Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1I recently wrote about a Kittson County native, Ephraim Clow, who went on to become a well-known sportsman of a late 19th century sport, Pedestrianism.'Eph' also ...

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"St. Vincent Memories" - 5 new articles

  1. Update: Ephraim "Eph" Clow, Pedestrian Racer
  2. Frederick A. Bailey: An NWMP 'Original'
  3. James J. Barry, Pugilist
  4. StVHS Sports: 1927/28
  5. Ephraim Clow: Professional Pedestrian
  6. More Recent Articles

Update: Ephraim "Eph" Clow, Pedestrian Racer

Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1
Boston Daily Globe, May 27 1881, Page 1

I recently wrote about a Kittson County native, Ephraim Clow, who went on to become a well-known sportsman of a late 19th century sport, Pedestrianism.

'Eph' also features in Chapter 22 (Rose Belt) of the book King of the Peds in a race in which he finished with 460 miles in that 6-day race.

Here are a couple of extracts from Chapter 28...
Out of the thirty men that started the 70-hour walking match at the Music Hall in Boston, Massachusetts, between the 16th and 21st of February, 1880, only seven finished. The winner was Peter Panchot with 345 miles. Jimmy Albert came in second with 330, Clow, third with 326, McEvoy fourth with 321, Dufrane, fifth with 318, Campana, sixth with 300, and Barrett seventh with 304. During the early part of the match, Albert had denied charges that he had been abusive in language towards a Mr. Hanson, who he allegedly struck with a cane.
Jimmy Albert was awarded $300 and a gold watch for winning a 75-hour go-as-you-please match (12½ hours per day) which took place at the Opera House in Brockton, Massachusetts, between Monday, the 22nd and Saturday, the 27th of March. The scores at the end were: Albert 435; Hughes, 423.16 ($200); Clow, 411.6 ($100); Hourihan, 385.14 ($75); Geldert, 361.4 ($50): The Boston Globe in its report on the match stated: The track not having been measured by a professional the above records will not stand as it is undoubtedly short. Campana, Colston and Mignault were also in the race.
There are many other mentions of the 'Canadian Champion of Toronto', in King of the Peds. For example:
In the 72-hour go-as-you-please “Toronto Walking Tournament”, which started on the morning of June the 7th 1880, Clow, of Prince Edward Island, had beaten Faber's celebrated record in Buffalo.
Ephraim "Eph" Clow, Champion Pedestrian
Courtesy of:

Frederick A. Bailey: An NWMP 'Original'

Sgt. Fred Bailey
[Source:  RCMP Veterans Association,
Vancouver Division]

Let me introduce you to an ordinary man who happened to make a bit of local history by just doing what many in his day did - living life, making choices, taking risks.  

"This I believe is the diary of Frederick Bagley when he enlisted in the North-West Mounted Police as a trumpeteer at 15 years of age; They left Fort Dufferin in 1874 to secure the Medicine Line!" 
- J. Rempel

I will be sharing portions of that diary here on this blog at a later time. But for now, let us learn a bit about Sub-Constable Fred Bagley, Trumpeteer ...

According to a fascinating online biography (which I quote here in-full since so many such pages seem to disappear):
Fred Bagley’s musical talents and leadership provided a major contribution to the Force and to the communities he served in.

