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FIRST -- Burleigh County Courthouse site, Bismarck ND
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Benchmark Blasterz
N 46° 48.497 W 100° 47.035
14T E 363893 N 5185404
Quick Description: A small granite boulder with a bronze plaque marks the site of the first Burleigh County Courthouse
Location: North Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 1/21/2014 5:01:31 PM
Waymark Code: WMJZDK
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Ianatlarge
Views: 1

Long Description:
A small granite boulder with a bronze plaque marks the site of the first Burleigh County Courthouse on the present-day Burleigh County Courthouse grounds. The waymarked boulder is on the west side of the courthouse, toward N 5th Street.

The plaque reads as follows: (visit link)

Site of
First Courthouse of
Burleigh County,
Dakota Territory
Erected by the
Pioneer Daughters of North Dakota
Bismarck Chapter
July 1936"

More on the history of the first Burleigh county courthouse can be found here:


Burleigh County was organized in 1873. It was named for Dr. Walter Burleigh. Burleigh was a physician, Indian agent, trader and delegate to the 39th & 40th Congress. Dr. Burleigh was born in Waterville, Maine in 1820. Dr. Burleigh was an ardent Republican and strong supporter of Abe Lincoln's campaign for President in 1861. Through his support of Lincoln and his strong political ties, Burleigh was named Indian Agent of Dakota Territory (Yankton S.D.). His tenure as Indian Agent was noted for graft, corruption, and nepotism. With his election as a delegate to Congress Burleigh was able to control all Federal patronage to the territory.

The railroad brought Dr. Burleigh to this area, as he was awarded the contract to grade the N.P. Railroad from 50 miles east of Bismarck to the River. Dr. Burleigh used his personal knowledge of where the railroad would cross the river, and established a town - Burleighton. The Railroad, disliking this use of inside info and because of the lowland flats - approximately a mile and a half to two miles south of present Bismarck - flooded each spring, ordered the rail line to be moved to the bluffs where it presently is and through what quickly became Bismarck. The railroad line was completed to Bismarck June 5, 1873.

Burleigh was a transportation hub. Until the railroad reached Montana, Bismarck was a primary port of call for river boats carrying cargo from St. Louis to Fort Benton, Mont. Bismarck became a center of long lines of stagecoaches and supply wagons in all directions.

Court House History

From 1873 until 1875 Burleigh County rented the building it operated out of. In 1875, the Commission went to the people to obtain $20,000 to build a courthouse and jail. The original courthouse was built on the same location that the present courthouse occupies. The jail was erected with logs.

On July 25, 1931, a new courthouse, jail, and sheriff's quarters were dedicated. This new building replaced those built in 1875 at a cost of $300,000."
FIRST - Classification Variable: Place or Location

Date of FIRST: 1/1/1875

More Information - Web URL: [Web Link]

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Benchmark Blasterz visited FIRST -- Burleigh County Courthouse site, Bismarck ND 8/5/2013 Benchmark Blasterz visited it