Bisbee, North Dakota

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Bisbee is a city in Towner County, North Dakota in the United States. The population was 167 at the 2000 census. Bisbee was founded in 1888.



Bisbee is located at 48°37′33″N 99°22′47″W / 48.62583°N 99.37972°W / 48.62583; -99.37972 (48.625959, -99.379609)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.7 km² (0.3 sq mi), all land.


The town was named after Colonel Andrew Bisbee. Andrew Bisbee, a native of Peru, Oxford County, Maine, had the misfortune to lose his right leg in 1862 during the war of the rebellion when he was 26 years old, and finding after a hard struggle, it was impossible to make much headway in that land of limited opportunities and crowded competition, he west and engaged in various avocations in different localities, with different success; his last residence being in Cloquet, Carlton County, MN, whence he struck out for Dakota, arriving at Devils Lake with his family (wife, son & daughter) household goods and livestock on March 27, 1885. Diligent inquiry at that point decided he locate in the Big Coulee Country, Towner County, and on the 6th day of April following he arrived, renting a farm near Cando. On this place he put in 125 acres (50 ha) of wheat and 35 acres (14 ha) of oats. His crops well seeded down, he entered a homestead of 160 acres (65 ha) in township 159-68, hauled lumber 40 miles (64 km), and built a one story house, 18x18 ft with a lean-to addition, 12x12 ft and a barn 30x36 ft dug two wells and a cellar under the house, cut and stacked 60 tons of hay. He also entered a tree claim of 160 acres (65 ha) adjoining his homestead, the two making 320-acre (130 ha) farm. On this farm he broke 40 acres (16 ha) in 1885. At harvest time, he harvested 125 acres (51 ha) of wheat, yielding 2,040 bushels (55.5 t) averaging 70 cents per bushel, and 35 acres (14 ha) of oats, yielding 2,030 bu (55.2 t) averaging 30¢/bu. He also planted a vegetable garden, from which he raised 40 bu of potatoes, 100 bu of turnips, 20 bu of onions and 2 bu of peas. He plowed back 100 acres (40 ha) of wheat ground and 35 acres (14 ha) of the oat ground; and employed his leisure time during the season in the following work; Broke 15 acres (6.1 ha); plowed back 10 acres (4.0 ha); sowed 30 acres (12 ha) of wheat; cut 85 acres (34 ha) of grain; moved a building 2 miles (3.2 km); and made 20 trips to Devils Lake (40 miles) and returned at $12.00 for the trip. All this labor with the exception of the hire of one man to shock the grain during harvest, was performed by this one-legged and his 15 year-old son. Coming to Towner County in the spring of 1885 with his team of horses and renting a farm on shares, he had to show, as is share of the proceeds, over $1,000.00 worth of grain, a 320-acre (130 ha) farm, with dwelling and stable, abundant forage for his stock, and a winter's store of vegetables, besides his outside earnings during the season all the accumulation of nine months of labor and more intrinsic value than represented by the accumulations, pinching economy and hoarding for a life time of many New England farmer who was considered "well-to-do" by his less fortunate neighbors. In 1887 he occupied his own broad 320-acre (130 ha) farm; and long before the age when New England farmer's backs are bent, hands gnarled and calloused, faces tanned to parchment, and hair whited by unceasing toil, he sat in his comfortable arm chair, rosy and rotund, and laughed with a jolly contendness as he looked out upon his broad meadows dotted with fatted kine and his wide fields of waving grain, glinting like burnished amber in the mellow Dakota sunshine. Andrew Bisbee died after a brief illness of heart failure at his residence two and one half miles south of Bisbee on December 17, 1894,at the age of 58 years. His disease was no doubt the result of wounds and suffering on the battlefield and in the hospital during the war of the rebellion. Andrew Bisbee was born and grew to manhood in the State of Maine; he enlisted in the Seventh Maine Regiment, and at the Battle of Fair Oaks, VA in 1862 he lost his right leg. After months of suffering under the careful nursing of his devoted wife, he finally regained a measure of his former rugged health, but was for life handicapped by his disability. He subsequently removed to Davenport, IA and thence to Cloquet, MN. Mrs. Bisbee and a married daughter, Mrs. Curtis, were the only members of his family present at the time of his death. His two grown sons, Charles and Americus were in different states and beyond the reach of the telegraph; his other daughter, Mrs. Andrew Gerrard, resided in Cando. In 1890 he was selected by the county commissioners of Towner County as one of the commissioners to solicit supplies in the older states for the drought stricken farmers of Towner County and he faithfully performed that duty. In the fall of the same year he was elected as a member of the state senate and served his full term. Col. Bisbee was a man of herculean strength, indomitable will, firm conviction and strong prejudices, and as a matter of course was prominent in the county. Being human he had his faults, the remembrance of which are buried with him; his virtues will be cherished by his friends as pleasant memories. Col. Bisbee did much good in his world. The village of Bisbee was named after Col. Bisbee, as he donated sites for the railroads passing through the village, and also, donated part of the original townsite of Bisbee, North Dakota.

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