Friday, September 16, 2022

Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator Association: End of an Era


This week, it was announced that the Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator Association was being dissolved and thus the closing of the elevator in Humboldt, St. Vincent's elevator having closed some years before.1 

St. Vincent Junction, with St. Vincent Elevator in the background (1948)
Upon hearing the news, Keith Finney, who had
began his long career at the Humboldt elevator, recalled:  
Some of you may remember Silas Mathews who lived south of Humboldt. One summer afternoon in 1973, Silas and I were sitting on the railing going up the south driveway. It was a very quiet day. When we were visiting, a tandem truck pulled into the elevator with a load of grain. I unloaded the truck and returned to visit with Silas. For those who are younger, there were not that many tandem trucks before this time. Silas was kind of amazed at the size of the truck. I could tell he was in deep thought when I sat down on the railing to resume our visit. He then said, "You know Keith, with all of these big tractors and big trucks, farmers will soon be hauling all their grain to Crookston. There won't be many small farmers like today. They won't need this elevator any longer.

That conversation with Silas never slipped my mind. I cherished every conversation I had with Silas. He passed away a couple years later...

_________________ 

1 - The St. Vincent elevator was demolished on May 22, 2007...
In neighboring Emerson, a resident shared, "In the Emerson area in winter time, if you couldn’t see the St Vincent elevator, it was too stormy to be on the road!"

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Fort Pembina Airport



When Pembina decided to throw an “after threshing celebration” on September 27, 1919, Lt. Vernon Omlie of Grafton was booked to “...give a number of airplane flights."
  



Pembina would figure prominently in the history of aviation in Pembina County. Twelve years after Omlie’s 1919 flights, officials from United States and Canada “joined hands with chiefs of the Northwest Airways, Inc. in dedicating Fort Pembina Airport as the first international airport in the world.1 Northwest began making regular flights out of Pembina for a number of years (until the airport was sold to the Whelan family in 1945...) 
- From Saga of Pembina County:  150 Yearsby Jim Benjaminson ©2020
Fort Pembina Airport, was mentioned in Appendix C of the 1935 issue of the Journal of Air Law & Commerce Vol. 6 Issue 1, as an ''airport of entry" along the Canadian border. 

Fort Pembina Airport, municipal. AIRPORT OF ENTRY. One mile S. of Pembina on State Highway No. 81. Latitude 48° 57'; longitude 97° 15'. Alt. 790 feet. Square, 2,640 by 2,640 feet, clay, level, artificial drainage. FORT PEMBINA AIRPORT embedded in field, N.W.A. on hangar roof. Hangar and trees to E.; pole line to E. , obstruction lighted. Facilities for servicing aircraft, day only. Medium powered radio range, KCDN, identifying signal “PB” ( .--. -... ) operating frequency 242 kc. 
- Airport and Landing Fields in the United States, Bureau of Air Commerce (January 1, 1938)
Trivia: Buell Edwin Blake, who enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May 1937 right after graduating from high school. "He had a tattoo saying USN 1937-41...He was a Radioman3rd class at that time [during WWII]. Later went on to be an Air Traffic Controller in Pembina," said his son, Gary Blake.  
[Buell would meet his future wife during this time - Jeanne Short, daughter of Gail & Eliza Short of Short's Cafe...]
In Journal of Air Law & Commerce (Vol. 10, Issue 2 - 1939), Pembina was listed as a site that needed an established "...pilot-balloon station; and to Install Weather Bureau meteorological personnel."

1: Despite official Northwest Airlines history saying it wasn't until 1928...

2: Why did airliners of old require radio operators

One answer has touched on a major reason - Morse code operations. 

In the earliest days of aeronautical radio communications, the airborne equipment and procedures were patterned after the very well-adapted and successful maritime radio system. 

The main differences were that the equipment usually was lower-powered and light-weight. 

This state-of-affairs extended through both WWI and the 1920s, so radio-equipped aircraft used primarily MF radiotelegraphy handled by a radio operator just like the ships. 

But the rapid evolution of radio in the early 1930s changed all this. 

Small and lightweight radiotelephony receivers and transmitters using the new HF frequency range became available, and were installed even in small and medium-sized aircraft.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

St. Vincent Grain Warehouses & Elevators


On Adams Avenue, in St. Vincent, Minnesota, W.J.S. Traill co-owned a frame grain warehouse with the firm of G.S. Barnes & Co. (The St. Paul Daily Globe, June 14, 1879)

Another grain company that had an elevator in St. Vincent in 1879 - listed in that year's Business Directory - was the Red Wing Mill Co.  

