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75 years later, Forepaw remembered

The Boundary Historical Society held a grave dedication at the Phoenix Cemetery.
Boundary Historical Society president Les Johnson. (Kathleen Saylors/Grand Forks Gazette)

Boundary Historical Society president Les Johnson speaks to a small group at the Phoenix Cemetery on Sunday afternoon for the grave dedication of Adolph Sercu, also known as Forepaw. Forepaw was one of the last bachelors of Phoenix as it faded from a bustling mining town to a ghost town, and his grave dedication was performed on the 75th anniversary of his death in in 1942. Originally from Belgium, Forepaw came to North America early in life and remained in Phoenix for most of his life. Originally working in mining (but holding “nearly every job imaginable”), Forepaw was the “chief constable” and caretaker of Phoenix until his death. Forepaw was the last of the three Phoenix bachelors to finally get a grave marker. The grave marker was supported by the Sercu family, the Flemish-Canadian Circle of Friends, the Boundary Historical Society and many individual donors.