“Turkey Shoot and Raffle”

Thanksgiving 1899-1920

11.28.2021

Thanksgiving is an American holiday which has traditionally centered on food, family, and friendship. Years ago, it also signified the end of the fall harvest and beginning of the cold and snowy months. This was especially so for those living in northern Minnesota. Everything that could be canned was, and the root cellar contained any vegetables and fruits which would survive the elements in a banked shelter. Fingers were crossed that there was enough in the pantry and cellar until the greens came up in the spring.

Over one-hundred years ago, Thanksgiving was often a time for an extended visit. LeRoy Gustaf “Roy” Olafson, shares a Thanksgiving story from 1918. His recollections were put together in a family booklet titled “Memories of Minnesota and Years Gone By,” in 1972 when he was about 76 years of age. Roy was one of ten children born to Swedish immigrants Johan and Augusta in Morrison County. Several members of the Olafson family homesteaded in northwestern Itasca (Moose Park Township) and northeastern Beltrami (Blackduck) counties.

When he registered for the draft in 1917, Roy learned that he had a ruptured blood vessel going to his heart, thus he did not pass the physical examination. The following spring, he went to look for work in the wheatfields of North Dakota. He was hired by a man who needed help managing his half section farm and to help run the threshing machine he had. The pay was to be $75 a month and board if he was a good man and could do farm work.

After a prosperous harvest, Roy wanted to go home for a visit. “It was getting late to be in North Dakota so I told my boss I would like to be here at Blackduck for Thanksgiving. Ruth [a sister] had gone to Chicago and Pa was all alone cutting timber. He had bought a cow and a heifer, 25 chickens, and had his horse, Big Frank. We had Thanksgiving dinner at Alma’s and Fred’s [a sister and brother-in-law]. We had a nice venison roast and all the trimmings. It was plain good. Things weren’t so rosy up here.

My boss had figured up my wages and he gave me more than I had coming. The check was for one thousand dollars! I kissed the kids, kissed his wife, and even kissed Archie, my boss! He wasn’t as hard boiled as he tried to act.

After Thanksgiving dinner, me and Pa went home to our place where father and son made up for lost time. We hadn’t been together for five years. We got to work getting things ready for winter. We hauled home tamarack wood and cut it up. We hauled some hay that I had bought from a homesteader. We started to clear some land around the house.

I stayed with dad for about a month. We had everything done for winter. I helped dad set mink and weasel traps on the Moose Creek that ran through our farm. We killed a big buck. My vacation soon came to an end.”

The following snippets are gathered from newspaper articles and advertisements published in local papers from about the turn of the century until 1920 and fit into those three traditional categories referenced above: food, family, and friendship.

Food

The settlers living in and around Deer River and Grand Rapids had the added luxury of enjoying Thanksgiving food they hadn’t grown themselves. This was because both villages were located along the Great Northern Railway line.

Food not found in the north woods (beef was not even raised here yet) could therefore be procured from Minneapolis or Chicago. In 1898, the Metzer’s Market had quite a selection of poultry and meat [*spelling and wording exactly as they had it] in their advertisement.

Good things for Thanksgiving

~ Turkeys. Geese, Ducks, Chickens; Choice Cuts, Steer Beef, Legs Lamb Veal, Lions Pig Pork; Sausages Strictly Home-Made

~ Green Stuffs – Green onions, Lettuce, Radishes, Cucumbers, Parsnips, Celery, Sweet potatoes, Cranberries

~ Delicacies – Oysters, Clams, Lobsters, Blue-points, Mince-meat, Sour Krauts, Bulk & Bottle Pickles and Olives

~ Salad Dressing, Horseradish, Catsup, Mustard, Clam Chowder, Full Line New-Packed Can Goods, Game, Fresh, salt and Smoked Fish

The following year the BoDega Restaurant in Deer River,owned by C.T. Alexander offered a Thanksgiving Dinner with fourteen items and four different kinds of pie for dessert!

It wasn’t long before enterprising businessmen thought of ways they could be a part of the festivities. Throughout the years, several communities held turkey raffles.

G.T. Robinson combined a game of chance with a discounted price on poultry in 1901. “A turkey raffle will be given next Wednesday evening, Nov. 27 at G.T. Robinson’s saloon. Turkeys, ducks and chickens will go cheap to the best card players or lucky dice throwers. ‘Old George’ thinks he can play seven-up himself, but he is a snap for anybody in a four-hand game.” [Itasca News 11-23-1901]

Thanksgiving Raffle ~ Grand Rapids Herald-Review 11-21-1903

“A. M. Johnson, of the Boston Grand sample room and restaurant, has the reputation of holding the most successful and satisfactory raffles in Grand Rapids. Every year he is first in the field with a choice lot of fowls, including turkeys, geese, ducks, and chickens. He buys only the very best in the market, and if he hears of a choice lot he makes it a point to get them regardless of cost. His raffles are always conducted in a manner to avoid any complaint and those who participate are always satisfied. This year he has secured an unusually fine lot that was offered alive and dressed. He will hold his raffle on the evening of the 24th, so that all who wish to participate may secure their Thanksgiving dinner for a few cents. Mr. Johnson wishes to announce that no schoolboys will be permitted to take part in the raffle, and they will not be allowed in the room.”

Pete Peterson, owner of a hotel and saloon in Bigfork offered a similar event a few years later, but his was earlier, so the birds could be eaten on Thanksgiving. “Turkey Shoot and Raffle – at Bigfork Wednesday afternoon Nov 24th. On this date, I will have 50 fine turkeys shipped in and am furnishing you this opportunity of getting turkeys for Thanksgiving dinner. Remember the date and come and get a turkey. Pete Peterson” [Bigfork Settler 11-11-1909]

Family ~ School Programs

The village and surrounding community of Bigfork held their first Thanksgiving program on November 25, 1903. Miss Katherine Costello, the teacher of the newly built school in the village had organized a program that included all of her students. In all there were twelve recitations from the older children. (Recitations are poems and short stories which are memorized.) The most challenging were, “Tommy’s Thanksgiving” by Cleve Larson, and Linnea Nordlin’s selection from “Hiawatha.” Between the recitations were songs by the entire school of about twenty. Thirteen-year-old Aminta Nordlin soloed with “Mother Goose”, and she along with several others sang “Five Little Gooses.”

The students were: Alma Larson, Cleve Larson, Harry Larson, Theresa McDonald, Aminta, Linnea, and Victor Nordlin, Robert Pedersen, Julia, Walter, and Alma Petersen, Bertha Rossing, and Jenny Shultis. They were all born in Minnesota, though about half their parents had emigrated from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Germany.

In 1915, Kathleen Keenan, a nine-year-old from Deer River, had a story she wrote published in the Itasca News. Titled “Bessie’s Thanksgiving,” it was about a girl named Bessie who lived in a large city with her parents. Bessie befriended Mary, a child her own age who had to work to take care of her sick mother. Bessie wanted to bring them a hot meal at Thanksgiving and figured out a way to do just that.

Kathleen was the daughter of George and Celia Keenan and always had a desire to help others. The 1930 U.S. Census indicates she is a nurse in Rochester, Minnesota.

Friendship ~ Entertainment

If someone is available to play the harmonica or fiddle, folks will dance. Thanksgiving Day was no exception. In Bigfork, one of the places dances were held was at the Pinette Hall. Although the musicians weren’t named, there was probably a full house on Thanksgiving Day, November 29, 1906. The advertisement in the Bigfork Settler stated, Everybody is cordially invited. Good music will be furnished, and a good time promised to all who attend. Supper will be served in the hall.”

As the communities in the area grew, so did the variety of activities that were offered for entertainment on Thanksgiving Day. Examples I found include a wartime meal in 1917, and a boxing match in 1920.

Thanksgiving Festival ~ Itasca News 11-24-1917

A community Thanksgiving festival has been planned. It is to be held at the M.E. [Methodist Episcopal] Church, Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 5 p.m.

The festival is to consist of a program and a wartime supper. The supper is to be donated by the community and served in the basement of the church, free of charge. The supper committee consists of Mrs. Keenan, Mrs. H. Seaman, Mrs. Mawhinney, Mrs. Bartholomew, W.B. Taylor and Mr. Shaad. Please help them to make it meatless and wheatless by donating your poultry, fish, venison, and best war breads. **

The program committee is Mrs. Wallace, Miss Moen and Miss Tabor, and they would be thankful if you would volunteer to assist them. A collection is to be taken for the starving Armenians and Syrians who are less fortunate than we. So, plan to make this a real Thanksgiving festival for in doing so you prove that you, too are thankful for your many blessings.

Fight Card on Thanksgiving ~ Grand Rapids Herald-Review 11-24-1920

“A boxing bout that promises to attract a large number of fans from all over Itasca County and from points even farther away will be staged in Bovey on the evening of Thanksgiving Day. The Bovey post of the American Legion is sponsoring the boxing exhibition and will have it in the Legion Hall in Bovey.

The curtain raiser will be a four-round exhibition between the Pelky brothers of Bovey. These boys, while light, are fast, and always get a good hand. Following them will be a six-round go between Bartholomew of St Paul and Swede Johnson of Grand Rapids. Johnson is rapidly securing a reputation as a fast and clever boxer and has a number of friends in Grand Rapids who will go to watch him in Bovey.

The principal match of the evening will be between Ed Franti of Bovey and Harry Boyle of Duluth. This bout is scheduled to go for ten rounds and will be a fast one. Both men are full of confidence and will enter the ring expecting to secure a decision. Bovey men are backing Franti to win and expect to see some exciting situations during this mill.”

