nomination of William Jennings Bryan for the presidency by the Democratic national convention enabled the anti-Doran group to gain full control of the Minnesota Democratic organization. Suddenly Democratic prospects seemed to brighten. A fusion ticket backed by Minnesota Democrats, Populists, and silver Republicans, and headed by ex-Congressman John Lind, a silver Republican, entered the race. Dissatisfaction with the administration of incumbent Republican governor David M. Clough coupled with the popularity of Swedish-born Lind encouraged a belief that the fusionists might triumph in Minnesota. This perception was, of course, mistaken. They lost on both the state and the national level. Although Lind nearly defeated Clough, William McKinley won over Bryan by a more decisive majority than anticipated. {42}

Randís role in the 1896 campaign was relatively modest but not insignificant. He was in charge of arrangements for the Minnesota Democratic convention which met in Minneapolis on August 4. Despite a rumor that Doranís friends would attempt to disrupt it, the convention completed its business in an atmosphere of harmony. {43}

Following adjournment of the state convention, Minneapolis Democrats turned to the problem of naming a city ticket, a process involving delicate negotiations with Populists and silver Republicans. Because of their senior status in the coalition, the Democrats demanded the right to name the mayoral candidate, and presently a "Rand for mayor" movement surfaced. But the alderman emphatically refused to be considered; he insisted "that it should be the duty of every loyal Scandinavian Democrat to keep his name off the Democratic ticket in order not to injure John Lindís candidacy for governor." He added that he "would remain a volunteer in the Democratic ranks and devote [his] time and attention to the election of the Bryan-Lind fusion ticket." {44} Other considerations undoubtedly strengthened his disinclination to run for mayor. For one thing, he possibly doubted his own electability: the Rand ordinance and his participation in the Kiichli coup did not enhance his popularity in the cityís "Yankee" wards. For another, recent history indicated that a Democratic mayoral candidacy in a presidential year was virtually doomed. In any case, Rand kept his promise to campaign for Bryan and Lind, both of whom carried the sixth ward. He also was a Democratic member of the three-party conference committee set up to negotiate the city fusionist ticket. The committee named Alexander T. Ankeny, a respected lawyer, as its candidate for mayor. In the final election, Ankeny lost to Robert Pratt, the incumbent Republican mayor.

The intense emotion generated in the 1894ó1896 period by Populism, free silver, labor unrest, and Bryanism tended to obscure the emergence in 1894 of a significant urban reform movement. Elitist in orientation and enthusiastically supported by elements within the business community, this movement aspired to streamline, centralize, and professionalize city government, a transformation that required first of all the elimination of machine politics and its attendant evils. The reformers also claimed that their program sought to restore power to the "people," a claim based on the assumption that a professionalized and centralized bureaucracy, divorced from partisan politics, would be more responsive to the popular will than a decentralized system within which the ward boss was sovereign.

In Minneapolis, the Kiichli-Rand coup of 1893 undoubtedly heightened interest in the emerging reform movement. Augustus Luther Crocker, a prominent Minneapolis real-estate broker, represented the Minneapolis Board of Trade at the Philadelphia convention of 1894 that founded the National Municipal Reform League. In December of the same year, the league held a second convention in Minneapolis; and before long an organization calling itself the Good Citizenship League appeared on the Minneapolis scene. {45}

Meanwhile the Minneapolis city council was coming to terms with the outcome of the 1894 election. Its top-heavy Republican majority (twenty to six) may have encouraged reformers to hope that the aldermen would respond positively to their program. However, the 1895ó1896 council session demonstrated that a less than cohesive Republican majority was incapable of serving the cause of municipal reform. Although the "combine" organized by Kiichli and Rand lacked the support needed to stage another coup, its influence remained strong, even in the absence of Kiichli. {46}

In 1896 the Good Citizenship League launched a determined effort to defeat Kiichli, who was attempting a comeback, and to retire several aldermen whose records fell short of their standards. The effort was less than successful. Two of the targeted aldermen suffered defeat, but Kiichli won in the third ward, and the Democratic minority gained three seats, for a total of nine. In assessing the electionís outcome, the Minneapolis Times, a newspaper supporting the Good Citizenship League, remarked that "Kiichli, Rand et al will probably help to parcel out the big chairmanships. Good Citizenship aldermen are in the minority." The record of the 1897ó1898 council basically confirmed this expectation. {47}

