More Than 40 Years Ago…

Featured below are local news items from more than 40 years ago.

First Post Office (1894)

The first post office was established on June 18, 1894 at the Carson Trading Post on the south shore of Lake Bemidji. It was supplied from Park Rapids, just 46 miles to the southwest. The nearest other post office was about 80 miles to the southeast at Leech Lake. At first the mail came twice a week on the stage run by William Bartletson. The stage made the trip from Bemidji to Park Rapids, a distance of fifty miles, in one day by changing teams at Lake George. When the documents were signed on June 16, 1894, the population to be served was 150. The post office was described as sixty rods from the Mississippi River, on the south side of it and two miles from the nearest creek on the east. The general location is known but never pin pointed. In 1903, the Crookston Lumber Company built a saw mill, and the area where the Carson Trading Post stood was leveled off and used as a lumber yard. After the fire at the mill and lumber yard in 1924, U. S. Highway #2 was rerouted and constructed along the south shore of Lake Bemidji and some more fill and leveling of ground destroyed all evidence of any buildings being there. Sixty rods from the river would bring it just beyond where the Standard Lumber Company was located on Midway Drive, since renamed Paul Bunyan Drive.

A Big Storm (1896)

A wind storm of unusual severity accompanied by a deluge of rain and an incessant flashing of lightning and roll of thunder, struck Bemidji Tuesday afternoon at about 4:30 pm. The storm moved from the southwest to the northeast, and the wind must have traveled at a high rate of speed as it had some of the earmarks of a tornado. During the storm, Freeman Doud’s house was struck by lightning, and Mr. and Mrs. Doud had a narrow escape from instant death. The lightning came down the chimney and made its exit out the front door. “Wolf,” Mrs. Doud’s pet dog, who was lying in front of the stove, was killed instantly. Both Mr. and Mrs. Doud were in the room at the time, and were stunned. The greatest destruction seems to have been done to trees. Trees were blown down on the lakefront and in the surrounding country, and in several places the roads leading into the city were blocked. (Pioneer, Aug 6, 1896)

Storm at Doud Home (1896)

A wind storm of unusual severity accompanied by a deluge of rain and an incessant flashing of lightning and roll of thunder, struck Bemidji Tuesday afternoon at about 4:30 pm. The storm moved from the southwest to the northeast, and the wind must have traveled at a high rate of speed as it had some of the earmarks of a tornado. During the storm, Freeman Doud’s house was struck by lightning, and Mr. and Mrs. Doud had a narrow escape from instant death. The lightning came down the chimney and made its exit out the front door. “Wolf,” Mrs. Doud’s pet dog, who was lying in front of the stove, was killed instantly. Both Mr. and Mrs. Doud were in the room at the time, and were stunned. The greatest destruction seems to have been done to trees. Trees were blown down on the lakefront and in the surrounding country, and in several places the roads leading into the city were blocked. (Pioneer, Aug 6, 1896)

Hotel Remore Sold (1898)

The sale of the Hotel Remore property to Geo. McTaggert and Earl Geil has been practically agreed upon, though not yet closed up by transfer of papers. The purchasers have deposited a forfeit to conclude the transfer by July 1st. This is the largest real estate deal ever made in Bemidji, and includes the hotel and furniture and the two lots at the corner of Third and Beltrami, the consideration being $3,000, or $1,500 for the lots and $1500 for the structure and contents. The price is a very reasonable one, as the location is one of the best in town.

The elder Remore came to Bemidji in the winter of 1895, and built the first building in present Bemidji — the two lower stories of the present structure. It was quite a venture in those days, and required a good deal of nerve. But the judge had it, and the Remore has been a Bemidji institution ever since.

The Remores will still be identified with Bemidji, the younger people intending to reside in town in the winter, and at Guy’s homestead on Lake Plantagenet in the summer, where they will erect a sportsman’s paradise, and keep fishers and hunters and other invalids for a little matter of $7 a week and expenses.

Geo. McTaggert has been landlord of the Great Northern hotel for a year past, and will be in charge of the new Remore, with Earl Geil and his wife bossing him around six days in a week and running it themselves on Sunday. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, June 23, 1898)



Swedback Mill (1898)

Swedback Brothers yesterday dismantled their mill on the edge of the marsh and completed its removal to Lake Irvine, where they will in a few weeks have it in operation on a much larger scale. The new mill will be a substantial and steady sawyer. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, July 23, 1898)

Swedback Bros. have finished sawing and will now devote their time to completing their sawmill. (Nov 3, 1898)

Swedback Bros. have commenced the erection of a large dwelling house on Minnesota Avenue, opposite Mayor Smith’s which will be occupied by A. P. White as soon as completed. (Nov 3, 1898)

Delano Eagle: E. J. Swedbck came down from Bemidji the end of last week and is engaged in packing up his household goods preparatory to leaving for the place permanently. Mr. Swedback is very much delighted with his business prospects in his new location and thinks the town in which he has cast his lot is destined to become an important trading point. Swedback Bros. are among the leading business men, having two saw mills and a big lumber business which promises to develop into an industry of large proportions. (Nov 3, 1898)

Swedback brothers are building a large warehouse at their lumber yards on the south side. (May 11, 1899)

St. Benedict’s Hospital (1898)

The Order of Benedictine Sisters has decided to open a hospital in Bemidji at once. Mother Scholastica was in town on Saturday last, and rented for the temporary purpose the upper floor of Charles Nangle’s store building, which will at once be fitted up for use this winter. It was the original intention of the Sisters to build a hospital this fall, but owing to some hitch between the order and townsite company, building has been deferred until spring, when in all probability a handsome edifice will be erected near the lake shore. The temporary quarters secured will give them ample room for fifteen or twenty patients, while very serious or complicated cases can be sent by rail to either of their hospitals at Duluth, Grand Rapids or Grand Forks. The completion of a first-class hospital here will give the order a practical monopoly of the business of the Great Northern between Grand Forks and Duluth. Even a temporary sick house will be a welcome guest in Bemidji, the coming winter, as here is now the center of very extensive logging operations, and there will be many important and imperative demands for it. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, Nov 10, 1898)


Bank of Bemidji (1899)

A. P. White came back from Deer River on Tuesday, and on Wednesday the fixtures for the new bank building arrived. Today the carpenters were at work setting them up, and tomorrow the Bank of Bemidji will occupy as handsome quarters as any in northern Minnesota. Go in and look at it. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, Jan 19, 1899)

Basketball Club (1899)

The Bemidji Baseball Club was organized last week with the following officers: E. V. Coon, manager; Allie Brenner, Captain; Fred Nason, Secretary and treasurer. The following are members: Edward Kaiser, C. W. Speelman, Thomas English, J. Benner, Edward Boyd, George Rogers, J. C. Gibson, Earl Geil, E. Wieser, Harvey Woodward, and Edward Naylor. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, May 4, 1899)

Bailey’s Addition (1899)

L. H. Bailey has platted the 80-acre tract lying just north of the Carson Addition. The lots in this new addition will be out on the market at once, there are none smaller than 50-foot lots and we are informed that the prices will be reasonable. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, May 11, 1899)

Steidl Sawmill (1899)

John Steidl has commenced operations at his sawmill on Lake Irvine. Mr. Steidl will run his mill from now on, to its full capacity, sawing at the rate of over 35,000 feet daily. He has put in something like $4,000 worth of improvements, having a complete outfit, such as planer, lath mill, trimmer, edger, etc., and with his 75 H.P. engine will have the most up-to-date mill in the Northwest. He expects to saw over 2,000,000  feet this season. Mr. Steidl deserves praise for the energy and enterprise displayed in bringing this industry to the front, making employment for an army of men. (Bemidji Weekly Pioneer, May 11, 1899)

Hamm’s Brewing Company (1899)

The Hamm’s Brewing Company of St. Paul is erecting a warehouse on the shore opposite the B & N depot. The building will be 16 x 20, with an additional office 10 x 10. The Superintendent Herrick and nine men are now laying a stone foundation, and all of the other material is on the ground. (July 13, 1899)

Baseball Park (1899)

A baseball club was organized last week with A. T. Wheelock, manager and J. Gibson, captain. Grounds for a diamond have been secured on Beltrami avenue, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. (Bemidji Pioneer, Jul 27, 1899)

Bemidji Pioneer Newspaper

The Bemidji Pioneer is one of Bemidji’s excellent newspapers, and is published by Edward Kaiser and A. M. Greeley. Mr. Kaiser cae to Bemidji Feb 22, 1896, and in company with A. W. Foss, started the Pioneer the following month. Mr. Foss retired from the paper a year later, and was succeeded by W. F. Street, attorney at law, who was connected with the paper until oct 1, 1899, when he sold his interest to Mr. Greeley, who came here from West Superior, Wis. The Pioneer is well established, and is doing a prosperous business. Mr. Kaiser was appointed U. S. court commissioner soon after coming here, but resigned that office on being appointed postmaster of Bemidji in May, 1898, which position he still holds. (Bemidji Pioneer, January 1900)

Beltrami County News

The Beltrami County News is owned and edited by C. R. Martin, one of the bright editors of the state. He established his paper here in March, 1898 and it has steadily grown into great popularity. It is independent in politics, and is the official paper of the village. Mr. Martin’s advice is considered valuable in the affairs of the village and county. He is secretary of the Fire Department of Bemidji, and selected the splendid equipment by which the department has been able to protect the village from fire so effectually. Mr. Martin’s printing office is centrally located in Malzahn block, where he has a very good newspaper and job printing outfit. (Bemidji Pioneer, January 1900)


Naylor & Young (1900)

The firm of Naylor & Young consists of E. L. Naylor and H. M. Young, who came here from Wadena, Minn., in May, 1898, and constructed a good, two-story building in the business center on Third street, between Beltrami and Minnesota avenues, where they opened for business in June of that year with a good stock of furniture and with upholstering and framing rooms in connection, also, a first class undertaking department. Repair work was also added to the business. Good management and careful attention to the orders of customers have brought a steadily increasing trade and the business is very prosperous. (Bemidji Pioneer, January 1900)


Bemidji to Paris, Round Trip (1900)


Mart Adson, traveling passenger agent for the Duluth, South Shore & Atlantic Railroad, was in town last Friday, distributing literature and jarring up business for his road. This company offers the most direct line to the eastern coast and to the Paris Exposition, which begins April 16.

Mr. Adson says his road does not expect any mad rush on this occasion, as the question will not be, Who is going to Paris? but rather, Who can go? Two-thirds of the steamer berths have been engaged already,and thousands of people who are planning to go will discover at the last moment that they cannot secure passage further than New York.

