THAT REMINDS ME: Grand Forks schools were on the rise in 1961Enrollment in schools of Grand Forks County was growing rapidly 50 years ago. Florence Rasmussen, superintendent, said the number of students grew by more than 2,000 over the past two years. There was a total of 12,524 in the county schools in 1961.
By: Marilyn Hagerty, Grand Forks Herald
Enrollment in schools of Grand Forks County was growing rapidly 50 years ago. Florence Rasmussen, superintendent, said the number of students grew by more than 2,000 over the past two years. There was a total of 12,524 in the county schools in 1961.
This was at a time of rapid growth at Grand Forks Air Base. Schroeder Junior High School in the south end of Grand Forks was new, and Richard Hill was named principal. However, the opening of the school was delayed for about three months. Lake Agassiz School on the west side of Grand Forks was opening in September. And the new Belmont elementary school was nearing completion.
St. Michael’s parochial school was looking for an opening enrollment of 720 students. St. James High School was set to open Sept. 5. East Grand Forks schools hired 19 new teachers and UND was looking for a record enrollment.
A July building boom totaling $1.6 million increased the permit valuating in the city to $4.1 million for the year at the beginning of August 1961. City officials were looking for accelerated building in August and September.
A small but potent twister dipped down one mile west of Grand Forks on Aug. 9, 1961. It caused an undetermined amount of damage with winds clocked up to 81 miles per hour.
The annual Gladiolus Show was set for Aug. 21-22. The ninth annual Camp Sioux for Diabetic Children opened at Turtle River State Park near Arvilla. It was sponsored by Grand Forks Kiwanis Club and organized by Dr. E.A. Haunz.
And a gasoline price war was looming. The Herald reported at the end of August of 1961 that jittery prices were found around the city. They had dropped 3 cents to 4 cents a gallon at the major stations. The prices were 28.9 cents per gallon for regular and a penny and two pennies more for premium grades.
People who made news 50 years ago:
- Frank W. Brown, 1305 Cherry St., called “All aboard” for the last time a conductor on the Great Northern Railway passenger train No. 4 en route to Grand Forks from Minot. He was ending 45 years on that run. Brown started his career in Grand Forks in 1916 as a brakeman.
He was promoted to conductor in 1935. He served on trains carrying both Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman on tours through North Dakota.
A native of Czechoslovakia, Brown came to Chicago when he was 18. He married Mary Lovcik at Pisek, N.D., and they had two sons.
- Andrew Freeman of Grand Forks spoke for a group backing the request by Lignite Electric Power Cooperative of Bismarck for a loan of $90 million.
Freeman was manager of Minnkota Power of Grand Forks. He said primary backers of Lignite Electric were his firm, Central Power Cooperative of Minot and Dakota Electric Power of Bismarck. The groups wanted to borrow money to provide low cost energy in a five-state area.
Freeman was one of the directors of Lignite Electric Power formed in Bismarck. He was active in plans to increase generation of electricity.
Freeman also was recognized as the inventor of the headbolt heater that was the first answer to keeping cars running all winter in North Dakota.
- Mr. and Mrs. Frank Smith, well known in Grand Forks, were killed in a crash en route to visit friends at Lake Bemidji. The accident happened 18 miles west of Bemidji. The couple was survived by three sons and a daughter.
Smith, who was managed a seed company founded here by his father, was born at Reynolds, N.D., in 1895, and was a veteran of World War I. He attended UND. Mrs. Smith, a native of Wheatland, N.D., held a degree from UND.
Other names in the news 50 years ago:
- George Longmire of Grand Forks was named chairman of the Sister Kenny Foundation special appeal. It was the first full-scale drive in a five-state area.
- Alice Skyberg and Thomas Rand were married in Bygland Lutheran Church.
- Eugene Lavoy, head of a local advertising agency, was named to fill a vacancy on the City Council created when W.H. Mahler moved to Minneapolis.
Reach Hagerty at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.