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Williston, North Dakota

williston north dakota weather next 10 days, williston north dakota high school
Williston is a city in and the county seat of Williams County, North Dakota, United States5 The 2010 census6 gave its population as 14,716, and the Census Bureau gave the 2015 estimated population as 26,977, making Williston the sixth largest city in North Dakota The North Dakota oil boom is largely responsible for the sharp increase in population

Williston's newspapers, both in print and online, are the daily Williston Herald and the weekly The Williston Trader Sloulin Field International Airport is a public airport 32 km 20 mi north of the business district Williston is the home of Williston State College and the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
    • 21 Climate
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 2010 census
    • 32 2000 census
  • 4 Economy
  • 5 Arts and culture
    • 51 Sites of interest
  • 6 Sports
  • 7 Education
  • 8 Media
    • 81 Print
    • 82 Television
    • 83 Radio
  • 9 Infrastructure
    • 91 Transportation
      • 911 Air
      • 912 Rail
      • 913 Highways
    • 92 Health Care
  • 10 Notable people
  • 11 See also
  • 12 Notes
  • 13 References
  • 14 External links


Founded in 1887, Williston was named for Daniel Willis James, a board member of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, by his friend, railroad owner, James J Hill789


Williston is located at the crossroads of US Highways 2 and 85

It is near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, at the upper end of the Lake Sakakawea reservoir

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 756 square miles 1958 km2, of which 750 square miles 1942 km2 is land and 006 square miles 016 km2 is water1

The municipality is 18 miles 29 km from the Montana-North Dakota border and 60 miles 97 km from the Canada–United States border10


Williston has a semi-arid climate Köppen climate classification 'BSk'; it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 4a11 The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 110 °F −117 °C in January to 701 °F 212 °C in July12 On average, there are 29 days that reach 100 °F 38 °C or higher, 25 days of 90 °F 32 °C+ highs, 42 days with a low of 0 °F −18 °C or below, 96 days with lows plummeting to at least −20 °F −29 °C, and 77 days that do not rise above 0 °F annually12 The average window for freezing temperatures is September 19 thru May 20,12 allowing a growing season of 121 days; Extreme temperatures officially range from −50 °F −46 °C on December 23, 1983 and February 16, 1936 up to 110 °F 43 °C on July 5, 1936; the record cold daily maximum is −29 °F −34 °C on January 16, 1930, while, conversely, the record warm daily minimum is 78 °F 26 °C last set July 19, 197412

Precipitation is greatest in June and July and averages 1437 in 365 mm annually, but has ranged from 613 in 156 mm in 1934 to 2204 in 560 mm in 189612 Snowfall averages 453 in 115 cm per season, and has historically ranged from 80 in 20 cm in 1908–09 to 1072 in 272 cm in 2010–11;12 the average window for measurable ≥01 in or 025 cm snowfall is October 20 thru April 23, although snow in May occurs at most several times per decade and September snow is a much rarer event12 Due to the relative aridity, there are only 41 days where 24-hour snowfall exceeds 3 in 76 cm


Historical population
1890 295
1900 763 1586%
1910 3,124 3094%
1920 4,178 337%
1930 5,106 222%
1940 5,790 134%
1950 7,398 278%
1960 11,866 604%
1970 11,230 −54%
1980 13,336 188%
1990 13,136 −15%
2000 12,512 −48%
2010 14,716 176%
Est 2016 26,426 796%
US Decennial Census16
2015 Estimate17

Williston is in northwestern North Dakota's booming oil patch where adequate, affordable housing has become a concern18 According to a February 2014 article in Business Insider, Williston had the highest apartment rents in the United States19 The 2010 census counted a population of 14,716, up from 12,680 in 2000, but the number of current residents is likely much higher because the count did not include those living in temporary housing In September 2011, the mayor estimated the actual population at 20,00020 The aforementioned 2014 Business Insider story estimated that the population was over 30,00019

2010 censusedit

As of the census2 of 2010, there were 14,716 people, 6,180 households, and 3,589 families residing in the city The population density was 1,9621 inhabitants per square mile 7576/km2 There were 6,542 housing units at an average density of 8723 per square mile 3368/km2 The racial makeup of the city was 926% White, 03% African-American, 33% Native American or Alaska Native, 03% Asian, 04% from other races, and 30% from two or more races Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 22% of the population

There were 6,180 households of which 290% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 446% were married couples living together, 90% had a female householder with no husband present, 45% had a male householder with no wife present, and 419% were non-families 346% of all households were made up of individuals and 123% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 231 and the average family size was 299

