Voices of Minnesota

Oral History Interview with Ruth Bovey Stevens

DATE: November 17, 1994

INTERVIEWER: James E. Fogerty

Ruth Alden Bovey was born on February 24, 1902 at 1600 Harmon Place in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the home of her maternal grandparents, Judge and Mrs. Martin B. Koon. She was the daughter of Charles Cranston Bovey of the Washburn Crosby Milling Company and Kate Estelle Koon, and had two brothers, Charles A. Bovey and Martin K. Bovey. She graduated from Northrop Collegiate School in 1920 and from Vassar College in 1924. She married Nathaniel E. Stevens II, son of Mr. and Mrs. John T. Stevens of Plainfield, New Jersey on July 5, 1924 in Minnesota. The couple had four children, Ruth Alden Bovey Stevens (Sally), Nathaniel Stevens II, Jr., Charles Cranston Bovey Stevens, and Murray Ten Broeck Stevens. Ruth Stevens died in 2001.

Subjects discussed include: Ruth's mother's involvement as a civic activist in Minneapolis; Ruth's father and Washburn Crosby; growing up around 1900; spending summers on Lake Minnetonka and winters in Minneapolis; the chocolate tree and gingerbread house; Northrop Collegiate School beginnings; Indian artifacts on Wawasota Island; grandmother's death in Lafayette Club fire; first woman to win sailing races on Lake Minnetonka as member of Inland Lakes Yacht Club; family's involvement in the Minneapolis Art Institute.

LENGTH OF INTERVIEW: 1 hour 12 minutes

TRANSCRIPT: 20 pages