Our Home Farm:Essay Winner from Ponemah, 1912

By Cecilia McKeig


Alex Everywind, a full-blooded Chippewa Indian, represented Beltrami County at the state fair in September 1912 as the guest of the fair board. He was seventeen years old, a student in the sixth grade at the Ponemah school and lived on a farm in the Red Lake Indian reservation. In competition with all of the boys in Beltrami County between the ages of twelve and eighteen, Alex Everywind’s essay on “Our Home Farm” was selected as being the best.


The judges were W. B. Stewart, county superintendent of schools, A. E. Rako, county commissioner, and A. G. Wedge, Jr., vice-president of the First National Bank of Bemidji.


Mr. O. L. Breckner was head of the Ponemah school from 1911 to 1936 when it was not part of the public school system.


Alex was born on the reservation on June 7, 1895. After attending the day school at Ponemah, he went to the Government Boarding School at Tomah, Wisconsin. He worked for the Beltrami County School District in 1942 at the time of the WWII draft registration. He died in 1980. The name is sometimes spelled Everwind. Alex married and had a daughter Isabelle, who married George Burns in 1942 in Beltrami County. Isabelle’s surname was Everwind, although it was Everywind on the Red Lake census rolls in 1930-32.

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