National Register Listing in
Oliver County, North Dakota

North Dakota played a significant role in the development of the U.S. space program. During the 1950s and 1960s, the state was home to several missile bases and launch sites that were used to test and develop intercontinental ballistic missiles.
Oliver County is located in the state of North Dakota, covering an area of approximately 730 square miles. The region that is now Oliver County was originally home to Native American tribes, including the Mandan and Hidatsa tribes. European settlement in the area began in the mid-1800s, primarily with the arrival of fur traders and steamboat traffic along the Missouri River.

In 1883, Oliver County was officially organized and named after Norbert Oliver, a prominent pioneer and state legislator. The county experienced rapid growth due to the arrival of the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1883. This led to an influx of settlers, primarily farmers and ranchers, who took advantage of the fertile land and abundant resources in the area.

Agriculture has always been a vital part of Oliver County's economy. The county's fertile soil and favorable climate have allowed for the successful cultivation of various crops, including wheat, corn, and sunflowers. Livestock farming, particularly cattle ranching, has also played a significant role.

Throughout its history, Oliver County has faced challenges such as extreme weather conditions, including droughts, blizzards, and floods. The Great Depression of the 1930s hit the region hard, causing economic hardships for many residents. However, the county managed to recover and thrive with the help of federal programs and initiatives.

Today, Oliver County remains a rural and agricultural community with a strong sense of community. It is home to several small towns, including Center, the county seat, where residents can find essential services, schools, and various recreational opportunities. The county's rich history, natural beauty, and tight-knit community make it a welcoming place for both residents and visitors alike.

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

  • 1884: Oliver County is organized and named after Harry S. Oliver, a prominent attorney and politician
  • 1886: The first newspaper, the Oliver County Banner, is published in Center, the county seat
  • 1892: The first courthouse is constructed in Center
  • 1904: The Soo Line Railroad is established, connecting Oliver County to surrounding areas
  • 1909: The town of Hannover is incorporated
  • 1913: The Oliver County Historical Society is founded
  • 1930: The Great Depression causes economic hardship in Oliver County
  • 1942: The first oil well is drilled in the county, leading to increased oil industry activity
  • 1958: The town of Zap is incorporated
  • 1989: The Missouri River flooding causes significant damage in Oliver County
  • 2006: The North Dakota State Farmers Market is established in Oliver County
  • 2020: Oliver County celebrates its 136th anniversary