Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/North Dakota

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NORTH DAKOTA, a State in the North Central Division of the North American Union; bounded by Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana; admitted to the Union, Nov. 2, 1889; counties, 53; capital, Bismarck; area, 70,195 square miles; pop. (1890) 182,719; (1900) 319,146; (1910) 577,056; (1920) 646,872.

Topography.—The surface of the State is chiefly undulating prairie with occasional low hills. The great plateau of the Missouri extends across the State E. of the Missouri river, and the Turtle Mountains on the Canadian border contain the highest points in the State, Butte St. Paul, 2,500 feet, and Bear Butte, 2,400 feet. The principal rivers are the Missouri, navigable throughout the State, and formed by the affluents Yellowstone, Little Missouri, Heart and Cannon Ball; the Mouse entering North Dakota from Canada and returning after a long circuit; the James river, the longest unnavigable river in the world; the Cheyenne; and the Red River of the North, forming the E. boundary. This river flows through a broad level plain, 50 to 60 miles wide and sufficiently elevated to be free from inundation, and containing some of the richest bottomland mould. The James river valley is one of the most noted artesian well districts in the world. There are numerous small lakes, but the only important one is Devil's Lake in the Turtle Mountains, an inland sea, with saline water and no visible outlet.

Geology.—The entire State has been inundated several times, the glacial drift being overlaid with lake mud. The entire Red river valley is the bed of an extensive lake, and railroad excavations have found lake shore lines, with sand and gravel beds. The W. portion of the State is underlaid with lignite, a brown coal, which burns readily and makes superior gas. Natural gas has been found, and brick and potter's clay are widely distributed. The Turtle Mountain region contains valuable building stone, and the Red river valley salt, limestone, hydraulic cement, and iron.

Soil and Agriculture.—The soil, especially in the Red river district, is exceedingly fertile, the clay subsoil being nearly as fertile as the topsoil, and both free from stones. The principal forest trees are oak, birch, aspen, cottonwood, ash, willow, box-elder, plum, and bull-cherry.

The production and value of the leading crops in 1919 were as follows: corn, 16,764,000 bushels, valued at $23,470,000; oats, 38,400,000 bushels, valued at $25,728,000; barley, 14,950,000 bushels, valued at $16,146,000; wheat, 53,613,000 bushels, valued at $129,207,000; rye, 15,560,000 bushels, valued at $18,828,000; hay, 908,000 tons, valued at $12,803,000; potatoes, 5,607,000 bushels, valued at $9,072,000.

Manufacturers.—There were in 1914 609 manufacturing establishments in the State. The average number of wage earners was 3,275. The capital invested amounted to $14,213,000. Wages paid amounted to $2,416,000. The value of materials used was $14,482,000, and the value of products was $21,147,000. The principal articles of manufacture include flour and grist (70 mills), printing and publishing, masonry, saddlery and harness, packed meat, tobacco and cigars, railroad cars, carriages and wagons, millinery, clothing, dairy products, foundry and machine shop products, timber and lumber, furniture, fire brick, and hydraulic cement.

Banking.—On Oct. 31, 1919, there were reported 174 National banks in operation, having $6,515,000 in capital, $4,255,316 in outstanding circulation and $4,367,030 in United States bonds. There were also 706 State banks, with $11,515,000 in capital, $3,824,000 surplus, and $143,664,000 in resources.

Education.—There was a school population in 1918 of 200,532. The enrolment in the public schools was 162,572, with an average daily attendance of 114,542. There were 7,712 teachers receiving an average monthly salary of $45.70. For higher education there were Northwestern Normal College at Grand Forks, Fargo College at Fargo, University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, and the Wesley College at Grand Forks. The schools had an endowment of land valued at about $50,000,000.

Churches.—The strongest denominations in the State are the Roman Catholic; Lutheran, Independent Synods; Methodist Episcopal; Presbyterian; Regular Baptist; Congregational; and Lutheran, General Council.

Railroads.—The total railway mileage of main track line in 1919 was 1,445. There were about 360 miles of secondary main line and about 3,400 of branch lines. The roads having the longest mileage are the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, and the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie.

Finances.—The receipts for the year ending 1918 amounted to $7,571,519 and the disbursements to $7,688,133. There was a balance at the end of the year of $1,369,607. The State has a bonded indebtedness of $412,000.

Charities and Corrections.—The charitable and correctional institutions include a reform school at Mandan, a penitentiary at Bismarck, hospital for the insane at Jamestown, school for deaf at Devils Lake, institution for feeble-minded at Grafton, school for the blind at Bath Gate, and tuberculosis institute at Dunseith.

State Government.—The governor is elected for a term of two years and receives a salary of $5,000 per annum. Legislative sessions are held biennially and are limited in length to 60 days each. There are 49 Senators and 113 Representatives. There are 3 representatives in Congress. In 1920 the State government was Republican.

History.—The first permanent white settlement was made in 1780 by a party of French Canadians, near Pembina. Fur trading posts were established early in the 19th century and Lewis and Clark spent the winter of 1804-1805 in the present town of Mandan. In 1810 Lord Selkirk built a fort at Pembina, supposing it to be British soil. The region was first opened to settlement by a treaty with the Dakota Indians in 1851. In 1861 the Territory of Dakota was organized with Yankton as capital, and including Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana. The territory was divided into North and South Dakota, and these admitted to the Union as States in 1889. In November of that year the State government was formed and the first legislature convened.


Collier's 1921 North Dakota.jpg
 Copyright, L. L. Poates Eng. Co., 1921