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 line.  It comprises thirty-five Congressional townships, equal to 1,260 square miles or 806,400 acres.  It is traversed north and south by the James River, which with its affluents, Pearl, Cain and Shue Creeks, thoroughly drains the country.  The surface with the exception of the river bottoms, is gently undulating prairie, broken in a few instances by considerable elevations, including the eastern flank of the Wessington Hills.  The soil is principally a black sandy loam, of ample depth.  The sub-soil is a whitish sandy clay, impregnated with lime and magnesia, making it strong and fertile.  In some portions of the county bowlders [sic] are plentifully scattered over the surface, and are also found at considerable depths in the sub-soil.  They rarely form an impediment to the cultivation of the soil, and are exceedingly useful for building purposes.

An interesting topographical feature is the fine sheet of what known as Lake Byron in the northeast part of the county, in Town 113, Range 61 [Lake Byron Township].  This body of water covers about one thousand acres, and is a great resort for wild fowl in their season, and with reasonable outlay can be made a delightful summer resort.  It is not deep, and some claim that in the very dry seasons the water entirely evaporates.

ORGANIZATION.--On the 9th of July, 1880, Eli C. Walton, Charles Miner and S. Simeon Neilson were appointed by Gov. Ordway to organize this county.  They held their first meeting at the Riverside Hotel, in the town of Huron, on the twenty-sixth day of July, 1880, and appointed the following officers:  Register of Deeds, John H. Alexander; School Superintendent, James E. Bishop; Coroner, O. M. Farrington; Judge of Probate
p. 146, col. 1
Court, W. B. Ingersoll; Assessor, Watson Weed; Surveyor, W. B. Joy; Justices, A. J. Wells, A. H. Risdon, Dennis H. Flynn, E. L. Lyman; Constables, William Mixter, W. J. Easton, M. Baum, M. A. Falls.

On the following day (the 27th) E. G. Wheeler was appointed Treasurer, and the county divided into three Comissioners districts.  On motion of Commissioner Neilson the device adopted for a county seal was "an Indian mounted, armed with bow and arrow, chasing an antelope."

On the 28th the county seat was located at Huron.

On the 9th of August, 1880, the county was divided into voting precincts, as follows:  Number one comprised all that portion of the county east of the west line of Range 60 [Ranges 59 and 60].  The polling place was fixed at the Cavour House in Cavour, and D. Flynn, S. Markham and A. J. Sweetser were appointed Judges of Election.

Number two comprised all that portion of the county west of the west line of Range 60 [Ranges 61, 62, 63, 64 and 65].  The polling place was the County Clerk's office in Huron, and I. J. Mouser, S. Roberts and C. D. Houghton were appointed Judges of Election.

The first election took place on the first Tuesday in November, 1880, and resulted as follows:  Commissioners, E. C. Walton, S. S. Neilson, F. R. Van Dusen; Register of Deeds, L. N. Van Vranklin; Treasurer, R. A. Harris; Judge of Probate, E. P. Caldwell; Superintendent, J. S. Bishop; Sheriff, D. Bell; Coroner, H. Russell; Justices, T. F. Nicholl, J. H. Bishop, A. J. Sweetser, M. Baum; Constables, J. McDonald, E. M. Chase, S. Markham.  On the 14th of January, 1881, J. H. Alexander was appointed Register of Deeds as Mr. Van Vranklin failed to qualify.  The present county officers are:  E. C. Walton, Chairman; John Blair, Charles Hitchcock, H. G. Wolfe, John Barry, County Commissioners; I. J. Mouser, Register of Deeds; E. C. Walton, Clerk of Court; J. K. Hannay, Probate Judge; F. E. Stevens, Treasurer; W. B. Joy, Surveyor; E. C. Issenhuth, Assessor; J. S. Bishop, Superintendent of Schools; C. H. Ellis, A. J. Sweetser, Allen Coplin, William Ross, Justices of the peace; Alexander McRostie, Sheriff; G. W. Moody, Coroner.

The construction of a magnificent court-house on a commanding eminence in the western part of the city of Huron was commenced in the summer of 1883, and the building will be completed and occupied the present season.  In the meantime the county officials have been comfortably accommodated in a large frame block on West Third street, in which is also located the United States Signal office.

The new building is constructed of brick, with an extensive basement of heavy Winona stone, fitted up for a county jail.  The structure has two lofty stories above the basement and is surmounted with a finely proportioned tower.  When completed the building will be among the best and most costly for  similar purposes in the Territory.  Its outside dimensions are about 60 by 80 feet, and its total cost will  be in the neighborhood of $50,000.

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