A rare look at Moorhead nearly 100 years agoMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Motion picture cameras were a rare sight in 1917. One Moorhead man that was fascinated with the new technology bought one and started filming around his hometown.
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) -- Motion picture cameras were a rare sight in 1917. One Moorhead man that was fascinated with the new technology bought one and started filming around his hometown.
Thanks to him we are able to take a look at the nearly 100 year old film and the incredible story that goes with the photographer .
This is downtown Moorhead in 1917 as the fire Department goes out on a call.
Here Concordia Faculty and students file out of Old Main back in the side and out again all to have the novelty of being in a movie.
There are several scenes like this in the 11 minutes of film that survive, of rallying the troops before heading off to Europe in WW1. The man seen here is Solomon Comstock.
Dr. George Humphries took this motion pictures as a hobby. He lived here at this house on 8th Street in Moorhead. Not only was he a doctor but was a Mayor of Moorhead several times and a leader in the business community.
Mark Peihl/Clay County Historical Society: "He was a dry, he was opposed to saloons and bootlegging and according to his family he was threatened by bootleggers because of his activities and at one point apparently somebody took a shot at him."
Beth Dille grew up just down the street from Dr. Humphries and remembers the incident well.
Beth Dille/Longtime Moorhead Resident: "According to his son George he said they a had been down at the lake and when they returned from the lake there as somebody in the bushes in their yard and they fired a shot and he says that he thinks the bullet may still be on that back porch somewhere."
Though Dille recalls Labor disputes in Moorhead at the time being behind the shooting.
Beth Dille: "People where very nervous because there also was a bombing in north Moorhead and a young man was killed."
Enter Albert Vaughn a former boxing champion.
Mark Peihl: "According to local legend Albert would drive the kids to school for there own safety presumably even though it was only a block and a half away from the school."
Beth Dille: "Of course that was the same years as the Linberg baby kidnapping too, so I'm sure everybody was worried."
So not only do Dr. Humphries movies provide a window into Moorhead of the past, the stories that come after they were taken relay a time of strife locally and nationally. Rob Kupec WDAY six news>
Security guard Albert Vaughn went on to enlist in the army in World War 2 at the age of 45 and was a mechanic with the air force.