top of page

Alexander, North Dakota


     After McKenzie County was named as a new county by the North Dakota legislature in 1905, the then governor E.V. Sarles, named Alexander as the temporary county seat.

     Prior to the organization of the county, the Bird Head Cattle Company established a line camp near a large spring of good water at the head of Lonesome Creek near the Ragged Buttes. The town was nestled between buttes. Bell's Butte to the south; Foreman's Butte to the west; Barrager Butte to the northwest; Tub Butte to the east and the Big Hill or "Firecracker Hill" to the west. On this spot the townsite of Alexander was platted on July 24, 1905 and lots opened for sale. The first courthouse was a log building on the Bird Head Ranch, known as the "Log Shack". Rent for the building was $1 per month.

     The village of Alexander and the county were named after Alexander McKenzie, a man of considerable note during the early history of North Dakota and Alaska. McKenzie came to the Dakota Territory in 1867 and became a citizen of Bismark in 1873. He was one of the builders of North Dakota. He helped establish both UND and NDSU. He was dominant in the writing of the constitution of the state and had become prominent in the establishment of a civilized community on the open prairie where before only Indians had roamed.

     When the government opened land in McKenzie County for homesteaders, people began flocking in to file on a free quarter of land. This was the beginning of small trading towns like Alexander-inland towns with no railroads. People went as far as the Little Missouri River and Williston. Farmers hauled their produce in form 25 miles south of Alexander in wagons, stayed all night in Alexander to rest their horses and themselves and the nest day went on to Williston, spending the night there before returning back to Alexander for another night before going home.

     The first building in Alexander was Dakota Trading Co. store built in 1905, followed by the Alexander State Bank. In 1914, the bank was torn down and a new brick structure was erected and became the home of First National Bank of Alexander. This building now houses the Alexander Post office.

     On October 1, 1905 the Alexander Post Office was established and the first hotel, Called the Alexander Hotel was built. The first issue of the McKenzie Co. Chronicle was given to the public December 31, 1905. (information found in "Lest We Forget", Hedvig Clausen Svore)(article origin unknown)


Present Day

     Alexander is a small town with a great central location to access the Williston, Watford and Sidney communities and events. According to the 2010 census the population was 223.

     We may be small but we are home to a handful of great businesses. Whether you would like a cup of coffee or knick-knack from James Gang Java, or maybe you have a larger appetite and would like to stop in for a bite to eat at the Wild Flour Café & Bakery. The Hi-Way Lounge will have great food and drinks for you if you are feeling you need a refresher and the Tobacco Depot can help you out if you are looking for a deal for your tobacco needs. Possibly you are an online shopper and would like to support a local jewelry maker be sure check out what Bluffs Edge Jewelry can craft for you! Also make sure to check out Tina’s Greenhouse for your gardening adventures and if you run into an unfortunate event maybe Tired Iron Repair can get you up and running. Upland AC/R is in town for your cooling and heating needs and Doormen Overhead will help you out with that garage door. And at the end of the busy day if you just can’t go any further, check in to the Ragged Butte Motel for a good night sleep. If you need an electrician; Indian Hill Electric is a locally owned business willing to help with any electrical needs. 

     The Alexander Public School has finished the large addition with new classrooms, gym and other facilities for you workout needs and the Alexander Comets would like to see you in the stands at any of the sporting events or seasonal programs the students work so hard to put on for the community.

     The Lutheran Church is one of three churches in town and they host free dinners for the community throughout the year. The Catholic Church and the Nazarene Church would surely welcome you as well.

     Every year Alexander fills with people from near and far to celebrate an annual event known as Old Settler’s Days. This three day event takes place on Labor Day weekend and had been a great tradition of the community.

     We sure hope that you will stop in for a break or maybe make this community your home. Either way we would love to see you!


bottom of page