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Manuscripts by Subject - Agriculture - #11030

Title: Plowville, National Plowing Contest

Dates: 1960-2008

Collection Number: 11030

Quantity: 4 feet

Provenance: The donor of this collection is Ramona Fraase. She and her grandson brought the collection to the Archives in August 2008 and visited with former Deputy State Archivist Lotte Bailey and current Deputy State Archivist Shane Molander. Archives Specialist Emily J. Ergen prepared the inventory to the Elmer and Ramona Fraase Collection, Plowville, in July 2009. An oral interview was conducted by Sarah Walker with Ramona Fraase in September 2013.

Property rights: The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to this collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs. Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code or an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection, title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota all bibliographic references.

Transfer: No materials have been transferred from this collection.

 

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES

Born on February 10, 1930, at home in rural Buffalo, ND, Elmer Ronald Fraase was the son of Water Fraase and Emma (Utke) Fraase. Elmer had three siblings, Leonor Jahraus (husband William), Keonell Fraase, who passed away April 12, 1996, and Verna Maier (husband Al). Fraase attended Mallough Rural School for one year, and graduated from Buffalo Public School. From there, Mr. Fraase attended North Dakota State University (NDSU) and Interstate Business College. A third generation farmer, Elmer also became owner and President of Valley Aviation at Hector Field in Fargo, in 1969. In addition to these activities, Elmer played drums and violin with two dance bands in the 1960s, and was a member of the St. John's Lutheran Church in Embden.

Ramona (Zaeske) Fraase was born to August and Inez (Huseby) Zaeske on July 3, 1929, in Chaffee-Walburg Township, ND. Ramona's siblings are: Allan Zaeske, who lives in Fargo, and Charlotte (Donald) Fauceck, who lives in Minneapolis, MN. Ramona attended Walburg District 55 Grade School, Chaffee High School, and St. Lukes Hospital School of Nursing in Fargo. Ramona worked as Head Nurse in the Newborn unit until 1952, and has been a Supervisor at Elim Nursing Home since 1981. In addition to these activities, Ramona helped her husband with farming in the field and worked on bookkeeping, while at the same time working as a full-time homemaker. Ramona Fraase was or is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church in Embden, the Church Council, the ALCW, Rebecca Circle, PTA, Bethany B-Club, a Sunday School Teacher and Superintendent. Ramona also served on the Board of Directors of North Dakota Lutheran Social Services, was involved in the Quad and Harmony Homemakers Club, was Cass County Chairman of International Youth Exchange, Chairman of the First All Cass County American Cancer Drive, and a 4-H Leader. Finally, Ramona was the recipient of the State 4-H Pioneer of the Year Award.

Elmer Fraase and Ramona Zaeske, of Leonard, ND, started going together while attending Bible camp, although Ramona has said that they had always known each other. On June 1, 1952, Ramona and Elmer married at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in rural Chaffee, ND. The Fraases have four children: Ron Kevin (wife Gwen Fraase (Lindquist), lives in Buffalo, ND; Lee Kerry (wife Jennifer Lynne Lang), also lives in Buffalo; Ann Kristie Fraase lives in Fargo; and Sue Karrol (husband Scott R. Gerhold) lives in Cedar Rapids, IA. The couple lived in Buffalo until 1981, when they moved to Fargo. In 1993, they returned to Buffalo. The Fraases spent summers at Lake Cormorant, MN, since 1976. Elmer lived at the Buffalo farm until his death in 2006.

SOURCES:
Casselton County Reporter, Sept 6, 2006, A-6.
Embden: Our Home Town, 169-170.
Rural Cass County: The Land And the People, 439;
Buffalo, Our Town On the Prairie, 1880-1980, 169-170;
Millennium Directory, 1880-2000: 120 Years of Community/Citizens and Friends of Buffalo, North Dakota 58011.

SCOPE AND CONTENT

The Elmer and Ramona Fraase Collection, Plowville, consists of four cubic feet of materials relating to the 1964 Soil Conservation Field Days and National Plowing Contest, held at the Fraase farm near Buffalo, ND, from the 17th to the 19th of September, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of North Dakota statehood. The event required much preparation, including: turning cropland into hay land so the soil would be in good shape for plowing, stopping production on 1,000 acres from the 1,500 acre farm, assembly of a thirty-five acre "tent city" for farm exhibits, erection of a wide road from the site to I-94, planting of 2,000 trees by the conservation service, installation of power lines, construction of a stage, airplane landing strip, and a communications tower. The schedule of events included concerts and skydiving exhibitions, a show by the Air Force Thunderbirds precision flying team, old-time threshing exhibitions, a fashion show, square dancing, the election of a national soil conservation queen, a banquet, and of course, the plowing contest.

Also included in the collection are records pertaining to activities of the Fraase family both before and after the 1964 event. The Fraases were heavily involved in soil conservation practices, and were members of the North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts in Cass County. Their farm was recognized for achievement in 1974.

The material within the collection includes minutes of meetings, correspondence, and other items relating to the planning and execution of the event. Also included are scrapbooks compiled by the Fraases of newspaper clippings about the Plowville contest. Some dignitaries in attendance included 1964 Democratic Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, 1964 Republican Presidential nominee Barry Goldwater, Governor William "Bill" Guy, future Governor George Sinner, and Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives, Rolland Redlin. Maps and blueprints of the site and the Department of Transportation plans for constructing an exit to the event from I-94 are also included in the collection.

During the 1964 Soil Conservation Field Days and National Plowing Contest, an informal reception was held at the Fraase home, for select invitees, on September 17th. Also of significance during the celebration was the dedication of a Freedom Shrine, a gift to the local Buffalo High School, co-sponsored by Elmer and the First State Bank of Buffalo. The Freedom Shrine was dedicated by North Dakota Governor William "Bill" Guy, and consisted of twenty eight historical American documents, exact copies reproduced for the National Exchange Club. The purpose of the shrine was to illuminate the principles upon which this nation was founded, help citizens understand their rights and responsibilities, and to highlight the unending struggle of the sacrifices and hardships necessary to preserve freedom and liberty; Elmer Fraase was a member of the Fargo Exchange Club.

Two series have been established for the Elmer and Ramona Fraase Collection, Plowville. Series one consists of materials pertaining to the 1964 Soil Conservation Field Days and National Plowing Contest, and series two contains all other materials about the Fraase family which are not related to the 1964 National Plowing Contest.

Series I, the National Plowing Contest administrative material, 1952 - 2008, is found in box 1 and measures approximately 3 ½ cubic feet. Three of these cubic feet are oversized materials: maps, scrapbooks, and blueprints, which are located separately from the rest of the collection. In addition to these items, series one also contains minutes, agendas, policies and procedures, committee and chairs lists, and one newsletter from organizations involved in the planning and execution of the event. Correspondence (general, regrets about declining invitations to the event and/or the reception, and thank you notes for hospitality, divided by year and subject), planning materials, invitations, a guest registration booklet, aircraft insurance certificate and information, brochures, pamphlets, booklets, press materials, news releases, publications, and newspaper clippings can also be found in series one.

Series II, the Fraase Family records, dates from 1950 - 2006, and measures ¼ cubic foot. Series II contains correspondence which is not directly related to the 1964 Soil Conservation Field Days and National Plowing Contest; programs from the 1974 North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts Recognition banquet, other state and annual plowing matches, the golden anniversary of Walter A. and Emma L. (Utke) Fraase, a performance of The Unsinkable Molly Brown, and the funerals of Water A. and Elmer R. Fraase (1972 and 2006); newspaper clippings; publications; and one photograph of Elmer and Ramona from the 1950s.

