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Benson County, North Dakota


The Benson County Courthouse is located at 311 B Avenue South, Minnewaukan ND 58351; phone: 701-473-5340.

Beginnings [1]

In 1880 no white population was officially listed in the region now known as Benson County in north central North Dakota, but settlers began to arrive three years later with the coming of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Benson County, named for B. W. Benson, a Barnes County member of the 1883 legislature of Dakota Territory, was created in 1884 from areas belonging to DeSmet and Ramsey Counties. Minnewaukan, designated the county seat, at the beginning of that year boasted a population of less than a score, as well as two land offices, a firm of contractors and builders, a newspaper, the Pacific Hotel, a livery stable, and a saloon. These had been partially platted by D. L. Wilbur, owner of the section on which it was located. Growing rapidly, despite major fires suffered in 1886 and 1895, Minnewaukan was incorporated in 1898.

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