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Max, North Dakota
Live life to the Max!
Location of Max, North Dakota
Location of Max, North Dakota
Country United States
State North Dakota
County McLean
Established 1906
 • Type City Council of Four Aldermen
 • Total 0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)
 • Land 0.78 sq mi (2.02 km2)
 • Water 0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
2,093 ft (638 m)
 • Total 334
 • Estimate 
 • Density 448.01/sq mi (172.91/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 701
FIPS code 38-51380
GNIS feature ID 1030122

Max is a city in McLean County, North Dakota, United States. The population was 334 at the 2010 census. Max was founded in 1906.


Before 1906, rumors were circulating that the Soo Line would lay track close to Elbow Lake, north of Garrison, to obtain water for their steam engines. On this prospect, enterprising businessmen swiftly began staking claims in anticipation of purchasing prime real estate in a new town. A haphazard shack-building boom ensued on the surrounding ambling prairies. On August 8, 1906, a surveyor named J.G. Sheldrick filed a certificate to plat what would become the Max townsite on a grid.

The Soo Line came from the south and would have east and west branches at a junction to be named "Junction" or "Junction City". However, people started calling it Max's Post Office, after Max Freitag, eldest son of Paul Freitag. Paul Freitag was a local farmer and the first postmaster. Max asked people he met at the junction if they were coming to "his" post office to pick up their mail. The name, truncated to simply Max, stuck (in habit, if not officially). When the town was later moved two miles west to the present townsite, the name was changed officially to Max.

The Central Light and Power Company installed street lights in January 1918.

In 1947, Max decided to fully incorporate, with affairs managed by an elected mayor, and aldermanic council of four.

In the early 1950s, the town obtained a new telephone system, updated fire equipment, waterworks, water mains and a sewerage system.


Max is located at 47°49′20″N 101°17′44″W / 47.822171°N 101.295529°W / 47.822171; -101.295529.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.78 square miles (2.02 km2), all of it land.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1910 285
1920 473 66.0%
1930 500 5.7%
1940 423 −15.4%
1950 465 9.9%
1960 410 −11.8%
1970 301 −26.6%
1980 330 9.6%
1990 301 −8.8%
2000 278 −7.6%
2010 334 20.1%
Est. 2019 349 4.5%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 334 people, 141 households, and 90 families residing in the city. The population density was 428.2 inhabitants per square mile (165.3/km2). There were 164 housing units at an average density of 210.3 per square mile (81.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.3% White, 2.7% Native American, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.3% of the population.

There were 141 households, of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.2% were married couples living together, 5.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.2% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age in the city was 37.7 years. 24.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 27.6% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.

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