Connecting people through the power of history and culture

Grace McDowell (1896 – 1989) was a woman ahead of her time, helping to shape the development of St. Cloud during the 1960s with wit and wisdom. McDowall served two terms on the St. Cloud City council and was its president for four years. She was not motivated by one or two pet issues, but a solid supporter of industrial development wanting to solve the problems of a city that was growing steadily. McDowall was active in many private, civic and charitable causes, serving as Red Cross instructor during World War II and treasurer of the Sherburne County March of Dimes for 25 years. She also was active in the Republican Party in Sherburne County serving as vice chair of the 6th District. When her husband, William, died in 1952, the mother of seven assumed control of McDowall Co., a sheet-metal and roofing business she shared with him. McDowall and her son, George, were partners in the company until its incorporation in the mid-1960s. McDowall received numerous honors in her life and was named one of the Outstanding Women in Minnesota by Business and Professional Women. A St. Cloud HRA housing project for the elderly on Northway Drive in St. Cloud is named in her honor.


Susan Arnold (1954 – ) Businesswoman Susan Arnold has influenced three generations of dancers. Her enthusiasm for the Dance, combined with her frugality, business savvy and strong religious faith have made the St. Cloud School of Dance and ultimate Gymnastics a premier studio, statewide, and a huge resource for the local arts community. “This business is not just about the awards,” noted Arnold. “I want students to feel good about themselves to express themselves through dance.” The youngest child of a performing family, Arnold was “immersed” in dance. Born on June 19, 1954, Susan Louise was the youngest child of Christof, a businessman, and Ruth Babler, who founded the studio in her St. Cloud basement shortly after Arnold’s birth. The girl became a teacher at age 13, and when her mother died of cancer in 1985, she continued the legacy. Arnold’s talents and those of her dancers are always on demand and display. Arnold has coached Apollo and Technical High Schools’ dance lines. She and her teachers have assisted in choreography for local theatrical productions.