North Dakota was the site of one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history, the Schoolhouse Blizzard of 1888. The storm struck without warning and claimed the lives of more than 200 people, many of whom were schoolchildren caught in the blizzard on their way home from school.
Hettinger County, located in southwestern North Dakota, has a rich history that dates back to the late 19th century. The area was once home to various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, who roamed the region for centuries. European settlement began in the late 1800s, with the town of Mott being founded in 1903. The county was officially organized in 1907 and named after prominent North Dakota politician and attorney Arthur Hettinger.

In the early years of Hettinger County's history, agriculture played a crucial role in the local economy. Settlers quickly discovered the fertile soil and ideal conditions for farming, leading to the establishment of numerous family-operated farms. Grain, particularly wheat, became a staple crop, helping fuel the county's growth and prosperity throughout the 20th century. Livestock farming, particularly cattle ranching, also became prevalent in the area.

The Great Depression of the 1930s had a significant impact on Hettinger County, as it did on the rest of the country. Many farmers faced severe economic difficulties, with drought and soil erosion worsening the situation. However, the county rebounded after World War II, with increased mechanization and advancements in agricultural techniques leading to greater productivity and stability for the region.

In more recent decades, Hettinger County has faced challenges related to changing economic conditions and population decline. The decline in family farms and the consolidation of agricultural operations have impacted the county's rural communities. However, efforts are being made to diversify the local economy and promote new industries like tourism and renewable energy. Despite these challenges, Hettinger County continues to be a close-knit community that values its agricultural heritage and seeks to adapt to the changing times.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Hettinger County, North Dakota.

  • 1884: Hettinger County is established, named after Mathias Hettinger, an early settler and politician.
  • 1885: The first post office is established in the community of Mott.
  • 1885-1910: Homesteaders begin to settle in the county, primarily of German and Scandinavian descent.
  • 1907: Mott becomes the county seat after a county-wide election.
  • 1912: The first courthouse is built in Mott.
  • 1913: The Milwaukee Road railroad is completed, further improving transportation in the county.
  • 1933: The Civilian Conservation Corps establishes several camps in Hettinger County during the Great Depression.
  • 1941-1945: Many men from Hettinger County serve in World War II.
  • 1950s-1960s: The county experiences an economic boom due to increased oil and gas exploration.
  • 1978: The Hettinger County Historical Society is founded to preserve the county's history.