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Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: History of the Pendroy families settlement
of the pioneer town of Pendroy, N.D. in McHenry
Internet Source: Frank Bryant Masteller (Birth
7 Oct 1866 in Mt Vernon, Knox, Oh. - Death
11 Dec 1937 in Wolf Creek, Montana) Page
on Ancestry.com on May 20, 2011.
Publication Source(s): Pendroy/Masteller Arrival in Dakota Territory from McHenry county: Its History and Its People, Midwest Printing, Towner, ND by McHenry Board of Commissioners, pg 17. "The Ranching Period" from the private collection of Jonathan C. Eston, Minot, ND.
Main Author source: Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: "Pendroy Settlement" by Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: [typed manuscript, c. 1976].
(((Comment by Don Pendroy May 20, 2011: I was aware that a Fannie (Pendroy) Peters's manuscript entitled "Pendroy Settlement" about Pendroy, North Dakota in McHenry County existed. I had tried unsuccessfully for over a decade to find or obtain the full version of it. I wanted to include the detailed historical narrative within the full version of "Pendroy Settlement" into http://www.pendroysurnamehistory.com - along with links to images and bigraphical genealogy and history already on the Pendroy Surname History site.
Several small and misc. excerpts from the Fannie (Pendroy) Peters' History of the Pendroy, ND Pendroy Settlement already were in my possession, and already on my website, and in my and other peoples' Pendroy family genealogy.
It appears from her written comments that Fannie (Pendroy) Peters may have typed the manuscript for intended publication in the bicentennial year 1976. Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: "Pendroy Settlement" by Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: [typed manuscript, c. 1976 - is certainly an extremely valuable source of the pioneer history of the McHenry Co. North Dakota area.)))
The first settlers to come into McHenry County
were primarily cattlemen from the eastern
states who knew of the excellent grazing
lands here and came to build cattle ranches
and a way of life that would last some twenty
years. From his private collection, Jonathan
C. Eston of Minot has contributed a series
of interviews conducted in the 1940's with
early day ranchers that give much insight
into that period of the county's development.
After staking their claims in the Mouse River valley in 1882, James and Andrew Pendroy returned to Casey, Iowa to conclude their affairs and prepare to the move to Dakota Territory. On May 30, 1883 Andrew Pendroy with his wife, family (probably including the Masteller family), and a number of other relatives and friends who planned to settle in McHenry County made the overland drive with 300 head of Shorthorn high-grade beef cattle, a number of purebred Hereford bulls and a few registered cows.
The trip took 62 days and covered nearly 1,000 miles. They arrived at the Pendroy ranch on August 2, 1883 with the cattle in good shape except for a few very young calves, which were footsore.
In an article published in the March, 1950 issue of the magazine, "Bits and Spurs", it states about the drive, "For 62 days the little caravan journeyed westward. The cattle grew footsore. It was hot and water was hard to find. They passed through Indian Territory but were not molested.
At times the trip was very discouraging. It was particularly disheartening when from their night's camp they could plainly see where they had spent the previous night. The days wore on and finally they reached the Mouse River valley where they found plenty of hay for their hungry animals." According to the interviewer, this was the first herd of cattle brought into McHenry County, N.D.
Pg. 19; Frank Masteller ranched south of here about 10 miles, near the Buzzard Roost section. He came in around 1887-8 8 [see information for A.J. Masteller for alternate date of arrival], a year or two before I got here. His herd got to be about 100 head of cattle. Off and on he ran a few head of sheep, too, though cattle was the main enterprise. For a home place he had two or three quarters of land. He pastured the herd nearby on the free open prairie.
Pendroy Settlement: Frank B. Masteller, his family, and several siblings were early ranchers in the Mouse River Valley of North Dakota. They shared the operation with the Pendroy Family.
The following is a history of the Pendroy settlement given to my grandmother, Ferol Bernice (Masteller) Anderson, by her cousin Fannie (Pendroy) Peters.
