Fargo - Encyclopedia

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FARGO, a city and the county-seat of Cass county, North Dakota, U.S.A., about 2S4 m. W. of Duluth, Minnesota. Pop. (1890) 5664; (1900) 9589, of whom 2564 were foreign-born; (1906 estimate) 13,097. It is served by the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, and the Chicago, Milwaukee & St Paul railways. The city is situated on the W. bank of the Red river of the North, which in 1909 had a navigable depth of only about 2 ft. from Fargo to Grank Forks, and the navigation of which was obstructed at various places by fixed bridges. In the city are Island and Oakgrove parks, the former of which contains a statue (erected by Norwegians in 1908) of Henrik Arnold Wergeland, the Norwegian poet. Fargo is the seat of the North Dakota agricultural college (coeducational), founded in 1890 under the provisions of the Federal "Morrill Act" of 1862; it receives both Federal and state support (the former under the Morrill Act of 1890), and in connexion with it a United States Agricultural Experiment Station is maintained. In 1907-1908 the college had 988 students in the regular courses (including the students in the Academy), 117 in the summer course in steam engineering, and 68 in correspondence courses. At Fargo, also, are Fargo College (nonsectarian, 1887; founded by Congregationalists), which has a college department, a preparatory department, and a conservatory of music, and in 1908 had 310 students, of whom 211 were in the conservatory of music; the Oak Grove Lutheran ladies' seminary (1906) and the Sacred Heart Academy (Roman Catholic). The city is the see of both a Roman Catholic bishop and a Protestant Episcopal bishop; and it is the centre of masonic interests in the state, having a fine masonic temple. There are a public library and a large Y.M.C.A. building. St John's hospital is controlled by Roman Catholic sisters, and St Luke's hospital by the Lutheran Church. Fargo is in a rich agricultural (especially wheat) region, is a busy grain-trading and jobbing centre, is one of the most important wholesale distributing centres for agricultural implements and machinery in the United States, and has a number of manufactures, notably flour. The total value of the city's factory products in 1905 was $1,160,832. Fargo, named in honour of W. G. Fargo of the Wells Fargo Express Company, was first settled as a tent city in 1871, when the Red river was crossed by the Northern Pacific, but was not permanently settled until after the extinction in 1873 of the Indian title to the reservation on which it was situated. It was chartered as a city in 1875. The Milwaukee railway was completed to Fargo in 1884. In June 1893 a large part of the city was destroyed by fire, the loss being more than $3,000,000.

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