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Selz Post Office


The town of Selz in Pierce County, North Dakota isn’t the only Selz in state history. Emmons County had a Selz, too, with a post office established in postmaster Anton Vetter’s home on this date in 1896. The community was founded in the summer of 1885, and was about five miles from Hague, North Dakota. It was a German-Russian settlement, named after Selz in South Russia, which German immigrants founded in 1808.

The people of Selz in Emmons County were largely Roman Catholics like other settlers of the area. Churches in Strasburg, Hague and Zeeland reflect that heritage. And cemeteries of wrought iron crosses cover the county. Some are even on the National Register of Historic Places.

But Selz in Emmons County didn’t last long. The post office there closed after seven years, sending mail to Hague. Former Selz postmaster Franz Wolf moved on to establish Hague’s post office around 1902.

Meanwhile, the other Selz in North Dakota is alive and kicking, a tiny town north of Harvey, North Dakota. Its population is between 40 and 50 people. Like the other Selz, this one, too, is rich in German heritage with a sparkling cemetery of iron crosses northeast of town. The town was built along the railroad, and it too has a Catholic church – St. Anthony’s.

And one modern touch, it has a Facebook site that’s all about Selz and its residents, past and present.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura


Wick, D.A. (1989). North Dakota place names. Bismarck, ND: Prairie House

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Visit to Selz, North Dakota, September 10, 2016