Two years later, when Rand was up for reelection, the reformers concentrated much of their fire on him. In mid-October, rumors of a Rand "scandal" surfaced. The most serious charge alleged that employees of the sixth ward street commissioner, a Rand appointee, had been compensated from the city treasury for work done on a small acreage owned by Rand on the shores of Lake Amelia (Nokomis); affadavits signed by the employees in question added credibility to the charge. Although the sums involved were small, Rand chose not to ignore the accusation. Instead he called a mass meeting in Normanna Hall at which he made a speech vehemently denying any wrongdoing. Before adjourning, the Normanna meeting approved a motion calling for the appointment of a "tripartisan" committee charged with the responsibility of investigating the allegations. The makeup of the committee was announced immediately after approval of the resolution. By whose authority the committee had been appointed remained unclear, a point not lost on Randís critics. {48}

A few days later a "citizensí mass meeting," obviously organized by Randís opponents, made copies of the employeesí affadavits available for inspection. Neither Rand nor his Republican opponent was present, and the audience was divided in its sympathies. A Rand supporter emphatically declared: "Alderman Lars Rand is a boy of the boys; he is a boy of the boys and he does not forget the boys. I am a Republican and I shall vote for him. I ask all the men here to vote for him." Another member of the audience viewed Rand from a different perspective, saying, "The heelers and the workers who are on the payrolls are kept busy, but the alderman canít afford to put in water mains or sewers. Citizens are obliged to wait for years and then put in their own." {49}

Shortly before election day the "tripartisan" investigating committee presented its findings to a second Rand-sponsored meeting. To no oneís surprise, the alderman was exonerated of wrongdoing: one of the employees had indeed received a check drawn on the city treasury shortly after having worked on Randís property, but this check was overdue compensation for his work as a city employee. Following presentation of the report, Rand made a speech which, as usual, evoked strong audience approval. {50}

As election day, 1898, approached, Good Citizenship Republicans persuaded themselves that Rand could ó and probably would ó be defeated. {51} As it turned out, the contest was not even close. Rand prevailed over his Republican opponent by a vote of 1,172 to 681. A moderate Democratic tide in the state election may have helped to swell Randís total. In the race for governor, John Lind (who also won statewide) trounced William H. Eustis in Minneapolis, partly, it seems, because Eustis suffered the reputation of being a "Swede hater." James Gray, a prominent journalist and anti-machine Democrat, was elected mayor, and the partisan division in the new city council was sixteen Republicans and ten Democrats. {52}

In 1900 Lars Randís aura of invincibility showed signs of fading. Under the presidency of John Crosby, of the famous milling family, the Minneapolis city council was responding more positively to municipal reform causes than any of its immediate predecessors. A case in point was its enactment of the famous Wine Room ordinance.

Wine rooms were lounges separated from the bar by a wall and connected by a door, wherein customers of both sexes could fraternize, often, it was alleged, to negotiate illicit relationships. In early 1900 the Anti-Saloon league initiated a campaign to close these "dens of iniquity" and prevent their reemergence. Soon a formidable coalition of groups ó including, among others, the WCTU, a society called the Womenís Improvement League, an interdenominational ministerial committee, and some twenty congregations ó joined the battle. The unifying theme of the crusade was a charge that wine room proprietors, consciously or unknowingly, were parties to a conspiracy seeking the debasement of young women. {53}

The response of the city council to the anti-wine room campaign differed markedly from its stance in the "spotter" controversy eight years earlier. In mid-March Alderman David P. Jones introduced an ordinance outlawing the wine rooms. A month later the councilís ordinance committee recommended passage, and when the recommendation reached the full council that body approved the measure on a straight party-line vote. Both within the ordinance committee, of which he was a member, and on the council floor, Rand vigorously opposed the ordinance, arguing that it improperly and possibly unconstitutionally infringed on the fundamental rights of "certain citizens and property owners." However, Randís eloquence, parliamentary savvy, and negotiating skill were insufficient to break Republican solidarity. And notwithstanding virtually solid Democratic opposition, Democratic mayor James Gray signed the measure into law. {54}