Also, the Red River Valley Elevator Co., and the Pembina Elevator Co. had grain warehouses in St. Vincent in the 1880s.

In 1917, the Co-operative Manager & Farmer wrote about St. Vincent, Minnesota:  "A 65% dividend was declared at the annual meeting of the Farmers' Elevator Company.  The Manager was given a bonus amounting to $180.  About $2,000 was placed in the sinking fund."


1888 St. Vincent map (west end), showing grain elevator on riverbank

The next year, in 1918, incorporation articles were filed for the new St. Vincent Elevator Company, with capital stock of $50,000; the incorporators were William N. Gamble, William Ash, W.E. Ford, John Duff, and Otto Thorson.  
"The St. Vincent Elevator Company, a new farmers' organization, of St. Vincent Township, has bought the elevator and mill business of the St. Anthony & Dakota Elevator Company, which also includes the coal sheds, two dwellings, and two coal sheds at Sultan, the first station east of here on the Soo Line.

"The elevator, in addition to handling grain, will handle  lumber and building material, also coal and seeds.  Mr. Harry Ward Davis is the new manager."

It is evident from the news article at left, together with the other information earlier in this post, that the local farmers eventually realized they had to organize their own elevator to get the best prices they could for their grain.  Their legacy is still going strong over a century later, with the Humboldt-St. Vincent Elevator Association...

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Low Water: The Wreck of the Steamboat Dakota




Late this past summer, this was posted on the St. Vincent Memories Facebook page:
Looking to see if anyone might know or have any more info on the story that might be behind this. As you all know the mighty red is far from mighty right now but I still decided to take my boat down to check things out. Came across what looked to be an old sunken boat of some sort. Brought it up to my dad and he said that his grandparents (Bud and Jean Feick) had said that it was an old steamboat that used to run from Forks to Winnipeg in the late 1800s but had gotten hung up and then just left in the river. They had also said that long ago you were able to see one of the masts sticking out of the water once the red would get lower. It sits about 3½ miles south of Pembina. Obviously most is completely covered with mud and/or missing but you can see about 30ft worth of deck right now. These boards are way bigger than they look in the pictures...
There was much excitement in the group in reaction to the post.  Over 70 comments exploded the discussion:
Paul Maloney: What do the nails look like, if any survived? And I think remnants of the boiler would still be there if it was a steamboat.

Jake Cosley:  All the main nails used to hold the planks down are ¼x¼" square. There were a few large ½-⅝" round spikes used as well

Julie Lindegard: I will ask my dad Bob Cameron if he has any further info.  Dad recalled hearing that Humboldt kids (St. Vincent kids were too far away) would often swim in the river and get on the boat and jump off. I can imagine it provided hours of entertainment for kids! He said that the Bockwitz family found and retrieved the anchor. They contacted my dad to take it to the museum in Lake Bronson at least 30 years ago. That's where it is now. 
 

 

At RightEvidence of scorched and burned decking could still be seen, over 140 years later... 

Hetty Walker: Chuck always talked about the steamboat, that got hung up …that could be it

Janine Rustad: Talk to DeeDee Bakken---she used to say her dad knew exactly where it sunk 
Julie Lindegard: Yes dad mentioned it was near/in the area of the Giffen farm. 
Donald Burroughs: Does North Dakota have a historical society? Would be an opportunity to salvage some of the boat, those nails and boiler parts, paddle wheel hardware plus its coordinates to build a story around it.

Trish Short Lewis: They have already been contacted about this. State Historical Society of North Dakota's chief archaeologist, Andrew Clark.

Brandon Lee Legvold: Three (3) miles above Pembina it says which in Red River terms would be south of town so I would definitely say that is the hull of the Dakota that was found.

Trish Short Lewis: Since it’s only partially burned and witnesses say the ship burned, I think the idea of these being one of the two barges might be right. I reserve final judgment until we hear from DeeDee Bakken (hopefully) on what she recalls her father seeing… 
[Note from Trish: I later spoke with DeeDee and got some very interesting information from her!  Also, the pump in the photo at left, was found by her, and then taken and donated to the Kittson County History Center & Museum, where it is today, along with the Anchor found many years ago by Humboldt's Bockwitz family...]

