Lockhart, Minnesota

Lockhart, Minnesota

Lockhart, Minnesota is a near-ghost town in Norman County, Minnesota.  It’s an unincorporated community with just a few residents, but home to what was once a very impressive school.  There were several volumes of a book called “The History of Clay and Norman Counties, Minnesota: Their People, Their Industries and Institutions” by John Turner and C.K. Semling published around 1918 with fairly detailed histories on most of the early settlers in the area.  There are a lot of family names in the book that genealogists might find helpful.

Lockhart, Minnesota

A word of caution: a very large, very heavy section of roof hangs precariously overhead in the front entry of this school. We would not recommend anyone explore the interior.

Lockhart, Minnesota

Just inside the front door

Just inside the front door

A classroom

A classroom

Lockhart, Minnesota

It's hoppin' downtown

It’s hoppin’ downtown

Lockhart Public School

Lockhart Public School

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

21 thoughts on “Lockhart, Minnesota

    1. Mrs Hendrich,

      I don’t know your age or when you attended school there but my father and possibly my mother both attended there in he years around 1916 to 1926. My fathers last name was Clayton (son of Herb) and my mothers last name was Geving (daughter of John). My father took me there in 1958 on a visit to Frank Claytons. I was amazed at what a beautiful school it was and how shameful it was to let it decay. My mother also attended the one room White Dove Public School from around 1918 to ?. Is the White Dove School still standing. My youngest daughter visited it back around 1978 with my mother. My parents farmed there till they lost all during the Depression. They moved to Pokegama and eventually to Austin. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I feel a need to return and visit the area.

    2. My father is Frank Clayton
      My mother is Mary
      I went to Lockhart school thru 4th grade
      Two of my brothers went to this school also
      I was 6 years old in 1958!

    1. I loved that old school and feel sick to see how it has been neglected by the school district. What a waste, for sure.

  1. Looking for info or photos of Ivan Torfin, student at Lockhart who went on to the ag college in Crookston, graduating there in 1938. We know he played basketball at Crookston and perhaps in Lockhart and/or Ada. Looking for photos to plug in some gaps. He was killed in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944 as a Medical Aid in the 28 Division of the Army.

    Thanks for any help…….

  2. Old memories for sure… I attended there from 1951-59. My sister Audrey was a classmate of EveVanna’s.

    What the authors called a classroom was actually taken from inside what we called the “Manual Training Room” (ground-level room on the lower-right front of the building) looking from the south end looking to the north. To the left, you can still see the outline of the Boys Dressing Room on the floor with the door towards the back, on the far left side going into the showers. All the classrooms were actually on the 2nd and 3rd floors. The principal’s office was on the 3rd floor. (Don’t have to ask me how I remember that!!)

    From talking to my elders, I remember the Torfin name. I think the family owned the creamery in Lockhart.

  3. What memories! The two holes,in the exterior walls where the aluminum fire escape tubes,which were,attached to the first and second grade rooms center, Left and fifth and sixth top floor left side. ( got in lots of trouble for playiing in them). I Went there 1957 – 1961. They closed the school that year and moved us to ADA for 6th grade.. I think the big doors and stairs on the side of the school were the exits to the outhouses when the school,was new,back in 1890’s. The Quancet hut gym shown behind the,school was brand new in 1958 what a beautiful oak hardwood floor we were only allowed to play basketball in sticking feet.
    I got,in trouble for going to fast on the merry go round and spinning everyone off!
    I got in trouble when the Feting girls tattled on me when I tried to show off my rock throwing skills and broke a window on the north end of the 3rd. Floor, cost my parents $50 which was a lot of money then.
    No recess for me after I tunneled under the evergreen trees after a deep snow and the teachers could not find me when it was time to go home!
    We farmed the Quarter North of Henry Hedrich, his one lung close front tires John Deer pot-put tractor is etched in my mind, pulling the manure spreader both directions on a windy day!
    (This comment section is hard to use, but then I never paid much attention in school!!!)

  4. Do you know anything about an old gas station that was owned by Peurley Hanson many years ago in Lockhart, MN? Does anyone remember Peurley Hanson?

