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Full text of "History of the Red River Valley : past and present, including an account of the counties, cities, towns, and villages of the Valley from the time of their first settlement and formation"

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Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns 

and Villages of the Valley from the Time 

of Their First Settlement and 










I A 


Ames, Francis W 690 

Arnold, H. F 646 

Austinson, A. T 838 

Bogstad, Prof. R 816 

Bruce, Andrew A 974 

Burke, Gov. John Frontispiece 

Buttz, Maj. C. W 784 

Cashel, J. L 680 

Cavanagh, Dr. J. E 984 

Clifford, George B 992 

Concordia College 812 

Davy, W. H 830 

Deacon, William S 958 

DeReemer, J. B 1002 

Grand Forks, Looking North 616 

Gray, A. H 700 

Gronna, Asle J 670 

Hallock, Charles 938 

Hassell, L. K 624 

Hedenberg, R. R 848 

Konzen, Peter H 944 

LaMoure, Hon. Judson 664 

Larimore, Newel G 638 

Mackall, B. F 806 

Mahon, John 654 

McDonald, Donald 1060 

Merritt, W. H 1068 

Nash, William C .868 


Nelson, Edward 924 

Nelson, E. A 930 

Nisbet, Thomas 602 

Norman, M 630 

Northwestern Hospital, Moorhead 820 

Nyvoll, Eev. J. A 824 

Peirce, Joseph D 1082 

Perley, George C 1024 

Pugh, Thomas H 1040 

Eichardson, L. B 1090 

Bounsevell, Dr. A. P 1094 

Sandager, Andrew 730 

Schroeder, Henry 792 

Scott, J. W 592 

Sharp, Hon. James H 800 

Shirley, H. L 910 

Spriggs, William , . . 610 

Strandness, S 1116 

Sundberg, Hon. B. E 884 

Tandberg, Nels 1120 

Terrett, J. H 1012 

Thompson, Peter 826 

Titus, S. S 584 

Tofhagen, Amund C 672 

Wheeler, Edwin J 1144 

Wilder, Frank 1150 

Winterer, Herman 704 

Wisner, V. S 1050 


The First Settlement. 

We have now arrived at the period when settlers began to 
occupy the west side of Red river with the intention of establish- 
ing permanent settlements. With the spreading of the incoming 
population over the North Dakota side of the valley, this work 
is not specially concerned, excepting in so far as this immigration 
was confined to the limits of Grand Forks county with its present 
boundaries. That subject will presently be given considerable 
attention, since county histories, at least in the western states, 
are mainly concerned with settlements, phases of life and the 
progress in different decades of their material development. 

As viewed from the historic standpoint, Grand Forks county, 
relative to its progress for the last thirty years, may be said to 
present the following points as characteristic of this compara- 
tively brief period : Here was made the second settlement, so far 
as the occupation of a townsite is concerned, of white families in 
the state ; the first was made at Pembina by a part of the Selkirk 
colony about 1813. During the first seven or eight years of the 
period referred to, the settlement of the county progressed in a 
slow and fitful manner, not much advancement being made within 
that time to any particular distance west of Red river excepting 
up the course of Goose river. In the meantime, conditions were 
such that the agricultural development of the county was being 
held in abeyance. During most of this interval the history of 
the county is chiefly bound up in that of the settlement aii; Grand 
Forks. When, finally, its interior portion began to be occupied 
by the incoming settlers, it was along the timbered streams and 
not upon the open prairie that these earlier locations were made. 
Then, from one to two years later, a movement west from Grand 
Forks began by which the prairie lands were rapidly taken, this 
westward advancement of population being through the central 
part of the county, but with considerable deflection in some locali- 
ties north and south of the course of the main movement. In 
1880, the year that the railroad development of the county began, 
immigration into it commenced in earnest, the floodtide reaching 
had been quite generally overran and the most of its vacant lands 
high-water mark in 1882, so that by the year following the county 


filed upon. Toward the end its settlement progressed with accel- 
erated rapidity. 

Within about ten years after the initial settlement had been 
made, the railroad development of the county was begun and 
was completed to its present mileage in a little more than seven 
years. Within this second interval the existent towns and vil- 
lages of the county, built upon these lines, had their beginning 
and have been gradually building up since that time. The city 
of Grand Forks, especially, has made phenomenal progress since 
becoming a railroad center. Since 1882, yet more particularly 
within the last dozen years, the farms, generally, have been un- 
dergoing improvement, increasing in respect to what is really 
substantial valuation, and the aggregate wealth of the county 
has also increased until it is now rated as one of the wealthy 
ones of the state. Though considerable was brought in, the most 
of this wealth has been created here. 

Since the county was overrun by settlers, or what is more to 
the point, since the last decennial census, its gain in population 
has resulted more from what is called natural increase, and from 
the building up of the towns and peopling of the same by later 
comers than from any further occupation of land or division of 
farms into smaller holdings. Since 1883, speculation has sub- 
sided, society crystallized, education advanced and existing con- 
ditions along all lines have had time to become long and firmly 

Before speaking of the creation and organization of the 
county, it will be in order at this point to take a glance at the 
conditions existent here about the time that the first settlement 
was made within its present boundaries. We have only to go back 
about thirty years. In the case of counties originally well for- 
ested, and which contained swamps and small marshes capable of 
being drained, the changes that have been wrought in their phys- 
ical aspect within thirty or forty years after settlement have often 
been of a very marked character, but with counties like Grand 
Forks, the changes, though considerable, are more of a superficial 
nature, the result of town and other building, railroad construc- 
tion, cultivation of land, planting of artificial groves and hedge- 
rows on the farms and shade trees in the towns. 


Aspects and Conditions in 1870. 

There being no great amount of timber land in the county in 
comparison with its area, the greater portion of it lay in 1870 as 
wild prairie land exists in its primitive state. The natural prairie 
grass was short, only attaining a height suitable for use as hay in 
moist or wet places where there had been some gathering of the 
waters when the snow melted. Of wet, sedgy places, occupying 
shallow depressions of the prairie, there were then a far greater 
number of them than there are now. Interspersed with the. 
prairie grass there grew quite a variety of botanical plants, many 
of them of the flowering kind. The buffalo had but recently dis- 
appeared and had not been gone long enough for their wallows 
to have become grassed over or their trails obliterated, but the 
elk, antelope, coyote, fox, etc., still remained as denizens of the 
country. The gopher was not abundant, for the coyote and fox 
thinned their number. Thus these prairie lands lay vacant, 
awaiting the coming of the settler and the touch of the plow. 

There were then no claimants to the limited tracts of timber 
that border the interior streams of the county. The timber was 
more or less clogged in places, with the floatwood and flotage of 
these watercourses, the fallen and dead timber, vines and under- 
brush, and occasionally there were to be found a few fire-scarred 
and blackened trunks of trees still standing where they had 
grown. There were then to be seen in places along the streams 
the worn trails of the buffalo, where they had wended their way 
down the slopes to drink or to cross from the prairie on one side 
to that on the other. Where the banks were steep the herds 
made use of the coulees that occasionally occur in such places, 
in their movements in and out of the stream valleys. Followed 
upward, the trails were soon lost on the prairies, and upon any 
of the slopes they were deepened somewhat by winds and rains 
at the time that the buffaloes used them, and not wholly so by 
the treading of the animals themselves. 

In the spring and fall, wild fowl of all kinds that were birds 
of passage to this region, paused for awhile in and around the 
ponds and marshy places of the valley plain and higher back 
country, in large numbers, and with little probability of being 


disturbed by man, though it should be said that Indians and half- 
breeds occasionally visited the county during their hunting expe- 
ditions, but at that time there were but few even of these. In the 
same year also, there were a couple of cabins of white men at 
the forks of the river, the only habitations in the present county, 
and a well worn cart route passed the same point, the timbered 
banks of the stream each summer being made resonant with the 
noise of trains of the creaking Ked river carts of famous memory, 
mingled with the oaths and shouts of the drivers. 

There was plying on the river in those days a single steamboat 
the International owned by and operated in the interest of 
the Hudson Bay Company. During the spring, when there was 
a good stage of water, the boat sometimes went up stream as far 
as Fort Abercrombie in running between Fort Garry and any of 
the up-river points, and later in the season only as far as George- 
town. In the fall, when the water ran low in the Goose rapids, 
she only ran up as far as Frog Point. The boat was then making 
as many as three trips each season and the cart brigades but one. 

The Old Cart Trails. 

There were three cart routes or "half breed trails," as the 
early settlers called them, that crossed through different parts of 
the present county. The river route has already been referred to. 
It was one of the cart routes from Pembina and Fort Garry to 
St. Paul and later to St. Cloud after that place became a railroad 
point. It followed the general trend of the river, of course, cut- 
ting off the bends. It was already old when Griggs and Vaughn 
first saw it in the fall of 1870, and it probably dated from the 
early 'forties if it was first struck out by the independent traders 
of Kolette's time. At all events, it was no recently marked way 
when Major Woods and Captain Pope followed its court in 1849, 
and the mail appears to have been carried over it ten years later 
than that date. In 1870 it was a well worn trail. "Hundreds of 
carts in summer and dog-sleds in winter traveled over it," writes 
Vaughn, and at the close of the preceding part of this work an- 
other old timer has mentioned what impressed himself concerning 
it during the same year. 

Next in age was the old Georgetown trail that passed through 



the western part of the county. This had been abandoned for 
several years when first observed by the settlers who had located 
in that section, and it was then already grass-grown. It followed 
the lower slope of the uplands through this county, at least to a 
considerable extent, if not wholly so, and on account of avoiding 
such wet or sedgy places as existed toward the western side of 
the Elk valley, then occurring more frequently than now. This 
trail led from Fort Garry to Fort Abercrombie, thence to St. Paul 
by one of the Minnesota routes that have been mentioned. A 
branch trail, or cross-cut, from Georgetown ran northwest through 
parts of Cass and Traill counties, intersecting the inland trail, 
and together these formed a continuous route between the George- 
town and St. Joseph posts, thence to Fort Garry. Hence it came 
to be called by the early settlers of Traill county, who found it 
still plainly marked upon the surface, the "old Georgetown trail." 

Charles H. Lee, of "Walhalla, the compiler of the ''Long Ago" 
sketches, writes to the author : ' ' This trail, I think, was opened 
up about 1859. Mr. J. F. Mager, now a resident here, came in 
over that trail that year with his father, and he states that it was 
not a trail at that time in the proper sense of the word, as it was 
hardly discernible and, at points, would have been lost entirely 
but for the knowledge of their Indian guide." 

The reason why this route was opened so far west of Red river 
was probably due to the fact that in spring and early summer 
the route near the river, in some places, became well nigh im- 
passable. On that account a more dry route upon higher land 
was desirable. In 1870, men with teams, materials and supplies 
were sent from Fort Abercrombie to re-establish Fort Pembina. 
Some were sent down the river by flatboat, but one party, which 
included about twenty-five carpenters, were obliged to proceed 
by the back country route. At first they traveled by way of the 
trail along the river, but this being found impassable for the many 
loaded teams accompanying the party, a detour was made and 
the more western route was struck at Maple river. 

The third one of these cart routes that crossed the area of 
country now comprised in Grand Forks county appears to have 
been a cross-cut between the river and inland trails and which 
formed a route from the Hudson Bay post of Goose river (now 


Caledonia) to St. Joseph and Fort Garry. This trail led in a 
northwestern direction and passing the "lone tree," it crossed 
Turtle river at the Newell C. Morgan place, thence bearing west- 
by-north it recrossed the stream near the line between Elm Grove 
and Hegton township, and intersected the other trail some dis- 
tance north of Elm grove. The "lone tree" is a large cottonwood 
in Section 21, Blooming township, and is now surrounded by 
smaller ones of the same kind. In the old days it stood as a land- 
mark to travelers coming down the trail and going to Turtle 
river and the section around Gilby. 

Now the halfbreed trails were unlike those worn upon the 
prairies by the settlers in using the common farm wagon. They 
consisted of three separate and closely parallel paths, each about 
sixteen inches in width, the outer ones being worn by the thick 
rimmed, heavy wheels of the cart, and the center one by the 
treading of the animals drawing them, both ponies and oxen 
being used and harnessed single betw r een the phills of each cart. 
Thus peculiar roadways were worn upon the prairie surface by 
the passage of the cart trains that annually traversed these routes 
and the worn trails remained visible for many years after they 
had ceased to be used. 

The Creation of Counties. 

The territory of Dakota, which, as originally formed, extended 
from the state of Minnesota, as at present bounded, westward to 
the Rocky mountain divide, was created by act of congress 
shortly before the opening of the Civil War, the bill having been 
signed by President Buchanan on March 2, 1861, which was two 
days prior to his being succeeded by President Lincoln. The bill 
had passed the senate February 26, and the house March 1. The 
newly inaugurated president appointed William Jaynes, of Illi- 
nois, governor of the territory. He arrived at Yankton on May 
27, 1861. 

The first territorial legislature, consisting of thirteen members 
of the house and nine of the council, convened at Yankton March 
17, 1862, and held its session until May 15, following. This body 
created four counties in what is now North Dakota, and which 


bordered on Red river. These were named from north to south 
as follows: Kittson, Chippeway,* Stevens and Sheyenne. Not 
a single county in either North or South Dakota now bears any 
one of these four names. There were no white inhabitants in any 
of these counties when they were created, excepting a few at 
Pembina and St. Joseph (now Walhalla) and the officers, soldiers 
and employees at Fort Abercrombie. They were never organized, 
and although they found a place on maps and in some of the 
school geographies of the next few years, nothing appears to have 
been done toward permanently maintaining them either under 
their prescribed boundaries or names. 

In 1867 a large county was erected out of the present eastern 
portion of North Dakota. It was named Pembina county, and 
the territorial governor appointed Charles Cavalier, Joseph Ro- 
lette and Charles Grant county commissioners, who met and 
organized the county, August 12, 1867. The following county 
officers were appointed : John E. Harrison, register of deeds ; 
William H. Moorhead, sheriff; James McFetridge. judge of pro- 
bate ; and John Dease, superintendent of public instruction. Pem- 
bina was made the county seat. 

The tenth session of the territorial legislature convened at 
Yankton December 2, 1872, and continued its session until Janu- 
ary 10, 1873. Among other acts this assembly passed a bill creat- 
ing a number of counties in that portion of the territory now 
included in the eastern part of North Dakota. These were Pem- 
bina (of less area than that of 1867), Grank Forks. Cass, Rich- 
land, Cavalier, Foster, Ransom, LaMoure, Renville and Stutsman, 
with boundaries more or less different from their present ones. 
This act was signed by the governor January 4, 1873. 

Probably Judson LaMoure, who was elected the previous fall 
to the house, and Enos Stutsman to the coimcil, both from Pem- 
bina, were more instrumental in fathering the creation of these 
counties than any other members of that assembly, and the latter 
named gentleman arranged for the naming of them while stop- 

* Chippeway county took in all of Traill and Steele excepting their south- 
ern tier of townships, and all but the southern and western tier of townships 
in Griggs, likewise all of Nelson excepting its western range of townships, 
and Grand Forks county in its entirety. 


ping at the house of Morgan T. Rich, the first settler of Richland 
county, on his way to Yankton.* 

Organization of Grand Forks County. 

In the act creating these counties commissioners were ap- 
pointed to organize them. George B. Winship, John W. Stewart 
and Ole Thompson were named as the board of county commis- 
sioners to organize Grand Forks county. No attempt to accom- 
plish this end was made until July, 1873, when Messrs. Winship 
and Stewart met at the tavern or stage station kept by the latter 
gentleman at Grand Forks. As Mr. Thompson had refused to 
qualify as a commissioner, the other two designated O. S. Free- 
man as a third commissioner in place of that gentleman. After 
four days' session the work of completing this first organization 
of the county was accomplished and with the following result: 
Register of deeds and county clerk, J. J. Mulligan ; judge of pro- 
bate, Thomas Walsh; county attorney and superintendent of 
schools, 0. S. Freeman. The other officers cannot now be so posi- 
tively named, no record of their proceedings having been pre- 
served, but probably Alexander Griggs was appointed treasurer 
and Nicholas Huffman sheriff. Alexander Griggs, M. L. McCor- 
mack and 0. S. Freeman were appointed a commission to locate 
the county seat, and they, of course, selected Grand Forks.f 

Thus the county was fully organized according to law in 1873. 
But owing to the apathy of the county officers and what perhaps 
was a more potent cause, the sparse settlement of the county at 
that time, the organization was suffered to lapse, which made 
necessary its re-organization the following year. Mr. Winship 
has stated that he does not believe that there were then seventy- 
five white men in the whole county. 

In the fall of 1874, the county was re-organized by the terri- 
torial governor, John A. Burbank, who appointed a new board of 
county commissioners, to wit, David P. Reeves, Alexander Griggs 
and George A. Wheeler. Messrs. Wheeler and Reeves met at the 
residence of the latter commissioner (Griggs being absent) and 
completed the organization of the county March 2, 1875. The 

* The Record Magazine, September, 1896. 
t From data furnished by Geo. B. "Winship. 


first officers of the county were : James Elton, register of deeds ; 
Nicholas Huffman, sheriff; Thomas Walsh, treasurer and judge 
of probate; George A. "Wheeler, superintendent of schools; 
Thomas Walsh and D. P. Reeves, justices of the peace. Thomas 
Campbell and James Mulligan were appointed constables and 0. 
S. Freeman, district attorney, but failed to qualify. The appoint- 
ment of a coroner was deferred. 

Thus by the spring of 1875 Grand Forks county finally entered 
upon the period of its civil history as a distinct and organized 
division of Dakota territory. As first created, the county covered 
a very large area of the Red River valley, with a considerable 
extension into the higher country that lies to the west of the 
proper limits of the valley. It comprised all of the present county, 
together with parts of Traill, Steele, Nelson and Walsh counties. 
As to the time whqn the confluence of Red and Red Lake rivers 
was first called Grand Forks, we find no mention; but while the 
locality was likely designated as "the forks" by the voyageurs of 
the fur companies, we suspect that the prefixed word did not long 
ante-date the settlement of the place, if at all. But it was applied 
to the settlement made there and afterward was also adopted as 
the name of the county. 

Traill county, formed from parts of Grand Forks and Cass, 
was organized February 23, 1875. The commissioners met at 
Goose River (now Caledonia) and proceeded to organize the 
county. Steele county was of later origin; it was formed from 
parts of Traill and Griggs and was organized June 14, 1883. In 
the year 1880, Grand Forks county was still one of the largest, 
if not the largest county in the territory of Dakota. It still in- 
cluded the southern half of Walsh county, and its western border 
extended to the vicinity of Lakota. In 1881 two tiers of town- 
ships were separated from its northern border and added to Walsh 
county which was created that year by being formed from parts 
of Grand Forks and Pembina counties. The county was organ- 
ized August 30 of the same year. In 1883, townships in three 
ranges were also taken from its western part and given to the 
newly created county of Nelson, which was organized May 15 of 
that year. This reduced the area of Grand Forks county to its 
present dimensions. 


Legislative and Judicial Districts. 

During the earlier years of Dakota territory, when the popu- 
lation to be represented was sparse, the legislative and judicial 
districts were apportioned on a large scale. As the population 
increased and the counties were reduced in area by the creation 
of others, the districts became more circumscribed, but like the 
counties, they increased in number. In the case of the legislative 
districts, this resulted in a gradual increase of the members of 
the territorial council and house of representatives, but the dis- 
trict judges hardly increased in like proportion. At every session 
of the legislature changes were made either with the legislative 
or judicial districts, or both, effecting their boundaries, designated 
numbers, etc., as new ones were created. We are only interested 
in those in which this county was concerned and can only indicate 
the general trend of matters. 

At first the eastern part of the territory constituted one legis- 
lative district, the Fourth, called the Big Sioux and Red River 
district. The members of the first legislature were elected Sep- 
tember 16, 1861, and Hugh Donaldson was a member of the house 
from Pembina that session. In the second session, which con- 
vened December 1, 1862, and held to January 9, 1863, James 
McFetridge was a member of the council and James Y. Buckman 
and Hugh Donaldson were members of the house. At this ses- 
sion the Red River district was created. For one or two sessions 
thereafter this district was not represented in the legislature. 

Enos Stutsman came to the territory from Des Moines, Iowa, 
as private secretary to Governor Jaynes. After representing the 
Yankton district for several sessions during which period he was 
three times chosen president of the council, he took up his resi- 
dence at Pembina and was sent to the house in the legislature of 
1867-8, and was chosen speaker of the house. It was this legis- 
lature that created the big county of Pembina. 

In 1877 the counties of Grand Forks and Pembina constituted 
the Eighth council district which was entitled to one member of 
the council. In 1879 the counties of Traill, Grand Forks and 
Pembina formed the Tenth district and was entitled to one mem- 
ber of the council and two members of the house. In 1881 Grand 



Forks, Traill and Walsh were made to constitute the Twelfth 
district, the member of the council to be elected from Grand 
Forks county. In 1885 Grand Forks county was designated as 
the Nineteenth legislative district. 

Under statehood Grand Forks county is divided into three- 
districts, the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh, and each is entitled to one 
senator and two representatives. For the townships and city 
wards that comprise each of these districts the reader is referred 
to the state constitution or to the Revised Codes of 1895. 

The territorial judges were appointed by the president of the 
United States, but the legislature created the judicial districts 
and made the frequent changes of subdivisions, boundaries, etc., 
that became necessary. The judges were also associate justices 
of the supreme court of the territory. It was then divided only 
into three districts. The counties comprising these districts were 
often grouped together in subdivisions and the terms of court 
held at some one designated place for each subdivision of a dis- 
trict. In other cases single counties constituted a subdivision, if 
sufficiently populous. 

A North Dakota judicial district was created by the territorial 
legislature of 1870-1 and Pembina was designated as the place 
where the court was to sit. The first session was held there in 
June, 1871, Judge George W. French presiding. George I. Foster 
was clerk; L. H. Lichfield, United States marshal; Judson La- 
Moure, deputy, and Warren Cowles, United States attorney. This 
was the first court held in North Dakota. Judge Peter C. Shannon 
succeeded French and held two terms of court at Pembina in 
1872. Judge A. H. Barnes was appointed associate justice by 
President Grant in 1873 and held office until succeeded by Judge 

In 1877 the counties of Cass, Stutsman, Richland, Ransom, 
LaMoure, Traill, Grand Forks, Pembina, Barnes, Foster, Ramsey, 
Cavalier, Gingras (now Wells), French (now Benson and Peirce), 
and Rolette constituted a large subdivision of the Third judicial 
district, the whole district then comprising nearly all of the area 
of North Dakota. The court for this subdivision was to be held 
at Fargo twice each year. In 1879 the district was made to com- 
prise six subdivisions with as many designated county seats at 


which terras of the district court were to be held. The county of 
Grand Forks singly was made one of these subdivisions. It was 
while Judge Barnes was in office that the first term of district 
court was held at Grand Forks. 

In 1881 Judge S. A. Hudson became the incumbent of the 
Third judicial district, and held the office four years. He was 
succeeded by Judge William B. McConnell, appointed by Presi- 
dent Cleveland, May 8, 1885. The Third district was still quite 
extensive. In 1888 there were six districts; the northeastern 
counties, including Grand Forks, were now formed into a new 
district called the Fourth, Charles F. Ternpleton being appointed 

Under state government the counties of Pembina, Cavalier, 
Walsh, Nelson and Grand Forks were designated as the First 
judicial district. In 1895 the three northern counties of the five 
just named were formed into a separate district, called the 
Seventh, Grand Forks and Nelson counties remaining as the First 
judicial district. Judge Templeton was elected to fill the office of 
district judge when the present state government was organized, 
was re-elected in 1892, and he was succeeded by Judge Charles J. 
Fisk, who entered upon the duties of his office January 4, 1897. 

United States Land Office. 

The first United States land office in Dakota territory was 
opened at Vermillion in 1862. The first one established in North 
Dakota was opened at Pembina, December 19, 1870, with George 
F. Potter, register, and B. F. Brooks, receiver. Its location being 
at the northeast corner of the territory and not conveniently 
situated, it was removed to Fargo and opened there August 1, 
1874. Six years later a new land district was created in the 
northeastern part of what is now North Dakota, and the United 
States land office at Grand Forks was accordingly opened April 
20, 1880, B. C. Tiffany being its first register and W. J. Anderson, 

Sections 16 and 36 of each surveyor's township are reserved as 
school lands. In this county these lands amount to 51,520 acres. 
In 1893 the legislature made provision for the sale or rental of 
the school lands of the state for benefit of the school fund. 




When the United States census for 1860 was taken, there were 
no white inhabitants in the area now comprised in Grand Forks 
county. In 1871 there were about fifty at the settlement made 
that year at Grand Forks. The population in 1875 was some- 
thing over 2,000. The census of 1880 gave Grand Forks county 
a population of 6,248 inhabitants, but probably about 1,000 of 
these were located in the southern half of Walsh county, then a 
part of this county. There was a territorial census taken in 1885 ; 
this gave the county with present boundaries, 20,454 inhabitants. 
The census of 1890 showed that the population was then 18,321. 
This indicates a considerable decrease since 1885. probably 
chiefly due to re-emigration. The present population is reckoned 
at 26,494. 

The Timber Settlements. 

Early in the pioneer period of this county, the way of the 
immigrant was down Red river, at first from McCauleyville by 
steamer, stage or flatboat, and a little later from Moorhead and 
Fargo by the same means of conveyance. After 1877, many came 
in by way of Crookston and Fishers Landing, or by railroad to 
the latter point, thence by stage, steamer or other means of con- 
veyance, to Grand Forks. Many others teamed through from 
distant points. In those days Grand Forks was the common 
gateway into the county. 

As has already been remarked, speculators covered some of 
the timber along Red river with script. Much of the timber 
between Grand Forks and the mouth of Turtle river was taken 
in that way. Fortunately for the county these non-resident per- 
sons did not attempt to extend their operations up the courses of 
the smaller streams, hence it is upon these tributaries of Red 
river, probably without exception, that we find the location of 
the pioneer settlers of the inland townships of Traill, Grand Forks 
and Walsh counties. 

The timber settlers found the greater portion of the prairie 
land in the county vacant and as open to the mere taking by any 


one class of men as by another, yet, being the first comers into 
the country back from Red river, and having a pretty free choice 
of location, they preferred making their homes on the streams 
and amidst the trees that cover their sloping banks and stretches 
of bottom land. They squatted or filed upon quarter-sections on 
which there was some show of timber, though their claims often 
included a considerable acreage of the adjoining prairie land. 
Claims wholly of prairie land were really more valuable in the 
long run and in after years many of these men realized that they 
had made a mistake in their choice of a location ; others, perhaps, 
remained satisfied. 

All through the western country the pioneer settlers have 
usually preferred land comprising both prairie and timber; hence, 
in a region where the amount of timber was limited, the claims 
containing any would naturally be the first occupied. In the case 
of the Red River valley, many of the pioneer class were emigrants 
from the wooded sections of Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota, con- 
sequently they preferred the shelter that is secured in the timber 
from the cold winds, and lumber not then being readily obtaina- 
ble, the log cabins they erected cost but little ; again, they wished 
to be sure of having plenty of fuel close at hand during the pros- 
pectively cold winters of this northern latitude, and still another 
reason that influenced some of them was that, having heard that 
the water of the prairie districts was apt to be alkaline, they pre- 
ferred to establish their homes near the running streams. 

At this early period there was an abundance of fallen timber, 
well seasoned, in every wooded tract, which made good fuel and 
was useful for other purposes. In the western part of the county 
these timber settlements were made in advance of the govern- 
ment survey, and by the close of the year 1880, every quarter- 
section within its present limits on which there was any show of 
timber had its resident claimant occupying a small log cabin, 
whether such townships had then been subdivided or not. Thus 
these earlier settlers of the interior parts of this county followed 
up the Goose, Turtle and Forest rivers, building their log cabins 
in the shelter of the groves along these streams in preference to 
locating upon the open prairie. 


The Government Survey. 

Before speaking specially of any of the interior settlements of 
the county it will be well to say something concerning the govern- 
ment survey of its townships. The survey of the public lands in 
the North Dakota side of the valley was begun in 1867. In that 
year a few townships were laid out and subdivided in the present 
county of Pembina and range lines for others were run in the 
valley. Between 1870 and 1876 the surveying of the North Da- 
kota side of the valley became more general. This work was an 
extension of the surveys of Minnesota into this part of Dakota 
territory, though this does not imply that those in the Minnesota 
side of the valley had been fully completed. 

In merely running township lines it was customary in those 
days for surveyors to take contracts in blocks of townships which 
they called "checks." A check comprised twenty-eight town- 
ships, or a series contained in seven ranges and four towns having 
correction parallels for their north and south boundaries. The 
township lines as then run were duly marked each half mile by 
stakes enclosed in pyramidical mounds about two and a half feet 
high and three or four feet square at the base. Similar mounds 
of earth and turf w r ere placed at the corners of sections and 
quarter-sections when the townships were subdivided, the stakes 
being marked so as to indicate the town, range and quarter-sec- 
tions. Usually it was not the custom to lay out and subdivide any 
series of townships in one and the same year, since this work 
generally involved separate contracts, nevertheless it was some- 
times done. But several years one to four were apt to elapse 
between the laying out of the townships and their subdivision. 

In 1870 and '71 a number of townships were laid out in this 
county by Moses K. Armstrong, comprising those near the river. 
Those in the central and western parts of the county were laid 
out later, G. N. Propper having contracts in 1873. By the fall 
of 1876 it is likely that all of the townships in the county as now 
bounded, had been laid out. Judson LaMoure and William Ward 
had contracts for the subdivision of six townships in 1873, and 
these included the section around Grand Forks. About the same 
time other surveyors subdivided the townships to the north of 


Grand Forks. Surveyors were at work subdividing the central 
townships in 1876. 

The last two ranges of townships in the county (55 and 56), 
comprising most of the Elk valley and the part of the hill country 
within its limits, were subdivided during the summer and fall of 
1880. Major G. G. Beardsley had the contract which also included 
Strabane township in range 54. Major Beardsley 's expedition 
was made up of three parties and it left Fargo in June. Two of 
these parties worked outside the limits of this county, one, if not 
both, in the Sheyenne country. The party that came to this 
county was in charge of James E. Dyke, a young man who ran 
the subdivision lines. This party consisted of ten men, well pro- 
vided with camp supplies, three tents, two ox-teams, a saddle 
horse, pony and cart. The teams were used for transportation in 
moving camp from one township to another; the saddle horse was 
for a messenger and the pony and cart was in daily use delivering 
the mound stakes. It took from five days to a week to subdivide 
a township. Dyke's party worked from south to north in the 
ranges mentioned, surveying these townships in alternate order. 
The survey of this county as now bounded was thus completed, 
having been in progress at different intervals, through a period 
of ten years. 

In the fall the contractors turned their plats over to the dis- 
trict land office ; thence they were forwarded to the interior de- 
partment at "Washington for record and approval, and when 
returned to the land office, which would likely not occur for sev- 
eral months, the land was at once thrown open to settlement, and 
squatters and prospective settlers were then enabled to make 
their filings on such claims as they had already selected.* 

The Northwood Settlement. 

Early in the seventies the pioneers of Traill county, coming 
up from northern Iowa, from Minnesota and Wisconsin, began 
to push their settlements up the course of Goose river. Between 
1873 and 1875 these settlements were being made in what was 

* In part from information derived from D. M. Holmes and Major Geo. G. 
Beardsley. The writer saw some of the surveying that was done here in 1880, 
and conversed with Dyke as to the methods used in subdividing townships. 


then a part of Grand Forks county as originally bounded. Before 
Traill county was created, these settlements on Goose river had 
been extended up the stream and into this county as at present 
bounded. The timber settlers, coming in from the south, took 
to the line of the streams in the order of their occurrence from 
south to north, thus it happens that we find that Northwood 
township contained settlers several years in advance of any of 
the interior townships of this county that are bisected either by 
Turtle or Forest rivers. Those who made these upper settlements 
on the Goose were Scandinavians, some of whom had emigrated 
,to the territory from northern Iowa, or from around Northwood 
in that state. 

The first of these settlers to locate in Northwood township 
were John and Lars Lindstrom. John came to Dakota in May, 
1870, and located on Red river, four miles below the mouth of the 
Sheyenne. The Lindstrom brothers made their settlement on 
Goose river November 13, 1873. At that time the settlers on the 
river had taken the timbered quarter-sections up the stream as 
far as the vicinity of Mayville. Between that point and Newberg 
there were only a few settlers scattered along the river, and none 
had settled above the last named point when the Lindstroms came 
and made their selections of land. John Lindstrom states that 
when he came to Northwood township his nearest neighbor was 
located sixteen miles distant down the stream. But this isolation 
did not continue very long. 

Nels Korsmo, Ole Tragethon, Halvor Solem and Anton Ostmo 
were settlers who came into the township in 1874. Paul C. John- 
son and Andrew Nelson arrived in 1875. Andrew Sjerva, Peder 
Thingelstad, Hans Thingelstad, Guldbran Tandberg and Lars 
Thoresen were settlers of 1876. All of those here mentioned were 
the pioneers of Northwood township. The township lines in this 
part of the county had been run by the year 1876 ; the township 
was subdivided in 1877 and the land was open to receive filings 
by the spring of 1878 ; consequently the timber settlers of North- 
wood were squatters, and this class of settlers are necessarily 
pioneers. Others came in later and took whatever timbered 
claims may have been left, if any. or who began occupying the 


adjacent prairie lands. On still mornings the smoke from the log 
cabins curling upward above the trees indicated that the line of 
Goose river was now occupied. 

The number of the timber settlers of the county were few in 
comparison with those who, a little later, overran the prairie 
lands. The first of the numerous prairie settlers of Northwood 
township are said to have been T. 0. Midbo and sons who came 
in 1878. T. E. Tuffte was a settler of 1879. Knute Paulson and 
Erick Overson came about that time. Peter N. and Gunder 
Korsmo came with their father in 1874, but not being of age they 
did not acquire land at that time. 

The nearest supplying point for these settlements was Cale- 
donia on Red river, near the mouth of the Goose. The settlers 
had began raising a little wheat in 1875 and '76, and loads of it 
were teamed to Fargo during the same years, after being threshed 
by horse-power machines, but in the fall of 1877 and afterward, 
the grain was teamed to Grand Forks across a wide stretch of 
unoccupied prairie. About the year 1876, a steam flour mill was 
built at Caledonia, to which the Goose river settlers resorted for 
flour and feed. 

About 1875 a mail route was established between Caledonia 
and Newberg, the latter being a point in Steele county eight 
miles south of Northwood. Here, in the pioneer days, the settlers 
along the headstream of the Goose received their mail. About 
1880 a mail route was established between Pembina and Valley 
City, the Northwood settlement being made one of the local 
offices ; but owing to lack of roads or some other cause it was soon 
discontinued. The mail-carrier used a span of mules which he 
sold to John Lindstrom on throwing up his vocation. Northwood 
township was organized in 1879. The original organization seems 
to have included the townships of Northwood, Washington, Avon 
and Pleasant View.* 

Turtle River Township. 

In the northeastern part of the county there is a heavy body 
of timber between the Red and Turtle rivers, and around the 
mouth of the latter stream, the whole varying from a half mile 

From data furnished by John Lindstrom, Paul C. Johnson and G. Korsmo. 


to one and a half miles in breadth. This forest extends along the 
Marais for some distance into Walsh county. Several land entries 
were made in this section of Grand Forks county, now called 
Turtle River township, when the land office was at Pembina, by 
Thomas Campbell, "William Cochrane and Angus McDonald, then 
residing at Grand Forks. 

James M. Stoughton, an early settler of Turtle River township, 
who came to Grand Forks from Ontario in January, 1876, informs 
us that most of the timber between Grand Forks and Turtle river, 
and for quite a distance north, was mainly taken by the specu- 
lators. There is very little timber on the west side of Turtle river, 
only a few groves here and there, but they reach nearly to Manvel. 

The open prairie land in that part of the county began to be 
occupied in 1877, other settlers also coming in the next year. In 
the fall of 1878 a steam flour and saw mill was built near the 
south line of the township by August Christiani and a village 
was also platted there in July, 1879, which was called Bellevue. 
This place contained, besides the mill, two stores, two hotels, a 
blacksmith's shop, a postoffice and a few dwellings. The mill 
having been burned down within a few years after it had been 
built, and the railroad line from Grand Forks to Neche having left 
the place to one side, it never amounted to much of anything 
afterward. No place in the county has ever attained to anything 
more than a country hamlet if located off the line of a railroad, 
since these have been built. 

The Upper Turtle River Settlements. 

As a constantly flowing stream, Turtle river does not head 
beyond Agnes township, although several tributary coulees extend 
back into the hill country for several miles. The course of the 
stream is at first southeast to Arvilla township where it attains 
its most southerly bend, thence its course is northeast to Meki- 
nock, again east adjacent to the township line between Blooming 
and Lakeville, and finally it takes a northerly course down the 
valley plain, through Ferry and Turtle River townships, to its 
confluence with Red river near the northeastern corner of the 
county. Between Agnes and Mekinock townships the stream is 


contained within something of a valley cut across the central 
land belt of the county ; in Hegton and the north part of Arvilla 
townships this depression varies from a quarter to a half mile in 
breadth and has a depth of from forty to ninety feet below the 
common prairie level. This valley is partially timbered. 

The stream bisects Mekinock township diagonally. The first 
settlers of this township came to its valley in the spring of 1877. 
They were Halvor Halvorson and two sons, who located near the 
present village of Mekinock. The next to come were the Rasmus- 
sons and Ole Graff. In the summer of the same year, Robert 
Blakely arrived and located in Section 21, near the middle of the 
township. The Sandback family also came during the summer of 
1877. Fred Trepanier and Crawford Blakely came in 1878. 
Among the settlers of 1879 were Thomas T. Stevens, Captain Bat- 
tersby and Dr. Howard Lancaster, all of whom located in the 
southwest quarter of the township. Charles Cooper, Ebenezer 
Smith, John Smith and B. F. Warren were settlers who came to 
the township in 1880. 

Robert Blakely was pretty well known during his residence in 
the township, since he kept the postoffice of the community for 
several years. He teamed through from Stearns county, Minn. ; 
from Caledonia he followed the old halfbreed trail down the coun- 
try to where it then crossed the Turtle, a little below his place, 
for the crossing four miles above seems to have been later, and 
to have been made by white men. During the earlier part of his 
residence in the county, he burned lime by collecting limestone 
bowlders. Later he was engaged in the same occupation on 
Salt coulee, south of Ojata, from which place he once took a 
load of lime to Grand Forks, and having lost off the bur from 
one of the wagon wheels, he walked beside that particular wheel 
so as to push it back on the axle whenever it showed any signs 
of working off. This was characteristic of Blakely. Ultimately, 
considering that the county was getting too crowded to suit his 
notions in regard to population, he emigrated to the Rocky 

T. T. Stevens teamed through from St. Paul. In those times 
the "Barnesville flats" in Minnesota was a notable locality for 


the miring of teams during the spring by reason of the occasional 
cutting of the wheels through the thin prairie sod and into a 
sticky, whitish clay subsoil which resembled putty. Mr. Stevens 
states that between Barnesville and Moorhead he had to unload 
his wagon eighteen times in one day. He reached Grand Forks 
about the middle of April, 1879, and while on his journey out to 
Blakely ? s place his team was mired seven times during the first 
six miles in crossing the Red River flats. 

In June, 1878, a party of seven men from Stearns and Kandi- 
yohi counties, in Minneosta, arrived at Grand Forks. They made 
the journey with ox-teams, and brought along with them their 
supplies and about fifty head of young stock. Learning on their 
arrival that the Turtle river valley was not occupied above what 
is now Mekinock township, and that it contained timber and a 
pure running stream, they decided to locate in that part of the 
county. Having chosen their respective claims, and erected log 
cabins, they began the usual round of western pioneer life. The 
land being in market in the central part of the county that year, 
they filed on their claims together at Grand Forks. At this time 
the United States land office was at Fargo, but filings could be 
made at Grand Forks through authorized attorneys acting for the 
Fargo office. Some of this party had families who came when 
they did or soon afterward. These settlers were Henry A. Mor- 
gan, his brother, Newell C. Morgan, Crawford Blakely, Edwin 
Collins, Oscar E. Clark, Dennis Kelley and Albert Murray. 

All of these men, with the exception of Blakely, who settled 
in Mekinock, located in the north part of Arvilla township and 
were the original settlers of that township. Others who formed 
part of the Turtle river contingent came later and at different 
intervals. George Hughes and August Schiebe came in the fall of 
1878, E. O. Steelman in the spring of 1879, and John C. Morgan, 
father of H. A. and N. C. Morgan, in 1880. In March of the latter 
year, Frank Becker came and located near the "point of timber," 
about three-quarters of a mile east of the Hersey mansion. Edwin 
Collins* was the original settler at the Hersey place, and built 

* Collins removed to Nebraska about the year 1889, and in the fall of 1891 
he -was accidentally killed in the railroad yards at Omaha \vhile employed there 
as a switchman. 


his log cabin at the foot of the hill or at what is now called the 
Hersey grove. 

Hegton is one of the Turtle river townships and is situated 
next north of Arvilla in Range 54. The township is twice bisected 
by the stream with a major and a minor crossing of the same. 
The first crossing of the township by the river is through its, 
southwestern part, while the minor crossing of the same is made 
by a diagonal bisection of school section 36 after the stream leaves 
Arvilla township. A small stream called the south branch of 
Turtle river flows for one and a half miles through the southwest 
part of the township to its confluence with the main stream in 
Section 32. 

The settlements on both streams in Hegton township were 
mostly made during the year 1879. George D. Leavitt came up 
from Mitchell county, Iowa, in the fall of 1878 and made his selec- 
tion of land along the south branch. The next spring he settled 
at Roach's grove, which was formerly called Leavitt 's grove. Joe 
Carter, who was an Englishman by birth, came with Leavitt and 
located farther down the stream. Austin Fisch, a German, who 
was a hotel keeper from Grand Forks, took a claim near Leavitt 's 
and built his log cabin down on the bottom land of the stream. 
John Tholin, a Norwegian, and Edward Wheeler, an American, 
settled near the confluence of the south branch with the main 
stream. Above Tholin 's place along the main stream were located 
August Aslagsen, August Molean, Ludvic Berggren and Axel An- 
derson, the latter having bought the right of a previous settler 
named Nelson. 

About the first of June, 1879, Thomas Christiansen, H. E. 
Hanson and three others arrived from Swift county, Minnesota, 
the first two locating on the Turtle in the western part of the 
township, while the others passed on to Bachelor's grove. Arne 
Anderson and Gilbert Johnson came in the spring of 1880. 

There is some extension of the timber along Turtle river into 
the northeastern part of Elm Grove township. A few Norwegian 
settlers came in 1880 and made their locations here, this being 
the last of the timber on the stream that had until that year re- 
mained unoccupied. These settlers, who were the first to locate 


in Elm Grove township, were Tollif Christiansen, Christian Huset, 
Mattis Gulickson, Ole Melland and Isaac Christianson. The cabin 
of Melland having burned down, he took a prairie claim the next 
year in another part of the township, Isaac Christianson occu- 
pying his former claim on the river.* 

Bachelors Grove. 

Bachelors grove is a large w r edge-shaped body of timber on 
the headstream of Turtle river, comprising about 300 acres. It 
borders the stream for one and a half miles with an average 
width of a quarter of a mile, and is mainly contained in Agnes 
township, but it has a considerable extension up a coulee of the 
hills and into Oakwood township. The east half of the grove, in 
the Elk valley, is dense woods, chiefly of elm and basswood, with 
much burr oak along its upper half. The stream here is frozen 
up in winter and is so inconsequential that in the summer and 
fall it is either dry or reduced merely to a trickling watercourse. 

The residences of the present occupants of the land are situ- 
ated in and around this body of timber, together with the school- 
house and church of the community. The schoolhouse is located 
in the southeast quarter of Section 30, and the church, which is 
Scandinavian Lutheran, in the southwest quarter of Section 29, 
Agnes township, and north of the grove. The townline road be- 
tween Agnes and Oakwood cuts a swath through the midst of the 
grove about sixty rods in length. 

During the period under consideration, a large body of fine 
timber like Bachelors grove would not have been apt to have 
remained long unoccupied. Indeed, it appears that squatters 
located there over a month before that part of the timber along 
Turtle river in Arvilla township was taken, and perhaps over a 
year before the portion of it in Hegton township was filed upon. 
To the west of Hegton, Arvilla and Avon townships the land was 
not opened to settlement until May, 1881, consequently anyone 
locating upon either timber or prairie claims in that part of the 
county prior to that date were of the squatter class of settlers. 

* For settlers in Mekinoek township, data furnished by T. T. Stevens ; for 
Arvilla, Hegton, and Elm Grove the data was given during different years 
by H. A. Morgan, H. E. Hanson, Thos. Christianson and others. 


The earlier settlers of Bachelors grove were chiefly Scandina- 
vians, and they came at intervals from Iowa, Wisconsin and Min- 
nesota. First of all, there came in the month of April, 1878, 
Gulick and Thomas Thomson, Peter L. Peterson, James Christian- 
son, and with them a young man from Wisconsin who returned 
there in about three months. At first this body of timber was 
called Thomson's grove, from the Thomson brothers, but in the 
fall of 1879, when W. N. Roach opened the mail route between 
Grand Forks aVid Fort Totten, James H. Mathews, who accom- 
panied him, spoke of it as "the bachelor's grove," for the reason 
that at that time only one man had his family with him, and this 
designation of the locality passed into current use. In the spring 
of 1879, Gulick Thomson sold his squatter's right to James Chris- 
tianson and removed to Forest river. Christiansen later disposed 
of his acquired right to William Postall. The latter in turn dis- 
posed of it to John Crawford and John Warnock in the fall of 
1879. Christian Bang also became a settler at the grove that year. 
Others came during the same year or that following. Of these, 
Albert Wright, Cornelius Olson, Hans Olson and Ever Olson occu- 
pied that part of the grove that extends into Oakwood township. 

In 1880 there came to the grove or to its vicinity, H. S. Han- 
son, William McLaren, Iver Gunderson, John Anderson, Bert 
Gates, Edward Beardsley, John Pierson, M. S. Wallace and 
George G. Beardsley, the latter a contractor for government sur- 
veys and originally from Ohio. These later settlers were squat- 
ters, but not all of them timber men, for here we refer to this 
locality as a community. Those who came to the grove in 1878 
passed three years here as squatters before they could make their 
filings on their claims. The nearest market town for all of the 
grove settlers during the first two or three years was Grand 
Forks, which is about forty miles distant. A trip to town and 
back, if made with oxen, was then a three days' journey. 

Settlers of Other Groves. 

Elm grove, which gave the township in which it is located its 
name, is a small body of timber containing about five acres sit- 
uated in the north part of Section 19. In 1880 a squatter had 
built a log shack in the grove, but before the township was open- 


ed to settlement, his right was purchased by T. 0. Edwards, who 
subsequently acquired considerable land in its vicinity. 

The first occupants of Niagara township were a few Scandina- 
vians who settled in a couple of isolated timber tracts bordering 
coulees in the eastern part of the township. About two miles 
south of Bachelors grove is Little Elm grove, a tract of about 
ten acres, located in the east half of Section 12. Peter Hanson 
located at this grove in 1879 and was probably the first settler of 
the township. Andrew Hanson came here in 1880. 

Up the coulee west of Elm grove there is a limited amount of 
timber, this locality being called "Whiskey creek, though there 
is but little water in the coulee, except at the melting away of a 
winter's accumulation of snow. The coulee forks about a mile 
above Elm grove, both branches being crossed by the main line 
of the Great Northern railroad, the larger fill being 52 feet high 
at the center. Along this coulee there settled in 1880, Knute 
Hilstadt, Ole Hanson, Ole Ringstad and Sever Peterson. Three 
other settlers, S. Ness, Ole Moen and Arne Earness came there 
in 1881. 

The Forest River Settlements. 

Forest river is mainly confined to "Walsh county but its upper 
reaches intersect the north part of Strabane and Inkster town- 
ships in this county. It is only with that portion of the stream 
in these townships that this narrative is specially concerned, for 
along its banks we may confidently look for the location of the 
first settlers of the northwestern part of the county. It should 
be observed, however, that Forest river was known to the trap- 
pers, voyageurs, explorers and others, and even on our modern 
maps, as the Big Salt, the change in the name occurring in 1878. 
In that year the few setlers in what is now Forest River town- 
ship of Walsh county, provided for mail delivery at a postoffice 
located in that township and along the stream, by which their 
mail was brought to them from a postoffice in Turtle River 
township, distant about 18 miles, and at their own expense. It 
should be understood that these country offices, even to present 
times, are the residences of their respective postmasters, and in 
settlement days the offices were apt to have been log cabins. 


Jesse B. Warren was postmaster for these settlers. The name 
chosen for this office was "Forest River," which was soon applied 
both to the township and the stream. This township formerly 
included Johnstown in this county, Walsh county not then having 
been created. 

George T. Inkster was of Scotch parentage, born on Red River 
at some distance below Winnipeg. His mother was a native of 
the country, having some Indian blood, but was nearly white. 
Prior to 1878 Inkster resided for awhile on Red Lake river near 
the present village of Mallory. Late in the fall of that year he 
removed to Forest river and settled in the township now bearing 
his name, locating in Section 12 of the same. He was the first 
settler of Inkster township and may be regarded as the father 
of it. His nearest neighbors, for that year at least, appear to have 
been located several miles down the stream. About 1882 he re- 
moved to McHenry county. The next settler was David Lemery 
who came in the spring of 1879 and took a squatter's claim ad- 
joining Inkster 's on the west. Other settlers came during the 
spring of 1880; these were William and Neil Mathie, Luther 
Dodge, James S. Collins, A. Mclntyre and Clark Corey. 

Strabane township is next east of Inkster, and one of those 
which border on the Walsh county line. The first settlers of this 
township were James McDonald, John McDonald and W. H. 
McDonald. James came first and was the first actual settler of 
the township, having made his squatter's location in April, 1879, 
and was soon followed by the other two of the McDonald brothers. 
Other early settlers were Gillison Wager, Leonard Wager, Wil- 
liam Pitts, Henry Con gram, William Hobbs, N. L. Elwain and 
Jonathan Wager, who come in 1879. Nearly all of these men were 
from Ontario ; Pitts and his family emigrated from Wisconsin 
and Elwain came from New York state. 

There was a postoffice established at William Mathie 's place 
in Inkster township in the spring of 1880, the mail being brought 
once a week from Walshville. The Strabane settlers also es- 
tablished one in the fall of the same year, which was called Reno, 
John McDonald being the postmaster. The mail was brought to 
this office from the one in Inkster township. The Reno office was 


maintained until 1884, or to the time that the railroad came 
through that part of the county and Inkster village was started, 
when it was discontinued.* 

Remarks on the Timber Settlers. 

The life of the log cabin settlers of Traill, Grand Forks, Walsh 
and other counties of eastern North Dakota differed considerably 
from that of the present occupants of the soil who dwell in roomy 
framed houses and who are never out of reach of the sound of 
the whistle of the locomotive. Although this interval was com- 
paratively short, comprising only a few years in each section 
that was thus represented, the significance of the phase of life 
presented by the timber settlements lies in the fact that it was 
the real pioneer period of the eastern portion of this state, ex- 
clusive of the northern boundary. "While the period lasted, it 
furnished much the same round of life as has been usual in the 
west before the railroads came and ushered in a distinct phase 
of civilization, closely corresponding, in fact, with the earlier, 
but longer continued log cabin days of the older western states. 
In the Red River tier of counties this period approximately com- 
prised the decade of the seventies but was far from beginning 
and ending in each section contemporaneously, as has already 
been instanced in the case of this county. 

Usually the pioneer settlers of the middle western states have 
been a restless and thriftless class, though there are many notable 
exceptions; here, the most of them never retained their lands 
but few years longer than the log cabin period itself lasted. There 
is a class of them who have ever preferred the rough and isolated 
life of the frontier to the requirements and vexatious complica- 
tions of populous communities, disliking the prospect of being 
merged with the agricultural population that later overruns the 
country. There were many such located for awhile along the 
timbered tributaries of Red River. As times changed, they one 
by one either lost their claims through mortgages or disposed of 
them to new comers and again faced toward the setting sun. 
Again, there were others of the original timber settlers who 

Mainly from data furnished by John McDonald, of Strabane township. 


drifted to the new and growing towns and changed their occu- 
pation. The present framed houses and barns that have replaced 
the original log cabins and stables of logs, poles and straw, 
respectively, have generally been erected by later comers, though 
this has not, of course, invariably been the case. 

The Old Wagon Trails. 

The three halfbreed, or cart trails that passed through the 
county have been duly mentioned, but our purpose here will be 
to speak of those that were struck out by the settlers using the 
common farm wagon, in connection with the timber settlements, 
and which were used during the continuance of that interval. 
The old trails of the county, whether made by cart trains or farm 
wagons, were the predecessors of the present section-line roads. 
In regard to the county roads, four successive stages of develop- 
ment may be noted. First of all there came into use the old cart 
trails of the long ago; second in order were the trails made and 
used by the timber settlers and mail carriers; then there next 
came into use the numerous trails of the prairie settlers, and 
finally, the present roads were established which generally corre- 
spond with the section lines. The trails of the whites were at first 
such as would result from the occasional passage in the same track 
of the common farm wagon. After they became rutted by the 
cutting of the sod by the narrow wheel tires and treading of the 
animals used for draught, a strip of grass about 2 1 /2 feet in width 
remained between the ruts, and increased travel gradually wore 
even this away. At this stage of development these routes ceased 
to be trails and became beaten roads. 

There was a trail leading from the northern outskirts of Grand 
Forks that bore west-by-north across the valley plain to Robert 
Blakeley's place in Mekinock, thence followed the prairie near 
the timber along the south side of the Turtle river valley and it 
terminated at what is now called Roach's grove. This early 
roadway into the central part of the county was struck out in 
the summer of 1878 by the Turtle river settlers. The reason of 
their not taking a more direct course to Grank Forks was owing 
to sloughy land in Chester township and danger of miring their 
teams, while by keeping near the Turtle river valley a more 


suitable and dry route was found. Two years later the direct 
route through Ojata was taken. 

There was another trail of those days that led from Grand 
Forks across the south half of the county in a general southwest- 
ern direction to the Newberg and Northwood settlements. By 
the year 1880 this early traveled way across the county had be- 
come a well beaten road, though much of the country through 
which it passed was then unoccupied. 

There was also a wagon trail of the later 'seventies, merely 
rutted rather than worn, that passed through the western part 
of the county near the hills. It followed the western side of the 
Elk valley, farther inward than the old halfbreed trail. To the 
west of Larimore its course lay about a mile inward from the base 
of these uplands but it approached much nearer to them farther 
north, and likely followed the halfbreed trail in places through 
the northwestern quarter of the county. It was an early line of 
transient travel between the settlements on the branches of the 
Goose and those on Forest and Park rivers, and was mostly util- 
ized by persons who traveled in canvas covered wagons called 
"prairie schooners," such as emigrants and other roving classes 
commonly use. In those days the teams were generally oxen 
for horses were then by no means plenty even in proportion to 
the comparatively scant population of the country. 

These, with the Fort Totten trail and Eed River stage road 
formed the principal of the early traveled routes through the 
county. As the prairie settlements developed, numerous tran- 
sient wagon trails of a local character were used for awhile, or 
until the breaking up of the land for cultivation gradually forced 
the most of them from the lands they crossed to the section lines. 
As might be supposed, any kind of trail disregarded the section 
lines even where, for awhile, as in the case of the prairie settler's 
trails, they were used in surveyed parts of the county. 

The Fort Totten Trail. 

The military post at the Indian reservation on the south side 
of Devils lake was established in 1867-8. The teaming of ma- 
terials and supplies to build Fort Totten was from St. Cloud by 


way of Fort Abercrombie. When the Northern Pacific railroad 
had been built west of Red River, and Jamestown was started, the 
quartermaster's supplies and the goods furnished the Indians by 
government were teamed from that place to the post until the 
fall of 1879, after which the goods were delivered for awhile at 
Grand Forks, and later at Ojata and Larimore. The mail for 
the post came by way of Jamestown. As the railroad advanced 
west from Grand Forks, the distance that the supplies destined 
for Fort Totten and the reservation had to be transported by 
teams, was shortened. 

From Grand Forks out to Blakeley's the route corresponded 
with the Turtle River trail. After crossing the stream by a ford 
at this place, the route passed west to Hanson's in the western 
part of Hegton township where it again crossed the stream by a 
shallow ford; thence bearing across Elm Grove township and 
passing just to the north of Elm grove, it next crossed over the 
uplands through the south part of Niagara township and then 
passing between Smith's lakes in the northwestern part of Mo- 
raine township, it struck westward to Stump and Devils lakes 
across what is now Nelson county. 

Something of a survey for a wagon route between Fort Totten 
and Grand Forks was made by the military authorities about the 
year 1877, but the route was not actually utilized until October, 
1879, when the first of the caravans or wagon trains that came 
to Grand Forks set out for that place. During that fall, W. N. 
Roach, in later years United States senator for this state, was 
residing in Grand Forks, having arrived there in September of 
that year. Viets & McKelvey, of Grand Forks, had a contract 
at that time to deliver certain supplies to the fort, and this cir- 
cumstance, together with the starting of the railroad from Fishers 
Landing to Grand Forks, appears to have led to the establish- 
ment of a mail route between Grand Forks and Fort Totten. An 
organization called the Overland Mail & Transportation Company, 
with headquarters at "Washington, were then the original con- 
tractors with the government for a large number of mail routes 
in the west, and after some contest over the sub-contract, it was 
awarded to Mr. Roach. He therefore proceeded to open a mail 


and stage route through this county to the lake. The mail was to 
be carried both ways once a week.* 

Mr. Roach started out on his first trip early in October, 1879, 
and was accompanied by James H. Mathews. At Smith's lakes, 
near the west line of the county, they met the first wagon train 
that came east from Fort Totten and after passing them they saw 
no white men until the fort was reached. In crossing what is 
now Nelson county, they kept their course by using a pocket 
compass, taking route somewhat north of that which the In- 
dian caravan had just traveled. f Quite early in his mail and 
stage business, Mr. Roach took steps to have three intermediate 
postoffices established on the route. These were located at 
Blakeley's in Mekinock, at Hanson's in Hegton and one at Stump 
lake. In respect to the Hegton office, Mr. Roach had a conference 
with the settlers at Bachelors grove and some of those on the 
upper course of the Turtle ; at his suggestion a petition to the 
Postmaster General at Washington was drawn up and signed by 
them, requesting that a postoffice be established in their neigh- 
borhood and that Hans E. Hanson be appointed postmaster. In 
like manner Robert Blakeley became postmaster of the office in 
Mekinock township. 

Mr. Roach did not always go with the mail stage himself, but 
occasionally employed others to make the weekly trips. During 
the first winter the carriers sometimes had to rely on the dog- 
sledge to get the mail through. A man named Smith kept the 
mail station at Stump lake and a few other settlers were located 
there, among whom was the old frontiersman, Francis de Molin. 
In December, 1879, Warren Smith, a son of the station keeper, 
was carrying the mail and he had with him as passengers a half- 
breed and a white man. They had three dogs in the train, but 
lost the beaten track in a storm. They killed one dog for food 
and one froze to death. They lay in a snowbank for about two 
days but finally managed to reach Molin 's place, and staggering 
from exhaustion one or more of them fell at his door. Here they 
were kindly cared for until they could go on to Fort Totten. 

* In part from statements of Hon. W. N. Koach. 
t Of J. II. Mathews. 


At Grand Forks the men were not heard from for some time and 
were supposed to have perished until a letter arrived from the 
fort that had been sent around by way of Jamestown and Fargo, 
stating that the men were safe and that the route was impassably 
blockaded with snow. 

The Fort Totten trail was also traveled by the Indian car- 
avans that went to Grand Forks for government supplies. The 
government had furnished the Indians with good wagons and 
oxen. Sometimes as many as fifty teams, each with an Indian 
driver, composed these supply trains. They traveled mostly in 
warm weather, camping in canvas covered tepees at suitable 
points on the route, and on these trips they were accompanied 
by an agent who used a horse and buggy. Smaller parties of 
the reservation Indians occasionally passed back and forth over 
this route in making visits to the Red Lake Chippeways in Minne- 
sota. A few of the old Red River carts and ponies were then still 
to be seen with these bands. 

Mr. Roach drove a good team of roadsters with a light two 
seated wagon. Only an ordinary mail-bag was required. As 
the trail developed a few local ones were made to branch off 
from it leading to Forest river and Bachelors grove. At the time 
that the main trail began to be forced upon the section lines in 
consequence of the occupation and breaking of the land, that 
portion of it between Grand Forks and the hill country had de- 
veloped into a well beaten road. With the westward advance of 
the railroad, the mail was discontinued in 1882 and the Fort 
Totten trail, as a distinctive line of travel between Grand Forks 
and Stump and Devils lakes, ceased to exist. 

The old Red River trail, mail and stage route, though barely 
more than mentioned in the sketches, stands first in importance 
in relation to its historical bearings on the central part of the 
valley ; the old Fort Totten trail, though brief in duration, stands 
next in order of all these old traveled ways. 


When the first white men came to the northwest the Red and 
Lake rivers were highways used by the Indians, and the "Forks," 
where they joined, was regarded as an important location. For 
generations the site of the present city of Grand Forks was a 
fur trading point, and a general rendezvous for both whites and 
Indians. The old fur trading post disappeared, however, and 
for many years there had been no sign of a human habitation 
there. In 1868 Nicholas Hoffman and August Loon, who had 
secured the contract for carrying the mail between Pembina and 
Fort Abercrombie, built a log house for a stage station on the 
west bank of the Red river, near the present home of Judge 
Corliss. The following year Sanford C. Cady, another mail car- 
rier, built another log house near the site of the present munici- 
pal power plant. Mr. Cady induced the postoffice department 
to establish a postoffice at Grand Forks, with himself as post- 
master, and he received his commission on June 15, 1870. This 
was the official beginning of the city of Grand Forks. 

In the winter of 1869-70 James J. Hill, who was taking an 
active interest in northwestern transportation, made a trip to 
Fort Garry by dog sledge, and as a result of his observations he 
determined to develop the river traffic. Some freighting was 
already being done on the river, but there were no steamers in 
use on it. Mr. Hill interested with him Captain Alex Griggs, then 
operating a steamboat on the Minnesota and upper Mississippi, 
and the firm of Hill, Griggs & Company was formed. Captain 
Griggs had lumber sawed at Frazee, Minnesota, and floated it to 
McCauleyville, just across from Abercrombie, where J. S. McCau- 
ley had established a small sawmill, and here the first Red river 



steamer was built. It made several trips from McCauleyville to 
Winnipeg in the summer of 1870, and in the fall of that year it 
was caught at Grand Forks by the freezing of the river. The 
freight from the barges was unloaded and sheltered by lumber 
which was being carried north, and a man was left in charge 
for the winter. 

Captain Griggs, before returning to St. Paul, decided that 
there was promise of the growth of a good town at Grand Forks, 
and he proceeded to "squat" on a quarter section, starting the 
construction of a log house in token of good faith. The land was 
not yet surveyed. Howard Vaughn, his clerk and assistant, took 
possession of another quarter section in the northern part of the 
present city, and this was held for him by George Aker, who had 
joined the party. Mr. Aker later acquired Vaughn's rights, and 
filed on the claim in his own name. He has lived continuously 
on the land since that time, though the farm has long since been 
divided into building lots. 

In 1871 a small sawmill was built and a store was started. 
In 1872 Commodore N. W. Kittson, of the Hudson's Bay Com- 
pany, established a boat yard at Grand Forks and built a number 
of boats, and in the following year, his company established at 
the new town its headquarters for the upper Red River valley 
and built there a large store and hotel. The hotel building has 
been moved several times, but is still standing, and now forms 
the southern section of the Arlington Park hotel. 

Grand Forks county was organized in 1874. In 1875 the first 
newspaper, the "Plaindealer," was established by George H. 
"Walsh. It was discontinued in 1908. In 1875 the plat of the 
original townsite of Grand Forks was filed by Captain Griggs. 
The plat included ninety acres of the Griggs homestead. In 1877 
the first flour mill in the valley, a fifty-barrel plant, was built 
by Frank Viets. The building stood on South Third street near 
the power plant, and was operated until about 1904 or 1905, 
when it burned. 

In 1878 a village organization was created with George H. 
"Walsh president, R. W. Cutts clerk, W. H. Brown, John McRae, 
William Budge and Frank Viets trustees. In 1879 the second 
newspaper, the "Herald," was established by George B. Winship. 


In 1880 the Great Northern reached Grand Forks from the 

In 1881 the city was incorporated with W. H. Brown as its 
first mayor. 

In 1909 the population of Grand Forks is between 12,000 and 
13,000. The city owns its own waterworks plant, with filter, 
pumping station and about 20 miles of mains; its street lighting 
plant, with 120 arc lamps and a modern incandescent system 
about to be installed in the business section ; a sewer system with 
some eighteen miles of mains and laterals. The business section 
and most of the residence section were paved in 1896 and the 
years immediately following. Cedar block was the material used. 
In 1908 the city began to repave with a permanent pavement 
with a heavy concrete base and a wearing surface of creosoted 
wood blocks. In 1908 the first rails were laid on a street railway 
system which is to cover the entire city. The state fair is held 
at Grand Forks in odd numbered years, and in the even num- 
bered years there is held an independent fair which is very suc- 
cessful. The city fire department has a regular paid force of 
twelve men and a large and well trained volunteer force, seven 
horses, two modern buildings and abundant and excellent ap- 
paratus. The city has about twenty acres of parks, and negotia- 
tions are under way for the acquisition of nearly 200 acres of 
additional park property. There are seven public school build- 
ings, accommodating 2,500 pupils and sixty instructors. The 
State University, with its nine colleges and seventy instructors is 
treated under a separate head. There are about twenty-five 
churches, representing all of the principal denominations. Two 
theatres, well built and modern, have each accommodations for 
about 1,000 people, and there are several smaller places of en- 
tertainment. The city has fine Y. M. C. A., public library and 
postoffice buildings. A conservatory of music and several private 
instructors provide musical instruction, and the May music festi- 
val has become the musical event of the northwest. The city 
has one of the finest bands in the northwest. There are many 
jobbing houses, numerous factories of moderate size, and several 
unusually fine retail establishments. 


Post Office History. 

The first postmaster was Sanford E. Cady, who was appointed 
in 1870. He was succeeded by 0. S. Freeman in 1872, and he 
by Alex. Griggs in 1875. Captain Griggs served until 1879, when 
Don. McDonald was appointed, he serving until 1888, when he 
was succeeded by D. P. McLaurin, who was succeeded by J. P. 
Bray in 1892. Mr. Bray only served a little over one year, when 
he was succeeded by Willis A. Joy, and he in turn by William 
Budge, and Mr. Budge by the present incumbent, Mrs. Minnie 
L. Budge. 

The first post office was in the building known as the Hoffman 
place on Northwestern Ave., now occupied by Dan Blue of the 
police force as a residence. John Stewart kept the stage station 
at that place, and acted as the deputy for Sanford Cady the 
first postmaster. After the establishment of the Griggs, Walsh & 
Co. store the post office was removed to that place. It has been 
located at various places since then, the Hudson Bay Company 
store formerly located where the Union National bank now 
stands, Lyons & Doheny store was the location during Captain 
Griggs' term. It was removed from there by Postmaster Mc- 
Donald in 1879 to a building that then occupied the site of the 
Barnes & Nuss store and from there the next year to the Gotzian 
Block. In 1883 it was moved to the room now occupied by G. K. 
Monroe on Kittson Ave. The Odd Fellows Block furnished 
quarters for the few years preceding the removal to the present 
Federal Building. 

Grand Forks City Schools. 

The school system of the city of Grand Forks had its begin- 
ning in 1875, when Rev. William Curie, pastor of the Methodist 
church, took charge of the education of a little group of children 
in a small one-story building erected for that purpose. Five years 
later a two-story building was built on the site now occupied by 
the court house. This building, it was supposed, would answer 
for many years, but the young city had outgrown it within two 
years, and in 1882 the building was moved across the street to a 





little triangle of ground, where it has since been used as a hotel. 
This triangle is now the site of two of the relics of the early his- 
tory of the city, the old school building, and the old Hundon's 
Bay hotel. The two are used jointly as a hotel. 

In 1882 the first section of the present Central school building 
was erected at a cost of $25,000. It contained eight rooms, and 
was at that time the best school building in North Dakota. A 
few years later the rapid growth of the southern part of the 
city made school accommodations necessary there, and the first 
section of the Belmont building was built. This was followed by 
the Wilder school in the north, named in honor of W. L. Wilder, 
for sixteen years a member of the board, and for many years 
its president. The Winship school in the western part of the 
city was built in 1903, and was named in honor of George B. 
Winship, and in 1906 the Washington school, two blocks north 
of the Central, was erected. All of the school buildings of the 
city today are accommodated on these five sites, but each of the 
older buildings has been added to until its capacity is increased 
many fold. In addition to new grade rooms there has been built 
at the Central site a handsome high school building which is one 
of the best appointed in the state. A site has also been purchased 
for a building in the extreme southern part of the city which will 
probably be built in 1910. The cash value of Grand Forks school 
property has recently been appraised by an official board at over 
$350,000, of which $250,000 is in buildings. 

In 1879 there were 14 pupils and one teacher in the little 
Grand Forks school. Today 2,500 children receive their instruc- 
tion in the public schools of the city, aside from those who are 
educated at the University, Grand Forks College, St. Bernard's 
Academy, the business colleges and other private institutions. 
The present superintendent, J. Nelson Kelly, has had charge of 
the schools for several years, and he is regarded as one of the 
strongest men in educational work in the northwest. Under his 
direction are employed sixty-four instructors. An effort has been 
made, successfully, it is believed, to keep pace with advanced 
educational thought, and at the same time to avoid those fads and 
frills which waste both time and energy. Pupils removing from 
Grand Forks are able to take up the work of their own grades 


in the schools of any city on the continent, a fact which indicated 
the thoroughness of the instruction which they have been given. 

Grand Forks Churches. 

The Methodist church is the pioneer in religious work in 
Grand Forks, the first services having been conducted by Rev. 
John Webb, a pastor of that church, in 1873. He organized a 
church and Sunday school, and started the movement for a church 
building. The site for the structure was donated by Captain Alex 
Griggs, owner of the townsite, and the business men contributed 
liberally. This was years before prohibition in the northwest was 
thought of, and the saloon keepers of the young town were as 
liberal as any others in their contributions to church erection 
funds. The Methodist building was completed in 1876, under the 
pastorate of Rev. J. B. Sharkey. The present modern building 
was erected in the early '90s. 

Presbyterian church. The first services under the auspices of 
the Presbyterian church were conducted in 1878 by Rev. F. W. 
Iddings, who was sent to Grand Forks by the Board of Home 
Missions of his church. In 1879 a permanent organization was 
formed, and the first Presbyterian building was built. This has 
been enlarged from time to time, and during the year 1910 it will 
be replaced by a $60,000 edifice, funds for which have already 
been raised. 

The Catholic church made its entry into Grand Forks in 1877, 
when Father Hubert gathered his first little congregation to- 
gether. A chapel was built in 1881, and in 1883 there was built 
a fine brick church, at that time the largest in North Dakota. 
This was wrecked by a tornado in 1887, was rebuilt and improved 
immediately, and was burned to the ground in 1907. In the fol- 
lowing year there was built a fine $80,000 building, which is now 
the home of the congregation. 

St. Paul's parish of the Episcopal church was organized in 
1879, with Rev. W. P. Law in charge. Temporary quarters were 
used until 1881, when a small but pretty gothic building was built, 
and this has been enlarged several times. 

The Baptists organized their Grand Forks society in 1881, and 


built a small chapel the following year. In 1890 a fine brick 
church was built, and ten years later this was doubled in capacity 
by the addition of a modern Sunday school building. 

Zion Lutheran church was organized in 1880, and in 1883 a 
small building was built. This was enlarged several times; and in 
1908 the old building was moved, and in its place was built a 
handsome structure costing about $50,000. 

The German Evangelical society was organized in 1889. For 
several years services were held in temporary quarters, but in 
1897 the building which had been occupied by the Congregational 
church was purchased and this has since been the home of the 
German organization. 

Christian Scientists. In 1890 the Christian Scientists organ- 
ized a society at Grand Forks, holding services for several years 
in temporary quarters. In 1902 a fine brick church building was 
erected, and the Scientists now have one of the most tasteful 
buildings in the city. 

Children of Israel. In 1888 the congregation of the Children 
of Israel organized a Grand Forks society, and in 1893 the pres- 
ent synagogue was built. Rabbi Papermaister, organizer of the 
congregation, is still in charge, and he ministers to about 100 
families, his people being chiefly of Russian birth or descent. 

Trinity Lutheran church was organized in 1883, and a neat 
building was built in 1884. 

The Norwegian Lutheran Synod church, organized in 1890, 
erected its present building in 1903. 

Other church organizations are the Church of God, organized 
in 1894, Augsburg Swedish Lutheran, in 1896, Scandinavian 
Methodist in 1884, Scandinavian Baptist, in 1896, German Luth- 
eran, and African Methodist. The Congregationalists organized 
late in the '80s and built a church building. Later the services 
were discontinued, and the building was sold, as has been stated. 
to the German Evangelical society. In 1907 a new organization 
was perfected, and services were resumed, but no building has 
3 T et been erected. 

The Y. M. C. A. is an important element in the religious and 


social life of Grand Forks. The local society was established in 
1892, with M. B. Van Vranken as general secretary. So evident 
was the usefulness of the society, even with the limited accommo- 
dations which it had in rented quarters, that a movement was 
started to provide a suitable building. A site was bought and 
paid for with funds subscribed by the young men of the city, 
and in 1904 a handsome new building, costing, with its equip- 
ment, over $50,000, every dollar of which had been subscribed by 
Grand- Forks people, was thrown open. In this building the 
society has all the facilities of work possessed by the societies of 
the larger cities. In the basement are the baths, swimming pool, 
bowling alley and boys' workshops. On the main floor are the 
offices, several class rooms, reading rooms, and gymnasium. On 
the second floor are the parlors, more class rooms, etc., and the 
third floor is arranged in suites and single rooms for rent to 
young men. The people of Grand Forks have taken considerable 
pride, and evidently with good reason, in the statement made 
by officers of the general association that when this building was 
built this was the only case in the history of the Y. M. C. A. in 
which so fine a home had been built for the society in a city 
comparable in size to Grand Forks without a burden of indebted- 
ness to start with, or without calling on outsiders for contribu- 

Deaconess Hospital. 

One of the grandest institutions in the northwest is the Grand 
Forks Deaconess Hospital, and the noble work it is doing in the 
cause of suffering humanity is certainly worthy of the highest 
commendation. Such an enterprise is entitled to the hearty sup- 
port of the good people of the wide territory for which its service 
is available. The Deaconess Hospital is the successor to St. Luke 's 
hospital. It occupies a commodious and substantial brick build- 
ing, designed expressly for hospital work, and costing with im- 
provements more than $25,000. The hospital is very conveniently 
arranged and is equipped with everything in the way of appli- 
ances that experience and science show is desirable in a perfectly 
appointed hospital. No contagious diseases are received, and 


fever patients are entirely separated from other portions of the 
hospital. Patients are treated either in the very completely 
equipped wards or in private rooms, as is desired. 

The Grand Forks Deaconess Hospital is a corporation inde- 
pendent of any other organization. The members of the corpora- 
tion, as well as the sisters having charge of the hospital, are 
professed Christians and members of the Evangelical Lutheran 

Patients of any nationality and creed are received and im- 
partially treated at the hospital; they are allowed to choose any 
doctor they prefer. 

Any physician of good standing is welcome to the accommo- 
dations of the hospital for his patients. 

Ministers of all denominations are cordially invited to visit 
the patients belonging to their denominations and attend to their 
spiritual welfare. 

The corporation has no capital stock and is not organized with 
a view of profit. It is maintained by voluntary contributions, fees 
paid by patients and by testamentary devise which it is allowed 
to receive. There is also a charity fund which is used in the case 
of patients too poor to provide for their own expense. 

Grand Forks Manufacturers. 

None of the cities in the prairie northwest are manufacturing 
cities. Grand Forks, in common with the others, is a commercial 
rather than an industrial center. Nevertheless it has manufactur- 
ing enterprises of considerable importance, and these are growing 
in both size and number. In volume of business handled the Red 
River Valley Brick Company is the most important in the city, 
and one of the most important in the state. Brick has been 
manufactured at this point almost from the time of the early 
settlers, as there is an abundance of good brick clay which is 
easy to reach, and in the early days wood for burning was 
abundant all along the river. Then came the installation of power 
plants and modern methods, and several large yards were estab- 
lished under separate management. The first step in the direction 
of consolidation was in the organization of an association which 


bought at a stated price all the brick manufactured by the local 
yards and sold them to customers. This association was made 
up of the owners of the four yards then in operation and it had 
nothing to do with the management of the yards. Then came 
the organization of the present corporation, which owns the four 
yards and handles the entire business of production and distri- 
bution. This company in 1908 manufactured over 60 per cent 
of all the brick used in the state of North Dakota. It makes a 
large line of drain tile, and has installed machinery for the manu- 
facture of hollow brick. It now obtains its fuel supply from the 
northern Minnesota forests, and there it owns its own timber 
lands, maintains its own camps and cuts its own timber. 

While the brick business is the largest in bulk carried on in 
Grand Forks, it is surpassed by that done by the Grand Forks 
Lumber Company in East Grand Forks, which, for industrial 
purposes, is a part of the same city. Owing to the facility with 
which logs could be floated down the river, and to the fact that 
it was located in the heart of a vast lumber consuming territory, 
Grand Forks, though distant from pine timber, has always been 
an important lumbering point. T. B. "Walker, of Minneapolis, 
built on the Red River a mill which, for those days, was a large 
one, and operated it for several years. The mill eventually 
burned. A little later R. H. McCoy and associates organized the 
Grand Forks Lumber Company and built a modern mill on the 
Red Lake river. This was burned and the present structure was 
built to replace it. The company saws 40,000,000 feet of lumber a 
year, and employs a big force of men. 

The Grand Forks Foundry manufactures wind stackers and 
other special lines, and does structural work which is used in 
buildings all over the state. 

The Grand Forks Broom Factory turns out a product which 
is carried by the merchants all over the territory. 

The Congress Candy Factory has employed 50 hands and 
turned out a corresponding quantity of goods from a plant located 
in a modern building. The building burned in the early winter 
of 1908, and a new one of about twice its size and capacity is 
being built. 

The Golden Grain Biscuit Company is another institution that 


suffered by fire. It has employed 50 hands or more, but a fire 
put a stop to its operations for a time. The building was repaired 
and enlarged, and is again in operation with a full force. 

The Diamond mill has for years turned out 500 barrels per day 
of a brand of flour that has become famous. 

The Grand Forks Herald employs about fifty persons in its 
manufacturing department and turns out a big line of blanks, 
books and other goods of this class. In the same line is the 
Grand Forks Times, more recently established, and also doing 
a good business, and George A. Wheeler & Company turn out 
considerable printed work as well. 

Building blocks, tile and other articles made of cement are 
turned out in large quantities by half a dozen firms. 

The Turner Sash and Door Factory supplies mill work for 
the city and a large tributary territory. 

The sheet metal industry is another which gives employment 
to a large number of well paid workmen. 

Hotels and Early Boarding Houses. 

It is altogether certain that the first house for the accommoda- 
tion of the traveling public stood where Judge Corliss' house now 
stands. It was erected in 1872 by John Stewart, and was one of 
the stations on the Fargo, Pembina line of stage coaches. During 
this same year, but a little later, S. B. Andrews ran a hotel at 211 
South Third street where the Advance Thresher Company's 
building now stands. A boarding house kept by John Fadden, 
who came to the place in the summer of 1872, stood near where 
the creamery now is on Third avenue. 

In 1874, the Hotel Arlington was built on grounds now covered 
by the two drug stores on the southwest corner of Demers avenue 
and Third street. It was then known as the Northwestern Hotel, 
and was built in the spring of 1874. 

The Park House stood where the jail now stands, and was 
built in the winter of 1874 and 1875, by William A. Kear, who 
also moved it to its present location in 1882. The Selkirk House 
was built about the year 1880. 

The Hotel Dacota stands on grounds once occupied by a hotel 


built by a syndicate, and run by John Dow. It burned down and 
the present large structure was built in 1898. It is 125x125 and 
has two hundred rooms, and is one of the largest and best 
equipped hotels in the state. It is owned by Jerry D. Bacon. 

The Ingalls. The second hotel in Grand Forks was built by 
Captain Hugh Maloney in 1878, and called the Mansard House. 
It stands on the corner of Demers avenue and Fourth street and 
was rented to Colonel Ingalls in 1883, who changed the name to 
that of his own. Although he was in charge of the house but a 
few years, the name has been permitted to stand as it is. The 
property and its business has been in the possession of Mrs. Mary 
Maloney since the death of her husband some ten years ago. 

Charles Maloney, son of Captain Hugh and Mary (Smith) 
Maloney, was born in this house, June 19, 1875, was the first white 
male child born in Grand Forks. 

The Ingalls, now one of the historic land marks of Grand 
Forks, has been thoroughly refitted for the better accommodation 
of its patrons. It is a large three store building, having besides 
offices and other rooms forty-five well furnished sleeping apart- 
ments, and which with gas, bath, hot and cold water, and with 
its central location for business purposes, makes it a desirable 
place for a public house. 

Captain Hugh Maloney was a seaman at the time of his en- 
gagement with Miss Mary Smith, now Mrs. Maloney. He was in 
charge of a boat on the lake plying between Milwaukee and 
Chicago. Mrs. Maloney is of German descent. She was reared 
near the border line between France and Germany, but early in 
life was brought to this country by her parents, who located near 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She was married to Captain Maloney 
July 12, 1867, at Hancock, Michigan, and they came to Grand 
Forks in 1874, although he had been here steamboating on the 
Red River since 1872. He died June 16, 1897. One son and two 
daughters were born to this union. 

Frederick Hotel Formerly the Antlers. 

This hotel has done its part in giving the city a reputation 
for the traveling public in the commercial line. 



The building is a five-story structure 50x100 feet, having large 
halls, commodious dining rooms, and a good basement addition, 
etc. It is run strictly on the European plan. It was erected by 
John S. Bartholomew in 1899, and first occupied by McGowan 
Brothers. They were followed by Preseott & Freeman, then J. 
J. Freeman, and he by Mr. Thomas E. Burke. Mr. J. J. Free- 
man of Preseott & Freeman, met with a fatal accident in the 
hotel elevator. His inquest, by Judge McLoughlan, acting as 
coroner, was held August 21st, 1905. Mr. Freeman's widow sold 
to Mr. Burke, the former proprietor of the Columbia Hotel at 

In 1907 Frederick Bartholomew, son of the builder, took 
charge and changed the name of the hotel to The Frederick, and 
he is now in charge. 

The Arlington-Park Hotel. This hotel comprises that of the 
Park House and the Arlington Hotel which were joined into one 
in 1900 and called the Arlington-Park Hotel, situated on Fifth 
street and Bruce avenue. 

The Arlington was built on the corner of Third street and 
Demers avenue in 1876. In 1883 it was moved to the corner of 
Third street and International avenue and a third story added. 
In 1900 it was moved to the head of Bruce avenue and Fifth street 
and connected with the Park Hotel run by A. Knudson, and 
stands on block number (1) of Traill's Addition, occupying the 
whole block. 

The Park Hotel was the first school house in Grand Forks. 
It was moved from the southeast corner of the present court house 
grounds in 1882 to the present site. 

The Arlington-Park Hotel is doing a thriving business, its 
seventy-five bedrooms being kept in almost constant use. The 
house is steam heated and has all modern improvements. 

Mr. A. Knudson, the proprietor, came to Grand Forks in 1882 
from Faribault, Minn. He ran the Arlington when it was on 
Third street, and moved in 1900 to where they both now stand. 
In June, 1906, he purchased the property. 

Hotel Northern was built by Martin L. Gordon in 1889 and 
run under his management for two years under the name of 
"Hotel Gordon." 


In 1892 the house passed into the hands of Trepanier & Got- 
sian and was leased to Colonel C. B. Ingalls, who refurnished the 
house complete and named it the Hotel Northern. Under the 
popular management of Colonel Ingalls the house won wide and 
favorable reputation as a strictly first class hotel. 

The present owner and proprietor, Herbert N. Wells, pur- 
chased the furniture of the Ingalls estate in October, 1893, and 
bought the real estate in 1901. 

The Hotel Northern is a brick building, three stories and 
basement. Has gas and electric lights, steam heat and baths, is 
conveniently situated for business and just across the street from 
the proposed site of the Union depot. 

Mr. Wells is a native of Faribault, Minn., came to Crookston 
in August, 1881, removing to Grand Forks in 1884, has been in 
the hotel business for more than twenty-five years. 

Rasmussen, Bemis & Company. This company has the only 
wholesale dry goods notion house this side of Minneapolis. The 
business was originated by Mr. M. Rasmussen, who started a 
general retail store at Inkster in 1884. He carried on there until 
1905 when his removal to Grand Forks occurred, in order to 
establish a wholesale trade and where commodious quarters were 
found at 122-124 North Third street of that city. They are now 
located on two floors, each 50x120 feet, but prospects are bright 
for the building of a large store of their own to meet their de- 
mands of the near future. 

The incorporation of the company took place in 1906, M. Ras- 
mussen, President ; V. E. Bemis, Vice President ; J. C. Rasmussen, 
Secretary and Treasurer. 

Mr. M. Rasmussen is a native of Denmark. He came to North 
Dakota in 1883, and took up his residence in Inkster, where he 
and his wife, Mrs. Mary Ann (Barry) Rasmussen, are known as 
ardent supporters of the Congregational church, and where Mr. 
Rasmussen was treasurer and otherwise officially connected with 
that society. He is a 32nd degree Mason and a member of the 
Mystic Shrine of El Zagal Temple, Fargo, N. D. 

Merchants Transfer Company. This business was established 
by W. T. Sheppard about the year 1894. He was one of the 


original settlers of the place and is now in the storage business 
on Sixth street. 

Originally, the business supported but eight horses, a couple 
of hacks and one or two drays, but now that number has been 
about doubled. 

Mr. Sheppard sold to Barton and Parsons in 1902 and in 1905 
the dissolution of that partnership took place and Mr. Fred Par- 
sons ran the business until 1907, when the Thompson Brothers, 
consisting of Joseph G., "William and Walter Thompson, took the 

Mr. Joseph Thompson has been in the transfer business for 
many years. His father, "W. H. Thompson, came to the state as 
early as 1880 and was engaged for a time on the drainage of 
Park river. 

The business now supports four drays, a baggage wagon, two 
hacks and fourteen horses. 

Notes on Chief of Police of Grand Forks. J. W. Lowe, 
present Chief of Police of Grand Forks, was formerly a saloon 
keeper in East Grand Forks. In the year 1900 he became patrol- 
man and in 1904 was appointed chief. He is supported by nine 
policemen and Grand Forks is, probably, one of the best governed 
cities under police protection in the northwest. 

The above statement is based on the fact that the system of 
police protection in Grand Forks has always been under the 
superintendence of men who, knowing how to apprehend crimi- 
nals before they had time to commit wrong, have saved the city 
from their evil ways and misdoings. 

During Mr. Lowe's career but 226 arrests were made in 
1903 ; 282 in 1904 ; 285 in 1905 ; 263 in 1906 and to March, 1907, 
but 254. 

The small number of arrests has been due largely to the 
efficiency of a judge who knew how to award criminals with long 
terms of imprisonment when found guilty, and to a system of 
police espionage which prevented crime by apprehending the 
criminal before he committed lawlessness. 

The Red River Valley Marble Works, Grand Forks, N. D. 
This business was started by Andrew Nelson in 1889. He was 


succeeded by John Andrew Nelson in 1892, and in 1898 Rime 
Jeffrey, the present owner, became a partner, and in 1903, the 
sole owner. 

Mr. Jeffrey came from Huron county, Canada, to this place 
when fourteen years of age and first worked at railroading. 
Afterwards he became a farmer and began buying and selling 

Mr. Jeffrey deals in Italian, St. Cloud granite and different 
stones from Vermont and the east. His trade is mostly local but 
he has put up monuments as far east as Minneapolis and as far 
west as Seattle. 

The Fire Department. August H. Runge, Chief of the Grand 
Forks Fire Department, took office in May, 1904. He was in the 
United States Navy during the latter part of the Civil War and 
came to Grand Forks from Minneapolis where he had an experi- 
ence in the fire department of that city from May, 1883, till he 
became chief here. 

Mr. Runge was appointed by Mayor Duis and succeeded 
Charles Munsey, who had been in the department several years. 
At the present time the department has one combination chemical 
and hose wagon, an extra wagon, and every equipment belong- 
ing to their new building necessary for quick and effective serv- 
ice. The new building was erected in 1895. 

The system has thirty fire alarm boxes, a hydrant at every 
block, besides fifty-five six-inch hydrants and eighty-two four- 
inch, making a total of 137 hydrants in all. 

Water Works. Under the present system for supplying the 
city of Grand Forks water for daily use it is obtained as free 
from impurities and as good as can be found anywhere. 

The plant was built in 1885. Frank W. Whitbeck was super- 
intendent at that time. He was succeeded by Hue Ryan and fol- 
lowing him came John Budge, then John Lunseth, the present 

With the exception of a term of six years under W. A. Satter- 
field, A. J. Roddy has been Chief of Engineers. He came to Grand 
Forks in 1879 as engineer on one of the Red River boats. He 
took office under Mayor Holmes by appointment in 1887. Mr. 


Lunseth, the superintendent, took office in May, 1904. He came 
to Grand Forks June 27, 1887. He was in the employ of the 
Grand Forks Electric Company for fourteen years. 

The capacity of the water works is 7,500,000 gallons daily, 
but only about 700,000 gallons of water, at most, are used. The 
filter will hold 1,000,000 gallons. The water is obtained from the 
Red Lake river. It is tested by chemists of the State University 
every month, and results of the test are published in the 

County Auditors Grand Forks County, North Dakota. James 
Elton was appointed Register of Deeds and County Auditor when 
the county was organized. D. M. Holmes was elected to that office 
in the fall of 1875. He resigned in February, 1876, and W. G. 
Woodruff was appointed to fill the vacancy. D. M. Holmes was 
again elected in the fall of 1876 and was succeeded by Thomas 
Walsh in 1878. 

The office of county auditor, proper, was first filled by the 
appointment of John P. Bray, who took office in 1881, and was 
elected to the same position in 1882, 1884 and 1886 ; W. J. Ander- 
son, 1888 and 1900 ; J. W. Scott, 1892, 1898 ; William Ackerman, 
1902, 1904; he died May 16, 1905, and his unexpired term was 
filled by Hans Anderson, who was elected in November, 1906, and 
is still in office. 

Drug Stores By Dr. W. F. Harlan. 

There are several drug stores in Grand Forks handling 
preparations of the higher grade, and to a small extent a little 
manufacturing is done; but in the main the pharmaceutical 
products are supplies furnished for the trade. 

The drug trade in Grand Forks had its origin from an acci- 
dent. Incident to the conditions of the early settlement of this 
place, medicines, of a necessity, were hard to get. Dr. G. W. 
Haxton, a pioneer physician of Grand Forks, had ordered $100 
worth of drugs but being without money for express and original 
cost, the financial necessity devolved upon Mr. David M. Holmes, 
who, rather than have his neighbors suffer for want of proper 
medical remedies, took it upon himself to secure possession of the 
goods. That was in 1877. 


Mr. Holmes, now desirous of securing himself against loss, 
arranged the medicine bottles on shelves around him in the office 
of the North Western Telegraph Company while in their employ 
as telegraph operator. As time progressed the business increased 
and that was the origin of the drug trade in Grand Forks. 

Mr. Holmes had been in his father's store, knew the business 
to some extent, and having added to his stock from time to time 
finally moved across the street into a room where the billiard 
hall now stands and that is the place where the first store in the 
drug trade was located. 

In the winter of 1879 Mr. Holmes sold to George Budge and 
subsequently started the second store on the grounds now occu- 
pied by Lashani's jewelry rooms at No. 12 South Third street. 

In 1881 he bought the place where Fegan's cigar store is 16 
South Third street and remained there till 1883, when he sold 
out to C. P. Trepanier, who afterwards built the Trepanier 

The third store was then started by Mr. Holmes, the place 
selected this time being where the "Walker Theater now is, but 
in 1885 he moved back into the Fegan building. 

In 1883 Mr. Holmes took Mr. F. W. Schlaberg in with him, 
but in 1888 sold out all interests in the business to his partner 
and quit. 

Mr. Trepanier erected the Trepanier Pharmacy in 1884 and in 
1889 he formed a partnership with A. I. Widlund, who bought 
up all interests in the partnership in 1901 and is still running 
the store. Mr. Widlund is a native of Sweden and is the Vice 
Consul of that country, to which office he was appointed July 22, 
1906. In 1885 he emigrated to this state and for a period of four 
years performed the practical duties of a druggist for J. M. 
Moore of Hillsboro, and then went to Grafton, where he remained 
in the business until he came to Grand Forks. 

Dr. W. F. Harlan was born in the county of Wetzel, West 
Virginia, November 12, 1875. His father was a carpenter and 
blacksmith, residing on a farm while raising his family. The boy- 
hood days of Dr. Harlan were spent on this farm, his time being 
divided between hard work and going to school. During the 


summer months the farm and the carpenter and blacksmith shop 
demanded his time, and it was there that he developed both mind 
and muscle, laboring persistently that he might attend school 
winters until he had acquired a common school education. 

In September, 1901, he entered the American School * of 
Osteopathy, at Kirksville, Mo., for the study of his chosen pro- 
fession, graduating at the end of three years' hard work with 
many praises for faithfulness and excellent work during his col- 
lege career, as well as for the few wonderful cures which he 
performed while there. His graduation took place June 23, 1904. 
He came directly to Grand Forks, N. D., arriving on June 27. On 
the 1st day of July he opened his office, entering upon a broad 
and successful practice. 

The Union Commercial College and School of Telegraphy. 
The educational history of the Red River valley, especially the 
commercial educational history, would not be complete did it not 
contain a mention of the Union Commercial College and School 
of Telegraphy, Grand Forks, N. D. 

This school was started by Messrs. Thacker and Hughes in 
June, 1903. It secured rooms in the Security block and started 
with but two teachers, the present proprietors, G. F. Thacker and 
Robert Hughes. Both these gentlemen had had long experience in 
commercial college work and were well qualified to build up a 
good school. The venture was a success from the start. Com- 
mercial education had come to be recognized as vitally essential 
to the welfare and success of the rising generation and to no class 
did it appeal more than to the farmers. 

At first there were four departments: Bookkeeping, Stenog- 
raphic, Banking and English. These departments are equipped 
with all the latest devices, and a special feature of the Book- 
keeping department is the system of Actual Business and Office 
Practice. The latest methods are also used in the Stenographic 
department, and it is here that Touch Typewriting is taught. 

In the fall of 1907 a telegraph department was added. This 
department is equipped with all the modern devices and through 
the courtesy of the Great Northern Railroad Company, it has the 
main line wire of that road running into its rooms. The managing 


officers of the road inspected the department after it was in- 
stalled and were so well pleased with the arrangement, the course 
of study, and the instructors in charge, that they gave the school 
a written guarantee to place every one of its young men graduates 
in positions. 

From a small beginning with but two teachers, and small 
rooms, it now employs seven regular teachers and occupies 
magnificent quarters in the Security block in the heart of the 
business section of Grand Forks. "With its numerous class rooms, 
study rooms, offices, etc., it is fully prepared to meet the wants 
of those interested in business education. 

The Berg Studio. One of the first, if not the first, photo- 
graphic galleries in Grand Forks was where Benner, Beggs and 
Garvans store now stands. Mr. Jacob Berg came to the place 
in 1881. His first gallery was on Bruce avenue where a black- 
smith shop now stands and he remained there until 1890, when 
he built the substantial house where the gallery has since re- 
mained. He was a successful artist having learned the intricacies 
of the business in Minneapolis before coming to Grand Forks. 

Mr. Berg was a Norwegian. He came to this country when a 
boy, locating in Minnesota, first on a farm where he received his 
early education. He was married to Miss Christine Langdon on 
December 7, 1881. Her parents lived then in Columbia county, 
Minnesota. Mr. Berg died November 22, 1898. Their children 
are Bertha Amanda, Ella, Ethel, Jacob and Anthon. 

The Grand Forks Bottling Works. In 1882 Mr. H. O. Krueger 
established the first Bottling Works in Grand Forks. He erected 
the building now standing on North Seventh street and now 
owned by O. J. Bostrom and John Engebretson and to whom he 
sold his interests in 1904. 

Mr. O. J. Bostrom, the head of the new firm, is a native of 
Sweden. Mr. John Engebretsou is from Norway. Mr. Bostrom 
came with his parents to this country and lived, first on a farm 
in Minnesota. In 1887 he came to Grand Forks. 

The firm manufacture and bottle all kinds of soft drinks : 
cider, pop, root beer, principally. They have a large wholesale 


The M. Rumley Company was founded by Meinrad Rumley, 
who emigrated to the United States from Baden in 1849. He 
purchased a small horse-shoeing shop in the city of Laporte, Ind., 
and manufactured some ice machinery and corn shellers and 
later, in 1853, began to build small separators and horse-powers. 
A few years later the manufacture of small engines was begun. 
The business has grown uninterruptedly and now extends over 
all the Central and Northwestern states. Their branch house at 
Grand Forks was erected in the spring of 1906. Extensive im- 
provements which will greatly increase the capacity of the home 
plant are in progress at present, and under the superintendency 
of H. P. Kane, the North Dakota division of their work is making 
great progress. 

The officers of the company are William N. Rumely, President ; 
A. J. Rumely, Vice President; Joseph J. Rumely, Secretary and 

Branch houses are owned and located at the following places : 
Fond du Lac, Wis. ; Toledo, 0. ; St. Louis, Mo. ; Des Moines, Iowa ; 
Indianapolis, Ind. ; Logansport, Ind. ; Lincoln, Neb. ; Kansas City, 
Mo. ; Minneapolis, Minn. ; Grand Forks, N. D. ; Wichita, Kas. ; 
El Reno, Okla. 

Duluth Elevator Company. This company owns and operates 
about one hundred elevators in the states of the Northwest. They 
now operate forty-five in the Red River valley, thirty-two of 
which are on the North Dakota side. The first one of this line 
was erected in 1879. It was built by the Brooks Brothers Com- 
pany, but now belongs to the Northern Division of the Duluth 
Elevator Company. At the present time, it is the only elevator 
aside from those owned by the Russell-Miller Milling Company 
at Grand Forks. Mr. W. H. Ryan was superintendent of this 
elevator from 1883 to 1906. He is now superintendent of the 
Northern Division, thirty-five in number, in the Red River valley. 
The capacity of these several elevators is about 50,000 bushels 
each. Mr. Ryan came to Grand Forks in 1882. 

The Studio of George F. Blackburn. On the 22nd day of 
March, 1882, Mr. George F. Blackburn came to Grand Forks. 
This was the year of many new arrivals. He is a native of Lanark, 


Canada, where he was born in 1853. When seventeen years of age 
he began his professional career which has brought him fame and 
a substantial income. The years between 1870 and 1876, were 
spent in photographic work at Perth, but having a desire to pre- 
pare himself thoroughly for his chosen profession he went to 
Rochester, New York, and for a term of four years remained in 
one of the best galleries in the East. After a visit to his people 
in Canada, he then came to Grand Forks, where he pursued his 
business for a quarter of a century; and his gallery has always 
given evidence of the work of a first class artist. A visit to his 
studio and picture galleries would show that most of the people 
of the valley have visited his place. 

Mr. Blackburn is a member of the Presbyterian Church. He 
belongs to the Knights of Pythias, and Order of Free Masons, 
but his time and attention have always been strictly devoted to 
the art of photography of which he has been a close student. 
He has recently acquired land interests in Oregon. 

His wife was Miss Amelia Schraeder of Rochester, Minn. 
They have a son, George F. Blackburn, Jr. 


H. V. Arnold. 

The city of Larimore is located nearly centrally in western 
Grand Forks county, twenty-eight miles west from Grand Forks, 
about thirty-five miles north from Mayville and Portland, and 
about seventy-five miles south of the Canadian boundary. The 
city stands upon ground nearly level or near the eastern side of 
an extensive tract which is a glacially formed delta of the ancient 
Lake Agassiz. Coming up from Grand Forks, the slope of the 
western side of the Red River valley rises a little over three 
.hundred feet to the townsite, 1134 feet above sea level, then after 
passing westward about four miles across the level tract men- 
tioned and to the western verge of the Red River valley, another 
ascent of three hundred or more feet is attained at the upland 
prairie level, two to three miles back from the border of the 
valley. The soil of the delta tract is a rich, dark sandy loam, free 
from stone because it is a fine sedimentary deposit about sixty feet 
in depth, the lower forty feet consisting of a quicksand saturated 
with an abundance of very pure water, easily reached by either 
dug or driven wells. This place is on the main line of the Great 
Northern Railway, while another line of the same system to 
Minneapolis and St. Paul diverges from the other at this point, 
passing southward by way of Wahpeton and Breckenridge, and 
a branch extends northward to Hannah, ninety-eight miles from 

In 1879 the taking up of land for actual settlement had not 
extended very far west from Grand Forks. There were no rail- 



roads in the county and in general its agricultural development 
had to await their construction. There was grading that year, 
followed by track-laying, between Fisher and the Red River oppo- 
site Grand Forks, then in October the grading force were put to 
work on a stretch of grade extending eleven miles west from the 
latter place. A large number of newcomers into the country 
were then located in Grand Forks, reinforced by new arrivals 
coming in by railroad and quite generally these were awaiting 
to see what prospects the immediate future would develop for 
the county. Grand Forks was then a village of perhaps four or 
five hundred inhabitants. The United States Land Office for the 
district was then located at Fargo, but filings on land could be 
made at Grand Forks through an attorney. Influenced by the 
grading of the railroad west from Grand Forks, the land as far 
as the line of range 55 west and for several miles north and south 
of the proposed railroad, was quite generally filed upon by the 
prospective settlers in October, 1879, yet no attempts were saade 
to occupy these claims until the following spring. West of range 
54, on the Elk valley tract, the townships had not then been 
subdivided, and so the filings stopped at the town line that now 
runs north and south through Larimore. 

Between the spring of 1878 and that of 1880, what were 
chiefly a transient class of settlers, had already occupied the 
timber tracts on the streams and all isolated groves of jtimber in 
the central and west part of the county. "Where the land was 
not in the market, yet contained some timber, such quarter- 
sections were 'taken by squatters who built log cabins and awaited 
for the government survey to correctly establish their corners. 
These timber settlers, who avoided the more valuable prairie 
land, inaugurated in the interior of the Red River tier of counties 
a phase of life that might be called their "log cabin days," yet 
this period was comparatively short in the valley, soon being 
blended into the life of the agricultural stage. The line of Turtle 
river, Bachelors grove and some smaller blocks of timber within 
ten miles of Larimore were settled in the manner described and 
during the years mentioned. In October, 1879, a mail route on 
which a weekly stage was driven, was established between Grand 


Forks and Fort Totten. Its intermediate stations were the log 
cabins of settlers, to-wit, Robert Blakeley's in Mekinock; H. E. 
Hanson's in Heyton, and Smith's at Stump lake. 

Toward the end of May, 1880, E. C. Arnold, his brother, H. V., 
and son, H. F. Arnold, arrived at the Elk valley after teaming 
through with oxen from Houston county, Minnesota, and estab- 
lished this settlement two miles west of the site of Larimore. 
Mrs. Arnold and two daughters arrived early in September, and 
these became the first settlers in Larimore township, breaking 
155 acres of the prairie land that season. H. F. Arnold spent the 
winter following in Grand Forks, in^the office of clerk of court, 
but the others remained in their cabin homes. In the same spring 
of 1880 settlers began occupying, breaking and building upon 
their claims in Arvilla and Avon townships, all supplies being 
teamed from Grand Forks. Albert F. Clark of Clayton county, 
Iowa, had rented a place that season on Turtle river, and having 
selected a claim on the border of range 55, where Larimore now 
stands, he broke twenty acres on it. Clark did not build upon 
his claim that year, but about opposite its southeastern corner 
there were standing at the time two claim shacks and a strip of 
breaking owned by Gunder Anderson and A. B. Holt, both just 
across the town line in what is now Arvilla township. The same 
summer the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Company ironed 
their short piece of grade west from Grand Forks as far as 
Ojata. During the same season and fall, a party of government 
surveyors in charge of James E. Dyke of Pembina county, sub- 
divided a number of townships in ranges 55 and 56. The sur- 
veying contract, however, was held by George G. Beardsley, who 
was a native of Ohio, and he had other parties in the field that 

Toward the end of winter a heavy snowfall accumulated in 
the country and which lasted unbroken by thaw until about the 
middle of April, and then disappeared suddenly with much flood- 
ing of the land. This opened the spring of 1881. Prospective set- 
tlers had appeared the previous fall and put up claim-shacks 
in what is Larimore, Avon and Elm Grove townships, but none 
of them attempted to pass the winter on their claims. In the 


spring they again appeared, improved their buildings, and as 
soon as the proper season opened they began breaking the prairie 
sod. In some cases they brought their families with them. In 
May the plats of the subdivided townships were returned and 
accordingly the settlers made their filings, a United States land 
office having been established at Grand Forks in April, 1880. It 
was during this period of springtime occupation of lands in the 
townships mentioned, that a beginning was made by several 
St. Louis grain commission men in establishing the now extensive 
Elk Valley farm, just south of the site of Larimore. A large 
frame house, barns and sheds, and blacksmith shop were erected 
that season and extensive breaking operations were commenced 
on such lands as the company could then claim, and in charge of 
the company's agent, Colonel O&car M. Towner. All supplies 
that season had to be teamed from Ojata and Grand Forks, and 
much of the heavier portion of it was done in March while the 
snow afforded good sledding. During the same month A. F. 
Clark built a small frame house, the first framed building on the 
townsite, on his claim and near where the present Swain home 
now stands. 

Two general merchandise stores were opened in the vicinity 
during the summer. Stevens Brothers established one on section 
10, Arvilla township, on a claim owned by F. D. Hughes and 
subsequently incorporated in what was known as the Hersey 
farm. The other store was erected by Lucius P. Goodhue, who 
in August, 1881, teamed his lumber and goods from Ojata, then 
the nearest railroad point. About that time Currier and Clark, 
the former a builder employed by the Elk Valley Farming Com- 
pany, established a small lumber yard on Clark's premises, to 
supply local demand. In August, 1881, Larimore township was 
organized with the inclusion of Moraine township (until 1884) 
and named for John W. and N. G. Larimore of the Elk Valley 
Farming Company. In the fall considerable threshing was done 
in this section with horsepower machine, for the steam thresher 
was not seen here until another season had come. 

