© 2024
Prairie Public NewsRoom
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Eunice Kalloch


Eunice Kalloch was born near Rugby to Alice and Fingar Gronvold in 1908. Her father emigrated from Norway to the U. S. when he was 17, and in 1886 he settled near Rugby, where he eventually owned ran the Gronvold-Halseth hardware store. Later, he went into the automobile business with his sons.

Gronvold was very active in civic affairs and politics and, in 1899, he was elected to the ND House of Representatives. Nine years later, he was elected to the state senate, a seat he held until 1918. He returned to the senate again twelve years later and served until his death in 1941.

Gronvold was also involved in his community, a trait that influenced Eunice. For starters he was a frequent member of the Rugby City Council, and for 23 years, he also served on the Board of Directors for Rugby’s Good Samaritan Hospital – again a direction his daughter would later pick up and emulate.

After highschool, Eunice attended Concordia College, in Moorhead, and later transferred to UND, where she graduated with an education degree. In college, she was involved in many organizations, including the Chi Omega sorority, as well as Zeta Phi Eta, an honorary drama fraternity. She was also very athletic, playing intramural women’s hockey, basketball and volleyball.

After graduating from UND, Eunice went on to get her Masters degree in geography from Clark University in Massachusetts. At some point, she began working at the Pentagon with U.S. Army Intelligence.

Eunice’s husband was Colonel Parker Kalloch Jr., from Maine. Like Eunice, he had strong family role models. His grandfather was a sea captain during the Civil War, and his father was a physician who worked around the country for the government.

Parker, himself, was awarded a Distinguished Service Cross during the First World War “for extraordinary heroism in action north of Montrebeau Woods, France, September 29, 1918. Major Kalloch, although wounded, and scarcely able to walk, personally organized and led an attack against a superior force at Exermont in the face of heavy artillery and intense machine-gun fire.”

Eunice was living in Albuquerque, NM, by 1945, and it was here the influences of her father and Parker’s family really came into play. Among the many organizations of which she was a member, she chaired the Civic Beautification Committee of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce; the City Parks and Recreation Board; Keep New Mexico Beautiful campaign; and was also President of the Albuquerque Branch of the American Assn. of University Women.

In the area of health, Eunice was active in organizations dealing a prominent issue of her day: infantile paralysis – or polio. She also pushed for a Pure Food and Drug Bill for New Mexico.

For her many contributions, she received, among others, “The Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson Award,” the “Distinguished Public Service Award,” and “The National Keep America Beautiful Award.” In 1973, Governor Bruce King declared “Eunice Kalloch Day” in New Mexico, and in 1978 Mayor David Rusk named an Albuquerque park in her honor.

Eunice died in Albuquerque on this day in 1988. Before her death, she donated her parents’ home and many of its belongings to Rugby’s Prairie Village Museum, where it can be toured.

Source: “Eunice Gronvold Kalloch Papers.” Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library. UND, Grand Forks, ND. <http://www.library.und.edu/Collections/og578.html>

“Biography.” Inventory of the Eunice Kalloch Papers, 1948-1980. University of New Mexico, General Library, Center for Southwest Research. July 2001. <http://elibrary.unm.edu/oanm/NmU/nmu1%23mss384bc/nmu1%23mss384bc_m4.html>

“Dr. Parker Cromwell Kalloch.” <http://kalloch.org/dr_parker_kalloch.htm>

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm