Richland County Towns and Cities

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Abercrombie City
Taken from:
Richland County History Book
Pages 42-43

The city of Abercrombie, adjacent to Fort Abercrombie, derived its name from the
fort, and therefore indirectly from Lieutenant Colonel Abercrombie,
First commanding officer of the fort. The city is part of the military reservation and
is located on section 4, 134-48. Abercrombie did not come into being until 1884, when the Fargo and Southern Railroad
was built through the Red River Valley along the Red River. Then directly west of the
old fort, the town of Abercrombie was started.

On the south street known as the "Husmoen Street" one would see a painted sign on a residence
proclaiming the location of the Golden West Hotel owned by Mr. Erick Thompson who with his bride
made his first home on the second floor of the P.K. Gunness residence.
This was about at the turn of the century. For a few years, around 1903, it was not
operating as a hotel so Mr. and Mrs. Lars Wold, pioneers of Abercrombie township, rented the
place as a winter home so that the children could attend the town school. The building
still stands and is now occupied only a few weeks during the summer months by
its owner Mr. Robert Wahe, of Adair, Iowa. On the north side of main street where the
present "Owens-Service" building is located the Merchants Hotel was in operation around 1891.
Michael Wicklien was its popular landlord. Later on this hotel was operated by Henry Henderson.
Other early business enterprises include a machine shop owned by C.T. Ness and a jewelry store,
opened in 1894 by Gilbert Olson.

The first newspaper was the Fort Abercrombie Scout, the first issue appeared March 13, 1886. In 1888,
this venture was sold and was then reissued called the Abercrombie Herald. It is claimed to be
the only cartoon paper published in the state at that time.

The first settlers in the vicinity of Abercrombie had to haul their grain to either Fargo, or Elizabeth,
Minnesota but it was not long before elevators were opened. The grain was elevated by the use of horses.
At the turn of the century there were three elevators in the village along the railroad. The three managers
were A.K. Tweto, Mr. Scoville, and Mr. Krogen. A disastrous fire swept through the village in 1902,
destroying two elevators, the depot, hotel, machine house on the west side of the depot, and a general store.
Rebuilding was started quickly, however, at the present time there is only one elevator which is under
the ownership of Wesley Berg. He purchased the Abercrombie Grain Company from James Gallagher on
July 1, 1973. It has a 140,000 bushel capacity, handles seeds, fertilizer, chemicals, feed and feed grinding.

The first bank in Abercrombie was organized by a group of farmers, and its offices were in the hotel building.
This, however, did not prove to be a successful venture, and was soon abandoned. A.K. Tweto
organized the Richland County Bank in 1890 and later changed the name to the First National.
Around 1905, a new building was erected to house this bank. Some of the first officers were
Ingvold Johnson--president, I.E. Hoel--vice-president, O.N. Hatlie--cashier, and Alma Tweto--assistant cashier.
This is the only commercial building located south of main street that is still standing.
The First State Bank was located north of main street which was in operation
around the turn of the century. According to the Abercrombie Herald published Friday, June 20, 1902,
the bank's officers were Daniel Patterson--president, Joseph Patterson--vice-president, H.J. Hagen--cashier,
and T.E. Riley--assistant cashier. Around 1912 its officers were, H.J. Hagen--president, W.L. Carter--vice-president,
C.T. Paulson--cashier and O.J. Strand--assistant cashier. Today there is not bank in Abercrombie.

The village of Abercrombie was not incorporated until 1904. It became a city in 1972.

On the second floor of the A.K. Tweto building Doctor H.C. Cooper had his office. He was Abercrombie's
well known dentist. Patients came to him from a big area. Dr. Fred Wieble was a later dentist
who had his office in the residence now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Nelson. His brother Earl
Wieble, M.D. had offices here at the same time, also. His last office was housed in the Herman Oscarson residence.

There were not shortages of doctors in Abercrombie in the early days. Among the physicians who maintained
practices here were Dr. Hoftoe in 1891, Dr. Herman O. Fjelde in 1902, Dr. Charles A. Durkee, Dr. W. Lancaster,
Dr. Andrew Thompson, and the last one was Dr. Earl Wieble.

Thomas M. Paugh began the lumber yard business before 1881. When Abercrombie was started in 1884,
Fargo and Southern Railway Company had charge. On December 28, 1900 it was turned over to William H.
White Lumber Company. The Hennepin Lumber Company operated the lumber yard in 1902 with Oscar Sandvig
as the manager and sold it to Nortz Lumber Company in 1909. Olaf Bjorke was the manager for many years.
This company continued here until 1951, and sold out to Erickson-Helleckson-Vye Company.
Henry Dimitch and Earl Zimmerman were two of the managers. Kenneth Lee, of Colfax, bought the lumber yard in July, 1972.

