Tag Archives: what is western North Dakota like

The Wonder Of Western North Dakota

I want to write about one of my impressions of western North Dakota, which I will describe as wonder. I do not want to romanticize western North Dakota, or give anyone the idea that it is quaint, picturesque, amazing, incredible, or awe inspiring. To me, it is frightening and tragic.

A few days ago, a person who read my blog post article about UFOs being seen in the New England area of North Dakota in the 1970s, to such an extent that the Air Force came to town, told the witnesses to shut up about it, and set up a base outside of town, this reader left a comment saying that this Air Force station was in “Havelock”.

I looked up Havelock, and to my surprise, this place was just a few miles southeast of New England, I had never heard of it before. Here is some information from Wikipedia:

In April 1907, the first Moravian settlers arrived to this area in the vicinity of New England, North Dakota. They were visited by Moravian Bishop Karl A. Müller for the first time in the summer of 1908, and four years later, on October 17, 1912, a congregation was organized.  At this time, there were only 12 communicants and 2 children living in the community. This congregation operated and constituted the bulk of the small community’s membership until September 4, 1921.  A post office called Havelock was established in 1910, and remained in operation until 1948.

I have lived in this area of North Dakota for the past eight or nine years, and I had never heard of Havelock.  Looking this up on Google Earth maps and satellite view, there is no longer any town or any buildings in Havelock, just a few farms.  Census data gave the town’s population in 2018 as 20 people.

The settlers in Havelock were from Moravia.  I had only ever heard of Moravia three or four times in my life, I had to look it up.  Moravia is a historical region in the east of the Czech Republic and one of three historical Czech lands, with Bohemia and Czech Silesia.  Moravia was a part of Austria-Hungary from 1867 to 1918.

Prior to moving to Dickinson, North Dakota in 2011, I had very seldom heard of Bohemia either, but a few miles north of Dickinson, there was a group of Bohemian immigrants that had settled “New Hradec” in 1887.

One of my older friends in Dickinson had grown up in New Hradec and had gone to elementary school there, and he told me about the school children being scolded for continuing to speak Bohemian, and that some of their parents did not speak English.  When looking up U.S. Census data for New Hradec, it was noted that “the U.S. Census was never conducted in New Hradec”, what???  There were as many as several hundred people living in New Hradec from 1900-1960, which is a normal sized North Dakota town.

Getting back to the subject of the town of Havelock, settled by Moravians, not Bohemians like New Hradec where they continued to speak Bohemian and were avoided by the U.S. Census, the town of Havelock published a newspaper titled, “The American German”, with some columns written in German.  This newspaper was in publication from 1915-1918.  Jeez, that was during WWI with Germany.

Havelock and New Hradec sound pretty mysterious, don’t they?  What happened to them?  To put this into perspective, the more successful neighboring towns are Lefor population 80, Regent population 130, and New England population 600.

To some readers, the tone of this blog post article may seem that I am making fun of the towns of Havelock, New Hradec, Lefor, Regent, and New England, but I am not.  I have a sense of wonder about all of this, but not in a fairy-tale way, but in a frightening and tragic way.

I didn’t say this yet, but the town of New Hradec was the only documented immigration of Bohemians from the Crimea to have settled in America.  And, the town of Lefor has the highest percentage of residents of Hungarian origin of any zip code in the United States.  (Remember, Moravia and Bohemia were part of Austria-Hungary.)

What is even more telling, is that there are many more towns in this area that no longer exist, towns that I had never heard of before, towns that once had a church, school, post office, and stores.  Sometimes the only thing that still remains, is the town cemetery.

Here are some examples:

Town of DeSart southwest of New England:  Ora and Anna DeSart homesteaded in the area in 1905. They had nine children.  The DeSarts had come from Iowa.  Ora DeSart established a Post Office  in 1906.  About 75 people lived in DeSart at its peak in 1920.  The town had a store, bank, and dance hall.  By 1960, only six people lived in DeSart.  What remains of DeSart today is its cemetery.

Town of Daglum northwest of New England:  Settled in 1900 and named for John Daglum, who erected the first store in which he established the Post Office in 1906. Many of the Daglum settlers were Norwegians, who had first settled in Beresford, South Dakota, before coming here.  Daglum had its own school from 1907 to 1961, when it became part of the New England School District.  What remains of Daglum today is its Lutheran Church and its cemetery.

