Hannah, ND

Cavalier County
Inhabited as of 8-06

Hannah, ND is a Canadian border town in Cavalier County, directly north of Devils Lake. Hannah’s reported peak population was 262 in 1930.

US Census Data for Hannah
Total Population by Place

1960 – 253
1970 – 145
1980 – 90
2000 – 20
2010 — 15

Pictured below is the site of the former Hannah High School, now just a sign and an empty flag pole. The playground still remains, but the school itself is gone.

Hannah was originally two settlements a couple of miles apart, founded separately as “Hanna” and “Hannah”. The two eventually combined at the railroad line and adopted the name of “Hannah” in honor of early resident (and Father-in-law to the postmaster) Frank Hannah. Hannah’s most prominent former residents woud be Russel Reid, one-time head of the North Dakota Historical Society, and Ethel Catherwood, who eventually adopted Canada as her home and won a Gold Medal for them in the 1928 Olympics.


118 Comments on “Hannah, ND

  1. Can any of these abandomed towns be purchased? Your work is appreciated.

    • They can be purchased from the county or from private owners.

  2. That’s the kind of playground I remember as a child–the swings on high chains, the merry-go-round and teeter-totters, and the really-fast slide.

  3. I grew up just three miles outside Hannah on our family’ farm. I went to the Hannah Public School until my senior year when it closed in 1980. Then I had to go to a neighboring town for my last year of school. Thank you so much for publishing those few remaining builidings. It was exciting to look at them and relive the memories I have of growing up there. Playing on that play ground equipment and going to many ball games at the baseball fields. Not to mention the many dances I went to at the Legion Hall which is now just a storage buildng for grain or machinery. Thank you again!!

  4. My mother, Marcella Merle Gray was born in Hannah in 1914. In June 2010 my husband & I visited the town for the first time. Saw one person entering a small grocery store. Her dad, K.T.Gray owned the grain elevator. When she was 4 the family moved to Sarles, ND.

    • I recognize the name of KT Gray from working on the centennial history book of Sarles.

  5. Hannah was the north end of what was known down around here as the female railroad – it went from there through Fargo and ended in Marion and went through several other towns with female names.

  6. My Father was from Wales, ND a few miles from Hannah and my Aunt Helen Stewart Fairbanks married William Fairbanks who grew up in Hannah. My family has fond memories of Hannah and Wales and my parents still visit about once a year. The pictures are wonderful. The red building next to the old Standard Station was a movie theater and my father was there the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.

    • So was this the movie theater first and then a bar? I just remember it as always being a bar in Hannah. The movie theater was across the street and down a bit. Went to many movied for a quarter and ten cent popcorn,those were the days!! 🙂

      • The red building was but I can’t remember the name of it. The movie theater was located on the other side of the street someplace between the grocery store and AB Kiefer’s bar. My mother Eileen Borgen (daughter of Oliver Borgen) grew up in Hannah and my dad taught a few years in the Hannah school

  7. I remember Hannah well. I grew up not far away near another town that probably looks the same, Calvin. I enjoyed the pictures of Clyde as well. I am sure there are several more towns in that area passing into history in the same way…Sarles, Hansboro, Calio, Bisbee and Egeland

  8. I met my husband Brad who’s from Milton, ND, during “Hannah Days” in the bar on July 27, 1985, while I was living in Calvin and teaching at Border Central Public School. We’ve had many more good times with friends in Hannah since then. We currently live not far away in Langdon and still drive up there occasionally.

  9. I am so pleased to say that this town was named after Francis Hannah Sr., my great, great grandfather. I discovered an online photo of him and was touched to see how much my father, Norman Hannah, resembled him.
    I hope that someday I might visit the town.
    God Bless the people of Hannah, North Dakota.
    Susan Hannah

    • hi there!! doing some geneology research and JUST discovered that my grandpa’s great grandpa (francis hannah sr) founded the town!! i dont know anything about my grandpa or his family as he died when my mom was a baby where did u find the photo!? i wish i could contact u somehow!!

      • Hello Destiny,

        Please see my Hannah Family Tree traced back to Drumholm Parrish, Donegal, Ireland:


        You can click on a picture of Francis Hannah Sr. who was interred in Hannah, North Dakota:


        The other two photos are of his brothers, Edward and Andrew.

        Click the bottom of the yellow page to see the decendants of Richard Hannah and to find the names for your family history. There are two pages.

        There is a wealth of information on the internet for the Hannah family. Enjoy your search!

        Kind Regards,

        Susan Hannah

        • Susan, As a point of note, my understanding is that the naming of the town has what might be a fun twist. Not at all to discredit the key import, warm regard and respect that your “great” enjoyed.
          Many towns were plotted at the time by either the Great Northernn Railroad which primarily ran north and south and the Soo Line RR which ran east and west. the Soo line “generally” recruited workers and settlers from germanic states germany poland etc. resulting in towns named on its lines like munich,dresden, drayton etc. Great Northern “generally” recruited from Northern European countries so you you have names reflecting those areas.

          Rail road companies often named new towns after executives in the company. I have been to the James J Hill library in MPLS and Have confirmed that the original name of the town was Hanna after a Great Northern executive named Hanna. (confirmed by the earliest editions of the Hanna Moon newspaper) As your great was among the earliest settlers, very well liked and politically connected and talented enough to land the Post Masters title, he was encouraged by all when he simply added an H to the end of the name.

          • Bruce McLean, I was wondering if you could provide a reference to what you have stated above. I am very interested in my family’s history, and I have to admit that, that is very contrary to what I have in information. I would love to be able to research that. The problem is that the first post office was built on Alpheus Adams(He was married to Ellen Jane Hannah, daughter of Francis Hannah) Land while he owned it in 1884. A year later it was moved to Francis Hannah’s land which he also owned. I have documents on all of it. So I would dearly love to see what you have on it. See where it all ties in.

