Carole Butcher | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Carole Butcher

Red River Carts

1 hour ago

On this date in 1907, the Wahpeton Times reminded readers of a historical artifact unique to the region: the two-wheeled Red River cart. C.W. Andrews of Walhalla had loaned a cart to the State Historical Society. He thought it was important to save this reminder of the state’s past.

There was great rejoicing in Washburn on this date in 1908. After many unfulfilled promises, the Soo Line was making a concrete effort to build a new depot. The new depot was to be a grand structure with two waiting rooms and office space. This was no empty promise. The lumber had arrived. It was a sure thing. Washburn would no longer have to witness the look of disappointment on the faces of people arriving at the old shabby depot.

Bold Burglars

Oct 14, 2019

On this date in 1915 North Dakotans learned that a familiar face was once again in trouble with the law. The Ward County Independent informed readers that J.J. King was back in custody after a short taste of freedom. He had recently been released from the penitentiary after doing time for stealing a wagon and team in Donnybrook and taking it to Canada.

The Bull Moose

Oct 10, 2019

Some Republicans were relieved when Teddy Roosevelt was named as McKinley’s vice president since it was so rare for a vice president to become president. One Roosevelt opponent breathed a sigh of relief saying, “Now that darned cowboy will never be president.” That abruptly changed when an assassin shot and killed President McKinley, making Roosevelt the President.

The North Dakota Votes for Women League was organized in 1911. The organization was inspired by a visit from Sylvia Pankhurst, the noted English suffragette. On this date in 1912 the North Dakota Votes for Women League announced that their conference would be held at Fargo’s Civic Center on October 18. Every woman in the state was invited.

On this date in 1912, the Jamestown Weekly Alert announced two more towns would spring up near Jamestown. C.S. Buck filed a plat for the town of Sydney, and Jamestown Junction would be situated between Jamestown and Sydney, on the Midland Railway line.

Rest in Peace

Oct 2, 2019

On this date in 1908 it was announced that an odd railroad shipment would head out of Fort Yates. The bodies and tombstones of officers, enlisted men, civilians, and Indians buried there were being transported for reburial in Keokuk, Iowa. This had to do with Fort Yates being decommissioned in 1903, which meant the cemetery there was no longer being cared for. It was overgrown with weeds, and the tombstones were tipping over. It made sense to move the bodies to an active fort with a cemetery caretaker.

As we heard last week, the first North Dakota Industrial Exposition was held in Bismarck in 1911. It was a smashing success, and plans were immediately made to repeat it the following year, and it was on this date in 1912 that the Second North Dakota Industrial Exposition opened in Bismarck. The expositions were designed to bring in out-of-state visitors and encourage investment in North Dakota. The state hoped for thousands of new settlers.

In 1914 a Centennial Exposition was held in Kristiana, Norway to recognize the passage of the Norwegian Constitution in 1814. The exhibition was seven years in the planning and was a wild success. Among the 1.5 million visitors was Governor L.B. Hanna of North Dakota. The state has long had close ties to Norway. In fact, two North Dakota governors were native Norwegians. It was said that being born in Norway was as politically advantageous as being a native North Dakotan.

As we heard earlier this month, Old Settlers Reunions were once common throughout North Dakota. It was an opportunity for neighbors living on widely separated homesteads to get together and socialize. The reunions were also designed to attract new settlers.