North Dakota was the first state to establish a state-owned bank, the Bank of North Dakota, in 1919. The bank was created to promote economic development in the state and has since become a model for other states looking to establish similar institutions.
Billings County, North Dakota, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was initially inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara peoples, who lived along the Missouri River. European settlement in the region began in the mid-19th century, with fur traders and explorers venturing into the area.

In the 1870s, the Northern Pacific Railroad arrived, bringing significant changes to the region. The town of Medora was established in 1883 and quickly grew, becoming the county seat of Billings County. Named after the wife of a prominent railroad executive, Medora became a booming cattle town and served as a gateway to the Badlands.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the agriculture industry flourished in Billings County. Farmers settled in the area, cultivating wheat, oats, and barley. Towns, schools, and churches were established to support the growing population.

In the early 20th century, the construction of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park significantly impacted Billings County. This national park was created to preserve the rugged beauty of the Badlands and honor President Theodore Roosevelt, who had cherished his time in the region as a cattle rancher. Today, the park is a major tourist attraction, drawing visitors to experience the unique landscapes and wildlife of the area.

While the county's population has remained small over the years, Billings County continues to thrive as a scenic and historically significant area. The influence of Native American cultures, the arrival of the railroad, the growth of agriculture, and the establishment of Theodore Roosevelt National Park have all played major roles in shaping the county's fascinating history.

This timeline provides a condensed summary of the historical journey of Billings County, North Dakota.

  • The area now known as Billings County was originally inhabited by Native American tribes such as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara.
  • In 1803, the land became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.
  • Exploration of the region began in the early 19th century by fur trappers and traders.
  • In 1877, Billings County was officially established by the Dakota Territory legislature and named after former North Carolina governor Frederick H. Billings.
  • In the late 19th century, ranching became the dominant industry in the area, with large cattle herds and open range grazing.
  • The construction of the Northern Pacific Railway through Billings County in the 1880s brought increased settlement and economic growth.
  • The town of Medora was founded in 1883 as a railroad town and became the county seat of Billings County.
  • The region experienced a boom in coal mining during the early 20th century, with several mines opening and providing employment opportunities.
  • In 1936, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park was established in Billings County, preserving the natural beauty of the Badlands and honoring the former president's conservation legacy.
  • During the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) undertook numerous projects in Billings County to combat unemployment and improve infrastructure.
  • Billings County remains a sparsely populated area with a strong connection to its pioneer heritage and beautiful natural landscapes.