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JAMES JOHNSON RECALLS EARLY
JtANKINC DAYS IN CITY HONEY
SHIFTED WHEN BANKS EXAMINED
James Johnson, prominent Minot at
torney-banker and Ward county pio
neer, was in a reminiscent mood the
other morning when he viBited our
sanctum. The stories of early Ward
county days by our pioneers are al
ways intensely interesting and no one
tells them better than "Jim," who has
a very retentive memory and who
leaves out no details. Some of the
dubious business practices of the
early days might not be considered
perfect form today, but it must be
remembered that the pioneers made
many of their own laws, or at least
interpreted such laws as were on the
statutes to fit the occasion.
Mr. Johnson, whose law offices are
located in the building on South Main
street which was the Hrst home of
the Bank of Minot and the First Na
tional Bank, was one of the first Mi
not bankers. E. Ashley Mears, who
has long since gone to his reward, was
the president of the Bank of Minot.
James Johnson was vice president,
and Ashley E. Mears, a son of the
president, was the cashier.
The Bank of Minot and the First
National Bank were operated at the
same time in the same building and
had the same officers and stockhold
ers. Money was taken out of the
Bank of Minot to finance the First
National Bank. Little attention was
paid to examining North Dakota
banks in those days. When the ex
aminer would start out on his exam
ination at Leeds, for instance, immed
iately after the examination, cash waa
carried bp fast horses to Devils Lake.
After the examination at the Lake,
the money would be sent ahead of
the examiner to Rugby, Towner, atnd
finally would arrive in Minot. A little
money in those days would go a
long ways and helped out many a per
ilous banking situation.
Fred Medhurst, who later was
caahier of the First National Bank,
absconded with all the available funds,
about $6,000, and was never located.
It was reported that he went to Win
Mr. Johnson did not like the way
Mears and his son ran the bank, so got
out before the crash came. Mears'
son, whenever needing extra spending
money, is said to have taken out the
money and then made out chattel
mortgages on property that never ex
isted, signing fictitious names. When
Mr. Johnson finally quit the banks, he
took for his share in the orofits an old
^an Brunt drill that had been taken
in on a mortgage,, hauling it to-his
farm at Burlington one evening, be
hind his buggy, drawn by his faithful
old bay mare.
An attorney from Troy, N. Y.,
named Blair, became interested in the
First National Bank and he was shorn
of his fleece in good shape by H. F.
Salyards and others who were later
interested in the bank. Blair lost
about $30,000 in the institution.
Before the First National Bank
failed, Salyards, Arnold and Page be
came interested in the institution. The
First National built the block now oc
cupied by the Second National Bank,
which was named the Great Northern
Bank when it was first organized.
E. Ashley Mears was very energetic
and a great dreamer. He had a vision
that there were millions to be made
in sheep. He organized the United
States Sheep Co., sold $250,000 worth
of stock. Several trainloads of scabby
sheep were shipped in from Montana
and many suffered severe losses. Olaf
A. Olson had bought $1,000 worth of
stock in the bank at this time, which
afforded him considerable education
in the subject of Profits and Losses.
Jack Carter, who has been guard at
the state penitentiary for a great
many years, engaged in the banking
business with Lewis Bros, in the early
days. Their bank was located on the
corner in an old building on the pres.
ent site of the Scandinavian-American
Bank. Their bank failed later.
Sam Paige, an early banker, was a
real sport. He had about the fastest
horse in Ward county. The old timers
had a big Fourth of July celebration
at No Man's Land at -Burlington.
Paige had a stiff leg and presented an
unusual spectacle as he raced around
the track. Jim Johnson had taken his
work teams out and built a good
track. Ed Kelley was manager of the
races. Money was scarce and Kelley
had only $20 for all of the races. A
large crowd had gathered and had to
be amused. Paige's horse could easily
have won, but the money would soon
have been exhausted, so Kelly made
hiiq trot over many of
the beats for
alleged irregularities. Martin Jacob
son owned some good horses in those
Sure thing, you know and that isn't fiction either.
days and took part in the races. One
of the interesting features of the cel
ebration was the riding of a wild bull.
The bull threw the rider, broke the
saddle and the crowd took up a collec
tion to have his saddle repaired.
J. S. Brye autoed to Parshall Mon
day, where he transacted business.
Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Engan return
ed Monday from Litchfield, Minn.
