Content | Navigation |

A Prairie Prayer

Price: $11.95 * Electronic Order Form

A Prairie Prayer expands the descriptions of modern farm/ranch life with an appreciation for the past and a wry wit honed by the lonely winds of the prairie. Roseland's poems describe a life connected to the land.

Once again it has been a pleasure to serve as Bruce Roseland's editor, for in every way, A Prairie Prayer is a successful companion volume to his first book, The Last Buffalo. His rootedness, his honesty and directness, and his understanding of the changes that have been occurring in the rural Dakotas remain constant, but if the landscape here is a familiar one, the stories are new and compelling. People living in this part of the country, in particular, can be thankful for the kind of record Bruce Roseland has provided; readers everywhere can appreciate these thoroughly human perspectives and their celebration of the prairie land and people.
----Mark Vinz, Professor of Mass Communication, Minnesota State University, Moorhead

About the Author

Bruce Roseland was born on a cold November morning in 1951 in central South Dakota where he has spent his entire life except for attending college. After 2 1/2 years at South Dakota State University, he transferred to the University of North Dakota, earning both bachelor's and master's degrees, finishing in 1980. About that time, however, he made the decision to return to the family farm and become the fourth generation operator of it. He and his wife Barbara (Logan) from Devils Lake, ND, have spent their lives and raised their two sons, Aaron and Adam, on the home place.

Roseland garnered to honors with his first book, The Last Buffalo, published by the North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies in 2006. In 2007 he accepted the Western Heritage Wrangler Award presented by the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.

About the Illustrator

Marie Louise Tesch grew up on a farm on the eastern side of the state and graduated from South Dakota State University with B.A. and M.A. degrees. Since 1985 she has lived “West River” in the beautiful Black Hills. She earns her daily bread by teaching piano lessons.

Magnificent Churches on the Prairie

Price: $29.95 * Electronic Order Form

Outstanding color photography richly illustrates the churches old-world style. The writing features the history and architectural characteristics of each church, including information that until now has been confined in vaults or in the memories of parishioners.

This book outlines the North Dakota settlement period, the influence of individuals like Father Vincent Wehrle and Milwaukee architect Anton Dohmen, and the aspirations of people who came to the Dakotas to begin new lives. In addressing what role the churches they built may play in today's society, the book concludes with a lively discussion of historic preservation

Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Strasburg shares many Romanesque characteristics with the Richardson church, which was completed only a few years earlier. In Dohmen's design, the interior columns were placed along the walls, opening up the nave. The groin-vault ceiling features decorative stencils that emphasize the arches and help raise the eye upward.

According to a national survey, what makes a place sacred for many people is stained glass. The Basilica of St. James in Jamestown is widely known for its stained-glass windows, which contributed to the church being named by the Vatican as one of thirty-four minor basilicas in the United States.

About the Authors

James Coomber is professor of English and chair of the English Department at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), where he has taught since 1966. He chairs the annual Concordia Conference on Reading and Writing and is co-author with Howard Peet of the Wordskills vocabulary-spelling textbook series, as well as other publications in the teaching of English. He and Sheldon Green have collaborated on several articles on regional topics, and are also co-authors of the book Unwanted Bread; The Challenge of Farming and Ranching . Coomber received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Sheldon Green is the senior writer in the Office of Communications at Concordia College. He has been the editor of the Hazen (ND) Star weekly newspaper and North Dakota Horizons magazine, and helped edit, design and photograph the five-volume North Dakota Centennial Book series. He also produced the book, "The Romance of My Life: Theodore Roosevelt's Speeches in Dakota," for the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. He is a graduate of the University of North Dakota.

