Schools I’ve Attended – Jordan Jr. High

My Life
Those Places Thursday

By Don Taylor

Photo of Don Taylor with cat Nasi.We rented the house on Fremont Avenue for only a few months in 1962. During the summer of 1962, Budgar[i] bought a duplex at 2419 Bryant Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN and we moved there. We lived downstairs and had renters living upstairs. Grandma Kees lived with us for a short time. Budgar and her argued all the time. He called her a liar and she knew he was an abuser. In any event, Budgar threw Grandma Kees out before Christmas, 1962.  It is interesting that I have no photos whatsoever of anyone at that house. Not me, not my mother, not Budgar, not even my sister Sharon, who was born in the fall of 1962.

Budgar wouldn’t give me an allowance. He said I needed to earn my way. So, while living on Bryant, I had a paper route most of the time. I always delivered the morning paper. I’d get up about 3:30, get my papers about 4 am, and have my route delivered by 5:30. I’d be home by 6 for breakfast and to get ready for school.

Photo of 2419 Bryant Ave N, Minneapolis, MN in May, 2013.
2419 Bryant Avenue – Today (May 2013)

Across the street from where we lived on Bryant was the Franklin Junior High attendance area. Likewise, two blocks south was also Franklin Junior High attendance area, so we lived just about as far away from Jordan Junior High as was possible and still be in the Jordan attendance area. During the winter, some of my friends and I would hop on the back bumper of the city bus. It was really dangerous because the bumpers on the bus only stuck out about a half an inch and the sign on the back of the bus wasn’t sturdy enough to rely upon.  Better than the city bus, we learned the route a postman took and could hop the back of his mail truck for several blocks. We’d also just hop the back fenders of moving cars occasionally.  I think all of us could hop off the back of a car moving at 30 miles per hour without falling. On really snowy days we would just grab a passing vehicle and slide on our shoes for blocks on the snow-packed streets. Budgar hollered at me a couple of times about my needing to walk and not shuffle my feet as I was going through shoes way to fast. Little did he know…. I remember putting linoleum inside my shoes to make it through the summer and not need new shoes until winter.

I attended all three years of Junior High at Jordan starting with 7th grade in 1962 and completing 9th grade in 1965. It was the longest I ever attended a school. There were a couple of excursions during that time, but more about them later. I remember school lunches at Jordan (after my grandmother moved out) or any other school I ever attended.

Photo of Mr. Goodrich in 1963
Mr. Goodrich in 1963 Source: Jordanian 1963

By the time I got to the 9th grade, I was pretty much incorrigible and continually battled with Budgar and with my teachers. I had a Home Room teacher named Mr. Goodrich. He and I didn’t get along at all. I think I received the paddle from him every day for two weeks straight. I am sure I was the bane of his existence in 1965. Within the 20-minute homeroom period, I pretty much always smarted off. Sometimes, I’d be sent down to the Vice-principal’s (Mr. Carlson’s) office, but mostly, Mr. Goodrich and I would step out into the hallway, and he’d give me from one to three good swats with a paddle, depending upon what I had done. For me, it was something of a game and a mark of status in the school.

Music Room, Jordan Jr. High (c. 1937)

During junior high, I learned that I was good at almost everything scholastic and I didn’t need to study. I did great in science and math, very good in history, civics, and social studies, and about average in English. I was a klutz in sports. Even though I once did 1000 sit-ups without stopping, I couldn’t climb a rope up 20 feet in gym class. (I had core strength but no upper body strength). I did well in the shop classes they had, particularly well in print shop but I still did okay in woodworking and metal shop as well. I got a few stitches in my head because in woodshop someone came around the corner with the base for a soapbox derby car and smacked me in the head by accident. I was also in the school orchestra and learned how to play the cello using a school-owned instrument. I had enough skill that my orchestra teacher suggested I try out for the Minneapolis Junior Symphony Orchestra. I asked Budgar to buy a cello for me. Of course, he wouldn’t. I had to have my own instrument to be considered for the Junior Symphony and couldn’t afford one on my newspaper delivery income, so I never had a chance to try out. I wonder how different my life would have been had he purchased that cello… I still love the sound of the cello; it is my favorite instrument.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, MN (1924 photo)

I remember gaining some “cred” when a school bully was picking on skinny little me. (I was probably over 6 foot and under 135 pounds in 9th grade.) We were to meet in the alley behind Frank’s Grocery store, a half a block from the school.  He and I fought; there were probably 50 kids there to see the fight. My first punch was a lucky punch that broke his nose; after that, I kept hitting on it whenever I could. Blood everywhere. Don hit me a few times but nothing damaging. After a few minutes of fighting, the police showed up, and everybody ran. Neither Don nor any of the other school kids messed with me after that. I didn’t look for fights, and they didn’t look for me either.

Jordan Junior High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Photo of Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985
Jordan Jr. High during demolition, 1985.

Jordan Junior High was at 29th and Irving Avenues in North Minneapolis. It was named after Charles Morison Jordan, a Superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. The school opened in 1922. It was razed in 1985. Today the school location is Jordan Park. Next to it is the Hmong International Academy.


[i] Budgar is a combination of “Bud” my step-father’s nickname and “Edgar” his actual first name. In the 1960s, I always called him “Bud,” and I learned to call him “Budgar” later in life.

Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – The Browns & Others

Veterans Day – 11/11/2013 – The Browns & Others

The Civil War had a dreadful impact upon the Brown and Mannin families.  Enoch Mannin, a Kentucky native, fought for the North as did his son John William Manning,  Other of Enoch’s sons fought for the South making the Civil War one truly of brother fighting brother. 

Enoch Mannin (1823-1971) – Civil War (Union) – Third-Great Grandfather.

US Flag (35 Stars) during Civil War.
Enoch enrolled as a Private in Company E, 40th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry at Grayson, Kentucky, on 29 August 1863 for one year.  He had black eyes, black hair, a dark complexion and 5′ 6″ tall. 
His military record indicates that he was captured by Morgan in May/June 1864. Not sure yet when he was released, but he was discharged when his regiment mustered out of service on 29 December, 1864 at Leattettsburg, KY. 
The 40th Regiment had the following actions:

Scout duty in north central Kentucky until December 1863. 
Actions at Mt. Sterling December 3 and 10, 1863. 
Scouting in eastern Kentucky until May 1864. 
Near Paintsville, Ky., April 14, 1864. 
Operations against Morgan May 31-June 20. 
Mt. Sterling June 9. Cynthiana June 12. 
Duty in eastern Kentucky until September. 
Near New Haven August 2 (Company C). 
Canton and Roaring Springs August 22. 
Burbridge’s Expedition into southwest Virginia September 10-October 17.
Action at Saltville, Va., October 2. 
Duty in eastern Kentucky until December 1864.

Enoch Mannin died on 7 April, 1907. He is buried in Bridgeman Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota. Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.  
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John William Mannin (aka John William Manning) (1846-1888) – Civil War (Union) – 3rd-Great Grandfather.

US Flag (35 Stars) during Civil War.
John William Mannin (later Manning) enlisted 29 Aug 1863 at Olive Hill, Carter, Kentucky, USA into the 45th Regiment, Kentucky Mounted Infantry at the age of 17. His father, Enoch Mannin, gave his consent to enlist. John William was taller than his father, 5’ 9” tall.  He had blue Eyes, light hair, and a fair complexion. In September mustered into the 40th Infantry Regiment, Kentucky like his father was also in Company E. Like his father, he was captured by Morgan in May/June 1863.  He mustered out on 30 December, 1864 at Catlettsburg, Boyd County, Kentucky.
John William Manning died 25 April, 1888. We do not know where he was buried.

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Henry Brown (aka William Henry Brown)  (1845-unk) – Civil War (Union) – 2nd-Great Grandfather.
Michigan State Flag
Henry Brown Enlisted as a private into the Union.  It is likely that he is the William Henry Brown that enlisted into 4th Regiment, Michigan Cavalry.  
Of a total force of 2,217 men, 3 officers and 48 enlisted men were killed or mortally wounded in battle, and 2 officers and 341 enlisted men perished from disease for a total loss of almost 1 in 5 (18%) dying during the war.
The 4th Michigan Cavalry was involved in the capture of Macon, Georgia, on April 20, 1865, Subsequently, a detachment of the regiment participated in the pursuit and capture of Jefferson Davis at Irwinville, Georgia, on May 10. 
The 4th was assigned to routine duty at Macon and then at Nashville, Tennessee, until the end of June. The regiment mustered out on July 1, 1865.
William Henry Brown’s death and burial location are unknown, however, he is believed to be buried in North Dakota.
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Richard Earl Brown (aka Clifford Brown) (aka Richard Earl Durand) (1903-1990) – No War (Army) – Grandfather.
Shoulder insignia for
the 193rd Infantry
Brigade the largest
force in Panama in the
Little is known about Richard Earl’s military service.  We are unsure which name he used in the military and when he actually went in.  We are fairly certain that he served more than six months but did not serve during any declared war.  We know from oral history that he served in the Army and was in Panama when Donna was in Panama sometime before 1932. 
Searches for his military records have not been successful.  
“Dick” is buried at Gull River Cemetery, Cass County, Minnesota. 
Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave virtual marker.  

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The Steps

Although not related directly to me, my “steps” are of interest to my half siblings and my mother’s half brother’s family.
They include two veterans  for whom I have some information.

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Samson Clark Amsterdam (1898-1979) – World War I and World War II – Step Grandfather.

Sammy is the only individual I have found so far that served in two wars.  
On 21 November, 1917, he enlisted in the Army in Brooklyn, New York.  We know he served at 
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Harford, Maryland and was discharged from there on 23 May, 1919.
On 17 October, 1942, he enlisted in the Army at Lubbock, Texas. He is described as having brown eyes, black hair, a ruddy complexion, and 5 feet two inches tall. 
In August of 1943 he was promoted to sergeant and discharged on 4 November 1944 with the Army speciality of “Entertainment Director.”
Sammy died 16 April, 1979, and is buried at Riverside Cemetery, Macon, Bibb County, 
Please consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave Memorial.  Also, request a photo of his Marker.

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Edgar Jerome Matson (aka “Bud”) (1925-2003) – World War II – Step-Father

World War II
Recruiting Poster
“Budger” enlisted in the Army on 23 March, 1944. His Serial Number was 37590415. He was reenlisted on 1 Nov 1946 while a Private First Class. He was promoted to SGT US Army prior to his honorable discharge on 2 February 1949.
He died 12 November, 2003 and is buried at Fort Snelling National Cemetery, Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota.

Please visit his memorial on Find a Grave and consider leaving virtual flowers and a note on his Find-a-Grave Memorial.