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Medora

September is a time for T.R. in Medora

Sep 3, 2019

The official end of summer in terms of tourism may have passed, but officials with the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation say the month of September has some surprises in store for visitors coming to Medora. Reporter Todd McDonald has details...

Theodore Roosevelt’s only North Dakota visit while president came in April of 1903. His railroad excursion was a two-day event, packed east-to-west across the state with several stops. 

The Marquis de Mores cultivated a short-lived cattle empire during his time in Dakota Territory. But a long-running murder allegation also defined his time out west. De Mores wasn’t popular in the Badlands. He had enemies who despised him for everything from how he acquired his land, to his ambitious cattle operation, to his development of Medora—even xenophobia. After all, he was a French aristocrat – not from these parts. But when the Marquis fenced his land, that really lit the fuse.

Medora Bridge

Jul 25, 2018

When you hear the word “Medora,” you cannot help but think about the “Old West” of cattle-ranchers, cow-punchers and wild bronco-busters. Picturesque ‘Medora’ overflows with such frontier connections to Theodore Roosevelt’s Elkhorn Ranch and the Little Missouri Badlands.

Marquis de Mores

Jun 14, 2018

The Marquis de Mores already had one heck of a personal story before he broke a bottle of wine on a tent stake and christened the town of Medora in the Dakota badlands. He was a French aristocrat born into a noble military family with Spanish lineage dating back to the conquest of Sardinia in the thirteenth century. His family also had vague connections to French royalty.

 

The history of “wild-west” Medora makes up one of North Dakota’s best stories with its intimate connections to Theodore Roosevelt, the Marquis de Mores, the Badlands, cattle herds, and the National Grasslands.

 

The town is the heart of Billings County; in fact, Medora has been the county seat since 1886.  Tourists who visit Medora routinely drive past the Billings County courthouse, a beautiful red-brick modernistic building.

 

 

The history of “wild-west” Medora makes up one of North Dakota’s best stories with its intimate connections to Theodore Roosevelt, the Marquis de Mores, the Badlands, cattle herds, and the National Grasslands.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A new, life-size statue of Theodore Roosevelt now resides in downtown Medora.

It’s just outside the Old Town Hall Theater. It portrays Roosevelt as the leader of the Rough Riders, the volunteer regiment he led in battle during the Spanish-American War. It’s 5-feet-9-inches, and it’s at ground level.

Former Gov. Ed Schafer spoke at he unveiling ceremony. His father, Harold Schafer, had the vision to keep Medora as an historic town and tourist destination.