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Jamestown, North Dakota
Downtown Jamestown
Downtown Jamestown
Pride of the Prairie
Location of Jamestown, North Dakota
Location of Jamestown, North Dakota
Country United States
State North Dakota
County Stutsman
Founded 1872
 • Type Council–manager government
 • Total 13.34 sq mi (34.56 km2)
 • Land 13.28 sq mi (34.40 km2)
 • Water 0.06 sq mi (0.16 km2)
1,407 ft (429 m)
 • Total 15,849
 • Density 1,135.59/sq mi (438.45/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
58401, 58402, 58405
Area code(s) 701
FIPS code 38-40580
GNIS feature ID 1029648
Highways I-94, I-94 Bus., US 52, US 52 Truck, US 281, US 281 Byp., ND 20

Jamestown is a city in Stutsman County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Stutsman County. The population was 15,849 at the 2020 census, making it the ninth largest city in North Dakota. Jamestown was founded in 1872 and is home to the University of Jamestown.


In 1871, a Northern Pacific Railroad work crew set up camp where the railroad would cross the James River, adding another section to the new northern transcontinental line. In 1872, the U.S. Army established Fort Seward, a small post garrisoned by three companies (about 120 men) of the Twentieth Infantry Regiment, on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the James River and Pipestem Creek. The fort guarded the crossing of the James by the Northern Pacific Railroad. The fort only lasted five years, being decommissioned in 1877 - but the railroad remained, establishing a repair yard that was among the city's main industries until the 1960s.

Jamestown was founded in 1872 and General Thomas Rosser of Northern Pacific named it after Jamestown, Virginia. The city incorporated in 1883. In 1873, Stutsman County became the first official county within Dakota Territory with Jamestown as the county seat.

On November 10, 1889, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jamestown was established. April 6, 1897 saw a change of name to Diocese of Fargo, with a change of the bishop's seat. Since 1995, the Diocese of Jamestown is listed as a titular see of the Catholic Church.


James River ND
The James River, a Missouri River tributary, in Jamestown

Jamestown is located at 46°54′20″N 98°42′11″W / 46.90556°N 98.70306°W / 46.90556; -98.70306 (46.905641, -98.702994) at the confluence of the James River and Pipestem Creek. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.87 square miles (33.33 km2), of which, 12.83 square miles (33.23 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.


Climate data for Jamestown, North Dakota (1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 19.2
Average low °F (°C) 1.2
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.51
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.7
Source: NOAA


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 393
1890 2,296 484.2%
1900 2,853 24.3%
1910 4,358 52.8%
1920 6,627 52.1%
1930 8,187 23.5%
1940 8,790 7.4%
1950 10,697 21.7%
1960 15,163 41.8%
1970 15,385 1.5%
1980 16,280 5.8%
1990 15,571 −4.4%
2000 15,527 −0.3%
2010 15,427 −0.6%
2020 15,849 2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
2020 Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 15,427 people, 6,567 households, and 3,555 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,202.4 inhabitants per square mile (464.2/km2). There were 6,983 housing units at an average density of 544.3 per square mile (210.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.6% White, 0.8% African American, 1.8% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.7% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.1% of the population.

There were 6,567 households, of which 24.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.9% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.78.

The median age in the city was 39.9 years. 19.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 27.1% were from 45 to 64; and 17.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.2% male and 49.8% female.

In October 2016, the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency projected that Jamestown would lose 2.1% of its population by the next census. It also reported that it projected a 4% population drop in the nine counties surrounding Jamestown and is considered Jamestowns primary trade area.


Buffalo statue jamestown north dakota
The World's Largest Buffalo statue in Jamestown

Jamestown Reservoir, a series of three, interlocking, 12-mile-long artificial lakes formed by Jamestown Dam, a flood control a dam on the James River at the north end of the city, is home to watersports and recreational fishing. Jamestown is home to two 18-hole golf courses—Hillcrest Golf Course and Jamestown Country Club—as well as the Jamestown Civic Center, which hosts concerts, University of Jamestown basketball games, other large events, and the North Dakota Sports Hall of Fame; other sporting facilities include Jack Brown Stadium, one of North Dakota's historic baseball parks. Jamestown is also home to two disc golf courses, an 18-hole recreational course in Klaus Park, and a 27-hole championship course on the island and surrounding land in the Jamestown Reservoir. The Island Course was the site of the 8th Annual North Dakota Disc Golf Championships in 2007.

