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North Dakota is home to several historic forts, including Fort Abraham Lincoln, which was the home of General George Custer and his troops before the Battle of Little Bighorn.
McHenry County, North Dakota, is a rural county located in the central part of the state. It was officially organized in 1885 and named after James McHenry, a prominent politician and one of the signers of the United States Constitution. The history of McHenry County is closely tied to the development of agriculture and the growth of small communities within the area.

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, settlers began to arrive in McHenry County, attracted by the promise of fertile land for farming. The county's rich soil and favorable climate made it ideal for cultivating crops, especially wheat. As more settlers arrived, small towns and communities began to flourish, providing essential services and a sense of community for the growing population.

During the early years, McHenry County faced several challenges, including harsh weather conditions, insect infestations, and economic downturns. Despite these difficulties, the county's residents were resilient and persevered. They adapted farming techniques, implemented irrigation systems, and formed cooperative associations to overcome obstacles and ensure a more prosperous future.

Over time, McHenry County continued to thrive as an agricultural hub, with farming and ranching becoming the backbone of the local economy. The county's towns and villages, such as Towner, Granville, and Velva, became centers of commerce and social activity, offering essential services and entertainment options. Today, McHenry County remains a close-knit community that values its agricultural heritage while embracing modern advancements and diversifying its economy beyond farming.

Throughout its history, McHenry County has experienced growth, setbacks, and a constant spirit of community. From its early days as a farming frontier to its present role as an agricultural stronghold, McHenry County's history is a testament to the determination and resilience of its residents.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of McHenry County, North Dakota.

  • 1884: McHenry County is established
  • 1885: Municipalities of Towner and Velva are incorporated
  • 1886: First county courthouse is constructed in Towner
  • 1887: Railway reaches McHenry County, boosting transportation and trade
  • 1890: McHenry County Agricultural Society is formed
  • 1911: Municipalities of Granville, Karlsruhe, and Drake are incorporated
  • 1914-1918: McHenry County contributes to World War I efforts
  • 1926: County seat is moved from Towner to Towner-Velva
  • 1933-1939: Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) builds several landmarks in the county
  • 1960: County seat is officially moved to Velva
  • 1973: Velva becomes the only city in McHenry County
  • 1997: The "Heart Butte" buffalo sculpture is erected near Velva
  • 2008: Velva celebrates its centennial