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From the collection of the 

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Compiled by 
The Federal Writers' Project 

of the 

Works Progress Administration 
State of South Dakota 

Sponsored by 









A SOUTH DAKOTA GUIDE is one of the pub 
lications in the American Guide Series, written by 
members of the Federal Writers' Project of the 
Works Progress Administration. Designed primar 
ily to give useful employment to needy unemployed 
writers and research workers, this project has 
gradually developed the ambitious objective of 
presenting to the American people a portrait of 
America, its history, folklore, scenery, cultural 
backgrounds, social and economic trends, and 
racial factors. In one respect, at any rate, this 
undertaking is unique; it represents a far-flung 
effort at cooperative research and writing, draw 
ing upon all the varied abilities of its personnel. 
All the workers contribute according to their tal 
ents; the field worker collects data in the field, 
the research worker burrows in libraries, the art 
and literary critics cover material relevant to their 
own specialties, architects describe notable histori 
cal buildings and monuments; and the final edit 
ing of copy as it flows in from all corners of a 
state is done by the more experienced authors in 
the central offices. The ultimate product, whatever 
its faults or merits represents a blend of the work 
of the entire personnel, aided by consultants, mem 
bers of university faculties, specialists, officers of 
learned societies, oldest residents, who have volun 
teered their services everywhere most generously. 

A great many books and brochures are being 
written for this series. As they appear in increas 
ing numbers we hope the American public will 
come to appreciate more fully not only the unusual 
scope of this undertaking, but also the devotion 
shown by the workers, from the humblest field 
worker to the most accomplished editors engaged 
in the final rewrite. The Federal Writers' Project, 
directed by Henry G. Alsberg, is in the Division 
of Women's and Professional Projects under Ellen 
S. Woodward, Assistant Administrator. 




The South Dakota volume in The American Guide Series, pre 
pared by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Ad 
ministration, represents a sincere attempt to describe briefly, faith 
fully, and as entertainingly as possible the varied background and 
contemporary life of the State. It was no easy task for the small 
staff, engaged in this work since the autumn of 1935, to gather in 
formation through research, interviews, and personal observation, 
and then select without bias from a huge mass of material the sig 
nificant and interesting facts relating to this comparatively new 
State, one of the last ten to enter the Union, and still one of the 
most sparsely settled. This book is frankly only a 'beginning, a spur 
to further research and interpretation of life in South Dakota. A 
special effort has been made to illustrate the story attractively with 
old and new photographs and many original drawings. 

South Dakota is extremely conscious of its newness as a State, 
of the fact that it offers one of the few remaining opportunities to 
see pioneer life. It is just as conscious of its great geologic age, 
vividly manifest in the Black Hills formations and the Badlands, 
one of the most picturesque and scientifically interesting eroded 
areas in the world. The three nicknames given the State in a sense 
describe it the Sunshine, the Blizzard, and the Coyote State. 

Perhaps its official name, Dakota, taken from the Sioux language 
and meaning "an alliance of friends," is equally characteristic. 
South Dakota believes in its State motto "Under God the People 
Rule" ; it was the first State to introduce the initiative and referen 
dum in State affairs, and it has one of the lowest illiteracy rates. 
Dwelling within its borders is one of the largest Indian populations 
in the country, descendants of the highly developed Sioux who 
chose their leaders, chief among them Sitting Bull, because of 
personal qualities rather than heredity. 

viii Preface 

The State Legislature of 1937 made possible the publication of 
A South Dakota Guide through an appropriation setting up a re 
volving fund under the supervision of the South Dakota Guide 

The Federal Writers of South Dakota acknowledge with grati 
tude the valuable advice and assistance given by numerous consult 
ants, specialists in the respective fields. Especially helpful were the 
South Dakota Historical Society, the University of 'South Dakota, 
South Dakota State College, the National Park Service, the United 
States Forestry Service, and the State Department of Agriculture. 

In order to make corrections in future editions of the Guide, the 
editors will appreciate the reporting of any inaccuracies. 

LISLE REESE, State Director. 



By Harry L. Hopkins, Federal Administrator, 
Works Progress Administration 

By Lisle Reese, State Director, 
Federal Writers' Project 




General History 
Industry and Labor 
State Government 














Aberdeen 96 

Deadwood 103 

Huron 113 

Lead 118 

Mitchell 126 

Pierre 130 

Rapid City 141 

Sioux Falls 151 

Watertown 163 


TOURS i/5 

(Mile-by-Mile Description of the State's Highways) 

Tour i. (Browns Valley, Minn.) Sisseton Eureka 

Junction US 83. State 10, 176.6 miles 177 

Side Tour lA. Lake City Fort Sisseton, 16.3 m. 185 

Tour 2. (Benson, Minn.) Milbank Aberdeen 
Lemmon (Hettinger, N. Dak.) US 12, 

328.5 m. 190 

Side Tour 2A. Junction US 12 Montana Line. 

State 8, 201 m. 209 

Side Tour 2B. Waubay Lake Region, 36m. 221 

Tour 3. (Dawson, Minn.)' Watertown Belle Fourche. 

US 212, 429.8m. 227 

Section a. Minnesota Line Cheyenne River 

Reservation, 214.3 m - 22 7 

Section b. Cheyenne River Reservation 

Belle Fourche, 215. 5m. 233 

Contents xi 

Tour 4. (Lake Benton, Minn.) Huron Pierre Rapid 

City (Beulah, Wyo.) US 14, 478.1 m 243 

Section a. Minnesota Line Pierre, 222.1 m 243 
Section b. Pierre Rapid City, 189.5 m - 2 53 

Section c. Rapid City Wyoming Line, 66.5 m. 258 

Side Tour 4A. Highmore Fort Thompson 

Chamberlain. State 47, 55.2m. 268 

Side Tour 46. Rapid City Junction US 85 A. 

Rim Rock Trail, 18.5 m. 272 

Side Tour 4C. Rapid City Nemo Junction US 

85 A. South Canyon Road, 39.1 m. 275 

Tour 5. (Luverne, Minn.) Sioux Falls Chamberlain 

Rapid City (Newcastle, Wyo.) US 16, 486.6m. 278 

Section a. Minnesota Line Junction US 14, 

3 10.4 m. 279 

Section b. Junction US 14 Rapid City, 91 m. 289 

Section c. Rapid City Wyoming Line, 
85.2 m 292 

Side Tour 5 A. Junction US 16 Garretson. 

State n, 1 4.8m. 307 

Side Tour 56. Junction US 16 Mount Rushmore 
Junction US 85A. Rushmore Memorial 
Highway, 13.7 m. 311 

Side Tour 5C. Rapid City Hermosa Junction 

US 8sA. State 79, 61.1 m. 315 

Tour 6. Junction US 16 Badlands Nat'l. Monument 

Wall. State 40, 49m. 318 

Side Tour 6A. Junction Badlands Nat'l. Monument 

Highway Scenic Pinnacles, 61.8 m. 322 

xii Contents 

Tour 7. (Inwood, la.) Canton Winner Hot Springs. 

US 1 8, 474.6m. 3*4 

Section a. Iowa Line Junction US 281, 

137111. 3 2 5 

Section b. Junction US 281 Hot Springs, 
297.5m. 33i 

Section c. Hot Springs Wyoming Line, 

40.1 m. 346 

Tour 8. Junction US 77 Yankton Junction US 18. 

State 50. 109.6 m. 35 

Tour 9. Milbank Sioux Falls (Sioux City, la.) 

US 77, 215.1 m. 359 

Tour 10. (Fairmount, N. Dak.) Watertown Madison 

(Crofton, Neb.) US 81, 249111. 366 

Tour 11. (Ellendale, N. Dak.) Aberdeen Platte 

(Butte, Neb.) US 281, 238.3m. 375 

Side Tour nA. Junction US 281 Mitchell- 
Junction State 50. US 14, State 37, 114.3111. 384 

Tour 12. (Linton, N. D.) Pierre (Springview, Neb.) 

US 83, 254.8 m. 387 

Tour 13. (Bowman, N. Dak.) Buffalo Lead (New 
castle, Wyo.) US 85, 164.1 m. 394 

Section a. North Dakota Line Junction 

US 14, 1 33m- 394 

Section b. Junction US 14 Wyoming Line, 

31.1 m. 401 

Side Tour 13 A. Cheyenne Crossing Spearfish. 

State 1 6, 20.5 m. 402 

Contents xiii 

Tour 14. Junction US 85 Ouster (Wayside, Neb.) 

US 85A, State 79, 131. 2m. 405 

Section a. Junction US 85 Hot Springs, 

90 m. 406 

Section b. Hot Springs Nebraska Line, 
41.2 m. 416 

Side Tour I4A. Junction US 85A Sylvan Lake 

Junction US 16. Needles Highway, 14.3 m. 417 

Tour 15. Rapid City Mystic. R.C. B.H. & W. R.R., 35 m. 420 


INDEX 436 


Sioux Chieftain Frontispiece 


between 8 and p 

Prairie Farmer 

W. L. Highton 

The Verendryes 

Mary Giddings 

Man-Made Stockade Lake 

W. L. Highton 

Lake Region 

Aberdeen C. of C. 

The Plains 

Dept. of Agri. 


Sioux Falls C. of C. 

The Badlands 

R. C. Miller 

Black Hills Needles 

Capt. A. W. Stevens 

The Pasque, State Flower 

C. S. Thorns 

Gumbo Lily 

W. H. Over 


Gordon Stockade 

W. L. Highton 

Custer Wagon Train, 1874 

State Hist. $oc. 

Panning Gold 

W. L. Highton 

The Stage 

State Hist. Soc. 

between 38 and jp 

Missouri River Traffic 

State Hist. Soc. 

Sioux Sun Dance 

John A. Bailey 

Sioux Maidens 

Indian Blood Treaty 

CITIES OF THE "MIDDLE BORDER" between 100 and 101 

State Capitol, Pierre 

N. /. Anderson 

Historical Society, Pierre 

N. J. Anderson 

Mitchell Corn Palaces, 

1892-1936 L. B. Stair 

Lake Kampeska, Watertown 
N. J. Anderson 

The Mellette Home 

N. J. Anderson 

City Hall, Sioux Falls 

H. Sptiznagel 
Packing Plant, Sioux Falls 

Teachers College, Aberdeen 
G. K. Brickson 

Garden Terrace Theatre, 
Yankton Yankton College 

xvi Illustrations 

CITIES BiUILT BY GOLD between 130 and 131 

Early Lead Dead wood from Mt. Moriah 

State Hist. Soc. W. L. Highton 

Homestake Mine, Lead Dinosaur Park, Rapid City 

W. L. Highton L. Reese 

River Avenue, Hot Springs Custer Museum 

Stevens Studio W. L. Highton 

"Days of '76" Celebration, Round-up Days, 

Deadwood W. L. Highton Belle Fourche 

THE PEOPLE AND THEIR SCHOOLS between 192 and 193 

Sod Shanty State University 

Heilman E. G. Trotzig 

Immigrant Train, Eureka State College 

Mennonite Children Big Stone Lake 

/. A. Cattrell E. G. Trotzig 

Hardanger Wedding Schense Quadruplets 

John A. Bailey 

Milbank Grist Mill Devil's Gulch 

C. J. Rott 

RANCH, RANGE AND BADLANDS between 254 and 255 

A Badlands Window Round-up Time on the Range 

W. L. Highton John A. Bailey 

Skyline, Badlands Nat'l Sheep 

Monument R. C. Miller 

Yucca Lazy White Bull at Home 

W. L. Highton 

Battleship Rock Hand-Hewn Cabin 

H. B. Reese W. L. Highton 


between 316 and 317 

Rushmore Memorial Carving Lincoln's Nose 

Rapid City C. of C. W. L. Highton 

Washington's Profile * Sylvan Lake 

W. L. Highton W. L. Highton 

Illustrations xvii 

New Sylvan Lake Hotel Crystal Cave 

H. Spitznagel Joe Fassbender 

Stratosphere Flight Wind 'Cave National Park 

Nat' I Geographic Soc. Nat'l Park Ser. 

GHOSTS OF THE PAST between 410 and 411 

Ghost Town Rock Skyscraper 

W. L. Highton W. L. Highton 

Main Street in Rochford A Needle's Eye 

W. L. Highton H. W. Minty 

Custer State Park Museum Native Pottery 

IV. L. Highton W. L. Highton 

Roughlock Falls Grave of Calamity Jane 

Joe Fassbender W . L. Highton 

Explorer II, R. C. Miller, Jacket 


A Chart of South Dakota, Lisle Reese End Sheets 

Husking Bee, Sa-da Jones 2 

Where Old and New Meet, Sada Jones 4 

Sioux Symbols, Wancya 26 

Old Fort Pierre, Mary Giddings 33 

Squatter's Claim, Mary Giddings 56 

Log School, Vermillion, Mary Giddings 60 

Whiskey Gulch, Mary Giddings 132 

One-Horse 'Street Car, Sada Jones 147 

Hangman's Hill, Mary Sturis 149 

Paul Bunyan As He Buried the Blue Ox, Sada Jones 172 

Chart of Fort Sisseton, Lisle Reese 187 

Hugh Glass and the Bear, Mary Giddings '210 

Sheep Herder, Mary Giddings . 218 

Historical Map of the Black Hills, Sada Jones 302 

First House in Yankton, Mary Giddings 353 

Country Store, Sada Jones 390 

xviii Illustrations 


South Dakota State Map Back Pocket 

Key Tour Map 176 

Black Hills Map Back Pocket 

Lake Region Tour Map Back Pocket 

Aberdeen Map Back Pocket 

Pierre Map Back Pocket 

Rapid City Map Back Pocket 

Sioux Falls Map Back Pocket 


General Information contains practical information for the 
State as a whole; specific local information is given in the intro 
duction to The Black Hills recreational area, and to each city and 
tour description. 

The introductory essays are designed to give a composite, yet 
comprehensive, survey of the State's contemporary scene, natural 
setting, history, and social, economic and cultural development. 
Frequent cross-references are made to further information on 
these subjects elsewhere in the book, particularly in the Tour sec 
tion; these are found by reference to the index. A South Dakota 
Guide is not only a practical travel book; it will also serve as a 
valuable reference book. 

The guide is built on a framework of tour descriptions, written 
in general to follow the principal highways from East to West, or 
from North to 'South. They are easily followed, however, in the re 
verse direction. In many cases the highway descriptions are equally 
useful to travelers on railroads. Whenever railroads parallel the 
described highway the fact is stated in the tour heading. 

As a matter of convenience, several of the towns in South Da 
kota are described separately in the Cities section. 
7 /' 

The tour descriptions contain cross-references to other tours 

crossing or branching from the route described, and to pertinent 
material found elsewhere in the book. 

Important routes, with terminals, are listed in the Contents and 
are indicated on the tour key map. Each tour description follows a 
single main route. Descriptions of routes branching from the 
main routes are in smaller type. The long route descriptions are 
divided into sections at important junctions. 

xviii Illustrations 


South Dakota State Map Back Pocket 

Key Tour Map 176 

Black Hills Map Back Pocket 

Lake Region Tour Map Back Pocket 

Aberdeen Map Back Pocket 

Pierre Map Back Pocket 

Rapid City Map Back Pocket 

Sioux Falls Map Back Pocket 


General Information contains practical information for the 
State as a whole; specific local information is given in the intro 
duction to The Black Hills recreational area, and to each city and 
tour description. 

The introductory essays are designed to give a composite, yet 
comprehensive, survey of the State's contemporary scene, natural 
setting, history, and social, economic and cultural development. 
Frequent cross-references are made to further information on 
these subjects elsewhere in the book, particularly in the Tour sec 
tion; these are found by reference to the index. A South Dakota 
Guide is not only a practical travel book ; it will also serve as a 
valuable reference book. 

The guide is built on a framework of tour descriptions, written 
in general to follow the principal highways from East to West, or 
from North to 'South. They are easily followed, however, in the re 
verse direction. In many cases the highway descriptions are equally 
useful to travelers on railroads. Whenever railroads parallel the 
described highway the fact is stated in the tour heading. 

As a matter of convenience, several of the towns in South Da 
kota are described separately in the Cities section. 
,/ /' 
The tour descriptions contain cross-references to other tours 

crossing or branching from the route described, and to pertinent 
material found elsewhere in the book. 

Important routes, with terminals, are listed in the Contents and 
are indicated on the tour key map. Each tour description follows a 
single main route. Descriptions of routes branching from the 
main routes are in smaller type. The long route descriptions are 
divided into sections at important junctions. 

xx How to Use the Guide 

Cumulative mileage is used on main and side tours, the mileage 
being counted from the beginning of each section or, on side tours, 
from the junction with the main route. The mileage notations will 
vary somewhat from future driven mileages because of an exten 
sive road-building program in South Dakota which is eliminating 
curves and avoiding villages. 

The list of descriptive titles of tours gives the nearest out-of- 
State cities on the routes, important South Dakota cities on them, 
and State and Federal highway numbers of routes. 

Points of interest in each city are arranged in the order in which 
they can conveniently be visited, and the numbers correspond with 
those on city maps. 

Standard abbreviations are used throughout. 


(State map, showing highway routes, railroads and air lines, 
in pocket, inside of back cover.) 

Railroads: Chicago & North Western ("North Western"); Chicago, 
Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific ("Milwaukee"); Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy ("Burlington); Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha (CStP 
M&O); Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific ("Rock Island"); Great North 
ern (GN); Illinois Central (1C); Minneapolis & St. Louis (M&StL) ; 
Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie ("Soo Line"); Rapid City, 
Black Hills & Western ("Crouch Line"). Owing to the natural trend 
of migration, most of the important lines run E. and W. ; one, the 
Milwaukee, is a transcontinental line. 

Highways: 12, 212, 14, 16, 18, about evenly spaced, cross the State 
E. to W.; 77, 81, 281, 83, 85, cross it N. to S., principally in the east 
ern section. No inspection at State borders. State highway motor pa 
trol, whose aim is helpful rather than punitive. State tax on gaso 
line, 4tf. 

Motor Vehicle Laws (digest) : No set speed limit, but motorists are 
required to drive so as "not to imperil the life or property of anyone." 
Towns and cities in general have their own speed limits, indicated by 
highway signs. No driver's license required and no age limit for driv 
ers. Lights must be properly adjusted and dimmed on meeting another 
car. Brakes must be capable of stopping a car going 20 m.p.h. within 
33 ft. Non-residents allowed 90 days before they are required to have 
a South Dakota license. Car license plates bear two numbers separated 
by a dash. The first number designates the county, in its alphabetical 
order. County numbers remain the same year after year. 

Air Lines: Hanford Air lines (Omaha to Bismarck) stops at Sioux 
Palls, Huron, and Aberdeen. One plane a day in each direction. 

Bus Lines: Thirty-nine bus lines in State, covering East-river coun 
try with network. One bus line connects Pierre with Black Hills lat 
ter region served by other lines. 

Accommodations: First-class hotels in all larger cities and also 
tourist camps on outskirts. Better organized and more attractive tour 
ist camps in recreational areas, Lake Region of the NE. and Black 
Hills in extreme W. While tourist camps in scenic regions are open 
only during summer, there are enough of them to take care of the 
crowds, even at height of season. 

Precautions: Only one poisonous reptile in South Dakota the rat 
tlesnake. Practically confined to western portion of State. Not so 
prevalent even there as to constitute a menace. Out-of-state visitors 
might spend weeks here and never see one. Rattlers most likely to be 
found on dry, rocky hillsides. If possible, they always give warning 
by that strident buzz from which they take their name. If person is 
bitten, tourniquet should be applied above wound as soon as possible, 
then each fang mark criss-crossed to depth of a quarter inch and the 

xxii General Information 

blood sucked thoroughly from it. Poison ivy common in wooded sec 
tions. Recognizable by its dull, green-white flowers or fruit and tri 
foliate leaves. If poisoned by it, mix one ounce of tincture of iron 
with one-half ounce of alcohol and apply with camel's hair brush or 
tuft of cotton. 

Recreational Areas: Chief recreational sections in Lake Region, 
Black Hills, and Badlands. (See Sports and Recreation.) 

Big Game Hunting: Deer Season, Nov. 1-20 incl. Open only in 
Meade, Lawrence, Pennington, Custer and Fall River Counties. Limit: 
One deer having two or more points to one antler. Fee: Resident, $5; 
non-resident, $25. Elk season regulations prescribed annually by the 
State game and fish commission. Law provides that illegally used 
fishing and hunting equipment is subject to confiscation. 

Upland Game Birds: Pheasants (most numerous in eastern section) 
found in larger numbers than other upland birds. Season usually in 
October or early November. Sometimes split season, first half in Octo 
ber, second half in November. (Bag limit and other regulations pre 
scribed by commission.) Fee: Resident, $1; non-resident, $15. Uni 
formed officers empowered to stop automobiles on public highways for 
inspection and count of game. 

Migratory Waterfowl: South Dakota law empowers commission to 
prescribe regulations in conformity with Federal regulations for tak 
ing ducks, geese, coot, rails, gallinules, snipes, and other migratory 

Fishing Laws: Open season on trout (found principally in Black 
Hills), Apr. 1 to Sept. 30 incl.; crappies, pike, perch, pickerel, sunfish 
and bullheads, May 1 to last day of February. Bass, June 15 to last 
day of February, except in Big Stone Lake, Lake Traverse, and Lake 
Hendricks, where season opens May 29 and closes last day of Febru 
ary to conform with Minnesota laws. No size limit on game fish ex 
cept trout (min. 8 in.), but every fish landed must be kept and 
counted in string limits. Limits: Black bass, pike and pickerel (or 
all or any combined), 8 per day, 16 total in possession; perch and 
bullheads, 50 per day, 100 total in possession; trout and bluegills, 25 
per day, 50 total number in possession; all other varieties of protected 
fish, 15 per day, 30 total in possession. 

Liquor Regulations: State has both "on sale" (by the drink) and 
"off sale" (by the package) system of dispensing intoxicating liquors. 
Municipal ownership of liquor stores permitted in towns and cities 
where election has been held deciding in favor of such ownership. 
Any city or town permitted to have both on sale and off sale license 
but not both on same premises. No sale on election days until after 
5 o'clock. No sale on Sundays. Two kinds of beer licenses issued 
one for 3.2% or less alcoholic content, and one for "high point" de 
fined as "containing in excess of 3.2% and not more than 6 % by 
weight." Possession of a bottle of liquor with seal broken in a public 
place subjects violator to minimum fine of $200 or 90 days in jail, 
or both. 



1st wk. 


1st wk. 



1st wk. 





3rd wk. 


4th wk. 

Sioux Falls 


4th wk. 



1st wk. 

Sioux Falls 


1st wk. 


*nf d 

Game Lodge 

nf d 


nf d 

Rapid City 



Belle Fourche 

n f d 


4th wk. 


4th wk. 



1st wk. 


1st wk. 

Pine Ridge 

1st wk. 



1st wk. 


2nd wk. 


2nd wk. 


4th wk. 



nf d 


nf d 


nf d 


nf d 

Sioux Falls 

nf d 


nf d 


nf d 




n f d 


last Sat. 



4th wk. 


Inaugural Ball (odd years) 
Legislative Session begins 

Sioux Valley Ski Tournament 
(National periodically) 
University Military Ball 

State Basketball Tournament 
"Made in South Dakota" Exposi 

State Music Contest 

Dakota Relays (Track Meet) 

Elk' Convention 
State Grange Convention 
State G. A. R. Convention 
National Guard Encampment 

Black Hills Roundup 
State Amateur Golf Tournament 
Gold Discovery Days Pageant 
Carnival Aqua Festival 

American Legion Convention 

Indian Rodeo 

Days of '76 Festival 

Dakota Open Golf Tournament 
State Fair 

State Amateur Baseball Tourna 
Corn Palace Festival 

Gypsy Day (Northern State 

Teachers' College) 
Founders' Day (Southern 

Normal School) 
Swarm Day (Black Hills 

Teachers' College) 
Tepee Day (Sioux Falls College) 
Eastern Day (Eastern Normal 


Pioneer Day (Yankton College) 
Dakota Day (State University) 
Pow-Wow Day (Huron College) 
Blue and White Day (Dakota 

Wesleyan University) 
Hobo Day (State College) 

South Dakota Education Associa 
tion Convention 

* No fixed day. 


VISITORS who come to South Dakota for the first time expect 
ing to see near-naked Indians, gun-toting cowboys, and Calamity 
Janes will be disillusioned. Although there are as many Indians as 
there were a hundred years ago, when the early white adventurers 
found them living in their natural state, today they live peaceful 
and interesting lives, foreign to war whoops and breechclouts. There 
are cowboys, but not of the motion picture variety. Recurrence of 
such early hardships as drought and grasshoppers, with the addition 
of a new one, the dust storm, for a time arrested prosperity and 
progress, but it failed to discourage the tenacious people. 

To know whence the South Dakotans came, and why, is to begin 
to understand them. When the land west of Minnesota Dakota 
Territory until 1889 was thrown open to homestead settlement, 
school teachers, lawyers, farmers, merchants, and bright-eyed youths 
turned to the new country to stake their claims, their hopes, their 
lives. From eastern cities and long-established communities, from 
Yankee and old frontier families, these adventuring homesteaders 
brought with them to the Middle Border a deep-set cultural tradi 
tion and training, coupled with a determination to achieve economic 

The serious task of making a living in the undeveloped country 
occupied the minds and hands of its people, leaving little time for 
the enjoyment of esthetic pursuits. The soil was turned by men 
dripping sweat ; store counters were worn smooth by calloused 
hands. In young South Dakota there were no operas, no sympho 
nies, no dramas. When the corn was picked and the earth left to 
sleep for the winter, father unpacked his fiddle and uncle his har 
monica, mother baked a cake and the children "bnggied" to the 

A South Dakota Guide 


neighbors with invitations a husking bee tonight. To lively tunes 
learned "back East," a dance was started and the corn was husked. 
And so it has been with South Dakotans through the recent pioneer 
ing years : combining work with pleasure, making their own enter 
tainment, and still keeping an appreciation of the finer arts. 

Not always physically strong, these homesteaders were mentally 
alert and formed the bases of ambitious communities. Then came 
an influx of foreign groups, men of the soil Germans, Swedes, 
Norwegians strongly built and strong of will. The assimilation 
was fast, the Yankee pioneers and foreigners uniting in business 
and marriage. Today only 7 per cent of the State's population are 
foreign born. 

All this has happened within a lifetime. Many of that famous 
homesteading cavalcade of the eighties are still living. They are the 
grey-haired weathered men and women who tell strangers of the 
county-seat fight and the blizzard of 1888. They love to recall their 
hardships, yet they keep their sons at home to run the farm or the 
store because "we've had mighty good crops, and they'll come 
again." That second generation makes the State of today. Whether 
in professions, business, politics, or the kitchen, South Dakotans 

South Dakota Today 3 

want it known that their parents or themselves originated farther 
east, but that they themselves have lived here most of their lives. 
Now the third generation is taking root. While a period of drought 
has retarded immigration to the State, the exodus of young South 
Dakotans is also slight. The spirit of the pioneers lingers among 

Although settled in comparatively recent times by men and 
women of eastern origin, South Dakota by no means lacks western 
color. In this State, as large as Indiana, New Hampshire, and 
South Carolina combined, there are wide variations in activity and 
scene. There is the broad, flat farming region, the rugged ranching 
country, the mountainous mining and recreational area, each having 
its own type of citizenry and culture. The widely differing regions 
divided by the Missouri River are known locally as East-river and 

The eastern half of the State is a continuation of Iowa and Min 
nesota farm land, with the latter's recreational lake region dupli 
cated in the northeastern section. In the James and Sioux River 
Valleys, the barns are large and well-stocked ; radios and motor 
cars are as common as plows ; and their owners are politically con 
servative and deeply religious. Diversified farming and cooperative 
societies have made for prosperous communities. Schools and 
churches are large and numerous. Here one will find small cities 
not unlike Oshkosh, Terre Haute, and Hackensack. Outside the 
long, narrow valley-lands, the farms are newer, smaller, and farther 
apart ; the people are busy fighting the elements for a living. Dust 
storms raised havoc in this region of huge plowed fields without 

Across the Missouri River the large fringe of the Middle West's 
rich farming region merges into the first long reaches of the west 
ern cattle and mining empire. While in eastern South Dakota, 
groves of trees around the farmhouses stand today as monuments 
to the homestead period in which ten acres of trees were planted 
and nursed to secure the land, farther west, beyond the Missouri 
River, abandoned shacks stand in dejected silence to give testimony 
of over-optimism and the unwise use of land. Here the legendary 
"wide open spaces" roll away as far as the eye can see. There is 
something about the vast expanse that appeals to strangers and 
holds the scattered inhabitants. In the northwest part of the State, 
the original pioneer ranchers still color the homestead tide that 
swept over the country in 1909 and 1910 and receded for the most 

A South Dakota Guide 

part in the years following. 
Today "honyock," or farming 
homesteader, and old-timer 
live peaceably side by side, 
and each has learned much 
from the other. The old-timer 
taught his neighbor the art 
of stock raising on the range, 
and the honyock convinced the 
old-timer that some forage 
crops could be raised and that 
it was not good economics to 
ship out a carload of cows 
and ship in a carload of con 
densed milk. 

Although largely unfit for 
farming this region is being 
utilized for ranching with 
further potentialities undevel 
oped. In this range country 
inland prairie towns still re 
tain their hitching posts and 
general stores. 

Farther on in the Black 
Hills a current mining boom 
suggestive of the gold rush 
of 1876 gives an increased 
prosperity to towns clinging 
like swallow's nests to the 
mountainsides. The Black 
Hills people, strangely world- 
wise though isolated, are in 
the midst of an artistic, sci 
entific, and industrial awak 
ening. To the visitor, the gen 
eral knowledge of these na 
tive South Dakotans. so far 


South Dakota Today 

removed from cities and culture, is puzzling. The explanation lies 
in the fact that, with spasmodic discoveries of valuable minerals, 
the Hills like a magnetized needle attract financiers, engineers, 
prospectors, gamblers, and entertainers from the world at large. 
Artists, writers, and sculptors come here for the color; scientists 
come to study the secrets of earth and air. From contacts with the 
famous and notorious, idealist and realist, great and near-great, 
these people have absorbed a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Whether in 
new tweeds or ragged packet, the man who is confronted by a 
visitor will probably be a composite of many men who have come 
this way before. He may seem at first a merchant, a rancher, or a 
prospector, then a woodsman or hunter; as the day wears on he 
may reflect the artist who stopped off the previous year to paint 
wild animal life, or the paleontologist who came to track down a 
triceratops. Next summer he may have also the characteristics of 
his recent visitor. 

Throughout South Dakota, a stranger will notice in the cities and 
along the highways a human familiarity like that of a small village. 
On the streets the resident speaks to nearly everyone, and calls by 
their first names half of those he meets. Visitors will often find 
themselves being greeted on the street by natives with whom they 
have had only the most casual contact. South Dakotans pride them 
selves on the number of their acquaintances over the State. 

While the transition from the "firsts" to the modern scene is re 
flected in nearly every town and city, it is more clearly marked in 
the West-river region. There an unpainted, frame, false-front store 
with its board sidewalk and porch stands alongside another build 
ing of brick, steel and concrete; wide-brimmed, tent-shaped hats 
and high-heeled' boots are worn with cravats of Park Avenue style ; 
grizzled prospectors pick the earth in the shadow of million-dollar 
gold mine shafts. 

Culture, in the urban sense, has had to wait on the unhurried 
assimilation of external elements impinging on a society essentially 
pioneer in character. When Hamlin Garland wrote of the endless 
drudgery and loneliness of life on the prairie in "Main Traveled 
Roads" and "A Son of the Middle Border," his homesteading 
neighbors would have nothing to do with him or his books. It was 
fifty years before he was accepted as a native son. Meanwhile, 
South Dakota furnished settings and characters for many novels, 
among them Rolvaag's "Giants in the Earth," Stewart Edward 
White's "Gold" and "Claim Jumpers," and Rose Wilder Lane's "Let 
the Hurricane Roar." Today there is a serious effort to acquire 

6 A South Dakota Guide 

culture. Farm families meet weekly in rural schools to discuss new 
books furnished by the State's free lending library; villages have 
active literary societies and imported lecturers; people in cities 
turn out en masse to band and orchestral concerts, to local and 
road-show dramas, operas and art exhibits. In nearly every town 
are libraries and historical museums, in which are proudly exhibited 
collections of Indian relics and those of pioneer days. 

South Dakota has been, and still is, a pioneer State. 


OOUTH DAKOTA is a rectangular tract of land, about 370 miles 
long by 210 wide, lying approximately in the geographical center 
of the North American Continent. It is about equidistant from the 
Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and about midway between the North 
Pole and the Equator. It is bounded roughly on the north by the 
46th and on the south by the 43rd parallels of latitude, on the west 
by the iO4th meridian of longitude and on the east by Traverse and 
Big Stone Lakes, the 96th meridian, and the Big Sioux River. It 
embraces an area of 77,615 square miles, or nearly 50,000,000 acres 
of land, being larger than the combined areas of the New England 
States, and one and one-half times as large as England. It ranks 
fourteenth among the States of the Union in size. North Dakota 
lies along its northern border, Montana and Wyoming bound it on 
the west, Nebraska has a common boundary line with it to the 
south, and Iowa and Minnesota lie directly to the east. 


The Missouri River, which flows through the middle of the State 
from north to south, divides South Dakota roughly into two parts 
East-river and West-river. The Missouri marks the western edge 
of the vast ice sheet that in prehistoric times covered the north 
central portion of the United States. In fact the Missouri was 
forced out of its original course, possibly the present James River 
valley, and in rounding the edges of the ice-sheet it cut the ex 
tremely narrow valley in which it now runs. When the ice reced'ed, 
the river had already cut through the height of land in the southern 
part of the present State, and so could not return to its former 

8 A South Dakota Guide 

But while the ice-sheet had no effect on the West-river country, 
other than to define its eastern border, it had a literally transform 
ing effect on the eastern half of the State. The ponderous mass of 
ice leveled off eminences and filled in valleys, and over all it spread 
a thick layer of glacial soil brought from every point along its 
route. This soil was deposited sometimes in large terminal and lat 
eral moraines that are clearly defined today, and sometimes as a 
rich and fertile covering that needed only the stirring-plow of the 
settler to release its wonderful strength into corn and grains. But 
the ice had still another effect. From its receding face the James, 
the Vermillion, and the Big Sioux rivers flowed south to join the 
Missouri, through a rich and gently sloping plain left by retreat 
ing ice. 

The northeast corner of the State, as abandoned by the ice-sheet, 
had very little slope and correspondingly poor drainage. The result 
is that this whole section is dotted with lakes and marshes. It is 
likely that in some places masses of ice. were left buried when the 
ice-sheet retreated; and that when this buried ice melted it left 
lakes, ponds, or marshes, according to the depth of the depression. 
All this has resulted in making this region today a playground for 
the inhabitants of the eastern part of the State, and of sections of 
Minnesota and Iowa. Fish are plentiful in the lakes, which are 
stocked by the State fish hatcheries. The marshes abound with wild 
fowl that summer there, and 1 afford excellent hunting in season. 

Just south and west of the Lake Region lie the James and Sioux 
River Valleys, constituting perhaps the richest agricultural section 
of the State. 

West of this region, the Missouri River flows between high bluffs 
for almost its entire course through the State. Its swift current is 
still cutting a channel, its present course being so new that it has 
not had time to make a wide valley for itself, as has the much 
smaller James River. The land bordering the river on both sides 
is a mixture of farm and ranch land, reaching westward to the 
semi-arid ranching country. 

This section, lying just east and north of the Black Hills, is an 
area like no other part of the State a region of buttes and bad 
lands, semi-arid, thinly populated. In the southern part of it are 
the unique Badlands (see Tours 6 and 6 A). To the north is a long 
and wide belt of "gumbo." 



SOUTH DAKOTA has a varied topography. In the 
pictures that follow, the vast plains country stretch 
es over the State like a rumpled blanket, where 
the farmer depends on grain and cattle to feed his 
family and the city folk far away. Stockade Lake 
is pictured, formed to conserve water by damming 
historic French Creek in the Black Hills, and Red 
Iron Lake, one of a hundred natural bodies of 
water in the Lake Region. Then there is a scene 
from the Badlands National Monument, described 
by General Custer as "Hell with the fires burned 
out!' An air view of the granite Needles that form 
the rugged crest of the Black Hills shows how 
those fantastic pinnacles look from above. 

The -first record of a visit to this State by white 
men is a lead plate buried in 1743 by the Veren- 
drye brothers on a bluff overlooking the Missouri 
River, claiming the land for France. 

Last are pictures of the State's best known 











o P 


Natural Setting 9 

One more giant movement of Nature's forces, comparable in im 
portance to the ice-sheet, was to affect profoundly the future State. 
In the extreme western end of what is now South Dakota, some 
internal convulsion of the earth caused a gigantic upheaval or up- 
thrust and formed the Black Hills. 

The lowest point in the State is in the northeast corner at Big 
Stone Lake, 965 feet above sea level. But the slope in this portion 
is very gradual. The James winds its lazy, snake-like way across 
the State with the dubious distinction of being "the longest un- 
navigable river in the world." West of the Missouri River, the 
story is quite different. At the extreme western border are the 
Black Hills, crowned by Harney Peak, a granite crag with an ele 
vation of 7,244 feet, the highest point in the State and the highest 
point in the Nation east of the Rocky Mountains. 


South Dakota is known as "the Sunshine State"; the sun shines 
nearly every day of the year. Its climate is subject to extremes 
of heat and cold, but the high, dry character of the terrain makes 
this heat and cold less noticeable than in damp and muggy climates. 
The highest temperature ever recorded was 115, and the lowest, 
46 below zero. Such extremes, however, are rare. The average 
temperature for January, the coldest month, is 10 above zero ; and 
the average for July, the hottest month, 71. The year-round aver 
age is 44. 

The rainfall of the State varies from less than 15 inches in the 
extreme northwest corner to more than 25 in the southeast portion. 
In general it may be said that the rainfall increases as one goes 
eastward. The average for most of the West-river territory is from 
15 to 20 inches; east of the river it is from 20 to 25. Average an 
nual rainfall for the entire State is about 20 inches. Three-fourths 
of this occurs during the growing season, and this feature of the 
climate makes the crop production equal to that of many regions 
having a much higher annual precipitation. The rainfall, however, 
varies greatly from year to year, producing good crops one season 
with perhaps a complete crop failure the following year. 

The last killing frosts rarely occur after May 10 and the first 
serious frosts of autumn do not come before September 15. The av 
erage growing season for the State is 135 days, but various sections 
show differences in this regard as they do in rainfall. The high 
plateau of the Black Hills has a growing season of less than 105 

10 A South Dakota Guide 

days. From this point the growing season lengthens as one crosses 
the State from northwest to southeast, till in the latter region it 
exceeds 145 days. 

One feature of South Dakota's climate which has received wide 
publicity is the blizzard, a combination of snow and high wind. The 
violence and destructiveness of these storms can hardly be over 
estimated, but their occurrence is very rare. The Great Blizzard of 
1888, in which 112 people lost their lives, is the classic example of 
this type of storm. During the average winter there will be two or 
three storms of a somewhat similar nature, but not approaching 
this one in severity. The winter of 1935-6 was exceptional for its 
snow and long-continued period of intense cold. The average depth 
of snow is not nearly as great as that in the wooded areas of the 
North Central and Northeastern States, there being a much lighter 
precipitation. The wind does not allow the snow to lie on the level. 

Dust storms and drought have played their part in the State's 
recent history. In the central and south central portions in 1934, 
dust-laden winds left freakish piles of granulated soil in ditches 
and along fences. Fences and farm machinery in the so-called 
"Dust Bowl" were frequently covered beneath drifts of shifting 
soil. In South Dakota, as in other States of this area, a period of 
drought is likely to be followed by occasional dust storms. Drought 
was combatted by the construction of dams, frequently with WPA 
labor; and the effects of dust storms are being overcome by soil 
erosion projects. 


Ancient Black Hills: In order to realize the age of the region, 
one must first consider the Black Hills. They are the key to the 
geology of the whole State of South Dakota and much of the adja 
cent territory. 

The Black Hills were ages old before the Rocky Mountains were 
uplifted. They existed long before the Alps, the Caucasus, the Py 
renees, the Apennines, and while the site of the Himalayas was still 
a marsh. All these great mountain ranges were still level land 
when the Black Hills first began to rise in a great dome 150 by 
75 miles in extent. 

This huge dome or batholith, somewhat like an overturned wash 
basin, gradually rose through several million years. It is not cer 
tain that the Hills are through rising yet. But, however long the 
process took, it accomplished an enormous task ; all the rest of the 

Natural Setting 11 

strata, from the bottom to the top of the geological column were 
pushed aside out of the way of this rising knob. The deepest 
and oldest rocks are now the highest. 

It will be noticed in the Black Hills that all the layers, or strata, 
of rock run at about the same level in concentric rings completely 
around the Hills a streak of red here, a strip of yellow there. 
Nearly every stratum, except the softer and more easily weathered 
ones, forms more or less of a cliff, facing the central backbone of 
the Hills and sloping downward and outward toward the plains, the 
successive layers roughly resembling shingles on a roof. This pat 
tern is repeated so that one entering the Black Hills traverses- the 
following formations of shales, limestone, and sandstones : Lance, 
Fox Hills, Pierre, Niobrara, Carlile, Greenhorn, Granerous, Dakota, 
Fuson, Minnewasta, Lakota, Morrison, Unkpapa, Sundance, Spear- 
fish, Minnekahta, Opeche, Minnelusa, Paha Sapa, Englewood, 
Whitewood 1 , and Deadwood. The highest and innermost are the 
Algonkian schists and granite core. The slender pinnacles known 
as the Needles, worn by weathering and erosion, are remnants of 
this granite center or core. 

Plains Section: From the eastern border of the State, between 
Watertown and Redfield, is found the Pierre formation, running 
westward to the James River. Here, running northeast from the 
southwest corner of the State, a long arm of the Niobrara, a whit 
ish chalky material, extends to Redfield; this formation varies in 
width from 12 miles at Redfield to 72 miles east of Chamberlain. 
From Flanclreau southward through Sioux Falls, covering parts of 
Moody, Minnehaha, McCook, and Hanson Counties, is an arm of 
the Sioux Falls quartzite, a hard flint-like rock used extensively as 
building material. West of these two formations, the Pierre stretches 
to the Black Hills uplift just east of Rapid City, covering about 
three-fifths of the whole State; it is bordered on the northwest by 
the Fox Hills formation from the point where the Missouri River 
enters the State to Belle Fourche. Its gray to bluish shade distin 
guishes it, and its gumbo clay properties in wet weather are no 
torious. In the extreme northwest corner of the State is the Lance 
formation, in which are the Hell Creek Beds. 


The Dinosaurs: Huge monsters wallowed along the shores of 
tropical swamps in western 'South Dakota more than forty million 
years ago, and skeletal remains of these long-extinct dinosaurs come 

12 A South Dakota Guide 

to light each year through erosion and scientific excavation. Dur 
ing the Mesozoic era, or age of reptiles, the lumbering triceratops, 
resembling a combination of elephant and rhinoceros, waged mor 
tal combat with the swift-moving, kangaroo-shaped tyrannosaurns 
rex; while perhaps the brontosaurus, largest of all prehistoric rep 
tiles, watched the battle from aloft, his long neck rising 30 feet 
above the earth. Fossilized bones of the brontosaurus he of the 
15-ton body and 2-ounce brain have been found in the area sur 
rounding the Black Hills. In the so-called Hell Creek Beds, in the 
northwest corner of the State, expeditions from various museums 
have excavated many fine specimens ; an almost perfect head of the 
great "frilled" dinosaur, triceratops, was obtained by the State 
School of Mines in 1927 in the region of the West Short Pine Hills, 
south of Camp Crook. Along White River and in the Badlands Na 
tional Monument, many interesting fossils are found annually. Here 
are fossilized bones and teeth of the giant rhinoceros, titanothere; 
mountain sheep, oroedon ; three-toed horse, mesohippus ; tiny camel, 
poebrotheium; giant pig, leptauchenia; and saber-tooth tiger, dinic- 
tis squalidens. Snow, rains, and wind erode the surface clay, so that 
each spring new fossils are found protruding from the banks. 

Marine Fossils: Most of the State is covered by the Pierre for 
mation. It is a dark clay, gray-blue in color, and weathers to a 
yellow or light gray shade; in many localities where it emerges it 
is called gumbo. Scattered through the gumbo are thousands of 
iron-like clay concretions, containing fine fossil remains of marine 
creatures. The nautilus, a round, thin-edged, coiled fossil in the 
shape of a snail, is common ; and ammonites of the same shape, but 
sometimes as much as 24 inches in diameter, have been dug up 
along the rivers in western South Dakota. A long jointed fossil 
known as the baculite, an ancient ancestor of the present devilfish, 
is also found. All of these marine fossils are especially prized be 
cause, on shaving off the soft shell, the scales show all the opales 
cent colors of the rainbow, and beneath that layer is a fine lace-like 
pattern. Oyster and clam shells, cup corals, and fishbones are also 
frequently found, along with imprints of ferns and sea lilies. 


Minerals: Much of the rock of the Black Hills holds hidden for 
tunes, and prospectors who roam the hills hunting for gold, silver, 
and precious stones occasionally find veins of rich ore. One "mother 
lode," the Homestake, has yielded more than 300 million dollars' 

Natural Setting 13 

worth of gold; new mines are springing up throughout the Hills 
and old ones are being reopened. But the mineral resources of this 
mountain region are not confined to gold and silver. Feldspar is 
mined, crushed, and treated, until it finally reaches the home as the 
enamel on the bathtub or a white dish in the cupboard. Cassiterite, 
the ore of tin, tantalum, soda spar, and lithium are being put to 
commercial use in making such things as ordinary tin cans, gas 
mantels, lubricants, composition roofing, movie snowstorms, porce 
lain, steel alloys, and even lemonade. 

The high yellow limestone cliff that rims the Black Hills, 
known as the Paha Sapa formation, is used in cement, as a filler 
in certain kinds of paper, for plaster, and even to clarify beet sugar 
juice. Manganese is also present in this formation, and is used for 
painting outdoor iron and other metal work. One of the strangest 
of minerals is bentonite, found in the Belle Fourche region. In its 
natural state it appears to be a bed of dried yellow clay ; a foot 
underground it becomes wet, and still deeper it is like stiff butter. 
Just as it is found, it can be used as a soap that will wash off black 
sticky motor oil from one's hands ; it has 96 commercial uses, includ 
ing its employment in the manufacture of face powder and in the 
outside chocolate-coating of candy to prevent melting. Hidden in 
some small cavity in the heart of a chunk of beryl that has rested 
for millions of years locked in a dike of granite, there may be a 
glass-clear, deep-water green crystal the emerald. Or perhaps a 
dirty grayish rock protruding from the ground may expose, when 
broken, a ledge of corundum, the second hardest mineral in the 
world ; in this ledge may be also a transparent crystal of blood-red 
color the ruby; or it may be, instead, a blue or straw-colored gem 
a sapphire. 

Forests: Although most of South Dakota is a plains region, 
there are three national forest areas. In the Black Hills are the 
Harney and Black Hills National Forests, covering 1,191,201 acres 
in South Dakota and containing an amount of timber estimated at 
2,791,468,0x50 board feet, most of which is ponderosa pine. The an 
nual growth of the timber is estimated by the United States For 
estry Service as 50 million board feet, and the amount cut each 
year totals about 40 million board feet. The Custer National Forest 
is divided into four groups, all in Harding County the Slim 
Buttes, Cave Hills, and the East and West Short Pines ; no lumber 
operations are carried 1 on in these reserves. To perpetuate the sup 
ply of timber in the Black Hills, stagnated stands of young trees 

14 A South Dakota Guide 

are thinned and the defective, diseased, and weaker trees removed. 
After 35 years' growth, mature trees are cut to make room for a 
new growth. In addition to the stately ponderosa pine, there are 
lodgepole and limber pines, western white spruce, Rocky Mountain 
red cedar, ground juniper, aspen, cottonwood, balsam, poplar, birch, 
burr-oak, hackberry, ash, elm, willow, and ironwood. 

Water Power: Potential water power flows through the center 
of South Dakota in the form of the turbulent Missouri River. Hy 
droelectric power proposals and surveys are often presented to city, 
State and Federal agencies for harnessing the power of the Mis 
souri ; 'but the problem of silt has not yet been solved. 

An artesion basin underlies the central portion of the State, and 
water for farm and city use comes from this source. Nearly every 
farm in this region has an artesian well, with force enough to pipe 
water without pumps. 

Land Conservation: Soil erosion, irrigation, and water-conser 
vation programs have been undertaken in South Dakota by the 
Federal Government since 1933, to reclaim land struck by drought 
and dust storms. The Works Progress Administration alone formed 
480 lakes by building large dams across creeks, and made 300 more 
stock- watering places. Some of the lakes, such as Richmond and 
Amsden, cover as much as a thousand acres. Dams have been built 
in every county of the State; and after the heavy snows of 1936-7, 
most of them were filled. In the areas affected by dust storms, 
those counties in the east-central and south-central portion of the 
State, soil-erosion projects were established to halt the shifting 
of dirt. 

Irrigation is a new phase of conservation in South Dakota. An 
irrigation project near Belle Fourche shows the possibilities of the 
market gardening of fruits and vegetables, particularly sugar beets ; 
and proposals have been made for large-scale irrigation projects 
along the Missouri River. 

A program for retiring sub-marginal land from cultivation is 
also under way. The eastern third of the State is known to be 
best fitted for farming; westward the soil is not so suitable for 
agriculture, but the hay crop is a valuable one for cattle and sheep 
raising. In certain sections of the West-river country, tilled land is 
being purchased by the Government and leased for grazing pur 
poses only. 

Natural Setting 15 


Animal Life: The coyote is a native of South Dakota, and is the 
State university mascot and the State animal. At one time South 
Dakota was known as "the Coyote State." These animals are still 
quite numerous in western South Dakota, where it has been esti 
mated by professional hunters that there is an average of one coy 
ote to each square mile. 

Until 75 years ago, great herds of buffalo roamed the plains and 
river breaks of iSouth Dakota, but with the coming of white men 
they were slaughtered by the thousands and became nearly extinct. 
However, a herd of 350 buffalo is kept in Ouster State Park, and 
the Wind Cave National Park game refuge has a herd. 

Elk and deer are numerous in the Black Hills, both in and out 
of the game refuges. Beaver, porcupines, squirrels, raccoons, and 
bobcats are also found in the Black Hills. Antelope, jackrabbits, and 
prairie dogs are plentiful in the West-river section ; the State main 
tains an antelope preserve in Harding County (see Tour 2 A). 
Badgers, weasels, skunks, muskrats, jackrabbits, and gophers are 
numerous in the eastern section of the State, especially along creeks 
and lakes. 

Bird Life: Nearly 300 species of birds are found in South Da 
kota, this large number being due mainly to the State's varied re 
gions, such as mountains, forests, and prairies. The Missouri River 
is an important route of the north-south migration of waterfowl; 
and each spring and fall flocks follow this watercourse. In addition 
to ducks and geese, flocks of pelicans and occasional swans nest in 
the Lake Region ; while herons, cranes, cormorants, sea gulls, and 
snipe are common. A waterfowl peculiar to the Black Hills is the 
water ouzel, which dives into the mountain streams and feeds and 
swims against the current. 

Chinese pheasants, prairie chickens, and Hungarian partridges 
are plentiful in the eastern section of the State; and. toward evening 
the highly colored ring-necked pheasants are seen as they come out 
to feed near the road. 

In the eastern section of the State the meadowlark, with its 
cheery song, is the best known of 'South Dakota birds. The robin, 
red-winged and yellow-headed blackbirds, flicker, goldfinch, swallow, 
kingfisher, humming-bird, and brown thrush are the most common 
birds in the East-river section ; in the Black Hills there are catbirds, 
bluebirds, wood thrushes, rock wrens, warblers, crossbills, wood 

16 A South Dakota Guide 

peewees, and woodpeckers. Of the larger birds, bald and golden 
eagles are frequently seen west of the Missouri River, especially in 
the Badlands; magpies are common to the Black Hills and buttes 
sections; turkey buzzards and prairie hawks are seen in the cattle 
country; and barn, screech, great horned, and burrowing owls are 
found throughout the State. 

Wild Flowers: The State flower is the pasque, a purplish, fur- 
petaled prairie blossom that shows itself at Easter time on sunny 
hill sides. The pasque (also called crocus, mayflower, and anemone) 
is the first to bloom in the spring. Early in June, the pink wild rose 
and evening primrose blossom profusely in the fields. In the Lake 
Region are yellow and white lilies in the creeks; and pink beard- 
tongues, yellow and purple violets, buttercups, and blazing stars are 
found in grassy sheltered places. In the central part of the State, 
the wild orange geranium grows on the prairie, with an occasional 
black-eyed-susan, Mariposa lily, and 1 prickly poppy. Native to the 
Missouri River "breaks" and westward is the soft wax-like gumbo 
lily, growing out of bare gumbo. In this region is the yucca plant, 
also called Spanish bayonet and soapweed, with its sharp spears 
and delicate white flowers blossoming on a tall spike. The cactus 
plant, common in western South Dakota, has waxy yellow flowers 
flecked with pink, which may brighten an entire hillside. In the 
Black Hills are scores of flower species, including the blue-flag or 
fleur-de-lis, yellow lady slipper, wood orchid, bluebell, larkspur, 
monkshood, woodland star, bog-violet, shooting star, baby's^breath, 
and forget-me-not. In autumn, the goldenrod and sunflower are 
common throughout the State. 

Chokecherry, wild plum, gooseberry, and currant thickets are fre 
quent in the eastern part of the State ; and wild grapes, raspberries, 
and wild strawberries are found along creeks and lakes. Buffalo- 
berry bushes grow thickly in the "draws" of the western section. 

There are also several noxious plants and weeds such as nettles, 
poison oak, and poison ivy; likewise barberry, creeping-Jennie, 
leafy spurge and dodder. 


L/ARGE areas of South Dakota are still Indian country. There are 
26,500 Sioux, or Dakota, Indians and 9 reservations the Pine 
Ridge, Rosebud, Cheyenne, Standing Rock, Crow Creek, Lower 
Brule, Yankton, Sisseton, and Flandreau. In remote sections of the 
Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations live bands of Sioux who 
cling to old customs, language, and crafts ; in more populated re 
gions the assimilation with whites has resulted in a strange group 
of people, red-haired and light-skinned, their Indian features dom 
inating their evident foreign heritage. Bands of Indians in various 
stages of culture may be seen on the reservations ; archaelogical re 
mains of tribes who preceded the Sioux may be seen elsewhere in 
the State. 

Mound Builders : Traces of a primitive people, presumably part 
of the great race of mound builders that at one time inhabited the 
Ohio valley, are found in eastern South Dakota. How long they 
lived here or what became of them is not known. They vanished, 
leaving only their burial mounds as evidence of their presence. 
These earth mounds, some round and others almost square-sided, 
are filled with bones and implements of this early race. From the 
artifacts, it appears that the mound builders knew little of agricul 
ture and were mainly a carnivorous people. Their first craftsman 
ship was displayed in the making of weapons, which were gradu 
ally improved from crude, rough stones, through the stages of 
stone hatchets and knives, to those made of hammered metal. Their 
pottery shows some measure of ornamentation, chiefly in linear 
form. In one instance, in the investigation of a mound in Hutchin- 
son County, an attempt at color decoration was found, pottery 
burned to darker shades. Personal ornaments in the form of beads 

18 A South Dakota Guide 

were made from shells and bones. In the Brandon mounds, near- 
Sioux Falls, shell beads were found made from the columnella or 
conch shells. The outstanding characteristic of the mound builders 
was their veneration of the dead. In the few mounds opened in 
South Dakota by archaeologists, the burials had been made in 
groups. The bodies were placed in varying positions some lying 
straight or with flexed limbs, others in sitting postures and they 
were covered with clay and rock. Above them other burials were 
made, the bodies covered with another stratum of soil, making a 
huge mound, erected with all the toil involved in the use of the 
rudest implements the shoulder blade of an animal to dig with 
and a small basket to transport the earth. 

Skeletal remains and artifacts from the mounds are on display at 
the University of South Dakota Museum at Vermillion and in the 
Pettigrew Museum at Sioux Falls. 

The mounds of this vanished race are found in South Dakota 
principally -along the Big Sioux River and Big Stone Lake. Sites 
have been located in the following counties : Roberts, Grant, Deuel, 
Brookings, Moody, Minnehaha, Marshall, Day, Codington, Kings- 
bury, McCook, Hutchinson, Clay, Yankton, Charles Mix, Brown, 
Spink, Jerauld, Davison, Lincoln and Faulk. More detailed descrip 
tions of certain mound areas are given in other sections : 

City of Sioux Falls, Sherman Park, a small group of mounds 
well-preserved and accessible to visitors. (See SIOUX PALLS) 

The Brandon group 8 miles east of Sioux Falls between the 

Sioux and Split Rock Rivers, comprising 38 mounds. (See Tour 


Hartford Beach on Big Stone Lake, a large group situated in 

a stand of natural timber. (See Tour 2.) 

Arikaras: The second known inhabitants of what is now South 

Dakota were the Arikara, or Ree, Indians. Closely related to the 
Pawnee Indians of Nebraska, the Arikaras came up the Missouri 
River early in the seventeenth century. From Yankton northward 
they built large villages, planted gardens of beans, corn, squash, and 
tobacco, and hunted buffalo along the Missouri to supplement their 
vegetable diet. Increasing in numbers, they built other villages, 
always tending northward. The Arikaras occupied the river banks 
unmolested until 1750. then for 40 years they were engaged in war 
with the invading Teton Sioux who drove them up the Missouri 
and into virtual extinction. It was near Mobridge that the Lewis 

Indians and Indian Life 19 

and Clark Expedition of 1804 found the pursued Arikaras. who 
were friendly and eager to trade. 

The Arikara villages were made up of from 10 to 50 dirt lodges, 
circular, with rounded tops. The frame for the huts was made of 
poles set in the ground, around which sod was 'banked. At the 
height of a man's head the poles were bowed toward the center. 
Covered with skins, dry grass, and dirt the dwelling was warm in 
winter and cool in summer. A hole left in the side formed the 
door, with a buffalo hide to cover it, and niches around the interior 
of the walls, with robes hung in front, formed the sleeping cubicles. 
.The size of the lodges varied, some accommodating as many as three 
families. Beside each dwelling were refuse heaps with pieces of 
pottery, arrowheads, and scrapers which have since been helpful 
in studying Arikara culture. In the center of the village would be 
a large council lodge. The villages, usually facing the river, were 
protected by trenches on the other three sides. Village sites are 
identified along the Missouri River by the circles made by the 
lodge walls and the rubbish heaps. An excellent collection of Ari 
kara pottery is housed in the Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial build 
ing at Pierre. 

Nearly all of the Arikara village sites are difficult to reach by 
car. Among the more accessible are: 

Crow Creek site, east side of Missouri River where creek enters. 
Traces of deep trench with redoubts may be seen. (See Tour 

De Grey site, 18 miles east of Pierre, State 34, one-half mile 
west of De Grey on Grandle and Bowman farms. Series of sites 
may be seen by careful examination. 

Fort Pierre site, high terrace 9 miles north of Fort Pierre just 
outside buffalo pasture. Bluff gradually being washed away in 
to Missouri. (See Tour 4.) 

Fort Sully site, across dry creek from abandoned Fort Sully, 23 
miles northwest of Pierre. Circles and rubbish heaps visible. 
(See Tour 4.) 

Lewis and Clark site, west bank of Missouri and on both sides 
of Elk Creek. Located 6 miles east of Wakpala. (See Tour 2.) 

Mobridge site, east side Missouri near Milwaukee Railroad 
bridge, iy 2 miles north of Mobridge. This is a Mandan Indian 
village site. (See Tour 2.) 

Mitchell site, on south shore of Lake Mitchell, with rings visible 
and mounds to west. (See MITCHELL.) 

20 A South Dakota Guide 

The Sioux: The Sioux, or Dakota, Indians, who had resided in 
Wisconsin and Minnesota, were forced out on to the prairies by 
the more numerous Oiibwavs when the latter were given firearms 
by the French. The Sioux were a nomadic people, following their 
food supply, principally buffalo, and ranging westward to the 
Missouri River. Here they found the Arikaras and promptly at 
tacked them. The Sioux were a virile race, splendid specimens 
physically. They were unusually mobile with their herds of ponies, 
and accurate marksmen with bow and arrow. 

Taking the country for themselves, Sioux bands spread from the 
lake region of what is now northeastern South Dakota, south to 
Yankton and westward to the Black Hills. Then the Sioux began 
encountering' occasional white men trappers and fur traders. In 
1775 Pierre Dorion, a fur trader, married an Indian woman and 
made his home in the Sioux country near the present site of Yank- 
ton. Explorers and missionaries followed and found hospitable 
entertainment. Trading posts were established and, with the coming 
of the steamboat, trade multiplied between the Indians and whites ; 
white blood 1 was fused with that of the Indian, and the Indians 
adopted the white man's dress. 

During the War of 1813. the Sioux, friendly with the British 
through long association with the English fur companies on the 
upper Missouri, joined forces against the Americans. With the 
treaty of Ghent, signed Dec. 24, 1814, the Indian tribes were left 
to make their own terms with the United States. Governor William 
Clark, who had met the Sioux during the Lewis and Clark expedi 
tion in 1804-06. called a great council of Indians from the Upper 
Missouri and Mississippi at the confluence of the two rivers, July 
19, 1815. All the Sioux tribes came in full regalia. Separate treaties 
were made with the Sioux of the Lakes, one having been handed 
down through the family of Walking Buffalo. The document, yel 
lowed with age and worn with much folding, is still in the posses 
sion of South Dakota Indians. The thumbprints of the several In 
dian chiefs were in blood. The treaty (see accompanying picture) 
reads as follows: 

A Treaty of Peace and Friendship made and concluded be 
tween William Clark, Vivian Edwards and Auguste Chouteau, 
Commissioners Plenipotentiary of the United States of Am 
erica, on the part and behalf of the said States of the one 
part; and the undersigned Chiefs and Warriors of the Sioux 
of the Lakes on the part and behalf of their Tribe, of the 
other part. 

Indians and Indian Life 21 

The parties being desirous of reestablishing Peace and 
Friendship between the United States and the said Tribe; 
and of being placed in all things and in every respect on the 
same footing upon which they stood before the late war be 
tween the United States and Great Britain, have agreed to 
the following Articles. 

Art. 1st Every injury or act of hostility committed by one or either 
of the contracting parties against the other, shall be mutu 
ally forgiven and forgot. 

Art. Ilnd There shall be perpetual Peace and Friendship between all 
the citizens of the United States of America, and all the in 
dividuals composing the said Tribe of the Lakes, and all the 
friendly relations that existed between them before the war 
shall be and the same are hereby renewed. 

Art. Illrd The undersigned Chiefs and Warriors for themselves and 
their said Tribe, do hereby acknowledge themselves and their 
aforesaid Tribe to be under the protection of the United 
States, and of no other nation, power or sovereign whatso 

In witness whereof the said William Clark, Vivian Ed 
wards, and Auguste Choteau, Commissioners aforesaid, and 
the Chiefs and Warriors of the aforesaid Tribes have hereun 
to subscribed their names and affixed their seals this nine 
teenth day of July in the year of our Lord one thousand 
eight hundred and fifteen and of the Independence of the 
United States the Fortieth. 

Done at Portage des Siouxs Wm. Clark (Seal) 

in the presence of 

R. Wash, Sec'y to the Commission Vivian Edwards (Seal) 

John Miller (Louis Decouagne Auguste Chouteau 

Col. 3rd Inft. (Louis Dorian 

A. Paul C. I. of the C. (John A. Cameron 

Edw. Hall Lt. late (Jacques Mette 

28th Inft. (John Hay 

J. B. Clark (Ta-tan-ga-manie 

Adjt. 3rd Inft. (The Walking Buffalo X (Seal) 

Manuel Lisa, Agt. (Hai-san-nee The Horn X (Seal) 

Thomas Forsyth, I. Agt. (A-am-pa-ha The Speaker X (Seal) 

Jno. W. Johnson, U. S. L. (Na-ree-sa-ga-ta 

& I. Agent ( 

Marin Blondeaux, land Agt. (Hai-bo-haa 

(The Branching Horn X (Seal) 

In 1862 the bands in Minnesota had a desperate war with the 
whites. Scouts and soldiers forced the Indians back across the 
Minnesota border, broke up their villages, and herded them into 
encampments near forts. The names of these old army posts cling 
to spots along the Missouri River, where all signs of established 

22- A South Dakota Guide 

life have vanished and grass grows again on upland prairie benches. 
Among the forts were : Fort Randall, Fort Lookout, Fort Thomp 
son, Fort George, Fort Pierre, Fort Sully and Fort Bennett. The 
only permanent one, Fort Sisseton, has been restored. (See Tour 
I A.) 

Some of the most dramatic events in western Indian warfare 
occurred after the treaty of 1867 in which the Sioux agreed to 
retire to reservations before 1876. Reservations were established in 
1868, and the Sioux were moved into these confines at the same 
time that homesteaders were moving into the open land of Dakota 
Territory after the Civil War. The discovery of gold in the Black 
Hills led to a rush of prospectors and settlers, protected by the 
U...S. Army, thus violating the treaty. The Sioux, in defence of 
their rights, wejre Jed in an uprising by a talented strategist Red 
Cloud, chief of the Oglala Sioux. In a series of swift campaigns 
he forced the U. S. Army to abandon its forts and roads north of 
the treaty line, and to close the Bozeman Trail. This is almost the 
only occasion in American history where an Indian leader, fighting 
U. S. regular soldiers on equal terms, defeated them and procured 
his own demands. Red Cloud retired to a reservation in South Da 
kota to live peacefully. His brilliant achievement was preliminary 
to the encounter on the Little Big Horn where Gen. George A. 
Custer's foolhardy advance led to the "massacre" in 1876. Twelve 
years later, land allotments were made each individual Indian and at 
tempts were made to establish them on farms. Then in i8qo the 
Messiah War 'broke out, climaxed 'by the last warfare between the 
Indians and whites at Wounded Knee when about two hundred In 
dians were killed by soldiers. 

After the homesteaders' invasion, other stockmen and farmers 
came into the reservation, buying and leasing land. In 1934 consid 
erable reservation land was designated as sub-marginal, repur 
chased by the Government from bankrupt whites, and turned back 
to the Indians. 

Tribal Organisations'. Thirteen recognized tribes of the Sioux 
Nation now live within the borders of this State. Each tribe 
claimed descent from a common family whose exploits were ex 
alted in legend and song; each tribe was held together by a set of 
tribal fetishes and common taboos. These tribal divisions still re 
main. If Pete High Elk from one tribe marries into another divi 
sion and makes his home on his wife's land amongst her tribe, he 
will be spoken of as an outsider after years of residence there. 

Indians and Indian Life 23 

When Indian reservations were established in 1870, the group 
ings closely followed recognized tribal divisions of the Sioux Na 
tion. Today these tribes are living in largest numbers in the fol 
lowing localities. 

1. Mdewakanton (Mday-wah-kan-ton) "Mystery Lake village" 
located at Flandreau. 

2. Wahpekute (Wah-pay-koo-tay) "Shooters among the leaves 
(of deciduous trees)." Combined with Mdewakanton. 

3. Wahpeton (Wah-pay-ton) "Village among the leaves (of 
deciduous trees)." Sisseton Reservation. 

4. Sisiton (See-see-ton) "Marsh village." Sisseton reservation. 

5. Yankton (Ee-angk-ton) "End village." This tribe is closely 
related to the Yanktonais tribe. Yankton Reservation. 

6. Yanktonais (Ee-angk-ton-aye) "Little-end village." Upper 
Yanktonai Standing Rock Reservation. Lower Yanktonai 
(Hunkpatina) Crow Creek Reservation. 

Teton (Tee-ton) "Dwellers on the prairie." The largest 
division of the Sioux. There were seven divisions of this 

1. Sicangu (Si-chang-hu) "Burned thighs." Also called Brule. 
Rosebud Reservation. Lower Brule Reservation. 

8. Itazipco (Ee-tah-zip-cho) "Without a bow." Also called 
Sansarc. Cheyenne Reservation. 

9. Sihasapa (See-hah-sah-pah) "Black feet." Cheyenne River 
and Standing Rock Reservation. (Not to be confused with 
tribe in Montana which is not of Siouan stock.) 

10. Miniconjou (Miniikanyedan wojupi) (Mnee-ko-jou) "Those 
who plant beside the stream." 

11. Oohenonpa (O-o-hay-non-pah) "Two boilings," called "Two 
Kettles," Cheyenne Reservation. 

12. Oglala (O-glah-la) "To scatter one's own." Pine Ridge 

13. Hunkpapa (Hung-kpah-pah) "End of the circle." Standing 
Rock Reservation. 

Within each tribe were numerous bands; these were firmly knit 
family groups who lived together in winter villages and 1 had econ 
omic and social interdependence. Each band was led by a head 
man and the name of this leader became the name of the band. 
When the Indian social structure came to grips with military rule 
in the Dakota Territory in the i86o's, the headman's name was 
translated into English. This became the final name of the band as 
marked down in the Government records. There is the Drifting 
Goose Band in the Yanktonais tribe and the Red Cloud Band of 
the Oglalas, named for the chief who led the war in 1866. He-Dog 
on the Rosebud Reservation and the Iron Nation Post Office on 
Lower Brule Reservation mark the spots where these headmen 

24 A South Dakota Guide 

camped with their kinfolk about them. The names of the bands may 
be found in the current conversation of the people, and traceable, 
too, are the personal traits and the family characteristics of a band. 

Chiefs: Those who come to find chiefs on the reservations of 
South Dakota will find them as numerous as colonels in Kentucky. 
In old days the wisest headmen formed the chief tribal council and 
these were called "chiefs." None of them was given arbitrary pow 
er in the council, where the vote of the majority ruled. Rather 
these chiefs were fathers to their bands ; their duties were to study 
the welfare of their people, to counsel wisely after deliberation, and 
to set examples of bravery and generosity. But for years the 
"chiefs" have been named by the white men for either economic 
or sentimental reasons. When the white trader or soldier came into 
Indian country he picked out the leader most amenable to his in 
terests and by favors and gifts marked him out and called him 
"Chief." At fairs and shows and during visits to Washington, the 
"chiefs" come into their own. At home they are "on a par" with 
the rest and are called "Tom," "Charlie" or "Joe." 

Family Life: During the past century the old pattern of home 
life disintegrated, with only a few customs remaining. A hundred 
years ago the men's work was to protect the home, provide mater 
ials for food and clothing, make bows, arrows, and household im 
plements, and supervise political activities. The first two occupa 
tions, war and the hunt, kept the young men busy; the others, 
craftwork and the holding of councils, were left to the elders. 

Three, generations formed the family unit and each generation 
had its appointed and accepted tasks. The women's work was the 
preparation and care of the food, including the drying of meat, 
wild fruits, vegetables, rice and herbs; gardening, which meant 
raising squaw corn and drying it; storing and transporting all the 
food ; making clothes and tepees from the hides of buffalo by dress 
ing the skins and decorating them. The care of the young children 
and the instruction and protection of the young girls fell to grand 
mothers. Children gathered wood and carried water; the boys 
hunted small game, the girls sewed on hides and learned to decor 
ate them with porcupine quills and beads. For the children there 
was always understanding sympathy, affection, and respect. 

When wars, hunting, and fur trading passed, the Indians moved 
into log cabins and small frame houses. The men took up meager 
farming and stock raising, without enthusiasm for work that kept 

Indians and Indian Life 25 

them alone in the fields all day. During this period, payments un 
der treaties and from sale of lands, together with regular money 
from land rents, came to the Indians in large sums of fairly even 
distribution. It was money from these sources and rations of food 
from the Government which supported family life for fifty years. 
For this half -century the cost of children to the family group was 
practically nothing, because the children were at Government or 
mission boarding schools where everything was provided without 
direct payment by the parents. 

When payments became rare and leasing dropped off, when 
drought and mismanagement made it difficult to raise a crop, the 
standard of simple living adopted in 187080 began to go down. 
Shortly after the close of the World War the Indians of South 
Dakota entered into a pitiable struggle for existence. They bartered 
their household goods and sold their heirlooms; their houses fell 
into disrepair and dilapidation. The men worked as day laborers 
at whatever small jobs the agency superintendent or the neighbor 
ing farmers could provide; the women picked wild fruit and bart 
ered it in nearby towns. After their jobs failed, came poverty, 
want, then Government relief. On the work projects, designed for 
ten or twenty men, the social element came back, and with its re 
vival came pleasure in work. Now with the return of children to 
the home and with regular work for men and women, there is a 
marked revival of the old spirit of industry and community living. 

Arts and Crafts: Through the years of transition the Sioux sat 
isfied his need for adornment by decorating all kinds of useful ob 
jects. The preparation of materials for art work as well as the exe 
cution of each piece took days of work; creative art filled the lei 
sure hours. The Indian's sense of limitless time and his devotion 
to a task until it was completed made him undertake large pieces of 
fine design and patiently work out every technique needed to pro 
duce a thing of beauty. He excelled in geometrical design made in 
teresting by a combination of bright colors. His pictorial represen 
tations of events are sparing in the use of line; in pictorial art the 
Sioux does not excel but he has left interesting records of his way 
of living pictured on tepees and saddle blankets. 

Early decorations were made on hide with porcupine quills, 
colored with native dyes. Symbols were worked on tepees, clothing, 
saddle blankets, baby cases, and tobacco bags. 

Examples of this earliest art can be seen in the Pettigrew Mu 
seum in Sioux Falls, in the Memorial Building in Pierre, in the 




f i 











. /fl i/ flNl i/ m 




















Indians and Indian Life 27 

John Anderson collection in Rapid City, and in collections on 
display at Indian agencies and schools. The only buffalo hide 
tipi on exhibit in South Dakota is in the Pettigrew Museum; 
the only "bull boat" (hide) is in the Memorial Building in 

When the fur trader came bringing beads, the medium of decor 
ation changed. Beads in place of porcupine quills were used in 
later designs and pictures. Beaded moccasins are made on every 
Sioux reservation today and worn by many members of the tribe. 
This skill is being passed on to the younger generation; but a 
knowledge of the technique of quill work is dying because quills 
were flattened between the teeth of the workers and eventually 
the teeth were worn down. The younger Indians will not subject 
their teeth to this punishment. 

The younger people are, however, learning from the old men 
the art of carving. Pipe stems, ceremonial bowls, and bows and 
arrows were rudely carved before knives came to the Indians. With 
a good knife in his hand the Indian man grew skillful, and worked 
long hours decorating pipestone and wood. This craft has brought 
money to the Indians in recent years and is being worked at stead 
ily by a number of present-day craftsmen. 

Craft work is opening up in several reservation centers; Indian 
dolls, beaded belts, souvenirs, and excellent reproductions of old 
pieces are being made. The Indian people draw, paint, carve, and 
bead for fun arts and crafts are a great resource in their leisure 
time and an economic asset, as well as an expression of their ap 
preciation of beauty. 

Legends and Songs: Legends and songs of the Sioux were re 
peated through so many generations that all the people came to 
know them well. As soon as white men came among the Indians 
they devised a phonetic writing of the Dakota language and wrote 
down legends and songs. Because of their meter and rhythm the 
songs have been easier to preserve in the original form than 
the legends. The story-teller varies the wording with each re 

Song of the Spirit-Dance 
Waaasi Wacipi Olowan (Mother) 

Ina, hekuye, Mother, oh come back, 

Ina, hekuye, Mother, oh come back, 

Misunkala Seya-ya omani Little brother calls as he 
Misunkala Seya-ya omani seeks thee, weeping. 

Ina, hekuye, Mother, oh come back, 

Ina, hekuye. Mother, oh come back. 

28 A South Dakota Guide 

Reservations: To see Sioux Indian life, one may visit the vari 
ous reservations on the following tours: 

Sisseton Reservation Tours Nos. 1 and 10 

Standing Rock Reservation Tour No. 2 

Cheyenne Reservation Tour No. 3 

Crow Creek Reservation Tour No. 4A 

Lower Brule Reservation Tour No. 4A 

Pine Ridge Reservation Tour No. 7 

Rosebud Reservation Tour No. 7 

Yankton Reservation Tour No. 8 

Flandreau Reservation . ....Tour No. 9 


__^^^ ^-^- -^ -"**" 


1HE State of South Dakota derived its name from Dakota Terri 
tory, which in turn was named for the Dakota Indians, who were 
the inhabitants of this region when the first white explorers came. 
Dakota means "allied" or "many in one." From a loose confedera 
tion of Indian tribes came the connotation of an "alliance of 
brothers." The name of the Indian nation became that of the new 
Territory; and when the Territory was divided in 1889, the result 
ing States were called North and South Dakota respectively. 

Although South Dakota belongs to that group of States more 
recently admitted to the Union, it has a history reaching 'back to 
Colonial days. Thirty-three years before the declaration of Indepen 
dence was signed, white men stood on the banks of the Missouri 
within the present confines of this State and left indisputable evi 
dence of their presence. 

Although never glimpsed by white men, the first known inhabi 
tants of South Dakota have been identified as the so-called Mound 
Builders, who occupied roughly the eastern third of the present 
State. Of the tribes with which the white men came in contact, 
the first were the Arikara or Ree Indians, who lived in villages 
along the Missouri River. The Sioux, driven from the upper Mis 
sissippi valley by the Ojibways, in turn drove the Rees from the 
present State by keeping the buffalo at a distance from the river 
and by harrassing the river villages until, about the year 1800, the 
Rees finally left the region and retreated up-river into what is now 
North Dakota. 

Early Exploration : There is some question as to who was the 
first white man to enter the boundaries of the present State. It is 
fairly well established that the Spanish explorer, Coronado, came 

30 A South Dakota Guide 

as far north as the River Platte in 1540, but there is no evidence 
that he visited what is now South Dakota. Le Sueur, the French 
trapper and trader, wintered near the site of Mankato, Minn., in 
1699; and he afterward furnished material for a geography of the 
upper Mississippi, including what is now eastern South Dakota. 
But there is no direct proof that he entered the present State. 

The first indisputable visit of white men to this region was that 
of the Verendrye 'brothers in 1743. Chi March 30 of that year they 
climbed a "gumbo" hill above the present site of Fort Pjerre, and 
took possession of the country in the name of the King of France ; 
and in proof of this, they buried an inscribed lead plate and raised 
a cairn of stones over it. This plate lay undiscovered for 170 years 
(see Tour 4). 

In 1775 Pierre Dorion, who afterward guided the Lewis and 
Clark Expedition, settled among the Yankton Sioux on the lower 
James River and married one of their women. He thus became the 
first white resident of the State. In 1794 a school teacher, Jean 
Baptiste Trudeau, came up from St. Louis with 10 men to engage 
in trade on the upper Missouri River, and he built the "Pawnee 
House" under the chalk cliffs in what is now Charles Mix County 
(see Tour 17). This was the first house erected in the State. That 
same year Jacques d'Eglise pushed up the river as far as the Ree 
villages at the mouth of Grand River; and in 1796 Registre Loisel 
built a fortified trading post on Cedar Island, just above Big Bend 
in present Hughes County. 

On March 9-10, 1804, at St. Louis, the Louisiana Purchase was 
formally transferred to the American Government. On the after 
noon of May 14, the Lewis and Clark Expedition set out up the 
Missouri River. The purpose of this expedition, sent out by the 
Federal Government, was to discover the shortest feasible water 
route to the Pacific Coast, to gauge the trade possibilities of the 
region through which they passed, and to make treaties of friend 
ship with the various Indian tribes. On August 22, at Elk Point, 
the expedition made its first encampment in what is now South Da 
kota. On August 27 it arrived at the mouth of the James River. 
Learning that there was a large Indian encampment near by, the 
leaders invited the Indians to a feast and a council. This lasted 
several days, in the course of which Lewis took a new-born Indian 
babe, wrapped him in an American flag, and prophesied that he 
would become a distinguished leader and a great friend to the 
Americans. Both these prophecies were fulfilled, for this was 


History 31 

Struck-^&y-the-Ree, who was afterward instrumental in saving the 
white settlement at Yankton. 

On September 8 the party reached the "Pawnee House," and 
on the 22nd the Loisel Post on Cedar Island. On September 24 it 
arrived at the mouth of the Bad River, where some trouble devel 
oped with a band of Teton Sioux under Black Buffalo. At the mouth 
of the Cheyenne the expedition encountered a French trader who said 
he had spent the previous winter up the Cheyenne River, near the 
Black Hills. On October 8 the party reached the Ree villages at 
the mouth of Grand River, where it was entertained for several 
days. From that point it passed out of present South Dakota. 

TWO years later, almost to the day, the expedition crossed the 
present. South __Dakota line on its return trip from the Coast. It 
again visited the Rees on Grand River, but passed by the Teton 
Sioux at the present site of Fort Pierre. After stopping briefly with 
the Yankton Sioux, the party set off for St. Louis, arriving there 
in September. The guides for the trip had been Charbonneau and 
his wife, Sacacawea (see Tour 2). 

On the return trip, Lewis and Clark had persuaded Big White, 
a Mandan chief, to accompany them, and later they took him to 
Washington. They hadl agreed to give him safe conduct back to his 
own country; so in the spring of 1807 he was assigned a place with 
a party of traders (under Pierre Chouteau) and soldiers bound for 
the upper Missouri. All went well until they reached the Ree village 
at the mouth of Grand River. Here the Indians suddenly turned 
hostile ; there was fighting and three soldiers were killed. This was 
the first armed conflict between soldiers and Indians on what is now 
South Dakota soil. The expedition was abandoned, and the party 
returned to St. Louis. 

The Fur Trade: In the spring of 1811, Walter Price Hunt, leader 
of the so-called Astorians and an agent of John Jacob Astor, the 
leading fur merchant of the day, ,set out with a party up the Mis 
souri on his way overland to establish a trading post at the mouth 
of the Columbia River. About the same time, Manuel Lisa, fear 
ing Hunt's rivalry in the fur trade, left St. Louis in pursuit. Lisa, 
born in New Orleans of Spanish parentage, was one of the leading 
fur traders of St. Louis. He had done mtuch work in cultivating the 
goodwill of the Missouri River Indians, and he did not like the 
idea of an outside trader or company reaping the fruits of his labor. 
In the vicinity of Springfield, Hunt was overtaken by a messenger 

32 A South Dakota Guide 

from Lisa, who proposed that he wait for him so that they might 
travel together for mutual protection. Hunt replied that he would, 
but he had no intention of doing so and pushed on with all speed. 
He met Black Buffalo and his Sioux, but on convincing them that 
he did not seek trade on the Missouri he was allowed to proceed. 
Just above Big Bend, Manuel Lisa overtook Hunt, and for a while 
there were strained relations. However, when they arrived at the 
Ree villages and each saw that the other was not interfering with 
his purposes, they came to a friendly agreement. 

They stayed at the Ree village many days. Hunt bought horses 
of the Indians, who promptly raided the herds of neighboring tribes 
when they ran short of animals with which to supply his needs. 
Lisa traded out his goods and returned south. Hunt set out straight 
west up Grand River and on the way traversed the present upper 
tier of counties the first white man to pass through this part of 
the present State. 

At the outbreak of the War of 1812, Capt. William Clark, for 
merly of the Lewis and Clark Ejxpedition and now superintendent 
of Indian Affairs for Louisiana Territory, raised $11,000 on his 
own responsibility and sent Manuel Lisa up the Missouri with* a 
large outfit of goods to trade with the Sioux and keep them friend 
ly to the American Government. Clark appointed Lisa a sub-agent 
for the Sioux of the Missouri valley. Lisa first built Fort Manuel 
(1812) near the present North Dakota line; and when the Indians 
destroyed this fort, he moved south and built another at Big Bend. 
Through cunning strategy he caused the defection of the Missis 
sippi Sioux from the British cause, kept the Dakota Sioux friendly, 
and contributed in no small measure to the final outcome of the 
war and the retention of American sovereignty in the West. 

After a temporary set-back on account of the War of 1812, the 
fur trade revived; and in 1823 Gen. William Ashley, Lieutenant 
Governor of Missouri Territory, organized a trading party and set 
out up the Missouri River. He reached the Ree village at the 
mouth of Grand River in safety, and traded with the inhabitants 
for several days. But the night before he and his party were to 
leave over the Grand River route, they were treacherously attacked 
by the Rees, a number of them were killed, and the rest were 
forced to retreat down the river. The Rees were later punished by 
a detachment of the United States Army under Col. Henry Leav- 
enworth, commanding officer of the district, and they left the State, 
retreating up-river into what is now North Dakota (see Tour 2). 



In 1817 a French-Indian trader named Joseph La Framboise es 
tablished a trading post at the junction of Bad River with the Mis 
souri. This became the first permanent white settlement within the 
present border of the State. In 1822 it was rebuilt as Fort Tecum- 
seh ; and in 1832 it was again rebuilt and named Fort Pierre Cho- 
teau, which was afterward shortened to the present Fort Pierre. 


In_ 1831 the first steamboat on the upper Missouri, the Yellow- 
Stone, ascended the river to Fort Pierre, and a new era dawned in 
the fur trade. A journey that formerly required a whole season 
could now be accomplished in a few weeks. The following year 
Pierre Choteau took a steamboat up to the mouth of the Yellow 
stone. The revived impetus which this gave to the fur trade lasted 
till the Civil War. By that time the buffalo herds were becoming 
smaller, and the supply of other furs had greatly lessened. The 
Civil War, with its disruption of trade and its frontier Indian 
troubles, practically ended the fur trade in this region. 

First Agricultural Settlement: Up to this time trade and settle 
ment had been confined to the Missouri River and had been related 
to the traffic in furs. But in 1857 it became apparent that Minne 
sota would be admitted as a State without the eastern portion of 
future South Dakota, which it then included as a Territory. There 
fore far-seeing men in Minnesota Territory and Iowa formed land 
companies with the idea of getting control of desirable sites for set 
tlement, which might be sold at advanced prices when the influx 
of settlers began. The Dakotah Land Company was formed by Gov. 
Medary of Minnesota Territory and a party was sent to establish 
a settlement at the site of Sioux Falls. But when the settlers ar- 

34 A South Dakota Guide 

rived, they found the falls themselves in the possession of the West 
ern Town Company of Dubuque, Iowa. However, the newcomers 
appropriated for themselves the power available above the falls, and 
the two groups cooperated in perfect harmony. Settlements were 
also made at other nearby points including Flandreau and Medary. 
By the organization of the Territory of Nebraska, May 30, 1854, 
and the State of Minnesota, May n, 1858, a great tract of country 
lying to the north and west was left without legal name or exist 
ence. iSo the settlers on the eastern fringe of what is now South 
Dakota, in their eagerness to obtain government and recognition, 
resorted to political strategy of a most unusual character. In order 
to set up a Territorial government and to give an impression of 
substantial numbers, the 30 or 40 inhabitants of Sioux Falls split 
up into groups of three or four and set out in different directions ; 
and whenever they stopped to rest their teams, they set up election 
precincts, appointed one another judges and clerks of election, and 
proceeded to vote themselves, their relatives, and even their distant 
friends. The total vote was quite respectable in volume, if not in 
quality. Shortly after this, the "rump" Legislature thus chosen 
convened and elected a Governor and one or two State officers, in 
cluding a Delegate to Congress. That body, however, refused 1 to 
recognize him. In 1859 the settlers again held an election, choos 
ing a new Legislature and a Governor and Delegate. But again 
Congress failed to set up a Territory. 

By the treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851, the Indians ceded 
to the United States all lands east of the Big Sioux River in pres 
ent 'South Dakota. On July 10, 1859, the Indians tacitly accepted a 
treaty by which the land between the Big Sioux and Missouri Riv 
ers was opened for settlement. Having previously refused to va 
cate this territory they were told by the tactful new Indian agent 
that a feast was being prepared for them in their new home, Yank- 
ton Reservation, which had been set aside for them farther west. 
Thereupon they followed along the river bank, while the agent's 
steamer forged upstream. A great crowd had been waiting on the 
Nebraska side of the river ; and as soon as the Indians had left for 
the reservation, the settlers poured across. They took up farms and 
established the townsites of Bon Homme, Yankton, and Vermillion. 
This region thus became the first permanent agricultural settlement 
of the State. 

The people of Bon Homme erected the first schoolhouse within 
the State in 1860. It was built of logs and had a dirt floor. Ten 

History 35 

pupils attended during a school term of three months. South Da 
kota's first church, of the Presbyterian denomination, was estab 
lished at Vermillion in 1860. 

Territorial Days: There are two quite remarkable points about 
South Dakota's history. The first is the very small population it 
had when it became a Territory, and the second is the large popu 
lation it acquired before it became a State. One of the last official 
acts of President Buchanan was to sign the bill creating Dakota 
Territory, which consisted of the present States of North and 
South Dakota and those portions of Montana and Wyoming lying 
east of the ridge of the Rocky Mountains. The act was signed on 
March 2, 1861. At this time there were only 2,402 white inhabitants 
of this vast region. One of the first official acts of President Lincoln 
was to appoint his family physician, Dr. William Jayne of Spring 
field, as the first Territorial Governor. The latter selected Yankton 
as the temporary capital, and called an election for the choice of a 
Legislature and a Delegate to Congress. The Weekly Dakotan, 
which still survives as the Press and Dakotan, was established June 
6, 1861. Pursuant to the proclamation, the first Legislature, nick 
named "The Pony Congress" on account of its small size in com 
parison with the National Congress, convened on St. Patrick's Day 
1862 with 9 members of the council and 13 of the house. After a 
strenuous contest, Yankton was chosen permanent capital of the 
Territory. The Legislature was in session two months. 

$ou.t!} Dakota took little active part in the Civil War. Although 
a company of militia was raised by the State and tendered to the 
President, it was deemed advisable to keep the unit in South Da 
kota for use in possible Indian hostilities. In 1862 occurred the War 
of the Outbreak, when the Santee Sioux in Minnesota rose and 
massacred the whites. Though most of the fighting took place out 
side the State, two men were killed in a hayfield near Sioux Falls, 
and Gov. Jayne immediately sent soldiers to remove the inhabitants 
of that place to safety at Yankton. The Indians pillaged and burned 
the deserted settlement, and it was several years before any fur 
ther attempt at settlement was made, although Fort Dakota was 
built there in 1865. I n the same year a great council with the 
Indians held at old Fort Sully officially ended the War of the Out 

This was was no sooner settled than the Red Cloud War began. 
The Government had determined to open a new road to the gold 
fields recently discovered in Montana. It proposed to survey a road 

36 A South Dakota Guide 

from Fort Snelling west, and from the California Trail north from 
Laramie through the Powder River valley. Red Cloud, chief of the 
Oglala Sioux, saw that this would mean the ruin of the last buffalo 
ranges left to his people, and he therefore resisted the survey. As 
he was debating the proposal with white leaders, Red Cloud saw a 
company of soldiers approaching. "What are these men for?" he 
asked. He was told that they were troops sent to guard the pro 
posed road. Red Cloud held aloft the rifle that was in his hand 
and said "In this and in the Great Spirit I put my trust !" Where 
upon he and his followers immediately withdrew from the council. 

Notwithstanding, the survey was undertaken with the protec 
tion of the military. A company of 80 of these was ambushed by 
Red Cloud and massacred. A council was thereupon held to which 
Red Cloud sent representatives. He demanded the abandonment of 
the forts which had been established in the Powder River country. 
Although this was agreed to, Red Cloud refused to come in and 
sign the treaty until the abandonment had actually been carried out. 
According to the terms of the treaty, all the land between the Big 
Horn Mountains on the west, the Platte River on the south, and 
the Missouri River on the east and north was to be reserved to the 
Indians as a permanent hunting ground. No white man was to be 
allowed in that region except on business connected with the Indi 
ans. Furthermore, this treaty could not be altered without the con 
sent of three- fourths of the Indian braves affected. 

In 1865 occurred the first of several serious grasshopper infesta 
tions, commonly referred to as "plagues." They have been a spo 
radic menace to agriculture ever since that time, a particularly 
severe visitation occurring in 1877. 

The first railroad entered the State in 1871, a short stub of the 
Winona & St. Peter Railroad, operating only as far as Gary just 
within the State line. The following year, the Chicago, Milwaukee, 
St. Paul & Pacific built into the State through Elk Point and 
reached Yankton in 1873, when the panic of that year put a tem 
porary end to railroad building. 

Discovery of Gold: In 1874 occurred the most important single 
event in South Dakota's history the discovery of gold in the Black 
Hills by a military expedition under Gen. George A. Custer. The 
first find occurred near the present town of Custer on August 2, 
1874, and the discoverers were Horatio N. Ross and William Mc 
Kay, prospectors with the expedition. Word of the discovery was 

History 37 

immediately sent to St. Paul. On October 6 the so-called Gordon 
Party left Sioux City for the Black Hills. The group numbered 28 
persons, among whom was Annie D. Tallant, who thereby became 
the first white woman to enter the Hills. After a trip lasting three 
months and entailing much suffering, the party arrived at Custer 
and built a stockade in which it spent the rest of the winter. A re 
production of this stockade may be seen near Custer today (see 
Tour 5). But early in the spring the military arrived, put the mem 
bers of the party under arrest and took them to Fort Laramie, 
since it was contrary to the treaty for whites to be in the Hills. 

In the fall of 1875 tne Sioux were summoned to meet at Red 
Cloud's agency and arrange for the leasing of the Black Hills to 
the whites. The plan was that the whites should be allowed to ex 
tract the gold and other precious metals and then abandon the ter 
ritory to the Indians again. But it was soon evident that no agree 
ment could be reached and less than the required three-fourths of 
the braves were present ; so the council broke up without accom 
plishing anything. Immediately after this the military, realizing the 
futility of doing otherwise withdrew all opposition to the entry of 
whites into the Hills. Gold seekers poured in and in the winter 
of 1875-6 there were several thousand men in the vicinity of Custer. 

In the late fall of 1875, John B. Pearson of Yankton discovered 
rich placer diggings in the northern Hills between the present cities 
of Lead and Deadwood. When news of this "strike" reached Cus 
ter, it depopulated that place almost in a d'ay, leaving fewer than 
100 people in the town. In the summer of 1876 there were more 
than 25,000 people in Deadwood Gulch. At that time they had no 
legal government, since they were squatters on Indian land ; but they 
maintained a kind of rough justice of their own, after the manner 
of mining communities. The town of Deadwood was laid out that 
summer, along both sides of the single trail up the gulch. In the 
same year gold was discovered at the head of Gold Run Gulch, on 
the site of the present city of Lead, and 1 that prosperous mining 
town was born. 

The discovery of gold in the Black Hills was important not only 
to South Dakota but to the country at large. For Black Friday of 
September 1873 had plunged a large part of the country into bank 
ruptcy ; and this was the first ray of light that heralded the coming 
of a brighter day. Both in its actual and its psychological effect, it 
was instrumental in bringing about recovery from the panic. 

38 A South Dakota Guide 

The battle of the Little Big Horn in which Custer and his com 
mand were annihilated, occurred in June 1876. Following this, Gen. 
Crook, who had been unable to take an active part in the battle of 
the Little Big Horn, was on his way from Fort Abraham Lincoln 
to protect the settlers, when he unexpectedly encountered a band of 
Indians in the Slim Buttes of what is now Harding County. There 
upon followed the Battle of Slim Buttes (see Tour 2 A). It was on 
Sept. 8, 1876, that the advance guard, under Maj. Anson Mills, con 
tacted a small band of Indians in Reva Gap of the Buttes. He held 
them off until night, when he was reinforced by Gen. Crook and 
the main body of the troops. But the Indians also received rein 
forcements during the night from portions of Crazy Horse's band. 
The Battle of Slim Buttes was fought all the following day. At the 
conclusion of it three whites had been killed, two soldiers and a 
scout, and a dozen or more of the Indians. Several of the latter 
were also taken prisoner. The battle resulted in more or less of a 
stalemate but the Indians withdrew during the ensuing night. The 
following morning Gen. Crook burned what was left of the Indian 
village andi buried his own dead, causing the entire command to 
tramp over their graves as they broke camp. 

In the fall of 1876, a peace commission visited the various reser 
vations and obtained the signatures of the Indian leaders to a new 
treaty ceding the Black Hills to the whites. The Indians claimed 
later that they were merely ceding mineral rights, as they had been 
asked to do before, and that the treaty did not have the requisite 
three-fourths of the signatures. However, a regular and legal gov 
ernment was now established for the whites in the Black Hills 

Following the discovery of gold in the Black Hills came the 
great boom period of the Dakotas. People came for gold, but many 
of them remained to take up farms. Two railroads, the North 
Western and the Milwaukee, built their lines halfway across the 
State, arriving at the Missouri River by 1880 at Pierre and Cham 
berlain respectively. Beyond this they could not go, for the West- 
river region, with the exception of the Black Hills, was still Indian 
country. People poured into the eastern part of the State, and 
within five years Brookings, Madison, Mitchell, Huron, Pierre, Wat- 
ertown, Redfield, Aberdeen, Webster, and Milbank had become im 
portant towns. Rivalry between various communities was keen, 
especially with regard to the location of county seats. In one in 
stance, the militia had to be called out to preserve the county rec 



THE history of South Dakota is comparatively 
recent. Even some of the Indians who watched the 
covered wagons move ponderously over prairie 
trails are still living. In the pictures that follow, 
there is a photostat of the oft-folded treaty with 
the Sioux which was signed in 1815 by William 
Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, and thumb-printed 
by Sioux chieftains. There is also a picture of the 
celebrated Sioux Sun Dance, revived in the Stand 
ing Rock Reservation in 1936. Another picture 
shows a group of Sioux maidens of today, dressed 
in native costumes. 

It was Gen. George A. Ouster's expedition into 
the Black Hills in 1874 that discovered gold on 
French Creek f near the present town of Custer, 
and a rare picture shows the no-wagon caravan 
passing through the Hills. Soon after Custer had 
spread the news of gold, a party of 26 men and 
one woman entered the Hills, and near the gold 
discovery site they built the Gordon Stockadv, a 
reproduction of which is pictured here. And at this 
same site, there is a picture of men successfully 
panning gold in 1937. 

Also included among the pictures are early modes 
of transportation the stage, and the river boat. 









% & 


History 39 

Commerce west of the Missouri River was carried on by stage 
coach and ox train. There were main trails leading into the Hills 
from Pierre, Chamberlain, Sidney, Neb., Cheyenne, Wyo., and Bis 
marck, N. Dak. But the corning of the railroads to the Missouri 
meant the end of the steamboats. Thereafter they survived on the 
upper Missouri only as ferries at the principal crossings, until the 
building of the State bridges many years later. 

The winter of 1880 was a memorable one for this region. The 
snow fell heavily in a blizzard in October, and did not disappear 
until the following spring. Train service was interrupted and the 
roads were practically impassable, In the resultant thaw in the 
spring, a great amount of damage was done, especially on the lower 
Missouri in the southeastern corner of the State. 

The Fight for Statehood: When Dakota Territory was created 
in 1861, it included what is now North and South Dakota, much of 
what is now Montana and most of present Wyoming. But with the 
creation of Montana Territory in 1864 and Wyoming Territory in 
1868, Dakota Territory was reduced to the present size of the 
''Sister 'States." 

As early as 1872 there was some agitation for the division of 
Dakota Territory into two equal parts as at present; but nothing 
came of it. In 1879, however, an attempt was made to buy the 
school lands of the State at a low figure; and through the influence 
of the superintendent of public instruction, Gen. William H. H. 
Beadle, it was determined to combine the fight for the division of 
the Territory with a demand that no school lands should be sold 
for less than $10 an acre. A convention of citizens was held at 
Canton in June 1882, and a committee was appointed to further 
both these ends. The committee carried the matter to the Legisla 
ture the following winter and the latter passed a bill calling for a 
constitutional convention. This bill, however, was vetoed by Gov. 
Nehemiah G. Ordway. The executive committee thereupon called a 
delegate convention to meet at Huron in June 1883. Every county in 
South Dakota was represented by its strongest men. An ordinance 
was passed providing for a constitutional convention to 'be held in 
Sioux Falls on September 4. In the meantime delegates to the con 
vention were elected. At the appointed time they met in Sioux Falls 
and drew up a constitution, in which was inserted the $10 school-land 
provision. This constitution was submitted to the people at the No 
vember election, and was adopted almost unanimously. A committee 

40 A South Dakota Guide 

was appointed to present it to Congress, together with a petition 
for Statehood; but Congress did not see fit to act. 

The next Legislature provided by law for a new constitutional 
convention to be held in Sioux Falls in September 1885. The con 
stitution framed by this convention again with a $10 minimum 
clause was ratified once more by the people at the November elec 
tion; and a complete set of State officers together with a Legisla 
ture and Congressman were elected at the same time. The Legisla 
ture elected two United States Senators and these men and the 
Governor carried a petition to Congress. But the National Admin 
istration was at this time Democratic and the leaders did not favor 
a plan that would be sure to introduce four new Republican Sen 
ators to cut down the Democratic majority. They favored the ad 
mission of the whole Territory as one State and the National Ad 
ministration brought pressure to bear to the same end. But every 
time the question came to a test vote the people of the Territory 
voted overwhelmingly for division. 

In 1888 the Republican National Convention made the admission 
of the two States a campaign issue. The Republicans prevailed in 
the fall elections and the Congress then in session yielded to the 
inevitable and passed the enabling act on Valentine's Day 1889. It 
was approved on Washington's Birthday. A new constitutional 
convention met in Sioux Falls on July 4 with power only to amend 
and resubmit the constitution of 1885. At a special election on Oc 
tober i this document was approved; and on November 2, 1889, the 
long fight was ended and proclamations were issued by President 
Cleveland admitting North and South Dakota to the Union. At the 
time of its admission, the State of South Dakota had a population 
of more than 300,000. 

An interesting method was employed in preparing the proclama 
tion for the Chief Executive's signature. The President desired to 
give neither State priority, but to admit both as "Sister States." 
Before the Presidential signatures were attached, therefore, the 
two proclamations were placed on the President's desk with the 
texts covered and only the lines for the signature showing. As a 
further precaution, after the signatures had been attached, the doc 
uments were thoroughly shuffled by another person. This made it 
impossible to tell which State was admitted first. It can only be 
said that the two Dakotas are the thirty-ninth and fortieth States^ 
As a matter of courtesy, when it is necessary to rank the States. 

History 41 

South 'Dakota yields to North Dakota, which has a prior position 
m alphabetical order. 

Immediately after entering upon Statehood, South Dakota ex 
perienced its last Indian trouble the Messiah War. A Nevada 
Piute Indian named Wovoka claimed to have had a vision follow 
ing an eclipse of the sun in 1889. From this he evolved a religion 
which was a curious mixture of Christianity and Indian religious 
thought. The gist of it was that he, as the Messiah, had come to 
drive out the whites, restore the land to the Indians, and bring 
back the buffalo. This was to be accomplished by means of a re 
ligious dance called the "Ghost Dance," during which the dancers 
wore a "ghost" shirt, which was supposed to render them immune 
to the white men's bullets. The dancing craze spread till it was 
inflaming the Indians to a dangerous degree. 'Sitting Bull was 
killed resisting arrest on the eve of setting out for the Ghost Dance 
with his band ; and orders were given for the arrest of Big Foot's 
band, which was also on its way to join the dancers. The band was 
overtaken and apparently submitted to arrest ; but during the night 
they escaped into the Badlands. A young captain named John J. 
Pershing was among the troops maneuvering to isolate Big Foot, 
although he was not present at the ensuing battle. The morning fol 
lowing its escape, Big Foot's band was overtaken on Wounded 
Knee Creek. Again they surrendered and the soldiers began to 
disarm them. This angered the Indians and they were further in 
flamed by a medicine man named Yellow Bird who, speaking in 
the Sioux tongue, exhorted them to resist and reminded them that 
they were wearing the bullet-proof ghost shirts. Finally, as a sol 
dier pulled aside an Indian's blanket to see whether he was armed, 
another Indian fired at the soldiers and was joined at once by all 
the rest of the Indians. The soldiers immediately fired in return 
and at point-blank range the carnage was frightful. Then the Hotch- 
kiss guns of the artillery raked the Indian village, setting fire to 
the tipis and killing women and children indiscriminately. The su 
perior arms of the soldiers and their artillery could have but one 
result. Only a few of the Indians escaped to the hills and the draws, 
and the soldiers cut down those whom they could overtake, women 
as well as men, leaving their bodies scattered for a distance of 
two miles. The Wounded Knee massacre for it was that, rather 
than ..a.-baltle resulted in the death of nearly 200 Indians, men, 
womgn^^and children, and some 60 soldiers. It was caused by the 
use of green troops, led by inexperienced officers. Shortly after 

42 A South Dakota Guide 

this, Gen. Nelson A. Miles arrived, restored order, and composed 
the last of the serious differences between the whites and Indians. 

The first Legislature of Dakota Territory made provision for a 
Territorial university; but it was not until twenty years later that 
the university became an accomplished fact. The story goes that 
after Pierre had won the capital, Sioux Falls had the next choice 
of State institutions, and chose the penitentiary; then Vermillion 
had to take what was left, and got the university. The University 
of South Dakota was established at Vermillion in 1882 through the 
enterprise of the citizens and the people of the county. In 1883 the 
State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts was founded at 

The Capital Fight: The question of the location of the Terri 
torial and later of the State capital was one that agitated the people 
for years. Although Yankton had won the honor in 1861, the fact 
that it was in one corner of the vast Territory led to agitation for 
removal of the capital to some more central location. Finally, in 
1882, the Legislature appointed a capital commission to select a 
permanent site. They chose Bismarck, largely because of the in 
ability of South Dakotans to agree upon a site thennselves. Although 
many subsequent attempts were made to remove the Territorial 
capital from Bismarck, they were unsuccessful for the same reason. 

The constitutional convention of 1885 submitted the selection of 
a capital to popular vote, and Huron won. The enabling act of 1889 
again required that the people should designate a temporary capital. 
This brought on a hard-fought struggle in the summer of 1889, 
with Pierre, Huron, Watertown, Sioux Falls, Mitchell, and Cham 
berlain as contestants. Pierre won by a large margin. Under the 
constitution, the permanent capital was to be selected at the election 
of 1890. This time Pierre and Huron were the only contestants. 
Pierre again won by a large majority. 

Despite this decisive outcome, agitation still continued for the 
removal of the capital to some other city. In the Legislature of 
1901, the other candidates agree'd to abide by the result of a caucus, 
and Mitchell won. An attempt was made to submit a constitutional 
amendment, but a filibuster blocked this. At the session of 1903, 
the caucus plan was again adopted and again Mitchell won. The 
Legislature passed the submitting resolution by a large majority in 
both houses. During the next two years a strenuous campaign was 
waged. It became a contest between the State's two principal rail- 

History 43 

way systems. The Milwaukee backed Mitchell and the North West 
ern, Pierre. At first the railroads gave influential citizens throughout 
the State passes to visit their respective candidates for capital. 
Finally the situation developed to a point where the railroads felt 
obliged to transport free anyone who wished to visit either of these 
cities ; and in the summer of 1904 they carried upwards of one 
hundred thousand people to the rival cities, a mass movement 
unprecedented in the history of the State. The election resulted in 
a victory for Pierre by about 18,000 majority. The Legislature of 
1905 made provision for a permanent capitol building, which was 
dedicated in 1910. 

During the Spanish-American War, South Dakota raised and 
equipped a regiment for service. It went to the Philippines, partici 
pated in the hardest fighting in many battles, and won great dis 
tinction, several of its members receiving the highest military 
award, the Congressional Medal of Honor ; and on its return it 
was reviewed by President McKinley at Aberdeen. 

In the year 1907, the Milwaukee and the North Western rail 
roads continued their lines from Chamberlain and Pierre, respec 
tively, through to the Black Hills at Rapid City. Earlier, about 
1890, the North Western and the Burlington had built their lines to 
Deadwood from their Nebraska terminals the Burlington through 
the heart of the Hills and the North Western up their eastern edge. 
At the same time, the Milwaukee extended its main line west from 
Aberdeen to Lemmon. 

State Enterprises: During the period from 1915 to 1925, the State 
engaged in a number of experimental ventures into business and 
finance. Some of these the State administered directly and some it 
controlled. The first of these ventures was the State Bank Guaranty 
Law of 1915. Under the provisions of this act, the State undertook 
to administer a fund, contributed pro rata by the banks, to liquidate 
closed banks and thus protect the depositors. This plan worked sat 
isfactorily during prosperous times, and the first few banks which 
failed were liquidated promptly. But with the coming of the de 
pression the financial strain proved too great, the fund was soon 
exhausted, and the law fell into abeyance. 

In 1917 the Rural Credits constitutional amendment became ef 
fective. This provided a means whereby landowners could borrow 
money directly from the State, from funds secured by the sale of 
interest-bearing bonds. As in the case of the Bank Guaranty law, 
the plan proved effective during normal times. But the depression 

44 A South Dakota Guide 

caused many farmers to default on their payments, a large amount 
of land reverted to the State, and in 1936 more than i l / 2 million 
acres, representing about 5,700 separate tracts, were in the hands 
of the State ; while more than 60 million dollars in bonded indebt 
edness and interest remain. The debt is gradually being liquidated 
by a diversion of a portion of the gasoline and other taxes. 

Another State venture was the purchase in 1919 of a coal mine 
at Haynes, N. Dak., for $200,000. The vein of coal pinched out, and 
the m'ine was sold in April 1936 for $5,500, which was insufficient 
to pay outstanding obligations against the property. In the winter 
of 1933-4, the State opened a strip coal mine at Firesteel, S. Dak. 
(see Tour zA), but this work was halted when it was discovered 
that coal could be purchased elsewhere for less than it could be 
mined at the State project. 

A method whereby farmers could receive the 'benefits of hail in 
surance was the objective of another State-promoted venture. The 
act provided that every farm should be automatically covered ; and 
if the beneficiary did not wish protection, he was Obliged to file an 
application for exemption. Although farmers in the areas subject 
to hail storms reaped benefits, the fact that the average farmer did 
not wish to carry this insurance led to the repeal of the law. 

