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Dickinson Normal School


Dickinson Normal School, now Dickinson State University, was newly established in 1918 when 104 students attended the first classes. It was so new that the classes were held at Dickinson High. Classes were free for those first students, although they did pay expenses.

The Dickinson Normal School was under construction for the next several years, as buildings were erected where the university stands today. After those first classes were held at the high school, others were held at the Elks Building until May Hall was completed in 1924.

On this date in 1921, construction on a new school dormitory was underway. Several names were proposed for the dorm, and through a vote by the faculty it was to be called “the Stickney Dormitory.” It stood as an honorarium not to Dorothy Stickney, the well-known actress from Dickinson, but to her parents, prominent Dickinson residents: Dr. Victor Hugo Stickney and his wife Margaret.

The Dickinson Press reported that it was a tribute “to two who put forth their best efforts to secure the state Normal School for Dickinson,” and the faculty “could think of [no name] more fitting than the one chosen.”

Margaret Stickney passed away before this honor was bestowed upon her and her husband. Yet it was noted that she had “labored long and unceasingly” for the welfare of the institution.

Construction on the dormitory was scheduled to stop for the rest of the winter months, resuming in the spring. By around this date the following year, Mrs. Laura E. Drum was brought to Dickinson to assume her new duties as matron of Stickney Hall.

Dakota Datebook written by Sarah Walker


The Dickinson Press, January 22, 1921

The Dickinson Press, January 28, 1922