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Located in the southwest region of North Dakota, Billings County holds a rich history that dates back to the 1800s. In this article, we'll explore seven interesting facts about the county's past.

1. Billings County was established in 1879, named in honor of Frederick H. Billings who was a former president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company.

2. In 1883, the town of Medora was founded as a station stop on the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was named after the wife of the railroad's founder, Marquis de Mores. Today, visitors can explore the charming streets of Medora and learn about its Wild West heritage at the Medora Musical and the North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame.

3. Theodore Roosevelt first came to North Dakota in 1883 to hunt bison and invested in Medora's Maltese Cross Ranch. Following the tragic deaths of his wife and mother in 1884, he retreated to North Dakota and became a cattle rancher in the area. His experiences in North Dakota would influence his conservationist beliefs and lead him to establish the National Park Service.

4. The county contains two national parks: Theodore Roosevelt National Park and the Little Missouri National Grassland. Theodore Roosevelt National Park, established in 1947, showcases the rugged Badlands terrain and is home to diverse wildlife such as bison, elk, bighorn sheep, and prairie dogs. Little Missouri National Grassland, established in 1960, covers over one million acres of prairies and badlands and is open for hiking, camping, and fishing.

5. During the Great Depression, Billings County was one of the hardest-hit areas in North Dakota. Many farmers were forced to leave their land due to drought and economic hardship, and the population declined significantly.

6. In the 1970s, the discovery of oil in western North Dakota brought an economic boom to the area. Today, the oil industry remains a major contributor to the county's economy, alongside agriculture, tourism, and recreational activities.

7. The Billings County Courthouse, located in Medora, is one of the most iconic buildings in North Dakota. Built in 1913, it features a unique blend of Romanesque and Gothic Revival architecture. Visitors can take a tour of the courthouse and learn about its rich history and the county's past.

In conclusion, Billings County is a fascinating place with a rich history that has shaped North Dakota's past and present. Visitors can explore its rugged landscapes, learn about its Wild West heritage and conservation efforts, and appreciate its unique architecture.

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