“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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Historical Markers in Billings County, North Dakota

Clickable Map of Billings County, North Dakota and Immediately Adjacent Jurisdictions image/svg+xml 2019-10-06 U.S. Census Bureau, Abe.suleiman; Lokal_Profil;; J.J.Prats/dc:title> Billings County, ND (50) Dunn County, ND (3) Golden Valley County, ND (2) McKenzie County, ND (21) Slope County, ND (1) Stark County, ND (11)  BillingsCounty(50) Billings County (50)  DunnCounty(3) Dunn County (3)  GoldenValleyCounty(2) Golden Valley County (2)  McKenzieCounty(21) McKenzie County (21)  SlopeCounty(1) Slope County (1)  StarkCounty(11) Stark County (11)
Medora is the county seat for Billings County
Adjacent to Billings County, North Dakota
      Dunn County (3)  
      Golden Valley County (2)  
      McKenzie County (21)  
      Slope County (1)  
      Stark County (11)  
Touch name on this list to highlight map location.
Touch blue arrow, or on map, to go there.
1 North Dakota, Billings County, Belfield — Ukrainian Immigrants
From the populated villages of Ukraine to the unsettled regions of North Dakota, the Ukrainian immigrants came here at the end of the 19th century. They emigrated from the “Bread Basket of Europe” to the virgin sodland yet untouched by man – from . . . Map (db m178102) HM
2 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 1 — American Indian Leaders
Three prominent leaders among the Lakota and Dakota Sioux who called this region home and resisted encroachment by white Americans were Tatanka Iyotake (Sitting Bull), Pizi (Gall), and Inkpaduta (Red Point). Sitting Bull, born in 1831, became an . . . Map (db m87775) HM
3 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 2 — Bad Lands Cantonment
The Bad Lands Cantonment, a temporary military base to protect railroad construction workers from Indian attacks, was established on November 10, 1879. At first consisting of only canvas tents, the cantonment soon grew to eight lumber buildings, . . . Map (db m87804) HM
4 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Beef Corral Bottom
In the era of the open range cattle industry of the late 1800’s, ranchers would work together to round up their free-ranging cattle in the spring and fall. During roundups the cattle would be driven to a wide river bottom like this one, where they . . . Map (db m88612) HM
5 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 3 — Billings County Courthouse
Billings County was formed in 1879 and organized in 1886. Medora became the county seat in 1886, three years before North Dakota became a state in 1889. The first county offices were located in Roberts Hall. Two small homes built in the 1880s were . . . Map (db m88030) HM
6 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Building From Hard Times
The drought and depression of the 1930’s hit the badlands region hard. Small landowners, no longer able to eke out a living, sold their lands to the government with the hope of finding a new start elsewhere. Throughout the country, men were out of . . . Map (db m88610) HM
7 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 4 — CCC Camp
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a peacetime “army” of civilians between 1933 and 1941 which served to create jobs for unemployed men and to protect natural resources. Two CCC camps were located near Medora. In 1934 the CCC camp of . . . Map (db m87782) HM
8 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Chateau de Mores
          The grey and red building that you see to the south is the Chateau built in 1883 by Marquis de Mores, a French nobleman, who founded the town of Medora. It was occupied as a part-time residence until the fall of 1886 and was frequently . . . Map (db m87975) HM
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9 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 5 — Coal Mining
One of the goals of early exploring parties in this area was to find local fuel, coal that fit the bill needed for railroad construction. One of the first area coal mines was located just west of Medora. The Northern Pacific Coal Company operated . . . Map (db m88007) HM
10 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 6 — Cowboys
The American cowboy has become a mythical figure in the national consciousness. This would, no doubt, have surprised most of the common laborers who earned meager pay as cowboys. A number of them were indeed colorful characters. Some became outlaws . . . Map (db m88061) HM
11 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Custer Trail
The Yellowstone Expedition of 1876, organized to suppress the hostile Sioux, marched from Fort Abraham Lincoln May 17, 1876. The Expedition camped at the junction of Davis Creek and the Little Missouri River, four miles south of Medora on May . . . Map (db m154256) HM
12 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — De Mores
In memory of Antoine Manca de Vallombrosa Marquis de Mores Lieutenant French Cavalry Born in Paris 1858 Killed in North Africa 1896 and of his wife Medora who founded this town in 1883Map (db m87539) HM
13 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — De Mores Packing Plant
was built on this site by the Marquis De Mores in 1883 to furnish dressed beef directly from the western ranges. It was successfully operated for several years, destroyed by fire 1907.Exhibits on other side < Reverse Side : > Site of the . . . Map (db m87790) HM
14 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Dreams of a Cattle EmpireChimney Park, De Mores State Historic Site
Antoine Amédé Marie Vincent Amat Manca de Vallombrosa, more commonly known as the Marquis de Mores, was a French aristocrat with an entrepreneurial spirit typical of the late 1800s. The Marquis was one of many who sought to profit from the cattle . . . Map (db m87796) HM
15 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 7 — Frontier Military
The Little Missouri Badlands played a key strategic role in the conflict between American Indians and the expanding United States. General Alfred Sully in 1864 led the first military expedition to cross the badlands. The expedition of 2,200 men . . . Map (db m87805) HM