In recent years, the time spent following the Thanksgiving meal seems to have focused on the shopping bargains the day after Thanksgiving. “The term ‘Black Friday’ (in the retail sense) was coined in the 1960s to mark the kickoff to the Christmas shopping season. ‘Black’ refers to stores moving from the ‘red’ to the ‘black,’ back when accounting records were kept by hand, and red ink indicated a loss, and black a profit.” [blackfriday.com/news/black-friday-history]

Mistaken for Wildlife ~ Hunting Near Misses and Tragedies in Itasca County

11.21.2021 [archived ~ previously published 11.2.2017]

Outdoors Magazine November 1949 shows deer
hunters wearing the required red.

In September 1930, my Grams brother Roald McQuillen died from an accidental gunshot wound. He was bird hunting in the same area as another young man, and his movement in the brush mistaken for game.  Roald was only seventeen years old and his death very difficult for the entire McQuillen family. 

Thank goodness, hunting regulations and an emphasis on safety have reduced the deaths in the field.  As early as 1914, there were recommendations to wear red while deer hunting. 

In 1943 the Minnesota Legislature “requires all deer hunters and other persons going into the woods during deer season to wear red caps and partially red jackets.  Penalty for failure to do so is the loss of a hunting or trapping license for one year.” The [Minnesota] Conservation Volunteer June 1943.

In 1986, the law required blaze orange or red be worn during the firearms deer season. Beginning in 1994, red was dropped, and only blaze-orange clothing was legal during the firearms deer season. The law requires “the visible portion of the person’s cap and outer clothing above the waist, excluding sleeves and gloves, is blaze orange.” MN DNR website.

The following articles are just a few examples of being mistaken for the wildlife being hunted in our area.

A Close Call ~ Itasca News 11-16-1901

“So far no killed are reported in the deer fields hereabouts, but some narrow escapes are told of.  Harry Johnson, residing with his parents north of Deer lake, knows how it is to sight down the wrong end of a steel barrel.  He was out over burnt hills the first day of the open season, and sauntering down a run-way he suddenly noticed a slight movement in a clump of brush a short way ahead of him; then taking a careful observation of it faced a long steel barrel leveled at his breast. 

Harry went up in the air four feet with a whoop and when he got to the would-be-murderer with a hot query of ‘What in h___l and ___! ___! Are you trying to do??’ the fellow, a Swede lumberjack muttered: ‘I-I-I tought jou va-as a d-eer.’  Harry did not say much, but he is not all over his fright yet, and he says if he gets caught that way again he’s going to shoot first.”

First Day, First Victim ~ Itasca News 11-14-1914

“With the opening of the big game hunting season, Tuesday comes the usual number of sad reports of men being shot in the forests of northern Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota.

Deer River tallies first this season, with one victim being taken for a deer on the first day of the season.  The fatal accident happened east of Big Turtle lake about twenty-four miles north of Deer River where Peter St. Mary of Duluth, his brother William St. Mary of Two Harbors, and Dr. William F. Linder, a dentist at 27th Avenue and Lake Street, Minneapolis, were hunting together.  Starting out late in the morning, two wore red caps and Peter was warned to put on his red cap, but refused, insisting on wearing a gray one.

After a short distance the three separated, the two St. Marys going to the left to make a ‘drive’ back to a certain open spot where Linder was to make a ‘stand’ and watch for deer to come out.  Peter, however, made a shorter circle than was calculated and came before Linder’s course much sooner than he should and at a point much nearer than agreed upon.  Linder getting a glimpse of Peter’s cap moving through a clump of brush, fired, thinking it was a deer, and went to see the result of his shot, found his companion dead, the bullet entering near the nose and passing out of the back of the head.

The body was brought down to Deer River the next day after the accident and was taken care of at Herreid’s morgue.  Deputy Coroner Herreid and a jury held an inquest over the remains to determine the cause of death, and Mr. Linder was exonerated from any criminal connection in the sad affair.

It is estimated that there are a thousand hunters in the woods tributary to the Minneapolis & Rainy River railroad within forty miles north of Deer River, and as many of them are inexperienced more of such accidents may be looked for before the season closes.”

Shot for A Wolf ~ Itasca News 9-11-1915

“Shooting a man in mistake for a wolf has actually happened.  At Bigfork Monday night while John Thunstrom and Ira Collins were out shining for wolves and had killed one or two, John got a flash of Collins’ light, and it looked like two eyes because of a small popple tree between divided the light.  John shot, and the bullet hit his brother-in-law, Collins, in the upper muscle of the left arm.  Dr. Craven of Deer River was phoned for and left at once by special train.  He dressed the wound and brought the patient to Deer River where he is being cared for by the doctor.”

The wolf population was so high in northern Minnesota during the first quarter of the twentieth century that there was a bounty paid by Itasca County.

Be careful in the woods in the coming weeks.  I leave you with a “deer story” from 1934.

Here’s Seasons Best Deer Story ~ Itasca News 11-29-1934

“Every big game season brings its new crop of stories, real and imaginary, and here’s a real one locally awarded first prize.

A Deer River nimrod, famous for his flapjacks and pumpkin pies, hid in the forests and cutover lands last Thursday in search of the wary buck.  Rounding a hill, he saw a deer lying in the sun, sheltered from the wind.

‘You’re my buck,’ said Mr. Nimrod, ‘you’re never going to get up,’ and taking careful aim he blazed away.

Sure enough, the buck lay still.  The hunter hastened forward to complete the job.  Five rods from the carcass, he stopped suddenly. Phew and phooey! What was that smell?  The animal had been dead for days.

Inquiry at the county attorney’s office revealed that Minnesota has no law prohibiting the shooting of a dead deer.”

The Desperate Seven ~ An Early Deer Hunting Saga in Itasca County

11.14.2021

My great-great uncle George Boxell enjoyed writing about the exploits of his hunting party in the years between WWI and WWII. George and his older brothers John and Robert, along with a handful of other male relatives traveled by train from Howard Lake, Minnesota to hunting camps north of Deer River, sometimes staying for a month. He wrote about the good years and the bad, the moose and deer that got away, and the ones that became legends. He wrote about the prowess and fumbling of each members hunting and cooking abilities. He wrote about the laughter, storytelling, and friendship, but George did not set it to verse as Emil Rockel was known to do.

Rockel was a sportsman from the Twin Cities who hunted in Itasca County, befriended Clyde and Clarence Jellison, and became part of a hunting party known as the “Nasty Seven.” Rockel’s nicknames were Dutchy, Shotgun Willie, and Shakespeare. Rockel loved to write poems about whatever caught his fancy, but especially about the camaraderie of men at work and leisure. Several of his poems are included in the book “This is Where I Belong ~ Stories as Told by Clyde Jellison,” put together by his daughters Shirley Moreira and Ruth Dickie in 1982.

In the book, Clyde shares the memory of a hunting adventure with his brother Clarence, and friends Charlie Brown, Jim Crawford, Rueben Long, Emil Rockel, and Ralph Zupond. “We hunted together one fall at the head of Bass Lake –the fall of 1919 or 1920. We all camped at Smith’s shack as no one was living there at the time. We hunted there about a week and had pretty good luck. Everybody got a deer except Zupond. He had been shooting, but he missed.

One morning we started out and Jim Crawford put him on a good stand—told him just what to do. He told him, ‘When you see the deer come out of the woods, you’ll think he’s going to cross down the road, but you stay right there because the deer will make a turn and come right back where you are.’  Rube Long and I made the drive, the rest of them stood. We scared out a nice big buck, and it came right up on the runway where Zupond was. He saw the deer and thought it was going to cross down the road, so he left his stand on the run and went down the road. When he got there, he happened to remember what Jim had told him, and he stopped, looked around, and the deer jumped right over the stump on which he had been standing! He took two or three shots at it, but he missed. When the drive was over, he told us what he had done, and I tell you Jim Crawford was pretty mad about it. That ended the hunt, right there!”

Not long after the hunting season, Rockel set it to verse.

The Desperate Seven

By Emil Rockel

Would you like to hear the story of a hunting trip I took,

Up in Itasca County, near the town of Bass Brook?

There were seven in the party, and they camped at Smith’s shack,

I knew that no game warden could follow that outfit’s track.

They were known as the ‘Nasty Seven’ and desperate was that band,

Which wouldn’t stop at slaughter, the worse outlaws in the land.

They started out one evening and that night prepared their camp.

All ready for the ‘morrow and the weary huntsman’s tramp.

Jim Crawford was the Captain of that desperate outlaw band,

He directed operations with a skillful leader’s hand.

An old-timer in that country, he knew every pine tree stump,

He could go thru’ the brush like a rabbit and make the rest of us hump.

One day as he neared a hilltop, he sighted a young deer’s ‘flag,’

He put his gun to his shoulder and Jim and the deer played tag.

He didn’t make a killing, there wasn’t a chance to hit,

We didn’t blame the Captain, for he always did his bit.

Rube Long was the Captain’s partner who made many a drive

Thru’ those northern woods together, towards the Captain’s other ‘five,’

When he tracked deer thru’ the valley he bayed just like a hound,

And to six of the desperate seven ‘twas a weird, uncanny sound.

One day while doing some tracking, he stopped very suddenly,

For before him a young fawn was leaning against a small poplar tree,

This animal had been wounded, and terrible it had bled.

But Rube never knew until later, that he’d killed a deer that was dead!

