Welcome to the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County's Online Collections!


While we are doing our best to add things online, there are still many materials in our archives that are still only available in the archives reading room. These things include:


We hold newspapers for the following Clay County Towns and Years:
  • Barnesville: 1980-present
  • Glyndon: 1872-1873, 1879-1929
  • Hawley: 1899-1912, 1917-present
  • Hitterdal: 1920-1926
  • Moorhead: 1872-1969
  • Ulen: 1898, 1916-present
  • Tax Records

    Personal and Real Property Tax Assessment Rolls and Tax Lists. We have rolls and/or lists for the 1870s, 1905, 1925, 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965 and 1975. These lists contain all Personal and/or Real Property Taxpayer in the county for each year, the school district and township, village or city he or she lived in and the amount of tax paid.

    Census Records

    US census records for Clay County for 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910 and 1920. We also hold copies of the 1890 Special Census of Civil War Veterans and widows, as well as Minnesota state census records for the Clay County for 1875, 1885, 1895 and 1905.

    Marriage Records

    We hold indexes to marriages recorded in Clay County between 1872 and 1982. The marriages are indexed by the groom’s name and the bride’s. For copies of the records themselves, contact the Clay County Recorder.

    Death Records

    Transcriptions of death records filed in Clay County from 1872-1932 are available for $8.00 per record (more recent records will be available soon.) The Clay County Recorder’s Office has an online index to Clay County deaths. Check the online index for the date of death, book and page where the death is recorded, then contact HCSCC to order a transcription.

    Naturalization Records

    Citizenship papers filed in Clay County District Court, 1872-1954, indexed.

    WW1 Records

  • Clay County Draft Registration, 1917-1918
  • Clay County Alien Registration Forms, 1918
  • Fire Insurance Maps

    For insurance purposes the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company and the Fire Underwriters Inspection Bureau created highly detailed street maps showing locations of homes and businesses of the following Clay County cities. We have maps from both companies for the cities and years indicated:
  • Barnesville: 1894, 1899, 1907, 1914, 1929
  • Glyndon: 1932
  • Hawley: 1924, 1933
  • Moorhead: 1884, 1890, 1896, 1899, 1906, 1914, 1922, 1929, 1956
  • Averill: 1961
  • Baker: 1961
  • Comstock: 1961
  • Dilworth: 1961
  • Downer: 1961
  • Felton: 1961
  • Georgetown: 1961
  • Hitterdal: 1958
  • Kragnes: 1952
  • Muskoda: 1929
  • Rustad: 1920
  • Sabin: 1961
  • Ulen: 1956
  • Fargo-Moorhead City Directories:

  • Fargo: 1881-present
  • Moorhead: 1884-present
  • Plat Books

    Platbooks showing property ownership in Clay County for the following years: 1898, 1901, 1909, 1916, 1920, 1925, 1933, 1939, 1946, 1951, 1957, 1961, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1973, 1976-1978, 1980, 1982-1985, 1990-1991, 1993-1997 and 2000. Many of these also include listings of all rural residents whether land owners or not. We have online the 1933 rural resident list, the 1933 Clay County village residents list and property ownership plat maps from the 1909 Standard Atlas of Clay County, the 1920 Ownership Map and Guide of Clay County, Minnesota, the 1899 Complete Atlas of Clay County, Minnesota and the 1916 Clay County Plat Book.


    We have tens of thousands of photos in our collections. Most are indexed by names of the individuals, events or places depicted. Copies of nearly all can be provided. Contact the Archives for details. Our best collection is the Flaten/Wange Glass Plate Negative Collection, some 12,500 negatives taken by two Clay County photographers. O.E. Flaten worked in Moorhead between 1879 and 1929. We have about 800 images he took of street scenes, businesses and events in Moorhead. S.P. Wange worked in Hawley from 1893 to about 1939. About 1,500 of his images are scenes in and around Hawley. Most of the remaining 10,000 plus pictures are studio portraits of local residents. Most are identified and can be a gold mine for genealogists with relatives from the eastern Clay County.

    Tips for Searching

    Keyword Search

    The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Hanley Ranch will return records associated with Hanley OR Ranch). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Rocky Pine Ranch"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

    Advanced Search

    The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

    Catalog Search

    The catalog buttons can also help narrow down your search, by only searching with a selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing catalog searches.