Minot, North Dakota

From Academic Kids

Minot today, seen from North Hill
Minot today, seen from North Hill

Minot (IPA , Template:Audio) is a city located in north central North Dakota, USA. With 36,567 people, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state. The city is the county seat of Ward CountyTemplate:GR and the trading centre of a large portion of northern North Dakota, southeastern Saskatchewan, and southwestern Manitoba. Minot is known as the Magic City.

For other things named Minot see Minot (disambiguation).



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Location of Minot, North Dakota


Minot is located in north central North Dakota, at 48°13'59" North latitude, 101°17'32" West longitude. (48.233190, -101.292229)Template:GR. Minot is located about 170 km (100 mi) north of Bismarck, 300 km (200 mi) west of Grand Forks and 400 km (250 mi) northwest of Fargo and southeast of Regina, Saskatchewan.

The city is on the Souris River, also known as the Mouse River, near its southernmost point. The river flows east through the city. It eventually turns northwest and meets with the Assiniboine River near Brandon, Manitoba.


According to the Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 37.7 km² (14.6 mi²). It is almost entirely land; the Souris River, its oxbow lakes, and a few creeks take up just 0.14% of the city's total landmass.

Grid and address system

The city is laid on a grid-based street system. Streets run North-South and Avenues run East-West. Streets are numbered by their block distance east or west of Main Street. Similarly, Avenues are numbered north and south of Central Avenue. There are four city quadrants (NW, SW, SE, NE) to describe the exact location of any given address. Main Street addresses are simply designated North and South. Central Avenue addresses are simply designated East and West.


515 2nd Avenue SW (City Hall) is located a little more than five blocks west of Main Street on 2nd Avenue South.

3515 16th St SW (the Minot YMCA) is located 35 blocks south of Central Avenue on 16th Street West.

Major streets


  • 16th Street West
  • 6th and 8th Streets West
  • Broadway (US 83)
  • 3rd Street East
  • Valley Street (Bus. US 52)
  • Hiawatha Street


  • 21st Avenue North
  • University Avenue
  • 4th, 3rd, 5th, Railway Avenue
  • The Quentin N. Burdick Expressway (Bus. US 2/52)
  • 11th Avenue South
  • 20th Avenue South
  • 32nd Avenue South

City districts

The City of Minot has a number of distinct regions. Here's a partial listing.

Major divisions

The Souris River divides the city approximately in half, north and south. The valley rises to the plains both north and south of the river. Minot does not have particular names for these general topographic divisions of the city. The Valley is simply the Valley (or not called anything at all). The northern rise and the plateau north of it is referred to as North Hill and the southern rise and plateau south of it is referred to as South Hill.

Commercial Areas

Minot has several commercial areas, the first of which is Broadway itself, the main north-south trunk route.

Downtown generally refers to the area bounded by Broadway, 3rd Street East, Central Avenue, and Burdick Expressway, though the immediate vicinity is often also included.

There is a major shopping district along 16th Street SW south of the US 2/52/83 bypass, including Dakota Square Mall, Wal-Mart, and various other shops.

The Arrowhead Mall is located at Central Avenue and 16th Street West. Oak Park Center is nearby, along 4th Avenue NW. There is also Town and Country Center, located at Broadway and 11th Avenue SW.


More specific named divisions tend to be upscale residential areas. These include Bel-Air, which is the area north of 4th Avenue NW and west of 16th Street NW and includes Bel-Air Elementary School, Eastwood Park, which is southwest of Roosevelt Park and north of Burdick Expressway along 7th and 8th Streets SE, and Terracita Vallejo which is actually outside of the city, west of the US 83 bypass but north of US 2/52.


As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 36,567 people, 15,520 households, and 9,265 families residing in the city. The population density is 970.4/km² (2,513.1/mi²). There are 16,475 housing units at an average density of 437.2/km² (1,132.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 93.18% White, 1.34% African American, 2.76% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 0.49% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. 1.47% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

The top 6 ancestry groups in the city are German (40.8%), Norwegian (32.3%), Irish (8.7%), English (5.4%), Swedish (4.2%), French (3.2%).

There are 15,520 households out of which 28.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.6% are married couples living together, 10.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.3% are non-families. 32.5% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.0% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.27 and the average family size is 2.90.