 Brandon Lee Legvold: [The source of the quoted newspaper article, which is pictured above, is...] the Worthington (Minnesota) Advance. August 19, 1880. Which oddly enough is today. I found this on Chronicling America.

Trish Short Lewis: Full reference citation for article is The Worthington Advance. [volume] (Worthington, Minn.) 1874-1908, August 19, 1880, Image 1 Image provided by Minnesota Historical Society; Saint Paul, MN (Chronicling America)

Jim Benjaminson: Preservation of the site is paramount. 

On August 26th, I took
a field trip up to the wreck site south of Pembina.  The person who discovered the wreck - Jake Cosley - was kind enough to take me in his boat to the site, which was on the North Dakota side of the Red River of the North.  It was an adventurous ride out, the boat hitting bottom and getting stuck at one point, the water levels were that low (that was why the wreck was revealed in the first place...)  After a bit of creative  'jiggling', we broke free and were on our way again.  

It was pretty exciting to be at the site of a 140 year old wreck!  It became more and more apparent -  between the onsite examination of the wood, old hardware, and what could be ascertained on the construction - that this was remnants of one or both of the barges that the Dakota had been towing full of freight, and that the ship was likely down the river a ways on the Minnesota side near the old Giffen farm.  All the pieces fit, however - this had to be the wreck of the Dakota, it was the only thing that made sense from the evidence so far.

That said, a proper survey and investigation needs to be done.  And to that end, I contacted the State Historical Society of North Dakota's chief archaeologist, Andrew Clark.  Andrew was intrigued about the find, and expressed a desire to come in-person to evaluate the wreck.  However, as always, there is red tape.  Funding, authorizations needed, etc.  I had several conversations with him about what I saw, and he explained that at the very least, the location of the wreck needed to be updated.  There was erroneous information in some records that needed correction.  After my site visit, I was able to give him GPS coordinates of the wreck to update any official records out there.  I also notified the Minnesota Historical Society about the wreck's connection to Minnesota (the steamboat itself was likely within Minnesota jurisdiction).  

It is my hope that next summer the SHSND can make an on-site visit to document this important vestige of our region's transportation history. Andrew Clark shared this about a similar discovery made on the Missouri River last year; it would be amazing if they could do the same depth of investigation with the Dakota - it is a fascinating slice of our local history, for sure!

Part of the Dakota steamboat barge wreck as revealed during 
Summer 2021 low water on the Red River of the North . . .

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Where was Fort Pembina?



Location of Fort Pembina:  All of section 16, 17 and 18. Township one hundred and sixty three (63), North Range Number 51, West of the 5th Principal Meridian. Site selected for post is on section 16 immediately on the Red River of the North one and one fourth miles above (South) of the mouth of the Pembina River.

The post would be situated about two hundred yards from the Red River at low water. The location was chosen because it was the highest point near the Red River, having not flooded since 1851. Section seventeen was chosen because it could provide hay and pasturage, and section eighteen because it had the best stand of timber within five miles of the mouth of the Pembina.  

From "History of Fort Pembina 1870-1895" (William D. Thomson thesis, 1968, UND.)







Below: Military Reservation Plans for Fort Pembina, Dakota Territory, showing blacksmith and carpenter shops, as well as officers and company quarters, kitchens and bake house, gardens, stables, hospital, magazine, and trader/sutler [think old-fashioned PX...]

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

PROFILE: Artist Marie Antionette Branchaud

Image Credit: North Dakota Memories Collection, North Dakota State Library
A river with two boats runs along the foreground of the painting. In the center there is a green grass area with many trees. Along the back row is a line of stores. There are four buildings starting with the National City Bank on the left. Branchaud's general store, Hardware Store, and Pembina Post Office follow from left to right.

Marie Antoinette Branchaud was born in 1907 in Cavalier, ND, to Raoul and Ernestine Branchaud. She and her sisters attended boarding school in St.Boniface, Manitoba, where she studied music in addition to regular studies.

Antoinette was educated as a nurse. She married Andre (Tony) Schwob, a folk artist. She began painting memories of her life and her family's life in Pembina and Cavalier, North Dakota. Antoinette's paintings are well known in the folk art circles; her paintings hang in New York folk art galleries and are available on online auctions.

The paintings at the Pembina County Historical Museum were donated by Antoinette's niece Charlotte Vogel of New York City in 2001. 

