Leach, Harmon, Hanks Families

Wiliam Reese and Nettie Louise Harmon, together with their family of four boys and three girls, came to Granville, North Dakota from Saline County, Missouri in March of 1901. They traveled by immigrant car, bringing all of their possessions, including a team of horses, a cow, some chickens, and two straw burner stoves. This immigrant movement was promoted by T.F. Houston, who, along with ten or fifteen other families, settled in an area that would later become Saline Township, McHenry County, North Dakota.

The Harmons lived in Granville for a time, where William Reese worked on the railroad while obtaining land grant titles to their claims. In the spring, the Harmons moved to their claim, living in a tent while building a sod house.

Unfortunately, it was a false spring. William and three of the boys had made the trip with the team and wagon to Minot for lumber needed to build the roof of the sod house, which took three days there and back. On the way home, near evening, a blizzard developed. The men were able to shelter themselves somewhat beneath the wagon, and survived.

Meanwhile, back at home, the wind lashed the tent, loosening the sides so that Louise Harmon and one of her sons had to roll themselves up in the flaps in order to hold the tent down.

Early the next morning, Mr. and Mrs. Irvin, and their daughter, Princess, came to the tent. The roof had blown the roof from their sod house and, knowing that Mrs. Harmon was alone with her young son, they had walked the quarter of a mile in the storm to see if they could help. Together, they were able to anchor the tent so that it would hold until the storm subsided.

The Harmons lived in that tent for several weeks while the sod house was completed. The house was fairly large as compared to many other sod houses, and it had a board floor and roof. It was plastered with white mud from an alkaline slough nearby, and heated with the two straw burner stoves they had brought from Missouri. The stoves had a flat surface at the back that was used for cooking and heating water, and an oven was built into the stove pipe.

Around this time, the Saline Church, which was the first established Methodist church, was being constructed, as well as a school.

Also around this time, another group of families arrived from Missouri. Among them was Richard O'Bannon Leach, Mrs. Harmon's father, with his family of four; his wife had passed away.

Forrest A. Harmon and Ophelia F. Leach were married on August 19, 1908, making their home in Granville for a few years. They had two daughters while in Granville. They then homesteaded a claim in Montana, and it was there that Mrs. Leach suffered a ruptured appendix and, following surgery, developed peritonitis, and was very ill for a time, but recovered after being treated in the East.

Afterwards, they returned to Montana for a time, then came to Granville, where Forrest Harmon was employed by Bacon and Burr. He worked there until 1924, when he purchased the Granville Meat Market from W.B. Markeley, operating the store until his sudden death in 1940. Ophelia Harmon died in 1942.

In 1929, J.W. "Bill" Hanks and Viola Harmon were married. Born in Paris, Illinois, Bill came to Granville at the age of two with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. John Hanks, in 1908. Mr. and Mrs. Hanks brought two horses, one cow, a dog, and three children with them. They settled one mile north and two miles west of Granville, North Dakota.

Bill and Viola farmed for three years, then worked for Muus Brothers. In 1932, he began working for Viola's father, Forest A. Harmon, at the meat market, becoming the manager of the store in 1935.

In 1943, Bill and Viola Hanks bought the market from her father, and continued the Granville Meat Market, although it changed locations a couple of times. Beginning on the east side of the street, the market was moved to the west side in the Ganze Building, which had been rebuilt following a fire. On New Years Day, 1960, the business was moved back to the east side of the street in the former Muus Brothers building.

Until 1958, Bill did his own slaughtering. After that, he bought meat from packers.

Bill served as mayor of Granville for about ten years, ending in 1972.

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