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The History Of Hallock


Beth Boatz

As he walked down the main street of Hallock in the year1880, Charles Hallock saw one lone building. This building was the beginningof a rapidly growing town in the extreme northwestern corner of Minnesota.It marked a place of expansion, industry, opportunity, and, most of all,a future.

The building he saw was the Hallock Hotel, which he erectedand for which the town was named. It was built for the hunters, travelingon the railroad, to stay so they could hunt along the Red River. This landwas described as a hunter's paradise and, therefore, attracted many hunters.The area became well known for its hunting land and many hunters and settlersmoved in. Many of them settled in the town of Hallock, building their ownhomes as permanent settlements

The town began to expand rapidly with the large number of settlers. Hallockbecame the county seat and held its first session of District Court in theHallock Hotel on July 5, 1881. In 1892, the people of the county began anagitation for the construction of a courthouse. A meeting of the commissionersdecided it would be built in Hallock. The following year, the $20,000 courthousewas constructed.

The first school district, District #1, was set up in the1880's A school was built in Hallock a short time later.

Hallock experienced a severe forest fire. It might be comparedto the Hinckley Forest Fire, which Charles Hallock describes.

"From above the dense umbrage of pine forest lying to-ward the west a column of blue and white smoke rose upright into the air like a pillar of cloud, apparently not half a dozen miles away. Suddenly, without other premonition, the wind rose perceptibly. Multitudes of birds fluttered over its surface, collections of small animals and myriads of insects gathered on the cleaned space between the forest and the shore."

"Charles Hallock, who gave his name to our little city, was born in New York City, March 13, 1843 and died in 1919. Since his early youth, he has been a newspaperman. He became financial editor of Harper's Weekly. Later in 1873 he founded the sportsmen's magazine, Forest and Stream, and was connected with numerous other publications."l

A bank, the first in the county, was sat up in Hallockin the year 1880. It was a private institution, founded by three Red Wingmen. They were John H. Rich, Edward L. Baker, and Frank B. Howe. John Richwas the first cashier.

Three churches were constructed in Hallock in the 1880'sand 1890's. In 1881 a Presbyterian Church was built, which was destroyedby fire and later replaced. The Swedish Christian Mission Church was erectedin 1895 and St. Patricks Church, in 1897. Since then they all have beenremodeled.

Dr. Gustab DeMars was the first regular physician to cometo Hallock. He wasn't the first in the county, however. Thomas Duhig hadhis headquarters in St. Vincent, a neighboring town, for a few years beforeDr. DeMars' settlement.

More businesses began to spring up as more people camein the beginning of the 1900's. A creamery was constructed in 1906 and atheater, a few years afterwards. A county hospital, costing $80,000 forconstruction, was the next addition to the town in 1922.

The favorite type of entertainment along with hunting washockey, skating, and curling, which was the main reason for building a skatingrink. The $l9,000 rink was in use by 1934. Several teams were organizedand they eventually competed in tournaments. One hockey player said, "Hallockis one of the fastest teams in the state. "2

In the last few years, Hallock has increased greatly insize, population, and industry. Many more buildings have been constructedand several more businesses set up. The newest additions to Hallock are:the new hospital, nursing home, a near-million-dollar court-house, a swimmingpool, new gasoline stations, modernized stores, and many other improvementsto the town. Charles Hallock should be proud should he see the town thathe made a beginning for.

Hallock is still growing today and will continue to. Itmay someday become a city and become well known for its industry and opportunity.The future knows the answer, but we will only find out through years ofprosperity, depression, happiness, disappointment, or whatever falls uponthe town.


1 Lincoln, Robert. KITTSON COUNTY ENTERPRISE Fiftieth AnniversaryEdition p 24

2 KITTSON COUNTY ENTERPRISE Fiftieth Anniversary Editionp 25

IZE=+1>2 KITTSON COUNTY ENTERPRISE Fiftieth Anniversary Editionp 25