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Dalrymple’s Telephones


Today, cell phones and computers keep rural America connected with the rest of the world, but the land line telephone has been the mainstay for over a century. In fact, the City of Bismarck installed a telephone system in 1882, but that was not the first phone system in the state. The Bismarck Capitol on this date in 1936 revealed that the first was accomplished by Oliver Dalrymple in 1877. Mr. Dalrymple had attended the Centennial Fair in Philadelphia in 1876 where he witnessed the use of the telephone. He was so impressed, he purchased a number of the gadgets and installed them on his bonanza farm, which extended over thousands of acres. The phones allowed him to quickly communicate over distances that would take a wagon an hour to cover.

Dakota Datebook written by Jim Davis


The Bismarck Capital, January 9, 1936