Trails to the Past

North Dakota

Benson County

 

 

 

Trails to the Past of North Dakota is excepting any donations of genealogy materials that you may have such as marriage announcements, news articles, old obituaries, births, (you do not need the birth certificate) just the information, and biographies.  If you have any of these items please contact me Marie Miller the North Dakota State Administrator.
 
Fort Totten

Located on the southeastern edge of the town of Fort Totten, this site preserves a military post built in 1867 and used continuously as a military reservation until 1890 when it became a boarding school for Indian children. The brick buildings, which replaced an earlier log fort, appear much as they did when built of locally made brick in 1868. Original buildings are now being used to house museum exhibits.

Fort Totten served American Indian policy from 1867 to 1959. Constructed as a military post, it became an Indian boarding school, Indian health care facility, and a reservation school. Initially, the fort policed the surrounding reservation. The soldiers enforced the peace, guarded overland transportation routes, and aided Dakota (Sioux) who lived near Devils Lake after 1867. Fort Totten was decommissioned in 1890.

On January 5th, 1891 the former post became the property of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. The post served as an Indian boarding school until 1959. Academic and vocational training prepared Indian youth for life off the reservation. Enrollment sometimes topped 400. After independent tribal government was established, a community school operated in the buildings from 1940 to 1959.

Fort Totten became a North Dakota State Historic Site in 1960 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Sullys Hill National Game Preserve and much of the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation are located within the county.

The cities of Benson County are  Brinsmade, Esmond, Knox, Leeds, Maddock, Minnewaukan (which is the County Seat), Oberon, Warwick, and York.  Fort Totten is a census designated place, other communities are St. Michael and Tokio.

Townships of Benson County

    Albert
    Arne
    Aurora
    Beaver
    Broe
    Butte Valley
    East Fork
    Eldon
    Esmond
    Hesper
    Impark
    Iowa
    Irvine

    Isabel
    Knox
    Lake Ibsen
    Lallie
    Leeds
    Lohnes
    McClellan
    Minco
    Mission
    Normania
    North Viking
    Oberon

    Pleasant Lake

    Rich Valley
    Riggin
    Rock
    South Viking
    Twin Lake
    Twin Tree
    Warwick
    West Antelope
    West Bay
    Wood Lake
    York

 

On Line Data

 

 

 

Adjacent Counties

Towner County (north)
Ramsey County (northeast)
Nelson County (east)
Eddy County (southeast)
Wells County (southwest)
Pierce County (west)

 

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