For  $145 a person can get a trip ticket from Bemidji to Paris and return, with second-class steamer accommodations. The PIONEER editor would like to make the trip and fill his system with gay Pairee sights, absinthe and frog legs, but we fear that a rush of job work and wild-eyed creditors at the last moment will force us to avoid the rush by staying at home. (Mar 1900)

City Hotel Expands (1900)

M. S. Maltby is the new proprietor of this popular hotel, which is conveniently located on Beltrami avenue, between Third and Fourth Streets. Mr. Maltby is an experienced hotel man and knows how to please his customers. He has overhauled and refitted the establishment, and everything in connection with it is neat, tidy and comfortable. (January 1900)

The City Hotel is undergoing an attack of expansion, and it will soon be among the largest buildings in Bemidji. The Freestone Bros. have purchased the adjoining building to the north, the old Symmes building, and carpenters are remodeling both buildings and building a three story addition to the rear. The completed building will be 50×54 feet in dimensions, and will be as conveniently arranged for hotel purposes as a landlord could desire. (Bemidji Pioneer, May 10, 1900) Owing to the large number of patrons that throng the dining room of the City Hotel, the proprietors have been compelled to remodel the building and make it twice its former size. (July 12, 1900)

The City Hotel was at 313 Beltrami Avenue, just north of the alleyway.

An Owl court has been organized among the boarders at the City Hotel, with B. C. Barrett, of Park Rapids, as judge.  Permanent organization was effected last Monday night and new members are being taken in at each meeting.  The constitution will be found posted on the ceiling of the City hotel lobby after Saturday night.  The members must abide by the rules or “there’s somethin’ doin’,” as one member found to his sorrow the other evening.  The new order promises to be the swiftest society in town.  (2/19/1903)

The City Hotel was replaced by a Wm. Ross’ hardware store in August 1904. More recent Bemidji residents will know the location as that of the City Drug Store, which the Erickson family operated from the 1950s into the 1980s.


Ice Boats on Lake Bemidji (1901)

The several ice boats now on the lake are doing a thriving business, judging from the jolly crowds that go skimming over the ice almost every evening.  The sport is most exhilarating, which causes one to almost wish he were a boy again. (Bemidji Pioneer, Jan 3, 1901)

Third Street Dock (1901)

The handsome and exquisite dock that was constructed at the foot of Third street last spring by order of the city council, is at the present time in a very dilapidated condition, the ice having crowded the whole structure toward the setting sun and to such an extent that the absolute reconstruction will be necessary.

St. Anthony’s Hospital, 1901

Strangers who visit our beautiful little city, either on business or for pleasure, are not content until they have meandered along the banks of Lake Bemidji or have enjoyed a sail upon its limpid waters. About one-half mile up the west bank they come suddenly in front of the most imposing building in the city, and at once ask: “Oh, what a handsome building! What is it?” The only answer that can possibly be given is “That is St. Anthony’s hospital, the finest institution of a like character in Northwestern Minnesota, for that matter, in the state.”

St. Anthony’s hospital is one of a group of five like institutions in the northern part of the state, within or in close proximity to the pine regions, viz: St. Mary’s, Duluth; St. Joseph’s, Brainerd; St. Benedict’s, Grand Rapids; and St. Vincent’s, Crookston. While those at Duluth and Brainerd are of greater capacity, still St. Anthony’s is the most complete in all its appointments,  as it is the design of the management to make it permanent on account of its superior location near the highest altitude in the Northwest. Situated as it is, in the midst of the pine belt, there cannot possibly be a more healthful locality anywhere, being especially soothing to those who suffer from pulmonary afflictions.

Two years ago a portion of the building was erected, and last year it was completed. The entire structure, including the furnishings, cost the sum of a little over $30,000.

The basement is constructed of native boulders in a very substantial and complete manner. The building is three stories above the basement, being of very attractive architecture. The floors are all of hardwood. There are waterworks, electric lights, electric call bells, steam heat, elevator, etc. The office and reception room is at the main entrance.

The hospital is a model of cleanliness, and so carefully is everything conducted that the very air or dust of the rooms cannot mingle, and when any room is vacated by a patient, no matter with what disease they may have suffered, the premises are thoroughly fumigated. To all who are homeless, or who are strangers employed in the vicinity, we would urge to purchase a hospital ticket which will admit them to any one of the group of hospitals mentioned. For prices they should consult the sisters. A $9 ticket entitles the holder toward treatment during one year from date of ticket. A $6 ticket, good for six months, at all hospitals; a six months’ ticket for $5, good at Bemidji, Brainerd, Grand Rapids and Crookston only; also, a $1 ticket, good for one month only on that particular hospital by which it was issued. There are no assessments. (Bemidji Pioneer, front page, June 27, 1901)

Photographer Roland Reed

Photographer Reed has rented office room above McLennan’s hardware store, opposite the courthouse, and will remodel it for his studio.  He will remove from the lakeshore soon.  Building for sale by Photographer Reed, the one he has used for a gallery on the lakeshore.  Newly built and the best of material.  Big discount for cash.  (Oct 3. 1901) Reed has rented the old post office building, and it is being remodeled into a first-class gallery.  His old building on the lakeshore will be attached to the rear of the old post office building, and the front room will be used as a retail department.  (Oct 24, 1901)

Pump House Explosion (1902)

Friday morning at 2 o’clock the gasoline in the city waterworks pump house exploded, sending the majority of the engine and pump house beyond reach of the naked eye, the balance being demolished by fire. M. E. Carson, who was in charge of the pump at the time, was severely burned. It looked at one time as though the water tower would be enveloped in flames, and only for the prompt action taken by the fire department it
would have been burned to the ground. (Jan 2, 1902)

First Harness Maker in Bemidji (1902)

The first harness maker to open up for business in Bemidji was Frank J. Longcoy, who came here in the fall of 1895, and has grown from a small one-man shop to an up-to-date establishment employing four men with the good prospect of an increase in the spring.  Mr. Longcoy came here from Forest River and established the first harness shop in the city in the old Willit’s building until fall of 1902, when he moved into the building he now occupies in order to accommodate his increasing business.  (1/22/1903)

Lake Bemidji Skating Rink (1901-1902)

I. L. Baptie, a brother of Baptie the skater, has started a first class skating rink near the dock at the foot of Third Street. The dimensions of the rink will be 80 x 180 feet. Special events will be provided for throughout the season.  (Pioneer, Nov 1901)

The skating rink is gone.  The floor melted out; the roof and walls were carted off by J. P. Duncalf who purchased the lumber for $250.  It is probable that the rink will not be rebuilt next winter, as Mr. Baptie is reported to have dropped over $1000 in the enterprise.  (Pioneer, Apr 1902)

Shevlin-Carpenter Lumber Co Buys Land for Saw Mill (1902)

The Shevlin-Carpenter Lumber Company closed a deal with the Bemidji Townsite Company, whereby the former come into possession of over a hundred acres of land at the south end of Lake Bemidji, with shore rights, for the purpose of erecting a saw mill, and also all the parks on lake shore in the city between the dock and Diamond Point are included.  The price paid for the property was $7,000, with the condition that the city of Bemidji can buy the parks in question for the sum of $2,000.  (Bemidji Pioneer, 8/7/1902)

Crookston Lumber Company Begins Clearing Timber (1902)

Crookston Lumber Co. began this morning to clear off the timber from the 100 acres of land on the south end of Lake Bemidji upon which it is to construct its new sawmill.  Fifty men are at work and many more are wanted.  The timber on the land is being cut and piled up, stumps are being pulled and a general activity prevails.  The grounds are to be leveled up and all the old shacks removed.  Sam Simpson is general superintendent of the whole works, and Michael Sullivan of our village is foreman.   Instead of bringing men here from out of town to work, they first hired all the men in town that were available at a salary of $2 a day, which is good pay for cutting brush.  “Any man that wants to work,” says Manager Simpson, “can go over there and cut brush at $2 a day.” (Sept 4, 1902)

Nymore (1902)

The new townsite of Nymore has been making quite a stir in real estate circles. The rather unique name arises from the fact that the land embraced was originally owned by Porter Nye of this city, and the latter syllable of the word is taken from the cognomen of Mr. J. C. Moore, also of Bemidji, who is most interested in the project. The site is in close proximity to the new mill now in process of construction at the south end of the lake.

Thirty-two residence and business lots have already been sold, and the parties purchasing them are preparing to begin the erection of buildings as early as is possible. In addition to this, contracts have been let for the clearing and laying out of streets and the building of a corduroy road on the west side of the site. The sale of lots continues and Nymore bids fair to become a proposition worthy of notice. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Nov 6. 1902)

Dr. Roland Gilmore Sets Up Practice (1902)

In the coming to this city of Dr. Roland Gilmore, Bemidji has not only gained a physician who comes recommended as one of more than ordinary skill, but as well a man of character and good standing.  Dr. Gilmore has for the past few years been in the practice of medicine at our neighboring town of Fosston, but has chosen to engage a suite of office rooms in the Miles block and open a practice in Bemidji.  (Nov 20, 1902)

Mrs. Brinkman to Build Hotel (Jan 1903)

Unimproved property is selling at high prices in Bemidji.   Mrs. M. E. Brinkman purchased three lots at the corner of 3rd and Bemidji Avenue for $9,000.  This property is said to be the choicest hotel property in northern Minnesota, having a frontage upon the boulevard of 140 feet, and facing 75 feet upon 3rd street.  It is the intention of Mrs. Brinkman to erect upon these lots this summer a three-story brick hotel building, costing $25,000.  (Pioneer, Jan 22, 1903)

Boys’ Drum Corps Organized (1903)

By the untiring efforts of J. J. Ellis, a drum corps has at last been organized with a membership of sixteen.  Manager, Mr. Ellis; instructor, David Booth.  Meetings are Tuesday and Saturday nights promptly at 7:30 o’clock.  More members solicited.  Boys from 8 to 14 years of age preferred.  (Pioneer, 3/24/1903)

City Scavenger Censured (1903)

City Scavenger Censured – Aug 13, 1903.  The business section of Bemidji is in a very unsanitary condition, and the man supposed to look after the cleanliness of the village has been decidedly lax in carrying out his duties. This is the substance of the report submitted to the village council last night by the board of health, which held a meeting at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon. The report stated that several buildings near the business center of town needed a thorough cleaning, both inside and out, and that they should be disinfected. It also severely censured the city scavenger for his lax methods in looking after the city’s health, and recommended that the council take some action to make him do his work. There are many foul smelling holes, reeking with the rankest kind of filth, back of some of the business blocks, said the report. It was voted to accept the report and refer it to the city scavenger.

