Caldwell, Erskine, 1903-87, American author, b. White Oak, Ga. His realistic and earthy novels of the rural South include Tobacco Road (1933), God's Little Acre (1933), This Very Earth (1948), and Summertime Island (1969). Among his volumes of short stories are Jackpot (1940) and Gulf Coast Stories (1956). With his second wife, Margaret Bourke-White, he published You Have Seen Their Faces (1937), about Southern sharecroppers.

See E. T. Arnold, ed., Conversations with Erskine Caldwell (1988); biography by D. B. Miller (1995); study by J. E. Devlin (1984).

Erskine, Ebenezer, 1680-1754, founder of the Secession Church in Scotland, minister of Portmoak, Kinross-shire (1703) and of Stirling (1731). He upheld the right of the people to make their own choice of pastors, for which he was censured, suspended, and deposed (1733). With three other ministers he set up an Associate Synod, which was the origin of the Secession Church. In 1736 they reaffirmed their separation, but they were not ejected from their churches until 1740. After the split within the Associate Synod over the religious oaths required of burgesses of Scottish cities, Erskine became a leader of the Burghers.
Erskine, John, 1509-91, Scottish reformer, called Erskine of Dun. After several years on the Continent he returned to Scotland, where he introduced the study of Greek in Scottish schools. He was the friend and firm supporter of John Knox and George Wishart. Erskine was a witness at the marriage (1557) of Mary Queen of Scots to Francis II of France and a participant in the coronation (1567) of James VI at Stirling. As a member of a noble family and a person of gracious manner, he was a valuable intermediary between the reforming party and Mary and, later, James. Although a layman, he was several times moderator of the general assembly of the Scottish Reformed Church. In 1578 he took part in compiling the Second Book of Discipline and in 1579 became a member of the king's council.
Erskine, John, 1695-1768, Scottish jurist and professor (1737-65) of Scots law in the Univ. of Edinburgh. He is best known for his authoritative Institutes of the Law of Scotland (1754). His Principles of the Law of Scotland was published posthumously in 1773.
Erskine, John, 1721?-1803, Scottish theologian. A leader of the evangelical party in the Church of Scotland, he was minister successively at Kirkintilloch, Culross, and New Greyfriars Church, Edinburgh, until, in 1767, he became the colleague of Dr. William Robertson at Old Greyfriars. He corresponded with many representatives of foreign churches, including Jonathan Edwards, whose works he edited and published in Great Britain.
Erskine, John, 1879-1951, American educator, author, and musician, b. New York City, grad. Columbia (B.A., 1900; Ph.D., 1903). He taught first at Amherst (1903-9) and then at Columbia, becoming professor of English in 1916. Among his many works on literature and music are The Literary Discipline (1923), The Delight of Great Books (1928), and What Is Music? (1944); he also edited scholarly works and served as coeditor of The Cambridge History of American Literature. He is best known for his delightful, satiric novels based on legend, including The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1925) and Galahad (1926). In his late 40s he began appearing as a concert pianist and from 1928 to 1937 was president of the Juilliard School of Music.

See his autobiographical The Memory of Certain Persons (1947), My Life as a Writer (1951), and My Life in Music (1950, repr. 1973).

Erskine, Robert, 1735-80, geographer and surveyor general to the American Revolutionary army, b. Dunfermline, Scotland. His several hundred detailed maps of the region W of the Hudson River, showing roads, buildings, and other details, were of much use to Gen. George Washington and remain historically valuable.
Erskine, Thomas, 1st Baron Erskine, 1750-1823, British jurist, b. Edinburgh. He was admitted to the bar in 1778. His eloquence and forensic skill won Erskine an enormous practice, during which he made notable contributions to commercial law. He is chiefly remembered for his defense of radicals at the time of the French Revolution, when prosecutions for sedition and libel were numerous. He defended Thomas Paine's publication of The Rights of Man against a charge of sedition, and his defense of the dean of St. Asaph led to a liberal revision (1792) of the laws of libel. Erskine served (1783-84, 1790-1806) in Parliament and was (1806-7) lord chancellor. He was elevated to the peerage in 1806.

Erskine is a city in Polk County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 437 at the 2000 census. It is part of the 'Grand Forks- ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area'.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square miles (2.6 km²). 0.7 square miles (1.9 km²) of its area is land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km²) is water.


As of the census of 2000, there were 437 people, 203 households, and 111 families residing in the city. The population density was 590.0 people per square mile (228.0/km²). There were 250 housing units with an average density of 130.4/km² (337.5/sq mi). The racial makeup of the city was 91.99% White, 0.23% African American, 5.49% Native American, and 2.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.23% of the population. The enthnicity of Erskine residents was as follows * : · Norwegian - 48% · German - 13% · Swedish - 12% · Chippewa - 4% · American Indian tribes, specified - 4% · Irish - 4% · Russian - 3% · Danish - 3% · French (except Basque) - 2% · Scottish - 2% · American Indian tribes, not specified - 2% · Italian - 1% · English - 1% · Scandinavian - 1%

Out of the 203 households, 25.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 10.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.3% were non-families. 42.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 25.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.15 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.6% under the age of 18, 6.6% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 26.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 84.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,771, and the median income for a family was $35,278. Males had a median income of $33,333 versus $19,375 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,122. About 17.3% of families and 18.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.8% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.

The population of Erskine was more than 800 in the 1920s. It hovered above 600 until the late 1960s, dipped to 571 (1970) and 585 (1980), and then plunged to 424 (1990), 428 (1995), and 437 (2000).


