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Bob Lind, Published February 10 2013

Lind: ND man proud of his penmanship

The Forum recently carried a story about California schools that are teaching kids in third grade how to write longhand despite today’s computer-driven technology.

That brings up items Neighbors has carried about the penmanship classes taught at the old Dakota Business College, Fargo.

Here’s another memory of them. It comes from John Stewart, Gardner, N.D., a DBC student who became a DBC penmanship instructor. A sample of his skill is shown here.

“Prior to DBC,” John writes, “my teachers in elementary and high school sometimes had trouble reading my writing because of my poor penmanship.”

John took a two-year program at DBC. After some papers he turned in were highly rated, he asked the college’s president, F. Leland Watkins, if he could take ornamental writing. “F.L.” as Watkins was called by the students, agreed, and became John’s primary penmanship instructor.

John went on to get a degree in business administration at Drake University in Florida, all the while being encouraged by F.L. After John graduated, F.L. asked him to teach at DBC, which he did for two years.

John says F.L. and the college “left a fantastic legacy. Business colleges across the country used to compete in penmanship skills, and DBC always won.

“Many banks and businesses in North Dakota and several other states sought DBC students for employment, not only for their penmanship, but also for their accounting skills, mathematical accuracy and proficiency.

“I am proud to say I am a DBC student,” John says, “and my penmanship is proof of my attending there.”


If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107; fax it to (701) 241-5487; or email blind@forumcomm.com