ROY A. NORD, 1LT, ARMY
In preparation for my grandfather's biography, I spent many hours scanning and archiving old photos and scrapbook items, searching the internet for information, talking to my father, Roger Nord, about him, and of course, writing the story.
I'm proud of my grandfather for what he accomplished in his lifetime. In 1912, he co-founded Hobo Day at South Dakota State University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree a year later. He went on to earn a Law Degree at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor in 1916. From 1918 to 1919, he served in France during WWI as a Platoon Leader and Company Commander. After the war, he became a Lawyer for many years, served four years as South Dakota's Tax and Licensing Director in Pierre from 1944 to 1948, and spent the last number of years of his career as a Judge in Madison, SD.
While researching his military service, I discovered he joined the Army on April 6, 1917. My first enlistment into the military was April 6, 1978, exactly 61 years after he joined. What a coincidence!
I also discovered another coincidence. He was artistic and served as Advertising Manager for his high school and college yearbooks. I also enjoy art and served as Advertising Manager for Dakota State University's yearbook, newspaper and radio station.
I was 11 years old when my grandfather passed away in 1972. Unfortunately, I don't have many vivid memories of him, unlike my grandmother, who lived to be 103 years old. What I do remember was that he was a loving grandfather who had a funny wit and enjoyed doodling for me and my siblings.
There were some dates of pictures, places and events I was not 100% sure about, so I highlighted them in yellow. I did this for my purpose, with the hope I can get more information about them later.
Madison, SD - circa 1950 - Former 1st Lieutenant Roy Nord in his WWI Army uniform.
MID - LATE 1800s
SWEDEN TO BRUCE, SD
Photo Source: City of Bruce, South Dakota
Circa 1890s - Bruce, SD – Roy's father, Andrew Nord, in his back yard.
Circa 1890s - Andrew Nord at Oakwood Lakes near Bruce, SD
Circa 1896 - Bruce, SD - Florence, Roy and Daisy Nord.
Circa 1896 - Bruce, SD - Florence, Daisy and Roy Nord.
Circa 1895 - Bruce, SD - Roy and Florence Nord.
Circa 1896 - Bruce, SD - Daisy Nord.
Circa 1903 - Brookings, SD - Daisy Nord.
Early life in the late 1800s in this small, rural village on the Great Plains would likely have been very similar to what Laura-Ingalls Wilder experienced less than 50 miles away in DeSmet, SD, although at that time, she was already in her 20s.
1900 to 1909
LAKE PRESTON & BROOKINGS, SD
From 1905 to 1909, Roy attended Brookings High School.
His Senior class yearbook, "The Phenom", described him below:
In September 1855, Roy’s father, Andrew Peter (Frances) Nord was born in Sweden.
On July 16, 1884, Andrew married Augusta (Lindskog) Nord.
He and Augusta immigrated to the United States either before or after their wedding and settled in Bruce, SD.
1909 to 1916
SOUTH DAKOTA STATE COLLEGE
1911 JACKRABBIT YEARBOOK
As an early South Dakota homesteader, Andrew built one of the first houses in Bruce during the mid- to late-1880s. Although I have not seen the house yet, I was told it still stands on the north side of town.
From 1890 to 1895, Andrew's and Augusta's three children were born in Bruce. Roy was born November 19, 1890, one year after South Dakota became the 40th State of the Union. His sister, Florence, was born Dec 31, 1892, and his youngest sister, Daisy, was born May 18, 1895.
Circa 1910 - Brookings, SD - Andrew Nord, seated on the right with mustache, dines with community leaders.
From 1909 to 1913, Roy attended SDSC (South Dakota State College, predecessor to SDSU – South Dakota State University) and earned his Bachelor's Degree. In 1912, he co-founded Hobo Day at SDSU.
1912 JACKRABBIT YEARBOOK
1913 JACKRABBIT YEARBOOK
Roy's father, Andrew, worked as an Audiologist in Bruce, Lake Preston, Brookings and later, in Huron, SD. Below is a picture of him that was taken around 1910.