        • Thank you Susan for the family information.
          My mother, Ruhama Virtue (Amy) Hannah was born in Hannah, ND in June 1888. Her parents were Frances and Edward Hannah who are buried at Leroy, Saskatchewan where they homesteaded in the early 1900s.
          I am planning a Roots trip in early July that will include a visit to Hannah, ND. If you would like to keep in touch, please let me know. bob@wildhorsefarm.ca

        • Hello Susan. I was wondering if it would be possible to contact you about your genealogy. I am also a descendent of Francis (Frank) Hannah. My family is from his son Francis Jr. I am looking for information, though I admit I have a lot. Possible the book as well. Please contact me at silvermorning@rocketmail.com

        • I remember Lydia Hannah,she was a good friend of my Mom’s and lived just across the alley from us after Bill Cooks died,as she moved into their house.

  10. My family lived in Hannah as well as Wales, in the early 50’s, as my father was the Immigration Officer. I recognize several of the buildings; Post Office and the Theater were I saw Elvis for the first time. I enjoyed browsing the photos!!

    • Hi Gretchen,
      I remember your family living in Hannah. Trying to think if you lived across the street from us at that time or did you live out at the Border? I think you had a sister my age. I graduated in 1967 from Hannah. Would be fun to hear from you.

      • Yes, I had a sister that graduated in 1966, she died in 1991. There were eight children in our family. We lived in town, I remember the Santos family lived across the street and the Greenshields lived several houses down.

    • Well,I know many of the people mow the vacant lots to keep it looking nice,so imagine that is they the lawns are all mowed.

    • yes is does seem funny i was thinking the same thing Natasha i live in fargo now and some of the people here don’t keep there lawns that nice

    • They aren’t abandoned some people still live their…lol

  11. All of these pictures bring back many memories of living in Hannah. So many fun times at school and after school going down and playing baseball and other games. The people were so friendly and we knew everyone who lived there,a fun small town to grow up in.


    • I remember your family and their kindness. On the day that my family moved into Hannah, the outgoing Immigration officer and his family had not moved out of the house we were to inhabit. So, we had to move our household goods from the van to the lawn and then move their stuff into the van. It was a long day and your family invited us, all 10 of us, to stay the day at your home and fed us!

    • Gloria, I believe at one time, my grandfather also ran that Standard Station. I never had the opportunity to meet him, but I remember spending a lot of time visiting my other grandparents in Hannah and walking to the post office with my Grandpa Hugh.


      • At one time, the Standard Station was operated by my uncle Daryl Godfrey, who married my aunt Carol Joan Borgen

  13. My mother, Margaret Ellen Hunt was born on a farm near Hannah. The family moved to Saskatchewan when she was still a child. Her memories of ND were fond but few. Would anyone know of the HUNT family who farmed there around 1906? that was the year my mother was born. I appreciate the pictures of old buildings. thanks..

    • That would be my Grandfather Reg Hunt’s family. He had the farm north of town. Also had a meet market in Hannah for many years. My Dad, Carmen and mother Florence (Adams) both were raised there and went through school. I visited Hannah most every summer when I was growing up. I stayed with my Grandma Adams and Hunt. My uncle Ken Adams had the hardware where I spent most of my summer time days

      • Hi Greg,
        What was your grandfather Adams name? I am doing research on my family line and am looking for any information on the postmaster listed on this site as Alpheus Adams. He would have been my great-great-great-grandfather. I am hoping that someone remembers a story about him and if they could remember who his dad may have been? I found an obituary about him and saw that he had a half brother named W. E. Adams from Hannah and another half brother named George Adams from Saskatchewan, Canada. I cannot find any information about who their father or mother would have been. Any help would be greatly appreciated from anyone reading this who could ask their elders about these people as everyone that would know anything related to me has passed away and we never knew to ask.
        A note to anyone reading this: if you plan at all to do your family tree, get the most information you can from your elders before they pass since time machines haven’t been invented yet to go back and ask them! My greatest regret is not asking enough questions.


        Diane Meier
        Great-great-great-grand daughter to Alpehus and Ellen Jane (Hannah) Adams

        • as I understand it…. a good number of the Scottish decendents immigrated by way of Onterio Canada. The Hunts, adams, Mieres, and other early families came in the early 1880’s. Henry McLean, Black Jack McDonald, (Don McDonalds Grand) and Crockett (claud’s Grand father) stayed together in a dugout built into a low slopping hill 4 miles North of Langdon. Word has it that these men visited a nieghboring shack occupied by Don McIntosh (Donnie’s grand) and tried to make pancakes out of sulfer powder which they mistook for flour; causing a horrible smell and generations of good natured teasing. any way, they all looked in the Hannah area to find a place to homestead. Photo’s from the early 1900’s show nary a tree or even a bush, frequent prairie fires ensured that none would survive. thus the “need” for tree claims which would allow you to get an extra 160 acres if you kept (i think) 5 acres of trees in good shape. It is hard to imagine how sparse the place must have been…. The story goes that when Henry showed his wife Margaret the new” farm” she started to cry. a family story is that baby Alex(hugh) Mclean born in ‘1884? was kept in the “still warm” “cooking” stove on winter nights to keep him warm. other stories include; so many ducks that the sky would darken over the hunters and so many wild starwberries that they would turn the wheels of the wagon red, then they knew it was a good stop to pick them. These people had to be a LOT tougher than most that followed! a quick 60 years or so later, and they would have electricity!

          • Hello Bruce,
            I remember you when I was a young kid. My grandparents were Donnie and Rosie Campbell. I like reading your posts. I remember my grandfather talking about the ducks being so plentiful. Do you still live on your folks farm. Your family were always great friends to the Campbells. Take care.
            Lance Campbell

      • Greg,

        I stumbled onto this Hannah site after my youngest daughter and I were going through some old family photos and looking for connections. Your grandfather, Reg Hunt, was a younger brother to my great-grandfather, John Hunt. His daughter, Eva Hunt Vannice, was raised from the age of 13, in Hannah and graduated high school there.

