The Cenntenial History 1882-1982

This is written from recollections of pioneer stories told, official records and preserved newspaper copies.

Coming to this section of Dakota Territory was a Norwegian by the name of Christian Buck. He is known as the "father" of old Edinburgh and the present city of Edinburg. He was acting in the official capacity of Receiver of the U.S. Land Office, and the first postmaster of Edinburgh, being appointed when the office was established on November 1, 1882. The name of the post office and settlement was chosen as a tribute to the university where Mr. Buck received his education.

Associated with Christian Buck was another pioneer by the name of Ove Oveson who operated the first store. The post office was also located in the store. At this time the mail had to be carried from the Dundee post office, six miles east of Edinburgh.

Charles Buck, half brother to Christian, had a small drug store and gave medical aid to the pioneers. A saloon was operated by 0. Travaaten and a blacksmith shop by 0. Runstad. The exact number of dwellings, at this old site, is uncertain but it is believed some were moved to the new town in 1888. There is one landmark in Edinburg that seems to be generally agreed to have been the office of Christ Buck which was moved in from the old site. That building now stands directly west of the Cenex Station. This building was remodeled and it is now the living room of the Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Monson home. It was the only building in the business area, besides one elevator, to stand after the disastrous fire of 1900.

In 1884 several mass meetings were held six miles south of town at the thriving settlement of Garfield to promote the construction of a railroad to serve the new settlements. Almost all surrounding townships were represented. Both the Edinburg and Garfield settlements were doomed to be disappointed for as an outcome of the conferences, the route of the new railroad was changed to by‑pass both communities.

As soon as the railroad lines were definitely established, Garfield was moved to Park River with the exception of the church and school. Edinburg retained its identity and just changed sites from section five to the East Half of the NEI/4 of Section 21, Lampton Township. The first eight blocks of the new townsite were platted on land owned by Daniel Shun.

On April 4,1896, a petition was signed by Dr. A. A. Flaten and other qualified voters petitioning for incorporating the village of Edinburg. On May 11, 1896, the petition was presented to the Walsh County Commissioners and they referred it to the States Attorney. May 12,1896, it was declared as an incorporated village; but it had to have the consent of all the qualified voters. It was advertised twice in the Park River Gazette. It was then voted upon. It was adopted June 2, 1896, as an incorporated village, with Christian Buck as Chairman; Dr. A.A. Flaten and J.E. Peterson, Trustees; and George Adams, Clerk. (This information was received from the Auditors Office in the Court House at Grafton ND.)

Many new business enterprises followed for the fast growing town. Dr. A. A. Flaten purchased the drug store and began his practice of medicine. A creamery and elevator was built by O.H. Rustan. Later Edinburg was to boast of five grain elevators. There were two hotels (Waterman and North Western), two banks, a grocery store owned by John Drady, a general (Mpls.) store opened by J.E. White, a meat market owned by Ben Shuley, and a hardware store owned by Buck and Adams. Nate Knudson had a tin shop, Hans Wick a blacksmith shop and the Melstad Brothers had a general store. Field's Store was also a general merchandise store. The first depot was operated from a boxcar. Grant's Livery Stable was also a thriving business.

The flour mill was built in 1898 by Peder P. Lee. Farmers had to come from Edmore to market their wheat. At that time, very few farmers had horses so had to use oxen. The E & M corner of today was where Hans Anderson had a line of machinery with Robertson Lumber Co. to the north.

The first jewelry store was built by Oscar Mandt. The second saloon was operated by Knut Evenson. Peter Lee was in the restaurant business and Gilbertson had a pool hall. Peder P. Lee built the first furniture store and in 1894 sold it to Ole Brevik. An implement shop was located where Anderson Sales has their building now. A. C. Jensen in the hardware store with Jack Oliver, tinsmith, completes the list of early Edinburg business enterprises.