With regarding setting records, he was first in the following areas: 
a) being the youngest member to be sworn into the Force; 
b) first Trumpeteer in the Force; 
c) present to guard and witness the first person to be hung in the North-West Territories at Fort Saskatchewan; and 
d) first member to lead a musical performance before Royalty.
Frederick Augustus Bagley was born on September 22, 1858 in St. Lucia, British West Indies. He was the son of Robert Bagley – a retired sergeant of Her Majesty’s Royal Artillery and in 1874 was residing in Toronto Canada. 
Robert Bagley was an old friend of Commissioner George French as they both had served in the Imperial Army together. 
In 1874, Commissioner French received approval to recruit an additional 150 new members to the newly formed North-West Mounted Police. 
At this time, Fred Bagley was a Trumpeteer in “A” Battery Troop at the Royal School of Gunnery at Kingston and was very eager to join this new mounted unit. Despite the fact that the age for recruits was a minimum of 21 years of age, his father was able to convince Commissioner French to accept young Fred Bagley at the age of only 15. 
Prior to joining the Force, Fred Bagley recalls, “I had always been a close student of the works of James Fenimore Cooper and imagined that life in the NWMP would be one grand round of riding wild mustangs, chasing whisky traders and horse thieves, potting hostile savages, and hobnobbing with haughty Indian Princes and lovely unsophisticated Princesses. Alas! A few years in the service of the Force sufficed to dissipate much of this glamour.” [1] 
On May 1, 1874, Fred Bagley was sworn into the Force and assigned the regimental #247 and became the youngest member to be sworn into the Force. His pay rate was set as a Sub-Constable and was paid .75 a day. 
Upon departing Ontario, he told his mother that he would be back in home in a year. However, his sense of adventure and call to duty distracted him from going back to visit his mother. He did manage to return for holiday but it was fourteen years later. 
Being the youngest in the Force and not considered a full-fledged member, Fred Bagley performed his regular Trumpeteer duties such as: reveille, call to meals, lights-out, alarm, etc. 
In additional, he: attended regular drill and horsemanship practices; drew supplies for the cook’s kitchen; set the mess tables; brought cooked food from the cook-house; dished out food portions; washed dishes; and scrubbed tables and benches. 
With  the arrival of the second group of 150 members arriving at Fort Dufferin in 1874, uniforms were issued and training began. Prior to the commencement of the March West, Commissioner French ordered a full parade of all members of the Force. 
Fred Bagley recalls this first parade – it was “an inspiring sight with every man in new scarlet tunic, white puggaree-bound helmet, the loose ends hanging down each man’s back, giving a rather ‘Indian Mutiny’ effect; the horses fresh and in splendid condition, the metal parts of the accoutrements burnished and glittering in the sun, and the artillery troop ‘C’ with its 9-pounder, M.L. [muzzle loading], steel guns and bright chestnut horses conspicuous in the middle of the column. This was the one and only occasion in the entire history of the Force that it was to be seen thus on ceremonial parade in full strength, fully equipped and everyone officer and man present.”[2] 
At Fort Dufferin, the daily activities hinged around the trumpet calls provided by Fred Bagley. “Reveille, the 6:30 A.M. bugle call that reverberated through the barracks like thunder in a mountain valley, was a first-class effort by the youthful Fred Bagley, now known as the Kid Cop. He smiled broadly and appeared to gain at once the two additional inches he so dearly wanted for his boyish stature.”[3] 
On July 8, 1874, the Force commenced its March West into the unknown and uncharted wilderness inhabited by warlike savages. According to accounts of the event, there was no special send-off. Troops and formations were established and the departure was an organized affair. 
The March West contingent consisted of: 302 policemen, 338 riding horses, 114 Red River Carts, 73 wagons, 142 oxen, 21 drivers, 2 field guns, and 93 head of cattle. 
For the March West, Fred Bagley was assigned to “D” Troop and was under the careful watch of Sub-Inspector James Walker. 
In the early weeks of the March West, Fred Bagley was delegated by Commissioner French to sometimes sound reveille at 3 AM. This early call was undertaken so the men would become more organized in their efforts to quickly advance westward and to become familiar with equipment. Eventually, the “healthful outdoor life molded them into a hardy lot as they trudged monotonously along to the accompaniment of thudding hoofs, clattering accoutrements and equipment and wailing, grease-hungry Red River carts.”[4] 
In an effort to preserve the condition of the horses, it was decided to alternate in riding an walking beside the horse. “Those walking hours in still-new riding boots produced painful blisters and painful memories. The Kid Bugler, Fred Bagley, told of conscientiously plugging along during the stipulated hours of riding and walking and then removing his boots on again. With still some distance to go to reach the camp, along came Sub-Inspector Walker, who hoisted Bagley on his shoulders and carried him piggy-back the rest of the way into camp.” [5] 
The heat and arid atmosphere of the prairie in mid-summer was intensified by a strong head wind causing cracked lips which rendered shouting or laughing painful. Bagley’s lips were so parched and swollen from thirst than when ordered to sound the trumpet – he couldn’t produce a note. 
“By early August, as a result of drinking brackish water, twenty-two men had dysentery, including the bugler, Bagley, whose lips were so swollen and blistered that he could not blow a single note. Horses were dying at the rate of nearly six a day.”[6] 
After the March West, Fred Bagley and his Troop turned back at Trois Buttes and returned to Swan River. In subsequent years, he assisted with the construction of Fort MacLeod, Fort Saskatchewan, Fort Qu’Appelle and Fort Battleford. 
In 1877, Fred Bagley was a member of the first Force band which was formed by Sergeant Major Thomas Lake (Reg. #13). This first band performed at the Treaty signing at the Blackfeet Crossing. 
On December 20, 1879, Fred Bagley was in charge of guarding and witnessing the hanging of the first person in the North West Territories at Fort Saskatchewan. The individual who was hung was an Indian named Swift Runner. Swift Runner was found guilty of cannibalism by killing and eating his wife, their five children, and his brother. 
Between 1882 to 1885, Fred Bagley was stationed at Fort Battleford. On August 1, 1882, he was promoted to Corporal and to Sergeant on February 1, 1884. While at the Fort, he established a volunteer NWMP Band. 
On March 26, 1885, the North-West Rebellion commenced when the Metis force under Gabriel Dumont defeated a combined force of 90 men from the Prince Albert Volunteers and the North-West Mounted Police led by Superintendent Leif Crozier at Duck Lake. 
The day after this battle, the Commissioner ordered Sergeant Fred Bagley to lead a group of 25 NWMP members with ammunition and supplies to reinforce Fort Carleton. As Bagley’s group approached Fort, they received a message from the Commissioner to return to Fort Battleford. Fortunate for the Bagley group, they were not spotted by the Metis force for these supplies would have greatly assisted their rebel cause. 
At Fort Battleford, Sgt. Bagley was involved in several scouting parties and came under fire on several occasions such as: retrieving the death body and pursuing Chief Little Poplar and his band for five days. 
Based on his actions at Fort Battleford and the surrounding areas, he was awarded a North-West Rebellion Medal. However, the medal was not issued until August 13, 1902.[7] 
On March 19, 1887, Fred Bagley was promoted to Staff Sergeant and transferred to Regina to assist Inspector Constantine in the planning and establishment of a NWMP Post at Banff. While in Regina, he was also asked to establish a Regimental Force Band. 
On May 4, 1888, while as the acting Bandmaster, Commissioner Laurence Herchmer gave Fred Bagley “an order regarding the attendance of the band members at the Church of England choir practice. When the band members failed to attend the practice – the Commissioner Herchmer flew into a rage. Bagley was arrested and brought before him charged with disobeying an order. He was found guilty and reduce in rank form Staff Sergeant to Sergeant.”[8] 
“The fact that Herchmer was a member of the Church of England and Bagley a Catholic was suspected to have been at the root of the demotion.”[9] 
Subsequent to this demotion and rage by Commissioner Herchmer, the Regina Leader newspaper published the incident and many other incidents which outlined the rages and poor leadership of the Commissioner. 
“It was soon clear that Bagley and Herchmer had different understandings of the meaning of the order. The former claimed that since he was a Roman Catholic he could not be ordered to sing in an Anglican choir. The Commissioner explained to (Jack) White (Comptroller of the NWMP) that it was not his intention that Bagley should attend, but only that he see that the Church of England members of the band participated. 
In response, the Deputy Minister (Jack White) chided him for his thoughtlessness. Church services could not be considered a part of a member’s duties, he told the Commissioner, and the cut of 50 cents a day in Bagley’s pay was a harsh punishment not in keeping with his good records.”[10] 
In 1887, S/Sgt. Bagley was placed in charge of the new Banff NWMP Post and was provided a staff of 18 members to patrol the new Banff Park. 
In 1888, the Commanding Officer for Fort Calgary was in need of a Band Master for their volunteer NMWP band. The Commissioner was convinced to transfer Fred Bagley to Fort Calgary. On May 1, 1889, Fred Bagley was promoted back to the rank of Staff Sergeant by Commissioner Herchmer. 
Fred Bagley’s band performed in the new Banff Spring Hotel and was a popular attraction for visiting tourists. 
After returning from three months of leave in Ontario, he was transferred to Calgary and married one of the town’s most respected and admired daughters. “They made an attractive couple, she with her charming air and hospitable grace, he with his soldierly bearing and gentlemanly conduct.” 