16 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Great Western Trail
      Between 1874 and 1893, seven million head of cattle and horses went up the Great Western Trail from Texas through nine U.S. states into Canada. This famous trail lasted more years, carried more cattle, and was longer than any other cattle . . . Map (db m87498) HM
17 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Historic Medora Reported permanently removed
Before you lies a scene not greatly changed since Theodore Roosevelt’s time here in the 1880s. Gone are the ambitious De Mores Packing Plant, the military cantonment and the early village of Little Missouri. But still present are the colorful . . . Map (db m154615) HM
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18 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Historic Medora—Boom and Bust
The Marquis de Mores, a charismatic French nobleman, founded Medora in 1883. The Northern Pacific Railroad had reached the badlands only three years prior, opening the region to entrepreneurs and adventurers from the East. For a few years the . . . Map (db m154951) HM
19 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 8 — Hotel de Mores
The Hotel de Mores was built by the Marquis de Mores in 1883 and served as a boarding house for up to 100 people. The 100-foot by 25-foot hotel was located north of the railroad depot and faced north. Manager George Fitzgerald advertised it as the . . . Map (db m88037) HM
20 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 9 — Hunting and Trapping
The Little Missouri Badlands have always been ideal habitat for wildlife. American Indians hunted these lands for centuries. The first known white explorers, the La Verendrye brothers, ventured into the badlands in 1742. Trapper Jean Baptiste La . . . Map (db m87992) HM
21 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — In honor of a President . . . and His Conservation Legacy
      Behind the visitor center is an old, rustic cabin. Architecturally insignificant, a person might wonder why it is here. To understand, step over the threshold and walk inside the building that housed a future president at a pivotal moment in . . . Map (db m87230) HM
22 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 10 — Joe Ferris General Store
Joe Ferris wore many hats in Medora. He was a hunting guide, a Medora postmaster and a successful merchant. Ferris opened his first general store in Little Missouri. In 1885 he began work in Medora on the current two-story, 25-foot by 75-foot . . . Map (db m88062) HM
23 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 11 — Law Enforcement
From its formation in 1879 to its official organization on April 12, 1886, Billings County had no county offices or officials. All administrative duties were performed through the Morton County Courthouse at Mandan, some 130 miles to the east. The . . . Map (db m88025) HM
24 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 13 — Little Missouri Bridge
The Little Missouri River was a challenge for motorists. Motorists had to ford the river or wait for a railroad crew to carry their autos across on a flatcar. Construction of a transcontinental highway system began in 1912. The lack of proper . . . Map (db m87977) HM
25 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 12 — Little Missouri: The Town
The town of Little Missouri was founded in 1880 at the site of the Northern Pacific Railroad section house and depot, on the west bank of the river. In late 1880, Frank Moore, the Post Trader of the nearby military cantonment, opened the Pyramid . . . Map (db m87982) HM
26 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Loading DockChimney Park, De Mores State Historic Site
A spur track connected the slaughterhouse with the main line of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Ice from the icehouses to your right were used to cool the refrigerator cars when the meat was loaded into them. The Marquis owned cold storage . . . Map (db m87799) HM
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27 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 14 — Margaret Roberts
Margaret Barr was born in Ireland on September 15, 1853, and immigrated to Iowa with her family about 1864. In April 1871, she married John Lloyd Roberts from Wales, and soon became a pioneer wife to a cattle dealer and butcher. The couple arrived . . . Map (db m88018) HM
28 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 15 — Medora Business District
Medora’s business district originated north of 3rd Avenue. After Medora’s founding in 1883, carpenters, masons and other laborers filled the community, benefiting from a construction boom. Medora also became a supply hub for area ranchers and . . . Map (db m88066) HM
29 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 16 — Medora Cemetery
The Medora Cemetery consists of 1.93 acres located on a grassy plateau on the west bank of the Little Missouri River overlooking Medora. The Medora Cemetery Association was formed on October 15, 1919, by six pioneers of this area: Geo. R. . . . Map (db m87984) HM
30 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 17 — Medora Depot & Railroad
The railroad reached the Little Missouri River in 1880. The Northern Pacific Railroad named the stop Pyramid Park. When the Marquis de Mores and Theodore Roosevelt arrived in 1883, the train depot was on the west side of the Little Missouri River. . . . Map (db m87986) HM
31 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 18 — Medora Education
The need for educating local children was first publicly expressed in 1884 when St. Mary’s Catholic Church Pastor Rev. Martin Schmitt, O.S.B., appealed to Medora residents to establish a school. Classes were begun in a cantonment building west of . . . Map (db m88020) HM
32 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 19 — Medora Livery Stable
Stables were important in early Medora, serving the primary means of local transportation: horseback and horse-drawn vehicles. Livery stables offered horses, teams and wagons for hire. These stables were built in conjunction with hotels so guests’ . . . Map (db m88063) HM
33 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 20 — Medora Stage and Forwarding Company
