Volume 124, Number
BCATS class of 70 years ago has reunion in Devils Lake
The BCATS class of 1937 met at the White House Cafe in Devils Lake for its annual reunion June 27. Can you imagine? This was the 70th anniversary of their graduation! Unlike many classes, this group has kept in touch by having annual reunions since the Maddock Centennial in 2001. For the 50th anniversary of their graduation in 1987 they even had a booklet published telling about each graduate.
The Benson County Agricultural and Training School (BCATS) was a unique school, established to promote agriculture education and funded by a county mill levy, initially $3,000 annually. The building and grounds were paid for by contributions from the Maddock area of $25,000 and $20,000 from the county. BCATS was in operation from 1917 to 1959 and the buildings were used by the Maddock School District until a new building was dedicated in 1969.
Students from all over the county attended BCATS. Back in those days there were many school districts, most of which did not have high schools. Many of those students attended BCATS. Some students lived in dormitories on the grounds while others lived in rented rooms in Maddock. Those who lived a distance from Maddock, such as Laura (Langley) Cudworth of Warwick got home for Christmas and spring vacation during the school year. The rest of the time she stayed in the dormitory. She had to cook for herself in the dorm and her mother sent baked goods and clean clothes.
Others, such as Wilma (Peterson) Brown, who lived on a farm between Maddock and Minnewaukan, got home many weekends. School was held six days a week and the week of classes concluded at 12 noon on Saturdays.
There were 41 graduates in the class of 1937. Twenty-three are known to be deceased. The seven who attended the 70th anniversary reunion were Laura (Langley) Cudworth of Sheyenne, Mildred (Foss) Herda of Devils Lake, Wilma (Peterson) Brown of Washington State, Lawrence "Wimpy" Berg of Devils Lake, Harvey Piper of Rugby, Ame Jolibois of Kansas City, Mo. and Donald Port of Bismarck.
Jolibois of Rolette was a special student. Part Indian, he previously stayed with an aunt while attending high school. "She was so strict and mean I decided not to go back to school," Jolibois said. However, the Turtle Mountain Indian Agency arranged with Supt. A.T. Felland for Jolibois to attend school at Maddock. It worked out well. He’s been back for several reunions and looks 20 years younger than he actually is. He celebrated his 89th birthday on June 28, the day after the school reunion.
Another non-Benson County student was Mildred Herda who lived just across the county line in Pelican Township of Ramsey County.
Kathy Layman of California brought her mother, Wilma Brown to the reunion. She drove the greatest distance for the one-day event, about 2,500 miles one way. Those at the gathering stated the cost of gasoline alone would be a significant sum.
Lawrence Berg said the high price of gas doesn’t affect him. "I steal gas at night," he said. Ya, sure. This is the same guy who claimed he had two windmills on his farm near Warwick, but had to dismantle one of them. "There wasn’t enough wind to run both of them," he explained.
Harvey Piper came from Rugby, where he now lives. His wife, Evie (Schuman), another member of the class, was unable to come because she was in the Rugby hospital where she was being treated for an irregular heartbeat. They farmed southwest of Minnewaukan for many years. Piper was driven to the affair by Harlan Helgeson and his wife, Ethel, also of Rugby, formerly of rural Minnewaukan. They also brought Arlene Allan of Rugby, widow of class member Floyd Allan. The Allans farmed near York.
Also present were Averiel Wood of Devils Lake, sister of deceased class member Herman Fleming; Eunice Reeves of Devils Lake, widow of class member Frank Reeves; Bonnie Jolibois, wife of Ame Jolibois; Mrs. Donald Port and their daughter and son-in-law; and Dwain and Connie Brown of Sheyenne, nephew and niece of Wilma Brown.
All the BCATS graduates are 88 or 89 years old, so they’ve got their share of aches and pains. Wilma Brown has had a bad back for years and takes pain medicine for it. Her doctor said she probably shouldn’t make the trip to Devils Lake for the reunion because of her back trouble. "I’m going," Mrs. Brown said. "I won’t hurt any more at the reunion than I would at home," she said firmly.
BCATS graduates from 70 years ago gathered last week at the White House Cafe in Devils Lake. Left to right, seated, are Wilma (Peterson) Brown of Washington State, Laura (Langley) Cudworth of Sheyenne and Mildred (Foss) Herda of Devils Lake. Standing are Lawrence Berg of Devils Lake, Harvey Piper of Rugby and Ame Jolibois of Kansas City, Mo. Not pictured is Donald Port of Bismarck. The class has been meeting annually since the Maddock Centennial in 2001.
