Wellsburg, ND

By / September 13, 2012 / Wellsburg, ND

Wellsburg is a small town in Wells County, both of which are named for the Edward P. Wells, a former legislator.  It was founded in 1910 and harbored a population of 150 in 1920.  According to Douglas Wick’s North Dakota Place Names, the population had dropped to 14 by by 1981.  Scenic Dakotas has a Wellsburg gallery too.

These photos were contributed by R. David Adams.  His captions are included below.

Only a few abandoned houses, most were lived in however many lots with no house left at all.

School now a house with a garage. nice!

Classic early turn of the century building in great shape due in part to occasional painting and fixing and TIN! I would have so much fun with this building were it mine!

Photos by R. David Adams
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

About Author

Troy Larson

Troy Larson is a father, husband, author, photographer, publisher and devoted cat person. Troy is the President of Sonic Tremor Media and co-founder of GhostsofNorthDakota.com


Clif Nelson

Have you ever noticed that garages and or machine shops always seem to last the longest or as the author points out,buildings with tin………interesting,eh?

Brenda (Lee) Schwanke

My grandmother Agnes Lee, grew up on the Hovland farm just on the east side of Wellsburg. The Hovlands donated the land for the church and cemetery. The church has since burned down. My great grandparents, John and Bertha Hovand are buried at the cemetery as are my grandparents, Severt and Agnes Lee.

Peter Woyen

Neat. My great grandmother was Minnie (Hovland) Anderson. Also grew up there and from that clan. Minnie Mitchell was her nick name when young. Apparently she was the only girl in the family who could drive their Mitchell touring car.


my great-grandfather, Hans Vorland, had his farmstead just on the other side of the railroad tracks (south side). Hans had a couple of brothers and a sister who had land near him as well. One of the streets in Wellsburg was called Vorland Street. It might be the photo above with the abandoned house in the trees. it’s hard to know exactly what street it is now with no street signs.

Roger Hoff

I found a flat steel wrench that appears to be the type to take off a hub cap and wheel nuts. It is stamped with “Meland Bros Garage Overland and Ford Service Wellsburg No Dak”.
I have some relatives in North Dakota with the last name of Norman. That was my Grandmother’s madden name. Her first name was Anna, and she had a sister Gina. The family has lost all connections with them. They or their relatives may have lived in the Wellsburg area. Any feedback on this from your readers?
Could this wrench have been an advertising “give away” from the tin building in your pictures?

Jim Lelm

Hi Roger
Some 30 years ago I was told by a farm customer of mine (Lyle Meland) that was living in wellsburg at the time that that building was his Dad Fred and Uncles building and that they were a Ford Dealer and a Case farm equipment dealer years back. At that time Lyle owned the building.

Lyle was a Prince of a guy

Lyle L. Meland, 84, Wellsburg, ND died Tuesday, May 26, 2009
His son Fred lives in Harvey and Is farming the land I believe.

Hope this helps

Roger Hoff

Thanks for the info. I believe it is very important to remember our history and share it with each other and with future generations.

Arley Running

Roger, In answer to your question on the wrench you found. There were a couple of generations of Melands living in Wellsburg and Lyle passed away just a few years ago. His son Fred who I think may have been named after his Grandfather, who I also knew, still lived in the area the last I heard.

Paul Person

I love the big water hand pump sitting next to the tin garage building.

Nancy LaBolle

My great grandmother, Martha Erfjord, died in 1920. Her death certificate says she is buried in Wellsburg. The family was from Manford. I would like to locate her grave. Would you be able to tell me where the cemetery is located and would the graves be marked?


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