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Trista Raezer-Stursa

  • W. H. Horton, owner of the Horton Motor Co., sold Cadillacs at his dealerships in Devils Lake and Fargo, distributing the cars all across the state and into eastern Montana. He was such a believer in the superiority of Cadillacs that he made an unusual offer in the spring of 1913. Horton challenged any owner or dealer of six-cylinder cars to race him from Fargo to Minot and back, with the winner getting $100. Horton would drive a four-cylinder stock Cadillac.
  • On this date in 2000, sculptor Tom Neary installed a 14-foot-tall stainless steel sign at the intersection of highways 83 and 200 in Washburn. The sign, which weighs almost a ton, reads “Historic Washburn” above a scene of Lewis, Clark, and Sakakawea. The giant sign was commissioned by the Washburn Civic Club and gave Tom Neary a chance to put his mark on the town he lived in and loved.
  • On this date in 1917 a call was put out to the women of Fargo to donate jars of jelly to the Fargo Day Nursery. Sadie Barrett, the superintendent of the nursery, proclaimed that the little children who spent their days at the nursery were sad to be without jelly and bread. Only the good women of Fargo could rectify this situation by donating a jar of homemade jelly. In fact, it was only through charitable donations from the people of Fargo that the day nursery even existed.
  • On this date in 1917 the Fargo Forum announced that Cleon Nash would finally be put on trial. The sensational and tragic story of a murder, a frozen fugitive, and amputated feet had gripped North Dakota since December.
  • The Red River along the eastern edge of North Dakota was a vital trade route for Native Americans, Metis, fur traders, and then Americans and Canadians. However, by the 1910s, the need for river transportation had been firmly supplanted by trains and automobiles. On this date in 1913, the Fargo Forum announced that one of the last links to the heyday of the river trade was broken. Charles B. Thimens, a former steamboat captain, had died.
  • The front page of the Fargo Forum on this date in 1918 was covered with news about World War I. On the very bottom was a tiny announcement that two boys from North Dakota were going to enter West Point: Frank Henning Jr. of Lakota and Sidney Hinds of Wahpeton.
  • The Reverend Eben Saunders of Fargo was not only a minister, but a well-regarded historian of the Red River Valley. In 1918, from May to June, the Reverend Saunders wrote a column in the Fargo Forum in which he wrote brief biographies of North Dakota pioneers.
  • It’s a tale as old as time. The teenagers of Bismarck were bored. Besides watching movies or cruising Main Street, the kids wanted something fun to do after school and on the weekends. On this date in 1992, the front page of the Bismarck Tribune ran a story about an ambitious group of teens called Upbeat that wanted to do what no one else in Bismarck had managed to do: open a successful teen center.
  • Many small towns across the state slowly shrank after a peak population of 680,000 in 1930, a number that would not be reached again until after 2010. People had moved to larger cities, farms consolidated, and various economic busts meant many small towns lost their schools, businesses, churches, and post offices. However, the majestically named town of Napoleon was noted to be prosperous on this date in 1986.
  • In 1882 Emery Mapes, originally from Illinois, moved to Nelson County in Dakota Territory. He platted a townsite next to the St. Paul, Minneapolis, Manitoba Railway. He hoped to build a thriving town named after himself that would become the county seat. A depot, grain elevator, and post office were soon built. There was population of 100 people by 1890, along with a school, grocery story, general store, hotel, saloon, blacksmith, and hardware store. Emery Mapes even published a town newspaper.