Fire on the Hill (1904)


Four Houses of Prostitution Went Up in Smoke This Morning About Three O’clock.

The first really destructive fire in the history of this city occurred this morning, and as a
result four houses of prostitution went up in smoke at a loss aggregating $20,000. Wm. Duncalf, Fred C. Tyson, Frank Gagnon and W. E. Rose were the proprietors of the places. The fire started about 3 o’clock, and the fire department was immediately called out, but upon their arrival found the buildings a mass of flames on the inside, and nothing could be done to save them. They turned their attention to the adjoining buildings.
Streams were turned onto the Blake house and the Thurston & Love saloon building, and were in this manner successful in confining the fire to the buildings already in flames. All efforts to save anything from the burning mass were futile, some of the occupants narrowly escaping with their lives.

Due to the closing up last week each of the houses had only two or three occupants, and no bartenders were employed on the night shift. It has been their custom since the saloon part only has been in commission to work the day bartender until about midnight and close up. This was done last night. The bartender at Tyson’s closed up at midnight, leaving a good fire in the bar room stove, and it is the supposition that the door in some manner was opened and some of the coals fell to the floor.

The fire was not discovered until after the whole interior of the place was a mass of flames, and was spreading to the adjoining buildings.

The buildings were all two-story frame structures and aggregate a loss in the neighborhood of $20,000, distributed as follows:
Fred C, Tyson,… $5,000  [320-322 Second Street, Block 21, Lots 11-12, original townsite, corner lot]
Wm. Duncalf… $7,000 [318 Second Street, Block 21, Lot 10, original townsite]
Frank Gagnon….$ 4,000 [316 Second Street, Block 21, Lot 9, original townsite]
W. E. Rose…$5,000 [314 Second Street, Block 21, Lot 8, original townsite]

Insurance was carried on each of the places except that of Gagnon’s. Mr. Duncalf carried $4,000, Tyson $3,500, and Rose $1,500. Some talk of incendiarism has been started, but it is believed by the large number that the fire was purely accidental, no object for incendiarism being presented. (Feb 15, 1904)

Stella Gagnon had purchased Block 21, Lot 9 for $400 on July 5, 1900.

W.E. Rose had purchased Block 21, Lot 8 for $500 on April 8, 1902.

Bemidji Beer (1904)

First Brew of German Champagne Will be Made at Brewery Soon.

Contractor Greenlaw Hurst arrived Saturday night from Wadena to put the finishing touches on the Bemidji brewery. Work has been suspended for some time. The cement floors are yet to be laid and the machinery to be put in position. The opening of the brewery depends largely on how soon the floors can be put down and the machinery placed in position. The plant is one of the finest in the state and the equipment will be put in by an expert. The first brew of Bemidji beer will be made within a few weeks, however. The trademark of the brand will be a likeness of Chief Bemidji. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Mar 1, 1904)

Fence for Court House Grounds (1904)

To Fence Grounds.
The board of county commissioners this morning awarded to Boyd & Erickson, of this city a contract for constructing a fence of brown sandstone around the court house grounds. It will greatly improve the appearance of the grounds which are the prettiest in this section of the city, the cost is moderate and the commissioners very wisely decided that it might as well be built now as after a time. (July 13, 1904)

Tom Smart’s Stage Route (1904)

The long sustained effort of the people living on the stage route from Bemidji to the Red Lake Agency have at last resulted in having a daily service ordered on the line from and after the 10th of December, 1917. The contractor, Tom Smart, will have four teams on the work and will make a station at Charles Durand’s where horses and drivers will change. The trip is fifty miles and the stage will leave here at 6 a.m., reaching the Agency and the end of the line at 8 p.m. The contract price for the service is $2250 per annum. (Bemidji Sentinel, Dec 8, 1904)

Tong Yong Sent Back to China (1905)

Chinaman Sent Back Home.
Tong Yong, an oriental who has been employed at the Sam Kee laundry in this city for some time past, was taken away by Inspector Gitt of the United States secret service department Saturday and will be sent back to China. The Chinaman was asked to show his papers but was unable to do so, hence his return to China. (Jan 23, 1905)

New Boat House and Club (1905)

A number of launch owners of the city are now planning to erect a large boat house on the shore of Lake Bemidji, and indications are that their plans will be carried to a successful conclusion.

It is intended to make the boat house about 80 x 120 feet in size, two stories in height. The first story will be divided into stalls to be used for keeping launches, while the second floor will be divided into rooms for a dancing pavilion and gymnasium. The building will be located at the foot of Fourth street and will be extended lengthwise into the lake to a point about parallel with the end of the Third street dock.

Thirty stalls will be provided, according to present plans, and the promoters of the proposition are confident that all these will readily be taken by launch owners. Those behind the project are completing plans for the building ascertaining the number of members that can be secured to join a club to be organized for the purpose of financing the venture. It is estimated that the whole cost of the building will $1,500 and there will be an attempt to secure 75 members for the club who will take shares.  (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Aug 25, 1905)

Bemidji Boat House (1905)

The promoters of the building of a new boat house at the foot of Fourth street expect that the building will be constructed next winter, and if the success which has been met in securing members to the club continues there is little doubt but that the structure will be completed so as to be ready for occupancy during the summer of 1906. Forty-four persons have already signed a list, thus signifying their willingness to become members of the club which it is proposed to organize, and the amount now subscribed is something like $1200.

The promoters are planning on securing 75 members to the club and they feel confident that the remaining,31 members can easily be added to the list with a little trouble.

Lumberjack Dies After 248 Mile Walk to Blackduck (1905)

An unknown man, apparently in the middle stage of life, is dead at the Blackduck hospital, where he suffered with typhoid fever, the result of exposure and privation sustained while walking from Minneapolis to Blackduck, a distance of 248 miles.

The man arrived at Blackduck several days ago and was taken ill shortly after his arrival. He was cared for by the authorities and placed in the hospital, where death occurred Saturday afternoon. The man was without money and had apparently come to Blackduck to obtain work in the woods. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Oct 2, 1905)


Benefit for Library (1905)

Old Plantation Quartette and Jubilee Singers at City Hall Tomorrow.

The concert to be given tomorrow night at the city hall by the Old Plantation quartette and jubilee singers for the benefit of the public library promises to be one of the musical events of the season and will undoubtedly be well patronized. The ladies of the library association have made every effort to encourage a large attendance at the concert and deserve much credit for their efforts. (Dec 22, 1905)

Baseball Park (1906)

Baseball enthusiasts of Bemidji have secured a lease for the coming summer upon block H, between Second and Third streets and between America and Irvine avenues and a first class baseball park will be perfected as soon as the weather permits. A stock company will be organized for the purpose of financing the team. A fence around the block will be built as soon as the snow disappears from the ground and a grandstand large enough to accommodate 1,000 people will be erected. Next summer’s team will be the best in northern Minnesota. (Bemidji Pioneer, Mar 22, 1906)

Mrs. Duncalf Topples 100-foot Ladder (1906)

Tho 100-foot ladder from which the high dive is made into a net at Minnesota avenue and Fourth street, fell to the ground last night, and Mrs. J. P. Duncalf, who ran into one of the guy wires with a horse and buggy, is thanking her lucky stars on a fortunate escape.
The ladder was broken in several places, but no other damage was done.
Mrs. Duncalf was driving a single rig south on Minnesota avenue last evening at about 8:45, and when she came to the ladder turned out to the left far enough, as she supposed, to clear the obstruction. There were, however, no warning lights hung out, she declares, and she was unable to see just where she was going. Had there been lights, she says
the accident would not have happened.
Suddenly her mare ran into a guy wire and started to run. She had her babe in her arms
and had some difficulty in managing the animal, but finally succeeded in getting clear of the
entanglement. But the wire had been loosened and as she drove by, Mrs. Duncalf saw the ladder swaying.
The tall, slender thing toppled toward her, and the woman was frightened nearly to death, then it gave a second lurch and fell with a crash toward the city hall. The rig passed the first crossing just as the ladder fell. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Aug 18, 1906)

Carnival High Dive and Parachute Leap (1906)

Carnival Grows in Interest With Balloon Ascension and Other Attractions.
This has been the best day of the carnival. Ideal weather, increasing crowds, and growing
enthusiasm have all added to the occasion, and without a serious accident to mar the fun, the carnival has been all that could be desired….

10:30 a. m.–Leap-the-gap on Beltrami, near the Pioneer Office.
2 p. m.–Riding in the “Cage of Death,” Minnesota and Second.
3 p. m.–“Revolving Ladder,” in front of Nicollet and Lake Shore Hotels.
4:30 p. m.– High Dive, in front of the City Hall.
5:30 p. m.–Double Trapeze, Minnesota and Third.
8:00 p. m.–Triple Aerial Bars near Markham Hotel
The Balloon Ascension and Parachute Leap

All the free attractions came off as advertised, and the high dive was pulled off as usual, although the ladder was knocked down by a rig last night. It was put up again this afternoon and was in working order by the time the act was scheduled to take place.
The long-looked-for balloon ascension was given last night. The big bag of gas was inflated on the old ball grounds, and the start was made from there. The aeronaut sailed high into the air and descended in his parachute without an accident. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Aug 16, 1906)

Pickpocket Gets Beating by Lusty Bemidji Woman (1906)

Mrs. J. J. Jinkinson Thwarts a Would be Thief in the Carnival Crowd Last Night, and Teaches Him a Lesson That Should Last for a Long Time.

Pickpockets and other petty thieves will hereafter have a wholesome respect for the prowess of the robustly healthy women of Bemidji and their ability to take good care of themselves at all times and in all places.

Last night Mrs. J. J. Jinkinson gave a strenuous demonstration of the Japanese art of jiu-jit-su that saved her the loss of her watch and chain and a valuable pair of gold rimmed spectacles, and incidentally did considerable damage to the person of covetous disposition who tried to hold her up for the spectacles and the watch.

Mrs. Jinkinson was passing the corner by the Miles “Golden Club” saloon, when some unknown man grabbed her spectacles and threw a handful of cut paper in her face, nearly smothering her. Her watch was also grabbed, but Mrs. Jinkinson hit the assaulter a hard rap over the head with her parasol and closed both her hands in his head of generous light hair, falling on top of him on the pavement. She proceeded to pound his head on the cement walk until the blood flowed freely and the man cried for help.

The would-be thief made his escape in the crowd, but not before he had been given a good sound drubbing that he will remember for some time.