        I have several Hunt family pictures of your grandfather and his brothers, and of Hannah in those days. I also have pictures from Riverview, and Holstein, Ontario. I would have to look again, but I believe I have pictures of your father, as well, as he was my grandmother’s first cousin. We should talk about these. I live in southern Illinois, but I have a daughter who is a veterinary student in St. Paul. We will be visiting her at times in the next couple of years. Do you live in the Hannah area now?

      • I loved going to visit my grandmother Annie Schill Kieffer in Hannah My uncle Abie owned the bar for many years.(Kieffer’s bar). My Aunt Irma Kieffer was married to Ken Adams. I lived in Hannah I guess from birth to about three years of age.
        I was back visiting Hannah this past summer 2013. So much is gone and it really broke my heart.

        • Mary,
          Do you know any of the Hunt descendants who are still alive in the Cavalier County area? I tried making contact with the Greg Hunt who is in this tread, as I believe we are cousins, but to no avail. Also, do you know of anyone who is a descendant of a man named Alton Meier (Meyer)? I don’t know if he lived in Hannah or near common family in the area. He was an older cousin of my grandmother (Eva Hunt Vannice) and my father was named after him. My girls and I are planning on going to Hannah sometime in the next three years. I would love to be able to talk to someone about a lot of the Hannah pictures we have, as they are not all of my direct ancestors. Someone might like to have an original of a family ancestor, (even some very old pictures from Ontario). Thanks!!

          • Hi Diana,
            Any chance you have pictures of any Adams in that collection? I would greatly appreciate any photo of them or the Hannah’s. If you do and would like to email me a copy please send to diane_meier@hotmail.com. Thank you!

  14. Forgot to mention that Alpheus lived in Hannah, N.D between 1884-1910. Alpheus died on April 3, 1910. If anyone knows where his grave might be and lives close by, a photo would be extremely appreciated! He was born on December 15, 1847 in Michigan but lived his younger years in Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada.

  15. HI Greg
    I remember those summers you would go to Hannah and stay with your Grandparents. Where are you living today?

    Many fond memories of the time spent in Hannah,so sad to go back to see not many people living there any longer.

    Gretchen,what was your sister’s name who was close to my age,was it Judy. So sorry to hear of her passing,those are not always easy times. Yes,I do remember your family being large and having many fun times playing over at your house when you lived in Hannah. After my Dad died my Mother remarried Bill Greenshields and they lived in Grand Forks. Where are you living now Gretchen?

    • Hi Linda,

      My sister’s name was Christine, she died in Two Rivers, WI. After my father resigned from the Immigration, several years after we moved from Hannah, we moved to Minnesota and he died of brain cancer several years later. I live in Duluth, MN.
      I remember Heather Greenshields as being my sister Teresa’s playmate. I had heard she lived in Pine City, MN?
      I remember skating on a large pond not far from our house and dancing at a hall on Saturday night.

      • Hi Gretchen, I was in Christine’s class in Hannah. I remember her very well and am so sorry to hear of her death. Did you also have a brother about that age? There was never many girls our age and I was so pleased when your family moved to town. My name was Linda McDonald when Christine and I were in the Hannah School. I cant remember your brothers name tho.

      • Hi Linda,
        Yes, the brother the same age was Christine’s twin Erwin. So, nice to hear from someone that knew our family. Our stay in Hannah was brief but full of memories for us.
        I remember the name Nickerson, was there a Ken Nickerson? Thank you for your response.

      • I remember Mrs. Hannah…. I grew up there.. Near where Mrs. Hannah lived.
        ALso, Heather was my childhood playmate.. Debbie Romfo

    • Hi Gretchen I grew up in Wales and remember your family living there I think we did some cheerleading together. I think your brother Mike was in my class.

      • Yes, Marilyn I do remember you and the cheerleading. I remember when you lost your can can at a Clyde game and we had to pull it off from under your skirt. I wonder what happened to Mr. Johnson, our teacher. I had heard that your family moved to Grand Forks or Fargo after we left Wales? My brother Mike was in your class. He lives near Virginia MN. He retired from the Iron Ore mines.

      • I don’t remember the can can incident but remember alot of fun at ball games.after i graduated we did move to TRF,Mn Ilived there for 1 year and went to the tech school for hairdressing then moved back to Langdon and worked a short time and got married and moved back to Wales we raised 5 children there my 1st husband passed away in 1998 I remarried last year and am still in the area.harvey Scheinder is organizing a 50 yr class reunion next summer in Langdon why don’t you and Mike venture on up it is the same time as 125 in Langdon Mr. johnson is living in Anoka,Mn

      • Marilyn, I spoke with my brother Mike and he is interested in the reunion. Would you post here the dates when you have them? Mike visited Wales about 10 years ago and visited with Harvey Schneider.

  16. Hi Gretchen,
    Yes,I remember being a friend of Christines while you were in Hannah. Remember going over to your house to play many times.

    My Dad died in March of 1979 and my Mom remarried many years later to Bill Greenshields,Heather’s Dad. Heather does live in Pine City,MN. Both Bill and Marion are gone as well as my Mom who died in 2006. We miss all of them but have many fond memories of our years in Hannah and all the people who were and are still so special from there.

    I live in Mayville,ND now on a farm,if you are ever in the area look me up,would love to visit with you.

  17. My family moved to Hannah when I was in the 4th grade I graduated in 1961, a class of 6. There are lotza good memories of Hannah, cool seeing the pictures.

  18. Hello! I am a ransplant to ND and I happened upon this site. My husband and I have lived in Petersburg for almost 20 years now. We came here about 30 years ago with the military and never left. We enjoy going out for drives with a small lunch and looking at the abandoned towns and farms. I always imagine what it was like there, the people, what did the children do……So thanks for all the stories! I really enjoyed them!

  19. Gretchen,there was a Ken Nickerson from Hannah,he is a friend of mine and is semi-retired and lives west of Cavalier,N.D….I worked with him and his brothers Dave and Lee in the 70’s for Mayo Const. out of Cavalier.

