History of Hannaford ( 1883 - 1956)

Hannaford was founded in 1883 when the N. P. Railroad was built, and was incorporated as a village in 1906, fifty years ago, which makes this the golden anniversary of its incorporation. The first village name was Montclair; probably this name was imported from Scotland by the Sinclairs.

The first merchant was R. C. Brophy, who built the first store. He also built a warehouse for handling sacked grain. His residence, the first built in Hannaford, is now a part of the Mabel Boe house.

The first school district was organized in 1883 and was known as the Wheatland School District No. 4. The first teacher was Hannah L. Martin and the first group of pupils were the following: R. W. Martin, Clare Feiring, Mary and Nettie Olson, Ray Merriman, Lottie and Frank Lent and Annie Maalstad. The first school house was built in 1884 on the southeast corner of the Merriman farm just west of the B. M. Lunde residence. The first few years school was conducted only short periods in summer and the teacher's salary was around $30.00 per month. Some of the early day teachers after Miss Martin were: Lottie Riley and Belle Merriman. The second school was built in the '90's on the site now occupied by the Hannaford Lutheran Church. This was a two-room building. It was while this school was in use that one of our public-spirited citizens, Chauncy Langdon, who farmed west of town, sent a crew with teams and wagons to Fargo for an 80-foot flag pole which he donated to the school, and which graced the campus for many years.

The Hannaford Special School District was organized on April 2, 1907 with the following board members elected: W. S. Hyde, Claus Jackson, N, K. Markuson, Christian Reite and Halvor Amundson, after which the present high school was built. Mr. G. C. Epler was the first superintendent to be followed in 1909 by Mr. Ed. J. Fredrickson.

The first railroad depot was hauled up from Rogers in 1883. Its first agent was a Mr. Meeker, Other agents followed, but on November 13, 1901, C. P. Schmidt took over as agent and continued until his retirement just a few years ago. Charles Cederson was the first section foreman. He built as his home what is now known as the William Weller house. He lived in this house until the railroad company built a section house in the creek valley I~ near the railroad bridge.

Dr. Leslie was the first resident M.D. He settled here in the late '90`s. Prior to this time Cooperstown doctors and Dr. S. Juell of Walum took care of the medical needs of the community.

The first druggist was Mr. Langley who started his business in the middle '80's. Ole Almklov bought this business in 1905.

The first hotel was built by John Brekke in 1887, He was a brother of the late Alfred Gustafson, who had a shoe repair shop in the early days. Lizzie Simenson operated this hotel for Mr. Brekke in 1897 and 1898. Lizzie recalls that good meals sold for a quarter and clean beds for the same price. This hotel was later acquired by Nordeng and Alm who built up a sizable hotel business including livery and feed barn, meat market, restaurant and recreation parlor. It was operated for more than 25 years. There were several other restaurants operated by some of the following: Pete Peterson, Carl Berg who also had a sanitarium, James Cotton, O. A. Otteson, who also operated a drug store, Oscar Garlie, William Van Scoik and many others.

In 1885-86, R. C. Brophy sold his general store to E H. Groven, who continued in the business until 1910 or '11. Mr. Groven added to this the operation of a hardware story, restaurant and confectionary. Another general store was owned and operated by Aarestad and Helland. Claus Jackson bought the Aarestad interest in 1899 and added to this the machine business. He later became sole owner. That building now houses the Jensen Recreation Parlor. Strandness and Furaas also conducted a general merchandise store, beginning in 1908 and continuing for many years.

A boom period in Hannaford's history was in the early 1900's when several business enterprises were started. A creamery was among this group, and was located near the present bath house site. Its first butter maker was Leonard Gasper.

A. M. Sinclair, with Mr. Langley as cashier, started the first bank near the present bank site. Later the Aarestad Brothers, with John C. Strodahl and others started the Farmers State Bank, which was acquired and operated by William Angus for a number of years. A. O. Anderson, Christ Reite, and others, started a third bank which later merged with the bank operated by A. M. Sinclair. This bank later became the First National Bank of Hannaford. Officers were:. R. L. Jones, O. E. Thoreson, Christ Reite, Henry Swingen, B. M. Lunde, and Claus Jackson.

The Aarestad Brothers and Paul Troseth started a hardware store and machine business. This operated for a number of years as the Aarestad Bros. & Troseth Hardware and later as the Troseth Hardware.

There were several in the furniture business throughout early years. A. M. Sinclair was the first of these. He was followed by S. H. Berg and Christ Reite. Later W. D. Sinclair and Olmstead took over this business.

Asher Anderson and brothers, in partnership with W. p, Sinclair and others, went into the machine business in 1905. This business today is known as the Asher Anderson & Son Implement business.

Another new business in the early 1900's was the Hannaford Enterprise, a weekly publication, begun in 1904 by Mr. Abogast, who sold out to Anderson and Kampen in 1906. This paper was published for 42 years.

Also in 1904, the Hannaford Lumber Company was organized with Halvor Anundson as president, and Henry Swingen as manager. This was later sold to the McCoy Lumber Company, which in turn sold out to the Crane-Johnson Lumber Company, which is still in operation under the management of Paul Vance. Mr. Swingen, its first manager, retired recently after 50 years in the business.