Clyde Jellison was a good marksman, that trick he considered a treat,

He’d seen service in Europe and would rather go hunting than eat.

He was the first man up every morning, you just couldn’t keep him in bed

Then he’d play his harmonica, you might know what the rest of us said!

One day while we were out hunting, and he was crossing a bog,

He shot what he thought was a deer but was only an Airedale dog!

That critter was all fuzz and whiskers, not as large as a baby calf,

When the rest of the outlaws saw it, they joined in a hearty laugh!

Now Clyde has a brother named Clarence, who also belonged to the band,

But he was slightly crippled—lost three fingers from one hand.

He was tall and lean and lanky, thru’ the brush he could go some.

And whenever a deer he sighted you could hear those bullets hum.

A big one came toward him one morning, he knew that he wasn’t slow,

It came along like a whirlwind, but he plugged it, a beautiful doe.

The rest of the day we were luckless—many miles we did tramp

Thru’ valleys, bogs and o’er hilltops before we struck supper and camp.

Charles Brown was the oldest villain of that nasty outlaw band,

He had plenty of training and handles a gun just grand.

A bad, bald-headed fellow—at least that’s what Zupond said,

I know that the hair is very thin on the top of that old man’s head.

One day while the two were together, they sighted a little doe,

Charlie sure would have killed it, but his gun was shooting low.

It sounded like a duel, as the bullets ‘round them sang,

Charlie’s gun was going ‘ping’ while the other one went ‘pang.’

Zupond came from Dakota, the far-off prairie land,

Because he had a desire to hunt with the outlaw band.

He told us a lot of stories and he made a two-story cake,

Some pancakes and some doughnuts, and they all were easy to take.

No matter how he hunted, he didn’t have much luck,

He didn’t care for small deer—what he wanted was a buck!

So, the Captain drove one to him, but he let it get away,

All because poor Zupond left his stand on that dark day.

Rockel came up from the city to have a hunt with the ‘boys,’

All he used was a shotgun which made a lot of noise!

He had no hunting experience, and he lacked a huntsman’s skill,

So, he was badly handicapped when the bunch went out for a ‘kill.’

They called him ‘Shotgun Willie’—Billie was a buckshot gun,

But he took it all good-natured, he knew it was all in fun.

But he did some execution—scattered buckshot all about,

So, the boys would have better hunting when that buckshot starts to sprout!

Eight days that bunch camped together, and they got along just fine,

There wasn’t a cross word spoken, a smile on each face did shine.

They loved to live close to nature, they loved the wild woods to roam,

All of them seemed down-hearted, when the time came to go home.

The career of the ‘Seven’ is ended, the outlaw band is no more,

I wonder if they’ll ever go hunting when they meet on that beautiful shore.

Now you have heard the story of the hunting trip I took,

Up in Itasca County, near the township of Bass Brook.

It was just one week later, that the Captain called three of his men,

Clarence and Clyde and Ruben, on a hunting trip again.

As on the previous occasion, he mapped out a plan, a campaign,

For they were more desperate than ever and hunted with might and main.

They covered the west shore of Bass Lake, the timber and brush so thick,

To get a deer in the country, a man must be clever and quick.

I didn’t go with them on that trip, but I’ll say they had some luck,

For when they came home that evening, they brought with them Zupond’s buck!

Brief Bios

~ Charlie Brown (1870-1966). He immigrated from Sweden to central Minnesota with his parents when he was five years of age. He came to Cohasset in 1901, working in the woods in the winter and prospecting for gold in the summer. He and John Nelson bought the Cook Hotel, and after it burned down, constructed a building which could accommodate 150-200 lumberjacks.

~ Jim Crawford (1879-1951). In 1893 Crawford’s family homesteaded on an island in Bass Lake that is still referred to as Crawford’s Island. He worked as a woodsman in the winter and during the harvest season went to the Dakotas and Nebraska. It was in Nebraska where he met and married Delilah Henderson. They settled in Cohasset and were the parents of fifteen children.

~ Clarence Jellison (1889-1974). The Jesse Jellison family moved to Bass Lake from Minneapolis in about 1894. When Jesse died in 1908, his sons Clarence and Clyde operated a sawmill on their property. Later the brothers built cabins and established Wildwood Resort.  In the late 1920s they sold it. Clarence married Orva Jones (sister of Clyde’s wife Dorothy), in October 1927, and in 1929 they established Jellison’s Log Cabin Camp on Bass Lake.

~ Clyde Jellison (1891-1983). He enlisted in the army in December 1917, sailed on the USS America to France in May 1918, and returned to Itasca County in the summer of 1919. After selling the Wildwood Resort he married Dorothy Jones in September 1927. He was a carpenter who worked with the Frederick Mills Lumber Company building mostly houses. Later he built bridges in Itasca County. In 1932, he and Dorothy started the Little Bass Camp on Little Bass Lake. [see chrismarcottewrites.com for the 9.12.2021 article on the resort.]

~ Rueben Long (1885-1947). He was a farmer from Indiana who moved to the Bass Brook area in the early 1900s.  In 1911, he married Rachel Carter, a woman with three young boys. She was a sister of Jim Crawford. By 1930 he was working at the Blandin Paper Mill.

~ Emil Rockel (1886-1951). He was a letter carrier in Minneapolis but loved the northern woods of Itasca County. In the late 1920s he and his wife Ethel moved up and started the Sunset Point Resort on Bass Lake. [see chrismarcottewrites.com for the 7.25.2021 article on the resort.]

~ Ralph Zupond (1885-1961). He was proprietor of a restaurant in Lakota, a town between Grand Forks and Devils Lake, North Dakota. By 1930 he and his family moved to and opened a restaurant in Antrim, Michigan.

I didn’t grow up in a family that had a tradition of hunting in a group, but I can certainly relate to the camaraderie! My circle of writing friends has grown via zoom and now in person during the last year and a half, and I am looking forward to attending a retreat with about a dozen writers in January!

Your Flag and My Flag

11.7.2021 [archived ~ originally published 11.17.2016]

The American Legion in Fergus Falls where I busy working on a novel, covered the city with flags for 2016 Veteran’s Day and nine other noted military days each year.

Those are the words in the first line of a poem written by Stafford King.  He was in his early twenties at the time, and as mentioned in last week’s column, was in the first group to leave our community for active duty during WWI.  And he wasn’t the only Deer Riverite with a gift with the pen.  There were three others that I discovered, wrote during the Great War: Henry Sword, William Byers and Erhard Sandgren,

I have dedicated this column to these poets, who all had their work published in the Itasca News, and at least three beyond our community.

          Our Flag

Your flag and my flag –

     May it float forever free

O’er your ship and my ship

     That sail upon the sea.

Your ship and my ship –

     May they sail forever on,

For you land and my land

     To lands beyond the dawn.

Your land and my land –

     May never come the hour

When your life and my life

     Be spent to give it power.

But our lives and our land,

     Our ships so may it be,

Are firmly pledged to our flag –

     It’s freedom of the seas.

            Stafford King 3-31-1917

Stafford, born on October 27, 1893 was the only child of Cyrus and Minnie.  Like many other Wright County farmers, the King family moved to the densely forested and sparsely populated Big Fork Valley to homestead in the early 1900s. After graduating from Deer River, Stafford attended the University of Minnesota.  Several important events happened for him in the spring of 1917.  In addition to publishing this poem, and enlisting, Stafford came home on leave and married Miss Bertha Breid, also of Deer River on June 30, 1917.  After the war, the Stafford and Bertha settled in St. Paul where they raised two children, Betty and Stanley.  Stafford worked in a variety of state and local government positions and was also active with the American Legion. In 1930 he won election as Minnesota State Auditor, a position he held for ten terms, retiring in 1969.  

Henry Milton Sword was born in Kentucky in 1878. Moving west, he found and married Miss Elsie Miller in Michigan.  After the birth of their first child, Clifford, the Sword family moved to Minnesota and settled the community of Mack. The first published poem I have found of his was from October 1915 and I have located another half dozen through 1919.  In addition to Clifford, the Swords raised five more children, Vivian, Margaret, Kathleen, Eugene, and Virginia.  Henry Sword died in December 1947 and is buried at Greenwood Cemetery.  It should be noted that the poem below was written just four days before the first recruits left the depot in Deer River.

The Price That Our Mothers Pay

A mother said to her boy – “Good bye,”

     As he kissed her and turned away,

To salute the flag, that was passing by

    On that tearful April day.

Her heart was aching but would not break

     As she heard the bugle call;

With sorrow that loves but sadly given,        

     She gave to her country – all.

God gave and God can demand again

     The priceless gift of noble sons

Of the patient mothers of men;

     But up from the depths of their bleeding hearts

There comes this piteous cry;

     Lord we brought them in pain at the gate of death

You may take them but tell us why.

A letter came from the front one day –

     From a comrade – who said goodbye –

The lonely heart that would not break

     But could only bleed and sigh.

He died with the bravest – the letter said –

     But the words grew strangely dim

To a mother who felt the hell of war

     But who’s faith looks up to Him—

Who gave and Who can demand again

     The priceless gift of noble sons

Of the patient mothers of men;

     But up from the depths of their bleeding hearts

There comes this piteous cry;

     Lord we brought them in pain at the gate of death

You may take them but tell us why.

