Wednesday, July 13, 2011

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)

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