Created By: North Dakota State University
Samuel Crabbe, born in Wisconsin to a merchant and his wife, came to Fargo in 1891. Sam had his civil engineering degree from University of Wisconsin and his first job in Fargo was to oversee the paving of Fargo’s first street. Broadway was to be paved with wooden blocks. As Fargo City Engineer, Crabbe had an office in City Hall and lived a few blocks west of his work. In the photo from 1897 blocks of wood can be seen floating down flooded Front Street (now Main) in Fargo.
Sam had an interesting hobby outside of work: dairy cows. He purchased C.W. Darling’s farm when the Darlings left for California and then ordered seven purebred Jersey cows from the Island of Jersey just off the coast of France in the English Channel. Crabbe’s stock became one of the top herds in America and his friendship with North Dakota Agricultural College (later NDSU) is said to have heavily influenced the growth of the dairy aspect of ag teaching.
Crabbe’s best producing cow, Noble’s Golden Marguerite, produced 977 pounds of butterfat in 1922, setting a ND record. When Marguerite passed away in 1932, NDAC’s President Sheppard suggested she be buried in front of the Dairy Building. Her grave was marked with a plaque that is still on display in front of Sheppard Arena at NDSU, though Marguerite herself is still buried in her original location, now the home of NDSU Geology Department.
When Crabbe left Fargo, the city was at his doorstep, having moved further south to near today's 17th Ave S. Crabbe broke his property into city lots, selling some to the City of Fargo. This portion would become part of Linden Woods, later Lindenwood Park.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Walk with the Dead: Fargo's Riverside Cemetery