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Manuscripts by Subject - Family / Local History - #10051

Title: George Kimball Dike

Dates: 1874-1909

Collection Number: MSS 10051

Quantity: 3.5 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.

Transfers: C3030-C3053 and C3732-C3743 were transferred to this collection

Related Collections:       
Museum artifacts
A2751 George K. Dike
A6306 Nancy Pease Dike
2012-P-047 Veigel Family


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

Photographs Inventory

Box 4:
00001 The Cook 1890-1905
00002 Surveyor walking with transit on tripod on his shoulder 1890-1905
00003 Young eagle that stayed with the crew 1890-1905
00004 Man holds a feed bag up to horse's mouth   1890-1905
00005 Food table in mess tent   1890-1905
00006 Charles Carpenter and two men outside a small tent 1890-1905
00007 Looking down into a valley with log cabins and corrals 1890-1905
00008 Sand hill 1890-1905
00009 Badlands 1890-1905
00010 Tent camp1890-1905
00011 Piles of wood in Badlands 1890-1905
00012 Branding cattle 1890-1905
00013 Rattlesnake coiled up in grass 1890-1905
00014 Log Cabin 1890-1905
00015 Marking corners 1890-1905
00016 Landscape 1890-1905
00017 Valley landscape 1890-1905
00018 George Dike survey party  1890-1905
00019 Man driving a wagon as another man walks through the Badlands 1890-1905
00020 Getting a drink of water from a trough 1890-1905
00021 Badlands landscape  1890-1905
00022 Crew in camp around fire  1890-1905
00023 Man on top of very tall Badlands formation 1890-1905
00024 G. K. Dike survey party winter camp, Northern Minnesota woods  1890-1905

Box 5:
00025 Log Cabin 1890-1905
00026 Badlands 1890-1905
00027 Spring water flowing into bucket 1890-1905
00028 River    1890-1905
00029 Log cabin 1890-1905
00030 Football game 1890-1905
00031 Missouri River, Badlands  1890-1905
00032 Wagon wheel decorated with mountain goat, bison and deer skulls 1890-1905
00033 Tent camp 1890-1905
00034 Badlands 1890-1905
00035 Football game 1890-1905
00036 George K. Dike  1890-1905
00037 Crew in camp with transits 1890-1905
00038 Using a sapling to cross the river in the Badlands 1903    
00039 Birds Eye view of Badlands1903    
00040 Man on the ground reading, Badlands 1903    
00041 Ben in tree and river below, Badlands 1903    
00042 The Survey crew 1903    
00043 Man on horse on a butte, Badlands 1903    
00044 Man on horse, Badlands    1903    
00045 River looking toward Michelson's taken from near camp after Parker's 1903    
00046 Man holding transit in field, Badlands in distance 1903    
00047 River and camp just before we moved into Ash Coulee 1903    
00048 Group watches a man ride what looks like a mule bareback 1903    
00049 Crew driving three wagons in Badlands      1903    
00050 Badlands 1890-1905
00051 Muddy water flowing over a bank after a rain in region of Little Missouri River (N.D.) 1890-1905
00052 Davis digging a 1/4 post  1890-1905
00053 Birds eye view of Badlands 1890-1905
00054 Badlands 1890-1905
00055 Two men with transit laughing 1890-1905
00056 Young man with transit  1892-1903                                  
00057 Young man with a transit  1892-1903                                
00058 Two surveyors clowning for the camera  1892-1903                   
00059 Eating in the tent  1892-1903                                      
00060 George Dike and three boys eat on the ground by a wagon  1892-1903 
00061 George Dike and three boys eat on the ground by a wagon  1892-1903 
00062 Two young men on a horse  1892-1903                                
00063 Two young women on horses  1892-1903                               
00064 A man rows a boat for two women in the Badlands (N.D.)  1892-1903  
00065 Two women and a man stand on the riverbank with a rowboat  1892-1903
00066 Man with hatchet  1892-1903     
00067 Cattle graze next to log cabins

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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