"The migration of a half million people to the Dakota Territory in the 1880s deserves the familiar western moniker 'boom.' One railroad official called the migration to Dakota a 'marvel in the history of human colonization.' The Great Dakota Boom was twice as large as the California Gold Rush... It was also larger than the much more famous overland migration, which, from 1841 to 1867, brought 350,000 people to Oregon and California... In 1880 the number of farms in the [Dakota] territory totalled only 17,435; by 1885 they totaled 82,017... In 1882 the Chicago Tribune reported that five hundred trains carrying 9,000 European and Canadian immigrants had rolled into the windy city and that 7,200 of these immigrants were bound for Dakota."
John Lauck, Prairie Republic