John Fadden came in 1871 from Sibley county, Minn., with his family, his sons John and Dick coming the same year. He started the old ferry at the point, and afterwards kept the Northwestern hotel. He now resides on his beautiful farm south of Arvilla. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Friday Morning, December 11, 1891, Volume XXI, Number 35, Page 2)
Page 69. Another act of the county commissioners of the same year was to grant to John Fadden a charter for a ferry across Red river at Grand Forks at $21 per annum for five years. Fadden’s house was located nearly opposite the point of land formed by the confluence of the Red and Red Lake rivers, and here the ferry was established so that those who crossed the main stream could be landed or taken on just below the mouth of Red Lake river. The road on the Minnesota side that led from the landing up through the timber is still to be seen there, for it is occasionally used by persons who drive down to the river for sand. This locality is now spanned by two bridges, one over either stream.
Page 82. In 1876 Frank Viets purchased the Fadden claim near the confluence of the rivers. (History of Grand Forks County With Special Reference to the First Ten Years of Grand Forks City, H. V. Arnold, Pioneer Press, Larimore, North Dakota, 1900)
A PIONEER GONE. Yesterday afternoon (June 24, 1901) at his home in Arvilla John Fadden breathed his last. Deceased was 86 years of age and was well known throughout this section of the country, having come to Grand Forks in ’71 from Sibley county, Minn., he having also been one of the pioneers of Minnesota. He took a homestead, the greater part of which is now within the city limits of Grand Forks, and which he sold later for a big price and was engaged in business here for several years, being at one time located on the corner of Gertrude and Third street and erected the building that is there at the present time. For the past 10 or 12 years he has lived at Arvilla. He was a man not only well known, but well liked, and was a pioneer of the vigorous rugged type that is fast disappearing. He is survived by his wife, two sons, John O. and Richmond, of Arvilla, and two daughters, Mrs. Howard Vaughn and Mrs. Sanford Cady of Logan township. The funeral will be held Wednesday morning at 10 o’clock at Arvilla, and Col. Brown and Wm. Budge of this city, will be among the pall bearers. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Tuesday Morning, June 25, 1901, Volume 20, Number 201, Page 6)
IMPRESSIVE SERVICES. The funeral of the late John Fadden, which occurred at Arvilla at 10 o’clock yesterday forenoon was a very impressive one, as the deceased had been one of the earliest settlers in the Red river valley, and had played an important part in the development of the northwest. The funeral was attended by many Grand Forks people. The pall bearers were W. H. Brown, Wm. Budge, George B. Winship, James Elton, D. M. Holmes, all of Grand Forks, and Mr. Forde of Arvilla. The services were held in the Presbyterian church at Arvilla, Rev. C. A. McNamara of the Larimore M. E. church officiating. In his address Mr. McNamara referred particularly to the pioneer life of the deceased in southern Minnesota, and to his services in connection with the suppression of the Indian uprising of 1863-4.
On one occasion Mr. Fadden, with John Otherday, a friendly Indian, guided a large party of settlers through what was to them a wilderness, and saved them from massacre at the hands of Little Crow and his band. Other incidents of like character were referred to to show the brave, fearless spirit of the man who had just passed away. George B. Winship, at the request of friends, spoke of the influence of Mr. Fadden in Grand Forks county. Being almost the first to settle on government land here Mr. Fadden had been looked up to as a patriarch by the younger men, and to him they came for advice and guidance. This was always given of such a kind, and in such a manner as commanded respect, and impressed on all the sturdy independence and spotless integrity of him who gave it. Among those who gathered at the funeral were scores of those who had known the deceased for a quarter of a century or more, and who had learned to honor him and love him. (Grand Forks Daily Herald, Thursday Morning, June 27, 1901, Volume 20, Number 203, Page 6)