Before the wine room controversy crested, the political future of Joseph Kiichli became uncertain, a development that also had implications for Randís political fortunes. In late January the third ward alderman announced his intention not to seek another term. Political writers responded to the announcement skeptically. Perhaps Kiichli was expecting a groundswell of support that would give his candidacy the appearance of a draft. If so, he was disappointed; many third ward Democrats, it seems, had come to feel that his leadership was excessively heavy-handed and autocratic. For the next six months Kiichliís status remained uncertain; in mid-July he unequivocally withdrew from the aldermanic race. {55}

The probable impact of Kiichliís retirement on Rand invited speculation. One political writer implied that the sixth ward alderman may not have been entirely displeased. According to this writer, Rand had "pocketed his Viking pride on many an occasion when he would have loved to break away from the Kiichli rule and give the council a sample of his own leadership." On the other hand, Randís effectiveness had owed much to the alliance with Kiichli. {56}

Rand also faced new challenges in the sixth ward. At the behest of Minneapolis Republicans, the Minnesota legislature of 1899 had enacted a direct primary law applicable to Hennepin county. Henceforth all legislative, county, and municipal officials within Hennepinís boundaries were to be nominated by a direct vote of the people rather than by the traditional caucus-convention system. Obviously, this reform diminished the ability of the ward boss to name his partyís candidates; managing an electorate was more difficult than manipulating a convention. Rand was equal to the challenge: his candidate for the sixth ward Democratic nomination in 1900, Harry A. Lund, a Swedish-American attorney, prevailed in the primary. However, Lund lost in the final election to Nels J. Nelson, a successful Swedish-American businessman. {57}

It was a serious setback for Rand: now he would be obliged to share control of sixth ward patronage with a Republican colleague within a Republican-dominated city council. It also involved payment of a wager. Before the election Rand and one Louis Lere had agreed that if Lund won, Lere would transport Rand by wheelbarrow from Twenty-Second Avenue and Riverside to Washington and Tenth Avenue ó a distance of approximately a mile and a half ó and if Nelson won, Rand would do the same for Lere. Since Nelson won, Rand was of course the loser.

Randís discharge of his wager attracted city-wide attention. On the appointed day, and long before the scheduled hour of departure, the announced route was crowded with onlookers. Promptly at two p.m. Lere, who weighed 206 pounds, climbed into the wheelbarrow and Rand took charge of the vehicle. Ahead of the wheelbarrow, two horse-drawn carriages transported a group of Cedar-Riverside dignitaries. Behind it a corps of standard bearers carried placards proclaiming, among other things, "Lars takes his medicine," and "This machine has lasted ten years and is good for two years more." The famed Normanna band added a musical dimension to the procession. Along the route spectators shouted good-natured comments: "Who says we havenít a laboring man for alderman?" "This is a friend of labor," and "Itís contract labor this time." Meanwhile Rand struggled valiantly to reach his goal and in this he succeeded. The festivities ended at Tenth and Washington with a typical Rand speech. {58}

Notwithstanding his display of exuberance while paying off the wager, Rand was momentarily despondent in the aftermath of the 1900 election. A solid Republican council majority was likely to favor the patronage claims of Nels Nelson over those of Rand, and how Rand would fare when the 1901 council committees were selected appeared uncertain. {59} However, his despondency turned out to be short-lived. A patronage disagreement with Nelson was resolved on Randís terms. More important, he fared very well with respect to committee assignments. In reporting on the organization of the new council, the Minneapolis Journal commented: "Everyone is more or less surprised at the good showing Alderman Rand made in the committee list. He got places on the police, fire department, and ordinance committees . . . Ordinance and fire department are both good committees and the wonder is how he worked it." {60}

Undoubtedly, the key to Randís good fortune was the working relationship he managed to establish with David P. Jones, the new council president. Two years later, when Democratic dissatisfaction with Jonesís committee appointments generated rumors of plans to instigate an 1893-style coup, Rand ó who again held membership on the ordinance and fire department committees ó told a Journal reporter: "Iím entirely satisfied. I got just what I wanted on the committees. Mr. Jones is a gentleman and a scholar and a first-class presiding officer. He has never denied any request of mine." {61}

Although Rand and Jones were at odds on important issues (Jones, it will be recalled, sponsored the anti-wine room ordinance), there was a basis for cooperation between the two. Apparently Rand no longer contemplated organization of another "combine"; his main concern was serving the interests of the sixth ward, an objective that dictated, among other things, access to patronage. From Jonesís standpoint, generosity to Rand in that area was cheap insurance against the reemergence of a hostile bipartisan coalition within the council. Moreover, as the months passed, a virtual collapse of Mayor Albert A. Amesís administration created a gap that only the city council could fill. Under the circumstances, Jones needed all the solidarity that he could muster.

