4029 28th Avenue South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55406

Roosevelt High School, 1924

Opening date was September, 4, 1922 at 8:30 a.m. 
"About 1,500 boys and girls (grades 8-12), a few dogs, some 60 teachers, one principal, a sprinkling of parents--all swarming up the steps of the huge brick building." 
I believe there were eight graduates in the Class of 1923.

I found the following article tucked away in my '62 Sagamore and thought you might enjoy reading it.

Newspaper article in the Minneapolis Star circa, May, 1973

City 'Nokomis High' rides roughly to 50th year

                                                     By JOHN CARMAN
                                                     Minneapolis Star Staff Writer

                                          The actual newspaper article is pictured below the following transcription:


Bully, thought the Minneapolis School Board when it names a new high school after Teddy Roosevelt 50 years ago.

Bull-oney, replied the neighborhood.

The school board has done some unpopular things over the years, but few created a stir as great as the naming of Roosevelt High School, 4029 28th Av. S.

Memories of the incident are still fresh in some quarters as Roosevelt alumni, and others associated with the school, prepare for a 50th anniversary celebration June 10.

In the fall of 1922, when the new high school opened, the south Minneapolis neighborhood was about a 40-minute streetcar ride from downtown.

Skilled laborers, with Farmer-Labor Party political leanings, tended to populate the small homes in the area.

They were infuriated when the school board named the high school after Republican President Theodore Roosevelt, the one-time Rough Rider who died in 1919.


Neighborhood sentiment was that the board should have chosen the name Nokomis High School, after the legendary mother of Hiawatha and the nearby lake.

"My pappy said that at least 90 percent of the people wanted it to be Nokomis Senior High, and the other name was pushed on us by a conservative school administration," recalls Violet Brandhorst, a student at Roosevelt in its first year.

Mrs. Brandhorst, 4621 Beard Av., whose maiden name was Franzeen, was sent door-to-door with her sister to get signatures on a petition for a name change.

Edwin Olson 4501 W. 44th St., a Roosevelt teacher then, says a second PTA was formed at the school with the Nokomis name.  There was talk of ripping out the cement block that carried the Roosevelt name and replacing it with a Nokomis block.

"And," said Mrs. Brandhorst, "we had a lot of bricklayers and cement men around here who could have done it, too."



Mrs. Brandhorst acquired the habit of writing "Nokomis High" on her school papers, and nobody challenged her.

In time, the furor died, and the Roosevelt High School name was preserved for later student generations.

Mercedes Nelson, 4104 Colfax Av. S., a first-year physical education teacher who became assistant principal years later, remembers the final act of "appeasement" that prevented any recurrence of the strife.

She says it occurred when a grade school was expanded in the late 1920s to become one of the junior high schools that fed students to Roosevelt.

It was named Nokomis Junior High.



Click to view these thumbnails:

Violet E. (Franzeen) Brandhorst, Mercedes L. Nelson, Edwin L. Olson

Article in Minneapolis Star

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Powderhorn and Longfellow neighborhoods:
Roosevelt High School is located in the center of the photo.

I received an email from someone who lived at 4124 27th Avenue South and who finds that the date of the aerial photo earlier than referenced above.  "I understand that my house was moved onto our address in 1925. 
My property tax statement states 1925 as the build date.  In the aerial view of Roosevelt High my house is not in the picture, so the picture had to have been taken 1925 or before. 
The caption of the picture says Roosevelt High School-Circa 1928." 

Right he is! 
I compared the construction dates and searched just about every inch of this aerial photo for each home, both in his neighborhood and mine, which was north of the school. 
I have concluded that this photo was taken in 1923 (maybe 1924, but the evidence is not as strong). 
Jerry later writes, "Another item that surprised me and after thinking of it, it shouldn't have been a surprise, was that there were hardly any garages and no cars on the streets".  I noticed, also, that no one was parked in the Roosevelt School parking on the east side of the school, nor along the streets.  Jarrhl Fun
k, Audubon, MN '56


(as we knew it)
1959 was the first class to utilize it.


RHS early grounds photo at 28th Ave. S., circa 1920.

RHS grounds photo: "Board of Education Site for Nokomis High School", circa 1920.

RHS front entrance. Note the wood and masonry work. At right, laying of the cornerstone, 1921.

RHS cornerstone is now in place, at right, 1921.

RHS cornerstone inscription, 1921.

RHS front entrance, 28th Ave. S., 1921.

RHS early athletic field, looking South, circa 1921.

RHS athletic field, looking South, circa 1922.

RHS front entrance, 4029 28th Ave. S., circa 1922.

RHS South side, circa 1923

RHS boiler, 1924

RHS Winter, 1925 Southwest view. The athletic field fence is now in place.

Minneapolis Public Library-Roosevelt branch, 6-23-1928. The library closed on 12-29-06 at 6 p.m. but just re-opened under Hennepin Cty system 1/3/08!

St. Paul Civic Orchestra at RHS auditorium 5-22-1936 (Doesn't look like our stage-see 1928 Sagamore photo below.)

St. Paul Civic Orchestra on RHS stage. Students apparently sat in chairs not auditorium seats, 5-22-1936.