SERIES DESCRIPTION

Series I. National Plowing Contest administrative material, 1952 - 2008

Consists of the following subseries: organizational meeting minutes, agendas and newsletters; correspondence; administrative materials; brochures and pamphlets; press materials; publications; Fargo Exchange Club Freedom Shrine dedication items; scrapbooks [oversize]; blueprints; and maps [oversize]. These subseries within Series I specifically contain: minutes, agendas, policies and procedures, committee and chairs lists, a newsletter from organizations involved in the event, correspondence, planning materials, invitations, a guest registration booklet, aircraft insurance certificate and information, brochures, pamphlets, booklets, press materials, news releases, publications, and newspaper clippings

Series II. Fraase Family material, 1950 - 2006

The following subseries comprise Series II: Correspondence; North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts; other plowing contests; Walter A. and Emma L. (Utke) Fraase; Elmer R. and Ramona Fraase; newspaper clippings; miscellaneous publications; and one photograph. Specific types of materials within these subseries include: correspondence, programs, itineraries, newspaper clippings, publications, and one photograph.

BOX AND FOLDER INVENTORY

Series I. National Plowing Contest administrative materials

Box 1

1 Finding Aid
2 Fargo Chamber of Commerce: National Plowing Contest and 1963 Soil Conservation Days, detailed committees listing
3 Fargo Chamber of Commerce: National Plowing Contest, 1963 brief committee and chair listing
4 Fargo Chamber of Commerce: National Plowing Contest, 1963 Policies and Procedures (12/16/1963) (three copies)
5 Fargo Chamber of Commerce: National Plowing Contest, 1963 Advisory Committee minutes, 4/17/1963
6 Cass County Homemakers' Council meeting agenda, 4/7/ 1964
7 The National Association of Soil and Water Conservation 1964 Districts, Ladies Auxiliary newsletter, 8/1964
8 Exchange Club of Fargo, North Dakota meeting agendas, 1964 9/21 & 9/27/1964
9 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence 1963
10 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence 1964
11 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence, 1964 RSVP regrets
12 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence, 1964 thank yous, 9/1964
13 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence, 1964 thank yous, 10/1964
14 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence, thank yous, 1964 12/1964
15 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence 1965
16 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence n.d.
17 National Plowing Contest, incoming correspondence, thank yous n.d.
18 National Plowing Contest, outgoing correspondence 1964
19 Planning materials (calendar, receipts, lists, notes, draft 1963-1964 invitation and lists of invitations sent)
20 Invitations to informal reception (Thursday, 9/17/1964, 3:00-5:00) 1964
21 Guest Registration booklet 1964
22 Aircraft Insurance certificate (and correspondence) 1964
23 National Plowing Contest program listing/itinerary 1964
24 National Plowing Contest Fact sheet (three copies) 1964
25 National Plowing Contest Rule book 1964
26 National Plowing Contest officials, referees, committee listing, 1964 assignments, and awards brochure
27 Commercial exhibits and farm overview pamphlet (three copies) 1964
28 Brochure (two copies) 1964
29 Souvenir Program (five copies) 1964
30 Pamphlets and advertisements given at 1964 National Plowing 1964 contest
31 Press Kit 1964
32 Bountiful North Dakota: Land of Opportunity, published by 1952
Greater North Dakota Association (available at the 1964 National Plowing Contest)
33 Exhibit guide (draft and final) 1964
34 Very Important People (VIP), exhibitor, emergency and delivery 1964 route map
35 News releases 1964
36 Newspaper and magazine clippings, National Plowing Contest 1964-2008
37 North Dakota… Twenty Five Years of Progress in Soil and Water 1962 Conservation, "National Event in 1964,"
38 North Dakota Horizons magazine, winter 1985, "We're a Farm 1985 State, so naturally… Plowing Contest Our Shining Moment" by Royal R. Berstler, Jamestown, p. 8
39 Plowville information (copied from unidentified book) n.d.
40 Fargo Exchange Club Freedom Shrine dedication brochure, 1964 Buffalo, N.D., 9/17/1964 (two copies)
41 Bookmark with clipping about Cliff Wood helping Elmer Fraase load up his sprayer with Esteron 99 Concentrate 1965
Translated story from Oslo, Norway, about the Elmer Fraase farm   1977
Clipping “Fargo’s Freedom Shrine Fanfare, Over 100,000 See 1985 Display at Plowing Contest,” The Exchangite, January 1985
Article from the Enderlin Independent “The Early Years,” by Ellen Gross 2010