In the city the population is spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 13.3% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $32,218, and the median income for a family is $42,804. Males have a median income of $30,283 versus $20,023 for females. The per capita income for the city is $18,011. 12.8% of the population and 8.8% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 16.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.9% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Missing image
Minot 1966, seen from North Hill

Minot came into existence in 1886, when Jim Hill's Great Northern Railroad ended its push through the state for the winter, after having trouble constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee. A tent town sprung up over night, as if by magic, thus the city came to be known as the Magic City.

The townsite was chosen by the railroad to be placed on the land of then-homesteader Erik Ramstad. Mr. Ramstad was convinced to relinquish his claim, and became one of the city leaders.

The town was named after Henry Davis Minot, a railroad investor and friend of Jim Hill. The city was incorporated on 28 June 1887.

Later, the Soo Line was building a line from Valley City up to Canada. While initially their plan was to cross the Souris River some distance from Minot, local interests convinced them otherwise; landholders along the new route gladly donated the right-of-way. They reached Minot in 1893.

Minot was a typical western boom town in its early years, with its share of vice and lawlessness. During Prohibition the city became known as "Little Chicago", as it was a central hub of Al Capone's liquor smuggling operations. Smugglers used a network of underground tunnels (some of which were previously built for heating or deliveries) to transport and conceal the illicit cargo. Some of the tunnels can still be accessed.



The railroads that built Minot remain there today, though Great Northern is now part of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway and the Soo Line is run by the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Passenger rail transportation is provided daily on Amtrak's Empire Builder line. Trains make a 20-minute refueling stop in Minot; Westbound trains arrive about 9:00 am local time . Eastbound trains arrive about 9:00pm.


Three US Highways run through the city: US 2, US 52, and US 83.

US 2 runs East-West. It is a four-lane highway from Minot east to Grand Forks and largely two lanes from Minot west to Williston. In February 2004 it was announced that Highway 2 would be expanded to four lanes between Minot and Williston by 2008.

US 83 runs North-South. It is a four-lane highway from Minot south to Bismarck and north to Minot Air Force Base. Past the Air Force Base the road reduces to two lanes. US 83 crosses the Canadian border at Westhope, ND, where it becomes Manitoba Highway 83.

US 52 runs Southeast-Northwest. Southeast from Minot, US 52 follows a slightly circuitous route to Jamestown, where it meets up with Interstate 94. Northwest from Minot, US 52 crosses the Canadian border at Portal, ND/North Portal, SK, where it becomes Saskatchewan Highway 39.

Minot has a Bypass for these routes around the south and west sides of the city.


Minot International Airport is served three times daily by Northwest Airlines. Airport officials are constantly looking for additional service, both from Northwest and other airlines, but such efforts have proved fruitless so far.

Within the city

Automobiles dominate intracity and local area transport. There is limited fixed-route city transit service on weekdays, and flexible-route rural transit service on an occasional basis. Local transit services for the elderly and disabled meet federal guidelines but have long advance notice requirements. Pedestrianism is virtually nonexistent, whether from the poor sidewalk network, the inconsiderate street traffic, or simply the great distances to venture to arrive at major points. Most people without a car either plan to find one or plan to hitchhike.


Minot has several media outlets but little local content. KXMC-TV and the Minot Daily News are somewhat active in collecting local news, while KMOT-TV, KCJB-AM, and KHRT-AM have some local news content, but never go out of their way to collect it.

Aside from local news programming, virtually no mass media content originates from Minot, and local media seems content to rebroadcast and republish network and wire reports than maintain a strong local focus.


Minot has six television stations:

6 KSRE - Prairie Public Television (PBS)
21 K21GQ - TBN
24 KXND - Fox/UPN

Local News Stations

Only KXMC offers live local news seven days a week. KMOT also offers limited local coverage on weekdays but mostly rebroadcasts newscasts from its Bismarck sister station, KFYR.

Repeater Stations

KMCY and KXND largely simulcast KBMY and KNDX from Bismarck. KSRE rebroadcasts KFME from Fargo.


Minot has thirteen radio stations (10 FM, 3 AM), of which six (including two of the AM stations) are owned by Clear Channel Communications. North Dakota Public Radio operates a full power FM station, a community broadcaster operates a low-power FM station, and the remainder are nonprofit Christian stations, of which only KHRT is based locally.

Clear Channel has been blamed for placing its stations on autopilot and resulting failure to warn area residents not to go outside when an ammonia tanker derailed on 18 January 2002. One man died and dozens were injured attempting to flee the area while Clear Channel continued to play its satellite feeds.

