Brantford, ND

Brantford was established in 1910, two years before the Great Northern railroad arrived. Brantford reportedly had 200 residents in 1920, but slowly lost population over the years until the post office was finally closed in 1973.



The following photos of Brantford today were contributed by Mark Johnson. His comments on the church shown below: “Church located immediately next to farm, note the steeple has been removed and is setting right in front of it. The location of this church is suspicious, especially looking at the aerial, it looks like it was moved to this farmsite.”

He goes on to say, “Definitely worth a return trip during non-snowy months to confirm what the summer residency is versus winter, and to get closer shots of these buildings.”

36 Comments on “Brantford, ND

  1. Can anyone identify the stone structure in 5th photo? Bank vault, jail, etc?

    • The building was actually a well house, built for the community in the early 30’s, probably by the CCC (Civillian Conservation Corps). As a youngster, our parents told us it was a jail, probably to keep us in line. I saw the building about 2 years ago and it apprears to be crumbling. Not recommended to go inside.

      • to Mike, did your parents grow up in Brantford? My mom was born there in 1923.

    • The stone structure is a well. It was used for water.
      I went to school in the red brick building in the 50’3

  2. It is sad to see this old chuch all run down. When I was a little girl my dad would load up my 4 siblings and me in the Ford station wagon and drive to the end of our approach and yell out, “Which way, LEFTor RIGHT?” We would all start yelling out our answer and then he would say, “OK! Left it is!” We somehow always ended up at the old Brantford Church. We would roam around the grounds, looking at old gravestones, imagining stories. I remember seeing one with the name Kennedy on it and asked my brother if that’s where they buried President Kennedy!
    My mother made the finest fried chicken I have ever tasted, and that was our favorite picnic meal! She would lay out an old, plaid, woolen blanket and we would sit down to eat.
    Makes me sad to see this church like this, though. It was white and had lovely stained glass windows. I think I will keep hold of my memories of this beautiful place!

    • I went to sunday school at the Old Congrational Church, Our teacher was Marie Richter. The church was moved to the Ed Mollin home,

      • Yes My uncle Edwin Moline moved the church to the farm. My Dad was Pastor there. Gust Moline. Sentimental reasons for Edwin to move the church there. He’d ring the bell on Sundays.

        • June 10th, 1952, Clare Allee and I, Jane Cunningham Allee were married in the Brantford church, and Gust Moline was our best man.

  3. An additional note… Grandmother, my Mom, myself and 2 of my brothers all attended the Brantford school. My last year was 1962/63 in the eight grade. Rode the bus the following years to high school in New Rockford. My side of the building was on the west, grades 5-6-7-8. I recall playing basketball in the basement, which was tricky with only a 9 foot ceiling. The middle room upstairs was the lunch room. Amy Stene was the cook and did a great job of making delicious meals with not much to work with. Anyone remember Amy’s “Spanish Rice”? Visted Brantford this summer. Only 3 houses left standing. One is where I lived and the other (almost covered over completly with bushes and trees, is where my Mom was born. It was sad.

    • I remember the name Amy and her husband Fritz were neighbors of my mom and dad about 1949 or 50; they would get together to play cards and us kids got to watch a real T.V. until it signed off. (We didn’t have but a wind charger for power) We were back to ND 3 years ago and I found our old farm.. No building the same, but a real thrill to find it.

    • Amy Stene was my aunt and she was a great cook & baker. She and Fritz lived with Amy’s parents, Lena & Andrew Anderson in the house at the end of the street past the grain elevators. My sister Janice & I both went to the red brick schoolhouse. It’s nice to see these photos and comments.

    • Amy Stene is my mother in laws Mom. We were beyond thrilled to read this. Mom got emotional, we all did! Thanks for the memories!

  4. My parents Bart Ludwig and Joan Jochim met in front of the Brantford grocery store in late summer of 1952. They were married a year later. Bart was the son born to Herman and Lizzie Ludwig. A lot of my childhood was spent in and around Brantford with cousins. I remember the grocery store was near by a lady named Pauline in the late 50’s and early 60’s. I was always impressed with her friendliness and selection of candy. My uncle Tim ran the Post Office/Hardware stores. In the early days my grandma Lizzie operated the hotel and cafe. I remember a baby shower was held in the now old abandoned school house for my sister, Cathy. Today I marvel at the old playground equipment that was at the school. My Ludwig heritage has deep root in the Brantford community. I treasure the simplicity of days gone by, but hold memories deep.

    • I was in the army with a Robert Ludwig, we were in Germany in 1968. I remember how he talked about how small Brantford ND was. Does anybody know anything about him? Randy Anderson / Lancaster Ohio

      • Randy,
        Bob Ludwig was my neighbor in Brantford and I went to school with him in the 60″s. Bob was 3 years older than me. He’s a good guy and lives with his wife in New Rockford.

