The Way It Was: The North Dakota Frontier Experience
Book Six: The Townspeople

Edited by Everett C. Albers and D. Jerome Tweton

The Grass Roots Press, Fessenden, North Dakota, 2004, 89 pages, softcover

The Germans from Russia Heritage Collection is pleased to provide this publication in the six-part series, The Townspeople. Everett C. Albert served as executive director of the North Dakota Humanities Council since 1993 until his death in 2004. Dr. D. Jerome Tweton was a history professor at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, from 1965 to 1995. Both are well known North Dakota authors and editors.

The book is dedicated to the grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and all those who will build upon the pioneering spirit of the first settlers.

On the back cover of the book there is this text, "The Townspeople, the final book in a series of memories of the frontier experience, collects sixteen of the personal histories of those who came and lived in the first towns, most often created by the railroad companies as a center of commerce for those who came to break the sod and farm the land, that endless sea of grass that challenged their strength and spirit. This book and the other five in the series are illustrated with photographs from North Dakota collections."

Chapters in the book include: 1) Town Building; 2) Townspeople in Early Dakota Were a Strange Folk; 3) Rugby: A Shocking Place?; Fighting the Cold and Snow: A Country Doctor; 4) Railroad Man and Jamestown Politician; 5) Teaching in the 1870s; 6) Physician to Three Counties; 7) Form Sweden: A Dedicated Teacher; 9) The Woes of booming, Business, and Banking; 10) Life in Boomtown Bismarck; 11) Booming Belfield: The General Store Merchant; 12) Frontier Fargo; 13) Grand Forks: Tent City; 14) Rigging an Election and Bill Collecting: From Mayville to Valley City; 15) Playing the Cornet and Fighting Fires: Early Devils Lake; 16) A Dickinson Remembers Frontier Dickinson; 17) Rough Crossing, Brisk Selling, Terrible Killing, Quick Wedding: Minot in the 1890s; and 18) Fort Buford and Williston: Frontier Storekeepers.


Interior of Fred W. Altenburg's Harness and Shoe Shop, Belfield, North Dakota, 1912

Early Rugby, North Dakota

Courthouse and Bird's Eye View, Devils Lake, North Dakota

Interior of the Egge Clothing Store, Towner, North Dakota, 1902

The Townspeople

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Permission to use any images from the GRHC website may be requested by contacting Michael M. Miller