Roosevelt Public Library 30s, 40s & 50s

North side before the '58 addition was built. Two very long sidewalks lead toward the street from each of two doors. Looking from E 40th Street-1940

RHS front entrance at dismissal at 3:00 p.m. - 1940

Minnesota Federal Symphony Orchestra at RHS, circa 1940

YMCA, 4001 28th Ave. S, 5-16-1950

Ritz Dairy, 4046 28th Ave. S, 12-10-1953. One scoop cones were 5 cents, two scoops 10 cents.

Looking East from athletic field, E 41st St. and 30th Ave. S, 11-26-1957

Looking to the West, toward the RHS athletic field from E 41st St. and 30th Ave. S, 11-26-1957

RHS Pre-1958 addition, Northwest corner of school.

RHS North side during construction, 1-7-1958

RHS North side. Construction continues into the winter, 3-3-1958

Two men smiling from afar! 4-9-1958. After we graduated, a second story was built upon this addition.

RHS '58 completed addition, corner E 40th St.and 28th Ave. S, 7-7-1958

Another view of the RHS '58 finished addition, 8-6-1958

RHS '58 addition. The faculty parking lot is yet to be completed, 8-6-1958

RHS '58 addition from 40th St. E and 28th Ave. S

RHS '58 addition. View of teacher and students practicing in the new music room, 9-24-1958

RHS '58 addition. New drafting room.

RHS '58 addition. Corner of E 40th St. and 29th Ave. S. Faculty lot complete, 9-24-1958

RHS new exits on South side, 1963.

RHS second floor added to '58 addition, 40th St. E and 29th Ave. S., 1967

RHS second floor added to '58 addition, 30th Ave. S., 1967

RHS 1969 addition, 40th St. and 29th Ave. S.

RHS 1969 addition, gymnasium and more, 30th Ave. S.

Roosevelt Community Library
4026 28th Ave. S
Minneapolis, MN  55406

The library we knew so well, is no longer affiliated with the City of Minneapolis public library system, but is now part of the Hennepin County Library system. 
On May 26, 2000, the building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP).


On April 19, 2009, I attended the 12th RHS Foundation Pancake Breakfast and in the Alumni Room I ran into Jim Miller from the class of 1961. 
In addition to viewing the memorabilia, I wanted re-read the engravings from the Beekman sportsmanship trophy awarded Roosevelt in 1961 following the Minnesota State High School Basketball Tournament disqualification. 
I had a very interesting conversation with Jim.  He also told me that he was the person who had the trophy restored in recent years. 

Restored Trophy

Jim provided me with some very interesting newspaper articles about the 1961 basketball tournament happenings plus the lunchroom boycott. 
I thought I would share them with you.

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Top Left:  Region 5 champs watch NBA team  ~  Lower Left:  Starting Ted missed the bus  ~  Center:  Faculty salutes team  ~  Lower Right:  State tourney luncheon ~ Top Right:  Sportsmanship trophy awarded RHS 


1                         2                         3                         4                         5                         6                         7
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~ RHS Class of 1962 ~

Commencement Bulletin


~ RHS Class of January, 1929 ~

Commencement Bulletin


Source:  Sheri Thomsen
of Lake Elsinore, California.

On Memorial Day, Sheri and family were sorting through memorabilia of her grandfather, Frederick Woodard who graduated from Roosevelt in 1929.
"He trained at Fort Snelling in 1926, but he was only 16, so we think it might have been Boy Scouts...but not sure just yet. 
He then went to Camp Pendleton in San Diego and we also know he was in New Zealand. 
We also have pictures from Iwo Jima, and my Dad (his son) once saw a photo of a flame thrower pack on him,
which leads us to believe he was very involved on Iwo Jima, and why he would not have talked about much the war. 
My grandfather moved to California after World War II."


~ RHS Class of January, 1934 ~

Commencement Bulletin


~ ~ ~
Homecoming began in 1929
I'm certain there was a football game, but not sure there was a Homecoming dance. 
It would be interesting to know how they celebrated bac
k then.

Source:  Roosevelt Standard, 9/2/61

~ or did It? ~
I am not sure how accurate this is, however.  In the 1962 Sagamore, it states that our homecoming, which was actually in the fall of 1961, was Roosevelt's 36th Homecoming. 
This could bring the start of Homecoming to 1925.  Roosevelt opened its doors in September, 1922 and it may have taken three years for its inception.

~ ~ ~

~ in 1928 ~
Homecoming was clearly celebrated in 1928.  There are photos in the 1928 Sagamore.

~ RHS Award Day 1962 ~
June 6, 1962

    Page 1 - cover            Page 2 - inside left          Page 3 - inside right            Page 4 - back      

~ RHS Award Day 1961 ~
Includes Students from the Class of 1962
    Page 1 - cover            Page 2 - inside left          Page 3 - inside right            Page 4 - back      


~ 1928 Sagamore ~
Our Auditorium

The Stage
In later years, the murals on each side of the stage accompanied by the Shakespearian text were foolishly painted over.
~ ~ ~

The Balcony
Now that is one full balcony!
~ ~ ~



~ 1944 Sagamore ~
Northbound Car Stop

After school @ Intersection of 40th & 28th Avenue South
"LOOP"- that meant the bus route went downtown @ returned southbound.  (I think.)

United States of America
Remembering all who have served or are serving our great Country.


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