History of Reynolds City

On July 14, 1880, Olaf Sonsterud sold land to the St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railroad, and this was the beginning of the Village of Reynolds, North Dakota. The town site was platted by Dr. Henry A. Reynolds, who migrated here from Bangor, Maine, in the seventies; He had served as a surgeon in the Civil War that had just finished a few years before.  Dr. Reynolds, in company with Comstock, White, and Nichols, filed on lands in and about the present town site of Reynolds. The good doctor was a temperance man, and had this stipulation recorded in the Abstract of Title to the affect "that no ardent spirits or intoxicating liquors should be given, distributed or vended on this property, or else the property should revert to the original grantors."  Dr. Reynolds platted and also promoted the town site and in l88l was commissioned the first postmaster.  Years later, he moved to Pontiac, Michigan; and as his wife preceded him in death, he spent his last years at a Masonic Home in Connecticut.


The city is located in two counties, Grand Forks and Traill, with the main street the dividing line. The City being located in Section 31 of Americus Township, Grand Forks County, and Section 1 of Buxton Township, Traill County.


Reynolds was incorporated as a City in September, 1892. The first elected members of the council were: C.L. Taft, Mayor. Six aldermen: Ludvig Schulstad, Swen Ei1ingson, C.M. Hagen, F.M. Brittian, C.E. Clure, and Fred Beard. The appointed offices were: City Auditor, Edgar M. Cory; Chief of Police, Alexander Austin, and City Attorney, James N. Bosard.


Reynolds is listed in the 1884 Minnesota, North and South Dakota, and Montana Gazetteer with the following information and businesses:


"A rural village 21 miles south of Grand Forks, and a station on the Grand Forks division of the St. Paul, M & M Ry.  Contains a church and School and ships grain and produce; population 100, Mail, daily.  H.A. Reynolds, postmaster.


Abrahansen, A, general store

Camp, Alonzo, carpenter

Comfort, F.L., grain elevator

Dickieson, Artemus, carpenter

Dickieson, H.R., assistant postmaster, farmer, and merchant

Eckler, B.D., carpenter

Eveskson & Myrtre, saloon

Higgind, H.B., grain elevator

Hillebrand, H., baker

Hubbard, Joseph, farmer

Johnson, Thomas, blacksmith

Lavally, J., merchant

Phelps, P.H., lumber

Pike, D.K., farmer

Pillsbury & Hulbert, grain elevator

Porter Brothers, general store

Powers, B.H., lawyer

Reeves, Budd, elevator

Reynolds, H.A., doctor, farmer, and justice

Sonsterud, Olaf, farmer


In the 1896-1898 Gazetteer, Reynolds listed a bank, two hotels, five elevators a flourmill, three churches, and a lively newspaper. The population as 600, and the following businesses:


Ausitn Brothers, Alexander & John, blacksmiths

Austin, Robert, carpenter and wagon maker

Borgelin, Nels H., painter

Broten, John, painter

Brook Elevator Co., W.H. Williams, agent

Carroll, George, RR & Express agent

Commercial House, Hover K. Strand, proprietor

Cookine, Edward„ carpenter

Corry, William H., hardware

Dicklieson & Turnbull, Henry Dickieson & Waiter Turnbull, general store

Doran, Erick T., confectionery

Drengson, Frank, harness maker

Duluth Elevator Co., W.H. McWilliams, agent

Eckler, Alfred, barber

Ellingson House, Hans S. Strand, proprietor

Ellingson, Sven, furniture

Ford, Leland M., livery

Forde, Michael T., blacksmith

Fosgard Brothers, Knut S. & Ole S, restaurant

Fresenborg, Rev, Bernard, Catholic Church pastor

Fritz, John E., general store

Gagan, J.M. & Co., Hans Anderson agent and grain elevator

Halliday, Dr. James, physician

Hanson, Rev. Martin G., Lutheran Church pastor

Hanson & Berg, Martin C, Anderson & Conrad A. Berg, restaurant

Hemmy Store, William H., general store, "the popular place of the town"

Hilliard, A.B., real estate, loans, collections, insurance, and livery.

