Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded May 2020
May 3, 2020: Today I’ll be sharing another polio survivor’s story. This is about Carolyn Sabourin. She grew up in Malung, the daughter of Bob and Irene Snow. She had an older sister, Cindy, and a twin sister, Cherlyn. Carolyn was born April 23, 1952, and was 2-1/2 years old when her sister Cindy had a birthday party on November 4, 1954, with 16 kids over to celebrate. Two days later, Carolyn’s mom decided maybe she had tonsillitis and took her to the doctor. They had no phone at home at that time, so they just went to the office in the morning, but couldn’t get in until 1 PM. They sat in the car and waited for their turn. Carolyn says that as soon as Dr. Jack looked at her, he said, “This kid has polio. You’ll have to go to Sister Kenney!” That news traveled fast around the neighborhood and was especially worrisome to the families of the 16 kids at the birthday party. Carolyn said that she believes she is the only one in the county diagnosed during 1954… listen for more of the story.
May 10, 2020: It’s Mother’s Day today and I’m going to talk today about my own mother, Kelly Flaten.
Kathleen Margaret Nelson was born in Thief River Falls in 1932. She had two older brothers and three older sisters at that time. The sister one year older than her, Marian, couldn’t pronounce Kathleen very well and it came out sounding like Kelly and that became her nickname. Almost three years later, one more sister, Phyllis was born.
Kelly’s mother, Tilda Brandrud, of Norwegian heritage, had been a schoolteacher in Salol and Malung. While teaching at Malung, she met Victor Emanuel Nelson, a local Swede. They got married and started a family, then moved to rural Thief River Falls where they lived on a farm and had the rest of their kids. When my mother was three and little sister Phyllis was only a baby, their father Victor had been working in the field and came in not feeling well. The doctor who was called was slow to respond and didn’t come in time to save his life. It’s believed Grandpa had a heat stroke. He was just 42 and left behind a 37-year-old widow and seven kids… listen for the rest of the story.
May 17, 2020: There have been a lot of parents taking on a new role as schools have been closed for Coronavirus concerns. I’m sure some of you have had a hard time finding places for your kids to set up their books and computers. Today I’ll read from a booklet created in 1970 called “Footsteps in Education, A History of Roseau County Rural Schools.” I’ll read from the section called “School Furnishings”. I think it was written by Vivian Eggen.
The furnishings of each rural school followed the same general pattern. The teacher’s desk stood in a prominent place in the front of the room. A number of the schools had a raised platform from which the teacher could more easily observe the entire room of pupils.
Double desks were common. Later the single desks were added, many of which were used for the younger students. The double desks often became a place of punishment when some naughty person was moved to sit beside a boy or girl. It also happened, just as in “Tom Sawyer”, that a teacher erred and a boy was seated next to the girl of his dreams!… listen for the rest of the story.
May 24, 2020: This is Memorial Day weekend. I Googled Memorial Day and found a few facts about its beginnings as written by History.com. Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day 2020 occurs on Monday, May 25.
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
The Civil War, which ended in the spring of 1865, claimed more lives than any conflict in U.S. history and required the establishment of the country’s first national cemeteries.
By the late 1860s, Americans in various towns and cities had begun holding springtime tributes to these countless fallen soldiers, decorating their graves with flowers and reciting prayers…listen for the rest of the story.
May 31, 2020: At the Moe-Rose Cemetery 3 miles west of Roseau there’s a monument with the names of three young servicemen who all died from the 1918 Spanish Influenza epidemic. Carol Tillberg, who has chronicled the veterans of Roseau County, tells me they all died in 1918 at Camp Grant, Illinois. I’m trying to find out how they came to all be listed on the same gravestone. If anyone knows, please pass that information on to me.
In the Roseau County Museum’s most recent newsletter, Britt included an article written and researched by Charleen Haugen in 2004. I’ll read some of that story today.
The 1918 Pandemic Influenza caught the people of Roseau County totally by surprise. The first notification that there was an influenza epidemic came in September 1918 when the military began to send home the victims’ bodies.
Among the first flu victims to arrive back home in Roseau County was Anton B. Johnson, 22-1/2-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew F. Johnson of Fox, Emil Novotny, Arthur Sjodin, August Edward Roadfeldt, and Adelard Guibault…listen for the rest of the story.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.