The Clay County Archives at HCSCC are home to thousands of primary source documents relating to Clay County's History and our archives in the basement of the Hjemkomst Center are open and free to researchers throughout the week. We also conduct research for our members and patrons.
Phone, mail and email requests are welcomed with a $20.00 per hour charge (half-hour minimum). This fee includes up to five photocopies and postage. Advance payment is required. Members receive a 50% discount on all research and photocopy charges. Most materials can be photocopied at 20 cents per letter-size page and 40 cents per 11×17 copy. Other material specific charges are on a case-by-case basis.
Please send research requests to: Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County Phone: (218) 299-5511, ext. 6734 Mail: PO Box 157, Moorhead, MN 56560 Email: Mark.Peihl@hcsmuseum.org
The Artifact Collection
The HCSCC is also home to thousands of artifacts from Clay County's history. For more information on the artifact collection at HCSCC please contact Lisa Vedaa, HCSCC Curator and Collections Manager, at (218) 299-5511, ext 6735, or Lisa.Vedaa@hcsmuseum.org
The Archival Collection
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:
Newspapers We hold newspapers for the following Clay County Towns and Years:
Glyndon: 1872-1873, 1879-1929
Hawley: 1899-1912, 1917-present
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.
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:
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.
Photographs 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.