With the celebrations of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee scheduled for June 22, 1897, there was a push by members of Parliament and by the Commissioner to have a contingent of Force members to participate in the Diamond Jubilee parade. After much consideration, Sir Wilfrid Laurier agreed that 25 Force members would be included in the 200 member Canadian Contingent being sent to London. 
The Force’s participation in this parade would be the first international appearance of the NWMP. Many editorials had been written in England about the achievements of the NWMP in the Canadian West. It was important to Commissioner Herchmer that this initial presence of the NWMP in London be favourable in the eyes of the other Imperial regiments. 
By the end of April 1897, twenty-three members were selected. Fred Bagley was one of these members. The chosen members were all: young, trim, handsome, 5’10” to 6’0” in height, average waist of 35 inches, average chest of 39 inches and most sported long waxed mustaches which were considered dashing at the time.[11] 
The Commissioner received approval for new uniforms to be worn by the NWMP delegation: prairie suits, cowboy hats and overalls with elastic sided boots and box spurs for walking out.
While in England, Fred Bagley and his band gave a musical command performance at Windsor Castle and he himself was presented to Her Majesty (Queen Victoria).”[12] 
Shortly after returning to Canada, Fred Bagley was transferred to Maple Creek and was promoted to the rank of Sergeant Major. 
On April 30, 1899 – Fred Bagley retired from the Force after completing 25 years of dedicated service. His pension was $328.50 per year. 
After retiring, he continued his dedicated service to his community and country as outlined below: 
a) Boer War – Captain in charge of “C” Squadron – Canadian Mounted Rifles; 
b) 15th Light Horse Regiment – Appointed Adjutant and headed up their Regimental Band; 
c) World War I – Captain with the 82nd Battalion then transferred to the 192nd Battalion and went to Europe in 1915. Later promoted to the rank of Major.
d) Assisted with the establishment of many community bands; 
e) Largely responsible for the creation of the Museum of Natural History; and 
f) One of the original members who pushed for the creation of the Royal North-West Mounted Police Veterans Association. 
In 1924, he returned to Banff with his wife. Despite the issues he had with the Force, he “never conceded that his youthful union with the Mounted Police was a mistake.”[13] 
Major Fred Bagley (1930) 