For a section without town or railroad, the spring, summer 
and fall of 1881 was one of general activity, stimulated by the 



alluring prospects of the country and its productiveness; more- 
over, the railroad surveyor was in the field. As early as June 
the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Company located a line 
west from Ojata as far as Moraine township, which survey was 
subsequently altered in places; the Northern Pacific Company, 
which was then building a branch line north from Casselton, also 
extended a survey north from Mayville through this section, and 
north from the townsite the other company made a counter sur- 
vey. Grading was done the same year along portions of all of 
these surveys, particularly between Ojata and the site of Lari- 

In October, 1881, Alexander Oldham, then the county surveyor, 
was employed by the Elk Valley Farming Company to lay out 
a town near where the grades of the railroad corporations crossed 
one another, and upon the quarter-section in Larimore township, 
which they had purchased about that time from A. F. Clark, 
together with several adjoining quarters. Later a part of the 
Anderson claim was likewise surveyed in blocks and lots. While 
the townsite survey was in progress, Nicholas S. Nelson, of Grand 
Forks, erected a building for a general merchandise store, where 
the Elk Valley Bank now stands, and this was the first building 
for mercantile purposes put up on the townsite. It was followed 
by a number of hastily erected structures for various business 
purposes. The railroad company ironed their grade that fall 
between Ojata and Larimore, and the track reached Larimore on 
the afternoon of November 22. At that time only a few buildings 
had been completed and others were in process of construction. 
For over a week only the construction train came to the place, 
but side track and turntable having been put in, a depot, engine- 
house and section house begun, the finished section of the road 
was opened to business December 1, 1881. 

The first half of the winter following was comparatively mild 
and open like some of those experienced in more recent years, 
and the condition of the weather facilitated building. In Decem- 
ber, Stevens Brothers moved their store to the townsite and L. 
P. Goodhue, who had been appointed postmaster of the place, 
also moved in his store before the end of the same month. Two 


papers were started before the warm season again opened, the 
"Larimore Pioneer," W. M. Scott, editor, February 21, and the 
"Larimore Leader," A. W. Dunn, editor, March 2, 1882. It was 
understood at the time that the first named local enterprise was 
in some way a protege of the ' ' Grand Forks Herald, ' ' the other of 
the "Plaindealer" of that time. With a railroad terminus at 
Larimore, all the common mercantile establishments and trade 
concerns, including a bank, were rapidly instituted in the place. 

The year 1882 is memorable for the great immigration into 
the eastern portion of this state, which that year witnessed. This 
was largely prompted by extensive advertising of the country 
throughout other states, together with the facility that the Red 
River valley could not be reached by railroads. In some measure 
conditions in other states invited emigration to sections present- 
ing more alluring prospects. Hence the new settlers came by the 
train load. The new towns in the valley shared in the brilliant 
prospects then being unfolded to view, and in the spring and 
early summer of 1882 Larimore built up rapidly. Colonel 0. M. 
Towner, a natural townsite boomer, was entrusted for a while 
with the sale of lots, and knew how to utilize all sorts of specious 

Much of the earlier building operations were based upon mis- 
taken expectations. A published plat of the place represented it 
as being quite a railroad center with the prospective depot and 
roundhouse of the Casselton branch line located conveniently to 
the north of Third street; hence the Swain and Sherman houses' 
were originally erected in that vicinity and that portion of Third 
street now north of the city hall and public school blocks became 
lined with various business structures. The country west to 
Devils Lake was now being overrun with settlers to a considerable 
extent and so long as Larimore remained the railroad terminus, 
its business prospects were fairly good. A great amount of team- 
ing of lumber and merchandise, household goods, farm machinery, 
etc., was in progress in that direction and travel to Stump and 
Devils lakes was being accommodated by a stage line. The month 
of June found conditions as described, when a report that the 
Casselton branch line on which some further grading had mean- 


while been done, had been traded or sold to the St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis and Manitoba Company, checked further progressive 
operations. The boom that was in progress at once collapsed and 
business men began to think more of development upon such 
natural advantages as were inherent to the country around them, 
and less upon uncertain expectations. 

Early on the morning of June 29 the town experienced a dis- 
astrous fire, mainly confined, however, to parts of both sides of 
Towner avenue, which has always been the main business street 
of Larimore. Some fifteen or more business places were de- 
stroyed, including three hotel buildings. Two unknown persons 
perished in the fire. The loss was estimated at $55,000. The 
burned area was, in the main, soon rebuilt, but not in all cases 
with buildings as good as some of those that had been destroyed. 

During that year the forming of church societies and a school 
board received some attention. The first church service in the 
place was held in a new store building on Sunday, April 30, 
1882. Rev. S. N. Millard, a missionary of the American Sunday 
School Union, preached to large atfdienees morning and evening, 
and organized the same day a Union Sunday School with E. C. D. 
Shortridge superintendent and which was maintained in that 
form until 1887. On July 16, the Methodists gathered and formed 
a class of nineteen, which was the beginning of this society here, 
Rev. M. S. Kaufman of Grand Forks organizing the class. The 
Presbyterian society of Larimore was organized on August 6 by 
Rev. J. C. Cherryholmes and Rev. F. "W. Iddings. Father Fortier 
came from Grand Forks several times and arranged for the 
gathering of a Roman Catholic Church Society, his first visit 
being in March. The Presbyterians were the first society to erect 
a church building in Larimore, its first location having been near 
the northwest corner of block 68 on Third street. Some delay 
was experienced in securing a new school district and choosing 
a school board, but on Saturday evening, July 7, a meeting was 
held and a school district organized by choosing W. M. Scott 
director for one year, E. C. D. Shortridge clerk for two years, 
and C. C. Wolcott member of the board and treasurer for three 
years. The board did not think it advisable to endeavor to erect 


a building that year, but rented a hall instead, which in the fall 
was fitted up for a school room, George H. Stanton hired for 
teacher, and the school opened on November 6. When the Christ- 
mas holiday season came, there having been as many as eighty 
pupils enrolled, it became necessary to divide the school into 
primary and grammar departments, James J. Dougherty teaching 
the former. Prior to all this, in June and July, Mary J. Stoner, 
daughter of a feed store merchant, had opened and taught a 
small private school in a house occupied by her father on Third 

Larimore remained the terminus of the railroad until Septem- 
ber, 1882, when the track began to be pushed on toward Devils 
Lake, the grading of the line having been in progress during the 
summer. Trains began running to Bartlett on December 15, 
then, one month later, a storm blockaded the line west of Lari- 
more, which was not opened again until spring. The population 
of Larimore in the summer was probably all of 800 inhabitants; 
disappointed in the expectation of a competing line of railroad, 
a few of the tradesmen closed out and moved on west. But it 
was not until into the next year that the loss to the place of being 
the terminal of the railroad began seriously to be felt. 

A period of at least ten years' duration now ensued in which 
population decreased and changed, but on the whole the town 
made some material advancement. The usual business changes 
went on from year to year, though a number of tradesmen who 
had come in 1882 had concluded to remain here. The fact that 
several large farms had become established near or within a few 
miles of town was particularly felt to be a decided detriment to 
all kinds of business interests and to the growth of the place, 
and so the chief thing to be hoped for was seen to depend upon 
railroad patronage. 

Early in January, 1883, a number of business men met and 
discussed the question of organizing a city government for Lari- 
more, and this led to procuring a charter from the territorial 
legislature. On March 15 the city officials who had been appointed 
pro tern, were sworn in by Justice Shortridge and the city organi- 
zation was ratified by popular vote on June 5. W. N. Roach was 


the first mayor, a position he held for several years. The city 
was divided into three wards, one councilman to be chosen from 

In 1883 most of the level land surrounding Larimore had 
been brought under cultivation. In the fall arrangements were 
made with Leistikow of Grafton and Anton Bettingen, his father- 
in-law, to erect a first class roller mill at Larimore, the citizens 
to subscribe a bonus amounting to $6,000. The mill was accord- 
ingly built the next year on the site now occupied by the present 
mill. In 1883 the central building of the Larimore Public School 
was erected at a cost of about $12,000. The same year the Elk 
Valley Bank was opened (July 19) by A. W. Warren and "W. A. 
Smith in the building now called the Free Methodist Mission. 
Steps were taken to organize a Masonic Lodge here the same year. 
The building realty for 1883 amounted to $33,150. 

In 1884 the place had two banks, seven general merchandise 
stores, three hardware stores, three drug stores, two flour and 
feed stores, nine hotels, five livery and feed stables, two lumber 
yards, five farm machinery establishments, six licensed saloons, 
two elevators, and other occupations, trades and professions in 
proportion. The hotels of the time were called the Swain, Sher- 
man, Flint, Union, Coleman, Windsor, Larimore, Merchants and 

The year 1884 was also marked in the history of this city by 
through connection with Minneapolis and St. Paul by the com- 
pletion of the south line, a gap of 35 miles between Mayville and 
Larimore being ironed that year, the grading having been done 
in 1881 and 1882. The same year the north, or Hannah line, was 
built as far as Park river. In July track-laying on both lines was 
in progress at the same time. The Elk Valley Bank established 
itself in a new building on the corner of Main street and Towner 
avenue in the fall of that year. The Masonic Lodge thus far had 
been working under a dispension, but a regular lodge was organ- 
ized and officers chosen July 9, 1884. The Larimore Fire Depart- 
ment was organized on December 11 of that year, and a band 
called the Elk Valley Cornet Band during the fall. 

As has been stated, a number of buildings had been located 


upon sites in town under a wrong supposition in regard to rail- 
road matters. This state of things finally had to be readjusted 
to actual conditions. There has ensued here more than the usual 
number of removals of buildings for a place of its size. Both the 
Swain and Sherman houses were moved to their present sites 
from other locations, the first in 1885 and the other in 1888. A 
number of new residences were being built in these years. St. 
Stephens' Roman Catholic church was built in 1885. An Odd 
Fellows Lodge was instituted in Larimore April 15, 1886, begin- 
ning with nine members. What was called the Dakota Division 
of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba railroad was estab- 
lished here February 1, 1887, with C. H. Jenks, superintendent. 
The division headquarters remained here until 1892 and were then 
removed to Grand Forks for several years. The establishment of 
the division here did not cause during the time it remained any 
marked material changes in respect to railroad matters. The 
present Methodist church building was erected in 1887 and has 
been considerably improved since. Early Sunday morning, No- 
vember 20, 1887, occurred the second fire of Larimore that was of 
special remembrance. Several stores, offices, etc., including First 
National Bank building, in block 63, on Towner avenue, were 
destroyed. A dozen or more firms and occupants of offices were 
burned out involving a loss of over $20,000, partly covered by 

In 1887 and 1888 what were called "tournaments" were held 
at Larimore, horse races being the principal feature. An unen- 
closed race course was graded just northwest of town, the first 
of the kind established here. The races and other sports were 
largely attended, being held in the latter part of July. On March 
16, 1888, the roller mill was burned down and was not replaced 
again by the same firm. Thus far W. M. Scott had conducted the 
local paper, "The Pioneer." Its rival called the "Leader," had 
suspended publication near the close of 1884. Mr. Scott sold the 
"Pioneer" to M. M. Miller, who took possession of the plant Sep- 
tember 1, 1888, and conducted the paper for two years, when 
it was bought by H. F. Arnold. The G. A. R. association held its 
first meeting that fall. 


Hitherto such political conventions as had been held at Lari- 
more had assembled in a large building on Third street that had 
been erected for a roller-rink; Sunday school and minor conven- 
tions had assembled in the Presbyterian church and public school 
building. The rink was torn down in 1889, and hence in 1890 a 
movement was set on foot that led to the erection of the city hall 
or opera house the same year. The building has since been used 
for holding innumerable conventions, public meetings of various 
kinds, and entertainments. In 1890 the population of Larimore 
was given as only 553, but at the time the census was taken a 
certain proportion of the inhabitants were absent upon farms 
and of course were credited to the townships in which they were 

In 1893 the town began advancing again, though the large 
farms immediately surrounding it or within a few miles at most 
have ever been a serious detriment to its continued growth. Some 
old business buildings -on Third street were taken in hand by a 
real estate association and remodeled into substantial dwelling 
houses. The Episcopalian church was opened for services that 
year, and Fricker & Welsh erected the present roller mill, since 
considerably enlarged. A notable event that year was the visit 
of the World's Fair Commissioners, composed of representatives 
of foreign nations who were entertained at the Elk Valley farm 
on August 29, an ideal or perfect day as to weather conditions, 
Governor Shortridge and other notable citizens being present. 

In years following new residences began to fill in outlying 
blocks either wholly vacant or partially so, and in general the 
place began to improve and again increase in population. In 
1896 the Great Northern Railroad Company erected a substantial 
brick depot in place of a wooden structure that had burned down, 
which was used until 1905 for division headquarters ;* also a ten- 
stall roundhouse (increased ten more stalls in 1902), and further 
put in yards containing several miles of tracks. The Lutherans 
erected their church the same year. In 1897 a new coal chute 
was added as an appendage to the railroad yards. In September, 

*This structure was in turn burned down on the evening of February 
17, 1909. 


1897, the city held a street fair, the first and only thing of the 
kind ever held here. In 1898 a second school building was added 
to the rear of the first one that had been erected in 1883. The 
year 1899 was an active one in the building line, both as to remod- 
eling and erecting new structures. Electric lighting was estab- 
lished here in that year. The census of 1900 gave Larimore 1,235 
population, which was increased by 400 by the state census taken 
in 1905. 

Every year now had its changes in respect to new buildings, 
particularly substantial residences, with some brick business 
blocks which replaced old wooden buildings. In this line the 
Larmour Brothers ' hardware store was erected in 1898 ; the build- 
ing now occupied by the Elk Valley Bank, in 1901 ; the K. P. Hall 
building, in 1902, and the Arnold Mercantile building, in 1905. A 
further addition was made to the public schools, the west building 
being erected in 1904. In 1904-5 the present Presbyterian church 
building was erected in place of the first building. Within the 
last few years much attention has also been given to civic im- 

Favored with an abundant supply of pure water, with good 
schools, six church organizations, besides Salvation Army bar- 
racks, frequent entertainments in the opera house, and other ad- 
vantages, Larimore has become a good residence point, and it is 
hoped the place is destined to improve in these respects. 

Horace F. Arnold is one of North Dakota's representative 
men and a worthy example of that splendid type of men who have 
given to that state the high standing it now enjoys. 

A native of Danielson, Conn., he was born June 19, 1857, and 
is a son of Ellery C. and Adaline A. (Steere) Arnold. He acquired 
his education in the academy at Caledonia, Minn., and at the Uni- 
versity of North Dakota, and on leaving college turned his atten- 
tion to farming. Mr. Arnold moved to North Dakota in 1879, 
and the next year settled in the Elk valley, two miles west of the 
present site of Larimore, where, for a period of twenty-two years 
he carried on the "Arnold -Farm," comprising 2,200 acres, in 
which he owned a controlling interest. Since purchasing a con- 
trolling interest in the " Larimore Pioneer," in 1890, he has been 


its publisher. In 1908 he also engaged in the mercantile business 
at Larimore. Aside from his regular occupation, Mr. Arnold has 
devoted much time to civic, educational and other public affairs 
looking to the betterment and growth of his city and community 
and to the development of the state's resources. From 1891 he 
served ten years in the state senate and there rendered important 
service in building up the State University and for furthering 
educational interests in general. He was one of the prime movers 
in establishing the Chautauqua at Devil's Lake, and from 1894 
to 1900 was president of that institution. For sixteen years, since 
1893, he has been a member of the board of education at Lari- 
more, and also during the years 1903-5 served as mayor of the city. 

Mr. Arnold has for many years been prominent in fraternal 
and benevolent organizations, and since 1888 has been connected 
with the various lodges in the York and Scottish Rite Orders of 
Masonry, and is also affiliated with the Independent Order of 
Odd Fellows and the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

In all his varied relations he has sustained an unblemished 
character, and has the unqualified confidence of all who know 
him, and his successful and useful career well illustrates what one 
may achieve by persistently following a high and well defined 
purpose, and furnishes an example worthy of emulation. 

East Grand Forks. 

This little city is situated at the junction of the Red River of 
the North and the Red Lake river, and has a thriving community 
of over 3,000 population. With its sister city of Grand Forks, 
it forms one of the most important trade centers in the North- 
west. Railroads radiating to various points on the compass, and 
with fleets of steamers and barges for large transportation com- 
panies, make of it a busy town. Here is located also the most 
complete and extensive lumbering establishments in the Red River 
valley. In its commercial interests this city is closely identified 
with Grand Forks, N. D. 

This section was first visited by W. C. Nash, to whom belongs 
the honor of being the first white settler in East Grand Forks. 


He is a native of Pennsylvania, but for several years before 
coming here was located at Fort Abercrombie on the Red river, 
about 100 miles south of this point. Having been advised by his 
physicians to spend several weeks "roughing it" because of ill 
health, he was induced to accompany a military expedition under 
Major Hatch, which left Fort Snelling, at St. Paul, in July, 1863, 
in quest of the Sioux chiefs, Little Six and Medicine Bottle, 
leaders of the Indians concerned in the fearful massacre of set- 
tlers in Minnesota in 1862, and who were supposed to be hiding 
in the northwest part of this state. On the trip northward, Mr. 
Hatch and his men camped here at ' ' Grand Forks. ' ' In 1864 Mr. 
Nash secured a contract for a tri-weekly mail service between 
Fort Abercrombie and Pembina, which he continued for nearly 
five years. During that time he made many visits here, having 
been attracted by the richness of the soil and other features of 
the place on his former visits. In 1869 he erected several build- 
ings for the government at Pembina and after completing his 
contract there he settled here, which became subsequently his 
place of residence. It was through his influence that the city was 
incorporated in 1887. 

During the years 1871 and 1872 a number of new settlers 
located in the vicinity. In 1873 a postoffice was established, with 
Archie McRea as postmaster. The office was known as Nash- 
ville until 1883, when it was changed to East Grand Forks. A 
school district was organized in 1876, with "W. C. Nash, John 
Griggs and George Inkster as a school board, and Miss Carrie 
Griggs as teacher. In 1881 Mrs. John Griggs platted and laid 
out forty acres of land opposite the business portion of Grand 
Forks, platting it as "Grand Forks East." In the winter of 1881, 
W. J. S. Trail, who owned 120 acres east of Mrs. Grigg's land, 
platted an addition and placed it on the market in March, 1882. 

The first grain elevator was erected here in 1882. It is now 
the Minneapolis and Northern grain elevator. In February, 
1882, J. W. Howes opened a lumber yard and was the first to 
commence business in that line. C. Madison, the city's pioneer 
merchant, came here in May, 1882. This building was subse- 
quently occupied by the Thompson Company's store. In 1882 the 


St. P. M. & N. Ry. Co. erected a depot, and during this year also 
a hotel was built by Peter Gilly. Also during this same year a 
real estate office was opened by Masterson & Carroll; a black- 
smith by Alexander Robinson ; a boarding house by George H. 
Barlow ; a drug store by Eckles & Morgan ; the "Weekly Courier" 
by Bailes & Houge; a real estate office by F. J. Duffy; and the 
hardware store by Hope Brothers ; and a village school, with Miss 
Sauer as teacher. On January 15, 1883, a public meeting of the 
citizens was held, at which it was decided t6 take steps to incor- 
porate the city of East Grand Forks. S. H. Parkhurst, C. Madi- 
son and F. J. Duggan were appointed a committee to attend to 
the formalities. A chamber of commerce was organized in 1883, 
and the fire department was organized in February. The name 
of the postoffice was changed to East Grand Forks in this year, 
and in July a village jail was built at a cost of $600. In 1886-7, 
largely through the efforts of W. C. Nash, the state legislature 
passed an act providing for a special charter, under which the 
city was incorporated in March, 1887. The first election was held 
April 5, 1887. 


By John Mahon. 

Forty-one years is a very short time in the life of such a 
commonwealth as that embraced by the counties of Cavalier and 
Pembina, and yet it is but forty-one years since the first organi- 
zation of these counties was consummated. Their development 
has advanced with such tremendous strides that the progress 
made is difficult to realize. The pioneer days have already passed 
and the pioneers and their posterity are reaping their rewards. 

The history prior to the organization is somewhat uncertain, 
due perhaps to the fact that the early settlers did not think their 
acts worthy of recording. I have been unable to find any Indian 
legends that pertain especially to these two counties. I am in- 
debted to Mr. Charles Lee, Mr. G. Short and others for many 
facts and incidents in this article. 

The history of Pembina, the county seat of Pembina county, 
situated at the junction of the Pembina and Red rivers, dates back 
into the eighteenth century. Captain Alexander Henry, in the 
employ of the Northwest Fur Company, established a trading post 
at the mouth of the Pembina river in the year 1799, and com- 
menced trade with the different bands of Indians that then occu- 
pied that region. At that time this territory belonged to France 
and formed in 1803 a part of the Louisiana purchase. Captain 
Henry made notes of what transpired during his stay the condi- 
tions of the country, the game, etc. These notes are now in the 
possession of the Canadian government at Ottawa. 

There were undoubtedly adventurers and hunters with white 



blood in their veins wandering over this territory prior to Cap- 
tain Henry's coming. Professor Keating, in Major Long's expe- 
dition of 1823, makes mention of a French-Canadian who had 
lived at Pembina since 1780, but failed to record his name. 

The history of the occupation of the state by the white man 
begins with Captain Henry's record in 1799. In his journal he 
makes mention of a house that had been built at Pembina on the 
south bank of the Pembina river, by a Mr. Chabollier, in the year 
1797. This was perhaps the first permanent structure and the 
first home in the state. He describes his first trading post, built 
at Pembina in 1799, as being made of logs and plastered with 
mud and afterward whitewashed with a white clay brought from 
the Pembina mountains. In 1801 he established a trading post 
at Walhalla, then known as the Hare Hills. Other posts were 
established about the same time at Parkriver, Grand Forks and 
points in Minnesota. 

The X. Y. Fur Company and the Hudson Bay Company also 
established trading posts at Pembina and Walhalla about this 
time, and great rivalry existed between these three companies. 
Captain Henry makes a note in his journal of having built a 
watch tower in front of his post at Pembina, that he might watch 
the movements of his competitors. He continued in the company's 
service here until about 1810, when he was removed to the Rocky 
mountain district along the Columbia river, where he died in 
1821. During his management furs were exported from the Red 
River country by way of York factory on the Hudson Bay. 

About 1810 to 1815 farming in a small way had been started 
around Winnipeg by the Selkirk settlement of Highland Scotch. 
On account of some attacks on these settlements a small colony 
of the settlers took refuge in Pembina. in 1812, and continued to 
live there until 1823, when Major Long made his expedition to 
the Red River valley and established the international line. At 
that time there were several hundred settlers, principally half- 
breeds, in the Pembina settlement. Most of these moved across 
the international line after it was established. 

But little record was kept from this time until about 1840, 
when independent traders began to operate. It was in this year 


that Joe Rolette came to Pembina. Joe was a very unique char- 
acter. He had been educated in New York and at the age of 
twenty took charge of his father's fur trade in this region, and 
was shortly afterward made one of the American Fur Company's 
chief managers at Pembina. In 1842 he started the first line of 
Red river carts between Pembina and St. Paul. These cart lines 
afterward proved to be a great factor in the starting and making 
of the city of St. Paul, and the advertising and developing of 
northern Minnesota and Dakota. As early as 1857 there were 
between five and eight thousand carts employed in the fur trade 
of the Red river. In 1843 N. "W. Kitson came to take charge of 
the fur company's trade, and young Joe operated under him. 
Joe was fearless and had many thrilling adventures with the 
hostile Indians. In 1857 he was elected to the Minnesota legisla- 
ture from the Pembina district, which was then a part of Min- 
nesota. To this position he was elected for four successive terms. 

The citizens of St. Paul have not forgotten Joe. In the year 
1857 a bill was introduced for the removal of the capitol of Min- 
nesota to St. Peter, and it was his manipulation that saved them 
the capitol. There are two stories about this bill : one, that it 
was stolen by Joe after it had passed both houses and before it 
had received the governor's signature; the other, that he was 
chairman of the committee to which it was referred, and he fixed 
the bill so that it was not returned. 

He was the first man to file a homestead on land in North 
Dakota, having filed on part of Section 4, Township 163, Range 
57, on June 15, 1868. He also gave the first deed issued in the 
state, selling five acres in Pembina to J. J. Hill, the present rail- 
road magnate. Mr. Rolette was married and raised a large fam- 
ily. He died in 1871 and was buried in Belcourt cemetery. 

From May, 1858, when Minnesota became a state, until March, 
1861, there was no organization of that part of Dakota lying east 
of the Missouri and White Earth rivers. At that time, in Presi- 
dent Buchanan 's administration, Dakota Territory was organized, 
and on May 27 of the following year President Lincoln appointed 
Dr. William Jayne, of Illinois, first governor of what, to his mind, 
was the most promising territory yet organized. 


Norman W. Kittson started business for himself and was one 
of the most successful independent fur traders. He had a number 
of trading posts and a large line of carts and accumulated a large 
fortune. He was appointed postmaster at Pembina in 1846, and 
either he or E. J. Shields was the first postmaster in North Da- 
kota. He was succeeded by Charles Cavalier in 1863, which posi- 
tion Mr. Cavalier held until 1884. His son Edward was then ap- 
pointed and is still postmaster at Pembina. Mr. Charles Cavalier 
came to Pembina in 1851 and was the first customs officer. In 
1863 he built the first postoffice. He was one of the commissioners 
appointed by Governor Jayne in 1867 to organize the county. He 
was married to Miss Murray, whose grandfather came from Scot- 
land with his family in 1812, and settled in Pembina, where they 
lived for several years. They moved to Caldonan (near Winni- 
peg) when they learned they were not on British territory. Mrs. 
Cavalier still lives at Pembina and has the honor of being the 
oldest living white settler of North Dakota. 

Another interesting old settler is W. H. Moorhead. He came 
to Pembina in 1857 a carpenter and contractor. He was a wild 
and fearless frontiersman, but he had a big, generous heart that 
was ever ready to help in times of trouble and distress. He had 
the confidence of those who knew him and assisted in making 
treaties with the Indians. Like most of the early settlers he did 
some trading with the Indians in furs at Pembina, Walhalla, 
Devils Lake, Turtle Mountains, and as far west as Minot. In 
1867, when Pembina county was organized, he was appointed 
sheriff. He died in 1871 and was buried by the brethren of the 
Masonic and Odd Fellows Lodges. 

Perhaps there has been no one person more in the minds of 
the people or who has had more to do with the making and mold- 
ing of the politics of Pembina county and of the state of North 
Dakota than Honorable Judson La Moure. He came to Pembina in 
1868 and engaged in the mercantile business. He very soon became 
interested in politics and is one of the great leaders of the Re- 
publican party of the state of North Dakota. He represented 
Pembina county in the territorial legislature in 1872-77-81 and 85. 
and was elected to the state senate in 1889, which position he has 


held continuously up to the present time. His influence has been 
felt in all departments of the legislature. He is a good judge of 
character and is said to be a true friend and a bitter enemy. 

From 1870 to 1890 there was no more familiar face in Pembina 
county than that of H. R. Vaughn. He was one of those generous, 
wholesouled fellows who greeted every one with a smile and a 
hearty welcome. He was land agent for Pembina county and 
from 1879 to 1883, when the great rush was on for Pembina 
county land, he was a very busy man. He had Mr. Allen, Mr. 
Goodfellow and Bob Eweing for assistants, but we had to line 
up and take our turn in filing on land. Pembina county was the 
scene of great activities and Mr. Vaughn's office was the center. 

Pembina county was a very attractive place for homeseekers. 
The whole county was almost level. It had a surface of black 
loam from two to three feet deep, underlaid by a clay subsoil and 
drained by the Red, Pembina and Tongue rivers and by innu- 
merable coulees. The rivers were skirted with a heavy growth 
of oak, elm, boxelder and poplar trees, and made a most attractive 
section for the incoming tide of settlers. In 1879 the immigra- 
tion began in earnest. The first settlers followed the rivers. 
Some went up the Pembina to Walhalla, where John Major, the 
Emerlees, C. W. Andrews and many other prominent settlers 
had located. Some went up the Tongue to Cavalier, where John 
Beachtel and Abb French had begun operations. Others followed 
the Red up the old stage line, past the Hunt Settlement, to Dray- 
ton, where a splendid settlement was started around the Healeys 
and the Wallaces. The writer located at Jolliete, on Section 15, 
Township 161 and Range 51, in April, 1879, and as a boy was the 
proud owner of 320 acres of the best land in the world. 

Perhaps it is safe to say that ninety per cent of the first settlers 
came here without a dollar. This tended to make a great many 
hard-up for a long time. But very liberal credit was extended 
by the business men. It is very interesting to listen to some of 
the old-timers tell of their experiences in getting along without 
money. Perhaps when the last sack of flour was gone, with no 
money, with a wife and babies at home, and alone among stran- 
gers, credit was extended by the village storekeeper. In many 






cases credit was extended beyond all business reason, and often 
to the final detriment of the buyer. I knew of such a case in 
1880. I have forgotten the name of the purchaser, but he located 
in 1879 and had ten acres broke, which he sowed to wheat in 
the spring of 1880. He had a splendid crop. It got ready to cut. 
He went to Strong and Thompson's hardware store in Pembina 
and selected a cradle which cost five dollars. He said he would 
be able to pay as soon as he threshed his wheat. But they did 
not sell cradles on time and he went away disappointed. He 
stepped out of the store and told his neighbor whom he met on 
the street. Strong and Thompson were agents for a wire binder. 
Mr. Abrahms was in their employ. He happened to overhear the 
man tell his cradle story, and started in to sell him a binder for 
$315. He told him he could cut the crop of several of his neigh- 
bors and soon pay for the binder. But the man said he had no 
team. Mr. Abrahms took him to Randal and Norten's and they 
sold him a pair of horses for $500, and took security on the team 
and his ten acres of wheat. They went to the harness shop and 
bought a forty-dollar set of harness. He had to have a wagon 
and feed the wagon cost ninety dollars. He then came back to 
Strong and Thompson 's and bought a binder and gave security on 
the horses, harness and wagon, and was ready for home. In most 
countries this kind of credit would ruin a beginner, but there 
were many cases that were parallel with this. Those who were 
good managers and had no bad luck succeeded in pulling through. 

The first missionary in the state was Father Bellecure. He 
came to Walhalla in 1845 to labor among the Indians. He erected 
the first church in the state at Walhalla, which was twenty-eight 
feet wide by fifty feet long, with a basement in which he lived. 
In 1847 he placed upon this church a bell weighing 300 pounds. 
It must have required more than ordinary courage and zeal to 
push out so far among the roving bands of treacherous Indians. 
The ringing of the bell was surely music in those early days. It 
still rings at Walhalla. 

In 1852 Mr. Terry, a Baptist missionary from Minnesota, 
accompanied by a Mr. Tanner, began work among the natives at 
Walhalla. He visited Winnipeg for supplies and got acquainted 


with a young lady whom he engaged to marry. On his return to 
Walhalla he began making arrangements for a home and the 
building of a schoolhouse. As he entered the woods to prepare 
the logs for this building he was shot, pierced by a shower of 
arrows, and his scalp taken by a band of Sioux Indians. Thus, 
hope so bright and the life of the first Christian martyr of North 
Dakota went out. 

On May the first, 1853, Alonza Barnard and D. B. Spencer, 
their wives and children and an old man named Mr. White, ar- 
rived at Walhalla from Oberlin, Ohio. They were missionaries 
of the Baptist church and were welcomed by N. W. Kittson, who 
gave them quarters in his trading post until a home was prepared. 
They had with them a very old-styled melodion that they had used 
in their work at the Cass Lake Mission. They also brought with 
them the first printing press ever used in North Dakota. These 
articles were brought in birch-bark canoes from Cass lake, across 
Red lake and down the Red Lake river, to the old cart trail near 
Crookston. From there they were brought on Red river carts to 
Walhalla by way of Pembina. They were used in the spread of 
the gospel and in the worship of Him they loved, until the Indian 
massacre in 1854, when Mrs. Spencer was killed. After this mas- 
sacre the mission was given up and the printing press and melo- 
dion taken to the Red River Settlement near Winnipeg. The 
printing press was used by Dr. Schultz (afterward governor of 
Manitoba) in printing the "Northwester," the first paper of 
that region. About 1875 Father Scott began his work. He rep- 
resented the Presbyterian church from Winnipeg to Fargo and 
was a very kind old man, heartily welcomed and loved by all. 

In 1881-2 the Neche branch of the Great Northern railway 
was built across the center of Pembina county. This was the first 
railroad to cross this territory and the old cart lines, the old 
stage route and the boats on the Red River were discontinued. 
The deep worn ruts of the old cart trails, started nearly 100 years 
ago, running from Pembina and Walhalla toward St. Paul and 
the Missouri river, are still visible in many places. 

In 1861 Dakota Territory was organized and the following 
year the first townships were surveyed along the Red river from 


Pembina southward. Pembina county was organized in 1867 and 
took in most of the Red River valley. Pembina was designated 
as the county seat, and Charles Cavalier, Joseph Rolette and 
Charles Grant were appointed commissioners by the governor to 
organize the first county in the state. They met on August the 
12th, 1867. Joe Rolette was appointed chairman ; J. E. Harrison, 
register of deeds; James McFetridge, judge of probate; W. H. 
Moorhead, sheriff, and John Dease, superintendent of schools. 
The population of the state at that time was seventy-six whites 
and 524 half-breeds. About 400 of these were in Pembina county. 
The first term of court in the state was held in Pembina in July, 
1871, Judge French presiding. 

Not until Pembina county was pretty well settled was there 
any stir in Cavalier county. An old deep-worn cart trail, run- 
ning via Beaulieu and Olga to Devils Lake, was the only sign of 
human habitation. This trail had been in use by the fur traders 
before 1860. All of Cavalier county except Range 57 is on the 
plateau known as the Pembina mountains. This plateau has an 
elevation of 800 feet above the Red River valley. This was the 
feeding ground of the buffalo when Pembina and Walhalla were 
great trading posts and was known as the plains. Gregory Des 
Jarles, one of the first to file on land in Cavalier county, was 
born sixty years ago, about six miles south and east of where 
Langdon now stands, while his parents were on a buffalo hunt. 

Most of the eastern part of this county was settled by squatters 
from 1880 to 1884, at which time most of the county was sur- 
veyed. J. B. Beauchamp and Father St. Piere were the first 
white men to settle on the Pembina mountain. They squatted on 
land near the present site of Olga in 1882. Going there in March 
on the snow, they met some half-breeds who ordered them off 
and threatened them with a band of hostile braves. The same 
spring John Reid, for twelve years one of our county commis- 
sioners, made a tour of the county, going as far west as the Turtle 
mountains. They found they were not the first to cross the 
country, the way being marked by buffalo heads set up in line 
on the tops of the hills. They returned to Beaulieu and located 
on land at the foot of the mountains. 


Robert Scott, George W. Graves and Robert Watson drove in 
over the plains, by way of the Mowberry Settlement in Manitoba, 
and settled on land about the same time, where they still reside. 
Yerxa Brothers started a store at Beaulieu, the first in the county, 
with J. B. Beauchamp as manager. Father St. Piere had a Cath- 
olic church erected at Olga, which was shortly afterward bought 
by George Winter and J. B. Chale and converted into a hotel 
known as Hotel de Log, which was a very popular resort for 
many years. They built an addition to the hotel which they used 
as a store. Mr. M. D. O'Brien opened a supply store about three 
miles west of Olga, on a ravine which has ever since been known 
as 'Brien coulee. And so the settlement kept spreading. 

In 1883 P. McHugh and W. J. Mooney settled on land where 
Langdon now stands and commenced the organization of Cavalier 
county. P. McHugh, W. H. Mathews and L. C. Norcong were 
appointed commissioners for that organization. The first meet- 
ing was held on the eighth day of July, 1884, and the second on 
August 4 of the same year. P. McHugh resigned and W. J. 
Doyle was appointed in his place. P. McHugh was appointed 
register of deeds and acting clerk at this meeting. W. J. Mooney 
was appointed judge of probate and Joe Hamann, justice of the 
peace. The contract was let to Joe Hamann for the digging of a 
well at one dollar and a half per foot, the license to sell intoxicat- 
ing liquors was set at $200 per year, and the meeting was 

An election was held in November, the various officers elected 
and the location of the county seat voted on. The principal 
interest centered around the location of the county seat. The 
voting precinct at Langdon was small, but there were some good 
workers. About a dozen bachelors started voting early on the 
morning of election day. It is said they changed their names and 
wearing apparel often and voted all the sod shacks for miles 
around, and gave a big majority for the right men and Langdon 
as the county seat. P. McHugh was elected register of deeds; 
C. B. Nelson, treasurer; Clarence Hawks, sheriff; H. D. Allert, 
superintendent of schools ; W. J. Mooney, judge of probate ; J. J. 
Reilley, coroner, and W. J. Starkweather, county commissioner. 


The county was organized thirty-one and one-half miles north and 
south by forty-eight miles east and west, and is now one of the 
richest farming counties in the state. The surface is covered with 
a black loam two feet deep, which is underlaid by a clay subsoil. 
The average rainfall is eighteen inches. 

In those days life on the prairie seemed rather dreary to the 
young settlers who had come from the thickly populated parts 
of the East principally from Canada. Far away from home, 
without schools or churches, neighbors far apart and from fifty 
to eighty miles from a railroad, was not what they had been 
accustomed to. Wheat at forty cents a bushel, and a trip to mar- 
ket with oxen which took from four to six days, did not mean 
many luxuries for the home. But the women of those days were 
not looking for luxuries. They thought only of home and him 
who was making the struggle. And with a heart at home that 
was beating out love and inspiration these struggles were but 
pleasures to the men worthy of the name. 

Olga was the center in those days. An incident happened 
there which at the time aroused the whole county. A young lady 
who was living on her homestead south of Olga was found dead 
in her shanty. She had been assaulted and her skull was cracked. 
A few days later, about ten miles northwest of Olga, a young 
schoolma'am, while crossing a deep ravine, was met by a strange 
man who tried to assault her. After a hard struggle that seemed 
like hours to her she escaped and told the neighbors. The news 
of the two crimes reached Olga, a searching party was organized, 
the fellow captured and brought in. The whole settlement gath- 
ered and the young woman was sent for to identify the man. 
The excitement was intense and vengeance was seen on every 
face. A fair trial was given, and when it was shown that the 
man was guilty of both crimes the mob began to howl. A long 
rope was placed around his neck, a hundred men or more seized 
it and started on a mad run for a poplar bluff. The body bounded 
like a ball and was suspended on a branch of a small tree. Thus 
speedy justice was dealt out to the first murderer of Cavalier 

In 1887 the Larimore branch of the Great Northern railway 


was extended to Langdon. Osnebrock and Milton sprang up and 
were soon hustling business towns. The city of Langdon was 
organized. P. McHugh was elected mayor. 0. Orton, Thomas 
Brown, W. D. Keenan, W. F. Kessler, F. H. Prosser and M. L. 
Sullivan constituted the board of aldermen, and J. B. Boyd was 
treasurer. W. J. Mooney, J. McPhail, John Mahon, E. I. Donovan 
and B. R. Glick were on the board of education, and one of the 
busiest county seats in the state was started. 

In 1897 the Great Northern was extended from Langdon to 
the Hannah Settlement. The towns of Dresden, Wales and Han- 
nah started, with Hannah as the terminus of the branch. As was 
expected, Hannah has grown to be a splendid business place. 
There is an excellent farming section tributary to it and C. B. 
McMillan, George Bulloch, W. E. Adams, L. H. Prior, James 
Balfour and many other enterprising business men have been 
there since it started. The Lacota branch of the Great Northern 
was extended across the west side of the county and the Soo Line 
across the south end. At the present time there are over 100 
miles of railroad and sixty elevators in Cavalier county. This 
county ^is underlaid at a depth of about ten feet with a thick 
deposit of cement shale. A large cement manufactory, estab- 
lished by Mr. E. J. Babcock, of the State University, is in opera- 
tion at McLean, which is at the foot of the mountain three miles 
below Olga. To this point the Great Northern railway is being 
extended at the present time. Another cement and brick factory 
is in operation near the site of the old fish-trap on the Pembina 
river. Here ages ago the Indians made a network of logs and 
poles across the rapids of the river, to which they came in season 
to get their supply of fish. Except the cement plants and the 
many flour mills, there are very few manufacturing establish- 
ments in these two counties. And the district will probably 
remain a purely agricultural one for many years to come. 

There is certainly no more beautiful piece of farming country 
in any land. To stand on the summit of the mountain at Beaulieu 
or Walhalla, an elevation of about 800 feet above the Red River 
valley, is an inspiration. There is spread out before you one of 
the grandest of landscapes. Away to the east an unbroken field 


of grain, as level as the waters of ancient Lake Agassiz, waves 
over the entire valley which is dotted with palatial homes and 
humble cottages, that are set about with shrubbery and groves 
of trees. The rivers, skirted with timber, wind their snake-like 
way northward. To the west are the undulating fields of Cavalier 
county, with beautiful groves and splendid homes on every hill 

But thirty years have passed since the conquering of this 
stubborn prairie was really undertaken. Before the transforma- 
tion which, in this time, the energies of man have wrought, the 
pioneer stands amazed. He sees the fields of waving grain, the 
beautiful groves and the splendid roads, and he finds it difficult 
to realize what time has done. He beholds the thriving cities 
and towns, the hundreds of fortunes amassed and the prosperous 
homes, and he marvels at the wealth this prairie has produced. 
But if he cease his pleasant musings on the present and the past 
and turn with me to view the prospects of the future, his wonder 
at what must come will be even greater than his marvel at what 
has passed. Thirty years have but begun the development of 
these counties. They are capable of supporting ten times their 
present population of thirty-five thousand, and when one con- 
siders that as yet little more than half the virgin sod has been 
turned, one realizes that their development is but in its infancy. 
The new settlers, a splendid type of citizens, coming from Illinois, 
Iowa, Wisconsin and other states, and the rising generation will 
build upon the foundation already laid a commonwealth such as 
only the fertile soil of this wonderful Red River valley can 
produce. John Mahon. 

Reminiscences of Fifty Years, by Mrs. Cavalier. 

In the month of February, 1905, Charles A. Pollock, of Fargo, 
N. D., was called upon to try a homicide case at Pembina, in this 
state. The trial lasted three weeks. During the time he was there 
he boarded with Mrs. Cavalier. Her husband was one of the 
oldest settlers of the Northwest. The county of Cavalier was 
named after him. Mrs. Cavalier was born in Fort Gary, now 
Winnipeg, married Mr. Cavalier in 1856, at the old fort, which 


was located at or about where the town of Walhalla, N. D., is 
now situated. She was the daughter of an English army officer, 
and her parents came to Fort Gary along with the Hudson Bay 
Company. Her entire life, therefore, has been spent in this North- 
western country, and since her marriage to Mr. Cavalier in 1856, 
has lived in what is now Cavalier county and at her present home 
in Pembina. Her residence is situated near the bank of the Pem- 
bina river, which empties into the Red river only a few hundred 
feet from the door. 

During the time that Judge Pollock was her guest, there were 
also gathered in her home quite a number of lawyers then in 
attendance upon court, and it frequently happened that the con- 
versation about the table and in the evening would be with refer- 
ence to the early history of the state. It was Judge Pollock's 
habit to write home frequently, and when any incident of special 
interest was recounted by Mrs. Cavalier, he would reduce it to 
writing as quickly as possible in a letter written to his home. 
Those letters have all been preserved and we have secured access 
to them, and give herewith some of the incidents as related by 
Mrs. Cavalier and recounted by Judge Pollock in his letters to 
his family. 

Quoting from a letter dated February 4, 1905 : 
"You will be interested in the anecdotes I am about to relate, 
all told me by Mrs. Cavalier. At breakfast this morning she 
related an experience had in 1863, forty-two years ago this win- 
ter, and as now (February 4, 1905) this morning it was forty- 
two degrees below zero. 

Dogs Kept Them Warm. 

"She, with her husband, came through here from Walhalla 
on sleds drawn by dogs. They camped in the timber on the side 
of the Pembina river bank, just in front of where her house now 
stands. When night came on everyone slept out of doors. They 
first laid down skins, then blankets. For covering they had skins 
of animals. To keep their heads warm their dogs crawled close 
around them. The animals were very kind and seemed to vie 
with each other to see which one could get closest to the faces of 


the sleepers. In this way the head was kept warm. Mrs. Cavalier 
says that it was a most delightful way in which to sleep, and they 
experienced no inconvenience from the cold. 

"She described a band of Chippewa Indians of some 300, 
which were camped near by them at the time. They were under 
the leadership of Chief Bear, a tall, straight, fine looking Indian. 
Remnants of their tribe are now at Blue Earth, and are ruled over 
by the son of Chief Bear. These Indians were great friends of 
the whites, but deadly enemies of the Sioux tribe. Chief Bear 
came one day into Mrs. Cavalier's house and inquired about the 
progress of the war in the South. Being able to speak his lan- 
guage, she told him of having been to St. Cloud and saw three 
regiments of soldiers about ready to start South. The old fellow 
stood up and said, 'Ugh! how I would like to follow them with 
my band.' Then, seeing a newspaper just received, he took it in 
hand, looked it all over and said in substance : 

" 'Fortunate white man you can read and talk with that 
paper, but we cannot,' and Mrs. Cavalier remarked, 'He seemed 
so sad because of his ignorance.' 

Buffalo in Countless Numbers. 

"The following summer she and her husband and a party of 
friends were riding through the country when they saw a herd 
of buffalo, so many in number, even up into the thousands. As 
they made their way along through the valley and up the side of 
the hill, their movement, looking down from the brow of the hill, 
was similar to the waves of the ocean. They were so close to 
each other that individual identity was lost and they seemed one 
moving mass of animal life. I had no idea that herds were so 

"Upon the occasion in question her husband and friend shot 
two big, strapping fellows, which of course furnished plenty of 
meat and two fine robes. Then such skins were so plentiful that 
they had but little value not so now, since the buffalo is almost 

"You might have enjoyed going from here to St. Paul as Mrs. 
Cavalier and her husband did in 1864, but I doubt it. They did 


not have a Pullman car. They did not go to sleep in Grand Forks 
one night and wake up in St. Paul the next morning. No, they 
spent eighteen days, going overland. They went in what is com- 
monly known as a Red river cart. These carts were a two-wheeled 
concern with covering of skins, made something like a Pikes Peak 
wagon; sometimes being drawn by horses, at others by cattle. 
They were very much troubled in crossing streams and rivers. 
Their route lay east of here some fifty miles, then southeast across 
the head waters of the Mississippi. They passed through timber 
and over prairie. 

Novel Ferry Boat. 

"The plan adopted in crossing the river was this: A tub- 
shaped vessel would be cut and bent into the form of a hoop; 
willow twigs would be cut and so placed around the hoop as to 
make the framework of a basket. This, then, would be covered 
with skins taken from the top of the cart. A sort of cement they 
carried was used to fill cracks, and thus make the concern 
water proof. One man would swim the river with a small rope, 
then tie this rope to a tree on the further shore, also to a tree on 
the other shore. The handle of this basket would be attached 
to this rope. Mrs. Cavalier and the women of the party would 
then get into the basket, one by one, to be pulled through the 
water in the basket. Landing upon the other shore, the basket 
would be returned for the remaining members of the party, the 
food and clothing for you must remember there were no hotels 
en route and all food had to be carried. The horse would swim 
the river with the cart. She described several times when horses 
balked in the middle of the stream, and how upon one occasion 
she came near losing her life, and once their supplies tipped over. 
In the latter case the men made great efforts by diving and other- 
wise and did succeed in saving a large part of the supplies. 

"And so the experience of this pioneer ran. I shall get more 
of them before leaving." 

From a letter dated February 5, 1905 : 

"I got a new story from Mrs. Cavaleer this morning. I find 
I have spelled her name erroneously before. Notice the spelling. 



Her husband 's name, I find, was Charles. Now for the story : 

"You remember the Chippewa and Sioux Indians were always 
at war. The former were Red Lake Indians, so-called, and, as I 
said yesterday, have descendants at the Blue Earth reservation. 
The Sioux, you remember, made a raid down near New Ulm, 
Minn., and murdered a lot of whites. General Sibley started for 
them from St. Paul, captured some 300 and hung about thirty- 
eight. The remainder were sent to Davenport, Iowa. I remember 
the instance well, for we were then living at DeWitt, Iowa, twenty 
miles north. There were about 300 of the Sioux who got away 
from General Sibley and escaped to Canada, finally halting near 
Portage la Prairie, west of Winnipeg. At this time a large band 
of Chippewas (whom you will remember were always friendly to 
the whites) were camped in the timber just north of old Fort 
Gary. At this juncture Mrs. Cavileer happened to be visiting her 
mother at Winnipeg. They lived not far from the old fort, and 
upon the day in question she had gone about a mile north over 
towards St. Boniface, to visit and spend the day with a friend. 

"Shortly before some forty of the Sioux braves came down to 
Winnipeg and proposed to smoke the pipe of peace with the 
Chippewas make up and be friends. The merchants of the place, 
observing what was going on, sent out tobacco, pipes, flour, meat, 
etc., for the use of the Indians in their pow-wow. The dance 
began. Just at this juncture Mrs. Cavileer came along returning 
home. Suddenly, bang! bang! went the guns of both Sioux and 
Chippewas. At this moment Mrs. Cavileer was within seventy- 
five feet of the crowd. Every Chippewa with loaded gun leveled 
and shot at the Sioux, killing seven of their number, and scalped 
them right in Mrs. Cavileer 's presence. One escaping Indian 
came running by Mrs. Cavileer. The eighth man of the Sioux 
shot was pulled into the brush by a squaw Chippewa who was 
friendly and his life was saved. 

"The whites, seeing the treachery of the Chippewas, drove 
them away and allowed the surviving Sioux to escape to Portage 
la Prairie. Thus it is that probably this woman, Mrs. Cavileer, 
is the only woman in North Dakota who ever saw an actual 
Indian fight. The Chippewas justified their act because of the 


continuous acts of treachery towards their tribe in former days. 
How would you like to have been a pioneer?" 

From a letter dated February 6, as follows : 

"I have two stories for you today. First: At an early date 
they held court here at Pembina, with Judge Barnes upon the 
bench. The early inhabitants of North Dakota will remember him 
as being the father of Mrs. Judge Thomas, and also of L. A. 
Barnes, who lives near Cotters Station, in Barnes township, south- 
west of Fargo. George I. Foster, the insurance agent of Fargo, 
was clerk of the court. Both the judge and the clerk lived at 
Fargo. It was in about the year 1870. They came north on the 
Red river by boat. Upon the occasion in question they brought 
along a man who had stolen a sack of flour at Bismarck. The 
prisoner stated that his family was starving, hence he stole. Why 
they went to all the trouble of bringing him here is more than I 
can understand. Well, just before arriving, the boat had been 
tied up to the bank and some merchandise was loaded. While in 
this position a young child, daughter of a traveler, had been 
climbing on a limb of a tree which hung over the boat. It seemed 
that she was swinging on the limb, and as she was in the act of 
swinging back to the boat it moved away, and the child dropped 
into the river. Immediately the cry went forth, 'A child over- 
board!' but no one seemed to go to the rescue. The criminal (?), 
however, though having chains on his legs, seeing the situation, 
jumped into the river chains and all and rescued the child. When 
they got to Pembina the passengers raised a purse of sixty dollars, 
gave it to the man, and, instead of a trial being had, he was 
returned to his home a free man and a hero. 

"Second: You know at an early date at the fort here, Mr. 
Cavalier being collector of customs, was also hotelkeeper and 
postmaster. One evening there came up from the South on a 
boat a United States marshal. He was traveling incog. He put 
up at the Cavalier's. The man after whom he had come was a 
highway robber from Texas. This robber was working in a 
saloon at St. Vincent, just across the river from here, in Minne- 
sota. The postoffice then, as now, was in the front part of the 
house. The United States marshal came through the postoffice, 


put down his grip and coat, and was about to call for his mail, 
when suddenly the door opened and the big, burly robber came 
in to get his mail. The United States marshal suddenly turned 
around, pulled his revolver and said, 'Bill, hold up your hands.' 
Bill obeyed. The postoffice was quite full and there was a general 
scattering. At this juncture Mrs. Cavalier came into the post- 
office from the back room. Suddenly Bill turned, pulled his gun 
and fired at the marshal. The ball grazed his shoulder, went 
through the window and through the tent of some friendly In- 
dians camped on the adjoining lot. They, feeling that a fight 
was on, suddenly appeared on the scene. The United States 
marshal put in another shot, which went immediately through 
the body of Bill. Bill, however, though stunned, fired again, and 
shot the marshal through the heart, and at once fell dead himself. 
This all in the presence of Mrs. Cavileer and her son Ned, who 
is now the postmaster here. 

''After examination it was found that the United States mar- 
shal was an old friend of Bill, and even stood up with him when 
married. Bill was a son of one of the first families in Texas, but 
became a desperado. Sad it was to the parents and friends of 
both. Bill's remains lay here in the graveyard; those of the 
United States marshal were returned to Texas." 


Nelson county is situated within the watershed of the Red 
River of the North, one county removed from the river, and con- 
tains twenty-eight congressional townships, equal to 1,008 square 
miles, or 645,120 acres. The Sheyenne river drains the south- 
western portion of the county, while the eastern portion of the 
county is drained by the Goose, Turtle and Park rivers. Stump 
lake is a peculiar shaped sheet of water, but the name is not 
appropriate. The Indians called this lake Wamduska, which sig- 
nifies "When on the waters, Oh, look." The name they gave it 
calls upon the beholder to look at the beauties which surround it. 
It is a fine body of water about seventeen miles in length, with 
a breadth varying from a quarter of a mile to nearly three miles, 
and covers an area of about sixteen square miles, or a little more 
than 10,000 acres. Stump lake once formed a part of Devils lake 
and its waters are impregnated with the same chemical substances 
as those of the longer lake. The shores of this lake are studded 
with beautiful beaches. White "Blue mountain," so-called, over- 
looks its western end and adds greatly to its natural scenery. A 
few small streams are tributary to Wamduska lake, but it has 
no outlet except possibly in the very wet seasons. The lake is 
becoming a prominent summer resort. Lake Laretta, in Township 
153, and Deer lake, in Township 152, are also worthy of mention. 
The former is about two miles in length and a half mile broad. 
This lake has marshy shores and line of low bluffs outside of the 
marsh surrounding it. Deer lake is a beautiful sheet of water, 
and there are other lakes in the county varying from a few acres 
to 200 in area. Marshes also are numerous, and are scattered 


over nearly every part of the county. In some instances they 
are six to ten miles in length. 

The soil of Nelson county is rich and productive, with a clay 
subsoil which holds moisture and insures good crops even though 
the rainfall should fall below the usual amount. Wheat and flax 
here as in other counties of the state have been wealth producing 
crops and have made the farmers practically independent. A 
gradual improvement has been made during the last twenty-five 
years among the farmers of this county, but during the past six 
or seven years a decided improvement has been shown by farmers 
with capital coming in from other states, and so productive is the 
soil that time and again the crop from one season 's work has paid 
for the land that produced it. 

With the completion of the Aneta-Devils Lake branch of the 
Great Northern railway, every farm is within easy access of 
railway, so that the haul to market throughout the southern part 
of the county in particular is now greatly lessened by this thor- 

The prosperity of the county can in a measure be estimated 
from the following figures as to the assessed value of Nelson 
county property during recent years : 

1900 $2,657,300 

1901 2,936,564 

1902 3,054,094 

1903 3,260,418 

1904 3,432,872 

1905 3,738,593 

The assessed values for 1906 are not as yet available. 
Organizations : Nelson county was formed at the last session 
of the legislature, in the spring of 1883, from portions of Grand 
Forks, Ramsey and Foster counties. D. S. Dodds, F. I. Kane and 
George Martin were the first county commissioners. In June, 
1883, they organized, fixed the seat of justice at Lakota and 
appointed the following county officers : Register of deeds, H. W. 
Alexander ; clerk of court, W. S. Tallant ; judge of probate, D. J. 
Tallant ; treasurer, E. L. Owen ; sheriff, Josiah Pierce ; assessor, 
M. A. Koons; surveyor, Tucker. Lakota, the county 


seat, was laid out July 1, 1883, by Messrs. Howard and Kane, 
a syndicate of English capitalists. The railway had reached the 
county late in the fall of 1882. Lakota is a city of 1,200 
inhabitants, and is well located on the main line of the Great 
Northern railway, sixty-three miles west of Grand Forks and 384 
miles from St. Paul. From here runs a branch north to Sarles, 
seventy-two miles. 

It is a shipping point for an immense amount of grain each 
season, and here are located six of the largest elevators doing 
business in the state. The city is well laid out and within the 
past two years considerable cement walk has been laid. There 
are several large stores in the place, and in a business way the 
little town is very prosperous. Lakota has an exceptionally fine 
high school building and a corps of nine teachers. A movement 
is at present under way to provide the city with an electric light 
plant and other metropolitan advantages. For a city of its size, 
Lakota boasts of as many comfortable homes as any other place 
in the state. There are a number of other prosperous towns in 
Nelson county. Michigan, twelve miles to the east, has a popula- 
tion of upwards of 700 and is prosperous and progressive. Peters- 
burg is fifteen miles east, also on the main line of the railroad, and 
is rapidly coming to the fore. In the southern part of the county 
is located Aneta, one of the best towns in the state. Then there 
are the new towns along the new branch, among which might be 
mentioned McVille, Tolna and Pekin, all of which have been 
developed within a year and give every indication of substan- 
tiability and progressiveness. 

Schools of Nelson County. 

The schools of Nelson county are efficient. The first record 
bears date for report of county superintendent, Jefferson M. 
Meyer, for year ending June, 1885. At that time the school town- 
ship of Dayton, Hoiland, Illinois, Kane, Lee, Mapes, Michigan City 
and Petersburg report an attendance of 184 pupils enrolled; 17 
teachers employed, at an average salary male, $50; female, 
$35.50 per month. The superintendent's salary, for services be- 
tween January 5 to June 30, was $250. In 1889, under the super- 



intendency of Clarkson A. Hall, there were 27 school districts, 
with an enrollment of 1,805 pupils. Under B. O. Skrivset the 
superintendent for the year ending June, 1908, the number of 
school districts are 27; schoolhouses, 85; enrollment of pupils, 
2,557; teachers, 159. The total valuation of school property is 
$128,935. Average salary of teachers, $50.84; of rural schools 
alone, $48.50. 

County officers of Nelson county for the year ending June 1, 
1908, are: County auditor, Jonas Burreson; county treasurer, 
Fred Lindvig; county judge, W. H. Smith; clerk of court, R. J. 
Roberts ; register of deeds, P. Sjurseth ; superintendent of schools, 
B. 0. Skrivseth; sheriff, P. E. Sandlie; state's attorney, J. H. 
Fleming; coroner, E. Lohrbauer. 

Asle J. Gronna, representative in congress from North Da- 
kota, was born in Elkader, Clayton county, Iowa, December 10, 
1858. His parents came from Naes, Hallingsdal, Norway. His 
father was engaged in farming, and his boyhood days were spent 
on the farm. When he was two years of age the family removed 
to Houston county, Minnesota, and the future congressman was 
educated in the public schools of that county and at the Caledonia 
academy. After leaving school he taught for several years in 
the district schools of Minnesota and South Dakota. He came to 
North Dakota in 1880, locating at Buxton, Traill county, and is 
thus one of the pioneers of the Red River valley. In 1887 he 
removed to Lakota, Nelson county, where he has resided ever 
since, and where he has been engaged in farming and in the 
mercantile business. Politically Mr. Gronna has always been 
identified with the Republican party and has taken an active part 
in its affairs ; for a number of years he was chairman of the Re- 
publican county central committee. He has been an active factor 
in the development of his section of the state and has taken a 
prominent part in the public affairs of the community in which 
he lives. He was for a number" of terms president of the village 
board of trustees and also served as president of the board of 
education for a number of terms. He was a member of the terri- 
torial legislature of 1889 and took an active part in the delibera- 
tions incident to the change from the territorial to the state form 


of government. He was appointed regent of the University of 
North Dakota by Governor White in 1902, serving until his sub- 
sequent election to congress, and devoting very largely of his 
time and energies to the interests of the institution. He was the 
Republican nominee in 1904 for representative from the state at 
large to the fiifty-ninth congress, and was elected by a vote which 
nearly trebled that of his nearest opponent, A. G. Burr, the Demo- 
cratic nominee. He was renominated and re-elected to the sixtieth 
congress, and in 1908 was again nominated by the Republicans, 
receiving the highest vote at the primaries in a field of nine 
Republican candidates, and was re-elected by a large majority. 
His record in congress has been that of an indefatigable worker, 
and few members of the house have devoted themselves more 
assiduously to the interests of their constituents than has Mr. 
Gronna. Scarcely ever absent from his seat during the sessions, 
he has taken an active part not only in the legislation affecting 
this state, but in the affairs of the country in general. He has 
contended for a revision of the tariff, with the interests of the 
Northwest in view, and his championship of the denatured alcohol 
measure was largely influential in securing its passage. He is a 
forcible and convincing, rather than an eloquent, speaker, and 
evidently fortifies himself against successful opposition by care- 
ful and elaborate preparation and exhaustive research. As a 
practical farmer and a successful business man he is thoroughly 
in touch with North Dakota's chief interests and is a representa- 
tive citizen. Mr. Gronna is the senior member of the Gronna- 
Larson Company, of Lakota, one of the largest general merchan- 
dising concerns in the state, and he also has extensive farming 
interests in Nelson county. Mr. Gronna was married August 31, 
1883, to Bertha M. Ostby, of Spring Grove, Minn. They have two 
sons and three daughters, James, Grace, Lillian, Amy and Arthur. 
Mr. and Mrs. Gronna are connected with the Lutheran church 
and active in church and social circles. 

Amund M. Tofthagen, president of the Lakota Mercantile 
Company, is a gentleman of rare business ability and has made a 
name for himself in North Dakota. He is a man of intelligence 
and is always a student, making the best of his opportunities to 



learn of men and the world. He has just returned from a trip to 
Alaska, and is about to make his second trip around the world. 
This second journey as planned, with its loops through Africa 
and South America in particular, will necessitate about 40,000 
miles of travel, but when completed will be one of the most com- 
plete journeys of the kind ever made. 

The following sketch of Mr. Tofthagen is taken from the 
"Compendium of History and Biography of North Dakota," pub- 
lished in 1900. It is as follows : 

"Our subject was born on the farm Tofthagen, Listad, Nor- 
way, November 12, 1858, and was the second child and oldest 
son in a family of seven children. His parents, Andrew and 
Mary (Simonson) Tofthagen, now reside in Wisconsin. The fam- 
ily came to America in 1871 and joined the father at Black River 
Falls, where the father had been employed for over a year. Our 
subject was reared on a farm and most of his work was done for 
neighboring farmers, and he supported himself from the age of 
fifteen years. He received a high school education and then 
worked three years in a dry-goods store, and in 1882 entered the 
employ of A. Abrahamsen, general merchant of Grand Forks, and 
in April of that year he filed claim to land as a homestead in 
Bergen township, Nelson county, and in the spring of the follow- 
ing year settled permanently on the farm and spent the summer 
there. In 1885, when the office of county auditor was created, 
our subject was appointed to fill the same, and in 1886, without 
opposition, he became his own successor by popular vote. He 
served as register of deeds in 1888-1892, thus making eight years 
continuous service in the county courthouse. He then dealt in 
real estate and loans in Hillsboro, North Dakota, where he re- 
mained until 1895, and then assumed the presidency of the Lakota 
Mercantile Company. The business has prospered under his guid- 
ance and he is one of the prominent business men of his com- 

"Mr. Tofthagen has enjoyed the advantages of extensive travel 
and has visited many of the European countries at will, and has 
vivid impressions of the political and social condition on the con- 
tinent. He is studious and observing and is a pleasing conversa- 



tionalist on an extensive range of topics, and his fine library in 
his handsomely furnished bachelor quarters in Lakota contains 
volumes illustrative of the range of his researches. Mr. Toft- 
hagen is a member of the Masonic fraternity as a Knight Templar, 
a member of the Mystic Shrine and thirty-third degree Elect, and 
is very prominent in affairs of the order. 


The territory comprising Walsh county is described as follows 
by the Tenth Anniversary Special Number, May, 1900, of the 
Walsh ' ' County Record ' ' : 

"Eight hundred and fifty miles northwest of Chicago, 350 
miles south of that imaginary boundary line which separates. 
Uncle Samuel's domains from that division of her British maj- 
esty's realm known as the province of Manitoba, Dominion of 
Canada, twelve miles west of the Red River of the North, and 
on the borders of the picturesque tributary, the Park river, is 
Grafton, the county seat of Walsh county and the metropolis of 
northeastern North Dakota, in the center of the far-famed Red 
River valley. ' ' 

The Red river is the only large stream on the planet whose 
course for hundreds of miles is northward, except the river Nile, 
of which it is almost a prototype, and which has for thousands of 
years contributed untold wealth to that ancient land. 

The Red River valley proper is an apparently perfectly level 
prairie, sloping almost imperceptibly towards the river. In 
places, especially on the west, the boundary of the valley is 
marked by abrupt rising of the surface and a sudden changing 
from the level prairie to an undulative surface. Captain Henry, 
who was in charge of an agency for the Hudson Bay Company, 
established a branch trading station within the limits of the 
present Walsh county, near the mouth of the Park river, over 100 
years ago. 

In September, 1800, he writes: "September 16: At Bois 
Piers, near where we are encamped, has been a great crossing 



for many years. The ground on both sides has been beaten as 
hard as pavement, and the numerous roads leading to the river 
a foot deep are surprising. When I consider the hard sod through 
which these tracks are beaten, I am naturally at a loss and be- 
wildered in attempting to form any idea of the numerous herds 
of buffaloes which must have passed here. "We saw here the 
buffalo all in herds crossing from east to west side, directing their 
course to the Hare hills. We chased several herds and had fine 
sport, but killed only two fat cows and took a small load of 
meat down to the river for the canoes to take as they passed. 
Here I lost one of my spurs. Having brought the meat near the 
river we set out and did not stop until we reached Park river at 
2 o'clock. We tied out our horses at the entrance to the Little 
river, and went out to search for the proper spot to build, as the 
Indians would not ascend the river any higher. We went up the 
river about a mile and attempted to drink, but found the water 
a perfect brine. I now found it impossible to build here even if 
the wood had been proper. Early this morning I went out in 
search of a proper place to build. I found none so well suited for 
defense and wood at hand, as a point of woods on the west side 
of the Red river, within a quarter of a mile of the Little Park 
river, a beautiful level plain which divides us from the river." 

From the Walsh "County Record," above mentioned, we 
extract the following account of the coming of the first settlers 
of this county : 

Our Early Settlers. 

The year 1878 brought the first settlers to the vicinity of 
Grafton. Quite a number located along the borders of the pic- 
turesque Park river, for a distance of twenty miles west from 
the Red river, during that year. Most of their claims were for 
160 acres, and generally in the form of a rectangle one mile in 
length and one-fourth of a mile in breadth, and a portion of each 
claim consisting of timber land bordering on the river. The 
"prairie" land was at that time considered of little value. Among 
the number who arrived during the year and who are still living 
in the vicinity of Grafton may be mentioned: Ole T. Gordon, 
John Johnson, Charles Johnson, Martin Dahl, Ole Olson, John 


Stokke, John Colson, B. C. Askelson, Gus Colson, Mons Monson, 
S. Larson and others. Mr. Gordon made the first land office 
filing on land along the Park river. This claim, on which he 
is still living, is one mile east of Grafton. Benjamin C. Askelson, 
during the same year, located a claim, a portion of which is now 
within the city of Grafton. Mr. Askelson has recently removed 
to Ramsey county. Portions of the claims of Monson and Colson 
are also included within the corporate limits of Grafton. 

During the following winter, on February 11, 1879, Thomas E. 
Cooper, halving during the previous summer visited this point and 
selected a claim, arrived with his family and, in a small log 
building of decidedly primitive appearance, "settled" on the site 
of the present city of Grafton. During the year of 1879 there 
were a number of accessions to the ranks of the settlers along 
the Park river, but there were none who cared to brave the hard- 
ships of living on the "dreary open prairie." These pioneers 
were nearly all .then without means, though now among the 
wealthy citizens of the state. They were obliged to haul their 
first crops to Grand Forks or Pembina to find a market, and ox 
teams were usually the mode of conveyance. During the long 
winters they were practically shut off from communication with 
the outside world. 

Walked All the Way. 

Hon. D. W. Driscoll, North Dakota's state treasurer, was 
among the number who came to the present Walsh county in 
1879. He located at Acton, then known as Kelly's Point, and en- 
gaged in the farm implement business there, and also in farming. 
He now owns in that vicinity the largest farm in the county, 
comprising some 3,000 acres, completely equipped as a grain and 
stock farm. Mr. Driscoll, recalling a trip he made on foot from 
Acton through this section in December, 1879, says: "It was at 
that time a decidedly dreary landscape. There were but very 
few settlers then within miles of the present city of Grafton, and 
these were living along the river. There was not a single house 
to be seen on the prairie in any direction nor any sign of human 
habitation. I remember meeting Charles Johnson, O. Olson, T. E. 
Cooper, O. T. Gorder, Iver Dahl and a few others, all living in 


log houses 'in the timber.' No one had any idea at that time 
that the prairie land would be settled for many years, if ever. 

Came with a Rush. 

"Two years later there was not a desirable quarter section 
within miles which had not been taken. I never saw such a rush 
as there was during '80 and '81. They were not by any means 
all farmers. Broken-down merchants, lawyers, teachers, black- 
smiths, jewelers, carpenters, and many of other occupations, tried 
their hand at farming. The result was not in every instance 
entirely satisfactory, and some moved on to other pastures. But 
I do not know of a man who has engaged in farming with any- 
where near proper methods who has not done well here, and it 
would be difficult to find anywhere a more prosperous farming 
district than this section of the Red River valley." 

Early in 1880, through the efforts of Thomas E. Cooper, the 
settlers along the river secured the advantage of a postal route, 
which was established from Acton westward twenty miles. The 
route included three postoffices. Mr. Cooper was named as one 
of the postmasters, and the name selected for the postoffice here 
and eventually the future town, was "Graf ton," in honor of 
Graf ton county, New Hampshire, the home of Mrs. Cooper's par- 
ents. Another postoffice five miles east of Grafton was called 
Park River, and William McKenzie was appointed postmaster. 
John Almen was appointed postmaster at "Swedon," eight miles 
west of Grafton. These two offices were discontinued some time 

Graf ton's Beginning. 

The Grafton postoffice was for some time in Mr. Cooper's log 
house. Soon after the postoffice was established, Bert Beer 
opened a little store, and in March, 1881, John Volk started a 
blacksmith shop. A little later, N. J. Roholt opened a grocery. 
In July W. M. Chandler started a general store. These, Graf ton's 
pioneer "mercantile houses," were located on the bank of the 
river near the point where the Great Northern bridge has since 
been built. 

The growth of Grafton was slow until the advent of the St. 


Paul & Minneapolis, now the Great Northern, railway. The ex- 
tension of the railroad northward from Grand Forks in 1881, 
assured the existence of a town there, however. It was chiefly 
by reason of its desirability as a point for crossing the Park river 
which determined the location of the railroad town. Comstock 
& White, the well known townsite promoters, purchased portions 
of the claims of T. E. Cooper, Gus Colson and Mons Monson for 
the townsite, and the growth of the town from that time was 
phenomenal. Judson LaMoure, of Pembina, and Alexander 
Griggs, of Grand Forks, became interested in the townsite and 
the sale of lots, which was inaugurated immediately after the 
wheat crop of 1881 was harvested on the townsite, was brisk from 
the beginning. J. A. Delaney acted as sales agent for the town- 
site proprietors. The first lots were purchased by F. T. Walker 
& Co., C. Hendrickson and Stewart Cairncross. The latter erected 
the first store building on the new townsite. The stores which 
had been started on the bank were moved southward to the new 
business centre. Joseph Deschenes and William Brunelle moved 
their store from Acton to Grafton. F. T. Walker & Co., in No- 
vember, opened the Walsh County Bank, which afterward became 
the First National. Several machinery houses were started and 
other business concerns followed rapidly. When the first train 
arrived in Grafton in December the town already had a popula- 
tion of 400 and about thirty business houses. 

Wonderful Growth. 

Six months later the population had increased to 1,000, and 
within a year from the time the railroad was surveyed to this 
point and the town began its growth, its people numbered 1,500. 
Grafton was organized as a village in 1882, with W. C. Leistokow 
as the president; Edward Hartin, clerk; John Mitchell, justice; 
M. Raumin, treasurer,; T. F. McHugh, assessor ; P. J. McLaughlin, 
attorney; and W. C. Leistikow, P. W. Wildt and J. L. Cassel, 
trustees. So rapid was the growth of the young town that a year 
later it was found necessary to enlarge the municipal powers of 
Grafton and the city was accordingly incorporated. Stewart 
Cairncross was elected as the first mayor, but resigned after serv- 


ing nine months. Succeeding mayors have been F. E. Chase, 
Joseph Tombs (seven terms), T. F. McHugh, Joseph Deschenes 
(four terms), W. N. Smith, H. G. Sprague and John D. Lewis, the 
present executive. 

Grafton's first newspaper, the "Times," was established in 
1882 by H. C. Upham, since deceased. 

The first church in Grafton, the Hauges Lutheran, was built 
in the spring of 1882. 

A son born to Mr. and Mrs. S. Cairncross in 1881 was the first 
white child born in Walsh county, and was named Grafton in 
honor of the town. 

The first school in Grafton was opened during the winter of 
1881-2, and was held in a one-room building, with Joseph Cleary 
as teacher. The main portion of the now Central School building 
was erected in 1884. 

The Grafton Volunteer Fire Department was organized in 

The streets of Grafton have been lighted by electricity since' 
1889, and Grafton was the first municipality in the state to own 
its lighting plant. 

Grafton secured its public water supply by sinking an artesian 
well in 1891. 

Grafton's free public library, the first of the kind in the state, 
was opened in 1896, with 400 volumes. 

The County's Birth. 

In 1881 Walsh county was erected by an act of the legislature 
out of the southern portion of Pembina county and the northern 
portion of Grand Forks county. The county was named after 
Hon. George H. Walsh, of Grand Forks. Governor Ordway ap- 
pointed Hon. George P. Harvey, of Minto; William Code, of 
Kensington, and Benjamin C. Askelson, of Grafton, as county 
commissioners. The commissioners named Grafton as the county 
seat and appointed the following as the county's first officers: 
Clerk and register of deeds, N. TJpham, Grafton; sheriff, Jacob 
Reinhardt, Grafton; coroner, Dr. N. H. Hamilton, Grafton; clerk 
of district court, W. A. Cleland, Grafton; assessor, John N. 



Nelson, Sweden; judge of probate, E. O. Faulkner, Kensington. 

For years fur traders traversed this county dealing with the 
Indians. The first permanent settlement within the present Walsh 
county, however, was not until 1870, when a few settlers located 
along the Red river. A town was laid out at "Kelly's Point," 
now known as Acton, in 1878, by Antone Gerarde, who has for 
years maintained a ferry across the Bed river. A store was 
opened there in 1878 by William Budge, W. J. Anderson and J. 
Eshelman, of Grand Forks, and another store by Joseph 
Deschenes, which was afterward moved to Grafton. 

John L. Cashel, the subject of this sketch, was born in New 
York city, June 24, 1848, of Irish parentage. In 1853 his parents 
moved to Springfield, Ohio, and located on a farm near by, where 
they remained until the fall of 1856, then going west, overland to 
Chicago, 111., where they spent the winter, and moved the fol- 
lowing spring to Buffalo county, Wisconsin, then a frontier 
wilderness. At that time railroad facilities extended no further 
west than Dunlieth, 111., or Milwaukee, Wis. 

On this frontier farm is where the boy got his training in 
education and labor. For fourteen years he labored almost in- 
cessantly; in the spring time putting in the crops, in the summer 
breaking the virgin soil, driving oxen, haying and harvesting, 
and in the fall threshing and preparing the ground for the next 
year's crop. In the winter he attended the public schools when 
time permitted. In the meantime he taught school in his home 
district four winters, and held the position of town clerk from 
the time he became of age until he moved, permanently, from 
there. His advanced education was acquired, at his own expense, 
at the University of Wisconsin, the Weyland University, Beaver 
Dam, Wis., and the LaCrosse Business College, LaCrosse, Wis., 
where he graduated in the spring of 1871, and the September 
following he purchased a half interest in the school and con- 
ducted it successfully until the summer of 1875, when he disposed 
of his interest and engaged in other pursuits. 

September 1, 1874, he was united in marriage to Miss Mar- 
garet Morris, of LaCrosse, Wis., whose father was one of the 
pioneer merchants of that city. This union was blessed with two 


sons; the older, Morris J., was born November 4, 1884, and com- 
pleted his B. A. course at the University of Wisconsin in the class 
of 1908. The younger, John L., was born June 19, 1886 ; he com- 
pleted the law course at the University of North Dakota, in the 
class of 1907, and continued his studies at the University of 

In 1876 he moved to Rochester, Minn., and engaged in the 
mercantile business until 1878, when he moved to Faribault, 
Minn., and entered the real estate and abstract business until 
1881, when he moved to Grafton, Dakota Territory, arriving there 
August 31, in advance of the railroad, and purchased the first lots 
sold off the town plat. He erected a building, established Octo- 
ber 1, and was cashier of, the Walsh County Bank, which was 
converted, January 1, 1883, into the First National Bank, which 
he has conducted as its cashier ever since. This bank is one of 
the most substantial and successful in the state, meeting with 
the fewest losses and paying the heaviest dividends. 

He served six years in the Grafton city council and nineteen 
years, without opposition, on the board of education, being its. 
president during most of that time. He ran for lieutenant gov- 
ernor on the Democratic ticket in 1896, but was defeated. In 
1890 he was elected to the state senate as a Republican, was 
elected again as a Democrat in 1898, and has since been re-elected 
twice without opposition, giving him sixteen years in the state 
senate. He has to his credit some of the best laws of the state. 
He was the principal author and promoter of our present Austra- 
lian system of voting at general elections. He draughted and 
introduced, in the 1901 session, the first primary election bill, 
which was lost by a close vote in the senate. Two years later 
he had Representative Davis, of Ramsey county, introduce the 
same bill in the house, which passed there, but was again defeated 
in the senate. At the 1905 session, Senator Sharpe introduced the 
bill which finally passed both houses after a fierce struggle, but 
did not apply to congressional, state and judicial offices. In 1907 
Senator Sharpe again introduced the Cashel bill, with a few 
changes, which passed and became our present primary election 
law, with many radical changes, not being equal in merit to the 


original bill. Senator Cashel, correctly speaking, is the author 
and father of our primary election law. 

For eleven years he labored diligently to remove the location 
of the Institution for Feeble Minded from Jamestown to Grafton. 
The constitutional amendment was once defeated at the polls, 
and again lost by the secretary of state in neglecting to advertise 
it according to law. Disgusted but not discouraged he perse- 
vered, and had the main building erected two years and a half 
and occupied over one year, with seventy-five inmates, before the 
constitution was amended, locating the institution at Grafton. 

While in the senate the opposition recognized him by giving 
him the best committeeships, and more of them than any other 
member in either house. Through his recommendations, on a 
special committee appointed for that purpose in 1901, laws were 
enacted that wiped out a deficit of $300,000 that then existed, 
and produced a surplus of $75,000 two years later. 

He was one of the original promoters of the drainage move- 
ment of the Red River valley, presiding at a large convention 
held at Grand Forks in the winter of 1906, at which he delivered 
an able and stirring address, and was elected president of the 
Drainage League. In February of that year he succeeded in 
convening an international conference to consider the prevention 
of the overflow of the Red river and its tributaries. At his solici- 
tation the premier of Manitoba sent five delegates, the secretary 
of the province, mayors of Winnipeg, Morris and Emerson, and 
the provincial engineer. Governor Johnson, of Minnesota, sent 
five delegates. South Dakota sent four and North Dakota five. 
This was the first international conference of the kind ever held. 
Two very interesting sessions were held and a series of strong 
resolutions were adopted and addressed to the government of the 
United States and the Dominion of Canada, resulting in our gov- 
ernment making thorough surveys of these streams, followed by 
the engineers recommending a system of dams and reservoirs to 
prevent the overflow of the Red river, which may produce great 
good. In December, 1906, he called a drainage convention at 
Fargo, which was largely attended; he was re-elected president 
of the league. He had three memorials passed in the state legis- 


lature, praying for assistance to drain the Red River valley and 
prevent the overflow of the Red river. He assisted in having the 
state constitution amended allowing the state to loan state moneys 
on drainage bonds. At the 1907 session he introduced and had 
passed many valuable amendments to the drainage law. 

He was and is considered one of the most progressive bankers 
in the state. He was elected Vice President of the State Asso- 
ciation in 1905 and was elected its president in 1906. At the 
1906 convention he introduced a series of resolutions, which 
were unanimously adopted, criticising the Minnesota inspection 
of grain at Duluth and the Duluth Board of Trade in its action 
in opposing the Wisconsin inspection at Superior and called for a 
committee to make an examination of the conditions of our grain 
market. He was appointed chairman of the committee. An 
investigation was made resulting in a report criticising many of 
the methods employed in grading and the dockage of grain with 
other methods employed in its handling. He introduced and had 
passed in our legislature a strong memorial to the Minnesota 
legislature pointing out defects and asking amendments to the 
Minnesota grain grading and inspection law, to which the Minne- 
sota legislature positively refused to comply, its reply being re- 
ceived the last day of the session when it was too late to answer, 
but Mr. Cashel shortly after his return home replied vigorously 
in detail, to which Mr. Eva, head of the Minnesota warehouse and 
grain inspection, replied; which was answered at once by Mr. 
Cashel in unrefuted terms, asking many pert questions which 
were never replied to by Mr. Eva. Largely through the results 
of his agitation, the Duluth Board of Trade yielded and conceded 
the opening of the Superior grain grading and inspection to the 
farmers of the Northwest. Mr. Cashel's annual address as presi- 
dent of the Bankers' Association was considered one of the ablest 
ever delivered before the association and received many flattering 
comments from the banking journals throughout the country. 
It dealt with many important subjects and offered valuable sug- 

He was a Republican until 1893, when he became a Democrat 
and has been a staunch one ever since. At the Democratic State 


Convention held at Minot in 1906 he was chairman of the com- 
mittee on resolutions, which presented one of the strongest and 
most comprehensive platforms ever brought before the people of 
this state. At that convention, against his protests, he was 
elected chairman of the Democratic State Central Committee. He 
conducted one of the cleanest and most vigorous campaigns ever 
conducted in the state, resulting in turning the Republican ma- 
jority of nearly 33,000 two years before into a Democratic ma- 
jority for John Burke for governor of nearly 6,000 votes and for 
C. J. Fisk for Supreme Judge about 8,500 and reducing materially 
the Republican majorities for the balance of the ticket. 

He entered into the agitation caused by the great difference 
in the price of Durum wheat compared with other wheats grown 
in the state. He was elected president of the association at the 
first meeting, held at Grand Forks, in March, 1908, which meeting 
was followed by another, held at Devils Lake, April 21st, follow- 
ing, which was largely attended; and steps were taken to thor- 
oughly investigate the causes of the difference in the price. 

Urged by his numerous friends and the progressive element 
of the Democratic party, he was a candidate for the nomination to 
the United States Senate, which nomination he received by a large 
majority over his opponent, Honorable "W. E. Purcell. 

He was one of the three delegates, with the Governor, from 
this state, to attend the conference of the governors of the States 
called by the President at the "White House, "Washington, D. C., 
May the 13th, 14th and 15th, 1908, to consider the "Conservation 
of Natural Resources. ' ' 

He is a man of positive opinions, fearless in their advocacy, 
at the same time granting to others the same rights. He is an 
indefatigable worker, earnest and thoroughly reliable ; his in- 
tegrity has never been questioned. He has always been foremost 
in advancing public interests for the public good. His advocacy 
of drainage and the results produced by his agitation for better 
grain grading and inspection has produced more practical results 
and substantial benefits to our farmers in particular and the 
state in general than has been accomplished by any other man 
in the state along these lines. 


Thomas E. Cooper was born in England May 29, 1822. His 
mother was of Scotch descent, his father was an Englishman, and 
held for some years the position of revenue collector in the city 
of Dublin. In 1829 the family moved to Stanstead county, 
Quebec. They resided in the town of Stanstead many years, and 
here both his parents are buried. In 1852 Cooper came west by 
lake steamer to Milwaukee. He followed the first railroad to its 
terminus at Jefferson, Wisconsin, and worked a farm there for 
two years. In 1854 he bought a farm a few rods south from 
where the city of Tomah now stands. During the years of 1856-7 
he held the position of superintendent of schools for the town- 
ships of Adrian, Greenfield, and Tomah, in Monroe county. In 
1858 Mr. Cooper came west again and the next year bought a farm 
six miles south of Rochester, Minn. At this time the Colorado 
gold fever was at its height and Mr. Cooper with several others 
started for the Pikes Peak gold fields. They turned back, how- 
ever, at Council Bluffs, not liking the prospect either at this place 
or at Omaha, a rising young town across the river. In 1860 he 
sold his "Wisconsin farm and located at Pine Island, Minn. As 
chairman of the board of supervisors of Pine Island township he 
drew up the resolutions adopted at a mass meeting of citizens 
that was called to meet when the news of the firing on Fort 
Sumter was received. In 1863 after all the single men of his 
township had enlisted, he was asked by a merchant, Mr. Thom- 
son, to fill a draft of 22 men. At a meeting held in the school 
house it was decided to raise $2,000 on a joint note signed by the 
men who were drafted, and then to buy substitutes to fill the 
draft. This difficult task Mr. Cooper accomplished to the satisfac- 
tion of all. He raised the money in Red Wing, where he had 
friends, and bought the 22 substitutes in St. Paul, paying as high 
as $300 for some of them. The unexpended balance he turned 
over to the township treasurer, Sylvester Dickey. On May 2, 
1864, Mr. Cooper joined a wagon train of 122 wagons bound for 
the Montana gold fields. A little below Fort Rice in the present 
state of North Dakota, they found General Sully 's army in pursuit 
of the hostile Sioux. They were transferred to the western side 
of the Missouri and then by his advice they accompanied his army 


till they had crossed both Yellowstone and Missouri rivers and 
were in the vicinity of old Fort Union. General Sully then re- 
turned with his army, while the wagon train, after the leader had* 
tried to hire a Frenchman to act as guide, kept on up to Fort 
Benton, in spite of the gloomy predictions of the white trader at 
Fort Union. At Fort Benton the wagon train broke up into small 
parties, and on September 24, 1864, Mr. Cooper's party camped on 
the spot where the city of Helena, Mont., now stands, the oxen 
being picketed on the site of the present railway station. In 
June of the next year Mr. Cooper returned on a Missouri river 
steamboat to St. Louis, and thence by rail to his home. During 
the winter of 1865-6 he organized a quartz mining company, of 
which later General F. S. Hubbard was the chief stockholder. 
During the same winter he went to New York city to arrange for 
sale of stock and to purchase a mining outfit. The following 
spring he returned to Montana on the steamboat Marion, paying 
$300 for his passage from St. Louis to Fort Benton. In 1867, 
owing to the failure of General Hubbard. the quartz mining com- 
pany in which Mr. Cooper had taken such an active part, did not 
develop the mining property which they had purchased, and was 
later dissolved. In 1870 Mr. Cooper was made a member of the 
county committee to meet at La Crosse, Wis., and confer with 
the officials of the railroad which was to pass through Pine 
Island. During his residence in Minnesota he was a correspondent 
of the "St. Paul Pioneer" and the "Red Wing Argus." The files 
of these papers contain many letters written by Mr. Cooper, re- 
counting his Montana experiences. In December, 1878, Mr. 
Cooper removed to Dakota territory, and with characteristic en- 
ergy at once took the same active part in its development which 
he had shown during his residence in the adjoining states. He 
was one of the first settlers of the present city of Grafton, Walsh 
county, naming the city from his wife's home town in northern 
New Hampshire. The first hotel in Grafton was one put up by 
Mr. Cooper in 1881, the Cooper House. As chairman of the town 
board he carried the first election returns of Walsh county to 
Pembina, walking the entire distance with the ballot box carried 
over his shoulder. He later held the office of postmaster of 


Grafton, 1879-81. He has four' children, all living, one son in 
Minnesota, and the others in this state, a daughter at Hope and 
a son and daughter at Grafton. Like most of the early settlers 
in this state Mr. Cooper has retired from active participation in 
the affairs of the state and county, but he is still in perfect 
health, and takes a lively interest in every effort to preserve the 
records of the pioneer days of the northwest. 
(Copied by permission.) 


Traill is one of the most important counties in the State of 
North Dakota. 

The first claim was taken up near the mouth of the Goose 
river in the spring of 1870 by George E. "Weston. W. J. S. Traill 
and Asa Sargeant came about the time time. A. H. Morgan came 
in June, 1870. 

The first election in what is now Traill county, was held at 
the village of Caledonia in November, 1872. The county was 
organized in 1875, and was named in honor of W. J. S. Traill. 
The first Board of County Commissioners consisted of A. H. 
Morgan, Chairman, Jonas Ostlund and John Brown. Of these 
John Brown is dead, A. H. Morgan is now a resident of Fort 
Worth, Texas, Jonas Ostlund is still living in the city of Hills- 
boro, and is hale and hearty, although he is eighty years old. 

The first meeting of the Board of County Commissioners was 
held February 23d, 1875. The first county officers of Traill county 
were George E. Weston, Register of Deeds and County Clerk ; Asa 
Sargeant, Judge of Probate and County Treasurer; C. M. Clark, 
Sheriff; J. C. Paton, Superintendent of Schools; and Thomas 
Watts, Coroner and County Surveyor. Of these George E. Weston 
and C. M. Clark are dead, J. C. Paton is a resident of the state 
of Washington, the whereabouts of Thomas Watts is unknown, 
Asa Sargenat has since held the Office of Register of Deeds, and 
represented this county in the lower house of the State Legisla- 
ture, after a residence of thirty-eight years at Caledonia, he has 
sold his fine farm and will seek a home elsewhere. The first 
school was taught by J. C. Paton, at Caledonia in 1872. The first 



newspaper published in this county was "The Hillsboro Banner," 
published in February, 1880. The second was the "Mayville 
Tribune," published December, 1881. 

C. W. Morgan of this city, was the first delegate from this 
county to a territorial political convention. 

Like most of the counties of this state, Traill has had its 
share of county seat contests. 

On April 5th, 1875, the Board of the County Commissioners 
located the county seat where the old court house in the village 
of Caledonia now stands. 

At the general election held November 5th, 1878, the question 
of moving the county seat from Caledonia to Mayville was voted 
upon, Mayville receiving 238 votes and Caledonia 287. The next 
election for the purpose of relocating the county seat of Traill 
county was held in April, 1883 : total number of votes cast, 3,262, 
of which Caledonia received 450, Hillsboro 795, Traill Center 
2,011, and scattering 6. This election was contested in the courts 
with the result that the county seat remained at Caledonia, there 
being a great many more votes cast than there were voters in the 
county at that time. 

Another election was held June 2nd, 1883, which while not 
directly on the question of relocating the county seat, still had 
a very important bearing on that question. This was for the 
purpose of a division of the county, taking away the two western 
tiers of townships of this county. The vote as canvassed by the 
canvassing board was as follows: for division 1,033, against 
division 65. The votes of a great many precincts, including May- 
ville, Roseville, Portland, Garfield, Norman and others not being 
canvassed. From this time until the spring of 1890 the county 
seat question was at rest, as far as voting on the relocation of the 
county seat was concerned, but it always had an important bear- 
ing on the election in the county. 

In the spring of 1890 a petition gotten up by the citizens of the 
city of Hillsboro was presented to the Board of County Commis- 
sioners, asking them to request the voters at the November elec- 
tion of that year to designate upon their ballots the place of their 
choice for the county seat of Traill county. At this election 



Caledonia of course endeavored to hold the county seat. The 
cities of Mayville and Hillsboro, and the village of Buxton en- 
tered into the contest. At that election the city of Hillsboro re- 
ceived 1,291 votes, the village of Caledonia 218, the city of May- 
ville 206, and the village of Buxton 114. 

Shortly after the election, proceedings were commenced by 
some residents of the township of Caledonia to prevent the re- 
moval of the county seat to Hillsboro. Such proceedings were 
had that in March, 1891, the county officers and the records were 
removed to the city of Hillsboro, the contest to prevent the reloca- 
tion of the county seat at Hillsboro was carried on in the courts 
until a final decision of the Supreme Court in June, 1896, located 
the county seat at the city of Hillsboro, where one of the finest 
court houses in the state was erected in 1906 and 1907. 

Traill county has always been one of the strong Republican 

The voters of Traill county have always been strongly opposed 
to the liquor traffic. At the elections in November, 1887 and 1888, 
under the Local Option law a majority was given each time 
against the sale of intoxicating liquors. At the first state election 
held October 1st, 1889, a majority was given in favor of Article 
Twenty (20) of the Constitution, being the Prohibition Article. 
So strong was the opposition to the sale of intoxicating liquors 
in this county that in 1886 the third party, Prohibitionists, nomi- 
nated a county ticket in opposition to the Republican ticket, and 
elected all their nominees with the exception of County Attorney. 
In 1888 they elected the entire Prohibition ticket. In 1889 they 
elected their candidate for Clerk of the District Court, he being 
the only county officer voted for at that election. In the year 
1890 the Republicans called their county convention for the 
nomination of county officers early in the season and nominated 
every county officer elected by the Prohibitionists and then in 
office except the County Treasurer, who was then serving his 
second term and was ineligible for reelection, this disrupted the 
Prohibition party for the time being at least, as far as Traill 
county is concerned. 

The present members of the legislature from the Eighth Legis- 


lative District consisting of this county are: Honorable H. H. 
Strom, Senator, Hillsboro, N. D. ; Honorable G. A. White, Port- 
land, N. D. ; Honorable W. J. Burnett, Cummings, N. D. ; and 
Honorable O. J. Sorlie Buxton, North Dakota Representative. 

The present county officers are: County Auditor, Nels O. 
Lindaas, Mayville; County Treasurer, T. A. Koppang, Portland; 
Register of Deeds, Martin J. Nelson, Hillsboro; Clerk of Court, 
Barney C. Boyd, Hillsboro ; County Judge, Jorgen Howard, Hills- 
boro ; Superintendent of Schools, B. A. Wallace, Mayville ; State 's 
Attorney, Theodore Kaldor, Hillsboro; Sheriff, A. J. Osmon, 
Mayville. Board of County Commissioners: A. L. Bingham, 
Chairman, Caledonia; Mons Johnson, Cummings; Ole I. Hanson, 
Hillsboro ; C. Gullicks, Mayville ; and S. G. Swenson, Portland. 



W. M. House. 

Richland county is distinguished for its location at the head of 
the world-renowned Valley of the Red River of the North. It is 
the southern county of the valley and the southeastern one of the 
state. Its area is about 1,440 square miles, being forty-eight 
miles in length, and averaging thirty miles in width. Richland 
county is well drained and watered by numerous lakes, rivers, 
creeks and coulees. There is considerable natural timber along 
the streams, and hundreds of farms are growing beautiful groves 
of cultivated trees. 

The first settlers of the county were a small number in 1867, 
but there was practically no agriculture until 1874. The county 
organization was made in the summer of 1873. The first com- 
missioners were J. "W. Blanding. chairman, D. Wilmot Smith 
and M. T. Rich. The first election in the county was in November, 
1873. There was but one voting precinct and the polls were 
located at "Wahpeton, which had been made the county seat. 
Settlement in Wahpeton was first made in 1869. The first settler 
was M. T. Rich ; the second William Root ; the third Folsom Dow 
and the fourth Moses P. Propper. In 1871 the Great Northern 
Railway was completed to Breckenridge. In 1880 this railway 
was extended through Wahpeton, and in that year the first real 
growth of Wahpeton began. 

In all the world's history, from that time to this, I can point 
to nothing grander than the marvelous historical development of 
Richland county. Prosperous cities, many thriving villages, im- 



proved farms and splendid farm buildings are found in every 
portion of the county. Modern ideas, intelligence, public spirit 
and the progressiveness of our people are manifested in agricul- 
ture and commerce, in manufactures, in the press, in beautiful 
churches, in the various professions, in a magnificent annual fair, 
and in 250 excellent schools. Such is the result of a little more 
than a quarter of a century of agricultural development in Rich- 
land county. 

This result could be produced only by an industrious people, 
aided by a very fertile soil and good commercial advantages. 
Richland county markets are better than in any other county in 
either North or South Dakota. Wahpeton is twenty-six miles 
nearer Duluth, and fifty miles nearer Minneapolis than Fargo is. 
As to soil and climate, there is no locality on earth that is better 
adapted for agriculture than this part of the Red River valley. 

Richland county contains forty-five congressional and thirty- 
four civil townships. There is room and opportunity for more 
who may wish to come. The area of this county is considerably 
larger than that of the state of Rhode Island, which has a popula- 
tion of half a million. 

(Signed) W. M. HOUSE. 

Written by Rev. H. E. Crandall Twenty Years Ago. 

There is no place within the bounds of Richland county, and 
in fact none in the Northwest, that has more historic facts and 
interest clustering around it than Fort Abercrombie. It has a 
military record that is exceedingly interesting; but all of its 
history never can be written, only in what might be called a 
fragmentary style. And if we can only gather up the most im- 
portant fragments they even will be read with great interest 
by those who wish to know more of frontier life and the early 
dawn of advancing civilization that seems to be marching with 
quickened pace towards the golden sunset lands of the far west. 
It seems almost impossible to realize that but a few years ago 
there was such an important military post as Fort Abercrombie, 


that figures so largely in the settlement of the country, having 
been a point where millions of supplies were shipped from St. 
Paul ; where many soldiers were stationed, commanded by officers 
of the government who made a grand record for themselves; 
a place where the maddened war-like Sioux besieged the citadel 
with the flourishing of tomahawk and warclub and the ringing 
volleys of the best rifles made in America, as they, from ambush 
and treetop used them with the precision of trained sharp- 
shooters, making many brave Americans bite the dust; and that 
now there is hardly a trace or sign of those important events. 
The fort has disappeared, and so have many that were engaged 
in the conflicts. The old military reservation is now covered 
with farm houses, and the tillers of the soil with plow and harrow, 
are making the soil laugh with golden harvests ; and the place 
where the United States cavalry a few years ago made the earth 
tremble with their furious haste to meet the foe; where the 
skulking Sioux with their war paint meant mischief; where the 
thousands of buffalo roamed at pleasure, now can be heard the 
hum, rattle and music of farm machinery; and the military camps 
have given way to growing towns and cities, and instead of the 
Indian war whoop, we now hear the shrill whistle of the steam 
engine, as it passes over the iron track, with its villages on wheels 
heavily freighted with the traveling thousands who in palace cars 
are crowding our great Northwest to find homes and business 
worth looking after. 

Fort Abercrombie was established in 1858 on the west bank of 
the Red River, now in Richland county, and about fifteen miles 
from where AVahpeton is located. The post was abandoned after 
an occupancy of little over a year, and the property sold at great 
sacrifice. It was rebuilt in July, 1860, under command of Major 
Day, in July, 1861. the Major with his two companies were ordered 
to Washington. Major Markham with his two companies took 
command. In 1862 all full regiments were ordered south to join 
the United States forces, and Captain Inman, a Baptist clergy- 
man, was the next in command with companies from the Fourth 
Regiment stationed at Fort Snelling. He soon left for the front, 
crossing the Red River on the ice, when Captain Vanderhosk, 
with two companies of the Fifth Minnesota Volunteers took 


command. On the 19th day of August, 1862, the Indian massacre 
began at the old town of Breckenridge, where the hotel was 
burned and a number lost their lives, among them one by the 
name of Russell. In one week the attack was made on the fort. 
The stage driver, Charlie Snell, was killed in the hotel at Breck- 
enridge, and, a chain being fastened around his body, the Indians 
dragged it around the well with demon hate until a deep path 
was made by the repeated operation. The Saskatchewan and 
Fort Garry mail bags were gutted and the mail scattered in every 
direction over the prairie ; mail from the McKenzie river was also 
intercepted. The soldiers with Judge McCauley gathered up as 
much of the mail as possible, and it was forwarded to its desti- 
nation. A family at "Old Crossing" on the Ottertail, sixteen 
miles from Breckenridge, was attacked, and a man by tlie name 
of Scott was killed; his mother was badly wounded, but was 
brought to the fort and cared for until she fully recovered. A 
boy about twelve years of age was captured by the Sioux and 
carried into captivity, but finally ransomed through the agency 
of the Catholic priest and sent to St. Louis to his grandparents. 

It is reported that Mr. Stone and Judge McCauley were 
lodging together in the fort when there was an alarm that the 
Indians were about making an attack, and all were up and ready 
in a short time. None were more deliberate and thoughtful at 
this time than Judge McCauley, who got out of bed and care- 
fully attended to his toilet, putting on his paper collar with 
excellent precision, and correct adjustment of necktie, when the 
announcement was made that the alarm was false. "No doubt," 
he said, "I was impressed that it was unnecessary to hurry 
much." The judge heard of his respect to toilet many times 
since; it was a good joke, but he took it all in good part. At 
this time some seventy persons had come to seek protection in 
the fort and all were ordered to do military duty. A train of 
seventy teams of Indian goods and supplies that was going to 
Red Lake, came to the fort for protection, and all the men were 
organized into a company. It was estimated that there were 
1,500 Indians surrounding the fort waiting for a good chance 
to make a furious assault. For weeks there had been no mail 
from St. Paul, or the outside world, and everybody was anxious 


to know the facts about the extent of the Indian massacre, and 
the progress of the rebellion. A brave citizen by the name of 
Walter S. Hill, offered to take the chances of carrying the mail to 
St. Paul, providing he could be furnished with a fleet horse and 
an escort of soldiers to protect him until he was out on the broad 
prairie beyond the strip of woods on the creek east of McCauley- 
ville. A call was made for volunteers to act as an escort, and 
thirty-two responded to the call. At this time there were Indians 
in ambush just across the river from the fort, and some had been 
using their sharp shooters from the tops of trees. An attack on 
the outward bound escort was expected, but all was still and not 
the turn of a leaf was heard. Hill was soon flying towards St. 
Paul with his fleet charger loaded with news from afar for many 
anxious ones who had become weary of looking in vain for many 
long weeks. Hill was successful in his undertaking. As the 
escort was returning, an attack was made on the brave thirty- 
two, and two of the number were shot, Edward Wright and a 
soldier by the name of Shulty, and the remainder scattered and 
came straggling into fort as best they could. Mr. Shulty, when 
found, had his head cut off, also his arms and legs, and he had 
been disemboweled by the incarnate demons, his head being 
coffined in the abdominal cavity. Mr. Wright was also badly 
mutilated, and his father was exceedingly furious at the Post 
Commander because he had not prevented the awful tragedy from 
taking place. At one time a party was organized to go and drive 
stock in, that was some twelve miles below the ferry crossing. 
A halfbreed Chippewa gave a warwhoop which was well under- 
stood by the Sioux, and he was riddled with bullets. A Mr. Lull 
was in advance, and was shot through the leg. All turned back 
without venturing farther. The firm of Harris, Whitford and 
Bentley, who were engaged in the transportation of goods from 
St. Paul to this point, and thence by flat boat to Fort Garry, had 
a farm south of Abercrombie on the Minnesota side. This was 
in 1862. They put in the government herd fourteen yoke of oxen 
and eight head of horses for protection, but the wily Sioux sur- 
rounded and took possession of them by driving them to the 
Indian headquarters. The total number of the herd was three 
hundred. The first attack having been made, Mr. Whitford in 


company with Mr. Harris, was killed on his way from Fort Garry 
to Fort Abercrombie. He had five thousand dollars of the Hudson 
Bay Company's drafts. This firm was ruined by the loss of 
fourteen thousand dollars; afterward, however, the government 
paid the company nine thousand dollars. The fort was besieged 
full seven weeks, when about two thousand men under Captain 
Burger came to relieve the imprisoned and strengthen the fort. 
On the return of a part of this force to St. Paul, about seventy- 
five women and children were transported. It appears that 
Edward A. Stokes, the man who assassinated Jim Fisk, had been 
out on the plains hunting. He came to the fort with others for 
protection and was with the escort which was under military pro- 
tection en route for St. Paul. Truly wonders will never cease. 
There were four companies left at the fort to protect it after 
the escort had left, which took place in October, 1862. Captain 
Burger took command. He was shortly relieved by Captain 
Chamberlin of Hatch's battalion, who was finally superseded by 
General C. P. Adams, now of Hastings, Minnesota, who was in 
command until 1866. Then Major Hall, of the Tenth United 
States Infantry took command, and General Adams was ordered 
back to be mustered out of the service. The United States mail 
was carried under military escort until the year 1866. The fort 
was kept up until 1877, when it was abandoned, and in 1878 the 
government buildings were sold and scattered over the prairie 
where, with repairs, they made homes for some of the early 

The following named persons were the post commanders at 
Fort Abercrombie, from the time of its establishment until it was 
abandoned : General Abercrombie, Major Day, Captain Markham, 
Captain Inman, Captain Vanderhock, Captain Burger, Captain 
Pettier, Major Camp, Captain Chamberlin, General C. P. Adams, 
Captain Whitcomb, Major Hall and General Slidell. Changes 
were frequent at first, because all were needed south as fast as 
they could be spared. The military cemetery near the fort was 
the resting place for many who had laid down their arms for- 
ever, and not a few think it would have been much more in keep- 
ing with the fitness of things, if the ground had been purchased 
by the government, and the city of the dead put in order, and 


a monument erected in memory of the fallen heroes, and all 
surrounded with an iron fence. The government, however, care- 
fully exhumed and removed them to Fort Lincoln. Seventy-three 
graves were opened and all that remained of the earthly taber- 
nacles was placed in pine boxes and transported to the cemetery 
on the Missouri slope. Colonel Tyner, with great care and tender 
affection, superintended the removal of the remains of the de- 
parted, and now the place where our country's brave defenders 
slept for a season, is furrowed by the plow for the production 
of wheat and other grains. 

Arthur Guy Divet, of Wahpeton, North Dakota, was born in 
Byron. Olmstead county, Minnesota, on January 10, 1870. His 
father is of Irish descent, and his mother is English-Canadian. 
The boy lived to the age of nine years in his native county, where 
he aided in farm work and attended school. 

In 1879 the family moved to Richland county, North Dakota, 
and settled on a homestead. The father was always successful 
in farming and the boy, Guy, as he was called, attended the rural 
school when in session, and assisted in the management of their 
splendid farm. He attended the Northwestern Academy at 
Madison, Wisconsin, and in 1894 was married to Miss Nora Rus- 
sell, of Goodhue county, Minnesota. They have two children, 
Donovan and Rushby. 

In 1896 Mr. Divet was made Court Stenographer of the Fourth 
Judicial District of North Dakota. He held this position five 
years; was admitted to the bar in 1898, and began the practice 
of law at Milnor, Sargent county, in 1901. Two years later he 
removed to Wahpeton and formed a law partnership with Hon- 
orable William E. Purcell, where the firm is still practicing under 
the name of Purcell & Divet. 

For many years Mr. Purcell has been at^the head of the legal 
profession in this state. Now, with the younger member of the 
firm, A. G. Divet, this law association enjoys a reputation for 
integrity and ability second to none in the entire Northwest. 

A. G. Divet has had the personal conduct and management of 
many of the most important law cases in the state. He is tnor- 
oughly skilled in his profession; is an eloquent orator, and re- 
markably successful. 


Prior to the coming of the railroad, Valley City was known 
as Worthington. Trappers made their home here and traces of 
their dug-outs can be seen along the river, especially near the 
Normal bridge. This village has been visited by soldiers, Indians 
and adventurers west bound to the Missouri country. In 1872 
the Northern Pacific railroad reached the Sheyenne river, and in 
1873 was finished to Bismarck. 