Our Purpose is to Serve: David Danbom

Price: $24.00 * Electronic Order Form

David Danbom's "Our Purpose is to Serve" is a probing, insightful and lively history of the first hundred years of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. The NDAES began in 1890 as one of a national network of state research facilities created by Congress in the Hatch Act of 1887. Through the years the NDAES has been an important part of the national as well as an international scientific community. But, as the author relates, it is also an integral part of the state of North Dakota. It is unique because it is the only research institution in the world devoted to North Dakota agriculture and its problems. As such, its story is closely intertwined with the story of the state and its agricultural tradition.

The NDAES has devoted itself throughout its history to improving agriculture in the state and to enhancing the well-being of North Dakota farmers. This book is the story of how it has attempted to reach these goals, the difficulties it has encountered and the successes it has achieved along the way.

Station Dairy Barn 1917

About the Author

David Danbom has gained a national reputation as an agricultural and social historian since he joined the history department of North Dakota State University in 1974. A native of Denver, Danbom earned his bachelor's degree at Colorado State University and his doctorate at Stanford University. He is the author of two other books, The Resisted Revolution: Urban America and the Industrialization of Agriculture, 1900-1930, and The World of Hope: Progressives and the Struggle for an Ethical Public Life. Both have received excellent reviews. Danbom has also published many articles which have appeared in national and regional journals.

His fellow agricultural historians demonstrated their admiration for Danbom by selecting him to be president of the Agricultural History Society during 1990-91. He also served as executive secretary of the Red River Valley Heritage Society. In addition to his achievements in research, Danbom is an outstanding teacher who is highly esteemed by his students for his stimulating and humorous lectures.



Paintings in Taxicabs - Characteristics of Certain Art Consumers: Richard Lyons

Price: $3.00 * Electronic Order Form



List of Tables

Chapter 1. The Cultural Background
The Nineteenth Century
The Turn of the Century
The Twentieth Century

Chapter 2. The Inquiry

Chapter 3. Characteristics
Year of First Acquisition
Number of Items

Chapter 4. Motivations
Social Components
Decorative Motifs
Cultural and Civic Responsibility
Economic-Materialistic Components
Local Exhibitions
Contact with Artists
Low Price
Rising Income
College Experience
Family Influence

Chapter 5. Certain Art Consumers

Chapter 6. North Dakota


Prairie Populist:
The Life and Times of Usher L. Burdick

Price: $28.95 * Electronic Order Form

Edward C. Blackorby's biography of Usher L. Burdick tells the story of this engaging, outspoken son of the plains, from his early upbringing on Graham's Island in north-central North Dakota to his role as a senior legislator in the U.S. Congress. Burdick's political life reflected a series of crushing defeats and improbable resurrections, beginning first with his election to the state legislature in 1906 and losing the gubernatorial election in 1916. His second public career began in 1934 when he was endorsed by the Nonpartisan League and elected to the United States Congress where he served ten terms, 1935-1945 and 1949-1959. Through his own successes and failures, Usher Burdick played a significant role in North Dakota's political history.

While perceptively examining Burdick's political life, Blackorby also weaves the strands of his roles as a son and brother, husband and father, banker, lawyer, historian, collector, rare book dealer, rancher, and horse trader throughout the book, forming a colorful tapestry of Burdick's life and times. Known as a square-dealer and a straight-talker, Usher Burdick never forgot his prairie populist roots. In 1953 he wrote, "While I am not now actually engaged in roping and hog-tieing wild horses, that profession helps a lot here in Congress where there are so many wild ones..." His eventual break with the Republican Party led to political success for his elder son, Quentin Burdick, who ran as a Democrat and first won a seat in the US Congress in 1958 and was elected as a US senator in 1960, a position he held for thirty-two years. The Burdick political dynasty meant that either the elder or younger Burdick served in a state or federal elective office in nearly every decade of the twentieth century. Blackorby has written a fascinating and valuable analysis of the forces at work in Usher Burdick's public and private history.

The cover of a campaign brochure, "The Paramount State Issues," distributed by the State Headquarters of the Burdick for Governor Clubs, Grand Forks, ND, 1916. Usher Burdick's campaign slogan was "The Man Who Knows No Boss."

