Heaton, ND

Wells County
Inhabited as of 5/04

Heaton was founded in 1899 as a Northern Pacific Railroad town, named for George Heaton, the manager of land sales for the railroad. Population figures include 400 in 1930, 62 in 1960, and approximately 5 when these photos were taken in 2004.  In 2012, we spoke with the final resident of Heaton.

Heaton, about twenty miles west of Carrington, ND, is an interesting town. There were three or four houses which looked occupied, but a ton of vacant homes. The whole time we were taking these photos, we could hear kids playing nearby.

Site visitor Brandon Miller, who grew up one mile north of Heaton, wrote to tell us it was his Grandfather’s opinion the tornado which ravaged Heaton in 1907 was a big reason for the town’s eventual decline.

In it’s heyday, Heaton played host to a post office, a lumber yard, gas station, bank, hardware store, two hotels, and three churches.

**Source Material – North Dakota Place Names – Douglas Wick

Wanna see what we found when we returned to Heaton six years after this visit? Check it out here.

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

3 Responses to “Heaton, ND”
  1. minnemom says:

    I didn’t realize that so many towns in ND had gravel streets. My hometown of Niagara has gravel streets, and my dad always commented that Mountain, while the same size, had paved streets. Street jealousy, I guess.

  2. G says:

    Well this is interesting to me, because my paternal grandmother’s surname happens to be Heaton, & Ive been searchin all over for possible relatives, but never thought to look in North Dakota! Seeing a town with that name gives me hope, even if it is almost a ghost town now! Anybody from that area ever heard of Sula Heaton?? That would be my Grammas Mama…I think…. She might have been Cherokee…

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