Trails to the Past

North Dakota

Williams 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.

There have been two Williams counties in the history of North Dakota. The first, created in 1873, was located south of the Missouri River near where Dunn and Mercer counties are today. The second Williams County was established by the 1891 state legislature and consists of the contemporary Williams and Divide counties. The name comes from Erastus Appelman Williams, an early politician from Bismarck who served in both the territorial and state legislatures. The county government was first organized on December 8, 1891; Williston has always been the county seat.

Lake Sakakawea, a reservoir on the Missouri River, is situated on the southern boundary of the county. Little Muddy Creek is entirely within Williams County. The confluence of the Yellowstone River with the Missouri is west of Williston.

The Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is located in Williams County along the Missouri River on the Montana border.  Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site is the site of a partially reconstructed trading post on the Missouri River and the North Dakota/Montana border twenty-five miles from Williston. It is one of the earliest declared National Historic Landmarks of the United States. The fort, perhaps first known as Fort Henry, was built in 1828 or 1829 by the Upper Missouri Outfit managed by Kenneth McKenzie and capitalized by John Jacob Astor's American Fur Company.

Fort Union Trading Post was the most important fur trading post on the upper Missouri until 1867. At this post, the Assiniboine, Crow, Cree, Ojibwe, Blackfoot, Hidatsa, and other tribes traded buffalo robes and furs for trade goods including items such as beads, clay pipes, guns, blankets, knives, cookware, cloth, and especially alcohol. Historic visitors to the fort included John James Audubon, George Catlin, Father Pierre DeSmet, Sitting Bull, Karl Bodmer, and Jim Bridger.It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.  Today, the reconstructed Fort Union memorializes a brief period in American history when two cultures found common ground and mutual benefit through commercial exchange and cultural acceptance.

On Line Data

 

Townships

 

 

Alamo

Athens

Barr Butte

Big Meadow

Big Stone

Blacktail

Blue Ridge

Bonetraill

Brooklyn

Buford

Bull Butte

Champion

Climax

Cow Creek

Dry Fork

Dublin

East Fork

Egypt

Ellisville

Equality

Farmvale

Golden Valley

Good Luck

Grenora

Hanks

Hardscrabble

Hazel

Hebron

Judson

Lindahl

Lund's Landing

Marshall

McGregor

Missouri Ridge

Mont

New Home

Oliver

Orthell

Pleasant Valley

Rainbow

Rock Island

Round Prairie

Sauk Valley

Scorio

South Meadow

Springbrook

Stony Creek

Strandahl

Tioga

Trenton

Truax

Twelve Mile

Tyrone

View

West Bank

Wheelock

Williston

Winner

Zahl

 

Adjacent Counties

Divide County (north)

Burke County (northeast)

Mountrail County (east)

McKenzie County (south)

Roosevelt County, Montana (southwest)

Sheridan County, Montana (west)

 

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