At one time there were eleven towns in Nelson County that had businesses, schools and residential neighborhoods. Over the past half century with the overall population decline in the county many of these towns have also lost population and some have all but disappeared. Today there are only two school districts. The Lakota school district operates a kindergarden through twelfth grade school in the town of Lakota. The rest of the county belongs to the Dakota Prairie School District which operates an elementary school through the sixth grade in McVille and grades seven through twelve in Petersburg. Ten of the eleven towns still have active churches. The summaries below are for the ten towns that still have some of the criteria for a town. The eleventh, Mapes, is now categorized as a ghost town. Clicking on the town's name will also bring you to a photo album of the town.

Aneta City Park

Aneta: Aneta is located in Ora Township in the extreme southeastern part of the county just north of the Griggs County line. State Route 32 runs through the town. It is served also by the Burlington Northern freight railroad line that also serves the other communities in the southern part of the county. The latest population figure available lists 284 residents.
Founder's Plaque in Dahlen
Dahlen: Dahlen is located in Dahlen Township in the extreme northeastern part of the county near the Walsh and Grand Forks county lines. Served by Northern Plains Railroad Line.   There are only a few houses here now and there are no recent population figures available, indicating that there are probably fewer than 20 residents here.
Grain Elevator in Dahlen
Lutheran Church in Kloten
Kloten: Kloten is located in Lee Township in the southeastern part of the county. It is connected by a paved road about one mile in length to state highway 15. There are no current population figures available, indicating a population figure under 20.
Nelson County Courthouse
Lakota: Lakota is the largest town and the county seat. It is located in Lakota Township in the western part of the county. It is on US highway 2, the main east-west highway in northern North Dakota and on State Route 1. It is on the Burlington Northern's main Chicago to Seattle rail line. The latest population figure is listed as 781.
McVille: Pronounced Mackville. It is located in Hamlin Township in the south central part of the county. McVille has the only full service hospital in the county. It is on state highway 15, about six miles east of state highway 1. Served by Burlington Northern Railroad. The latest population figure is 470 residents.
War Memorial in McVille