In 1978 I began to compile a listing of North Dakota place names, and while the effort was at first quite casual, it soon grew into a monster. Thirteen large three ring binders held the basic source information, and an almost endless collection of loose notes could be found here and there throughout my home. The decision to publish was made in 1987, which initiated a year‑long editing process to reduce this mass of trivia into a manageable finished product.
North Dakota stands out among the fifty states in having one of the best selections of local "jubilee" books, and many of these were published during the period of this research. I attempted to review each and every one of these references, and supplemented this effort as much as possible with on‑site visitations. Countless local residents graciously shared their first‑hand expertise, and it was a continually humbling experience to discover the vast amount of knowledge literally walking the streets.
To name all of these people would be utterly impossible. Beginning in 1985, I contacted many local officials, and found their supportive efforts to be invaluable. Among these public servants were Helen Christenson of Bottineau, Ramona Hoffman of Ashley, Susan Froemke of Lisbon, Brenda Arnold of Bowbells, Joyce Delebo of Langdon, Dr. George M. Christensen of Minot, Reuben Brownlee of Wahpeton, Jane Dunham of New Rockford, Dwayne Oster of Washburn, and Corabelle Brown of Towner. Private citizens who offered their assistance included Sandy Cole of Watford City, Vida Gunderson of Bathgate, Olive Benson of Bottineau, Harry Middaugh of Lansford, and Thomas Elliott of Valley City.
The resources and staff of the North Dakota State Historical Society deserve a special recognition, for without this valuable resource, any book of this type would be virtually impossible. Of particular assistance was Forrest Daniel, a veritable walking encyclopedia of North Dakota history, who recently retired from his post at the Heritage Center in Bismarck.
The illustrations included in this book are from the personal collections of Gordon Twedt of Maddock, Murray Pearce of Bismarck, and the author. Mr. Pearce provided special assistance with North Dakota's postal history at a time when this information was essentially unpublished, and frequently served as a consultant when attempting to sort out seemingly contradictory findings.
Finally, recognition must be given to the members of my immediate family who volunteered many hours of proofreading, consultation, support, and general perseverance. Our amateur efforts have produced what we hope will be a worthwhile addition to the preservation of North Dakota history.
Source: North Dakota Place Names - Front Part of Book