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News from Around the State

2/25/2005:

Every once in awhile, we like to bring you a mix of news from around the state. Today we’re looking at this period of time in 1915.

Near Burnstad, in south-central North Dakota, a well-known farmer and stockman named Tully Williams suffered a freak accident. He was cleaning his barn about 11 o’clock in the morning, and when he had his wagon loaded with manure, he began driving out of the barn. When the wagon passed over the doorsill, the space between the wagon seat and the top of the doorframe was too low, and Williams was crushed between the seat and the doorframe. He somehow got free and back to his house, where his hired man found him “in a helpless condition” about two hours later.

Another bizarre accident was reported up at Maddock, where Hjalmer Lancerud’s hired man, Gustaf Elmquist, was severely injured by a wild bronco stallion. “Mr. Elmquist went out to put the beast into the barn,” a news story read, “using a pan of feed, holding a halter in his right hand. The horse accepted the invitation all right and in a twinkle nipped off the young man’s thumb. In the next instant the brute had grabbed the right arm and tore that member terribly from the elbow down, still retaining the thumb in his mouth. Then it jumped upon its victim and held him under his knees. Mr. Lancerud came to the rescue with a club, but the brute would not let go of his victim and dragged the maimed man some five or six rods before relinquishing his hold.”

Meanwhile, farther south, the pastors of the Lisbon Ministerial Association stated, “We do hereby protest against the action of R. S. Craig, present chaplain of the senate, in using the language he has used in his prayers before that body as unworthy and unfitting any minister of the gospel. We hold that his language and his action have held the ministry of the state up in an untrue light before the people and has brought disgrace upon the ministry as a body. We further protest against the insults that he has hurled against the womanhood of the state in his public prayers; especially those now in Bismarck in the interest of righteous legislation.

We further protest against his using the position he now holds as a leverage to influence members of the house and senate against the law enforcement, commissioner measure (H. B. No. 71, now before the legislative assembly). As men and ministers who know him personally we call upon all ministers in the state regardless of denomination to join us in voicing the conviction to the senate, that his words and actions show him to be unworthy of the honor of such a position. Signed on behalf of the association, O. J. Nesheim, Chairman; F. O. Hellier, Secretary.”

News out of Fort Yates included news of a recent wedding officiated by Father Bernard at the Catholic Church. The story read, “Both the parties are popular young Indian people of Bullhead district.” Their names were particularly wonderful... Rose High Cat and Harry Poor Dog.

News from Grand Forks reported Gus Sollom of Reynolds had invented a new straw spreader. The story said it would become “widely known in farming localities where there is a demand for such a machine. The model is now completed at the Grand Forks Foundry Company and a firm in Detroit is bidding for the manufacture of them. There is only one other spreader which is now patented, and the Sollom spreader is the second to be invented in recent years.”

And at Fortuna, in the northwest corner of the state, it was reported that Joseph Buckley-DeWitt had found his mother after an eleven-year search. Joe’s father died in St. Paul when he was two, and he and his brother had been sent to an orphanage. He was later transferred to Jamestown, where a Lewis DeWitt adopted him. Joe found his mother and brother in Alexandria, MN.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm