History

Kulm was founded in 1892 on the northwest quarter of Section 26, Township 133, Range 66. The Soo Line purchased a hundred and six acres for a townsite and right of way, and Wesley Organ contributed another forty acres for this purpose. All of the land making up the original townsite of Kulm had formerly been part of the homestead of Wesley Organ.

At this time, Mrs. Christina Buechler and her two sons, Fred and Christ, decided to move their general mercantile store from Merricourt to Kulm. Two brothers, Fred Flegel and Christ Flegel, who had been living in the area at the time, heard of this move and contacted Fred Buechler, asking for the job of digging the basement for this store, which was to be the first store on Main Street.

While they were digging the basement, a surveyor for the Soo Line asked Christ Flegel for suggestions on a name for the new town. Since neither of the brothers could speak English at the time, Fred Buechler acted as interpreter. Through his interpreter, Christ Flegel said that if it were up to him, he would name the town Kulm, and that he would do so for three reasons. First, Kulm in Bessarabia, South Russia, was his birthplace. Secondly, Kulm, Germany was the birthplace of most of his ancestors. Lastly, most of the settlers living in the area were from either Kulm, Russia or from Kulm, Germany.

As a result, the railroad station that was established there was named Kulm. That is what went on the sign, and the name stuck.

The area was primarily agricultural, and grain was the most common crop. Before long, a steady stream of grain was going out on rail cars from Kulm, and the Soo Line decided to sink a well in order to furnish water for its water tank, since the nearest one was at Oakes, North Dakota.

Due to Kulm's location in the southwestern tip of LaMoure County, near the borders of Dickey, McIntosh and Logan counties, the Kulm station had a large territory to draw from. Kulm remained the western terminus of the Soo Line Railroad until 1898, when it was extended west.

Before long, Kulm had seven grain elevators, and was shipping nearly a million bushels of grain a year. Aside from the elevators, there were also street buyers of grain who set up scales. The purchased grain was immediately loaded onto railroad cars that had been ordered in advance and waiting on the side tracks. These buyers shipped as much as three hundred bushels of grain a day. Kulm shipped more grain than any other town in LaMoure County.

The first telephone operator in Kulm was Margaret Wolfer, who would later become Mrs. John G. Gackle. The switchboard was located in Gordon and Benn's drug store in 1907.

The first child born in Kulm was Clara Grosz, who was born on December 20, 1893, and the first boy born in Kulm was Martin W. Grackle, born January 16, 1894.