AM band

910 KCJB - Clear Channel Country
1320 KHRT - "K-Heart" Christian
1390 KRRZ - "Cars" Clear Channel Oldies

FM band

88.9 KMPR - North Dakota Public Radio
91.1 K216EE - Christian
91.9 K220GC - Christian
93.7 KIZZ - "Z94" Clear Channel Top 40
97.1 KYYX - "Kicks 97" Clear Channel Country
98.1 KOWW-LP - "The Cowlip" (eclectic community broadcaster)
99.9 KMXA - "Mix 99" Clear Channel Top 40, 90s, 80s
104.1 KSAF-LP - Christian
105.3 KZPR - "The Fox" Clear Channel Classic Rock
106.9 KHRT - "K-Heart" Christian

Additionally, the following stations are not based in Minot but generally have a clear signal into town:

550 KFYR - "K-Fire" from Bismarck
101.9 KBTO - "Sunny 101.9" from Bottineau


The local newspaper is the Minot Daily News, which publishes seven days a week. Morgan Printing produces the Lunch Letter three days a week on a double-sided leaflet. There are also two weekly classified-ad publications, the Trading Post, printed by the Daily News, and The Finder, printed by the Bismarck Tribune.


The mayor of Minot is Curt Zimbelman, a banker. As mayor he chairs the 14-member City Council, but only casts a vote to break a tie. The day-to-day affairs of the city are handled by the City Manager, currently David Waind.

While the city's leadership has been trending towards the conservative, Minot's liberal factions have been active in recent years and have had somewhat more success than in other areas of the state.


Minot uses the Council-manager system of government. Fourteen councilmen are elected from 7 city wards to four-year terms. Elections are arranged such that one councilman from each ward is elected in every even-numbered year. The mayor of Minot is elected to a four-year term as well; the last mayoral election was in 2002. All city offices are nonpartisan.

City elections are held in June in North Dakota, along with the state primary election.


Minot's civic realm includes a number of debates over taxes, fiscal management, and economic development policy.

Major issues include:

Economic development

In 1992, Minot created a special tax fund called the MAGIC Fund to provide public subsidies to businesses to start operations in Minot. This fund was supported by 40% of a 1% sales tax levied by the city. The initial creation of the fund established it through 2006.

The MAGIC Fund started to draw criticism for many reasons. Many became dissatisfied with the type of employers coming into the city using MAGIC Fund money, primarily telephone call centers, and their low wages. This was inflamed by high-profile closures of call centers run by Z-Tel and later, WebSmart Interactive.

Another source of criticism dealt with the fiscal management of the MAGIC Fund. By 2001 the MAGIC Fund had exhausted all the funds expected to be collected by the fund's expiration in 2006; this drew allegations that the city diverted tax revenues from other funds to make up the difference.

Early in 2002, a special city election was called, a Yes/No vote on a question of whether or not the city should divert a portion of the NAWS tax revenues to the MAGIC Fund, and if the MAGIC Fund iself should be extended through 2013. The proposition was defeated.

The following mayoral election was hotly contested. The major issue of the campaign was economic development. Curt Zimbelman, a banker, supported the MAGIC Fund program as-is, while Steve Huenneke, an economics professor at MSU, advocated reforms, such as wage standards and penalties for companies that did not meet job creation goals under the program. On election day, Zimbelman narrowly won by 143 votes out of over 8,000.

After the election a 3-man committee was appointed by the new mayor to study problems with the MAGIC Fund and to create a new set of guidelines. The new guidelines were officially approved by the city council, but many saw it as a face-saving manoeuvre rather than actual reform.

In late 2003 and early 2004, there was talk of a new plan for economic development being put forward by the city leadership and MSU business professor Rod Hewlitt, but details were not forthcoming.

City voters approved an extension of the 1% city sales tax in June 2004, but as of yet there has been no public declaration of any new economic development policy by city officials. Many are concerned that the MAGIC fund will return to business as usual, while others feel they have been vindicated.

Northwest Area Water Supply (NAWS)

The Northwest Area Water Supply is slightly less controversial among residents of Minot and area, however, it has attracted the ire of the Canadian government because the plan calls for water to be pumped from Lake Sakakawea, then to Minot for treatment, and then on to large stretches of Northwest North Dakota.