Dr. Albert Alonzo Ames was a veteran of many political wars. Several times the voters of Minneapolis had elected him mayor on the Democratic ticket, and in 1886 Minnesota Democrats nominated him for governor. In the course of his career, Ames had acquired a double image. On the one hand he was perceived as a compassionate physician who administered free medical care to those unable to pay. On the other hand, good government advocates regarded him as the most venal and corrupt politician in the state. By the end of the 1890s his status within the Democratic party had deteriorated and it appeared that his political career was over.

Ironically, the Hennepin county primary law enabled Ames to stage a comeback. After announcing his conversion to Republicanism, he filed for mayor in the 1900 GOP primary, captured the nomination, and defeated James Gray, the Democratic incumbent, in the final election.

Upon taking office in January, 1901, Ames instituted a reign of corruption unparalleled in Minneapolis history. His first act was the appointment of his brother, Fred W. Ames, as police chief. Mayor Ames then instituted a massive purge of the police department, affirming an intention of creating a "Republican police force." What emerged was a police force that not only tolerated criminal behavior but actively participated in and profited from it. Fortunately, venality on such a scale sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Facing prosecution on numerous charges, Ames fled Minneapolis in August, 1902. The gap created by his departure was filled by council president Jones, who assumed the title of acting mayor. Notwithstanding the brevity of his stint ó until January, 1903, when James C. Haynes took office ó Jones managed to repair much of the damage inflicted on city government by the Ames gang. {62}

Randís role in the Ames crisis is obscure; conceivably, untapped sources might disclose significant participation behind the scenes. In any case, the Rand-Jones relationship remained intact. As noted earlier, Rand was delighted with his 1903 committee assignments. His allegiance to the Democratic party precluded supporting Jonesís successful candidacy for mayor in 1904; but an eloquent speech on the occasion of Jonesís "graduation" from alderman to mayor in early 1905 radiated Randís sincere respect and friendship. In reporting the ceremony, the Minneapolis Journal commented: "The presentation was made by Lars M. Rand, the patriarch of the city council, who in graceful language and with felicitous sentiment made one of the neatest speeches ever heard in the council chambers." {63}

The designation of Rand as city council "patriarch" (some called him "dean," others "nestor") suggests that the alderman was beginning to be viewed as an elder statesman. In terms of years he was still relatively young: forty-eight in 1905. But a fifteen-year career on a city council with a tradition of frequent turnover set him apart. Moreover, time had had a mellowing impact on Rand. His sixth ward machine continued to function essentially as it had from the beginning, and he still staunchly defended the wardís saloon interests, but the possibility that he would organize a conspiracy to overthrow the ruling council majority now seemed remote.

Although this altered stance promoted smoother relations with the city councilís Republican establishment, the more zealous municipal reformers remained unappeased. In 1902 they had contested Randís reelection by backing the candidacy of John F. Dahl, the Republican nominee. Dahl, a promising young Norwegian-born attorney, was a formidable contender, but Rand repeated his 1894 and 1898 triumphs. At the conclusion of the campaign, enough cash remained in the Rand coffers to finance a festive victory celebration in Dania Hall. {64}

A year later the reformers created the Minneapolis Votersí League. Modeled on the Chicago Municipal League, the new organization promised "to encourage a clean, businesslike handling of city affairs." For the present, it planned to concentrate its efforts on improving the city council, a priority dictated by the councilís key role in city government on both the legislative and the administrative levels. In advance of primary and general elections and with the assistance of a paid staff, the league proposed to disseminate information relating to the qualifications and shortcomings of aldermanic candidates. While recommendations would on occasion be made, the organizationís founding statement professed confidence in the ability of voters to decide wisely on the basis of the information supplied by the league.

