Bantry, ND

By / May 18, 2010 / Bantry, ND

McHenry County
Inhabited as of 5/10

Bantry is a small near-ghost town in McHenry county, about 15 miles northwest of Towner. It is very picturesque and harbors numerous vacant structures.

According to North Dakota Place Names by Douglas A. Wick, Bantry peaked at a population of 315 in 1920.

US Census Data for Bantry
Total Population by Place

1960 – 93
1970 – 40
1980 – 28
2000 – 19
2010 – 14

CLICK IMAGES TO ENLARGE

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Bantry township hall.Bantry, ND

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The former bank was packed full of stuff.

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We featured a few shots of Bantry, North Dakota in our second book, Ghosts of North Dakota, Volume 2.

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

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49 Comments

lori lee

my grandpa clarence kubler us to own a little shack out ther for trapping, and he use to go to the bar there and latter on worked at that bar

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Ria Cabral

looks like its a near ghost-town. i dont have much information on this place, other than what ive read online but they must still have a working post office which indicates residents still live there. i received a postmark back today from the post office. obviously someone that works there because it was in a usps envelope with postage paid….

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Kathleen Anderson

My mother’s family used to own Frank’s. Frank was her uncle.

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Jeff Anderson

My grandma Anderson’s sister owned Frank’s place. Was a customer a time or two. Still remember a time when my wife and I took my Grandma and Grandpa Torr to Frank’s Place before the rest of the relatives came for Christmas.

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Diane Tackett

My mother worked at Franks many years ago. She stopped there in the 70’s. I have pictures of them at the bar.

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geno livingston

This is very interesting. When I was a kid we spent some time visiting my relatives in Bantry. I cannot remember the people (it was at least 45 yrs ago) but they owned the store in Bantry. Gosh just cannot remember the name anymore…have to ask my brother and sister if they do. He smoked a large cigar if I remember right. We used to go there on Sunday afternoons to visit. I think he was my Dad’s fathers brother or some thing like that….darn…if I remember I will post again and give more details. If I remember right the store with the angled entry was his store at the time. I think they had a sale back in the late 60’s or early 70’s after the famiy retired or died. I can remember he had old tires from the 40’s that were wrapped in bands of paper..new…just not sold. What I would give for nos stuff like he had then!!!!! Could retire. HA HA…anyway…will find out more and post again…great site!!!!!

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Ben Swearson

I think you’re thinking of John Swanson; he owned that hardware you mention. Remember 2 Minneapolis Moline tractors he had for sale there.

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Sarah

What happens if someone actually decides to do somethin with these abandoned buildings? Does anyone know who to talk to?

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Marie

The buildings are mainly owned by one man, Brad H. He acquired them when his grandfather passed away a couple of years ago.

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Loree Thorp/Bantry City Auditor

Not the Township hall, Paul Thorp owns that one!

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Candy Bussiere

My mom, Sherry (Forbes) Shafer, married my stepfather, Robert (Bob) Shafer. He was born and raised on the little farmstead just on the other side of the highway from Bantry. He and my mom had a ranch and raced pacers in the Towner area and up in Manitoba. Their ranch was only about 5 miles from the farmstead he was born on, just follow that winding gravel road (you’ll see 1st Farmstead of Fred Shafer where dad and his 5 sisters were born n raised) and go down winding rd and on the left is a lil house nestled in trees and a BIG white, was white..barn..you can’t miss it. They were married in Newburg, ND another ghost town where my mom and my brother and I grew up..and the wedding dance was @ Franks Bar on Dec,1985. I went to many dances @ the bar. When I was in high school, my best friend would ride her horse from Upham and id ride mine from Bantry and we’d ride all over looking for abandoned farms back in 1983 LOL. Love the pics 8)

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Sandy Prendergast

My father and his sisters and brothers were born in Bantry ND and their name was Shafer. I wonder if your any relationship to them. My grandparents and my grandfathers brothers moved to Bantry in the late 1800s and farmsteaded there. My fathers family returned to Indiana in the 20’s and my grandfather died in Bantry after falling under some horses. His name was John and I did find a news clipping that stated he had been the Post Master there. I just came across this site while looking up info for my last Aunts funeral. She passed just this week and was the last of 17 children. I have heard some of the brothers stayed in ND but don’t know the names. I plan on discussing this with other family members later on this week. I hope some time to visit this ghost town and see where my father played and worked as a very young boy. I hope I hear back from you.

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JV Swanson

Ivy Daugherty was my Grandmother and I spent many fun summers in Bantry and Souris.
JV Swanson Salt Lake City Utah

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Michelle irgens

My grandparents Frank and Edith ran Franks Place. My uncle John did also. I now have the antique bar that was in Franks Place. 6 years ago I had an addition built on my house and spent 4 months refinishing it. I spent my childhood summers there and couldn’t imagine never seeing it again. I’m sitting at it now as I write this. I still drive down Main St. Bantry once a year, visit the cemetary, and take lots of photos of a little town that meant a lot to me.

