North Dakota was the first state to provide free high school education to all of its residents, starting in 1905. This early commitment to education helped North Dakota develop one of the highest rates of high school graduation in the country.
McIntosh County, located in North Dakota, has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century. The region was originally inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux. However, with the arrival of European settlers in the late 1800s, the area underwent significant changes.

The county was officially established in 1884 and named in honor of Edward H. McIntosh, a prominent figure who promoted settlement in the area. The first settlers to arrive were mainly of German and Russian descent, seeking opportunities in agriculture and farming. They faced countless challenges including harsh climate, limited resources, and the need to adapt to a new way of life.

During the early years, McIntosh County witnessed a booming agricultural industry. The fertile soil of the region, coupled with the construction of railways and irrigation systems, allowed for successful farming and the growth of small towns throughout the county. Wheat became the primary crop, with farmers producing large yields that fed into the expanding trade industry.

Throughout the 20th century, McIntosh County faced its share of challenges, including the impact of the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl era. Nevertheless, the resilient community persevered, adapting their farming methods, implementing soil conservation practices, and diversifying their agricultural activities. The county also witnessed advancements in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, further solidifying its position as an essential agricultural area in North Dakota.

Today, McIntosh County remains deeply rooted in agriculture, with farming and ranching continue to be the backbone of the local economy. The county is also known for its strong sense of community and rich cultural heritage, evident in annual festivals, museums, and historic preservation efforts. With its scenic landscapes and close-knit community, McIntosh County continues to embrace its history while looking toward a prosperous future.

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

  • 1873: McIntosh County is established, named after Edward H. McIntosh, a prominent pioneer settler.
  • 1883: Ashley, the county seat, is founded.
  • 1894: The first newspaper, the Ashley Tribune, is established.
  • 1899: Napoleon, a town in the county, is incorporated.
  • 1901: Zeeland is incorporated as a village.
  • 1909: Forbes is incorporated as a village.
  • 1916: Venturia is incorporated as a village.
  • 1918: Wishek, the largest city in the county, is incorporated.
  • 1924: The McIntosh County Courthouse, designed by local architect George Hancock, is completed in Ashley.
  • 1935: Gackle, a town in the county, is incorporated.
  • 1946: Lehr, a town in the county, is incorporated.
  • 1955: The McIntosh County Historical Society is organized.
  • 1968: The Wishek Hospital Association is established.
  • 1980: The Old Taylor Church, originally built in 1897, is moved and restored as a historical site.
  • 1991: The Ashley Medical Center opens, providing healthcare services to the community.
  • 2005: The Wishek Wind Energy Center, one of the largest wind farms in North Dakota, begins operation.