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Dakota and Ranching


During the 1880’s, Theodore Roosevelt traveled to the West to hunt, and discovered the Badlands of Dakota Territory. Captivated by the rugged landscape and lifestyle, he purchased two cattle ranches, where he grew in inner strength, self confidence and physical stamina. After staying in Dakota Territory intermittently until 1887, Roosevelt returned to his life in the East, prepared to embark on his political career.

Article List

Sewall, William

William Wingate Sewall (1845-1930) was the first child born to Levi and Rebecca Sewall in Island Falls, Maine. Sewall’s childhood was spent hunting and exploring in the Maine woods. His love for those forests stayed with Sewall throughout his life. 

Roberts, Margaret

Margaret Barr Roberts (1853-1938) was a rancher, an entrepreneur, a single mother, and a friend to Theodore Roosevelt.

Packard, A. T.

Arthur T. Packard (1860-1931) was a frontier newspaperman, law enforcement officer, and friend to Theodore Roosevelt.

Ferris, Joseph

Joe Ferris was a hunting guide, a shopkeeper, and a friend of Theodore Roosevelt in the badlands of Dakota Territory.


The cantonment was an abandoned army compound on the west bank of the Little Missouri River that served as a hunting lodge and headquarters at the time Theodore Roosevelt first appeared in Dakota Territory.

Foley, James

James Foley was a contemporary of Theodore Roosevelt in the badlands of Dakota Territory. He was a poet, a journalist, and a secretary to North Dakota political figures.

Stickney, Victor Hugo

Dr. Victor Hugo Stickney was the only doctor in western Dakota Territory during Roosevelt’s years in the badlands. He first met Theodore Roosevelt in April 1886, and they became good friends.

Gorringe, Henry Honeychurch

Commodore Henry Honeychurch Gorringe was born in the West Indies. He migrated to the United States, joined the U.S. Navy and served in the Civil War.