Sutton, ND

Sutton, ND

Sutton, ND was founded in 1910 and was named for a local farmer, John Sutton. It is no longer listed in the US Census. Dustin Person contributed these photos of Sutton with the following comments:

Sutton is located west of Cooperstown in Griggs County. Population around 20-25. There were a lot of abandoned houses in Sutton, and a number of kept up houses. The school has been converted into a Senior Citizen’s Center. The gas station looks to be closed, as there was tall grass and weeds growing up to the front door, however, I did not take any pictures of it as there were a couple vehicles parked there. The elevator is still in use, and is quite large for a small town, and there was also a bar on Main St. I was really surprised by the photo opportunities in Sutton.

The church pictured was a methodist church, looks like it was recently abandoned.

The post office (gray building) on Main St. was abandoned, so I don’t know if they have a post office anymore, but according to Wikipedia, they do, so not sure where that is.

Photos by Dustin Person. Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media

35 thoughts on “Sutton, ND

  1. The building with the rounded roof and bush in front of the door was where we kids went to roller skate and I remember going there for my cousins wedding dance.
    At one time Sutton even had an opera house and drug store.
    My uncle Harry Dramstad owned the lumber yard.
    The last picture of the yellow house is where my friend Janice Johnson lived.
    My dad was born in Sutton.
    My great aunt and uncle, Frenchie and Elizabeth Daniels, who’s house I believe is still lived in , even had a cement fish pond in their yard.

    1. My mom was Tres Leininger, daughter of John and Ida, and my dad was Clarence Christianson, son of John and Grace (Freydenberg)(sp?)….. so as you might imagine my brother John and I have tons of cousins….We used to drive back ( from Portland ) EVERY year to spend at least a couple of weeks in the Summer. My Grandma Leininger lived in a little house practically across from where we roller skated. The PO and the Hardware store were still in business… and the ice cream store, with the wood floors, and GIANT scoops of ice cream for a nickel. Spent a lot of time at Red Willow Lake at the dances….and hanging around in Binford in the evenings…… So many wonderful Summer memories with great people!

    2. My folks, MaryJane (Leininger) & Ed Houston, have that house now with the fish pond. Its 361 Main, the first on the right as u come into town from the North. They haven’t done anything with the pond, but they did fix up the three-holer outhouse in the back yard…!! They’ve also fixed up the house quite a bit so it can last another 100 years…

    3. It was so interesting to read about Sutton. Almost all of your family names are familiar but I’m not really acquainted with any of you except Shirley Jackson and Wanda. The first house pictured may be the house that Darold’s grandparents, Ole and Anna Anderson owned. That is the house Darold was born in and when his dad, Arnold, asked Dr. Almklov how much he owed him for the delivery, Dr. A. asked if Arnold would part with his dog. So they always said a dog was traded for Darold. Years later Darold became my husband. There was no dish in the yard at that time, of course. The post office is still there but is not in operation. Bob Johnson was postmaster before Selma. He was always a friend of all of us high school kids. Clarence Christianson was my 7th and 8th grade teacher–now you’re saying ‘She must really be old’ Well, I am older than any of you other respondents, I think. We always thought Mrs. John Leininger had such a nice house in Sutton and when we were ready to leave the Bordulac Stock Farm, we looked for places in Sutton and really liked those big evergreens in her yard. However, Glenfield was going to be putting in city sewer so we built there. The house Mary Jane lives in in Sutton was one that Darold’ aunt and uncle, Elizabth and Frenchie Daniels lived in. He used to go over there and spend time with them and I could never understand that as Frenchie had a reputation of being crabby. After we were married I found out they were very dear people and the men would like to tease Frenchie because he was such a loyal employee of the Great Northern depot and didn’t like anything bad said about the railroad. The Sutton hall (with the round roof) was built in the late 1940’s. Darold had helped work on it, I believe the year he drove schoolbus. Pie days were great–now only memories are left, not even the building. I used to stay with Janice Billing, Leota Johnson or Doris Rise on nights when we had basketball games. One time I stayed overnight at the Billing house and we girls were upstairs and I slipped and my foot went thro the register in the floor. I was so afraid Papa Frank would be mad at me–he was so big but he didn’t scold me And Connie, your sister Elaine was a good friend of mine–I still miss her. When Donnie Kleven lived in Sutton, the whole town was mowed, including the railroad right of way. Wanda, so surprised to see your memories. I used to live a half mile south of your place along highway 7, now #200 and used to go to your place to play with you and Enid.

    4. Donna and Evelyn Anderson –

      Looking for a little bit of information regarding your post, specifically about the Great Northern railroad that went thru Sutton. A friend of mine, who is from North Dakota, is a collector of railroad memorabilia. She has recently found a sign for East Sutton and is looking for some information about it.

      Evelyn Anderson posted that Frenchie Daniels was a loyal railroad employee (I am too – work for BNSF, which is what the Great Northern merged into). Donna posted that Frenchie Daniels was your great uncle, so hoping you can assist.

      Do you know where the sign would have been located? Assuming that it would have been by the grain elevators on the east side of town.

      Any idea when the sign would have gone up?

      Any help you could provide would be appreciated!

  2. I miss living in Sutton,It was a great town. We were the first in town to have Satillite TV lol.
    The rounded roof was were we had get togethers on Sat nights or just playing cards.

  3. I remember the rounded roof building. We would have dances there on Sat night and talk about what happenend all day Sunday about who danced with who lol.

  4. I also remember roller skating in the gym. My Dad, Ed Buechler, was the manager of the elevator when we lived there. I recognize all those homes as I delivered the Sunday Fargo Forum to every house in town…..46 papers before Sunday school at Mable Lutheran Church. I also think I mowed just about every yard in Town too….I absolutely remember when the lumber yard and all its activity. Does anyone remember Pie Day?

    1. I remember playing basket ball in the gym with the “older” kids. Barry and I were in the same class. So sad they way things are. I came back a few years ago and look pictures of the town and Methodist Church. Say hi to your family!

  5. I loved hanging out in Sutton it was my second home. We had the best parties there the pic of the building with the curved roof after we would have a house party

  6. My husband and myself moved to Sutton in Jan. 1974. Joel took over the managers job at the elevator after Ed Buechler left. I loved the little town and all the great people. I had my 21st birthday in the Sutton bar when I was 8 months pregnant. In the 70’s several older people were living in the now old abandoned homes.I wish I had the wisdom of my age today to have visited the elderly more and to appreciate their life experiences. The Prescotts lived next to us. I marveled today at their gardening skills and the simplicity of their lives back then. Jack and Joyce had the coolest grocery store. Fresh Fruit was along the front window and the antiques candy cupboard had glass on the front and sliding doors in the back. We often filled the gas tank at the pump in Burt Harrington’s yard. We lived in the elevator house across from Augie and Delores. That house had the most beautiful hardwood floors I have ever seen. During the ice blizzard of 1976 we went without power for several days. We heated our house with an old stove from Arvids barn that was full of turkey poop. We were able to keep warm in-spite of the smell of burning turkey feathers. Several years later I am convinced living in Sutton shaped the person I am today. I enjoyed my rural country living with a huge garden. Even though I never met Frank and Elizabeth I enjoyed walking by their yard and absorbing the detail of all his metal work. My husband is a gunsmith not a blacksmith but old heavy iron landscapes my yard. Yes I enjoyed my memories of days gone by. We made several friendships and many of these good people are no longer living. I hold good places, good times and good people close to my heart.

    1. Thats great info Donna I have kin burried around Sutton nut have not been able to find the graves. My Great great grand parants lived in Sutton I was told. I am looking on info from the McCloskey name.

  7. I lived on a farm north & east of Sutton. I remember movies and roller skating in the gym (round roofed building).I remember when it was built. We had basketball games there when it was new.
    I remember pie day. It was great!

    1. A few years ago I rescued one of the very heavy steel backboard and rims from the hall after the roof collapsed. We transplanted it in my brother’s driveway in Delphi, Indiana. We are grandkids of Hazel and Carl Leininger.

  8. The bookmobile “blue truck in the picture” used to come to the binford and grace city elementary school’s when I went to school there. Sadly Sutton seams to be another town that is slowly dying.

  9. My family moved to Sutton in 1959, my dad Ellis Jackson had been hired as the bus driver & custodian for the new school. I recognize most of the photos except the first, it almost looks like Karl & Edna Odegard’s home but cant be sure. My Dad ran the roller skating too at the gym- it was the thing to do back then, I was just a kid, we could only stay until a certain time, then the older kids got to skate. No one locked their doors, we played outside until the yard lights came on, then we had to go home, we had a “party-line” phone line-if someone else was talking you were supposed to hang up and wait your turn. I can remember my Grandma at the farm “rubber-necking” as they called it. They had an old crank phone-I watched her turn the crank a few short or long-that musta been whoever you were calling…
    My Mother worked at that post office after a couple previous lady postmasters; Selma Johnson
    & Nellie Thompson-she must have froze or boiled in that place, The house that looks like a barn roof is where Elmo Arndt’s lived when we moved to town, after that, Ruth & Obert Martinson lived there. The yellow house in the photos belonged to Gramma Martha Thompson, we would often go there and visit. She was a nice lady, she always was happy to see us, she would feed us flat bread-I hope we didnt pester her…The building with the sliding doors on the front used to belong to old Fred Kingsley at one time, I think it was a fix-it shop.
    We called all the old ladies in town ‘Gramma”, except Marie Bailey. When we went trick or treating for Halloween, they would make us come in and take off our masks and fuss over our costumes, they had hot chocolate waiting or homemade fudge, it was the best! Times were simple for some of us, some not. Our little town still had poverty, alcoholism & child neglect. So, with the good things, were other elements that shaped our lives….there are a few inhabitants left, Sutton is still a good place to go and visit-the bar there has steak night on Friday’s and sometimes serves close to a hundred people. It will always be my home.

