Jim McGowan

Jim McGowan


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Jim McGowan


Julie Luker


Landmark Associates


Silent Generation (1928-1945)


Capitol Hill

Document Type

Oral History

Date of Interview



Capitol Hill, Saint Paul, 1936


Oral History | Psychology


BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Jim McGowan is a Caucasian male born on July 30, 1936. He lived with his mother, father, brother, and later a sister in Saint Paul. His father worked as a cattle buyer in South Saint Paul, and his mother worked as a waitress. He was raised Catholic but is now Lutheran. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: McGowan shares his family life. Being a part of a family of five. He talks about the apartments they lived in. He describes the neighborhood having many kids and a vacant lot serving as a natural playground. McGowan discusses the influence of his family's economic status on his childhood. Despite not being affluent, he notes that they never felt poor. He mentions that some tendencies such as not wanting to be wasteful may stem from the economic influences of his upbring. Next, McGowan speaks on his religious upbringing. Growing up, he came from a mixed religious background, with his father being a devout Irish Catholic while his mother wasn't religious. He talks about quality time with his father walking home from church. He goes on to discuss his religious journey as an adult and how he has served 25 years as a Lutheran pastor. McGowan delves into his memories of leisure time and neighborhood activities during his childhood. He recalls a time without parents and describes the freedom of exploring the city, going to movies, and playing games. McGowan shares an account of his sister's illness and the impact it had on his family. He goes into the struggle that occurred in her care early on. He also touches on a period of her life when she was in a more comfortable environment and enjoyed visits from her family. He describes his own family visiting her. Next, McGowan talks about schooling. He mentions never doing homework, egg sandwiches, and a memorable teacher. In the last section McGowan reflects on the political atmosphere and recalls the impact of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's policies during World War II. He talks about tuberculosis fears, but states that no one he knew ever had it. He concludes by sharing a story about the living arrangements in his family's apartment.

Jim McGowan



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