Category Archives: HHM Events

Hayward and Effie McKerson

McKerson Image

Archival donations come to the museum through a variety of sources. This past spring the archive received a donation from Walker Methodist Care Center. Dr. Hayward McKerson had passed away in December 2017 and with no known surviving family members, the care center reached out to the archive to see if we had any interest in some of his photos and a few personal papers. The papers and photos of Hayward and his wife, Effie, share the story of an African American family that were active in their community and worked to stand up to discrimination faced by themselves and other African Americans.

Hayward grew up in Oklahoma, graduating from Douglass High School in Ardmore in June 1945. He served in the military for a time and attended Fisk University. He would ultimately become an engineer. Effie Stoker McKerson was born in Henderson, Texas in 1924 and she passed away in 2012. She was trained as a school teacher. Hayward and Effie settled in Edina in 1968, when a job transfer brought them to Minnesota. Eventually, he became the President of his own company, McKerson Chemical Corporation and Effie taught in the Edina Public School system.

The couple were very active in their community. They were both NAACP members and Hayward was active in the Elks and the Masons. Effie was active on the Edina Community Staff Advisory Council, the National Education Association, and Minnesota Education Associations. She also was very active in the Republican political party throughout the 1970s and 1980s. She served as a Minnesota delegate for President Ford to the 1976 National Republican Convention. And during the 1970s served as the Republican chairwoman for Minnesota. In 1975, she represented Minnesota on a trip to China, known as the U.S.-China Friendship Tour.

In 1982, Effie found herself in the middle of an affirmative action plan fight in the Edina public school district. Nine white elementary school teachers claimed they were “being laid off while a black teacher with less seniority” was able to keep her job. The teachers’ objections were with the affirmative action plan, which had been drafted by the school in the 1960s with the goal of recruiting more minority teachers. Eventually the controversy passed when some of the layoff teachers were rehired and other retired or resigned, and Effie continued to teach elementary school. Because of the controversy the school district adopted a new affirmative action plan.

The above photo of Hayward and Effie, in the middle, can be found in the McKerson Family collection in the Hennepin History Museum archives.

Sources:

“Edina teacher named to the HEW advisory panel.” Minneapolis Tribune. January 22, 1973.

“Margaret Morris Column.” Minneapolis Tribune. September 29, 1975.

“Teacher layoffs test Edina affirmative action plan.” Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 6, 1982.

“Budget backlash in Edina challenges school district’s affirmative action plan.” Minneapolis Star Tribune. May 13, 1982.

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Miss Teria’s Shoe Guess Who

miss-teria-shoesMy dear nocturnal seekers of mystification. It’s me, Miss Teria, your covert hostess of the Night of the Unknown. How much do you think you can tell about somebody just by looking at their shoes?

Guests matched the bios of Gladys Pattee, Jessica Gaulke, Fancy Ray, RT Rybak, Helen Porter, Marield Casewell, Randy Johnson, and Julie Graves to the correct shoes. (You can view the full biographies by clicking on ‘continue reading’ at the end of this post.)

We were pleased to collect gently used shoes for Good in the ‘Hood’s Shoe Away Hunger Campaign (we are still accepting donations!) We wore our favorite foot wear and enjoyed the tunes of the Ungrateful Little String Band.

Until next time,
Miss Teria

Continue reading

Miss Teria’s Night of the Unknown (Black Friday)

My dear nocturnal seekers of mystification. It’s me — Miss Teria, your one and only host of the Hennepin History Museum’s After-Hours events. This time our Night of the Unknown celebrated the start of the holiday season with playfully references to consumerism.

Our mystery object this time was a cookie display glass that we believe was from the 1920’s. It was one of many that wrapped around the top of the plate glass windows at the Burch Drug Store on Hennepin and Franklin Avenue. They were intended to be almost indistinguishable from stained glass windows.

YogaQuest narrator and a certified yoga instructor led us through a cautionary tale based on the cult film ‘Gremlins.’ We were delighted to offer cold cuts of vegan meat and cheese from The Herbivorous Butcher and beer from our sponsor Indeed Brewing Company.

Until next time,
Miss Teria

Miss Teria’s Night of the Unknown (Paranormal Edition)

miss-teria-banner-no-text

My dear paranormal enthusiasts — it is I, Miss Teria. How I love to welcome you all into the Christian family mansion and ply you with food, drinks, and entertainment on The Night of the Unknown. Each time I host, I select a mystery object from our shadowy collections. You have an opportunity to get into the party for free, if you guess it correctly.

A very special Night of the Unknown took place on October 21st 2016. My friends from the Minnesota Paranormal Investigators demonstrated how they use their equipment and attendees tried their hand at making extrasensory phenomena manifest.

The hints for this mystery object can be found in the Facebook invite and the discussion. The answers were as follows: CLUE 1: Anatomy; CLUE 2: doctor; CLUE 3: table

The mystery object was a doctor’s table circa 1890’s – 1900. It was donated in the 1970’s from a Swedish hospital.

Until next time,
Miss Teria

Miss Teria’s Night of the Unknown

miss-teria-banner

My nocturnal seekers of mystification — it is I, Miss Teria, your hostess of the Night of the Unknown.

Each third Friday of the month, an item too unusual to fit into an exhibit will be unveiled, along with a guest of my choosing.

I’ll test your mettle by giving you clues about the mystery object. Guess correctly and you will be welcomed into the Christian mansion for free. From the shadows, I will evaluate your guesswork, and I won’t be kind. Only the most resourceful and brightest will ever succeed in impressing me.

The first event took place on Friday, September 16th 2016. Party goers had access to these hints prior to the event.

The answers are: CLUE 1: Paul Bunyan; CLUE 2: foot; CLUE 3: doctors; CLUE 4: small vials, specimens; corn[s]

I can now reveal that our very first object was a podiatry collection that was donated in 1953. Intended to be donated to the National Chiropodist museum, it fell into our hands instead.

The collection includes a lovely selection of ingrown toenails, bunions, planter warts, and calluses. The formaldehyde in the small vials has evaporated over time but the beauty of the specimens is undiminished.

Until next time,
Miss Teria

New theater exhibit opening TONIGHT!

Please join us tonight from 5 to 8 pm to celebrate the launch of our newest exhibition, Ice Water and Opera Glasses, showcasing 150 years of local theater history! The whole range of local theater is represented here, as seen through plenty of historic photographs, programs, even costumes. The exhibition is open through January 15, 2017.

#OperaGlasses