The median age in the city was 355 years 236% of residents were under the age of 18; 10% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 267% were from 25 to 44; 254% were from 45 to 64; and 144% were 65 years of age or older The gender makeup of the city was 510% male and 490% female

2000 censusedit

According to the census of 2000, there were 12,512 people, 5,255 households, and 3,205 families residing in the city The population density was 1,7941 per square mile 6931/km² There were 5,912 housing units at an average density of 8477 per square mile 3275/km² The racial makeup of the city was 9369% White, 017% African American, 365% Native American or Alaska Native, 024% Asian, 002% Pacific Islander, 017% from other races, and 206% from two or more races Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 123% of the population

The six leading ancestry groups in the city are Norwegian 478%, German 316%, Irish 96%, English 58%, Swedish 45%, Dutch 43% and French 40%

There were 5,255 households, of which 307% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 474% were married couples living together, 105% had a female householder with no husband present, and 390% were non-families 341% of all households were made up of individuals and 137% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 230 and the average family size was 296

The age distribution was 256% under the age of 18, 93% from 18 to 24, 258% from 25 to 44, 225% from 45 to 64, and 168% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 38 years For every 100 females there were 919 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 883 males

The median income for a household in the city was $29,962, and the median income for a family was $38,713 Males had a median income of $29,578 versus $18,879 for females The per capita income for the city was $16,656 About 113% of families and 134% of the population were below the poverty line, including 191% of those under age 18 and 78% of those age 65 or over


Gas station at Farmers' Cooperative in Williston, 1941 Photo by Marion Post Wolcott

Williston's economy, while historically agricultural, is increasingly being driven by the oil industry Williston lends its name to the Williston Basin, a huge subterranean geologic feature known for its rich deposits of petroleum, coal and potash Williston sits atop the Bakken formation, which by the end of 2012 was predicted to be producing more oil than any other site in the United States, surpassing even Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, the longtime leader in domestic output in the United States21

The State of North Dakota provides a website detailing daily oil activity In 1995, the US Geological Survey estimated that there were 150 million barrels of oil "technically recoverable" from the Bakken shale In April 2008, the number was said to be about four billion barrels; in 2010 geologists at Continental Resources, the major drilling operation in North Dakota, estimated the reserve at eight billion In March 2012, after the discovery of a lower shelf of oil, it announced a possible 24 billion barrels Although current technology allows for extraction of only about 6% of the oil trapped 099–199 mi 16–32 km beneath the earth's surface, recoverable oil might eventually exceed 500 billion barrels21 The recoverable oil amount in the WSJ article may be a misprint Continental Resources estimates of original oil in place OOIP is 500 billion bbls of oil Primary production using new technology could increase primary recover to 10% or 50 billion bbls of recoverable oil Some suggest as much as 20% which would be 100 billion bbls Other recovery rates are estimated at 3 – 8% currently, or 15 billion to 40 billion bbls of recoverable oilcitation needed

Williston has seen a huge increase in population and infrastructure investments during the last several years with expanded drilling using the 'frac' petroleum extraction technique in the Bakken Formation and Three Forks Groups22 Examples of oil industry related infrastructure investments are the multi-acre branch campus of Baker Hughes, the Sand Creek Retail Center, and the Jim Bridger shops & offices

Photo of a modern precast concrete building in Williston, North Dakota USA The building is a flex space building

A major regional grain elevator is served by the BNSF Railway Williston's livestock arena has weekly auctions

Forts Union and Buford, as well as the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers—a part of the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition—encourage area tourism Williston is also comparatively close to the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Arts and cultureedit

Sites of interestedit

  • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site – a reconstructed fur-trade era fort owned and maintained by the National Park Service
  • Fort Buford – a pioneer age military fort An interesting site is the military graveyard
  • Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center – A museum highlighting the history of the area where the Missouri River and the Yellowstone River merge
  • Lake Sakakawea – a large man-made lake located close to Williston The lake offers plenty of recreational activities
  • The Confluence – where the Missouri River and the Yellowstone River meet A historical center, boat ramp, camp site, and bike path are located here
  • Eagle Ridge Golf Club – an eighteen-hole golf course located on Highway 2 north of Williston It measures 6,240 yards 5,710 m from the back tees
  • Williston Municipal Golf Course – a 9-hole golf course located at 3600 42nd Street West in Williston
  • The Links of North Dakota at Red Mike Resort – an 18-hole links course east of Williston Golfweek ranked it 41st among America's 100 best modern courses in 1997, 75th in 1998, and 81st in 1999citation needed
  • Cut Bluff Overlook – a historic site located about two miles 3 km east of Williston on the south side of Highway 1804 Commemorating Lewis and Clark's campsite near Cut Bluff on the south banks of the Missouri River
  • James Memorial Art Center – Originally the community library est 1911, The James was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979It now serves as an art & cultural center for the community, offering art exhibits and art classes23
  • Old Armory – The Old Armory was built in 1915 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 198524 The Old Armory is now home to community theater non-profit organization Entertainment, Inc!, founded in 1981 Entertainment, Inc! produces five shows each year25
  • Williston Area Recreation Center – a 234,00 square foot recreation center, built in 2014, that includes an indoor surfing, golf simulators, and a water park There are also the more traditional Tennis and Basketball courts, along with turf fields and an indoor track26