            H.M. Sword, Mack, Minn. April 26, 1917

Seventeen-year-old William Byers not only wrote a political inspired song, but had it set to music by Leo Friedman, composer of the well-known tune, Let Me Call you Sweetheart! The Itasca News stated, “Mack has produced another poet laureate who has made his debut to the song world.  He is William A. Byers, a country boy in his ‘teens, and he has composed a national song, “The Kaiser’s Dream,” which he has had published and is now on sale at the City Drug store.”

The quarter page sized advertisement through the local drug store, printed the chorus:

While walking in the garden among the beds of flowers not growing on tender plants as other flowers do,

but perched upon the garden wall one caught his eye above the rest. 

It was the Stripes and Stars above the boys in blue.

I found the sheet music and will share a copy with anyone who is interested. In July 1918, when it was available locally, the music sold for 15 cents, or two for a quarter.  William was one of ten children, most which were born in Missouri.  In about 1915 the Byers family moved to Minnesota and settled in the Bowstring area.

And last, but not least is a poem by Erhard Alfred Sandgren which was first printed in an American Exploratory Forces newspaper or newsletter humor section.

After the Shells Had Ceased To Come ~ Itasca News 10-25-1919

“In a short time we will gather to celebrate Armistice Day, November 11th.  After that date the immediate danger of the big powerful shells was not considered so great and the soldier boy saw the dawn of a new day when he could once more, look upon ‘The shores where freedom reigns.’  But the days of waiting were long and tedious, and many were the boys who longed for home almost every hour that passed since hostilities ceased.  This, the Overseas Lad’s Prayer will prove.  This is supposed to be the A.E.F. Prayers as it appears in the book of Smiles.”

Overseas Lad’s Prayer

Our father who art in Washington

Baker be thy name,

Thy cable’s come,

Thy will be done in Brest as it is in Le Mans.

Give us this day, our long delayed pay

And forgive us our AWOLs

As we forgive the bugler, the mess sergeant, the YMCA, the field clerk and all those who wear bars,

And lead us not into the army of occupation

But deliver us from another service stripe

For thine is the Army, the Military Police, the Q.M.’s and the Field Clerk, forever and ever.

Oh men

I am for the American Legion.

                                    Erhard Sandgren

Erhard Alfred Sandgren was born in Sweden in 1889 and immigrated aboard the ship Ariosto when he was about 17 years old.  When he registered for the military, he was managing the theater in Deer River. Erhard traveled out west after coming back from the front, but returned to the area.   He was married and his wife died before they had any children.  Erhard lived the rest of his life in Deer River and is buried in the Pine Ridge Cemetery.

Regarding the last line, here is a little history of the American Legion. It is a wartime veterans’ organization which formed in Paris on March 16, 1919, by members of the American Expeditionary Forces. It was chartered by Congress on September 16, 1919. The veterans’ organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and also has offices in Washington, D.C.

If you want the music for “The Kaiser’s Dream,” please let me know.  218-244-2127 or reminiscewithchris@gmail.com

Law & Order ~ Itasca County Treasurer Embezzled Funds

part 2

10.31.2021

Recap: In October 1909, the Itasca County Treasurer, Arthur Kremer was arrested and charged with embezzling more than $60,000. County Attorney Price anticipated the trial would begin in December.

True to his word, with the adjournment of court on Saturday December 4, 1909, County Attorney Frank Price announced that the Kremer trial would commence on Tuesday December 7. The embezzlement case would be one of fifty-four cases that would be heard.  Price was an ambitious lawyer and since he began trying the criminal cases, fourteen men have gone to state prison. 

Jury Selection

Court opened at 9 o’clock Tuesday morning with Judge Stanton presiding on County Treasurer Kremer’s case.  After the indictment was read, Chauncey McCarthy, attorney for the defendant, made a motion for a continuance, which Stanton denied. 

Only two jurors were chosen from the initial pool of potential jurors provided.  Stanton ordered a special venire (pool of potential jurors) of twenty-five to be in the courtroom the following morning. Wednesday evening the last juror had been selected. “The jury in this case was picked from forty-three talisman, and it is the first time in the history of the county that a jury for so important a case was ever picked from so small a number, former juries of a like nature requiring often as many as 200 venire men.” [Duluth Evening News 12-9-1909]

The jury consisted of twelve men from the county over the age of twenty-one and property owners:

Ed Arsensult, store clerk, Nashwauk; Ben Bonneville, conductor, Deer River; J.S. Cooper, contractor, Coleraine; E.H. Dorothy, farmer, Grand Rapids; J.M. Francisco, farmer, Grand Rapids; Harry Johnson, printer, Deer River; R.E. Kimball, switchman, Deer River; Reuben Larson, cruiser, Bigfork; James McManon, farmer, Cohasset; Joseph McVeigh, woodsman, Grand Rapids; W.E. Meisner, brakeman, Deer River; and A.I. Richardson, farmer, Trout Lake.

Evidence and Witnesses

After opening arguments from the prosecution and defense early Thursday December 9, the state provided their witnesses and evidence.  County Attorney Price concluded his case Saturday afternoon. The defense immediately began their side of the case and finished on Friday December 17.

Drug Habit to Cut a Figure ~ Duluth Evening News 12-10-1909

“Grand Rapids, Minn., Dec.10. — (Special to The Herald.)—Mental incapacity, due to being addicted to the morphine habit.  In other words, loss of proper control of his mental faculties so he could not tell the difference between right and wrong, and he practiced the latter, is expected to be the defense in the case of ex-County Treasurer A.A. Kremer, who is on trial in the district court on a charge of misappropriating funds received in taxes.

This belief is prompted by the evidence brought out by the defense when Deputy Public Examiner M.S. Kain was on the stand as to the discovery of two hypodermic syringes in the vault in the treasurer’s office, and the presence here of a number of outside doctors who are expected to be called as experts on the ill effects of the use of drugs.

Among the medical men on hand are Dr. Stewart of Duluth, who is said to have been subpoenaed by the state, Dr. Jones of Minneapolis, Dr. Sweeney of St. Paul, Dr. Ground of Superior and Dr. Storch of this city.

Deputy State Examiner Kain during the course of his examination said it was Oct. 14 when he discovered an erasure in the column showing the tax receipts for the first half of 1908.  An entry in the next column showed an item amounting to $3,563.90, being taxes received from the Great Western Mining company, a part of which it is alleged that the ex-treasurer appropriated to his own use. Mr. Kain stated that he found in the vault of the ex-treasurer about $24,000 in securities in Kremer’s name and one in the name of Mrs. Kremer.

The accused told Miss Blanche Dewey, clerk in the ex-treasurer’s office at the time of the alleged crime, testified that Kremer instructed her not to bother about the corporation tax entries as he desired to personally attend to them to be sure they were correct.  She also testified that while Kremer was East last summer the check of the mining company for $1,058.40 for the Buckeye taxes was received, and on Kremer’s instructions was deposited in the First National Bank to Kremer’s personal credit.

County Auditor Staig testified as to the manner of transacting business in his office and County Treasurer Strader identified a number of exhibits, told about the cash records and stated that the erasure in connection with the tax receipts of the Great Western Mining Company was on the records when he took charge of the office and the entry of $3,463.90 on the next page of tax receipts from the company had been inserted since he took possession of the office.”

Kremer Bought Much Morphine ~ Duluth Evening News 12-14-1909

“Grand Rapids, Minn., Dec.14. — (Special to The Herald.)—The ill effects of morphine upon the human system are being freely aired in the district court at the trial of ex-treasurer A.A. Kremer in keeping with the theory of the defense that frequent use of the drug rendered the accused unconscious of wrongful acts.

When court resumed this morning Dr. Ground of Superior, who was on the stand at the time of yesterday’s adjournment, continued to tell the jury how the constant use of the drug affected the user.  He said it impairs the volition and destroyed the moral faculties, making one a liar, that he might appear to be normal, but could not be depended upon.

C.H. Dickinson, local druggist, produced records of his sales of morphine in court and the following sales were read: June ’08 50 one-quarter grain tablets of sulphate of morphine; July, ‘08 25 tablets; September, ’08, 50 tablets; October 13 ’09 75 tablets; Oct 21, 50; November 9, 100; November 19, 100, November 22, 100; December 4, 20 one grain tablets; December 7, 100 one-quarter grain tablets.  Mr. Dickinson stated, on redirect examination, that he thought Kremer to be a morphine user.

Mrs. J.W. Moore, of La Prairie, formerly servant at Kremer’s, testified as to Kremer’s having bad headaches and fainting spells.  Reverend E.S. Murphy of the Episcopal Church of this city, neighbor, and close friend of Kremer’s testified almost the same as Mrs. Moore.  Also did Mrs. H.D. Powers.

H.D. Powers, T.R. Pravitz, and M.L. Toole all prominent citizens who know Kremer well, testified as to his good reputation up until the present trouble.

R.R. Bell., another druggist of Grand Rapids, was the next witness.  He produced a record of poisons sold in his drug store and it showed sales amounting to 2100 one-quarter grain tablets of sulphate of morphine to A.A. Kremer within the past two years.

George F. Meyers testified that he had known Kremer for 16 years and did not hear anything but good of his reputation as an honest man until October last.  He said he took a trip west with Kremer last spring and that they were thinking of investing in land in the west, but that they did not to his knowledge.  When asked if, while on this western trip, Kremer showed any signs of insanity, Mr. Meyers said he did not.

