Medora | Prairie Public Broadcasting


Legends of the West

Dec 29, 2020


Travel in Dakota Territory was not for the faint of heart. People who came out with wagon trains often walked beside their wagons. Metis traders relied on their two-wheeled Red River carts. Fur traders and mountain men walked and canoed from one end of the territory to the other.


French aristocrat Marquis de Mores founded the town of Medora in the spring of 1883 on the east side of the Little Missouri River, across from a small military outpost. His empire is best known for ranching, but the crafty marquis had other business interests, too. He shipped salmon from the Columbia River to the East Coast. He also had ideas for building a pottery works and growing cabbages under glass.


Catching the thieves who stole his boat is one of the most storied adventures of Theodore Roosevelt during his time in the Badlands. The future president and his two ranch hands faced frigid cold, icy water and dwindling supplies to subdue the three thieves on the Little Missouri River. He marched them south to Dickinson for justice.

The Badlands Babies

Aug 12, 2020


President Theodore Roosevelt’s time in what is now North Dakota is known for the hunting and ranching that helped soothe his soul and form his outlook on conservation. There are many famous episodes: his persistent pursuit of his first bison, chasing boat thieves down the Little Missouri River, and giving his Fourth of July speech in Dickinson.

Roosevelt Arrives

Mar 18, 2020


Adding up all his hunting and ranching visits, Theodore Roosevelt spent about a year in Dakota Territory. He visited Medora in 1883 to hunt bison, then returned to try ranching. He had two ranches: Chimney Butte south of Medora, and the Elkhorn, deep in the Badlands north of town.

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.