Place:North Dakota, United States


NameNorth Dakota
Alt namesNDsource: Webster's Geographical Dictionary (1988) p 1257
Coordinates47°N 100°W
Located inUnited States     (1889 - )
Contained Places
Adams ( 1907 - )
Barnes ( 1873 - )
Benson ( 1883 - )
Billings ( 1879 - )
Bottineau ( 1873 - )
Bowman ( 1883 - )
Burke ( 1910 - )
Burleigh ( 1873 - )
Cass ( 1873 - )
Cavalier ( 1873 - )
Dickey ( 1881 - )
Divide ( 1910 - )
Dunn ( 1883 - )
Eddy ( 1885 - )
Emmons ( 1879 - )
Foster ( 1873 - )
Golden Valley ( 1912 - )
Grand Forks ( 1873 - )
Grant ( 1916 - )
Griggs ( 1881 - )
Hettinger ( 1883 - )
Kidder ( 1873 - )
La Moure ( 1873 - )
Logan ( 1873 - )
McHenry ( 1873 - )
McIntosh ( 1883 - )
McKenzie ( 1901 - )
McLean ( 1883 - )
Mercer ( 1875 - )
Morton ( 1873 - )
Mountrail ( 1873 - )
Nelson ( 1883 - )
Oliver ( 1885 - )
Pembina ( 1867 - )
Pierce ( 1887 - )
Ramsey ( 1873 - )
Ransom ( 1873 - )
Renville ( 1910 - )
Richland ( 1873 - )
Rolette ( 1873 - )
Sargent ( 1883 - )
Sheridan ( 1908 - )
Sioux ( 1914 - )
Slope ( 1914 - )
Stark ( 1879 - )
Steele ( 1883 - )
Stutsman ( 1873 - )
Towner ( 1883 - )
Traill ( 1875 - )
Walsh ( 1881 - )
Ward ( 1885 - )
Wells ( 1873 - )
Williams ( 1873 - )
Former county
Buford ( 1883 - )
Flannery ( 1883 - )
Howard ( 1873 - )
Stevens ( 1873 - )
Wallace ( 1883 - )
Wallette ( 1873 - )
Grafton Township
Prairie Centre Township
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

North Dakota is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the indigenous Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north and by the U.S. states of Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west. It is believed to host the geographic center of North America, Rugby, and is home to the tallest man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere, the KVLY-TV mast.

North Dakota is the nineteenth largest state, but with a population of less than 780,000 as of 2020, it is the fourth least populous and fourth most sparsely populated. The capital is Bismarck while the largest city is Fargo, which accounts for nearly a fifth of the state's population; both cities are among the fastest-growing in the U.S., although half of all residents live in rural areas. The state is part of the Great Plains region, with broad prairies, steppe, temperate savanna, badlands, and farmland being defining characteristics.

What is now North Dakota was inhabited for thousands of years by various Native American tribes, including the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara along the Missouri River; the Ojibwa and Cree in the northeast; and several Sioux groups (the Assiniboine, Yankton, Wahpeton, and Teton) across the rest of the state. European explorers and traders first arrived in the early 18th century, mostly in pursuit of lucrative furs. The United States acquired the region in the early 19th century, gradually settling it amid growing resistance by increasingly displaced natives.

The Dakota Territory, established in 1861, became central to American pioneers, with the Homestead Act of 1862 precipitating significant population growth and development. The traditional fur trade declined in favor of farming, particularly of wheat; the subsequent Dakota Boom from 1878 to 1886 saw giant farms stretched across the rolling prairies, with the territory becoming a key breadbasket and regional economic engine. The Northern Pacific and Great Northern railway companies competed for access to lucrative grain centers; farmers banded together in political and socioeconomic alliances that were core to the broader Populist Movement of the Midwest.

North Dakota was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, along with neighboring South Dakota, as the 39th and 40th states. President Benjamin Harrison shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first; consequently, the two states are officially numbered in alphabetical order. Statehood marked the gradual winding down of the pioneer period, with the state fully settled by around 1920. Subsequent decades saw a rise in radical agrarian movements and economic cooperatives, of which one legacy is the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-run bank in the U.S.

Beginning in the mid 20th century, North Dakota's rich natural resources became more critical to economic development; into the 21st century, oil extraction from the Bakken formation in the northwest has played a major role in the state's prosperity. Such development has led to unprecedented population growth (along with high birth rates) and reduced unemployment, with North Dakota having the second lowest unemployment rate in the U.S. (after Hawaii). It ranks relatively well in metrics such as infrastructure, quality of life, economic opportunity, and public safety.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Pre-colonial history

Native American peoples lived in what is now North Dakota for thousands of years before the coming of Europeans. The known tribes included the Mandan people (from around the 11th century), while the first Hidatsa group arrived a few hundred years later. They both assembled in villages on tributaries of the Missouri River in what would become west-central North Dakota. Crow Indians traveled the plains from the west to visit and trade with the related Hidatsas[1] after the split between them, probably in the 17th century.

Later came divisions of the Dakota people: the Lakota, the Santee and the Yanktonai. The Assiniboine and the Plains Cree undertook southward journeys to the village Indians, either for trade or for war.[1] The Shoshone Indians in present-day Wyoming and Montana may have carried out attacks on Indian enemies as far east as the Missouri. A group of Cheyennes lived in a village of earth lodges at the lower Sheyenne River (Biesterfeldt Site) for decades in the 18th century.

Due to attacks by Crees, Assiniboines and Chippewas armed with fire weapons, they left the area around 1780 and crossed Missouri some time after. A band of the few Sotaio Indians lived east of Missouri River and met the uprooted Cheyennes before the end of the century. They soon followed the Cheyennes across Missouri and lived among them south of Cannonball River.

Eventually, the Cheyenne and the Sutaio became one tribe and turned into mounted buffalo hunters with ranges mainly outside North Dakota. Before the middle of the 19th century, the Arikara entered the future state from the south and joined the Mandan and Hidatsa. With time, a number of Indians entered into treaties with the United States. Many of the treaties defined the territory of a specific tribe.

European exploration and colonization

The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader Pierre Gaultier, sieur de La Vérendrye, who led an exploration and trading party to the Mandan villages in 1738 guided by Assiniboine Indians.

From 1762 to 1802, the region formed part of Spanish Louisiana.

Settlement and statehood

European Americans settled in Dakota Territory only sparsely until the late 19th century, when railroads opened up the region. With the advantage of grants of land, they vigorously marketed their properties, extolling the region as ideal for agriculture.

Differences between the northern and southern part caused resentments between the settlers. The northern part was seen by the more populated southern part as somewhat disreputable, "too much controlled by the wild folks, cattle ranchers, fur traders” and too frequently the site of conflict with the indigenous population. The northern part was generally content with remaining a territory. However, following the territorial capital being moved from Yankton in the southern part to Bismarck, the southern part began to call for division. Finally, at the 1887 territorial election, the voters approved splitting the territory into two. The division was done by the seventh standard parallel.

Congress passed an omnibus bill for statehood for North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Washington, titled the Enabling Act of 1889, on February 22, 1889, during the administration of President Grover Cleveland. His successor, Benjamin Harrison, signed the proclamations formally admitting North Dakota and South Dakota to the Union on November 2, 1889.

The rivalry between the two new states presented a dilemma of which was to be admitted first. Harrison directed Secretary of State James G. Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first. The actual order went unrecorded, thus no one knows which of the Dakotas was admitted first. However, since North Dakota alphabetically appears before South Dakota, its proclamation was published first in the Statutes At Large.