  20. I am Bob Shanks, son of Ralph Shanks, Grandson Dan. Mother was Veda Cavers .Her dad had the hardware store later owned by Ken Adams. I spent summers in Hannah late 30’s with willard Treleavons. Many good times!! Not many of us left. Played ball on town team at tournaments in Canada with King brothers ,Bob Coulan etc.Swim in the resivoire, Sat night much activity, kick the can, sneak smokes,movie,hang out. ,!! Sunday school. Remember Darrel Dickson, a McKnight
    boy who got ride Tommy what’s his name stud pony at the fair race in Langdon,
    ,.All of this is a long time ago. I am 85 and those of you who might read this I am sure will not appreciate the thriving town Hannah was in my and my parents day. Drop me an EMail

    robertgshanks@gmail.com. I live in Grapeview Wash. Grew up in Fargo.

  21. I lived south of Hannah 10 miles and have many good memories of eating at the cafe and going to Darrell Dicksons to shop for antiques. Its sad to see the towns like this but we will always have the memories of how they use to be.

  22. Hi Gretchen,
    I was just one this sight and saw that you may head to Langdon next summer for a reunion,if you do,and have time to stop by my place I would love the visit,or maybe we could meet in GF or Fargo,they are both fairly close for me.

  23. my great grand perants owned a fram there and the hotel and diner is what iam told last name was sprague
    also know as ma sprague and dad sprague if any one might have a picture of the hotel pleas get in contact with me

    • A picture of the hotel is in the photo’s included, it is the white building with trees growing too close. has the appearance of a large house.

  24. I just loved all the comments, on person forgotten from Hannah was Dorothy Adams. She was the Daughter of William E Adams, who started the Adams Hardware in Hannah that was eventually merged with the competition and again be came the Adams hardware under my uncle Ken Adams. Dorothy was a prolific character actress appearing in some great films like Laura and the 10 Commandments and on TV in Perry Mason and others. She married Byron Foulger who was also a prolific character actor and whose final part was that of the conductor of the Hooterville Cannonball on Petticoat Junction. They both were members of the Pasadena Playhouse where they both acted and directed. Dorothy also was a guest lecturer at the UCLA. They had two Daughters Amanda and Rachel. Rachel went by the name Rachel Ames and was named after William Adams Wife (her Grandmother). Rachel Ames has the distinction of being the longest-running performer on ABC Daytime’s longest-running daytime drama, “General Hospital” (1963), which she joined on February 23, 1964, less than a year after the program’s first air date. Here sister Amanda went by sevdera alias and appeared on a number of TV shows including many times on the Rifleman.

  25. Hi all, my name is Patrick Michael Millard (known as Mike), and lived in Hannah from 1960 to 1966 and I wonder if I was that “incoming” Immigration officer family I read about above? I was only 5 1/2 at the time so I would not remember much about the moving part! I do remember we lived in a small trailer home for the first couple years until the current “new” buildings on the border were completed. That trailer home was next to an old out building that resembled a garage and was about two blocks from that High School. I remember an older girl, named Heather that lived in a house (second from the corner). Across the gravel street was a bigger white house, to the north, that also had a girl in it but I do not remember her name. My mom told me about a May Day tradition that boys gave May bags or presents to a girl and had to run unless they wanted to get kissed, lol. I gave her the bag and ran, but she did not chase me! The house to the north of her was owned and lived in by the 5th and 6th grade teacher Mrs. Grieve. Kitty corner from our trailer home, to the NorthEast, was where Harley Brown lived and he was also older than me. Next to him, to the North was Gloria Sando, a teenager that occasionally baby sat us (myself and my brother Tim). One year when my parents went to the Texas coast for a vacation, they took her along as well so she could watch us when they went out. Another year they went on vacation without us, and I was left with Gloria’s parents ( I cannot remember if my brother was there or at another home) and slept upstairs on the softest bed I ever was in (gave me a backache, hehehe) Across the street where heather lived, to the east was another big white house that the principal of the school lived in, Mr. and Mrs. Knutson. Mrs. Knutson was the 3rd and 4th grade teacher and I was in her class, in November 1963, doing tracing art (a Betty Boop pic)at the window when her husband came in and said, “The President has been shot”! I knew nothing of politics at the time, but watching the events on tv the next couple days really saddened me. Outside their home was a big evergreen tree that I and a friend would climb as high as we could and loved it because we could not be seen in it. Further to the east from Harley Brown, Mark Schneider lived and I remember he lived close to a church in town that had colorful, stained windows! North of the downtown area, just north of the Firehall, was where Christie Erickson lived, he was one of my grade classmates that lived in town. The others were two blonde cousins of each other, Peggy Scott and little Ella Scott! Holly Sando was another classmate and she had nice brunette hair! Candice Brown lived on a farm right on the northern edges of town near a small creek, or drainage area. Cynthia Bergman and a bigger brother, Sammy, lived on a farm much further to the east of Hannah. Other classmates, Mickey Jordan, (I swear I saw him coaching a high school basketball team on tv once, but it was just a short clip on the sports that I never knew for sure) lived on a farm to the south-east along with Larry Riddley. Douglas Romfo lived on a farm more to the west, or south-west of town. Of all the guys I mentioned, Christie and Douglas were my best friends, Christie played with me on the Canadian little league team of Snowflake, Manitoba. None of the farm kids were on it because I assumed there was too much work on the farms to do to let their kids go play baseball. Afterall it was the early to mid 60’s. Back to town: East of the firehall on the corner of the main drag of downtown, was a TV repair business, next to him was an empty, unused building that had papers strewn about, because no one locked doors then ;). then it was the old Customs and Immigration building where my dad worked until the new offices at the border were completed! next to the east was the cafe/grill where I can still smell the burgers being cooked and tasting the buns that had butter slathered on them and toasted on the grill. Oh, cannot forget the huge candy bars for a nickel either! Further to the east, across and empty space like a driveway, was a small white building of the US Postal service, then there was one of the three bars in town, maybe two of them, I remember one was next to the old movie house (which was across from cafe), my mind is a bit blurry about which one was Abe Keiffers bar, but my dad like to frequent that one. Further to the east, down by the railroad tracks and the three grain elevators, was the gas station. Across the street to the south and a bit east was the hardware/general store. We stopped there for something and my dad gave me a metal gas can and a dime to go get some gas at that gas station for the lawnmower at home. Then across the street back west was the towns grocery store (which later became a grocery store and the cafe, not sure when, it happened when I was out of town for good. Then to the south was a small building later painted green and was the new location for the post office. To the north of the movie house was an empty lot that was like a small park I think? But, south of the lot was another big white house that my first and second grade teacher , Mrs. Margaret McLean lived in. She retired from teaching after I graduated from second grade. She is also the reason I am writing all of this! for you see, one of my social websites security questions was “what was the name of your first grade teacher”? I was not answering it correctly and so I googled her name to get the correct spelling and saw that she died in Oct. of 1984 and then I came across this site of the “Ghosts of North Dakota”

