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Towns and Places in Dunn County

The Northern Pacific Railroad could make or break a town.   In 1908, they planned on building a line from Mandan to Manning which would follow the Knife River.   They went so far as to survey town sites and name them.   This brought businesses and people to these townsites.   Towns like Emerson and Manning were thus born.   When the railroad later changed its location north along Spring Creek from Mandan to Killdeer, these towns died and others like Werner, Dunn Center, and Killdeer emerged.   One town along the original route did survive.   Manning had been saved because it had won the county seat in 1908 and has kept it ever since. The railroad was built in 1914 and demolished in Killdeer in 1986.


Dodge Named after George W. Dodge, a Minneapolis banker who purchased this land once he heard the railroad was being platted further west of Golden Valley around 1913. Dodge was platted in 1915. Its streets were paved in 1981.
Dunn Center Named for its location within Dunn County. Established in 1913 but was moved 1-1/2 miles west to its current location when the railroad came in 1914. These tracks were later dismantled in the mid 1980's.
First known as Connolly (for William Connolly, an area rancher). Emerson was organized in 1908. It flourished until the railroad was built from Mandan to Killdeer. By 1917 most of the businesses moved to towns along the railroad. The post office was discontinued in the early 1930's. Nothing remains of Emerson today except the cemetery. It was located near 143-95-24, about 9 miles SE of Manning.
Founded in 1896 by Frank A. Little and named for Fayette D. Kendrick of St. Paul, MN who was in business with Mr. Little. Fayette was the second post office in Dunn County and the oldest sod post office in the United States. Part of this old village can still be seen standing today. It was located near the SE 1/4 of 144-97-26, about 9 miles W of Manning. A miniature replica of Fayette is on display at the Dunn County Museum.
Halliday Established in 1900 (making it the oldest town in Dunn County) was named for William Halliday, a local rancher. Then it was just a post office. Later in 1914, it was moved 2 miles south to be on the railroad. This is its current location.
Killdeer The post office was established in 1911 and the town was platted in 1914. It was most likely named for the Killdeer Mountains which are located to its north and west. Killdeer is Dunn County's largest town.
The post office was established in 1911 and discontinued in 1920. The postmaster's name was Casper Hirsch. It was located near 141-94-2, about 15 SW of Marshall.
Manning The county seat since it was established in 1908 and named for Dan Manning, a local pioneer rancher. It is centrally located along the main highway between Dickinson and Killdeer.
Marshall Founded in 1908 and named for Senator Thomas Marshall.
New Hradec Named by the Bohemian (Czech) pioneers of this area, translated it means New Castle. Sts. Peter and Paul's Catholic Church (the heart of this community) was built in 1898 and was the first church built in Dunn County.
Started as a post office in 1895 and named for the oak trees on the eastern edge of the Killdeer Mountains where it sat. The post office was dicontinued in 1958 long after the businesses of Oakdale had moved on. Near 146-96-26, about miles NW of Killdeer.
Twin Buttes Established in 1953 after the Garrison dam was built and the Missouri River was flooded. Many residents and businesses originally located on the river bottom were relocated here.
Werner The post office was established in 1914 and discontinued in 1966.
Established in 1916. Near the SE 1/4 of 145-97-13, about 10-1/2 miles W of Killdeer. The site was along the Killdeer-Grassy Butte wagon trail and mail route. The Whetstone and Schwartz General Merchandise Store was opened in 1916, it was built in partnership with Jack F. Whetstone of Killdeer who the town was named after. The post office was discontinued in the 1930's.

Places in Dunn County

Fort Berthold Indian Reservation Established for the Arikara, Mandan, and Hidatsa Tribes by the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851. These three tribes were joined together to form the Three Affiliated Tribes. Even though Lake Sakakawea splits the Reservation into five parts, it occupies six counties: Dunn, McKenzie, McLean, Mercer, Mountrail, and Ward. It is in the northern most part of Dunn County.
Killdeer Battlefield The site of the 1864 battle between the local Sioux and troops lead by General Alfred Sully.
Killdeer Mountains Located north and west of Killdeer. It got its name from Native Americans who called this the place where they kill deer. It encompasses approximately 14 square miles with an elevation of about 3,300 feet.
Lake Ilo A man-made National Wildlife Refuge created in 1939. Located about two miles SW of Dunn Center. Many Native American artifacts found during its construction are on display at the Dunn County Museum in Dunn Center.
Lake Sakakawea Formed by the Garrison Dam which was built in 1953. It has approximately 600 miles of shoreline.
Little Badlands Sometimes referred to as the "brakes". Located about 11 miles S of Manning.
Little Missouri State Park In the North Dakota Badlands in northern Dunn County.
Medicine Hole During the 1864 Battle of the Killdeer Mountains, the Native Americans were able to escape to the badlands by going down into one of the three tunnels.
North Dakota Badlands Northern part of Dunn County.
The Lost Bridge Built in 1929, a 20 foot wide, three span truss bridge over the Little Missouri River which connected two cattle trails. Finally, in 1953 an approximate 9 mile stretch of road was graded from the bridge south toward Killdeer. It is located about 22 miles N of Killdeer on Hwy 22 but is used now only as a point of interest and recreation site.

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