This GNRR terminus founde in 1913 as Banks, but was soon
thereafter renamed Watford. Because of confusion with Wolford in Pierce
County, it was renamed Watford City on May 13, 1916. John C. Zeller pm (1881-1960)continued
as pm. The villiage became a city in 1934 with Dr Harry U Winner as the
first mayor, and in 1941 it defeated Alexander for county
seat honors, taking the court house away from Shafer.
The elevation is 2084, the Zip Code is 58854, and a peak population of 2114
was reached in 1980. Historian and author Erling Nicolai Rolfsrud and former
Lt. Governor and Labor Commissioner Orville West "Ike" Hagan are natives
of Watford City.
Capt. Ed Seneschal came to McKenzie County in 1910 from Fort Pierre, SD
and founded a townsite in NW 1/4 Sec. 28-154-97, Twin Valley Twp., twenty
four miles NNE of Watford City, naming it White City because all of its buildings
were painted this color. In 1911 the Seneschal post office
was established just to the SE, taking this name only after postal officials
had rejected White City, which continued to use local usage.
This name is found in early accounts to denote a building in Sec. 6-152-100,
adjacent to the Stroud
post office, that served for a short time in 1905 as the first McKenzie
County courthouse. The county seat status was never officially recognized,
and within a few weeks Alexander received the honor.
Some sources call this place Stone House, thought to be erroneous.
This was a rural post office established February 27, 1905 with
Wilbur H Rogers, pm. Wilbur is an Anglo-Saxon name meaning beloved stronghold.
It was located in NE 1/4 Sec. 9-153-101, Wilbur Twp., three miles SW
of Williston on the south bank of the Missouri River. It moved two
miles south in 1910 to NW 1/4 Sec. 14-153-101, and closed November
30, 1912 with mail to Williston.
This was a rural post office established March 19, 1906 with John E "Jack"
Williams (1861-1937), who came here in 1898, as pm. It was located in SE
1/4 Sec. 13-149--96, Bear Den Twp., nineteen miles ESE of Watford City, and closed May 31,1907, with mail to Schafer.