Mrs. Jinkinson comes from the good old school of women who are absolutely afraid of nothing, and she amply demonstrated to the onlookers that holdups on the streets of Bemidji are not tolerated and that those who attempt anything of the kind will be handled roughly. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Aug 18, 1906)

Mississippi Bridge Being Repaired (1907)

The wagon bridge which spans the Mississippi river at the outlet of Lake Bemidji, on the east side of the lake from the city, is being repaired and will in a few days be in a thoroughly first-class condition.

Last spring, when the ice went out of Lake Bemidji, the bridge was practically wrecked in the middle and rendered almost useless as far as its services as a bridge were concerned. The damage was not taken cognizance of until recently, when J. F. Hennessey was employed to make the necessary repairs, “Jack” reports that the bridge will be in shape for use the middle of next week. (June 22, 1907)

Finest Strawberres Raised in Bemidji (1907)

The large amount of home-grown strawberries that are being brought into the city by local horticulturists are a source of considerable pride to not only the parties who grow the berries but to every resident of the city, as it demonstrates the fertility of the soil for the raising of high-class fruits. In addition to some excellent berries which have been raised by E. E. Chamberlain, M. G. Pendergast and others a very fine lot was put on the market yesterday by Martin Larson.

Mr. Larson lives in Nymore, the suburb of Bemidji, and has but a small tract that he has planted with berry wines. The results of his care of the vines has more than
surpassed his expectations. In quality, his berries are unexcelled by any anywhere. In the lot he brought to the city yesterday there were eighteen berries that tipped the scales at half a pound. They were large and” plump and solid throughout.

Mr. Larson has marketed over sixty quarts and expects to gather at least 300 quarts of the berries before the season closes. (July 12, 1907)

Andrews Has Fine Raspberries.
Among those who are marketing berries this season, there are probably none who have had finer specimens of raspberries and strawberries than T. J. Andrews. Mr. Andrews owns a five-acre tract on Irving avenue, where he has some fine strawberry plants and
raspberry bushes. He picked and marketed nearly 1,000 quarts of fine strawberries and expects to handle about 1,000 quarts of raspberries before the season closes. (Aug 14, 1907)

Turkish Baths (1906-1910)

W. D. Ford, who was connected with the Turkish bath parlors here last winter, has been in the city the last two days. He has circulated a paper among the business men of the city
and secured enough guarantees from patrons to warrant him in starting another bath parlor, which he will do in a very few days. (Oct 10, 1907)

Prof. W. B. Ford is again in charge of the Turkish bath work at the bath parlors in the Masonic building, and will be pleased to serve his old time friends and patrons. (July 29, 1908)

Hakkerup Studio Destroyed by Fire (1908)

Blaze at Hakkerup’s Studio.
The fire, which was discovered about 8:30 last evening, destroyed practically everything of value in the photograph studio of N. L. Hakkerup, on Third street, entailing a loss of about $1,200, on which there was carried insurance amounting to about $345.
Mr. Hakkerup is at loss to know how the fire started as it was evident that the flames originated in the dark room of the studio. The inflammable nature of the pictures, canvas, etc., in the interior of the studio was almost as powder to the flames and it was with the utmost difficulty that the fire department managed to get the best of the blaze. As it was, everything was destroyed that was of any value. Mr. Hakkerup has leased a tent and is again ready for business with his old patrons. (Aug 13, 1908)

Power Dam Completed (1908)

Power Dam Completed by Warfield Electric

The big power dam, which has been in process of erection at the rapids in the Mississippi river, some eleven miles east of Bemidji, has been completed, and on Nov 1st, the machinery at the dam will be put into operation and the power at the rapids will be used in operating the electric light plan by the Warfield Electric company other and other industries throughout the city which use electric power.  The idea of erecting a dam at the present location was conceived some four or five years ago, when land in that vicinity was purchased from W. G. Schroeder, who had bought the same on speculation.  Mr. Schroeder sold the site to the Warfield Electric company, which then purchased flowage rights; it was estimated that the prospective dam would flood some 300 or 400 acres of land.  At the same time the company also purchased the right-of-way for poles, which included a strip of land 100 feet wide between this city and the dam site.

The work of constructing the cofferdam began in February, the crew at that time being forced to saw through the ice in the river.  The machinery for use in the powerhouse and other necessary paraphernalia was purchased in the fall of 1907.  The dam proper is called a crib dam, being a rock-filled crib. The dam is substantially built in every respect.

The dam is 144 feet long, 72 feet wide and 23 feet high.  There is a footbridge four feet wide across the dam, and there is also a sluiceway for logs.  In the dam there is a fishway, which will allow all kinds of fish to pass freely up and down the river.  The complete cost of the dam was about $75,000.

The water wheel is of the latest improved type and is directly connected to the generator.  The wheel is 46 ft long and 6 feet in diameter.  With the present equipment the capacity of the dam is 1100 horsepower, which can be easily doubled by the addition of more machinery.

Last February the right to erect poles on land from Bemidji to the dam site was secured and a set of poles were strung with wires, power being distributed from the electric light plant in this city to the dam, which was used to run a sawmill to prepare the timbers for the dam.

By the construction of the dam, the water in the Mississippi River between Bemidji and the dam has been raised very appreciably, and there is practically dead water from the outlet of Lake Bemidji to the dam.  The rise in the water makes a fine trip by boat from this city to the dam, and it is popular trip to many of the local boatmen.

The United States government has reserved their right to place locks for boats in the north side of the dam, when navigation demands it.

John Wade of St. Paul, special agent for the war department, made a personal inspection of the dam a few days ago.  Special permission was given the company by an act of congress to build a dam across the Mississippi river, which is considered a national stream.  (Bemidji Pioneer, Oct 29, 1908)

Skating on Lake Bemidji (1908)

W.B. MacLachlan, who owns the large launch, “North Star,” on Lake Bemidji, has prepared an excellent skating rink on the ice at the end of Third street, between the city dock and the boat house, will hold his grand opening tomorrow afternoon. The rink is about 100 yards long by sixty yards wide and the ice is of unusually smooth quality. As the price of admission only five and ten cents, there will doubtless be a large crowd to take ‘advantage of this winter pastime.

Mr. MacLachlan has provided a comfortable house for the skaters to keep warm and to check their skates or other articles of which they may wish to be temporarily relieved. It is the intention of the present management to do everything in their power to make the place an attraction to the lovers of good skating. (Dec 12, 1908)

McDougal Files Declaration of Intention (1909)

Neil McDougal was born on the Island of Morrell, Scotland on January 27, 1829. He emigrated to the United States of America from Kenora, Canada on his own row boat and arrived in Warroad, Minnesota on June 11, 1909. He filed his Declaration of Intention for citizenship less than a week later on June 16, 1909 at Bemidji. He filed as a resident of Flag Island, Beltrami Co., Minnesota.

“Mathews and Mathews” Vaudeville Team (1909)

Mr. and Mrs. W. L. Mathews, who form the very popular vaudeville team of Mathews & Mathews, have returned to the city from a trip through Montana and other western states.
They have been absent for a little more than a month past and “made” several towns where they have shown before, meeting with a flattering reception everywhere. Mr. and Mrs. Mathews own a fine piece of land on the banks of the Mississippi river and about a mile from the outlet of Lake Bemidji, where they have erected a splendid log cottage and where they are thoroughly enjoying the warm summer months.

“We are greatly pleased with Bemidji and her summer attractions,” say Mathews & Mathews. (July 14, 1909)

Old Water Tower Comes Down (1909)

Bids for Sale of Old Water Tower and Tank.
Notice is hereby given that the city clerk of the City of Bemidji will receive bids until 8 o’clock p.m. September 5, 1909, for the purchase of old water tower and tank.

A certified check in amount of $100.00 on a Bemidji bank, shall accompany each bid as a guarantee that the structure will be taken down by pieces and not thrown down and it shall be entirely removed within ten days after the issuance of the bill of sale, by the city to the purchaser.

The city reserves the right to reject any or all bids.
Dated at Bemidji, Minn., August 24, 1909.
City Clerk.

Third Street Illuminated (1909)

BRILLIANT ILLUMINATED ARCH IS AN INNOVATION Barker’s Drug. Store and Brinkman Family Theater Are Made Centers of Attraction. In these days of the coming of the Soo railway and the taking on of other metropolitan airs, it is nothing out of the ordinary to see new “stunts” being pulled off in Bemidji every day, but the lighting of Third street, between Beltrami and Minnesota, last night, was an event which was so striking in character as to draw an involuntary “oh!” from all pedestrians who visited that part of the city. E. A. Barker, of Barker’s drug store, and F. £. Brinkman, manager of the Brinkman Family Theatre, turned on, for the first time, the electric current on the magnificent arch which spans Third street, reaching from the theatre to the drug store, producing a sensational effect. The entire street, from Beltrami to Minnesota, was one flash of light, the electric lights reaching to the innermost recesses of the drug store and making them as bright as day. The arch had been put in place by the Warfield Electric company and contained fourteen 100-watt, 18- candlepower incandescent lights, which gave forth a brilliant light that fairly dazzled one; and the effect of the light was to brighten the Brinkman Family Theatre and Barker’s Drug store to such an extent that any one passing that way was bound to stop and further investigate the lighting. The windows of the big Barker’s Drug Store had been decorated in a tasteful manner and one could see all kinds of jewelry, precious stones, watches, clocks, etc , which would rival the display of any metropolitan jewelry and drug store. The interior of the store is always lighted in a splendid manner so that, despite the darkness of night outside, the street and front of the store presented a splendid appearance. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Oct 28, 1909)

Roller Rink 1909

Bemidji Roller Rink, under direction of R. C. Sermon of Hibbing, has been leased for the winter and bids fair to become one of the most popular amusement places in the north half of the state. J. C. Sermon, brother to R. C. Sermon, is the active manager of the rink.  The new Electric Military Band has arrived and has been installed in the rink and is proving a splendid musical feature. The “band” will furnish music at all times for skating.  The formal opening of the rink will be held next Monday evening, when the management will give away souvenirs to the ladies and will put forth special efforts to make the occasion an enjoyable one. Hereafter there will be skating at the rink every afternoon from 2:30 to 4:30 and every evening from 7:30 to 10:30. Harry Carpenter, the timekeeper in the camps of the Crookston Lumber Company at Fowlds, is a speed roller skater of more than average ability, and it is likely that he will skate a series of races at the Bemidji Roller Rink this winter.  Carpenter has the distinction of having defeated Gus Munch, the crack Minneapolis skater, at the Auditorium rink in Crookston.  (Bemidji Pioneer, Nov 19, 1909).


