Biography of George Van Arnam of Wahpeton North Dakota

George Van Arnam, a respected figure in Richland County, North Dakota, served as the county judge after being elected in 1908. Prior to his judicial career, he engaged in farming, teaching, and the newspaper business. Judge Van Arnam was known for his broad-mindedness, sound judgment, and dedication to his community. He was married to Nettie Heath, and they had four children. Additionally, he played a pivotal role in organizing the Old Settlers’ Association and was an active member of fraternal organizations.

George Van Arnam, county judge of Richland County, was elected to this office in 1908. He was born in Bureau county, Illinois, in 1859, and educated there, and after finishing school, he learned the drug business, which he followed for four years, in Walnut, Illinois. In 1881 he came to Richland county, North Dakota, and located at Barrie, where he settled on a claim and held it for twelve years, farming and teaching school in the meantime. This was not the height of his ambitions, however, and he decided to venture into the newspaper business, and accordingly, moved to Walcott, Richland county, North Dakota, and established the Walcott Reporter, which he operated for about seven years, and lived there until 1909 when he moved to Wahpeton.

Judge Van Arnam was the only candidate elected on the Democratic ticket in Richland county, in the 1908 campaign. He was a member of the state legislature in 1903, and has ever since served the county in various offices of local importance. He is a man of broad and liberal views, good judgment, and far-sighted in all matters of interest to his community, and is universally respected for his integrity, uprightness, and urbanity.

In 1885 Judge Van Arnam was married to Nettie Heath, and they are the parents of four children, viz.: Virginia, Kittie, Grace, and Hazel.

Judge Van Arnam, with Mr. H. J. Hagen, organized the Old Settlers’ Association, and it was through their efforts that it was incorporated, at a meeting of the older settlers, at Abercrombie; that being the home of Mr. Hagen.

The judge is a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and the Modern Woodmen of America.


C.F. Cooper & Company, History of the Red River Valley, Past And Present: Including an Account of the Counties, Cities, Towns And Villages of the Valley From the Time of Their First Settlement And Formation, volumes 1-2; Grand Forks: Herald printing company, 1909.

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