Start of: Fannie (Pendroy) Peters' History
of the Pendroy Settlement of McHenry County
"Pendroy Settlement" by Fannie (Pendroy) Peters: [typed manuscript, c. 1976].
I was born in the Pendroy Settlement on the Christmas Day, 1889:
I was born in the Pendroy Settlement on the Christmas Day, 1889. My father was John B. Pendroy and my mother, Belle Honnold Pendroy from Knoxville, Iowa. The Pendroy settlement consisted of about thirty families, all relatives and all holding claims….
… In 1882, Dakota Territory was opening up for settlement. There were two brothers in one Pendroy family in Iowa, J. Andrew (dp May 2011 note: Jacob Andrew Pendroy born 1832, who was called "Andrew" and also "Uncle Andrew" and "Uncle Andy" in this manuscript), and James M. (dp May 2011 note: James Martin Pendroy born 1834 also called "James", "J.M. Pendroy" and "Uncle Jim" and also "James M") in this manuscript) who each had boys. They had four widowed sisters who had children so they decided to locate where they could form a settlement.
On June 15, 1882, they and a nephew, Tom Berry started from Guthrie County, Iowa equipped with the usual covered wagons, tents and supplies, drawn by mules. James was a Civil War veteran. They had been brought up on pioneer stories so they knew what to expect. On July 25th they reached Bismarck where they looked over more land but did no find what they were looking for.
On August 11th they came back to the Bismarck camp deciding to go back to some good locations they had seen on the way. Johnnie, James's oldest son, joined them there, coming from Iowa by rail.
In the camp they had met a man and wife from the Mouse River Valley who were there for supplies. He had been a hunter and trapper for The Hudson Bay Company but now had a claim near Villard, which had just started. He was known as Yankee Robinson. When the Pendroys described what they were looking for, Robinson said, "You are describing the Mouse River Valley where I live. We are going home in the morning. It's a hundred mile trip but follow my tracks and look it over."
On August 13 they started out and on the 18th reached Robinson's claim. He took them around to see the land and they didn't look long before they knew they had found exactly what they were looking for and proceeded to stake out their claims, cut logs and build cabins.
James was a good carpenter so with the help of Ole Hovind who had settled across the river earlier, all went well until their campfire traveled and set fire to their tent and they lost most of their supplies. Robinson supplied some blankets and a Mrs. Wilson up river sold them some flour and they started for Bismarck from where the brothers went home by train to sell out and prepare to come back in the spring.
Johnnie and Thomas kept the teams in Bismarck and worked there until spring. Andrew Pendroy had two daughters and two sons, James M. (dp May 2011 note: James Martin Pendroy born 1862) and Charles (dp May 2011 note: Charles William Pendroy - Born 10-05-1874 ). One daughter was Mrs. Frank Marlenee; the other daughter didn't come to Dakota. James M. Pendroy had four sons, Johnnie, Levi, James and Perry. Their sisters were Mrs. Rachel Berry and Mrs. Nancy Young.
Two of James' sisters did not come to Dakota but their sons did. Mrs. Young had two boys, Wm. and Milton, and two daughters, Mrs. Heavilin and Mrs. Allen. Mrs. Berry had a son, Thomas, a daughter, Sarah, who never married, another daughter, Mrs. Mary Stickles and her son, William, and daughters Mrs. Eliza Masteller and Mrs. Margaret Donnel; Jacob and Noah Byers, Marion Pace and Osa Mosier were nephews.
Andrew and James became the patriarchs of the colony:
These were the foundation of the Pendroy Settlement. Andrew and James became the patriarchs of the colony and were known by everyone as Uncle Andrew and Uncle Jim. In the spring of '83, James and family shipped the household goods, machinery and some stock by emigrant train to Bismarck, then by wagon to Mouse River. Andrew and family trailed the Hereford cattle and some horses, with covered wagons and buggies arriving at Pendroy, August 2. This is thought to be the first Hereford cattle east of the Missouri River.
