Griggs County was named for Capt. Alexander Griggs, who came to North Dakota in 1870, and was engaged in flat-boating on the Red River in connection with the Hudson Bay trade.  Previous to his coming to North Dakota, he was engaged in steam-boating on the Minnesota River between St. Paul and St. Peter.  Returning to St. Paul in 1871 he was successful in interesting James J. Hill, now of the Great Northern, in the establishment of a sawmill and store at the Forks and in the construction of a steamboat.  The firm name was Hill, Griggs & Company.  The boat was built during the winter of 1871-1872 at Fort Abercrombie and was launched in April.  Previous to this, Capt. Griggs had settled on the land now comprising a large portion of the present city of Grand Forks.  His cabin was 12 x 12 and five logs high.  Thomas Walsh was connected with him and in consideration of his coming down from Fort Abercrombie ahead of the boat and erecting the cabin, Walsh was to own one-half the town-site.  At that time there were only a few woodchoppers and half-breeds at the Forks.  Captain Griggs became one of the leading citizens in the city, county and state, and was one of the first county commissioners, member of the constitutional convention, member of the board of railroad commissioners, mayor of the city and president of the Second National Bank.

On account of his health he left the state in 1889 and went to the Pacific coast, and is now engaged in steam-boating in the Kootenai country.

The first recorded sale of land in Griggs County is from the Northern Pacific Railroad to Alexander Griggs.

(From The Record, Volume 111, 1897-98).

EDITOR'S NOTE: Records in the Register of Deeds office in Cooperstown show that it was Chauncy W. Griggs and Addison G. Foster who owned extensive land holdings in Griggs County.  Alexander Griggs owned lots 18 and 19, block 60, city of Cooperstown, and sold them September 9, 1890.  As far as can be determined, those two lots are all the property he ever owned in the county which now bears his name.

Source: Cooperstown, North Dakota 1882-1982 Centennial page 10

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