souris5

Souris, ND

Bottineau County
Inhabited as of 6/10

Thank you to Miranda Schuler of Upload Photography for contributing these photos of Souris. Her comments: Souris didn’t have as much to offer as I was hoping for. I remember as a chld going to the school auction when they closed it down, and there were few people in the town. However, with the increased oil activity, it’s actually a got very few abandoned buildings. I took some pics of the bank and the old school though. My folks have a farm in the Souris area and told me that the whole town and area around has leased out the mineral rights, so that may be breathing some new life into the whole area.

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

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souris5

Photos by Miranda Schuler, copyright Upload Photography.

Comments
25 Responses to “Souris, ND”
  1. sandra says:

    I taught at the school the year it closed. I have wonderful memories of my time there..thank you for posting this!

  2. John Fairweather says:

    I grew up in Souris. Our farm was 1/4 mile south of town. I have often wondering what happened to all the buildings along main street. I believe Hilmen’s Hardware burned but I know nothing about the other buildings.

  3. Jennifer (Siercks) Moum says:

    I went to school in Souris for my elementary years. Lots of great memories there of teachers/staff and classmates alike! It closed the doors about two years after I was out. :(

    Thank you for including “my” town and the ones nearby (Roth, Landa)!

    (Should have pictures of the Swedish church north of Souris in this grouping!)

    • JENNIER I BELEIVE YOUR DAD IS BILLY SIERCKS. I HAD DINNER WITH HIM LAST KNIGHT IN CALIF (SOUTHERN) WE TALKED ABOUT LANDA, SOURIS, ROTH. I MADE A PHONE CALL TO SOMEBODY IN BOTTINEAU COUNTY GOT A WRONG NUMBER BUT THAT DID NOT MATTER THE PEOPLE THAT ANSWERED I KNEW I BELEIVE THAT I AM LUCKY TO HAVE BEEN FROM THERE THE GREATEST PEOPLE I MISSED IT REGARDS RICK SKAADEN

      • Jennifer Moum says:

        Rick-

        Billy is my father’s cousin! Gene is my father. :) Glad you had a great time with Billy and have the same fond memories of the area that I do.

        Jen

        • Bert Garwood says:

          Gene was one of my best friends in high school. Bev and Howard were in my grade, and Gene a year younger. I still occasionally have dreams about the halls of Souris Public School.

  4. Brent Billehus says:

    My father graduated from Souris High School in 1950. My dad is Gene Billehus and lived on a farm 1 mile east of Lesje Church. His father was Arthur Billehus. My family is related to the Tonnyson’s and Lindstrom. I remember stopping in Souris in the early ’70s. My father was a great basketball player. The BB team practiced outside until the gymnasium was built in 1948.

  5. Jim Benjaminson says:

    I taught school in Souris for a few years and also have fond memories of the town — or what little there was of it at the time. I remember Bert Garwood, the Siercks kids, etc. I was there the day of the auction and bought a set of three history books from the school library — that I had tried to buy before I left town. I have fond memories of “my” gang of boys and returned for Sherman Tolstad’s funeral after the MS finally took him from us. Does anyone remember that two automobiles were built in Souis back in 1908? August Frykman built the two Frykman Friction Drive Autos there. The Frykman’s were later Ford dealers in nearby Bottineau.

    • Dave D says:

      Now that is interesting re: the Frykmans. They operated a light plant in Souris between 1925 and 1928.

      • Deb Ostrom Spaulding says:

        I’m curious, what was a light plant? I remember Frykman Motors in Bottineau kitty corner from Trutna’s store.I think my parents bought a car or two from them.

  6. Clif Nelson says:

    Jim B. ,is this the Jim that I know from the car club VALLEY CRUISERS…If so,I learn something new about you every time I turn around..

  7. Jim Benjaminson says:

    Yep, that be me!

    • Jean E says:

      Is Jim Benjaminson the one & only Mr. Benjaminson our very kind, patient teacher? Where RU now? My husband, from Baltimore said, Souris is the only place he ever saw student parking for the elementary kids! We were all driving at 6, weren’t we? It was normal for there.

  8. Austin Olson says:

    My grandpa, Genhard Holen, helped lead the Souris Blue Jays to the State Class C Title game in 1959! But his doctor said he couldn’t play in the championship game against Plaza because he had a heart murmur. If he would have played, no doubt Souris would have killed Plaza!

    • Deb Ostrom Spaulding says:

      I remember my grandpa telling me about this. My uncle, Dwight Ballantyne, was also on the team.

    • Gary Gravseth says:

      Your Grandpa and I have talked many many times about that tournament as I was there and watched it. I was a 8th grader at the time.

  9. souris is the best little town in north dakota, many good times and great people went to souris school from 2nd grade to 12th.

