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Timeline: 1870s

By | Last Modified: November 30, 2017
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  • First buildings are constructed, commissioned by Doctor Walter Burleigh. The town is named Edwinton after Edwin Johnson of the Northern Pacific Railroad
  • Camp Greeley, later called Camp Hancock, is established, which served as a warehouse and supply depot, in addition to an infantry post, and later the US Weather Bureau
  • John Yegen opens Bismarck’s first business, a bakery and restaurant he operated out of a tent.


  • Edwinton is renamed “Bismarck” after German chancellor Otto von Bismarck. While there are reports of the town being renamed Bismarck as early as May, it was not officially recognized as such until July 17.
  • Bismarck Tribune publishes first issue (July 11)
  • Burleigh County is organized and Bismarck named its county seat
  • The first school is opened at the Congressional Church by Linda Slaughter (September)


  • Bismarck is incorporated, electing John McLean as its mayor


  • Bismarck Tribune staff writer Mark H. Kellogg is first to report on the Battle of Little Bighorn
  • St. Mary’s Church is established


  • The first schoolhouse is opened, a two-room building constructed at the southwest corner of Thayer Avenue and Sixth Street.
  • St. Mary’s Academy and Boarding School is established (April)



  • First National Bank opens at corner of 4th Street and Main Avenue, the second bank in Dakota Territory

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