Walsh County, North Dakota


Medford, North Dakota (Historic)
See “Fordville”
Post Office Established: November 2, 1881
Postmaster: Sherburn S. Worthing
Township: Medford Township
First Location: SE ¼ Sec. 26-155-56
Second Location: 1895, SW ¼ 22-155-56, 2 miles NNW
Third Location: 1905, SW ¼ Sec. 25-155-56, to Soo Line Railroad tracks
Townsite Platted: August 23, 1905
Other Names: Fordville, officially changed on July 1, 1910

MEDFORD: (See Fordville). This post office was established November 2, 1881, with Sherburn S. Worthing as postmaster. It was located in SE ¼ Sec. 26-155-56, Medford Twp., where a small village began to form around the general store run by Bertram W. Carpenter. This post office moved two miles NNW in 1895 to SW ¼ 22-155-56, and in 1905 moved to the Soo Line RR tracks in SW ¼ Sec. 25-155-56, where a town site was platted August 23, 1905. Some say the name came from Medford, Wisconsin, the home of local settlers, which was named for Medford, Massachusetts, which has an English place name meaning the middle ford. Others say Mr. Worthing named it for his home town of Medford, Minnesota, which was named by William K. Colling for the ship he sailed on when coming to America. Mr. Worthing had submitted a number of names to postal officials in 1881, with a notation that his preference was Sanbornton, but every name on his list was rejected in favor of MEDFORD. The name was officially changed to FORDVILLE on July 1, 1910, although the post office had already made the change on May 21, 1910. 2 (1,2,3,10,13,25,40,70,75,254,294) (pg 126).

MEDFORD was located in Township 155, Range 56, and was settled by J. B. Sanborn, in the spring of 1879. When Mr. Sanborn homesteaded there, his nearest neighbor was more than ten mile away. He was there alone for a year, when he was joined by Mr. Kellogg and Mr. Worthing. Mr Worthing was appointed Postmaster in 1880. During the summer of that year a blacksmith shop was opened, and Mr Carpenter opened a general merchandise store. In the summer of 1883, Mr William H. Mitchell established the “Medford Messenger,” a five-column weekly paper. By 1884, the surrounding country was all settled up, and the mercantile business was well supported. 1

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