Marquis de Mores: A grand entrepreneur. In the fall of 1884 he inaugurated daily round-trip stage and freight service from Medora to the Black Hills of South Dakota. Four coaches were purchased. The Kittie, Medora, Dakota and . . . Map (db m88033) HM
34 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 21 — Medora Town Hall
The Town Hall was built in 1924 to serve as an activity center for Medora. The building featured electric lights, a hot water heating system, partial basement, a furnished balcony and a projection booth. Opera chairs were provided for ordinary . . . Map (db m88013) HM
35 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — North Dakota Badlands
The badlands you see from here were so named because they were "badlands" to travel over before modern roads were built. Rain, wind and running water have carved these hills. A thick series of shale and sandstone layers, all of these rocks are a . . . Map (db m4822) HM
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36 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — On Track to AdventureTheodore Roosevelt National Park
One hunting trip in the badlands and Theodore Roosevelt was hooked-he invested in the flourishing cattle industry and returned to Dakota Territory often over the next few years. Roosevelt thoroughly enjoyed "the glory of work and joy of living" . . . Map (db m154619) HM
37 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 22 — Ralph “Doc” Hubbard
Ralph “Doc” Hubbard was one of the most accomplished people to call Medora home. He was born on June 22, 1885, in New York to Elbert Hubbard, a prominent author and publisher, and Bertha Crawford Hubbard. Doc first visited Medora . . . Map (db m88047) HM
38 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — River Woodland Reported missing
You are looking at a portion of the Little Missouri River bottomlands. Cottonwood trees line the river course, where their roots can reach abundant moisture. Dark green juniper trees dot the sheltered slopes of the steep bluffs. On dry open river . . . Map (db m154308) HM
39 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 23 — Roberts Hall
Bob Roberts had operated The Senate Billiard and Pool Hall in Little Missouri. Later he joined many of his fellow business owners across the river in Medora. An April 1884 edition of The Bad Lands Cow Boy reported the contract for . . . Map (db m88016) HM
40 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 24 — Rough Riders Hotel
George Fitzgerald’s success operating the Hotel de Mores was such that in November 1884 he began work on his own 35-feet by 80 feet two-story hotel. Brick veneer was planned but was never added. The Bad Lands Cow Boy described its interior . . . Map (db m87499) HM
41 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 26 — St. Mary’s Catholic Church
Medora de Vallombrosa, wife of the Marquis de Mores, financed the construction of this brick church late in the summer of 1884. This gift to her namesake community was paid for from an annual income of $90,000, earned from a stock portfolio she . . . Map (db m88001) HM
42 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Stephen Tyng MatherJuly 4, 1887 - Jan. 22, 1930
He laid the foundation of the National Park Service, defining and establishing the policies under which its areas shall be developed and conserved unimpaired for future generations. There will never come an end to the good that he has done.Map (db m87237) HM
43 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 27 — Stockmens State Bank
In late 1908, Christ Pederson of Dickinson purchased the General Store from Joe Ferris and moved to Medora. On August 6, 1909, Pederson, Harve Robinson, and George Burgess filed a Certificate of Organization. The Stockmens State Bank was . . . Map (db m88040) HM
44 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 28 — 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 . . . Map (db m88045) HM
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45 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 29 — The President Returns
Theodore Roosevelt first came to the badlands in September 1883 to hunt buffalo. “Old Four Eyes” loved the life of the badlands’ cowboys and participated in roundups, brandings and social events, earning the respect of those he so . . . Map (db m88009) HM
46 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 25 — The Shooting of Riley Luffsey
William Riley Luffsey was born in Wayne County, Missouri, around 1859. He died in a gun battle along the Little Missouri River on June 26, 1883, about a mile west of the twin towns of Little Missouri and Medora. Riley Luffsey was a popular young . . . Map (db m87554) HM
47 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Tribute to the Civilian Conservation Corps
I propose to create a Civilian Conservation Corps . . . We can take a vast army of these unemployed out into healthful surroundings. We can eliminate to some extent at least the threat that enforced idleness brings to spiritual and moral . . . Map (db m87538) HM
48 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 30 — Von Hoffman House
In August 1884, Athenais von Hoffman, mother-in-law of the Marquis de Mores, commissioned Peter Book to erect a brick cottage for use by her and her husband, Louis. The new home was completed in 1884 but was probably not occupied until the . . . Map (db m88004) HM
49 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — 31 — Western Entertainment
The picturesque Little Missouri badlands are a unique landscape. The arrival of the railroad in 1880 opened the area to tourists who wanted to experience the western lifestyle. The first dude ranch in America opened in 1882, four miles south of . . . Map (db m87788) HM
50 North Dakota, Billings County, Medora — Wind Canyon – Carved by Wind and Water – Marred by Man Reported missing
These soft sandstone deposits, built up by wind and water and then carved into strange and fantastic shapes by the same forces, have fascinated man for at least 5,000 years. Note the absence of carvings in the sculptured walls seen in this . . . Map (db m154309) HM
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Dec. 8, 2023