Crookston is in the heart of the fertile Red River Valley. Railroad baron James J. Hill positioned the city to be a hub of transportation, so Civil War veterans and railroad workers settled Crookston first. At Hill’s behest, a long tradition of learning how to “farm smart” started with the Northwest School of Agriculture in 1906. Facing a short growing season, farmers stayed close to the soil and invented better implements to harvest the area’s bounty. The tradition of improving technology continues from the century-old practices begun at the Experiment Station. Currently, precision agriculture is taught at the University of Minnesota, Crookston’s “laptop university.” Familiar family names from Crookston’s retail sector have prevailed throughout the farmers’ cycle of boom and bust. Many other talented personalities shine through, especially those skilled in sports and music. Also included in this volume are unsung heroes for their acts of kindness and volunteerism.
About the Author
Kristina Torkelson Gray and her husband, Dr. Ken Gray, live in a house built by Kristina’s paternal grandfather on a century farm. Most of the source material is from archived Crookston Daily Times articles that faithfully preserve Crookston’s news and history.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Pioneers and Other Legends 9
Chapter 2 Exemplary Military 23
Chapter 3 Open for Business 31
Chapter 4 Inventors and Tillers of the Soil 47
Chapter 5 Classrooms and Boardrooms 61
Chapter 6 Public Servants and God's Servants 77
Chapter 7 Competing against the Clock 89
Chapter 8 Performing in the Spotlight 101
Chapter 9 Remarkable Women 113
Chapter 10 Volunteers Rock! 121