Geographical Description and Brief Historical Background of Dickey County, North Dakota
Contributed by the Dickey County Historical Society
for additional information contact Mary Ann Kunrath

The following information you are about to read is taken from the book, "A History of Dickey County North Dakota" written and published by the Dickey County Historical Society in the year 1930. It was reprinted by Ellendale Centennial Jubilee of Ellendale N.D. in 1981. All copies were sold. It is a blue, hardback book with 333 pages. It was edited by R. M. Black, president of the State Normal and Industrial School.

     Dickey County is located on the southern boundary of the state about midway between the Minnesota line and the Missouri river. It occupies a tract of land twenty-four miles north and south and forty-eight miles east and west. Its north line is the Eighth Standard Parallel of the Government survey, its south line is the Seventh Standard Parallel, or state line. Its Meridian west from Greenwich, and its eastern boundary is the range line between ranges fifty-eight and fifty-nine of the survey, six miles east of the Eighth Guide Meridian, and very nearly on the Ninety-eighth Meridian west from Greenwich. The Forty-sixth Parallel of north latitude passes through the county a little more than four miles north of the state line. The state line is marked by a solid granite post every half mile.
     In the summer of 1839 an exploring expedition was sent by the Government into this little known Indian country. This is the first exploring party through Dickey County of which we have definite and official records. William Dickson, a member of this Nicollette-Fremont party employed Frenier as a guide, and his acquaintance with the country around what is now Dickey County made him especially well fitted for this task. The mission of this party was to explore the tributaries of the upper Mississippi basin, and in carrying out their instructions they crossed from Pierre on the Missouri, with nineteen men to the James river near Aberdeen; from here they ascended the west bank of the James and entered what is now North Dakota on July 17th 1839, the first white visitors in what is now Dickey County, who have left us any record of their travels. It is interesting to note that at that early day, the Indians had not had their hostility aroused and the few whites with whom they came in contact were for the most part treated as guests. This party of explorers seem to have had no fear of passing a summer in the hunting ground of the Sioux and at no time did they have any trouble with the Indians.

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Dickey County Historical Society

For more information contact Mary Ann Kunrath