Keith V. Bacon

Page 1.  K. V. Bacon Dies at 64.  Keith V. Bacon, owner of the Dacotah Hotel and a life-long resident of Grand Forks, died at 3 a.m. today (May 13, 1964) in his hotel apartment here after a long illness.  Mr. Bacon went to Rochester, Minn., in mid-January for treatment of a throat ailment of long standing.  He underwent surgery, and went back to Rochester early in April.  His death came after a second operation which occurred a month ago.

Services Set.  In accordance with Mr. Bacon’s wish, Christian Science services will be read in the Red River Ranch Room of the Dacotah Hotel at 11 a.m. Saturday by Mrs. Julius Bacon, his aunt, of Watertown, S. D.  The body will lie in state at the Norman Funeral Home in Grand Forks Friday afternoon, evening, and in the Dacotah Ranch Room for an hour before the service on Saturday.  Burial will be in Memorial Park Cemetery.

Active in Politics.  Active in local political circles, Mr. Bacon had been the spokesman for the Association of Grand Forks Taxpayers and similar groups here for many years.  He achieved his principal goal in the political arena when the Bacon-led taxpayers’ group upset city manager government in Grand Forks in the 1963 special election.  In earlier years, Mr. Bacon also had been prominent in the North Dakota and Northwestern Hotel Associations.

Born Here in 1900.  Keith Van Bacon was born April 5, 1900 in Grand Forks and lived here all his life except for a period in 1942 and 1943 when he was a commercial instructor in a naval contract aviation school at Hibbing, Minn.  His home was his “castle” and his castle was the Dacotah Hotel where he lived all his life.  His father, the late Jerry D. Bacon, founder of the first Dacotah Hotel, also had made the hotel his home.  The earliest Dacotah Hotel, built in 1888-89, was destroyed by fire Dec. 17, 1897 and fire also took the second Dacotah in 1943.  The latest version of the Dacotah, built during World War II days, was built by Keith Bacon and was owned by him at his death.

Married in 1947.  Mr. Bacon attended Lake Geneva, Wis. prep school and later graduated from Grand Forks Central High School.  He later attended the University of North Dakota two years.  He was married Nov. 22, 1947 to Miss Coleen E. Shaner of Palmyra, N. J., who survives him.  The hotel business, aviation and politics provided a busy life for Bacon.  The hotel was his

Page 8.  prime interest as it had been his father’s and the name “Dacotah Hotel” had been widely known for many years throughout the Upper Midwest.

Headed Hotel Groups.  He was past president of the North Dakota Hotel Association, the North Dakota Hotel and Restaurant Association, presiding at the national convention in Des Moines, Ia., while serving in 1955-56.  Mr. Bacon was a member of the Grand Forks Country Club, the Elks Lodge and the United Commercial Travelers.  Mr. Bacon had flown an airplane since 1919 and had owned and flown his plane to all parts of the country for many years.  His brother, the late J. Myron Bacon, had been a flier with the British forces in World War I.

Fascinated by Politics.  Politics, especially on a municipal level, had fascinated Bacon for many years and he became the city’s leading opponent of the city manager form of government.  He helped defeat the manager plan at an election in 1938 and again in 1940 before it was placed in effect in 1947.  Bacon and those associated with him lost their fight in 1958 against manager government and also lost a proposal to institute the commission form of government that year.  But his turn came in 1963, when at a special election March 18, the city manager form of government was overwhelmingly defeated.  Bacon was the chief spokesman for the Association of Grand Forks Taxpayers which led the anti-manager form campaign.  Meanwhile, at the general election in November, 1962, Bacon had a fling at state politics, losing in a three-way race for state representative from the Sixth Legislative District.  He ran as an independent.  Mr. Bacon is also survived by a nephew, Cole Bacon, in California, and an uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Julius F. Bacon, Watertown, S. D.  Memorials may be given to the First Church of Christ Scientist.  (Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday, May 13, 1964, Volume 84, Number 195, Page 1)


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