Dana Reed Bailey.

History of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. online

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Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 12 of 99)
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George Dickson were appointed pao'es.

The executive committee appointed at the Huron convention re-
ported as soon as the convention was organized, that it had received
S5W.50, and expended S413.5(), leaving- a balance of S177.00, which
was turned over to the convention.

On the third day of the convention Mrs. Marietta Bones, of Day
county, obtained permission to address the convention for live min-
utes in support of a petition, which she presented from the citizens
of Day county, asking- that "a section providing- for female suffrag-e
be incorporated in the constitution." Permission wasgfranted, and she
addressed the convention for four minutes only. In justice to Mrs.
Bones, we oug-ht perhaps to say, she has since then been converted
and is now opposed to female suffrag-e. After the appropriate com-
mittees had been appointed, the convention went to work with a will,
and during- the g-reater part of the time held three sessions daily.
It completed its work and adjourned on the 19th day of September.

No abler bodv of men ever assembled within the boundaries of
the State of South Dakota for any purpose whatever. To enumerate
all those in the convention who were strong- representative men,
qualified and equipped for the work they had to do, would result in
almost a complete roll call of its members.

The members from Minnehaha countv were R. P. Pettig-rew,
M. Grig-sby, W. W. Brooking-s, B. P. Campbell, John Bippus, Albion
Thorne, G. D. Bannister and W. C. Lovering-.

The constitution adopted was an admirable document, and by
comparison with the org-anic law of the State of South Dakota at the
present time, it will be seen that this convention did not labor in
vain. The incorporation of prohibition was strenuously advocated,
but the convention wiselv concluded that it was inexpedient to burden
its adoption at the polls with such an issue. But to allay all opposi-
tion to it for this reason, the constitution provided that amendments
should be submitted to the vote of the people whenever a majority of
the members elected to the leg-islature should vote to do so, and also
anv amendment asked for by a petition to the legislature of five
thousand leg-al voters, should be submitted to a vote of the people
within six months after the adjournment of the legislature. The
vote upon the adoption of this constitution was 12,336 for, and 6,814
((<>-ai>isL The vote in Minnehaha county was small, but there was an
even five hundred majority ag-ainst its adoption.

The following- committee was appointed by the convention to
wait upon Congress with the constitution in the interest of admission
to statehood: Bartlett Tripp of Yankton, A. (x. Kellam of Chamber-
lain, John R. Whiteside of Vermillion, M. H. Dav of Springfield,
John M. Pease of Mt. Vernon, W. H. Brayton of Ree Heights, S. H.
Bronson of Howard, James A. Ward of Pierre, John Cain of Huron,
A. W. Hager of Mitchell, O. S. Gifford of Canton, (xeorge Freeman
of Elk Point, James Bavnes of Alexandria, P. M. (xoodvkoontz of
Chamberlain, Robert Dollard of Scotland, C. H. Winsor and W. W.
Brookings of Sioux Palls, Newton Edmunds of Yankton, A. C. Mel-
lette of Watertown, B. Ci. Caulfield and Ct. C. Moody of Deadwood,


H. J. Campbell of Yankton, E. W. Foster of Frankfort, Thomas
Sterling- of Northville, A. Boynton of Lennox, R. W.Welch of Plank-
inton, and R. C. Lake and C. L. Wood of Rapid Citv.

The C(Kivention also appointed an executive committee and
clothed them with power to advance the cause of statehood, hut as
there was a restrictive clause in the schedule declarin,ii- "that noth-
\n<y in this constitution and schedule contained shall he so construed
as to authorize any officer elected under the provisions of this con-
stitution to undertake the exercise or discharo^e of his official duties,
until this constitution shall take effect by the admission of the state
into the Union," no effective work was done bv them.

After the Huron convention, but before the adoption of this con-
stitution, the seat of g-overnment was located at Bismarck. This act
on the part of the commissioners only intensified the feeling- in
southern Dakota for division and admission.

A o-reat effort was made in the northern part of Dakota to create
a sentiment througdiout the territory in favor of "One (xreat State"
and it had its advocates south of the fortv-sixth parallel; but the
southern people could not be converted to this view, and day by day
g-rew more and more determined that a division of the territorv
should ])e made, and statehood accom]dished.


Early in the summer of 188-1-, an active campaig-n was inaugfurated
in South Dakota to secure the election of members to the legislature
to convene at Bismarck in January, 1885, who were favorable to the
division of the territorv. and statehood for that part south of the
fortv-sixth parallel.

The object of this was to obtain the passag'e of a law authoriz-
ing- the holding- of a constitutional convention to draft a constitution
for southern Dakota, and to provide the means for defraying- the ex-
jienses of such convention.

It was a successful campaign. The "Band Wag-on" labeled "For
Division and Admission" was driven all over southern Dakota, and its
approach was a source of g-reat rejoicing- and enthusiasm by all the
candidates for legfislative honors.

The legislature convened and a bill was promptly introduced
and ])assed, authorizing^ the holding- of a constitutional convention at
Sioux Falls, September 8, 1885.

