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Today is the birthday of Charles Cavileer, who was born in 1818. He was a saddler by trade, and while living in St. Paul, he was also a druggist, a postal worker and the Territorial Librarian. Cavileer was also adventurous, and in 1851, he brought to Pembina the first permanent group of agricultural settlers to what is now North Dakota. Two years later, he became a U.S. Customs inspector and was then appointed postmaster by President Abraham Lincoln.

His written accounts of wildlife and fur trading have since become invaluable records of the rich native heritage that soon disappeared forever.

Despite the Homestead Act of 1862, there were only about 2500 permanent white settlers 1870. The Civil War and resistance from Native Americans discouraged settlement. The town of Cavalier and Cavalier County were both named after Charles Cavileer – but his name is spelled CAVILEER, and at some point both the town and county ended up with a different spelling.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm