Proctor, Minnesota

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Proctor, Minnesota
Motto: You Have a Place in Proctor
Location of the city of Proctorwithin Saint Louis County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Proctor
within Saint Louis County, Minnesota
Coordinates: 46°44′36″N 92°13′32″W / 46.74333°N 92.22556°W / 46.74333; -92.22556
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Saint Louis
 • Total 3.00 sq mi (7.77 km2)
 • Land 3.00 sq mi (7.77 km2)
 • Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation 1,250 ft (381 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 3,057
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 3,054
 • Density 1,019.0/sq mi (393.4/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55810
Area code(s) 218
FIPS code 27-52630[4]
GNIS feature ID 0662232[5]

Proctor is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,057 at the 2010 census.[6]

The city was established as Proctorknott in 1894, with the name coming from J. Proctor Knott, former Governor of Kentucky (1883–1887). He became famous for delivering the speech The Untold Delights of Duluth to the U.S. House of Representatives. The name of the city was shortened to Proctor in 1904.[7]

Proctor's welcome sign on U.S. Highway 2 states "You Have a Place in Proctor".


Downtown Proctor along
U.S. Highway 2

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.00 square miles (7.77 km2), all of it land.[1]

U.S. Highway 2 and County Road 14 (Boundary Avenue) are two of the main routes in Proctor. Interstate Highway 35 is in close proximity to the city. Other main routes in Proctor include 2nd Street, 2nd Avenue (Lavaque Road), and 5th Street.

Proctor is located beside the Bayview Heights neighborhood of Duluth, with which it forms something of a contiguous community unit due to Bayview Heights' topographical separation (the hill) from adjacent West Duluth. It is bounded by school rival Hermantown to the north, Midway Township to the west, Duluth's Bayview Heights neighborhood to the east, and a mostly undeveloped area of Duluth (officially in the Riverside neighborhood) to the south.

Kingsbury Creek flows through the central portion of Proctor. Knowlton Creek flows through the southeast part of Proctor.

Major highways[edit]


Proctor is the home of the South Saint Louis County Fairgrounds, located on Boundary Avenue.

The South Saint Louis County Fair takes place annually the second week of August. Some of the events at the Fair include karaoke contests, a teen dance, car show, petting zoo, pony rides, bull riding, carnival rides, 4-H exhibits, horse shows, lumberjack show, and stock car racing.

Auto Racing at the Proctor Speedway also takes place at this same location on Sundays from May to October.

The Proctor Hoghead Festival also takes places every August. Hoghead celebrates Proctor's railroad heritage - the world's largest inland iron ore sorting facilities. Railroad oriented events include hand car races, spike driving contests, golden spike treasure hunt, parade, fireworks, mile run (prizes for beating state record), food & craft vendors, games, car show, rib cook-off, street dance, pet parade, softball & golf tourneys, Ecumenical church service, kids games, and community picnic.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 784
1910 2,243 186.1%
1920 2,378 6.0%
1930 2,521 6.0%
1940 2,468 −2.1%
1950 2,693 9.1%
1960 2,963 10.0%
1970 3,123 5.4%
1980 3,180 1.8%
1990 2,974 −6.5%
2000 2,852 −4.1%
2010 3,057 7.2%
Est. 2014 3,081 [8] 0.8%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 3,057 people, 1,268 households, and 795 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,019.0 inhabitants per square mile (393.4/km2). There were 1,361 housing units at an average density of 453.7 per square mile (175.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.8% White, 0.2% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 1.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

There were 1,268 households of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.8% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.3% were non-families. 30.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.90.

The median age in the city was 41.4 years. 20.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 29.7% were from 45 to 64; and 16.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.3% male and 50.7% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census of 2000,[4] there were 2,852 people, 1,196 households, and 772 families residing in the city. The population density was 942.8 people per square mile (363.4/km²). There were 1,246 housing units at an average density of 411.9 per square mile (158.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 96.49% White, 0.14% African American, 1.16% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 1.40% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.74% of the population. 19.8% were of German, 17.9% Norwegian, 10.3% Swedish, 7.3% French, 7.0% Finnish, 6.2% Polish, 6.0% Irish and 5.4% Italian ancestry.

There were 1,196 households out of which 28.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.4% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 86.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,322, and the median income for a family was $49,875. Males had a median income of $33,583 versus $22,035 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,851. About 3.2% of families and 5.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.5% of those under age 18 and 5.9% of those age 65 or over.


Proctor's public school district is ISD 704 (Proctor Public Schools). The district encompasses the city of Proctor, the Bayview Heights neighborhood of Duluth, and Canosia, Grand Lake, Midway, and Solway townships. ISD 704 operates three elementary schools (Bayview Heights, Caribou Lake, and Pike Lake), Jedlicka Middle School, and Proctor High School.

Proctor High School's first graduating class was 1912. The first graduates were Mayme Nelson, Belle Simkin, Leona Paulu-Salutatorian, Margaret Bomier-Valedictorian and Vernie Clark.

The Mascot "Rails"[edit]

Proctor High School athletic teams are called the Rails. The first picture of a "Rail" was found in the 1920 Proctorian yearbook. This simple drawing was located in the first pages of that book and depicted a "fast moving engine". It was drawn by Harry MacKenzie. Harry MacKenzie was Proctor’s first state level athlete. He won the first athletic competition Proctor ever participated in by winning the cross-country race in against a combined Duluth schools team in Duluth fall of 1917. He went on and in the spring of 1918 won the state track meet in the 1/2 mile and second place in the mile race. Harry not only excelled in sports but also in the classroom. Harry drew much of the art work for the early Proctorians until his graduation in 1921.

The next location of an engine was found on the Mallet school paper established in 1925. The staff used the Duluth Missabe and Northern #208 and placed it on the front page of the 1926 issue. The 208 was one of two original "Mallets" purchased by the DM&N. The students said it "represented the spirit behind the students of Proctor...strength and determination". In 1943 The Mallet used an engine that was to become the standard for the next 50 plus years. There was a search for an engine that would be the Pride of Proctor. The selection was made to honor the first engine to Proctor. The engine was the Duluth Missabe and Northern # 15. The #15 was used to transport the first iron ore through Proctor on July 22, 1893. The #15 was a 4-6-0 type of engine built in 1893 and was used until 1933. This engine was an engraving of the engine #15. This engraving became "the symbol" of the Proctor Rails. It represented the proud, dignified and strong image of the rich tradition of this great school district created by the foresight and dedication of the people of the district, the students and the leadership of Superintendent A. I. Jedlicka.

The engraving was received via John Benson at the Proctor Journal.

School Colors are "Missabe Green" and "Class of 1912 White"[edit]

The Proctor school colors have a "colorful" history. The Duluth Missabe and Northern Railway built and maintained the original West Side School (Proctor High School). The wood on the original West Side School (Proctor High School) was painted Duluth Missabe and Northern green. Since this dark green paint was in abundance on the railroad, it was the color used on the passenger cars. Therefore, it was only natural that this color be used on the "railroad’s high school" as well.

In 1918, upon the arrival of the students into the "new" high school on the east side of town, the student body selected to use the dark green of the "old" building and the white. The white came from the class of 1912 graduates use of white, while receiving their diplomas in their "official" graduation photo. This was to be a sign of commitment, lasting recognition and deep appreciation for the faith the students took in the opportunity to stay in Proctor; also for their high school years from 1908-1917. Dark green was selected as the official school color along with white.

These school colors have been consistent in each of the three Proctor High School buildings.

1. Immanuel Lutheran Church is standing on the original site.

2. Most Proctor High School aged students attended and graduated from either Duluth Central or Duluth Denfeld during this period of time.

There cheer team consists of Michelle ware and Presley Eldein and captains.

The Proctorian[edit]

The first volume of the Proctorian yearbook was published in 1918. The advisor was Mr. D. W. Hiestand, Principal. 1918 also marked the first year in the new east side high school building. The new building allowed many new ideas to be used by the students including inter-scholastic athletics.

The name Proctorian was selected for the yearbook in a student contest. The judges were Mr. W. F. Morong, Mr. C. B. Gilbert and Mr. H. H. Peyton. The winning student was Charles Bouschor, class of 1922.

Volume One of the Proctorian states, "This is the first publication of the senior annual of Proctor High School. This issue should be prized above all others as it marks the founding of a new enterprise" It is also dedicated to Principal Dwight W. Hiestand, "A faithful advisor and friend." The cover of this book was designed by Harry MacKenzie. The cost was 75 cents and 150 were published.