Landmark goes down
The Vanderlin barn located about four miles west of Devils Lake on ND 19 finally succumbed to the ravages of time and the unyielding prairie wind. The barn was a landmark that stood for many years but has now been relegated to the dustbin of history.
Dennis Johnson of Devils Lake and Arlo Schmidt of Maddock were among 14 outstanding citizens who were given the Honorary State FFA Degree at the ND State FFA Convention in Fargo in early June.
This honor is bestowed on those who are helping to advance agricultural education and the FFA and who render outstanding service to the FFA.
Dennis was chairman of the agriculture committee in the ND State House of Representatives. He also serves on the education committee and is an advocate for education and in particular for vocational and agricultural education. He was elected to the ND House of Representatives in 1993 and has served there since.
Arlo has been a loyal supporter of the A.S. Gibbens FFA Chapter of Maddock for the past 40 plus years and was a charter member of the Fessenden FFA Chapter in 1948. Arlo was elected to the ND House of Representatives in 1993 and has been a member ever since. He serves on the agriculture committee and is a supporter of legislation that promotes agriculture and education. Arlo responded for the 14 receiving the honorary degree. Left to right are Arlo and Marian Schmidt and Donna and Dennis Johnson.
Stanley Griffin family honored for donation
The family of Stanley Griffin was honored May 14 by Gov. John Hoeven for their loved one’s generosity in giving the gift of life through donation.
The family was among more than 100 individuals who were present at a special recognition event to express gratitude for their loved ones’ selfless gift of donation. The family members and friends in attendance represented more than 29 organ and tissue donors whose generosity provided hope and life to grateful recipients. The governor thanked each family member and presented them with a donor medal of honor. "We were so pleased to have the Governor’s participation in supporting donor families," said Susan Gunderson, CEO, Life-Source. "This special recognition served as a memorial to those who have graciously extended the gift of donation." Organ and tissue donation is a life-saving gift for those in need. One donor can save or enhance up to 60 lives through organ and tissue donation. The gift individuals and their families extend at a time of loss provides life and hope to those most in need.
LifeSource hosted this recognition as part of its donor family services program. As the organization responsible for managing organ and tissue donation in North Dakota, LifeSource maintains a strong commitment to supporting donor families both at the time of donation and on a continuing basis.
The family of Stanley Griffin is pictured with Gov. John Hoeven, left, and Susan Gunderson of LifeSource, right. In the center are Stanley’s sister, Darla Carlson of LaMoure; Stanley’s widow, Doris Griffin of Oberon; and Stanley’s sister, Eileen Ellingson of Minot. (Photo courtesy of Gary Redman)
Five people represented North Dakota at the WebJunction Rural Library gathering and American Library Association conference in Washington, DC. They attended sessions with representatives of rural libraries across the nation and shared ideas. More than 26,000 attended the conference. The five are pictured in front of the WWII Memorial. Left to right are Beth Reitan of the Bottineau County Library, Suzann Jangula of the Harry L. Petrie Library in Linton, Priscilla Backstrom of the Maddock Community Library, Sarah Snavely of the Bowman Regional Public Library and Lynda Dunn of the Edgeley Public Library.
‘Join Hands’ crew
Pictured are some of the people who took part in the "Join Hands" project in Oberon held May 23. The event was sponsored by Thrivent Financial and encouraged projects in which adults and youth work together. The Oberon project was to mow and clean Hillside Cemetery, plant flowers and do a few painting projects. Lunch was served at the Oberon Community Center. Left to right, back row, are Delno Kindem, Janice Ferry, Anne Nelson, Jeff Johnson, Howard Schmid and Lester Roberts. Middle row: Wayne Nelson, James Nelson, Amy Emmel and Levi, Coreen Johnson, Helen Schmid and Jackie Roberts. Front row: Beau Buehler, Brianna Buehler, Elisa Buehler, Kay Griffin, Jakob Schmid, Hunter Buehler and James Johnson. Not pictured is photographer Ruth Buehler.
Jakob Schmid, Kay Griffin and Helen Schmid plant flowers at Calvary Lutheran Church.
Scenes from the Benson County Fair & Celebration in Maddock June 30 & July 1
This little pony pulled a cart and was guided by Lynn Arnold. Walking behind is Robin Arnold. A few seconds after this photo was taken the pony was hit by a piece of parade candy and it spooked. The girl, Andrea, was dumped from the cart when it went over the sidewalk. She was unhurt.
On the other side of the Maddock Memorial Home float were Dorothy Wisness, Roxann Georgeson, Orville Stadum, Lillian Moran, Joyce Vallier, Mamie Johnson and Veloy Vallier.