Town of Bessie near Amidon:  Can’t find hardly any information other than it existed.

Town of Chenoweth near Amidon:  Can’t find any information other than a newspaper was published in Chenoweth from 1910-1924, called “Slope County News”.

Whetstone Township north of Reeder:  I found the Whetsone Butte Cemetery while driving.  The only information I could find was, “Whetstone Butte Cemetery is located in Whetstone Township, section 27. No church was built here, people met for church services in the school house, one mile to the north.”  I did find the large old school house, it is still there.

Pierce, unincorporated southeast of Amidon:  Pierce is an unincorporated community in Slope County.  Pierce is 15 miles southeast of Amidon. The community was initially named Reno after Marcus Reno a Civil War officer, but was later renamed for local residents, the Pierce brothers.  The only thing there now is a church. 

So what happened to everyone, where did everyone go?  Why don’t these towns exist anymore?  These immigrants came from Moravia, Bohemia, and Scandinavia to settle here and farm, did they fail, did they die?

In 1785 Congress passed a law called the Land Ordinance, and later in 1787 this law was added to by the Northwest Ordinance, which among other things, required that new U.S. territories be surveyed and divided into townships that were six miles square.  Each township was to be divided into 36 sections, each one mile square.  One mile square is equal to 640 acres.

The Homestead Act of 1862 granted parcels of land to homesteaders that were 160 acres in size, which is one quarter of a 640 acre section.  What this means if you can picture this in your mind, or look at a Google Earth satellite map, is all of those one mile square sections of land that you see, each homesteader family was granted a corner piece, 1/4 of that one mile square piece of land.

Theoretically, if a township consists of 36 sections, and each section could have four homesteader families on it, you could have 144 homesteader families in a township.  These homesteader families typically had about five persons, so that’s a population of 720 people.  The North Dakota townships didn’t get completely filled with homesteaders, but a peak population of 300 people in the early 1900s was not uncommon.

The homesteader families having large numbers of children,  a school being built, a church being built, a Post Office being established, a general store being opened, all were catalysts for early growth of these townships.  Just talk or plans for a railroad line to be built near town would cause the town to grow.

Some of these towns reached their peak population in the first half of the 1900s.  When WWI broke out in 1914, and the Selective Service Act of 1917 conscripted adult males to go fight in Europe, many of these farmers or sons of farmers were killed and never returned to their North Dakota homesteads.

When WWI ended in 1919, ten years later came the Great Depression.  Even in remote North Dakota, community Banks failed, Bank depositors lost all of their money, farms went into foreclosure and farmers were kicked off their property, community general stores went out of business because people didn’t pay their bills that were owed or have money to buy anything.  Crop prices dropped.  Just about every North Dakota small town had people leave during the Great Depression and their populations dropped.

When the U.S. got into WWII in the early 1940s, all males between the ages of 18-45 were subject to compulsory military service.  The War took North Dakota farmers to their death in Africa, Europe, the Far East, and the South Pacific.  After WWII, most of the small North Dakota towns saw a steady decrease in population.

Due to modernization in the U.S. leading up to and following WWII, the attitudes, values, beliefs, outlook, and habits of American people changed.  As shown and advertised on television, radio, movies, newspapers, and magazines, “advances” in science, technology, farming, and industry made hard physical labor “a thing of the past”.  Americans could now enjoy a life of ease with many modern conveniences, where machines did all of the work.

If you think about it, in 1900 before the automobile, towns like New Hradec, New England, Lefor, Regent, Havelock, DeSart, children walked or rode horse wagons to their local school, parents worked on their own farm, families walked or rode horse wagons to the local Bank or local store, and on Sunday everyone went to the local Church.  You couldn’t just get up and go to Dickinson for something, a horse wagon ride would take at least a couple of hours one-way.

When automobiles became more widely available to North Dakotans in the 1920s, families could travel to larger towns like Dickinson to do their banking, shopping, seek medical treatment, personal services, dining, and entertainment.  The small North Dakota towns didn’t have to be completely self-reliant anymore, for better or for worse.

With the larger, more capable, more powerful, more efficient farm equipment that came into use after WWII, North Dakota farm families did not need to have as many children to perform farm labor, or require adult children to remain on the farm in order to accomplish all of the work.  North Dakota farm families shrank in size as they had fewer children, and allowed adult children to move away to pursue an easier and more comfortable lifestyle.

