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William Jennings Bryan's Lot


Back in 1914, on this date, Bismarck learned some interesting news. G. J. Koenan, Bismarck’s register of deeds, received a letter from James Emmons, his counterpart in Pawnee, OK.

Emmons was trying to clear up a deed transfer on a Bismarck lot owned by one William Jennings Bryan, the famous orator who was then President Wilson’s Secretary of State. The lot was at the corner of Washington Avenue and “the Capitol boulevard” and was the first property Bryan ever owned.

A story in the Tribune stated, “One cannot help wondering how close the illustrious William Jennings Bryan came to being a citizen of Bismarck and a participant in the political battles of the county and state.”

Source: Bismarck Daily Tribune. 6 Aug 1914. p.4

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm