County, North Dakota
GRAND FORKS COUNTY
Aside from the trading posts of Henry and others, Grand Forks had its earliest beginning, so far as the records are concerned, with the organization of Pembina County, of which it was then a part, in 1867, though for five years it had been nominally a part of Chippewa County, which was never organized, but the real beginning of its history was in 1871, when John Fadden was granted a ferry charter across the Red River at that point at $21 per annum for a period of five years. July 3, 1871, Grand Forks was established as a polling place, the precinct commencing at the mouth of Turtle River, thence up that stream fifteen miles and then due south to the Goose River, thence down that stream to its mouth and up the Red River to the place of beginning. September 4, the place of beginning was changed to the mouth of Park River and west to the Pembina mountains. Thomas Walsh, John Fadden and S. C. Code were appointed judges of election, and the first election was held at the house of John Stuart, at the site of the present City of Grand Forks.
In 1873 Grand Forks County was established by act of the Legislature, and George B. Winship, John W. Stuart and Ole Thompson were appointed by the Legislature to organize the county. Its boundaries as then organized were later changed, a part going to Walsh County and a part to Nelson. In 1873 Frank Veits, who had been in business two years at Georgetown, took charge of the interests of the Hudson's Bay Company at Grand Forks, including their Northwestern Hotel, and in 1875 purchased their interests in store, hotel and town property. In 1877 he built a 50-barrel-a-day flouring mill, an improvement of greater importance to North Dakota than any other at that time, settlers coming from points as far as one hundred miles with grist to be ground at this mill. He built the Veits House, later known as the Richardson, and later he and associates built the Dakota House.
Among the first settlers at Grand Forks, in 1871, were Capt. Alexander Griggs, Michael L. McCormack and Thomas Walsh, the latter bringing a sawmill. Nick Huffman kept the stage station, John Fadden the ferry, W. Clark and D. F. Reeves, George B. Winship, William Budge. These, with the Hudson's Bay Company store and hotel were about all of Grand Forks in 1871.
Reeves built several boats that summer at Grand Forks. The engine from the Walsh sawmill was finally sent to Winnipeg and used on the Saskatchewan. Burbank, Blakely & Carpenter put on a line of stages from Fort Abercrombie to Pembina in 1871. The Hudson's Bay Company had maintained a post at Georgetown for many years prior to 1873, when they moved to Grand Forks. They had stations also at Frog Point (now Belmont), Traill County and Goose River (now Caledonia), and at Red Lake. Their
post at Red Lake was established in 1797 and in 1801 a post was established and for several years maintained at Grand Forks. [chapter 32, "EARLY HISTORY OF NORTH DAKOTA, Essential Outlines of American History" by Colonel Clement A. Lounsberry, Founder of the Bismarck Tribune, pub. 1919 - tr. by Diana Heser Morse]
LARIMORE, GRAND FORKS COUNTY
Larimore takes its name from N. G. Larimore, principal owner and general manager of the Elk Valley Farm, which immediately adjoins the city. The farm consists of 15,000 acres, of which 10,000 are under cultivation. In the plowing season plows start on this farm at breakfast and without stump, stone, or other obstruction, make a furrow six miles in length and in returning make another of the same length before dinner. In the afternoon they repeat, men, teams and plows traveling twenty-four miles daily. The teams in plowing, seeding and harvesting go in gangs. The forty-three harvesters, cutting 600 acres daily, form an impressive scene.
The selections of land for this farm were made soon after the surveys in 1878, and the opening of the land to settlement in 1879. Then Larimore was conceived and in 1881 the site was laid out. The railroad reached Larimore December 25, 1881. The city was laid out on the lands of the Elk Valley Farming Company, and Senator W. N. Roach became the agent for the sale of lots.
Senator Roach landed at Larimore in August, 1879, and opened the stage line from Grand Forks to Devils Lake, carrying the first mail, being the contractor.
The railroad was completed to Larimore Christmas Day, 1881, from Grand Forks, and from Casselton to Larimore in 1883. In 1884 it was extended to Park River.
Beginning with 1882, Larimore entered upon a boom period lasting about three years. In 1882 it was the principal trading point for a vast extent of country and it prospered beyond comprehension, almost. The lands were productive; prices for products were high and the farming lands were being developed, creating a demand for supplies of every class, and its population soon exceeded one thousand. The wheat receipts from the crop of 1882 were 300,000 bushels.
The railroad grading commenced west of Larimore in September, 1882, and reached Devils Lake that fall, and the track laid to Bartlett and to Devils Lake the next summer. The country about Larimore developed rapidly and many other farms developed, ranging from 320 to 2,500 acres. Here land could only be obtained by means of purchase from actual settlers or by the use of the various forms of land scrip, limiting the size of farms in comparison with Cass and Traill counties, where the odd sections were acquired by the use of discredited railroad bonds.
Visited by the World's Fair Foreign Commissioners in 1893, this farm attracted world-wide attention and immediately gained a reputation quite equal to the Dalrymple Farm and the Grandin farms of even greater acreage.
Col. O. M. Towner located the land for this farm and it was through his agency the title was acquired for the Missouri corporation which owned it.
Other noted farms in this vicinity were the New York Farm, owned by James H. Mathews, the Hersey Farm, by D. H. Hersey, and the Emery Farm at Emerado.
[Source: "EARLY HISTORY OF NORTH DAKOTA, Essential Outlines of American History" by Colonel Clement A. Lounsberry, Founder of the Bismarck Tribune, pub. 1919 - tr. by Diana Heser Morse]
BACK -- HOME
Copyright © Genealogy Trails