Dr. C.M. Storch, of Grand Rapids, testified that he was called by Mrs. Kremer to the Kremer home the morning of the treasurer’s arrest, she stated that her husband was not right.  She also said that she did not know that her husband used drugs.  At noon she called the doctor again and informed him that her husband had told her he used morphine.  The witness testified that he examined Kremer’s limbs and found numerous marks indicating the use of a hypodermic syringe.  The doctor testified that Kremer confessed that he had used six to eight grains of morphine daily for three or four years.  On cross-examination the witness said that the use of that much morphine would not affect his character.

Mrs. Kremer was called by the state and testified that her husband had been addicted to headaches and fainting spells almost since their marriage and the first time he used morphine was 10 years ago under a doctor’s prescription.  She said she had taken it for asthma and once asked Kremer to call a physician, but he refused to do so, saying that he would treat her and produced a hypodermic syringe and wanted to give her a dose of morphine, which she refused to take.  The witness said that she did not believe her husband to be insane, but sometimes he was not right in his mind.

W.B. Nesbitt, Charles Kearney, M. O’Brien, and Frank McCormick testified as to Kremer’s honesty up to October.

George F. Kremer and E.A. Kremer, brothers of the defendant, gave testimony regarding his past life and J.T. Gardner, a Cass Lake druggist. said that he sold Kremer some hypodermic syringes two years ago.”

Deliberation and Verdict

The attorneys gave their closing arguments late in the date on Friday December 17.  Judge Stanton provided them with their instructions Saturday morning. Sunday afternoon the jury had reached a decision.

Verdict of Guilty Finally Returned in Case Against Kremer ~ Duluth Evening News 12-20-1909

“Grand Rapids, Minn., Dec.20. — (Special to The Herald.)—After deliberating from about 10 o’clock Saturday morning until 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon, the jury that had been considering the case of ex-County Treasurer Arthur A. Kremer returned a verdict of guilty of grand larceny in the first degree and the former official faces a punishment of from one to ten years in the state prison.

The long deliberation of the jury raised hopes of the defense, as it was confidentially expected the jury, in view of the conflicting evidence given by the experts as to whether the accused was insane or sane from the use of morphine, would disagree.

The specific charge was that August 29, 1909, the defendant consummated a shortage in his accounts, as treasurer, of $3500.  Rumors of the shortage first became prevalent October 9, and a few days later Kremer’s arrest followed. At this time the treasurer told his brother, E.A. Kremer, that there was no shortage and that money he had loaned was from a Duluth party.

Failing to secure a new trial, it is expected Kremer will appeal to the [Minnesota] Supreme Court.”

On Monday, December 20, 1909, Judge Stanton sentenced Arthur A. Kremer to five years hard labor in the state penitentiary for grand larceny in the first degree.  This was a compromise between the minimum and maximum penalty, which is one to ten years. That same afternoon Kremer was transported via the train and Sheriff Riley to the Stillwater Prison.

Afterwards

The 1910 United States Census shows Arthur Kremer as an inmate at the prison in Stillwater.  His wife, Elizabeth, and children Russell, Ethel and Dorothy are renting a house in Grand Rapids.

I do not know when Kremer was released, but the 1920 census documents him and his family living in Goodland.  He is employed as a bookkeeper for a logging company.  In 1930, Kremer is a widower, living with his daughter’s family in Hibbing and is the village watchman there.  Arthur A. Kremer died December 12, 1956 and is buried at the Itasca Calvary Cemetery in Grand Rapids.

Law & Order ~ Jail Breaks in Itasca County

10.24.2021 [archived ~ previously published 9.3.2015]

Shawshank Redemption (1994) is considered the best jail break film of all times

Escaping from jail was a bit easier 100 years ago or more than it would be today.  The local jail in Deer River and the county jail in Grand Rapids had breaks, as did the Stillwater Prison.  My perusing of the newspapers yielded the following excerpts on prison breaks, or as with the first one on breaking the lock on the jail door in order to place the prisoner inside.

Broke Jail Itasca News 11-18-1899

[Deputy George] “…Mooers returned about 9 o’clock last night and arrested his man, whose name is Bill Beadle, a big woodsman who has worked around here for the past three years.  Beadle was quite ‘jaggy’ and broke when arrested.   He protested his innocence vigorously and was some time in making up his mind to go to the lock-up.  When he found he had to go though it was different.  When at the coop Beadle was searched and no watch nor money was found on him.

The deputy sheriff made a call upon all the officers of the village before making the arrest to see if he could find the key to the lock-up.  He also called upon those who were supposed to be marshal at times for the past year, but no key could be found.  This necessitated breaking the lock on the jail door.  In smashing the padlock the staple of the door was broken and a temporary one was used for the night.

It appears Beadle kept his eyes open and knew what a snap he had, for alas, this morning the bird had flown.  It is Deputy Sheriff Mooers opinion that the prisoner had help from the outside to make his escape.  A search has been made all day but up to 2 o’clock this afternoon no trace of Beadle had been found.  It is believed he took to the woods.”

In 1911 a break at the Itasca County Jail was credited with the escapee having extra-long arms.  “Late last Sunday night there came near being a wholesale jail delivery at the county bastille.  One Beals, a prisoner indicated for arson by the grand jury evidently became tired of imposing on the sheriff’s hospitality, after his incarceration some seven months ago or made up his mind that he had ‘done time’ long enough to atone for his crime so he decided to leave, and he went and is probably still going. 

Beals, who has an extra long arm, with five other prisoners, was occupying quarters in the corridor of the jail which is crowded while the new addition is being constructed.  Just before midnight sheriff Riley was awakened by commotion among the prisoners downstairs and immediately investigating, found that Mr. Beals was a minus quantity.  With his long arms he [Beals] succeeded in reaching through and around several bars, worked the combination lock on the corridor door, walked to the rear of the jail, pried off a bar from the window, and made good his escape.  The other five prisoners could easily have followed him, but refrained, and after giving Beals sufficient time to make his getaway, they turned in an alarm.  The sheriff and his deputies scoured the country for several days but Beals’ whereabouts have not as yet been ascertained.

The escape of Beals, it would seem, tells chapters.  Briefly, it tells particularly of Beals guilty conscience, of the fear that the law had him so that he did not consider he could get away, this particularly, in view of the fact that this is his second escape from the authorities on this charge – a most palpable evidence of guilt.  It tells of the exceeding good behavior and trustworthiness of the other prisoners, who remained in durance vile while it was so easy to make a getaway.  It tells – well numerous other things.

It is to be hoped that Beals will speedily be recaptured as he is apparently too dangerous a subject to be at large.” [Bigfork Settler 1-5-1911]

Hard Times: Voices from a State Prison, 1849-1914 by Ted Genoway and published by the MN Historical Society Press (2002) about the old State Prison at Stillwater, Minnesota that over the sixty-five year period became one of the most respected prisons in the country.  It covers many aspects of prison life including the occasional disappearance of inmates.  One such incident was the extensive manhunt for escaped prisoners Juhl Peters and Jerry McCarthy in 1911.  I tracked down an article on McCarthy’s capture and death in a newspaper from Rolla, ND:

…“McCarthy served five years in the Montana State Penitentiary for being implicated in a $15,000 diamond robbery at Butte. Later at Des Moines, Iowa, he was sentenced to 15 years at Anamosa for highway robbery and escaped after serving one year. Three months after his escape he came to Minneapolis and attempted to hold up a man on First avenue south between Washington avenue and Third street when he was frustrated by sergeant Mike Lawrence and patrolman Jonas Jonassen. At this time McCarthy pulled a gun and shot Jonassen between his arm and body. Lawrence grabbed the gun and it discharged, hitting McCarthy in the leg. McCarthy was given 10 years at Stillwater on this occasion and escaped four months later with a penitentiary sentence of 30 years hanging over him. McCarthy was formerly a prize fighter.” [Turtle Mountain Star 1-20-1911]

According to American Movie Classics (AMC) the best prison/jail break movie of all times is the Shawshank Redemption directed by Frank Darabont in 1994. The film, starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman is 142 minutes long and tells the tale of two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.

In descending order, others to make the top ten list are: Escape From Alcatraz (1979), The Great Escape (1963), Cool Hand Luke (1967), The Count of Monte Cristo (2002), Con Air (1997), Papillon (1973), Stalag 17 (1953), and Midnight Express  (1978).

Law and Order is a special interest feature of Reminisce..  During the coming months I will share some of the burglaries, murders and other crimes that occurred in our communities years ago.  If you have any such events you would like to see me research and write about, please email chris@reminisce.gmail or call 218-244-2127.

Law & Order: “A bullet whizzed through his bushy eyebrow”

10.17.2021 [archived ~originally published 10.8.2015]

Advertisement in the Itasca News ~ Circa 1900

We have all heard that Deer River was a very rough and tumble town at the turn of the century.  Main Street referred to as Whiskey Row had nearly twenty saloons and there was at least one house of “ill repute” in the vicinity. 

The story of the murder of Charley Grant reads more like a dime novel than a newspaper article, but based on the subsequent trial testimony appears to have been true. The headline I used for the column comes from the testimony of the bartender, Alexander “Sandy” Phair.  He stated there were four shots fired in all and “that the third one passed close to Tom Murray’s head who was reclining against the bar asleep.  The whiz of the ball through his bushy eye brow awoke him.”  Murray was not the intended target and is lucky he did not become a casualty in the saloon skirmish.

The articles are rather lengthy so here is the abbreviated version with enough excerpts to give you an idea of what happened on November 30, 1900 through the trial verdict on January 18, 1901.

After folks had eaten their Thanksgiving dinner, many of the young people or those without families, went to Deer River.  It was rumored that there was a clandestine boxing match, where bets were readily made by all men present.  In the early evening there was a dance at the Hotel Deer River.  Most of the saloons were open, and laughter or conversation could be heard spilling out of the doors and windows.

