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North Dakota's Million People


On this date in 1915, the Bismarck Tribune noted a prediction that North Dakota’s population would reach one million within the next two years, based on research by the Commercial Club of Grand Forks. “(The) Club,” the story read, “finds that North Dakota now has an estimated population of 886,312. This is a gain of over 300,000 in the past five years.”

The Tribune believed the estimate was realistic, and Edmund Pennington, president of the Soo Line Railroad, agreed. Pennington predicted the heaviest immigration movement on record would take place that year. “There will soon begin to move into Northern Minnesota and North Dakota,” he said, “the finest lot of agricultural people, collectively speaking, that ever came this way. Every family that comes will be an asset for the state where it settles.”

Written by Merry Helm