Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Men Who Built Fort Pembina: William Nash

Portrait of Nash, Compendium of
  History & Biography of North Dakota,
Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1900

WILLIAM C. NASH enjoyed the distinction of being the first to settle in the vicinity of Grand Forks; but before that, among other things:
He was engaged in carrying United State mail in the early days from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina, and used dogs and sleds for the purpose, and he served four years as postmaster in East Grand Forks... 
He then accompanied General Hatch on his campaign through the northwest after Indians, and accompanied the expedition as far as Pembina, spending the winters of 1863-64 in Fort Garry and Pembina, and while there acted as agent for the government, and succeeded in bringing Little Six and Medicine Bottle, two Indian chiefs, back to the United States under arrest.
[Source: Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota, Geo. A. Ogle & Co., Chicago, 1900]

The following fall, he was appointed sutler at Fort Abercrombie, and held that position five years, during which time he was contracting.  In 18701 he helped build the post at Pembina, making the first brick used in Dakota.

1 - Prior to 1870 the Hudson Bay company had absolute control of practically all the trading interests west of the Canadian provinces. They even appointed the governor for Prince Rupert’s land, which, until the boundary was established in 1823 by Long’s expedition, was held to embrace much of present day North Dakota. A portion of the Selkirk settlement of 1812 was on American soil, as indeed was the old fort of Capt. Henry, and even later establishments. The old policy was to confine their business principally to the fur trade, but when Donald O. Smith succeeded Governor McTavish it was to trade with all the people.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Update: Ephraim "Eph" Clow, Pedestrian Racer

Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1
Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1

I recently wrote about a Kittson County native, Ephraim Clow, who went on to become a well-known sportsman of a late 19th century sport, Pedestrianism.

'Eph' also features in Chapter 22 (Rose Belt) of the book King of the Peds in a race in which he finished with 460 miles in that 6-day race.

Here are a couple of extracts from Chapter 28...
Out of the thirty men that started the 70-hour walking match at the Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, between the 16th and 21st of February, 1880, only seven finished. The winner was Peter Panchot with 345 miles. Jimmy Albert came in second with 330, Clow, third with 326, McEvoy fourth with 321, Dufrane, fifth with 318, Campana, sixth with 300, and Barrett seventh with 304. During the early part of the match, Albert had denied charges that he had been abusive in language towards a Mr. Hanson, who he allegedly struck with a cane.
Jimmy Albert was awarded $300 and a gold watch for winning a 75-hour go-as-you-please match (12½ hours per day) which took place at the Opera House in Brockton, Massachusetts, between Monday, the 22nd and Saturday, the 27th of March. The scores at the end were: Albert 435; Hughes, 423.16 ($200); Clow, 411.6 ($100); Hourihan, 385.14 ($75); Geldert, 361.4 ($50): The Boston Globe in its report on the match stated: The track not having been measured by a professional the above records will not stand as it is undoubtedly short. Campana, Colston and Mignault were also in the race.
There are many other mentions of the 'Canadian Champion of Toronto', in King of the Peds. For example:
In the 72-hour go-as-you-please “Toronto Walking Tournament”, which started on the morning of June the 7th 1880, Clow, of Prince Edward Island, had beaten Faber's celebrated record in Buffalo.
Ephraim "Eph" Clow, Champion Pedestrian
Courtesy of: 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Frederick A. Bailey: An NWMP 'Original'

Sgt. Fred Bailey
[Source:  RCMP Veterans Association,
Vancouver Division]

Let me introduce you to an ordinary man who happened to make a bit of local history by just doing what many in his day did - living life, making choices, taking risks.  

"This I believe is the diary of Frederick Bagley when he enlisted in the North-West Mounted Police as a trumpeteer at 15 years of age; They left Fort Dufferin in 1874 to secure the Medicine Line!" 
- J. Rempel

I will be sharing portions of that diary here on this blog at a later time. But for now, let us learn a bit about Sub-Constable Fred Bagley, Trumpeteer ...

