Cavalier County, North Dakota

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Cavalier County, North Dakota
Cavalier County Courthouse.jpg
Cavalier County Courthouse
Map of North Dakota highlighting Cavalier County
Location in the state of North Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting North Dakota
North Dakota's location in the U.S.
Founded July 8, 1884
Seat Langdon
Largest city Langdon
 • Total 1,510 sq mi (3,911 km2)
 • Land 1,489 sq mi (3,856 km2)
 • Water 21 sq mi (54 km2), 1.4%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 3,855
 • Density 2.7/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Cavalier County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 3,993.[1] Its county seat is Langdon.[2] The county was created by the 1873 territorial legislature and named for Charles Cavileer of Pembina (1818–1902), one of the earliest white settlers. The county was organized on July 8, 1884.[3][4] It is south from the Canadian border of Manitoba.

The city of Cavalier is actually in nearby Pembina County.


Cavalier County was created from the western part of Pembina County, North Dakota in 1873 and named by the Territorial Legislature for Charles Turner Cavileer (1818–1902), a well known fur trader, customs agent and postmaster.[5] There is no explanation for the difference in the spelling of "Cavalier," though one placename historian suspects it was an attempt to Gallicize, or make the name appear French.[6]

After petitioning the Territorial Governor for permission to organize the county, Patrick McHugh, W. Hudson Matthews, and L.C. Noracong met for the purpose on July 8, 1884. On July 26 the new county officials met for the second time and chose Noracong as Chairman of the Board with William H. Doyle and Matthews as Commissioners. The first Register of Deeds and County Clerk was McHugh. W.J. Mooney became the first Judge of Probate, Charles B. Nelson was the first Cavalier County Supt. of Schools, and Clarence Hawkes the first Sheriff.[citation needed] Cavalier took its current form in 1887 after the Territorial Legislature authorized an increase in size by taking a portion from Pembina County. The expansion added 15 new townships to the county.[3]

The site of the new county seat was chosen at this meeting and named Langdon after Robert Bruce Langdon of Minnesota and official with the Great Northern Railroad. Langdon never visited the town, but reportedly donated a bell for the local school.[7]

The first court house was built in the fall of 1884 at a cost of $360.00. It was used briefly and then abandoned for warmer and more centrally located quarters in a downtown bank. A large brick court house was built in 1895 on the present site at a contract cost of $9,099.00. This building served county officials until the current court house was constructed in 1957-58.[citation needed]

Cavalier County Historical Society[edit]

Established after 1969 - The Holy Trinity Church at Dresden, ND became the cornerstone of the County museum. It now houses local historic artifacts and landmarks.

The Holy Trinity Church at Dresden replaced two previous wooden structures that both burned. The present structure was erected in 1936, built out of fieldstone collected by the local parishioners. An architect from Minneapolis, Fabian Redmond, designed the building. A stonemason from Rugby ND, Edroy Patterson, directed volunteer workers.

Assisting in the building of the church were Andrew Bachman-head carpenter, Alphonse Hiltner, Stanley Koehmstedt and William Geisen.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,510 square miles (3,900 km2), of which 1,489 square miles (3,860 km2) is land and 21 square miles (54 km2) (1.4%) is water.[8]

Adjacent counties and rural municipalities[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 6,471
1900 12,580 94.4%
1910 15,659 24.5%
1920 15,555 −0.7%
1930 14,554 −6.4%
1940 13,923 −4.3%
1950 11,840 −15.0%
1960 10,064 −15.0%
1970 8,213 −18.4%
1980 7,636 −7.0%
1990 6,064 −20.6%
2000 4,831 −20.3%
2010 3,993 −17.3%
Est. 2014 3,855 [9] −3.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2014[1]

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,831 people, 2,017 households, and 1,361 families residing in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 2,725 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 98.10% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. 0.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 44.5% were of German, 23.1% Norwegian and 6.4% French ancestry.

There were 2,017 households out of which 27.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.80% were married couples living together, 3.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.50% were non-families. 30.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.60% under the age of 18, 3.70% from 18 to 24, 21.30% from 25 to 44, 27.50% from 45 to 64, and 22.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45 years. For every 100 females there were 98.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $31,868, and the median income for a family was $39,601. Males had a median income of $28,886 versus $19,647 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,817. About 7.80% of families and 11.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.60% of those under age 18 and 11.90% of those age 65 or over.




  • Alma
  • Banner
  • Billings
  • Bruce
  • Byron
  • Cypress
  • Dresden
  • Easby
  • East Alma
  • Elgin
  • Fremont
  • Glenila
  • Gordon
  • Grey
  • Harvey
  • Hay
  • Henderson
  • Hope
  • Huron
  • Langdon
  • Linden
  • Loam
  • Manilla
  • Minto
  • Montrose
  • Moscow
  • Mount Carmel
  • Nekoma
  • North Loma
  • North Olga
  • Osford
  • Osnabrock
  • Perry
  • Seivert
  • South Dresden
  • South Olga
  • Storlie
  • Trier
  • Waterloo
  • West Hope

Unincorporated communities[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  3. ^ a b Long, John H. (2006). "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "County History". North The State of North Dakota. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  5. ^ North Dakota Secretary of State (1989). North Dakota Centennial Blue Book. Bismarck, ND: North Dakota Legislative Assembly. p. 484. 
  6. ^ Williams, Mary Ann (Barnes) (1966). Origins of North Dakota Place Names. Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismarck Tribune, 1966. p. 221. OCLC 431626. 
  7. ^ Wick, Douglas A. (1988). North Dakota Place Names. Bismarck, North Dakota: Hedemarken Collectibles. p. 109. ISBN 0-9620968-0-6. OCLC 191277027. 
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  12. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 

Coordinates: 48°46′N 98°28′W / 48.77°N 98.46°W / 48.77; -98.46