Robert Bruce was an accomplished cornet player who was born in Belcourt on September 13, 1893. He worked as a cement mason in Walhalla and then as a tailor in Langdon at which time he played for the city band. When World War I came, he enlisted in the North Dakota National Guard with the Second Infantry Band, which became known as the Million Dollar Band. This band had been organized by North Dakota’s own Harold Bachman, and it gained national prominence.
On this date in 1926, it was announced that Mr. Bruce had been selected as a soloist by John Philip Sousa for his farewell European Tour – a proud moment for Bruce, a man of Chippewa descent from the plains of North Dakota.
Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis
Cavalier County Republican December 9, 1926