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Havana History

Havana, North Dakota

The village of Havana is located in the southern part of Sargent County, one mile from the South Dakota line and 50 miles from the MN line. Previous to 1887 the village was known as Weber, the name was changed on request of the railroad line because of the similarity in name to Webster, SD, just down the tracks a piece!

In the spring of 1894, a number of business men of Newark, SD moved to Havana since most of their trade came from this more fertile territory. The land around Havana and for a distance of some miles on all sides in perfectly level. The soil is a deep black loam of great fertility with a clay sub-soil. Seven miles east of Havana is the northern termination of the Dakota Coteau, a range of hills 200 to 300 feet high and about 6 miles wide.

The village of Havana was incorporated in the spring of 1904 and in 1913 boasted a population of about 450. At that time they had 3 large general stores, one bank, a new high school, drug store, hardware store, harness & drug store, hardware,harness and furniture store, millinery store, meat market, 2 hotels, restaurant, 2 farm implement houses, photograph gallery, undertaker, operahouse & lodge hall, telephone exchange, 2 pool rooms, barber shop, 2 livery barns, one auto livery, blacksmith & machine shop, newspaper, 3 elevators, lumber yard and 3 coal yards, feed mill, creamery & flour mill and 2 dray lines. There were also 3 churches, Congregational, Catholic and Methodist, with the German Lutherans holding services in the Methodist Church. In 1912, J.P. Williamson presented the village with a ten acre tract of land within the corporate limits to be maintained as a public park and 4 small parks were also maintained in the centre of town.

Recreation included a baseball team that achieved much local success. There was also a citizens band of 20 pieces that was claimed to be one of the best in the state, it was composed of business & professional men of the village.

Two doctors, 1 veterinarian and a gravel pit 1 mile from town were also listed among the towns assets.

(information for this article taken from the Fargo Forum & Daily Republican, December 1913)

All in all, our little town was quite a busy place back in the early 1900's. Even today the same civic spirit is evident with a cafe that is world famous, nice grocery store, post office and civic center. Much smaller than it's hey day, it survives and is the place many still call home.