Monday, July 18, 2011


Huron's temperature was 109 degrees at 7:30 p.m. last night. Remember the early residents settled Beadle County wearing long sleeves, long underwear, long skirts and petticoats--before electricity and air conditioning. Ice only came from the Huron Ice Company cut from the river the previous winter. I don't think I could have done it....

Wild, Wild Huron - 1881 - John Walter BRETON

John Walter BRETON was appointed railway [telegraph] operator at Huron, Dakota Territory, June 25, 1880.  From his memoirs...

[Source: Mike BRETON, Geneal Familial, Used with permission, paragraphs and punctuation added]

In the year 1881 I was acting (as) Railroad Agent for the C and NW ry [Chicago & Northwestern Railroad] Huron and at that time the frontier life at Huron was

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Newspaper Index, July 21, 1942--August 2, 1970

In the South Dakota Room at the Huron Public Library sits an old-fashioned wood card cabinet.  The cabinet houses my second obscure, excellent resource: Index to select South Dakota items in the local newspaper from July 21, 1942, to August 2, 1970.  While the index is far from complete, it deserves a first look whether you are researching a person, place, or event.

Now you know all (well, two) of my secrets for researching local history....

Huron - How did it get its name?

Chaplain, this is for you....  Today I'd like to share two obscure, excellent sources for local history.

The first is A Place-Name Study of Beadle County, South Dakota, written by Leta JAMES 1908-1978.  The daughter of Frank W. JAMES and Florence Lorena GARDNER, Miss JAMES interviewed or corresponded with 123 residents and former residents to prepare her master's thesis at the University of South Dakota.  The manuscript was published in 1939.  You can read the background of this one-of-a-kind document in The Evening Huronite, Tuesday, September 12, 1939, page 3, column 1 "Research Student Reveals Source of Place Names In Beadle County...".

Huron, page 20
The county seat and largest town in the county with a population of 11,733.  Located in Theresa, Valley, Clyde, and Custer T. on the James R., at the center of the county.  Established upon extension of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad.  Founded by the Western Town Lot Co., and platted June 5, 1880.  Named by Marvin Hughitt, President of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad for the Huron Indians.  The name itself is believed to be a corruption of the French word meaning "wild boar," given this tribe of Indians because of their wild and unkempt appearance.  (Beadle Plats of Entries I, p. 67, Robinson's Ency., p. 367; Stennett's History of Place Names, p. 85; Mrs. J. P. Walsh)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

1895--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:Daily Huronite, Saturday, June 1, 1895, page 4, column 2 "The Class of '95."]
  • Archie BERGER,
  • Nellie COGSWELL,
  • Ella M. HARVEY, Anna HIXSON,
  • Mary E. NICKELL,
  • Jennie RAMER,
  • Alex. URQUHART,
  • Ethel V. WILLS.

1894--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:Daily Huronite, Saturday, May 26, 1894 "High School Commencement."]
  • Henrietta May 'Nettie' BLOODGOOD,
  • John Kerr HANNAY,
  • Cora May IVERSON,
  • Mary Lillian KELSEY,
  • Grace Muriel PAGE,
  • Anna May SMITH, Zula Lelia SMITH.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

1893--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:The Daily Huronite, Saturday, May 20, 1893, page 4, column 2 "A GALA WEEK"]

  • Haven BRADFORD, Don BURNEY, Jessie May BYCROFT,
  • Elizabeth Anne CHALFANT, Florence Risley CURTIS,
  • Susie May DEAN,
  • Caroline E. Carr FAYANT, Alice Carry FULLER,
  • Thomas A. NICKELL,
  • Daisy Marie SHELTON, Leah Scott SMITH,
  • Jennie E. TASSEL,

1892--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:The Daily Huronite, June 2, 1892, page 4, column 2 "Diplomas For Four..." 
  • Kendall B. CRESSEY,
  • Walter J. GRANT,
  • Hattie Rose LAUBE,
  • Addie A. PLOCK.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

1891--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:The Daily Huronite, Monday, June 1, 1891, page 4, column 3 "High School Commencement"]

