Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Williston in Williams County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

Telegraph Office

Fort Buford State Historic Site

 
 
Telegraph Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 16, 2019
1. Telegraph Office Marker
Captions: (middle left) (Map of ) North Dakota Frontier Army Forts, 1858-1864; (center) Colonel William B. Hazen; (top right) A telegraph key, or switching device used to send morse code. Transmission speeds varied from 5 words per minute, by novice operators, up to about 30 words per minute by skilled operators. (bottom right) Map of Fort Buford in 1893
Inscription.  The Telegraph Office was a single-story, wood frame building measuring thirty-six by seventeen feet. Extension of the telegraph line from Fort Stevenson (near Garrison, ND) to Fort Buford was completed in October 1878. The arrival of the telegraph greatly enhanced the speed of communications to and from Fort Buford. Prior to the telegraph, communications with "the States" and other frontier posts was sometimes irregular and infrequent.
In 1873, the Post Commander, Colonel William B. Hazen, complained that it sometimes took him up to three months to get responses from the St. Paul headquarters of the army's Department of Dakota.
Three main communications routes existed prior to the arrival of the telegraph. The first of them was the Missouri River, which was only navigable for half of the year. The other two were overland mail routes. One extended from Fort Buford to Forts Stevenson, Totten and Abercrombie to St. Paul. The other ran from Fort Buford to Forts Rice and Sully, and then to Sioux City, Iowa. All communication routes were at the mercy of the region's unforgiving weather.
 
Erected by
Telegraph Office Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, August 16, 2019
2. Telegraph Office Marker
State Historical Society of North Dakota.
 
Location. 47° 59.176′ N, 104° 0.05′ W. Marker is near Williston, North Dakota, in Williams County. Marker can be reached from 39th Lane Northwest near 153rd Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Williston ND 58801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Field Officers' Quarters (a few steps from this marker); Infantry Barracks (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Buford Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker); Parade Ground (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Fort Buford State Historic Site (about 400 feet away); Post Trader's Complex (about 500 feet away); Powder Magazine (approx. 0.2 miles away); North Dakota Masonic Foundation (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Williston.
 
More about this marker. This marker is on the grounds of Fort Buford State Historic Site.
 
Categories. CommunicationsForts, Castles
 

More. Search the internet for Telegraph Office.
 
Credits. This page was last revised on November 30, 2019. This page originally submitted on November 30, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California. This page has been viewed 41 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on November 30, 2019, by Barry Swackhamer of Brentwood, California.
Paid Advertisement