Seventy-Five Delegates Elected to Constitutional Convention; Voters Brave Spring Blizzard

Bismarck, May 15, 1889

Yesterday excited North Dakotans went to the polls to select delegates to the convention which will draw up a constitution for our new state. Many of the races were hotly contested and voters had to fight heavy snow and wind to get to the polls. Red River Valley counties are well represented with 33 delegates — 44 percent of the convention’s members. Cass County, where Fargo is located, has nine delegates. In contrast only three come from west of the Missouri River.

The North Dakota capitol in summer.  Courtesy of D. Jerome Tweton

The delegates seem to be a young group with only nine over the age of 55. Some are in their twenties. Farmers number 29; lawyers are well represented with 25. The remaining are businessmen; one is a medical doctor.

The overwhelming political affiliation is Republican with 51. Nineteen are Democrats. The rest represent independent political groups such as the Prohibitionists and the Populists.

Most of the delegates, 52, were born in the United States; 13 from Wisconsin, ten from New York. Ten Scandinavians lead the foreign-born delegates.

Clearly the convention will be dominated by members who have come from the more humid parts of the United States. It remains to be seen whether this influences decision making.


By Dr. D. Jerome Tweton


Originally published as The North Star Dakotan student newspaper, written by Dr. D. Jerome Tweton and supported by the North Dakota Humanities Council.

Grade Level

4, 7-8

Subject Matter

Social Studies

North Star Dakotan:

Journals and Art Work: The Indian People, The Trade, and The Land

The Indian People

The Purchase and Exploration of Louisiana

The Fur Trade

Dakota Territory

The Military Frontier

The Reservation System

George Armstrong Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Great Dakota Boom, 1878-1890

Reservation Troubles, 1886-1890

The Making of a State and a Constitution

The North Dakota Economy, 1890-1915

Life on the Indian Reservations

The North Dakota National Guard and the Philippines

North Dakota, The Great War and After

The Nonpartisan League's Rise to Power

The Nonpartisan League in Power

The Nonpartisan League's Decline

The 1920s

1930s: North Dakota's Economic and Political Climate

The New Deal in North Dakota

The Road to World War II

North Dakota and American Society

North Dakota Optimism and Economic Developments

North Dakota and Political Change