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.

Wells County, North Dakota, is a county located in the central part of the state. It was established on January 4, 1873, and named after Captain Walter A. Wells, a soldier and pioneer settler in the region. The area that is now Wells County was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Dakota Sioux, Mandan, and Hidatsa. European settlers began arriving in the late 19th century, attracted by the fertile land and opportunities for agriculture.

The first European settlers in Wells County were predominantly of German and Scandinavian descent. They established small farming communities, clearing the land for cultivation and building homes and infrastructure. The county witnessed significant growth during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with the population expanding as more settlers arrived.

Agriculture has been the backbone of Wells County's economy throughout its history. Farmers cultivated wheat, corn, oats, barley, and other crops, which formed the basis of the county's prosperity. The county has also been known for its livestock production, with cattle and hog farming playing a crucial role.

Like many rural areas in the United States, Wells County experienced a decline in population over the past few decades, as younger generations moved to urban areas in search of employment opportunities. However, the county's strong agricultural heritage and tight-knit community continue to remain important aspects of its identity. Today, Wells County is home to several small towns, including Fessenden, Harvey, and Bowdon, which offer a glimpse into the county's rich history and unique charm.

  • 1800s - The area that is now Wells County was inhabited by the Mandan, Arikara, and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes.
  • 1884 - Wells County was officially organized and named after Edward P. Wells, a prominent political figure in the Dakota Territory.
  • 1885 - The first courthouse was built in Fessenden, which became the county seat.
  • 1890 - The population of Wells County reached its peak at around 8,000 residents.
  • Early 1900s - Agriculture became the main industry in the county, with the cultivation of wheat and other crops.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression and severe droughts caused economic hardships for the county.
  • 1947 - The construction of Harvey Dam provided irrigation and improved water supply for the area.
  • Late 20th century - Wells County experienced a decline in population due to factors such as mechanization in agriculture and urbanization.
  • Present - Wells County continues to be predominantly rural and relies on agriculture as its primary economic driver.