  26. Hi Mike,
    Just read you comments about Hannah and I do remember you and your brother,was his name Tim! Been along time Just have to let you know it was me who babysat you and also was me who went with you and your parents to Texas. I Renember that rip so well. We went to the beach,visited the Almo and also went to Dallas and San Antonio to tour the sights.

    Christie Erickson is my first cousin but you her then me.he lives in Montana now so don’t see him very often. I had forgotten about you living in the trailer but that just a block from our place.

    Are your parents still living and where so they live! I would love to write a note to your Mom or/and Dad if they are,still living. Would be fun to get in touch . My email address is,gjkaldor@polarcomm.com if you like to message where they live and address. I live between Mayville and Hillsboro now so have the best of both world farm living but very close to both GF and Fargo.

    If I remember correctly Kim and Kurt Sando saw a few,years ago,in Fargo when they use to go down theremformbowling tournaments.

    Enjoyed reading you memories. So many good memories of small town living back in the days! thanks for,sharing.

  27. You know, after I posted that post above and re-read some of the other stories and saw yours, I thought that Linda sounded more familiar than Gloria! Glad to hear from someone who knew me back then….and yes, I saw Kim and Kurt a couple times at the Bowler Tournament because I help to run it while it is going! Once, I gave them a letter for Holly Sando but never heard back, so unknown if it ever got through! Last Sunday, my wife and I ate at the Hillsboro Cafe for breakfast as we were heading for the Hillsboro Catholic Cemetary to pay our respects to her parents and to leave some flowers! Then we came home by way of Caledonia, ND. and stopped at her grandparents gravesite. Caledonia may become a ghost town someday too! I will be writing more here as someone once said above, when the people that lived there are gone, so is a lot of the history 🙁

    • You were only nine miles from us. Our Grandkids go to Hillsboro to school and we do alot of business in Hillsboro. What is your wives maiden name? Gary has lived here all his life and me for forty years so know,alot of the people or maybe would recognize the name,

      I remember your family and the time you spent I. Hannah. Holly lives in Minot and married Mike Keaveny. Their home was flooded when Minot had that flood so,was tough plus Joyce (her mother) died,that same year.

      I don’t,get up to Hannah very often anymore as both of my parents are gone and just no reason to go.get to Langdon about twice a year to visit relatives.

      Will be waiting for more posts. 🙂

    • Hi: my name is Betty Sommer and we lived on the farm just east of the elevator. Our house is one of these pictures. My parents were Harold and Lorraine Sommer, and my siblings are Marvin, Jeanette and Don. Have many wonderful memories of the farm. We moved to Grand Forks the end of my junior year.

  28. I currently live in Hannah, ND and love it here. I am wondering if anyone can tell me when the Hannah Drug Company was here, and when it was last in business?

  29. Gretchen,

    I’ve been trying all kinds of e-mail addresses to locate you.. so far nothing has worked. Marge Beaver in NC asked how to locate you, so I thought I’d try. And I’d like to hear from you, too, to find out what you’ve been doing all these years… so much has happened… good and bad.

    Hope to hear from you.

    June Pelo

  30. I’m just wondering how Hannah is considered a ghost town? I mean it’s not abandoned, we have people living here, we have a post office, café, church and a fire department all up and running…just because we no longer use the rail road or what? we may have a small community, but I wouldn’t belittle it to be a GHOST town. Also, If you are ever wondering how to get pictures of this so called ghost town, just ask me and I’d be glad to send some pics of our lovely town.
    Sincerely, Resident from Hannah.

    • Is there somewhere on this page that we’ve labeled Hannah a ghost town? I just reread what I wrote here and I don’t see it. We put population figures on the page. There are however some abandoned buildings in Hannah, and that’s why it’s featured here. We haven’t belittled anything. If you take offense at seeing your town featured on this website, there’s not much we can about that other than remove it, and that won’t be happening.

      • Troy,

        My great-grandparents lived in Hannah from about 1922-23(?) until their deaths in the 1950’s (m/l). They were Canadians with relatives who offered them employment after very hard times on their homestead in Sask. Their names were John and Alma Hunt. My grandmother and her sister graduated high school from Hannah.

        I write because I just found some Hannah related photos of the era. Some are pretty cool, but they won’t mean anything to too many people unless I share them.

        My grandmother returned to Hannah for her 60th class reunion in 89. At that time, the house her parents built in the late 40’s or early 50’s was still standing and inhabited. I was wondering two things. Would you have any idea if the house, my great uncle’s grocery store (his name was Reg Hunt), and the Methodist church are still there? Secondly, is there any sort of county historical society which might be interested in copies of the pictures? I have shots of the school when it was new, the old school before it, and one of the elevator from 1989, in addition to team pictures from the state winning basketball team, etc.