Sandy, the bartender of the saloon in the Northern Hotel said that the men were a bit more rowdy than usual, in part because the band at the Hotel Deer River next door was quite loud. The city marshal, Mike McClusky had been making the rounds, or perhaps had been summoned and was present at the time the melee began.   The main characters were Patrick Burke, a 40- year-old single man from Grand Rapids; and recently married 35-year-old Charley Grant.  Both men were known in the Deer River community and neither had a honorable past..  Burke had been in prison for manslaughter and Grant had just gotten off parole following a sentence at the Stillwater Prison for robbing a woman.

The men were acquainted with each other and though it is not clear if they were together that night, all agreed that Grant and Burke were drinking and began arguing.  Grant succeeded in knocking Burke to the floor and was leaning against the bar and smiling in victory.  Suddenly Burke stood up and whipped a revolver out of his hip pocket and aiming at Grant exclaimed: ‘Grant I won’t take a licking from you!’

With these words he fired, and though he was only ten feet away the ball missed Grant, and whizzing past the bar tender’s ear, bored into the lower part of the mirror frame behind the bar.  Mike McClusky, the village marshal, then jumped in and tried to wrest the weapon from Burke.  While in this tussle McClusky says he pleaded to the ten or twelve men present to take the gun away, but none attempted to do so. 

Grant, it appears, was too drunk to know enough to move out of the room, and Burke in the hands of the marshal, got a second shot at him and Grant began moving toward the back door when a third shot came.  It was then thought the second shot killed Grant because he suddenly scrunched his shoulders and moved sidewise toward the back door, but as he was still facing the gun it may be that it was the third shot which hit him.  The bullet entered the left breast about two inches above the heart, and passed out of his back under the right shoulder.  As Grant was nearing the door the fourth shot came but went wild and the ball went in the wall over the door. [Itasca News 12-1-1900]

Grant fell through the side door into the washroom and died within a few minutes.  Burke was arrested and spent the remainder of the night behind the bars.  Sheriff Tyndall arrived and took the prisoner to Grand Rapids on the afternoon train.  The county coroner was also in town and removed the remains to Grand Rapids. 

The jury in the coroner’s inquest over the remains of Charles Grant returned the verdict Tuesday that Grant was killed by a bullet from a gun discharged by Patrick Burke.

Burke’s preliminary hearing in justice court was set for Thursday December 6th, but he waived examination and his case came before the grand jury in January.  He was indicted for first degree murder by the grand jury, and trial was set to begin on January 11, 1901.

About ninety jurors were subpoenaed before the following jury of twelve men was secured: Edward Bergin, H.E. Graffam, R.A. McAllister, E. Keabie, M. Hagen, Jas. Patterson, David Cochran, George Lemrod, A.M. Sisler, Frank Voight, Irving A Martin and James Affleck.  Other names you might recognize from your own family history include these witnesses: Sandy Phair, W.C. Robbyn; C.W. Robinson, Frank Caldwell, Tom Murray, John Hawley, John O’Reilly, Harry Oakes, Charles Porter, and Joseph Girard.

Burke’s defense was that he considered his life was in danger and drew the revolver in self-defense when he saw Grant’s hand in his hip pocket.  The jury was out about twenty-four hours.  “Yesterday forenoon at 9 o’clock the jury reported that they were unable to agree and it was understood that eight voted not guilty while four favoured a verdict of manslaughter in the first degree.  Judge McClanahan asked them to try again and at 3:30 the foreman announced to the bailiff that an agreement had been reached. 

The word soon spread through the village and the court room was well filled when the twelve men filed in and handed their findings to Clerk King.  In just one week to the hour from the time the case was opened and the work of securing a jury begun Patrick Burke was pronounced ‘not guilty’ of the crime of murdering Charles Grant.” [Grand Rapids Herald Review 1-19-1901]

Law and Order is a special interest feature of Reminisce. During the coming months I will share some of the burglaries, murders and other crimes that occurred in our communities years ago.  If you have any such events you would like to see me research and write about, please email chris@reminisce.gmail or call 218-244-2127

Law & Order ~ Itasca County Treasurer Embezzled Funds part 1

Resort Note: Due to circumstances beyond my control (and yes technology has played havoc with my historical data) the other two resort articles will be postponed until spring 2022. Also, I still can write a few more if you have a suggestion.  The criteria are that they were started before 1935 and have operated from the time they opened until the present.  Names, of course, may have changed! reminiscewithchris@gmail.com ~ 218-244-2127 ~ blog chrismarcottewrites.com

10.10.2021

In October 1909, citizens of Itasca County were shocked to learn that Arthur Kremer, the man they had elected as treasurer several times since 1894, had been arrested for taking money from the county coffers.

Brief Family History

In the early 1890s three Kremer brothers moved from their homes in Saginaw, Michigan, to the prosperous village of Grand Rapids, Minnesota.  Edward (preferred to be called by his initials, E.A.), the oldest, came in 1891.  A registrar of deeds in Saginaw, E.A. and his long-time friend Fred A. King formed a business partnership, Kremer & King Abstract Company located in the Itasca County Courthouse. Twenty-five-year-old Arthur followed in July 1892.  George is the one most of us know because of the Geo. F. Kremer store which occupied a city block in Grand Rapids from 1893 until it closed its doors in1991.  He came in 1894 to build a house for E.A. and returned the following spring with his family. One of their sisters, Minnie Marie and her husband Werner Groening, also lived in Grand Rapids by 1910.

Arthur August Kremer

Arthur was one of nine children born to William and Sophia. They had both immigrated from Germany in 1852, then married and settled in Saginaw. Kremer had been employed as a clerk in a real estate office, a bank, and then as a bookkeeper in the City Treasurer’s office in Saginaw.  In Grand Rapids, he was first employed as assistant cashier at the Lumberman’s State Bank.  When he was offered a more lucrative position with Tuller Brothers, Arthur felt he could now marry.  He returned to Saginaw and married Mary Elizabeth “Birdie” Thompson on October 6, 1892.  The couple lived on Kindred Ave. in Grand Rapids.

Arthur was elected County Treasurer in 1894 and re-elected in 1896.  In 1898 he lost to C.C. Miller. The 1900 U.S. Census shows Arthur, Birdie and son Russell living in a home on 7th St. Grand Rapids that they owned.  Arthur was employed as a bookkeeper for a lumber company. Kremer ran unsuccessfully against Miller in 1904 but was elected in 1906 and re-elected in 1908.

Investigation

During the first week of October 1909, it was brought to the attention of “Attorney General Simpson of shortages in the treasury of Itasca County, and last Saturday [Oct 9] he took up the matter with Anton Schafer, public examiner, who sent Mr. Kain to Grand Rapids to make an examination.” [Bemidji Daily Pioneer 10-13-1909]

Michael Kain immediately began going through the books of the County Treasurer’s Office and by noon on Monday had enough evidence to take control of the office. In a telegram to his superiors, he stated that Kremer had confessed to the embezzlement of county funds.  It is believed he took about $8,000, and that he has about $6,000 in his personal bank accounts towards restitution.

The telegram, along with a formal recommendation that Kremer be suspended, was brought to the Governor, Adolph Ebenhart, who that afternoon ordered the suspension. By law no official can be removed by the governor without a hearing, but the county auditor was also sent a copy of the order.  Kremer resigned and, on Tuesday, the County Board elected Glen Strader to serve as County Treasurer.

By the time Kremer was arrested, the financial discrepancies continued to climb, and were near $20,000.  He was released on $10,000 bail provided by his brothers.

Two questions that were on the minds of the county citizens were how he embezzled the money and why.  It was alleged that he wrote incorrect totals on the duplicate tax receipts.  For instance, when several items on a tax receipt totaled $324, he would mark that total as $224 on the duplicate he gave the county auditor and keep the remainder.  It is believed that at first, he started with $100 at a time, then $500 and possibly even more substantial amounts.  Based on dates, this had been going on some months when the discrepancies were discovered.

The question of why will not be resolved until perhaps the trial, but there was still speculation.

County Gives Ample Bonds ~ Duluth Evening News 10-14-1909

Grand Rapids, Minn., Oct 14. – (Special to the Herald.)—The National Surety company furnished ex-County Treasurer Kremer’s bonds in the sum of $75,000, so the county is believed to be amply protected against loss resulting from the deposed official’s misconduct.

Deputy Public Examiner Kain continues his probe of the books of the county and is quoted as saying that the shortage will not exceed $40,000 if it reaches such a large figure.

Kremer has securities including mortgages and other property, amounting to $34,000, all of which will be turned over to the county.  Mr. Kremer has on deposit in various banks, $6,240.43 which he has turned over.  The public examiner found $1,545.77 in the treasurer’s vaults.

Kremer’s hearing may develop more sensations.  The public appears to be at a loss to explain where all of the money went, large family expenses being one of the explanations offered.

Although Kremer is said to have made a confession of his shortage to the public examiner, it is reported he has retained counsel and will fight prosecution, but this is not verified.”

Friends of Kremer Attribute His Trouble to Mental Defect ~ Duluth Evening News 10-18-1909

“A friend who has known him for twenty years stated that twelve years ago Kremer had an attack of brain fever and that during this spell of sickness morphine was given to him to relieve him.

Recently Kremer spent some time at a sanitorium, telling his friends here, that he was compelled to take treatment for his nerves.  Since his return from this hospital, he has apparently been somewhat improved in health.