Another State-owned enterprise is the cement plant, located at 
Rapid City (see Tour 4). 'Since 1925 the plant has virtually mo 
nopolized the cemient business of the State, because of the high 
quality of its product and the low cost of production, the latter 
being due to the presence of all the necessary ingredients within a 
small area. More than a million dollars in profits have been turned 
into the State treasury by the plant since 1925. The original indebt 
edness amounted to about $1,200,000. The business has been under 
the direction of a five-man commission. 

Gov. William H. 'McMaster rose to Nation-wide prominence in 
1924 when, announcing that the oil companies were charging too 
much for gasoline, he ordered the State to engage in the gasoline 
business. The result was that motor fuel prices dropped sharply. 
The public praised the step, and a little later McMaster rode into 
the United States Senate on a wave of popularity. The act was 
later declared unconstitutional. 

The State has much progressive legislation on its books. In 1899 
South Dakota became the first State to provide by statute for the 
initiative and referendum:; but these laws have not proved as effec 
tive as was expected, since it has proved difficult to overcome pub 
lic apathy with regard to any particular issue. 

History 45 

The Last Twenty Years: South Dakota's contribution to the 
World 1 War was not made as a State. Her population was too 
sparse to make up even a single division, so her recruits were scat 
tered among various commands. The State ranked high, however, 
in the per capita purchase of Liberty Bonds, and it did its part in 
Red Cross and other war-time activities. 

An interesting feature of South Dakota's participation in the 
war was that in the first selective draft recruits from this State 
ranked highest in point of health in the United States. The rejec 
tion of recruits for physical defects was less than 20 per cent in 
South Dakota, as against an average of more than 29 per cent for 
the country at large, and a rejection of four out of ten candidates 
in certain States. 

In 1919 the citizens of Yankton decided that they must have a 
bridge across the Missouri at that point. The money was partly 
raised by a bond issue. An excellent bridge was built, at a cost of 
i% million dollars. To raise money for payments on the bonds, a 
toll is charged. 

At about the same time the State decided to erect a number of 
bridges across the Missouri River, to unite the two halves of the 
State more closely. All vehicular communication between them up 
to that time had been by ferry. Five bridges were erected, at a 
total cost of more than two million dollars. The bridges were lo 
cated, from 1 north to south, at Mobridge, Forest City, Pierre, Cham 
berlain, and Wheeler. The money was secured by means of a legis 
lative appropriation and a small tax levy. 

In the summer of 1927, the State for the first time had the honor 
of providing the summer home of a President of the United States. 
President Coolidge occupied the State Game Lodge in Custer Park 
(see Tour 5) for the season, and maintained business offices in the 
high school at Rapid City. 

The Federal order in 1933, increasing the price of gold at United 
States mints from $20.67 to $35 an ounce, by changing the dollar's 
gold content brought a revival of mining activity in the Black Hills, 
the renewed operation of many mines that had been closed as un 
profitable, and, for the first time in many years, a revival of placer 
mining. While no outstanding "strikes" occurred, it developed that 
placer mining could be made to yield a fair day's wage and that 
was important at a time when jabs were scarce. This renewed min 
ing activity in the Black Hills region still persists (1937). 

46 A South Dakota Guide 

In July 1934 occurred the first stratosphere flight from the Strat 
osphere Bowl, 12 miles west of Rapid City (see Tour 5). This and 
the succeeding flight were sponsored by the National Geographic 
Society and the U. S. Army Air Corps. The 1934 flight did not 
succeed in breaking the record, although the balloon, Explorer I, 
attained a height of over 60,000 feet. At this point the fabric began 
to rip and the descent was begun. The flight ended near Holdredge, 
Neb., when the balloonists were forced to resort to their parachutes 
to save their lives. 

In the early summer of 1935 a second attempt to penetrate the 
stratosphere was made; but an hour before the time scheduled for 
the take-off, the already inflated balloon burst at the top and the 
charge of helium escaped. Nothing daunted, the sponsors of the 
flight repaired the balloon, Explorer II, and on Armistice Day, 
1935, their efforts were crowned with complete success ; for on that 
day the greatest balloon ever made by man reached the greatest 
heights ever attained by man. The giant bag arose to a height of 
72,395 feet, remaining in the air eight hours. The descent was as 
felicitous as the rise and the balloon made a perfect "egg-shell" 
landing near White Lake, S. Dak., 240 miles southeast of the rock- 
walled starting point. Capt. Albert W. Stevens commanded the 
flight and Capt. Orvil A. Anderson was the pilot. 


South Dakota, with few large cities and a thinly-scattered popu 
lation, is preeminently an agricultural State, but mining, manufac 
turing, and lumbering are also important in various sections. Al 
though 1 4th in size among the States of the Union, it ranks only 
36th in population (692,849 in 1930). The entire State contains 
but 5,000 more people than the city of Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1935 the 
State contained 18,000 fewer people than it had five years pre 

In 1929 South Dakota had a per capita wealth of roughly $5,- 
ooo, the third highest in the United States. Although this wealth 
lies largely in livestock and agricultural products, in 1933 there 
were 348 manufacturing establishments in the State employing 
4,731 persons with products valued at $46,265,812. The total min 
eral production in 1934 was valued at $19,173,000 and the value of 
the gold alone in 1935 was $19,853,057. South Dakota is also one 
of the leading States in the production of mica, tin, feldspar, and 
lithium products, and stone, gravel, sand, and cement are other 

History 47 

leading products. Large deposits of lignite coal have been found 
in the northwestern part of the State but as yet they remain inac 
cessible to transportation. The forested areas include 1,067,745 
acres of National forests and 77,482 acres of State forests, while 
the 478,000 acres of water surface make South Dakota i8th in that 
respect. Among other developments, there were, by 1936, nine hy 
droelectric plants producing 19,853 horsepower and about 75,000 
acres of land under irrigation. 

On the other hand the value of the crops, livestock, and livestock 
products marketed in 1935 reached $100,838,000, while in 1929 it 
was $242,797,000. Dairy products alone in 1933 were valued at 16 
million dollars. The State in 1935 had more than \y 2 million cattle, 
more than i^ million sheep (of which over 100,000 were in one 
county) and more than half a million hogs. The wool clip in 1935 
was just short of 10 million pounds. In the same year the farm 
population numbered 358,204 and the 83,303 farms with their build 
ings had a total value in excess of 1^4 billion dollars. 

Serious labor troubles are rare in South Dakota, with only 16 
strikes recorded between 1920 and 1935, of which but two or three 
were important. There were two strikes in 1934 and three in 1935. 
The problem of migratory labor has lessened in recent years. 
Where formerly hundreds, if not thousands, of transients "bum 
med" their way on freight trains to the harvest fields, now the com 
bines and the small threshing machines have done away with the 
necessity for large crews, and farmers "change work" with one 

Misfortune, in the form of drought, grasshoppers and dust 
storms, has plagued South Dakota for the past -several years, dur 
ing which time Federal aid was a tremendous boon to both business 
and agriculture. Government-supplied employment on permanent 
improvements, such as water conservation, soil erosion projects, 
roads, and public buildings, was the biggest factor in South Da 
kota's battle against the lean years. 


According to the State constitution, a candidate for nomination 
as Governor must receive at least 35 percent of the votes cast by 
his party in the primary ; otherwise the nominee is decided on by a 
caucus, which quite often has nominated some candidate other than 
the one receiving the highest number of votes. The salary of the 
Governor, $3,000 a year, is the lowest paid to any State Executive 
in the Union. 

48 A South Dakota Guide 

The State has a bicameral Legislature, reduced in 1937 to 75 
representatives and 35 senators, elected every two years. They con 
vene at Pierre on the first Monday after the first Tuesday in Janu 
ary of odd-numbered years, for a limited session of 60 days. Spe 
cial sessions have been rare. 

Legislators draw a salary of $5 per day for not more than 60 
days, and travel allowance of 10 cents a mile from their homes to 
Pierre and return. They also draw an expense allowance of not 
more than $200. 

South Dakota has five judges in its supreme court. Originally 
there were three, but the number was increased in 1909 by an act 
of the Legislature. The judges are elected every six years by a vote 
of the entire State, and vacancies are filled by appointment by the 
Governor. The court has both original and appellate jurisdiction, 
although most of its cases are appellate. The only appeal from its 
decisions is to the United States Supreme Court. Salary of the 
judges is $3,000 a year, with an $1,800 annual allowance for ex 

Twelve circuit judges, elected by districts every four years, pre 
side over the tribunals that hear most of the civil and criminal cases 
arising in the State. They have original jurisdiction over all cases 
except those of probate, city ordinance, and Federal character. The 
salary of circuit judges is $2,500 a year. 

The trend of South Dakota's finances is toward a decrease in 
bonded indebtedness. In 1927 the percapita net bonded indebtedness 
was approximately $88.66 and by 1936 it had been reduced to 
$63.56. This included Rural Credit bonds which in 1936 consti 
tuted 91.8% of the total net bonded indebtedness while contributing 
only 1 6.1% of the total amount in the interest and sinking funds. 
Outside of the Rural Credits, the bonded indebtedness of South 
Dakota is almost negligible. 

The total revenue available for the State in 1936 was $21,646,- 
494.06, of which practically 23% was Federal aid. The total ex 
penditures were $12,923,444.55, 59.9% for expenses in departments 
under appointive officers (three- fourths of which was for highway 
construction), 14.6% for educational institutions, 11.4% for State 
enterprises, 8.6% for penal and charitable institutions, and the rest 
for miscellaneous operations. 







1 HE process of transformation from raw and unfinished prairie 
lands to a relatively developed countryside began in 1857 in the ex 
treme southeastern corner of the State, and the last raw land was 
opened for settlement as late as 1910 in the opposite section, in the 
counties of Harding, Perkins, and Butte. During this period of 
agricultural and commercial expansion, there was a modest but de 
termined growth in education, social welfare, and the fine arts, so 
that today economic and social development keep abreast in South 

With nearly one half the soil in its virgin state, untouched by the 
plow, the agriculture of South Dakota might be considered still in 
the infant stage of development. However, scanty moisture in the 
western half precludes the practicability of its successful utilization 
as a farming country -without the aid of irrigation. 

In the western half, crops that mature quickly, require little 
moisture, and supply a large quantity of forage are the most popu 
lar. This section, in the main, is still devoted chiefly to stock rais 
ing. In some cases, large yields of wheat, oats, barley, and other 
small grains during wet seasons enable farmers to cling to their 
holdings during lean years. 

Prairie grasses are still the chief source of stock feed, with crops 
raised as a side line to supplement the native rations. The West- 
river region began as a stock country, and after being engulfed for 
a decade by a tide of homesteaders who came, were conquered by 
the elements, and left, the land reverted to its earlier uses. 

Progress of farming in the State has been necessarily slow. In 
dian troubles disrupted the first settlements and caused their aban 
donment ; the Civil War halted advancement ; and it required a long 


A South Dakota Guide 

time for Eastern farmers to adapt themselves to the drier prairies. 
Drought and grasshoppers sent many scurrying back East. Gradu 
ally, however, they learned to change their methods, and eventually 
the prairie became checkered with farm plots. The lack of railroads 
was another handicap, and it was not until the attainment of state 
hood that much thought was given to settling as far west as the 
Missouri River. 

After the extension of the railroads into the important farming 
areas, progress was more rapid. Then a few years ago it became 
evident that too much non-productive land had been broken. Many 
large wheat areas could not be properly cared for after the first 
two or three seasons, and the land gradually reverted to sod, with 
a great loss for those who had attempted to farm it. 

Stock feeding is becoming more important each year. Baby 
beeves picked up on the range are fattened in eastern South Dakota 
feed lots and shipped to market when between 12 and 18 months 
old. Poultry raising brings the State an income two and one half 
times that obtained from gold, although South Dakota ranks second 
among the gold-producing States. Creameries dot the State, especi 
ally in the eastern part, and small flour mills are found wherever 
water power or other factors render them profitable. 





















A glance at the agricultural map of South Dakota reveals several 
kinds of farming, each peculiar to a certain section. Whereas, Iowa, 

Agriculture 51 

for example, is noted for its corn and hog production, it would be 
difficult to name any predominating crop in South Dakota. A tour 
across the State from east to west gives a cross section of wide var 
iety in farming methods a variety enforced mainly by differences 
in rainfall, soil textures, and topography. 

Near the eastern border, farm scenes are similar to those in Iowa 
or Minnesota. Silos, windmills, tree-sequestered farm houses with 
sturdy buildings, dairy herds grazing in green pastures, fields of 
corn, small grain and forage crops checkering the landscape, all 
enter into the composite picture of eastern South Dakota's farming 
area, where crop failures are the exception and diversified agricul 
ture insures the farmer an income from several sources. Here farms 
are smaller than farther west, but the yield per acre is greater. 
From this region come vegetables and various kinds of fruit in 
abundance. Potatoes raised in the east central area are shipped west, 
where tuber yields are small and often uncertain. 

Westward from this region, a progressive change in the nature 
of the country is evident. Farmhouses are less and less preten 
tious, groves of trees are only occasionally visible, pastures are not 
so luxuriant, lakes are no longer seen. Farming still predominates, 
and eastern characteristics gradually give way to those of the West. 
For miles the land has been level ; now it is slightly rolling, often 
broken. Creeks and "draws" that, in the eastern section, appear to 
wander aimlessly through the prairie, now take a more positive 
course, leading eventually to the Missouri, the Mississippi, and the 

Undulating, treeless prairies, gumbo hills rising like sharp irregu 
lar steps from deep river bottoms, herds of cattle grazing on slopes 
of creeks and draws, occasional farms breaking the monotony of 
tablelands these are characteristic of the semiarid part of the 
State known as the Missouri River range section. 

Never classed as a farming area, chiefly because of scanty mois 
ture, unsuitable soil, or unfavorable topography, this region is vir 
tually dependent on stock raising. On the eastern margin are farms 
with fairly pretentious buildings, although they are generally at 
tached to land units comprising several quarter-sections. More land 
is necessary to produce a livelihood here because the yield is unusu 
ally small. Westward, the interval between farms becomes greater 
and there is an increasing amount of grassland, unbroken and often 

52 A South Dakota Guide 

The eastern plateau ends in an abrupt downward plunge past 
rugged and frequently almost grassless hills to the broad produc 
tive bottoms of the Missouri River. Here attempts are made at 
farming, the most successful crop being alfalfa or other forage 
growths. Timber, matted with dense underbrush, thickly fringes the 
banks on either sid'e an indication of what is possible, given suffi 
cient moisture, on lands more distant from the stream. From the 
flat expanses of river bottom, fences mount toward higher ground, 
where the hills are dotted with grazing cattle, shut out by barbed 
wire from the hay mieadows below. 

The prairie country on the west side of the river is in striking 
'contrast to that of the valley. For miles not a house is visible, 
and only a fence here and there in the distance indicates that hu 
man life is somewhere near. The country is rolling, and only occa 
sionally does a farm plot break the line of the grassy prairie. The 
summit of -each succeeding ridge presents nothing but the view of 
another ridge, until a divide is reached. From this latter point, 
small ranch houses can be seen, tucked away in creek bottoms, 
where "draws" and gullies converge to permit trees and greener 
grass to grow. It is typical stock country, the animals depending 
on native grasses rather than on forage furnished by tilled crops. 

Less than 30 years ago, this same prairie was dotted with the 
shacks of homesteaders who came only to leave as soon as the land 
became theirs or when adversity overtook them. The few who re 
mained, living mostly along dry creeks or near springs, gradually 
managed to acquire large herds of cattle or sheep and to wrest a 
living from the ruthless prairie. This prairie is still the cattleman's 
paradise; but today he owns or rents his land; yesterday it be 
longed to anyone or to no one. 

But it is not all sparsely settled. Above the gumbo soil on higher 
tableland a great difference is noted. Though the moisture is no 
heavier, the soil is better. Black sandy loam, capable of resisting 
considerable drought, has kept the farmers on the land. In normal 
years they raise fair crops ; in dry years they raise something, per 
haps only forage, but they stay on and are contented, for life is 
not as pressing as it is farther east and the temptation to move to 
town is less. Many farms in this area are well improved, with small 
groves of trees adding a touch of beauty to the level expanses. The 
same kinds of crops are raised as in the eastern section, but the 
yield is smaller. 

Agriculture 53 

Farther on, 'below the rim of the tableland, there is again rolling 
prairie, resembling a huge rumpled blanket, each undulating section 
no different from the rest. In the distance mud buttes, badlands, 
and rocky knolls appear, the beginning of the buttes and Badlands 
section. Except for the sharply broken surface, with many deep 
"draws" and creeks, the country is similar to the Missouri River 
range section and the Black Hills is still the realm of the rancher, 
with cattle predominant over other livestock. Where farming is at 
tempted, it is usually for the purpose of supplying feed for stock. 
Forage crops alfalfa, clover, and cane are preferred. Persons 
who have broken ground with the intention of depending on "dirt, 
farming" for a living have learned to their sorrow that it is im 
practicable that eventually they must relinquish their holdings to- 
those engaged in pursuits better adapted to the land and climate. 

If the traveler approaches the Black Hills from the northeast, his 
route bisects South Dakota's irrigated area a little country by it 
self, where rich green foliage appears suddenly in sharp contrast 
to the dun prairies surrounding it. To one ignorant of the existence 
of the artificial water supply, it resembles a veritable oasis covering 
thousands of acres. Sugar beets, utilized both for sugar and for 
stock feed in the vicinity where they are raised, are the important 
crop. Alfalfa, too, grows phenomenally well under irrigation, and 
seed from this section is shipped to distant States and even to 
foreign countries. 

The Black Hills rise suddenly from the surrounding grassland. 
Large-scale farming is no longer in evidence, and there are no 
broad fields of corn or small grain. Only in the fertile valleys, 
where at best the farmer or gardener is cramped for space, are 
there any cultivated plots. Here garden vegetables, principally 
head lettuce and potatoes, the latter of unusual hardiness, are raised 
for market. An exception is the famous Spearfish Valley, long 
noted for its output of apples and other fruit as well as garden 
truck, raised under irrigation. Every year thousands of bushels of 
apples and vegetables find their way to outside markets. 

The four years of relentless drought, from 1933 to 1936, accom 
panied by grasshopper hordes and dust storms, left in their wake 
parched fields and discouraged farmers, and paralyzed every source 
of farm income in most of the State. Ushered in by the famous and 
devastating "black blizzard" of November 1933, the dust storm 
scourge, something new to Dakota prairies, swept much of the top 

54 A South Dakota Guide 

soil from hundreds of farms. Dirt from the fields was deposited 
like brown snowdrifts along fences. 

With no income, farmers were unable to pay taxes or provide a 
meager living for destitute families without Federal help. The 
southeastern section of the State suffered least, but residents of 
the grazing area, through lack of feed and water, were forced 
to sell their stock. 'Several years of good crops will be necessary to 
effect recovery from the searing heat and lack of rains during the 
past few years. 

Thousands of well improved farms, especially in the eastern part 
of the State, bear testimony to the fact that drought is the excep 
tion rather than the rule. Even in the western section, where pre 
cipitation rarely reaches 18 inches during an entire year, comfort 
able homes have been made possible through the combination of 
farming and ranching. 

Although latest crop estimates for 1937, based on conditions 
September I, are below normal, they point to the second largest 
yield in the last five years and indicate that agricultural recovery 
is on the way. 

A total production of 48,9x52,000 bushels of corn is predicted 
compared with the 1936 yield of only 8,446,000 and the 1928-32 
five year average of 78,447,000 bushels. Durum wheat production is 
expected to total 3,906,000 bushels in 1937 as compared with but 
700,000 bushels in 1936 and the five year pre-drought average of 
12,607,000 bushels. The yield of oats is forecast at 37,474,000 
bushels, with a production in 1936 of 12,710,000 bushels and a five 
year average of 59,033,000 bushels. Barley is expected to yield a 
total of 22,982,000 bushels while the 1936 production was 8,977,000 
and the 1928-32 average was 34,277,000. Rye in 1937 will yield 
one of the largest crops on record in South Dakota with the total 
production estimated at 6,108,000 bushels, as compared with 1,608,- 
ooo bushels in 1936 and the 1928-32 average of 4,072,000 bushels. 

Among the minor crops, flax should produce 252,000 bushels in 
1937 as compared with 132,000 in 1936 and the five year average 
of 2,170,000, the total yield of potatoes is estimated at 1,708,000 
bushels as compared with 783,000 bushels in 1936 and the five year 
average of 3,971,000 bushels, and the forecast for all tame hay 
produced in 1937 is 768,000 tons as compared with 582,000 tons in 
1936 and the 1928-32 average of 1,126,000 tons. More than half of 
this tame hay, 442,000 tons, will be alfalfa, while in 1936 294,000 

Agriculture 55 

tons of alfalfa were produced and the five year average was 813,- 
ooo tons. The wild hay production is estimated at 1,036,000 tons for 
1937 while the 1936 yield was 424,000 tons and the five year aver 
age was 1,218,000 tons. The production of all hay combined for 
1937 will be approximately 1,804,000 tons, compared with 1,006,- 
ooo in 1936 and an average of 2,344,000 tons during the 1928-32 

Cattle raising in South Dakota is carried on under three general 
systems. Two of these, dairying and the feeding of beef cattle, are 
practiced mainly east of the Missouri River. Since dairying is car 
ried on much the same everywhere, there is no need of describing 
it in detail. In the feeding of beef for market, young steers are 
purchased from the range country to the -west of the river and fed 
intensively for a short period on the surplus corn of the eastern 
and southeastern sections ; after which they are shipped the com 
paratively short distance to Midwestern markets. 

The third system, the range raising of cattle, is necessarily con 
fined to the range sections of the West-river country. The 20 years 
from 1880 to 1900 were the halcyon days of the big cattle outfits, 
with thousands of stock run under a single brand, frequently with 
absentee ownership. Little or no provision was made for winter 
feeding of such vast numbers, and cattle raising under such condi 
tions was a gamble. If the winter was an open one, the stock came 
through in fine shape; if it were severe, the ranges were cleaned. 

But with the turn of the century, the prosperous days of the big 
outfits came to an end. There were probably many factors contri 
buting to this, but the chief was perhaps the "nester." Some cow 
hand with the makings of a good stockman, becoming tired of 
working for someone else, would start up for himself. He knew 
all the favorable ranch locations on his range, and would file on a 
piece of land with shelter and water ; if possible, some hay bottoms. 
There he would build up his herd some say at the expense of 
outfits so large that all their unbranded stock could not be rounded 

But the reign of the "nester" was short. Just as he had driven 
out the big outfits, so the homesteaders drove him out, or at least 
curtailed his activities. As the wave of homesteading swept over the 
land, shacks, dugouts, and sod shanties appeared overnight on ev 
ery quarter-section. The homesteaders for the most part had little 
knowledge of farming and none of ranching, but they had an ex- 


Agriculture 57 

aggerated idea of the value of the grass. The "nester" now became 
the cattleman, could not meet their terms and survive. Some sold 
out, some were cut down, some made arrangements with the more 
reasonable homesteaders. Those who survived made good, for the 
homestead wave receded not so rapidly as it rose, but just as sure 
ly. Today in the West-river country there are cattle ranches of 
varying size, with a small nucleus of deeded land as the core, with 
a larger body of homestead and State land, surrounding it, and al 
ways with a fringe for which the cattleman pays neither rental nor 

In South Dakota sheep are raised either on farm plots or in 
range flocks. The farm flock may be found anywhere in the State. 
It numbers all the way from one "bum" lamb to two or three hun 
dred head of sheep. If carried on as an adjunct to farming, it is 
profitable, like raising chickens or milch cows. The range flock, on 
the other hand, averaging from 1,500 to 1,800 head, usually repre 
sents the total investment of its owner and his whole means of live 

It is axiomatic to say that sheep raising on the range can be car 
ried on only in a natural range country. Certain conditions must be 
present before sheep can be raised in large numbers, and the first 
is an abundance of grazing space. The three northwestern counties 
meet this requirement, having the lowest population density in the 

The second requisite is cheap land. In the northwestern corner 
of the State this condition also exists. The land there may be leased 
from the government and from private individuals at a minimum 
of six cents an acre a year, the rental varying in different counties. 
Another requisite for range sheep-raising is feed and shelter. This 
region has an abundance of natural grasses of various kinds, in 
cluding buffalo, wheat, blue-stem, and sand grasses. Grass in this 
region cures on the ground in July and August and, unlike the 
grasses in moist climates, is as nutritious in winter as it is when 
first cut and stacked. Shelter is found along creeks and draws, 
and it is in these places that stockmen usually build their ranch 
houses and sheds and feed their flocks during the winter. 

The final requisite is water supply, at least during the summer 
months. Sheep, like horses, will eat snow in the absence of water 
and survive, whereas cattle must have water, winter and summer. 
This particular region has a number of streams that run the year 

58 A South Dakota Guide 

around, and others that at least have waterholes along their courses. 
The result is that this northwestern corner of the State, an area 
of roughly 100 miles square, supports an enormous number of 
sheep. Harding County alone, for example, showed a production 
of more than 68,000 spring lambs in 1931. Butte and Perkins coun 
ties also produce many sheep 'by the range method, but few others 
employ this system. 

Different sections of the country find different breeds of sheep 
best suited to their purposes. In the range section of South Dakota, 
almost the only breed found is the Rambouillet. It is a dual pur 
pose sheep, valuable both for wool and lambs. The range wool in 
South Dakota ranks with the best, comparing favorably with the 
high grade wool of the Montana ranges. 

With the acknowledgement among most farmers that the best 
way to sell grain is "on the hoof," hog raising in South Dakota, 
as elsewhere, is complemented by the production of corn and other 
grains. This is true especially in the eastern section, where alfalfa 
and clover fields furnish pastures to supplement the corn ration. 
Western South Dakota ranchers and farmers usually raise some 
hogs, -but not with the care and attention to scientific formulas that 
characterize those in the eastern section. 

Poland J Chiina, Duroc-Jersey, and Hampshire breeds have been 
the mainstay of the farmers of the State, Hampshire being more 
popular in the West-river country because of its hardiness and 
ability to rustle for its living. It is the leading type of bacon hog 
raised in the State. 

Although seldom raised exclusively, poultry, principally chickens 
and turkeys, are raised on nearly every farm where diversified ag 
riculture is practiced. Poultry and egg houses buy the products 
from farmers and ship them to Eastern markets. 

This brief general picture of South Dakota shows a State with 
wide diversification in farm crops and methods, each section pecu 
liar to itself. Farmers are learning, after years of uncertain fum 
bling, that particular areas are adaptable to particular crops and 
products, and that the land is generous to those who observe this 
rule, unsympathetic and unyielding to those who do not. 



The early settlers of South Dakota 'believed no community was 
complete until a school had 'been built and a teacher engaged. The 
first school building was erected by public subscription in Bon 
Homme County in 1860; the second was built at Vermillion by 
Company A., U. S. Cavalry, in 1862. 

In the same year William Jayne, first Governor of Dakota Terri 
tory, signed the original law establishing a school code and a com 
mon school District. In 1864 Gov. - Newton Edmunds appointed 
James S. Foster as first superintendent of Public Instruction. It 
proved to be a happy choice, for this educator, grounded in the 
school of Horace Mann, through three successive terms laid the 
foundation of the present school system of the State. By 1870 
there were 83 schools in the State, with approximately 1800 chil 
dren in attendance. 

The school district system was originally modeled after that of 
New England. Later the township system was introduced, with one 
school board having control of all schools within the township. The 
two systems have existed side 'by side since that early day, and 
later legislation was enacted to permit communities to change at 
will from one form to the other. 

The decade 187080 was marked by the installation of the first 
course of study, the enactment of much school legislation, and the 
raising of the qualifications for the office of county superintendent. 
In this time the enrollment in schools increased to more than 
13,000, with 464 teachers employed. 

The years 1880-90 saw a complete recodification of school laws. 
Courses of study were revised and United States history, temper- 


A South Dakota Guide 

ance, physiology, and hygiene were added to the curriculum. From 
1890-05 the important developments were the advent of the first 
grade teaching certificate, the strengthening of the compulsory edu 
cation laws, and the advocacy of uniform textbooks and consoli 
dated schools. The period from 1906-16 saw the establishment of 
the State Certificate, the raising of teacher requirements and the 
founding of consolidated schools. 

The period of greatest expansion was from 1917-1929. During 
this time 80 per cent of the rural schools of the State were built, 
State aid was made available for rural schools, free textbooks were 
provided and $6,500 was appropriated for a State-wide educational 


survey. In 1919 a revision of elementary and secondary school 
courses was completed. In 1926 the peak of teaching salaries was 
reached, the high salaries attracting a better qualified class of 

Since 1929 economic conditions have forced many changes, in 
cluding drastic reduction in teaching salaries, amounting to more 
than 50 per cent in many cases. The school laws were recodified 
in 1931. In 1933 the Legislature enacted a Gross Income Tax and 
assigned 50 per cent of it to public education. In 1935 it replaced 
this measure with a Sales and Net Income Tax, apportioning 32 
per cent of it to the schools. This, together with the income from 
school lands (see above) and local taxes, forms the present basis 
of school support. At present (1937) there are between 1,500 and 

Education and Religion 61 

1, 800 teachers, with more than 50,000 pupils in attendance. So 
much for the system of common schools ; but the founders of the 
State felt the need of something more. 

To provide further educational facilities for the youth of this 
new frontier, the first Territorial legislature, at its first meeting at 
Yankton in 1862, passed a measure to create a university of Da 
kota Territory. The act provided for a board of 18 regents with 
authority to appoint teachers, form courses of study, fix tuition, 
and grant degrees. The legislature was given power to determine 
salaries. But it was not until 20 years later that the university 
buildings were actually started. 

As the State developed, and its agricultural, commercial, and in 
dustrial activities expanded, its school system expanded also. The 
interests of the State became more clearly defined, and the types of 
educational institutions needed became more evident. To meet these 
recognized needs, there are now in the State, in addition to the 
grade and high schools, twelve institutions of higher education, 
seven of them State-supported and five privately supported. W. H. 
H. Beadle, Superintendent of Public Instruction from 1879 * I ^^5> 
was greatly interested in the common schools of the State, and in 
the problem of supplying teachers for them. As a result, during the 
next few years normal schools were established at Madison, Spear- 
fish, Springfield, and Aberdeen. 

The first institution of higher learning in South Dakota was esta 
blished by the Congregational Church in 1881 at Yankton. It is 
known as Yankton College. The University of South Dakota was 
founded at Vermillion in the following year, 1882, through the aid 
of the people of the town and county. At present the university 
consists of seven colleges and schools of higher education and of 
fers courses leading to the following degrees : Bachelor of Arts, of 
Science, of Science in Business Administration, of Law, of Fine 
Arts in Music, Dramatic Art, Painting, Public School Music, and 
Public School Art; Master of Arts, Master of Music; and Doctor 
of Philosophy. There is also a university high school. 

Many members of the faculty are known as the authors of text 
books and other scholarly publications, or for their contributions to 
scientific research. The university has granted more than 3,000 de 
grees. Among its more distinguished graduates is an internationally 
recognized scientist, Ernest O. Lawrence, who has done outstand 
ing research in the structure of atoms. 

62 A South Dakota Guide 

Since its founding in 1883, the State College of Agriculture and 
Mechanic Arts at Brookings had had a wide influence in the ad 
vancement of South Dakota, both through the activities of its 
graduates and through scientific service rendered. The work of this 
institution falls into five major divisions : agriculture, engineering, 
pharmacy, home economics; and general science. 

It is only natural in an agricultural State such as South Dakota 
that major emphasis should be given to this subject in a State edu 
cational institution. The four-year college course provides instruc 
tion in agronomy, animal husbandry, dairy husbandry, horticulture, 
agricultural engineering, veterinary medicine, poultry raising, ento 
mology-zoology, and farm economics. In addition, students are 
given broad training in English, mathematics, chemistry, biology, 
modern languages, history, and political science. 

One of the greatest services State College performs for the farm 
ers is the continuous research carried on through its experiment sta 
tion farm at Brookings and the substations at Highmore, Cotton- 
wood, Vivian, and Eureka. Here crops are tested for adaptability 
to soil and climate; feeding and breeding experiments are carried 
on for all classes of animals ; fruit varieties are originated and 
tested ; and destructive plant diseases and insects are studied to de 
velop methods of control and eradication. 

One of the potent forces in carrying to the people the informa 
tion derived from these experiments is the agricultural extension 
service, with its corps of specialists, county agents, and home dem 
onstration agents in the field. 

The first of the teachers' colleges, Eastern State Normal School, 
was opened at Madison in 1883, and in the same year, Sioux Falls 
College was founded at Sioux Falls by the Baptist Church. In 1884 
the Episcopal Church established, at Sioux Falls also, a special 
school for girls, known as All Saints' School. The following year, 
1885, witnessed the founding of two more major educational insti 
tutions : Dakota Wesleyan University, a Methodist school, at Mit 
chell, and the Black Hills Teachers College at Spearfish. 

The State School of Mines at Rapid City, established in 1887, is 
ideally situated among the Black Hills. The great variety of miner 
als, ores, and rock formations ; the streams available for experi 
ments in light, power, and irrigation ; the nearby manufacturing 
plants ; the forests, and the fossil-bearing Badlands all these give 
to the School of Mines scientific and engineering advantages such 
as few other technical institutions possess. 

Education and Religion 63 

Major attention is given to the study and teaching of chemistry, 
metallurgy, mineralogy, geology, mining, milling, engineering, math 
ematics, mechanics, and draftsmanship. The student enrollment at 
the School of Mines increased approximately 300 per cent from 
1919 to 1931, reaching a maximum of 392 for the year 1930-1. 

Lutheran Normal at Sioux Falls and Augustana College at Can 
ton were founded in 1889, but have since been united as Augustana 
College at Sioux Falls. Southern Normal was established by the 
State at Springfield in 1895. In 1902, the Northern Normal and 
Industrial School, later changed to Northern State Teachers Col 
lege, was started at Aberdeen and soon became one of the North 
west's largest teacher-training schools. 

In 1898 the Presbyterian University, founded at Pierre in 1883, 
was moved to Huron and became known as Huron College. 

Today there are some 4,487 rural schools with an enrollment of 
about 55,738 pupils, 82 consolidated high schools, and about 319 
four-year accredited high schools. In addition to the classical and 
traditional high school courses, agriculture, manual training, home 
economics, and commercial courses are taught. 

The most recent development in the high school curriculum is 
illustrated by the introduction into the Aberdeen High School of 
what is known as a "cooperative placement course," leading to a 
vocational diploma. This course is designed especially for those stu 
dents who are not planning to go to college. Students are placed in 
the vocation of their choice, spending 20 hours a week in the shop 
or business establishment and learning through practical experience. 
Am;ong trades offered to the students are those of printer, stenog 
rapher, baker, cook, woodworker, dressmaker, salesman, mechanic, 
radio worker, plumber, cleaner and presser, journalist, and electri 

Among the educational institutions of more recent development 
are Wessington Springs Junior College established in 1923 ; and 
Freeman Junior College established in 1927. 

Special schools to care for the afflicted and abnormal members 
of the State's citizen body include the State School and Home for 
the Feeble-Minded at Redfield, the School for the Blind at Gary, 
the School for the Deaf at Sioux Falls, and the South Dakota 
Training School at Plankinton. 

64 A South Dakota Guide 


Among the earliest explorers of the region which is now South 
Dakota were the Jesuit missionaries, who worked among the Indi 
ans, converting many to the Christian faith. Rev. Thomas S. Wil 
liams and Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, with their wives, were the first 
Protestant missionaries to make their homes among the Indians in 
this region. In 1840 Dr. Riggs made a journey to Fort Pierre and 
while there conducted a religious service, the first Protestant ser 
vice conducted in what is now South Dakota. 

Working together, Williams and Riggs translated the Bible, The 
Pilgrim's Progress, several hymn 'books, and other literature into 
the Eastern Sioux language. Dr. Riggs was the author of a valu 
able Dakota-English dictionary, giving the Sioux words and their 
English equivalents. 

The work of the early Catholic missionaries was confined at first 
to the wandering bands of the Sioux, rather than in settled mis 
sions. The first mass in the State was held on the James River in 
Bennett County in 1842 by Father A. Ravoux. On the same trip he 
visited the French-Canadian trappers and their families at Fort 
Pierre. In 1848 Father De Smet made the first of many visits to 
the Dakota Sioux. He visited the Badlands of the White River on 
this trip and found a band of Sioux there. He returned in 1851 and 
many times thereafter until 1866. The first Catholic Church was 
erected at Jefferson in 1867. 

The earliest Protestant religious movement in Dakota Territory 
(including what is now the States of North and South Dakota) 
was begun by Baptists in 1852, when they established a mission at 
Walhalla for the evangelization of the Indians. Its leaders were 
Elijah Terry and James Tanner. 

In the southern half of Dakota Territory, the missionaries came 
with the pioneers to the earliest settlements, especially those at 
Yankton, Vermillion, Elk Point, and Bon Homme. They risked the 
dangers of frontier life in their desire to preach the gospel to those 
who, with them, were laying the foundation of a new State and en 
deavoring to shape its character and destiny. 

In January 1860 Rev. Charles D. Martin, a missionary con 
nected with the Presbyterian Church, reached Yankton and preached 
the first sermon to a congregation of. white people in Dakota Ter 
ritory. The congregation was large and enthusiastic. His text was, 
"Who so despiseth the Word shall be destroyed ; but he that feareth 

Education and Religion 65 

the commandment shall be rewarded" (Proverbs 13:11). He 
preached from an upturned whiskey barrel, the only available sub 
stitute for a pulpit. 

Rev. Martin seems to have been familiarly called "Father Martin," 
and to have come at that time from Dakota City, N'eb., a distance 
of about 70 miles. In October 1860, he solemnized the 'first mar 
riage recorded after Dakota Territory was opened for settlement, 
that of Miss Robinson to Mr. Jacob Deuel. 

One incident of early days reveals the attitude of many of the 
rougher pioneers in what is now western South Dakota. It is re 
lated that an Easterner, visiting Fort Pierre, asked, "Does the stage 
to the Black Hills run on Sunday?" A man from Deadwood, who 
happened to be going on the same stage, replied, "Stranger, there 
ain't no Sunday west of the Missouri River and no God west of the 
Cheyenne. If a man dies west of the Missouri, they don't bury 
him; and if he dies west of the Cheyenne, the coyotes won't eat 

Two other figures of importance in the religious development of 
South Dakota were Rev. J. W. Cook, an Episcopal minister, who 
located at Greenwood in 1870, and Jedediah Smith, a young min 
ister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who is said to have been 
the first person to perform a public act of worship within the con 
fines of the State of South Dakota. 

The heterogeneous nature of the population of the State has re 
sulted in the establishment and growth of numerous religious or 
ganizations. The Norwegians, Swedes, and Germans brought with 
them Lutheran doctrines and ideas and established their Lutheran 
churches; the Irish, French, and Germans established Catholic or 
ganizations. Other groups with varying religious doctrines organ 
ized themselves in like manner. 

Today nearly all common religious faiths are represented in South 
Dakota. The 1936 census report shows the Lutherans to be the 
largest in membership, with a total of 165,836; the Catholics sec 
ond, with 114,941; the Methodists third, with 78,767; the Congre- 
gationalists fourth, with 35,700; the Presbyterians fifth, with 32,- 
ooo; the Baptists sixth, with 21,193; and the Episcopalians seventh, 
with 12,233. Besides these leading groups there are the Reformed 
churches with 11,539 members; the Christian church, with 7,301; 
the Evangelical, with 11,539; the Mennonites, with 4,289, and yet 
other smaller organizations. Generally three or four denominations 

66 A South Dakota Guide 

are represented even in the smaller communities most often the 
Catholic and Lutheran and, in addition, the Congregational, Presby 
terian, or Baptist. 

Most of these denominations have their young people's organiza 
tions and meetings. Summer institutes for young men and women 
are held annually by the Methodist, Congregationalist, Baptist, and 
Presbyterian groups. Most of the groups meet in the Black Hills 
in the latter part of June and the early part of July, in their various 
church camps. 


DAKOTA has the framework of an adequate transpor 
tation system. The northeast and southwest corners of the State are 
cut by transcontinental railroads Two lines traverse the State from 
east to west, and other lines run north and south through the east 
ern and Black Hills regions. Ten Federal highways cross South 
Dakota, five from north to south, and five from east to west. An air 
line serves the eastern section. 

The State's first highway was the Missouri River, which flows 
south through the approximate center of the State and then curves 
out of it at the southeast corner. Up this broad highway, in the 
early days of the white man's settlement, came the explorer and 
the trader, the trapper and the priest. They came by canoe, by boat, 
by barge, and finally by steamer. When the first farms fringed the 
eastern border of the State, the covered wagon and the ox team 
brought the settlers in from Iowa and Minnesota, and the agricul 
tural frontier was pushed slowly westward. 

Gold was discovered in the Black Hills and immigration swept 
the State. Railroads that had just touched the eastern 'border sprang 
into life and leaped halfway across the State. The Chicago & North 
Western stopped on the river at Pierre, and the Chicago, Milwau 
kee, St. Paul & Pacific at Chamberlain. Farther than that they 
could not go, because beyond was Indian country. But gold lay 250 
miles to the west. Long winding bull trains began to thread their 
way from Pierre westward, from Sidney and Cheyenne northward, 
from Bismarck southwestward to the Black Hills. 

Oxen, however, were too slow for passengers, so the stagecoach 
was added to the crowded thoroughfare, and the still swifter pony 
express carried' the mail. Boats, competing with the railroads, car- 

68 A South Dakota Guide 

ried the heavy freight up the broad Missouri from Yankton and 
Sioux City, and unloaded at Chamberlain and Fort Pierre. Ten 
years later, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy and the North West 
ern came from the south into the Hills, and the bull trains van 

The first railroad to enter the State was the Winona & St. Peter, 
afterward part of the North Western system. In 1871 this railroad 
was built as far as Lake Kampeska, but for seven years it was op 
erated only to Gary, just within the State lines. In 1872 the Dakota 
Southern, afterward acquired by the Milwaukee, built into the State 
from the south, through Elk Point to Vermillion. In 1878 the 
Worthington & Sioux Falls Line was built, connecting Sioux Falls 
with Sioux City. Thus prior to 1880 there were short stubs of rail 
road projecting into the State at three points. 

The discovery of gold in the Hills brought in the Great Boom 
period, and with it the building of railroads. In the year 1880 both 
the Milwaukee and the North Western extended their lines to the 
Missouri. The same year the Milwaukee began to build its trans 
continental line across the northern border counties of the State. 

The eighties saw much railroad building. In 1884 the Minneap 
olis & St. Louis began building lines in South Dakota, eventually 
to reach half across the State ; and in the same year the Chicago, 
Rock Island & Pacific entered Watertown from the southeast. In 
1886 the North Western built north from its Nebraska lines to skirt 
the eastern and northern borders of the Black Hills, putting an end 
to the picturesque old trails, from Sidney, Neb., from Cheyenne, 
Wyo., from Bismarck, N. Dak., and from Fort Pierre. In 1887 the 
Great Northern built one of its two lines reaching into the State 
from the northeast, and the Illinois Central reached Sioux Falls. 
The following year the Burlington built across the extreme south 
western corner of the State, and three years later extended a branch 
line up through the center of the Hills to Deadwood. This com 
pelled the North Western also to build up into the Hills from: its 
terminus at Whitewood. 

The depression of the early 1890*5 put an end to railroad build 
ing in the State for a time. It was not until 1902 that the Sault St. 
Marie built a short line into the Lake Region in the northeast. In 
1906 the Rapid City, Black Hills & Western constructed a scenic 
line up Rapid Canyon for 35 miles. In 1907 the North Western 
and the Milwaukee extended their lines from the Missouri River to 
the Black Hills, and the railroad picture was practically complete. 

Transportation 69 

The railroad history of the State is unique in many respects. The 
transcontinental lines do not traverse the central part of the State. 
Pierre, the capital city, is served by a line of the North Western 
ending in the Black Hills. The reason is twofold. The Indian res 
ervation to the west blocked railroad building till the first decade of 
this century, and the Black Hills furnished a natural barrier, be 
coming a terminus in themselves. 

There has been a marked rivalry between the North Western and 
the Milwaukee systems. Both built their roads to the Missouri 
River in the same year, and both completed their lines to the Hills 
at the same time ; but the rivalry did not stop there. In the first five 
years of the present century, when the question of a permanent site 
for the capital was still being agitated, the North Western backed 
Pierre, and the Milwaukee backed Mitchell. 

The Black Hills Region, with its wealth of scenic and historic 
features, is served by the North Western, the Burlington, and the 
Milwaukee. While, due to the difficulties of the terrain, the rail 
roads do not approach the more impressive areas, they connect at 
convenient points with adequate bus services. One of the railroads, 
the Burlington, conducts its own motor tour of the Hills. The Bad 
lands are skirted on the south by the Milwaukee. The Lake Region 
is touched by practically every line that enters the State. 

In the early years of the present century the coming of the auto 
mobile brought the demand for good roads, and with the road's 
came cars of higher speeds, necessitating still better roads a prai 
rie trail, a dirt grade, a graveled highway, and now the beginnings 
of a hard-surfaced highway system. 

The State highway department was not organized until 1918. Its 
first improved road project was between Watertown and the Cod- 
ington county line to the east, a distance of 13.2 miles. Of the 6,000 
miles in the State highway system 1 today, only 326 are unimproved. 
O'f the remainder, 550 miles are graded dirt roads, 4,216 are grav 
eled, 645 are bituminous-surfaced, and 247 are concrete. In 1937, 
U. S. 1 6 was hardsurfaced almost across the State. The transition 
from gravel to hardsurfacing will be made on other routes as fast 
as funds will allow. 

The first regular air service was established in South Dakota in 
1928, from Rapid City through Pierre and Huron to Watertown. 
This service however was later discontinued and the only line op 
erating in the State at present is the Hanford Air Lines between 

70 A South Dakota Guide 

Bismarck N. Dak., and Kansas City, Mo. This line enters the 'State 
opposite Sioux City, passes through Sioux Falls, Huron, and Aber 
deen and leaves the State a little to the northwest of Aberdeen. 
Regular stops are made at landing fields in Aberdeen, Huron, Sioux 
Falls and 'Sioux City. Besides this route, the Hanford Air Lines 
has a shorter line connecting Sioux Falls with St. Paul and Minne 
apolis, which leaves the State just east of Sioux Falls. 

Although the Missouri River has played an important part in the 
history of the State and formed its first great highway, there is no 
commercial traffic on its waters within the confines of the State 


/ALTHOUGH no type of architecture is peculiar to South Dakota, 
there are wide variations within the State, owing to the character 
of the country. Materials and styles differ in the farming, ranching 
and mountainous sections, each showing influences brought from 
surrounding regions, coupled with the utilization of the earth, tim 
ber, and stone at hand. 

First the Arikara Indian went to the river banks to 'build his hut 
of sticks and mud, inside of which were living quarters for his 
several wives, children, and horses. Then came the Sioux Indian 
.with his portable tent of buffalo hide, well-tanned and stretched on 
poles. When the first white settlers began pouring into the new 
country, they laboriously built log houses where trees were avail 
able; but as most of the State was treeless, the earth was made to 
serve as the building material. These pioneers who came to file 
claims on the virgin prairie found that by 'hitching their oxen to 
a plow, it was comparatively simple to loosen furrows which could 
be cut into blocks five or six inches thick, a foot wide and two or 
three feet long. The dirt was so interwoven with the strong roots 
of prairie grass that the chunks were solid enough to be carried 
easily and laid, brick-fashion, into place. Damp dirt was used to 
fill in crevices and around the windows, which were usually high 
and small. Roofs often were made of limbs, brush and hay with a 
covering of dirt; usually, however, cheap slab lumber covered the 
sod shanties. In the late 1 870*5 and for a few years the land seek 
ers were content to live in their drab, squat sod houses while they 
proved up their claims ; those people became known as Soddies. 

That was more than a half -century ago, but on the Indian reser 
vations, particularly the Pine Ridge and Rosebud, sod' houses are 

72 A South Dakota Guide 

still being occupied by white families as well as Indians, and it will 
be some time before the complete transition to modern homes will 
be effected. Today there is a revival of interest in utilizing the 
prairie soil as building material. The use of rammed earth is be 
ing proved practical as well as economical through experiments at 
South Dakota State College, and its use in small towns and on the 
farms is gaining favor again. Dirt with a high content of sand is 
placed in molds and compressed, simple tire jacks often being used 
in the operation. Rammed earth walls afford excellent insulation, 
holding the heat in winter and keeping it out in summer ; the mot 
tled soil has a lovely natural color and the walls increase in strength 
with age. Such structures are conveniently used for chicken houses 
and livestock barns. 

Along the rivers and in the Black Hills logs were the most avail 
able building material in the eighties when much of this frontier area 
was young. Rivers were banked with large cottonwood trees and 
the soft wood was hewn square, notched at the ends, and chinked 
with clay. The use of logs was not confined to home-building; in 
fact, the first schoolhouse in the State was made of logs in Bon 
Homme County in 1860, and many business establishments com 
bined logs with "store" lumber to save money. When the Black 
Hills were suddenly populated during the gold rush of 1876, log 
buildings were put together as simply and quickly as possible. Pon- 
derosa pine logs were peeled, notched a few inches from the end, 
laid up and chinked with either plaster or slabs; exceptions, how 
ever, where the logs were carefully hewn and notched so that the 
ends were flush at the corners, still stand while the others have 
fallen to disrepair. An old cabin in Custer which was built in 1874 
shows the intricate system of notching logs, and the axe marks 
where the log was evened give indication of the tedious labor ex 
pended by the pioneers (see illustration*}. Stone fireplaces in those 
days were held together with mud instead of cement ; an example 
of such a fire place, still in good condition, is in the cabin on the 
floor of Stratosphere Bowl (see Tour 5, Section b). 

Log cabins are still popular in the Black Hills. There along creeks 
and under crags an almost endless number of cabins are built at 
tractively of native pine logs. But the style has been adapted to a 
new taste and expression ; from the rectangular, hand-hewn, one- 
story cabin, the home-builders have evolved bungalows and huge, 
rambling residences of stained, peeled logs, with stone foundations 
and trim. 

Architecture 73 

The character of the wind-swept plains country, coupled with 
the background of homesteading groups, resulted in some peculiar 
designs in the eastern section of the State. Most of the pioneers, 
both in town and country, built square, four-room, frame houses, 
which invariably were painted white ; then as the family and income 
grew, an addition was tacked on the house, or a second story 
built. Since then have come the second and third generations, add 
ing a porch or sun parlor to meet their increased demands. Into 
the north-central section of the State, around Eureka (see Tour /), 
came families to homestead from Eastern Europe. Economical and 
practical, these Germans who had previously emigrated to Russia 
constructed long, low, frame buildings combining the house, granary 
and barn. By dividing the building into three sections the 'first for 
the family, second for the grain and third for the livestock wall 
space and heat were conserved. Such houses still stand, but the 
families have grown and prospered and the customs have changed 
so that the original practice is no longer observed. One of the fea 
tures of early residences in South Dakota was the cupola perched 
on top of many houses. Because of the frequent snowstorms that 
often reach blizzard proportions, combined with the lack of land 
marks on the flat prairie, the cupola, like the Old North Church, 
was used to hang lanterns in so that members of the family, neigh 
bors and strangers could find their way on stormy nights. The ex 
treme weather has had its effect on architecture. Windows and 
doors facing north are avoided, especially in the open country 
where icy wintry blasts seera to penetrate even the sideboards. And 
protection in summer against the bright sun is acquired by means 
of wide porches and awnings. 

Borrowing their designs from more easterly States, there was a 
strong predilection during the nineties for frills and fringes carved 
out of wood around windows and porches. This was the "scroll- 
saw" period and townsmen and farmers alike had curlicues drop 
ping from the eaves and around porch pillars. Houses long de 
serted in ghost towns of the State may have sideboards flapping in 
the wind, but the slightly askew wooden lacework still reflects that 
gay period. 

The use of native materials in public buildings is prevalent; in 
fact, the State owns and operates a cement plant (see Tour 4), 
there are several quarries of granite and sandstone, and the Black 
Hills yield quantities of lumber. A new trend is shown in the 
Black Hills where Federal agencies are constructing buildings from 

74 A South Dakota Guide 

rock taken, virtually, from their own back yards. Such is the mod 
ern-styled Sylvan Lake Hotel high on a granite cliff overlooking 
the lake and facing towering Harney Peak. Begun in 1936 by the 
State, it is an inhabitable continuation of the gray, moss-covered 
rock cliff, looking as natural in its surroundings as if it had grown 
there (see Tour 14). Limestone was hauled across the road to build 
the new Black Hills Airport near Spearfish (see Tour 4, Section b), 
and! the rough-edged, yellow stone buildings make an attractive 
landmark. In Ouster State Park, uncut boulders with moss intact 
have been rolled up to form a rambling museum, and in several 
Black Hills cities native stone is being utilized for public buildings. 
While the trend in the Black Hills is to make public buildings blend 
with the natural scene, cities in other sections of the State have 
coupled economy with local pride and rolled boulders, residue of 
the glacial period, off nearby hills, and cut and chipped them to 
make business and monumental buildings. In Pierre, for instance, 
the county courthouse, a new, attractive structure, was built of 
colorful reddish-gray flecked rocks from the hillsides, costing only 
the trouble of moving ; sandstone from Hot Springs is used for 
trim. More of this easily cut sandstone is found in the State 
Soldiers' and Sailors' Memorial Hall where it is used exclusively 
for exterior and interior, its soft texture allowing effective carv 

The plan for the -State Capitol was taken from that of the Na 
tional Capitol, and the stone imported from Indiana. Most of the 
county courthouses, built in the early ioxx)'s, have copper domes 
long weathered black; the wings of the buildings which were pat 
terned after the State Capitol were of such abbreviated 1 propor 
tions that the desired effect was lost; examples of this type 
are at Webster (see Tour j), Brookings (see Tour 4), and 
Onida (see Tour 12). The newer courthouses, however, are modern 
in design, usually with an addition on the roof, locking like a pent 
house but used as a jail ; of the newer type, courthouses at Ipswich 
(see Tour 2), Redfield (see Tour j), Pierre (sec Tour 4), Mitchell 
(see Tour 5) and Rapid City (see Tour 5) are examples. 

The trend 1 toward combining local materials with a rambling de 
sign where building space is plentiful was followed in the new Gov 
ernor's Mansion at Pierre. The building has two large wings, one at 
the front and one at the rear so that it forms a modified letter-Z. 
Native lumber, brick, and cement were used exclusively, and the 
fireplaces were made of petrified wood from the Badlands. 

Architecture 75 

In Sioux Falls, the State's largest city, many of the buildings are 
of a durable pink rock, quarried barely outside the city limits. The 
county courthouse, with its church-like spire, and a new million- 
dollar high school, two stories 'high and covering a block are ex 
amples of the use of native stone. There are no skyscrapers in 
South Dakota; the highest building is the n -story Alex Johnson 
Hotel in Rapid City. With so much space available, buildings of 
more than four stories are few in all the cities of the State. 

In the large towns and cities the style of the architecture is lost 
in a maze of variations. A Dutch Colonial house is neighbor to a 
California bungalow ; public buildings are patterned after those in 
older States. The college campuses have buildings of many styles 
and materials. 

Small prairie towns almost invariably present the picture of a 
high, black-bowled water tower, three or four tall, red grain ele 
vators lined up along the railroad, a few one-story brick buildings 
on Main Street, false-front and unpainted stores on the side streets, 
spired churches one brick and others wood a large imposing 
brick schoolhouse, located proudly on the highest rise of ground, 
and four out of five houses painted white with open porches in 
front and! coal sheds at the rear. The false-front, frame store build 
ings, many of which have second-story porches protruding over 
board sidewalks, are still found in most towns of western South 
Dakota. The so called false-front buildings are those with fronts 
extended squarely upward beyond the ridge of the roof, giving the 
effect of an extra story. (See illustration.) 

White farmhouses and large red barns which splotch the South 
Dakota plains are as characteristic of the entire Middle West. It is 
an established axiom that architectural priority is given the barn in 
preference to the house. Out in this farming country, the hip-roof 
barns are huge, and the chicken coops, hog barn, granary, garage 
and outhouses are grouped together to break the wind in winter. 
Unlike surrounding grain belt States, there are few silos ; but wind 
mills dot the prairie. 

Unlike the farm buildings which are almost always built on the 
highest rise of ground available, the ranches in the western part of 
the State are located in draws, and out of the wind. The cattle 
ranches are distinguished from farms by the usually unpainted, 
rambling house, low barn, bunkhouse and corrals. Every first-rate 
ranch has at least two corrals ; one is round, the other square, each 
made of poles and posts. The round corral has a stout snubbing 

76 A South Dakota Guide 

post in the center of it, and is used 1 in roping and branding horses 
and cattle ; the square corral is for confinement purposes and serves 
also as an adjunct to the round corral. Few buildings are needed 
for a ranch, as only saddle horses and a few work horses and cows 
are kept in the barn, and the feed is piled in stacks out of doors. 
A sheep ranch differs from a cattle ranch with regard to the style 
of barns and corrals. A sheep shed is about 100 by 30 feet, has a 
high board fence which extends south from the west side, and a 
wire fence completes the rectangular corral with the shed and board 
fence furnishing shelter against the northwest winds. Many of the 
old cattle and sheep ranch houses are made of logs; they are apt 
to follow a certain type long and low. The building, of heavy cot- 
tonwood, cedar or pine logs hauled from a distance, is the width of 
one room with the length governed only by the number of rooms 
required. To save on materials the eaves begin little higher than a 
man's head, the roof slopes only slightly, and the windows are set 
low. In a long house of several connecting rooms, there are usually 
two outside doors, both on the south side. The main door leads 
into an entry which connects with the large kitchen, the most im 
portant and most-used room on the ranch. As a ranch prospers, a 
new frame house is built and the old log house is relegated to store 
house purposes, or becomes the bunkhouse. The new home is usu 
ally square and painted the ubiquitous white with green trimmings. 

Attempts are being made to evolve a type of architecture to fit 
the prairie sites of this plains region. The U. S. Indian Service, in 
constructing hospitals at Sisseton, Wagner and Rapid City, designed 
rambling, one-story stucco buildings with large windows and roof 
gardens. The Rural Rehabilitation Corporation in planning houses 
for farming communities featured five-room cottages made of pine 
boards, 10 inches wide, running up and down, rows of windows to 
the south and east, and a storage tank for water in the attic to 
provide plumbing facilities. Simplicity rules in the design of new 
buildings and the material used is that at hand. 

Except for the engineering feat of blasting and drilling out the 
features of four Presidents on Mount Rushmore (see Tour 5#), the 
erection of impressive monuments must await sufficient time and 
funds in South Dakota. Large boulders, with bronze tablets, mark 
most of the historic landmarks, awaiting the time when suitable 
monuments, replicas and restorations can be made. 


Origin of Folkways: When large groups of people migrate from 
one country to another, they tend to take with them and perpetuate 
in the new country the language, customs, and traditions of the old. 
They retain their group identity and are slow to assimilate with 
their new fellow countrymen. An example of this is the twice- 
transplanted German-Russians. Originally German they migrated 
to Russia where they remained for several generations. From there 
many of them migrated once more to the plains of North and 
South Dakota and settled in large groups. But in spite of their 
double migration, they still retain their racial purity, a partial use 
of their language, and many of their old world characteristics and 
customs. Conversely, when people migrate as individuals and scat 
ter out in the new country, they tend to assimilate quickly. They 
forget their childhood language and lose their racial identity. In 
South Dakota the principal groups retaining their folkways are the 
Finns, the Scandinavians, and the Russian-Germans. It goes with 
out saying that the largest body of people within the State having 
their own peculiar customs and ways of living are the Indians, but 
they are dealt with in a separate article in the present volume. 

The Finns have the reputation of being somewhat clannish, and 
State statistics of racial strains show that they tend to settle in 
large colonies, more so than any of the other racial elements. They 
show a persistent attachment to their native tongue, which is un 
like any other North European language and very difficult to un 
derstand or acquire. With them Finnish is the universal language 
of the home. While the children learn English in school and speak 
it without accent, at 'home they use the language of their elders. 
Finns are likely to take the same side on questions of public policy, 
and to vote as a unit. 

78 A South Dakota Guide 

One trait of the Finns is their exceeding fondness for coffee. 
In a Finnish household the coffee pot is literally never off the 
stove. When a guest enters a Finnish home, he is immediately of 
fered a cup of coffee ; and even in the absence of guests, the family 
is likely to drink coffee at least once between each two meals. The 
Finns also use skis to a greater extent than the Scandinavians and 
their skis are somewhat different in shape and appearance. 

Probably the most characteristic custom existing among the Finns 
today is their system of bathhouses "Finlander 'hells," as they are 
popularly known. These bathhouses are detached buildings of sod, 
stone, or any other convenient material, built as nearly airtight as 
possible. There will not be a bathhouse for every house but perhaps 
two or three to a community. On a set day a fire is built in the 
bathhouse under a flat rock or rocks, and when the rocks have been 
thoroughly heated, the fire is raked outside the building and as 
many as wish to bathe, or as many as the hut will hold, enter with 
pails of water and close the door tight. Water is then poured on the 
heated rocks, and immediately the place is filled with steam. The 
amount of steam can be accurately regulated by the amount of 
water thrown on the rocks. The Finns, through practice, can endure 
a great amount of the hot vapor, but others would be well-advised 
to proceed with caution. Since rocks hold heat for some time, those 
who have bathed give their places to others until all have had their 
turn. Sometimes the baths are prepared for men and sometimes for 
the women and girls, since the whole community follows this cus 
tom. The Finns are very hospitable in inviting those not of their 
race to avail themselves of these baths and, although in principle a 
Turkish bath, it is an experience not often to be met with in such 
a setting. 

The 'Scandinavians, while not so clannish as the Finns, have a 
strong feeling of racial solidarity. This is more true of the Swedes 
and Danes than of the Norwegians. The racial tables show that the 
Danes, more than the other two, tend to settle in large colonies. 
The Swedes and Norwegians are scattered generally throughout 
the State. But all these races have certain characteristics in com 
mon, among them a fondness for coffee. It is a Scandinavian cus 
tom to have a lunch in the middle of the forenoon and again in the 
middle of the afternoon, consisting of coffee and cookies or cake. 
The men come to the house, if they are working nearby ; but if at 
a distance the women take the lunch out to them in the field. 

On Easter Sunday the men stage a contest to see who can eat 

Folklore and Folkways 79 

the greatest number of eggs. The Norwegians celebrate their inde 
pendence day on the I7th of May with games, sports, and commu 
nity picnics. 

Another Scandinavian characteristic is their fondness for the 
cooking of the homeland. In Beaver Valley near Sioux Falls and 
in many other Swedish communities there is still to be found the 
smorgasbord, an array of "appetizers" of all sorts, often forming 
the evening meal. The Scandinavian fondness for fish is proverbial, 
and of the many varieties ludefisk or lutefisk, codi cured in lye, 
seems to be the favorite. The ludefisk season extends roughly from 
the first day of November until after the Christmas holidays. At 
Storla, south of Woonsocket, there is a huge annual ludefisk din 
ner, to which people come from 1 all that part of the State. In addi 
tion, almost every Scandinavian church in the eastern part of the 
State has its annual ludefisk feast. 

Perhaps the most strongly-marked community in the State is the 
Mennonite colony at Rockford. It is a religious group, held togeth 
er by ties of both faith and race, since it is a segment of the Rus 
sian-German immigration. The Mennonites have certain customs 
which tend to set them apart from their neighbors. The mjen never 
shave after they marry. Previous to that they live in large dormi 
tories with others of their kind. Both men and women wear a 
dress sober in the extreme, eschewing the use of 'bright colors and 
jewelry. The sect does not believe in the use of liquor or tobacco 
in any form, nor in shows, dances or other light amusements. All 
property is held in common, and anyone voluntarily withdrawing 
from or marrying outside of the sect loses all his financial interest 
in the community. For the rest, these people are frugal, industri 
ous, peaceable (their strong pacifist belief has 'been the principal 
cause of their world-wide wanderings), and inclined to settle. their 
difficulties among themselves. They are good neighbors and wel 
come visitors to their community, but have a strong aversion to 
having their pictures taken. They prefer to have their own schools, 
since their children's difference in dress from the other pupils some 
times subjects them to petty annoyance. 

In the northern section of Aberdeen is a large community of so- 
called Russian-Germans. Although they are to a very large extent 
Americanized, their houses, painted in many brilliant hues, still show 
an old world influence, as does the use of their native language in 
the home and of head kerchiefs by the older women. 

80 A South Dakota Guide 

Folklore: In a =State not yet fifty years old and with a population 
drawn from a dozen States and as many foreign countries, it is 
obvious that there cannot be any one body of folklore common to 
the various groups. As men gather around the campfire or before 
the bar, the grizzled prospector dreams of hidden gold and future 
wealth; the leathery-faced rancher harks back to the days of the 
sheep and cattle wars ; and the lumberjack recalls the tales of Paul 
Bunyan that he heard in the Minnesota and Michigan woods. The 
largest and rrtost authentic body of folklore in the State is of course 
the great storehouse of Indian legends, accounting for the phenom 
ena of Nature, the path of life which the Indian treads, and even 
the origin of the Indian himself. But first listen to the lumberjack 
as he tells of the origin of the Black Hills, according to the best 
traditions of Paul Bunyan mythology, in the story of The Mountain 
That Stood On Its Head* 

According to this tale, Paul Bunyan, the mightiest of all logging 
bosses, came to the Dakotas to log off the strangest of all forests, 
on the Mountain That Stood On Its Head. Paul had just obtained 
the help of Hels Helsen, the Big iSwede, whom Paul christened 
Bull of the Woods and appointed him his foreman. As long as the 
logging operations were confined to the ground beneath the moun 
tain, the industrious but unimaginative Hels managed the work suc 
cessfully, leaving Paul Bunyan free to do the book work he de 
tested but which had to be done by someone. 

Now the Mountain That Stood On Its Head rested on its peak 
instead of its base and its slopes flared outward from the bottom, 
shadowing the ground beneath; and on its slopes the trees grew 
head-downward with their tops pointing to the earth. The rim, or 
base, of the mountain was two miles above the plain and on top of 
this 'base was another plain, covered with the finest standing timber 
and one hundred and twenty-seven miles in circumference. There 
were High Springs in the center forming Lofty River, which tum 
bled from the rim two miles to the plain beneath in a mighty cata 
ract called Niagara, a name which was later given to a little water 
fall along the Canadian border. 

Now when the trees beneath the five-mile slope of the inverted 
mountain had all been logged off, the Big Swede began to have 
trouble with his loggers. He insisted that they should go on log 
ging the inverted slope just as they would an ordinary one in 

(*Paul Bunyan, by James Stevens, 1925.) 

Folklore and Folkways 81 

other words that they should stand on their heads, supported by 
wire cables that ran from tree to tree. But while doing this all the 
dirt and sawdust fell into their mouths and eyes instead of to the 
ground and the blood ran to their heads and altogether the condi 
tions were so unusual that they returned exhausted from each day's 
labors. So each day found the work going more slowly until finally 
there was only one tree cut per man for each seventy-two hours of 
work. But while the unimaginative Swede was being bested, Paul 
Bunyan was working out his own solution of the problem. 

One morning when Bunyan awoke he found that none of the log 
gers was starting for the woods. He inquired the reason of the 
Big Swede and that taciturn individual made a speech of unaccus 
tomed length : 

"Sye forgot tal you, Bunyan, but aye goin' move dar camp. No 
use to try har no moore noo aye tank. Logger can' stan' on head 
mooch lonker har. Aye don' tank so, Bunyan. We move new yob 

Paul Bunyan was enraged 'both at the Big Swede's assumption 
of authority and his familiar form of address. Raising his voice in 
a shout that tumbled the loggers from their bunks, he ordered them 
to follow him to the Mountain That Stood On Its Head'. On his 
shoulder was a double-barrelled shotgun that he had fabricated for 
the job, the' barrels of which he used later as smokestacks for his 
first sawmill. In his belt were cartridges loaded with vast amounts 
of powder and with sheets of steel two feet square. Arrived at the 
base of the mountain, actually its peak, he took aim along its in 
verted slopes and pulled both triggers. A thousand pine trees were 
sheared off and 'dropped straight to the ground, their tops sticking 
in the earth and their bare trunks waving helplessly in the air. All 
day the mighty Paul cleared the slopes of trees and at evening a 
new forest stood beneath the inverted cone, promising easy work 
for the loggers on the following morning. 

But next day P'aul saw the Big Swede going alone to the in 
verted mountain. With Paul Bunyan in hot pursuit the Bull of the 
Woods clambered up the shelving slope, crawled over the rim and 
began tearing up the standing pine with 'his bare hands. Enraged 
at this independent logging system, Paul took a flying leap at the 
rim but missed his hold and took considerable of the edge with him 
in his fall. A second leap and he gained the upper plain and lay 
there resting before what he knew would be the battle of his career. 
The Big Swede came toward him. 

82 A South Dakota Guide 

All day that epic battle raged. The sound of the blows struck 
could not be told from thunder and the stamping of the giants 
made the earth tremble till the frightened loggers crawled into their 
bunks and stayed there. Whenever the contestants neared the edge, 
great masses of earth would crumble off and fall to the plain be 
low. Whole acres of standing pine were flattened as one or the 
other of the fighters felled 'his opponent with a mighty blow. All 
that day and all that night the battle raged and finally at sunrise the 
next morning there came a shock that overturned! every bunkhouse. 
Shortly afterward Paul Bunyan appeared, carrying on his shoulder 
the vanquished Bull of the Woods. 

"You're going to be a good foreman now, Hels Helsen!" 
"Aye tank so, Mr. Bunyan." 
"You know so, Hels Helsen." 
"Yah, Mr. Bunyan." 

But the Mountain That Stood On Its Head was no more. That 
titanic struggle had demolished it and spread it out over the plain. 
Only a few heaps of blood-darkened dust remained, a series of 
mounds that are called the Black Hills today. 

Gold: What magic there is in that four-letter word! How many 
men has it sent into the frozen Arctic and the burning African 
wastes. Men in all ages have lived for it, fought for it/died for it. 
Perhaps as much or even more sudden wealth has come from oil, 
but there is not the same glamour about it that clings to gold. It 
was gold that filled the Black Hills with tens of thousands of peo 
ple drawn from all parts of the country and that gave to the State 
an impetus which still is felt. And now that the various "strikes" 
have been made, the placer deposits worked out, and 1 gold mining 
has passed from the individual to the industrial phase there linger 
tales of the early days of mysterious mines that no one but the 
owner ever saw, of gold dust cached in large quantities, to remain 
forever lost because of the sudden death of the man who took it 
from the earth, of gold taken in hold-ups of treasure caches, hast 
ily concealed and never reclaimed. All these tales are a "second 
crop" in any gold country. They represent the hopes of those who 
know that gold in its virgin state is no longer to 'be had. But where 
buried treasure exists, anyone may hope to find it, even a child ; 
hence the appeal is universal. Many of these legends are current 
in the Black Hills, and there is a tale of buried gold along the 
banks of the Missouri at Pierre, and some in the Lake Region of 
the northeast. 

Folklore and Folkways 83 

Sioux Legends : One of the important contributions of the Sioux 
Indian is a body of legends that have furnished inspiration to many 
of our American poets besides Llongfellow. The following legend 
of The Red-Eyed Quail might find its counterpart in the Bre'r 
Rabbit stories of Uncle Remus. 

Once upon a time a lone traveler was making his way across the 
plains. He had traveled many days and was becoming tired and 
hungry. Suddenly he saw in the distance a beautiful lake. He made 
up his mind that this would be a nice place to rest and procure 
some food. As he approached the lake he saw a large group of 
ducks, geese, prairie chickens and quail feeding and resting at the 
edge of the water. The sight of the birds increased his hunger, but 
he had to determine just how he could approach them without scar 
ing them away. So he sat down and thought for some time. Finally 
he spread out his blanket and filled it with sticks until he had a 
large bundle. Throwing it on his back, he went on his way hoping 
that his plan would work. Suddenly the birds saw him and asked 
where he mig 1 ht be going and what he was carrying in the bundle. 
He told them that it contained songs that he was taking to his 
people. The birds all became interested and asked him to stop and 
sing them some of his songs, so that they might dance. He told 
them that he would have to put up a tent and that they would all 
have to go inside with him and dance as he sang. They all agreed. 

So he used his blanket and put up a tent and they all went in 
side. Then he told them that they must close their eyes and dance 
in a circle around him and the first one that opened them would 
have red eyes. The birds agreed to this and the dance began. The 
traveler sang as loud as he could and as a large goose came within 
his reach, he seized it, twisted its neck ,and pushed it under him 
and waited for another to come near. As he repeated his trick, a 
quail opened its eyes and seeing what 'was going on, shouted to 
the rest to flee. And this is said to be the reason why quails have 
red eyes. 

He.rism : There is a difference between the harmless little super 
stitions which we all pretend to accept and a belief in witchcraft 
and magic that may influence the deluded person to commit acts 
of folly and even violence. Most persons think that a belief in 
witchcraft has not existed in this country since early New England 
days, but the superstition still persists. In some parts of the State 
today there is a belief in hexes or hexism as the following stories 
from the vicinity of Sioux Falls illustrate. 

84 A South Dakota Guide 

About thirty years ago a man and his son were returning home 
one night with a team and wagon after doing their trading in a 
nearby town. All of a sudden, for no apparent reason, the team 
stopped. It was a dark night, but suddenly there was a shower 
of falling stars. Looking about him as best he could, the man de 
cided that this was the place where the evil spirits had often mani 
fested their power. He knew that this power must be concentrated 
in some particular object and he got out to see what it was. He 
found it. One of the wheels, instead of the regulation twelve spokes, 
had a thirteenth, made of bone and gleaming white. With a heavy 
ax that he had in the wagon he smashed the bone spoke and im 
mediately the team was released from the spell and the wagon 
moved. The next day it was found that a certain woman, suspected 
-of being a witch, had suffered a broken leg and refused to say how 
she received it. 

Another story concerns a man who had been ill for some time, 
under the care of a nurse. Finally his wife suspected that he was 
being bewitched. She investigated and found that the feathers in 
his pillow were bunched in such a manner as to assume the forms 
of birds, rats, and other smiall animals. She took the pillows and 
all the rest of the bedding out into the yard and burned them. The 
man immediately recovered, but the nurse, presumably a witch, suf 
fered burns. 

There are certain beliefs, principally theories about weather, that 
are prevalent in the range sections of the State. One of the com 
monest is that if the horses and cattle grow long winter hair early 
in the fall, it is a sign that there will be a hard winter. An early 
flight of migratory birds is said to have a similar meaning. An 
'early flight north in the spring is taken to be a sign of an early 
spring. Sundogs are said to be a sign of approaching cold weather. 
A bright aurora borealis, one reaching high towards the zenith, is 
said to be a sign of approaching storm. One of the commonest be 
liefs is that ninety days after a fog there will be a rain. When 
horses run and play or when small birds swoop in flocks without 
apparent reason, it is said a storm is approaching. 

Language of the West : Kvery trade and profession 'has its own 

-nomenclature but the language of the West is distinctive in many 

ways. Farm, cattle ranch, sheep ranch, and mining camp each 

speaks its own vernacular. The following are some of the terms 

employed in these various fields of work. 

Folklore and Folkways 85 

On the Farm. 

BANG-BOARD: a wide board rising above the side of the wag 
on, against which the ears of corn are thrown as they are 
tossed into the wagon. 

BREAKING: to turn virgin prairie. 

BUNDLE PITCHER: one who pitches bundles from the field 
into the rack and from the rack into the separator. 

FANNING MILL: a contrivance for blowing the dust and 
chaff out of seed grain. 

HOUNDS : the braces that hold the wagon tongue steady. 

LISTING: plowing a field with trench-like furrows to conserve 

NIGGER WOOL: a grass with tough fibrous roots that resist 

ROUGHAGE: forage crops. 

SNAPPING: picking corn without removing the husks. 

SUMMER FALLOW : to let a field lie idle for one year to ab 
sorb moisture. 

WAGON HAMMER : an iron pin that holds the evener to the 

With the Prospectors. 

CLEAN-UPS : final separation of gold from dirt. 

DISCOVERY: the place of finding the vein, or "pay." 

GRUB 'STAKE : to provide the prospector with food in return 

for a half interest in what he discovers. 
A LOCATON : a mining claim. 
LODE: a lead or vein of ore. 
PLACER (Pronounced plasser) MINING: the washing of gold 

from sand deposits, either through hand panning or the 

use of hydraulic machinery. 
SOURDOUGH: refers to the prospector himself, from his 

weakness for sourdough biscuits. 
STRIKE : hitting pay dirt. 

In the Cow Country. 

BRUSH UP : used of cattle, to hide out in the brush. 
BUNCH-QUITTER : an animal that voluntarily quits the herd. 
CAYUSE: an Indian pony. 

CLOSE SEAT : steady and firm seat in the saddle. 
DALLY : to wind the rope around the saddle horn. 

86 A South Dakota Guide 

DOGIE (pronounced with long "o") : a young steer two or 

three years old; formerly used of cattle shipped in from 

the South. 
FALL-BACK, a horse which deliberately falls backward with 

his rider. 
FENCE-CRAWLER: a breachy animal that cannot be held in 

a fence. 

FREE MARTIN 1 : female of mixed twins, unlikely to calve. 
HAYBURNER : a horse of little value. 
KYACK: saddle. 
LONG YEARLING: an animal, a horse or cow, several months 

older than a year and not yet two. ' 

NIGHT HAWK: the man who watches the horse herd at night. 
OUTLAW : a horse that cannot be broken. 
PELTER: an old horse. 
PILOT ORi POINTER : rider preceding the herd to show the 


PITCHING: same as bucking. 
POINT RIDERS: horsemen on each side of the herd near the 

front to point the herd in the right direction. 
POKE: a wooden collar to restrain the fence-crawler. 
SEEING DAYLIGHT: the rider leaving his seat so that day 
light appears between him and the saddle. 
SLICK-EAR: an animal that has not had its ears notched or 


SPRINGER : a cow heavy with calf. 
SUNFISHER: a bucking horse which twists in the air, first to 

one side and then to the other. 

SWAPPING ENDS: a horse making a half-circle in the air. 
SWING KICKERS : horseman on each side, back of the point 

men, to swing the m(ain body of the herd. 
TO TAIL UP : to raise weak cattle by the tail. 
TRAIL HERD: cattle cut out and ready to be driven to the 

WHITE FACE : a Hereford. 

In Sheep Country. 

BEDGROUND : the spot back of the wagon where the sheep 

bed every night. 

BLACK-FACES : any one of several shire breeds. 
TO BOG DOWN : used of a 'band of sheep that bunch up and 

refuse to move. 

Folklore and Folkways 87 

BRAND : in the case of sheep, a mark stamped with paint on the 


BUM : a lamb raised by hand. 
TO BUM A LAMB: to take it away from its mother and raise 

it by hand. 
CAMP TENDER: the man who keeps the herder in supplies 

and moves the wagon ; or, an old ewe who picks up scraps 

around the wagon. 
CUT-BACK: a lamb or ewe that is rejected on account of size 

or condition. 

TO DOCK : to earmark, amputate tail and castrate lambs. 
A DRAG: an individual sheep too weak to keep up with the 


THE DRAG: the rear end of a moving band of sheep. 
DROP BUNCH : the ewes which have not lambed yet. 
DRY B UNCH : the ewes which will not lamb in a given year. 
EARMARK: to notch or split the ears to indicate age. 
TO FLAG A BUNCH: to place scarecrows about it to scare 

away coyotes. 

LAMBER : one of a crew assisting at lambing time. 
LAMB-LICKER: derisive term for lamber. 
THE LEAD: the fore ends of a moving band of sheep. 
MARKER: usually a 'black sheep, but may be any unusual one 

used in checking up on possible lost sheep. 
PEEWEE : a late or stunted lamb. 
SHEEP HOOK: a long pole with a steel hook to catch a sheep 

'by the leg. 

SKINNY: an old ewe. 
STONE JOHNNY: a monument of piled rocks, usually erected 

by a sheepherder. 
WETHER : castrated male sheep. 

WOOL-BLIND: a sheep with wool grown over its eyes, shut 
ting out its sight. 

WOOL TRAMPER : one who tramps fleeces into wool sacks. 
WRANGLER : one who moves small bunches of ewes and lambs ; 

or, one who fills and empties pens for shearers. 

General Terms. 

BREAKS: rough or broken country along the present or former 

course of a stream ; caused by erosion of softer soil. 
BUTTE : abrupt hill rising from comlparatively level country. 

88 A South Dakota Guide 

CHINOOK: warm wind in winter from the southwest, causing 
snow to vanish very quickly. 

CUT-BANK: a perpendicular bank of earth, originally cut by 
running water, but may be any distance from existing 
stream bed. 

COULEE: a canyon with steep sides. 

DRAW : any swale or depression down which water drains or 

GALLOPING GOOSE: a gas propelled, combined express and 
passenger railroad car, distinguished by striped front. 

GUMBO : extremely sticky black clay, known geologically as 
Pierre clay. 

HARDPAN : extremely hard clay, impervious to water and al 
most imjpossible to till. 

HONYOCK : slang term for homesteader. 

MUD BUTTE : a butte of pure clay and gumbo, devoid of vege 
tation and rising abruptly from the plain. 

PROVE UP: to submit proof to the Government that the law 
governing homesteading has been complied with. 

SQUAW SIDE OF A HORSE: right side, due to squaw's 
preference for mounting from that side. 


POSSESSING a wide and diversified range of recreational op 
portunities, South Dakota with its many lakes and rivers, its for 
ests, mountains and plains, affords all-year amusement for the av 
erage sportsman. 

Noted for its pheasant hunting (two million birds have been shot 
in a single season), the State also offers excellent pass shooting for 
waterfowl and mountain big-game hunting. There is every kind of 
fresh-water fishing trout in mountain creeks, pike, bass, and other 
game fish in the lakes, and catfish in the Missouri and tributary 


Big Game. Every fall deer and elk hunting draw hundreds of 
sportsmen to the Black Hills. It is not uncommon, -during open 
season, to see an automobile rolling slowly through town, the car 
cass of a deer lashed to the running board, while townsmen gaze 
with envy at the coveted prize. 

Because each year outlaw bull elk and numerous cows escape 
from Custer State Park and make damaging forays into neighbor 
ing ranches, the game department deems it wise to allow an open 
season, rather than simply slaughtering the meat for sale. 

Pheasants. Climatic conditions, natural haunts, and good feeding 
grounds have brought 'South Dakota pheasants, Chinese ring-necks, 
a reputation of superiority. Every fall sportsmen invade the hunt 
ing grounds, often bagging a million birds in a single season. 
Hunters come from distant States, often as far away as Texas, to 
indulge in a week or two of shooting. Pheasants are plentiful in 
most counties east of the Missouri River, increasing in numbers to 
ward the eastern border. 

90 A South Dakota Guide 

Grouse. These once plentiful birds almost disappeared some years 
ago, but closed seasons and other methods of protection have re 
stored their numbers to a large extent. Unlike the pheasant, grouse 
are most abundant in the counties west of the Missouri River. Open 
seasons are generally set in late September. Ruffed grouse, or 
"fool hens," are confined mostly to the Black Hills. Their lack of 
fear of human beings makes them rather easy to kill. 

Ducks and Geese. With many natural haunts lakes, marshes, 
favorable shelter where food is abundant northeastern South Da 
kota is a favorite halting place for hordes of ducks that remain to 
propagate their families in sheltered spots, and for transient birds 
that stop to feed on wild' rice, wild celery, or duck potato before 
continuing their long flight southward. 

Numerous duck passes the most noted of which is Hedtke Pass 
near Webster between long chains of lakes provide hidden van 
tage points for hunters, who lie in wait for the fast-moving water 
fowl on their way from one body of water to another. Boats and 
blinds are both popular with duck hunters. Many cottages and 
lodges are situated near the lakes, where every fall sportsmen spend 
several weeks hunting and fishing. 

Among the better known habitats for ducks in the Lake Region 
are Rush Lake and Kettle Lakes and the chain known as Waubay 

Because the goose likes both water and food within easy reach 
along its route on the long flight southward, the Missouri River 
range section, that extends across the State from north to south, is 
a favorable hunting strip for sportsmen waiting to ambush the 
waterfowl that "honk high of night." 

Snakes and Prairie Dogs. Despite the fact that residents of dist 
ant States often consider South Dakota a land alive with rattle 
snakes, this species is fast disappearing and casualties from the 
State's only venomous snake are negligible. 

It is an unwritten law that persons living in infested areas should 
spare no effort in killing a rattler, whenever one is found. Rattlers 
are found mostly in the western half of the State and along the 
slopes of the Missouri River. 

Sitting on its haunches, its active little tail jerking with each 
saucy yip it directs at any person who passes through its village, 
and at the same time warning its neighbors, the prairie dog, an- 

Recreation 91 

other inhabitant of the drier section, is able to defy the hunter who 
considers himself skillful with a rifle. Few marksmen have been 
able to capture or kill any number of these prolific little pests, for 
almost invariably they dart down into their burrows before the 
huntsman is within shooting range. 


Mountain Trout. In the Black Hills three varieties of trout 
rainbow, Loch Leven and brook in numerous well stocked streams 
furnish opportunities for the angler to match his skill against the 
elusive fish that frequent the cold mountain waters. While there 
are other kinds of fish in the Black Hills region trout is the prin 
cipal variety ; it is found in every creek of appreciable size. 

Lake Fish. In the northeastern part of the State, where ducks 
abound in the fall, Nature has provided one of her most pictures 
que playgrounds, the Lake Region. Bordering the northeastern 
line of South Dakota are the twin lakes of Traverse and Big Stone. 
Big Stone Lake's setting is one of the most beautiful in the entire 
State. Black bass, as well as wall-eyed pike, northern pike, crappies, 
and other pan-fish are plentiful here. 

Watertown is the center of an extensive Lake region, the chief 
of the group 'being Lake Kamipeska, long noted as a summer resort 
and amusement center. Other important fishing and 1 pleasure centers 
include Lake Andes, Lake Preston, Buffalo and Four-Mile Lakes, 
and Blue Dog Lake. Probably the most popular fishing resorts in 
the State are at Pickerel Lake and Enemy Swim, both north of 
Waubay. All of these and many others have ample fishing facilities, 
and at most of them cabins may be rented. 

River Fish. Of all river fish, the catfish is the most sought after 
as a delicacy. Every year the Missouri Rjiver and its tributaries 
give up thousands of pounds of this delicious fish. The catfish of 
the tributaries, however, are of smaller size than those found in 
the "Big Muddy." Amjong other varieties commonly found are crap- 
pies, bullheads, sunfish, and wall-eyed pike, (for hunting and fishing 
regulations, see GENERAL INFORMATION.) 


Rodeos. The tide of homesteaders that sounded the death knell 
of the open range glory of the large cattle outfits 25 years ago al 
so put an end to a unique pioneer figure the cowboy. Suddenly 

92 A South Dakota Guide 

swept from the free prairie life he had been used to, the cowboy, 
except in scattered sections, was forced to accept what little re 
mained of his once colorful existence. 

As an outgrowth of demands for a reenactment of spectacles and 
scenes from a day that is past, fragments of the old West have 
been salvaged through annual rodeos (pronounced "ro'-dee-os" 
in South Dakota) in which young mien and women who have 
learned their skill from a past generation compete. The Black Hills 
Round-up held annually in July at Belle Foiirche is well worth 

Numerous rodeos are staged during the summer, many of these 
being incorporated in annual celebrations in connection with county 
fairs. The majority of them take place in the section west of the 
Missouri River where traces of ranching days still are in evidence. 

Hiking and Riding Trails. Camps and outdoor clubs have been 
established in response to the demand of multitudes of pleasure 
seekers who throng the Black Hills each summer. The camps are 
situated in spots where there are trout streams, lakes and bridle 
paths. Harney Peak, accessible alike to the hiker and horseman, 
should not be missed 'because of the panoramic view of the entire 
Black Hills area to be had from the mountain's granite peak. 

Swimming. The Lake Region offers the foremost attraction but 
hardly a section of the State is without swimming facilities of some 
description since many towns have built artificial lakes or swimming 
pools with the aid of Federal funds. 

Golf and Tennis. Drawing as many as 200 players from) all parts 
of the State, the 'South Dakota Amateur Tournament, held during 
the latter part of June, is the major golf event each year. The 
South Dakota Open Tournament, which anyone may enter, is held 
at the same time. 

On Labor Day Aberdeen holds the Dakota open meet in which 
players from North and South Dakota and Minnesota may compete. 
This popular event draws an average of 100 entrants and comes as 
a climax at the end of the season. 

Golfing fever is not confined to the larger cities. Most small 
towns have courses, and even in the Black Hills, where hazards are 
numerous, golfing is popular. 

Tennis is the only minor sport that has gained much recognition 
on college and high school campuses. It has been played to some 

Recreation 93 

extent since the State was admitted into the Union in 1889. The 
year's chief event is the open State championship tournament held 
in Sioux Falls the third week in July. 

Horseshoe Pitching and Corn Husking. These two farm sports 
are popular in South Dakota. Attracting thousands of people, a 
State corn husking contest and occasional national contests are held 
in the eastern part of the State each year. Horseshoe pitching 
courts are found on nearly every farm and contests are held at 
county fairs and celebrations. 

Other Sports. There is only one professional baseball organiza 
tion, the Nebraska League, in South Dakota. Teams in the South 
Dakota Association of Amateur Baseball Leagues play Sunday base 
ball, the winners of each circuit meeting annually in a State tourna 
ment early in September. 

Football, basketball, and track athletics comprise part of the ex 
tra-curricular activities on most collgee and high school campuses. 
The State College and University, traditional rivals in all sports, 
are members of the North Central Conference. Other colleges and 
universities are members of a State conference. 


Ice-Skatmg and Ice-Boating. With the growing popularity of 
hockey in the State, more attention is being given to skating rinks 
and ponds. At Lake Kampeska ice^boating has proved an exciting 
addition to other winter sports. The northeastern section of the 
State with its many lakes takes the lead in available skating and 
boating places. 

Skiing. Taking advantage of long and steep hills in rough areas 
of the State ski enthusiasts enjoy two or three months of Norway's 
famious sport each winter. Chiefly because of natural advantages, 
the Black Hills and the Lake Region have become most favored 
for skiing activities. The Sioux Valley Ski Club sponsors one of 
South Dakota's greatest sporting events the Sioux Valley Ski 
Tournament at Canton, which is the scene of the national champ 
ionship meet about once in five years. 


IF you are a person who believes that it takes more than 35,000 
inhabitants to constitute a city, then South Dakota has only large 
towns. West of the Mississippi River, it is said that towns become 
cities early in life. In South Dakota, the term "cities" often applies 
to those municipalities which were optimistically platted fifty or 
sixty years ago to become metropolises, and sufficient time has not 
yet passed for them to do so. Some of the prospective cities have 
become quite "citified," as much so as larger and older places in 
the East; others have become ghost towns, but they still carry 
names such as Crook City, Central City, or Silver City. 

There were several cities which could not be conveniently des 
cribed in the Tours section on account of the amount of historical 
matter and the number of points of interest. The seven largest 
Sioux Falls, Aberdeen, Rapid City, Mitchell, Watertown, Huron 
and Lead, augmented by Pierre and Deadwood, are described here. 
It is no reflection on any city, nor its Chamber of Commerce, if it 
is not included in this section; other large towns will 'be found in 
the Tours section. 

Population is given in accordance with the 1935 State census. 
If early-day anecdotes do not always agree with those you have 
heard or read, it is because the sources reference files and pio 
neers themselves also differ. Short tours to points of interest on 
the outskirts of some of the cities have been arranged. 


(Map of Aberdeen in back pocket) 

Railroad Stations: C. M. St. P. & P., Main St. & Railroad Ave.; G. 
N., Main St. & Railroad Ave.; C. & N. W., Pennsylvania St. & 2nd 
Ave. S.; M. & St. L., Main St. at llth Ave. S. Airports: Municipal 
Airport on US 12 2^ miles E. of Main St. Taxi fare 75c, for 1 to 3 
persons. Time 10 min. Bus Lines: Bus station, Main St. & 6th Ave. 
S. for Greyhound and Swanson Bus Lines. Taxis: Rates: 25c for 1 
to 12 blocks; 35c, 12 to 17 blocks; lOc per extra passenger in both 
zones; 3 to 5 passengers to same destination any part of city, 50c. 
City Bus Service: Bus service to "principal parts of city, fare lOc. 

Traffic Regulations: Standard traffic regulations prevail. U turns 
prohibited on Main St. No left turns on Main St. when stop and go 
signs in service. Double parking forbidden. Speed limit, 15 m. p. h. 
Parking Lots: Municipal parking lot on Lincoln St. at 1st Ave. S. 

Street Order and Numbering: Main St. divides city into E. and W. 
sections while Milwaukee RR. is dividing line between N. and S. street 
numbering. Streets to W. of Main St. numbered from 1 upward. E. of 
Main St. names prevail. Both street and avenue numbering run in 
even hundreds, first block E. of Main St. or W. being designated with 
numbers from 2 to 100, the following blocks run in even hundreds. 

Accommodations: Four hotels; seven tourist camps. 

Information Service: Aberdeen Civic Association on US 12 one-half 
block E. of Main St. during tourist season, May 15 to Oct. 1. For bal 
ance of year information may be secured by calling the Aberdeen Civic 
Association, 115 S. Main St. 

Theaters: Two movie houses present occasional road shows. Five 
movie houses. The auditorium of Northern State Teacher's College, 
12th Ave. S. & Jay St., used for most musical events. 

Recreation: Aberdeen baseball park, State St. & 14th Ave. S. Swim 
ming: YMCA pool, YMCA building, Lincoln St. at 5th Ave S. Bathing 
beaches, Wylie Park and Moccasin Creek; lifeguard protection during 
season. Tennis: Clay-surfaced tennis courts at Melgaard Park, State 
St. & 17th Ave. S. (open to visitors). Golf: Hyde Park, extreme W. 
end of 8th Ave. N., public 18-hole course available to visitors; green 
fees 15c per round. Shooting Club: Shooting club of closed member 
ship welcomes visitors to shoots at County Fair grounds; hunting of 
pheasants, ducks, and geese in season. 

Annual Events: Ludefisk public dinners during winter season. 

In Aberdeen (1,229 a ^-> T 6,725 PP) every one of the thousands 
of trees has been planted by hand, thus achieving a degree of for- 
estation on a treeless prairie not surpassed by many cities on forest 
sites. Pioneer builders of the city were largely from wooded areas 
in the Eastern States, and this gave them the urge to plant trees in 
large numbers. 

Cities Aberdeen 97 

Aberdeen, second largest city in South Dakota, is situated in the 
fertile James River Valley, the site once a part of the ancient Lake 
Dakota, with a slope so gentle that drainage can be attained only 
by careful engineering of street levels. There is an air of financial, 
commercial, and political importance about the city not often found 
in urban communities of similar size in the more populous sections 
of the Nation. The fact that it is the largest city between Minneap 
olis, Minn., and Butte, Mont., a distance of more than 1,000 miles, 
accounts for its local importance. 

While some manufacturing is carried on, a recognition as a com 
mercial center is substantially built upon distribution of manufac 
tured goods. Its retail territory extends in a rough circle approxi 
mately 100 miles in diameter; its wholesale activities cover much of 
the State, as well as parts of North Dakota and Montana. The four 
railroad's employ the greatest number of workers in the city, with 
wholesale distributors second. 

In architecture, city planning, schools, and social life, the city is 
typical of the Midwest. There is little difference in the dress of 
residents of Aberdeen and those of cities farther east. A mixed pop 
ulation of native American stock from the Eastern and Central 
States, together with Russian-German and Scandinavian immi 
grants, has built the city on a firm foundation. Evidence of the 
foreign element are the annual "Ludefisk" public dinners given by 
Scandinavian church groups and the German dinners sponsored by 
groups of German birth and descent. The German-Russian influ 
ence is still seen in the picturesque wedding dinners in the tradi 
tion of the homeland on such occasions. 

The so-called German-Russian section on the northeast side of 
the city, about six blocks from the Milwaukee tracks and east of 
Main about the same distance, was settled almost exclusively by 
immigrants from southern Russia. Their forbears emigrated from 
Alsace-Lorraine during the Napoleonic Wars of 1808- 10 to the low 
lands of the Dneister River at the invitation of Duke Richelieu, 
French Rloyalist refugee, then serving as governor of Odessa. Al 
though they lived in Russia for two generations or more before 
emigrating to the United 'States, they preserved their language, tra 
ditions and racial purity. They settled in Aberdeen beginning in 
1884 and many of the immigrants still reside here. The neighbor 
hood has lost most of its foreign atmosphere, but many houses are 
painted in bright, contrasting colors, front yards are planted to 
vegetables and flowers, and the older women still wear silk head 

98 A South Dakota Guide 

shawls and flowing skirts. The older people use their native lan 
guage, 'but the tongue is restricted almost entirely to the home. The 
typical old style wedding, with feasting and merry-making for two 
and three days is sometimes celebrated. 

It is probable that no white man crossed the site of Aberdeen 
before the coming of the government surveyors in the closing years 
of the i87o's. Military trails and the routes of voyageurs and trap 
pers were to the east and west, following the James River on the 
east and the Missouri to the west. Perhaps the first actual settler, 
on the site was Freidrich Fenske, a part of whose homestead was 
on the original city plat. 

First to consider the site as a future city was a party of 12 
who drove overland from Watertown in the spring of 1880. In 
the party were the Rice Brothers and Charles Boyden. The party 
chose a spot where the survey of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. 
Paul & Pacific Railway crossed the Chicago & North Western, two 
miles south of the center of the present city. A store was built 
there, a post office established and the new town was named Grand 

Later in the summer, Charles H. Prior, immigration agent for 
the Milwaukee R. Rs., had the present site of the city platted. By 
July 6, 1881, the Milwaukee ran its first train into the city, named 
Aberdeen in honor of Aberdeen, Scotland, the native city of Alex 
ander Mitchell, then general manager of the Milwaukee. 

It was soon evident that Aberdeen, and not Grand Crossing, was 
to be the future city so the store erected by Rice Brothers and Boy- 
den at the latter place was moved into Aberdeen. Here, John Firey 
occupied it as a drug store, one of the first in the new town. The 
building, now the Lacey Drug store, was still standing at Main St. 
& First Ave. S. in 1937. 

Characteristic of the men whose leadership was to build Aber 
deen into the second city of the State was Major Samuel H. Jump 
er, who arrived ahead of the rails to act as agent for Prior, the 
owner of the town site. He is said to have preceded his party on 
foot in order to be the first to sleep on the town site. 

The settlers were largely young men who sought new homes and 
intended to build a new community. Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, 
Minnesota, and Iowa contributed the majority of the new settlers. 
There were almost no soldiers of fortune, no adventurers, nor any 
of the Wild West bad man type. 

Cities Aberdeen 99 

Almost the entire population was young, a circumstance well- 
illustrated 'by an anecdote. When Gen. Nelson A. Miles passed 
through the city in the eighties, he was feted and driven through 
the streets lined with people to greet him. Seated beside him was 
Mayor S. H. Jumper. Turning to Jumper the general said, "Where 
are the old men, Mr. Mayor?" "We have no old men, General," 
was the answer. 

The city was incorporated in May 1882. A special charter was 
passed by the Legislature in 1883 providing for an aldermanic form 
of government, which continued until 1911 when electors decreed a 
change to the commission form. 

With the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1886, another 
spoke in the railroad wheel centering in Aberdeen was formed. 

Shortly before the World War, Aberdeen gained considerable 
notoriety for its Home Guards. In the fall of 1916 the I. W. W. 
(Industrial Workers of the World) established headquarters in 
Aberdeen. \Vithin a few weeks five murders and several damaging 
fires were attributed to the I. W. W., so young Aberdeen business 
and professional men organized the Home Guards, raiding the 
headquarters of the I. W. W. and ordering all members to stay 
outside the city limits. The I. W. W. in retaliation put a boycott 
on South Dakota in an attempt to hamper harvesting operations, 
but local clerks and business men turned out to help the farmers 
and the crops were harvested. 

The city's amibition to become an industrial as well as a distribut 
ing center was thwarted largely by lack of a suitable water supply. 
The deep-flow artesian water used until 1935 was extremely hard. 
Water impounded by a large dam in W'illow Creek northwest of 
the city and treated in a modern filtration and softening plant, pro 
vides an ample supply, with future needs assured by the damming 
of adjacent streams. 

Two men who resided in Aberdeen during its formative years 
have gained literary recognition. One was Hamlin Garland, author 
of Main Traveled Roads, A Son of the Middle Border, A 
Daughter of the Middle Border, Afternoon Neighbors, and 
many other books. Pioneer residents recall the persons who were 
prototypes of characters immortalized 1 in his novels (see Tour //). 
L. Frank Baum, author of a series of children's stories known as 
the Oz books, lived in Aberdeen as a youth. His principal book, 
The Wizard of Oz, had a phenomenal run in New York as a 
stage play. 

100 A South Dakota Guide 

Among native Aberdeen artists is Frances Crammer Green- 
men, wiho has done portraits of Mary Pickford, Ella Wheeler Wil- 
cox, and others. Frank Ashford of the Rondell community and 
Aberdeen has done portraits of President Calvin Coolidge, Senator 
Peter Norbeck, Dr. Frank Crane, and many persons of 'State prom 


1. The SITE OF THE DRUG STORE in Main Traveled Roads 
by Hamlin Garland is at the corner of Main St. and First Ave. S. 
E., across from the Alonzo Ward Hotel. In this frame building the 
drug store clerk who "chased a crony with a squirt pump" worked 
for John Firey, Aberdeen pioneer. 

2. NATIONAL GUARD ARMORiY, 116 Third Ave. S.W., was 
built in 1936-37 by the Works Progress Administration. The Na 
tional Guard units quartered here were preceded by Co. L, 4th S. 
Dak. Infantry, but neither Co. L nor the Guard ever had a home 
of their own. The armory upon its completion became the home of 
Battery A, I47th Field Artillery, and a Headquarters Battery, 
also of the H/th Field Artillery. 

3. ALEXANDER MITCHELL LIBRARY, cor. Lincoln St. and 
Sixth Ave., was established two years after the founding of Aber 
deen, when 150 citizens subscribed $2 each and loaned 100 vol 
umes. The first library was housed with the 'telephone exchange. 
Since then, the library has acquired 25,000 volumes. It has a 
circulation of 190,000 volumes annually. 

LEGE, cor. 1 2th Ave. and Jay St., form a quadrangle. On the E. 
side are Spafford Hall, the Administration Building, and the Me 
chanic Arts Building ; on the S. is Central Hall, to the W. women's 
dormitories, Graham, and! Lincoln Halls. 

The campus is landscaped with spacious lawns, flowers, and trees. 
East of the buildings is Johnson athletic field and grandstand, and 
the power plant. An open air amphitheatre in which spring page 
ants and plays are presented, a greenhouse, and hockey rink are to 
the south. 

Offering the only four-year normlal course in the 'State, Northern 
State has an annual enrollment of from 600 to 1,000 students. The 
school was founded in 1902 and accepted graduates of the eighth 
grade for instruction as teachers in rural and urban schools of the 
State. Only in the last few years has high school graduation been 



CITIES in eastern South Dakota hardly suggest 
the rural areas around them. Among the pictures 
that follow, there is the State Capitol mewed from 
Capitol Lake, and Memorial Hall, home of the 
State Historical Society. There is the World's Only 
Corn Palace at Mitchell, where each fall a celebra 
tion is staged featuring nationally -known entertain 
ers. Watertown has its Lake Kampeska, and many 
homes built in the 1880' s. The City Hall in Sioux 
Falls is far from provincial, and the picture of the 
packing plant shows but one of several industries 
that make Sioux Falls the largest city in the State. 
The picture of the campus of Northern State 
Teachers College and the shaded residential district 
of Aberdeen shows the development of a city where 
slightly more than 50 years ago there was not a 
building, nor a tree. Shakespearian dramas and 
Broadway hits are enacted in the Garden Terrace 
Theatre of Yankton College each springtime. 




^- m 




I !ii i 




1 iJ*W 



tf H 

Cities Aberdeen 101 

necessary for entrance to the college. The students receive practical 
teaching experience in the Aberdeen rural and small town schools. 

Gypsy Day, in mid-October, is the annual homecoming celebra 
tion, when students don the gafb and habits of gypsies and revel 
throughout the day and evening. 

The FATHER ROBERT HAIRE MONUMENT, on the campus, was 
erected in honor of the pioneer priest of South Dakota. Father 
Haire came to Dakota Territory in 1880 and built a sod church by 
his own efforts near Columbia. He founded St. Luke's hospital in 
Aberdeen, was a member of the State Board of Regents and was 
active in the move to place the initiative and referendum law on 
the statute books of the State. 

5. A reproduction of the LONGFELLOW HOUSE is at cor. of 
N. Main St. and I2th Ave. The yellow f ramie house, with 'its green 
shutters and white trim, was built from a copy of the original 
plans of Longfellow's home in Cambridge Mass., by W. D. Swain, 
an early resident. The interior is also designed in the manner of 
the original. 

6. ST. LUKE'S HOSPITAL, State St. and Third Ave. S., is 
considered one of the finest hospitals in the State. The new 4-story 
fireproof building was constructed 1 in 1920 by the Presentation Sis 
ters, who established the first hospital in 1900 and now use the 
adjoining building as an academy. 

7. THE CITY BASEBALL PARK, State St. and 14th Ave. S., 
accommodates State and National amateur baseball tournaments. 
The park was sponsored by the city in 1936 and built by the WPA. 
The City League plays its schedule three evenings a week, and 
games are played each Sunday during the summer. 

8. MELGAARD PARK, State St. at S. edge of city, is a recre 
ational city park comprising the tree claim of Andrew Melgaard, 
pioneer, whose statue is in the horseshoe flower bed. The figure is 
cast in bronze and is the work of Alice Letting Siems, Chicago. 
The park has a band shell where the municipal band presents week 
ly concerts. It also has tennis courts, a playground, a picnic area, 
and tourist camp. 

TOUR i 2m. 
L. from Main St. on isth Ave. N. 

9. HYDE PARK GOLF COURSE (public; nominal green fees) 
is an i8-hole course with built up hazards. 

102 A South Dakota Guide 

10. THE ABERDEEN COUNTRY CLUB has an i8-hole 
course with natural hazards, a clubhouse and polo field. The club 
sponsors the Dakota Open Golf Tournament each Labor Day, a 72- 
hole medal contest, in which players from North and South Dakota 

R. from Country Club on gravel road. 

n. WYLIE PARK, 2 m., has an artificial lake and bathing beach 
(small admission charge). The lake is called Minne-eho, or Water 
Behold. The park consists of 25 acres, part of which is a zoo with 
buffalo, deer, elk, -bears, coyotes, foxes, monkeys, eagles, pheasants, 
and waterfowl. There is an excellent public golf course on the 
grounds and a dancing pavilion. 


Railroad Stations: Burlington Station, 47 Sherman St., 2 blocks E. 
of the Franklin Hotel; North Western Station, Siever block, 1 block 
E. Franklin Hotel. Bus Stations: Franklin Hotel, Rexall Hotel, Rex- 
all Drug Store. Black Hills Transportation Co. Airport: Black Hills 
Airport 11 miles N. on US 85. Taxi fare, $1. No commercial airline 
at present. 

Traffic Regulations: Main St. is stop street, no U turns; parking, 
flat to curb only. 

Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Main St. 

Accommodations: Five hotels, five tourist camps, all at edge of 

Theaters: Two motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Across Whitewood Creek from lower end of Main St. 
Swimming;: Lower end of Main St., across Whitewood Creek. Tennis: 
(1) Pine Crest Park, N. on US 85, 3.3 m.; (2) Baptist church 
grounds, Sherman St., 1%_ blocks S. from Courthouse; no fee. Golf: 
Tomahawk Lake Country Club (Grass Greens), S. on US 85A, 8 m. 
Fee: $1 per day, $1.50 Saturday and Sunday. Ski Slide: Tomahawk 
Lake, no fee. Ice Skating: Black Tail on Deadwood and Central road, 
1.5 m. 

Annual Event: "Days of '76" celebration, early in August. 

Deadwood (4,630 alt., 3,662 pop.), historic mining town of gold 
rush days, has a most unusual location. No one who has stood on 
the rocky ledge of Mt. Moriah cemetery and looked down at the 
substantial little city in the gulch can ever forget the sight of this 
compact small community where the closely set pine trees vie 
with dwelling houses for possession of the steep slopes on either 
side. Deadwood is a town of one main street, the narrow bot 
tom of the gulch having no room for more ; and that one street 
is needed! for the business section. So the houses must climb the 
steep sides of the gulch on either hand and the roads that lead to 
them form so many terraces. Where the gulch divides toward the 
upper end of town, the buildings follow both valleys, the business 
houses below and the residences above; while at the lower end of 
town, the valley becomes so narrow that the road itself is forced 
to leave the stream and wind its way up the almost perpendicular 
hillside. Above the famous Mt. Moriah cemetery, with its graves of 
Wild Bill and Calamity Jane, tower the glistening pinnacles of the 
White Rocks, from) which, northward, can be seen the gleaming 
line of the 'Slim Buttes, 100 miles away. 

Every year the "Days of '76" celebration draws aside the curtain 
of the years that would dim the memory of hard-bitten men drawn 

104 A South Dakota Guide 

by the lure of gold from the far corners of the world to the wil 
derness that was Deadwood. For a brief time during the month of 
August there are festivities that may invoke the ghosts of those 
whose glasses clinked in the old Green Front 'Saloon to the strain 
of a prospector's fiddle. The program is keyed to recall the easy 
abandon with which gold dust and nuggets were ''swapped" for 
liquor and other camp entertainment. The swinging doors, painted 
front and wooden sidewalks of the old saloon have disappeared 
but the memory of the pack mules with bulging saddle-bags, of 
men and women, loud with energy and hope, lives anew through 
"Days of '76." 

Each morning of the celebration, over the paved highway, which 
follows the same course that the first placer miners picked out 
through the gulch, there winds a mile-long historical parade. Ox 
teams, covered wagons, stage coaches, sidesaddle girls, a prospector 
with his pack mules, Sioux Indians in native dress, Preacher Smith 
killed by the Indians, Calamity Jane, Poker Alice, Wild Bill Hickok, 
and Jack McCall who shot him in the back, march up Main Street. 
Wild Bill is shot; in the evening his murderer, Jack McCall, is 
tried by a miners' rump court and acquitted. The night life of the 
mining camp is revived. There are gay dance hall girls, and a car 
nival. In the Bucket o' Blood, the Deadwood of '76 is rebuilt. 
There are saloons where games of chance, faro, poker, and roulette 
wheels may be found. And after the "Days of '76" are over, Dead- 
wood reassumes her sober mask. 

