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Michael Rustad's Memories

Third Grade


I was a third grader during the 1957-58 school year. Mrs.Minnie

Hylland was my teacher in the combined third and fourthgrades at

Humboldt-St. Vincent High School. Humboldt-St. Vincentwas a consolidated

school but maintained separate third and fourth grade classroomsfor the two

towns. St. Vincent students included Diane Jerde, MarthaMae Carlson, Rhoda

Symington, Wanda Hosch, Carl Seed, Russ Symington, MargieRyan, Dennis

Crotty, Linda Anderson, Ruth Seed, Elaine Surface, JaneClow, Cheryl Easter,

Sharon Short, Jim Ward, Richard Anderson and Pat Ziuchovski.


The St. Vincent third and fourth graders were taught byMs. Eliza Moore, a

distinguished St. Vincent educator in one of her last years in the classroom. The

third and fourth graders attending Humboldt were also taught by a veteran

teacher: Mrs. Minnie Hylland. Mrs. Hylland was originally from the Badger

area and married to Martin Hylland, who served as a custodian in the school.

The third and fourth graders included Dean Ritter (son of Rev. and Mrs.Ritter);

Carolyn Wiese, Maryls Diamond, Jan Armstrong, Barbara Norberg,Robert

Ward, Tom Brown, Richard Dykhuis, Earl Hunt, Peter Tri, Rebecca Clow,

Margie Twamley, John Hunt, Michael Rustad, Lee Dexter,Renee Jerome, Judy

Burton, Lois Olsonowski, Joyce Finney, Jeff Lofberg , Ave Boatz, Ralph Giffen,

Ron Baldwin, Jerry Olsonawski, Clara Twamley, Janice Bahr,and Linda


One of my memories is enjoying homogenized milk (chocolateand white) out of

huge metal coolers. The supply was unlimited and frequentlyI would have up

to 8 glasses at a sitting. The most milk I ever drankat one sitting was 16

glasses. I won my bet with Dave Boatz but paid the pricewith a huge stomach

ache! Hazel Lofberg and Mildred Turner were the cooksin those days. We

always had unlimited access to peanut butter, government-issuedsurplus

cheese and other commodities thanks to the federal government. The coffee

was served to the teachers in brown melmac cups. We allate on metal trays

which could make quite a racket. We sat on long tableswith attached

benches. Food fights were uncommon but often we were quitenoisy. I

remember lots of jokes being made at the expense of teachers.


Our bus drivers that year were Kenneth Lang, Willis Finney,Joe Giffen, Herman
Loer and Gene Ward. In 1958 our custodian was still Lawrence Burton. His

daughter Judy was in our class and whenever Judy had abirthday, Lawrence

would bring the whole class pop. Mrs. Janet LeMasurier,a former teacher,

was the office secretary at Humboldt and was a very wiseperson. She spoke

very well and often assisted pupils with lost clothing,etc. St. Vincent's

cook was Winnie Lapp and Janet's husband, Harv LeMasurierwas St. Vincent's



Humboldt did not have much by way of organized sports in1958

and did not yet have a football team. The 1957-58 basketballteam was

divided into an A and B team. Jim Tri, John Brown, WillisRoberts, Dean

Anderson, Ronnie Clow, Bob Turner, Bob Ritter, Jim Sylvester,Larry Turner,

and Johnny Cleem played on the Humboldt Huskie basketballteam. My only

memory of that team is Willis Roberts at the Center positionand Bob Turner

playing guard along with Larry Turner. Humboldt-St. Vincent'sB team in 1958

was composed of one group with a uniform: Leroy Clow,Allan Ward, Richard

Olsonawski, Marvin Cleem, Bob Ritter, Dan Hughes, LorneLofberg, Dick

Gatheridge, Bob Olson, Richard Cleem, John Isely, JohnCleem and Reggie

Hemmes. There was also a sub-B team who swapped theirwhite tee shirts for

jerseys when they entered the game. This group had EverettJohnston, Tom and

Mike Baldwin, Mike Gooselaw, Lenny Iten, Orlin Bergh, RogerHarris, and

Dennis Diamond. There was only one basketball coach andthat was Mr. John

Varriano, an Italian gentleman with a strict disciplinarianethic. Mr.

Varriano was not a coach to put up with nonsense and afew team members

learned this from all accounts from the team. The Huskieswere not a

particularly competitive team, though the seeds for thebest teams in

Humboldt basketball history were being developed on theB team. The

cheerleaders that year were: Peggy Feick, Betty Clow,Barara Clow and Cleo

Wang. The B team cheerleaders were Margie Surface, MichelleBaldwin and

Mary Ryan.


