Dakota Datebook

McClelland’s Appeal

Saturday, April 6, 2013


William McClelland arrived in North Dakota in 1921. The native New Yorker had been hired as superintendent of the state’s Training School, a juvenile reformatory outside of Mandan. With constant funding shortages and inadequate political support, the school’s survival was in question. McClelland instituted a variety of reforms, including a new curriculum focused on agriculture to help ensure jobs for the students upon their release. After nearly two decades of success, however, McClelland was convicted for the sexual assault of a school inmate. The State Supreme Court considered a second appeal on this date in 1943, but upheld the original sentence. McClelland proclaimed his innocence for years, but the legacy of the assault continued to mar the school’s reputation.


Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job



Dill, Joseph (ed.). 1988 North Dakota: 100 Years: p. 76. The Forum Publishing Company: Fargo, ND.

The Fargo Forum and Daily Tribune. Wednesday (Morning ed.), April 7, 1943; p. 1.

http://nd.findacase.com/research/wfrmDocViewer.aspx/xq/fac.19430824_0001.ND.htm/qx (State of ND v. W. F. McClelland, 8/24/43, 72 N.D. 665)

pdfhost.focus.nps.gov/docs/NRHP/Text/95001550.pdf (NPS Form 10-900, National Register of Historic Places Registration Form, Sunnyside Farm Barn [32 MO 147], Dec 5 1995: pp. 11-13).


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Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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