According to a fascinating online biography (which I quote here in-full since so many such pages seem to disappear):
Fred Bagley’s musical talents and leadership provided a major contribution to the Force and to the communities he served in.

With regarding setting records, he was first in the following areas: 
a) being the youngest member to be sworn into the Force; 
b) first Trumpeteer in the Force; 
c) present to guard and witness the first person to be hung in the North-West Territories at Fort Saskatchewan; and 
d) first member to lead a musical performance before Royalty.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

James J. Barry, Pugilist

Louis Edgar Rogers, aka
Jim Barry, was born in
St. Vincent, Minnesota.

Jim Barry was a pugilist...and a mystery. His real name was Louis Edgar Rogers.  He seems to have left the US in December 1912 and returned in 1915. One document that was found - an application for a passport - showed he was in England at the time. Did he go to England to get treatment for his drug and alcohol problems? Then, a record showed he fought his old nemesis Sam Langford in Australia, most likely as part of a hopeful comeback? Or, was it an exhibition fight?  He has some more fights later but he lost them all. While in Panama, he was murdered at the age of 32. A short life of a promising young boxer - he was considered a capable, durable fighter in his prime - that took a wrong turn, that led to a sad end.

Barry lists St. Vincent, Minnesota 

as where he was born, on this 1915 
emergency passport application...
Louis was born on August 12, 1886 in St. Vincent, Minnesota.  In the 1900 US Census, Louis is listed as age 15 and going by Lue Rogers. Lue is a variant of the name Louis (English and French), and on the same census, Mary is listed as his mother, age 55 and widowed.  His father had been from Ireland, but his mother was French-Canadian.1 Very likely she would have called him Lue for short - or it could have been a simplified version of how Louis is pronounced in French.  

Barry's 1915 passport photo
According to the same census, Lue could neither read nor write. Nor could his mother.  It was not unusual for that time, but just like today, it limited job opportunities for a lifetime.  Lue was also listed as a 'Day Laborer', but that wouldn't last for long. Sometime during the next few years, probably sooner, Lue learned the art of boxing, left Drayton for the wider world, and became Jim Barry.

Sam Langford
Jim's start up the ranks of boxing are not known, but he eventually made a modest name for himself. He was characterized as a "hard-hitting white cowboy" ... who did not mind fighting the top black heavyweights of the Chitlin' Circuit. Although he did not beat Sam Langford--only to a draw, in their many fights--Barry did deck the Boston fighter on two occasions.

According to his May 1915 passport application, Barry was born in 1886 in St. Vincent, Minnesota, and called Drayton, North Dakota, his place of residence. He listed his occupations as "engineer and boxer" - what kind of engineer, we do not know, but if true, it was as a vocation between 'day laborer' and 'boxer'.

After returning from London, Barry went into treatment for cocaine addiction.  He was released from a New York hospital after taking the "Coke Cure" in July 2015.  The government was starting to crack down on cocaine and other drugs that had previously been unregulated. I think Barry had to get straight or risk losing chances to fight, or even get arrested.  So he was trying to straighten up. 

An article in the Pembina Pioneer Express for March 30, 1917, has this notation:

Thursday, February 02, 2017

StVHS Sports: 1927/28

Vintage St. Vincent High School pennant from 1920s

[Guest article by Michael Rustad, originally from nearby Humboldt, MN]

In the summer of 1999, my daughter Erica and I visited the town of St. Vincent.

There is no longer a bridge connecting the central business districts of Pembina, North Dakota and St. Vincent. The old bridge connecting the towns that I remember as a child has long been dismantled. The places that I remember in St. Vincent have long since closed. Short's Cafe, Sylvester's Store, the Curling Rink, St. Ann's Catholic Church, and the St. Vincent Fairgrounds. The curling rink is now neglected and in state of decay. The Church is a private residence. The St. Vincent School, too, is in a state of benign neglect. The school is in disrepair and the fire escape slide detached.