In writing to the RCMP Quarterly Editor in 1945, Fred Bagley stated “We old ‘originals’ are prone sometimes to believe that we are neglected or ignored by a generation that ‘knew not Joseph’ and his works … I am now in my 87th year and my interest and pride in the splendid fellows who are today carrying on, and even sometimes excelling the great traditions of the old Force, never slackens. I always get a great thrill whenever I see them on parade or swaggering down the street.”[14]

On October 8, 1945, Fred Bagley passed away in Banff, Alberta. In tribute to his support to the community of Banff, all the merchants closed their business for his funeral.

[1] MacLeod, R.C. – “The North-West Mounted Police and Law Enforcement: 1873 to 1905.” Toronto: University of Toronto Press (1976) (page 85) 
[2] Turner, John Peter – “The North-West Mounted Police: Volume I.” – Ottawa: King’s Printer (1950)(120-121) 
[3] MacEwan, Grant – “Colonel James Walker: Men of the Western Frontier.” Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books (1989) (page 36)

[4] “They Opened the Way for the Peaceful Development of Canada’s Broad Plains.” Ottawa: RCMP Quarterly (Volume 11 – October 1945 – January, 1946) (page 144)

[5] MacEwan, Grant – “Colonel James Walker: Men of the Western Frontier.” Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books (1989 (page 47)

[6] Wilkins, Charles – “The Wild Ride: A History of the North West Mounted Police 1873 – 1904.” Vancouver: Stanton Atkins & Dosil Publishing (2010) (page 68) 
[7] Klancher, Donald – “The North West Mounted Police And The North-West Rebellion.” (1997) (page 77) 
[8] Beahen, William and Horrall, Stan – “Red Coats On The Prairies: The North-West Mounted Police 1886-1900.” Regina: Centax Books PrintWest Publish Services (1998) (page 135) 
[9] Wilkins, Charles – “The Wild Ride: A History of the North West Mounted Police 1873 – 1904.” Vancouver: Stanton Atkins & Dosil Publishing (2010) (page 184) 
[10] Beahen, William and Horrall, Stan – “Red Coats On The Prairies: The North-West Mounted Police 1886-1900.” Regina: Centax Books PrintWest Publish Services (1998) (page 135) 
[11] Beahen, William and Horrall, Stan – “Red Coats on the Prairies: The North-West Mounted Police 1886-1900.” Regina: Centax Books, 1998 (Page 289) 
[12] “They Opened the Way for the Peaceful Development of Canada’s Broad Plains.” Ottawa: RCMP Quarterly (Volume 11 – October 1945 – January, 1946) (page 163) 
[13] MacEwan, Grant – “Colonel James Walker: Men of the Western Frontier.” Saskatoon: Western Producer Prairie Books (1989 (page 31-32) 
[14] “Editorial – Major Bagley.” Ottawa: RCMP Quarterly – Volume 11 (October 1945 – January 1946) (Pages 85)


James J. Barry, Pugilist

Louis Edgar Rogers, aka
Jim Barry, was born in
St. Vincent, Minnesota.

Jim Barry was a pugilist...and a mystery. His real name was Louis Edgar Rogers.  He seems to have left the US in December 1912 and returned in 1915. One document that was found - an application for a passport - showed he was in England at the time. Did he go to England to get treatment for his drug and alcohol problems? Then, a record showed he fought his old nemesis Sam Langford in Australia, most likely as part of a hopeful comeback? Or, was it an exhibition fight?  He has some more fights later but he lost them all. While in Panama, he was murdered at the age of 32. A short life of a promising young boxer - he was considered a capable, durable fighter in his prime - that took a wrong turn, that led to a sad end.