The Proctorian was not published in 1919 as Mr. E. C. Grubbs, Superintendent of Proctor Public Schools placed the school district into a financial debt. The State of Minnesota removed Mr. Grubbs and sent Mr. A. I. Jedlicka to put the district on a firm foundation. Sadly, this financial debt, the loss of Mr. Hiestand-(Principal and the founder of Proctor inter-scholastic athletics) to Aurora High School, not to mention that the school year did not start until November 25 due to the Spanish influenza - Proctor High School was used as a hospital, did not allow the class of 1919 to publish their annual. The Proctorian continued from 1920 through 1923. There was not a Proctorian from 1924 - 1941. The Proctorian was again published in 1942 and has continued in this proud tradition till this day.

A unique quality of the first Proctorian is that each member of the class held a position as yearbook staff: William Harrison, Editor-in-Chief; Werl Smith, Assistant Editor; Henry Eiler, Business Manager; Royal Bouschor, Athletic Editor; Ruby McTaggart, Cartoonist; Ruth Barncard, Art Editor; Ruth Carlson, Social Editor; Brenda Stewart, Assistant Social Editor; Hilda Ferguson Treasurer.

The Mallet[edit]

The Proctor High School newspaper received its start in the fall of 1925 by the faculty of the high school. "The newspaper, according to the tentative plan was to be published twice a month and deal with the activities of the students and faculty of the Proctor schools."

A Board of Faculty Advisors composed of Superintendent A. I. Jedlicka, Miss Auman, and Miss VanHoeson was put in place to make this paper possible.

"A great many of the High Schools in the State publish a weekly paper," Mr. Jedlicka said, "and this paper is the result of a great deal of punch on the part of both the students and faculty which groups have both wanted the paper."

The Mallet was first published on October 9, 1925 as the official publication of the Proctor public schools. Miss Helen Tormoen is the editor-in-chief and Sammy Spurbeck is the business manager in 1925. The paper consisted of four pages, 9 X 12 inches and is entirely edited by high school students. The cost was eight cents each.

"The mission of the paper is principally to encourage interest in the school and its activities, especially the athletic department. A school letter can now be won by intellectual prowess as well as athletic."

The name Mallet was selected as it reflected strength and determination of the nature of the students and citizens of Proctor.

(From 1928, through the mid-1940s, The Mallet was printed in the Proctor Journal and not as an independent paper.)

Items of Interest[edit]

  • Mr. A. I. Jedlicka was the longest-tenured superintendent in state history and Mr. Spencer was the longest tenured principal in state history.
  • The first use of academic, scholastic and tournament "patches" were first seen on Proctor letter jackets.
  • The first interscholastic athletic competition was a cross-country meet against a combined team from Duluth. In 1917, a school Cross Country Team composed of William Harrison, Henry Eiler, Royal Bouschor, Walter Long, Theodore Stark, Harry McKenzie, Kermit Davis, and Roy Carson was organized and competed in an outdoor run with the Men’s Department of the Duluth Y.M.C.A. The Proctor boys won this meet and Harry McKenzie finished in first place by a long distance. This marked the first important athletic event in which Proctor High School contested with an outside rival.
  • Proctor High School was used as a hospital in the fall of 1918 as a result of the Spanish Influenza and the Fire of 1918, for 7 weeks. School was not started until November 25, 1918.
  • Between 1919 and 1921, the Proctor girls’ basketball team played the Duluth Teacher’s College three times. The Proctor girls won all three games. As a result, the college team would no longer play them. (Nor would the high school team from Coleraine.)
  • Proctor was the first school in Minnesota to transport non-resident students in 1925.
  • Proctor High School was the first school to use "pomp pomp" girls in northeastern Minnesota. This was the result of the Band trip to Pasadena in 1948.
  • The town was the site of the 2009 motorized recliner incident, where local resident Dennis LeRoy Anderson received worldwide attention for being arrested for operating a motorised recliner while under the influence of alcohol.

Youth Sports[edit]

Hockey - Proctor Amateur Hockey Association works to promote a fun, fair, and safe environment that maximizes participation and improves players' skills while developing sportsmanship, teamwork, and self-confidence.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-13. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-05-28. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 Census. Retrieved 23 April 2011. 
  7. ^ "Minnesota Place Names - Township and Village Information". Minnesota Place Names. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 23 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°44′50″N 92°13′32″W / 46.74722°N 92.22556°W / 46.74722; -92.22556