Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fighting Back

One of the reasons I began writing this blog was because I saw my village, even as I was growing up within it, declining before my eyes.  My mother bemoaned the same observation, even moreso in her case, going from a thriving, vibrant town with many families, businesses, social events, and promise, to one in obvious decline.  I had known nothing but decline.

It is a story being observed all over Minnesota and beyond.  And that, Dear Readers, is one of my main reasons for my posts here:  To document what was here before even the town, to learn how the town came to be, what it was through the years, and yes, even viewing it as I pass it by and it passes me in turn.

Everything has a time. And's gone.

Friday, August 08, 2014

News from the Past V: Brown & Moorhead

Pembina Pioneer Express masthead
[Courtesy:  Pembina County Historical Society]
Jim Benjaminson recently shared some excerpts from old local papers.  There is a reference to Sheriff Charley Brown in one story, and in another we even find out the likely reason for a well-known local man's nickname...
Northern Express – Drayton (R.H. Young, Editor; Weekly, published on Fridays - $2 per year)
December 9, 1881 Vol. 1 No. 1 is the first issue
(Becomes the Pioneer Express April 20, 1883 at Vol. 3 No. 38)
December 23, 1881 Vol. 1 No. 3 
The train loaded with some $2,000 worth of goods which Ricard Bros. sent out from here the 7th to Turtle Mountains was captured by Indians and half-breeds at or near Pembina mountains. The Indians claim the land as their own, and say that no one has the right to cross it, and therefore appropriated the goods to their own use. Sheriff Brown of Pembina was out there yesterday and found most of the goods, but could not get them as they refused to give them up. They were too many for him, so he returned for help. We understand he has gone out today with a squad of soldiers from Fort Pembina. We will give full particulars tomorrow. – Independent (Emerson, Manitoba) 
February 10, 1882 Vol. 1 No. 10 
Announcement – We announce this week our intention to remove the Northern Express to Pembina, at which place the next issue will be published. (page 1) 
February 24, 1882 Vol. 1 No. 12 
Amongst many drawbacks and inconveniences incidental to the removal of our business and the enlargement of our paper we lay before our readers this week as good a paper as we can under the circumstances.

Townsite Auction Bill
March 24, 1882 Vol. 1 No. 16 
[Indian Title to Dakota Lands – page 1]
The St. Vincent townsite company have sold their interest in that town to a Winnipeg syndicate. St. Vincent has invested $200 in a hook and ladder truck with other fire apparatus. This is a wise move which should be a reminder to this town of its duty in the promises. Of course when Pembina takes hold it will be on a larger scale. 
March 31, 1882 Vol. 1 No. 17 
Quite a number of our citizens went over to St. Vincent on Tuesday evening to attend the auction sale of town lots.

April 21, 1882 Vol 1. No. 20 
The unmistakable double-toned whistle of the steamer Selkirk was heard on Tuesday evening for the first time this season. Passengers from various points on the river improved the opportunity of making a business trip to Town and taking in interesting features of the flood along the way.

The Selkirk has had a lively business the last two days carrying freight across from St. Vincent.
The ice made a new door into the engine room of the St.Vincent elevator last Sunday. At St. Vincent the situation is becoming somewhat unpleasant. Several of the streets are covered with water. Around the Northern Hotel it is nearly a foot deep, but the higher portion of town is dry yet. 
April 28, 1882 Vol. 1 No. 21 
Moorhead has had several bets at stake including a town lot and a suit of clothes, that the water would not rise to the level of his saloon floor. He has won the bets with just a quarter of an inch to spare. 

Now we know how William Moorhead got his nickname, “High Water Bill”...!