Tricounty News

They called me ‘Teacher’

Stories of Minnesota country school teachers and students from 1915 to 1960

By Thomas E. Melchior

Excerpts used with the author’s permission

Part 1

At any moment in our lives, we can look back and discover that the stories of our lives are following us. They seem detached, disjointed pieces from unrecognizable puzzles. But when we move, they follow us, these stories of our lives. Some are tied together with silken threads. If we want to know who a person is, we must listen to that person’s stories, all of them if possible. Oh, we could say, “Country school teachers were dedicated, creative, hardworking, compassionate, caring, and sometimes angry and cruel.” But Those words tell us nothing about who these people really are. If we know their stories, then we will know their hopes, fears, loves and dreams.


This week in the American Civil War: July 20-26, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, July 20, 1864


Major General George H. Thomas led his Federal Army of the Cumberland over Peachtree Creek heading towards the fortifications of Atlanta, from the north. Confederate Lieutenant General John Bell Hood decided to attack, although there were delays of more than three hours. After some success, the fierce Southern assaults failed. Thomas and his men steadfastly held off the frantic Confederates, who charged for about two hours. Approximately 20,000 Federals were engaged with 1,779 killed, wounded and missing. Hood’s Confederates faced losses of 4,796 out of roughly the same number engaged. Hood, who was not present at the battle, failed his first big test in command.

Other action occurred at Leggett’s Hill, Decatur, Flint Hill Church and Howard House, Ga.; Newtown Philomont and Berryville, Va.; Blount County, Tenn.; and at Arrow Rock, Mo.


Historic Pub Crawl July 25

Want to have a good time with friends and learn a little bit of history at the same time? Join us for a Historic Pub Crawl in St. Cloud’s Historic Downtown District from 6-9 p.m. Friday, July 25. Hosted by the Stearns History Museum, the Historic Pub Crawl includes guided tours of four historic buildings: The Red Carpet, D.B. Searle’s,
MC’s Dugout, and Pioneer Place/Veranda Lounge. Bring your friends and sip cocktails while discovering the history of these
St. Cloud saloons.

The cost for the Historic Pub Crawl is $25 per person. This fee includes guided tours and appetizers, as well as a souvenir gift. It does not cover the cost of drinks. Drink purchases are not required to participate. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older, and will be required to show photo id. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from downtown. Taxi-cabs are available.

Attendance is limited, so reserve your spot today. Visit our website, or contact Sarah at swarmka@stearns-museum.
, (320) 253.8424, for more information or to make a reservation. Payment must be made to reserve your place on the tour. Join us for a fun and informative night on the town.

This Week in the American Civil War: July 13-19, 1864

Major Highlights for the Week

Wednesday, July 13, 1864

Frustrated by their inability to break through the defenses of Washington at Fort Stevens, Lieutenant General Jubal Early’s Confederates hurried toward the Potomac River at Leesburg. Federal Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant ordered Major General Horatio Wright to lead the Sixth and Nineteenth Corps in pursuit. A skirmish at Rockville, Md., marked the retreat and follow-up.

In Georgia, Major General William T. Sherman prepared to advance his whole Federal force across the Chattahoochee River, and then around the north side of Atlanta towards Decatur on the east.

Confederate President Jefferson Davis informed General Robert E. Lee that General Braxton Bragg arrived in Atlanta to investigate what Davis believed to be General Joseph E. Johnston’s failure to stop Sherman.


Kimball is prosperous village in southern Stearns County-Part Two

Text from The Daily Journal-Press, St. Cloud, March 20, 1928.

Pioneer hardships came to the Maine Prairie people as to other early settlers. In addition to many other discomforts of their lives, the food problem became a serious one. Not enough crops were produced from the farmers in 1856 to carry the people through the winter. The crops of 1857 were destroyed by locusts. Frosted corn was ground in coffee mills to make a meal which was cooked into mush and with a number of families was the main food supply. The crops of 1858 were excellent and attracted wide attention. But in 1862 came the Indian ravages. In 1863 there was a drought, and it was not until 1864 that the agriculture prosperity of the town was firmly established.