  5. There are a lot of old names I remember mentioned here. Fritz and Amy Stene were good friends of my grandparents and would come up to visit them along with Ray and Edna Anderson (Amy’s brother.) I remember sitting in a pickup when I was a kid, waiting for my dad who was in Tim Ludwig’s hardware store picking up stuff. Once I get moved and unpacked this summer, I’m going to have to dig out the book my grandma wrote on the History of Brantford.

    • What was your grandparent’s name if you don’t mind sharing; this site is so interesting. My Dad & Mom always played cards with Fritz & Amy and Ray & Edna.. Each couple had one daughter; if I remember correctly… Does anyone remember the elderly gentleman that had a horse and buggy; I remember getting rides in the buggy… what was his name? Did anyone go to Columbia School? I went to Brantford for 3 years and Coumbia for 4 years; than moved to MN

      • Amy & Fritz’s daughter is Alice Bietz and she lives in Jamestown. Raymond & Edna’s daughter is Lavon and she lives in Minneapolis. My Mom, Norma Anderson is a sister to Amy & Raymond..

      • My great-grandmother, Leone (Williams) Cudworth, wrote the book on Brantford. Growing up on the family farm about 3 miles from Brantford, I remember going to many annual Brantford Picnics. It is interesting to see and read about the history of the town. My grandparents are Joe and Marge Anderson.

  6. Thanks for posting the early pictures of Brantford, ND. My mother, who is still living, was born in Brantford in November of 1916. She only lived there for about three years before moving to the State of Washington with a group of families that were invited to “stake their claims” along the Columbia River. Her father was a preacher, but I don’t know if he would have preached at the church in your photo. If the church was standing at that time, it is likely that he would have filled that pulpit. Do you know if there still exists any records from the church or other early photos? Thank you, again.

  7. Marie Richter is my great grandma! My father Stuart still farms right around Brantford and I grew up just a mile or two from Brantford. Very cool to see the pictures when it was an active community as theres not much left there anymore and I have never seen them before.

  8. Gust Moline, who grew up in Brantford with 5 siblings, is my husband. We attended the church when we visited; Marie Richter would accompany me when I sang in services. We live in St. Paul now after a lifetime of teaching (both of us) in Moorhead. Edwin, Esther Loberg, and Dorothy no longer life; Elfrida Free lives in Oregon, and Lillian Mehlhoff is at Twin Bridges, Montana. Gust and I enjoy getting away to North Dakota Quiet at least one a year, and we always visit Brantford, and the Moline farm. It’s saddened us to see the death of a country town, and decry what has happened to the church and school and well house.

    • Hi Melva~ I have fond memories of Brantford and going to Bible studies at Ed and Dorothy’s house. Ed was best man in my dad’s wedding (Duane Cunningham). I also heard college stories about Gust. My dad thought so highly of your family! I also later visited Brantford as my grandparents, Paul and Margaret Johnston, lived there.

  9. I went to Columbia school in 1952. I was in the second grade. I had an older sister named Alice and a brother Douglas Wagner. We only went a year and then moved to Grace City.

  10. Dick Dungan sez: I went to Columbia country school and with my parents we. went to Brantford often to shop during the 40s & 50s. Had my first soda pop as a kid there. Bought my first hunting license and shotgun shells at the hardware store. Went tto many dances at the ‘ Hall ‘. Had a few
    beers at Barts Bar. Good memories!!

    • Isn’t this site great?? I went to school with Dorothy & Irene… I am trying to find out if Brantford is going to be in their book. I think we need another all school reunion..

    • Bart’s Bar! My dad was Bart Ludwig, he meet my mother JoanJochim in front of that bar, she was in the area visiting her sister Nettie who was married to Tony Barth, all of the Barth kids went to country school Columbia I believe? I was the youngest but remember going to Brantford especially Fritz and Amy’s for eggs and lots of visits

  11. Gary and Joyce Peters still own a house in Brantford. Joyce Peters (Anderson) is my Mother. My husband, Mark, my two sons,Justun and Krystofer, and myself, Joanne, took a look around inside the school on one visit. It was not in the bad shape that it is now.

    • I know Gary Peters.. I worked with back in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s.. He is such a good person.. Joanne say hi to Gary for me… He not missing Ketchikan…

  12. I just happened to run across this site while looking for a friend of many years ago that I lost contact with. My parents were Ray and Edna Anderson, who lived on a farm 2 miles outside of Brantford. Dad farmed and mom taught school in Grace City. I went to the red school house through 8th grade. I think I stil have pictures of some of us climbing on the old school bell. How fun to read all of these postings and see familiar names.

    Lavonn Anderson Yuvaraj

  13. I am from Brantford Ontario Canada, just wondering how this town in North Dakota got its name, thanks, curious in Brantford Ontario

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