The charter membership roster of the Minneapolis Votersí League reads like a register of the cityís elite. John Crosby was the organizationís first president. Other prominent families represented included Atwater, Belden, Bovey, Chute, Carpenter, DeLaittre, Dunwoody, Heffelfinger, Loring, Pillsbury, Washburn, and Wyman. A few Scandinavians were on the list, notably Sven Oftedal of Augsburg Seminary and Andreas Ueland, a prominent attorney. Stiles P. Jones, a journalist who had served as David P. Jonesís secretary while the latter was acting mayor, was the organizationís secretary. Stiles Jones, who apparently was not related to David Jones, had systematically investigated the Chicago model, thereby gaining the reputation of being an expert in the area of municipal reform. {65}

Although Rand was not up for reelection in 1904, the first year the Votersí League participated in the campaign, he nevertheless came under indirect attack. The organizationís pre-primary evaluation of Nels Nelson, the other sixth ward alderman, charged that Nelson was "handicapped by lack of ideals of public service and official closeness to his colleague Alderman Lars M. Rand. Although opposed to [Rand] politically, he shapes his official action according to [Randís] counsel." The manifesto issued on the eve of the final election reiterated the point. Nelson, it asserted, was "too much under Randís influence for his own and the cityís welfare." {66}

Notwithstanding this unfavorable review, Nelson won reelection, thanks in part to Randís relative inactivity on behalf of the Democratic candidate. Meanwhile the league began preparations for a massive attack on Rand which the reformers confidently hoped would terminate the aldermanís career.

The attack was launched in September, 1906, shortly before that yearís primary election. A general report, released to the press on September 11, coupled a critique of the city council with recommendations for reform. Too many council members, the report charted, were "drones, deadweights, and gangsters." The report was especially critical of the "alderman who considers his own ward and constituents to the exclusion of the larger and more important interests of the city at large." Street construction, sidewalk maintenance, and street cleaning should be removed from ward jurisdiction and "assigned to the city engineer or other competent authority." Such a change, the report argued, "would result in better streets and lower ward taxes." {67}

The league released its so-called "candidates report" on September 20. The assault on Rand was particularly brutal. After reviewing his career, the report characterized him as "an oily . . . unscrupulous ward boss" who had "been a dangerous influence in city affairs during all his sixteen years . . . in the council." The report further charged him with "vigorously" backing "the interests of the saloon, the brewery, and every other influence contributing to Ďwide opení municipal conditions." It added that while Rand posed "as a champion of the people" he was "in reality a most useful agent of the railroads and public service corporations." Fortunately, the report concluded, sixth ward Democrats had a choice: Peter Gunderson, an anti-machine Democrat, was contesting the aldermanís renomination, and he deserved the vote of every right-thinking member of the party. {68}

To no oneís surprise Rand trounced Gunderson in the primary. However, the final election posed a considerably more formidable challenge. John Peterson, the Republican candidate, was an energetic organizer and effective orator who stressed his own strong commitment to the progressive Republicanism of President Theodore Roosevelt; and the appearance of several well-known Minneapolis progressives at Peterson rallies enhanced the credibility of this claim. Meanwhile a group of volunteers calling itself The Young Menís Equality Club conducted a door-to-door canvas of the ward in an effort to convince all voters that Lars Rand was an unworthy public servant. {69}

The league issued its final manifesto a week before election day. This document repeated most of the charges contained in the pre-primary report, adding that Rand was "interested in his ward and its people only as a means of making a fat living for himself." This was manifestly unfair. When Rand died in 1913, he left an estate of $32,475 ó approximately $25,000 in securities, the remainder in real property ó not a pauperís legacy but hardly evidence of "fat living." {70} The allegation that he served as a "useful agent" for liquor and public utility interests is more difficult to assess. No one could reasonably doubt his friendliness to the sixth ward saloon complex. On the other hand, Rand vigorously denied partiality toward the public service corporations. His rhetoric certainly supported this denial, but "secret covenants secretly arrived at" sometimes take precedence over rhetorical claims. {71}