One of my most vivid memories was the baton twirling teamthat

performed at halftime. My Mother wanted me to join thebaton twirling team

but I fought hard against it and won. We had a numberof baton twirlers who

were some of the prettiest girls in the school, but therewere only two boys

and I was not interested in joining the group. The batontwirlers were

instructed by Orleen Roberts, who was then a student atUND and the daughter

of our principal O.A. Roberts and English (Speech) teacher,Martha Roberts.

Carolyn Wiese, Susan Finney, Kathy Tri, Patsy Bouvette,Nancy Diamond, Judy

Gooselaw, Rosemary Godon, Michelle Baldwin, Joan Olsonawski,Amy Johnson,

Mary Baldwin, Grace MacAdams, Linda Stewart, Judy Burton,Jan Bahr, Doreen
Giffen, Marlys Diamond, Linda Johnston, Mary Bernath, Lois Olsonawski,

Delores Diamond and Cynthia Baldwin were on the baton twirlinggroup. Ron

MacAdams and David Twamley were the only boys. The boyssometimes tried to
twirl those batons but often ended up bonking each other with those rubber

tipped weapons of war.


Humboldt fielded a speech team in 1958 under the directionof Mrs. Roberts.

Subdistrict contestants included: Carol Clow, Kathy Wiese, Eileen Finney,

Marion Anderson, Ken Wiese, Willis Roberts, John Brown, Peggy Feick, Lynn

Babcock, Michelle Baldwin, Joanne Ward, Betty Clow, Grace Dykhuis, Sonia

Klein and Ruth Ward.


Humboldt began its dominance in sppech in 1958. At thedistrict level, John

Brown won the extemporaneous speaking category. Marie Tri won the award

for best original oration. Ken Wiese won the discussionevent and Willis

Roberts won for pantomine. In those days, Humboldt-St.Vincent had an

all-school competition to determine who would representthe school. The team

practiced by doing sessions at the elementary grades. I remember Willis

Roberts' pantomine but little else. That year, Ken Wieseand Willis Roberts

represented Humboldt at the Regional Competition. Humboldt-St.Vincent

frequently placed well against much larger schools suchas Roseau, Crookston,

Warren etc. Buck Waldron, Kittson County's sheriff spokeat an assembly at

the school in 1958. That summer Buck was tragically killedby at the

stockcar races in Hallock. I still remember hearing thenews of Buck

Waldron's death at the cafe on a Sunday morning beforegoing to church.


The school administration in 1958 consisted of SuperintendentC.T. Hermes.

O.A. Roberts was the Principal. The Board of Educationconsisted of Arnold

Wiese, Art Clinton, Roger Ward, Allan Smith, Albert Clowand School Board

President Virgil Bockwitz. I noticed in the Kittson CountyEnterprise that

Virgil Bockwitz celebrated his 90th birthday in March of1999. The 1958

faculty consisted of Mrs. Verta Johnson, Martha Roberts,Quentin Dieter,

Ruebin Ohmann, John Varriano, Thomas Davies, Joan Dornan,Vivian Quigley,

Mabel Evers, C.T. Hermes, O.A. Roberts and Minnie Hylland. The St. Vincent

teachers were Maribel Berg, Eliza Moore and Kathleen Dexter.


The advertisers for the 1958 edition of The Whip includedJerry Eaton

(photographer at Hallock); the Noyes Grocery, Willie Clow'sMobil Gas

Station (St. Vincent) Wiese Brothers and Bahr Farms (Arnoldand Alvin Wiese,

Earl Bahr); Kittson County NH3 Service (R.H. Dappen);Hallock Savings &

Loan, Gordon's Market of Hallock, L.B. Hartz Store; P.& M. Furniture of

Hallock, Attorney A.D. Bornemann, Dr. Garfield McAllen(optometrist);

Hallock Cut Rate Store; G.A. Leonard Norberg Post 63 ofthe American Legion;
Sjostrand Jewelry, Otter Tail Power, Uptwon Standard Station of Hallock,

Pederson Lumber Co. (Art Pederson); Heneman's Cash Storeof Pembina,

Pembina Bank, Larry Lang (bar owner); Hartz Store of Pembina,Pembina Cafe,
Pembina Coast-to-Coast, Dick Ellingson (bar owner) Coast to Coast Storeof

Hallock (Stephen Walski); Hallock Farmers Mutual Fire InsuranceCompany of

Hallock, Streed Electric of Hallock, Hallock's Farmer'sStore, Hallock

Agsco, Hallock Cleaners, Hallock Co-op Elevator, McVeanMotor Company,

The Grand Theatre, Carl's Cafe, Dr. Harry Hanson (dentist); Hallock Autoand

Implement, Red Barn of Hallock , Miller-Bernstrom MotorCo., Clay Drug

Store, Louie's Barber Shop, Pembina Service (Thomas Nord); Pembina

Recreation, W.D. Treleaven (Denist); Gullander Hardware, Lyman Brink,



Other Hallock businesses who served as boosters to The1958 Whip included:

