Dickinson is a city in Stark County, and serves as the capital of that municipality. Named for its founder, W. S. Dickinson, Dickinson boasted a population of 22,186 as of the 2017 census.
Thanks to the increased drilling and oil production within the confines of the state, Dickinson has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country; population was 17,787 at the 2010 census, compared to 22,186 in 2017. However, this rapid expansion of the population, drawn by the economic and job-related benefits afforded by nearby oil production fields, has resulted in some degree of growing pains for the region; crime and homelessness have increased in the city in recent years, and local authorities have been successfully stepping up efforts in order to combat this issue.
The growing population has also resulted in a great deal of ethnic diversity in Dickinson in recent years, with greater numbers of Latino, Asian and African-American people calling the city home than at any other time in its history.
Its founder, W. S. Dickinson, was a native of Malone, New York and established the city in 1881. Previously, the city began as Pleasant Valley Siding when the Northern Pacific Railroad reached the area, halfway between the Missouri River and the Montana Territory border. As Northern Pacific construction crews pushed westward, a way station was set up along the tracks at Pleasant Valley Siding, and soon homes and businesses began to spring up around the station. After W. S. Dickinson arrived and realized the potential – growth and development of the small town was rapid. By the end of 1882, there were almost 100 different buildings of all sizes, shapes and colors spread out along the railroad tracks.
Initially nicknamed “Queen City of the Prairies,” Dickinson more recently changed its name to “The Western Edge” due to its location at the western edge of the Dakotas.
Today, the city has a total area of 10.03 square miles, of which, 9.96 square miles is land and 0.07 square miles is water. Dickinson’s municipal water supplies come from Southwest Water Authority which, in turn, gets their water from Lake Sakakawea through a transmission pipeline.
The Dickinson Public Schools system includes six elementary schools, a junior high school, Dickinson High School and an alternative high school. There are also several parochial schools in Dickinson. Higher education options are also available in the form of Dickinson State University, a public University that offers 51 bachelor’s degrees, 4 associate degrees, and 2 certificate programs.
Dickinson possesses multiple transportation options; most prominently, it is served by Dickinson Theodore Roosevelt Regional Airport, which provides commercial airline service to Denver via United Express. In addition, FedEx Express offers cargo flight service on a daily basis with Hector International Airport in Fargo. Ground options include Jefferson Lines bus service throughout the Midwest and stops at the Paragon Lanes Bowling Alley in Dickinson. Rail freight service to Dickinson comes courtesy of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.