In 2007, the former Minto Township celebrated its 150th anniversary. One of the outcomes of this celebration was the development of a sister relationship between the community of Minto, North Dakota and Minto, Ontario. Below is a brief history of Minto, North Dakota, as it relates to our Minto Township here in Wellington County, Ontario.
The area of North Dakota was claimed by France in 1738 and later purchased by the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana purchase. The Dakota Territory was created in 1861 and split into North and South in 1863. North Dakota was admitted as the 39th state in 1889.
Settlers were given 160 acres if they homesteaded and another 160 acres if they planted tree plots and cared for them. One of those who answered the call was Angus Gillespie Sr. of Lot 101, Concession 'C' of Minto Township, Ontario. In 1879 he and his family relocated to Walsh County, North Dakota. he claimed 9 quarter sections of land and settled there until his demise. Over two dozen families, relatives and friends from Minto Township, Ontario and area also relocated to Walsh County. This area was one of the most fertile and wheat became the main crop.
One of the earliest settlements, named Minto was incorporated and laid out as a village along the Forest River in 1881. The surrounding Township of Harriston was organized in 1882.
It is not a coincidence that we share somewhat the same heritage as our pioneers were also their pioneers and carried our municipal names with them to North Dakota.
Mr. Gillespie was instrumental in naming their new settlement Minto and the Township Harriston. He was elected to their first Council and assisted in building their first church. he was known as the "Father of Minto".
Submitted by Mark MacKenzie
For more information on Minto, North Dakota, please visit the following websites:
www.minto-nd.com City of Minto
www.minto.k12.nd.us Minto Public School
www.bankofminto.com/ Minto Bank
www.harriston-mayo.com/ Harriston Industries