The first elevator, as we know them now, was built by Cargill Elevator Company in 1887. Its manager was Samuel Samuelson. This elevator company was later followed by other companies, such as Monarch, Farmers Elevator Company, and North Dakota Grain Company. Early day managers of these were George Knauss, Sever Isaacson, William Holton, T. Olson, Nels Markuson, Leo Olson and others. W. S. Hyde was the operator of an independent elevator. Grain business was "big biz" in early days as the territory was much larger before the coming of the G. N. R. R. It was not uncommon to see along line of wagons the length of Wheat Street waiting to unload.

Other early businesses are those listed as follows:

Halvor Anundson - Wood and fuel business.

Ed. Guest - First feed mill.

Olson Bros. - Feed and Livery stable.

Ed. Olson - Feed grinding business.

Tom Moore - Pool room and Cigar store.

Erick Austad - Harness shop.

Alfred Gustafson - Shoe repair shop.

Millinery Store - Built and operated in 1898 by Emelie Fjelstad Kolberg.

Real Estate firm-owned and operated by M. A. Thoreson.

Funeral Home - Olmstead and W. D. Sinclair and later the Sinclair Funeral Home.

Dray Service - Early operators were: Hans Kalland, O. K. Nordeng, Ole Kalvick, Matt Lyngby, Oscar Nelson, Carl Hanson, Frank Paulson, Roy Richardson, and many others.

In 1906, W. H. Richardson built a livery and feed barn and meat market. The magnitude of the livery and feed business is realized by the fact that his crew fed up to 200 teams per day.

Besides W. H. Richardson's meat market there were several others. Nordeng and Alm, Ed Olson, Hans Peterson, Magnus Roterud, Hagen and many others conducted meat markets.

The first modern convenience was the installation of telephones in the early 1900's, by a local organization known as the Central North Dakota Telephone Company. This company gave service to Hannaford, Walum, and Dazey communities. This was followed shortly by electric lights, installed by a local company, and later sold to Ottertail Power Company.

Among the early postmasters were R. C. Brophy, E. H. Groven, Claus Jackson, W. D. Sinclair, and George Knauss.

Early carpenters were: Patterson Bros., Ludvig Hareland, Oscar Ouren, Carl and Albert Sletten, and Marcus Bakken.

Stone masons and bricklayers were: John Brekke, Arvid Erickson, Halvor Sorenson, Christ Foss, Iver Hognestad, and others.

Early day blacksmith, woodworking and wagon shops were numerous. Early operators were: Ed Olson, John Berg, Charlie Bergren, Charles Goff, and L. B. Moore. Rasmus Olson bought the shop of John Berg. It continued under Olson management until the present day, first by father, then son, Otto.

Bulk oil stations were started in about 1910-15. There were the Standard Oil and White Eagle, now the Socony Vacuum.

Two cement block factories were started in the early 1900's. One by Edland Brothers and the other by a company of Hannaford and Cooperstown people including the Berg Brothers, Andrew Hoel, Christ Reite, and others. By 1905 this latter cement company was converted to the Hannaford Mercantile Company, a general merchandising concern, with the Berg Brothers and Andrew Hoel continuing in the ownership. New partners were Ed Savre, Olaf Johnson, B. M. Lunde, O. C. Westley and others. Evidence of the aforementioned factories can be noted upon the sidewalks of Hannaford and of other neighboring towns.



The Presbyterian Church organization began in 1886 when Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Sinclair contacted neighbors to organize for services. Rev. O. D. Purinton from the Baptist Church of Cooperstown conducted the first services and John J. Mills was Sunday School Superintendent in what was known as Mills School.

On May 20, 1900, the Church was organized in Hannaford. The officers were: Elders - Daniel Sinclair, Donald Campbell, and Duncan Sinclair. Trustees were: C. J. Langdon, W. S. Hyde, Archie Sinclair, with J. B. Armstrong as Treasurer.

The Church was built in 1903 and rebuilt in 1925. Services were held in the Hannaford School from 1900 to 1903. Rev. J. N. Carnine was the first minister after the church was built.

W. D. Sinclair was elected Elder to succeed his father, Daniel, in 1905 and has been an Elder ever since.

The Hannaford Lutheran Church, after a number of years served by traveling pastors in the Gunderson School near Walum and in various homes, was formally organized in 1898, with the following officers. Trustees: Niels Hemmingson, Ed. Olson, and Christian Sonju. Secretary was H. H. Groven and the treasurer E. H. Groven. The first resident Pastor was P. A. Thoreson, who served the Hannaford Parish for 25 years.

The first Sunday School Superintendent was Mrs. P. A. Thoreson and some of the teachers were: Thomas Olson, Erich Austad, and O. Edland, among others.

The present Church was built in 1952 and Rev. E. L. Bersagel serves as its pastor.



There were several musical organizations of note in the community. The Hannaford Brass Band under the leadership of C. P. Schmidt was active for a number of years. The Union Brass Band under the direction of Charlie Rosvold and the Mossing String Band under the leadership of Martin Mussing were also active musical groups in the community.

Martin Mussing and Mons Hagen were early choral directors among church and community singing groups.



In athletics Hannaford had very strong baseball teams throughout early days. These teams probably were in their prime during the period from 1900-1910. The famous team of that period had such stars as the following: W. D. Sinclair, Fred Law, the Rosvold boys, John, Charley, and Arthur (Judge) John Sad, Charles Patterson, Eli Parker, Dick Leiser, Johnny Jackson and the Hyde Brothers. Later added to the sports program was tennis, golf and skiing. The ski slide was the hobby of Pete Falstad who later moved to Devils Lake. He won many national and local trophies while here.

Source:  Cooperstown Diamond Jubilee 1882-1957 Page 50

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