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SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Family/Local History > 10051
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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10051

Title: George Kimball Dike

Dates: 1874-1909

Collection Number: MSS 10051

Quantity: 3 feet and oversize    
Abstract: Papers include correspondence, biographical material, personal papers, maps, field notes, legal and financial documents, printed material, and photographs concerning work and life of a North Dakota surveyor who came to Walsh County in 1879. The correspondence dates from 1890 to 1906 and includes letters to Dike from fellow surveyors, the Department of the Interior and various other government agencies, concerning survey work, contracts, and accounts.  The biographical material consists of articles and memoirs about Dike, copies of personal documents, and short biographical sketches.  Additionally, the miscellaneous personal papers include personal account books, receipts, labor records, Masonic Lodge resolutions, an eyeglass case, and Dike’s marriage certificate.  There are a large number of field notebooks for Dike’s many survey contracts and miscellaneous loose working papers.  These survey materials deal with work in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota between 1882 and 1905.  Legal documents from 1875 to 1905 include survey contracts and special supplemental instructions, and lawsuit paperwork.  Receipts, bank statements, and field expense notebooks make up the financial documents.  Printed material includes newspaper articles, programs, business cards, brochures, and survey, field, and compass manuals.  Three photographs of Dike, his survey chain, and a Hancock Museum exhibit about him.  Dike surveyed much of Walsh County for the U.S. Government.  

Provenance:  The George K. Dike Papers were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Mary Nancy Williamson (Dike), George’s granddaughter, in 1961. Additions were made to the collection in the 1960s-1980s.

Property rights:  The State Historical Society of North Dakota owns the property rights to the collection.

Copyrights: Copyrights to materials in this collection remain with the donor, publisher, author, or author's heirs.  Researchers should consult the 1976 Copyright Act, Public Law 94-553, Title 17, U.S. Code and an archivist at this repository if clarification of copyright requirements is needed.

Access: This collection is open under the rules and regulations of the State Historical Society of North Dakota.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the collection title, collection number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

Transfer: Photographs in this collection were transferred to the Photo Archives.

Related Collections:       
Museum artifacts
A2751 George K. Dike
A6306 Nancy Pease Dike
C3030 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3031 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3044 Marking Corners in Surveying George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3053 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3732 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3740 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)
C3743 George K. Dike Land Survey of Western (ND)



George Kimball Dike was born June 19, 1845 in Sebago (ME) to Kimball Jonathon Dike and Aseneth Steven Dike, who were of English heritage.  Dike’s first marriage was in 1876 at Excelsior (MN) to Hattie B. Sheldon, who died in 1884.  On December 15, 1886, at Sebago (ME), he married Nancy Pease Douglas.  He had two children with Hattie: Alice B. Dike Wood and George E. Dike, and two with Nancy: Donald Kimball Dike and Douglas Dike.  The latter two were born while the couple was living in Grand Forks (ND).  George died at his home in Northfield (MN) on August 28, 1938 at the age of 93 as the last Civil War veteran of Walsh County.

Dike enlisted in Company I of the 30th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment on January 4, 1964, at the age of 18.  He discharged on August 20, 1865 in Savannah (GA) due to the ending of the Civil War.  At the time of the war’s end, he was hospitalized at the Marine General Hospital in New Orleans (LA) with a fever that caused him to lose much weight. After the war, he attended Western State Normal School in Farmington (ME), taught for a time, and surveyed in the area.  Dike left Maine for Minneapolis (MN) in 1868, where he taught and surveyed for the government and railroad companies

One of his first jobs in Dakota Territory was as a carpenter helping build Fort Abraham Lincoln (DT). Dike was a surveyor by training and first did surveying for the railroads, and also worked form them protecting their timber lands as much timber was often stolen.  Around 1879 he began to survey for the government – all over Dakota Territory and North Dakota, including Walsh County, the Badlands, the Peace Garden area, and Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  He first came to Walsh County (ND) in 1879 with the U.S. Land Surveying Party.  He resurveyed the North Dakota-South Dakota border as well as a race track at Park River (ND).