The Red River Telephone Association originated as a cooperative about 1953-1954. Its offices are in a
remodeled building on main street that originally was a mortuary and drugstore.

"W.A. Hobson one of the most important courted personalities in a lively hustling town like Abercrombie,
is the barber," this item was taken from a newspaper printed in 1941 from a list of news items entitled
"Fifty years ago." Therefore Mr. Hobson was Abercrombie's barber in 1891. Ole Olson of McCauleyville, Minnesota,
built a barber shop on the south side of main street in 1893. He built the third shop in 1906. The first and
second shops were destroyed by fires. A shop has been in the present location since 1893. Mr. Olson operated
the shop until 1932. The operators on record since 1932 are Sophius K. Holth, Elmer E. Dormanen, and Norris M. Johnson.
Alvin Storbakken, the present barber, began operating the shop in 1949. There are living quarters in the rear
of this building. for many years Mrs. Hazel Leiferman operated a Beauty Parlor in these quarters and made here
home there, too.

The Haarstad brothers, Oscar and Selmer started a service station and repair shop in 1940 in a building
on the west edge of the business section on the main street. They have the Ford dealership and
the White Farm Equipment. A small building was constructed on the south side in 1949 and in 1957 another
building on the same side was built where they are presently working. In 1965, a building was erected
on the north side of main street as a show room for new cars. A small building was constructed on the
south side in 1949 and in 1957 another building on the same side was built where they are presently working.
In 1965, a building was erected on the north side of main street as a show room for new cars.

Mr. Arthur Bisek came to Abercrombie from Lidgerwood, in 1949. He worked in blacksmith shops in Lidgerwood.
In 1949, he began to operate a blacksmith shop for the late Gunness Brothers. In 1954, he managed a shop in
McCauleyville, Minnesota. He built his present shop in Abercrombie in 1957.

In 1962, the community fire department was created and a truck was purchased for the unit. A new
fire hall-garage was erected five years ago and a second truck was purchased two years ago in 1973.

Cultural life in the community included a cornet band and a library. The band organized in 1888, by
James Gallager and Don Clark, Gave regular concerts. The Abercrombie Public Library and Museum Board organized
in 1901 wit the following officers: A.K. Tweto--president, Mrs. Herman O. Fjelde--vice president,
Mrs. J.J. Hagen--treasurer, and J.G. Hagen--Secretary.

Earliest record of the Abercrombie Civic Club, a businessmen's organization are from 1949. The club elected
officers: Elmer Boudiett--president; James Gallagher--vice president; Milton Durkee--secretary, and Axel Moe--treasurer.

Helping the Legion sponsor an annual two or three day Old Settlers Celebration was an important project for many
years. Kenneth Lee, current secretary-treasurer says the event was discontinued sixteen years ago.
"That used to draw people from all over the country," says Lee, about the observance.

Appreciation Day, Turkey Day, and Christmas decorations have been sponsored by the group since 1949.

The new city hall was built in 1975, where the old American Legion hall stood until October, 1974 on main street.

The Abercrombie Senior Citizens Club was organized August 5, 1975, with a good crowd in attendance. There are
currently 47 paid-up members. The officers are John Ingersoll--president, Elmer Boudiette--vice president,
Mrs. Ada Ingersoll--secretary and treasurer.

Though many small towns in Richland County have diminished in population Abercrombie has been able to continue
to flourish and to provide a good business center for the surrounding area.

By Mrs. Olaf J. Wold



Christine City
Taken from:
The Richland County History Book
Pages 133-134

It all began with a store:

A single general store owned by John and Ingebr Munger marked the site of Christine in 1883.
A post office established the next year was located in Mungers store and John Munger was postmaster.

The area was settled by Scandinavians and named for a Swedish operatic prima donna, Christine Nilsson,
although many different names have arisen as to its origin. John Bisbee platted and named the site.
The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad built a depot at Christine in 1886.

