Mandan, North Dakota

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Mandan, North Dakota
City Hall in Mandan
City Hall in Mandan
Motto(s): "Where the West Begins"
Location of Mandan, North Dakota
Location of Mandan, North Dakota
Coordinates: 46°49′44″N 100°53′28″W / 46.82889°N 100.89111°W / 46.82889; -100.89111Coordinates: 46°49′44″N 100°53′28″W / 46.82889°N 100.89111°W / 46.82889; -100.89111[1]
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Morton
Founded 1881
 • Mayor Tim Helbling
 • Total 11.13 sq mi (28.83 km2)
 • Land 11.03 sq mi (28.57 km2)
 • Water 0.10 sq mi (0.26 km2)
Elevation 1,647 ft (502 m)
Population (2010)[3]
 • Total 18,331
 • Estimate (2016)[4] 21,769
 • Density 1,600/sq mi (640/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC−6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC−5)
ZIP code 58554
Area code(s) 701
FIPS code 38-49900
GNIS feature ID 1030076[5]
Highways I-94 / I-94 Bus. / I-194 / ND 6 / ND 1806

Mandan is a city on the eastern border of Morton County and is the eighth-largest city in North Dakota. Founded in 1879 on the west side of the upper Missouri River, it was designated in 1881 as the county seat of Morton County.[6] The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the 2016 population at 21,769.[7] Located across the Missouri River from the state capital of Bismarck,[8] Mandan is a core city of the Bismarck-Mandan Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The city was named after the historic indigenous Mandan of the area.[9] The Mandan are now part of the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation, spanning the upper Missouri River in the western part of the state. Their people also live in cities of the state and other areas. In the 2010 census, nearly 5% of the people in the city of Mandan identified as Native American.[3].

The Mandan Indian village located at the southern base of Crying Hill prominent in east Mandan today was recorded as early as 1873 and referred to as the village of Good Fur Robe, named after their chief. This settlement would also be recorded as the village of the Crying Hill as well the village of the Two Face Stone, after their corresponding geographic features. The village was one of six Mandan villages between today's Knife River and Cannonball River.

The credit for the city's incorporated name is a point of debate. According to an interview recorded in the Mandan Daily Pioneer on August 27, 1931, John Andrew Rea claimed that he and engineer Thomas L. Rosser of the Northern Pacific Railroad decided on the name. Originally arriving in Bismarck in 1876 to serve as editor of the Tribune newspaper during one of Clement A. Lounsberry's absences, he apparently moved on to serve as the register in the governmental land office in Bismarck starting in June 1880 and served for eight years. After settling on the name, Rea claimed he wrote to the St. Paul Pioneer Press which published the news, and henceforth the name was popularized and remains in use today. However, the more generally accepted version of the truth gives credit for the city's name to Frederic Gerard, who Rea refers to as a "squatter" in south Mandan. Gerard had married Helena Catherine, an Arikara/Ree woman when he ran the Fort Berthold trading post. Gerard was appointed by the Dakota Territorial governor as Morton County's first assessor when it was established in March 1878. And he was one of the first three men elected as a Morton County Commissioner in November 1878.[10]


While Native Americans had long established settlements in the area along the river, it was not until the early 1860 that white frontiersmen came to the area. To provide protection for the approaching rail line from the east and the homesteaders who would surely follow, the US Army established two outposts in the area in 1872 and 1873. Fort Greeley (later renamed Fort Hancock) was founded first on the east side of the river. On the west side, an infantry post named Fort McKeen was constructed on bluffs above the former fur-trading post. Later in 1873 Congress authorized the addition of a cavalry post and changed its designation to Fort Abraham Lincoln when foot soldiers were deemed ineffective against their mounted adversaries. A permanent civilian settlement known as "Lincoln" was adjacent to the north side of the fort.

When the Northern Pacific railroad announced a pending river crossing in 1874, land speculators rushed to establish claims at probable locations. But due to the national financial crisis, Northern Pacific would delay the river crossing project. Once the final bridge crossing location was announced approximately 5 miles north of Fort Abraham Lincoln, a workcamp appeared on the western river bank in December 1878 complete with its own post office. The settlement would also serve as the base for the westward survey of the rail line.

On March 3, 1879, the post office was moved from the west bank of the Missouri River to the railroad's city site just two blocks north and west of today's intersection at Main Street and Collins Avenue. Four different postmasters coincided with four separate city designations for post office. The workcamp's post office in 1878 was known as "Morton." The name "Mandan" stuck for only eight (8) days in March 1879 before being renamed "Cushman" corresponding to the postmaster of the same name. Ultimately in September 1879, the post office returned to its current designation of "Mandan." The City of Mandan was incorporated on February 24, 1881 and was named for the Mantani Indians, or "people of the bank." It became the county seat for the replatted Morton County replacing the city of Lincoln which had been county seat from 1878 through 1879.