    1. I remember the gas station. It was about 50 yards or so west of my grandfather’s gas station (Jackson & Sons Garage) which was located across the street (south) of the Carl Maass general store. I recall that it had 2 green gas pumps in front of it. I think it closed down by the mid-late 1950s and was razed not too long after that. I also seem to remember that the man at the station was always dressed in in stripped (blue/white) overalls.

      My uncle (Eugene Jackson — AKA/”Bunky”; recently deceased) used to mention Peurley’s name quite often when he would reminisce about Lockhart.

      1. Hello Dave Docken: Oh, this is interesting to me. Peurley was my uncle and was the kindest man I ever met in my entire life. I remember going to his gas station only one time in my life, but know he was not a rich man and lived in very poor circumstances. Yes, he always wore stripped (blue/white) overalls. That’s all I ever saw him in. He would come to our house whenever he could leave the station. He loved to get some home cooked meals from my mom. He was very important to us, but we too were not rich, so could only feed him whenever he came over to visit. I heard that his gas station had a dirt floor. Does anyone remember that? I know he gave a lot of credit to people, but some never came and paid him back. That was so sad. Anyone else remember anything about Peurley Hanson? Thanks Dave Docken for responding to this.

        1. …” I know he gave a lot of credit to people, but some never came and paid him back. That was so sad.”

          My grandfather had the same problem. There was some scum around back then too….

          1. Same thing happened with an ancestor; he ran a big hardware store in Carpio, ND. He wound up ‘retiring’ when the Depression hit and moved west to LA.

  5. That is really sad. For your grandfather also. They had good hopes in the begining, but they had too much kindness in their hearts and it did not pay for them. I hope the people that did this will be sorry for what they have done. Shame on them.
    Do you know Al? He remembers you he says.

    1. I sort of remember Al. I sort of remember that you guys farmed not too far from us. Also remember Robert’s family as I graduated from dear old Ada HS with Dwight (and his wife Betty). And of course, Denny the barber.

      1. Hi Dave. Al remembers you too. We farmed close to Tuffy Clayton until the tornado wiped us out. We quit farming and moved into Ada. We were neighbors to Alvin VaKoch. Sheik would visit with out. Don’t know if I spelled his name right or not. Don’t know what his real name is though. Whatever happened to him? I just talked to Dwight the other day. He is in poor health too. Yes, know Betty. Denny and Leslie were just here the other day. You probably know Lois, Les’s wife and Janice, Denny’s wife. Denny has retired now. Al remembers your grandfather too. Small world, isn’t it? Are you still working somewhere or have you retired? Fun visiting with you. Did you know Donna Gilsol Fischer? We worked together at Slat’s Cafe in Ada. The place where everyone went. Fun place to work. Keep in touch. What is your email address? Mine is gig@gvtel.com

        take care.

  6. My uncle was a minister starting there in the late 50’s early 60’s – Donald Fredine. We visited him a few times from the Twin Cities and I got my first ride on a horse – and one of my first crushes on a boy. Sadly, I can’t remember his name. I, too, played on the funny emergency slide – nothing like that in the cities – and it torn up my pants…and my behind! Such a warm and welcoming community. Needless to say this brought back many memories.

  7. I have a somewhat home made yearbook of Verna Schornick who attended the Lockhart school from 1916-1920 when she graduated. Written out info for each of her high school years, great photos of the school, flood in 1920, horse pulled, buses and sled. classmates, class rooms. also printed class play broadsheet, commencement etc. It’s hard covered fine condition, Great local piece for the area.

  8. In the hopes some of the commenters are still following this page my girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Lockhart and other towns from this site to capture some Historic Minnesota personally. We are crazy about agate picking, abandoned anything and just picked up a metal detecting hobby.. from what research I’ve done with the county plat books it appears the school is not privately owned although I could be wrong? I found the majority local land owners to be William Wallace, Dennis & Geraldine Gnadt, Jeffery & Denise Rasmosson. Out of respect I’d like to come into contact with anyone who could help us out in maybe recovering some lost history. Thank You
    my number is 218-393-9775 however I don’t answer unknown numbers please leave a message and I will return call. or text message works too. Thanks again.

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