Goodrich, Clark and Dudley
Quite some distance from North Dakota’s two least-populated counties of Slope and Billings is Sheridan County, the state’s third-least populous county. Sheridan is at the very center of the state, home to the centermost city of McClusky, which is also the county seat. In east is Goodrich, born along the railroad, but with a story unlike other North Dakota towns.
It starts with Dudley, North Dakota being established in 1900; then Clark, North Dakota in 1901. Dudley was east of Clark and slightly larger, with seven blocks to Clark’s five. The rival towns were named after business partners and located in the same section of Goodrich Township. The towns merged in 1901 to form Goodrich, named for a civil engineer with the Northern Pacific Railroad, which served the town.
On this date in 1902, the post office at Goodrich was established, nine days after an error. The postmaster had established the post office as Blaine, but the order was quickly rescinded and switched to Goodrich.
Goodrich’s population stayed steady for about fifty years, with about 400 to 475 residents. But by 2010, barely 100 residents remained. The decline hit Main Street, and the business block was demolished in 2011. Its Harvester Restaurant and Café closed in the years after. But the news isn’t all bad. Five churches with a variety of denominations still serve the town, including one as a local museum. The city’s park is also a draw for upland game hunters, and though there aren’t many students, Goodrich Public Schools still hold classes for K-12.
Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura
Gavett, J.L. (2007). North dakota immigrants: Coming to America. USA: Wexford College Press
Wick, D.A. (1989). North Dakota place names. Bismarck, ND: Prairie House
Personal visits to Goodrich, September 2011, September 2012, September 2015, September 2016, April 2017.