  10. I was born and raised on a farm 3 miles north-east of Sutton. My brother, Gary & wife Karen have the farm now. Sutton was such a fun place…When I was little there was a hotel, bar, grocery store, post office, the gym, school, Mabel Lutheran church and the Methodist church, a lumber yard, the elevator and even the train depot. I married Chuck Beer whose Mom was a Westerhausen and her aunt and uncle were Fred and Mary Dietrich. Roller skating was always a hit and I remember being in grade school when the tornado hit the school and being excited because now we didn’t have to go to school!! HUH! The basement of the Lutheran church was our school-room until the new school was built. I remember the “play-days” when we would earn ribbons and always the penny candy at the store. Such GREAT memories. Grandma and Grandpa’s house was the first one after the filling station and was always such a wonderous place to be. Cookies in the cookie jar, swing set in the backyard and getting to be ‘in town’. Blessings abounding!

  11. Hello. My name is Evan Houston. I was born at the Minot AFB. I am a grandson of Carl & Hazel Leininger. Son of Mary Jane (Leininger) & Ed Houston. I grew up and live in Indiana. My family would drive up to Sutton every summer for two weeks when my three brothers and I were growing up and spend time at the J&J Grocery, visit the guys at the elevator, play basketball and go to weddings at the hall, play in the slews, swim in the Hannaford pond, skate at Red Willow, do a little walleye fishin, shoot gophers out at the Leininger Farm North of town. We’d go into Cooper and spend time with other family, go swimming, or play t-ball. Since then my folks have bought and remodelled the first house on Main. They stay up there usually from April to October. They still reside here in Indiana. GGpa & GGma Leininger lived in the first yellow house on the second block there on main. My Auntie Joyce & Jack Taxdahl live in the next place on right. Auntie Jean also bought a house and Auntie Cynthia bought another. Now I hear Auntie Nancy & Wayne Morris have bought one of the churches and is gonna fix it up. Now my brothers and I bring our kids up to visit Gma & Gpa and the family. Not only for the every-five year reunions, but each year now my kids crave to be there in that little tiny place for as long as they can. I truly loved being there as a kid and now I get to see how this magical little place makes my kids feel and it really churns up a lot of emotions… Our road trip this summer is July 6-13. Stop by 361 Main and say hi. Talk to my mom. She knows and remembers everybody…

    1. Evan we loved seeing you, your brothers and your Mom and Dad every summer!! Especially my Mom (Alice Rahlf DeHoff) as they are double cousins! I don’t make it home as often as I should but always have a good time when we go. My kids too spend a week at the farm in Binford and do all the rounds to the family going where ever Grandma Alice takes them.

      1. Tina, you should check when we come up each summer and see if you can meet up. I have been curious about your family. Always really busy while we’re there, but the more the merrier… Like they open the Red Willow skating for us if we have enough people and we go into the Cooper pool a couple times. Then we also go out to dance and sing at Roger & Debbie’s party barn.

  12. While I never knew Sutton while these great buildings and homes were in use, I do know that it still picks up on Friday nights when the little bar in town serves the best steaks and folks come from all around. My husband’s extended family lives in Griggs county, and whenever we are up to visit, we make sure to leave home early enough on Friday to make it to Sutton in time for steaks. I’ve always loved the little town and the abandon buildings, so it’s great to see the photos and hear the history from folks.

  13. What a great find, to stumble on this site. I grew up on a farm 1/2 way between Sutton and Binford…made many trips to Sutton with my mom and dad. My uncle, Jens Limmesand, ran the hotel which was across from the elevator and depot. Uncle Jens would always give us big ice cream cones when we came to visit. He said Peggy Lee (as a child) stood on a stool and sang for people that were eating in the diner. The hotel is long gone. My sister Enid and I took piano lessons from Mrs. Art (Nora) Dafoe. Art ran the elevator. The family moved to Valley City later, I think that Art taught at the college. Enid and I went to Kingsley country grade school with all the Leininger “kids”, what fun. Sad to think of all the rural places being abandoned. Basketball and dances at the gym, if I close my eyes, I can still see the old main street with its stores. Memories!

