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Chips for Church


In 1878, Mr. M. H. Jewell became the new owner of the Bismarck Tribune, which he published until his death in 1911.

In 1920, Jewell’s widow wrote a lengthy article about the early days of Bismarck, in which she said, “The Presbyterian church was organized in June, 1873, in a tent on Mainstreet near Third. The tent was used for gambling purposes, but the saloons on either side closed during the service. Everybody was invited to the service and most everyone came. A hat was passed for the collection, into which were dropped many poker chips, which the Fargo dealer, or some other gambler, exchanged for money, several hundred dollars going in the treasury of the [city’s] first church organization...”

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

Source: Jewell, Mrs. M.H. “Thrilling history of Burleigh County in early days related; Bismarck was real frontier town.” The Bismarck Tribune. 3 Nov 1920. P 6.