Dynamite Explosion at Central School (1910)

Caps Stolen From Crookston Lumber Co. by Mill Park Boys.—John Lindvall Injured.

An explosion, of a dynamite cap blew the flesh off the thumbs and mutilated the fingers of John Lindvall, a thirteen-year-old boy in the fourth grade of the local schools this morning. The noise of the explosion and the consequent screams of the young lad produced a panic at the Central building and the children rushed rapidly into the halls and out of doors. The boy was sitting quietly in his seat in Miss Cosgrove’s room and was covertly picking the powder out of a dynamite cap with a nail. He cleaned the explosive from two of the copper caps and commenced on a third without realizing the imminent danger. The third cartridge suddenly exploded in his hands, blowing away the flesh on his thumbs and badly injuring the fingers on his left hand. A cloud of smoke quickly ascended to the ceiling of the room. John screamed in agony as his injuries began to pain him. Other children in the room saw the smoke, heard his screams and ran, crying into the halls. The pupils in the neighboring rooms became excited by the noise and in spite of the efforts of the teachers to avoid it, a panic ensued, the children tumbling over each other in an effort to reach the school yard. Young Lindvall, Harold Lindseth and Hans Alseth, three little boys who live in Mill Park, secured several dynamite caps by getting into the store room at the Crookston Lumber company’s mill yesterday, while no men were around. The boys found the caps in the room and took a handful with them, and it was while playing with these caps in school this morning that the accident occurred to Lindvall. John was taken to the St. Anthony hospital, where his wounds were dressed by Dr. Gilmore. The lad told the doctor that someone had shot at him through a window, and would only admit that the accident was caused by the explosion when Superintendent Ritchie appeared with the two clean caps and the nail, which he had found under the boy’s desk. He then acknowledged that he and the other two boys had secured the dynamite caps at the Crookston mill. Lindvall’s wounds are getting along nicely. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, May 2, 1910)

Gypsies Here Again (1910)

Gypsies Here Again.
Five wagons carrying a large gypsy band, stopped on Fourth street this noon until a new wheel was fitted to one wagon. While the blacksmith was at work, some of the women worked in the neighborhood as fortune tellers. (June 27, 1910)

“Big Bemidji” Baseball (1910)

Playing seven innings, four of which were during a heavy downpour of rain, the “Big Bemidg” and Crookston Lumber company baseball teams played a game yesterday which resulted in a tie.  The one yesterday was the most exciting and most hotly contested of the season. Every man was a star and only four errors were made during the game. McKeig for the “Big Bemidg” and Smiley for the Lumbermen proved themselves slab artists of some skill and retired many men without letting them touch the ball. In the seventh inning McKeig pitched a wild ball which Boscoe was unable to catch and two of the lumbermen came home tying the score. A great deal of argument resulted as to the right of the play, many protesting that only one base could be taken on a pass ball. One umpire left the decision to the base umpire, who declared it alright, but “Big Bemidg” players and supporters still protested as the game was called on account of wet weather and they appeared anxious to declare themselves victors. No final decision was made. The lineup for the two teams was as follows: Lumbermen: Herbert, Smiley, Riddell, Johnson, Bailey, Cords, Achenbach, and Malone. “Big Bemidg”, Boscoe, McKeig, Jacobson, Brandon, Rice, Howe, Bailey, Tanner.

Irvine Avenue Viaduct (1910)

President Pennington of the Soo ordered the chief engineer to put a viaduct over the Soo at the Irvine avenue crossing. Mayor Parker pointed out that unless a new viaduct was built to go over both the Soo and Great Northern tracks, that teams would have to haul over one and then over the other, there being thirty feet between the two. The matter is to be taken up with the Soo and Great Northern roads this week.

Team of Horses Breaks Through Ice (1910)

Animals Driven By Frank Freeman Narrowly Escape Drowning.
Lake Bemidji is still unsafe for teams.
After making six trips with tamarac wood from Diamond point to the north end of the lake and returning in safety, Frank Freeman’s heavily loaded team broke the ice yesterday while returning for the seventh load.
The horses were saved from drowning only through their quick response to Mr. Freeman’s voice. Large cracks have shown up all over the lake since Saturday night and it was while crossing one of the fissures that a cake of ice thirteen by thirty feet broke off with the weight of the team, and sank.
Mr. Freeman with the aid of the two men with him cut some spruce trees and stood them up around the space as a warning to others to avoid the dangerous place. (Dec 20, 1910)

Cracker Jack Factory (1911)

Next Saturday, February 11, seventeen of Bemidji’s brightest young ladies’ who comprise a Sunday school class of the Methodist church, under the instruction of Mrs. J. W. Naugle, will cover the city of Bemidji, carrying with them what is known as the famous Methodist crackerjack. This crackerjack is a delicious wholesome popped popcorn, prepared from a special recipe belonging to Mrs. Naugle and for which the old saying, “The more you eat the more you want”, holds doubly good. It is put up in number one bags and sold for five cents each. The money taken in from the sale of this crackerjack is to be placed in a fund which will go toward the building of the new Methodist church, already under way. This sale feature by the young ladies is to take place each coming Saturday and if the demand for this popular Methodist crackerjack proves as great in Bemidji as it has in another city where it was successfully worked out, the demand will far exceed the possible output. Mrs. Naugle’s Sunday school class is one of the largest in  the church and consists of the following young ladies- Olive Clark, Grace Cleveland, Edith Schmidt, Esther Funkley, Nellie Bowers, Lillian Erickson, Louise Erickson, Margaret Brant, Helen Horlocker, Mabel Gaines, Gladys Loitved, Pearl Jackson, Cecil Olson, Florence Bagley, Grace Kilsela, Doris Helmer and Lilias Peterson. The present factory where this delicious confection is made is 609 Bemidji avenue. The superintendent of this manufacturing plant is Mrs. J. W. Naugle and the sales department will be comprised of the above mentioned ladies. They are genuine credentialed salesladies and when they call upon you Saturday show them every kindness and courtesy you would ask for yourself. Remember that they are not book agents or peddlers and that they should have at least a fair hearing. Have your nickle ready when they call. It’s a treat that is well worth the price and the case is a worthy one! It is safe to predict that more will be heard in the future from this new organization. It will be an institution that will be a valuable asset to Bemidji’s already thriving an d enterprising industries. (Feb 9, 1911)

Newborn Baby Deserted (1911)

Yesterday morning a baby, not more than a day old, was found near the Great Northern Railway track in this city. The baby had been placed in a blanket and left deserted. It was taken to Dr. Ward, the city physician, who has started an investigation. This morning, when seen, Dr. Ward said that he had found a home for the baby and that it would be adopted. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, front page, Mar 14, 1911)

Gypsies at Fairgrounds (1911)

Complaint is being made of a band of gypsies that came to Bemidji a few days ago in eight covered wagons and camped on the race track at the fairgrounds. Persons living in that part of the city say that quarrels and loud talk by the gypsies continue until late in the night. The young women of the band go from house to house to tell fortunes and all members are not backward about accepting gifts of clothing and eatables. (June 28, 1911)

Bemidji Brewing Company (1912)

A. H. Jester, who took charge of the Bemidji Brewing Company July 9, 1912, has effected a number of changes in this institution which will materially increase the output of the plant and enlarge the scope of its labors, having installed new offices, placed a traveling salesman in the field and increased the capacity of the bottling department.

The ability of Mr Jester as a manager of business and men is well known to the trade in this section of Minnesota. J. C. Larson will be the field representative, Edward Curry will continue as bookkeeper, Otto Heink as brewer and Henry Helm as foreman of the bottling department.

The plans of the new management are to branch out both in the country towns and of distributing their product for family use among the homes of this city and other towns.

The product manufactured by this brewery ranks among the highest of any produced in the world. The plant is ideal every detail, the most modern and sanitary machinery having been installed, the highest grades of malt and rye are utilized in the manufacture of their beverages, and the matter of age and purity, so essential to pure beer, are painstakingly observed. The water used in the manufacture of this product comes from its own artesian well, which has been pronounced strictly pure.

World wide publications, printed in the interests of health and sanitation have called attention to the beer manufactured by the Bemidji Brewing company and have recommended their product to users of malt drinks. In fairness to the local institution, citizens of this community should become familiar with the fact that Bemidji has an industry which produces a product that leads the world. (Aug 11, 1912)

M & I Train Races Against Team of Mules (1913)

M & I Train Races Mules from Bemidji to Farley (1913)

Trainmen on the M & I road are laughing at the crew in charge of the northbound passenger train last Friday night.  The train was manned by Engineer Leak, Fireman George Bridgman, and Conductor Bush.  At North Bemidji, a span of mules took the track ahead of the train and in spite of frantic signals from Mr. Bush and raucous tooting of the engine’s whistle, the mules stayed in front until they got stuck in a bridge this side of Farley.  From Bemidji to Turtle River, it was a race.  In spite of the best efforts of Fireman Bridgman, the train could not gain a foot on the fleet-footed sons of Missouri.  When the train slowed down for the Turtle River stop, the mules disappeared around the bend in a haze of flying snow.  Near Farley the passenger caught up and found them stuck in the bridge.  It took the combined efforts of train crew, engine crew and a few passengers to get the mules out.  Fireman Bridgman said that he hated to run second to a pair of mules.  Passengers said that the M. & I. reminded them of a “slow train through Arkansas.”  (Jan 16, 1913)

Toboggan Slide (1913)

A great deal of interest has been taken by the younger people of Bemidji in a-new toboggan slide in front of the Andrew Warfleld residence on Lake Boulevard. The youngsters have built a large snow bank on the steep lakeshore which makes it an
excellent hill for their purpose. For the more daring ones, a leap-the-gap is used. The boys having been cheated out of an ice skating rink, are doing the next best thing and are determined not to be cheated out of some good out-of-door sport. (Jan 20, 1913)

The Warfields lived at 711 Lake Boulevard, Bemidji

Moose Club Organized (1913)

Charter Has Arrived and Bemidji’s Latest Fraternal Order Will Become Reality

Enthusiasm Sworn by team Members Causes Other to Join

First Officers Selected. Stein Dictator Bemidji’s new lodge, the Moose, will be organized this evening and those who have announced their intention of joining will be initiated.
The meeting will be called to order at 7:30 by Organizer Fowler, who urges that all members will arrive on time.

The lodge will be known as number 1452. It is customary for the organizer of all new lodges of the Moose to recommend the first list of Officers. This Mr. Fowler has done and the following business men of Bemidji will probably comprise the officials.

