Historic Farms

The prospect of owning land drew the settlers to this area in the first place.  Farming was, is, and always will be the basic, most important industry of North Dakota.

Perhaps half the people of Griggs County have roots in the community of pioneers who first came to settle here before 1900, and stories of many of those settlers have been told in other books.

How many of those first farms are still owned by members of the original families? The book staff decided to find out.  A cut-off date was needed, and the year 1885 was chosen.  Although a few settlers were here in 1879 and 1880, immigration began in earnest in 1881 so that 1885 can be said to be the fifth year of concentrated settlement.

An open invitation was extended to any families whose farms qualified to submit their stories to the book.  Nearly fifty farms are listed.  As far as we know, that's a complete listing.  If it seems small in comparison with the number of settlers who came in the 1880's, it should be remembered that in Cooperstown only two business places survive that can be traced directly back to the first five years, and as far as the book staff can determine no house in town of that age is still owned by a member of the original family, and as far as can be determined no person now living in Cooperstown is a descendant of any of Cooperstown's original merchants or professional people.

In an economic sense, farms are the backbone of the community.  Equally important, the people who live on the land are a source of strength and stability.   

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 70

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