        My daughter is in Veterinary School in St. Paul, so while she is that far north, we might make a road trip to visit the sites where Grandma grew up. Excellent opportunity if there would be any local interest in old items.

        Thanks! And stay in out of the cold.

  31. Hi There!
    My great grandparents lived in Hannah for a period , around 1922.
    They were from Grand Forks and in time, moved back there.

    Doing genealogy research lead me to finding this site.
    Could someone please explain the brief history of Hannah? It’s suitable purpose / design? It was quite thriving at one time. It makes me curious given the length of travel and means back in 1922 why a family would uproot Grand Forks and head up to a population of 300 residents? i know my G. grandfather at one point was a Great Northern Railroad man, and then later in life was a flour sacker for Dakota Maid In Grand Forks.
    Was there something going on around 1922? or possibly just a G.N.R.R. employee Transfer?

    Man i bet it gets cold up there in the dead of winter? Buurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
    I think every time i take meat out of the freezeer!
    I’ve worked up there , lived in Montana and settled out here in balmy rainy warm Seattle.
    Best of Cheers!
    Stuart R.

    • Diana,

      If you are curious I could direct you to people who worked on the centennial book and are very familiar with the local history. We Had a Murrey Hunt who worked with us on our farm for years. I’m guessing he would have been born in the 20’s and was apparently a fine athlete I recall a story of him jumping over a pool table side to side from a standing start.

      Bruce McLean

      • Bruce,

        Excuse my very tardy response, but the first few weeks of school are always extremely busy, so I must have deleted notice of your response in error. Yes, I would be interested in any contacts or information you have regarding Hannah.

        Thank you in advance! Diana

  32. Forgot something!

    My grandparents name was George B. and Kate Murray, Catholics.
    They had two children die and that is all i know. One was named Laurence Murray and the other was Mary Murray.
    Do they have a Hannah Cemetery? or one close by , and where would i obtain those burial records from?
    To see if these two children had died while they were up there working in Hannah?
    I cannot find them in any Grand Forks Cemeteries
    My grandmother would have been 13 at the time and from my recollections, her sister Mary , about 10.

    Curious question?
    Does anyone ever run across rattlesnakes? prairie dogs? or prairie badgers that far up to the border?

    Thanks Again,
    Stuart R.

    • There is a cemetery northeast of town, as my great-grandparents are buried there. It is officially listed as being a Linden, ND address. Google maps in satellite shows it reasonably well.

    • If they were Catholic, there is a chance they might be buried in Wales, ND. That’s where the closest Catholic church was. Next town to the SE.

  33. Here is a URL for Find A Grave.com: Type in the family members name
    There are 315 people interred here in the Hannah Cemetery Cavalier County
    It would appear that this cemetery was used from, or established 1902-1939

    My research today led me to nothing about my family other than, Hannah for the most part was a very small transfer point during the peak “Wheat Boom” years and that the Great Northern Railroad established a train depot here , just one out of a multitude across the vast “Drift Prairie” of The Great State of North Dakota.

    Hannah, a farming post office was established Nov. 24,1884 in Cavalier county. Alpheus Adams was post master.
    He named the post office for his father-in-law Frank Hannah who had arrived in the early 1880s from Ontario.

    Purchased from The Saint Paul, Minneapolis and Manitoba Railway Company 1897 Constructed 21.06 miles of new track from Langdon to Hannah, North Dakota.
    In 1897 the post office was moved one mile east to the new town of Hanna, which was a terminus for a new Great Northern Railroad branch line. This is NW 1/4 Section 4-163-62, Linden township.

    Probably not much different than today’s modern Bakken Oil Field boom.
    When life normalized and the Industrial revolution really ironed itself in, what was shaken and what remained were but a few.
    Prosperity went back to hard work and close family ties, still walking down old dirt roads to school everyday.

    ~Gods – Richest Blessings Upon the American Farmer~
    Thank-You for your Sweat & Toil feeding us all.

  34. This is the only other picture of what I call a real merry-go-round. We had one in Pontrilas, Saskatchewan. Our playground looked almost the same as this.

  35. Hi
    My grandmother, Veda Cavers, was raised in Hannah ND. Her husband, my grandfather, Robert G. Shanks, was also raised in Hannah. My sisters and I just recently found a picture that is from 1910. Handwritten across the top “My S. S. Class – Hannah N. Dak – Presb Church – May 1910” at the top. (Sunday School = S.S.)
    The names are handwritten down the side — I hope I am spelling these names correctly.

    Henry King
    Frank Boyd
    Sam Jeffery
    Calanthe Valentine
    Evelyn Gray
    Louise Adams
    Margaret Bakerude (this name is in a different pen so it was added later)
    Margaret Valentine
    Medford McKnight
    Jessie Adams
    Teacher Lillie McKnight
    Clara Hay
    Wesley Jeffrey (Wesley is crossed off and ‘Archie’ is written in)
    Veda Cavers
    Alice May Austin
    Donaldo McLean

    If anyone wants a copy of that picture, I took a picture of the picture along with closeups of each section to see more detail. I’d be happy to email them to you.

    I also have an 8 page type written account by Clinton Balfour – who grew up in and around Hannah – called ‘Growing up in North Dakota’.

    Clinton Balfour’s grandfather was Daniel Shanks (1858-1935). Daniel Shanks was my Great-Grandfather.

    I have the Shanks family tree, along with the McKitrick family tree. (Daniel Shanks married Matilda McKitrick.

    If anyone wants any of those papers, I can scan and email them to you too. Please email me directly as I don’t check this site often. I don’t want my email address found by website crawlers so here it is:
    barb at island steel drums dot com – of course no spaces. If I don’t answer you within 24-48 hours, I didn’t get the email.

    • I am Kyle Thomas McKnight , great grandson of Medford and Lillie McKnight, I would >very< much appreciate that photo you are talking about so I can show my grandfather, Robert, Medford's son, before he dies, he is in his mid 90s and will die any month. I hope you get this email. Thank you so much.- Kyle

      • Kyle,
        I’ll be happy to email the pictures to you – but I need your email address to do that.

