Urbana

The community known as Urbana began in 1881 when settlers began to assemble in that area.  Among those settling at that time were Jim Creighton, Tim Weatherbee, Charles Flynn, Harvey Harrison, Tom Davis, George Allan, E. J. Hayes, Burton Young, Goran Johnson, Fred Dibble and Albert Conley.

The Northern Pacific Railroad had passed through the community in 1872.  Grain was then loaded directly into railroad cars from the farmers’ wagons until 1903 when an elevator was built.  Three years later a store was built by George Whipple south of the railroad near the elevator.  Another elevator was built in 1916.  A post office was established in the store on April 22, 1907 with Everett T. Phelps the first postmaster.  In July George Whipple became the postmaster and continued in that capacity for fifteen years, when Irene Hayes was appointed until the offices was discontinued on January 15, 1923.

The town was platted June 12, 1910 by George Whipple and Albert Sayre and was named Urbana from a town in Illinois.

School in the community was held first in the attic of a farm home just north of the village but in 1883 a school building was built in the village and operated from that date to 1962.  A total of 57 teachers taught in that school over the years.

In 1923 the store was moved by E. J. Hayes from south of the railroad to the newly built State Highway # 10, which passed close to the school.  E. J. Hayes operated the store and farmed until his son Ivan took over the management of the store.  The store became a very busy place and customers came from miles around to do their trading there, as well as socialize a bit and learn of the latest news.  In the winter it was a place of shelter in time of storm.

After the death of Ivan Hayes, the store was taken over by Lester and Adeline Knutson who operated it for several years before John and Lila Peterson, who operated it until it was dissembled in 1964.

As some would say, Urbana is just a wide place in the road, but to others it made for fond memories of the store and the many good times in the one room rural school.