Dakota Datebook – Aug 1-5 | News, Sports, Jobs

let there be light

by Jill Whitcomb

August 1 – In the small town of Olga, in northeast North Dakota, a life-changing event occurs for the Monet family. He got electricity for the first time in 31 years. According to an August 1973 article in the Benson County Press, Monet is succumbing to power advances—not out of deprivation, but out of necessity.

Back to 1973. Ernie Monet, aged 72, and his wife Agnes, aged 58, lead a simple and astonishing life – Agnes’s homemade soup bubbling over the kitchen stove with kerosene in the kitchen Sparkling, 80-year-old grandpa chimes in the background. This scene dates back to the colonial period. But it was a blissful life for Ernie and Agnes. Monets raised six children in his home, who had no telephone, no TV, no washing machine, and no electricity. His only link to the outside world was a small transistor radio. His 28-year-old son still lived at home, working in a local missile silo.

Agnes washed the family’s clothes in an old wooden barrel of a washing machine. A hand-operated lever was pushed and pulled to agitate the fabric. Agnes used an old-fashioned hand ringer to twirl the freshly washed clothes. The water source was their local well, the water Agnes carried to fill the washer. Will having electricity change the way the Agnes family does laundry? According to Mrs Monet, the answer was “No.” He realized that the old wooden washing machines had worked fine all those years, and there was no need to replace things now because they had electricity. Agnes didn’t mind “one piece” Doing things the old fashioned way.

Ernie recalls when REA came to Cavalier County years ago. “I was the only man who didn’t take it. I thought it was too expensive. Besides, with a packed radio, good wood and kerosene, who needed it?” But the time had changed. In 1973, with the energy crisis in full swing, Ernie had a hard time finding kerosene. In his soft voice he simply said, “Hell, I don’t need it – but I have to light the place and all that’s left is electricity”


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by Christina Sanwal

August 2 – Chaska was a respected Indian Scout for the 1863 Sibley Military Campaign, known for his courageous defense of an Army beef contractor during an Indian attack that year.

However, when Chaska died on this day in 1863, he left behind a mystery about his full identity. Evidence suggests that Chaska may also have been the ranking lieutenant of Little Crow, a leader in the Dakota conflict of 1862.

According to post-conflict trial records, a defendant named Chaska escaped execution based on the words of George Spencer, a fur trader who testified that Chaska had done his job to save Spencer from the Dakota raiding party. Life was put at risk.

Was Chaska the Indian Scout who saved George Spencer’s life during the Dakota conflict of 1862 who saved a US Army beef contractor in 1863? It can never be known.

Loss of Margaret Calhoun

by Christina Sanwal

August 3 – When Margaret Custer Calhoun buried her husband in his final resting place at Fort Leavenworth on this day in 1877, she probably felt more keenly than anyone else the magnitude of the loss of the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of Bighorn .

Is known “maggie” As for her family, she was the sister of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. While visiting her brother and Libby Custer at her Kansas post, she met and later married James Calhoun, an officer in the 7th Cavalry. Like many officers’ wives, Maggie followed her husband to each of their duty stations, including Fort Abraham Lincoln.

When news of the Battle of Little Bighorn reached the Dakota Territory fort in July of 1876, Maggie learned that she had lost five members of her family: her husband, her three brothers George, Tom and Boston, and a nephew, Auntie Reed. .

Old Town Pump

by Jim Davis

August 4 – Today networks of rural water pipelines are reaching more remote areas to ensure drinking and domestic water supplies. For most urban dwellers, drinking water from the tap is taken lightly, but this was not always the case.

In many towns and cities households had water supply but drinking water had to be brought from another source. These artesian, underground pools did not contain potable water in large enough quantities to meet their entire water needs for a large community, so less desirable water was made available for domestic use and drinking water was purchased from a supplier, if The income was to be allowed, or it was to be received from the town pump.

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Soon after 1900, the City of Devil’s Lake installed a pump with the county jail and residents obtained their drinking water from this source. Often this work was done by the eldest son. With its little red wagon filled with galvanized cans with lids, Trek began for a 6 by 6 foot clapboard shed with a 2-foot square window and a hanging dim light bulb, where the test began with an old-fashioned pump handle .

Older people often had to rest for some time before filling their cans, and young patrons would find their feet in the air as they struggled to bring the handles down. If the young man was lucky, his return journey with the compartment loaded was downhill so that he could get on the wagon and ride the rest of the way. Care should be taken against hitting bumps and curbs, which could mean another trip to the pump, in wet clothing, to start all over again. In winter, sledges were used to carry water cans.

In this way, thousands of gallons of water were taken out of the well with great effort, but on this date in 1954, the old pump showed the way forward. An electric motor was installed so patrons could press a button and water would start flowing, making the job much easier. But for more than half a century, the squeak of the pump handle could be heard from the small shed in the prison’s courtyard, and many older residents may recall the weekly pilgrimage to the Old Town Pump.


by Maria Witham

August 5 – In the middle of the 19th century, amateur footsteps became popular and were conducted on cinder and dirt roads with approximate distances. Gambling on these legs was common pastime, but unfortunately they were very easy to fix. “Under the table” The runners will be dealt with. Athletes will get a cut of the cheater’s advantage when they purposefully lose, and trust spectators are duped, or annoyed. the latter gang “Grifters” Will make a living staging all kinds of sporting events, from horse racing to boxing matches.

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of Fargo in August 1892 “Daily Argus” recently printed an article highlighting a runner who walked in the Bismarck area and who was “Engaged in trying to arrange a foot march there.” Leon Lozier was a sprinter. He was one of the fastest 300m runners in the country, but now, glory-tarnished, he makes a living as a con artist. The article doesn’t explicitly say that Lozier fixed the foottrace first, but explains his questionable character by uncovering his shadowy past. The article states that, previously, in Sioux Falls, Lozier was nearly killed, then beaten “His face looked like a piece of beef,” To pull quickly in a footrace.

On this day in 1911, an article in the Washington, DC Post was set for the press, announcing “A town worth $750,000 ran away.” Fleaker was Jesse Mabrey, “Magnet of Con Game Trust,” And Lozier was implicated as his accomplice. Mabre had gangs operating throughout the Midwest. The most popular gift for Mabre’s gang was fixing a sporting event, getting a wealthy businessman to hustle, and then cheating on him to get his money. With the staged race set, the surefire winner will be apparently dead in the middle of the race, and Mabrey’s gang will be out of all the money in an uproar. Mabre thought this con was morally correct, stating that he only took money from those who were willing to defraud others.

Later, gambling was banned at amateur sporting events in North Dakota.

“Dakota Datebook” Prairie Public has a radio series in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from Humanities North Dakota.

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