- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - A noted North Dakota historian who was the state’s first official archivist has died.

Frank Vyzralek, who owned a private research company for the last 30 years, was active in researching and publishing state and regional history. He helped found the North Dakota Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

Vyzralek died Friday at St. Alexius Medical Center in Bismarck, the Bismarck Tribune reported (https://bit.ly/1fSCHjR). He was 75.

“There is a whole series of people who Frank has touched throughout the years,” said Mark Halvorson, curator of collections research for the State Historical Society of North Dakota. “Wherever you were, he’d point out what happened in the area at various points in history and he’d tie it all together and explain the repercussions they had to this day.”

Halvorson, who worked with Vyzralek for more than a quarter of a century and viewed him as a mentor, said Vyzralek made his mark in every part of the state.

“There wasn’t a county seat or small town in North Dakota that Frank had not been in advising all sorts of people on how to preserve their history … how it speaks to us and allows us to dream for the future,” he said.

Vyzralek was born in Alexandria, Minn. In 1939. He attended Fargo public schools, graduated from North Dakota State University and came to work as a researcher for the state historical society in 1969.

He became an archivist for the agency in 1971 and in 1977 was appointed to a new position of state archivist. Vyzralek left the historical society in 1981. Since that time, he owned Great Plains Research, a private research company.

Vyzralek in 2008 received the Larry Rowen Remele Award at the Northern Great Plains History Conference.

“He was a person who understood that it takes a wide variety of people to make things work, everyone from the volunteer at the local museum to the academic at NDSU … to help preserve the history of North Dakota and her people,” Halvorson said. “Frank was a firm believer in working together. He will be sorely missed by a wide variety of people.”

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Information from: Bismarck Tribune, https://www.bismarcktribune.com


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