Jamestown has served as the headquarters for a number of statewide organizations over the years. The relatively central location of Jamestown in the state makes it a handy place for organizations to call home.

In February 1910, the North Dakota Humane Society was formed under North Dakota law and called Jamestown its headquarters while local chapters were organized around the state.

Actually, the Humane Society also used another name.

It was also sometimes called The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and Dumb Animals.

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I don’t know if they gave intelligence tests to any potential victim of animal cruelty or just assumed they were all dumb.

The North Dakota Humane Society boasted about 4,000 members in 16 local chapters. Members paid an annual $1 membership fee or $10 for a lifetime membership.

A card-carrying member of the Humane Society had authority under state law to make arrests or cause a violator to be arrested by law enforcement officers for cruel acts to children or animals.

The society also published and distributed pamphlets promoting the humane treatment of animals and kids.

The rules about humane treatment of animals were taken seriously in North Dakota.

When the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show toured North Dakota in the fall of 1910, Cody announced that the performers in the show would not use spurs when riding horses during the performances.

Officials with the Wild West Show said that in some performances, spurs were necessary to provide cues to the horse. In North Dakota, the spurs were wrapped in cloth to make sure they would not inflict pain on the horse.

The Humane Society officer for North Dakota said Cody always stopped in front of the grandstands to drink from his hat.

“(He) then tenders the horse he rides a drink from the hat to indicate the degree of equality of treatment that a man should accord his horse,” wrote The Jamestown Alert.

Buffalo Bill’s show came to Jamestown in September 1910 as part of the North Dakota tour. Most acts of the show included horsemen performing everything from mounted cavalry charges, stagecoach robberies and even a mounted football game between Native Americans and cowboys utilizing a 6-foot-diameter ball.

Even the band that played background music was mounted.

All without cruelty to the dumb animals and to the joy and amusement of the children of Jamestown.

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