The Canadian Government's issue with this program is that it moves water from the Missouri River basin, which flows south into the US, to the Souris River basin, which flows north into Canada, possibly introducing foreign microbes into the water supply.

The other main issue with the NAWS project is funding; Federal, State, and local dollars have been pledged to the project, but in summer 2003, Federal funds for the project were almost cut, jeopardizing construction.

Minot voters decided in 1998 to levy a 1% sales tax to go towards the construction of NAWS; it is alleged by some that this tax fund was partially diverted towards economic development purposes. A lawsuit was filed against the city and it was ordered to return the misappropriated funds to the NAWS fund. By that time, the money had already been spent, and the city instead voted to issue a special assessment on city water bills to raise the funds.

Some worry that NAWS may be a moot point as water levels in Lake Sakakawea continue to fall, that not enough water will be available for use as a result of the project.


The city's economy is more robust than other cities of its size due to its large service area; however, it is beset by significant problems with enterprise capital and wage standards. About 30% of Minot residents work two or more jobs, and two-thirds of households earn less than the national median household income.

A Coldwell Banker Home Price Comparison Index listed Minot as the most affordable area of 348 markets in the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico for homebuyers.


Minot's midwestern setting and attitudes sometimes hides its sizable and sometimes flamboyant arts community. Minot has an art museum, a symphony orchestra and a city band, several dance and theatre troupes, a youth/punk concert organization, the AMP, and much more; over 40 organizations claim membership in the Minot Area Council on the Arts, and even more exist.

The attitudes of the people themselves run the gamut. Many are of the opinion that they do not wish to remain in the area any longer than they have to; while others are taken by what the city is today, or what it could be in the future if they applied themselves.

Nearly 40% of the residents of Minot are of Scandinavian ancestry, and every October since 1977, Minot has been the host to the Norsk Høstfest, North America's largest Scandinavian-American festival.

Sister cities

Minot maintains a sister city relationship with the Norweigian city of Skien. Some note the irony in that Skien is the center the of county of Telemark, while Minot has become a center for telemarketing.

Minot is also developing a relationship with Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in connection with the "Little Chicago" civic tourism initiative, with plans to brand the road between the cities (US 52/SK 39) as the Rum Runner Highway, to emphasize its role in prohibition-era smuggling. On May 24, 2005, it was announced that the two cities had officially entered into a Sister City partnership.


The Minot Park District operates 17 parks with various facilities, Corbett Field, home to minor league baseball, the Optimist soccer complex, the MAYSA ice arena, the Souris Valley Golf Course, and an indoor tennis arena.

The city's largest parks are Roosevelt Park and Oak Park.


Minot's public school system has 9 elementary schools: Bel Air, Edison, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Longfellow, McKinley, Roosevelt, Sunnyside, Washington, (a tenth, Jefferson, was shut down in 2003)

2 middle schools: Jim Hill and Erik Ramstad

1 high school on two campuses: Minot High School - Central Campus (for grades 9 and 10) and Minot High School - Magic City Campus (for grades 11 and 12).

Minot Public Schools also operates an adult learning centre.

For private schools, Minot has a Catholic school system with two elementary schools, St. Leo's and Little Flower, and a combined middle and high school, Bishop Ryan. There is also a protestant K-12 school, Our Redeemer's.

Minot is also home to Minot State University.

Notable people from Minot

External links


Missing image

Wikitravel has a travel guide about Minot, North Dakota.

Regions of North Dakota Flag of North Dakota
Red River Valley | Missouri Escarpment | Badlands
Largest cities
Beulah-Hazen | Bismarck-Mandan | Devils Lake | Dickinson | Fargo-West Fargo | Grafton | Grand Forks | Jamestown | Minot | Rugby | Valley City | Wahpeton | Williston

Adams - Barnes - Benson - Billings - Bottineau - Bowman - Burke - Burleigh - Cass - Cavalier - Dickey - Divide - Dunn - Eddy - Emmons - Foster - Golden Valley - Grand Forks - Grant - Griggs - Hettinger - Kidder - La Moure - Logan - McHenry - McIntosh - McKenzie - McLean - Mercer - Morton - Mountrail - Nelson - Oliver - Pembina - Pierce - Ramsey - Ransom - Renville - Richland - Rolette - Sargent - Sheridan - Sioux - Slope - Stark - Steele - Stutsman - Towner - Traill - Walsh - Ward - Wells - Williams

fr:Minot (Dakota du Nord)


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