The news of his defalcation, while an absolute surprise to most of the residents of this county, was not unexpected by many who have been close observers of events here.

When Kremer was elected treasurer about five years ago, he is said to have been a poor man.  Almost at once he bought land and built a handsome home, which was elegantly fitted up.  He took pleasure trips with his family to the Pacific coast, Niagara Falls and other places, sent his children away to school and lived in an expensive manner.

He also began to lend money, and a list of notes and mortgages totaling many thousands of dollars is now in the hands of Assistant Public Examiner M.F. Kain.  Most of these were registered here under his own name and the apparent lack of ordinary prudence in covering his tracks is pointed to by his many friends as one strong evidence of his mental incapacity.

The entire list of securities belonging to Kremer and now in the hands of Mr. Kain totals more than $37,000, all of which is believed to be good.  It includes deeds to various lots, mortgages, bank stock, building and loan and mining stock. 

If, as now appears probable, the shortage in his accounts proves to be in the neighborhood of $50,000, these securities will come within a few thousand dollars of covering it.  It will be at least a month, however, before an accurate statement of the deficiency can be made.”

As the sum of misappropriated funds continued to climb, the county residents were impatient for the court process to continue in a timely manner.

Kremer Shortage May be $60,000 ~ Duluth News Tribune 10-24-1909

“Grand Rapids. Oct 23. —The board of audit is still at work on the books of the ex-county treasurer Kremer, and up to tonight had found discrepancies, indicating an apparent shortage of about $60,000.  Quite a good many securities have been uncovered in the vault and others are not in the vault but have been accounted for.  The ex-treasurer’s investments were so good that it is regarded as probable that sufficient funds may be realized upon them to cover the shortage within a few thousand dollars.  It is the aim of the board of audit to complete the investigation by Oct. 29 when Kremer’s hearing will be held.  The hearings will be held before Justice Walker of Grand Rapids.”

Indictment

Kremer Indicted on Five Counts ~ Duluth Evening News 11-5-1909

“The grand jury has completed its labors and reported to the court. The court thanked the jury and dismissed it.

Arthur A. Kremer, ex-county treasurer was indicted on five counts. In three of these cases, Kremer is alleged to have taken certain portions of tax payments of the Great Western Mining Company.  In one of the cases, it is charged that the company made a payment of $16,342.54 and that the sum taken out by Kremer and appropriated to his own use was $2500.  In another case, the company paid $28,045.17 and the sum of $2000 was held out.  In another instance, an entire payment of $3583.10 was entirely held out.  In the other two instances, personal property taxes were never entered on the county books, the amounts being $265.45 and $370.34, respectively.” 

Kremer was arraigned on the five counts but entered no plea.  Judge Stanton fixed his bond at $25,000, which was furnished.”

At first it was thought that the trial would not happen during the present term of court, but County Attorney Price was adamant that the case would be scheduled for early December.

Look for the trial and decision on Sunday October 24, 2021, in Part 2 of County Treasurer Embezzled Funds.

Bowen Lodge ~ Itasca County Resorts with a History

10.3.2021 [archived ~ originally published 10.4.2018]

Resorts with a History ~ Bowen Lodge

In 1925, the Commercial Club in Deer River took out a full-page advertisement in the June 4th issue of the Deer River News.  It included a listing of twenty-four resorts as well as the name and address of the proprietors. Remarkably, nine of those resorts are still in operation today, so last summer I began to highlight them in this special series, Resorts with a HistoryThis article is the last one in the series.  The lodge wasn’t in that 1925 advertisement, but since Herb and Jessie Bowen were instrumental in starting several resorts, it seemed appropriate to finish the series with an article about the resort they established in 1931.   

Property History

The first recorded owners on the abstract were John and Jane Jackson.  John’s 1926 obituary states “he has lived on the farm 16 miles west of Deer River, on the road through the National Forest. Mr. Jackson’s home has probably been the stopping place for more settlers than any other in the county.  Emigrants traveling into the territory northwest of here stopped at Jackson’s for food and shelter. The sturdy pioneer was most hospitable.  He welcomed the traveler to his home and cheered him on his way.  For many years Mr. Jackson has been known as a substantial citizen of this section. About forty-one years ago, Mr. Jackson was married to Jane Fairbanks, who, with three children, Mrs. Henry [Hattie] Peters of Minneapolis, Mrs. George [Catherine] Tibbetts of Deer River, and William Jackson of Deer River, survives him.” [Itasca News 5-6-1926]

After John’s death, Jane sold the property to the Thorpe Bros., a land company from Minneapolis.  Thorpe Bros. had bought up lake property in Itasca County in the early 1920s, parceled it off, and sold it to those wanting to build lake homes at a considerable profit.  One of their most successful ventures was the land around Deer and Moose Lake just north of Deer River.  

1928-1946

Cut Foot Sioux Lodge

Howard Vincent Shull, a resort owner from the Marcell area, bought the property from Thorpe Bros in 1928.  He built the lodge, several cabins and named it Cut Foot Sioux Lodge. Mr. Shull and his family lived in St. Louis County, so he hired Fred Tibbetts to manage the resort. Fred was also a fishing guide, and it is possible the Shull and Tibbetts families were both there during the busy summer season.  Cut Foot Sioux Lodge was prominently marked on a1931 Itasca County map showing fishing resorts.

Bowen Lodge

Jessie Bowen had sold Eagle Nest Resort after Herb died in 1931.  Her son-in-law and daughter, Al and Stella Christie sold the Cut Foot Sioux Inn about the same time. (This resort with such as similar name, was also clearly marked on the 1931 map!)  Al was interested in buying a service station, with a large home behind it, for his family and his mother-in-law.  They spent the summer looking, and in the end, decided to purchase Cutfoot Sioux Lodge.

The transaction was finalized by deer hunting season.  After about a year of running the resort, they decided to rename it, Bowen Lodge.  Jessie, called “Ma” as long as anyone can remember, Al, and Stella had the resort until 1946.  Jessie was 64 years old and had been running a boarding house or resort for about 47 years when it was sold to George and Rose Goodwin.  Imagine the amount of fish she fried (as that was her specialty) in the 25 years of feeding guest all the fish they could eat!

1946-1982

George and Rose Goodwin bought Bowen Lodge in 1946.  They, and later their son Bob and his wife Shirley owned the resort until 1974.  The Goodwin family lived in the same cabin that the Christie’s did.  In the previous Reminisce article, Joy (Christie) Tervo shared that her parents and siblings lived in their own cabin, away from the main lodge and cabins, because her grandmother, Ma Bowen, didn’t want children around the resort guests.

At the time the Goodwin’s bought the resort, only a few of the cabins had cooking facilities.  They changed over the rest of the cabins to include kitchens, and meals were no longer served in the main lodge.  This was a fairly common modification during the 1940s and 1950s.  It made the cost of staying at a resort more feasible for a family.

Sven and Joan Olin owned the resort from 1974-1979.  It was then purchased by Larry and Althea Miller.  Robert Heig, Sr. bought it from the Millers in late 1982.

1982-2018…

In his retirement, Robert Heig, a businessman from Minneapolis, decided to invest in a resort.  He and his family had spent annual vacations at resorts on Pelican Lake near Brainerd, and those memories fueled this decision.  He and his oldest son, Robert Jr. began looking at property in northern Minnesota in early 1982.

By the end of the year, they bought Bowen Lodge, and the father-son duo welcomed their first guests at the 1983 fishing opener.

After a couple of years, there was a shift in who was managing the resort. Bob Jr. decided to dedicate more time to his career, and Bill, the other son of Robert, joined his father.  Funding for Bill’s position in wildlife management in Washington state was no longer available.  Gail had known Bill for years, and when the resort opened in 1986, she was part of the team. 

It was a good fit, so Bill and Gail married at Bowen Lodge in 1987, 46 years after Joy Christie (granddaughter of Ma Bowen) and Hjalmer Tervo held their wedding ceremony at the resort.  Bob Sr., Bill, and Gail Heig shared the responsibilities of managing the resort for twenty years. “We got along really good, and we made good decisions,” Gail explained. “Bob was here until he was 90, and we worked really well together. He was always involved in the major decision making but gave us the freedom to make other decisions on our own.  Then he passed the torch.”

Some of those decisions included changing the accommodations. “When started,” Gail said, “there were 21 rental units. Some did not have running water, some only cold water, and only one had a toilet. So, we tore them down. There was also tent camping, and RV camping.”  Now they have 12 cabins, the largest with five bedrooms, 26 seasonal RV and six short-term RV.  

The original lodge built in 1928, has undergone some transformation with probably every owner.  When the Heig’s remodeled, they found that linoleum used in the lodge was the same print used at Cut Foot Sioux Inn.  The oldest part of the lodge is identified by the original timbers and rock foundation. And the front door is still in the same place.  In 1992 a gorgeous 30×36 great room was added overlooking the lake.  It is timber-framed and entirely pegged together by Bill.

Bowen started as a fishing resort, as most of the resorts in Itasca County. “But it is so much more than fishing,” Gail said.  “It’s about the whole experience.  It’s about being on this beautiful lake. A lot of people enjoying sitting and just looking at the lake.  It’s a part of it, but not a major part of it.  So, we put the emphasis not so much on fishing, it’s about being on vacation with your family.  It’s about reconnecting.  Watching the eagles.

“We’ve had people coming to this resort for 60+ years, many years before us. Same cabin, same time, same place, because they grow up with the people of that week as well.  So, their kids grow up together.  We have families here right now that are three generations.”

