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Manuscripts by Subject - Politics / Government - #10509

Title: William Strehlow and Company Records

Dates: 1878-1891

Collection Number: Mss 10509

Quantity: 1.5 ft

Abstract: Consists of daybooks, letterpress books, ledgers, cash book, and mortgage record.

Provenance:   The State Historical Society of North Dakota acquired the William Strehlow and Company Records from The Manuscript Company of Springfield in Springfield, Virginia on December 28, 1987.   This manuscript collection was processed and the inventory prepared by Karen Mund and Lotte Bailey in October 1988.

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

Copyrights:  The Manuscript Company of Springfield has dedicated such copyrights as it possesses in this collection to the public.  Consideration of all other copyrights is the responsibility of the researcher.

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.

Related Material:   A. F. Dietz & Sons, 1896-1948, .5 ft., Mss 10092.
John P. French Papers, 1900-1935, .5 ft., Mss 10305.
Ernest Keidel Scrapbooks, ND, 1 roll microfilm (35 mm), Mss 10434.
Carl Krauth Letter, December 28, 1890, 2 items, Mss 20262.
Shed F. Lambert Papers, 1881-1984, .25 ft. , Mss 10032.
William Plummer Company Records, 1892-1941, 30 ft., Mss 10097.
Francis R. Simons Papers, 1882-1985, 4 items, Mss 20271.
Van Houten Brothers & Little Company Records, 1882-1889, 3 vol., Mss 10185.


William Strehlow was born in Germany, April 30, 1844, to Fredrik and Mary (Menge) Strehlow who emigrated in 1849 or 1850 to the United States.  The family settled in Wisconsin where William was reared and educated.

On October 1, 1861, William enlisted in the Third Wisconsin Cavalry at the age of 17 as a union scout for service in the Civil War.  During active duty he sustained bayonet and bullet wounds, his tour ending February 14, 1865.

After his discharge William spent time farming in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  He married Marie Buchholz of Watertown, Wisconsin, in 1868.  They had eight children: William F., Franklin, Mrs. Arthur (Eugenia) Meilicke, Della, Marie, and Mrs. J. R. (Emma) Bishop.  A son, Hubert, preceded his parents in death by six months and an infant child was buried in Winona, Minnesota.  William worked as a clerk in a farm implement store in Minnesota before arriving in Dakota Territory in 1877.  He was the first white settler in Addision Township, Cass County.  William filed the first homestead and tree claim along the Maple River.  He sent for his family and they moved to Casselton in 1879 where he pioneered William Strehlow & Company, a successful farm implement business.  As founder of a large German settlement he established one of the finest farming communities in the Northwest.  William took an active interest in the community, serving as postmaster from 1913 to 1923, one term as mayor of Casselton, and twice as Cass County commissioner. In 1896, he was the Democratic candidate for the legislature.  William also served as a member of the executive committee of the Casselton Business Men's Union, organized early in the 1890's, and as vice-president and director of the First National Bank in Casselton.

William Strehlow died on April 8, 1932; his wife Marie preceded him in death by six weeks.  He was survived by six of his children, most of whom continued to live in the Casselton area.

Source: Cass County Historical Society, Inc. Rural Cass County. The Land And People. Dallas: Taylor Publishing Company, 1976, pp. 186-187.

Sherman, William, editor. Plains Folk, North Dakota’s Ethnic History. Fargo: Institute for Regional Studies, 1986, p. 112.

Cass County Reporter. March 4, 1932, p 1.
Casselton Reporter. April 15, 1932, p. 1.
Fargo Forum, April 18, 1932, (Evening), p 1.


The William Strehlow and Company Records date from 1878-1891 and measure 1 .5 ft. The collection documents the sale of wagons, wire, twine, drills, plows, wedges, and other products needed by settlers pioneering Dakota Territory.  The records consist of volumes: 5 daybooks; 2 ledgers; 3 miscellaneous record books including 1 cash record book, and 1 chattel mortgage record book; and 3 letterpress books.  All are arranged in chronological order.

The daybooks date from 1876 to 1891 and consist of 5 volumes. They register the daily business transactions concerning the customers and manufacturers of William Strehlow & Company.

The ledgers date from 1880 to 1883, consist of two volumes, and document entries
posted from the daybooks.  Included are alphabetical indexes.

The miscellaneous record books consist of 3 volumes. A cash record book, dating from 1883-1885, records daily entries of receipts and disbursements. A chattel mortgage record book, dating from 1882-1883, documents transactions made on a non-cash basis. The miscellaneous record book dates from 1881-1882.

The letterpress books date from 1884 to 1891 and consist of 3 volumes.  They contain copies of the correspondence of the William Strehlow and Company involving transactions with suppliers of commodities necessary in the implement business.


Box 1:
1 Daybook           1884-1885           
2 Daybook           1886      
3 Daybook           1888-1889           
4 Daybook           1889      
5 Daybook           1878-1891           
6 Ledger               1880-1881           
7 Ledger               1882-1883           
8 Cash Book        1883-1885           
9 Chattel Mortgage Record Book              1882-1883           
10 Miscellaneous Record Book   1881-1882           

Box 2:
1 Letterpress Book          1884-1885           
2 Letterpress Book          1887-1888           
3 Letterpress Book          1891      


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