Usher Burdick pictured with survivors of the Custer fight. The man on the left is Lewis Crawford, the superintendent of the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Photo by Frank Fiske, 1931.

About the Author

Edward C. Blackorby was born and educated in North Dakota, earning a B.A. at Mayville State University and the M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Dakota. He also did post-graduate work at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the American University in Washington. DC. He spent fifty-one years teaching, the last twenty years as a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1968. He also taught at Dickinson State University and the University of North Dakota, and was a teacher and administrator in North Dakota public schools for nineteen years. Best known for his book Prairie Rebel: The Public Life of William Lemke, Dr. Blackorby has also written for many publications, including North Dakota History, Journal of American History, the Dictionary of American Biography, and Essays on Western History. His special interests are in the history of the West and the Agrarian and Progressive movements in America. Dr. Blackorby retired in 1980 and presently lives in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Plains Folk: North Dakota's Ethnic History

Price: $35.00 * Electronic Order Form

Plains Folk was seven years in the making. The combined effort of scholars who specialize in North Dakota matters: three historians, an anthropologist, a political scientist, and a sociologist.

Over forty different national groups are discussed: their origins, personalities, customs, successes and failures, even their festivals and their foods.

Is North Dakota a melting pot? A mosaic? A patchwork quilt? Which group was the largest? The most patriotic? Prestigious? What happened during the land boom years? World War I? The Dirty Thirties? You'll find the answers in this volume.

You'll find some surprises: Gypsies, Blacks, Japanese, Bulgarians, Syrians! You'll get a good look at the state's Jews, Poles, French, Ukrainians. Included are new perspectives on the German Peoples who came from both the homeland and eastern Europe; there are also new insights into the settlers of Norwegian and British Isles backgrounds.

It is a basic source book, with hundreds of illustrations, dozens of maps and tables, census data and an extensive index.

Ole I. Gjevre sod house, Osnabrock Township, 1898

Lidgerwood, ND - Main Street, May 17, 1900 (SHSND)


About the Authors

Warren A. Henke has been a historian at Bismarck State College since 1962. His BA is from Valparaiso University, MA from Colorado State College and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico. He is a descendant of Germans who settled at New Salem, Morton County, North Dakota.

Timothy J. Kloberdanz, an anthropologist at North Dakota State University since 1976, has a BA from the University of Colorado, an MA from Colorado State University, and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. His volksdeutsche forebears came to Colorado from the Volga region of Russia. Kloberdanz' chief interest is folklore.

Theodore B. Pedeliski, a political scientist at the University of North Dakota since 1969, earned a BS from Dickinson State Teachers College, an MA at the University of North Dakota, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. He is a native of Belfield, ND and is of Ukrainian descent.

William C. Sherman has been a sociologist at North Dakota State University since 1967. He is also a pastor at Saint Michael's Church in Grand Forks. He grew up in Oregon, North Carolina, and North Dakota. Of English, Irish and German background, he holds a BA degree from St. John's University and graduated from St. John's University School of Theology in 1955. His MA degree is from the University of North Dakota.

Playford V. Thorson is a historian at the University of North Dakota where he has taught since 1960. A native of New Mexico, his BA and MA degrees are from the University of New Mexico and his Ph.D. in Scandinavian history is from the University of Minnesota. His heritage is primarily English, with some Swedish.

Robert P. Wilkins, professor emeritus of history, came to the University of North Dakota in 1945 with a BA and MA from Indiana University. His Ph.D. is from West Virginia University. His heritage is British.

