“Ask President Roosevelt” is a feature of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation Member Newsletter, the Rough Riders Review. For five summers, veteran TR repriser, historian, and actor Joe Wiegand has brought Theodore Roosevelt to life on the matinee stage at Medora’s Old Town Hall Theater. During the off-season, Joe travels the country as TR, representing the Medora Foundation. As part of every performance, in character as TR, Wiegand takes questions from the audience.
Q: How did you spend your winter, Colonel Roosevelt? Any big plans for the summer ahead?
A: Like so many of you, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays spent with family were the most special occasions. Of course, I toured the country, performing for audiences from Portland, Oregon to Saranac Lake, New York. Like many a North Dakotan, the winter found me in Florida, Arizona, and Southern California, where thousands of Medora Musical fans follow the migratory fowl.
Traveling the country and telling people about Medora and the beautiful Badlands of North Dakota is a real honor and pleasure, READ MORE »
This is an expert from local Medora author, Rolff Sletten’s book, Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection. It goes into detail on the shooting of Cowboy, Riley Luffsey.
The sheriff responded by sending a posse which has been variously described as including from three to twenty men.
“The actual number matters little in light of the posse’s feeble response. Unfortunately the sheriff put his much weaker brother, Henry Harmon, in charge of the posse. Harmon and his posse boarded the westbound train in Mandan. When they arrived in Little Missouri (the depot had not yet been built in Medora), they confronted the three hunters and told O’Donald he was under arrest. O’Donald, Wannigan, and Luffsey simply laughed at the timid deputy and rode away.
The three hunters rode west from the Little Missouri depot until they reached a spot about three-fourths of a mile straight west of today’s Little Missouri River bridge. there they encountered the Marquis de Mores and four of his employees.
Who fired first will never be known with certainty, as both sides adamantly blamed the other. But when the smoke drifted away, William Riley Luffsey, the twenty-four-year-old buffalo hunter from Missouri, was forever dead.”
Learn more about Medora’s spooky history during the 2nd Annual Wild West Fright Fest on October 27 and 28. Get more details here.
The man who was known in the Badlands as “Hell Roaring Bill Jones” was actually named “Patrick McCue”.
He had come from Ireland where, apparently, he had become embroiled in an argument with an uncle. The argument quickly deteriorated into an altercation and in very short order the unfortunate uncle had been battered senseless. Whether or not he ever woke from his slumbers is unclear but “Bill” quickly adopted his new name and packed for the New World.
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“The Most Wonderful Little Woman in the Badlands”
Margaret Barr Roberts was an Irish immigrant who moved to the United States when she was around 11 years old. Her life was one of travel and tragedy.
However, through the struggle and hardship, she remained optimistic; always looking forward, as TR would say, “Doing what she could, with what she had, where she was.”
And of course, she wasn’t alone. In fact, TR himself was there to help her along. READ MORE »
For the past 51 years, the Medora Musical as we know it today has been entertaining audiences from across the country. The musical has come a long way since the original Old Four-Eyes show at the Burning Hills Amphitheatre in 1958 and the production of Teddy Roosevelt Rides Again – A Medora Musical in 1965. So how did the original show compare to the one we all know and love today?
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Medora is a town full of fun and beauty — and nothing accentuates that beauty more than the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. In this “Tale of Medora,” we explore what went into the creation of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. From the political leg-work to the final celebration; there is a whole story behind the creation of the TRNP and it’s fascinating! The following is an excerpt taken from Rolf Sletten’s book, “Medora: Boom, Bust, and Resurrection.” Enjoy!
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The Second Annual Gathering of TR’s will be held in Medora July 17, 18, and 19. Tickets are just $10, and can be picked up at all ticketing locations in Medora. The day will be filled with performances, classes, and much more! Read on for all the details.
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The Marquis De Mores returned to France, where he became heavily embroiled in the intrigues of French politics. He ran for the Paris City Council, became a rabid anti-Semite, became involved in a plot to overthrow the French government, tried to organize a railroad in Indo-China, and concocted a grandiose scheme to unite all of Islam against England and the Jews.
In 1896, he went to Libya with a plan to stir up the Arabs against the English advances into Africa. On the morning of June 9, 1896, he was ambushed, shot, and killed in the Sahara Desert by a group of Touareg tribesman. The Marquise insisted the Touaregs were hired by his political enemies, but it is possible that they simply killed him for the gold he was carrying. Had he lived five more days, he would have been thirty-eight years old. READ MORE »
In early 1884, crime was an appalling problem in Medora. Theodore Roosevelt had not yet become sufficiently entrenched to exert any political muscle in the Badlands, and the Marquis seemed to accept most of the wild goings-ons as a fact of life in the west. It was left to A.T Packard, owner of The Badlands Cow Boy, to champion the cause of law and order. When an effort to organize Billings County went down in defeat, leaving the outlaw majority free to ride roughshod over whomever they pleased, Packard called for a “mass meeting” to try to curb the lawlessness. At this meeting Packard was declared the first chief of police of the city of Medora, a position he took very seriously. READ MORE »
Medora Vallombrosa (1856 to 1921) was the wife the French Aristocrat, Marquis de Mores. They were married in Cannes, France and lived in New York and Paris. Her and the Marquis summered and hunted in these very Badlands and eventually lived here for a time. You know our town is named after Medora, but here are ten things you may not know about our towns namesake.
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