Crosby, North Dakota In The Time Of Allan Truax

The Divide County Courthouse in Crosby, North Dakota

The most imposing building in Divide County, North Dakota has been and continues to be the County Courthouse in Crosby, which was the city where Allan and Evelyn Truax1 made their home and spent their adult lives.

Bids for the Divide County Courthouse were opened in March 1917 and its cornerstone laid 1 July 1917. To put that in context, North Dakota was admitted to the Union as the 39th state on November 2, 1889, Divide County was formed in 1910, and Allan Truax moved to Crosby in 1908.

DivideCountyCourthouseDome

Dome of the Divide County Courthouse (click to enlarge)

Divide County’s location and population changes in the 20th century are displayed below.2
The architectural group responsible for the Divide County Courthouse was Buechner and Orth, a firm which also built 13 other courthouses in North Dakota, still others in Minnesota, and many other structures, including the ornate Fargo Theater. Examples of their work are shown below.

Built at at cost of $104,951, the Courthouse is impressive in its size, Beaux Arts design, and materials. Ornamentation is lavish, a mural of pioneer scenes is featured in the dome of the rotunda (see photo below), and the floors are terrazzo with marble wainscoting. Atop it all is a glistening silver cupola.

I’ve devoted this post to the Divide County Courthouse in part because it was a fixture of the environment in which Allan Truax lived. The Courthouse also conveys a significant message about the psychological tone of Crosby, North Dakota – and Allan Truax: living on the northern prairies near the turn of the 20th century for forthright, unequivocal measures and the rejection of the illusory safety of halfhearted gestures.

Divide County North Dakota Courthouse

Divide County Courthouse, 2004 (click to enlarge)

Credit Due Department:
The incredible photo of the interior of the Courthouse dome and the contemporary photo of the courthouse at the end of the post were taken by jwwalter

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Allan Truax At Heck Of A Guy
An explanation of who Allan Truax is and why he is a feature of the Heck Of A Guy Blog can be found at Who’s Allan Truax?

Identification: Allan Truax, Allen Truax, and A.L. Truax
“Allan Truax” and “Allen Truax” appear with approximately equal frequency in the written material I’ve reviewed, with “A.L. Truax” occurring somewhat less often. The name Mr. Truax inscribed in his books was “Allan” so I use it preferentially

Other Heck Of A Guy Posts About Allan Truax

  1. For an explanation of my interest in Allan and Evelyn Truax and other posts about Allan Truax, see Who’s Allan Truax? []
  2. Figures are from Wikipedia []

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