The town of Pendroy in McHenry County, North Dakota in 1895.
The Norwegian settlements and the Yankee
No one writing a history of early Mouse River settlements can write a complete history for it is divided into two parts. The Norwegian settlements and the Yankee settlements (as the Norwegians called us) were entirely different and although they were friends and good neighbors the language barrier prevented much social or political association for several years.
I can tell you only of the Yankee life with the exception of the Gjellstad and Hovind families who lived just across the river. Mrs. Gjellstad was a midwife and practical nurse trained in Norway, and a most wonderful lady who was always ready to help with births or sickness although she spoke no English. Mrs. Donnel usually accompanied her when among the English and it was said they could understand each other perfectly although not speaking the same language.
Ole Hovind was a very good violinist, spoke English and was often called on to furnish music for dances and parties. Andrew was a very successful bone setter and tooth puller. James had some experience with homeopathic medicine and supplied the colony.
There was very little sickness partly because the air was pure. There was an abundance of game and fish for food, plenty of hay and pasture for cattle, trees for fuel and building, many good springs, the river with timber for protection of stock and fertile land for farming.
It was 100 miles to Bismarck and 125 miles to Devils Lake for Supplies. Mail came from Villard - about 10 miles down river - the post office was opened in '82. At this time each were allowed three claims, homestead, preemption and tree claim.
The Pendroys were good hunters and had plenty of guns:
The Pendroys were good hunters and had plenty of guns so food was no problem. The first summer produced a few vegetables, especially root crops for which every family had a root cellar for winter. Blizzards are bad wherever you find them; some years were dry but none ever went hungry or ran out of fuel.
Prairie fires were very bad but they knew how to plow and burn fire guards. Ranchers were always ready with barrels of water, mops, a wagon and always a team in the barn ready for any need - any smoke sent help. A Norwegian friend told me that when they first came they worried about fires but they soon found that any smoke would bring the Yankees with help so they quit worrying.
In the winter the men took wagon loads of frozen fish to Bismarck and brought back supplies. Cash was very scarce. We had an advantage of bringing horses and oxen, chickens, and pigs from Iowa by rail. Also machinery and equipment, and later furniture - that had been left with relatives in Iowa.
It was hardest for the women because they left families and friends and here they didn't get away from home much but they seemed happy to give their children a chance for homes. Every house or barn built was a community affair. The men "raised" the building; the women brought dinners and the children and usually the evening ended in a dance. A day of wood sawing, butchering or any work would bring a big dinner, a quilting party or a mending, embroidery, crocheting or knitting party for the women.
1888 picture at Pendroy, North Dakota, of Pendroy (and some neighboring) pioneer women quilting.
Click here or on smaller pictures for a large scan: This could be saved and made into a 4x6 or larger print, if desired.
This photo dates from 1888 and is part of
the photographic collection of the North
Dakota State Historical Society. Book Source: Page 133 Never Done: A History
of American Housework. By Susan Strasser.
Henry Holt & Company Publishers, New
Pendroy, North Dakota pioneer women and children at a quilting party around 1888. Left to right: Myrtle Robinson, Liza Histness, Gertrude(daughter of Susie Pendroy)Pendroy, Susie (Messinger) Pendroy, Lizzie(daughter of Susie Pendroy)Pendroy, Mrs. McKay, Alzie(directly under the deer)Allan, Jessie Robinson Pendroy who was Mrs. Levi Pendroy , Sarah Pendroy(the oldest woman is Sarah (Baldwin) Pendroy) who is Mrs. James Martin Pendroy and she is the only adult on the right side of the table), Lulu(LuLu or Luella is the daughter of Jessie (Robinson) Pendroy)Pendroy: and is the small child in lower RH corner, and under the quilt: Beatrice(daughter of Susie Pendroy)Pendroy (this child apparently is in the white blanket on the floor under the quilt.
(Thanks to the Duncan family in Oregon - Mary E. (Berry) Stickels's GG Grand daughter - for these bios. and other information. Mary E. Berry was a daughter of William and Rachel (Pendroy) Berry. Rachel Pendroy was a daughter of Jacob and Margaret (Boots) Pendroy.)
Every birthday was an excuse for a big party.
These parties were potluck and bring dishes
and silverware for many of these brought
from fifty to a hundred people. Distance
was no excuse for not attending.
The first school was taught by Laura Donnel in her home. Sunday school was at homes. The first English language church service was preached by Reverend Royce in the Pendroy, ND post office. The post office was established in June 1884, and James M. Pendroy was Postmaster. It was the second office in McHenry County.
Sometimes mail came from Villard, sometimes from Washburn by dog team. A literary society was started. There, books and magazines were exchanged, debates were held, and dialogues and recitations were given. Anytime anyone had news from Iowa, it was read or told. There was lots of singing. This was attended by old and young and always ended with a big lunch.
These people pioneered for a purpose and they knew what they would find in building a new community. There are always problems but they were well prepared to meet hardships and they felt well repaid.
In 1884 more families came and also more English-speaking people homesteaded in the valley from Burlington to Newport. The social life included people from the entire distance. Newport became Towner when the railroad came in 1886. New Years '85 started with 30 of the family eating dinner at Marion Paces.
Jim and I followed his back trail, found the mail and brought it in:
St. Patrick's Day they all went to Ole Hovind's for a dance. "There was a house full and we all had a good time," says the diary. "February 11th, -28 degrees below at sunrise. The mail carrier from Washburn with the dog team came in today. He was snow-blind and lost his way last night. He dug a hole in the snow and laid down. This morning when he got up his dogs were gone. He left the sled and mail out about six miles and came in on foot. Jim (James Andrew Pendroy) and I (John Baldwin Pendroy) followed his back trail, found the mail and brought it in."
March 26-Wild geese have commenced flying today."
"March 27-Started building Johnnie's house today." His was the wintering place for the cattle, open springs all winter and plenty of feed and shelter. There was open range for summer growing. They celebrated the 4th of July that year by going out to Fish Lake about five miles away. They took plenty of food and utensils and caught about 85 fish for dinner. Old and young attended and as always had a splendid time.
An action was approved by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Dakota proving a special election in McHenry County for the election of county officers and the temporary location of the county seat. On June 12, 1885, A. L. Hanscom, Ole Gilbertson and J. M. Pendroy holding certificates of election as Commissioners of McHenry County met at Scripptown and took oath of office. On motion, J. M. Pendroy was made chairman for the ensuing year. I just researched the minutes of proceedings and was surprised to find this work that organizing a county gave the three Commissioners and the Auditor who was Olaf Bergh.
The Commissioners had to check tax lists, establish school districts, road districts, accept petitions for roads and bridges; then go and "view" them and decide on the building. Order school houses to be built and where, and then to get equipment for them and the Courthouse. Get someone to plow a furrow from "Villard to Antelope Lake (that must have been for fire guard as open range was there); act on all bills and settle some disputes. J.M. Pendroy (Uncle Jim) served for several terms, usually as chairman.
The Courthouse was a Scriptown, Lot 1-2-3, Sec. 30, Lot 4, Sec. 19, Township 153, Range 79, 3 miles east of Velva on the prairie. A small log house with sod roof. The land had been claimed and house built by a Mr. Nicholaus when they expected a railroad to be built through there. There were two or three other buildings there, one was a store but no post office at that time.
March 7. Johnnie's house was finished and about 40 of the family went down and surprised him. Hot coffee and lunch at 12 and all seemed to enjoy themselves. December 25th: Uncle Jim's had a dinner and entertained a number of our relatives and neighbors. Fifty-four sat down for dinner besides ten babies. Almost all of them stayed for the evening and enjoyed themselves keeping step to good music by Osa Mosier, E. Marlenee and Ole Hovind. These are just a few of the gatherings the diary tells of. (dp May 2011 note: Misc diary excerpts in this manuscript reflect writing in Johnnie and Belle (Honnold) Pendroy's diary (John Baldwin Pendroy)).
