Marmarth, North Dakota

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Marmarth is a city in Slope County, North Dakota in the United States. The population was 140 at the 2000 census. Marmarth was founded in 1907.



Marmarth is located at 46°17′41″N 103°55′23″W / 46.29472°N 103.92306°W / 46.29472; -103.92306 (46.294693, -103.923037).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.5 square miles (6.6 km²), all of it land.


The city of Marmarth was established in fall of 1907. Before 1907, the site was known as "Neva". That name was in honor of the first postmistress, Miss Neva Hughes. When the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad (aka Milwaukee Road) reached the site of the town, it was renamed for a granddaughter of the president of the company, Mr. Albert J. Earling. The cities of Earling, Iowa, and Ismay, Montana also owe their names to Mr. Earling.

The Milwaukee Road reached the Little Missouri River in the fall of 1907. The village was originally located on the east side of the Little Missouri River. It remained there until 1908 when a permanent bridge was completed. It was then relocated to the west side of the river, because the rancher that owned the land on the east side of the Little Missouri River would not sell for a reasonable price.

Dakota, a fossilized Edmontosaurus, a type of duckbill dinosaur, was discovered near Marmarth in 1999 by Tyler Lyson.[4] The fossil is unique in that soft tissue, skin, and muscle were fossilized as well as bone.

Marmarth is in some respects a fossil itself, as it offers a well-preserved example of a common phenomenon of the Great Plains—a once-booming town that has dwindled to a fraction of its former size. Marmarth experienced explosive growth in the decade following its founding in 1907. The town grew quickly to serve the hundred of homesteaders who flooded into the area. As it happened, the first two decades of the 20th Century were unusually wet, and the new settlers reaped harvests of wheat on a scale that promised to turn even owners of modest farms into wealthy men.[5] By 1920, Marmarth had 1,318 inhabitants.[6] The inhabitants, looking forward to a future of boundless possibilities, established an auditorium, a theater, a large train station, a newspaper, and even installed paved sidewalks.

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