Section 1: Opening the Frontier

According to the 1870 census, the population of northern Dakota in 1870 was about 2,400. At that time, the census included only Euro-Americans and people who were part Euro-American. The population center of northern Dakota was in the St. Joseph and Pembina region. The Métis people made up most of the population of northern Dakota in the 1870 census.

The edge of the settled area, or frontier, of the United States kept moving farther west as the railroads advanced west. It was only a matter of time before the railroads succeeded in their goal of stretching from the east coast to the west coast of the continent. The frontier of northern Dakota was disappearing.

Image 8: Ox Team
Early Fullterton Homesteader next to his homestead shack and ox team, 1894. (SHSND 0032-DI-10-10)