Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Reid: Bonanza Farmer & St. Vincent Booster


"...With the rapid movement of railroad building into the northern part of the valley, the opening of large farms continued unabated. By 1885 nearly all of the original large farms had been established. The J. J. Hill farm of nearly a township [in size], in Kittson county, is probably the nearest to the International boundary. The Reid farm in the same county is another in point."  [Note: ...and in fact, it was Reid farm that was the nearest to the boundary!]

- Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota, Volume III, Tribune, State Printers and Binders, 1910, Page 581
Why did Robert Gillispie Reid invest in land, let alone so much land - 10 sections - in our area?  I did a bit of digging.  Robert married Harriet Duff in 1865 after they met on onboard a ship heading to New Zealand.  Twenty years later, Harriet's relative, David Duff and his family, emigrated from Scotland, finding their way to St. Vincent.  David worked at Reid farm as the foreman.  Right around that time is when Robert bought up the 10 sections in St. Vincent Township.  I think he did it as an astute investment, with an eye to also help family.  Upon Robert's death in 1908, it was found that in his will, he had left a quarter section of Reid Farm to John Duff.  

https://www.kittsonarea.com/2021/02/12/historical-photo-leads-to-interesting-local-farm-history/ https://www.kittsonarea.com/2021/02/12/historical-photo-leads-to-interesting-local-farm-history/

The 10 sections of land that Sir Robert Reid bought  in 1885  became known as  "Reid Farm".  Along with J.J. Hill's Northcote and Humboldt farms, it was one of Kittson County's early 'bonanza farms', and employed many local people.   

Walter J.S. Traill managed the farm for Reid.1 

The 1901 Townships Map (see below)  showed Reid owning 10 sections in St. Vincent Township, bought originally on June 25, 1885 and owned by Reid until his death - in 1909 the estate divested itself of the rest of the property not given to John Duff.

At Right:  Reid Hall, named in honor of
Sir Robert, was St. Vincent's town hall.
[Seen here during fair time, to house exhibitions...]

1 - SourcesKittson County Recorder (original handwritten land deed - excerpt regarding partnership between Reid and Traill, above), and 1901 St. Vincent Township Map.

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