In 1873 the county of Burbank, now Barnes county, was 
created by an act of the Dakota legislature. The first survey of 
lands in Barnes county was made by Charles Scott and Richard 
D. Chaney in 1872. The first train crossed the Sheyenne river 
at the second crossing of the Sheyenne, September 15, 1872. 
Just north of this bridge, the Bismarck trail crossed the river, 
but during high water the crossing was made at what is known 
as the Rapids, south of the Tracey bridge. 

On July 23, 1874, John L. Pennington, Governor of Dakota 
Territory, issued to Frank P. Wright, a commission as County 
Commissioner, but no organization of the county was made until 
August 5, 1878, when Governor Howard appointed Christian An- 
derson, A. J. Goodwin and Otto Becker as county commissioners. 
At the meeting of the board held January 6, 1879, Messrs. Good- 
win, Wright and Anderson were present and qualified, Mr. An- 
derson being chosen chairman. 

The first meeting for the organization of the county was held 
over the old postoffijce in June, 1878; John Monson, chairman, 
and B. W. Benson, secretary. This caucus was called for the 
purpose of setting a date for a convention to nominate the first 
county officers. At the election held in the fall of that year, the 



following persons were elected : Sheriff, D. D. McFadgen ; Treas- 
urer, J. S. Weiser ; Clerk of Court, Colonel Marsh ; Superintendent 
of Schools, Otto Becker; State's Attorney, W. F. Ball; Assessor, 
Edward Wiley; Justice of the Peace, J. S. Weiser; County Com- 
missioners, F. P. W T right, A. J. Goodwin, Christian Anderson, the 
latter being chosen chairman. James LaDue was appointed Coro- 
ner, and B. W. Benson Probate Judge. D. D. McFadgen was the 
oldest settler in Barnes county, and filed on the first pre-emption 
in October, 1873. The first term of court was held November 3, 
1881 ; Judge Hudson presiding. The first Grand Jury summoned 
from Barnes and Greggs consisted of the following persons : 
George C. Getchell, James Fields, G. S. Secrest, Harmon Starkes, 
Wylie Neilson, John Holland, 0. S. Rustad, J. E. Smith, John 
Lenwig, C. S. Getchell, John Russell, Isaac Ellis, C. C. Rogers, 
Frank Stack, Frank Cook, George Marsh, Ira Bennett, and 
Joseph Rogers. John Russell was chosen chairman. The first 
taxes paid in Barnes county was by B. 0. Salberg, October 7, 
1879, on the northwest quarter and southeast quarter of section 
23, town 140, range 60. 

What was known as the Old Fort Totten trail passes from 
north to south through the county, passing the Northern Pacific 
railroad about Hobert. During the '70s this trail was much in use 
having been made by the moving of government troops. The 
Indians in those days kept more to the valley in going to and 
from Fort Totten. The first postoffice was in the old Pump house 
which stood near where the railroad crossing now is on Second 
avenue. Thomas Conners, better known as Old Tom, was the 
first postmaster. A petition was circulated in 1877 to have the 
name changed from Worthington to Valley City postoffice, which 
was done. Christian Anderson was appointed postmaster in 1877 
and held the office until 1884. 

Valley City Incorporated. 

On March 8, 1881, the town was incorporated by a vote of the 
people, and the following were elected as trustees : Henry Wald, 
H. G. Hause, B. W. Benson, D. McDonald, J. Parkhouse and P. O. 
King. I. J. Anderson, Clerk; George A. Thompson, Treasurer; 
Charles Hollinshead, Assessor; Cole Chapman, Marshal; W. E. 


Jones, Justice. At the first meeting held March 28, 1881, J. Park- 
house was chosen as President. The first annual election of vil- 
lage officers was held May 2, 1881, and resulted in all the old 
officers being reelected ; I. J. Anderson failing to qualify as clerk, 
S. B. Coe was appointed on the llth day of May, 1881. At an 
election held April 11, 1883, a city charter was adopted, and on 
May 8, 1883, the following city officers were elected: Mayor, C. 
A. Benson; Treasurer, D. McDonald; Assessor, Seth Lincoln; 
Aldermen, J. S. Weiser, P. 0. King, E. A. Sager, 0. P. Emerson, 
H. J. House and M. Tracy. L. D. Marsh, City Clerk ; W. E. Jones, 
and C. A. Miler, Justices. 

In 1886 the special charter was surrendered, and the city was 
chartered under the general laws governing cities. 

Methodist Episcopal church. In 1881 the Methodist Episcopal 
church was organized with the following as trustees: John 
McPherson, Joel S. Weiser, William Weiser, Duncan McDonald, 
and Christian Shilling. During this year a church was built and 
Rev. C. S. Snyder officiated. Previous to the erection of the 
church building, services were held in the law building which 
stood near the present residence of J. S. Weiser. The first sermon 
preached, was by Rev. Huntington, an Episcopal missionary, in 
1879. Early in 1881 and 1882, other churches were organized, 
among which was the German Methodist. After the incorporation 
of the city, Mr. B. W. Benson donated a plat of ground for park 
purposes ; some enterprising citizens caused a survey to be made, 
and commenced selling the lots surrounding this park site, but 
the wide-awake inhabitants seeing the danger, re-purchased the 
lots, and in about two years the park was located, and today the 
city boasts of the most beautiful natural park in the state, com- 
prising thirteen acres of heavy timber. 


Valley City Lodge No. 7, A. F. & A. M., was organized May 5, 
1881, and Valley City Lodge, I. O. 0. F., was instituted June 11, 
1881. The first meeting of both of these lodges was held in the 
rooms over John Holmes' store. Sheyenne Chapter was organized 
January 3, 1884. All the books and property of the Masonic 
bodies were lost in the fire of March 21, 1884. 



The first newspaper established in Barnes county, was the 
"Northern Pacific Times," on June 12, 1879, edited and published 
by Dr. S. B. Coe. Two years later this paper passed into the 
hands of C. F. Kindred, and was changed to the "Valley City 
Times." In 1883 C. F. Richardson became editor, and in 1887 
J. J. Dobbin became proprietor, and in 1888 the paper passed to 
the control of Herbert Root. During Mr. Root's reign, the office 
was raided, machinery broken and the type scattered over the 
entire city. 

The second paper to be established was the "Dakota Patriot," 
on October 6, 1884, by C. B. Vallandigham. The "People's Advo- 
cate" by D. W. Clark was the next. The first store building was 
erected by Arne Oleson in 1877 ; he came from Duluth with Jens 
Jensen, better known as John Parkhouse, the first village clerk. 
Mr. Oleson still resides in Valley City, while Mr. Jensen is in 
Tacoma, Washington. In 1878 J. S. Weiser built the next store, 
and soon after Chris Efferman came from Duluth and opened the 
first saloon. In the spring of 1878, Joe Padden opened the first 
telegraph office, bringing the depot and office on a box car. 


The first school district organized in Barnes county was at 
Dailey's postoffice in June, 1878. James Dailey, President, H. C. 
Bjorke and George Larsman, Directors; John Holland, Clerk; 
E. Aas, Treasurer. Charlie AYalker taught the first term of school 
in this district of Barnes county. 

Public Schools. 

Three modern brick school houses now accommodate the en- 
rollment of six hundred pupils. In 1907 fire destroyed every 
school but the high school, and before the fire had burned one 
hour, quarters sufficient for twice the city's needs were secured, 
and in four days every child was again in school with books from 
Chicago. Teacher, pupil and janitor have been considered in 
the construction of the new buildings which have replaced the 
burned ones. Education, morals and health have all been pro- 


vided for. The schools of the city are one of its chief prides. The 
high school of Valley City is one of the best in the state, and 
graduates a class of from twenty-five to thirty yearly. Besides 
the high school, the city has three modern school buildings, two 
of which were built in 1908 at a cost of $60,000.00. There is also 
one Catholic Parochial school. 

Normal School. 

Chapters could be written of the normal school of Valley City ; 
its location and spacious grounds. It is one of the finest educa- 
tional institutions in North Dakota. Its faculty numbers thirty 
efficient instructors, while the student body has increased from 
five in 1892, to 537 at the close of 1908. Adding to this school 
a summer school and other departments of its work, the 
school serves over 1,000 people each year ; its income has increased 
from $5,000 for the first two years, to about $50,000 per year. 
(See Chapter on Higher Education.) 

The first hotel was built by C. W. Hakanson, who also owned 
the first butcher shop and the first feed stable. B. W. Benson 
opened the first real estate office; Ole Knudson was the first 
jeweler; A. C. Kasberg the first hardware store; A. G. Hawn the 
first drug store ; Hiram Walker the first sawmill and feed store ; 
M. O. Walker ground the first flour and feed; Ole Becker was 
the first blacksmith, with offices of Justice of the Peace and 
County Superintendent on the side ; C. A. Benson bought the firs* 
wheat ; Herbert Root was the first banker ; and the first physician 
to open an office was F. H. DeVanp; Fred Adams, the first at- 
torney; John Holmes, the first civil engineer; John McPherson 
made the first brick and Hans Hanson built the first stone wall. 
The first marriage was that of C. E. Shilling to Miss Weiser ; the 
first white child born in Barnes county was Lizzie Becker, daugh- 
ter of Otto Becker, and the first white child born in Valley City 
was Miss Lillian Weiser, now Mrs. James Neilson. 

Old Settlers. 

The first settlers and the time of their arrival : D. D. McFad- 
gen, 1872, now deceased; Tom Conners, 1872, deceased; Jonas 
Lee, 1872, Valley City; Thorry O. Leary, 1872, Valley City; F. 



P. Wright, 1874, Valley City; Colonel Marsh, 1874, deceased; 
Con Schroendur, Valley City, and numbers of others. 

Valley City, the county seat of Barnes county, is the most 
picturesque in the Sheyenne valley, three hundred miles west 
from St. Paul and Minneapolis, on the main line of the Northern 
Pacific and Sioux railways. The country surrounding is a gentle 
rolling prairie, well drained and never fails to produce. This city 
has a beautiful park, many costly homes, nice shaded walks, large 
business blocks, churches, modern schools and public buildings. 
Among the churches are the Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, 
Catholic, Episcopal, German Methodist, and Norwegian. The 
assessed valuation of the city is $798,184; ten churches, two hos- 
pitals, five newspapers, a commercial club with 100 members, 
public library building that cost $15,000 ; armory, auditorium with 
a seating capacity of 1,500, two theatres, four lumber yards, elec- 
tric street railway, six hotels and restaurants, six grain elevators, 
five agricultural implement houses, several banks, water works 
and an electric light plant owned by the city. 

Barnes county contains forty-two townships; all excellent 
farm land, upon which is grown all the staple products. In 
Barnes county may be found large herds of the finest blooded 
stock in the state. The assessed valuation of the county is 
$7,936,364, based on one-third actual value. In 1906, 3,449 bushels 
of wheat, 1,845 bushels of oats, 574,000 bushels of flax, 833,000 
bushels of barley and 110,000 bushels of potatoes were raised in 
this county, and 225,000 pounds of butter were produced. 

County Treasurer Morton furnishes the following statistics 
since 1901. Since that time there have been 34,204 acres of 
school land sold for $495,689.04, making an average price per 
acre of $14.47. The deferred payments on this amount aggregate 
$352,314.70, drawing interest at the rate of 6 per cent ; the amount 
of interest due the state in 1908, was $21,138.81. The principal 
payments due the state on the same date were $35,352.76. There 
were originally eighty-four sections of school lauds in this county, 
and of these fifty-three and one-half sections have been sold, 
leaving thirty and one-half sections, which are leased for hay 
and pasture purposes. 



Villages of Barnes County. Oriska was founded in 1880; 
Wimbledon on the Sioux railway, is a thrifty village of 700 peo- 
ple; Sanborn has a population of 300; Hastings, Rugers, Eckel- 
son, Nome, Litchville and Kathryn are all grain centers of 
Barnes county. 



A. H. Laughlin. 

Ransom county is situated in the valley of the Sheyenne river, 
in North Dakota, one county removed from the Minnesota state 
line, and is bounded on the north by Cass and Barnes, south by 
Sargent, east by Richland and west by LaMoure counties. It 
contains twenty-four congressional strips, equal to 864 square 
miles or 552,960 acres. 

The soil of Ransom county is a deep, dark, rich vegetable 
mold or loam on the surface, full of lime and marl, underlaid by 
a substratum of clay that is rich in phosphoric acid and carbo- 
hydrates, which, with the abundant sunshine, renders it capable 
of growing far more nutritious meat-producing grains, grasses 
and forage crops than the richest lands of the famed prairies of 
Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas and Nebraska. By chemical 
analysis corn grown here contains from three to four per cent 
more nutrition or feed value than that grown in Illinois, and our 
durum wheat has become world-famed, thousands of bushels of 
it being annually exported, and furnishes flour to make the 
famous sandwich of Marseilles, France, that supplies the bread 
and luxuries of the tables of many crowned heads of Europe. 

The desirability of a locality for a home must depend entirely 
on how munificently nature has bestowed it with the essential 
features required to make it a pleasant place in which to live 
and rear a family, and, also, where a man can steadily accumulate 
wealth. Ambition is commendable. No true man will be satisfied 
until he can continuously gain in the accumulation of property, 



and he cannot be long contented in a home unless the results of 
his daily labors show some profits. Certain things are abso- 
lutely necessary to fit a locality to live pleasantly in, and in 
which to gain wealth. Nature must lay the foundation. It must 
have good soil, water, good climate, and sufficient rainfall. The 
three first must prevail. Irrigation could supply the water, but 
generally at a great expense. Where nature has done its share 
man can do the rest. 

Ransom county is richly endowed by nature with all these 
essential things. A man can build a home here and surround it 
with all the adornments that make home more beautiful, and 
help to make the life of its inmates pleasant. His fields will 
respond to the labor of his hands and return ample rewards. 
The soil is fertile and rich in humus, and all of the ingredients 
that tend to produce very large crops of cereals, vegetables, fruit 
and grasses of the finest quality. There is not a crop grown in 
any temperate climate that does not flourish here. Phosphoric 
acid, the element that makes our live stock vigorous, nervy and 
desirable for all domestic uses, and gives to man that energetic 
force that has gained him the true appellation of "a Dakota 
hustler," is found in our soil in larger percentage than in any 
other, excepting the Volga region of Russia. Water is abundant, 
and there are natural springs all through the county. It is 
obtainable within a depth of from ten to 125 feet, and is of the 
best and carries in solution enough mineral properties to render 
it healthful and invigorating. Hundreds of artesian wells are 
now flowing good pure water, found at a depth of from 500 to 
800 feet. 

The climate is a most desirable one. Animal and plant life 
must have sunshine to insure a vigorous, healthy growth. We 
have this here in abundance. There are no fogs, no damp drizzly 
periods, and no heavy, damp air to encourage pneumonia, 
diphtheria and kindred ills. There are more days of bright sun- 
shine in North Dakota than in any other place in the 
United States. The air is dry and rarefied, and cold does 
not take hold of man or beast as it does in the eastern states. 
No person has ever frozen to death in Ransom county, and stock, 
especially horses, will live out on the prairies all winter without 


shelter. No one thinks of putting blankets on horses in the 
stables at night, as they do in the east. The writer has lived in 
the state twenty-seven winters, and of these, only five have been 
cold, and but one severe. The others have been almost without 
snow and warm and pleasant. The air is remarkably exhilarat- 
ing. No lung diseases in man or beast generate here. 

The annual rainfall is ample as it generally comes in the 
season necessary to produce good crops. When it rains it gen- 
erally pours, instead of drizzling along for days, making life a 

Almost the whole attention of the farmers until recent years 
was turned to flax and wheat, but large crops of other cereals 
are now grown. Wheat has yielded as high as fifty-two bushels 
per acre. Oats ran up to 116, with seventy bushels the general 
average. Flax frequently went from twenty to thirty-one bushels 
per acre, barley as high as eighty bushels, and speltz as high as 
eighty-six. Corn usually yields from forty to sixty bushels to the 
acre, millet is always a heavy and a sure crop. North Dakota 
has long been noted for its excellent corn. Away back in 1805, 
Lewis and Clark, while wending their way up through North 
Dakota, found large quantities of corn raised by the Mandans, 
Grosventres and Arrikaree Indians, and in the report of their 
explorations say that they "placed much store by the corn they 
obtained from the Indians, and but for that food supply they 
could not have made a success of their expedition with the means 
at hand." During the last ten years the farmers have found 
out that our soil and climate is well adapted to the growth of a 
cereal grain that has been successfully grown here by the abor- 
igines no doubt for hundreds of years, and it had formed a large 
proportion of their food supply, namely, corn. 

Fruit is receiving its merited attention. Apples of the hardy 
varieties, plums, cherries, are now being grown here, several 
orchards having been bearing for twenty years. All fruit grown 
here is exceedingly fine in flavor. Strawberries flourish and are 
large and luscious. 

Garden vegetables of all kinds grow in profusion and are 
noted for their excellent quality. 

The native grasses grow in abundance and are most nutri- 


tious. Stock will graze on them and thrive during the winter 
as well as in summer. Timothy, clover, blue grass, alfalfa and 
Australian brome grass flourish here. 

Diversified farming has become the rule among farmers in 
Ransom county. They have more good horses, hogs, sheep and 
cattle, than any other county in the eastern part of the state. 

There is a large herd of registered galloways and one of Bed 
Polls in the county. They have furnished 174 sires to other 
farmers here, while many have been sold elsewhere. Stock rais- 
ing is a most profitable business, because with free grass and 
cheap forage, it costs but little to mature it. Dairying is for the 
same reason very profitable and successful. Private dairies are 
numerous. Creameries are now in operation at Lisbon, Fort 
Kanom, Sheldon and McLeod, and much cream is shipped to La- 
Moure and the Twin Cities. One farm sold $771 worth of butter 
in 1901, from an average of twenty-one cows, besides raising nine- 
teen calves and 124 pigs. There is no branch of farming more 
remunerative. The product of our dairies command the highest 
market price. These new creameries will revolutionize agri- 
cultural methods in Ransom county, and double the value of 
every acre of her soil within the next five years. The mild-eyed, 
gentle cow is at last recognized and given her proper place in the 
front ranks of the steady, rapid, onward march of progress and 
prosperity. Every enlightened, progressive nation of the world 
has dairying for its corner-stone of agricultural prosperity, and 
every nation that does not award to the cow her well-earned 
position, is to-day semi-barbaric. It requires intelligence to be a 
good dairyman. 

Fuel is plenty. Wood is shipped in from Minnesota at from 
$5.00 to $9.00 per cord. Hard and soft coal comes via Duluth, 
and is as cheap as elsewhere, with corresponding freight added. 
Lignite is furnished from North Dakota mines at about $4.00 per 
ton, and makes very satisfactory fuel. 

The prairies of Ransom county are covered with a rich drift 
of black alluvial loam from one to four feet deep, underlaid by 
a porous clay sub-soil, which has the property of holding moisture 
to a remarkable degree. It contains an inexhaustible supply of 
soil and ingredients most valuable for the growth of all cereal 


grains, which actually increase with the depth, so that, as the 
surface strata become exhausted, with proper deep tillage its 
fertility will be replenished by stores of nourishment from be- 
neath for centuries to come. Its fertility is remarkable. Cereal 
grain has been grown upon the same land in some instances for 
twenty-eight years without manure or rotation, and large yields 
obtained, especially of Durum wheat, as high as thirty-eight 
bushels per acre. One field yielded eighty-six bushels of speltz 
per acre for the twenty-seventh crop. 

Land values are rising rapidly. Farms which five years ago 
could be bought for $15.00 per acre are now being sold at $50.00 
per acre. Nearly every train during summer brings in land 
seekers from the South and East, and nearly all of them buy. 
The crowded population of the East must seek homes in the 
West. The young birds must leave the parent nest, mate, and 
seek to build up homes for themselves. There is no more favored 
spot in which to build these new homes than in the shady groves 
along the Sheyenne river, or on the fertile prairies of Ransom 
county. Where only a few years ago, the buffalo roamed these 
prairies in countless herds, and the noble red man reigned 
supreme in uncultured prowess, the footprints of the pioneer 
have been followed by the plow and the hoe of the settler until 
these rich fertile plains, once condemned by General Hazen, and 
others, as unfit for the habitation of white men, have been trans- 
formed into a garden spot of wealth production, and Ransom 
county is now famed as the best locality for intensive and diversi- 
fied farming of any in the Northwest, and she is most propi- 
tiously blessed with prosperity. 

Transportation facilities are ample. The Fargo and South- 
western branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad crosses the 
county east and west, and connects with the main line at Fargo, 
fifty-six miles from Lisbon. The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault 
Ste. Marie Railway traverses angling through the eastern part 
of the county, giving direct connection with the Twin Cities. An- 
other line to cross the county north and south, called the "Farm- 
ers' International Railway," is now in contemplation, and will 
soon be built. 

The Sheyenne river traverses this county in a very tortuous 


course, entering the county in the northwest corner in section 2, 
township 136, range 58, it meanders in a general southwest direc- 
tion through eight congressional townships to within six miles 
of the south line of the county, thence in a northeasterly course, 
crossing the east county line six miles south of the northeast 
corner of the county and pursues the same onward way, dis- 
charging its waters into the Red River of the North about twelve 
miles north of Fargo. It runs parallel with and only about six 
miles west of the Red river for a distance of over forty miles. 
The valley of the stream in Ransom county is generally narrow, 
averaging about one mile and a half wide, and is bordered gen- 
erally by high and in several places abrupt bluffs, seamed and 
furrowed with deep gulches and ravines, and the whole course of 
the river is skirted with a thrifty growth of native timber, con- 
sisting of the burr oak, white ash, yellow ash, basswood, poplar, 
boxelder, hackberry, plums, choke cherry, hazel, black haws, 
prickly ash, red and yellow ozier, ironwood, buffalo berry, cotton- 
wood, wild grape, ivy, woodbine, gooseberry, raspberry, etc. 
The Sheyenne river traverses Ransom county with all its wind- 
ings a distance of 110 miles, and the valley is very picturesque 
and beautiful. Numerous spring rivulets unite with the river 
from both sides along its entire course through the county. The 
bed of the stream lies about 100 feet below the average level 
of the prairie. The river rises on the same section in Wells 
county as the James river, whose water finally mingles with the 
brine of the ocean in the Gulf of Mexico, while the current of 
the Sheyenne carries nutrition to feed the fish in Hudson Bay. 
It drains a large tract of country, and in the spring, following a 
heavy snow fall, carries down a tremendous volume of water, 
yet it never overflows its channel to flood the valley, and no 
damage has yet been done by floods in this county. 

Old Landmarks. 

Standing Rock is a high eminence on section 6, township 136, 
range 57. It is named from a large stone in the center of the 
channel of the Sheyenne river, which was an object of worship 
by the Indians, and has engravings, among which is the picture of 
man, beast and bird, or Indian buffalo and eagle, peculiar to the 


Sioux nations. On the top of a high knoll on the bluffs a mile 
north of this, the soldiers of the Sibley expedition set up a granite 
rock about two feet square by six feet long, and it is erroneously 
supposed that the name "Standing Rock" is taken from this 
stone. The above rock is visible to the naked eye from the 
Northern Pacific Railroad on top of the hill east of Valley City, 
a distance of twenty-five miles. 

"Bear's Den Hillock," near old Fort Ransom, is a historic 
landmark, commanding a fine view of the prairies for miles. 

"Okiedan Butte" "point of view" is a noted high mound 
on section 35, Island Park township, five miles south of Lisbon, 
as it is near the crossing of the Fort Abercrombie and Fort Ran- 
som, Fort Sisseton and Fort Totten military roads, and the 
Overland Oregon Immigrants' trail. Colonel Creel, of Devils 
Lake, then in the United States regular army, in the early sixties 
had his command surrounded by an immense herd of buffalo and 
had to wait several hours for them to pass. He stood on Okiedan 
Butte for over four hours with his field glass, watching the herd 
pass. It was a solid moving phalanx extending in every direction 
beyond the vision of the glass. He estimated the herd at several 
hundred thousand. They were on their annual migration south 
to spend the winter. Numerous other monuments of stone mark 
the high prominences along the bluffs of the Sheyenne near 
Indian villages and emigrant camps. All of these lookout 
mounds were marked by a monument of rocks. Upon them have 
stood many a trapper, hunter and scout, scanning the landscape 
for the approach of the redskins, many an officer and boy in 
blue, watching for danger that might be lurking near, many a 
cowboy searching for "strays" in the roundup, many a moc- 
casined "poor Lo," peering into the distance with blood-thirsty 
eye, anxious for the scalp of his foe, many an overland immigrant 
wending his westward way to plant civilization on the shores of 
the Northern Pacific, many a pioneer advance agent of empire 
builders, and many a sojourner settler watching within the small 
fortress of rocks through the long silent hours of night, with 
vigilance, to guard the lives of his loved ones encamped near by 
and protect his property that must be preserved for the founda- 
tion of his home. 


The Maple river, a branch to the Sheyenne, pursuing the same 
general course as the latter, enters the county in Liberty town- 
ship at its extreme southern bend and passes through sections 
1, 2, 3 and 4. Although smaller than its parent stream, it is 
important as a drain for surplus surface water, and the pure 
water it brings the settler. It has its place in history, as every 
army and expedition that passed through in the early days 
sought the stream and followed its banks as far as possible for 
the essential supply of drinkable water. Dead Colt creek, so 
named by the early trappers, rises on section 34, in township 122, 
range 56, flows northeasterly into the Sheyenne at its extreme 
southern bend. Springs feed it for several miles back from the 
river. The current is rapid and it serves a good purpose as a 
drain. Bear creek courses along the whole west line of the 
county, crossing it in many places, and is also fed by springs. It 
drains a large area and discharges its waters into the James river. 
Several small brooks fed by permanent springs flow into these 
streams from both sides. 

All of the above named streams abound in the kind of fish 
common to the waters of the Northwest and great quantities are 
caught each year. One sturgeon weighing eighty-four pounds 
and a catfish weighing fifty-six pounds have been taken from 
the Sheyenne. 

There are two good water power flouring mills on the 
Sheyenne river that have been in operation for over twenty-five 
years, one at Fort Ransom, and one at Lisbon. 

None of the streams of Ransom county carry brackish water, 
and none go dry during the summer. Several small lakes are 
found in the county. Starting just south of Fort Ransom is a 
long broad slough, named the Big slough, which runs south 
across the county line. It is a succession of large and small 
ponds connected by a sluggish current, with marshes interven- 
ing, and bordering the ponds. These marshes are covered by tall 
grass and wild rice. It is a great rendezvous for wild ducks, 
geese and brants, and thousands are taken there annually. It is 
a famous camping place of the sportsmen. The water from its 
overflow reaches the James river. The valley of the Big slough 
is about four miles wide, and the rise of ridge that marks its 


eastern border is the watershed that divides the waters flowing 
north into Hudson Bay from those flowing south into the Gulf 
of Mexico. Through the center of the valley its entire length is 
a deposit of sand and gravel. No doubt this slough is the ancient 
bed of the Sheyenne river, which then flowed south until the tail 
of the comet that struck our earth at the time of the "flood" 
deposited the large bank of debris at Fort Ransom, damming the 
stream and changing its course. 

The Sheyenne river is one of the most historic streams in the 
Northwest. It takes its name from the nation of Indians that 
once made its valley their home and cultivated large fields of 
corn along its borders in the Seventeenth century. One branch 
of the Sioux nations, the Yanktonnais, called it " Sha-e-ye-na, " 
the Minnesota Sioux, "Sha-e-ap-e." On a map printed in 1850 
found by the writer in the museum of the Minnesota State Histor- 
ical Society, it is spelled " Shay-en-no-ja. " The meaning of the 
word in the Sioux tongue is "Speaking differently" or "they 
who speak a different language from ours." The headquarters 
or capital of the Sha-e-ye-na nation was at the extreme south 
bend of the river. 

There is a great variety of soil in Ransom county. The south- 
eastern portion is level and has been too wet for farming, but the 
tri-county drain put in within the past two years by the three 
counties of Ransom, Richland and Sargeant, carries the surplus 
water into the Sheyenne and "Wild Rice rivers, and has made 
the southeast corner township, Rosemead, and about eighteen 
sections joining on the north, some of the most fertile lands in 
the West. North of this valley or flat is a ridge of sand dunes, 
once considered almost worthless, but now a large part of this 
land is under cultivation and the homes of settlers dot the land- 
scape. In the early eighties these hills were covered with a 
growth of native timber, and large game, bears, wolves, deer, elk 
and antelope, were numerous. Now nearly all the timber has 
been cut by the settlers, many of them coming from twenty-five 
to thirty miles for it. Could these hills talk they could unfold 
many interesting tales of Indian encounters and battles between 
contending tribes. 

With the exception of this range of hills and the strip of 


land bordering the Big slough and sharp clay bluffs along the 
streams, the whole of the county is first-class soil and good tillable 
land. Through the center of the county north and south cover- 
ing two-thirds of its area is as productive and fertile soil as can 
be found in the United States. There is no waste land in the 
county, as even the highest points of the bluffs along the 
Sheyenne are good for grazing. 

Fort Ransom. 

Fort Ransom, located on section 12, township 135, range 58, 
is now in ruins, but the old cellars, graves and earthworks, are 
still distinct. The earthworks is in the form of a quadrangle 
about 200 by 300 feet in dimensions, and the remains of the 
powder magazine are still plain. The embankment of the earth- 
work is covered with grass and in many places is still five feet 
high. The fine spring walled up by the soldiers sends its pure, 
cold waters forth as of old, clear as crystal. Some of the stone 
placed by the boys in blue still remain. Could they but tell us 
all who have kneeled on them to quench the thirst and moisten 
parched lips. This spring is at the bottom of a ravine about a 
quarter of a mile west of the earthwork on the north half of the 
southwest quarter of section 11-135-58. It is about ninety feet 
below the fort site. It may be formed by seepage from the Big 
slough, which starts about one mile south. 

The site of the fort stands about 250 feet above the bed of 
the Sheyenne river and commands a most picturesque and beau- 
tiful view of the valley and stream for six miles north. On the 
crest of the bluff overlooking the valley are six graves, still open, 
walled up with masonry. The bodies of these historic dead were 
removed soon after the abandonment of the fort. The writer 
can not yet find the names of those once entombed. 

Bear's Den Hillock, so named by the Sioux, rises immediately 
from the ravine on the west side of the spring to the height of 
about 160 feet. On the top of the hill the soldiers had two 
cannon planted. 

Fort Ransom was established June 18, 1867, by Companies 
"G" and "H," Tenth Infantry, United States Regulars, under 
command of Captain George H. Grossman, Tenth Infantry, and 


the troops were withdrawn May 26, 1872, and the fort was not 
regarded as a military post after July 31, 1872. It was built as 
one of the line of fortifications to guard the western march of 
settlement and national development, and was named after Gen- 
eral T. E. G. Ransom, a brave Illinois officer of the volunteers, 
who was killed during the War of the Rebellion. The buildings 
and equipment were moved by Hon. Don Stevenson, a famous 
government freighter, in July, 1872, with one ox train, to Fort 
Seward, near Jamestown, N. D. 

Other troops than the Tenth Infantry occupied the fort, as 
shown by the following report, for which, with other data, the 
writer is indebted to the kindness of the United States War 

"Information given by Brevet Major L. M. Kellogg, captain 
Twentieth Infantry, August, 1869 ; the commanding officer at the 

"Location. 46 37' ; longitude from Greenwich, 97 30'. Post- 
office, Fort Abercrombie, Dakota territory ; McCauleyville, Minn., 
sixty-five miles distant, the nearest town or settlement. 

4 ' Quarters. For 200 men, built of logs ; in good condition for 
summer use, but require to be ceiled and plastered to be com- 
fortable for winter use. Officers' quarters built of squared logs, 
generally in good condition, some repairs needed. Accommo- 
dation for seven officers. 

"Store-houses. Quartermaster's, 1; 100x20 feet. Com- 
missary, 1 ; 100x27 feet, with cellar 40x20 feet. Granary, 
40x25x12 feet. All built of logs and in good condition. 

"Hospital, Guard-house, Etc. Hospital, 40x33x10 feet, built 
of logs, is now being ceiled and plastered, which, when finished, 
will leave it in good condition. Hospital store-room, 20x20x10 
feet, built of logs, in good condition. Guard-house, 30x20x10 feet, 
built of logs, in good condition. Adjutant's office, 30x16x10 feet, 
built of logs, not plastered, in fair condition. Block-houses, two ; 
29x21x13 feet each, built of logs, no floors. Laundresses' quar- 
ters, 6; 15x30x10 feet each, built of logs, in fair condition. 
Blacksmith's shop. 40x12 feet, built of logs, in fair condition. 
Ice house, 30x25x6 feet, stone and earth, good condition. Root 
houses, two stone and earth, 25x15x8 feet, condition good. 



"Supply Depots, Etc. The nearest quartermaster and sub- 
sistence depots are at St. Paul, Minn., 320 miles distant. The 
route of supply is by rail to St. Cloud, then by wagons via Fort 
Abercrombie; obstructed during the winter season. Best season 
for transporting supplies is the summer. 

"Subsistence. Two years' supply is usually kept on hand? 
at present there is thirty months' supply on hand. 

"Water and Wood. The post is supplied by water from a 
never-failing spring, 500 yards distant. Wood supplied by con- 
tract, and also by the labor of the troops. 

"Indians. Nearest Indians are the Yanktonnais, Cut-Heads, 
Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of Dakota Sioux. 

"Mines. None are known in the vicinity of the post. 

"Communication. Between post and nearest town is by 
wagon road. 

"Reservation. The reservation on which the post is situated 
has not been declared by the president. 100 square miles held 
reserved, as described and announced in General Orders No. 42, 
Headquarters Department of Dakota, dated May 18, 1869. 

"Description of Country, Etc. Rolling prairie with many 
small ponds and lakes scattered over it; nearly all the land is 
well adapted for grazing, and some of it is doubtless arable. 
Soil black, sandy loam. The valleys, especially the bottom-lands 
of the Sheyenne river, are exceedingly fertile, and would produce 
bountiful crops of spring wheat, oats, barley and potatoes, and 
also the early varieties of corn. The post has a fair garden ; pota- 
toes, beans and peas, the principal vegetables. On the reservation 
there are extensive meadow-lands, the grass being of the tall, 
coarse, prairie kind. Timber abundant ; confined mostly to the 
valley of the Sheyenne ; oak, elm, ash and bass-wood. Sand and 
clay, suitable for making brick, are found in the vicinity; also 
stone, suitable for making good lime. The Sheyenne river is gen- 
erally fordable in most places, and has no great rise. The health 
of the locality is good; average temperature for eight months, 
from December, 1868, to July, 1869, inclusive, 34.39. No settle- 
ment in the vicinity, excepting two isolated ranches, between the 
post and Fort Abercrombie." 

The old Fort Ransom military reservation, an area ten miles 



square or 64,000 acres, was nearly all in Ransom county. It was 
reserved under General Order No. 42, May 18, 1869, and declared 
by Executive Order of January 11, 1870. It was surveyed into 
townships and sections by Wm. H. H. Beadle in August, 1880. 
under order of Henry Esperson, then United States Surveyor 
General. I. J. Oliver, John Oerding and John A. Watts, then 
residents in the Sheyenne valley, were the chainmen. It was 
opened for settlement in 1887, but all the papers were not sent 
from the War Department to the Department of the Interior for 
file in the General Land Office until September 24, 1898. General 
Order No. 42 described the reservation as to location in "Latitude 
46 31' 27" N., Longitude 97 54' W., on Sheyenne river, seventy- 
five miles above junction with the Red River of the North, and 
sixty miles west of Minnesota state line, within the 40-mile 
limit of N. P. R. R. grant." 

Geographically, there were several changes in the territory 
embraced in Ransom county. On a map printed in 1850, when 
Dakota was a part of Minnesota territory, is Mah-kah-tah 
county, embracing a strip from the 47th parallel of latitude on 
the north to the present south line of Ransom county, and from 
the Mississippi river on the east to the Missouri river on the 
west ; a strip about fifty miles wide and quite long. On the map 
the Shayennoja river is clearly and accurately defined, as are 
also the Maple river and Dead Colt creek, Okiedan Butte and 
Dead Colt hill, a high point near the Aliceton Norwegian Church. 
"Mah-kah-tah" is a misspelling of the Sioux word "Ma-ka-ta," 
meaning blue earth or rich soil, given to this region on account 
of the large gardens and cornfields of the Sheyenne Indians, who 
occupied this strip and were good agriculturists, farming only 
the best land. 

By act of the territorial legislature of April 24, 1862, two 
counties were created, Stevens and Sheyenne. Stevens county 
is officially described as beginning at a point in the center of the 
Red River of the North, where the north line of township 134 
crosses said river, thence west to the west line of range 62, 
thence north to the north line of township 144, thence east to said 
river, thence south along the center of the channel of said river 
to the place of beginning. Sheyenne county, beginning at the 


southeast corner of the county of Stevens, thence south along 
the center of the Red river to the northeast corner of Deuel 
county (head of Lake Traverse), thence west to the west line 
of range 62, thence north to the southwest corner of Stevens 
county, thence east to the place of beginning. This division cut 
Ransom county in two on the east and west center line. 

Pembina county, created January 9, 1867, began in the main 
channel of the Red river at the mouth of the Wild Rice, up the 
Red to the mouth of the Sheyenne, up that river to Poplar 
Grove, thence to "the place of stumps" or Lake Chicot, thence 
to the head of Salt river, thence due north to the international 
boundary, east to the Red, and to point of beginning. 

County Organized. 

Ransom county was created by act of the territorial legis- 
lature at Yankton, on January 4, 1873, being taken from Pem- 
bina county. It originally covered range 59, which was after- 
wards detached and made a part of LaMoure and Dickey coun- 
ties. When they were formed Ransom county also embraced the 
whole of Sargent county, and retained it until after the organiza- 
tion and first general election. By an infamous act of the 
territorial legislature of March 4, 1883, the county was cut half 
in two and the south half named "Sargent." At an election held 
in that part of the county on the 9th of April, 1883, a vote was 
taken which ratified the formation of Sargent county. It stood 
135 in favor of division and twenty-five against it. Only the 
residents of the present Sargent county were allowed to vote, 
but of course the majority was augmented by the territorial 
custom of transient importations. Ned, Dick and Harry, could 
vote in those days if they were on the right side. 

By legislative act of February 7, 1877, Ransom county was 
attached to the county of Richland for judicial and recording 

On March 7, 1881, Governor Nehemiah G. Ordway appointed 
Frank Probert, Gilbert Hanson and George H. Colton, county 
commissioners of Ransom county. These men were selected by 
Joseph L. Colton, the founder of Lisbon, and the condition of 


their appointment was that they should locate the county seat 
at Lisbon, and appoint Mr. Colton's friends as the first officers. 

The first meeting of the commissioners was held on the 4th 
of April, 1881, at Lisbon. Frank Probert was chosen chairman 
of the board. At the meeting the next day the county seat was 
located at Lisbon, where it still remains. No "county seat re- 
moval" fight had yet disgraced this county. 

At this meeting the following officers were appointed: 
Register of deeds and ex-officio county clerk, Joseph L. Colton; 
sheriff, George H. Manning; judge of probate, J. P. Knight; 
treasurer, John Kinan ; coroner, W. W. Bradley ; county superin- 
tendent of schools, Eben W. Knight; assessor, Marcus A. Smith; 
surveyor, E. Coombs Prindall; deputy sheriff, A. H. Moore; con- 
stables, John H. Oerding, Solomon Robinson, Orlando Foster and 
Edward Ash; justices of the peace, Peter H. Benson, Thomas 
Olson, Amos Hitchcock and Thomas Harris, Sr. Joseph J. 
Rodgers was employed as counsel for the board of commissioners. 
Bonds were fixed for the officers and they were given until the 
14th to furnish their official bonds and qualify. The "Fargo 
Republican" was made the official paper until a paper should 
be published in Ransom county. April 14th the board met again 
and the "Lisbon Star," Herbert S. Harcourt, editor and pro- 
prietor, was made the official paper. County license for the sale 
of intoxicating liquor was fixed at $50.00. May 17th it was 
changed to $200.00, and Cyrus B. Nichols was granted the first 
license. Of all the people mentioned above, only four are still 
residents of the county, viz. : Frank Probert, Gilbert Hanson, 
Thomas Harris, Sr., and Edward Ash. All the others are de- 
ceased or scattered. 

The register of deeds had trouble in getting the records of 
Ransom county from the register in Richland county and he was 
instructed April 16, to institute whatever legal proceedings 
might be necessary to procure and obtain the possession of the 
records of Ransom county. At this meeting the first bridge over 
the Sheyenne rive was authorized, to be constructed at the north 
end of Main street, in Lisbon. September 5th, 1881, the com- 
missioners placed the valuation of all taxable land in Ransom 


county at $2.50 per acre, the total value amounting to $410,112, 
and the county tax was fixed that year at 16.9 mills. 

At the first election held in the county on November 7, 1882, 
the total number of votes polled was 643, and the following ticket 
was elected by the number of votes here given. 

J. B. Raymond, delegate to congress 641 

B. "W. Benson, member of assembly, Valley City. . . . 608 
E. A. Williams, member of assembly, Bismarck. . . . 643 

J. C. Nickens, member of council, Jamestown 589 

W. F. Ball, district attorney, Fargo 643 

A. H. Laughlin, register of deeds 452 

A. H. Moore, sheriff 433 

A. C. Kvello, treasurer 643 

T. V. Phelps, assessor 614 

Nancy G. Herring, superintendent of schools 413 

A. B. Herrick, coroner 337 

M. E. Severance, surveyor 350 

W. F. Bascom, judge of probate 619 

M. L. Engle, county commissioner 402 

D. F. Ellsworth, county commissioner 443 

Randolph Holding, county commissioner 407 

Webb E. Watrous, justice of the peace 261 

L. A. Froeling, justice of the peace 269 

D. D. Mackinster, justice of the peace 394 

E. J. Ryman, justice of the peace 289 

A. Foster, constable 416 

W. Grieves, constable 411 

E. Waldref, constable 272 

C. Meyer, constable 271 

Lisbon for county seat > 521 

Of the above county officers the only one still a resident of 
the county is the writer. 

On the 13th of November, 1882, the board purchased block 
4, of Burhyte's second addition to Lisbon, for a court site, and 
soon after advertised for bids to build a court house. The bids 
were opened February 23, 1883, but all were rejected, and the 


proposition of John Kinan to lease the building adjoining his 
store for the use of the county officers was accepted at a rental 
of $50.00 per month. 

Upon the division of the county, D. F. Ellsworth and Ran- 
dolph Holding, being residents of that part of the county cut off, 
J. Lincoln Green and Marshall P. McArthur were appointed as 
commissioners in their place. Clara O. Pindall was appointed 
superintendent of schools in place of Nancy G. Herring, and H. 
S. Oliver, assessor in place of F. V. Phelps, for the same reason. 
Mr. Green failed to qualify and Scott W. Sanford, of Sheldon, 
was appointed in his stead on June 3, 1883. From the date of the 
division of the county until this time there was no session of the 
board, as the last official act of Mr. Holding was a motion to ad- 
journ sine die, which prevailed, and there was no legal way to 
hold another meeting until they were called together by the 
county clerk. In this instance the latter officer took his time 
and the county took a rest. 

The semi-annual report of County Treasurer Kvello, ending 
June 30, 1883, showed receipts from all sources, $20,761.82; ex- 
penditures, $15,568.25. 

The question of building a court house was again brought 
before the county commissioners by -the board of trade of Lisbon 
with a petition asking that it be put to a vote of the people 
November 4, 1884, and to issue bonds for that purpose to the 
amount of $35,000, but no vote was taken until November 8, 
1887, when it was lost by a vote of 440 for and 657 against. This 
was a political scheme pure and simple, engineered by "W. D. 
Boyce, now a millionaire publisher, of Chicago, then the editor 
and owner of the "Dakota Clipper," which is now the 
"Gazette." The deal was to hoodwink the board of trade into 
circulating this petition and passing a resolution, which was 
spread on the records of the proceedings of the board of county 
commissioners to get the "Star Gang" on record in favor of 
bonding the county, so as to kill it off at the next election. It 
worked admirably, as the voters of this county were pronounced 
against putting a debt on the county, and the party or clique 
that fathered any such indebtedness died at the polls. Again 
in the fall of 1897, the proposition for the building of a court 


house was lost by a majority of 318 votes. No bonds have ever 
been issued for building county buildings. 

August 26, 1884, the county was divided into five commission- 
ers ' districts, and W. H. White and George W. Avery were added 
to the board by appointment. 

Prior to April 13, 1885, the register of deeds was ex-officio 
county clerk, and as clerk had to perform all the duties of the 
present county auditor, and part of the work of the clerk of the 
court, at a salary of $600. On that date R. N. Stevens was ap- 
pointed the first county auditor and was elected to the same 
position in the fall of 1886. 

The survey of Ransom county was made as follows : First, 
the meridian lines and standard parallels were determined by 
solar survey, under contract with the United States government. 
Then another contract laid out the townships, and other con- 
tractors outlined the sections. In the early survey, square stakes 
with the numbers of four sections, the township and range 
plainly cut, were driven two feet deep into every section corner 
mound. Each corner had a hole two feet square and one and a 
half deep dug on each of the four sections marked. Quarter- 
section mounds had no stakes, but each had two holes, one on 
each side of the section line. Later surveys used marked stones 
instead of stakes. 

Rollin J. Reeves, under contract with General Beadle, dated 
August 17, 1870, surveyed the east line of the county, re-surveyed 
the seventh guide meridian from the eighth to the ninth standard 
parallels, completing it September 26, 1870. C. H. Bronson, W. 
W. Oldham, Grove Buel, James C. Blanding, chainmen ; Benjamin 
Muchon, flagman; Thomas McDaniel and H. E. Sturdevant, 
mound builders. The field notes were sworn to and acknowl- 
edged before J. R. Hanson, clerk of the supreme court, D. T., 
December 7, 1870, at Yankton. 

George G. Beardsley, under contract dated July 5, 1872, with 
Wm. P. Dewey, United States Surveyor General, surveyed the 
ninth standard parallel, which is the^north county line, from the 
seventh to the eighth guide meridian, or the east and west ends 
of the county, as we then included range 59, and completed it 
August 1, 1872. The eighth standard parallel, or south line, was 


re-surveyed by General W. H. H. Beadle, deputy surveyor gen- 
eral, in July, 1881, as there was an error in the township surveys. 
Cortez Fessenden, surveyor general; Shobal V. Clevenger and 
Augustus High, under a joint contract dated July 3, 1872, with 
William H. H. Beadle, United States Surveyor General for Da- 
kota territory, started September 6, 1872, laid out township 
133-53, and continued to survey all the township lines except 
Fort Ransom Military Reservation. 

The next was the sectional sub-division survey contract, in 
which Shrobal V. Clevenger and Augustus High are joint con- 
tractors with William H. H. Beadle for Dakota territory, dated 
July 3, 1872. 135-53, 133 and 134-55, 134 and 135-57, east of 
Fort Ransom Military Reservation; 136, ranges 57 and 58, north 
of reservation, surveyed by Augustus High, A. B. Falley, G. 
Barber, 0. C. Lithfield, W. H. Brown, Albert Mesto, assistants. 

In July and August, 1874, Joseph W. Blanding sub-divided 
townships 133 and 134, range 53. In November, 1876, George G. 
Beardsley surveyed townships 136, ranges 54, 55 and 56. In 
June and July, 1879, Edwin H. Van Antwerp completed town- 
ships 133, ranges 54 and 56, 57 and 58, 135-55, and 136-53, which, 
with the sub-division of Fort Ransom Military Reservation, in 
1880, completed the survey of the county. 

The guide meridians and standard parallels had mounds of 
earth four feet square and three feet high. 

Each surveyor had to test his compass to see that it was ad- 
justed accurately to correspond with the solar guide meridian 
surveys, and here is the way it was done : ' ' Upon the foregoing 
line during the night I established a true meridian line ; fixed 
a bearing pole twelve feet long firmly in the ground and from the 
top swung a small linen cord with a plumb bob attached hanging 
free in a pail of water. Six feet south of this, fixed a straight 
smooth board upon two posts firmly driven into the ground east 
and west and one foot high, to a board slide; upon this fixed a 
compass sight, moved this upon the board until Polaris was 
behind the line and moved it easterly until the star "Alioth" of 
the contellation "Ursa Major" and Polaris were in the same 
vertical plane and covered equally by the cord. At a distance 
of twenty feet north an assistant held a small lantern before a 


vertical staff, and I signalled him by another lantern until the 
staff and the two stars were in the same vertical plane. The 
staff was fixed in the ground until morning and another staff was 
planted where the compass sight was fixed. As compared with 
this line, my instrument, a new six-inch needle, vernier compass, 
manufactured by W. & L. E. Gurley, Troy, N. Y., without num- 
ber, approved by the surveyor general, showed a contrast adjust- 
ment and a magnetic variation of the corner of the line last run 
as compared with this meridian, was, etc." Report of William 
H. H. Beadle. 

The first settlers, or those who were the pioneers to come into 
the county to build homes for their families, were reported by 
the surveyors to be John Knutson, on the southwest quarter of 
section 21-134-54, in September, 1872, when he had a good house 
and twelve acres under cultivation and fenced, since his arrival 
in 1870; and Phidelem Letonneau, who settled on the northeast 
quarter of section 20-134-54 in 1870, and in 1872 had a good 
house and barn, fifteen acres under cultivation, and forty acres 
fenced. His surroundings betokened thrift and much labor. His 
was the first grain grown in Ransom county. Mr. Knutson stayed 
here until 1888, accumulated considerable property, sold out and 
went to his old home in Norway. Letonneau sold out here, 
moved to Fargo, and died there. His widow remained and 
reared a family of twelve children. 

September 18, 1872, the surveyors completed the survey of 
township 135, range 54, and found E. Whitcomb with a home 
on the northwest of 13 ; Peter Bonner with a home on the south- 
west of section 11; Philo Kendall with a few acres of breaking 
and building a house on the southeast quarter of section 10; 
Emma Bowden on northwest quarter of 10, had breaking done 
but no house yet. All of these people lived on their land for 
several years, and have sold out and gone West. 

There was considerable labor and time spent in the early 
days in exploring for coal among the bluffs of the Sheyenne, as 
the fuel question was an important one, for the government to 
supply its forts and expeditions, and also for the settlers. The 
surveyors found numerous excavations made all along the river, 
and on the southeast quarter of section 32-135-54 report an "un- 


finished house near a tunnel on the river bank made by coal 
explorers. Place now abandoned as but little coal was found 
and that not of useful quality." Float coal is found in many 
places in the county, but no mines have been yet discovered. 

The surveyors also report finding in that township, "A few 
relics such as old shoes, tent pins, human bones and skulls, in 
various parts of the township, indicating Indian fracases and 
probable mining fights. General Sibley has battled with Indians 
in this vicinity/' and they make a note of finding "fortifications 
for the battle of the Sheyenne river under General Sibley. ' ' This 
is an error, as the latter army had no battle there. The surveyors 
mistook the remains of the fortified city of the Sheyenne Indians 
for Sibley 's earthworks. 

The first final proof made in the Fargo land office, when it 
was located there by congress, was by Ludwig Thiergart on the 
northeast quarter of section 8-135-53. The proof was made 
September 30, 1875, and the patent issued March 1, 1876. 

Among the instruments in the office of the county auditor 
can be found a petition thirty feet long presented to the county 
commissioners praying that the question of granting liquor 
license (local option) be submitted to the vote of the county 
November 6, 1888. The petition was granted and 668 votes were 
cast for license to 829 votes against. Since then the sentiment 
of a majority of the voters of the county has been for prohibition. 
The vote on the adoption of the constitution of the state and pro- 
hibition was : Constitution, 1,110 for, 25 against ; prohibition, 670 
for, 557 against. 

The first instruments on file in the office of the register of 
deeds are dated 1876 and 1877. They transfer by deed large 
bodies of land from the Northern Pacific Railroad to Chester 
H. Davis, of New York City. Davis was a brother-in-law of C. 
F. Kindred, who was then land commissioner of the Northern 
Pacific, and it is alleged that actual compensation received by 
the company was meagre. 

District Court. 

The first term of the district court held in Ransom county 
was at Lisbon, January 5, 1885. Hon. S. A. Hudson, judge; 


Willis W. Tuller, clerk. Hon. William B. McConnell's first term 
was held August 3, 1886. 

The population of the county in 1880 was 537 ; in 1890, 5,393 ; 
in 1900, 6,919 ; 1905, 8,634. 

At the election of 1908 there were 1,937 votes cast for presi- 
dential electors; Republican, 1,308; Democrat, 581; Prohibition, 
36; Socialist, 11; Independent Democrat, 1. The air of Ransom 
county is too pure for Socialism. 

The total valuation of the county for the year 1908 is $3,- 
927,910; personal property, $1,260,431; real estate, $2,667,479; 
total tax levy, $215,754.35. 

Township Organization. 
Name. Date organized. Township. Range. 

Aliceton April 8, 1903. 133 35 

Northland February 2, 1891. 136 58 

Big Bend May 3, 1900. 134 55 

Casey December 12, 1888. 135 55 

Coburn June 7, 1893. 136 53 

Fort Ransom April 2, 1889. 135 58 

Elliott January 17, 1905. 134 57 

Maple River (now 

Liberty) November 19, 1885. 136 55 

Moore March 6, 1895. 136 56 

Owego June 1, 1894. 135 53 

Preston November 1, 1892. 136 57 

Sydna August 1, 1892. 133 54 

Springer May 18, 1889. 135 57 

Sandoun January 12, 1901. 135 53 

135 54 

Shenf ord August 1, 1884, N. half of 134 54 

Sheldon village July 31, 1884. 136 54 

Roland May 11, 1905. 133 58 

Greene January 4, 1906. 136 54 

(So much of this town- 
ship as has hereto- 
fore been organized 
as the village of Shel- 


Tuller March 6, 1906. 135 56 

Bale March 6, 1906. 133 56 

Hanson March 6, 1906. 134 58 

Alleghany March 6, 1906. 133 57 

Island Park March 2, 1908. 134 56 

The county seat, Lisbon, is located in Island Park township. 


It is a commendable custom in the formation of new states to 
commemorate the names of men of prominence in American prog- 
ress by naming counties and cities after them. Ransom county 
and Fort Ransom bear a name honored in American history as a 
distinguished officer of the Union army. 

Major-General Thomas E. G. Ransom entered the service as 
major of the Eleventh Illinois Volunteers, and rose to the com- 
mand of the Seventeenth Army Corps. He was several times 
wounded, and died from injuries received in the Atlanta cam- 
paign. Grant and Sherman both said that he was the ablest of 
volunteer generals, and Sherman once spoke at length commend- 
ing his heroic character. 

General Ransom was the son of Colonel Ransom, who com- 
manded the Ninth United States Volunteers in the Mexican War 
and was killed at the storming of the fortress of Chapultepec. 
This was the most desperately fought battle of that war. The 
fortress was defended by the students of the Mexican Military 
Academy. After several unsuccessful attempts to take the place, 
a cannon was loaded with a solid shot and a detail of seventy-five 
men was ordered to haul the gun up to the walls of the fort, turn 
it around and fire it to make a breach in the wall. They took 
up the gun, but were all shot before they could turn it around. 
Another detail of 150 men chosen from different parts of the line 
turned the gun and battered down a wide gap, through which 
the charging Americans went like a whirlwind and captured the 
fort. Chapultepec is the Mexican Bunker Hill, and each year the 
people of Mexico do honor to the brave youth who, in defense of 
their country, fell nobly fighting the northern invaders. 

The geographical location of Ransom county brings it directly 
into the pathway of nearly every expedition, national and pri- 


vate, wending its westward way over these plains bearing the 
Star of Empire. The ''big bend" of the Sheyenne river made it 
necessary to establish routes south of it at the times of floods, 
and its numerous fords, with sloping banks and solid gravel bot- 
toms, rendered it easy of crossing in low water, and, as overland 
travel had to pass north of the Missouri river, it brought this 
county into a direct line of northwestward march. The old well- 
worn pathway of the Oregon overland emigrants crossed the 
county diagonally. General Sibley's westward and return line 
of march crosses the county in two places ; the Fort Sisseton and 
Fort Totten, and the Fort Abercrombie military roads traverse 
the county ; the latter crosses the river at Sibley 's ford and again 
at Brunton's, passing just north of Lisbon with one route, and 
the other around the bend south of the river. Many of the mounds 
thrown up by the engineer corps in locating these roads still re- 
main. Another established route ran through Owego township 
west via Fort Ransom. Along these lines of travel passed hun- 
dreds of freighters carrying supplies to the forts and settlements 
west, and numerous expeditions of explorers and railroad sur- 
veyors and private parties. Over the Oregon trail tramped thou- 
sands of the early settlers of the northwestern Pacific states. They 
had a large fortified circular camp covering about twenty acres 
on section 2-133-56, to guard against the attacks of prowling 
jands of Sioux who followed these expeditions to gratify the 
Indian instinct of bloodshed and plunder. Hundreds of troops 
of our "boys in blue" have marched over our now fertile fields 
to protect the property and save the scalps of white men. All 
of these important routes of travel were beaten into deep path- 
ways by the tread of hundreds of thousands of northwestern pio- 
neer empire builders. 

"They crossed the prairies as of old 

The Pilgrims crossed the sea, 
To make the West, as they the East, 

The birthplace of the free." 

Through them the "chaos of a mighty world" has surely 
"rounded into form." 

Travel was dangerous in those days and numerous encounters 


with the Indians occurred, as the timber and bluffs skirting the 
Sheyenne river formed a natural shelter and hiding place for 
them. Several skeletons of white men have been found marking 
the resting place of the unknown dead and showing conclusively 
that passing around the lower bend of the river must at some time 
have been a hazardous undertaking. The bones of one white man 
were found bleaching on the prairie about eight miles southwest 
of Lisbon. The skull had a bullet hole through it, and several 
small articles such as would be carried by a man in good circum- 
stances were found near it. Another skeleton was found on the 
bluff near Dead Colt creek, no doubt the relics of one of Don 
Stevenson's ox drivers who got lost at the time his whole train 
got snowed in. On a knoll near the Sargent county line four 
human skeletons were found lying side by side, mute testimony 
of some desperate encounter where all the party must have been 
slain, as none was left to bury the dead. On many high points 
overlooking the valley are circles of small boulders placed close 
together, covering a diameter of about six feet, the whole spot 
from center to outside being covered, which mark the repose of 
some hunter or trapper, as in every instance where they have been 
dug into human bones not touched by extreme age are found, 
victims of disease or the bullets of the redskins, buried by their 
comrades and the stones placed on the graves to prevent the 
coyotes from disturbing their final rest. 

William Hutchins, one of the first settlers and still a resident 
of the county, eight years, from 1871 to 1879, drove ox teams for 
Don Stevenson, later a resident of Morton county and now dead. 
J. C. Burbank, of St. Paul, Minn., N. P. Clark, of St. Cloud, Minn., 
still a resident there, and his brother-in-law, T. C. McClure, now 
deceased, were old time government freighters. Hutchins helped 
Stevenson move Fort Ransom to Fort Cross, the name afterwards 
changed to Fort Seward. He made many trips through this 
county and beyond, and enjoyed all the pleasures of outdoor 
pioneer life on the plains, and suffered all the mosquito-laden 
and frost-bitten woes of the western "bull whacker," wending 
his slow, tortuous, tedious way over the parched, burnt-over 
prairies of Dakota, or through the knee-deep "gumbo" of Min- 
nesota, the essential forerunner of the "iron horse." 


To protect these overland freighters and the expeditions of 
home-seekers and soldiers the United States government con- 
structed a line of "storm stations" along the important trails, 
so any one caught in a storm could find refuge. The one assigned 
to Ransom county was located on section 19 in Owego township. 
It consisted of a large log shanty with ample log stables to shelter 
the oxen of the trailers or the horses of the troops. This place 
was named "Pidgeon Point," and was kept by Dave Faribault, 
a half-breed French and Chippewa Indian and a nephew of the 
old Chief Faribault, of Minnesota. Dave was sent here by the 
government. His wife was a full-blood Aricaree squaw, good 
looking and educated. They had two children, Lewis and Jane. 
Jane was a bright, fine young lady, very courteous and highly 
respected by those who gained her acquaintance. She resembled 
the French in features. Her parents sent her to an academy in 
St. Paul, Minn., where she graduated. During the year 1871 a 
man named Charles Huggins arrived and, living at Faribault 's, 
engaged in hunting and trapping along the Sheyenne river. He 
fell in love with Mrs. Faribault and she with him. Dave became 
suspicious, ordered him out of the house and sharpened his knife. 
Charlie stayed among the neighbors for a year or more and both 
kept up a correspondence with each other to arrange clandestine 
meetings. They used Tommy Bonner, a bright little lad, for mail 
carrier, and he was very faithful to his trust and kept his secrets 
until one day, while on his way to deliver one of Charlie 's letters 
he fell and hurt himself, so he had to get home with the letter, 
which his mother found and read. Of course the contents of the 
letter leaked out and the gossip reached Charlie's ears, when he 
got busy. Mrs. Bonner received a very threatening letter from 
him, stating that if "she did not attend to her own affairs and 
keep her nose out of his, he would see that she was smoked out, 
etc." Soon afterwards a party of Sioux Indians appeared and 
were very impertinent, which started a genuine "Indian scare," 
and nearly all the settlers left with their families for the East. 
John McCusker was one who skipped for his old home in Min- 
nesota. This was in 1872. He remained there one year, and re- 
turned with his family in the spring of 1874 and still lives at the 
old camping ground of his pioneer days. Mr. Bonner soon re- 


turned. The only depredation committed by the Indians was to 
run off nine of Mr. Bonner's fat young cattle, which he soon 
recovered. The then residents credited Mr. Huggins as the insti- 
gator of the actions of the Sioux. Love affairs usually have an 
end, and in this case the culmination was quite forceful and ro- 
mantic. Charlie got tired of dodging Dave's knife, so in some way 
he obtained a quantity of "fire water" (how is not recorded, as 
the prohibition jug traffic was not yet invented nor the interstate 
commerce law made a refuge for crime) and when the next squad 
of cavalry and a bunch of "bull whackers" happened to meet 
there during a storm, the whiskey was freely distributed on the 
express condition that Dave should have his full share of it. All 
agreements and promises were rigidly kept, and a hilarious big 
time ensued. Dave got strictly paralyzed, and when he came out 
of his stupor his wife had eloped with Charlie and came no more 
into these wilds. To him the turtle doves of the Sheyenne forests 
had ceased their gentle cooing for a time. Charlie is gone where 
all troubles cease. Mrs. Huggins is still living in South Dakota. 
Lewis staid with his father. Jane, after receiving an academic 
education, returned to her mother and married a "blanket 
Indian" colloquially named "Dandy Jim." 

Tommy Bonner was the first duly appointed mail carrier in 
Ransom county, and Charlie 's the first love affair memorialized in 
our legends, and Dave's the experience common to history of the 
results of a "mix-up" with "wine and woman." 

Owego Colony. 

The human desire not to be contented with surroundings and 
to gain dollars from an investment of cents, forming episodes in 
the history of mankind since the "tale of the Garden of Eden," 
has caused the first development of every country and locality in 
America since King James' scheme for the colonization of James- 
town, Va. The first early settlement of Ransom county was due 
to a "townsite scheme," the expectation of obtaining a large tract 
of land for a mere pittance and selling it in small lots at fabulous 

Early in 1870 Captain LaFayette Hadley organized "the 
Owego Colonization Company" at Rochester, Minn., and came 


to Owego township and settled on what, being surveyed, proved to 
be section 16, where they platted a town site and named it 
"Owego" after their former beautiful home city on the Susque- 
hannah. Several families came and twelve dwellings were 
erected. LaFayette Hadley was elected president. Among the 
members of the colony were : Orange Hadley, Samuel Horton, 
Kelley E. Bowden, S. R. Day and Louis Thiergart, all of whom 
became residents of the county for several years. The able-bodied 
male members of the colony worked on the Northern Pacific Rail- 
road, then being constructed west of St. Cloud, Minn. Captain 
Hadley thought the railroad would cross the Red river farther 
south and the Sheyenne at Owego, thence to Fort Ransom via 
Brunton's Ford. He was the first real estate agent in the county 
and had a successful plan for the occasion. He charged each set- 
tler fifteen dollars for the privilege of taking a claim within a 
radius of five miles, as he had platted that amount of territory. 
Several of the colony had ox teams and the captain had them 
donate the hauling of the lumber and the labor for the erection of 
a neat two-room cottage with an attic, for his office and residence. 
All the lumber was hauled from McCauleyville, Minn., at sixty 
dollars a thousand. It was native elm and basswood, rough on 
both sides, full of knots and bark-edged. 

The mail was brought by the soldiers who carried the mail to 
Fort Ransom and stopped at Dave Faribault's. 

By letter dated March 4, 1907, from the Hon. F. H. Hitchcock, 
first assistant postmaster general, he states that the postoffice was 
established at Owego, September 1, 1871, in Sheyenne county, 
Dakota territory, with James C. Felch as postmaster. There is 
an error in regard to Owego being in Sheyenne county, as it was 
in township 135 and the south line of that township was the south 
boundary line of Stevens county. Owego was the third postoffice 
established in what is now North Dakota. Commodore Kittson 
was appointed postmaster at Pembina in 1844, and Charles Cava- 
lier at St. Joseph in 1863. 

The colony prospered for a while, until the "Huggins Indian 
scare" drove them all away. Captain Hadley and some others 
returned. Hadley lived there until the colony was abandoned in 
1874, when he moved with his family to McCauleyville and started 


a restaurant. Afterwards he went to Fargo, and died in Oregon. 
The buildings were appropriated by the settlers, but Captain Had- 
ley collected their full value from the government as an "Indian 
depredation claim." 

Among the first permanent settlers of the county were George 
Hutchins, father of William Hutchins, Peter Bonner, Helmuth 
Schultz, Herman Schultz, F. W. Baguhn and John McCusker, be- 
sides those mentioned by the surveyors. They all settled along 
the river near Owego. George Hutchins freighted through the 
county in 1868. Mr. Baguhn built the first bridge over the Red 
river at Fargo. The Northern Pacific Company wished to get 
some construction tools and supplies over the river, and, as the 
ice was unsafe, he borrowed some lumber of Burns and Finkle, 
of Moorhead, and, using a fallen tree that nearly spanned the 
channel for one stringer and timbers laid on the ice for the other, 
a bridge was constructed and the construction outfit taken over. 
Mr. Hutchins says when he first saw Moorhead, in 1868, only one 
building stood there and the place was called "Smoky Point." 
The settlers accumulating along the Sheyenne soon wanted a post- 
office and petitioned for a mail route from Fargo to Owego direct. 
F. W. Baguhn was appointed mail carrier and postmaster at 
Owego. His commission for the latter was dated October 19, 1874, 
and signed by Marshall Jewell, postmaster general. His salary 
as mail carrier was $400 per annum. He made trips once a week 
The postoffices on the route were Owego, Barret, Power, Kindred, 
Horace and Fargo. The winter of 1874-75 was a very severe one, 
forty degrees below being not uncommon. The snow was very 
deep and blizzards frequent, but that name for a snow storm was 
not then originated not until 1876. The summer of 1875 was 
very pleasant and game plentiful. Mr. Baguhn drove a span of 
small Indian ponies, and carried a shotgun and shot wild ducks, 
geese and chickens along the route and sold them to Mr. Slogey, 
of the Bramble Hotel, Moorhead, who took them by the dozen. 
His proceeds from the sale of game during summer amounted to 
nearly as much as his salary as mail carrier. Mr. Baguhn still 
lives in Owego. 

Large game used to be plentiful in the sand hills of Owego. 
In 1883 Clark Brooks and George Severson went into the hills for 


a hunt. George stepped on the log of a fallen tree and was peer- 
ing through the prickly ash to shoot a "cotton-tail" rabbit, when 
a monstrous cinnamon bear rose up erect within six feet of him. 
George says he could not run because the briers on the ash were 
so thick. It will never be known which was the more frightened, 
George or the bear. Anyway, George's hair is quite white now, 
but as his hair is very light it is hard to tell whether fright 
changed his hair or he was born that way. No one knows how 
it happened, but George lives in Sheldon and is alive yet, while 
the bear is dead. They sold at the meat market in Lisbon the cap- 
ture of a week's hunt that large bear, two smaller ones, three 
deer and two beavers. The carcass of the old bear measured 
seven feet in length. 

Mrs. Arntson, mother of the present county auditor, had a 
little experience in the Owego timbered wilds. They had a fine 
calf in a strong pen or room built onto the side of the stable. One 
night they heard the crash of lumber being broken, and the calf 
blatting, and she and her husband rushed out to ascertain the 
trouble. In the darkness she saw the outline of a supposed man 
dragging the calf toward a small creek that flowed close by. She 
rushed into the brush after the calf, but the darkness prevented 
her from finding it. In the morning the partially eaten carcass 
of the calf lay by the creek and the tracks of a large bear were 
plainly visible in the mud. Mrs. Arntson had been within a few 
feet of the bear. He must have lain very quiet while she was 
groping in the darkness as she heard no noise. No doubt this was 
the bear killed by Mr. Severson. 

Owego had another "Indian scare" in 1882. Some Sioux In- 
dians, armed, appeared one afternoon in June and were perform- 
ing some queer antics. There were several Norwegian families 
living in the hills, some of whom had lived in Minnesota during 
the bloody Sioux massacre of 1862. The alarm was given, and 
Messrs. Aandahl, Gronbeck, Lunsborg, Skaar and B. Johnson hur- 
riedly took their families by ox team to Colfax in Richland 
county. A message was sent to Major Edwards, of the "Fargo 
Argus," who wired the commander of the troops at Fort Sisse- 
ton. The next day three troops of the "Ouster Avengers" ar- 
rived and camped on the hill at the south bend of the river, where 


now stands the Aliceton church. They were under command of 
Colonel Sickles, a son of General Daniel E. Sickles, who shot 
Philip Barton Key on the street corner in Washington, D. C. 
Colonel Sickles, with a detachment of a dozen soldiers, rode into 
Lisbon and hitched their horses where the Horton Hotel barn 
now stands. The next afternoon two half-breed scouts, dressed 
in the characteristic fringed buckskin suits, rode in over the north 
bridge. The writer was talking with Colonel Sickles when they 
came up. They had scoured the "sand hills" and found that a 
small party of Sioux had eluded the Indian police and chased 
some antelope from the Coteans in the Sisseton reservation into 
our county. Colonel Sickles sent a detachment into the hills and 
took the trespassers home. That night was an eventful one in 
Lisbon and the eastern part of the county. The "Argus" had 
circulated the report of the "outbreak," and the presence of the 
soldiers confirmed it. Many of the women packed their effects, 
and with revolvers watched beside their husbands armed with 
guns. The soldiers remained for a week and were very effective 
in restoring quiet, especially among the residents in the hills. 

During the days before Fort Ransom was garrisoned, Don 
Stevenson's train of ox team freighters, returning from a western 
trip, were caught in a blizzard and took refuge in "Timber 
Coolie," by the "Fish Pond," on the old cheese factory farm 
south of Lisbon. The storm was very severe and lasted three 
days. The men formed shelters with the wagon boxes and turned 
the oxen loose. The third day one teamster declared they would 
all starve or freeze to death and started eastward, taking a yoke 
of oxen. He was never seen again, and it is supposed that his 
was the skeleton found on the bluffs near where Dead Colt creek 
joins the river. Near this skeleton was found an ox yoke and 
cnam and the bones of two oxen. When the storm subsided, a 
sentinel watching from the bluffs at the west of their rendezvous 
saw a dark object moving across the vast white expanse toward 
the west. It proved to be a half-breed with a pony dragging an 
Indian sled of two poles. The "breed" guided the whole party 
to safety at Fort Abercrombie. The wagons were recovered in the 
spring, but the oxen all perished. 



The Sibley Trail. 

The trail of General H. H. Sibley 's expedition of 1863 against 
the hostile Sioux to punish them for their fiendish deeds of mas- 
sacre in Minnesota in 1862, enters Ransom county in section 32- 
133-54, thence north, crossing the river at Scoville's ford on the 
northwest quarter of section 32-134-54; thence diagonally in a 
northwest direction, on the east side of the river, and leaves the 
county on section 6, township 136, range 57. On section 36, town- 
ship 134, range 55, just west of Scoville's ford, called in Sibley 's 
reports "the first crossing of the Sheyenne," the expedition 
halted, established Camp Hayes and celebrated the Fourth of 
July, 1863. Ex-Governor Horace Austin, of Minnesota, then cap- 
tain of Company B, First Regiment Mounted Rangers, addressed 
the troops, being the first Fourth of July oration delivered in Ran- 
som county. A tall liberty pole of white ash was erected. It was 
afterwards struck by lightning, but about twenty feet high of the 
base remained standing until the winter of 1891-92, when some 
desecrating hand cut it off at the level of the ground for firewood. 
At my instigation, Frank Russell, commander of Abercrombie 
Post, G. A. R., dug up the base, that was set in the ground about 
four feet, in July, 1892, and it is preserved as a relic by the post. 
Several small gavels have been made from this historic "liberty 
pole" and presented to different members of Sibley 's expedition, 
and one to Hon. Judge Lauder, of this judicial district. The ex- 
pedition passed about a mile and a half north of Lisbon and estab- 
lished "Camp Wharton" on sections 19 and 20, township 135, 
range 56, where it halted until Sunday morning, July 12, waiting 
for a supply train to arrive from Alexandria, Minn., when it 
passed on and crossed the Sheyenne river at Stony ford, near 
Sorenson's Mills, in Barnes county. It has often been erroneously 
reported that a battle with the Indians occurred at Camp Whar- 
ton. No Indians were encountered or seen by the expedition until 
it arrived within ten miles of where Jamestown now stands. 
Near Standing Rock a wagon axle and several other relics were 
found by the early settlers. Sunday night was probably passed 
there by the troops, but no camp was established. 

In June, 1884, the writer drove out to Camp Wharton in com- 


pany with Lieutenant Joseph Weinman, special agent for the Ger- 
man-American Insurance Company, of Freeport, 111. He exhibited 
remarkable memory ; when we first struck the trail he recognized 
it instantly and described the location of the camp before we got 
in sight of it. On entering the Johnson coulie where the trail 
crosses, he said, ' ' See that sharp point of bluff at the left ? Well, 
the cavalry scouts deployed at our left frightened a young ante- 
lope and it came bounding over the top of that bluff and struck 
its head against one of the wagons, and one of my boys captured 
it, put it into a wagon and we carried it clear through the expedi- 
tion and back to St. Paul, where we presented it to the colonel 
of the regiment, and it is still in the city." This antelope died 
in St. Paul about six years ago. At the camp he found the old 
well his company dug, the hole where the flagstaff stood, and sev- 
eral other points of interest. The flagstaff of this camp had been 
removed by a Swede, Isaac Westling, who took the land as a 
claim, and planted it on a knoll near his house and used it as a 
storm signal to guide him home in the event of a blizzard. It 
was removed by Frank Russell in July, 1892, and is now in the 
possession of Abercrombie Post G. A. R. 

Lieutenant Weinman said that early in the morning of the 
12th the death march sounded and a stretcher bearing the remains 
of a soldier who had shot himself accidentally was carried out to 
the northwest. Let us find his grave. He guided my horse and 
we drove within four rods of the grave. It had sunken and the 
two stakes that stood at the ends had fallen in. It is on the crest 
of the hill overlooking the Sheyenne valley. The main earth- 
works of the camp have been leveled and the land cultivated, but 
many of the outlying picket posts are still plainly visible. Lieu- 
tenant Weinman was detailed to escort a supply train of about 
eighty wagons from Alexandria, Minn., to overtake General Sib- 
ley. He arrived at Camp Hayes the night of July 10 and at Camp 
Wharton just before sundown the llth, and then accompanied 
the expedition. He stated to me that in the morning of the llth 
a heavy frost covered the ground, as white as snow, and that after 
they crossed the Sheyenne at Stony ford, scarcely any grass was 
to be found on the prairie. 

I have spent much time and had much correspondence with 



ex-Governor William R. Marshall, who was colonel of the Seventh 
Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and acted as correspond- 
ent of the " Pioneer Press" during the expedition, and others, to 
ascertain the name of the soldier killed at Camp Wharton, with 
the purpose of having his remains taken up and interred in the 
G. A. R. cemetery here, but have as yet failed to identify him. 
It may have been some teamster or attache of the army whose 
name does not appear on the army roster, and must be numbered 
with the unknown dead. 

To ex-Governor Marshall I am indebted for the names of these 
two camps and much other information relative to the expedition. 
The names of the camps and some of the details of the first part 
of the march are mentioned in Sibley's reports. In a letter from 
ex-Governor Marshall, written at Los Angeles, Cal., a few weeks 
before his death, he states that he remembers an accidental death 
at one of the camps, but could not now locate it from memory. 

Brigadier General Sibley would not have been a success as a 
North Dakota real estate agent and boomer. In his report to 
Major J. F. Meline, acting assistant adjutant general at Mil- 
waukee, Wis., dated "in the field sixty miles west of Fort Aber- 
crombie, Camp Stevens, August 16, 1863," he says: "The region 
traversed by my column between the first crossing of the Shey- 
enne river (Scoville's ford) and the Coteau of the Missouri is for 
the most part uninhabitable. If the devil were to select a resi- 
dence upon the earth, he would probably choose this particular 
district for an abode, with the redskins' murdering and plunder- 
ing bands as his ready ministers, to verify by their ruthless deeds 
his diabolical hate to all who belong to a Christian race. Through 
this vast desert, lakes fair to the eye abound, but generally their 
waters are strongly alkaline or intensely bitter and brackish. The 
valleys between them frequently reek with sulphurous and other 
disagreeable vapors. The heat was so intolerable that the earth 
was like a heated furnace, and the breezes that swept along its 
surface were scorching and suffocating as the famed sirocco." I 
should have enjoyed watching the general's face while he was 
reading Harcourt's "Lisbon Star" in the early eighties. 

After an arduous search, the writer unearthed from the ar- 
chives of the Minnesota State Historical Society the following 


vivid description of the first Fourth of July celebration ever held 
in Ransom county, written by Chan Harmin, later a miller at 
Sauk Center, Minn., to the "St. Paul Pioneer." There were two 
dailies in St. Paul then, the "Pioneer," Democratic, started in 
1846, and the "Press," Republican. In 1849 both were merged 
into the "Pioneer Press." 

Fourth of July on the Sheyenne. 

Toasts, Responses, etc. 
Camp Hayes, North Bank of Sheyenne River, July 4, 1863. 

Your regular correspondent, Rev. Mr. Riggs, has doubtless 
written you from this camp, detailing the incidents of the march. 
I propose to give you a brief report of our relations of the day 
and a very pleasant reunion of the officers of the expedition at 
the general's tent this evening. Soon after arriving in camp this 
afternoon, Captain Chase, of the pioneers, procured a sappling 
from the trees along the river, which he erected into a liberty pole 
in front of headquarters. The large American flag that belonged 
to the lower agency and was rescued from the Indians last fall 
the same that floated at Mankato at the execution of the con- 
demned Sioux was run up and given to the breeze. Captain 
Jones, of the battery, at sunset fired a salute of thirty-four guns, 
waking strange echoes along the hills of the Sheyenne. The gen- 
eral invited the field staff and officers of the several regiments to 
his marquee, when the very agreeable sight of lovers of delicious 
cake -provided for the occasion by the excellent and thoughtful 
wife of the general greeted eyes quite unused lately to such 
sights. There was abundantly supplied appropriate and palata- 
ble accompaniments to the cake. After ample justice had been 
done these, Colonel Crooks, of the Sixth, proposed "To the health 
of the commanding general and the success of the expedition." 

General Sibley suitably responded, assuring the company that 
the expedition would never turn back without accomplishing its 
object the extinction of Little Crow and the band of murderers 
that followed him if success were in the bounds of human per- 
severance and endurance. He felt confident he could rely on the 
officers and men of the command for faithful support in this pur- 



pose. Colonel Baker, in proposing the health of Mrs. Sibley, to 
whom the company was indebted for the refreshing delicacies 
before them, thought it peculiarly fitting that the wife of the 
beloved commander should be remembered on the occasion. Lieu- 
tenant Colonel Marshall complained that Colonel Baker had ap- 
propriated the sentiment that he (Colonel Marshall) was ready to 
offer to Mrs. Sibley, but would now offer. 

General Sibley proposed the health of General Pope, who most 
cordially supported General Sibley and provided all things neces- 
sary for the expedition. General Sibley expressed warmly his 
obligations to General Pope. 

The health of the president of the United States was offered 
by Colonel Crooks, and a sentiment to the Union by Colonel Baker. 
The health of Hon. Alexander Ramsey was proposed by Lieuten- 
ant Jennison. 

The general offered a sentiment complimentary to Sinclair 
Flandran, of his staff, who was about to leave in the morning on 
his return home, on account of failing health, and to Mr. T. J. Holt 
Beever, also of the general's staff, the sole representative in the 
company of her majesty Queen Victoria's subjects. 

The general took occasion to express his obligations to these 
gentlemen, his regrets at parting with Mr. Flandran, and the hope 
and expectation that in a few days he, the general, would receive 
from the accredited representatives of Mr. Beever 's queen, full 
authority to pursue into British territory any guilty Indian that 
might escape thither. 

Messrs. Flandran and Beever suitably responded. Adjutant 
Braden offered the health of Colonel Crooks, to which he briefly 
responded. Colonel Crooks proposed the health of Colonel Miller, 
of the Seventh, with the sentiment that, although absent, he was 
remembered and his place well supplied by the lieutenant colonel 
commanding. Lieutenant Colonel Marshall responded, regretting 
the absence of Colonel Miller, who, but for his broken health re- 
sulting from the hard services of the campaigns and battles on 
the Potomac, from Bull Run through the seven-days' battle^ and 
before Richmond, down to the South mountains, would have been 
with the expedition and enjoyed the company tonight. General 


Sibley proposed health to Lieutenant Colonel Marshall; Colonel 
Marshall, the health of Colonel Baker. 

Colonel Crooks proposed the health of the colonel of the First 
Mounted Rangers, Colonel McPhail, to which he (McPhail) re- 
sponded. Lieutenant Colonel Jennison proposed to drink to the 
Ninth regiment and its gallant Colonel Wilkins. Colonel Marshall 
proposed health to Colonel Thomas, of the Eighth regiment, and 
his command. 

A patriotic poem adapted to the occasion, written by Mr. 
Sweetser, correspondent of the ''Springfield Republican," was 
read by Captain Olin and received warm commendation. 

Quartermaster Carver, of the Sixth, offered a sentiment to the 
wives and sweethearts at home, which was feelingly received. 
The health of the medical director of the Eighth, Dr. Wharton, 
and of the medical staff of the several regiments was drank. 

With songs and jokes from that inimitable wit and humorist, 
Colonel Jennison, and sentiments and speeches from others, the 
hours sped swiftly, and the celebration of the Fourth of July on 
the banks of the Sheyenne was voted an entire success and a 
most enjoyable occasion to all who participated. 

Chan Harmin. 

Camp Hayes, North Bank of the Sheyenne River. 

July 4, 1863. 

Saturday evening has come and we have accomplished our 
week's work of marching. Yesterday was a very hard day. In 
order to reach the river today without difficulty, it was decided 
to come past Kandiota lakes, and run our chance of finding a 
camping place five or six miles this side. In the afternoon the day 
became real hot, the south wind blew, but it burned and blistered 
as if it had come from a heated oven. For several hours the ther- 
mometer could not be coaxed below 100. It was hard, very hard 
on the men and teams. In addition we did not find as good a 
camp as we have usually had. The water was not good, but we 
are reminded that we are not on a pleasure trip, but on the war 
path, and that we are now in the enemy's country and may soon 
be met by hostile forces. 

We have crossed over the Sheyenne and camped in or near 



the south bend on the north side of the stream. A most beautiful 
place it is. We have seen no spot so lovely since the commence- 
ment of the campaign. In this vicinity there is a good pasturage, 
and the gentle rain, which has been promising for a good while 
and has fairly commenced fulfilling its promise, will make even 
the dead places look green. 

After a couple of hours' roadmaking by the pioneers, Captain 
Chase's company, the whole command crossed the stream with- 
out difficulty. The river here is smaller than I expected to find it, 
not so large as the Minnesota at Lac qui Parle, a good rocky bot- 
tom, and when full of water is a very respectable stream. The 
growth of timber in the valley is not great, but enough to make 
it picturesque and beautiful. 

Although away off in this far West, it is not proposed to for- 
get the Fourth of July, the birthday of our liberties. While I 
now write, a liberty pole is being raised in front of headquarters, 
and this evening at seven o'clock the rule forbidding all firing a 
gun will be suspended, and thirty-four shots will be fired for the 

The question, "shall we probably be attacked by the hostile 
Sioux?" is one now much discussed in camp. Quite a common 
impression is that they will give us battle, and the wish is fre- 
quently that they may. Three Indians on horseback are reported 
to have been seen by one of the cavalry pickets this morning about 
daylight. Rifle pits and other intrenchments are being dug today, 
and henceforth we will have trenches dug at every encampment. 

Whatever of interest takes place at this camp I will send you 
in my next communication. Yours truly, 

S. R. Riggs. 

The two following letters, while not all pertaining to this 
county, are of historic interest : 

Camp Hayes. 

July 10, 1863. 

A portion of our Abercrombie train came in yesterday and the 
remainder today. Tomorrow the line of march will be taken up 
for points farther west. 

In a communication of "Invalid" to the "Pioneer," written 


from Camp McPhail, June 21, the writer, without doubt uninten- 
tionally, does an injustice to our corps of scouts. He says: "Our 
Indian scouts go on in advance of our column and do not shut 
their eyes on plunder. One of them opened a grave on Friday 
last, at Yellow Medicine, and found a portemonnaie containing 
forty dollars in gold, on the body of a woman. He undoubtedly 
knew where to look for it." 

To correct any false impression which may be conveyed by 
this, it may be only necessary to say that it was not found at Yel- 
low Medicine, but at the lower Sioux agency; it was not on Fri- 
day, the 18th of June, but several weeks previous; it was not 
found by a man acting as a scout of this expedition, and it was 
not by a white woman, as might be understood by the language 
used, but an Indian woman. Yours truly, 

S. R. Riggs. 

Camp McClaren, Head Big Stone Lake. 

June 28, 1863. 
Mr. Ryder, Esq., St. Paul, Minn. 

Dear Sir : Agreeably to your request and my promise, I made 
it my business to visit the locality of the trading post of your late 
brother and to bury his remains. His trading house was the 
uppermost of the four, situated along the border of Big Stone 
lake, on the west side, one or two miles above the great bend in 
the lake, the houses perhaps a third of a mile apart. We found 
your brother 's house destroyed by fire ; the remains of your 
brother were lying in front of the site of the house, toward the 
lake, about two rods from the house. The bones were somewhat 
scattered, the right side of the skull broken away ; the pants, red 
flannel shirt and shoulder braces, all in place, remained together 
with some of the bones inside his clothes. Mr. George Spencer, 
who, before the outbreak, was trading in the next house below, 
was with me and recognized the clothes unmistakably. There 
were parts of bones of another smaller person than your brother 
lying near and mingled with the bones of your brother. Mr. 
Spencer said they were those of a young man, almost a boy, who 
lived with your brother or near by. There was a cap which 
Spencer recognized as that of another man, but could find nothing 
of his remains save the bones. 


The bones of both were buried where they lay, and the grave 
marked. There would be no difficulty in finding it by any one 
who should know the location of the building. 

Very truly yours, W. R. Marshall. 

As the cavalry scouts approached the east bank of the Shey- 
enne river a magnificent elk rushed from the thicket and bounded 
over the prairie. One teamster wrote home that the grass was 
good at Camp Hayes and "made the mules kick up their heels." 

Lieutenant T. J. Holt Beaver, alluded to in Mr. Harmin's let- 
ter, was a son of one of the noble families of England, a graduate 
of Oxford and a fine fellow. He took to roving and begged of 
General Sibley the privilege of accompanying him on the expedi- 
tion, and he acted as voluntary aid to the general. At the battle 
of Sibley 's island, at the mouth of Apple creek, south of Bismarck, 
Lieutenant Beaver was sent north to carry dispatches to Colonel 
Crooks, which he delivered. On returning, he took a shorter 
route, passing through a strip of timber. He did not return, and 
the next day his body was found pierced by three bullets and 
with two arrows sticking in his back. Nearby lay the body of his 
horse, and not far away that of Private Miller. The remains of 
Lieutenant Beaver were buried with the honor due his rank. 
Afterwards they were taken up with the intention of sending 
them to his parents, but his mother stated that "all loyal British 
soldiers desire to rest on the field where they fell," and refused 
to receive them. They now repose in the cemetery at St. Cloud, 

One correspondent, writing from Camp Hayes, states that the 
general adorned his table for the occasion with some long-necked 
glass vase, with the remark that the water is poor in this vicinity, 
and it was surprising how many officers suddenly had lumps in 
their throats. 

On the return march, Sibley 's army followed the old trail of 
Colonel Stevens, made in 1853, from his hospital, Camp Atchison, 
near Lake Jessie in Steele county, crossing the Maple river at 
"Watson, in Cass county, and through Coburn township, in this 
county. There was no good water between Lake Jessie and the 
Maple, and when the troops arrived there a guard was placed 


around the deep holes to keep the soldiers from fouling the water 
and from overdrinking. 

C. H. Sweetser, correspondent of the Springfield (Mass.) "Re- 
publican," accompanied the army. Evidently he did not enjoy 
the trip, for he writes from Camp Stevens, fifty-five miles from 
Fort Abercrombie, August 16, 1863: "Dacota is good for noth- 
ing, means nothing and is nothing, at least for white men. If 
the buffalo like it and the Indians are willing to stay in it, or 
Fisk can get to Walla Walla through it, so far so good. Otherwise 
never mention Dacota with the possibilities of any human enter- 
prise. Even railroad sleepers would get homesick if bound to 
hibernate and perpetuate in this wretched, unfinished, doleful 
country. We are getting towards home and everybody is glad of 
it. It takes the sting out of at least 1,000 blistering feet to think 
of it. The nights are cold and the days hot. The thermometer 
seems to be affected with the delirium tremens." He must have 
eaten nothing but General Hazen's reports, and slept with Gen- 
eral Sibley. Wish some one would take him by the ear and lead 
him over the old trail now, so he could contrast the homes and 
beautiful expansive fields of our farmers with the little rocky 
patches of those of his own state. 

Sibley 's army camped on the Maple river Saturday night, 
August 16, and arrived at Abercrombie on the 18th. Sweetser 
reports no Indians seen on the Maple or Sheyenne rivers in this 
vicinity since last autumn. The Fisk that he mentions was sent 
by the government with troops to escort a party of settlers to 
Walla Walla, Wash., and to explore a more northern route. In 
returning he got lost south of Devil's lake with his whole com- 
mand, and Brackett's battalion of cavalry found him. George 
Hut-chins, of this county, was with Brackett on this trip. Sweet- 
ser says that on the return of Sibley 's army to Fort Abercrombie 
the number of troops was 3,400; miles traveled to date, 800; In- 
dians seen, 3,000; Indians killed, fifty-one; wounded, 100; cap- 
tured, sixteen; number of engagements, four; our men killed, 
seven ; wounded, one ; loss of Indian property, great ; our loss, 
none. The army, going north, crossed the Dakota boundary June 
14 and camped on the Iznza or Whitstone river. Only sixty-five 
days on this long march. 



Gold Excitement of 1883. 

A history of Eansom county would be incomplete without men- 
tion of the great gold excitement of 1883, and as the writer then 
held one of the most important offices in the county, that of regis- 
ter of deeds and county clerk, he necessarily became familiar with 
the gold deal, hence the readers will please bear with the use of 
the pronoun "I." 

In the summer of 1882 the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 
Company made a preliminary survey of their line from Aberdeen, 
S. D., north through Ransom county, crossing the Sheyenne river 
in township 135-57, and going out through the bluffs on the north 
side, they ran the line up the Jack Harris coulee on section 10, 
and in passing a large ledge of rock on the east side the compass 
cut sufficient capers to indicate the presence of a large amount of 
mineral. Over the top of this ledge flows a rivulet of mineral 
water. The rock is formed by the mineral deposit from the spring, 
and petrified leaves, twigs, grass and other matter brought in by 
the wind. 

Henry W. Griswold, a young man from Chicago, was with the 
surveying party and noted the action of the compass needle, and 
in the spring of 1883 came back here in company with Frank C. 
Fry and Edward P. Baker. After a little time spent in exploring 
and investigation, they bought the west half of section 10 of Jack- 
son Harris at ten dollars an acre. The Dakota & Great Southern 
Railroad had surveyed a line through the coulee, running north 
from the river valley. On the farm were several buildings, one 
of them being twelve feet square, built of hewn logs and well 
plastered with clay. It had a small four-light window on the 
north side. This Mr. Griswold used for an office and assay labora- 
tory. He had a small cupola or furnace lined with fire clay, the 
pipe for the smoke and gas to escape through passing outside 
through a hole bored through the logs. In the night, when in use, 
a large flame was emitted from the end of this pipe, which alarmed 
the neighbors. Mr. Griswold and party spent the daytime in 
exploring and gathering samples of rock, sand and earth, which 
they pulverized in a mortar and melted in small assaying pots in 
the furnace at night. One afternoon in October, James Madigan 


and Thomas Kidd came into my office and very secretly told me 
that there was a gang of counterfeiters operating in Jack Harris' 
pre-emption shanty. They wanted me to get the sheriff and have 
the three arrested at once. 

I quieted them somewhat and told them to go home and watch, 
and get a peep through that little window and see just what was 
being done there, and let me know, but to keep very still about it. 
Three days afterward both came in and said they had surely 
caught some "counterfeiters," as they had seen, through a little 
space where the curtain over the window had been turned aside, 
the three of them at work melting up metal and coining it. I 
asked them if they saw any coin or molds to make it. They said, 
"No; none in sight." I told them that Mr. Griswold had been 
in the office several times and did not look like a sharper, and 
that no coin had yet been put in circulation, and they would not 
be so bold in their operations if counterfeiting, and arranged with 
them to meet at a certain shanty on the next afternoon and see 
if we could find any money that they had made. That same after- 
noon, October 19, 1883, Mr. Griswold came into the register of 
deeds office to record a patent for the Harris homestead, and, 
after enduring a lot of guying, he told me that they had discov- 
ered gold, and had kept it a secret until Mr. Harris had made 
final proof and the United States patent had been issued for the 
land. The proof was made July 30, and the patent issued October 
3. The next day I met the parties, went to the assay office and 
saw Mr. Fry crush several fragments of rock, put it into the fire, 
and in every instance there was a small bead of gold left in the 
crucible. It was enough to give anyone the gold fever. The next 
day the great gold excitement broke out. "Within a week every 
incoming train was crowded with gold seekers. I counted 130 
men coming from one train. The whole Sheyenne valley was ex- 
plored and mining claims were staked out on every cliff of rock, 
and all along the creeks and coulees and among the bluffs from 
the north county line to the lower bend of the river. 

To show how the excitement spread, I give some names of 
those who filed claims: J. MacSmith, J. H. Wilson, William Mc- 
Intyre, Fargo, "Golden Ledge mine"; P. N. Trahem, D. W. Luke, 
A. J. Stacy, John P. Bray, Grand Forks, "Quicksand mine," Oc- 



tober 23, 1883. Mr. Bray was afterward consul to China. A. J. 
Harwood, Fargo ; John Kinan, Lisbon ; W. N. Steele, Steele, N. D., 
"Gopher mine," October 24, 1883. Mr. Steele was one of the 
Harry Thaw jurors. H. C. Hansbrough, United States senator, 
Devil's Lake; A. J. Harwood; George B. Winship, editor "Grand 
Forks Herald"; W. N. Steele, October 22, 1883; Lowe Emerson; 
J. W. Fisher; J. H. Parvis; E. Q. Cushman, by A. J. Capehart, 
October 25, 1883. They were members of the Emerson-Fisher 
Carriage Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. George B. Winship, H. C. 
Hansbrough, S. N. Still, St. Paul ; A. H. Noyes, October 24, 1883. 
No doubt this is where Judge Noyes took his first gold lessons, as 
a pursuit of the study of the mining craft gave him fame in 
Alaska. J. B. Murray, New York city ; C. S. Dunbar, Lisbon, filed 
October 27, 1883; D. M. Sechler, F. M. Sechler, October 26, the 
members of the Sechler Carriage Company, Cincinnati, Ohio. 
John "W. Stoddard, Dayton, Ohio ; J. M. Childs, Utica, N. Y. ; C. 
B. Thurston, St. Paul, Minn., and J. E. Wisner, Lisbon, filed claims 
and bought considerable land. This was the famous ' ' Tiger Horse 
Rake" outfit. The Tiger rake was the first successful wire- 
toothed self-dump horse rake put on the market. Mr. Stoddard 
was and still is the manufacturer; Mr. Childs, the general agent 
for New York; Mr. Thurston, the general agent for the North- 
west, and Mr. Wisner, the inventor and patentee. I drew the 
articles of agreement for them. They employed a mining expert 
named Hill and sunk several shafts, dug some tunnels and spent 
considerable money in development, mostly on the Peter Thomp- 
son farm, on which they had an option of purchase at fifty dollars 
an acre. 

Excitement ran to fever heat for several weeks. The site of 
Lisbon and much of the valley was taken as placer claims. A 
child died in Lisbon, and the Rev. L. S. Knotts was called upon 
to conduct the funeral ceremonies. He had just passed the pre- 
liminaries when a brother minister entered the schoolhouse, and 
he called him to finish and himself rushed out and staked a gold 
claim at the mouth of a mineral spring on my old "Cheese Fac- 
tory" farm. 

The Peggy placer claim was located on section 17-136-57, Oc- 
tober 24, 1883, by L. W. Gammons, R. S. Adams, H. K. Adams, 


Neltie A. Ennis, F. P. Allen and A. Baring Gould. There were 
two political and business factions in Lisbon then, each striving 
to outwit the other, called the "Star Gang" and the "Stevens 
Gang." The latter held a meeting in the State Bank, October 22, 
and organized a big mining company and arranged an exploring 
expedition. The next day a mob of us old-timers, including H. S. 
Oliver, M. L. Engle, G. B. Green, M. P. McArthur, E. C. Lucas, A. 
E. Lucas, William Silkworth and others explored the "big bend" 
of the Sheyenne and filed claims all along the John Jennings 
creek and in every coulee where mineral rock outcropped. I stuck 
my claim notice at the Foster spring, a fine stream flowing from 
the side of the hill which had formed a ledge of rock. Mr. Foster 
never forgave me for that act. That night, on returning, we 
learned that the "Star Gang" were about to start up the river, 
so E. C. Lucas, the present mayor of Lisbon, and myself started 
for Standing Rock, to explore the north side of the river beyond 
Griswold. It was a wet, drizzling day. While examining the 
chalk ledge in the Oerding coulee we came within ten feet of two 
fine deer asleep in a patch of prairie willows. While we were 
eating lunch in the Fredneson coulee, north of Fort Ransom, three 
antelope watched us for several minutes from the top of a bluff 
within a distance of thirty rods. They were a fine picture silhou- 
etted against the sky. Darkness caught us in a large bunch of 
timber impassable from fallen trees, so we had to drive a consid- 
erable distance out on the prairie to get around it. Being pretty 
well drenched, we started home, arriving after eleven o'clock at 
night. We gained more wet feet and experience than gold. The 
next day the other fellows got ahead of us and located the "Peggy 
mine." A spring brook runs through a large coulee in section 
17, fed by mineral springs that petrify everything coming in con- 
tact with the water. The stream flows under a shell of rock for 
more than forty rods, formed of petrified leaves, twigs and sub- 
stances that had fallen into the water. 

Mr. Griswold and partners platted the town of Griswold, built 
an addition onto the Harris house, making a hotel of it. They 
had three portable houses built in sections in Chicago and shipped 
here, erected, and theirs was a busy city. They had a small 
crusher and amalgamator, operated by a fifteen-horsepower Ames 



portable engine, leased of Hon. T. M. Elliott. A small stream of 
water was piped from the spring brook into the top of the cylin- 
der above the amalgamator, and flowed constantly through it, 
with a stream of pulverized rock, when all flowed out into a long 
flume with a slatted bottom, made to catch the particles of gold 
that the quicksilver in the amalgamator did not retain. They 
mined and operated the plant all the summer of 1884, and in the 
fall sent the amalgam East for proper treatment. A close account 
of all expenses, the weight of all the ore treated, etc., was kept, 
and the result showed that it would cost about two dollars and a 
half per ton to treat the ore, and that it carried an average of 
two dollars and thirty-four cents worth of gold, copper, silver, 
lead and tin per ton. By rigid analysis, they found the ore to 
contain arsenic and other chemicals that acted like grease in the 
amalgamator and floated the particles of gold on so that the "tail- 
ings" showed nearly as much gold as that extracted. To elimi- 
nate this, the ore had all to be roasted by laying beds of wood, 
piling the ore on these beds and burning the wood. This method 
of treatment would entail a greater outlay than the value of the 
mineral obtained, so the mines all had to be abandoned. 

Mr. Griswold was very earnest and sincere in his labors, ex- 
pended considerable money and, like many other searches for 
hidden wealth, the venture failed. The modern cyanide process 
of gold extraction was not then in use. No doubt, with the use 
of latest methods of making mother earth give up her riches, the 
gold fields of Ransom county can be developed into a bonanza. 
The best finds were in deposits carried out by water, and there 
must be mineral along the course of the veins of water that form 
these springs. Some day we will know more than we do now. 

At that time the government offered a large reward for the 
discovery of tin mines in the United States that contained a cer- 
tain per cent of the metal. The Griswold tin mine came within 
three points of winning this reward. 

A gopher threw out a pile of peculiar sand on the Jared Bald- 
win land at the mouth of the Jack Harris coulee. Mr. Griswold 
assayed it and discovered that it carried $252 worth of the pre- 
cious metals per ton. He left $5,000 with me to buy the Baldwin 
quarter of land as cheaply as possible, but not to exceed that 


amount. Mr. Baldwin had negotiated a loan of $550 on the land 
and had not paid the interest for two years. I got him into the 
vault of the register's office and labored with him over an hour, 
finally coming up to the limit price, but to no avail. He would 
not sell then, but in about one year traded his equity in the farm 
for a span of plug bronchos. 

Mr. Simmons had a very rough quarter section among the 
bluffs on the south side of the Sheyenne, opposite Griswold. Mr. 
Fry had his eye on several of the gulches and consumed a great 
deal of time in wandering through them with his gun, ostensibly 
searching for cotton-tails, but in reality filling his hunter's pouch 
with fragments of ore; then he would keep the pots roasting all 
night. One evening he assayed a sample that yielded silver to 
the value of over $1,000 per ton. Visions of fabulous wealth made 
him almost frantic and he resolved to buy that farm if it took 
$1,000 an acre to secure it. Think of it. only one ton of rock to 
pay for a whole acre of solid wealth. The boys let him enjoy a 
couple of days of riches, but, before he made the purchase, "the 
cat got out of the bag." Mr. Griswold had quietly dropped a 
ten-cent piece in the crucible. The cliffs of the Simmons silver 
mine are still untunneled. 

Excitement was intense and times lively for a couple of 
months. It was a harvest for the hotels and liverymen. With 
the exception of the Griswold and Stoddard parties, there was not 
much money wasted. Every one else awaited developments. No 
schemes or frauds were attempted. There was plenty of cash in 
sight to work any mine that might have been discovered. The 
remains of the amalgamator are still there to mark the spot where 
millions might have been. The engine is still standing in the yard 
on Tom Elliott's old pre-emption. 

The Schools of Ransom County. 

The schools of a county indicate the resource, zeal and the 
trend of thought that calls them into existence. Education is no 
burden to carry if put to proper use ; many receive it, but never 
enter the right channels after completing their school days, rather 
forget what has been instilled into them; while others continue 
and become leaders in the business world. A number have gradu- 


ated from our Ransom, county high schools, entered college, 
chosen professions and are now among the leading business and 
professional men of the county. They can look back with pride 
to the schools where they learned their first lessons. 

Ransom county has many well equipped schools, ranking with 
the best in the state. There are three classified high schools re- 
ceiving state aid, two of which, Lisbon and Enderlin, are ranked 
as first-class high schools. The rural schools are in a state of 
comparatively high efficiency, teaching all common school 
branches, and are in session for the greater part of the school 
year. Many of the farmers move their families into town during 
the winter, that their children may enjoy the advantages of the 
high schools, while country boys and girls come in and work for 
their board while attending school. The fact that these high 
schools graduate so many non-resident pupils speaks well for their 
efficiency and reputation. 

The first school taught in Lisbon was in school district No. 2, 
which was organized May 16, 1881, with J. L. Colton as chairman 
and B. T. Hibbard as clerk of the school supervisors. At that 
meeting, on motion of H. Cramer, a room was rented and a teacher 
hired for three months. A vote was taken, resulting in a two per 
cent tax levy to establish and maintain a school in that district. 
John Holman was the first teacher in Lisbon. 

In compliance with the provisions of an act of the legislature, 
entitled, "An act providing for a school board and other pur- 
poses," approved March 13, 1885, the mayor and council of the 
city of Lisbon met at the office of E. J. Ryman, in that city, on 
the first Tuesday in May, 1885, and proceeded to elect members 
of the school board, as follows : First ward, L. W. Gammons for 
the term of two years and E. J. Ryman for one year; second 
ward, R. S. Adams for two years and C. D. Austin for one year ; 
third ward, E. W. Day for two years and J. R. Marsh for one 
year ; attested by Thomas Curtis, city clerk. 

R. S. Adams was elected the first president and L. W. Gam- 
mons the first clerk of the board of education, at a meeting held 
May 19, 1885. 

As early as February 7, 1887, it became evident that the school 
facilities were inadequate to take care of the ever increasing num- 


ber of pupils. On that date the board passed a resolution propos- 
ing a $5,000 bond issue, to be voted upon by the people, for the 
purpose of erecting a new and complete school building. The 
people were not ready to take this step, however, and so the old 
building was repaired and put in as good shape as possible to 
meet the demands. At this time there were two schools in the 
city, one school in the north end of town, and what was called 
the third ward school in the southern portion of the town, just 
south of the depot. 

After considerable discussion and much study of the problem, 
the board, on March 15, 1892, passed a resolution submitting to 
the vote of the electors of the district the proposition of issuing 
$16,000 worth of bonds, the proceeds to be used in erecting and 
furnishing a building which would be large enough to hold the 
school population and provide for a considerable increase as fu- 
ture needs should demand. The people took kindly to this propo- 
sition, for at the special election, held April 18 of that year, 200 
votes were cast for and thirty-four against the issuance of the 
bonds. Bids were advertised for in the "Lisbon Star," "Ransom 
County Gazette," "Fargo Argus," "Minneapolis Journal" and 
the "St. Paul Pioneer Press." 

At a meeting of the board, held July 22, the contract for the 
construction of the new edifice was awarded to one George W. 
Brown, of Minneapolis, the contract price being $13,227. The 
members of the board at the time this important step was taken 
were W. D. Brown, president; C. D. Austin, clerk; E. D. Allen, 
A. C. Kvello, A. L. Whipple and H. K. Adams. 

