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Ward County, North Dakota facts for kids

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Ward County
Ward County Courthouse
Map of North Dakota highlighting Ward County
Location within the U.S. state of North Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting North Dakota
North Dakota's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  North Dakota
Founded April 14, 1885 (created)
November 23, 1885 (organized)
Named for Mark Ward
Seat Minot
Largest city Minot
Area
 • Total 2,056 sq mi (5,330 km2)
 • Land 2,013 sq mi (5,210 km2)
 • Water 43 sq mi (110 km2)  2.1%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 69,919
 • Density 34.007/sq mi (13.130/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district At-large

Ward County is a county in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 69,919, making it the fourth-most populous county in North Dakota. Its county seat is Minot.

Ward County is part of the Minot, ND Micropolitan Statistical Area.

History

Ward County was created by the 1885 Dakota Territory legislature and named for Mark Ward, chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Counties during the session. The county government was first organized on November 23, 1885 with Burlington as the county seat. This was changed to Minot in 1888.

Until 1908, Ward County included what is now Burke, Mountrail, and Renville counties; this landmass often being referred to as 'Imperial Ward' County and which was the largest county in the state at the time. In 1908, voters took up measures to partition the county. The results for that portion forming Mountrail County were accepted but a dispute over the results for the portions that would become Burke and Renville counties was taken to court and which resulted in favorable rulings in 1910. In addition, when the proposed county lines for Burke and Renville counties were drawn, neither group wanted to include Kenmare and risk that city becoming the county seat, so Kenmare was left in Ward County at the end of a narrow strip of land, commonly referred to as the 'gooseneck'.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,056 square miles (5,330 km2), of which 2,013 square miles (5,210 km2) is land and 43 square miles (110 km2) (2.1%) is water. It is the fifth-largest county in North Dakota by land area.

Much of the county is flat to rolling plains. The southern reaches of the county are dotted with numerous small lakes, water neither sloping towards the Souris River basin nor Lake Sakakawea.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 1,681
1900 7,961 373.6%
1910 25,221 216.8%
1920 28,811 14.2%
1930 33,597 16.6%
1940 31,981 −4.8%
1950 34,782 8.8%
1960 47,072 35.3%
1970 58,560 24.4%
1980 58,392 −0.3%
1990 57,921 −0.8%
2000 58,975 1.8%
2010 61,675 4.6%
2020 69,919 13.4%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 61,675 people, 25,029 households, and 15,597 families in the county. The population density was 30.6/sqmi (11.8/km2). There were 26,744 housing units at an average density of 13.3/sqmi (5.13/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 90.3% white, 2.6% American Indian, 2.5% black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.1% Pacific islander, 0.7% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 3.0% of the population. In terms of ancestry, 44.4% were German, 30.8% were Norwegian, 11.6% were Irish, 5.7% were English, and 2.3% were American.

Of the 25,029 households, 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.9% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 37.7% were non-families, and 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.95. The median age was 32.7 years.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,793 and the median income for a family was $60,361. Males had a median income of $37,569 versus $28,415 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,326. About 6.7% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.0% of those under age 18 and 10.3% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Townships

  • Afton
  • Anna
  • Baden
  • Berthold
  • Brillian
  • Burlington
  • Burt
  • Cameron
  • Carbondale
  • Carpio
  • Denmark
  • Des Lacs
  • Elmdale
  • Eureka
  • Evergreen
  • Foxholm
  • Freedom
  • Gasman
  • Greely
  • Greenbush
  • Harrison
  • Hiddenwood
  • Hilton
  • Iota Flat
  • Kenmare
  • Kirkelie
  • Linton
  • Lund
  • Mandan
  • Margaret
  • Maryland
  • Mayland
  • McKinley
  • Nedrose
  • New Prairie
  • Newman
  • Orlien
  • Passport
  • Ree
  • Rice Lake
  • Rolling Green
  • Rushville
  • Ryder
  • St. Marys
  • Sauk Prairie
  • Sawyer
  • Shealy
  • Spencer
  • Spring Lake
  • Sundre
  • Surrey
  • Tatman
  • Tolgen
  • Torning
  • Vang
  • Waterford
  • Willis

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

  • Aurelia - "ghost town" south of Donnybrook
  • Drady
  • Gassman - founded as the Gassman Creek Coulee trestle was being built, now referred to as "Trestle Valley"
  • Hartland - "ghost town" north of Berthold
  • Hesnault
  • Lonetree - small 100 person community northwest of Des Lacs and southeast of Berthold
  • Rice Lake - small community around Rice Lake south of Minot
  • Rice Lake Park
  • South Prairie - small community with modern school, south of Minot
  • Wolseth - diminishing community, south of the Renville County border, and Granville

Historical areas:

  • Harrison - early sister community of Minot, annexed into Minot
  • Ralston - railroad siding
  • Roach - railroad siding
  • Waldorf - annexed into Minot boundaries in its early years
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