Medora in Billings County, North Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
The Bad Lands Cow Boy
At the age of 22, Arthur T. Packard started Medora’s first newspaper, The Bad Lands Cow Boy. The first issue came off the press on February 7, 1884. Marquis de Mores was the major advertiser in the paper.
Editor Packard produced a paper that balanced national news and feature articles with entertaining local news and coverage of the vital range cattle industry. As happened in most frontier towns, occasional shootings and violence were also featured in the local press.
A frequent visitor to The Bad Lands Cow Boy office was young rancher and writer Theodore Roosevelt. Packard befriended Roosevelt and cautioned him about carrying a six-shooter in town.
Packard knew Roosevelt was no match for local cowboys who liked to drink and quarrel, and Packard set up a shooting demonstration. Two cans were thrown into the air and local cowboy Billy Roberts perforated both cans before they hit the ground.
Due to poor eyesight, Roosevelt was not a good shot. From that time on, he left his pistol at the newspaper office while in town. In 1886, after hearing Roosevelt’s Fourth of July speech at nearby Dickinson, Packard predicted that Roosevelt might one day become President.
The Bad Lands Cow Boy ceased publication after a fire destroyed its office on January 12, 1887.
(Marker Number 28.)
Location. 46° 54.876′ N, 103° 31.567′ W. Marker is in Medora, North Dakota, in Billings County. Marker is at the intersection of Main Street and 3rd Avenue, on the left when traveling north on Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Medora ND 58645, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ralph “Doc” Hubbard (here, next to this marker); Cowboys (a few steps from this marker); Tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps (within shouting distance of this marker); Joe Ferris General Store (within shouting distance of this marker); De Mores (within shouting distance of this marker); Great Western Trail (within shouting distance of this marker); Medora Stage and Forwarding Company (within shouting distance of this marker); Hotel de Mores (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Medora.
More about this marker. An image of “The first issue of The Bad Lands Cow Boy, February 7, 1884” appears at the center of the marker. Elsewhere on the marker are pictures of “The original newspaper office” and A.T. Packard, founder and publisher of The Bad Lands Cow Boy.
Categories. • Communications • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 2, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 204 times since then and 23 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 2, 2015, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.