Hector Bruce, one of the first settlers of Grand Forks, and who surveyed the original townsite, is in the city visiting old friends. Mr. Bruce is living in Florida, but delights to take a trip northward every few years. He will be in the city for only a few days. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, August 25, 1891, Volume XX, Number 239, Page 5)
The original survey of Grand Forks was made by Mr. Hector Bruce who left for the south in 1877. Mr. Bruce was in the city yesterday and stated that he had made but one visit since that time and that was about six years ago. He is more than astonished at the vast improvements made since his last visit and scarcely realizes that this is the same place. Come again in ten years Mr. Bruce and see what we will have. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, August 25, 1891, Volume XX, Number 239, Page 5)
Walter J. S. Traill, Hector Bruce and Geo. T. Inkster explored Turtle and Forest rivers in 1874. Bruce and Inkster made a second trip to the headwaters of the Forest and Little Salt in 1876. (History of Grand Forks County with Special Reference to the First Ten Years of Grand Forks City, H. V. Arnold, Larimore Pioneer, Larimore, North Dakota, 1900, Page 118)
Dakota Territory Legislature of 1874-75. The members of the House of Representatives were: Seventh District, Pembina, Cass, Stutsman, and other counties – Hector Bruce. (History of Dakota Territory, Volume II, George Washington Kingsbury and George Martin Smith, The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1915, Page 997)
On April 26, 1875, Alex. Griggs and Etta, his wife, placed on file in the office of the Register of Deeds, a plat of the village of Grand Forks, comprising ninety or more acres of their claim. The original townsite of Grand Forks was platted by Hector Bruce, a civil engineer, the work having been done some time prior to the date of filing the drafted plat and appended documents. As laid out by the surveyor, the streets were made to parallel the river, which, opposite the business portion of the present city courses toward the northwest, and the avenues were laid out to cross these at right angles. In platting some of the various additions to the original townsite, the trend of the streets and avenues were made to conform more generally to the cardinal points of the compass. (History of Grand Forks County with Special Reference to the First Ten Years of Grand Forks City, H. V. Arnold, Larimore Pioneer, Larimore, North Dakota, 1900, Page 78)
The platting of Mr. Viets’ addition was the work of Hector Bruce and that of Mr. Traill was done by Alex. Oldham. (History of Grand Forks County with Special Reference to the First Ten Years of Grand Forks City, H. V. Arnold, Larimore Pioneer, Larimore, North Dakota, 1900, Page 87)
In 1875 A. McHench, of Fargo, and Hector Bruce, of Grand Forks, did the legislative stunt. To Mr. Bruce belongs the honor of being Grand Forks’ first solon (lawmaker), and he was a most efficient one. He was a civil engineer, and a clean-cut, intelligent fellow. He platted the original townsite of Grand Forks, and Bruce avenue was named in his honor. The lure of Black Hills gold attracted him in the late seventies, and Grand Forks lost a good citizen. (The Quarterly Journal of the University of North Dakota, Volume 13, 1922-1923, Page 266)
1880 United States census records show Hector Bruce living in Deadwood, Lawrence County, Dakota Territory. Hector Bruce was born about 1837 in Scotland.