The late Corbin Kidder, a key founder of the local, hosted many Twin Cities DSA meetings at his home. The following biographical sketch is excerpted from a 2007 in memoriam press release.
Corbin Sherwood Kidder, 84, an ardent transit consumer advocate and active DFL member, died in Saint Paul on March 11. For over thirty years, Kidder served on Metro Transit's Advisory Committee on Transit and was, for six of those years, its Vice-Chair for Operations. Kidder also served on the Metropolitan Council's Transit Accessibility Advisory Committee. Transit for Livable Communities, and the local Sierra Club's Conservation Committee. He was the Transportation Chair of the Minnesota Senior Federation, where he also served as a Trustee and Member of the Board. Kidder was Vice-Chair of he Minnesota Railfans Association during the 1950's. In 1971, he joined the Minnesota Transportation Museum, continuing in this organization as a volunteer trolley operator until his death. Within the Transportation Museum, he was also Station Master at the Minnehaha Depot in Minneapolis from 1984 until his death.
Kidder was born in Madison, Wisconsin, raised on Staten Island, New York, and educated in New York and Washington DC. He completed 26 years of U.S. Army Active and Reserve service before retiring from the Minnesota National Guard in 1982. Discharged from service in World War II, he received a bachelor's degree from Penn State University and did graduate work in Industrial Psychology at the University of Minnesota. He was a Procedures Supervisor for Federal Cartridge Corporation, a System Analyst for Honeywell, and retired as Customer Quality Audit Instructor at Unisys in Saint Paul in 1981.
Kidder was a life-long and active member of the Democratic Party where he served as a Precinct Chair, Senate District Officer, and member of the Central Committee of the Saint Paul DFL and Minnesota State DFL. He was an early and active member of the DFL's Feminist Caucus and a member of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Alliance for Progressive Action.
Kidder advocated for what he called the "12 major modes" of transit: buses, electric trolley buses, LRT, urban rail, commuter rail, ferries, inclines, jitneys, monorails, PRT, People Movers, cable cars. He was an inveterate bus rider who insisted that public transit routes be included in all meeting notices and who refused to attend meetings not accessible by public transit. He rode on the last trolley to Hopkins from Minneapolis in 1951, and later on the last cable car to Mahtomedi from Saint Paul.
Besides being a political and transit activist, Kidder served as Vestry Clerk of St. Philip's Episcopal Church, in Saint Paul, a parish he joined in 1963. He was earlier a Vestry member of Holy Trinity parish at the Episcopal Center of the University of Minnesota. He was an excellent home cook and photo hobbyist, and had an abiding interest in language.