Ward County, North Dakota
|Founded||April 14, 1885 (created)|
November 23, 1885 (organized)
|Named for||Mark Ward|
|• Total||2,056 sq mi (5,330 km2)|
|• Land||2,013 sq mi (5,210 km2)|
|• Water||43 sq mi (110 km2) 2.1%|
|• Density||34/sq mi (13/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
Ward County is a county in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 69,919, making it the fourth-most populous county in North Dakota. Its county seat is Minot.
Ward County is part of the Minot, ND Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The Dakota Territory legislature created the county on April 14, 1885, with areas partitioned from Renville, Stevens, and Wynn counties (Stevens and Wynn counties are now extinct). The county government was not organized at that date; the organization was effected on November 23 of that year. The county was named for Mark Ward, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Counties during the session. Burlington was the county seat; this was changed to Minot in 1888.
The boundaries of Ward County were altered two times in 1887, and in 1892, 1909 and 1910. The present county boundaries have been in place since 1910.
Until 1908, Ward County included what is now Burke, Mountrail, and Renville counties; this landmass often being referred to as 'Imperial Ward' County and which was the largest county in the state at the time. In 1908, voters took up measures to partition the county. The results for that portion forming Mountrail County were accepted but the results for the portions that would become Burke and Renville counties were disputed in court, which resulted in favorable rulings in 1910. When the proposed county lines for Burke and Renville counties were drawn, neither group wanted to include Kenmare and risk that city's becoming the county seat, so Kenmare was left in Ward County at the end of a narrow strip of land, commonly referred to as the 'gooseneck'.
The Des Lacs River flows southeasterly through the northeast part of the county before doubling to the northeast on its journey to Lake Winnipeg. The county terrain consists of low rolling hills, dotted with ponds and lakes in its southern part, and carved by drainage gullies. The area is largely devoted to agriculture. The terrain slopes to the east and north, with its highest point near the southwest corner, at 2,175' (663m) ASL. The county has a total area of 2,056 square miles (5,330 km2), of which 2,013 square miles (5,210 km2) is land and 43 square miles (110 km2) (2.1%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in North Dakota by land area.
- Carpenter Lake
- Douglas Lake (part)
- Hiddenwood Lake (part)
- Makoti Lake
- Rice Lake
- Rush Lake
|US Decennial Census|
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 58,795 people, 23,041 households, and 15,368 families in the county. The population density was 29.2/sqmi (11.3/km2). There were 25,097 housing units at an average density of 12.5/sqmi (4.81/km2). The county is predominately White (92.40%), with African Americans and Native Americans making up 2.22% and 2.07% respectively. Asians and Pacific Islanders made up less than 1% of the population. Other races and those that identified as being two or more races made up 2.43%. 1.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 34.7% were of German ancestry and 27.9% Norwegian ancestry.
There were 23,041 households, out of which 34.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.20% were married couples living together, 8.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.30% were non-families. 27.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.80% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.01.
The county population contained 26.20% under the age of 18, 13.00% from 18 to 24, 29.10% from 25 to 44, 19.20% from 45 to 64, and 12.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 99.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.50 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $33,670, and the median income for a family was $41,342. Males had a median income of $27,980 versus $19,830 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,926. About 7.90% of families and 10.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.50% of those under age 18 and 8.40% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2010 census, there were 61,675 people, 25,029 households, and 15,597 families in the county. The population density was 30.6/sqmi (11.8/km2). There were 26,744 housing units at an average density of 13.3/sqmi (5.13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.3% white, 2.6% American Indian, 2.5% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 44.4% were German, 30.8% were Norwegian, 11.6% were Irish, 5.7% were English, and 2.3% were American.
Of the 25,029 households, 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.7% were non-families, and 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 32.7 years.
The median income for a household in the county was $48,793 and the median income for a family was $60,361. Males had a median income of $37,569 versus $28,415 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,326. About 6.7% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.
- Aurelia - (ghost town)
- Gassman - founded when the Gassman Creek Coulee trestle was being built, now referred to as "Trestle Valley"
- Hartland - (ghost town)
- Rice Lake - community at Rice Lake near Minot
- South Prairie
- Harrison - early community, now part of Minot
- Ralston - railroad siding
- Waldorf - early community, now part of Minot
- Des Lacs
- Iota Flat
- New Prairie
- Rice Lake
- Rolling Green
- St. Marys
- Sauk Prairie
- Spring Lake
Ward County voters are traditionally and increasingly Republican. In only one national election since 1944 (1964) has the county selected the Democratic Party candidate. In 2020, Donald Trump received 70.7% of the vote in this county, the highest for any candidate since Theodore Roosevelt, although his margin relative to his Democratic opponent declined from 2016, most likely due to the high amount of third party votes from the 2016 election cycle in Ward County.
- "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Ward County, North Dakota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 19, 2021.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "County History". Official Portal for North Dakota State Government. Archived from the original on February 2, 2015. Retrieved May 4, 2011.
- "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2006. Archived from the original on April 2, 2018. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- Wick, Douglas A. "Kenmare (Ward County)". North Dakota Place Names. Retrieved May 7, 2011.
- Ward County ND Google Maps (accessed February 22, 2019)
- ""Find an Altitude/Ward County ND" Google Maps (accessed 22 February 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- Forstall, Richard L., ed. (April 20, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
- "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
- Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
- The leading "other" candidate, Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, received 1,065 votes, while Socialist Eugene Debs received 613 votes, Prohibition candidate Eugene Chafin received 67 votes.
- Ward County official website
- Ward County Historical Society website
- Ward County maps, Sheet 1 (northwest), Sheet 2 (northeast), and Sheet 3 (southern), North Dakota DOT