Solomon and Sarah Comstock: Prairie Pioneers and the Building of a Community

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Southern New Hampshire University
Minnesota and higher education began to see a boom in the mid-1800s. When Solomon Comstock arrived in Moorhead in 1871, he saw nothing but muddy streets, dugouts, and tents. Throughout the late 1800s, Solomon and his wife, Sarah, focused on helping to develop Moorhead from a deplorable tent town with gambling house and saloons into a vibrant community through education. The creation of Minnesota’s fourth normal school in Moorhead was one of the biggest educational opportunities for Moorhead then and now. Today, on the six-acre site donated by Solomon and Sarah Comstock, stands one of Minnesota’s universities, Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Research at the Minnesota State University, Moorhead Archives shows several contributions the Comstock’s made to Moorhead through education and literacy. This thesis not only focuses on the educational contributions of Solomon and Sarah Comstock but further expands into a PowerPoint presentation and lecture. This lecture, which will be presented at the Comstock House museum in Moorhead, Minnesota will summarize this thesis through the main educational contributions outlined in this thesis. The PowerPoint presentation will be outlined by providing Solomon Comstock’s contributions, such as his support and donation of land for the Bishop Whipple School and Moorhead Teacher’s College. The PowerPoint will then focus on Sarah Comstock’s contributions to Moorhead, such as the creation of the Moorhead Women’s Club and the dedication to developing the Moorhead Public Library. Without these educational and community developments, Moorhead, Minnesota would not hold the current educational opportunities such as Minnesota State University, Moorhead, Concordia College, or the Lake Agassiz Regional Library System.