National Register Listings in
Steele County, North Dakota

North Dakota has the highest percentage of residents of Norwegian ancestry of any state in the U.S. Today, many towns and cities in the state still celebrate their Norwegian heritage with festivals, parades, and other events.
Steele County, North Dakota has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s. It was officially established on March 2, 1883, named after Edward H. Steele, who served as a governor of the Dakota Territory. The region was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, such as the Dakota and Lakota Sioux, who relied on the area's natural resources for their livelihood.

Early settlers began arriving in the late 1800s, drawn to the fertile land and the promise of farming opportunities. Agriculture quickly became the backbone of Steele County's economy, with crops like wheat, oats, and barley dominating the landscape. The growth of the railroad in the area further facilitated the transportation of goods and played a key role in the county's development.

The county's economy experienced ups and downs over the years due to factors like droughts, economic recessions, and technological advancements in agriculture. Despite these challenges, the resilient residents of Steele County persevered, adapting to changing times and finding new ways to sustain their livelihoods.

Today, Steele County remains an agricultural community, with farming being the primary industry. The county is home to several small towns, including Finley, Hope, and Sherbrooke, which provide services and amenities to the local population. The county continues to preserve its history through various museums and heritage sites, showcasing its agricultural heritage and the stories of the people who have called Steele County home throughout its long history.

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

  • 1864: Steele County is established as a county in Dakota Territory.
  • 1872: The town of Finley is founded.
  • 1873: The town of Sherbrooke is established.
  • 1881: The Great Northern Railway extends to Steele County, stimulating growth and development.
  • 1884: The county seat is moved from Sherbrooke to Finley.
  • 1893: The town of Hope is incorporated.
  • 1902: The Soo Line Railway is completed through Finley, further boosting the town's economy.
  • 1930: The population of Steele County reaches its peak at around 7,400.
  • 1941-1945: Steele County residents contribute to the war effort during World War II.
  • 1965: The Steele County Historical Society is founded to preserve the county's history.
  • 2000: The population of Steele County declines to around 1,900.