Mrs. Eliza Masteller and Miss Janey Strong were the first public school teachers:
In 1886 two log schoolhouses were built in the Oak Valley District by Levi Pendroy. Mrs. Eliza Masteller and Miss Janey Strong were the first public school teachers in McHenry County - Mrs. Masteller taught the first term in Johnnie Pendroy's house as the schoolhouse was not yet finished. It was in Sec. 20, Township 154, Range 78 on land donated by Johnnie. This building also served as a church, Sunday school, school and church suppers, especially basket socials - oyster stews - Christmas trees and programs, literary society, and anything else that was needed. The school socials bought us a bookcase full of good reading.
The first county printing was done by Perry Pendroy in June, 1885. The bill for his work and stationary was $19.00. Uncle Andrew and sons devoted themselves to ranching and were very successful. Uncle Jim's four boys gave him some time to devote to other things; he was also younger. His was a very outgoing family. The house was always filled with company, neighbors and travelers. All the boys seemed to inherit the same spirit. All their homes were the same as long as they lived in the state.
Aunt Sarah had a little buggy and pony of her own always ready to take her anywhere in the neighborhood. With travelers, guests, hired men and family she needed help which was usually some girl wanting to learn English and American ways. Since she had lots of patience it worked very well. The girls got the regular wages of the time.
In 1886 the railroad came in to Towner and from the commissioner's minutes, "After the 18th of December, 1886 the County Seat of McHenry Co., will be changed and located in Towner, that place having received a majority of the votes at the last general election held Nov. 9, 1886 and that all books, documents, records, safe and other County property whereon and after the date before mentioned all County business will be transferred and J. B. Sewelll and Ole Gilbertson will be appointed a committee to supervise the removal."
As Towner grew a G.A.R. post was started for Civil War veterans, also a Sons of Veterans. A Masonic Lodge and Chapter started, Uncle Jim belonged to them and was still being elected Commissioner. The young people of Towner, Burlington and Pendroy had been drawn together for parties, dances and visits so occasionally the Towner young people would get up a party and drive to Pendroy where a party would be held. Then they would join in and on to Burlington for a day or two visit, back to Pendroy for another day then home to Towner. The next time would be Burlington to Pendroy to Towner and back.
There was no time for boredom, women filled spare time with reading, writing, fancywork and quilting. The men had races, turkey shoots, hunting parties or perhaps calling on some beautiful girls. The sad story of pioneers was just not heard among the Yankees; at least if it was they never repeated it at any Old Settlers' picnics or whenever they told of the early days.
As the Norwegians learned the language and customs of the country, they joined in and soon it was all one. They became county officers, school board members, school teachers, all things to be of benefit to what was now their country too and they were being excellent ranchers and farmers.
All of the Pendroy boys married school-day sweethearts from Iowa:
In 1888 my mother, Belle Honnold came from Iowa to teach the Pendroy School. She and my father had been school mates as it wasn't very long before they were married. All of the Pendroy boys married school day sweethearts from Iowa. Belle sent for her organ and since she was a good musician she and Ole Hovind enjoyed many evenings of entertaining.
In 1894 Levi and family moved to Towner so his children could go to school. Perry and Alice moved to their Wintering River Ranch where Pendroy was starting a sheep ranch. McKay and Ross had left Wallace and started in business. Vaughn had closed his store and gone back East, so Wallace was again just prairie.
At this time the RR was building west. Several of the men from the settlement were working on it. Levi started a general store in Towner and Jim started a blacksmith shop and he and Silda moved there. Later Jim was deputy sheriff for Bob Gorman.
