Listen to the Weekly Radio Readings by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member
Recorded September 2020
September 6, 2020: It’s time for school to start again. I hope all goes well for whatever method of school your family will be using this year during this time of Covid-19. Recently I posted some photos on FaceBook of old schools in Pinecreek. I was asked about another school in that area called the Roseau Lake School. It was in Jadis Unorganized Township just below Minnesota Hill. In the Roseau County Museum files, I found a description of that school written by Ethel (Nordvall) Skime. Here is her story:
Seventy-eight years ago, some early homesteaders decided they had to have a school for their children in the Roseau Lake area. In 1914 they organized School District 102. The first school was held in a small log cabin on the Peder Glennen homestead in Section 9 of Township 163 with Sigfus Olafson as the first teacher. The first school board consisted of: chairman, Aslak Listug; clerk, Tollef Tollefson; treasurer, Andrew Nordgaarden.
A new schoolhouse was built about 1916 or 1917. A school term was seven months – starting at 9 AM to 4 PM. The term was later changed to nine months. Eddy Billberg and Charles Christianson were the only two county superintendents. District 102 was consolidated with the Ross School in 1946 as were about six other small schools in the area. The building was eventually sold and moved northwest of Roseau to become a farm home.
The teachers I had and some who taught before and after I attended were : Calla Norquist, Clara Wahlberg, Julia (Listug) Arneson, Edna Weaver, Selma Olson, Richard Prior, Frank Ohlquist, Helen (Efshen) Halvorson, Margaret (Bjorkman) Bakken, Elma Olson, and Dora Westling. There may have been others I do not know of…listen for the rest of the story.
September 13, 2020: This month I’m talking about schools in the county. In a description submitted by Edna Kvien and Elizabeth Kvien for inclusion in a booklet for a Ross School reunion, Dieter Township had two of the earliest schools in the county. District 11 of Pinecreek, Brookside, located one mile east and one mile south of Pinecreek next to the creek. Attendance records were on file in the courthouse at the time of the reunion, and now stored at the Roseau County Museum, dating as far back as 1889. In 1897 Arne Knutson was clerk, Fred Larson was treasurer, and K. T. Oien, the director.
The children of Brookside School first attended class in the old Pinecreek Church which was made out of logs that had been cut to make a fort, but were not needed when when the Indian uprising did not materialize.
District 20, Ross, located in the town of Ross, has records as far back as 1898. Some of its early officers were George Davis as clerk. Syver Erickson as treasurer, and Martin Braaten as director. The teacher in 1898 was Etta Dian and the superintendent was L. P. Dahlquist.
Also organized that year was District 10 North, Pinecreek (District 36 as referred to in “The North Land”), located one mile west of Pinecreek. Its officers were Hans Haugen as clerk, Thor Vik as treasurer, and G. T. Haugen as director.
District 10 South, Solom, was located three miles south of the Pinecreek church. In 1898 its teacher was Mary S. Lockrem.
Not much is known about Swen Oie school which was located in Section 8 next to the Icelandic Cemetery, sometimes called the Old Pinecreek Cemetery. It was used by the Concordia for their church.
The Pinecreek, Brookside, Solom, Duxby of Pohlitz Township, and Ross schools consolidated in 1946. Individual schoolhouses from each district were moved to Ross at this time to provide facilities for grades 1-8. One building was used for a cafeteria. It was the first time hot lunches were provided… listen for the rest of the story.
September 20, 2020: An article in the Badger Enterprise of December 1963 tells the story of Duxby School which was 50 years old at that time. The Duxby Schoolhouse, located in Pohlitz township about nine miles north and two miles west of Badger, was built in the summer of 1913 and is now 50 years old according to Mrs. John Carlson of that area. Many of the people now living in the Badger area attended school in this small, but neat schoolhouse.
Mrs. Carlson has spent a considerable amount of time looking up records as to teachers, students and information about the Duxby area and we will pass this on to our readers.
John Nelson was the contractor who built the Duxby school. He was assisted by Charlie and John Pederson, Ole N. Peterson (father of Perley Peterson), Ed Saage, John N. Johnson and Elmer Askin. Claude, Luke and Walter Hamms hauled the building material from Badger using three teams.
At the time the school was built the Duxby community had a store and post office, sawmill, feed mill and blacksmith shop. Nels Cedarholm operated the blacksmith shop, feed mill and sawmill which produced lumber, shingles and laths. The store was built by Tom Vatnsdal in the early 1900s. He also served as postmaster.
Others who operated the store and served as postmaster there were Albert Hallick, Jack Rody and Mrs. Spicer, Enoch Steen, Theodore Haaby, Thor Hegstad and Carl Foss who operated the store from 1920 until April of 1938 when the mail service was discontinued. Willie Lins was the last to haul mail. He, and the others before him, met the rural carrier three miles north of Badger three times a week and carried the mail to the Duxby post office. The area is now served by a rural route out of the Badger post office.
Mrs. Carlson also told how the community is supposed to have gotten its name. There is a big slough behind the school house that empties into the river. The slough was always filled with ducks and the area was called “Duck Town” at first. This was shortened to Dux-by, “by” meaning town in Norwegian…listen for the rest of the story.
September 27, 2020: At the Roseau County Museum, in the research files, there is a lot of information about the old county schools of Roseau County, some of them even created when part of Roseau County was still Kittson County. School census reports show the school children each year. The reports are signed by the teacher at the time. They include things like how many days each child attended school during the term for which the report is made. Those were some of the records stored in the basement of the courthouse which was flooded in 2001. They were rescued by drying them. We can be grateful for all of the saved documents from that time.
There are also file cabinets full of other records, including the documentation gathered about many of the rural schools.
In the Moranville Township folder, I found several photos of Conover School District 69 in Section 8 and a handwritten account by Dorothy (Storey) Jesme. This is what she wrote:
She first describes a photo. Standing by their school transportation in 1944, where they attended 69 are, front row, Dorothy (Storey) Jesme, Lois (Storey) Olson; back row, Mae (Storey) Steely, Jerry (Storey) Streiff, Joy (Storey) Phillipe.
This bus, as we called it, was built by our Dad. Inside was seats and a small wood heater for heat, and we would toast leftover sandwiches from our noon lunch on it on the way home from school.
There was a small window on hinges plus a slot for the horse reins on front to drive the horse through. We had many good times to and from school. We’d pick up kids on our way to school and give them rides home in the afternoon. We lived the farthest from school, what fun. We would always sing on our way to and from school.
Our Dad had a small barn at the school that he kept furnished with hay and feed for the horse during the day. The older sisters Joy and Jerry drove the horse and took care of it. They had to harness and unharness it, although they were only eleven and thirteen years old.
In the winter weather we drove a horse and buggy…listen for the rest of the story.
Thank you to for letting us share the history of our county with your listeners.