On November 16th, 1883,
the governor appointed three commissioners, namely: J.S.CONYERS, H.C.
Vol. 3, Oct. 1905
Settlement began in
Following is the population of Towner County, every ten-year period for the past fifty years: 1890, 1450; 1900, 6491; 1910, 8693; 1920, 8393; 1940, 7196. Since 1910, the tendency has been toward increasing the size of farms which has automatically decreased the population.
The county was settled by
people representing several nationalities. Early settlers were principally of
Scandinavian, Canadian, English and French descent. Three townships,
The topography of
In December, 1883, with a
gray blizzard in the air, Andrew GERRARD, the blacksmith, blew up a blazing
fire and arranged boxes and kegs for the first public meeting in the county.
There were six residents from the banks of the big coulee to the East who
arrived first and so far took the blacksmith into their confidence as to
confide to him their purpose of establishing the county seat near their
properties, but they reckoned a little wrongly. A motion was made by Mr.
Conyers that the county seat be placed just where they were then sitting, but
the six from the coulee most emphatically stated that the county seat could not
and should not be placed there, and every effort was made by them to have it
located on the townsite already located on the bank of the coulee. The meeting
had lasted for several hours when Capt. PARKER, who was chairman of the board,
arose to his feet and shouted, "They say we can't do it and we say we can
do it, and just to show them we can do it, we'll call the county seat
CAN-DO!". The motion was heartily seconded by the other commissioners and
supported by their friends--and so the town was named. (
From “Early History of
Towner County, named for Col. O. M. Towner, a prominent figure in the early days of North Dakota, founder of the Elk Valley farm, and other important enterprises, was created March 8, 1883, from parts of Cavilier and Rolette counties.
The county was first settled in 1881 and was organized in 1883 by the appointment, November 6 of that year, of P. T. Parker, H. C. Davis and J. W. Connella as county commissioners, but J. S. Conyer was substituted for the latter on the day of organization.
In 1886 Cando was established and forty acres scripped and laid out as a townsite by J. A. Percival of Devils Lake, who also purchased the three adjoining forties entered by H. C. Davis.
June 2, 1884, the county was divided into school districts and the following were appointed as judges of school election: District No. 1, J. L. Miller, J. H. McCune and Frederick Lemke—election at A. S. Gibbens’; district No. 2, Frank Blair, C. C. Edwards and J. W. Hardee—election at the county building.
The county was divided into commissioner districts in October, and voting precincts and judges were ordered as follows: At the store of W. H. Lane, T. W. Conyers, A. S. Gibbens and T. F. Hesse, judges; at the county building, John Smith, C. C. Marks and Mike Rocke, judges; at Richard D. Cowan’s, James Dunphy, George Edmonson and J. Pinkerton, judges.
The county officers elected that fall were H. C. Davis, J. S. Conyers and R. D. Cowan, commissioners; W. E. Pew, register of deeds; W. H. Lane, superintendent of schools; J. W. Hardee, judge of probate; Edward Gorman, sheriff; T. W. Conyers, coroner; James Dunphy and John Nelson, justices of the peace; John Rocke, treasurer; R. J. Cowan, assessor; R. D. Cowan, constable. A. M. Powell continued to act as clerk of the court.
A prominent factor in the
early settlement of
This colony consisted of about forty men, and they had seventy carloads of stock and immigrant movables. Among them was Capt. P. P. Parker, Frank L. Wilson, Col. John Ely, J. H. McCune, James H. McPike, A. H. Riggs, George W. Clifton, A. H. Steele, William Steele, Wilson Williams, Guy M. Germond,
C. B. Riggs, T. W. Conyers, Ed Preist, James M. Hanson, Joseph Grotte, John Crow and Amos Glasscock.