Work was immediately started and the construction pushed 
as much as possible. The building was dedicated with fitting 
ceremony, on March 1, 1893, Prof. H. B. Woodworth, of Grand 
Forks, giving the address. The new school, two stories in height, 
with eight rooms and basement, situated in a prominent position 
in the western portion of the town, became an object of pride and 
joy to the citizens, and they delighted in showing strangers the 
proof of their energy and progressiveness. 

However, the great increase in the number of students of late 
years has rendered the school again inadequate. To meet the 
new demands, a small two-story frame building was erected be- 



side the old one in the fall of 1907, the upper floor being used as 
a laboratory and the first floor as a grade room. This was only 
a make-shift for the new permanent building which it is the in- 
tention of the board to erect in the near future. In all, the dis- 
trict has expended $24,000 for buildings and $5,000 for equipment. 

The total enrollment for the year of 1908-1909 was 445, 115 in 
the high school proper, and 330 in the eight grades. In the spring 
of 1909 the largest class in the history of the school was gradu- 
ated, twenty-one students in number six boys and fifteen girls. 
The average number of graduates has been twelve since the first 
four-year class in 1895. 

The school has been classified by the state as a first class high 
school since 1895, and receives state aid for the purchase of books 
and apparatus. Music and drawing are taught throughout. 
Manual training and sewing from the sixth grade up through the 
high school, was installed in 1908. There is a well equipped labor- 
atory for the use of the physics, botany and geology classes, and 
a library of some 300 volumes, reference works and fiction. 

A large measure of the prominence which the school enjoys is 
due to the work of Superintendent "W. "W. Reed, who was super- 
intendent from 1903 to 1908. Owing to his efforts two literary 
societies were formed, the Philomathians and the Belles Lettres, 
which have been brought to a high state of progress. They have 
done most excellent work in training the pupils to appear in 
public speaking, and are really a necessity to every high school. 
Lisbon High has taken part in several inter-scholastic debates and 
declamation contests, and has always won very near the first 
place. In athletics the school has a record of which to be proud. 
In several of the events at Grand Forks, between the high schools 
of the state, Lisbon has won first place and has been second in 
several others. 

The present school board is a very progressive one and has 
backed up the superintendent in promoting the welfare of the 
school in every instance. The members are : T. C. Patterson, vice 
president; Sidney D. Adams, clerk; W. L. "Williamson, A. C. 
Cooper, W. F. Grange. H. S. Oliver, deceased, was president, but 
could not serve the last year of his term owing to very poor health. 

Enderlin school district, known as Special School District No. 


22, has a high school of the first class, with an enrollment, includ- 
ing the grades, of 333. It maintains a high standard of work in 
all high school branches and is fully up-to-date. The Enderlin 
school has as large a faculty as has Lisbon, for during the year 
of 1908-1909 eleven teachers were employed, headed by H. L. 
Rockwood, superintendent. One or more teachers will probably 
be added to the corps in 1909. The school district has an assessed 
valuation of $223,520, and this is increasing, as the town is stead- 
ily growing. 

Sheldon, although a smaller town than either Lisbon or Ender- 
lin, has a high school of the second class that is the pride of the 
village. It offers a large and complete three-year course, and is 
an exceptionally good school for so small a place. The district 
is seriously contemplating the installation of a full four-year 
course in 1909 and becoming a first-class high school. During 
1908-1909 six teachers were employed, with Mr. C. A. Cavett as 

McLeod, Fort Ransom and Elliott has semi-graded schools, 
each of which employs two teachers. The consolidated school of 
Liberty township also employs two teachers. 

Ransom county is divided into twenty-four school districts 
and has ninety school-houses. Many of these have installed 
modern ventilation and other improvements. The valuation of 
the school and furnishing in the entire county, not including 
Lisbon, is $121,000, and with Lisbon included, a total of $150,000. 

Eighty-six teachers are employed in the county, seventy-five of 
these holding second-grade certificates, four holding first-grade 
certificates, and seven holding normal certificates. 

In 1908, to July 1, the number of pupils attending Ransom 
county schools was 2,751. 

A discussion of the schools of Ransom county would not be 
complete without mention of the work of "W. G. Crocker, the 
county superintendent. A firm believer in education, a lover of 
boys and girls, and himself a student. "Uncle Will" has made edu- 
cation his life work. He has served as superintendent for twelve 
consecutive years since his first election in 1893, and after a vaca- 
tion of four years was re-elected in 1908. To him is due the in- 
troduction of free text books in all Ransom county schools, which 
was brought about almost entirely by his efforts, in 1893. Every 



rural school in the county now has a library of fiction and refer- 
ence works, the result of Mr. Crocker's untiring zeal and 

He is also editor and publisher of the "Rotary," a magazine 
devoted solely to the interests of the school children of North 
Dakota. It furnishes a large amount of supplementary reading 
and is a great help to the younger students, keeping up the inter- 
est of the children in school work. Mr. Crocker's "Westland 
Educator" is known as a teachers' magazine throughout the 
state and is very popular among them by reason of its new ideas 
and suggestions and the fact that the editor is ever ready to help 
them in their difficulties and problems. Both these publications 
have been very highly recommended by the state department of 
public instruction. The "Rotary" is used as a reader in almost 
every school in the state, and the "Westland Educator" is con- 
sidered a necessity to the North Dakota teacher. 

The people of Ransom county are enthusiastic believers in 
education and have backed their beliefs by reaching down into 
their pockets and liberally financing the schools. As a result of 
their efforts to have and maintain good schools, the county now 
possesses three high schools which are the equal of any in the 
state, the size of the towns considered, and rural schools which, in 
equipment and standard of work, are not excelled by those of any 
other county in North Dakota. The parents of Ransom county, 
having so earnestly and devotely maintained such a system of 
schools, richly deserve the reward of seeing their children grow 
up well educated, broader minded men and women, equipped to 
take up, with a flood of energy and vigor, the battle of life where 
they leave off, and may they live to see the fruits of their care 
and foresight. 


City of Lisbon. 

The following pages are furnished by other authors : 
In May, 1878, Joseph L. Colton arrived in Fargo from his 
home in Frazee, Minn., with an ox team and covered wagon. He 
was accompanied by his daughter. There he got a pointer from 
Major A. "W. Edwards relative to the construction of the Fargo 
& Southwestern Railroad, and started for Bonnersville, then lo- 
cated on section 11-135-54, where he arrived about sundown. 
Here he met Edward Post, a former neighbor in Stearns county, 
Minnesota. Edward told him of a claim in the valley up stream 
where it would be a fine location for a town. There was a good 
mill site on the river, but a young man would be there early the 
next morning to locate on that claim. Mr. Colton at once hitched 
up his oxen, traveled all night and at daybreak the next morning 
found himself stuck in the mud at the mouth of the coulee on 
the north side of the river opposite the present Sorenson mill. 
Finding that it would take a long time to get the wagon out of 
the mud, he hitched onto a plow that he had brought along, and 
went to breaking along the bank of the river south of the present 
residence of Bert Ash, while his daughter got breakfast. The 
young man arrived about nine o 'clock, but alas, too late, and went 
farther up the river, leaving Mr. Colton in undisputed possession 
of 160 acres in what is now the city of Lisbon. After breaking 
a few acres and making some minor improvement, Mr. Colton 
returned to his home in Minnesota to close up his affairs. 

In the latter part of September, 1878, Mr. Colton and his 
brother-in-law, George Murray, who had arrived from Russell, 
N. Y., met by appointment in Casselton and with their families 
drove to Mr. Colton 's claim. Here they proceeded at once to 
build the first residence in the city of Lisbon. In the bank of 
the coulee, just northwest of where the log house stands, they 
dug a cellar, set a crotch of a tree at each end, put a pole across 
for a ridge pole, set up poles covered with brush and hay, in a 
A shape for a roof and covered it with dirt. Here the two fami- 
lies, consisting of Joseph L. Colton, his wife and three children ; 
George Murray, his wife Elizabeth and three children, Julius E., 
Theodore and Lottie, ten in all, lived for over a month. Mr. 
Colton and family occupied it all winter. 



George Murray took a homestead on section 14, joining the 
city limits on the south, and made his filing October 17, 1878. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Murray, wife of George Murray, deceased, is 
a sister of J. L. Colton. She now lives in a comfortable home 
fronting the courthouse, and has the honor of being the oldest 
resident of the city of Lisbon. In fact she is the only one of the 
first residents, as Mr. Colton moved away years ago, and her 
children have resided on farms joining the city. 

During the summer of 1879 several families arrived in Lisbon. 
Solomon Robinson filed on a part of section 2 August 18, 1879, 
and Joshua Robinson on August 28. S. A. Wood also filed on 
Harris' addition the same year and Henry Cramer occupied the 
land now owned by the Soldiers' Home. Mr. Wood owned the 
first team of horses in town. Joseph L. Colton held his claim by 
''squatter's rights," and did not file on it until May 18, 1880. 
While from the first he intended to found the city of Lisbon, he 
did not plat it until September 25, 1880, when he finished the 
plat of four blocks, two on each side of Main street, running 
south from the river, and platted as the original plat of the city 
of Lisbon. He commenced the survey early in June however. 
Lisbon is named after Mr. Colton 's former home, Lisbon, N. Y. 
Late in July, 1880, Mr. Kinan built the Pioneer Store. His was 
the first stock of goods for sale in the city. In August of the 
same year, A. H. Moore and Peter H. Benson built another gen- 
eral store, and opened it for trade. Mr. Moore is the father of 
our townsman, Mills E. Moore. He is now a resident of Cali- 
fornia. Mr. Benson, now deceased, was a brother of Mrs. Carrie 
Fieldstad, who is now a resident of this city. 

A postoffice was established with Mrs. J. L. Colton as post- 
mistress. J. E. Murray was the first mail carrier. Beginning in 
January, 1880, he made tri-weekly trips to Bonnersville, the 
patrons of the office paying for his service. In May, 1880, a star 
route mail service was established via Tower City, and Henry 
Cramer carried the first mail. He set a line of brush stakes for 
marking out a road to Tower City. Over this route came an 
enormous freight and immigrant traffic until the advent of the 
railroad. Mills E. Moore was one of the first to follow this line 
of stakes into the city and it is still his home. 


The first picnic and celebration held by the citizens in Ran- 
som county was on July 4, 1879, at George Colton's grove, near 
where his mill afterwards was built. 

The Fargo & Southwestern Railroad was completed to Lisbon 
in 1882, the first train arriving through the bluff to opposite 
Sorenson's mill at five o'clock December 24, 1882. Passengers 
and freight were transferred there for a few days when a severe 
snow storm filled the "big cut" and it was not opened until 
April 9, 1883. As soon as construction was commenced on this 
line quite a boom struck Lisbon. 

The charter for the city of Lisbon was signed in the city of 
Yankton on March 19, 1883, by George H. Hand, secretary of 
Dakota Territory. The first city election was held on the first 
Monday in May following, and the officers elected were: G. B. 
Green, mayor ; F. P. Allen, city clerk ; A. C. Krello, treasurer ; 
E. J. Ryman, city justice; J. M. Allen, James W. Brown, Henry 
Cramer, Edward S. Ellis, James B. Gray and M. P. McArthur, 
aldermen. F. P. Allen, now judge of this district, is the only one 
of those officers who is now a resident of the city. This was a 
memorable election and a hot one. It was held in the register 
of deeds '.office, then in the back room of the present Sullivan 
barber shop, which then stood across the street on the lot now 
occupied by Mr. "Whitehouse. Mr. Colton was the candidate for 
mayor against Mr. Green and was defeated by two votes. The 
voters staid out in the street and voted through a small north 

Several of the old enterprising concerns are still doing a large 
business at the old stand of 1881 and 1882. Among the more 
prominent ones is the Bremmels waterpower flouring mill. This 
mill was started in February, 1882, by J. M. Allen & Co., and 
completed that year, and operated by them until 1890, when it 
passed into the ownership of the Nelson Milling Company; next 
changed to the Enterprise mill, under the management of the 
Lisbon Milling Company. Then it came into the hands of the 
Sorenson Milling Company, who made a great success of the in- 
dustry. It is now owned and operated by the Bemmels Brothers 
under the title of Bemmels Milling Company. The mill stands on 
fine ground on the west bank of the Sheyenne river, near the 



foot of the rapids, and has a power of fifteen feet fall of water. 
The millpond backs up the river four miles, and, as the channel 
is deep and the banks regular in height, there are no overflowed 
marshes or stagnant, fever-breeding pools along its margin. The 
pond is an excellent pleasure resort for boating, and four com- 
modious gasoline launches and several row boats under the own- 
ership of the Crocker Brothers ply over its glassy surface. No 
snags, rushes or weeds obstruct its pure limpid waters, and the 
shady groves dotting its borders furnish many a beauty spot 
of nature's scenic landscapes. The numerous kinds of fish found 
in the streams of the Northwest abound and supply rare sport 
for the angler. 

The mill is equipped with a complete Hungarian roller system 
of grinding and the latest Plansifter method of bolting, with all 
the very latest mechanical accompaniments, and has a capacity 
of 125 barrels per day, with ample room for handling the out- 
put, and elevator and storage building for 15,000 bushels of grain. 

Especial attention is given to feed grinding custom milling. 
The finest patent flour is produced from our No. 1 hard wheat 
grown in Ransom county, and all that is not consumed by local 
trade finds a ready market in the East. 

The mill makes a specialty of grinding macaroni or durum 
wheat into flour and into Seminola, which is used in the manu- 
facture of the food product called macaroni. The demand for 
the latter cannot be supplied, and, although the mill is in opera- 
tion day and night, the reputation gained for its output brings 
orders far beyond the capacity of the mill. This is one of the 
important industries of the city. 

The year 1881 was one of considerable activity around Lisbon, 
and the government land was rapidly settled up, the Fort Ran- 
som reservation was opened for settlement and many Eastern 
parties came in. At the close of the year there were fourteen 
buildings on Main street. Among them were the Headquarters 
Hotel, Patrick Hennessey, proprietor; John Kinan, J. G. Duncan 
and A. H. Moore & Son, general stores; Lucas Brothers' drug 
store; J. S. Cole, hardware; Webb Watrous, harness shop, and 
the "Lisbon Star," published by H. S. Harcourt; the Colton 
building, occupied by the county officers; C. D. Austin, land 


office ; W. K. Smith, land agent ; Hugh Doherty, land agent ; M. E. 
Severance, agricultural implements, and Blood's saloon. 

The year 1882 was a boom year, and during the season about 
280 people located in Lisbon. Those doing business and advertis- 
ing in the "Lisbon Star" in the issue of November 9, 1882, were 
the Ransom County Bank ; Webb Watrous, harness ; Bank of Lis- 
bon ; M. E. Severance, farm machinery ; George L. Forward ; Peter 
Godfrey, Johnson & Brown, Stewart Herne, carpenters and build- 
ers; and Dakota Lime Company; Blood & Meyer, J. A. Watts, 
J. Wood and J. T. Brown, blacksmiths; Moore & Harris, P. W. 
Hyndman, Kinan's Pioneer Store, Gilbertson & Lee, J. G. Dun- 
can ; C. D. Austin, Knotts & Clow, Doherty & Turner, J. E. Wis- 
ner, Sparks & Allen, E. S. Ellis, William Silkworth, A. H. Laugh- 
line & Co., real estate and loans; M. E. Severance, Laughlin, 
Palmer & Co., farm machinery; W. D. Brown and R. M. Davis, 
lumber; J. S. Cole, M. P. McArthur, hardware; Lucas Brothers, 
drugs; A. B. Herrick, W. W. Bradley, physicians; A. Lebon & 
Co., jewelers; Trumble Brothers and Smith, meat market; Sarah 
Bullamore, Lisbon livery; Lisbon & Tower City stage line, Bus- 
well & Marsh, proprietors ; Lisbon flouring mills ; Lisbon billiard 
and sample room, Banta & Conklin, proprietors; Westbrook & 
Co., sample room ; First Chance, Last Chance, C. J. Nelson, propri- 
etor. There was another paper here then, the "Lisbon Repub- 
lican," owned and managed by J. L. Colton, and other business 
firms advertised in that paper. 

Of all the above firms, the ones still engaged in the business 
are E. C. Lucas, drugs, and our present mayor, Stuart Heron, 
contractor; A. H. Laughlin, real estate; Frank Trumble, J. S. 
Cole, hardware, and the only others who are still residents of the 
county are J. E. Wisner and C. J. Nelson, M. E. Moore and T. J. 

This issue of the "Star" was edited by Charles A. Everett, pro- 
prietor, and states the "Star" was established June 2, 1881. 
Among the locals is found: "Explanatory Foreman crippled, 
devil gone, printing for election, four pages only; do better next 
week." Another, "More than $13,000 passed over that hand- 
some new counter at the Bank of Lisbon yesterday." On its 
front page is the usual election roster, with the following head- 



lines, announcing the result of the first election held in Ransom 
county: "Victory again has rewarded the untiring zeal of the 
intelligent voters. ' ' The result of the convention endorsed by the 
voice of the people. 

The proprietor of Headquarters Hotel was a unique character. 
He used to stand on the front porch, in his shirt sleeves, with 
sleeves rolled up above the elbows, vest unbuttoned and one sus- 
pender gone, feet shod in brogans, to meet every incoming and 
departing stage, in sunshine and rain, sometimes with the ther- 
mometer at forty below. His authority over the affairs of the 
hotel was supreme, and any kick made by a customer was always 
settled with his mandate, "If ye don't loike me style, ye can 
lave me place or go out." 

The firm of Laughlin, Palmer & Co. did business opposite in 
1882, and shipped a carload of potatoes taken on debt in Min- 
nesota at forty cents a bushel; sold here at three dollars per 
bushel. Pat used to wade through the mud across the street 
regularly three times a day, Sundays included, with a half bushel 
Irish market basket on his bare arm for potatoes to supply his 
tables, and pay a dollar and a half cash. One day when the rain 
came down in torrents he waded as usual there were no side- 
walks then. I said to him: "Pat, why do you bother with these 
half -bushel dabs? Why don't you get a quantity at once and 
keep them in your cellar?" His quick reply was, "Be jasus, I 
can't afford it." Pat was never seen with a coat on or his vest 

In 1909 the city has taken on new life and a solid substantial 
growth. It has an acetylene gas lighting plant, excellent water- 
works, supplied from an artesian well, discharging into a large 
tower tank on the hill, giving fine pressure, and nearly four miles 
of mains; a fine sewer system put in at a cost of $50,000; well 
graded streets, cement sidewalks all over the city, and an effi- 
cient fire company with the full equipment of hose, reels, hooks 
and ladders, etc. It is often remarked by strangers that there 
must be a boom on in Lisbon. Such is not a fact, but the city has 
a substantial, rapid growth. Every year witnesses the comple- 
tion of several business blocks and a large number of residences. 
Last year an armory was built at a cost of over $20,000, largely. 


by contributions from the citizens. The building is 50x100 feet, 
with basement built of Hebron pressed brick and furnished in 
first-class shape, with all the necessary rooms and appliances. 
This season (1909) there are two large, important public build- 
ings under construction, the parochial school and the new hotel. 

The St. Aloysius Parochial School is an educational institu- 
tion of a high order, under the management of the Catholic so- 
ciety. The building is thirty-two by fifty-eight, with basement 
and three stories above, erected of Hebron pressed brick, a North 
Dakota product, at a cost of $15,000 unfurnished. It is fitted 
with all modern conveniences, the basement receiving especial 
care in fitting the kitchen, dining room, laundry, etc. The upper 
story will be finished into sleeping apartments for girls, and the 
two intermediate floors into school rooms. The always progres- 
sive citizens of Lisbon have been very generous in their contri- 
butions to the erection of this school, and an individual donation 
of $1,000 was received from Sheldon. The school will be opened 
September 1, and, while under Catholic management, non Cath- 
olic pupils will be admitted, and the best of non-sectarian edu- 
cational facilities accorded. The school and building is a credit 
to the city and county, and the watchful care of the society in 
management of the school is a sufficient guarantee that not only 
the education will be cared for, but that the morals of the stu- 
dents will be carefully guarded. Father Fogarty, the capable, 
faithful pastor of the Lisbon St. Aloysius church, deserves the 
commendation of the public-spirited citizens for his successful 
efforts in locating the school in the city. 

St. Aloysius Catholic church, Lisbon, is now about thirty 
years old. The present pastor, Father Patrick Fogarty, came to 
Lisbon, N. D., 1902, in July. At the beginning he had charge of 
seven parishes; in 1909 is in charge of three, Lisbon, Englevale 
and Verona. He makes Lisbon his home. 

The spring of 1908 witnessed a calamity to the city in the 
burning of the Horton Hotel, thus depriving the public of proper 
accommodations. The new hotel is now under construction. It 
is built of Hebron pressed brick, three stories high, with a front- 
age of eighty feet, and will cost $25,000. The hotel will be fin- 
ished with modern, airy rooms, and every convenience for the 



comfort and safety of the guests. It is built largely by contri- 
butions of the citizens, the city donating the site. It will be 
opened to the public about October 1 under first-class manage- 
ment, and will fill a long-felt requirement. 

There are two important factories adjoining Lisbon in the 
new concrete industry. The Laughlin Pressed Stone Company 
have a large plant south of the city and take contracts for the 
erection of cement block buildings. The factory building is 
thirty by sixty-four feet, two stories high, built of cement blocks, 
with wing sheds twenty-eight by eighty attached. It stands at 
the base of a naturally proportioned bank of aggregate fifty feet 
high, covering over fifty acres, and nearby is a sand pit of the only 
good plastering sand found in eastern North Dakota. The strata 
is eighteen feet deep, covering about 14 acres. The water is sup- 
plied from a non-freezing spring of pure water piped into the 
building and pumped into a storage tank in the second story 
by a windmill with ricker shaft connections. This gives pressure 
for sprinkling the blocks. It has the largest natural supply of 
material found in the Northwest, east of Montana. The demand 
for its products exceeds the capacity, and a new, modern process 
will be put in this fall at an expense of $3,000. 

Ole Harrison has another factory north of town and is doing 
an extensive business in brick and block rock. 

Another important industry is the Lisbon Tannery, Otto Jen- 
son, proprietor. All kinds of leather, furs and robes are his spe- 
cialties. Every branch of mercantile trade is fully represented. 
Stores, shops and supplies of all kinds are fully represented and 
handled. Every merchant and dealer in the city is prosperous, 
and the stocks of merchandise are large and ample to supply 
public requirements. 

Societies. Among the strong fraternal organizations well es- 
tablished and having lodge halls are the three Masonic bodies 
Blue Lodge, Chapter and Commandery, which hold their meet- 
ings in the Masonic Temple and have a club room attachment, 
open every afternoon and evening. The Knights of Pythias have 
recently fitted up fine quarters and have a nice membership ; also 
the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen, United Workmen, Yeomen, 
Grand Army boys and Relief Corps. 



The first sermon preached in Lisbon was delivered by Rev. 
Brasted, now of the Children's Home Society in Fargo, early in 
the spring of 1881, in Kinnan's Hall. Rev. Eli P. LaCell, Meth- 
odist Episcopal, arrived here with his family from New York 
state in April, 1881, and was the first resident pastor. The first 
religious organization was effected in the latter part of April, 

1882, and articles of incorporation filed with the secretary of the 
territory. The board of trustees, as incorporated, consisted of 
the following named residents : C. D. Austin, J. E. Wisner, A. M. 
Allen, M. E. Severance and A. H. McLaughlin. The society was 
named "The Newport Union Church Association of Lisbon," so 
named in honor of Colonel R. N. Newport, of St. Paul, who do- 
nated $500 towards its erection. This society erected a large 
tent near the present residence of Stewart Heron, and the serv- 
ices were held in that during the summer by Rev. E. P. LaCell, 
and Rev. Pollock, a Congregationalist preacher, who had taken 
a claim north of town, and who was noted for his peculiar elo- 
quence and conspicuous figure when broncho riding. In the fall 
of 1882 the Union Society built the first church on Mrs. Stark 's 
lot, joining Duncan's store on the north. It was built of cheap, 
rough pine lumber, with planed, unpainted seats. Externally it 
resembled a cattle shed, and some wicked wag named it "God's 
barn." Services were held in it all winter, conducted by Revs. 
E. P. LaCell, L. S. Knotts and E. W. Day. Owing to defective 
incorporation, it was ascertained that the Union Society could 
not hold real estate, and their subscription list was transferred 
to the Baptist Society, who erected a church in the spring of 

1883, under the supervision of Rev. Livingston. 

Rev. E. W. Day, pastor of the Presbyterian church, came to 
Lisbon in 1882, and remained until 1896. Through his efforts the 
present Presbyterian church was built. 

Father Tierney organized the Catholic society in 1882, and 
was the first pastor of the present church. 

Other church edifices were soon after erected. There are now 
six good capacious church buildings, where weekly services are 
held. Each one has a large membership and congregation, and 



a large Sunday school, and the pulpits are supplied by earnest, 
talented resident ministers. The denominations represented are : 
Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist Episcopal, Lutheran, Baptist 
and Episcopal. Each society has its accompanying missionary 
and aid societies. The Episcopal church of the Holy Trinity is 
a very unique and handsome structure, erected of Scotch granite 
boulders, found among the bluffs of the classic Sheyenne. The 
Norwegian Lutheran society has a fine stone structure and a 
large congregation. 

North Dakota Soldiers ' Home, Lisbon, N. D. 

The home has a charming site on the left bank of the Shey- 
enne river, surrounded with heavy natural timber, consisting of 
majestic elms and oaks, interspersed with wild plums, currents 
and a variety of native wild fruits. 

A bill for the location of the Soldiers' Home was introduced 
in the house February 24, 1890, by R. N. Stevens, who at that 
time was a member from Ransom county, passed the house Febru- 
ary 27 and the senate March 7, 1890, by a unanimous vote. 

The first board of commissioners composed of William A. 
Bentley, department commander of the G. A. R. department of 
North Dakota; Major George I. Foster, Colonel R. H. Hankin- 
son, Captain N. Linton and Captain Harris Gardner, who were 
appointed by Governor Burke. The commissioners met for the 
first time at Lisbon, June 9, 1891, and elected General Bentley 
chairman of the board. At this meeting little was done except 
to perfect an organization and to discuss general plans for a 
building to be used as a home and to secure a site. 

On August 14, 1891, the board at a regular meeting resolved 
to purchase what is known as the "Cramer Farm" at a price of 
$3,500, which is situated within the corporate limits of the city 
of Lisbon and only a few minutes walk from the railroad depot. 

The tract consists of eighty acres, forty of which are covered 
with timber, the balance consisting of as fine farming land as lies 
in the famed "Sheyenne valley," and is in a high state of culti- 
vation. The river touches the farm at two places, thereby insur- 
ing a never failing supply of running water. 

Plans made for the home by Orff Brothers, of Minneapolis, 


Minn., were adopted, and on December 8, 1891, the contract was 
let to C. A. Leek, of Minneapolis, for the sum of $14,741, after 
which a few changes were made and the cost exceeded that 
amount. The building is forty by eighty-four, two stories and a 
basement, and is built of first quality Menominee sand moulded 
pressed brick of a rich dark maroon color, with Duluth red sand- 
stone trimmings and Kasota stone door sills and steps. The build- 
ing is finished in natural wood and all the floors of oak. The 
basement is eight feet high and consists of boiler room, fuel and 
vegetable rooms, bath room, laundry, etc. The first floor consists 
of parlor, reading and dining room, office, kitchen, pantry and 
serving rooms. The second floor is divided into two dormitories 
designed to accommodate fifteen inmates each, a hospital with a 
capacity of six patients, a lavatory with four marble wash bowls, 
bath rooms, etc. In the attic is placed a tank with capacity of 
thirty barrels for water supply, the tank is supplied from a well 
by a pump operated by a three-horsepower Rider's hot air engine. 

The home was opened for the old soldiers in August, 1893, 
under the command of Colonel ~VV. "W. Mcllvain, and his wife 
as matron. 

State Bank of Lisbon. 

Capital, $50,000; established 1882; incorporated 1890 under 
our state banking law. Officers: Andrew Sandager, president; 
L. B. Chamberlain, vice president ; Harley S. Grover, cashier ; 
Frank L. Robinson, assistant cashier; "W. F. Grange, bookkeeper; 
Elmer T. Sandager. assistant bookkeeper; Miss Lulu J. Fox, 

In mentioning the banks of this section, we must not fail to 
speak in high terms of this institution as it does a large business 
and every member of the community has the utmost confidence 
in it. 

Lisbon is well served by this up-to-date and sound bank and 
these gentlemen attend to our business in the banking line cour- 
teously and satisfactorily. 

They are well equipped in every respect, having strong safes 
and vaults, and the funds are fully protected and insured against 
fire, burglary, defalcation or other contingencies. 

No essential is lacking that should be found in a growing and 



properly conducted bank, and small as well as large accounts are 
received with due appreciation. All transactions are carried on 
with scrupulous care and honor and a bank of this kind would 
reflect credit on any town. A general banking business is done, 
farm loans made, and officials and directors may well take pride 
in the success of this institution. 

Messrs. Sandager, Chamberlain & Grover stand high with our 
people and are thoroughly responsible, furnishing Lisbon and 
the country around with the very best kind of banking. 

Citizens Bank of Lisbon: Martin Jones, president; Neil 
Campbell, vice president; George C. Jacobson, cashier; capital, 

We desire to make special reference to our banking facilities, 
and this institution, though not long with us, is doing well. It 
has proved that there was ample field for it here. Our part of 
the state is developing rapidly and the Citizens Bank is serving 
our people very acceptably. In fact, it enjoys high standing 
with all classes. It is well equipped in every respect, only the 
safest kind of banking is transacted, and all depositors receive 
affable and honorable treatment. The banking rooms are en- 
tirely new, the vaults absolutely impregnable and their funds 
are fully protected against fire, burglary, defalcation or contin- 
gency of any kind. The policy of the bank is to keep business 
entirely under its control, its resources available in every emer- 
gency, and whether you deposit much or little, your account will 
always be welcome there. 

A new and substantial bank like this always proves a great 
benefit to any town, and we are glad indeed that this institution 
is with us. 

Messrs. Jones, Jacobson and Campbell are gentlemen of high 
personal character, influence and business capacity and they com- 
mand the full confidence of every member of this community. 
Their new bank building which they own is a great credit to the 

Buttz and Colton Contest. 

Joseph L. Colton had located a homestead on the Sheyenne 
river at the place now known as the city of Lisbon. The county 


of Ransom was then unorganized and contained by few settlers, 
yet the public lands were being fast taken up. At this time there 
were two established postoffices in the county. One, known as 
Bonnersville, about ten miles east of Lisbon, also located on the 
Sheyenne river at Bonner's ford. The other was located at Fort 
Ransom, about fifteen miles up the river, northwest from Lisbon. 
Each of these three points Bonnersville, Lisbon and Fort Ran- 
som had parties interested in getting the county organized with 
a view of having the county seat located at their place. 

Major A. W. Edwards, the well known newspaper man of 
Fargo, Cass county, was requested by Joseph L. Colton to aid 
him in securing the appointment of commissioners by Gov. 
Nehemiah G. Ordway, then governor of the territory, who was 
residing at the capital, Yankton. Major C. W. Buttz was then 
also residing at Fargo, practicing law. Major Edwards knew 
the personal friendship that existed between Governor Ordway 
and Major Buttz for many years previous to their coming to the 
territory of Dakota. Consequently Major Edwards called on 
Major Buttz at his law office in Fargo and introduced Mr. Colton 
and explained the situation in the unorganized territory, Ransom 
county, and Mr. Colton 's desire to secure such organization, with 
the view of locating the county seat upon his homestead at the 
place where the city of Lisbon now exists. Major Buttz entered 
into a written contract with Mr. Colton, dated February 5, 1881, 
by which Major Buttz agreed, among other things, to have the 
said Joseph L. Colton, Frank Probert and Gilbert Hansen ap- 
pointed by Governor Ordway county commissioners for the pur- 
pose of organizing said Ransom county. 

Within sixty days from the date of said contract the commis- 
sioners were appointed and the county seat was located at Lis- 
bon. Another provision of said contract required Major Buttz 
to induce the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, who had sur- 
veyed a preliminary route for a projected branch of this road 
southwest from Fargo, to continue and cross the Sheyenne river 
upon said Colton 's land and establish a depot thereon at said 
Lisbon. The said railroad company had, previous to the date of 
this contract with Major Buttz, made three preliminary surveys 
of the projected route, trying to find the most feasible crossing 



of the Sheyenne river. One of these preliminary surveys crossed 
the river several miles southeast from Lisbon and another crossed 
about six miles northwest of Lisbon, near a place known as Joe 
Bruntin's ford. The third preliminary survey was near where 
Colton took his homestead and was about three miles south of 
the town of Buttzville. 

By the provisions of the contract entered into by Major Buttz 
and Mr. Colton, Colton was to plat 120 acres of his homestead 
into lots and blocks, and convey of said lots and blocks a quan- 
tity sufficient to make sixty acres to Major Buttz as his compen- 
sation, conditioned, however, upon the county being organized 
within sixty days from the date of said contract and the Fargo 
Southwestern branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad should 
cross the Sheyenne river at Lisbon and locate a depot upon Col- 
ton's land. Out of this sixty acres of land that Mr. Colton agreed 
to convey to Major Buttz for his services as indicated in said 
contract, Major Buttz was to convey to the Fargo Southwestern 
Railroad Company such portions of said sixty acres in town lots 
and blocks as might be agreed upon between Major Buttz and 
the railroad corporation. Major Buttz negotiated with R. F. 
Delano, the chief constructing engineer of the Fargo South- 
western branch, and the railroad company agreed that if they 
finally crossed the river at Lisbon they would locate their depot 
upon Mr. Colton 's land, and would expect to have conveyed to 
the company forty acres in town lots and blocks, to be selected 
as mentioned in the contract between Major Buttz and Mr. Col- 
ton, by taking alternate lots and blocks. 

The records of the county of Ransom show that Mr. Colton 
conveyed to the railroad corporation town lots and blocks in 
number equal to forty acres, but refused to convey to Major 
Buttz the remaining town lots and blocks, consisting of the re- 
maining twenty acres, as contemplated in the contract. There- 
upon Major Buttz commenced an action in the district court, be- 
fore Judge William B. McConnell, judge of the third judicial 
district, which includes Cass county, on or about December 12, 
1881, for the purpose of compelling Mr. Colton to specifically 
perform his part of the contract, May, 1883, amended February, 
1883, by leave granted, upon order of the court, to make more 


specific complaint, again amended. The case was tried before 
Judge McConnell at Fargo, in Cass county, at the term of the 
district court. 

After hearing all the evidence in the argument of the attor- 
neys, Judge McConnell found as a matter of fact that Major 
Buttz had fully performed his part of the contract entered into 
by Mr. Colton, and was entitled to recover the remaining twenty 
acres which had been platted into town lots and blocks, and 
directed a decree to be entered requiring Mr. Colton to specifically 
perform his part of the contract and convey the lots pledged to 
Major Buttz. From this judgment of the court Mr. Colton ap- 
pealed to the supreme court of the territory. 

Mr. Colton 's principal defense appears to have been, as shown 
by the records, that the court ought not to enforce a performance 
of the contract, as it was one for influence or lobby purposes and 
therefore it was against public policy, such a contract as the 
court should not enforce. 

The supreme court of the territory set aside the judgment of 
the district court and granted Mr. Colton a new trial, princi- 
pally upon the ground that the contract was one for influence 
and against public policy. The court herein in its decision, 
among other things, found the following as to the organization 
of the county. Quotation in reference to appointing board of 
county commissioners within the time named in contract, which 
was sixty days, as required by the contract. 

Upon the case being retried in the district court before Judge 
Rose, he held (in substance) that under the decision of the su- 
preme court granting a new trial, that Major Buttz was not en- 
titled to recover, and found in favor of Mr. Colton, the defendant. 
Major Buttz did not perfect an appeal to the supreme court from 
the decision of Judge Rose; consequently the case ended. 

Bench and Bar of Ransom County, North Dakota. 

The first attorney to locate and practice was W. K. Smith, 
an Englishman and an old soldier, who afterwards became county 
judge. The second was P. J. McCumber. Third, J. J. Rugers. 
The latter became register of land office at Grand Forks; later 
moved to Alaska. Hugh Dougherty came next, and now located 


at Phoenix, Ariz. C. D. Austin came in 1881 and left in 1893; 
now of Minneapolis. H. R. Turner, now of Fargo. 

Reuben W. Stevens and P. H. Rooske associated in the spring 
of 1883, under the firm name of Stevens & Rooske. Goodman, 
Yammons and Vanfeldt. Goodman was afterwards first attorney 
general of the state of North Dakota. Goodman and H. B. Van- 
feldt removed, in the summer of 1893, to Salt Lake City; L. W. 
Yammons to Minneapolis, Minn. } and later to Minot, where he 
is now located. 

In the winter of 1884, Parker & Allen located at Lisbon, and, 
after spending one winter, moved to Dickey county, North Da- 
kota. Allen afterwards was speaker of the house at Bismarck. 

All the rest of the bar of Lisbon have studied and been ad- 
mitted in Lisbon. 

Judge F. P. Allen, now district judge, also studied and was 

Other and present members of the bar of Lisbon are : S. D. 
Adams, T. A. Curtis, Charles S. Ego. 

Patrick H. Rooske was admitted to the bar in Chicago, March, 
1882. In May of the same year he arrived in Lisbon, and is now 
a practicing lawyer of twenty-seven years in Ransom county, 
North Dakota, twenty-one of which have been spent in the First 
National Bank building site. He is the only member of the 
original bar of Lisbon left. He has seen many come and go and 
has handled all kinds of cases. 

At Sheldon in the early days: Scott Sanford, now deputy 
United States marshal of Helena, Mont. Robert J. Mitchell, now 
deceased, brought out Mr. Sanford in 1886. He was a school 
fellow of President James Garfield. 

Hon. P. H. Rooske was elected to the senate in the fall of 
1894; served in the sessions of 1895-97, and was on committee 
that adopted 1895 code. 

At Enderlin, N. D., are Conrad Krelle and H. W. Tobey. 

I. E. Arntson, the present county auditor of Ransom county, 
North Dakota, was born in Norway, son of Erik and Peternelia 
Arntson, natives of Norway, pioneers and substantial farmers 
of Owego township. Ransom county. In 1881 the father of our 
subject emigrated with the early settlement of Owego township, 


and there took up a claim which he proved up on. He and his 
wife still live near the old homestead on another piece of land. 
(See historical part of this work for an experience of Mrs. Arnt- 
son.) They reared a family of five sons, of whom the subject of 
this sketch is the oldest in order of birth. 

At the age of eight he crossed into the new world. Like most 
farmer boys, he grew up on the home farm and attended the rural 
schools; as he grew up to manhood attended Concordia College, 
Moorhead, and St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn, and prepared 
himself to teach school, which he followed for ten years in Owego 
township, Kansom county. After his life as a teacher he took 
up farming on his own account, and was a successful farmer 
and stock raiser. 

The citizens nominated him for county auditor, which office 
he now holds his first public office. At the primaries his oppo- 
nent was Thomas Gilbertson, the present chairman of the county 
board. In the spring election Mr. Arntson received a majority 
of 300 votes. At the fall election of 1908 he was duly elected 
county auditor. He has for his deputy, Mrs. Ferguson, wife of 
the retiring auditor. She is a lady of ability and her experience 
has often been helpful. Mr. Arntson was fortunate in retaining 
such an efficient officer. 

Mr. Arntson has served as a delegate to county and state Re- 
publican conventions, representing his party. He married Miss 
Carrie Walla, a former school teacher, and two sons were born 
to them, Xels and Erik. 

Our subject is a member of the Lutheran church, M. TV. A., 
and A. F. & A. M. 

City of Enderlin. 

The Soo Railroad made their first survey into what is now 
Enderlin in the fall of 1890, and began construction work in 1891. 
Enderlin was not heard of until about 1892, when a bank was 
organized by Edward Pierce, of Sheldon, he being president and 
S. T. Wolfe, cashier. The directors were John H. Smith, A. 0. 
Runice, James K. Bantes, Patrick Pierce and Edward Pierce. The 
bank was known as the Enderlin State Bank and had a capital 
of $5,000. In 1896, when the voters decided to incorporate a 
village, Fred Underwood, a man of push and energy, moved from 



Sheldon to locate in Enderlin ; he became the cashier of Enderlin 
State Bank, succeeding S. T. "Wolfe. The board of directors 
then became : President Edward Pierce, James K. Banks, George 
Fowler, Patrick Pierce and Fred Underwood. In June, 1897, 
Fred Underwood was succeeded by Thomas Pierce; the bank 
retaining the same management and capital increasing from time 
to time until it has reached a capital of $50,000, with a surplus 
of $15,000. 

The First National Bank was organized by A. L. Ober as 
president, in 1902 ; H. E. Blair, cashier. Mr. Blair was succeeded 
by George E. Matteson. This bank was absorbed by the Enderlin 
State Bank, July 1, 1907. 

The Citizens State Bank was organized July 16, 1907, by H. 
Thorson, president; J. M. Thorson, cashier; capital, $25,000. Di- 
rectors : John J. Greeye, T. R. Foster, E. F. Bruhn, "W. W. Shaw, 
E. 0. Fossett, Tobey. 



The first paper published in Enderlin was the ' ' Enderlin Jour- 
nal," in 1893, by C. L. Allen, now one of the proprietors of the 
"Free Press," Lisbon. He had the first completed building in 
Enderlin, and planted the first trees. The "Journal" was sub- 
sequently absorbed by the "Ransom County Independent," in 
the year 1895. The latter paper was established by C. H. Potter, 
June 1, 1894, and was operated and controlled by him until June, 
1905, when the plant was purchased by T. L. Langley, who still 
publishes this organ. 

The "Enderlin Headlight" is the latest in the editorial world, 
established in the spring of 1909 by C. A. Krells and A. R. Knight, 
the former of Lisbon, the latter of Buffalo, N. D. ; was with the 
"Buffalo Express." 

The first public hall was Powers', owned by 0. S. Powers. 
Pete Burtness had a general store on the first floor. 

The first religious services were held in the Enderlin State 
Bank under the auspices of the Enderlin Christian Association, 
for all denominations. Services were also held in the depot. 
The first minister was Rev. "Wood. The first regular church 
established was the Methodist Episcopal, by Rev. Bell, in 


1894. The present edifice is built of concrete blocks at a 
cost of about $20,000; has a membership of seventy-five. 
The Presbyterians shortly after organized a church and the pas- 
tors have been Rev. Clatworthy and Rev. B. A. Fahl. The Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church, the Swedish Methodist and the Epis- 
copal church are served from Lisbon, and the Catholic church 
from Sheldon by Rev. McDonald. 

The village of Enderlin was incorporated as a city on August 
27, 1898. The first hotel was the present Hotel Hilton, opened 
in 1892 by the Soo Railroad for the accommodation of its em- 
ployees, and is still controlled by them. "W. A. Thompson came 
to Enderlin when the round house was first established, was its 
first foreman, and acted as station agent and served in this ca- 
pacity for ten or twelve years. Goodman & Lanness opened a 
general store in 1892, and were later succeeded by E. F. Bruhn 
& Bro., and now rank as one of the substantial firms of the city. 
W. J. Loomis had the first harness shop; Henry Rustad, hard- 
ware, lumber and farm machinery; I. T. Thompson, hardware; 
Pete Burtness, a general store; C. M. Engle, hardware; W. G. 
Engle, furniture ; C. E. Engle, drugs ; and many other enterprises 
which go to make up a prosperous and progressive city. 

The present police magistrate, Fred Underwood, circulated a 
petition in 1898, and is said to be the father of the incorporation. 
Land surrounding Enderlin is now (1909) valued at fifty dollars 
per acre. 

The present city officers are : Mayor, 0. 0. Goldburg ; H. J. 
Freeland, Gust Oehlke, C. M. Engle, P. P. Burtness, C. L. Van- 
derworst and Peter Sunby, councilmen ; E. T. Danielson, auditor ; 
H. W. Tobey, city attorney; John J. Gruye, treasurer; Fred Un- 
derwood, police magistrate. 

The city has an electric light plant, an artesian well with 166 
pounds pressure, three-fourths of a mile of water mains, and a 
fire department consisting of two hose carts, hook and ladder 
truck, chemical engine, etc. 


The schools of Enderlin are on a par with those of any town 
of its size, and superior to those of many towns who boast of a 


larger population. In addition to the usual graded schools, 
which are housed in well constructed modern buildings, with all 
conveniences for health and knowledge, and in addition the town 
and surrounding country support a state high school with eleven 
teachers. A diploma granted by this institution admits the holder 
to any of the universities. The school is supplied with a splendid 
library of several thousand volumes of standard works. 


Sheldon is an enterprising city in the northeastern part of 
Ransom county. It is a beautiful, neat collection of fine build- 
ings, shady groves and cosy homes. The surrounding farming 
community is very prosperous and there has not yet been a crop 
failure in that vicinity. 

By permission the following paper read at the Old Settlers' 
Re-union by Hon. Ed. Pierce, who is serving his second term as 
state senator from Ransom county. This copy was obtained 
through the courtesy of the "Sheldon Progress," one of the 
newsiest and brightest newspapers in the state. Mr. Pierce is 
one of the leading lights in the state senate of North Dakota, 
an untiring worker for the welfare of his constituents and the 
state at large. He settled as a boy with his parents on a farm 
in Cass county a few miles north of Sheldon in 1879, and worked 
as a section hand on the railroad. He hauled the second load 
of lumber to build the first building in Sheldon, and largely 
through his untiring energy that beautiful little city has grown 
up. His career has been one of success, a marked exponent of 
the condition of one of the grandest features of American citi- 
zenship, which places the poor boy on an equal with the rich 
one, and permits the one who is born in humbleness and poverty 
to, through his own ability, slowly climb the ladder of life until 
he reaches the pinacle of success and individual achievement. 

Sheldon now has three banks, general stores, and every line 
of dealers well represented. A large number of farmers have 
rented their farms and moved into town to educate their chil- 
dren. Her schools are of the best, her churches ample, and all 
her appointments and surroundings conducive to the maintenance 
of happy, prosperous homes. Many of the old timers still live 


there, some of them retired and some engaged in business. Her 
people are energetic, progressive, and full of the characteristic 
western "ginger" and "snap." 

Sheldon in the Long Ago. 

Senator Ed. Pierce 's Contribution to the Old Settlers' 
Symposium. 1906. 

This is not intended to be a literary production, but just what 
was asked for, a few dates and statistics of the early day history 
in Sheldon. 

The reason for Sheldon's being was apparent in 1880, when 
the settlements of Jenksville, Owego and Bonnersville, began to 
produce sufficient to warrant looking for a market. Prior to 
that time their grain was hauled from twenty to fifty miles, and 
supplies the same. 

The Jenksville settlement was most active and aggressive, 
and among its early settlers were Robert Anderson, in 1880, 
with his sons, John, Gilbert, James. Robert and Joe, all of whom 
are with us yet. There were Shea Healy in 1878, Pierce, Bystrom, 
Bauerschmidt, Brick and others in 1879, and in 1880 the bulk of 
the remaining lands were taken by Dablow, Cosgrove, Scholin- 
ger, Westphal, Boehms, Fraedrichs, Pattersons. Mclntosh, 
Cowans, Fowlers, Norris, Lindermans, and a host of others. For 
many years this continued to be the best settlement tributary to 
Sheldon. They were foremost in the building of schools, 
churches, bridges and roads, and as hustlers for the railroad. 

At that time even the Maple river commanded a good deal 
of respect. I recall that in April, 1881, a lot of fellows accus- 
tomed to the antics of the Canadian streams, volunteered to build 
a bridge on what is now the Tregloan farm, and under the 
directions of George Patterson, commenced on the ice in the 
morning, built cribs of heavy oaks and elm logs, twenty feet 
high, decked them with stringers and floors weighing hundreds 
of tons, and before night the little creek broke loose, and in ten 
minutes there wasn't a log, block, bolt or tool within the sight 
of the bridge, and the builders were looking on with open-mouth 
wonder at what happened to them. 



The settlement of Owego and Bonnersville were old at this 
time, but not much of the land was filed on until in Owego, John 
Knudson Neste, filed on November 20, 1878 ; Helmuth Schultz, on 
June 28, 1878 ; S. R. Day, on December 14, 1877 ; Frank Probert, 
on July 2, 1879 ; Gust Mueller, on October 7, 1879, and in Bon- 
nersville, John A. Kratt, on June 13, 1879, and Rhinehart, on 
May 28, 1879; Peter Bonner, on November 27, 1878; Julius 
Brocker, on October 23, 1880 ; John McClusker, on July 20, 1880, 
and Louis Clement on December 1, 1877. 

In 1880 the greatest number of the settlers in Maple River 
filed, the Hansons, Stevensons, Fosses, Wolds, Christiansons, Fau- 
setts, and others, and moved in early in the spring of 1881. 

Those of the greatest influence in starting the Fargo & South- 
western Railway, were D. B. Wilcox, C. F. Kindred and A. J. 
Harwood. Wilcox is now mining in Idaho, Kindred is vice-presi- 
dent of the Pennsylvania Railway line, Harwood is dead. They 
surveyed the line in 1880, passing then about five miles north of 
the present location, but later changed the route to get the bene- 
fit of the traffic from the rich valley of the Sheyenne. It must 
be remembered that thirty years ago it was believed that the 
high prairie was a desert, and the man who settled more than a 
mile from the river and timber was looked upon with a good 
deal of suspicion as to his sanity. The survey was completed, 
however, in the fall of 1880, although slightly changed in the 
spring of 1881. Goodman and Green moved out from Fargo and 
established a store three or four miles east of Sheldon, expecting 
the town to locate there. On June 22, 1881, Wilcox had secured 
the location of the present townsite by the railroad company, 
bought this section 17 for $3,200, but had no money to pay for it, 
and let it go to E. E. Sheldon three weeks later for $3,840. 
Sheldon platted the village and sold off a few lots, deeded half 
of the plat to the railroad company for locating the town here, 
and in February, 1882, sold what was left to Horton & Detlor 
for $8,000. 

-The first train, construction train laying track reached 
Sheldon on November 4, 1882, and Lisbon on December 22, of the 
same year. A mixed train was run off and on through the win- 
ter, the regular train service was inaugurated April 1, 1883. 


Quite a large railroad crew wintered on the present depot site 
in tents, and the N. P. Elevator Company had a flat house ready 
to take in grain, in charge of Adam Goodman, on the site of this 
park before the rails reached it. During the fall and winter 
nearly 300,000 bushels of wheat was marketed, and the rule was 
to get into line at the elevator before breakfast and get unloaded 
after supper. Adam did not hurry any more then than he does 

Th.e plat of the village was completed on August 15, 1881, 
and the town was incorporated on August 18, 1884. The first 
board of trustees were Carl E. Rudd, Adam Goodman and James 
K. Banks; Charley Cole was clerk; Marion Grange, treasurer; 
Si Durgin, marshal. Its first newspaper, "The Enterprise," was 
established and the first number printed, on February 27, 1885. 

In passing, there is food for thought in the treatment re- 
ceived from, and accorded to, railroads in those days, and in 
later years. At that time we were paying five cents per mile 
for travel, and fifteen cents per bushel for hauling wheat to Du- 
luth. When the right-of-way agents went over the line, High- 
land township farmers offered to donate the right-of-way and pay 
bonuses of $50 to $500 in work, to get the railway in. 

Years later when the Soo came fares had been reduced 
forty per cent and freights thirty per cent, and yet we taxed 
them from $20 to $50 per acre for right-of-way, and in many in- 
stances made them fight to get it at that. 

The first general business house established in Sheldon was 
the store of Karl E. Rudd, which was opened on September 15, 
1881, although the store of Goodman & Green was in operation 
for several months previous, a few miles east of town, and was 
moved in and opened for business on the old Goodman site a 
few days later. 

Our first banking institution was opened by I. C. Gaylord at 
the present post office site on July 9, 1883. 

One of the most important of public utilities, and which the 
village for over twenty years has reason to congratulate itself, 
is the Sheldon Opera House, opened by its present owner. 
Chauncey Durgin, on July 4, 1885. No town in the state of 
Sheldon's population has as commodious and as useful a building 



for the accommodation of public gatherings of all kinds, and 
our obligations to Mr. Durgin ought to be recognized much more 
substantially than it is. 

The church societies, the first services were held by the Cath- 
olics in the Jenksville settlement by Father Stephan, one of the 
most noted of the middle-day missionaries, now occupying an im- 
portant post in the administration of Indian affairs at Washing- 
ton, although nearly ninety years of age. In 1878 and 1879 his 
journeys from Moorhead were generally made on foot, and 
services held in the cabins of the early settlers, many of them 
driving twenty miles to attend, and rarely with sufficient room 
indoors to permit them all to enter. Beginning with the fall of 
1881, services were held occasionally in Fowler's Hall, now occu- 
pied by George Severson, until the fall of 1883, when the first 
half of the present church building was erected under the ad- 
ministration of Rev. Father Tierney. 

Jenksville was also the first place of the Presbyterian Society, 
organized by Smith, Patterson, Fowler, and other families, in the 
early spring of 1882, and supplied at first by the Rev. Mr. Pollock, 
a missionary, holding services in the school house at Jenksville, 
and later in the Sheldon school house; no regular ordained min- 
ister being assigned until 1884, when the society was placed in 
charge of the Rev. Edgar W. Day, who served them for many 
years and whose departure was so keenly regretted by every 
person in the community. Their present church building was 
erected in 1885, very largely through the efforts of Dr. Henning, 
now of Fargo. 

There seems to be no very accurate date of the early history 
of the Methodist church at Sheldon, although the society was 
large and active from the beginning of the settlement. To the 
Rev. Henry Gram appears to be due most of the credit for the 
work accomplished prior to statehood, the period to be covered 
by this history, and the church building was not completed until 

As usual all over North Dakota the cause of education re- 
ceived early attention. School districts were organized before 
the advent of the railroad. A school house was constructed early 


in 1882, and to Miss Jennie Gram belongs the credit of opening 
Sheldon's first school days on September 9, 1882. 

Prior to 1890 the village averaged four open saloons, paying 
to the town a revenue of about $83 per month in all, and the 
county about twice that amount. Their average sales of whiskey, 
beer and other intoxicants, as near as can be ascertained, were 
about $3,600 per month. The cost of regulating them appeared 
in the marshal's salary which was then $60 per month, a night 
man or deputy, half the time at the same salary, and the village 
justice's office was worth about $70 per month. It is not clear 
that any person living today was any better off for the existence 
of these institutions for ten years, nor would be had they 

The first Old Settlers' Union was held on July 21, 1906, and it 
is hoped that it may be followed by a hundred equally enjoyable. 


Among the villages of Ransom county is Buttzville, situated 
six miles northeast of Lisbon the county seat. The village has 
a population of about 200 souls, and is a great grain center, and 
is located on section 17, Casey township, which was originally 
owned by the Casey & Carrington Land Company. When this 
was platted they asked permission of Major Charles Wilson 
Buttz to name it Buttzville, as he owned adjoining lands to it, 
sections 8, 5 and part of 6. Soon after it was platted and named 
Buttzville, Major Buttz induced his two brothers, John R. and 
David H. Buttz, to locate. David H. located at Buttzville and 
built the first residence in the place, also the first grain elevator, 
which he conducted for a number of years. He still owns his 
residence in the village, and has large interests in the state of 
Washington, at Spokane. 

John R. Buttz owned adjoining land to his brother, the major, 
and David H. Buttz, who purchased from the Casey & Carring- 
ton Land Company, 5,000 acres, broke it, and farmed it for sev- 
eral years. When John R. died, Major Buttz purchased the 

The Buttzville children find the major's groves a nice picnic 


ground. He gives them a merry time. The trees form regular 
arches under which they gather for their picnics. 

Buttzville station boasts of three elevators, Great Western 
(Acne), Anders & Gage, a good shipping point, two general 
stores, post office (C. O. Peterson, postmaster), blacksmith shop, 
lumber yard and machinery dealer, hotel, and school house, 
which also serves as a meeting place for religious services, Yeo- 
man Hall, also used by the Woodmen Lodge. 

Major Charles Wilson Buttz, of Buttzville, was born at 
Stroudsburg, Penn., November 16, 1839, when two years old his 
parents moved to Buttzville, N. J. ; received an academic educa- 
tion, studied law with J. G. Shipman, Esq., at Belvidere ; entered 
the Union army in 1861, as second lieutenant in the llth Penn- 
sylvania Cavalry, was promoted to first lieutenant, 1862, received 
two brevet ranks from the president, one as ''captain, for gallant 
and meritorious service in capturing from the enemy a full rocket 
battery," and the other as "Major, for gallant and meritorious 
service in front of Suffolk, Va.," both dating May, 1865; was 
wounded in 1863, remaining in the hospital some time; resigned 
position in the army through surgeon general's office, on account 
of impaired health, in October, 1863; commenced the practice 
of law at Norfolk, Va. ; was delegate from Virginia to the Na- 
tional Convention, at Baltimore, in 1864; was appointed by Gov- 
ernor Pierrepont, in 1864, director of the Exchange Bank of 
Virginia; was elected, 1867, president of the Great Republic 
Gold & Silver Mining Company, and spent one year in Europe 
engaged in negotiating that company's bonds; was nominated 
on the Independent Republican ticket (upon which the Hon. 
G. C. Walker was elected governor) for congressman at large 
from Virginia, in 1869, but withdrew ten days before election; 
removed to Charleston, S. C., in 1870; was elected solicitor (state's 
attorney) of the First judicial circuit, composed of Charleston 
and Orangeburg counties, in October, 1872, for four years; 
was the Republican candidate at the election held for members 
of the Forty-fourth congress, at which election the certificate was 
given to E. W. M. Mackey; contested his seat before congress, 
and on the 19th of July, 1876, congress turned him out and de- 
clared a vacancy; was re-elected solicitor for four years at the 



election held November 7, 1876; and was also elected to fill the 
vacancy in the Forty-fourth congress, as a Republican, receiving 
21,385 votes, against 13,028 votes for M. P. O'Connor, Democrat. 

New Jersey and the Rebellion. 

Excerpt from Official History Authorized by Act of Legislature, 
Written by John Y. Foster, State Historian. 

The number of Jersey men identified with Pennsylvania regi- 
ments was quite large. Among the companies of which we have 
accounts was one raised in Belvidere by Charles "Wilson Buttz, 
which our quota being full, proceeded to Philadelphia and was 
there (September 3, 1861,) mustered in as Company I, of Har- 
lan's independent cavalry, afterwards designated as the llth 
Pennsylvania cavalry. Mr. Buttz accepting the position of sec- 
ond lieutenant. After various movements the regiment pro- 
ceeded to Fortress Monroe, remaining in that vicinity until May, 
1862, when it was divided, five companies being sent to Norfolk, 
and the other seven following McClellan up and down the Pen- 
insula. Company I, known as the "Jersey Company," being 
with the latter; subsequently being stationed at Williamsburg, 
these companies performed picket duty; the regiment some time 
later being re-united at Suffolk, under Colonel Spear. In 1863, 
during the Maryland invasion, General Dix, then commanding 
at Fortress Munroe, sent the regiment by way of Hanover Court 
House to destroy the railroad leading from Gordonsville and 
Fredericksburg to Richmond, which service it performed, captur- 
ing a large wagon train and some 2,000 horses and mules, with 
other property. At the South Anna river, Company I, with 
others, was dismounted and had a sharp engagement with the 
enemy, having three men killed and eight wounded. Returning 
to Suffolk, the regiment was dispatched on a scouting expedition 
along the Blackwater river. During this expedition, Lieutenant 
Buttz with twenty-five of his men, engaged 300 of the enemy, 
and by a daring charge succeeded in taking sixty-seven of the 
number prisoners, and capturing a "rocket battery," with a good 
supply of ammunition. The enemy just handsomely routed by 
the Jersey men. consisted of members of the 2nd Georgia cavalry 


and one company of infantry. Thirty-two of the prisoners had 
severe wounds in the head, inflicted by the sabers of the assail- 
ants, whose loss was only one killed and three wounded. While 
on this department Lieutenant Buttz was on several occasions 
detailed for service on court martials as judge advocate, and 
for a period of two months was provost marshal at Suffolk when 
Longstreet besieged that place. Lieutenant Buttz acted as aid- 
de-camp to Major General Peck, and on one occasion, being de- 
tailed with part of his company for special service, captured 
forty-eight of the enemy ; the exploit receiving favorable mention 
in General Peck's report to the war department. 

During the remainder of the war the Jersey company served 
with distingued credit, of the whole number, three being killed 
and five wounded and two taken prisoners and never afterwards 
heard of. 

Lieutenant Buttz, upon quitting the service, commenced the 
practice of the law, at Norfolk, Va. In July, 1880, at Charleston, 
S. C., Major Buttz suffered from a stroke of paralysis, his whole 
right side was affected. Because of the paralytic stroke, acting 
upon the advice of his physician, Dr. Bellinger, recommending a 
change of climate, whereupon he left the Atlantic coast, and lo- 
cated, in July, 1880, in Fargo, N. D., then a small village; there 
he continued his chosen profession law. In practice at that 
place and Lisbon for several years. In the winter of 1881-2 
he secured the organization of Ransom county, in that state, with 
the county seat located at Lisbon. Soon thereafter he removed 
to Lisbon and continued the practice of law until 1887. Since 
then he has been extensively engaged in farming north of Buttz- 
ville. There he has hired help looking after his large interests 
which he supervises himself. At the first election in Ransom 
county he was elected state's attorney for two years and served 
as such. At the November election in 1902 he was elected to the 
Eighth legislative assembly for the state of North Dakota, and 
was re-elected in 1904-1906 to the Ninth and Tenth legislative 
assembly, serving as chairman of the Judiciary Committee from 
his first term. 

The major now owns 1,500 acres all in crops has splendid 
groves which are used for protection in winter from severe 


winds, and serve as shade in summer. He spends his summers on 
the farm, and winters in Washington, except six years, up to 1907, 
while he was in legislature in Bismarck. The major's farm is well 
stocked and fenced, the water reaches every avenue where stock 
requires it, from an artesian well of about 800 feet deep, piped 
through the farm, supplies water in the house, also an artificial 
fish pond, wherein the government placed 100 black bass, in 1908 ; 
since then he has added sixty-seven full-grown rock bass, caught 
in Sheyenne river. This mammoth farm averages twenty-five 
bushels to the acre in wheat ; barley, thirty bushels ; oats, forty 
bushels ; a splendid field of timothy, which will yield hay to 
the amount of 400 tons, in 1909. The barn will hold about 30Q 
head of cattle and horses. There are about forty-six head of 
horses and colts on the place, all raised on the farm. 

Other Villages. 

There are several villages and railroad stations in Ransom 
county. On the Soo line are Anselem, Venlo and McLeod. All are 
good grain markets and have large elevators. Anselem and Mc- 
Leod are thrifty villages, with general stores, hotels, lumber 
yards, etc. On the Fargo & Southwestern Railroad are Coburn, 
Buttzville, Elliott and Englevale. Englevale was plotted in 
1883 by M. L. Engle, Marshall T. Davis and George Robinson. 
The town is growing rapidly; has general stores, two hotels, and 
a state bank. 

Elliott is only seven miles from Lisbon. The village is pros- 
perous, has two stores, one large lumber yard, four elevators, a 
state bank, hotel, and several residences ; it was plotted, in 1885, 
by Thomas M. Elliott, a pioneer farmer, and is in the shape of a 
wagon wheel with the center hub for a park, the streets repre- 
senting the spokes. 


From the Moorhead Independent. 

With soil, climate and conditions unsurpassed for the success- 
ful pursuit of every industry, such is the story of Minnesota 
year after year. For this is a land of promise and opportunity, 
where the sun of prosperity shines ; where happiness and content- 
ment are seen on every hand, and the spirit of progress is evident 

In the western portion of Minnesota, hundreds of new homes, 
churches and schools are being built, while in the thriving villages, 
handsome business blocks are being erected, which set the land- 
mark of permanent and substantial business institutions. But 
this is not the only evidence of Minnesota's progress; this vast 
area which is still in its infancy, so far as development is con- 
cerned, thousands of acres of state and government lands are 
being taken, and the sturdy frontiersman is blazing the way to 
civilization, and transforming the mighty forests and boundless 
prairies into fertile fields and cozy homes. 

For beautiful scenery, nature has been most lavish with its 
handiwork, and pictured magnificent and inspiring scenes ; from 
the broad acres of waving grain and nodding corn, dotted here 
and there with shady groves and pretty homes, on the south, to 
the majestic forests on the south, where the giant pines keep 
silent vigil over numberless lakes, whose clear, cold waters flash 
out their brightness like priceless jewels in a rustic setting. 

Minnesota, an Indian name, meaning "land of sky-tinted 
water," is a beautiful and appropriate name inspired by nature 
alone. "When the territory of Minnesota was organized several 



names were suggested in congress, among them being Itasca, 
Chippewa, Jackson and Washington, but the original name, Min- 
nesota, was at last selected. 

Geographically, Minnesota occupies the exact center of the 
continent, lying midway between the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean, 
and also midway between the Hudson Bay and the Gulf of 
Mexico. In area, Minnesota ranks tenth in the union, contain- 
ing 84,287 square miles, or about 53,943,379 acres, of which 
3,608,012 acres are pure water. The southwesterly half of the 
state is a gently rolling prairie, interspersed by frequent groves 
of hardwood timber, and watered by many lakes, and streams of 
crystal clearness, while to the north and northeast we find, it is 
much rougher, covered with a dense growth of timber, and to 
the extreme northeast lie the famous iron ranges, sloping down 
to the Zenith City; and the shores of Lake Superior. 

The territory of Minnesota was organized and proclaimed on 
June 1, 1849, and Alexander Ramsey was appointed territorial 
governor by President Zachary Taylor. On May 11, 1858, Minne- 
sota was admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state. Almost 
to a day, since Minnesota was organized, prosperity has shone 
upon her, capital and enterprise have been steadily coming into 
the state; and good round majority of immigrants have been 
settling within her boundary lines, and her population has in- 
creased by leaps and bounds. Census statistics, prove her hand- 
some growth, for in 1850, Minnesota contained only 60,077 popu- 
lation; in 1860, 172,023; in 1870, 439,706; in 1880, 780,773; in 
1890, 1,301,826, and in 1900, 1,751,394. 

In 1861, when President Lincoln called for volunteers to put 
down the rebellion, Minnesota, although then scarcely more than 
a frontier state with a few scattering settlements, was among 
the first to respond. On April 16, 1861, a call was made for 
Minnesota to furnish ten companies, and just thirteen days later 
the ten companies reported at Fort Snelling and were mustered 
into the service April 30th. On June 22nd, these ten companies, 
comprising the First Minnesota, were ordered to the front. 
Minnesota furnished the Civil "War 22,016 men and their gallant 
service there made some of the brightest pages in the history of 
that memorable conflict. 



During the four years of the Civil "War, Minnesota, like all 
her sister states, suffered by business depression,, and its growth 
was retarded even more than the others, for in August, 1862, 
while all our strong men were away on the southern battlefields, 
Minnesota experienced an outbreak from the Sioux Indians, and 
the horrors of that massacre are still fresh in the memory of 
many of the old settlers. So swift were their movements that, 
before any effective resistance could be made, about 800 settlers 
were murdered, but the exact number is not known. Prompt 
action on the part of the authorities quelled the outbreak, and 
resulted in the capture of about 2,000 Sioux Indians, of whom 
38 were hung at Mankato, December 26, 1862. 

With the close of the Civil War and return of the soldiers, a 
new era of prosperity prevailed, and rapid growth was begun. 
Many miles of new railroad were built; manufacturing plants 
were established ; cities and villages were platted, and thousands 
of hardy farmers flocked hither to till the fertile soil. The whole 
state has been rocked in the cradle of prosperity, and has walked 
hand in hand with it ever since, never springing up with the 
usual disastrous boom, but striding steadily forward, always 
keeping pace with progress, and always abreast with her sister 
states until today we stand among the foremost in the union. 
Her thousands of broad acres of rich prairie land, her mighty 
forests of pine and hardwood, her vast deposits of iron ore, her 
numerous quarries of granite, limestone and sandstone, her bed 
of clay for pottery, building and facing brick, are among the 
many natural resources of this great state, that has stamped 
her name, "Minnesota," deep into the commerce of the nation 
and the world. 

The great divide, or watershed, in the northern part of the 
state, which sends the rivers both north and south, in steep 
and rapid descent, has placed in the hands of man immense 
waterfalls, the ultimate development of which has not yet been 

It may further be noticed that about fifty per cent of the 
tillable lands in this state is still in the wild, and if the home- 
seeker of today would carefully survey the great possibilities of 
Minnesota, he would find it to his advantage to build a home 


tributary to the great markets, within the boundary line of 
Minnesota, where a ready sale for all kinds of farm products 
can always be found. 

Minnesota is truly great in her natural endowment, and there 
is nothing that cannot be utilized commercially. 

Agricultural Resources. 

While Minnesota stands unparalleled as a state of natural 
resources, her agricultural resources are still greater, for the 
rich and productive character of her soil is unsurpassed, and this, 
coupled with the best of climatic conditions, has won for Minne- 
sota world- wide fame as an agricultural district. 

Almost uniformly throughout the state we find the soil a 
heavy, black loam, which produces bountiful crops of anything 
that can be grown in this zone. For many years wheat has been 
the staple product, and still is to a large degree, but the farmers 
here have, during the past few years, practiced more diversified 
farming with remarkable success, and in the older settled regions 
corn is rapidly becoming the principal product. Dairying has 
become an important industry here, and large herds of the very 
best blooded stock can be found on almost every farm, with 
creameries and cheese factories in many villages. Statistics 
from the recent report of the state dairy and food commissioner 
present some interesting facts, relative to Minnesota's dairying, 
and are as follows : During the year 1906 the 825 creameries 
in Minnesota made over 78,455 pounds of butter and the seventy- 
two cheese factories made over 31,732,000 pounds of cheese. 
These few figures show that Minnesota is a dairy as well as a 
wheat state, and the dairy business is increasing every year. 
Minnesota has been justly named, "The Bread and Butter State," 
as it produces yearly a bushel of wheat and a pound of butter 
for every man, woman and child in the United States. In the 
production of wheat Minnesota ranks well to the front, and in 
the production of barley and flax, Minnesota is second; fourth 
in oats, and fifth in rye. 

Corn raising is rapidly becoming an important branch of 
agriculture in Minnesota, and the yield in both quality and 
quantity is a match for the old corn belt of the United States. 


Statistics show that as far back as the year 1899, Minnesota 
raised almost 1,500,000 acres of corn, which yielded over 47,000,- 
000 bushels, and at the St. Louis World's Fair a northern county 
farmer walked off with one of the prizes for a superior quality 
of corn. Fodder can be raised in abundance in all parts of the 
state, and is a boost for the dairy branch. 

While Minnesota farmers can successfully raise any kind of 
farm products, in tame and wild grasses she stands head and 
shoulders above all others in both quality and quantity of pro- 
duction. Grasses thrive in every part of the state. At the last 
state fair one county exhibited some clover which measured six 
feet and two inches in length, and some wild blue joint grass 
which measured five feet and seven inches. 

Minnesota is particularly adapted for sheep raising, but this 
branch of industry has been neglected and gone to the prairies 
of the west. However, farmers have begun to take more to this 
industry the past few years with remarkable success, and it is to 
be hoped that sheep raising will soon be an important and profita- 
ble business in this state, as sheep require undulating land, and 
over seventy-five per cent of Minnesota is of this character. The 
State Experimental Farm recently made an interesting experi- 
ment in raising sheep, which proved conclusively that Minnesota 
is a sheep state. Ten head of sheep were successfully pastured 
on one acre of land, and the same ten head were fed through the 
winter from the product of one acre. The experimental farm 
also sent a crate of five head of sheep to Chicago in 1901 and 1902 
in a contest with the world, and in both cases Minnesota sheep 
were awarded the first prize. 

Swine and poultry raising is coming into prominence more 
and more each year, and splendid returns are secured by the 
farmers in this line. Fruit raising is also coming to the front 
and Minnesota is now considered a fruit state. In 1903 Minne- 
sota produced $550,000 worth of apples, and the proceeds of 
small fruits is conservatively estimated to have been about 
$600,000. A better idea of Minnesota's fruit resources can be 
obtained by attending the State Fair and noting the great dis- 
play of Minnesota fruits. To tell of all of Minnesota's agricul- 
tural advantages would require many pages, therefore we can 



only give a brief description here, but we can say that one acre 
of Minnesota land will produce just as much as an acre of the 
land in the highly developed portions of the United States, where 
it sells from $100 to $200 per acre. The price of Minnesota farm 
lands, although steadily advancing, is still low, compared to the 
many other states, and to the man with a little money who wishes 
to farm, no better place can be found on the globe than a farm 
home in Minnesota. There still remains in Minnesota about 3,- 
000,000 acres of state school lands which average in price about 
$7.00 per acre. This land is sold on forty years' time at four 
per cent interest. There are also about 3,500,000 acres of gov- 
ernment lands that can be taken as homesteads. It is not speak- 
ing too highly to say that Minnesota holds out better inducements 
than any state in the union, to men in all walks of life. With 
soil, forests and mines unequaled, and railroad and waterway 
transportation facilities unparalleled, it offers to you a sturdy 
and sound citizenship, and extends a hand of welcome to the 
industrious, thrifty and progressive citizen. 

Soil and Climate. 

If there is any one thing that Minnesotans can boast of it is 
the climate of this state. Not that it is of a balmy nature like 
the sunny south, or the monotonous days of continual sunshine 
of California, but because of its pure, bracing air, which is a 
tonic to the tired body and a refreshing draught to the weak and 
diseased lungs. The winters are rigorous, but the air is dry, so 
that one does not feel the cold when the thermometer is 20 de- 
grees below zero as much as one would in the warmer states, 
where the air is always damp, but the thermometer higher. The 
summers are delightful, as well as the autumns, and those who 
have not idled away a summer on the shores of our beautiful 
Minnesota lakes, or sought the game at all time in the fields and 
forests of Minnesota, have missed many of the charms of this old 
world. The average sunshine per year in Minnesota is over 150 
days, and the rainfall for many years has averaged thirty inches 
for the state, while the snowfall has averaged forty-nine inches, 
a trifle less than Michigan or "Wisconsin. The average tempera- 
ture for the year is forty-two degrees; this, however, varies in 


different parts of the state as the weather is somewhat cooler 
during the summer months in the northern part, which will be 
readily understood when one considers the fact that Minnesota 
covers a territory of 400 miles north and south. The splendid 
crops produced in Minnesota show how favorable the climate is 
for plant growth, and the fact that hundreds of people flock to 
the great pine woods of northern Minnesota, where they soon 
win back their health, is evidence of Minnesota's healthful 

Minnesota has a large variety of soil, but all are of a highly 
productive character, and scientific examinations show that the 
soil in Minnesota contains more plant food than the average in 
other states. At the World's Fair in Chicago, samples of Minne- 
sota soil, which were exhibited there, were awarded the prize for 
containing more plant food than any other state in the contest. 

School System of Minnesota. 

Minnesota's public school system is the source of a great deal 
of pride to every loyal citizen of the North Star State, and well 
they may feel proud of our educational system, for it is one of 
the most perfect and permanent in the world. The proceeds from 
the sale of our state school lands and the lease of our iron mines 
already amount to over $20,000,000, and will eventually reach 
$100,000,000. Only the interest from this great sum of money 
can be used, so the state school fund, magnificent as it is, is 
permanent and can never be reduced. The interest from the 
permanent fund already amounts to almost a million dollars, 
and is divided anually among the school districts, throughout 
the state, and is commonly known as current school fund. Both 
our graded and high schools are free, and over eighty per cent 
of the districts have adopted the free text book system, making a 
free education for every child who seeks it. Our state university, 
located at Minneapolis, is the pride of the whole Northwest, and 
its students number more than many universities in other parts 
of the United States. The department of agriculture is a branch 
of the state university, and their buildings, with over 250 acres 
of land, are located at St. Anthony Park. Here they have an 
experimental station, a college and school of agriculture, and 



teach a special course in farming. The Minnesota agricultural 
school is the greatest in the world, and besides its own great 
school, maintains two sub-experimental stations hi northern Min- 
nesota. We, here in Minnesota, do not and cannot appreciate 
the splendid school system like those who come from the states 
where less liberal educational advantages are necessarily given. 
Go where you may in Minnesota, either north, south, east or west, 
whether thickly or sparsely populated, regardless of race, color 
or creed, you will find good substantial schools, competent teach- 
ers, and almost universally the free text book, while our hun- 
dreds of villages fairly vie with each other as to which can boast 
of the best and largest school, and our many colleges and acade- 
mies are turning out professional men and women by the hun- 

In addition to the public schools of our state, which are 
classed among the best in the world, every county is amply 
supplied with good high school facilities, and many of them with 
excellent colleges. Therefore, Minnesota schools come in for a 
large share of the credit in furnishing inducements to home- 

Minnesota as a Summer Resort. 

With ten thousand lakes and as many rivers and streams, 
with the boundless prairies on the west and its primeval forests 
on the north, where can one go to find a better field for genuine 
sports with gun or rod than Minnesota? The lakes both large 
and small teem with bass and pike, while in the rushing brook 
one may seek the "speckled beauties," not in vain, or make a 
pretty catch at one of the lakes. On the prairie, chicken makes 
sport for the hunter, while in the nearby forests one may bag a 
dozen partridges. Along the rice beds of our many rivers, ducks 
and geese are found in abundance, and no better shooting can 
be had anywhere than in Minnesota. 

Good hunting for small game is not confined to the wilder 
portion alone, for prairie chickens, partridges, quail, ducks and 
geese are plentiful during the fall in every county in the state. 
So well are our fish protected that in almost every one of our 
innumerable lakes we find fish in abundance, and the trout brooks, 



as well as our lakes are kept well stocked with all kinds of fish 
from large fish hatcheries. In addition to the two fish hatcheries, 
which the state now maintains, the last legislature appropriated 
$6,000 for the erection of a third hatchery. 


As you read these pages you may lay it aside and say ' ' Minne- 
sota is a great state, but there is no opening there for me," but 
there is an opening there for you, a golden opportunity, there 
are opportunities in Minnesota for men in every walk of life. 

For the capitalist there is an almost unlimited field for safe 
and profitable investment. The rapidly growing cities and vil- 
lages in the central and southern parts of the state as well as the 
new towns that are springing up in the northern region need 
more capital, they need bankers, merchants and promoters, and 
no state in the Union holds out better inducements for invest- 
ment by the capitalist than all parts of Minnesota. 

To the manufacturer, conditions for you could hardly be 
better. With hundreds of thousands of horsepower in our rivers 
lying idle, with fuel so cheap for steam propelling purposes, with 
our unparalleled railroad and waterway transportation facilities, 
and many other equally important factors to the manufacturer, 
how could a state appeal to you more forcibly than does Minne- 
sota? There are innumerable opportunities here for manufactur- 
ing in almost any branch, in fact so many that we will not 
attempt to enumerate them. However, we might remind you that 
we have many natural resources in addition to numerous water- 
powers which will assist the manufacturer. Hardwood timber 
for furniture and woodenware, clay for brick, pottery and tiling, 
stone for cement, raw iron for ironworks, pulpwood for paper 
mills, quarries of granite, limestone and sandstone for stone 
works, wonderful productions of wheat for flour, flax for oil and 
fibre, potatoes for starch, sugar beets for sugar, in fact we have 
more resources to attract the prudent man who is looking for a 
location for manufacturing plant than any state in the Union. 

To the professional man : Why do you the moment you get 
your "sheepskin" turn your face westward as soon as the college 
door is closed behind you? Stop in Minnesota where a permanent 


and profitable field awaits you. The steady growth of Minnesota 
in its developed portions demands more doctors, lawyers and 
other professional men, while in the northern part of the state 
new towns are being built, new counties formed and new terri- 
tories populated and developed which affords active fields for 
professional men. 

To the farmer: It seems that enough has already been said 
to convince you that Minnesota is the place for you. 

State Fair. 

The Minnesota State Fair is the greatest in the United States, 
and each year is growing larger. Exhibitors from every part of 
the United States attend the Minnesota State Fair to show their 
wares and hundreds of head of fancy stock are sold here every 
years. The fair grounds cover over two hundred acres of ground, 
and many of the fair buildings are worth in the neighborhood of 

The state now enjoys a two-cent passenger fare on all lines 
within her borders, together with a general reduction of freight 
rates which went into effect last year. In this connection it may 
be mentioned that the different transportation companies doing 
business in Minnesota, exert every effort to accommodate the 
shippers and traveling public, and thus lend their portion to 
the upbuilding and development of our fair state. 


Hon. James H. Sharp. 

The first Northern Pacific crossing of the Red River of the 
North was located at Oakport, four miles north of Moorhead in 
September, 1871, the engineers having run a line from Muskoda 
to the river, striking the river at Probstfield's farm, afterward 
known as Oakport. In the meantime, Andrew Holes who, with 
his wife, was making a tour of the country in a prairie schooner, 
had been employed as agent for the Lake Superior and Puget 
Sound Land Company, and under their direction was negotiating 
for the purchase of the present site of Moorhead. A strip of land 
on the east side of the Red River, surveyed by the government 
some years before, had been sold at $1.25 per acre and the quarter 
section where Moorhead now stands was owned by one Joab 
Smith. This was selected as being the highest point of land and 
most likely to escape high water should that danger arise, as it 
did in the years 1826, 1852 and 1861. This purchase being made 
and the deed secured by Mr. Holes, the Moorhead location was 
determined upon much to the chagrin of the inhabitants of the 
"new city." However, as there were only tent buildings con- 
sisting of supply stores, Chapin's two-story tent hotel and other 
places usually found in frontier towns, they were not long in 
pulling up stakes and moving down to Moorhead and Fargo; 
some locating on claims and others establishing business firms in 

During the summer of 1870, N. K. Hubbard received a dis- 
patch from Pitt Cook, brother of Jay Cook, to locate the Northern 



Pacific crossing of the Red River at Elm river about eight miles 
east of Grandin. Frank Veits was the associate of Mr. Hubbard 
in that they had come together from Geneva, Ohio, and were 
looking for opportunities in the Red River valley. Veits had 
purchased the Hudson Bay Hotel from Adam Stein at Georgetown 
and at the same time Jacob Lowell, Jr., George G. Sanborn and 
H. S. Back and others, had located at Elm River, keeping them- 
selves, however, posted as to the movements of the Northern 
Pacific company. These men were joined by A. McHench and 
others, who spent that winter at Elm River. 

R. M. Probstfield, Adam Stein and E. R. Huchinson were the 
earliest settlers in this part of the country. Huchinson settled 
in Georgtown in 1859 and his family still resides there. Adam 
Stein settled in Georgtown about the same time and with his 
family still lives there. Mr. Probstfield still lives on his farm 
at Oakport, where he settled in 1859. 

In June, 1871, Bruns & Finkle, John Haggart & W. J. Bodkin, 
J. B. Chapin, Shang, P. L. Knappen, Richards, and some others 
had established themselves to stay at the point now called Oak- 
port. Mr. S. G. Comstock was then working on the grade at 
Muskoda and N. K. Hubbard and J. H. Sharp were selling goods 
in tents at Oaklake, now Lake Park. Mr. Holes came into the 
country in 1869, being engaged in the service of the Public Sur- 
vey, and later employed by Jay Cook and Honorable William 
Windom to select land for them in the Red River valley. In 
anticipation of the crossing, he purchased fractions of land at 
different points on the river and in May, 1871, camped at Oak- 
port. Joab Smith, from whom the Moorhead site was purchased, 
resided at this point for several years and kept the stage station 
for a time in the 'sixties. 

At a meeting of the directors of the Puget Sound Land Com- 
pany on September 22, 1871, Fargo and Moorhead received their 
names, Fargo in honor of G. E. Fargo of the "Wells-Fargo Express 
Company, and Moorhead in honor of William G. Moorhead, a 
director of the Northern Pacific under the Jay Cook manage- 
ment. In 1871 J. B. Chapin came from Brainerd to Oakport, and 
set up a two-story tent for hotel purposes. As this was about 
the time when Oakport was abandoned, he moved to Moorhead 


September 27, 1871, and the tent hotel was afterward sided and 
at a later date was called the Central Hotel of Moorhead, under 
the management of Michael Syron. 

There was also the Northern Pacific Supply Company store 
under tent cover, Bruns & Finkle 's tent, and Hubbard, Raymond 
& Allen, general store, covered by tent. All lumber used was 
carted from Breckenridge or Fort Abercrombie, forty miles south. 
Oakport was the nearest point available for meals and the dozen 
people getting ready for business were obliged to drive four 
miles for meals. However, this was made less tiresome by Major 
Wood, who kept the stage station and possessed a fine pair of 
four-minute steppers. This team, by the way, was afterward sold 
to General Custer, who was very fond of fast horses. 

Up to this time all supplies used in the Hudson Bay stores at 
Georgetown and Frogpoint were carted from St. Cloud by what 
were known as Indian carts. These were made entirely of wood 
and consisted of two large wheels without tires, with the shafts 
passing into the heavy axle. On this a box was fastened and 
to the cart was attached a horse, mule, ox, cow, or anything that 
could be induced to draw a load. These carts were in charge of 
halfbreeds and the trains sometimes numbered as many as forty 
carts. As wagon grease was never used, the approaching squeak 
could be heard for a great distance. 

Another means of transportation was by means of dog trains 
which were used as late as 1873. These were used by the Hudson 
Bay Company and their agent, J. Walter S. Trail, made many 
a trip between Moorhead and Georgetown, where he was located. 
The dog sledge was somewhat similar to the toboggan. It was 
wide enough for one seat so arranged that the occupant might 
recline, and behind this seat was room for baggage. Six dogs 
usually hauled one sledge, making a record of from seventy-five 
to ninety miles a day and pulling a load of about five hundred 
pounds. These dogs often became very much attached to their 
driver and passenger friends who were kind to them. This form 
of traveling was most customary during the winter and often the 
trains consisted of several sledges. The Lake Superior and Puget 
Sound Land Company owned the townsite of Moorhead while the 
Northern Pacific Company owned Fargo, and the rivalry worked 


a hardship to Moorhead in railroad matters. At one time a ticket 
could not be bought to Moorhead, as the place' did not appear on 
the map. 

John Ross was the contractor who built the Northern Pacific 
to the Red River, the first engine reaching the river December 
12, 1871. Washington Snyder was the engineer and Alexander 
Gamble fireman. The snow plow attached to the engine was in 
charge of Captain R. H. Emerson. 

The first mail was carried to Moorhead in 1871 by James H. 
Sharp. The mail had to be brought from Georgetown, as that 
was the nearest postoffice at the time. 

Clay County Organization. 

The organization of Clay County was effected April 14, 1872. 
Andrew Holes and Peter Wilson were appointed for the purpose 
of organization and were qualified before H. G. Finkle, Notary. 
The following were made the first officers of the county: S. G. 
Comstock, County Attorney; James Douglas, Judge of Probate; 
Horace DeCamp, Register of Deeds ; Peter Wilson, Auditor ; John 
Shorsgaard, Treasurer; G. A. Hendricks, Clerk of Court; J. B. 
Blanchard, Sheriff; and H. A. Bruns, Coroner. Moorhead was 
named as the county seat and on June 1, 1872, a county building 
was ordered. This first building was a two-story 20x30 frame 
structure, located where the Biedler Robertson Lumber Company 
now have their offices. Court was held upstairs and the first 
story accommodated the county officers, the county attorney mak- 
ing his residence at his office. Later the building was sold to Dr. 
Davis for a dwelling house and the brick building now standing 
near the Andrew Holes residence was built and used for county 
purposes. In 1883 the present court house was built and has since 
undergone many repairs and improvements, such as the putting 
in of electric lights, a steam-heating plant and hardwood floors. 

The present county officers are : G. D. McCubrey, Clerk of 
Court ; Fred Stalley, Register of Deeds ; Andrew Houghem, Audi- 
tor; N. D. Johnson, County Attorney; James H. Sharp, Judge 
of Probate; C. Paulson, Treasurer; S. O. Tang. County Superin- 
tendent of Schools ; and Archie Whaley, Sheriff. Hans P. Strate, 



one of the most faithful and best known county officers, served as 
treasurer for twenty-two years. 


The summer of 1872 was a lively period in the history of 
Moorhead, as a number of noted characters had arrived here 
from the Union Pacific. Among these were "Shang," Jack 
O 'Neil, Dave Mullen, Shomway, Edward Smith and Sallie 'Neil. 
These people were industrious in their pursuits and many queer 
things were done. Gambling and shooting were prominent pas- 
times for the people. A shooting match before and after break- 
fast was not an unusual occurrence. The public were one day 
both eye and ear witnesses to a shooting "duet" by Dave Mullen 
and Edward Smith. Neither of the contestants was seriously 

Jack O'Neil had been several times shot in the head, but had 
escaped with his life. Sally, his "better half," one day after a 
drunken row threatened to skin him with a butcher knife, chas- 
ing him round and round the tent; but from this attack he also 
escaped and went to Bismarck, where Fatty Hall ended his thrill- 
ing career by shooting him "amidship." 

Living as they do now in comfort, the old settlers are prone 
to forget the hardships and privations through which they passed 
in those early days, unless by some word or incident they are 
brought to mind. 

When the supplies came for the first stores, the storeroom was 
not yet prepared, so the stock was unloaded, covered with tents 
and the proprietors were obliged to live and deal out goods under 
the same roof. 

The eating tent which was set up possessed a table consist- 
ing of two 12-inch boards placed on saw horses, and covered 
with a red table cloth which, under necessity, did longer service 
than would now be considered sanitary. 

After the Sioux massacre in 1862 the settlers were on the alert 
for danger signals. They were practically unarmed and defense- 
less, so when rumors were heard that Indians were indulging in 
a war dance about six miles southwest of Moorhead on the Chey- 
enne, a mass meeting was called and seated on logs in the vicin- 


ity of the elevator, they decided to prepare for an attack by 
forming a company and procuring some firearms from St. Paul. 
The representative sent to secure the weapons was compelled to 
give a bond of $1,500 for safe return of same. We may say here 
that no attack was made, the Indians probably thinking better of 
their plan, after making sure the settlers were in earnest. "When 
the company broke up a greater part of the weapons were miss- 
ing and the man who had given bond was much disturbed over 
the matter. His feelings were however much relieved when a 
keen-minded friend suggested that he report the musketry "Lost 
in action." 

When the Indians came in earnest in 1862, they crossed the 
Red River just below where the Moorhead mill now stands and 
there are reports of how the few people living in the vicinity were 
hurried off to Fort Abercrombie. 

Old settlers who are now living have vivid recollections of 
the buffalo path strewn with bones where we now look upon the 
campus of Concordia College. Buffalo teeth were picked up and 
served as souvenirs of the tales of the famous buffalo hunts in 
the early 'fifties and 'sixties. The Hudson Bay Company dealt 
extensively in pemmican prepared from the buffalo meat. These 
hunts must have been most exciting. The hunters are described 
as rushing into a herd of buffalo with their mouths filled with 
balls, loading and firing rapidly. The animals were killed by 
hundreds and thousands in a day and the industry of preparing 
and utilizing the different portions of buffalo was very great. 

Steamboat Line. 

The steamboat "International" was built at Georgtown in 
1862 and made her first trip on the Red River to Fort Garry. R. 
M. Probstfield and Andrew Holes were passengers on this trip 
and on the return trip Mr. Probstfield brought with him twenty- 
four sheep, which he had purchased at Fort Garry. These sheep 
cost him $100 in gold, the freight was $40 and within eighteen 
hours after their arrival at Georgetown all but one was killed 
by the dogs belonging to the Hudson Bay Company. This ended 
for some time the sheep business in the Red River valley. 

The International, Selkirk, Cheyenne and Dakota ran from 



Moorhead to Fort Garry until in 1877 they were transferred to 
Fisher's Landing. 

This line of steamers ran from Moorhead to Winnipeg and 
carried a great deal of grain. 

Among these was the "White Swan," which was cut in two 
and shipped by rail from the Mississippi river, and when recon- 
structed was known as the "Pluck." The Selkirk was con- 
structed at McCauleyville in 1871 by Captain Alexander Griggs 
and James J. Hill. The Cheyenne and Dakota were built at Grand 
Forks, and the Alpha at McCauleyville. James Douglas built 
the Minnesota and Manitoba in 1875 at Moorhead. 

In 1878 a line of steamboats known as the "Alsop Line" had 
headquarters established at Moorhead. 

Bruns and Finkle built the first elevator in Moorhead in 1878 
and grain was hauled for forty miles on either side of the river. 
The Moorhead mill was established in 1874 and still stands, 
though it has since been much enlarged and improved, and is 
now one of the best equipped mills in the valley, under the man- 
agement of the Dwight M. Baldwin, Jr., Company. 

Business Concerns. 

Moorhead has been called the "Biggest little city of the great 
Northwest," and though its population does not exceed 6,000, 
it ranks high in energetic enterprise and prosperity. The busi- 
ness interests of this city are many and of a progressive type. 
It owns its own electric light and water plant and miles of the 
best sanitary sewer system of any city of its size. Being located 
on the river, an abundant supply of water is granted and gas and 
electricity are furnished at a low rate. Drinking water is sup- 
plied by the city artesian well and many families have their 
private wells. An electric street car system runs to all parts of 
Moorhead and Fargo, and serves as a connecting link to bind the 
interests of the two cities. 

The fertile land near which Moorhead is located and which 
surrounds the city is instrumental to a great extent in making it 
the large shipping point that it is for grains, hay, potatoes, dairy 
products and live stock. Two important railroads, the Northern 
Pacific and Great Northern pass through the place, connecting 


it directly with the largest markets of the country and causing 
it to rapidly become a railroad center. Dilworth, the new division 
point of the Northern Pacific railway, is situated about three miles 
east of the city. It contains a large roundhouse, machine and 
car shops, a church and school house, and during the few years 
of its existence has progressed rapidly. 

The manufacturing industry of Moorhead is growing steadily. 
At present it boasts of three cement and tile factories, one sash 
and door factory, one planing mill, a foundry, a cigar factory, 
two wagon factories, brick yards and lumber yards. Its flour 
mill mentioned elsewhere has the capacity to send out 1,000 
barrels per day. 

Moorhead 's business men are to be complimented upon their 
energetic and systematic methods. Beside the establishments 
mentioned are several land firms, contracting and building firms, 
three elevators, three up-to-date newspapers, livery and feed 
barns, harness shops, saloons and four wholesale liquor houses, 
four hotels, two large department stores, three drug stores, 
grocery stores and meat markets, the Penn Oil and Supply Com- 
pany, and almost every institution that goes to make up a flour- 
ishing city. 

First National Bank of Moorhead. Established in 1881 ; capi- 
tal and surplus, $90,000. 

Moorhead National Bank. 

There is no class of legitimate banking business which cannot 
be taken care of in Moorhead. The Moorhead National Bank 
deals in foreign and domestic exchange, lands, mortgages and 
other securities, and they can fittingly claim the high estimate 
which has been conferred upon them. 

As to their official and managerial composite little need be 
said. Such names as P. H. Lamb, J. Wagner, S. A. Holmes, J. 
Malloy, respectively president, vice president, cashier and assist- 
ant cashier of the Moorhead National Bank, are alone sufficient 
to inspire unshaken confidence in the minds of the bank's clien- 
tele, and even if they were not the influential list of the board 
of directors would more than amplify. The Moorhead National 
Bank, established in 1892, has a capital and surplus of $105,000. 



Nifty figures you will concede for one bank in a city the size of 
Moorhead. Like all first class banks, the Moorhead National 
contains an elaborate system of safety deposit boxes, and in addi- 
tion to its general business it offers a savings department for the 
benefit of its long list of small deposits, opening, as it does, an 
account upon the deposit of $1. 

First State Bank of Moorhead. Established in 1903, capital 
and surplus $33,000, carry on in a reliable and approved manner 
the banking business of the city and to a large extent of the 
surrounding country. 

Of physicians and lawyers there are many and the professional 
interests of the people are conducted on a high plane. 

The Darrow Hospital is a well organized institution contain- 
ing the modern facilities for the welfare and comfort of its 

Of vast importance to the educational concerns of the com- 
munity is the Carnegie Public Library which was erected during 
the year 1907. Each year increases its store and circulation of 
useful reading material, and its benefit is greatly felt. 

To one who has an eye for the beautiful, the city of Moorhead 
at this date proves an attraction. It is well laid out, not only 
the business portion, but also the residence districts of the city 
are constantly being improved and beautified. The number of 
beautiful homes is being constantly enlarged and these sur- 
rounded by spacious and well-kept lawns cannot but help make 
an attractive and interesting spot. 

One of the greatest charms of the city is in the trees which 
line its walks and driveways. These trees were set out in the 
early days and by careful cultivation have become an adornment 
which anyone coming into the town during the summer months 
will not fail to notice and appreciate. 

Creosote blocks are to compose the new paving that is to be 
put in in the business districts and within a short time the wooden 
walk will be a thing of the past, it having given way entirely 
to the cement walk. 

One of Moorhead 's strongest and most energetic organizations 
is its Commercial Club, composed of citizens who have at heart 
the best interests of the city. The club was organized in 1905 


and has ever been untiring in its efforts to help bring about what 
seems best for the upbuilding and advancement of the community. 

Fire Department. 

On November 15, 1872, about thirty-five citizens, including 
the well known names of S. G. Comstock, H.-A. Bruns, J. H. Sharp, 
H. G. Finkle and H. DeCamp, constituted themselves into a fire 
company and pledged themselves to obey the foreman. At the 
same time a subscription paper was circulated to furnish equip- 
ments for the company. About $100 was subscribed and $85 paid 
in as shown by the original paper now in the possession of J. H. 
Sharp. Thus did our efficient fire department have its origin. 

October 16, 1882, the Hook and Ladder Company was organ- 
ized and confirmed by the council. About the same time the Hose 
Company came into existence. 

On December 19, 1882, the Moorhead Fire Department was 
fully organized and received the approval of the council. Peter 
Czizik was the first chief, serving two years. Jacob Kiefer was 
next elected to that position and served five years. A. J. Wright 
the third chief, served several years. 

The Moorhead News, daily and weekly, is one of the pioneer 
newspapers of the Red River valley. The "Weekly News" was 
established in 1878, and for over thirty years has been issued 
regularly on Thursday of each week. The company which 
founded the publication conducted the business until 1883, when 
the plant was taken over by George N. Lamphere, who continued 
the publication of the paper until April 1, 1900, when the prop- 
erty was purchased by Robert W. Richards and William D. Titus, 
who, as Richards & Titus, have conducted the business since. 
The "Daily News" was established in 1882, and is one of the 
oldest country dailies in Minnesota. The "News" has one of 
the most complete and up-to-date newspaper plants in northern 
Minnesota, being equipped with a standard Linotype, presses, 
folding machine and paper cutters; is operated throughout by 
electric power and has a large equipment of type, stones and 
other material for the conduct of its business, which consists of 
book and job printing in addition to the publication of the daily 
and weekly editions of the paper. In politics the "News" is 


Eepublican, and it enjoys a large circulation throughout Clay 
and adjoining counties. 

The Moorhead Independent, started in 1900, is a bright, live 
weekly paper, and stands for the best things. 

The Moorhead Citizen has been published about five years, 
has a good circulation and is making good in the newspaper line. 


The first school in Moorhead opened in 1872 by private sub- 
scription. This lasted for two months, and Nina Hall was the 
teacher. In September, 1872, there was commenced a five months' 
school in the Presbyterian chapel, with Mary Farmer teacher. 
Board of Directors were James Douglas, Andrew Holes, and 
James H. Sharp, secretary. Bonds were voted and issued bearing 
twelve per cent interest, and sold for $.82 1 /4 to F. James, of Min- 
nesota, interest guaranteed by the secretary. A building was 
erected and later was sold to the Swedish Lutheran church. 
School District No. 2 included Holy Cross, Georgetown, Oakport, 
Kurtz, and Moorhead. The first Board of Education in the Inde- 
pendent District consisted of James Douglas, Lyman Loring, Ole 
Thompson, F. J. Burnham, John Thorsgaard, Dr. John Kurtz, 
and James H. Sharp. Five schoolhouses were erected by this 

During the year 1880 a new building was erected and named 
the "Sharp School" as a testimonial of the appreciation of the 
services of James H. Sharp as a member of the school board. 
The site consists of a block of land and was purchased fr6m A. E. 
Henderson for the sum of $500. In 1892 an addition was made 
to this building and it has since been altered and much improved. 
This building includes the High School department beside the 
eight grades. There are also three other grade school buildings 
known as the First, Second and Third Ward buildings; also the 
Catholic parochial school. 

Of her schools, Moorhead may well be proud. Each branch 
of learning is conducted on the most approved plan and the 
buildings are well supplied with the necessary furnishings. In 
the High School the chemical and physical laboratories are espe- 
cially well equipped, the apparatus used being the most modern. 


Twenty-five teachers are employed in the schools, including 
special directors in music, drawing, elocution, sewing and manual 
training. The manual training department is established in a 
separate building directly east of the Sharp school building. 

Moorhead Normal School. 

The rapid development of the Red River valley during the 
early eighties made it apparent to those interested in the educa- 
tional affairs of the state that the three existing normal schools 
were totally inadequate to supply teachers to the newly opened 
up Northwest. This belief gradually crystallized into the con- 
viction that a normal school should be located at some point in 
the Red River valley. 

As a result, the legislature in 1885 located such a school 
at Moorhead, on condition that a site be donated by the citizens. 
The Hon. S. G. Comstock deeded to the state for the purpose a 
tract of six acres admirably located in the southeastern part of 
the city. 

At the next session of the legislature in 1887 an appropriation 
of $60,000 was made for the erection of a building, and $5,000 
provided for running expenses. 

Construction work was soon commenced under the general 
supervision of the resident director, Hon. Thomas C. Kurtz. In 
the early autumn of 1888 the building was completed. It was 
an excellent building, large and commodious, and at the time 
one of the finest in the Northwest. Many persons believed the 
building to be large enough to meet the requirements of such a 
school for many years in the future. 

Livingston C. Lord became the president of the new normal 
school. The selection proved to be a happy one, for in President 
Lord the board of directors secured a man of scholastic attain- 
ment and rich in experience, and one who possessed withal a 
magnetic personality fitting him eminently as the organizer and 
head of a training school for teachers. 

On the 29th of August, 1888, with a faculty of five members, 
including the president, the State Normal School at Moorhead 
was formally opened for the reception of students. During the 
year, ninety-seven students were enrolled, one-third of them 


coming from Moorhead. The following year, with the same 
attendance from Moorhead, there was a total enrollment of 135. 

Then followed years of steady growth, the attendance fluctu- 
ating from year to year as affected by the prosperity of the 
farming regions contributory to it. 

In 1892 the Hon. George N. Lamphere became resident di- 
rector. Meanwhile the proper caring for the student body de- 
manded dormitory facilities, and in 1893 a dormitory was erected. 
This building comfortably accommodated sixty young ladies to 
room and board, and furnished board to a number of students 
rooming near. 

A change in the directorate made the Hon. S. G. Comstock 
resident director in 1894. At this time the model school, which 
hitherto had been a part of the city schools, under the joint 
supervision of the city superintendent and the normal school, 
was changed. It has been since this time a distinct department 
of the normal schools, under the sole direction of the normal 
school authorities. 

A marked increase in attendance was noticed in 1895. In the 
year of 1898 Hon. C. A. Nye succeeded Mr. Comstock as resident 

The most significant event since the organization of the school 
occurred in 1899, when President L. C. Lord resigned to accept 
a similar position in Charleston, 111. The selection of his suc- 
cessor confronted the normal board as a serious problem. The 
board, however, manifested its wisdom by selecting as president 
Frank A. "Weld. His intimate knowledge of the school affairs of 
Minnesota, gained by many years of successful experience, his 
keen insight into the needs of the teacher, and his broad and 
sympathetic scholarship, made him the worthy successor of Presi- 
dent Lord. In 1902 Mr. Comstock became resident director a 
second time. During the first ten years of the school's existence 
there had been a great .influx of settlers into the valley and the 
school felt the influence of this tide of immigration. By the 
year 1903 the enrollment had increased to such an extent that 
more room became a necessity. A large addition was therefore 
erected in 1904. This gave to the school a much needed audi- 


torium and library facilities commensurate with the needs of the 
student body. 

Another change was made in the resident directorship in 1906, 
when Mr. Nye was again given the position. The rooms origi- 
nally designed for model school purposes having long since ceased 
to afford sufficient room for the enlarged school, a model school 
building was added in 1908. This building is thoroughly modern 
and is excellently equipped. It increases very greatly the effi- 
ciency of the normal school. During the year 1909 a large 
dormitory is to be erected, which will more than double the 
capacity of the school in furnishing homes for the young ladies 
in attendance. 

The normal school has now been in existence for twenty-one 
years and results have amply justified its location at Moorhead. 
For a number of years summer schools have been held which 
gives continuous sessions to the normal. This has been particu- 
larly advantageous to rural school teachers. 

The original faculty of five has increased to twenty-three, 
while the total attendance, exclusive of the model school, was 
for the year 1907-08, 721. It is the aim of the school to supply 
well equipped and trained teachers for the schools of the state. 
With this in view the administration is keenly alive to the needs 
of the educational system and is earnestly progressive in attempt- 
ing to supply these needs. 

To those who are familiar with the possibilities of the Ked 
River valley, the Moorhead Normal School is but in its infancy. 

Concordia College. 

Prof. B. Bogstad. 

In the southern suburbs of the beautiful city of Moorhead, 
on a little eminence overlooking the city, Concordia College is 
located. The school is removed from the business portion of 
the city and thus avoids the confusion and other distractions 
necessarily incident to the location of an institution of learning 
in an active city. 



How the Idea Originated. 

For years past there has existed among the Norwegian Lu- 
therans in the Red River valley a ministerial association known, 
in former years, as the Grand Forks Prestekonference, and now 
by the name of the Red River Dalens Prestekonference. 

In a meeting of this body, held in Rev. J. M. 0. Ness's par- 
sonage, in Perley, Minn., the subject of establishing a higher 
institution of learning for the Lutheran young people in the 
valley came up for discussion. This discussion was continued at 
a later meeting of the conference in Grand Forks. 

A call for bonuses from the leading cities in the valley was 
extended, and Fargo, Grand Forks, Crookston and Hillsboro 
became competitors. 

At a meeting held in Crookston in January, 1891, it was 
decided to locate the institution at that place ; later on the loca- 
tion was changed to Grank Forks and this materialized in the 
establishment of the Grand Forks College, which was then under 
the auspices of the United Church. Later on it was sold and 
is now under the auspices of the Norwegian Synod. 

During this discussion for the location of the Lutheran insti- 
tution, Moorhead came also into competition. It had a good 
college building to offer, known as the Bishop Whipple School. 
The building was located in the southern part of the city of 
Moorhead. This building, together with six acres of land, was 
bought by the Northwestern Lutheran College Association, which 
was organized April 14, 1891, and incorporated July 8, the same 

The first officers of the Association were: Rev. J. M. O. 
Ness, president; Rev. G. H. Gerberding, vice-president; Mr. L. 
Christiansen, secretary; Mr. H. Rasmussen, treasurer. 

The first Board of Directors: Rev. J. O. Hougen, Rev. G. H. 
Gerberding, Rev. J. J. Heie, Mr. A. J. Wright, Mr. Ole Nilson. 

