The power to govern is a sacred trust delegated to a representative few. The obligation of governing the City of Cooperstown lies within the jurisdiction of the Council and the Mayor. From an early day boom town, governed first by the County Commissioners and later on by a board of trustees, Cooperstown has grown to a point where a more representative form of government seemed more equitable. Now six councilmen represent the various sections of the city.

Cooperstown has always been a progressive city but accomplishments of the past decade have been particularly noteworthy. However, we cannot stand on our laurels but must strive always to encourage improvement.

We shall attempt to govern our city in a manner benefiting our heritage and to always preserve its high ideals. We shall cultivate a respect for our laws and quicken the public sense of civic duty.

On this anniversary of the founding of this town, may this observance be a tribute to the pioneer men and women who founded our city seventy five years ago.

Ralph Bender-Mayor

Thomas Irgens

Gerald Davison

Hamlin Saxerud

Clarence Arneson

Tupper Howden

S. J. Quam

O. F. Kopperud-City Auditor

Clarence Sandvik-City Treasurer

As Cooperstown reaches its 75th milestone we yield to the temptation to appraise the growth or decline of our city. It must be admitted that Cooperstown has made no phenomenal gains in population although latest estimates indicate that when the next census is taken a gain of close to twenty per cent will be shown over the last count.

The county court house, built in the early '80's, still stands, and several businesses still operate in buildings erected before the turn of the century. But on the other hand we can point with pride to many advances and improvements. During the last decade a total of sixty six new houses has been constructed totaling in value over a million dollars. This does not include remodeling jobs which in many cases ran almost as high as some new structures, or the houses which were moved in. It has been conservatively estimated that combined repair and construction in Cooperstown has reached three million dollars in the last ten years. This, of course, includes all type of construction-new homes, new buildings and remodeling jobs, both of homes and business structures; also civic projects and churches. We can find no record in any previous ten year period in the history of Cooperstown where building volume paralleled or even came near this figure, even during the boom times of the early '80's and '90's when many business places and homes were built.

In the last decade Cooperstown has seen the completion or erection of buildings housing the Cooperstown Oil Company, the Farmers' Oil Company, Hagen Electric, Quam Funeral Nome, Mosher's Service Station, Ottertail's Standby Plant, the Dairy Dreem, Griggs County Implement, Sarsten Motors, Propane Gas & Appliance Company, Reiten Manufacturing Company, Trostad's Apartments, Kramvik's Motor Shop, Wonder Rest Motels, Smith's Barber Shop, Clark's Feed Store, Earl's Motors, Rhuda's Beauty Shop, Urness Drive Inn, and Burk Implement. There have been but few business places in town that have not been remodeled, added to, or changed in the last few years. Besides our modern half million dollar, twenty seven bed hospital, such major projects as the community building on the fair grounds, the Grace Lutheran, the Trinity Lutheran, and the St. George's Catholic Churches, the Legion Hall, the Youth Recreation. Center, and, last but not least, the modern new swimming pool have added over a million dollars in recent construction.

To these improvements must be added a modern lighting system for the down-town area. This is the modern new mercury-type light which is now being used in the more recent installations in large cities.  Cost of this project ran close to $12,000.

A much needed improvement was completed in 1954 when the new water system was put into operation. Three wells in the Sheyenne River Valley five miles east of town now supply the water needs of the city. An abundance of good water was found in the valley .and is pumped by automatic electric pumps to the water tower in Cooperstown where a good supply of water is maintained. The water is unusually soft and many farmers find it advantageous to haul water from town. While the city has a bonded indebtedness of some $160,000 for bonds to pay for its water system, it has a cash balance on hand of $48,000 which has been earmarked for bond retirement.

In 1956 the council purchased equipment for blacktopping the streets of Cooperstown. Nine blocks were blacktopped in 'S6 in what might be called a trial run. If the surfacing appears to stand up the council will continue to hard surface the bulk of the streets in town in like manner. It appears that sizeable savings can be realized if this system works out well. This is being done on a pay-as-you-go basis, thereby adding no extra weight in the way of further bonded indebtedness.

Three community projects the residents of Cooperstown look upon with special pride are the Scout House, the Community building at the fair grounds and the new swimming pool. Perhaps, the reason so many people show extra pride in these projects is because they had a part in the building of at least one or more of these much needed projects. All three were built by volunteer labor. Also built by volunteer labor was the American Legion Hall on main street. It not only serves .as headquarters for the Legion but on numerous occasions the Legion has generously permitted the use of this building for other organizations or activities.

In 1921 the original water and sewer system was installed. However, this installation did not serve the entire town as the service was not extended to homes west of the track. In 1956 the council was petitioned,. and in due time the water and sewer system service was brought to this area of the town. The original system in 1921 had only thirty one hook-ups, while today the system serves three hundred forty five.

Through an assisting committee made up of Lorents Lima, Robert Baker and Melvin Nelson, the City Fathers purchased 160 acres of land from A. Thime in 1946 for the sum of $2500. On this quarter the city airport was laid out. This airstrip has proven invaluable to the town and nearby residents and is considered one of the most active in the state for the size of the town.

While the railroad still continues to render valuable service to the citizens of the city and county, an improvement in service from Fargo and intervening towns was registered when in 1954 the Interstate Commerce Commission granted permission to the Valley Truck Lines, operated by Maynard Freitag, for truck service between Cooperstown and Fargo. Trucks operate on a schedule five days a week leaving here approximately 8:30 in the morning and returning in the evening.

The completion of hard surfaced roads into Cooperstown on No. 7 from the east and west, and No. 1 from the south has meant a great deal to the business life of Cooperstown. Prospects of early blacktopping of adjoining roads seem bright. With an ever widening trade area, an alert, active city government, and progressive merchants, Cooperstown can look forward to continue growth and expansion in the next twenty-five years when it will then observe its centennial birthday.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 65

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