  • Williston Keybirds of North Dakota American League Baseball
  • Williston State College Tetons: women's and men's basketball, women's volleyball, men's ice hockey, women's softball and men's baseball


The Williston Public School District#1 serves the city The surrounding rural area is served by New Public School District 8 Trinity Christian School is a private K-12 school located in Williston St Joseph Catholic School is a private K-6 school located in Williston

Williston State College is also located in Williston, off University Avenue The college, founded in 1961 as the University of North Dakota—Williston UND-W, is a two-year public college affiliated with the North Dakota University System NDUS At Williston State College, students can earn an Associate in Arts AA, Associate in Science AS, and/or an Associate of Applied Science AAS degree



  • Williston Herald
  • Plains Reporter
  • Oil Patch Hotline
  • The Christian Weekly
  • The Williston Trader
  • The Shopper


  • 41 KWSE PBS Prairie Public Television
    • 42 World
    • 43 Minnesota Channel
    • 44 Lifelong Learning
  • 81 KUMV NBC
    • 82 Fox
    • 83 Me-TV
  • 111 KXMD CBS
    • 112 ABC; rebroadcasts KMCY of Minot
    • 113 KXMD/weather
  • 381 KXND-LP Fox; rebroadcasts KUMV-TV 82

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, KXMD and KUMV were rebroadcast across Saskatchewan as part of that region's first terrestrial-based cable television system By 1984, however, the Williston signals had been replaced by those of similar stations in Detroit


  • 881 K201FJ CSN network – Christian
  • 895 KPPR North Dakota Public Radio/NPR affiliate
  • 903 K212DW K-LOVE network – contemporary Christian music
  • 907 KJND-FM Your Network of Praise – Christian
  • 917 K219CB American Family Radio network – Christian
  • 931 KGCX "Eagle 93" Classic rock – based in Sidney, Montana
  • 951 KTHC "Power 951" Hot Adult Contemporary
  • 961 KYYZ "Z961 Country Thunder" Country
  • 1011 KDSR "Hot 101" Jack FM
  • 1027 K274AD KHRT translator – contemporary Christian music
  • 660 KEYZ "Keyz NewsRadio" News/Talk/Country
  • 1070 KATQ Country – based in Plentywood, Montana
  • 1090 KTGO Country – based in Tioga




The city of Williston is served by the Sloulin Field International Airport, which has a customs service in its facilities In 2012, United Airlines began offering daily codeshare jet service via ExpressJet Airlines to Denver, CO KDEN on Embraer 145 aircraft, while Delta Air Lines began daily codeshare jet service via SkyWest Airlines to Minneapolis, MN MSP on Bombardier CRJ200 aircraft In August 2014 United began offering direct flights to Houston TX

FedEx Express of Memphis, TN, provides cargo flights to and from the Williston, ND Airport ISN and Grand Forks, ND GFK airport utilizing Cessna 208B Caravans with CargoMaster cargo pods These flights run Monday through Saturday The Saturday service has an early cutoff time and pickups are limited to in-town stops and drop box locations only


Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, serves a station in Williston via its Empire Builder, a once-daily train in each direction between Portland, Oregon/Seattle, Washington and Chicago


US 2 and US 85 at Williston

US 2 runs through the city US 85 bypasses the city to the northwest, US 85B bypasses the city to the northeast ND 1804 runs through the southern portion of the city and is concurrent with US 2 between 143rd Avenue, and 2nd Street

Health Careedit

Williston clinics include Craven-Hagan Clinic, Fairlight Medical Center, and Trinity Community Clinic-Western Dakota Fairlight has the only Veteran's Affairs clinic in northwestern North Dakota and also serves residents of northeastern Montana Fairlight includes a walk-in clinic with four health care professionals Mercy Medical Center is the Williston hospital It provides 24-hour emergency and trauma care but lacks a walk-in clinic