But it is only a mask, for Deadwood of the present is the same 
mining town of '76 for all its modern trappings. Because the busi 
ness of Deadwood always was and always will be gold. And gold 
never loses its glamour or fascination, nor the things with which 
it is so richly and closely associated. 

Deadwood still has her saloons and 1 dance halls which operate 
under the name of "night clubs." And glasses still ring and cards 
continue to slide across tables for a price, whether that price be 
gold dust or crisp bills and silver dollars. But Calamity Jane, she 
who carried her gun on her hip and bought drinks for the boys, 
might be a bit disgusted with the feminine antics of her modern 
sisters ; certainly she would have scoffed at the conventional chains 
that curtail their freedom over the streets of the old gulch. The 
general social life of Deadwood swings around its night clubs. 
Some of these, known at one time the country over as rough min- 

Cities Dead wood 105 

ing resorts, are now the essence of polish and propriety. But Dead- 
wood grew up with glitter, and it cannot quite put away its past. 

Deadwood's prosperity rests on a very substantial basis, due to 
various factors. To begin with, it is the seat of Lawrence County, 
which contains three cities, rich farming land, irrigated orchards, 
and valuable mining properties. Then it has a Nation-wide fame 
and is a magnet for every tourist who enters the Black Hills. In 
fact it would be unthinkable to leave the Hills without seeing his 
toric Deadwood. In the third place, it shares in the prosperity of 
its larger neighbor, Lead. And lastly it has the reputation all 
through that region of being a liberal, more or less "wide open" 
town, a reputation it has held from the beginning and still holds. 
It has, it is true, spasms of virtue at times, but, like many another 
penitent, it finds it difficult to hold to the narrow way. As long as 
its guests do not infringe upon the rights of others, they are wel 
come to avail themselves of those pleasures which Deadwood so 
freely offers. 

Such is Deadwood, the most famous town not only in the Hills 
but in the State ; for people all over the country have heard of this 
little town of thirty-six hundred inhabitants in the northern Hills. 
The reason for this lies in Deadwood's history, both true and false. 
Thousands of boys have read millions of words about Dead-wood 
Dick's adventures and Deadwood itself has always been syn 
onymous with adventure, with the old frontier, and with gold. 

In 1874 Ouster's expedition discovered gold on French Creek, 
near where Custer stands. At once various parties set out for the 
Hills, but many were turned back -by the soldiers since this was at 
that time Indian country. But in the fall of 1875 tne Government, 
after a fruitless parley with the Indians, no longer offered any 
objections to the entry of white gold seekers and the latter poured 
into the Hills from every direction in the turbid flood which only 
a gold rush knows. Most of them went to the southern Hills, where 
gold had first been discovered. But late that same fall John B. 
Pearson of Yankton penetrated the northern Hills and discovered 
rich placer diggings in Deadwood Gulch. That winter the snow was 
very deep, with little communication, and perhaps Pearson kept the 
good news to himself. At any rate it was March of the next year 
before word of the rich gold strike got out. At this time Custer 
was said to have a population of 7,000. When word of the strike 
in Deadwood Gulch reached it, the town was depopulated almost 
overnight. It is said that less than 100 people remained. There was 

106 A South Dakota Guide 

a mass movement northward through the Hills and Deadwood was 
born, taking its name from the gulch in which it lay, which in turn 
was named for the dead 1 timber of some forgotten fire. 

There were 25,000 people up and down that narrow gulch before 
the end of the summer and the new town had to meet their needs. 
It would probably be impossible to overdraw the glamour of those 
early Deadwood days and that first summer in particular. There 
were the usual accompaniments of a gold strike saloons, dance 
halls, brothels, and gambling houses. There was an unusually color 
ful assemblage of individuals, even for that time and place. Wild 
Bill, Calamity Jane, and Preacher Smith walked the streets, to 
gether with an assortment of men who were glad to be there 
because their presence was undesired elsewhere. The most moment 
ous happening of that summer, and indeed of all Deadwood's his 
tory was the shooting of Wild Bill (see Motor Tour 2). Next in 
importance perhaps came the killing of Preacher Smith by the In 
dians while on his way to Crook City (see Tour 4). Of the three 
most noted personages of that summer, two died in their prime and 
the third, Calamity Jane, out-lived her environment, (see Motor 
Tour 2). 

In the early years of Deadwood's prosperity profits were high, 
and gold plentiful. Each miner carried his buckskin sack filled with 
gold dust, which he squandered recklessly. One big miner scattered 
the contents of his gold sack on the streets to see the people scram 
ble for it. Flour cost $60 per 100 pound's, wages were from $5 to 
$7 a day; while mine owners made small fortunes in a short time. 

By the year 1879 the town had outgrown the canyon and had 
already started climbing the mountainsides of Deadwood and 
Whitewood gulches. On the night of September 25th, a fire which 
originated in a bakery on Sherman Street spread to a hardware 
store next to it. In the latter was stored a great deal of black 
powder which exploded, sending cinders all over the wooden build 
ings of the little gulch. Having no water system, miners and mer 
chants alike stood helpless and watched their town burn. But in spite 
of the fact that it lay hundreds of miles by wagon road from its 
nearest base of supplies, the town was soon rebuilt. 

During the winter of 1883 the snowfall had been unusually 
heavy and had melted but little ; then followed warm rains, swell 
ing Whitewood and Deadwood Creeks until the town was flooded 
and much damage done. Strong retaining walls have since been 

Cities Deadwood 107 

built on Deadwood Creek, harnessing the stream, black with mill 
tailings, to its course through the heart of the city. 

As with all boom mining towns, Deadwood's greatest glory was in 
her first years. When the placer diggings became exhausted, many 
miners left. A new gold strike in Lead, which was later absorbed 
by the Homestake Mining Co., attracted still other inhabitants 
of the older town (see LEAD). But in 1887, with a silver boom 
in the nearby towns of Carbonate and Galena, Deadwood experi 
enced a rejuvenation. In like manner, in 1894, when the price 
of silver declined, Deadwood slumped in population to a total of 
1600. Later a smelter was built and the Golden Reward erected its 
plant and reduction works in the town. A cyanide plant was con- 
constructed for the Rossiter Mill. These activities brought about a 
revival of prosperity for a time. But this came to an end with the 
strike of 1909, which closed all the plants, and only the Golden 
Reward reopened. 

Deadwood shared in post-war prosperity and since then has pro 
gressed steadily and rapidly. This is particularly true of the years, 
1934-37, for Deadwood's prosperity is closely linked with that of 
its larger neighbor, Lead, only 3 miles away and with a population 
of almost 8,000. When the United States went off the gold standard 
in 1934, the price of gold rose substantially and this brought such 
prosperity to the Homestake that, in addition to the high wages 
that it habitually paid, it gave bonuses to its employees twice a year. 
This has brought a boom period to Lead, which in turn has found 
its reflection in Deadwood business conditions. 


man and Deadwood >Sts. (open weekdays 10:00 a.m. p :jo p.m., 
Sun. 2-6 p. m.; free), is one of the outstanding features of the city 
of Deadwood. For many years it had been the hope and dream of 
some of the far-seeing citizens of the Black Hills to establish a 
place of safety for the fast disappearing records and relics of the 
early days. The gathering of such mementos is laying a foundation 
for a complete history of the struggles of the early pioneers. 

To Fred D. Gramlich of Deadwood goes the credit for originat 
ing the idea of a museum, but it was W. E. Adamis who realized 
this dream. He was a pioneer, and in memory of his family and of 
the pioneers who together with himself had helped to make the 
city of Deadwood the flourishing community that it is, he gave the 

108 A South Dakota Guide 

Adams Memorial Hall. This Memorial forms a link between the 
pioneer life of more than half a century ago and the Deadwood of 
today. The Hall was dedicated October 4, 1930. 

The most important exhibits in the Adams Memorial Hall are: 
A book containing the laws and rules that the Gordon Party (see 
Tour 5), laid down in writing on February 23, 1875; the Theon 
Stone, which was found by Louis and Ivan Theon at the base of 
Lookout Mountain and is the only record of six Missourians, who, 
otherwise unknown, left the first authentic record of white men in 
the Hills, dating the stone 1834; a saddle and a pair of 'boots which 
President Theodore Rbosevelt used on his ranch at Medora, N. 
Dak., and later gave to Captain iSeth Bullock in October 1908 ; a 
saddle used 'by Quincy Turner, a cowpuncher, when he came with 
the first trail herd from Texas into the Black Hills ; the first loco 
motive in the Black Hills, which arrived in August 1879 by bull 
team from/ Bismarck, N. Dak.; more than 100 shotguns and rifles 
dating from the pioneer period to the present day, also ox yokes, 
grain cradles, sluice boxes, rockers, broadaxes, bear traps, gold 
scales, and spinning wheels, which were all brought in during the 
early days ; a collection of Indian saddles belonging to High Bear 
ers, Two Moons, and Plenty Coups (High Bearers and Two Moons 
were in the Custer fight) ; a letter from the Messiah, a Piute Indian, 
Wovoka, who had emissaries among the Sioux and spread the re 
ligious rite of the ghost dance (see Tour /) ; original marriage cer 
tificate of the only couple married by Preacher Smith while he was 
in Deadwood ; and a most complete collection of early photographs 
of Deadwood and the Black Hills. 

2. At the lower end of Main Street is that area which in early 
Deadwood days was known as CHINATOWN. At one time in 
cluded in Deadwood's population was a considerable element of 
Chinese. They rapidly assumed the dress and manners of Ameri 
cans. Chinatown extended from what is now the North Western 
depot to Mumford's garage. 

Besides their usual occupations as laundrymen and restaurant 
keepers, there were merchants and doctors who conformed to the 
American fashions in all except their "cues," to which they religi 
ously clung. The women and girls adhered to the native costumes. 
The Chinese had their own place of worship which they called 
the Joss House. 

Most of the Chinese came under contract, which stipulated that 
their bodies be sent back to China. After six or seven years, allow- 

Cities Deadwood 109 

ing sufficient time for decomposition, a Chinese undertaker would 
go to the cemetery, disinter the bodies, separate the bones, wrap 
ping each in a newspaper and mluslin with proper labels, and place 
the package of bones in a small zinc-lined box 10 x 14 x 22 inches, 
which was sealed and shipped to San Francisco where with 1,700 or 
i, 800 more it would be sent to the Orient. 

Mrs. Wong was the last Chinese woman to rear a family in 
Deadwood. An opium pipe which belonged to her is on display at 
the Adams Memorial Hall. Also on display at the Museum is a 
picture of the Chinese Hose Team of America which won the 
Great Hub and Hub Race in Deadwood on July 4, 1888. There is 
also a picture of the Chinese Sunday School class and some of 
the teachers. There are very few 'Chinese in Deadwood today, but 
this part of the city is called Chinatown. 

3. The site of the old GREEN FRONT, the most famous brothel 
of the Deadwood of early days, and one of the most notorious in 
the entire West, extended from what is now 591 to 601 Main St. 
It was in existence from the early days of Deadwood until 1911. 

4. At 613 Main St. is the site of the GEM THEATRE, prob 
ably the first and only legitimate theatre of the eighties in this 
western land of cowboys, miners, and gamblers. It was known as 
having excellent stock companies at that early day. 

5. At 620 Main St., was the famous old NO. 10 SALOON, 
where Wild Bill Hickok was shot by Jack McCall (see Motor Tour 
2). McCall ran across the street and hid in an old barn which was 
next to a pool hall. 

TOUR i 37m. 

W. from Main St. on Shine St. 

6. BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST (entrance at i m.) 
covers practically the entire northern Hills area, as the Harney Na 
tional Forest covers the southern portion. (See BLACK HILLS 
RECREATIONAL AREA.) At some points along this road the 
mountain side slopes away from the highway at a very sharp angle 
and careful driving is necessary. 

7. ROOSEVELT MONUMENT is at the summit of Mt. Roose 
velt (5,676 alt). This circular tower is 35 ft. high, set in a solid 
:>ase, the whole being built of native diorite found on the hill 

110 A South Dakota Guide 

where the memorial stands. A bronze tablet placed on the monu 
ment bears the following inscription : 

In Memory Of 

Theodore Roosevelt 

"The American" 

The idea of a monument was conceived by Captain Seth Bullock 
(see Motor Tour 2), an intimate friend of Theodore Roosevelt, 
and was carried out by the Society of Black Hills Pioneers in 1919, 
when the memorial tower was erected ; and the mountain, formerly 
known as Sheep Mountain, was dedicated to the former President 
of the United States. 

From the summit of Mt. Roosevelt it is possible to see four 
States, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana ; and 
in the foreground to the south and west are the Black Hills and- to 
the north and east rolling plains. 

TOUR 2^0.9 m, 

S. from Sherman St. on Van Bur en Ave. 

WHITEWOOD CREEK, once a crystal-clear, tumbling moun 
tain stream, now a dirty leaden color, literally a flow of liquid 
mud, caused by the tailings from the Hom-estake mine at Lead, 
flows through the center of Deadwood. It is said that this one 
small stream carries down 4 million tons of tailings annually to 
the Belle Fourche River. The stream leaves the Hills in a continu 
ous series of rapids with a flow too swift to deposit mud at any 
point within the Hills ; and it remains turgid and heavy with mud 1 
all the way to the Belle Fourche. Livestock will drink the water 
along the lower reaches ; but no animal life is possible in it. 

8. MT. MORIAH or "BOOT HILL" CEMETERY is visited 
annually by thousands of tourists, curious to see the graves of 
four famous Western characters, Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, Preach 
er Smith, and Seth Bullock. Of these, easily the most famous was 
Wild Bill, or as he was christened, James Butler Hickok, "the 
Prince of Pistoleers," one of the handsomest men on the frontier, 
and admittedly the quickest and best shot on the turbulent border 
in its most turbulent days. Born in Illinois, he was fired with a de 
termination to emulate the career of his hero, Kit Carson ; and go 
ing out to the frontier while still a boy, he became successively a 
freighter, hunter and trapper, stage driver and station-tender, and 
soldier and scout in the Union Army, penetrating the Confederate 

Cities Dead wood 111 

lines three times in disguise. After the Civil War he was a scout 
on the plains for various units of the United States Army, then 
an actor (a poor one it must 'be admitted), and 1 finally marshal of 
one after another of the roughest towns of the old West and the 
entire country. It was the last-named activity that brought him his 
greatest fame. As one after another of the Kansas towns became 
the head of steel and consequently the shipping point for the herds 
of wild Texas cattle driven up from the South by equally wild cow 
hands, these cow towns became the Mecca for gamblers, prostitutes, 
and bad men who congregate wherever money is freely spent. It 
was the business of the town marshal to protect the merchants and 
law-abiding citizens and it was usually necessary to remove per 
manently from society the worst of the bad men in order to ac 
complish this. Wild 1 Bill is generally credited with having killed 
27 men, although he himself would never discuss the subject. It 
was this reputation of his as a law-enforcement officer that led 
directly to his killing. Although he came to Deadwood to make a 
stake for the bride he had just taken, the lawless element of the 
town feared that he would be appointed marshal and put an end to 
their activities. They therefore bribed a weak character, Jack Mc- 
Call, to assassinate Wild Bill, promising him $300 to accomplish 
the deed and filling him up with cheap whiskey to give him cour 
age. Wild Bill was indulging in his favorite pastime of a friendly 
game of cards in the old No. 10 saloon. For the second time in 
his career, he was sitting with his back to an open door. Jack Mc- 
Call walked in, shot him through the back of the head, and rushed 
from the place, only to be captured shortly afterward. Wild Bill's- 
dead hand held aces and eights, and from that timie on this has 
been known in the West as "the deadl man's hand." Jack McCall 
1 was tried 'before a packed jury and acquitted. He later went to 
Custer and Cheyenne and bragged of the killing, but was arrested 
by a United States Marshal in Cheyenne and taken to Yankton for 
trial before the District Court. His plea of "double jeopardy" was 
disregarded on the ground that the miner's court had no jurisdic- 
1 tion ; and he was convicted, sentenced, and hanged. Although Wild 
' Bill was technically a killer, he killed only in self-defense or in the 
line of duty as a peace officer. His grave in Mt. Moriah is sur 
rounded by an iron fence and marked by a red sandstone, life- 
sized statue of dubious artistic merit which has suffered consider 
ably from vandalism. 

In the adjoining enclosure is the grave of another famous char 
acter of early Deadwood, Calamity Jane, or Martha Jane (Canary) 

112 A South Dakota Guide 

Burke. Born at or near La Salle, 111., May i, 1852, she drifted 
west with her family and at an early age was left an orphan. She 
became a hanger-on of construction camps, bull trains, army ex 
peditions, and gold camps ; and according to some accounts she 
served at times as an army scout or mail carrier. She dressed by 
preference in men's attire, frequently a suit of fringed buckskin, 
and few persons ever saw her in women's apparel. She was credited 
with a vocabulary of extraordinary 'breadth and richness, even for 
a time and place that was not entirely lacking in self-expression. 
There exists the widest divergence both in the accounts of her life 
and estimates of her character. Time has made of her a legendary 
figure and the different accounts of how. she gained her sobriquet, 
"Calamity Jane," are none of them very authentic. Although she 
had been a wanderer up to the time she reached Deadwood in 
1876 at the height of the gold rush, she seemed to find that region 
to her liking, for she made it more or less her home for the rest 
of her life. She took trips to Montana and to the East, and for 
awhile was a midway attraction at the Pan-American Exposition in 
Buffalo. But always she returned to the Hills, and there passed 
away in a boarding house at Terry, Aug. I, 1903, almost twenty- 
seven years to the day after the shooting of her friend, Wild Bill. 
In accordance with her last wish she was buried beside him. Her 
funeral is said to have been the largest ever 'held in Deadwood and 
South Dakota remembers her colorful career rather than her hu 
man frailties. 

A short distance up the 'hill from the graves of these two is 
another lifesize red sandstone statue marking the last resting place 
of another pioneer, Preacher Smith (see Tour 4). 

Somewhat apart from the other graves, on a slight elevation, is 
the grave of Seth Bullock. Originally a cowboy with the big outfits, 
he organized Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders and was im 
mediately appointed captain. After Roosevelt became President, he 
appointed his old companion-at-arms United States Marshal for 
South Dakota, a position which he held for many years. He also 
served as first sheriff of Lawrence County and was the first Forest 
Supervisor of the Black Hills forests. Before he died he asked 
to 'be buried where his grave would be in sight of the monument 
erected to his hero, Theodore Roosevelt. That request was the rea 
son for locating the grave where it is. 


Cabin and Grave of Deadwood Dick 2.3 m. ; Preacher Smith 
Monument, 3.3m., (see Tour 4). 


Railroad Stations: The Chicago & North Western R. R., Dakota 
Ave. and Second St., and the Great Northern R. R., Dakota Ave. and 
First St. Bus Lines: The Swanson, Jackrabbit, Mitchell and the 
Pierre lines depots at Marvin Hughitt Hotel, Corner Dakota Ave. S. 
and 4th St. and Royal Hotel, Wisconsin Ave. S.W. and 3rd. Airport: 
Hanford Line and Watertown and Rapid City lines, Municipal Air 
port 2 mi. N. on Dakota Ave. Taxi Service: City limit fare 35c. 

Accommodations: Two hotels; tourist camps. 

Information Bureau: Chamber of Commerce office at 28 3rd St. 
S.W. (second floor). 

Theaters: Three motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Baseball Park, N.E. Huron; College Field, S.W. Golf: 
Public links N. on State 37, Country Club N. 1 m. Tennis: Public 
courts, Oregon St. between 5th and 6th Sts. 

Street Order and Numbering: Street numbering begins at C & NW 
R.R. tracks, numbering N. and S. on all avenues. All other streets 
begin numbering E. and W. from Dakota Ave. Dakota Ave. and 3rd 
St. center of business district. 

Annual Events: South Dakota State Fair, held Sept. 10, or later 
(5 days). Pow Wow Day October (last week in month, 1 day). 
Public Scandinavian ludefisk suppers during fall and winter. 

Huron (1,288 alt., 11,753 pop.) is situated on the west bank of 
the James River in the center of a broad, level prairie region that 
spreads, fan-wise, in all directions. As the hub for the numerous 
small towns that lie within the confines of a mythical wheel, Huron 
draws trade from a large agricultural area. Good highways, air 
lines, railroads, and hotels have comibined with the city's location 
near the State's center of population to make it popular as a con 
vention city as well as the home of the State Fair. 

Largely dependent upon agricultural and allied pursuits dairy 
ing, poultry raising, grain, and livestock farming the city also has 
industries to process the farm products, including a meat packing 
company and brewery. 

Huron has always been known for its strong labor organizations. 
There are 23 trade and labor unions in this small city, and they 
maintain the Huron Central Labor Union Hall for their activities. 
The first labor organization was the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Firemen whose charter, issued July 13, 1883, ' wa s signed by Eugene 
V. Debs, one-time candidate for president of the United States on 
the Socialist ticket. 

114 A South Dakota Guide 

Called an "overgrown country town" in 1910, Huron has lost 
many of the characteristics of a small town. Up-to-date structures 
have replaced the old frame buildings in the business section, and 
a new courthouse, city hall, school buildings, and airport show the 
recent progress. 

Although named for an Indian tribe, Huron was born to the 
accompaniment of squeaking wagon wheels, humming hay mowers, 
and locomotive bells. The history of the present site of Huron, 
dates back to 1879 when John Cain, among others, staked out a 
claim on the east bank of the James River. Shortly afterwards a 
party of surveyors of the Chicago & North Western Railroad ar 
rived and camped near there. At the direction of Marvin Hughitt, 
general manager of the line, the west bank of the river was selected 
as division headquarters of the railroad. This was in reality the 
first step toward bringing the city of Huron into existence. The 
railroad company through its subsidiary the Western Town and 
Lot Company gained title to 880 acres of land on which final entry 
was made in September n, 1879. The railroad company built de 
pots, a roundhouse, shops and offices covering a building space of 
38,000 feet. Either Mr. Hughitt or someone in the Chicago office 
of the railroad gave the new town its name. 

Huron was a busy place in the summer of 1880, with building 
operations going on and settlers coming in to seek land. Perhaps it 
was for this reason that the first July 4th celebration was staged 
in Huron a day late. The event was none the less important. Jour 
nalism, like the new town, was informal yet personally vital. Fol 
lowing is an example of it, as carried in the columns of a news 
paper on July 6, 1880, reporting the belated celebration: 

"The grand success of Huron's first celebration of the Nation's 
birthday is the general topic of conversation among her citizens, 
and the occasion of their mutual congratulations. 

"At the first indication of the rising sun on the morning of the 
5th, he was greeted by the National salute and an extra gun for 
Huron, fired under the supervision of M. Chase. Pistols, shotguns 
and firecrackers made music in the air until afternoon, when a 
crowd assembled to witness a game of baseball on a ground which 
had been prepared near the city. Two nines were selected by Messrs. 
Fairbanks and Parkhurst, and play was commenced with Lon Har- 
tis as umpire and A. L. Church as scorer. Before the nine innings 
were played, the last bat in Huron was broken and the game could 
not be finished. 

Cities Huron 115 

"Shortly before sundown two running races took place over a 
course west of Wright's Hotel, one of which was won by Williams' 
gray mare and the other by a horse belonging to a young man in 
Wright's employ." 

The dry summer and hard winter of 1 880-81 retarded the growth 
of the town, but a boom began the next year as settlers continued 
to stake claims nearby and require implements, household neces 
sities, and entertainment. The War Department installed a signal 
station in this prairie town in 1881 ; it has since become important 
as a weather bureau for the State. Cutting hay on Huron's present 
busiest thoroughfare Dakota Avenue took place in 1885 when 
Hollard Wheeler, pioneer 'druggist, mowed the foot-tall grass in 
front of his store to improve appearances. The present brick struc 
ture that houses the Wheeler Drug Store had just been built when 
"haying time" began on the street. 

In the late eighties, crop failures, coupled with a period of de 
pression, again temporarily checked the growth of the city. As 
times picked up, Huron was selected as the site for the 'State Fair 
in 1904. Following the World War came another period of growth 
as headquarters for oil, utility, and wholesale companies were esta 
blished in Huron. From 1933 to 1935 drought and dust storms 
ravaged the crops in the rural regions surrounding Huron, and 
crippled! the sources of income. This area, which was more affected 
than any other in the eastern half of the State, was the scene of 
soil conservation and shelter belt work, and in 1937 lakes and 
streams were again filled. 

Huron has a city manager who is the sole administrative officer. 


3rd St. bet. Nevada and Indiana Sts., (Adtn. : Adults, 2$c, 
children under 12, free.) comprises 150 acres where the State Fair 
is held the second week in September. There are spacious barns and 
pavilions for housing livestock and poultry exhibits, a large glass 
\ building called Machinery Hall, a main exhibit building, a zoo, a 
large grandstand, and a half-mile racetrack, besides numerous hot 
dog, peanut and popcorn vendors' stands and the usual cheap 
"midway attractions." 

A plot of ground, conveniently located and enclosed to afford 
police protection, is set aside by the State Board of Agriculture for 
the exclusive use of families desiring to camp while attending the 

116 A South Dakota Guide 

Fair. No charge is made and parties may bring their own tents 
or rent one on the grounds. Maintained on the grounds as addition 
al service for visitors are an express office, post office, rest cot 
tage for women and children, check rooms, dining halls, telephone 
and telegraph offices. 

2. HURON COLLEGE, on Illinois Ave., ;th and I9th Sts., was 
founded at Pierre in 1883 by Harlan Page Carson as Pierre Uni 
versity. Soon afterwards, 1898, it was moved to Huron and esta 
blished as a Presbyterian college, starting with three students. To 
day it comprises one main building Ralph Vorhees Hall a girls' 
dormitory and a large gymnasium and auditorium, all set deep on 
a broad, well-landscaped campus. For many years students from 
Oriental countries China, Korea and Japan have attended Huron 
College. This is largely due to the efforts of George Shannon Mc- 
Cune, former president, who spent much of his life in the Far 
E(ast. The college is developing the group system of studies and a 
correlation between high school and college work. It has added all 
the pre-requisite courses in engineering, medicine, dentistry, jour 
nalism, and law. 

3. LAMPE MARKET, cor. Dakota Ave. and 4th St., is an ex 
ample of the idea of the "vertical trust" in commerce, the inclusion 
of all the processing steps in the converting of raw material to the 
finished product within the confines of a single organization, with 
consequent elimination of profit-taking on the various steps of man 
ufacture and marketing. The Lampe Market raises its own meat 
on its poo-acre farm, kills it, packs it, and markets it. 

The Lampe Market was first opened by Albert Lampe, Sr., in 
1887. A native of Wernigerode, Germany, he came to Huron in 
1882. Improvements in the plants Were made in 1907, and the mar 
ket was enlarged to accommodate increased business. The improve 
ments were of such a character as to cause the market to be de 
scribed in the newspapers of that day as "the best market in the 
Northwest." Twenty years later, in 1927, the present market was 

On request the visitor is shown "behind the scenes" where there 
are large ranges for delicatessen cooking, ovens for bakery goods, 
and the meat department where sausage, bacon, ham, and lard are 
prepared. The basement is a complete packing plant with exception 
of the slaughter house and fertilizer department. There also are 
thousands of square ft. of cold storage rooms. 

Cities Huron 117 

4. CHIC SALE HOUSE, 643 Illinois Ave., 'S.W., was the boy 
hood home of "Chic" Sale, as he was known to the theatrical and 
literary world, 'but whose real name was Charles Partlon Sale. He 
was born in Huron in 1884, the son of Dr. Frank O. and Lillie B. 
Sale who came to Huron in 1882. "Chic" spent the first n years of 
his life in the new prairie town and attended the school on the 
present site of the Huron High School. The publication of The 
Specialist was "Chic" Sale's debut into the literary field and it 
became the "mirth of a nation," over a million copies being sold. 
This was followed by The Champion Cornhusker and / Tell 
You Why. 

5. AIRPORT: The W. W. Howes Municipal Airport joins the 
city on the north, and includes 120 acres of land, a hangar, admini 
stration building, and repair shop. The airport was named for W. 
W. Howes of Huron, assistant Postmaster General (1933- ), 
and was built with the aid of the Works Progress Administration. 
All the buildings are substantially constructed of hand-cut native 
stone and all have cement floors. The hangar is 108 ft. long, 94 ft. 
wide, and has a 19 ft. ceiling. 

The administration building, west of the hangar, has two stories, 
a full basement, and an observation lookout on the roof from which 
the activities of the airport are directed. The offices, waiting rooms, 
and lunchroom occupy the ground floor. 


Railroad Stations: Bus connections with Chicago, Burlington & 
Quincy at Pluma, 1.5 m.; bus connection with Chicago & North West 
ern at Deadwood, 3 m. Bus Station: Highland Hotel. Deadwood-Lead 
bus line and Black Hills Transportation Co. Airport: Black Hills Air 
port, 14 m. N. on US 85; no scheduled service. 

Traffic Regulations: Main St. stop street, with severe penalties for 
violation. No U turn on Main St. within city limits. Parking only 
flat to curb. No double parking. 

Information Service: Highland Hotel. 
Accommodations: One hotel, 2 tourist camps. 
Theater: One motion picture house. 

Athletics: Grier Park, southwestern section of town. Golf: Country 
Club, 10 miles SW. of town on Rochford road. Swimming: Recreation 
Building. Library: Recreation Building. 

Annual Event: Labor Day celebration and sports at Grier Park. 

Lead (pronounced Leed, 5,320 alt., 7,847 pop-)> is the seat of 
the Homestake, the largest gold mine in the United States, and one 
of the largest in the world. Lead takes its name from the famous 
Homestake "lead," meaning lode or vein, which has yielded over 
$300,000,000 worth of gold and in 1937 is still producing at the 
rate of more than $15,000,000 a year. Lead is the Homestake and 
the Homestake is Lead; the two are inseparable. 

The contrast in the physical appearance of Lead and Deadwood, 
three miles apart, is remarkable. While the latter is packed into the 
bottom of the gulch, Lead, at the head of Gold Run Gulch, is 
spread out, a mile high, over the tops of the surrounding hills. The 
two towns have one feature in common, the almost total lack of 
level ground. But Lead is the hillier of the two. The porch of one 
residence is often on a level with the roof of the one in front of it. 

Lead is what might be called a town on the move, for with shafts 
and tunnels undermining the city, large areas are in danger of sub 
siding and have been cleared of buildings. On top of the highest 
hill in Lead a new residence section has sprung up, where the un 
derground workings are not likely to undermine it. Because of 
cave-ins and shifting earth, together with the prosperity of the 
city, there are few old buildings in Lead and no high ones. 

The upper end of Main Street apparently leads into the sky, 
while the lower end drops steeply into the canyon of Gold Run 
Gulch on its way to Deadwood. On one side of Main Street rises 

Cities Lead 119 

the tall and silver-colored slenderness of the Ross and Ellison 
shafts and on the other side is the yawning chasm of the Open 
Cut, the most striking single physical feature of the City of Lead. 

Unlike most mining towns, Lead has no night life. Night clubs 
and taverns are forbidden and presumably Deadwood reaps a rich 
harvest from this ruling. In. Lead, the overall is a high badge of 
respectability, and a dinner pail the most common accompaniment 
of "the man in the street." An old car is a curiosity in Lead, while 
new cars are to be seen on every hand. 

The foreign element of Lead is diverse, the population being di 
vided among 18 nationalities. Seventy percent of the inhabitants, 
however, are native born. The population is stable, because Home- 
stake jobs are obtained with difficulty and held tenaciously. 

Practically all the land in Lead is owned by the Homestake, but 
any employe may build on a site and occupy it rent-free, as long 
as it is not needed for mining purposes. 

The Homestake operates its own hospital and miedical depart 
ment, free to employees and their families ; also a large club build 
ing free to both employees and the public. Sanitary, well-appointed 
dressing rooms with shower baths are available for the men com 
ing off-shift. 

It was when the late winter snows began to melt in 1876 that 
Thomas E. Carey, a mining pioneer, left his claim in Deadwood 
Gulch, crossed over the divide to Gold Run Creek in search of 
gold, and, finding the swollen stream and surrounding soil rich with 
the precious yellow metal, staked his claim and sent word of his 
discovery to Deadwood Gulch. 

On July 14, 1876, the first town lot was recorded, Lot I, Block 
I, at 100 Mill and Pine 'Streets. The first meeting of miners to or 
ganize Lead City was held July 26, 1876. On Feb. 28, 1877, the 
Black Hills area was ceded by the Indians to the United States, 
and on Sept. 21, 1877, the first mineral applicatoin to the Land 
Office was made. 

A few weeks subsequent to the founding of Lead, the town of 
Washington was laid out not far from it by a different set of loca 
tors. The two towns had a separate existence for a number of 
years ; but Washington finally became an addition to Lead. 

In this same year, 1877, the first gold-bearing quartz from the 
site of the present city was treated and recovered by the Manuel 

120 A South Dakota Guide 

Brothers, Mose and Fred. To test their finds, the Manuel brothers 
hauled 4,000 tons of quartz to Whitewood Creek. They built a rude 
home-made crushing mill called an "arrastra" (a Mexican term), 
and the ore yielded so richly that the fame of Lead spread to all 
parts of the country. Promoters and big-time prospectors became 
vitally interested and from Alaska down the western coast to Mexi 
co traveled the news that gold lay in the Black Hills. From all 
parts of the United States came the gold seekers, showmen, 
adventurers, and seasoned miners. So it was that George Hearst, 
Lloyd Tevis, and J. B. Haggin, members of a San Francisco syndi 
cate, sent Samuel McMaster, a mining engineer, to Deadwood ear 
ly in 1877 to report on silver mines there. But gold was god of the 
Hills at that time, so McMaster recommended the purchase of two 
claims, the Homestake and the Golden Star in Gold Run Canyon; 
and they were bought. The Homestake Mining Company was incor 
porated in 1877 in San Francisco, and under the guidance of that 
company Lead' grew into a city. 

During the summer of 1877, several quartz custom mills were 
built in Lead. The first, built for the Racine Mining and Milling 
Co., near the former site of the North Western passenger depot, 
consisted of 10 stamps. It was soon afterward enlarged to 20 
stamps and proved satisfactory. The rate for treating ore was $10 
per ton. 

The Racine Mill was followed by the Enos Mill, built by C. H. 
Enos & Co., which purchased Harney's interest in the Homestake. 
Soon after the Thompson, the Gwin, the Smith and Pringle, the 
Marshman, the White, the Costello, and several other mills were 
built. All these treated ore for the Homestake and Golden Star. 
The latter companies, despite the heavy milling tolls, paid the own 
ers well. 

In early days a small stream called Gold Run ran through 
Lead and down to Pluma where it was lost in Whitewood Creek. 
Today no stream is to be seen in Lead until a point below the 
Homestake regrinding plant. Much of the water that now runs 
down Gold Run Gulch is from Spearfish Creek and is piped by 
the Homestake Company over a rise of hundreds of feet to Lead. 

In a new mining camp today, the first thing built is a hotel or 
boarding house. This, however, was not so with Lead. The Lead 
miners lived in cabins until the spring of 1877. ^ n J un e of that 
year, four hotels were built. 

Cities Lead 121 

The first dance in Lead City was held on the night of July 4, 
1877, in the second frame building, known as Jentes Corner. There 
were but seven women present, the total feminine population of 
Lead at that time. 

A little log cabin was the city's pioneer school in the year 1877. 
It was a tuition school. 

In 1879 tne 'fi rst hospital, a log cabin, was erected. At first a 
physician was selected, satisfactory to both employees and the man 
agement, to render aid to employees and their families. In 1906 
the company took charge of the department and the service was ex 
tended to include general medical, surgical, and obstetrical cases, 
free of charge to all employees of the Homestake and their fami 
lies. A two-story frame building was erected in 1889 and the pres 
ent hospital was completed in 1925, a three-story brick structure, 
modern and completely equipped. 

Lead became a municipality in 1890. The city grew 7 , wards were 
added, and eight councilmen selected to assist the mayor. The sup 
erfluous "City" was dropped and the town has since been known 
as Lead. 

On the morning of March 8, 1900, occurred the most disastrous 
fire in the history of the city. It destroyed a quarter of a million 
dollars' worth of property. The fire burned the entire business sec 
tion of Lead and a part of the residence section also. The wind 
sent clouds of sparks whirling across Bleeker Street to the frame 
buildings which lined Pine and Mill Streets, threatening the Hearst 
store and the Star Mill of the Homestake Mining Co. After hours 
of hard work the fire was stopped in its course up Mill Street. 
With the aid of dynamite it was kept from spreading to the mills. 

On March 25, 1907, between 4 and 5 o'clock in the morning, the 
timber st oping on the 500- ft. level of the Homestake Mine caught 
fire. The air pipes, through which water was run in case of fire, 
had been removed on this level. An attempt was made to put the 
fire out with two hoses, each having 2oo-lbs. pressure. Pipes were 
laid to carry water and men were doing good work with them, 
when the stope began to cave in behind them and this method had 
to be abandoned. 

Steam was next tried. The drift was tightly closed, and this took 
many days. Steam was then turned in for 7^2 days. The gases were 
by this time so strong that all work had to be stopped except at 

122 A South Dakota Guide 

the extreme north end. After the steam was turned off the fire was 
still raging, and the rock in the vicinity was at a temperature of 
about 1500 degrees F. 

As a last resort it was decided to flood the mine and on April 
1 8th the water was allowed to fill the lower workings instead of 
draining off as usual. This, too, proved inadequate and therefore 
two tunnels were built and a small stream was turned through 
them. During 23 days these tunnels carried 19 million cubic feet of 
water into the mine. 

After the fire had been smothered by this means, the task of "un- 
watering" began. This required the removal of over 300 million 
gallons of water. The machinery in the mine was rusted but was 
soon made usable, while the mine itself needed but few repairs to 
put it in working condition again. The blow to the community was 
only temporary. In a very short time, owing to the resources of 
the company and* the energy and devotion of the men, Lead's usual 
prosperity was restored. 

Owing to world conditions the price of gold increased from 
$20.67 P er ounce in 1933 to $34.00 per ounce in January 1934, and 
by reason of the Gold Act of 1934 the price was fixed at $35.00 
per ounce. This brought immense prosperity to gold producing re 
gions. Wages went up in the gold mines, business was stimulated, 
and the mines made greatly increased profits ; and, in the case of 
the Homestake, this prosperity was shared with the men in the 
shape of increased wages and semi-annual bonuses. In 1936 each 
employee received a $50 bonus in June and $100 at Christmas. 


i. The HOMESTAKE MINE, Main St. bet. Mill St. and 
E. city limits, consists of two parts, the underground workings, or 
the mine proper, and the hoists, mills, and plants above ground. 
For a number of years it has not been the policy of the company to 
allow the casual visitor underground. The students of the South 
Dakota State School of Mines (see RAPID CITY) are taken 
through the underground workings as a part of their course of 
study. The Homestake furnishes guide service (fee 500.) to con 
duct tourists to all parts of the surface plants of the company. The 
revenue thus derived is paid to the H. A. A., the local charitable 
organization. The group that is being taken through begins at the 
mine shaft, where the ore is taken from the ground, and follows 

Cities Lead 123 

it through all its processes until the useless "tailings,"- or pulverized 
ore from which all gold has been extracted, are sent down Gold 
Run Gulch to Whitewood Creek. 

The Homiestake employs both the mercury and cyanide processes 
in extracting gold from ore. When the ore arrives at the mouth of 
the shaft, it is hauled to the stamp mill. Here, amid a din that ren 
ders even shouted conversation impossible, huge stamps reduce the 
ore to fine proportions. It is then ground in rod mills and mercury 
is added. The mercury unites with the free gold and the resulting 
amalgam is collected in amalgamators. The mercury is later driven 
off by heat and recovered and the gold remains. The residue of the 
ore is then reground till it is as fine as flour and leached in huge 
vats or in filter presses by a weak cyanide solution. The cyanide 
dissolves what little gold remains and forms a chemical combina 
tion with it. The bottoms of these vats are composed of canvas, 
through which the cyanide and gold filter and are drained off. 
This compound is chemically treated, the cyanide driven off and 
recovered, and the gold remains. The residue in the vats, now free 
of all but the faintest trace of gold, is washed into Gold Run Gulch 
to find its way, via Whitewood Creek, to the Belle Fourche River. 
So thorough is this process and so adapted to the handling of ore 
in vast 'bulk that treatment costs are low and over 95 percent of the 
gold in the ore is recovered. The average yield of the ores treated 
is one-third of an ounce per ton. 

An idea of the enormous investment necessary to produce gold 
on a large scale can be had from a view of the surface workings. 
The new ROSS SHAFT, whose silver-colored top may be seen 
rising above and behind the highest hill in Lead was recently com 
pleted at a cost of $2,000,000. Other construction in recent years 
includes a new power plant, a new compressor plant, and extensions 
to mill and cyanide plant. In all over $5,000,000 has been expended. 
A new shaft, equally as expensive as the Ross, is projected 
(1937) and will soon be built. The total depth of the Ross Shaft 
is now 4,100 feet. It will ultimately reach 5,200 ft. The new shaft 
will go still deeper. The output of the mine is, at normal gold 
prices, $6,000,000 a year. The men employed number between 2 
and 3 thousand, and miners' wages are $6 per day. 

2. The OPEN CUT is best viewed from the S. end of Mill 
Street near the Ross shaft. It is an immense gash in the earth 
where first there was an open pit mine, out of which enormous 
riches were taken in the early days, and where later the under- 

124 A South Dakota Guide 

ground workings of the mine caused the surface to cave in and 
add still further to the immense cavity. The Open Cut changed the 
whole topography of Lead. As it kept increasing in size and depth, 
the rest of the city retreated respectfully before it. 

North Mill St. was at one time the leading business street of 
Lead, boasting the largest buildings in the city and most of the 
business activity. Formerly about 5 blocks long, now only one block 
remains and there are no buildings on it. The rest of the street has 
dropped into the Open Cut. But even then the Open Cut was not 
satisfied. In advance of its yawning cavity, the lower end of the 
new Main Street became unsafe. Its buildings were condemned, 
including the abandoned North Western depot, and business re 
treated W. along the sloping thoroughfare. Today the lower end 
of Main St. is denuded of buildings and next to this vacant space 
stand those which have been abandoned but are not yet torn down. 
The upper end of Main St., however, which is the present business 
center, stands on land which will not be subject to caving, and the 
same is true of the newest residence section on the hill above. But 
in the pavement of lower Main St. from time to time new cracks 
appear; and portions of the street have sunk several feet below 
their former level. 

3. GRIER PARK, named in honor of T. J. Grier, a former 
superintendent of the Homestake Mine, is at the west end of Main 
St. and joins the city on the south. It is one of the highest hills in 
Lead and comprises 13 acres. In it are swings and other play 
ground equipment, a large pavilion for dances and meetings, and 
what is probably one of the most unusual baseball diamonds in 
the world. Well over a mile high, it was built by the Homestake at 
a cost of $50,000 by blasting off two sharp peaks. Only by such 
means as this could level ground be obtained anywhere in Lead. 
One side of the diamond slopes sharply toward the city while the 
other drops into a canyon a thousand feet 'below. Ground rules 
had to be established. If the ball goes over teh precipice be 
tween such and such a point, it is good for so many bases. Other 
wise, every ball struck out of the immediate field would be good 
for a home run. Visiting teams usually are affected somewhat by 
the unaccustomed altitude, but this does not account entirely for 
the athletic successes of the husky sons of the miners. Only with 
the facilities provided by this field is the Lead High School en 
abled to compete with other schools in baseball, football, and track 

Cities Lead 125 

Grier Park is also the scene of an annual Labor Day celebration, 
consisting of various sports and contests. Formerly the feature of 
the celebration was a series of turtle races. Every Homestake em 
ployee bet on a turtle decided 'by lot. The race was run off in a 
number of heats, until the winner was determined. The turtles were 
numbered and released in the center of a large ring and left to 
their own devices. The first turtle to cross the circle at any point 
was the winner of that heat. A more fair (and a more uncertain) 
race could hardly be devised. It was more of a gamble even than 
the "wild horse race" of the rodeo. The proceeds of the Turtle Day 
Races, minus the prizes that went to the winners, were devoted to 
the welfare of Homestake employees. 

4. The RECREATION BUILDING, on the south side of Main 
Street, is a clubhouse built by the Homestake for the use of its em 
ployees. On the ground floor is a large room with chairs, tables, 
and periodicals, a place for general visiting. On the second floor 
is the FREE: LIBRARY, established in 1894 and today ranking with 
the best in the State. In the basement are bowling alleys, for 
the use of 'both men and women, and a swimming pool. All these 
are free to employees. There is also in the building a motion picture 

5. In the basement of CHRIST CHURCH (EPISCOPAL) on 
the south side of upper Main Street is a FREE KINDERGARTEN, esta 
blished in 1900 by Mrs. Phoebe Hearst, mother of William Ran 
dolph Hearst. 


Railroad Stations: Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific R. R., 
S. end of Main St.; Chicago and North Western R. R., Main St. and 
Eighth Ave. Bus Station: Red Ball, Custer Highway, Interlake, Pal 
ace City and Intercity Lines, Union depot, 114 S. Main St. Airport: No 
regular lines, municipal airport, 3 m. N. on State 37. Taxis: 25c up 

Traffic Regulations: No double parking, and parking limitations 
where marked. Parking Spaces: Free parking spaces N. Main St. and 
Fourth Ave W.; 200-block E. Second Ave. 

Accommodations: Two first class hotels; several cabin camps. 

Tourist Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, 203 First 
Ave. W. 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: Local productions and road 
shows at Corn Palace; three motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Municipal field, night baseball games, E. Ninth Ave. and 
Fourth St. Swimming: Lake Mitchell. Golf: Lakeview Municipal Golf 
Course, Lake Mitchell, 25c greens fee; Country Club, iy 2 m. E. on 
US 16, admission by invitation. 

Annual Event: Corn Palace festival, last week in September. 

Mitchell (1,312 alt., 12,834 pop.) is situated in the James River 
Valley and is widely known for its Corn Palace, the only one of its 
kind in the world, where the city each year stages a six-day festi 
val as a climax to the harvest season. The town's location in a di 
versified farming region has made it an important trade center. The 
principal industries are meat and poultry packing, butter and cheese 
making, and livestock and grain shipping; tons of frozen eggs are 
shipped to eastern markets annually. 

Following the trend of architecture begun in the nineties, most of 
the long main street has brick structures, although several of the 
old wooden buildings remain. Mitchell, lacking in natural recrea 
tional areas, was one of the first plains cities to create a large arti 
ficial lake to supply its demands. 

A piece of driftwood and an engineer's farsightedness were the 
factors responsible for Mitchell's location. In the late seventies a 
town called Firesteel was started on a creek about two miles from 
the present site of Mitchell and early residents hoped the village 
would be permanent. But in 1879 the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul R. R. sent an engineer to locate a town site. In examining the 
ground near Firesteel the engineer picked up a piece of driftwood, 
"This will never do for a town," he declared emphatically. "Where 

Cities Mitchell 127 

water has been it may come again." The report convinced the rail 
road company and Mitchell was platted. Although Firesteel resi 
dents laughed at the engineer's deductions at the time, two years 
later a flood completely inundated what remained of the town. 
However, 32 residents had moved meantime to the new town 
which had been named for the railroad's president, Alexander 

The disastrous blizzard of 1880 left the town stranded for 16 
weeks without a train and virtually no communication from the 
outside world. Church services continued regularly, however, in a 
hall used also for dances and parties. During services one Sunday, 
after the trains had been blocked for weeks, a man walked into 
the hall engrossed in reading a letter: Believing the long belated 
train had arrived with welcome mail, the congregation, one 'by one, 
slipped out until only one person, a woman, remained. No sermon 
could compete with a letter from home. 

Unlike most frontier prairie towns, Mitchell's first residents in 
cluded many college graduates. The reason was that the Govern 
ment in 1880 opened a land office and employed only college-train 
ed help. Some were married but among them were 15 eligible 
young bachelors. The group organized a dramatic club, and gave 
as its outstanding production "East Lynne." As stage properties 
were often lacking, audiences were implored to use their imagina 
tion. Until 1881 there was 'but one meeting place for all types of 
gatherings a hall over a saloon on Main Street. Here public 
dances, private parties, and religious services were held, the seats 
consisting of plank boards supported by beer kegs. When prospects 
of the town's growth prompted the erection of permanent church 
buildings, the first was the Presbyterian Church, in 1881. 

The city was chartered in 1883 and the prevailing mayor-council 
form of government was adopted. In 1892 the Corn Palace was 
started 1 and the town developed without further fanfare. 


i. CORN PALACE, Main St. and -Sixth Ave. (open weekdays, 
free; Corn Palace week, admission $i), was conceived in 1892 to 
advertise the principal products of the locality. The Corn Palace 
each year attracts thousands of visitors from all parts of South Da 
kota and adjoining States. 

There is a wide contrast between the frame building with its many 
turrets and towers that housed the first Corn Palace crowds in the 

128 A South Dakota Guide 

"Gay Nineties" and the spacious modern structure erected in 1921 
at a cost of $300,000 with a capacity of 5,000. 

Its exterior and interior are decorated with corn, 2 to 3 thousand 
bushels 'being used each year, and some 40 tons of other grains 
in bundle form. Flax, oats, millet, proso, and cane are all com 
bined to picture a different theme each year. Designs are changed 
from time to time. One year, for example, in portraying local tra 
dition, an interior panel showed an Indian chief beside his prairie 
tipi, buffalo meat roasting over the fire, while with misgivings he 
pointed toward the next panel, the sod shanty of a settler. Next 
came a house and barn of the nineties, followed by a large field 
with stacks of grain and finally a modern farmstead. Two large 
exterior panels, 14 x 35 feet, supplemented by smaller ones, de 
pict other scenes. Ten separate shades of corn are used in imparting 
a lifelike appearance to the scenes, many of the colors having been 
developed for specific use near Mitchell. When unprecedented 
drought ruined crops in most parts of the State in 1936, boughs of 
evergreen trees from the Black Hills were employed as a substitute 
for the regular materials to aid in carrying out the scheme of the 

Many nationally known bands have played in the Corn Palace, 
while among its visitors have been numerous prominent men, in 
cluding Theodore Roosevelt, William J. Bryan, William H. Taft, 
and Franklin D. Roosevelt. Throughout the year the Corn Palace 
is used for educational and recreational events. 

Cabe St., began in 1885 with the erection of Merrill Hall, which 
was destroyed 3 years later by a fire that took the lives of four stu 
dents. Constructed of Sioux Falls granite, the present group of 
buildings is set in a picturesque 2O-acre campus. 

Noted for its extensive department of music Dakota Wesleyan's 
a capella choir of more than 50 trained voices tours the State and 
presents concerts each year. The institution is also noted for its 
dramatics, featured by the Prairie Players of 40 members. 

3. TWO HACKBERRY TREE'S more than 50 years old stand 
on the corner of 4th Ave. and Rowley St. When mere twigs they 
were brought to Mitchell in a satchel and planted in the yard where 
they now stand. They are still growing, despite their age and the 
adverse weather conditions of recent years. 

4. FARM MARKET, W. 4th Ave., is operated wholly by farm 
women. Every Wednesday and Saturday women offer for sale all 

Cities Mitchell 129 

kinds of homebaked goods in addition to fresh farm produce and 
dressed poultry. 

5. MUSEjUM, 203 First Ave., W. (open daily; free), has an ex 
cellent collection of artifacts excavated from the Arikara Indian 
Village near Lake Mitchell, including a large pottery 'bowl and 
various implements of war. Sioux Indian trinkets, mounted birds 
and animals, and agricultural exhibits are displayed. The museum is 
sponsored by the Lions Club, and a curator is furnished by the 
Works Progress Administration. 

TOUR i 2.2m. 

N. from 6th Ave. on Main St. 

6. LAKE MITCHELL, Main St. and Lakeshore Drive, was 
formed by damming Firesteel Creek and impounding the water in 
the creek bed. The city planned, financed and constructed the dam 
and spillway as a park improvement. It is popular in summer for 
fishing, boating and swimming. 

L. from Main St. on Lakeshore Drive 

7. In GRACELAND CEMETERY, L. of the Road, is the 
ISRAEL GREENE: MONUMENT, a large, red stone marker bearing the 
coat of arms of the Greene family Nathaniel Greene of Revolu 
tionary War fame and Israel Greene who captured John Brown 
at Harpers' Ferry in 1859 while a lieutenant under Gen. Robert E. 
Lee. When the Civil War was over, Israel Greene came to Mitchell 
as a surveyor, living there the rest of his life. 

8. An OUTDOOR AMPHITHEATRE is situated in a natural 
depression beside the lake on the west bank, and has a heavy green 
turf which is used in summer for city band concerts (free) and 

9. ARIKARA INDIAN VILLAGE SITE, marked by a large 
sign (R) (see Indians and Indian Life), includes several acres of 
concentric rings, 10 to 20 feet in diameter, indicating where mud 
huts stood sometime prior to 1700. Pieces of broken pottery and 
flint scrapers are still found in remains of rubbish heaps on the 
grounds. A double defense trench forms the NW. boundary of 
the village. 


Rockport Hutterite Colony, i8m. (see Tour 5, Section a). 


(Map of Pierre and Vicniity in back pocket) 

Railroad Station: Chicago & North Western R.R., Pierre Street 
and Pleasant Drive. 

Bus Station: Red Ball, Pioneer, and Pierre-Winner lines, Union Bus 
Depot, US 14 and Capitol Ave. Airport: Walter J. Smith Airport, 3% 
miles N. Taxis: Flat rate 50c for 1 or 4 passengers. 

Traffic Regulations: Turns may be made either right or left at in 
tersections. No U turns on Pierre Street. Drive through Statehouse 
grounds is one-way. 

Accommodations: Three hotels and five tourist camps. 

Tourist Information Service: Chamber of Commerce Bureau, lobby 
of St. Charles Hotel. 

Theaters: Two motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Hyde Park Stadium, Capitol Ave. opposite Capitol Lake. 
Polo Field: Near polo barns, N.W. at city limits. Golf: Country Club, 
9-hole course half-mile N.E. of the Statehouse. Green fees. Swimming: 
Free pool, city park near St. Mary's Hospital. Indoor pool, Locke 
Hotel. Riding: Horses for hire at Polo Barns, N.W. at city limits, 
and at Tyler Ranch 3 m. E. and ^4 m. S. Rates, 50c per hour. Tennis: 
Public courts opposite Statehouse. 

PIERRE, (pronounced "peer," 1,442 alt., 4,013 pop.), second 
smallest capital city in the Nation, is in the approximate geograph 
ical center of South Dakota and North America, and stands where 
the East-river farming section of the State merges with the West- 
river ranching country. At this natural and geographical "transi- 
tionary" point lies Pierre, neither eastern nor western. Here the 
West-River rancher with his typical broad-brimmed hat, dark shirt 
and high-heeled boots rubs elbows with the East-river farmer, the 
business man, and the Government official, giving a dual character 
to the town. 

Pierre is spread: out along the broad Missouri River, with rock 
and yucca-covered gumbo buttes bordering the town to the north 
and east. In the center of town on a plateau is the State Capitol, 
its dome dominating the landscape. Part of the town is on a rise 
of ground between the river bottoms and the buttes; the reason 
for Pierre being so spread out is the result of rivalry between early 
land promoters. Owners of land "on the hill," the section of town 
north of the railroad tracks, battled the owners "on the flat." Each 
sought to encourage expansion their way, but the town insisted 
on growing up between the two sections. Today the many-window 
ed Hyde Home stands lonesome guard on the northern fringe of 



EARLY LEAD was typical of Black Hills towns 
before ipoo, but the picture of Lead at midnight, 
with the Homestake Gold Mine ablaze with hun 
dreds of lights, appears a totally different city. 

Business is conducted on one side of the princi 
pal street in Hot Springs, and on the other side 
occasional fishermen try for trout in Fall River. 
There are tivo pictures of present day Deadwood, 
once the wildest town on the old frontier, where 
each summer the Days of '76 are reenacted. Custer, 
oldest town in the Black Hills, has a splendid mu 
seum housed in the oldest log cabin in the Hills. 

In Rapid City the WPA helped the city build 
Dinosaur Park, where life-sized reproductions of 
five prehistoric reptiles who once roamed this area 
glower down upon the city. In the upper left cor 
ner of the accompanying picture is the Bronto- 
saurus, the giant of them all, which probably 
weighed 15 tons but had a two-ounce brain; upper 
right is the Stegosaurus (foreground) and the 
Trachodon; the lower view shows the Tyranno- 
saurus rex and Triceratops posed in combat. 

For action, there is the annual Black Hills 
Round-up at Belle Fourche. 










I few. 



o w 

tf PQ- 

Cities Pierre 131 

the city, and pretentious homes of eastern capitalists are grouped 
at the extreme city limits to the east and south. 

In spite of years of progress and development, Pierre remains 
a frontier town in many respects. Progress, with its backbone of 
brick and steel, has made substantial headway, but a walk through 
the business district, where modern brick stores have as neighbors 
squatty, false-front frame buildings, emphasizes the old-new com^- 

Pierre claims to be the only city on the Missouri River owning 
its entire stretch of waterfront, which it has converted into parks. 
The city also owns and operates its own light and power plant, 
natural gas business, water system, liquor store, auditorium, tourist 
camp, swimming pool, and a recreational park at Farm Island. 

Although much of the city's revenue is furnished by State and 
Federal pay-rolls, the basic source of its prosperity is the livestock 
industry. A self -curing buffalo grass makes grazing profitable 
are, for the most part, in either of two groups: those who hold 
State or Federal positions, and those who have permanent. homes 
and businesses. The first group is migratory, changing with each 
administration ; the other consists of early settlers, their grown chil 
dren, and business and professional men who have been attracted 
by the steady incomes. The social life is centered around the State 
and political balls. There are numerous social clubs and those for 
recreation such as country clubs, polo and riding clubs, and skeet 
shooting organizations. 

The town received its name when J.. D. and Anson Hilger of 
Bismarck consigned a shipment of lumber and household goods 
down the river in 1880 to "Pierre, on the east side of the river, 
'opposite Ft. Pierre." At that time Pierre was simply a ferry land 
ing for the bustling town of Fort Pierre across the river (see Tour 
4). Upon the arrival of the Hilger barge, Napoleon 'Duchneau and 
two other ferrymen paid a social visit while the brothers had gone 
off seeking a likely-looking homestead claim. A three-gallon keg of 
whiskey was discovered among the boxes, and a jamboree was 
staged in the absence of the owners, after, which the ravine was 
promptly called Whiskey Gulch. The incident in Whiskey Gulch, 
north of the present railroad bridge, typified the spirit of the early 
eighties, as whiskey and guns were staple articles of trade and fig 
ured in many land deals and purchases of food and clothing. Joseph 
Kirley, who with Duchneau ran the ferry, paved the way for the 

Cities Pierre 133 

first railroad 'by trading his squatter claim along the river to the 
Chicago & North Western railroad for a double-barreled shotgun. 
Before the first train arrived in 1880, the little town was recog 
nized as a convenient stopping-off place when making the long 
stagecoach or ox-train trip to the Black Hills. And with the com 
ing of the railroad, Pierre became the mecca for bull-whackers, sol 
diers, gamjblers, prospectors, ranchers, settlers, and notorious out 
laws. With persons of every description contributing to Pierre's 
prosperity in the early eighties, law and order battled with turmoil 
and confusion. A severe blizzard marooned the town from the world 
for five months, while pent-up emotions of outlaws found release 
in riotous plundering of limited supplies. Citizens formed the Pierre 
Vigilantes, rounded up the desperadoes, and sent them down the 

In 1881-82 the town boomed as the surrounding country was set 
tled and Pierre became the center of a large trading area as well 
as the terminus of the railroad. Nearly $1,000,000 were spent in 
one year as the rival land promoters fought tooth and nail for 
choice building lots, speculating as to where the railroad would 
build its bridge across the Missouri. Mostly unpainted and with 
protecting porch-effect roofs extending over board walks, Pierre 
was a thriving frontier town when incorporated in 1883. 

After losing to Bismarck in 1883 for the Dakota Territorial cap 
ital, Pierre set out to be the 'State capital and won in 1889 when 
South Dakota was admitted to the Union. Once possessing the dis 
tinction, Pierre had to fight to keep it. A bitter struggle developed 
when Mitchell tried to wrest the seat of government from Pierre. 
The railroads serving the two towns got into the thick of the battle. 
Thousands jammed Pierre and Mitchell on free railroad passes ; ho 
tels and rooming houses were packed. When the smoke cleared 
away after the 1904 election Pierre settled down to a well earned 
rest, still the Capital City. 

In 1907 the North Western railroad extended its line west to 
Rapid City. This, with the opening of the Sioux Indian lands west 
of the river, increased Pierre's business. It was not until 1927, 
however, that a highway bridge connected Pierre with the ranching 
country. Three years of drought 1934-36, while making inroads into 
the prosperity of most South Dakota cities, affected Pierre only 
slightly in comparison, the large government payrolls acting as a 
financial stabilizer. 

134 A South Dakota Guide 


i. The STATE OAPITOL, Capitol Ave. E. (open weekdays 8 
to 5; guide on first floor) was 'begun in 1907 and occupied in 1910. 
It was constructed at a cost of $1,000,000 under the supervision 
of State Engineer Samuel H. Lea. O. H. Olson was the architect. 
By 1931 the needs of the State demanded more office space, and 
an annex was added to the north side of the 'building at a cost of 
$250,000, doubling the office capacity. 

Although the design suggests the Capitol at Washington with 
its central rotunda flanked by legislative wings, it is in no sense 
a copy of the older structure. The corridor of the first floor runs 
the entire length of the building, the walls of which are decor 
ated with portraits of personages notable in the history of the 

The lower portion of the building is constructed of sandstone; 
the walls above are of Bedford limestone. Native granite steps in 
front and door cases add trimming. A broad marble staircase leads 
to the main floor above which rises the 165 ft. dome. Around the walls 
of the rotunda are four allegorical paintings by Edward Simons, 
each with a feminine figure representing respectively the family, 
mining, agriculture, and the livestock industry. 

The first suite of rooms on the south side of the west wing is 
for the use of the governor. A painting by Edwin H. Blashfield, 
called the "-Spirit of the West" is in the main reception room. 

At the head of the staircase leading to the legislative floor is a 
painting by Edward Simons representing the beginning of State 
commerce a white man bargaining with an Indian for a pelt. In 
the wing to the west is the Senate Chamber, and to the east is the 
House Chamber. 

The FREE TRAVELING LIBRARY is housed in the annex. The library 
furnishes books to readers and clubs in small towns and rural com 

East of the Capitol is picturesque CAPITOL LAKE, resembling 
a large sunken pool in a vast, well-kept lawn. The lake, fed 
by warm artesian well water, is the home of numerous wild water 
fowl that remain summer and winter. Bordering the western shore 
is an attractive rock garden, featured by three ponds, called the red, 
white, and blue ponds because of the three colors of water lilies, 
one color in each pond. A footpath of glistening white quartz, bor- 

Cities Pierre 135 

dered by vari-shaped pieces of petrified wood, leads to the ponds in 
which trout, catfish, pickerel, pike, bullheads, and other kinds of 
fish are kept during the summer. Across the lake is the GOVERNOR'S 
RESIDENCE, a rambling white house built of native lumber, brick and 
stone with the aid of the Works Progress Administration in 1936. 

2. MEMORIAL HALL, opposite the Statehouse on Capitol Ave. 
(open weekdays 8 to 5; offices of State Historical Society on main 
floor), is dedicated to South Dakota soldiers and sailors who lost 
their lives in the World War and houses the State Historical So 
ciety, Department of History, and State Museum. The cornerstone 
was laid in 1930 and the building was occupied in 1932. 

Constructed of Hot Springs, S. Dak., sandstone, the building is 
stately and of classic design. Six large Ionic columns support the 
temple-like entrance ; an elaborate frieze borders the top of the 
building, forming a sharp contrast to the pale sandstone walls. 
Windows are at the first story only, the second being served by 
skylights. Steps of Milbank granite lead to the entrance. The archi 
tects were Hugill and Blatherwick of Sioux Falls, S. Dak. 

In the curve of the retaining wall is a large rock in which is 
visible the imprint of a human hand, believed to have been chiseled 
there with a sharp rock by an Indian. 

The sandstone interior of Memorial Hall is carried out in the 
same classical manner as the exterior. A broken column, symbolic 
of the lives given in battle, stands with a girdle of four burning 
torches at the top of the first eight steps of the stairway to the sec 
ond floor. In the background is a memorial window of cathedral 
glass, beneath which is a bronze tablet inscribed "In Flanders 
Fields." Each of the three side walls of the lobby has a carved stone 
,slab bearing the symbols of the divisions with which South Dakota 
troops were identified. 

In the Museum is the lead plate planted by the Verendrye expe 
dition in 1743, claiming the land for France. It was found on a 
hill overlooking Fort Pierre in 1913 and represents the first authen 
tic record of the presence of white men within the present confines 
of the State. (See HISTORY.) 

Among the museum exhibits are sand crystals, collected in south 
western South Dakota, one of the two places in the world where 
they are found. 

3. INDIAN MUSEUM, on the second floor of the Memorial 

Building, includes the Mary C. Collins and DeLorme W. Robinson 

136 A South Dakota Guide 

collections. The former shows Sitting Bull's relics his sacred buf 
falo head, flutes, medicine bag, and peace pipe. Tomahawks with 
human hair streamers are displayed. Other exhibits include a gun 
collection, a World War display, mounted animals, a case of skulls 
of historical characters, and relics of early days in Dakota Terri 

4. HISTORICAL LIBRARY, in the right wing of Memorial 
Hall, has 7,500 volumes, in addition to many manuscripts and doc 
uments of historical importance. This library is a depository for 
official documents of the State and Federal Governments. The State 
Historical Society attempts to obtain everything in print pertaining 
to South Dakota, or written by present or former South Dakotans ; 
and it is considered to be the best collection of such material in ex 
istence. Many of its possessions, especially pamphlets and records, 
are the originals. 

Pierre St., is a modern, four-story building with brick walls 
faced with native granite boulders gathered from the hillsides near 
Pierre. It is trimmed with Hot Springs sandstone, the entrances 
carved by Joseph Auer. A stone slab from the first building marked 
"1883 Hughes County Courthouse," is built into the wall on the 
first floor. 

6. FEDERAL BUILDING, cor. Capitol Ave. and Huron St., 
was built in 1906 of Bedford limestone and houses the post office 
on the main floor. The U. S. Land Office for South Dakota, Bureau 
of Public Roads and Federal Court occupy the second floor. 

7. RIVERSIDE PARK, extending from the highway bridge to 
Belleview St., has a swimming pool (open daily except Mon. in 
summer, and every evening; free), municipal tourist camp and pic 
nic grounds. In 1928 Mayor John Hippie obtained the first Fed 
eral permit of its kind allowing the use of old automobile bodies 
to make dikes and keep the Missouri River's current from eating 
away the shoreline, reclaiming and enlarging the strip of parking 
along its banks. 

8. THE THREE SISTERS, Missouri Ave. and Crow St., were 
originally three, now survived by two, towering cottonwoods in. 
Riverside Park. They are believed to mark the spot where a ship 
loaded with bullion sank in the i86o's. The legend connected with 
them has several times caused excavations and shaft drilling for 

Cities Pierre 137 

the lost gold. The story is that a ship carrying gold from the mines 
in Montana came down the Missouri River with its precious cargo 
years before settlement was begun on the site of Pierre. The ship 
sank in the treacherous river near where three large trees stood 
close together. A search was made for the Three Sisters along the 
river bank, and these trees were believed to be the ones mentioned 
in the ship's dispatches. In 1922 a company was organized and a 
shaft sunk, but neither gold nor ship was found. The shaft, sunk 
in solid ground where the shifting river used to flow, can still be 
seen, covered with boards. 

Pioneers recall having seen Indian bodies in these trees, in accord 
ance with their custom of disposing of the dead high above ground. 

10. The HYDE HOUSE, Grand Ave. at Eighth St., was built 
by Charles L. Hyde as a residence in 1890 with the hope that the 
town would soon grow north and west around: it. However, it 
stands alone as an expensive sentinel of the boom days, its white 
cupola overlooking the river breaks. It was donated for an orphan 
age in 1936. 

11. The EAKIN HOME, 1178 Erskine St. (private), was erect 
ed by an eastern capitalist in the eighties, and marks the extreme 
edge of Pierre to the east; but when it was built the town was 
expected to grow in that direction. 

12. ST. MARY'S HOSPITAL, E. Dakota Ave., was founded in 
1889, when five Benedictine Sisters with a capital of $50 arrived in 
Pierre with the intention of founding a school. Shortly after their 
arrival, Dr. D. W. Robinson persuaded them to found a hospital 
instead. The Sisters expended their little capital in furnishing one 
room of an abandoned hotel; and as their funds slowly increased, 
they furnished the remaining rooms, one after another. The original 
building, which adjoins the modern structure on the west, was thus 
slowly remodeled from a hotel to a hospital. It now serves as the 
nurses' home. 

TOUR 14.87^. 
. from Capitol Ave. on Lewis and Clark Road. 

13. The PIERRE INDIAN SCHOOL (R), (open; adm. free; 
liquor prohibited) is a Federal institution with several large build 
ings, occupying 300 acres of land along the Missouri River. Here 
some 250 Indian boys and girls live and engage in agriculture, live 
stock raising, domestic science, mlusic, and athletics, in addition to 

138 A South Dakota Guide 

their academic subjects. Music plays an important part in the 
school's curriculum, most interesting of all being the endeavor to 
perpetuate the old Indian songs and dances. Dormitories house the 
boys and girls who attend the school, some of whom remain the 
year around. The institution was secured for the city by Charles H. 
Burke of Pierre while Commissioner of Indian Affairs at Washing 
ton, and one of the buildings bears his name. 

The students, for the most part, are young orphaned children or 
those conning from broken homes. Observation of the children about 
the campus reveals a striking variation in racial characteristics. 
Some of the youths are from homes of full-blood parents, some 
show partial Indian traits, while many, through intermarriage of 
their forebears with the whites, have lost every semblance of their 
Indian heritage, there being some children with blond or reddish 

Before reaching the campus proper the road passes a sunken gar 
den (L) and recreation grounds. The gymnasium-auditorium is 
directly ahead as the road turns R. in a tour of the grounds. It is 
near the gymnasium that the bones of three Indians were unearthed 
in 1934 during road-building operations. Following the road west 
the last building in the group is an Episcopal chapel built by the 
Indian students. For a continued circle about the grounds, turn L. 
east of the chapel and continue, ultimately returning to the campus 
entrance. On the way are the power plant, dining room, machine 
shop, barns, and two dormitories. The largest dormitory, Morgan 
Hall, was destroyed by fire during the summer of 1936, resulting 
in a loss of nearly $100,000. 

14. GRANITE BOULDERS (L), studding abruptly-rising hills, 
give an impression of utter wasteland, land unfit even for grazing. 
But these boulders are useful for building purposes and are the 
only ones of their kind found west of St. Cloud, Minn., a fact lend 
ing credence to the belief that a glacier transported them from that 
distant point to their present location. 

R. from Lewis and Clark Road on Farm Island Road. 

15. TYLER HORSE RANCH raises polo ponies. One of the 
Pierre polo teams which annually plays at Ft. Snelling, Minne 
apolis, and other cities, practices here. 

16. The SITE OF OLD FORT SULLY, marked by a monument 
L. of road, is called Old Fort Sully to distinguish it from another 
of the same name, 30 miles north of Pierre, which replaced the 

Cities Pierre 139 

first one (see Tour 4). Old Fort Sully was built in 1863 amid the 
unrest caused by Indian disturbances during the Civil War. Named 
for Gen. Alfred Sully, the fort was never a garrison, but was 
merely headquarters for troops stationed in the vicinity. The struc 
ture was more or less temporary with none of the substantial build 
ings of its successor. 

17. FARM ISLAND, a public city park in the Missouri River, 
is a heavily-timbered stretch of land 3 miles long, connected with 
the mainland by a dam. It is popular as a recreation point and for 
its picknicking facilities. So named because in the early days sol 
diers of Fort Pierre and fur traders used it for farming purposes, 
the island now has little resemblance to the sandy, brush-covered 
strip on which a party of the Lewis and Clark expedition hunted 
deer and elk in 1804. CCC boys, working with the U. S. Forestry 
Service, have constructed shelter cabins, lodges for Boy Scouts and 
Girl Scouts, a community building, roads, and still other buildings. 
There is a nursery for the growth of seedlings of more than a 
dozen varieties of trees that are transplanted in the Shelterbelt 

The dam connecting the island with the mainland was built by 
CCC boys, who accomplished what many engineers thought impos 
sible the taming of the impetuous surging waters of the river. 
Thirty-five thousand cubic yards of earth and rock were required to 
dam this arm of the stream. When finished, it created a still body 
of water, named Hippie Lake, in honor of Mayor John Hippie of 
Pierre, who was an energetic force in promoting Farm Island im 

The island is a sanctuary for birds, and hunting is prohibited. 
Besides song-birds, many pheasants are finding this a refuge from 
the hunters' guns. There are numerous varieties of wild flowers on 
the island among them gumbo lilies, wild roses, and morning glo 
ries. Visitors are forbidden to pick wild flowers or wild fruit 
buffalo berries, grapes, chokecherries, and plums. 

There are various routes on the island. Probably the most scenic 

, of them is SHORELINE DRIVE, the first road (R) after reaching the 

island. This drive winds near the shore through a thickly wooded 

section composed mostly of cedar. On the way are several picnic 

spots (L). 

By taking the first road L. after emerging from the thick tim 
ber on Shoreline Drive, a new BOY SCOUT CABIN is reached (L) and 
just beyond, on the same side of the road, is the CCC Camp, which 

140 A South Dakota Guide 

houses more than 150 boys who have done most of the work in 
beautifying the island. In bearing to the right the road passes over 
a sandy course with picnic grounds and a new shelter cabin of 
native stone and logs from the Black Hills. 

GROUNDS of the Shelterbelt program. Here hundreds of trees com 
prising a dozen different varieties are grown through irrigation and 
later shipped to be transplanted along the Shelterbelt strip. 

Beyond the Girl Scout Camp is the LEWIS AND CLARK MONU 
MENT, erected in memory of the hunting party's visit to the island 
in 1804. 

Right from the monument is an OLD CABIN, built so long ago that 
no one in the vicinity knows when or why it was placed there ; and 
L. is a new community 'building. The road follows Hippie Lake 
to the entrance. 


(Map of Rapid City in back pocket) 

Railroad Stations: C. & N. W., Rapid St. between 8th and 9th; C. 
M. St. P. & P., 7th and Omaha Sts.; R. C. B. H. & W., Rapid and 8th 
Sts. Bus Stations: Black Hills Transportation Co. Good connections 
with other bus lines and trains. Black Hills tours arranged. Taxis: 
Black Hills Transportation Co., 25c city, 5c charge additional passen 
gers and baggage, or lOc per m. country; Yellow Cab, 25c per m., 
country charge lOc per m. 

Traffic Regulations: Limited parking time restriction, main business 
area, no charge. 

Accommodations: Three hotels, numerous apartment-hotels, board 
ing houses, tourist camps. Wide range of rates. 

Information Service: Rapid City Chamber of Commerce, Harney 

Motion Picture Houses: Three first-class motion picture houses. 

Swimming: Canyon Lake; Canyon Lake beach W. on St. Joe St. to 
Baken Park, turn L. and follow Canyon Lake road. Golf: Rapid City 
Country Club, SW. of Canyon Lake. Tennis Courts: City recreation 
center, E. Main St. 

Rapid City (3,231 alt., 11,346 pop.) derives its name from Rapid 
Creek on which it is built. Situated in the foothills at the mouth of 
Rapid Canyon, where the river enters the broad expanse of prairie 
that extends east almost 200 miles to the Missouri River, Rapid 
City forms the link between the northern and southern hills of 
South Dakota's Black Hills. 

The city is spread over a flat, lying in a natural gateway to the 
purple-hued mountains which rise to the west. Winding through 
the middle of town is the tortuous channel of Rapid Creek, and 
during the summer barefoot boys and hip-booted men line its banks 
just off Main Street. The streets, laid out with a pocket compass, 
are broad, and only one tall building breaks the even skyline. As 
the town expands, it is growing along the river up Rapid Canyon 
where the city has built an artificial lake and a large municipal 

During the summer months Rapid City residents retreat into the 
mountains during the evenings and holidays to fish and rest. The 
tourist traffic swells the population in summer, and craft shops dis 
playing native pottery, Indian curios and stone or mineral decora 
tions have sprung up. During the heyday of ranching, saddle mak- 

142 A South Dakota Guide 

ing was one of the most important industries in Rapid City, but a 
cement plant, lumber mill, packing plant, flour mill and creameries 
have become the leading industries. 

That its centralized location and comparative accessibility would 
some day make this the distributing center of a great portion of the 
State west of the Missouri River was the vision of a group of 
disheartened prospectors had over a campfiire on the outskirts of 
the present site of the town on February 23, 1876. Out of that con 
versation the town was born ; for two days later four leaders of the 
little party, Sam Scott, John Ri. Brennen, John W. Allen, and James 
Carney, all of whomi had been in nearby mining camps, realizing 
they were better suited for this work, 'began to lay out the new 

Settlers immediately began to erect log houses and to consider 
how they could persuade business enterprises to locate there. Word 
reached the embryo city that a man from Bismarck was entering 
the Black Hills with a sawmill. A committee at once set out to meet 
him and induce him to set up his mill near Rapid City. Other mien 
coming into the Hills with stocks of merchandise were persuaded 
to stop at Rapid City. 

White settlement in this Indian territory would violate treaties 
signed by the Indians and the United States Government. So the 
latter declared all white persons in the Hills to be trespassers, 
ordered them to leave, and stationed guards on all trails to stop 
further immigration. The Indians, realizing that the white men 
were trying to usurp their last domain, began to use extreme meas 
ures as a right of self-preservation. 

Still immigrants sifted through. Guards were placed on the 
trails from Sidney, Neb., Pierre, S. Dak., Cheyenne, Wyo., and 
Bismarck, N. Dak. The Indians lurked along the trails and the 
outskirts of the settlement to kill helpless travelers. By summer food 
and ammunition were getting scarce. Hundreds of discouraged set 
tlers began to leave. 

On August 23 Rapid City had 200 residents. The Indians were 
becoming 'bolder. The next day four white men were killed west of 
town. A freighter between Deadwood and Pierre stopped at Rapid 
City on the morning of the 25th. Citizens borrowed his team and 
wagon to get the bodies of the men killed the day before. They re 
turned at noon with the bodies and found wagons loaded and lined 
up ready to start for Pierre with most of the population. 

Cities Rapid City 143 

That afternoon a roll call was taken and only 19 men and one 
woman remained. The following morning the residents were noti 
fied by a traveler from Hill City of another death. The situation by 
this time was serious enough to cause another vote, to discuss 
whether or not the rest should follow the migration to Pierre. They 
voted to "stick it out" and work was immediately started on a 
blockhouse for protection. The new structure, 30 feet square and 
two stories high, was built at the present junction of Rapid and 
Fifth Sts. A well was dug and preparations were made for stub 
born resistance. 

The month that followed put the pioneers to an extreme test. In 
dians appeared every day, and none of the settlers dared leave even 
to hunt or fish. Guards were stationed day and night. Food and 
ammunition became extremely scarce. When hope was almost aban 
doned a small party arrived from Ft. Pierre with the news that the 
Government had withdrawn its blockade. Residents took new cour 
age and attention was at once turned toward developing Rapid 

The largest factor in that development was probably transporta 
tion. ^Stages from Ft. Pierre and Sidney, Neb., served the new 
town and gradually its favorable location brought results. At first 
dubbed the "Hay Camp" by the mining interests in the Hills, Rapid 
City carried this title for several years. 

The first railroad to enter Rapid City was the Fremont, Elkhorn 
& Missouri River, from Gordon, Neb. July 4, 1886, was the day 
set for the first passenger train to arrive. As the train pulled into 
the station, a faked stagecoach hold-up was enacted in sight of the 
passengers and the throng that had congregated to see the first 
train come in. The holdup was a joke for the "bandits," but a seri 
ous episode for passengers on the stage. Dr. Pierce, driver of the 
stage, had previously arranged with nine other men to rob the pas 
sengers as he drove a four-horse team up to the depot just as the 
train pulled in. He had persuaded 10 or 12 unsuspecting young 
men who were generally well supplied with cash to ride with him 
on the stage to the depot. As the stage pulled up to the depot one 
"outlaw" grabbed the lead team and- "buckled" it, so that further 
progress was impossible. The other "desperadoes" with six-shooters 
in their hands ordered the passengers out, lined them up, and took 
their cash, turning them all free after the job was completed. That 
afternoon and evening the former "desperadoes" were busy treat 
ing everybody, especially the innocent passengers. 

144 A South Dakota Guide 

The Government established a post office in Rapid City, April 
18, 1877, and all mail for the Black Hills came through this office. 
Soon after this followed the establishment of the first newspaper, 
the first edition of which was published by Joseph and Alice Gos- 
sage Jan. 5, 1878, and called The Black Hills Journal. On Feb. 2, 
1886, it was made a daily. 

In 1907 Rapid City was the goal of two great railroad systems 
the Chicago & North Western and the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. 
Paul & Pacific. In an effort to reach the Black Hills first, both com 
panies started construction at the Missouri River and at Rapid City. 
The North Western's golden spike was driven near Philip, and the 
first train arrived from Ft. Pierre July 10, 1907. The Milwaukee 
drove its golden spike July 18, and the first train from Chicago 
reached Rapid City on July 20. 

One of the enterprises that has kept the business men of Rapid 
City interested from an early day is the railroad up Rapid Canyon 
(see Tour 15). Some travelers have declared that it has more 
bridges, more curves, and more beautiful scenery for its 31.6 miles 
than a like distance n any other railroad in North America. 

In 1904, after financial difficulties and reorganization, the road 
was completed to Mystic and the first train made the trip in 1906. 
In June 1907 a seven-inch cloudburst washed the track from! the 
grade in most places and left only two out of 113 bridges strong 
enough to support an engine. The loss was too great for the com 
pany and it was turned over to receivership a second time. When 
the company reorganized again in 1909 the line was given its pres 
ent name, the Rapid City, Black Hills & Western RR. When in 
1920 the price of old iron reached an almost fabulous figure, many 
of the investors wished to sell the road as junk; but the suggestion 
aroused Rapid City residents who organized a company with local 
capital, took over the majority of the stock and bonds, and en 
abled the road to continue operation. 

In 1922 Rapid City adopted the city manager form of govern 
ment with nine commissioners: The city manager is the administra 
tive and executive head of the city. 

During President Coolidge's visit to the Black Hills in 1927, the 
high school building on Columbus St. was used by him and his 
staff as the SUMMER WHITE HOUSE OFFICE, the President 
driving back and forth each day from the Summer White House 
at the State Game Lodge (see Tour 5). 

Cities Rapid City 145 


Joe St., was established by law in 1885. During the earlier period 
of its history the institution was largely devoted to the teaching of 
mining and metallurgical engineering and the study of the mineral 
resources of western South Dakota. As the demand for training 
in engineering subjects developed, the curriculum of the School of 
Mines was gradually expanded. And although the original name, 
the South Dakota 'School of Mines, has been retained, the school 
has in reality become a college of engineering. 

The geological situation of the School of Mines offers unex 
celled advantages for the study of engineering. Teaching activi 
ties are not confined to the campus, 'but full use is made of the 
splendid field and laboratory facilities of the entire Black Hills. 
The rare minerals in the vicinity of Keystone, the cement plant and 
several quarries and lime kilns near Rapid City, the sugar plant at 
Belle Fourche, and various steam and hydroelectric plants are easily 
reached from the school. 

2. SCHOOL OF MINES MUSEUM, Administration Building, 
first floor (R) (guide during summer months; free), has been an 
important feature of Rapid City for more than 45 years. The mu 
seum is not merely a collection of curiosities. There are relief maps, 
ores from other famous mining regions and minerals from many 
places. Fossilized skeletons found in South Dakota, particularly in 
the Big Badlands, collected, prepared, and mounted by members of 
the School of Mines, are among the most interesting and valuable 
features of the exhibit. 

The paleontology exhibit contains in profusion fossilized re 
mains of various types of life long since extinct, namely: The an 
cestral camel, rhinoceros, the saber-tooth tiger, three-toed horse, 
giant pigs, a deer no larger than a rabbit, a mother oreodon with 
unborn twins and many other fossils of animals that lived in the 
Badlands millions of years ago. 

Several years ago some workmen while blasting rocks in a quarry 
near Rapid City uncovered in a line of cleavage in the rock the 
perfect imprint of a fish 10 inches long and this is on display in 
the museum. 

3. ALEX JOHNSON HOTEL, cor. 6th and St. Joe Sts., is the 
tallest and most elaborately furnished privately-owned building in 

146 A South Dakota Guide 

the State. It was completed in 1928. This ii-story building of 
early English design is the first one to be seen on approaching the 
city. Indian pictures and decorations are displayed throughout. In 
the banquet hall hangs an oil painting of Alex Johnson by John 
Doctoroff, a Russian artist. 

On the top floor is a roof garden, a display of Black Hills min 
erals and the studio of radio station KOBH. In the solarium at 
the top of the building sun baths through helio glass with ultra 
violet rays are available. From this vantage point there is also an 
excellent view of the city, the distant Badlands and the immediate 
Black Hills. 

4. HALLEY PARK, W. Blvd. at Main and St. Joe Sts., consists 
of a triangle of about three acres. American elm trees surround 
the entire park, with spruce forming the background of a rose 
arbor. There is also a series of rose beds arranged in formal de 
signs, each containing 35 different varieties. Several varieties of 
unusual trees are scattered about the park. A central lily pond with 
numerous varieties of water plants is surrounded by the perennial 
garden with its 25 different types of long-lived plants. 

At the extreme W. end is the OLDEST CABIN built in Rapid City, a 
squat, cozy-looking structure, built in 1876 near its present site. 
Beside the door is a stone with the inscription : 

I was built in the olden, golden days, 

When this was an unknown land ; 

My timbers were hewn by a pioneer, 

With his rifle near at hand. 

I stand as a relic of "Seventy-Six," 

Our nation's centennial year 

That all may see as they enter the Hills, 

The home of a pioneer. 

5. A HORSE CAR, St. Joe St. and West Blvd., is a reminder 
of early-day transportation in Rapid City. It was the only one op 
erated on the mile track, which for 20 years constituted the city's 
transportation system. Back and forth the car was dragged by one 

The street car was a source of enjoyment to cowboys when they 
came to town. A story is told of one cowboy who, desiring to cele 
brate and entertain his friends, chartered the car for the day for 
$10, driving the horse through the streets amid shouts and shots 
from his friends. By mid-afternoon the company manager stopped 

Cities Rapid City 



the hilarious party and offered to refund the money if the cowboy 
would give back the car. 

Another incident, recorded in the Daily Journal of June 14, 1900, 
tells of the settlement of a strike between the company and the 
help. The story reads : "The company agrees to recognize the union 
but the old wages of 'six bits per day' shall stand and the help 'eats 
themselves' !" The track was torn up about 1907. 

6. CITY MUSEUM, St. Joseph St. and West Blvd. (open daily; 
free), was built of uncut limestone with WPA aid in 1937. It 
houses the INDIAN COLLECTION of John A. Anderson who began 
collecting Indian material on the Rosebud Reservation in 1893. In 
the collection are 65 peace and ceremonial pipes, formerly owned 
by leading chiefs of the Sioux Nation, and beaded wearing-apparel, 
aprons, dresses, tobacco-pouches, chaps, vests, moccasins, belts, sad 
dle blankets, papoose carriers, and a Masonic apron finished in 1914 
after one and a half years in the making. A calf hide, once used as 
an Indian calendar, records the history of the tribe dating back to 
the early part of the i7Oo's. The years were recorded by winters 
and the most important event of each is illustrated. 

7. "M"' HILL, E. end of St. Joe St., bears a stone and cement 
letter "M" 112 feet high, 67 feet wide on the hillside. In 1911 the 

148 A South Dakota Guide 

students of the South Dakota School of Mines began building the 
letter with freshman labor on "M Day," annual homecoming event. 
It will be finished in 1942. Each fall freshmen are compelled to 
relay sand and gravel in 30 pound sacks up the steepest slope, then 
each boy is required to carry 15 gallons of water up the longest 
side, followed by a relay of 35 sacks of cement, while upper class 
men urge them on. 

TOUR i 2m. 

IV. from Quincy St. on Skyline Drive. 

8. HANGMAN'S TREE, on Hangman's Hill, is the setting of 
a true tale of the early days of Rapid City. On June 21, 1887, the 
sheriff was notified that his services were required north of town. 
He called for volunteers and 10 men responded. After an absence 
of about two hours the posse returned with three strange men and 
five horses that ! bore the Sidney Stage Company's brand of "LV." 
There was no jail and while the sheriff was deliberating where to 
hold the men for investigation a crowd gathered. One of the wit 
nesses heard the youngest but largest of the three remark : "If they 
had not caught us asleep, they would never have taken us." He 
talked continuously, while the older men said nothing. A witness 
identified the "LV" brand. 

The prisoners were put in a granary and armed guards stationed 
outside. Shortly after the prisoners were lodged in the granary, 
the Deadwood stage arrived with the superintendent of the Crook 
City barn. He immediately identified the horses as the ones taken 
from their barn the night before. Considerable interest was mani 
fested that night over the affair and around the post office specta 
tors heard the phrase, "Whiskey drinks are free tonight, Stage 
Company's treat," passing from mouth to ear. 

The next morning the attention of citizens was drawn to a tree 
on a high hill just west of town, where the bodies of three men 
were visible hanging limply from the limbs. A coroner's inquest 
was held that morning with about 50 men present, and the witness 
heard the testimony of the guards. "Hung at midnight by unknown 
parties," was the verdict signed by Roscoe Burleight, coroner. The 
original tree has long since disappeared, but one that stood close by 
it has been preserved in a casement of stone and cement to com 
memorate the first sentence meted out Ipcally to criminals for so 
serious an offense as horse stealing. 

Cities Rapid City 



The story is that during the night the three prisoners were placed 
on two horses with their hands tied and ropes dangling from their 
necks. The right arm of one and the left arm of the other of the 
two men that rode the one horse were tied together. In this state 
the horses were led up the hill to the big pine tree that had limbs 
extending far out in opposite directions, just high enough to let 
the horses and men pass under. A horse was led on either side and 
when the riders were just beneath the limbs the horses were 
stopped, the ropes thrown over the limbs, and made fast. Those 
details being attended to, the horses were led away and back down 
the hill, leaving the men to atone for their crime. 

9. DINOSAUR PARK (open) has five life-sized prehistoric 
reptiles modeled in cement on the hillside. The reptiles are believed 
to have inhabited this region more than 40,000,000 years ago dur 

150 A South Dakota Guide 

ing the Mesozoic era. The idea of the park was conceived by Dr. 
C. C. O'Harra, late president of the State School of Mines and 
nationally known authority on geology and paleontology. 'Sponsored 
by Rapid City, the park was built with Works Progress Admini 
stration aid. The monstrous prehistoric creatures represented are 
the Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus rex, Brontosaurus, Stegosaurus 
and Trachodon. E. A. Sullivan, Rapid City Attorney and sculptor, 
was the designer; Dr. Barnum Brown, curator of the American 
Museum of Natural History, served as consultant. Fossils of these 
reptiles have been found in the Black Hills and Badlands regions 
of South Dakota; footprints of the Tyrannosaurus rex were found 
two miles N. of the park on the same range of hills and removed 
to Dinosaur Park. 

At the right are the lumbering TRICERATOPS and TYRANNOSAURUS 
REx waging combat. The Triceratops, with features resembling the 
present-day rhinocerous and elephant, was a land reptile with heavy 
scales on its back; as reproduced it is 27 ft. long and n ft. high, 
with 4O-in. horns. A head of this reptile was found in the Badlands 
40 miles SE., and is on exhibit at the School of Mines Museum. 
The Tyrannosaurus rex, resembling a kangaroo, was the only car 
nivorous reptile of the group; swift-moving on its large hind legs, 
it probably roared through the swamps in pursuit of small animals. 
It had from 64 to 70 teeth, some of them six inches long. The fig 
ure has 'been reproduced 35 ft. long and 16 ft. high with a head 41 
in. long. The BRONTOSAURUS, center, was the largest of prehistoric 
reptiles, and this reproduction is larger than any previous. How 
ever, there is no exaggeration, since it is reproduced exactly to the 
measurements of fossils in the American Museum of Natural His 
tory. This amphibian lived in the water, weighed about 15 tons, 
had a 2-ounce brain and a smooth skin. It was a peaceful reptile 
and was preyed upon by smaller animals. As reproduced it is 80 
ft. long and 28 ft. high, and can be seen for 35 miles. The STEGO 
SAURUS (L) was a smaller reptile with large dermal plates protrud 
ing from its back, and from four to eight horns on its tail for pro 
tection. Comparatively little is known about this peculiar looking 
reptile which has been reproduced n ft. long and 7 ft. high. The 
TRACHODON, known as the "Duck Bill," had some features of both 
a duck and a kangaroo. It was a herbivorous reptile with web feet 
and a large bill; the reproduction is 17 ft. high and 33 ft. long. 


(Map of Sioux Falls in back pocket) 

Railroad Stations: Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Ry., 
421 E. 8th St.; Great Northern Ry., 519 E. 8th St.; Chicago, Rock 
Island & Pacific Ry., 201 E. 10th St.; Illinois Central Ry., 304 E. 8th 
St.; Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul & Pacific Ry., 5th St. and Phillips 

Bus Stations: Interstate Bus Co. operating: Interstate Transit Co., 
Jack Rabbit Lines, Southwestern Stages, Haley Transit Co., Ben's Bus 
Lines, Springfield-Sioux Falls Lines, S. Main Ave. and llth St.; Palace 
City Lines directly across from Main Station. Airport: .New airport 
established N. of city in 1937. Taxis: Fares Minimum 25c for 15 
blocks, 5c additional for every 5 blocks. City Bus lines: The Sioux 
Transit Co.; Fares: single lOc, 4 for 25c. 

Traffic Regulations: Speed limit 20 m. p. h., except as indicated by 
signs. On all intersections with stop and go signs, left inside turn 

Parking Lots: Free parking places: Foot of 9th St. % block E. of 
Phillips Ave.; and N. W. corner of 7th St. and Dakota Ave. 

Accommodations: Several hotels; tourist camps. 

Information Service: Sioux Falls Chamber of Commerce, 131 S. 
Phillips Ave. 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: Civic Theater in season at 
YMCA and Coliseum. Special shows, opera companies, local produc 
tions, occasional road shows at Coliseum. Six motion picture houses. 

Athletics: Sioux Falls College; Augustana College; E. Side Ball 
Park; W. Side Ball Park. Swimming: Free Municipal Pools: Drake 
Springs, Covell Lake, Sherman Park. Pools for small children: Mc- 
Kennan Park, E. Side Park. Golf: Minnehaha Country Club, 18 
holes, by invitation. Elmwood Park Golf Course, municipal, 18 holes, 
50c. Riding: Three riding academies: West Sioux Falls, East Side 
and South Side. 

Street Order and Numbering: Avenues N. and S., Streets E. and W. ; 
Phillips Ave. is the dividing line between E. and W. for numbering 
and 9th St. for N. and S. Phillips Ave. and Main Ave. are the prin 
cipal shopping districts. 

Annual Events: Flower Show in June; Made in South Dakota Show, 

Sioux Falls (1,422 alt., 33,644 pop.), named for the falls of the 
Big Sioux River, is the largest city in South Dakota and the most 
important industrial and distributing center in the State. 

The natural beauty of the site upon which Sioux Falls is built 
contrasts with the rather monotonous undulating plains of the sur 
rounding country. The river often designated by early-day chroni- 

152 A South Dakota Guide 

clers as "The Thick- Wooded River" but called "Wakpa-Ipaktan," 
the winding river, by the Sioux Indians, meanders in the form of a 
gigantic S through the center of the city. The -business section fol 
lows the river flats from which the residential districts rise up the 
gradual slopes to the level of the surrounding plains. On the steep 
hill to the north is the State Penitentiary, its sturdy red and white 
stone walls dominating the landscape except for the twin spires of 
St. Joseph's Cathedral which loom infinitely graceful against the 
sky to the west. Although a dam built for power purposes has 
marred the original beauty of the falls, in springtime the swollen 
river tumbles and roars over a series of cascades. The upheaval of 
red quartzite in the rock-banked river is picturesque, for the stone 
has worn smooth and taken on orange, pink and purple hues to 
contrast with the blue-green river and its white foam. 

The unusual coloring of the quartzite gives the town an indi 
viduality, for practically the whole of the city is underlaid by great 
deposits of this durable building material which outcrops in many 
places within the city limits; a number of business buildings, gov 
ernment edifices, churches, schools and residences are constructed 
of this stone. 

Sioux Falls resembles a century-old Eastern city more than one 
of Western flavor so commonly associated with South Dakota the 
great trees that shade residential streets, the stately colleges, the 
numerous churches, the well-kept parks, and the attractive lawns 
and gardens. 

The fertility of the surrounding prairie is the main reason for 
the existence and rapid growth of Sioux Falls. Products of the soil 
are manufactured and livestock processed; in turn the city has be 
come a trading center for a large area and a distributing point. 
Trucks and freight trains make a steady trek to huge warehouses, 
stockyards and manufacturing concerns. This commerce is the life 
of the town, and Sioux Falls is called the clearing house of a 
prairie State. 

The history of the white man in this region begins when Jean 
Nicollet was sent by the Government of Canada in 1839 to treat 
with several tribes of Indians. He published a sketch of his travels 
in the Northwest, wherein he gave a description of the falls of the 
Big Sioux River. A copy of this sketch found its way into the 
hands of Dr. George M. Staples of D<ubuque, Iowa, who was so 
impressed by the natural advantages of the location that in 1865 
he organized the Western Town Company of Dubuque, which the 

Cities Sioux Falls 153 

same year sent a party to take up land near the falls for a town 
site. They followed the east bank of the river from Sioux City and 
took undisturbed possession of the location. A legend that a band 
of Indians forced the white men to retrace their steps just as they 
came to the point on Penitentiary Hill where the falls are visible 
has been proved erroneous. 

Speculation in lands and town sites was at high pitch and in the 
winter of 1856-7 the Dakota Land Company was chartered by an 
act of the Legislature of Minnesota Territory. The same act estab 
lished the city of Sioux Falls. Representatives of this company also 
occupied land in the vicinity of the falls, and erected a log house, 
naming their settlement Sioux Falls City. 

The population of Sioux Falls numbered at that time five per 
sons, and although they were representatives of rival companies, 
they lived together in peace and harmony, fearing only their com 
mon enemy, the Sioux. They were not troubled, however, until late 
in July, when the Indians threatened the extermination of all the 
settlements on the Big Sioux River. The new settlers discreetly 
withdrew, leaving the Sioux Valley once more deserted by white 
men, but not for long. 

On August 27, 1857, a party of men sent by the Western Town 
Company arrived in Sioux Falls after a ten days' trip from Sioux 
City. They brought by ox-team machinery for a sawmill and a large 
stock of provisions. The sawmill was built, and also a stone house 
and a store. Several of the party then went back to Sioux City, 
leaving only six men in the settlement until the middle of October, 
when the Dakota Land Company sent seven men to look after their 
interests in the settlement. 

The settlers passed a fairly comfortable winter in three new 
dwelling houses. During the spring of 1858 a number of other set 
tlers came, some taking land in the upper part of the Sioux Valley, 
among them the first white woman who came to the Territory to 
settle, a Mrs. Goodwin, who came early in May with her husband. 

In 1858 hostile Indians found the thirty-five settlers well fortified 
and left without molesting them. The white men did not know, 
however, that the enemy had gone, and remained close within their 
sod fort until they almost starved to death. 

The initiative and the determination of the settlers is well shown 
by the two outstanding happenings of the year 1858. First, there 
was the acquisition of an old Smith printing press from St. Paul, 

154 A South Dakota Guide 

Minn., a veteran machine that had seen long service and had al 
ready a colorful past of perilous travels through the wilderness, 
having come from Dubuque, Iowa, to Lancaster, Wis., before being 
hauled to St. Paul. On July 2, 1859, The Democrat, the first Sioux 
Falls newspaper, appeared. Secondly, there were the proceedings 
that took place in September 1858, when the 30 or 40 persons who 
made up the population held in a most original manner an election 
to select members of a Territorial Legislature. The situation of the 
settlers was a peculiar one, with the admission of Minnesota as a 
State, since that part of the present Dakotas lying east of the 
Missouri and the White River had no legal name or existence. On 
the morning of the election, the whole population divided into par 
ties of three or four, appointed each other judges and clerks of 
election and then started out with their teams in whatever direction 
pleased their fancy. Every few miles they rested their horses and 
established an election precinct on that spot. With all the dignity 
that the occasion deserved, the members of the party cast their votes, 
and being determined to succeed in their high ambition to impress 
the Federal authorities with their numbers, they thought it only 
fair to cast also the votes of all their relatives and friends, being 
convinced that these absent ones, if they knew of the high purpose 
of the actual voters, would without doubt be favorable to the plan. 
The total balloting reached the hundreds; and soon afterward the 
Legislature convened and a Governor and a speaker were chosen. 

In April 1862, Company A., Dakota Cavalry, was organized and 
a detachment stationed at the Falls. In August an Indian uprising 
occurred. On the 25th Judge J. B. Amidon and his son were killed 
about a mile north of Sioux Falls while making hay. A party of 
Indians appeared on the bluffs northwest of the falls the next day 
but did not attack. 

The settlers were alarmed and when two days later some messen 
gers brought news of massacres on the frontier in Minnesota, and 
also orders from the Governor for the soldiers to proceed to Yank- 
ton and bring the settlers with them, the village was abandoned. 
The Indians then destroyed everything, setting fire to the buildings 
and throwing the old Smith press into the river. They carried the 
type away with them, however, and used the bits of metal for mak 
ing inlaid decorations on the pipes carved from the celebrated pipe- 
stone, sung by Longfellow. Pieces of the old press were retrieved 
years later and are now in the Pettigrew Museum. A monument on 
the Sioux Falls College Campus marks the still visible ruts of the 
old trail that the fugitives followed to Yankton. 

Cities Sioux Falls 155 

For nearly three years the Sioux Valley remained almost de 
serted. On May I, 1865, a military post, Fort Dakota, was esta 
blished in rambling log and stone barracks built on what is now 
Phillips Ave., between Seventh and Eighth Streets, and occupied 
by a company of soldiers on a military reservation five miles square, 
including the present site of the city. The sutler's store at the fort 
was the forerunner of the mercantile establishments of Sioux Falls. 

Gradually the settlers returned, newcomers from the East joined 
them, and the town was established. In 1868 Minnehaha County 
was reorganized and the next year the hamlet of Sioux Falls had 
again reached a population equal to that of eleven years before. 

In 1870 the military reservation was vacated and the land pre 
empted by settlers and for the next three years the development of 
the valley stimulated the growth of the town, until in the fall of 
1873 a census showed 593 inhabitants. 

A scourge of grasshoppers the following year proved a calamity 
of such proportions that many people left the country and it took 
until 1876 for the struggling little town to regain 600 inhabitants. 

In 1868 the first postmaster was appointed, and the office was 
kept in barracks, back rooms, stores, and like places, until in 1884 
it was given permanent quarters. The city was the first in the Terri 
tory to have free carrier delivery. 

In 1871 the first steps were taken towards the organization of a 
church. The first public school was taught in 1873 and a year later 
the first school building was erected, one teacher being sufficient. 
Fifteen years after the first venture, a second newspaper was esta 
blished in 'Sioux Falls and from that time the city was never with 
out one. 

A grist mill built in 1873 proved to be the first successful attempt 
to use the power of the falls. The first shipment of stone took place 
in 1878 when the first railroad came in, and in 1881 the village 
trustees had lampposts erected for street lighting by kerosene. 

The rigor of the climate added to the hardships of the pioneers, 
the winter of 1880-81 being the most noted for its severity. Snow 
fell in October and did not disappear until late the following spring. 
Railroads ceased operating; mail came only at rare intervals by 
sled ; and corn, wheat, hay, and railroad ties were used for fuel. 
High water the following spring destroyed many buildings. 

Because the laws governing divorce required only a short stay in 
the State to establish residence, Sioux Falls in the late i8o,o's and 

156 A South Dakota Guide 

the first decade of the new century shone with the doubtful glory 
that has since 'been transferred to Reno, Nev. During that period 
Bob Fitzsimmons' wife came to seek a divorce from the heavy 
weight champion, who was deeply in love with her. He pleaded 
his case so insistently that she relented. Elated, Bob set out to 
celebrate, not at saloons, but at a blacksmith shop where he forged 
horseshoes and distributed them among the crowd of admirers 
gathered around him. The floor of the old shop was worn and the 
supporting timbers rotten. Without warning the floor gave way 
and the entire group, together with the anvil and forge of live coals, 
crashed through to the basement. One boy was painfully burned, 
but no one else was hurt. The child was the son of a poor man 
and the next day Bob staged a benefit performance at a theater. 
A large crowd swelled the receipts ; Bob gave the boy $250 and the 
rest of the money to the Children's Home. 

With the disappearance of frontier ways, Sioux Falls began early 
to be satisfactorily governed and policed. The advancement of the 
city has never been of the spasmodic variety that has characterized 
so many Western communities. Since 1876 the development has 
been continuous, keeping pace with that of the rich farm land of 
the surrounding region. 


1. CITY HALL, 9th St. and Dakota Ave., a modern building, 
designed by Harold Spitznagel, Sioux Falls architect, was opened 
in 1937. For more than a quarter-century Sioux Falls' officials 
occupied a wooden, barrack-like structure. In 1934 the old build 
ing was torn down and replaced by this modern three-story struc 
ture. The exterior is constructed of 'buff-colored brick with limestone 
copings, limestone and black aluminum spandrels, carved plaques 
and rainbow granite trim. The interior is finished in gray Ken 
tucky marble. Palmer Eide, Sioux Falls artist, designed the carved 
ornaments on the exterior walls, and Edwin Boyd Johnson, Chicago, 
painted the three symbolic panels in the City Commissioners' room. 

Dakota Ave. (open zveekdays 10-9; Sun. 2-6), is constructed 
of Sioux Falls quartzite. Begun with 100 volumes by the Ladies 
Club in 1879, the library now contains about 37,000 volumes, 
including the J. W. Tuthill collection of history and biography, the 
Bishop O'Gorman collection of Catholic books, among them several 
first editions, and the Glidden collection of books of art. The oil 

Cities Sioux Falls 157 

paintings of Frank Hutchins and a comprehensive collection of 
government pamphlets are among the exhibits. 

3. MASONIC LIBRARY, 415 S. Main Ave., (open 8:304 
daily, except Sat. and Sun.), was begun in 1924 by George Petti- 
grew, grand secretary of the 'State Masonic organizaiton. The li 
brary lists between 25,000 and 30,000 volumes including a chrono 
logical record of the proceedings of the Masonic Lodges in all the 
States of the Union. At the west end is a small museum, one large 
show case being rilled with trophies from various Masonic group 
meetings. One feature is a stained glass window which was in the 
stair room at the Columbia Exposition in Chicago. A reproduction 
of King Solomon's temple, delicately carved, with decorative beads 
worked out in Mosaic pattern is also in the library museum. 

(open weekdays 10 to 3, adm. free), is the largest factory in Sioux 
Falls and employs 400 people. Intricate machines transform end 
less belts of dough into varied assortments of appetizing crackers, 
cookies and wafers. L. D. Manchester started with a one-man 
establishment and delivered his products on a bicycle. Organized in 
1900, the Manchester Biscuit Company grew rapidly and in 1915 
the present six-story building of Sioux Falls granite was completed. 
Since then branches have been established in many large cities of 
the Middle West. 

5. WASHINGTON HIGH SCHOOL, between Main and Da 
kota Aves., and nth and I2th Sts., known as the "million dollar 
high school," was constructed of native pink quartzite stone, with 
the north wing trim and column portico of a black quartzite so 
rare that it has been occasionally dismantled and exhibited at 
expositions. The gymnasium has a seating capacity of 6,000 persons. 

6. The COLISEUM and ANNEX, N. Main Ave. and 5th St. a 
brick building of simple neo-classic architecture, provides the city 
with an auditorium a block long, a half-block wide and two stories 
high, the seating capacity of the Coliseum proper is about 7,000. 
A large variety of entertainments is included in the amusement 
program including road shows, opera companies, a flower show, 
automobile shows, the Made in South Dakota Exposition, recitals, 
athletic events and college activities. 

7. PETTIGREW MUSEUM, N. Duluth and 8th St. (Adm. 
free; weekdays 10:30 12; 1:30 5; Wed. / 9 p. m.; Sun. 2 4 
p. m.) was formerly the private residence of U. S. Senator R*. F. 

158 A South Dakota Guide 

Pettigrew and was given to the city in 1928. Constructed of native 
stone it is designed in Romanesque style. Speciments of polished 
petrified wood form part of the wall near the north entrance. The 
museum contains a collection of Indian relics, among them a Sioux 
Council tipi made from the hides of seven buffalo, set up with poles 
exactly as the squaws erected similar shelters long ago. Wampum 
and tomahawks, 'bead work, war bonnets and peace pipes fill many 
glass cases. There is also on display one of the famous "ghost 
shirts" worn in the Battle of Wounded Knee. The shirt was be 
lieved to be impervious to the white men's bullets; but the lead 
slugs crashed through the fabric notwithstanding. 

Among the numerous other exhibits are guns, knives, and the 
brutal hand-forged manacles used in early days. A large collection 
of mounted birds, snakes, and animals found in South Dakota is 
worthy of note. 

6th St., was built in 1890 of Sioux Falls quartzite and is a good 
example of the Richardson Romanesque style of architecture. The 
square tower is especially distinctive and gives the building a me 
dieval aspect that contrasts pleasingly with the modern business 
buildings of the downtown district. Murals in the building were 
painted in 1916 by O. G. Running, a local artist. The scenes de 
picted are early historical views of Sioux Falls, and incidents in 
the life of the pioneers. 

9. ALL SAINTS' SCHOOL (Episcopal), Philips and Dakota 
Ave., is a resident and day school for girls. The buildings, con 
structed of native stone, are surrounded by shade trees. 

10. CALVARY CATHEDRAL (Episcopal), cor. Main Ave. and 
1 3th St., was completed in 1889 as a memorial to Charlotte Augusta 
Astor whose husband, John Jacob Astor, donated funds for its con 
struction. This handsome building of native stone, French Gothic 
in design, stands in contrast to the first church in Minnehaha 
County, the Calvary Episcopal Church erected in 1872 at the north 
west corner of Main Ave. and 9th 'St., and since then dismantled. 

A cross made of jasper similar to that used in Conrad's Glori 
ous Choir in Canterbury Cathedral, England, was placed upon the 
altar of Calvary Cathedral by Bishop William Hare, known 
throughout the State as the "Apostle to the Sioux" and the found 
er of the Episcopal Church in 'South Dakota. 

Another cross, imbedded in the floor a few feet in front of the 

Cities Sioux Falls 159 

altar, is formed of about 15 small stones taken from the founda 
tion of St. Augustine Abbey, the oldest church in Britain. Every 
king, queen, and Archbishop of England, from the time of William 
the Conqueror to George VI, has stepped on or over the stones 
from which the fragments forming the small cross were taken. 

11. -ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL (Catholic), Duluth Ave. and 
5th St., was opened Dec. 8, 1918. The building is one of the most 
imposing edifices in the State. Of modified Romanesque and French 
Renaissance styles of architecture, it is designed with an Italian 
Basilican plan. The two spires are original with the architect. 
Masquerry. The nave is shorter and wider than in early cathedrals, 
bringing a large congregation within hearing distance of the pul 
pit. Huge transept arches, of Renaissance design, rising to a height 
of 50 feet, are among the most impressive features of the interior. 
The exterior of the building is entirely of white Bedford Lime 

12. TERRACE 'PARK, at Covell Lake near ist St. and Menlo 
Ave., has 52 acres of woodland and is the home of the locally well 
known Japanese gardens. Covell Lake which provides swimming 
facilities, is a small, natural, spring-fed lake, occupying a depres 
sion in the granite bed. The Community House in the park was 
originally a private residence. The park is noted for its distinctive 
quartzite terraces. There are facilities for tennis, swimming, and 
other sports ; benches and tables are provided for picnics. 

13. TOWER PARK, N. Main Ave. and McClellan St., derives 
its name from the large water tower, in the highlands of the city 
and affords a panoramic view of Sioux Falls, especially to the S. 
and E. 

14. STATE PENITENTIARY, Main Ave. and Walnut St. on 
US 77 (open by permission only), is a somber fortress built of red 
Sioux Falls quartzite with white stone trim. The Penitentiary 
was established in 1881, most of the improvements and additions 
being erected by the prisoners, even to the huge wall that has made 
escape almost impossible. At intervals along the wall are towers in 
which guards keep constant watch, with a miniature arsenal beside 

There is no death penalty in South Dakota and no death house 
in the penitentiary. The only punishment dealt to unruly prisoners 
is confinement in solitary cells. 

Behind the red granite walls a twine plant works a day and night 

160 A South Dakota Guide 

shift, employing about 120 men during the day and 100 at night. 
The twine is sold to the farmers of this State and others. Manila 
rope is also produced and the license plate plant manufactures all 
automobile, truck and compensation plates used in South Dakota. 
A farm of about 1,200 acres is worked in connection with the in 
stitution. The buildings are modern and much of the stock, notably 
the cattle, is thoroughbred. 

Despite the formidable barriers, there have been two serious 
breaks in the history of the prison. On Aug. 17, 1922, three con 
victs escaped. One was killed and the others recaptured. In March 
1936 two convicts, aided by an outsider, kidnaped the warden, Eu 
gene Reiley, and won an hour's liberty. In the fight that ensued, 
the warden, a convict, and a civilian were killed and three persons 
were wounded. 

15. MORRELL PACKING PLANT, Weber Ave. and Rice St. 
(free tours, one hour, weekdays 10 .and 1:30), from a small begin 
ning in 1909, has developed into a great meat packing plant with 
a daily capacity of 5,000 hogs and 500 cattle. As many as 1,700 
men and women are employed at the peak. Engines burning natur 
al gas piped from far-away Texas, furnish power for the refrig 
erators, and for the chilling of the storage rooms where thousands 
of carcasses of prime beef hang in orderly rows. 

W. of the John Morrell & Company plant, is a spot where the falls 
of the Big Sioux River can be seen, their beauty now somewhat 
marred by blasting that was neccessary in the construction of the 
power dam. During high water the violent, tumultuous rapids foam 
and roar over the many bold crags of quartzite. 

17. McKENNAN HOSPITAL, 2ist St. E. and S. 7th Ave., was 
established in 1912 and has a capacity of 95 beds and 18 bassinets. 
The institution, which is under the direction of the Presentation 
Sisters, has a nursing school with an average enrollment of 50 

18. McKENNAN PARK, 21 St. bet. 2nd and 4th Aves., 
includes a 2O-acre tract of which seven acres are wooded. It is pro 
vided with tennis courts, and has a swimming pool for children. 
The band shell provides facilities for regular concerts, and a green 
house and rock garden enhance the beauty of the park. 

19. SIOUX VALLEY HOSPITAL, 1123 Euclid Ave., while easy 
to reach from the central section of the city, is removed from the 

Cities Sioux Falls 161 

noise of heavy traffic. The iSioux Valley Association, organized in 
1894, erected this modern building at a cost of $400,000 in 1930. 
There are 100 beds and 25 bassinets. A nursing school is main 
tained with an average enrollment of 70 student nurses. 

20. SIOUX FALLS COLLEGE, 22nd St. and Prairie Ave., has 
buildings of Sioux Falls quartzite, and is of modified Gothic 
design. This college is the successor of the first Baptist school 
in South Dakota, which was established in 1883. Professional and 
two-year normal courses are offered, as well as extra-curricular 

21. AUGUSTANA COLLEGE, at extreme S. end of Prairie 
Ave., with buildings of Tudor Gothic, is the largest denominational 
school in South Dakota, with all regular courses and extra-curricu 
lar activities offered. It moved four times before becoming perma 
nently located in Sioux Falls. While the prime purpose of the insti 
tution was to provide opportunity for imparting Lutheran teachings 
and to perpetuate the Norse language, non-Lutheran students are 
welcomed. In addition to the regular academic course, there is a 
School of Music that offers a four-year course leading to the de 
gree of Bachelor of Music. The Augustana College Choir and the 
Augustana 'Symphony Orchestra have attained wide recognition. 

end of 8th St. E., was founded in 1880 in a frame structure. In 
1883 substantial stone buildings of Tudor Gothic design, were 

The institution is maintained by the State for the purpose of pro 
viding individual instruction and special training for the deaf. In 
addition to intensive instruction and standard school courses, the 
girls are taught domestic science and needlecraft, and the boys 
dairying, manual training, and printing. Athletics are encouraged 
and the boys basketball teams compete with the high schools in the 
district. The boys are so trained that they notice simple signals and 
interchange gestures quickly. Spectators are unaware of the fact 
that the players are in any way handicapped. 

23. The MINNEHAHA COUNTRY CLUB, W. 22nd St., and 
Harvard Ave., has an improved i8-hole golf course, the hazards 
of which test the ability of the most seasoned player. The Sioux 
River crosses the fairways 10 times, and numerous trees on the first 
nine holes and the hilly nature of the second nine add to the river 
hazard. A spacious clubhouse, containing all the necessary facili- 

162 A South Dakota Guide 

ties for recreation, and a large picnic ground are also features of 
the Club. 

24. SHERMAN PARK AND MOUNDS, W. from i8th St. 
and Minnesota Ave., comprise 205 acres of tree-covered land, set 
aside in 1900 and developed as a park for picnics and recreation. It 
is also a game preserve. There are tourist cabins along the banks 
of the Sioux River, which winds through the park. The water, re 
tained by a low dam, forms a pleasant swimming pool ; bathhouses 
are provided and driveways are built into the Country Club golf 
course. There remain five well-preserved mounds along the crest 
of the ridge E. of the end of the old streetcar line. Other mounds 
are on a hill S. and E. of 26th St., but since this land has been 
plowed for many years it is impossible to identify the location of 
more than four of them. 

In 1911 several mounds with human skeletons, the bones of a 
pony and a dog, and many small trinkets pottery, rings from a 
bridle, and horseshoes bearing the letters "US" were unearthed. 
The nature of the relics indicates that the burial was by the Sioux 
Indians and at a comparatively recent date. Artifacts unearthed 
point to a much earlier age, when the original mound builders 

The Indian village was on the Country Club golf course. The 
settlement, situated near the river and not far from the burial 
ground, covered about 10 acres. Fireplaces and rock circles which 
probably served as anchorage for tipis have been found on the vil 
lage site. Excavation has also revealed a number of stone imple 
ments with fragments of pottery and crushed buffalo bones. All 
were found a foot or more below the surface, an indication of their 

25. ELMWOOD PARK, N. Harvard Ave. at Walnut St. in 
W. Sioux Falls, is the home of the local Izaak Walton League, 
with a fish and bait-casting pool, frequently used and interesting 
to visit. There are also an i8-hole golf course, a baseball diamond, 
and tourist cabins. 


Wall Lake, recreation center, I2m., Brandon Mounds, Indian 
burial ground, picturesque scenery, 19 m. (see Tour $A.) ; Sioux 
Valley Ski 'Slide, scene of annual ski jumping meets, 24m. (see 
Tour 7) ; the Dells, beautiful scenery and unique formation 20 m. 
(see Tour p). 


Railroad Stations: Chicago and North Western R.R., 122 N. Maple 
St.; Rock Island and Minneapolis and St. Louis R.R., 168 N. Broad 
way; Great Northern R.R., SW. edge of city. Bus Station: Greyhound 
Lines, Jackrabbit and Swanson Lines, 22 N. Maple St. Airport: Han- 
ford Airlines, Municipal airport, 3 m. from city on Kampeska Road. 
Taxis: 25c within city limits, 5c per extra person. City Bus Lines: 
Regular 30 minute schedule all parts of city, fare lOc. 

Traffic Regulations: Inside left turns at intersections. 90 minute 
parking limit. 

Accommodations: Three first-class hotels; several tourist cabin 
camps. Municipal tourist park N. on State 20 from Kemp Ave. 

Tourist Information Service: Chamber of Commerce, Midland Nat'l. 
1 Life Insurance Building, Kemp Ave. and Broadway. 

Theaters and Motion Picture Houses: One theater, local productions 
and occasional road shows; three motion picture houses. 

Athletics: City ball park, Lake Kampeska; baseball field, S. Broad 
way and Eighth Ave. W.; diamond ball field, Sixth St. and Fourth 
Ave. SE. Swimming: Lake Kampeska, 3 m. west. Tennis: Kemp Ave. 
and 12th St.; S. Broadway between Fourth and Fifth Aves. S.W. Golf: 
Municipal Golf Course, Lake Kampeska, 3 m. W., 9 holes, reasonable 
greens fees; Watertown Country Club, 18 holes, Lake Kampeska, ad 
mission by invitation. 

Annual Events: Roaring Gulch, June; Cam Aqua, late July or Aug 
ust; Play Day, September. 

Watertown (1,750 alt., 10,246 pop.) is an agricultural and recre 
ational center on the Big Sioux River near Lake Kampeska. The 
sandy loam of the Coteau Des Prairie (hills of the prairie) makes 
the area surrounding Watertown an intensive farming region, es 
pecially for potato growing. With a large lake so close at hand, the 
itown draws a heavy trade from vacationists during summer and in 
the fall is headquarters for pheasant and duck hunters from adjoin 
ing States. 

Watertown residents spend most of their spare time at Lake 
Kampeska, and a varied program of sports ice boating, skating, 
fishing, swimming, sailing and golfing goes on during the year. 

Unlike most mid-western towns, Watertown has no long Main 
Street, but a concentrated business section. Almost treeless when 
founded, it has 300 shaded residential blocks. 

When J. C. B. Harris of Yankton arrived at Lake Kampeska in 
1873, he found mile after mile of rolling prairie with the lake 
ilone breaking the monotonous landscape. The lake had always 

164 A South Dakota Guide 

been a landmark for the Indians who computed distances from its 
shores ; its clear waters were sought by the red men, since few 
springs were to be found in the region. After returning to Yankton, 
Harris obtained homestead rights to land about a mile east of the 
lake's outlet. In 1874 James P. Werner settled at the outlet, and 
homestead colonies were chartered along the lake. Colonies were 
organized in the East "sight-unseen," and a village called Kam- 
peska City was started ; but a grasshopper invasion during the fall 
of 1874 destroyed the crops and the colony dissolved. 

Harris returned in 1876 and found two other settlers, Ben Love- 
joy and O. S. Jewell, on the west bank of the Big Sioux, where 
Watertown is now situated. Lovejoy had hauled rough boards, 
shingles and tarpaper from Marshall, Minn., and built the first 
frame house in the vicinity. The spring of 1878 witnessed an influx 
of homeseekers as the Winona and St. Peter Railroad extended its 
line to the new town. The county was organized and named for 
Rev. G. S. Codington, a member of the Dakota Territorial legis 
lature. A violent dispute broke out over the selection of the county 
seat and the railroad, wanting it at the terminus of the line, offered 
free transportation excursions from nearby villages. Crowds gath 
ered to vote on the question, and Watertown was selected. After 
the ballots were counted, railroad officials decided to christen the 
town Waterville. But John and Oscar Kemp after considerable ar 
gument persuaded officials to designate the town Watertown in 
honor of their former home in New York State. 

Colonel Jacoby platted the town Sept. i, 1878. The first sign of 
spring in 1879 brought many newcomers to Watertown, some seek 
ing homesteads, others business opportunities. The drug store of O. 
H. Tarbell was moved by oxen from its location in Kampeska City 
at the outlet of the lake to where the present establishment of Wil 
liamson and Tarbell stands immediately south of the First National 
Bank Building. During the early days a prairie fire, originating 
from a blacksmith forge in a shop where the Elks building is situ 
ated, razed almost the entire town, which then consisted of three 
stores and scattered homes. 

Progress in building the new town went on as rapidly as men 
could be obtained, 100 carpenters working at the time of the snow 
blockade of 1878. During this time rail transportation was at a 
standstill. Ten feet, six inches of snow on the level, completely cov 
ered dwellings and made travel by foot impossible. Food and fuel 
supplies were meager. For flour, wheat was ground by hand in 

Cities Watertown 165 

coffee mills. During the extreme weather residents burned railroad 
ties of the extension from the town to the outlet. The trestle 
bridge across the river was also torn down to provide fuel. 

During the next two years the town's progress was rapid. In 
1884 two railway lines were added, and the first edition of the 
present Daily Public Opinion was published: in 1889. 

In 1892 the Sisseton Reservation, north of Watertown, was 
opened for homesteading and day after day long lines of men and 
women stood at the door of the Land Office in Watertown to reg 
ister. The opening of the reservation was a great aid to the settle 
ment of the surrounding country, since 1,500 avid land-seekers 
were on hand awaiting the starter's gun at noon of April 15. 


1. MELLETTE HOME, 5th St. and 5th Ave. N.W., was the 
residence of Arthur C. Mellettc, last Governor of Dakota Territory 
and first Governor of this State. Governor Mellette was appointed 
to the Territorial office by President Harrison in 1889. He also 
served: as Governor of the State until 1893 when he returned to 
Watertown to practice law. The Mellette home is a rambling house 
with block towers and encircling porch. It is on the summit of 
Mellette Hill and offers a fine view of the country west and south 
of the city. There have been unsuccessful attempts to have the State 
purchase this property but it is still in private hands. The trans 
mitter of the local radio station is here. 

2. SWIFT & CO. PLANT, along the Great Northern tracks on 
River St., is one of the largest meat packing plants in the State. 
Cattle, hogs and sheep are processed here and shipped East. The 
plant has added to the city's commerce, besides employing a large 
number of workers. 

3. An AVIARY of pheasants, ducks, geese and many other spe 
cies of bird life is on 3rd Avenue N.W. bet. 3rd and 4th Sts. Many 
varieties of pheasant including the beautiful golden pheasant are 
here. The first ring-necked pheasants planted in South Dakota were 
distributed from this point. The birds were purchased from a breed 
er in New York and shipped to Watertown. 

and Bdway., was constructed in 1928 of white Indiana lime 
stone, and was one of the first courthouses in the State of modern 

166 A South Dakota Guide 

architectural dtsign. It is adorned with tapering columns, topped 
with Ionic volutes. Two murals representing "Wisdom and Mercy" 
and "Justice and Power," were painted by Vincent Aderentti of 
New York City. Indirect lighting sets off the decorated dome. 
County offices are on the first and second floors; the third floor is 
the State headquarters of the American Legion. Architects of the 
building were Perkins, McWayne and Freed. 

TOUR i 6.6m. 

R. from Kemp Ave. on Kampeska Blvd. 

5. The MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, at i m. on Kampeska Road, 
was completed in 1937 and has three large buildings of native stone. 
It is an outstanding port in a region where air transportation is 
comparatively new. It is a mail and passenger station on the Oma 
ha to Minneapolis, and Minneapolis to Cheyenne routes. The hang 
ar, work shop and administration building are grouped together; 
the stone was taken from the shores of Lake Kampeska by WPA 
workers in building the airport. 

6. The OLD STATE CAPITOL, Kampeska Road and Lake- 
shore Drive, was never used as a government building and now it 
houses a night club. In 1889 when South Dakota was admitted 
to the Union, Watertown business men built the Capitol as an in 
ducement to locate the seat of government there. The optimistic 
men raised $60,000 for the building and campaign expenses, and 
then, to their discomfiture Pierre was selected. 

R. from Kampeska Road on Shore Line Drive. 

7. CITY PARK comprises 140 acres along Lake Kampeska 
(Ind. : Shining-shell-like). Bathhouses, concessions, picnic grounds, 
band shell, baseball park and playground equipment are under mu 
nicipal supervision. In the northern part of the park is a marker 
designating the first site of Kampeska City. 

8. The STATE PIKE HATCHERY, Shore Line Drive at out 
let, (open daily; free) raises and transplants 15,000,000 wall-eyed 
pike annually in lakes of the State. The pike are seined from) Lake 
Kampeska and stripped of their spawn which are then hatched and 

9. MEMORIAL PARK, N. end of lake, is a memorial to the U. 
S. S. South Dakota which was used in the World War. The bell 
of the battleship is in the park. Bathhouses, picnic grounds and 
fishing equipment are available. 

Cities Watertown 167 

10. STONY POINT is a resort with bathing, boating, fishing, 
skating and other recreational facilities. Three hundred yards from 
shore is MAIDEN'S ISLAND. A legend is told of a hunter and his 
daughter, Minnecotah, who made friends with the Sioux tribe. 
The young warriors of the tribe vied with each other to win the 
affection of the pretty maiden. She decided that whoever of them 
could hurl a stone farthest into the lake would be the recipient of 
her love. The man of her choice had journeyed to the west and was 
not expected to return for several months. The warriers hurled 
rocks and boulders, exerting every fibre of their muscles to out- 
throw their competitors, not realizing the wily diplomacy of Minne 
cotah in this contest. No one could judge the exact distance be 
cause of- the waves. After days and nights of rock throwing the 
braves realized the trickery used on them. So many rocks and 
boulders had been thrown that a stone island had been formed a 
few hundred yards out from shore. The maiden was forcibly 
placed on the island without food or shelter, the Indians believing 
that her choice of one of them would be forced by suffering and 

A great white pelican at night brought Minnecotah fish for food 
and saved her from starvation and after many days her lover re 
turned to learn of her predicament. Quietly paddling his canoe 
through the stillness of night, he took her from the stone island and 
escaped to the west. Upon finding the maiden gone the following 
morning, the braves decided that the white pelican had been sent by 
the sun god to transport her to other regions. 



Railways: Central portion of the Black Hills served by the Chicago, 
Burlington & Quincy, running from Edgemont to Deadwood; eastern 
edge of Hills served by Chicago & North Western, running from Ne 
braska Line to Belle Fourche; cross lines joining these run between 
Deadwood and Whitewood (North Western), Mystic and Rapid City 
(Crouch Line), and Minnekahta and Buffalo Gap (Burlington to 
Hot Springs, North Western to Buffalo Gap). 

Highways: E. and W. US 14, northern Hills; US 16, central Hills; 
US 18, southern Hills. N. and S. US 85 and US 8 5 A, central Hills; 
US 14. US 16, and State 79, eastern Hills. 

Bus Lines: Black Hills Transportation Co., connecting all major 
towns, also operates fleet of sightseeing observation motor coaches. 

Airports: Black Hills Airport (serving Lead, Deadwood, and Spear- 
fish, US 85 and US 14, 5% m. S. of Spearfish); also Belle Fourche, 
Rapid City, and Hot Springs. No commercial airline in area. 

Hotels (State-owned and operated) : State Game Lodge, Sylvan Lake 
Hotel, Blue Bell Lodge, all in Custer State Park. 

Camp Grounds: Scattered about at many points throughout Custer 
State Park, Black Hills National Forest and Harney National Forest. 

Recreational Areas: Custer State Park, Black Hills National Forest, 
and Harney National Forest. 

Precautions: (1) Against fire do not smoke while traveling 
through the forests; clear ground and dig hole before building fire; 
put out fire with water before breaking camp; do not build fire near 
brush nor against log. (2) Policing camp do not wash dirty dishes 
or clothes in streams; burn all dry trash; bury garbage and tin cans 
before leaving. 

The Black Hills region is geographically, geologically, socially, 
and economically a unit, differing from the rest of the State in 
each of these regards. Its most common title is the "richest hun 
dred square miles in the world," this chiefly in reference to its 


A South Dakota Guide 


The Black Hills 171 

many valuable mineral deposits, the principal one of which is gold. 
But the region is more than that. It is one of the chief recreational 
areas of the Middle West, and its vacational facilities are being en 
joyed by an ever-increasing throng of visitors. The attractions of 
the various Hills cities are well known the Homestake gold mines 
at Lead, Deadwood with its graves of famous frontier characters, 
and Rapid City with its Museum and Dinosaur Park. But outside 
the cities there is still much to be seen, the giant sculptures of na 
tionally known Mt. Rushmore, the unique granite spires of the 
Needles, and the almost ethereal beauty of Sylvan Lake. Still this 
does not exhaust the possibilities of the Hills region. 

With regard to the physical origin of the Black Hills, there is a 
wide diversity, not to say conflict, of ideas. According to the Paul 
Bunyan school of thought, it all came about through that mighty 
logger's Big Blue Ox, Babe, who was 42 ax handles and a plug of 
tobacco broad between the eyes. It seems that the Big Blue Ox 
ate a red hot stove a stove with a griddle so big that Paul Bunyan 
had negro boys with hams strapped to their feet slide around on it 
and grease it. At any rate as soon as the ox had committed this 
gustatory indiscretion, he left for parts adjacent, contiguous, out 
lying and still more distant. It was while traveling the more distant 
parts, far out on the plains, that the ox finally fell down and died 
of exhaustion or heartburn or whatever oxen do die of when they 
eat red hot stoves. Paul Bunyan, meanwhile, had been in .swift 
pursuit of his pet ox, but he arrived too late to do him any good. 
He could only weep floods of tears that flowed in all directions 
and then ran together to form the Big Missouri River. Then he set 
about burying the ox. It was out of the question to dig a grave 
big enough to hold him, so Paul began to heap earth and rocks 
upon him until he had covered all of the mighty bulk, making an 
immense mound at the place where the ox had died. But in time 
the rains came and washed gullies in it, and the wind and the birds 
carried seeds there and the mound became scored with gulches and 
canyons and covered with trees and grass. And so this great mound 
of earth and rocks which was heaped up to cover Paul Bunyan's 
ox became the Black Hills that we know today. 

However there are certain quibbling and hair-splitting scientists 
who reject this reasonable theory altogether. According to them, 
these so-called "Hills" are in reality an old mountain chain. In 
very ancient times, even considering the age of the earth, a great 
dome or batholith like an overturned wash basin, was slowly thrust 

172 A South Dakota Guide 

from the depths of the earth by some tremendous convulsion of 
nature. (See NATURAL SETTING.) The granite core, which 
formed the center of the mass, thrust aside as it rose all the sedi 
mentary layers which had been deposited at the bottoms of succes 
sive oceans. Before the Alps and the Rocky Mountains were 
formed, and while the site of the present Himalayas was still a 
stagnant marsh, the Black Hills were already old. Thousands upon 
thousands of feet of sedimentary deposits have been washed off 
their summits leaving spires and crags of upthrust granite ex 
posed. And while these ancient Hills do not have the snow capped 
peaks of the younger Alps nor the rugged grandeur to be seen in 
Glacier Park, nevertheless they have a charm and beauty all their 
own. The roads of the Hills lie through an almost primeval forest 
of pine, with rushing streams rather than mountain torrents, with 
unexpected parks and meadows, with glimpses of shy deer and in 
dustrious beaver. Or less frequented trails may be followed, trails 
that apparently lead into the wilderness, only to end at some aban 
doned mine. And beside them one may fish for trout in unspoiled 
streams, or spend whole days in solitude and contemplation of "Na 
ture in her various forms." 

Almost the whole of the Black Hills area is contained within the 
boundaries of the Black Hills National Forest and the Harney Na 
tional Forest. The former comprises the northern Hills and the 
latter the southern. Originally one, they were later divided for ad 
ministrative purposes. Between and within these two forests are 
smaller independent areas, such as Custer State Park (sec .below], 
Wind Cave National Park (see Tour 14), Jewel Cave National 
Monument (see Tour 5), and Fossil Cycad National Monument, 
(see Tour 7). 

The Black Hills and Harney National Forests, of slightly over 
half a million acres each, are for the most part in the same state in 
which nature left them. Their rolling hills and ridges are covered 
with ponderosa pine, which comprises 98 percent of their total tim- 
berage. For the remainder there are the silver trunks of birch, 
quaking aspen, and cottonwood, the slim gray shafts of ironwood, 
and thickets of plum, buffalo-berry and other bushes. Through the 
open forest glide the timid deer, venturing out into the parks and 
glades to graze at twilight. In the deepest fastness of the Hills 
may be heard the bugling of the seldom-seen elk, and the broad slap 
of the beaver's tail sounds like a pistol shot on many a mountain 
stream. Gamy and wary trout lurk in the shadows of the deepest 

The Black Hills 173 

pools, their number swelled from year to year by recruits from 
State and National hatcheries. The woodchuck ambles awkwardly 
across the road and the stupid porcupine stolidly strips the bark 
from the trees. The coyote skulks around, robbing a bird's nest 
or tearing at an ancient carcass with equal relish and gusto. Among 
the trees flit innumerable birds, while high over all soars the state 
ly eagle, making his nest on inaccessible granite crags. 

But while wildlife pursues its untramimeled course, the comforts 
of civilization are not lacking. At appropriate spots near the stream 
or scenic wonder, the Forest Service has provided camp sites, with 
conveniences that eliminate camping hardships. Here and there are 
artificial lakes, with bathing, 'boating, and still-water fishing adding 
their attractions. Footpaths lead intriguingly through the forest 
and horseback trails extend for miles through territory impossible 
of access by any other means. Throughout this region the visitor 
may be as primitive or civilized as he pleases. It is his to choose. 

One of the most interesting phases of conservation work on the 
part of the Forest Service is represented by the lookout stations on 
various mountain peaks. There are five within the forest area. Of 
these the most accessible and most visited is that on Harney Peak 
(see Tour 14 A). More than ten thousand people a year make this 
trip. The view amply repays the effort. The fire guard who is on 
constant duty will tell you that the question invariably asked him 
by visitors is "Don't you get lonesome up here all by yourself?" 
"And," he adds "I probably speak to more people a day than any 
of them." 

Custer 'State Park, one of the largest State parks in the United 
^tates, contains more features of unusual interest than any similar 
'area in the Black Hills. To name a few of them, there is the State 
Game Lodge that became the Summer White House in 1927, when 
occupied by the late President and Mrs. Coolidge (see Tour 5) ; 
Mt. Rushmjore, on whose granite face Gutzon Borglum is carving 
the likenesses of four of the greatest Presidents (sec Tour jB] ; 
beautiful Sylvan Lake and Harney Peak, with its tree-shaded trail 
connecting the two (see Tour l+A) \ Legion Lake with its attrac 
tive lodge and surroundings (see Tour 5) ; Mt. Coolidge, with its 
thrilling approach and wonderful view (see Tour $D) ; and the in 
comparable Needles, those granite spires and minarets, like so many 
fingers pointing skyward above the trees (see Tour 14 A). Besides 
these outstanding features there are miles upon miles of winding 
road, of shady bridle paths, and of attractive footways. There are 

174 A South Dakota Guide 

hotels, cabin camps, and camp grounds. There is the scenic Iron 
Mountain Road (see Tour 5), where through three successive tun 
nels one may see framed the distant carving on Mt. Rushmore, 
more impressive as seen through these rocky telescopes than even 
close at hand. 

There are accommodations within the park for 1,000 people 
daily, and the nearby towns are able to take care of any overflow. 
Within certain areas anyone may select a building site and lease it 
from the State at a nominal rental of $10 a year. Many of the can 
yons are dotted with cabins erected under this plan. 


WHETHER travel is by motor, train, or airplane, horseback or 
afoot, the tours that follow penetrate every region and community 
of the State, covering in all more than five thousand miles. 

The main tours, connecting at the borders with like tours in 
surrounding states, crisscross South Dakota from north to south 
and from east to west, following in general the main Federal high 
ways. These tours numbered from one to eight, such as Tour 2 
(The Yellowstone Trail), run from east to west, while those that 
run north and south are numbered from nine to fourteen. Fifteen 
is a mountain railway tour. Tours bearing a number followed by 
a letter, such as Tour 56 (the road that passes Mt. Rushmore), 
indicate alternate routes, perhaps not as direct but often more in 
teresting than the main tours. Side trips from the main highway 
are indicated by smaller type, indented. The introduction to each 
tour is a description of the region through which that tour passes. 

These tours may be followed in reverse order by subtracting the 
mileages given and by changing "right" to "left" and vice versa. 

With the aid of the Key Tour Map on the following page, show 
ing where the various routes cross one another, circular or region 
al tours may be planned. 

The tours in this book are designed for South Dakotans as well 
as for visitors. Few people living in the Black Hills have visited 
the Lake Region; and it is said that more people from Illinois 
registered at the Rushmore Memorial in 1937 than from South 

If in spite of the map and directions you suddenly find yourself 
lost, build a fire, throw in the book, and make smoke signals. There 
may be an Indian over the next ridge. 

Tour 1 177 


(Browns Valley, Minn.) Sisseton Britton Eureka Junction 
with US 83. State 10. 

Minnesota Line to Junction with US 83, 176.6 m. 

No railroads parallel the highway, but several branch lines are 

The roadbed is graveled throughout. 

Hotel and tourist accommodations available at above towns, and at 
numerous lake resorts on or near the highway between Sisseton and 

State 10 crosses northern South Dakota's lake region in the Co- 
teau des Prairies and levels off through the James River Valley. In 
the northeast corner of the State is the Sisseton Indian Reservation, 
triangular in shape and bisected by State 10. This section is also 
dotted with lakes, spring-fed and tree-fringed. It is developing into 
a resort area slowly and with little fanfare; few people from other 
parts of the State have ever been there. Although the highway 
passes through an Indian Reservation, few Indian homes are seen, 
for it has been open for white settlement since 1892. Here the In 
dians and whites live and work side by side, observing no tribal or 
racial boundaries. Off the main highway, groups of Indian families 
are clustered along lake shores; large numbers loiter in the streets 
of Sisseton, agency headquarters. 

Swedes, Norwegians, Poles, and Germans settled the eastern 
area through which State 10 passes, and farther west are communi 
ties of Finns, Russians, and Germans. In the Indian country, in 
termarriage between the whites and Indians has brought about 
many unusual names and degrees of color. There are dark-skinned, 
black-haired persons with Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, British, and 
German names, and blue-eyed, clear-skinned youths with Indian 

State 10 crosses the South Dakota-Minnesota boundary, 0.5 m. 
\Y. of Browns Valley, Minn., between Big Stone Lake on the 
south and Lake Traverse on the north. When it rains on this road, 
the water falling on the south side is said to drain into the Gulf of 
Mexico, and that on the north into Hudson Bay. Lake Traverse, 
headwaters of the Red River, is famous in the history of the North 
west ; from Big Stone Lake flows the Minnesota River, which later 
oins the Mississippi. 

JVJ1110 L 

178 A South Dakota Guide 

westward. (The boundary is not marked, and the reservation is 
open. The agency headquarters is at Sisseton.) 

The Sissetons and the Wahpetons (dwellers among the leaves), 
bands of the Sioux Nation, found this region of cool crystal lakes, 
wooded ravines, edible berries, buffalo, and fish an earthly paradise 
when they migrated westward (see INDIANS). Good hunters and 
fishermen, these peaceful people never strayed far. They welcomed 
the visits of Jean Duluth, Father De Smet, Francis Rondell, and 
Stephen Return Riggs, trading with Duluth and Rondell, and listen 
ing to the religious teachings of De Smet and Riggs. 

Following the Minnesota Massacre at New Ulm, during the Civil 
War period, the Sissetons were advanced upon by troops from Fort 
Snelling, Minn. The tribal council made a law that all whites in 
their lake country would have to dress like Indians to keep from 
being massacred. Fleeing Indians, pursued by soldiers, came into 
the Sisseton country bringing their captives with them; the Sisse 
tons were instrumental in having the captives released to the sol 
diers, and in return the military advance was discontinued. Another 
troop, however, came into the Indian country, burning gardens and 
tents. Attempts were made towards peace, but continued misunder 
standings arose, followed by actual warfare. Old Indians enjoy re 
lating how, while fleeing, they turned about so that the cannon 
would be brought into use. To their extreme amusement they 
dodged the baseball-sized cannonballs directed toward them. In 

1863 the Sissetons, who had been driven W. across the Missouri 
River and into Canada, returned to their lake country. Camped at 
Enemy Swim Lake (see Tour 28), the soldiers surrounded them. 
There a treaty was made which, in Indian language, was to the 
effect : "There will be no more wars ; we will be brothers." 

With the help of the Indians, Fort Sisseton was established in 

1864 (see Tour iA), and in 1876 a treaty was made establishing 
the Sisseton Indian Reservation. The Indians settled around the 
lakes Enemy Swim, Pickerel, Blue Dog, Red Iron, Piyas, Two 
Mile, Four Mile, Six Mile, and Nine Mile in family groups. In 
1892 the Federal Government purchased the reservation from the 
Indians, opening it to homesteaders. The Indians were allotted 160 
acres for each individual ; there is no unallotted land there at pres 
ent. As families have grown, there has been no new land for the 
children, so that today one plot and one house serves an old man 
and his wife, together with their married children and families. 

Tour 1 179 

There are 2,740 Indians on the reservation roll, only 775 of 
which are full j blooded. A small annual increase in the Indian popu 
lation is reported by the superintendent of the agency. The close 
proximity to the whites during the past 45 years has resulted not 
only in intermarriage, but adoption of white men's customs. The 
Sioux language is used at pow-wows, church, and meetings, but 
English is understood by nearly everyone. There is no tribal prop 
erty; instead, 70,630 acres of Indian-owned land is rented, and 
5,781 acres cultivated by Indian farmers. Native handicraft is no 
longer engaged in to any degree. Wild fruits are still gathered and 
processed by old methods ; corn is dried on cheese cloth ; and choke- 
cherries and wild plums are ground with meat. There is still some 
fishing, particularly in winter through the ice. "Store clothes" are 
worn exclusively, and few old-time garments survive. At summer 
pow-wows, the washtub has taken the place of the hide tom-tom, 
and lipstick the place of war paint. There are 306 permanent 
homes used 1 by Indians and less than a dozen log cabins. A few 
tents are seen in summer as temporary dwellings. There are about 
200 Indian children in public schools on the reservation, 200 in 
Federal boarding schools, and 100 in church boarding schools. The 
churches mostly Episcopal, Catholic, and Presbyterian furnish 
the social life. Wagons and old cars start toward church on Satur 
day, loaded with Indians, staying all night with friends or rela 
tives who live near the edifice. 

At 3.6 m. is a series of MOUNDS (R) whose origin is contro 
versial whether built by Mound Builders, Ree Indians, or Sioux 
(see INDIANS). The mounds have been excavated and the arti 
facts have not been preserved. It is generally agreed, however, by 
archaeologists that they were burial grounds of that race known as 
the Mound Builders. 

SISSETON, 14 m. (1,202 alt., 1,840 pop.), is the agency for 
the Sisseton Indian Reservation and the trading center for a large 
diversified farming area. The word Sisseton means in Sioux langu 
age, dead fish, or less literally, fishing village. As the town is the 
administrative center of the reservation, Indians are seen at any 
time on the streets. There are a few older women who wear blank 
ets or shawls, but for the most part their color differentiates the 
Indians from the whites. The AGENCY is at the top of the hill, one 
block E. of Main St. A COLLECTION OF INDIAN RELICS is on display 
at the high school, one block E. of lower Main St. Construction of 
a large, modern hospital for Indians was started in 1936. 

180 A South Dakota Guide 

Sisseton has been the home of some interesting Indians, one of 
whom was Asa Sweetcorn, a football player with Jim Thorpe at 
Carlisle Institute. The giant Sweetcorn, who is supposed to have 
worn a size 21 collar, was arrested 40 times for intoxication and 
assault and battery during his varied career. One of his feats to 
raise money was to bet he could ram his head through wooden 
doors. On one occasion six splintered port holes in the side of a 
barn were said to have been made by him following as many runs 
and dives into the wall. Another time Asa encountered his match 
in an impromptu wrestling engagement, and his opponent bit off 
his ear. Earless Asa carried the auditory appendage in his pocket 
four days before visiting a doctor. The heading in a local paper 
read: "Chews Sweetcorn Ear in Winter." 

The seat of Roberts Co. is at Sisseton. 

At Sisseton is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

At 21 m. is the eastern edge of the COTEAU DES PRAIRIES 
(hills of the prairies). This range of hills rises abruptly above the 
level prairie, and the road winds through the hills with sharp 
curves and steep grades ; going E. a car can coast 7 m. into Sisse 
ton from the last hill. 

At 22.2m. is LONG HOLLOW, a deep wooded ravine which 
has been a gathering place for Indians since the Sioux first occu 
pied the region. Late each summer members of the Sisseton band 
still gather there for pow-wows. A church has been built 2 m. N., 
and can be reached by walking up the draw. There is good pasture 
in the bottom-land and shelter from icy winds ; tall trees cast cool 
shadows during the summer. When enemies came, the Sissetons 
often followed the long ravine S. into a deeper and more secluded 
gulch, known as BAD HOLLOW. 

At 25.4 m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Left on this unnumbered road to the first of a chain of lakes, 
known as BUFFALO LAKES, 1 m., with the main lake at 5 m. On 
their sand beaches and thickly-wooded banks picnic places can 
be found. The lakes received their name from a variety of fish 
that abound there buffalo fish, frying-pan-shaped and small- 
boned. This is also a popular duck and goose hunting region. 

At 27.8m. is RED IRON LAKE, divided by State 10 into two 
bodies of water. Privately operated resorts along the highway offer 
fishing, boating, swimming, and picnic facilities. Bluegills, perch, 
and pickerel are caught in the lake. 

Tour 1 181 

At 28.4 in. is CLEAR LAKE, which borders the highway. A 
public sand beach near the road is used by bathers. A resort with 
fishing supplies and bathing accommodations is in the wooded area 
(L). At 28. 9 m. is the headquarters of a State Game Warden where 
hunting and fishing licenses can be secured (see GENERAL IN 

At 31.1 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is LONG LAKE, 0.6 m., one of several lakes 
in the State by that name. Somewhere on its shores there is, 
according to Indian legend, a cached flour sack containing gold 
coins. Indians relate a story told by Gray Foot, a Santee, who 
on his deathbed gathered his sons together and told them of 
the gold he had buried at Long Lake. A band of Santees, he said, 
raided the agency at Martin, Minn., during the Minnesota Massa 
cre, killing some of the soldiers stationed there. The payroll had 
recently arrived and gold coins were heaped on the table. Each 
Indian took a share. Gray Foot had filled part of a flour sack 
and tied it on his horse. When the War Department sent out 
notice that anyone found with gold in his possession would be 
considered guilty of murder by that evidence, Gray Foot buried 
his loot, he said, between two straight willows near the shore 
at the E. end. But the treasure has never been found. 

LAKE CITY, 33.3 in. (192 pop.), is a country village named 
for the surrounding lakes, particularly Cottonwood Lake on the 
N. edge of town. 

1. Left from Lake City, on a graveled road, are EDEN and FORT 
SISSETON (see Tour 1A). 

2. Right from Lake City, on a graded road, are FLAT LAKE, 
8 m., and several marshes suitable' for duck hunting. 

Lake City is at the western boundary of the Sisseton Indian 
Reservation (see above). 

At 34.8 m, is SIX MILE LAKE. 

At 35.4 m. is SQUAW HILL (R), which was named about 100 
years ago by the Sioux. A large group of Sioux women was pick 
ing berries. The men of the tribe had gone southward, trailing a 
buffalo herd. One young woman, with a papoose on her back, 
noticed a movement among the bushes. Peering closely she spied 
a Chippewa man. Without showing alarm, she quietly dropped a 
word of the impending danger to the others, who were talking 
loudly ; seeing nothing, they accused the young woman of having 
a vision. Slipping stealthily among the brush, the young squaw 
worked her way to the lake and hid. The piercing war cry of the 

182 A South Dakota Guide 

Chippewa was followed by screams and crying. When all was quiet 
the woman returned to the hill, only to find the bodies of the Sioux 
women and babies mutilated and strewn about the hill. When the 
Indian men returned from their hunting trip they found the bodies 
and, amid great lamentation, buried them on the hill's summit. 

At 36.2 m. is the SISSETON GAME PREiSERVE, a sanctuary 
for wild waterfowl. 

At 374m. is NINE MILE LAKE (R), last of the "mile chain," 
named by soldiers from Fort Sisseton. 

State 10 winds through the western portion of the Coteau des 
Prairies (see above) ; beyond are flat plains, dotted with red and 
white farm buildings, green meadows, yellow fields, purple plowed 
patches, and a distant clump of town buildings at Britton. 

At 48.2 m. is the junction with State 25. 

Right on this road is the junction with a graded road at 6 m. 
R. here to another junction with a graded road; R. here to 
SWIFT'S PEAK, 16 m. (2,240 alt.), the highest point in the east 
ern half of the State. Prom the top is a view of a dozen towns 
in North and South Dakota. The lights of Aberdeen, more than 
50m. away, are visible at night. North from this point is WINDY 
MOUND, 22 ra., from which the Indians watched for buffalo on 
the plains. The North Dakota boundary is immediately to the N. 

BRITTON, 57.1 m. (1,354 alt., 1,473 PP-)> reflects the prosper 
ity of a rich farm region where the soil is said to be as productive 
as any in the Northwest. The raising of purebred beef cattle is 
an important local industry. The town was named in honor of Col. 
Isaac Britton, its founder and the prime mover in the building of 
the Dakota and Great Southern R.R., which before completion be 
came part of the C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. Britton has a municipal 
hospital. Because of its location in a hunting and fishing region, 
its stores feature outdoor supplies. It is the seat of Marshall Co. 

At 60.2 m. are the RICE RACING STABLES, where horses 
are raised and trained for harness races at fairs and celebrations in 
the Northwest. 

HOUGHTON, 77.3 m. (200 pop.), is a rural village where the 
farmers bring their produce to trade for staples. 

At Houghton is the junction with State 37. 

Right on this road is HECLA, 6 m., HOME OP THE SCHENSE 
QUADRUPLETS. Jay, Jimmie, Jean, and Joan were born in an 
Aberdeen hospital on Jan. 13, 1931, to Mr. and Mrs. Fred 
Schense. They received Nation-wide publicity until the arrival of 

Tour 1 183 

the Dionne quintuplets. Schense, a tenant farmer, encountered 
considerable difficulty in providing for his increased family. 
When the quadruplets were little more than a year old he took 
them on an exhibition tour of county and State fairs through 
the Northwest. The venture yielded hardly sufficient remunera 
tion to pay expenses, and they returned to Aberdeen destitute. 
Their mother died when the children were two years old, and a 
year later their father married the housekeeper. Besides the 
quadruplets the family included three older children and a new 
baby sister. Schense operates a 160-acre farm near Hecla now. 
The height and weight of the four youngsters vary, and no two 
of them are the same size. They closely resemble one another as 
to features, complexion, and hair. 

At 79.5 m. the highway crosses the James River. 

At 83.8 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this unnumbered road is SAND LAKE and the U. S. BIO 
LOGICAL SURVEY STATION, 0.4 m., where a steel tower rises 
high in the air. The station supervises 2,400 acres of the Sand 
Lake Game Refuge. Boys in a CCC camp developed the refuge for 

COLUMBIA, 8m. (1,304 alt., 307 pop.), prior to 1900, was ex 
pected to be one of the largest cities in the State, but a series of 
events caused it to become a small, inconspicuous town. The 
town was started in June, 1879, by Bryon Smith of Minneapolis, 
who led a party of settlers to the confluence of the James and 
Elm Rivers. The next year Brown Co. was organized, and Colum 
bia became the county seat. A large lake was formed by damming 
the river at the western edge of the new town, and steamboats 
began to ply its waters, carrying grain and produce northward. 
The C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. chose to build its road through the 
thriving young town, but the city demanded a drawbridge over 
the lake. Then things began to happen. The railroad withdrew 
and built through Aberdeen; the dike and the lake disappeared; 
Aberdeen won the county seat, and the citizens of Columbia 
moved to the newer town. The first county courthouse is now 
used as a school building. 

BARNARD, 95. 4m. (60 pop.), is at the junction with US 281 
(see Tour n). 

At 97.1 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is the COLIN CAMPBELL TRADING POST 
SITE, 1.6 m., marked by a monument. This stockaded post was 
established in 1822 by Colin Campbell for the Hudson's Bay 
Co., and was occupied six years. The Indians residing near the 
stockade were a band of Yanktonnais Sioux, of which Chappa 
(Red Thunder) was chief. His son Waanata was born there and 
became a prominent figure through his exploits in the War of 
1812. Waanata distinguished himself at the battle of Fort Ste- 

184 A South Dakota Guide 

phenson near Sandusky, Ohio; at the close of the battle it was 
found that nine bullets had hit him. He fought with the British 
Army, was cited for bravery, given a captain's commission, taken 
to England, and presented to the King. Waanata's last years 
were spent in North Dakota where he and his band exercised a 
protectorate over a band of Arikaras. In return for protection 
against the Sioux, Waanata demanded tribute from the Arikaras, 
which enabled him to live in comfort and comparative luxury. 
He was buried near Port Yates, N. Dak. 

At loo m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is WILLOW LAKE, 1.6 m., an artificial lake 
built to furnish Aberdeen with its water supply. The dam, built 
with relief labor, backs up Willow Creek. 

LEO LA, 1 18.4 m. (1,587 alt., 812 pop.), was named for Leola 
Haynes, daughter of a pioneer family. The town was started in 
1885 when a group of Russian-German immigrants and people 
from other midwestern States settled on the "flats" S. of Leola. A 
prairie fire in 1889 burned all but 12 of the 100 buildings, leaving 
the school, McPherson Co. courthouse, and other buildings of 
brick or stone. It was not until 1906 that Leola obtained railroad 
facilities for shipping the large amounts of grain and hogs raised 
in that area; but in 1936 the railroad inaugurated a truck line to 
supplant the trains. Duck hunting brings sportsmen to Leola each 
fall ; there are a number of hills and marshes N. of the town. 

Between Leola and Eureka is a part of the Russian-German 
community that settled in McPherson and Campbell Cos., prior 
to 1900. The vanguard of the immigrants arrived in 1884 from the 
southern part of the State; in 1889, trainloads of them arrived, 
having come direct from their homes in Russia, taking practically 
all land available for homestead entry in the whole Eureka section. 
While generally termed Russians, these people are descendants of 
Germans who had emigrated to Russia in the time of Catherine the 
Great. The older people use their native tongue at home and in the 
stores, but the young people have adopted the English language 
and American ways. A trace of the influence of Old World archi 
tecture is still seen among the farm houses (see ARCHITEC 
TURE). The original buildings were long and narrow, designed 
to conserve wall space and for convenience ; one end of the building 
housed the family, the center was used to store grain, and the third 
section for the livestock. The entrance door to the house was 
divided, so that the top part might be swung open, leaving the bot 
tom half closed to keep children in and animals out. Most of the 

Tour 1A 185 

immigrants have had a degree of prosperity, and now the long 
narrow buildings are usedi to house the family or livestock exclu 
sively, and other buildings have been erected nearby. There is a 
South Russian influence still noticeable in the use of vivid, contrast 
ing colors in painting houses. In the co-untry and town purple houses 
are trimmed in green, pink houses have blue borders, yellow houses 
are decorated with orchid, and no lack of originality is discernible. 

EUREKA, 153.777^. (1,884 alt-, 1430 pop.), is an example of a 
small city founded and still peopled by European immigrants who 
have provided themselves with most of the conveniences and com 
forts of modern American towns. The soil was productive for 
these newcomers, and during the 1890' s Eureka maintained that it 
was the largest primary wheat market in the world, 36 elevators 
being required to care for the flood of grain produced by the im 
migrant farmers. The town has a large number of retired farmers 
who, after acquiring a competence, have left their farms to sons 
and daughters. They brought with them the traditional German 
love for beer ; before prohibition it required 18 saloons properly to 
satisfy the thirst of the Eureka community. With the legalizing of 
liquor sales in 1935, Eureka promptly voted to operate a municipal 
liquor store. German dishes can be had in the restaurants, but are 
not featured. Services in German are held in the Lutheran and 
Catholic churches. 

At 176.6 m. is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12), 3m. N. 
of Mound City. 


Lake City Eden Fort Sisseton. Unnumbered road. 
Lake City to Fort Sisseton, 16.3 m. 
Roadbed is graveled. 

Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault St. Marie R.R. parallels this route 
between Lake City and Eden. 

Branching S. from State 10 (See Tour i) at Lake City, the un 
numbered road passes through a part of the lake region in which 
the lakes have not been developed commercially. Camping and pic 
nic places are numerous, but none are improved or set aside for 
that purpose. The Fort Sisseton area is in a game reserve, and no 
hunting is allowed. 

At 0.8 m. the road skirts ROY LAKE, where there is good 

186 A South Dakota Guide 

At 4.9 m. TWIN STINK LAKES are passed, one lake on each 
side of the road. They received their name and dubious renown 
from the alkali odor caused by receding stagnant water. 

EDEN, 7.7 ?n. (1,355 alt., 168 pop.), developed from a commun 
ity nearby to which the name, Eden Park, was given by a group 
of Polish Catholic immigrants who were impressed by the beauty 
of the surrounding lakes. That was in 1909, and six years later the 
town was started at its present location when the Soo R.R. built 
a branch line through the region. There are a large Catholic church 
and school in Eden, and also a number of Polish Jews. 

Left from Eden the road passes unnamed sloughs and crosses 
a series of hills. 

At 13.1 m. the road turns R. Along this road in the i86o's ox 
teams grunted and carts creaked as they hauled rocks to build the 
new fort, long before white settlers had penetrated the region. In 
dian scouts on fast ponies rode the trail with dispatches ; and a few 
years later a telegraph line connected the fort with Webster. Fancy 
buggies bearing the society folks of homestead days rolled down 
the road on their way to fort balls, and military expeditions passed 
over it in the early i88o's. 

At 1 6.3^. is the entrance to PORT SISSETON. (Parking space 
at entrance; cars not allowed in quadrangle.) 

On the E. side of the quadrangle are the barracks and commis 
sary ; to the N. are the hospital, blockhouse, and stables ; to the W. 
are the Commanding Officer's headquarters and officers' quarters ; 
and to the S. the Quartermaster's office, saddle shop, guardhouse, 
chapel, and blockhouse (see CHART). 

Historic Fort Sisseton, manned at different periods in its history 
by Indians, whites, and Negroes, and having recently served as a 
playground for wealthy duck hunters, is being restored to its old- 
time dignity with the aid of the Works Progress Administration, 
the National Park Service, and Marshall Co., which have com 
bined to roll back the calendar to the days when the fort was the 
social and military center of young Dakota Territory. Electric 
lights are being replaced by candles, faucets by buckets, and the 
garages are to be filled with hay. 

The fort was established, following the Minnesota Massacre in 
1864, by Major John Clowney, commander of troops recruited in 
Wisconsin. Acting upon orders from General John Pope that the 
post be set up "not east of the James River," Major Clowney led 

Tour 1A 


his soldiers into Dakota Territory, which at that time was inhabited 
only by Indians and a few traders of French origin. The Sisseton- 
Wahpeton tribes of the Sioux Nation had surrendered peaceably 
the year before at Enemy Swim Lake (see Tours I and 28), and 
when the soldiers entered their domain the Indians guided them 
to the advantageous fort site. It was, contrary to order, 40 m. E. 
of the James River. 

Situated on the elevated tablelands known as the Coteau des 
Prairies, the fort was partly surrounded by the Kettle Lakes where 
lived 1,200 Sioux Indians. It was named Fort Wadsworth origin 
ally in honor of General James S. Wadsworth of New York, who 
died in the Battle of the Wilderness. During the time that Colonel 

188 A South Dakota Guide 

W. D. Boyce, Chicago millionaire newspaper publisher, leased the 
fort a few years ago, Congressman James W. Wadsworth, a grand 
son of the man for whom the post was named, was a frequent 
visitor. In 1876 the fort took the name of the tribe living in that 
region, the name which it still bears. 

Building a fort in an undeveloped country was no easy task. 
Supplies had to be brought 244 miles from St. Paul. Stones for 
the barracks, commissary, officers' quarters, and stables were drag 
ged by oxen from as far as Wahpeton, N. Dak., although many 
native stones were used. In 1868 brick was brought in wagons 
drawn by oxen from St. Cloud, Minn., for the permanent buildings, 
including the hospital. Large oak trees were cut and sawed by a 
portable sawmill for the storehouse, which was 150 ft. long and 
built entirely of logs. The two towering blockhouses were also 
made of logs. The stone buildings, 240 ft. long and 36 ft. in width, 
caved in from lack of care, hard usage, and the effects of vandal 
ism after the troops were withdrawn in 1888. 

In the early i88o's Fort Sisseton was the social center of the 
eastern half of Dakota Territory. For a civilian in Watertown, 
Fargo, Webster, or Browns Valley to receive an invitation for 
dinner at the fort was considered a high honor. A silver service 
was used exclusively in the officers' quarters, with an orchestra 
playing for the dinners and 'balls. During vacations when the young 
men and women returned from Eastern schools, brilliant social 
functions were in order and delicacies were brought by pony ex 
press from St. Paul for the occasions. 

The soldiers stationed at the fort, ready to quell Indian uprisings 
and protect the whites, were of Irish, German, and Scotch descent. 
Physical hardships were common during the hard winters, and 
many are the stories of heroism. 

Old Indians like to recall the days when their fathers were 
scouts at the post. One man in particular is legend. He was Sam 
uel J. Brown, the half-breed son of the first white trader in the re 
gion. In April 1866, word was received at Fort Sisseton that the 
Indians were crossing the James River near Jamestown to make 
raids on the settlers. Brown, who was chief of scouts, was sent to 
Ruilliard's trading post, about 10 m. NE. of Aberdeen and 55 m. 
from the fort, to warn them. A large tribe was living on the Elm 
River near Ruilliard's post, and Brown was to persuade them not 
to join in the fighting. Brown left Fort Sisseton near sundown 

Tour 1A 189 

and rode hard, arriving during the night. He was told that Indian 
carriers, who were much swifter than the Government mailmen 
serving the fort, had brought word that President Johnson had 
signed a treaty to stop the soldiers from fighting the Indians. 
Brown knew that he had to get back to the fort before the troops 
left in the morning for Jamestown to meet the Indians ; he decided, 
therefore, that he must retrace his steps before another Indian war 
should commence, with the soldiers at fault. So he traded horses 
with Rluilliard and started back for the fort. Soon after he left, a 
terrific blizzard began. He angled E. more than N. because of the 
stiff, cutting wind and found himself among the Waubay Lakes 
at daybreak. Having gone too far S., he turned due N. and spurred 
his plucky pony into the raging blizzard. Brown reached the fort 
in time to halt the troops, after riding steadily since he had left 
the evening before. When he was taken from his pony he was un 
able to move his limbs, stiffened by the cold weather and the 
wearisome 135-mile ride. And he remained paralyzed until the end 
of his life! 

After the Civil War two companies of hand-picked Negroes 
were stationed at Fort Sisseton. Despite the fact that every man 
was over six feet tall and an athlete, they did not relish their sit 
uation. First, they were afraid of the Indians; next, they were 
ridiculously out of place when wintry winds swept tons of snow 
across the prairie ; then too, and worst of all, they were given the 
job of digging up the bodies of the soldiers who had been buried 
there, for removal to another fort! Many of the dead were desert 
ers who had been shot and dragged back behind horses for burial. 
One of the stories related by old-timers about the Negroes and 
their grave-digging activities is as follows : one big, husky Negro 
was standing on a rough box in a grave, loosening the dirt around 
the sides so that the box could be pulled out. A board gave way 
and the Negro's foot sank into the body of a dead soldier! A 
superhuman leap vaulted him out of the grave to the solid ground, 
where he emulated the feats of Jesse Owens and Ralph Metcalfe 
for speed. He never returned to the fort, and his whereabouts 
have never been entered upon the records. 

Between 1910 and 1927 the fort was in the hands of private 
interests. Hunting parties from Minneapolis and St. Paul found 
the neighboring passes perfect for hunting ducks and geese. 

In 1920 Col. W. C. Boyce, Chicago newspaperman, leased the 
fort and hospital to be used as a dwelling house. Colonel Boyce 

190 A South Dakota Guide 

began his newspaper career at Britton (see Tour i). At the time 
of his death in 1928 he owned newspapers in Chicago and Indiana 
polis. One room in the renovated hospital was the poker room, 
where games continued day and night every fall during the hunting 
season. Many of the visitors hired hunters to do their shooting in 
order that they might have ducks to ship home. Jerry Wilson, pro 
fessional Sisseton trapshooter, was hired at $25 a day to hunt for 
several of the visitors. Colonel Boyce, known as the man who 
started the Boy Scout movement in the United States, astonished 
Webster citizens once when, after arriving by train from the West 
Coast, he had his Rolls-Royce sent out from Chicago in an express 
car. Motor boats, a putting green on the parade grounds, and the 
poker table furnished entertainment for most of the guests. 

I* 1 J 935 a Federal transient camp was set up at Fort Sisseton 
as an Emergency Relief Administration activity, and work on the 
restoration of the fort was started. An error in the reconstruction 
was soon discovered when a hip-roof was placed on a building 
which originally had a straight, pointed roof. The National Park 
Service, Works Progress Administration, and Marshall Co. co 
operated in continuing the project, and the restoration is being 
accurately followed. A ditch has been dug around the fort to the 
same depth it was originally, and the dirt used, as was formerly 
done by the soldiers, to build a mound wall on the inside. It will 
require several years to complete the project. 


( Benson, Minn. ) Milbank Webster Aberdeen Mobridge Lem- 
mon (Hettinger, N. Dak.). US 12. 

Minnesota Line to North Dakota Line, 328.5 m. 

The C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. parallels the highway throughout. 

Between the Minnesota Line and Aberdeen the roadbed is mostly 
bituminous surfaced; the rest gravel, with short stretches of tarvia. 

Hotel and tourist accommodations excellent in larger towns, with 
lakeside camping places in Lake Region. 

US 12, known as the Yellowstone Trail, crosses northern South 
Dakota through the lake region, the James River valley, the Mis 
souri River ranges, and the Buttes and Badlands section, each dif 
ferent from the others. The north-eastern part of the State is 
dotted with lakes, spring-fed and tree-surrounded, abounding in 

Tour 2 191 

game fish and wild fowl. Unfortunately, when the railroad and 
highway were built an attempt was made to avoid as many lakes 
as possible, and only a few can be seen from US 12. With the 
coming of the homesteaders and the building of the railroad in the 
early i88o's, small towns sprang up almost overnight. The fertile 
land of the broad James River valley was settled quickly, and farms 
through that region are large and modern. In spring the valley is 
checkerboarded with green fields of grass and black plowed lands, 
with occasional clusters of trees, all of which have been planted 
by the farmers. In the fall the golden fields wave like the sea, with 
tall corn rows forming the shore. Here is a prairie country, vast 
and apparently endless, telling a story of ceaseless labor to make 
things grow. Farther west, in the Missouri River breaks, the land 
is less suitable for grain crops and better for livestock purposes. 
Attempts to farm on a large scale have met with little success and 
cattle now roam the stone-studded hills. Beyond the Missouri River 
are the Badlands, fantastic in shape and spotted with ranches. 
Raising of cattle, sheep, and horses forms the basic industry, with 
a little farming to obtain feed. 

US 12 crosses the Minnesota Line 40 m. W. of Benson, Minn. 
(see Minn. Tour 10), and touches the southern end of BIG 
STONE LAKE, which stretches northward for 36m. On a windy 
day whitecaps roll high, the lake turning into a frothy, greenish- 
gray, roaring sweep of water. The lake was named for the out- 
croppings of granite rocks nearby, and is on the boundary be 
tween Minnesota and South Dakota. It is stocked with game fish, 
particularly pickerel, pike, bluegills, sturgeon, perch, crappies, and 
sheepshead, a variety peculiar to this lake. 

US 12 passes over a loo-ft. dike between the States, known as 
rangement was made between the Minnesota and South Dakota 
governments, acting with the Works Progress Administration, to 
divert water from Whetstone River (L) into Big Stone Lake (R), 
which during the drought years was sadly depleted. For 50 years 
attempts had been made to divert the Whetstone River into the 
lake, which has as an outlet the Minnesota River. Work was start 
ed in October 1934, and in March 1937 water from the river began 
pouring into the lake. Residents of Big Stone City, S. Dak., and 
Ortonville, Minn., left their work to watch the lake level rise, and 
one onlooker a pioneer exclaimed, "By gad ! It's flowing uphill 
after all." 

192 A South Dakota Guide 

At the eastern edge of Big Stone City is a CORN CANNERY, 
0.5 m., that operates each fall when the corn from the surrounding 
fields has been picked. A corn king is crowned each year the man 
who can eat the most corn on the cob. 

BIG STONE CITY, 0.8 m. (979 alt., 675 pop.), overlooks the 
lake from which it takes its name, and, in addition to being a sum 
mer resort center, has a brick factory, corn cannery, and granite 
quarry; yet the normal population is small. During summer and 
fall, however, it becomes considerably larger. The town was first 
known as Inkpa City, named for the renegade Indian, Inkpaduta, 
who held captive there several women, taken in the Spirit Lake 

1. Right from the center of Big Stone City, on an improved road, 
is CHAUTAUQUA PARK, 1 m., a popular summer resort with 
cottages, boating facilities, swimming, and fishing. Sheltered by 
trees, the resort is a center for week-end picnics and camping 
parties. At 9 m. is LINDEN BEACH, in a setting of tall linden 
or basswood trees. A trading-post, established in 1865 by Moses 
Moreau and Soloman Robar, once occupied the site but now a 
hotel and cabins with modern facilities have taken its place. 
HARTFORD BEACH, llm., with its large, old-fashioned hotel 
with two tiers of open porches around the building, roller skat 
ing rink, bathhouse, and shell boats, is an interesting resort. All 
kinds of freak boats are found there. A feature is the midnight 
swimming during the summer months, which visitors enjoy, the 
air and swimming water at that time being about the same tem 
perature. Immediately W. of the resort are the Hartford Mounds, 
in which skeletons and artifacts of the Mound Builders have 
been found (see INDIANS). 

2. On the shores of Big Stone Lake at Big Stone City, or at any 
of the resorts (see above), boats can be rented by the hour or 
day. Flat-bottomed and clinker rowboats and various types of 
outboard motorboats are available, together with fishing sup 
plies, poles or rods, lines, bait, and other equipment. Because of 
the length of Big Stone Lake (36m.), waves roll high with a 
heavy wind and it is advisable to stay near the shore. Trolling, 
casting, and still-fishing are all possible in Big Stone Lake, 
where sturgeon, northern pike, pickerel, wall-eyed pike, catfish, 
crappies, bass, bluegills, sunfish, perch, and bullheads abound. 
On the W. side of the lake are Chautauqua Park, Linden Beach, 
and Hartford Beach resorts. 

At the western edge of Big Stone City, i.2m. f is a brick factory 
utilizing native clay. 

At 1.9 m. the Whetstone River is crossed, and US 12 begins to 
wind over a range of low, rambling hills, where frequent, clean- 
looking farm buildings are set in groves of trees. 



WHETHER or not you live in South Dakota, 
there are interesting vistas and close-ups, on and 
off the highway, east of the Missouri River. A few 
are included here foreign communities, univer 
sities, recreational areas. 

A few scattered sod houses still stand and some 
are occupied. Trainloads of immigrants from Ger 
many and Russia came to the Eureka-Leola region 
and have built a prosperous community in which 
a few European customs are still found. In the 
Mennonite colonies along the James River, children 
dress as somberly as their parents. A hardanger 
wedding in Swedish communities around Sioux 
Falls is a great occasion and brings out costumes 
brought from the Old Country. A Dutch nnndmill 
at Milbank is no longer used. 

Among the following group of pictures is one 
of the Schense quadruplets, whose fame has been 
dimmed by the Dionnes. 





. ^1 

* ; ^i 

es [ ae | r_ 




, m-. 




m 2 




Tour 2 193 

At 7.9^1. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is the DAKOTA GRANITE QUARRY, 0.5 m., 
with its huge piles of stone, like a strange fortress. A few years 
ago a young man named Stringle obtained control of a quarry in 
which there was a quantity of mahogany granite. He built a 
cutting and polishing plant, and today carloads of gravestones 
are shipped to all parts of the United States. The various kinds 
of granite quarried here are Hunter, royal purple, and mahogany. 

MILBANK, 14 m. (1,148 alt., 2,549 pop.), was named for Jere 
miah Milbank, a director of the Milwaukee R.R., which was ex 
tended through the city in 1880. The railroad established a division 
headquarters here, which attracted many families of Irish and 
Dutch origin to work in the shops and on the line. A windmill, 
once used to grind grain from the surrounding country, has been 
moved to the center of the city, L. of US 12. 

Milbank 'became the seat of Grant Co. after a heated three-town 
contest. In 1880 Big 'Stone City won the first election for county 
seat; but the next year Milbank had outgrown Big Stone City, so 
the latter induced Wilmot, a town nearby, to enter the contest. 
Milbank won by 25 votes, but Big Stone City officials charged 
fraudulent voting and retained the records; Milbank at the same 
time established itself as the county seat, and residents filed their 
papers in both towns, to be on the safe side. The case was tak 
en to court and Milbank was recognized as the official seat. Big 
Stone City officials, however, refused to give up their records 
until they had been reimbursed for campaign funds. 

Milbank granite, quarried within the city limits, is well known 
and widely used. The town has been long noted in the State for 
its high school athletic teams and for the All-conference and Ail- 
American football players it contributes to Midwestern universities. 
One of the 'best known was Jack Manders, star player of the Uni 
versity of Minnesota and later of the Chicago Bears (professional). 

At Milbank is the junction with US 77 (see Tour p). 

MARVIN, 31.6 m. (1,657 alt., 136 pop.), was originally known 
as Grade Siding, owing to its situation on the railroad ; but in 1882 
a post office was to be established and a more dignified name was 
needed. There was a Marvin safe in the railroad office and a local 
punster suggested that Marvin was a "good, safe name." 

Between Marvin and Summit, US 12 winds into the Coteau des 
Prairies, hills of the prairies, so-named by early French explorers. 

194 A South Dakota Guide 

The hills have gullies and draws lined with oak, ash, and elm trees. 
From the crests of the hills are splendid views of Big Stone Lake, 
Lake Traverse, and far into Minnesota, a jumble of purple, yel 
low, and green. 

SUMMIT, 39.9 m. (2,000 alt., 503 pop.), is the highest point 
along the railroad in the Coteau range, about 1,000 ft. above Big 
Stone Lake. Because the town had an altitude greater than any 
other between the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, it was named 
Summit. Each year a celebration is held to observe the anniversary 
of the opening of the Sisseton Indian Reservation (see IN 
DIANS). Although the reservation was opened April 15, 1892, the 
celebration occurs the latter part of June. 

At 44.1 m. is a junction (L) with US 81 (see Tour 10), which 
unites with US 12 to 46.1 m., where US 81 branches R. 

ORTLEY, 49.2^. (168 pop.), is gradually moving toward the 
highway to take advantage of the tourist traffic. Originally named 
Anderson for the first resident in 1906, it was later given the name 
of a prominent local Indian. An Indian celebration is held here 
each June. 

At 53.1 m. is BITTER LAKE (L), a shallow body frequented 
by mudhens during the summer, but having an unpleasant odor. 

Although actually a part of the original Sisseton Indian Reser 
vation, the lands in this rural area were ceded and sold to home 
steaders, particularly Scandinavians, many years ago, so that few 
Indians live along the highway here. Most of them returned to 
their former haunts, the lake shores. 

WAUBAY, 57.3 m. (1,813 alt., 976 pop.), is the English cor 
ruption of the Indian word "wamay" (where wild fowl build their 
nests), first given to the chain of lakes NW. of Waubay. The town 
is popular with the Indians, many families making their homes in 
Waubay, one of the few towns in which Sioux Indians actually 
reside. On the streets are Indian women in shawls and blankets, 
old men in moccasins, but with regular "store clothes" or, com 
monly, overalls. The younger Indians have been so influenced by 
their white environment, chiefly through intermarriage, that they 
are difficult to distinguish. Being comparatively an old town, hav 
ing been founded in 1880, Waubay has many frame buildings, 
holds square dances with old-time music as often as modern dances, 
and nearly every male resident is a good fisherman. Blue Dog Lake 
is to the N., with fishing and bathing facilities. 

Tour 2 195 

Waubay is at the junction with an unnumbered graveled road 
(see Tour 28). 

At 60 m. is RUSH LAKE, so called because of its tall rushes 
and boggy marshes. Muskrat houses mounds of mud, sticks, and 
rushes are in the water; ducks also nest and swim about the lake 
during the spring and summer. Often in spring great white peli 
cans are seen far out on the water. Hunting clubs from Chicago, 
Milwaukee, and Sioux City have lodges here for fall duck and 
goose hunting. 

An Indian legend of Rush Lake relates how ducks and other 
waterfowl received their beautiful colors. A young warrior who 
had from childhood been very fond of gay, bright colors, walked 
far from camp, lured by the beautiful colors of Indian summer. 
Now and then he would stop and take from his pouch clay and 
oil which he mixed to make shades and tints to his liking. As the 
shadows began to lengthen, he suddenly realized that it would soon 
be time for the night fire, so he made his way to Rush Lake where 
he built a small lodge of rushes. As he sat looking at the setting 
sun, he heard the talk of waterfowl not far away. Then he saw 
before him, diving and playing, ducks, mallard, teal, gray geese, 
and loons. They were his friends and were always glad to see him, 
so he put his hands to his mouth and called to them. They were 
startled at first but they soon recognized him, and paddled to shore 
as fast as they could. The Indian invited them to his lodge, where 
they took turns telling of what they had done that day. When he 
told that he had been studying and mixing colors, the mallard 
became interested and said, "You are our friend; would you be 
so kind as to paint us with some of your beautiful colors?" 

"I will," said the warrior. "Choose your colors." 

The mallard said that he wanted a green head, a white stripe 
around his neck, a brown breast, and yellow legs. When he was 
painted, the mallard said, "Now I do not want my mate to have 
the same colors as I do." So she was painted mostly brown. 

The teal had his family and himself painted as he desired. By 
this time the paints were almost gone, so there were no bright 
colors left for the goose and the loon. 

At 62.3 m. is a junction with an unnumbered road (see Tour 28). 

WEBSTER, 68.4 m. (1,842 alt, 2,033 pop-), is the seat of Day 
Co., and styles itself the "gateway to the Lake Region." Platted 
in 1880 and named for the first settler, J. B. Webster, the town 

196 A South Dakota Guide 

attracted young businessmen to the new farm frontier. With a 
Norwegian farming community growing up around the town, a 
Scotchman, two Englishmen, a German, and a few others who came 
from eastern States, started business enterprises, namely, a livery, 
real estate office, jewelry store, grain elevator, bank, general store, 
newspaper, and saloon. The livery stable and saloon are gone, but 
around the others a prosperous, civic-minded town has developed 
until now it has a paved main street and two newspapers, one of 
which, The Journal, is widely known in journalistic circles for its 
rhyming headlines. 

Right from the higihway is a MUNICIPAL, TOURIST PARK, with 
good accommodations. 

HOLMQUIST, 73.1 m. (85 pop.), has three large white houses, 
pretentious in the 1890*5, and identical in appearance. It is a safe 
wager that every third person in the community is named Holm- 
quist, Olson, Peterson, Johnson, Helvig, Sundstrom, or Jensen. 

BRISTOL, 78.2 m. (1,775 alt , 624 pop.), has the largest cream 
ery in the region, the farms around having large dairy herds. The 
town was named for Bristol, England, in 1881, when it became the 
terminal of the Milwaukee R.R., but it was not until 1921 that 
it was actually incorporated. The village was the western terminal 
of the railroad for a year. 

Between Bristol and Andover the range of hills dwindles to 
level prairie, and large wheat fields spread out in all directions. 
Occasionally early in the morning coyotes are seen on the hills 
near the road, and in the spring large flocks of geese feed in the 
cornfields along the highway. 

ANDOVER, 90.4 m. (1,475 a ^., 324 pop.), was first known as 
Station 88 by railroad graders, but when the town was platted in 
1 88 1 it took its present name from Andover, Mass. This market 
town for a rich farming region has a large, old-fashioned hotel, 
the Waldorf. 

GROTON, 101.3 m. (1,304 alt., 1,036 pop.), is a grain and im 
plement market for a large portion of the James River valley. 
Groton was the birthplace of Earle Sande, a few years ago the 
premier jockey in American horse racing. As a youth he first rode 
ponies, and then farm horses, bareback, and eventually because of 
his experience and small stature, became a professional jockey. 

In the winter of 1936-37, after drought had ravaged the crops, 
townsmen and farmers found a remunerative business in shooting 

Tour 2 197 


jackrabbits, the fur from which is used in the manufacture of 
coats and hats. At Groton the Boy Scouts staged gunless rabbit 
round-ups, using clubs instead. 

Between Groton and Aberdeen US 12 passes through the James 
River valley, one of the richest farming areas in the Middle West, 
the soil of which is a rich black loam, a deposit of the glacial 
period. Around each farm is a grove of trees, reminiscent of home 
stead days when a claim could be had for planting 20 acres in trees. 

At 109.6 m. US 12 crosses the James River, in the spring, a clear, 
fast-flowing river, in the summer a sluggish stream, and in the 
fall often completely dry or consisting of a series of pools. Dikes 
can be seen along the banks, to keep the river from flooding the 
bottom-land in high water. During the drought period the river 
was dry most of the time. Pheasant hunting is especially good 
along the river, and the bright-colored ring-neck pheasants are to 
be seen any day, any season, somewhere along the highway. The 
river contains bullheads and a few pickerel (see SPORTS AND 

At 119.7 m. is the ABERDEEN MUNICIPAL AIRPORT, stop 
ping place for transport and mail planes (see TRANSPORTA 

ABERDEEN, 121.8 m. (1,300 alt., 16,725 pop.), (See ABER 

Northern State Teachers' College, Wylie and Melgaard Parks, 
German-Russian community. 

Here is a junction with US 281 (see Tour n). 

At 122.4 m. are the Milwaukee R.R. STOCKYARDS, in which 
trainloads of cattle, sheep, and hogs from the ranch country of 
western North and South Dakota and Montana are unloaded for 
rest, water, and feed on their way to packing centers farther east. 
There are 150 pens for cattle, each holding a carload, and 109 
pens for sheep. From 200 to 2,000 carloads of stock pass through 
the yards each month during the fall shipping season. The yards 
are interesting by night as well as by day, when trains unload un 
der bright lights. 

At 126.9 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is RICHMOND LAKE 2 m., which was form 
ed by a dam built with the aid of the Works Progress Admini 
stration, flooding an area of 1,000 acres to make one of the larg 
est man-made lakes in the State. 

198 A South Dakota Guide 

At 1354m. US 12 crosses the neck of MINA LAKE, formed 
by damming Dry Rtm Creek. Construction of the dam was started 
by private subscriptions from Aberdeen and Ipswich residents 
who wanted a recreational site. It was completed with the help of 
the State Game and Fish Department and Federal relief agencies. 
The lake is stocked with game fish, and is a State game reserve. 
Another arm of the horseshoe-shaped lake is crossed at 136 m. over 
a rock spillway. 

IPSWICH, 149.3 m. (1,530 alt., 943 pop.), was named by 
Charles H. Prior, superintendent of the Milwaukee R.R., for the 
English city of that name. It is the seat of Edmunds Co., and has 
a new modern-style courthouse. A PUBLIC LIBRARY, presented to 
the city by the heirs of Marcus P. Beebe, pioneer resident, is built 
of native stone from the prairies. There is also a church construct 
ed of the same kind of material. The town is rendered more at 
tractive by the large ZINNIA GARDENS along Main St. 

The promotion of the Yellowstone Trail (US 12) from "Plym 
outh Rock to Puget Sound" was begun at Ipswich by Joseph W. 
Parmley, and the organization, now known as the U. S. No. 12 
Association, still maintains its national headquarters here. A World 
War MEMORIAL ARCH spans the highway, bearing the name of the 
Yellowstone Trail and its founder. 

South of Ipswich, in Powell township, a colony of Welsh peo 
ple settled and made their characteristic national contribution to 
the music of the region, three of them having been members of 
the Royal Welsh Glee Club which sang before the King and Queen 
of England. 

Between Ipswich and Mobridge the glacially-formed hills rise 
like a rumpled blanket. Near the Missouri River there is more 
grassland, and grazing cattle are seen. 

ROSCOE, 164 m. (1,826 alt., 540 pop.), is a trade center for 
a farming community, not unlike the small towns of the movies, 
with pool halls, tall red grain elevators, general stores, square 
houses, and large frame churches. 

BOWDLE, 179.2 m. (1,995 a ft-> 773 PP-)> came into being with 
the advent of the railroad, which was gradually pushing toward 
the Missouri River. The town was named for a banker who repre 
sented the railroad's interests in that region. Bowdle in the i88o's 
was an important sheep and wool shipping point, but with the com 
ing of German farmers, diversified farming has become more im- 

Tour 2 199 

portant. Most of the businessmen in Bowdle are of German ex 
traction, and the language is used on the streets. Churches form an 
integral part of social life, both in town and the rural communities. 
There are both Catholic and Lutheran churches. 

JAVA, 194.4^. (2,045 a ^- 5 Z 4 PP-)> was once noted through 
out the 'State for its girls' basketball teams, which for several sea 
sons defeated all opponents. Cattle and horses are raised exten 
sively in the surrounding region, forming the basis of the town's 
business. Pioneer residents are unable to recall how the town re 
ceived its name, but it is generally believed that railroad engineers 
named it facetiously for coffee. 

At 200 m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is HIDDENWOOD LAKE, 3 m., a recreational 
center for this region; there is a good beach, and picnic grounds. 

SELBY, 202.3 m. (1,877 alt., 613 pop.), was founded in 1899 
when the town of Bangor, then county seat 5 m. S., was moved to 
the railroad line. Selby became the seat of Walworth Co. and the 
trade center of a large area in which cattle and horse raising is 
carried on extensively as well as farming. Selby sends a large per 
centage of its high school graduates to college, and many of the 
residents are college graduates. Although Selby is several miles 
from the Missouri River, nearly every spring one resident builds 
a houseboat, pulls it to the river, floats 'down to New Orleans for 
the winter, sells his boat and returns to build another. 

At Selby is the junction with IT'S 83 (see Tour 12). 

At 219.3 m. the crest of the Missouri River breaks is reached, 
with a view of the river and bottom-land stretching N. and S., 
fringed with cedar, willow, and cottonwood trees. Here farming 
and livestock-raising are carried on together, and proposals for 
large irrigation projects are made annually. The most successful 
crops have been alfalfa and other forage plants. Thick timber, 
matted with dense underbrush along the river, gives testimony of 
what is possible where moisture is sufficient in this area, often 
classed as semi-arid. 

MOBRIDGE, 221.6 m. (1,657 alt -> 3,464 pop.), was formerly the 
site of Arikara and Sioux Indian villages, but it was not until 
1906 that the present city was founded. At that time the Mil 
waukee R.R. built a bridge across the Missouri River, and when 
a telegrapher used the contraction "Mo. Bridge" in his reports a 
name originated that has remained with the town. Several build- 

200 A South Dakota Guide 

ings were moved from Old Evarts, a town which had been started 
8m. S., now deserted. As the division headquarters for the Pacific 
extension of the railroad, the town grew rapidly. A large rail 
road yard still remains, but the offices have been moved. On the 
grounds of the railroad station are two large stones called the 
CONQUERORS' STONES. It is said that defeated Indian chiefs were 
forced to kneel on the stones, placing their hands in the hand- 
shaped grooves in token of submission to their captors. An excellent 
collection of Indian relics taken from Arikara village sites near 
Mobridge (see below) is displayed on Main St., by O. L. Lawein. 
Unlike towns along US 12 to the E., in Mobridge are seen ranch 
ers with ten-gallon hats and cowboy boots, and Indians in over 
alls or shawls. 

At the western edge of the city is the NORTHWESTERN LUTHERAN 
ACADEMY, a sectarian school. 

At 222.9 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is RIVERSIDE PARK and the FOOL SOLD 
IERS BAND MONUMENT, 2 m., erected in honor of the "Pool 
Band" of Indians who rescued a party of white prisoners. Dur 
ing the War of the Outbreak (see HISTORY), a band of Santee 
Indians attacked Shetek Lake, Minn., and took captive two wo 
men and seven children. The white captives were taken to the 
Missouri River, at its junction with Grand River. Word of their 
whereabouts came to Fort Pierre. A party of eleven young Indian 
men, known as the Fool Soldier Band because they had taken an 
oath to help the whites, set out with Martin Charger, reputedly 
a grandson of Capt. Merriwether Lewis, the explorer, as their 
leader. The other Indian men were Kills Game and Conies Back, 
Four Bear, Mad Bear, Pretty Bear, Sitting Bear, Swift Bird, One 
Rib, Strikes Fire, Red Dog, and Charging Dog. They found the 
Santee camp of White Lodge, leader of the hostile band, and 
bargained for the captives, offering horses, food, and weapons. 
Finally a trade was effected and on Nov. 20, 1862, the captives 
were released to the Fool Soldiers. Having traded all but two 
guns and one horse, the rescuers made a basket for the children 
to ride in and placed one of the women, who had been shot in 
the foot, on the horse. Martin Charger gave his moccasins to the 
other woman who had no shoes. 

At 3 m., is an ARIKARA VILLAGE SITE, the outlines of which 
can be seen, as a different shade of grass fills the circle where 
the mud huts once stood. Each hut was from 20 to 30 ft. in 
diameter. Mounds are still visible beside each circle; these were 
refuse piles, and fragments of pottery are still found in these 
heaps. Several of the mounds were excavated by the Smithsonian 
Institution and the artifacts are on display in Washington, D. C. 

Tour 2 201 

At 224 m. is a junction with a graded, winding road. 

Left on this road is LINCOLN PARK, 0.4 m., which has a public 
swimming pool, dance pavilion, tourist cabins, picnic places, and 
shade trees. 

At 224.5 m., is the Missouri River bridge built by the State in 
1924. North of the bridge is the railroad bridge, which rests on 
piers sunk 90 ft. into the river bed. 

From the highway bridge, up the river, ASHLEY ISLAND is 
visible (R). It was named for Gen. William H. Ashley, a partner 
in the Rocky Mountain Fur Co., who in the spring of 1823 con 
ducted a party of 100 men and a cargo of merchandise up the 
Missouri River, on flat boats, to his trading post on the Yellow 
stone River in Montana. Arriving at the Arikara Indian villages 
opposite the island on May 30, he traded trinkets for horses. Some 
of the Ashley party planned to continue the trip overland the next 
day, but at dawn the Indians made a surprise attack, killing 12 
men and wounding n. The land party returned to the boats and, 
taking the dead and wounded, drifted down the river. The boats 
halted where the highway bridge now stands, and the journals 
record how Jedediah Smith made a "powerful prayer" for the 
wounded. It was the first recorded act of public worship in South 
Dakota. General Ashley sent a message with news of the massacre 
to Col. Henry Leavenworth at Fort Akinson, Kan., who immediate 
ly dispatched an expedition to punish the Rees. On the way the 
soldiers met a party of trappers under Major Pilcher, and 1 the re 
mainder of the Ashley party, augmented by several hundred Sioux, 
set out in search of the enemy. Major Pilcher and the Sioux went 
ahead to hold the Rees until the arrival of the artillery. Hostilities 
began, but the Rees, camped on the E. side of the river, refused 
open battle. A six-pound howitzer, which had been brought and 
mounted on a nearby hill, began a bombardment of the Arikara 
village. The very first shot beheaded the chief. By noon the Rees 
sent a plea for peace, agreeing to return the goods stolen from 
the Ashley expedition. They returned a few buffalo robes, and 
further negotiations were postponed. In the morning it was dis 
covered the Rees had escaped during the night with their belong 

At the western end of the bridge the time meridian is crossed ; 
W. of the bridge is mountain time, E. is central. (Going W. turn 
watches back one hour; going B. turn them ahead one hour.) 

202 A South Dakota Guide 

At 225.2m. on top of a high hill, at the junction with State 8 
(see Tour *A),is the SACACAWEA MONUMENT to the most 
famous of all Western Indian women. Sacacawea was a Shoshoni 
Indian girl who was captured by the Mandans at the age of 12, 
and later sold to a French trapper, Charbonneau, who married her. 
Charbonneau was hired by Lewis and Clark in 1805 to guide their 
expedition through the Rocky Mountains (see HISTORY). He 
took along with him his wife and infant son. Sacacawea, known as 
the Bird Woman, served as scout for most of the journey, and was 
also the nurse. On the return of the expedition in 1806 Sacaca 
wea and her husband stayed with the Mandans for a while, 
but later, at the urgent invitation of Capt. Clark, visited him at St. 
Louis. He persuaded them to leave their son with him to be edu 
cated. Shortly after the return, according to two contemporary 
journals, a wife of Charbonneau died of fever, supposedly at Fort 
Manuel, on the Missouri River S. of the State line, and was buried 
there. There is some question, however, whether the wife referred 
to was Sacacawea. Charbonneau had more than one wife, and 
records of the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming offer evidence 
that a woman known as Sacacawea died there after having lived to 
a considerable age. Fort Manuel was destroyed during the war 
of 1812, and the site eroded into the Missouri River, so neither 
the fort nor the grave can be located accurately today. 

covers the eastern half of Corson Co. in South Dakota, and ex 
tends into North Dakota, with the Agency at Fort Yates, N. Dak. 
(No permission necessary to pass through open reservation; office 
of agent at Fort Yates, N. D.; Federal offense to transport intoxi 
cating liquors into or through reservation.) 

There are 3,828 Sioux Indians on the reservation roll, 2,565 of 
which are listed as full-bloods by the agency superintendent. The 
native bands within the Sioux Tribe (see INDIANS) on this res 
ervation are: Hunkpapas, Yanktonai, Teton, Minneconjou, Itazibeo, 
Oohenupa, Sihasapa, Ogalala, Sicungu, and Isanyati. The Indian 
population is increasing. All persons under 40 years of age can 
speak English, but many speak the native tongue at home. The 
native language is used by 90 percent of the people over 40, and 
by half the children of pre-school age. It is used very little by 
school children. 

Rodeos are held at irregular intervals during the summer months. 

Tour 2 203 

From US 12 Indian farms are seen, but a better view of the 
life on the reservation is obtained on the winding, dirt side roads. 
There are 222 frame houses occupied by Indians on the reserva 
tion, but none have modern facilities; 426 families use log houses 
today. Nearly every family has a tent in addition to its regular 
home. "Store clothes" are worn by 80 percent of the tribe, while 
old time garments such as moccasins, shawls, and petticoats made 
of flannel, with many gathers for fullness, are still worn by older 
women. Skins are still dressed by removing the hair with wood 
ashes, soaking the hide in water, and greasing it ; after this it is 
worked by hand until it is soft and pliable. Other surviving cus 
toms include the general "give away" when a death occurs in the 
family. Clothing, household articles, and furnishings are given 
away, and the survivors of the family are obliged to replace things 
as best they can. The social life on this reservation consists of 
much visiting and dancing. When families go visiting, they take 
their tents and camp on the premises of those they are visiting. 
Usually they bring their own bedding and, i they have it, their 
food. Old time dances such as square dances and waltzes are pop 
ular, as well as the kahomani and other Indian steps. The Sioux 
enjoy the fairs and rodeos in the summer, taking their tents to the 
celebration where they camp until everything is over. The tradi 
tional tribal music prevails, but there is no set time or place where 
it can be heard. Funeral songs, rain songs, war songs, songs for 
the rejected lover and for those who are downhearted are heard 
wherever a group gathers in the evening. Native cults are not 
active on the 'Standing Rock Reservation, and 99 percent of the 
Indians are affiliated with some Christian sect. The Catholic, Epis 
copal, and Congregational denominations are strongest in point of 

A tribal council of 14 members has some administrative powers ; 
and a tribal judiciary of two judges, appointed by the Govern 
ment, holds court over crimes of minor nature. The inhabitants of 
the reservation participate in county and State administration, with 
usually two or three holding elective county offices. The tribal 
wealth is approximately $11,000, but the per capita wealth aver 
ages only about $20, not including land. All property is now indi 
vidually owned, but there are 95,000 acres of unallotted land. About 
320,000 acres of Indian-owned land are rented. There are 21 In 
dian-owned stock ranches. During the past few years, the drought 
period, the farms have not been self-supporting. Several Indians 

204 A South Dakota Guide 

have built up various types of individual businesses, including two 
newspapers, a creamery, a shoe repair shop, and two dance or 
chestras. There are cooperative livestock associations. Native hand 
icraft forms a means of partial support, but it is not practised ex 

At 235^. is ST. ELIZABETH'S SCHOOL (R), an Episcopal 
boarding school for Indians. In front of the white buildings, sit 
uated on a high hill, is a monument erected to the early Christian 
leaders, and especially to the native minister, Rev. Philip Deloria. 

WAKPALA (Ind., stream), 236.6 m. (1,633 alt -> 2 PP-) is 
a settlement of whites and Indians, The one-street village, of dull 
frame buildings and a bright new community hall, has board side 
walks. A modern, brick schoolhouse contrasts with log cabins and 
tents in the wooded outskirts of the village. 

At 253.3 m - is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is ELK BUTTE, 5 m. (L), one of the old sacred 
hills of the Sioux People. At 6 m. is LITTLE EAGLE, an Indian 
village of cabins and tents. It was here that probably the last 
Sun Dance ever to be held by the Sioux was staged in 1936 in 
quest of rain. Chief White Bull, nephew of Sitting Bull, led the 
three-day dance. At Little Eagle is a monument to Indian soldiers 
who died in the World War. 

At 255 m. is the junction with a graded, dirt road. 

Left on this road is SITTING BULL PARK, 11 m., where the 
Sioux chief was killed during the Messiah War. (Indian guide 
available during summer.) 

It was during the early dawn of the crisp, frosty morning of Dec. 
15, 1890, that Sitting Bull, last chief of the Hunkpapa Sioux, 
fell riddled with bullets at the hands of his own people, the In 
dian police, sent to arrest him. Here Sitting Bull last exhorted 
the wavering fragments of his once powerful band. Today the 
site of the medicine man's home is a public park, unimproved in 
order to preserve the actual setting. The sites of the cabins, the 
spots where each man fell, the common grave of the seven fol 
lowers who died with Sitting Bull, and various relics of the 
famous "struggle in the dark" are preserved in this park. 

The old chief spent most of his life in South Dakota, but his body 
was taken to Ft. Yates, N. Dak., the agency, for burial. There 
in a solitary grave, in a corner of the old army post cemetery, 
Sitting Bill sleeps; bodies of white men, once buried near him, 
have been removed. 

Probably no figure in all Sioux history has caused more contro 
versy, more uneasiness, was more colorful, more disliked, and 
more respected. When Sitting Bull was killed and his followers 

Tour 2 205 

were dispersed on that cold, hazy morning, the dim lamp of hope 
that had flickered so long in Sioux breasts, suddenly flared craz- 
ily, resulting finally in the Battle of Wounded Knee and the 
pitiful crushing of the dying spirit of the Indians. The ghost 
dance had been the last straw at which the Indians, in their final 
stand against civilization, had grasped. Believing that the white 
men, "Wasicun" (pronounced waseeehun), would suffer for their 
greed and selfishness, the Sioux imagined a Messiah would soon 
come and punish their enemies. The Wasicun had crucified their 
saviour, and retribution, they were sure, would overtake them. 

Many books have been written about this chief, part of whose 
influence rested on his fame as a medicine man. Some disparage 
him; others praise him. Those who knew him declare he was 
canny, treacherous, deceitful, and cowardly. He never was a 
brave warrior in battle. At the Little Bighorn battle he was busy 
making medicine in his tipi, while braver leaders were in the 
thick of the red tide, directing the extermination of Custer's de 
tachment or engaged in driving Reno across the river. But, at 
any rate, he always exerted a powerful influence, and caused no 
end of worry to white authorities, especially Maj. James Mc- 
Laughlin, for many years agent on the Standing Rock Reserva 
tion where Sitting Bull lived. When McLaughlin learned that Sit 
ting Bull was preparing to leave the reservation, he deemed it 
wise to place him under arrest. Detailed for the uncertain and 
risky task were 43 Indian policemen, under the command of 
Lieutenant Bullhead, a cool and reliable man, and an avowed 
enemy of Sitting Bull, as well as of his chief bodyguard, Catch- 

The police approached Sitting Bull's camp quietly, at daybreak 
Dec. 15. The medicine man was sleeping when the police burst 
into his cabin, struck a light, and read to him the order of ar 
rest. He consented to go with them and sent one of his wives 
to saddle his favorite mount, a trick circus horse he had brought 
back with him from Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, with which 
he had traveled at one time. 

While the police were hurrying him into his clothes, word was 
spread about the camp of the arrival of the police, and quickly 
the medicine man's followers began to assemble about the cabin. 
The police, seeing the impending danger, hastened to get Sitting 
Bull out of the cabin and whisked away before bloodshed should 
occur, and half-dressed, he was dragged outside. Once out of 
the cabin and in view of all his loyal tribesmen, he hesitated; 
and while jibes from his young son, Crowfoot, from one of his 
wives, and others in the group, stung him deeply, he made up 
his mind that he would not be taken without a struggle. Lieu 
tenant Bullhead and Sergt. Shave Head held Sitting Bull, each 
by an arm, Sergt. Red Tomahawk was guarding the rear, while 
the rest of the police (Metal Breasts, the Sioux called them) were 
trying to clear a path through the barricade of menacing red 
bodies, which hemmed them against the cabin. 

206 A South Dakota Guide 

When Catch-the-Bear, rifle in hand, appeared among the war 
riors, shouting threats at Lieutenant Bullhead, his personal en 
emy, Sitting Bull cried out, "I am not going! I am not going!" 
Catch-the-Bear threw up his rifle and fired. Bullhead fell, a 
bullet in his leg. But as he fell he turned and sent a slug into 
the body of Sitting Bull, who was shot from behind at the same 
time by Red Tomahawk. Shave Head was struck simultaneously 
with a bullet, and the three Sitting Bull, Bullhead, and Shave 
Head all went down in a heap. Then began a terrible hand-to- 
hand struggle between 43 policemen and about 150 of Sitting 
Bull's warriors. It was no common fight; with Indian against 
Indian, Hunkpapa against Hunkpapa, the result was frenzy, bru 
tality Indians clubbing, stabbing, choking each other. Some of 
the police were Yanktonnais and Black Feet; the rest were Hunk- 
papas, Sitting Bull's own people. 

Soon after the firing started most of the police dodged behind 
the cabin where they had the advantage, while the enemy took 
refuge behind trees that fringed the stream nearby. They held 
each other at bay until the arrival of the troops. 

An event that almost struck panic to the more superstitious of 
the Indian police was the behavior of the gray circus horse, 
which Sitting Bull had ordered saddled and brought to his door. 
During all the fighting he sat calmly down in the midst of the 
melee and lifted one hoof as he had been trained to do. Then he 
performed other tricks he had learned with Buffalo Bill's Wild 
West show. This spectacle frightened some of the police, who 
feared that the spirit of the dead Sitting Bull had been reincarn 
ated in the horse and had returned to punish them for their deed. 
Despite the fact that the air was alive with bullets, the old horse 
came through without a wound. 

The seven warriors who had fallen with Sitting Bull on December 
15 lay unburied for two weeks after the battle.' Relatives were 
afraid to return because they thought the soldiers were still 
there. It was then that the Rev. T. L. Riggs, son of Stephen R. 
Riggs, pioneer missionary of South Dakota, volunteered to go 
with them and assist in the burial. They were placed in a com 
mon grave near the scene of the fight. Dr. Riggs is still living 
at Oahe, and through this act, which at the time he thought in 
consequential, he endeared himself to the hearts of Sitting Bull's 

McLAUGHLIN, 257 m. (2,002 alt., 633 pop.), is a young town 
in a comparatively new country, and while its trade is largely with 
Indians, it reflects the effect of prosperous years in this ranching 
and farming community. The town was named for Col. James Mc- 
Laughlin, Indian Inspector of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

McINTOSH, 283 m. (2,276 alt., 654 pop.), is the oldest town in 
Corson Co., having been incorporated in 1910 ; it is also the county 

Tour 2 207 

seat. The town was named after the Mclntosh brothers who were 
the subcontractors in charge of building the railroad grades through 
the Standing Rock Reservation. 

Between Mclntosh and Lemmon the rolling country breaks into 
occasional sharp buttes and grassless mud flats. Less than 30 years 
ago the prairie was covered with shacks, hastily put together by 
homesteaders who came, only to leave as soon as the land became 
theirs. The few who remain, living along the little streams, have 
gradually acquired herds of cattle. This country was once the para 
dise of cattlemen; it still is, -but in a different sense. The cattle 
man must rent his land today; yesterday it belonged to anyone or 
no one. Here, where there are few towns and 1 the roads are im 
passable in wet seasons, the temptation to go : to town is less ; fam 
ilies are large and live to themselves. Men and women are wind- 
burned the year around, and children are virtually raised in the 

MORRISTOWN, 299.8 m. (2,240 alt., 235 pop.), named for the 
C-7 ranch proprietor, Nels Morris, supplies the surrounding ranch 
ers with such supplies as they do not get from mail order houses. 

THUNDER HAWK, 308.1 m. (100 pop.), has a general store 
where on Saturdays commodities, politics, and gossip are exchang 
ed over the cracker and pickle barrels. 

LEMMON, 318.4 m. (2,567 alt., 1,785 pop.), was named for 
"Ed" Lemmon, pioneer and cattleman, who for years was foreman 
of the large L7 cattle outfit. The town is the trade center for a 
large territory in both North and South Dakota, which produces 
grain, cattle, horses, and sheep. Thus, it is one of the few towns 
in the United States where cattlemen, sheepmen and farmers ^each 
uncomplimentary to the other meet on a common ground the. 
store, poolhall, bar, dancehall, or courtroom. Situated on the North. 
Dakota Line, part of the town is actually in the adjoining State. 
It has enjoyed rapid growth during recent years, due to the fact 
that it is the only town of appreciable size within a. wide area and 
commands a very large trade territory. Attempts at farming in the 
immediate vicinity have resulted in much distress during recent 
drought years, although the soil is exceptionally fertile. 

Although Lemmon is the outstanding town in Perkins Co., it was 
forced to concede the county seat to Bison, an inland hamlet, 
about 40 m. SW. 

208 A South Dakota Guide 

The PETRIFIED WOOD PARK, on Us 12, contains several buildings, 
and numerous curios, built entirely of petrified wood obtained to 
ward the southern part of the county. Petrified wood and agate 
rings are also sold in Lemmon, many different designs being ob 

On a convenient knoll at the northwest edge of town is the city's 
STANDPIPE, and nearby is the town's new SWIMMING POOL, com 
pleted under the Works Progress Administration program. 

A fire that burned several tanks of petroleum products in 1935 
created billows of smoke that drifted S. a hundred miles. Ranchers 
on the Cheyenne River told of seeing the smoke high in the air. 

Left from Lemmon, on State 73, is a MASS BUFFALO BURIAL, 
18.1 m. The site is difficult to reach, requiring several turns and 
the fording of a river; at 12 m. is a junction with a dirt road; 
R. on this road; at 15m. L. on a winding road, past a country 
schoolhouse and through the woods, to Grand River. The river 
can be forded in most seasons. Left along the river at 18.1 m. 
is a cutbank, where a wedge-shaped mass of bones is exposed, 
12 ft. under the surface of the earth. There are thousands of 
bones, and they are not fossilized. Several theories have been 
advanced for their presence. One is that a herd of buffalo may 
have been mired down in a morass; another is that the buffalo 
were driven over a cutbank by a severe storm and piled up at 
the bottom. There is evidence to refute every theory advanced 
thus far, and the presence of the bones has puzzled paleontolo 
gists who came to study the phenomenon. 

WHITE BUTTE, 328.5 m. (85 pop.), the last town in South 
Dakota on US 12, is a typical Western movie village, its few 
houses evidently built without much idea of the town's coherence. 
Since it is a railroad 1 town with a favorable location as a stock 
shipping point, it is a familiar sight to see cows or sheep dodging 
behind houses as the herds are driven to the stockyards for their 
long journey to market. 

At White Butte US 12 crosses the North Dakota Line, i6m. 
SE. of Hettinger, N. Dak. (see N. Dak. Tour p.) 

Tour 2A 209 


Junction with US 12 Trail City Timber Lake Isabel Bison 
Buffalo Camp Crook (Miles City, Mont.). State 8. 

Junction with US 12 Montana Line, 201 m. 

Between junction with US 12 and Isabel this route parallels a 
branch of the C. M. St.P. & P. R.R. 

Hotel and tourist accommodations at Timber Lake, Isabel, Bison, 
and Buffalo. 

Gravel and dirt roadbed throughout, in good condition. 

West of the junction with US 12 the road goes through a more 
or less level country for 125 miles, but from that point on it is 
more picturesque. It passes through the Reva Gap of the Slim 
Buttes, and thence westward is never out of sight of pine-clad hills 
whether the Slim Buttes, the Cave Hills, or the East and West 
Short Pines. For a number of miles west of the Slim Buttes the 
road parallels Grand River, although not always in sight of it. 

State 8 branches W. from US 12 (see Tour 2} 3 m. W. of Mo- 

TRAIL CITY, 12 m. (2,143 alt., 300 pop.), is at the junction 
of two branches of the C. M. St.P. & P. R.R., running to Isabel and 
Faith (see Tour j), respectively. 

TIMBER LAKE, 32 w. (2,161 alt., 560 pop.), was built on the 
edge of Timber Lake", which, paradoxically, has virtually no tim 
ber. In recent years the lake, crossed by a bridge, has been almost 
dry. The town is the seat of Dewey Co. 

FIRESTEEL, 41 m. (2,340 alt., 148 pop.), became well-known 
for the State-operated coal mile there until its sale in 1936. Acres 
of ground around the town were excavated for lignite coal, veins 
of which are close to the surface. The State operated the leased 
mine at a severe loss, but during the "depression" years coal was 
given to needy, relief families. Coal beds are so common in the 
area from this point W. that coal is sold for $1.00 to $1.50 a ton 
at the mine. 

ISABEL, 49 w. (2,402 alt., 420 pop.), is the terminus of one 
branch of the C.M.St.P. & P. R.R. and serves a large territory 
to the W. 

COAL SPRINGS, 85 m. (15 pop.), is a general store and post 
office, and was originally a quarter of a mile N. of its present site. 


A South Dakota Guide 

At 94m. is the junction 
with State 73. 

Right on this graveled road 
15m.; L. on old scenic 
round-up trail to the SITE 
OF OLD SIEM, 18 m., a dis 
continued post office dating 
back to range days. Left of 
Old Siem, across Grand Riv 
er by ford and up a steep 
hill by footpath, is the 
19 m. Hugh Glass, in the 
summer of 1823, was a 
hunter and guide for a trad 
ing party under Gen. Wil 
liam A. Ashley, en route 
from the Missouri River, 
following the route of the 
earlier Astorians. Glass was 
scouting ahead of the main 
party near the forks of the 
Grand, when he came upon 
a grizzly and her cubs. He 
had no time to retreat, and 
a terrific battle ensued be 
tween him and the bear. 
When his companions found 
him, the bear was dead and 
Glass was unconscious, bad 
ly clawed about the face 
and mauled. Ashley left two 
men to stay and take care 
of him. They watched the 
unconscious man for four 
days and then, concluding 
that he would not live, they 
took his gun and ammuni 
tion, his knife, and even 
his matches, and left him. 
When they overtook the 
Ashley party, they reported 
that Glass had died and that 
they had buried him. 
Glass recovered conscious 
ness some time after they 


Tour 2A 211 

had left. He knew, by the campfires, that someone had been left to 
aid him, and he was enraged that they should have left him de 
fenseless and deserted. When he tried to move, he found that his 
leg was broken. For several days he lived on what bear meat 
he could tear off with his teeth. Then the meat commenced to 
spoil and from that time he lived solely on roots and berries. 
He decided that if he were to save his life, he would have to 
crawl to the nearest white settlement, Ft. Kiowa on the Missouri 
River, over a hundred miles away. It took him weeks to accom 
plish this incredible feat, setting a record for grit and endurance. 

His wrath at the men who had betrayed him had grown to be 
a consuming fire, and, as soon as he was able to travel, he started 
in pursuit of them. He joined a keelboat party bound for the 
mouth of the Yellowstone; but when they reached Mandan, the 
Ice closed in and the party had to remain there for the winter. 
But Hugh Glass' anger would not let him wait. He started over 
land alone and he found the Ashley party at the mouth of the 
Big Horn. He strode into the cabin and demanded to be shown 
the men who had deserted him. One of them cowered against 
the wall. Glass covered him with his gun and, walking over to 
him, kicked him lightly. "Get up!" he said, "and wag your tail. 
I wouldn't kill a pup." He inquired after the other man, a youth 
whom he had befriended, and found that he had gone to Ft. 
Atkinson with dispatches. After a few weeks' rest Glass set out 
to find him; but when he reached the fort, he found that the 
man had gone up river again. He finally overtook him and in 
the end forgave; "and that fact," Neihardt says, "raises his story 
to the level of sublimity." 

John G. Neihardt, poet laureate of Nebraska, immortalized this 
feat in "The Song of Hugh Glass." On the hill 0.5 m. S. of the 
forks of the Grand, is the monument with the following inscrip 


This altar to courage was erected by the Neihardt club 
August 1, 1923, in memory of HUGH GLASS who, 
wounded and deserted here, began his crawl to Ft. 
Kiowa in the fall of 1823. 

MEADOW, 96 m. (60 pop.), is a small prairie town with gar 
age, filling stations, and a few stores. 

BISON, loSm. (2,500 alt., 275 pop.), was named for the large 
shaggy animals that roamed the plains in countless thousands when 
the first white man came. It is a typical prairie town with one 
main street, from which the false front wooden stores of early days 
are not entirely lacking. The residence portion is more attractive; 
each house is surrounded by a large yard, and a beginning of tree 
planting has been made. Although towns like Bison are negligible 

212 A South Dakota Guide 

in comparison with Eastern towns, they are economically much 
more important with relation to the region which they serve. Bison 
and Buffalo, its neighboring county seat to the W., each with a 
population of less than 300, are both on mail order house maps of 
the Northwest. Surrounding Bison are cattle ranches and large 
grain farms. This town is the seat of Perkins Co. 
At H5w. is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road at 7m. is a sign, "Petrified Tree"; L. here 
3 m. to a PETRIFIED TREE, claimed to be the largest in the 
world. Competent observers have declared that there is no rec 
ord of a larger mass of petrified wood all in one place. The tree, 
buried in a hill, was discovered only recently. Seventy-five feet 
of it have been uncovered and there is still more in the hill. At 
the base the diameter is 2 ft. There are several large knots 
where limbs once grew and rings indicating the growth of the 
tree are plainly visible. Scientists say that this gigantic tree is 
a member of the Sequoia family. 

REVA, 146 m. (12 pop.), is a store and post office just E. of 
the Slim Buttes. At 146.5 m. is the junction with a graded road. 
Left on this road is the post office, GILL, at the ROCK RANCH, 
12 m. This ranch is remarkable for the beauty of its buildings 
and their setting. As the name implies, they are all of stone, and 
two stone arches give entrance to the parklike grounds. The 
stonework is interspersed with pieces of petrified wood and fossil 
specimens. Within the house there are many fossil remains 
gathered in the surrounding hills. Here are fossil bones of the 
three-toed horse, the oreodon, and the cephalopod. There are 
also fossilized turtles and snails, and the imprints on rock of 
ferns and leaves that grew in early geologic ages. 

At 16 m., (R) up Deer Draw 0.5 m., is a picnic ground. Here is 
a spring of good water and all camping facilities. 

At 16.5 m. there is a gap in the Buttes known as CEDAR PASS. 
This is second only to Reva Gap in beauty. The view from the 
top of the pass over the prairies is remarkable, with Castle Rock 
and Square Top in the distance, and on the horizon the faint 
blue outlines of the Black Hills. To see sunlight and shadow 
chasing each other over fifty miles of prairie is a sight long to 
be remembered. 

