Friday, May 08, 2015

Final Resting Places: Brown & Kabernagle

Sheriff Charley Brown's grave site is in the north section of the Pembina Cemetery;  his stone reads:
Charles J. Brown
Oct 4, 1884
Aged 39 years
Sgt. Co. I 20th U.S. Infantry
I took this photo when surveying and shooting it for BillionGraves
Charley sadly had a short - yet amazing life...but he made it count
Another smaller foot stone acknowledges his service as a soldier in the
Civil War, but it doesn't attest to his time as a POW in Andersonville...

Buried in the same section is Charley's business partner:

John Kabernagle
Jan 8, 1853
Dec 20, 1893
40 Yrs, 11 Mos,
& 17 Dys

He didn't quite make it to 41 years old...

It's sad that both John - friend and business partner to Charley
Brown - died young around the same age as Charley did...
Another old-timer that was well-known for his many services rendered the town - and his colorful character - is in the SW section of the cemetery:
Who Settled in Dakota 1867
Died July 9, 1897
63 yr 10 mo 17 d
One of our area's true pioneers - Land Agent, Indian Trader, Trading Post
Clerk, Buffalo Hunter, Undertaker, Farmer, and Flood Prognosticator...
Charley's grave is also marked with a G.A.R. star,
signifying him as a Union veteran of the Civil War. 

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Followup to GUESS WHO story

We can now confirm that the Guess Who played many times in Hallock, and we have it from the great Donny Hunt, who was a musician in his own right. Don was a music promoter who booked the Guess Who.

From a Facebook exchange...
Before Who: Deverons (1962) 
 Michael Rustad: Donald, finally I have a chance to thank you for all of the ways you made growing up in Kittson County wonderful in the 1960's. What I remember is how lively and fun it was to be a teenager because of the dances you organized in Hallock. You were definitely formative for all of us and we all owe you a big debt! Thinking back, is it true that we had top bands from Winnipeg at the City Hall? Do you have any memory of whether the Guess Who played at Hallock? It is a memory I have but I may be wrong. Only you can confirm. We would love to have any information on the bands you organized! 
Donald Hunt: Thank you.  That makes those memories sweeter. Yes, they played there many times. And the Question Mark, the Mysterians, Shadows of Night, The Uglies...and many others. We did have fun. Jack Reese and I have been playing a little of the old Sabers and Ravalons music for fun. Maybe one more time next summer. It's good to hear from you.  
Early Guess Who (1966)
Michael Rustad: Don, glad to hear that you and Jack continue to rock on. It was amazing to have the Guess Who and those other groups you mentioned. My memory is that every dance was packed! I would also come home from college because your dances were superior to any promoter in Grand Forks. Rock on Don!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Mansion on the Prairie

Elevated view looking over Northcote, Minn. bonanza farm.  Visible is a
large two-story brick house with hip roof, several barns, and a water tower.

[Source: Institute for Regional Studies, NDSU, Fargo, ND (2023.42.11)]
Swathing & Bundling during harvest, at the Hill Farm
[Source:  Minnesota Historical Society]
Hill's personal train, often used to travel to Northcote farm
[Source:  Minnesota Historical Society]
Until I track down interior photos of the Walter Hill home (hopefully in its prime, before modifications), my old school friend Dee Dee Giffen Bakken has graciously agreed to share her memories of inside the mansion:

Monday, March 02, 2015

PROFILE: Dr. Alexander B. Campbell

Dr. Campbell was a versatile man, with credentials as a Dentist as 
well as a Physician, from the Eclectic Medical Institute of Cincinnati
[Source:  Google Books]
Alexander B. Campbell, Surgeon was a local physician living in St. Vincent from approximately 1880 onward.  In today's terminology, he was practicing alternative, or complimentary medicine.1 Such practices were taken quite seriously in this era, and often worked in conjunction with more mainstream physicians such as Dr. Harris, who practiced out of Pembina during the same time period.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

OUR History!

This video says it so well. It's how I feel about history period, whether it is my own, my family's, or my town's. I urge you to watch it, and get excited about OUR history! :)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Saloon Manslaughter: The Rest of the Story

It all started with a trade:  One hat, for one bottle of whiskey...

If there's one thing I've learned writing this blog, it's that history often reveals itself slowly, despite doing what you feel at the time is due diligence researching a subject.  New records become available that were not present the first time around. People come forward with information only they were privy to.  Etc.

Such is the case concerning a particular murder that occurred in St. Vincent in 1899.  The new records came in the form of old newspaper accounts now available through the Library of Congress.  The new information came from an old friend of this site, Jim Benjaminson, of the Pembina County Historical Society.

