LaMoure History

LaMoure was named in honor of Judson LaMoure, a legislator in the Dakota Territory government and later in the North Dakota State Legislature. It is the only LaMoure known in the United States and quite possibly the world.

From the very beginning there has always been a bit of a rivalry between the towns of LaMoure and Grand Rapids. In 1883 both towns were celebrating their first Independence Day. Papers in both towns proclaimed the featured entertainment; a grand fireworks display in LaMoure and a speaker, one Dr Robertson of Fargo, in Grand Rapids. A few days before the Fourth of July the people of LaMoure received a letter from the people of Grand Rapids stating that since the celebration in LaMoure was not as good as what was planned in Grand Rapids, they would happily take the fireworks no longer needed for the LaMoure celebration. Affronted, LaMoure decided to punish Grand Rapids by stealing their speaker. This was easily accomplished as, Dr Robertson had never been to the area and all the signs were removed from around town. He was entertained in LaMoure and gave his speech at the Fourth of July celebration, while the people of Grand Rapids fretted as their featured entertainment did not show by the advertised time. The doctor was told of this deception during the evening of the fourth, after which he was taken to Grand Rapids.

In 1884 LaMoure was decided as the county seat by a majority of eighty-six votes. Nine hundred and ninety-one votes were cast in total. Grand Rapids had been county seat by default until this time as it was the only town when the county was created. It was decided by the new council, now headed by “The LaMoure Gang”, to have all county records moved to LaMoure within 10 days. An application to a judge in Jamestown was made on behalf of Grand Rapids for an injunction to prevent the removal of the records and other public property from Grand Rapids. The injunction was granted but before it was received and grand plot was hatched and executed to steal the records. The 18 volunteer raiders from LaMoure reached the court house in Grand Rapids around midnight, to find it brightly lit, locked, and bristling with gun carrying defenders. Luckily there was no bloodshed, the door was broken down, and all records and everything not bolted down stowed into wagons to be taken to LaMoure. The raiders arrived back in LaMoure and were enjoying breakfast when the injunction was served to them. Everything was taken back until the courts decided on the matter, and the records were brought to LaMoure where they remain to this day.

Over the years LaMoure has seen many draughts, fires, floods and blizzards, including the Big Blizzard of January 12, 1888. It has weathered these hard times, and the good, to grow from its strong pioneer roots to the town it is today.

 

 
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