NAME: Kidville
COUNTY: Ransom
CLIMATE: Snowy winters, hot summers
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Late Spring/Summer
COMMENTS: No residents. The site is about a mile and a half south west from Fort Ransom, ND. No buildings remain.
REMAINS: Perhaps a few corner stones or collapsed cellars.
The heyday of Kidville was between 1897 and 1923. It was established by A.J. Olson and Tobias Alfred Thompson. It was supposedly called "Kidville" by an old merchant in Fort Ransom who found the competition of Olson's merchandise store unwanted. The merchant felt that Olson and Thompson (both younger than 24) were still just kids in a man's world of business. It was never connected to the railroad, nor did it ever have a post office. Other businesses that were opened between 1912 and 1923 were: A feed mill, a couple of blacksmith shops, a harness shop, a farm implements store, a shoe repair shop and an auto repair shop. It was the location of the first telephone service in Ransom County, which was based out of Kidville until the late 1950s. It was also the last occupied building in the town. The primary reason the town was abandoned was Thompson died in 1908 and Olson moved into Fort Ransom after buying out the merchandise store there in 1919. Thus, the two primary figures and life blood of the town were gone. Many of the business men and occupants of the town then left, either going further west or moving into other towns nearby. Kidville was the beginning site of the Albert "Beaver" Thompson legend which started in 1917 and ended in 1919. The basics of the story are that an insane man who, when confronted by the local sheriff, accidentally shot and killed his brother (Thomas Thompson)((Both Thomas and Albert were cousins of Tobias, one of the founders)). He was captured and sent to the insane asylum in Jamestown, ND. After 2 years he escaped and threatened some of the residents of the town of Fort Ransom. He supposedly spent 6 weeks running around in the wilderness while heavily armed and staying in caves and perhaps an abandoned beaver lodge (thus his nickname, Beaver Thompson). He was finally caught and died of an infection related to a minor gunshot wound that was caused during his capture. The remains of the town were probably used as building materials or firewood, ! therefore it no longer exists except in stories and the minds of the older locals of Fort Ransom. Submitted by: Will Savage