Many of you know that President Theodore Roosevelt spent time in Medora. You’ve also probably heard his famous quote, “I never would have been President were it not for my experiences in North Dakota.” However, there is more to the former President’s time here than these two stories. Here are ten things you may not know about Theodore Roosevelt.
10. When Roosevelt arrived in Medora for the first time he was twenty-four years old and had been married to his first wife, Alice, for three years.
9. Roosevelt was in Medora for twelve days before he paid Sylvane Ferris, Joe Ferris’s brother, and Bill Merrifield $14,000 to purchase the Maltese Cross.
8. Some of Theodore Roosevelt’s “Rough Riders“, the men who he lead at the battle of San Juan Hill, were cowboys he met in the Badlands.
7. The cowboys of Medora initially saw President Roosevelt as weak and didn’t take him seriously partly because he wore glasses.
6. Teddy was not merely playing cowboy during his time in Dakota. He invested nearly half his inheritance in his two North Dakota ranches.
5. Newspaper man A.T. Packard predicted Roosevelt would become President after he came back from Medora and the Badlands. Fifteen years later that prediction came true.
4. Roosevelt chased thieves that had stolen his boat for three days! He arrested them and brought them back to Dickinson.
3. “You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose”, is the line Roosevelt began a campaign speech with to an audience after he was shot moments before.
2. The reason he came to Medora for a second time was because his wife and mother died on the same day. Roosevelt lamented, “The light has gone out of my life.”
1. He was almost in a duel with the Marquis De Mores. The duel would have been bad news for Roosevelt, the Marquis was a lethal man trained at the French Military Academy St. Cyr and had previously killed men. Roosevelt, would also have been hampered by his poor eyesight.
If you want to hear more stories of Theodore Roosevelt’s adventures, loves and the experiences that shaped him into our 26th President, you’ll want to go see “A Theodore Roosevelt Salute to Medora”. The show is everyday at the Old Town Hall Theatre!