This site is being developed as a special tribute to all those involved with this great community, with a special emphasis on the past. It will only be as good as the information submitted by the contributors (all those of the Kensal community). I will be happy to scan any pictures you have and post any information you share with this site. Please feel free to e-mail me as electronic documents are easier to share and work with. This web site will not be an exhaustive history of Kensal, North Dakota, as there are too many pictures, people and stories rather, it will be a dynamic, evolving descriptive and pictorial history of a sampling of the people, pictures and stories that make up the community of Kensal, North Dakota as they are submitted.
Railroads played an important part in the development of North Dakota, as many towns were founded as a necessary means to stock building supplies and material needed for everyday life. Many town sites were formed at the end of a railroad, while others packed up and moved the town's buildings to be near the railroad. The Soo Rail Road came to Kensal in 1892. Although agriculture played the most significant part in the development of North Dakota, there was also mining and the manufacturing of clay products. These industries needed supplies, and the railroad was crucial to the growth of these businesses.
The first post office in Kensal was built in 1892 and opened on 10 August of that year. George Armstrong of the nearby Arrow Wood office was the first postmaster. John Putman and C.F. Cronquist opened the first stores. The town was incorporated in 1907.
With the development of towns came the schools, churches, banks, and other businesses that were necessary for the growth of the community. Many of the towns grew and continue growing today. Others have disappeared from the map. The success and failure of these towns hinged on several factors. The dust storms, grasshoppers, and the Depression of the 1930s drove many farmers into bankruptcy, which in turn left local businesses with their own financial catastrophes. As the banks closed, one business after another locked its doors and sent its employees off to search for new employment-often forcing them to leave town. However, it was not only these catastrophic events that drove towns to extinction-everyday events contributed also. The rise of the automobile brought the construction of new, modern highways that often left a town isolated. People began heading to the larger towns to conduct their business, and the smaller towns just could not compete. The electronic age, with planes, phones, television and the internet have provided new life to many towns. The first one hundred years of statehood have seen the demise of many towns. One can only hope that in North Dakota's next century, history will not repeat itself.
My life began in the Kensal community, my soul still resides there. My family and wife are part of that history. I wish to thank those that are part of my memories. Thank you for sharing.
Bernard J. Hoggarth MD FAAP
171 Pleasant Street Kensal, ND 58455 or
5001 East Main Street #437, Mesa, AZ 85205 E-mail Bernard@Hoggarth.org Cell 218-791-6764