Barry lists St. Vincent, Minnesota 

as where he was born, on this 1915 
emergency passport application...
Louis was born on August 12, 1886 in St. Vincent, Minnesota.  In the 1900 US Census, Louis is listed as age 15 and going by Lue Rogers. Lue is a variant of the name Louis (English and French), and on the same census, Mary is listed as his mother, age 55 and widowed.  His father had been from Ireland, but his mother was French-Canadian.1 Very likely she would have called him Lue for short - or it could have been a simplified version of how Louis is pronounced in French.  

Barry's 1915 passport photo
According to the same census, Lue could neither read nor write. Nor could his mother.  It was not unusual for that time, but just like today, it limited job opportunities for a lifetime.  Lue was also listed as a 'Day Laborer', but that wouldn't last for long. Sometime during the next few years, probably sooner, Lue learned the art of boxing, left Drayton for the wider world, and became Jim Barry.

Sam Langford
Jim's start up the ranks of boxing are not known, but he eventually made a modest name for himself. He was characterized as a "hard-hitting white cowboy" ... who did not mind fighting the top black heavyweights of the Chitlin' Circuit. Although he did not beat Sam Langford--only to a draw, in their many fights--Barry did deck the Boston fighter on two occasions.

According to his May 1915 passport application, Barry was born in 1886 in St. Vincent, Minnesota, and called Drayton, North Dakota, his place of residence. He listed his occupations as "engineer and boxer" - what kind of engineer, we do not know, but if true, it was as a vocation between 'day laborer' and 'boxer'.

After returning from London, Barry went into treatment for cocaine addiction.  He was released from a New York hospital after taking the "Coke Cure" in July 2015.  The government was starting to crack down on cocaine and other drugs that had previously been unregulated. I think Barry had to get straight or risk losing chances to fight, or even get arrested.  So he was trying to straighten up. 

An article in the Pembina Pioneer Express for March 30, 1917, has this notation:
James Barry, whose right name was Rogers, is reported killed down in the Panama zone. Barry was raised in Drayton this county, and has relatives there. He had some repute as a heavyweight pugilist... 
To quote coverage in the Panama Star & Herald, 12 March 1917:
Jim Barry was shot and killed in the Lobby Hotel in Colon. His slayer was C. Jerrett, usually known as 'Tex Martin.' Martin accosted Barry in the Lobby Hotel bar and Barry pushed him back, saying that he didn't want anything to do with him. (There had been an altercation between them in Panama City the previous day, stemming from a disagreement over a gambling debt.) Martin then pulled a Colt 44 and shot Barry three times. Barry staggered out of the bar and fell dead. Martin was quickly arrested after the shooting and later stood trial for murder. Apparently it was found that Martin had been threatened by Barry, was acting in self-defense, and was released. He was later reported to have been killed in San Antonio, Texas.
"There was a story that when he died Barry was in possession of a gold and silver belt entrusted to him by none other than John L. Sullivan. The belt was never recovered."  December 10, 1912 Tacoma Times article. [Source: BoxRec]

Source:  The Little Book of Boxing

 A narrow escape:  Barry was carrying a fight purse when he
almost lost it - a serious financial loss averted by pure luck.

"On this date..." - Jimmy Barry, real name Louis
Edgar Rogers, born in St. Vincent, Minnesota!

1 - While Mary was listed as 'Canadian/French' in the 1900 U.S. Census (now living in Drayton, ND), in the Minnesota Territorial Census for 1885 (while living in St. Vincent, and later that year giving birth to Louis), Louis' mother is listed - out of the five choices given - as 'Mulatto' (one definition of that word meant half white, half Indian). In the 1910 census she was listed as simply 'Indian'. It can be confusing to the researcher what to make of such various ways of describing people's ethnicities and racial makeups, but it's fairly simple in this case. Mary was either born in Canada, or her parents were. She was probably a mixture of a First Nation mother and a French Canadian father. Louis' father was listed as Irish.

StVHS Sports: 1927/28

Vintage St. Vincent High School pennant from 1920s

[Guest article by Michael Rustad, originally from nearby Humboldt, MN]

In the summer of 1999, my daughter Erica and I visited the town of St. Vincent.

There is no longer a bridge connecting the central business districts of Pembina, North Dakota and St. Vincent. The old bridge connecting the towns that I remember as a child has long been dismantled. The places that I remember in St. Vincent have long since closed. Short's Cafe, Sylvester's Store, the Curling Rink, St. Ann's Catholic Church, and the St. Vincent Fairgrounds. The curling rink is now neglected and in state of decay. The Church is a private residence. The St. Vincent School, too, is in a state of benign neglect. The school is in disrepair and the fire escape slide detached.