MENT, a simple shaft, eight ft. high, commemorating the Battle 
of Slim Buttes, which took place in the immediate vicinity. This 
was one of the three major conflicts between soldiers and Indians 
in the history of the State, the other two being the Battle of 
Wounded Knee and Colonel Leavenworth's campaign against the 

Tour 2A 213 

The Battle of 'Slim Buttes was fought on Sept. 9, 1876. Gen 
eral Crook's troops were hastening S. to protect the settlers in the 
Black Hills, when an advance guard under Maj. Anson Mills en 
countered a small force of Indians in Reva Gap of the Slim Buttes. 
Major Mills held the Indians off until the arrival of reinforce 
ments under General Crook. The Indians, meanwhile, had been 
reinforced by members of Crazy Horse's band. The two forces 
fought one entire day, at the end of which three white men and a 
dozen or more Indians had been killed, and a few Indians were 
taken captive. The battle was more or less of a stalemate, but the 
Indians withdrew during the night. The next morning General 
Crook burned what was left of the Indian villages and buried his 
own dead, causing his whole column to trample over their graves 
as he broke camp, to conceal their location from the Indians. Of 
the white men killed, one was a well-known scout, William White, 
a friend and follower of Buffalo Bill, whom he admired intensely. 
So noticeable was White's constant companionship with Buffalo 
Bill that General Sherman gave him the nickname "Buffalo Chips," 
because, he said, where you saw one you always saw the other. 

At 150.5 w. the route enters the 'SLIM BUTTEtS, a long range 
of pine-topped hills, with limestone cliffs facing the W., and brok 
en ridges and wooded valleys sloping to the E. For 20 m. this 
ridge stretches N. and -S., and at the southern end it bends slightly 
SE. for another 15 m. towards an isolated peak known as Sheep 
Mountain. Through this entire stretch of 35 m., the range is never 
more than six miles wide, and more frequently two or three. It 
is this characteristic that has given it the name, Slim Buttes. The 
white limestone cliff to the W. is broken in three places : at Reva 
Gap near the N. end, at the JB Pass rom. S. of Reva Gap, and at 
the elbow where beautiful Cedar Pass permits passage (see above). 
These are the only points in the range where any kind of vehicle 
can cross. 

The Slim Buttes have a history more replete with incident than 
any other part of this region. The first white men to see them were 
the members of the Astorian party under Wilson Price Hunt, who, 
in 1811, followed Grand River from its junction with the Missouri 
in order to avoid the long northward curve of the larger stream. 
The traders marveled at the buttes and mentioned them in their 
journals. Next to see them were the members of the Ashley party, 
wlho followed the trail of the Astorians in August 1823. This 
was the party of which Hugh Glass was guide, when he performed 

214 A South Dakota Guide 

his almost incredible feat (see above). The next to note the Slim 
Buttes was a detachment of soldiers under Maj. Anson Mills who 
encountered a force of Indians in the Reva Gap and fought the 
Battle of Slim Buttes (see above). 

At the north end of the Buttes is a sharp, detached rock rising 
to a peak, known as the Saddle Horn. There also are two great 
cliffs, 200 ft. high, facing each other across a deep draw. Farther 
S. along the western edge is a lofty knoll, rising above the skyline 
of the rim. This is called Government Knob, because on its sum 
mit is a marker of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, a brass-capped 
pipe thrust into the earth. This is the highest point in the county. 
From this and almost any other point along the Western rim, 
there is a really superb view. To the W. are the hills known as the 
East and West Short Pines, and beyond them the long blue line 
of the Long Pine Hills in Montana. To the NW. are the rounded 
shoulders of the Cave Hills. To the N. are jagged peaks that rise 
along the North Dakota border, and to the S. Castle Rock, Square 
Top and the faint blue outlines of the Black Hills, a hundred miles 

South of the mile-wide Reva Gap the unbroken ridge extends 
for ten m. to the JB Gap, a lofty pass with scarcely a break in the 
line, but with an auto road descending its W. side with tortuous 
windings and terrific grades. This pass was named for the famous 
JB HORSE RANCH nearby (open to visitors), which has existed 
from the earliest days of white settlement. 

A few miles S. the buttes make their bend to the SE., and at 
this point is a break, beautiful Cedar Canyon (see above), down 
which the road winds on its way S. From Cedar Pass the Buttes 
extend 1 5 m. farther and then cease as abruptly as they began, with 
Sheep Mountain standing beyond, a lonely sentinel. 

In general, the western edge of the buttes is abrupt and com 
manding, with limestone cliffs the entire distance; the eastern side 
is broken up into long sloping valleys, with jutting points between. 
Springs are found throughout the buttes, the grass is long and 
thick, the draws are wooded, and it is an ideal place in which to 
winter stock. It is a part of the Custer National Forest, and 
neighboring stockmen acquire the right from the Government to 
run stock on the Reserve, paying by the head. 

The buttes are also rich in fossils. Bones of the three-toed horse, 
the oreodon, the cephalopod and the sabre-toothed tiger, turtle 

Tour 2A 215 

shells of unusual size, fossil tracks of animals, and other interesting 
specimens have been picked up. In Reva Gap Indian relics have 
been found, such as bones, arrows, and an abandoned tipi that gives 
its name to Tipi Canyon. 

In the buttes are numerous outcroppings of lignite coal, and in 
Reva Gap there is a coal mine that has been worked for many 
years. It has been estimated that there are a quarter of a billion 
tons of lignite coal in Harding Co. alone, and that the whole Slim 
Buttes region is underlaid with it. 

At 151.5 m. the crest of REVA GAP (3,100 alt.), of the Slim 
Buttes is reached. This is the beauty spot of Harding Co. South of 
the road strange formations of rock and clay rise perpendicularly 
in many different forms. One of the largest of them has been 
named Battleship Rock because of its resemblance to the prow of 
an enormous ship. Many other narrow formations stand out here 
and there, or in line. They resemble nothing so much as individual 
pieces of stage scenery waiting to be pushed into position. At the 
highest point of the pass (L) is a perpendicular column of rock 
and earth rising two or three hundred feet, with grass and trees 
on its summit. This has become known as Flag Rock. It is climbed, 
but with difficulty. Just W. of Flag Rock a dirt road turns off 
(L) and follows the crest of the divide for half a mile. Along this 
trail are many camp sites with permanent ovens and other conveni 
ences. Water can be obtained from nearby ranches. 

West of the crest of Reva Gap the road winds down a horseshoe 
curve to lower ground. 

At 159^. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road; at 2 m. L. through gate; at 2.5 m. is the 
STATE ANTELOPE PRESERVE (visitors welcome). 

This is the only place in the world where antelope in large num 
bers are reared in captivity, so that this interesting and deer- 
like creature may be preserved for future generations. A 6-ft. 
fence of heavy-mesh wire topped by two strands of barbed wire 
surrounds the preserve; the heavy posts stand only a rod apart, 
a tubular steel post set in cement alternating with a pitch pine 
post, making a durable fence around this tract of over 14 

Much of the land now enclosed was part of an old cattle ranch 
that dates back to the early 1890's, and the original ranch build 
ings are now the home of the Park Superintendent. It is the in 
tent of the State Game and Fish Commission, under whose aus 
pices the park exists, to preserve the buildings in the same form 

216 A South Dakota Guide 

as they were when the ranch was taken over, for there are com 
paratively few examples left of the ranch architecture of the 
early days. The main dwelling is a typical log ranch house, 
roomy, low-ceilinged, and homelike. This ranch is ideally situated 
on the banks of Squaw Creek, a spring-fed stream that flows 
the length of the park and, with its twists and turnings, supplies 
sufficient water to all parts of it. 

In a comparatively small enclosure, near the ranch building, are 
the baby antelopes that are being reared by hand. Every year 
from a dozen to 20 young antelopes are picked up in the large 
pasture to be brought up as "bottle babies." A baby antelope 
three days old, or younger, can be picked up off the ground. In 
stinct tells the young antelope to trust to its power of conceal 
ment at this stage it flattens itself to the earth, with its long 
neck outstretched and only its eyes betraying signs of life. 

Antelopes are difficult to rear, being high-strung, delicate crea 
tures. They must be fed often and a little at a time. They can 
not take pure cow's milk at first, but must have it diluted with 
water. The proportion of milk is gradually increased until at 
about five weeks they are taking it undiluted. 

The object of rearing a certain number by hand each year is 
twofold. They are kept in a smaller enclosure near the buildings, 
as an exhibit for visitors; also it is planned that the place with 
its increasing herd of antelopes (about 450) shall become a sup 
ply station for foundation herds of State and National Parks. The 
commission will not supply antelopes for municipal parks, be 
cause it has been repeatedly proven that these prairie animals 
will not live in close confinement; and the commission feels that 
to place them under conditions in which they cannot survive is 
to impose a needless cruelty. 

As many as 175 antelopes in one band have been seen on the 
prairie just outside the fence. But they are much more likely to 
be seen in groups of six or a dozen, both inside the fence and 

The antelope is a graceful, tawny creature, somewhat smaller 
than a deer, with a white rump that under excitement or fear 
flares out in all directions to twice its size and makes that ante 
lope "flag" of glistening white which is seen for miles. It is 
their danger signal to one another, the sign that it is time to 
employ their great weapon of defense, their marvelous speed. 
They are said to be the speediest animal in the world. The coy 
otes are obliged to relay on them in order to catch them. They 
are protected by law, and are increasing outside the park as well 
as inside. Their flesh is dark and tender, even more so than 

A feature of the antelope preserve is a large dam that holds 
back some of the waters of Squaw Creek. In a lakeless country 
this dam has been very popular as a swimming place, with peo- 

Tour 2A 217 

pie coming for 20 m. Two bathhouses are conveniently placed 
near the dam face. The dam has also been stocked with fish and 
should afford good sport in time to come. The fish are of two 
kinds, bullheads and black bass. The former are intended for 
fishing by children and those who simply desire to get fish, while 
the black bass are for those who look on fishing as a sport and 
wish to pit their skill against a game fish. 

From the junction with the road to the Antelope Preserve, State 
8 runs for about 3 m. through the sheep ranch of A. H. Dean, for 
whom the author of Sheep, Archer B. Gilfillan, herded for 16 years. 
It was here that he obtained material for his book, which he wrote 
after he had herded sheep ten years. A graduate of an Eastern 
university, he drifted into herding through force of circumstance? 
and continued the occupation because he liked it. The author de 
scribed the country he knew best, and those travelers who may have 
read the book can judge of its truthfulness. The book, moderately 
successful, sold two editions and is at present being reprinted. The 
buildings of the Dean ranch are plainly visible a mile (R) from 
the road at 160.5 m. 

At 171 m. is the junction with US 85 (see Tour /j). Between 
this point and Buffalo US 85 and State 8 are one route. 

BUFFALO, 1737^. (2,800 alt., 250 pop.) (see Tour ij). 
Here is a junction with US 85 (see Tour ij). 

Within a radius of 50 m. of this point there are more sheep 
than in any similar area in the United 'States. Sheep wagons are 
seen on the top of many a hill, and bands of sheep graze along the 
roadside. A visit to one of these wagons will be of interest perhaps 
to anyone who has never seen one. But first locate the herder. He 
may object to strangers invading his home without permission. He 
will be somewhere close by with his sheep, and will gladly show 
how he, the last of the nomads, lives. But do not expect to find 
him different from anyone else who tends animals or works on a 
ranch. He wears no distinctive garb and talks no special "lingo." 

The sheep wagon is reminiscent of the pioneer covered wagon, 
except that it is much shorter and the canvas is pulled taut, elim 
inating that ribbed appearance. Mounting a set of steps, or walk 
ing up the wagon tongue, to the doorway, the visitor sees before 
him a marvel of compact and convenient living quarters for one 
person. At the right, close to the door, is a small camp stove and 
above is a set of shelves for dishes and utensils. Along either side 
are benches, formed by extending the wagon bed over the wheels; 


A South Dakota Guide 


in the center of each of these benches is a trapdoor that opens into 
a "grub box," extending down into the space between the front and 
back wheels. Here the herder keeps his bread, cereal, meat, and 
light groceries. The two benches terminate in a bed across the end 
of the wagon a board bunk, which may or may not have a set of 
springs, but has a mattress and bedding such as is found in any 
bunkhouse. Under the bed is a recess which sometimes has a drop 

Tour 2A 219 

door in front. Here the herder keeps his potatoes and bulky ar 
ticles ; arid here his dog sleeps at night and retires to it in the 
daytime when the herder inadvertently steps on his foot. Over the 
bed is a small window, hinged at the top and manipulated by a 
rope attached to the bottom, so that the herder can open and hold 
it at any angle desired by simply tying the rope. This window, 
being at the opposite end of the wagon from the door, insures per 
fect ventilation and also permits the herder to look out over his 
sleeping flock at night without getting out of bed. For this reason 
the wagon is always placed with its door facing away from the 
bedground. The door is cut in two, crosswise in the middle, the 
upper and lower halves swinging independently on their own 
hinges, making it easier to keep the wagon at any temperature de 
sired without a direct draft on the stove. There is no table in sight 
until the herder either swings it up from the front of the bed and 
props it with its one leg, or, more likely, pulls it out flat from be 
neath the bed, the exposed part being held firm by the part that 
remains beneath the bed. 

Such is the herder's happy home, a model of compactness and 
convenience. His personal belongings are kept on a shelf above his 
bed. There is plenty of room in the wagon for one person, but 
two would crowd it. Perhaps that is the reason why there are so 
few married herders, or at least herders whose wives live with 
them in the wagon. There is distinctly no room for temperament, 
and the sheep wagon will probably continue to be in the future as 
it has been in the past, the refuge of the married man and the 
hiding-place of the bachelor. 

On the tops of many hills in this part of the country are small 
monuments made of piled stone, often two or more on one hill. 
These monuments, locally called "stone Johnnies," are as charac 
teristic of sheep country as the sheep themselves. They are the 
work of herders. Many explanations have been given for them. 
One, obviously unfair to the herder, is that when he feels himself 
mentally slipping, he piles up rocks in order to occupy his mind. 
Another theory is that by the shape or size of the monument he 
can assure himself of his location in case of fog or darkness. The 
fact that there are not half a dozen foggy days a year in this 
region would seem to argue against this theory. Perhaps the most 
reasonable explanation is that the monuments are the result of the 
conjunction of an idle hour and a convenient scattering of stones, 
which usually are found on hilltops. Herders spend much of their 

220 A South Dakota Guide 

time on hilltops, since it is easier to watch the sheep from an 

The country W. of the buttes is somewhat different from that 
to the E. It is rougher and the soil is lighter. There are few small 
farms, but large ranches. Often for miles there is not a house. But 
the landscape is more picturesque and varied. To the E. are the 
white, pine-topped cliffs of the Slim Buttes ; to the W. are two 
shorter ranges of the same formation and appearance, the East and 
West Short Pine Hills. To the N. are the rounded outlines of the 
Cave Hills, from which the limestone cap has been worn away. 

Petrified wood is also plentiful throughout this region; it is 
found in almost every creek bed and in Grand River, where it 
should be looked for on the riffles. There are isolated small patches 
of badlands where an occasional fossil specimen is picked up, al 
though the best have been taken. In the mud buttes leaf impres 
sions are found by those who know how to look for them. 

At 191 m. is the region known as the JUMP-OFF. At this point 
is a junction with a prairie trail. 

Left on this road, following the rim of the Jump-Off, which is 
really a fault in the earth's surface extending N. and S. for many 
miles, the country is much like the Badlands on a smaller scale. 
It is rough and broken, with many hare hills. Grotesque forma 
tions, washouts, and cut banks make it a very difficult country 
for travel. Along the rim on the western edge is a good view of 
this region, but only on foot or horseback can the remarkable 
formations be explored. As in the Slim Buttes, there have been 
found a considerable number of fossils, including dinosaur bones. 
Some of these are on exhibition at the Harding post office, and 
a number of them are in the School of Mines Museum in Rapid 
City (see RAPID CITY). 

It was in the heart of the Jump-Off that Tipperary, South Da 
kota's most famous bucking horse, lived his entire life on the 
ranch of his owner, Charlie Wilson. He retired an undefeated 
champion and lived to be more than 20 years old. In spite of 
good care, he was caught in a severe winter storm and his re 
mains were not found for many weeks. 

At 194 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is the old town of HARDING, 12 m. (25 pop.), 
in a most picturesque setting between the East and West Short 
Pine Hills. It consists of only a few stores, dwellings and post 
office, but in the early days it served a large territory and had 
a very good trade. There is a display of fossils at the postoffice 
(see above). 

Tour 2B 221 

The SHORT PINE HILLS are so named to distinguish them from 
the Long Pine Hills of Montana, just across the line. The "Short" 
refers to the length of the hills and not to the pines. The hills 
are in two groups, the East and West Short Pines, respectively. 
They are limestone-capped ridges of the same general character 
as the Slim Buttes, and are a part of the Custer National Forest. 
These hills are covered with ponderosa pine, which upon designa 
tion by the forest ranger may be cut into lumber by the ranch 
ers. The hills are easily accessible, and afford many delightful 
camp sites. 

CAMP CROOK, 198 m. (186 pop.), was named after Gen. 
George Crook, the Indian fighter of the middle '70' s in this region. 
Like Harding, Camp Crook is an old pioneer town. Like Buffalo, 
it serves a very large ranching territory. Its trees make it more 
attractive than the average prairie town. There is bathing and 
fishing in the Little Missouri, on whose banks the town is built. 

It was in this region that the last of the great northern herd of 
buffalo were killed. When the terrific slaughter of these animals 
by the hide hunters took place, they split into two great bands. The 
northern herd was slaughtered along the Little Missouri River. 

At 201 m., State 8 crosses the Montana State Line, 129 m. SE. 
of Miles City, Mont. 


Waubay Enemy Swim Lake Pickerel Lake Waubay Lakes 
Junction with US 12. 

Unnumbered road. 

Waubay Junction with US 12. 36m. 

Graveled roadbed. 

Resort, hotel, and cabin accommodations at Enemy Swim and 
Pickerel Lakes. 

This circular route passes through the lake region north of Wau 
bay and Webster, where chains of small lakes weave through the 
hills. Fishing, swimming, motorboating, aquaplaning, camping, pic 
nicking, waterfowl hunting, ice skating, ice boating, and skiing are 
popular sports, and lodges, resorts, and cottages have been built to 
promote these activities; This section has been visited little by 
people from other parts of South Dakota, largely because of its 
location ; however, groups of people from Chicago, Milwaukee, and 
Akron spend weeks here each year. The route through this region 
is in the Sisseton Indian Reservation (see INDIANS and Tour /). 

222 A South Dakota Guide 

The Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of the Sioux Nation found 
the lake country to their liking, withstood attacks from the Chip- 
pewas, and moved no farther until they were driven out by U. S. 
soldiers in 1862. They returned the next year and settled perman 
ently around the lakes. The early settlement of the lake country is 
the story of white immigration and intermarriage with Indians. For 
instance, there was Albert Barse and E. P. Owens, a printer. After 
the Civil War, with jobs scarce, the two men sought employment 
from Horace Greeley, whose, "Go West, Young Man" campaign 
was starting. The editor hired them to write stories of the North 
west, and the pair started on their adventure. Settling first at 
Graceville, Minn., they married twin cousins of One Road, a noted 
chief, in order to secure the confidence of the tribe. Barse used to 
relate how the women were afraid to stay with them because of 
their white color and unusual language, so One Road had to move 
in too. Later Barse moved to the Waubay Lakes (see below), and 
Owens homesteaded at Minnewasta. They never returned to New 
York; their descendants are still prominent in the lake region. An 
influx of Norwegian and Swedish homesteaders, followed by 
groups of Poles, came in the i88o's. The effect of hybridization 
through the marriages of whites and Indians is noticeable; most of 
the Indian families have mixed blood, and have taken the names of 
the white members. 

From the junction with US 12 at WAUBAY (see Tour 2), this 
route runs N. to BLUE DOG LAKE, 0.4 m., which was named 
for one of the Sisseton chiefs whose descendants still live near 
Waubay and the lake. Bullheads, carp, and eels are most abundant 
in the lake, which has a mud bottom. 

At this point is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is a DANCE PAVILION, 0.8 m., where boats 
are for rent. There are numerous picnic spots along the lake be 
side this road. 

At 0.9 m. the road crosses a SLOUGH full of rushes and cat 
tails. Varieties of ducks are often seen here during the nesting 
season, and mudhens, protected black waterfowl, are usually abund 

At i. ;m. is BLUE DOG CREEK, where in the early summer 
large yellow water lilies bloom, one of the few places in the State 
where lilies grow wild. Beside this creek were old Chief Blue Dog's 
log house and three log cabins, one for each of his wives.. 

Tour 2B 223 

At 2 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is an old resort where boats can be rented and 
fishing equipment secured. 

The road passes through a rolling, farming country; a small 
house, unpainted barn, several dogs, small garden, and two or 
three horses usually comprise an Indian home, while the more pre 
tentious homesteads are those of white farmers. The Polish farms 
can be distinguished from the Indian homes by a two-story house 
and the color of the numerous children in the yard. 

At 7.5 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is reputedly the BURIAL MOUND OF CHIEF 
BLUE DOG, 0.7 m M which has been opened by vandals who re 
moved relics; at 1.4 m. is GUDERIAN BEACH, a small resort in 
a grove of linden and elm trees. At 1.7 m. is a canal to raise the 
level of CAMPBELL SLOUGH (R), a bass-spawning and water 
fowl refuge. 

From the highway ENEMY SWIM LAKE can be seen (R). 
The lake is the setting for a famous Indian legend which has sev 
eral variations, but it is generally agreed that its name was derived 
from a battle between the Sioux and Chippewas. According to the 
old legend, handed down for generations, a band of Sisseton Sioux 
was camped in the woods of the peninsula which extends from the 
southeastern shore and almost reaches a long, high island. A pow 
wow was in progress one evening and the squaws had been sent 
out for more firewood while the others sang and danced around the 
fire. Meanwhile a band of hostile Chippewas from the Mississippi 
country, who were on a hunting trip, saw the reflection of the fire 
in the sky and followed the light to the lake shore. Leaving their 
horses in the woods on the eastern side of the lake, the Chippewas 
planned a surprise attack on the village after the dance was over 
and all were asleep. Sioux guards being stationed on the mainland, 
the Chippewas quickly made rafts and landed on the island, which 
provided an approach from which no attack was expected. As the 
tom-toms beat loudly, the Chippewas quietly crossed the waistdeep 
neck to the peninsula and hid in the bushes waiting for the village 
to retire. But one of the squaws, picking up sticks, heard her dog 
growling; when she went to find it she saw a stranger in war 
paint crouching nearby. She screamed. There was no escape from 
the excited, war-whooping Sioux. The Chippewas splashed back 
to the island and, as the Sioux followed, they swam for the shore 
and their waiting horses. "Toka nuapi !" (the enemy swim), cried 

224 A South Dakota Guide 

the Sisseton chief. Some of the Sioux rode their horses around the 
bay and as the swimming enemies reached the shore they were 
trampled to death. 

At 8 m. is the junction with a graveled road, where there is the 
small brown house of an Indian family, in which pow-wows are 
often held during the early fall on Saturday nights. Here the young 
Indian people gather for the rabbit dance, and legion dance, two 
favorites in which couples circle the room side by side while sing 
ing. A few white people, friends of the Indians, are often 
present and join in the dance. Unbuttered bread and coffee are 
served during the dancing, which lasts until a late hour and is fol 
lowed in the morning by church. 

Right on this road at 0.6 m. is the entrance to CAMP CHEKPA, 
regional Boy Scout Camp. Chekpa means "twin" in Sioux, and 
Chief Chekpa was noted in local history as a peaceful leader. 
The beach, known as SANDY BEACH, is excellent for swimming 
(open to the public). At 0.8 m. is a pond and private refuge for 
mallard ducks (R); L. is a bay full of stumps which in normal 
years is a fine bass-fishing region. The BIOLOGICAL STATION 
of Northern State Teachers College (see ABERDEEN), 1.2 m., 
holds summer classes in biology, zoology, and botany; women 
students live in cabins and men in tents. 

At 1.3 m. is CAMP DAKOTAH, an attractive summer resort op 
erated by Jack Rommell, hunter and sportsman. (Hotel, dining 
room, cabins, boats.) The camp is situated on a peninsula that 
extends into Enemy Swim Lake. In the hotel lobby are Indian 
relics and fishing and hunting trophies. The fireplace is made 
of Indian hammerheads, tomahawks, mortars, pestles, and other 
implements picked up in the vicinity. There are three types of 
fishing in Enemy Swim Lake casting for black and silver bass; 
trolling for northern pike, pickerel and wall-eyed pike; and still 
fishing for bluegills and perch. 

Visitors seeking Indian relics can often find flint arrowheads 
along the beaches or high ground nearby. Diamond willows, strip 
ped to make ornamental canes, are found near the lake shore, 
the most suitable being those from 6 to 10 ft. high. Buffalo beans 
and sweet-flag, the root of which is used by the Indians as an 
antidote for colds, grow on the hills beside the lake. 

At 8.8 m. is an INDIAN CHURCH (Episcopal) and CEME 
TERY. In 1863 when the Sissetons, who had fled W. across the 
Missouri into Canada, returned to their lake country and camped at 
Enemy Swim Lake, U. S. soldiers surrounded them (see Tour i). 
Here a treaty was made, and on this ground where they agreed to 
"be brothers" with the whites, the church that was built still stands 

Tour 2B 225 

(R) ; but there is a new, glistening white edifice nearby. To the L. 
is the rectory, a house and barn, for the minister and his family. 
In front of the church is the cemetery in which a variety of grave 
stones mark the burial places. On many of the markers is a daguer 
reotype set in stone, showing an old Indian dressed in the clothing 
of white men. Some of the graves are covered with brightly colored 
glass and others have flags to show their participation in wars. 
Several markers are for white men who have lived 1 with the In 
dians, including Albert Barse (see above). 

Between Enemy Swim and Pickerel Lakes the road cuts through 
a series of hills and draws. 

At ii m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is PICKEREL LAKE, 1.3 m., a slender, fish- 
shaped, tree-bordered lake about three miles long. Spring-fed and 
deep, its waters are cold even in summer, but swimming, aqua 
planing, rowing, canoeing, motorboating, and sailing are popular 
and regular sports. Northern pike, pickerel, wall-eyed pike, black 
bass, silver bass, crappies, bluegills, perch, and steelhead trout 
are caught here. At the foot of the hill is SOUTH END, 1.5 m., a 
village of summer cottages grouped around the shoreline for 
over a mile. A hotel and dining room are in the center. (The 
beach is public and boats, swimming suits, and fishing equipment 
are available at the hotel.) 

1. Right from South End on a winding dirt road is a STATE 
FISH HATCHERY, 0.5 m., where pike, pickerel, and lake trout 
are hatched for lakes in the region. The low white hatchery 
building is beside a stream which flows from a natural spring 
farther up the ravine. Behind the row of cottages along the lake 
are Indian homes. 

2. Left from South End, on a dirt road between rows of cot 
tages, is the PEABODY GARDEN, 0.6 m., where an irrigated 
garden affords a botanical exhibit. 

3. Behind the South End hotel is a path to a MOUND 1.1 m., 
which overlooks both Enemy Swim Lake and Pickerel Lake. 
Prom this vantage point one can see the chain of Waubay 
Lakes (SW) and Webster, 25 m. away. The hill is sacred to the 
Indians, as it was here that the medicine men and holy men 
went to fast and have visions. Wailing for days, and without 
food, the men would fall into swoons and usually experienced 
hallucinations. These they would interpret to their tribe, and 
future plans would be made accordingly. Among the stories 
handed down from father to son is the prophecy of Tasonkesapa 
200 years ago. He was asked to have an understanding with the 
Great Spirit about the coming of the white men, of whom they 
had met several. His reply was: "The Great Spirit answered, 'The 
buffalo and wild things will disappear'." 

226 A South Dakota Guide 

At 12.3 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is RAMONA BEACH, 1.2 m., a private resort 
owned by Aberdeen people. 

At 13.2 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is Maloney's, 0.9 m., a resort (open). 
At 14.2 m. is the northern end of Pickerel Lake and a junction 
with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is the ABERDEEN Y. M. C. A. CAMP, 0.6 m., 
a summer camp for boys and young men. Across the narrow neck 
of water is ADAMS BEACH, a public resort. 

This route turns L. at the junction with the graveled road and 
for a few miles crosses rolling prairie land. At 19 m. is a junction 
with a graded road where the route turns L. to GRENVILLE, 22 
m. (1,815 alt., 282 pop.), which was incorporated in 1918 as a 
town, but had been a village since 1885 when a group of Poles 
established a Catholic church there. The church has been rebuilt 
and an academy has been established for the Polish farm children. 

East of Grenville the route passes between two bodies of water, 
known as Waubay Lakes. In the lake to the R. is an island which 
is frequented by white pelicans every spring during mating season. 

At 27 m. is the HILDEBRAN'DT RANCH on an oak-covered 
hill, behind which is the site of the old BARSE TRADING POST. 
At 27.4 m. is the junction with a sandy road. 

Left on this road is the U. S. BIOLOGICAL STATION, 1 m M 
where a refuge for waterfowl in this area is being established, 
this being usually a hunting region; L. is an observation tower. 

At 29m. is a junction with another graveled road and this route 
turns R. to another of the WAUBAY LAKES, 30.7777. 
At 32.5 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is HEDTKE PASS, 0.8 m., a natural shooting 
pass a strip of land between two large, marshy lakes. The pass 
is owned by the State Game and Fish Commission and only re 
stricted duck and goose shooting is allowed. On the western 
edge of the pass is a wooded area in which are clusters of bitter 
sweet, a red berry with open orange peel, often used for dec 

At 33.2 m. is another WAUBAY LAKE, in the middle of which 
is CORMORANT ISLAND, so called because of the number of 
long-necked black waterfowl that build nests there each spring, so 
close together that there is no room to walk. This lake is used in 

Tour 3 227 

winter for ice boating because of its size, but it is not used for 
either swimming or fishing. 

At 35 m. is LAKE MINNEWASTE (Ind., good water). This 
lovely lake is shaped like an hourglass. Although there are no pub 
lic bathhouses, swimming is popular in summer and ice skating in 

At 36m. is the junction with US 12 (see Tour 2), 5 m. W. of 


(Dawson, Minn.) Watertown Redfield Gettysburg Faith 
Newell Belle Fourche. US 212. 

Minnesota Line to Junction with US 85 at Belle Fourche, 429.8 m. 

Between Watertown and Gettysburg US 212 is paralleled by the C. 
& N. W. R.R.; between Le Plant and Faith, by the C. M. St. P. & P.; 
and between Newell and Belle Fourche, by the C. &. N. W. 

Hotels and tourist camps at larger towns. 

Roadbed hard-surfaced 68 miles in vicinity of Watertown; remain 
der graveled with short stretches of dirt grade. 

US 212 passes through the State's lake region and level prairies 
and thence across the rugged, broken cattle country west of the 
Missouri River, which merges into a region marked by steep-walled 
buttes, jutting upward at intervals like numerous large haystacks. 
Continuing through the irrigated section, where water has miracu 
lously transformed the drab prairie into a veritable oasis, the route 
halts in the shadows of the Black Hills. 

Between Faith and Newell there are towns in name only, for 
none of them can boast of much more than a store and post office. 
There are no hotel or tourist accommodations in this distance, al 
though gasoline and oil can be purchased along the highway. De 
spite the fact that much of US 212 traverses a sparsely settled, 
open country, the route is quite picturesque, hills and buttes pro 
viding constantly changing scenery. 

Section a. Minnesota Line-Cheyenne River Reservation, 214.3 m - 

US 212 crosses the South Dakota line 15 m. W. of Dawson, 
Minn, (see Minn. Tour u). 

At ii. 5 w. (L) is LAKE ALICE, one of the numerous bodies 
of water in a section of the State noted for its many lakes. 

228 A South Dakota Guide 

At 1 3.6m. is the junction with US 77 which crosses the State's 
richest farming area (see Tour p). 

KRANZBURG, 25.8m. (155 pop.), consisting of a few scat 
tered buildings, including a night club, garage, and gas stations, is 
the only town directly on the highway between the Minnesota Line 
and Watertown. 

WATERTOWN, 35.8m. (1,734 alt., 10,246 pop.) (see WAT- 

Summer resort center at Lake Kampeska, first State Capitol, 
Mellette Home, Aviary, State Pike Hatchery. 

Here is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

At 49.5 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is MEDICINE LAKE, 12 m., called in the 
Sioux Indian language "Min-ne-pe-juta." This small body of 
medicinal water covers approximately 400 acres and is fed by 
subterranean springs. A chemical analysis reveals that this lake 
contains chemicals similar to those found at French Lick, Ind. 

Skin eruptions and irritations are relieved by these waters. The 
Indians who named the lake made use of its medicinal proper 
ties. Water from it is bottled and sold throughout the country. 
A short time ago a movement to establish a sanitarium was 
started, but as the lake is rurally located, funds were lacking for 
the completion of the project. A fine sand beach encircles the 
entire lake, and two resorts, one on the east and another on the 
west shore, provide bath-houses, lunches, and picnic grounds. 

HENRY, 544m. (1,812 alt., 358 pop.), might be termed the 
eastern edge of South Dakota's most thickly stocked pheasant 
country, and into this section every year pour hundreds of sports 
men, not only from other parts of the State, but from adjacent and 
often distant States. These popular birds are also found in other 
parts of eastern South Dakota, but natural haunts, good feeding 
grounds, and shelter make this section outstanding. 

Henry is one of the many towns that, during early railroad days, 
were given the names of railroad officials, their wives, daughters, 
or even sweethearts, other towns included in this list being Flor 
ence, Wallace, Lily, Bradley, Raymond, and Butler. Henry has a 
well-equipped tourist park. 

CLARK, 67.5m. (1,779 alt., 1,290 pop.), seat of Clark Co., was 
founded in 1882 and has always been the center of a prosperous 
farming region. Its courthouse, completed in 1935, is one of the 
outstanding structures of its kind in northeastern South Dakota. 

Tour 3 229 

The interior decorations are of Carthage marble topped by ala 

DO LAND, 86.2 w. (1,355 a ^v 53^ pop.), has a population com 
posed of many nationalities, intermingled to such a degree that 
they can only be called Americans. The town has a large trade 
territory and is situated in a productive farming region. 

FRANKFORT, 97.2 m. (1,296 alt., 346 pop.), like Henry is 
noted for the abundance of pheasants in the surrounding country. 
The town was named for the German city in honor of an early 
settler, Frank I. Fisher, who shot the last buffalo in Spink Co. The 
animal's head was mounted and is now displayed in the courthouse 
at Redfield. 

At 100 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is FISHER'S GROVE, 0.2 w., a public park on 
the James River with picnic and recreational facilities. This park 
was developed in 1936-37 in a heavy stand of timber. In the river 
is Motley Island. 

REDFIELD, 108.4 m. (1,295 alt., 2,573 pop.), is the largest 
town on US 212 between Watertown and the Black Hills. Four 
hotels and a tourist park afford ample accommodations. In Redfield 
is the new EASTERN STAR HOME off SOUTH DAKOTA, designed to take 
! care of old and indigent members of the order. It is housed in the 
! buildings formerly occupied by Redfield College, now non-existent. 
The town also is the home of PLEASANT VIEW ACADEMY, a denomin 
ational school. 

Redfield has the distinction of having had to take up arms in a 
struggle over the site of the county seat, a fight which began in 
1880 and was not permanently settled until 1886. 

By the election of 1880, Redfield, then Stennett Junction, was 
selected as the seat of Spink Co., but for some reason the county 
records were not moved from Old Ashton. In the next election, 
1884, there were more votes cast than there were people in the 
county. The towns contesting for the county seat sent delegations 
1 to attest to the voting in every polling place and it was believed 
that the totals were correct, but when the ballots were counted ap 
parently dead men had voted, as well as all the railroad construc 
tion crews and others. 

Following this fraudulent election there was much discussion as 
to where the county seat should really be, and a delegation from 
Redfield, sworn to secrecy, stole the county books and records, 
after picking the vault. 

230 A South Dakota Guide 

Feeling ran high, and before long word had been passed through 
out the northeast part of the county and in the early morning 
about 300 "Minute Men" gathered at Old Ashton, armed with 
various weapons. 

On the morning of Dec. 7, 1884, an army of about 1,500 men 
from the northern section arrived at Redfield and made camp near 
where the Milwaukee depot now stands. Mayor Hunt of Redfield 
attempted to parley with the "Army of the North", but they sent 
the Redfield mayor a message that 2. hours would be allowed to 
get the women and children out of town, as at that time they 
would invade the town, take the records, and destroy the place if 

Acting upon the suggestion of an attorney, that, inasmuch as 
Redfield had won the election of 1880, an injunction be applied for 
to prevent the removal of the records, a Chicago & North Western 
engine was chartered for a trip to Watertown. From there the 
party went across country to Milbank to obtain the injunction. In 
the meantime marksmen were posted at convenient points as unrest 
became apparent in the ranks of the "Ashton Army." The arrival 
of the train bearing the injunction, which was promptly served, 
was perhaps the only thing that averted bloodshed. 

Later, sixteen leading citizens of Redfield were named in war- 
ants issued by Justice Bowman of Ashton. All gave bonds except 
one, who demanded immediate trial ; the case was transferred to 
Athol and heard by Justice Oakland, Attorneys from Watertown, 
Huron, and Aberdeen appeared for the prosecution and the entire 
Redfield bar presented the defense. The defendant was dismissed 
with a word from the judge, "Not proven ; but don't do it again." 

Although Redfield continues to be the county seat, there are 
many old-timers who still hold strong opinions on this subject. 

At Redfield is the junction with US 281 (see Tour IT). 

Right from the center of town on a graded road that crosses 
FEEBLE MINDED, 1 m. In connection with the school is an ex 
cellent herd of nearly 200 Holstein-Fresian cows, cared for by 
the institution. This herd has won national fame and received 
many awards. The spacious barns and other buildings of the 
school are visible for many miles. 

At 1 1 1.9 m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road are the SINK HOLES, 0.6 m., large openings in 
the ground, partially filled with water. They were created when 

Tour 3 231 

blasting for a spring several years ago. They are about 1,000 ft. 
from the point where the blasting occurred and their presence is 
attributed to an underground stream that probably washed out 
loose gravel beneath, the blast then causing the cave-in. 

ROCKHAM, 125. 5. m. (i,394 alt., 258 pop.), is a grain and pro 
duce market for the large and thrifty German community that 
surrounds it. 

FAULKTON, 149.1 m. (1,595 alt., 713 pop.), seat of Faulk Co., 
also draws business from a large territory, as it is a considerable 
distance from any town of appreciable size. It was named for An 
drew J. Faulk, an early governor of Dakota Territory. 

Like many early towns, Faulkton also engaged in a county seat 
fight. The other contestant was LaFoon, now a ghost city, 5 m. east 
of Faulkton. LaFoon won the first election, but Faulkton became 
the permanent seat with the advent of the railroad in 1886. That 
sounded the death knell for the town of LaFoon, and its residents 
moved to Faulkton. 

At 149.7 m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road to LAKE FAULKTON, 1 m., a large artificial 
lake which provides water sports for Faulkton and vicinity. It 
was built under a Government work program. 

SENECA, 170.3 m. (1,911 alt., 295 pop.), is a short distance 
(R) from the road. 

It was named for Seneca Falls, N. Y., by Eastern homesteaders. 
In 1936 a fire leveled many buildings here. 

LEBANON, 182.5 7^. (1,956 alt., 345 pop.), for many years was 
the thriving center of a prosperous farming area, but trucks and 
automobiles robbed it of much of its earlier business. The town has 
an excellent swimming pool and park. 

At 189 m. is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12) ; US 83 and 
US 212 are united for lom. 

GETTYSBURG, 194.1 m. (2,082 alt, 1,414 pop.), was named 
for the Pennsylvania battlefield by a group of Civil War veterans 
who first settled here. Founded in 1881, the town has kept its main 
street neat and attractive by considerable paving and the preserva 
tion of many old trees. Today several large cottonwoods protrude 
through the sidewalks and tower above the adjacent buildings. 

The town presents a colorful sight, with visitors from farm, ranch 
and reservation. The Indians live at the Cheyenne Agency, head- 

232 A South Dakota Guide 

quarters for the officials of the Cheyenne River Reservation (see 
below). Gettysburg has a wide trade area and normally is the busy 
center of a prosperous farming section. 

At 199.4 7n v is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12). 

At 2ii.3w. is the junction with a winding graveled road that 
follows the Missouri River and is flanked by trees on either side. 

Left on this road is FOREST CITY, 3m. (65 pop.). The town 
was originally located farther up the river and was one of the 
stopping places for numerous fur traders and military expedi 
tions. In the 189 O's a railroad was built from Gettysburg, but 
abandoned soon after 1900. Before the bridge was built above 
the present town, a ferryboat plied between Forest City and 
Cheyenne Agency, but with the completion of the bridge all' 
business was diverted from the town. Today, with only a hand 
ful of scattered inhabitants, the village is gradually joining the 
long list of ghost towns. It was the first seat of Potter Co., but 
following a county seat fight it lost to Gettysburg. 

At 211. 6m. a dim but passable road leads R. through a gate 
over a small hill. 

Right on this road to MEDICINE ROCK, 0.4 m., long held sacred 
by the Indians, and a subject of controversy among scientists. On 
it are the imprints of three human feet, a hand, and many ani 
mal tracks. Although the footprints are of enormous size, they 
are perfect in outline. This fact caused Indians to tie bags of 
medicinal herbs on poles above the rock with the belief that the 
herbs would absorb additional powers. They also laid gifts upon 
the rock, offerings to the "Great Spirit." The presence of the 
rock was known before 1825, for on that date Gen. Henry At 
kinson and Col. Benjamin O'Fallon, having heard of it, visited 
the site while on a trip up the Missouri River, and reported the 
fact to Washington. 

For a long time it was generally believed that the imprints were 
made by some man of prodigious size who walked across the 
rock before the clay had hardened into stone. Some believed it 
was the work of an artist-jokester, who desired to give future 
generations something for speculation. However, scientists are 
now of the opinion that the prints were made by some sagacious 
medicine man who wanted further to impress his followers. 

At 2i2.2m. is WHITLOCK CROSSING, a small hamlet 
founded when the bridge was built, and at 216.6 m. is the Missouri 
River, which for years was a natural barrier to western migration. 
The western bank of the river is the eastern edge of the Cheyenne 
River Indian Reservation, 214.3 m - 

Tour 3 233 

Section b. Cheyenne River Reservation-Belle Pourche, 215.5 m - 

The CHEYENNE RIVER RESERVATION (open to visitors) 
is one of the nine Indian reservations in the State. A Federal law 
imposes severe penalties on persons convicted of selling or giving 
i intoxicants to Indians. Possession of liquor and its transportation 
across a reservation are also prohibited. Order is preserved through 
a system of Indian police who have authority to arrest any law 

The reservation covers all of Armstrong and parts of Dewey and 
Ziebach Counties. Indian life, however, is not confined to these 
specific boundaries, there being many families in the adjacent terri 
tory. Here the "vanished American" is no longer vanishing; in the 
last 10 years there has been an annual increase of about 10 per 
sons per 1,000 population. 

There is now a total of 3,418 Indians on this reservation, of 
which only 1,378 are full bloods. Included in the group are numer 
ous native bands designated by the names ; Mini con jou, Sans Arc, 
Two Kettle, Blackfeet, Uncapapa, Upper and Lower Yanktonai, 
Oglala, and Sisseton. Nearly all the older Indians speak only the 
Sioux language, but with improved educational facilities on the 
reservation, only 2 percent of those between the ages of 20 and 40 
use their tribal language exclusively. 

These Sioux, with few exceptions, have never been entirely self- 
supporting. At times the Government has made payments to them, 
but these have been from the sale of inherited lands or interest on 
tribal funds. Very little money accruing to them is given in a lump 
sum, but rather is divided into periodic payments. Various funds, 
\ which in most cases have their sources in treaties, include the Trust 
Fund, Three Percent Fund, and Sioux Benefit Funds. Their total 
wealth consists of $455,334 in tribal funds and $1,429,085 in tribal 

Farming is another source of income, although few of the Sioux 
| have made much progress in this respect. Furthermore the reserva 
tion is not situated in the best agricultural section of the State. 
Some forage crops are raised along the Cheyenne River, but this 
treacherous stream has a habit of suddenly changing its course 
during flood periods, thus making the permanence of homes erected 
on its sandy bottoms decidedly uncertain. 

Despite the fact that education and attempts to foster better liv 
ing conditions have made noticeable inroads on old tribal customs, 

234 A South Dakota Guide 

.many of the Indians, especially the old ones, live in a manner simi 
lar to that of 40 or 50 years ago. Regardless of the fact that little 
credence is given to tales of the dog as a source of food, the cus 
tom still exists. Take away the dog and the Indian would be robbed 
of a major food source. Dog meat is never eaten except in soup, 
canine steaks being practically unknown. 

After a wedding the parents of the bride and groom generally 
give a feast. Feasts are also given after funerals, often on the 
same day. This is an old custom, and unless the Indian observes it 
he rapidly loses the esteem of his fellows. Sometimes the more 
fortunate members of the tribe are persuaded to give a feast and 
invite their destitute friends. At these festivities the meal begins 
with meat. In addition there are bread, or biscuits, and perhaps a 
vegetable. Sometimes "wasna," a concoction of chokecherries, meat, 
and grease pounded together and dried, is served. Often there is 
"tipsla," or Indian turnips, dried in the fall and served in a kind 
of soup. If a guest cannot eat all that is served him, he wraps up 
the more solid food and takes it home to be consumed later. 

Changes in habits of eating have come slowly on the reservation. 
Only in recent years has there been a tendency to buy canned milk, 
cereal, and fruit. The Sioux still use large amounts of lard, pota 
toes, onions, tomatoes, and baking powder ; the last item has always 
been a consistent seller among post traders, for the Sioux like bis 
cuits. Habits of dress have changed more rapidly than other cus 
toms, virtually all the Sioux dressing as do their white brothers. 

Superstitions havnot disappeared, even among those with com 
paratively good educations. When a family camps for the night, a 
cloth is usually hoisted on a pole above the tent in the belief that 
it will keep rattlesnakes away. Shaking a blanket out the door will 
frighten away any ghosts or supernatural visitors, according to 
local belief. 

A few years ago many Indians with various ailments journeyed 
to the Pine Ridge Reservation where lived a woman who claimed 
to have fallen into a trance, mistaken by her friends for death, and 
upon awakening discovered at her side a jar of salve. Her sleep 
left her withered and emaciated, but in her vision she was told to 
administer this salve to her people, who would be cured of their 

One legend that received wide belief told of a squaw and a she- 
wolf who lived together in a cave for several months, each talking 

Tour 3 235 

to the other in some language that both understood. Every day the 
wolf brought food to the woman, until a party of her tribesmen 
happened along. She was informed by the wolf that her people 
were near, whereupon the woman went off with them. The cave is 
on Cherry Creek and bones found there tell a mute tale of the 
food that was brought the squaw by the wolf so the Indians say. 

Between 200 and 300 of the Indians have comfortable homes 
and a similar number own cabins and log houses ; however, the 
average family spends much of its time roaming about the reserva 
tion, their home consisting of a tent, a few cooking utensils, and 
some bedding. Although nearly all have permanent homes, many 
of them prefer living in a tent much of the time. 

Under the present system, a tribal council comprises the chief 
governing body among the Sioux. It consists of 15 members, and 
carries on negotiations with the Federal, State, and local govern 
ments ; it presents and prosecutes claims and demands of the tribe ; 
and it administers tribal lands, funds, and property within the con 
trol of the tribe. 

Cattle and other property have been issued on the Cheyenne 
River Reservation, with the expectation that the Indians would be 
encouraged to start in business for themselves. Many have been in 
a measure successful, and figures show 376 Indian-owned ranches. 
Accustomed to a roaming life and looking upon cattle mainly as 
providing food for the moment, the Sioux, generally speaking, 
have not built up many herds. 

CHEYENNE AGENCY, 1.7 m. (121 pop.), is the headquarters 
of the Cheyenne River Reservation. Living here are Government 
officials, traders, missionaries, school teachers, and Indians. Gov 
ernment officials at the agency will answer questions of visitors 
concerning all parts of the reservation. 

Approximately 250 children attend the 'boarding school; and an 
up-to-date hospital, well-staffed, takes care of patients from all 
over the reservation. 

In the western part of town is an INDIAN VILLAGE of log cabins 
and tents, typical of Indian life. School buildings are modern, and 
a large gymnasium aids pupils in competing with other towns in 
athletics. West of the school the Indians have erected a monument 
to their dead chiefs. There is a growing tendency among the In 
dians to mark spots of historical interest and to honor heroes of 
past generations. 

236 A South Dakota Guide 

LA PLANT, 22.7 m. (61 pop.), 'has long been known as a prairie 
trading post for Indians, cowboys, and ranchers. The village, 
strung haphazardly along a hillside, is representative of the towns 
of the transition era between the open-range and homestead periods. 

Over this part of the country, before the advent of the home 
steader, roamed great herds of cattle released by large outfits 
who staked their chances of success on the favorable weather. 
Sometimes they lost; often they won. Occasionally the cattleman's 
fortune was wiped out in a few days. 'Such was the case in the 
memorable Thanksgiving blizzard of 1896 which raged three days, 
when thousands of head of livestock blindly drifted into draws 
and wash-outs, were covered with snow, and perished. Spring 
round-ups revealed that most of the cattle outfits had suffered more 
than a 50 percent loss. 

For many miles US 212 winds and dips over the rolling prairie, 
with only occasional houses to lend assurance of the fact that 
human life is near, even if infrequent. There is no attraction in 
this region for anyone who sees it only on the surface. But to the 
Westerner or to anyone else with imagination it brings to mind 
loping herds of buffalo relentlessly pursued by bands of Indians, j 
ponderous freight wagons, drawn by swaying teams of oxen ; great 
herds of cattle; the decline of the 'big outfits and the rise of the 
nester; and the tide of homesteaders and their subsequent drift 
back East. All this is typical of the evolutionary process of west 
ern South Dakota. In some sections where climate and soil condi 
tions permitted, the farmer came to stay; but generally speaking, 
this range country will remain for some time to come the realm of 
the stockman. 

RIDG.EVIEW, 33.7 m. (72 pop.), was so named because of its 
position on the divide between the Cheyenne and Moreau Rivers. 
The swift-flowing Cheyenne is the largest feeder of the Missouri 
in western South Dakota. Its hundreds of tributary creeks and 
draws reach out on either side, like the legs of a centipede, to cut 
sharp creases in its basin. The Moreau, a smaller stream, often 
dries up entirely in the course of an extremely dry season, but 
during rainy periods, or during the melting of heavy snows, it 
becomes a roaring and impetuous torrent. 

At 42.9 m. (L) is MOSSMAN, merely a shipping point for the 
many cattle that the railroad carries annually from this vast ranch 
ing country. The place itself is significant only because it was 

Tour 3 237 

named in honor of Capt. Burton C. Mossman, chief owner of the 
Diamond A, South Dakota's largest cattle ranch. Captain Mossman 
for more than 50 years has led a colorful life on the range in vari 
ous capacities, including that of a cowboy, range foreman, range 
superintendent, general manager, and owner of cattle outfits, be 
sides serving as first captain of the Arizona Rangers. Thrust 
among the reckless, dangerous characters of the 'Southwest, his 
bravery and acceptance of responsibility have been the source of 
many border stories. 

The Diamond A Ranch was started in 1903 in the days of open 
range, but in 1909 a tide of homesteaders forced the leasing and 
buying of much land. As a result Captain Mossman leased thous 
ands of acres and at one time controlled most of Armstrong Co., 
the only county in the United States without a postoffice. Drought 
years have necessitated the selling of a part of the cattle, but the 
ranch still retains many of the customs of the old free-range days. 
Cowboys, round-ups, branding time, and line camps exist today as 
they did a half-century ago. The Diamond A in reality comprises 
several ranches, headquarters being established at various points 
where feed and water are most easily available. Although drought 
years and restrictions on the leasing of Indian land have reduced 
the extent of the holdings, the ranch is still the largest in the State. 
Before the homestead tide, about 50,000 cattle wore the Diamond 
A brand. 

EAGLE BUTTE, 59.5 m. (2,415 alt., 310 pop.), was named for 
a nearby butte on which Indians hunted eagles for feathers to 
make war bonnets. According to legend, deep pits were dug, cov 
ered with light branches, and a rabbit laid on them for bait. The 
trapper concealed himself in the pit and caught the eagle by the 
foot as it swooped down to get the rabbit. The town was started 
when the railroad was extended through the locality in 1910, and 
today is supported by a mixed population of farmers, ranchers, 
and Indians. 

LANTRY, 71.6 m. (40 pop.), was also founded in 1910 when 
the railroad entered the region, -but did not enjoy the growth of 
the neighboring towns. Near here is a large dam used by the rail 
road as a water supply. 

DUPREE, (2,356 alt., 364 pop.), for 25 years after its 
founding retained its board sidewalks, typical of early cow towns. 
It was named for Fred Dnpree, an early French trapper. Although 

238 A South Dakota Guide 

founded largely through the influx of homesteaders, it has lost 
little of its Western color. Cowboys, Indians, and ranchers still 
give it most of its 'business. 

Following its founding, the real estate business enjoyed a flour 
ishing period, the first land office being in a tent on Main St. 
Pointing out the sites of surveyed quarter-sections to prospective 
homesteaders was a lucrative business in those days. The business 
was called "locating," and the newcomer, for a fee ranging from 
$25 to as much as he could be induced to pay, was taken out into 
the country where the corners of his prospective claim were 
pointed out to him. In those days the automobile had not yet dis 
placed the horse as a means of conveyance; consequently nearly all 
of the "locating" was done by using a horse and buggy for trans 
portation. Often a handkerchief was tied around a buggy spoke 
and the revolutions counted as a help in measuring the approximate 
distance to the next corner. 

Every period has its attendant stories. One, told of homestead 
days, referred to the improvements required by law before the filee 
was given a patent to his land. One homesteader of lethargic ten 
dencies, who was required to have broken a certain number of 
acres on his land, was asked how many he had plowed. He replied : 
"Around twenty." Investigation showed that he had not lied, for 
he had broken a single furrow around 20 acres. 

During normal years Dupree is a busy marketing center for 
livestock, flax, and small grain. When the prairie was first broken, 
large yields of flax brought small fortunes to the early farmers. 
It was not an uncommon occurrence to have one crop of flax pay 
for the land. 

Left from Dupree on an unnumbered graded dirt road is CHERRY 
CREEK, 35m. (100 pop.), sub-agency of the Cheyenne River 
Reservation/ During average times it is composed of a few Gov 
ernment buildings, two post traders' stores, and heterogeneous 
group of scattered Indian homes log huts with dirt roofs, tents, 
temporary homes of hundreds of Indians from all parts of the 
reservation. Cherry Creek was the home of Chief Hump, famous 
Sioux leader, and was a point of tension during the Messiah 
War of 1890. It was to Cherry Creek that Sitting Bull's follow 
ers fled after the old medicine man was killed on Grand River 
and it was a few miles above the town that Big Foot and his 
band were first overhauled by soldiers prior to the Battle of 
Wounded Knee. 

The village received prominence in South Dakota literature 
through the descriptive and colorful essay by former Governor 

Tour 3 239 

Charles N. Herreid during one of his visits to Cherry Creek. The 
essay, called "The White Squaw," relates the tragic episode of 
a white woman in an Indian environment, besides presenting a 
vivid picture of the reservation town. It is reprinted in part by 
permission of O. W. Coursey's "Dakota Literature." 

" . . .It was ration-day at the agency. About 1,500 Indians 
belonged to this station and at this time, Indian fashion, most 
of them were camped in their tents and tipis some on the plains 
and some on the heavily timbered bottom-lands altogether 
forming an improvised, semi-barbarous, picturesque village. 

"On the banks of the Cherry Creek and the Cheyenne immense 
quantities of red buffalo berries burdened the bushes forming 
a most appropriate and artistic setting in the luxurious foliage, 
tinged with nature's announcement of the passing season. It was 
an ideal camping ground, an ideal fall day. It was Indian sum 
mer, Indian feast day, Indian village, Indian country. Smoky 
eyes, smoky complexions harmonized perfectly with smoky skies. 
Man and nature were attuned. The atmosphere was languid, 
peaceful, dreamy, melancholy. To me, with my intense love for 
the wilderness and sympathy for the Red Man, it was a day of 
intense interest and enjoyment. 

"The agent informed me that among the squaws was an old 
'white' woman, who had lived among the Indians since infancy. 
This aroused my curiosity. I asked permission to see her and 
talk to her and a messenger was sent to find her. After some 
time the messenger returned saying he had found her, but that 
she refused to appear at the office of the Agent. The Chief of 
the Indian police, named Straighthead a magnificent Indian 
was sent out, with orders to bring her to the office. While wait 
ing for developments I pictured to myself the helpless baby girl, 
snatched by savages from her tomahawked parents. I saw the 
restless pioneers leaving civilization; the emigrant train, travers 
ing and trespassing upon the broad domain of the aborigines. I 
saw the wild attack of the red men, made ferocious by the re 
sistless rush of the venturesome white men. I saw the red and 
white both dominated by the same powerful motives the com 
fort and happiness of his family and himself. 

"Presently the policeman ushered into the room a decrepit and 
most wretched-looking woman, apparently at least seventy years 
old. She shuffled into a corner, crouching upon the floor, trembl 
ing with fear. She knew that she was a white woman, that her 
folks had been killed in a skirmish on the plains; that she had 
been with the Indians since she was about one year old. She 
could not speak a word of English and, excepting her blue eyes 
and features, looked like the most degraded and miserable 
savage. The poor old woman did not show the least desire to 
know anything about her own people, nor to come in contact 
with white people or civilization. 

240 A South Dakota Guide 

"Near the agency building was a slaughter house, where beef 
cattle were being slaughtered and the meat parceled out to the 
Indians as part of their regular rations. It seemed to be the 
special prerogative of the squaws to secure the meat supplies 
and with their children they hung around this very repulsive 
establishment. Nearby later during the meeting, I saw a number 
of the more voracious eagerly devouring like choice tid-bits, the 
cast-off, raw intestines and offal, and among them was the gray- 
haired, ragged, wretched white squaw. As I viewed the distress 
ing scene I shuddered at the horrible tragedy of a wasted human 
life. Under different circumstances this woman, now feasting on 
refuse with savage satisfaction, might have graced the banquet 
room of the White House." 

FAITH, 103.9 w. ( 2 ,6oo alt., 564 pop.), is at the end of a branch 
of the C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. It is another of the towns founded 
during the homesteading wave of 1910. It was named, according 
to a story, because an early resident expressed his belief that it 
required faith to live on the rolling, semi-arid prairie. The town 
has a trade territory reaching in four directions, extending into the 
expansive hinterlands of the cattle and sheep country to the N., W. 
and S. and the farming region to the E. It is typically a town with 
Western flavor, dominated t>y ranchers and cowboys and colored 
by a mixture of Indians who come from the nearby reservation to 
trade. A large earthen dam S. of the town provides a lake that is 
used mainly for stock-watering purposes. 

The country between Faith and Newell is devoid of railroads, 
the region being a vast open-range domain of the cattle and sheep 
men. There are no towns or even hamlets, but merely post offices 
and stores with gas pumps outside. 

EDSON, 113.8 m. (20 pop.) FOX RIDGE, 129.3 m. (7 pop.), 
MAURINE, 134.3 m - ( I2 PP-)> are merely hold-overs from home 
stead days, unable to muster much population because of lack of 
railroad facilities. Once busy little centers of the homesteader's 
trade, they now serve small groups of ranchers in their vicinity. 

CEDAR CANYON, 137.5 m. ( IO P<>P-)> so named because of a 
nearby canyon with a thick growth of cedar trees, is the point 
where US 212 first crosses the OLD BISMARCK TRAIL, ang 
ling from the NE, This old historic trail, which formerly wound 
across 275 m. of broken, treeless country, uninhabited except for 
Indians, was the road over which an assorted throng of gold- 
seekers, adventurers, and get-rich-quick men of many types, lured 
by prospects of sudden wealth in the Black Hills, traveled in early 

Tour 3 241 

days. The name of Ben Ash is closely associated with the Bismarck 
Trail, for it was he who first marked the route. In 1876, during 
the gold rush, it happened that Bismarck, N. Dak., was one of the 
railroad points nearest Deadwood. 

Starting at Bismarck, there was first the Missouri River to be 
crossed, then the Cannon Ball, Grand, Moreau, and Belle Fourche 
Rivers, besides numerous creeks. The stagecoach furnished the 
transportation used by most of the people making the trip, and 
for those days the service was first class. There were stage stations 
at convenient points where drivers and horses were changed. The 
bullwhackers were the most picturesque characters who traveled 
the trail. With a wagon and trail wagon drawn by four or five 
yoke of oxen, and with several outfits traveling together for pro 
tection, these caravans traveled 10 or 15 m. per day. Unlike the 
stage drivers, the bullwhackers made their own camp. If the 
weather was fair, they usually made the trip without mishap, but 
if it was rainy the long stretches of gumbo made traveling impos 
sible. Although fields, fences, and roads have partly obliterated the 
old trail, the deep ruts made half a century ago are still visible in 
many places. 

MUD BUTTE, 147.3 w. (3 pop-) was named for a butte that, 
with its absence of any vegetation, resembles a prodigious handful 
of dark mud slapped rudely upon the grassy prairie which sur 
rounds it. 

SULPHUR, 1 57.3 m. (3 pop.), is also on the old Bismarck 
Trail. The town was so called because it is near Sulphur Creek, a 
stream which has no apparent relation to its name. Sulphur is one 
of the homestead towns that for several years thrived on the trade 
of newcomers. Like most other mushroom towns it boasted several 
commercial enterprises, including a newspaper. In those days per 
sons who filed on Government land were required to advertise their 
readiness to make final proof. They were then required to swear 
that they had lived up to the stipulations of the law. The usual 
charge for several weeks of advertising was $5, and there were 
often several hundred advertisements inserted during the homestead 
boom. As a result newspapers sprang up, flourished for a few 
years, and then vanished. Various names were given these news 
papers ; some were simple, some cleverly associated with a peculiar 
name of a town, others with the idea of permanency. The editor 
of the Sulphur paper incorporated a pun in its title and called 
it The Sulphur Match. 


A South Dakota Guide 

NEWELL, 191.8 m. (2,820 alt., 580 pop.), although in a dry 
section of the State, has streets lined with luxuriant trees, and 
shrubbery, and is surrounded by farms where green vegetation 
stands out in striking contrast with the dun prairies 'beyond. All 
this is because Newell is in the heart of the Government Reclama 
tion Project, which brings water from the Belle Fourche Dam to 
irrigate the level areas lying along the Belle Fourche valley. Sugar 
beet production is the chief industry, while in wide, shallow val 
leys alfalfa is grown for forage and seed. Bear Butte, 25 m. to the 
S., is plainly visible from Newell. At Newell is the junction with 
State 79. 

Right on State 79 is a sub-station of the STATE EXPERIMENT 
FARM. 1.5m. (L), operated in connection with the principal 
experiment station at Brookings. It was established here because 
being in an irrigated region, numerous experiments can be car 
ried on relative to irrigation problems. The station is also the 
headquarters of the U. S. Bureau of Reclamation and Belle 
Fourche Irrigation Project. A farm picnic is held here every 
year in July. 

NISLAND, 199.5 m. ( 2 ^55 aft-* 2 34 PP-) * s another town in 
the irrigated section of South Dakota. In recent years the growing 
of cucumbers, made possible through fertile soil and abundant 
water, has been stimulated by a large pickle-salting station at Nis- 
land. The town is also the scene of the annual Butte Co. Fair. 

At 207.8 m. is the BELLE FOURCHE DAM (R) locally 
called Orman Dam largest earthen dam in the State, and one 
of the largest in the world. It is built on shale or heavy compact 
clay, locally known as gumbo, and is 6,200 ft. long, 115 feet high, 
and 19 ft. wide on top. The reservoir, approximately 10 m. long, 
with an average width of more than 2 m., supplies water to more 
than 75,000 acres in the Belle Fourche valley. The dam is on Owl 
Creek, but water is supplied by a diversion dam in the Belle 
Fourche River, which turns flood waters into the reservoir. 

Construction was begun in 1905 ; in 1908 the first unit was 
opened for settlement, and water was applied to 12,000 acres. Ex 
tension of the work continued until 1917, when water became 
available for about 82,000 acres. 

The Inlet Canal, constructed for the purpose of conducting the 
flood waters of the Belle Fourche River to the storage reservoir 
on Owl Creek, is 6% m. long and has a capacity of 1,600 ft. per 
second of water. 

Tour 4 243 

The irrigation season extends from May to September, inclusive, 
although spring rains are generally sufficient to germinate crops, 
and often makes irrigation unnecessary before June. 

BELLE FOUR CHE, 215.5 m. (3,013 alt., 2,314 pop.), (see Tour 
jj) is the junction with US 85 (see Tour Jj). 


(Lake Benton, Minn.) Brookings Huron Pierre Rapid City 
Sturgis Spearfish (Beulah, Wyo.), US 14. 

Minnesota Line to Wyoming Line, 478.1 m. 

Except in a few places the Chicago & North Western R.R. parallels 
the route between the Minnesota line and Sturgis. Between Sturgis 
and the Wyoming line there is no parallel railroad. 

All-weather roads. 

Good hotel and tourist accommodations in larger towns and cities. 

Crossing a level, almost unforested plain for about 225 miles, 
with only a few tree-fringed lakes and occasional hills to break the 
monotonous expanses of prairie, US 14 drops abruptly into the 
Missouri River valley and winds over rolling country to the Black 
Hills. Appearing first dimly distant, the Black Hills rise sharply 
from the prairie land surrounding them. Within their pine-covered 
portals is a rugged, picturesque mountain region including many 
points of scenic and historic interest. 

This highway traverses the State, east and west, and affords a 
composite picture of the eastern farming area, western grazing 
region, and mountain country. Yucca, cactus, buffalo berries, oc 
casional prairie dog villages, magpies, eagles, and perhaps a coyote 
are seen west of the Missouri River. 

Section a. Minnesota Line Pierre, 222.1 m. US 14 

US 14 crosses the Minnesota Line 8m. W. of Lake Benton, 
Minn, (see Minn. Tour 12}, and enters one of the best farming 
regions in 'South Dakota. 

ELKTON, 2m. (1,751 alt., 807 pop.), is at the junction of the 
C. & N. W. and the C. R. I. & P. R.R. Along the railroad track is 
a park with a band shell, walks, and elm trees; similar parks have 
been established in nearly every town along the line in eastern 
South Dakota, as a compliment to the railroads that brought the 
towns into being. 

244 A South Dakota Guide 

Free coinage of aluminum was tried in Elkton three years before 
the Presidential campaign of 1896, when William Jennings Bryan 
stumped the country for free coinage of silver. Suffering from a 
lack of anything to use as a medium of exchange, mainly because 
of hard times, Elkton businessmen concocted a plan to employ 
aluminum money in lieu of a more precious metal. Accordingly, 
they hired a St. Paul firm to "make money" for them. Thin strips 
of aluminum were cut to imitate the respective denominations of 
coins and the name of a firm was printed on one side. 

The plan worked remarkably well for a time. When purchases 
were made with legal coin the substitute would be given out in 
exchange. Mr. Jones would take his change from the grocer and 
buy meat with it. The butcher would spend it in other stores or 
buy a calf or a hog from a farmer. But retribution was not far 
distant. A United States inspector dropped in one day and notified 
the businessmen that they must cease the practice. Furthermore, 
he told them that they were subject to a fine of $100 in real 
money for every aluminum coin dispensed. From Elkton the in 
spector went to St. Paul where he closed the money-making plant. 
Satisfied that the Elkton men had no fraudulent intent, he gave 
them time to call in the illegal coins. Eventually all the bogus mon 
ey was redeemed, and Elkton returned to the gold standard. 

AURORA, 14.2 m. (1,630 alt., 234 pop.), platted in 1880 at the 
time of the extension of the railroad into this part of the State, 
has tall red grain elevators, white houses, and a few towering 
cottonwood trees, which break the level expanse of rich farm 

BROOKINGS, 20.3 m. (1,636 alt., 4,723 pop.), named for Judge 
W. W. Brookings, was platted in 1879. For a short time its name 
had been Ada. Depending to a large extent upon student trade for 
its support, Brookings might be considered a typical college town. 
A prosperous farming area surrounding it is also stimulative to 
business, and many retired farmers live here. With neat, well-kept 
lawns and many shaded homes, Brookings possesses much quiet 

The many departments of the SOUTH DAKOTA COLLEGE OF AGRI 
CULTURE AND MECHANIC ARTS include numerous industrial courses 
and practically every branch of science connected with agriculture, 
ranging from agronomy to veterinary courses. (See EDUCA 
TION.) There are also courses in chemistry, engineering, journal- 

Tour 4 245 

ism, pharmacy, and other subjects. One of the institution's greatest 
services is to farmers, through one main experiment station at 
Brookings and substations at Highmore, Cottonwood, Vivian, and 
Eureka. Both four-year and short-term winter courses can 'be 

The college campus comprises attractive lawns and 18 well-equip 
ped buildings, including two dormitories for women and a spacious 
armory that serves a multiple purpose. Celebrating its 5Oth anni 
versary in 1934, the college during the half-century has graduated 
about 23,000 students, while about 100 graduates are professors 
and instructors in leading colleges and universities in the United 

Each fall the college holds its Hobo Day, a time-honored event. 
For this event men students make preparations weeks before by 
foregoing the task of shaving. The result is that when Hobo Day 
arrives, many amusing and grizzly types of beards of assorted 
colors are offered by the wearers in competing for the prize that 
goes to the nearest perfect facsimile of the typical "Knight of the 
road." The day is featured by a football game with a traditional 

dwarfing all other buildings in the city, was given to the college by 
Charles L. Coughlin, an electrical engineering graduate, on the oc 
casion of the 2Oth anniversary of his graduation. He was a South 
Dakota farm boy from near Carthage, and is now a prominent 
Milwaukee manufacturer. 

The total cost of the tower was approximately $75,000. It meas 
ures 30 ft. square at the base, not including the approaches, and 47 
ft. square with the approaches. It is built of white Indiana lime 
stone, red brick, and concrete, to harmonize with the beautiful 


nearby. There are 180 steps leading to the balcony, the highest 
point that can be reached by visitors. The balcony floor is 112 ft. 
a ! bove the ground, or almost exactly two-thirds the height of the 

A glass-covered hatchway in the ceiling of the balcony room per 
mits a view of six of the eighteen tubular chimes, and also of Old 
Faithful, a bell cast for State College in 1885, and one of the 8,- 
000,000 candlepower beacon lights. There are 18 tubular bells in 
the belfry, which are struck with electrically operated hammers 

246 A South Dakota Guide 

fitted with rawhide tips to give a mellow tone. Electrically operated 
dampers silence a vibrating chime the instant another is struck, 
thus preventing discords. While the entire program control and 
playing mechanism appears complicated, it is very reliable. It 
operates automatically and requires practically no attention, all 
changes being made by the clock and program device. 

An 8,000,000 candlepower aeronautical beacon, revolving at the 
rate of six revolutions per minute, is in a glass ball eight ft. in 
diameter at the top of the tower. Another beacon of the same 
power, but not revolving, throws its beam towards the BROOKINGS 
AIRPORT to the W. These beacons are charted on the United States 
airway maps and must be kept in contant operation from sunset 
to sunrise. They are turned on and off automatically by special 
clock-operated switches. Eight 35O-watt white floodlights illumin 
ate the stone top of the tower at night, and 12 lights of the same 
kind are used to throw the college colors, yellow and blue, on vari 
ous parts of the tower. These lights are likewise thrown on and off 
by clock switches. 

It is planned to use the walls inside the tower for the display of 
materials and facts about the history and development of State 

At Brookings is the junction with US 77 (see Tour p). 

VOLGA, 29.4^. (1,636 alt., 557 pop.), was named for the 
Volga River in Russia, though the people of the community are 
not of Russian descent, but Scandinavian. 

A story is still current in Volga about a salesman from Chicago 
who, in 1880, came to Volga for the first time. Learning of a trad 
ing post at the inland town of Oakwood, he hired a livery team 
and drove there. It was apparent that he expected to find the 
country wild and woolly, and during the evening some of the local 
men concluded that it would be too bad if he returned disappointed. 
He was taken to Charlie Porter's drug store, where a group of men 
were apparently gambling for high stakes under the influence of 
liquor. Suddenly a violent quarrel started and Porter rushed be 
hind the counter, returning with a huge cheese knife. Another 
man came reeling out of the back room, swinging a double- 
barreled shotgun. Three men rushed at him, when both barrels 
were discharged into the ceiling. This was too much for the sales 
man, who bolted out of the door for the livery barn, forgot about 
collecting his money, and never returned. 

At 39.7 m. is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

Tour 4 247 

ARLINGTON, 41. Sm. (1,846 alt., 557 pop.), originally called 
Nordland because of the large number of Scandinavians who first 
settled here, has an artificial lake and a native rock island. Al 
though a small, two-street town, people get confused in directions, 
as the streets are diagonal to the compass. 

Here is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10) . 

HETLAND, 47 m. (207 pop.), is also the center of an extensive 
Scandinavian community, named for a settler by that name who 
came from Hetland, Norway. 

. The life of the homesteaders who settled in this prairie country 
in the i88o's was hard but often romantic. In the spring of 1880 
Hod Phelps brought his family from Minnesota and filed on a 
homestead near here. As money was none too plentiful, he made a 
temporary home in a dugout in a steep bank that faced the east. 
He spent the summer breaking the prairie with his walking plow 
and horse, making a stable for his cow, digging a well, and putting 
up hay. During the same summer a young woman, May Wheeler, 
came from Baraboo, Wis., and filed on a homestead near the Phelps 
land, as she had known the family previously; however she re 
turned to Wisconsin to earn more money before building. In the 
meantime, Mrs. Phelps' unmarried brother, Willis Atwater, came 
from the East and filed on a nearby homestead. In October a bliz 
zard began on the morning of the I5th, followed by several storms 
until by mid-January travel and communication were cut off. On 
the last train to break through the snow blockade, Miss Wheeler 
arrived at Nordland (now Arlington). After buying lumber and 
equipment, she found she could not start building while the storms 
continued, and so she moved in with the Phelps. The storms in 
creased in fury and frequency during the rest of January and 
February, and it was not long until there were 12 ft. of snow on 
the level. Each new storm buried the dugout completely, making it 
dark as night the day around. The kerosene supply was soon ex 
hausted, and the only source of light was a saucer of grease with 
a rag in it. Wheat was ground in a coffee mill, and they burned 
hay and straw hauled by manpower on a home-made sled. 

Through the long, cold winter a romance between Atwater and 
Miss Wheeler developed. The first thaw came on April 17, and the 
weather turned suddenly warm. Water flooded the land and ran in 
torrents through the ravines. Those who had vowed to leave dur 
ing the winter now began making plans for their homes on the 

248 A South Dakota Guide 

prairie. Among them were Atwater and his bride, who eventually 
built up a large and prosperous farm. 

LAKE PRESTON, 56 m. (1,722 alt., 1,009 pop.) received its 
name from the lake nearby, which was discovered and named in 
1839 by Gen. John C. Fremont, noted pathfinder, who surveyed the 
levels of the water on his journey through the Northwest. He 
named the lake for Senator Preston of North Carolina. 

This area is an excellent farming region during normal years, its 
prosperity attested by large barns and farmhouses. 

DE SMET, 66.2m. (1,726 alt., 988 pop.), first settled in 1879, 
was named in honor of Father Peter J. De Smet, early apostle to 
the Indians of South Dakota (see HISTORY). Lying in the heart 
of a dairying section, it has 'been called the Cream City. Many of 
the merchants and professional men in De Smet are sons of pio 
neers, and modern buildings show the town's development. 

1. Right from De Smet on State 25, a graveled road, to the 
BIRTHPLACE OP ROSE WILDER LANE (1887- ), the writer, 
2.5 m. Only a few gnarled boxelder trees mark the place that was 
her home, although the remains of the sod shanty in which she 
was born are marked hy two slight elevations near the trees. 
Laura Ingles Wilder, author of children's stories and mother of 
Rose Wilder Lane, came here as a bride. Rose Wilder Lane has 
said that the pattern of her whole life was formed in that pioneer 
setting. At the age of six she became so intensely interested in 
writing that she developed writer's cramp and was taken out of 
school. For a time it was feared she would lose the use of her 
arm. Leaving the country in a covered wagon at the age of seven, 
she remembered, however, the prairies and the town, which have 
been used as the settings of her books. The Earnestine Series of 
stories which were published in the "Saturday Evening Post" had 
descriptions of De Smet and subtle characterizations of its early 
inhabitants. In "Let The Hurricane Roar" the description of the 
blizzard and cold is that of the Dakota prairie. In a recent book, 
"Old Home Town," De Smet can easily be recognized. 

2. Left from De Smet on State 25 to a junction with a graveled 
road, 8m.; L. on this road is LAKE THOMPSON, 10.7m. (R), 
which covers an area of 20 sq. m. LAKE HENRY (L) is a small 
er body of water. It was at Lake Thompson in 1857 that a party 
of Santee Sioux overtook Inkpaduta, after he had committed nu 
merous depredations. A fierce battle ensued. Inkpaduta, chief ob 
jective of the long chase by the Santees, escaped, but two of his 
sons were killed. South Dakota and Minnesota history records 
the "high spots" in the life of Inkpaduta, infamous son of Wam- 
desapa, whose cruel traits he inherited. Recently, human bones, 
thought to be those of Indians, were unearthed in the vicinity. 

Tour 4 249 

At 74m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road, 2m. (R), is the BIRTHPLACE OF HARVEY 
DUNN, the artist. Only two mounds of dirt remain to mark the 
site of the sod house in which he was born in 1882. At the age 
of 14, Harvey Dunn was doing a man's work on the farm. In 
school the teacher made a practice of hiding the chalk, as Har 
vey emptied the chalk box every day. His strong fingers sketched 
everything, from delicate flowers to powerful locomotives. Harvey 
wished to study at the Art Institute in Chicago, but he was with 
out funds. A De Smet landowner, Charles Dawley, offered to pay 
$2 an acre to summer-fallow 200 acres of land, and a deal was 
made. Working from sunup to sundown, Dunn saved his money 
and left for Chicago to attend school in 1902. Finishing his 
course in Chicago, he went to New York. When the World War 
began, Dunn was sent to France by the War Department to 
portray scenes of American activities as historical records. Many 
of his war pictures were on covers of the "American Legion 
Monthly" from 1928 to 1936. He has illustrated many magazine 
stories and articles. Among his best known paintings are: "Artil 
lery in Action," "A Corner In Hell," "The Raiding Party," "In 
the Wire," "The Raid," "The Vigil," "The Homesite," "The Rail- 
splitter," "Kamerad," "Armistice." and "Camouflage." The ori 
ginal painting of "The Sniper," cover design of the American 
Legion Monthly in 1928, is hung in the De Smet American Le 
gion Post clubhouse. 

IROQUOIS, 80.3 m. (1,401 alt., 531 pop.), was named for the 
Iroquois Indian tribe. Nearby are an artificial lake and game pre 

CAVQUR, 89.47^. (1,311 alt., 196 pop.), received its name from 
Count Cavour, Italian statesman and builder of railroads in Italy. 

HURON, 99.6m. (1,285 alt., 11,733 pop.) (see HURON). 

Home of the State Fair, Huron College; meat-packing and farm- 
trading center. 

Here is the junction with State 37 (see Tour nA). 

In the vicinity of Huron the dust storms of 1933 and 1934 were 
particularly devastating, taking off the top soil and piling it in the 
ditches along the road. Between Huron and Wolsey piles of dust 
are seen, but the U. S. Soil Conservation Division has made fur 
rows to prevent further shifting of the soil. Also, the shelterbelt 
program includes planting of trees in this area to prevent severe 
dust storms in the future. 

At 111.4 m. is the junction with US 281 (see Tour n) with 
which US 14 is united through the town of Wolsey. 

250 A South Dakota Guide 

WOLSEY, 114.5 w. ( J >353 a ^v 445 pop-) was named for Card 
inal Thomas Wolsey of i6th century note. It was in Wolsey, ac 
cording to a story related there, that the late Richard Sears, of 
Sears, Roebuck & Co., received the impetus that caused him to 
embark upon the mail order business. In 1882 he was the first rail- 
road t station agent at Wolsey. Having several small C. O. D. ship 
ments of varied articles that remained unclaimed, he notified the 
consignors. A jewelry company suggested that he try to dispose of 
the articles on commission. This he did, and was so successful that 
he was soon doing a small mail order business. After two years he 
left Wolsey, found a partner, and organized one of the world's 
largest mail order houses. 

North of Wolsey US 14 branches L. ; US 281 R. 

WESSINGTON, 129.5 m. (1,419 alt., 564 pop.), which received 
its name from the range of nearby hills, is often confused with 
Wessington Springs, located about 30 m. S. On its main street are 
often seen huge transportation trucks parked beside the teams and 
wagons that bring produce from the back country. 

ST. LAWRENCE, 145.3 w. (1,580 alt., 356 pop.), is the center 
of a rather extensive dairying region, and at different times has 
led all other towns along this branch of the Chicago & North 
Western R. R. in shipment of cream. 

MILLlER, 147.3 m. ( I 5^7 alt., 1,468 pop.), was named for its 
first settler, Henry Miller. The town has a large new SWIMMING 
POOL (open to visitors ; moderate charge). On the second floor of 
the Hand Co. courthouse here is a free exhibit of Sioux and Ari- 
kara Indian relics. 

At i$2m. is the junction with an unimproved road. 

Left on this road to CAMP DAKOTA, 6 m., a deep-wooded gulch 
in the Ree Hills, where Boy Scouts gather annually for an out 
ing and instruction. The camp has abundant shade, good spring 
water, a swimming pool, mess hall, and many rustic bridges; 
tables, chairs, and benches were constructed by the scouts dur 
ing encampment. Several hiking trips can be taken either up 
and down the ravine, or among the hills nearby. 

The REE HILLS to the S. were named for the Arikara Indians, 
commonly known as the Rees. Wooded ravines and lookouts 
from which miles of country can be seen, were used in pioneer 
times as a hide-out by horse and cattle rustlers, according to 
tradition. Cattle and horses stolen as far south as Nebraska were 
brought into the Ree Hills and hidden; later they were taken 
in small bunches to various markets Pierre, Bismarck, Aber- 

Tour 4 251 

deen. When traffic on the trail to Fort Pierre became heavy, the 
hills were abandoned by the rustlers and were then used by bull- 
whackers as a place to rest and view the trail ahead. 

At 157.5 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left is REE HEIGHTS, 0.8m. (1,731 alt., 307 pop.), from 
which picnic trips to the Ree Hills can be taken. 

HIGHMORE, 169.3 m. (1,890 alt., 1,002 pop.), seat of Hyde 
Co., received its name through a foreign railroad worker's imper 
fect command of English. The foreigner, attempting to inform his 
fellow workers that the land rises gradually to the W. of Ree 
Heights, announced repeatedly, "high more," and as a consequence 
named a growing community. A STATE EXPERIMENT FARM (open) 
on the highway (L) is used especially for testing leguminous crops. 

Here is the junction with State 47 (see Tour 4A).- 
HOLABIRD, 177. i m. (63 pop.), consists of a garage and oil 
stations along the highway. 

HARROLD, 184.1 m. (1,801 alt, 260 pop.), was founded with 
the coming of the railroad in 1881, and might be termed a "mush 
room village," as it grew to approximately its present population 
in about one month in 1883. 

BLUNT, 201 m. (1,621 alt., 477 pop.), for more than 20 years 
was the center of a wide trade territory, and at one time had a 
population of more than 2,000. But with the building of a new 
railroad line to the N. in the early 1900'$, the town's prosperity 
waned steadily. 

At 203.5 m - is tne junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is MEDICINE KNOLL, 3.1 m., a long narrow 
mound, rising 400 ft. above the valley. According to an Indian 
legend, a young Sioux chief went to the knoll to fast, sing, and 
pray before battle. On the third day, seeing the enemy creep 
ing toward him, he sang louder, thus bringing to his aid his 
fellow tribesmen who defeated the Arikaras. A gigantic stone 
serpent, placed here by the Sioux, commemorates the event. 

At 203.7 m - is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12) ; US 14 
and US 83 are united between this point and Fort Pierre. 

At 218.5 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is LAKE ARIKARA, 1 m., an artificial body of 
water formed by damming a dry creek. The lake was named for 
the Indian tribe that once inhabited the region. When full it 
covers 11 acres and serves as a fishing and boating spot, as well 
as a game preserve. The spillway of the lake was originally ex- 

252 A South Dakota Guide 

cavated as a railroad cut for a line between Blunt and Pierre, 
over which no trains ever passed. 

At 220.8 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road, 1.6 m., on the summit of Snake Butte (L) 
is the CENTER MONUMENT, erected in 1923 to mark the geo 
graphical center of South Dakota and approximate center of 
North America. On the monument is inscribed; "Erected by 
Charles L. Hyde and Doane Robinson, 1923." The monument 
when first erected, was at the base of Snake Butte, near a four- 
road terminal. In the interests of traffic safety, it was moved 
here and a fence was erected to protect it from souvenir hunters, 
intent on chiseling pieces from its surface. 

The long winding ridge on which the monument stands is called 
SNAKE BUTTE, the scene of another Indian legend of a brave 
young Ree who ran into an ambush of his arch enemies, the 
Sioux. Though mortally wounded and reeling with pain, he ran 
a lurching, swaying course until he dropped. In admiration of 
his bravery the Sioux placed a rock on every drop of blood that 
dripped as he ran. At the center they placed their own symbol, 
the turtle. The result is a winding line of rocks, nearly a half 
mile in length. A fence has been placed around the figure of 
the turtle. 

At 8.6 m. is the "Gray Goose" corner; L., at 13.6 m., is the junc 
tion with another road; R. on this road at 14.6 m. the route fol 
lows an unimproved dirt road, winding over hills, through woods, 
and across river bottoms, to the SITE OF FORT SULLY, 23 m., 
built in 1866 as a consolidation of the old and new forts of the 
same name. During the Messiah War of 1890 it was used as a 
central point for outfitting military expeditions. Mayor Fiorella 
H. La Guardia of New York lived here as a youth, while his 
father served as post bandmaster. Foundations of the old build 
ings are still almost intact and the several cisterns used there 
are in a good state of repair. (Note: Visitors are warned to 
watch for uncovered cisterns.) The buildings of the fort occupied 
the rim of a flat and extended along the slopes. On the hill is 
a monument recently erected to mark the historic site. The fort 
was abandoned in the early 1890's. 

South of the site of the fort, 1.2m. (R), are traces of an old 
Arikara Indian village, depressions and mounds. Pieces of pottery 
and occasionally arrowheads can be found. 

US 14 winds over the Missouri River range of buttes and down 
to Pierre, 222.1 m. 

Tour 4 253 

Section b. Pierre Rapid City, 189.5 m. 

PIERRE, (1,440 alt., 4,013 pop.) (see PIERRE). 
State Capitol, Memorial Hall, Riverside Park. 

At 2.4m., after crossing the Missouri River, is a junction with 
a graded dirt road. 

Right on this road, at 0.4 m., is a junction with the old canyon 
road (L), where the famous DEADWOOD TRAIL climbed the 
hill out of Fort Pierre in the days before the railroad came. 

Winding serpent-like across approximately 200 m. of prairie, the 
Deadwood Trail in gold-rush days served as the main artery of 
travel and transportation from Pierre to the feverish mining 
camps of the Black Hills. Over this trail passed the huge, slow 
freight wagons, the stagecoaches with their relays of fast horses, 
and the colorful, motley throng of adventurers, gold-seekers, 
cowboys, gamblers, and outlaws. 

It was on this trail near Grindstone, in 1876, that four luckless 
freighters mysteriously met their death and were buried in a 
wagon box near the scene of the tragedy. The creek near where 
the murders were committed has ever since been called Deadman's 
Creek. The mystery, incidentally, was never solved. Still another 
episode, recalled by old-timers of Haakon Co. today, was the 
gruesome multiple murders by a rancher named Kunneche, liv 
ing NE. of Ottumwa, who made a practice of killing his hired 
men instead of paying them long-accumulated wages. He is said 
to have killed at least five men, hacking their bodies to pieces. 

The first successful automobile trip was made over the trail in 
1905 by Governor Peter Norbeck, later U. S. Senator. Today 
only remnants of the old trail remain; a few deep ruts off the 
traveled highway show where wagon wheels once passed. 

Continuing N. past the gulch of the old Deadwood Trail, the dirt 
road reaches the SITE OP OLD FORT PIERRE, 2.4 m. Relics of 
the early days, when fur traders, trappers, and soldiers made the 
vicinity their headquarters, can still be found. Several other so- 
called forts, actually only trading posts, were once established in 
this vicinity. They were designated on the map as Ft. Tecumseh, 
Ft. Galpin and Military Fort. Although the original fort was 
established near the site of the present town of Fort Pierre, it 
was moved to this point two years later. Construction of a repro 
duction of the old fort was begun by CCC boys in 1937. 

Beyond the site of old Fort Pierre (L) is the HOME OF JAMES 
"SCOTTY" PHILIP, 3 m., formerly called the "buffalo king," be 
cause when the shaggy range lords were virtually exterminated, 
he purchased a small herd and built it up in a mammoth pasture 
near his home. At the time of Philip's death in 1911 there were 
nearly 1,000 buffaloes in the herd. In the yard around his home 
is his grave. 

254 A South Dakota Guide 

Continuing N. along the road a few hundred yards (R) is the 
SITE OF AN OLD ARIKARA VILLAGE, designated by a large 
red gate. 

FORT PIERRE, 3 m. (1,437 alt., 777 pop.), at the confluence of 
the Missouri and Bad Rivers, has a history crammed with events 
of first importance in the annals of South Dakota. Perhaps no other 
point in the State boasts as many "firsts" as this quiet little town, 
which still retains a touch of the days when it was the boisterous 
center of a far-reaching cow country. Fort Pierre represents the 
eastern edge of the range country and is approximately on the 
dividing line between the agricultural east and prairie west of the 

Because of the buried Verendrye Plate (see VBRENDRYH 
HILL below), Fort Pierre claims to be on the site of the first spot 
visited by white men on South Dakota soil. The establishment of a 
fort, near the site of the present town, by Joseph La Framboise in 
1817, marked the beginning of the oldest continuous settlement in 
the State. In 1840 the Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, a missionary from 
Minnesota, preached the first sermon delivered in the Dakotas. In 
1855 the Government bought Fort Pierre and General Harney 
moved 1,200 troops to that point. In 1865 the Indian War of the 
Outbreak was settled by a treaty at Fort Pierre. 

With the building of the railroad to Pierre in 1880, Fort Pierre 
became the starting point for freight outfits on their long overland 
trek to the Black Hills. It was also here that the river steamers 
unloaded their cargoes for the Black Hills haul. 

With the rise of Pierre, the importance of the older town de 
clined. Today it is a rambling, sleepy village, filled with memories 
of voyageurs and trappers. 

Across Bad River, at the first street, a road leads (L) to LKwis 
AND CLARK PARK, one of the chief points of interest in the town. 

At Fort Pierre is the junction with US 83, (see Tour 12). 

At 3.3 m., a few rods up the hill W. of Fort Pierre, a marker 
indicates a road (L). 

Left on this road is the VERENDRYE HILL AND MONUMENT. 
It was on this gumbo knoll, overlooking the Missouri and Bad 
Rivers, that the Verendrye brothers Louis and Francois 
in 1743 buried a lead plate and claimed a vast territory for 
France. This is the first record of white men on Dakota soil. 

In 1742 the Verendrye brothers set out from Canada to seek a 
route to the western sea. After reaching what is now central 



BETWEEN the Missouri River and the Black 
Hills, there is a large area known as the West- 
River, or range, country. Here cattle ranches, bands 
of sheep, and a strip of rugged Badlands break 
the landscape of wide open spaces. 

The first three pictures in the following group 
are views in the Badlands National Monument, and 
the fourth is a singular formation in the Slim 
Buttes country. 

The Old West still lives in much of this region, 
and the picture of former- governor Tom Berry, his 
wranglers, and the chuckwagon is as recent as the 
last mail order catalogue. Lazy White Bull is just 
one of twenty thousand Indians in South Dakota, 
but the picture of him with his log cabin and 
Model A is a glimpse into his life. 












Tour 4 255 

Montana, they turned back, arriving at the Missouri River near 
Ft. Pierre on March 15, 1743. They remained here with a band 
of the Little Cherry Indians until April 2. While camped here, 
they buried a lead and zinc plate bearing the date March 30, 
1743. Here, at the joining of Waksicha, or Bad River, and the 
Missouri, later centered the activities of the river trade which 
were of commercial and historical importance. 

The burial spot of the plate was marked by a rough pyramid of 
stones. The Frenchmen told the Indians the stones were a me 
morial, for they did not want them to know of the plate. The 
late William Frost said that a pile of stones, probably part of the 
pyramid, was on this hill when he came to Fort Pierre in 1877. 
Other early residents have spoken of hauling stones from there 
to use in building. 

The years passed, bringing changes in the growth and develop 
ment of the little town of Ft. Pierre. The new school building 
was erected nearby and the school children made this hill their 
playground. One Sunday, February 17, 1913, as a crowd of boys 
and girls were walking about, one of the girls, Hattie Foster, 
noticed something protruding from the earth and pulled it from 
the ground. The children could see it was a flat piece of metal 
but so covered with dirt that all they could read of the writing 
was the date. Not knowing its value, they made laughing com 
ments and speculations as to what it might be, and were about 
to throw the plate away, when one of the boys, George O'Reilly, 
took possession of it. He showed it to his father, William O' 
Reilly, who had a collection of pioneer articles, and he got in 
touch with members of the Historical Society. Historians had 
been searching for the location of the buried plate, mentioned in 
the Verendrye journals, and the finding of this one caused much 
excitement and speculation. Deciphering of the carving disclosed 
on one side the following inscription in Latin: 

"In the 26th year of the reign of Louis XV the 
most illustrious Lord, the Lord Marquis of 
Beauhurnois being viceroy, 1741, Peter de La 
Verendrye placed this." 

and on the reverse side, in French: 

"Placed by the Chevalier de La Verendrye 

Lo (Louis) Jost (Joseph Verendrye) 

Louis La Londette 

A Miotte 

The 30th March 1743." 

The plate, 8 % inches long, 6 */ inches wide, and Vs of an inch 
thick, was purchased by the Historical Society for $700, and is 
now in the Historical Museum of the Memorial Building in Pierre. 
The scene of this historic discovery was left unmarked for 20 
years. On September 1, 1933, a monument was dedicated by the 
South Dakota Historical Society and the Fort Pierre Commercial 

256 A South Dakota Guide 

Club on the opening day of the Stanley County Fall Festival. 
The French Government took official notice of the event and sent 
Rene Weiller, consul in Chicago, to represent that country. After 
a historic pageant, which wound through the town to the summit 
of the hill, the monument was formally dedicated with speeches 
by Gutzon Borglum, the sculptor, George Philip, nephew of 
"Scotty" Philip, and Lawrence Fox, State Historian. Among the 
honored guests was John Stanage of Yankton, born at Ft. Pierre 
in 1857, the first white boy in old Dakota Territory. 

A few rods to the NE. of the Verendrye Monument is the con 
crete and stone map of South Dakota constructed of stones 
from each county, gathered by the Young Citizens League. It 
was dedicated on the last day of the Y.C.L. Convention in May 

At 10.3 m. is the junction with a graded dirt road. 

Right on this road to the STANDING BUTTE "OIL WELL," 22 
m., which is merely one more venture added to the long list of 
blasted hopes of wealth from "liquid gold." The road to the 
well is a combination prairie road and river view drive. After 
traveling 10m. on the main road in a northerly direction, a sign, 
"To Orton," indicates the route straight ahead. Soon the road 
dives down a steep descent and rises as abruptly on the other 
side. At 15.5 m. the road veers to the L. until it reaches a butte 
Standing Butte whence it angles L. 2.2 m. to a well-improved 
horse ranch. Here is the well. 

The well was promoted before the World War and drilling con 
tinued until a shaft was sunk several hundred feet. The well nev 
er produced anything but warm artesian water, which now flows 
free and unharnessed to join the Cheyenne River. 

At 13 m. US 14 crosses WILLOW CREEK, which in freighting 
days, between Fort Pierre and the Black Hills, was an almost im 
passable hazard in wet weather, the heavy gumbo soil of its valley 
clinging to wagon wheels and paralyzing travel. 

HAYES, 38 m. (40 pop.), in the era of the big cattlemen, was 
a typical cowboy center with most of the characteristics of the "wild 
and woolly" days saloon, dance hall, general. store, hitching posts. 
The site of the original town was one-half mile S. of the present 
hamlet, and a tall, unpainted building was at one time used as a 
dance hall. 

At 40.5 m. is the Methodist Episcopal LITTLE BROWN 
CHURCH ON THE HILL (R). Just as the town of Nashua, 
Iowa, became famous through its Little Brown Church in the Vale, 
immortalized in the hymn of Dr. William S. Pitts, this little prairie 
church is known in a lesser degree throughout most of western 

Tour 4 257 

South Dakota. As the Church in the Vale earned wide attention 
for its many weddings each year, the Hayes Church is receiving 
similar note in its community, many couples having taken their 
marriage vows here since the present structure was erected in 1923. 
Beginning in 1908 with a handful of homesteaders as a nucleus, the 
church has weathered the years of depopulation caused by contin 
ued droughts, when settlers, discouraged, left their holdings to re 
turn East. 

At 63.3 m., just before descending into the Bad River Valley at 
Midland, is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is CAPA, 10m. (85 pop.), of interest because 
of its hot mineral baths. The source of the water for baths is a 
deep artesian well. The water is piped to a pool in the Capa 
Hotel, where treatments are given for all kinds of rheumatism 
and muscular pains. 

MIDLAND, 64.2m. (1,878 alt., 296 pop.), was given its name 
because it was supposed to be midway between the Missouri River 
and the south fork of the Cheyenne River. It was one of the towns 
engaged in a riotous county seat contest in 1914, when rambling 
Stanley Co. was divided (see PHILIP below). At the NW. edge 
of town is LAKE CHO-KA-YA, an artificial body of water where 
swimming and fishing are available. 

At 90.5^. is SUNSHINE LAKE (L), built under a Federal 
program to provide a water supply, a road grade, and swimming 
and fishing facilities for the community. 

PHILIP, 93.5 m. (2,159 alt- 1 887 PP-)> was named for James 
"Scotty" Philip, the "buffalo king" (see above). The town was 
started with the extension of the railroad to the Black Hills in 
1907. With, many new business houses and a large new auditorium, 
Philip is the center of a vast farming and ranching section, its 
trade territory extending N. as far as 50 m. 

Always a thriving little town, it staged a lively campaign in 1914 
in an effort to become the seat of the newly created Haakon Co. 
Almost overnight five towns in the county Philip, Nowlin, Powell, 
Midland, and Lucerne, the last merely an inland post office in 
the center of the county joined the race. The result was an 
easy victory for Philip. 

At the County Fair Grounds on the western edge of town a 
graded dirt road makes a slight turn and then runs directly W. 

258 A South Dakota Guide 

On this road is the SILENT GUIDE MONUMENT, 8 m., a recent 
improvement on an original rude stone monument, built in early 
days by a sheepman to mark the location of a waterhole that 
never failed. It figured in many disputes between the sheep and 
cattle ranchers and was torn down and rebuilt several times dur 
ing the range feuds between the two traditional enemies. It was 
customary for cowboys to express their contempt for sheepherd- 
ers by roping the monument and toppling it over whenever they 
happened along. At last one sheepherder, imbued with more cour 
age than the rest, mounted the monument with a rifle and 
threatened to shoot any cowboy who attempted to molest him. 

The monument, on a high hill near the road (L), is visible for 
miles. It was rebuilt in 1924 through public subscription. 

US 14 turns L. at Philip, crosses Bad River and winds over a 
series of hills. 

At 98.5 in. is the junction with US 16 (see Tour 5) ; US 14 and 
US 16 are united for 91 m., between the junction and Rapid City, 
189.5 m. (See Tour 5, Section b.) 

Section c. Rapid City to Wyoming Line, 66.5 in. 

RAPID CITY, (3,196 alt., 11,346 pop.). (See RAPID CITY.) 

State School of Mines and Museum, Dinosaur Park, Alex John 
son Hotel, Municipal Park and Canyon Lake, and Hangman's 

Here is a junction with US 16 (see Tour 5) ; with State 79. (see 
Tour $C) ; and the Rim Rock Trail (see Tour 48). 

At 1.3 m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is the SOUTH DAKOTA STATE CEMENT 
PLANT, 0.8 m., one of several enterprises undertaken by the 
State during the period 1915-25. It has been financially success 
ful. Located where materials used in the manufacture of the 
product are easily accessible, the plant, since it began operations 
in 1925, has virtually monopolized the cement business in South 
Dakota, $2,000,000 in profits having been turned into the State 
Treasury. Operating on a non-political basis and controlled by a 
five-man commission, the plant has been run on tested business 
principles, which have built up a volume that one year showed 
an output of 643,000 barrels. It employs 110 persons, and has 
an annual payroll of $175,000. 

One commissioner is appointed each year by the governor for a 
term of four years ending July 1, thereby necessitating a new 
appointment every year. From the first the board has been 
formed of men of different political parties. For the 11 years that 
this plant has been in operation, the management has been un 

Tour 4 259 

The product is sold only through dealers, who have to pay taxes 
to the State, except when highway paving is being done for the 
State and sales are made direct to contractors. All profits are 
returned to the State through the plant. 

The total gross sales amounted to more than $16,000,000 and 
the credit losses were less than $4,000 from 1925 to 1937. In 
all of that tonnage of cement there never has been a rejection, 
although every contractor who buys in large quantities has a 
laboratory, and tests are continuously going on while a building 
is being constructed. The purity of the cement sent out from this 
plant is well guaranteed, for chemists make tests every hour of 
both raw and finished products while the plant is operating. This 
project at first was regarded with suspicion by some of the pri 
vately owned plants, but there now exists a most friendly feeling 
among the manufacturers of cement. More tljan 98 percent of 
all cement used in the State has been made in the Rapid City 

Cement is made from lime rock, shale, and gypsum. The lime 
stone is quarried just back of the plant from a layer of rock 45 
ft. thick. The shale is from the State's own bed five m. E. of 
town. Gypsum is purchased from the U. S. Gypsum Co. of Pied 
mont, S. Dak. 

Lime and shale are ground together in proportions of 80 and 20 
percent. After the mixture is "burned" and prepared as "clink 
ers," a small percentage of gypsum is added to govern the time it 
takes cement to set. 

The plant owns two engines, one of which is a narrow-gauge 
that is used in the quarry; 12 railroad cars haul the shale. 

At 1.9 m. (L) is the new NATIONAL GUARD HEADQUAR 
TERS, formerly part of the Indian School property, the 84-acre 
plot was set aside as a permanent camp for the State's National 
Guard. Construction began June 25, 1934, and the rough work was 
carried on by relief organizations. 

The camp is complete in every respect, with an administration 
and warehouse building built with the aid of the Works Progress 
Administration, tent floors, storage house for target material, slid 
ing targets with a tunnel leading to the storage house, a firing 
range equipped with a telephone, Kennedy Stadium capable of 
seating 3,000 spectators, and a lake fed with running water. The 
guard assembles for training each year in June. In addition to all 
this, the Government has beautified the grounds by picturesque 

From Rapid City US 14 goes in a northerly direction along the 
eastern edge of the Black Hills. 

260 A South Dakota Guide 

At 2.4m. is the junction with a graveled road, a scenic drive 
connecting with US 85A (see Tour 4C). 

The highway passes through rolling country of interesting soil 
formation. On one side of the road is red clay, and on the other 
is yellow, each making a sharp contrast with the grass and ever 
greens. This area is alternately wooded and barren, with occasional 
small ranch houses. 

I, 7.6 in. (60 pop.), is a small town on Black- 
hawk Creek, with souvenir shops, gas stations, and a schoolhouse. 

At 9.3 m. is a marker at the point where US 14 crosses the trail 
General Custer made as he was returning to Ft. Abraham Lincoln 
in North Dakota Jn 1874. 

At 12.5 m. (R), near the highway, is a reproduction of the SID 
NEY STOCKADE, an important stage station on the old Sidney- 
Deadwood and Pierre-Deadwood stage lines during gold rush days. 
It was the first station N. of Rapid City. 

At 12.6 m. is a junction with a graded road, built on the roadbed 
of a narrow-gauge railroad used formerly by the Homestake Min 
ing Co. to carry timber out of the Hills. 

Left on this road to STAGE BARN CAVERNS, 2.2m. (open; 
adm. fee; trip requires an hour). There are five openings, and 
the underground caves extend about one-half mile. The cave is 
situated in a limestone formation 500 ft. thick, and the walls 
show markings which indicate that the water remained at differ 
ent levels for long periods of time. The rooms vary in height 
from a few feet to 20 ft. The walls are covered with calcite cry 
stals and the cave has both stalactites and stalagmites. The cave 
is considered "alive," as its features are still in the process of 
formation. Various colors are present, and iron in solution gives 
many of the stalactites a reddish tinge. 

At 13.87^. is a junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is the TIMBER OF AGES, 1.2 m. (adm. 
charge), comprising a collection of petrified wood. The 60-acre 
tract has huge stumps and long logs which show the structure 
of trees in petrification, such as the limbs, roots, bark, growth 
rings, knotholes, indents of rot, mineral coloring, agate, crystals, 
and cycads. Small pieces are plentiful. This group of petrified 
trees is in the Minnewasta layer of the Dakota Sandstone, and, 
according to scientists who have examined the area, it is con 
sidered approximately 100 million years old. 

PIEDMONT, 14.5 m. (150 pop.), furnishes supplies to ranches 
of the region and caters to tourists who stop there. 

Tour 4 261 

US 14 follows Elk River valley and crosses Elk Creek at 17.1 m. 

BLACK HILLS ROCK MUSEUM, 17.3 m. (L), is a private 
collection of rocks, crystals, and petrified wood, some specimens of 
which are for sale. 

At 17.4 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is the route to CRYSTAL CAVE, 5.5 m. (long 
er route, $1.00, shorter route, $0.55; children under 12 free; 
under 17, half-price. Free crystal souvenir to every visitor. Trips 
every half hour, day or night, year around.) 

The cave has been compared in appearance to a huge sponge, 
with all its windings, galleries, rooms and turnings. Unlike the 
dead color of a sponge, each of these passages is lined with 
glittering crystals, above, below, and on the sides. Every pro 
jecting rock is covered and every recess lined with gleaming cal- 
cite crystals. In the wealth of crystals there is no monotony. In 
one room the formations are pointed and glittering; in another 
rounded and dull. Impurities have given some of them a deep 
yellowish tinge, and in one room they resemble a quantity of 
prodigious baked beans. Sometimes boxwork, deeply encrusted 
with crystals, is visible on the ceiling. The cave has 50 m. of 
explored rooms and 22 m. of paths. 

In the lower room of the explored part some of the cave is still 
inaccessible there are pools of clear, cool water with stalactite 
and stalagmite formations, sometimes with a combination of the 
two. There are places where the crystals have been of necessity 
broken in making passages, the exposed rock resembling choice 
cuts of beef with streaks of fat running through. Occasionally a 
crack in the crystal walls will be marked by a thin red line where 
water seeping through has deposited iron and left it to oxidize. 

At 17.67^. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is WONDERLAND CAVE, 5.4 m. (adm. $0.50 
and tax; children under 17, $0.25; under 12, free). Competent 
guides conduct regular trips through the cave, an hour and 15 
minutes being required to make the trip. 

Though not as large as some in the region, it has many strange 
and fantastic formations such as "The Sheep," "The Frozen 
River." "The Madonna and Her Child," "The Icicle Fence," and 
many other weird and beautiful forms, built through countless 
ages by the steady drip of mineral-laden water. The cave, dis 
covered in 1931, is now equipped with a complete electric light 
ing system. Stalactites hanging from the roof join with stalag 
mites reaching up from the floor. 

DEAD MAN CREEK, 28.5 m., is crossed just S. of Sturgis. On 
its banks (R) is a monument of varicolored stones to the memory 
of Charles Nolin, a pony mail carrier, who was killed and scalped 

262 A South Dakota Guide 

by the Indians at this point. The monument is in the form of a 
shaft and is surrounded by an ornamental fence with posts con 
structed of like material. Behind' the monument are five black wal 
nut trees growing- from the slips obtained from five historic Ameri 
can battlefields including Gettysburg, Valley Forge, and Antietam. 

STURGIS, 28.6m. (3,432 alt., 2,591 pop.), was named for Maj. 
S. D. Sturgis who was in command of the military post in 1878 
when the site was laid out. It is in the extreme southwestern por 
tion of Meade Co., and it is said that many residents of the county, 
particularly in the northeastern portion, have never visited their 
county seat. Meade Co. is the largest in the State, its area exceed 
ing the combined areas of Rhode Island and Delaware. 

The town was nicknamed "Scooptown," or "Scoop," from the 
fact that Sturgis was originally populated by the usual type of 
camp following. There was a saying among the soldiers that when 
you visited in town you were apt to get "scooped" or "cleaned out." 
The early population of Sturgis was made up largely of bull- 
whackers and bull trains, due to the large amount of supplies re 
quired by the military post and citizens. With the building of toll 
roads into Deadwood from the N. in 1877-78, all heavy freighting 
was routed to circle the Hills along the eastern flank, this being a 
much easier route to follow. All travel from the S. came this way, 
and the route from Pierre was forked at the Cheyenne River to 
head in directly for 'Sturgis with all freight intended for Deadwood 
and the northern Hills. This made of Sturgis quite a metropolis in 
a very short time, so that its one main street was literally teeming 
with life all day long and most of the night. Sturgis today is an 
important center of a large territory, with a growing population, as 
shown by the more than 50 percent increase in the last 10 years. 
1. Right from the center of Sturgis on State 24, a paved road, 
is FORT MEADE, 2 ra. It was established in 1878 and named in 
honor of Gen. George B. Meade, leader of the Union forces at the 
Battle of Gettysburg. Entering the grounds from the W., the first 
building used by officers in 1878 stands alone on the hillside to 
the R. Residence buildings are along the road from the entrance 
as far as the fort hospital. Here the road forks and forms an 
oval parade ground. To the R. are the officers' residences, to the 
L. the fort headquarters and post office; N. of the barracks is 
another street on which are warehouses, several stables for the 
horses, and the new riding hall. The parade ground, bandstand, 
and ball diamond are between the two streets. Polo and baseball 
games are the major sports of the soldiers. There is a landing 
field for planes N. of headquarters. The fort reservation consists 
of 13,127 acres. 

