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Carole Butcher

Contributor, Dakota Datebook
  • Before the railroad ran to Reynolds, North Dakota, steamboats brought the mail and supplies to nearby Frog Point. Residents traveled there by wagon to deliver their crops for shipping and to pick up supplies and mail. When the railroad arrived, an organized community began to take shape. Roads were laid out and sidewalks were built of pine boards. A town government was organized.
  • The United States Constitution empowers Congress to conduct a census every ten years. While every state is allotted two senators, the number of representatives is determined by the population of each state. The census counts the people for an accurate allocation of representatives.
  • On this date in 1905, the Bismarck Daily Tribune published a list of acts recently passed by the state legislature. Along with authorizing a Board of Embalmers and establishing fees to reimburse witnesses in trials, the legislature addressed the dangers of the pool hall.
  • Until the early 1900s, people traveled by real horsepower – the kind fueled by hay. Then the automobile began changing American life. In those early days, driving was something of a free-for-all. There were no stop signs, traffic lights, proper lanes, brake lights, crosswalks, or speed limits. No driver’s license was necessary. Pedestrians crossing the street had to dodge any passing cars. One account stated: “Screaming pedestrians were scattered like ninepins. Some were bowled over or tossed against store fronts.”
  • Section three of the 14th Amendment of the Constitution is perhaps best known for the restrictions it places on who is qualified to be President. But there are four other sections in the Amendment, and one of them directly relates to North Dakota railroads.
  • North Dakota is home to over 400 bird species, but the honor of being the state bird goes to only one. On this date in 1947, the North Dakota legislature chose the western meadowlark, which actually isn’t a lark. It is a songbird in the same family as blackbirds and orioles.
  • Dakota Territory began the work of organizing counties in 1861. Pembina was the first official county, established in 1867. Some North Dakota counties remain in their original form. Others were carved up. The southern portion of Hettinger County, for example, became Adams County. And the Bowman County story is interesting. Created in 1883, it was eliminated in 1903 due to a lack of settlement, then reestablished 1907.
  • Anna Ingulsrud was 18 years old when she worked as a waitress in a Fairdale, North Dakota. Otto Weberg, 24, courted her, determined to marry. Anna, however, did not return his affection. Weberg became distraught upon learning Anna was seeing another man.
  • Veterans, even those who were wounded, have not always been readily supported. It’s an issue the United States has struggled with since its founding. The Continental Congress pledged money for anyone wounded in the Revolutionary War, but the new government was strapped for cash and didn’t follow through. Veterans of the Mexican American War only received pensions forty years after the war ended.
  • During World War I, American farmers benefited from high prices. Enjoying the extra income, many borrowed money to buy more land and equipment. But agricultural prices fell suddenly after the war. The cost to produce a bushel of wheat was seventy-six cents, but wheat was selling for only sixty cents!