North Dakota State Normal and Industrial School
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North Dakota State Normal and Industrial School

The North Dakota State Normal and Industrial School at Ellendale was a state-supported institution of higher learning located in Ellendale, North Dakota. Provisions were established for its creation at the North Dakota Constitutional Convention in 1889. The school's original name was the State Manual Training School, and this is reflected in the large molded concrete marquee on the west end of the campus Armory building, which reads "MTS." In 1907, with permission of the state legislature, the school's name was changed to "State Normal and Industrial School" and the term "SNI" was adopted as a moniker. In playful style, Students and staff soon adopted the word "Snitcher" for themselves. The yearbook (first published in 1913) was the first of many to be titled "The Snitcher."

Though the school received its legislative charter in 1889, no construction was commenced for nearly ten years. In 1899, the first building was completed, and classes began that fall. The first three graduates (all women) received their certificates in 1901.

The school remained a state institution until 1972, serving as a regional center for industrial arts training and the preparation of teachers. Following a fire in January 1970 which destroyed two of the school's main buildings, legislative support collapsed, and a new owner was sought for the campus. In 1972 a statewide referendum permitted the alteration of the North Dakota Constitution to transfer the school to Trinity Bible Institute (later Trinity Bible College), which had formerly been located in Jamestown.

The college's history was marked by low enrollment, limited state support, and changes in its name and assigned mission. In 1965 the school was attached to the University of North Dakota, and became known as "Ellendale Center -- University of North Dakota." The campus finally closed in 1971.


  • Robinson, Elwyn B. (1966). History of North Dakota. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 314-315.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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