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Under the Homestead Act, the lure of free land brought thousands of people from Europe to North Dakota, including many from Holland. But not all those who came obtained homesteads. On this date in 1911, Baron Van Herdt was returning to Holland to report to a syndicate of investors who purchased fifteen thousand acres in Stark County, near Belfield the previous year.

The colonization of Stark County was just one of many investments made by the syndicate including financial dealings in Java, China, Japan, and the Dutch East Indies. The first families they settled here experienced a dry year and poor crops, but the Baron stated that the area would still witness the arrival of many more Hollanders to continue the colonization.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Belfield Times December 22, 1911