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Ponsford was named after Orville Ponsford, a principal of the Episcopal mission school in Ponsford from 1890-91. The government wished to locate a post office at Ponsford, and Orville Ponsford and J.W. Nunn circulated petitions, asking to name it Pine Point. There was already a post office in Minnesota under that name, so it was denied. Petitioners submitted a list of names, and with Ponsford being at the top of the list, it became the name of the city.

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