The History of Temvik, North Dakota
By Bertha Larvick written October 1, 1930
Submitted by Dr. Ralph E. Wiseman and edited by Gayla Ohlhauser Gray
From Großliebental District Odessa Newsletter
Volume 1 Issue - 3 July 2002
Using this article for anyone to gain a profit is not the intent of this
newsletter and is prohibited.
During the month of October of the fall of 1901, three
brothers by the name of Larvick stepped from the train at
Steel. They spent the night in Braddock after persuading a
man to take them there in a buggy drawn by two horses.
The next morning they left early to continue their journey
to Linton where they filed on the land and registered it in
the auditor’s books, then returned to Braddock. The third
day they made it back to Steel and took the train back
home to Mankato, Minnesota.
The spring of 1902 found the three young husky men
ready to make their way back to the Promised Land. They
arrived in Eureka, South Dakota by train and purchased
stock, machinery and goods to transport to their
destination near Temvik. The journey took three days.
Arriving on the twenty-second day of April, they pitched
their tent where what is now the Peter Nelson farm. But,
oh to their horror and terror, one of those unwelcomed
North Dakota blizzards made its appearance without even
an apology for its daunting visit. My, but it had felt like
winter, even in April.
The Larvick boys abandoned that place of refuge and
proceeded on their way until they came to what is now the
Temvik locality. Their closest neighbor was Ed Haws.
Here they found evidence of trees along the creeks and
stumps and chips in meadows and gulches. Two of the
Larvick brothers drove to Braddock and bought lumber for
a shack, which was built on Ed Larvick’s homestead about
where his garden is now. It took possibly two days to
That spring they broke thirty acres of land with a rude
breaking plow to plant flax. In the fall of 1902 they cut the
flax with an old time wooden header leaving bunches over
the field. One Sunday the wind blew so hard the flax blew
all the way over to Frank Foell’s farm, many miles away.
They raked what they could and sold it for $164.
The eldest brother batched it here in his shack the first
winter and took care of the horses in an old sod barn. One
of his ways of spending his leisure time was hauling wood
from the Missouri River once or twice a week all winter.
Some days were bitter and it felt to him like the North
Pole. Two weeks during the winter it was impossible to get
to Braddock to buy groceries so he had to be satisfied
feasting on nothing by potatoes and salt. Many months
later groceries were delivered from Braddock to Linton
making it a little more convenient for the pioneers of this
The following spring the brothers sowed the already
broken thirty acres to wheat and then added more acres to
the breaking, which was planted to flax. By the year 1903,
the oldest brother’s shack was an important thoroughfare
for the stagecoach that ran from Braddock to Linton. The
shack was one of hospitality and it had no respecter of
persons. Travelers must have found his shack a pleasant
place to sleep and he a provider of nourishing meals
because there was hardly a day when someone wasn’t
there to keep him company. In fact, J.E. Davis and Ed
Davis, not being relatives at all, came and stayed with him
until they filed on their respective places.
The first summer he and his brother Oscar helped lay
the Soo Railroad between Braddock and Bismarck. The
next year he worked and helped put the Northern Pacific
Railroad between Bismarck and Linton. The year, 1903, it
went as far as Hazelton and the train went that far all
winter. By the fall of 1903 Linton was benefiting from Jim
Hill’s service. The workers received $1.75 a day and board
was 75 cents which left $1.00 per day to apply on their
saving’s account. Many Indians also helped in the laying
of the railroad. Several hundred cattle were herded and
pastured on and around Danbury Butte each year.
On the 6th of January 1903, a prairie fire broke out
west of Temvik resulting from an ash pile. The northwest
winds carried it along towards Linton and it burned three
hundred tons of hay and Horton’s Ranch, which was
situated north of Linton. Then it burned Tuft’s house and
buildings and the Will Johnson’s farm in the Omio
Many people were beginning to migrate into this land
of “milk and honey”. Among them were the families of
Clark Burlingame, Fred Surring, Charles Baker, Louis
Foell, Warren Chapman, Mr. Kebler and Frank Hastings.
The first Northern Pacific depot was only a boxcar,
which stood west of the track opposite the Occident
Elevator. At first the N.P. Company did not employ an
agent but each man who shipped any products on the train
or was a passenger, did their own checking. The first agent
was Mr. Donly. Somehow the “majestic” depot caught fire
and was burned. The N.P. then built the present depot.
In 1905, Mr. Brofy, who was the first storekeeper,
erected the first business building, a store. He shipped in a
carload of lumber that had been used in the Lewis and
Clark Exposition, which was held at St. Louis in 1904. In
1906, Mr. Brofy sold the store to Larvick and Foell. They
took care of the telephone office, post office, cream
station, and store under the same roof. The school and hall
was on the second floor, and a dwelling house in the rear
of the store. The second building to be built was the
abominable Blind-pig, which was west of Hendrix’s store;
but later moved to what is now the deplorable pool-hall.