The artist's father Raoul Branchaud owned the general store in Pembina before moving to Cavalier to open a jewelry store in 1903. In the painting, the store seems to be on Cavalier Street facing the Red River.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Empire Builder: J.J. Hill & the Great Northern Railway

One of the architects of settlement for our area - along with others like Lord Selkirk - James J. Hill was instrumental in how towns rose and fell, through the power of transportation that he held sway over...

THE EMPIRE BUILDER from Great Northern Filmworks on Vimeo.

Saturday, June 05, 2021

J.J. Hill Obituary



J. J. Hill Dead In St. Paul Home At The Age of 77 

Special to THE NEW YORK TIMES

ST. PAUL, May 29--James J. Hill, builder of the "Northwest Empire," died at 9:30 A.M. today at his house, 240 Summit Avenue.

In his room, in the southeast corner on the second floor of the brownstone house, overlooking the city to which he came sixty years ago as a clerk, the end came. His age, 77 years, was a handicap in combating the hemorrhoidal infection, which dates from May 17.

At the bedside were the children, hastily summoned from homes throughout the nation, the only member of the immediate family not present being Mrs. Anson M. Beard of New York. Kneeling at the bed, her hands clasping the hand of the man whose wife and helpmate she had been since 1867, was Mrs. Hill. Nearby was the Rev. Thomas J. Gibbons, Vicar General of the Catholic Diocese of St. Paul, Mr. Hill having for years been on intimate terms with the clergy here, though not a member of the Church to which his wife belongs.

The Mayo Brothers attended Hill during his last days...

Dr. Hermann M. Biggs, who was called into consultation during the last illness of the financier, was the only physician present as the end approached. Drs. William F. and Charles H. Mayo had gone; there was no more they could do.

John J. Toomey, Mr. Hill's confidential business agent for many years, left the Hill residence twenty minutes after his chief died. Shortly afterward came Ralph Budd, assistant to Louis W. Hill, President of the Great Northern. Then came Louis W. Hill. The latter walked between the Rev. Father Gibbons and George A. MacPherson, intimate friend of the family. Grief, showing plainly in the faces of all the men, was most poignant in the face of the son, Louis, who will take up the generalship of the interests his father built and husbanded.

The funeral will be held at his Summit Avenue home at 2 P.M. Wednesday. Interment will be in a private mausoleum to be erected at North Oaks, long the summer home of the Empire Builder.

The general public will not have an opportunity formally to pay tributes to the leading citizen of the Northwest, but Mr. Hill's associates and the faithful employes who made possible his great achievements will be admitted to the house to view the body before the funeral services. The family statement includes a request that no flowers be sent. The Rev. Thomas J. Gibbons, vicar general of the Catholic diocese of St. Paul, who attended Mr. Hill during his last few hours, will officiate at the funeral.

The family statement was as follows:

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A (Back)Story of a Drowning: John Mortimer, St. Vincent, & the Red River

John Thomas Mortimer – Portrait of a Radical


by Isabel Watson


When we were children, my Mother often talked about her childhood: her parents, her brothers, their home life. She had a fund of stories too about aunts and uncles, many of whom we had never met but whom we came to know through the many retellings. This is often the starting point for family history exploration. One detail frequently mentioned was that her father had farmed in Canada at one point in his life and one of his sons from his first marriage had died tragically by going through the ice on the Red River "near Winnipeg" (read: St. Vincent, Minnesota) and his body had not been recovered until the spring. We knew nothing more than that bare outline of a story. It was not until I began to research my Grandfather's life that I came to discover the full extent of the story of John Thomas Mortimer.


My Grandfather, James Mortimer, was born at the Home Farm, Kirkton of Tealing, in the rural hinterland of Dundee in 1841. He came from generations of farm workers, many of whom had had small-scale tenancies on the Glamis estate, especially at Upper Arniefoul. Although James's father Alexander had moved to nearby Tealing, then to Balbeuchley at Auchterhouse, James returned to Glamis to serve his apprenticeship as a blacksmith with Peter Anderson at the smiddy there. Perhaps looking for more lucrative employment after his time was served, he moved to Dundee to one of its many jute mills, Ladybank Mill, and in 1864 married Ann Russell, a steam loom weaver, in Lochee. They were to have six children before Ann's untimely death from cerebro-spinal meningitis in 1876.