The first home in Christine was built by J.S. Johnson, who at first operated a boarding house. Soon other early
businesses were a lumberyard owned by Charles Pierpont and an elevator. Johnson later bought out Pierpont's
establishment and expanded it to include hardware and implement. The upstairs was used for meetings of the
Modern Woodmen and Americ and Royal Neighbors. Julius Skjonsby bought Johnson's rooming house and also operated
a hotel for traveling salesmen traveling between Fargo and Wahpeton. It burned in 1921. Many other buildings were
victims of fires. When an early cafe operated by Robert Swenson burned he returned to his native Norway. Another
cafe on the same site went through several owners before burning in 1850, right after a remodeling project.

A building that had been a harness shop and the First State Bank building burned the same year.
The bank was operated by Ole Leer and later by a corporation, before closing during the depression.

The present site of the Christine Wildlife Hall was occupied by a confectionery furniture business that burned about 1935.
It had orginally been started by Oscar and Gust Ruud. Lodge meetings were also held in the upstairs of this store.

A general store known as the Farmer's Mercantile was later sold to Art Moe and closed in 1958.

Another store was oerated in the early days by Olaus Benson and Austin Johnsgard is stilloperated by Hilbert Nelson.

Other early businesses were a millinery operated by Freda Monson, a dray service run by Mr. Tuttle, a hardware owned
by Henry Ruud, and a dress shop of the Ruud sisters, a confectionery owned by John Sunde and a garage
run by Juliius Skjonsby.

A Mr. Wallan started the first blacksmith, but moved to Colfax when Louis Amundson started a shop.
There were two carpenters, Hans Jacobson and a Mr. Olson. Olson built the Christine Lutheran church.
A newspaper, the Eagle Times, and a print shop were run by Tom Larkin. C.C. Clemens also printed the paper.

Andrew and Nils Nellermoe operated a meat market. Nils Nellermoe drove a meat wagon to the farm area and
sold many varieties of meat. He often treated the children to some cold cuts, so they really looked
forward to his coming.

At one time, there were two grain warehouses and two elevators. Past grain companies have been:
Monarch, Farmers Elevator, National Atlas, Peavy, Kent-Doran, Red River Grain and now GTA.

A veterinarian, Dr. O.D. Foss served the town in earlier years.

The depot closed in the 1950's and was moved to main street for a tavern.

A physician, Dr. Louis Iverson, built a large structure on main street about 1898 and established his
offices in the upper rooms. The structure was often referred to as a hospital because there was
room for patients to stay overnight if necessary. About 1919, Dr. Iverson's brother Martin Iverson,
moved from Abercrombie to take over the practice. In the lower part of the building, M.M. Borman
ran a drugstore. The building has been vacant since 1950 when the doctor and his wife died.
It has now been torn down.

The town of Christine is now in the process of incorporation.
By Mrs. Alvin Haug


Colfax City and Township
Taken from History of Richland County Book
Page 142

Colfax is a small town located twenty-five miles to the north and west of Wahpeton in Richland County.
The origin of Colfax dates back to July 2, 1864 when Congress granted lands to the Northern Pacific Railroad
Company for the construction of a railroad and a telephone line from Lake Superior to Puget Sound.

Schuyler Colfax, Vice-President of the United States under President U.S. Grant, purchased the west half of
Section 29, Township 135, Range 49 and other lands containing 3,120 acres all in Colfax. Garborg and
Nansen townships for a consideration of $15,600 (or $5.00 per acre) on August 10, 1878. Mr. Colfax
platted the first addition to Colfax on June 17, 1881. Colfax townsite was surveyed by J.S. Stack
the same year, the plat being laid out with the railroad as a base and therefore not following the
points of the compass. Silas Maxwell, owner of land east of the railroad, sold this tract of land to
Horace B. Crandall on January 15, 1881. On March 19, 1881 he filed the plat of the original townsite of Colfax.
It was in 1882 that the name of the town was officially designated Colfax. Mr. Schuyler Colfax would
periodically travel to the area to check his land holdings.

Hattie A. and Israel M. Hay, husband and wife, platted Tyner's Addition to Colfax, which is also located on
part of the W !/2 of Section 29, Township 135, Range 49 on April 26, 1887. This is north of the original townsite.

Colfax was nicknamed "The Fountain City" because of the many artesian wells in the village and vicinity, one
of which was 130 feet deep and had a flow of 300 gallons a minute.

Colfax was incorporated as a village in 1954.


Dwight Web Page
John Miller Sign (Dwight) - North Dakota's first Governor
Dwight History - By Mrs. Elaine Wold

Fairmount - 1887

Galchutt Village
Taken from the Richland County History Book
Page 268

The earliest known settler to be in this community was a man named Graham, who was here before 1858.