1915 JACKRABBIT YEARBOOK
"I think the last sentence is interesting, because Roy became a lawyer, a judge and a cabinet member to South Dakota's Governor." -Jeff Nord
Roy's sister, Florence, began attending SDSC in the Fall of 1911 and is mentioned in the 1912 Jackrabbit Yearbook. During this school year, Roy was a Sergeant in the SDSC Military Band, a Staff Member of the SDSC Collegian Newspaper and served on the SDSC Inter-Collegiate Debate Team.
During the Fall 1912 to Spring 1913 school year, Roy was very active in extracurricular activities. He organized and conducted the first Hobo Day at SDSC, organized the Boosters' Club at SDSC, serving as its first President, was a Staff Member of the Collegian Newspaper and served as the Student Organization Representative on the Jackrabbit Yearbook Staff.
In the Fall of 1913, after graduating from SDSC, Roy went to Ann Arbor Michigan to pursue a Law Degree there. Meanwhile, his youngest sister, Daisy, began attending college at SDSC along with her older sister, Florence. There was no 1914 Jackrabbit available to me, so it is not shown, but Daisy and Florence are mentioned or shown in the 1915 yearbook slideshow that follows.
1913-1916 LAW SCHOOL
UNIV. OF MICHIGAN
From 1913 to 1916, Roy attended Law School at Ann Arbor, Michigan, earning his Law Degree. Unfortunately, my father's cache of information on him did not include any University of Michigan yearbooks or other artifacts from the U of M, so I cannot write much about him during his time there. Below is the only photo I have of him from that period.
The slideshow (below) contains college yearbook pages that had his picture or mentioned him. Based on the information in his 1911 yearbook, he was a band member and was in his 3rd year of "preparatory class".
An article from a 1923 issue of The Alumnus tracks the history behind Hobo Day, recording a letter that Adams Dutcher had written.
“As I remember it, Hobo day got its start over a couple of ice cream sodas in Tidball’s Drug Store,” Dutcher wrote. “I had just arrived home from Missouri and Roy Nord, Harry Rilling and myself went into Tidball’s and sat down to have a soda. I described Missouri’s Hobo day as they had asked me what could be done to revive the student spirit of old S. D. S. C. I suggested the Hobo day idea and the next year they tried it out. I believe that Nord, Hyde and Rilling were the leaders of the first Hobo day stunt.”
Brookings, SD - Fall 1912 - The first Hobo Day for South Dakota State College (now a University). Roy Nord, one of the founders of Hobo Day, is standing in a trench coat on the far left.
Ann Arbor, Michigan - circa 1915 - Roy Nord
On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked a special joint session of Congress to declare war upon Germany, which it did four days later on April 6, 1917. As a very patriotic American, Roy volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army the same day war was declared.
He received five months of initial training at First Officers Training Camp at Ft. Snelling, MN, and completed the course on September 1, 1917.
On September 2, 1917, newly commissioned Second Lieutenant (2LT) Roy Nord was one of the first officers to be assigned to Company K, 350th Regiment, 88th Infantry Division at Camp Dodge, Iowa. The unit stood up (organized) on this same day. Other officers assigned to his unit were Captain George W. Walker, 1LT William T. Faricy and 2LT Frank O. West. Also, 2LT John D. Reeves and 2LT A. C. Brackett were attached.
On September 17, 1917, the first 28 draftees arrived. They were put to work doing hard labor and drill and ceremonies. Soon after, additional draftees arrived from within Iowa. Eventually, 40 men transferred out to Camp Cody, New Mexico.
WORLD WAR I
BIOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY A. NORD
SERGEANT FIRST CLASS (RETIRED RESERVES)
On November 17, 1917, Company K received military clothing, old rifles and orders assigning all but 19 Soldiers to Camp Pike, Arkansas (later renamed “Camp Robinson”). The few remaining at Camp Dodge were NCOs who did KP and guard duty there.
On January 1, 1918, "K" had thirteen officers, with newly assigned 2LT George and 2LT Reeves minus 2LT Brackett who was transferred to E Company. 2LTs Nord and West were both promoted to 1LT around this time.
In February 1918, a second round of Soldiers arrived from Iowa and northern Minnesota. During this time, Company K kept busy with paperwork, as well as with drill and ceremonies. Also, many soldiers on camp were being transferred to a variety of other locations.
In April 1918, a third round of Soldiers arrived from North Dakota. Due to the 1918 pandemic, known as the Spanish Flu, they were vaccinated and quarantined for two weeks prior to integration with the rest of the troops on Camp Pike.
In May 1918, draftees and officers from Missouri arrived.
In June 1918, approximately 30 more soldiers from Iowa arrived.
Camp Dodge, Iowa - 1917 - Source for all three photos: http://www.iowanationalguard.com/History/History/Pages/Building-Camp-Dodge.aspx.
Camp Pike, Arkansas - Circa 1918 - This is where Roy and his unit spent nine months before deploying overseas. Photo Source:
On August 4, 1918, Company K hopped on a train with Company I bound for New York, stopping in Chicago, Cleveland, Buffalo and Albany to Hoboken, NJ. After a layover near Cleveland, where they bathed in Lake Erie, they then proceeded to Hoboken, NJ.
August 7, 1918, they arrived at Hoboken, NJ, at 5 am, then marched aboard a ferry. Two hours later, the ferry took them around the Manhattan skyline in a heavy fog, obscuring all but the closest buildings. They got off the ferry at Long Island City, then rode a train to Camp Upton on Long Island, where they spent a week here in the sand. At the time, the total headcount was 250 men, with five officers, including Roy.
On the morning of August 15, 1918, Companies G, H, I, K, L and M left Camp Upton, NY, boarded a train to Long Island City, and then rode a ferry to Brooklyn Pier. At 2 pm, all the companies, except Company H, began boarding HMS (His Majesty’s Ship) Kashmir bound for England.
The HMS Kashmir, weighing 8,500 tons, was a civilian passenger ship pressed into service by the British Navy to support the war effort. The crew members were all British sailors.
As the troops boarded the ship, they were closely monitored by US Secret Service agents looking for German spies. The entire process took an hour and a half, with a total of 2,112 enlisted soldiers and 66 officers boarding.
At 4 pm, the troops waved goodbye to the Red Cross volunteers as the ship left port. At 5 pm, they anchored off Coney Island, joining a fleet of other vessels there. They sat there for over 19 hours before the convoy finally left the next day.
At 1:30 pm on August 16, 1918, a total of 18 transport ships, carrying 33,000 soldiers, began lining up in the convoy for the long voyage to England. Accompanying them for their protection were two battleships, two torpedo boat destroyers, several hydroplanes and a dirigible. Also, each transport was equipped with at least one or two guns manned by British sailors. It must have been a surreal moment as the convoy passed the Statue of Liberty on its way out of New York.
August 16, 1918, through August 26, 1918, the trip to England was smooth sailing with good weather. All personnel wore or carried a life jacket at all times. After dark, light discipline was maintained, with no smoking outside and portholes secured. All personnel went through fire drills and abandon-ship drills at random times every day. For accountability, all personnel were designated to go to certain locations on the ship in the event of a torpedo attack.
As they approached the Newfoundland coast, they were met with a blanket of fog that created damp conditions and completely obscured visibility.
The evening of August 25, 1918, part of the warship escort fleet left the convoy.
In the early morning of August 26, 1918, six British destroyers joined and surrounded the convoy for protection.
On August 27, 1918, more destroyers, as well as some submarine chasers, joined the convoy as it approached an area along the Irish coast considered treacherous, due to past enemy submarine activity there. This brought the number of escort vessels to 30. One of the destroyers located and destroyed a mine, although no submarines were seen. Occasionally, the convoy changed direction to thwart the enemy’s attempts to intercept them.
At 1:00 pm, the convoy crossed Black Rock Point on the Scottish coast and spotted land for the first time after leaving New York.
Highlights of the voyage include a few cases of sea sickness, submarine guard duty, fog horns, fire drills, abandon ship drills, the last sight of the Statue of Liberty, watching marine wildlife (dolphins, whales and sharks) and the first sight of land on the Scottish Coast.
At 3 am on August 28, 1918, the Kashmir landed in Liverpool harbor. What a great relief it must have been to land safely without any major incident. At 3:30 pm, the soldiers disembarked from the Kashmir. They rode trains from Liverpool to Winchester, England, then hiked to nearby Winnall Down Camp. Here they stayed for three days of R&R (Rest and Relaxation), sight-seeing in the Winchester area. Points of interest were the Round Table of King Arthur, statue of King Alfred, Winchester Cathedral, the Roman wall, roads and hills, and estates in the Winchester neighborhood.
On September 1, 1918, Company K left Winnall Down Camp and rode another train, this time for Southampton, England. Later that day, they sailed across the English Channel to an English camp at Cherbourg, France. During this voyage, four out of five Soldiers got seasick.
The next day, September 2, 1918, they rode trains from Cherbourg to Semur, in Cote D' Or, France, where they off-loaded and hiked to Flee, France, setting up quarters on the second floor of an old, abandoned stone chateau.
On September 12, 1918, after training and hiking for 10 days, they departed on foot 24 kilometers to Les Laumes, France, to sleep in pup tents for the night.
On September 13, 1918, they rode trains to Hericourt, France, for an overnight stay in a remodeled YMCA building.
The next morning, September 14, 1918, they hiked 3 KM to Echanans, France, where they spent the next three weeks housed in barns, training and responding with anti-aircraft gun fire to sporadic German airplane attacks.
On October 5, 1918, they hiked 20 KM at night to Danjoutin, France.
The next night, October 6, 1918, they hiked 30+ KM to St. Cosme, France.
On October 20, 1918, 1LT Nord took charge of 1st platoon and led his men to the front line where they stayed for six days.
On the evening of October 26, 1918, they hiked back to Buethwiller, France, staying there a day before hiking to Phaffans and Giromagny, France. In Giromagny, they trained for nearly two weeks.
On November 7, 1918, they rode a train to Menil-La-Tour, then were trucked to Telluriele-Sanzey where they stayed for four days.
On November 11, 1918, they were supposed to move out for combat as heavy and steady bombing was going on. However, it all stopped at 11 am when the armistice was signed.
On November 14, 1918, 1LT Roy Nord left his unit to serve as Senior Instructor of the Automatic Arms School.
In January 1919, 1LT Nord visited his previous unit in Menaucourt and Longeaux. He also visited Verdun.
In February 1919, 1LT Nord took two weeks of leave in Rome and Nice with a stop in Cannes.
Cannes, France – February 25, 1919 – 1LT Nord and 1LT George.
In March 1919, 1LT Nord returned to his Company K to serve as Company Commander.
In April 19, 1919, Commander-in-Chief General John J. (Blackjack) Pershing conducted a general inspection of Company K (along with the rest of 88th Infantry Division) at Condrecourt, France, and personally told 1LT Nord to carry his compliments and congratulations directly to his unit for their “splendid physical record” and “fine appearance”.
On May 7, 1919, 1LT Nord returned with his unit to the United States, sailing to Newport News, VA. His company lost only one man during the entire deployment, due to pneumonia.
May 1919 - Norfolk, VA - 1LT Nord (Company Commander) marches Company K under the Arch of Triumph in Newport News, VA. The company marched from the ship at Newport News, VA, through Norfolk, to Camp Alexander, VA.
1917 Hobo Day Postcard, postmarked Aug 14, 1918, to Roy from his sister, Florence, pictured 2nd from the left.
St Joire, France
Jan 29, 1919
Have not received any mail of late, so expect some soon. Last I received from you – all was dated the last of December. Weather has been below freezing and we have had a touch of snow, but ear-laps (ear-flaps) have not yet proved necessary. Now, that it has stopped the eternal raining, we have it nice for January. How goes it in South Dakota?
Occasionally I send home papers of some kind labeled “scrap book”. Please save these for my scrap book as they are of interest to me.
Better wear out all the clothes of mine that you can (except my military hat for I can’t get another one like it and if I stay in the Army will need it).
What do you think about staying in the Army? It pays me as a 1st Lt $2000.00 per year. (At present, $2,200.00 and as a Captain, $2,400.00). In ten years, I can be making much more at law, but I like this life (now) and the opportunity to see places, life, and be where there is “something doing”. Also, I like law, but of course will have to build up again, which I consider I can do in six months or less.
How is Mike? He is probably too fat to ever be much good.
Do you mean to say that there have been 6 1/2 million cases, or deaths, from the “Flu”? Don’t hear of any now and the health of the men is fine.
Saturday, I caught a truck to Menaucourt and Longeaux, where Company K is located. The sergeants, men and officers want me back with the company. Captain Walker is probably on his way to the States, he having gastritis (a stomach trouble), so I’d be in command. But this detached duty keeps me here and it is really more pleasant here, for I am strictly my own boss, being head of the auto-rifle school and having good assistants (5 officers).
Next Saturday, expect to visit Verdun, and about the 15th of February, I hope to go on leave to Rome and Nice for 14 days, including travel. None of the journey will be by sea, either.
What is Daisy’s address now? I have forgotten if it was Fedora, SD. I sent two letters to her, c/o you, which I hope you forwarded. Am glad you all have not had the “Flu”.
I feel like a “million dollars”, and have felt good since here, being slightly indisposed for a day at a time on two different occasions.
What is the political situation in the States? How about the unemployment? Would like to see the Huron and Brookings papers occasionally. Did not know Clifton Walters was married. I wrote to Aunt Tillie.
The enclosed is for Francis. The lace I purchased November 19, 1918 at Foug. It is hand made. The pillow top I bought here of a lady who makes them (handmade also). I’d suggest a dark red cord around pillow. The lady wanted to put a lace around it, but I thought it looked rotten that way, and Francis will have to get the cord as I can’t get any here. Also, am shipping home a German steel field helmet, which came from near Metz.
Take care of yourself and take a vacation.
Lt. Roy A. Nord
Co K – 350th Inf. A.E.F.
Reverse side of 1917 Hobo Day Postcard reads: “Was looking for some of my cards today and found two of these. Possibly you have one.”
St Joire, France
Jan 29, 1919
Here is that pillow cover for Francis, which I did not enclose in other letter, which I trust you received OK. Tell her to use it somehow, it will make a decoration for the floor as a flower.
No news as to when home, but I doubt if before July 4, 1919, and maybe not then; but why worry, it does no good. We’ll get home when they are done with us.
Lt. Roy A. Nord
Co K – 350th Inf. A.E.F.
WWI Letter #1 from Roy to Andrew, his father
WWI Letter #2 from Roy to Andrew, his father
Hobo Day Postcard from his Sister, Forence, to Roy
Postcard from Roy in Italy to his Aunt Mary in Des Moines, IA
1919-02-22 Roy Nord's postcard from Roy, while on leave in Italy, to his Aunt Mary F. Weinks in Des Moines, IA. The front of the post card reads: "Ponte S. Luigi - Frontiera Italiano e Frencese", which translates in English to: Saint Louis Bridge - Frontier Italy and France".
The reverse side reads: "Feb 22, 1919 - Dear Uncle & Aunt, Am somewhere in Italy for a few hours this PM. Visiting the Riviera (+Nice) for 2 weeks. Very exciting & enjoyable time. -1LT Roy A. Nord".
Upon his return from WWI in May 1919, Roy decided not to make the Army a career and, instead, pursued a career as a small-town attorney in Faulkton, SD. During his free time, he enjoyed hunting in the Faulkton area and fishing at Lake Faulkton.
