Two Dakota Homestead Frontiers

John Hudson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Between 1870 and 1910 the northern plains was transformed from Indian reservation to a farming frontier for whites as a result of decisions made outside the region, and by the adaptations of white and Indian settlers. The frontier migration fields of Sanborn County, South Dakota, and Bowman County, North Dakota, were heavily concentrated in the Middle West, illustrating the shift in migrant origins as the frontier pushed westward. The contrast in patterns of development beween North and South Dakota was largely determined by the location and timing of railroad construction, which in turn reflected the government's land grant and Indian policies. Within Sanborn and Bowman counties, pioneer settlement patterns illustrate the role of group migration, public land policies, and railroad land sales.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)442-462
Number of pages21
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1973


  • Dakota
  • Great Plains
  • Homesteads
  • Middle West
  • Migration fields
  • Norwegians
  • Railroads
  • Range cattle industry
  • Settlement patterns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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