My North Dakota Diary
'Ward County was named in honor of Hon. J. P. Ward, a member of the legislature of 1885 and an active
friend of the northern part of the territory, though representing a district in the south. Ward was the
largest county in the state, both in acreage and population, before its division in 1910. It now includes
the 26,000 acres of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. The land is capable of profitable cultivation.
Coal is found in abundance. Minot is the county seat.' Source: North Dakota Blue Book -- 1942
"Originally named Lignite, when it was but a Soo R.R. siding and coal loading platform constructed on a
hillside facing Middle Des Lacs Lake. In the steep sides of this valley nearby, are a number of lignite
mines. Augustine Rouse named this station Lignite and established a post office Dec. 27, 1894, in his
dugout on the rolling slope of the present town of Kenmare. Rouse was killed in a quarrel with the
townsite proprietor and the post office was discontinued Nov. 20, 1894, and mail sent to Donnybrook.
Kenmare townsite was founded here and platted in 1896. The post office was established April 30, 1897,
with John H. Clapper, postmaster. Kenmare incorporated as a city in 1903. It is believed to have been
named by the wife of a Soo R.R. official, for a community in Ireland. Several colonies of Dunkards were
early settlers in this area." Source: Origins of North Dakota Place Names, Mary Ann Barnes Williams, 1966