Upon completion of the railroad to Montana in 1881, Fort Abraham Lincoln had fulfilled its primary purpose and gradually declined until formally abandoned in 1894. The City of Lincoln eventually dwindled into obscurity.

In 2013, Mandan was selected a finalist in the Rand McNally "Most Patriotic City" competition.[11]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.13 square miles (28.83 km2), of which 11.03 square miles (28.57 km2) is land and 0.10 square miles (0.26 km2) is water.[2]


This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Mandan has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.[12]

Climate data for Mandan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.2
Average high °C (°F) −6.7
Daily mean °C (°F) −12.6
Average low °C (°F) −18.6
Record low °C (°F) −42.2
Source: [13]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 239
1890 1,328 455.6%
1900 1,658 24.8%
1910 3,873 133.6%
1920 4,336 12.0%
1930 5,037 16.2%
1940 6,685 32.7%
1950 7,298 9.2%
1960 10,525 44.2%
1970 11,093 5.4%
1980 15,513 39.8%
1990 15,177 −2.2%
2000 16,718 10.2%
2010 18,331 9.6%
Est. 2016 21,769 [4] 18.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2015 Estimate[7]

2010 census

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 18,331 people, 7,632 households, and 4,921 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,661.9 inhabitants per square mile (641.7/km2). There were 7,950 housing units at an average density of 720.8 per square mile (278.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.7% White, 0.6% African American, 4.9% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.

There were 7,632 households of which 31.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.5% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.89.

The median age in the city was 37.2 years. 23.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.3% were from 25 to 44; 27.2% were from 45 to 64; and 13.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.2% male and 50.8% female.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, there were 16,718 people, 6,647 households, and 4,553 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,642.8 per square mile (634.3/km2). There were 6,958 housing units at an average density of 683.7 per square mile (264.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.98% White, 0.20% African American, 3.02% Native American, 0.33% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.15% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.78% of the population.

The top 6 ancestry groups in the city were German (61.3%), Norwegian (15.4%), Russian (13.1%), Irish (7.9%), English (4.2%), and Native American (3.02%).

There were 6,647 households out of which 35.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.5% were non-families. 26.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city, the population was spread out with 27.0% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 29.7% from 25 to 44, 21.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,182, and the median income for a family was $46,210. Males had a median income of $31,653 versus $21,400 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,509. About 7.0% of families and 10.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 13.6% of those age 65 or over.


A Tesoro oil refinery north of Mandan began operations in 1954. In the early 21st century, it has a capacity to produce 71,000 barrels per day (bpd). It processes primarily North Dakota sweet (low-sulfur) crude oil into gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, heavy fuel oils and liquefied petroleum gas.[15]


Mandan Public Schools operates Roosevelt Elementary School, Mary Stark Elementary School, Lewis & Clark Elementary School, Ft. Lincoln Elementary School, Custer Elementary School, Red Trail Elementary School, Mandan Middle School, and Mandan High School, as well as the Brave Center Academy night school. There are two private religious schools: Christ the King School and St. Joseph School.

Bismarck State College offers a Mechanical Maintenance Technology program at its Mandan campus.


Triumph Hospital Central Dakotas is a 41-bed critical care hospital in Mandan.[16]

Local media

Mandan shares a print, radio, and television media market with nearby Bismarck.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  2. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2012-01-24. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  3. ^ a b c "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  4. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  7. ^ a b "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on October 19, 2016. Retrieved May 20, 2016. 
  8. ^ "City of Mandan", official website
  9. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 197. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ Eckroth, LeAnn (September 4, 2013). "Mandan garners the most patriotic votes online". The Bismarck Tribune. Lee Enterprises. Retrieved 25 October 2015. 
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Mandan, North Dakota
  13. ^ "Mandan, North Dakota, Temperature Averages". Weatherbase. Retrieved 6 February 2015. 
  14. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  15. ^ "Refining: Mandan, ND", TSO Corporation website
  16. ^ "Triumph Hospital Central Dakotas". Hospitals Worldwide. MediLexicon International Ltd. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ "How Heidi Works for North Dakotans". Heidi for North Dakota. Retrieved July 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ "Biographical Sketch of Arch Shaw," North Dakota Centennial Blue Book 1889-1989, Ben Meier (editor), North Dakota Legislative Assembly, p. 411

External links

  • Official website
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