Look Up, Bismarck! A Walking Tour of Bismarck, North Dakota
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2012 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
The site of the city was originally a small military post established in 1872 with the mandate of protecting work gangs from the Northern Pacific Railway. It was called Edwinton after Edwin F. Johnson, chief engineer of the Northern Pacific, and spotted at one of the most advantageous crossings of the Missouri River.
The railroad arrived on June 4, 1873 and the town name was switched to honor German chancellor Otto von Bismarck in the hopes of attracting German settlement and perhaps some investments of Deutsche Marks. Then gold was discovered in the Black Hills and nobody much cared what the town at the head of navigation was called.