It was difficult for me to explain to my daughter that St. Vincent was once a bustling community. We attended catechism each summer in the basement of St. Ann's Catholic Church. We had a large number of ball games in the yard outside the church which is now overgrown and marred by abandoned cars. When my sister and I visited the Kittson County Museum in Lake Bronson, I was amazed to find some high school yearbooks [called Borderlines] from St. Vincent High School. St. Vincent High School closed in the late 1930s and never reopened. Instead, it eventually consolidated its school district with Humboldt from 1957 to 1991.
[Note from Trish:  In-between StVHS closing and St. Vincent consolidating with Humboldt, students had the choice of attending Pembina High School, or other schools in Kittson County like Hallock...]
It was an unexpected joy to find yearbooks from the St. Vincent High School from the 1920s. This was a yearbook from a small town in NW Minnesota prior to the Depression. High school life in St. Vincent was marked by lots of school spirit judging from the many activities. St. Vincent fielded a football team, basketball team, hockey team, track team and baseball team in [school year] 1927/28.

"If you could walk or run, you were in the starting line-up."

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Ephraim Clow: Professional Pedestrian

Masthead of newspaper that had article about race Ephraim took part in, then resigned from under suspicious circumstances

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have out-walked the furthest city light.... 
~Robert Frost
Ephraim Clow was a cousin of mine on my grandmother's maternal line.  Family oral history said he was a long distance runner and had run in the Boston Marathon and won.  I had to find out if this was true or not.

I first found out that the Boston Marathon began in 1897.  Ephraim was born in 1854.  In 1897, he would have been 43.  Above-average age to be doing a marathon.  So I wondered, could this be a situation where the family oral history had a nugget of truth, but it wasn't quite how it was remembered?  In fact, it was.

First, I checked to see if Ephraim had ever been in Boston.  I found that he had.
Ambrose Clow, and his brothers, Charles, George, and Ephraim, went to Boston to seek their fortune. Around 1878-1880, he received word that land was available in Minnesota. Charles was sent to check out the territory. What he saw (in Kittson County) pleased him so he advised his brothers to join him in this new venture. Ambrose brought his new wife, Mathilda Crewye, who was also born on Prince Edward Island. Ambrose had a house built in Humboldt where he and his wife lived the rest of their lives. They had a son, George Victor, who was born 19 Nov 1880.  
 - From George Clow family lineage on Red River Valley website
A racing Pedestrian, being avidly
observed by spectators mid-race
I found out that during the early 1880s, Ephraim was a competitor in pedestrian  races, or "go-as-you-please" races. I've found him mentioned in newspaper articles during the right time period, and in Boston.  I had found my cousin.  And I had confirmed that the family oral history was true - just a bit wrong in the details!

To find out more about what race walking was like in its 'Golden Age', check out this podcast that features the author of the book - Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport – Matthew Algeo.

A passage from the book mentions Ephraim, alleges a possible scandal he may have been part of:
Early on the morning of the final day of the race, the Boston Globe reported, “...an utterly unexpected and exciting incident occurred...” - Ephraim Clow of Boston, who had been backed heavily to secure second place, and who stood third on the score-sheet, with every prospect in his favor, as he was undoubtedly the freshest man on the track, suddenly left the track and went to his room.  Inquiries were at once made as to the reason for his action. He gave various excuses, all of a flimsy character.  
I could find nothing else about the matter, or how it was resolved.

Ephraim eventually came to Kittson County as his brothers had done.  He and his family settled in the Humboldt, Minnesota area, where Ephraim farmed for some years.  By the time of the 1910 and 1920 censuses, the family is living in St. Vincent. Evidently they moved there from their farm, in their later years.

This article mentions Ephraim Clow in the middle of the final paragraph; he is
included among those with the best records in the O'Leary International Belt,
held in the old Madison Square Garden in New York City, in January 1881...