The stridency of the Votersí League probably generated a backlash that benefited Rand. And it certainly is true that the alderman was provoked into using every campaign tactic that had served him in the past; he very much wanted to win. Nevertheless, confidence within the Peterson camp grew; Republican activists persuaded themselves that Randís campaign was coming apart. The election failed to vindicate such optimism: Rand won with a vote of 1,026 to Petersonís 805; a third-party candidate running on the Public Ownership (Socialist) ticket polled 116 votes. Although his margin of victory was narrower than in previous council races, Rand had demonstrated again ó this time in the face of enormous odds ó his hold on the sixth ward electorate. {72}

Shortly after the 1906 election, Rand declared that he probably would not seek another council term, adding, "unless the Votersí League attacks me." {73} Although political writers responded skeptically to this declaration, it turned out to be an honest statement. It seems, too, that Randís intention to leave the council lessened his zest for aldermanic responsibilities. His council committee assignments in 1907 were on a par with those he had held earlier; but in 1909 his long tenure on the ordinance and fire department committees ended. {74} Meanwhile, Rand was seeking council approval of an appropriation to finance construction of a municipal bath house on Riverside Avenue. Ultimately this project materialized, but not until after Rand left office. {75}

One day before the filing deadline for the 1910 primary election, Rand ended speculation about his immediate future. "Four years ago," he declared, "I announced that I would not seek a renomination unless forced to do so by the Votersí League. The Votersí League has let me alone, although I have waited until the last day for filing to give the league a chance. I am not satisfied to retire [unless] I can go without retiring under fire. Another reason I have for ending my political career is to give more attention to the practice of law and to private affairs. I go out of the council at peace with all my colleagues and city officials and with only friendliness for everyone, excepting always the Votersí League." {76}

Minneapolis newspapers responded to the announcement with a spate of articles and editorials reviewing and interpreting Randís career. This is not surprising. After all, as one journalist put it, Randís incumbency on the council began when most of his present colleagues were "barefoot boys." Moreover, and for better or worse, his influence had had a significant impact on city government. Inevitably, too, friends and supporters organized banquets in his honor; and when he appeared at a campaign rally on behalf of his chosen aldermanic successor, who would lose the final election, the audienceís enthusiasm focused on Rand rather than on the candidate.

At the expiration of his term, Rand moved from the sixth ward into a Prospect Park residence in the second ward, a more affluent neighborhood than the one he left. His friends in the sixth ward, it was said, did not view this as an act of desertion, but as a shrewd move designed to broaden his political base preparatory to running for mayor. Whether Rand planned to make a bid for the mayoralty is uncertain. Chronic health problems plagued him the last two years of his life to an extent not realized by his followers. Therefore his death on September 27, 1913, at the age of fifty-six, was all the more shocking because unexpected. {77}

 

Lars Rand may not deserve an exalted place within the Scandinavian-American pantheon, but he does deserve more attention than he has up to now received. For twenty years the Rand organization was a significant entity within the Cedar-Riverside institutional structure. It provided a predominantly immigrant constituency with jobs, entertainment, and sociability. It also helped to integrate this constituency into the American political system. And to a degree not easily measured, it probably enhanced immigrant self- respect. The spectacle of an immigrant politician holding his own against the massed opposition of the Minneapolis power structure must have been encouraging.

The Minneapolis Journal, Sunday, December 30, 1906. Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society.

As pointed out earlier, Rand sought to avoid the impression that his machine responded solely to Scandinavian interests; instead he wished to be seen as the champion of the entire sixth ward immigrant constituency. At the same time he frequently expressed pride in his own Norwegian background, and some observers suspected that he exaggerated his Nordfjord accent while addressing campaign rallies. He also held membership in such organizations as the Odin Club and the Sons of Norway. However, he preferred not to make speeches in the Norwegian language.