The first Board of Trustees: Hon. John Bye, Hickson, N. 
Dak. ; Hon. Andrew Slotten, Dwight, N. Dak. ; Mr. N. Dalen, 
Georgetown, Minn. ; Mr. Erik Lee, Kindred, N. Dak. ; Mr. M. 
Mortenson, Harwood, N. Dak. ; Mr. A. G. Kassenborg, Kragness, 
Minn.; Mr. K. Olson, Fargo, N. Dak.; Mr. O. Martinson, Moor- 


head, Minn.; Mr. T. H. Brokke, Georgetown, Minn.; Mr. Tollef 
Pederson, Moorhead, Minn. ; Mr. A. 0. Kragness, Kragness, 
Minn. ; Mr. John Drady, Moorhead, Minn. ; Mr. H. Rasmussen, 
Moorhead, Minn.; Mr. O. C. Beck, Moorhead, Minn.; Mr. O. G. 
Farsdale, Glyndon, Minn. 

Rev. J. M. O. Ness and L. Christiansen have served as presi- 
dent and secretary respectively, continuously. 0. Martinson and 
Erik Lee have also been members of the board since its organi- 

Concordia College is owned and operated by the Northwestern 
Lutheran College Association, an organization composed of a 
number of leading men in the Red River valley who are members 
of the Norwegian Lutheran church. The founding of the school 
had its inception in a desire on the part of the early Norwegian 
pioneers to preserve and perpetuate the principles of Christian- 
ity, the Norwegian language, and the customs and traditions of 
the land of their birth. The school has no direct synodical 
affiliation. The main sources of revenue are the voluntary con- 
tributions of interested philanthropists and the tuition received 
from the students. 

Concordia College opened its doors to the public October 15, 
1891. The Bishop Whipple School, formerly maintained by the 
Episcopalians, was purchased at a cost of ten thousand dollars. 
The new institution received the name Concordia, which means 
harmony, agreement, union. A name with such a signification 
was given in order to commemorate the union of three Norwe- 
gian church bodies which had been effected one year previously. 
The institution opened with three teachers and twelve students. 
This number was, however, increased to over 200 the first part 
of January, 1892. 

The teachers who were elected and present at the opening of 
the school were I. F. Grose, principal, E. D. Busby, and Mathilda 
Finseth. Later in the fall were added Rev. R. Bogstad, H. H. 
Aaker, O. J. Hagen, John Hagen, and O. S. Dyrkoren. The 
names of the twelve students who were enrolled and present at 
the opening were as follows : Thomas W. Thompson, Jens C. 
Leines, Peder J. Lyng, Wilhelm P. Rognlie, 0. S. Dyrkoren, 



Lars Thorsgaard, Anna Ellingson, Bessie Rygh, Oline Aabye, 
Annie Arntson, Anna Helling, Bertine Iverson. 

Dedication. Amid fitting ceremonies Concordia College was 
formally dedicated to educational work on the 31st of October, 
1891. The dedicatory exercises were conducted by the Right 
Reverend G. Hoyme, president of the United Lutheran Church 
of America, assisted by Rev. L. M. Biorn, of Zumbrota, Minn., 
vice-president of the same body. Speeches were also made 
by Prof. Sven Ofstedahl, of the Augsburg Seminary, and 
Prof. I. F. Grose, the first principal of Concordia College. The 
city was represented by Judge Ira B. Mills. Rev. A. Wright, 
of Rushford, Minn., delivered an address on the Lutheran Refor- 
mation, the 31st of October being the anniversary of that event. 

Buildings. The school began its operations in 1891 with one 
building. This building has later been remodeled and renovated 
and is now used as a dormitory for the young ladies of the insti- 
tution, known as the Ladies' Hall. The Boys' Dormitory was 
erected in 1892. This is a large and commodious structure which 
affords dormitory accommodations for the young men. The 
President's Residence was built in 1904. It is occupied by the 
president of the college. The Main Building, erected in 1906, is 
a substantial structure of brick and stone. It contains the gym- 
nasium, library, recitation rooms and the offices of the adminis- 
trative officers. 

From an inauspicious beginning the institution has become 
one of magnitude. From one building, twelve students and three 
teachers at the opening, there are now, less than two decades 
later, four buildings, twenty teachers, and a student body 500 
strong. The real estate of the institution is conservatively esti- 
mated at $175,000. The men who have acted as field secretaries 
and raised most of these funds are the Revs. J. M. O. Ness, R. 
Bogstad, Louis S. Marrick, and H. 0. Thurson. 

The internal development of the school has been parallel with 
the outward progress. The courses have from time to time been 
materially broadened and strengthened. New departments have 
also been added to the curricula. The school maintains the fol- 
lowing courses: 

The Classic School, with academic and collegiate departments, 


including two ancient and three modern languages, elementary 
and higher mathematics and sciences, prepares for the study of 
theology, medicine, law, civil engineering, etc. No tuition is 
charged for this course. 

The Normal School prepares teachers for common and paro- 
chial schools. It includes advanced instruction in all common 
branches such as arithmetic, algebra, geometry, grammar, rhet- 
oric, American and English literature, English and American 
history, history of the world, history of education, civil govern- 
ment, physiology, zoology, physics, chemistry, botany, psychology, 
pedagogy, and philosophy of education. Instruction in the rudi- 
ments of music, elocution, and physical culture is also given. Those 
who prepare for the parochial schools are also given instruction 
in Norwegian, in the catechism, Bible study, catechetics, and 
church history. 

The School for Girls, with cooking, sewing, needle work, dress- 
making, millinery, art, drawing, water color, oil painting, pastel, 
and china painting. No charge for tuition in this course. 

The School of Commerce, including penmanship, bookkeeping, 
business practice, business arithmetic, business English, commer- 
cial law, banking, touch typewriting, and Gregg shorthand. The 
tuition in this course is $5 per month. 

The School of Music, with preparatory, intermediate, and ad- 
vanced classes in piano, organ, voice, violin, theory, harmony, 
history, ear training, and dictation. Choruses, choirs, and classes 
in ear training and dictation are conducted free of charge. For 
private instruction in piano, organ, and voice the charges range 
from $0.50 to $1.50 per lesson. 

The School of Elocution and Physical Culture, with private 
and class instruction. Stress is laid on correct enunciation, pro- 
nunciation, breath control, strength and purity of voice, natural- 
ness, animation, spontaneity and clearness of expression. Gym- 
nastic classes give exercises for breathing, walking, running, free- 
ing of joints, muscular development, grace and ease of movement. 
Class instruction free. Charges for private lessons in elocution 
and physical culture range from $0.50 to $1.50. 

The School of Manual Training is especially organized for 


the young 'men in the institution. Special stress is laid on me- 
chanical and architectural drawing, carpenter work of all kinds, 
bench work, and wood turning. Instruction may be had in all 
the common branches, such as grammar, arithmetic, reading, 
history, etc. Tuition in this course is $5 per month. 

The Preparatory School is maintained for the purpose of giv- 
ing persons whose education has been neglected and who now 
feel it impossible to take time for a complete course of study. 
In this school is also included instruction for those who lately 
have come from Norway, Sweden, and Germany, with probably 
a good education adapted to the needs of their mother country, 
but who have not had instruction in the English and such sub- 
jects as are absolutely necessary for a well informed American 

A Bible Institute is maintained for those who desire a more 
extensive knowledge of the Bible. No charge for tuition. 

The charges for board and room, including heat, light, and 
all modern conveniences, are $150 for the school year of nine 

I. F. Grose was the first principal of the school, serving till 
1893, when H. H. Aaker became his successor and served till 
1902. R. Bogstad is the present incumbent of the executive chair. 

Time has fully vindicated that there is not only room but 
need in this locality for an institution of learning constructed on 
a broad and liberal basis in furtherance of the purest ethics 
and in the line of a faithful fulfillment of the fundamental prin- 
ciples and duties of Christianity. The school has enjoyed a lib- 
eral patronage and has been able to send out many students who 
have become powerful factors in the avenues of usefulness in the 
work of the world. 

The prospects for the future are bright. Plans are being 
made for new buildings, more extensive courses of study are 
contemplated, and the establishment of a permanent endowment 
fund has been originated. With all these evidences of progress 
and advancement it seems evident that Concordia College is 
approaching a brilliant future. 


Items of Interest. 

Concordia College celebrated the tenth anniversary October 
31, 1901. The speakers of the day were Kev. John 0. Haugen, 
of Decorah, la., who was the man that named the school; Rev. 
J. C. Roseland, of Austin, Minn. ; Rev. S. O. Braaten, of Thomp- 
son, N. Dak., and Rev. J. M. 0. Ness, of Perley, Minn., president 
of the College Association. 

Concordia College was the first institution west of Minne- 
apolis to render one of the great Oratorios. Hayden's Creation 
was rendered in 1893 for the first time, and again in 1906, at 
the corner stone laying of the new Main Building. 

Three hundred have graduated from one or more of the 
courses. Most of these hold prominent positions in church and 
state, such as doctors, attorneys, professors of higher institutions 
of learning, clergymen, business men, and farmers. Seven are 
missionaries in the foreign field. 

President Bogstad was born in Nordfjord, Norway, October 
5, 1861. Be is a son of Rasmus and Johanna Bogstad. He was 
educated in schools of Norway up to the eighteenth year. Studied 
at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa; Theological Seminary, and 
University of Minnesota. He was first employed in teaching 
school from 1885 to 1890; was ordained minister in 1890. Pro- 
fessor of Latin, German, Norwegian, and Bible study in Con- 
cordia College at Moorhead from 1891 to 1902. Has been president 
of the same institution from 1902 to the present time. 

He has been very active in advancing the college interests, 
and has left no stone unturned to accomplish the good work. 
The winter and spring have been spent at home in looking after 
and providing for the constant increasing attendance. The sum- 
mer has been devoted to work in the field, soliciting students 
and funds for the institution. President Bogstad has raised more 
of the money now invested in the college property, which is 
worth $175,000, than any other single man. 


The Presbyterian Church was organized in 1872, with Rev. O. 
H. Elmer pastor. Mr. Elmer was the pioneer preacher of the 


Red River valley and helped organize several of the first churches 
in Minnesota and North Dakota. His first service was conducted 
in the dining room of the "Chapin House," and, until a church 
home was built, several different places were used as places of 
worship, unused railroad coaches often being utilized for this 
purpose. The First Presbyterian Chapel was located where 
Wade's bicycle shop now stands, and was made use of for school, 
public and political purposes. The far-famed Red River Congress 
held its sessions within this chapel, and it was much in demand 
as a place for public meetings. 

When this chapel was sold to the Episcopalians it was moved 
and enlarged and was occupied by them until the erection of 
their beautiful church on Eighth street. 

In 1874 the Presbyterian church was built, which was struck 
by lightning and burned in August, 1877. The last church build- 
ing erected on the same site was destroyed by fire in the spring 
of 1909. Plans are now being made to rebuild. A comfortable 
manse was recently added to this organization, and it escaped the 
fire which destroyed the church. 

St. John's Episcopal Church was organized in 1873, with Dr. 
Dudley officiating as rector, assisted by Mr. B. F. Mackall, who 
for many years conducted services in the absence of the rector, 
and still conducts services when necessary. Mr. Mackall is per- 
haps the oldest layman in service in Minnesota. St. John's Epis- 
copal church has a most beautiful church edifice and rectory, 
and is far reaching in its influence for good. 

St. Joseph's Catholic Church was organized in 1872, and the 
original building stood in about the same spot as the parish build- 
ings now stand. Father Junie was the first who conducted serv- 
ices here, and Father Augustine, who was a faithful worker in 
the parish for eleven years, was instrumental in the erection of 
the large and beautiful church in which worship is now held. 
A parochial school was built at the same time, and there is now 
also a commodious and comfortable home for priests and a house 
for the Benedictine sisters. 

Grace M. E. Church. Among the later churches of Moorhead 
is the Grace Methodist Episcopal church, organized about 1882, 
with Dr. Dunn pastor. This church also enjoys the comforts of 


a good building and manse and is very much alive in the interests 
of doing good. 

The Trinity Lutheran Norwegian Church is one of the strong- 
est in the city. It has a fine church building and pastor's home. 
This church was organized in 1882. 

The First Congregational Church is one of the more recently 
organized churches, but is one of the most influential in the city. 
The church is located on Eighth street and Fourth avenue, and 
is a large and handsome building. 

Bethesda Lutheran Church was established in 1880, under the 
guidance of Rev. 0. Cavelin. It has steadily progressed and has 
now an elegant church home and parsonage. 

Besides these churches are two mission churches and a thriving 
Salvation Army. 

Swedish Hospital. 

In connection with the Swedish Lutheran church is the 
Bethesda Hospital, which has been built during the past year at 
a cost of about $50,000. This institution is elegantly equipped 
with all the modern conveniences and is successful under the 
management of the Rev. Nyvall, who retired from his pulpit to 
head this splendid enterprise. The hospital is a three-story, 
cream-brick building, furnished with all the latest improvements 
for hospital purposes. Dr. Nyvall, president and manager. 

Rev. J. A. Nyvoll first came to Moorhead in 1896, from Swe- 
den, where he was educated. He began his first duties by serving 
the State Church of Sweden as superintendent of the public 
schools at Jonkoping. In 1885 he founded the first co-educational 
college ever instituted in Sweden, and served for eight years as 
its president. 

In 1895 he was ordained at Augustana Theological Seminary at 
Rock Island, whence he was called to St. Cloud, where he re- 
mained one year. The congregation of Moorhead then extended 
him a call, and he remained here till 1901. In that year the 
church at Rock Island, 111., requested his services, and he re- 
sponded. In that field he labored for two and a half years, when 
he was recalled by the congregation of the Swedish Lutheran 
church of Moorhead, and by this church he has since been 


From the day of his recall to this city, Rev. Nyvall began the 
wonderful organization work which has done so much for the 
Lutheran faith in this section. At that time the Swedish Lutheran 
church occupied the old High school. Within a short time after 
his arrival the present handsome edifice began building, and it 
was due to his energy and the confidence the people reposed in 
him that it was completed. Having achieved this much, Rev. 
Nyvall, in 1907, began working for a Bethesda Society, and within 
one year thereafter the Northwestern hospital herein shown rose 
as though in a night. He did all the soliciting, he was tireless in 
his labors, and the people of Moorhead owe him a debt which is 

Rev. Nyvall, always an indefatigable worker, has also had 
much newspaper experience. He conducted, in conjunction with 
the late lamented Dr. Carl Svenson, of note of Bethany College, 
Lindsborg, Kan., at Chicago, for three years, the Swedish Lu- 
theran church paper "Fosterlandet," which, interpreted, means 
"The Country of Our Fatherland." 

Rev. Nyvall is sincerely beloved by all who know him. He is 
of that gentle and sunny disposition which impels one to feel 
that he was in reality called to the pulpit. As an organizer he is 
a marvelous man, as his work shows, and as an executive he is 
logical and decisive. As a pastor he is eloquent and is beloved 
by his flock, and as a divine who has brought benevolence and 
the desire for a higher life into our midst he has no peer. 


In the spring of 1872 the village of Glyndon was laid out and 
it soon became a rival of Moorhead in commercial interests, 
though Moorhead had the advantage in having the river trans- 
portation. Glyndon is situated ten miles north of Moorhead, at 
the junction of the Northern Pacific and the original line of the 
Great Northern. 

It was here that the Northern Pacific colonist building, for the 
English colony, was located, and the Yoevil colony, which after- 
ward settled at Hawley, occupied the building for a time. Some 
of the early settlers of the village still make their home in 
Glyndon, among whom are E. D. North and J. D. Buckingham. 



The town of Kurtz, on the Moorhead Southern railroad, is 
quite a shipping point for farm products. It has two elevators 
and general stores, has several fine homes, and surrounded by 
the best land in the valley. 


Hawley, Clay county, is situated on the Northern Pacific rail- 
road, about twenty-two miles east of Moorhead, and has a popu- 
lation of about 700. Its people are a wide-awake, up-to-date 
class, full of enterprise and push. The town has two banks, one 
flour mill, four general stores, two elevators, and four churches. 
Its public schools are splendidly equipped and are of a high 
standard. Hawley is located in the vicinity of excellent farming 
lands and is a centre for farm products for miles around. 

The first election for the purpose of organizing the Village 
of Hawley, was held at the store of "W. Tanner & Company, 
February 5, 1884, according to an order issued by the court of 
the First Judicial District, January 19, 1884, at Duluth, Minn., 
and duly recorded in the office of the clerk of the District Court 
at Moorhead, January 23, 1884. The notice for meeting and or- 
ganizing the village was read by Walter Tanner, one of the 
persons named in the court order for the purpose of calling said 

E. M. Sibley and M. C. Whalley were chosen judges of elec- 
tion. Alexander Gammer, clerk. The first president of the Vil- 
lage Council was Olof H. Smalley; trustees, Hans Rushfeldt, C. 
L. Nicols, Daniel 0. Donnell; recorder, John Castain; treasurer, 
Herbert Glaisyer; justices of the peace, F. M. Cummings and R. 
H. Cass; constable, Syres A. Bilhern. The first council meeting 
was held in the passenger depot, February 9, 1884. The bonds 
of village officers were fixed as follows : Recorder, $100 ; treas- 
urer, $500 ; justice of the peace, $500 ; constable, $300. 

Hawley, Clay county, originally known as Bethel, given by 
the Puget Sound Land Company, first owners of the town site, 
changed afterwards to Hawley, in honor, it is said, of General 
Hawley, one of the original stockholders of the Northern Pacific. 



It is a picturesque village of 800 people, with one of the best agri- 
cultural districts surrounding it. Eglon township, situated south- 
east, is distinguished for its many church buildings and schools, 
all tributary to Hawley. The first settler to arrive with the 
railroad was Daniel O. Donnell, who became section foreman. 
The first white child born in Hawley was his daughter Maggie. 

The first mill was built two miles south of town on the Buf- 
falo river by Trieat Jacobson. At this point the Scandinavian 
colony found their first stopping place, and the hospitality of the 
Jacobsons will always be remembered by those who found shelter 
there until they could shift for themselves. A good hot cup of 
coffee and the pleasant words of Mrs. Jacobson went a long way 
to cheer the weary pioneers in this wilderness. 

The towns of Tansem, Parkes, Eglon, and Skoll, on the south, 
and Highland Grove, Cromwell, and Keen, on the north, have 
some of the pioneers still on their lands, although great changes 
have taken place and new comers are on the farms. 

The first settlement in Hawley was by an English colony in 
1873, comprising Welsh, English, and Scotch, headed by Rev. 
George Rogers, their former pastor in England. Three thousand 
persons had decided to leave the shores of England, but of this 
number only 300 actually came to try their fortunes in the new 
world, being distributed from Wadena through the state, eighty 
being the number to reach Hawley. The latter place was pic- 
tured as a garden of paradise, with no pebbles of any kind, lec- 
tures being delivered along these lines in England. Arriving at 
St. Paul, the colony was entertained by the St. Georges and 
English Club, and there it leaked out at the banquet that Hawley 
would be a disappointment to many. Glyden was praised by the 
lecturers in England, as the greatest of all places. At this point, 
the Northern Pacific railroad had built a reception house 32x160 
feet, two stories high, with large ells for kitchen, where the colony 
was housed. There was a church at Glynden, though undenomi- 
national, now used as a Lutheran church. 

The Union and English speaking people built their own church 
in 1883, and a two-story schoolhouse is still an old landmark. 

The money panic of 1873 and the J. Cooke & Company failure 
caused a great loss, and the grasshopper put the climax on the 


whole, causing many to move away, including the "Red River 
Newspaper," which was conducted from 1872 to 1875, and later 
became the "Fargo Times." Improvements came, however, and 
everything was prosperous until 1886, when fire wiped them out. 
Now Glynden has a population of 200, with a state bank, two 
general stores, one hotel, lumberyard, three grain elevators, a 
graded schoolhouse, blacksmith shops, farm implement house, 
union depot, and the "Red River News," a paper edited by Luther 
Osborne, with Ray Osborne as manager. One feature of this 
prosperous little village is their prettily enclosed park and nice 

When the English colony arrived at Hawley everything was 
primitive and full of sloughs and swamps. The stre'et north of 
the station was a regular lake. Glynden was represented to have 
a daily newspaper contemplated, and that hotel registers showed 
thousands of names. This colony was under charge of J. B. 
Combs, agent for the Northern Pacific railroad, who accompanied 
them from New York, it taking two weeks to make the trip. On 
arrival here, many went to work on the section at $2 per day; 
the railroad fare from St. Paul was five cents per mile. This 
colony was composed of cultured men, used to good living, many 
of whom had brought money with them, only to lose it, while 
many of the poorer class accepted employment on the railroad 
section. They lived here but a few years, and moved to some other 

The Norwegians, used to the far north and understanding 
farming, have withstood the hardships of pioneer life, working 
early and late ; they have prospered and have well improved 
farms and beautiful homes. 

In 1873 they began to arrive with ox teams from southern 
Minnesota and "Wisconsin. 

Wheat raising has now been converted into diversified farm- 
ing, which has brought success to the sturdy Norwegian and 
Swede farmers, who, with their wives, endured the early trials 
and hardships and stood shoulder to shoulder in the fields. 

The dairy has opened a new field in Clay county; two cream- 
eries in 1908 turning out 100,000 pounds of butter. From 1894 to 
1895 land values were placed at $8 to $10 per acre, while in 1909 


the same lands are valued at from $25 to $40 per acre. With the 
development of Clay county, school districts have increased, until 
they rank with many parts of Iowa, Illinois, and Wisconsin, at 
the close of 1908. 

The first schoolhouse, a two-story frame building, was sold 
and moved to Sixth street, Hawley, next to the Herald building. 
This building was replaced by a four-room frame building, which 
was lost by fire in 1896, and was replaced with a more modern 
brick structure, which later was added to, and now a complete 
high school course of four years is taught. This modern high 
school building compares favorably with others in the state, with 
an enrollment of 282 scholars and eight teachers. 

The State Bank of Hawley was organized by Ole Oleson, who 
at once advertised in eastern states the advantages of Clay county, 
and succeeded in bringing in many farmers, and the growth of 
the eastern part of Clay county is largely due to his efforts. 
Statement 411, of the State Bank, November, 1908, shows loans 
and discounts, $155,557.94; total deposits, $196,445.08; capital 
stock, $30,000. H. P. Gunderson, cashier ; E. F. Burlingham, vice- 

The First National Bank was organized in 1905. President, 
J. P. H. Glaisyer; cashier, S. B. Widlund. The capital stock is 
$25,000; surplus, $20,000; deposits, $100,000; cash exchange, 
$23,000. The directors are H. Glaisyer, H. P. Mensing, Andrew 
Johnson, and Edwin Adams. The first attorney came to Hawley 
in 1884; remained in general practice until 1892, then moved to 

The Union Church of Hawley was organized August 4, 1873, 
with twenty-six charter members. The first pastor, Rev. George 
Rogers, remained from August 1, 1873, to December 1, 1874. The 
membership consisted of Episcopalians, Baptists, Congregation- 
alists, Methodists, Plymouth Brethren, and Presbyterians. Resi- 
dent members in 1909, forty-seven males, thirteen females, thirty- 
four non-resident members, and twenty-six families connected 
with the congregation ; thirty meeting houses were built in 1887, 
and the parsonage erected in 1879-80. The pastor, since Septem- 
ber, 1907, has been Herbert J. Taylor ; salary of $700 ; parsonage 
free; value of buildings and lots, $3,500. Services are held each 



Sunday at 10 :45 a. m. and 7 :30 p. m. Sunday school at 12 m., 
with an enrollment of sixty scholars and six teachers. 

Sabin, the center of the Clay county potato belt, is a thriving 
little town on the Great Northern. It has the usual stores and 
bank, and its land sells at a higher price than that of any inland 
town in the county. 

Georgetown, sixteen miles from the county seat, was reorgan- 
ized in '64, after the Indian outbreak had subsided, and this is 
or has been the home of some of Clay county's oldest settlers; 
has two general stores, one bank, hotel, two churches, two ele- 
vators. Situated on the Moorhead Northern railway. 


Barnesville was established in 1874 and is now an incorporated 
city. It is situated on the northern division of the Great Northern 
railroad, and the shops being located here gives employment to 
a large force of men. Barnesville owns its own telephone and 
electric light plant and is in every respect a thriving young city. 
Its business men are energetic and enterprising. It is well sup- 
plied with churches and schools and is an important factor in 
county affairs. 

Located in the south-central part of Clay county, is surrounded 
by a thriving farming community. The Great Northern railroad 
has their repair shops here and employ about 100 skilled me- 
chanics. Barnesville is also a division point of this road. When 
the line of the old St. Paul & Pacific railroad, now a part of the 
Great Northern system, was constructed through Breckenridge, 
then came the birth of Barnesville, named after George S. Barnes, 
of Fargo, formerly of Glynden township, who began the selling 
of merchandise and buying of wheat in 1874. Farmers came from 
the other side of Fergus Falls, hauling their grain with ox teams. 
They often had to wait several days to unload, the rush being 
so great. About 40,000 bushels of wheat was loaded and shipped 
to Duluth the first year. 

Among the early settlers in the late seventies were John 
Marth, Frank Mackenroth, J. A. Kargas, John Janneek, and John 
Utterbery, all of whom arrived during 1872 to 1878. In 1879 



came M. McDunn, John McGrath, Dennis F. McGrath, D. "W, 
Tulley, John Tulley, L. H. Baker, and Frank Bumgardner. 

In November, 1881, the northeast quarter Section 25, south 
half of southeast quarter Section 24, Township of Barnesville, and 
the west half of northwest quarter of Section 30, Township of 
Humboldt were incorporated as the Village of Barnesville, and 
on November 30, this year, the first election was held, and the 
following officers elected: L. H. Colby, president; John Marth, 
John Yager, and M. McDunn, trustees ; John Utterbery, treasurer ; 
M. P. Phillippi, recorder; P. E. Thompson, justice. In 1885 came 
a movement for the incorporation to include part of Sections 30 
and 31, Humboldt township, and the southeast quarter Section 
25, Barnesville township. At a special election, held January 11, 
1886, at Knoll's hotel, the proposition was unanimously carried. 
At the village election, held in March of this year, C. C. Pensonby 
was elected president; Joseph Collinson, F. D. Bell, and George 
Perkins were elected trustees; James Eyan, recorder; G. D. Mc- 
Cubsey, treasurer; Frank Mackinroth and J. Paterson, justices. 
Considerable strife arose between the old and new governments, 
and in 1889 the two factions united in a movement to incorporate 
as a city, and accordingly a committee was appointed to draft 
a bill for the purpose. Officers were named as follows: John 
McGrath, acting mayor; C. C. Pensonby, city clerk; Dennis F, 
McGrath, treasurer; J. G. Tweeton, assessor; Dr. Patterson, phy. 
sician; G. D. McCubsey and H. B. Davis, justices. The "Review," 
now the "Eecord, " was named as the official newspaper. At a 
later meeting F. H. Paterson was appointed city attorney. 

The present city has a population of 1,500 ; is a thriving place 
with three up-to-date department stores, two hardware and two 
drug stores, two attorneys, several physicians, two photograph 
studios, two jewelers, five elevators, two barber shops, two meat 
markets, two hotels, three restaurants, bakery, livery stables, and 
a first class lunch room at the depot. The newspaper edited by 
J. B. Woollan, known as the "Eecorder Review," has a circula- 
tion of 1,300. The old store buildings have been replaced with 
modern brick blocks. 

The city owns its own electric light plant and water works. 
The well organized fire department, with its steam fire engine, 


affords ample fire protection. The first school district, including 
the towns of Barnesville, Humboldt, Elmwood, and Elkton, was 
organized in 1880 and was known as District 17. In 1886 District 
No. 60 was formed out of that part of District 17 which was lo- 
cated in the village of Barnesville. A new schoolhouse was built 
and opened in November of this year. Finally, in 1890, these 
schools were placed under an independent district, and Thomas 
Torson elected principal. 


In 1891 a Catholic Parochial school was started under the 
Benedictine Sisters. The first church services were held at the 
residence of M. McDunn, and later services were held in the 
schoolhouse a priest from Moorhead officiated. The first church, 
a frame building, was later replaced by a modern brick-trimmed 
structure, costing $25,000. 

German Evangelical Lutheran church was organized in 1881. 
The building was erected in 1886. 

Congregational church. In 1884 the first Congregational 
church held their first services in Hawley, and in 1885 a new 
church building was erected on lots donated by P. E. Thompson. 

Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran church was organized 
April 7, 1889. Their fine church was erected on lots which were 
also donated by P. E. Thompson. 

Methodist Episcopal church first held services in the Perkins 
block, but since the fall of 1885, when their church edifice was 
completed, services have been held in this building. 


Ulen, a village situated in the northern tier of the county. It 
is a busy little place, well represented by business men, banks, 
stores, and elevators, and owns its own electric light plant and 
telephone system. It has good schools and supplied with churches, 
and is up-to-date in every way. 

Ulen was named in honor of Ole Ulen, a prominent pioneer 
of this section. It is a city of between five and six hundred peo- 
ple, and is pleasantly situated in the midst of a splendid farming 
country ; the people of the town and surrounding country are of a 


high class, industrious and progressive. The town is well located 
on the main line of the Northern Pacific railroad. Its official ex- 
istence began on the 2d of December, 1896, when the first council 
meeting was held with the following officers: A. T. Austinsen, 
president of the village; H. S. Moebeck, H. G. Dutoff, and J. T. 
Johnston, trustees ; C. P. Paulson, recorder ; O. A. Anderson, treas- 
urer ; T. C. Froig, street commissioner ; M. E. Todd, justice of the 
peace, and A. 0. Milhen, constable. 

The religious and educational needs of the city are provided 
for by three well supported churches, which are written of in 
another article. The school building is of modern construction, 
of five rooms, with all appliances, and a full equipment of schol- 
ars, who are supplied with all of the conveniences which go to 
make school days pleasant and profitable. The first teachers in 
the village were Ida Irish and Clara Prior. 

An up-to-date flouring mill is one of the chief industries of 
the city, with a daily capacity of sixty barrels, with Mr. Charles 
Kunkel as the proprietor. 

There is a co-operative creamery, which is also in successful 
operation, owned by over forty of the enterprising farmers of 
the vicinity. They manufacture a gilt-edge product which finds 
a ready market. 

Four general stores well stocked with all the necessaries of 
life and many of the luxuries. In addition to these, there is a 
large hardware store, a drug store, a harness shop, and a neat 
and clean meat market; a first class barber shop, with baths, is 
also an addition to the personal appearance of the citizens, while 
the traveler finds rest and the best of accommodations at the 
Orient Hotel, of which Mr. Joseph McDonald is the presiding 
angel. John McDonald conducts a first class livery barn, where 
good rigs are always to be had on short notice. A large and well 
arranged lumber yard, stocked with all kinds of building material, 
goes to show that the people are constantly adding more improve- 
ments to an already well improved country. The banking inter- 
ests are well conserved by the safe and reliable First National 
Bank of Ulen, with cash capital of $25,000. Four large elevators 
are required to handle the grain shipments, and during the busy 
season they are surely in a state of activity. 


The general welfare of the city and surrounding country is 
looked after at all times, through prosperity and adversity alike, 
by the bright and newsy "Ulen Union," the town newspaper. 


The Lutheran Church of Ulen, known originally as Halling- 
dahl's Norwegian Evangelical church, south branch, was organ- 
ized by Kev. P. A. Nykreim in 1879. The charter members were 
Ole Ulen, Peter Sliper, K. Jeitryg, G. Wasfaret, Lars Mellum, 
Elling Wang, and Elias Rost. Services were first held in farm 
houses divided between the members, until 1883, when a church 
building twenty-four by thirty was erected on a two-acre lot, 
which was partly donated and partly purchased by Arne Evean- 
son, who had purchased the Ole Ulen farm and became a member 
of the congregation. This building was erected near the river, 
located about one mile from the village of Ulen. 

Rev. Berg succeeded Rev. O. K. Veium, remaining two years, 
when Rev. Nykreim again took charge. He also attended the 
missions of Twin Valley, Garry, Waukan, and Flom, which was 
known as "Emanuel's congregation." During the latter 's serv- 
ices, the membership was increased to such an extent that a new 
and larger building was necessary, which was decided upon in 
1889, and accordingly the old church was sold to B. H. Jeld for 
$150. Rev. Veium resigned in 1893 and was succeeded by Rev. 
Larson, who served but a short time, and was in turn succeeded 
by Rev. Langhang, who served two years, and Rev. Strass, two 
years. The latter pastor 's mission was divided ; one call was Ulen 
and Twin Valley, and two congregations at Flom. Gary and 
Waukan called Rev. Esletson and Rev. I. B. A. Dale, of Ulen. 

The Ulen Evangelical Norwegian Church, in 1890, was at- 
tached to conference and became united to the United Lutheran 
church of America. Rev. S. M. T. Nykreim was honored as a 
delegate to yearly meetings. In 1893 the congregation was incor- 
porated under the state laws of Minnesota. 

The Ulen church was dedicated in 1904 by Rev. T. H. Dahl, 
formerly of the United church of America. In the fall of 1904, 
he resigned and was succeeded by Rev. A. L. Huns, who is the 
present pastor. The congregation consists of eighty members. 


The Synod Lutheran Church. On April 13, 1887, it was de- 
cided and resolutions adopted toward the building of a church 
twenty-four by twenty-eight, and $380 was subscribed. At that 
meeting, Nils W. Wiger and Helge Klemmetson were elected as 
a committee on subscriptions. May 19, 1887, the building com- 
mittee elected consisted of the following members : Nils Wiger, 
Ole Oleson, and Halvor Burtness. The first trustees were Halvor 
Burtness, Ellin g Kefferdal, and Nils Hanson. The charter mem- 
bers were Halvor Burtness, Ole Asleson, Nils N. Wiger, Elling 
Kepperdal, Nils Hanson, Bjorn Hendrickson, Helge Klemmetson, 
Elling Klemmetson, and John Gratton. Rev. Bjorge officiated. 
December 8, 1896, the church was incorporated under the laws of 
the constitution of the Wisconsin Synod. 

Comstock, situated on the Great Northern railroad, sixteen 
miles south of Moorhead, has three elevators, potato house, two 
stores, two churches, and the most complete blacksmith shop be- 
tween Minneapolis and Moorhead; has schoolhouse, hotel, livery, 
butcher shop, restaurant, and boarding house; branch office of 
Charles E. Lewis & Co. commission house; has about 300 inhab- 
itants ; some fine residences. About 175,000 bushels of grain were 
handled at this point this year; sixty-five carloads of potatoes 
shipped from here this year. The farmers generally are well fixed 
financially, and in addition to their successful farming, they are 
getting into stock raising. David Askegaard ships about $4,000 
worth of hogs a year. Mr. Ashegaard is the big farmer in this 
section. About 35,000 acres of land are cultivated and devoted to 
raising grain. There are also a great many potatoes shipped from 
here, and Comstock is the headquarters for the Comstock Holy 
Cross Farms Mutual Fire Insurance Company, which has in force 
over $1,149,000. 

\V. H. DAVY 


Marshall county, Minnesota, was organized in 1879. The first 
board of county commissioners, appointed by Governor Pillsbury, 
was composed of the following gentlemen: H. M. Craig, chair- 
man ; William A. Wallace, and Edwin S. Radcliffe. 

The first regularly elected commissioners were : First district, 
Albert P. Mclntyre, chairman; Second district, D. F. Kye, and 
from the Third district, Alfred Diamond. The following other 
county officers were also elected: Sheriff, Willis T. Lockery, 
under bond of $5,000; William A. Wallace, treasurer, bond of 
$2,000 ; register of deeds, Thomas R. Craig, bond of $5,000 ; county 
auditor, O. Taylor, bond of $2,000 ; judge of Probate Court, John 
W. Slee, under bond of $1,000; court commissioner, A. E. Flint, 
bond of $2,000; county surveyor, E. Whitney; county superin- 
tendent of schools, James Brown, whose first yearly salary was 
$75. First clerk of the District Court was James P. Nelson, whose 
bond was $1,000. 

In 1878 a branch of the St. Paul and Pacific railway, which 
was at that time in the hands of a receiver, and later became the 
St. P. N. & M. R. R., which was leased by James J. Hill, and which 
is now owned and controlled by the Great Northern system, and 
is their main line from Winnipeg to the Twin Cities, was extended 
to Warren. The first train to arrive was in the latter part of 
August, 1878, and the first regular train from Emerson to Crooks- 
ton was run in November of the same year. The question of a 
depot was one of importance to the residents of Warren, and 
when it became known that the railroad company intended to 
erect their depot one mile away from Warren, Mr. Albert P. 
Mclntyre, the father of many moves in the organization of the 
county, was consulted, and later was appointed as a committee 
of one to wait on the railroad officials. 



Mr. Mclntyre got down to business at once, and told these 
officials that the business of Warren was going to be conducted 
right there, and not a mile away. When Mr. Mclntyre undertook 
to do anything he generally accomplished his purpose, and so in 
this case was he successful, for the very next morning a gang of 
men were sent to build the station, which started in 1878 and was 
completed in 1879. 

The records show the following business to have been trans- 
acted by the commissioners : April 20, 1879, the resignation of 
W. H. Gilbert as sheriff was tendered and accepted, A. P. Mcln- 
tyre being appointed to fill the vacancy. April 30, 1879, papers 
from the state auditor relating to School Section 36, Town 155, 
Range 48, were taken up, and Edwin R. Ross appointed for the 
First district and James B. Titus for the Second district. Janu- 
ary 6, 1880, A. P. Mclntyre was appointed assessor and road 
master of District No. 1, and George Foresythe to the same office 
of District No. 2. Bonds of W. Lockey for sheriff were examined 
and approved, and a salary of $75 per annum was voted for 
county superintendent of schools. 

January 7, 1880, roads were laid out as follows : School Dis- 
trict No. 2, southwest corner Section 34, Town 155, Range 48, 
thence northwest corner Section 22, same town and range, thence 
east to the northeast corner of Section 21, Range 47, thence south 
to the southeast corner of Section 33, same town and Range 47, 
thence west to the starting point. At a special meeting, held 
March 16, 1880, those present were Christopher Anderson and 
A. P. Mclntyre. A. P. Mclntyre was appointed to fill a vacancy 
instead of H. U. Craig. 

A special meeting was held February 8, 1881, to organize 
Township 155, Range 46, which was adopted as Comstock, and 
the following officers were duly elected: three supervisors, town 
clerk, treasurer, assessor, two justices of the peace, and two con- 
stables. Judges of election, Peter Rutz, Frank Zedikers, and 
Frank Lull; clerk, Fred Tript. 

County roads were laid out between Sections 34 and 35, Town 
155, Range 48, running north on section line, intersecting the 
right of way of the St. P. M. M. R. R. ; thence on the west side of 
right of way, through the town of Middle River and Tamarac, to 


the north line of Section 8, of Tamarac; thence northeast across 
the railroad track to a point on Tamarac river, about thirty-five 
rods east of the center of said railway right of way, to the bridge 
on Section 5, crossing said river, intersecting said right of way 
of the railway; thence north on the east side of the railroad, to 
the north line of the county. Located a county line road, com- 
mencing at the northeast corner of Section 36, Town 155, Range 
48, running west through said town. 

The following resolution was passed: Resolved, That we ask 
Mr. Sampson, the first legislator of Marshall county, to introduce 
a bill to bond Marshall county for $3,000, for the purpose of fund- 
ing bridge indebtedness. 

A special meeting was held March 15, 1881, for the opening 
of another road from the Red River town line, between Towns 
155 and 156, Range 50. At the same meeting School District No. 
4 was organized. In 1882 the liquor license was fixed at $100. 

First Grand Jurors of Marshall County. 

The first grand jurors of Marshall county were : R. Whitney, 
John Pile, Joseph Parsor, John Sinery, Michael McCullough, Ole 
Johnson, Bernard Nelson, "W. A. Wallace, Tuff Remillard, James 
Headrick, John Barry. William Barry, Tom Stewart, Joseph Far- 
rin, Thomas Guroin, Patrick Deinpsey, Thomas Connors, Richard 
Hurst, John Flanzran, Ezra Cook. P. Jarvis, Henry O'Shay, Peter 
Dolgren, Henry Kye. W. Carrese, Henry Stutts, Peter Olson, Peter 
Tell, Michael Germain, Michael Lesslie, Peter Rutz, A. W. Shorey, 
Mark Stevens, Frank Smith, C. M. Johnson, Bent Johnson, James 
Ellis, John Nelson, A. N. Jarrisen ; James P. Nel&on, district clerk. 

First marriage in Marshall county was between Charles Wen- 
zel, of Prussia, and Mrs. Emma Smith, a native of Switzerland, 
widow of Peter Smith. 

The first white boy born in the county was Roy Rossman, in 
1880, and the first white girl was Winnie McCrea, in 1880. 

The first brick manufactured in Marshall county was manu- 
factured by August Lundgren. on the southwest quarter of Sec- 
tion 36, Town of Warrenton, Range 48, which is now on the city 
plot and known as Lundgrens' Addition to Warren. The annual 


output is about 1,000,000. The first brick building erected in the 
county from this home product was the Bank of Warren, in 1883. 

Organization of Townships. 

The organization of townships in Marshall county began Octo- 
ber 14, 1879, when Middle River township was organized, with 
E. Blum as chairman and H. Bergner as clerk. During the same 
year townships of Tamarac and Wallace, afterwards changed to 
Warrenton, commenced their official existence, with Nath M. 
Hanson and C. W. Abrahamson as chairman, and John H. Merdink 
and John L. Dalguist, as clerks of the above townships. 

In 1881, Comstock township, with Charles Patrick, chairman, 
and Joseph McGregor, clerk, was organized. 

Five townships were started on their career during 1882, 
McCrea having as her guiding officials, John Backlin and Syoer 
Knutson ; Wanger, Olof Hvidsten and Charles Wilen, as chairman 
and clerk; Bloomer was represented by Charles Strandberg and 
Charles U. Dundas ; Alma, with Charles Hant and Alfred E. Ho- 
kanson; and Big Woods by Robert Tell and 0. Enge. 

' In the year 1883, the townships of Oak Park, Vega, Foldahl, 
and Sinnott were organized, with the following named gentlemen 
as chairmen and clerks, in order named: L. T. Rykken, Charles 
E. Wesberg, Armund Johnston, and John W. Swanson, chairmen, 
and J. H. Wang, Carl W. Rodquist, John E. Hauger, and John 
Harper, as clerks. 

During 1884, the following eleven townships were launched, 
and guided on their first voyage by the gentlemen whose names 
follow : Excil, John Simonson and John Whitman ; Viking, Peter 
Erickson and H. C. Hanson; Marsh Grove, A. C. Gast and Sam 
Goplin ; West Valley, August 0. Rokke and Abe Anderson ; Box- 
ville, John Skurdahl and Nels Messelt ; Augsburg, A. B. Isaacson 
and H. Hoper, Jr. ; Nelson Park, N. C. Rood and Charles Kongs- 
vig; Parker, C. K. Fodnes and C. Wise; Newfolden, Brede Swend- 
sen and N. Skaug; Wright, Peter Gajeski and John Gratzek; New 
Solum, H. A. Silverness and Olof Opseth ; Spruce Valley, with H. 
L. Kirby, chairman, and L. Johnston, clerk, dates from 1888. Holt 
and Eagle townships, organized in 1890, H. O. Ekerdalen and Gust 
Johnston, chairmen ; Halfdan Hanson and August Low, clerks. 


Lincoln and Cedar date from 1892, R. Nelson and William Koepp, 
first chairmen; Lars Nelson and Otto Krang, clerks. Donnelly, 
in 1895, J. H. Melophny and Charles Ramiller, first officials. 

, In 1896 Thief Lake Fork and East Valley began as townships, 
Tolly Skomstad, J. Ames, and E. A. Johnston, chairmen, and 
Charles J. Berg, J. P. Lein, and J. A. Soem, clerks. Grand Plain 
started in 1898, chairman and clerk, H. Roller and N. Bundhund ; 
Rollis and East Park, with H. C. Nasoseth and R. Lund, chairmen, 
and Ellis P. Fugoosand and Nels J. Sunberg, clerks, came into the 
fold in 1899. 

1900 saw the beginning of New Main, Valley, and Como town- 
ships; C. C. Tyler, Oscar R. Nelson, and Enok Skramsand, chair- 
men ; Knute Knuteson, Otto Hotener, and C. Larmoe, clerks. 1901 
saw the beginning of Eckvoll township ; Simon T. Rue and Charles 
Gerber, chairman and clerk. In 1902 Huntley, Velt, Agder, and 
Moylan were organized ; S. F. Hoff, Carl S. Rud, Silas Torgerson, 
and P. A. Johnston being the choice for chairmen, and John John- 
ston, T. C. Johnston, A. J. Hustoolt, and Knut Rogness, clerks. 

In 1903 Espellie was added to the list, followed by Moose 
River in 1904, the chairmen in order being L. J. Tenold and Amos 
Aas; clerks, Paul F. Sund and N. N. Nilson. 

County Officers of Marshall County. 

August G. Lundgrene, county auditor; E. Dagsberg, county 
treasurer; Carl Hanson, register of deeds; A. C. Swanby, clerk 
of district court; Peter H. Holm, probate judge; William Fors- 
berg, sheriff; W. J. Brown, county attorney; L. M. Mittun, super- 
intendent of schools; Jacob Biederman, coroner; J. R. Mack, 
surveyor. County board : C. Wirrensten, First district ; Peter 
Wordlund, Second district ; Frank A. Green, Third district ; L. P. 
Brandstrom, Fourth district, and John A. Sorum, Fifth district. 

The assessed valuation for the county for 1908 was $6,573,442. 

Taxes Levied for County Purposes. 

County general $29,843.43 

Road and bridge 6,573.50 

Interest and bonds 1,511.90 

Total levy $37,928.83 


The population of the county has increased from 992, in 1880, 
to 17,757 in 1905 ; this has been a permanent and natural increase 
no boom on speculation. 

District Judges. 

The following are the judges of the District Court since its 
organization, with their terms of service : 

O. P. Sterans, now of Duluth, was the first judge, and held 
the office from April 23, 1874, to 1894. His associate was R. 
Reynolds, who served from March 19, 1875, to January 14, 1887. 
Ira B. Mills came to the bench March 8, 1887, and served till 
January, 1893. Frank Ives, from January, 1893, to 1899. Will- 
iam Watts, of Polk county, took his seat on the bench January 3, 
1899, and his term of office expires in January, 1911. On March 
24, 1903, Andrew Grindeland was appointed as judge of this 
judicial district, and in 1904 was elected for a term of seven years. 


The district clerks since the organization of the county have 
been as follows : 

James P. Nelson, 1879; A. B. Nelson succeeded his father, J. 
P. Nelson, and was in turn succeeded by P. B. Malberg, W. A. 
Case, T. Morde, and A. C. Swanby, who is the present clerk. The 
first taxes paid in the county were by Lewis Fletcher, in 1879, on 
the northeast quarter and west half of the northwest quarter and 
the northwest quarter of the southeast half of lots 3-4-5 and 6, 
Section 8, Town 155, Range 50, consisting of 152.25 and 161.35 
acres, valued at $913.50 and $968.10. Frank M. Smith, county 
treasurer; A. P. Mclntyre, deputy. 

On December 20, 1879, a special meeting was held to consider 
the bonds of J. W. Slee, probate judge, and Thomas R. Craig, 
first register of deeds. Both bonds were approved. At the same 
meeting an appropriation of $300 was made for the first county 
building. This building was a one-story, one-room, and is now 
used by W. F. Powell & Co. as a machinery shed. The second 
county building was erected at a cost of $5,000, was two stories 
high, and was in use till destroyed by fire. 

The present county building, with the sheriff's residence and 


jail, was erected in 1899, at a cost of $50,000, and is a handsome 
and modern building throughout. 

Michael McCullough, better and familiarly known as Tamarac 
Mac, was the first settler who remained on his homestead, which 
was located on Section 1, Town of Stephen 157, Range 48. He 
arrived in this county in 1872, and filed on his homestead May 6, 
1879. There were others who filed ahead of him, but abandoned 
their claims on account of the railroads leaving there at that time. 

Tamarac Mac was quite a character, a great trapper and 
hunter. The country was full of game, large and small; elk, 
deer, and occasionally bear, roamed the prairies. Prairie chickens 
were in abundance, so thick that the settlers could shoot them in 
any direction from their dug-outs and claims. 

Tamarac Mac made trips to Crookston, Grand Forks, and as 
far as Fargo and Moorhead for provisions, making the journey 
with oxen, taking about a week for a trip. The story is told of 
this pioneer starting on one of his perilous trips ; he was caught 
in a heavy blizzard about two or three miles out. Blinded by the 
storm that was raging at the time, he took hold of the oxen's 
tail which was leading, and served as his only guide to safety. 
Landing near the cabin of another pioneer, Charles Wenzel, 
Charley and Mac being close friends, he sheltered him and his 
noble oxen. This story was told by his rescuer, Charles Wenzel. 
Tamarac Mac lived on his homestead until he died. He was the 
first to raise a crop of wheat in the county. 

Henry McCollough filed May 6, 1879, on a homestead in the 
same section as Michael, the same town and range, which is re- 
corded in the United States land office at Crookston. 

The next settler was Charles Wenzel, who settled on the border 
of Marshall county, which was then a strip of Polk county. His 
homestead was located on the south half of northwest lots 3 and 
4, Section 1, Township 154, Range 48 ; the date of his settling was 
June 2, 1874. September of the same year Mr. Wenzel made a 
statement on his claim, and on November 8, 1882, record shows 
he made final proof. 

Those who settled in 1878 and '79, on Section 32, Town 155, 
Range 47, are as follows : 

Frank M. Smith filed June 10, 1878, entire northeast quarter 



Section 32 ; W. A. Wallace, March 28, 1878 ; on February 20, 1879, 
Albert P. Mclntyre filed on the northwest quarter ; March 4, 1879, 
James B. Titus filed on the southwest quarter. 

Charles Wenzel, who located in the town of Tarley, Polk 
county, on the border of Marshall county, is a native of Prussia, 
arriving in the city of Quebec, Canada, in June, 1863; a black- 
smith by trade. He moved from Quebec to Michigan, near the 
city of Detroit. Thence to Wisconsin ; in 1870 to Lake Superior ; 
from there to Brainerd, Minn. ; thence to Crookston, in 1872, and 
in 1874 settled on his homestead as above mentioned. 

He broke up his land with oxen, but his first year was spent 
in trapping and hunting, and he has seen as high as twenty-five 
and thirty elk in a herd, eighty rods from where the town of 
Warren is now located. 

Mr. Wenzel first built a log shanty, sixteen by eighteen, lived 
there until 1878, when the country began to settle up. Mr. Smith 
and Mr. Mclntyre were his neighbors. Later on he built another 
log house, using his first for a barn. In 1880 he attached a frame 
house, fourteen by sixteen, where he lived until 1896, when he 
platted his north eighty in town lots, selling the site of the City 
park to the city of Warren, now known as Island park. At that 
time he formed a partnership with Judge A. Grindeland, under 
the firm name of Grindeland & Wenzel. That year he moved to 
the south half of his homestead and erected a good frame house, 
sixteen by forty, where he now enjoys the comforts of life. His 
house is nicely located, overlooking the city. A foot bridge across 
the river to Island park takes us direct to his pleasant home on 
the hill. 

Public Schools of Marshall County, Minnesota. 

The first school district was organized December 23, 1879, at 
Stephen. The first regular school taught in a school building, 
with regular desks and equipment, was opened in the village of 
Warren. This building, size twenty by forty, a frame, first 
erected in Marshall county, under the supervision of the first 
elected board of county commissioners, with their able chairman, 
Albert P. Mclntyre, the pioneer, a man of executive ability and 



forethought. This building was ordered built by contractor, ~W. 
H. Gilbert. The first teacher was Miss Ella Davies, succeeded by 
James M. Brown. Those two were the first to leave their impress. 

As the population increased a large and more modern brick 
building was constructed on the site of the present high school; 
it was a four-room structure. The frame schoolhouse was after- 
wards used as a place of worship for all denominations. 

The first minister to preach in that building was a Methodist. 
They held regular services there until 1883. This building was 
also the first church home of the Congregation of the Swedish 
Lutheran church, who after a time purchased it, and remained 
there until they moved into their beautiful brick church, which 
is an ornament to Warren. In 1909 we find this old schoolhouse 
used as a warehouse. 

The second schoolhouse in Warren was a four-room brick 
building erected in 1883. This was succeeded by an eight-room 
brick structure, and modern with good office, etc. 

In 1895, when a modern High School building was erected 
under the supervision of the following school board : K. J. Taral- 
seth, chairman ; J. P. Mattson, clerk ; Dr. G. S. Wattam, L. Lam- 
berson. A. Grindeland, W. N. Powell. The old building was torn 
down, and the brick utilized for the filling in of the New High 
School building. The school contained 8 rooms, and an office. 
The Washington School was next erected in 1904. 

Both schools are sanitary, and well ventilated. The cost of 
both buildings and site was $35,000, seats and desks $1,250, 
school apparatus $500, libraries $1000; total $37,750. The num- 
ber of present teachers is fifteen. Geo. E. Kennan, superintend- 
ent. Miss May C. Fluke, principal. 

This school teaches a complete high school course, including 
manual training under A. M. Foker. Domestic science department 
under special instructor Miss Emogene Cummings. Enrollment 
in 1904, 504 pupils. Graduates in 1908, seven girls and five boys. 
The school board in 1909 is as follows: John P. Mattson, chair- 
man ; W. N. Powell, clerk ; Dr. G. S. Wattam, W. F. Powell, C. E. 
Lundquist, C. A. Tuller. The first Rural School District was or- 
ganized March 15th, 1880. The High Schools in the village of 


Marshall County are: Arguyle High School, E. C. Stackman, 
Supt., Minerva Scheichting, Principal, and five other teachers; 
Stevens High School, E. A. Williams, Supt., and seven teachers. 
In the villages as follows are semi graded schools : Newf olden. 
Middle River, Oslo, Alvarado. Total enrollment in three inde- 
pendent districts including Warren, 1005 pupils, common school 
district, 3563 pupils. The first county superintendent of Mar- 
shall county was James M. Brown, who was the second to teach 
in first frame school-house already mentioned. 

School Statistics in 1909. 

There are over 100 libraries in the county, 50 are arranged 
with modern ventilation; 136 school districts, 160 school-houses, 
40 first grade teachers, 115 second grade teachers in rural dis- 
tricts. The present superintendent commenced his work Jan- 
uary 1, 1904. On his first official tour through the rural districts 
he reports but six libraries, one first grade teacher, Willie Green, 
son of the present county commissioner, F. A. Green, fifty* sec- 
ond grade teachers in 1904, with not a single ventilating system 
in vogue that year. Not a single school had drawn any state aid 
in Marshall county in 1904, but in 1909 receiving about $5,000 
special state aid for rural schools. Improvements have likewise 
been made, and equipment of globes, maps, supplementary read- 
ing materials, reference books, and general equipments installed. 

In 1904 not a school officer or teacher was recorded. Since 
Superintendent Mithun took charge, he has formed an alliance 
between the school officers and teachers, where they could meet, 
and discuss the best methods of educating the children, holding 
conventions at different parts of the county up to 1909. We 
find from six to eight conventions, both teachers and officers. 
The first year Superintendent Mithun called a school officers' 
meeting at Warren, the county seat, there were present fifteen 
members and about the same number of teachers. In 1909 at a 
similar convention about 300 teachers were present, a splendid 
program was rendered, and Education the topic of conversation ; 
an enjoyable time was spent and a closer fellowship brought 
about between officers and teachers. 


City of Warren, Minnesota. 

J. P. Mattson. 

Warren, loveliest "city of the plain, with a population of 
2000, where health and plenty cheer the laboring swain," is 
situated on the timber-fringed banks of the tortuous stream 
known as Snake river, in Marshall county, Minnesota. There it 
lies snugly nestled in a calm, peaceful and homelike bend of the 
river, in the very heart of the Red River valley; a region famed 
as the "bread basket" and the butter bowl of the world. No 
wonder that a spot so charmingly situated should be chosen by 
the first settlers in these parts as an ideal place for home, nor 
that afterwards it was chosen as the site for a town destined 
to play an important part in the development of the whole north- 
western part of the state. 

The first settler in Warren was Charles Wentzel, a sturdy 
German farmer, hunter, trapper, and frontiersman. He first 
visited the country in 1872, but his residence dates from June 1, 
1874, as on that day he arrived from Crookston with gun and 
traps, and established his camp on the river bank near the present 
Soo railway bridge. He employed himself at hunting and trap- 
ping in the counties of Marshall and Kittson. Game was very 
plentiful in those days, moose and deer often visited him in 
his cabin, prairie chickens swarmed everywhere and there were 
no game wardens anywhere to interfere. 

During several years Mr. Wentzel remained monarch of all 
he surveyed, and his right there was none to dispute, but in 
1877, a number of spies came through to find out the lay of the 
land. Among those who that year visited Mr. Wentzel in his 
cabin was James P. Nelson of Eau Claire, Wis., who, as the 
representative of a number of Eau Claire capitalists, came to 
select a large tract of land for a "bonanza" farm. He picked 
out the lands of the Pembina farm adjoining the city. Many 
others came to see the country, and found it a land "flowing 
with milk and honey." In the spring of 1878 they all came back, 
bringing many other settlers with them. James P. Nelson 


arrived with a crew of men and teams to break up the Pembina 
farm. The trip from Crookston was made over-land, and re- 
quired many days. Their camp was established on the river 
bank in the rear of the present residences of A. B. Nelson and 
G. 0. Cross. Soon afterwards were selected the lands of the 
Snake River farm owned by F. W. Woodward, of Eau Claire, 
Wis., and Pratt of New York, the March and Spaulding farm, 
owned by S. A. March, of Minneapolis, and P. Frost Spaulding, 
of Poughkeepsie, , N. Y., and the "Irish farm," owned by 
Honorable C. M. Ramsay. 

The St. Vincent extension of the railroad north from Crooks- 
ton had been begun some years previous and the iron laid as 
far as within two miles of Snake river. Afterwards the track 
was torn up and the rails used in building the line from Crooks- 
ton to Fisher's Landing. In 1877 the receivers of the old St. 
Paul & Pacific railway resumed construction work in order to 
save the road's land grant, and by August, 1878, the road was 
completed and trains running to Warren, and by November 
through freight and passenger trains were run clear to Winni- 
peg. A water tank and pumphouse was built near the railway 
bridge, the pumphouse serving also as depot until the company 
erected a building for that purposce a year or two later. The 
old section house, still standing, served as a railroad eating 
house and was run by a man named W. H. Gilbert, both north 
and southbound trains stopping there for dinner, sometimes 
as many as 250 people being fed there at a meal. 

With the completion of the railroad came a rush of settlers 
eager to occupy the fertile lands that lay on either side lands 
that had laid dormant since the icy waters of ancient Lake 
Agassiz, receded and left an alluvial deposit which in fertility 
rivals the famous valley of the Nile. Now these broad prairies, 
covered with a most luxurious growth of grass was to be occu- 
pied and made use of by men. 

The years 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1882 may rightly be 
termed the period of settlement, as in those years nearly all the 
free government lands were settled. From all parts of the United 
States came the enterprising and energetic American, the hardy 
Canadian came, the industrious and frugal Swedes and Nor- 


wegians, the steady Germans, the hard-working Ccechs, the 
sturdy Britons and Scots, and just enough Irish to hold the 
offices all came here in compliance with God's injunction to 
our first parents, "to multiply and replenish the earth and to 
subdue it." Most of the settlers were either young men or young 
women, or newly married couples all with hearts full of hope 
and courage, and determined to carve for themselves homes and 
a future in this new land of opportunity. 

As the country filled up with settlers the need of a trading 
point became felt. A postoffice was established with A. T. Minor 
as postmaster. The postoffice and the infant village was first 
named Farley, a name which was changed to the euphoneous 
Warren, in honor of general superintendent of the railroad at 
that time. 

Only two or three families besides Mr. Wentzel spent the 
winter of 1878-79 on the present site of Warren. Early in the 
spring stores were started by Johnson, Allen & Co., and McCrea 
Bros., besides other business enterprises. A small hotel now 
forming part of the present Lyon House was run by A. T. Minor. 

The spring of 1879 brought all those who had filed on claims 
the previous year, besides many others. Among those who came 
that spring were Mr. and Mrs. A. K. Mclntyre, who had a home- 
stead two miles up the river. Their log house, which is still 
standing and occupied, was built by that master carpenter and 
veteran of the Civil War, Mr. W. A. Wallace. Among others 
who came that year we remember Emmet W. Roosman, J. W. 
Slee, A. E. Flint, A. B. Nelson, M. J. McCann, Ed Slee, G. O. 

The same year the first school was started in a small shanty 
not much resembling the two modern, commodious and well 
equipped school houses of today. Miss Ella Davies was the 
first teacher. 

The year 1879 was also a red letter one in the history of 
Marshall county, as in that year the county was organized and 
Warren named as the county seat. The first court house was 
built, a little wooden building, which in turn has been used as a 
court house, school house, county jail, horse barn and lastly 
now by Powell, Wood & Company, as an automobile shed. Much 


important business incidental to the organization of a new county, 
such as laying out roads, building bridges and organizing school 
districts, was transacted in said building, all of which A. P. 
Mclntyre knows about, as he was a member of the first county 
board. He also officiated as the first assessor and the first county 

The townsite of Warren was laid out in 1880, the land having 
been purchased at a school land sale by A. E. Johnson, James P. 
Nelson and Ethan Allen. The map of Warren published that 
year tells its own story. 

Among the settlers who came this year were Iver Burlum, 
C. J. Johnson, J. P. Easton, E. Dady, H. J. Bennewitz, R. C. 
Snyder, H. C. Mentzer. 

A remarkable event of the same year was the marriage in 
March of Charles Wentzel, the first settler. He had finally found 
a bride after his own heart, one who had come from far away 
Switzerland, and the whole community celebrated this first mar- 
riage. It was impossible to find wedding suits for either bride 
or bridegroom at the stores, nor could a minister be secured to 
tie the nuptial knot. From this union was born on Christmas 
eve, the same year, a son Edward. 

A local newspaper is a necessary adjunct of every live Amer- 
ican town and in December, 1880, the first issue of the Warren 
Sheaf appeared, with A. Dewey, a relative of the famous admiral, 
as the publisher. 

In 1881 the new town assumed more and more the proportions 
and dignity of a well regulated village. In a copy of the "War- 
ren Sheaf" for May 11, 1881, the following business enterprises 
are represented or mentioned : Johnson, Allen & Company, 
McCrea Brothers, Gilbert, Closson & Company, and E. Slee. 
general merchants; E. W. Rossman and Johnson, Allen & Com- 
pany, lumber yards ; H. J. Bennewitz, harness shop ; H. C. Ment- 
zer, farm machinery ; R. C. Snyder, wagon maker ; M. J. McCann, 
advertises himself as the "village blacksmith," and during a 
number of years he shoed horses and pounded iron in a shop 
located on the corner now occupied by the J. J. Taralseth Com- 
pany store ; A. E. Johnson & Company, agents for railroad lands ; 
E. F. Mclntyre, meat market ; Titus & Whitney, druggists ; Mark 


Stevens, proprietor of the Warren House, now Jthe Lyon's 
House; T. R. Davis, carpenter; J. P. Nelson, attorney and real 
estate, and John W. Slee, land office, were early settlers. 

The Warren Townsite Company was incorporated June 20, 
1879. Incorporators and proprietors, James P. Nelson, Ethan 
Allen, James C. McCrea, George H. MeCrea, Alexander E. John- 
son, Loren Fletcher. Capital stock, $10,000. E. i/ 2 S. W. % of 
the S. E. y of section 36, town 155, range 48, a portion of which 
was platted November 1st, 1879, surveyed and platted by E. N. 
Wilson, First Civil Engineer brought to Warren by James P. 
Nelson, the secretary of the townsite company, June 10th, 1882, 
the same owners of the unplatted portion of land above de- 
scribed caused the same to be surveyed and platted. Nelson's 
Addition, which forms a part of the First Addition of the Town 
of Warren. Those lots were purchased December 25, 1884. 

At a special election April 17, 1883, to ascertain the wants of 
the people in regard to the village being re-incorporated under 
the General Statutes. Total votes twenty-one, all in favor of 
re-incorporation. E. W. Rossman, A. P. Mclntyre, George H. 
McCrea, W. H. Gilbert, were the trustees. 

April 3, 1885, the village of Warren was re-incorporated under 
the General Statutes, thirty-nine votes being cast unanimous for 
the re-incorporation. The judges of election were, John Mc- 
Claren, W. R. Edwards, Andrew Grindeland acted as Clerk of 
the Board. The first to sell goods in the town of Warren was 
McCrea Brothers, who sold their wares from a box car, in 1879. 
The spring of that same year A. E. Johnson and Ethan Allen 
opened up the first general store. The first grain handled in 
Warren was in flat houses and handled by A. P. Mclntyre. 

The first blacksmith in the town and county was Michael J. 
McCann, whose shop stood where Taralseth store is now located. 
The size of the building was 30x44. The first bank of the county 
was the bank of Warren, which is now merged with the State 

The City Hall. 

The present city hall constructed of brick two stories high, the 
ground floor of which is occupied by the well equipped fire de- 


partment, with steam engine, two hose carts and hook and ladder 
truck, was erected in 1905 at a cost of $7,000. In the rear of the 
fire department quarters, is a well equipped city lock-up. 

The second floor front, is used as offices by the city officials, 
while in the rear of the offices is a public hall, which is also used 
as the Council Chambers. In 1891 a volunteer fire department 
was organized with J. Bennewitz as chief. In 1894 this depart- 
ment was reorganized under a city ordinance with the present 
Mayor, A. B. Nelson as Chief. 

Fair Grounds. 

May 14, 1900, the city purchased a tract of forty-one acres, 
in section 31, McCrea township, for $1,253, to be used as a fair 
ground and race track. They have erected several good build- 
ings, well equipped for exhibiting stock and produce and an 
amphitheatre which will seat several thousand people. The 
race track is considered one of the best half mile tracks in the 
Northwest, and during fair week, which is a popular event, the 
people come from all sections to view the blooded stock, and 

One of the picturesque spots of Northern Minnesota is the 
Natural Park of Warren, which is located on the bank of the 
river, on section one, town 154, range 48. The site was pur- 
chased by the city of Warren from the firm of Wenzel and 
Grindeland for six hundred dollars in 1900. 

Warren Incorporated. 

The City of Warren was incorporated April 3, 1891. A. L. 
Lambeson was the first mayor, and Guy Apudol, August Lund- 
gren and William Powell were aldermen ; A. B. Nelson, Recorder ; 
K. J. Taralseth, Treasurer; J. P. Eaton, Justice of the Peace; 
John Keenan and E. Dady, Constables. The city officers for 
1909 are : Mayor, A. B. Nelson ; Aldermen, O. H. Taralseth, John 
Lundberg, and M. J. Berget; W. N. Powell, City Recorder; L. M. 
Olson, City Treasurer. The Justices of the Peace are John 
Keenan and W. C. Braggans ; E. Dady, Marshal. ; W. R. Haney, 
Superintendent of Light and Power; City Assessor, John West- 
man; Street Commissioner, Fred Johnson; City Attorney, A. N. 


Eckstrom ; Board of Health, Dr. G. S. Wattam, Chairman, August 
Lundgren and A. Ayers. 

Past and Present. 

The first attorney at Warren was J. P. Nelson, and the second 
A. E. Flint, who was associated with Judge Grindeland for a 
time, and afterward became a minister. Julius J. Olson and 
Brown and Eckstrom are, 1909, the present law firms. The first 
real estate office was owned by James P. Nelson, and the second 
by A. P. Mclntyre, who was also agent for the railroad lands. 

The first to handle lumber was Johnson and Allen. The first 
telegraph operator and agent was E. S. Radcliffe. The first 
railroad entrance was by the Great Northern in 1878. The first 
drug store was conducted by Whitney and Titus. William H. 
Gilbert built the first mill and ground the first flour. The first 
physician was Dr. Welch, who was followed by Dr. Beach, and 
he by Dr. G. S. Wattam. The first postoffice building was the 
Lyons House and the first postmaster was A. T. Minor. The 
present postmaster is J. O. Mattson. 

The State Bank of Warren was organized July 5, 1892, Presi- 
dent H. Mellgaard ; Vice President, K. J. Taralseth ; Cashier, John 
Ostman; Directors, Andrew Grindeland, August Lundgren, K. 
J. Taralseth, H. L. Mellgaard, and John Austin. Capital, $25,000 ; 
surplus, $5,000. April, 1908, the State Bank purchased the Bank 
of Warren, and consolidated the two banks. 

The officers now are: President, 0. H. Taralseth; Vice Presi- 
dent, H. L. Mellgaard ; Cashier, Carl A. Nelson ; Assistant Cashier, 
Gr. A. Juul; Directors, O. H. Taralseth, R. B. Taralseth, Judge 
Andrew Grindeland, Carl A. Nelson, H. L. Mellgaard of Argyle. 
Comprising present board. 

The State Bank of Warren, in connection with their banking 
interests conduct an extensive real estate, loan and mortgage 
business; also have a complete set of abstract books, and repre- 
senting several large insurance companies, tornado and fire, and 
deal in steamship tickets. 

The bank known as the Farmer's State Bank of Alvarado 
is a branch of the State Bank of Warren and has a capital of 


Swedish-American State Bank. This bank opened for busi- 
ness on the 12th day of June, 1905, with a capital of $15,000. 
Its first board of directors were: C. Wittensten, August Lund- 
gren, E. Dagoberg, J. Dagoberg, J. Lindberg annd L. M. Olson. 
Its first officers were the present ones. The statement of the 
bank on April 21st, 1909, reads as follows : Capital, $15,000 ; 
surplus and profit, $2,786.29 ; deposits, $110,000 ; total, $127,786.29. 

State Bank of Alvarado. This bank opened for business on 
the 10th day of October, 1905, with a capital of $10,000. Its 
first board of directors were L. M. Olson, John Wolberg, M. 
Peterson, J. Dagoberg, and N. S. Hegness. Its first officers were 
L. M. Olson, President, and A. A. Johnson, Cashier. 

The following year F. E. Dahlgren purchased the interest of 
Mr. Hegness and became the cashier of the bank. The state- 
ment of the bank for April 17th, 1909, reads: Capital, $10,000; 
surplus and profit, $2,000 ; deposits, $60,522.32 ; total, $72,522.32. 

The First National Bank of Warren was organized by Messrs. 

F. W. Flanders, W. F. Powell, and H. L. Wood in the summer of 
1901, and opened for business July 1st, 1901, with a capital of 

The first board of directors was composed of Messrs. W. F. 
Powell, C. A. Tullar, C. L. Spaulding, H. M. Swanson, G. O. Cross, 

G. C. Winchester, and F. W. Flanders. W. F. Powell, President ; 
C. A. Tullar, Vice President; and F. W. Flanders, Cashier. 

Under the efficient management of these officers the banks 
business rapidly increased, and the bank's success was assured 
from the very start. 

September 1st, 1904, Mr. Flanders resigned his position of 
cashier, and H. L. Wood, the present cashier, was chosen as his 

The present board of directors is composed of W. F. Powell, 
C. A. Tullar, H. M. Swanson, C. L. Spaulding, H. J. March, J. W. 
Bren, and H. L. Wood. The present officers are W. F. Powell, 
President ; C. A. Tullar, Vice President ; H. L. Wood, Cashier ; and 
George G. Johnson, Assistant Cashier. 

The last statement as furnished the Comptroller of the Cur- 
rency, April 28th, 1909, is as follows : 

Resources Loans, $164,390.72; overdrafts, $546.64; U. S. 



bonds, $25,000; premium on bonds, $1,000; banking house, furni- 
ture and fixtures, $14,920.67 ; cash on hand, due from banks and 
U. S. Treasurer, $44,528.35. Total, $250,386.38. 

Liabilities Capital stock, $25,000; surplus, $10,000; undi- 
vided profits, $1,691.82; circulation, $25,000; total deposits, 
$188,694.56. Total, $250,386.38. 

Board of Trade. 

About fifteen years ago there was organized in the city of 
Warren "The Warren Board of Trade." The public spirited- 
ness of this organization was clearly demonstrated during the 
great wheat blockade of 1895. The elevator companies were 
pushing the grade and price so low that the board boldly stepped 
into the situation, established an agency for the purpose of buy- 
ing, aiding and promoting the shipments of grain for the farm- 
ers, employed men for that purpose and gave their services to 
the farmers free of charge. During the first month its agents 
handled 108 cars of grain, and upon this grain the farmers 
realized from five to eight cents per bushel more than they would 
have received had they been compelled to deal with the elevator 
companies. The independent shipment of grain was demon- 
strated to be a success and better treatment from the elevator 
companies as to grade and prices was the result. 

In the spring of 1900 the "Zenith Social Club" was organized 
and the hall in the old court house was rented and fixed up for 
the club. 

In August, 1903, the members of the Board of Trade and 
of the Zenith Club got together and transformed the two organi- 
zations into the present "Commercial Club," with a membership 
of forty-four. Its purpose should be "recreation, physical cul- 
ture, the promotion of the business interests of the city of 
Warren, and good fellowship among its members." Judge 
Andrew Grindeland was elected president; Dr. G. S. Wattem, 
Vice President; E. M. Sathre, Secretary; and C. A. Nelson, 
Treasurer. Its importance in the future may be judged by its 
work in the past. Among the things it has done are the fol- 
lowing : 

1st. It secured the Soo Line to be built through Warren. 



2nd. It caused the erection of the Warren Hospital, which 
has had a wonderful success and is the pride of the city. 

3rd. It organized the Marshall County Fair Association and 
established the County Fair. 

4th. Through its efforts we now have the Massage Institute, 
Steam Laundry, Creamery, North Star College, which is meeting 
with success and bids fair to become one of the noted institutions 
of learning in the state. 

5th. The club has secured farmers' institutes, road conven- 
tions, assisted in getting the Fire Tournament, established mar- 
ket days, and has entertained jobbers, newspapermen, and school 

Its annual banquets have in no small measure aroused the 
public spirit and helped to get competitors, rivals and persons 
of opposite political faith together and join hands to procure 
new industries, new settlers and new improvements. 

Among the things that the club now seeks to procure for the 
city may be mentioned a good hotel building, opera house, a 
dairy and marble works. Its present membership is seventy. 


Friendship Lodge No. 227, I. 0. O. F. of Warren, Minn., was 
instituted May 21, 1895. Its first officers were I. J. McGillan, 
N. G.; A. R. Gordon, V. G. ; J. P. Easton, Secretary; O. G. 
Valtinson, Treasurer. 

Its present officers are : C. Wittensten, N. G. ; A. L. Robinson, 
V. G. ; August A. Johnson, Secretary; E. O. Natwick, F. S. ; W. 
H. Dixon, Treasurer. Lodge meets every Monday evening. 

The Eastern Star Lodge of Warren was organized in 1887, 
first officers Annie Farrell, Matron ; John Hunter, Patron ; Grace 
Harris, Assistant Matron; Cora Flanders, Secretary; Clara Brad- 
ley, Treasurer. Officers in 1909 : Mrs. Grace Powell, Worthy 
Matron; Harry Wood, Worthy Patron; Emma Dudly, Assistant 
Matron ; Laura Wood, Secretary ; Anna Easton, Treasurer. 

Warren Ladies' Reading Circle was re-organized from a 
Wednesday Club in 1907. President, Mrs. G. C. Winchester ; Vice 
President, Miss J. Wood; Secretary and Treasurer, Mrs. C. L. 


Spaulding. This organization has three-fold object, social, moral 
and intellectual. They take up Bay View course of study. 

Warren Masonic Lodge. George E. Kennan, Master ; Carl A. 
Nelson, Senior Warden; O. H. Taralseth, Junior Warden; Henry 
L. Wood, Treasurer; W. N. Power, Secretary; C. A. Fuller, 
Chaplain ; R. B. Taralseth, Senior Steward ; A. M. Eckstrom, 
Junior Steward. 

Modern Woodmen of America, Camp No. 2315, A. L. Robinson, 
Venerable Council; August Lundgren, Adviser; Carl A. Nelson, 
Banker; W. N. Powell, Clerk. Amount paid out in this lodge, 
about $1,300. 

"The Warren Register" was established in March, 1887, by 
Thomas F. Stevens, who was then and for some years had been 
one of the town and county's leading attorneys at law. The 
"Register" started as a six-column folio paper, but within three 
months was enlarged to six pages. At the beginning of 1888 
its form was changed to that of an eight-column folio. About 
ten years later it became a six-column quarto, as at present. Two 
or three years after that, it discarded ready prints and since 
then has been an all home-print paper. In the fall of 1894, 
the plant was purchased from the founder by his sons, Charles 
L. and Edward F. Stevens, who have ever since conducted the 
paper, under the firm name of Stevens Brothers. 

The demand for a true blue Republican paper in Marshall 
county had much to do with the establishment of the "Register," 
which for more than twenty years has never failed to uphold the 
principles and advocate the adoption of the policies of the Re- 
publican Party a record, by the way, of which no other paper 
in Marshall county can boast. The "Register" has always been 
firm and outspoken in its opposition to political jobbery of every 
kind and a steadfast champion of the square deal. It has ever 
been an earnest supporter of whatever it conceived to be for the 
best interests of its town and community and has never wavered 
in its belief that Warren's future is destined to De a great and 
prosperous one. 

The "Register" began business with a very modest outfit, 
but it has today one of the most complete and up-to-date news- 
paper and job printing plants in the Red River valley. Its 



growth in circulation, influence and patronage has kept pace with 
the growth of the city and county in wealth and population. Its 
present editor, C. L. Stevens, is a lawyer by profession, but 
devotes practically all his time to his editorial duties. 

The building in which the "Register" has its home was 
erected in 1903, by Stevens Brothers. It is a handsome brick 
structure designed and constructed solely with a view to its 
being used by them as a printing office. 

Churches Warren. 

History of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This church was 
organized in the fall of 1879, when Warren was in its infancy. 
First to preach in Warren was a Baptist, next came the Congre- 
gationalist minister who preached for a short period in the spring 
and summer of 1879. Some of the Methodist brethren not eon- 
tent with sermons read off like a book, prayed that God would 
send them a Methodist minister. 

One Methodist minister by name of Samuel Kerfoot was 
then preaching at Crookston; he was from Emerson, Manitoba, 
a good friend of the Craig family, pioneers of Warren. Two of 
the Craig brothers at the solicitation of Mr. Gilbert, another 
pioneer, went to Crookston, and returned with Rev. Kerfoot. 
After a short visit with the Craig family, whom he knew in 
Ontario, Mr. Kerfoot returned to Emerson, Manitoba. Soon 
after he received a letter from Messrs. Craig and Davies urging 
him to come to Warren and open up the work. With the consent 
of the Presiding Elder, Rev. Mr. Sharkey, he accepted the call 
and preached his first sermon November, 1879. There were no 
public buildings in the village. First Methodist service was held 
in the bar room of the Commercial Hotel, the building which now 
forms a part of the Lyon's House, at that time conducted by 
A. T. Minor ; no liquor was then sold there. That day with a bar 
for a pulpit, Rev. Kerfoot preached an earnest sermon and 
touched the hearts of his hearers. Next service was held in the 
law office of J. P. Nelson, then located south of Edward Slee's 
store, and afterwards across the track near the site now occupied 
by Berget's Photograph Gallery. The audience had only nail 
kegs and plank for pews. The early members were Mr. and Mrs. 


Snyder, Mr. and Mrs. Bennewitz, Mr. and Mrs. Craig, Mr. and 
Mrs. Wenzel, Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Nelson, Mr. and Mrs. T. R. 
Davies. Services were conducted in Judge Nelson's office, fall 
of 1879, and part of following winter, but before spring, the 
office was too small and services were conducted at the court 
house, which stood west of the present county building; the 
congregation increased so rapidly and had outgrown the court 
house, but by this time the first school house was built. Will 
Gilbert had the contract of its erection, a building 20x40. The 
Methodists worshipped in this school until their church was built. 
Spring, 1882, they decided to build their edifice through Messrs. 
Campbell, Mentzer, Gilbert and others who proved zealous work- 
ers for the cause. 

A subscription of $1,700 was raised and in the fall of '82 the 
structure was begun, but not finished until the fall of 1883, 
November 25th, that year ready for dedication. 

Presiding Elder George R. Hair was present and preached 
in the afternoon. Rev. Frank Doran preached the dedicatory 
sermon in the evening. His subject was the "Life and Character 
of Stephen." The services were a complete success and within 
twenty minutes the church debt was entirely liquidated, except- 
ing the $500 that was owing the Church Extension Society. 
It was self-sacrifice those pioneer days. After the building had 
been completed, little was done towards improvement until the 
fall of 1897, when the building was moved from the block just 
south of the school house to its present location, moving it, etc., 
cost in all $1,700. Original building committee could not com- 
plete it on first location as owner of lots refused to sell for that 
purpose. It is an ornament to the city of Warren, and one of 
the nicest in this part of the state. People have given liberally. 
One thing that will always be remembered in the hearts of the 
Methodists is the prompt and speedy action of Warren Fire De- 
partment for saving the church from destruction by fire, March 
27th, 1898. 

The pastors of Warren were as follows : 1st, Rev. S. Kerfoot, 
an earnest and zealous worker; 2nd, Rev. C. B. Brecount, who 
in the spring of '80 supplied the place, driving from Fisher and 
Mallory as often as he could; 3rd, Rev. A. E. Flint, assisted by 



Mrs. Campbell, the church was finally completed and opened for 
services; 4th, Eev. T. F. Allen, who was noted for his ringing 
voice, was a great and strong preacher. During his two years' 
stay seventy-eight people were received into the church on pro- 
bation, eighteen by letter; 5th, Eev. J. W. Briggs; 6th, E. W. 
Simmonds; 7th, Dr. Green; 8th, I. F. Davidson; 9th, S. Z. Kauf- 
man; 10th, S. S. Farley; llth, C. B. Brecount; 12th, J. M. Brown; 
13th, Thomas Billing; 14th, E. F. Spicer. 

The Ladies' Aid Society has been the backbone of the church, 
not a year has passed since the church was organized but they 
have raised several hundred dollars. 

At the annual conference in October, 1899, Eev. W. E. Loomis 
was appointed as pastor of the church. The next October, 1900, 
he was followed by Eev. M. L. Button, who remained until 
July, 1901. Eev. A. H. McKee arrived in August and was in 
charge until October, 1902. Then came Eev. Isaac Pearl, who 
stayed- one year. 

Eev. G. E. Lindall succeeded, and his pastorate extended for 
four years. The present pastor, Eev. A. A. Myers, has been here 
since October, 1907. The trustee board as now constituted is: 
Harry L. Wood, John W. Thomas, Eiley E. Keyar, Homer A. 
Tyler, Edward Sommers, Ernest L. Brown, George Pfister. 

The treasurer is Harry L. Wood. 

The superintendent of the Sunday school is John W. Thomas. 

The present president of the Ladies' Aid Society is Mrs. E. L. 

Many who have gone from this church are now doing valua- 
ble work in Colorado and other parts of the country, while new- 
comers, largely from Illinois, are taking their places; thus does 
the church move on in her beneficent mission. 

First Presbyterian Church was organized February 26th, 
1882, with eight members, Mrs. Margaret Main, Mrs. Maggie J. 
Duffenbaugh, Mrs. Louise Bennewitz and Mrs. Fanny Brown 
received on confession of their faith in Christ. James H. Hug- 
gard, William S. Brown, Susan M. Huggard, Charles H. Brown. 

Eotary system of eldership. First ruling at that date were 
James H. Huggard, William S. Brown, J. P. Schell, moderater. 

September 30th, 1882, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Bullis joined 


by letter. Rev. Schell conducted service every two weeks until 
October 1st, 1882. 

Succession of pastors as follows: Rev. H. M. Dyckman, 
October 1st, 1882; under this minister November 5th, 1882, the 
first Sabbath school was organized. Ed Mclntyre, first superin- 
tendent. A. E. Franklin, assistant. November 14th, 1882, the 
Presbytery of Pembina was organized and the first Presbyterian 
Church of Warren was enrolled. December 9th, 1882, a meeting 
was held and the following members were received and elected 
elders: "William Ellory Thomas and his wife, Alfred Thomas, 
Mrs. Celia Thomas, Edwin R. Ross and Laura, his wife, Albert P. 
Frank and his wife Helen, Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Falwell, Mrs. 
Laurelle Peck. Ruling elders: William E. Thomas, Edwin R. 
Ross. On December 10th, 1882, the following elders were elected, 
ordained, and installed : Mrs. E. Thomas, Edwin R. Ross, William 
S. Brown, James H. Huggard. The sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper was then administered ; first regular session on December 
17th, 1882, was opened by Elder Thomas leading in prayer ; Rev. 
H. M. Dyckman was elected as clerk of the session. The elders 
urged to establish family altars in their homes, and to persuade 
the members to do likewise. The subject of visitation of families 
was also discussed. 

January 2nd, 1883, a meeting of the session at the room of the 
Rev. H. N. Dyckman was opened by Elder Ross. The object of 
the meeting was the changing of the method of meeting at a 
stated place holding the meetings from house to house. A reso- 
lution was adopted expressing sympathy and promising coopera- 
tion in temperance work, recently begun. Brothers Thomas and 
Ross were duly appointed to w r ait upon the brethren of the M. E. 
church to arrange for one union temperance service on one Sab- 
bath of the month, approved by the Presbytery Grafton, April 4th, 

The first special service was held February 6th, 1884. On 
March 4th, 1884, the annual meeting for the election of elders 
was held at Warren House. Albert P. Frank was the unanimous 
choice for election. He has served as clerk ever since 1886, and 
is still in office in 1909. 

September 7th, 1884. Pastors of the church: 1st, Rev. J. P. 



Schell; 2nd, Rev. H. M. Dyckman; 3rd, Rev. Augustus Carver, 
installed April 7, 1885; 4th, Rev. MeCalltioner ; September 24th, 
Elder Frank elected moderator for that session; 5th, John Mc- 
Arthur; 6th, John Fraser; 7th, C. D. Darling; 8th, D. A. Fahl; 
9th, Rev. F. F. M. Clark ; 10th, Rev. Ralph F. Fulton ; llth, Rev. 
Grant Stroh in 1909, the present pastor. 

The first Presbyterian Church Ladies' Aid Society was or- 
ganized January, 1883. First President, Mrs. Albert P. Mclntyre ; 
Secretary, Mrs. S. B. Beach; Treasurer, Mrs. E. R. Ross; the 
officers for 1909 are: President, Mrs. Albert P. Mclntyre; First 
tf"ice President, Mrs. L. Lambersen ; Second Vice President, Mrs. 
Kuisgard; Secretary, Mrs. J. P. Easton; Treasurer, Mrs. D. 
Parrell; Mrs. Albert was president of the society three times. 

In 1907 nearly $800 was collected and in 1908 nearly $400, 
all by giving dinners, tea parties and bazaars ; they have paid 
$1,000 toward the parsonage and $15 per month toward the 
pastor's salary. This church is now self-supporting. 

Ladies' Missionary Society. Organized July 1st, 1884; Presi- 
dent, Mrs. A. P. Frank; Secretary, W. R. Edwards; Treasurer, 
1909, Mrs. Wilbur Powell, Secretary. 

Home Missionary Society. Object: to educate one colored 
girl in Ingleside Seminary (colored), at Burke ville, Va. ; to re- 
ceive Christian education and industrial training. Some have 
graduated as teachers and are now teaching their own country- 
men. 1908, made five graduates. The second object of the society 
is to educate the mountain whites in the Industrial School at 
Asheville, North Carolina. To illustrate the workings of the 
society : Total receipts, $58.77 ; dues and donations, $31.70 ; 
contingent, $7.50; special Lincoln services, $18.55; balance from 
1907, $1.02; total, $58.77. Total home missions, $28.05; total 
foreign missions, $28.75 ; balance on hand March 17, 1909, $1.97. 

Swedish Mission Church. In July, 1882, a few Mission friends 
got together for the purpose of organizing a Swedish Mission con- 
gregation. In the fall of the same year it was decided to build a 
church so that they wonild have a place where they could hold 
services. This church, which was thirty-two feet each way, was 
begun in the fall and finished the next spring. 


The church was incorporated September 15, 1883, with the 
following officers: E. Holmgren, President; C. J. Pihlstrb'm, Vice 
President ; L. W. Peterson, P. A. Pealstrom, F. Franson, E. Holm- 
gren, J. Peterson, C. J. Pihlstrom as trustees. 

Until 1885 the services were conducted by members of the 
congregation. In 1885 Rev. P. F. Mostrom was called to hold 
services one Sunday in each month. Four other ministers have 
served the church since then in the following order: P. M. 
Samuelson, A. Tornell, O. Lundell and Charles A. Jacobson. 
The last named is the present pastor. 

The membership at the time of organization was about fifteen. 
The present membership is thirty-one. The Sunday school en- 
rollment is about eighty children. The average attendance at 
the preaching services ranges from seventy-five to a hundred. 

Last year improvements were made on the church property 
to the amount of $1,600, which makes the whole property worth 
in the neighborhood of $4,500. 

The present officers are as follows: J. Odman, President; C. 
J. Pihlstrom, Vice President; F. Franson, Secretary; L. West- 
man, Treasurer; M. L. Larson, A. Skoog and J. Odman, Trustees. 

The United Lutheran Church, originally Synod Church, was 
temporarily organized in an informal way, by H. B. Hanson, 
lay preacher, tailor by trade, he was ordained by the Hauges 
Synod. In 1885, Rev. A. C. Anderson came. 

Knute Nelson donated $100 in 1882, but this sum was not 
collected until the church was built in 1886. 

The constitution was organized by the synod in 1885. K. J. 
Taralseth, deceased; John L. Olson, Judge Andrew Grindeland, 
Peter 0. Blosness, H. H. Brotorp, H. I. Golden, Chris Johnson, 
were the first organizers. 

First to conduct a Lutheran Sunday school in Warren was 
Ingebrud Bjorseth. Warren was a missionary station in early 
days and was served by Rev. Anderson from Fisher in 1885. Rev. 
Halver Roalkval from Crookston was the second. When Rev. 
Halver Roalkval received a call to preach, he was a professor of 
the Lutheran College at Decorah, Iowa. He continued with this 
church in Warren until 1890, when the church was united to the 



United Lutheran Church of America. He is now in Coon Valley, 
Wis. Rev. Roalkval handed in his resignation on account of lack 
of members to pay salary. A special meeting was called on July 
4th, 1889, for the election of a new pastor, and Rev. Urness was 

Rev. J. A. Urness succeeded Rev. Roalkval, on the 29th of 
May, 1890, and served until in 1892. Rev. Skuness from June, 
1895, until in June, 1901. From 1901 until 1904, Rev. N. Kile 
acted as minister. From October, 1904, until July, 1905, they 
were without a minister. Rev. C. J. Nolstad came and completed 
the work as minister in May, 1905. 

The church was dedicated July 19th, 1908, and a baby, Effie 
Kriutson, daughter of the recording secretary, C. Knutson, was 
baptized the same day. The cause of the dedication was re- 
modeling and rebuilding of church 48x24 in size. 

April 12th, 1885, a conference was held in the First. Swedish 
Lutheran church, frame building (old schoolhouse). 

In reference to -finances Andrew Grindeland acted as presi- 
dent. Secretary was Chris Johnson. 

January 17th, 1886, the year of incorporation under the laws 
of the state was given the name of Norwegian Lutheran Church. 
Andrew Grindeland, President; K. J. Taralseth, Trustee; Peter 
Blosness, Trustee; and original board at the time of the organi- 
zation of the constitution in 1885. 

In November, 1886, at a business session, they decided to 
build their church 34 by 24. The Sewing Society purchased the 
lot. The Building Committee were as follows : Peter Blosness, 
A. Grindeland, K. J. Taralseth, L. Ledmell. 

The interior was all newly decorated, a new pulpit was 
erected, capacity of the church about twenty families. 

Officers of 1909 were as follows: Recording Secretary, Cor- 
nelius Knutson; Trustees, John L. Olson, John Iverson, Ralph 
Taralseth; Financial Secretary, J. S. Hillebue. 

Scandinavian Methodist Church of Warren, Marshall county, 
was organized in 1885, by the Rev. D. M. Hegland, Rev. J. John- 
son, presiding elders. Charter members as follows: C. Eklund, 
H. I. Golden, G. Runquist, A. Anderson and wife, Mrs. L. M. 
Johnson. First services were held in city hall. In 1909 there 


were seven families in this congregation under charge of the 
present pastor, Rev. Ryning. 

Synod Church was organized temporarily about 1901 by Rev. 
A. G. Quammen of Crookston at that time. The permanent 
organization was effected in March, 1905, dedicated in February, 
1908, by Rev. J. W. Preus of Minneapolis, assisted by a number 
of other brothers. Church now Lutheran Trinity Church. Rev. 
A. G. Quammen delivered an address. Rev. J. W. Preus de- 
livered the dedicatory sermon, the chosen text being 1st Kings, 
verses 8-12-13. His sermon was an able one. 

The church is frame and built on a foundation of artificial 
stone, size 42 by 34 feet. The style is Gothic. The altar and 
pulpit are of quarter-sawed oak and pews also, with handsome 
steel ceiling. 

The altar is the work of the Norwegian painter, H. Gausta of 
Minneapolis^ and represents Christ praying in the Garden of 
Gethsemane at the moment when the Angel appears to strengthen 
him. This work of art is a present to the congregation from 
Judge Andrew Grindeland; also the giver of a beautiful organ. 
Probate Judge P. H. Holm presented a beautiful communion set. 
This edifice cost $4,500. The pastors who have served are as 
follows: Rev. A. G. Quammen, Rev. 0. Amdalsrud, Rev. T. L. 
Rosholdt, Rev. Adolph Salveson, Rev. E. Hansen. 

Through the two zealous workers, Judge A. Grindeland and 
his wife, this new building has been erected. 

The present officers are: 0. A. Ford, Secretary; Charles E. 
Grinder, Treasurer ; Judge A. Grindeland, G. A. Juul, and W. E. 
Valtinson, Trustees. John M. Halvorson, Bennie Valtinson, and 
Ingolf Grindeland, Ushers. 


Hon. William Watts. 

The County of Polk, Minnesota, when first established, ex- 
tended from Ked River on the west to Lake Itasca and the 
Mississippi River on the east, and from a line extending due 
east from the mouth of Turtle River on the north to the line 
between townships one hundred and forty-two and one hundred 
and forty-three on the south. By legislative act in the year 
1866, all east of the line between ranges thirty-eight and thirty- 
nine was taken to form part of the new county of Beltrami. 
In 1881 Norman county was created by taking the four southern 
tiers of townships from the county of Polk, and in 1897 the 
county of Red Lake was organized by taking twenty-four full 
and seven fractional townships in a somewhat irregular form 
from its northeast part, leaving Polk county in its main part 
forty-six and two-fifths miles from north to south, and about 
thirty miles from west to east, with a farther projection east of 
the southern part for thirty miles, and containing an area of 
1946 square miles. 

This territory is for the most part quite level and in its 
natural state mainly prairie land. Its southeastern part how- 
ever, forms part of the park region of Minnesota, with all the 
characteristics of that attractive portion of the state, its rolling 
surface, numerous groves, and large bodies of timber mainly oak, 
elm, ash, basswood, cottonwood, and poplar. In one part, on the 
south shore of Maple Lake, once stood a large number of sugar 
maple, to which the Indians came in the season for it, to make 



the sweetest of all delicacies, sugar from the maple tree, but we 
regret to tell that most of these have been cut for fuel, and the 
charm of that forest has been much diminished. However, young 
maples are growing up thickly, and if properly cared for the 
sylvan charm will be largely restored. This portion has also 
many hills, the highest being along the Sand Hill river, near 
the south line, some of them reaching an elevation of eighty 
feet above the surrounding plain. It has also many beautiful 
lakes, the largest of which Maple Lake, named after the forest 
trees, which so largely lined its shore, is about seven miles long 
and one and a half miles wide, at its widest part. It has become 
much frequented as a summer resort, and a considerable village 
of cottages, and fine buildings have been erected upon it for 
occupancy in the summer season. 

The general course of the streams in the county is from east 
to west. The most important is Red Lake river, which is the 
outlet of Red Lake, the largest body of fresh water wholly 
within the United States except Lake Michigan and carries 
more water than the Red River above their point of union at 
Grand Forks. It is sinuous in its course being three times the 
distance by river from source to mouth that it would be by direct 
line. Only one of its fine water powers is improved in Polk 
county, being the one in the city of Crookston, but several are 
in use farther up the stream. Along its shores was a fine body 
of timber, averaging about two-thirds of a mile wide, consisting 
mostly of oak, elm, ash, basswood, cottonwood and poplar timber, 
much of which has been manufactured into lumber and other 
building material, little being left that is valuable for these 
purposes. What remains is valuable for fuel and fencing pur- 
poses and adds greatly to the beauty of the region in which it 
stands. The waters of Red Lake river derive a reddish tinge 
from large tamarack swamps near its head and this strongly tints 
the waters of Red River below the point of confluence, and gives 
to it its name, the "Red." It abounds in fish in the spring 
season, and below the dam at Crookston it has been no uncom- 
mon sight to see wagon loads fished out in a short time with 
dip nets. The kinds taken are mostly pike, pickerel, catfish, 
skipjacks, and suckers. In past years large numbers of stur- 



geon also came up the stream and one taken at Crookston was 
of the great weight of 148 pounds, but these are not often seen 
in later years. The only other considerable streams in the county 
are the Sand Hill and Clearwater. The first takes its rise in the 
southeastern part of the county, and flows nearly west. Along 
its upper part is considerable timber, but the lower half of its 
course is through prairie. It has some good water powers, three 
of which, one at Climax, and two at Fertile, are improved, and 
used to run flouring mills. It is also a good fishing stream. 

The Clearwater is a smaller river, rising also in the south- 
eastern part of the county, and running northwest to join Red 
Lake river at Red Lake Falls, the county seat of the new ad- 
joining county. Its course is through a rolling country mostly 
prairie, but having considerable timber along portions of its 

Along Red River in this county, and particularly upon the 
somewhat acute angle made by the junction of Red and Red 
Lake rivers, stood a large body of fine timber, almost like the 
forests of the east. This has been largely cut down, but suffi- 
cient still stands to make the timber country a pleasing contrast 
with the adjoining prairie. 

Before the advent of the permanent settler in this county, it 
was the grazing ground of great herds of the buffalo, whose bones 
were thickly scattered over the ground until the last of the 
seventies; when some one conceived the idea of grinding them 
for fertilizing purposes, and many carloads were gathered and 
shipped east for that purpose and soon but few remained. 

Early Settlement. 

Though the old Pembina trail, the route by which the Hudson 
Bay Company carried its furs and merchandise between the 
Northwest and St. Paul in the early days, passed through Polk 
county, that company had no trading post within its borders. 
The United States Census of 1870 returns "no population" in 
the county, though doubtless there were a few people of mostly 
Indian blood along the Red River. The year of 1871 was the 
beginning of permanent settlement. In that year came from 
southeastern Minnesota some Norwegian families who settled 


along the Red River and near it, in what are now the towns of 
Hubbard, Vineland, Tynsid and Bygland. Farther north at 
and near the place where the Red Lake river joins the Red and 
along the Marais, at this time also came a considerable number 
of Scotch and Canadian people, who had been attracted by ac- 
counts of the lower part of the valley in the Dominion of Canada, 
but finding the desirable lands there already taken or reserved 
returned to this place, one of the garden spots of the Northwest, 
to make fine homes for themselves and their families. A line 
of boats had been established by Norman Kittson plying the 
waters of the river between Moorhead and Winnipeg and upon 
them most of these settlers reached their new homes. Among 
those who came thus, and made the deepest impression upon the 
future of the county were Robert Coulter, John Coulter and 
William Fleming. 

The next body of settlers came in the spring of 1872, to and 
around the place where the city of Crookston now stands with 
the survey and building of the St. Vincent extension of the St. 
Paul and Pacific Railway from Glyndon on the Northern Pacific 
Railroad to the Snake river where is now the city of Warren. 
It was quite evident that a city would arise where the railroad 
crossed the Red Lake river, and when the line was located at 
the present crossing the engineers who had the first knowledge 
where it would be, made pre-emption filings upon most of the 
lands about it. As they made but slight improvement or resi- 
dence their claims were for the most part contested and canceled. 
William H. Stuart succeeded in getting title to what is platted 
as the original townsite of Crookston. Robert Houston got what 
is Fletcher & Houston's Addition, L. Fletcher's Addition and A. 
C. Loring's Addition. Other parts of the city were obtained by 
Ellery C. Davis, Bernard Sampson, Mary Carlton, John Darkow, 
Joseph Barrett and Reuben Reynolds, from the United States 
government, as subject to entry under the land laws of the 
United States. Some expecting the railroad crossing would be 
a short distance down the river from where the village of Fisher 
is, had located there but moved up stream when they found the 
place of crossing fixed. 

There was no colony plan in this settlement, each came by 



himself except in the few cases of families. The railroad line 
survey in 1871 was constructed from Glyndon to Snake River 
in 1872 and while it was building, Crookston was a collection of 
busy houses located in the woods along the railroad line, and 
hope was high that good times were in the near future. But 
their prosperity was delayed by the financial crisis of 1873. 
Building the railway ceased, and its operation almost ceased 
until the fall of the year 1875, at which time part of the rails 
north of Crookston were taken up and used to turn the line to 
Fisher's Landing, to which point the river was more easily navi- 
gated by the river boats which then carried on a large traffic on 
the Red and Red Lake rivers. Previous to this time from the 
year 1872 when the steamers Selkerk and International the larg- 
est vessels that have ever navigated the Red River came up to 
Crookston and discharged their cargoes there, until the railway 
was extended to Fisher's Landing, the boats of the Kittson line 
steamed up to the Crookston landing on the right bank of Red 
Lake river close to where now stands the passenger depot of 
the Great Northern Railroad Company. 

The life of the pioneers of this time is described by one of 
them as "being a pretty good time after all. Most of the people 
were young and full of the bubbling happiness that goes with 
youth. Dancing parties were frequent, and the long winter even- 
ings were much relieved in Crookston by amateur theatricals. 
Enoch H. Shaw, who had been a school teacher and was then in 
the employ of the railroad company looking after their lands was 
the principal manager and Mrs. Evalyn Houston was the star 
actress. Much interest was taken and quite a number were found 
who could 'take a part' very well. The old railroad depot was 
utilized as the theatre, by permission of Delos Jacobs, who was the 
first station agent. A debating and literary society held its 
meetings in the old school house in Crookston. Among the lead- 
ing speakers in this was James Greenhalgh, Sr., one of the earliest 
pioneers, who came with a large family and settled near Crook- 
ston where he died in 1898, at the age of seventy-two years." 

Edmund M. Walsh was postmaster at Crookston from 1872 
when the office was established until 1884. He was born in 
Essex county, New York, March 2, 1851. In 1857 he removed 


with his parents, Thomas and Elenor Walsh, to Henderson, Sib- 
ley county, Minnesota, and remained in the state ever since. 
He grew to manhood in that place and there received his edu- 
cation, and in 1870 took charge of. his father's mercantile 
business, which he later closed out and then started for himself. 
He went to Ft. Garry (now Winnipeg) for a time and then to 
Grand Forks, North Dakota, and then to Crookston in 1872. 
From 1880 to 1884 he was sole proprietor of a general merchan- 
dise business, and in 1890 engaged in the" real estate business 
and is still an extensive dealer. 

He bought a farm originally owned by Joseph Barrette and 
laid it out in a plat known as Highland Park and Walsh's Addi- 
tion. In laying out Highland Park, he donated enough land for 
a park and this was the first park in the city of Crookston. He 
organized the old Crookston Telephone Company in 1878 and was 
its manager. From 1872 to 1875 he served as the first County 
Auditor and in 1885 was elected Mayor of the city, and served 
two subsequent terms, and in 1886 Clerk of District court, 
and was on the first Council of the city, and school board about 
fourteen years. He was made a Mason in 1880 and elected a 
Knights Templar in Palestine Temple No. 14, in Fergus Falls, 
in 1886. 

He tells this of Crookston 's early history: ''After railroad 
building ceased in 1872, occasionally an engine and car were 
run up. The mode of transportation was by boat, but the rail- 
road company had left two pairs of railroad trucks and the 
people here built a platform on them and attaching sails used 
them in making trips down to Glyndon, bringing back supplies. 
There were about twenty tar shanties in the hamlet from 1872 
to 1875. The U. S. Mail was brought from Grand Forks by who- 
ever happened to be there at the time. It came in about once 
a week but sometimes only once a month, until 1875. I was the 
first postmaster receiving my appointment in the fall of 1872; 
first salary was twelve dollars a year, but it reached eighteen 
hundred a year when I resigned ; my first office was in a tin and 
hardware store about fourteen by twenty feet and made of 
boards and tar paper, same being the first store of that kind in 
Crookston. The post office was a little box about fourteen inches 


wide and two feet long and continued that way until the first 
post office case was brought in in 1878. In 1872 there were a 
couple of saloons and "Bill" Stuart kept a boarding house, E. 
C. Davis kept a supply store in a tar shanty. Bruns and Finkle 
who owned a large store at Moorehead came and erected a frame 
store and put in William M. Ross as manager. Ross and Walsh 
bought out this store in the spring of 1874. Population in 1872 
was about fifty people after the railroad ceased operations. In 
1872 Lariviere had an Indian trading store and traded with the 
Indians but was closed up by United States officers for selling 
liquor to them. The majority of the population at that time 
were French, some Americans and some Scandinavians." 

County and Town Organization. 

By act of the legislature approved March 3rd, 1873, Polk 
county was declared to be a legally organized county, and some 
previous unauthorized proceedings were legalized. On October 
21, 1872, William M. Ross, and Jacob Myers, acting as county 
commissioners divided the county including what is now Nor- 
man and Red Lake counties into three commissioners districts. 
Edmund M. Walsh acted as the first county auditor at this time 
and on December 6th, 1872, Richard J. Reis was appointed the 
first superintendent of schools of the county. On January 7, 
1873, qualified as county officers, Henry Shepard, justice of the 
peace; Richard E. Hussey, surveyor; B. E. Haney, justice of the 
peace. E. M. Walsh, auditor; W. M. Ross, treasurer; Thomas 
M. Jenkins, sheriff; Jacob Meyers, register of deeds; D. G. 
Wilkins coroner, and-W. G. Woodruff county attorney. At this 
time E. C. Davis, James Jenks and Lars H. Gordon were county 
commissioners, Davis being chairman. The act of legislature 
organizing the county legalized the election of these officers with- 
out which their election would have been invalid as to all except 
the county commissioners, no county until organized by legisla- 
tive act being entitled to any officers other than three county 
commissioners. On May 25, 1873, W. C. Nash became court com- 
missioner and C. G. Spendley judge of probate, they being the 
first to hold these offices in this county. At the same time D. G. 
Wilkins was granted a renewal of license to maintain a ferry 


across Red Lake river. This ferry was operated about 800 feet 
above the railroad bridge at the place called Crookston. It was 
constructed in the usual Red river fashion, a rope cable stretched 
across the river tied to trees, the ferry boat being down stream, 
attached to pulleys which ran upon the rope. "When crossing, the 
front end of the boat was drawn near the cable and hind end 
permitted to go farther away ; when the current of the river pro- 
pelled it across. As the river was not fordable at most seasons 
of the year, the ferry was the means of crossing when ice would 
not bear the traffic, and this continued until the fall of 1879, 
when the first public bridge was built close north of the ferry 
across the Red Lake river. Not a few of the people at that time 
thought the ferry quite good and the expense of a bridge unwar- 
ranted. The rates were fifty cents for four horse, ox or mule 
team, twenty-five cents for two horse, ox or mule team, fifteen 
cents for one horse, ox or mule, five cents per head for loose 
stock and ten cents for foot passengers. In June, 1873, R. E. 
Hussey became the first clerk of district court. Polk county was 
at that time attached to the county of Becker for judicial pur- 
poses, and doubt existed as to whether there was legally such an 
office in a county so attached, but the supreme court has decided 
that question in the affirmative. There was but little district 
court litigation then, and the fact that court was held so far 
away as Detroit, the county seat of Becker county, mattered little 
to them. Far more important was it that the United States land 
office for this district was also located there and land contests were 
numerous and expensive. 

