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Pathways Through Our Past

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Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

I am an inquisitive individual. I think I have always been one to ask questions, mainly because I like to not only know what, but also why? Or how?

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My friends know that part of my personality and sometimes get perturbed with all that I ask. I like to think I'm learning by asking. I'm curious and I suppose, sometimes downright nosy. Even my late husband use to say that whenever I met someone I would "interrogate" him/her. Come on now, I'm not that bad... am I? I do not want to be known for prying or snooping; rather I want you to know I'm just plain interested.

You may be curious as to why I admitted all that stuff or you just may be bored with it.

I wrote it because my mind has been haunted with things that are going on that affect us, at least I think they do, and we can't or don't do anything about it.

Do you remember the Mr. Fixit column in newspapers, where Mr. Fixit answered questions about fixing things? I wish there were a column called Just Asking. A question could be directed to an individual/business/government official without accusations, or finger pointing. What do you think?

A sample question might be: Does our government subsidize our healthcare insurance premiums at major insurance companies, as well as providing Medicare? Just asking!

What did all that have to do with the past?

Here's a bit of history...

The recent election is still in the news and so follows a story from Tenstrike in September 1904. It seems that a report was made that 23 women voted the regular ballot at the primary election held that year.

This was a most sensational statement, but the gentleman who gave out the information claimed that it seemed to be current news among all the people of Tenstrike and that its truth was far from questionable. The fact remained that very few election boards would allow such a gross violation of the law and the report was therefore doubted.

The ladies of Tenstrike were very much worked up over the story that was published in The Pioneer to the effect that a candidate claimed that some 20 women in the village voted the regular ticket in the primary. It was said that an indignation meeting was held and that it was resolved to investigate the source of the story.

The story originated in Tenstrike itself, and was heard on the street as common talk by a gentleman who was a stranger in Beltrami County. As stated in The Pioneer there was probably no grounds for the story beyond the fact that Tenstrike cast such a phenomenally large vote. The male vote at Tenstrike this year (1904) was 160 while two years earlier in 1902 it was 61. Such a remarkable increase is bound to create all sorts of rumors.

This 106 year old election story is not too far off from the articles that we're reading about today!

The History and Art Center is a cheery place to visit this month with many, many Santa's and Christmas decorations on display. The gift shop has grown a bit, and our annual fundraiser Cookies By The Pound sale, has a large selection from which to choose. Hope to see you Dec. 11. And kids... Don't forget the Dec. 18 activities!

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Pioneer staff reports
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