Gail shared a delightful story that occurred in their early days as resort owners, and before they had a computer. 

“Quite a few years ago we had first timers arrive who were staying in the cabin which was then called cabin 14.  We showed them the cabin, and they settled in.  About 11 p.m. that night, we get a knock on the door. It was people here for cabin 14. We said, your party has already checked in, and they said, no it’s just us.

“So, we had to go over and ask the other people, what their name again, and we discovered they were to be staying in cabin 14 at William’s Narrows! Those poor people had to pack up and go to William’s Narrows. Bill and I had to clean the cabin, change bedding, etc., and the folks had to wait while we did all that. Those guests have become fantastic customers of ours and in fact, had five cabins this year now because their family has grown.” 

Incidentally, cabin 14, is now called Ma Bowen “after the matriarch of Bowen Lodge, Jessie Bowen was a lively woman who once ran the resort with a capable hand.”  The descendants of George and Rose Goodwin, who grew up in the cabin when they owned it, stay in that cabin on their annual vacations. In the thirty-six years, the Heig’s have owned the resort, they have raised two sons, Jens and Dane helped to sponsor a Make-A-Wish dream come true for a nine-year-old boy with leukemia from Iowa, and hosted a group of International Tree Climbers.  Gail and Bill are described as gracious hosts with a vast knowledge of the wildlife and history of the area. They go out of their way to make each guest’s stay special and have many who are now lifelong friends.  The Heig’s love the resort life and plan on continuing for years to come.

“Tremain Leading Babe Ruth by Safe Margin”

9.26.2021 [archived ~ originally published 8.27.2015]

This headline was on the front page of the Itasca News on September 1, 1927.  It is evident that the editor was caught up in the exhilarating challenge between Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig for the home run championship, but who was John Tremain and what did he have on Ruth and Gehrig?

John Tremain

John Tremain (April 1857-December 1929) was a well-known local muskie fisherman.  At the age of seventy-two, he had been catching trophy fish on the lakes of northern Itasca County for nearly thirty years.  He and his family moved from Michigan in the spring of 1903.  By mid-summer his fishing success was recorded in the local papers, where it was noted at least once a season thereafter. 

He was most famous for muskies, and if his name sounds familiar, I did mention him in the May 23, 2021, Reminisce column “Mother-in-law Saved the Fish.”  In that column Tremain is lauded for several typical catches of the fishermen he guided. 

Another newspaper article from early in the 1927 fishing season, describes Tremain’s success. “Shortly after his return from Minneapolis last Sunday, George Herreid yielded to the lure of the fishing rod, and after securing John Tremain, who has been responsible for hooking more Muskies than any other man in Northern Minnesota, went out on Moose Lake in search of the big fellows.

“And John made good again, piloting George right across the path of a fine specimen.  They hooked him early in the evening.  The muskie weighed twenty-four (we had to write it out, “figures won’t lie”) pounds and measured 43 inches in length.  It was much admired by a large number of people here Monday morning.  George is having it mounted.” [Itasca News 6-23-1927]

The Itasca News editor has not yet (publicly anyway) compared Tremain’s fishing prowess with Babe Ruth’s home run record.

Babe Ruth

George Herman “Babe” Ruth Jr. (February 2, 1895-August 16, 1948) was an American baseball player whose Major League career spanned 22 seasons from 1914 through 1935.  He began his career as a left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, but he achieved his greatest fame as a slugging outfielder for the New York Yankees.  He was one of the first five inductees into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

Lou Gehrig

Henry Louis Gehrig (June 19, 1903 – June 2, 1941), was an American baseball player who played 17 seasons for the New York Yankees from 1923 through 1939.  In 1939, he was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame and was the first Major League Baseball player to have his uniform number retired.

The Convergence

The September 1, 1927, article in the Itasca News stated, “John says he can get a muskie oftener than Babe Ruth can hit a home run, and just at the present time John has a lead of nine on Babe.” This statement is absolutely true.  On August 31, Babe Ruth hit his forty-third home run against the Boston Red Sox and John Tremain hauled in his fifty-second muskie while guiding for Mr. Freidmann of Chicago. 

Tremain proudly proclaimed that, of his total of 52 muskies, twenty-five of them have been over thirty inches long and two were 48 inches each.  According to the Minnesota DNR, the oldest official record fish for the state was in 1929.  Had trophy fish been documented earlier, no doubt, John Tremain would be listed in a category or two.  As it stands, the record for the largest muskie was caught on Lake Winnibigoshish in Itasca County in 1957.  It was 54 pounds with a length of 56 inches and girth of 27¾ inches.

A month later the season had ended for Babe Ruth, but Tremain has one more fishing excursion.

Congressman Carss and Guide Capture Muskie Laurels ~ Itasca News 10-6-1927

“With the veteran John Tremain as guide, Mr. Carss spent Monday afternoon and Tuesday on Deer Lake in quest of muskies.  They fished from 3:00 to 6:00 Monday afternoon and from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday.  In this time, they landed five muskies ranging from 34 to 45 inches in length, two Monday and three Tuesday.  The record surpassed any other made here in years and is likely to stand for some time.

“The work of the two days brought John Tremain’s total of muskies for the season up to 64. John says he bests Babe Ruth out by four and started a month after the Babe did.

“Now let Bob Becker and Robert Page Lincoln be fully informed that this IS a muskie region!”

Bob Becker of the Chicago Tribune and Robert Page Lincoln fishing editor of various national sports magazines at different times were sportswriters who were known to have doubted the fishing in Itasca County.

One Summer America 1927, a book writtenby Bill Bryson, was the inspiration for this Reminisce column, and one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a long time. It is hefty, a 562 pages, but chock full of fascinating information about a forgotten summer when America came of age, took center stage, and changed the world forever.

I have extracted some of the information Bryson has gathered on Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and the remarkable season. “Ruth in 1927 was the best paid player in baseball and proud of the fact.  He had a three-year contract at $70,000 a year…On his pay, newsmen calculated, Ruth could buy a new car every week or a new house every month.

“All the fans in all the cities were drawn by the same thing – a chance to see Babe Ruth in the flesh, and ideally to watch him swat a ball into the firmament.  That Ruth was locked in a seesaw battle with the youthful upstart Lou Gehrig for the home run championship brought the kind of excitement that made people crush their hats in distraction.  There had really never been anything like it.  At mid-August, Gehrig – impossibly, unprecedentedly – led Ruth by 38 homeruns to 36.  But Ruth came back with towering clouts in Chicago on August 16 and 17, to draw level.   Gehrig went one up again on August 19, against the White Sox, but Ruth matched that the next day in Cleveland to put them even again at 39. 

“By now people were practically having heart attacks.  On August 22, Babe hit his fortieth, Gehrig tied him two days later.  Ruth hit his forty-first and forty-second on home runs on August 27 and 28, in St. Louis.  Gehrig came back with a three-run shot in St. Louis on August 29.  Two days later, back in New York against the Red Sox, Ruth hit the last home run of the month for either player.  Ruth had 43 home runs and Gehrig had 41.”

I also learned that in 1927, Babe Ruth starred in the movie Babe Comes Home with Anna Q. Nilsson. It was a silent, black and white baseball comedy produced by the First National Film Company. The film is considered a lost film, which means that it “is no longer known to exist in any studio archives, private collections, or public archives.” I did locate a short clip of Babe Ruth’s 60th home run in 1927. (www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOt0Tmwc2Rk)

Baby Ruth Candy Bar

While researching, I decided to check out the “Baby Ruth” candy bar.  It was not named for Babe Ruth and has a controversy all its own.  I can’t effectively condense the explanation from Wikipedia, so here is exactly what I found:

“Although the name of the candy bar sounds like the name of the famous baseball player Babe Ruth, the Curtiss Candy Company traditionally claimed that it was named after President Grover Cleveland’s daughter, Ruth Cleveland. The candy maker, located on the same street as Wrigley Field, named the bar ‘Baby Ruth’ in 1921, as Babe Ruth’s fame was on the rise, over 30 years after Cleveland had left the White House, and 17 years after his daughter, Ruth, had died. The company did not negotiate an endorsement deal with Ruth, and many saw the company’s story about the origin of the name to be a devious way to avoid having to pay the baseball player any royalties. Curtiss successfully shut down a rival [candy] bar that was approved by, and named for, Ruth, on the grounds that the names were too similar.

“In the trivia book series Imponderables, David Feldman reports the standard story about the bar being named for Grover Cleveland’s daughter, with additional information that ties it to the President: ‘The trademark was patterned exactly after the engraved lettering of the name used on a medallion struck for the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, and picturing the President, his wife, and daughter Baby Ruth.’ He also cites More Misinformation, by Tom Burnam: ‘Burnam concluded that the candy bar was named … after the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. George Williamson, candy makers who developed the original formula and sold it to Curtiss.’ (Williamson had also sold the ‘Oh Henry!’ formula to Curtiss around that time.) The write up goes on to note that marketing the product as being named for a company executive’s granddaughter would likely have been less successful, hence their ‘official’ story.”

I am constantly amazed at the unique connection Itasca County has with famous and influential people back during a time when mass travel was limited to the Model T and its contenders, and communication with the outside world was limited to newspapers and magazines.

The final two stories of the resort series for 2021 will appear in the October 10, and October 24 issues of the Grand Rapids Herald-Review. To see archived Resorts with a History, check out my blog chrismarcottewrites.com.