        Barb Herzog

      • Kyle: Not sure you saw my June 2018 post but in it is my quote from a local newspaper:

        May 19, 1916 The Misses Ellen Hillstrom, Melvina Lawson and Janie Hannah, and Messrs. Emery Wells, and Tom McKnight autoed to Rock Lake Sunday.

        I’m guessing you are related to the Tom McKnight mentioned? Emery Wells (Emory is correct spelling) is my paternal grandfather. His first wife (who died from cancer in 1932) was Jane Leona Hannah. Both mentioned in the above 1916 article. They were married the following year at her parents residence (David Hannah and Mary Wilson).

        Hope you are able to respond back to Barb Herzog’s reply to your request for a copy of a photo.

        Best Regards,


        • Jeanette,
          My father’s name is Thomas but his father is Robert and Robert’s is Medford. I’m sure this other Thomas is related to me as well if he is from that area.

          • Hi, Kyle. The 1920 Federal Census for Linden, Cavalier, North Dakota, shows 23 year old Thomas McKnight in the Household of his mother, Hannah E. (or C.) McKnight; she was age 57 (born about 1863) in Canada. In addition to Thomas were his two brothers, Norman M. McKnight, age 20, and Medford W. McKnight, age 15. All three of these men were born in North Dakota. So, Thomas and Norman were your great grandfather’s brothers. If I have it right, Hannah would be your great-great grandmother. She was Hannah Eliza Dixon married to Matthew McKnight, in Ontario, 12 Sep 1883. Her parents were James Dixon and Isabella. Additional research may or will be required. Isabella may have also been known as Bella Blanchard. Because I noted religion listed as Presbyterian, I’m only assuming but you may want to do further research, but this may be your Matthew McKnight. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/163255622/matthew-mcknight. Matthew died in 1902 and his son, Robert, died in 1905. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/190190524/robert-mcknight
            Have fun if you’re working on your genealogy.
            Best wishes….

          • I’m sorry, Kyle. Correction on my FindaGrave.com links in my previous post.

            Your Matthew McKnight is https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/192696603/matthew-mcknight
            His wife, Hannah, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/192696723/hannah-eliza-mcknight
            Medford is https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/192697607/medford-william-mcknight
            Looks like Medford took an English (Great Britain) bride in about 1943. She is listed here: https://search.ancestry.com/cgi-bin/sse.dll?db=FindAGraveUS&h=120691362&indiv=try&o_vc=Record:OtherRecord&rhSource=8753

            You can always email me if you need further information. FindaGrave.com is quite helpful and free if anyone is doing research and isn’t aware of this site.

          • Mrs.Jeanette,
            Thank you so much for your further input, he did indeed have a brother named Norman so I know your information is accurate. My grandfather just passed away, we are all grieving and will have to visit the Hannah cemetery soon to clean our gravesites. Robert will be buried here in the South. Again, thank you.

          • Correction: Norman and Thomas are my grandfather’s Uncles, being his father’s two brothers.

          • Kyle,

            Your grandfather Robert was my dad William’s half-brother. Robert actually put together a fantastic genealogy that goes through June 1999. I’ll be happy to get a copy to you if you don’t have access to it.


    • Hello Barb,
      Would you please send me the photo as well. My name is Lance Campbell and my grandfather lived 2 miles out of Hannah, Don Campbell. He was born in 1910 but his brothers and sisters would have been in school at that time. I live in Panama City Florida but go up there and have a house in Langdon a couple times a year. I am much younger, but coincidently have a neighbor two blocks from me named Rich Jeffery from Hannah who is 89 yrs old and a historian of that time, who might be able to identify much of the people in the picturre and possibly related to the Sam Jeffrey you noted
      Really cool find.
      Lance Campbell

  36. My Catholic family lived in Hannah briefy in the 50’s. We attended St. Michaels in Wales. We then moved to Wales and lived near the edge of town near the Catholic cemetery. My siblings and I would go and pray for the Holy souls at the cemetery often. I believe the church records are kept at the Fargo dioceses. My sister was baptized at St. Michaels and recently obtained her baptism record from there.

    • Hello Ms Gretchen, My mom grew up in the 50s near the Catholic cemetery. Her name was Judy Restad and was related to the zeis family. We recently moved my grandmothers house who would have been Eileen Zeis Ryan to Langdon and often go to visit the Wales cemetery.

      • Hello Lance, My family lived in a very large stucco house directly across the street from the Zeis, Restad family. We played with the children and i do believe Judy was her name. The older Zeis’ had chickens, barn with cows. Eileen and her children lived with her parents/grandparents.

  37. Trying to research my father, Eugene N. Meredith born in Langdon area in 1903. Found a George Meredith, wife Mary Ann who farmed in Linden Township, Cavalier county in 1900. Anybody familiar with the Meredith name?


  38. Just stumbled on this site while looking for information on Alpheus Adams. I am a descendent of Alpheus Adams/ Ellen Jane Hannah (daughter of Francis Hannah/ Catherine Virtue) and would love to share/exchange information with anyone. I have a lot of information gathered by my grandmother Una Porter but am always looking for more!

    I went to Hannah several times as a child/teen.. My dad Ray Porter took my family to Hannah several years ago and told us a few stories…. now that my father has passed I hope to get more stories to keep our family history alive.
    I am interested in any information/ stories / photos about families and life in Hannah that you or your relatives are willing to share… I can be reached at michelle.gardiner84@gmail.com. Thank you! Michelle

  39. I lived in Hannah from 1949 and left in January, 1961. I started 1st grade and left in the middle of my senior year. The red building was my fathers bar. It had a sign “Red’s” bar” all the time we lived there. My dad was a redhead, therefore the name. It was next to the filling station and across from the grocery store, cafe, Keifer’s bar, the movie theater, and a garage. It was a wonderful place to grow up and I have many fond memories of Hannah. It has since been purchased by someone who wanted to make a hunters lodge, but my understanding is that it was started then abandoned.