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James Wagar

Edith was my Fathers aunt we visited the bar every time we went up to see family in Towner and Upham.

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Ben Swearson

James, was your father’s name George Wagar? I knew him. He lived just south of the Bantry cementary.

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James Wagar

My father is Alton Wagar his parents are Cecil & Jenny(Edith’s sister) Wagar. Bil(father’s brother)l & Eddie Wagar farmed the homestead farm. My cousin Nancy and her husband Bob Jaeger farm near Bantry and their oldest son Stacy now farms the Wagar farmstead.

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Joanne Bahn Dieterle

Candy — I knew your Mom and your uncle Danny. I grew up on a farm south and west of Newburg!! We used to go to a horse farm – or pony farm? – near Bantry. It was a favorite place because we got to ride all the poinies. I believe we even bought a pony there — Sugar!! In high school and right after, we used to go to dances in Bantry at least once every summer!!

Joanne Bahn Dieterle

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Darrin Thorsteinson

My father’s side of the family was from Bantry. My aunt Margaret (Thorsteinson) married Warren Romsos and spent their honeymoon in a little one room shack in Bantry. Many of my descendants are in the cemetery there…My Dad left Bantry in 1948 and went to California….much of our family from Bantry did….all the brothers and sisters, I think. My dad tells me he would go into Frank’s place when he was a real young kid and sing “you are my sunshine” for nickels…he saved up and bought a bb gun from the hardware store….boy was his mom mad when she found out he’d been hanging out at the bar singing on the tables for money! My relatives from the Bantry area from those days would have been Swearsons and Thorsteinsons. My grandmother was Anna Swearson, and was later married to my grandfather Joseph Thorsteinson.

The house in Bantry my dad grew up in is now gone, but the “big tree” in front remains…..it was struck by lightning and blown to smithereens, but it is somehow still alive….and he still remembers that day very clearly…how do you forget THAT!!! He tells me stories of how cool it was to ride “the goose” into Bottineau for something like .10 cents.

I can remember visiting Frank’s place with my dad in about 1975….I was only like 8 years old, but I remember the old sleepy cat in there, and the pizza maker….that cool old wood bar, etc….

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Ben Swearson

Your grandmother Anna was my dad’s sister. His name was Jonas Swearson. I can remember when Joe and Anna live just about a block where we lived. Jonas died in 1944, when I was 10 mos. old, 2 mos. before my brother was born. I remember Butch Thorsteinson, Joe and Anna’s son. I think he lives in Bottineau now.

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Darrin Thorsteinson

Yes Ben I heard how Jonas died and how the guy got away with it too…and by the way my dad’s got a really cool photo of Jonas and Ben or Babe? (can’t remember) unloading a wood keg of beer off an old truck and boy do they look happy ha ha ha ha ha….you should look my dad up….he’s in the botno phone book and would probably love to hear from ya

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Diane Tackett

Darrin,
My mothers best friend in school was Thelma Thorsteinson-any relation? The two of them were very close. She was in Bantry at Franks with her sister and great aunt in 1977. I have pictures of them at the bar.

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Darrin Thorsteinson

Yes Thelma was would’ve been my Aunt, but she died many years ago….she was long gone by 1977.
I was born in ’68 and unfortunately never got to meet her.

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Ben Swearson

Diane & Darrin,
Was Thelma married to a Fisher. Thelma Fisher was a very dear friend of my mother’s, Opal Swearson. Thelma died quite young. I still remember she left her watch to my mother. incidentally, my wife of thirty years is named Thelma. I love it.

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Kathleen

Looking at these pictures, I felt sad because my mom loved growing up in Bantry. But reading your post was lovely. My mother used to talk about both the Swearsons and the Thorsteinsons with great affection. It’s kind of nice to know there are still some around. Wagars, too, she talked about, if you know any of them.

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Darrin Thorsteinson

Yes I know some of them…Can’t think of first names off hand though….memory fails me!!!

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Ben Swearson

I knew George Wager. He(they?) lived on a small farm just south of the Bantry cemetery. He was older and I was just a kid.

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Clint Reinoehl

I live in what once was the Bantry Train Depot. It was moved to Upham in 1962. I bought it a few years ago but don’t really know much history on it and would love to have some. It is my understanding that there were two identical structures build ‘around’ 1890. One was the living quarters and one was the Depot. I would dearly love an old photo of it in Bantry. Or even an old sign that I could put up identifying it. Anything at all would be wonderful

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joshua schultz

i took my first steps in franks place.mom used to go there to wash clothes in the winter.still have the card and silver dollar edith gave me on my first birthday. she even signed it Esie cause thats how i pronounced her name.moved to upham in 87 or 88.well dried up

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Michelle irgens

Joshua, I remember you when you were a kid. Grandma always had your school photo on her fridge back in the house too. When I was back for Grandma Edith’s funeral I remember your Mom telling me about doing laundry. Grandma gave me a silver dollar for my 1st birthday too. I hope you are well. Oh, I’m Edith’s granddaughter that lived in NY and then PA but spent summers in Bantry.