Hostetter Brothers, Melvin S Hawley, lumber

Janney Brothers, William R. & Frank, flour mill

Kennedy, Jerrold J., barber

Kerfoot, John B., drugstore

Larson, John, butcher

Lavalley, Benjamin F., jeweler and postmaster

Lay, Phineas S., meats

Lebacken Brothers, Mathias O. & Christian O., general store

McCulloch Lumber Co., W.J., Robinson, agent

McKinney, Andrew & McWilliams, William H., lumber and coal

Mela, Martin, & Kimber, Henry, blacksmiths

Meyers, Louis, restaurant-meals at all hours, confectionery, fruits, and cigars

Meyers, Nathanial, carpenter

Minneapolis & Northern Elevator Co., S.J. Corry, agent

Munson, Michael, carptenter

Musgrove, William J., & Woolner, Arthur, drugstore

National Elevator Co., Lars Larson, agent

Neveille, Kate, milliner

Olson Brothers; confectionery

Paulson, Qscar S., dry goods store

Quammen, Mrs. Julia, confectionery

Reynolds Cornet Band, Conrad Berg, leader

Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper, George. L. Ryerson, proprietor

Reynolds Opera House. L.M. Ford, manager

Rockaway Co., John Murphy, manager, real estate, etc.

Rockaway Hotel, John Henderson (1896) , O.L. Sande (1898)

Ross, Charles, carpenter

Routzahn, Rev. A.C., Methodist, Church pastor (1898)

Ryerson, Bessie, milliner

Schulstad Hardware, Ludvig Schulstad, proprietor

Severinson. Henry, wagonmaker (1896)

Severinson. Halvor, wagonmaker (1898)

Shawkey, Rev. Frank A., Methodist Church pastor (1896)

Smith, T.J. & Co., Thomas J. Smith & William Parker, farmer imports

Sowle Elevator Co., Frank H. Sowle, agent

State Bank of Reynolds, (capital $25,000.00), M.F. Murphy, president,

C.E. Clure, cashier (1896), John Murphy, cashier (1898)

Swift, Charles G., dray line

Varnson, Ole M., jeweler

Weber, William S., RR & Express agent

Whiteman, Jay C., vet surgeon and livery

Wilson, Henry, mason


From 1898-1921 more businesses were listed. We can assume that some of these businesses changed hands from the prior years.  In the 1912 Gazetteer, the electric light plant was singled out. Also mentioned was "land selling at $45.00 to $150.00 per acre." E.G. Lebacken named as postmaster.


Alien, P.L., grain buyer

American Cemetery Association, Joseph Ackerman, superintendent

Anderson, Pete, livery

Berge, Knute, cement

Borglin, N. Herman, wallpaper

Bready, Thomas H., RR & Express & telegraph agent

Brunos, Daniel S., vet surgeon

Bye, Mrs. Mary, restaurant and room and boarding house

Christianson, Gunder, garage and bicycle shop

Davis, Charles H., bowling alley

Farmers State Bank, (capital $15,000.00), S.N. Thompson, president

Fair, Fred, confectionery

Gorder, Chris 0., restaurant and shoe repair

Haga, Ole, blacksmith

Hennessey, D.J. elevator

Keitel, Nicholas, barber

Knudsvig, Knud H., jeweler

Larson, Ole, grain buyer

Larsgaard, Erick K., general Store (Why Not)

McCumber, George P., machinery

Mealy, James T., proprietor of Rockaway Hotel

O'Brien, soft drink parlor (called a Public Resort at that tme)

Procter & Wilsox, general merchandise

Quigley, Edward 0., physician

Reynolds Electric Light & Power Co., Gunder Christianson, supt.

Reynolds Enterprise Newspaper, Kenneth B. Williams, news publisher

Reynolds. Tow Mill, Frank Davis, proprietor

Richsteig, Henry C., meats

Rose, Guy, confectionery

Rystad, Olaf H., physician

Sale, Frank, grain buyer

Schotthoefer, Herman, machinery

Smith, C.O., dentist

Sorenson, Edward, pool hall

Steen, Anker B., general store; (He was also the Police Chief for some time)

Taber, Charles N., drugstore

Thompson, Sever N., automobiles

Valley Lumber Co., Henry T. Taber, manager


A few more familiar names in the business community are:


Arneson, Ole, general store                                       

Ellingson, Swen, mercantile and undertaker

Grewe, W.F., veterinarian

Haugen, Mrs. Emit, milliner

Huck, William F., insurance agent

Knutson, Dr., physician

Knutson, Henry H., hardware

Labounty, J.A., barber

Lane, Asa H., garage

Lindfoot, James, tailor

McMenamy, Joseph T., meats

Merrigan, James, barber

Murphy, Christ, barber

Myhre, Swen, saloon

Olson, Halvor, tailor

Ostlie, Herman and Martha, confectionery, (he was also a cabinet maker)