Tour 4 263 

The Fourth Regiment of Cavalry now occupies the fort. The 
Seventh Cavalry at one time was stationed at Fort Meade. When 
Gen. George A. Custer led this regiment in the battle of the 
Little Big Horn, the Indians killed every living being except one 
horse, "Commanche," and he was found two days later, riddled 
with bullets, standing in a small stream of water. He was taken 
first to Fort Lincoln and later moved with the regiment to Fort 
Meade where he lived for 10 years. When the regiment was 
transferred to Fort Riley, Kan., he was moved also. When he 
died at an advanced age he was accorded military honors. 
2. Right from the center of Sturgis on State 79 is an improved 
road to BEAR BUTTE, 5m. (4,422 alt.). Rising like a huge 
mound of dirt dumped there by human hands, the Butte was 
named "Mato Paha" (Ind. bear hill) because to them it re 
sembled a huge bear, as seen from the NE. Standing detached 
from the Black Hills proper, like a last outpost, this mass of 
earth rises 1,200 ft. above the prairie surrounding it. The N. and W. 
sides are so abrupt that they are inaccessible, even to experienced 
hikers; but the eastern slope is more gradual, and from this 
direction the summit can be reached. 

Legends of the Butte tell how different tribes held possession of 
this sacred mound, which was the goal of an annual pilgrimage 
of worship as well as their watch and signal tower. Traces on 
top show that fires have been kept burning for days at a time. 
Records were kept by different tribes by placing rocks in the 
forks of trees and thereby showing which tribe was in possession. 
The Mandans are said to have made annual pilgrimages to Bear 
Butte as long as they were permitted to do so. The Cheyennes 
took the territory from the Mandans ,and later the Sioux ab 
sorbed the Cheyennes who held possession when the white man 
claimed it by treaty. The Mandans held an annual religious festi 
val called "Mee-nee-ro-da-ha-sha" (sinking down or settling 

Nu-mahk-muck-a-nan, they believed, was the only man saved 
from a flood. He landed his canoe on a "high mountain in the 
West." Every year the Mandans believed they must make some 
sacrifice to the water, and this sacrifice must be of sharp-edged 
tools, as the canoe was made by similar instruments. They also 
believed they must visit the mountains or else another flood 
would come and no one would be saved. The time for pilgrimage 
was when the willow leaf was in full growth. According to tradi 
tion, a turtle dove was sent out from the canoe and it returned 
with a willow twig on which the leaves were in full growth. 
Therefore the dove was regarded as a medicine bird and the In 
dians considered its destruction a crime. 

Close to Bear Butte to the W. is the LARGEST ARTESIAN 
WELL in the State. It was sunk in 1921 by a company of specu 
lators who were seeking oil. A 10-inch hole was drilled and the 
flow was two million gal. per day. The waste was so great that 

264 A South Dakota Guide 

authorities soon after reduced the capacity by putting a six-inch 
pipe on top. Later a hole was drilled in the side of this pipe and 
the top plugged to prevent further waste. 

At 29.7 m. is a junction with State 24. 

Right on this road, the eastern edge of the Black Hills is skirted 
as far as Whitewood. At 3.8 m. is an unusual view of Bear Butte 
(R), and at 7.3m. State 24 crosses WHITEWOOD CREEK. The 
water in this creek is a dull black, caused by the mill tailings 
from the Homestake Mine at Lead (see DEADWOOD). WHITE- 
WOOD, 8.3 m. (3,625 alt., 421 pop.), is a picturesque village, so 
named because of the extensive growth of aspen and birch trees 
in the vicinity. It became a town with the advent of the C. & N. 
W. R.R., while Crook City, just over the hill, joined the many 
ghost towns of the Hills, The reason was that early residents had 
pinned their hopes on the building of the railroad through Crook 
City. WHITEWOOD HILL, 8.5 m., ft? a steep climb, from which 
is a striking view of the valleys leading out of the northern Hills. 
At 12.3 m. State 24 rejoins US 14. 

Between Sturgis and Deadwood, US 14 rises 1,000 ft. through 
BOUIvDER CANYON with its high limestone cliffs and heavy 
pine timber, a scenic drive. 

At 41.4 m. is a junction with US 85 (see Tour ij) ; US 14 and 
US 85 are united to Spearfish. 

At 42.4 m., at the summit of the hill above Deadwood, is PINE 
CREST CAMP, the municipal tourist camp of Deadwood. There 
are many cabins in a picturesque setting on a pine-covered slope. 
There are laundry facilities, a camp store, and playground equip 

Left from this point is the CABIN OF DEADWOOD DICK, 0.3 
m., where Deadwood Dick of dime novel fame lived until his re 
cent death. (Open to visitors; free.) Up the mountain side from 
the cabin, is a footpath to the summit of Sunrise Mountain, 
where, blasted out of solid rock, is the GRAVE OF DEADWOOD 
DICK. It is close to the junction of the old Bismarck Trail with 
the Pony Express trail between Pierre and Deadwood, and over 
looks the town which is so closely associated with the romance 
of his name. From this point can be seen not only Deadwood and 
Lead, but also Terry Peak, Custer Peak, and Mt. Roosevelt, with 
Bear Butte in the distance. 

Deadwood has always had a penchant for Deadwood Dicks. The 
original was Richard Clark, who is said to have driven the first 
stage into Deadwood. It was he who was the apocryphal hero 
of a thousand hair-raising, blood-and-thunder Wild West tales 
written in New York City and not intended to be believed by 
anyone. But they spread the fame of Deadwood and its mythical 

Tour 4 265 

hero to the four corners of the country. Whether the occupant of 
the present "grave of Deadwood Dick" is the original of that 
name is beside the point. 

At 43.3 m., the crest of the hill, is the PREACHER SMITH 
MONUMENT. The Rev. Henry Weston Smith, a Methodist 
minister and itinerant preacher, was the first to exercise his profes 
sion in the Hills. On the 2Oth of August, 1876, he set out' from 
Deadwood for Crook City, in spite of the fact that he had been 
warned that to do so was dangerous. Shortly after, word was 
brought to Crook City that he had been found, killed by Indians, 
five m. from Deadwood at a place called "The Rest." A party of 
men set out from Crook City and carried his body to Deadwood. 
On Aug. 20, 1914, exactly 38 years after he had been murdered, 
the Society of Black Hills Pioneers unveiled a monument to his 
memory on the spot where he met his fate. On each anniversary 
of his death, his last sermon is read at a memorial service. 

From the Preacher 'Smith Monument the road runs for miles 
down a narrow winding gulch, and clings to the hillside above the 
creek, with thickly wooded hills on either side. Since most of the 
timber is pine, it is difficult to say whether the scenery is more at 
tractive in summer or in winter when the pines show green against 
the snow. This is the far-famed DEADWOOD HILL, one of the 
memorable drives in the Black Hills. 

At 47.6 m. is the St. Onge Corner, where the road branches E. 
to the old French settlement of St. Onge. This whole region, a rich 
upland valley, is called Centennial Prairie, because it was settled in 
1876, the year of the Philadelphia Centennial. 

At sow. is the BLACK HILLS AIRPORT, dedicated in the 
summer of 1936 and serving the towns of Deadwood, Lead, and 
Spearfish. The airport is one of the best-equipped in the North 
west. There are three main buildings constructed of native lime 
stone quarried nearby. The main hangar has accommodation for 
thirty planes. There is a repair shop of almost the same size for 
the servicing of planes ; also an administration building, with ac 
commodations for pilots and passengers, a coffee shop, radio room, 
and lobby. Between the hangar and the repair shop is a large con 
crete apron, and the runways are oiled. The field itself is a level, 
square quarter section. It is unusual to find so large a tract of 
level ground within the borders of the Hills. The field is sur 
rounded by the usual marked posts of aviation. The airport was 
built as a Works Progress Administration project. 

266 A South Dakota Guide 

SPEARFISH, 54.5 m. (3,637 alt., 1,738 pop.), took its name 
from a rather apocryphal incident of the early days. One old-timer 
was supposed to have remarked to another as he stood on the banks 
of a stream, "This would 'be a good place to spear fish," and forth 
with the creek and future town were named. 

The nickname of Spearfish is "The Queen City," because the hills 
surround it like a diadem. To the E., overlooking the town, is the 
lofty peak of Lookout; to the W. is Crow Peak; and to the S. 
Spearfish Mountain. 

Spearfish lies on both sides of Spearfish Creek, at the mouth of 
Spearfish Canyon. It is not an industrial town but an important 
tourist center, the tourist business ranking high in the town's ac 
tivities. There are five tourist camps in town, including the muni 
cipal park. One of these, the Central Cabin Camp near the depot, 
has an interesting collection of petrified wood and fossil specimens. 

The municipal tourist park is in two sections. One of these is a 
cabin camp just opposite the U. S. Fish Hatchery. The other, with 
out cabins, serves as a city park as well as a place where tourists 
may pitch their tents or park their trailers. It is one of the most 
attractive parks in the Hills. Bordering 'Spearfish Creek and faced 
by a rock cliff on the other side, it is shaded by great trees. Red 
squirrels and robins glean the scraps that the visitors leave. Camp 
ers may catch trout within a few yards of their tents. 

There is also a community building with a good collection of 
native and other curios. A store supplies the needs of the campers, 
and gas for cooking, as well as laundry facilities are available. There 
is a large dance pavilion in which dances for the townspeople are 
held weekly. 

Just S. of the city park is the u. s. FISH HATCHERY (open to 
visitors), established in 1899 for the purpose of hatching fish 
with which to stock the streams and lakes of the Black Hills 
region. This hatchery is now engaged in the propagation of brook, 
rainbow, Loch-Leven, and black-spotted trout. A brood stock of 
rainbow and brook trout is maintained at the hatchery in open 
ponds. This stock supplies part of the eggs from which the small 
fish are hatched to be used in stocking streams. Additional eggs 
of these species are sometimes shipped to this hatchery from other 

The Spearfish hatchery raises approximately 2 l / 2 million fish 
each year, varying in size from two to five inches. These fish are 

Tour 4 267 

supplied to any person free of charge for stocking public waters. 
There is one commercial hatchery in Spearfish which sells trout 
to hotels and restaurants. 

The Black Hills region is the only part of South Dakota where 
trout are found in great numbers, although they are found to some 
extent in the waters of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Indian Reser 
vation. The reason for this is that only clear cold water is suitable 
for this species. 

This hatchery conducts extensive feeding experiments relative to 
the merits of numerous artificial fish foods. During the fiscal year 
J 935> the station fed approximately 38,000 Ibs. of fish food, con 
sisting of beef and sheep livers, beef lungs and spleens, and ground 
salmon eggs. During the present year the station has received 10,- 
ooo Ibs. of ground seal meat from Alaska. This meat is cooked, 
dried, ground, and put up in burlap bags. 

The Spearfish station is a very attractive spot, the grounds being 
surrounded by large rim rocks and containing many trees and 
beautiful lawns. A large number of pools containing fish of various 
sizes are an attraction to visitors. The hatchery building contains 
the hatching troughs, a small aquarium, and a display case show 
ing the different stages of egg development. Employees are glad to 
answer questions regarding the operations. 

Spearfish has a golf course, a modern high school, a volunteer 
fire department, a hotel, and a moving picture theatre. 

At Spearfish is a junction with US 85 (see Tour ij). 

West of Spearfish US 14 passes the campus of the BLACK HILLS 
TEACHERS' COLLEGE, one of the four normal schools of the State. 
The school, founded in 1883, has had a steady growth until a few 
years ago when it was reduced, in an economy wave, to a two- 
year course. It also has a large summer school. The buildings are 
placed in a row, facing a well-kept park. The northernmost is the 
dormitory and refectory, then comes the administration and recita 
tion building, next the gymnasium, and finally the training school, 
which is a grade school taught in connection with, the norm u school. 

Northwest from Spearfish US 14 angles through scenic country, 
the foothills of the Black Hills, crossing wooded ridges and fertile 
valleys, with the Hills to the L. and the open country stretching 
N. to the R. 

At 63 111. there is a fine view of the Wyoming hills. 

268 A South Dakota Guide 

At 64.8 m. is the GAME PRESERVE of the Black Hills' Rod 
and Gun Club. 

At 66.5 m. US 14 crosses the Wyoming Line 2 m. E. of Beulah, 
Wyo. (see Wyoming Tour 10). 


Hlghmore Crow Creek Reservation Fort Thompson Lower Brule 
Reservation Chamberlain. State 47. 
Highmore to Chamberlain, 55.2 m. 
No R.R. paralleling this route; no bus line. 
Usual accommodations at Highmore and Chamberlain. 
Graveled roadbed. 

State 47 branches south from US 14 at Highmore, om. (see 
Tour 4). Few houses are seen along the highway between High- 
more and Fort Thompson. For the entire distance of 30 m. between 
the two towns the road is straight as a plumb line, and the topo 
graphy, except when State 47 plunges down into the Missouri River 
valley, is level or gently rolling. 

The CROW CREEK RESERVATION (open to public) is en 
tered at 17.2 m., and the region is featured by upland stretches 
covered with buffalo grass, where great herds of shaggy buffaloes 
grazed in the days of Indian hunters. During the hard winter of 
1934, farmers in the country N. of this section drove their wagons 
over these flats and gathered loads of dried cow dung for fuel, 
just as in the early days homesteaders picked up "buffalo chips" to 
burn. At the western edge of the reservation, in the pocket formed 
by the Big Bend of the Missouri River, are sheep and cattle 
ranches and small farms owned by both white and Indian settlers. 

At 19.3 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is STEPHAN MISSION, 0.7 m., where pupils 
from Crow Creek and other reservations, principally the Sisseton, 
are enrolled in the Immaculate Conception School. There are 
usually about 250 pupils attending the boarding school, which 
extends through the 10th grade. The large chapel is the central 
church for the adult Catholic people of the surrounding country. 
The gymnasium is used as a center of community recreation. 
Community sewing and work in Indian handicrafts are sponsored 
by this mission. 

FORT THOMPSO'N, 30.2 m. (180 pop.), is administrative 
headquarters for the Indians on the Crow Creek Reservation. As 

Tour 4A 269 

late as 1880 Crow Creek, as the post office was known, was an im 
portant stopping point on the stage route which began at Yankton 
and extended along the river, through Pierre, to northern posts. 
Traders' stores in Fort Thompson are typical of reservation posts 
visiting and loafing places, as well as trading centers. Buildings 
are arranged in the form of a square, the office being in the center. 
The square is a hold-over from the days when a stockade sur 
rounded the group of buildings. 

The fair grounds and exhibit hall are on the right of the en 
trance to the agency. All is quiet and deserted around this spot 
except on Fridays, when the Indians gather for business meetings 
of the tribe, or to engage in old Indian dances. In early September 
a fair is held here. 

The reservation roll at the last census showed 943 Indians. As on 
other reservations, an Indian council governs many of the affairs 
of the tribe, the group holding regular meetings in the council room 
at the office building. The loth and 25th of each month are ration 
days. At 8 a. m. on these days a food ration of flour, baking pow 
der, coffee, sugar, pork, tomatoes, and prunes is given out at the 
commissary building to about 70 old and indigent Indians. 

An excellent water supply plant was built in 1934 and pumps 
send purified water into the institutions and homes of the employes. 
The Indian population in general live in cabins, tents, and open-air 
shelters. Unsanitary conditions prevail, the water being hauled in 
open barrels to their homes. 

A large proportion of the children of school age attend five 
schools on the reservation, the largest one of which is on the west 
ern edge. 

A large collection of examples of old Indian art and craft work, 
decorated clothing and rude implements, is housed in the EPISCOPAL 
MISSION HOUSE (open to public). Modern pieces of beadwork and 
carving, products of a group of 20 Indians who use the name Crow 
Creek Crafts, are for sale. 

Just W. of Fort Thompson SOLDIER CREEK marks the limits of 
the agency. On a bank of this creek, near the bridge, eight people 
were drowned in September 1933, when their house was carried 
away in a disastrous flood that rushed down the valley following 
a cloudburst. 

Several small log and frame cabins in this vicinity are excellent 
examples of the type of houses that most Indians throughout the 

270 A South Dakota Guide 

reservation occupy today. Sometimes a shade, or shelter, is built for 
summer use in front of these cabins. Shades are built of forked 
poles set in the ground, with more poles laid horizontally and 
thickly covered with leafy willows to form the roof. This well- 
ventilated room, sometimes called a "squaw cooler," is used as a 
special center for the family and visitors, its open-air sides enclos 
ing a combined kitchen, dining-room, living room, bedroom and 
workshop. A village of white tents is generally seen in the vicinity 
of Fort Thompson. Round shades of bent willows, covered with 
fresh leaves, are set up in front of the tents to take advantage of 
the breeze and for additional sleeping quarters. Tuberculosis is 
prevalent here, as on other reservations. 

At 32.2 m. is a junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Right on this road is a FERRY, 6.2 m., reminiscent of the early 
days, which makes regular trips across the river to the LOWER 
BRULE RESERVATION, 6.9 m. The jurisdiction of this reserva 
tion has recently been combined with that of Crow Creek, only 
a sub-agency being maintained here now. 

LOWER BRULE, 7.5m. (50 pop.), is the headquarters for the 
little reservation on which barely 600 Indians reside. The small 
population was the chief reason for combining it with the Crow 
Creek reservation. Teton Sioux of the Sicang.u tribe live on this 
reserve. "Brule" was derived by French traders from their trans 
lation of Sicangu (burned thighs). An old map of 1829 marks 
this area as occupied by "Tetons of the Burntwood." These In 
dians are closely related to those of the Rosebud Reservation. 
Until 1890 the reservation extended S. to White River. When the 
reservation boundaries were changed, part of the Indians moved 
W. to Rosebud. 

At Lower Brule is the lower end of the famous BIG BEND, a 
45m. loop, noted in the journals of every river explorer. At the 
time of the War of 1812, Manual Lisa was made agent for all 
the Indians on the upper Missouri River. He established a strong 
trading post in the vicinity of Big Bend. When fur traders as 
cended the river, parties often left their boats at the turn and 
walked the 4 m. across the neck of the loop. The account of 
Elias J. Marsh (1859) tells how such a party had to wait over 
night for their boat to navigate the distance around the bend to 
rejoin them. 

From Lower Brule the dirt road winds a sinuous course along 
the rough, jumbled breaks of the Missouri River to IRON 
NATION, 12.3 m., a store and post office situated near the river. 
Along the road, spread fanwise from Iron Nation, are the scat 
tered homes of Indians comprising this community. A white 
church Messiah Chapel, Episcopal stands on a hill near the 
road. Below the hill a large spring has been walled in and a 

Tour 4A 271 

pump placed over it. Lower Brule Reservation is marked by 
scenes that vary little from those of a hundred years ago, the 
few Indian houses, rude outbuildings, and occasional barbwire 
fences, comprising the only advance upon the primitive. 
The post office was named for Chief Iron Nation, leader of the 
Brules when this tribe began to adopt civilized ways. Over this 
area Iron Nation and his band roamed during the last days of 
the red man's untrammeled wanderings. Medicine Creek in this 
vicinity was the headquarters for the bands, as they sallied into 
the prairie country to hunt buffalo. Numerous dams, constructed 
under a Government works program during recent years, with 
many wells placed at advantageous points on the several reserva 
tions, have helped solve the water problem that periodically be 
comes acute. The average Sioux Indian is not particular about 
the source of his water supply, sanitation playing an insignifi 
cant role in his choice. 

From Fort Thompson, 'State 47 spirals down the valley of the 
Missouri River, winding near the shores, dipping into hollows, and 
lifting over rklges. Remains of Indian life are still seen at various 
places near the road. Arrowhead seekers have found many relics 
of early days scattered along the valley. Trenches, used by the Ree 
or Arikara Indians more than a century ago for defense, are found 
in different places, and when State 47 was constructed it cut 
through a forgotten Indian burial ground. 

At 40.1 m is CROW CREEK, for which the reservation is 
named. Several miles of the valley can be seen from the highway 
along the hilltops, and many Indian homes are visible, the stream 
being a favorite camping ground of the Sioux. At the mouth of 
Crow Creek tribes once met for councils. The place is called the 
"Sioux Pass of the Three Rivers" in Lewis and Clark journals, 
because two other creeks, Elm and Campbell, empty into the Mis 
souri River near here. 

At 40.2 in. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is the CROW CREEK DAM, 1.3 m., a huge 
earthen structure built across Crow Creek to impound a lake 
10m. long. It will be the second largest earthen dam built un 
der the CCC program in the United States. A crew averaging 
about 250 boys, has been working on the dam, which will provide 
a recreational center for a wide territory. The dam has to be a 
veritable fortress, for it will be called upon sooner or later to 
stop the torrential waters that will surge down the valley, inun 
dating the lowlands and becoming a churning, roaring river after 
a heavy rain. 

CHAMBERLAIN, 55.2 m. (1,363 alt., 1,506 pop.) (see Tour 5), 
is at the junction with US 16. (see To-nr 5). 

272 A South Dakota Guide 


Rapid City Junction with US 85A (Pactola). An unnumbered 
road known as the Rim Rock Trail, 18.5 m. 

The Rapid City, Black Hills & Western R.R. ("Crouch Line") 
roughly parallels this trail. 

Usual accommodations at Rapid City. 

Roadbed graveled. 

This road, known as the Rim Rock Trail, is primarily a scenic 
route, but it also affords a short cut between Rapid City and US 
85A, 2m. N. of Pactola. The views, after the road has climbed 
the hill above the valley of Rapid Creek, are exceptional. Typical 
Black Hills scenery, pines, parks, and mountain streams, are in evi 
dence for the rest of the route. 

This route branches S. from US 14 (see Tour 4), just E. of 
Baken Park in RAPID CITY, o m. 

At 0.2 m. the road crosses the bridge over Rapid Creek. This 
creek is one of the best trout streams in the Hills. 

CAMP (see Tour 4). 

At i.i m. (R) is a Federal Indian Hospital which, when com 
pleted, will care for Indians from surrounding States, especially 
those suffering from tuberculosis. The old buildings were formerly 
used as an Indian school and later as a transient camp. 

At 2.6 m. is CANYON LAKE, formed by damming the waters 
of Rapid Creek. Here are a city-operated beach and bath house 
(admission free), rowboats, and picnic grounds. A "fish fry," con 
structed of native rock and logs, has a cooking range 22 ft. in 
length. The land covered by the 45-acre lake was donated by Dr. 
R. J. Jackson of Rapid City on the condition that no motor boats 
ever be permitted on its waters. 

At 3.2 m. (L) is a STATE FISH HATCHERY (adm. free). 
Here several different kinds of trout are raised to "fingerling size" 
and then planted in the creeks. This service to fishermen has suc 
ceeded in keeping a normal supply of trout in the streams. The 
pools in the hatchery have been repaired and in some cases entirely 
remade to improve the rearing ponds. Full-grown rainbow and 
Loch-Leven trout are in the N. pond. 

Tour 4B 273 

At 4.5 m. -is a junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is NAMELESS CAVE, 2 m., which compares 
favorably with other caves in the Black Hills from a scenic 
point of view, since many rooms contain beautiful crystalline 
formations. Here are stalactites and stalagmites "The Frozen 
River," "Palisades." "The Devil's Kitchen," "Fairies Hallway," 
and many other unusual formations. Well-formed crystals and 
frostwork of crystal aggregates coat the rock surfaces in great 
profusion and delicacy. The cave is 75 ft. below the surface of 
the ground and is easily reached by a stairway. 

Since the cave was discovered recently, it has been explored 
only 1.5 m. There are many passages which have not been pene 
trated but they are being developed as rapidly as possible. The 
cave is lighted by both indirect and flood lights. 

The limestone formation in which the cave is found is said to 
be 290 million years old and contains fossils such as corals, 
gastropods, and brachiopods. 

At 4.9 m. the road forks, the trail (L) going to Dark Canyon 
(see Tour 15). Right here on Rim Rock Road. 

At 6.7 m. the road emerges upon the RJM ROCK, overlooking 
the valley below. Many beautiful views are obtainable along this 
stretch of road. Below lies the trail just traveled, and the creek 
which cuts its way along the bottom of the gorge. 

At 7.4 m. the road enters the Black Hills National Forest and 
winds through the pines. 

At io.2m. (Li) is the junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is TRIANGLE I RANCH, 0.2 m. At 1m. is Hi- 
sega R.R. station (RCBH&W) and TRIANGLE I LODGE (see 
Tour 15), formerly Pierre Lodge, a summer camp among the 
trees, where cabins and swimming pool are available. The fishing 
is good. Many persons suffering from hay fever and asthma 
spend the summers here and find relief for the duration of their 
stay. At the Triangle I Ranch nearby, established in 1882, sad 
dle horses and guide service are available for those who wish to 
explore the surrounding hills. Winter sports are featured, and 
the lodge is available for hunters during the deer hunting 

At 10.6 m. is a road leading L. to the power-house of the Dakota 
Power Co. At this point the water is returned to Rapid Creek after 
being used for the generation of electric power. 

At 12.3 w. (Li), in the creek, is a wheel used to bail out water 
for use on an irrigation project consisting of a small plot. 

274 A South Dakota Guide 

At 12.8 m. the highway approaches the FLUME {L), which 
carries the water from Pactola to Big Bend, to furnish power to 
operate the hydroelectric plant. 

At Pactola a low dam backs up the water of Rapid Creek and 
turns it into the upper and open part of the flume. This part is 
12,773 ft. in length, and is made of heavy planking in the form of 
an open trough. For most of its length it is supported on high 
trestles as the country through which it passes is very rough. 
About 0.5 m. below Pactola (see Tour 14) it is siphoned under the 
tracks of the Crouch Line, and less than half a mile beyond passes 
over the track on a trestle more than 30 ft. high. 

The flume follows, roughly, the course of Rapid Creek and the 
railroad right-of-way, but in many places it is far -from both. It 
runs as an open ditch on the top of a tableland for 3,933 ft. ; a 
pipe-line, about 5 ft. in diameter, extends 11,257 ft., and a tunnel, 
through solid rock, 612 ft. The penstock which conveys the water 
to the turbines is 724 ft. long. The flume, pipe-line, and ditch, are 
5.5 m. in length, and have a drop of more than 300 ft. from Pac 
tola to Big Bend, developing 2,000 horsepower. 

The flume was first built in 1894 by the Pactola Placerville Min 
ing Co., to convey water to placer mines between Pactola and 
Placerville, 2.5 m. below. It was then only an open flume and 
ditch. The mines did not produce as much gold as expected and 
the flume and ditch were taken over by the Dakota Power Co. in 
1906, and they extended it to Big Bend. 

The water drops 83 ft., generating electric power which is sent 
to Rapid 1 City over steel towers and a 2,400 volt transmission line. 
Due to difficulty caused by freezing in winter, the plant and flume 
are shut down from about December i to March 15 each year. 

At 13.277?,. (L) is a burned-over area which is beginning to be 

At 13.3 m. (R) is JOHNSON SIDING, on the Crouch Line 
(see Tour 15). 

At 17.3 m. (R) are ledges of slate rising above the surrounding 
forest growth. 

At 17.9 m. (R) is a CCC dam, and at 0.5 m. beyond (L) is an 
other CCC dam. 

At 18.5 m. is the junction with US 85A (see Tour 14), 2m. N. 
of Pactola. 

Tour 4C 275 


Junction US 14 (Rapid City Nemo Roubaix Junction with US 
85A (Pluma). 

Junction US 14 Junction US 85A, 39.1 m. 

Unnumbered, graveled and dirt road; not paralleled by railroad. 

Winding westward through one of the most scenic parts of the 
Black Hills, this route provides many points of interest. In order 
fully to appreciate the trip it is advisable to take plenty of time in 
driving the distance, stopping at the numerous points of attraction 
along the road. For one accustomed to riding, much of the route 
can be covered on horseback. 

This road branches W. from US 14 (see Tour 4), 2.4m. W. of 
RAPID CITY, 0111. at junction indicated by a sign. 

At 1.7 m. the road enters the cool, shady mouth of SOUTH 
CANYON, a deep gorge with tree-covered slopes flanking the 
road on either side. Occasionally sheer walls of solid limestone in 
terrupt the green forest covering. 

At 2 m. is a ranch house, where saddle horses- are for hire by the 
hour or day. From the ranch several hiking and bridle trails can 
be taken. 

Farther up the canyon, 4.3 w v at the foot of a bluff (R), is a 
large cave extending back into the mountain. Ponderosa pine, oak, 
elm, aspen, boxelder, and spruce cover the hillsides and extend to 
the edge of the creek along most of the drive. Birch is seen fre 
quently, but most of the white-barked trees are aspen. 

At 6 in. the road passes over the divide between South Canyon 
and Box Elder Creek, the canyon walls merging gradually into 
picturesque valleys and farm land. At 9.7 m. the road crosses the 
boundary of the BLACK HILLS NATIONAL FOREST (see 
ous beaver dams along the creeks, where anglers may match their 
skill with the shrewdness of the elusive trout. 

At 9.8 111. the highway strikes the TRAIL OF GENERAL CUS- 
TER'S EXPEDITION on its return in 1874 from French Creek, 
near the present town of Custer, to Fort Abraham Lincoln, near 
Bismarck, N. Dak. General Sheridan secured permission from 
Washington in the spring of that year to send an expedition into 
the Black Hills for the purpose of exploration and scientific survey 

276 A South Dakota Guide 

of the territory, to determie its mineral and geological possibilities. 
By the first of July Ouster set out with about 1,000 soldiers, a 
supply train, and 300 beeves which were to be killed as needed. 

Their route skirted the Montana-Dakota boundary to Mt. Inyan 
Kara, thence SE. to French Creek. Three exploration parties went 
out from the permanent camp, one down French Creek from which 
Charley Reynolds took dispatches to Fort Laramie. The return 
trip took the same course to Castle Creek, thence past Nemo and 
along Box Elder Creek to the point where it joins BOGUS JIM 
CREEK, 10 m. On this site Custer camped and while there, a story 
says, the expedition buried arms, ammunition, and some whiskey. 
However, no discovery of the reported cache ever verified the truth 
of the story. 

The story of Bogus Jim dates back to early Black Hills days. 
When the region was the favorite haunt of gold prospectors, a cer 
tain Francis Calabogus located a mining claim and established a 
camp on the creek. From the contraction of Calabogus comes the 
name, Bogus Jim. Many claims were filed along the creek and 
farther back in the hills. Lead and silver ore were found in large 
quantities, and one or more copper veins were uncovered. But the 
prospectors wanted gold. There was little market for the other 
metals. Facilities for smelting were poor, transportation difficult, 
and most of the miners lacked the capital to develop their claims ; 
consequently, there was little development of mineral resources in 
this part of the Hills. 

Green Mountain, (5,101 alt.), highest peak in this region, 
commands a beautiful view of the surrounding forest and country. 
Rocky Point is another nearby attraction; it can be reached by a 
little hard climbing and affords a good view. 

At n.6m. the highway passes OUSTER'S GAP through which 
the expedition passed on the journey to Fort Abraham Lincoln. 
During the ascent of the gulch several wagons were overturned. 
Today there is still a wagon road up the gulch. The route follows 
Box Elder Creek through deeply-wooded canyons. At 13.1 m. (L) 
there is a dark streak, largely iron ore ; and at 14.7 m. is a forma 
tion which resembles a castle wall with high battlements. 

At i6m. is a ranch house where rooms are rented to tourists. 

At 16.4 m. is STEAMBOAT ROCK (R), so named because of 
its resemblance to the hull of a boat stranded upon a huge reef ; 
with considerable effort and about a day's time one can reach the 

Tour 4C 277 

top, from which there is a broad view of the surrounding country. 
To the W. is Bogus Jim valley; to the NW., Custer Peak (6,794 
alt.) ; to the N., the town of Nemo; while to the E. are rolling 
prairies and the distant Badlands. 

The U. S. Forest Service has developed a picnic ground, 16.5 m., 
at the foot of the mountain. Along the cliff (R) the formation of 
the rocky ledge resembles ancient castles. At 17 m. is a small store 
and filling station. 

NEMO, 19.5 m. (4,616 alt., 240 pop.), is a quiet little village 
where the Homestake Mining Co., maintains a logging-camp and 
sawmill. There is also a ranger station here. Forest quietness, 
broken only by the occasional hum of a motor or the whistle of a 
sawmill, prevails. There is a LOG CHURCH (R) and across the 
street from the church is an old TOWN HALL. Just inside of the 
door of a shack along the board sidewalk is an old-fashioned fire 
hydrant and hose. 

Beyond Nemo the country is more rugged, the steep slopes of 
the mountains having been swept by forest fires several times. 

At 21.5 m., on each side of the road, are two abandoned mines, 
reminiscent of an earlier day. 

At 23.1 m. is a concrete-encased spring. The water is clear and 
cool and of the usual pure quality found in most Black Hills 
springs. Two m. farther there is a dam and a dry lake bed. 

At 31.2 m. the road enters a forest of young trees with a distant 
glimpse of Custer Peak. The wooded area is often broken by out- 
croopings of schist and milk white quartz. This type of quartz 
contains gold in free-milling form. 

The ANACONDA GOLD MINE is passed at the little Hamlet of 
ROUBAIX, 34.2^. (5,392 alt., 45 pop.). The mine was discovered 
in the early i88o's and was first named the Uncle Sam 'Mining Co. 
The vein which the prospectors discovered contained what is known 
as free-milling gold. Simple stamping and washing was all that was 
necessary to recover the metal. This vein played out, and the prop 
erty was later worked by the Clover Leaf Mining Co. until 1905, 
when the water broke through into the seventh level, about 700 ft. 
down. If the shaft leading to the pump had not broken, the mine 
could have been pumped out. The Anaconda Mining Co. ac 
quired the property in 1934 and began operations to drain the 
mine. For months the draining of the mine went on until 'by 
September 1935 the mine was emptied of all water, including the 

278 A South Dakota Guide 

seventh level. Since September 1935 the company has been busy 
cleaning up and locating ore drifts preparatory to actual produc 
tion. The present equipment will take care of about five times the 
water which enters the mine per minute. The mine has a Diesel 
power-plant and also a steam outfit. 

There are no stamps in operation at present ; but there is a 
daily production of from 80 to 500 tons. The property covers 2,200 
acres, and the mine and mill employ (1937) about 100 men. 

At 39.1 m. is the junction with US 85A, 5111. S. of Pluma (see 
Tour 14). 


(Luverne, Minn.) Sioux Palls Chamberlain Rapid City Custer 
(Newcastle, Wyo.). US 16. 

Minnesota Line to Wyoming Line, 486.6 m. 

All-weather roads entire distance, hard-surfaced for the most part. 

Except for a few deviations the C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. roughly paral 
lels the route between Sioux Falls and Rapid City. 

Good hotel and cabin camp accommodations are available at the 
larger towns. 

Camp sites open to travelers at all towns. 

Passing through one of the best farming sections of South Da 
kota at the start, US 16 crosses the State westward through a 
gradually changing country. Tree-sequestered farm homes with 
many improvements slowly give way to farms with less pretentious 
buildings. Dairy herds and cornfields become less numerous, pasture 
land replaces improved fields. After the road descends into the 
Missouri River valley, the scene changes rapidly, and the road lifts 
again in long, easy spirals into the open West-river country, the 
"wide open spaces," marked by widely separated farms and graz 
ing herds of cattle. The change becomes more pronounced as the 
route continues west. Winding snake-like over rolling prairie, 
touching the scenic Badlands, skirting ridges, sinking into hollows, 
the road finally abandons its sinuous course and heads straight for 
the Black Hills. At a distance of about 25 m. these unusual moun 
tains are dimly visible, jutting from the horizon line like smoke- 
shrouded thunder clouds. The Black Hills region is vastly differ 
ent from the prairie stretches to the east. 

Tour 5 279 

Section a. Minnesota Line Junction with US 14, 310.4 m. 

U. S. 16 crosses the Minnesota Line 14 m. W. of Luverne, Minn. 
(see Minn. Tour Jj), and passes through rolling country, with 
occasional groves along the highway. The oak trees are almost the 
last of that variety to be seen on the route, as farther west there 
are only a few, scattered along the Missouri River. 

VALLEY SPRINGS, i m. (1,395 alt., 411 pop.), was settled 
in 1873 and had the first railroad station in Minnehaha Co. It re 
ceived its name because of the number of springs along Beaver 

At 3.1 m. is the junction with County H (see Tour $A). 

At 4m, is the BEAVER VALLEY CHURCH, the center of a 
Swedish community noted for its smorgasbord a spectacular array 
of appetizers generally served as an evening meal at the community 
meetings held at the church. An enormous table is spread and 
loaded with Scandinavian specialties herring, sardines, anchovies, 
cold ham, and several other cold meats, liver loaf, vegetable salads 
of every description, headcheese, and three or four other kinds of 
cheese, including getost, a chocolate-covered cheese made of goat's 
milk. A large dish of boiled lobsters is generally on the table, and 
with this course a generous supply of the Swedish national bread, 
flatbrod, is served. Some special fish is commonly used for the 
second course, perhaps herring in cream, or meat balls of a special 
Swedish type, with tea and marmalade, rye bread and Swedish 
rusks. For dessert frozen whipped cream is served with a bowl of 
strawberries when seasonable. Perhaps the most pleasant features 
of a Swedish smorgasbord are the coffee and the many varieties of 
sweet rolls and rings and fancy cookies that have helped make a 
reputation for Swedish cooking. 

At 8m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is BRANDON, 1.5m. (192 pop.), a little vil 
lage in the center of a community where "earmarks" of the old- 
time husking bee have been partially retained in a new and ex 
citing sport the corn husking contest. A national contest is 
scheduled at Brandon in 1938. Whereas the husking bee was a 
social gathering for the small farmers whose "heap" of corn 
was counted by scores instead of thousands of bushels, the husk 
ing contest is primarily a competitive game, the number of 
bushels husked being important only in determining the winner. 
The husking bee in homestead days was a major social event, 
for that was long before automobiles, movies, or night clubs. 
Neighbors helped one another and, while husking was only inci- 

280 A South Dakota Guide 

dental to the social end of the gathering, every man kept at his 
task, lured by the prospects of finding a coveted red ear which 
entitled him to kiss the lady of his choice. 

But the husking contest is a game of skill, speed, and endurance. 
The growth of the sport in South Dakota is evinced by the fact 
that 14 counties entered the State contest in 1935. An outgrowth 
of an idea of Henry Wallace, Secretary of Agriculture, who be 
lieved something should be done to develop a sport from the sub 
jects farmers talk about, the husking contest was slowly evolved 
to settle the perennial arguments of braggarts as to who was the 
best husker in the community. Despite the progress of husking 
machinery, many young farmers today are pointing their efforts 
toward competition in the annual meet. 

Strict rules have been devised to make these contests genuine 
proofs of skill and endurance. These rules must be obeyed to the 
letter. With two rows assigned to each man, the contestants line 
up at one end of the field. The equipment of each consists of a 
team and wagon, selected by lot among the entrants. The wagon 
has a high bang-board on one side to deflect the corn into the 
wagon-box. Behind each man is a gleaner, a sort of umpire who 
picks up the nubbins left to determine the thoroughness of the 
contestant. The husker is required to take loose corn lying either 
in the two rows, or between them. If he does not take it, the 
gleaner will pick up what he missed and this will be counted 
against him. Coaching is prohibited, but hundreds of spectators 
follow the huskers. 

The contest lasts 80 minutes and is started by two shots, a min 
ute apart. The first shot is a warning to get ready; the second 
a signal to begin husking. With the second shot the excitement 
begins, simultaneously the huskers swing into action. The gold 
en ears beat a rapid tattoo against the bang-boards, and blend 
with the cheers of the spectators who throng the field behind the 
wagons, each trying to stimulate his favorite contestant to great 
er speed. A single shot stops the contest, and the winner is de 
termined by subtracting deductions for gleanings and husks 
from the total weight of corn brought in from the field. 

Taking root first in the southeastern part of the State, the husk 
ing contest idea is slowly spreading to other sections. In 1934 
Richard Anderson of Brandon won the South Dakota champion 
ship and was runner-up in the national contest. 

The mounds left by the Mound Builders, known locally as the 
BRANDON MOUNDS, 8.2 m. (R), are on a hill between the 
Split Rock and Big Sioux Rivers. There were originally 38 easily 
distinguishable mounds. Relic-seekers have opened several of them ; 
but the only scientific investigation was made in October 1921, un 
der the auspices of the Smithsonian Institute. William E. Meyer, 
who supervised it, died before his findings could be published, and 

Tour 5 281 

the Smithsonian has artifacts but no record of the investigation. 
Most of the available knowledge concerning the Brandon Mounds 
is based on the word and unpublished manuscripts of Dr. W. H. 
Over, curator of the University of South Dakota Museum in Ver- 
million. Dr. Over was present when the excavation was made and 
carefully kept notes concerning all of the skeletons and artifacts 
which were uncovered. 

It is thought that the Mound Builders migrated from the East. 
They are said to have been less inclined toward a nomadic life than 
the Sioux Indians, but eventually they crossed the width of Minne 
sota and settled near where the Split Rock River flows into the 
Big Sioux River. Modern Indians are of the opinion that the vil 
lage could not have been very far from the mounds ; and white 
settlers in the vicinity have found many arrowheads on the site, 
and some rubbish-piles still exist. 

The most unusual bit of information concerning the Brandon 
Mounds, disclosed by the investigation of 1921, was that the Sioux 
Indians reopened the mounds for their burials. At the depth of 7 
or 8 ft. there were found the older remains and artifacts ; and at 
the depth of 5 ft. the bones were in a better state of preservation, 
and some of the relics are made of metal. 

The upper, shallow burials, are credited to the Sioux Indians, 
and the deep, lower burials are considered to have been those made 
by the Mound Builders. 

SIOUX FALLS, 15.6 w. (1,422 alt, 33,644 pop.) (see SIOUX 

State's industrial center and largest city. State Penitentiary, 
Morrell Packing Plant, Manchester Biscuit Company, Pettigrew 
Museum, Terrace Park, Sherman Indian Mounds, Coliseum. 

Here is a junction with US 77 (see Tour p). 

At 26.1 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is WALL LAKE, 1.5 m., one of the most popu 
lar resorts in Minnehaha Co. The lake covers about 240 acres 
and is included in a 960-acre game preserve. Stocked annually 
with fish, the lake gives up thousands of several different vari 
eties each summer. Here are cottages for rent, two dance pavil 
ions, a skating rink, bathhouse, refreshment stands, and boats 
for hire. A sandy beach and playground add to the many recre 
ational facilities. 

PUMPKIN CENTER, 33.6 w. (4 pop.), unlike the mythical 
town of the Uncle Josh stories, has actually existed for many years 
at the crossroads of US 16 and 'State 19. 

282 A South Dakota Guide 

At 48.6 in. is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

BRIDGEWATER, 54.6111. (1,420 alt., 808 pop.), was originally 
called Nation, for Carrie Nation, the prohibition-crusader who car 
ried on a bottle-smashing campaign. According to stories, the pres 
ent name was given because railroad workers were required to 
carry their drinking water across a bridge during the time the Mil 
waukee R.R. was being constructed. The town has received Nation 
wide publicity through its Colony Band, a group of musicians who 
dress in the garb of Mennonites while giving their programs at 
national American Legion conventions. 

Bri'dgewater was another of the many towns in the State that en 
gaged in a determined county seat fight. The town had won the 
honor in 1880, but it was claimed that their victory was the result 
of unfair practices. Accordingly, a group of Salem citizens drove to 
Bridgewater after dark and waited until it was safe to proceed with 
their business. The county clerk, in sympathy with the Salemites, 
left a window unlatched to expedite the coup d'etat. The records 
were procured and the men returned to Salem where they set up 
an improvised courthouse. When the Bridgewater citizens learned 
of the loss, they went to Salem, heavily armed, expecting to re 
trieve the records ; but at the latter town everyone feigned ignor 
ance O'f the entire affair and the Bridgewater men returned home, 
defeated. Salem was later named the permanent county seat. 

EMERY, 65.57/1. (485 pop.), since early days has been known 
for its musical societies, both in the schools and in the town. 

It was through Emery that the old Sioux Falls-Black Hills Trail 
passed in the days of oxen and prairie schooners. The county was 
surveyed in 1876 and opened for settlement. Soon Easterners were 
pouring in, some remaining to take up claims, others continuing 
westward to the Black Hills, where the lure of gold had already 
precipitated a turbulent rush of fortune seekers. 

ALEXANDRIA, 74.7 m. (1,352 alt., 812 pop.), seat of Hanson 
Co., is on the northern edge of a large German farm area. The 
many pretentious farm houses and substantial buildings in the 
community indicate years of thrift and thoroughness. It is still re 
lated in Alexandria that, in 1884, when a tornado swept through 
the town, a woman who took her children into the cellar came up 
after the storm, lifted the trapdoor, and 1 found the house gone. 

Left on a graveled road is LAKE HANSON, 1.9 m., an artificial 
lake built by the Works Progress Administration, and fed by 

Tour 5 283 

Pierre Creek and springs, insuring- an abundance of water during 
dry periods. Cottages have been built and it is being developed 
as a summer resort. 

At 80.3 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is the ROCKPORT MENNONITE COLONY, 8.3 
m., the home of a stern religious sect of Swiss-German people 
who had lived in Russia before settling here. They retain the 
curious dress, customs and beliefs of their ancestors, living in 
secluded rural colonies where their industry and thrift enable 
them to become prosperous farmers. In 1895 several groups of 
these people emigrated to this country from Russia to escape 
persecution and settled in colonies along the James river be 
tween Mitchell and Yankton. 

The sect originated in Switzerland in 1530 when Menno Simons, 
a leader of the Anabaptists, founded a new branch which became 
known as Mennonites in his honor. Because of religious perse 
cution they later emigrated to Austria and Germany. Near the 
close of the 18th century the Czarina of Russia offered them land 
and freedom from military service, so in 1774, followers of Jacob 
Hutter, one of their religious leaders, emigrated into Russia 
and the members became known as Hutterites. After several 
decades the Russian ruler repudiated her agreement and again 
they moved, this time coming to the United States. 

Men in the colony never shave after they marry and thus are 
easily distinguished from the single members. Men and boys 
wear gray-black jackets and trousers, black felt hats in summer 
and fur caps in winter. Women and girls wear long, full, black 
calico dresses, and have shawls tied over their heads. Small chil 
dren are cared for in a day nursery; the older ones receive re 
ligious training as well as grade school education. Large chalk- 
stone buildings house several families, with one room usually as 
signed for each. Household duties are divided among the women, 
and farm work among the men. An overseer or elder, who also 
serves as spiritual leader, is elected to supervise the work and 
commercial life. A treasurer handles all the money and makes all 
the purchases for the community. If one marries outside the 
colony, he forfeits his claim to a share of the wealth. One may 
join by turning over all his property to the colony and accepting 
its customs. Those who leave the colony are unable to recover 
their property or shares. Besides not believing in war, the Hut 
terites disapprove of the use of firearms, tobacco, and moving 
picture shows. They are efficient farmers, steady workers, and 
live with little thought for their modern neighbors. Man is king 
in the colony; at meals the men are served first and the women 
do not eat with them. 

Imbued with deep religious convictions, the Hutterites devote 
Sundays mainly to spiritual teachings. In everyday life these 
people live up to their ideals. Physical punishment is unknown. 

284 A South Dakota Guide 

If a member commits a minor offense, he may put himself In 
the good graces of the community by asking forgiveness from all 

Proud of the fact that not once during the depression or drought 
did they seek help, the Hutterites continue to farm the fertile 
valley of the James River. It is especially noteworthy that these 
people of strange dress and customs are unusually polite and 
willingly explain the plan of their community. They permit pic 
tures to be taken of their buildings and fields, but never of 

MITCHELL, 89.5 m. (1,301 alt., 12,834 pop.) (see MIT- 

Corn Palace, Lake Mitchell, Custer Battlefield Highway Building, 
Indian Village site. 

Here is a junction with State 37 (see Tour nA). 

MOUNT VERNON, 102.5 m. (1,413 alt., 460 pop.), in 1889 
was entirely destroyed 'by a prairie fire, fanned by a 60 m. gale 
that swept the town. The result was that original buildings were 
replaced by newer types of architecture. Much of the surrounding 
area is underlaid with Dakota sandstone, an excellent building 
material. In order to obtain a satisfactory well it is necessary to 
reach this sandstone, which sometimes is more than 700 ft. below 
the surface. 

At 113.9m.., just E. of the Plankinton city limits, is a junction 
with a graded road. 

Right on this road is the SOUTH DAKOTA TRAINING SCHOOL, 
0.8 m., where incorrigible and delinquent children under the age 
of 18 are committed by law until they are 21, unless discharged 
by the Board of Charities and Corrections. The school opened in 
1887 with one delinquent. The land, comprising about 800 acres, 
is farmed by boys of the institution. Girls are segregated and 
have their own buildings, playgrounds, and teachers. They are 
taught housework and sewing, and are required to show im 
provement in their work before they are eligible for release. Boys 
learn carpentry, cement work, and mechanics, besides their de 
tailed housework. The institution boasts a good band, and 
through encouragement of athletics develops consistently good 
teams. Noted for its purebred Holstein dairy herd, the farm also 
raises fine poultry and hogs. 

PLANKINTON, 114.9 w. ( T >5 2 8 alt., 715 pop.), is the seat of 
Aurora Co. Although Mitchell is generally believed to have had 
the first corn palace, the honor in reality belongs to Plankinton, 
for in 1891 a grain festival was held here. The bold statement, 
"Dakota Feeds the World," was printed on the outside of the build- 

Tour 5 285 

ing, a plain wooden structure, its exterior covered with grains and 
grasses. A story of the event at the time related how people came 
from a wide area on foot and horseback, in buckboard and wagons, 
to see the grain palace, which was abandoned after 1892. 

At Plankinton is the junction with US 281 (see Tour n) ; US 
1 6 and US 281 are united for 19 m. 

WHITE! LAKE, 126.9 w. (1*646 alt, 506 pop.), is the site of 
the successful landing of the balloon, Explorer II, on Armistice 
Day, 1935 (see Section c. below). 

At 134 m. is the junction with US 281 (see Tour n). 

KIMBALL,, 139.8 m. (1,789 alt, 1,150 pop.), founded in 1880, 
was first called Andover, which was later changed to Kimball in 
honor of a railroad commissioner. 

At 151.8 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road 0.1 m., then L. 0.1 m., and finally R. 1.6 m., is 
the NELSON ROADHOUSE, now called the Ouster Farm, on the 
old trail from Yankton N. along the Missouri River. In early 
days a supply line started from this point, connecting with forts 
stationed in several places up the river. The house was con 
structed with timbers two ft. apart, which were then filled in 
with home-made mud bricks, also used to build the chimney. 
The outside walls were boarded over and the inner brick cov 
ered with plaster. The roof was thatched with long grass cut in 
nearby lowlands. The house was later shingled and sided. It was 
here that Gen. George A. Custer and his troops stopped on their 
way to the Black Hills in 1875. The Nelson Roadhouse enjoyed 
a lucrative business during the gold rush days of the late 1870's. 

PUKWANA (Ind., peace-pipe smoke), 154.8 m. (1,546 alt., 
238 pop.), was well known for many years as the headquarters 
and shipping point for a device designed to save gasoline consump 
tion in automobiles. With a large office force and trade territory 
which extended even to foreign countries, Pukwana became na 
tionally known as the smallest town in the United States with a 
first-class post office. The business still operates on a small scale. 

CHAMBERLAIN, 164.8 m. (1,363 alt., 1,506 pop.), like several 
other early towns on the Missouri River, was for many years a 
ferrying point for passengers and freight. Its picturesque location 
on the eastern slope of the river valley, its numerous park and 
recreational facilities, and its recently paved streets combine to 
make it one of the most attractive towns along the route. The fact 
that it is situated on the Missouri River, which is the approximate 

286 A South Dakota Guide 

dividing line between the East-river farming region and West- 
river ranching country, gives the town an added touch of color, 
there being an intermingling of the characteristics of the two sec 
tions. On the extreme western edge of town is the CHAMBERLAIN 
SANITARIUM, operated by the Seventh Day Adventist Church but 
open to all patients. It specializes in the treatment of rheumatism 
and associated diseases. 

Land W. of the Missouri River was opened for settlement in 
1890, and the sole means of crossing the river was by a ferry that 
was operated only at certain hours of the day. In 1893 a pontoon 
bridge was strung across the river at Chamberlain. This floating 
structure was so built that the 'deck of the bridge rested on flat- 
boats tied side by side. When river steamers approached, one end 
of the pontoon was released from its anchorage on the bank and 
allowed to float free. Although unsafe, especially in high water 
or freezing weather, the pontoon served as the connecting link be 
tween the markets at Chamberlain and the open range westward. In 
1905 the C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. built a bridge across the treacher 
ous river, which continually threatens to change its course. In 
winter the only way in which teams and cars could cross the river 
was on the ice. In 1920 Charles Boiling and his wife of Oacoma 
were drowned, leaving nine helpless children, and a drive was 
started to secure a highway bridge. In 1923 the State Legislature 
passed a bill to build five bridges over the Missouri, one of which 
was constructed at Chamberlain. 

At Chamberlain is the junction with State 47 (sec Tour 4A). 

AMERICAN ISLAND, 165.3 m., is a popular recreational cen 
ter for a wide area. While not an island today, it has retained its 
name from an earlier day when a portion of the Missouri River 
flowed on either side. Immediately after crossing the bridge is 
MUNICIPAL PARK (L), in which are facilities for many kinds 
of amusement and recreation. A modern swimming pool, dance 
pavilion, picnicking and camping grounds, are in the dense timber 
fringing the river bank. In connection with the park are a golf 
course and rodeo grounds. 

The history of the island dates back more than 125 years. In 
1809 a trading post, called Fort Aux Cedras, was built here. Fort 
Recovery replaced it is 1822, following the burning of the former. 
The latter fort was afterwards abandoned. 

In 1925 a reenactment of the Ouster massacre was staged on 

Tour 5 287 

American Island to feature the completion of the bridge. About 
5,000 Indians took part, and just as they were the first to cross the 
river before the white men came, they were also the first to cross 
the new bridge. Dressed in full Sioux regalia, they presented an 
impressive spectacle as they marched with moccasined tread, bells 
tinkling at every step, gaudy war bonnets flashing a half-dozen 
colors in the sun, the older Indians doubtless recalling the days 
when there was no bridge, no town, and no vestige of the white 
man. Indians came to the celebration in automobiles, on ponies, and 
in wagons loaded with camp equipment, in a seemingly endless line. 
An Indian camp was pitched on American Island, the tipis as 
nearly as possible like the original type before the advent of the 
canvas tent. Also aiding in the sham battles were 250 soldiers from 
Fort Meade (see Tour 4). The performance was staged on the 
hills across from the island where seats were provided for 15,000 
people in a natural amphitheater; approximately 35,000 witnessed 
the performance. 

OACOMA (Ind., place between), i68.8w. (1,338 alt., 175 pop.), 
was so named because it lies between the Missouri River and the 
bluffs beyond. Manganese was discovered in the hills NE. of the 
town, but the deposits have not been utilized to any extent, though 
some attempts have been made in this direction. Loss of the county 
seat to Kennebec, together with the completion of a highway 
bridge, which diverted much former trade to Chamberlain, caused 
a rapid decline in population. Today many empty buildings give the 
impression of a ghost town in the making. 

RELIANCE, i86.6w. (1,780 alt., 247 pop.). A large artificial 
lake, which backs water nearly a mile, has given the town a much 
needed addition to its water supply as well as improved recreation 
al facilities. 

This section of the country was stimulated to a sudden growth 
in population in 1907 when the railroad was built, tying together 
the eastern and western parts of the State. Homesteaders took up 
the available land, and soon many thriving communities had de 
veloped. Some of the new residents were able to withstand the 
unusually dry years of 1911-12-13; others, unable to make a liv 
ing, returned to the East. The deserted houses generally small 
shacks were soon appropriated by neighbors, sometimes for a 
financial consideration, sometimes for nothing. Today many homes 
comprise a group of shacks joined together to form a composite 
house not the most graceful type of architecture. 

288 A South Dakota Guide 

KENNEJ3EC, 201.3. (1,687 a ^- 3^5 pop.), seat of Lyman 
Co., boasts a new courthouse as a result of its victory in an excit 
ing county seat race, with Presho and Oacoma as opponents. A 
large dam, 'built under the Federal Emergency Relief Administra 
tion, is NE. of the town. It is in a new game preserve. 

At 210.7 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is a new, unnamed lake, 2 m., where the CCC 
boys constructed a large dam designed to afford an ample water 
supply for practical and recreational use. The camp was one of 
the first to be built in the State under the CCC program, and has 
a complete set of buildings and equipment. 

PRESHO, 211.3 m. (1,764 alt, 517 pop.), was the "bedding 
down" place for extensive round-ups in the days of the large cattle 
outfits. Ample water and feed were usually found on Medicine 
Creek nearby. Twenty years ago it was considered one of the 
largest hay-baling and shipping points in the United States. At one 
time its mushroom population neared the 3,000 mark. According to 
a story, eight minutes after the first town lot was offered for sale 
in 1905, a bank, composed of two barrels and a plank, opened for 
business. At first the bank operated day and night in serving the 
frantic rush of homesteaders, and the cashier was compelled to 
carry a six-shooter and all the currency with him when he went to 

At Presho is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12) ; US 16 
and US 83 are united for 14 m. 

VIVIAN, 223.4 m. (200 pop.), is one of the many typical prairie 
towns on this route. 'Straggling along a slope of Medicine Creek, 
Vivian retains its board sidewalks and the roofed porches of 30 
years ago. 

Right from Vivian on a graded road is a STATE EXPERIMENT 
FARM, Ira., where experiments with crops of a fairly wide area 
are carried on. Corn, oats, alfalfa, and Odessa barley are the 
chief crops, and a special kind of dent corn Vivian 13 is pro 
duced. Recent drought years have seriously hampered the farm's 

At 225.3 m. is a junction with US 83 (see Tour 12). 

DRAPER, 237.3 m - ( 2 > 2 3 alt., 176 pop.), perched on a hill, is 
visible for many miles in all directions. The name honors a railroad 

MURDO, 247.4 m. (2,217 alt., 625 pop.), the largest town on the 
long, undulating stretch of prairie along US 16 between Chamber- 


Tour 5 289 

lain and Rapid City, was named for a pioneer cattleman, Murdo 
McKenzie. Handicapped by a scarcity of water during dry years, 
the situation has been remedied through the construction by the 
Works Progress Administration of a large dam just S. of town. 

OKATON, 257.2^. (70 pop.), and STAMFORD, 267.2m. (30 
pop.), are two small prairie hamlets that were founded when the 
railroad was extended to the Black Hills in 1906. 

There have been periods when this area has produced large 
wheat crops, and farming has been attempted since homestead days. 
However, it probably will always remain principally a stock coun 
try, scanty rainfall combining with other natural conditions to ren 
der farming a doubtful venture. 

BELVIDERE, 2794m. (2,308 alt., 193 pop.), invites the trav 
eler to stop and enjoy bathing, boating, or fishing in Lake Belvi- 
dere, near the town and US 16 (R). South of Belvidere is the 30,- 
ooo-acre cattle ranch of Tom Berry, South Dakota's " Cowboy 
Governor," 1933-37- 

KADOKA (Ind. hole in the wall), 293.4 m. (2,467 alt., 412 
pop.), was so named because the town is near the rim of the Bad 
lands' wall. 

Kadoka has been called the "jumping off place," not in the usual 
sense, but because W. of the town is an abrupt entrance to the 
scenic Badlands. The town is attractively built, clean looking, and 
has three excellent tourist camps. It is the principal outfitting point 
for the Badlands. 

At Kadoka is the junction with State 73. 

Left on this highway is KODAK POINT, 14m., a vantage point 
from which the Badlands is viewed and photographed in three 
directions. After driving 12m. the road follows the rim of a 
precipice, and in the distance the formations of the Badlands, 
with their many shapes and colors, stand out like strange spec 
tral ruins of a vast medieval city. 

At 301. 4m. is the junction with State 40 (see Tour 6). US 16 
turns sharply (R) and unites with US 14 at 310.4 7^ v the two 
routes continuing W. as one highway to Rapid City. 

I Section b. Junction with US 14 Rapid City, pi m. 
At 14.2 m. is a STATE EXPERIMENT FARM (L) (open to 
visitors; guides available), where various experiments with legum 
inous and drought-resisting crops are given considerable attention, 
er soil crops and livestock are also raised. 

290 A South Dakota Guide 

COTTONWOOD, 15.3 w. (2,414 alt., 150 pop.), first called Ing- 
ham, was given its present name because of the groves of cotton- 
woods growing nearby. This has always been a favorite area for 
grouse and sage hens, rigid hunting laws having restored their 
numbers in recent years. 

QUINN, 28.2m. (2,607 ^., T 44 PP-) <> nce was the trading- 
point for a group of Jewish farmers and ranchers who settled 
nearby. Ruts of the old Deadwood Trail and an early telephone line 
are still visible 10 m. N. of the town, which was named for Michael 
Quinn, one of the early-day freighters. Mrs. Charles Waldron, a 
Fort Pierre woman, is finishing a book, begun by her late husband, 
dealing with early freighters on the Deadwood Trail, and a brief 
biography of Quinn is included. 

WALL, 34.2m. (2,713 alt., 325 pop.), received its name because 
of its situation near the edge of the Badlands. Its founding in July 
1907 was marked by a lively celebration, an event which has be 
come an annual affair. Called the "Gateway to the Badlands Na 
tional Park," the town is the trading center of a farming and stock- 
raising country. 

South of Wall, in 1905, thousands of cattle and horses drifted 
over the wall of the Badlands and perished during the tragic May 
blizzard that left in its wake utter ruin for nearly every stockman 
in the western part of the State. The storm, starting as rain, gradu 
ally turned to snow which fell steadily and thickly. Riding in on 
a strong north wind, the blizzard howled across the open stretches 
with unleashed fury. What had been balmy May weather soon 
changed to the bitterest storm a severe winter could offer. Striking 
at a time when livestock had just shed winter coats, the blizzard 
forced the bewildered animals to drift with the wind until they 
floundered helplessly into snow-filled draws to die. Barbwire 
fences of homesteaders added to the toll, for large numbers of 
stock drifted against them and piled up. South Dakota is a country 
of extremes, evinced by the fact that a mild warm day, may, in a 
few hours, be changed into one of biting cold, and vice versa. 
People who have lived in the State long will recall how they have 
often retired at night with the thermometer hovering near zero, to 
be awakened in the morning by water dripping from the roof, the 
sudden change 'being due to a chinook wind from the Rocky Moun 
tain area. 

Here is a junction with the unnumbered Badlands Monument 
highway (see Tour 6). 

Tour 5 291 

West of Wall US 16 winds down into the valley of the Cheyenne 
River. Before the days of highway improvement, the breaks of this 
river were always a knotty problem to freighters, especially during 
wet weather. 

At 46.4 m. is one of the forks of the Cheyenne River, the two 
branches of which envelop the Black Hills area and carry away the 
water from the numerous creeks that dash down from the moun 
tains. Noted for its swift current, the river often becomes a swirl 
ing, roaring torrent, carrying with it trees, brush, and silt gathered 
from its many dry tributaries, each transformed into a rushing 
river following a heavy rain. The Cheyenne River is also noted 
for its treachery. During normal periods it can be forded by team 
or on horseback, >but it may rise two feet or more in an hour. Many 
instances have been known where a stranger to the wiles of the 
stream would attempt to cross, only to have his rig swept away by 
the swift waters, fortunate if he escaped with his life. 

WASTA (Ind., good), 49.4 m. (2,320 alt., 181 pop.), was named 
by Doane Robinson, first State Historian. Nestling at the foot of 
massive gumbo bluffs, it is the trading center for a vast cattle 
country to the N. In the early i88o's this region was a vast range 
territory with large cattle outfits, their herds often numbering tens 
of thousands. Ranches were generally near some stream, and the 
cattle were turned loose to roam at will until round-up time called 
for a check-up. No ranches of comparable size remain today. 

Many youths with a desire for Western life obtain work on a 
modern ranch with the expectation of "cowboying," but to their 
dismay usually discover that the work in the main consists of end 
less drudgery haying, chores, fencing, cleaning sheds, and other 
manual tasks similar to those on a farm. The boss is the one who 
usually does the "cowboying." There are two reasons for this. In 
the first place he likes to keep in daily touch with his stock, and in 
the second place it is the easiest work on the ranch. Fences, smaller 
herds, and the shrinkage of open range, have all combined to take 
the glamour from the once colorful role of the cow "waddy." 

NEW UNDERWOOD, 70.2 m. (275 pop.), is situated on Box 
Elder Creek, one of the numerous streams that drain the Black 
Hills. Tumbling down from the mountains, the creeks gradually 
slow their pace as they stretch out across the plains before joining 

le Cheyenne River. The mouths of these little streams often pro- 

ide good fishing. 

292 A South Dakota Guide 

BOX ELDER, 80 m. (30 pop.), is a small railroad town, princi 
pally important as a shipping point. 

RAPID CITY, 91 m. (3,196 alt, 11,346 pop.) (see RAPID 

State School of Mines and Museum, Dinosaur Park, Halley Park 
and Indian Museum, Alex Johnson Hotel, Municipal Lake and 

Here is a junction with US 14 (see Tour 4) ; Rim Rock Trail 
(see Tour 46) ; and State 79 (see Tour 

Section c. Rapid City Wyoming Line, 85.2 m. 

LOOKOUT TOWER, 3.2 m. is on Rockerville Hill; from the 
tower, by means of a telescope (fee nominal), is a clear view of 
the Rushmore Memorial figures and Harney Peak (R), and the 
Badlands and Cheyenne River breaks (L). 

At 6.4 m. is a graded road to HIDDEN CITY (see Tour $C). 

Brilliant brick-colored ooitcroppings (Opeche) begin at 8.^m., 
with three exposed cut banks along the highway showing the na 
ture of the soil. 

At 10.3 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road are the SITTING BULL CAVERNS, 1 m., first 
known by the Sioux Indians as Two Bear Holes, from the fact 
that two large bears made their homes in the entrances. The lo 
cation was popular, and old Indians recall that Sitting Bull's 
band used to camp there. The caves were not extensively ex 
plored until 1934, and in 1935 they were opened to the public. 

At n. 2m. is SPRING CREEK. It was in connection with this 
stream, in gold rush days, that the tale of When a Mule-Skinner 
Kisses a Mule originated. There was a gold stampede in Rocker 
ville, which was becoming a town almost overnight. The Indians 
had held up a mule train on the 'Sidney road between Rapid City 
and Spring Creek, and the next day a merchant approached one 
Johnny Hunt and asked him to haul a load of goods from Rapid 
City to Rockerville immediately. As Johnny and his mules would 
have to go over the road on which the Indian hold-up occurred, he 
asked the merchant if he thought the trip advisable. "Oh yes," 
said the merchant, "I'll go over with you, but you will have to 
come back alone." 

After a lot of thinking on Johnny's part and a great amount of 
coaxing from the merchant, Johnny finally agreed to make the trip, 
but first went home for his 50-70 needle-gun. After he had de- 

Tour 5 293 

livered the goods, some miners told him of a new trail whereby he 
could save five miles. Although the new trail was treacherous, he 
was still worried about Indians and decided to try it. Everything 
went well until he came to Spring Creek Canyon. Here he found 
himself and the mules looking over a precipice of about 300 ft., in 
clined at a 45-degree angle. Not wishing to retrace his steps for 15 
miles, and anxious to get back to Rapid City, he resolved to make 
the descent. 

After chaining an old tree top to the rear end of the wagon to 
act as a brake, locking both rear wheels, and adding a little per 
suasion intermingled with much profanity, Johnny coaxed the 
mules to take off. They gathered momentum as they slid down, 
the wagon zigzagging and careening, the mules skidding along on 
their haunches. Johnny's mind had been centered on Indian raids 
so earnestly that he had forgotten to secure the wagon box to the 
chassis, and about halfway down the precipice it slid roughly onto 
the mules' backs. Johnny managed to hang on somehow until they 
reached the bottom, where he was catapulted over the dashboard 
ahead of his mules. Searching thoroughly for broken bones and 
finding none, he scrambled to his feet and walked over and jubil 
antly kissed the nose of one of his dour-faced mules. This was too 
much for the mule, which immediately broke away and bolted down 
the trail. About two hours afterwards he was found with his nose 
in the waters of a creek. 

At 12.2 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. 

Right on this road, through a gate, is the rim of the Strato 
sphere Bowl, 1m. (see below). From this vantage point the en 
tire bowl can be seen, including the floor, 425 ft. below. 

At 13 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is the floor of the STRATOSPHERE BOWL, 
1.3m. (3,500 alt.). (Steep descent, drive in second gear, and 
sound horn at turns.) The bowl was used for the National Geo 
graphic Society-U. S. Army Air Corps record-breaking flights in 
to the stratosphere. On Armistice Day, 1935, the balloon, "Ex 
plorer II," rose to a height of 13 m. from the rock-walled basin. 
The bowl was chosen because it is sheltered from surface winds 
in an area where cloudless days are frequent, and to the E., the 
direction in which the balloon was expected to travel, are hun 
dreds of miles of level plains, assuring a good landing. Here for 
weeks scientists, balloonists, and Army troops toiled day and 
night in preparation for the flight. Finally, on November 10, the 
long-awaited high pressure area drifted in from the W., indicat 
ing the weather would be ideal for a flight the next day. All 

294 A South Dakota Guide 

guests were barred from the bowl; truck loads of soldiers arrived 
from Fort Meade to hold the balloon in leash while the helium 
gas flowed into it. At night a huge battery of floodlights, placed 
in a circle around the floor of the basin, were turned on, light 
ing the bowl so brightly that it was possible to read a newspaper 
at any time during the night. Mooring ropes were attached to 
each of the points in the scalloped edge of a girdle encircling the 
balloon near the top, and these ropes were payed out by the sol 
diers as the balloon filled with gas. Soon after inflation began, 
some gas formed a pocket in the fabric underneath and caused 
a 17 ft. tear, resulting in more than an hour's delay while it was 
being mended. As the first streak of dawn was seen above the 
cliffs, the important task of fastening the gondola to the balloon 
was completed. The gondola, rolled out on a rubber-tired "dolly," 
was suspended below the bag with bridles of parachute webbing. 
The 40 bags of lead dust, the emergency parachute and heavy 
scientific equipment, which was later released and floated to 
earth by parachute as the balloon came down, could be seen 
hanging from the gondola's sides, as the craft was maneuvered 
to take advantage of favorable air currents. Inside were Capt. 
Albert W. Stevens, scientist, and Capt. Orvil A. Anderson, pilot, 
making last preparations. 

At 7:01 a. m. word was given to cast off, and the giant balloon, 
clearing the rim of the bowl by only 50 ft., floated upward. Be 
cause of northwest winds blowing at the time, it was necessary 
to take off over the very highest cliffs. To lighten the load for 
a quick ascent, 700 pounds of ballast were removed before the 
start. When the balloon was 100 ft. above the trees, a downward 
trend of air forced it earthward, but Capt. Anderson, who was 
standing on top of the gondola, quickly dumped 750 pounds of 
ballast. Immediately the immense bag rose rapidly, ascending to 
the height of 13.71 m. above sea level exceeding all previous 
attempts to rise into the stratosphere. 

After the balloon reached an altitude of 15,000 ft., Capt. Ander 
son slowed the rate of ascent so that Capt. Stevens could have 
an opportunity to rig the instruments which trailed underneath 
the gondola. The ports were then sealed and the pilot continued 
the ascent, maintaining as nearly as possible a speed of 400 ft. 
a minute. As they neared the ceiling and the balloon became 
fully expanded the rate of climb was reduced to 200 ft. a min 
ute. The balloonists maintained their position at the ceiling for 
1% hours, making observations and collecting scinetific data. In 
mid-afternoon, during the descent, a radio hook-up was arranged 
whereby the two men in the metal gondola talked to the com 
mander of the China Clipper flying over the Pacific Ocean and 
also to a newspaper editor in London. 

After remaining aloft for more than eight hours, and reaching an 
altitude of 72,395 ft., the two sky explorers managed a perfect 
landing in an open field near White Lake, S. Dak. (see above, 

Tour 5 295 

section a), 240m. E. of the natural amphitheatre from which 
the craft took off. 

Explorer II, the world's largest balloon, was made of 22/3 acres 
of cloth, had a capacity of 3,700 cu. ft. of gas, and weighed 15,- 
000 pounds including the gondola, instruments and crew. Its 
height at the take-off was 316 ft. 

The successful flight of 1935 was the third attempt and the 
second ascension, sponsored by the National Geographic Society 
and the United States Army Air Corps, to be made from the 
Stratosphere Bowl. The first flight took off at dawn, July 28, 
1934. The balloon had attained a height of slightly over 60,000 
ft., when the bag commenced to rip and the descent was begun. 
The flight ended that afternoon when the huge bag and the gon 
dola crashed in a field near Holdredge, Neb. The balloonists 
saved their lives by using their parachutes. The second attempt 
to penetrate the upper air was disastrously halted when, an hour 
before the scheduled time for the take-off, the balloon ripped at 
the top, collapsed to the floor of the bowl, and its charge of 
helium escaped. 

The LOG CABIN in the bowl was built in 1881 by Col. J. H. 
Wright; the large fireplace is made of rock and mud. The field 
is now used as a potato field. 

ROCKERVILLE, 13.3 m. (4,371 alt.), has been almost com 
pletely abandoned, except for campgrounds. Along the highway are 
the Silver Mt. Camp and Memorial Tourist Camp. 

At 18.1 m. is the largest SHINGLE MILL in the Black Hills. 

An old gold mine is (L) on the limestone bluff at 21.1 in. 

KEYSTONE, 22.1 m. (4,342 alt., 250 pop.), is one of the pio 
neer towns of the Hills. The older part follows the creek (L), with 
unpainted houses on one side and store buildings on the other. The 
newer part follows US 16 and caters to travelers with its markets 
and camps. 

A FELDSPAR Mm, (L) is at the fork of two roads, its large build 
ing covered with a coat of white dust. The plant has been operat 
ing day and night since repeal to furnish feldspar to be used in 
making glass, and also false teeth, bathtubs, linoleum, and other 
articles. Breaking naturally into cubes, the rock is ground with 
Belgian granite until it is pulverized. Some of the rock is reduced 
to a powder four times as fine as flour. The spar is mined from 
the mountain behind the mill, and other minerals are also ex 
tracted, particularly lithium, used in making soft drinks, and mica, 
Ked in the manufacture of isinglass. 
The RUSH MORE POTTERY MARKET is L. of the highway, mid-town. 

296 A South Dakota Guide 

Native clay, hand-turned on a wheel, is made into vases, bowls, 
pitchers, and novelties. Two sculptors working on the Mt. Rush- 
more Memorial discovered the clay and 'began experimenting with 
pottery. A glaze has been perfected to add to the beauty of the 
product. The kiln is situated a mile behind the market. 

At 22.7 m. US 16 enters the HARNEY PEAK GAME SANC 
TUARY. A large crag of jesset is near the road (R) at 22.9 m. 

At 23.1 m. US 1 6 enters the eastern end of CUSTER STATE 
PARK, one of the largest State parks in the United States, com 
prising 128,000 acres. Created in 1913, with the exception of mod 
ern hotels and improved highways, this park remains in a wilder 
ness-like state and is a wildlife sanctuary where over 600 buffaloes, 
2500 elk, and 2000 deer roam freely. 

At 23.8^. is the junction with the RUSHMORE MEMORIAL 
HIGHWAY (see Tour 58). From here US 16 traverses the Iron 
Mountain Highway. 

At 24 m. are the GRIZZLY PARK campgrounds, in rugged se 

From the PIGTAIL BRIDGE, 24.3 m. t is an excellent view (R) 
of Washington's face carved on Mt. Rushmore in the distance. At 
25.2 m. is another Pigtail Bridge, claimed to be the longest spiral 
bridge in America. The bridge is built so that each succeeding up 
ward curve passes over the last one until the road reaches a suffi 
cient height to take to the hillside in its upward climb. 

A TUNNEL, 26.4 m., is cut through solid granite for 176 ft. 
The whole tunnel is focused on the Rushmore figures, the sides of 
the tunnel forming a frame, and the whole making a most effective 
telescope; but the view is backward through the tunnel. 

At the end of the tunnel the road forks into two one-way drives 
through a grove of quaking asp and birch. 

At 26.7 m. another bridge approaches a tunnel, which again is 
focused on Mt. Rushmore, but this time the view is straight ahead. 
The road winds upward with sharp curves and pitches, and divides 
again into one-way roads. 

At 27.6m. is the summit of IRON MOUNTAIN (5,500 alt.), 
from which a view of surrounding mountains is available. To the 
W. is Harney Peak, NW. is Mt. Rushmore, and E., through the 
trees, are the yellow Badlands ; below, the road drops away in rib 
bon-like curves and loops. Iron Mountain is estimated to have 55 
percent iron content. Such a deposit is known as "Iron Hat." 

Tour 5 297 

At 28.6m. is another tunnel, with a rear view focused on Mt. 
Rushmore, and for the next few miles ironwood trees replace the 
pine, until a treeless plain is reached. 

At 32.4 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is the SPOKANE MINE, 1 m., one of the mines 
reopened during the gold boom. 

Continuing- down the mountain side, US 16 recrosses Iron Creek 
several times until the foot of the mountain is reached. 

GRACE COOLIDGE CREEK, 40.1 m., was named for the wife 
of former President Calvin Coolidge, who spent the summer of 
1927 in the Black Hills. It was previously called Squaw Creek. 

At 42.2^. (R) is the CUSTER STATE PARK ZOO (open to 
public). A variety of native animals, including bear, deer, elk, bob 
cats, mountain sheep, wolves, porcupines, foxes, coyotes, and bad 
gers, are kept on exhibit. 

At 42.3 m. is a junction with a graded dirt road. 

Left on this road which immediately enters the BUFFALO PAS 
TURE a Buffalo Round-up is held every year in mid-July. As a 
part of the round-up activities, the bulls for the annual exchange 
with out-of-State parks are taken from the Ouster State Park 

The park herd, which numbers 600, roams free over the pas 
tures. Usually buffalo remain in a herd, but sometimes the quiet, 
shaggy creatures are seen singly or in small groups beside the 
road. They pay little attention to passers-by, but as they possess 
agility and speed contradictory to their clumsy appearance it is 
advisable not to leave the car when they are near. 

STATE GAME LODGE, 43.1 m. (4,225 alt.), is a State-owned 
hostelry built of native stone and pine. It gained national notice 
as "The Summer White House" of President and Mrs. Calvin 
Coolidge in 1927. The ground floor, with the exception of the din 
ing room, contains a museum of Indian relics and geologic speci 

At 43-5 m. is the CUSTER STATE PARK MUSEUM (open 
to public), a low rambling rustic building constructed of native 
stone and lumber, built in 1934-5-6. The main exhibit room, is 
entered through a massive and attractive portico fronting the high 
way to the 'S., and will be used for the geological exhibit. To the E. 
is a wing having two additional exhibit rooms that will be used 
for the historical and forestry displays, respectively. In another 
wing are the office and the laboratory for preparing exhibits. At 

298 A South Dakota Guide 

the R. of the entrance is the library and reading room, and around 
the north side and east end of the east wing is a large flagstone 
terrace 18 ft. wide. 

At 48.9 m. is the junction with the Needles Highway (see Tour 
I4A). Between the arms of the Y is the forester's residence, 

LEGION LAKE, 49.5 m., was formed by damming a creek and 
flooding the canyon. This lake, known for its striking beauty, has 
a huge, rounded rock at the south end. It has been stocked with 
lake trout and blue gills. 

At this point is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is the AMERICAN LEGION CAMP, 0.3 m., a 
hotel and cabin camp operated by the South Dakota American 
Legion. In addition to the public hotel, there are 21 cabins, bath 
houses, a diving tower, slide, boats, and a recreational play 

East of the hotel, on a one-way road, is THE BADGER HOLE, 
0.3 m., home of Badger Clark, South Dakota poet laureate, and 
author of "Sun and Saddle Leather," "Sky Lines and Wood 
Smoke," "When Hot Springs Was a Pup," and "Spike." Much of 
his poetry has the "southern Hills" as a setting. 

BALANCED ROCK, 49.6 m. (R). 

At 50.3 m. is a junction with State 87. 

Left on State 87, at 1.6 m.. is a junction with a dirt road; R. on 
this road is MOUNT COOLIDGE, 2m. (6,400 alt.). This peak, 
formerly Sheep Mountain, in the summer of 1927 was renamed in 
honor of President Coolidge, as a memorial of his visit to the 
State. The road leading to the summit is considered the most 
thrilling in the Hills. Its final stretch is along a "hogback," 
with steep slopes dropping away on either side and no guardrail. 
On the summit is a log tower with an inside stairway. From the 
tower's top can be seen all the higher peaks of the Hills, even 
those in the northern section, and parts of three States South 
Dakota, Nebraska, and Wyoming. 

At 4.7 m. is BLUE BELL LODGE, a summer resort with a log 
hotel and several cabins. It is owned and operated by the State. 

At 51.9 m. US 16 enters HARNE^ NATIONAL FOREST 

At 52.4 m. US 16 reaches the east edge of STOCKADE LAKE 
(5,189 alt.), a long, narrow, 135-acre artificial lake, formed by 
damming French Creek. At the east end are a beach, diving tow 
er, and boat dock (open to public). The road winds along the shore, 
over the dam and spillway. Left of the dam, close to the creek, 

Tour 5 299 

is CAMP DORAN, 53.2 w., which houses the company of CCC 
youths who built the dam. A pear-shaped peninsula reaches into 
the lake (R). A campground and picnic area, 53.7 m., overlook the 

ANNIE D. TALLENT MONUMENT, 54.4 m., is a memorial 
to the first white woman in the Black Hills. Born in York, N. Y., 
and educated in the East, she came to the Black Hills with the 
Gordon Expedition in 1874. When all the trespassers were taken 
to Fort Laramie, Wyo., in 1875, she was transported on a govern 
ment mule. She returned with another expedition a year later. She 
wrote a book, Black Hills, or Last Hunting Grounds of the Da- 
kotas, in which she described the early days of the Black Hills. 
When she died in 1901, a special train was furnished by the Society 
of Black Hills Pioneers to carry her body to Elgin, 111. 

At 54.5 in. US 16 passes the western edge of Stockade Lake op 
posite the old Gordon Stockade site; at this point is the junction 
with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is a reproduction of the GORDON STOCK 
ADE, 0.2 w., originally built on the banks of historic French 
Creek in gold rush days. 

Reports from the Custer expedition that penetrated the Black 
Hills in the summer of 1874 stated positively to the Govern 
ment that there was "gold in them thar hills." The news created 
considerable excitement, especially at Sioux City, Iowa. Charles 
Collins became active in organizing an expedition to the new El 
Dorado. By October a small band of 26 men and a woman and her 
boy, together with six covered wagons, each drawn by four oxen, 
and provisions enough for six months, were assembled for the 

The van started Oct. 6, with the pretense of having O'Neill, Neb., 
as their goal. After a few days it was deemed best to elect one 
of their number as leader and pilot. Their choice was John Gor 
don and his ability proved the wisdom of their selection. A few 
weeks after the train passed O'Neill one of their number, Moses 
Aaron, became seriously ill, died Nov. 27, and was buried that 
evening on a knoll near where the town of .Wall now stands. 

The expedition reached General Custer's old camping grounds on 
French Creek, about 2.5 m. E. of Custer, Dec. 23, 1874, after a 
trip of 78 days, marked by sufferings and privations. The weather 
turned extremely cold but, fortunately for the pioneers, fuel was 
handy. The large pine logs, filled with pitch, burned freely. 
For protection against hostile Indians the band decided to build 
what later became known as the Gordon Stockade. US 16 now 
passes the place, and a signboard, about 200 yards distant, marks 

300 A South Dakota Guide 

the spot where gold was first discovered July 27, 1874, by Hora 
tio N. Ross and Wm. McKay, who were prospectors with Custer. 

The stockade was, as the reproduction shows, an enclosure 80 ft. 
square, built of logs 12 to 14 in. in diameter, set 3 ft. in the 
ground, making a fence about 12 ft. high. The structure was 
placed on level ground beside French Creek, 400 ft. from either 
timber or rocks. Cracks were filled from the inside by smaller 
timbers. Bastions were built at the corners so that occupants 
could protect themselves by shooting along the outside of the 
fence in every direction. The double gate was made of 10-inch 
hewn logs and opened inside. A well 7 ft. deep was sunk 2 rods 
from the gate. 

Six log cabins were erected inside, and companions were chosen 
according to compatibility. Some of the cabins had puncheon 
floors and the rest only the ground. Each cabin had a good fire 
place built of rock and mud. The roofs were made by splitting 
12-inch logs into halves and hollowing them out like a trough. 
Cracks in the roofs were filled with grass and mud. No nails were 

After the stockade and cabins were finished, they began the 
search for gold, occasionally taking a day off to get a deer, elk, 
or mountain sheep, to keep up the supply of meat. By the end 
of January 1875 the miners had panned out $40 in gold, enough 
to prove the metal was there. 

To keep their word with Collins, who organized the party, Gor 
don and Eaf Witcher started Feb. 3, 1875, for Sioux City with 
their gold for proof, and also to bring back reinforcements and 
provisions before the Indians should begin to come into the Hills 
in the spring. 

In March the colonists were so sure they were making a perman 
ent settlement that they laid out a town and named it Harney. 
It proved to be only another dream, for on April 3, 1875, two 
army officers accompanied by Rodger Williams and Red Dan 
McDonald appeared in camp to inform the band that they were 
under arrest and must prepare to move immediately to Fort 
Laramie. Confusion was rife at once, for they were to take only 
what was absolutely necessary. Many of the men hid their tools, 
so sure were they that they would be back. Of the 28 oxen they 
had turned out, only 15 would be rounded up. Camp was broken 
April 7, and the. band started for Cheyenne. 

Upon their arrival at Fort Laramie they were paroled, and were 
surprised to learn that their friend, Collins, had sent money for 
their transportation back to Sioux City. A few of the men went 
back, and when they arrived they were met at the depot by the 
mayor and thousands of citizens. 

John Gordon was not daunted. Openly backed by thousands of 
citizens, he organized another expedition of 300 members and 
crossed the Missouri River three days before a special message 

Tour 5 301 

from Washington reached Sioux City, forbidding anyone to leave 
for the Black Hills. When the wagon train reached the Indian 
reservation, Government troops overtook it, burned all the wag 
ons and supplies that were not needed by the trespassers for their 
return trip, and placed Gordon under arrest at Fort Randall. 
Even this treatment did not stop the movement. Adventurers still 
sifted through until a treaty was signed and the restrictions 

Through the Commercial Club of Custer, the stockade was re 
built in 1924. A huge mass of pegmatite, covering several acres 
at the base, rises behind the stockade to a height of about 500 
ft. It is called Calamity Rock, and is named for Calamity Jane, 
whose widespread activities are alleged to have extended even to 
this rocky peak. 

At 54.6 m. FRENCH CREEK is crossed. It was from this creek 
that the first gold in the Black Hills was panned, starting the gold 
rush of '76. Gold is still being panned in the creek, but with suction 
pumps and mercurized pans. 

At 54.8 m. is a native-stone marker where Gen. George A. Cus- 
ter's soldiers camped in 1874. Beside it is the grave of John Pom- 
mer, a private of the U. S. Cavalry. 

The FIRST GOLD CLAIM, 55 m., was registered by soldiers 
and posted on this site. 

At 56.7 m. is SENTINEL HILL PARK, a tourist camp with 
a large picnic shelter. A Q-hole golf course (public) adjoins the 

At 57.4 m. is a junction with US 85A (see Tour 14) ; US 16 and 
US 85A are the same route for i m. 

CUSTER, 57.9 m. (5,301 alt., 1,398 pop.), seat of Custer Co., 
is the oldest town in the Hills. It is on French Creek near the place 
where gold was first discovered July 27, 1874, by Horatio N". 
Ross, a prospector with General Custer's expedition into the Hills. 

The town was staked out in 1875 an( ^ named Stonewall in honor 
of the Confederate general, "Stonewall' Jackson. The group of 
miners first on the site, like the Gordon party that previously set 
tled on French Creek and erected the Gordon Stockade, was ord 
ered out because no treaty had as yet been signed with the Indians. 
In this case, however, the authorities permitted seven men to re 
main as custodians of the property of all. Many of those who left 
never returned. After the withdrawal of the Federal troops, leav 
ing the country open to settlement, the town was named Custer at 
a miners' meeting and lots were divided among the miners present. 


A South Dakota Guide 


Tour 5 303 

Immigrants began to come in great numbers, and by April 1876 the 
population had increased to 5,000. After the discovery of the rich 
placer mines at Deadwood, in the short space of three weeks the 
5,000 population had dwindled to less than 100 residents. But 
Custer had been publicized throughout the East, and its natural 
advantages of location in the hills, abundance of water for placer 
mining in the French Creek valley and neighboring gulches, and 
the discovery of large quantities of mica, all tended to render the 
city important once more in the eyes of settlers. 

The first post office in Custer, and in the entire Black Hills re 
gion, was a spacious cave in the rock just a mile W. of town, on 
the N. side of the road. Here, in the earliest days of placer min 
ing, everyone who came in from the "outside" deposited the mail 
he brought. And there the miners would come, each one sorting out 
his own mail and leaving the rest. The next post office, in the rear 
of a general store in Custer, consisted of an apple box into which 
all mail was thrown and from which each person took what be 
longed to him. This was satisfactory to all until the arrival of a 
U. S. postal inspector. Horrified at this unorthodox handling of 
the mail, the inspector in no uncertain terms told the storekeeper 
just what he could and could not do. As he left the building, the 
irate merchant overtook him on the porch and thrust the apple box 
into his arms. "Here's your darned post office!" he said, "Take it 
with you." 

Between the years 1881 and 1890 the town began to build for 
permanency, several brick structures being erected. In 1890 with 
the arrival of the railroad, Custer was at last connected with the 
world outside its little valley. Today, because of its proximity to 
such points as the Needles, Harney Peak, Sylvan Lake, and other 
scenic spots, the town has become a mecca for tourists. A histori 
cal pageant (see below), held on the anniversary of the discovery of 
gold in French Creek, attracts increasing thousands of people yearly. 
Situated in a favorable hunting region, the town is a gathering 
place for deer hunters during the fall open season. There is still 
some placer mining being done in Custer, while local and nearby 
lumber mills bring in a considerable amount of trade. A feldspar 
mill at the edge of town ships several carloads of ore weekly. In 
addition, quartz, gold, mica, beryl, tantalite, amblygonite, soda spar, 
tourmaline, and gypsum are shipped in commercial quantities. With 
its wide streets, laid out "so that four yoke of oxen could be turned 
around without driving around the block," Custer has retained 


A South Dakota Guide 

many of its original rugged characteristics, and is still a typical 
frontier town. 

bordered slope at the SE. edge of town, are the scene of part of a 
two-day celebration held each year, July 27-28, to commemorate the 
discovery of gold on French Creek in 1874 (see HISTORY). The 
pageant, held on the actual date of the discovery (July 27) presents, 
first, an allegorical representation of creation, with costumed groups 
of children symbolizing flowers, young girls representing the stately 
pines, and with small boys, dressed as gnomes, planting gold in 
the earth. The following scenes show the Custer expedition, the 
arrival and removal of the Gordon Party, the gold rush, the Metz 
massacre, the hanging of Fly Speck Billy, Indian battles, and an 
attack on a stagecoach. All the white actors in the drama are resi 
dents of Custer, while a large number of Indians from Pine -Ridge 
Reservation play historic roles. The production is in charge of the 
Women's Civic Club of Custer, and the author of the script is a 
life-long resident of the city. Besides the pageant, there are rodeos 
and Indian dances in an arena NE. of town, and a street carnival. 

SCOTT'S ROSE QUARTZ co. STORE is housed in a large concrete 
building near US 16 at the east end of town. The cement doorstep 
to the salesroom is inlaid with small pieces of rose quartz, laid in 
parallel lines spaced about a foot apart. In the salesroom are dis 
played different kinds of mosaic work and stones, all on sale. The 
articles are made in the workshop in the rear of the salesroom. 
Outside is a rock garden, its borders and paths outlined with large 
slabs of petrified wood. 

The LOG CABIN MUSEUM, on Main St., opposite the courthouse, is 
the oldest standing building in the Black Hills. It was built by 
General Crook's soldiers under Captain Pallock of the Fifth Cav 
alry in 1875. It stands in Way City Park, which was named for 
Harry E. Way, pioneer resident and antiquarian, who donated the 
park and museum, originally his private collection, to the city. The 
building, constructed of hewn logs, is 16 ft. wide and 20 ft. long. 
Loopholes in the walls are bullet-scarred at the outer ends. Since 
it was first built a fireplace and floor have been added, and the roof 
has been shingled. It contains a collection of stuffed animals and 
birds hawks, a mounted lion, bobcats, and eagles and also a 
large collection of mineral specimens and historical relics dealing 
with the history of Custer and the Black Hills. 

Tour 5 305 

The ROSS MONUMENT, just a short distance W. of the Log Cabin 
Museum in the park, was erected in 1921 by the Association of 
Black Hills Pioneers in honor of Horatio N. Ross, who first dis 
covered gold on French Creek. The monument is composed of 
rocks set in cement, the rocks being contributed by pioneers and 
friends of Ross. One crystal was taken from the post office room 
in Wind Cave 40 years ago. Among other rocks are diamond drill 
ores, rose quartz, tourmaline, purple and yellow lapidolite, petrified 
moss, calcite crystals, mica, and gold and copper ore. 

Large pieces of petrified wood make up the entire front of the 
ARTCRAFTERS' STUDIO, W. Main St., built in early English design; 
it contains a huge fireplace, which has a base of petrified wood and 
is surmounted by large slabs of varicolored but harmonizing native 
locks. The Artcrafters use various native stones and minerals in 
making articles such as lamps, vases, and garden seats. 

1. Right from Custer, on the Deerfield road, is a junction with 
a dirt road (L), 6.9 in. This road leads to the summit of BEAR 
MOUNTAIN, 11.4 m. with an elevation of 7,172 ft., Bear Mount 
ain competes with Harney Peak in altitude; however, only a 
handful of people visit this densely forested summit, where from 
a lookout tower is a generous view of rugged peaks, the Needles, 
limestone ridges in the southern Hills, and an especially clear 
view of Custer Park in the northern Hills. 

2. Right from Custer, on the Limestone road, 1 m. (L), in the 
Custer cemetery, is the GRAVE OF HORATIO N. ROSS, who 
first discovered gold in the Black Hills, and who died a pauper. 
At 9.1 m. the Limestone road begins an ascent toward a plateau 
of approximately 6,000 ft., and the Limestone Cliffs appear. In 
the rugged recesses of the region is some of the best hunting in 
the Black Hills. The first shot in the more accessible parts of 
the Hills is the signal for the deer and the elk to stampede to 
the seclusion of the limestone buttes where snow is deep, and 
where sound and odors are carried for long distances. The BULL 
SPRINGS HUNTING CAMP at 13.7m. is a privately owned but 
public lodge for deer hunters. At 17.8 m. (L) is SIGNAL HILL 
(6,500 alt.). Here a ranger scans the Limestone country for for 
est fires and watches deer come to the salt licks in the evening. 
At 25m. the road passes into GILLETTE CANYON, and a road 
branches (R) at this point toward ICE CAVE, 26m. Ice Cave is 
unusual not only for its 75 ft. limestone archway, but because it 
is one of the few un-commercialized and seldom-visited caves in 
the Hills. The cave leads back 90 ft. in the rock, and is very cool 
even in the heat of the summer. 

At 58.4 w. is a junction with US 85A (see Tour 14). 

306 A South Dakota Guide 

At 58.8 m. is an OPEN PIT GOLD MINE, in which a dragline 
and bucket are used to sift what gold is left in French Creek. The 
operations have been successful. This is placer mining by ma 

At 62.8 m. is FOUR MILE RANCH, a resting place on the old 
Cheyenne Trail; here is a junction with a graded dirt road which 
follows the old trail down the valley. 

Left on this road is HEUMPHREUS' TWELVE MILE RANCH, 
8 m., one of the oldest ranches in the southern Hills, so named 
because it is 12 m. from Custer on the Custer-Cheyenne Trail. It 
was a favorite stopping place in the early days and its hospitality 
has always been proverbial. In these latter days when the swift 
auto has replaced the slow freight wagon, the old traditions are 
upheld by the presence of numerous rustic cabins clinging to the 
hillside underneath the pines. At the foot of the hill sprawls the 
comfortable old ranch house, with the barns and corrals that 
identify it for the cattle ranch that it is. There are three collec 
tions at the ranch that are well worth seeing books, mineral 
specimens, and art objects. The library, one of the largest in this 
section, is especially rich in books on the botany and geology of 
the region. The mineral collection is unusually valuable and 
complete. There are over 1,000 speciments of minerals and fos 
sils gathered in the Black Hills and vicinity, all named and 
identified. The art collection contains 70 drawings in color of 
the native wild flowers of the region, together with numerous 
wood carvings of exquisite artistry done in native juniper wood, 
and drawings and oil paintings of Indian, pioneer, and Western 

Camp sites in the forest along the road are numerous. At 68.7 m. 
are two excellent campgrounds. Along the cuts the soil is streaked 
vertically with shades of yellow, red, and purple. 

At 71. 7 m. is a side road. 

Right on this road is JEWEL CAVE, 1.5m. (5,500 alt.), a na 
tional monument. The cave was first discovered by two brothers, 
Albert and Frank Michaud, while prospecting, and remained in 
their possession until 1928 when the Custer Cammercial Club 
and the Newcastle, Wyo., Lions Club took it over for develop 
ment and exploration. In July 1934 it was made a national monu 
ment by the Federal Government. 

The cave derives its name from its crystal formations. There are 
two routes in the cave, one having been explored 2 m. and the 
other 1 m. 

At 72.1 m. US 16 crosses HELL'S CANYON (5,092 alt.), so 
named by frontiersmen because it was "hell to cross." 

At 74.2 m. begins a mile stretch where trees have been uprooted 

Tour 5A 307 

by a tornado. Stumps are all that remain to mark the scene of the 
catastrophe ; the timber was logged and the debris burned. 

The heavy timber is being gradually replaced by smaller trees, 
and the top of the tableland is covered with sagebrush. 

At 85.2 m. US 16 crosses the Wyoming Line, 8.2m. SE. of 
Newcastle, Wyo. (see Wyo. Tour 8). 


Junction with US 16 Garretson Sherman. County H, State 11. 
Junction with US 16 Sherman, 14.8 m. 
Roadhed graveled. 

County H branches N. from US 16, 2m. W. of Valley Springs 
(see Tour 5), and leads to a region of scenic charm and bizarre 
beauty, one of the most attractive spots of eastern South Dakota. 
Its strangeness, its chaos, and the sharp break from the level or 
moderately rolling prairies surrounding it, make the region a spec 
tacular little world of its own. 

GARRETSON, 9.8 m. (1,492 alt., 677 pop.), was incorporated 
in 1891 ; Palisades, 3 m. W., vanished when a railroad junction was 
formed at the site of Garretson, and joined the long list of ghost 
towns of South Dakota. An old mill anchor is the only physical re 
minder of the once prosperous village. Garretson, known princi 
pally as the center of a region of fantastic beauty, is a stopping 
place for visitors. 

An outstanding annual summer event in Garretson, as well as 
in several other towns in the region, is the ROLEY POLEY TOURNA 
MENT, a favorite sport of the scattered Belgians in the neighboring 
communities. The game is similar to horseshoe pitching, but in 
stead of horseshoes round wood disks of varying weights are used. 
The players pick out whatever disks they can handle best and the 
object of the game is to see how close to the peg one can roll the 
disc. The task appears easy until tried. When tournaments are held, 
a two-or-three-day holiday is declared and the town generally joins 
in the celebration. Hearty Belgian greetings are shouted across the 
streets and playing ground. It is a time of gaiety and an invitation 
is extended to everyone in the town. There are usually many dif 
ferent teams. The tournament is arranged so that it will last the 
entire day, and even darkness does not stop the play, the contests 
often continuing far into the night on a lighted field. 

308 A South Dakota Guide 

One block E. of Main St. is an improved dirt road. 

1. Right on this road to the tree-hidden canyon called DEVIL'S 
GULCH, 0.4 m., often referred to as "Spirit Canyon." Its fascin 
ation lies in its weird beauty, solemn and almost oppressive. A 
jagged wound, burnished by nature's hand, across the gently 
rolling plain, Devil's Gulch is a sanctuary of charm and inspira 
tion. The chasm is featured by bold walls of pink and purple 
rock, cleft by crevices, some so deep that they are thought to be 
bottomless; mysterious green water reflects the cedars clinging 
to the stone and the fronds of ferns that thrive in the moist, cool 

Surrounding this gulch is a park, maintained by the town's 
authorities. However, aside from providing tables and seats for 
the convenience of picnickers and building the footbridges, noth 
ing has been done to disturb the beauties of nature. The wind 
ing paths follow a natural way among the rocks and from the 
peak of the last one a glimpse of the red rock can be caught 
through the branches of many varieties of trees and shrubs that 
thrive there. 

The footbridge, protected with iron guard rails, affords a splendid 
point from which to view the perpendicular cliffs of quartzite. 
Striking is the coloring of the rock in sun and shadow, red in 
the light and purple in the shade. Bushes and ferns grow wher 
ever a little earth has become lodged in the narrow ledges, but 
the cedars cling to the bare rocks in a fantastic manner. These 
beautiful trees grow luxuriantly on the very top of the cliffs 
where nothing but bare, weather-beaten stone can be seen, and 
the wonder is that they grow nowhere else in the vicinity except 
on similar formations at the Palisades (see below), and at the 
Dells (see Tour 9). 

Just under the bridge is the BOTTOMLESS PIT. The water is dark 
and oily and seems to have no current, but there is a powerful 
undertow that forces the plumb line against some projection of 
the walls, so that no one has been able to measure the depth 
below 600 ft. under water level. 

Crossing the bridge, the path leads along the edge of the canyon. 
Many platforms of smooth, bare rocks afford points of observa 
tion to those who can stand on the very brink of the chasm 
without becoming dizzy. The black shadows on the water at the 
foot of the cliff opposite create an illusion that the great wall 
overhangs a deep cave, and if one gazes fixedly for a moment at 
that dark reflection, the cliff seems to approach silently and 
menacingly, as if it had become the prow of a giant ship. 

At the head of the gulch is the famed DEVIL'S STAIRWAY. Only 
those with strong muscles, steady heads, and sound hearts are 
advised to attempt the descent. There are several long jumps and 
huge steps; but those who are brave will be well rewarded. From 
the bottom, the view is almost bewildering. The contrast of blue 
sky and dark green waters and the red, pink, and purple cliffs 

Tour 5A 309 

overhanging threateningly would delight an artist. Seen from be 
low, the cedars and ferns seem to cling to the rock by some 
inexplicable magic. The strange moaning of the wind adds to the 
feeling of being in the abode of some unearthly being. At night, 
or when a storm rages and thunder echoes and reechoes within 
the walls, one can easily imagine that the devil of the Indian 
legend is about to emerge from some dark crevice to gather in 
another soul. The climb upward is easier than the descent. The 
visitor, slowly retracing his steps along the canyon, discovers 
new rocks and new platforms, each with new and startling effects. 

2. Right from Garretson on a dirt road winding SW. are the 
PALISADES, 2 m., an interesting and unusual outcropping of red 
quartzite (adm. lOc). Split Rock River adds the magic of dark, 
silent waters to the bizarre, entrancing picture made by the 
great pillars of granite-like stone red, gray, and purple that 
tower high above the many trees, like ruins of a gigantic palace. 
The nature of the formation creates this striking illusion, for the 
quartzite is marked into regular blocks by lines and surface 
fissures, so evenly distributed from top to bottom that it re 
sembles skilled masonry work. Cedars dark blue, almost black 
against the sky cling to the bare rock. 

Westward from the bridge that spans the river at the entrance 
of the park, a path, shaded by oaks and elms, winds around 
masses of tumbled blocks of rock that have fallen from the cliffs 
to the R., over projections of jutting stone worn smooth by the 
elements, and along the water's edge of the King and Queen 
Rocks, their cedar-crowned heads more than 100 ft. above the 
mirror-like water. The view from these perilous points of vantage 
is so thrilling that the exertion necessary to reach their summits 
is amply rewarded. For those who are not in mountain-climbing 
trim, an easier path to the R. is available for ascending the cliff. 
However, the beauty of the many colored, cedar-topped walls 
on the other side can be enjoyed from the water's edge, where 
the coolness of the air that blows from the river and the shade 
refresh those who do not care for climbing in the hot sun. 

BALANCE ROCK, on the opposite side of the river, is a formation 
that seems to defy the laws of gravity, for it stands on a narrow 
base at the top of a cliff and looms larger above, apparently 
lopsided. The mass of alternating red and gray stone, seems to 
hang precariously on the verge of crashing to the depths below; 
yet the rock has evidently been there for ages, a bold sentinel 
against the sky, defying wind storms, lightning, and raging 

Other attractions in the park include the DEVIL'S KITCHEN, an 
enclosure walled in by red rock where queerly-shaped stones, 
jutting through the floor, might be imagined as some banished 
devil's store and kitchen furniture. 

CHIMNEY ROCK is sometimes missed because part of its bulk is 
hidden by tall trees; the color of the stone is a deep vivid red. 

310 A South Dakota Guide 

On both sides of the stream are paths that are full of surprises, 
leading to unexpected crevices and queerly-shaped rocks. Cool 
places for picnics are available, with tables provided. Excellent 
fishing can be enjoyed during the season, the cold waters yield 
ing channel catfish, speckled trout, black bass, rock bass, and 

North of Garretson the route follows State n; at n.^m. is the 
junction with a dirt road, in good condition. A sign (R) bears the 
legend : "Jesse James' Cave." 

Right on this road to a farmhouse, 3 m., where inquiries must be 
made for the route to JESSE JAMES' CAVE, 0.4 m., (adm. lOc 
each if not more than 2 in party; 25c for group of 3 or more). 

This reputed hide-out of Jesse James has no sunken lake, under 
ground river, or sparkling stalactites, but it is the only cave in 
this part of the country, and from the entrance is a magnificent 
view to the N. 

Twenty-five years ago a farm hand, who was working for the 
farmer owning the land on which is the cave, found the name, 
Jesse James, carved in the wall of the strange hole in the rocky 
cliff of the Split Rock River. Early settlers knew of the place, 
and there was a sort of legend about the notorious desperado 
having hidden there after the robbery of the bank at Northfield, 

No one unacquainted with the area could find the beginning of 
the rough and slightly dangerous stairway made of coarse blocks 
of stone in the cliff. Extreme care must be taken while descend 
ing this steep incline, as the rocks are slippery and no rail or 
guard of any sort is provided. 

The only way to the cave from the foot of the natural stairs is 
through a narrow tunnel, a little more than 3 ft. in diameter and 
perhaps 12 ft. in length. One must crawl through, but the walls 
are smooth quartzite and the floor solid. There is no danger. It 
must be understood that the cave is not at the bottom of the 
cliff, where the clear water of Split Rock River flows noiselessly, 
but halfway down, about 30 ft. from the base. 

The little tunnel gives access to a sort of ledge, a level platform 
of red granite about 10 ft. square, from which is a beautiful 
view of the valley. The scenery is fascinating with color effects 
of red, purple, and gray cliffs, blue sky and mirror-like water. 
Directly across the river, green meadows extend to the broken 
cliffs, which resemble ruins of a gigantic wall. Cedars clinging to 
the bare rocks, and groups of thickly foliaged trees growing 
where the cliffs have collapsed, add to the beauty of the picture. 

The cave itself is quickly explored, A flashlight is necessary, be 
cause of many jutting rocks and projecting ledges. Legend has 
it that Jesse James used to creep in the shadows and hide on 
one of the high shelves when enemies came near. After crawling 

Tour 5B 311 

through some narrow places, and passing through chambers with 
very rough walls, for a distance of about 50 ft., the end of the 
cave is reached. 

At 14.8 m. is Sherman (1,495 a ^-> 205 pop.)- 


Junction with US 16 (Keystone) Mount Rushmore Junction with 
US 85A (Hill City). Rushmore Memorial Highway (unnumbered). 
Junction with US 16 Junction with US 8 5 A, 13.7 m. 

Hard-surfaced road to Memorial; sharp curves require careful 

The scenic Memorial Highway climbs westward from US 16 
(see Tour 5, Section c), I m. S. of Keystone, and at several van 
tage points the carved figures on Mount Rushmore can be seen in 
the distance. For full benefit of light and shadow upon the memor 
ial, it is advisable to make the drive in the late afternoon during 
the summer months, and early in the morning during the fall and 

Viewed from the highway between the junction and Mount Rush- 
more, the chiseled stone faces of George Washington, Thomas 
Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt stand out in 
silvery profile, towering above surrounding mountain peaks. 

At 0.3 m. is a spring (R) ; springs are numerous along the route 
and many of them are piped to the road so that the traveler can 
lean from his car for a drink. 

At 0.9 m. is another spring and camping area. 

At i. 8m. is DOANE MOUNTAIN and a parking space for 
the MOUNT RUSHMORE STUDIO (5,500 alt.). Doane Moun 
tain was named for Doane Robinson, for a quarter-century South 
Dakota's State Historian, who conceived the idea for the Mount 
Rushmore Memorial in 1924. The large, stained-log studio houses 
the plastic models of the sculptored figures and the office of Gut- 
zon Borglum, sculptor of the memorial. The studio models are in 
proportion to those on the mountainside. On the top of each is a 
compass and plumb bob, which are used in measuring the distance 
and degrees of the model profile points; similar instruments and 
measurements, but on a larger scale, are made on the mountain to 
guide the sculptors. Pictures and souvenirs are sold in the studio, 
and on the porch is a telescope through which can be seen the 
memorial and the men at work. 