[Source:  New York Tribune, May 23, 1881 - chroniclingamerica.loc.gov]

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Mrs. Roberts Wins History Award

"An annual award, History Educator Hall of Fame is presented to the teachers, one in each county, who are the most effective in teaching history of the region..."
Education Manitoba - Volume 2 by Eileen Pruden (1975)

Mrs. Martha Marie (Beck) Roberts,
was the recipient of the first annual
Red River Valley History Educator
 Hall of Fame Award
, 1972
[for Kittson County...]
Among the Red River Valley Historical Society's many projects over the years was establishment of liaisons between various historical organizations, educational institutions and individuals, and sponsoring a high school historical essay contest...

[From Red River Valley Historical Society Records collection at The Institute for Regional Studies (NDSU)]

The contest began as the “Historical Research Essay Contest" in 1965.  It was sponsored in the schools of the Red River Valley of Minnesota, North Dakota and Manitoba.

In a letter regarding the 1968 contest the stated purpose was:
“A. To alert youth of the Red River Valley to the wonders of its rich pioneer heritage; 
B. To acquaint our youth, through interviews and other research, with the fascinating lives of those who developed the Red River Valley;
C. To encourage scholarly research and writing among our high school students; and
D. To record matters of historical interest for the benefit of future generations.” 
Most years a specific theme was chosen by the society. In 1966 and 1967 it was biographies of local pioneers or places of historic interest, and in 1968 an artifact of historical interest was added.

In 1965 only four essays were submitted, but quickly grew to well over 100 a year. The first place award the first year went to Theresa Scholand of Mount St. Benedict Academy, Crookston, Minn. The 1966 winner, Rebecca Hole, was the first to be published in the society’s periodical, the Red River Valley Historian. Later years they established winners in junior high and senior high categories Future winners were published in issues of the Historian, succeeded by its Red River Valley Heritage Press. Essay contests continued into the 1990s with submissions after 1987 retained by the Red River Valley Heritage Society at their offices at the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center in Moorhead, MN.

[From Red River Valley Heritage Society Essay Contest Entries, 1965-1987 collection, Institute for Regional Studies & University Archives, NDSU) Collection number: Mss 5, 44, 69, & 252]

Dennis Matthews
[Senior Portrait 1944]
The inimitable, amazing, Mrs. Roberts. She was a memorable teacher in the best sense of the word. She expected the best and thus propelled you to give your best, time after time. For some of us, with her reputation proceeding her, we arrived in her classroom intimidated. For those that gave her a chance, they found out she was tough but fair. She was definitely...unforgettable.

It was Mrs. Roberts who promoted and inspired the students in her school in Humboldt, Minnesota, to find and preserve their local history via the Historical Essay program.

A portion of all the essays written for this contest -
those written by Humboldt-St. Vincent High School students
- were preserved by Dennis Matthews on the

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Emerson Hockey Memories

Photo Source:  James McClelland

The team in the picture above is from the early 1960s. It was made up of players from Emerson, Dominion City, Letellier, Noyes, and players from UND.

Back row, left-right: John Mathes, Al Hayden-Luck, Ben Comeault, Unknown, Tony Loiselle (Goalie), Unknown, Ed Mackay, Alfred "Babe" Ayotte, Doug Gruenke, Gary Beckstead1.

Front Row left-right: Clayton Grey, Tom Forrest, Dean Beckstead, Donny Kernihan, Barry Solnes, Sam Leathers, Wilf Beaulieu (playing coach). "The unknown players probably were imports from Grand Forks; the team was often accused of bringing in imports", says James McClelland

James McClelland [formerly of Emerson] shared the photo with me, and the following commentary:

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Mohammed Ali Bhamrahad, Peddler

When Mohammed was born (August 1, 1892), the countries we know today didn't exist. During the Ottoman rule "Syria" was the name of a region that was otherwise known as the Levant. The word "Syria" did not depict any separate entity/state but a geographical area the same way we use today the words "Western Europe", or "Far East". Lebanon was in the region of Syria but it was a semi-autonomous mutasarrifiyya (like a country) which was established in 1860. The leader of Lebanon was chosen by European nations and it was off-limits for the Turkish army.