A faux pas committed early in his career may explain this reluctance. At a meeting held to promote a cultural project, Rand, speaking in Norwegian, sought to advocate "uplift of the Norwegian people." Knowing that the Norwegian word for "lift" was heve), he evidently reasoned that adding the prefix opp would be equivalent to "uplift." Unfortunately for Rand, the Norwegian word oppheve means "abolish." Hence the alderman appeared to be calling for abolition of the Norwegian people. {78}

For obvious reasons, the relationship between Rand and Scandinavian prohibitionists, a vocal element within the Nordic community, lacked intimacy. However, one suspects that even zealous Scandinavian supporters of total abstinence resented the more strident Yankee assaults on the Norwegian alderman. Folkebladet, a relentless crusader against "demon rum," occasionally sniped at Rand, but in 1906 it pointedly abstained from participation in the Minneapolis Votersí Leagueís crusade to unseat him. Seven years later, on the occasion of the aldermanís death, the same newspaper gave his career a review that on balance was less negative than might have been expected.

Rand, asserted Folkebladet, "was an extraordinarily cunning politician who always sought to accommodate majority opinion within his ward, which he succeeded in doing to such a degree that no one in the cityís history has served as long as he on the council. One could always find Rand opposing the money power [pengemagten] and supporting the saloons. His resourcefulness was remarkable, and his close friends admired his compassion for the victims of misfortune." {79}

Notes

<1> Minneapolis Tribune, September 28, 1913; see also Minneapolis Journal and Minneapolis Tidende, same date. All three survey Randís career.

<2> Writing in the 1950s, Carl G. O. Hansen, in My Minneapolis (Minneapolis, 1956), 136, noted that he had heard the barefoot boy story "sprung only a short while ago."

<3> James Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go but Lars Rand Goes on Forever," in Minneapolis Journal, December 30, 1906. This feature story is a helpful source of information about Rand. James Gray was a well-known journalist and Democratic politician. He was mayor of Minneapolis from 1899 to 1901, midway in Randís aldermanic career.

<4> Minneapolis Journal, September 1, 1910.

<5> Hansen, My Minneapolis, 133.

<6> Hansen, My Minneapolis, 136.

<7> Alfred Söderström, Minneapolis minnen (Minneapolis, 1899), 89ó92. On Bohemian Flats, see M. Mark Stolarik, "The Slovaks," in June Drenning Holmquist, ed., They Chose Minnesota: A Survey of the Stateís Ethnic Groups (St. Paul, 1981), 354.

<8> On Cedar-Riverside at the turn of the century, see Hansen, My Minneapolis, 145ó152; and John G. Rice, "The Swedes," in They Chose Minnesota, 263.

<9> Lincoln Steffens, The Shame of the Cities (1904; reprinted New York, 1948), 71.

<10> A profile of the sixth ward appearing in the Minneapolis Journal, November 5, 1900, suggested that the area was becoming a "problem" ward. Housing conditions were crowded and sanitation facilities inadequate. "It may be absurd," commented the Journal, "to talk of relieving slum conditions in Minneapolis ó we are so much better off than some cities ó but why wait until conditions grow as bad as elsewhere before attempting reform?"

<11> Martin Ridge, Ignatius Donnelly: The Portrait of a Politician (Chicago, 1962), 249.

<12> Peer Strømme, Erindringer (Minneapolis, 1923), 286.

<13> Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go"; and Hansen, My Minneapolis, 134.

<14> For a detailed analysis of the Minnesota political situation in 1890, see Carl H. Chrislock, "The Politics of Protest in Minnesota, 1890ó1901, from Populism to Progressivism" (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Minnesota, 1954), 100ó142.

<15> Minneapolis Journal, August 28, 1890.

<16> Budstikken, September 3, 1890; Folkebladet, same date; Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go."

<17> Minneapolis Journal, November 5, 1890.

<18> Folkebladet, November 12, 1890.

<19> When the city council organized in January, 1891, E. G. Potter, the Republican candidate for council president, received fourteen votes. Eleven aldermen voted for John T. McGovern, the Democratic contender, and one alderman cast a blank ballot. Budstikken, January 7, 1891.

<20> Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go."

<21> Folkebladet, February 11, 1891.

<22> See Minneapolis Journal, January 29, 1900, for a brief biographical sketch of Joseph Kiichli.

<23> See also Minneapolis Journal, November 16, 1891.

<24> Budstikken, February 3, 1892.

<25> For accounts of February 12 council session, see Minneapolis Journal, February 12, 13, 1892; Budstikken, February 17, 24, 1892. In its obituary article on Rand, the Minneapolis Tribune for September 28, 1913, called his speech in favor of the ordinance "notable."