The Promise of Water; The Garrison Diversion Project: Wayne Gudmundson and Robert Silberman

Price: Hardcover $19.95; Softcover $12.95 * Electronic Order Form

The Garrison Diversion Project has been a controversial issue in N.D. for almost half a century. Supporters originally saw the project as just recompense for land lost in the creation of the Garrison Dam and Lake Sakakawea. They proposed diverting Missouri River water to irrigate more than a million acres of land, claiming that would bring a host of benefits, including increased population, new industries, and improved recreational resources. Opponents derided the project as a pork barrel boondoggle, with any benefits outweighed not only by its financial cost but also by its human and environmental consequences. The expenditure of more than half a billion dollars has resulted in the construction of major waterworks and two separate canals that extend more than 125 miles across the center of the state. However, to date, not a drop of water has flowed from one end to the other. The project has been on hold since 1991. In 2000, Congress passed the Dakota Water Resources Act, which authorizes $ 631 million, including $200 million to bring water to the communities of the Red River the new focus of a plan in which irrigation plays a minor role. Actual funding will be considered only after the completion of yet another report on alternatives. Surprisingly, few people have seen the existing sections of the Garrison project, in spite of the controversy's long history. Wayne Gudmundson's photographs provide for the first time a representation of the full scope of the Garrison Diversion. They also reveal a love of the North Dakota landscape in all its forms. Robert Silberman's essay provides an up-to-date history of the project and the heated political conflicts it has aroused. He also discusses the distinctive character of Gudmundson's photographs.

About the Authors

Wayne Gudmundson teaches photography at Minnesota State University Moorhead. His photographs have been featured in the books A long Way to See: Images and Voices of North Dakota and Heimahager-Homeplaces, among others, as well as in exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad.
Robert Silberman teaches art history at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. He is coauthor (with Vicki Goldberg) of American Photography: A Century of Images and writes regularly on photography film, contemporary art, and crafts for a wide variety of publications.



Palaces on the Prairie

Price: $29.95 * Electronic Order Form

What do small-town feuds, outrageous dreams, petty thieves, fairy tale castles, and diving horses have in common? They all come to life in Palaces on the Prairie!

From the 1880s to the 1930s, at least thirty-four "prairie palaces" of one sort or another sprang up in at least twenty-four towns across the Midwest. Their themes ranged in scope from grasses to grains to minerals, but all sought the same goal - attention! The palace phenomenon revealed the essence of frontier life - the hopes, the fears, the triumphs, the tribulations, the strength of community, the frailty of individualism.

Evans' book attempts to tackle many unanswered questions surrounding the successes and failures of each palace and community. There are, of course, no simple answers, and in some cases no answers at all, but the questions raised are often still relevant to issues confronting communities today. For those who are less interested in the lessons history has to offer, the photographs alone make Palaces on the Prairie a rare treat.

What Others are Saying

"Rod Evans' Palaces on the Prairie is one of those rare books that is both delightful and scholarly. The "grain palaces" that many Midwestern towns erected during the end of the 19th century become lenses through which Evans shows us the dreams and foibles, the hopes and fears, of our forebears. The photographs are so lush, the architecture of the palaces so utterly fantastic, that I felt the enchantment those who erected them must have felt. Evans delves into newspaper accounts, advertisements, and editorial battles, to uncover the living voices and sensibilities of those who built and admired these architectural marvels. This is a book that can be leisurely paged through or endlessly studied. Land and culture and history all come together in the grain palace, and Evans manages to evoke them all."

Kent Meyers, author of The River Warren, Light in the Crossing, The Witness of Combines, The Work of Wolves and Twisted Tree

About the Author:

Rod Evans holds degrees from Northern State and South Dakota State Universities and presently lives in Aberdeen with his wife, Vicki. He's a Speaker's Bureau Scholar and One Book South Dakota discussion leader for the South Dakota Humanities Council, as well as an award-winning playwright. Rod and Vicki have been involved with community theater both on stage and as directors, and together they've written several stage and screenplays. They hope to form an independent film company in the near future to shoot documentaries and films with local settings, and to spend as much time as possible in the Twin Cities with son Barrett, his wife, Teresa, and new granddaughter, Cecily.