West Hotel, Farmers Union GTA Elevator, Valley Manufacturing Works,

Pemberton Honey Farms, Hotel Hallock, Dr. Giesbrecht., Kittson County

Enterprise, Hallock Eats, Kittson Motors, Lander's Shoe Service, Tranberg

Brothers, Woman's Shop and the Corner Cafe. Barry's Garage of Pembina,

W.C. Mackay of Noyes and Elmer Maxwell (Standard Service) were also listedas


There was also a special greeting from Andy Larson andCal Hoenke

(owners and operators of Hallock's funeral home). Everson'sParts, Hallock

Eagles Club, the Hallock Creamery, Cooperative Services(Hallock); E.F.

Quade, the Hallock Radiator Shop were also advertisers. Rene's Garage of

Pembina as well as Christopher Service and Sales were alsoadvertisers.

Central Lumber Co. operated by Harvey Demars had an advertisement. Larger

advertisements were purchased by Don Brown's Deep RockOil Company. Don

Brown had a quarter page advertisement as did Phillip Hughes'Border Cafe.

The Noyes Standard and Wilkie's Mobile Service had 1/8thpage ads as did

Short's Cafe of St. Vincent and Johnson's Junction DriveIn. Hallock's

Northwestern State Bank had a full-page advertisement,as did Baldwin-Miller

General Appliances. (Mark Baldwin and Curt Miller); BobBoatz took out a

full-page advertisement for the Humboldt Elevator alsolisting his assistant

manager, Maynard C. Docken. Warren Iseley, propriertorof the Humboldt

Insurance Agency had a full-page ad. People purchasinga full-page

advertisement received a copy of the Whip. The copy thatI am using for this

report belongs to Beth Boatz of Rogers, N.D. The 1958Whip belonged to Bob

Boatz, one of the advertisers.

One third of a page ads were paid for by Abbie's Junction(Cities Service),

Sylvester's Store, and the St. Vincent Elevator Company,all of St. Vincent.

Mayme Jury published a fourth of a page shared with Bockwtizfarms, P.N.

Tri's Northland Apiaries and Selmer Locken's Humboldt Cafe.


I think that a content analysis of the advertisements showsus that in 1958, Kittson
County was a vibrant center of business activity. This was prior to thetime that

everyone would bypass the local businesses to shop at Wallmart and GrandForks.

The pattern is clear. Kittson County is now a shell of what it was in 1958.

Humboldt and St. Vincent are good examples of rural decline. In 1958, both

towns had numerous businesses, a school, churches andwere centers of

community life. Today, it is difficult to envision thatboth towns had a

strong sense of community.

St. Vincent, for example, had a very well respected CurlingClub, which has

long since closed. St. Vincent also had a well attendedfair each Fall. The

St. Vincent Fair was my Grandpa Rustad's favorite fairbecause it was devoid

of commercialism and consisted in a celebration of agriculturallife. I

showed sheep at the St. Vincent Fair. In 1958, the Humboldt-St.Vincent band

played a complete concert for fair goers. Rather thancotton candy and corn

dogs, we had delicious food such as homemade pies and othertreats prepared

by the residents of St. Vincent. The demographic trendsince 1958 has

brought about a depopulation of St. Vincent.


St. Vincent's School was closed in the 1960s. By 1992,Humboldt-St.

Vincent's school was also closed. I am hoping that otherswith even more

knowledge of rural life in our Red River Valley will contributefurther to

our reconstruction of what daily life was like in and outsideof school in

the 1950s, 1960s and even earlier decades.


My memory of the 1958 school year was refreshed by havingaccess to the

1958 edition of The Whip which was the year book of theHumboldt-St. Vincent


The 1958 Whip which was edited by Marie Tri, my formercathechism teacher.

Betty Clow, Louise Finney, and Peggy Feick were also onthe Whip Staff.

I would like to acknowledge my friend Beth Boatz Aldingerand Dorothy Boatz

who suggested that I research Humboldt memories throughan examination of old

One last memory: The junior class play in 1958 was directedby Quintin

Dieter. The name of the play was Henpecked Henry. I knowthat I attended

the play starring John Brown, Ian Shaw, Louise Finney,Joanne Ward, Grace

Dykhuis, Carole Loer, Ronnie Clow, Bob Turner, Betty Clowand Peggy Feick.

research Humboldt memories throughan examination of old

One last memory: The junior class play in 1958 was directedby Quintin

Dieter. The name of the play was Henpecked Henry. I knowthat I attended

the play starring John Brown, Ian Shaw, Louise Finney,Joanne Ward, Grace

Dykhuis, Carole Loer, Ronnie Clow, Bob Turner, Betty Clowand Peggy Feick.