  40. Hi, I lived in Wales for a short time when I was a young kid as my grand parents (Tapson) lived in town after selling their farm. My Grandparents are now buried in Hannah. It’s been a long time since I have been back to visit. My uncle lives in Langdon and now is retired from being a barber. I now live in Tamworth NSW Australia.

  41. Thought I’d make a 2018 entry. I have visited this site a couple times. I don’t want this to become a “ghost” thread. Have to keep up the research and memories. I have never visited Hannah or Cavalier County. My parents did so a couple decades ago. I’m making a lengthy post for Surname Research (Wells, Sparling, Hannah) and events that happened in and around Hannah and Cavalier County before 1930 and WWII.

    Although Dresden and Langdon are listed often, the parties mentioned seem to have been active in the Hannah area.

    I am a direct decedent (granddaughter) of Emory Thomas Wells (1892-1958) . He was first married to Jane Leona Hannah (1890/91 – 1932). She was born in Hannah to David and Mary (Wilson) Hannah. David and Mary are both buried in Hannah Cemetery; Mary in 1920 and David in 1926. Their daughter, Janie, as she was often referred to, died in Langdon from cancer in January, 1932. Oral history says it was a stormy night. She and Emory had 3 children in Hannah: David, Velma & Clayton. Unfortunately, all three children (born 1918-1926) have since passed away having all been married and having children, almost all in the Twin Cities, Minnesota area. David (USMC) and Clayton (Navy) served in WWII.

    Emory married secondly, Wilhelmina Buchholtz, 1934 in Ramsey County, Minnesota. My father, Kenneth, was born that year, the oldest of 5 children to Emory and Minnie Wells. In 1930, Minnie was living with her parents and siblings in South Dresden. Her parents were not there long. By 1940, they are living in Michigan.

    Emory was the son of William M. Wells. William and his wife, Cora Mae Prather, are listed in the 1900 census in Iowa but were living in Dresden, Cavalier County, North Dakota in 1910. By 1919, William died near Grinnell in Iowa where they had been before the promise of good crops in NoDak. They had moved to Cavalier County with their 6 children.

    I find no evidence that Emory registered in North Dakota for any of the 3 US WWI drafts. He was married to Jane Hannah, 27 Jun 1917 at her parents’ residence in Hannah. A newspaper article states he was from Saskatchewan. The next day, June 28th, Emory and Jane crossed over to Snowflake, Manitoba. He is listed as an American citizen. All three of their children were born in Hannah. (1918-1926)

    In his WWI Draft record, Emory’s brother Roy declares he is working as a mechanic for Arthur Sparling. Sparling was married to Nellie G. Goup. Both are buried in Langdon. They are enumerated in the 1920 and 1930 Langdon census. Roy marries Arthur’s daughter, Hester Sparling, in January 1920. Roy Wells served in 92nd Aero Squadron and 631st Aero Squadron and trained for night bombardment, never saw combat Demobilized 21 December 1918. His biography is in the Langdon ND 1888 – 1988 Centennial Book

    Hester, born April 10, 1899 at Marshall, MN to Arthur and Nellie Sparling, graduated from LHS in 1914 and attended UND for two years. Maybe you have a relative is mentioned in one of the following Hannah Moon articles?

    April 18, 1913 J. A. Boyd purchased a new Regal from A. Sparling last week.

    Dec. 26, 1913 Roy Wells sold his big Petrel (sic) touring car to his brother Emery who will use it in the show business.

    June 17, 1914 John Brignall and Emery (sic) Wells have purchased new Ford cars.

    May 19, 1916 The Misses Ellen Hillstrom, Melvina Lawson and Janie Hannah, and Messrs. Emery Wells, and Tom
    McKnight autoed to Rock Lake Sunday.

    Best wishes to all on your research and your remembrances posted about Hannah. Thank you to Troy Larson for letting me post this and to all who sat and read it.

  42. Trying to find out what newspaper published Hannah obituaries in 1927. Any idea what residents were reading back then? My cousin, Bertha (Stanton) Mentzos, died and is buried in Hannah.

  43. My dad is the late Orville Uhrich, lived in Wales but worked in Hannah. He operated the road grader. He passed in 1993. My grandparents were Alexander Uhrich and Aurelia Schiestel Uhrich. I may have misspelled her maiden name. I haven’t been to the Wales/Hannah area since my dad passed away. I have been living in Texas since 1994. I do want to come next year to visit, although they are ghost towns, I will always see them in my mind like I did when I was a kid and always be home to me.

  44. Hello Kelly, my name is Lance Campbell and my mom is from Wales. Judy Restad and her mom was Eileen Zeis who had the bar in town. I am 48 and also have a fondness of going to Wales. Your Dad and his brother Gib were always very kind to my brothers and I. His was the first horse I had ever been on and I still have a belt buckle welded out of nickels that he had made for each of my brothers. He was a great guy and would always let us hang out with him when we were little. The town really missed him when he passed. I live in Florida now. We moved my grandmothers house to Langdon and I am up a few times a year. Hope to see you sometime.
    Lance Campbell

  45. Hi Barb,

    Medford McKnight was my grandfather. I would love a copy of that picture please. Could you send it to ashleenmb@gmail.com?

    Kyle, who wrote to you previously would be my half first cousin once removed. What a mouthful 🙂

    Thank you,
    Ashlee McKnight Tucker

  46. Hi! Did anyone know any McKnight’s? My great grandfather Matthew McKnight moved from Uxbridge, ON to Linden Township and I think eventually Hannah in 1892. He passed in 1909 but I know my great grandmother (Hannah Eliza Dickson) was still there as of 1937 and they had 9 kids. As far as I know one of their children, Thomas McKnight, worked the farm until he sold it in the late 1930’s. Just figured with a family that size somebody must know them 🙂


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