The Nature of Eastern North Dakota:
Pre-1880 Historical Ecology
: Kieth E. Severson and Carolyn Hull Sieg

Price: $21.95 * Electronic Order Form

How abundant were bison on the prairies of eastern North Dakota and how did they move over the grasslands? Did prairie dogs live on this eastern edge of the Great Plains? How about wolves, elk and prairie chickens? Was the influence of Native Americans so strong that the Great Plains wilderness described by early European travelers was already far from "natural"? Were fires common before Euro-American settlement, and were Native Americans the only ones setting them? Were trees present? If so, where did they occur and how did they exist in the presence of droughts, fire and widespread grazing? How often did the flooding occur and how common were droughts? How did they compare in intensity and duration to the drought of the 1930s?

Such questions are the foundation of The Nature of Eastern North Dakota.

About the Authors

Kieth Severson
Dr. Severson (Ph.D. - University of Wyoming, 1966) was a research wildlife biologist with the Rocky Mountain Station until he retired in 1994. He split his career between the northern Great Plains (including the Black Hills) and the Southwestern U.S. After retiring, he accepted a part-time position with the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, North Dakota State University, to describe the historical ecology of the Sheyenne National Grasslands, which provided the foundation for this book.
Carolyn Hull Sieg
Dr. Sieg (Ph.D. - Texas Tech University, 1991) is a research ecologist with the Rocky Mountain Research Station. She spent more than 20 years conducting research in the Great Plains before moving to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2000. Her work on the threatened western prairie fringed orchid on the Sheyenne National Grassland inspired her interest in how fires and floods once functioned in the Great Plains.

The Pearson Girls: Kathy Plotkin

$ 16.95 * Electronic Order Form

If Jo, Amy, Beth and Meg of "Little Women" had grown up in the "Little House on the Prairie" between 1900 and the 1930s, you would have "The Pearson Girls." This is the real-life story of five beautiful, spirited sisters (Lucille, Elsie, Agnes, Flora and Charline), born into the rigors of homesteading on the North Dakota Prairie; it is also the tale of their sturdy parents, Charlie Pearson, a Swedish immigrant, and his Hoosier Schoolmarm wife, Inda.

Set against a background of homesteading hardship (Dakota drought, prairie fires, unbearable cold and crop failures), "The Pearson Girls" brings alive the family's humor, intelligence and unshakable faith that good ultimately prevails. In the spirit of Willa Cather, "The Pearson Girls" makes for nostalgic reading, even for those who have never set foot in rural America. For those who have, the book is a homecoming.


"The Pearson Girls" welcomes you into the rich lives of an unforgettable family. The writing is ginger-quick, the tales as clear and focused as Ansel Adams photos, sharply detailing life on the Dakota plains more than half a century ago. The "Girls" were clearly women of the 90s - ahead of their time, yet emerge as timeless personalities. Family values in this absorbing account come back to life as we remember it and as we wish it could be again. (Ann Compton, ABC News White House Correspondent)

"This memoir captures the spirit of a time, a place and a collection of fascinating people. It's a loving portrait of the hinterland that would have tempted H.L. Mencken to take a side trip." (Bob Fishburn, Book Reviewer, Roanoke Times)

"The heart of a remarkable prairie family has been perfectly captured here." (The Rev. Theodore Stoneberg, Professor of Pastoral Care & Counseling, School of Theology, Anderson University)

"A wonderful cake of zest, charm, and humor, with the photos a glorious icing." (Jeanie Neyer, Artist and Author)

"The Pearson Girls is not just about North Dakota; it's what North Dakota is about." (Allan Burke, Editor/publisher, Emmons County Record)


About the Author
Kathy Plotkin is a native of Bismarck, North Dakota. She began her writing career immediately after graduating from Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia, in 1952, when she served simultaneously as feature writer, society editor, circulation manager, and columnist for the Salem Times Register, a Virginia weekly. Her humorous column, "Us Ladies," received Virginia Press Association recognition.