  • Pearl Louise ABELL [md: Rev. Marshall Foster MONTGOMERY];
  • Elwin (?) Alva BAIR; Loren Erwin BLOODGOOD; Anna Deming BOTSFORD [md:L. C. BROCKWAY];
  • Henry Walter CHALFANT; Kate Evelyn COOL [md:Cornelius MALLEY];
  • Anna Lavina DAVIS; Fanny Mae DAVIS;
  • Earnest Werner FEIGE [md:Gertrude PEARCE];
  • Gertie Louise GOODELL [unmarried];
  • May Carolyn INGHAM;
  • Edward Lincoln KIMBALL;
  • Louise MACKENZIE [md:Clarence P. WOLFE]; Lorne Douglas MILNE; Lora Frances MOUSER;
  • Lina Belle NICKELL;
  • Anna SUMMERS [md:Roy R. LARKIN];
  • Jessie Alena TOLMIE;
  • Mary Ellice WALTON [md:William F. GRALEY].

1890--Huron High School Graduates

[Source:The Daily Huronite, Saturday, May 24, 1890, page 1, column 5 "Commencement Exercises"]

Sanford SCHUYLER; James Harrison STEELE.

1889--Huron High School Graduates

[Sources:The Daily Huronite, Friday, 17 May 1889 "High School Commencement", page 4, column 3;
Tuesday, 21 May 1889, page 4, column 3]
Nellie Elizabeth BOTSFORD [md:F. L. PERSONS]; Ida May BOWE [md:George MACKNIGHT];
Sarah Priscilla 'Sadie' CAWOOD; Clara Louise CRESSEY [md:George W. MINGUS]
Martha Tilson 'Mattie' CRESSEY [md:Clifford S. LAUGHLIN];
Frank Thornton DAVIS;
Ina Maude HOTALLING [unmarried];
Alexander Oakley ROWE; Marion Regina RUSSELL;
Leah or Lena Edna 'Edna' STONEBRAKER [md:Charles Nenean STEELE];
Mary Lucile 'Lucile' THOMPSON [md:Edward F. WILSON].

Sunday, June 19, 2011

1908 March 31--Hospital for the insane (Yankton), Beadle County Inmates

Hopefully this list will help some researcher pick up the trail of a missing ancestor.  The Hospital for the insane was located at Yankton, Yankton County, South Dakota.

[Source:The Daily Huronite, Thursday, 6 August 1908 "Commissioners Proceedings"]

Statement of superintendent of hospital for insane for quarter ending March 31, 1908, was approved at $48.00 each for the following inmates:
[list alphabetized]

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Photographers, 1881-1980

Here's a list of photographers who worked in the Huron area.  I compiled it to help date photographs.  Please contact me if you have additions.

Additional Information
S. C.
11 Jul--
1 Aug 1881
Photographer S. C. LEFFEL, 11 Jul--1 Aug 1881.
Huron Tribune, Thursday, 23 Jun 1881, p. 3, col. 4
C. E.
Photographer; business 106 Wisconsin st
Huron City Directory, September, 1883; Chas N. CAMPBELL, Compilerp. 19

Photograph Gallery, Wisconsin St.
Huron City Directory, September, 1883; Chas N. CAMPBELL, Compiler, p. 71

Not in business by 1886.
Huron Daily Plainsman, 15 Jun 1980, p. J-4, col. 1.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Huron Flour Mill, 1898

Found while I was looking for something else!
[Source:The Daily Huronite, Tuesday, 16 August 1898, page 4, column 2]
For some time the firm of J. W. Kelley & Son have been busy remodeling and refurnishing the Huron flouring mill.  They have re-set all the old machinery; replaced that which was unfit for use by new; added a mill for grinding graham flour; one for buckwheat; and still another one for corn meal.  When all their

Monday, March 7, 2011

Township Names - 21 March 1960 ["Pioneer Days" column, written by Mildred McEWEN JONES]

Mildred McEWEN JONES was a retired school teacher who had a heart for history.  From 1955-1970, she conducted interviews and collected family information resulting in five bound manuscripts at the Huron Public Library. Unfortunately, few sources are cited. Here is an article she wrote about the Beadle County townships

Thursday, March 3, 2011


This has nothing to do with genealogy and history, but it does help us see a bit of the lifestyle in 1921.
[Source:Evening Huronite, Monday, 27 June 1921, page 3, column 3]