He lived around Minnesota and Dakota Territory, and, with Nancy, lived in Maine for two years.  The couple came to Minneapolis (MN) in 1895 and stayed until 1899, when they took up residence in Northfield (MN).  Dike’s first homestead was just north of Grafton (ND), which he sold to a squatter who he found living on it.  From there he homesteaded north of Nash (ND) and was one of the first five to file in Farmington Township in Walsh County (ND).  This was his legal residence to the time of his death, although he lived in Northfield (MN) several years before passing away.  He was a member of the Grand Army of the Republic, Freemasonry, and the Congregational Church.


Box 1:
1 Correspondence, 1890
2 Correspondence, 1891-1892
3 Correspondence, 1893-1897
4 Correspondence, 1898-1900
5 Correspondence, 1901-1906
6 Biographical materials, ca. 1891-1972
7 Miscellaneous personal papers, ca. 1891-1938
8 Map showing contract locations and dates
9 Minneapolis and Northwestern Railroad Level, November 1874
10 Minnesota field notes, 1882
11  Land examinations/field notebooks, St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Manitoba Railway, ca. 1889
12 Field notebook, 1889
13 Field notebooks, contract #1 (2), 1890
14 Field notebooks, contract #2 (6), 1891
15 Field notebooks, contract #10 (3), 1891-1892
16 Field notebooks, contract #11 (2), 1892
17 Field notebooks, contract #2 (5), 1891
18 Miscellaneous field notebook, 1892

Box 2:
1 Field notebooks, contracts #12 and #22 (12), 1892-1893
2 Field notebooks, contracts #28 and #33 (12), 1893
3 Field notebooks, contracts #33 and #28 (4), 1893-1894
4 Field notebook, 1895
5 Field notebooks, contract #39 (7), 1895
6 Field notebooks, contract #41 (5), 1895
7 Field notebooks, contracts #42 and #50 (6), 1896
8 Field notebooks, contract #43 (6), 1896-1897
9 Field notebooks, contract #44 (6), 1896
10 Field notebooks, contract #49 (11), 1897
11 Field notebooks, contracts #50 and #55 (4), 1897
12 Field notebooks, contract #55 (7), 1898
13 Field notebooks, contracts #64 and #33, (4), 1894 and 1900
14 Field notebooks, Burbank (3), ca. 1900
15 Field notebooks (6), 1901
16 Field notebooks, contracts #66 and #67 (10), 1901-1902
17 Field notebooks, contract #74, 1902
18 Field notebooks, contracts #74 and #75 (5), 1902

Box 3:
1 Field notebooks, contracts #74 and #75 (4), 1902
2 Field notebooks, contract #75 (5), 1902
3 Field notebooks (5), 1902
4 Field notebooks (4), 1902-1903
5 Field notebooks (2), 1902-1903
6 Field notebooks, contract #80 (7), 1904-1905
7 South Dakota field notebooks, contracts #38 and #1 (8), n.d.
8 South Dakota field notebooks, contract #38 (9), n.d.
9 Field notebooks (2), n.d.
10 Miscellaneous working papers, ca. 1890-1904
11 Legal documents, 1879-1905
12 Legal documents, 1898-1904
13 Financial documents, ca. 1880-1909
14 Financial documents, ca.1891-1909
15 Field expense notebooks (8), 1890-1898
16 Field expense notebooks (5), 1900-1904
17 Printed material, ca. 1880-1940
18 Manuals, 1901-1902
19 Photographs, ca. 1930’s-1976

Oversize material:
Bonds and certificates
Miscellaneous field drawings
Miscellaneous plat maps, maps including Fort Abraham Lincoln Military Reservation, Devils Lake Indian Reservation, and Missouri River from Fort Benton, MT to Sioux City, IA
Two certificates from the Masonic Veterans Association of North Dakota, 1919, 1923
Certificate of membership in the Imperial Council of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (KEM), 1920

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