<26> Minneapolis Journal, February 20, 1892; Budstikken, February 24, 1892.

<27> For stories on the prolonged and complex litigation precipitated by the Rand ordinance, see Minneapolis Journal, April 26, 1892, January 23, February 5, 1895, November 22, 1900.

<28> Budstikken, March 9, 1892; O. N. Nelson, History of the Scandinavians and Successful Scandinavians in the United States, I (Minneapolis, 1893), 564.

<29> Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go."

<30> Minneapolis Journal, November 9, 1892.

<31> Budstikken, March 1, 1893.

<32> Budstikken, March 15, 1893.

<33> Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go"; Minneapolis Journal, March 11, 1893.

<34> Hansen, My Minneapolis, 134.

<35> Minneapolis Journal, November 7, 1894.

<36> Minneapolis Journal, November 8, 1894.

<37> Minneapolis Tribune, September 28, 1913; Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go."

<38> The roster of participants in the sixth ward Democratic convention in 1894 reveals a striking mix of Irish and Scandinavian names, among them Matt Walsh, James Sweeney, John Flaherty, Harry Lund, John Hag-man, Andrew Anderson, and Joseph Phillips. Minneapolis Journal, September 18, 1894.

<39> Folkebladet, November 14, 1894.

<40> Minneapolis Journal, October 6, 1913, quoting Princeton Union.

<41> Minneapolis Journal, September 6, 21, 27, 1894.

<42> On 1895 campaign in Minnesota, see George M. Stephenson, John Lind of Minnesota (Minneapolis, 1935), 105ó129.

<43> Minneapolis Journal, July 23, August 3, 5, 1896.

<44> Minneapolis Journal, August 6, 1896.

<45> History of Minneapolis: Gateway to the Northwest, 2(Chicago, 1923), 78.

<46> Minneapolis Times, October 25, 29, 1896.

<47> Minneapolis Times, November 6, 1896.

<48> Minneapolis Journal, October 20, 22, 1898; Folkebladet, October 26, 1898.

<49> Minneapolis Journal, October 28, 1898.

<50> Folkebladet, November 2, 1898; Minneapolis Journal, November 1,

<51> On November 5, 1898, a few days before the election, the Minneapolis Journal carried a story titled "Farewell to Rand."

<52> Minneapolis Journal, November 10, 1898; Minneapolis Tidende, November 11, 1898. On statewide campaign, see Stephenson, John Lind, 140ó158.

<53> Minneapolis Journal, March 5, 10, 12, 1900.

<54> Minneapolis Journal, March 15, April 12, 14, 17, 1900.

<55> Minneapolis Journal, January 29, February 20, July 16, 1900.

<56> Minneapolis Journal, February 1, 1900.

<57> Minneapo1is Journal, November 7, December 22, 1900.

<58> Minneapolis Journal, November 8, 9, 10, 1900.

<59> Minneapolis Journal, December 24, 1900.

<60> Minneapolis Journal, January 9, 1901.

<61> Minneapolis Journal, January 8, 1903.

<62> On Ames scandal, see Steffens, The Shame of the Cities, 63ó97.

<63> Minneapolis Journal, January 3, 1905. See also Minneapolis Tribune, September 28, 1913.

<64> Minneapolis Journal, November 5, 11, 1902.

<65> Minneapolis Journal, December 5, 23, 1903.

<66> Minneapolis Journal, August 18, November 3, 1904.

<67> Minneapolis Journal, September 11, 1906.

<68> Minneapolis Journal, September 20, 1906.

<69> Minneapolis Journal, October 29, 1906.

<70> Folkebladet, October 8, 1913.

<71> Minneapolis Journal, October 30, 1906.

<72> Minneapolis Journal, November 8, 1906.

<73> Gray, "Aldermen Come and Go."

<74> Minneapolis Journal, January 8, 1907, January 5, 1909.

<75> Minneapolis Journal, September 28, 1913.

<76> Minneapolis Journal, August 31, 1910.

<77> Minneapolis Tribune and Minneapolis Tidende, September 28, 1913.

<78> Hansen, My Minneapolis, 136; Folkebladet, January 20, 1892.

<79> Folkebladet, October 1, 1913.

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