Dakota Datebook

Old Maid Teachers?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

In April, 1895, the Minto Journal proudly reported that the Land Office in Grand Forks had, in one week, recorded 69 people filing for land and 11 proving up, accounting for a total of 13,000 acres, almost all in Cavalier County.

“There is no mistake about the meaning of this,” the article read. “It is clear that the last four excellent crops have given people confidence in this county. I heard one say, ‘We have no trouble in getting our bills settled promptly in Cavalier County.’ And several other traveling men asserted the same thing.”

The article went on a bit, then revealed a mounting problem in the field of education. It read, “I am told that in one school in Cavalier County, five successive teachers were married at the close of their term. The school officers are now offering inducements to old maid teachers, hoping thereby to retain their teacher.”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

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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