Walsh County, North Dakota

Kelly’s Point (See Acton)

Acton (Historic)
Population (2010 Census): 67
Peak Population: 400 in 1881
Total Area: 0.3 square miles
Founded: 1871
Location: NW1/4 Sec. 25-157-51
Township: Acton
Other Names: Kelly’s Point, Kelley’s Point is an erroneous spelling.

“Jacob Reinhart and Antoine Gerrard first explored what has since become Walsh County, in the year 1866. They returned to McCauleyville, Minnesota, and when Carpenter & Blaikie commenced running their stage, Mr Reinhart drove one of them. In 1877, he and Mr Gerrard settled down on land near Acton, which was then called Kelly’s Point, and was in Grand Forks County. Mr Gerrard was appointed Postmaster, and Mr Reinhart was his deputy. Mr Reinhart opened a store in 1877, and Mr Gerrard kept a tavern.” 1

“Postmaster Antoine Girard changed the name to Acton on May 27, 1879, commemorating his home town of Acton, Ontario, Canada, which was named for Acton, Middlesex, England, a suburb of London, that had its greatest fame during the Oliver Cromwell regime in the 1600’s.” 2

“The Settlement was augmented by the arrival of Mr B. S. Kelly and his family, from whom it took its original name. Three or four saloons were opened. In 1879 Mr Wm. Budge opened a store and for a time it bid fair to be quite a town, but in the year 1881, the railroad entered the county twelve miles distant, and business and people followed it. By 1884, the settlement consisted of the tavern of E. F. Schumann, the store of John Bouldic, and the post office, of which Antoine Gerrard, who was still postmaster. 2
The village of Acton published a weekly newspaper, “The Acton News,” edited by Frank M. Winship. It was chosen as the first official newspaper for Walsh County. Volume 1, no. 1, was printed on May 26, 1881. The last volume (Volume 1, no. 17) was printed on September 15, 1881, after which it was continued by the “Grafton News.” 1

“It is said that the town had a population of over 400 in 1881, but when it was bypassed by the railroad, it declined rapidly, with an 1890 population of just 25. In 1913 the post office moved across the section line to NE 1/4 Sec. 26-157-51, the home of the new postmaster, Emil Hoenke, but operated here only until September 30, 1913, when mail went to Fork, MN.” 2

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