S. E. H.’s thoughts from the Dakota Territory, March 4, 1882

Grand Forks, ND, Store, 1880, probably visited by Matthias Woodruff during his time in the Dakota territory (Photo in public domain)

Grand Forks, ND, Store, 1880, probably visited by Matthias Woodruff during his time in the Dakota territory (Photo in public domain)

Last year I published a few posts on Matthias Woodruff, younger brother of the recently mentioned William Woodruff who in 1870 spent time in San Ysidro as a sheep farmer. A little over a decade later, Matthias left his home in Elizabeth, NJ, to seek his fortune growing wheat in the Dakota Territory. Several of the letters he sent home have survived and were featured in these posts:
Matthias Woodruff Letter to Francis Woodruff, May 10, 1883
Matthias Woodruff Letter to Francis Woodruff, June 8, 1883
Matthias Woodruff — Letter from Sheyenne Valley, Dakota Territory, October 7, 1882

Official Railroad Map of Dakota, 1886

Official Railroad Map of Dakota, 1886

On the Fulton History website, I came upon a letter to the editor of the Holley [NY] Standard newspaper that was written on March 4, 1882, and published by the paper on March 16, 1882—roughly the same time Matthias was in that area. It’s an amusing read about a landlady’s observations of the gentlemen who arrived at her establishment. I doubt Matthias was one of them, but you never know.

Coincidentally, the article caught my eye right before an email arrived from the The Art of Manliness blog (no, I have no interest in being manly!, but I do find their blog extremely entertaining and illuminating; check it out and see what you think!) notifying me of today’s post: “Dining Etiquette and Table Manners.” In a world where manners are increasingly disappearing, it’s always good to see somebody talking about them. I confess to never having heard of leaving knife and fork in the “4:20 position” or of pulling a “French leave”, so I definitely learned a few new things.

So, I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did. As always, comments welcome! Have a good Sunday.






The Holley Standard, Holley, NY,  March 16, 1882 (www.fultonhistory.com)

The Holley Standard, Holley, NY,
March 16, 1882 (www.fultonhistory.com)

Categories: Dakota Territory, Woodruff | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “S. E. H.’s thoughts from the Dakota Territory, March 4, 1882

  1. Whew, the people who settled the Dakotas sure had lots of adventures. It’s interesting how the wealthy and the not so wealthy both apparently went west to settle the Dakotas.


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