TOWNS, TOWNSHIPS, VILLAGES
The website, North Dakota Place Names by Douglas Wick, gives a brief nature of some settlements in Sioux County. A large percentage of the below listed are rural post offices; a few had their own buildings, many were housed in country stores, most were located in the home of the postmasters, but a precious few continued to thrive and grow. Sioux County Postmaster History.
Belden. This was the junction of Northern Pacific Railroad branch lines in the northwest quarter of section 23-134-79, just north of present-day Cannon Ball, built in 1910 and named for William L. Belden, United States Indian Agent-at-Large at Fort Berthold, and Superintendent of the Standing Rock Indian Agency 1906-1911. It was later renamed CANNON BALL JUNCTION. There is another Belden located in Mountrail County.
Cannon Ball. This village in Sections 22 & 23-134-79, on the south bank of the Cannonball River at its confluence with the Missouri River, dates from the 1870s, and was at first called HEKTON [listed here]. On December 3, 1915 the name was changed to CANNON BALL by Postmaster Chester R. Wilcox, taking the name of the adjacent Morton County post office which had closed March 31, 1915. The city was served by the Northern Pacific Railroad branch line for many years, and has generally had a population of about 200. The post office, Zip Code 58528, became a rural branch of Fort Yates on November 17, 1966, effective December 2, 1966.
Some contemporary pictures by Andrew Filer.
Cannon Ball Junction. Formerly BELDEN, it assumed this name when the townsite on the south bank of the Cannonball River began to develop about 1915
Carignan. (Carrigan) This was a Northern Pacific Railroad station seven miles north of Fort Yates, just north of Battle Creek, straddling Section 1 & 2-131-80. The name honored John W.[sic] M. Carignan, who came to Fort Yates from Quebec, Canada in 1883 as a teenager, and was a merchant, legislator, and Postmaster. He was beloved by the Indians, who called him Mata Kokipapi, meaning afraid of bear. Carrignan and Carrigan are erroneous spellings
Cedar River. This was the fifth and last stage station, in what is now North Dakota, on the Bismarck to Deadwood trail established in 1876. It was located on the south bank of the Cedar River in Section 6-129-87, nine miles northeast of Morristown, South Dakota. Traces of the stables and living quarters were still visible in recent years.
Chadwick. This was a Milwaukee Road Railroad loading spur in Section 23-131-83, between Shields and Selfridge. The name honored Earl Chadwick Sr. who operated a stockyard at the site. Chadwick is a Celtic name meaning from the warrior's town. CHADWICK consisted of an old railroad car used as a bunkhouse, and a corral.
Fort Yates Settlement. This settlement evolved from the old military post in Sections 12 & 13-130-80. The fort was officially abandoned July 25, 1903, although by this time the site was a thriving civilian settlement, officially declared as such in 1909. The post office, established in 1879 under military control, continued without interruption. The elevation is 1670, the Zip Code is 58538, and the city, which incorporated in 1964, reached a peak population of 1,153 in 1970. It is the county seat of Sioux County, and the headquarters of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, which was opened for general settlement February 14, 1913. Father Bernard Strassmeier (1861-1940) was a Roman Catholic missionary here for fifty-four years.
Goose Camp. This was an Indian settlement of the late 1880's in Section 34-130-82, just southeast of present-day Selfridge, and named for Chief Joe Goose. See the Chief Goose biography for more information on Goose Camp.
Hekton. This village on the south bank of the Cannonball River at its confluence with the Missouri River dates from as early as 1877. The name is based on the Sioux word hecta, meaning set back, which describes its location near the two rivers. The site was served by the Gayton post office in Emmons County, and later by the Cannon Ball post office on the north bank of the Cannonball River. On June 27, 1913 the HEKTON post office was established with Chester R. Wilcox as Postmaster in the southwest quarter of section 23-134-79. On December 3, 1915 the name was changed to CANNON BALL, taking the name of the old Morton County facility which had closed March 31, 1915.