The village of Galchutt owes its name to Hans Galchutt, who settled here about 1882. Said townsite of
Galchutt, North Dakota is located upon a portion of the west one-half of southeast one-fourth of
section 26, in township number 134, north of range number 49, west of the 5th P.M., and said block
comprises 24 lots, numbered from one to twenty-four inclusive.

The Receivers office at Fargo, on December 5, 1881, considred $400. South east 1/4-26-134-49-160 acres,
Thomas M. Puch, receiver, United States to Anton Hanson. The U.S.A. by the President, Chester A. Arthur,
full payment to Anton Hanson, recorded in Richland County November 27, 1908. The above statements reveals
how transactions were handled in the transfer of real estate when Galchutt was settled. Mr. Hans Galchutt
assisted in measuring the lots.

The village of Galchutt has a small population at present. We have a very nice Farmers Union or Cenex Station,
a Farmers Union Grain Terminal Association Elevator, and the Betterment Community Club has sponsoreda cafe in
the school building, which was vacated in 1972. Mr. Ralph Quamme is the manager of the cafe.

Mrs. Marvin Johnson has the post office. She has been postmistress for 30 years. Her husband, Marvin,
is a plumber. He has a shop and serves the community, with son, Douglas. They are known as "Marv's Plumbing."

The Galchutt Oil Company is a cooperative organization formed by a group of progressive farmers. They sell
Mobil Oil products. It is a bulk service which serves the community. Claton Syverteen is the manager.

By Mayme Syvertsen

Villa Shops

There was a feed millowned by Knute Knutson from 1892 and years later. He was a bachelor and lived in the
house now occupied by Mrs. Alma Rasmussen. John Bjerkager remembers going with his father to grind feed in
this mill, when he was a young boy.

There was a harness shop operated by Michael J. Flass. He did a thriving business during the horse and buggy days.

Galchutt had a millinery shop and meat market from the 90's to 1910. Christine and Lillian Wold operated the Millinery shop.

There was a livery barn until 1916. It was located back of Einar Wold's store. There were horses kept that
were used to carry mail. The mail came from Wahpeton to dwight. A horse was waiting at Dwight for the carrie,
then when he arrived in Galchutt another horse was ready to carry the mail to Colfax. This was easier for
the horses and the carrier could deliver the mail rapidly. Sometimes they rode a horse or by cart.

The Hennepin Lumber Company had a yard which was purchased by the Nortz Lumber Company of Breckenridge, Minnesota.
It was managed for 25 years up to the early 30's by George Johnson. The lumber was sent by railroad. They had a
large stock and did thriving business from 1900 to 1920. The lumber yard had its building west of the present site
of the village hall now.

By Mayme Syvertsen


Great Bend

Great Bend City
Taken from the Richland County History Book
Page 295

The village of Great Bend was founded in 1880.

It was first called Berlin and the name was later changed to Great Bend. The townsite was platted on the homestead
of George Worner, who came to this region in 1874. The railroad spur from the Northern Pacific was built into Great
Bend in 1885 and the first elevator was built the next year. Previous to the building of the spur, the farmers of
the district hauled their grain to the elevator at the Adams Farm, a bonaza farm north of Great Bend. The home of
George Worner, postmaster, served as the post office.

Great Bend was close to the old freighters trail which led from Fort Abercrombie in N.D. to Fort Wadsworth in S.D.
and the river bank near the village of Great Bend was a favorite overnight camping place. It was also a favorite
camping place for the Indians who would sometimes gather there in large numbers. The Indians were friendly but they
often frightened the settlers. The freighters trail led to the Indian Reservation at Sisseton, S.D.


Mr. Hankinson in Newspaper


Hankinson Public Library
315 Main Avenue South
Hankinson, ND 58041
(701) 242-7929

Early Hankinson Business Photos
Hoffmann's Blacksmith & Wagon Shop (Hankinson)- Opened in the
early 1900's by Henry Carl Hoffmann- He is the man on the far right of the photo! Photo sent by Darin and Kendra Hoffman

Kinn Garage-started by Mike and Paul Kinn Photo taken from Hankinson Centennial Newspaper

Lidgerwood - settled in 1881

Mantador - village in 1886 - incorporated in 1949


Mooreton - 1884

Mooreton Web Page

Bagg Farm

Wahpeton (County Seat)

Court House in Wahpeton
Old Court House

Stiles-no longer exists
Site where the Stiles Elevator stood
Area where the store buildings stood

Taken from the Richland County History Book
Page 533

Incorporation as a City

For close to ninety years, the village of Walcott, North Dakota, was governed by the
township board of officers. At various times throughout its history, efforts were
made to incorporate as a city. All such efforts failed until an election was held
July 23, 1969, which made incorporation a reality by a vote of 65-5.

