Several people remember the old business near Leonard, N.D., which was called the Curve Station because it was located on a curve in the road.
Retired policeman Maurice “Muff” Brandt writes that a “Neighbors” column about it caught his interest because, he says, “A group of Fargo police officers and Cass County deputies who rode motorcycles back in the early ‘60s used to go there for burgers.
“We didn’t know of the Curve name, though. We all called it Morris’ Service.
“Just like your column said, it had THE BEST burgers around.
“It also had a very nice pool table which we always played a game or two on.
“There was a huge, very old black Lab that was always in the way around the pool table,” Muff writes.
Now Warren Wiltse, Lisbon, N.D., writes, “I am very familiar with the Curve Station, being from Lisbon and being 93 years old.
“My dad hauled livestock to the Union yards in the ‘30s. He stopped at the Curve Station many times to buy gas and lunch.
“I remember so well the death of the Beavers, once the owners. The story on the news at the time was that a man living a mile or so southwest of the station was feeling pressured by his girlfriend to get married. He, like most people then, had very little money, so he decided to walk to the station in snow and rob them. He ended up killing the couple and setting fire to the building.
“It shocked the community and was in all the news.
“Authorities followed the tracks in the snow.
“He was found guilty and sent to prison for life.”
Jeanne Ahlers, Leonard, sent in a faded copy of The Forum from that time which says the man’s name was Leonard Cleveland. He was 22 when he was sent to prison in 1938.
Now, here’s a letter from Joanne Groth, Fargo, who says she doesn’t know the name of the store as Curve Station, but only as Hank & Shirley Beaver’s station.
Joanne was 91 when she wrote “Neighbors” some time ago.
“I left Leonard when I was 9,” she says. “The fire and deaths possibly happened in 1937.”
“If I remember correctly,” she writes, “there was a dance in Leonard that night — the Roosevelt Inaugural Ball. My parents planned to attend.
“My dad was standing at our kitchen window. He said there was a big fire, and it looked like it could be at Beavers’. He left to check it out.
“As I recall from conversations I heard, the Beavers had living quarters behind the station. In cold weather they closed off the exit door. As a result, Shirley was unable to escape. If she came through the station, the man was there. He had hit Hank — whether making him unconscious or dead, no one knows. He poured gas on the station, lit it and walked away. Hank, Shirley and their dog perished.
“I don’t know if the sheriff or my dad got there first. The sheriff, Peter MacArthur, my dad and I think another man followed footprints to the railroad tracks. I don’t know how far they followed the tracks.
“As I recall, the man was found in Sheldon, N.D. He was incarcerated for the crime.
“I don’t think he got much money; maybe under $20.
“The Nick Browns ran the station after it was rebuilt. Mrs. Brown, whose first name was Ella, was my cousin. Her mother, Agnes Zick, was my dad’s sister.”
If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email email@example.com.