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 with brief mentions of the now nonexistent Huron Township and Shue Creek Township.

Source:The Daily Plainsman (Huron, SD), Monday, 21 March 1960, page 4, column 4

A total of 27 of the 35 townships in Beadle County were organized in 1884.  Exceptions to these, Cavour, Richland, Wessington and Valley were not organized until 1887 or 1888.

Theresa and Valley were part of Huron Township prior to that. Richland included the south half of Cavour Township. Liberty and the other half of Cavour Township were known as Shue Creek Township.

Most of the townships were named for former homes of the first settlers. A few were named for the first settlers, such as Allen for Alexander ALLEN; Kellogg for Henry KELLOGG; Grant for Josiah GRANT; Clifton for William CLIFTON; and Foster for Henry FOSTER who offered to give the record books if they would name the township for him.

Still living in the county [1960] are several whose ancestors were connected with the naming of townships. Banner Township was named by John BAKER, grandfather of Mrs. Mary BROOKS of Huron. That township and Logan were both organized in the home of H. H. WIBERT, father of Harry WIBERT, Huron. Banner was organized before Logan which accounted for its name.

S. R. MONTAGUE, uncle of Mrs. Jennie SCHLITZ, rural Wolsey, named Belle Prairie Township. John McDONNEL, father of Mrs. W. H. STAHLY, rural Huron, had named Custer Township after General CUSTER.

Capt. J. S. VANDERBURG, father-in-law of Mrs. Percy PHILLIPS, Huron, named Theresa Township after his former home in New York. The Rev. William HOADLEY, grandfather of Leonard DAVIS, Huron, named Carlyle Township after the author. W. S. VAN HORN, grandfather of Mrs. Paul BROER, rural Huron, named Dearborn Township, which was organized in the VAN HORN home.

--Mildred McEWEN JONES.

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