Mr. Geo. Stein – Dictator
Scott Stewart – Secretary
Carroll Randall – Treasurer
Harley Hanson – Past Dictator; James Given – Vice Dictator; G. N. Shannon – Prelate; Reuben Miller – Sergeant-at-Arms

In order that the initiation might be carried on in a fitting manner the temporary drilling team has held one or two practices. The team as it now stands are the following: Edw. Odegard, Captain; Wm G. Giles, N. E. Given, Clyde Petrie, Fred Baumgardner, Henry Paquin, M. S. Gillette, Elias Matland, Leon Jewett, Carlin J. Kampstad, Geo. Paquin, Frank Hubert, Thos. B. Newton, Elmer Kittleson, Nathan W. Brown, Richard C. Fenton, B. E. Erickson. (Dec 3, 1913)

Commercial Club Organized (1914)

A meeting was held yesterday at the Commercial club by the merchants of the city and an organization was formed.  The next meeting of the new organization will be held next Tuesday in the club rooms. The officers elected yesterday follow: E.A.. Barker, president; K. K. Roe, v-p.; E. M. Sathre, secretary, E. F. Netzer, treasurer. The members are enthusiastic over the prospects of the new organization.  (Jan 7, 1914)

Bemidji Hockey Team (1914)

Bemidji organized a hockey team and held its first practice of the season on Jan 8, 1914 on Lake Bemidji.  Stanley Watt, for several years one of the star players on Virginia and Duluth teams, is at the head of the new organization.  The team does not come under the auspices of the Bemidji Athletic Club, but its candidates plan on joining the club, thereby making it a club team.  (Jan 8, 1914 – Bemidji Pioneer)

Bemidji Elks Plan Luxurious Home (1914)

Building will cost approximately $50,000.  Will be Built on Share plan.  Committee Names.  Annual Charity Ball to be held on Lincoln’s Birthday will be Bigger than Ever.

Plans for the new home of the Bemidji lodge, B.P.O.E. are nearing completion and before late next fall, a luxurious $50,000 building will have been constructed.  Thayer C. Bailey, exalted ruler, has named H. H. Mayer, F. S. Lycan, A. P. White, Charles Cominsky and T. J. Burke as a committee to have charge of the soliciting and already much progress has been made.  The plan is that the money secured through subscriptions shall be considered as a loan, and the shares will sell for $25 each, and 6 per cent will be paid for interest.  As yet, no site has been selected, several under consideration.  (Bem Daily Pioneer, Jan 21, 1914)

Channel at outlet of Lake Bemidji Dynamited (1914)

Three hundred feet of channel will be dynamited by the Aetna Powder Company at the outlet of Lake Bemidji soon.  The new bridge which spans the Mississippi at this point blocks the old channel.  The Aetna company will use an electric appliance in doing the work and the various charges which will be necessary in building the new channel will be fired at the same time.  The river has always given much trouble at the outlet and with the new channel all danger to launches will in the future be avoided.  The channel will be dynamited sometime during April.  (B. Pioneer, March 18, 1914)

Berman Dry Goods Emporium Sold (1914)

One of the biggest mercantile deals ever consummated in Bemidji was closed, when D. S. Segal of Superior, became the new owner of the Berman Dry goods emporium.  The Berman emporium has been in continuous operation in Bemidji for the past twelve years, and has grown from a small country stock to one of the largest in North Central Minnesota.  The business was first begun in the present Abercrombie stand on Beltrami avenue.  Later it was moved into the Trask laundry building near the Union station.  Eight years ago, it was moved into its present quarters, where several changes have been made.  (March 26, 1914)

The company changed its name to the Segal Emporium.  Mrs. L. L. Berman will move from Bemidji.  In Ike Blooston, who has been connected with the Berman Emporium since its organization, Bemidji has had a live wire booster of the first rank.  “Ike” has always been considered a leader among his numerous bachelor friends who will miss his advice and council on problems pertaining to matrimony.  That he knows the dry goods business is evidenced by the fact that the Berman store has one of the cleanest and most up-to-date stocks in the state.  He was the store’s chief buyer and his judgment of merchandise was above par.  His going will be a loss to Bemidji.

Cochran Promotes Summer Hotel (1914)

George Cochran, Prominent Bemidji Contractor, would donate a site and purchase $1,000 in stock to establish a summer hotel on the shores of Lake Bemidji.  He made the proposition to the Commercial Club.  He believes such an institution would pay for itself in one or two seasons.  Thousands of people will come to Bemidji if proper accommodations can be given them.  One hotel will not be sufficient.  During the winter, Mr. Cochran has had men at work preparing logs to be used in the construction of from twelve to fifteen cottages to be placed on his property at the head of the lake.  Whether the hotel proposition goes through or not, the cottages will be erected.  The buildings will be of various sizes and will be provided with large screen porches, the front, facing the lake, being entirely screened while a portion on the east side of such cottages will have a porch.  Fireplaces will be built in each cottage.

Already Mr. Cochran has received many applications for the use of the cottages and he is of the opinion that no matter how many he would construct, the demand would keep them occupied during the outing season.  The Cochran Hotel Scheme was endorsed by the Bemidji Commercial Club  and it was decided to advertise for a hotel man who might be interested in the summer hotel proposition in Bemidji.  (April 1, 1914)

Ball Park Plan for Bemidji (1914)

Erection of a modern downtown baseball park moved forward at the Athletic club meeting held April 12, 1914.  The location favored for the new park is in the Heffron location, block two, Fifth Street and Jeanette Avenue.  In order to prepare the field for playing, quite a little surfacing will be necessary.  Of the amount needed for the new playground $650 will go for the purchase of the property, $500 for the erection of a grand stand with a seating capacity of from 500 to 800, $300 for the fence, much of which will be paid for by advertising, and the rest for ground improvements.  Many schemes have been suggested for raising money to finance the building of the Park.  Goal is to increase interest in baseball and give fans of the game more opportunity to reach the grounds.  It will also give Bemidji a downtown football gridiron and during the winter months can be used for skating purposes.  (Bemidji Pioneer, April 13, 1914)

Bus Line (1914)


Auto Service to Nymore Made Use of By Many.
The three Carter boys, who recently established an automobile bus line between Bemidji and Nymore, are issuing commutation books, selling twelve rides for one dollar. A charge of ten cents is made each way. Roy Carter said today that business is much better than had been expected and that it is daily improving. The bus line is known as the Nymore Bemidji Transportation company. Bemidji headquarters are at Abercrombie’s confectionery store on Beltrami avenue. (Sept 10, 1914)

Toboggan Slide 1917

Tonight will see the formal dedication of the new Carnival association toboggan slide at the foot of Tenth Street and the lake, and the event promises to be a “humdinger” in many ways. All members of the association are urged to meet promptly at the Markham hotel at 7:30 o’clock and march in a body to the toboggan and take part in the evening’s festivities. There will be coffee and light refreshments served at a nominal cost and no discomfiture need be experienced on account of the cold. E. E. McDonald, president of the association, will be in his glory and Mayor Vandersluis is authority for the statement that President McDonald his cohorts can go just as far as they like, and the turn to the left. At any rate, it’s going to be “some night” at the new toboggan. (Jan 17, 1917)

The members of the carnival association marched to the toboggan slides last evening, headed by Chief Ripple and C. A. Parker as drummers. The association now has four drums, but only two were used last evening. These drums will be used by the ladies’ drum corps. After visiting the slides, a large number of the association enjoyed lunch in the basement of the Catholic church, served by the young ladies of the church.

The toboggan slide will be closed on and after Friday, Feb. 23, to all persons except members of the Bemidji Carnival association, their families and guests. (Feb 20, 1917)

Civilian Company Organized for Military Reserve (April 1917)

All Men Are Urged to Respond.

Tonight at 7:30 o’clock the first meeting of the local civilian military company will be held at the Elks temple corner and steps will be taken to organize.

The Central Department headquarters advises that the original plan of training camps is abandoned, that they are to be conducted as schools for officers and that only men of age, education and physical condition to qualify for officers who are willing to accept commissions or men of ability or training of especially value to the government along cooperative lines will be accepted.

The president has proposed to congress that an army of 500,000 men be raised forthwith. With the navy, this army will constitute the fighting forces of the nation. These fighting forces can be successful only in proportion to the measure of assistance rendered them by men of special training and experience.

The civilian auxiliary is designed to offer to every citizen of Bemidji who is not now able or prepared to join the fighting forces, an opportunity to co-operate with these forces by preparing himself to render to the government of the United States that service which by training and experience he is best fitted to render.

The following men have expressed their willingness to become members of the Civilian Auxiliary of Bemidji and have promised to attend the drills regularly as far as possible. The question of equipment is being considered and there is a possibility that both uniforms and rifles can be secured.

The roster: J. M. Herbert, Carl Jacobson, N. W. Brown, Homer Cardle, R. L. Given, R. J. Moore, Roy Leibsle, James Klungness, George Klungness, Bob Peir, Phil Geier, C. G. King, A. G. Wedge, A. P. Ritchie, Greg Malone, Cliff Condon, John Messelt, Byron Russell, “Fuzz” Johnson, Bill Eberlein, Charles Gould, Fred Shavitch, N. E. Given, Barney Erickson, John Kingem, Bert Barker, Oscar Erwig, Fred Cutter, Jack O’Connor, Mr. Cobb, Mr. Arnold, A. Guisness.

Any other men who wish to join this organization will please report at the Antlers cigar store tonight at 7:30 o’ clock or send their names to George Geib or D. J. Moore. (Bemidji Pioneer, April 11, 1917)

Jewett’s Ford Racer “Bigmidj” (1917)

C,W. Jewett closed a. contract with Alex J. Sloan, the well known Chicago auto racing manager, to tour the West with Mr. Jewett’s special Ford championship Racer “Bigmidj.”  Mr. Sloan has a team of racers who hold various world’s records and expects to open the season at Calgary. Canada. Mr. Jewett will leave shortly for this city and continue on the tour west which will take about a month. (June 27, 1917)

Chad” (C. W.) Jewett, owner and driver of Bigmidj, the world’s fastest light weight car, who returned home last week with three of his ribs broken and a most startling and spectacular record as a “speed merchant” which he made in the Canadian races, left Bemidji about four weeks ago and went to Western Canada where he was booked to appear with his Bigmidj at all the big contests to be held under the supervision of the International Motor Contest association. The novelty of Jewett’s small car and his already high record gained his entry into the races, but the fearless driver soon showed that he was a factor to be reckoned with in the championship races.

