The Alms Move to North Dakota


Hans and his family left Minnesota in about 1903.  Anne's brother Andrew (Anders) bought a farm near McHenry, and Hans received his own acreage in that area.

Iver Kanten is said to have given each of his sons land when they married. He reportedly gave the equivalent of $500 or land to his daughters' husbands as a dowry.


CLICK HERE for Andrew Kanten Land Patent Information

on the US Bureau of Land Management website



The Hans Alms and Andrew Kantens were double cousins.

Hans was a painter, not a farmer. There was a severe drought that forced Andrew to plan a move to Saskatchewan, Canada. Hans and Andrew sold their land in McHenry.  Hans wanted no part of leaving the United States.  In 1905, the family moved 11 miles east to Binford. 


Map showing location of Binford ND


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Settling in Binford

Binford, 1910

Binford - about 1910

Original Plat Map of Binford


The Johnson Land Company of Iowa purchased a flax field owned by Gabriel Gabrielson. When the Northern Pacific laid its tracks in 1899, "Blooming Prairie" was born.  The little village was renamed Binford after attorney Ray Binford of Charles City, Iowa, who handled the Land Company's purchase.

In the fall of 1899 a lumberyard and general store opened. The Maurer Hotel was built in 1900....and by 1905 Binford had all the accouterments of an up and coming North Dakota town! It boasted its own newspaper, a bank, grain elevator, a hardware store, two groceries, a couple of pool hall-bowling alleys, two churches, and various other establishments!

1915 Binford Girls Basketball Team




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Binford - about 1925


Of the Alm children, only Oscar and Helen remained in Binford.  None of  the grandchildren lived in Binford as adults.  Today there are no Alms living in Binford - but, whether they know it or not,  a little piece of Binford lives in every Alm's heart.


Binford's 'Skyline' today - from ND 1

Binford's "Skyline" - 2000


Small Towns

Small towns are an attitude
Toward helping one another.
Where each man finds special joy
In making glad the other.

A small town thrives on kindly words
And kindly deeds to share.

The essence of each day is this
Capacity to care.

Yes, small towns are an attitude
Toward loving simple things.
Like quilting bees and church bazaars,
And Christmas carollings.

A small town thrives on hayrack rides
And programs in the park.
With picnics and school affairs
And bonfires after dark.

The attitude is one of peace
From deeply thankful hearts,
Who saw the deeds that must be done
And gladly did their part.
                              (Author Unknown)



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