312 A South Dakota Guide 

THE MOUNT RUSHMORE MEMORIAL (6,040 alt.), across 
the sharp valley, is said to be the largest sculpture undertaken 
since the time of the ancient Egyptains; the gigantic figures in 
granite are carved to the proportion of men 465 ft. tall. George 
Washington's carved face is 60 ft. from hair line to chin, and one 
can stand in Jefferson's eye. When the memorial is completed, the 
busts of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt 
will command the view for miles, a stately, cloud-draped monument 
to four Presidents of the United States to perpetuate the found 
ing, the expansion, the preservation, and the unification of the 
United States. The head of Washington wig, high forehead, large 
nose, and resolute jaw emerges prominently from the most for 
ward cliff, and presents a striking profile from either side. Lapels 
of his coat are visible and, when completed, his coat will show to 
the waistline. The face of Jefferson is set back into the precipice, 
the features, however, showing plainly. The head of Lincoln, which 
was unveiled Sept. 17, 1937, as a part of a program, nationally 
broadcast, inaugurating Constitution Year, is in the protruding 
rock farthest to the R. The Roosevelt figure is set deep into the 
mountain. When completed, the Washington and Lincoln figures 
will stand out from each side, with Jefferson and Roosevelt lower 
and farther back. 

Following the gold rush period of the late 1 870*5, Charles E. 
Rushmore, an attorney from New York, visited the Black Hills in 
the interests of his mining clients. While touring the Hills, by 
horse and buggy, the attorney inquired the name of the granite- 
crested mountain. One of the party jokingly answered : "Why 
that is Mount Rushmore." And it still bears that name. 

In 1924 a plan to carve a colossal national memorial on one of 
the rocky peaks of the Harney range was originated, and Gutzon 
Borglum became interested in the proposal. Three years later the 
South Dakota Legislature authorized the creation of the Mount 
Rushmore Memorial Association, which raised the funds by sub 
scription to begin work. President Calvin Coolidge dedicated Mount 
Rushmore, August 10, 1927, during his vacation in the Black Hills, 
and blasting began. The funds were depleted in 1928, at which 
time Congress released $50,000 of the appropriation outright, and 
work was resumed. The Federal Government in 1935 took over the 
project, placing it under the Department of Interior. 

During the interim, the face of Washington was chiseled, and the 
feaitures of Jefferson, to Washington's right, became prominent. 

Tour 5B 313 

However, when a fissure in the rock was discovered by Borglum 
the face of Jefferson was blasted out. It is being carved on the 
other side of the Washington profile, now, and deeper into the 

The magnitude of the figures to be carved in the mountainside 
necessitates engineering as well as sculptural skill. After the surface 
rock has been blasted, large drills operated by compressed air cut 
out the features. Holes are bored into the rock to the desired 
depth and the pieces between broken out. Another air drill, with 
a chisel point, takes off the rough surfaces. Polishing will be the 
last job. 

The workers are let down in small seats by gear-rigged cables 
over the edge of the mountain, using their feet to push them away 
from the rock. Scaffolds to hold several men are also built on the 
figures. The regular staff consists of 36 men, about 19 of whom 
operate the carving drills. There is a blacksmith to sharpen the 
drills, engineers to operate the three large compressors, a powder 
man to blast the rough work, and hoisting men to lower the carvers 
on the mountain face. 

The stone is a greyish-white granite with iblack flecks in it. Out 
lines are drawn on the rock in red to show where the rock is to be 
cut away, and the faces are chiseled out from top to bottom. 

At the studio is a footpath. 

Right on this path to a CABLE HOUSE 40 ft., which operates the 
car used to transport tools and some of the workers. The tools 
are sharpened several times during the day to pierce the tough 
granite of the mountain. Down the steps and along the path is 
a RESTAURANT (open to the public) and the OFFICE OF THE 
SUPERINTENDENT, 150 ft. From here a walking trip to the top 
of Mount Rushmore can be made (permission only from Borglum 
or Superintendent; guide furnished) up a flight of 400 wooden 
steps, through a crevice in the rock. Along the steps trees appear 
to grow out of the granite, and squirrels are seen. At the summit 
is another studio (private), the tool house, and hoisting appar 
atus room. Behind the cliff is a third studio, slightly higher and 
facing Harney Peak. A MUSEUM, carved out of a rift in the 
rock, is planned when the memorial is completed. 

From Doane Mountain, Rushmore Memorial Highway twists 
below the figures. 

At 2.1 m. a person can stand directly under the nose of Washing 
ton, 500 ft. above, and sense the magnitude of the project. 

NEEDLES EYE, 3.1 m., is a granite formation with a great 
slit, which is shaped to suggest the eye of a needle. 

314 A South Dakota Guide 

At 3.2m. (R) is the LEANING ROCK, another granite forma 
tion, appearing to lean dangerously toward the road. 

At 3.5 m. (L) there is a beautiful view of the northern hills. 

At 4.6m. (R) is a huge GRANITE FORMATION. These 
particular formations seem to rear up out of the earth, a surprising 
contrast with the forest lands surrounding them. 

At 4.7 m. (R) is a large camp area containing an open fireplace; 
here is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is HORSE THIEF LAKE, 0.3 m., a small body 
of water so named because it was in this area that Lame Johnny, 
infamous robber of the Hills region during the early 1880's 
stored his loot. And it is said that the lake covers gold and 
jewelry whose value is a small fortune. Here also is an aban 
doned CCC camp. 

At 5.;m. (L) is a PUBLIC PICNIC GROUNDS and spring. 

At 6.9 m. (R) is the beginning of a one-way road. On this road 
there is not enough room for two cars to pass. Birch and aspen 
trees line the avenue and in some spots grow into the road. 

At 7.1 m. is the end of the one-way road. 

At 9m. is a rock formation which looks almost as if piled by 

At 9.6m. (L) is a shale formation. 
At 10.1 m. is a side road. 

Right on this road is PALMER GULCH LODGE, 1m. (4,900 
alt.). This dude ranch caters to vacationists wishing to fish, hike, 
golf, and ride horseback. The cabins are furnished. (Rates: $25 
to $40 per week.) A caretaker is in charge the year round. 

At ii m. (L) is an excellent view of Harney Peak. 

At 1 1. 7m. begins a one-way road which crosses an area of thick 
timber, spruce and aspen predominating. 

At 12.3 m. is an area of dead trees skirting the road, the trees 
having died from an attack of beetles. 

Here also is the approximate center of a burned area I m. long. 

At 13. 7m. is the junction of Rushmore Memorial Highway with 
US 8sA (see Tour 14), 3m. S. of Hill City. 

Tour 5C 315 


Rapid City Hermosa Fairburn Buffalo Gap Junction with US 
85A (Hot Springs). State 79. 

Rapid City Junction with US 85A, 61.1m. 

The Chicago & North Western R.R. parallels this route throughout. 

Usual accommodations at Rapid City. 

Roadbed is graveled and well maintained. 

Between Rapid City and Buffalo Gap State 79 skirts the western 
edge of the Black Hills, gradually drawing farther from them as 
it goes south. This country, without definite character, is neither 
a farming region nor a good stock country, although these are 
the main uses to which it is put. It is almost uninhabited, the towns 
being very small and far apart, and few houses are visible between 
towns. At Buffalo Gap the road turns directly west and enters the 
Hills, joining US 85 A five miles north of Hot Springs. Along this 
stretch of road there are rolling ridges, usually wooded, and fre 
quent open spaces called "parks." From Rapid City to Buffalo Gap 
the road is fairly level, but from the gap to the junction wtih US 
85A there is a steady climb. 

RAPID CITY, om., (3,196 alt., 11,346 pop.) (see RAPID 

At i.i m. (L) is a paved curving drive leading to the School of 
Mines (see RAPID CITY). 

At 1.8 m. (R) is a tourist camp. 

At 6.4 m. (L) is the HIDDEN CITY (admission 500) consist- 
of a long wall below ground, excavated for a distance of a quarter 
of a mile and roofed over to protect it from the weather. This wall 
is thought by some to have been the work of a prehistoric race, the 
sole surviving remnant of a "hidden city." But others, among them 
the faculty of the School of Mines, believe it to be a natural 
though very unusual formation, a series of sandstone dikes. The 
subject is still controversial. 

At 7.5 m. the road enters a region of bluffs and bare, broken, and 
eroded hills. 

At 10.4 m. the road crosses Spring Creek. 

At 1 1. 4m. (L) is an odd-appearing butte, resembling a volcanic 

316 A South Dakota Guide 

HERMOSA (beautiful), i8.8w. (3,278 alt, 108 pop.), was 
founded by the Pioneer Town Site Co. in 1886. The principal point 
of interest is the little white CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH (R) at the 
northern edge of town. Here President and Mrs. Coolidge attended 
service each Sunday during the summer of 1927, when the Summer 
White House was at the nearby State Game Lodge (see Tour 5). 
A student pastor had charge of the church that summer but Presi 
dent Coolidge was faithful in his attendance. At his request, no 
mention or reference was made to his presence at any time. The 
only formality observed was that after the service the congregation 
remained seated until the President had left the church. At the end 
of the summer the President and Mrs. Coolidge entertained the 
student pastor at dinner. 

At 19.5 m. is a junction with a dirt road leading (R) along 
Battle Creek, to RUSHMORE CAVE, far back in the Hills. The 
cave is similar to other crystalline caves in the Hills. 

At 19.6 m. the road crosses BATTLE CREEK. This creek orig 
inates high in the Hills, descending from the NW, and has long 
had a part in the history of the Hills. At one time it was one of 
the best trout streams in this region, and, though still considered 
good, cyanide from the mines near Keystone and Hill City has 
killed quite a number of the fish. 

At 2 i.i m. (R) is a splendid! view of Mt. Rushmore if the at 
mospheric conditions are right (see Tour 58). 

At 24.9 m. there is a glimpse of Harney Peak and Mt. Coolidge 
(see Tours 5 and 14 A). 

FAIRBURN, 32 w. (3,430 alt., 95 pop.), was platted in 1886 by 
the Pioneer Town Site Co. Its name is a combination of the adjec 
tive "fair" with "burn," the Scotch name for a brook or creek. In 
this instance it has reference to an unnamed creek in the town. 

At 43.2 m., after passing over a flat, monotonous stretch of 
country, there is a view of the Badlands in the distance. 

At 46m. State 79 crosses LAME JOHNNY CREEK, which 
was the scene of the execution of the bandit, Lame Johnny. Like 
most mountainous or forest regions, the Black Hills became the 
hiding place for many fugitives from the law, and the rendezvous 
of various gangs who preyed upon travelers, miners, prospectors, 
and settlers. Lame Johnny, who walked with a limp, was one of 
the most ambitious thieves of the Hills' country. A college man, 



BEFORE the Rushmore Memorial was started 
and the U. S. Army-National Geographic Society 
Stratosphere flight held, it was the general concep 
tion east of Akron that the Black Hills were just 
"out West some place." 

Since then, thousands of persons have visited 
Mt. Rushmore to see the figures of four Presidents 
being carved in the mountainside, and in the pages 
that follow are three views of the Memorial. There 
is also a photograph of Explorer II, world's larg 
est balloon, emerging from Strato Bowl near 
Rapid City on its way to a record-breaking ascent 
of 13 miles. 

South Dakotans are particularly proud of Sylvan 
Lake and the new State-owned Sylvan Lake Hotel 
in Custer State Park. The hotel, opened late in 
1937, w* considered one of the finest park lodges in 
the Nation. 

Also included among the pictures are two caves, 
for the Black Hills have many underground pas 
sages, some still unexplored. 








Tour 5G 317 

he wandered into Texas from the East and engaged in the profit 
able trade of stealing horses from the Indians. After a time he 
moved into the Black Hills and took up the well-ordered life of 
the average pioneer, serving as deputy sheriff of Guster Co. and 
then for a time worked in the Homestake Mining Co. office, where 
an acquaintance recognized him as a horse thief from Texas. Soon 
there was a rumor that he was back at his old trade of running 
off Indian horses as well as those belonging to white men. In the 
fall of 1878 he and his gang engaged in the holdup of a coach 
on Gilme and Sanlabury stage line on Lame Johnny Creek in Gus 
ter Co. ; shortly after the robbery Lame Johnny was arrested on a 
charge of horse stealing previous to this time. Later it developed 
that he was wanted for the stagecoach robbery and was put on a 
coach at Red Cloud to be brought into Deadwood for trial. A short 
distance from Buffalo Gap when the coach reached the small creek 
that now bears his name, Lame Johnny was taken from the coach 
and hanged to the limb of an elm tree, at the place where he and 
his gang had robbed the coach. 

At 48.67/1. (R) is the gap in the hills, appropriately called Buf 
falo Gap, because it was here that the first settlers saw great droves 
of 'buffalo making their slow, ponderous way. 

BUFFALO GAP, 51.2 m. (3,257 alt., 150 pop.), named from 
the nearby gap in the hills, is a station on the Chicago and North 
Western R. R. ; it was founded in 1885. The country around is 
associated with the bandit, Lame Johnny, who often hid in the 
nearby hills. It is the center of a ranching region and has never 
quite lost the glamour of cowboy days. 

At 55.4 in. the road crosses Beaver Creek and, for about a mile, 
twists in and out between high hills, crossing and recrossing small 
draws and gulches. 

At 61.1 m. is the junction with US 85A (see Tour 14), 5m. N. 
of Hot Springs (see Tour 7). 

318 A South Dakota Guide 


Junction with US 16 Badlands National Monument Wall. State 
40 and Badlands Monument Highway (unnumbered). 
Junction with US 16 Wall, 49 m. 

Cabin accommodations at Cedar Pass and the Pinnacles. 
Graveled roadbed. 

State 40 branches W. from US 16 (see Tour 5), 8m. W. of 
Kadoka; this section of State 40 and the unnumbered Badlands 
Monument Highway will probably become a part of US 16 in the 
near future, as the monument is developed. 

In the Big Badlands of South Dakota the BADLANDS NA 
TIONAL MONUMENT (adm. free} has been established by the 
Federal Government and placed under the supervision of the Na 
tional Park Service. It comprises 50,000 acres in a strip 40 m. long 
and 20 m. wide. 

In developing this region, it is the aim of the Government to 
preserve its pristine freshness, and to restore the animal life that 
formerly abounded there. While they cannot bring back the dino 
saur and the triceratops, the oreodon and tyrannosaurus rex, they 
plan to have the Rocky Mountain sheep once more look down from 
the jagged pinnacles, as they have done within the memory of 
man, while the Rocky Mountain goats sit staring to windward for 
hours from some inaccessible mountain shelf. On the plains at the 
base of the white-walled formations, wary antelope and deer will 
once more roam, and the lumbering buffalo will file through the 
passes and browse in the draws. Only the slinking coyote will be 
banned, the robber of birds' nests and the killer of defenseless 
young animals. So the region will return to a primitive state, al 
most as it was perhaps when the little three-toed horse roamed the 
plains ' 'unrestrained by the nearest rider, fifty million years away." 

"Mako (land) ska (bad)" was the expression used by the In 
dians to describe the strip of barren land, ghostly peaks, lofty 
pinnacles, spires, and terraces that make up the White River Bad 
lands of southwestern South Dakota. 

"Mativaise terres" (bad lands), said the early French explorers 
of this region when confronted with the problem of travel through 
this fantastically weird country, with its countless formations of 
marvelous size and structure, its varied shapes and colors. 

"A part of Hell with the fires burned out" was the way Gen. 
George A. Custer described them. 

Tour 6 319 

Half a mile away is a skyline with a broken and serrated edge 
as sharply etched against the sky as if just struck off by the sculp 
tor's chisel. The broken edges of this skyline assume every con 
ceivable shape and form, with here a minaret and there a castle, 
here a pyramid and there a tower, and here a projection that 
started out to be a peak and became a glistening candelabrum; 
this fantastic skyline stretches in either direction as far as the eye 
can see, with infinite variation. 

Likewise, there is no sameness in the mighty wall below. At one 
point the clay has been whipped by wind or water into a series of 
fluted columns supporting a giant table. At another, a sheer wall 
rises to a peak in a gigantic pyramid of dazzling whiteness. Here 
and there are subtle bands of color, harmonizing with one another, 
and yet distinct ; while at intervals is a band of red. And some 
times upon the benches there is a touch of green where grass or 
shrub is striving for a foothold, or where the stunted cedars raise 
their wizened heads against the white wall behind them. 

The region is particularly fantastic by moonlight, with no clear- 
cut edges, but ghostly shapes and shadowy walls ; it is a city dead, 
untenanted; a thousand monuments, their faces blank, their feet in 
shadow. And over all there rests a deep silence, except when some 
late car roars through a pass, leaving a stillness deeper than before. 

Frank Lloyd Wright, the noted architect, had this to say of the 
Badlands, on a recent visit : 

"As we rode, or seemed to be floating upon a splendid winding 
road that seemed to understand it all and just where to go, we rose 
and fell between its delicate parallels of rose and cream and sub 
lime shapes, chalk white, fretted against a blue sky with high 
floating clouds the sky itself seemed only there to cleanse and 1 
light the vast harmonious building scheme. Here, for once, comes 
complete release from materiality. Communion with what man often 
calls 'God' is inevitable in this place." 

Millions of years ago this part of the earth was probably covered 
by a great marsh. Amidst the terrific, steaming heat, huge, lumber 
ing animals and reptiles lived and fought and died, to be covered 
with sediment deposited through many centuries. New species of 
animals appeared upon the scene a three-toed horse, a small 
camel, a saber-tooth tiger. 

As time rolled on the many animals and reptiles of those dim 
ages died, leaving almost no visible trace of their existence. Then 

320 A South Dakota Guide 

the forces of erosion began to operate. As centuries passed, slowly 
and steadily the numerous growing streams carved their way into 
the soft, yielding soil, molding the present Badlands formation and 
uncovering in places the prehistoric skeletons that are rich sources 
of information to the modern scientist. After a heavy rain, fossil 
ized bones are often found lying exposed on the ground. The Bad 
lands are a treasure storehouse of ancient animal life, and speci 
mens and skeletons from this region have found their way into 
museums all over the world. One of the largest collections of Bad 
lands fossils is at the South Dakota State School of Mines at 
Rapid City (see RAPID CITY). 

West of the junction with US 16 part of the Badlands Wall, 
which rises to the L. in high, jagged peaks is visible for several 
miles. At i^m. the road turns L. and the wall looms ahead; the 
formations are larger and more numerous, and the route passes 
near the peaks and pinnacles. These cathedral -like spires are com 
posed of the harder types of strata that have withstood the wear 
of erosion ; the different layers are of many colors gray, tan, buff, 
green, cream, and orange. 

Approaching the crest, the road winds between towering peaks 
and freak formations until, from the top of CEDAR PASS, at 17 
m., the valley below and the interior of the Badlands present a 
panorama bewildering in its immensity. Directly ahead (R) is 
VAMPIRE PEAK, so old in legend that even the oldest residents 
of the section do not know why it was so named. It is a tall, ma 
jestic peak, circular at its base and growing slimmer until capped 
by twin spikes. Nearer at hand are a few scattered clumps of cedar 
trees growing upon the peaks or springing from the fissures, all 
that remains of the heavy growth of trees that once gave the pass 
its name. 

lying at the base of the formation on the level, grassy floor of the 
valley. A collection of Badlands rocks and fossils is on display in 
the dining room; examination is permitted, and some specimens 
are for sale. 

At Cedar Pass Camp saddle horses are available for those who 
would like a closer view of the Badlands without the exertion of 
walking through them. But for those who are able to do rough 
walking, there are rich returns in a hike through and over some 
of the formations. A start can be made from Cedar Pass Camp by 
car or horse. 

Tour 6 321 

Right from Cedar Pass Tavern on State 40 to Cedar Pass at 
1 m. Right on dim trail at 1.5 m. This trail leads over low mesas 
through shallow draws, up to the base of the formations at 2 m. 
From here there is a footpath. Fossil remains are exposed from 
time to time as the formation weathers away, and they fall or 
are washed to the bottom of it. When several bits of bone are 
found close together, it is often possible to trace them to their 
source directly above where they lie. Whole bones are rare, but 
fossil teeth are not uncommon, either embedded in part of the 
jaw or singly. 

Along this stretch of wall are various low places called "win 
dows," which look out over that desolate region aptly termed 
DANTE'S INFERNO. Through these windows are seen a series 
of striking views, each different from the rest. The infinite vari- 
ty of scene is one of the most striking characteristics of the Bad 
lands, and even the same place looks quite different when viewed 
at dawn or at twilight, in the glare of the noonday sun or by 

A climb to the top of the formation at any point is difficult but 
well rewarded. Here are rows of barren ridges, with sheer sides 
and thin walls, a welter of chaos and desolation. In either direc 
tion is seen mile after mile of Badlands wall, with occasional 
jagged peaks and serrated skyline. 

At 18.2 m. is the junction with the unnumbered Badlands Monu 
ment Highway R. which this route follows ; State 40 continues W. 
(see Tour 6 A). 

For 20 m. the road winds through the heart of the Badlands, one 
of the most scenic stretches of road in the State. Now it skirts the 
base of the formation, now it winds up narrow canyons with tower 
ing peaks of white clay on either side, and now it climbs the almost 
vertical wall by a steady grade, and then follows the snake-like con- 

ir of the formation's brink for miles, with all the panorama of 
Badlands spread out below, with the breaks of White River 
visible to the S., and to the N. and W. the level plains stretching 
to the distant Black Hills. Far to the W., Sheep Mountain stands 
like a lone sentinel, marking the end of the Badlands. 

At 28 m. (R) is BIG FOOT PASS. It was through this natural 
opening that the wily Indian chief, Big Foot, led his 'band of 400 
warriors, eluding the United States soldiers who had thought ev 
ery possible pass was guarded. John J. Pershing, then a captain, 
was one of the soldiers attempting to stop Big Foot. After pene 
trating the Badlands, Big Foot and his warriors met a disastrous 
end at the Battle of Wounded Knee (see Tour 7) when he and al 
most all of his band were annihilated in the last conflict between 
the whites and the Indians, the culmination of the Messiah War. 

322 A South Dakota Guide 

After a steep, circling climb up Big Foot Pass the road follows 
the freakish wall until Dillon Pass leads down into another, perhaps 
a more wonderful, region, the PINNACLES, where are seen like 
nesses of huge ancient cathedrals, turrets, spires, and altars. After 
a few winding miles among the foothills of the Pinnacles, the road 
passes through the upper tunnel to the Great Wall. 

At 40 m. is the PINNACLE POINT TOURIST CAMP, over- 
looking the great formations of the Badlands ; here the gorgeous 
coloring at sunrise, once seen, is never forgotten. At the edge of 
the wall the view commands a bewildering maze of valleys, ravines, 
and jutting peaks, like the ruins of an ancient city. There are furn 
ished cabins, a dining room, and other conveniences. 

At 40.1 m. is the junction with an unnumbered road (see Tour 

From Pinnacle Point the road runs northward, and at 49 m. 
forms a junction with US 16 at WALL (see Tour 5). 


Junction with Badlands Monument Highway Interior Scenic 
Pinnacles. State 40 and unnumbered road. 

Junction with Badlands Monument Highway Pinnacles, 61.8 m. 
Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific R. R. parallels this route. 
Limited accomodations. 
Roadbed graded; good in dry weather only. 

State 40 twists westward from its junction with the unnumbered 
Badlands Monument Highway, 18.2 m. W. of the junction with 
US 16 (see Tour 6), passing between the Badlands Wall and 
White River, and a new (unnumbered) road winds northward 
from Scenic along the outer side of the wall. This region lies in 
lonely isolation, with only an occasional ranch, whose cattle are the 
sole moving objects on the landscape. This unnumbered road is off 
the beaten paths of travel and skirts the entire western end of the 
Badlands region. 

INTERIOR, 1.8 m. (2,381 alt., 155 pop.), is so named because 
of its position within the Badlands wall. It is an old town for this 
region, having been founded in 1891. Although it is in a ranching 
country, its principal source of income is derived from catering to 
the wants of tourists, who flock to the Badlands in increasing 

Tour 6A 323 

At 3.8m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road at 2 m. is WHITE RIVER, named for the white 
clay that washes off the hills and colors its waters in flood time 
a milky white. Here is a fork, L. up the hill winding through the 
breaks, past log and sod shanties, to the HEADLEE RANCH, 
18.2 m., a country store and post office. At 21.2 m. in a draw 
is a windmill, the landmark for a prairie trail (R) which winds 
1.4 m. to RATTLESNAKE or DEVIL BUTTES. It is advisable to 
park on the W. side of the second butte and walk to the summit 
100 ft. (Boots should be worn for protection from rattlesnakes). 
The only known SAND CRYSTAL BED in North America is atop 
the western butte. The unusual cylindrical, pipe-like crystals 
occur only on this butte. Exposed banks of the crystals jut out of 
the hill and extend several yards; the crystals, varying in size 
from *4 inch to 15 inches, are hard, whether lying singly on 
the ground or in large masses. Six or eight inches under the 
surface, the sand becomes wet like the beach of a seashore al 
though in a semiarid region and at the highest elevation of that 
area. In the wet sand are lumps which, when delicately exca 
vated, assume the appearance of a group of ill-proportioned 
fingers. Although easily broken while damp, the crystals harden 
quickly on exposure to the air. They are 60 per cent sand and 
40 per cent calcium carbonate, the former occurring as an in 
clusion and the latter as a mineralizing and crystallizing agent. 
In this bed of sand, less than 3 ft. thick, the sand crystals occur 
in numbers measured in tons. Every form, from solitary hex 
agonal crystals to crowded bunches of multiplets, can be obtained. 
The formation discloses evidence of internal molecular or crys 
talline arrangement, and weathered specimens show a radiate or 
resetted structure, owing to the tendency of lime salts to crys- 
talize according to the laws governing calcite. 

The main side road continues straight ahead at the windmill to 
the BUFFALO PASTURE along Potato Creek, at 32.4m. The 
pasture covers 36 sq. m. and work on it was begun in 1936; its 
purpose is to conserve herds of the fast-diminishing buffalo in a 
habitat natural to them a region of creeks, trees, and hills. A 
new dirt road borders the pasture for 5.3 m. 

CONATA, 13.8 m. (35 pop.), is in a picturesque ranching area. 

SCENIC, 31.8 m. (2,812 alt, 349 pop.), was so named because 
of its situation in the shadow of Sheep Mountain among Badlands 
formations. The place was founded in 1907 as a station of the C. 
M. St. P. & P. R. R., with a boxcar for a depot and a cluster of 
tar paper shacks for residences. For 26 years water was hauled a 
distance of 10 m. ; since 1933 it has been piped 2 m. from springs. 
The town has a fossil and rock MUSEUM (free). Nearby scenic at 
tractions are Castle Rock and "Hell's Ten Thousand Acres." 

324 A South Dakota Guide 

At Scenic is a junction with a dirt road. 

Left from Scenic on this road, at 1.5 m. is the foot of SHEEP 
MOUNTAIN. An extremely steep hill leads to the plateau above 
and cars should be put in low gear before attempting it. At the 
top is a gate (adm. $1 per car). After passing through the gate 
a trail completely encircles the rim of the plateau a mile in cir 
cumference, which comprises the top of Sheep Mountain. From 
every point along this road are splendid views of the Badlands. 
Their vast extent and varied character can perhaps be better 
determined here than from any other point. At the base of 
Sheep Mountain the State School of Mines (see RAPID CITY) 
maintains a permanent camp to which a party of students, in 
charge of a faculty member, comes every summer to excavate 
fossils, further to enrich the School of Mines Museum. This im 
mediate territory is peculiarly rich in fossil remains, even for 
the Badlands. A roster of visitors to the Badlands reads like an 
international scientific "Who's Who," as scientists from every 
country have come here to inspect this rich storehouse of paleon- 
tological treasures and secrets. Even for the visiting layman, a 
scramble in the surrounding formations will be richly repaid. 

North of Scenic the road winds through an almost deserted re 
gion to the junction with the Badlands Monument Highway, 61.8 m. 
(see Tour 6), gm. S. of Wall (see Tour 5). 


(Inwood, Iowa) Canton Lake Andes Winner Hot Springs 
Edgemont (Lusk, Wyo.). US 18. 

Iowa Line to Wyoming Line, 474.6 m. 

C. & N. W. R.R. parallels US 18 between St. Charles and Winner; 
C. B. & Q., between Hot Springs and Edgemont. 

Roadbed graveled, with occasional stretches of hard surface. 

Good accommodations east of Missouri River; fair, west of river as 
far as Winner. Gas and oil available west of Winner, but few lodging 

After pursuing a level course for many miles in Iowa, US 18 
crosses the Iowa Line 6m. west of Inwood, Iowa (see Iowa Tour 
//), and passes through the valley of the Big Sioux River. Rising 
in the Coteau des Prairies of northeastern South Dakota, the river 
drains an extensive territory. The Selkirk colonists en route from 
Winnipeg, Canada, to St. Louis, Mo. followed the valley, which 
was first explored by Nicollet and Fremont in 1838. The Sioux In 
dians named the river Can-ka-sda-ta (where-they paddle-softly-by- 
the woods). 

Tour 7 325 

Like the other east-west routes across the State, ! US 18 crosses 
varied sections of South Dakota rich agricultural lands, ranch 
country, Indian reservations, mountain region. With the flat 
stretches of the eastern section covered, the road swings abruptly 
down into the broad, rugged valley of the Missouri River, spirals 
up over rolling plains of the West-river ranching area, and begins 
its long, weaving course across the stretches of Indian country. The 
monotony of the gently rolling prairie stretches is often interrupted 
by hills, capped with clusters of cedars, and by buttes and sand 
knolls, until the Black Hills afford the fresh touch of a vastly dif 
ferent region. The scenery in the Indian country is far from drab, 
its character constantly changing. 

Section a. Iowa Line Junction US 281, 137 m. 

After crossing the Big Sioux River, US 1 8 traverses wooded flats, 
luxuriant with vegetation, rising again to resume a level prairie 

At 0.5 m. the upper structure of the Sioux Valley Ski Slide is 
visible ahead (L). 

At 1.2 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is the SIOUX VALLEY SKI SLIDE, 0.7 m., 
where the State championship tournament is held yearly, and 
the national tournament about every 5 years. Attracting thous 
ands of spectators and amateur ski jumpers, this meet is the 
major winter sporting event of South Dakota. Crowds of 10 to 25 
thousand people have attended the tournaments, which are held 
during the latter part of January or in early February. 

At one time it was the longest slide in the United States and it 
still compares favorably with slides at Lake Placid, N. Y., and 
Brattleboro, Vt. Among those who have competed here are Cas 
per Oiman, George Kotlarek, Roy Mikkelson, and U. S. Olympic 
team members. 

A tournament never was cancelled because of lack of snow, 
though in 1931 it was necessary to import a large amount for 
the slides. Three national tournaments have been held at Can 
ton, the last one in 1935. The annual tournament is sponsored 
by the Sioux Valley Ski Club of Canton. At the first meets an 
nouncing was done by someone with a resonant, stentorian voice 
aided by a large megaphone; but sound equipment now is in 
stalled, the hill serving as a sounding-board for the loudspeaker. 
The slide measures 600 ft. from the top of the scaffold to the 
bottom of the hill. The scaffold is 125 ft. high and the distance 
from the top to the take-off is 360 ft. Riders at various times 
have been clocked for speed, and rates of from 60 to 100 m. per 

326 A South Dakota Guide 

hour have been registered. During practice one year Alf Bakken 
jumped a distance of 194 ft., but the fact that the jump was not 
made in a regular tournament prohibited its standing as a record. 
The hill is steep, but has a long flat base running several hun 
dred feet, an ideal arrangement for a neat jump and landing. A 
scaffold has been added to give extra impetus to the jumps. 

At i. 7m. is a road leading (R) through the entrance to the 
PENITENTIARY ANNEX, built in 1901 for the purpose of 
caring for insane Indians. At that time it was the only institution 
of its kind in the United States, but its inmates were recently 
moved to Washington following an investigation of charges of 
carelessness and neglect. The institution received its present name 
from the fact that it is now used by the State to house first term 
lawbreakers, who are sent there instead of to the State Penitentiary 
at Sioux Falls, to segregate them from the company of hardened 

and campus are near the highway (R). The buildings are striking 
examples of the use of native Sioux Falls quartzite in construction. 

CANTON, 3.2m. (1,244 alt., 2542 pop.), owes its name to the 
belief by early settlers that it is situated diametrically opposite 
Canton, China. Founded in 1860, the town has become the center 
of an extensive Scandinavian community, with productive farms 
and substantial buildings. 

It was in this section that the settings of two books, O. E. Rol- 
vaag's Giants in the Earth and Phil LeMar Anderson's Courthouse 
Square, were laid. Central characters in Rolvaag's widely read saga 
of pioneer life are six brothers, named Berdahl, whose combined 
ages total 488 years. The oldest is 88 and the youngest 68 years old. 
Rolvaag, who is a son-in-law of the eldest brother, vividly describes 
many of their adventures. The Berdahls and several other families 
came to Dakota Territory in early days to obtain free land. 

Only after arriving in the town does the stranger discover that 
the tall, odd-looking cylindrical object, jutting above all other 
structures near it, is the city water tower, practical but unattractive. 

At 10.4 m. is the junction with US 77 (see Tour 9) and the two 
highways are united for 5 m. 

The early settlers in the State took up land in this southeastern 
section and during those pioneering years they were faced with 
many hardships. In 1881, following the ever-memorable blizzard 
of 1880, there was considerable snow ; and when this melted the 

Tour 7 327 

valleys throughout the region held sweeping torrents. Even the 
Vermillion River, normally a small stream, became a veritable 
Mississippi, as it swelled to cut a mile-wide swath along its course. 
Bridges were washed out, homes flooded, and settlers were forced 
to flee to higher ground. 

In 1885 a prairie fire swept through the center of Turner Co. 
Fanned by a furious gale, the blaze licked up the long grass, catch 
ing occasional haystacks and* hurling the burning straw high into 
the air, as it wiped out farm homes in a relentless holocaust. 

The blizzard of 1888, while not as severe as that of 1880, took a 
great toll of life over a wide area. Jan. 12, 1888, broke dark and 
lowering; a light steady snow was added to the foot that had al 
ready fallen. By 10 o'clock the region was blanketed with fog. 
Suddenly, without warning, the wind changed and the temperature 
tobogganed nearly 70 degrees. The wind' continued to rise and soon 
a 6o-mile gale was howling mercilessly across the open expanses. 
Steel-like snow in blinding eddies was hurled with withering inten 
sity at whatever object happened to be in its path. So thick was the 
snow, and so sudden was the onslaught of the storm, that there 
was little opportunity for preparation. The devastating blast con 
tinued with unabated fury, choking and blinding victims unfortun 
ate enough to foe caught away from shelter. When the storm had 
subsided, it had written a pitiful tale of suffering and death across 
its icy pages. About 200 persons perished in South Dakota and ad 
joining States; men, women, and children, singly and in groups, 
lay where they had first fallen, unable to combat the cruel ele 
ments. Some were found in a sitting posture ; some lying as though 
in their last step they had fallen, exhausted; some were propped 
against haystacks. 

At 1 1. 6m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is WORTHING, 0.6 ra. (1,364 alt., 276 pop.), 
one of the early towns in this part of the State. Its proximity to 
Sioux Falls and Canton has retarded its growth and forced it to 
remain a small town. A fertile argicultural region surrounds it. 

At 15.5 m. is the junction with US 77 (see Tour p). 

DAVIS, 29.8m. (1,253 alt., 214 pop.), has a well-kept city park 
and a new municipal building. It is a prominent grain shipping 
point in a productive farming area. 

At 52.7m. is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

328 A South Dakota Guide 

MENNO, 60.9 w. (1,325 alt., 978 pop.), is a contraction of Men- 
nonite, there being many members of this sect in the surrounding 
territory (see Tour 5). Although there is no exclusive Mennonite 
colony near Menno, there are many descendants of the original 
German-Russian families, principally E. of the James River Valley. 

At 65. 2 m. the James River is crossed. This lazy, meandering 
stream moves along so idly and indifferently that it appears to be 
absorbing the full value of the scenery along its muddy banks as it 
crawls listlessly to join the impetuous, cloudy waters of the Mis 
souri. During 1934, the period when the drought was most severe, 
the water along most of its course receded to mere pot holes and 
finally dried up entirely. Fish were trapped in these holes, but most 
of them were rescued by the Game and Fish Department and trans 
ferred to other places until water again returned to the abandoned 
river bed. 

OLIVET, 65.6 m. ( 1,221 alt., 222 pop.), though without railroad 
connections, is the seat of Hutchinson Co., a distinction it has had 
since 1871. Despite numerous efforts to move the seat of county 
government, Olivet hangs tenaciously to the prize it has held so 
long. In 1878 the Free Methodists built a sod church at the town 
site, while they were doing missionary work in this part of the 
State. In this crude building court was held until a courthouse 
was constructed. 

The soil in this region is of clay origin, and the country gradu 
ally becomes more hilly as US 18 moves westward. There are many 
curves and dips, and fast driving is not advisable. 

At 70 w. the highway rises over a divide which separates the 
flow of the small feeders of the Missouri and James Rivers, re 
spectively. From the divide, the streams flow SW. to join the "Big 
Muddy" in its long pilgrimage to the Mississippi. 

TRIPP, 84.9 m. (1,563 alt., 901 pop.), stands on the brow of a 
hill in the SW. corner of Hutchinson Co. The town is modern in 
every respect, and its $70,000 school building, with school busses 
covering the surrounding country, provides good educational facili 
ties. The Hutchinson Co. Fair is held here annually, and its 
grounds cover 34 acres, with grandstand, pavilions, and exhibit 
buildings, comparing favorably with the leading fairs of the State. 

The greater part of the city's population is of German-Russian 

Tour 7 329 

Tripp is at the junction of State 37 (see Tour iiA). 

West of Tripp US 18 gradually enters a more sparsely settled 
area, farms are less numerous, and groves of trees appear infre 

DELMONT, 94.2 m. (1,488 alt., 518 pop.), is a well-kept littio 
village, and the only town in Douglas Co. touched by US 18. The 
county was named for Stephen A. Douglas, a prominent political 
figure in the pre-Civil War days. Of approximately 7,000 inhabi 
tants in the county, more than 2,000 are of German descent, and 
1,700 are of Dutch descent. Towns in the northwestern part of the 
county have populations of nearly 100 per cent Dutch descent. 

At 117.9711. (R) is LAKE ANDES, a slender, boot-shaped body 
of water extending approximately 14 m. in length, with a varying 
width of from one to twom. It was first called Handy' s Lake, the 
"H" later being dropped and an "e" substituted for the "y." For 
nearly 4 m. the highway runs near the lake, passing on the way 
OWEN'S BAY, part of a 34o-acre waterfowl refuge, purchased by 
the U. S. Bureau of Biological Survey. The tract is separated from 
Lake Andes by means of a dike, and has two artesian wells to as 
sure an independent water supply. Within the bay are three sets of 
islands, planted with duck feed, while 6 m. of duck-nesting can be 
found along the shore-line ; the whole area is enclosed by a wire 
fence. During the winter season the open water of Owen's Bay is 
literally covered with thousands of wild waterfowl. Only a short 
distance from the bay is a STATE FISH HATCHERY, where bass are 
propagated to restock South Dakota's many lakes. 

Sustained drought caused the water of Lake Andes to evaporate 
until it almost entirely dried up; an effort is now being made to 
reclaim it by means of a three-mile canal which would drain 5,500 
additional acres into the lake bed. The major portion of tihe labor 
for excavating this canal and building the waterfowl refuge was 
supplied by boys from a CCC camp near this point. 

Normal years find sportsmen and recreation-seekers coming here 
by the hundreds each summer to enjoy the diversions offered; in 
a section where lakes are few, the spot is a popular center for a 
wide area. 

At 1 1 5.8m. is the junction with State 50 (see Tour 8). 

LAKE! ANDES, 121.8 w. (1,441 alt., 845 pop.), became the seat 
of Charles Mix Co. in 1916, following a struggle of more than 40 
years (see WHEELER below). 

330 A South Dakota Guide 

The town is picturesquely situated on a slope near the toe of 
the lake's boot, and has a neat, well-improved park. The open 
Yankton Reservation is near Lake Andes, and the town is a trad 
ing point for many Indians. Nearly every day they can be seen 
about the streets, some in modern garb, but many of the squaws, 
retaining their style of dress of 50 years ago. They still carry their 
papooses on their backs, where the infants are held securely with 
bright colored shawls, an indispensable adjunct to the women's 

Beginning at Lake Andes the road crosses a moderately hilly 
country which continues until the rougher, sharply broken slopes 
of the Missouri River valley are reached. Along the road, jutting 
from the hillsides, are many yucca plants, clustered growths with 
pointed green shafts surrounding a single large stem that protrudes 
above its protective palisade. The stem is capped by an oblong yel 
low pod containing seeds of the plant. As the Missouri River is 
approached, many cedar-lined draws and jagged hills offer the first 
hint of proximity to a new and different region of the State. 

WHEELER, 137^., consisting of a store and filling station, in 
reality should be called New Wheeler, because the original town 
was located 1.5 m. up the river from this site. The original town 
was a trading point for river steamers. 

Wheeler became the county seat in 1879 an ^ retained it until 
1916, when Lake Andes mustered enough votes to win the victory 
in a spirited contest. Although Wheeler has always been without 
railroad facilities and is far from the center of the county, the 
jealousy of the larger towns enabled it to hold the lucrative honor 
for 37 years. Whenever an effort was made to remove the county 
offices, rivalry flared up among the towns of Geddes, Platte, Wag 
ner, and Lake Andes, and in the end Wheeler emerged victorious. 
After the seat of county government was removed to Lake Andes, 
old Wheeler experienced a sharp decline, many of its buildings 
falling into a state of desuetude, while the old frame courthouse 
was relegated to the less dignified role of a granary. Today the 
business section is deserted. 

At Wheeler is the junction with US 281 (see Tour n) ; at this 
point the two highways unite and follow one road for 10 m. 

Tour 7 331 

Section b. Junction with US 281 Hot Springs, 297.5 m. 

At 0.4 m. the united routes cross the MISSOURI RIVER, the 
story of which, with its tributaries, is essentially a story of the 
State. River traffic began in the early iSso's and continued until 
late in the I9th century when the railroads displaced this mode of 
transportation. As many as 40 steamers plied up and down the 
Missouri River, sometimes 20 or more being tied up at a single 
landing point. 

From the earliest days of settlement in South Dakota, the rivers 
of this valley have overflowed occasionally, causing suffering and 
damage. In March 1862 an ice gorge formed near the mouth of 
the James River, flooding the entire valley to a width as great as 
1 2m. in several places. 

The flood 1 causing the most damage came in the spring of 1881, 
the climax of a winter of unusual severity. Oct. 14, 1880, a slow 
drizzle began and soon turned to snow that sailed in on a strong 
wind. The storm lasted three days, blocking all communication with 
the outside world for weeks. Frequent snows followed, and held 
the valley in an ice-locked grip for five bitter months. On March 
27, 1 88 1, the ice began to move downstream, the melting snows 
soon swelling the river until it overflowed the banks and covered 
the bottom-land from bluff to bluff. An ice gorge formed near 
Yankton, and ice congested the stream as far as Springfield, more 
than 30 m. away. The following day the gorge suddenly broke, re 
leasing millions of tons of ice that moved with slow, irresistible 
force down the river, sweeping everything in its path. Masses of 
ice were hurled against steamships, helplessly docked, crushing 
them like eggshells. The sudden rise of the water sent residents of 
the valley scurrying to higher ground to watch the roaring, im 
petuous flood swallow up their belongings homes, livestock, mach 
inery and hurl them downstream. A village called Green Island 
was completely devoured by the swirling waters. Within two hours 
after the first masses of ice crashed into the village, every building 
was drifting with the current as it joined the growing procession of 
debris gathered along the river's course. Even the church was 
wrested from its foundation, and settlers 30 m. downstream told of 
seeing a building float by and' of hearing bells tolling uncannily 
as the structure bobbed up and down in the surging river. The loss 
of human life was not high, but the loss of home and all other be 
longings wrought hardships that required years to overcome. 

332 A South Dakota Guide 

At i m. US 18 enters the eastern end of the ROSEBUD IN 
DIAN RESERVATION, named for the wild roses that still cover 
large areas of this section. It was originally a part of the Sioux 
Reservation, which was set aside under the treaty of 1868 (see 
INDIANS). Modifications of this treaty subdivided the area, set 
ting up the present boundaries. Although the reservation extends 
E. to the Missouri River, the actual closed boundaries have been 
reduced to Todd Co. only, the remaining area being open to white 
settlement, with the laws governing the Indians applying to all 
parts. With a total Indian population of about 6,400 the reservation 
roll shows about one-half to be full-bloods ; the native language is 
used by nearly 90 per cent of the inhabitants. 

The reservation section, like the western half of the State, has 
many sharp draws and jutting buttes ; the topography is not ironed 
out like the land E. of the Missouri River. The tillable grazing 
country has a very sandy soil which is subject to erosion by the 
wind when native vegetation is disturbed by cultivation or over 

In June 1934 the Wheeler-Howard Act, giving the Indians a 
greater degree of self-government, became a law, and the Indians 
voted to accept the act. Severe drought has caused critical condi 
tions on this reservation as well as on others. While the average 
Indian does not rate high as a farmer, the fertile soil of the region 
usually produces crops that supplement the aid given by the Gov 
ernment through benefits accruing as a result of past treaties. De 
spite incomes from tribal sources, leases, and land sales, approxi 
mately half the families on the reservation depend almost entirely 
upon some form of Government relief. Most farm plots consist of 
a small patch of weedy corn, potatoes, and smaller vegetables. 

Home conditions in a majority of cases are poor ; the bulk of the 
population lives in shacks and tents that have few sanitary 

Order is preserved on the reservation through a system of In 
dian police, aided by honorary law enforcement officers, who serve 
without pay, and help maintain order at dances and other functions 
where the most prevalent law violation drunkenness arises. It 
is unlawful to sell or give an Indian liquor although it is sold to 
whites on the open part of the reservation. It is unlawful to have 
liquor in one's possession in the restricted area. Drunkenness and 
adultery rank first and second, respectively, among the criminal 
charges on the reservation. 

Tour 7 333 

Meandering up from the Missouri River bottom, US 18 enters 
a gently rolling region. 

At 10.1 m. is the junction with US 281 (see Tour n). 

BONE STEEL, 13.2 m. (2,009 alt - 547 PP-) nke other towns 
along US 1 8, sprang up when it was known that the C. & N. W. 
R.R. planned to extend W. of the Missouri River. With this in 
mind, Bonesteel, named for an early resident, gradually took on the 
semblance of a town and when the railroad actually came the popu 
lation increased rapidly. However, it was never boomed to the extent 
that some of the other towns along the route were : the 1910 census 
shows a population only 16 greater than that of 1935. It has now 
settled down to the humdrum existence of the average small town, 
its tides of fortune ebbing and flowing with the current conditions 
of its surrounding territory. 

ST. CHARLES, 20.2 m. (100 pop.), consists of a few scattered 
houses and a business district typical of a small hamlet. Never 
affected to any extent by the influx of homesteaders, the village 
was stifled in its infancy by the diversion of most of the business 
to Gregory and Dallas. 

HERRICK, 25.8 w. (87 pop.), was named for Samuel Herrick, 
an attorney who was instrumental in opening the Rosebud Reserva 
tion to white settlement. This was effected in 1904 and a great wave 
of homeseekers flooded the new and promising territory. Gregory 
Co. suddenly became the mecca for families of all types. Some had 
lost all their worldly goods in the East, or perhaps never had any; 
some were college graduates, many of them adventurers, others 
were health-seekers ; some were of substantial Scandinavian or 
German stock, looking for sites for homes. 

BURKE, 34.6 w. (2,251 alt., 591 pop.), was named in honor of 
Charles Burke of Pierre, one-time Commissioner of Indian Affairs. 
Its beginning is traced to the pre-railroad days when the extension 
of the lines became a certainty. The 1910 census shows a population 
of 311, and the town 'has experienced a slow but steady growth 
since then. While many of the towns decreased in population, 
Burke was able to hold its own. It was settled largely by persons 
who planned to stay in the country, and was less affected by the 
influx of homesteaders than other towns of the semiarid region 
when the exceptionally dry years of 1911-12-13 ravaged the coun 
try. It still is a lively little center, deriving its business from farm 
ers, ranchers, and Indians. 

334 A South Dakota Guide 

GREGORY, 44m. (2,216 alt., 1,185 PP-) P r i r to 1904 was 
merely a town in the offing, but with the opening of the county 
for white settlement, houses were hastily built, and a busy village 
was an actuality in a few weeks. Today it vies with Winner as the 
chief trading center of the Rosebud country, the two towns eclips 
ing all others in the area in size. Wiith a varied population, com 
prising a mixed Indian, ranching, and farming group, Gregory has 
the distinction. of being a melting pot for different types of people. 
Western flavor is mixed with modern, Eastern customs. The fron 
tier spirit of the West still dominates, andi the people are noted for 
their liberal tendencies. When they have money, they are willing to 
spend it; when hard times come, they accept their plight without 
murmuring. Here, as well as in other western South Dakota towns, 
is a friendliness and hospitality that will evoke a glow of warmth 
in the most blase visitor. 

DALLAS, 48.2^. (2,238 alt., 308 pop.), was originally built 
about lorn, distant from the present line of the railroad when the 
latter was extended W. of the Missouri River. To remedy this the 
citizens moved their little village to a location at the end of the 
proposed extension of the railroad. Their "hunch" proved correct 
and in 1907 the first train whistled into the infant town, gateway 
to the region that was next slated for opening. 

Launching the new land! boom with profuse and widespread ad 
vertising, Dallas became one of the most "heard-of" towns in the 
Middle West. Thousands of landseekers came to this section in the 
next few years, and the population of Dallas shot upward until it 
crowded the 2,000 figure. Seven churches, a library, water system, 
electric lights, and three blocks of business district marked this 
flourishing town. The cattleman saw his range divided and sub 
divided, saw with -dismay the virgin prairie turned to brown as 
the branding iron was melted into the plowshare. The range days 
were gone ; cowboys would live only in books and the movies ; the 
old regime must succumb to the progressive spirit of the New 
West. Farm machinery was sold by the carloads, and soon rippling 
grainfields replaced endless stretches of dun prairie. Such was the 
setting of Dallas for a few years. 

But the halcyon days of its prosperity were numbered. The me 
teoric rise that had wafted the little prairie town to heights of 
prosperity was quickly reversed and financial doldrums settled upon 
the community. Drought, crop failures, dust storms, low prices, 
and several disastrous fires wrought their havoc. Dallas today is 

Tour 7 335 

but a fragment of its former self, although it still maintains many 
of the features that accompanied its early prosperity churches, li 
brary, modern improvements. 

At 58m. is the junction with US 83 (see Tour 12); the two 
routes are united for 21. 4m. 

COLiOME, 58.9 w. (531 pop.), was named for the Colome 
brothers, of part Sioux Indian parentage. The founders of the 
town, looking into the future, located a town site on the railroad 
right-of-way and in 1909, following the opening of Tripp Co. for 
white settlement, the influx of settlers began. The county developed 
so quickly that the railroad was extended to Winner, in the heart 
of the new region, within three years after it reached Colome. Al 
though successful farming is hampered <by occasional dry periods, 
the productive soil of the area enables the people, through combina 
tion dirt-farming and .stock-raising, to earn a comfortable liveli 
hood during normal times. 

WINNER, 70.6m. (1,860 alt., 2,136 pop.), one of the newest 
towns in the State, is also one of the most typically Western in 
color. Founded following the rush of homesteaders, which began 
in 1908, Winner grew up mushroom-fashion, becoming the busiest 
trading point along the entire stretch of US 18 across South Da 
kota. Retarded somewhat by recent drought years and) depression, 
the town has managed to retain much of its trade activity. Al 
though the railroad did not reach Winner until 1911, its growth 
began three years previously. 

Modern Winner has 48 blocks of paved streets, and in appear 
ance its business district resembles a much larger city. Besides the 
usual types of business, Winner has an ice cream factory, a pow 
dered soap and cleaner factory, and an awning factory. A few 
years ago one Winner business man bought more than 20,000 rab 
bit skins in one season, gathered from the surrounding country. 
The town is also a shipping point for turkeys and other poultry 
raised in the adjacent territory. 

One block (L) from Main St. is the OUTLAW TRADING POST, a 
well known store of the West-river country. Started during the 
early days of Winner, the store was named by Ben Butts, the foun 
der, who was called "the outlaw down the alley" by competitors, 
because of his large scale operations in buying goods in carload 
lots and selling them at cut prices. Unpretentious in appearance, the 
large interior is a scene of activity every day of the week. Little 

336 A South Dakota Guide 

effort has been expended on appearance, the stock being arranged 
principally for convenience. The basement and several warehouses 
are filled with carloads of merchandise bought in large quantities. 

JORDAN, 794 m. (60 pop.), is at the junction with US 83 (see 
Tour 12). Its nearness to Winner precludes the possibility of its 
becoming a town of appreciable size. 

CARTER, 88.4 m. (61 pop.), with its present few inhabitants, 
represents a dream that never came true. With the opening of Tripp 
Co. for settlement, the Western Town Site Co. made arrangements 
with the C. & N. W. R.R. to extend its line W. of Dallas. Seven 
towns were slated to be on the extension of the line. After a delay 
of two years, the proposed extension was begun, but advanced only 
as far as Winner. Not until a few years ago was it built farther 
W. and then it missed Carter by taking a more northern route. 

As originally planned, Carter would have been the gateway to 
the great undeveloped country to the W., a gateway through which 
all settlers moving into the new country would pass. As a result 
this region became known as the "jumping off place." A novel, The 
Jumping Off Place, by Marian Kurd McNeely, has as its setting 
this Rosebud' country during homestead days, and the characters 
were drawn from life. 

At 89.3 m. is the eastern edge of the Rosebud Reservation prop 
er; this part of the reservation is not open to white settlement. 

OKREEK, 97.5 w. (355 pop.), is typical of the many small 
communities that are scattered througfh the Indian reservations, 
towns that are centers of the social life of their districts. 

Many of the houses in Okreek are typical of the social status of 
the Indian families on this reservation. The Superintendent's annual 
report of the Rosebud Reservation for 1935 tersely states : "The 
home conditions of the Indian families are for the majority very 
poor. Their homes are far from sanitary. Undoubtedly this contri 
butes a great deal to the high rate of tuberculosis that is prevalent 
among the Indian population/' 

HAYSTACK BUTTE (R) is visible for several miles along the 
route. Long noted for its rattlesnake dens, the butte is visited each 
spring and! fall by scores of persons either interested scientifically, 
or merely curious. 

Rattlesnakes, while not prevalent and rarely seen unless looked 
for, hibernate and emerge in the spring when the temperature ap- 

Tour 7 337 

preaches the 8o-degree mark. Then they scatter, but rarely venture 
more than four or five miles from their dens. Men who understand 
the habits of the reptiles visit the dens every day during the first 
balmy days of spring, and snare them as they crawl to the sunlight, 
or drag them from their holes with a specially devised hook. Often 
writhing balls of the reptiles, entwined around each other and com 
prising as many as 25 or 30 snakes, are dragged out. Rattlesnakes, 
authorities say, are one of the worst enemies of nesting birds, their 
ability to find nests and devour the fledglings, often the mother 
bird and the eggs, resulting in a huge loss every year. 

At 1 1 1.5 w. is a large INDIAN BOARDING SCHOOL, main 
tained by the Government for the Indian children of the Rosebud 
Reservation. About 200 children are enrolled and classes range 
from the first to the tenth grades. 

MISSION, 114.6 m. (2,150 alt., 275 pop.), is a trading point for 
Indians and white settlers of the neighborhood. A 12-grade public 
school is attended by both white and Indian children. The Episco 
pal church maintains a dormitory and school farm. The Lutheran 
church operates a day-school. There are Lutheran and Episcopal 
chapels in the town, and the Catholic chapel is on the highway near 
the boarding school. 

An excellent CABIN CAMP and a small artificial lake, where swim 
ming and fishing are available, are open to the public. 

All through this part of the country Indian homes can be seen, 
each standing alone on its individual i6o-acre allotment. There is 
little variety in the style of architecture of the homes of the Sioux. 
A one or two-room log house, plastered usually with mud, with a 
roof composed of poles, hay, and dirt, is the usual type; one or 
two small windows carry the burden of admitting light; the floors 
are often of dirt, while a small stove, frequently of sheet-iron, 
provides the heat that is generated from the burning of wrist-size 
sticks of wood. The Indians spend much time in tents, even dur 
ing the bitterest winter weather. 

The white men .have attempted to eradicate Indian habits and 
practices of centuries. Superstitions, fetishes, and customs, however, 
defy the forces of change. Legends that have been handed down 
from one generation to another are still treasured by the Sioux. 
One that is told by wrinkled old squaws to their children and 
grandchildren, and which undoubtedly will continue to be handed 
down to future generations, describes the origin of the rainbow. 

338 A South Dakota Guide 

One bright summer day when all the flowers were nodding their 
heads in the breeze and proudly exhibiting their many beautiful 
colors, the Great Spirit, who watches over all the little earthlings, 
heard this conversation between two of the older flowers. 

"I wonder where we will go when winter comes and we all have 
to die ? It doesn't seem fair ; we do our share to make the earth a 
beautiful place to live in. It would only be fair if we, too, should 
go to a happy hunting ground of our own." 

The Great Spirit considered this idea and decided that they 
should not die when winter came. And so now, according to the 
legend, after a refreshing shower all the many-hued flowers are 
seen in the sky, making a beautiful arc across the heavens. 

ROSEBUD AGENCY, 126.5 m. ( I2 PP-), is in a rough part 
of the country with some of the agency buildings on Rosebud 
Creek and some on the steep hills opposite. On the flat N. of the 
agency are old corrals and a fairground. About two m. N'W. of the 
corrals, Sugar Loaf Butte projects its cone-shaped top above the 
flat prairie. On this flat herds of issue cattle were turned loose 
every ten days in olden times. This was the beef issued to the In 
dians on the hoof ; there was sport as well as food in shooting 
down one's own beef. 

A celebration is sometimes held here on the Fourth of July, and 
the annual fair is held early in September. Riding, roping, Indian 
dancing and singing, baseball games, races, and often the old In 
dian game of shinny, give much local color. Beyond the flat is a 
sharp turn through a deep cut known to the Indians as the "Big 
Hole." At this point the whole agency comes into view. Below, on 
the hillside, is the Government hospital. 

At the top of the hill (RJ) lies an old BURIAL GROUND. The white 
shaft in this cemetery marks the grave of Spotted Tail, the chief 
for whom this agency was first named. Spotted Tail was friendly 
to the whites and his own people mistrusted this friendship. A 
group of the headmen of the neighboring Indian bands drew lots 
to determine who should kill him. 'Crow Dog drew the fatal lot and 
killed Spotted Tail from ambush. Afterwards Crow Dog was ostra 
cized/ by his own people and scorned by the white men. 

The name, Spotted Tail Agency, was used until 1871. This place 
was heavily guarded during the Messiah War; and in 1890 the sol- 
diiers dug rifle pits on the hill for the protection of the agency. This 
hill overlooking the agency is still called Soldier Hill. The Govern- 

Tour 7 339 

ment buildings are close together on the bench, in the form of a 

The general office building is on the southwestern corner. Long 
established traders' stores carry candles, bright beads, gay calico, 
broad-brimmed Stetsons, and sheep-lined coats. Rows of canned 
goods give evidence of the derivation of the Indian word "mazo- 
piye" (the place where things are put away in tins). The 25 mem 
bers of the tribal council meet here for deliberations, and the Indian 
court of three men, appointed by the Superintendent, sits here to 
judge minor offenses. Below the hill the Indians live in cabins, or 
camp out, while transacting business for a few days. 

West of Rosebud the topography is rough, with ravines and 
steep hillsides, spotted with dark jackpines. Beyond is the Little 
White River, one of the sources of the main river of the same 
name, fed by clear, copious springs. 

FARM ALEE, 139. 5 w. (245 pop.), is a roadside town on the 
flat prairie. Ever since the days when He-Dog's band camped in 
this district, Parmalee has been a Government issue station and a 
trading post. The post office of Parmalee was named for Dave 
Parmalee, rancher, trader, and pioneer of this region. The old In 
dian name for the section was Cut-Meat, from the Indian word 
Wososo (where they cut the buffalo meat into little strips). The 
creek half a mile beyond Parmalee still bears the same name, Cut- 
Meat. There is an old story among the Indians that the Indian 
hunters used to drive the buffalo over the steep banks of this 

He-Dog and his followers camped on this creek and, when homes 
were built by the Government for the chiefs, He-Dog's house was 
erected on the flat, 9 m. beyond Parmalee, where it can be seen 
from the highway. A new consolidated school, called He-Dog 
School, is a half-mile off the highway, 8 m. W. of Parmalee. It is 
typical of the fine new day schools the Department of the Interior 
is now building as community centers in Indian country. 

At 154.67^. US 18 crosses the western boundary of the closed 
area of the Riosebud Reservation and continues through more In 
dian country the open area of the Pine Ridge Reservation ceded 
territory, containing isolated tracts of trust land.. 

VETAL, i6i.7w. (25 pop.), is another roadside trading center 
to which the scattered population of the sparsely settled neighbor 
ing area come to buy their "grub" and other necessities. At Vetal 

MO A South Dakota Guide 

on busy days can be seen three types of vehicles team and wagon, 
battered Fords of the Model T variety, and modern automobiles, 
with the first type most prevalent. 

MARTIN, 182.2 m. (3,250 alt., 942 pop.), called the ''metropolis 
of the Pine Ridge Reservation country" because of its surprisingly 
large population in such a thinly settled country, was founded in 
1912 at the time Bennett Co. was organized, and has since remained 
the county seat. Indians, interspersed with cowboys, farmers, and 
white-collared men, make a composite picture that is truly Western 
and colorful. At fair time and on celebration days, the Indians 
appear in native dress and perform tribal dances, sing their songs, 
and go through other ceremonies. 

Bennett Co., despite its lack of railroad facilities, has thousands 
of acres of good grazing and agricultural land with abundant 
water, good roads, and full-course schools. 

Left from Martin on State 73 is the LA CREEK TEAL AND 
MIGRATORY FOWL REFUGE, 12m., a series of long dams im 
pounding water in several artificial lakes. 

BATESLAND, 201.1 m. (300 pop.), consists of a small resi 
dence and business district, the appearance of the town as a whole 
giving the impression of a group of buildings huddled together in 
the prairie hinterlands for mutual protection. 

Here the Indian character of the country becomes more strongly 
pronounced, for US 18 is entering the PINE RIDGE RESERVA 
TION. Living within its borders are more Indians than on any 
other reservation in South Dakota, a total of more than 8,000 hav 
ing been recorded at the last census. Indian customs and character 
istics are similar on all reservations W. of the Missouri River. (See 
Tours 2, 3, and ROSEBUD RESERVATION, above). 

The extent of this reservation makes it difficult for the visitor 
with little time to see many parts of it. The old Indian life can 
best be studied in remote villages, where the Sioux pursue their 
old tribal customs, unchanged by white influence. The native 
language is used by 85 per cent of the population. A tribal council 
performs numerous duties including the management of tribal 
affairs, recommendations for positions, the settlement of domestic 
difficulties, the leasing of tribal lands, and the investigation of 
complaints against personnel or departments. 

Few Indians on the Pine Ridge Reservation are successful 
farmers, virtually none of them producing enough from their 

Tour 7 341 

tracts to support their families. Considerable handiwork is carried 
on, and, in 1937, the sale of articles was started. In wooded areas 
trees are often cut up and sold as fuel, although the Indians derive 
little income from this source. In gathering his own firewood, he 
usually seeks the smaller dead trees or branches of larger ones, 
full-grown timber being left until a scarcity of the other kind 
forces him to depart from his customary practice. 

There are 33 separate Indian communities on the Pine Ridge 
Reservation, each designated by a tribal name. 

At 210 m. (R) is seen PORCUPINE BUTTE, 7m. away, so 
called because its shape resembles the humped-up back of a porcu 
pine. Indians have long been familiar with the habits of these little 
animals, which have been of much economic value to them. The 
quills were used for decorative purposes by all the Sioux tribes. 
The porcupine is commonly used for food among the older tribes 
men, who consider it a delicacy. 

WOUNDED KNEE, 215.8 m., is a trading post on the highway; 
many kinds of Indian products made on the reservation are on sale. 

At Wounded Knee is the junction with an improved dirt road. 
Right on this road to the WOUNDED KNEE BATTLEFIELD, 0.4 
m. where on Dec. 29, 1890, occurred the last important conflict 
between the whites and Indians. The battle marked the end of 
the Messiah craze, which for months had been deluding the In 
dians and terrifying white residents on and near South Dakota 
reservations, (see HISTORY). 

Although today referred to as a battle, many insist the affair was 
nothing short of a massacre in which non-combatants squaws 
with infants on their backs, boys and girls were pursued and 
ruthlessly shot down by maddened soldiers long after resistance 
had ceased and nearly every warrior lay dead or dying on the 
field. Pictures taken on the battlefield two days after the en 
counter and before the Indians had been buried showed bodies 
scattered for 2 m. along the creek, mute testimony of the relent- 
lessness of the pursuit. 

Today, near the battlefield, is a monument and cement curbing, 
indicating a common grave, a rude trench, in which the bodies 
of the slain Indians men, women, and children alike were 
hastily buried. 

The chief ritual of the Messiah delusion was a ghost dance, con 
ceived and introduced to the tribes by a Nevada Paiute Indian 
named Wovoka, whose Christian upbringing had little effect on 
his Indian superstitions. He claimed to have seen a vision, fol 
lowing an eclipse of the sun in 1889, in which the buffalo were 
restored to the prairie and the whites driven from the earth. He 

342 A South Dakota Guide 

declared he had seen the glory of the Indians returned to them 
as it was in the days before the white men came. 

This vision Wovoka began to relate among the tribes near 
his home. Word of the supposed revelation spread like a 
prairie fire, and soon every tribe in North America had heard of 
it and many were practicing its teaching. It took deepest root 
among South Dakota tribes where two skilled exhorters, Kicking 
Bear and Short Bull, became imbued with the belief and began 
preaching it among their followers. Soon hundreds had nocked 
turbulently into camps to take part in the weird ceremonies. 

During the ceremonial dance the Indian men wore a special garb, 
consisting principally of a calico garment, called a "ghost shirt." 
The ritual started with the participants joining hands and 
shuffling around in circles, slowly at first, and after careening 
crazily until one by one they fell exhausted. The medicine men 
pronounced them dead, but said that after a visit to the Great 
Spirit they would return to tell what they had seen. Needless to 
say, what they told was imaginary. "The buffalo are coming 
back!" they cried. They saw the whites at the mercy of the 
Indians; sickness had vanished from the earth; the red man's 
paradise was returning. They believed the bullets of the whites 
could no longer harm them. 

Short Bull's band of dancers hurried away to the fastnesses of 
the Badlands to engage in further ceremonies (see Tour 2). In 
the meantime the implacable Sitting Bull had been killed, and 
his followers fled to join Big Foot's band of dancers on the 
Cheyenne River. Soldiers sent to arrest Big Foot found him 
willing to submit, but in the night he and his band escaped 
and reached the Badlands. He was overtaken at Wounded Knee 

The soldiers were ordered to disarm the warriors, but found 
them wretchedly equipped with a few out-of-date rifles of little 
value. Dissatisfied with the results, the soldiers were ordered 
closer to the tipis, where a more thorough search was instituted. 
In the meantime Yellow Bird, a medicine man, was haranguing 
the Indians telling them the ghost shirts were impervious to 
the bullets of the enemy. As Yellow Bird spoke in the Sioux 
tongue, the soldiers did not realize the import of his talk. When 
one of the searchers began to examine the blankets of the Indians 
Black Fox jumped to his feet, drawing his gun as he rose, and 
fired at the soldiers. The rest of the warriors, as if waiting for 
a signal joined in so quickly that the attendant volley sounded 
almost like one report. The soldiers immediately returned the 
fire and for a few minutes the carnage was terrible. So close 
together were the combatants that many discharged rifles into 
the faces of their foes. When the firing started, a battery of 
Hotchkiss guns, firing two pounds at each charge and at the rate 
of nearly one a second, raked the camp, shattering and setting 
fire to the tipis and killing everyone within range. 

Tour 7 343 

The superior numbers of the soldiers, who were equipped with 
modern rifles and aided by artillery, soon routed the Indians; 
only a handful escaped through the lines of the whites and took 
refuge in ravines and depressions of a fringe of hills nearby. 

Meanwhile the tipis were burning above the dead and dying 
within them, and the rest of the Indians women mostly, carry 
ing small infants on their backs were fleeing in wild panic, as 
soldiers cut them down ruthlessly and left them scattered over 
the plain. Big Foot was killed, his son died beside him, while 
most of the warriors killed in the melee fell near the chief's tipi. 
The members of the burial party, who came with wagons three 
days later to bury the dead Indians, found several live babies 
wrapped in shawls close to the cold bodies of their lifeless 
mothers, though the temperature during the interval had been 
near zero. The bodies of the dead Indians were placed in wagons 
and hauled, several in each load, to a large grave where they 
were placed without ceremony. 

PINE RIDGE AGENCY, 231.8 m. (618 pop.), was so named 
because of the abundance of dark pines that clothe the .hills and line 
the ravines nearby. Until 1878 it was called Red Cloud Agency, for 
the chief of one of the leading band's in this territory. Of the 33 
bands, identified by family relationships and living on this reserva 
tion today, one is listed as the Chief James H. Red Cloud Band. 
The outstanding indications of the new order are the Government 
buildings, the school, the hospital, and the administrative buildings. 
In the school, native arts and crafts are taught, and some of the 
older members of the tribe are called in to teach tribal history and 
native folkways ; at the same time teachers, under Government 
employ, give the Indian children an education like that provided 
for white children. The hospital employs a staff of 8 nurses and, 
in addition, there are 4 field nurses and 5 doctors in the reser 

Indian men with long hair and soft moccasins, and Indian 
women wearing full, bright-colored skirts, shawls, and head 
scarfs, can always be seen near the Council Hall, at the Agency 
office, and on the steps of the traders' stores. There are also 
young Indian students neatly dressed in dark suits, light shirts, and 
polished shoes, and girls dressed in the latest fashion. 

Indian dances take place often and. an annual rodeo is staged in 
August. A small fee is sometimes charged for permission to use 

At Pine Ridge Agency a business in Indian arts and crafts is 
being developed, and groups of Indians are often employed to travel 

344 A South Dakota Guide 

with shows in the summer season ; a number went to the Chicago 
Exposition in 1933, and it was reported that 30 families went to 
Paris on the same errand in 1936. Thus these people are turning 
their knowledge of old Indian customs into a means of earning a 

From this agency W. to Oglala many Indian homes can be seen. 
There are still more than 1,500 log houses on this reservation. 
Many have dirt roofs and dirt floors. The 1880 report of the 
Indian agent says, "The people have taken to house building to a 
remarkajble degree. In the past year they have erected by their 
own labor, or employed others to build them, between 300 and 400 
log houses with dirt roofs." In the past 50 years little has been 
done to encourage these people in their house building. The primi 
tive houses were, unfortunately, one of the causes of the high 
incidence of tuberculosis among the people who had been accus 
tomed to outdoor living. 

OGLALA, 248 m. ( 1 50 pop. ) , is known mainly for its large 
Indian boarding school, attended by children from many parts of 
the reservation. Oglala (Ind., to scatter one's own) is the name of 
one of the many tribes of the Sioux nation. In recent years Indian 
pupils at various schools, combining native athletic grace with sin 
ewy litheness and speed, have threatened the accustomed supremacy 
of whites in modern sports. In 1936 the Oglala Indian school 
basketball team won the State Class B tournament, the first time 
in history that an Indian athletic squad has won a South Dakota 
title of such importance. Comfortable buildings, good playgrounds, 
gymnasium, and all modern equipment aid the school's program of 
diversified education. 

At 235 m. the main fork of White River is crossed. Although a 
small stream, it often rises to surprising proportions during periods 
of hard and continued rains. Its source is in northern Nebraska. 

At 263.8 m. US 18 crosses the Shannon-Fall River Co. line and 
winds snakelike over a high sloping ledge that tops a wasteland 
of rolling prairie, broken only by small humps or knolls that appear 
like scattered grass huts. 

SMITHWICK, 277.2 w. (63 pop.), was at one time the center 
of a cattle-grazing country and a fair-sized cow town, but with 
the division of a part of the prairie to the S. into farms, its pros 
perity waned. 

From Smithwick the road continues over a hilly section to the 

Tour 7 345 

junction with State 79 (see Tour 14), which is reached at 282.6 w.; 

the two routes are united between this point and Hot Springs. 
At 289.3 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road is the HOT SPRINGS AIRPORT, 1.2 m. The 
hangar is an attractive building of native stone. It also has an 
excellent landing field, but the airport has been put to no com 
mercial use as yet. 

At 291 m. US 1 8 crosses the Cheyenne Rjiver and enters the 
Gheyenne breaks. From here to Hot Springs the road is oiled, a 
black ribbon of wide, well-guarded curves, rolling and weaving 
through the irregular country. 

At 292 m. the highway skirts a ridge and drops down a steep hill. 
Gushing from a steep hillside (R) are artificial falls caused by 
discharge of water from the flume of the water and light plant at 
Hot Springs. At this point US 18 enters FALL RIVER CAN 
YON, its breadth divided by the green Fall River. With forested 
slopes casting queer, dull shadows on the bare, sandstone cliffs 
below, and the thin blue ribbon of highway threading beyond, the 
Fall River valley drive is one of the most picturesque along the 
entire course of US 18 across the State. 

At 292.3 m. (R) is FALL RIVER FALLS, a series of small 
cascades surging down over sandstone ledges; and (L) at 292.6m. 
is the EVANS QUARRY, from which sandstone is taken and 
shipped for building and other purposes. 

At 294.1 m. is the Eagle's Nest Curve, and high up on a ledge 
overlooking the road is an EAGLE'S N'BST, discernible from the 

At 296.7 w. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road; paralleling it (L) are seven peaks of sand 
stone, so similar in appearance as to height and slope from the 
N. that they were long ago named the SEVEN SISTERS by 
some of the earlier settlers. 

Near the top of the Seven Sisters Range, are the SUNKEN 
WELLS holes in the ground, ranging from 15 to 40 ft. deep. 
The wells are caused by underground water eroding the lime 
stone layers, leaving an unsupported roof which in time drops. 
It is said that animals have occasionally been found at the bot 
toms of these wells, the ground supposedly having given away 
beneath their weight. 

At 13 m. (R) CASCADE FALLS originates in a few large springs 
of warm water and tumbles over a 15-ft. cliff. 

At 297.5 m - is tne junction with US 8sA (see Tour 14) in Hot 

346 A South Dakota Guide 

Section c. Hot Springs Wyoming Line, 40.1 m. USi8. 

HOT 'SPRINGS, om. (3,443 alt., 3,263 pop.), in the foothills 
of the southern Hills, 'has a mild, bracing climate. On the S. is the 
Saw-Tooth range, on the E., Battle Mountain, and on the W. and 
N., the southern end of the main Black Hills range, locally known 
as Evans Heights and College Hill, at the base of which flows 
warm Fall River. In the business section all stores are on one 
side of the main street and on the other side is the river. 

Although the Indians had been making health pilgrimages to 
the springs for many years, it was not until 1879 tnat tne ^ rst P er " 
manent white settler arrived. By 1881 a few more people had 
moved into the canyon and it was then proposed to divide the 
town, first named Minnekahta; into two parts, because of the 
narrowness of the canyon. Today, although each section has its 
residential and business blocks and they are called "upper town" 
and "lower town," Hot Springs is one unit. In 1891 the courthouse 
was built fixing the seat of Fall River Co. at Hot Springs. 

The growth and development of Hot Springs has never been of 
the boom variety. The first settlers were interested in agriculture 
and cattle raising, but through the promotion of the Dakota Hot 
Springs Co., composed largely oi professional men from other 
towns in the Hills, Hot Springs has developed! into a health resort 
and tourist town. Badger Clark, in his book, When Hot Springs 
Was a Pup, relates that Dr. R. D. Jennings built a shed over a 
natural bathtub, and the spring, and in this place the first white 
patient took his treatments. This is the INDIAN BATHTUB, now in 
the Hot Springs Hotel bathhouse. The tub was supposedly used 
first by an old squaw, who was cured of rheumatism. It is the 
result of erosion and excavation of the solid rock over one spring. 

Fall River, the warm stream famous for the water that never 
varies in temperature from season to season, is formed by the 
union of the spring-fed Hot and Cold Brooks on the northern 
border of Hot Springs and flows S. through the length of the 

The largest spring in the Black Hills is MAMMOTH SPRING, 2 
blocks N. of the Evans Plunge on Court St. Some years ago the 
city purchased this spring and' later deeded certain water rights to 
the National Home for Disabled Veterans. The rest was put at the 
disposal of the Water, Light & Power Co. At its source this spring 
has a temperature between 95 and 100 degrees F. The EVANS 
PLUNGE SPRING, just outside the Evans Plunge building, furnishes 

Tour 7 347 

the major part of the water for the plunge. Through the Evans 
Plunge pours 5000 gallons of crystal clear mineral water every 
hour at a temperature of 90 degrees. The plunge 'is open to the 
public summer and winter, and is su'bject to none of the disad 
vantages of open air pools. 

The HYGEA SPRING, in the center of town, has long been visited 
by people who drink its sulphurous water for the alleviation of 
various disorders. The BRAUN SPRING, on Court St., was the in 
centive for the building of the Braun Hotel and bathhouse. Over 
the MINNEKAHTA SPRING has been built the Hot Springs Hotel, 
which not only provides bath treatments, but also recreation in the 
HOT SPRINGS PLUNGE, which, though smaller than that of the 
Evans, has 'both indloor and outdoor swimming. 

The STATE SOLDIERS' HOME was established in 1889, and ten 
Civil War veterans were the first patients. Several additions have 
been made to the original building. The present (1937) population 
is 112 men and 95 women. Veterans of four wars Civil, Indian, 
Spanish-American, and World are now admitted, and the wives 
and widows of these men are taken, if they have only a limited 
amount of property and are 60 years old or more. 

High on the slope of Battle Mountain is the BATTLE MOUNTAIN 
SANITARIUM (Veterans Administration Facility), home of disabled 
war veterans. The main buildings of Spanish-style architecture, 
constructed of native pink sandstone, form a wheel-like design, 
each building opening upon the beautifully kept acreage of the 
reservation. There are usually between 500 and 600 residents. 

Others besides war veterans come to Hot Springs seeking health. 
For these two general hospitals are maintained, OUR LADY OF 

The quarrying of stone is one of the town's major industries. 
Begun before the year 1900, 5 m. SE of town, the quarry has been 
operated for many years for the purpose of obtaining pink sand 
stone, which is used in local and State-wide construction work. 
Other quarries in the vicinity have produced large quantities of buff 
Dakota sand'stone and red Dakota sandstone, both used in many of 
the buildings in Hot Springs. 

At 5*. (R) is the JOHN ROBERTSON MEMORIAL, con 
sisting of a suitably marked Black Hills boulder. It was dedicated 
July 18, 1935, by the South Dakota State Horticultural Association, 
in recognition of the work done by John Robertson since 1896 until 
his death in 1937, in the improvement of the hardier fruits. It has 

348 A South Dakota Guide 

been proposed to set aside a 3-acre plot near the boulder as a park, 
for the purpose of planting native trees, flowers, and shrubs. 

MINNEKAHTA (Ind., hot mater), 6.8 w., is a small railroad 
junction of the C. B. & Q. 

At n.8w. (L) is PARKER PEAK (4,848 alt.), one of the 
oldest landmarks in the history of the Black Hills; when ap 
proached from the E., it looks small and unpretentious in com 
parison with other peaks in the Saw-Tooth range surrounding it. 
But from a greater distance, Parker Peak appears high above all 
others. This appearance is perhaps caused by the fact that the 
blunt-topped summit is shaped much like a loaf of bread and the 
surrounding peaks, which are much lower, are jagged. 

At 14.8 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Left on this road to the FOSSIL CYCAD NATIONAL MONU 
MENT, 1 m., an area containing large deposits . of the fossil re 
mains of fern-like plants of the Mesozoic period. It is said to be 
the best fossil cycad bed so far discovered, the specimens hav 
ing been perfectly preserved. In 1937 this region consisted of 
a plowed field, the cycads having been removed to Yale Uni 
versity. If any cycads remain, they lie buried beneath the sur 
face in the cretaceous beds known locally as the Dakota forma 
tion, a grayish-white sandstone, 30 ft. in thickness. 
The fossil cycad is a member of the dacotensis family and the 
genus Cucadoidea. It has been proven that this species bore 
flowers millions of years ago when large egg-laying monsters 
such as the dinosaurs roamed the earth. The height to which the 
trunks of these plants grew depended upon the species and upon 
climatic conditions. The more intemperate and adverse the con 
ditions were for this plant, the shorter the trunk. The fruit 
resembled a pineapple in appearance and became fossilized easily. 
Some specimens have been found in the Minnekahta fossil bed 
and have been removed to museums. 

The beds were first discovered in 1892 when F. H. Cole of Hot 
Springs saw a resemblance between these fossils and certain 
plants growing in the tropics. He immediately sent photographs 
to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. Prof. Henry New 
ton, geologist, was put in charge of the investigation and found 
them to be the "fossil cycadean trunks." The area was set aside 
by Presidential proclamation in 1922. 

At 17.7 m. is FLINT HILL (L), on which is an old Indian 
flint quarry. 

At 25.8 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road, which follows the course of Pleasant Valley 
Creek through Red Canyon, are the mysterious PAINTED 

Tour 7 349 

ROCKS, 7.1m. The small parking space (L), from which the 
rocks are reached, is not marked, but a clump of cottonwood 
trees, a washout, high cutbank (R), and the 200-ft. cliff (L) are 
landmarks. Across the creek bed a steep path (L) leads up the 
face of the cliff to a pole with several crossboards. On the smooth 
face of the rock, at a height of 7 or 8 ft., are the faint outlines 
of crudely drawn figures cut into the rock. Deer, goats, beetles, 
crosses, and other figures can be distinguished. The animals have 
oval-shaped bodies and crude heads, with straight lines repre 
senting legs, tails, horns, and antlers. Some of the characters 
are simply a string of 00000, while others look like the family 
wash hanging on the line. Especially interesting are the crosses, 
used both as a symbol and an instrument of torture in ancient 
Mexico and far back into antiquity. The pictures are probably of 
Indian origin. 

At 27 m. US 18 crosses the Cheyenne River again. 

EDGEMONT, 28.4 m. (3,449 alt., 946 pop.), was given the 
name because of its proximity to the Black Hills. The town origin 
ated with the building of the railroad, and has been developed by 
railroad men and their families. It is the trading center for the 
surrounding area. 

Edgemont boasts an excellent BAND HALL, a half-dome in shape, 
with a white interior, so that colored lights can be used as a back 
ground for the musicians. The walls are constructed of native 
stone from a quarry situated a few miles north of Edgemont. 

are given in water that comes directly from a well in town. The 
water that gushes from this well ranges in temperature from 116 
to 1 20 degrees at all times. The sanitarium is a well-equipped 
building, with dining facilities and rooms for many patients. 

Near Edgemont are large quantities of fossils and petrified 

At 28.9 m. US 18 passes the FALL RIVER FAIR GROUNDS 
(L). In the early fall every year, the Fall River Co. Fair is held 
at Edgemont, with a good racing program and exhibits from all 
parts of the county. The fair has been held annually for the last 
24 years. Indians from the Pine Ridge Reservation lend a gay 
and colorful touch. 

At 30.6 m. Parker Peak again stands out (L) in bold relief 
against the sky, high above the surrounding Edgemont Valley. 

At 40.1 m. US 18 crosses the Wyoming Line, 50 m. E. of 
Lusk, Wyo. 

350 A South Dakota Guide 


Junction US 77 (Elk Point) Vermillion Wagner Junction US 
18 (Lake Andes). State 50. 

Junction with US 77 to Junction with US 18, 109.6m. 
The C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. parallels this route throughout. 
Roadbed intermittently graveled or bituminous top. 
Hotel and cabin accommodations in larger towns. 

State 50, branching W. from US 77 10 miles north of Elk 
Point, passes through the oldest and one of the richest agricultural 
sections of South Dakota. With the Sioux, Vermillion, and James 
River valleys, the southeastern section has become an intensive 
livestock-feeding area, producing tall corn and forage crops for 
fattening cattle and hogs. It is a virtual continuation of Iowa 
farmland, with large modern houses, groves of trees, and big red 
barns. Farther west a gradual transition takes place ; the farmers 
base their hopes on large wheat tracts, which one year may yield 
thousands of dollars and the next give them no return for their, 
seed and labor. The farms and towns here are newer and less 
numerous; the valleys give way to rugged, rolling hills. The: 
Yankton Indian Reservation is along the Missouri River toward 
the western end of this route. 

Between the junction with US 77 and Vermillion, State 50 
passes through a flat country, wihere farmers haul their produce 
and livestock to markets in large trucks two and three times a 

VERMILLION, gm. (1,131 alt, 2,906 pop.), the seat of the 
University of South Dakota, is situated on the bluffs above the; 
peaceful Vermillion River, and also overlooks the turbulent Mis 
souri. The town was so named because of the red clay obtained 
from the banks of the river. 

In 1835 a trading post called Fort Vermillion was built by the 
American Fur Co. on the banks of the Missouri River, and in 1843 
Audubon, the famous naturalist, visited the post and the trail now 
known as tihe Ravine Road in the present city. A colony of Mor 
mons, enroute to the Rocky Mountains, spent the winter at the! 
fort in 1845-46, but the site of the fort has been washed away 
by the bank-eroding Missouri. 

When the Homestead Act went into effect Jan. i, 1863, settlers 
moved in to stake claims along the valley. A settlement was started 

Tour 8 351 

on the flat where the Vermillion and Missouri Rivers join, and the 
new town boomed. But in 1881 a flood roared down through the 
lowlands, sweeping away 150 buildings in the young city and 
leaving the rest in ruins. There was not a single life lost, however, 
as residents climbed to the high bluff and watched their belongings 
and five bridges float down the swirling river. The result of the 
flood was twofold: a new city was built high on the bluffs, and 
the Missouri cut a new channel four miles South, creating a large 

The UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH DAKOTA, adjacent to State 50 on Da 
kota St., is an important factor in the development and growth of 
the State (see EDUCATION). Through the research work of its 
laboratories and the expert services of its staff, the University 
contributes widely to the development of wealth and culture in 
the State. 

In 1862 the first Territorial Legislature established the Univer 
sity, but failed to provide any funds. Succeeding legislatures re 
fused to make an appropriation, and 20 years later the citizens 
of Vermillion decided to take energetic action. The site was selected 
and the first 10 acres donated by Judge Jefferson Kidder. The 
county commissioners called an election to approve a $10,000 
bond issue for the construction of one building. Although the 
building was not yet finished, the fall term opened in 1882 in the 
court house. The faculty consisted of one man, Dr. Ephriam N. 
Epstein, a Russian Jew who had become a Baptist clergyman; the 
student body numbered 39, but increased to 69 before the end of 
the first year. The next year the faculty was doubled, and the 
Territorial Legislature voted its support to the extent of $30,000. 

Since 1882 the University of South Dakota has graduated mor^ 
than 3,200 men and women and has trained thousands of others 
for service to the State. It comprises nine main divisions, more 
than 100 faculty members, and an average annual enrollment of 
i, 600 students. Through its various schools and colleges, it offers 
courses in nearly all of the accepted fields of modern university, 

The original plan for the campus was a semicircle, but the 
founders failed to realize the space needs of future growth. The 
buildings are now arranged on the 6c^acre campus with more re 
gard to convenience than symmetry. There is no uniform type of 
architecture. The LIBRARY and LAW BUILDING, of Colonial type, 

352 A South Dakota Guide 

are built of Bedford limestone. English tendencies are noticeable 
in other buildings. OLD MAIN, EAST HALL, and the OLD ARMORY are 
constructed of Sioux Falls quartzite. All the others are brick. 

The main public event of the year is Dakota Day (homecoming) 
in October. 

AUDUBON PARK, S. Dakota St., borders the Ravine Road from 
the bluff to the flat, and is heavily wooded with natural timber. 
A monument to the first permanent schoolhouse in South Dakota 
(see EDUCATION), together with a miniature reproduction of 
the building, stands at the foot of the hill, across from which is 
a memorial to the first Masonic chapter in the State. 

PRENTISS PARK, E. Main St., has a large municipal swimming 
pool (open daily during summer). 

At the western end of Main St. is a junction with State 19. 

Right on State 19 to SPIRIT MOUND, 3 m., a high hill rising 
from a level plain, and believed sacred by the Indians. Lewis 
and Clark stopped in 1804 to investigate the stories told by the 
Sioux of mysterious little people who inhabited the mound and 
shot arrows at anyone who approached. The explorers found 
neither inhabitants nor any evidence of their activities. There 
was nothing of unusual interest except the mound, which is 
approximately 300 ft. long, 70 ft. wide, and 65 ft. high. 

At 10.4 m. the Vermillion River is crossed. 

At io.6m. is a junction with a graded road leading to a ferry, 
3 m. 

A V-shaped valley between the Vermillion and Missouri Rivers, 
with high bluffs rising from the far sides of each, has productive 
and well-cultivated farms. To the S. the rugged bluffs form part 
of the Nebraska boundary. 

MECKLING, i6.8w. (1,156 alt., 148 pop.), has one of the 
largest consolidated schools in the State. 

GAYVILLE, 22. 7 w. (1,167 alt, 269 pop.), is the center of a 
large Scandinavian farming community. At 23.5 m. is the Gayville 
Cemetery, once featured in Ripley's Believe It Or Not series be 
cause of its name. 

At 30.8 m. is the WNAX radio station transmitter. 

At 31.3 m. the James River is crossed; along the river is WILD- 
WOOD, a pleasure resort. 

Tour 8 


YANKTON, 35.5 m. (1,157 alt., 6,759 PP-)> was tlne capital 
of Dakota Territory before South Dakota and North Dakota were 
divided, and much of the State's early history had Yankton as its 
setting (see HISTORY). 

In March 1858 George D. Fiske, representative of a fur com 
pany, pitched his tent near the Missouri River, 'becoming the city's 
first permanent white settler. Sixteen cedar rafts were floated down 
the river from Fort Pierre, out of which a trading post was built 
near the present Meridian Highway bridge. The Yankton Sioux 
Indians, led by Smutty Bear, gathered at Yankton in 1859 to pro 
test being removed to reservations. A satisfactory argreement was 


reached, with the presentation of some trinkets by the U. S. Agent, 
and settlers moved into the region. The town was surveyed in 
August 1859, and construction of more buildings was begun to 
augment the two log cabins there. On Christmas Day, 1859, the 
first tavern was opened where the Merchants Hotel now stands ; 
in fact, the original structure is part of the present building. 

An unusual character of those days was James Witherspoon, a 
bachelor, locally known as Limber Jim; it is said that he walked 
to Washington, D. C., to procure the patent to his land, now known 
as the Witherspoon Addition. 

Yankton was selected capital of Dakota Territory in 1861, and 
when the first Legislature met, nicknamed "The Pony Congress," 
the upper house convened in the William Tripp residence. The 
house has been removed to the city park, restored to its original 
condition, and is used as a museum. The lower house met in the 
Episcopal chapel. The first copy of the Weekly Dakotan was 
printed June 6, 1861. 


A South Dakota Guide 

An Indian uprising in 1862 resulted in the erection of a stock 
ade, 450 ft. square, at Third and Broadway, and residents of 
Sioux Falls and Yankton gathered there for protection. After the 
excitement subsided, the prosperous city grew steadily. 

The streets of Yankton are unusually wide, some 130 ft., with 
boulevards of flowers and shrubbery. A Negro community lies in 
the northwestern section of Yankton. The people own their homes 
and have two church buildings. Some of the young people are 
athletic stars in the city schools. 

bronze tablet on polished granite at Capital and Fourth Sts. The 
original two-story building was frame. 

MERIDIAN HIGHWAY BRIDGE ($oc for car and driver; loc for 
each passenger), carrying US 81 (see Tour 10), crosses the Mis 
souri River to Nebraska. It was built entirely by private capital 
raised in the vicinity. It is a double-deck, 7-span draw (or lift) 
bridge; the upper deck is used for highway traffic and the lower 
will be utilized for a railroad when a contemplated line is built. 
The 1937 State Legislature authorized the State Highway Com 
mission to arrange for its purchase. 

YANKTON COLLEGE (Congregational) is the oldest institution of 
high learning in the Dakotas, having been founded in 1881 by Dr. 
Joseph Ward. The Conservatory of Music is considered one of the 
best in the Midwest. The college has an attractive campus. 

GARDEN TERRACE THEATRE, on Yankton College campus, is an 
out-of-doors amphitheatre used by the college and city, having a 
seating capacity of 5,000. Each season the Yankton College drama 
tic arts department presents one Shakespearean drama, a pageant, 
and other plays. Commencement exercises are usually held here 
also. The stage has a balcony and a pergola. 

BANTON BAND AMPHITHEATRE, Forresters' Park, Locust and 8th 
Sts., is the scene of weekly summer band concerts. The bandstand) 
is built of stone, entirely surrounded by pools containing goldfish 
and water lilies. 

SUMMIT PARK, W. 5th St., is a tourist resort and has a large 
swimming pool. In spring it is especially pretty with its winding| 
drives bordered by lilac hedges. 

CARNEGIE LIBRARY, Capital and 4th Sts., has several valuable 
collections, among which is the Roane Memorial Collection of| 

Tour 8 355 

1,000 volumes ; a South Dakota Collection of 900 volumes ; and a 

genealogical department consisting of 300 books. 

Right from the center of Yankton on a graveled road to the 
STATE INSANE HOSPITAL, 1 m. This is a $1,500,000 institu 
tion, taking care of about 900 patients. Until 1878 the insane 
persons of Dakota Territory were cared for, by special arrange 
ments, in Nebraska and Minnesota institutions. When Gov. Wil 
liam A. Howard found the institutions in the other States over 
crowded, and insane persons numerous within the State, he used 
his own funds to secure land and provide shelter at Yankton. 
The institution was almost immediately overcrowded. With 57 
women packed in a cottage originally built for a laundry, fire 
broke out and 17 patients perished, the others escaping with only 
their night apparel. 

The hospital owns 1,700 acres of land, 1,400 of which are under 
cultivation. Fine, new buildings have been constructed to make 
it one of the outstanding institutions in the State. 
A collection of pictures, including 273 water colors, 27 oil paint 
ings and 35 etchings, is on exhibition at the hospital. 

At 35.67^. is the junction with US 81 (see Tour 10). 

At 42.5 m. is a junction with a graded road known as Postman's 

Left on this road to the CHALK ROCK CLIFFS, 3 m., bordering 
the Missouri River. This chalk rock has been quarried and used 
for building purposes. When first excavated it is soft enough to 
be cut with a knife, but hardens soon after exposure to air, and 
when weathered makes a satisfactory building material. It may 
also be crushed and burned in a kiln to make a good quality 
of lime. 

TABOR, 50.9 m., (391 pop.), is the center of a rural Bohemian 
settlement. The entire population of the town and of much of the 
surrounding country is of the one nationality, and all business 
transactions are carried on in the Bohemian language. Tabor has 
a Bohemian newspaper and the only all-Bohemian American Le 
gion post in the State. Noted for fun-loving tendencies, they hold 
their "Sokols" several times each year. A Sokol is the performance 
of setting-up exercises similar to those practiced in the army; the 
Bohemians enter into them with great zest, every summer holding 
a contest in a spirit of keen competition. They also have the old 
folk dances, the best known and most difficult of which is the 
Beseda. This requires 20 couples and the participants are always 
dressed in native costumes. 

The town has an all-Bohemian baseball team. Each year the 
inhabitants of the town present several stage shows at Tabor and 
in other Bohemian towns. 

356 A South Dakota Guide 

A Bohemian wedding is a festive occasion. The entire neighbor 
hood is invited; there is plenty to eat and drink, and the air is 
filled with music and laughter. A dance always follows the wedding. 

Housewives here are noted for the quality and quantity of food 
they prepare. Their best known food is kolacher, a small biscuit 
filled with fruit or with poppy seed. Bohemians are heavy meat 
eaters, with pork heading the list. Potato dumplings and sauer 
kraut, with pitchers of beer, are often included in their menus. 

At 60 m. is a log cabin, one of the few remaining in the eastern 
part of South Dakota. 

At 72 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is SPRINGFIELD, 11 m. (1,234 alt., 661 pop.), 
seat of the SOUTHERN STATE NORMAL SCHOOL. This institution 
was established by act of the Territorial Legislature in 1881; 
but it did not come into actual existence until Oct. 11, 1897, 
when it opened with an enrollment of 21 students and a faculty 
of four, under Pres. J. S. Frazee. The school had a four-year 
normal course until 1931 and has had a two-year course since 
then. On a campus of 40 acres are a main building, containing 
the administrative offices and classrooms, a science hall, with 
laboratories and a gymnasium on the upper floor, and a dormi 
tory for girls. A library of 15,000 volumes is in the main build 
ing. The school has a faculty of about 25 and a student body 
of 400. 

TYNDALL, 72.5 m. (1,418 alt., 1,303 pop.), is the seat of Bon 
Homme Co. and the center of a prosperous farming community, 
largely of Bohemian and German origin. There is an excellent 
public swimming pool at the western edge of the town. 

At 77.5 m. is the junction with State 37 (see Tour nA). 

AVON, 82.4 m. (661 pop.), was named by early settlers for 
Avon,, N. Y., the town from which they had migrated. It has a 
fine, shady park and unusually good drinking water. 

At 88.6 m. is a deep gully, lined with oak trees, which virtually 
marks the dividing line between the rich farming region and an 
area of larger grain farms in which weather conditions determine 
the wealth of the people. The country beyond is more rolling, and 
the view far reaching. 

DANTE, 89.1774. (109 pop.), was first called Mayo, in honor 
of E. O. Mayo, owner of the town site, but when it was learned 
that there was a post office in 'the Black Hills by the same name, 
Mayo renamed the town for his favorite author, Dante. The town 

Tour 8 357 

was founded in 1908, when the railroad put in a siding to accom 
modate farmers who shipped large quantities of livestock. For a 
town of its size, it has one of the largest Catholic parishes in the 

WAGNER, 98.1 m. (1,442 alt., 1,350 pop.), is a picturesque 
trading center for the Indians who live on the Yankton Reserva 
tion, and is a live Western town. Indians are seen every day loiter 
ing on the streets, the women dressed in shawls and blankets and 
the men in overalls. An annual Labor Day celebration is held, 
featuring Indian dances. 

A Government INDIAN HOSPITAL, costing $85,000, was opened 
in 1937 to take care of Indians on the Yankton Reservation need 
ing hospitalization. The hospital is a one-story building, with wards 
in the wings, so that all rooms receive sunshine. Indian labor was 
used in constructing the building. 

At Wagner is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road, which goes through Indian country; along this 
route are improved and well-kept Indian homes, as well as 
shacks with "squaw coolers," four posts in a square with a roof 
of branches and leaves. 

At 14 m. is a small graveyard where a group of Sioux members 
of the Peyote cult have been buried. 

Old Indians like to recall an incident that happened along this 
road when it was only a foot trail. An Indian had gone about 
5 m. to Greenwood Agency for supplies. While there he also 
purchased a new hat which he put on immediately, and with 
his sack of groceries thrown over his shoulder he started for 
home. Night was coming on so he walked rapidly. After travel 
ing some distance he noticed an object directly in front of him, 
and finally became alarmed when he noticed it popping up before 
him, no matter where he looked. Speeding up his pace, he 
started across country; but still the bobbing object continued to 
make its appearance. Frightened by the evil-appearing demon, 
he tried vainly to go around it. So he set out at full speed, 
zigzagging and stumbling as he sped through brush and under 
growth. Finally he saw a light glimmering through the dusk and 
breathlessly made a last desperate effort to elude his pursuer 
which, strangely, was behind him whenever he looked back. He 
dashed on, falling exhausted against the door, battered and 
bruised by his swinging sack of supplies. After being taken in 
and revived, he was relieved to discover the demon was no 
longer before him. When he put on his hat, there it was again. 
Then he saw that the demon had been the heavy hat cord 
hanging over the brim of his hat in front. 

358 A South Dakota Guide 

At 18m. is GREENWOOD (200 pop.), which until recently was 
the Yankton Indian Agency. A boss farmer now has charge of 
the Indians there, under the direction of the Agent at Rosebud 
Agency (see Tour 7). Greenwood is on the banks of the Missouri 
River and has several large frame buildings no longer in use. 
Most families of the agency haul their water from the river in 
barrels. An incident of 1889 illustrates the difficulties confronted 
by the United States Government during the territorial period. 
At that time the Government took steps to allot the lands, but 
the measure was resisted by an Indian, Big Tobacco, and his 
band. Troops were called out and bloodshed almost ensued before 
the band consented to the allotment. Bobona, another Indian, op 
posed the act but surrendered after a 15-m. chase by soldiers 
with bayonets. 

A legend Greenwood Indians tell concerns the origin of the sun 
flower. A certain boy early in life developed a deep affection for 
the sun. For hours each day he would sit and gaze at the flaming 
disc on its journey across the heavens. He would sing weird 
songs praising the object of his affections. And because of his 
strange communion with the sun he was named Sun Gazer. In 
time he became blind, and because he ate very sparingly his 
body wasted away. One evening when he did not return from his 
favorite spot on a nearby hill, a party was sent out after sun 
down to find him. They came upon him facing W; though blind, 
he had by force of habit followed the sun on its course as he 
did when he still had his eyesight. When they came close to him 
they found that the last spark of life had left along with the 
last ray of light. They buried him on that very spot. The next 
morning when they returned to the grave, they found that a 
flower had grown from the mound; as they watched it, they 
saw that it, too, followed the course of the sun. 

At 104.1 in. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is the WAGNER OIL WELL, 1.6 m. which has 
been worked on for years with little success but considerable 

RAVINIA, 108.4 wt. ( J 53 PP-) w as named for an Indian girl 
on whose property the town was started in 1909. 

At 109.6 m. is the junction with US 18, 6m. E. of Lake Andes 
(see Tour 7). 

Tour 9 359 


Milbank Brookings Sioux Palls Elk Point (Sioux City, Iowa) 
US 77. 

Milbank to Iowa Line, 215.1 m. 

Except at intervals, US 77 is not paralleled by railroads. 
All-weather roads, gravel and hard-surface alternating. 
Good hotel and tourist accommodations. 

US 77 passes through South Dakota's richest farming region 
a region of ample rainfall, characterized by diversified argiculture. 
Bisecting the heart of the State's dairy section at the start, the road 
first crosses an area where small grains lead other crops, then 
touches a region of moderate livestock production, and finally 
passes through the portion where intensive livestock-feeding dom 
inates. Incidentally, Denel County on this route is the only County 
in the State where oats form the leading crop. 

While the general character of the country is level, numerous 
hills and occasional tree-fringed lakes interrupt the monotony of 
the landscape. The northern half of US 77 touches the section 
known as the Lake Region, and the southern half the Sioux Valley 
region. Much of the soil is of a rich black loam quality, capable 
of producing abundant crops and able to withstand considerable 

The eastern section of the State was the first to be occupied, 
earliest settlers coming from Minnesota. The region is quite typic 
ally eastern, the descendants of the first settlers remaining on the 
farms during succeeding generations. There are pretentious farm 
homes, surrounded by large substantial buildings, in groves of 

MILBANK, o. m. (1,148 alt., 2,549 pop.), (see Tour 2), is at 
the junction with US. 12. 

LA BOLT, 14.3 m. (1,362 alt., 109 pop.), was named for Alfred 
La Bolt, early landowner, who is buried under a large oak tree 
near the town. 

South of La Bolt the level country gradually changes to a series 
of low hills, the beginning of a rougher area which extends for 
many miles. 

At 19.9 m. the Grant Co. line is crossed ; significant because the 
semi-hilly land now becomes definitely hilly, with a multitude of 

360 A South Dakota Guide 

grass tufted knolls forming irregular humps in the contour of the 
country, the region is more sparsely settled than farther N. 
At 25.4 m. is the junction with US 212 (see Tour j). 
At 28.9 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is ALTAMONT, 0.5m. (1,834 alt., 144 pop.) 
so named because of the hilly country surrounding it. Situated 
picturesquely among the hills, the town has one of the highest 
altitudes of any town in this part of the State. 

From Altamont the road winds with numerous abrupt climbs 
around and among the blunt-nosed hills, the land generally be 
coming more broken and creased by many steep-walled gullies. 

CLEAR LAKE, 35.5 m. (1,800 alt., 929 pop.), was named for 
a lake with transparent, sparkling water and a clean sandy bottom, 
a half-mile E. of town. During recent droughts the waters of the 
lake gradually receded until its bed became entirely dry. 

Erected here at a cost of $75,000, the county's new COURTHOUSE, 
built of Bedford limestone is one of the outstanding structures in 
Deuel Co. This handsome 'building is a far cry from the first 
courthouse that figured in a prolonged and bitter county seat war, 
settled finally in 1890. Gary, where the State School for the Blind 
is located, and Clear Lake were the principals in the contest. Clear 
Lake was situated in the approximate center of the county ; but 
Gary was the older town, and in addition, had been presented with 
a new courthouse by the Chicago & North Western R.R. When 
the battle ended, Clear Lake had won, and Gary's new courthouse 
slowly began to fall into a state of desuetude. Today it is used as 
a chicken house at the State School for the Blind. 

Despite the fact that US 77 traverses a rich farming section 
between Clear Lake and Brookings, there is not a single town on 
the highway along the 37-m. stretch. 

At 70.1 m. is the Brookings GOLF COURSE, and a short dist 
ance beyond is the ATHLETIC FIELD of South Dakota State 

BROOKINGS, 71.9 m. (1,636 alt., 4,723 pop.) (see Tour 4}, 
is at the junction with US 14. 

At 79.1 m., a few feet from the road (R), is the MEDARY 
MONUMENT, erected to commemorate the first townsite in Da 
kota Territory in 1857. Nothing is left of this little settlement of 
three-quarters of a century ago, but this rather unostentatious 
pillar of cobblestone on a base of gray stone and concrete. 

Tour 9 361 

At 79.677-1. US 77 begins to spiral slowly down into the valley of 
the Big Sioux River. Here are visible comfortable-looking homes, 
and almost every animal and fowl that falls under the category of 
diversified farming. The grass is rich, and groves of trees add to 
the attractiveness of this picture of rural life. 

At 98.4 m. is the LONE TREE, a tall, well-proportioned cotton- 
wood. This stately tree, of little commercial value, was the cause 
of a controversy several years ago. It was planted by a pioneer in 
1876 and for years remained a well-known landmark in its vicinity. 
When the highway was built, it was discovered that the tree was 
directly in the path of the road. For years traffic was diverted on 
either side of it. But the motor age called for improvement of this 
busy thoroughfare, and a paving contract was let. "The tree must 
go," said the Highway Department. That order caused a flood of 
protest that poured into the highway office and into the offices of 
leading newspapers. Nature lovers from all over the United States 
were aroused. So decided was the popular demand for the preser 
vation of the tree that authorities decided to spare the well-known 

Left from Lone Tree on State 34, a graveled road, is FLAN- 
DREAU, 14m. (1,565 alt., 2,474 pop.), which was first settled 
in 1857 but destroyed the following year when Indians fright 
ened the settlers away. In 1859 a band of Santee Sioux disre 
garded the dictates of the Government and settled "like white 
men" on homesteads in the Big Sioux River valley. In 1874 both 
Episcopal and Presbyterian churches were built, and in 1878 
Flandreau was again settled by white people. Flandreau is the 
seat of Moody Co., and the home of the FLANDREAU INDIAN 
VOCATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL, (open; student guides) . The school is 
situated in an Indian community at the western edge of the city. 
Its campus comprises 481 acres and 54 buildings. Here 420 In 
dian students receive both academic and vocational training. 
Native arts and crafts are given a prominent place in the cur 
riculum weaving, carving, and beadwork; articles made from 
native pipestone are featured. The craft work is for sale. The 
vocational department offers courses in auto mechanics, welding, 
mill work, cabinet making, engineering, book making, library 
work, nursing, sewing and commercial work. In the community 
surrounding the school, 75 per cent of the people use the Da 
kota, or Sioux language. Few traces of Indian habits of life and 
customs of dress remain, however. The Indian women operate a 
garment factory where they manufacture about 15,000 dresses 
annually for the Indian service. 

At 109.5 m. (R) is the ODD FELLOWS HOME, a short dis 
tance from the road. At this institution old and indigent members 
of the lodge are taken care of. 

362 A South Dakota Guide 

DELL RAPIDS, m.Sm. (1,489 alt., 1,636 pop.), first settled 
in 1864 is one of the most picturesque towns in south-eastern 
South Dakota. It was so named because of the dells and rapids of 
the Big Sioux River that flows through the town. 

At the southeastern edge of town are the striking and pictur 
esque DEi^s, formed when the river cut a narrow gorge through 
the quartzite rock underlying the section. The Dells are about 0.8 
m. long with several unusual formations in the distance. A well- 
maintained road makes it possible to drive the entire length of the 
Dells, but to appreciate them fully a walk along the cliff tops is 
necessary. Sunlight, evening shades, and moonlight all produce 
different and striking effects. 

The rock in the Dells juts to the surface through a thin layer 
of earth for many feet from the edge of the chasm. Below is the 
swift-flowing Big Sioux River, which divides into two channels 
above the Dells to join again below. About halfway along the 
Dells is PULPIT ROCK, a small amphitheatre with a smooth floor of 
red stone at the top of the cliffs. This queer natural formation 
actually served as a place of worship in early days before churches 
were built, the congregation occasionally being subjected to a 
drenching because of the lack of a roof. 

