We traveled through the countryside on our way to Dunn Center, North Dakota. Most prevalent as we traveled, was the number of oil rigs, energy based trucks and equipment we saw. It seems as though there are very few sections that do not have some kind of petroleum machinery running. These seem to be the normal pumps left after drilling the initial hole. I don’t believe we have come upon a fracking site yet.
Dunn Center is a very small community. There is a bar, a café, a church and a lot of housing built for the oil production companies. In fact, we were looking for the court house only to find the address lined with mobile housing. There is a grain elevator that was probably there when great granddad had his farm.
We stopped at the Dunn Center Cemetery and after a few minutes of walking among the 462 residents, Mia discovered the Pennock plot. It was actually more than I had expected. Both Clarence and Kitty were interred with concrete covers. While we didn’t find great Aunt Fern’s plot we kind of assume she was laid to rest next to Kitty with no marker. Kind of sad but by all accounts, Fern’s life was not that good.
Born in Ontario, Canada my great grandfather moved to the United States in 1881 or 1882. How he met my great grandmother I do not know since she was born in Waupaca County, Wisconsin in 1859. Unless he was traveling through Wisconsin on his way to Stark County, North Dakota. He was naturalized April 2, 1890 in North Dakota. At this point he had three daughters, Belle, Beulah and Fern. My grandmother, Vera was born in 1891. I am hoping for more information from the Historical Society in Dunn Center since the community is very small and there are still residents that remember the girls.
Bureau of Land Management records show that my great granddad received patents on two quarter sections of 160 acres each in the northwest corner of Stark County, North Dakota, 11/29/1890.
PENNOCK CLARENCE J 05 140 N 095 W 008 160 251101 PA 1696 11/29/1890
PENNOCK CLARENCE J 05 140 N 095 W 008 160 251105 PA 1241 10/18/1898
In 1914, it appears that Belle, Beulah and Fern were given homestead patents on three quarter sections of land in Dunn County.
PENNOCK BELLE L 05 144 N 095 W 012 160 251101 PA 423149 07/22/1914
PENNOCK BEULAH JOSEPHINE 05 144 N 095 W 024 160 251101 PA 435927 10/15/1914
PENNOCK FERN K 05 144 N 095 W 022 160 251101 PA 435011 10/10/1914
My grandmother, Vera, is not listed among those getting a patent because she had already left North Dakota since records show she was married June 16, 1913 in King County, Washington.
Belle nearly lost her patent from what appears to be a failure to provide proof of cultivation and residence. From "The Decisions of the Department of the Interior in case relating to Public Lands,
Volume 47, January 1, 1919 to January 31, 1921.
After a day of wandering all over the country side around Dickinson, Dunn CenterIn the case of Belle L. Pennock (42 L. D., 315), the Department under date of August 9, 1913, instructed the Commissioner of the General Land Office as follows:
Where final proof submitted under the act of June 6, 1912, upon a home- stead entry made prior to that act, is rejected because f insufficient show- ing as to cultivation, e parte affidavits as to subsequent cultivation will not be
accepted; but in such case new final proof should be submitted.
The invitation to the claimant, above referred to, permitting him to make a supplemental showing, clearly contemplated action on the case, without requiring new, publication of notice and in contra vention of instructions above cited. It is observed that many cases, are coming before the Department wherein the defect with refer- ence to cultivation or residence is slight, and which has been cured since the offering of the proof under the published notice. It seems an undue hardship and expense to delay action and require new publication and new proot in such cases. No good reason is seen why such requirement should be made. The Department is there- fore disposed to accept additional or supplemental affidavits to cure such proofs, without requiring new publication. In such cases the purpose of publication has been substantially met by publication as required by law, and the submission of proof thereunder in the formal way required, and where only some additional explanation or supplemental showing with reference to acts already performed or as to. further residence or cultivation after submission of the formal proof is needed, such showing may be made by supplemental affidavit without new publication. However, this privilege will be extended only in cases where the Government is fully satisfied of entryman's good faith, and the right is reserved to require new proof in any such case where there is doubt., Accordingly, the in- structions of August 9, 1913, supra, are hereby recalled and vacated.
As the record now shows sufficient residence and cultivation to meet the requirements of the act of June 6, 1912, and the instruc- tions thereunder, the Commissioner's decision is vacated and the proof will be accepted in the absence of other objections.
Here are pictures of what the girls sections would have looked like. We found a
"red dirt road" like the one Brooks and Dunn sing about but it ended up going otherplaces than those
they sang about. And, yes, it is frigin' cold here and that is a patch of unmelted snow you see.
While taking pictures of the Dunn Center church we noticed an older gentleman
walking out to his paper box. Dressed like a cowboy with a western hat, jeans and a big belt buckle and using a cane to slow move about. We stopped him to ask him where the county court house was. He told us they moved it to Manning several years before. During our discussion, we told him we were looking for information about Pennock. He said he knew two Pennock girls that lived in a small house down the block. Said they used to run down to the railroad tracks to collect coal that the railroad engineers used to drop off as they passed by.
Manning we went to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and New Lepzig in Saturday.
More on that tomorrow.
Sadly, I ended up sick Saturday night and only now, Tuesday, feel better. I
believe it was lettuce that my wife wisely chose not to eat that made me sick.
It was not a fun time for anyone.
Hope all is well and thanks for dropping by.