Mercy Medical Center is home to the Leonard P Nelson Family Cancer Treatment Center est 1996, providing oncology services in the region for the past seventeen years to an area of a 100-mile radius Patients receive treatment for a wide variety of cancers including breast, gynecologic, head and neck, lung and prostate Mercy Medical Center broke ground 24 August 2012 on an expanded cancer treatment facility Improvements include the installation of a highly specialized linear accelerator to increase precision radiation therapy treatment delivery with decreased patient treatment time The grand opening was 7 October 201327

Mercy Medical Center was named among the Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals CAHs in the United States by The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations in September 201228

Notable peopleedit

  • Lt-Gen James A Abrahamson, retired USAF officer and first head of the Strategic Defense Initiative aka "Star Wars"
  • Larry Bergh, selected by the Chicago Bulls in the 1969 NBA draft, but never played
  • James R Carrigan, United States District Court judge and Colorado Supreme Court justice, practiced law in Williston
  • Sally Fraser, actress, born in Williston
  • Virgil Hill, silver medalist Olympic boxer 1984, four-time world champion boxer who lost his title to Xue Licitation needed
  • Darlene Hooley, congresswoman from Oregon
  • Phil Jackson, 11-time NBA championship head coach
  • Mark Lee, pitcher with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Baltimore Orioles
  • Brent Qvale, professional football player
  • Brian Qvale, professional basketball player

See alsoedit

  • Williston Amtrak station
  • Williston Herald


  1. ^ Official records for Williston kept at the Weather Bureau Office from January 1894 to June 1948 and at Sloulin Int'l since July 194813
  2. ^ Only 22 to 24 years out of the 29 in the normals period were used to calculate the humidity normals


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 24 January 2012 Retrieved 14 June 2012 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 14 June 2012 
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates" Retrieved June 9, 2017 
  4. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  5. ^ "Find a County" National Association of Counties Retrieved 2011-06-07 
  6. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data Public Law 94-171 Summary File" American FactFinder United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 21 July 2011 Retrieved 2 May 2011 
  7. ^ John Matzko, Reconstructing Fort Union Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2001, 26; Ben Innis, Sagas of the Smoky-Water Williston, ND: privately published, 1985, 344
  8. ^ Wick, Douglas A 1988 North Dakota Place Names Bismarck, North Dakota: Hedemarken Collectibles ISBN 0-9620968-0-6 OCLC 191277027 
  9. ^ Williams, Mary Ann Barnes 1966 Origins of North Dakota Place Names Bismarck, North Dakota: Bismarck Tribune, 1966 OCLC 431626 
  10. ^ "Overview" Archive Sloulin Field International Airport Retrieved on June 2, 2014
  11. ^ "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map" http://planthardinessarsusdagov/PHZMWeb/ United States Department of Agriculture  External link in |website= help; Missing or empty |url= help; |access-date= requires |url= help
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Retrieved 2013-06-28 
  13. ^ ThreadEx
  14. ^ "Station Name: ND WILLISTON SLOULIN INTL AP" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Retrieved 2014-03-26 
  15. ^ "WMO Climate Normals for WILLISTON/SLOULIN FIELD, ND 1961–1990" National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Retrieved 2014-03-10 
  16. ^ "US Decennial Census" Censusgov Retrieved May 25, 2013 
  17. ^ "Population Estimates" United States Census Bureau Archived from the original on 19 October 2016 Retrieved June 1, 2016 
  18. ^ Meg Lindholm, "Flock To ND Oil Town Leads To Housing Crisis," NPR, 28 May 2010
  19. ^ a b Johnson, Robert February 13, 2014 "What Life Is Like In Williston, The North Dakota Oil Boomtown Where Tiny Apartments Top $2,000 A Month" Business Insider Retrieved September 1, 2014 
  20. ^ NPR website
  21. ^ a b Moore, Stephen 11 March 2012 "What North Dakota Could Teach California" Wall Street Journal Retrieved 19 March 2012 
  22. ^ Seattle Times
  23. ^ http://thejamesmemorialorg/historical-notes/
  24. ^ "Archived copy" Archived from the original on 4 December 2010 Retrieved 2017-05-02 
  25. ^ http://wwwentertainmentincorg/AboutUsaspx
  26. ^ http://wwwbusinessweekcom/articles/2014-06-18/a-70-million-rec-center-brings-indoor-surfing-golf-to-north-dakota
  27. ^ http://wwwmercy-willistonorg/News/Leonard-P-Nelson-Cancer-Center-Grand-Opening
  28. ^ http://wwwbeckershospitalreviewcom/news-analysis/top-100-critical-access-hospitals-named-by-ivantagehtml

External linksedit

  • Official website
  • Williston Visitors Center

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