In order for readers to get a very good picture of what life was like in these small western North Dakota towns, I would have liked to have included some newspaper articles from the newspaper “Slope County News” dated 1911-1915, but the woman who retrieved them from micro-film archives and transcribed them, says that they can not be copied.

By clicking on the following link, you can read very interesting news stories of events, marriages, births, accidents, fights, and bizarre deaths in New England, DeSart, Amidon, Chenoweth, Bessie, and Bowman 1911-1915:  http://files.usgwarchives.net/nd/slope/newspapr/slconews/1911-15c.txt

There Aren’t Even Any Skank Girls In Western North Dakota

I have lived in Western North Dakota for almost five years now. I have written many blog posts about the shortage of women and the scarcity of attractive women in Western North Dakota. About one year ago I wrote a blog post titled, “List Of Attractive Women In Dickinson, North Dakota”. On that list, I have included three women from Watford City, one woman from Belfield, one woman from South Heart, two women from Amidon, and about ten women from Dickinson. I have only been able to come up with about twenty attractive women in Western North Dakota, and I have been here for five years.

I thought about attractive women that I could add to my List Of Attractive Women, being careful to not include any skank women, and then I realized that there aren’t even any skank women in Western North Dakota. About one month ago I wrote a blog post titled, “Skank Women From The South”. In that blog post I had intended to point out and explain that there aren’t any skank women in Western North Dakota, but I only managed to describe skank women.

Skank women start out in life being underprivileged. They are often pale and skinny as children and adolescents because they don’t have access to very much food, and they don’t get to go outside and play in the sun. Also, they sometimes have scars from a car accident, animal attack, or other mishap. When they become teenagers, they sometimes blossom into attractive young ladies, but they are poor, and not from respectable families, so they are not destined to be a cheerleader, homecoming queen, or go to college and be in a sorority. Sometimes, they have a stigma attached to them because their mother was so wild, or their father was a criminal.

As all good respectable women know, their husband, boyfriend, brother, or son can become involved with a skank woman. Skank women did not have a lot growing up, they did not have high expectations in life, they only expected to have small pleasures in life, such as going out, getting drunk, and having the affection and company of men.

Skank women are not necessarily trashy. If I wanted to talk about white trash women, I would say that I was talking about white trash women. White trash women are the next level below skank women. Now that I think about it, there aren’t even hardly any white trash women in Western North Dakota.

In Western North Dakota, besides the twenty attractive women on my list, it skips straight down past the skank women level, straight past the white trash women level, and stops at one of two lower levels, the battle axe women, and the drug addict women.

Just like there is a scarcity of attractive women, there is a scarcity of plain average women, and you mainly see women that are the battle axe women, the women with big ankles, ham fists, and scowling faces, that look like somebody hits them in the face with the flat side of a 1”x4” board every morning. The other women that you mainly see are the drug addict, problem women, that came from Los Angeles, Los Vegas, Spokane, or Coeur d’Alene.

The South is full of skank women. They work at banks, book keeping, retail stores, offices, and in health care. They are easy to meet and talk to. You meet them at the places where they work, at any store you go to, any place you go: convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Wal-Mart, laundromats, dry cleaners, the beach. They don’t go to the gym, or go to church.

Skank women like getting asked out. If they got asked out nicely three times in one day, they would probably agree to go out on three different dates. They look forward to getting slightly dressed up, to meet someone for dinner at a restaurant, or drinks at a bar. They like meeting people, going places, and doing things. They see going out with people as an opportunity to do all kinds of things that they like: eating good food, having good drinks, getting drunk, dancing, making friends, going new places, seeing other people’s nice clothes, jewelry, cars, motorcycles, boats, animals, and homes. They like to have fun, they look forward to having fun.

The battle axe women in Western North Dakota want to make everyone miserable, most of the time, they are like ogres or trolls. The problem drug addict women that came to Western North Dakota from Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Spokane, and Coeur D’Alene to work at the bars, restaurants, and hotels just want to get high on meth, crack, or heroin.

I Need To Warn Everyone About Dickinson And Western North Dakota

I started this blog about three years ago to tell everyone from out of state what Dickinson, North Dakota is like.  I wanted people to have truthful information about Dickinson so that they would be prepared and know what to expect if they came to Dickinson to work, or perhaps they would choose not to come if they knew the truth.  Now more than ever, I need to warn people about Dickinson and Western North Dakota.