When France took over the (Syrian) region, there were actually 6 countries: the state of Aleppo, state of Damascus, Jabal el druze, Alexandretta, Allawite state and Greater Lebanon. Some of the five other regions were annexed by Lebanon.

Toward the end of the mandate, Alexandretta got annexed by Turkey, Lebanon gained full independence, and the other four were merged together into a new country that adopted the name "Syria".

Lebanon has always been a de facto separate entity since the 1500s even if many historic maps don't show it; France simply decided to put it on paper and make it official.

Mohammed Allay Bomrad was born near Beirut (?) in Damascus, Syria in 1892. He arrived in the Edinburg, North Dakota area in 1915, using that town as his mailing address while he traveled around Walsh, Pembina and Cavalier counties, selling his wares and working on farms during the busy seasons.

As a country peddler, he first made his route with a sack on his back selling notions, toiletries, dress goods, medicines, jewelry and other essentials.

In 1917, he bought his first horse. In 1922, his "one hoss shay" was replaced with a wagon when he bought a second horse, making a team - Bud and Biada, which he treated with utmost care. When talked sharply to them, he would say: "I'm talking Irish."

He wasn't "fussy" about where he slept - hay stacks, hay lofts - but later, when he was better known, he would find lodging and a bite to eat at some farm homes. For a number of years, he frequently stayed at the Sigurdson home west of Gardar.

Although he was thrifty, he was known for his kindness and generosity. During the flu epidemic of 1918, he spent weeks helping farmers who were victims of the "flu bug," never mentioning pay. He loaned money, trusted his customers when they were unable to pay. He sent much money to relatives in Syria and retained his Islamic faith by reading publications. He made regular trips to Vang on election days to mark his "X" as he had received his citizenship papers in Cavalier County. He stated it was a privilege for an American to vote.

"The Syrian Muslim, Mohammed Ali Bhamrahad...He lived among the Icelanders in America his entire life. He was
quite a legend and a very sweet man." - Janet Muldoon.  [Photo taken west of Mountain, ND and up the hill on the
Pembina Escarpment, also known as Schroeder Hill, on the Swanson farm, rural Cavalier County, North Dakota]

Although he had enjoyed good health, he had been the victim of several accidents, runaways and once losing all his wares when his horses stepped off a bridge crossing a flooded area.

While all his material possessions could be contained in his wagon, he stated his wealth was immeasurable. His unfailing health permitted him to be amid the beauties of nature, the joy of music and most of all - the hundreds of friends he had acquired while living in this country.

Eventually he retired to Canada where he expected to enter a nursing home among relatives. He passed away in February 1989 at age 97.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Water Cooler VI: A Tiny, Magical Gas Station

Elmer Maxwell's tiny gas station  [Photo: Ronald Cox]
A woman who wore black and often wore a veil, and would garden early in the morning to avoid being seen by others. Was she simply eccentric, or did she suffer from a grief or depression so personal no one else understood? Her brother was a kind man, who was kind to the town's children, ran a matchbox-sized gasoline station, and had a love for his state's sports. Read below for another Water Cooler Memories from Humboldt...
Michael Rustad: It's these details Maury that make for great historical accounts. 
Kathy Ohmann: I loved his treasure chest of coins. We got to open it ourselves and take a penny out for each empty pop bottle we brought. Janine and I walked miles of ditches to find more bottles. 
Michael Rustad: He paid 5 cents for the 10 ounce bottles and 2 cents for the 6 ounce. The ditches were a treasure trove as in those days there was no social pressure against tossing empties. 
Donald Reese: Looks like Mae and Elmer's place, we use to go there and get white gas to run the lawn mower. 
Michael Rustad: What is white gas? Did you ever speak with Mae. In our day, she was a woman dressed in black who seemed very mysterious to us. She was a real Juliet of the Spirits. Elmer, on the other hand, was very friendly. I wonder whether this was built as a tiny gas station like a tiny house or was it a shack used for other purposes. 
John Bergh: We sat in there and watched the Winnipeg to Minneapolis snowmobile race. The school couldn't find us. 
Michael Rustad: Elmer was always welcoming. That's a great story. I wonder if there was heat in the shack. I see there is a chimney pipe of sorts. 
John Bergh: The principal or teachers were afraid to go in there. Needless to say we were in big trouble when we returned 
Keith Finney: Coal stove. It was about 200 degrees by the stove and freezing at the door 
Michael Rustad: If we could be released to see Alan Shepherd or John Glenn, why not the Great Snowmobile Race. Good for you! Humboldt rebels! 
Richard A. Olsonawski: What a place to go an have a soda an chat with Elmer. He was quite a guy in that little shack.
August 2016
Elmer, Mary Miller, & Mae [Photo Credit: Ronald Cox]

