Steele County
Steele County Courthouse in Finley
Location within the U.S. state of North Dakota
North Dakota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 47°28′N 97°43′W / 47.46°N 97.72°W / 47.46; -97.72
Country United States
State North Dakota
FoundedJune 2, 1883 (created)
July 13, 1883 (organized)
Named forEdward H. Steele
SeatFinley
Largest cityFinley
Area
 • Total715 sq mi (1,850 km2)
 • Land712 sq mi (1,840 km2)
 • Water3.2 sq mi (8 km2)  0.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total1,798
 • Estimate 
(2021)
1,810
 • Density2.5/sq mi (0.97/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districtAt-large
Websitewww.co.steele.nd.us

Steele County is a county in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,798,[1] making it the fifth-least populous county in North Dakota. Its county seat since 1919 is Finley.[2]

History

The Dakota Territory legislature created the county on June 2, 1883, with territories partitioned from Griggs and Traill counties. It was not organized at that time, but was attached to Traill for administrative and judicial purposes. It was named for businessman Edward H. Steele, who had pushed for its creation.

On July 13, 1883, the county organization was effected and Steele County was detached from Traill County; Sherbrooke, North Dakota was chosen as the county seat. In 1897 the town of Finley was founded, and by 1919 its growth had eclipsed Sherbrooke to the point that the county seat was transferred to Finley.[3] The county's boundaries have been unchanged since its creation.

Outline map of Steele County, North Dakota, 1911
Outline map of Steele County, North Dakota, 1911

Geography

The Sheyenne River flows south near and into the county's west boundary line. The Goose River flows southeast through the northeastern part of the county. The terrain consists of rolling hills dotted with lakes and ponds. The area is devoted to agriculture.[4] The terrain slopes to the south and east; its highest point is near its northwestern corner, at 1,562' (464m) ASL.[5] The county has an area of 715 square miles (1,850 km2), of which 712 square miles (1,840 km2) is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) (0.5%) is water.[6]

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Lakes

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18903,777
19005,88855.9%
19107,61629.3%
19207,401−2.8%
19306,972−5.8%
19406,193−11.2%
19505,145−16.9%
19604,719−8.3%
19703,749−20.6%
19803,106−17.2%
19902,420−22.1%
20002,258−6.7%
20101,975−12.5%
20201,798−9.0%
2021 (est.)1,810−8.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2020[1]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 2,258 people, 923 households, and 635 families in the county. The population density was 3 people per square mile (1/km2). There were 1,231 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 98.32% White, 0.04% Black or African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.04% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.75% from two or more races. 0.18% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 60.7% were of Norwegian and 15.6% German ancestry.

There were 923 households, out of which 29.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.30% were married couples living together, 4.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.20% were non-families. 28.30% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.

The county population contained 27.60% under the age of 18, 4.70% from 18 to 24, 23.10% from 25 to 44, 25.00% from 45 to 64, and 19.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 107.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 108.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $35,757, and the median income for a family was $43,914. Males had a median income of $30,104 versus $20,694 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,601. About 5.00% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.00% of those under age 18 and 3.60% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 1,975 people, 864 households, and 589 families in the county.[11] The population density was 2.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.1/km2). There were 1,171 housing units at an average density of 1.6 per square mile (0.62/km2).[12] The racial makeup of the county was 97.6% white, 1.2% American Indian, 0.2% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.6% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.0% of the population.[11] In terms of ancestry, 60.0% were Norwegian, 35.2% were German, 5.4% were Irish, and 1.0% were American.[13]

Of the 864 households, 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 31.8% were non-families, and 27.8% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.78. The median age was 47.7 years.[11]

The median income for a household in the county was $44,191 and the median income for a family was $54,625. Males had a median income of $36,588 versus $25,648 for females. The per capita income for the county was $27,728. About 4.3% of families and 4.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.1% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those age 65 or over.[14]

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Township Numbers and Range Numbers[16]
Range 57 Range 56 Range 55 Range 54
Township 148 Sharon Westfield Beaver Creek Newburgh
Township 147 Franklin Finley Golden Lake Enger
Township 146 Greenview Easton Sherbrooke Primrose
Township 145 Riverside Melrose Hugo Edendale
Township 144 Willow Lake Carpenter Colgate Broadlawn

Politics

Steele County was a Democratic-leaning swing county in presidential elections until 2016, when Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump by nearly 20 points, an almost total flip from Barack Obama's 20 point win in 2008. In 2020, Joe Biden fared even worse despite a national increase for the Democratic party from 2016. He was the first Democrat to win without the county since John F. Kennedy in 1960, and had the lowest proportion of the county's vote of any winning Democrat since Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Since 1964 Steele County has favored the Democratic presidential candidate in 64% of elections.

United States presidential election results for Steele County, North Dakota[17]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 652 59.93% 392 36.03% 44 4.04%
2016 538 53.85% 361 36.14% 100 10.01%
2012 498 47.79% 518 49.71% 26 2.50%
2008 404 39.15% 614 59.50% 14 1.36%
2004 586 48.31% 616 50.78% 11 0.91%
2000 655 54.13% 475 39.26% 80 6.61%
1996 486 39.67% 620 50.61% 119 9.71%
1992 503 36.72% 598 43.65% 269 19.64%
1988 690 43.26% 895 56.11% 10 0.63%
1984 941 54.08% 781 44.89% 18 1.03%
1980 997 53.32% 617 32.99% 256 13.69%
1976 835 43.35% 1,066 55.35% 25 1.30%
1972 1,063 53.96% 892 45.28% 15 0.76%
1968 952 46.87% 991 48.79% 88 4.33%
1964 796 36.13% 1,404 63.73% 3 0.14%
1960 1,209 50.76% 1,173 49.24% 0 0.00%
1956 1,188 50.83% 1,148 49.12% 1 0.04%
1952 1,513 62.16% 911 37.43% 10 0.41%
1948 1,052 45.00% 1,163 49.74% 123 5.26%
1944 1,042 43.89% 1,320 55.60% 12 0.51%
1940 1,328 47.70% 1,434 51.51% 22 0.79%
1936 724 25.20% 1,444 50.26% 705 24.54%
1932 695 25.88% 1,925 71.69% 65 2.42%
1928 1,574 57.34% 1,152 41.97% 19 0.69%
1924 1,247 52.77% 85 3.60% 1,031 43.63%
1920 2,222 85.17% 337 12.92% 50 1.92%
1916 676 53.31% 515 40.62% 77 6.07%
1912 237 23.58% 253 25.17% 515 51.24%
1908 881 68.72% 366 28.55% 35 2.73%
1904 817 86.82% 69 7.33% 55 5.84%
1900 724 74.41% 214 21.99% 35 3.60%


Education

Steele County has the following school districts:

In 1964 the county had 992 students in four schools; at the time there were five school districts but Colgate was not operating any schools as its school closed in 1964.[18]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Steele County, North Dakota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 27, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Individual ND & SC County Chronologies (Long, 2007) The Newberry Library (accessed February 20, 2019)
  4. ^ a b c Steele County ND Google Maps (accessed February 20, 2019)
  5. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Steele County ND" Google Maps (accessed February 20, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 20, 2019.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  7. ^ "United States Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  9. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (April 20, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved February 1, 2015.
  11. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  12. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  13. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  14. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  15. ^ Ghosts of North Dakota: Sherbrooke
  16. ^ "Earth Point".
  17. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 13, 2018.
  18. ^ "Per Pupil Costs Are Analyzed For County". Steele County Press. Finley, North Dakota. p. 10. - Clipping from Newspapers.com

Coordinates: 47°28′N 97°43′W / 47.46°N 97.72°W / 47.46; -97.72