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Carol Wilson

  • On this date in 1919, North Dakota newspapers were quickly dwindling in number. Almost twenty-nine papers had gone out of business or changed ownership since April 1 of that year. The wave of failing newspapers began as a result of the Brinton Newspaper Law, which was passed in March of 1919 by the State Legislature. The law sought to reduce the number of official newspapers per county to a single publication. Prior to that, each of the fifty-three counties had three official newspapers, each printing notices required by the state, such as foreclosures and bank statements.
  • 2/18/2011: In popular culture, the term Old West is often associated with wild gun-slinging outlaws, shootouts, vigilantes, and stand-offs at high-noon. The Medora of the Old West certainly had its fair share of gunslingers, including the Marquis de Mores, who fought many a duel. Yet, while Medora was certainly a part of the “Wild” West, its citizens actually tried to put together a civilized gun club to practice their shooting skills as a gentlemanly sport.
  • 3/19/2010: On this date in 1865, North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Famer, James William Follis, was born on a ranch outside of Stevensville, Texas. The son of a retired Confederate Army cavalryman, Follis was well versed in horsemanship, and became an expert rancher at a young age. When he was just seven years old, Follis assisted his family in driving their cattle all the way to Trinidad, Colorado, where they eventually decided to settle. Despite his young age, some claimed that Follis "rode herd just as though he were a grown man."
  • 3/13/2010: In 1900, a young Englishman named Herbert Anderson journeyed across the Atlantic Ocean to start a new life in North America. After studying medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College in Toronto, Anderson moved to Dickinson in 1907 and set up a veterinary hospital.
  • 3/4/2010: On February 28, 1910, railroad giant James J. Hill was invited to address the people of Williston at a town meeting. Though the busy entrepreneur was unable to attend in person, he sent an inspiring speech to be read on his behalf. On this date in 1910, the White Earth Record printed Hill's glowing speech about North Dakota's promising future.
  • 3/1/2010: The vast stretches of unclaimed prairie land in Dakota Territory beckoned many a hearty soul in the frontier days, and the Saunders family of Richmond, Virginia, were among these early settlers. On this date in 1886, Thomas Saunders began the journey west with his family when he was nine years old, so that his father could survey land in the Dakota Territory.
  • 2/25/2010: In the summer of 1894, a group of North Dakota soldiers from the First Infantry Regiment of the North Dakota National Guard sat idly, waiting for a train to pick them up at their training camp in Jamestown and take them home. But no train would come, for the American Railroad Union, under the direction of Eugene Debs, was on strike.
  • 2/24/2010: On one moonlit night in February of 1911, a young man by the name of Will Miller broke into the local drug store in Ambrose. As Miller crept through the store in search of valuable items, a marshal on patrol caught sight of his shadowy figure in the store window and arrested the burglar before he could get away with any stolen goods.
  • 2/11/2010: On a cold day in February of 1913, Mr. W.W. Potter of Bowman County watched curiously as an owl swooped down and disappeared into a hole in a pile of rocks on his property. On a whim, he walked up to the hole and stuck the barrel of a gun in the opening. But he found no owl-only a pile of dry grass, which he scooped out with his hand. As Mr. Potter sifted through the debris, an old briar pipe and lead pencil fell on the ground at his feet. Believing that a sheep herder must have left the artifacts while passing through, he casually picked up the pipe and stuck it in his pocket.
  • 2/8/2010: As the year 1906 drew to a close, North Dakotans looked forward to a prosperous new year. In the past year, the crops and livestock thrived, and a record number of settlers sought their fortunes in the flourishing western frontier. An article in the White Earth Record declared that for the coming year "there was every indication that the tide of immigration would be the best in the history of the Northwest." However, in the first few weeks o f 1907, severe snowstorms, a coal shortage, and a series of exaggerated stories in the national press threatened to destroy the state's promising year.