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Roosevelt and North Dakota


North Dakota picture
North Dakota picture

The cattle raising industry also grew rapidly after the railroad arrived. The possibility of quick profits attracted both U.S. and European investors, especially in the western region of what is now North Dakota, where grasslands could rapidly fatten cattle for the Chicago market. Dakota Territory ranchers included future U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909) and the Frenchman Antoine de Vallombrosa, the marquis de Mores. Both arrived in northern Dakota Territory in 1883 at the age of 25.

Roosevelt had come to hunt in the Badlands and established the Elkhorn and Maltese Cross ranches, and at one time probably had about 5,000 head of cattle. Roosevelt got along well with the other ranchers, and eventually served as chairman of the Stockgrowers’ Association. The marquis settled on the Little Missouri River and founded the town of Medora. He bought thousands of head of cattle and more than 10,000 sheep, hired more than 100 cowboys, opened a meatpacking plant, and built a chateau for his wife and himself, a guest house, and a hotel. Ranchers were generally successful until a drought in 1886, the hard winter that followed, and a decline in cattle prices changed the industry. Ranches became smaller and were fenced, cowboys disappeared, and beef cattle replaced the roaming range cattle. "North Dakota" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia

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