When you read the accounts below - along with the links to earlier posts on this subject - you will get something very rare for local history of a small town nature:  As complete a picture about the subject as could be expected.  A rare treat, indeed...

George Bates Murdered While Intoxicated
Wednesday morning (March 8, 1899) the news went mouth to mouth that George Bates had been found dead in his house. The details as they began to develop were highly sensational. Mr. Bates was addicted to excessive drinking. When under the influence of liquor he was apt to quarrel with his family. On Wednesday afternoon he had trouble of this kind. Later, he went to St. Vincent. What happened there is still somewhat contradictory at this writing. 
Wednesday morning, Mrs. George Bates came downstairs and found her husband lying on the floor with every evidence of having been severely pounded. She hastily summoned Register of Deeds Chisholm from the office nearby and upon examination it was found that Bates was dead. He had a hole in his skull near the right temple from the effects of a blow of some kind and his face was badly bruised and had been bleeding profusely. As nearly as the facts can be gotten at they are as follows:

Sunday, December 21, 2014

St.Vincent Memories featured in Star Tribune

Recently, I was interviewed by Curt Brown of the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper.  Curt writes a column for the paper called Minnesota History, and was interested in finding out more about St. Vincent Memories...

Minnesota History: Memories from the tiny town of St. Vincent

Sheriff Charley Brown didn't recognize the decapitated corpse at first...

Read More

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Off to the Races!

Metis Rider; note the beaded saddle blanket...
...The following month, the annual horse race known as the Dufferin races, was held in Emerson. Participants included the Irish Catholic proprietor of a livery stable in Emerson, J.F. Tennant, and two local Metis horsemen, Joseph Godon of Deux Petites Pointes, in Montcalm, and Roger Gosselin of St. Vincent, Minnesota. At such events social boundaries were more fluid.

- The Limits of Rural Capitalism by Kenneth Michael Sylvester

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Monday, September 08, 2014

The Dead of Fort Pembina

Some of the graves that were originally in the Fort Pembina Cemetery.
In anticipation of Fort Pembina (1870-1895) closing, the graves were  
disinterred and reburied at the Custer National Cemetery in 1892.

When Fort Pembina existed (1870-1895), it was in a sense its own town, almost entirely self-sufficient. That included having its own cemetery.
As Fort Pembina's time was winding down, the U.S. Army knew it would need to find a new home for the graves at the Fort's cemetery.  It was determined they would be disinterred, then transferred for reburial, to the Custer National Cemetery.  This was accomplished in 1892.
I recently became curious about whether the Fort had its own cemetery or not, and that's when I learned about the above after doing the initial research.  That wasn't enough for me - I had to know more.

I eventually learned that prior to Fort Pembina's establishment, the people of Pembina demanded protection due to the recent Dakota Uprising of 1862 in Minnesota.  To fulfill their request, the government formed a special unit which eventually became known as Hatch's Battalion.  Mustered in 1863, the battalion was ready to head to Pembina, Dakota Territory in early October; they arrived - after many challenges and losses of stock and supplies - on November 13th.  They encamped over the winter, building as best they could log buildings for the 300 men that comprised the battalion.  Their main objective was to hold back the hostile Dakota that had retreated across the boundary into Canada.  [In the end, they captured over 300 Dakota; the prisoners were remnants of the 1862 uprising that had been hiding 60 miles north of Pembina...]

Hatch received orders in April to transfer the Battalion to Fort Abercrombie.  In that same letter, dated April 26, 1864, he was ordered to put one company on patrol duty, up and down the Red River of the North between Fort Abercrombie and Pembina, " protect the route to Pembina, and keep open communication."  The immediate threat had passed, but an eye would be kept on the situation with the patrols.  Meanwhile, communications and plans were coming together, to obtain authorization for what would become Fort Pembina. In 1869 Major General Winfield S. Hancock, commander of the Department of the Dakota, recommended the establishment of a post near Pembina. Lobbying by citizens and local area politicians had worked.  With General Hancock's recommendation to the War Department, the fort would finally become a reality; "...danger from the Sioux and construction of two railroads" were cited as reasons for providing military protection to the area.

During the time prior to the fort's establishment in 1870, two soldiers with Hatch's Battalion were the first to die while stationed in Pembina:

- Joseph Gague (Co. C, Hatch's Battalion) D. 24 April 1864
- John Munger (Co. A, Hatch's Battalion) D. 8 March 1864