North McIntosh. This name is used for residents of southern Sioux County with telephone prefix 276, part of the exchange in McIntosh, South Dakota, which was named for the brothers who built the Milwaukee Road Railroad grade across the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 1909.
North Mclaughlin. This name is used for residents of Southeast Sioux County with telephone prefix 827, part of the exchange in McLaughlin, South Dakota, which was named for Col. James McLaughlin, a longtime Indian agent and author.
North Morristown. This name is used for residents of Southwest Sioux County with telephone prefix 522, part of the exchange in Morristown, South Dakota, which was named for Nels P. Morris in 1917. Mr. Morris, a resident of Chicago, Illinois, was the owner of the Morris Packing Co. owners of the C-7 Ranch at this site, which at the time had 30,000 head of cattle.
Nosodak. This townsite was planned in 1910 in the southeast quarter of section 35-129-79, in the extreme southeast corner of the county on the west bank of the Missouri River just above the South Dakota border. It was to be a station on a new Northern Pacific Railroad mainline running from Mandan to Galveston, Texas, but this ambitious dream of a north-south railroad died in 1914. Although NOSODAK remained on many maps for about thirty years, it never grew beyond a railroad construction camp. The Western Townsite & Development Company coined the name from NOrth and SOuth DAKota, noting its location.
Porcupine This is an old Indian settlement in Sections 29, 30, 31 & 32-132-83, on the east bank of the Cannonball River opposite Selfridge. It dates from about 1895, and was named for nearby Porcupine Creek. Some say the creek was named for a Sioux chief, while others say it notes the large population of porcupines in the area. The name of the animal, a large rodent noted for its stiff, sharp bristles, is a corruption of the Middle English porkepin, which is derived from the Latin porcus, meaning pig, and spina, meaning spine.
Some contemporary pictures by Andrew Filer.
Slabtown This is a small village in Section 15-131-80, four miles north of Fort Yates near Proposal Hill. The origin of the name is unknown.
Sloptown This is an abandoned Indian village in Section 36-134-82, just across the Cannonball River from Breien [Adams County] near the St. Gabriel Episcopal Mission. The settlement never had an official name, but local residents often used this derogatory title.
Solen This Northern Pacific Railroad townsite was founded in 1910 in Section 30-134-80, and named for Mrs. Mary Louisa Van Solen, [Note: some records indicate Mr. and Mrs. Van Solen] a pioneer settler who was the first school teacher on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. She was the daughter of Honore Picotte, a French nobleman who came here in 1825 to engage in the fur trade, and his wife Alma, a full-blooded Sioux whose Indian name was Wambli Autepewin, meaning " Eagle Woman Who All Look At." She was also the sister [Note: mother] of Mrs. H. S. Parkin, the wife of the well known Morton County rancher. P. A. Thian, a Northern Pacific Railroad official, is credited with suggesting the name SOLEN. The elevation is 1696, the Zip Code is 58570, and a peak population of 250 was claimed for a period of about thirty years beginning in 1935, but the official 1980 count was just 137.
Some contemporary photos by Andrew Filer.
Swastika This was a rural community in the southeast quarter of section 27-130-86, on the south bank of Cedar Creek about twenty-four miles west of Selfridge. The post office was established June 16, 1912 with James C. Smith as Postmaster, and closed December 31, 1923 with mail to McIntosh, South Dakota. A population of 10 was reported in 1920. Mr. Smith's suggested name, Cedar Valley, was rejected by postal officials, after which it was named for the ancient symbol that has been found in use from Scandinavia to the Middle East, with a similar device being used by various Indian tribes. It was usually used as a symbol for good luck, but the swastika has fallen from favor since it was used by Nazi Germany.
Original Listing Contributed by The USGenWeb Project Sioux County, North Dakota Archives. Updates by the above linked North Dakota Place Names, Origins of North Dakota Place Names by Mary Ann Barnes Williams, and updates and editing by Mike Peterson. Send any updates to Mike Peterson.