N. P. Railroad

Griggs County's first railroad was constructed and operated by the Sanborn, Cooperstown and Turtle Mountain Railway Company.  It was completed through Hannaford during the summer of 1883, reaching Cooperstown on August 27.

The railroad reached a point between Dazey and Hannaford in the fall of 1882.  The building crew camped over winter 1882-83 51h miles south of Hannaford by the trestle bridge.  A dugout in the bank of the creek was the living quarters of the crew.  The men were on guard to protect the railroad material.  From 50 to 60 men camped here.  There were several railroad coaches, which stood on the thus far completed tract from the south to supply the camp and a few nearby neighbors with groceries, supplies and coal.  These neighbors and men would have had to go to the present site of Ashtabula east of the camp for wood if they had not been supplied this way.

In August of 1883 the Cooperstown Courier reported that the tracklayers were quitting and this was the second time this had been reported during that summer.  This time the men were demanding $2.50 a day with mince pie thrown in.  As before, they were discharged and a new crew brought in from Fargo.

The Northern Pacific -depot at Odell was moved to Hannaford in October of 1897.  Odell was one of five stations (Odell, Lowry, Booth, Clive, and Mattison) on the Northern Pacific and Soo Lines, which were consolidated to form the town of Rogers in 1897.  This depot still stands in Hannaford much as it was when it was moved.  The office part was fixed up in 1902.  Mr. Meeker was the first station agent.  Another in the early years was W. L. Cave.  C. P. Schmidt came in November of 1901 and continued until his retirement in 1946.  Among the agents since have been Norman Livers, Kenneth Stennes and Hillard Johnson.

Passenger service was discontinued in 1960 and in 1969 the depot was closed.  Hillard was the last Northern Pacific depot agent stationed in Hannaford.  Most branch line depots are closed now.  A traveling agent stationed in Valley City takes care of the business in the various towns.

The first Section foreman of the Cooperstown Branch was Abe Lent.  He was followed by Sandberg and August Olson.  Charles Cederson began as Section foreman in 1899.  He'd been with the railroad since 1890.  The railroad built a Section house two miles north of Hannaford near the railroad bridge in about 1899.  It got a coat of paint in May of 1900.  A water tank to supply the trains was built at Bald Hill Creek in 1884.  It burned in 1897, but was rebuilt.  In 1906 a water tank was erected in town between the Monarch and Farmers Elevators.  Mr. Cederson retired in 1926 and the same fall the Hannaford Section headquarters were moved to Cooperstown.

Among the men who have worked on the Northern Pacific Railroad Section crew and who have made their homes in Hannaford are: 

Andrew Sonju, Wallum, Al Lind, Matt Lyngby, Peter Aalgaard, and Arne Nevland.


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