The first election after incorporation was held on August 28th of that year, with the
following officers elected: Mayor---William Olson, Aldermen--Palmer Wigtil, Levi Larson,
Boyd Nelson, Rueben Jacobson.

The following were appointed to serve: Judge--Adolph Peterson, Auditor--Arnold Jordheim,
Treasurer--Hazel Olson, Assessor--Pete Larson.

In the summer of 1971, plans were made for the construction of a city water and sewer system.
A federal grant, supplemented by a long-term loan from the Federal Housing Administration,
made the huge undertaking possible. The project was begun in July, 1972, and went into
operation in December of the same year. Several new families have moved into available homes
as a result of the improvements effected. Others have been motivated to bring in mobile homes, or
build new houses, all of which helps to revitalize the community.
By Mrs. Levi Larson

Walcott American Legion Auxiliary
Taken from the Richland County History Book
Page 550

Although the Walcott Legion Post 166 was organized in 1920, it was not
until 1946 that the Auxiliary Unit was formed. At this time many
men from the Walcott area were back from serving in the Armed Forces.
This enabled many wives, mothers and daughters to become members of the Legion Auxiliary.

Mrs. A.W. (Stella) Krause, Tenth District President of Wahpeton, appointed Mrs. Carl (Ethers) Skoog
of the Abercrombie Unit to help organize the Unit and to install the officers: President--Mrs. Preston Heglie;
Vice President--Mrs. Ed Rheault; Secretary and Treasuer--Mrs. J.W. Nord; Chaplin--Mrs. Ted Amundson;
Sergeant of Arms--Mrs. Leon Nelson; and Historian--Mrs. William Oestreich.

Other charter members were Mrs. D.B. Allen, Mrs. B.B. Anerson, Mrs. Fred Flaa, Mrs. Martin Peterson,
Mrs Harry Smith, and Mrs. Harvey Smith. Four charter members are present members of the Unit and include:
Mrs. Harry (Jennie) Smith, Mrs. Harvey (Maye) Smith, Mrs. Leo (Mabel) Nelson, and Mrs. Preston (Margaret) Heglie.
The unit membership has grown and now totals 36.

Several changes took place this year of 1975 with the deaths of members Mrs. Bertha Breimon and Mrs. Mabel Farsdale.
A charter member, Mrs. D.B. Allen, also passed away.

In 1955 the unit gave aid to three members and their families who were victims of the tornado which destroyed
several homes west of Walcott. They were Mrs. Harry Smith, Mrs. Harvey Smith, and Mrs. William Manske.

Mrs. Jennie Smith was honored this year for her 29 years of active membership, never having been absent from a meeting.
At present she is serving as Chaplain, an office she has had for many years.

The unit is active in Girls' State and has sponsored many girls from the Walcott area. The unit has enjoyed
the report given by each girl on her return home from Grand Forks, the city where the annual Girls' State Convention is held.

Other ptograms the unit is active in include Child Welfare, giving aid to children overseas as
well as in our country and locally, aiding in the rehabilitation of Veterans, and supporting bills that will
assist the Veteran and his family.

Memorial Day is a day the Unit and the people of the community honor the dead and also the living veteran.
After the Legionnaires return from the local cemetery where the Memorial Day ceremonies have taken place,
a program is held in the Legion Hall. Dinner is served to the Veterans, their families, friends and visitors.

One event the Auxiliary members enjoyed was the celebration of the Legion's 50th birthday in 1969. At this
meeting Mrs. Esther Skoog, who helped organize the unit, was the main speaker. Five charter members were also honored:
Mrs. Jennie Smith, Mrs. Maye Smith, Mrs. Fred Flaa, Mrs Mabel Nelson, and Mrs. Preston Heglie. Another special
event was the celebration of the Unit's 25th anniversary in 1971. Guests were invited to both meetings.

All activities and motions passed are made with the words "For God and Country", part of our Preamble, in mind.
Most of the Auxiliary funds are used to support projects that will benefit people and our country.
By Mrs. Wade (Cordy) Farsdale

Walcott Lutheran Church

Wyndmere - 1889- city in 1959

Copyright Pat Maas

Last Updated: 8:51 AM 1/2/2013
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