John was the fourth of the children, born on 3 March 1871 at 3 Laing Street, Dundee, becoming the eldest son, as the first-born boy, Samuel, had died aged two in 1867. After Ann's death, James was married for a second time in 1880 to Helen Innes (nee Watson), widow of a blacksmith journeyman. Their marriage certificate provided a surprising piece of new information: James's occupation was given as 'Insurance Agent'. From blacksmith to insurance agent – how had this transformation occurred? My Mother had always favoured the Prudential Assurance Agency because of her father's connection to that company. So I felt it would be worthwhile to approach their Head Office in the hope that they might have some archive material about former employees. Their Archivist was able to provide me with a full account of my Grandfather's career with them – treasure trove indeed!


The  history of the company, A Sense of Security: 150 Years of Prudential, gives an idea of how field staff were recruited, being 'only capable men of thorough respectability, and of favourable appearance and address'. In his latter years, my Grandfather continued to demonstrate a lively mind and interest in a wide variety of subjects. It is likely that he had pursued evening class studies as a young man and was eager for self-improvement, thus fulfilling the requirement of being seen as capable.


In the Census of 1881, the family was living at 13 North Wellington Street, Dundee, with father working as an Insurance Agent and Helen established as wife and mother to the five children, all still at home, Maggie (13), Annie (11), John (10), Alexander (8) and William (6), all scholars. Between his initial appointment to the Prudential in 1876 and 1884, James held contracts of employment in Dundee and Forfar, then in February 1884 he was appointed to a position in Airdrie, Lanarkshire, where he was to remain for most of the rest of his life.


By the 1891 Census, James and Helen were living at 13 High Street in Airdrie and had only two of the family still living at home, Alexander aged 18, a schoolmaster, and William aged 16, a letter carrier. The daughters had moved out, perhaps into employment, and John was in lodgings in Glasgow at 113 McAslin Street (St. Rollox) and working as a tailor. His fellow-lodger in the home of John and Mary Mitchell was Peter McPherson, who would become his brother-in-law by marrying his sister Maggie.


A moment of serendipity


I need to digress at this point to explain how it was I came to learn of the Canadian part of the story. What follows is a moment of serendipity. I had joined the Tay Valley Family History Society and being distant from the Research Centre in Dundee, was delighted when an e-mailing group, Tay Valley Bridges, was set up to bring into contact the many members worldwide who were not able to visit Dundee regularly. On one memorable occasion, an online conversation was taking place which involved Winnipeg. On a whim, I posted a request to see if anyone could tell me how to go about tracing the death of a young man named Mortimer by drowning in the Red River, on some unknown date. Back came the reply from fellow-member Susan Bethune, who happened to have in her possession a copy of the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, with an entry about John Thomas Mortimer, tailor and Trade Union activist. And so his story unfolded.


It is by no means clear when John first went to Canada. He was registered as an American citizen in St. Vincent, Kittson County, Minnesota, on 11 June 1906, having 'landed at the port of St. Vincent on or about the month of November in the year eighteen hundred and ninety'. This information seems at least debatable.1 His entry in the 1891 Census in Glasgow is quite clear and credible. There would not be any obvious reason why, having made the journey to the USA or Canada, he should immediately return to employment in Glasgow. His connection with St. Vincent came about through his wife, Lena Cameron, of whom more later. The first mention of him living in Winnipeg is in 1895, when we find him listed as a tailor in the Henderson's Directory and resident at 326 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg. along with Wm. Mortimer, described as an engineer. The brothers remained at that address for each year until 1898.


The year 1895 certainly does seem significant. My Grandfather James and  his wife Helen also travelled to Canada in that year. James resigned from his employment with the Prudential in April 1895 and was awarded a gratuity of £30. He and Helen sailed from Glasgow on 25 April, occupying a second-class cabin on the SS Samaritan, and arrived in Montreal on 8 May. They would then have made their way overland to Winnipeg. Little is known of their time there. James had a farm near Brandon, north-west of Winnipeg, which he eventually sold to a James Fraser in 1897 before returning to Scotland. It was always related within the family that Helen was unwell and yearned to go back home to Scotland. Indeed she died in Airdrie in 1898 and is buried in the New Monkland Cemetery. Grandfather James subsequently married for a third time, to Isabella Ann Power, my Grandmother, and had a new young family of which my Mother was the only daughter.


