Golden Valley County, North Dakota

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Golden Valley County, North Dakota
Golden Valley County Courthouse.jpg
Golden Valley County Courthouse in Beach
Map of North Dakota highlighting Golden Valley 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 November 13, 1912[1]
Seat Beach
Largest city Beach
 • Total 1,002 sq mi (2,595 km2)
 • Land 1,001 sq mi (2,593 km2)
 • Water 1.6 sq mi (4 km2), 0.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 1,825
 • Density 1.7/sq mi (1/km²)
Congressional district At-large
Time zone Mountain: UTC-7/-6

Golden Valley County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 1,680,[2] making it the fourth-least populous county in North Dakota. The county seat is Beach.[3] The county was organized on November 13, 1912.[1][4]

The county should not be confused with the city of Golden Valley, which is located in Mercer County.


Golden Valley was originally part of Billings County. Voters elected to separate from Billings County in 1910, but litigation prevented formal organization of the county until 1912. The territory in the surrounding area was colloquially referred to as, Rattlesnake Flats, due to the large number of the snakes found in the area. The region was dubbed Golden Valley in 1902 after a group of land surveyors noticed that the sunlight gave the surrounding grasses a distinct golden color.[5]

Election controversy[edit]

The vote in 1910 to create Golden Valley County was 837 for and 756 against. Shortly after the vote was certified, suit was filed against the Billings County Commission to overturn the result. The plaintiffs alleged that the certification of election was improper, and that certain pre-marked "unofficial" ballots printed by supporters of the new county were cast in place of official ballots, and should be voided. The trial court originally ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The county appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, which upheld the county's certification of the election. The court also ruled the pre-marked ballots were invalid, but that the number of invalid votes was not sufficient to overturn the election results.[6] The court's decision upholding the new county was made on September 19, 1912, and Golden Valley was formally organized on November 13, 1912.[1]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,002 square miles (2,600 km2), of which 1,001 square miles (2,590 km2) is land and 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2) (0.2%) is water.[7]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Major highways[edit]

National protected area[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1920 4,832
1930 4,122 −14.7%
1940 3,498 −15.1%
1950 3,499 0.0%
1960 3,100 −11.4%
1970 2,611 −15.8%
1980 2,391 −8.4%
1990 2,108 −11.8%
2000 1,924 −8.7%
2010 1,680 −12.7%
Est. 2014 1,825 [8] 8.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
1790-1960[10] 1900-1990[11]
1990-2000[12] 2010-2014[2]

As of the census of 2000, there were 1,924 people, 761 households, and 506 families residing in the county. The population density was 1.92 people per square mile (0.74/km²). There were 973 housing units at an average density of 0.97 per square mile (0.37/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.77% White, 0.73% Native American, 0.10% Asian, 0.31% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. 49.4% were of German, 13.7% Norwegian and 5.6% Polish ancestry.

There were 761 households out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 4.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 31.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 5.10% from 18 to 24, 22.20% from 25 to 44, 23.00% from 45 to 64, and 21.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 92.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $29,967, and the median income for a family was $37,105. Males had a median income of $25,478 versus $18,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,173. About 10.80% of families and 15.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.40% of those under age 18 and 7.70% of those age 65 or over.



Unincorporated communities[edit]


Former townships[edit]

Unorganized territories[edit]

  • East Golden Valley
  • Elmwood (formerly a township)
  • North Golden Valley
  • South Golden Valley

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c 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. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ "County History". North The State of North Dakota. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b North Dakota Historical Records Survey (1941). Inventory of the County Archives of North Dakota. No. 17, Golden Valley County. Bismarck, North Dakota: North Dakota Historical Records Survey.  Retrieved via
  6. ^ Pederson v. Board of Commissioners of Billings County, 23 N.D. 547. , 137 N.W. 484 (N.D. 1912). Retrieved via Westlaw.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  11. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 28, 2015. 
  13. ^ Frontier Cavalcade, The Dickinson Press, March 14, 1957

Coordinates: 46°56′N 103°50′W / 46.94°N 103.84°W / 46.94; -103.84