This blog is a continuation of Geographic Place Names that was posted previously.

I’m going to concentrate on Griggs County Cemeteries and burial places here.

A fairly complete list of cemeteries and burial places is:

………….Cemetery Name                                   Township                   Section

1           Addie Township Brent Grave                 Addie                          29
2           Addie Township Wanemaker Grave      Addie                          29
3           Ball Hill Township Johnston Grave        Ball Hill                        23
4           Ball Hill Township Peterson Grave        Ball Hill                        29
5           Bethany                                                  Willow                         33
6           Binford                                                    Addie                            7
7           Clearfield Township                               Clearfield                     20
8           Clearfield Township                               Clearfield                     12
9           Cooperstown                                         Washburn                   18
10         Eidfjord                                                   Dover                          24
11         Faith Lutheran                                        Greenfield                     5
12         Hannaford Presbyterian                         Greenfield                     6
13         Hero                                                        Tyrol                           33
14         Iverson Family                                        Bryan                          21
15         Knudson Ranch                                     Washburn                   27
16         Lyster Menighed                                     Bartley                        12
17         Mabel Lutheran                                       Mabel                          20
18         Mildred Hartman Memorial                     Helena                           7
19         Naeroen                                                  Rosendal                    33
20         Ness Lutheran                                        Washburn                   36
21         Opheim                                                   Washburn                   12
22         Ottawa                                                    Pilot Mound                  25
23         Pilot Mound                                             Pilot Mound                  13
24         Ringsaker                                               Romness                     22
25         Riverside                                                Cooperstown                  1
26         Romness Methodist                               Romness                     16
27         Saron Evangelical                                  Sverdrup                       20
28         St. George Catholic                               Cooperstown                13
29         St. Lawrence Catholic                           Tyrol                              18
30         St. Olaf Lutheran                                   Greenfield                      29
31         Sverdrup                                                Sverdrup                       12
32         Swedish Lutheran                                 Cooperstown                 20
33         Tabernacle                                            Willow                            33
34         Union Lutheran                                      Greenfield                        2
35         West Prairie                                           Pilot Mound                   30
36         Westley                                                  Sverdrup                       17
37         Willow                                                    Willow                              4
38         Zion                                                        Rosendal                       29
39         Zion Lutheran                                         Clearfield                         8

Of course there are innumerable Native American graves missing.

C. P. Bolkan mentions that:

  1. As to battlegrounds the only one I know of was located on the Ben Johnson farm north of the Opheim schoolhouse, where our pioneer road meandered between the graves for some distance but the only information I have is what Omund Opheim had gotten from a half-breed by the name of Pete Grant, who with others were camping at Stump Lake in 1879 when Opheim was building his log cabin and on their way to Valley City the half-breeds stopped one night there (at Opheim’s). All that I can remember is that the fight had taken place 24 years previous to that time, which would be 1855, –that it was a fight between two bands of Indians, and may have been half-breeds, and that this Pete Grant was with one of the bands, and that he was 15 years old at the time and that he helped to take core of the ponies.

Ole Bolkan writes that:

Mr. Bolkan did not experience the thrill of seeing “wild” Indians, but he did see some who traveled back and forth digging snake root, which they sold for medicinal purposes, also he saw some who canoed down the Sheyenne, whose waters were much larger than now. They traveled between Standing Rock, South Dakota, to Devils Lake, North Dakota, which was a reservation where the government had given them land. However, he did see the results of an interesting happening. Two Indian tribes who were enemies had been out hunting. They met and immediately a battle followed. Twenty-eight graves mark the place where this happened. These graves were very evident when Mr. Bolkan first came here. He personally counted the mounds, also a half breed who used to be a trapper, not taking active part in the battle but had been stationed in a ravine tending horses while the fight was on, told him.

It is Mr. Bolkan’s belief that we can find Indian graves on top of the hills all along the Sheyenne River. He has seen parts of skeletons brought to Cooperstown found on Martin Ueland’s farm, also on the Aaretad farm. Indians brought remains all the way from the Red River Valley to be buried here. Their belief was that the body would come to life again. This vicinity was considered a very fine hunting ground, therefore they buried their dead here, where upon awakening they should be happily surrounded, and dear to the heart of the Indians, hunting would be possible at once.

The 28 graves should definitely be a historical marker.  We could even try for some partial funding from the local Indian Nations.

I’ve read several stories that either French, Indians or Métis were buried on or near Butte Michaud.  I’ll post some of them here in a future blog.

Mrs. Freer and Mrs. Newman also mention in their book Cemeteries of Griggs County Volume 3A that there is one grave under stonepile in section 12 of Clearfield Township.  This would be north of where Gordon Ashland used to live.  I’ve looked, but couldn’t find any trace of a grave.

I’m looking forward to hearing replies from anybody who has any additional information on any graves or burial places.  We’ll also need to get the latitude and longitude of each one before they can submitted to the BGN.


  1. Cemeteries of Griggs  County
  2. Griggs County Library – Cemeteries of Griggs County Volume 3A by Mrs. Claude M. (Myrtle Bakken) Freer And Mrs. R.E. (Rhoda Freer) Newman
  3. C. P. Bolkan at Griggs County Musesum Online Archives
  4. Ole Bolkan at Griggs County Museum Online Archives