James Nelson Kelly

  • The 1911 FORX was dedicated to James Nelson Kelly, of the 'Red Lectures', "counselor, guide and friend," the students said. In their "History of Grand Forks Public Schools." The 'Red Lectures' were somewhat akin to the Spanish Inquisition. According to the historian of 1901, this kind of lecture "consisted of a few well-chosen sentences, apropos, and certain monthly standings written in red ink on their report cards." He concluded: "Thus dignified by the learning of its three boys and adorned by the matchless beauty of its sixteen girls, governed by the indomitable will of Mill Allen and chastened by Superintendent Kelly, the class of 1901 emerged--peerless."

    R.J. Kulack and Melo Dee Loebrick have this to say of the superintendent who served from 1894 to 1919: "Throughout this period, Kelly's energy, good judgment, and perseverance provided the stability that was needed to ensure smooth development." It is surely fitting that one of the newest of the Grand Forks elementary schools should bear his name.