First, the Oil Boom is over in North Dakota.  The number of operating oil drill rigs went from 200 a few years ago, to less than 40 currently.  There are fracturing operations going on, and work over rig operations going on, but these operations will be winding down in about a year.  There are many, many experienced applicants already living in Western North Dakota for every job opening that is advertised.

Second, Dickinson and Western North Dakota are going to experience a great Economic Bust in approximately 1-1/2 years.  There are a combination of more than four economic factors that guarantee an Economic Bust is coming.  At least 70% of the oil field jobs went away after 2015.  Many oil field workers moved out of state, but some remained.  There are now many, many experienced and able-bodied applicants for every job that is advertised.  The wage rates are decreasing, workers are making less money.  70% of the oil field jobs went away.  Every business is making less money.  Businesses need fewer employees now.  More people will be forced to move away from Western North Dakota due to a reduction in wage rates, and a reduction in jobs.  As more and more people move away, businesses will close, there will be fewer jobs, and more people will have to move away.

Three, the people in Western North Dakota have hated outsiders for many generations.  They have hated and mistreated the out of state workers in every way possible throughout this Oil Boom in North Dakota that began in 2007.  Now that the Oil Boom is over, the people in Dickinson are targeting out of state workers with hatred and hostility like never before.  The local human resources personnel with the City of Dickinson, Stark County, the State of North Dakota, and private employers, hide job openings and only disclose them to friends and family members, so that their friends and family members can get hired.  The Western North Dakota Highway Patrol and police are targeting out of state workers to try to make them leave North Dakota.

Prior to working in Western North Dakota, I worked in Tampa for seven years, Arizona for five years, Idaho for five years, and Texas for one year.  In Tampa, Arizona, Idaho, and Texas, I never once got stopped by the police in those eighteen years of working.  In the past year in Western North Dakota, I have been stopped and questioned by the police three times. None of these times was I speeding.

Everyone Please Go To The Cowboy Hall Of Fame Pioneer Museum In Medora, North Dakota

Please, everyone in western North Dakota needs to go to the Cowboy Hall Of Fame in Medora, North Dakota and spend an hour in the first floor Pioneer Museum.  Even if you are from western North Dakota and have been in the Pioneer Museum before, you need to go again now.

Everyone has forgotten how hard, barren, and poor North Dakota had been.  Everybody in North Dakota has got to realize that without oil revenue, North Dakota will be as hard as what is shown in the Pioneer Museum.

2007 to 2015 was just a brief moment in time when people in North Dakota could go out and buy a new four-door four-wheel-drive truck for $50,000, and a new tractor for $200,000.  There was one other brief time like this and that was 1978 to 1983.

Spend an hour in the Pioneer Museum, look at the photographs and read the captions.  There was no wood to construct houses, people had to cut squares of grass sod and stack it to make 10′ x 12′ shelters to live in.  There was no fire wood, people had to collect buffalo dung to burn for heating and cooking.  This is how North Dakota is, this is reality.  It is harsh, barren, cold, and desolate.

If you have extra money right now, you had better not be buying a new vehicle, motorcycle, boat, or RV.  You had better hang on to your money as tight as you can and start cutting way back on your spending.

If you have very little money right now, you should probably try to get a second or third job to make extra money, and to have some place else to work if your first job goes away.  I recommend that you look at all the job advertisements to be up to date on where you can apply.  When you see all the job advertisements go away, you will know things are about to get bad.

It is easier to watch TV and do other things than it is to stop and face the reality that oil drilling operations are not coming back to North Dakota for at least a year, and possibly not for many years.  You need to face this now.  You need to know that North Dakota is unforgiving.  I can’t tell you everything that you should do, but you need to cut back on your spending and try to save as much money as possible now.

I have run out of money at least twice in my life.  The first thing that I had to do was sell extra firearms or an extra vehicle.  All this did was buy me a little more time and allow me to travel to some place else to work.  I have traveled to the wrong place before and could not get a job.  The more money you have, the more chances you will have.

I need to start scaring people now in North Dakota, because you need to be scared now, it is to that point now.  The biggest indicator of what is happening right now is to look at the job listings in North Dakota, and see that there are fewer and fewer jobs.

(If you go look at the North Dakota Job Services listings in Dickinson now, about 35 out of 50 jobs listed are for nurses, virtually the same nursing job.  Not many other jobs at all, especially jobs that pay a living wage.)