A community — Eau Claire or any other — is a collection of people and institutions. During the period this volume covers, perhaps no one in Eau Claire had a more intimate knowledge of its leading institutions, or a keener eye in observing its people, than Ralph W. Owen. Owen was a driving force behind Luther Hospital, the Red Cross, and the public library. (His father, John S. Owen, left his name all over the Chippewa Valley: Owen, Wisconsin, the Owen Park bandshell, Lake Owen.) To be a community, we must have good citizens. To be good citizens, we must be engaged. In this way, Owen’s bright and casual reminiscence, often pretty darned funny, disguises a call to action. In this sequel to the popular Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire: The Character of a City, 1884-1909, Owen again animates the town he called home and gives us the tenor of these “new” times. Dedicated to preserving and interpreting regional history, the Chippewa Valley Museum is proud to present The City Grows Up: Ralph Owen’s Eau Claire, 1920-1960, taken from a larger manuscript maintained in the museum’s Glenn Curtis Smoot Library and Archives.