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Collection Hope Academy (Moorhead, Minn.) records
Collection Number I/O:36
Dates of Creation 1887
Extent of Description .25 linear feet, 1 box
Creator Hope Academy (Moorhead, Minn.)
Search Terms Hope Academy (Moorhead, Minn.)
Moorhead (Minn.)
Administrative or Biographical History Hope Academy was started by Swedish settlers in the Red River Valley, Minnesota, who thought that Gustavus Adolphus College was too far away. The Rev. J.O. Cavallin, president of the Lutheran Benevolent Society of the Red River Valley was the first president of the school and the Academy opened its doors to students in 1888. Donations and subscriptions for the school brought in $9,500 and an unfinished hotel building in Moorhead was purchased and remodeled. The building consisted of 3 stories with room for class rooms, library, chapel and students' rooms and office. The school had 44 students and two teachers--J.O. Cavallin and S.A. Challman when it opened. In 1890-1891 the enrollment reached 140, but in 1892 it tumbled to 124. The debt on the building was almost $10,000 and efforts to reduce it were unsuccessful. The depression of the 1890s hit the Moorhead area hard. In 1892, the Benevolent Society offered to give the school to the Alexandria and Red River Districts of the Minnesota Conference. The Red River District accepted and took over ownership. Appeals for aid from the Conference were in vain.

Re. Cavallin left Moorhead in 1890 and Challman resigned in 1893. H.W. Ryding then served as the president for 3 years. In 1896 the school closed suddenly and creditors began foreclosure proceedings. The buildings were torn down a few years later and other buildings were erected from the materials.

For further history on Swedish academies in Minnesota see article by Emeroy Johnson in Swedish-American Historical Quarterly January, 1981.
Scope & Content The collection consists of seven photographs from the academy. Included are single portraits of the following teachers: Louise Cervin, Minnie Eastlund, Christine Larsson, and H.W. Ryding (last principal of the Academy). The three group portraits are of students and teachers of the academy (one interior and two exterior photographs).