The Bolmgren family has deep roots in
the Brookside neighborhood of St. Louis Park, and has
contributed much to the civic life of the city.
H.J. Bolmgren was born in 1885/6 in Minneapolis and came to
the Park in 1915. He and his wife Selma lived at 4088 Vernon
Ave. [aka 4050, 4092] across 41st Street from Brookside
School from 1932 until 1954 when St. Luke’s
bought the property to expand. The Bolmgrens then lived at
4140 Webster, behind Brookside School, where Mrs. Bolmgren
resided until 1964.
Bolmgren served on the City Council as the second ward
alderman from 1922-1931 and again from 1946 to his death in
1959. He was known as the Park’s financial watchdog. In 1928
he pushed through a municipal water system, despite
widespread opposition. Three years later the water table
dropped below the level of individual wells, thus
vindicating his decision.
H.J. was the last president of the Brookside Improvement
Association. He was also a member of Aldersgate Methodist
Church, a member of the Park Volunteer Fire Department,
Chamber of Commerce, the Masonic Lodge, and a director of
Park Plaza State Bank.
He retired in 1957 after 39 years as a foreman at the
Munsingwear Company. He died in his sleep at home on Webster
Ave. on January 15, 1959 at the age of 73. His obituary can
be found in the January 22, 1959 issue of the Dispatch.
H.J. and Selma’s children are: June Jenson, Frances McNellis,
Eleanor Rekdahl, Lois Chermak, and Robert Bolmgren.
Robert N. Bolmgren was born in 1923 in St. Louis Park. He
married his wife Shirley in 1951, and they were one of the
first families to live in Meadowbrook Manor. They lived in a
fine home on Nevada for awhile but missed Brookside, so in
1956 they bought a house at 4070 Brunswick, where they lived
until 1982. Robert was on the
Louis Park Fire Department for 35 years and was a
member of the VFW. He died on October 6, 1994. Shirley
continues to live in Minnetonka, but still attends Wooddale
Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park.
Robert and Shirley had four children who all graduated
from St. Louis Park High School: Suzanne (Thomas) in 1970,
twins Gary Bolmgren and Gay (Armstrong) in 1973, and Nancy (Nies)
Suzanne married her high school sweetheart David Thomas in
1973 and the two raised three children on the 2400 block of
Cavell Avenue near the Minneapolis Golf Course. All three of
their children graduated from St. Louis Park High School:
Matthew in 1996, and twins Jennifer and Jason in 1999.
Suzanne was a dedicated volunteer in the St. Louis Park
schools while her children were growing up before accepting
a position in the school district’s Human Resources
Department in 1991.
Gary Bolmgren and wife Lynn raised a daughter Jenna and son
Daniel in Richfield. Gay and Barry Armstrong raised two
daughters, Kim and Molly, in Golden Valley. Nancy and Dave
Nies have two daughters, Ele and Lydia, and live in Rogers.