Mrs. Claude Fenton and daughter
Marjorie were business visitors in
Minot Friday, returning Saturday.
Mrs. Kate Fulton, the postmistress,
was in Berthold Saturday consulting
a physician in regard to her refcent
Aaron Rolfe has returned from
Hinckley, Minn., where he purchased
80 acres of land.
Elmer Lukkasson was a Minot vis
Fete Lee transacted business in
Mrs. George Bemis was taken to
Minot Monday, where she will re-enter
Mrs. Ole Benson entertained a
group of her friends at a luncheon
Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Stredwick re
turned home Wednesday from an ex
tended visit with relatives and friends
in Oregon and Washington.
Mrs. Wm. Hecker and son Kenneth
spent the week-end with her daughter,
Mrs. Myron Pierson.
Mrs. Agnes Egan entertained the
Aid Wednesday but owing to the
stormy weather the attendance was
not very large.
Miss Mabel Stredwick, who has
been spending a few weeks visiting
with her sister in Montana, returned
Miss Alice Egan and "Dad" spent
the week-end in Minot visiting with
Mr. Roy Brand, ot' Logan fame,
spent Friday and Saturday in Minot
Miss Mabel Nulph is spending a
week vacation from school.
Mr. Harry Templeman passed thru
our midst Friday on his way to the
Mr. Vernis Teets, who assist in the
Logan garage, is spending a few days
at his home on North Prairie.
Mr. Frank Palmer of Andes, Mon
tana, is visiting with friends here.
Mr. Sidney Stredwick was seen in
Minot Friday night.
Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Brand and
daughter had dinner at the Teets
Mr. Harry Cook was in Minot Tues
day to have some dental work done.
Mrs. J. W. Kidder returned home
Tuesday of last week.
A large crowd attended the "hard
times dance" recently given at the
home of Fred Miller.
James Robinson* and son Bernard,
who were on the sick list a few days
since, are much improved.
John Fane returned from the hos
pital on the 13th inst. and is reported
to be feeling fine.
Mrs. Oscar Anderson of Velva spent
several clays with her two children,
at the home of ePter Anderson.
J. W. Coffin and wife left about
two weeks since for Minneapolis. Mr.
Coffin is at present under medical
treatment in th^t city, as his recovery,
since his recent operation, has not
been as speedy as was hoped for.
School No. 4 was the recipient of
a most enjoyable treat, given by the
Robinson children on the 14th, in hon
or of St. Valentine's Day.
Word has been received from Mr.
and Mrs. J. J. Leeson, now resident
of Canton, Cal., where they have a
large fruit farm.
The infant daughter of William
Parmley has been very ill with pneu
monia, but is now reported to be gain
Mrs .Adolph Aamodt was a visitor
at the James Robinson home last Mon
Harry Sorenson is still in the Wood
& Wood hospital in Minot.
An infant daughter was born at the
home of Orrin Wasson ..on the 14th
The recent blizzard struck this
neighborhood badly, and the telephone
lines suffered severely.
The coal haulers are busy again.
Include some "Best Bread" in your order, too. It's whole
some and "homey" tp the taste.
Mrs. Vintz Rother is reported to
be on the sic klist.
Mrs. Hagfn Johnson is somewhat
better after a long illness.
Gregg Riley transacted business in
Minot Tuesday of last week.
Walter Klimple purchased a Ford of
Cook Robinson of Sawyer which had
been used some, the purchase price
being $250 in cash.
Mrs. A. W. Louis and daughter,
Miss Violet, were Minot shoppers
Tuesday of last week.
Charles R. Seney and children and
Mr. and Mrs. Adolph Newman, the
children of Herman Newman, were
all called to Minot Monday to the
bedside of Mrs. Herman Newman, who
underwent an operation in a local hos
pita in Minot Tuesday of last week,
and who is in a very critical condition.
M. H. Putney was a Minot visitor
Mr. and Mrs. Sam Baker have ha.)
quite a siege of sickness in their fam
ily this winter, their daughter, MisB
Marvel, having the scarlet fever, then
their son Freddie took the same di
sease, and after recovering to some
extent, took cold at has now developed
Ralph and Ray Reed and sister, Miss
Elizabeth, passed Sunday visiting at
the home of Gorsey brothers.
