Sunday, January 4, 2004
Bottineau County was created on this date in 1873 and was named for a mixed-blood guide, Pierre Bottineau, sometimes referred to as the “Kit Carson” of Dakota.
One of Bottineau’s notable expeditions was in 1862, when he guided a wagon train of 117 men, 13 women and 50 soldiers from Fort Abercrombie to the Montana gold fields. They averaged 16 miles a day and had to build a log bridge to cross the Sheyenne River. A young couple fell in love and got married, a mule drowned crossing the Wintering River, one woman had a baby, a wagon tipped over, women washed clothes and baked bread, and on Sundays, one of the men read the Episcopal service. At one point, a number of Assiniboines threatened them, but Bottineau and his son shot some buffalo cows for them, and they were allowed to move on.
After many years of service, a group of important Minnesota leaders petitioned Congress in 1879 to give Bottineau a pension for all he had done for them.
Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm