Crowded Schools


In March, more than 200 Robbinsdale residents met at the Fire and
Police Station Auditorium to form the Robbinsdale Taxpayers Association after the valuations on their homes had jumped 29% to 35%. Thomas Christensen, 4228 Halifax, presided. The Association met for a few years to study taxes and to find out the effects of increased valuations.

We should include here the formation of the Crystal Knights of Columbus, an area-wide organization. Its aims are unity, charity, fraternity, and patriotism. Howard Hommes, a Robbinsdale resident and driver of the first school bus, was the first Grand Knight.

A staggered class schedule was put in place at Robbinsdale High School and Robbinsdale Junior High. Overcrowding meant grades 9-12 went to school from 7:50 to 2:30 and grades 7 and 8 from 9:50 to 4:30. The school district enrollment at the time was about 1800 and was predicted to rise to 5,000 by 1962. The school board began studying plans for a new high school.

Rollie Heywood with his pal Renee and the Jag back in ’53

A plan for a new liquor store and city hall on West Broadway met with a great deal of resistance. The Robbinsdale High School PTA appealed to the city not to build not to build the new municipal liquor store in connection with a government building claiming that liquor would degrade the this important symbol of the city’s democracy. A petition opposing the move was signed by over 1700 residents. In June, the city decided to scrap the plan and look for alternative. The new city hall was not completed until 1970.

James Walker became the Commander at Westphal Post 251 of the American Legion and. In 1974 he became the state Commander. Two years later Walker was the National Vice Commander. His wife Margaret was the Auxiliary President in 1950 and became the state President in 1965. James and Margaret were often called Mr. and Mrs. American Legion for their more than 30 years of service.

This post is part of a series loosely based on the book Robbinsdale Then and Now by Helen Blodgett. The picture at the top of the post is from Jeff Vick’s postcard collection.