North Dakota Kernels
A full page on a May evening edition of a 1910 Fargo Forum and Daily Republican was dedicated to local news. These news shorts included North Dakota Kernels, a popular compilation of short reports from local communities across the state. They included humor, local boosterism and news.
Here is a partial run-down from that collection, beginning with a one-liner: “If the size of the paper money is to be cut down, will it make it any easier to get?”
Here’s a nice alliteration: “Bowbells boasts a good ball team.”
And this was interesting: “The use of the public drinking cup in the schools of North Dakota should be prohibited.” (We believe that public drinking cups were finally nixed.)
“Hettinger is to have a new freight depot.”
“The county seat fight in Montrail is becoming hot stuff!”
“Charlie Crane was thrown in a horse race at Stanley.” (We can only assume he didn’t win).
Another “Kernal” suggested a good response to an upcoming election with this observation: “There are numerous candidates for office in Sheridan County.”
“By May 25th the electric line proposition in Oliver County appears to be progressing satisfactorily.”
“The McClusky band went bump and there is some talk of the organization of a Jews harp orchestra.” (City bands on the plains and prairies were always a source of pride).
“Superintendent Danforth of the Methodist Episcopal church in the western part of the state is adding many new churches.”
“Farmers and others taking up stray animals should be careful to observe the law regarding advertising them.”
Local commerce took a stand with this nugget: “The Ross Valley News draws the line on supporting home candidates who get their printing done elsewhere.”
“John Mathews of Cayuga had his auto badly damaged by fire-but the fact that it was insured saved him considerable grief.”
Here’s a blend of climate and politics: “The approach of hot weather will be a boon in many respects. It will make the North Dakota crops grow ….and it may force congress to adjourn.”
And one final 1910 news item: “Fred Anderson of Stanley mistook a bottle of carbolic acid for medicine, and nearly died, before a doctor relieved his sufferings.”
Dakota Datebook written by Steve Stark
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican May 27 1910