The races were held at all the large points in Western Canada such as Winnipeg, Calgary, Red Deer, Edmonton, Saskatoon and Brandon. Eight fast drivers competed in all of the races and Jewett is now considered to be one of the very best of the eight. The drivers with whom Jewett has been competing are: George (Texas) Clark, present holder of all world’s records on a dirt track for a distance of from one to ten miles Ben Gerioux, who drives a French car,  Fred Horay, dirt track speed marvel, and Dave Koetzla, world’s endurance champion.

Jewett was in 46 events and competed in his little Ford with the world’s fastest big cars. The second day’s racing put Jewett into the world’s championship dirt track series. In the final elimination contest Jewett won second place, while Horay captured the highest prize. All the races were held on half-mile dirt tracks. While passing Kline in an Italian car in the races at Brandon last week Jewett’s light car skidded and in order to save piling up the other cars behind him, Jewett turned into the fence and in the smash-up broke his
ribs. It was because of the accident that he returned home for a short time.  (July 31, 1917)

Graham Torrance and I.W.W.

Graham Torrance, County Attorney

It was Mr. Torrance who secured the first conviction in Minnesota under, the I. W. W. law passed by the state legislature to eradicate sabotage, treason, sedition and lawlessness, and the accused is now serving a sentence of two years at Stillwater. He combated the I. W. W. successfully until no vestige of an appreciable nature is evident in this county. He has lent his hearty cooperation in every movement for the enforcement of the laws and has used sound judgment in dealing with whatever has come before him and was called to his attention. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, front page, May 17, 1918)

Military Club (1919)

The Army and Navy club, the recreation center for returned soldiers and sailors is going to be a great credit to the city of Bemidji and play an important role in the work for which It was established,  occupying as it does the former location of the Penney store on Third street, ideally adapted for the Club headquarters. The store is spacious, has a fine appearance with tile ftoor, heated by furnace and well lighted. Bemidji business men have rallied to support and several private families have been generous properly furnishing the quarters. Here’s Co-operation. The lighting and fixtures were furnished gratis by the Minnesota Power and Light Company and current is also being donated. The city is furnishing the wood for the furnace, Baker’s jewelry has donated a piano, Barker has contributed a Victor machine and clock, Troppman has donated the use of a desk, Huffman & O’Leary has contributed a heavily upholstered davenport, the Northern National bank has helped, with several heavy chairs, and so has Mrs. Nangle and the Penney company that has the lease on the store is letting the club have the quarters absolutely without cost. Pennants have been donated for decoration and two large artificial palms add to the decorative features. Many chairs, several upholstered, have been donated, games have been supplied and what is wanted are newspapers and magazines, also musical records. The working committee In charge of the club is composed of returned soldiers from both camp and overseas service, and are in position to take good care of the returned comrades and look well after their comforts In a spirit of community and comradeship. Lieut. Tom Swinson Is chairman of this committee, and he is ably assisted by Harold White, Herbert Warfield, Elbridge Lord, Earl Thurber, Norman Kittleson and Nat Given. Other Minnesota cities are providing just such service and Bemidji should be one of the best in the state. (Feb 12, 1919)

Army and Navy Club (1919)

The Army and Navy club, the recreation center for returned soldiers and sailors is going to be a great credit to the city of Bemidji and play an important role in the work for which it was established,  occupying as it does the former location of the Penney store on Third street, ideally adapted for the Club headquarters. The store is spacious, has a fine appearance with tile floor, heated by furnace and well lighted. Bemidji business men have rallied to support and several private families have been generous properly furnishing the quarters. Here’s Co-operation. The lighting and fixtures were furnished gratis by the Minnesota Power and Light Company and current is also being donated. The city is furnishing the wood for the furnace, Baker’s jewelry has donated a piano, Barker has contributed a Victor machine and clock, Troppman has donated the use of a desk, Huffman & O’Leary has contributed a heavily upholstered davenport, the Northern National bank has helped, with several heavy chairs, and so has Mrs. Nangle and the Penney company that has the lease on the store is letting the club have the quarters absolutely without cost. Pennants have been donated for decoration and two large artificial palms add to the decorative features. Many chairs, several upholstered, have been donated, games have been supplied and what is wanted are newspapers and magazines, also musical records. The working committee in charge of the club is composed of returned soldiers from both camp and overseas service, and are in position to take good care of the returned comrades and look well after their comforts In a spirit of community and comradeship. Lieut. Tom Swinson is chairman of this committee, and he is ably assisted by Harold White, Herbert Warfield, Elbridge Lord, Earl Thurber, Norman Kittleson and Nat Given. Other Minnesota cities are providing just such service and Bemidji should be one of the best in the state. (Feb 12, 1919)

Last of Four Johnson Brothers Reenlists (1919)

Of four Johnson brothers, two sets of twins who went to the war from Bemidji, three were killed in battle. The fourth, George Johnson, was held in this country and served a year with the 113th Engineers in the spruce division In Washington state. Several days ago he. re-enlisted with Sergeant R. V. Lass, local recruiting officer, for service in Europe. Two of the brothers, Joseph and Herman, aged 29, died at Chateau Thierry. His own twin brother, Bert, died of wounds sustained in the Argonne. (Bemidji Pioneer, May 12, 1919)

American Legion Post Organized (1919)

The Ralph Gracie post of the American Legion was temporarily organized at a meeting held at the club rooms of the Bemidji association Tuesday evening where more than 40 returned veterans were in attendance. The post was named in honor of Ralph Grace of this city, an aviator who was killed in action when he was attacked by a number of German airmen last August. Temporary officers were named at the meeting as follows: Chairman, H. Mayne Stanton; vice-chairman, N. E. Given; secretary, Whitney Brown; treasurer, William Eberlien. At the meeting it was announced that more than the 50 memberships required to obtain a charter had been secured. It is believed that more than 100 returned veterans will become charter members of the organization. As soon as the charter is granted, the local post will be permanently oganized and election of officers will take place. (Bemidji Sentinel, June 6, 1919)

Rex Theatre Burned (1919)

Reconstruction of the Rex theatre building, which was burned to the ground Thursday of last week on June 19, 1919, was begun this week, and a one-story modern brick theatre will be erected there. The building will have a full basement and will be 120 feet long. It is being rebuilt under the personal supervision of Adolph Klein, owner of the property on which it is situated. The estimated cost of the building is $7,000. Immediately after the fire last week, arrangements were made by Mr. and Mrs. Fred Brinkman, proprietors of the Rex, to reopen, and a large tent was secured and placed on the lots west of Hoganson Brothers building on Third street, where the show was reopened Saturday evening in the tent. The work on the permanent home of the Rex will be rushed so that the theater will be back in its old location as soon as possible.

Hines Cemetery (1921)


The town of Hines has purchased a five-acre tract one and one-fourth miles west of Hines on the Babcock road to be used for a cemetery. It is a beautiful location. The Lutherans arc removing the pine and spruce to be used in the finishing of their church and the erection of a parsonage. Work was begun clearing last week. (Bemidji Pioneer, Mar 1, 1921)

Rex Theatre to Close (1922)

After tonight Bemidji will be served by two motion picture theatres instead of three as has been in the past. A deal was consummated Saturday afternoon whereby Oliver Whaley of the Harding-Whaley Co., operators of the Grand theatre, disposed of his interests to G. S. Harding.

A new corporation was formed and will be known as the Incorporated Theatres of Bemidji, and this corporation will operate the Elko and Grand Theaters. Thompson and Pflock, former owners of the Elko theatre sold their interests to this new corporation in which the principal trust is owned by M. E. Brinkman, Fred Brinkman and G. S. Harding. The Rex theatre, formerly owned by M. E. Brinkman and Fred Brinkman, will be closed permanently after tonight’s show. The Grand theatre will be managed by the Brinkmans while the Elko theatre will be under the active management of G. S. Harding.

Oliver Whaley sold his interests to Mr. Harding and plans to retire tire from the motion picture business. Charles Pflock and T. A. Thompson, former owners of the Elko, who purchased that show house recently from the Harding-Whaley Co., are to leave Bemidji soon; Mr. Pflock returning to his former position as director of the orchestra in the Grand theatre at Crookston and Mr. Thompson to Neilsville, Minn. Mr. Pflock plans to continue his music classes at Crookston as in the past, while Mr. Thompson will be located on his farm at Neilsville for the present at least. (Oct 23, 1922)

Theodore Fenske & Marshall Nugent Win National Dairying Competition (1923)

Champions of the United States are glorying in their triumph over championship dairy demonstrations teams from practically every state in the Union. The Bemidji Dairy Demonstration team, composed of Theodore Fenske and Marshall Nugent, two farmer lads living near this city, and their instructor H. A. Pflughoeft, returned home on the M & I train Monday night and were greeted by an enthusiastic gathering of Bemidji adults and schools children, as well as by the Bemidji Boys band, when they alighted from the train at the Union station. When the boys came down the steps, they were given a rousing cheer. From the station they were escorted uptown by the Boys band while their closer friends flocked around and congratulated them on their success. They won the national championship at the National Dairy Show held at Syracuse, New York. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Oct 16, 1923)

Skating Rink Constructed (1923)

The park board is now fixing up the old high school site on America avenue between Sixth and Seventh Streets to be used as an ice skating rink this winter. A hockey rink and a skating rink will be constructed this winter and for next summer there will be lawn tennis courts, places for quoit pitching and kittenball courts. One corner of the block is to be landscaped with shrubbery and flowers and it likely that a few swings for the children will be installed. A warming house is to be erected for the skating rink and there will be an officer in charge. (Oct 17, 1923)

Bemidji Bluebird Orchestra (1923)

The Bemidji Bluebird Orchestra went up to Big Falls yesterday where they played for a dance last evening. The orchestra consists of four high school seniors: Geo. Thompson, cornet; Chas. Vandersluis, saxophone; Richard Cahill, violin, and George Kirk, drums, with Mrs A. Williams at the piano. The orchestra will play for a dance at Gully this evening. Last week they played at Bagley and were voted the best music Bagley has had in many years. (Oct 21, 1923)

Bemidji’s Temporary Hospital (1929)

Temporary Hospital Equipped for Twelve

With five patients being cared for, and equipment and room enough to comfortably care for twelve,  Bemidji hospital located at Beltrami and Tenth, has been officially opened. Equipment from the Roosevelt hospital in St. Paul, practically new, has been installed where its use was possible, and has enabled patients to have the most modern of care and conveniences. Three operations were performed Wednesday.