John's involvement with the Trade Union movement in Winnipeg is well documented. John Hample, in his entry about John Thomas Mortimer in the Dictionary Of Canadian Biography, states: After September 1896 he began a rise to prominence in Winnipeg's working-class movement by helping to rebuild Local 70 of the Journeymen Tailors' Union of America (JTUA), affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL).


Local 70 had originally been formed in 1892 to give the tailors of Winnipeg protection from the sweatshop practices of the men's custom-made tailoring workshops. After a fruitless strike over an attempt by the merchant tailors to cut wages, Local 70 had been adrift. In 1897, JTM was elected its President and promptly set about galvanising the union, urging the City Council to impose conditions in their contracts for the
manufacture of clothing and intervening on behalf of factory seamstresses during a strike which led to the establishment of one of the first unions of women workers in Canada.

By 1899-1900, he was President of the Trades and Labor Council of Winnipeg, representing that organisation at meetings of the Trades and Labor Congress of Canada. During this period at the turn of the 20th century, he developed a close association with Arthur W. Puttee, acting as his election agent in a Winnipeg by-election which made Puttee Canada's first independent Labour MP in 1900. Puttee acted as John's best man at his marriage to Lena Cameron on 2 September 1901, immediately after the Labor Day Parade through Winnipeg.

Lena was the daughter of Edmund Cameron and Allis Clow, who had settled in St. Vincent, Minnesota, just south of the Canadian border on the east side of the Red River, having moved out west from Prince Edward Island, and like John she was a labour activist. John had begun to make a name for himself as an uncompromising militant, considered 'impossibilist' by some in his demands for workers' rights and justice, but was highly regarded within trade union circles. He had reputedly been saving money to enable a visit home to Scotland, but a major national strike of the JTUA saw him invest his money into the strike funds, only to be fired from his job, reviled in the press and ultimately blackballed from employment in the tailoring trade in Winnipeg.

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Reid: Bonanza Farmer & St. Vincent Booster

 

"...With the rapid movement of railroad building into the northern part of the valley, the opening of large farms continued unabated. By 1885 nearly all of the original large farms had been established. The J. J. Hill farm of nearly a township [in size], in Kittson county, is probably the nearest to the International boundary. The Reid farm in the same county is another in point."  [Note: ...and in fact, it was Reid farm that was the nearest to the boundary!]

- Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Volume III, Tribune, State Printers and Binders, 1910, Page 581
Why did Robert Gillispie Reid invest in land, let alone so much land - 10 sections - in our area?  I did a bit of digging.  Robert married Harriet Duff in 1865 after they met on onboard a ship heading to New Zealand.  Twenty years later, Harriet's relative, David Duff and his family, emigrated from Scotland, finding their way to St. Vincent.  David worked at Reid farm as the foreman (he was kicked in the chest by a horse towards the end of his life; it didn't kill him, but he never fully recovered his health, passing away in 1892 - He was 45 years old...)  Right around that time is when Robert bought up the 10 sections in St. Vincent Township.  I think he did it as an astute investment, with an eye to helping  family.  Upon Robert's death in 1908, it was found that in his will, he had left a quarter section of Reid Farm to David's son, his nephew John Duff.  






https://www.kittsonarea.com/2021/02/12/historical-photo-leads-to-interesting-local-farm-history/ https://www.kittsonarea.com/2021/02/12/historical-photo-leads-to-interesting-local-farm-history/
The 10 sections of land that Sir Robert Reid bought  in 1885  became known as  "Reid Farm".  Along with J.J. Hill's Northcote and Humboldt farms, it was one of Kittson County's early 'bonanza farms', and employed many local people.   

The first manager of Reid Farm was Captain Donaldson.  Then David McCleary.  Next, Walter J.S. Traill managed the farm for Reid.1  The last managers were brothers John & George Lohrs.



The 1901 Townships Map (see below)  showed Reid owning 10 sections in St. Vincent Township, bought originally on June 25, 1885 and owned by Reid until his death - in 1909 the estate divested itself of the rest of the property not given to John Duff.


At Right:  Reid Hall, named in honor of
Sir Robert, was St. Vincent's town hall.
[Seen here during fair time, to house exhibitions...]





1 - SourcesKittson County Recorder (original handwritten land deed - excerpt regarding partnership between Reid and Traill, above), and 1901 St. Vincent Township Map.