  10. Deb Ostrom Spaulding says:

    My grandparents, Lyle and Esther Ballantyne, lived south of Souris near Verdeen and Gladys Skarphol until 1959, when they moved just west of Souris. They drove kids to school in their station wagon back before there were school buses. They chaperoned many kids as they went on Senior Trips and to basketball tournaments. In their later years, they were janitors at the school up until it closed. My grandpa took such great pride in making sure that everything was “just right” in the school. They absolutely loved being around the kids every day. Through the years, grandma worked at Monkman’s CafĂ©, Charnholm’s, Fafnis’ Grocery, and Nicholsen’s Hardware. She also sold Mary Kay and Avon. Sadly, since my grandparents passed away, I don’t get up in that area much. I have many fun memories of Souris, playing steal sticks and kick the can in the park and roller skating on the sidewalk in front of the church. Back then, there were so many kids in town! Almost all of the older townspeople are gone: Buddy Foss, Dorothy Counts, Vivian Patterson, Axel Erickson, Marian Olson. It’s sad. The end of an era. It was a great town back in the day.

    • Bert Garwood says:

      Lyle was my bus driver in my first few grades. He and Esther were wonderful people, and Ester was close friends with my sister, Kay Thorsgaard. (There was some family connection with Kay’s husband. Harvey). Me niece, Joni, now lives in their big house at Souris.

  11. Gary Gravseth says:

    I grew up on a farm northwest of Roth which is west of Souris. Went to School in Roth until 6th grade and then we went to Souris. Graduated in 1963. There were 25 in that class, if I remember correctly it was one of or maybe the largest class to graduate from Souris. Lot of memories growing up in the Souris area. At one time there was Elevator, 3 Implement dealers, The Bar, Hardware Store, Grocery Store, Post Office, Bank, Cafe, Farmers Union, 2 churches and the school. I am sure there were more that I forgot. Now there is The Bottineau Farmers Elevator/Souris Branch, The Smokin Gun, Cenex, and The Post Office still in operation. Lot of good Memories!

  12. Jim Benjaminson says:

    A light plant was the local generating station that provided electric power to a community. In the earliest days, it was usually a local enterprise. Over the years these “light plants” were sold out to the big power companies. Farmers could also buy their own generating units for the farm – most popular was the 32-volt Delco light plant. The system would generate electricity and store it in huge glass enclosed batteries. The city operated plants usually turned on as it grew dark but you went without electricity during daylight hours. In my hometown, the plant also ran during daylight hours on Monday so the women could do the clothes washing……..the good old days.

    • Jean E says:

      Oh Mr. Benjaminson always the consummate teacher! THANK YOU:) Dr. Utgaard, the great band & choir concerts. When I brought my Baltimore raised hubby home, we ran out of gas a mile outside of Souris. I wasn’t worried as we were within walking distance of gas & pavement too. Of course the first vehicle that came by stopped & asked if we needed a ride. I said, Great! As we were crawling into the minivan, my husband was freaking out a bit that we were climbing into someone’s vehicle we didn’t know. Of course we all knew the family names mine being Klokstad & the kind people picking us up in the van were Larry Brandvold’s wife & some children. As we began to connect the dots, my husband was like, “I thought you said you didn’t know these people?” I said I don’t but the family names are generational & that is just how it is everyone knows someone who knows someone which gives you the everyone knows everyone feel. When we got to the Farmers Union, Buddy told us where the gas can was & the keys to the service truck. As I started the Farmers Union truck, my husband was having a fit because he thought Buddy would be upset that we would be just taking the truck and leaving him. I said, “Well Buddy can’t come with us he has to man the station!” It was all an incredible experience which my big city husband still tells his friends about. Every little thing was so different. Like when we got home and my Mr. pulled the keys from the vehicle we were driving, put them on the kitchen table & my Dad had a fit! NEVER take the keys out of a vehicle. My Mr. was like, WHAT???? Dad said, “Vell if you pull the keys out of a vehicle how will you know where they are when you need them? And they will get all mixed up and where you need them is ALWAYS in the vehicle ignition so why would you pull them out EVER!” We only visited the farm for 1 week but every day had some incident like the above that sent my husbands head spinning. IT WAS GREAT!! Thank you SOURIS for the best time ever!

      • Jim Benjaminson says:

        Hi Jean – So you are a big city girl from Baltimore now? Some difference from Souris! I was in Baltimore this past June – first time there. I was very surprised at how green everything was and the amount of trees – I expected nothing but “big city”. We flew out to attend an auction where we purchased a 1925 Case automobile that has historical significance to my hometown of Cavalier. It was an enjoyable trip but we didn’t leave the keys in the car! Somehow you running out of gas just doesn’t surprise me at all! Its good to hear from you. I am retired and still live in northeastern North Dakota. Don’t get back to Souris very often anymore – not much left of it.

  13. Taylor Vandal says:

    My grandparents had a farm a few miles outside of Souris. My mother went to school there and I still go visit my relative Lance out at the old Kjelshus farm when I’m in Bottineau. My mom (Maureen Kjelshus), met my father Dan Vandal in Bottineau and my father’s parents still live there. Sad to say, my granny Shannon Kjelshus passed away a few years ago but my grandad John Kjelshus is still kicking like an old mule. I have great memories of Souris to this day, even though I was very young, and I’m glad the town might still have some life.

  14. Don Paulsrud says:

    My dad was the Superintendent there for a few years and my mom taught upper elementary their. That used to be a nice school, can’t remember the names of the husband/wife who were the janitors but I remember my folks always commenting that they were the best they had ever worked with, school was always nice and clean when I was in it. Sad to see it looking the way it does now.

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