20th and 21st centuries

Unrest among wheat farmers, especially among Norwegian immigrants, led to a populist political movement centered in the Non Partisan League ("NPL") around the time of World War I. The NPL ran candidates on the Republican ticket (but merged into the Democratic Party after World War II). It tried to insulate North Dakota from the power of out-of-state banks and corporations.

In addition to founding the state-owned Bank of North Dakota and North Dakota Mill and Elevator (both still in existence), the NPL established a state-owned railroad line (later sold to the Soo Line Railroad). Anti-corporate laws virtually prohibited a corporation or bank from owning title to land zoned as farmland. These laws, still in force today, after having been upheld by state and federal courts, make it almost impossible to foreclose on farmland, as even after foreclosure, the property title cannot be held by a bank or mortgage company. Furthermore, the Bank of North Dakota, having powers similar to a Federal Reserve branch bank, exercised its power to limit the issuance of subprime mortgages and their collateralization in the form of derivative instruments, and so prevented a collapse of housing prices within the state in the wake of 2008's financial crisis.

The original North Dakota State Capitol in Bismarck burned to the ground on December 28, 1930. It was replaced by a limestone-faced art-deco skyscraper that still stands today. A round of federal investment and construction projects began in the 1950s, including the Garrison Dam and the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force bases.

Western North Dakota saw a boom in oil exploration in the late 1970s and early 1980s, as rising petroleum prices made development profitable. This boom came to an end after petroleum prices declined.[2]

In recent years, the state has had lower rates of unemployment than the national average, and increased job and population growth.[3][4] Much of the growth has been based on development of the Bakken oil fields in the western part of the state.[5] Estimates as to the remaining amount of oil in the area vary, with some estimating over 100 years' worth.

For decades, North Dakota's annual murder and violent crime rates were regularly the lowest in the United States. In recent years, however, while still below the national average, crime has risen sharply. In 2016, the violent crime rate was three times higher than in 2004, with the rise occurring mostly in the late 2000s, coinciding with the oil boom era. This happened at a time when the national violent crime rate declined slightly. Workers in the oil boom towns have been blamed for much of the increase.


1870North Dakota's First censusSource:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
1889North Dakota's becomes a stateSource:Wikipedia
1929Great Depression hit North Dakota hardSource:Wikipedia

Population History

source: Source:Population of States and Counties of the United States: 1790-1990
Census Year Population
1870 2,405
1880 36,909
1890 190,983
1900 319,146
1910 577,056
1920 646,872
1930 680,845
1940 641,935
1950 619,636
1960 632,446
1970 617,761
1980 652,717
1990 638,800

Note: North Dakota was admitted as a State on November 2, 1889 with essentially its present boundaries. It was formed from Dakota Territory, organized in 1861 (for Dakota's earlier history, see the State note for South Dakota). In 1850 census coverage of present-day North Dakota was limited to a few settlements in what was then Minnesota Territory. In 1860, some forts and settlements in the present State were enumerated in Nebraska Territory as well as in Dakota, which was not yet organized. No determination has been made to assign the 1860 Dakota total of 4,837 to what became the two separate States. Census coverage first included the whole State in 1890. The 1870 and 1880 populations consist of the totals of those counties of Dakota Territory located wholly or primarily in what is now North Dakota, plus (in 1870) an estimated portion of the Territory's unorganized part. The 1890 total includes the population (4,206) of the entire Standing Rock Indian Reservation, much of which was in South Dakota.. Totals for 1870 and 1880 are the totals of those counties of Dakota Territory located wholly or primarily in what is now North Dakota; in addition, the 1870 total includes an estimated share (1,192) of the population of the Territory's unorganized portion (2,091). Total for 1890 includes the population (8,264) of certain Indian reservations not reported by county; this includes the population (4,206) of the entire Standing Rock Indian Reservation, much of which was in South Dakota. The 1890 total also includes the population (511) of the Fort Yates and Standing Rock Indian agency other than reservation Indians, likewise not reported by county. Total for 1900 includes the population (2,208) of the portion of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, not reported by county.

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