Mr. Messner was the “honorable” barkeeper. One night in
this building a drinking party had been indulged in. The
men got into a hot argument and as the liquor soaked
brains could not function it became worse. Finally, a fine
young man, the grandson of Mr. Messner had to sacrifice
his life for someone shot him! By the time the cultured
people had arrived after hearing the shot they found blood
all over where the body was laying. No one knew who did
it, only that it was done. Oh yes, they all pleaded innocent
but somebody had done the deed! No one was accused and
no trial was held.
In 1902 the name of the town was Godkin. It received
its precious name from a railroad worker saying to another
“Who can make a town in this place?” and the other
employee answered, “Well, God can.” They then called it
Godkin until Mr. Brofy became Postmaster and took it into
his own hands to rename it Brofy. After Mr. Brofy left the
name of the village was changed to Larvick. When the
Tempels became prominent businessmen, they wanted it
named in their honor. It was never legally Tempel or
Tempelton. They disputed over the name until they had to
have a name to put down in the books. The Secretary of
Interior suggested it be named “Temvik” from the name of
Tempel and Larvick, respectively.
When the Tempels came here, they bought all the land
east of the track from the Larvick brothers. The lots west
of the track are still held by the Larvick brothers. The
Tempels began building houses, the bank, and a
lumberyard, hotel and pool hall the spring of 1908 and the
year 1909. They also built and operated the store, which is
now owned by the Hendrix and Company. Soon after the
Tempels came here, a newspaper was published. It was a
proud town to have a printing house. It was run such a
short time that no one knew the name of the paper and
how often it was printed.
A great reception and banquet was held in the old
town one day. It was a rare occasion for it was the first of
its kind. One of the bachelors, Dave Calquhoun, and a fair
maid, Miss Anna Anderson, were united in marriage in the
fall of 1907. The other bachelors congratulated them and
thanked them for being the first couple in this community
to enter the road of matrimony and break the road for
The first child to be born in this vicinity was Quinton
Foell, born the first day of May 1907.
School was taught in the upstairs of the store building.
The first teacher was Miss Kirkpatrick. Among her pupils
were Ruth Stedman (now Mrs. Chilton), Ethan
Burlingame, Verna Stedman, Donavan Chambers, Frank
Fell, and Fern Chambers. This was the winter of 1908 and
1909. The real schoolhouse was built in 1910 in the
eastern part of town. Years later it was found to be too
small so they had to build the present schoolhouse. It was
completed in the fall of 1919. They only hired two
teachers the first year and now they have five teachers.
The German Reform Church was built in 1910 on
Roosevelt Street. The first residence to be erected was
Emil Nelson’s, which Mrs. Pauline Reich now occupies.
The Carpenter Lumber Company first owned the
lumberyard. It was situated north of the Occident Elevator
on the east side of the track. This company quit and it was
out in the hands of Mr. Tempel. Later the Thomson
Lumber Company became owners and employed Mr.
Grooten. It was moved to the vacant lot west of Hendrix’s
store. At one time there were two lumberyards in this town.
A carpenter of Linton completed the Occident Elevator in
1906. Mr. Art Chambers was the first manager. The
building west of the bank was built for a bowling alley.
Years later it was converted into a store and Fred Snyder
was the first owner and manager.
From a small beginning to a large flourishing town,
Temvik has progressed. It has been an asset to this
community. Many of its progressive enterprises have
enlarged. The mill operated by John Leno, has a day and
night shift. They turn out many hundred pounds of highgrade
flour daily. Three elevators, with one idle, have been
taking care of the grain, and the Farmer’s added four more
bins, enlarging its capacity. Temvik has three stores, of
which one deals with meat and groceries, one an I.G.A.
store owned by the Hendrix Company and the other owned
by Christ Albrecht. There are two cream stations, shipping
many gallons of cream annually. The bank is a financial
success. We also have an oil distributing station which is a
worthy industry and worth advertising. A new lumberyard
has been installed. It is home owned by Charles Enders, a
prosperous businessman. There are two garages and one
blacksmith shop, which give valuable service and
guaranteed work. The farmers of the surrounding
community have organized a shipping association and
telephone service. There is a United State Port Office,
which has two rural free delivery routes. The United States
National Highway, which is graveled and well maintained,
passes through Temvik. A bus going from Minot, N.D. to
Aberdeen, SD is an ideal vehicle, which passes through
here. The patrons of the Temvik School, which has been
improved each year through the efforts of the school board
and teachers, are proud of their school. The main street has
also been graveled. There are many up-to-date farms in this
vicinity. All the above enterprises and improvements have
been brought about through the cooperation and efforts of
every citizen of this town. It has been found a place to be
proud of, and an honor to have your address Temvik.
Many of our ancestors from the GDO area settled in
Temvik and surrounding towns in the Emmons County
area. Those who settled in the area are:
BRECKEL (BROECKEL), Jacob & Peter;
BURKHART (BURGHARDT), Jacob Sr. & Jacob Jr.;
GERGENTZ (JERGENTZ), Gustav;
GRENZ, Gottlieb & Johann Samuel;
KIEMELE, Jacob Sr. & Jacob Jr.;
OHLHAUSER, Adam & Martin ;
WACKER, Christian; and
WOHL, Friedrich & Johannes.
Prepared For Web Site by Mike Peterson