Civil War Jacket Makes Its Way Home To Thief River Falls With NCTC Ceremony

On Thursday, November 10, at 12 p.m. in the Gunderson Commons at Northland Community and Technical College, a Civil War jacket will be presented to the City of Thief River Falls from the granddaughter of the soldier who once called Thief River Falls home. Sharon Quern of Grand Rapids, Minnesota will donate her grandfather’s Civil War uniform to Thief River Falls and to NCTC. Accepting the jacket on behalf of the City will be Mayor Brian Holmer, and accepting on behalf of the college will be Aliza Olson, Minnesota History Instructor who will place the uniform on display at the college.

Sharon Quern’s grandfather, the late Thief River Falls resident Samuel T. Johnson, wore the uniform as a soldier from Maine on the side of the North in the Civil War. He was wounded at the Battle of Fair Oaks in Virginia. He was discharged from the army, and moved to Minnesota. There is no record if the land he resided on north of Thief River Falls was in partial payment for Civil War duties. There is reference to S.T. Johnson in the Thief River Falls Times on several occasions. One mentioned he operated a confectionary store and barbershop. Another article mentioned him as one who helped build the community and served as justice of the peace. He died in Thief River Falls on September 10, 1922.

Jim Strandlie, retired NCTC Minnesota history teacher, has worked with the City to arrange for Aliza Novacek-Olson, the current Minnesota History teacher at NCTC, to create and maintain the uniform and artifacts in a display so that the students and greater community can view and appreciate. The event on Thursday will also feature Caleb Curfman, as speaker. Caleb was a student of history at NCTC and has visited Civil War sites this past summer. Please join us in honoring the veterans of Minnesota, both present and past, by attending this presentation in preservation of local military history.

The local VFW and American Legion will be attending. The public is welcome to attend the dedication.

Northland Community and Technical College (NCTC) is a comprehensive college with campuses in Thief River Falls, MN, and East Grand Forks, MN. NCTC also has an aerospace site in Thief River Falls, MN, and a satellite site in Roseau, MN. NCTC offers certificates, diplomas, transfer courses, two-year degrees (A.A.S., A.S., A.A.) in more than 80 areas of study, workforce training and education programs. NCTC is a member of Minnesota State, the fourth-largest system of two-year colleges and four-year universities in the United States, and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association. NCTC is an affirmative action, equal opportunity educator and employer. For more information about Northland Community & Technical College, visit or call 1.800.959.6282.