It was difficult for me to explain to my daughter that St. Vincent was once a bustling community. We attended catechism each summer in the basement of St. Ann's Catholic Church. We had a large number of ball games in the yard outside the church which is now overgrown and marred by abandoned cars. When my sister and I visited the Kittson County Museum in Lake Bronson, I was amazed to find some high school yearbooks [called Borderlines] from St. Vincent High School. St. Vincent High School closed in the late 1930s and never reopened. Instead, it eventually consolidated its school district with Humboldt from 1957 to 1991.
[Note from Trish:  In-between StVHS closing and St. Vincent consolidating with Humboldt, students had the choice of attending Pembina High School, or other schools in Kittson County like Hallock...]
It was an unexpected joy to find yearbooks from the St. Vincent High School from the 1920s. This was a yearbook from a small town in NW Minnesota prior to the Depression. High school life in St. Vincent was marked by lots of school spirit judging from the many activities. St. Vincent fielded a football team, basketball team, hockey team, track team and baseball team in [school year] 1927/28.

"If you could walk or run, you were in the starting line-up."

A yearbook entry from 1927/28 reveals that St. Vincent fielded a competitive football team. The team photograph above included:
Front: Harris Easter, John Fitzpatrick, Allen Smith, Billy MacKay, Jimmy Bernath.
Center: Ralph Cameron, Johnny Smith, Donald Hutchins, Merlin Twamley.
Back: G.H. Good (Professor & Coach), Fred Stranger, Jim Gooselaw, George Sylvester. 
The first game of the fall 1927 season pitted Stephen against St. Vincent in a home game. John Fitzpatrick and Merlin Twamley, the tackles on the St. Vincent team, were described as husky and good tacklers. George Sylvester, later to become proprietor of Sylvester's General Store made what was described as a "sensational run of 60 yards" to score a touchdown. Jim Gooselaw scored another touchdown on a 70 yard punt return. Stephen won the game 26 to 12. This game was held as one of the attractions of the St. Vincent Fair. The reporter for the game wrote: "The game was played on a warm afternoon with very little wind to interfere. The game was played in connection with the Kittson County Fair. It was added as a special feature."

St. Vincent next traveled to Neche and played a game in miserable conditions of rain and mud. Both teams were backed in the shadow of the goal posts. Neche scored seconds before the end of the game to beat St. Vincent 6-0. St. Vincent moved the ball better than Neche and had twice as many first downs (8 versus 4).

The third game of the season was played in Stephen. Stephen won 47-0 despite Jim Gooselaw's heroics. Gooselaw carried the ball for 256 yards and George Sylvester carried the ball for another 56 yards.

The fourth game of that fall was played on October 19 at St. Vincent against Neche. This game was described as a punter's dual between Lee of Neche and Gooselaw from St. Vincent. Gooselaw, however, ran 60 yards for a score followed by another long gain by Fred Stranger. Stranger, St. Vincent's quarterback, scored and the game ended 12-0.

St. Vincent was beaten decisively by Cavalier. Cavalier's team in 1927 consisted of all seniors. The reporter described Cavalier as the strongest team in the state. Cavalier beat Devils Lake, Valley City and Grafton, so that a defeat of 67-0 " the hands of Cavalier was no disgrace."

Jim Bernath, a star player on the team became a leading citizen and one of our neighbors. Jim and Dora Bernath had two children, Mary Ann and Jerry, who were classmates. Merlin Twamley, one of the leading tacklers, had a large family with a child in nearly every grade of the Humboldt-St.Vincent School. Billy MacKay ran the Customs House at Noyes (succeeding his father1). Fred Stranger become the proprietor of a popular cafe in St. Vincent. The Easters were long associated with the St. Vincent Elevator.

The 1927/28 tennis team featured Ralph Cameron, James Bernath, James Gooselaw, Donald Hutchins, Brooks Perry and William MacKay.

St. Vincent's Track Team was the best in the area. Jim "Ace" Gooselaw was one of its top track stars and won numerous first place ribbons and trophies.  James Bernath is pictured as a lanky young man with glasses holding a shot put. I always remember Jim Bernath with that cheerful visage, one of the good guys!

Standing:  James Gooselaw, Fred Stranger, James Bernath, George Sylvester, and Ralph Cameron.
Seated:  Brooks Perry.  Note the athletes holding the disc, shot put, and javelin.  Perry holds a trophy,
but we cannot read the plate as to what it was for.  One can only wonder where the pennants, trophies,
and other objects of the school's history are now - Kittson Central H.S.?  Kittson County Museum?

