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The Fight For NDSU’s Location I


North Dakota State University is closely associated with the city of Fargo, and to most North Dakotans it is unsurprising that one of the state’s largest educational institutions would be located in North Dakota’s largest city. However, Fargo only acquired NDSU after a pitched battle with Valley City.

NDSU was originally conceived as an agricultural college for the soon-to-be-minted state of North Dakota. Valley City considered itself a strong contender for the college, and it was in this month, 1889, that its citizens introduced a bill to the Territorial Legislature calling for the school to be located in Valley City. Fargo’s citizens introduced similar legislation 16 days later, but they were too late. Valley City’s bill passed and the new agricultural college was granted to that community. So why is NDSU currently in Fargo? Tune in tomorrow for the rest of the story.

By Lane Sunwall


Welsh, Donald H., Cornerstones: A Centennial History of Valley City State University 1890-1900. Valley City, North Dakota: Valley City Times Record, 1900.