SHSND Home > Archives > Archives Holdings > Archives & Manuscripts > Business/Commerce > 10055

OCLC WorldCat Logo

Digital Horizons

Federal Depository Library Program

Manuscripts by Subject - Business / Commerce - #10055

Title: William H. Brown Land Company

Dates: 1903-1946

Collection Number: 10055

Quantity: 2 feet

Abstract: The Brown Land Company operated in northwestern North Dakota and the Judith Basin of Montana. The records consist of by-laws and articles of incorporation, a minute book of stockholders' and directors’ meetings, a stock certificate book and other records for the period after 1924.

Provenance: The William H. Brown Land Company Records were donated to the State Historical Society of North Dakota by Mrs. E. H. Yonaka in 1954.

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 bibliographic references.

Transfers: The following maps were removed from the collection and placed in the map collection:
1. Plat of Mott, Hettinger County, North Dakota, Jan. 12, 1914
2. Part of Hettinger County, North Dakota, drawn by C. Roy Kindt, 1933. Wm. H. Brown Co.
3. Map of Hettinger County, North Dakota. Wm. H. Brown Co. (2 copies)
4. Land in Morton, Hettinger and Adams Counties, North Dakota for sale by Wm. H. Brown Co., Drawn by J. K. Brennan, Chicago, IL.
5. Plat of Mott, Hettinger County, North Dakota. Wm. H. Brown Co., Nov. 1, 1910 (Federal and County tax deeds)
6. Mott, Hettinger County, ND. (Blueprint scale 150 feet to an inch)

Photographs, including 154 images and five photograph albums of Flasher, Mandan, Mott, farms, produce and related subjects, were transferred to Photo Collection 0090. Photographs were also transferred to 00048 Mrs. George Humphreys Collection.


The William H. Brown Land Company, one of the largest land companies west of the Missouri River, sold and colonized over 150,000 acres of land in southwestern North Dakota and in the Judith Basin of Montana. Company offices were in Chicago, Mandan, Richardton, Mott, and Haynes. Mr. Brown was the founder of and platted the townsites of Mott, Flasher, and Haynes in North Dakota and Hobson and Moore in the Judith Basin County of Montana. The land company was established by William H. Brown who had operated a real estate business in Devils Lake and served as mayor of that town at one time. In 1902 he made his first large purchase of Morton County land and in six years' time had settled over 3,000 farmers' families on the west Missouri River slope. He died at his home in Chicago in 1943.
Mr. E. H. Yonaka, who had been associated with the company since 1908, took over as manager of the office at Mott in 1912, and later became president. He purchased the company at the time of Brown’s death. Mr. Yonaka died in 1954 in Bismarck where he had made his home for the last few years.


The company books contain the by-laws and articles of incorporation, minutes of the stockholders and directors' minutes from 1904 to 1943, and records of the various farms managed by the company. There is also a map showing the holdings of the company in Morton, Hettinger, and Adams counties, one of Morton County, and several plats of the town of Mott. Several issues of Brown's Farmer describe the excellent opportunities in southwestern North Dakota. The group of over 200 photographs contain pictures of Mr. Brown and Mr. Yonaka and the towns of Mott, Flasher, and Mandan. The photographs also show many farmsteads, various farm operations and farm products. These records are unique in providing original source material on the settlement of that part of the state.


Box 1:

1. Power of attorney - wheat loans
2. Wheat loan papers, 1943
3. Wheat loan papers, 1943

Box 2:

Edwards estate

1. Edwards - letter files - Adams
2. Edwards - files & misc. McHenry and Pierce counties
3. Edwards abstracts & documents - Dead

Box 3:

1. Edwards estate - Misc.
2. Misc.
Assembling sheet
Grain producers’ note
Complimentary letters
Deeds - Northwestern Improvement Co.
Farm contracts Geo. Schwartz
3. Certificate of corporation
Historical data on Mott
Biographical notes on William H. Brown
Newspaper clippings
Newspaper and copy of Brown’s Farmer, March 15, 1908, v.3, no.4
May 15, 1908, v.3, no.6

Volume 1 By-laws and articles of incorporation
Volume 2 Minute book of stockholders’ and directors’ meetings
Volume 3 Stock certificate book
Volume 4 North Dakota plats
Volume 5 lease book sheets, Hettinger and other counties, 1943
Volume 6 Mott cash book and journal, 1940-1946
Volume 7 Owners' share annual rent income register, 1924-1946
Volume 8 Record of tenants by owners and date

612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
Get Directions

State Museum and Store: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
We are closed New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
We will also be closed on Christmas Eve this year.
State Archives: 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. M-F, except state holidays; 2nd Sat. of each month, 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
State Historical Society offices: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. M-F, except state holidays.

Contact Us:
phone: 701.328.2666