Dakota Datebook

Boy Scout Saves Girl

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The Boy Scouts of America was formed in Nineteen Ten and quickly spread to every corner of the United States. By the end of Nineteen Eleven, fifty Scoutmasters across North Dakota were teaching young men to follow Scout Law, to do a good turn daily, and, of course, be prepared.

In early May, 1934, fourteen-year-old Tenderfoot Boy Scout Roy Greisen and a friend were fishing in a creek near Dickinson, North Dakota, when they heard the terrified screams of a young girl. They rushed to help and found seven-year-old Eunice Gress on the ground, knocked down and trampled by an angry bull. Greisen and his friend threw

rocks and yelled at the bull, forcing the bull to retreat a few steps. With the snorting and stomping bull only a few feet away, Greisen ran to where Eunice had fallen, picked her up, and carried her to safety.

Eunice and her sister had been driving a herd of cows from one field to another when the bull charged. Eunice’s sister had gone to get her father, and he met Greisen and Eunice on their way to the farmhouse. Eunice’s arm and leg had been crushed and her face was gored by the bull, but thanks to Greisen’s courageous rescue, she survived the attack. This tale of heroism spread to newspapers across North Dakota, appearing in the Towner-based Mouse River Farmers Press on this date.

Dickinson business leaders submitted Greisen’s name and story to the Carnegie Hero Fund, an award established by Andrew Carnegie to reward “heroes of civilization.” In late 1934 Greisen was awarded the bronze Carnegie Medal and Five Hundred Dollars towards his education.

At the Missouri Valley Area Boy Scout Council annual meeting in December, council leaders presented Greisen the Boy Scout National Court of Honor gold medal, an award reserved for Scouts who saved a life while putting their own life at risk. Greisen is one of only six North Dakota Scouts to earn the gold Honor medal in the one hundred and one year history of the Boy Scouts of America.

Dakota Datebook written by Derek Dahlsad.


Mouse River Farmers Press, “News of North Dakota,” page 6, 18 May1934

Boys’ Life, “Boy Scout Map Shows Spread of Scout Movement,” Dec 1911

Boys’ Life, “The Scout World”, James E West, July 1935

The Bismarck Tribune, “Scout Braves Death In Rescuing Child,” 9 May 1934

The Bismarck Tribune, “Annual Boy Scout Meeting Set,” 27 November1934

Special thanks to the Boy Scouts of America and Walter F. Rutkowski of the

Carnegie Hero Fund for additional information.

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

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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