The first township to be organized in the county was Hunts- 
ville, on March 17, 1874. Crookston followed, on March 28, 1876, 
and Vineland, Red Lake Falls and Fisher's Landing (now Fisher) 
in the same year. Bygland, Lowell and Andover were organized 
in 1877, Farley in 1878, Tynsid, Higdem, Roome, Angus, Euclid, 
Gentilly and Fairfax in 1879; Sullivan, Reis, Garfield, Grove 
Park, Fanny, Hammond, Nesbit, Brislet, Liberty and Belgium in 
1880 ; Kertsonville, Keystone, Garden and Godfrey in 1881 ; and 
Grand Forks, Tilden, Woodside, Sandsville, Russia, Hubbard and 
Onstad in 1882. Crookston, so named in honor of Colonel Will- 
iam Crooks, of St. Paul, chief engineer in locating the railway 


line from Glyndon to St. Vincent, was first given to the postoffice, 
next to the township of that name, and in 1879 to the city, when 
it was created under special act of the legislature. This place 
was not named or recognized by any legislative act as the county 
seat of Polk county until February, 1879, and it was only main- 
tained as such by the board of county commissioners so recogniz- 
ing it prior to that time. Mention has been made of the iron 
rails being taken up north of Crookston in the fall of 1875 and 
used to extend the railway twelve miles down the river to a 
point named Fisher's Landing, which then became the head of 
steamboat navigation. It soon became a bustling and prosperous 
collection of buildings maintained mostly by the then increasing 
immigration from eastern Canada to the new province of Mani- 
toba that changed there from rail to boat and boat to rail, and 
the freight traffic caused by it. A considerable portion of the 
residents of Crookston moved down river to "the end of the 
line," and it soon surpassed the latter place in population and 
business. Among those who changed residence was Mrs. Anna 
Lachapelle, who had moved from St. Paul and built and kept the 
first hotel in Crookston ; Paschal Lachapelle, formerly a fur 
trader; Henry Shepard, well versed in justice court practice and 
procedure and for a long time the principal justice in the county ; 
B. F. Zarracher, a veteran soldier of the Civil War, who was 
afterwards sheriff, and Hugh Thompson, who soon became the 
leading merchant of the new town and has since been one of the 
most prominent men of the county in politics as well as in busi- 
ness. Being without municipal organization it is not surprising 
that it soon developed some of the wilder characteristics of the 
frontier town, liquor traffic and gambling, wide open, in 1876 and 
'77, and carousing and fighting galore. All this was built up on 
a rather low point a little to the south and west of the present 
village of Fisher, and the scene of so much activity by land and 
water in the summer seasons some thirty odd years ago has 
changed to an unpretentious cow pasture. 


There was little if any increase in the population of the county 
from 1872 to June, 1875, when the state census was taken and 



returned for it a population of 937, of which about two-thirds 
were within the limits of the present Polk county. It was a much 
mixed population, the Norwegians being the most numerous. 
Though the prairie land was easily brought under cultivation the 
farmers had little under crop, except of some of those in what was 
called the "Marais" region, where they were more enterprising 
and raised large quantities of wheat and other grains, much of 
which was carried on barges towed up the Ked river to the rail- 
road at Moorhead, or down to Winnipeg. 

During this period, from 1873 to 1877, which old settlers des- 
ignate as "the hard times," when the St. Paul & Pacific railroad 
was in the hands of a receiver who had no money to extend it 
and little with which to operate, and the St. Vincent branch could 
only be used in connection with the Northern Pacific at rates 
which left little or no profit in its operation, and population was 
at a standstill, not a few showed faith in the country and enter- 
prising spirit. Among these were : 

Ellery C. Davis, born in Massachusetts in 1837, a veteran sol- 
dier of the Civil "War, reaching the rank of major, and a civil 
engineer by profession, was one of the first settlers, taking as 
government land a quarter section, part of which is now Davis' 
addition to Crookston. He was a quite extensive railroad con- 
tractor, was always very public-spirited, long held county and 
city offices. He was the first mayor of the city of Crookston, 
which office he has since held several times and longer than any 
other person. 

Bernhard Sampson, who settled upon and still lives on his fine 
farm adjoining the city of Crookston, was born in Norway in 
1839, came to the Red Eiver valley in 1869, was railroad con- 
tractor on the St. Vincent extension, and later built the line from 
Crookston to Fisher's Landing. He has been clerk of district 
court and member of the house of representatives and senate of 
Minnesota, and always active in the public interests. 

Walter D. Bailey, a veteran of the Civil War, chairman of 
the board of county commissioners and the leading merchant of 
Crookston until 1878, was a native of Wisconsin. 

Robert Houston was born in Prince Edward Island, Canada, 
m 1841. He acquired title from the government, after a long 



contest, to part of the land on which the city of Crookston now 
stands. He was enterprising in building up the city in its early 
days, but later removed to the west, where he still resides. 

Kelsey D. Chase, a soldier of the Civil War, came to Crookston 
in 1874 and engaged in farming and contracting. He had con- 
siderable ability as a promoter. He built the Crookston dam and 
part of the waterworks system, and organized the Crookston 
Water Power and Electric Light Company, and later engaged in 
railroad building from Duluth to the iron range, making a hand- 
some fortune. He is now a resident of Faribault, Minn. 

Space will not permit the mention of others who were active 
factors in the early development. We cannot leave however 
without mention of Richard E. Hussey. He was born in Penn- 
sylvania in 1838, came west early, locating in Crookston in 1872, 
and was clerk of court and county surveyor. He had a remark- 
able talent for the narration of extemporaneous fiction of the 
humorous and witty style. He went west in the later eighties, 
where he died, but his amusing conversation will long be a mem- 
ory in the valley of the Red. 


In the summer of 1877 immigration, which had been nearly at 
a standstill, was revived. The St. Paul & Pacific Railway Com- 
pany, under the control of Jesse Farley, receiver, began to make 
diligent efforts to get farmers upon their lands obtained by grant 
from the government for the construction of the railroad. The 
lands were granted in March, 1857, by act of congress to the ter- 
ritory of Minnesota or future state, "for the purpose of aiding in 
the construction of railroads from Stillwater by way of St. Paul 
and St. Anthony to a point between the foot of Big Stone lake 
and the mouth of Sioux Wood river, with a branch via St. Cloud 
and Crow Wing to the navigable waters of the Red River of the 
North at such point as the legislature may determine." Under 
various legislative acts of the territory and state of Minnesota, 
this railway company had acquired title to these lands. Whether 
it had title was in doubt and dispute until the case of Nash vs. 
Sullivan was decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court in June, 
1882, and this question was from the first one of the most impor- 


tant and most considered and discussed in the county. The 
lands acquired by the railroad company under the grant were 
"every alternate section designated by odd numbers, for six sec- 
tions in width on each side of said roads and branches, ' ' and odd 
section lands outside of that as indemnity for any they failed to 
get in the original limits by reason of settlers having acquired 
right to the same under the preemption laws of the United States, 
the indemnity limit not to extend further than fifteen miles from 
the line of road. The railroad line, as first surveyed, where it 
crossed Red Lake river, was eleven miles west of the place where 
it was actually built. The plat of definite location filed in the 
office of the secretary of the interior showed this first survey as 
the line of the road, and the lands were conveyed with reference 
to it, locating nearly all but indemnity lands on the west side of 
the railroad as it was constructed. 

Large tracts of these railroad lands were sold in 1877 for two 
dollars and a half an acre, and later for a short time at prices 
not much in advance. In this way E. D. Childs & Company got 
10,000 acres; Lockhart and Graver the Keystone farm of 9,000 
acres; and E. H. Corser, March & Spaulding, the Corrigans and 
some others became "bonanza" farmers of the county. These 
large farms, in some respects a drawback, helped to advertise 
the country and bring in capital. 

The immigration during this period was largely from Norway 
and Sweden, and about one-half of the population was Scandi- 
navian or of Scandinavian descent. Many of them had resided 
or been born and reared in Wisconsin, northern Iowa or southern 
Minnesota. As everywhere, their sterling qualities made them 
among the most desirable acquisitions in the formation of the 

In 1878 a large immigration of French Canadians and their 
descendants set in. Pierre Bottineau, the noted scout and guide, 
elsewhere mentioned, came from Minneapolis and settled on the 
Clearwater river, near where it joins the Red Lake river, in 1876, 
and Isaiah Gervais came from near St. Paul at the same time. 
John B. Bottineau, son of Pierre, acquired a large quantity of 
land about the junction of these rivers and farther down the 
Red lake by using half-breed script. These persons were instru- 



mental in directing large numbers of the French people to this 

Louis Fontaine was the most influential person however in 
inducing this immigration. He was born in what is now the 
province of Quebec in 1839, came to St. Paul, Minn., in 1858, was 
a veteran of the Civil "War, at the close of which he returned to 
St. Paul and entered into the mercantile business. He was fre- 
quently through the Red River valley in 1872 and following years, 
and his acquaintance with it enabled him to speak and write with 
authority on its possibilities, which he very diligently did. In 
1878 he came to Crookston to reside, and in partnership with 
William Anglim engaged in a general mercantile business which 
they continued until 1904, carrying on much the most extensive 
business in that line in the county, and the most profitable as 
well. They still own large interests here. Remi Fortier was also 
active in bringing these people. He was born in Quebec in 1846, 
came to Polk county in 1878, engaged in farming, has been chair- 
man of county commissioners and generally prominent in the 
affairs of the county. 

In 1885 the "French colony" in the county numbered about 
5,000 people, living mostly in and between Crookston and Red 
Lake Falls. The gaiety, vivacity and happy nature of these peo- 
ple gives a charm to the social life of which they form a part, 
that could be ill dispensed with. As in their old home they are 
faithful attendants upon their places of worship, and their 
churches surpass all others in beauty and finish. 

Almost all the northern states and countries of Europe and 
provinces of Canada have contributed to the population of the 
county, giving it the advantages and disadvantages of a popula- 
tion of many peoples. 


After a long period of stagnation the St. Paul & Pacific Rail- 
way, under the receivership of Jesse P. Farley, took up in the 
year 1877 the work of connecting its disjointed portions of rail- 
road. The line which had been built from St. Paul to Brecken- 
ridge was extended to Glyndon and connected with the St. Vin- 
cent extension, and in the following year was reconstructed from 


Crookston to Warren and continued from there to the Canadian 
boundary, where it was operated in connection with another line 
to the rapidly growing city of Winnipeg. There was a great rush 
of settlers to the province of Manitoba from eastern Canada at 
this time, and as soon as railroad connection was made, there 
being no other railroad north of the Northern Pacific, the traffic 
became immense. It was not until the following year that the 
road was extended from Fisher's Landing to Grand Forks. 

With the movement in railroad building the people were in- 
spired with new life and they went to work diligently and hope- 
fully to extend their farming operations and business, and as 
the crops of these years were good and prices fair, land values 
rose rapidly and prosperity became general, and the feeling was 
instilled that their new home was indeed one of the favored spots 
of the earth. The period from 1877 to 1884 was the boom time 
of Polk county as of the valley generally. In 1883 and 1884 
population flowed rapidly into the lands then thrown open for 
settlement in the east end of the county usually designated ' ' The 
Thirteen Towns." These settlers were mainly Norwegians. At 
this period almost every one farmed in person or by proxy, and 
effort was mainly directed to the production of wheat, which was 
usually a good crop with good prices. Lands and city and village 
property rose rapidly in market value and prosperity and con- 
tentment was general. The population rose to 11,433 in 1880, 
including what is now Norman county, and to 23,475 in 1885, with 
Norman county detached. 

Judicial History. 

In 1876 Polk county was detached from Becker and attached 
for judicial purposes to the county of Clay, and in February, 
1879, it was detached from Clay and organized for judicial pur- 
poses. The first term of district court was held in June, 1879, 
in a new store building on the corner of Second and Main streets, 
in the city of Crookston. Hon. 0. P. Stearns was the presiding 
judge. He was one of the ablest judges the state has ever had, 
and withal one of the manliest men. 

During the earlier seventies there was not much need of legal 
services. It has been mentioned that W. G. Woodruff was the 



first county attorney of the county. He was the first lawyer to 
locate in it, but he removed to Grand Porks. John McLean, whose 
recent sad death is much deplored, was the next lawyer here. 
He became county attorney in 1876 and held that office until 
1881, and was one of the most active and public-spirited of the 
citizens of that time. He continued to practice law until 1888, 
when he went west to "Washington state, but returning in a few 
years became city justice of Crookston, which office he held at 
the time of his death. Next in order of time came William Watts, 
the present district judge, in the beginning of 1878 ; and in May 
of that year came Hon. Frank Ives, who had considerable experi- 
ence as a lawyer and, forming a partnership with John McLean, 
for some years had a large law practice, and in 1892 was elected 
judge of the district court. He has retired from active service, 
has reached a good old age, and now resides at Cass Lake, Minn., 
where he is the editor and proprietor of the "Cass Lake Times." 
In the spring of 1879 came Hon. Reuben Reynolds from Minne- 
apolis, who practiced law in Crookston until 1885, when he be- 
came district judge. Though he did not take up the study of law 
until somewhat late in life he became well learned in the law and 
as a forensic and political speaker has had no superior among 
those who have resided in the Red River valley. He died in 
March, 1889. 

Among other members of the bar who came to the county soon 
after district court was established in it, and attained to large 
practice, may be mentioned John Leo, who became county attor- 
ney and later removed to Washington state, where he has been 
a member of the legislature; Hon. H. Steenerson, the present 
member of congress, elsewhere mentioned, who soon became a 
leader of the bar; R. J. Montague, an eloquent orator, who has 
been judge of probate, county attorney, and is now register of 
the United States land office ; Arthur A. Miller, who is gifted with 
a very high order of intellectual and legal ability and is very 
prominent in business as well as in legal circles; and James G. 
McGrew, a veteran of the Civil and Indian wars, in which he 
reached the rank of captain, and who, as lawyer and editor of 
the Crookston "Chronicle," exercised considerable influence in 
the affairs of the county. 


Probably the court trial that has aroused the greatest interest 
in the county was that of Archibald Gillan, in June, 1880, charged 
with the murder of Phineas B. Snyder at East Grand Forks, by 
striking him upon the head with a beer faucet. Judge Davis 
Brower, one of our early legal lights, assisted the county attor- 
ney in the prosecution, while Judge Reynolds and W. W. Erwin, 
of St. Paul, were attorneys for the defendant. The "tall pine," 
as "Bill" Erwin was called, was the most brilliant criminal law- 
yer the Northwest has ever had, and he well maintained his great 
reputation on this occasion, thrilling the large attendance with 
his impassioned eloquence. That Gillan killed Snyder was ad- 
mitted. The grounds of defense were self-defense and insanity. 
The jury acquitted the defendant on the ground of temporary 
insanity. The verdict was not generally well received. It was 
quite plain Gillan did not intend to kill, but the opinion was he 
should have been convicted of manslaughter. 

United States Land Office. 

An event of the first importance in the county's history was 
the removal to Crookston from Detroit of the United States land 
office in May, 1879. The government land business in this dis- 
trict was at that time very large and in land contests and other 
matters before the office for two or three years, more was made 
by the lawyers than the district court practice has ever brought 
in a like period of time. With the office came Paul C. Sletten, 
as receiver, and Thomas C. Shapleigh, as register. The first 
named was one of the most notable figures in our history. Born 
in Norway in 1839, he came to America after reaching manhood. 
He was engaged in railroad construction and farming in Becker 
county in the early seventies. At that time civil service reform 
did not attain to any very alarming extent in federal politics. 
In fact an official was expected to justify his appointment by 
activity in the interests of those most instrumental in obtaining 
it. In 1874 a contest was on between General Averill, of St. 
Paul, and William S. King, of Minneapolis, for the Republican 
nomination for congress in the third congressional district of 
Minnesota, which at that time extended from St. Paul to the 
Canadian boundary. Judge Reuben Reynolds, who was then re- 



ceiver, favored General Averill, but Paul Sletten got the dele- 
gates in this part of the district for King, who was nominated 
and elected. ''Bill" King, as he was generally called, believed 
in supporting his supporters, and he soon had Mr. Sletten made 
register, which office he held until the time of his death in 1884. 
He developed into the most masterful politician who has ever 
lived in this part of the state. He never attempted speech mak- 
ing nor did he seem to take an active part on the floor of a con- 
vention hall, but what he desired was done, and the common 
remark was " Whatever Sletten says, goes." While the receiver 
was devoting most of his time to politics the register, Thomas C. 
Shapleigh, attended to the duties of the office, which he very 
ably performed. He was born in 1824, in Shapleigh, Me., where 
his ancestors had lived nearly 200 years, and came to the North- 
west in 1855. After holding the office of register eight years he 
was for four years clerk of district court. His wife and fair 
daughters were among the most prominent in the social life of 
Crookston's earlier years. He died in 1900. 

John Gromb succeeded to the position of register of the land 
office in 1883, holding it for eight years. He was born in Scot- 
land in 1843 and came to northwestern Minnesota in 1869, locat- 
ing in Becker county the following year, where he was admitted 
to the bar. He came to Crookston in 1879 and engaged in law 
and banking business, and from that time until his death in 1908 
was one of the most influential and highly respected of its people. 
He was a model register, and for many years was president of 
the Merchants' National Bank, and for a quarter century was 
the leading spirit on the board of education of his city. 

Political History. 

The county was strongly Republican in politics until the elec- 
tion of 1890, when the Populist party prevailed by a large major- 
ity, electing their full county and legislative tickets. Among 
those most potent in county political affairs were Peter J. McGuire 
and 0. H. Locken, the first named holding the office of county 
auditor and the last county treasurer for ten years, from the 
beginning of 1881 to the end of 1890. Charles S. Spendley was 
register of deeds from the beginning of 1877 to the end of 1886. 


For eight years, beginning January, 1901, the Populist party 
had complete control. Principals in the leadership of this party 
were P. M. Ringdal, state senator; Edwin E. Lommen, who was 
state senator and nominated by the state convention for lieu- 
tenant-governor; William Marin, John D. Knutson and James 
Cummings, representatives; Andrew Steenerson, sheriff; A. R. 
Holston, county attorney; C. U. Webster, county auditor; Arny 
Grundysen, sheriff; L. E. Gossman, county attorney; John Vig, 
clerk of district court ; Ole E. Hagen, judge of probate, and Dis- 
trict Judge Frank Ives. On the whole the affairs of the county 
were quite well managed by the Populist party while they were 
in power. In 1900 it began to break up, its adherents becoming 
again Democrats and Republicans, and since that time the Repub- 
licans are in control. 

Local Politics. 

Local politics have been much colored by the ambition of 
several towns to become the county seat of a new county. The 
laws of 1893 provided for county division and the creation of new 
counties by vote of the electors. This vote was required to be 
taken when a petition signed by voters one-fourth in number of 
those voting at the last general election was filed with the county 
auditor and secretary of state. All voters had the right to vote 
upon each new county proposition. At the general election in 
November, 1894, vote was taken upon the proposed establishment 
of four new counties within the territory of the county of Polk. 
They were Nash, with county seat at East Grand Forks; Red 
Lake, with county seat at Red Lake Falls; Nelson, with county 
seat at Fosston ; and Columbia, with county seat at Mclntosh. All 
were defeated, but Red Lake had nearly enough votes in its 
favor. In 1885 the law was amended so as to allow an elector 
to vote only for or against one proposition to create a new county 
at the same election. The senator who got this change in the 
law intended that it should only permit the submission of one 
proposition to create a new county at an election ; but the supreme 
court construed it as not having that effect. The result was, at 
the general election in 1896 the voters had before them six propo- 
sitions for new counties within the territory of Polk. They were : 
Nelson, with county seat at Fosston ; Hill, with county seat at 



East Grand Forks; Red Lake, with county seat at Red Lake 
Falls; Garfield, with county seat at Mclntosh; Columbia, with 
county seat at Mclntosh ; and Mills, with county seat at Erskine. 
As the result showed more of the voters were opposed to division 
than in its favor, but each having the privilege of voting on only 
one out of the six propositions before him made it impossible to 
divide the votes so that effect would be given to the wishes of 
the majority in the matter of division. The result was the estab- 
lishment of the new county of Red Lake by proclamation of the 
governor, which was afterwards sustained by the supreme court. 
The other propositions were defeated though the vote on Gar- 
field was very close. In 1902 three new counties were candidates 
for creation Nelson, with county seat at Fosston ; Columbia, with 
county seat at Mclntosh; and Star, with county seat at Erskine. 
The territory in each was the same, the only differences being in 
name of county seat and county commissioners. Each proposi- 
tion received a majority of the votes cast upon it, and the gov- 
ernor proclaimed Columbia a county in December, 1902. It was 
carried on as such until April, 1903, when the supreme court 
decided that but one proposition involving the same territory 
could be submitted at the same election and that the election in 
question was abortive and without result. The law has since been 
changed and provides that no more than one proposition to create 
ft new county shall be submitted at the same election. Under this 
last law a proposition to create Nelson county, with Fosston as 
the county seat, was submitted at the general election in 1908, 
but was defeated. As might be expected much interest was mani- 
fested in these elections, mainly by the inhabitants of the pro- 
posed county seats, and much effort on their part was used to 
bring about favorable results. 

Besides the railroads already mentioned there has been built 
through the county a branch line from Shirley to St. Hilaire in 
1884; the Duluth and Manitoba, by way of Fertile to Red Lake 
Falls and Grand Forks, in 1886 ; the Crookston, Duluth and North- 
ern, from Fertile through Crookston to East Grand Forks, in 
1889, and an extension of the Moorhead Northern from Halstad 
to Crookston, in 1898, and the extension of the Great Northern 
through to Duluth in 1898. 


It may be said generally that during the later seventies and 
down to 1895 the energies of the tillers of the soil in Polk county 
were mainly directed to the production of wheat. Since that 
time the tendency has been more to diversified farming and stock 
raising. In the eastern part of the county creameries are becom- 
ing numerous and well patronized. 

The population of the county was 30,192 in 1890 and 39,209 
in 1895. With Red Lake detached, it was 35,429 in 1900 and 
37,212 in 1905, according to the last state census returns. Na- 
tivity is given at 19,488 born in Minnesota, 5,776 born in the 
United States outside of Minnesota, 845 in Germany, 1707 in 
Sweden, 6,358 in Norway, 1,808 in Canada, 174 in Ireland, 205 
in Denmark, 97 in England, 197 in Bohemia, 164 in Russia, 94 in 
Scotland, 71 in Austria, and 228 all other countries. 

The assessed valuation in 1908, exclusive of exemptions, was 
$10,710,989, of which $1,769,999 was personal property. 

The present county officers are Ben Clements, Marius Chris- 
tiansen, Helge H. Thoreson, E. G. Eklund and James Driscoll, 
county commissioners, Mr. Clements being chairman; Henry J. 
Welte, county auditor ; George J. Flaten, treasurer ; Orin Daniels, 
sheriff; "William A. Lanctot, clerk of court; Theodore A. Thomp- 
son, register of deeds; Thorvold T. Morken, judge of probate; 
Erick 0. Hagen, county attorney; Nels A. Thorson, superintend- 
ent of schools; Stener Steenerson, surveyor; and Nels P. Sten- 
shoel, coroner. 

It constitutes the sixty-second legislative district and is rep- 
resented in the senate by Hon. A. D. Stephens and in the house 
of representatives by Hon. John Holten and Johannes A. Saug- 
stad, all Republicans. 

Hon. A. D. Stephens was born of Swedish parents in Career 
county, Minnesota, in 1853, was educated in the common schools 
and St. Ansgar's Academy, has resided in Polk county ever since 
1880, and is serving his second term as state senator. He was 
chairman of the finance committee of the senate during the last 
session of the legislature, and is one of the ablest and most influ- 
ential members of that body. He has taken great interest in 
the advancement of the Crookston Agricultural College, and its 
principal building, Stephens Hall, is named in his honor. 



Hon. John Holton was born in Norway in 1851, coming to the 
United States in 1866. He is engaged in the mercantile business 
in the village of Fertile. 

Hon. Johannes Saugstad was born in Wisconsin in 1873, is a 
graduate of Crookston high school and is engaged in farming. 

The ninth congressional district of Minnesota is represented 
in congress by Hon. Halvor Steenerson. He was born of Nor- 
wegian parents in Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1852, was edu- 
cated in the common schools, high school and Union College of 
Law, Chicago. He has been a resident of Crookston, in Polk 
county, ever since 1880 engaged in the practice of law. He is 
one of the ablest and most successful lawyers in the northern 
part of Minnesota and has been state senator and delegate to 
the national Republican convention. He is now serving his third 
term in the house of representatives, in which body he ranks high 
as a debater and efficient worker. 


A considerable number of the early settlers were Union sol- 
diers in the Civil War. Colonel Cobham Post of G. A. R. was 
established in Crookston and has had a membership of 104 at 
one time. Of those who belong to it besides old soldiers already 
named may be mentioned Charles H. Mix, who was born in Vir- 
ginia in 1833, came to the Northwest in 1856, enlisted as a private 
soldier and rose to the rank of major, and Sergeant Andrew J. 
Kelley, who was born in Indiana in 1845 and came to Polk county 
in 1873, where he has ever since resided. He is one of the few 
to hold a congressional medal of honor, awarded him for distin- 
guished service in heading a company of six men who volunteered 
for the purpose and went forward and burned a house between 
the contending armies before Knoxville, Tenn. 

Polk county furnished two companies of volunteer soldiers 
for the Spanish American war, one under command of Captain 
Decker, the other under Captain Brandt. They went into camp 
at Chickamauga, but never met the enemy. 

Crookston has now a company of National Guards under 
Captain Westerberg. 



There are 217 school districts in Polk county and 227 school 
buildings, in which are employed 48 male and 267 female teachers, 
with a total enrollment of 9,559 scholars, of whom 3,604 are in 
independent districts. All graded, semigraded and high schools 
and sixty rural schools are equipped with modern ventilating 
systems. The first organized was the Crookston district, in 
March, 1876. Its first teacher was a young lady from Wisconsin, 
who soon became the wife of Hugh Thompson and retired, and 
Mrs. Kelsey D. Chase was the second teacher. The first school- 
house was built in 1876 of boards and tar paper, at the edge of 
the timber on what is now Fourth street, between Main and 
Broadway streets. It was very primitive in construction and 
furniture, but it answered for the only public hall and church 
as well as for school purposes. Ellery C. Davis, E. M. Walsh 
and Robert Houston were the first school board. In 1883 the 
high school was established under the supervision of S. A. Farns- 
worth. He was succeeded the following year by Professor John 
Moore, who for fifteen years continuously held the position of 
superintendent of the city schools. He was born in 1842 and 
is a graduate M. A. and LL. B. of Victoria College, Canada, and 
has ever since his graduation been in the educational work. Be- 
sides being a fine scholar he has the other qualities required for 
success as a teacher and superintendent and has always been very 
diligent in his work. He soon brought the schools of the city, and 
particularly the high school, into the front rank among the 
schools of the state, and maintained it in that position. 

The present superintendent, Prof. E. E. Mclntyre, is serving 
his sixth year in that capacity and is admirably qualified for the 
position. He is a graduate of Colby University in the state of 

Of county superintendents, Prof. Thomas Casey has held office 
the longest, having served ten years in that position, and the 
improvement made in the rural districts has in a large measure 
been brought about by him. He was succeeded in 1909 by the 
present incumbent, Prof. N. Anthony Thoreson, who was born 
in Nicollet county, Minnesota, in 1881, and is a graduate of Gus- 
tavus Adolphus College in this state. 


Banks and Banking in Polk County, Minnesota. 


A. A. Miller. 

According to the best information at present attainable, the 
beginning of banking in what is now Polk county, Minnesota, 
took place in the year 1878, when J. G. McGrew and John Crorab 
started a small bank upon Main street in the city of Crookston, 
having its office in the small frame building occupied by Ives & 
McLean as a law office. The amount of capital invested in this 
bank is uncertain, but was not very large. These gentlemen con- 
ducted the banking business of the county until late in 1880, or 
early in 1881, when the Merchants ' Bank of Crookston was organ- 
ized by M. R. Brown, William Ross, H. B. Montgomery and 
Joseph Kelso, who contributed as capital the sum of $40,000. 
Mr. Kelso was a resident of the state of Iowa, and Mr. Mont- 
gomery of St. Paul, Minn. The active management of the bank 
was in the hands of William Ross, who was the cashier. The 
officers of this bank were Joseph Kelso, president; M. R. Brown, 
vice president, and William Ross, cashier. The new bank bought 
out the banking business of McGrew and Cromb and continued 
in business as a private bank for several years, until 1884, when 
the Merchants' National Bank of Crookston was organized, with 
a capital of $75,000, and succeeded to the business of the Mer- 
chants' Bank. Its first president was John Cromb, with William 
Ross as cashier and H. B. Montgomery as vice president. In the 
year 1891 the interests of Joseph Kelso were purchased by A. D. 
Stephens, who became its cashier and assumed the active man- 
agement and control of the bank, which at this writing he still 
retains. On the death of John Cromb, in 1908, Mr. Stephens be- 
came the president of the bank and V. C. McGregor succeeded to 
the position of cashier. 

The first incorporated bank in Polk county was the First 
National Bank of Crookston, which was organized in the fall of 
the year 1881, with a capital of $100,000, now $75,000, and com- 
menced business in the early days of January, 1882. The banking 
office now occupied by this bank was erected during the fall of 


1882, and the bank has occupied it from, that time constantly 
up to the present. The first president of the First National Bank 
was Robert H. Baker, of Racine, Wis. The first cashier was 
Ansel Bates, who had the active management of the bank for 
several years. He was succeeded in 1884 as cashier by Charles 
E. Sawyer and at the same time George Q. Erskine was elected 
president of the bank. In 1895 Mr. J. W. "Wheeler became the 
cashier of the First National Bank, and has had the active man- 
agement of it from that time to the present. Mr. Wheeler is now 
the president of the bank and C. F. Mix is the cashier. 

The next bank in Crookston to be organized was the Scandia 
American Bank of Crookston, which was organized in the fall 
of the year 1887, with a capital of $50,000, and in December of 
that year commenced business in the new McKinnon block at 
the corner of Main street and Broadway, where it has ever since 
remained. The first officers of this bank were Carl Hendrickson, 
of Grafton, N. D., president ; Lewis Ellington and Halvor Steener- 
son, as vice presidents, and A. G. Galash, as cashier. Mr. Elling- 
ton has been, from the organization of this bank, active in the 
business management, and has held the position of either vice 
president or cashier constantly, and is now the cashier of the 
bank. In the early part of the year 1904 the interests of Carl 
Hendrickson and others were acquired by Messrs. Miller & Foote, 
of Crookston, and J. P. Foote, of this firm, became the president 
of the bank. 

The youngest bank in the city of Crookston is the Crookston 
State Bank, which was established in the year 1902 as a private 
bank under the name of the Bank of Crookston, with a capital 
of $20,000, with L. E. Jones as president and L. D. Foskett as 

During the early part of the present year, 1909, this institu- 
tion was incorporated as the Crookston State Bank, with a capital 
of $40,000, and J. A. Northrup as president and L. D. Foskett as 
cashier, and succeeded to the business of the Bank of Crookston. 

At the present time the deposits in the four banks of Crooks- 
ton are something over $2,500.000, with a combined capital of 
the four banks of $240,000. The Crookston banks always have 
been managed by gentlemen of undoubted integrity, who have 


always taken pride in maintaining the credit of their several 
institutions. These banks have always been able to provide all 
the accommodations needed for banking purposes in Crookston 
and its vicinity, and have always had the most implicit confidence 
of the people of this locality. That this confidence has been de- 
served is apparent from the fact that during the panic of the 
year 1893 the three banks in the city of Crookston were the only 
banks in the Red River valley which did not refuse payment in 
whole or part of their certificates of deposits. There was not 
at any time a day when every check or certificate of deposit 
issued by one of these banks was not honored and paid in cash 
upon presentation by the holder, while other banks were either 
refusing payment of their certificates of deposits or issuing clear- 
ing house certificates in place thereof. 

In the fall and winter of the year 1908, when the widespread 
money stringency spread over the whole of the United States and 
substantially all of the banks in the country suspended payment 
and refused to honor checks of their own customers and their 
own certificates of deposits, excepting in very small amounts, 
the banks of Crookston adopted and carried through the same 
policy which they had followed in 1893, and every certificate of 
deposit issued to their depositors or checks drawn by their de- 
positors were paid in cash on presentation and demand therefor. 

As further illustrating the confidence of the community in 
the management of the Crookston banks, it may be stated that 
thirty days after the suspension of payment by banks in the coun- 
try generally in the fall of 1908, the Crookston banks had on 
hand in actual money in their vaults more than double the sums 
which they had at the time the money stringency was inaugurated. 

Outside of the city of Crookston, as the country settled up 
and small villages and towns grew up along the different lines 
of railroad small banking institutions from time to time were 
established with capital running all the way from $10,000 up 
to $50,000. These banks, many of them, were originally operated 
as private banks, but all have now been incorporated. At the 
present writing the banking capital of the combined banks of 
Polk county is even $500,000, distributed amongst nineteen dif- 
ferent banks. These banks are the following: 



Polk County Banks of Today. 

Merchants' National Bank of Crookston A. D. Stephens, 
president ; Virgil L. McGregor, cashier. 

First National Bank of Crookston J. W. Wheeler, president ; 
C. F. Mix, cashier. 

Scandia American Bank J. P. Foote, president; L. Ellington, 

Crookston State Bank J. A. Northrup, president; L. D. 
Foskett, cashier. 

First State Bank of Beltrami J. W. "Wheeler, president ; C. C. 
Heath, cashier. 

State Bank of Climax B. B. Larson, president ; Norman Ros- 
holt, cashier. 

First National Bank of East Grand Forks E. Arneson, presi- 
dent; G. R. Jacobi, cashier. 

First State Bank of East Grand Forks C. J. Lofgren, presi- 
dent; N. J. Nelson, cashier. 

State Bank of Eldred Norman Rosholt, president ; S. Thomp- 
son, cashier. 

State Bank of Erskine L. Ellington, president; A. F. Cron- 
quist, cashier. 

Citizens State Bank of Fertile 0. H. Taralseth, president; 
A. P. Hanson, cashier. 

First State Bank of Fertile "W. H. Mathews, president ; Nor- 
man Hanson, cashier. 

Bank of Fisher Gunder Krostoe, president ; A. 0. Stortroen, 

First National Bank of Fosston A. D. Stephens, president; 
Lewis Lohn, cashier. 

First State Bank of Fosston L. W. Larsen, president ; J. Lade, 

Citizens' State Bank of Mclntosh J. P. Foote, president; C. 
L. Conger, cashier. 

First National Bank of Mclntosh W. F. Reickhoff, president ; 
C. M. Berg, cashier. 

First State Bank of Mentor A. D. Stephens, president ; Joseph 
Tagley, cashier. 


State Bank of Neilsville B. B. Larson, president ; James Lar- 
son, cashier. 

During all the times in the history of Polk county there has 
never been a failure of any bank within its limits. The officers 
of these banks are prominent amongst the business men of the 
vicinity and amongst the banking fraternity in the state, and 
have furnished one president for the Minnesota Bankers' Asso- 
ciation, Mr. J. W. Wheeler, of the First National Bank of Crooks- 
ton. That these banks have received the confidence of the people 
of the county is due entirely to the fact that they have deserved 
it by the conservatism with which the banks have been managed 
and at the same time by the liberality of the treatment of their 

The banking rooms of the several banks are ample for the 
business which they transact, and especially is it true of the banks 
at Crookston that they do not suffer by comparison with the rooms 
occupied by banks in much larger cities than that of Crookston. 



Public Schools of Crookston. 

E. E. Mclntire. 

Crookston educates its children in two distinct school districts, 
district No. 1 and district No. 257. The latter is located in the 
south side of the city, in that section known as South Crookston, 
or Carman, and is organized as a common school with an official, 
board of three trustees. District No. 1 is organized as an inde- 
pendent school district and is administered by a board of educa- 
tion composed of six members, as follows: E. M. Walsh, presi- 
dent; Edward Peterson, clerk; F. R. Hamel, treasurer; Carl 
Reidesel, 0. 0. Christiansen, E. L. Chesterman. 

All of the sites for school buildings, with the exception of the 
one in Highland Park, are occupied by commodious and modern 
buildings. In Jerome's addition is the McKinley building of four 
rooms, opened in 1903; in the "woods" neighborhood, the new 
and magnificent Franklin building, opened last January, erected 
at the cost of $40,000, with rooms for eight departments; in 
Sampson's addition, the Eugene Field School, remodeled and en- 
larged three years ago, of four departments; on the "Hill," the 
new Washington School, of four departments, was opened two 
years ago, a building of the newest approved appointments, and 



the central grounds, the Lincoln and High School buildings, the 
former the older, with rooms for thirteen departments, the latter 
the home of the 260 high school pupils, with their nine or ten 
teachers. The maximum registration of pupils in the above enu- 
merated schools is 1,763, for whose instruction the district employs 
forty-one teachers. 

Each building is heated by steam, is equipped with a complete 
plumbing system and is supplied with ten proper mechanical de- 
vices for perfect ventilation. Forced ventilation is obtained in 
the Franklin School by a fan drawn by a twelve-horsepower elec- 
tric motor. 

The high school receives special state aid amounting to nearly 
$2,500 a year, and extends for tuition to all pupils without regard 
to their place of residence, a fact which helps to account for the 
large number of non-resident pupils registered in the school. 
Seven hundred and fifty dollars of state aid is annually received 
on account of the normal training department, which is main- 
tained in connection with the high school and which has enrolled 
during the past year between forty and fifty pupils. This depart- 
ment is to prepare students for teaching. 

An ungraded department was organized for the benefit of 
pupils not adapted to the graded system, two years ago, and now 
enrolls nearly 100 pupils and employs two special instructors. 

Manual training was introduced one year ago, for which the 
shop is located on the fourth floor of the high school building, 
which has a complete equipment of benches and tools for carpen- 
tering and tables for mechanical drawing; shop work is given to 
all the boys above the fifth grade and to as many as wish it in 
the high school. During the past year 250 boys have enjoyed the 
benefit of the department of instruction. Sewing is taught to the 
girls of the same grade. Music and drawing are being systemat- 
ically taught under special instruction. In the high school are 
the following musical organizations: A boys' glee club, a girls' 
glee club, a mixed chorus and a high school orchestra. 

Literary work receives regular attention, each high school 
class constituting a literary society, giving programs tri-weekly 
throughout the school year. Public declamations and orations 


are encouraged. Class debates are a part of the regular work of 
the school. 

The general library of reference books is gradually increasing 
and now comprises nearly 1,000 well chosen volumes. This library 
is of the freest access and is in constant use. 

The pupils have published during the past year a school organ 
called the ''Little Press," which has been highly complimented 
both at home and abroad. The social life of the high school re- 
ceives proper encouragement. 

Among the boys the athletic sports are by no means neglected, 
and it has been the aim of the school to take a firm stand for 
clean sports in all inter-scholastic contests. The young men of 
the Crookston high school have been the recipients of high com- 
mendation for their uniform good behavior while representing 
their school and city in the neighboring towns. 

Ezra E. Mclntire. The present superintendent of the Crooks- 
ton schools, Ezra Elmer Mclntire, was born in Neponset, 111., June 
15, 1861, educated in a preparatory school known as the Water- 
ville Classical Institute, Waterville, Me., where he attended from 
1877-79, under Dr. J. H. Hanson, principal. Graduated from 
Colby University, state of Maine, with the class of 1884, degree 
of A. B. ; degree of M. A. in class of 1886. 

After graduating he went to Union, la., where he was engaged 
in teaching from 1886-88. He next went to Warsaw, HI., where 
he was also engaged in the same occupation from 1888-90. He 
then removed to Glencoe, Minn., where he also took up teaching, 
remaining there from 1890-1903. From there went to Crookston 
and accepted the superintendency of the city schools. 

Prof. Thomas Casey was born in the Empire state, in the city 
of Rochester, October 27, 1855. Son of Joseph and Matilda 
(Webb) Casey, both of Irish extraction. Father of the subject 
of this pleasant memoir was an agriculturist. In 1863, when the 
great Civil War was going on, this family removed to Samilac 
county, Michigan. In that state Professor Casey completed his 
high school course, then entered northern Indiana Normal School 
in the city of Valparaiso, completing a scientific course, graduat- 
ing in class of 1882, with degree of B. S. At the age of nineteen 


he taught school during his college vacations, and immediately 
after graduating he was chosen as the principal of his home 
schools. In 1882 he resigned his position to join the Winnipeg 
boom, and for a year after arriving in Winnipeg, Manitoba, 
worked as a bookkeeper for the firm of McDonald & Hawley. In 
the fall of 1883 was the beginning of his school career in Polk 
county, arriving in Crookston, where he again took up his chosen 
profession of teaching; selected to teach the South Crookston 
schools for a brief period. Later became the choice of the people 
as principal of the Fisher schools, where he continued for three 
years. Many of his pupils there have felt his impress among 
them as an able teacher, especially in mathematics and penman- 
ship. He taught in the grammar department of the Crookston 
high school for one year; superintendent of the city schools of 
East Grand Forks one year, when he was induced to return to 
Fisher for one year. He was then appointed as superintendent of 
schools in Polk county, to fill the vacancy of E. F. Elliot. Polk 
county was then the largest organized county in the state, and 
Professor Casey served as superintendent one year and a half. 
He joined the next campaign as the Republican nominee for the 
office of county superintendent, and received the nomination by 
acclamation, but the party ticket was defeated by the Populist 
landslide, although he ran 1,603 votes ahead of his ticket. He 
then became city superintendent of Red Lake Falls city schools, 
where he continued for five consecutive years, and during this 
period was engaged by the state to instruct teachers in the sum- 
mer school for four years, and thus became one of the most suc- 
cessful and popular instructors of northern Minnesota. He was 
again induced to take charge of the Fisher state graded schools, 
where he remained until the fall of 1900; then resigned to enter 
the campaign as a candidate on the Republican ticket for county 
superintendent of Polk county. He was elected against his for- 
midable opponent by a majority of more than 500, and was the 
first Republican to qualify in Polk county in a period of ten years 
as a county official. He holds a state professional certificate. He 
is a member of the Masonic Order of Crookston. 


Northwest Experiment Farm and Crookston School of Agriculture 
of the University of Minnesota. 

William Robertson. 

The Northwest Experiment Farm of the University of Minne- 
sota, a gift from James J. Hill, is situated just north of Crooks- 
ton. It was established in 1895, with T. A. Hoverstad as super- 
intendent, the object being to study local agricultural conditions 
of this section of the state. Under Superintendent Hoverstad 's 
administration several acres of forestry plantation were made, a 
good poultry plant was put in operation and appropriations were 
made by the state for installing an experimental drainage system. 

Meanwhile, owing to the enthusiasm of the people of this re- 
gion, the legislature of 1905 was induced to pass a law establish- 
ing a school of agriculture, which was to be a department of the 
University of Minnesota, be in charge of the board of regents of 
the university and be located at or near Crookston. An appro- 
priation of $15,000 was also made for erecting and equipping a 
building for its use. 

At this time Superintendent Hoverstad resigned and William 
Robertson, of the St. Anthony Park school, was elected superin- 
tendent of both the school and the farm, and took charge of affairs 
hi August of the same season. 

The board of regents, after due consideration, located the 
school on the Northwest Experiment Farm, and the following 
whiter erected a three-story brick building which housed the 
school for the first two years. The school is what might be classed 
as an agricultural high school, and is intended to round out the 
education of the farm boys and girls after they leave the rural 
schools, fitting them either to go back to the farm or to enter the 
university, should they desire to take up professional work in the 
line of agriculture. Students attending the institution are boarded 
at the school and are thus in a continual agricultural atmosphere, 
expenses being only the actual cost of living. The course of 
study includes farm botany, mechanical drawing, music, farm 
mathematics, poultry, social culture, English, agriculture, black- 


Bmithing, carpentry, military drill, cooking, physical training, 
sewing, study of breeds, laundering, agricultural physics, dairy- 
ing, fruit growing, farm accounts, stock judging, breeding, house- 
hold art, agricultural chemistry, vegetable gardening, field crops, 
gymnasium, forestry, entomology, algebra, handling grain and 
machinery, veterinary science, civics, geometry, plant propaga- 
tion, dressing and curing meats, feeding, soils and fertilizers, home 
economy, domestic chemistry, domestic hygiene and meats. 

Although the school has been hampered by lack of funds, room 
and equipment, it has been popular from the start, and in its third 
winter had an enrollment of 101 students, practically all farmers ' 
sons and daughters, coming from various parts of northwestern 

As a result of the loyal support of the people of the Eed Eiver 
valley, under the able leadership of Senator A. D. Stephens, the 
school is now being well cared for in the way of current expense, 
and will have two additional buildings within the next two years. 
With its numerous attractive buildings and pleasant surround- 
ings and the practical work which it is accomplishing, the insti- 
tution is becoming a source of pride to the people of the Eed 
Eiver valley. 

Along with the development of the school has gone that of the 
farm. In co-operation with the department of agriculture at 
Washington the experimental drainage system has been installed, 
the farm now having two miles of open ditch and approximately 
nine miles of tile drains. Minnesota Experiment Station Bulletin 
No. 110 gives a full description of the system. 

The poultry plant of the farm continues to grow in importance 
and is doing much to provide the farmers of the state, at small 
cost, with excellent strains of pure-bred stock. 

The farm and school are only a pleasant drive or walk from 
Crookston, and are much visited by outsiders as well as by 

Eclectic Business College. 

The Eclectic Business College of Crookston is located on the 
top floor of the Merchants Bank building and is under the man- 
agement of Mrs. Julia A. Hughes. This college is fast becoming 
one of the best shorthand schools in Minnesota. The principal, 


Mrs. Julia A. Hughes, is a woman of years of experience as a 
reporter of some of the largest conventions in the Northwest, and 
is well versed in court work, having had twenty years' experience 
as a public stenographer, typewriter and expert accountant. She 
founded a school, September, 1905, on a small scale in her own 
private home, teaching shorthand and other branches. In Sep- 
tember, 1906, she opened the Eclectic Business College in the 
old postoffice building, and in December, 1908, moved into the 
present headquarters, Merchants Bank building. She under- 
stands and can teach several systems of shorthand, namely: Ec- 
lectic, Graham, Munson, Moran, Pitman and Gregg. After years 
of experience in all these systems, she has decided that the Eclec- 
tic is the easiest to learn, read, write and remember. This college 
also teaches elocution and oratory, commercial and preparatory 
courses. Bookkeeping in all its branches is in charge of an ex- 
perienced accountant, M. J. Casey, who teaches latest and short- 
est methods. Commercial law, political economy and commercial 
correspondence are in charge of P. S. Hughes, who is thoroughly 
versed in these subjects. This college will graduate a class of 
twenty-four in June, 1909. 

Mrs. Julia A. Hughes was born in Chicago and attended school 
there seven years, three at convent and four at the public schools, 
completing the eight grades. Attended high school at Storm 
Lake, Iowa; next entered the Buena Vista County Normal Insti- 
tute, completed a four years' course and graduated in class of 
1888, receiving teacher's professional diploma; then entered the 
Western Normal College of Shenandoah, Iowa, and graduated 
from that institution in 1891, completing the normal, literary, 
scientific, elocution and oratory, shorthand and business courses 
and winning a gold seal. Also took a course of private lessons 
in elocution, oratory and Delsarte movements, under Marion 
Lowell Pickens, of Boston and Philadelphia Schools of Oratory 
and Elocution. 

The Masonic Lodge of Crookston, No. 114, was organized under 
dispensation in 1879. Ross Houston and C. E. Dampier were made 
Masons under this dispensation. January 15, 1880, the lodge 
received its charter. The first officers: W. M., M. R. Brown; 
S. W., William Box ; J. W., J. H. Thomas ; treasurer, W. E. Harts- 


horn; secretary, J. K. Arnold; S. D., W. M. Ross; J. D., W. H. 
Stuart; S. S. Frank Bivins; J. S., C. S. Spendley; Tyler, C. E. 
Dampier. In 1909 the officers are : W. M., Thomas Morris ; S. W., 
C. L. Bang; J. W., B. D. Keck; treasurer, E. M. Walsh; secretary, 
O. Fredericks ; S. D., I. S. Mills ; J. D., E. W. Schmidt ; S. S., H. I. 
Marsh ; J. S., Nels Christiansen ; Tyler, C. H. Mix. 

The approximate membership is 250. They own the top floor 
of the Wallace building, valued at $8,000.- 

Pierson Chapter No. 141. Excellent high priest, Thomas 
Spence King, B. D. Keck ; scribe, E. A. Mills ; C. H., H. A. Marsh ; 
P. S., Oscar Frederick ; M. 3d V., W. G. Lytle ; M. 2d V., C. F. 
Mix ; M. 1st V., F. Bracelin ; treasurer, C. E. Dampiers ; secretary, 
G. W. Munch. The membership of the chapter is 144. 

Constantine Commandery No. 20 E. C., C. C. Strander; G., 

E. A. Mills; C. G., C. F. Mix; P., W. S. Ward; S. W., B. D. Keck; 
J. W., A. A. Miller; St. B., A. C. Schmidt; S. W. B., F. M. Brown; 
W., W. G. Lytle ; treasurer, J. W. Wheeler ; recorder, L. S. Miller. 
Membership, 116. 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows of Crookston. Chief offi- 
cers at the organization of Valley Encampment No. 9, organized 
1880, were as follows: Chief, Frank Creamer; J. W. Hawkins, 
senior warden ; J. W. Sandberg, junior warden ; G. S. Chesterman, 
scribe. Later officers are: A. A. Glenn, chief; W. H. Dixon, 
senior warden ; M. A. Hoffard, junior warden ; G. S, Chesterman, 
scribe. Number of members, 90. 

This lodge owns its building, valued at $7,500. It was the old 
court house, and since the Odd Fellows Lodge purchased it has 
been remodeled and refurnished. 

Crookston Lodge No. 79. Officers: A. 0. Busterud, noble 
grand; Magnus Lundberg, vice grand; G. S. Chesterman, secre- 
tary; Carl Riedesel, treasurer. 

Modern Woodmen of America, Crookston Camp No. 2,303, 
was instituted by D. H. Counsel and E. 0. Ransom. First officers : 
V. S., L. G. Theures; W. A., A. C. Schmidt; E. B., A. Chabot; 
clerk, William O. Brien ; escort, W. A. Hammond ; watch, Charles 

F. Boeman; secretary, Charles Baungartel; physician, A. H. Dun- 

First delegate, Martin 0. Brien, March 17, 1896, elected to 


state and national convention. At convention held in Peoria, 111., 
in 1908 he was the unanimous choice of that convention and 
elected as national auditor. 

Clerk William 0. Brien at first organization of the camp re- 
signed on account of having to leave the city. He was succeeded 
by Carl Riedesel, the present clerk. He has remained continu- 
ously ever since, with the exception of two terms. 

Present officers (1909) : V. C., Thomas R. Johnston; W. A., 
Joseph LeBlanc; E. B., Nels Peterson; clerk, Carl Riedesel; escort, 
E. A. Linde ; watch, Joseph Couvrette ; sentry, L. N. Howe. 

Directors: A. A. Just, A. H. Dunlap, C. E. Dampier, J. S. 
Killand. Up to December 31, 1907, Camp 2,303, Crookston, paid 
to head camp $28,951.90. General fund to uphold the head camp, 

Since organization of the local camp, twelve deaths have oc- 
curred for which $27,000 have been paid in beneficiaries. Camp 
2,303 has paid to aid other afflicted members an approximate sum 
of $2,000. Also donated $250 to build a cottage known as Crooks- 
ton cottage on the sanitarium grounds, Colorado Springs. 

Clerk Carl Riedesel represented his camp at the national con- 
vention held at Peoria, 111., in 1908. 

Churches of Crookston. 
The Catholic Church in the City of Crookston. 

Judge R. J. Montague. 

At the present time about one-third of the population of 
Crookston profess to belong to the Catholic church. It is com- 
monly stated and believed that at least one-half of the people 
of Crookston who attend services at churches attend the services 
at the Catholic church. Not that there are more Catholics in 
town than all other denominations, but more people appear to 
attend the services at the Catholic churches in the city than do 
at all the other churches. 

The parent congregation of the Catholic churches in this city 
is St. Anne 's church, organized October 22, 1879 ; the first meet- 


ings and services were held in a small hall over Fontaine & 
Anglim's store on Main street in the city. At that time William 
Kistenmacher, John R. McKinnon and Louis Fontaine were the 
trustees. Soon thereafter these trustees secured grounds for the 
location of a church. The church location was on lots 21 and 22, 
of block 2, in L. Fletcher's addition to Crookston. Mrs. Almira 
Clements donated one lot; the trustees bought the other. The 
church of that congregation and parsonage are still situated on 
those lots. The value of the property is about $19,000. The 
church edifice is the latest of the better class of church edifices 
built in the city, and probably in all its arrangements is the best. 

At the time of the organization of both the congregations 
herein referred to of the Catholic church, the Rt. Rev. Seiden- 
busch, of St. Cloud, was the bishop in charge of this diocese. The 
Rev. Peter B. Champaigne, a resident of Red Lake Falls, had the 
general charge as priest of all this territory. Numerous pastors 
for short periods of time were placed in charge. 

It was a struggle with St. Anne's church for a good while; 
the edifice was erected in 1880, but in an entirely uncompleted 
condition, until in the summer of 1882, when August Munn, F. E. 
LePage and R. J. Montague were selected by the congregation 
and approved by the bishop as trustees, and were enabled, 
through the generosity of the congregation, to complete the 
church and put in pews, since which time services have been regu- 
larly held. This church was incorporated August 1, 1904, under 
Rt. Rev. James McGolrick, of Duluth, the bishop, the vicar gen- 
eral, the pastor, Rev. L. J. Grandchamp, Zephraim Geroux, and 
F. E. LePage being the incorporators. 

The old church edifice, erected in 1880, was moved off the 
ground and the present splendid new edifice replaces it. One 
hundred and eighty-five families comprise the congregation of 
this church at the present time. The societies attached are St. 
Anne's Ladies' Society and St. Mary's Sodality for Young Ladies. 
The present pastor is the Rov. Tapin. 

Any history of this congregation would be entirely incomplete 
did it not give some account of St. John Baptiste Society, organ- 
ized in 1879. This society flourished for more than fifteen years 
and comprised nearly all of the enterprising members of the con- 


gregation of that church. Louis Fontaine, then and for many 
years the leading merchant of Crookston, was a zealous member 
and promoter of that society. It provided entertainments and 
on many occasions funds for the church; it celebrated regularly 
St. John Baptiste Day, June 24, and regularly, on every anniver- 
sary of that day, a splendid celebration and street parade was 
given. Large sums of money were spent to make the celebration 
a success. There were floats in the parades representing the 
early Canadian voyageurs; the Canadian boatmen, hunters and 
explorers, each accompanied by persons singing the songs and 
illustrating the times. They made it the one gala day of the 
year. The writer well remembers an old American, Judge 
Keynolds' statement, that there was no use trying to celebrate 
the Fourth of July, because this St. John Baptiste Society cele- 
brated so well the 24th of June that their celebration would 
eclipse anything likely to be gotten up for the Fourth of July. 
The celebration usually ended with balls and festivities for the 
young people in the evening. The society disbanded about four- 
teen years ago. 

St. Mary's congregation was organized in 1886 and arose 
from the fact that the great majority of the people attending 
services at St. Anne's church spoke and understood French and 
desired to have sermons in the French language, and those people 
not speaking or understanding the French language applied to 
the bishop for leave to organize a separate congregation. Such 
leave was granted, and in 1886 St. Mary's church was organized. 
The first board of trustees was R. J. Montague, William Anglim 
and John R. McKinnon. Arrangements were made with the Rev. 
J. E. Lawler, then the pastor of the Fisher congregation, to give 
services to the newly formed congregation of Crookston twice a 
month. The church property now consists of lots 15, 16, 17 and 
18, of block 14, original townsite of Crookston, situated on the 
corner of Broadway and Fifth street, bein 140x150 feet in size, 
and contains a plain frame church edifice and residence for the 
pastor. The church is becoming insufficient in size for the grow- 
ing congregation and boasts of being one of the churches of 
northern Minnesota to become clear and independent of debt at 
an earlier date than other churches. Three years ago its annual 


statement showed that there was no indebtedness and a sum of 
more than $500 in the banks on certificates of deposit as a build- 
ing fund. This is being gradually added to. The grounds are 
well located and ample for a splendid church edifice and parson- 
age. The value of the grounds, present church edifice and par- 
sonage is about $11,000. The membership is considerably smaller 
than that of St. Anne's, but sufficient to build and maintain a 
good church; the number of families claimed to belong to the 
church at the present time is 130. 

The church is now incorporated and the present pastor, with 
William Anglim and Judge L. E. Gossman, are its trustees. The 
present pastor is Rev. John W. Smiers. Several religious societies 
are connected with this church and all are acting zealously and 
doing good work. 

In connection with the account of the Catholic churches in 
the city, reference should be made to the following institutions 
and societies under Catholic auspices: 

St. Vincent's Hospital, a large and modernly equipped build- 
ing, constructed in 1902, on block 25, original townsite of Crooks- 
ton, is owned and conducted by the Benedictine Sisters. This 
institution is conducted on the broadest principles of charity, its 
doors are open to all, and each year it accommodates upwards of 
150 patients. The same sisters maintain in the city a school of 
vocal and instrumental music. 

St. Joseph's Academy was established in 1905 by the Sisters 
of St. Joseph. These sisters have a convenient and beautiful 
piece of property on Houston avenue and conduct there a school 
for girls and young ladies. 

Catholic fraternal societies are represented in the city by a 
court of the Catholic Order of Foresters, instituted in 1897, with 
a membership of over fifty, and a Council of the Knights of Co- 
lumbus, instituted in 1907, with a membership of about 125. 

First Presbyterian Church of Crookston was organized July 
9, 1882, with fifteen members. C. H. Mix, Esq., was unanimously 
chosen as ruling elder by Presbytery of the Red River. H. C. 
Baskeville, was the first pastor; came from New York. 

The original records were destroyed or lost. July, 1883, Rev. 
Baskeville was called away from his work to Fort Worth, Texas. 


In packing up his effects, by mistake he packed up the session 
record book, and after arriving at Fort Worth there was a fire, 
and in this way the first records were lost. 

The rotary system of elders was adopted. Major Mix was 
the first ruling elder ordained at that meeting and installed by 
a committee appointed by Presbytery of the Red River, Rev. 
John Nevin, assisted by Rev. H. C. Baskeville. The charter mem- 
bers are as follows: C. H. Mix, Helen P. Mix (died March 13, 
1885), Cassie Mix, C. F. Mix, W. R. Dunn, Mrs. W. R. Dunn, Emma 
Baskeville, Isabella Daugherty, Adaline Daugherty. By letter, 
Mrs. Daugherty, Mrs. McKenzie, Mrs. Finlayson, Mrs. Cohoon, 
Mrs. A. Palmer, David Huggard, Miss E. and Mrs. R. Huggard, 
Samuel Huggard, Robert Towers, Mrs. N. N. Markham. 

Major C. H. Mix, of Crookston, has been clerk ever since the 
organization. The first services were held on the corner of 
Broadway and Rolph streets. The pastors have been as follows : 
Rev. Baskeville, 1882-83 ; second, Rev. R. R. Adams, 1883-84; third, 
Rev. Gordon, served six months in 1885; 0. H. Elmer, 1886-93; 
fourth, H. McClern, served three months in 1884 ; fifth, C. H. Fulton 
served three months; sixth, Rev. F. L. Fraser, 1894-98; seventh, 
T. W. Fraser, 1898-02 ; eighth, Donald McKenzie, 1902-05 ; ninth, 
Rev. Williard S. Ward, 1905 present pastor in 1909. The mem- 
bership for 1909 is 167. Receipts of the Ladies' Aid Society, 
$1,361.03, for 1909 is in the bank, and set aside for furnishing the 

Methodist Episcopal Church of Crookston was organized Octo- 
ber 12, 1879. Rev. C. B. Brecount, pastor. First services held in 
Crookston were held in what was known as Losey's Hall. The 
first church is now used as Garvick's meat market, opposite the 
Cleveland Hotel. 

Rev. Brecount served until October 13, 1880, and has been 
succeeded by J. W. Clipper, October 13, 1880, to October, 1882 ; 
A. W. Edwards, appointed October 10, 1882, to October, 1883; 
J. F. Ziegler, October, 1883, to May, 1884; J. C. Gullett, October 
13, 1884, to October, 1886 ; M. N. Baker, October 12, 1886-87 ; J. J. 
Edwards, October 23, 1887-88; C. R. Kellerman, May, 1888, to 
October, 1888 ; C. T. Sharpe, October 15, 1888, to October 5, 1891 ; 
J. J. Edwards, October 5, 1891, to July 31, 1892; Lee W. Squier, 


August 1, 1892, to October 6, 1895; William Hanson, October 6, 
1895, to October 5, 1896 ; J. E. Houlgate, October 5, 1896, to Octo- 
ber, 1898 ; A. E. Rowson, October, 1898 ; C. S. L. Lathvan, October, 
1899, served one year; F. A. Ganson, October 1900-01; George E. 
Satterlee, October, 1901-06 ; A. B. Buckner, October, 1906 ; Thomas 
E. Green, 1907; Francis M. McCoy, 1908, is the present pastor. 
The official board of the church was Andrew Hanson and wife, 
Adalaide Harris, William Hurst and wife, Edward Hurst and 

Charter members: Christene Hanson, October 26, 1879; 
Mathew Knedy, July, 1879; Hattie Laterman, November, 1879; 
Hannah Morris, November 2, 1879; Amanda Messick, November 
2, 1879; H. Bradshaw, October, 1879; Ellsworth D. Childs, Sep- 
tember 12, 1879 ; Elias Phillips, 1879 ; Sarah Bardsley, July, 1880 ; 
William H. Bailey, August, 1880; Alvira Baker, December, 1880; 
Peter Burnett, 1880 ; Samuel Crookshank and wife, 1880 ; William 
Cunningham and wife, Priscilla Cunningham, 1880; Robert Cor- 
coran, 1880 ; A. M. Childs, 1880 ; Matilda L. Cochrane, 1880 ; Mary 
Kent, 1880 ; Christoph Kern, 1880 ; John Morris, 1880 ; Avis Mar- 
tin, 1880 ; Alexander McGregor and wife, 1880 ; E. B. Odell, 1880 ; 
M. S. Odell, 1880; Jennie Paul, 1880; John Ralston, 1880; Fred- 
erick Smith and wife and daughter Mary, 1880; C. G. Simmons, 
1880 ; Charles W. Sanf ord and wife, 1880 ; Hannah Watts, 1880 ; 
Marion Webb, 1880 ; J. C. Waldron and wife, 1880 ; Williard Will- 
iams, 1880 ; Anna P. Watson, 1880 ; C. W. Webster and wife and 
daughter, 1880 ; Rev. S. M. Webster, P. Elder, Martha Webster, 

October, 1879, the Methodist Episcopal church quarterly meet- 
ing for the Red River district was held at Losey's hall Sunday 
morning at nine o'clock; Rev. J. B. Starky, presiding elder, pre- 
siding at the morning service, and the Rev. C. Brecount in the 

The present Methodist Episcopal church was formerly used as 
a roller skating rink and as a theatre, at that time located where 
the excavation for a federal building is now going on. This 
building was removed in 1905 to its present location near the cor- 
ner of Ash and Fletcher streets. The parsonage adjoins the 
church, which is on the corner. 


In October, 1908, Rev. F. M. McCoy was called to the pastorate 
of this church. The building had undergone some marked im- 
provements and a reopening service was held the first Sunday of 
his work. A few things at least which followed are worthy of 
special mention. A new system of work was inaugurated for the 
benefit of the visitors and strangers who attended the services. 
A Men's Club was organized, with Prof. William Robertson, presi- 
dent, and Mr. J. W. Newberry, secretary. A Boy's Club was 
also organized, with Harry Nicholson, president, and Aaron Fel- 
sing, secretary. The facilities for worship were augmented in 
March by the purchase of 200 new hymnals. The State Sunday 
School Convention, which was held in the church in May, gave 
impetus to the work in numbers added and interest manifested. 

May 2 was a notable day in the history of the church, when 
forty-six joined its ranks. With strong, consecrated men and 
women in places of responsibility and a large and devoted follow- 
ing of people and true, this church bids fair to be a very important 
factor in shaping the future of city and county along ways that 
lead to righteous living, where "man to man shall brother be." 

The present officials are : G. H. Wright, president ; C. F. Car- 
penter, secretary and treasurer; J. W. Wheeler, J. F. Ingersol, 
B. D. Keck, J. C. Sathre, Byron Crowe, A. M. Childs, F. E. Mc- 
Gregor and Prof. William Robertson. 

Episcopal Church. First Episcopal services held October 31, 
1879, in Losey's hall. The first minister was Rev. William Cur- 
rie, who was a rector in Grand Forks and served this mission at 
Crookston. He was succeeded by Samuel Currie, his brother. 
The next minister was the Rev. Fortier; the next was Rev. Kite 
and then Rev. Greene ; the latter served ten years, succeeded by 
the present pastor, Rev. Cox. The wardens of the church are 
Lorenzo Davis, C. E. Brown; vestrymen, Luther Palmer and 
Charles E. Potts and Fred Walker. The first cost of the church, 

The ground where the building is now located was donated by 
Mrs. Lorin Fletcher. The building was donated under a contract 
by M. R. Brown as follows: To keep up perpetual service, and 
seats free, insured, and out of debt. Judge Davis Brower drew up 
the contract. The early members of the church were : M. R. Brown, 


Judge Brower, W. D. Hulburt, W. E. Hartshorn, John Crowe, 
E. M. Walsh, George Peak. 

Hauges Lutheran Church. "Hauges Minde" of "Hauges Nor- 
wegian Evangelical Lutheran Synod," Crookston, Minn., was or- 
ganized in 1887. In the fall of the year 1889 a church was built, 
located at the corner of Hunter and Hurlbut streets in Crookston. 
The church's first pastor, who served until 1890, was Rev. Bers- 
vend Anderson. From 1890 until 1894 Rev. M. J. Westphal was 
in charge of the church. He was succeeded by Rev. M. G. Hanson, 
who served until 1898. Upon his resignation, Rev. J. T. Krog- 
stad was called to serve temporarily. His work in the church 
extended over a period of about two years. When Krogstad was 
unable to serve as pastor of the church, Rev. 0. Anderson was 
called to take up the work. In 1903 Rev. A. J. Krogstad was 
called to take up the pastorate of the church. His connection 
with the church was severed January 1, 1908. Rev. 0. F. John- 
son was called as his successor and took up the work February 
1, 1908. 

The congregation has had its ups and downs through the years 
it has existed. The greatest handicap the church has experienced 
is that it has had but two resident pastors with the exception of 
Rev. Johnson, the other pastors having served the church in con- 
nection with other calls; hence the work has not been efficient, 
and it has not progressed as it otherwise would have done. The 
membership has varied at the different times. New members have 
been added to the enrolment while others have removed and 
hence left the church. The present membership is about 100. 
The future outlook is very encouraging, perhaps more so than 
at any other time in the history of the church. 

Our Savior Church of the Synod for the Norwegian Evan- 
gelical Lutheran church of America, of Crookston, Minn., was 
formally organized by Rev. O. P. Vangsness, then of Minneapolis, 
Minn., August 28, 1889. Church work had previous to this date, 
though, been carried on. The first trustees were : 0. P. Sawyer, 
Andrew Sanders and Andrew Eiken. 

The church has been served by the following pastors: Rev. 
O. P. Vangsness, 1889; Rev. P. T. Hilmen, October 30, 1889-97; 
Rev. 0. Andalsrud, August 18, 1898, until September 24, .1899; 


Rev. Albert Quammen, 1900 until August 4, 1901; Rev. 0. An- 
dalsrud, August 18, 1901, until November 29, 1903. The present 
pastor, Rev. Adolph Salverson, was installed May 22, 1904. 

The present board of trustees consists of the following mem- 
bers : H. B. Tveden, Chris M. Tveden, Isaac Knudson, S. H. Ling- 
holm, N. P. Stenshoel. The present officers of the congregation 
are as follows : Rev. Adolph Salverson, president ; Chris M. 
Tveden, vice president; 0. 0. Christiansen, secretary; H. B. 
Tveden, treasurer. 

First Congregational Church of Crookston, Minn. What is 
now the First Congregational church of Crookston was organized 
as Christ's church on the 6th day of February, 1878. This was 
a union church made up of members of several different denomina- 
tions. The first pastor, so far as the records now attainable dis- 
close, was Rev. F. H. Smith, who commenced work on the 8th of 
June, 1878, and remained one year. He was succeeded by Rev. 
S. H. Barteau, whose service began on October 23, 1879, and 
lasted until March 9, 1882. The first trustees of the Christ's 
church were C. S. Spendley, Frank Bivins and N. G. Jennings. 

On November 27, 1879, these trustees purchased for the use of 
the church the lot upon the corner of Ash and Third streets, op- 
posite the Central school building, where the Congregational 
church now stands. The first services, however, were held in 
what was then known as "Lawrence Hall," upstairs on Main 
street. During the pastorate of the Rev. S. H. Barteau the union 
church was dissolved and the First Congregational church of 
Crookston was organized. This was December 21, 1879. The 
church was incorporated as the First Congregational church of 
Crookston, with Charles S. Spendley, Frank Bivins and Gilbert 
N. Jennings as trustees, on the 25th day of March, 1880. 

The pastors of the church succeeding Mr. Barteau were the fol- 
lowing in the order named : 

Rev. Thomas J. West, whose pastorate was very short, lasting 
only from March, 1882, to July, 1882. He was followed by Rev. 
C. E. Page, whose pastorate ended in November, 1885. Rev. W. 
H. Medler was pastor from March, 1886, to March, 1889, and was 
succeeded by Rev. J. G. Smith, who remained for a year or two. 
The longest pastorate of the church was that of Rev. Herman P. 


Fisher, who succeeded J. G. Smith and remained for nearly ten 
years. Under the administration of Mr. Fisher the church at- 
tained greater strength, financial and otherwise, than it had 
acquired previously in its history. Mr. Fisher was succeeded in 
the pastorate by Rev. E. S. Shaw, who remained for two years 
and gave place to Rev. J. P. Dickerman, whose term lasted for 
not quite one year. In August, 1908, the present pastor, Rev. 

C. C. Warner, was recognized by council. 

The work of this church has always been in the front of the 
moral and religious work of the city. The church building was 
erected in the year 1884, during the pastorate of Rev. C. E. Page, 
and was the same size as the church is at present, excepting that 
it had no basement. In 1898, during the pastorate of Rev. E. S. 
Shaw, the church was substantially rebuilt, a basement finished 
off underneath the whole of the church, which contains the steam 
heating plant, ladies' kitchen, dining room, library and parlors. 
During the same year a pipe organ, manufactured by the Hook- 
Hastings Company of Boston, Mass., was installed in the church 
this being the first pipe organ in the city of Crookston, or Polk 
county. The remodeling of the church at this time was done a1 
an expense of between six and seven thousand dollars, and the 
church property is now worth in the neighborhood of ten or 
twelve thousand dollars. The building in the rear of the church 
on Third street was placed there many years ago and was used 
for a time as a parsonage. It still belongs to the church and is 
occupied by tenants. 

The present officers of the church are: Pastor, Rev. C. C. 
Warner ; trustees, A. A. Miller, N. P. Stone, Fred W. Hall, J. H. 
Ruettell and S. W. Wheeler. The superintendent of the Sunday 
school is Lucius S. Miller. The church maintains the usual socie- 
ties, in connection with the organization of Protestant churches, 
and is, without doubt, the best equipped of any of the churches 
in the city so far as its church building is concerned. 

Major Charles H. Mix was born in New Haven, Conn., De- 
cember 30, 1833, son of Charles E. and Catharine (Upperman) 
Mix. He received a good education in private schools and a pri- 
vate tutor at home. In 1849 he entered college at Georgetown, 

D. C., where he spent one year. Then under private tutor at 


home, giving most of his attention to civil engineering and draw- 
ing. May 1, 1852, arriving in St. Paul, Minn., that time a few 
settlers in this territory, and the capital a small village. From 
there he moved to Long Prairie, Minn., then the agency for the 
Winnebago Indians, where he clerked for two years. On his trip 
to this part of the country he came by rail some ten miles west 
of Chicago, as far as the cars then ran, and balance of the way 
by stage. In the winter of 1853 he made a trip to his native land, 
staging it from St. Paul to Prairie du Chien, from that point by 
rail. In the autumn of 1854 was appointed secretary of Willis A. 
Gorman, then governor of the territory, and removed to St. Paul ; 
that same year was appointed to take the Chippewas of Red Lake 
and Pembina to Washington. The Indians refused to go. He had 
many experiences with them. In the spring of 1855 he was sent 
to transfer the Indians at Long Prairie to the new agency in Blue 
Earth county. In 1856 established himself as an Indian trader 
at that point. In 1858 received the appointment of government 
agent of that agency, and continued in office until 1861. At that 
time he engaged in claim business, settling government claims, 
etc. While thus engaged, the Sioux uprising began, in August, 
1862. Mr. Mix among others enlisted in Company A, First In- 
dependent Battalion Minnesota Volunteer Cavalry and commis- 
sioned as first lieutenant. That year he started with the com- 
mand of the north and west toward Pembina. At that time the 
outpost of civilization was at Georgetown, on the Red river, and 
here the troops crossed the stream and marched north on the 
Dakota side. They wintered at Pembina, and in the spring of 

1864 removed to Fort Abercrombie, where Captain Mix was com- 
mandant of the post until the following fall. In the spring of 

1865 he was ordered to St. Paul to sit on a court martial, and 
when that disbanded was appointed assistant inspector general 
for the third civil district, with headquarters at Fort Ridgley. 
During the winter of 1866-67 he received the appointment of 
assistant adjutant general on the staff of General John N. Corse, 
who had his headquarters at St. Paul. After retirement of that 
officer Captain Mix was transferred to the staff of General Alex- 
ander at Fort Snelling, with the same rank. He remained with 


the latter officer until June, 1867, when he was mustered out and 
honorably discharged from the service. 

Then he returned to St. Paul, where he engaged in farming 
until 1877 ; that year entered the employ of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Manitoba Railroad, as a clerk in the freight department 
at St. Paul; in September, 1879, was appointed as station agent 
for the same corporation at Crookston. During 1863-64, in win- 
ter quarters at Pembina, he was selected by the commanding offi- 
cer to go to Fort Garry, now Winnipeg, and confer with Little 
Crow's band of Indians. Some 150 surrendered to him and were 
sent to Rock Island. He also took Little Six and Medicine Bottle, 
two noted chiefs, from Pembina to Fort Snelling, where they were 
hung in the spring of 1864. He acted as a guide to a trader of 
St. Paul, August, 1862, who was returning to Yellow Medicine, 
where he was wanted as a witness to any conversation between 
the Indian agent and trader. On the way to Fort Ridgeley they 
met the messenger carrying the news of the outbreak to the gov- 
ernor, but pushed on, reaching the fort by sun down, just as the 
Indians were retreating. They were noticed by the Indians and 
chased about sixteen miles, when they met Sibley's column at St. 
Peter and returned to Fort Ridgeley with him. A few days after 
he went out to bury the dead at Birch Covley, and helped to inter 
some sixty victims of that bloody massacre. In company with 
Justice Ramsey and Joe Bassett, he was appointed as commis- 
sioner to locate what is known as White Earth Reservation for 
the Chippewas, and to appraise the value of the old Sioux Reser- 
vation between Red Wood Falls and Big Stone Lake. 

He was also one of the delegation who took the Sioux dele- 
gation to Washington to make the treaty for their reservation, 
the others being J. R. Brown and Benjamin Thompson. While at 
the national capital he was appointed special agent to take sup- 
plies to the destitute Indians of the Sioux reservation, and re- 
mained with that tribe some six months. 

N. Anthony Thorson, county superintendent of schools of 
Polk county, Minnesota, was born December 22, 1881, in Nicollet 
county, Minnesota, on the county poor farm, of which his father 
was then superintendent. 


(Benson) Thorson. They raised five children, of whom N. An- 
thony was the second in order of birth. In 1887 he removed with 
his parents to Winthrop, Minn., where they followed the occupa- 
tion of farming, and, like most farmers' boys, he attended the 
district school. His parents, desiring to give him a good educa- 
tion, in the fall of 1898, then in his seventeenth year, sent him to 
St. Peter to attend college there. He began his preparatory work 
in the academic department of Gustavus Adolphus College, mak- 
ing rapid progress and completing the course. In 1900 he entered 
the Gustavus Adolphus College proper, graduating with the class 
of 1904 with the degree of A. B., and the last year represented 
the college in the intercollegiate oratorical contest, which was 
held at Hamlin University in the spring of 1904. That same sum- 
mer he represented his state in the inter-state contest held in 
Springfield, 111., but his opponent being a young lady, won out. 

And so the college days of Mr. Thorson were full of work 
aside from his studies. He was the favorite quarterback in the 
football team ; also devoted considerable time to music, being the 
tenor in the choir, and was active in literary societies. In the 
fall of 1904 he came to Crookston unexpectedly, where he taught 
four years in the science department of the high school, having 
charge of the athletic work. He still continues his choir work 
as tenor in all the churches of Crookston, and is connected with 
the city band. He is a member of the Lutheran church. 

Mr. Thorson was elected to his present position as superin- 
tendent of schools of Polk county in the fall of 1908, since which 
time he has served with due credit to himself and the office. 


Edward Ballentine. 

"Wilkin county is the southernmost county of the Red River 
valley proper on the Minnesota side, although Traverse county to 
the south is included in the territory draining into the Red river. 
Its early history is essentially the same as that of all the other 
counties of the valley. It was organized March 18, 1858, with 
Breckenridge as its county seat and given the name of Toombs 
county. Its territory was then described as "beginning at the 
junction of the Bois des Sioux river with the Red River of the 
North ; thence down the main channel of said river on the boun- 
dary line of this state fifteen miles ; thence in a line due east to 
the Pelican river; thence down the said river to its intersection 
with the Otter Tail river or Red River of the North ; thence in a 
line due south to the Chippewa river; thence in a direct line to 
the mouth of Lake Traverse; thence down the main channel of 
the Bois des Sioux river, on the boundary line of this state, to 
the place of beginning. The county seat of said county is hereby 
located at Breckenridge." 

On March 10, 1860, the law defining the boundaries of the 
county was amended so as to include the territory of the county 
as now constituted, with the addition of range forty-four, which 
was afterwards detached from "Wilkin county and annexed to 
Ottertail county. The county was named Toombs in honor of 
Senator Toombs of Georgia, who, on the breaking out of the "War 
of the Rebellion, cast in his lot with the seceding states and be- 



came secretary of state for the Confederacy, which so displeased 
the people of Wilkin county that in 1862 they petitioned the legis- 
lature to change the name of the county to Andy Johnson, and in 
1863 the act changing the name from Toombs to Andy Johnson 
became a law. But the subsequent political attitude of Andrew 
Johnson was no less displeasing to the people, and in 1868 the 
law was again amended and the name changed from Andy John- 
son to Wilkin, in honor of Colonel Wilkin, of the Eighth Minne- 
sota Regiment. It is presumed that the name Wilkin was selected 
for the reason that Colonel Wilkins had made a distinguished 
record for himself as a soldier during the Civil War and being 
then deceased, any subsequent behavior on his part could not 
bring disgrace upon the county. 

The feasibility of water communication for Breckenridge south 
up the Bois des Sioux and Lake Traverse and by canal to Big 
Stone lake, thence down the Minnesota river to the Mississippi, 
early attracted the attention of those engaged in transportation, 
and in the winter of 1819-20 a delegation from the Pembina Col- 
ony was sent to Prairie du Chene, Wis., to purchase seed grain. 
On April 15 they loaded about 250 bushels of wheat, oats and 
peas on batteaux and passed up the Mississippi to the mouth of 
the Minnesota river; thence up the Minnesota to its source in 
Big Stone lake ; up Big Stone lake to its source, and across a 
portage of a mile and a half to Lake Traverse. From there the 
remainder of the trip was made entirely by water without any 
serious labor or difficulty, through Lake Traverse, down the Bois 
des Sioux and the Red river, reaching the Pembina settlement on 
June 3. This is believed to be the only instance of merchandise 
being conveyed from the Mississippi river by an all-water route, 
with the exception of a mile and a half portage between lakes 
Traverse and Big Stone, to the Red river, and proves the perfect 
feasibility of an all-water route from Breckenridge north to Hud- 
son bay and south to the Gulf of Mexico whenever the population 
of the Red River valley becomes sufficiently dense to justify it. 


Breckenridge was the first permanent settlement made in 
Wilkin county. The town site of Breckenridge was laid out by 


Henry T. Welles in 1858. The original plat comprised all the 
present site of Breckenridge, together with what is now known as 
the Park Addition, and included all of sections five and eight on 
the Minnesota side of the river, together with a part of sections 
four and nine. Mr. Welles obtained his title from Angeline 
Lagree, Mary R. Marlow and Angelique Martin, half-breed In- 
dians, who filed original entries August 20, 1859, on all of the 
laud excepting lots six and seven in section nine, which Mr. Welles 
filed on, October 31, 1864. At about the time Mr. Welles platted 
the townsite of Breckenridge a large hotel was built in what is 
now Park Addition, together with a saw mill and other buildings. 
Fort Abercrombie, fifteen miles north, on the D.akota side, was 
buiit the same year that Breckenridge was platted. 

Breckenridge was destroyed by the Indians in 1862. "On the 
23d of August, 1862, the Indians commenced hostilities in the 
valley of the Red River of the North. About this time officers of 
the government were on their way with a train of some thirty 
wagons, loaded with goods and attended by about 200 head of 
cattle, toward the lodge of the Red Lake Chippewas, to conclude 
a treaty with these tribes. They had arrived, about this time, 
in the neighborhood of the fort. On the morning of the 23d of 
August word was brought to the commander of Fort Abercrombie 
that a band of 500 Sioux had crossed the Ottertail river with the 
intention of cutting off and capturing the train and cattle. Word 
was sent at once to the train to come into the fort, which they 
quickly did. Messengers were also sent to Breckenridge, Old 
Crossing, Graham's Point, and all the principal settlements, tell- 
ing the people to flee to the fort, as the garrison was too small 
to do much else than defend that post, and could not afford pro- 
tection to the scattered villages or settlers in the vicinity. The 
great majority of the settlers paid heed to the warning and the 
same evening the most of them had arrived at the fort and had 
been assigned such quarters as could be furnished them. Most, 
if not all, of these dwelt upon the east side of the river, in Min- 
nesota, as but few settlers had then located on the west side, south 
of Pembina. 

Several men, among them being a Mr. Russell, however, pre- 
ferred to stay at Breckenridge, and took possession of the hotel 


building and therein undertook to defend themselves and their 
property, but foolishly threw away their lives in the attempt. 

On the evening of the same day a scouting party of six men 
moved over in the direction of Breckenridge from the fort and 
found that the place was in the hands of a large body of Indians. 
The little party were seen and pursued, but being mounted, while 
the Indians were afoot, they escaped. 

The detachment that had been stationed at Georgetown was 
ordered to rejoin at once. On the 24th a reconnoisance was made 
toward Breckenridge by a detachment, and the place was found 
deserted by the Indians. The bodies of the three men who had 
undertaken its defense were discovered, horribly mutilated. 
When found, chains were bound upon their ankles, by which they 
had been dragged around until life had fled. An old settler in 
the neighborhood, Nick Huffman, who was in the fort at the 
time, in speaking of this expedition, says : 

"While the boys were engaged in burying the remains, they 
thought they could see an Indian in the saw mill, so Rounseval, a 
half-breed, went to see if that was the case. The mill was half 
a mile away. He found an old lady by the name of Scott who 
had been living with her son. Her son was killed and her grand- 
son taken prisoner. She had a bullet wound in her breast and 
had crawled on her hands and knees sixteen miles to the mill. 
She also told the boys where they would find the body of Joe 
Snell, a stage driver, three miles from Breckenridge. They buried 
the body of Snell and took the old lady to the fort. On the way 
in, the Indians attacked them and killed the teamster, named 
Bennett, and came very near taking Captain Mull's wagon con- 
taining the old lady. But Rounseval made a charge and brought 
back the team, the old lady and the body of Bennett. They buried 
Scott the next day. ' ' 

The mail taken in the stage coach, spoken of above, was taken 
from the sacks and scattered about the prairies, but much of it 
was gathered up by the detachment, which was under the com- 
mand of Judge McCauley. (Presumably David McCauley, an old 
settler of McCauley ville.) 

After the destruction of old Breckenridge and until the com- 
ing of the railroad in 1871, there appears to have been practically 


no immigration to Wilkin county, and as late as 1880 only a very 
small part of the county was occupied by settlers, and the whiten- 
ing skeletons of slaughtered buffalo thickly dotted the prairie. 
The St. Paul and Pacific railroad was completed to Breckenridge 
in the fall of 1871. Among the earliest settlers attracted to 
Breckenridge by the completion of the railroad were Edward R. 
Hyser, Peter Hanson, Eansom Phelps, DeWilmot Smith, Jonathan 
E. Pettit and a few others. Mr. Hyser conducted a hotel in a 
building provided by the railroad company, until early in the 
eighties, when he became the owner and proprietor of a hotel of 
his own which, until near the close of the century, was the leading 
hotel of Breckenridge and the county. This building was de- 
stroyed by fire in December, 1908. Mr. Hanson was in the mer- 
cantile business and grain buying. In a few years after the 
advent of the railroad, Breckenridge grew to be a village of con- 
siderable importance and was the first village organized in Wilkin 

In 1877 Fort Abercrombie was abandoned and dismantled, and 
the following year the buildings were sold and scattered among 
the early settlers who built houses and barns of the material. 
Peter Hanson purchased the building that had served as officers' 
quarters and removed the same to the corner of Fifth street and 
Minnesota avenue in Breckenridge, where he conducted a general 
store until he sold his stock of merchandise to Miksche & Vertin 
in 1890. The old building, constructed from the building pur- 
chased from the government at Abercrombie, is now the hall of 
the Knights of Pythias at the corner of Fifth street and Nebraska 

The first farm in Wilkin county opened up as a residence farm 
is believed to be the farm of the late Edward Connelly on the Eed 
river, about six miles north of Breckenridge. Mr. Connelly set- 
tled on this farm in 1868. It is now occupied by his son, Edward 

With Breckenridge as the county seat at the extreme border 
of a county about twenty-five miles wide, the fear of a possible 
removal of the county seat to a more central location as the county 
became more thickly settled, induced persons interested in Breck- 
enridge real estate to interest Fergus Falls, similarly situated as 


the county seat of Ottertail county, in a scheme to transfer Kange 
44 to Ottertail county, thus producing a better territorial balance 
for both counties, and so lessen the danger of a change in location 
of the county seats. The scheme was quietly worked through the 
legislature in the seventies, and Wilkin was robbed of seven of 
her most valuable townships, consisting of about one-fourth of her 
entire territory, to enrich Ottertail, leaving Wilkin with about 
twenty-one townships and Ottertail sixty-two. But it balanced 
the counties better with reference to the county seats and allayed 
the fears of owners of Breckenridge and Fergus Falls real estate. 
An attempt was made a few years after to recover these seven 
townships for Wilkin county, but failed for some reason unknown 
to the writer, and no doubt Ottertail's possession has ripened into 
a vested right, which the courts will not now disturb. 

Like most western counties, Wilkin passed through her sea- 
son of graft, beginning with the building of the courthouse, which 
was finished in December, 1882, and January 1, 1883, was set for 
removing the records and installing the offices therein. But on 
the night before, fire broke out in the old wooden building on 
Minnesota avenue, owned by Phelps & Smith, which held the 
county offices and county records, completely destroying the 
building and practically all the records of the auditor's office, 
including all evidence of the actual cost of the courthouse, and 
the county found itself the owner of a building worth about 
$20,000 at a cost popularly believed to be approximately $40,000. 

The people goodnaturedly set about preparing to pay the debt 
by establishing a sinking fund for the payment of the bonds as 
they became due. But after paying into the sinking fund about 
$1,800 in about twelve years, it was discovered that every dollar 
of the fund had been diverted to other purposes, leaving the debt 
of about $38,000 still intact. In 1897 a movement was inaugurated 
that effectually put a stop to grafting. The revenues of the 
county were applied to their legitimate purposes, and in 1905 the 
last vestige of the county debt was wiped out, in which condi- 
tion it has remained ever since, except that the credit of the 
county is back of about $200,000 of ditch bonds which are being 
paid off at the rate of about $10,000 a year by a tax on the lands 


The Fergus Falls division of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and 
Manitoba Eailroad (now the Great Northern) passing through 
the northeast corner of Wilkin county, was built in 1879, and 
completed so the first trains were run in November of that year. 
The present village of Eothsay was one of the new towns created 
by this line, and is located on the extreme east line of our county. 
The station was located on the homestead of Christen Tanberg, 
for whom the township was afterwards named, and the first town- 
site was owned and platted by Mr. Tanberg and called by his 
name, but the railroad company named the station Eothsay. 
The first building in Eothsay was built by one Gilbertson, and 
was operated as a saloon. The first merchant and postmaster of 
the town was A. B. Pedersen, who commenced business there late 
in the fall of 1879. The town of Manston, located on the St. 
Vincent extension of the old St. Paul and Pacific, ten miles west 
of Eothsay, had been the grain market for the country north and 
east of this line to the Pelican river. The new line and the new 
town of Eothsay sounded the death knell of Manston. Prac- 
tically the whole town and its business was moved to Eothsay, 
and later even the railroad was abandoned between Breckenridge 
and Barnesville, and all there was left of Manston was the post- 
master. The elevators at Eothsay were not completed so as to 
receive grain until late in the winter of 1879-80, and until this 
time the grain was hauled to Manston. This winter was a very 
severe one, with a great deal of snow. A farmer near Eothsay, 
Ole Tokerud, was caught in one of these blizzards returning 
home with his team and sleigh from Manston and frozen to death. 
During the same blizzard the late H. G. Stordock nearly lost his 
life. Mr. Stordock was the grain buyer at Manston and its most 
prominent citizen and an old soldier and settler. He lived on his 
homestead about a mile out of Manston. Late on Saturday even- 
ing, he started for his homestead in the raging blizzard, walking 
and carrying a lantern. He wore a fur coat (which was not very 
common those days), but his gloves and shoes were thin and he 
had a plug hat on his head. This proved to be his first trouble, 
for it blew off, and trying to recover it his lantern blew out and 
he lost his bearings. He continued walking all night Saturday, 
all Sunday and Sunday night until Monday morning, when he 


was discovered about ten miles southeast of Manston. The storm 
had then abated, but it was extremely cold. When found he was 
unconscious. His hands and feet were badly frozen as well as his 
face, and his life was despaired of for many months. Gradually 
he recovered, crippled, with amputated limbs and a badly disfig- 
ured face. The endurance and suffering of this man for this 
length of time is almost without parallel and beyond comprehen- 
sion. Mr. Stordock was a determined and doggedly persistent 
man by nature, as well as strong and rugged in constitution up to 
that time, which may explain in a measure his surviving the 
ravages of the blizzard. He lived for many years afterwards and 
w T as a leading citizen of the county, politically and otherwise. 
Other early settlers and business men at Rothsay were O. G. 
Felland and 0. E. Juvrud. 

From 1871 to 1879, Campbell station in the southern part of 
the county, was the grain market for the township of Western 
and Fergus Falls and other settlements of Otter Tail county for 
forty miles east, but until 1878, no attempt was made to settle up 
the "Campbell Flats" so called. In that year, through the 
manipulation of J. J. Hill, and Jessie P. Farley the bonds of the 
St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company, now the Great Northern, 
had fallen to 26 cents on the dollar. These bonds were receivable 
at par in payment for the lands of the company at $6.00 per 
acre, a net cash price to the purchaser of $1.56 per acre. H. S. 
Hogobom, Wilbur F. Carle, Levi B. Carle, John Roberts, John 
Heath, of Janesville, Wis., and William Cross, Robert Cross and 
J. W. Cross, of Winneconnie, Wis., and Robert Glover and others 
from other parts of Wisconsin, bought these bonds and came to 
Campbell in the early summer of 1878 to select lands from the 
railroad grant. R. H. Wellington, at that time connected with 
the land department of the St. Paul & Pacific, learning the in- 
tention of these gentlemen to purchase land in the vicinity of 
Campbell, secured from the company an option on all the rail- 
road land in the county south of Breckenridge and exacted from 
the purchasers a bonus of about $.40 per acre, making the price 
to these first settlers $2.00 per acre. These gentlemen succeeded 
in breaking a few hundred acres in the early summer of 1878, 
which was the first land broken in the southern portion of the 


county. Many more settlers came in during 1878 and 1880, but 
a series of three wet years followed, which checked immigration 
for several years. 

The township of Campbell was organized and the first election 
of town officers was held late in the fall of 1879, and included all 
of the county south of Township 132. The townships of Brand- 
rup, Bradford and Champion were afterwards carved out of this 

The surface of Wilkin county closely resembles that of the 
other counties of the Red River Valley. With the exception of 
a small portion on the eastern side, it is a level plain broken 
only occasionally by rivers and coulies that excellently serve 
the purpose of drainage. There is no other part of the world 
so well adapted to farming with so little waste land. Before 
the settlement of the county, its reputation as a region suitable 
for settlement depended upon the character of the season in 
which the explorer viewed it. One person having seen the county 
in a wet season, reported that it would never be of any value for 
agricultural purpose; others, seeing the country in normal or dry 
seasons, saw one of the most beautiful and promising regions 
for agricultural settlement that could be found on the continent, 
a surface in which the farmer could start his plow and continue 
in the same direction without a break for miles, with a climate 
which, for health and maturity of all crops grown in the 
temperate regions, could not be excelled. 

Much of the central and eastern parts of the county is flat, 
deficient in natural drainage features and until recently subject 
to disastrous overflows from the hills of Ottertail county, which 
in seasons of excessive rain fall, would totally destroy the crops 
of many farms, and the occupation of farming in that part of 
the county was rendered extremely hazardous. A few years ago 
a comprehensive system of drainage was undertaken and about 
150 miles have been completed. Judicial Ditch No. 3 conducts 
all the surplus water from the Otter Tail hills into the Otter Tail 
river before it reaches the "flats" of our county, and this part 
of the county is now as reliable for all farming operations as the 
best drained part. Nearly a hundred miles more of ditching is 
under way or in contemplation, which, when completed, will 


render every portion of the county practically immune from 
damage to crops from standing water. 

The present population of the county is about 9,000 made up 
of the choicest elements of about ten different nationalities. Of 
the foreign born population, the Scandinavians predominate. 

Transportation facilities are excellent. The Great Northern, 
Northern Pacific, Milwaukee and Soo Roads give the county 
easy access to all the grain and stock markets of the Northwest, 
being situated about an equal distance from Duluth and the 
twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. 

Tenney, Nashua, Campbell, Doran, Foxhome and Rothsay are 
incorporated villages; Wolverton, Childs and Everdell are grow- 
ing hamlets destined to be thriving villages as soon as the sur- 
rounding county is well settled. Breckenridge is an incorporated 
city with a well equipped sewer system, water works and electric 
light plant, owned and operated by the city. 

The county has seventy-three schools, and churches of nearly 
every Christian denomination, conveniently located over the 
county. The Breckenridge Public school is one of the best 
equipped schools in the state with an attendance of between four 
and five hundred pupils. 

Mitchel Roberts. The history of "VYilkin county would not 
be complete without a special mention of this venerable pioneer 
and his early experiences. He was born in New York state, 
November 25, 1830, and is one of a family of navigators, the 
seventh in order of birth fifteen children eleven sons and four 
daughters. All the sons except one followed marine life. Mr. 
Roberts' father, Jean Baptiste Roberts, was one of the first to 
trade with the Indians under the English government. He 
received consideration for his services in this northwest country 
during the latter part of the seventeenth century, and was 
familiar with the Indian tongue, trading with them for furs, 
etc. He was a pioneer at Rouses Point when the Indians were 
numerous, and his Canadian home was Sorel (better known as 
P. Q.), Quebec. He married Miss Catherine Letendre. He made 
his escape from the Indians, and fled to New York state, where 
he and his wife both died. 

Mitchel Roberts, the principal subject of this sketch, began 


life on a steamboat at the age of eight years, in New York City, 
under a sea captain whose name he could not recall, and served 
as an apprentice for eight years, a part of the time in the galley 
as a cook. His trips were plying through Lake Champlain, via 
Rouses Point to Montreal and Quebec and all ports on the way. 
In 1847, when in his seventeenth year, he was commissioned as 
captain of a boat owned by a Mr. Cooper, and after one year's 
service, he built his first boat Francis Moore which he named 
himself, and his second boat was the L. H. Devrick, a canal boat, 
plying and touching all the ports on Lake Champlain and handled 
all kinds of merchandise such as sugar, flour, etc., also lumber. 
In 1855 he took a train at Troy, New York, for Prairie du Chien, 
Wisconsin, and came from that point on the steamer Belle, to 
St. Paul, Minnesota, taking seven days to make the trip on 
account of the low water in the Mississippi. He had a cousin 
there Captain Louis Roberts, who owned two steamboats on the 
Mississippi; he died in the 70 's. On arriving in St. Paul, the city 
was then all laid out in 10-acre lots at $250.00 per lot, and later 
into 5-acre lots sold at the same price, and still later into lots at 
same price, and so kept on increasing. The great flour mills of 
Minneapolis were being constructed, and he helped to work 
on these buildings. Pete Botteneau used to own the site of St. 
Anthony and that island surrounding the Falls. He traded this 
site for an old black horse, and the location today is worth 
millions. Mr. Roberts lived in Minneapolis about one year when 
he moved to Botteneau Prairie, north of Minneapolis, where he 
erected the hotel and saloon known as the Roberts House. It 
was opened just in time to celebrate Abe Lincoln's first election 
as President of the United States, and his income that day was 
over $300.00. Whisky was worth 15 cents and 16 cents per gal- 
lon, wholesale, and the best brandy and wine 50 cents. After 
a few years, he sold this hotel and moved overland in a covered 
wagon to Wright county, Minnesota, settled on a claim where 
he erected a house of hewed logs 18x30, one and a half story, 
and the Dustin family were his neighbors. 

This takes us back to the time when Hannah Dustin was 
murdered by the Sioux Indians, near Smith and Howard lakes. 


Little Crow's band used to camp every winter around Mr. 
Roberts' cabin, about 300 in number. He was friendly with 
them, understanding their language, and traded with them in 
exchange for deer and furs. During his first few years, Mr. 
Roberts did considerable trapping, in one three weeks he killed 
sixty-eight coons, and has trapped as high as 150 mink, three 
otters and as many as 1,000 muskrats in a season. Minks then 
sold for $7.50 apiece; otter, $11.50; coons, $2.50, and muskrats 
about 35 cents. His first trading point after he settled on his 
claim, was about thirty-seven miles distant, and for two or three 
years he was obliged to carry all his flour and provisions on his 
back. Later Waverly opened up, and the family did their trad- 
ing at that point. At the time Mr. Roberts settled, only five or 
six other parties came onto claims, and after locating his family, 
he began exploring the country from Minneapolis to Hudson's 
Bay under Captain Smith ; they had a long train of wagons and 
on the way they met Indians, buffalo, elk and deer. Their voyage 
was interrupted by a herd of buffalo, and they were compelled 
to part the train to allow the buffalo a chance to pass through; 
the distance covered per day was eighteen miles. Winnipeg 
was then a small hamlet, and their next trip was from Min- 
neapolis west to within six miles of Bismarck, and in about 
1860 they reached the Rocky mountains. Here they encountered 
thousands of Indians on the war path, covered with war paint, 
naked and well armed. The great Pete Botteneau being one of 
the explorers gave instructions to draw the wagons all into a 
circle and unhitch, enclosing their horses. Pete Botteneau having 
been a half-breed and an employee of the government for twenty 
years, understood the different tribes, and after he made a 
speech, he called the chief of the Sioux to speak. One can judge 
how thick the Indians were when it took six barrels of crackers 
to go around, only allowing one cracker to each warrior, also red 
tobacco. Pete Botteneau 's speech brought peace, and the party 
was never again bothered. He died at Red Lake Falls at the age 
of ninety years; his wife was a French-Canadian lady, a daugh- 
ter of Piere Jervais; she died in the fall of 1908 at the age of 
eighty years. 


From the Rocky mountains, Chief Engineer W. D. Pate and 
Colonel Crooks, in the employ of the Northern Pacific Railroad 
Company went through to Portland, Oregon. After getting 
through exploring in the West, they returned to Minneapolis 
and began staking out clear through to Breckenridge and 
in 1867 explored the first line. Mr. Roberts was in 
charge at Engineer's headquarters at Morris and Little 
Falls. In 1875 he took up a claim with others in Section 
34, Roberts township, on a quarter section; this land was gov- 
ernment reservation, bordering on the corner of Camp Aber- 
crombie, and later the township was named after him Roberts 
township. He bought three more quarters located in Sections 34, 
35 and 27 Roberts township, Wilkin county, and on his claim 
he cut the timber to build his one and a half story block house 
26x44, and on this quarter section, seventy-five acres were oak, 
elm and hackberry. He cut as high as five and a half cords from 
one yellow elm tree. When he broke his land, his first crop 
was potatoes ; he broke forty acres first and then eighty acres, 
and averaged from 300 to 400 bushels to the acre; one year's 
average of wheat was thirty-seven bushels to the acre which sold 
at $1.35 per bushel; oats sixty bushels to the acre and barley 
forty bushels to the acre. This was in 1881. For one year Mr. 
Roberts was engaged in building forts, the first Fort Totten, at 
Devils lake, and the next was Fort Sisseton. In 1875 when he 
settled sixteen miles north of Breckenridge, the only other set- 
tlers in that locality were his brother-in-law, Frank Lambert, 
Bishop and Prody, actual farmers. He erected a dock five miles 
from his granary where the barge used to stop, then run by 
Captain Kent. This was convenient for Mr. Roberts to dispose 
of his wheat, wood, butter and eggs, which was shipped to Win- 
nipeg. This continued for about three years until the water 
got too low. 

Mr. Roberts was one of the charter members and organizers 
of the McCauleyville Catholic church. His wife died on June 
1, 1908, at the age of seventy-nine. He married the widow Mar- 
garite Pilot. They had a family of six children all of whom 
died with the smallpox on the farm, except one son, who now 


lives in Breckenridge. He also explored the lakes, and has 
made birch bark canoes with which he had many adventures on 
the lakes, about 1879. He was with "Washburn exploring 
Rainey, Ked and Lietch lakes, Tammarac and Cedar. He crossed 
Leitch lake in a birch bark canoe seven feet wide, thirty feet 
long, laden with tons of freight, iron, etc. Indians were in camp 
at Caugaumaga falls, and he had many a perilous voyage. While 
at Engineer headquarters at Morris, his boss's tent burned down 
in his absence, and Mr. Roberts built a new one by hand which 
surprised Mr. Morris. 

He was indeed an all-round man. 

Frank Lambert, Jr., enlisted in Ramsey county, North Dakota, 
Company D, Colonel Hatch's battalion, in the fall of 1864. The 
regiment started from Ft. Snelling, marched through where 
there was eight inches of snow, and camped that winter at Pem- 
bina. This company was ordered to Georgetown, going through 
in a boat in the spring of 1865. In the winter of that year, the 
duty of Companies A, D, and C, at Ft. Abercrombie, was to 
escort stage and United States mail from Alexandria, and their 
trains were Red River carts with as high as 1,200 carts in line. 
Twenty-five men were detailed to go 180 miles to Devils lake, 
and take 300 Indians as prisoners from the Sioux tribe. They 
brought them to Ft. Abercrombie where they were camped for 
that winter. Spring and summer of 1866 was Sibley's expedi- 
tion; all the regiment went to Missouri, returning in the fall 
and remained at Ft. Abercrombie. Frank Lambert, Jr., and com- 
rade, Ranville, were the dispatchers; while carrying dispatches 
to Hudson bay stores, Russ 's Point, Georgetown, was attacked by 
the Indians, five of whom were mounted and five on foot, killing 
two men. The soldiers reported the attack, and by the time they 
returned, the Indians could be seen making their escape by 
swimming the river. The trail was taken up and Lambert and 
Ranville captured them on Maple river, after a chase of eight 

"When Captain Field and his nine privates perished in a 
storm, Frank Lambert, Jr. and Comrade Ranville, were chosen to 
form the searching party. They put on Indian snow shoes and 


tramped from Fort Wadsworth thirty miles, when in the dis- 
tance two horses to all appearance looked as though they were 
resting, but on closer observation, were found frozen to the 
ground just as they stood. This was an 8-day march and nothing 
but hard tack to eat. Captain Field and his men were found 
just about ten miles outside of Ft. Abercrombie from where they 


Edward Nelson. 

The early history of the territory of what is now Kittson 
county gathers around the fur trade carried on extensively in 
the Northwest by various fur companies and traders. There is 
nothing known of the first trader in Kittson county beyond a 
mere mention. As early as in 1789, Captain Alexander Henry 
established a trading post at Pembina for the Northwest Fur 
Company. At that time he says there was a trading post just 
across the river where St. Vincent now stands, kept by one Peter 
Grant, but that this post was abandoned a year later. 

Kittson county was created by an act of the legislature ap- 
proved February 25, 1879, with the following boundaries: 

Beginning at a point where the line between townships 158 
and 159 intersects the channel of the Bed river of the north, 
thence east along said line produced to the point where said 
produced line intersects the line between ranges 38 and 39, 
thence northwardly along said range line to the boundary line 
between the United States and the British possessions, thence 
westerly along said boundary line to the middle of the main 
channel of the Red river of the north, thence up said river, along 
the middle thereof, to the place of beginning. 

Within these boundaries was included the western part of 
what is now Roseau county. 

The same act prescribed the boundaries of Marshall county, 
our neighbor on the south and provided "that the counties 



of Kittson and Marshall in this state, be and the same hereby are 
declared to be organized counties, with all the rights, privileges 
and immunities of other organized counties of this state." 

The governor was authorized to appoint, within thirty days 
of the passage of the above act, three qualified electors of the 
county as commissioners who should meet within thirty days 

See Laws Minn. 1878 Chap. 10 sec. 2. 

after appointment and qualify and enter upon their duties as 
such commissioners, their terms of office to be "until the next 
general election and until their successors are elected and quali- 
fied." The commissioners appointed and qualified as above 
were required "at their first meeting, or within twenty 
days thereafter, by resolution, temporarily to locate the 
county seat of said county and appoint qualified persons to fill 
the county offices in said county except clerk of the district 
court, who shall be appointed by the judge of said court; also 
three justices of the peace and three constables, which persons so 
appointed and having qualified shall hold their respective offices 
until their successors are elected and qualified." 

By an act approved February 27, 1879, Kittson county was 
detached from the county of Clay to the county of Polk for 
judicial purposes. 