1922 - Faulkton, SD. Roy on the hunt.
1922 - Faulkton, SD. Roy on another hunt.
On February 10, 1923, Roy married Caroline O. Boller in Faulkton, SD. She gave birth to their first son sometime between 1924 and 1928, but the child passed away soon after birth.
On August 7, 1928, Caroline gave birth to Alan Andrew Nord, my uncle.
1920 - Faulkton, SD - Caroline on the hunt.
1925 - Faulkton, SD - Caroline in the yard.
Circa 1925 - Faulkton, SD - Roy in the yard.
April 14, 1925 - Faulkton, SD - Caroline with Kai, the family dog.
Circa 1930 – Faulkton, SD – Roy after a successful grouse hunt. His dog must be tired after fetching all those birds!
Faulkton, SD - Schoolhouse that Alan and Roger attended in the 30s and early 40s. The picture was from a 1957 Faulkton newspaper article.
Circa 1931 - Faulkton, SD - The Congregational Church where the family attended services.
1935 - Faulkton, SD - "Live goose decoys"
Late 30s - Lake Faulkton
October 1928 - Faulkton - Alan (2 months) and Roy (37 yrs)
September 4, 1929 Alan & Andrew Nord
September 4, 1929 - Faulkton - Andrew, Alan and Roy
On Jul 2, 1931, 41-year old Caroline gave birth to Roger Brent Nord, my father.
March 1930 - Faulkton, SD - Alan (19 months)
ALAN NORD - SECOND SON
ROGER NORD - LAST BORN CHILD
ROGER AND ALAN - GROWING UP IN FAULKTON
December 24, 1944 - Roy on Christmas Eve Day
Circa 1947 - I may be wrong, but I believe this is a picture of SD Department Chiefs and their wives taken at the Governor's Mansion. Roy is 3rd from the left. His wife Caroline (my Grandmother) is sitting on the couch in the white dress next to the gentleman with his arm over her shoulder.
In June 1943, Governor Sharpe appointed Roy to serve as South Dakota's first State Tax and Licensing Director. His predecessor, Joseph H. Bottum, previously served as State Tax Director. With Roy's appointment, came the new licensing division that became operational two weeks later. While researching information about my Grandfather during this period, I learned that his predecessor, Joe Bottum, was also a lawyer from Faulkton. Roy and Joe must have been friends.
1946 - Caroline, Roger and Roy in the Black Hills
In 1947, after serving four years as South Dakota's Tax and Licensing Director, Roy moved his family to Madison, SD, and started a law practice there.
Circa 1947 - Governor's Mansion in Pierre, SD
Circa 1947 - Geese on Partially Frozen Capitol Lake in Pierre, SD. Unfortunately, the picture was water-damaged/stained, but it clearly shows how sparce Pierre was, compared to later years.
Circa 1947 - This is a post card with a picture of the old Carnegie Library on the corner of Euclid and Capitol Avenue in Pierre, SD. The library opened in 1905 and operated until 1972. The building was then used for offices by Hughes County, whose courthouse stood right next door to the west. In 1994, a fire severely damaged the building, so it was demolished the following year. The site where the library was located is now marked by a historic landmark sign in what is now a parking lot for the Hughes County courthouse building.
Feb 14, 1948 Roy's house - 703 NE 3rd St, Madison, SD
I was 11 years old when my Grandfather passed away in 1972 at the age of 82. His wife, Caroline, outlived him by over 30 years before passing away in 1993 at the age of 103. Both are buried at St Thomas Cemetery, four miles south of Faulkton, SD.
Not sure exactly what time period Roy served as a judge. I did find a Feb 6, 1951 internet news article in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that mentions an individual who committed a crime and had to go before Judge Roy Nord in Madison. So, Roy would have been a judge in early February 1951.
Sure wish I had at least one picture of him in the court with his judge robe, but unfortunately, I don't.