 Stever Ritter:  I remember this building and the wonderful people that ran it...wow, takes me back.
Becky Clow: Thanks for the picture Michael. 
Karen Hylland Pearson: Bought "pop" from Elmer Maxwell in this little station--we hung out there sometimes....so many good memories of life in Humboldt. 
Richard A. Olsonawski: Elmer was good to all the kids. I think most kids from Humboldt spent some time at this little gas station. 
Brad Clow: Elmer and Mae Maxwell. 
Michael Rustad: Mae was always dressed in black flowing and sometimes veiled dresses. She was a mysterious figure. I never remember saying more than hi to her. Did anyone ever talk to her in our H-St. V. group. We all enjoyed a cold bottle of pop with Elmer. I loved talking to him about the Twins. He also followed the Golden Gophers football. He was a very calm, thoughtful man. He always wore coveralls and I think long-johns--even in the summer. I bet Elmer never once wore shorts and a t-shirt. He was good to us all. Jeff and I would sell pop bottles (Tony too) to Elmer. He would always take the ones that Mayme turned away. She was more particular. I though much later that he loved the kids so much that he would take a loss on a pop bottle or two as a cost of doing business. 
Brad Clow: I used to go over and buy pop on the weekends. I would go to the house door and Mae would answer. Nice person to talk with. She would do her gardens early morning so she didn't have to be around people. Grandpa Clow said she was extremely smart. 
Michael Rustad: When he paid us, I remember that he had a large leather coin purse with metal hasps and he would carefully count out the money. We would often hand it right back to me for a cold soda or two. They tasted so cold out of the coke cooler that Bill Ash wrote about recently. 
Marion Anderson: I also remember that gas station on the corner. Good memories. Would like to see Humboldt, as it was, back in the early 50's. 
Trish Short Lewis: Do what I do, Marion - dream about it. Most of my dreams in recent years (and sometimes in years past) are of St. Vincent and Humboldt... 
Maury Finney: I remember the "free air" hole in the outer wall that had a cork in it. When I would stop to pump up my bicycle tires Elmer or May would go inside and push the hose out.
Michael Rustad: Humboldt in the 1950s was quite vibrant. I remember that the farmers came in to the store and restaurant, and the town had some life on a Friday night. I remember that the town hall was a gathering place for card games. Virgil's old films show a dance where Jim and Dora, and Don and Marion are coming into the dance. They were young guys in the 1950s. Jim had a big smile on his face. It was also so nice to see on the film Willis Finney attending to and fixing Joyce's skates. She and Sandy were skating at the rink with the other Humboldt kids. I also enjoy that we have established a community of sorts on Facebook. We may have different religions, political creeds, and outlooks and live far away, but all of us share that bond with Humboldt [and St. Vincent - Trish]. It is a deeper bond than any thing else. I came all the way back from Vermont for the reunion and saw Maury's band. That night, the band played all of my favorites brilliantly. And Al was there in the band too! Doug Finney sang Elvis songs later in the night. And there were Fireworks. I would have thought it was a dream--fireworks in Humboldt. And that parade and the concessions were so wonderful. I don't know of any event that I have enjoyed more, seeing Humboldt so spruced up and making memories with friends and family. I kind of botched my limited role introducing students from classes. The sound system was not working, the heat and humidity was intense. I have spoken in public for forty years but speaking at Humboldt made me a little nervous. 
