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Hallock: The Past


Kathy Jerome


As he walked down the main street of Hallock in the yearof 1880, 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, but most of all,a future.

The building he saw was the Hallock Hotel, which he builtand for which the town was named. It was built mainly for the hunters,traveling on the Red River. This land was described as a hunter's paradiseand, therefore, attracted many hunters. The area became well known forits hunting land and many hunters and settlers moved in. Many of them settledin the town of Hallock, building their own homes as permanent settlements.

The town began to expand rapidly with the large numberof settlers coming in. Hallock became the county seat and held its firstsession of District Court in the Hallock Hotel on July 5, 1881. In 1892,the people of the county began an agitation for the construction of a courthouse. A meeting of the commissioners decided it would be built in Hallock. The following year, the $20,000 courthouse was 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 becompared to the Hinkley Forest Fire which Charles Hallock describes:

"From above the dense umbrage of pine forest lying toward the west a column of blue and white smoke rose upright into the air like a pillar of cloud, apparently not a 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." (1)

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 earlyyouth, he has been a newspaperman. He became financial editor of Harper'sWeekly. Later in 1873, he founded the sportsman's magazine, Forest andStreams, and was connected with numerous other publications.

A bank, the first in the county, was set 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. JohnRich was the first cashier.

Three churches were constructed in Hallock in the 1880'sand 1890's. In 1891, a Presbyterian Church was built, which was destroyedby fire and later replaced. The Swedish Christian Mission Church was builtin 1895 and St. Patricks Church, in 1897. Since then they all have beenremodeled.

Dr. Gustab Demars was the first regular physician to cometo Hallock. Thomas Duhig had his headquarters in St. Vincent, however,which was a neighboring town, a few years before Dr. Demars settlement.

More businesses began to spring up as more people camein the beginning of the 1900's. A creamery was constructed in 1906 anda theater, 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 $19,000 rink was in use by 1934.

Several teams were organized and they eventually competedin tournaments. One hockey player said, "Hallock is one of the fastestteams 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 newest of all, a skatingrink. Charles Hallock would be proud, should he see the town that he madea 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 may fallupon the town.



(1) Lincoln, Robert. Kittson County Enterprise. FiftiethAnniversary Edition. page 24.

(2) Kittson County Enterprise. Fiftieth Anniversary 25

(2) Kittson County Enterprise. Fiftieth Anniversary 25