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McLean County Townships

The first white man to set foot on the land that is now known as McLean County, were Louis and Clark. They spent the winter weather in 1804-1805 and built a fort named "Fort Mandan".  On their return trip in 1806, they found it burned down by the Sioux Indians. The Fort was rebuilt and is now a Historical Site.  There is also a stone monument sitting on a hill on the Swanson land.  It has a map of Lewis and Clark's expedition with a story of their travels.  From there you can almost see the Missouri River.

If you have any information on these townships, please email me!

Name of
Township Earliest date
of Establishment
Amundsville 150-88 About 1913 Amundsville has A National Wildlife Refuge
150-81 About 1906 Benedict was named because of the newly wed men ...newly wed men are know as "benedicts".
Aurena 149-79 About 19--  
145-83 About 1883 The town Wellerville was named after Charles Weller who was a Civil War soldier that homesteaded.  It is now a ghost town.
Blackwater 148-87 About 1906 The Indians had named the lake in the townhsip,  Blackwater because of the darkness of the water.
Blue Hill 150-86 About 18-- Black Diamond Mine owned by John Satterlund; Coal Creek Energy Plant; Falkirk Mine
Buffalo Lake 145-82 About 18--  
Buffalo Rock 145-89 About 18-- It is known for its buttes but, now much of the area is under water.
Butte Township 150-79    
Byersville 149-78 About 1904 Named after J. A. Byers, an early settler.
Coal Harbor 147-84 About 1904  
Conkling 144-83 About 1883  
Cremerville 150-89    
Deepwater 149-88    
150-78 About 1902 Dogden is a translation for the Indian words of wolf den.  The Dogden buttes were a landmark used by early days travelers and expeditions
Douglas 150-85    
E. Wiprud-
Crooked Trail
148-80 About 1902 The township has 3 lakes: Crooked Lake, Cottenwood Lake and Nelson Lake
Economy-Max 150-83    
Eblowoods 147-90 About 1891 Elbowoods was the Indian Agency headquarters but was abandoned by 1954 due to rising waters behind the Garrison Dam.
Fort Berthold
147-89   Lake Sakakawea now covers most of this area.
147-85 About 1867 Fort Stevenson--Military Post dated back to 1863-1864
Gate 150-87    
Great Stone 149-81 About 1904 Homesteaders had to move large stones before they could farm, and the township was named Gratstone.
148-86 About 1903 Garrison Reservoir cuts into a large portion of  this township.
Heaton-Iowa 144-80 About 1904 Panted Woods Creek cuts through the township

Strawberry Lake

149-80 About 1891  


149-86 About 1905  
Koenig 145-80   Turtle Creek--a landmark for early homesteaders
Lake Nettie-
148-81   Lake Nettie is a large lake
Lake Williams-
Turtle Lake
144-84 About 1882 Lewis and Clark made camp here in 1804; Area called Elm Point was a river boat landing
Liberty 147-86 About 18-- Part of the Fort Stevenson Reservation; Fort Berthold trail passes through and at one time the buttes along the river served as a landmark for the Missouri River men


147-87 About 18-- Hidatsa, Mandan and Arikaras Indians started a new village here due to being harassed by the Sioux.  Lake Sakakawea now covers most of this area.
Linda-Reuter 147-82 About 19-- Some towns were established due to the Garrison Dam.
Longfellow 146-83 About 18-- Communities established here due to the building of Garrison Dam.
Loquemont 149-89 About 1913  
Lucky Mound 149-90 About 19--  
Malcom 148-82 About 1902 Swedish settlers named the township
McGinnis 149-84 About 18-- The Smith Horse Ranch was on the trail to the north toward Fort Pembina.  Many travelers and mail carriers stopped at the ranch overnight.  The log portion of the ranch  house is still in use.
Medicine Hill 148-79 About 1896 Well known spot when the Indians would travel, and visit the Medicine Hill
Mercer 146-79 1877 William Mercer, Civil War veteran, settled here in 1877--Mercer County is also named after him
143-80 About 1899 Washburn Lignite Coal Mine opened in 1901
Nettle Creek 143-81 About 1882 Painted Woods Lake--Painted woods is mentioned in many early military journals
New Home 146-80    
Nishu 147-88 About 1894 the community center of the Arkiara tribe on the Fort Berthold is covered by Lake Sakakawea
N. Elbowoods 148-90   The area had Indian settlements and later to white people after the Reservation was opened to homesteaders.
N. Hancock-


146-84 About 1886 E. T. Winton, past postman of Ft. Stevenson platted the town in 1883; Hancock was named in 1886 by the Virginia homesteaders
N. Satterlund-
145-81 About 18--  
Otis-Ruso 150-80 About 1903 A Soo Line Railroad station was established in Ruso.
Park 145-79 About 1892  
Platt 149-85 About 1903 Douglas Creek is mentioned in many old journals...It was an early landmark for the river travelers.
150-82 About 1904 Max is the dividing point and the trains switched cars here.  Many of the early settlers worked on the railroad to earn money.


148-84 About 1903 Garrison the town founded by the Taylor brothers; The Stephen Coal Mines were located here and the waters of Lake Sakakawea have taken much of the township.
Roseglen 149-87 About 1904  


St. Mary-


148-85 About 18-- Part of the Fort Stevenson Military Reservations.
Shell Creek 150-90-91 About 1921 Shell Creek began as a Hidatsa community settled largely by a group of Gros Ventres who had broken away from their fellow tribesmen of Ft. Berthold Indian Reservation.
Snake Creek 149-82 About 19-- Lake Audabon cuts through and Snake Creek runs through some of the town.
S. Hancock 145-84 About 18-- The Knife River Villages now a National Historic site was mentioned in journals by earlier travelers
S. Satterlund 144-81 About 1877 One of the earlier settlers--George Rhude opened a post office and was a stopping place for travelers from Ft. Stevenson and Bismarck.
Snow 148-83 About 18-- The township has been covered by Lake Sakakawea and the Lake Audubon waters; it also had many mines.
Turtle Lake
147-81 About 1886 Turtle Lake which is shaped like a turtle

Don Cullum's Turtle Lake Page

Ulrich-Endres 149-83 About 1904  
146-82 About 1884 Town site owner, Gen. W. D. Washburn, was a builder of the railroad (This Bismarck, Washburn, and Great Falls R. R.) now the Soo Line
Veeder 146-81 About 1883  
147-83 About 1904 Garrison Dam boom town; Audubon National Wildlife Refuge.
Washburn 144-82 1882 Washburn is the oldest existing community and was founded by John S. Veeder and John Satterlund
White Shield 148-88 About 18-- Was built to take the place Elbowoods which was covered by Lake Sakakawea
Wise 147-79 About 1900 The township has several lakes and is a resort area

(Thanks to Kathy Camp for all her hard work in this area!)

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