The foregoing relates to the county of Kittson as most of us 
know it. Its earlier history goes under the name of Pembina 
county, which in the earliest maps is shown to extend from 
where St. Louis county now has its western border to the Mis- 
souri river. The name was changed from Pembina to Kittson 
by Chapter 59 of the laws of 1878. 

See Chap. 46, sec. 1, Laws 1866. 

Organization of Towns. 

The township of Hampden was the first organized township. 
It consists of congressional township No. 162 N., R. 49 W., and 
was organized on July 28, 1879. The first town meeting was held 
August 12, 1879, at the house of Patrick Carrigan, on the south- 
east quarter of section No. 20 of the town. 

The township of St. Vincent was organized March 19, 1880 



and consists of 163-50, and fractional townships 164-50, 164-51 
and 163-51. The first town meeting was held April 1, 1880. 

The township of Hallock was organized August 2, 1880 and 
consists of congressional township 161-49. The first town meet- 
ing was held August 18, 1880, in the hotel of the village of 

Red River, consisting of townships 161 and 160 N., R. 50 W., 
was organized January 5, 1881. The first town meeting was held 
January 22, 1881, at Jonas Sandberg's dwelling house. 

Teien, organized April 5, 1882, consisting of fractional town- 
ship 159 N., R. 50 "VV., held its first town meeting at the house 
of R. Solibakke, on April 24, 1882. 

Davis was organized July 24, 1882 and consists of congres- 
sional township No. 159 N., R. 48 W. Its first town meeting was 
held August 8, 1882, at the school house, on section No. 21. 

Thompson, 161-48, was organized July 24, 1882 and held its 
first town meeting at the house of Robert Thompson, August 8, 

Tegner, 160-48, was organized July 24, 1882 and held it first 
town meeting at the store of H. W. Donaldson in Kennedy, 
August 8, 1882. 

Jupiter, 160-47, organized November 10, 1883 and held its first 
town meeting, November 27, 1883, at the house of Carl Daniel- 
son, on section 19 in said town. 

Spring Brook, organized January 2, 1884, consists of town 
159, range 47. Its first town meeting was held January 17, 1884, 
at the residence of Fred Grose on section 20. 

Svea, 159-49, organized February 15, 1884, and held its first 
town meeting March 4, 1884, at the residence of Daniel Ferguson 
on section 6. 

Granville, 162-48, organized July 27, 1885, and held its first 
town meeting August 15, 1885, at the home of Charles McMillan 
on section 22. 

Skane, organized May 10, 1887, consists of township 160, 
R. 49. 

Deerwood, organized July 23, 1888, consists of township 159, 
R, 46. 


Hazelton, organized July 23, 1888, consists of township 161, 
R. 47. 

Poppleton, 162-47, organized April 8, 1893, and held its first 
town meeting at the house of Olof Dahlman, April 22, 1893. 

Richardville, consisting of township 163-48 and fractional 
township 164-48, was organized January 8, 1895, and held its 
first town meeting January 26, 1895, at the house of Bowden 

Pelan, 160-45, organized April 20, 1900, held its first town 
meeting at Peter Lofgren's store, in said town. 

Percy, 161-46, organized July 9, 1900, held its first town 
meeting July 26, 1900, at the Percy school house, in district No. 
28, in said town. 

St. Joseph, 163-47 and fractional 164-47, organized January 9, 

1901, held its first town meeting January 26, 1901, at the house 
of Albert Nowacki. 

Norway, 160-46, organized January 9, 1901, held its first town 
meeting January 26, 1901, at the school house of district No. 40, 
in said town. 

Hill, 162-50 and fractional 162-51, organized January 11, 1901, 
held its first town meeting January 29, 1901, at the home of D. 
Morrision, on section 16. 

McKinley, 163-46 and fractional 164-46, organized July 14, 

1902, held its first town meeting July 31, 1902, at John Mdver's 
house, in said town. 

Arvesen, 159-45, organized July 14, 1902, held its first town 
meeting July 31, 1902, at Lars Anderson's house, in said town. 

Cannon, 162-46, organized July 11, 1904, held its first town 
meeting July 30, 1904, at Olof Peterson's house, on section 28. 

Caribou, 163-45 and fractional 164-45, organized January 8, 
1908, held its first town meeting January 27, 1908, at the store of 
E. M. & V. C. Bailey, in said town. 

Congressional townships 161-45 and 162-45 are the only un- 
organized territories of the county, at the date of this writing, 
May 13, 1909. 

Churches of Kittson County. 

The first religious society formally incorporated in Kittson 
county was the Congregational church of St. Vincent, which was 


incorporated May 25, 1882, at a meeting held in the school house 
at that place. The articles of incorporation recite that in ac- 
cordance with law, fifteen days' notice of the meeting was given 
and the majority of qualified voters elected James Ford, Phillip 
LeMasurier, H. B. Ryan and William Ewing, trustees. William 
Ewing was the chairman and M. J. P. Thing the secretary of the 
meeting. A Misc. 199. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Red River congregation 
was organized October 8, 1881, but was not formally incorporated 
until December 27, 1887. B-284. 

Hope Presbyterian church of St. Vincent was organized July 
17, 1882 at a congregational meeting of the church, held in Christ 
church of that village. Robert J. Cresswell presided and John 
W. Shepard acted as secretary. The following persons were 
elected trustees: John W. Shepard, John G. Maxwell, Louis 
E. Booker, Harvey P. Smith and Robert J. Cresswell. 

The Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Red River congregation 
was the first organization of Swedish Lutherans in the county. 
Most of those who settled in the Red River neighborhood came 
from Goodhue county, where they had been members of Swedish 
Evangelical Lutheran congregations and so in their new homes 
they felt the need of religious society. Mr. Nils O. Sundberg, 
who still retained his membership in the congregation at Moor- 
head, wrote to its pastor, Rev. J. 0. Cavallin, asking him to come 
to Red River, and in April, 1881, he visited the people there and 
preached at the homes of J. P. Strandell and L. Eklund. Rev. 
Cavallin was the first Swedish Lutheran who preached in the 
Red River community. Others followed later, and on October 
8, 1881, at the residence of Lars Mattson, on section 24, the con- 
gregation was organized. It was not formerly incorporated until 
December 27, 1887. The trustees elected were : J. P. Strandell, 
Nils Hanson and Lars Mattson. Sten F. Stenquist, Peter Morten- 
son and J. P. Johnson were elected deacons. 

The congregation has been served by but two regular pastors, 
Rev. S. G. Swenson, who served from 1886-1889, and Rev. L. P. 
Lundgren, who came in 1892 and still remains their minister. 


The congregation celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversay in a most 
fitting manner in 1906. 

B-284 and ' ' Minnes-Album. " 

The Swedish Lutheran Evangelical church of the town of 
Jupiter was organized at an early date, for on May 15, 1884, per- 
mission was granted to it by the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Mani- 
toba Eailway Company, to locate a church and graveyard on ten 
acres of land, in a square form, in the southwest corner of sec- 
tion 21-160-47, that land being then owned by the company. 

Swedish Evangelical Lutheran, on January 6, 1888, at a meet- 
ing, at which Eev. S. G. Swenson presided, and H. C. Malmstrom 
acted as secretary, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Fridhem 
congregation of Hallock was formally organized. Eight members 
were present and elected A. M. Engman, Charles A. Johnson and 
Jonas A. Johnson, as trustees. B-208. 

At a meeting held January 14, 1888, at the school house in 
district No. 16, the Swedish Evangelical Lutheran Saron congre- 
gation was organized. Eev. S. G. Swenson presided, and Anders 
Danielson acted as secretary. John Olson, P. O. Nordling and H. 
Nordin were elected trustees. B-281. 

On May 10, 1888, the members of Lundeby congregation of the 
Evangelical Lutheran church, organized and elected Bernt 
Anderson, H. C. Eood and Tollef Skatrud, trustees. B-273. 

The Swedish Christian Mission congregation of Teien was 
organized August 15, 1888, at a meeting held at its house of wor- 
ship. A. Nordgren acted as chairman, and J. Westman, as clerk. 
A. Nordgren, P. Westman and C. E. Mostrom were the first 
trustees. B-276. 

The Evangelical Lutheran church of Skjeberg, of Teien, was 
incorporated February 27, 1888, with Kristian Hansen, Ole 
Solibakke and Gunder Hansen, as incorporators. B-222. 

The Norwegian Lutheran church of Oslo, in Spring Brook 
township, was incorporated January 1, 1889, with Bernt Bothum, 
Faltin Faltinson and Peter P. Kolden, as incorporators. B-396. 

This is a list of the earlier religious societies organized in 
Kittson county. Many have been organized since and nearly all 


denominations are now represented by flourishing congregations. 
The latest addition to existing religious societies is the Greek 
Orthodox church of Caribou. 

Banks and Banking 1 . 

The Bank of St. Vincent, a private institution, owned by John 
H. Rich, Edward L. Baker and Frank B. Howe, all of Red Wing, 
Minnesota, was the first financial institution of the county, and 
was established in 1880. John H. Rich was the first cashier, and 
in November of 1880, he was succeeded by Harvey P. Smith. 
Mr. Smith acted as cashier until 1884, when the bank was sold to 
Lewis E. Booker and closed. 

In 1903, John Birkholz, of Grand Forks, N. D., and T. M. 
George, of Hallock, established a private bank in the village 
under the old name of Bank of St. Vincent, which was incor- 
porated as a state bank, under the name of the Farmers and 
Merchants State Bank of St. Vincent, December 22, 1904. John 
Birkholz is the president, T. M. George, vice-president, and R. E. 
Bennett, cashier. The bank's capital is $10,000.00. 

(Letter of H. P. Smith, T. M. George, G-96.) 

In April of the year 1888, Joseph Kelso and his son, William, 
both of Bellevue, Iowa, established a private bank at Hallock, 
under the firm name of J. Kelso & Son. In 1891 William Kelso 
sold his interest to Walter C. Kelso, who then became the cashier, 
and acted as such until 1898, when Edward McVean was made 
cashier. On November 21, 1907, the bank was incorporated as the 
Citizens State Bank of Hallock, with a capital of $25,000.00. The 
present officers are : Walter C. Kelso, president ; Oscar Young- 
gren, vice-president, and William Kelso, cashier. (Wm. K. & 

Lewis E. Booker, George W. Ryan and M. H. Douglas organ- 
ized the Kittson County Bank of Hallock, in 1888. W. H. Doug- 
las acted as cashier. In 1894, John Birkholz, of Grand Forks, 
N. D., purchased the interest of Booker and Ryan, and on Jan- 
uary 17, 1897, the bank was incorporated under the state laws as 
the Kittson County State bank, with a capital of $10,000.00. Mr. 
T. M. George acted as cashier of the institution until January 
1, 1909, when he was made vice-president, and A. L. Bennett 


was made the cashier. Mr. Birkholz is still the president of the 

(T. M. G. D-153.) 

The First National Bank of Hallock, the only national bank 
in the county, was organized in September, 1903, by J. E. 
Mitchell, D. E. Tawney and P. F. Baumgartner, of Winona, J. 
W. Wheeler, of Crookston, and B. E. Sundberg, E. C. Yetter and 
C. J. McCollom, of Hallock, with other local men and capitalized 
at $25,000.00. Charles Dure acted as the first cashier and was 
succeeded in 1905 by J. H. Bradish, who had acted as assistant. 
E. C. Yetter is president. 

The State Bank of Karlstad, was incorporated February 8 
1905, with a capital of $10,000.00 H. L. Melgaard is the presi- 
dent, Peter Lofgren, vice-president, and C. 0. Ofsthun, the 
cashier. G-130. 

The State Bank of Kennedy, was incorporated May 19, 1902, 
with a capital of $12,000.00, which in June 17, 1905, was increased 
to $20,000.00. The present officers are: H. L. Melgaard, presi- 
dent, E. M. Engelbert, vice-president, and Lauritz Melgaard, 
cashier. E-268, G-155. 

The Citizens State Bank of Kennedy, was incorporated Sep- 
tember 16, 1907, with a capital of $10,000.00. B. E. Sundberg is 
president, J. W. Wheeler, vice-president, and Johan A. Anderson, 
cashier. G-315. 

The State Bank of Donaldson, was incorporated July 16, 1904, 
with a capital of $10,000.00. Its present officers are: H. A. 
Johnson, president, G. J. Johnson, vice-president, and O. P. 
Olson, cashier. G-23. 

Bronson State Bank was incorporated October 10, 1904, with 
a capital of $10,000.00. M. G. Myhre was the first cashier and 
was succeeded by C. H. Earl, the present cashier, in 1907. E. M. 
Engelbert is the president, and Andrew Wik, the vice-president. 

The First State Bank of Orleans, was incorporated August 
29, 1905, and its capital is $10,000.00. Edmund Franklin was its 
first cashier and was succeeded by E. M. Alexander on January 
1, 1909. John Birkholz is the president, and T. M. George, vice- 
president. G-45. 



The Bank of Orleans, a private bank, established in 1904 by 
N. J. Nelson, J. W. Wheeler and Edward Florance, with C. ~W. 
Clow as cashier, was discontinued in 1907. 

The First State Bank of Lancaster, was incorporated August 
29, 1905, with a capital of $10,000.00, and A. W. Dennis as cashier. 
In 1907 T. W. Shogren was made the executive officer. John 
Birkholz is the president, and T. M. George, vice-president. G-47. 

The First State Bank of Humboldt, was incorporated April 
18, 1904, with a capital of $10,000.00. The officers are: J. W. 
Wheeler, president, N. J. Nelson, vice-president, and Edward 
Florance, cashier. F-627. 

The State Bank of Pelan, was incorporated December 16, 
1901, with a capital of $10,000.00. The officers were Harold 
Thorson, president, Peter Lofgren, vice-president, and Anders 
E. Wahl, cashier. The bank was discontinued in 1907. E-173. 

There are eleven state banks and one national bank in the 
county. The combined capital invested in these financial insti- 
tutions is $160,000.00. The total deposits in all banks on April 
28, 1909, were $821,597.13. 

The County Building. 

When the first board of County Commissioners met at Hal- 
lock, on April 8, 1879, they met in a building then occupied by 
Hans Eustrom, the first county auditor, which building is 
described in a "bill of sale" as "one certain frame house located 
on lot 14, of block 2, in the Village of Hallock, the dimensions of 
which are 14 by 18 feet, one story high, and known as the house 
now occupied by Hallock and Swainson and formely by H. Eus- 
trom, as county auditor's office." This bill of sale was made 
by Wenzel Newes to Charles Hallock, and reference to lot and 
block belongs to the old plat of Hallock, which was situated on 
the south one-half section 12-161-49, and not to the present plat 
on section 13. A Misc. 81. 

On July 23, 1883, Robert Thompson, one of the commissioners, 
was authorized to rent for the term of two years, from January 1, 
1884, from any private person or stock company, owning a large 
enough building, six rooms for the use of the county officers, at 
a rental not to exceed $300.00 per annum. Previous to this, the 


various officers had held their offices at their homes or places of 

Pat Carrigan, who was the treasurer, resided at Northcote, 
but had Mr. Harvey P. Smith, as deputy, who kept the treasurer's 
books, at the Bank of St. Vincent. Mr. Smith was also deputy 
register of deeds, and kept those records in the bank. H. 
Eustrom, the auditor, had his office at Hallock. J. A. Vanstrum, 
sheriff, R. R. Hedenberg, county attorney, and W. F. McLaugh- 
lin, the clerk of court, all had their offices at St. Vincent. 

Mr. L. B. Riddell, who owned the east half of section 14, of 
Hallock township, had erected in 1883, a large frame building 
two stories high, on a couple of lots in the west part of Hallock, 
and this building, sometimes called Riddell hall, was leased by the 
county, as the county building. This was occupied by the officers, 
and the county business transacted therein, until in 1896, when 
the present court house was completed, and the offices moved 
there. Riddell hall was afterwards purchased by Walter C. 
Kelso, who moved it to the northeast corner of block two, of 
Hallock, where it now serves as a business building. The upper 
story is used by the Hallock lodge of Masons, as their lodge 

The first court was held at the Hotel Hallock, the proprietor, 
Mr. J. B. Peabody, having tendered to the commissioners the 
use of the same, gratis. On April 9, 1881, the commissioners ac- 
cepted the same with thanks. However, they did not escape 
without pay, for on July 25, 1881, among the bills the commis- 
sioners allowed, we find that James B. Peabody was allowed 
"$4.00 for the use of a jury room during the July session of the 
court and breaking of window lights." 

In 1892, and the following years, the people of the county 
began to agitate the building of a suitable court house, and as 
usual in new counties, this brought up the question of the loca- 
tion of the county seat. At the first meeting of the commissioners 
a motion was made that St. Vincent should be made the county 
seat, but this was lost and the seat of government was located 
at Hallock. When the question of a new building came up, the 
county seat question was resurrected and a bitter fight was made 
to have the seat of government changed to St. Vincent. How- 


ever, the attempt to change was abortive and the court house 
was built at Hallock. The county issued its bonds for $5,000.00, 
and with other additions not then contemplated, brought the cost 
up to about $20,000.00. 

The present county officers are: Auditor, C. J. Hemmingson, 
deputy auditor, J. V. Hemmingson, treasurer, Ole Myre, county 
attorney, R. R. Hedenberg, clerk of court, E. A. Johnson, register 
of deeds, Edward Nelson, deputy register of deeds, Abbie West, 
superintendent of schools, Blanda Sundberg, sheriff, 0. J. Ander- 
son, deputy sheriffs, Oscar Johnson and J. K. Ross, judge of 
probate, George Baker, coroner, Dr. A. W. Shaleen, court com- 
missioner, A. P. Holmberg. 

The county commissioners are : 1st district, A. Arvesen, 
chairman, 2nd district, Louis Swenson, 3rd district, Boynard 
Anderson, 4th district, Thomas Coleman, 5th district, Charles 

Schools of Kittson County. 

School district No. 1., being the district in which the village 
of Hallock is located, was the first district organized, its organ- 
ization having been completed July 28, 1879. District No. 2, at 
St. Vincent, and district No. 3, at "Joe River," were both organ- 
ized on January 7, 1880. 

The county has now has sixty-seven districts, with seventy- 
one schools. Two of these are high schools and twelve semi- 
graded schools. The remaining ones are common schools. Every 
village in the county has a fine school building, modern in every 
respect. Orleans, Humboldt, Hallock, Kennedy and Donaldson, 
all have brick buildings. 

Matt Cowan was appointed the first county superintendent of 
schools, on August 4, 1880. Those who have since served in that 
capacity are : Rev. S. G. Swenson, P. H. Konzen, W. G. Peters, 
E. A. Nelson, Nellie O. Eklund, John C. Cowan, and the present 
superintendent is Blanda E. Sundberg. 


In regard to who made the first survey of the county, and 
having no definite information, I wrote to the clerk of government 


surveys at St. Paul, inquiring about the matter, and in reply he 

"The records show the following deputy surveyors: Jno. B. 
Fisk, Humason & Erwin, Stuutz & Ward, Lewis Harrington, Buck 
& Taylor, William Milliken, each represent different townships, 
and survey was made in the years 1872 and 1873." 

When you go to St. Paul, call at the auditor's office, in the 
new state capitol, and ask for Martin C. Lund, who is the clerk of 
the government survey, and he will tell you when and by which 
one of these several deputies, the first survey was made. 

The last survey of lands in Kittson county, owned by the 
United States government, was made in 1904, by John E. Mulli- 
gan, who surveyed the fractional township of 164-45. 

The first permanent white settler in the county, as far as can 
be ascertained, is Andrew Jerome, who squatted on lots 3, 4 and 
5, southeast one-quarter, northeast one-quarter and northeast 
one-quarter, southeast one-quarter, section 32, in Hill town, where 
he still resides and which he proved up as a homestead, in 1883. 
Mr. Jerome came here from Canada in 1872 or 1873. 

Other early settlers were, Robert Thompson, John O'Malley 
and Dennis Stack, who settled here near Hallock, in 1874. A. E. 
McLeod came here in 1875, and squatted on what is known as 
Muir's Point, where he raised the first wheat ever raised in the 
county. A part of this he sold to Hall and Jadis, who used it 
for seed on their farm west of Hallock. The rest was hauled to 
Pembina and sold there. 

In the northern part of the county the oldest settlers were 
Perry Walton, Nelson Finney and William Ford. In the southern 
part E. N. Davis settled near Donaldson, A. C. Teien in Teien 
township, and Nels Hansen in Red River township. James Smith 
and William Ward made their homes near the Red river, on the 
north branch lived John Sullivan, John Corcoran, George Rich- 
ards, William Miller, Patrick Carrigan and James Pritchard. 
The following entered homesteads in the early days: Mike 
Fortune, P. Boyne, S. Hynes, M. Deegan, Higgins Brothers, D. 
McDonald, D. Morrison, Eric Norland and Thomas Cannon. 

The early settlers of Kittson county were a healthy lot, but 
such of the old timers, who happened ill, were taken care of by 


the post physician at Fort Pembina. The first physician was 
Thomas Duhig, of St. Vincent, and about the same time as he 
arrived, Dr. Gustav Demars, came to Hallock. Dr. Demars 
is still practicing, although at an advanced age and his fellows 
in the medical profession are : Dr. A. W. Shaleen, the coroner 
of Kittson county, E. Engson, of Hallock, G. W. Dahlquist, of 
Lancaster, and C. B. Stone, of Kennedy. 

The first druggist of the county was A. Smid, of St. Vincent. 

Hans Eustrom, who was the first auditor of the county, was 
the first real estate man with an office in the county. He came 
to Kittson county in May, 1879, and acted as agent for the St. 
Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company, in the sale 
of its lands, and assisted many of his contemporaries in obtain- 
ing and locating homesteads. Another early real estate man was 
Jas. L. Fisk, who acted as the agent for General Richard W. 
Johnson, in the sale of St. Vincent town lots. 

Kittson county has seven creameries. This is a new industry 
in the county, the first having been organized in 1904. All of 
them are co-operative, and are owned by farmers and business 
men of the towns where located. 

Kittson county has eight incorporated villages. St. Vincent, 
Hallock, Kennedy and Donaldson, on the Great Northern, Karl- 
stad, Lancaster and Bronson, on the Soo line, and Pelan, located 
about nine miles east of the Soo line, in Pelan township. 

Unincorporated villages are Humboldt and Northcote, on the 
Great Northern, Halma and Orleans, on the Soo line, and Robbin 
a small village, in Teien township, about twenty miles west of 

Newspapers of Kittson County. 

The earliest official publications of Kittson county were made 
in "The Northern Tier," a weekly newspaper, published in 
Crookston, Minn., by Captain J. K. Arnold. This paper was 
made the official organ on January 8, 1880. On March 17th, of 
that year, the county commissioners made the "St. Vincent 
Herald," the official newspaper of the county. This paper was 
founded in the early part of 1880, by F. G. Head, who was the 
first newspaper man in the county. He did not remain long, for 


he soon sold out to W. C. Mitchell. A very small building, a 
Washington hand press, and a small layout of type, constituted 
the equipment. The press still has its weekly say through the 
columns of the "New Era" of this day. Mr. Mitchell, in the 
early 80 's, sold out his paper to William G. Deacon, who changed 
the name to the "St. Vincent New Era" and "Kittson County 
Eecord," under which name and with the familiar motto of 
"Tell the Truth Cleveland," the paper has become well known 
to residents of the county. 

Mr. Deacon is the dean of Kittson county editors. He came 
to this county in the early days and located at St. Vincent. Dur- 
ing his period of residence he has held many positions of public 
trust, in county and village. He was for many years the post- 
master at St. Vincent, and he has served that village from time 
immemorial, as clerk of the board of aldermen. He was one of 
the early commissioners of the county. A forceful pen and 
genial disposition, has won for him the veneration of his fellow 
citizens. "The Era" is Eepublican in politics, although many 
times during its career, it has refused to be bound by strict party 
ties, when its editor deemed a breaking of them necessary to 
the cause of justice. 

On January 3, 1883, a new paper, the "Kittson County Enter- 
prise," was made the official newspaper of the county. This 
paper was founded at Hallock, by W. F. Wallace, then the clerk 
of court of the county, some time in 1882. The paper was after- 
wards sold to Ed. H. Love, who conducted the same until 1894, 
when it was purchased by J. E. Bouvette and S. E. Thompson, 
two graduates of the office of the "Pembina Pioneer Express." 
They published it jointly until 1900, when Mr. Bouvette became 
the sole owner and publisher. Mr. Bouvette is a Democrat, and 
for the past fourteen years he has been the chairman of the 
county committee of his party. He is a member of the Pioneers' 
association, and is deeply interested in the early history of the 

The "Hallock Weekly News" made its first appearance De- 
cember 15, 1888, under the guiding influence of William G. 
Deacon, of "The Era," and E. P. LeMasurier, who is now the 
postmaster of Hallock. Two years later, Mr. Deacon sold his 


interest in the "News" to E. A. Nelson. In 1902, Mr. Le- 
Masurier disposed of his interest to Frank J. Nelson, a brother 
of E. A., and Nelson Brothers now constitute the management. 
The paper is Republican in politics and has a wide circulation. 

The "Kennedy Star" was founded in 1902, by Chas. S. Clark, 
of Stephen, Minn. Mr. Clark soon sold the paper to E. M. Engel- 
bert, who transferred it to C. J. Estlund in 1905. Its politics is 

G. J. Johnson, the vice-president of the State Bank of Donald- 
son, founded the "Donaldson Record" in 1905. It is a Repub- 
lican newspaper. 

The "Karlstad Advocate," published by the C. J. Forsberg 
Land & Loan Company, with C. O. Ofsthun as editor, is a con- 
tinuation of the "Pelan Advocate." It is Republican in politics. 

The "Bronson Budget" was founded in 1905, by A. E. Bab- 
cock, who had once been the editor of the "Pelan Press." It is 
Republican in politics. 

The "Lancaster Herald" was founded in 1905, by J. E. Bou- 
vette, the publisher of the "Kittson County Enterprise." It is 
Democratic in politics. 

The "Halma Pilot" once flourished at Halma, Minn., but was 

Village of Hallock. 

The village of Hallock, which is the county seat of Kittson 
county, is situated in the township of Hallock, and was so named 
in honor of Charles Hallock, the veteran sportsman and writer. 
It lies twenty-two miles south of the international boundary line 
on the south branch of Two Rivers, and was originally located by 
its founder as a sort of sportsman's headquarters. 

The town was originally platted and laid out on the south 
half of Section 12 of the town of Hallock by John Swainson, a 
graduate of the University of Upsala, Sweden, on December 31, 
1879. Mr. Swainson had a contract with the old St. Paul and 
Pacific Railway Company to locate its depot and sidings on his 
plat, and in consequence a couple of stores, a saloon, H. Eustrom 's 
auditor's and real estate office, Peter Daly's tavern and postoffice 
were built thereon. When the railroad passed into the hands of 


James J. Hill and his associates a new townsite was platted on 
the northwest quarter of Section 13 of the town of Hallock, 
which was land granted by the state of Minnesota to the rail- 
road company. 

Mr. Hallock, while still a resident of New York and in igno- 
rance of the removal of the townsite, purchased a half interest in 
the old townsite and five additional acres adjoining the new town 
on the north, which was platted as Hallock & Swainson's first 
addition to Hallock, and on which Mr. Hallock afterwards erected 
a large hotel. Mr. Hallock, who was and still remains even at 
the ripe age of seventy-six, a true and interested sportsman, was 
attracted to this country by the abundance of game, big and 
little, and built his hotel accordingly. 

Mr. S. W. Chaffee, a contractor from Red Wing, built the 
hotel in the months of June to September, 1880. The real builder 
of the place was our present state senator, Mr. Sundberg, who 
did the work. It was located about a block from the depot and 
cost about $10,000. In an advertising prospectus of that early 
day it is said that the hotel "has water on every floor, bath room, 
set water basins, speaking tubes, barber shop, kennel rooms, gun 
room, etc., and is replete with every needed convenience for 
sportsmen and the traveling public. It is eighty-five feet in 
length, three stories high, with wide double verandas and inclosed 
promenade on the roof, and has a wing of twenty-five by twenty- 
five feet." Four stores were located in the lower story. 

Hotel Hallock became at once the center of the new town. 
Most of the public business was transacted there, and on August 
18, 1880, the first town meeting of the town of Hallock was held 
there and formal organization of the township completed. The 
following were elected town officers : W. R. Bell, Charles Hallock 
and C. J. McCollom, supervisors, of which W. R. Bell was the 
chairman; C. H. Pelan, town clerk; Henry Graham, treasurer; 
Peter Daly and John Forbes, justices of the peace; Pat McCabe 
and Henry Hale, constables ; Eric Nordland, roadmaster ; J. Lind- 
gren, assessor; M. A. Holther, poundmaster. 

The village of Hallock had at that time 125 registered voters, 
representing a population of about 500. There were seven stores, 



three boarding houses, livery stables, two saloons, blacksmith and 
carpenter shops, land office, county offices, a lumber yard and 

The first term of district court held in the county was held 
in the hotel building, with Judge 0. P. Stearns presiding and 
W. F. McLaughlin acting as clerk. 

A Rev. Mr. Curry, of Euclid, held the first Protestant Epis- 
copal service in Hallock in the hotel dining room. 

Many sportsmen made the hotel their headquarters while here 
on hunting trips from all parts of the United States, especially 
from New York, and many of Mr. Hallock 's literary friends spent 
their vacations here. On Christmas eve, 1892, the structure was 
totally destroyed by fire and now nothing remains of the old 
landmark except the hole in the ground that was once the base- 

On the old townsite, Peter Daly, the first register of deeds of 
the county, built a tavern and small store in November, 1879, and 
was appointed the first postmaster. He did considerable business 
with the Indians, buying furs and seneka root in exchange for 
groceries, provisions and some cash. When the townsite was 
moved, Mr. Daly went to Northcote and built a store there and 
became the first postmaster of that village. 

Hans Eustrom, the county auditor, had a small building on 
the old townsite used as an office for his real estate business, and 
here the old county commissioners met to transact the county 
business. Dennis Stack, who came from Fishers Landing, ran a 
saloon in the old town. 

The pioneer merchant of the new town was Thomas B. New- 
comb, who occupied part of the building now occupied by the 
Farmers' Co-operative Mercantile Company. C. J. McCollom 
bought him out at an early day and was later joined in the busi- 
ness by A. P. T. Suffel, his brother-in-law. 

Other early merchants were A. Nordenmalm, Lindegard Bros., 
Glaus Lindblom, Dure and Eklund. Sterrett, Hill and Childs 
operated the first elevator on the site of the St. Anthony and 
Dakota Elevator Company's warehouse. Eklund Bros., consist- 
ing of L. N. Eklund, once the register of deeds of the county, 


and A. M. Eklund, Jr., and McCollom and Suffel also bought 
grain in the early days. 

A cheese factory operated by W. L. Beaton and owned by 
McCollom and Suffel did a thriving business in the later eighties 
and early nineties. The building used by them has now been 
converted into a flat. 

Hallock roller mills was the first mill in the county and was 
built by John Cochran, of Drayton. It was burned in 1905. 

The village of Hallock was incorporated on June 11, 1887. The 
first officers were: President, Dr. G. Demars; trustees, C. J. 
McCollom, A. Nordenmalm, J. Westerson; treasurer, L. N. 
Eklund; recorder, W. H. Alley. 

Hallock of Today. 

The Hallock of the present day is a thriving village of 1,200 
inhabitants, the county seat of a county now containing more 
than 10,000. A brief mention of its present business men is 

General Merchants N. G. Brown, Farmers' Co-operative Mer- 
cantile Company, Hanson Bros., L. & C. A. Lindblom, N. P. Lund- 
gren, Lindegard Bros. 

Implement Dealers Schmauss & Lamb, Ellis & Olander and 
H. C. Malmstrom. 

Hardware Dealers T. Inglis & Son, Johnson & Tengblad, 
Nelson & Gullander. 

Attorneys E. C. Yetter and Ralph V. Blethen, of the firm of 
Yetter & Blethen ; P. H. Konzen, of the firm of Konzen & Henry, 
and R. R. Hedenberg, who is the present county attorney. 

Doctors A. W. Shalen, G. Demars and E. Engson. 

Restaurants N. A. Nelson, A. E. McLeod, B. T. Thrane, G. J. 
Vidstrand, Hjalmar Nelson, Mrs. Swanstrom. 

Banks Citizens' State Bank, Kittson County State Bank and 
the First National Bank. These banks represent a banking capi- 
tal of $70,000, and on April 28, 1909, their aggregate deposits 
were $403,734.74. 

Real Estate J. A. Swenson Land & Loan Company, of which 
J. A. Swenson is the senior member. He was judge of probate 
of the county for ten years. G. A. Gunnarson, who was county 


auditor for sixteen years, established an office in April, 1909. 
Hallock Land Company, represented by George E. Richardson, 
of LeMars, la. 

Barbers William Hayden and "William Krumholz. 

Furniture J. P. Sjoholm and E. B. Johnson. 

Hotels The West Hotel, run by John Nelson, and the Pacific 
Hotel, managed by Gilmore & Labossiere. 

Drugs A. P. T. Suffel, D. A. Robertson. 

Elevators St. Anthony & Dakota Elevator Company, J. C. 
Powers, agent; National Elevator Company, Christ Erickson, 
agent ; Imperial Elevator Company, F. L. Peterson, agent ; Wood- 
worth Elevator Company, Matt Kramer, agent. 

Lumber Yards Robertson Lumber Company, N. St. Albans, 
manager; St. Hilaire Retail Lumber Company, A. M. Nilsestuen, 

Livery Stables Ferguson & Blid, William Truedson. 

Hallock Gaslight Company, R. B. Johnson, manager. 

Hallock Building & Loan Association, J. H. Bradish, secretary. 

Photographer William Hartvig. 


School District No. 1 is located at Hallock and was organized 
July 28, 1879, being the first school organized in the county. The 
personnel of the first board of directors is as follows : Robert 
Thompson, president ; C. Anderson, clerk, and Dennis Stack, 
treasurer. Miss Mary Rogers, an elderly lady, was the first 
teacher in the county, and she taught school in a little frame 
building in the southeast part of town and incidentally held down 
a homestead claim. Later a two-story frame building was erected 
on the present school site. P. H. Konzen was the first teacher 
to occupy this building. This building was afterwards moved 
to the business part of the town and is now occupied by Nelson 
& Gullander as a hardware store. 

In 1894 the west part of the present brick structure was put 
up and the addition thereto was erected in 1900. In 1908 the 
northern part of the building was added at a cost of about 

A full high school is now given. E. B. Bothe, a graduate of 


the University of Minnesota, has been the superintendent for the 
past six years. Ten teachers assist him in providing mental 
pabulum for the enrollment of 355 pupils. 

Hallock Churches. 

The First Presbyterian Church of Hallock, organized July 6, 
1885, was the first incorporated religious society at the county 
seat. C. J. McCollom, George Thompson and L. B. Eiddell com- 
posed the first board of trustees. Rev. Henry Long was the first 
pastor, and Rev. G. E. Moorhouse, Ph. D., the present pastor. 

On January 6, 1888, at a meeting at which Rev. S. G. Swenson 
presided and H. C. Malmstrom acted as clerk, the Swedish Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Fridhem congregation of Hallock was formally 
organized. Eight members were present and elected A. M. Eng- 
man, Charles A. Johnson and Jonas A.. Johnson as trustees. Rev. 
S. G. Swenson was the first pastor and also served one term as 
county superintendent of schools. He was succeeded in 1892 
by Rev. L. P. Lundgren, who still remains the pastor of the con- 

The Methodist Episcopal Church was built in 1902, during the 
ministry of Rev. E. A. Cooke. Rev. D. L. Clark is the present 

The Swedish Mission Church has a commodious house of wor- 
ship and Rev. C. L. Anderson is the minister of the congregation. 

St. John's Protestant Episcopal Church was built in the early 
nineties and T. H. M. Villiers Appleby was the first rector of the 
parish. Rev. F. J. Cox is the present rector. 

The Roman Catholic Parish was formally organized July 8, 
1902, but had long previously built a church and held services 
therein. At present the parish has no regular priest, but mass 
is celebrated occasionally by priests from neighboring towns. 

Charles Hallock, for whom the town and village of Hallock 
were named, is the veteran journalist and author. He was born 
in New York March 13, 1834, and is the son of Gerard and Eliza 
Allen Hallock. He was graduated from Amherst College with 
the degree of bachelor of arts in 1854 and received the master's 
degree from that institution in 1871. On September 10, 1855, 
he married Amelia J. "Wardell. Mrs. Hallock died in 1901. He 


was the editor of the New Haven "Register" from 1855 to 1856, 
of the New York "Journal of Commerce," 1856-1861, and of the 
St. John, N. B., "Telegraph and Courier," from 1863-65. He 
became the financial editor of "Harper's Weekly" in 1868. In 
1873 he founded the "Forest and Stream," and while the editor 
of this paper he founded the town of Hallock, Minn. He was 
the editor of the "Northwestern Field and Stream" from 1896- 
1897. He has done a great deal of collecting for the Smithsonian 
Institute and is a member of many clubs and historical societies, 
among them our own Minnesota State Historical Society. He is 
the author of many books of a wide range of subjects. He has 
also written many pamphlets and monographs on several subjects, 
especially on game and sports. 

His latest works are a genealogy of the Hallock family and 
a book on Alaska. He is at present engaged in the writing of his 
autobiography, which is awaited with interest by many of the 
oldtimers of Kittson county, who remember with pleasant recol- 
lections the early efforts of this genial nature lover whose hopes 
for this great country were unbounded. 

The details of Mr. Hallock 's part in the founding of Hallock 
are given at length in the article dealing with that village. 

St. Vincent. 

St. Vincent, Minn., is the oldest town in the county, the first 
meeting of the township board being held on May 15, 1880. R. 
W. Lowery, G. A. Hurd, F. M. McLaughlin, L. A. Nobels and F. 
M. Head were the township officers. The village was organized 
on April 16, 1881 ; first president was James L. Fisk ; recorder, 
J. W. Morrison. John A. Vanstrom, the first assessor, afterwards 
served as register of deeds, and later was elected sheriff. 

St. Vincent at the present time has a population of about 400. 
It is located in the northwestern part of the county, directly 
opposite Pembina, N. D., 390 miles northwest of St. Paul. It is 
the terminal between the Great Northern and the Canadian 
Pacific Railways, and a port of entry for collection of customs. 

The first newspaper published in Kittson county was a weekly. 
W. G. Mitchell was the editor. It was known as the ' ' St Vincent 
Herald." It was succeeded by the "New Era," published by 
William G. Deacon, the present owner and proprietor. The vil- 


lage is well supplied with churches and religious societies, includ- 
ing Episcopal, Methodist and Presbyterian churches ; has a graded 
school, and is composed of an energetic and high class people. 
The officials of the village for 1909 are : President, A. Dorrah ; 
treasurer, Mr. Kruse; trustees, E. Cameron, J. R. Ryan, R. E. 
Bennett and W. Russell; recorder, William G. Deacon; Dr. C. B. 
Harris, health officer. 

Bench and Bar of Kittson County. 

P. H. Konzen. 

Kittson county, having been since its organization successively 
a part of the eleventh and the fourteenth judicial districts of 
this state, the personnel of the bench is treated of elsewhere in 
this volume. It remains to speak of the court with special refer- 
ence to the earlier terms held in this county. 

The first term to be held, after the separation of this county 
from the county of Polk, to which it was attached for judicial 
purposes immediately after its organization, was fixed by an act 
of the legislature for the third Monday in June, 1881, but for 
some reason this term was adjourned until the 5th day of July. 
It was held in the south store room under Hotel Hallock, where 
a temporary platform was built for the judge, with a small office 
table in front of him. Judge 0. P. Stearns presided, Frank Mc- 
Laughlin, of St. Vincent, was clerk, and John A. Vanstrum, 
sheriff, while R. R. Hedenborg, who had been elected to that 
office in the fall of 1880, was county attorney. There were three 
cases on the calendar. The first criminal case tried in the county 
was the case of the State of Minnesota vs. Hugh Drain, indicted 
upon the charge of grand larceny for stealing a yoke of oxen from 
one J. J. Conrads. He was duly convicted and drew a sentence 
of three years in the penitentiary. The first civil action was the 
case of M. I. Northrup vs. J. A. Vanstrum, sheriff, being an action 
in conversion for the seizure and sale of certain goods under an 

The bar of this county was at that time represented by County 
Attorney R. R. Hedenberg, who located at St. Vincent in 1879, 



and P. H. Konzen, who had located at Hallock in April, 1880. 
The cases on the calendar numbered three civil and one criminal 
case and, except for the county attorney who looked after the 
criminal case, they were taken care of by Reynolds & Watts and 
Ives & McLean, of Crookston, and Warner & Stevens, of St. Paul. 
The term was finished in two and a half days, and the balance of 
the last day, awaiting the arrival of the train south, was spent 
fishing by the court and attorneys, after each catching his own 
frogs for bait. To the younger members of the bar it was rather 
an amusing circumstance to see Judge Stearns, then well up in 
years and of a very dignified and patriarchal appearance, lay 
aside his judicial dignity and pursue the diminutive amphibians 
with an agility which surprised them all. 

Annual terms were held thereafter until the year 1903, when 
regular spring and fall terms were provided for by the legisla- 
ture. The office of clerk of the court was held successively by 
Frank McLaughlin, W. F. Wallace, Olaf A. Holther, Charles Clow, 
N. G. Ehrenstrom and E. A. Johnson, the latter being the present 
incumbent. The office of sheriff was held successively by John 
A. Vanstrum, Oscar Younggren and 0. J. Anderson, the latter 
the present incumbent. The first grand jury summoned for this 
county consisted of the following: J. Peter Johnson, W. H. 
Miller, F. W. Wagoner, John 0. Sullivan, Lars Eklund, E. G. 
Thomas, John Finney, T. B. Newcomb, N. C. Moore, N. P. Peter- 
son, J. McGlashen, Knute 0. Wold, J. S. Lindgren, Alfred Larson, 
Andrew Murphy, E. N. Davis, Mathew Cowan, F. Chase, Albert 
Hams, Henry Graham, Robert W. Lowery, W. R. Bell and D. F. 

The first petit jury was composed of the following : M. A. 
Holther, John B. Fee, Thomas McGlothlin, C. Pelan, W. H. Moore, 
John Jenkins, Jr., F. Almey, Charles Clow, James I. Kirk, George 
Ash, John Long, H. J. Moore, Thomas Toner, Hugh Kennedy, 
Lars Mattson, Jonas Sandberg, Ralph Brown, John Buie, Richard 
Forbes, Ole Norland, John Lindblom, Edward Cammeron, W. H. 
Alley and Michael Fortune. 

While there were no important cases tried here in an early 
day and, as in most agricultural counties of the state, but little 
of importance transpired during our terms to vary the monotony 


of legal routine, the following may be cited as among the amus- 
ing incidents and happenings : At the May, 1883, term an indict- 
ment was returned by the grand jury against one Kate Rafferty, 
an Irish woman of rather more rustic than criminal proclivities, 
charging her with having made assault upon one, Donald Mor- 
rison, with a dangerous weapon, to-wit., a firearm commonly 
called a pistol, which was then and there loaded with powder 
and leaden bullets, with intent then and there to do him, the said 
Donald Morrison, great bodily harm. In order to explain the 
circumstances of the assault it is necessary to state that Mrs. 
Rafferty was "holding down a claim," which she was guarding 
very jealously, and, on account of her husband being away at 
work on the railroad in Manitoba, she was suspicious that certain 
evil-disposed persons were casting covetous eyes upon her claim. 
On the day in question Morrison, with a companion, was seen 
walking across the tract which she called her own, in a suspi- 
cious manner, as she thought, and seizing the "dangerous wea- 
pon" in question she started in pursuit, and with its gaping 
muzzle pointed in Morrison 's direction, ordered him peremptorily 
to vacate the premises. Morrison promptly swore out a warrant 
against her, and the grand jury returned "a true bill." Kate 
appeared in court with the weapon which she claimed to have 
used. It was an old-fashioned, muzzle-loading horse-pistol, of 
formidable size, thoroughly rusted, with the nipple completely 
battered down. It had probably not seen service for twenty-five 
years or more. W. W. Irwin, of St. Paul, then in the prime of 
his reputation as a criminal lawyer, was retained to defend Mrs. 
Rafferty. In due time she took the stand in her own behalf, and 
Mr. Irwin drew from his pocket the weapon and handed it to 
Mrs. Rafferty with the question, "Is this the gun that you had?" 
Mrs. Rafferty took the weapon and answered in a rich Irish 
accent, "Yis, your honor, that is it," at the same time snapping 
the hammer several times. Judge Stearns, with his brow knit and 
his eyes flashing fire, cried out in excited voice, "Stop, stop, stop 
snapping that weapon in here!" By this time Kate realized that 
the judge was afraid that the weapon might be discharged and, 
in order to assure him of its absolute safety, cried out, "Oh, your 
honor, it ain't loaded," and pointing it directly at him, snapped 


it again several times. At this time the court sat in the school- 
house and the judge's position was behind the teacher's desk. 
Forgetting his dignity, he slipped from his seat and crouched 
behind the desk, shouting, "Stop, stop, or I'll have you arrested!" 
After recovering himself from the floor, with his eyes darting 
vengeance upon the prisoner, he blurted out, " Woman, if you 
were a man, I'd have you arrested right now." The "Tall Pine 
of the North" regarded this episode with infinite amusement. 

At the general term of court held in March, 1888, the action 
of Thrane vs. Holmberg came up for trial. Plaintiff had sued 
for the killing of a dog and claimed damages in the sum of fifty 
dollars. Attorney P. H. Konzen appeared for the plaintiff and 
Hon. H. Steenerson, of Crookston, for the defendant. Plaintiff 
had testified that a certain party had offered him fifty dollars 
for the dog and which offer plaintiff had refused. This testi- 
mony was given for the purpose of fixing the value of the dog, 
and as the person referred to had left the country, this was about 
the only corroborative evidence as to the value. Mr. Steenerson 
began to cross-examine the plaintiff as to the offer and requested 
him to repeat the conversation he had had with the party, and 
the exact language used by him in making the offer, when the 
following colloquy ensued : 

Mr. Steenerson "Will you please state the exact language 

Mr. Thrane "Well, we were out hunting together with the 
dog, and after we got back this party asked me what I would 
take for him, and I told him fifty dollars." 

Mr. Steenerson "Well, did he say that he would pay you that 
for him?" 

Mr. Thrane "No." 

Mr. Steenerson "Well, what did he do when you told him 
you would take fifty dollars for the dog?" 

Mr. Thrane "Nothing; he went to North Dakota and I have 
not seen him since." 

Mr. Steenerson "Then let me go over that offer again. As 
I understand it, he asked you what you would take for the dog, 
and you told him fifty dollars, and then he left the state and went 
to North Dakota and never came back is that right?" 



Mr. Thrane "Yes, sir." 

Mr. Steenerson "I don't blame him; I would have done the 
same thing." 

The jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff in the sum of 
six cents. 

Among other old attorneys who practiced in Kittson county 
there was Frank MacGowan, of St. Vincent, who was admitted 
to practice in the court room in Hallock. He is now in Lewiston, 
Mont. He taught the first term of school in the Joe river district. 

W. H. Alley, at one time the partner of Mr. Konzen, was the 
county attorney of the county for one term. He is now located 
in Roseau. 

George E. Holcomb practiced law in Hallock in the later 
eighties. He afterwards went to the Pacific Coast and became 
interested in a townsite of a growing town, and when he had 
sold out his lots there he went to Cuba, where he superintended 
a large estate for many years. At present he resides on his large 
farm near Argyle in Marshall county. 

The bar of Kittson county is now made up of P. H. Konzen 
and R. R. Hedenberg, heretofore mentioned, and the following: 

Elmer C. Yetter, who came to Hallock in 1893 and the senior 
member of the firm of Yetter & Blethen. Mr. Yetter is the pres- 
ent mayor of Hallock and the president of the First National 
Bank of the village. His junior partner, Ralph V. Blethen, is a 
graduate of the law department of the University of "Wisconsin, 
was admitted to practice in this state in the fall of 1902, and 
came to Hallock immediately afterwards. 

C. 0. Ofsthun, of Karlstad, the cashier of the State Bank of 
that place, is also an attorney, having been admitted to practice 
in 1904. He is a graduate of the law department of the Univer- 
sity of the State of Minnesota. 

Edward Nelson, the present register of deeds of the county, 
is the latest addition to the bar. He passed the state examination 
in May, 1909, and took the oath of an attorney at the June term 
of court at Hallock the same year. 

In this connection, mention may also be made of J. D. Henry, 
the junior member of the firm of Konzen & Henry, who, while 


not admitted to the bar, is no inconsiderable factor in the firm. 
Mr. Henry handles the commercial collections of the firm. 

R. R. Hedenberg is a pioneer resident of Kittson county. He 
was born in Carlstorp parish, Sweden, November 16, 1854. In 
1867 he came with his parents from Sweden to Red Wing, Minn. 
He was then twelve years old, the eldest of a family of eight 
children. Within a month after their arrival in this country, 
his father and five of the children died of cholera. His remaining 
brother and sister died while children, and after the death of his 
mother he was the only one left of this family. 

He studied law in the law office of Colonel William Colville 
and Charles N. Akers, at Red Wing, and was admitted to prac- 
tice as an attorney May 16, 1879. He located in St. Vincent, 
where he remained till the spring of 1890, when he removed to 
Hallock, where. he now resides. At the first county election held 
in the county, being in 1879, he was elected county attorney and 
has held that office ever since except during the years of 1889- 
1892, when he was the judge of probate of the county. He is 
still the county attorney of Kittson county. 

He has been a painstaking, trustworthy, energetic prosecuting 
attorney, and his conservatism and carefulness have been the 
means of much saving in a financial way to the county. 

Mr. Hedenberg was married July 8, 1893, to Corinne L. David- 
son. They have had six children, of which Anna Corinne, Robert 
Davidson, Winfred Giroux and Margaret Elizabeth are living, 
two having died in infancy. 

P. H. Konzen, the present village attorney of Hallock, is one 
of the pioneers of Kittson county, having located here in the 
spring of 1881, then a young man of twenty-four years. He was 
born on the 27th of May, 1857, in Chickasaw county, Iowa, on 
a farm embracing the present site of the village of Lawler. His 
parents emigrated from Germany in 1852 and the following year 
located upon the farm upon which the subject of this sketch firsl 
saw the light of day. He was the third child of a family of five, 
three sons and two daughters, all still alive. He was educated in 
the public schools of Lawler, afterward attending an academy 
at Bradford, in that county, and completing his education by a 
term at the University of Iowa City, and a course at Baylee 's mer- 


cantile college at Keokuk, la. His boyhood life was spent upon 
the farm until the age of seventeen, when he began teaching 
school, which profession he followed during the formative period 
of his career and while completing his education. 

In 1878 he began the study of law, at first in the office of H. 
H. Potter at New Hampton, and afterwards under the direction 
of John R. Geeting, a gentleman who has since risen to consider- 
able distinction as a criminal lawyer in the city of Chicago, 111. 
Mr. Konzen first came to Minnesota in 1879, and entered the law 
office of a Mr. Parker, at Sleepy Eye, where he remained until 
the fall of that year, when he again returned to Iowa to accept 
the nomination tendered him by his friends for the office of 
county superintendent of schools of his native county. He was 
defeated in the election and entered into the newspaper business, 
editing the Lawler " Herald" until the spring of 1881, when he 
sold out, and coming to the Red River valley, he at once recog- 
nized the grand possibilities of this garden spot of the world and 
settled at Hallock, then a hamlet numbering not more than half 
a dozen buildings, where he opened a law office and, in the words 
of the immortal Horace Greeley, has "grown up with the 
country. ' ' 

In the fall of 1881 Mr. Konzen was elected county superin- 
tendent of schools for Kittson county, which position he held for 
some years, having been three times re-elected. He has since held 
various public offices as county attorney, president of the Kittson 
County Agricultural Association, and in 1898 was the Republican 
nominee for member of the state legislature for the sixty-third 
legislative district. Although defeated by the tide of Populism, 
he received a creditable vote and conducted a model campaign. 
Mr. Konzen is one of the most progressive and public-spirited 
citizens of Kittson county, was for many years a member of the 
school board of Hallock, and it is chiefly owing to his push and 
perseverance that that thriving village can boast of a high school 
second to none in the state. Mr. Konzen was elected mayor of 
Hallock in 1897, which position he held until 1906, to the eminent 
satisfaction of its people. Mr. Konzen is recognized as one of 
the ablest and most prominent attorneys north of Crookston, and 
during his residence at Hallock has amassed a snug little fortune, 


besides building up a professional and business reputation of 
which he may well be proud. He has helped in an eminent degree 
to shape the destiny of his city, and when the history of Kittson 
county shall be written he will appear as one of its most con- 
spicuous figures. 

In the spring of 1901 Mr. Konzen and J. D. Henry formed a 
co-partnership for the purpose of conducting a real estate business 
in connection with the law business, and so far have been very 
successful, especially in the sale of Manitoba lands. 

Edward Nelson, the present register of deeds of Kittson 
county, was born in Gladstone, 111., February 6, 1877. He re- 
ceived his early education in the public schools of Monmouth, 
HI. Thereafter he attended Augustana College of Rock Island, 
111., and was graduated from that institution with the degree of 
bachelor of arts in 1897. 

In September, 1897, he came to Kittson county and taught 
school in St. Vincent and Humboldt. In the spring of 1899 he 
returned to Illinois and entered the law office of J. B. Oakleaf 
and read law there until the fall of 1901, when he returned to 
Kittson county. In March, 1902, he entered the employ of Captain 
John A. Vanstrum, who was then the register of deeds of the 
county. On October 28, 1902, Captain Vanstrum resigned from 
his position and on that day the county commissioners appointed 
Mr. Nelson to succeed him. Captain Vanstrum had received the 
nomination on the Republican ticket, and this he also resigned 
with a recommendation to the county committee of that party that 
they appoint Mr. Nelson to fill the place on the ticket. This was 
done and Mr. Nelson was elected by a large majority. He was 
re-elected in 1904, 1906 and 1908. 

On September 23, 1903, Mr. Nelson was married to Miss Annie 
Ferguson, of Drayton, N. D. 

Mr. Nelson is a member of the Minnesota State Historical 
Society and was admitted to the bar in 1909. 

Emil Alfred Nelson was born in Goodhue county, Minnesota, 
of Swedish parentage, March 18, 1870. He received his first 
learning in the public schools of that county and in 1897 he was 
graduated from Augustana College of Rock Island, 111., with the 
degree of bachelor of science. He afterwards took a post gradu- 


ate course at the University of Minnesota and received the degree 
of master of science from that institution in 1902. 

He came to Kittson county in 1888 and taught school for 
many years. In 1889 he became part owner of the Hallock 
"Weekly News," and still remains its editor. With his brother, 
Frank J. Nelson, he manages a large farm in Red River town- 
ship in addition to his editorial duties. 

Mr. Nelson was superintendent of schools of Kittson county 
from 1894 to 1900, and served as state librarian from 1901 to 
1905. In 1906 he was a prominent candidate before the state 
convention for the nomination for secretary of state, but through 
a combination of interests was defeated. In the legislatures of 
1907 and 1909 he served as engrossing clerk of the senate. 

Mr. Nelson was married December 22, 1897, to Miss Florence 
Dure, of Hallock, and two children bless their home. 

Mr. Nelson is one of the pillars of the Republican party in the 
state, and largely through his efforts the northern part of the 
state was rescued from the throes of Populism. He is a member 
of several clubs and fraternal societies and a member of the 
Swedish Lutheran church. 

Bengt E. Sundberg, the state senator of the sixty-third legis- 
lative district, was born in Smaland, Sweden, January 26, 1851, 
and lived there with his parents until 1867, when he went to 
Germany, where he remained for four years. In 1871 he came 
to Minnesota and located in Red Wing, where he went to school 
to learn the English language, all the time supporting himself by 
carpenter work. Having mastered the carpenter's trade, he 
entered the employ of S. W. Chaffee, a well known architect and 
contractor, and remained in his employ for ten years. 

In 1881 Mr. Sundberg went to Hallock and built the hotel 
there, Mr. Chaffee having contracted for the work with Charles 
Hallock, the editor of "Forest and Stream." While at Hallock 
Mr. Sundberg was induced by Colonel Hans Mattson and Captain 
Hans Eustrom to locate in Kittson county. In the winter of 
1881 he severed his connection with Mr. Chaffee and came to 
Kennedy and took up a homestead in the town of Davis, where 
he still resides. 

During the thirty years of his residence in Kittson county, 


Mr. Sundberg has been very successful, having acquired exten- 
sive real estate interests. The farm on which he resides is one 
of the best in the county, being composed of 840 acres of excel- 
lent land furnished with large and comfortable buildings, 
equipped with the best of machinery and stocked with fine breeds 
of cattle. 

Mr. Sundberg was married at Red "Wing, March 17, 1877, to 
Anna Johnson. Two children were born of this union Blanda 
E., who is the present county superintendent of schools, and 
John Edward, a student in the law department of the state uni- 
versity. Mrs. Sundberg died January 28, 1889, and Mr. Sund- 
berg thereupon married Albertina Estlund, of Kennedy, and they 
have two children Roy A. and Anna E. both of whom reside 
at home with their parents. 

Senator Sundberg is a man of exemplary habits, a thorough 
business man and a progressive citizen. He is a staunch Repub- 
lican and deeply interested in the welfare of the state. He has 
held various offices in village, school district, town and county, 
having been postmaster of Kennedy, county commissioner, school 
clerk and town treasurer. In November, 1902, he was elected 
state senator and was re-elected without opposition in 1906. He 
has often been mentioned as a gubernatorial possibility and his 
record in the state senate is one that has brought him honor and 
recognition in all parts of the state. 

Lower Red River Valley. 

Kittson County Enterprise. 

By the treaty of peace of 1783, England recognized the inde- 
pendence of the United States of America; and the land east of 
the Mississippi and northwest of the Ohio was open to settlement 
by American citizens. In 1786, when congress met in New York 
city, a graduate of Yale College, a puritan divine of some scien- 
tific attainments, had frequent conferences with Dane and Jeffer- 
son relative to the colonization of the Ohio valley, and securing 
the placing of certain provisions in the celebrated ordinance of 
1787, and also that precious boon, the grant of land in each town- 


ship for the support of common schools. Under his auspices, 
and of a few other gentlemen, in December, 1787, the first colony 
left Massachusetts for the northwest territory. Upon the covers 
of the wagon which was built for their accommodation were the 
words, "For Ohio," and on the 7th of April they reached a point 
called Marietta, and erected homes of peace and contentment 
"Dwelt in the love of God and of man. Alike were they free 


Fear, that reigns with the tyrant, and envy, the vice of republics. 
Neither locks had they to their doors, nor bars to their windows ; 
But their dwellings were open as day and the hearts of their 

owners ; 
There the richest was poor, and the poor lived in abundance." 

Among these pioneers of the Ohio valley was one who had a 
daughter, and that daughter became the wife of a delegate from 
Michigan, and the mother of the first delegate from the territory 
of Minnesota, Hon. Henry H. Sibley. 

It is an interesting fact and ought not to be forgotten, that 
while the eastern division of Minneapolis was once a part of the 
old Northwest territory, the western wards of the city at the time 
of the ordinance of 1787 were in Spanish territory, a part of 
Louisiana, that was in 1800 restored to France, and purchased in 
1803 by the United States of America. 

Immigrants from Rupert's Land. 

The first agricultural immigrants to the plains of Minnesota 
came not by New Orleans, nor by Detroit, but by the river which 
Groselliers had named after his wife, St. Theresa, an outlet of 
Winnipeg's waters to Hudson's bay. 

Thomas Douglas, Earl of Selkirk, conceived the idea of plant- 
ing an agricultural colony within Prince Rupert's Land, and in 
the year 1812 brawny Scotchmen Presbyterians in their religious 
faith arrived upon the banks of the Red river by way of Hud- 
son's bay, and tarried for a time at Pembina, within the limits 
of the United States. 

Wheat for Red River. 

The Scotch in a few years became successful hunters of the 
buffalo and fleet walkers upon snowshoes, but they did not for 


their children's sakes wish to be Nimrods, and sent a deputation 
under Laidlaw, a Scotch farmer, to Prairie du Chien, the nearest 
farming settlement in the United States, to procure seed wheat. 
The men were three months making the journey, and purchased 
200 bushels for about $500. Leaving the Wisconsin river with 
three Mackinaw boats, they commenced, on the 15th of April, 
1820, their return. Upon reaching Lake Pepin the ice had not 
disappeared, but on the 3d of May they were able to pass through. 
Ascending the Minnesota they came to Lake Traverse, and from 
thence the boats were drawn on rollers a mile and a half to the 
Big Stone lake. Crossing this body of water, they ascended the 
Sioux Wood river to the Red river, and arrived at Pembina. 

Coming of the Swiss. 

In the spring of 1821 there might have been seen huddled to- 
gether on the banks of the Rhine, not far from the cathedral of 
Basle, which has been the architectural pride of Switzerland 
for more than eight centuries, a party of emigrants of the same 
faith as Groselliers and Raddison, the pioneer explorers of Min- 
nesota, about to leave their native land and embark for the wilds 
of America. Having descended the Rhine to the vicinity of Rot- 
terdam, they went aboard the ship Lord Wellington, and after a 
voyage across the Atlantic and amid the ice floes of Hudson's 
bay, they reached York fort, which had been first established 
by Groselliers. Here they debarked, and entering batteaux, as- 
cended Nelson river for twenty days until they came to Lake 
Winnipeg, and coasting along the west shore reached the Red 
River of the North, which rises in Minnesota in Otter Tail lake. 

With the exception of an English bull and two cows purchased 
of the Northwest Company, the first cattle brought to the Red 
river settlers was a drove of 300 driven up in 1821 from Mis- 
souri. When the drovers were ready to go home five Swiss 
families accompanied them as far as the military encampment, 
which has since become Fort Snelling, and they became the first 
tillers of the soil in Hennepin county. In 1823 another party left 
the Red river region and with six carts proceeded to Lake Trav- 
erse, where, hollowing cotton trees into canoes, they descended 
in the same to Fort Snelling. After the great flood of 1826, an- 


other party came in Red river carts to the fort. On the 26th of 
July, 1831, twenty-five more of the Red river colonists came down, 
having been informed that they could have land near the fort and 
the use of farming implements. On the 1st day of July, 1835, 
Red river emigrants again arrived with sixty head of cattle and 
twenty or twenty-five horses, making, since 1821, 489 persons who 
had entered Minnesota from the north, many of whose descend- 
ants are still among us. 

Central Position. 

D'Auvagour, on the 4th of August, 1663, wrote the king of 
Prance relative to the region beyond Lake Superior in these 
words: "This, according to general opinion, ought to be the 
center of the country." 

Today we have abundant evidence that we are standing at the 
threshold of a new dominion that is to arise on this plateau of 
North America. A few months ago, upon rails of steel, the loco- 
motive found its way from the Falls of St. Anthony, under the 
flag of the Republic, to the city of Winnipeg, in the province of 
Manitoba, near the shores of that lake which Grosellites first 
visited; and it is only a few weeks since a steamboat, built at 
Moorhead in our state, after descending the river and passing 
through Lake Winnipeg, ascended the Saskatchewan river, in the 
Dominion of Canada, nearly a thousand miles through a region 
capable of producing the finest of wheat. 

With unshackled hands, free thought and liberty of con- 
science, the people of the valley of the upper Mississippi and 
Red River of the North may add much to the luster of the great 
Republic, born on the 4th of July, 1776. Let us pursue no nar- 
row policy. Let us welcome the Dane, the Swede, the Norwegian, 
the Russian, the German, and all newcomers, with the words of 
Basil, the blacksmith, in Longfellow's Evangeline : 
"Welcome, once more, my friends, who so long have been friend- 
less and homeless; 
Welcome, once more, to a home that is better, perchance, than 

the old one ! 

Here not stony ground provokes the wrath of the farmer; 
Smoothly the plow-share runs through the soil as a keel through 
the water ; 


Here, too, lands may be had for the asking, and forests of timber, 
With few blows of the axe, are hewn and framed into houses." 

The spring of 1870 was a lively one in the lower Red River 
valley owing to the so-called rebellion in Manitoba under Louis 
Riel and 'Donhue, of Fenian fame, and many who were on their 
way to Fort Garry that year, among which was the writer of this 
article, were forced to make an unwilling sojourn at Pembina, 
waiting for the suppression of the rebellion in order to go on to 
their destination. The quelling of the insurrection in June by 
the British troops once more restored tranquillity and the noise 
attached to the whole affair seemed to have drawn the attention 
of the outside world and caused quite a stream of emigration into 
the valley. In the summer of 1870 the first United States troops 
arrived and consisted of two companies of the Twentieth regi- 
ment, under command of Colonel Lloyd Wheaton, now of the 
Philippines. During the summer and fall they encamped on what 
is now South Pembina, and when winter came they moved into 
Fort Pembina, which had been built during the time they were 
lying encamped. Fort Pembina was abandoned in May, 1897. 

In 1870 Hill, Griggs & Co., of the Red River Steamboat Com- 
pany, opened an extensive general store and carried as a rule a 
stock value of $100,000, the establishment being managed by a 
Mr. D. C. Kinzie. In October of that year a gentleman who is now 
numbered among the valley's best known public men located at 
Pembina, namely, Judson LaMoure. He came as United States 
marshal and attache of the United States survey department. 
He was afterwards deputy collector of customs, and has served 
in every legislature of the state of North Dakota since its terri- 
torial days. At present he holds the office of state senator. 
Altogether 1870 was a lively year for this portion of the valley, 
and among other institutions established at Pembina that year 
was a United States district court and the running of the stage 
between St. Cloud and this place commenced. With the opening 
of navigation in the year 1871 the Selkirk steamboat of Hill, 
Griggs & Co. made her first trip down the river and made mat- 
ters lively for the International's owners. Henry McKinney 
opened a saw mill that year near the junction of the Red and 
Pembina rivers, opposite St. Vincent, and the late Nathan Myrick, 


of St. Paul, opened a trading post near Fort Pembina. Business 
was moving along smoothly until October, when the Fenian in- 
vasion of Manitoba under General O'Neil caused some stir, but 
was soon quieted by the arrest of the invading chief by the 
United States troops. A United States land office, which did a 
lively business all season, opened in December, 1870, with N. B. 
Brasher as commissioner. The first patent for a quarter section 
being issued to Hon. N. E. Nelson, of the United States customs 
at Pembina. 

From 1873 to 1882. 

The year 1873 opened with brighter prospects than ever for 
this part of the valley, and within the limits of Pembina there was 
a custom house, a postoffice, a signal station, three stores were 
in operation, while the manufactories were represented by Mc- 
Kinney's saw mill and Daniel's blacksmith shop. A stage line, 
a telegraph line and two lines of steamboats now tapped the 
valley and in every other way presented appearances of coming 
prosperity. The St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba, or what is 
now the Great Northern Eailway, had reached Crookston, only 
ninety miles south, and was expected soon to reach this vicinity, 
but the great panic of 1873 struck like a thunderstorm and put 
an end to all commercial confidence, and as a natural consequence 
to all railroad construction and other such enterprises in the 
"West. The hopes of the people were suddenly blighted and hard 
times were felt all over the then frontier. For a few years, there- 
fore, little progress was made in business, and although the rich 
lands of this portion of the Red River valley were open for set- 
tlement, few immigrants came into the country. In 1875 the 
mercantile business was even less than in 1871, and farming 
operations on both sides of the river of this immediate vicinity 
did not cover more than 800 acres in crop. In 1876 settlers began 
to come in thick, and with the close of 1878 the construction of 
the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba railway was completed to 
St. Vincent, and from that date the active settlement of Kittson 
county and this part of the Red River valley began. 

The wise policy of the United States government was to parcel 
out its land in small farms to actual settlers, selling none to non- 



residents, and allowing no one rights to secure more than three- 
quarters of a section, or a total of 480 acres. This large amount 
was possible to be obtained from the government only by use of 
three separate rights, each securing a quarter section, according 
to the respective laws for homesteads, pre-emption and tree cul- 
ture. Most of the farms received from the government comprise 
only 160 acres, and these were deeded, upon payment of small 
fees at the land offices, to any citizens, including naturalized for- 
eigners, those affirming their intention to become naturalized 
legal voters, and widows and unmarried women, all of whom were 
required to take the land to be their permanent homes. For 
these free gifts of the fertile prairie of the Red River valley, 
surpassed by no other era of the world in its natural value for 
agriculture, multitudes came, bringing housekeeping equipments 
in their immigrant wagons (prairie schooners), which passed in 
long processions through St. Cloud and Alexandria, Minn., on 
their way from older portions of this state and from states further 
east and south. Many also came directly from the old world, 
especially from Sweden and Norway, being carried from the 
Eastern seaports by railroads, and soon established on their own 
freeholds in near neighborhoods with others of their countrymen 
who had come to the United States many years earlier. 

A considerable number of very large farms were acquired, 
however, by discerning capitalists, who saw the capabilities of 
this district for the convenient employment of large companies 
of laborers, marshaled with almost military order in the various 
operations of farming, as in plowing, seeding and threshing, and 
who at an early stage in the rapid progress of settlement foresaw 
the profits of wheat-raising on a grand scale. These "bonanza 
farms," as they were afterwards called, were made up in great 
part by purchasing from the railroad corporations the odd-num- 
bered alternate sections, which had been given as government 
subsidies to foster the early railroad enterprises that opened this 
region to settlement. But the railroad lands formed no compact 
tract, being in square miles, touching each other only at the cor- 
ners, like the spots of a single color on a checkerboard. To 
remedy this difficulty and fill out a continuous tract, many of 
the intervening portions were obtained by purchase from the 


settlers who had received the land from the government in good 
faith, with full intention of continuing to live on it, but in some 
instances claims were also obtained from the government by 
fraudulent agents, who professed their intention to comply with 
this legal requirement in taking land by pre-emption. Among the 
most famous and successful of these extensive farms were the 
Lockhart and Keystone farms in Minnesota; the Dwight, Fair- 
view, Keystone, Cleveland, Downing and Antelope farms on the 
Dakota side; the Dalrymple farm near Fargo, comprising some 
30,000 acres ; the Grandin farm, 40,000 acres, and the Elk Valley 
farm near Larimore. In some fields of these great farms the 
teams plowed three and four miles straight forward, only being 
interrupted by roads on the section lines, where the plow was 
thrown out of the ground for a few rods. The first breaking on 
both the Dalrymple and the Grandin farms was in 1875, the same 
year in which the land was mostly purchased, and their first 
crop of wheat was harvested in 1876, with an average yield of 
nearly forty bushels to the acre. During every year since that 
time the harvest on these lands and in general throughout the 
valley have been good, with no failure on account of drouth, 
which for several years (from 1885 to 1889 and again since 1892) 
has been very severe upon many other portions of the country 
east, south and west of this fertile valley of the Red River of 
the North. 


The transformation, growth and development of this great 
valley was the product of omnipotent though invisible forces. 
But yesterday, seemingly, an unbounded expanse of prairie, a 
vast unknown country, the abode of savagery, the happy hunting 
ground of the nomads of the plains. The world is familiar with 
its phenomenal growth. In one brief generation we have looked 
with amazement at the flight of vast herds of Buffalo, and hordes 
of painted men before the advancing caravans of the immigrants, 
seen the locomotive climb chamois-like over its hills and valleys, 
seen a web of steel spread over its surface by the great spider of 
commerce, the tepees of the Indian swept away to make room for 
the factory, church and schoolhouse, and amid the roar of mill 


wheels, the din of factory whistles and the clatter of wheels of 
trade, the people of the East have swept with their telescopes 
this great fertile valley for new homes and one county at least in 
this land of golden grain, 

Kittson County, 

has caught their eye and now comes the query, What new wonders 
has nature's storehouse given to enrich? Most aptly it has been 
said, "The home is the bulwark of civilization." It is the nucleus 
around which clusters in rich profusion the sublimest memories 
of the most beautiful sentiments and the truest and noblest as- 
pirations of the human race. Poverty and pain, penury and want 
may oft be unbidden guests and the hubbub and turmoil of life's 
fierce conflict may rage with fury unrestrained the home remains 
a refuge sublime. Mid storms and tempests, sunshine and 
shadows, and through all the quick changing scenes of life 's great 
drama, still stands the home. An oasis in the desert the solitary 
star in all the firmament whose faithful rays guide unerring the 
feet of wayward humanity into higher, nobler and better paths. 
Going back to the first actual settlement of Kittson county in 
1878, we find that the county was organized the following year, 
when Gov. John S. Pillsbery appointed the following board of 
county commissioners : Robert Thompson, chairman ; E. W. Jadis 
and D. F. Brawley. The first meeting of the board was held 
April 8, 1879, when the following county officers were appointed : 
H. Eustrom, auditor; Patrick Carrigan. treasurer; Peter Daily, 
register of deeds ; John A. Vanstrum, sheriff ; George B. Elliott, 
county attorney. The first term of district court was held in 
July, 1881, with Judge 0. P. Stearns presiding and F. M. Mc- 
Laughlin, clerk. From this period we find that in a few years 
Kittson county has grown from almost a wilderness to a popula- 
tion of nearly 10,000, and that among the first who came here to 
make their homes were Robert Thompson, R. Doran, N. D. Mur- 
ray, Alexander Turner, J. "W. Stewart, John McFarlane, John 
Finney, Eric and Ole Narlund, and last, but not least, Andrew 
Jerome, who may be honored by being called the father of Kitt- 
son county, having settled on his farm at the junction of the Two 
and Red rivers, and has made his home there ever since. While 



Kittson county has a variety of natural resources, agriculture and 
stock-raising is the main corner stone of its prosperity. It has 
long ago gained a world-wide reputation as being the banner 
county of the Red River valley, the bread basket of the world. 

The Climate. 

The climate advantages of the Red River valley and Kittson 
county are of a high order. A distinguished feature is its dry 
air, which modifies summer heat and winter cold. Markings on 
the thermometer do not indicate the effects upon the constitution 
by the extremes of temperature. The summer air is not sultry 
and debilitating, nor is the winter atmosphere charged with 
moisture, which gives one the chilly feeling common to lower 
latitudes. The mercury often falls considerably below zero, but 
the severity of the cold is so tempered by a dry atmosphere that 
extremely cold weather and storms never come together. The 
winter overcoat you wear in Illinois or Iowa will keep you warm 
on the coldest day in Kittson county, but it will be a cold day for 
a citizen from this section if he visits the windy city of Chicago 
in winter with no better protection than the clothing he wears in 
Kittson county. It would be advisable for him to supplement 
his outfit by a chest protector, a woolen jersey, a heavy muffler, 
a pair of ear muffs and a pair of felt shoes, if he would escape 
an attack of pneumonia. The Red River valley has long enjoyed 
a reputation as a sanitarium for persons suffering from lung and 
throat trouble. Malaria here is unknown ; it is a country exempt 
from complaints common to the fever ridden valleys of the warm 
belts. The average annual rainfall is about twenty-eight inches. 
There is nowhere on the continent a more healthful climate than 
that of the Red River valley and here in Kittson county. The 
new-comer does not have to be acclimated. The chill and fever 
and malarial troubles generally, which used to be regarded as an 
unavoidable incident to the settlement of a new country, are un- 
known here. The stranger from the East takes delight in inhal- 
ing the health-giving air of this section. He finds in it something 
that invigorates. He is told that it is ozone and from thenceforth, 
especially if he has weak lungs, he thanks God for ozone even 
if he has but a vague idea of what ozone is. 


The Wonderful Fertility of the Soil 

and the entire absence of sloughs and waste lands will continue 
to attract new-comers here, and from this time on the further 
development of the county will be rapid and continuous, so when 
you have the opportunity of buying a farm and home in the Red 
River valley at the present low prices, why not come to Kittson 
county, the most productive district in the entire valley, whose 
grand rolling prairies and timbered openings intersected by rip- 
pling streams and beautiful lakelets of pure sparkling water 
present the ideal of farm homes? Here nature bountifully pro- 
vides all that is desirable for the most successful agriculture. 
The soil is of wonderful productiveness, being a rich black loam 
with a clay subsoil. Other sections of the country have perhaps 
as good surface soil, but the distinguishing features of that of 
Kittson county is that it is not so sandy as that portion of the 
valley west of the Red river, but is a black loam, made from 
vegetable compound during the overflow of the Red river in 
ages past, and it is very like that on the Missouri river bottoms 
of Iowa and further south, and is productive as the made lands of 
the Yazoo Delta of the Mississippi or along the Euphrates or 
River Nile. It contains a sufficient amount of sand to make a 
quick growth of all grain or vegetables, and is especially adapted 
to the growing of grain and roots. It is the only soil in the 
world that will produce a crop without rain or without irrigation 
and there must be a plausible reason for this fact, and we will 
tell what it is. 

The ground freezes to a considerable depth here, and as a 
consequence there most always is frost in the ground as late as 
July. Any one who is familiar with farming will tell you that 
so long as there is frost in the ground that it continues to send 
up a dampness, which comes in contact with the roots of the 
crop, and affords ample moisture from nature's own way. Here 
is the theory for the raising of No. 1 hard wheat of this country. 
All wheat has a "tap root" which penetrates the earth to a great 
depth, thus it not only reaches the damp ground, but acts as a 
conductor of the coolness up and into the stem, thus making hard 



wheat. This theory has been thoroughly demonstrated, which 
accounts for the country withstanding a drouth. 

Never in the history of the Red River valley of Minnesota 
did the farmer ever suffer a failure of crops, and the average 
for wheat has never been less than eighteen bushels per acre. 
In the report of the British delegation of farmers who visited 
this section a few years ago we find that they give the 
enormous yield of forty-two and a half bushels, which they saw 
harvested on the field of Hon. "W. F. Kelso, four miles from this 
city. James Ingles, also of this county, was awarded a diploma 
at the World's Fair in 1893 for the excellence of his grain. But 
it is not on wheat alone that the Kittson county farmer need 
depend. Corn flourishes in the most northern counties of the 
state. At the World's Fair Minnesota secured some twenty-five 
awards for corn, most of the specimens exhibited having been 
grown in the counties of the Red River valley. Awards were also 
made for barley, oats, rye, flax, field peas, beans, etc. Altogether 
Minnesota secured at the World's Fair 230 awards on grain and 
seeds, a greater percentage in proportion than obtained by any 
other state or by any foreign country, and the column containing 
specimens of grain, small seeds and grasses from the Red River 
valley of Minnesota, contributed by the Great Northern Railway 
Company, collected from the settlers on its lands, took the highest 
awards for that class of exhibits at the fair, a gold medal and 
two diplomas. 

Potatoes and Other Vegetables. 

The Red River valley potato is a large, robust fellow who will 
not take a back seat for anybody. The tubers of this section are 
dry, mealy and excellent keepers. They yield from 150 to 500 
bushels to the acre and bring a good price. Everything in the 
line of vegetables which grow in the north temperate zone grow 
to perfection here. Peas ripen by the middle of June, onions 
flourish excellently, while beets and cabbage attain an enormous 

Wild Fruits. 

Cranberries, high bush and those growing upon vines in wet, 
low places, are found growing wild in this country, requiring 


no care or attention save that of picking and making into pies 
and jellies, and are much better, command a higher price in the 
market than those from cultivated fields in the East. Plums and 
other small wild fruits abound, and the many baskets sent away, 
saying nothing of those used here, show this to be true. Hun- 
dreds of bushels of blueberries are picked and shipped out of this 
country that is, from the eastern portion of the county, as that 
section contains more timber. Tame fruit, such as strawberries, 
crabapples, etc., grow very prolifically. 

Joseph E. Bouvette, editor and proprietor of the "Kittson 
County Enterprise," is one of the well known men of his pro- 
fession, as well as one of the pioneers of the Northwest. He was 
born in this state and his life has been spent in this region. It 
is filled with incidents, many of them connected with the Indian 
times in this section, and of later years he has been identified with 
the growth of civilization and has aided materially in the same. 
He is a native of St. Cloud, Stearns county, Minnesota, and was 
born August 17, 1866. He is the third in order of birth of a fam- 
ly born to Frank and Mary (Gandri) Bouvette. The family 
started for Fort Garry in 1869, and spent some time at George- 
town, Fort Abercrombie and McAuleyville. Upon reaching the 
international boundary line their outfit with which they traveled, 
consisting of Red river carts, was captured by Louis Kiel, of the 
Northwest rebellion, and 'Donahue, the Fenian leader, and they 
were detained several days. This delay, and afterwards meeting 
with British forces who were coming to garrison English Fort 
(now West Emerson) , which Kiel had under capture, and the fre- 
quent Sioux Indian outbreaks west of Pembina, caused his father 
to change his course, and he accordingly settled near Fort Pem- 
bina, N. D., which was then being built and in command of Col. 
Loyd "Wheaton, now of the Philippines. Fort Pembina was at 
that time garrisoned by several companies of the Twentieth 
United States infantry, affording good protection against Indians 
to white settlers who were at that time pushing west. This was 
the wildest of wild country at the time, and amid these sur- 
roundings our subject was reared. He, however, received a good 
common school education in English and also speaks French, 
and is fairly versed in the Indian language. He made the best 


of his opportunities and entered the office of the "Pioneer Ex- 
press" when a boy and remained there eight years, learning the 
newspaper business thoroughly. He was appointed inspector of 
United States customs at Fort Pembina under the Harrison ad- 
ministration, and also served two years as deputy state game 
warden at large for the State of Minnesota, under Governor John 
Lind. In 1894 he purchased the "Kittson County Enterprise," 
which he has since conducted. The paper was established in 
1882, by W. F. Wallace, who sold the plant to Ed. H. Love, from 
whom our subject purchased the same, and he has made a suc- 
cess of the paper. It is a strictly Democratic organ and has a 
good circulation, and is considered one of the bright exchanges 
of the newspaper world of northern Minnesota. Mr. Bouvette 
was married in 1895 to Miss Nellie E. Chevins. Two children 
have been born to bless their home, upon whom they have be- 
stowed the names of Clifford W. and Mildred E. Mr. Bouvette 
is quite prominent in public affairs of local importance, and has 
served ten years as chairman of the Democratic county commit- 
tee and is also member of the congressional committee. He is 
prominent in fraternal circles, and holds membership in the I. 0. 
O. F., A. O. U. W., M. W. A., O. E. S., and A. F. and A. 
M. societies. 


Location and Drainage Population Postoffices, Cities and Vil- 
lages Industries Banks and Banking Newspapers. 

Norman county lies along the east bank of the Red River, 
and is bounded on the north by Polk county, on the east by 
Mahnomen county, which was originally a part of Norman, on 
the south by Clay county, and one township in Becker county, 
and on the west, across the Red River in North Dakota, by Traill 
and Cass counties. The county comprises practically twenty- 
four government townships, with a few fractional sections on the 
west, caused by the windings of the river. 

The service is fertile, and being well watered by the Wild 
Rice river and its branches, and the Marsh river and its tribu- 
taries, as well as by the Red River, is admirably adapted to gen- 
eral farming and stock raising, dairying being one of the princi- 
pal industries. 

Two branches of the Great Northern cross the county, north 
and south, in the western and central portions, and in the eastern 
portion the Northern Pacific crosses in the same general direction. 
Along the line of these three branches are many small, but 
thriving villages, with the industries and stores usually found 
in such places. 

Six newspapers and one religious paper are published. The 
"Norman County Herald," established in 1888, is published 
every Wednesday by Jason Weatherhead, and has a circulation of 
1,135 copies. The "Norman County Index" is published every 
Thursday by D. C. Leightbourn. It was established in 1880, 



and has a circulation of 1,200 copies. Both of these papers are 
published in Ada. At Gary, A. T. Thompson issues the "Graphic" 
every Saturday, the circulation being about 500. At Hendrum, 
the "Red Eiver Eeview," established in 1899, is issued by M. 
A. Widsten. The circulation is about 500. J. D. Mason issues 
the "Times" at Twin Valley every Wednesday. The paper was 
established in 1896, and has a circulation of something over 750 
copies. The "Reporter," with a circulation of about 500, is pub- 
lished at Halstad by Edward Sullivan. The "Folkets Blad," a 
Norwegian-Danish religious publication, is issued twice a month 
by Cornelius Strand, and has a circulation of 1,000. It was es- 
tablished at Ada in 1906. 

Norman county has ten banks. At Ada there are two, each 
having a capital stock of $25,000. The First National of that 
city has C. M. Sprague as President, and C. J. Lofgren as Cashier. 
At the First State, Sylvester Peterson is President, and H. 
Jenkins, Jr., Cashier. The First Bank of Gary has a capital 
stock of $5,000. W. E. Matthews is the President, and D. C. 
Jones the Cashier. The First State Bank of Hendrum has a 
capital stock of $10,000. H. 0. Rask is President, and A. M. 
Eckmann, Cashier. Twin Valley has two banks. The Citizens 
State Bank is capitalized at $10,000. E. M. Niles is President, 
and M. E. Dahl Cashier. The First National Bank has a capital 
stock of $25,000. A. L. Hanson is President, and C. E. Peterson 
Cashier. Halstad also has two banks. The State Bank is capi- 
talized at $20,000, with Burre B. Larson as President, and Knute 
O. Slette as Cashier, while the First National with a capital stock 
of $25,000 has Harold Thorson as President, and John 0. Lyng- 
stad as Cashier. The Bank of Perley is capitalized at $10,000 
with M. T. Weum as President, and S. S. Dalen as Cashier. 
The State Bank of Shelly has a capital stock of $10,000, and 
John S. Tucker is President, and J. W. C. Anderson, Cashier of 
the institution. These banks are all in a thriving and prosperous 
condition, and their volume of business speaks well for the 
sagacity, thrift and business integrity of the county. 

The county has an excellent public school system, the teach- 
ers being competent, and the school buildings neat and commo- 
dious, with well kept grounds. The church edifices, which are 


numerous, proclaim the people a God-fearing and law-abiding 

The population of the county is estimated at about 18,000 
souls, who are supplied with mail from seventeen postoffices, 
located at Ada, Borup, Faith, Flaming, Flom, Fossum, Gary, 
Hadley, Halstad, Heiberg, Hendrum, Lockhart, Perley, Shelly, 
Syre, Twin Valley and Wheatville. 

Ada, the county seat, has a population of 1,515. It is a pros- 
perous incorporated village, governed by a village council, and 
is located on the northern division of the Great Northern rail- 
road, 265 miles northwest of St. Paul, and thirty-four south of 
Crookston. It is the center of a fine agricultural section and 
large quantities of wheat are annually exported. Two weekly 
newspapers, the "Index" and the "Herald" are published. The 
village has two banks, graded and high schools, Catholic, Con- 
gregational, German and Norwegian Lutheran and Methodist 
churches, a library, a creamery, three hotels, five grain elevators, 
flour and saw mills, a brick yard and two opera houses. The soil 
in the vicinity is a rich loam and highly productive. Land is 
valued at from $15 for wild to $35 for improved land per acre. 
The village has telephone service, "Western Union telegraph, Great 
Northern Express, daily mail, and the usual village improve- 

Anthony was first settled in 1873. It is located on the Marsh 
river in Anthony township, ten miles northeast of Ada and eight 
miles east of Halstad. There is one church, a United Lutheran, 
and the village has a creamery, a blacksmith shop, a feed mill 
and a general store and is supplied with a telephone service. 

Borup, a village with a population of 145, in Winchester town- 
ship, is on the Great Northern, eight miles south of Ada, having 
been settled in 1897. It has a Norwegian Lutheran church, a 
bank, a hotel, three grain elevators, one creamery, and a number 
of stores. The village is equipped with telephone service, and 
has the Great Northern Express and "Western Union telegraph. 

Betcher is on Spring creek in Green Meadow township, nine 
miles northeast of Ada, and eight miles west of Gary. It con- 
tains a Lutheran church, a creamery and two general stores. 

Faith, now having a population of 50, is twenty-five miles 


east of Ada. It was settled in 1872, and has a general store, a 
creamery and a feed and saw mill. 

Flaming is a flag station on the Northern Pacific, twenty-two 
miles northeast of Ada and six miles north of Gary. It has 
telephone, mail and express service. 

Flom, in Flom township, has a population of thirty. It was 
first settled in 1863 and has a Norwegian Lutheran church, a 
public school, creamery, saw and feed mill, general store, livery, 
hardware store and restaurant. It has telephone service, but 
for telegraph and express depends on Ada, twenty-seven miles 
to the northwest and Twin Valley, twelve miles in the same di- 

Fossum is in Fossum township, twenty miles southeast of 
Ada and five southeast of Twin Valley. It was founded in 1872, 
and has a Lutheran church, a general store and a blacksmith. 

Folkedahl is a settlement in Lake Ida township. 

Gary, now having a population of 300, was settled in 1883. 
It is on the Northern Pacific railroad, 285 miles northwest of 
St. Paul, and seventeen miles northeast of Ada. The village 
contains a graded school, a United Lutheran church, four grain 
elevators, two hotels, several stores, a bank, feed and saw mills, 
a creamery, a newspaper and an electric light plant, and has 
good mail, express, telephone and telegraph service. 

Goldner is a settlement ten miles southwest of Ada. 

Hadler was formerly known as Wicklow. It is a small settle- 
ment five miles north of Ada, and has a general store. 

Halstad is an incorporated village on the branch of the Great 
Northern road. It is 275 miles northwest of St. Paul and eighteen 
miles in the same direction from Ada. The village is governed 
by a council, has two banks, Methodist and Lutheran churches, 
a new $20,000 school building, four grain elevators, two hotels, 
a flour mill, a weekly newspaper, and the usual stores and busi- 
ness houses. A creamery handles the dairy products of the sur- 
rounding country, and telephone, telegraph, mail and express 
service add to the comforts of life. 

Heiberg has a general store and a flour mill. It is on the 
Northern Pacific, twelve miles east of Ada and two miles north 
of Twin Valley. 


Hendrum, now having a population of 368, was organized as 
an incorporated village several years ago, having been settled 
in 1881. It is on the Great Northern, sixteen miles from Ada 
and 265 miles from St. Paul. The village is in a flourishing 
condition and aside from the usual stores and general places of 
business, has four grain elevators, a feed mill, a bank, Norwegian 
and Presbyterian churches, a hotel and a weekly newspaper, with 
good telephone, mail, express and telegraph service. 

Lockhart is on the Northern Pacific, ten miles north of Ada. 
It has a creamery, two grain elevators, a general store and a 
blacksmith, as well as telephone, mail and express service. 

Marsh River, fifteen miles northwest of Ada, is supplied with 
mail from the rural route out of Halstad. 

Navaree is thirteen miles northeast of Ada and receives its 
mail at Betcher. 

Perley is in Lee township on the Great Northern railroad and 
the Red River. It is 250 miles northwest of St. Paul and twenty- 
two miles southwest of Ada. The village was setlted in 1880 and 
has a bank, a creamery, a flour mill, a hotel, three grain eleva- 
tors, two Lutheran churches, the usual stores and places of 
business, with telephone, telegraph, mail and express service. 

Polk City is a settlement twenty miles from Ada. 

Rolette is the name formerly borne by Lockhart, mentioned 

Ranum is twenty-two miles northeast of Ada, and receives its 
mail by rural route from Flaming. 

Qual, twenty-three miles southeast of Ada receives its mail 
by rural route from Twin Valley. 

Shelly was first settled in 1896. It is on the Great Northern, 
twenty miles northwest of Ada, and has a Lutheran church, a 
bank, a feed mill, grain elevator, lumber yard, saloon, general 
stores and the usual places of business. It also has express, 
telephone, telegraph and mail service. 

Strand is a discontinued postoffice twenty miles northeast 
of Ada. 

Sundahl, twenty-three miles northeast of Ada receives its mail 
by rural route from Flaming. 



Syre is on the Northern Pacific, sixteen miles southeast of 
Ada and six miles south of Twin Valley. It has two general 
stores, and telephone and mail service. 

Twin Valley has a population of 632. Settled in 1874 it is 
situated on the Northern Pacific railroad and Wild Rice river, 
276 miles northwest of St. Paul and fifteen miles east of Ada. It 
is governed by a village council, and contains the usual stores, 
restaurants, professional men, and general business houses, in- 
cluding a steam power flouring mill, a $4,000 school house, two 
banks, three hotels, four churches, a newspaper and four grain 
elevators, with telephone, telegraph, express and mail service. 

Waukon receives its mail by rural route from Gary. 

Wheatville is on the Great Northern, five miles south of Ada. 
It has a general store and several smaller places of business. 


Hans H. Aaker, proprietor of Aaker's Business College, was 
born on a farm near Ridgeway, Iowa, on the 16th day of April, 
1862. His father, Hans 0. Aaker, was born in Sauland, Telemar- 
ken, Norway, in 1825. He emigrated to Winneshiek county, Iowa, 
where he was one of the early settlers and for fifty years a promi- 
nent and well to do farmer. Ragnild Aaker (nee Gutehus), the 
mother of H. H. Aaker, was born in Hjertdal, Telemarken, Nor- 
way, and was married to Hans 0. Aaker just before his emigra- 
tion to this country. Young Aaker received a good primary 
education and entered Luther's College at Decorah, Iowa, where 
he remained nearly four years, when, coming to the conclusion 
that a business course would suit him better than preparation for 
the ministry, he entered a business college at Decorah, graduating 
in 1882, and from the commercial department of the Valparaiso 
University, Valparaiso, Ind., in 1883. Mr. Aaker then assumed 
charge of the commercial department of the Willmar Seminary, a 
new school started in 1883 at Wilmar, Minn., by Prof. A. M. Hove, 
later a teacher at Augsburg Seminary, Minnesota; Prof. H. S. 
Hilleboe, now principal of the schools at Benson, Minn., and Mr. 
Aaker. The seminary was one of the first schools of its kind in 
the Northwest, and grew in five years from twelve pupils to 250. 
In 1888 Mr. Aaker decided to engage in business and resigned his 
school position and in partnership with a brother opened a mer- 
cantile house in Twin Valley, where a profitable business was 
carried on. In 1891 the Northwestern Lutheran College Associa- 
tion was incorporated and a school styled Concordia College was 
started at Moorhead. The record made by Prof. Aaker at the 
Willmar Seminary was well known and the officers of the new 



school were very anxious to secure his services. Finally he was 
induced to accept a position with this institution. In January, 
1892, he assumed charge of the commercial department and two 
years later he was elected principal of the school. Concordia Col- 
lege is one of the most prosperous schools in the Northwest. 

In political matters he is known as a Prohibitionist, and he 
has taken an active part in the work of the party. While located 
at Twin Valley he was the party nominee for county superin- 
tendent of schools and lost by a narrow margin. In 1892 he was 
the Prohibition candidate for secretary of state. In the spring of 
1900 the business men of Moorhead requested Professor Aaker 
to become a candidate for mayor. The city had been for many 
years the dumping ground of the drinking element of Fargo, N. 
D., a city across the state line, and under Prohibition laws. The 
resorts barred from Fargo found a place in Moorhead, and, as no 
relief could be obtained from the regular nominees, the business 
men decided upon Mr. Aaker, as the man to redeem the fair name 
of the city. He was elected by a plurality of eighty votes over the 
opposing candidates. In the spring of 1900, Mr. Aaker was nom- 
inated for congress by the Prohibitionists of the Seventh Con- 
gressional district. He was also a candidate for the nomination 
of the People's party and had the support of the leading men of 
the party, but owing to saloon influence he was defeated for the 
nomination. Mr. Aaker, though defeated, ran ahead of his ticket, 
receiving more than double the votes cast for the nominee for 
Governor. Mr. Aaker is a member of the United Norwegian 
Lutheran Church of America. He was married, September 5, 1900, 
to Miss Annette Peterson, for several years at Concordia College. 
He resigned his position at Concordia College, in the summer of 
1902, and opened his business college in Fargo, October 27, 1902. 
He ran for governor on the Prohibition ticket in 1904. In 1906 
he made a strong campaign against gambling and prostitution, 
in Fargo, as candidate for mayor on a strict enforcement plat- 
form. He is president of the Direct Legislation League, and also 
of the Scandinavian Eepublican League. 

Francis W. Ames, is a well known citizen of Mayville, N. D., 
who has been prominently identified with his county and state 
since his coming to North Dakota, in October, 1880. He is a 




native of Wiscasset, Maine, where he was born, December 16, 
1851. His father, Charles H. Ames, was a carriage maker. Hav- 
ing passed the days of his boyhood at home, at school, in the work 
shop and in the field. The young man entered Trinity College, 
Hartford, Connecticut, and graduated from that institution with 
the class of 1876. He then studied law in the office of H. C. Rob- 
inson, Hartford, Connecticut, and was admitted to practice in the 
courts of that state in 1879. In October, 1880, he came to North 
Dakota, and in 1881 settled at Caledonia, Traill county. In 1885, he 
removed to Mayville, where he has resided since that time. In 1881, 
he was appointed clerk of the district court, by Judge Hudson, and 
in 1888, was elected state's attorney of Traill county, serving the 
public in that official capacity four years. In 1898, he was elected 
state senator, and in 1893, was appointed reporter of the supreme 
court, and is still holding that position. In addition to his pro- 
fessional life, Judge Ames, is identified with a number of business 
enterprises. He is vice-president of the First National Bank of 
Mayville, First National Bank of Hatton, and also of the North- 
wood Trust and Safety bank. He has been a member of the I. O. 

0. F. since 1882. 

Judge Ames was married to Lucia A. Phelps, May 30, 1883, at 
Rockford, Iowa. Children granted to this couple are Miss Cora 

1. Ames, born September 11, 1884, a graduate of the Mayville 
Normal, in the class of 1906, and now a teacher at Casselton, N. 
D. ; Miss Lillian R. Ames, born October 19, 1886, a graduate of the 
Mayville Normal in 1908. Both of these young ladies are repre- 
sented in the engraving with their father. Chauncey C. Ames, 
born July 13, 1890, and Harold F., born March 16, 1893. 

Anton 0. Anderson, manager of the Advance Thrasher Com- 
pany, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was born at Lake Crystal, 
Minnesota, on April 7, 1872. His parents were Ole W. and Elsie 
(Farmer) Anderson, both natives of Norway. Father came to 
the United States in 1853, and mother in 1871. 

Anton O. received a good common school education at Hills- 
boro, N. D. He then spent two years at Willmar Sem- 
inary, Willmar, Minn., and one year at the Lutheran College, 
at Decorah, Iowa. From 1899 to 1903, was engaged in the imple- 
ment business at Northwood, North Dakota, when he sold out 


and became traveling salesman for the Advance Thrasher Com- 
pany, until 1905, when he took charge as manager of their branch 
house at Grand Forks. 

Mr. Anderson came to North Dakota in June, 1877, and with 
his father settled on a homestead at Hillsboro. He has taken an 
active interest in political matters, was reading clerk in the house 
of representatives, session of 1897, and was chief clerk during 
session of 1903. He is a member of the Masonic Order, and the A. 
0. U. W. 

Mr. Anderson was married in 1898, to Miss Sadie Shelburn, of 
Grand Forks, North Dakota, and has three children, Marion, 
Arthur, and Helen. 

A. T. Austinson, one of the founders and builders of the village 
of Ulen, Minnesota, was born in Norway, May 5, 1857. His 
parents were Torkle and Guri (Descud) Austinson. 

Mr. Austinson came to the United States in 1868, and settled 
first in the town of Primrose, Dane county, Wisconsin, and the 
following year moved to Twin Lake, Freeborn county, Minnesota, 
where he remained for about two years, and then went to Goose 
Prairie township, Clay county, Minnesota, three miles east of 
Hitterdal, where he proved up a claim and assisted materially to 
organize the town of Goose Prairie. He helped survey the first 
county road from Tansem, the north line in eastern Clay county, 
and was identified with the entire development from the begin- 
ning. He was the first assessor in the town of Goose Prairie, 
Hagen and Ulen townships, which were attached to Goose Prairie 
for this purpose. He organized the first school district, No. 28, 
and was the first merchant in the village of Ulen, to erect a store, 
on December 23, 1886. 

Mr. Austinson is decidedly a man of affairs, and as a business 
man and citizen has always been identified with the best interests 
of his town and county, and has devoted the greater part of his 
time, during his residence in Minnesota, to local politics. He was 
a member of the first board to organize the town of Goose Prairie, 
the others being S. M. Y. Nykrieum and Paul Van Vlissengen. 
He was one of the county commissioners and chairman of the 
board; he was a delegate to the convention that nominated Mr. 
Knud Nelson for congress, in what was termed the Fifth 


district ; he was deputy sheriff under W. J. Bakken, from 1882 to 
1885, and was a delegate to the state congressional and county 
conventions at various times, and member of the congressional 
committee when Frank M. Eddie was elected to congress, and a 
staunch supporter of the winner. He carried the first line of gen- 
eral merchandise in Ulen village, under the firm name of Austin- 
son & Asleson. He secured the petition for the consolidation of 
the two schools of Ulen township and removal into the village, 
the old school houses are now used as private homes. The present 
school building of five rooms was erected largely under his 
personal supervision and instrumentality, and he also helped to 
issue the bonds for same, he being clerk of the school board for a 
number of years, and took great interest in the educational facil- 
ities of the village. Mr. Austinson was also connected with the 
establishment of the roller mill, and the $1,500.00 bonus required 
for this, was secured by his efforts and others; the water works 
and electric light plant bonds were also issued under his direction. 
He was for a time owner and manager of the first newspaper 
the "Ulen Union," and helped to organize the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows Lodge, in Ulen, and the Modern Woodmen of 
America. He was the second postmaster of Ulen, succeeding Mr. 
O. C. Melbye; he was connected with the telephone company, of 
Lake Park, was among the founders of the Synod Lutheran 
Church, and is inseparably connected with all of its improvements 
and one of its principal contributors. 

Mr. Austinson is a staunch Republican, and in 1896, was candi- 
date for sheriff of Clay county, against W. J. Botkin, but lost the 
election by three votes, and that in a Populistic locality. Mr. 
A. T. Austinson stood almost alone in eastern Clay county, as an 
advocate of Republican principles. During the time that the Popu- 
lists had entire control of both county and state politics he was 
offered any position on the Populist ticket, if he would join them. 
This was refused, as principal was first in his actions. In the 
year of 1904, he was candidate to the house of representatives for 
his district, but was defeated in the primaries by a few votes, 
when Geo. E. Perley, of Moorhead, was nominated. He is con- 
tented however, in having the satisfaction that he has been a 
material help toward keeping Clay county in the fold of the 


Republican party, always taking an active part in the election of 
such men as Knud Nelson, Frank M. Eddie and others who have 
shown themselves worthy of the confidence of the people. 

As a man Mr. Austinson is well respected in the community. 
He has always shown himself capable and trustworthy in any 
place he has been called to fill, and no man enjoys more public 
confidence and esteem than Mr. A. T. Austinson. 

Torkle Austinson, father of Mr. A. T. Austinson, a prominent 
politician of Ulen township, was born in Hallingdohl, Norway, 
July 6, 1826, and is now living with his son, in Ambrose, North 
Dakota. He married Miss Gure Oleson, in Norway, in 1854. She 
was born, October 7, 1819, and died in the village of Ulen, in 1904, 
at the age of eighty-three. They emigrated to the United States, 
in the spring of 1868, in a sailing vessel called "Nordna;" it was 
a three months' voyage, provisions ran out, almost causing starva- 
tion among the passengers. They first settled in Primrose town- 
ship, Dane county, Wisconsin, where they remained until 1869, 
and then moved to Freeborn county, Minnesota, and lived there 
until 1871, and again started overland in company with Andrew 
Larson, for Clay county, and located in Ulen township, where they 
took possession of the claim cabin of Arne Evans, in section 28, 
but remained but a short time, being frightened away by some 
land sharks claiming it Indian Script land. He again moved to 
section 27, Goose Prairie township, and that became railroad land, 
so he again moved, and this time located in section 26, where he 
proved up a homestead and remained until 1887, then sold out to 
his son, and moved into the village of Ulen, to his sons. 

Mr. and Mrs. Austinson had a family of three children, viz. : 
A. T. Austinson, Susie, now the wife of Hans Hanson, and Julia, 
wife of 0. S. Naserad, postmaster of Hitterdal. 

This venerable couple were charter members of the Lutheran 
Church, of Goose Prairie township, and their first child, A. T., was 
the first to be confirmed in that pioneer church. 

William John Bailey, lumber dealer, of Inkster, North Dakota, 
was born December 11, 1854, at Toronto, Canada. His parents, 
Alexander and Susan Bailey, were both natives of County Mona- 
ghan, Ireland. They came to Toronto, in 1840. His father was a 
carpenter by trade. 


William J. was educated in the schools of Toronto, Canada, 
and came to Euclid, Minnesota, in 1881, and engaged in the lum- 
ber business; in 1883 and 1884, he operated a sash and door 
factory, at Crookston, Minnesota. In 1884, he removed to North 
Dakota, and began his present business at Inkster. He is a mem- 
ber of the Knights of Pythias, Modern Woodmen of America, B. 
P. O. E., and B. of A. Y. 

In 1893, he was married to Miss Hattie A. Stuart. They have 
three children, Norman Stuart, Admiral Ross, and John Hollis. 

David H. Beecher. The subject of this sketch, Mr. David H. 
Beecher, is one of the pioneer and successful bankers of the Red 
River Valley, entering this field as a banker in 1884 at Park 
River, Walsh county, North Dakota. Mr. Beecher was born in 
Rushford, Allegany county, New York, March 15, 1852, where he 
resided with his parents until the age of twelve, when the family 
removed to Tioga county, New York. At the age of eighteen 
he went to Binghamton, New York, to complete his education and 
entered business there at the age of twenty-three. He resided 
at Binghamton until 1883, when he came to Crookston, Minne- 
sota. The following year he became associated with Mr. Sidney 
Clarke, then with the First National Bank of that city, and estab- 
lished the First National Bank of Park River in Walsh county, 
North Dakota, taking up his residence at that place. Mr. Beecher 
still retains his connection with this bank, which has grown to 
be the largest bank in Walsh county. In 1890 Messrs. Beecher 
and Clarke removed to Grand Forks and established the Union 
National Bank with $100,000 capital, which institution has made 
steady and substantial growth and is recognized as one of the 
strongest and most conservative banks in the Red River Valley. 

Mr. Beecher continued to extend his banking interests through 
the eastern part of the state, the growth of which now shows 
him to be the principal officer and leading spirit of five national 
banks and twelve state banks, with a total capital and surplus of 
nearly $500,000, deposits of $2,000,000 and loans of $1,500,000. 

Mr. Beecher has gathered around him as associates several 
men of rare genius as bankers, among whom are Mr. Sidney 
Clarke, cashier of the Union National Bank of Grand Forks; 
Geo. E. Towle, vice president of the First National Bank of Park 


River and treasurer of the Northwestern National Life Insurance 
Company of Minneapolis; Karl J. Farup, cashier of the First 
National Bank of Park River; Brynjolf Prom, cashier of the 
State Bank of Milton; Hon. U. L. Burdick, cashier of the First 
National Bank of Munich, who is also present Speaker of the 
North Dakota House of Representatives. 

It may be said to the credit of Mr. Beecher and his associates 
that during the panics of 1893, 1896 and 1907, all of the banks in 
which he is associated maintained their usual strong position and 
showed careful and conservative management in the largest 

Mr. Beecher was married at the age of twenty-seven to Miss 
Effie Gifford of Utica, New York. This union was blessed by a 
daughter who died in infancy. 

In politics Mr. Beecher is a Republican. He has never sought 
political honors, but is always found a staunch supporter of the 
man he considers both worthy and capable of serving the people. 

