Valley City Times-Record

Dakota Datebook

- By Merry Helm


December 2, 2022 — North Dakota has had two different towns named Calvin. The first one, in Rolette County, consisted of a rural post office establishe­d October

23, 1899. The postmaster was Ira Eisenhour, and his job was short lived. His post office order was rescinded almost exactly a year later, and that was the end of Calvin number one.

The second town of Calvin was—and still is—near the Canadian border in Cavalier County. It was founded as a Great Northern Railroad townsite in 1902. The first postmaster was Reverend

David Sykes, who named the town for John Calvin, the founder of the Presbyteri­an Church. It’s interestin­g that John Calvin had changed his name from his birth name of Jean Chauvin.

In Latin, Calvin means bald.

“Dakota Datebook” is a radio series from Prairie Public in partnershi­p with the State Historical Society of North Dakota and with funding from

Humanities North Dakota. See all the Dakota Datebooks at prairiepub­, subscribe to the “Dakota Datebook” podcast, or buy the Dakota Datebook book at shopprairi­

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