Trish Short Lewis: Yes, the heat was so bad I almost got heatstroke and had to leave early and missed the evening events, which I greatly regret. 
Michael Rustad: I tried to find information on Elmer and Mae [2nd cousins, 1x removed - Trish] on Dennis Matthew's website. There was only the Samuel Maxwell family. I wonder if Marion May was a niece of Elmer and Mae. Just a guess. 
Suzanne Dexter: The Maxwells were cousins of my Grandma Elsie Thomson Dexter [2nd cousin, 1x removed - Trish]
Michael Rustad: I knew Elsie but had no idea she was related to the Maxwells. She was a nice lady. How old were you when she passed? 
Suzanne Dexter [3rd cousin, 1x removed - Trish]: I was a senior in high school 
Donald Reese: I remember this station, you had to pump the gas up into the glass container on the top and then gravity feed it in to the auto, we always bought white gas here for the lawn mower, don't know why but it was thought that regular gas was bad for lawn mower engines. 
Michael Rustad: Don, that's a very cool memory. It was like that in my early years too but I could not explain it nearly as well! I really do not know what white gas was I am trying to rack my brain and wonder why I never heard of it! 
Donald Reese: I believe the white gas didn't contain any lead, and lead was believed to be bad for those little motors, made them run too hot. Don't really know for sure. 
Keith Finney: Who was it that called Elmer " Elmo "?
September 2016
Mayme Jury's store
Jerry Bernath: Anybody remember a tractor tire?!?  Just sayin'. 
Keith Finney: Yes I do 
Cleo Bee Jones: Mayme Jury's store...Louise and I used to take Grandpa's eggs for the store...sometimes we would dress up in big overalls and awful looking shirts...just to be "stupid" - I was going to say silly, but stupid covers it... 
Carnalee Cleem Lykken: Awe...great memory! 
Doris Giffen Miller: I used to babysit the people who lived upstairs here. Don't remember who they were tho. Fibro-fog. 
Rodney Bakken: Sat on those front steps solving the world's problems hundreds of times. 
Lynda Johnson Cassels: If only those steps could talk, what stories they could tell. 
Becky Simmons: I remember that store 
Michael Rustad: Becky Simmons, when did you live in Humboldt? 
Michael Rustad: Dad worked with Mayme in 1948-49 while Jim Florance wintered in California. They fixed up the entire store. Who remembers when there were no aisles and the store keeper would fetch everything behind the big counter. This was before I was born. When Mr. Florance came home in April 1949, he told Rustee and Mayme that they had wasted all of that work because he was joining Fareway as a franchisee and the store would be modernized with aisles. Don Reese is the only one I know who may remember the store before it had aisles! 
Lance Loer: I remember it too! 
Doris Giffen Miller: I take it back. This was Mayme's store and I babysat someone above the bar and restaurant. 
Michael Rustad: Would you have been a babysitter for a family living in the apartment. I think Virgil owned the building for a period. 
Michael Rustad: Did Quintin Dieter and famiy live there at one time? 
Jerry Bernath: Mike, I think you are on to something here. That rings a bell. (Unless of course, my bell was rung enough, so I don't remember so good.) But, I'm thinkin' they did live there. 
Michael Rustad: Voits (lenz kids) lived there while Ken and Jeanne ran the It Cafe. 
Jerry Bernath: That may be who I'm thinkin' of. 
Keith Finney: I lived there Doris Giffen Miller, that would be a stretch if you were my babysitter. All of Kenny and Jean's kids would have been too old as well. Brad Clow's Great Grandma was our neighbor as well. Babcock. 
Dan MacFarlane: Mayme Jury was a cousin of mine. I recall the store and Mayme living above it. That would be early 60' maybe late late 50s. 
Keith Finney: That is right. I knew that for some reason.
And the conversations around the virtual water cooler will continue...