A warrant was issued at the police station today for the arrest of Carl LUNDBLAD, residing at 154 Illinois street.  This action was taken up complaint made against by Anna BALBACH of that neighborhood charging him with allowing his chickens to run at large.  The hearing was scheduled to take place before Judge SEARLES this afternoon.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Huron City Schools - Roll of Honor for January, 1884

School records that I have located start in the 1900s so I am delighted to find any listing of students 1880-1905.  [If you know of other listings, please let me know.]  Many children were born before birth records were required, died young, and are buried in unmarked graves.  It's a challenge to identify them. 
[Source:Dakota Huronite, Thursday, 7 February 1884, p3c3]
G&HS=Grammar and High School
INT=Intermediate Department
PRI=Primary Department

City Schools

We publish as follows the Roll of Honor, as prepared by Prof. BROWN....

[B] Fred BAKER, G&HS; Wallie BAKER, PRI; Clifford BARLOW, PRI; Marion BARLOW, PRI; Edith BARTLETT, PRI; Carrie BEEBE, INT; Bessie BENSON, PRI;

Monday, February 21, 2011

Huron Church Will Observe Birthday - October, 1930

Source:Views of Huron : the "Good Old Days" (Spiral Scrapbook) / Huron, SD : Mrs Charles Barkl, 1930-1940, page "4" [Location:Huron Public Library].
Caption:  Here is a picture of Huron's first place of worship, the Baptist church which stood on the present site of the A. M. Urquhart garage [101-3rd Street Southeast].  Built in 1880 at a cost of about $2,000, the edifice was dedicated the following year.

This same photograph was in the Evening Huronite, 24 June 1930, page 5, column 5 with the caption:

Baptists Put Up First Church
Here is Huron's first place of worship, the Baptist church which was completed in the fall of 1880 at a cost of $2,000.  The Rev. George A. Cressey was pastor.  The building stood at Third and Kansas on the site now occupied by A. M. Urquhart's garage. It faced west.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Depot, 1880

Source:Views of Huron : the "Good Old Days" (Spiral Scrapbook) / Huron, SD : Mrs Charles Barkl, 1930-1940, page "5" [Location:Huron Public Library].
First depot 1880. used until Kent House  [was] built about 1883. The Pres. [Presbyterian] Church and the Union S.S. [Sunday School] were organized here.  All faced the north.  The depot was at the north side and the baggage at the west end.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Andreas' History of Beadle County, 1884 - Churches

Source: Andreas, A T. Andrea's historical atlas of Dakota. Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884; [Printed by] R. R. Donnelley & Sons, The Lakeside Press.
p. 146, col. 3--Continued
[Pioneer Union Sunday School]
The Pioneer Union Sunday school was the first religious organization in the city.  It began with a  membership of fourteen, on the 27th day of June, 1880.  It was discontinued on the 4th day of  November, 1883.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Huron's Early History - Firsts - about 4 Jul 1905

Here is an undated clipping from the Huron Public Library files.
A Few Facts Connected With the Early History of Our City Upon the Jim

A few of the "firsts" connect with the founding of Huron, whose twenty-fifth anniversary we celebrated July 4th, 1905, are given below and may prove of interest to both old settlers and to the newcomers.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Andreas' History of Beadle County, 1884 - Early History - City of Huron

Source: Andreas, A T. Andrea's historical atlas of Dakota. Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884; [Printed by] R. R. Donnelley & Sons, The Lakeside Press.
p. 146, col. 1--continued
Probably the first settlement in this county dates from the month of April, 1879, when Charles Miner located at the mouth of Pearl Creek on Section 14, Town 109, Range 61

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Andreas' History of Beadle County, 1884 - Description - Organizaton

For my first post, let's start with a history written in 1884, four years after Beadle County was organized.
Source: Andreas, A T. Andrea's historical atlas of Dakota. Chicago: A. T. Andreas, 1884; [Printed by] R. R. Donnelley & Sons, The Lakeside Press. 
p. 145, col. 1
This county is situated in the far-famed James River Valley, immediately north of the Second standard parallel and about equi-distant between the Missouri River and the Minnesota State