St. Vincent won the county track meet held at Hallock by a score of 86 1/2 to 39 1/2. James Gooselaw scored 33 1/2 points almost equally the second place team. Gooselaw won seven firsts and tied for a third. Gooselaw won every event: all dashes and weight events. Carlson from Hallock won the high jump at 5 ft. 1 inch. Anderson of Hallock won the baseball throw. Gooselaw faced little competition in any event. Anderson was described as the "sensational Hallock speed marvel." St.Vincent High School won "the beautiful loving cup." The reporter for the meet noted that "...the boys say they are going to keep it."

Another meet was held on May 11th with four contesting teams. The high school boys won the trophy for top track team for three successive teams. "The Upper Grade Boy" returned with the pennant, allotted their group, with a large margin. The trophy offered the highest "school tally" is now in the hands of the St. Vincent School.

In another track meet St. Vincent won first place in the first five events, second place in the following three events and fourth place in the ninth event. Once again, Jim Gooselaw was the crown jewel of the St. Vincent track team, winning more "...first place ratings than any contesting team." The reporter also mentioned the contributions of Roy Clow, George Sylvester, Ralph Cameron, Harris Easter, Fred Stranger, Jim Bernath, Brooks Perry and Donald Hutchins. The events mentioned in the track stories were: 1) 75 Yard Dash; 2) 8 pound shot put; 3) running high jump; 4) running broad jump and 5) relay races.

The yearbook also mentioned some of the track teams of the lower grades. Winton Cameron and Nazareth Gooselaw were stars on the Upper Grade Track Team. Louis and Manual Gooselaw won 1st and 2d place in every event. The reporter hopes that Manual will join the High School Team the next year. He also has high hopes for Louis, his younger brother. St. Vincent's athletic success could be summarized with three word: the Gooselaw family! The Gooselaw girls were also strong athletes. Rose and Violet were excellent players for the upper grade girls. Rose Gooselaw,Violet Cleem, Mary Stranger and Mary Easter were upper grade girls who excelled in sports. The girl's high school track team featured Mamie Cleem, Isabel Fitzpatrick, Lelia Davis, Fidessa Wilkie and Alberta Fitzpatrick.

The year book also mentioned that the girls competed in a singing contest, winning second place. St. Vincent had outstanding community support for its teams. St. Vincent, which is 20 miles from Hallock, had 100 students and supporters at the County Track Meet.

The St. Vincent baseball team (no photo of the team in yearbook) played Lancaster in their first game that year losing 7 to 6. The yearbook reported upcoming games with Hallock and Pembina.

The St. Vincent lineup had Robert Cameron as Pitcher; Jim Gooselaw as Catcher, Jim Bernath at First Base; Herb Easter at Second Base; Manual Gooselaw at Third Base; Billy MacKay as Short Stop; Fred Stranger in Center Field; Brooks Perry in Left Field; and J. Bielemayer in Right Field. Arnold Reese, Allen Smith and Don Hutchins were reserves.

I would be remiss in not mentioning the girls' basketball team from 1927/28. The starting lineup had Mamie Cleem as Center. Fern Fitzpatrick was the right forward. Lelia Davis was the left forward. The guards were Isabelle Fitzpatrick and Fidessa Wilkie. Verlie Cameron was the first reserve to come in. Violet Cleem and Mae Gamble were also reserves. The first game was the high school team versus the women from the town of St. Vincent.

Members of the town team: Eva Parenteau, Dorothy Bernath, Edith Clow, Ruth Davis, Flora Perry, and Cecilia Bielemeyer. The girls had colorful nicknames. Mamie Cleem was known as "Slivers". Ferne Fitzpatrick was nicknamed "Coon". Fidessa Wilkie was "Fido" and Verlie Cameron was the "Plug." Violet Cleem's nickname was "Cutie." The game on December 9, 1927 ended with a tie.

St. Vincent Girls WIN!
St. Vincent's team played their second game with Stephen. The boy's coach, Good, acted as referee. The game was rough. Isabelle Fitzpatrick (Issy) cracked two fingers. Ferne "Coon" Fitzpatrick twisted a knee and was substituted for by Cutie Cleem. Mamie Cleem led all scores with 12 points followed by Cutie with 6 and Lelia "Lee" Davis with 3. It must have been a tough match. Even the referee got knocked against the wall and lost his whistle. The final score was 21 to 16 in favor of St. Vincent. 

St. Vincent lost the return match with Stephen on January 20, 1928. The reporter noted, "Cutie played in Coon's place on account of the latter's sore leg." Again, the game was physical: "Issy received a large lump on her arm from her small Swede forward." Pembina played the St. Vincent woman's team on February 8, 1928. The game ended in a 10 to 10 tie!

