Stark County, North Dakota

Stark County, North Dakota

Infobox U.S. County
county = Stark County
state = North Dakota

map size = 225
founded = 1879
seat = Dickinson
largest city = Dickinson
area_total_sq_mi =1340
area_land_sq_mi =1338
area_water_sq_mi =2
area percentage = 0.17%
census yr = 2000
pop = 22636
density_km2 =7
web =|

Stark County is a county located in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of 2000, the population is 22,636. Its county seat is Dickinson.GR|6

Stark County is part of the Dickinson Micropolitan Statistical Area.


Stark County was created February 10, 1879 as a county within Dakota Territory from parts of Howard County and Williams County.cite web
title= Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies|accessdate= 2008-01-31|last= Long |first= John H. |year= 2006|month= |format= |work= Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries|publisher= The Newberry Library
] The county organized on May 25, 1883, and became a county in the state of North Dakota on November 2, 1889.cite web|url=|title= North Dakota: Consolidated Chronology of State and County Boundaries|accessdate= 2008-01-31 |author= |last= Long |first= John H. |authorlink= |coauthors= |date= |year= 2006|month= |format= |work= North Dakota Atlas of Historical County Boundaries|publisher= The Newberry Library]


In 1891, the North Dakota Legislature enacted legislation annexing Dunn County, Hettinger County, and parts of Billings, Bowman, McKenzie, Wallace, and Willliams Counties into Stark. However, the act was vetoed by Governor Eli C. D. Shortridge.cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= State of Stark |url= |work= Bismarck Daily Tribune |publisher= Bismarck Daily Tribune |page =3 |date= 1899-05-19]

Additional annexation legislation was enacted in 1895, affecting the boundaries of Stark, Billings, and Mercer Counties, subject to approval by the counties' voters. [N. Dak. Laws 1895, 4th sess., ch. 25/pp. 21–23;] The annexation went into effect November 3, 1986, but Wilson L. Richards, a local cattle rancher, sued to overturn the annexation because he and other landowners in the area were now subject to taxation by Stark County. The case went to the North Dakota Supreme Court, which ruled the law unconstitutional on May 18, 1899. [cite court |litigants = Richards v. Stark Co. |vol = 8 |reporter = N.D. |opinion = 392, cite court |vol = 79 |reporter = N.W. Rep. |opinion = 863 |court = N.D. |date = 1899] cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= State of Stark |url= |work= Bismarck Daily Tribune |publisher= Bismarck Daily Tribune |page =3 |date= 1899-06-19] The annexation remained in effect, however, due to a replacement law approved by the legislature March 9, 1899 in anticipation of the court's decision.N. Dak. Laws 1899, 6th sess., ch. 57/p. 67]


This second annexation law was overturned by the North Dakota Supreme Court in 1901 because the annexation was not referred to the voters of the affected counties as required by the North Dakota Constitution.cite court |litigants = Schaffner v. Young |vol = 10 |reporter = N.D. |opinion = 245 |court = |date = , cite court |vol = 86 |reporter = N.W. Rep. |opinion = 733 |court = N.D. |date = 1901] cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= Act of 1895 and Curative Act of 1899 are Both Unconstitutional and Void. |url= |work= Bismarck Daily Tribune |publisher= Bismarck Daily Tribune |page = 2 |date= 1901-05-24] This lawsuit involved a landowner, Henry Schaffner, whose property in Williams County was added to neighboring Mercer County by the 1899 law. Schaffner objected when the Mercer County sheriff seized and attempted to sell Schaffner's property to collect taxes the county claimed Schaffner owned. The court ruled that the seizure was illegal, since the 1895 ruling meant Schaffner's property was outside of Mercer County's jurisdiction.

The Legislature passed a third annexation law in 1903, this time submitting it to the voters Stark County and the unorganized counties of Dunn and Hettinger for approval. [N. Dak. Laws 1903, 8th sess., chs. 68–69/pp. 77–80] The annexation was approved by 502 votes in Stark County and 65 votes in Hettinger County, but it failed by 1 vote in Dunn County.cite court |litigants = State of North Dakota v. Stark County |vol = 14 |reporter = N.D. |opinion = 368, cite court |vol = 103 |reporter = N.W. |opinion = 913 |court = N.D. |date = 1905] Stark County claimed the annexation vote valid, since the legislation required a majority if the aggregate votes cast. However, the North Dakota Constitution required a majority vote in each affected county subject to annexation, so the state of North Dakota sued stark county on the grounds that the enabling legislation was unconstitutional and that the "no" vote in Dunn County meant the annexation failed. The North Dakota Supreme Court ruled the 1903 law unconstitutional in 1905 Stark County received a minor boundary change in 1908 when Dunn County was formally organized.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,340 square miles (3,472 km²), of which, 1,338 square miles (3,466 km²) of it is land and 2 square miles (6 km²) of it (0.17%) is water.

Major highways


Adjacent counties

*Dunn County (north)
*Mercer County (northeast)
*Morton County (east)
*Grant County (southeast)
*Hettinger County (south)
*Slope County (southwest)
*Billings County (west)


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 22,636 people, 8,932 households, and 5,877 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (7/km²). There were 9,722 housing units at an average density of 7 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.52% White, 0.23% Black or African American, 0.94% Native American, 0.23% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.28% from other races, and 0.78% from two or more races. 1.04% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 57.9% were of German and 10.6% Norwegian ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 8,932 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.2% were non-families. 29.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 11.6% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,526, and the median income for a family was $41,527. Males had a median income of $30,474 versus $20,000 for females. The per capita income for the county was $15,929. About 7.9% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.



*South Heart
*Taylor"Note: all incorporated communities in North Dakota are called "cities" regardless of their size."

Unincorporated community



External links

* [ Stark County, ND] official website

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