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Darrin Thorsteinson

-Ben Swearson is your real name then?
-Who are your Mother and Father?

I ask because my Grandmother’s maiden name was Anna Swearson, She married Joe Thorsteinson….she was from Bantry. She passed on about 20 years ago. We had a Ben Swearson and Jonas Swearson and and I think a Gunnar Swearson on her side, so I’m curious if you know of any of them :)

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Benoni Swearson

Darrin. My name is Benoni William Swearson. My first name was from my dad’s brother, and my middle name was also from my dad’s other brother. My dad was Jonas. He married my mother, Opal Friet in 1942. The Gunnar you mentioned was Gunnar Swanson, not Swearson. His wife, Jessie was my first grade teacher (in 1949). They lived in Bantry.

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Darrin

Benoni that’s some good info-thanks for straightening things out about Gunnar! ha …maybe you should be talking to my dad Butch (Merlyn Thorsteinson) instead of me -he’s in Bottineau, N.D (701) 228-5920 I bet he’d love to talk to you

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Darrin Thorsteinson

I’m Butch’s son Darrin. You probably haven’t seen Butch since you were a little kid

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joshua schultz

how could i ever forget my first crush . lol mom talked about edith old pics of bantry. what ever hapened to those? she also said she used to go to dances at the dance hall when she was a teenager. i know where itwas at kitty corner to the bar.

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Matt Wood

Hello everyone!
We want to share our Bantry website with all of you! Though we are Coloradoans, my wife and I have fallen in love with this little town of Bantry, its past, its present, its heart and its people. Our journey began in 2006 when we bought a quilt in Denver that was made in Bantry in 1933. Fast forward a few years and some 500+ hours of research later and what we have come up with are the names and stories of the women who worked on our quilt, stories and photos from their families, many many many wonderful friends as well as wonderful memories and a web site sharing just a fraction of it all. Please come visit: http://www.mattwood.blogs.com/bantryquilts/
We have had to slow down our research quite a bit over the last few years – but Bantry is still close to our hearts. We would love to be in touch with any family or acquaintances of the women or families connected to our quilt. Please come enjoy our site! Leave a comment. Contact us! We wish all of you and your families the very best!

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lori (petersen) stein

Who woukd have thought there would be a blog about bantry! I grew up on a dairy farm owned by Harold and William Petersen. My mom is Beatrice. Remember Frank’s place quite well. Used to walk or ride bike the few miles from the farm toBantry to buy pop. Remember Edith. My friend Becky Thorp (back in the early 80’s), my sister Kellie and I used to hang out together in Bantry. I still like to drive through town whenever I’m out that way visiting my dads grave. He passed away In 2005. A young couple bought the farm. Billy and Susan Petersen still live out that way. Remember you Joshua Shultz as a kid riding the school bus together with Alan Marshall as our bus driver. A lot of great childhood memories about Bantry!!

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Carol Petersen Anderson

Hi Lori,

I don’t know if you remember me. I’m your dad’s cousin Carol. I am happy I found this site. I’ve been trying to find old pictures of Bantry. I recognise most of the names mentioned.

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Ben Swearson

Clint,
When I was growing up there in the ’50s and 60’s Temp Roberts used to run the depot.

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Carol Petersen Anderson

I recognise your name from facebook. I’m from the Petersen family. I’ve been looking for old pictures of Bantry, can hardly believe I found some. I recognize almost all the names mentioned on here. I’ll be going to Bill & susans this summer. Can hardly wait. Will make my usual trip around Bantry & probably shed some tears.

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Candy Schneider

My grandfather and grand mother were from Bantry. We spent many weekends helping them farm and shopped in Banty and Towner often. We have been in Swansons store and the bar many times as children. Sam and Edith Hoff were their names. They are buried in the cemetery there along with my dad. We visit their graves quite often.

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Jim Goodman

Candy.: which of the boys was your father? I pretty much grew up with Duane, Delbert, Allan, and Gordon. Delbert and I were the same age. We joined the Navy together in 1952. I grew up a mile west and a mile north of Sam and Edith’s farm and I knew them well.

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Candy Schneider

Allan was my dad. He spoke of you many times when we were growing up. Duane lives just down the road from my mom in Minot and Gordon lives in Ft. Mojave, AZ. Delbert is deceased along with my dad. Dad, grandma and grandpa are all buried at the Bantry Cemetary. Delbert is in cemetery in Minot.

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