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1904 Souvenir Book

This is taken from Souvenir Book, St. Paul Police Benevolent Association, 1904, a 1904 publication.

The Police Commissioners


Richard Thomas O'Connor has spent his entire life in St. Paul. He was born June 21, 1857. After attending the schools in St. Paul his parents sent him to the University of Notre Dame, in Indiana. When he returned to St. Paul he entered the employ of James J. Hill, who was head of a coal and fuel company. Ever since that day the close friendship which sprang up between these two men has been maintained. Mr. O'Connor has held several political offices, his first public duties being rendered as deputy city clerk, in which capacity he served from 1878 to 1883. In 1883 he was elected alderman of the Fourth ward, and, while he was still alderman, he was elected clerk of the district court. The term as alderman expired in 1897, but he remained in the clerk's office until 1895. In March of the last named year he was appointed United States marshal by President Cleveland, the duties of which office he performed until 1899. In June of 1899 he entered the commission and brokerage business, and his office is one of the busiest in the city.

Richard O'Connor has lived a busy, useful life; he has accomplished much, and this alone, if his personal characteristics were not taken into account, would entitle him to the high place in public esteem which he holds. He has been a police commissioner since the commission was formed in 1900, and he has negotiated his duties with good sense and along thorough business principles.


Charles Louis Haas, president of the police commission, was organizer of the first live stock commission firm in the West. He is now head of one of the leading companies of this part of the country. He was born in Indiana, Indiana county, Pa., in 1849, and shortly thereafter came with his parents to Minnesota. They settled first in Stillwater, but St. Paul promised great things in the way of a growing town, and in 1858 his father moved to this city. Charles engaged in the meat business with his father, but he became impressed with the possibilities in the line of stock dealing, and when he was still a young man he organized the firm of Cunningham & Haas.

He has served one term as president of the school board, and another term he filled the place of a school commissioner. He was also elected register of deeds of Ramsey county. In 1900 he was selected by Mayor Smith to serve as a member of the police commission which was then formed. Mr. Haas was elected president of the board and he served in that capacity with distinction. He is a conservative business man, and there is no doubt but that the efficiency of the St. Paul police department is, in a measure, due to the fact that Mr. Haas is at the head of the police commission.


William A. Hardenbergh was appointed member of the police commission upon the retirement of Daniel Lawler in 1904. He represents in the administration the best and most conservative business element in St. Paul and is, from his long residence, thoroughly conversant with the past failures and successes of the constabulary and with present needs.

Forty-two years ago he was born in Cleveland, Ohio. In 1877 he accompanied his parents to St. Paul and entered the store of his father, the late P. R. L. Hardenberg. He traveled for the firm from 1880 to 1884 through Minnesota, the Dakotas and Montana, and was admitted to partnership in the last named year. Upon the death of his father he continued in the firm as president.

He has never held political office though he attained distinction in his own line of business, serving two terms as president of the wholesale saddlery association of the United States.

L. L. MAY.

L. L. May, whose term on the police board expired June 11, 1903, and who received a reappointment, is one of the prominent business men of St. Paul. He is the head of an immense seed and flower business, known as L. L. May & Co. His birthplace was Toronto, and he was born in 1856. After receiving a liberal education in Canada, he came to St. Paul in 1881, and started a small nursery business. This gradually grew until it became one of the principal firms in the Northwest in the seed and flower line. Though not an active politician, Mr. May's keen business insight and his wide interest in the welfare of the city made him a valuable man on public boards. He served three years as a member of the school board, and within a year after his term had expired was appointed, in 1900, a member of the police commission.


William Foelsen, the first police commissioner who has had the honor of a reappointment, was born in Cologne, March 22, 1850. He attended school in that city, and in 1867 came with his brother to America and went to Erie, Pa. He worked as a bricklayer for five years, and in 1872 came to St. Paul and spent a year here. In 1873 he returned to Erie, and was engaged by the Carnegie Steel Company to superintend the construction of Bessmer steel works in England. For over a year he had a thousand men in his employ. In 1878 he returned to St. Paul, after being married in St. Louis. He took up the contracting business, and has been unusually successful. As one of the leading contractors of the city he served on a special board appointed several years ago to revise the building ordinances of the city. In 1900 he was appointed police commissioner, and in 1902 his term having expired, he was reappointed to serve five years.