[oversize] Scrapbook, National Plowing Contest, Plowville, and Fraase 1963-1964
family [bulk 1964]
[oversize] Scrapbook, National Plowing Contest, Plowville, and Fraase 1963-1964
family (including Albino calves) [bulk 1964]
[oversize] Scrapbook, National Plowing Contest, Plowville, and Fraase 1963-1964
family (including Albino calves)
[oversize] Scrapbook, National Plowing Contest, Plowville, and Fraase 1963-1989
family (including Albino calves) [bulk 1964]
[oversize] Scrapbook, National Plowing Contest, Plowville, and Fraase 1964
family (including Albino calves)
42 Blueprint for Airport for National Plowing Contest, drawn 11/18/ 1963
[oversize] Blueprints, North Dakota State Highway Department Layout of 1963-1964 I-94 and area collector routes, 1964 National Plowing Contest, Cass County (17 pages) [oversize] 1. Title page 2. Layout of plowing contest area 3. Parking details 4. Routing 5-7. Ramp and crossover details 8-17. Signing details
X Cass County map 1963-1964
X Two page map of Fraase farm drawn by Ramona for Elmer 1963-1964
X Conservation Plan Map, used for planning National Plowing 1963 Contest (drawn 2/14/1963) (two copies, one with key)

Series II. Fraase Family materials
43 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil 1965 Conservation District membership), incoming correspondence
44 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil 1966 Conservation District membership), incoming correspondence
45 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil 1974-1976 Conservation District membership), incoming correspondence
46 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil 1981 Conservation District membership), incoming correspondence
47 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil n.d. Conservation District membership), incoming correspondence
48 Fraase Family (personal, and related to North Dakota Soil 1965 Conservation District membership), outgoing correspondence
49 North Dakota Association of Soil Conservation Districts, 1974 26th Annual meeting, Annual Recognition Banquet, 10/28/1974, Bismarck, N.D. (correspondence and program)
50 1960 Soil Conservation Field Days and National Plowing Contest, 1960 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 9/21-23/1960, program
51 1963 Master Plowmen's Banquet program, Vandalia, Illinois, 9/20/ 1963
52 1964 State and National Plowing Matches program, 9/19-21/ 1963 Vandalia, Illinois
53 23rd Annual International Plowing Match program, 5/16/ 1964 Lynden, Washington
54 Walter A. and Emma L. (Utke) Fraase golden anniversary 1968 celebration program, 12/29/1968
55 Water A. Fraase funeral program, 7/11/ 1972
56 Fraase family information (copied from book) n.d.
57 Farm Broadcasters Tour itinerary, 6/11/ 1976
58 Elmer R. Fraase funeral program (copy), 9/3/ 2006
59 Newspaper clippings, Walter A. and Emma L. (Utke) Fraase 1968-1969 golden anniversary celebration (Casselton Reporter, 12/20/68 and 1/3/1969)
60 Newspaper clipping, Walter A. Fraase obituary, 7/10/ 1972
61 Newspaper clippings related to Fraases winning Soil 1974 Conservation Contest
62 Newspaper clippings of World Agricultural Expo and Plowing 1988 contest
63 Miscellaneous newspaper clippings collected by the Fraases 1964-1966
64 Suburbia's Longest Night: A Word and Picture Presentation 1965 of The Tornadoes of May 6, 1965, Which Devastated Areas of Fridley, Blaine, Spring Lake Park and Mounds View, Minnesota, Produced by the Staff of The Record, Published by Tri-County Publications, Inc., an affiliate of Twin Cities Suburban Newspapers, Inc., Roderick I. Chalmers, editor
65 The Unsinkable Molly Brown performance program n.d.
66 Photograph of Fraases running Lutheran Welfare Society 1950 couples counseling booth, about 1950

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