The earliest weather records in the United States are from individual dairies. Many of our founding fathers, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and George Washington are some of the sources of these early weather records.
The first attempt at an organized weather network started in 1814 when the Federal Government ordered the United States Army medical corps to collect weather data. When Fort Snelling was established at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers in 1819 recording the weather became part of the daily routine. That data set gives us some of the earliest weather information for this region.
An attempt at a coordinated national network was not tried until 1870 when the U.S. Army Signal Corps began a program which evolved into the National Weather Service. Temperature and precipitation records started in 1881 in Fargo Moorhead when an observation post in Moorhead was established as part of that original national network.