Sterilizing equipment, new linen, and the latest in operating room equipment are installed in the hospital, which is under the general supervision of the Lutheran hospital board. Miss Martha Albin, associated with the old hospital before the fire last winter, is head nurse at the temporary building. Assisting her on the nursing staff are Mrs. A. H. Holpec, in charge of the operating room, Miss Anna Pearson, nurse on day duty, Miss Achenbach, night nurse, and Richard Lemmer, orderly. Jorand Hamre is cook, and a maid will be employed in the near future.

The first floor is devoted entirely to women patients while the men are confined on the second floor. A large glass-enclosed porch on the first floor allows patients plenty of light and fresh air. The operating room is located on the second floor. Much equipment from the Roosevelt hospital could not be used in the temporary structure, but has been stored and will be moved into the new hospital as soon as one is constructed. A driveway on the side of the building makes it especially accessible for ambulance cases. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, June 1, 1929)

Angvall Brothers Bakery (1933)

Angvall Brothers, wholesale bakers located on Third Street at Bemidji are benefiting by the continuation of the C.C. camps in this region. They have the exclusive contract for supplying bread to the C. C. camps in this region and at the present time are supplying 19 camps with a total enrollment of approximately 4000 men. This means that Angvall Brothers are furnishing about 2,500 loaves of bread daily to the C. C. Camps. Their total output now is approximately 4,400 loaves of bread each day. (The Northland Times, Sept 8, 1933)

Curling Club, WPA Project (1935)

The city council moved to abandon the airport hanger project at the meeting held at the city hall in June and expressed their intention of considering uses for the $1,500 worth of cut rough lumber originally intended for the airport. J. H. Wallin suggested the lumber be used on a proposed construction of an indoor skating, hockey and curling rink if it could be built as a works relief project. He reported that the Curling Club would contribute $2000 cash toward the construction of the rink and that the city park board would stand the cost of maintenance. It was decided that the council would make application for the rink as a relief project. (June 14, 1935)

The Bemidji Curling Club building project was among the first to receive PWA consideration in this state and when completed will furnish a center for winter activities for men, women and children of this entire community due to the fact that in addition to the curling sheets, a huge indoor skating rink will be maintained and facilities for warming and an enclosed, heated, comfortable place for spectators will be provided. Winter Carnival programs will be held each year as an annual event sponsored by the Curling Club and special skating events will be held from time to time. (Northland Times, Oct 11, 1935)

Bemidji Hospital (1936)

After completion of the third floor of the new hospital, the delivery room moved to a small room beside the operating room. Because of the current competition from a maternity hospital on 8th and Bemidji Avenue, obstetric patients were given up to ten days of room care and delivery room services for a flat rate of $35. Money was scarce and hard to collect at these prices.

Information from the recollections of Dr. Vandersluis, archives of the Beltrami County History Center.

WPA Homes For Needy (1936)

State approval was given to a WPA project to construct up to 30 modern homes in Bemidji to be rented at rents not to exceed $10 a month for needy families. Tentative plans called for the project to rise on a 40 acre plot of city land north of the city. (Bemidji Pioneer, Oct 12, 1936)


Heldstab Ice Co. (1936)

The Heldstab brothers of Crookston arrived in Bemidji to take over operation of the Bemidji Ice Co. after purchasing the firm from Tom Smart. Ted Heldstab would be the manager, aided by his brothers, Chris and Willard. (Nov 4, 1936)

Disastrous Fires (Nov 1936)

A full crew of 25 Bemidji firemen battled throughout the night to extinguish two disastrous fires, one of which wiped out the Stone-Ordean-Wells wholesale grocery warehouse and the second which gutted the Coast to Coast Store in the Ibertson building. An estimated $30,000 of stock in the warehouse was destroyed. Fire Marshal Pete Johnson and Fireman Allan Doran were overcome at the Coast to Coast fire and had to be rescued. (Nov 28, 1936)

Bemidji’s Winter Carnival (1938)

More than 4,000 trees, mostly jackpines, were set in the Paul Bunyan forest on the lakefront, according to W. A. Engstrom of the U.S. Forest Service, Cass Lake, who supervised the setting of each one. CCC enrollees from Company 705 at Pike Bay worked 250 man days to put them in place. Engstrom even captured the natural contours of a forest in the job.

The WPA gets credit for furnishing the two buildings in Bunyan’s lakefront camp which are Sourdough Sam’s cook shanty and the warming house. The buildings are part of a dismantled camp near Hines, loaned to the Carnival committee.

Lieut. Greg Brown will supervise 20 CCC enrollees who will be biscuit shooters in Sourdough Sam’s cook shanty. He says he can feed 2,000 persons a day and he has 1,200 pounds of sausage, a half ton of pancake flour, and an output of 300 gallons of coffee a day to prove it. Three flop-notch cooks – Cliff Dahl, Harry Bromer and Morris Hudgins – are going to be a big help too.

The logging equipment which the carnival committee has gathered together at Bunyan’s Logging Camp comprises nearly all of the old horse-drawn man-operated logging tools still in existence The water tank, road-rutter, tote-sled are practically museum pieces and there were hard to get too. Major Adam Otto, carnival secretary, found them at Red Lake and had to split with a Winnipeg logging firm to put over the deal. They belong to the carnival now. (Bemidji Daily Pioneer, Jan 12, 1938)

Paul Bunyan and Babe (1938)

Creation of City’s Paul and Babe

By N.E. Given

In the early fall of 1937, the Paul Bunyan Carnival was organized with Hector Brown in charge of it. The various organizations in town were requested to take over certain parts of the program.

Mr. Cyril Dickenson of the Dickenson Construction Co., was delegated to build Paul Bunyan. Mr. Earl Bucklen, our Mayor at that time, was used as a model and all measurements were scaled up four to one. This was built late enough in the fall so that it was necessary to keep the statue covered with canvas while the cement was hardening.

In order to get some idea of the labor and material going into Paul’s construction, Mr. Dickenson furnished the following list: Concrete footings to water level, 5 1/2 ton; Weight of statue above footing, 2 1/2 ton; Height of statue, 18 feet. Built in winter of 1937, using 737 man hours of time.

The statue is of some wood frame work above the footings over which reinforcing bars were formed to outline the statue, placing heavy steel lathe over the reinforcing bars to which cement stucco was applied. In some places the cement over the metal lathe would be several inches thick, thus making a reinforced structure of the whole statue. The reinforcing of the footings is the heavy steel continuing up through the legs of the statue. This of itself was intended to be reinforced in such a manner as to withstand quite a high velocity of wind. The statue was painted at that time, and has been kept in a very satisfactory condition ever since.

The Rotary Club of Bemidji was asked to build the Ox and Mr. Newell Johnson, now our state insurance commissioner, was appointed to be chairman of the committee and Mr. Johnson delegated the job to Mr. Jim Peyton. The Government, at Headwaters Camp, owned a large pair of oxen, and the largest of these was used as a model and measurements were taken as well as pictures and the detailed drawings were made scaling the ox the same as Paul Bunyan with a four to one.

These were followed in detail with the exception of the distance between the front legs. These were widened in order to permit a truck to operate under it. The ox was built with a skeleton of wooden ribs sawed and nailed together on a circular saw at the plant of the Boat Company here, and Mr. Johnson of the Boat Co. was in charge of the assembly. After the rough structure of wood had been made, this was covered with a cover of wire lathe. On top of this was stretched a padding of fiber wool as used in insulating refrigerators. Over this was stretched canvas. A smoke pipe was built into the nostrils and back thru the body which was connected by flexible hose to the exhaust of the motor, which created the impression that the ox was breathing in cold weather and also created a bellowing noise when the motor accelerated.

The eyes were made of automobile tail lights and connected to the battery. The horns were made of tin and are fourteen feet across. After completion the ox was mounted on a 1 1/2 ton International Truck.

The first winter during the carnival, the ox was used to pull large sleds and several trips out to the golf course. The next year the ox was taken to the St. Paul Winter Carnival. It had to be preceded by the Highway Patrol and in many cases the wires had to be raised to permit passage. During the next year and a half, it also made trips to Duluth, Crookston and another trip to the St. Paul Carnival.

Each trip, of course, did considerable damage to the canvas covering and, due to its size, it could not be kept inside and the damage from the wind and freezing made the upkeep very expensive while kept on the truck. Due to the expense it was decided to place the ox on a permanent foundation down near the lake. This was done by removing the canvas and padding and placing plaster and concrete over the metal lathe. After this permanent settling was made, there was an investment in the ox about $1370.

Mr. Harry Roese of Shorecrest has a Technicolor moving picture of the parade of the ox during the first winter carnival which I believe is the only photographic  record outside of some small camera shots taken of it on top of the truck when it could be moved. (Written by N. E. Given and published in the Bemidji Daily Pioneer, June 30, 1971).

The movie footage is now at the Beltrami County History Center.

War Service and Rationing Board Volunteers (1944)

Mrs. Ralph Grover was honored by being the most outstanding volunteer worker of the war service and rationing board at their award presentation meeting in January 1944. Mrs. Grover was singled out as putting in a total of 1890 hours from March 14, 1943 to January 8, 1944.

Other workers being honored for having put in 500 hours of work were Mrs. Laura Witty, Mrs. E. N. French, Mrs. D. L. Stanton, Mrs. H. A. Krebs, Mrs. H. J. LaLonde, Mrs. John Hubbard, Mrs. Walter Marcum, Sylvia Christianson, Mrs. Max Hoffman, Mrs. Calvin McClintock, Calvin McClintok, and Chris Iverson.

Board and panel members who worked over 500 hours were: Mrs. H. E. Stoner, Mrs. H. R. Henderson, John Nielson, Mrs. R. A. Gadde, J. W. Smith, E. N. French, Walter Marcum, and E. W. Downward.  (Northland Times, front page, January 21, 1944)

Chief Theatre Purchased by Baehr Brothers (1944)

The Chief Theatre was purchased from the Berger Amusement Company by the Baehr Brothers, A. W. and E. J., owners of the Bemidji Theatre.

The deal involved the purchased of the Paramount Theatre in Brainerd by the Baehr Brothers who also own the Brainerd Theatre which will be managed by Cal Nygaard, former Bemidji man.

John Bender will take over the management of the Chief Theatre and Wm. Bender will continue leasing the Bemidji Theatre. The Ben Franklin Store operated jointly by the Bender Brothers will have a manager to run the business while John, who has been the active manager, will run the Chief.

The Baehr Brothers opened their first theatre, the Bemidji Theatre, in 1933 and have since expanded to 14 theatres. They have also been interested in the oil business and have several oil stations located here. Bennie Berger started in the theatre business here in 1928 purchasing the Brinkman Theatre interests. (Northland Times, January 21, 1944)