The city of Jamestown is also home to The Jamestown Arts Center ([1]), located in the heart of downtown. The Arts Center is home to a year-round exhibition gallery, community theater stage, a venue for visual arts performances, art workshops and classes, ceramics studio and a beautiful green space known as The Art Park. Jamestown also features the World's Largest Buffalo, a 26-ft tall sculpture of an American bison.


Jamestown Regional Airport serves the city providing scheduled flights to Devils Lake, North Dakota and Denver, Colorado. The airport also services chartered flights out of state.

Major Highways

  • I-94.svg Interstate 94
  • US 52.svg U.S. Highway 52
  • US 281.svg U.S. Highway 281
  • North Dakota 20.svg North Dakota Highway 20


Jamestown has a strong precision manufacturing base as well as food processing, agriculture, retail and wholesale businesses. Notable companies headquartered in Jamestown include Sunward Steel/Wedgcor Steel Buildings, ACI (Agri-Cover, Inc.), Dura Tech Industries, and Midwestern Machine, and additional major employers include Cavendish Farms and UTC Aerospace Systems. Service facilities for trucking and heavy equipment repair are also located in Jamestown.

The Jamestown Stutsman Development Corporation supports joint business and industrial development within the city and Stutsman County, North Dakota. Four designated industrial parks adjoin the city or are part of joint city/county development efforts: Bloom Business Park, I-94 Business Park, Spiritwood Energy Park (which includes Great River Energy and Cargill), and the Airport Business Park.



Jamestown is served by the Jamestown Public Schools. The system operates five elementary schools, one middle school, one high school, and one alternative high school. Louis L'Amour Elementary School is named for the popular western writer Louis L'Amour who was born in Jamestown. There are also two private elementary schools in Jamestown; Saint John's Academy, a K-6 Catholic school, and Hillcrest School, a Seventh-day Adventist school.

Higher education

The Unruh and Sheldon Center on the campus of University of Jamestown

University of Jamestown is a private liberal arts college founded by the Presbyterian Church and located on the north side of town. Its current enrollment is 908 students in 2021. Ranked by U.S. News & World Report in the top tier of regional undergraduate institutions, it is also notable among religious colleges for having been a co-educational institution from its founding in 1883. Its first fall term was opened at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 29, 1886. After financial hardships, affecting the entire county, Jamestown College had to close its doors in the spring of 1890. On September 22, 1909 Jamestown College reopened after a population growth in the State due to improved farming methods. With no higher education available between Fargo, ND (100 miles East) and Missoula, MT (700 miles West), Jamestown College became a successful school.

Special education

On the northwest side of the city and almost adjacent to the site of historic Fort Seward is The Anne Carlsen Center (formerly known as the "Crippled Children's School"). A privately funded residential school, it has long been one of the country's leading centers for treatment and education of severely handicapped children.

Notable people

  • James Harvey Brown (1906–1995), Los Angeles City Council member and municipal court judge, born in Jamestown
  • Anne Carlsen (1915-2002), nationally recognized educator, disability rights advocate, and psychologist who lived in Jamestown for 40 plus years and for whom the Anne Carlsen School and Center is named
  • Alf Clausen, film and television score composer (The Simpsons)
  • Edward P. J. Corbett, English professor at the Ohio State University, born in Jamestown
  • William E. DePuy, U.S. Army general and first commander of TRADOC
  • Alfred Dickey (1846–1901), first Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota
  • Willis Downs, Philippine–American War era Medal of Honor recipient
  • Roy S. Durstine (1886–1962), co-founder of BBDO advertising agency, born in Jamestown
  • Darin Erstad, former Major League Baseball player
  • Morris E. Fine, educator
  • Michael John Fitzmaurice, a former United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military's highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.
  • John Grabinger, North Dakota Senator
  • Travis Hafner, former Major League Baseball player for the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees
  • Richard Hieb, astronaut
  • George W. Johnson, President of George Mason University (1979–1996)
  • Anton Klaus, Mayor of Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Louis L'Amour, author
  • Peggy Lee, jazz singer and composer
  • Lewis Marquardt, South Dakota state representative and educator
  • Barbara McClintock, children's book illustrator
  • Jim Ramstad, Minnesota politician
  • Floyd Roberts, winner of 1938 Indianapolis 500
  • Ronda Rousey, UFC Women's Bantamweight Champion
  • Myrna Sharlow, opera singer
  • Rodney Stark, American sociologist of religion
  • Shadoe Stevens, radio personality
  • Mya Taylor, actress
  • Charles F. Thompson, U.S. Army major general
  • Harley Venton, actor

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jamestown (Dakota del Norte) para niños

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