Despite their similar names, Fargo and West Fargo have been separate cities for many years, and only in the past few decades have those towns grown enough that their boundaries touched. Until 1923, Fargo was also neighbors with the city of North Fargo, but their relationship wasn't as polite as it is with West Fargo today.
The village of North Fargo was incorporated as an independent city, with its own government and constable, just south of where Fargo North High School sits today. By 1922, the city of Fargo had grown so far north that its boundary touched the south end of North Fargo. In September of that year Fargo annexed an area that contained half of North Fargo without asking the citizens of North Fargo for permission. North Fargo sued, and in the spring of 1923 the state Supreme Court ruled that the annexation was illegal.
The citizens of North Fargo weren't united against becoming a part of the city of Fargo. Opinion was split almost fifty-fifty, making regular village business difficult. After a bond issue to fund the village was voted down, on this date in 1923 North Fargo decided to put annexation to a vote. Two weeks later, the votes were cast. Annexation won by just six votes, to take effect November 1st, 1923.
The citizens against annexation sued, on the basis that the polls weren't open during the hours required by law. Annexation was tied up in the courts, and the conflict with the city of Fargo reached a peak in the summer of 1923. In June it was discovered that the village of North Fargo had secretly tapped into the Fargo water mains. Fargo water works employees were sent to disconnect the illicit pipes, but the workers found the site guarded by North Fargo constables with shotguns. The connection was left intact, but the City of Fargo billed North Fargo an unduly high rate of fifty cents per thousand gallons for the water North Fargo used.
The animosity – and the water rates – shrank after the State Supreme Court ruled that the voting irregularities were not made in bad faith, and the annexation was made official.
Dakota Datebook written by Derek Dahlsad
"Part of North Fargo Annexed" Bismarck Tribune, 9/29/1922
"Fargo Loses in Plan for Annexation" Bismarck Tribune, 3/23/1923
"North Fargo Indicates Wish To Join Fargo" Bismarck Tribune, 4/16/1923
"North Fargo Guards Main" Bismarck Tribune, 7/2/1923
"North Fargo To Be Annexed" Bismarck Tribune, 4/3/1924
"North Fargo splashed in Highest Court" Bismarck Tribune 5/8/1924
"Court Rules Favorable to Annexation" Bismarck Tribune, 9/15/1924