First Baby

The first baby born in Granville, North Dakota was Grace Granville Streeper, who later became Grace Granville Streeper Rattiff. She was born to Samuel and Clara Streeper on May 25, 1900.


Her parents, Samuel Steven Streeper and Clara Emmaline Pitkin, were married in Britt, Iowa, in 1899, soon afterward deciding to homestead in North Dakota. Samuel Streeper arrived in Granville during a blizzard on March 17, 1900, bringing horses, a cow, and some machinery in one end of a railroad car, and the household furnishings in the other.

Once the storm was over, he broke the seal of the rail car, and led the horses and the cow out onto a crusted snowbank so hard as to be able to handle the weight of the livestock.

Samuel filed on a piece of homestead land northwest of Granville that proved to be too sandy for farming, but later became the town's sand and gravel pit. He soon made friends with the Dwellos, the Christiansons, Walter Duckets, Ed Burgess, and the Bacons.

After filing on his homestead, Samuel Streeper built a tarpapered shack on a small hille in a lot near where the town's water tower would later be built. Mrs. Streeper arrived in April with her parents, who were also homesteading in Granville.


Their daughter was born in that tarpapered shack at 5:00 o'clock in the morning on May 25, 1900. She was delivered by Dr. Barrett, and Delia Boutilier came to stay with the family until her mother was up and around again. The attending physician was Dr. Nenlove.

As the first baby born in Granville, North Dakota, she was granted a city lot by the town fathers, although she suspected that it had been sold for unpaid taxes before she became an adult. Her given name was Grace Granville, which she was later to use as a pen name for seascapes and landscapes that she was to paint.

When her father learned that his homestead was not suitable for farming, he became the first dray line operator in Granville, North Dakota. Later, he and Ed Burgess decided to pool their resources, and moved onto his father's farm four miles north of Velva in the spring of 1903. They farmed together for one season, then her parents moved their family to Sawyer, North Dakota, building a small house on the north side of the Soo Line Railroad tracks not far from the Mouse River.

After living through the flood of 1904, the family moved to Iowa.

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