Created By: Coleman Memorial Museum
This elegant building, constructed after the big 1916 fire, was the headquarters for Dickey County’s largest centrally managed farming operation. George Baldwin of Wisconsin, an extraordinarily successful investor, had amassed 300,000 acres of land over several states by his death in 1907, 70,000 of them in North Dakota. In 1914 his son George Jr. began an experiment that turned eight Dickey County ranches of the Baldwin estate into scientifically managed farms.
Though not as large as the earlier Bonanza Farms in the Red River Valley, the Baldwin operation used similar advanced management and economies of scale to develop a highly productive agricultural enterprise. The Baldwin Farms operated this way for nearly four decades, until financial difficulties and changing interests led their owners to sell them off in the mid 1950s. Details about the Baldwin Farms can be found in the Ellendale 125th Anniversary Book, 192-193.
In 1952 Dickey Rural Telephone (now DRN) purchased the Baldwin Building on Main Street in Ellendale and made its headquarters there. In the late 1970's the company built a new headquarters north of town on Highway 281. (Ellendale 125th Book, p. 56
In 1981 Toni Betting, owner of the Dickey County Abstract & Title Company, purchased the building, and operated the business along with her daughter Monica Peldo, who later became the owner. In 1989 the Dakota Plains Credit Union of Edgeley opened a branch in the building, sharing space with the Abstract Company. In 1995 a balcony level was added to provide more space. Dakota Plains later constructed its own building on 1st Street North, across from Char’s Food Pride, leaving the Dickey County Abstract & Title Company as sole occupants of the historic building.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Ellendale Area Driving Tour