Savor Black Minnesota history: 12 notable landmarks

Park celebrates union organizer

Photo by Steve Floyd/MSR News The park is located on the north side of Selby Avenue between Virginia and Farrington streets.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1881, Frank Boyd moved to St. Paul in 1904. He worked as a porter in a Black barbershop for three years before working as a Pullman porter for the Northern Pacific Railroad. 

Boyd was instrumental in organizing a branch of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters Union in St. Paul. Through his efforts, the Local 3 Chapter grew to over 700 members. 

On May 1, 1976, the park was dedicated to the outstanding leadership of Boyd and to honor his memory. Originally, the Ramsey Hill Association considered naming the park for fur trader and capitalist Norman Kittson. The suggestion to have the park named after Boyd came from the Selby-Dale Freedom Brigade, who successfully argued to have the park named after Boyd. 

The park dedication was led by a group of Black “labor-oriented” St. Paul citizens led by Firefighters Local 21 member Reginald Harris. The park includes a bust statue of Boyd located at the southwest corner. A plaque reads, “Frank Boyd, 1881-1962. He was a fighter for his Union, his People, his Class.” 

Boyd died in California on May 2, 1962.  His body was returned to St. Paul and he was buried at Elmhurst Cemetery. 

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