I found the St. Vincent yearbooks to be interesting records of what was obviously a very spirited high school. As I drove past the forlorn building in August of 1999 with my daughter, I tried to take my mind's eye back to the school's heyday in the 1920s.

1 - From MacKay v. Railway Express Agency, Inc.: William Fraser MacKay became a custom-house broker in 1900, while in charge of the office of the Great Northern Railway Company and the Great Northern Express Company at St. Vincent, Minnesota, then a port of entry located four miles south of Noyes, and ever since that time his main business has been the custom-house brokerage business. In 1904 the Great Northern and Soo Lines built a joint station at Noyes and the United States Customs Office was then moved to Noyes. In 1905 plaintiff was employed in a supervisory capacity for the joint station of the two railroads and he continued in that capacity until June 11, 1946. Plaintiff's duties with these two railroads were supervisory in character and required only a limited portion of his time. These duties were performed by him in addition to his duties as a custom-house broker. At the same time that plaintiff became the supervisory agent of the two railroads he also became supervisory agent of the two express companies then operating, and he continued in this capacity for the two express companies until they were absorbed by the American Railway Express Company as of July 1, 1918. This company was formed as a war measure for the purpose of consolidating the seven express companies then in existence and was employed by the Director General of Railroads to conduct the express transportation business on all lines of railroad under federal control. During the period immediately following the advent of the American Railway Express Company plaintiff was the only individual custom-house broker at the Port of Noyes and he continued to conduct his custom-house brokerage business which he had built up over the preceding eighteen years and at that time he had powers of attorney for such purpose from approximately 75 per cent of the shippers and importers.

Ephraim Clow: Professional Pedestrian

Masthead of newspaper that had article about race Ephraim took part in, then resigned from under suspicious circumstances

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain — and back in rain.
I have out-walked the furthest city light.... 
~Robert Frost
Ephraim Clow was a cousin of mine on my grandmother's maternal line.  Family oral history said he was a long distance runner and had run in the Boston Marathon and won.  I had to find out if this was true or not.

I first found out that the Boston Marathon began in 1897.  Ephraim was born in 1854.  In 1897, he would have been 43.  Above-average age to be doing a marathon.  So I wondered, could this be a situation where the family oral history had a nugget of truth, but it wasn't quite how it was remembered?  In fact, it was.

First, I checked to see if Ephraim had ever been in Boston.  I found that he had.
Ambrose Clow, and his brothers, Charles, George, and Ephraim, went to Boston to seek their fortune. Around 1878-1880, he received word that land was available in Minnesota. Charles was sent to check out the territory. What he saw (in Kittson County) pleased him so he advised his brothers to join him in this new venture. Ambrose brought his new wife, Mathilda Crewye, who was also born on Prince Edward Island. Ambrose had a house built in Humboldt where he and his wife lived the rest of their lives. They had a son, George Victor, who was born 19 Nov 1880.  
 - From George Clow family lineage on Red River Valley website
A racing Pedestrian, being avidly
observed by spectators mid-race
I found out that during the early 1880s, Ephraim was a competitor in pedestrian  races, or "go-as-you-please" races. I've found him mentioned in newspaper articles during the right time period, and in Boston.  I had found my cousin.  And I had confirmed that the family oral history was true - just a bit wrong in the details!

To find out more about what race walking was like in its 'Golden Age', check out this podcast that features the author of the book - Pedestrianism: When Watching People Walk Was America's Favorite Spectator Sport – Matthew Algeo.

A passage from the book mentions Ephraim, alleges a possible scandal he may have been part of:
Early on the morning of the final day of the race, the Boston Globe reported, “ utterly unexpected and exciting incident occurred...” - Ephraim Clow of Boston, who had been backed heavily to secure second place, and who stood third on the score-sheet, with every prospect in his favor, as he was undoubtedly the freshest man on the track, suddenly left the track and went to his room.  Inquiries were at once made as to the reason for his action. He gave various excuses, all of a flimsy character.  
I could find nothing else about the matter, or how it was resolved.

Ephraim eventually came to Kittson County as his brothers had done.  He and his family settled in the Humboldt, Minnesota area, where Ephraim farmed for some years.  By the time of the 1910 and 1920 censuses, the family is living in St. Vincent. Evidently they moved there from their farm, in their later years.

This article mentions Ephraim Clow in the middle of the final paragraph; he is
included among those with the best records in the O'Leary International Belt,
held in the old Madison Square Garden in New York City, in January 1881...

[Source:  New York Tribune, May 23, 1881 -]


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