  14. Dear Evelyn, So nice to read your note about ‘the home town’. And yes, I do have many memories of Sutton and the familiar names–Kleven, Billings, Doris Rise (and what was her sister’s name?) Memories start as a little kid and trips to Uncle Jens at that huge hotel–and all the way through high school, basketball games and dances! I don’t remember you playing with us at the Brede Wamstad farm, but how could I, I was only three when we moved to G’ma and G’pa’s farm! Actually that move is my very first memory–sitting in the childs wooden rocker in the living room and wondering about the spider webs!! Suppose I was out there and told to sit while they moved stuff in the house! I remember being told many times of you coming up the road to play with us! Mom probably really appreciated you watching over us for a while…Enid lives in Staples, Mn, I know she would like to get in touch with you sometime…Let me know I can give you her address. I could have a dozen questions for you…till later. Wanda

  15. What a surprise this site is, memories. The Hall was the nickname that I can remember for the round roof building where we skated and in later years played basketball for fun and for hours, sometimes lasting late in the evenings. Entertainment in Sutton would include the dump grounds west of town, breaking glass bottles and killing rats, you can’t that in the big city. This wouldn’t occur in todays world but Ellis Jackson (custodian for the school) would take the time to let me in the Sutton school in the 70’s so that I could practice drums and I am so thankful for that.
    Don’t know why but Swing and Sway with Donnie K and the Beer Parlor are two things I will not forget.

    To DeeAnn, was the cement pond full of water that you fell in?

  16. I lived in Sutton from 1978ish until I graduated high school in 1988. People in the area at that time probably wouldn’t recognize my real name, I just went by Dolly. My parents (Don & Ethel Bloom) lived in Sutton until about 1993 or so. Dad managed the Sutton Elevator Co. which was the smaller and further east of the two elevators there at the time. We lived in the house across the street from the Kingsley house (first picture). I believe our house belongs to a Ramsey now. I had a house in our back yard. Growing up, we kids ran wild through town. Often playing in the dump, the old bank and the old hotel before it was torn down. Skating at the hall was done by the time I got there, but I do remember a couple of dances. I have a lot of fond memories of growing up there. Our mom’s would turn us lose in the morning and tell out the front door when it was time to come home. I remember building forts with Emery Jackson, Lowell Tharaldson and Augie Rahlf– playing barbie dolls with Sue Rahlf–going to movies with Laurie Lenz–not to mention all the fun I had with friends on the neighboring farms. I live in the Twin Cities now, and I would trade how I grew up for anything.

    Bryan–there was only am inch or so, so I was good.

    1. Wow…I see a lot of auto correct issues in my last post. I had a HORSE in my backyard, not a house. Our moms would turn us LOOSE in the morning and YELL out the front door when it was time to come home. And I WOULDN”T trade how I grew up 🙂

  17. holy cow-where to begin!!!?? married nancy leininger-1970-indiana then to Sutton bar(nanny’s place), then to Mont. had our wedding dance in Sutton gym ( round roof). Softball games with just about every 18+yr old in town-remember the road trip to state tourny!!!!andersons-webbers-dramstad, ralphs, etc.!! the softball games and dances at red willow!! dales jacknjill in cooper- arvids pontoon!! we are turning the old church on the list into a 2br/2bth home to be done in june hopefully!! remember the ponderosa drinking house!!!!! the long drives up from NDSU to see Nancy n roger n deb n paula n lynn- WOW- could go on for ever!!!! Jim LEONARD AKA–THE HAMMER playing basketball with Mike Taxdahl!!! at least trying!!!! right jim??most of all just remember the TRUE FRIENDS that I got when Nancy and I started dating! oh yah–Carl leininger calling me SHIRLEY all thetime because I was that hippie with hair almost touching my shirt collar!!! ANDDDD ZIP TO ZAP!!!!!!!

  18. Wow, Sutton memories…!!! Have not been back since 1980-82ish. I lived in Sutton while going to Glenfiel-Sutton HS. I lived with Wayne & Nancy Morris in the first house coming into town. I remember some of the structures in these picture, the gym/hall where we played basketball, yes Wayne, even tho they called me “The Hammer” I could still play the game…(think that’s what I was doing…!). I remember the grocery/general store. The little post office.I had a great time living there, Sutton was a wonderful place to grow up. I thought I’d never get back so when the opportunity to visit came up I had to take it. I’ll be back the last week of June to help Wayne ready the church to live in. Can’t wait to see all the changes and how much things have remained the same. Looking forward to showing my sons where I grew up and went to school. Going to be a great trip.

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