From 1966 to 1976, she produced and hosted a talk show called "Panorama" on WDJB-TV, a CBS affiliate in Roanoke, Virginia, receiving the Golden Mike award from the American Women of Radio and Television in 1967, among other awards during that period. Now living in Manhattan, she has recently completed a novel and is currently editing memoirs for others.

Scanning the Land, Poems in North Dakota: Richard Lyons

Price: $11.75 * Electronic Order Form

There is an old story about a small fish asking, "Where is the sea?" And the answer: "The sea is all around you, above you and beneath you. You are in the sea and the sea is in you. You cannot sense it because you are too close."

Because we are too close we often lose track of the important things around us. It is the job of the artist to re-animate our senses. With verbal and photographic image Richard Lyons has firmly placed his reader In North Dakota.

Like an archaeologist carefully picking stones from ancient bones, Lyons reveals the past of his adopted state and places it in the present. He describes the towns, analyzes the effect of the military-industrial complex, finds solace in the images of graveyards, and responds to the ancient messages of the Indian way.

His techniques are several. Deriving from the series of slide programs created for the state committees on the arts and on the humanities, the book is a series of poems illustrated with photographs. Sometimes the statements are simple--show and tell. Sometimes the technique is juxtaposition--placing side-by-side the old and the new, the natural and the manufactured, the mythical and the factual. Sometimes the technique is complex and metaphorical as in the longer poems like "The Flood and the Fair" and "Slant Village."

The answer to the question "Where is North Dakota?" is in this book. It is all around us.

About the Author
Richard Lyons was Professor of English and poet at North Dakota State University from 1950 to 1982, specializing in interdisciplinary studies in American Culture. He came to North Dakota in time to join with the newly organized North Dakota Institute for Regional Studies in its investigation of the culture, history, and heritage of North Dakota. His poems have been appearing in magazines since 1944, from the Quarterly Review of Literature and The Kenyon Review to The New Yorker, The Paris Review, and The Nation. He was also a graphic artist who had paintings and prints in regional and national exhibitions in in magazines.

Spectacular North Dakota Hikes, Bring the Dog by Susan Wefald

Price:  $24.95 * Electronic Order Form

This book is for anyone who wants to explore North Dakota's diverse landscape and learn more about its history.  It's for families who want to expand neighborhood strolls into the great outdoors.  It's for seasoned hikers looking for new experiences.  And it's for people who love the idea of hiking with their dogs.

On these pages I describe what I consider some of the best day hikes in North Dakota, many of which I've hiked with my dog, Sandy.

In each hike description I've included local history, information on the natural environment and practical trail advice.  Maps and directions to trailheads are provided for all spectacular hikes.  Information on the lengths and elevation change of trails will help you decide whether or not a particular hike is the right one for you.  All of the hikes in this book can be completed in one day - many in an hour or so.  Motorized vehicles are forbidden on all but one of these trails.

Happy hiking!
Susan Wefald


Sharing spectacular hikes with Sandy
Plan ahead for a successful hike
Spectacular North Dakota Hikes Map

1. Missouri River
2. Turtle Mountains
3. Sheyenne River Valley
4. Little Missouri River Badlands
5. Prairie Rivers of the Northeast
6. Lake Sakakawea
7. Confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers
8. National Wildlife Refuges and Other Scenic Locations



About the Author

Susan Wefald, a North Dakota Public Service Commissioner for 16 years, now enjoys serving on non-profit boards, playing her violin with the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony, and exploring North Dakota.  She and her husband, Bob, have been hikers for more than 40 years and Sandy, a 3-year-old goldendoodle, is their enthusiastic hiking companion.



Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-8338 - Fax: (701) 231-1047
Campus address: Minard Hall 204
Mailing address: Dept 2300 PO Box 6050, Fargo, ND  58108-6050
Site Manager: AHSS Webmaster



Last Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2015 2:53:16 PM