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Photographs - Collections - 0001-00050 - #00031

Title: G. W. Patterson (Carpio, N.D.)
Dates: ca. 1930-1967

Collection Number: 00031

Quantity: 30 items

Abstract: Photographs collection by G. W. Patterson (Carpio, N.D.), including images in Baden (N.D.), Bismarck (N.D.), Fayette (N.D.), Kenmare (N.D.), Grassy Butte (N.D.), Shafer (N.D.), and Ward County (N.D.).

Provenance: The collection was donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by G.W. Patterson in January 1970.

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

Related Collections:
20389 G. W. Patterson

Girdell "G.W." Patterson, 86, who lived most of his life in Renville County, N.D., died in his sleep at his ranch home Saturday, Feb. 5, 2011. Mr. Patterson had a keen sense of place and of history, and during his lifetime, achieved recognition for his accuracy in historical research.

He was born Aug. 30, 1924, a son of Girdell "Dell" Patterson and Edith (Anderson) Patterson. The family lived on a farm in Ivanhoe Township, Renville County. He was raised there and on a farm four miles west of Carpio in White Ash Township, also in Renville County, where the family moved in 1931. He attended the township grade school. After his father was named warden of the State Penitentiary, the family moved to Bismarck. They lived in the warden's mansion there, and young Girdell attended Bismarck Junior High School.

Following the Depression, the family moved back to the White Ash Township farm. Girdell entered Carpio High School and graduated from there in 1942. He then joined his father in the operation of the family farm, taking over the business after his father's death in 1948.

He married Fern LeMay Sullivan on Oct. 25, 1947. After retiring from active farming and ranching in 1986, they continued to live on the farmstead, but rented out their crop and pasture acreage. The Pattersons' son Daniel said the renters regarded Girdell as their father. While his parents did some traveling, they always came back to the farm place they loved, Dan said. Girdell remained there after his wife died Sept. 30, 2007.

He read widely. His preferred topics were agriculture and history, with a particular focus on the history of the western United States and of North Dakota. He concentrated much of his reading interest on the Lewis & Clark expedition. He was contacted frequently by historians at the University of North Dakota for his research on some aspect of area history. Over the years he had written numerous articles for such publications as True West magazine, the Minot Daily News and the Kenmare News.

He maintained hobbies in weaponry and photography. He was a founder in the early 1950s of the Des Lacs Valley Rifle Club. He won the North Dakota State Smallbore Outdoor Championship in 1957. He was the winner of the Canadian National High Power Rifle Championship at Calgary, Alberta, in 1975. In August 1978, he was among a select group of civilians invited to participate in the high power rifle matches at Camp Perry, Ohio. He was unanimously inducted into the North Dakota Shooting Sports Association Hall of Fame for his marksmanship in 1994.

Some of his photographs were reproduced in the magazine, Popular Photography. One of his pictures was of his cattle on a hillside at the farm with the sun setting in the background. Editors of the magazine declared the photo the most striking they had ever seen of a sunset, his son Dan said.

Girdell held a life membership in the National Rifle Association and was a member of the Carpio Lutheran Church.

Dan, who was a frequent visitor to the farm, said his father kept a journal. When he was called home following his father's death, he opened the journal and found the following entry for Feb. 5, 2011, the last day of his life:

I had a full day. Drove to Kenmare. Shopped for groceries at the Super
Valu. Returned to the farm to put away the groceries. Went to Carpio to get the
mail and had coffee with several friends at the Carpio Café. Then traveled to
Berthold to visit with Jean Fegley. Returned home to the farm. Turned in for a
nap. That evening I drove to Minot and had supper at the Homesteader, my
favorite restaurant. Returned to the farm.

His son Dan said he had been reading a book on rope making. He died in his sleep with the book nearby. "He graduated from the weariness of this world to eternal life with God the Father," Dan said.

Survivors: son, Dr. Daniel Patterson, rural Littleton, Colo.; sisters-in-law, Doroles and Helen Haaland, both of Minot; a number of nieces and nephews; three cousins. He was preceded in death by his wife, Fern, his parents, and a half brother, Raymond Patterson.


00031-00001       Abandoned farm in southern Ward County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00002       The Fayette Post Office, Dunn County (N.D.) March 1967
00031-00003       John Zakopayko sod house, north of Grassy Butte (N.D.) 1967
00031-00004       Jail in Schafer (N.D.) January 29, 1931
00031-00005       Haven Family monument, Albert E., Charles, Daniel, Leland, Lulia, Mary  1930     
00031-00006       Gravestone for son of Russell family, with angel that lost its head, Bismarck (N.D.) January 12, 1967
00031-00007       Gravestone for Grant P. Marsh, Bismarck (N.D.) January 12, 1967
00031-00008       Eastern Horses, Heavy Draft Mares and Geldings Sale Bill, Powers Lake (N.D.) 1967
00031-00009       Danish Mill restored, Kenmare (N.D.) ca. 1966-1967
00031-00012       Rural mailbox juxtaposed with oil rig, circa 1967
00031-00013       Fayette Post Office and store, Dunn County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00014       Fayette Post Office and store remains, Dunn County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00015       Short end of Fayette Post Office, Dunn County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00016       Fayette Post Office and store remains, Dunn County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00017       Fayette Post Office in snow, Dunn County (N.D.) 1967
00031-00018       John Zakapayko's homestead sod house, near Grassy Butte (N.D.) 1967
00031-00019       Sod homestead house of John Zakapayko, near Grassy Butte (N.D.) 1967
00031-00020       Sod homestead house of John Zakapayko, near Grassy Butte (N.D.) 1967
00031-00021       Sod homestead house of John Zakapayko, near Grassy Butte (N.D.) 1967
00031-00022       Fruit-crate containing human skulls and long bones, circa 1930
00031-00024 - 00030 Aerial view of Baden (N.D.), 1904

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