The settlement was growing smaller but followed their usual customs of dances, parties, church in the schoolhouse and school as usual. Wood cutting, butchering and house raising were still needed and still brought parties. Taffy pulls, oyster stews, parties kept the young people entertained. In winter, sleighing parties, coasting, skating was always popular.
Uncle Jim was busy using his carpenter tools. All the boys needed something built, when they didn't he made doll trunks and carpenter chests for the grandchildren.
Johnnie and Belle celebrated their wooden wedding with an evening of music, singing and dancing followed by a bountiful supper. Some friends came from Towner as they had been in the wedding party. Marion Pace performed an unusual wedding ceremony. The guests presented them with a beautiful writing desk which is still in use.
Velva soon started so that by 1895 the 4th of July was celebrated there. They had among other things a tub race in a small lake there and one young man nearly drowned so that wasn't tried again.
The 1890s brought many changes to the settlement. No more long trips for supplies. Minot, Velva and Towner furnished almost everything needed and of course catalog houses had always supplied many things, even groceries from St. Paula, after the railroad came.
Berry's had moved to Velva and started a good hotel, the Berry House. Stickles had started a general store there to which Mary Stickles added a millinery department. Rachel Berry and her daughter, Sarah, had moved to Velva and Sarah was a dressmaker there.
The Pendroy M.E. Church became the Velva M.E. Church:
The Pendroy M.E. Church became the Velva M.E. Church and Rev. Runyun was resident minister. The summer of 1895 my mother was not well and my father thought a week at the Devils Lake Chautaqua would help her. We rode in a covered wagon equipped with bed and supplies much like a camper now, took plenty of time to enjoy the trip of 125 miles, stayed a day and night in Knox visiting with an old friend of my mother's. The Chautaqua was on the lake shore; we rented a tent with floor and screens. There was a hotel, some stores and restaurants as well as the large auditorium.
We had several trips around the lake on the famous "Minnie H." steamer, visited Fort Tauten which had been turned into an Indian boarding school, the troops had been moved. The Chautaqua was very interesting. Very well attended, it started early in the morning with a religious service, different speakers and entertainers all-day and ended late at night with concerts or plays. The high point for me was that my father bought a lovely Welsh pony for me which I rode or drove to a cart for a long time.
Uncle Jim was elected County Probate Judge in 1898 but became ill and could not serve. He died June 30, 1899 and was buried in Towner cemetery with Masonic and G.A.R. rites. Aunt Sarah came to live with us as my mother had passed away in 1897. The Pendroy P.O. was turned over to Thomas Donnel who held it until 1903 when they moved to Washington. The office was then closed and mail sent to Velva. That summer the log schoolhouse was replaced with a frame building.
In 1899 and 1900 boom towns were starting. The railroads needed more business and advertised in the East for homesteaders and gave land seekers excursions at very low rates. Many young people and a few older ones responded and the boom was on. Business places were needed for the homesteaders so town sites were sold eight or ten miles apart and soon every quarter of land blossomed with a shack, usually tar paper covered, and new buildings were going up all at once in towns. The people looking for free lands are usually happy and carefree. They are usually strong, and healthy, middle class, intelligent and ready to help each other. Others may come but few remain to prove up.
Remodeled the Towner Hotel and changed it to Pendroy Hotel:
Levi had just lost his store and home by fire so got the appointment of U.S. Land Commissioner in 1902 and again in 1906. After this he was elected County Treasurer and later bought and remodeled the Towner Hotel and changed it to Pendroy Hotel, and for several years ran a very popular hotel.
Jim (dp May 2011 note: James Andrew Pendroy was born 04/01/1863 in Marion Co. IA. He married Silda Masteller) had a claim where Denbigh started so he moved there, the townsite was on his land. He was Denbigh's first postmaster in 1900, later ran a newspaper too, then he and Johnnie opened a lumberyard. Johnnie was a silent partner. Jim later started the Denbigh brick plant. Jim was "father" of the town always ready to help any one. Later he built a lovely home on the lakeshore in the north end of town.