Hon. Alfred Blaisdell, secretary of state, was born in Fair- 
mont, Minn., October 29, 1875, and graduated from the Fairmont 
High School, class of 1894, and the University of Minnesota, in 
1898, receiving the degree of bachelor of science. He was also a 
member of the class of 1901, at the college of law, University of 

He comes from a family of lawyers for several generations on 
both sides of the house. His father, the late Hon. H. M. Blaisdell, 
of Fairmont, Minn., one of the oldest practitioners in southern 
Minnesota, resided formerly in the state of Maine, where he 
studied law with Hon. Eugene Hale, of Ellsworth, and at one time 
was a member of the state legislature. Henrietta Crosby Blaisdell, 
the mother of our sketch was a daughter of the late Hon. Josiah 
Crosby, of Dexter, Me., an active legal practitioner for half a 
century, and who served his state as state senator and lieutenant- 

After leaving the University of Minnesota, Mr. Blaisdell pur- 
sued the further study of law with Messrs. Newman, Spalding & 
Stambaugh, of Fargo. He later formed a partnership with ex- 
State's Attorney Hanchett, of Harvey and Fessenden, under the 
firm name of Hanchett & Blaisdell, and removed to Minot the 


beginning of 1900. He is senior member of the law firm of Blais- 
dell, Bird & Blaisdell, and vice-president of the Blaisdell-Bird 
Company (Inc.), of which his law partner, John A. Bird, is 

In a political way Mr. Blaisdell has been very fortunate. He 
made good as secretary of the Old Re-organizers of Ward county 
and as secretary of the Republican County Central Committee of 
the successful campaigns in Ward county. Mr. Blaisdell has en- 
tered political contests with vigor, but on account of his disposi- 
tion at all times to be fair he has escaped much of the ill-feeling 
which falls to the lot of the average citizen who takes active sides 
in politics. He was United States Commissioner for many years 
in Minot, and was formerly a member of the State Normal Board, 
and director of the State Historical Society, in which he takes an 
active and personal interest. Socially he is a member of the 
Masonic order, Order of Elks, Knights of Pythias, Order of 
Eagles, and of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the Min- 
nesota Commandery. 

Mr. Blaisdell was married July 25, 1908, to Miss Grace P. 
Emmons, who was born September 23, 1888, at Emmons. Minn., 
the town bearing the family name. Her father, G. H. Em- 
mons, is a leading general merchant and postmaster there, and 
her grandfather, Hon. H. G. Emmons, is one of the oldest living 
pioneers of Minnesota, and was formerly a member of the state 
legislature in early days. Mrs. Blaisdell is a graduate of Waldorf 
College, at Forest City, Iowa. 

Mr. Blaisdell was but thirty years of age when nominated at 
the Jamestown convention for his first term, having been unan- 
imously endorsed by the Ward county delegation, his county 
being the largest and casting the heaviest vote of any in the state. 
Upon taking his oath of office he retired from the active manage- 
ment of his various business interests in Ward county. 

The state department, during his past administration, has 
been thoroughly overhauled and systematized. 

When a candidate for re-nomination under the new primary 
system, he made the issue solely upon his business record in office, 
and was successfully re-nominated, and at the general election in 
the fall was elected by a large majority. Mr. Blaisdell 's major- 


ities have always been especially large in his own county of 
Ward and the city of Minot, where he has lived some eight years, 
and, of course, where he is best known. 

Ole Bolstad, who is a successful dentist in active practice at 
Northwood, N. D., was born at Ringsaker, Norway, October 3, 
1875, son of Ole L. and Thonethe Bolstad. They were farmers 
in their native country, being poor tenants till they immigrated 
to America in 1880. They arrived at Philadelphia, July 4, that 
year, and from there went to Richland county, North Dakota. 

Our subject lived on the farm with his parents, received the 
rudiments of his education at the district school, which was sup- 
plemented by a course at the Mayville Normal, and a two year 
scientific course at the University of North Dakota. After which 
he took a four year course at the University of Minnesota, grad- 
uating from the dental department in 1902. When he located at 
Northwood, where he has since remained in the active practice of 
his profession. 

Mr. Bolstad has taught school, clerked in stores, worked on 
the farm, and has taken an active part in politics. He was clerk 
of the house of representatives for one year. He is a member of 
the Masonic Order, A. O. U. W., K. of P., and M. W. A. 

On December 24, 1906, Dr. Bolstad married Miss Gina Tanger, 
of Northwood, who was assistant cashier of the Northwood Trust 
and Safety bank. They have one child, Kathleen lola Theresa. 

John F. Brandt. East Grand Forks was successful in mate- 
rializing their political ideas of municipal ownership in the cam- 
paign from 1901 to 1903, by the election of Captain John F. 
Brandt as their mayor. Municipal ownership had always been 
advocated by Captain Brandt, and his advancement to the mayor- 
alty of the city at that time is what gave them the municipal 
ownership of the city light plant. 

In 1897, and again in 1898, Captain Brandt was elected city 
treasurer of East Grand Forks. In 1899, he was elected mayor of 
the city, and this election was followed by two others, one in 1901, 
and the other in 1903; the last one immediately preceding the 
present incumbent. 

Captain Brandt, during the late unpleasantness with Spain, 


raised Company F, of the 15th Minnesota Regiment, doing duty at 
Augusta, Ga., in command of his company. 

General William H. Brown. Probably no one stands higher 
in the estimation of every one in the Red River valley than our 
esteemed citizen, William H. Brown, first mayor of Grand Forks. 
As a pioneer of the place, he was one of the early residents to 
blaze the way for others, and to him and his contemporaries the 
people of this city owe a debt of gratitude. 

General Brown is a native of North Hampton, Mass., where 
he was born seventy-seven years ago, dating the event from the 
thirteenth of November, 1907. His father, Joseph S. Brown, was 
a carpenter, but at one time, served as a stage coach superin- 
tendent, in the early days of stage driving; also taking charge 
of a supply barn of 150 horses. His duties were similar to those 
of a division superintendent, but the salary was not so munificent, 
as he received only $12.00 per month and board. He died at the 
age of eighty-three years, in Grand Forks. General Brown's 
mother, was a Miss Lucinda Jones. She was a native of Deer- 
field, Mass. She died at the age of ninety-eight, in Grand Forks. 

At fourteen years of age, young Brown left North Hampton 
for Pittsfield, Mass., where he entered a hardware store and 
where he thoroughly mastered the principles of that line of trade, 
and which subsequently brought him into prominence with the 
commercial world. 

General Brown's patriotism was never a question of doubt. 
At the breaking out of the Civil "War, he entered the contest, en- 
listing as a private soldier on July 21, 1861, in Company B, 10th 
Massachusetts Regiment, serving until the close of the war, and 
was mustered out as first lieutenant in 1865, in Company A, 61st 
Massachusetts, at Arlington, Va., near General Lee's old home. 

Following the war period, Mr. Brown went to St. Paul, Minn., 
where he carried on the hardware business for twelve years. In 
1877, he came to Grand Forks, and continued his business in the 
hardware line. The store stood on the corner of Third Street and 
De Mers Avenue ; it was destroyed by fire in 1880. 

General Brown was appointed mayor of Grand Forks, and 
served two terms. No salary was allowed at that time, but the 



strenuous administration of his duties while holding that office 
brought him honors to be coveted by any one in preference to a 

The General also served one term in the legislature. He ac- 
cepted the nomination for this high position with the express 
understanding that no string-tied-requirements were to be made 
in case of his election. And he served his state as he had done 
his city to the best of his ability and best interests of his 

General Brown received his title, as Colonel, from service on 
the governor's staff, and that of general in consequence of a 
refusal of the governor to accept his resignation as colonel in 
honor of his distinguished services. He was appointed on the 
governor's staff by Governor Church, the first governor of North 
Dakota. At the close of the gubernatorial term of that office, he 
resigned the position to give the younger men their chance in the 
race of military honors, but was always appointed again, not- 
withstanding his resignations from that time to the present. The 
last governor of North Dakota, however, accepted his resignation 
and bestowed upon him the title of general, an honor richly de- 
served and which has met with general approval. 

The general resides at the old homestead place, south Fifth 
street, where he located when he first came to Grand Forks. His 
son, F. A. Brown, now holding a responsible position in the 
"Evening Times" office, was recorder of the city of Grand Forks 
for a number of years. 

"W. H. Brown was sergeant-at-arms of the senate of North 
Dakota, for three terms, was chief engineer and ordnance officer 
with rank of colonel ; was also register of the United States land 
office located at Grand Forks, was police magistrate of the city of 
Grand Forks for eight years, and resigned to accept the appoint- 
ment of register of land office. 

Colonel W. H. Brown served as department commander of 
North Dakota Grand Army of the Republic, and always attended 
all the national and state encampments, and took active part in 
G. A. R. matters. He was a delegate of the state on General 
Porter's staff, to attend the inauguration of President McKinley's 
second term. 



Dean Andrew A. Bruce, of the college of law, University of 
North Dakota, was born April 15, 1866, in the mountain fort of 
Nunda Drug, in Madras, India, of Scotch parents. His father 
was General Edward Archibald Bruce, of the British army. His 
mother, Anne McMaster Bruce, was a daughter of Colonel Robert 
McMaster, of the British army. Both of his parents died when he 
was a child and he came alone to America, when fifteen years of 
age. He worked his own way through college and graduated 
from the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wiscon- 
sin law school. He was appointed secretary to the judges of the 
supreme court of Wisconsin, in 1890, and two years later he was 
appointed chief clerk of the law department of the Wisconsin 
Central Railway. He was attorney for the Illinois State Board 
of Factory Inspectors, in 1893-5. He practiced law in Chicago 
very successfully from 1893 to 1898. He took a leading part in 
the enactment and enforcement of the child labor and sweatshop 
laws, of both Illinois and Wisconsin. He accepted the professor- 
ship of law in the University of Wisconsin, in 1898, resigning in 
1902 to accept a similar position in the University of North 
Dakota, at Grand Forks. Since 1902, he has been dean of the law 
college, a position he has filled with honor to the institution. He 
has also been president of the state board of bar examiners since 
1905. Dean Bruce is a member of the general counsel of the 
American Bar Association, of its committee on the classification of 
the law and of its bureau of comparative law. He was a delegate 
of the American Bar Association to the Universal Congress of 
Lawyers and Jurists, at St. Louis, in 1904. He is a member of 
the American Bar Association, the North Dakota Bar Association, 
the North Dakota State Historical Society, the Grand Forks Com- 
mercial Club, and the Grand Forks Town and Country Club. He 
is a frequent contributor to the magazines. 

Dean Bruce was married to Miss Elizabeth Bacon Pickett, 
June 29, 1899. They have one daughter, Glenn Bruce, and one 
son, Edward McMaster Bruce. 

Governor John Burke, of North Dakota, was born February 
25, 1859, in Keokuk county, Iowa, near where the town of Harper 
was subsequently located. He was educated in the common 
schools and grew to manhood on the farm. He entered the law 


department of the Iowa State University as a student in Sep- 
tember, 1884, and graduated therefrom in June, 1886. He com- 
menced the practice of law in Des Moines, Iowa, in the fall of 
1886, entering into partnership with his brother, Judge Thomas 
C. Burke, now of Baker City, Ore. Two years later, feeling that 
the Northwest offered greater inducements to a young lawyer, 
he left his native state and located in Rolette county, North 

Unflagging industry and uncompromising honesty, coupled 
with brilliancy of mind and devotion to the highest professional 
ideals, soon brought him clients from all parts of the young state. 
He soon acquired a reputation as a great trial lawyer, and his 
splendid success in hundreds of forensic battles, disclose the true 
foundation for his reputation. He afterwards removed to Devils 
Lake, from which place he could more easily reach the different 
parts where his services were in demand. 

On August 22, 1891, he was married to Miss Mary Kane, of 
"Waukesha, Wis. They have three children, Elizabeth, Thomas 
and Marian. Mrs. Burke is a bright and accomplished lady and 
her wifely counsel and companionship has contributed a great 
deal to her husband's advancement and success. 

Governor Burke served two years as county judge of Rolette 
county. He was elected to the state legislature, a member of the 
lower house, in 1891, and to the senate in 1892, serving in the 
latter body in 1893 and 1895. He was honored by the Democratic 
party with the nomination for attorney general in 1894, for con- 
gress in 1896, and for district judge in 1900. In 1906 he was 
called upon to accept the nomination for governor, and while his 
opponent had been elected two years before by a plurality of 
31,282, he was elected by a large plurality a worthy tribute to 
an honest, clean, fearless man. 

In 1908 he was unanimously renominated by his party, and the 
satisfaction of the voters with his administration was proven by 
his re-election. 

Governor Burke is considered one of the great political speak- 
ers of the day. His two campaigns for the governorship were 
without parallel in political annals of the Northwest and estab- 
lished his reputation as one of the greatest and most effective 


campaign orators of the country. He is one of the leading and 
potent factors of the Democratic party of North Dakota. He is 
a man possessed of so many sterling qualities that he has made a 
host of friends throughout the state, regardless of political 
affiliations. His administration has been clear and clean cut as 
well as business-like. Many changes have been effected and he 
enjoys the confidence and respect of the people of the state. 

James Arnold Canniff, of Grand Forks, N. D., was born in 
Ontario, Canada, November 5, 1868. His parents were Thomas 
O. and Elizabeth J. Canniff. He was educated in the schools of 
Grand Forks, and commenced business in 1885, succeeding T. C. 
Canniff, in the wall paper, paint and oil business. He was elected 
alderman of Grand Forks, in 1896, and served nine years. He 
served as chairman of the Republican County Central Committee 
in 1904-5. He is a member of the Elks, Knights of Pythias, and 
Odd Fellows. 

On June 17, 1893, Mr. Canniff was married at Grand Forks, 
to Miss Edna M. Follinsbee, and they have two children, Ethel 
and Thomas. 

Hon. John Carmody, who has been a member of the bar of 
North Dakota, nearly a quarter of a century, is a native of Wis- 
consin. He was born on a farm in the town of Granville, in 
Milwaukee county, January 6, 1854, and is a son of John and 
Mary (Purcell) Carmody. He acquired his schooling in the com- 
mon schools of his native place and of Waseca county, Minne- 
sota, whither his parents moved when he was fourteen years old, 
and also attended the high schools of Waseca and Faribault. 
With this preparatory education he became a law student, and 
clerk in the office of the Hon. James E. Child, at Waseca, and 
when twenty-six years old, in March, 1880, was admitted to the 
bar of Minnesota. He practiced his profession at Waseca some 
five years, and in August, 1885, established himself at Hillsboro, 
N. D., where he has since made his home. 

During the years of his residence at Hillsboro, Mr. Carmody 
has been closely identified with the growth and development of 
the town and especially active in matters relative to his profes- 
sion. He has served the city as mayor and as city attorney, has 
served as state's attorney of Traill county, is a member of the 



State Bar Association, and has served it as vice-president, presi- 
dent, and has held like offices in the North Dakota Volunteer 
Firemen 's Association, of which he is a life member. He is a man 
of judicial temperament, clear headed, and logical, and a thor- 
ough student of the law, and his appointment as associate justice 
of the supreme court of North Dakota, by Governor Burke, on 
January 15, 1909, was a well fitting and well merited recognition 
of his eminent fitness for that high office. 

Judge Carmody was married July 12, 1886, at Waseca, Minn., 
to Miss Anna Madden. Has three children, named Winifred M., 
Irene F., and George Christie. 

Is a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, 
Independent Order of Foresters, Brotherhood of American Yeo- 
man, Knights of Columbus, Ancient Order of United Workmen 
of the State of North Dakota, and is grand master of the Grand 
Lodge of the Ancient Order of United Workman of the State of 
North Dakota. 

Irving' S. Catlin, of the firm of Catlin Brothers, dealers in 
drugs, jewelry and notions, at Barnesville, Minn., is a native of 
Elkhorn, Wis., and was born April 23, 1871, the youngest son of 
Nelson and Elizabeth (Keyes) Catlin. The father, born in Litch- 
field, Herkimer county, New York, was of English lineage. He 
was a school teacher in early life, and in the early days purchased 
and settled on a partially improved farm in Walworth county, 
Wisconsin. He was a man of influence in his community and 
served as justice of the peace, town supervisor, township superin- 
tendent of schools, and other local offices. He met an accidental 
death, September 23, 1876, and was survived by his widow and 
two sons and two daughters. The mother was a native of Rome, 
N. Y. She died at the family homestead in 1897. 

Our subject, who was five years old at the time of his father's 
death, grew up on the home farm, acquiring a good common and 
high school education, and on attaining his majority, went to 
Barnesville in the Red River valley, and began life on his own 
account. He spent four years in the drug store of Dr. Robert 
Paterson, preparatory to taking a course of study, and then at- 
tended the Northwestern School of Pharmacy, at St. Paul, passing 


an examination before the state board and receiving his diploma 
in 1896. 

Returning to Barnesville and established himself in the drug 
business in a small way, associated with his brother, Frank A. 
Catlin. In the fall of 1896 the business was moved into the build- 
ing which they purchased, and which is known as Catlin block. 
A substantial two-story building, 25x80 feet, with physicians and 
attorneys' offices on the second floor. 

Mr. Catlin is a man of wide popularity, a thorough man. and 
alive to all that pertains to the welfare of his town. He served as 
postmaster from 1897 to 1906, under appointment by Presidents 
McKinley and Roosevelt, and was a member of the city council 
when the water works were installed. He is a Republican and 
active in the councils of his party. He is a member of Lodge 119 
Knights of Pythias, in which he has passed all the chairs ; belongs 
to the Masonic Order, is an active member of the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, and of the Modern Woodmen of 
America, and also belongs to the Royal Arcanum. 

He has dealt extensively in lands outside of his regular busi- 
ness, and owns a quarter section in Wilken county, and a quarter 
section in Clay county, both valuable tracts in a rapidly develop- 
ing section. 

In September, 1903, Mr. Catlin married Miss Martha, daughter 
of Mr. J. C. Kneff, a prominent man of Fergus Falls. They have 
one child, Harriet Aleta, born February 15, 1908. 

Frank A. Catlin, associated with Irving S. in the business of 
Catlin Brothers, was born August 1, 1857. He lived on the family 
homestead in Wisconsin, until twenty-three years old, and in 
1881 went to Fergus Falls, and began railroading, and worked 
his way up, and in 1883 was put in charge of a passenger engine. 
His run was first from Fergus Falls to Grand Forks, N. D. and 
Crookston, but now from Barnesville to Devils Lake, a distance 
of 210 miles. He has been locomotive engineer on his division 
twenty-five years and is the third oldest engineer in point of 
service. He moved to Barnesville in 1885, where he has served 
eight years as alderman, and has also been treasurer of the school 


On August 1, 1889, Mr. Catlin married Miss Julia, daughter of 
Mr. Ole Mattson, of Alexandria, Douglas county, Minnesota, and 
they have two sons, viz. : Howard Frank, born June 19, 1889, 
and Orvis Y. Iwian, born August 18, 1890. 

Dr. James Edward Cavanagh was born in Morristown, St. 
Lawrence county, New York, the son of Nicholas and Cathrin 
Cavanagh. He obtained his early education in Brockville, Onta- 
rio, and afterward moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he became 
interested in the study of Psychological Therapy, and later moved 
to North Dakota and began the practice of the science of magne- 
practic. After remaining in Dakota one year, he returned to 
Chicago and completed the studies in practical psychology, oste- 
opathy and electrotherapy, receiving diplomas from the Chicago 
School of Psychology, with the degree of D. P., or Doctor of 
Psychology; the National School of Osteopathy with the degree 
of D. 0., or Doctor of Osteopathy, and the Edison School of 
Electrotherapy. In 1907 he was made an honorary member of 
the National College of Electro-Therapeutics, from which college 
he had previously graduated in Electro-Therapy and received a 
diploma with the degree of M. E., or Master of Electrotherapy. 

In 1902 Dr. Cavanagh became president of the Fargo Sani- 
tarium, an institution which had recently been incorporated 
under the laws of the state of North Dakota, which office he still 
holds, and enjoys an enviable reputation as a drugless physician 
and surgeon. The Sanitarium of which he is director has become 
widely and favorably known throughout the state as a health 
resort, where both acute and chronic conditions are treated with- 
out the use of drug or knife. 

Dr. Cavanagh is a member of Council No. 782, Knights of 
Columbus, and in religious faith is a member of the Catholic 
church, and a faithful attendant at St. Mary's Cathedral of 

The Doctor is a man of excellent social qualities, generous, 
kind-hearted and genial, and always in sympathy with whatever 
relates to the moral and material betterment of his community. 
Thoroughly up-to-date in his line of treatment, conscientious and 
faithful, he has won the confidence and respect of a large circle 
of friends. 


Anton Christiansen, is the son of Christian Christiansen and 
is one of the highly respected citizens of Goose Prairie township, 
Clay county, his home being in section 2, while his farm reaches 
in both sections 1 and 2. Mr. Christiansen was born in Tronhjem, 
Norway, in 1884, and while a young man, he set sail for America, 
and found himself located in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Here he 
worked for the railroad company for a time, but decided that 
a better field for young men to make a livelihood, was in Minne- 
sota, and in 1868 he settled in Filmore county, and bought up 
some cheap farm land and followed the occupation of farming for 
some ten years, and here he was married to Miss Mary Anderson, 
daughter of Anders Anderson, also natives of Norway. She 
was born in Ringerike, Norway, in 1850, and came to Fil- 
more county, Minnesota, with her parents in 1868. Mrs. 
Christianson's father and mother both died here in Clay county. 
In 1878, Mr. Christiansen made his first trip overland to Clay 
county in search for a homestead location. Goose Prairie looking 
most favorable to him, he decided to make this his permanent 
home, and after making several trips across the country, he 
moved to that place in 1881, settled on his present farm, which 
was then a timber claim, and erected his little frame shanty, 
14x16, where, with Mrs. Christiansen as his most faithful help- 
meet, he accumulated his comfortable home. In 1901 he erected a 
fine barn 70x54, with a capacity for ninety tons of hay, and also a 
fine large granary. His farm is well stocked with cattle and 
hogs, and the greater part of the farm work is carried on by his 
sons, under his wise and businesslike management. Mr. Christian- 
son is now, at the age of sixty-five years, practically a retired 
farmer and live at ease with his wife and family, as the result of 
their hard labors. 

Mr. and Mrs. Christianson are both members of the United 
Lutheran Church. 

Their farm comprises some 400 acres in the townships of 
Goose Prairie and Ulen, with nearly all under good fence, good 
water, etc., with about two acres of trees, a fine orchard, and 
taken as a whole, the land is worth at least $40.00 per acre. 

George B. Clifford was born at Concord, N. H., March 10, 
1858. His parents were Benjamin B. Clifford and Ruth N. 


(George) Clifford. He was educated in the public schools of 
Concord, N. H. ; Newton and Chelsea, Mass., and at Wilbraham 
Academy, Wilbraham, Mass. 

After leaving school he taught school in Vermont for one 
winter, and during the following summer he commenced studying 
law with Governor Roswell Farnham, of Bradford, Vt. He fin- 
ished his law course at Montpelier, Vt., and was admitted to 
the bar of Washington county, Vermont, in March, 1881. 

In April, 1881, Mr. Clifford located at Grand Forks, Dakota 
Territory, where he formed a law partnership with the late 
James H. Bosard, under the firm name of Bosard & Clifford, 
which continued for several years. Later Mr. Clifford gave up 
the practice of law to devote his entire attention to the mortgage 
and investment business. This business was conducted in Grand 
Forks under the firm name of "Geo. B. Clifford & Co." In 
January, 1909, the head office of the company was moved to 
Minneapolis, but Grand Forks remains the headquarters for the 
business of the company in that section. 

From the time of his arrival in Grand Forks Mr. Clifford took 
an active interest in all movements for the proper development 
of the city. He aided in the erection of several of the finest 
business blocks, and was himself a heavy investor in enterprises 
of this class. For several years he was a member of the city 
council, of which body he also served as president, and he aided 
in the development of the plans for the first paving of the city's 
streets. He was one of the organizers of the Commercial Club, 
and he has been an active member of some of its most important 

Mr. Clifford's passion for beautiful surroundings found ex- 
pression in untiring effort for the development of a park system 
for Grand Forks. The Town and Country Club, which was organ- 
ized about 1900, owed its existence to his enthusiasm and initia- 
tive. That club obtained possession of and beautified a tract of 
over one hundred acres of land adjoining the city, laid out golf 
links and tennis courts and erected tasteful club buildings, and 
the grounds were marveled at and admired by all who saw them. 
It was the hope of Mr. Clifford that these grounds would ulti- 
mately become part of a city park system, and later he was able 


to see, largely through his own efforts, the fulfillment of his wish. 
Until a few years ago there was no method whereby North 
Dakota cities could acquire park property except through the 
action of their city councils, and these bodies were usually busy 
with other matters. In 1905 Mr. Clifford and a small group of 
other Grand Forks men caused to be framed and passed a law 
which was the basis of the present park district law of North 
Dakota. Under that law a Park Commission was organized in 
Grand Forks, with Mr. Clifford as its first president, and in 1909 
this commission completed the purchase for the city of nearly two 
hundred acres of park property, including the Town and Country 
Club grounds and several smaller tracts. 

Mr. Clifford has been active in the work of several social 
organizations, and he has been a member of the Masonic frater- 
nity for many years. 

In 1888 he married Minnie E. Cooley, daughter of John E. 
Cooley, of Grand Forks. There were born to them two children, 
Ralph E. Clifford and George Barnard Clifford. 

Adna Colburn, is one of the steady going, hard working men 
who deserve honorable mention in connection with the history of 
Clay county, Minnesota. A native of Massachusetts, he was born 
March 7, 1834, and is one of eight children born to Adna and 
Clarissa (Cutter) Colburn. His brother, Justice Colburn, was a 
soldier in the Civil War, and now lives in Lake City, Minn. Four 
sisters, one of whom, Jane, was the first teacher in Hawley, are 
all married and have families. One brother and one sister died 
in early life. 

Our subject first attended the district schools in his native 
place, but moving with an uncle to Peoria county, Illinois when 
he was nine years old, he there attended select school and 
acquired a good education. He lived in Illinois at the time Abra- 
ham Lincoln became president, and had the privilege of aiding in 
his election. 

Mr. Colburn settled in Clay county, in 1872, on a homestead 
which he pre-empted, about a half mile west of the present site 
of Hawley. Aside from two or three English pioneers who came 
in advance of the English colony that settled within a few miles 
of his claim, there were few settlers in the county at that time. 


From the hill near where he built his home there was a clear 
view into Dakota, and in all directions except east where there 
was a wooded district ; boundless prairies stretched for hundreds 
of miles, and wild game was plentiful. Mr. Colburn endured all 
the privations and trials incident to pioneer life in a new and 
sparsely settled country and during the ravages of the grass- 
hoppers in 1877 and drouths of other seasons suffered with others, 
the loss of his crops. 

In 1895, in order to pay off outstanding obligations, he sold 
his farm and bought eighty acres adjoining the village, and lived 
there till 1902, when he sold the place to his daughter, Mrs. C. C. 
Wouters, and moved to his present home in Hawley. 

Mr. Colburn has always been active in church and Sunday 
school work, and has been identified with the Union Church of 
Hawley since its organization in 1873, and since 1882 has served 
as deacon and as clerk, and is also its janitor. He was a school 
director in early days, and while on his farm served as supervisor 
and also served as justice of the peace. 

Mr. Colburn married in Illinois, Miss Harriet Wilson, who 
cheerfully shared with her husband the trials of the early days. 
She died in 1881, leaving seven children, six of whom are married 
and have families. 

In 1892, Mr. Colburn married Mrs. Martha Turner, who was 
an early settler and a member of the English colony, and who is 
active and efficient in church and missionary work. 

Charles E. Colby, ex-editor of the "Barnesville Record," was 
born in Wabasha county, Minnesota, at Plainview, and is the son 
of George H. Colby, a retired veteran of the Civil "War, and a 
native of New York state. 

Charles was reared and educated in the local and high schools 
of Glencoe, Minn., and later took a course in the Archibald Busi- 
ness College, in Minneapolis. He has been interested in the 
printing business from childhood, and was always on the alert 
to obtain all the information possible along those lines. In 1884 
he came to Groton, S. D., and worked for four years as post 
office and railway mailing clerk, and in 1888 he purchased the 
"Glencoe Enterprise," of which he was editor and manager for 
about two years, then sold out and opened a job printing office in 


Duluth, where he remained until 1893. In the meantime he mar- 
ried Miss Annie Termath, who is a native of Minnesota of German 
extraction. Mr. and Mrs. Colby have two children, viz. : Dana 
and Everett. 

In 1893, Mr. Colby moved to Grand Rapids, Minn., where he 
was manager of the " Magnet" for about three years, and in 
January, 1897, he moved to Barnesville, Minn., and established 
the "Barnesville Record," the first issue of which was printed on 
January 28, of that year. He disposed of his interests in this, 
however, in the year 1903, and embarked in the real estate busi- 
ness which he has since continued on a large scale, and is 
considered one of the most substantial business men of the county, 
and his realty interests extend over the entire county. 

Mr. Colby is liberal in his political views, public spirited and a 
man of excellent judgment in public matters, always ready with 
his support in any movement for the betterment of the people 
of his community. 

Solomon G. Comstock, one of the most prominent citizens of 
the Red River valley, was born in Penobscot county, Maine, May 
9, 1842, and was raised on the farm where he remained until he 
reached his majority. He obtained an academic education and 
well prepared for the struggle of life in which he has played an 
active part. Mr. Comstock read law and was admitted to the bar 
of Douglas county, Nebraska, in 1869, and for two years follow- 
ing, practiced at the bar of Omaha. In the fall of 1871 he came 
to the Red River valley and located in Moorhead, when the town 
was new and devoted himself to his profession for a number of 
years. In 1884, in addition to his law practice he became inter- 
ested in the real estate business, in which he was successful from 
his first operations and is now one of the largest dealers in this 
line in the valley, devoting his entire time in that direction. 

Mr. Comstock has always been a staunch supporter of the 
principles of the Republican party, and has held various local 
offices of trust and responsibility. For a number of years he 
served as county attorney, and in 1875 served his first term in the 
state legislature, which was the beginning of his long and honor- 
able career, as a legislator, and in this capacity Mr. Comstock 
became best known. He was a member of the Fifty-first Congress, 


voted for the admission of five new states, and is well known 
throughout the state of Minnesota. 

In 1874, Mr. Comstock was married to Miss Sarah Ball, and 
they have a family of three children, viz. : Ada L., Jessie M., and 
George M. 

Mr. Comstock is indeed a most worthy citizen, ever ready and 
willing to give from his store of wealth and knowledge to those 
less fortunate than himself, and his splendid qualities both socially 
and in business, have made for him a host of friends and the basis 
of his success. 

E. C. Cooper, commissioner of insurance, has been a resident 
of Grand Forks, N. D., since 1883. He was born in Antioch, 111., 
April 11, 1856, and moved to Iowa with his parents when six years 
of age, where he lived until his removal to Grand Forks, where 
he first took a position with a large lumbering concern, and 
remained with the same firm until he embarked in the insurance 
business on his own account, and has since been identified with 
only the oldest and most conservative insurance companies in 
existence, and the character of his work has especially fitted him 
for the position he now holds under the state administration, and 
has enabled him during his term of office to render invaluable 
aid to the state in particular and the policyholders in general. 

Mr. Cooper is an active and energetic man, and has always 
taken a lively interest in state and municipal affairs and has 
always held the confidence and esteem of his fellow citizens. He 
has been honored by the people of Grand Forks from time to 
time, and for six years was a member of the council of that city, 
one term of which was as president of the council. In 1896-7 he 
was chairman of the Republican state central committee, and at 
the legislative session of 1896-7 was voted for as United States 

In 1904 Mr. Cooper was chosen by the Republican voters for 
commissioner of insurance, and again elected to that position on 
the Republican ticket of 1906 and 1908. 

In 1901 Mr. Cooper was married to Miss Flora K. McGillivray, 
at Oak, Park, 111. They have no family. 

Taylor Cram. It is said of Mr. Crurn by the Fargo "Forum" 
that, after practicing at the bar for over twenty years, he has 


never neglected the interests of a client, and that during all that 
time he has won for the majority of these clients the contentions 
for which they sought. 

Mr. Crum is a native of Candor, N. Y., and was born in 1850. 
He is of German, Scotch and Irish descent and is the son of Mc- 
Donough Crum, who was a prominent farmer. He was educated 
at the State Normal School, at Oswego, N. Y., where he gradu- 
ated with honors, and at the University of Rochester, N. Y. 

Like many young men of the eastern states Mr. Crum was 
attracted by the many opportunities offered in the great North- 
west, and in 1881 located in Fargo. For two years he was prin- 
cipal of the Fargo schools, giving satisfaction to the people gen- 
erally. In 1884 he began the practice of law in Fargo, and has a 
large and lucrative clientele. He was in the Civil War and enjoys 
the experience of having served a few days, being a soldier with- 
out having been enlisted. 

Mr. Crum was married in 1876 to Helen Bixby, who died in 
1886. They were granted four children, three of whom survive, 
as follows : Solon Crum, a dentist, practicing his profession in 
Fargo; Paul Crum, a lawyer, also practicing his profession in 
North Dakota, and Leon Crum, an engraver in California. 

Mr. Crum is a Republican and is voted as one of the leading 
orators of the Northwest. He has been prominent in politics, 
having served as secretary of the campaign committee and having 
frequently been sent as a delegate to state conventions. Mr. 
Crum owns a beautiful residence in Fargo and is in possession of 
a clientelage that is state wide. 

E. D. Cummings is a prosperous young farmer of Fargo, N. D. 
He was born in Gardner, N. D., on November 10, 1891, the son of 
J. B. and Rose (Aldrich) Cummings. His father, now deceased, 
was a farmer, of Scotch descent. He was a native of Iowa and 
left that state in 1885, came to North Dakota and settled in Cass 
county, where he continued to farm until his death, on June 15, 
1908, when he passed away at the home of his son, E. D., our sub- 
ject, who now manages the farm and beautiful country home, 
consisting of 480 acres of land, nearly all under cultivation. In 
addition to his general farming, Mr. Cummings conducts a large 
dairy business and stock raising. 


Mr. Cummings is a thrifty, bright and intelligent young 
farmer, and is considered a valuable citizen in the county. He 
was educated in the public schools, and was well trained in the 
science of successful farming. He is the sixth child of a family 
of eight, viz.: Benjamin, Josephine, Bert, Jennie, Ann, Ella and 

Alphonse Cyr, M. D., one of the popular physicians of Barnes- 
ville, Minn., came from Montreal, where he was born on July 5, 
1872, the son of Joan B. and Eosalie (Demers) Cyr. He was edu- 
cated in the public schools there, and in the St. Lawrence College, 
in Quebec, from which he graduated with the class of 1892. He 
then entered the Laval University and graduated from the med- 
ical department of that institution four years later with the degree 
of M. D. ; went to Barnesville, Minn., in 1906, where he immedi- 
ately opened an office for the practice of his profession, and has 
since enjoyed a constantly increasing business in medicine and 
surgery, his practice extending through both Clay and Becker 

In 1899 Dr. Cyr was married in Brooklyn, N. Y., to Miss Eva 
Fahey, daughter of J. H. and Mathilda Fahey. Dr. and Mrs. 
Cyr have a family of five children, viz. : Emile, Violet, Jeanette, 
Graziella and Eene. 

The doctor is chairman of the board of health of Barnesville 
and a member of the American Medical Association and the State 
Medical Society, and is fraternally identified with the Catholic 
Forresters, the Modern Woodmen of America and the Modern 
Brotherhood of America, while his religion is the Catholic faith. 

Dr. Cyr is a man of excellent habits, broad and liberal in his 
political views, and ever ready to support whatever movement 
comes up for the advantage of his town and county. 

Daniel C. Darrow, M. D., president of the Moorhead Hospital, 
is one of the leading surgeons of the Eed River valley. He was 
born in Neenah, Wis., on January 4, 1850, and came from New 
England ancestry. His parents were Daniel C. and Isabella (Mur- 
ray) Darrow, both born and reared in New York state, and moved 
to Wisconsin in the year 1846, when the country was new and 
the principal industry was farming and trading with the Indians. 
They settled on a farm in Winnebago county, where they endured 


for years the usual privations of pioneer life and spent the 
remainder of their days. 

Dr. Darrow obtained his primary learning in the public schools 
of Neenah, Wis., and entered the Kush Medical College of Chi- 
cago, 111., from which he graduated with the class of 1884, with 
the degree of M. D., and thoroughly familiar with all the details 
of the medical profession. Enthused with the reports of the west- 
ern country, he decided to make his first venture at practice in * 
Minnesota, and soon after his graduation he moved to Moorhead, 
where he at once commenced the successful practice he has since 
continued. In 1893 he established the Darrow Hospital in Moor- 
head, which was thoroughly modern and up-to-date, and this was 
the first hospital in the valley equipped with a private operating 
room. This hospital was merged into the present Moorhead 
Hospital, with Dr. Darrow at its head, where he has since re- 
mained, and the institution has the reputation of being one of the 
best in the state. 

Dr. Darrow is in touch with the medical life and thought of 
the day, belongs to the Clay-Becker Medical Society, of which he 
was president for some years, and is a member of both the Min- 
nesota State and the American Medical Associations. He was 
also for a number of years city and county physician of Moor- 
head and Clay county, and was county coroner for twelve years, 
and his skill and experience, together with his broad, progressive 
thought, have made his opinions universally respected. 

On January 4, 1872, Dr. Darrow and Miss Alia M. Stone, 
daughter of Richard and Sarah Elizabeth Stone, of Winnebago 
county, "Wisconsin, were united in marriage. Dr. and Mrs. Dar- 
row have two children, viz. : Bertha, now Mrs. Charles Loring, 
of Moorhead, and Edith B., now Mrs. Joseph Godfrey, of Crooks- 
ton, Minn. 

The doctor is a charter member of the Commercial Club of 
Moorhead, member of the I. O. O. F. since 1886, and also is a lead- 
ing neighbor in the M. "W. A. 

Onesine Joassin de Landrecie, one of the leading merchants of 
Fargo, N. D., was born December 11, 1845, at Cedars, province 
of Quebec, son of Benjamin Joassin and Esther (Sequin de Lan- 
drecie. The family is an old one and emigrated from their ances- 



tral home at Landrecie in the north of France. He was located 
in Chicago until the great fire in 1871, when he went to Jason 
City, Miss., and engaged in general merchandising till 1879, when 
he sold his interests, and came to Fargo, erected a store building, 
which he opened for business in October of the same year. This 
store has grown from a frontage of twenty-five feet to a large 
department store with a frontage of one hundred feet, and is the 
largest institution of its kind in the state. Hte is vice president 
and one of the incorporators of the Fargo National Bank, and 
owner of the famous Chimney Butte or the Maltese Cross Ranch, 
which was occupied by President Roosevelt while he was a resi- 
dent of North Dakota. He is also owner of 11,000 acres of coal 
land at Sentinel, Butte, Billings county. Mr. de Landrecie is a 
thirty-second degree Mason and a member of the Commercial and 
various society clubs. 

On September 7, 1879, he was married to Helen Josephine 
Basefe, at Racine, Wis. 

W. H. Davy, capitalist and mayor of the city of Moorhead, 
Minn., the subject of this sketch, was born and educated at Bath, On- 
tario, Canada. In 1864 he engaged in the grocery business in Chicago 
and at the close of the war he returned to Canada, where he remained 
until 1869, when he came to Duluth, Minn., and from there made his 
first visit to the Red River Valley in 1871, and being so well impressed 
with the future of the Red River country, he returned in 1873 and 
took up his permanent residence in Moorhead. He was employed as 
bookkeeper in the large mercantile house of Brun & Finkle for several 
years, when he opened up the grocery house of Linwood & Davy. In 
1889 he retired from this firm and engaged in grain and real estate 
business, which he continued until 1898. When his real estate and 
outside and larger interest required all his attention he closed out 
his grain business. Mr. Davy has always taken a prominent and 
active interest in his town and county, having served as chairman of 
the Board of County Commissioners for several years, vice-president 
First National Bank of Moorhead for many years, chairman of Water 
and Light Commission four years, and member of the Charter Com- 
mission; was one of three who composed the Fergus Falls Telephone 
and the Great Western Telephone Companies, built thirteen exchanges 
besides about 500 miles long distance lines. He has large lumbering 


interests in British Columbia and a large land owner in the Red 
'River Valley, having at this time over 1,000 acres under cultivation. 
He has also large property interests in Duluth and other parts of the 
state. Mr. Davy is an Episcopalian and. gives much of his time and 
money for the support of his church. He is one of our best citizens, 
and stands for the good in all things. 

Joseph Bell DeRemer, of Grand Forks, was born September 
14, 1871, in Montana, Warren county, New Jersey. His father 
was James K. Polk DeRemer and his mother Nancy (Bell) De- 
Remer. He received his education in the common school at New 
Village, AVarren county, New Jersey. Later he was a special stu- 
dent in architecture at Columbia University, New York city. He 
followed the occupation of a carpenter from March, 1886, to May 
1, 1896, and made himself a master of the trade, also devoting 
himself to the study of the building art. He then entered Colum- 
bia University, taking a special course in architecture, which he 
completed in June, 1897. He began the practice of architecture 
at Washington, Warren county, New Jersey, continuing there 
until he removed to North Dakota in March, 1902, when he located 
in Grand Forks and has since been a resident of this city. 

Although a resident of the Red River valley but comparatively 
a few years, it may be said that no one man has had a wider influ- 
ence in the lives of its people or has built a more enduring monu- 
ment to his career among them than has Mr. DeRemer. While 
devoting himself assiduously to the practice of his profession the 
work he has accomplished has not been wrought entirely on paper, 
nor even in the splendid and enduring structures he has created. 
His building has been to a very material extent on the minds of 
the people among whom he has labored and who have had an 
opportunity to see his creations. During the early history of the 
Red River valley life was chiefly one continued "hustle," a con- 
tinual strife to extract from the depths of the far-famed soil the 
wealth of which the fame had already gone around the world. 
Men had little time or thought for the niceties of life. The busi- 
ness block was an unpretentious box of larger or smaller dimen- 
sions, to be enlarged as the rapidly multiplying business created 
a demand, and the business man's home was but little more than 
a box with more or less partitions. Gradually there came about 


improved conditions in this respect however. Rapidly acquired 
wealth or capital seeking investment furnished a way for the con- 
struction of more substantial and enduring buildings. We were 
so far removed, however, from examples of the beautiful in archi- 
tecture that there was little stimulus for attempt at beautifying 
either commercial or other structures, beyond the addition of a 
moulding here and there or an ornamented frieze or cornice. It 
was not long after the arrival of Mr. DeRemer, however, before 
he had created some object lessons in this direction which have 
been teaching the people day by day, and the lesson has been 
almost contagious. No visitor in Grand Forks, from the inland 
cities and towns of the state views the stately Y. M. C. A. build- 
ing, for instance, but goes home with a desire to see improved 
architectural conditions in his home town. Other structures de- 
signed by Mr. DeRemer, such as the Ontario store building, the 
Widlund building, the first fireproof office building in the state; 
the McCoy residence or the president's house at the university, 
the new Mann building at Devil's lake, the public library at 
Grafton, and many fine schools and other buildings over the state, 
are exerting an influence day by day and year by year in the cul- 
tivation of a love for the beautiful which is bearing fruit and will 
continue to do so for years to come. 

Mr. DeRemer, although a public-spirited citizen, has never 
been inclined to political activity, and the only public office he 
ever held was that of alderman in "Washington, N. J. He is a 
member of the Society of Columbia University Architects, Com- 
mercial Club of Grand Forks, the Town and Country Club and 
the Y. M. C. A., of which he is a director; the Junior Order of 
United American Mechanics, Washington, N. J. ; Knights of 
Malta, Grand Forks Lodge No. 255, B. P. 0. E. A. and A., Scottish 
Rite, and Mecca Temple, New York city, A. O. N. M. S. 

Mr. DeRemer was married November 11, 1891, at Stewarts- 
ville, Warren county, New Jersey, to Elizabeth Meyers, of Stew- 
artsville. They have two children, Miss Delores DeRemer and 
Master Samuel Teel DeRemer. 

William H. Diemert, wholesale liquor dealer, of Moorhead, 
Minn., ranks among the leading business men of the city. He is 
a native of Canada, and was born there on June 15, 1873, the son 



of Andrew and Rosalia Diemert, who emigrated from Germany 
to America many years ago, and settled first in Canada, where 
they lived for several years, and in 1878 they moved to George- 
town, Clay county, Minnesota, where Mr. Diemert was for a time 
engaged with the Hudson Bay Company, and subsequently took 
up a tract of government land and commenced the life of a farmer 
near the little town of Perley. This was of short duration, how- 
ever, as Mr. Diemert passed away the following year. Mrs. Die- 
mert remarried to Mr. Adam Eeis, and lived until June 10, 1908, 
when she too passed away at the age of sixty-four. 

William H. took advantage of a good common school educa- 
tion and fitted himself as early as possible for a business life. His 
first employment was clerking in a store, which position he kept 
for several years and obtained some valuable experience in the 
meantime, which warranted him in opening a business of his own. 
He came to Moorhead and in February, 1898, he commenced oper- 
ations on his own account in the wholesale liquor business, and 
in 1904 he associated himself with Mr. Murphy in the wholesale 
liquor business, and the firm continued as Diemert & Murphy 
until 1906, when Mr. Diemert purchased the interest of Mr. 
Murphy and has since conducted the business on a much larger 
scale than ever before. 

Mr. Diemert was married on May 3, 1897, to Miss Ella Lock- 
rem, of Twin Valley, Minn., and they have a family of three chil- 
dren, viz. : Milton L., Verna J. and John A. 

Among the fraternal societies of which Mr. Diemert is a mem- 
ber are the Order of Elks, Order of Eagles, Order of Maccabees, 
the Red Men and the U. C. T. He also belongs to the Commercial 
Clubs of Fargo and Moorhead, and is president of the Gate City 
Gun Club. 

Dinnie Brothers. The Dinnie Brothers are probably the larg- 
est contractors in the state of North Dakota. More cities and 
towns in the valley of the Red river are creations of that firm to 
a larger extent in the brick and stone building line than can be 
attributed to any other firm in this part of the Northwest. To 
particularize would be to require mention of almost hundreds of 
buildings, and in point of time cover a period extending over a 
quarter of a century. 


John and James Dinnie came to Grand Forks, March 20, 1881. 
They began as common brick-layers and, in a small way, began 
a career which subsequently led to its present large proportions, 
and until now, by their skilled work and successful management 
against all competition, the Red River valley throughout its entire 
length has been dotted by buildings of their own construction. 
Their work has also extended west of the Minnesota line as far 
as Rugby, and for many years they have been giving employment 
to one and two hundred men constantly, requiring an expendi- 
ture annually of one or two hundred thousand dollars. Such 
buildings as the Young Men's Christian Association, the Carnegie 
library, the Clifford building, the Norman Glass block, the Hotel 
Dacotah, the New Hampshire block and the Corliss block are a 
few of the many structures that have been erected by this firm in 
Grank Forks. Fargo was largely rebuilt by them since the fire 
in 1894. Creditable mention also for much work done in Hills- 
boro, Grafton, Mayville, Northwood, Larimore, Langdon, Michi- 
gan City, Devils Lake and other places should be given to them. 

At the present time the firm have some very extensive under- 
takings on hand: the St. Michael's Hospital for the Sisters of St. 
Joseph, a branch of the Sisters in St. Paul; St. Bernard's Acad- 
emy ; a large three-story building on Third street ; the large roller 
skating rink for W. R. Jack; the school of mines for the State 
University, and a large building for Mr. Deidlick at East Grand 

The brothers own a brick yard on a three quarter section of 
land near the State University and manufacture three and four 
million of brick annually. They obtain their building stone from 
St. Paul and Minneapolis. 

The firm consists of John Dinnie, for eight years mayor of 
Grand Forks ; of James Dinnie, a member of the school board, and 
of A. S. Dinnie, son of John, who is at the head of the sidewalk 

Peter M. Duklet is among the pioneers of Clay county who has 
played no little part in making Goose Prairie township the pro- 
gressive and up-to-date section of the country that it is. He was 
born in Norway in 1851, and in 1860 he came to America and set- 
tled in Houston county, Minnesota, where the first ten years of 


American life was spent in a dug-out, and in this same sod house 
four of his children were born. He then decided to try northern 
Minnesota, and with a number of other farmers, took up a claim 
in Clay county of a quarter section. He broke his land with oxen, 
and with his successful yield of crops he was soon able to erect 
a new house and make a comfortable home for himself and family, 
and Mrs. Duklet was ever ready to assist in all branches of toil 
necessary on the farm. She was a general assistant indoors and 
out until her sons became old enough to share the hard work in 
her stead. They gradually accumulated from their faithful efforts 
until at this time Mr. Duklet owns half a section of finely im- 
proved farm land, worth at least thirty-five dollars per acre. 

Mr. and Mrs. Duklet are members of the Synod Lutheran 
church, and their children are Ole, Casper, John, Crimel, Elmer 
and Peder. 

Mr. Duklet has erected a fine large barn and granary, with 
good sheds and other outbuildings, and his home is among the 
best in this section of the county. He is a public-spirited man, a 
good neighbor and valuable citizen. 

Stevenson Dunlop, a resident of Fargo, N. D., was born July 
25, 1858. at Symington Agashire, Scotland. His parents were 
John and Mary Veronica (Stevenson) Dunlop. Parents immi- 
grated to Woodstock, Ontario, Canada, in 1859, and in 1874 his 
father came to Dakota and purchased a farm at Mapleton. but 
never made his home there. Our subject received his elementary 
education at the Woodstock grammar school and finished at the 
Agricultural College of Guelph, Canada. He came to Mapleton, 
N. D., in 1876. His father located seventeen sections of railroad 
land in the same year of which he took charge in 1878. In the 
fall of 1875, his father, John Dunlop, planted 100 acres of winter 
wheat, probably the first crop sown in the state, but unfortunately 
it was all winter killed. 

Mr. Dunlop remained on his farm until 1900, when he took up 
his residence in Fargo, where he has since resided, renting his 
farms. He served as chairman of the first township board of 
Raymond township, and also served as assessor several terms, and 
is now member of county board of health, school board of Fargo, 
and is a director of the Merchants' National Bank of Fargo. He 


is a thirty-second degree Scottish Rite Mason and Noble of the 
Mystic Shrine, member of the Presbyterian church and Young 
Men's Christian Association. 

Mr. Dunlop was married June 16, 1887, at Toronto, Canada, 
to Miss Bertha Macdonald Playfair, daughter of John S. Play- 
fair of Toronto. Of the three children born to them, Robert and 
Lois Isabel are living and Jean is deceased. 

Arne Evans, deceased, of Ulen township, father of Mr. Ole 
Evans, also deceased, whose sketch appears elsewhere in this 
work, was born in Norway, in 1847, and came to this country 
with his parents in 1861, when he was fifteen years of age. They 
first settled in Winneshiek county, Iowa, where they lived for a 
time, and then moved to Houston county, Minnesota, and fol- 
lowed the occupation of farming. Here their son Arne obtained 
some additional education, and in 1868 married Miss Julia Ulen, 
daughter of Ole Ulen, the well known founder of the village which 
was named after him. The following spring Mr. and Mrs. Arne 
Evans moved to Cuba township, in Becker county, Minnesota, 
where they lived on a farm for about ten years, and then moved to 
Clay county in 1881 and settled on a farm in Section 28, their first 
residence here being the claim cabin of Mr. Ole Ulen. In 1895 Mr. 
Evans erected a fine brick residence which has since been his 

For a number of years Mr. Evans owned and conducted a 
hardware business in Ulen, in partnership with his brother-in-law, 
Mr. Halvor Burtness. He later purchased the interest of Mr. 
Burtness, after which he carried on the business alone until his 

Since the death of Mr. Evans and their son Ole, Mrs. Evans 
has continued to reside in the beautiful family home, surrounded 
by the refinements and comforts which years of work in the pio- 
neer days are the well earned reward. 

Ole Evans, a well known resident of Ulen township, now de- 
ceased, was the son of Arne (also deceased) and Julia (Ulen) 
Evans, who settled in Ulen township with their family in the year 
1881. Ole was born in the town of Cuba, in Becker county, Min- 
nesota, on November 12, 1871, and died in October, 1903. He 


married Miss Gusta Hanson on August 9, 1898, and they had one 
son, Raymond. 

Mr. Evans was educated first in the country schools, and later 
attended school in Grand Forks, N. D., the college at Moorhead, 
and lastly the seminary at Red Wing, Minn. He was ten years 
of age when he came to Ulen with his parents, where he grew to 
manhood in the highest esteem of his friends. His first business 
venture was in 1894, when he opened a hardware store in Uleu, 
and the following year took as a partner Mr. O. P. Olson, and the 
business was conducted under the firm name of Olson & Evans 
for about four years, when Mr. Evans purchased Olson's interest 
and carried on the store from that time on, and at his death he 
had the largest hardware business in Ulen. He owned the first 
bicycle in the village and also the first automobile. 

Mr. Evans was a member of the United Lutheran church, and 
was one of the most popular men of the county, both in business 
and socially. His friends were numerous to mourn their loss of 
him. The Ulen band played at his funeral services, and all busi- 
ness operations ceased on that day. Mrs. Evans is still living 
and is held in high esteem by her many friends in Ulen. 

Mr. Evans was the second of a family of five children, two 
sons and three daughters, viz. : Mrs. L. P. Herreed, Edwin, Mrs. 
J. E. Heimark and Rose are his sisters and brother. They were 
all well educated and all have families except Rose, who was 
recently married. 

Johannes 0. Feragen, cashier of the Security State Bank of 
Hitterdal, Minn., is one of the most prominent business men of 
this place. Mrs. Feragen was Miss Ellen Hitterdal before her 
marriage, the daughter of Mr. Ole Hitterdal, whose sketch may 
be found elsewhere in this work. 

Mr. Feragen was born on the Feragen farm in Reros, Norway, 
in 1863 ; he was educated in the public schools. His mother died 
some years ago, while his father is still living in his old home in 
Norway. They had a family of three children, Johannes O. being 
the only one who ventured to this country. He landed in 1882, 
in Hawley. and located in Hitterdal, Clay county, Minnesota, and 
was then about nineteen years of age. For five years previous to 
this he had been engaged in the lumber and mining business in 


Norway. He secured employment on a farm, where he worked 
by the month, in Clay county, until 1884, when he purchased a 
farm on his own account in Goose Prairie township, where he 
farmed with general success until 1898, when he entered into poli- 
tics and served in various local offices, such as town clerk, asses- 
sor, justice of the peace, etc., for about ten years, and was a can- 
didate for the office of county auditor of Clay county on the 
Populist ticket. In 1898 he began buying grain at Hitterdal for 
the Great Western Elevator Company and helped to organize the 
Hitterdal State Bank in 1904, and is now known as the Security 
State Bank, with a capital and surplus in 1909 of $12,000, and 
with M. J. Solum, president ; Nels Heig, vice president, and J. O. 
Feragen, cashier. This institution has been a great benefit to the 
farmers of the surrounding country, and is recognized as a safe 
and substantial enterprise. 

Mr. Feragen still owns and controls his well improved farm 
near the village of Hitterdal, located in Sections 34 and 35, in 
Goose Prairie township. Mr. and Mrs. Feragen are cousins of Mr. 
and Mrs. Lars Hitterdal, whose sketch may also be found in the 
article containing the Hitterdal family, in another part of this 
work. Mr. and Mrs. Feragen are the parents of two daughters, 
viz. : Olga is now the wife of Mr. Oscar Melbye, of Ulen, manager 
of the telephone company and the son of O. C. Melbye ; Miss 
Mabel Feragen is now nine years of age and attends the public 

Mr. Feragen is treasurer of the United Lutheran church of 
Hitterdal and a member of the Modern Woodmen of America. 

Hon. Charles Joseph Fisk, associate justice of the supreme 
court of North Dakota, was born in Whiteside county, Illinois, 
March 11, 1862. His father, Clark Fisk, was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania. He became a resident of Illinois in early life, taking up 
government land in Whiteside county, and was engaged in farm- 
ing nearly all his life. In 1857 he was married to Miss Adelia E. 
Reynolds, who was a native of Vermont. A family of four sons 
and four daughters were born to them, five of whom, two boys 
and three girls, are now living. The boyhood days of Judge Fisk 
were spent upon the Illinois farm and his early education was 
obtained in the public schools of Whiteside county. Later he 


attended the Northern Illinois College at Fulton, 111. After leav- 
ing college he taught school for five years, devoting his spare time 
to the study of his chosen profession, the law. He then read law 
for two years with Woodruff & Andrews at Morrison, 111. He 
came to North Dakota in 1886, locating at Larimore, where he" 
was admitted to the bar and entered at once into the activities of 
the practice of law. He was associated with the late W. H. Fel- 
lows, a prominent lawyer of Larimore, until 1889, when he re- 
moved to Grand Forks. After locating here he was associated at 
different times with the lamented Judge J. M. Cochrane, Tracy K. 
Bangs and George A. Bangs. During his professional career he 
was actively engaged in many important cases and acquired a 
reputation as one of the foremost members of the North Dakota 
bar. While a resident of Larimore he served the public as city 
attorney in 1887-88. He was city attorney of Grand Forks in 
1895-96, and while serving in this capacity he was elected, in No- 
vember, 1896, to the office of district judge of the first judicial 
district of North Dakota. He was re-elected to succeed himself 
in 1900 without opposition, and again in 1904 was re-elected over 
his Republican opponent, the late J. H. Bosard, by a decisive ma- 
jority. From the district judgeship he was called to the supreme 
court of the state in 1906, being elected to fill the vacancy occa- 
sioned by the resignation of Justice N. C. Young. His elevation 
to this high office was a tribute of the people to his integrity and 
distinguished ability as a jurist as demonstrated during his long 
career on the district bench. He was nominated by the Demo- 
cratic party, and in the face of a normally large Republican ma- 
jority was elected over John Knauff, his Republican opponent, by 
a majority of over 8,000 votes. The manner in which he has filled 
the office to which he was chosen by so complimentary a vote has 
more than fulfilled the expectations of his many friends and ad- 
mirers. With a discerning and well balanced judgment, thor- 
oughly equipped by careful and exhaustive legal research, a genial 
disposition, a sympathetic nature and a broad-gauged view, he is 
by temperament and otherwise eminently fitted for the responsible 
position he now holds. 

In the fall of 1886 he was united in marriage to Miss Ida M. 
Myers, of Sterling, 111., and of the issue of such marriage now 


living are two charming daughters, Miss Helen Marion and Doris 
May, both of whom are just budding into womanhood and who 
are a source of much joy and pride to their parents. 

Eugene Fretz, Jr., Grand Forks, N. D., state agent of the 
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, 
Wis., is a native of France, having been born at Strasbourg 
(Alsace-Lorraine), August 15, 1874. His parents were Eugene 
and Elizabeth Fretz. Father is a retired merchant and resides 
in Milwaukee, Wis. 

Mr. Fretz, Jr., attended private colleges in France and Ger- 
many and graduated from the University of France and the Acad- 
emy of Besanscon with the degree of B. A., in 1892. In January 
of 1893 he came to the United States, and a year later was fol- 
lowed by his father and mother, one sister and three brothers. 
Shortly after his arrival he took up the work of life insurance, 
beginning at Sioux Falls, S. D., with J. Mallamey, continued there 
until March, 1894, when he removed to Grand Forks, N. D., and 
became associate state agent of the Northwestern Mutual Life 
Insurance Company of Milwaukee, "Wis., in company with J. D. 
Mills, and in 1896 assumed full control as state agent of the above 
named company for North Dakota, which position he still holds. 
Under his wise and careful management the business has increased 
in range and confidence of the public, and now is one of the larg- 
est and strongest state agencies in the Northwest. Mr. Fretz is 
a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. 

On May 1, 1895, he was married to Miss Theresa Grosskettler, 
of Philadelphia, Pa. They have one child, Marguerite. 

John A. Gaunt, of Grand Forks, N. D., manager of the branch 
house of the Cascaden Manufacturing Company, Waterloo, Iowa, 
was born at demons Grove, Marshall county, Iowa, December 3, 
1863, son of John W. and Mary S. Gaunt. Father's family came 
from Wales in 1720 and mother's family came from Scotland in 
1753 ; first settled in Kentucky, afterwards moved to Indiana, and 
in 1853 went to Iowa. 

Our subject's father died when he was nine years of age, so 
that his time at school was limited to a few terms in winter, com- 
mencing in a neighbor's woodshed as his first school building. 
Afterwards a schoolhouse was erected some distance from his 


home, at which he spent four terms. He commenced his business 
career as collector for the McCormick Harvester Company in 
1883, remaining with this firm till 1892; was then with Aultman 
Miller Company, 1892 to 1893 ; Reeves & Co., 1893 to 1896 ; Gear, 
Scott & Co., 1896 to 1901; Advance Thresher Company, 1901 to 
1905. Since which time he has been manager of the Cascaden 
Manufacturing Company at Grand Forks. In addition to the 
above responsible positions held by Mr. Gaunt, he has been a suc- 
cessful auctioneer for the past twenty years. He is a member of 
the Masonic Lodge. 

Mr. Gaunt was married December 2, 1888, to Miss Leota 
Springer at St. Anthony, Iowa; they have two children, Ray S. 
and Wanda Ilene. 

H. 0. Gilbertson is a prosperous and substantial farmer of 
Ulen township, Clay county, Minnesota. He is a native of Hal- 
injdahl, Norway, and was born in 1854, and is a son of Gilbert 
Olsen, who came from Norway in 1877, and settled on a tract of 
land in Hajen township, Clay county, where he still lives at the 
age of eighty-eight years. 

Our subject came to this country two years before his father, 
going first to Houston county, Minnesota, and moving thence to 
his present location on Section 22, Ulen township, in Clay county, 
being the first settler in that part of the township. The second 
was Ellenj Ellenjson. 

Mr. Gilbertson began in a small way breaking up and culti- 
vating his farm, using an ox team both to work his land and haul 
his products to market, Hawley being his early trading point, 
living in a small log cabin, and experiencing all the privations 
and hardships incident to subduing a tract of wild land and mak- 
ing a home in a new country. 

Mr. Gilbertson, by his industry and thrift, has increased his 
holdings with the development of the country, and now owns in 
Ulen township 200 acres of fine productive land, well improved, 
besides eighty acres in Hajen township, and is counted one of 
the wideawake prosperous farmers of Clay county. With his fam- 
ily, Mr. Gilbertson affiliates with the Lutheran church. 

He married Miss Astra Herbransen, who is deceased. Of seven 
children born to them, Julia, the eldest, is married to Mr. Guhl 


Hanson and lives at Spring Grove, N. D. ; Gilbert, the oldest son, 
is a farmer and lives on the home farm ; Carl married Miss Erma 
Olson ; Olava is married to Elias Nordness ; Annie is married, and 
Helmer and Alma live on the family homestead. 

W. C. Gilbreath, who has played no small part in the develop- 
ment of his community, was born in McMinn county, Tennessee, 
September 9, 1851. Two years later his parents moved to Oregon, 
where his father died. His mother remarried, and in 1864 they 
moved to Sangamon county, Illinois, where the subject of this 
sketch attended the public school, and in 1869 entered the Illinois 
Wesleyan University, from which he graduated with the class of 
1874. He then engaged in the mercantile and banking business 
in Illinois for about five years, and during that time he was a 
member of the Illinois National Guards and served as captain and 
subsequently as major of the Fifth regiment. In the fall of 1878 
he moved to Iowa and was interested in mercantile pursuits, also 
engaged in the grain and stock business and subsequently pur- 
chased a newspaper and followed that vocation for the greater 
part of the last thirty years. He returned to Illinois in 1893 and 
there conducted a newspaper for a short time. In 1874 he was 
married to Miss Lillie D. Lyon, of Pontiac, 111. They have a fam- 
ily of three children. 

Mr. Gilbreath, on coming to North Dakota, first located at 
Mandan and became part owner and joint editor of the "Mandan 
Pioneer. ' ' He was a member of the Republican state central com- 
mittee for four years, two of which he served as a member of the 
executive committee. In January, 1901, he was appointed deputy 
commissioner of insurance and held that position for four years. 
In 1904 he was nominated and elected commissioner of agriculture 
and labor, and re-elected to the same position in 1906 and 1908. 

Mr. Gilbreath 's realty holdings in North Dakota are quite ex- 
tensive, having had confidence in the future development of the 
country from his first visit, and subsequent events have proven 
the wisdom of his conclusions. 

Herbert Glaisyer, one of Hawley's influential citizens, comes 
of English lineage and traces his maternal ancestry back to Queen 
Mary's time in the fifteenth century. His paternal ancestors for 
several generations were druggists, his great grandfather named 


John and his grandfather also named John and his father Thomas 
Glaisyer, who married Phoebe Lucas, were all druggists and men 
of high standing. Herbert, of Brighton, England. There our sub- 
ject was born in 1847 and was given every educational privilege, 
attending the best schools of Hartford and finishing his studies at 
Weston. After leaving school he followed the sea thirteen years, 
rising from midshipman to the rank of first officer. 

He was on one of the first steamships that passed through the 
Suez canal, and in his travels visited all quarters of the globe, and 
in 1874, when twenty-seven years old, came to the United States. 
Going direct to Clay county, Minnesota, he bought a farm within 
two miles of the present site of Hawley, government land being 
then plentiful in that region. In 1876 he visited his home in Eng- 
land, but the following year returned to his farm, which he im- 
proved with comfortable buildings and cultivated till 1879. Leav- 
ing his farm in 1880, he opened a small drug store in Hawley and, 
beginning in a small way, extended his business with the growth 
of the town, and after some ten years replaced his store building 
with a larger one suited to the needs of his growing trade, where 
his business is now 1909 carried on. During the thirty years 
that he has been in business in Hawley, Mr. Glaisyer has been 
actively identified with the material development of the town, 
and has always been active in civic affairs. He served as village 
treasurer fourteen years, 1882-96, and for two years was justice 
of the peace. He was the second postmaster of Hawley, serving 
four years, under appointment by President Cleveland. Prior to 
the formation of the independent school district, he served twelve 
years as clerk of schools, and in 1909 was elected president of the 
school board, and served on the building committee in the erec- 
tion of the high school building. He is a member of the Masonic 
Order and at present master of his lodge, No. 256, at Hawley. 

In 1878 Mr. Glaisyer married Miss Emma Caroline Plummer, 
one of the pioneer teachers of Hawley. Of seven children born 
to them, Arthur R., the eldest, is a graduate of the high school 
and of a college in England, is now a veterinary surgeon in the 
service of the United States army in the Philippines ; Earnest L., 
the second child, also a veterinarian, is in the government employ 
at Salt Lake City; Phoebe is married to Mr. Frank Wood and 


lives at Bismarck, N. D. ; Wallace Victor, a veterinarian, is in the 
government service in Oregon; Violet Maud, a graduate of the 
high school, lives at home; H. T. Bernard, a civil engineer; and 
Harold Roland, the youngest, is nearly through the high school. 

William James Glass, a native of New York state, was born 
at Glenville, Schenectady county, New York, on December 3, 
1861. His parents were Cornelius and Elizabeth Glass. Father 
was a farmer by occupation. Both parents came from the north 
of Ireland to the United States in 1848, and located in the state 
of New York, where they lived until the death of the father, when 
his mother came to North Dakota in 1896, where she still lives. 

William J. was educated in the common schools of his native 
town, and by hard study fitted himself for teaching, but not find- 
ing that occupation congenial, he went to Amsterdam, New York, 
and learned the carpenter trade, which he followed until June, 
1883, when he removed to North Dakota. 

After coming to North Dakota he followed his trade at Devils 
Lake and at Larimore until the spring of 1884, when he made 
final proof on a quarter section of land near Churches *Ferry. In 
August, 1884, he came to Inkster as manager of F. H. Stoltze, 
known as the Northwestern Lumber Company, which position he 
held for twenty-three years. 

In 1907 the Stoltze interests were sold to the Atlas Lumber 
Company and Mr. Glass remained in the same position until Janu- 
ary, 1908, when he resigned to give his attention to his farming 
interests. He owns a fine home in Inkster, and is the owner of the 
Coulee farm of 960 acres and the Clear Meadow farm of eighty 
acres. He has held many local offices : treasurer of Strabane for 
ten years, treasurer of the city of Inkster for four years and of 
school district 103 for twelve years, and is now serving as alder- 

In the Masonic Order he has held many positions of honor, is 
a member of Forest River Lodge No. 28, A. F. & A. M. ; Hillsboro 
Lodge of Perfection; North Dakota Consistory No. 132, Fargo; 
and El Zagal Temple A. A. 0. N. M. S., at Fargo ; and the I. O. O. 
F., of Inkster ; has held the office of worshipful master of the Blue 
Lodge for four years. 

Mr. Glass was married in January, 1889, to Miss Ellen Mary 


Sorg, of Inkster, N. D. They have one son, Elwyn Cornelius 
Glass, who was born in 1894. 

William Clark Goddard, cashier of the First State Bank of 
Leonard, N. D., and agent of the William H. White Lumber Com- 
pany, was born August 27, 1871, at St. Ansgar, Iowa. His par- 
ents, Robert C. and Ada E. Goddard, were of English ancestry, 
their forefathers settling in the state of Maine in 1700. Our sub- 
ject received a common school education and came to North Da- 
kota in April, 1898. He started in business with the Gull River 
Lumber Company at Wahpeton in the spring of 1899. This com- 
pany was succeeded by the W. H. W T hite Lumber Company, and 
at this date 1909 Mr. Goddard is still their representative. On 
August 1, 1903, he became cashier of the First State Bank of 
Leonard, N. D., which position he still holds. Mr. Goddard is a 
thirty-second degree Mason and a Mystic Shriner. 

Mr. Goddard was married January 17, 1900, at Marshall, 
Minn., to Miss Anna M. Pearce. 

Joseph V. Godfrey, the hustling young manufacturer and con- 
tractor of Moorhead, is more than entitled to the patronage he 
receives and the brief mention here given. 

Mr. Godfrey is the son-in-law of Dr. Daniel C. Darrow, presi- 
dent of the Moorhead Hospital, Mrs. Godfrey being Miss Edith 
Darrow before her marriage in 1899. He is really a Boston man, 
having obtained the greater part of his education there and in 
the high school of Roxbury, Mass., from which he graduated with 
the class of 1891. He was born, however, in Leominster, Mass., 
on November 23, 1874. His parents are James V. and Abbie Jane 
(White) Godfrey, who are both natives of Massachusetts and old 
residents of Boston, where they now reside, and Mr. Godfrey 
controls some large milling interests. Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey are 
the parents of four children: Joseph V. is the second child, and 
after finishing school he engaged in the flour milling business 
with his father and continued until 1896, when he came to Moor- 
head and associated himself with the North Dakota Milling Com- 
pany and remained with them five years, or until the firm dis- 
solved. He then took a position as salesman for the Red Lake 
Falls Milling Company, which he held for four years, and in 1905 
went into business for himself and commenced the manufacture 


of concrete for sidewalks and building purposes, employing a 
large force of help, and was generally successful from the first. 
He is now one of the leading manufacturers in this part of the 
country, highly esteemed for his upright, fair and square dealing, 
and is considered a most worthy and valuable citizen. 

Mr. and Mrs. Godfrey have two children, Vernon D. and Anna 

Charles Arthur Gram was born in Toronto, Canada, August 
26, 1869, and is the son of Jacob and Jane Lundy Gram. Our 
subject's father was descended from Pennsylvania Dutch, who at 
an early date settled where Toronto is now located. His mother 
was a descendant from Lundy, of Lundy 's Lane. After receiving 
a common school education, Charles A. came to North Dakota in 
1882, and took a special course in the State University at Grand 
Forks. He is president of the Gram & Hull Company, of Sheldon, 
is a member of the Masons and grand patron Order of Eastern 
Star, 1907-1908. From 1901 to 1907 he was judge of the county 
court of Ransom county. Judge Gram was married June 9, 1897, 
to Clara A. Roesler at Casselton, N. D., and they reside at Sheldon. 

Enos Gray, who for many years has been a substantial citizen 
of Cass county, North Dakota, is a native of Embden, Me., and 
was born February 4, 1829, to Joshua and Betsey (Williams) 
Gray, both natives of that state. The father, who spent his life 
in Maine, was a farmer, as was also his father, Joshua Gray, Sr. 

Our subject grew up on his father's farm, with his two 
brothers and two sisters, and acquired his education in the public 
schools. After attaining his majority he went to California and 
spent four years in mining operations, then returned to his native 
state and lived in Portland till 1876. 

In the spring of 1879 Mr. Gray located a homestead in Gill 
township, Cass county, North Dakota, and then began that career 
which has proved most successful. From a tract of wild land in 
an unsettled country his homestead has been converted into one 
of the model farms of Red River valley, finely improved with 
good buildings and equipped with everything in the way of mod- 
ern equipment needed in the conduct of an up-to-date farm. 

Mr. Gray's resources have grown with the development of the 
country, other acres have been added to his original homestead 


from time to time, until now 1909 he owns some 1,300 acres of 
tillable land devoted to the growing of wheat and other small 
grains, and all in crop at the present time. Mr. Gray, after many 
years of hard work, has retired and turned over the active man- 
agement of his farm to his only son, Oscar F., whose yearly prod- 
ucts amount to some 20,000 bushels of grain. 

The Casselton branch of the Northern Pacific Railroad, which 
passes through the farm, affords fine shipping facilities. Mr. Gray 
is a man of influence in his community, a Democrat in politics, 
and has been honored with numerous offices of trust. He has 
served on the township board as chairman, was county assessor 
in 1887-88, represented the fourteenth district in the constitu- 
tional convention of 1889, and has filled other local offices, always 
with credit to himself and to the satisfaction of his fellow citizens. 

On May 13, 1852, Mr. Gray married Miss Mindwell Thompson, 
of Embden, Me., a companion of his childhood, and they have one 
son, Oscar F., born November 26, 1853, and one daughter, Imo- 
gene, born June 8, 1856, both of whom reside in Casselton at the 
home of their parents. 

H. H. Grover was born September 11, 1839, at Windsor, Ohio. 
His parents both died in 1854, and he was sent out into the world 
to hustle for himself. His early education was received at the 
district school and Orwell Academy. He taught several terms of 
three months each in the district school, receiving at the start 
sixteen dollars per month, and boarded around. Brought up on 
a farm, he continued farming for several years. 

In 1861 he was married to Jane L. Morris at Harts Grove, Ohio, 
who still lives with him at Lisbon, N. D. Four children were 
born to this union, two girls and two boys. 

Harley S. Grover, cashier of the State Bank of Lisbon, is the 
only child living. The oldest girl, Cora L. Grover, died at Fargo 
in December, 1881. The second girl, Lillian A. Grover, married 
Robert P. Stanton at Lisbon in 1883; moved to Seattle, Wash., 
where she died about twelve years afterward, leaving two boys, 
who, with their father, still live at Seattle. His youngest boy, 
Kubie R. Grover, died at Lisbon, N. D., in 1889. 

About 1870 he engaged in the mercantile business, first at 
Geneva, Ohio, where he was in partnership with N. K. Hubbard, 



who is well known about Fargo as one of the early settlers. This 
partnership continued about one year, when he sold his interest 
to N. K. Hubbard and moved to Harts Grove, Ohio, and engaged 
in a general store, doing business alone for several years. He did 
an extensive business, being postmaster, with the office in the 

Finally selling his business in Ohio, in 1880 he came to Fargo, 
where he was employed as clerk in the extensive store of Good- 
man & Yerxa. In 1881 he went back to Ohio, disposing of his 
property there, and with his family moved to Fargo and took a 
claim in Ransom county. Since that time he has been a resident 
of Ransom county, where he engaged in the real estate business 
for several years and did a lively rustling business until his health 
began to fail, when he sold out to the Lisbon Land & Loan Agency, 
who are now doing business at Lisbon. 

Retiring from active business, he built a nice block in 1903, 
which is occupied by two stores and Masonic Temple, and which 
is an ornament to the city. Occupying an office connected with 
the block, as justice of the peace and police magistrate and look- 
ing after his several interests in keeping his various places rented, 
he is enjoying the fruits of his many years of hard labor, and 
taking life as quietly and easy as circumstances will permit. 

Olaf J. Hagen, B. So., M. D., is one of our younger class of 
physicians and surgeons of Moorhead, having begun his practice 
here in 1907. He is a brother of Mr. Halvor J. Hagen, a promi- 
nent banker of Fort Abercrombie, and is the seventh child of a 
family of nine children, seven of whom are living. 

Dr. Hagen was born in Menominee, Wis., September 16, 1872, 
of Norwegian ancestry. His parents are Jens H. and Gunhild 
(Stendahl) Hagen, both natives of Throndhjem, Norway, who 
came to the United States and became early settlers of Fort Aber- 
crombie in 1873. Here they engaged in farming on the plains at 
which they were generally successful and spent the remainder of 
their lives. Mrs. Hagen died in 1908 at the age of seventy-six 

Olaf J. Hagen attended the public schools of Richland county, 
North Dakota, where he obtained a substantial foundation for 
his college courses, which began in the State Normal at St. Cloud, 


Minn. From there he entered the university at Valparaiso, Ind., 
and graduated from that institution with the class of 1896. He 
then entered the academic department and later the medical de- 
partment of the Minnesota State University, from which he grad- 
uated in 1906. Has since taken post-graduate courses in the 
clinics of the Berlin University and Jefferson Medical College, 

Dr. Hagen has always been greatly interested in educational 
work from 1891 until 1894 he was instructor in the Concordia 
College at Moorhead, and served as county superintendent of 
schools of Kichland county, North Dakota, from 1898 to 1902. 
He is now city physician of Moorhead, and is considered a most 
worthy and valuable citizen. He is a member of the Masonic 
Order, the Knights of Pythias, the Modern Woodmen of America, 
and also belongs to the A. O. U. W. 

T. J. Hagen, treasurer of Grand Forks City, was born at 
Hedermorken, Norway, August 26, 1865; went to Kristianin, the 
capital of the country, April 11, 1882, to learn the trade of gun- 
smithing, which at that time was one of the leading trades of the 
country. After learning the trade and working a year as a jour- 
neyman, he emigrated to Hillsboro, N. D., where he went to work 
in a general blacksmith shop, and followed that trade in several 
towns of the valley, and finally, on July 25, 1889, opened a gen- 
eral blacksmith shop for himself, which he occupied till the fall 
of 1905, when he sold out. 

In the spring of 1906 he was elected to the responsible posi- 
tion of city treasurer of the city of Grand Forks. 

William G. Hammet, who comes of English lineage, is a native 
of Tolpuddle, Dorsetshire, England, and was born in 1874, the 
eldest child of William and Annie (Hopkins) Hammet. His great 
grandfather, Kichard Hammet, was a bricklayer in England. His 
grandparents, William and Judith (Lovelace) Hammet, were 
born and died in England. They had four children, two of whom 
married and reared families. Clara, Sarah Ann and two daugh- 
ters, remained single and lived on the family homestead in Dor- 
setshire, England. Here, on June 20, 1847, was born William 
Hammet, the father of our subject. He acquired a good common 
school education in his native place and there learned the carpen- 


ter's trade under his father. In 1880 he came to this country and 
settled first at Hawley, Clay county, Minnesota, where he built a 
small house and lived two years. He then moved his house onto 
the quarter section homestead tract he had taken up in Cromwell 
township, and began the development of what has become, under 
his wise and progressive management, one of the model farms of 
Clay county, noted for the fertility and productiveness of its soil 
and the enterprise of its citizens, a wonderful transformation from 
the wildness that everywhere prevailed but little more than a 
generation ago. 

Mr. Hammet is a man of influence in his community, and before 
retiring from his farm served as clerk of the school district sev- 
eral years, was overseer of the highway and served as justice of 
the peace. 

In 1905 Mr. Hammet leased his farm and with his family took 
up his residence in the village of Hawley, to enjoy the well earned 
fruits of his labors. 

In May, 1871, he married Miss Annie, the daughter of Tim- 
othy and Priscilla (Dean) Hopkins. Besides William G., our sub- 
ject, their children are : Augustas, who died in 1903 ; Lillian, 
who lives at home, and Edith, who is married to Mr. Holland E. 
Shuck, a surveyor of Duluth, Minn. 

After finishing his preliminary education in the district 
schools, William G. studied at the Moorhead State Normal School, 
then spent some time teaching in his home district and at George- 
town. Later he attended the law department of the University 
of Minnesota, and after his graduation in 1902 he was admitted 
to the bar and at once began the practice of law at Hawley and 
conducts, in connection with his professional work, an extensive 
insurance agency. 

In 1903 Mr. Hammet married Miss Florence Morton, a native 
of Reesville, Clinton county, Ohio. Mrs. Hammet is a woman of 
fine attainments, and prior to her marriage was a successful 
teacher, and now is an able and invaluable assistant to her hus- 
band in his professional and office work. 

Hon. Louis Benjamin Hanna, Successful competition from a 
political point of view is a good criterion of a man 's worth in the 
estimation of the public if the test comes through a primary elec- 


tion like the one recently held for the purpose of securing candi- 
dates for public office. 

Mr. L. B. Hanna, the choice of the voters of his party for rep- 
resentation of his state in Washington during the next congress, 
was born at New Brighton, Pa., August 9, 1860. He was the son 
of Jason R. and Margaret A. (Lewis) Hanna, natives of Ohio and 
Massachusetts respectively. His father was of Scotch and Irish 
descent, and his people came to this country in 1750. Jason R. 
Hanna was a car builder, and served as captain of Company C, 
Sixty-third Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers, during the 
Civil War. The ancestors on the mother's side, who were of Eng- 
lish and French descent, came to America about 1631. 

Mr. Hanna received his education in the public schools of 
Cleveland, Ohio, Pittsfield, Mass., and New York city. He came 
to North Dakota in 1881 and has been engaged in farming and in 
financial enterprises since 1886. He founded a private bank at 
Page, N. D., in June, 1886, that afterwards became incorporated 
as a state bank, with Mr. Hanna as its president. He also became 
interested in the First National Bank of Fargo in 1899 and its 
vice president, and in May, 1908, was elected its president. 

Mr. Hanna was elected to the state legislature as a member 
of the lower house in 1895, and in 1897 he was elected to the sen- 
ate, and again elected to the state senate in 1905. While repre- 
senting his state in that law making body Mr. Hanna, ever mind- 
ful of the people's interests, strongly advocated the enactment 
of good pure food laws ; and his representation of the rights of 
the people generally along all such lines has secured for him the 
best wishes of his party in general, as evidenced by his recent 
success at the polls. 

Mr. Hanna was married in 1885, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Miss 
Lottie L. Thatcher, a native of Massachusetts. Four children 
were granted to them as follows : Margaret E. died June, 1894 ; 
Jean E., Dorothy L., and Robert L. 

Mr. Hanna has filled numerous local offices and is one of the 
best known men of the state. 

Henry C. Hansbrough, senior United States senator from 
North Dakota, was born in Randolph county, Illinois, January 30, 
1848. His parents were Kentuckians, his father a partisan and 


close friend of Henry Clay, in honor of whom the subject of this 
sketch was named. His more remote ancestors were Virginians. 
Henry was reared upon a farm and given a common school edu- 
cation. His parents removed to California when he was nine years 
of age, and there a little later he learned the printer's trade. 
From 1869 to 1879 he was connected with the San Francisco 
"Chronicle," for the latter portion of this period as editorial 
writer and as assistant managing editor. His health failing, he 
removed in 1879 to Baraboo, Wis., where he was engaged in jour- 
nalism. In 1881 he came to North Dakota, locating in Grand 
Forks, and was thus one of the pioneer residents of the valley. 
He was prominently identified with the development of the valley 
for a number of years. He established the Grand Forks "Daily 
News" soon after his arrival here. In 1883 he sold the "News" 
and removed to Devils Lake, then in its embryonic stage. He 
established the Devils Lake "Inter Ocean" and has continued its 
publication ever since. It has long been known as one of the 
foremost weekly papers of North Dakota. Mr. Hansbrough took 
an active interest in political affairs of the territory, both through 
his papers and through his personal participation in public affairs. 
He was one of the active factors in the early history of Devils 
Lake. When the city was incorporated, in 1887, he was elected 
as the first mayor and served in that capacity for two terms. He 
also served the city of Devils Lake as postmaster. 

It was during the agitation for division' of the territory of 
Dakota during the latter part of the eighties that Mr. Hans- 
brough had his entrance into the active political life he has led 
ever since. He was one of the foremost advocates for division of 
the territory during the long period of conflict preceding the 
accomplishment of division. At the territorial convention held in 
Jamestown in June, 1888, Mr. Hansbrough was nominated and 
elected as one of the delegates to the national convention which 
nominated Benjamin Harrison for president. The fight was a 
bitter one and the opponents of division sought to punish Mr. 
Hansbrough for his active participation. His friends rallied to 
his support, however, and he was nominated and elected as one 
of the first congressmen from North Dakota. He was one of the 
active members of the session and was the author of the anti- 


lottery bill which successfully put to rout the Louisiana Lottery 
Company very soon after its memorable campaign by which it 
sought to debauch the people of North Dakota. He was defeated 
for a renomination for congress in 1890, but immediately became 
a candidate for United States senator and was elected by the leg- 
islature of 1891. He was re-elected in 1897 and again in 1903. 
His term expired in March, 1909. 

Christian M. Hansen, of Northwood, N. L\, is a native of Den- 
mark, and was born October 24, 1844. His father was Frederick 
Hansen and his mother's name was Kjerstine (Gertsen) Hansen, 
both natives of Denmark. Our subject was educated in his native 
land and first came to the United States in 1865 when twenty- 
one years of age, arriving in New York November 12 that year. 
The year following he went to the state of Indiana, and on the 
21st day of November, 1866, took out his naturalization papers 
in Tippicanoe county, but in a short time returned to Denmark, 
where he was married on April 22, 1869, to Katrine Madsen, and 
on the 1st of May following came to Alexandria, Douglas county, 
Minnesota, and took up a homestead, where they remained until 
November, 1884, when they came to Northwood, N. D., and en- 
gaged in business in Northwood in 1894; was burned out Sep- 
tember 12, 1900, but immediately resumed business and has con- 
tinued ever since. Mr. and Mrs. Hansen have a family of four 
children: Kerstina, Maria Martinus, Marten and Frederick 

Nels Hanson, deceased, who was for years a resident farmer 
of Clay county, Minnesota, was born in Norway about 1845, and 
came to the United States in the sixties. He lived for a time in 
Pierce county, Wisconsin, and moved to Minnesota, settling in 
Clay county, where he took up a homestead claim and lived there 
until his death, which was caused by an accident on a railway 
crossing, on November 17, 1897. Mrs. Hanson, his wife, still lives 
there and the farm is conducted under her wise management. 

Mr. Hanson received a good education in Norway before emi- 
grating to America, and worked for a time as a clerk in a store. 
His first residence in this country was a sod shanty ten by twelve, 
where he lived for about two years, and where their oldest son, 
Hans Helgedalen, was born. He later purchased a tree claim 


adjoining his present homestead, and immediately set to work 
preparing lumber for a house. He also built his neighbor's 
(Andrew Larson) house, and a line of interesting events may be 
gleaned from Mrs. Hanson of their early experiences in Clay 
county. Mrs. Hanson was Miss Annie Herum before her mar- 
riage, and her husband was the son of Hans Helgedalen, of Nor- 
way. They have a family of ten children, nine of whom are living. 
Mrs. Hanson is the daughter of Soren and Margaret Herum ; her 
grandparents were pioneers of Wisconsin in territorial days. Mr. 
Hanson was a wideawake farmer, and his beautiful home is among 
the best in the county. He was for years a director of the schools 
and a trustee of the Synod Lutheran church, of which he and Mrs. 
Hanson were charter members. Their family have all been reared 
in this faith, and Mrs. Hanson still attends as a devoted member. 

Mr. Hanson was considered among the leading farmers of his 
locality, and as a good friend and citizen he ranked among the 

Oliver Sigvard Hanson, of Grand Forks, N. D., was born in 
Hanover township, Allamakee county, Iowa, June 3, 1862, son of 
Hans A. and Maren Hanson, natives of Norway. They came to 
Iowa in 1851. 

Mr. Hanson received a fair education in the Iowa schools, and 
since the age of twenty-two has been engaged in the management 
of banks. He removed to North Dakota November, 1881, and ever 
since has been identified with the banking interests of the state. 
He took charge of the State Bank of Buxton in 1884, and is now 
president of the State Bank of Grand Forks, president of the 
Scandinavian American Bank of Grand Forks, president of the 
State Bank of Buxton, and vice president of the State Bank of 
Grandon, N. D. He takes some interest in politics, though not an 
office seeker. At the time of McKinley's nomination, at St. Louis, 
in 1896, he was a delegate to the convention from North Dakota. 
He is a member of the Grand Forks Y. M. C. A. 

Mr. Hanson was married in 1892 to Miss Louise Sorlie, of 
Hartland, Minn. Their children are named as follows: Harley 
Irving, Meryn Herbert, Verdine Olive, Charlotte Louise and Caro- 
line Josephine. 

Louis K. Hassell, who ranks among the progressive and enter- 


prising men of Grand Forks, N. D., was born near Hamar, Nor- 
way, August 19, 1862, and is one of a family of five children, two 
of whom are now living, born to Christian and Oline (Fremstad) 
Hassell, both natives of Norway, though the mother was of Ger- 
man parentage. They immigrated with their family to the United 
States in the early summer of 1881 and settled in Walsh county, 
North Dakota, where the mother died and where the father still 
resides on the family homestead. 

Louis acquired his schooling in his native country, and after 
the family came hither he was for a few months employed in the 
law office of Mayor Hamilton at Grand Forks, and in the fall of 
1881 became editor of the Grand Forks "Tidende," a Norwegian 
newspaper. Three years later he was made deputy in the office 
of the city auditor and treasurer, and then from the fall of 1884 
till January 1, 1887, served as clerk in the office of the register of 
deeds for Grand Forks county. 

The need of a Scandinavian paper in Grand Forks led him to 
start the "Normanden," which he conducted till in the summer of 
1888, when he sold it. He then worked several months in the 
office of the county auditor, and in the fall of 1889 was elected 
on the Republican ticket clerk of the district court, an office to 
which he was re-elected four times. After his retirement from 
the clerk's office Mr. Hassell served for a time as deputy sheriff, 
until he was elected to his present office of county judge of Grand 
Forks county. 

From the time he settled in Grand Forks twenty-eight years 
ago, Mr. Hassell has made a steady advance, and largely through 
his own efforts has risen from comparative obscurity to a place 
of honor and influence. He has been actively identified with the 
Republican party and more or less prominent in its local councils. 
He belongs to several benevolent and fraternal organizations, 
holding membership in the Masonic Order, the Benevolent and 
Protective Order of Elks, the United Workmen of America, and 
Knights of Pythias. In 1886 Mr. Hassell married Miss Sophia A. 
Anderson, a native of Norway. Their four children are named 
respectively, Clarence L., Selma L., Olga O., and Agnes F* 

Rev. S. G. Hauge, the minister of the Lutheran church at Haw- 
ley, Minn., is a wideawake progressive man and a genuine force 



in the religious life of the community. He is a native of Norway 
and was born in 1875, and there acquired his preliminary educa- 
tion. He came to the United States in 1891, and two years later 
became a student at Augustine College, Canton, S. D., and later 
took a course in theology at the Theological Seminary, Minne- 
apolis, where he was graduated with the class of 1900. 

On leaving the seminary, Rev. Hauge turned his attention to 
his chosen work, and on August 3, 1900, was settled in charge of 
the Scandinavian Lutheran church at Hawley, being the first resi- 
dent pastor, though the church was organized in 1898. The work 
has developed rapidly under his wise management and pastoral 
care, and the organization has grown from a comparatively small 
body of communicants to an aggressive church of some 300 souls, 
whose influence is a continual force in the moral and spiritual 
uplift of the community. Rev. Hauge preaches fifty sermons in 
the Norwegian language and about twenty-five in English during 
the year, and besides conducts religious services at four other 
churches in neighboring townships, having in all nearly 1,000 
souls under his spiritual charge. 

The Scandinavian Lutheran church in Hawley has an active 
Ladies' Aid Society which meets every other Monday and is a 
helpful agency in raising funds for the home church and for home 
and foreign mission work ; as is also the Luther League, an organi- 
zation of young people, with a membership of twenty-five. 

The Sunday school, in which are gathered nearly 100 pupils, 
taught by seven devoted teachers, is under the superintendency 
of Mrs. Hauge, who is a true helper in her husband's work, she 
being a woman of refinement and a graduate of her home high 

They were married July 25, 1900, at Toronto, S. D., and have 
three children, viz. : Ragnhild, Norma E., and Haakon. 

Dr. Knut Olai E. Heimark, the first white child born in Yellow 
Medicine county, Minnesota, was born on a farm October 14, 
1873, to Endre 0. and Sarah (Langeland) Heimark, the former a 
native of Norway, born in 1844, and the latter born in Muscatine, 
Iowa. They had six sons and eleven daughters, of whom five 
sons and seven daughters are now (1909) living, eight married 
and heads of families. 


The father immigrated to this country in 1863 in a sailing 
vessel, the voyage occupying six weeks. He settled first in Iowa, 
and engaged as a laborer on the railroad. In 1873 he moved to 
Yellow Medicine county, Minnesota, and pre-empted a quarter 
section of government land and there made a home. He experi- 
enced all the trials and hardships incident to pioneer life in a 
new country, but faced them with determination and in spite of 
adverse circumstances surmounted obstacles that would have 
appalled a man of less courage. 

Beginning with only two dollars, and owing a note of forty 
dollars, he worked and waited, strong in faith and buoyed by 
hope, and at one time owned as high as 800 acres of land, and 
with his boys cultivated as high as 500 acres. He still lives on the 
homestead and now has a fine farm of 240 acres, worth sixty dol- 
lars an acre. Our subject spent his boyhood on his father's farm 
and acquired his preliminary education in the district schools. 
At the age of sixteen he entered St. Olaf Academy, where he was 
graduated in 1894. Then studied two years at the University of 
Minnesota, and in 1896 entered the College of Physicians and Sur- 
geons and was graduated in 1899 with the degree of M. D. 

Dr. Heimark at once began the practice of his profession at 
Hawley, in Clay county, and his practice has grown with the 
growth and development of the place, and today he ranks among 
the leading and influential physicians of the Red River valley. 

Dr. Heimark is a Republican in politics and has held various 
local offices. He was president of the village council in 1906-07, 
and is now chairman of the board of health. He is president of 
the Independent Voters' League and takes an active part in secur- 
ing the election of worthy men to office. 

On August 25, 1900, Dr. Heimark married Miss Anna Rebecca, 
a daughter of John and Ellen (Guilsness) Peterson, of St. Croix 
county, Wisconsin, and they have two daughters. 

Dr. Heimark, besides being a successful physician, is a wide- 
awake business man and owns a splendid farm of 240 acres, 
besides his elegant home in Hawley. 

Knud Helgeson is another prosperous farmer of Ulen town- 
ship who began life as a poor boy in a log cabin twelve by four- 
teen, with sod on the sides. Four of his children were born in 


this cabin, in which he lived for about twelve years. By that 
time he was able to build a larger one. His first trading point 
was twenty-one miles distant, and by ox teams was his best trans- 
portation facilities. He now owns a quarter section of land with 
ninety acres under cultivation, a good house, barn and other out- 
buildings, which makes one of the most beautiful country homes 
in the county. He lived on a rented farm in Dodge county, Min- 
nesota, for about three years, but his ambition was to have the 
farm in his own right. In 1874 he was married, in Dodge county, 
and there took out his first naturalization papers, and later on 
obtained his second papers at Ada, Minn. He came to Clay county 
in 1882, and has since played an active part in the development 
of the county. 

Mr. Helgeson has always taken great interest in local affairs, 
is broad-minded and liberal in his views, and ready at all times 
to support any movement which may be of benefit to his town and 
county. He served for some years as road commissioner and on 
the school board. He was well educated in the public schools of 
Norway, and came to the United States in the year 1871. His 
parents were Helge Nilson and Bertha (Knutson) Helgeson. They 
had a family of five children, viz. : Nils, Knud, Corice and Ger- 
trude. Both the parents are now deceased; the father passed 
away at the age of sixty-five years and the mother at the age of 

Mr. Knud and Mrs. Aasie Helgeson are the parents of nine 
children, eight of whom are living at home, viz. : Helma, now 
Mrs. I. R. Swenson, lives in Idaho and has five children; Gilbert, 
Theodore, Christina, Annie, Andrew, Carl, Ida and Nils. 

The family are all members of the United Lutheran church, 
of which Mr. Helgeson is a trustee. 

Fred Herring is one of the wideawake citizens of Hawley, 
Minn., and a popular man in his community. He is a native of 
England, was born at Sandford-on-Thames, in 1867, and is the 
eighth child of ten children five of whom are living born to 
William and Eliza (Payne) Herring. He was educated in the 
higher grade schools at Oxford, and after closing his studies 
taught some five years in the school where he had been a pupil. 


He then took a position as bookkeeper in a grocery store, con- 
nected with which was a sub-postal station, affording him an op- 
portunity to acquaint himself with many details of the postal 

In 1894 Mr. Herring came to the United States and settled at 
Hitterdal, in Clay county, Minnesota, where he clerked in the 
store of a cousin until 1901. Removing thence to Hawley, he con- 
tinued in clerical work some six years, the latter part of that time 
being assistant postmaster under Mrs. Susan C. Fulton, who suc- 
ceeded to the office of postmistress on the death of her husband, 
an appointee of President McKinley. On Mrs. Fulton's retire- 
ment from the office, of five candidates for the place Mr. Herring 
received a majority of twenty-seven votes over his competitors, 
and in 1907 received his commission and entered upon his duties, 
being the seventh incumbent of that office at Hawley. 

In assuming the duties of his office, Mr. Herring brought to 
his work a most valuable experience gained in his clerical posi- 
tion in England in early life, and as assistant under his predeces- 
sor; and his management and systematic methods in handling 
the mails have gained for him wide popularity among the patrons 
of the office. His able assistant, Miss Edna Gibbons, is a valuable 
helper in the office, and it is worthy of note that in the year 1908 
the money order branch of the office amounted to $22,385.43, a 
record showing for the town. 

Mr. Herring is the only member of his immediate family in 
this country, and in 1908 visited his native place with his family. 
He is active in social and religious affairs, being recording stew- 
ard of the Methodist Episcopal church of Hawley and deputy 
superintendent of the Sunday school. He is an active member of 
the Masonic Order, being secretary of the local lodge. The local 
telephone system of about 100 subscribers and the village electric 
light plant are largely due to his persistent efforts, and the free- 
dom from "blind pigs," of which the temperance sentiment is so 
proud, results from the same cause. His latest fad is the beauti- 
fying of the cemetery, which has been somewhat neglected, but 
will undoubtedly soon show signs of improvement. 

In 1899 Mr. Herring married Miss Victoria, a daughter of 



James and Emma (Reed) Reed, and a native of Hamilton, On- 
tario. Her parents celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of their 
marriage in 1907 at Burlington, Ontario. 

Mr. and Mrs. Herring have three bright children, viz. : Made- 
line E., Bertha E., and William James, named for his two grand- 

Mrs. Lars 0. Hitterdal. In one of the sightly places fronting 
the pretty lake of Hitterdal, on the northeast side, is the modern 
brick residence of ten rooms, surrounded by a beautiful grove of 
several acres, located in Section 34, Goose Prairie township. Here 
we find the genial lady whose hospitality has no bounds always 
with a word of cheer to any one she may meet. 

Mrs. Hitterdal was born in Lunner, Ringerike, Norway, in 
1865, the daughter of Klemmet and Christa (Halverson) Helge- 
son, who crossed with her mother in 1875 to Aimerica. (A further 
account of Mrs. Hitterdal 's family is given in the biography of 
her brother, Mr. Helge Klemmetson, elsewhere in this work.) She 
was reared amidst humble surroundings, attended the district 
schools, and circumstances compelled her early training in gen- 
eral housework by her mother, who had herself passed through 
many years of privations and sufferings of pioneer life. Not so 
with her daughter, however. The family emigrated to this coun- 
try when Mrs. Hitterdal was but ten years of age, and, becoming 
thoroughly familiar with the English language and the ways of 
the people, she was soon able to move in the best of society. Her 
marriage was a fortunate one, which occurred in 1883, to Mr. 
Lars 0. Hitterdal, with whom she lived happily until death sep- 
arated them on November 21, 1900. 

Lars O. Hitterdal was born in Norway, April 26, 1858, the son 

of Ole and B (Larson) Hitterdal. The family emigrated 

to America when the son, Lars, was eleven years of age, in 1869, 
and for the first two years they lived in Iowa, following the occu- 
pation of farming. In 1871 the year of the great Chicago fire 
they moved to Minnesota, where Mr. Lars 0. Hitterdal took up 
a homestead in Goose Prairie township, Clay county, and began 
life like many other pioneers, single-handed. His crops for the 
first few years were destroyed by the grasshoppers, and he was 
forced to resort to trapping for early sustenance, and at the same 



time working early and late to improve his land, which he broke 
with oxen. Their first residence was made of hewn logs, in which 
they lived for some years, and where their first child was born. 
Patience and perseverance were the principal characteristics of 
both Mr. and Mrs. Hitterdal, and after considerable exercise of 
these particular features, success began to dawn, and they were 
soon classed among the most successful farmers of Clay county, 
and at his death Mr. Hitterdal owned 500 acres of the richest 
soil in the county and a beautiful ten-room two-story brick resi- 
dence, with barns, granary and other commodious buildings to 

The prosperous little town of Hitterdal was named after the 
venerable old pioneer father of our subject, Mr. Ole Hitterdal, 
and is one of the thriftiest towns in the Red River valley. It has 
a local bank, three general stores, grain elevator, a hotel, churches, 
etc., which are all up-to-date in every respect. It is a good grain 
center and contains many beautiful homes. 

From Mrs. Lars Hitterdal may be gleaned a most interesting 
history of the early days in this county, having been a resident 
since 1883, and her home is always open and welcome to a host of 
warm friends. 

Iver Holman, one of the sturdy Norwegian farmers now located 
in Section 28, Ulen township, Clay county, was born in Hudlund, 
Norway, in 1851. His father was Hans Peterson, who conducted 
a flour mill in Norway, known as "Val's Mills." His sons also 
learned the trade under his preceptorship, and became eminent 
millers and good business men. He was born about the year 1817, 
and emigrated to Dakota in 1885. He married Miss Annie Iver- 
son, who died in Norway in 1879. Mr. Holman died in February, 
1892, at the age of seventy-five and was buried near Wolcott 

Mr. Iver Holman 's educational advantages were somewhat 
limited, although he was an apt student in the common schools 
and took advantage of every opportunity he could get for learn- 
ing. At an early age he learned the millers' trade and worked 
for various millers for about ten years, and then purchased a mill 
of his own in the village of Tottem and Bjaenick, which he oper- 
ated for about eight years, and during his residence there was 



married in 1877 to Miss Eonda Peterson, and she too was born in 
Hudlund, Norway, January 1, 1848. Mr. and Mrs. Holman have 
a family of five living children : Hans, who was born in Norway, 
married Miss Ella Sliper, and they have one child, Iver; Peter, 
the second child, was also born in Norway ; Annie and Ingral were 
born on the Dakota homestead, and Inga Eonda, the youngest, 
was born in Eichland county, North Dakota. 

In the year 1883 Mr. Holman set sail for America on one of 
the Allen line steamships, bound for Mayville, N. D., where he 
arrived with Mrs. Holman and their two children on the 6th day 
of June, 1883. They remained here for about two weeks, Mr. 
Holman in the meantime securing his naturalization papers, and 
moved to the town of Lakota, where Mr. Holman took up a pre- 
emption claim, and was among the first to settle in that part of 
the country. He secured passage with a Mr. Andrew Anderson, 
a friend, who was also about to make the trip, but his settlement 
with Anderson took all his surplus money and left the outlook 
rather gloomy for him. However, he built him a sod shanty, 
twelve by fourteen, where he resided for about seven years and 
endured more than his share of hardships in the way of poor 
crops, and finally decided to make another move and returned 
from Walsh county, North Dakota, to Eichland county, where he 
took some land on shares close to Wolcott, in debt $150.00. The 
first cow he owned cost him $53.00. He lived on this land for two 
years and in 1892 moved to Clay county, TJlen township, and 
purchased 240 acres at $10.00 per acre. Here he built a nice resi- 
dence, and out-buildings, planted about five acres of trees, and 
now has one of the most beautiful country homes in the county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Holman and family are all members of the 
United Lutheran Church, of which Mr. Holman is trustee. He 
served one year on the board of supervisors, and is considered 
one of the most popular citizens of his .community. 

James Holes, of Fargo, N. D., owner of the Pioneer farm, and 
himself the pioneer farmer of Cass county, was born January 29, 
1845, at Warren, Bradford county, Pennsylvania. His parents 
were James and Mary Holes, natives of Derbyshire, England, 
they were born respectively in 1795 and 1802, and came to the 
United States in 1832, and first settled near Ithica, New York 


state ; and later moved to Bradford county, Pennsylvania, where 
our subject was born. 

His first school days were spent in a little school house on his 
father's farm, and was continued at the district school at Owego, 
N. Y., where his parents settled after leaving Pennsylvania. He 
made several trips to the Red River valley in 1868 and 1869, while 
in the employ of the government as a freighter, and on July 18, 
1871, settled in Cass county, North Dakota, where he has resided 
ever since, and was the first man to demonstrate that farming 
in North Dakota was a paying proposition, and for many years 
has been considered authority on all matters pertaining to agri- 
culture in the Red River valley. 

Mr. Holes was married on July 20, 1887, at Fargo, to Miss 
Rhoda Harrison. Their children are James Harrison Holes, born 
September 23, 1888, Bernard Rupert, born December 20, 1890, and 
Marguerite Virginia, born July 28, 1893. Mr. Holes is president 
of the American Society of Equity, and has served as county com- 
missioner of Cass county for nine years. 

Ben F. Holt, now manager of the shoe and clothing depart- 
ments in the store of Norby & Solum, of Barnesville, Minn., is a 
promising young business man of this place. He was born in 
Wilkin county, Minnesota, October 15, 1882, the son of Brady 
Holt. His father is now deceased, and his mother married for 
the second time to Mr. Ole E. Vanderborg, who also died in 1908. 
Three children were born to them, viz. : Antone, George and 

Mr. Ben Holt attended the district schools and later took a 
commercial course in the correspondence school of Scranton, 
Penn., and in about 1900, he came to the^city of Barnesville and 
secured employment in the department store of Norby & Solum, 
where he has remained continuously with the exception of a few 
months when he clerked in the grocery department of Y. Gun- 
ness & Company. He is a young man of thrift and enterprise, 
and his ideas are broad and liberal concerning many local ques- 
tions of interest in the town. He owns a farm in section - , and 
is highly esteemed by his employers for his faithfulness and 
veracity. He is a member of the Masonic order and the Modern 
Brotherhood of America. 



Andrew 0. Houglum, county auditor of Clay county, is one of 
the hustling and popular young business men of Moorhead, Minn. 
He was elected to his present office on the Republican ticket in 
November, 1908, and has since served with perfect satisfaction 
to the people and with dignity and credit to himself. 

Mr. Houglum was born in Becker county, Minnesota, April 19, 
1875. He was educated in the public schools of his county, also 
a graduate from the Minnesota Sch