Downtown Erskine, c. 1910

Erskine's town festival is known as the Erskine Water Carnival, and is held in early June. The Erskine Fish, the concrete statue that is the world's largest Northern Pike and the town's principal tourist attraction, is located on a grassy lawn in a small park on the shore of Cameron Lake, just down the street from downtown Erskine. It is the hometown of actress and singer Jamie Foss, winner of 2004's Superstar USA. In addition, it is the center of a community of Russian Old Believers estimated at between 50 and 100 families. The Old Believers began moving to Erskine around 1998 in order to escape a farming crisis and suburban sprawl which threatened their community near Woodburn, Oregon.

Parks, Recreation and Public Facilities

The Rydell National Wildlife Refuge is located along County Road 238 approximately 3 miles west of Erskine and 2-1/2 miles south of U.S. Highway 2. The Win-E-Mac Golf Course is locate just east of town at the intersection of Highway 2 and U.S. Highway 59. The best local resort and fishing areas are Maple Lake, a lake near Mentor, Minnesota, and Maple Bay, Minnesota, as well as Union Lake and Lake Sarah, located a few miles west. Like many other lakes in other towns, Erskine's sewage was dumped into Cameron Lake until the Clean Water Act of 1970 forced the town to redirect its sewage to the new sewer plant near Badger Lake. Former residents and old-timers will recall that the shores of Cameron Lake were littered with dead fish in the old days. Today, the lake is much cleaner, and with the rising costs of lakeshore property in the area, there is an increase in development on the lakeshore.


Erskine is served by a consolidated multi-community K-12 school district known as "Win-E-Mac" (which represents McIntosh, Minnesota and Winger, Minnesota in addition to Erskine). The Old Believers operate their own educational facilities for children of their faith in the former K-12 Erskine public school buildings, which were decommissioned when Win-E-Mac opened its new facilities north of Erskine along Highway 59. A vocational and technical college is located in Thief River Falls. The nearest four-year colleges in the vicinity include a branch campus of the University of Minnesota in Crookston and Bemidji State University in Bemidji, in addition to the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks and North Dakota State University in Fargo.


Telephone and Internet Service

The oldest telephone cooperative in the state, Garden Valley Telephone Company, is headquartered in Erskine and serves most of northwestern Minnesota. It was formed to provide telephone coverage to the region at a time when it was difficult to get telephone service to the area. Garden Valley Telephone Company now provides internet service, although other ISPs also serve the area. The Erskine telephone prefix is 687, formerly Murray 7, with the area code being 218.


Erskine is home to the Erskine Echo, a weekly newspaper which began publishing before 1900. Other available weekly newspapers include the McIntosh Times and The 13 Towns (published in Fosston for the 13 townships of eastern Polk County). Area daily newspapers include the Crookston Times (Crookston), Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, North Dakota), The Forum (Fargo, North Dakota), The Bemidji Pioneer (Bemidji), and the Star Tribune (Minneapolis), available via subscription or in vendor boxes.

Radio and Television

Erskine has no radio or television stations, but nearby Fosston is home to three radio stations. Other radio and television stations from Bemidji, Crookston, Fargo, Grand Forks, Thief River Falls, and Winnipeg can be picked up in Erskine.


Roads and Highways

Erskine is located just west of the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and four-lane U.S. Highway 2, and is situated approximately 60 miles east of Interstate Highway 29 at Grand Forks, N.D., and 105 miles north of Interstate Highway 94 at Fergus Falls, Minn.

Air Transport

The nearest airports with commercial service are Bemidji (55 miles east), Thief River Falls (35 miles north) and Grand Forks (60 miles west). An uninstrumented grass airfield known as the Erskine Airport was in operation from 1954 until the early 1970s, but no longer exists. Nearby Fosston (12 miles east) and Crookston (20 miles west) both have private aviation airfields.

Rail Transport

Located at the historic junction of the Great Northern Railroad and the Soo Line Railroad, Erskine formerly appeared prominently on many national railroad maps and atlases which omitted much larger cities and towns in the vicinity. The tracks of both lines in and near Erskine now is owned by the Minnesota Northern Railroad, which provides connections to BNSF Railroad (formerly the Burlington Northern Railroad) and continues to provide freight services to sidings in and near Erskine. Erskine's freight depot, while still standing, is closed for business, and rail passenger service was discontinued many years ago.

Bus Services

Greyhound Bus Lines no longer serves Erskine, but Jefferson Lines has taken over the Fargo-Minneapolis route previously served by Greyhound. The Tri-Valley Heartland Express Bus provides scheduled weekly or bi-weekly service to Crookston, Bemidji, Thief River Falls and other destinations for seniors and others on an advance reservation basis.

Business and Manufacturing

Prior to 1980, Erskine's primary function was as a service community for the local agricultural community. In the early 1900s, the town boasted four grain elevators, an ice plant, a lumber mill and several blacksmith shops. Even as late as 1980, the town businesses included a grain elevator, a creamery, a lumber yard, a fuel delivery service, and several farm implement dealers, junkyards and repair shops. As family farming in the area declined, the agricultural services component has diminished as larger growers took their supply and services business to larger communities. Erskine continues as the home of Erskine Attachments, a manufacturer of snow blowers and grain drill hitches formerly known as Erskine Manufacturing Company. Other significant employers include Garden Valley Telephone Company and the Pioneer Home, a nursing home and retirement community. In 2008, Crookston-based Agassiz Energy, LLC, announced that it had postponed indefinitely its plans for a $58.5 million ethanol plant at the junction of the former Great Northern and Soo Line railroads, near the interchange of U.S. Routes 59 and 2. *


External links

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