Balfour town site was sold in late 1899. Johnnie and Perry were there to get choice lots and built a large livery, feed and sales stable and a large office for feed and coal, later over the office they built an Opera House. Most towns had one to accommodate traveling bands and shows, plays, lectures, etc. but theirs also became headquarters for dances or church services or plays, school entertainment, some weddings, church socials, card parties, church suppers, lodges held their meetings there and they were many. Only the Masons and Odd Fellows had a hall of their own.
The first school was held in an empty feed store. The first church services were held in the hall, but soon the Norwegian Lutheran Church was built there, the German Evangelical, the Methodist and a small Catholic Church.
The Pendroys both built large homes and like their parents the latchstring was always out. They neither wanted a political office but took part in anything that would help the town. Especially Johnnie found it almost impossible to not find he was on town board or school board or some committee.
These boom towns were very good about seeing that no one was hungry or cold. As an example a woman was left a widow with several children and no relatives there. She could only take in washing to support herself and children. Several of the businessmen would see that a sack of flour or of sugar, or some meat or some food was left on her back porch during the night. The Pendroy dray delivered a load of coal occasionally and no names were ever attached to anything. It would take a book to tell the history of any boomtown and we are not likely to find any more like them.
In 1906 Dogden started; Perry, Johnnie and a doctor - name forgotten - started a drugstore. They hired a druggist. The Pendroy settlement was small by that time but Johnnie had kept his homestead and also owned his father's property. Later the Old Settlers Picnic ground was on his homestead and much later he had a picnic ground and pavilion there. He and Perry decided to divide the business partnership. Perry sold his home to Dr. Stone and built a nice home in Dogden where he ran the drug store for some time.
Everything went splendidly until 1910:
Everything went splendidly until 1910 when a hot wind destroyed a crop that had looked very good. At this time Montana and Canada were both advertising for homesteaders so many, especially young people, helped start more boom towns. Also at that time cars and trucks were replacing horses and livery stables were obsolete. The cars drew trade away from small towns and into larger ones.
Two big fires on main street of Balfour took at least half of the business section. Crop failures closed the Balfour mill. There was no reason to replace the buildings burned. The lumberyards moved out to where lumber was needed. In 1923 banks were closing all over North Dakota. Crops were poor. In the Balfour area they had seven straight years of no crops. In 1929 the stock market was the cause of more bank failures. Then came the depression of the 30's so Balfour, Bergen, Voltaire, Dogden (now Butte), Denbigh and many other towns have either disappeared or have very few business places.
Levi and Jim went to Montana....Pendroy, Montana is named for them:
Many of the old settlers moved away to find a more pleasant life. Levi, Jim and Perry and families moved; Levi (Levi Boots Pendroy) and Jim (James Andrew Pendroy) went to Montana where they did ranching/farming. Pendroy, Montana is named for them.
Before long Montana had crop failures and they moved on to California where Perry joined them. They all spent the last of their lives there; all have descendants living there. Johnnie left Balfour, repaired the homestead house and lived the last of his life where there were so many happy memories. The only remaining Pendroy home in McHenry County is now property of my children, Fredrick J. Peters in Seattle, Corabelle Brown with whom I make my home is the County Superintendent of Schools and finishing her 20th year in the office, Marguerite Park who lives in Balfour and is postmistress in Bergen; her husband Charles is rural mail carrier at Balfour. He is a descendant of the Park family, an 1885 rancher in the Dogdens, and neighbors of the Pendroys where they stopped on the way from the river to Bismarck. I hold "squatters rights" on the old cabin.
To show the difference with the people of 1882 and 1976 I want this left in the Bicentennial records. My land patent signed by the President tells me that I am given the land that my father homesteaded and owned to continue to my heirs forever, but recently Congress ordered that the wildlife can take any of the land in the valley to replace what they lose if Burlington Dam is built and Congress also has approved that dam without our consent - so we of the entire Souris River Valley are back 200 years in time and are fighting to keep our homes.
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