Harry H. Gadbaw and family mo
tored to Sawyer Sunday and return
ed Monday noon, where they had been
visiting-at the home of Guy Putney's.
The neighbors and friends in Willis
township were saddened by the news
of Mrs. Herman Newman's death,
which took place in Minot Feb. 22.
She leaves a husband and seven small
A. L. Morris and J. P. Peterson who
have been serving on the jury in dis
trict court at Minot returned home
B. A. Dickinson, C. H. Christianson
and Sever Shervheim returned from
Miss Glaze spent Sunday with her
parents at Minot.
Mrs. Clarence Olson is visiting
friends at St. Paul.
Rev. Styockdahl is attending a
church conference at Minneapolis.
Mr. and Mrs. H. C. Miller who
have been visiting at the Twin Cities
and Fargo, returned home Monday.
The Presbyterian ladies aid will
have an Easter sale and supper Sat
urday, March 2fi.
The local W. C. T. IJ. of Ryder
are planning to hold a declamatory
The High School will present a
farce comedy "Stopping The Thief"
at the Orpheuni Theatre Friday night,
The farmers are preparing for
Paul Rode is a business visitor in
Minot this week.
WHY THEY FAILED
Minot business men should be in
terested in the report sent oqt by the
government showing the percentage
of business failures in this country
during 1920 and their causes. Of
course, it makes rather disheartening
reading, this story of other people's
misfortunes, but it carries a lesson of
value to others and one that is worthy
|of careful study.
The high spot in the report is that
of the entire number of concerns
which failed in the United States dur
ing the year, more than ninety pier
cent of them were establishments that
did not advertise. If there was ever
an argument in favor of using print
er's ink in a judicious way, your Uncle
Sam has presented it through this
We presume that in most instances
these unsuccessful concerns did not
advertise because' they were satisfied
to drag along, or because of the ex
pense involved because the dollar
they saw going out was so close to
the eye that it obscured the vision
of the ten dollars which it might
have brought in. Then came the re
adjustment period and they found that
the very thing which was putting
their competitors over the bumpB—ad
vertising—had been the one thing
they had ignored. The merchants
who used printer's ink got rid of war-
price stocks at even money or at a
minimum of loss and were able to stay
on their feet, while the fellow who
had goods* that were declining in
value daily and didn't have brains
enough to use the papers to tell the
pepole that he wanted to get from un
der took his place with the ninety
200 Tons Blue Grass Hay
65 Dead of Cattle
40 MILCH COWS
March 27th is Easter
per cent who are now sadder but
wiser in the ways of the business
Undoubtedly this short-sightedness
has not yet taken its full toll, so that
there is hope that this warning comes
in time to save others from a like
fate. Thousands of merchants who
Those are the popular shades for this season. They are being
featured thruout the country.
We have these various shades and can show you just what you
want from the choice of about 2000 patterns.
We tailor these to your own individual desires with the best work
manship, linings and trimmings.
We cater to both the fastidious and conservative dresser and help
you choose a pattern and model best suited to your own personality
and physical make-up.
AJ* HPT A V=^Step in today or tomorrow
"U** I before it alios uomr mind.
LONG BEFORE THE DAYS
OF INCOME TAX
George Washington's advice was "Keep an account book
and enter therein every farthing of yo'ir receipts and ex
Having the corredt figures for making up your income tax
is only part of the benefit of an account book.
The greatest benefit is in having an up-to-date map of
your finances constantly before you.
And, if you want to be sure your account book is right,
handle your money through this bank and check up each
month with your bank statement and returned cancelled
THE SECOND NATIONAL BANK
MINOT, N. D.
Oldest and Largest Bank in Ward County
At Main and Central Ave.
Resources Two and a Quarter Million
Capital and Surplus Funds $250,000.00
UNITED STATES DEPOSITORY
O S A E
Time Will be Given Until Fall on Bankable Paper
iraifir A. J. BRUNNER
12 HEAVY HORSES
All Kinds of
Harness Saddles Sleds
Wagons Hay Tools
have not had the foresight to unload
their war-price merchandise are still
struggling along. These men should
carefully ponder Uncle Sam's igures,
for they present an unanswerable ar
gument as to the value of printer's
ink to the man who has any kiwi of
goods to sell to the public.
The Biggest, Little Shop in Minot"
Romi 5 Lee Blk,
Minot, No. Dak.