Casselton, North Dakota

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Casselton is a city in Cass County, North Dakota in the United States. The population was 1,865 at the 2000 census.

The city is named for George Cass, a president of the Northern Pacific Railway, which established a station there in 1876. The city is a bedroom community of Fargo, which is located 20 miles (32 km) east of Casselton. Casselton is the hometown of six North Dakota governors.

Contents

History

Casselton is located at 46°54′0″N 97°12′38″W / 46.9°N 97.21056°W / 46.9; -97.21056 (46.900028, -97.210668)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²), of which, 1.4 square miles (3.7 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (2.08%) is water.

Casselton had its origin in 1873 when the Northern Pacific Railway sent Mike Smith to plant cottonwood and willow trees in the area to serve as windbreaks along their right-of-way. When the trees grew to maturity, railroad ties were to be cut from the wood. The experiment failed for a number of reasons.

The hamlet was variously called "the Nursery", "Goose Creek" and "Swan Creek", named for the stream that meandered through the area. In 1876, the railroad established a station called Casstown, after George Cass, the railroad president. A post office was put in place on August 8, 1876 when the name Casselton was designated.

In 1874, Emil Priewe and his wife joined Mike Smith at the station. The Priewe's son, Harry, was born on March 28, 1875 in a sod shanty, as the first child born in Casselton. Others came to settle and by 1880, the town had a population of 376, according to the official census. A school was organized in 1876 and the town was incorporated as a village in 1880.

During the 1870s, George Cass and Peter Cheney traded their railroad stock for 10,000 acres (40 km2) of land near Casselton and decided to develop this acquisition as one large farm, rather than dividing the land into small tracts. They employed Oliver Dalrymple, of southern Minnesota, to head the operation. These Bonanza farms became highly successful and proved that the prairie was very suitable for agriculture.

Various means were used to attract people from afar to become farmers, tradesmen, and professionals, which resulted in Casselton's population to reach 1365 in 1885.

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