The road passes a spot where iron rails guard a deep crevice 
that joins the main gorge. From natural platforms of rock S. and 
N. of this point are impressive views ; toward the S., visible for 
a long distance, is the river valley, its walls red and purple in the 
sunlight. Through the gorge is a view of pastures and small groves 
and a glimpse of the vast prairie country. 

These gorges were formed by torrents which came down the Big 
Sioux Valley when the glaciers melted thousands of years ago. 
Coming from the N., the waters forced themselves over the barrier 
of Sioux Falls quartzite at Dell Rapids. The channel here was 
narrow and the rock more resistant than the drift through which 
the stream cut the wider part of the valley. The steep walls of the 
gorge are due to the method by which the stream cut its valley. 

When a strong current crosses a formation like the Sioux 
quartzite which is broken by many cracks and fissures, a process 
known as "plucking" takes place. Instead of being worked off bit 
by bit, the blocks of rock are lifted out bodily and carried away 
by the force of the water. The strong current of the Big Sioux 
River carried everything before it, including any rock projections 
that may have been formed, and thus left the walls smooth. 

Tour 9 363 

The Dells are city-owned and no admission is charged. 

The Dell Rapids POST oFFics, established in 1871, began opera 
tions in a rude shanty with an old trunk for equipment. The town 
then was called "Dell" and the postmaster, Albion Thome, played 
an aggressive part in its development. The post office was esta 
blished on Dec. n, and on Christmas the first mail arrived from 
Sioux Falls. Celebrating the two events, the entire population, 13 
in number, gathered at Thome's shanty for Christmas dinner. The 
mail carrier, often made the trip on foot, sometimes on horseback, 
and during times of deep snow used a cutter or light sled with 
tall, narrow runners. A grain sack served as a mail bag during 
the first trips. For his first 18 months service as postmaster Thorne 
was paid $18. The salary of the office today is $2,000 per year. 

At 117772. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is BALTIC, 2 m. (1,471 alt., 276 pop.), a town 
in which nearly every resident is of Norwegian descent. In "Little 
Norway," as the community is often called, many customs of 
the mother country are still observed by the residents. The Nor 
wegian Lutheran church is the only place of worship in town. 
The village was first named St. Olaf; later the name Keyes was 
adopted ; and ' this in turn was changed to the present name. 
May 17, the Norwegians' Independence Day, is celebrated each 
year. The town claims to have the oldest grain elevator in the 
State, erected in 1887. Two dams built across the Sioux River 
have created two lakes where fish abound. A Government nursery 
here raises many varieties of shrubs and trees used in the 
shelterbelt. Baltic has a cooperative funeral home and a cooper 
ative telephone company. 

In Baltic, as in many typical Norwegian communities, there is 
a branch of the Hardanger Lag, a national organization com 
posed of Scandinavians throughout the United States who have 
emigrated from the community of Hardanger in Norway. Each 
year they hold a 2-day wedding festival for the purpose of 
perpetuating the customs of rural Norway. The first Hardanger 
wedding in this part of the country took place in Sioux Falls 
in 1911. Since that time these weddings have taken place in 
different parts of the State, including Garretson, Colton, and 

Beginning the ceremony the toastmaster enters with a violin 
player. The latter makes a very striking picture dressed in 
knee breeches and white silk coat, elaborately trimmed in bright 
colors. Tassels and buttons decorate the costume. The violin 
player is followed closely by the bridesmaid, best man, and 
maid of honor. A company of 50 girls follows, dressed in silk 
costumes with red waists, black shirts, and white aprons. The 
girls march in front of the stage and form an entrance for the 

364 A South Dakota Guide 

bride and groom. The bride wears a high silver crown upon her 
head and a black skirt trimmed elaborately with beads and 
beautiful lace. The bodice of her waist is covered with minute 
decorations in contrasting colors. Over the skirt she wears a 
white apron heavily trimmed with several panels of lace. In her 
hand she carries a beautiful corsage of roses. As the bride and 
groom stand upon the stage, a song is usually sung by a 

Following the ceremony a huge banquet is served. The tables 
are decorated with American and Norwegian flags and banners, 
and a huge basket of apples is always present as a centerpiece. 
Apples are used because of the great abundance of especially 
delicious varieties in this region. The menu served usually con 
sists of "krootakoka," flat-bread, "blodpotse" (blood bologna), 
mutton, rutabagas, potatoes, cream mush, "primost," and several 
other kinds of cheese. 

While the guests are seated at the table entertainment is pro 
duced. All first rise and sing the Norwegian national anthem, 
"Yes We Love This Land." The toastmaster then welcomes them 
with an address. An outstanding feature of the entertainment is 
a pantomime by a young girl, dressed in peasant style. She 
walks upon the stage carrying a milk pail on one arm. Grouped 
around her are several men, who sing to her as she stands in a 
listening attitude. 

SIOUX FALLS, 130.8 m. (1,422 alt., 33,644 pop.) (see SIOUX 

State's industrial center and largest city, State Penitentiary, 
Morrell Packing Plant, Manchester Biscuit Company, Pettigrew 
Museum, Terrace Park, Sherman Indian Mounds, Big Sioux 
River, Coliseum. 

At Sioux Falls is the junction with US 16 (see Tour 5). 
At 139.5 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is HARRISBURG, 1m. (1,426 alt., 217 pop.), 
a town that spent many years in deciding on its present name. 
Harrisburg was the first name, but when the site of the post 
office was changed with the advent of the railroad, Salina be 
came the new name. Then came another change and Salina gave 
way to Springdale. Finally in 1890, the present site was decided 
upon and "Harrisburg" returned to stay. 

At 151.8 m. is the junction with US 18 (see Tour 7); US 77 
and US 18 follow the same route for 5 m. (see Tour 7). 

At 156.8 m. is the junction with US 18 (see Tour 7). 

BERESFORD, i66m. (1,505 alt., 1,618 pop.), was named for 
Admiral Lord Charles Beresford of England. The town has a 
shady, well-equipped tourist camp and a lo-acre park. The Beth- 

Tour 9 365 

seda Home, for aged and infirm members of the Lutheran faith, 
and a Children's Home are here. 

It was in the fertile .region in this section of the State that 
early settlers first made their homes. Beresford is in the heart of 
the corn-raising section of South Dakota, approximately 50 per 
cent of the acreage under cultivation being devoted to this crop. 
With so many natural advantages, there is little wonder that pros 
perous farms have grown up in this section. 

Wild fruit is plentiful along the streams. There are several kinds 
of game-birds, including pheasants, prairie-chickens, quail, Hun 
garian partridges, ducks, and geese, while more than 50 varieties 
of little winged songsters make this area their habitat. 

At i88m. is the junction with State 50 (see Tour 8). 

ELK POINT, 198.5 m. (1,126 alt, 1,524 pop.), was given that 
name because of the large number of elk seen near the original 
townsite, and it was in this vicinity that Lewis and Clark s'hot their 
first deer. 

Beginning in 1889, an old settlers' picnic has been held every 
year. Most of these reunions are featured by inspirational pro 
grams, and, until the last few years, a field mass was held in com 
memoration of the ceremonies in 1877 to rid the country of the 
grasshopper scourge. (See JEFFERSON below). 

While the population of Elk Point, like that of other towns in 
this part of the State, has fluctuated little in the last 20 years, the 
town has lost considerable trade because of paved roads over which 
residents in the vicinity can, in less than half an hour, reach Sioux 
City for a shopping tour. 

JEFFERSON, 208 m. (1,114 alt., 493 pop.), claims a promin 
ent place in the early settlement of Union Co. This beautiful and 
level tract, covered with lush grass and many trees, attracted 
pioneer homeseekers as early as 1859. The town was first started 
at the 14-MiLE HOUSE;, 2.5 m. NW., which was a stopping place 
for settlers as they pushed farther into Dakota Territory. An old 
post office building of early days is now used as a residence at the 
former townsite. 

A large BLACK CROSS in the cemetery dates back to 1877 when 
grasshoppers ravaged the State. A few old-timers in the com 
munity still remember this devastating plague that swept the terri 
tory, leaving in its wake stark desolation, blighted hopes, and 

366 A South Dakota Guide 

starvation. There were few inhabitants, then, but this part of the 
Territory was more thickly settled than other sections. Coming in 
hordes so dense that the sky was darkened and the sun nearly ob 
scured, the grasshoppers devoured the scanty crops, already stunted 
by drought. 

Frenzied with grief, the settlers, after exhausting all human 
efforts to rid themselves of the grasshoppers, decided to ask 
Divine aid. The pastor of the Catholic Church announced at mass 
that a retreat was to take place the next day. Messages were dis 
patched as quickly as possible to all the people of the county and 
community. Protestants and Catholics alike came to the church 
next morning. Many of them were barefoot. 

The priest carried a cross and led the procession that formed 2 
m. S. of town. From here the group marched N. 6m., then pro 
ceeded from E. to W. in the form of a cross. At each of the four 
points they placed a simple cross and, in the cemetery at Jefferson, 
a larger one. The ceremonies connected with the procession were 
solemn, men, women, and children joining in prayer. Not long 
after the event great heaps of dead grasshoppers were found 
along the Sioux and Missouri Rivers. 

Homes, filling stations, and stores are more numerous near 
Sioux City, and at 21 5m. is STEVENS, consisting of a garage 
.and a few scattered houses. 

At 215.1 m. the Iowa line is crossed at the Big Sioux River i m. 
N. of Sioux City, Iowa. 

TOUR 10 

(Fairmount, N. Dak.) Sisseton Watertown Madison Yankton 
(Crofton, Nebr.). US 81. 

North Dakota Line to Nebraska Line, 249 m. 

All-weather roadbed, intermittently gravel and hard surfaced. 

Suitable hotel and tourist accommodations at above towns. 

US 81, known as the Meridian Highway, crosses eastern South 
Dakota through a country long popular with the hunting Sioux 
Indian tribes because of its lakes, creeks, and grassy hills ; but now, 
less than a century later, it is mostly an area of intensive farming. 
Indians still reside in the northern region, which is part of the 
Sisseton Indian Reservation (see INDIANS and Tour i), and 
along US 81 are occasional Indian farm homes, squat, frame build- 

Tour 10 367 

ings, and barns, with a few horses nearby. This hilly country, 
known as the Coteau des Prairies, was once the habitat of buffalo 
herds, and the Sioux lived many happy years in the ravines and 
along the lakes. Few towns have sprung up and most of the 
country has been untouched by the plow. Farther S. the country 
is a rolling prairie with occasional shallow lakes, and frequent 
groves of trees. These were planted by homesteaders around what 
are now modern farm homes, built up, despite years of cold, 
snow-bound winters, hot, dry summers, drought, and depression. 
When railroads were built, towns sprang up along the sidings; in 
recent years new highways have been built to shorten routes and 
these towns no longer are on the main routes of travel. US 81 
passes through few towns, but is bordered by filling stations that 
have sprung up to take care of increasing traffic. 

Nine m. S. of Fairmount, N. Dak., in the Red River Valley 
(see N. Dak Tour /), US 81 crosses the North Dakota Line, and 
enters the SISSETON INDIAN RESERVATION (agency at 
Sisseton). The reservation has been opened to white settlement 
since 1892 (see INDIANS and Tour i). (Visitors are cautioned 
against giving or selling liquor to Indians; this is a Federal of 

At I m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on the road is WHITE ROCK, 1.8m. (253 pop.), a village 
in the extreme northeast corner of the State, bordering North 
Dakota and Minnesota. The Red River, also called the Bois De 
Sioux, flows through the edge of the village, on its way from 
Lake Traverse northward to Hudson Bay. 

US 81 parallels a neck of LAKE TRAVERSE at 2.2 m., the 
northern end of this narrow lake, which is over 30 m. long. 

MENT DAM which controls the flow of water from Lake Tra 
verse into the Red River. 

RO>SHOLT, 10 m. (369 pop.), was not founded until 1913 when 
the rich farming area needed a trade and market center. Julius 
Rosholt was constructing a short-line railroad with which to trans 
port farm commodities to Fairmount, when the Soo Line pur 
chased his enterprise, and the town was named for him. The train 
which serves the town is known as a mixed train, carrying freight 
cars and a passenger coach. Blacksmith shops are fast becoming 
extinct elsewhere, but Rosholt still has two. 

368 A South Dakota Guide 

At 14.3 m. is a marsh-banked lake called COTTONWOOD 
LAKE, one of several in the State by that name. The popularity 
and prevalence of the fast-growing cottonwood trees account for 
the repetition. 

NEW EFFINGTON, 25 w. (1,305 alt., 335 pop.), was founded 
in 1913. The surrounding community is made up of Scandinavians, 
Germans, and a few Indians. 

Between New Effington and Sisseton is an intensive farming 

SISSETON, 39m. (1,202 alt, 1,840 pop.), (see Tour i), is at 
the junction with State 10. 

At 45 m. is the break from the level Red River Valley to the 
Coteau des Prairies (see Tours I and 2). The road climbs 500 ft. 
in 4m., past wooded gulches and steep clay banks. At the crest of 
the "hills of the prairies," 49 m., the road follows the ridge, known 
as the HOGBACK because the rounded ridge is not unlike the 
back of a large hog. From the highway there is a view over the 
plains region on each side of the Hogback. To the E. is Lake 
Traverse in the distance. 

At 51 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this unnumbered road to the RENVILLE MONUMENT, 
4 m., which was erected in memory of Gabriel Renville, treaty 
chief of the Sisseton tribe from 1862 to 1892, during which time 
the whites and Indians were often at odds. Renville, a half-breed, 
was one of the noted personalities of early Territorial days. The 
first Renville came from France to the Great Lakes in 1775, 
later marrying the daughter of Captain Crawford, who served 
the British at Prairie du Chien. An uncle, Joseph, who married 
an Indian, was guide and interpreter for the Zebulon Pike ex 
pedition and fought in the War of 1812 with the British. Gabriel 
Renville joined General Sibley's troops during the Minnesota 
Massacre, and because of his bravery and loyalty he was made 
chief of scouts in 1864. With other Indians, Renville began an 
attempt to secure a permanent closed reservation for his tribe. 
He traveled to Washington several times to plead with officials, 
but in the year of his death, 1892, the Sisseton Reservation was 
opened for settlement. He had three wives and 20 children, so 
that many Renvilles are found living today in the Lake Region. 

At 5.2 m. is the abandoned SISSETON AGENCY, a few white 
frame buildings, that once served as the headquarters for the 
reservation; the agency was moved to Sisseton. Along the road 
are chokecherry and wild plum thickets. 

Tour 10 369 

PEEVER, 8.1m. (262 pop.), is a small village of whites, half- 
breeds, and Indians. 

Left from Peever on a graveled road to the THUNDER BIRD 
ROCK, 12.3 m., the scene of a Sioux legend. When the lightning 
flashes and thunder rolls, the Sioux say that the mysterious 
power is revealing itself to them. Just before rain falls, two 
white birds are said to fly across the darkened sky. These are 
the signs of a mysterious power. On this high rock the Thunder 
Bird left his track a clear, deep imprint of a bird's foot. 

At 56m. is a spring of cool, clear water beside the road. 

At 56.2 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this winding road, which was built by Indians as a part 
of the Federal Emergency Relief program, to the ASCENSION 
CHURCH, 2.3 m., first Indian church on the Sisseton Reservation. 
It was built of logs in 1862 in BIG COULEE, and a frame struc 
ture has since replaced it. Services are held here Sundays. 

At 59.3 w. is HURRICANE LAKE. According to an Indian 
legend, a hunter was riding his pony along the lake shore when 
he saw a lone buffalo feeding on the thick grass on the lowland. 
The hunter took good aim with his bow and arrow, wounding the 
buffalo above the front leg. In pain, the buffalo turned and pur 
sued the hunter's horse, which became excited by the sudden 
charge, stumbled and broke his leg. The hunter jumped from the 
back of the horse to the buffalo and rode him, holding on by the 
tail. The buffalo ran in circles until he became exhausted and bled 
to death from the wound. 

At 67 m. is the junction with US 12 (see Tour 2) ; from this 
point US 81 and US 12 are one route for 2m. 

At 69m. is the junction with US 12 (see Tour 2). 

Between the junction with US 12 and Watertown, US 81 passes 
through a level farming country, which was developed in the i88o's 
by farmers from other midwestern States who followed the farm 
ing frontier. 

At 81 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this unnumbered road is PUNISHED WOMAN'S LAKE, 
6 m. At this point is the junction with a graveled road. Right 
on this road is SOUTH SHORE, 6.2 m., a country hamlet. At 
8.3 m. is the PUNISHED WOMAN EFFIGY. The two huge rocks 
are supposed to represent the legendary figures of Wewake, a 
Sioux maiden, and Wapskasimucwah, a young brave. The girl 
had spurned the favors of Chemoki, a 60-year old chieftain, for 
the young lover. The chief, enraged by her resistance, killed 
Wapskasimucwah and bound the woman to a tree on the north 

370 A South Dakota Guide 

shore of the lake, now known as the Punished Woman's Lake. 
The bodies were placed on a nearby knoll and the chief, while 
making an angry speech exhorting his people to fear the example 
of his erstwhile love and her slain lover, was struck by a bolt 
of lightning out of a clear sky. The effigy of Chemoki in re 
pentance was placed at the feet of the two lovers. 

WATERTOWN, 94 m. (1,750 alt., 10,246 pop.) (see WATER- 

Lake Kampeska, Fish Hatchery. 

Watertown is at the junction with US 212 (see Tour 3). 

At 96.9m.. is CHAPMAN HILL, the only hill in the region, 
which was used to test automobiles years ago. A car that could 
make this slight hill on high was considered good, and many a 
sale was made on its summit. 

At 102.5 m. (L) is a large lake bed. This region has scores of 
lakes sometimes brimming full, and then completely dry a year 
or two later. This phenomenon is the result of the pressure and 
weight of glaciers that caused depressions and deposited waste 
around the edges, as they melted. There are no springs, creeks, or 
rivers flowing into the lakes to maintain a water level against 
evaporation, local rains being the only water supply. 

At 103.47??. is CLEAR LAKE (R), one of three lakes by that 
name in the NE. corner of the State. 

At mm. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is HAYTI, 3.8m. (332 pop.), a village that 
was named in 1880 when twisted hay, known as "haytie." was 
used as a fuel during the winter. At 4.1 m. is MARSH LAKE, a 
popular hunting region. 

At n6m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

1. Right on this road is LAKE NORDEN, 1 m., a good duck and 
pheasant hunting region. 

2. Left on this road is LAKE POINSETT, 1.4 m., a public resort. 

US 81 skirts the shore of Lake Poinsett at 117.9;;*., a take with 
good perch and bullhead fishing. 

At 119.1 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is ARLINGTON BEACH, a resort on Lake 

At 119.3 m. LAKE ALBERT is visible (R). 
At 123.87^. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road to TETONKAHA LAKE, 4.1 m., a large shal 
low lake which normally coders 8 sq. m. A band of Sioux Indians, 

Tour 10 371 

on a hunting trip, lingered here late one fall because the buffalo 
were numerous. A sudden blizzard set in while they were camp 
ing on the shores of this lake, holding them there for the wint 
er. Dry wood was scarce; so they all put their tents together, 
making one in which they all lived. The buffalo hides used for 
the tent were taken away in the spring but the poles remained, 
and Indians who came there later called the place Tetonkaha 
Bde (the standing of the big lodging house). 

ARLINGTON, 133771. (1,846 alt., 1,060 pop.) (see Tour 4), is 
at a junction with US 14. 

At 148774. is a junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is LAKE BADUS, 1 m., and around the small 
lake are families of the LEGIA GREISCHA COLONY. In 1875, 30 
families came from Switzerland to America because they wanted 
more land and better opportunities for their children. They 
settled first near Stillwater, Minn., and then sent out representa 
tives to locate suitable land for a colony. A lake, about one sq. 
m. in size, was found and promptly named Lake Badus for a 
mountain lake in their home country. In 1879 the group moved 
to Lake Badus and each man over 21 years old filed two claims 
a homestead and tree claim. In order to provide shore-lines for 
as many homesteads as possible, each homestead was only 80 rods 
wide and a mile long. A cooperative system was followed, and 
a community store was operated. A schoolhouse built by the 
original colonists is still in use. While some of the men built 
houses, others plowed the fields. Joseph Muggli, leader of the 
group, and his descendants have remained on the original home 
stead, and the Tuors, Derungs, and Cajacobs are prominent 
names in the farming region of Lake Badus, although it has 
lost its old-world atmosphere. 

The cooperative principle was discontinued as soon as each of 
the group became self-supporting, and many of the younger men 
have entered private businesses in surrounding towns. The only 
old custom still observed in the community is that at funerals 
the pall-bearers carry the casket from the church to the ceme 
tery instead of conveying it in a hearse. A few years ago each 
family made Swiss cheese expertly; but that too is almost a 
thing of the past. 

MADISON, 157 m. (1,669 alt., 5,024 pop,), founded in 1875, 
attracted early settlers because of its proximity to lakes and the 
abundance of game and fish within easy reach. Its environs re 
minded the pioneers so much of the capital of Wisconsin that they 
gave the embryonic town the same name. Soon it became a trad 
ing post, although at that time it was situated 4^ m. E. of the 
present site. Madison and Herman competed for the county seat, 
but a compromise was effected and both villages moved to a half 
way point, merging and taking the name of Madison. 

372 A South Dakota Guide 

Noted chiefly for its Eastern State Normal School, its proximity 
to two lakes, where summer resorts attract many persons seeking 
recreational facilities, and as the center of a well-developed farm 
ing section, Madison has experienced a slow, steady growth ever 
since its beginning. Never considered a city of great commercial 
possibilities, it has enjoyed a large trade in flour, dairy products, 
and thoroughbred livestock. 

Its pioneers endured the hardships attendant on life on the 
prairie drought, grasshoppers, fuel shortage, severe winters al 
though Madison, like many other eastern South Dakota cities lacks 
the glamorous, romantic history common to cities and towns in 
the western section. It began as an agricultural area, agriculture 
developed it, and agriculture supports it today. 

Before the advent of the white man, this region was a favorite 
camping ground of Indians. It was near the site of the present 
city that Wamdesapa (Black Eagle), renegade Indian chief, lived 
after being ostracized by his people in Minnesota for killing his 
brother, who was much loved by the tribe. 

Established in 1881, EASTERN STATE NORMAL SCHOOL is the oldest 
institution of its kind in South Dakota. The first structure was de 
stroyed by fire in 1885, but the campus now has six buildings. For 
nearly 10 years a four-year course was offered, but in 1931, the 
school became a two-year institution. There is a high school in 
connection with the normal school, which uses it for practice 
teaching; the institution has a I5,ooo-volume library, one of the 
largest in the State. The GYMNASIUM is near the athletic field. The 
GARDEN THEATER, with a seating capacity of 2,000, has an orchestra 
pit and wings on a stage shut in by clever landscaping. At the 
school is an extensive COLLECTION of stuffed birds (open to public). 

Other large buildings and institutions in the city include the POST 
OFFICE, the new county COURTHOUSE, erected at a cost of $128,000, 

NEGIE LIBRARY. Industries include a packing plant and a creamery. 

At the south end of Main St. is the junction with State 19. 

Left on this road to LAKE MADISON, 2 m. In normal years it 
is one of eastern South Dakota's most popular resorts. A dancing 
pavilion, large hotel auditorium, and facilities for all kinds of 
water sports have contributed to its popularity. On the N. side 
are about 125 cottages. On the western side is IDLEWOOD PARK 
near the site of old Madison. WENTWORTH PARK with its small 
group of cottages is on the eastern shore. 

Tour 10 373 

At i6i.5w. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road to LAKE HERMAN, 1 m., another popular re 
sort, with cabins and water sports fishing, swimming, boating 
available during the summer months. Near the N. outlet of the 
lake a clump of trees has been identified as the site of the ran 
soming of two white women, taken captive by Inkpaduta and his 
band of renegades at the Spirit Lake Massacre in 1857. Inkpa 
duta's band raided the white settlement at Spirit Lake, Iowa, 
killed all the men and carried four women into captivity. One 
of the women was killed soon after by Inkpaduta's son. The 
other three were taken by the band to a hide-out in the vicinity. 
Certain Christian Indians were then sent by the whites to nego 
tiate with Inkpaduta's band for the release of the captives. They 
met the outlaw chief under this grove of trees and were success 
ful in their mission. Later a band of Indians, under pressure of 
the Government, attacked Inkpaduta's band and killed his two 
sons. The story of the rescue of a young girl who was among the 
four is told elsewhere (see Tour 11). 

JUNIUS, 163 m. (75 pop.), is a small farming community, the 
few houses appearing to have been set in their present places in 
order that the occupants might have a closer social contact than if 
they remained on their farms. 

WINFRED, 169 m. (1,500 alt., 251 pop.), exemplified the grow 
ing cooperative movement in South Dakota communities; its tele 
phone exchange, the Winfred Telephone Co., is an unusual type of 
the mutual association, the majority of which control elevators, 
creameries, general stores, and lumber yards. 

SALEM, i88m. (1,520 alt., 1,171 pop.), during the years 1880- 
1881, became known as the most important railroad point between 
Sioux Falls and Mitchell. It was a flourishing town in early days, 
although much of its original prosperity has been lost because of 
its location between large cities. Crop failures, acute financial pains 
from the over-inflation period, and depression have reduced Salem 
to the condition of hundreds of other small towns. 

The town has a large, well-equipped school, with the classrooms, 
as someone once remarked, "built around the gymnasium,." The 
gymnasium has helped to develop the interest in athletics that has 
carried Salem basketball teams to an enviable record over a long 
period of years. Playing games for many years in a frame building 
which competitors dubbed a "sheep shed," Salem won the State 
basketball championship in 1914 and came within one point of 
winning it the next year. The team finished third in championship 
tournaments in 1912, 1913, 1923, and 1927. As runner-up in 1925, 

374 A South Dakota Guide 

it was invited to the National Tournament in Chicago, and lost to 
Clarkston, Wash. In 1926 it won the State championship, and lost 
the National Tournament to Fitchburg, Mass., the ultimate national 
winner, 17 to 16, in an overtime period. Besides the public schools, 
Salem has a Catholic boarding grade school and high school. 

STANLEY CORNERS, 201 m. (sometimes called the Four 
Corners), consisting of two filling stations, is at the junction with 
US 1 6 (see Tour 5). 

At 215 m. is the junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is FREEMAN, 1.5m. (1,511 alt., 942 pop.), 
the center of a German-Russian community. Although coming to 
the United States from Russia, they are of German descent. Most 
confusing is the fact that so many families bear the same name. 
It has heen said that around Freeman and Bridgewater the 
"woods are full of Tschetters and Hofers, with several Glanzers 
and Kleinsassers among them." More than 40 families of Tschet 
ters are recorded, so many in fact, that they are distinguished 
from each other by numbers. Freeman is a flourishing town in 
the center of a rich farming section. The farmers in the com 
munity are hard-working, thrifty, and competent, and use the 
best farming methods. An annual grain and poultry show is the 
climax to the season's agricultural efforts. Here are FREEMAN 
JUNIOR COLLEGE and two parochial schools. 

At 223m. is the junction with US 18 (see Tour 7). 

At 2^6 m. the James River is crossed. The valley, as at other 
points along its course, is gently sloping and the roads dip down 
into it with little previous warning. The river meanders lazily 
across the State, unlike the Missouri River and all streams W. of 
it, which are swift, restless, and with roughly-broken valleys. 

YANKTON, 248.7 m. (1,157 alt., 6,579 pop.) (see Tour o 5 ), is 
at the junction with State 50. 

At 249m. US 81 crosses the Nebraska Line over the MERI 
DIAN HIGHWAY BRIDGE (500 for car and driver; loc for 
each additional passenger), 16 m NE. of Crofton, Nebr. (see 
Nebr. Tour 3). 

Tour 11 375 

TOUR 11 

(Ellendale, N. Dak.) Aberdeen Redfield Platte (Butte, Nebr.) 
US 281. 

North Dakota Line Nebraska Line, 238.3 m. 

C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. parallels the route between Aberdeen and 

Graveled roadbed greater part of distance, hard-surfaced at in 

Usual accommodations; most towns small. 

Following the almost level basin of the James River valley south 
to Wolsey, midway on the route, US 281 crosses a level plain with 
little timber. Along this almost straight highway there are few 
hills north of the valley of the Missouri River. 

The James (commonly called "Jim") River has been referred 
to as the "longest unnavigable river in the world" ; its lethargic 
fingers reach into North Dakota for the source of its waters. So 
gentle is the valley of the river that it appears to be merely an ir 
regular crease bisecting a flat surface. There is very little current, 
and in flood times the stream looks more like a long serpentine 
lake than a river, so imperceptible is its flow. The river drains most 
of east-central South Dakota, where large, diversified farms pre 
dominate and yields of small grain are normally high. 

The North Dakota Line is crossed 5 m. S. of Ellendale, N. Dak. 
( see N. Dak. Tour 2) . 

.FREDERICK, 6.8m. (1,371 alt., 458 pop.), was named for the 
son of a railroad official when the branch line and town site were 
established in 1881. Although the town was settled by families 
from Illinois and Wisconsin, the rural population is largely Fin 
nish. At Savo Hall each May Day there are labor celebrations, 
often resulting in serious disorder. Among the business enterprises 
in Frederick is a COOPERATIVE STORE, owned and operated by farm 
ers of the community. 

SIMMONS PARK is a recreational and scenic point having an arch 
built of unusual stones from the Black Hills, Badlands, and other 
parts of the State. Of special interest are two meteorites about 
20 in. in diameter, one at each end of the park. There are also a 
bathing beach, bathhouse, and picnic grounds. It was near Freder 
ick that Waanata, noted Indian chief, lived at one time during his 
career (see Tour i). 

376 A South Dakota Guide 

BARNARD, 14.2 m. (60 pop.), though consisting of only a few 
business houses and residences, has an elaborate consolidated 
school, attended by pupils from a wide neighboring territory. In a 
neat row near the school are several cottages where teachers live 
during the school year. 

At Barnard is the junction with State 10 (see Tour /). 

WESTPORT, 19.7 m. (200 pop.), is one of several towns in 
the Aberdeen territory that have been stifled by proximity to the 
larger city. Despite the variation in the sizes of the towns, all the 
upper James River Valley region is quite similar, there being little 
difference in the soil texture, land contour, and industries. The 
country has known its fat and lean years, the latter coming with 
periodic dry seasons. 

It was during the summer of 1893, after a period of relentless 
drought, that this country was invaded by the "rainmakers,"' a 
small group of shrewd promoters who attempted to exploit the 
misfortunes of the farmers. Ridden by despair as they watched 
their green fields wither and brown under the blistering glare of 
the sun, farmers of the early iSo/D's were ready to welcome any 
scheme, no matter how impractical, that might bring precious 
moisture from cloudless skies. Descending like a welcome Moses 
upon a thirsty land, a Kansas man named Morris promised to 
bring water from the heavens instead of coaxing it from a rock, 
as the Israelitish leader did. He guaranteed to bring water to any 
community within five days, provided suitable remunerations were 
forthcoming from the inhabitants. 

His first engagement was by the farmers on the eastern slope of 
the James River valley, where he guaranteed to produce a half- 
inch of rain over an area of 300 sq. m. within five days, or re 
ceive nothing; if successful, he was to be paid $500. Soon after he 
began operations, dark clouds hovered overhead and the farmers 
were jubilant. But on the second day a brisk wind sprang up, 
sweeping the clouds eastward. That evening Watertown, 50 m. dis 
tant, received a drenching downpour. The rainmaker said this was 
his rain and that the wind had carried it away. Undismayed by his 
first defeat, Morris persisted in his efforts, and on the evening of 
the last day the promised area had received a full half-inch of 
rain, and the rainmaker his $500. 

Flushed with victory, Morris was besieged with offers from 
all over the State. He next moved into Aberdeen but found en- 

Tour 11 377 

trenched there a rival named Capt. Hauser, who had begun opera 
tions in the top story of a business building, erecting on the roof 
a long pipe that emitted a stream of evil-smelling gases day and 
night. With both rainmakers working desperately, Brown Co. 
residents fully expected a cloudburst. But three days wore away 
and no rain fell. Capt. Mauser's time was up, but Morris still had 
two days left. On the last day Morris once more brought rain, 
dampening the Fourth of July picnics. The thirsty soil received 
more than .5 in., and Morris again collected $500. 

There were three general schools of rainmaking. One group 
used the artificial explosion method, such as artillery or dynamite. 
This was supposed to cause condensation and the falling of water. 
Many communities in North and South Dakota tried to bring rain 
through their own efforts, and instead of paying the rainmakers 
$500, bought dynamite and ammunition with which they bombarded 
the upper air. 

Most reputed rainmakers favored the hydrogen method, which 
consisted of the emission of this light gas in large quantities. A 
combination of the two methods was used in the most desperate 
cases. Even a school for rainmakers was started, but history fails 
to reveal that the school had sufficient graduates to form an 
alumni association. 

Later experiments of rainmakers were not so successful and 
they lost the confidence of the public. When drought struck the 
following year, the mayor of Aberdeen set aside a day of prayer 
for rain, and the rainmakers were forgotten. 

At 24.5 m. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is the HAMLIN GARLAND HOMESTEAD 
SITE, 4.6 m., where the author began his writing career as a 
young man, and where he lived, intermittently, from 1881 to 
1884. It was while stacking wheat in a field adjacent to the 
homestead that his ambition for a literary career was born. 
Writing in "A Son of the Middle Border" concerning this inci 
dent, he says, "Every detail of the daily life on the farm now 
assumed literary significance in my mind." Garland's poem, "The 
Color in the Wheat," had the homestead as its setting. "Mrs. 
Ripley's Trip," his first short story, was followed by "Main 
Traveled Roads," his first book, the characters of which were his 
neighbors. After this first book, other works followed, among 
them numerous short stories. "I began writing when there was 
no special market," he said. His favorite short story from his 
own pen is "The Return of a Private," which was based on the 
return of his father to the Wisconsin farm after the Civil War. 

378 A South Dakota Guide 

"Under the Lion's Paw," another short story, was the outgrowth 
of a prairie incident. "Ideas for stories come in various ways," 
he says. Always imbued with a strict sense of right and wrong, 
he has said, "To spread the reign of justice everywhere should 
be the aim of the artist." 

Biographical studies reveal the deep and lasting influence that 
Garland's residence in Brown Co. had upon his subsequent career 
as a man of letters. References to Ordway, Columbia, and Aber 
deen abound in his writings, (see ABERDEEN) 

For his work "A Daughter of the Middle Border," he received 
the Pulitzer prize for the best biography in 1921. His last trip 
to the old homestead was in 1915. In recent years he has been 
dividing his time between New York and Hollywood. The site 
of the homestead is marked by a 12-ton boulder which was 
placed there in July, 1936, at a ceremony sponsored by the South 
Dakota Writers' League and the Ordway Community Club. A 
biography, "Hamlin Garland," has been written by the South 
Dakota Writers' League. 

Southwest of the Hamlin Garland Homestead Site is ORDWAY, 
6.1 m., so small in population that it is not recorded in census 
records. Founded in 1881, Ordway enjoyed a meteoric growth, 
its citizens firm in the belief that Gov. Ordway of Dakota Terri 
tory would influence the choosing of the town as the capital. 
With this stimulus a Chicago syndicate bought land and platted 
it near Ordway in preparation for the boom. The town flourished 
for a time until Bismarck was chosen as the capital. The result 
was a sudden bursting of the bubble and today Ordway is one 
of the State's many "wide places in the road." 

ABERDEEN, 33.2 m. (1,300 alt., 16,725 pop.) (See ABER 

Northern State Teachers' College, Baseball Park, Stockyards, 
Melgaard Park, Wylie Park. 

Aberdeen is at the junction with US 12 (see Tour 2). 
At 44.3 ;;;. is a junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road is WARNER, 1m. (151 pop.), formerly some 
what larger, its decline being due to its proximity to Aberdeen. 
Despite its small size, the town has an unusually large and well- 
equipped school, and has developed amateur sports rather ex 
tensively during recent years. Warner today is called a town of 
retired farmers. 

At 49.9 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

1. Left on this unnumbered road is DUXBURY, 1 m., a grain 
elevator; at 8 m. is RONDELL PARK and the OAK WOOD 
TRADING POST. The park, owned by the John Firey family, pio 
neer residents, is on the James River and consists of a grove of 
large oak trees, one of the few groves of natural oak in the 

Tour 11 379 

State. The willows and oaks along the river are usually covered 
with wild grape vines, and in the fall with grapes. It is a popular 
picnicking place. To the left of the road, across the bridge, is a 
large prairie boulder with a bronze tablet, marking the site of 
a trading post established by Major Joseph R. Brown in 1835. 
The Indian trading post was first occupied by Pierre LeBlanc, 
but he had trouble with an Indian customer and was murdered. 
Francis Rondell, a young Frenchman, took charge of the post 
in 1842 and lived there for nine years, marrying an Indian wo 
man. Rondell named his first son Felix. The latter, in his old 
age, recalled that as a youth he was taken in a buckboard to 
St. Paul to enter a boarding school, but the restricted life there 
did not appeal to him and he actually ran home, about 300 m., 
returning ahead of his father. Francis Rondell established other 
trading posts later (see Tours 1 and 2 B). Left of the marker, 
erected by the Aberdeen chapter of the D.A.R., is the scuffed 
and worn doorsill, the only relic of the trading post. Along the 
river was a prison camp in which Omaha or Pawnee Indians 
were held as hostages by the Sioux. These Indians who had 
come from the Mississippi River, built mud huts, known as dirt 
lodges, and occasionally artifacts are found along the river 
banks. The enemy Indians were held for ransom, sold as slaves, 
and made to work in the gardens by the Sioux, according to 
stories told by old Indians to Francis Rondell. 

Right of the marker, 100 yards, is a buffalo wallow, where 
buffalo scratched themselves against the walls of the hole that 
is about 20 ft. long, 16 ft. wide and 5 ft. deep. 
Some of the turtles in the river had shells 18 to 24 in. in 
diameter. In 1933 the James River dried up, leaving scores of 
mud turtles high, dry, and dead in the river bottom of the park. 

2. Right on this road is MANSFIELD, 1.5 m. (194 pop.), a town 
of retired German farmers each of whom still keeps a cow or 
two and a flock of chickens. 

At 9.4 m. is SCATTERWOOD LAKE, which in wet years is a 
large body of water with bathing beaches, and game fish; in 
recent dry years it has been used as a wheat and hay field. 
There are a few scattered cottonwood trees around the banks, 
with closed resorts and roller-skating rinks that function on 
week ends. 

At 54 m. is a junction with a graded dirt road. 

Left on this road is the James River, 4.4m.; at this point in 
1856 Major Abercrombie built a bridge, which was used on the 
route from Fort Ridgely, Minn., to Fort Pierre. It was never 
again used for military purposes, however. At 4.9 m. is the SITE 
OF FOSTER CITY, no longer existent. A store and several log 
houses once stood by the Foster homestead. In 1879 the C. M. 
St. P. & P. R.R. surveyed a line through the town, but it was 
never built, as it was expected the land would become part of 

380 A South Dakota Guide 

the proposed Drifting Goose Indian Reservation. A bridge has 
been built where the banks were cut down years ago for an 
Indian Ford, 5.1 m., and ARMADALE PARK is entered there. 
The park is in a horseshoe shape, having 120 heavily-timbered 
acres of cottonwood, willow, ash, elm, and boxelder trees. 

The older cottonwoods are 2 and 3 ft. thick. The Upper Yankton- 
nais tribe of Sioux Indians camped on the island as late as 1879, 
caching food there for summer camps. In the center of the is 
land is a PAVILION and RACING TRACK, 5.4m., where Fourth of 
July celebrations are held each year, as are club and lodge 

At 55.9 m. is the junction with State 20. 

Left on this road is MELLETTE, 1 m., a town named for the last 
governor of Dakota Territory, who was also the first governor 
of the State. Years ago the region near here was a resting place 
for wild geese enroute S. along the James River. 

At 65. 8m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is ASHTON, 1m. (1,296 alt., 275 pop.), which 
replaced Old Ashton, first town in Spink Co. and the first county 
seat. It was Old Ashton that figured in the county seat race 
with Redfield (see Tour 3). 

At 2.8 m. is the junction with an unimproved dirt road. Right 
on this road is the ABIGAIL GARDNER RESCUE SITE, 3.8 m., 
at the confluence of the James River and Snake Creek. Here was 
effected the rescue of Abigail Gardner, a 13-year-old girl who 
was held captive by a band of Yankton Sioux Indians following 
the Spirit Lake Massacre of 1857. She and three women were 
captured and taken north by the Indian party. One of the four 
was tortured to death near Flandreau and another murdered by 
Roaring Cloud, son of the ruthless Inkpaduta, who figured in 
the Spirit Lake Massacre. A third was rescued by two Christian 
Indians, while Abigail Gardner's freedom was obtained through 
two missionaries, Riggs and Williamson, and three Christian 
Indians, after she had been subjected to long and severe torture. 

REDFIELD, 76.9 m. (1,295 alt., 2,573 pop.) (see Tour 3), is 
at the junction with US 212. 

TULARE, 87.4 m. (1,317 alt, 257 pop.), accounts for its name 
in two different ways. According to one version, it was named for 
an Indian chief. The other version, more interesting but probably 
less authentic, is that the name was the outgrowth of a series of 
"tall" stories told by two brothers to passengers on trains that 
halted on an uphill grade near the present town. So persistent were 
they in their gross exaggerations, that after a few trips over the 
route it 'became customary for the passengers to refer to the 

Tour 11 381 

brothers as the "two liars." From this, the story says, the two 
words were contracted into "Tulare." 

BONILLA, 98.47*7. (100 pop.), has for many years been a feed 
ing ground for pheasants. A few years ago William Hale Thomp 
son, while mayor of Chicago, came here with a group of sportsmen 
to hunt. 

At 107.4 in. is the junction with US 14 (see Tour 4), the two 
highways following the same route for 4m. 

WOLSEY, 111.4 m. (!>353 alt., 445 pop.) (see Tour 4). 

At 114.4771. is the junction with US 14 (see Tours 4 and nA). 
US 281 continues through generally level country, with much of 
the broken ground showing the effects of erosion by dust storms. 
In this vicinity the Federal Government is carrying on soil con 
servation work, as much as 6 in. of top-soil having been blown 
away by persistent winds during the drought period. With this top 
soil has also gone the nitrogen so essential to crop nourishment. 

This region also lies in the shelterbelt area. In the spring of 
1936 approximately one million trees were planted. Those adapted 
to this particular soil were chosen. 

At 120.4 m. r is a junction with a graveled road. 

Left on this road is VIRGIL, 1 m. (1,341 alt., 131 pop.), a ham 
let on the C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. The village was founded in 1882, 
but was wiped out by a tornado shortly afterward. It was rebuilt 
in 1883 when the railroad arrived. 

At 1 34.4 m. is the junction with State 34. 

1. Left on this road is LANE, 2m. (220 pop.), a town of retired 
farmers. A large consolidated school is here. Once the center of 
a prosperous farming community, the town has been stripped of 
most of its business, with the advent of improved roads to larger 
trading points. 

At 10.2m. is WOONSOCKET (Ind. f City of mists) (1,308 alt., 
1,128 pop.), named for Woonsocket, R. I. The most noteworthy 
feature of the town is picturesque LAKE PRIOR, an artificial 
body of water covering several acres in the center of the town. 
The lake was made many years ago by flooding a natural depres 
sion, and has been several times improved. A Government aid 
project made possible the facing of the shores with multicolored 
rock, improvement of swimming facilities, and restocking with 
fish. An island in the center of the lake is reached by an arched 

Woonsocket at one time boasted the world's most powerful ar 
tesian well, from which a stream of water rocketed 96 ft. into 

382 A South Dakota Guide 

the air. Because the water could not be controlled on account 
of the enormous pressure, and after numerous villagers had 
been drenched when the wind suddenly veered, the well was 
closed. Woonsocket is in one of the best artesian basins in the 
State, and many farms obtain their water supply by such wells. 
The town is noted for its excellent water, both hard and soft, 
depending on the depth to which a well is dug. 
The town missed an opportunity in early days to have an im 
portant cereal factory that of Post when the governing body 
became skeptical of the intentions of a stranger who wanted the 
town to give him land on which to build his factory. Post con 
sidered Woonsocket a good site in "the heart of the grain belt," 
as he said, but because he was refused, he took his proposal to 
Battle Creek, Mich., where he opened business. 
Woonsocket is the center of an area peopled by Scandinavians, 
Irish, and Germans. It has one of the largest Catholic churches 
In the State, and a parochial school. 

2. Right on State 34 is WESSINGTON SPRINGS, 5m. (1,410 
alt., 1,418 pop.), set picturesquely in the recesses of the Wessing- 
ton Hills. The town took its name from the hills and from the 
copious springs that are here. It was founded in 1880 by a 
small group of settlers under the Rev. A. B. Smart, who con 
ceived the idea of starting the town on a "strong, pure basis 
of temperance, education, and Christianity." WESSINGTON 
SPRINGS JUNIOR COLLEGE, belonging to the Free Methodists, was 
founded here in 1887. 

People from several counties gathered at Wessington Springs 
during the summer of 1893 to see a balloon ascension. The bal 
loonist sat on a trapeze below the gas bag. He sought to im 
prove his act by tying a hard slipknot to release the parachute 
instead of using a knife. As the band played the balloonist 
ascended. He first hung by his toes, then by one hand, and 
finally by his toes. When he prepared to come back to earth he 
discovered to his dismay that the knot would not slip. Up and 
up he went until he became a mere speck against the blue. 
Eventually the gases cooled and he landed only a few hundred 
yards from his starting point. 

The WESSINGTON HILLS a long, narrow range extending 
approximately 50 m. were named for a man who was tortured 
to death by the Indians in 1863. These hills in early days were 
a hide-out of bands of horse rustlers and other renegades, the 
timber-lined draws affording excellent concealment for their 
movements, and the summits enabling them to discern approach 
ing parties. Three m. N. of Wessington Springs is TURTLE 
PEAK, a long, high hill rising 500 ft. above the surrounding 
lowlands. It was named for an Indian chief. From this point 
distant towns Woonsocket, Alpena, Huron can be seen on 
clear days. Upon the highest portion of the hill (the whole 
range is a glacial moraine) is a low, broad mound of earth, 50 

Tour 11 383 

ft. in diameter and about 3 ft. high. Upon its southern slope Is 
the gigantic figure of a turtle. The figure is constructed of stone 
4 to 6 in. in diameter. There are many picnic and camping spots 
in the fastnesses of the hills, used by school classes and other 
groups for summer outings. 

US 281 continues S. through a diversified farming section, not 
a single town being passed in 28 m. 

PLANKINTON, 162.4 m. (1,528 alt, 715 pop.) (See Tour 5), 

is at the junction with US 16. 

West of Plankinton US 281 and US 16 are united for 19 m. 
(see Tour 5). 

At 181.3 m. US 281 again turns (L) ; US 16 continues W. (R). 
The nature of the country has been gradually, almost impercep 
tibly, changing. In this section farms are less numerous than far 
ther N. and E., and rainfall is normally lighter. It is between the 
eastern farming section and the western ranching country. 

PLATTE, 205.4 M. (1,139 Pp.)> was first settled in 1882 by 
a colony of Hollanders, and many descendants of the original im 
migrants still live in the vicinity. Situated at the end of a railroad 
line and in the center of a wide trade territory, Platte has many 
business houses, including a large creamery and flour mill. Its 
paved Main St. is a long landscaped boulevard. There are many 
attractive homes here, and a large, well-equipped school provides 
excellent educational facilities. The annual county fair held in 
Platte each fall is one of the outstanding fairs in the State. North 
west of town is LAKE PLATTE, where both swimming and fishing are 

South of Platte the country becomes more hilly as the breaks of 
the Missouri River valley are reached. There are many dips and 
turns as the highway weaves its course down to the river bottom. 
Prom the heights above the river is a scenic view of the winding, 
indomitable Big Muddy, its green, tree-fringed shores standing out 
in sharp contrast with the light-colored sand bars between which 
the stream winds its restless way. 

WHEELER, 221.4 m. (see Tour 7), is the junction with US 18 
(see Tour 7) the two highways following the same course SW. for 
10 m. Just S. of Wheeler the Missouri River is crossed. 

At 231.4171. the two highways separate, US 281 continuing S. ; 
US 18 branches R. (see Tour 7). 

384 A South Dakota Guide 

FAIRFAX, 235.4 w. (393 pop.), vvas settled following the open 
ing of the Rosebud Indian Reservation in 1890. Formerly this 
region was all Indian country but the closed area of the reservation 
has been reduced, now covering only Todd Co. ; within its former 
boundaries, however, are many Indians, living under approximately 
the same regulations as those in the restricted part (see IN 
DIANS). The country S. and B. of Fairfax is quite sandy, and 
soil erosion is prevalent during drought years when the grass has 
been grazed short or the crops are poor. 

In normal years the light, sandy soil grows good crops, especi 
ally of corn and potatoes. 

At 238.3 m. US 281 crosses the Nebraska Line, 10 m. N. of 
Btitte, Nebr. (see Tour 4). 


Junction with US 281 Huron Mitchell Junction with State 50. 
US 14 and State 37. 

Junction with US 281 to Junction with State 50, 114.3 m. 
Paralleled roughly by C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. 

About one-half of route with hard-surfaced roadbed, rest graveled. 
Accommodations at all towns. 

This route runs through the center of the east-central section of 
South Dakota, following roughly the fertile James River valley. 
The country is alternatingly level and slightly rolling, and is 
crossed or touched by four east-west highways. There are few 
curves in the road, which is featured by many miles of well-im 
proved, "plumb line" stretches. 

From the junction with US 281 (see Tour //), 3111. south of 
Wolsey this route is united with US 14 (see Tour 4) to Huron. 

HURON, ii m. (1,288 alt, 11,733 pop.) (see HURON). 
State Fair Grounds, Huron College, Municipal Airport. 

At Huron is the junction with State 37 ; this route leaves US 14 
(see Tour 4) and turns S. (R) on State 37. 

South of Huron the road crosses a level country, glimpses of 
distant hills breaking the otherwise unvarying prairie expanse. 

At 39m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this dirt road to the SAND HILLS, 4 m. These hills, 
topped with trees, are a popular goal of picnickers and hikers 

Tour 11 A 385 

during the spring and fall. There is a story that the hills were 
once a rendezvous for horse thieves, the elevation making them 
a vantage point for rustlers who could see approaching parties 
for considerable distances. Residents of the vicinity tell of 
Horse Thief Cave, supposedly in the fastnesses of these hills, but 
no one has ever been able to find it. 

FORESTBURG, 39.2m. (200 pop.), was so named because of 
the number of trees near the town site. 

The soil along the James River in this vicinity is noted for its 
fertility and its adaptability to the raising of watermelons and 
muskmelons. Every fall roadside stands are built along the high 
way and rarely a mile is passed without seing one. Here the melons 
are dispensed to customers without the necessity of a "middleman." 
Besides local sales, tons are shipped each year to other regions. 

The brush and trees fringing the course of the James River har 
bor many pheasants and rabbits, the latter often becoming so 
numerous that concerted drives are staged and hundreds of the 
little animals are killed in an afternoon. When too numerous, they 
become destructive to small trees and other vegetation. The rabbits 
are usually shipped East, where the pelts are made into coats and 
other garments for women, the original name of rabbit being dis 
carded for a trade name lapin upon the appearance of the coats 
in shop windows. 

At 41.1 m. is a junction with a graded but winding road. 

Right on this road is RUSKIN PARK, 0.8 m., in a large wooded 
horseshoe bend of the James River. With 50 cottages of from 
one to four rooms, with fishing, camping, and other recreational 
facilities, Ruskin Park is a popular spot during summer months. 
Dancing, roller-skating, golf, tennis, baseball, boating, horse- 
racing, and automobile racing constitute the diversified amuse 
ments available to the public. The mile racetrack is known to 
racing drivers from Indianapolis to Denver as being one of the 
fastest dirt tracks in the world. A recent survey showed some 
of the trees in the park to be 150 years old; there is one elm 
with a trunk so large that it cannot be encircled by three men 
joining hands. A large dance pavilion, the sides constructed of 
prism glass doors, 12 ft. high, is at the northern edge of the 
park. The material employed was used in some of the buildings 
at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893. 

At 43.3 m. State 37 turns R. at the junction with State 34. 

Left (straight ahead) on State 34, a graveled road, is ARTE 
SIAN, 6m. (528 pop.), so named because it is in the center of 
a large artesian water basin. Three villages, FEDORA, 13.2 m.; 
ROSWELL, 18.4 m.; and VILAS, 23.5 ra., are passed before 

386 A South Dakota Guide 

HOWARD, 26.6m. (1,564 alt, 1,191 pop.), is reached. Howard 
is the seat of government for Miner Co., and has a municipal 
tourist park and artificial lake. 

At 62.5 m. LAKE MITCHELL is passed, the 'highway describ 
ing an arc and crossing the wall of the dam that impounds this 
large artificially formed body of water (see MITCHELL}. 

MITCHELL, 64.1 m. (1,312 alt., 12,834 pop.), (See MIT 

Corn Palace, Lake Mitchell, Custer Battlefield Highway Building, 
Indian Village, Hackberry Trees. 

Mitchell is at the junction with US 16 (see Tour 5). 

ETHAN, 77.2m. (1,345 alt, 301 pop.), was named for Ethan 
Allen of Revolutionary War fame. The village is typical of others 
whose future has been determined through their proximity to a 

DIMOCK, 8i.2w. (200 pop.), is the center of a community of 
mixed nationalities, many of the residents being of German-Rus 
sian descent. 

At the northern outskirts of Dimock is the junction with a 
graveled road. 

Left on this road is the NEW ELM SPRINGS MENNONITE 
COLONY, 8 m., on the banks of the James River. Following the 
unsuccessful migration to Canada, more than a hundred Men- 
nonites returned to South Dakota late in 1936 and resettled 
here, beginning an attempt to regain their once prosperous 
financial status through their thrifty methods of community 

PARKSTON, 87.3 m. (1,400 alt., 1,272 pop.), the largest town 
in Hutchinson Co., is surrounded by well-improved farms. Many 
farmers of the section are of German and Bohemian ancestry, their 
thrift and industrious habits having created many substantial 
homes. Drought years have taken their toll here as elsewhere, but, 
as residents of neighboring communities say, many of the long 
time farmers in the vicinity have considerable money "in the sock," 
sufficient to tide them over until good times return. 

TRIPP, 99.3 m. (1,563 alt., 901 pop.) (see Tour 7), is at the 
junction with US 18. 

At 1 14.3 m. is a junction with State 50 (see Tour #), 5m. W. 
of Tyndall. 

Tour 12 387 

TOUR 12 

(Linton, N. Dak.) Gettysburg Pierre Winner (Springview, 
Neb.) US 83. 

North Dakota Line to Nebraska Line, 254.8 m. 

This route is not paralleled by any railroads, but crosses several. 
A bus line operates between Pierre and Winner. 

Roadbed graveled. 

Hotel and tourist accommodations at above towns. 

US 83 passes southward over a rolling, almost treeless stretch of 
prairie, much of it virgin, bisecting South Dakota's transitional 
farming-grazing area and the eastern fringe of the cattle region. 
The highway roughly parallels the Missouri River between the 
North Dakota Line and Presho; but the river is actually viewed 
only where it is crossed at Pierre. Although the Missouri River is 
one of the largest in the world, its valley is very narrow from 
two to three miles and is bordered by steep bluffs and breaks. 
The present course of the river marks the western edge of the 
last ice sheet. Consequently the soil E. of the river is composed of 
glacial drift and studded with stones; to the W. is Pierre clay, or 
gumbo. (See GEOLOGY). 

Most of the State's early history took place along the banks of 
the Missouri River, which was the thoroughfare traveled by ex 
plorer, trapper, and missionary. In the middle of the i8th century 
the Arikaras occupied the banks of the river and its tributaries. 
Then the Sioux waged a 75-year fight against them and finally 
drove them northward out of the State. The Verendrye brothers' 
expedition followed the river southward in 1743, leaving the first 
record of white men in the State at Ft. Pierre (see HISTORY 
and Tour 4). The Lewis and Clark expedition went up the Mis 
souri in 1804 and returned in 1806; the Astorians traveled the 
course in 1811. The early history centered around the fur trade, 
and this in turn centered on the banks of the Missouri. The fur 
trade decreased with the growing scarcity of fur, and was finally 
disrupted by the Civil War. 

US 83 was built for one mile on the North Dakota Line, 7m. 
S. of Hull, N. Dak. (see N. Dak. Tour 3). 

At 1.5 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is POLLOCK, 10m.; at 13m. is a ferry 
across the Missouri River, one of the few still in operation along 

388 A South Dakota Guide 

the river. From there a dirt road, good only in dry weather, 
winds through the river breaks, inhabited almost exclusively by 
Indians of the Standing Rock Reservation (see Tour 2), The 
Indians attempt to farm the rugged land, most of them living 
in log cabins, with shade huts, tents, and meat-drying poles 

HERREID, 7m. (594 pop.), was named for the late Gov. 
Charles Herreid when the town was founded in 1901. There are 
German-Russian families in the community and their native tongues 
are used to a large extent in business places, as well as in the 

At gm. is the junction with State 10 (see Tour /). 

MOUND CITY, 12.2 m. (204 pop.), is one of the five inland 
county seats in South Dakota. When the Minneapolis, St. Paul & 
Sault Saint Marie R.R. was built to Herreid in 1901, most of the 
population of Mound City moved there. The first court was held 
in an old machine shop, while the second session was given quar 
ters in a haymow. On the north edge of the town there is a draw 
in which insignia of soldiers and Indian relics have been found 
together, indicating an unrecorded pursuit, probably in 1863 or 

At 28.3 m. is a junction with US 12 (see Tour 2) ; the two 
routes are united for 2 m. 

SELBY, 30.3 m. (1,877 alt., 613 pop.) (see Tour j), is at the 
junction with US 12. 

Between the junction with US 12 and Pierre, the road passes 
through the Missouri River ranges, where undulating, treeless 
prairies are broken by sharp, irregular hills rising from deep 
river bottoms, and where only an occasional farm is seen. For 
miles not a house is visible, and only here and there a fence. At 
the summit of each ridge a panorama of the immediate sections 
suddenly unfolds, and at the top of the next the scene is surpris 
ingly similar. 

LOWRY, 47.2^. (89 pop.), has two tall red elevators and a 
corral for cattle. 

At Lowry is a junction with a graveled road, an unnumbered 
county highway. 

Right on this road and past AKASKA (203 pop.) (unimproved 
road from Akaska), is old LB BEAU, 17m., one of the many 
ghost towns on the South Dakota prairies that owe their de 
serted state to some cruel quirk of fate beyond the control of 

Tour 12 389 

the people who lived there. In the case of Le Beau it was not 
one disaster, it was several fires, disappearance of the open 
range, abandonment of the railroad. Once a nourishing and 
boisterous cattle-shipping point of 500 population, Le Beau, in 
10 years, faded to a mere wraith. For years a ferryboat plied 
across the clay-colored waters of the Missouri River, bringing 
cattle from the western range for shipment East. When the 
river was low, ranchers "swam" the stock across. The town, too, 
was a distributing point for Indian cattle. Every fall when the 
big cattle shipments were made, the town was packed with In 
dians and cowboys. The cowboys were bent on a good time and 
were willing to pay for it. 

Then in 1910 a fire wiped out most of the town and much of it 
was never rebuilt. This was the first of a series of disasters for 
the luckless village, for in 1911 a second fire destroyed most of 
the remaining buildings. By this time the range was disappear 
ing, homesteaders were scarring the prairie with their plows, 
and large cattle outfits were folding up. Many of the buildings 
were torn down and moved elsewhere, although the railroad com 
pany continued sending trains quite regularly over the line until 
1918 to pick up stock. After 1918 the trips became more and 
more infrequent and finally stopped. The rails were torn up, the 
trading post was moved away, and Le Beau was left with a lone 
building a monument to the prosperity the town once enjoyed. 

At 65.4 in. is the junction with US 212 (see Tour j) ; US 212 
and US 83 are united for 10 m. 

GETTYSBURG, 70.5 m, (2,082 alt., 1,414 pop.) (see Tour j). 
At 75.4 m. is the junction with US 212 (see Tour 5). 
At 87.5 m. is a junction with a graveled road. 

Right on this road is AGAR, 0.7 m. (200 pop,), a cattle-shipping 
point with a general store and a few houses. West from Agar, 12 
m., is the junction with a dirt road leading (R) to the SUTTON 
RANCH, 6 m., which has a private herd of about 100 buffalo. 
Starting with three head from the "Scotty" Philip herd several 
years ago, the group has increased by propagation and additional 
purchase to the present number. Among the group are two 
"cattalos" (a cross between buffaloes and native cattle), smooth- 
haired animals with the characteristic buffalo hump above the 
shoulders. The buffalo are allowed to run at will along the 
Missouri River breaks and bottom land, their "rustling" ability 
carrying them through the bitterest winters with only range 
grass to sustain them. These animals have largely forsaken the 
nomadic tendencies of their ancestors and are generally content 
to remain the year around on the home range. Only occasionally 
does one wander away. Such was the case in 1936 when an old 
buffalo appeared in a farmer's yard near Witten in the Rosebud 
country. The children screamed and climbed the windmill; the 


Tour 12 391 

excited parents called the neighbors on the party telephone line 
and soon all were there with automobiles. Using cars, the farm 
ers chased the decrepit old buffalo until he fell exhausted and 

The Sutton Ranch, one of the largest in the State, comprises 
more than 15 sections over which approximately 1,100 cattle 
roam. Every year a rodeo is held at the ranch and a few of the 
more skilled broncho "twisters" ride, or attempt to ride, some 
of the buffaloes. A buffalo team drawing a wagon is another 
feature of the celebration. 

On the ranch was the largest tree in the State a giant cotton- 
wood, measuring nearly 40 ft. in circumference at the base. It 
was blown down during a gale a few years ago. 

ONIDA, 97.8 m. (1,878 alt., 605 pop.), was the center of a 
homestead boom in the early i88o's during which settlers came by 
ox trains into the new, rough country. Houses sprang up almost 
overnight in 1883, an d several former New York State residents 
gave the town its name, a modification of Oneida. Small patches 
of land were broken here and there by those who had horses or 
mules, and the yield of garden and grain crops amounted to a 
bumper harvest the first year. Mail arrived once a week by stage 
from Sioux City, Iowa. 

The Onida residents in 1883 began a movement to secure the 
county seat, competing with Clifton. The citizens of the county 
went to the polls, and the result was Onida 504 votes, Clifton 499. 
However, nine men did not vote in the election but declared them 
selves in favor of Clifton, after which the case was taken to court. 
On April 9, 1885, a group of Onida men appeared in Clifton at 
noon and marched off with the safe and county records, depositing 
them in the Onida Hotel. A few days later the county sheriff, a 
Clifton supporter, and a group came for the records, which were 
given up without resistance. Two weeks later the case was heard 
in district court at Pierre, and the judge ruled in favor of Onida. 
As it was too late in the day, attendants from each town retired 
to the hotel. However, one Onida man slipped out, hired a team 
and drove to Onida, spreading the word along in Paul Revere 
fashion. Early the next morning a large party of Onida people 
hitched up their teams and drove to Clifton, arriving before the 
Clifton men returned from Pierre. In half an hour the safe and 
records were loaded and carried back to Onida, where they have 
since remained. 

Right from Onida, on an unnumbered road, is a NEGRO COL 
ONY, 15 m., which was started in 1880 and still has a few negro 

392 A South Dakota Guide 

families. Negroes who live on these farms, where wintry blasts 
howl over the prairies, tell how Norval Blair "done come na'th" 
back in 1880 after the Negroes had been set free. Blair brought 
with him his six children, all of whom filed claims; at one time 
their combined holdings soared near the $75,000 mark, but 
drought and taxes, coupled with a drop in real estate values, 
brought a crash. Blair is remembered in sporting circles as the 
owner of an excellent string of racing horses, outstanding among 
them being Johnny Bee, recognized as the fastest horse in South 
Dakota from 1907 to 1909. Other Negroes followed the trek to 
Sully Co. until there was a settlement of 400 in this new country, 
far from their native haunts. Among the Negroes induced to 
come to the State was a man named McGruder, who began life 
as a slave on a Mississippi plantation and later owned the same 
farm. Following the World War, many of the Negroes packed 
up and moved, until today there are only about 100 left. A 
cemetery association is the only community enterprise; but they 
still get together for occasional wakes and sings. 

At 111.3 m. is tne junction with US 14 (see Tour 4); US 83 
and US 14 are united between this point and Ft. Pierre (see 
Tour 4). 

PIERRE, 129.9 w. ( J >44 2 alt -< 4> OI 3 pop.) (see PIERRE). 
State Capitol, Memorial Building and Museum, Farm Island, In 
dian School. 

FT. PIERRE, 132.87;?, (1,437 alt., 777 pop.) (see Tour 4), is 
at the junction with US 14. 

South of Ft. Pierre, US 83 crosses Bad River, so named be 
cause of its destructive activities in the spring season. The river 
drains part of the Badlands and large stretches of rolling prairie ; 
but when it reaches the Missouri River during high water, it 
backs up, causing frequent floods. At other seasons, it is a small, 
sluggish stream. 

At the S. end of the bridge is a graded street. 

Left on this graded road is LEWIS AND CLARK PARK, 0.5 w., 
at the confluence of the Missouri and Bad Rivers. At this site 
the Lewis and Clark expedition stopped and visited an Indian 
village in 1804. So anxious were the Indians to have the explor 
ers remain, that blood was nearly shed before they were allowed 
to proceed up the river. On the return trip the party slipped past 
the place without stopping. A recreational park, with outdoor 
fireplaces, has been laid out here by the Works Progress Ad 

At 133.2 m. GUMBO BUTTES rise abruptly along the E. side 
of US 83, exposing a black shale formation almost devoid of 

Tour 12 393 

vegetation. Yucca plants, commonly known as Spanish bayonets, 
cling to the hillsides, and in spring have a wax-like pink and yel 
low blossom. Magpies, although native to more mountainous re 
gions, are often seen along the road. 

At 1 34.4 m. is a junction with a graveled road, known as the 
Bad River Road, a new, unnumbered State highway and a short 
cut to US 14 near Midland (see Tour 4). 

At I59.I7M. is a junction with US 16; US 83 and US 16 are 
one route for 14.9 mi (see Tour 5). 

VIVIAN, 161.5 m. (200 pop.) (see Tour 5). 
PRESHO, 173.4. (1,764 alt., 517 pop.), (see Tour 5). 

US 83 continues S. through a range country with scattered 
houses, crossing the White River at 187.6 m., its tree-lined banks 
breaking the prairie landscape. 

JORDAN, 212.3 m. (6 pop.), is at the junction with US 18 
(see Tour 7) ; US 83 and US 18 are united for 21.4 m. (see 
Tour 7). 

WINNER, 221. i m. (1,860 alt., 2,136 pop.), (see Tour 7). 

COLOME, 233.27/1. (531 pop.), (see Tour 7). 

At 233.777?,. is the junction with US 18 (see Tour 7). 

The high butte W. of the highway, at 249.8774., is TURTLE 
BUTTE. The Keyapaha River is crossed at 254 77*. 

WEWELA, 254.2 m. (49 pop.) is a trading post. 

At 254.8 m. US 83 crosses the Nebraska Line I5m. N. of 
Springview, Nebr. (sec Nebr. Tour 5). 

394 A South Dakota Guide 

TOUR 13 

(Bowman, N. Dak.) Buffalo Belle Fourche Spear fish Dead- 
wood Lead (Newcastle, Wyo.) US 85. 

North Dakota Line Wyoming Line, 164.1 m. 

Not paralleled by any R.R. 

Roadbed is graveled and hard-surfaced alternately. 

Between Buffalo and Belle Fourclie, a distance of 74 m., there are 
no towns and only two filling stations. Motorists should check their 
gas and water carefully before entering upon this stretch. 

Hotel and tourist accommodations available at above-named towns. 

US 85 offers a wide variety of scenery from the North Dakota 
line southward. It passes through the eastern edge of the Cave 
Hills, and crosses numerous picturesquely named creeks, redolent 
of sagebrush and prairie. Between Bowman and the Black Hills 
are Spring Creek, Cold Turkey, Alkali, North Grand River, 
Crooked Creek, Big Nasty, Bull Creek, Jones Creek, Box Elder, 
Sheep Creek, South Grand, Buffalo Creek, Clark's Fork, North 
Moreau, Sand Creek, South Moreau, Four Mile, Twelve Mile, 
Antelope Creek, Indian Creek, Owl Creek. Crow Creek, and the 
Belle Fourche River. The territory between the State Line and 
Macy is primarily a ranching country, well-watered, well-grassed, 
and with sufficient shelter for stock. North of Macy the road runs 
through a sandy-loam region. Between Macy and Belle Fourche 
US 85 crosses the desolate gumbo, 40 miles wide. South of Belle 
Fourche it skirts the edge of the Black Hills, a pleasant region of 
scattered groves and prosperous farms, and continues through the 
wooded Hills to the Wyoming Line. The region between the North 
Dakota Line and Belle Fourche is antelope country, and glimpses 
of these beautiful animals are occasionally caught. 

Section a. North Dakota Line to Junction with US 14, 133 m. 

Eighteen miles S. of Bowman, N. Dak., US 85 crosses the North 
Dakota Line and leaves the broad flats of North Grand River 
behind (see N. Dak. Tour 4). Passing over the divide between 
North Grand River and Crooked Creek, it climbs through the east 
ern edge of the Cave Hills. 

At 6m. there is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road are the CAVE HILLS, 2 m. These take their 
name from a cave in one of them, although the cave is small and 

Tour 13 395 

has no significance. These hills are a part of the Ouster Nation 
al Forest. They are a little lower than the Slim Buttes and the 
Short Pines, having lost their limestone caps. They have rounded 
tops with a sprinkling of pines. There is one particularly beauti 
ful spot, Riley Pass, named for a horse rancher of early days. 
At the top of one of the hills is a popular picnic ground. The 
road through the Cave Hills is not graveled, but is good in dry 

LUDLOW, &m., consists of a store, post office, and school be 
side the road. Around the school yard is a high, metal-mesh fence, 
and the children are forbidden to go outside this fence during 
school hours. This is for protection against the cars that custom 
arily go by in a cloud of dust and gravel. 

South of Ludlow the road runs in a general southwesterly direc 
tion through a hilly, well-watered and well-grassed country. 

BUFFALO, 30.5 m. (2,800 alt., 250 pop.), the seat of Harding 
Co., is the center of a large ranching region, divided about equally 
between cattle and sheep, (see Tour 2 A.) It serves a very large 
trade territory for a town of its size. 

Buffalo, a typical prairie town, is a lineal descendant of home 
stead days. Almost every inhabitant of the town who was of age 
in 1909-10, including the professional men, proved up on a claim. 
But it is not only a prairie town ; it is still a range town. Big hats 
are the rule and other cowboy accoutrements are not uncommon; 
although anyone appearing in full cowboy regalia, as exemplified 
in the movies, would either be laughed out of town or placed under 

In 1909 the town of Buffalo was laid out on the N. bank of 
Grand River, in the geographical center of the county, with the 
idea of its becoming the seat of the newly organized county. But its 
ambition did not go unchallenged. Camp Crook (see Tour 2 A), on 
the western edge of the county, situated on the banks of the Little 
Missouri River, was already an old town and was not at all back 
ward about asserting its prior claim to county seat honors. Parties 
from both towns toured the county to secure votes, and their argu 
ments were reinforced by certain liquid inducements to enable the 
voters to think more clearly. While the battle was at its height, a 
widely known and well-liked ranch hand from the eastern edge of 
the county staged an individual celebration in Camp Crook and was 
locked in the town jail overnight. In the morning he was found 
dead; and the resentment of the eastern half of the county at the 
occurrence was sufficient to swing the victory to the rival town. 

396 A South Dakota Guide 

Buffalo, like other prairie towns, is a blending of the old and 
new. There are still small frame stores, with flamboyant high 
square fronts, and also substantial modern buildings a new hotel, 
a surprisingly large garage and rilling station, and good restaur 
ants. The courthouse is wooden, as are the dwelling houses ; a 
beginning of tree planting has been made, and the town is out 
growing its cruder stage. 

Buffalo still retains the spirit of the pioneer days. Hospitality 
and friendliness are the rule. No one enters the town for the 
second time as a stranger. The fact that it is 50 m. from the nearest 
railroad has perhaps served to preserve the pioneer flavor. 

Buffalo is at the junction with State 8 (see Tour 2 A). 
At 32.5 m. is the junction with State 8 (see Tour 2 A}. 

REDIG, 52.8 m. (5 pop.), consists of a store and post office. 

At 54.8 m. are the Crow Buttes, a group of lofty mud buttes 
where a fierce battle 'between the Sioux and Crow Indians was 
fought before the coming of the white men. This is an opportunity 
to study that curious phenomenon, a mud butte. Formed of gumbo 
and clay, rising abruptly from the plain without a spear of vege 
tation, every rain that washes off its sides is thick with gumbo 
detritus, and it seems strange that it is not thus made level with 
the surrounding plain. It is often possible to pick up fossils around 
its base, since the formation is somewhat similar to that of the 
Badlands (see GEOLOGY). 

At 57.2 m. is the junction with State 79, a graveled road. 

Left on State 79 is MASON, 5.6 m. (3 pop.), a general store and 
post office. 

At 5.9 m. State 79 turns R. and follows the same section line for 
30 m., those lines which checkerboard the country, one mile 
apart, according to the original TJ. S. survey. Within this dis 
tance there is a correction line, a jog to compensate for expand 
ing meridians. The road occasionally swings R. or L. a little to 
keep to the wind-swept ridges; but it always returns to the 
same section line. 

At 18.4m. (R) there is an extremely high hill rising from the 
level plain. On Government maps it is marked HAYSTACK 
BUTTE, but every old-timer knows it as SQUARE TOP. It is 
shaped roughly like a ridge-poled tent. 

At 21.7 m. (L) is a lofty ridge with a rocky crest which gives its 
name of CASTLE ROCK; a splendid view is obtained from its 

Tour 13 397 

In the distance (L), are two conical hills, very appropriately 

named DEER'S EARS. 

CASTLE ROCK, 23.6 m. (4 pop.), is a store and post office. 

At 37.2 m. is a very good view of Newell and the Belle Pourche 

irrigation project. 

NEWELL, 41.6m. (2,820 alt., 580 pop.), is at the junction with 
US 212 (see Tour 3). 

At 63.5 m. (L) is the old abandoned post office of MACY. 
This former post office dates back to the earliest days of the 
country's settlement. Macy was an Englishman who homesteaded 
on the South Moreau River, and was reported to have written 
back to England that he had an estate oi 160 acres entirely planted 
to sage. People used to travel long distances to get their mail at 
Macy. Some of the Macy family still live there. 

Between Buffalo and Macy the country is somewhat flatter than 
that farther N., but is well-grassed and a good sheep region. Macy, 
however, is on the northern edge of a gumbo belt 40 m. wide, 
which deserves special mention and description. 

THE GUMBO, as it is universally called, is a desolate region 
looking like a sea with long rollers that have suddenly become 
petrified. Few people make their homes here the year round. It is 
too bleak, and the soil conditions are too obstinate. Gumbo, geolog 
ically known as Pierre clay, is a black soil of almost unbelievable 
viscosity when wet. In the days of freight wagons, the freighters 
were obliged to remove their brake blocks as soon as the gumbo 
began to "roll." It is characteristic of gumbo to "ball up," and the 
feet of unlucky humans or animals forced to travel in it seem to 
grow continually larger. It is practically impossible to move a 
bunch of stock across it when wet. Gen. Crook and his cavalry, 
coming from the Battle of Slim Buttes, tried to cross the gumbo 
in a ten-day rain. Before they reached the Belle Fourche river half 
of the horses were dead of exhaustion and they had had to kill 
and eat many others. Gen. Crook in his report said that he doubted 
whether in the annals of the American Army there had been a 
journey involving so much hardship and suffering. 

The gumbo, when dry, is creased with innumerable wrinkles, 
like the face of a very old man. When rain comes, these wrinkles 
disappear and the soil flows together in a sea of mud. It is diffi 
cult to farm when it is too dry, and impossible to work when wet. 
Therefore, the farmer's activities are apt to be somewhat curtailed 
at inconvenient times. 

398 A South Dakota Guide 

On the gumbo there is no sod. Each spear of grass grows inde 
pendently from its own root. Compared with sod grass, gumbo 
grass is sparse; but in content it is mudi richer. Gumbo lambs al 
ways outweigh the sand lambs in the fall. In the summer the gum 
bo is apt to be covered with herds of cattle and bunches of sheep 
from the surrounding regions. Lack of water is the chief difficulty, 
but dams are solving that problem where water holes are not 

At 99 m. US 85 leads over a series of steep gumbo hills, from 
the last of which there is a splendid view of the fertile Belle 
Fourche Valley. The contrast between the greenness of the irri 
gated valley and the brown of the gumbo is most striking. 

At 101. 6m. is the BELLE FOURCHE AIRPORT, an unde 
veloped flying field. 

BELLE FOURCHE (Bell Foosh), 104.1 m. (3,013 alt., 2,314 
pop.), takes its name (beautiful fork) from its site at the fork of 
the Belle Fourche River and Redwater Creek. It is the scene of 
the Black Hills Round-Up (see below), and has historical associa 
tions and a commercial importance out of all proportion to its size, 
husky young city though it is. Its selection as a town site by the 
Fremont, Elkhorn and Missouri Valley R.R. was the signal for 
the demise of its rival, old Minnesela 3^2 m. away, (see below). 

Belle Fourche was at one time the capital of a far-flung cattle 
empire, and for several years it was the greatest primary cattle- 
shipping point in the world. The young town served a really im 
mense territory. The C. M. St. P. & P. R.R. had not yet built 
through to the coast and the nearest railroad to the N. was the 
Northern Pacific, running through the center of North Dakota. 
Later when sheep shared the range with cattle, Belle Fourche be 
came a sheep and wool marketing point. Today it has two large 
wool warehouses, and sheep as well as cattle chutes are in its stock 
yards. In the shipping season many carloads of sheep and cattle go 
out daily. 

Naturally, since Belle Fourche ships the products of a large 
territory, it applies to this territory with trade goods as well, and 
also ministers to the wants of sections of Montana and Wyoming. 
It is the seat of Butte Co. Belle Fourche is also, in a way, a manu 
facturing town. It has a flour mill whose products are widely 
distributed; on top of the mill is a beacon which flashes red and 
white at regular intervals and identifies the town to airmen. It 

Tour 13 399 

also has a brickyard, two bentonite plants, and a creamery with 
several branches throughout the Hills region. The largest manu 
facturing interest here is the sugar refinery. 

The BLACK HILLS SUGAR PLANT was built in 1927 by 
the Utah-Idaho Sugar Co. at a cost of i l / 2 million dollars. From 
1912 until 1917 sugar beets were grown in the Belle Fourche val 
ley in an experimental way, and from that date until the building 
of the factory they were grown on a commercial basis and shipped 
out of the State for processing. The plant covers an area of eight 
acres. The length of the main building, including the warehouse, 
is 587 ft. and the height is five stories. The plant has a capacity 
of 1,500 tons of beets every 24 hours, producing 3,600 hundred- 
pounds bags of sugar. Since it started operating it has produced 
more than 2^4 million bags of sugar. 

About 500 farmers in the surrounding country participate in the 
beet-growing industry. Under a contract, the grower receives one- 
half of the total value of the sugar extracted from the beets, minus 
the cost of manufacturing his share. The present beet acreage in 
the Black Hills district is about 9,500 acres. The active sugar cam 
paign usually lasts from about the middle of September to the 
middle of December. During this period 300 men are employed at 
the plant. 

The beet pulp from which the sugar has been extracted and the 
beet tops and byproducts are valuable as feed for livestock. Since 
the opening of the factory 50,000 head of cattle and 300,000 head 
of sheep have been fattened for market on the byproducts of the 
sugar beet, many of them in the feed yards of the sugar factory. 

One of the largest known deposits of bentonite in the world 
(see NATURAL SETTING) is found along the banks of Middle 
Creek, a small stream that flows past the Belle Fourche stockyards. 
Much of this ore is exposed. Two factories are now in operation, 
preparing the bentonite for commercial use in face powder, cleans 
ing cream, and numerous other commodities. 

The Black Hills Round-up, a three-day celebration, is held in 
Belle Fourche each year on July 3, 4 and 5. This annual celebration 
began in 1918, and was first planned as a benefit entertainment for 
war funds, the United States being then engaged in its second 
year of the World War. So overwhelming was the success of the 
first year's show that the board of directors decided to make an 
annual event of the rodeo. Its proceeds since then have been used 

400 A South Dakota Guide 

for various community and regional enterprises, no private profit 
being taken from the sale of tickets. The program is considerably 
varied from year to year, the usual events being bucking contests, 
bull-dogging, steer-roping, and wild-horse racing. Women as well 
as men vie for elaborate prizes in these daring sports. One of the 
three days of festivities is usually set aside as Governor's Day. 

In 1927 the round-up celebration was honored by the presence of 
President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge, who were spending their va 
cation at the State Game Lodge or Summer White House (sec 
Tour 5). 

A cavalry troop of the Fourth U. S. Cavalry at Fort Meade is 
usually engaged for parades and performances. Indians from vari 
ous reservations have for some years been invited to spend the 
three days of the celebration in Belle Fourche. Aerial events have 
taken a prominent place in recent years, with each season bringing 
something new. 

Left from Belle Fourche on St. Onge road; at 3.5 m. turn L on 
the E. side of the Redwater bridge; at 4 m. is OLD MINNESELA, 
one of the few ghost towns of this region. This was a nourish 
ing town for some time before Belle Fourche was born. It had 
many stores, including a drug store, a blacksmith shop, a large 
hotel, dwelling houses, a schoolhouse, a church, and several 
saloons. When it was evident that the railroad company was 
going to select a town site at the fork of the Belle Fourche 
River and intended to hold a sale of lots on a certain day, the 
enterprising citizens of Minnesela got out a map of the region 
showing their town as the general railroad center of this part 
of the country; listed on the back of the map were 40 or 50 
reasons why Minnesela was destined to be the metropolis of this 
region. The citizens of Minnesela met the train bearing the pros 
pective buyers, distributed the map freely, and not a lot was sold 
on the Belle Fourche town site that day. But of course the 
railroad won in the end; and one by one the business houses 
accepted the inevitable and removed to the new location. Only 
one man clung to the old location to the last. He took over the 
old hotel, cut it down to one-third its size, and converted it 
into a farmhouse with plenty of spare bedrooms. He made a 
success of farming and created a beautiful yard and garden. 
And there he lived until 1936 when he was laid to rest. 

At Belle Fourche is the junction with US 212 (see Tour 5). 

South of Belle Fourche US 85 goes through the Belle Fourche, 
Redwater, and Spearfish valleys. Previously the road has been 
traversing the barren prairies, but now it crosses a series of 
wooded ridges interspersed with crop-covered valleys. 

Tour 13 401 

At no.6w. Red Water Creek is crossed. 

At 1 1 2.4 m. Spearfish. Creek is reached, and the road roughly 
parallels the creek through the rich LOWER SPEARFISH VAL 
LEY, a region of prosperous farms and substantial buildings. 
Sugar beets and garden produce mingle with the small grains. 
But when the road swings into UPPER SPEARFISH VALLEY 
and heads directly toward Spearfish, a most unusual sight is en 
countered. Picture a long, straight tarvia road, shaded by large 
trees on either side ; small, irrigated fruit and vegetable farms to 
the R. and L. ; little stands in front of each, loaded with produce 
and attended by some member of the family such is the entrance 
to Spearfish, a ROADSIDE MARKET PLACE that is known 
throughout all this region. The miners from Lead, the ranchers 
from the range country to the N., who do not have time to raise 
the vegetables they need, the housewives of surrounding towns, 
all come to Upper Spearfish Valley for fruits and vegetables which 
are replaced on the stand as fast as they are sold. There are apple 
trees on every farm, large orchards on some, and in the spring 
when the apple blossoms are out this lane is a pathway of beauty. 

SPEARFISH, 118.7 m. (3,637 alt, 1,738 pop.) (see Tour 4). 
is at a junction with US 14 ; for 14.3 m. US 85 and US 14 are 
united to a junction at 133 m., I m. N. of Deadwood. 

Section b. Junction ivith US 14 to Wyoming Line, j/. I m. 

Southwest of the junction with US 14, US 85 goes through the 
principal mining section of the Black Hills. 

DEADWOOD, im. (4,534 alt., 3,662 pop.) (see DEAD- 

Roosevelt Monument. Graves of Wild Bill, Calamity Jane, Seth 
Bullock, and Preacher Smith. Adams Memorial Museum. 

At PLUM A, 2.5m. (12 pop.), are a group of tourist cabins, 
filling stations, a night club, and a unit of the Homestake Mining 
Company's plant. 

Here is the junction with US 85 A (see Tour 14). 

LEAD, 47M. (5,320 alt., 7,847 pop.) (see LEAD). 
Homestake Mine. Open Cut. Grier Park. 

At 6.5 m. is FANTAIL, a small settlement at the end of a spur. 

At 10.777?., after a climb of almost 9m., the highest point of the 
road is reached (6,702 alt.). 

402 A South Dakota Guide 

At 10.8 m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road to the summit of TERRY PEAK (7,071 alt.). 
Named for Gen. Terry, it is the 4th highest peak in the Hills, 
and from its summit is a remarkable view. 

At the road enters ICE BOX CANYON, and descends 
steadily. The canyon was so named by early-day freighters, who 
found a welcome coolness in its tree-shaded depths. 

At 14.3 m. is the CHEYENNE CROSSING, where the old 
Cheyenne Trail crossed Spearfish Creek; here is the junction with 
the Spearfish Canyon road (see Tour 13 A). 

The road follows the W. branch of Spearfish Creek for some 
distance, through scenes of unusual beauty. The undergrowth has 
been cleared out, and between the straight trunks of the pines are 
glimpses of the swift-flowing brook. The grass and moss make a 
carpet of green and the pine boughs a canopy overhead. It is a 
scene that lingers in the memory. 

At 18.3 m. the Forest Service has made camping grounds (L) 
for tke convenience of visitors. 

At 22.5 m. the road enters a recently burned-over area where 
the devastating effect of forest fires is in evidence. The character 
of the country gradually changes the hills are leveling out, more 
open space is encountered, and instead of pine only, there are more 
aspen, birch, and iron/wood. 

At 31.1 m. US 85 crosses the Wyoming Line, 30.5 m. N. of New 
castle, Wyo. (see Wyo. Tour /). 


Cheyenne Crossing Savoy Maurice Spearfish. State 16. 

Cheyenne Crossing Spearfish, 20.5 m. 

No railroad parallels this route. 

Dirt roadbed, usually rough but passable even in wet weather. 

Usual tourist accommodations, improved camp sites. 

One of the most attractive routes in the Black Hills is that 
through Spearfish Canyon. This trip should be made down the 
canyon from south to north rather than in the reverse direction, 
since the fall of Spearfish Creek is pronounced and the road quite 
rough in places. The upper portion of the canyon is comparatively 
shallow and open, but, farther down, the rock walls on both sides 

Tour 13A 403 

are higher and steeper; in the very depths of the canyon, the sun 
strikes the road and the creek bed for only a 'brief interval each 
day. This region lies in the so-called Deadwood Formation, made 
up of gray to red sandstone, greenish shale, and both slab and 
pebble limestone. The canyon, lined on both sides with cliffs of 
this material or at least a rimrock, is filled with constantly chang 
ing color, which varies still further in different lights. Here also is 
green pine, interspersed with the slim white trunks of birch, pop 
lar, and quaking-asp. Private cabins, in the woods on both sides of 
the road for most of the distance, often can be rented for extended 
periods at very reasonable terms. Fishing is good at many points 
throughout the canyon and, for those who are not deterred by the 
temperature of mountain streams, swimming is available. 

State 16 branches N. from US 85 (see Tour 13) at CHEY 
ENNE CROSSING (3,310 alt.) 

At 0.25 m. is a rearing pond for young trout, operated as a 
North of this point the road drops down the canyon beside the 
stream, with low rocky points on both sides. 

At 2.5 m. (5,221 alt.) is a group of picturesque log cabins 
grouped around a central lodge. The cabins, moderately priced, are 
available for those who wish to spend several weeks in quiet and 
beautiful surroundings. Here is fishing, hiking, and swimming. 
Meals can be taken at the central lodge, or provisions can be 
bought at the store. 

At 4 m. is a DIVERSION DAM and intake of the Homestake 
Mining Co. At this point the waters of Spearfish Creek enter a 
wooden stave pipe and are conveyed in it for 6 m. to the hydro 
electric plant at Maurice; for a corresponding distance the bed of 
the creek is practically dry. 

SAVOY, 5.5 m. (5,012 alt., 8 pop.), consists of a maintenance 
station of the Homestake Mining Co., and LATCHSTRING INN, 
a summer and hunting resort which has been in operation since 
1907. There are inn and cabin accommodations for 70 persons, and 
a large dining room. On both sides of the canyon limestone (paha 
sapa) cliffs tower 1,000 feet. 

Left from Savoy on a crushed stone road, paralleling Little 
Spearfish Creek, is ROUGHLOCK FALLS, 1 m. From a parking 
space beside the road (L) there is a short path with foot bridges 
over three branches of the creek above the falls. The water 
circles a tree and falls about 30 feet, below which there is a 

404 A South Dakota Guide 

series of cascades. A footpath parallels the creek for 100 feet. 
Roughlock is perhaps the most beautiful falls in the Hills. 

At 7.2 m. is the junction with a crushed rock road. 

Left on this road, which parallels Deer Creek, is an unnamed 
LAKE, 4 m. The lake was formed by damming Iron Creek in 
1937 and, when filled, covers about 5 acres. When the WPA 
began building the dam, the beavers that inhabited the creek 
watched the operations several days and then rebuilt their house 
a half-mile up the creek. When the lake filled, the beaver house 
was ideally situated in the shallow end of the lake. 

MAURICE, 7.5 m. (4,472 alt., 10 pop.). Here is HYDROELECTRIC 
PLANT NO. 2 of the Homestake Mining Co. There is a flight of 800 
wooden steps leading to the point at which the wooden stave pipe 
pitches downward to the plant. Just below the plant are the dwell 
ings of those who man it. At this point the full flow of Spearfish 
Creek is returned to the creek bed and runs for a mile before being 
taken out at another diversion dam to be carried in pipes to Hydro 
electric Plant No. i at Spearfish. This mile of stream is kept 
stocked with trout by the hatchery, and there is good fishing. 

At 8.5 m. (R) is BRIDAL VEIL FALLS. Since the drought of 
recent years the falls are not so impressive as formerly, but the 
water comes down over a rock- face from a considerable height and 
it is a beautiful spot to stop for a picnic lunch or get a cool drink 
of pure water. 

RIM ROCK, 9.5 m., is a combined tourist and children's vaca 
tion camp in a remarkable setting. The walls of the canyon are 
very high and at their foot, a little distance above the road, is the 
main lodge. It is .decorated with skins and curios and here the 
guests gather for their meals. Higher up on the slope is a large 
community hall, and still higher, on a rocky point jutting out a 
hundred feet above the road and creek bed, are cabins, with a 
splendid view up and down the canyon. For a part of each summer 
it is used as a children's vacation camp. 

At ii. 5 w. is the junction with a footpath (R). 

Right on the trail is WILDCAT CAVE, 0.3 m., reached by a 
scramble up the steep hillside; the deep cavern is underneath a 
shelving rock, with a trickle of water running down the face of 
it. It is worth the climb to rest under the deep recess and look 
out over the still woods. 

At 19 m. Spearfish Canyon widens out into Spearfish Valley, 
and at the mouth is HYDROELECTRIC PLANT NO. i of the 
Homestake Mining Co. At this point the water is finally returned 

Tour 14 405 

to Spearfish Creek. But the busy waters of this stream are not 
through with their work yet: all through Spearfish Canyon and 
just below it, laterals lead the water out to irrigate the thirsty soil 
and to make the Upper and Lower Spearfish Valley both a garden 
spot and a market produce center for the region (see Tour /j). 

The Canyon road winds through beautiful woods and at 20 m. 
(R) is the MUNICIPAL CABIN CAMP of Spearfish. 
At 2o.2m. (L) is a US FISH HATCHERY (see Tour 13). 

SPEARFISH, 20.5^. (3,637 alt., 1,738 pop.) (see Tour 13),' 
is at the junction with US 85. 

TOUR 14 

Junction with US 85 Sheridan Hill City Custer Hot Springs 
Oelrichs (Wayside, Neb.). US 85A and State 79. 

Junction with US 85 Nebraska Line, 131.2 m. 

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy R.R. parallels this route between 
Junction with US 85 and Hot Springs, and the Chicago & North 
Western, between Hot Springs and the Nebraska Line. 

Roadbed is graveled, except for short stretches of hard surface. 

Accommodations between towns; hotels and cabin camps in towns. 

This route offers some of the most beautiful and varied scenery 
in the Black Hills. Winding up three-mile Strawberry Hill, the 
road emerges onto the broad central plateau. Unlike the densely- 
wooded fringes of the Hills, this central region alternates forested 
ridges with open, park-like spaces, where the lonely settler ploughs 
a little patch and the shy deer emerges from the woods to graze at 
twilight. Here the beaver, nature's conservationist, checks the 
waters of the hurrying streams and startles the echoes with the 
pistol-crack of his broad tail. Here the angler wades the stream in 
hip boots or lazily casts from the highway bridge, while farther 
downstream the 'bearded prospector, still hopeful, searches the 
sands for their golden burden. Such is the land stretching for 
50 miles S. of historic Deadwood and its neighbor, Lead; and in 
the distance there is only one straight mile of road. 

But at Hill City the scene changes. The terrain becomes rougher 
and more broken, and no parks are seen; on every side granite 
crags and spires thrust themselves above the towering pines and 
etch their jagged peaks against the sky; the road begins its seven- 
mile climb to the shores of Sylvan Lake, attaining the final height 

406 A South Dakota Guide 

in a sudden ladder of switch-backs. Having crossed the highest 
bony ridge of the Hills, the road drops down a canyon, seven 
winding miles, to Custer, "the cradle of Black Hills civilization," 
and the spot where white men first found that lodestone which 
sent a swirling flood of humanity into this region. 

Below Custer the country flattens somewhat and the open spaces 
increase. The road passes through Wind Cave Park, skirting the 
buffalo pasture and passing the entrance of the cavern, and goes 
on to Hot Springs, where first the Indians and later the white men 
came and bathed in the health-giving water. 

From this beautiful valley in which Hot Springs lies, the road 
follows the winding gorge of Fall River, out of the Hills to the 
broad plains beyond, angling SW. through ever flatter country to 
Oelrichs and the Nebraska Line beyond. 

Section a. Junction with US 85 Hot Springs, pom. US 8$A. 

From the junction with US 85, US 85 A goes S. up Strawberry 

At 3.4 m. the top of STRAWBERRY HILL is reached, a real 
test for car and engine. 

At 5 m. is the junction with an unnumbered road (see Tour 4C). 
At 5.9 m. the head of Bear Butte Creek is crossed. 

At 6.9m. (L) is the golf course of the DEAD WOOD COUN 

At 7.2 m. (L) is an artificial pond called TOMAHAWK LAKE, 
which in times of drought is apt to go completely dry. 

At 7.9 m. the road crosses Elk Creek and for 2 m. winds upward 
through the forest. 

At 9.8m. is a junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road is CUSTER PEAK (6,794 alt.), 3 m. Although 
this is not the highest peak in the Black Hills, it affords a wider 
view than any other. It was named for Gen. George A. Custer, 
who stopped close to this peak while leading an exploration party 
through the Black Hills in 1874. A trail of the same name passes 
near the peak. 

At 1 3.9 m. (R) is a marker to show where the highway crosses 
the trail made by Custer on his way to Fort Abraham Lincoln, N. 
Dak., from French Creek in 1874. 

Tour 14 407 

At 20. i m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Right on this road is ROCHFORD (5,307 alt., 75 pop.), 12m. 
This is a sleepy old Black Hills mining town, now sunk into 
senile quiescence. Off the main tourist lanes, it lives in the past, 
since it has no significant present and no apparent future. 

At 24 m. is the junction with the Rim Rock Road (see Tour 48). 
At 26.2 m. is the junction with a dirt road. 

Right on this road, up Boarding House Gulch, is the METHO 
DIST CAMP, 2 m., a summer camp of the Methodist Church. 

At 26.4 m. is Flavin's Corner, and the junction with a graded 

Right on this road up Bear Gulch is CAMP JUDSON, 1 m., a 
summer camp of the Baptist Church. 

At 2 m. is a summer camp of the Presbyterian Church. 
At 4 m. is SILVER CITY (4,594 alt.), one of the ghost towns of 
the Hills. The general store and neat, white-painted Catholic 
Church are in striking contrast with the rough, unpainted board 
shacks that still stand, eloquent of the days when mining was 
the chief industry, and the hope of wealth beat high in the heart 
of every miner and prospector in the Hills. Today, the only evi 
dences of the old mining days are a huge hoisting drum and the 
dismantled engine that turned it, now lying beside the railroad 
track and not valuable enough to pay the freight for their re 
moval. Silver City was founded in 1876, at the time of the gold 
rush along Rapid Creek. Jack, Tom, and Luke Gorman were the 
real founders of the town, although other prospectors had lo 
cated ores in the hills and along the creek before their arrival. 
The Gorman brothers located the first mines on the hillsides, one 
called The Diana, and the other, The Lady of the Hills. These 
mines had a heavy yield of silver, combined with some gold and 
other metals. The camp was called Camp Gorman at first, but a 
company of seven men was organized and they platted a town 
site, had it patented, and named it Silver City. It grew to a com 
munity of several hundred inhabitants, and the hills and gulches 
surrounding it were thronged with searchers after precious 
metals. An Eastern syndicate sent representatives to try to buy 
the holdings of the Gorman brothers, offering them $300,000. 
The brothers were ignorant and uneducated men who could not 
figure whether the offer was more or less than a million dollars, 
which they insisted was their price. They delayed their decision 
till one night their cabin caught fire and the eldest brother was 
burned to death. The other two brothers disappeared. Their heirs 
in the East, still hold title to the property. 

Left from Silver City is a trail leading into THE UNKNOWN 
LAND. This is only a foot trail, since in many places it is over 
grown with brush, blocked by fallen trees, and gullied out. The 

408 A South Dakota Guide 

Unknown Land is a region bounded roughly on the N. by Rapid 
Creek, on the W. by the Burlington R.R., on the S. by Spring 
Creek and the National Forest Boundary, and on the E. by 
US 8 5 A. 

There is no public land within this territory. It is all United 
States Forest Reserve and staked mining claims that have been 
proved up and patented. 

This whole region is practically inaccessible except to hikers and 
horseback rides, and in many places it is hard for a horse to 
find footing. High mountains, deep canyons, and tall timber are 
the principal features. The region abounds in game, being the 
home of most of the blacktail deer, outside the Game Preserve, 
in the Hills. Sometimes elk may be found hiding in some 
dark gulch. There are no streams of any size, so there is no 
fishing; but springs of pure sparkling water are found in all the 

Little lumbering has been done except along the edges, as the 
rough nature of the country prevents the transportation of tim 
ber without expensive roads or railroads. The hiker or hunter 
who penetrates these hills and valleys to make his camp finds 
himself in woods and mountains much as they were in the 
days of '76. 

In 1876-79, many prospectors located mining claims along the 
bars of Rapid Creek from Pactola westward. They found gold, 
but no very rich strikes were made, and they concluded that the 
"mother lode" must be somewhere in the hills to the S. and 
W., along the course of the stream. Some of the miners, more 
hardy than the rest, set out to prospect the hills, and penetrated 
into the wilderness seeking the source of the placer gold. They 
failed to find mines of any great value, although a number of 
quartz veins were discovered that yielded low grade ore. In the 
meantime the Homestake Mine was discovered at Lead, and most 
of the mining activity was transferred to that locality. 
In 1879, however, O. F. Johnson located a mining claim in this 
territory and uncovered a vein of quartz 150 ft. wide and 3 m. 
long. Expecting to develop it, he succeeded in interesting a group 
of New York investors who gained control of the property, but 
never developed it. Ore from the vein assayed about $3 or $4 
per ton, but various difficulties have so far prevented develop 

About this time three brothers, named Scruton, built a cabin 
near the foot of the highest peak in this section which is still 
called Scruton Mountain. They had a mine somewhere in the 
vicinity and from time to time brought out gold, but they never 
told where the mine was located, nor did any one else ever dis 
cover it. They died without disclosing its location. It was this 
lost mine that gave the territory its name, The Unknown Land. 
At 5 m. is CAMP WANZER, a Federal summer camp for tuber 
cular and undernourished children. Here in the pine-scented air, 
where there is an abundance of clear cold water and good whole- 

Tour 14 409 

some food, the less fortunate little ones of South Dakota come 
every summer. Under the supervision of doctors and trained 
nurses, they are given a chance to gather strength and health. 

PACTOLA, 27.3 m. (4,461 alt., 30 pop.), one of the oldest 
settlements in Pennington Co., is a center of recreational activity. 
Soon after the discovery of gold in the creek beds, prospectors and 
miners began to flock into this pleasant valley until it became a 
populous, thriving community. Owing to its isolation in the heart 
of the Hills, there was little law enforcement and the valley be 
came the hiding place for many who, for various reasons, did not 
wish their whereabouts known. The miners made and administered 
their own law, but the two things they would not tolerate were 
claim-jumping and horse-stealing. 

At first the valley was called "O" Valley, because of its round 
shape. In 1876 General Crook with his United States Cavalry, on 
their way to fight the Indians, made his headquarters here and 
called it Camp Crook. The development of placer mines, together 
with the establishment of the first post office in Pennington Co., 
and a tri-weekly stage service, made things boom ; so the populace 
decided that the camp should have a more appropriate name. A 
mass meeting was called, and a lawyer who had recently moved 
into the community was asked to make the nominating speech. 
Having had a number of drinks and feeling fanciful he recited 
the legend of Midas, whose touch turned everything to gold; and 
he proposed, in view of the gold being taken from the sands of 
Rapid Creek, that the place should be called Pactola, for the Lyd- 
ian river Pactolus, whose golden sands were believed to be the 
source of the wealth of Croesus. 

At 274m. (L) is a public camp ground maintained by the 
Forest Service. 

At 27.6 m. (R) is the PACTOLA RANGER STATION, with 
well-kept grounds and buildings. 

At 30.4m. are visible (L) the BALD HILLS, so called because 
there are no trees growing upon them. They extend SE. to within 
a few miles of Sheridan (see below). 

At 33.5 m. the road leaves the Black Hills National Forest and 
enters the Harney National Forest Reserve. 

At 354m. is the junction with a graded road. 

Left on this road, at 2 m. is BURNT RANCH (4,555 alt.). 
In the earliest years of the Black Hills gold rush, while the 
placer mines along Rapid Creek were at the height of their pro 
duction, General Crook and his troopers of the 5th Cavalry 

410 A South Dakota Guide 

made trips between Ouster, S. Dak., and Fort Buford, N. Dak., 
passing through the valley of Rapid Creek and camping regularly 
on the present site of Pactola. The regular camp sites were situ 
ated about 12 m. apart, as nearly as they could be spaced, in 
spots where water and forage for the horses were available. 
Another of the camps was at Sheridan on Spring Creek in Pen- 
nington County. Sheridan at that time was a wide awake town. 
Temporary county offices had been established, and the first 
term of United States Court W. of the Missouri River had 
been held here. The usual miners supply store, a saloon, dance 
hall and a gambling establishment were all thriving. The 
soldiers' visits were times of unusual hilarity. There was much 
dancing, gambling, and drinking. 

One morning, when the troop was ready to mount and start on 
the march, one of the soldiers was missing. A detail was dis 
patched into the town to find him, but had no success. He was 
marked A.W.O.L. and the troop moved on without him. Some 
time after noon a man came staggering out of an empty shack, 
where he had been sleeping. He looked about for the encamp 
ment and, discovering that his comrades had gone, started on 
foot to overtake the troop at the next stopping place, O Valley. 
The next day the dead body of a miner, Norman McCully, was 
found near Burnt Ranch by freighters. Inquiries disclosed that 
he had been on his way from his claim in O Valley to Rapid 
City, where he intended to deposit about $3,000 worth of gold 
dust that he was carrying in his pack. It was thought at first 
that he had been killed by hostile Indians, but the tracks of 
cavalry boots in the soft earth seemed to be evidence that the 
crime had been committed by a soldier. Officers were dispatched 
to overtake the troop; when they submitted the evidence to the 
commanding officer, he admitted that it looked unfavorable for 
the soldier who had been left behind, but said that the man was 
already under arrest for being absent without leave and that 
he was responsible only to Federal authority. He promised to 
take the charge of murder under consideration, and to have the 
evidence presented to the next session of the Military Court of 

The troop proceeded on its way to Fort Benton, and the soldier 
was put to work with a sawmill crew at the fort. One day a 
fellow worker made a remark about the miner who had been 
murdered, and the soldier, in a frenzy of anger, seized him and 
threw him against a circular saw. The man was horribly mutil 
ated and died instantly. The mill crew then seized the soldier 
and, without delay, hanged him to a tree. 

Although the soldier never confessed that he murdered the 
miner, it was believed that he committed the deed and then 
buried the gold dust somewhere on Burnt Ranch, intending to 
come back for it. The ranch has been visited by many treasure 
hunters, and the ground has been thoroughly searched; but, so 
far as is known, no one has found the buried gold. 




NEW and old share attention in the Black Hills. 
Millions of years ago, before the Alps existed, an 
upthrust of granite from deep in the earth was be 
ing weathered and aged by the elements into fan 
tastic needle-shaped spires in the Black Hills. The 
two Needles formations shown here are along 
modern highways. There is also a picture of lovely 
Roughlock Falls in Spearfish Canyon, off the 

Of more recent Gold Rush days of 1876 are 
sleepy towns back in the Hills, where grizzled pros 
pectors sit in front of the general store and tell of 
bonanzas they almost had, and chickens wander 
aimlessly on Main Street. Such a toiwi is Rochford, 
with its false-front stores and roof-covered board 
sidewalks. Near Rochford is the abandoned Stand 
by Mine and the superintendent's house where 
clapboards flap in the wind. In this era "when men 
were men and women were scarce" Calamity Jane 
made her living, but now she sleeps beneath a 
marker shown in the last picture. 

An example of contemporary architecture in the 
Black Hills is the new Custer State Park Museum, 
and a new industry is making pottery of native 
clays, as shown in the next to the last picture. 



PH fe 

cc o 


p <J 
u eu 





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vAM- -, , -^" % 






Tour 14 411 

SHERIDAN, 35.7 m. (4,603 alt., 10 pop.), started as a mining 
camp called Golden City when, in 1875, prospectors locating 
claims along Spring Creek found rich placer deposits of gold in 
the meadows. The bars of the creek proved unexpectedly rich. "If 
a man's claim yielded less than $20 per day in gold dust, he aban 
doned it and moved to a new location." Golden City was the usual 
type of mining camp of that day. Saloons, dance halls, and gam 
bling places flourished, with all the accompanying excitement of a 
prosperous mining community. A general store, which carried all 
the usual miners' supplies, food, and clothing, did a thriving 

In 1876 a feeling of civic pride began to manifest itself. The 
citizens felt that some kind of permanent social responsibility ought 
to take the place of the irresponsible recklessness and excitement 
of gold rush days. A meeting was called and it was decided to 
rename the place Sheridan. Pennington Co. had just been organ 
ized and the county seat was established here. The Federal Gov 
ernment established the first Federal Court W. of the Missouri 
River, and a log courthouse was built. A monument of native rock 
marks the spot where the first courthouse stood, just N. of the 
town site and E. of the highway. 

The first term of Federal Court was held here in 1878. Judge 
Granville G. Bennett presided. The judge, lawyers, jurymen, and 
all the court attendants came in by stage, horseback, oxcarts, and 
on foot, until every place that could accommodate an extra person 
was filled to overflowing. Eating places were swamped, and men 
walked the one street seeking a place to eat and sleep. It turned 
cold and there was much discomfort because of the lack of blankets 
and bedding. 

'Sheridan became an important station on the Deadwood-Denver 
stage line. It was a regular stopping place for General Crook and 
his troops on their patrols through the Black Hills and the NW. 
It seemed destined to become one of the leading cities of the Hills, 
and a permanent community. But in 1878 the county seat was 
moved to Rapid City. With the coming of the railroads, the stage 
line gradually lost its patronage and was discontinued. The pro 
ductiveness of placer mines began to lessen. The troops were with 
drawn from the Hills. So Sheridan, which depended on all these 
things for its prosperity, gradually became an almost deserted vil 
lage. In 1937 plans were started to create a 4OO-acre lake that 
would cover Sheridan to a depth of 20 ft. 

412 A South Dakota Guide 

At 36.7 m. Spring Creek is crossed and an area entered in which 
the speed limit is 35 m. per hour. 

At 37 m. (R) is an outcrop of serrated slate rock, towering up 
to the cliff heights. 

At 37.4 m., on both sides of the road, lie the buildings of an old 
ranch. Above the gate of the corral hangs an old ox yoke. 

At 40.5 m. is a camp ground provided by the Forest Service for 
the convenience of those who wish to camp and build fires. It 
should be noted that there are very strict rules against the build 
ing of fires on the forest reserve in any but designated places (see 

At 41.6 m. (R) is a RANGER STATION. 

At 42 m. (R) is a large dam built by the Civilian Conservation 
Corps. It is called MAJOR DAM and the water covers about 9 

HILL CITY, 42.6m. (4,945 alt., 450 pop.), lies in a small val 
ley completely surrounded by pine-clad mountains. Discovery of 
tin, gold, and copper brought Hill City's first settlers in 1876. The 
city today is the center of a recreational area. The lake formed by 
Major Dam, is devoted to recreational purposes (see above). 
Spring Creek, which runs directly through Hill City furnishes 
good trout fishing. Wild flowers and wild strawberries, raspberries, 
and sarvice berries grow in abundance during the spring and 
summer months. 

Today the main industry of the region is mining for gold and 
tungsten; many mines, such as the Empire, Ceko, E