Last revised: September 03, 2016

Underwood, North Dakota

History Album #1. = (1894-1919)

Photo Courtesy of Gwen Sayler (Q.O. Sayler's Daughter)

(1894) - Before Underwood was incorporated.

The town of Underwood was organized in 1903
and  celebrated its Centennial in 2003.

1903 was the year that the railroad first came from Bismarck to Underwood. In 1916 residents first saw electricity, which was usually only available in the evening hours. However, Monday was the one day electricity was available during the day to accommodate the new electric washers on wash 'day'. (Henry Koenig was in a partnership with John Henricks producing electricity with two piston driven engines.) The former brick bank building across from Outlaw Trading Co. on Main St. was built in 1913, and the original City Hall was built in 1917.

(1903) - Underwood Hotel

One of Underwood's Oldest Buildings Still Standing Today

(1903) - Coal Harbor Lumber Company
(One of the first businesses in Underwood when the Washburn-Great Falls Railroad came north off the river bottom.)

(1904) - Main Street Looking East

City Dray - owned by C. Sheeran

(1906) - City Dray - owned by C. E. Sheeran
(Dray = "A large Low horsedrawn cart with no fixed sides, designed for heavy loads.")

(1906) - The Great Underwood Bank Robbery Story

(1907) - UNDERWOOD: has a population of over 600. 7 general stores, 3 hardware stores, 2 drug stores, 1 confectionary store, 1 meat market, 1 harness and 3 blacksmith shops. There was also 1 clothing store, 3 hotels, 3 restaurants, 1 milliner, 4 implement dealers, 5 livery barns, 1 barber shop, 3 land offices, 4 lawyers, 2 doctors, 1 hospital, 1 grade school, 5 churches, 1 weekly newspaper, 3 lumber yards, 6 elevators, a 1,200 barrel flour mill and a telephone exchange.  (As described in a newspaper ad from the Langbell Land Agency)

Population = 710; (July, 2008); Households = 323; Families = 229)
Median age = 46 years; Median income = $50,543; Elevation = 2,025 ft.
Estimated Median House Value = $68,719,

Ancestries: German = 59%; Norwegian = 25%; Swedish = 8%; Irish = 4%;
Russian = 3%; Dutch = 3%.

(1907) - V.J. Scurlock's Cement and Block Works Business

Mandan Mercantile Co. - Lumber & Machinery Mandan Mercantile Co.

(1907) - Mandan Mercantile Co. Lumber and Machinery

(1907) - August Johnson Farm West of Underwood

View of Underwood - 1908

(1908) - Photo taken from the top of a grain elevator
The street near the right of this photo may be the Main Street.

The Town of Underwood - 1908

(1908) - Larger view of previous photo

Main Street, Underwood, North Dakota (1908)

(1908) - West Side View

Underwood, ND - 1908 Underwood, ND - 1908

(1908) - East Side View of Underwood

(1909) - Main Street Looking East

Feed Store

(1910) - Koenig General Store | Underwood Feed Store

(1909) - McLean County Fair

Sioux Indians from the Fort Berthold Reservation
(They had participated in the parade and had performed several dances for the crowd.)

Photo by Esther Thomsen courtesy of Ava Blake of Minot

(1908) - Underwood Baseball Team (Won 13, lost 2 games)
Gentleman in white shirt could be
Joseph G. Lobsinger
(Grandfather of Arthur W. Olstead; Sandorn, ND)

Photo Courtesy of Gwen Sayler (Q.O. Sayler's Daughter)

(1912) - Postcard of Main Street
(The Streetcar was obviously added by the photographer)

The store on the left is Nelson's Hardware, directly across the street is the hospital.
Back across the street and on East of Nelson's is Kreitinger's Grocery,
Schemp's Store, Madigan's Confectionery, and the Hotel.

(1915) - Underwood Insurance Office

Unidentified Man working on an Insurance Policy

(1918) - Main Street Looking West

Historical Underwood:

From a 1922 Pocket Directory of Underwood:

1. The First National Bank, "The Bank That Takes More Interest in the Farmer than from him"
2. Underwood State Bank,
"A Home Bank for Home People"
3. Mandan Mercantile Co.,
O.S. Eisenmann, Manager
4. Piper-Howe Lumber Co.
5. Borchardt's Place
6. Standard Oil Co.,
F.W. Asch, Manager
7. Nelson Hardware,
"The Quality Store", I. Kreitinger, Proprietor
8. The Variety Store,
C.B. Unumb, Proprietor
9. Everybody's Store,
M.J. Madigan, Proprietor
10. C.E. Hedland Elevator
11. Olson & Smith
12. The New Cafe,
R.L. Anderson, Proprietor
13. John G. Sayler Store
14. Bauer Mercantile Co.
15. Underwood Meat Market,
C.M. Trayer, Proprietor
16. C.E. Sheeran Implements
17. Koenig Brothers

(1920s) - Underwood Barber Shop
(NOTE: Arnold Johnson bought this shop in the 30s.)

Barber (name unknown) working on Bob Tauer,
QO Sayler is the kid, Crusoe Sayler is in the other chair.
(Photo courtesy of Gwen Sayler - daughter of QO and Bette Sayler)

Underwood Was Quite A City in 1922:

The Soo Line railroad was the most popular mode of transportation as fares from Underwood to various cities on the Soo were carried.

Population 550, McLean county, a thriving and industrious village on the Soo Line Railway; on state highway Metigoshe-Black Hills trail, and 16 miles northeast of Washburn, the county seat. Has six churches of different denominations, three well organized banks, flour and feed mill, three cream stations, three grain elevators, two lumber yards, and a live weekly newspaper is published. Otherwise the city has a splendid representative list of all other business houses where the wants of a large and prosperous community are amply well supplied.

The city has all the latest in modern improvements, having broad streets, cement walks, city hall, well equipped fire department, motion picture and opera house, and a 24-hour light and power service which is supplied by the Central Power company of Washburn.

Underwood is situated in one of the finest agricultural and dairy regions of the state, the soil being well adapted to dairying and livestock raising which are the chief industries, while diversified farming is expensively practiced. A great deal of thorobred livestock is also raised. Lignite coal is found in the vicinity in abundance.

Land and improved farm land is worth $25 to $50 per acre and is an investment worth the most careful consideration of the future settler who is looking for a desirable and prosperous location. The room is here for thousands of people. For those who are just starting out in life and desire to change their location; some with limited means and a laudable ambition to possess a home and others with capital who desire to be in on the "ground floor" and cure property which must increase greatly in value, will find this an ideal spot for investment.

Other features are excellent train service, direct market facilities for all its products with the Twin Cities and Chicago (the world's market). The businessmen are wide awake and energetic and of wide business acumen who are ready at all times to offer assistance and can be depended upon for their cooperation.

In educational advantages this town is on par with any town of several times its size, having an accredited state high school where all children are given the benefit of a full high school course, combining domestic science and manual training.


Underwood Main Street, 1927

Borchard Rock Buildings Main Street Underwood,1927

(1927) - East Main St. Storefronts

In later years these stores were occupied by:
Coast-to-Coast Store, Johnson's Barber Shop, Wenger's Meat Market,
Dental/Medical Offices (Upstairs) - Dr. Hepper DDS, Dr. Anderson MD
Shoe Repair Shop

NOTE: Please send any new photos or stories or information to me at:


Ron Fandrick
2224 Ground Squirrel Dr.
New Port Richey, FL 34655-4029

Last revised: September 03, 2016

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