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Stutsman County was organized in 1873 from a part of Pembina County. The county seat continues to be Jamestown, its principal city of about 16,000 population. The county was named for and by Enos Stutsman, a physically handicapped scrapper, lawyer and politician from the early days of Dakota Territory. Stutsman, a resident of Pembina, never resided in the county of his name. The first courthouse was built in 1879. The 1883 building, while no longer used for county business is the oldest couthouse in the state. Settlement of the county followed the 1872 arrival of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.