Dakota Datebook

DAKOTA DATEBOOK: Justice Not Blind

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis

February 18, 2019 — On this date in 1871, Alfred F. Bomberger was born in Pennsylvania and 22 years later he was to die on the gallows at Cando. Indicted by a Grand Jury for the murder of six members of the family of Daniel Krieder near Cando on July 7, 1893, he subsequently pleaded guilty at his trial, and his hanging occurred on January 19, 1894.

But this hanging almost did not take place. The grand jury that indicted Bomberger also indicted Major Fawcet, a Cando druggist, for selling illegal liquor. Fawcett’s attorney had discovered that one of the members of the jury was not a legal resident of the county and petitioned Governor Shortridge to pardon the druggist based on this evidence.

Shortridge refused until after the hanging had taken place by suspending the sentence of Fawcett for 30 days, allowing the hanging to be carried out without complications. Justice was not blind it this case but it tended to look the other way for a while.


Dakota Datebook written by Jayme L. Job

February 19, 2019 — The board of trustees of the North Dakota Agricultural College approved a resolution creating a summer school program on this day in 1896. The resolution was brought forth to the board by faculty members of the college. This move to create a summer program at the school came only five years after the official opening of the college, and only months after the school’s first graduation. The college’s first graduation took place on June 25, 1895, and included a graduating class of only five students.

Today, North Dakota State University offers hundreds of summer school courses, allowing greater freedom and flexibility to its large and diverse student body. Summer classes run from the middle of May until early August, and emphasize courses of general interest and necessary requirements. Over twelve thousand students attend the university, quite the increase from the five-student class of 1895. Offering over a hundred undergraduate majors and nearly seventy programs of graduate study, the school has experienced a huge growth spurt over the last hundred years.

On September 8, 1891, the North Dakota Agricultural College officially opened in the basement of the Fargo College’s main building. The Fargo College was a nonsectarian Christian college founded by the Congregational Church during the 1880’s. The basement rooms were rented from the college until a more suitable location could be decided upon.

In the summer of 1891, the school awarded a $25,000 contract to the Bowers and Morris Company of Fargo. The company was charged with building the College Hall, which was to be used as an administration building for the school. This is the same building better known today as Old Main. Meals at this time were included in the school’s tuition, and the students ate at two large tables located in the dining room of the Fargo College. Each of the tables was presided over by a professor at its head.

This set-up would be considered quite alien to the school’s modern student body, who are offered an enormous variety of dining options, including cafeteria and fast food choices. From its humble beginnings in the rented basement rooms of the Fargo College, North Dakota State University has grown over the last one hundred and sixteen years to encompass an area of thirty city blocks and include ninety major buildings.