Preceding- the enacting- clause in this law, there was a i)reamble
setting- forth that the welfare of the people would be promoted by
the establishment of a permanent government, sovereig-n in char-
acter, republican in form; that the territorial system of government
had no stability, was temporary in character, possessed no sovereign
power, did not meet the requirements of the people; that it had al-
ways been the wise policy of the ^resent g-overnment to foster and
encourage the development and settlement of the territories until
such time as their population should be sufficiently numerous to en-


title them to be admitted into and become a part of the United
States, and that that part of the Territory of Dakota south of the
forty-sixth parallel, contained a population svifficient to entitle it to
admission, and that Cong-ress had so declared by its action upon
the bill for the admission of such part of Dakota into the Union; that
it had all the other necessary qualifications, and that the people were
desirous of being- enfranchised and enjoy all the privileg-es of Amer-
ican citizenship.

At the time of the enactment of this law, Gilbert A. Pierce was
o-overnor, and he approved it March 9, 1885.

This law provided for the election of three deleg-ates on the 30th
day of June, 1885, apportioned among- the several counties of south-
ern Dakota; and that each county that should be org'anized before
the date of the election, should be entitled to one deleg-ate in the con-

The compensation of the members of the convention was fixed
at S2.50 for each day's attendance, and five cents a mile for each mile
necessarily traveled in gfoing- to and returning- from such convention.

This act directed the convention when assembled, to draft a
constitution for that portion of Dakota south of the forty-sixth par-
allel, and to provide for an election by the people of the proposed
state, at which election the constitution should he submitted to the
people for ratification; that the state officers, members of Cong-ress,
members of the leg'islature and all other officers provided for in the
constitution should be elected, and that the convention should have
power to provide all necessary means for holding- such election, and
for assembling- such legfislature when elected, and for carrying- into
effect all the purposes of such constitution.

It also conferred the power on the convention to provide the
manner of presenting- the constitution to the Congfress of the United
States, and to do and ordain all thing-s necessary to be done for the
purpose of carrying- into effect the g-overnment of the state as soon
as it should be admitted to the Union.

It also appropriated for the purpose of defraying- the expenses
of the convention the sum of twenty thousand dollars; but provided
that the members should not receive pay for a session of more than
thirty days.

The convention assembled at noon on the 8th day of September,
1885, at Germania hall, in the city of Sioux Falls, and was called to
order b}^ the Hon. John H. Teller, secretary of the territory, and
prayer was offered by the Rev. A. Jamieson, pastor of the Methodist
church at Sioux Falls. The roll of the deleg-ates elected was then
called by Secretary Teller, and the oath administered by him to all
those who were present. The Hon. A. J. Edg-ertonwas unanimously
elected president; John Cain of Hviron, secretary, and H. M. Avery
of Sioux Falls, assistant secretary.

Upon the org-anization being- perfected,, Henry Neil of Grant
offered a resolution that the convention adjourn sine die. This
resolution was prefaced by a preamble declaring- that it was not the
desire of the people of the territory that the southern portion should
be admitted separately to statehood; but that they desired admission
of the whole territory as one state. A motion was made that the


resolution be laid on the table, and upon the yeas and nays beiny-
called for, it resulted in 59 votes /(^>r and 12 (/s^^y/Zus/, whereupon a mo-
tion was made to reconsider the motion to lay <>n the table, and
that the motion to reconsider be laid on the table, which mo-
tion prevailed without division. The necessary committees were
then appointed and the rules and order of business adopted, and the
convention, in imitation of its predecessor of 1883, went at the work-
before it with commendable promptitude and enero-y. This conven-
tion had amontJ- its members a larj^e number of the "old war horses"
in the interest of statehood for southern Dakota, quite a number of
them having- been prominent leaders in the convention of 1883. It
was a distino-uished, representative body of men. The dele^-ates
from Minnehaha county were: E. P. Beebe, A. J. Berdahl, W. W.
Brooking-s, C. S. Gilford and J. B. (xoddard.

The convention concluded its labors on the 22d day of Septem-
l)er, having- been in session the same number of days as the one two
vears previous.

The constitution framed bv this convention is the Organic Law
of the State of South Dakota.

As independent propositions, the convention submitted the
(juestions of prohibition and minority representation.

On Tuesday, the 3d day of November, an election was held to
determine whether the constitution should be ratified or rejected,
and also to determine whether prohibition and minority representa-
tion should beeome a part of the constitution in the event of its rati-

The election resulted in the ratification of the constitution by a
vote of 25,132/'o;- and 6,522 ui^-ahist.

The vote on prohibition \vas 15,552 //>r and 15,218 (li^aii/s/.
The vote on minority representation was 11,25() /or and l().(>-l-0

The question of temporary seat of g-overnment resulted in the
following- vote: Huron, 12,^)95; Pierre, i0,574; Sioux Falls, 3,338;
Chamberlain, 3,170; Alexandria, 1,374; scattering-, ()02.

The official returns of the election in Minnehaha county were as
follows: for the constitution 1,298, ag-ahis/ 515; /or ])rohibition 901,
ag-aiiist 886; for seat of g-overnment. Sioux Falls 1,842, Pierre 20,
Huron 5.

The following- state officers were elected: A. C. Mellette, g-over-
nor; A. E. Frank, lieutenant gfovernor; Hug-h S. Murphy, secretary
of state; Frank Alexander, auditor; D. W. Dig-g-s, treasurer; Robert
Dollard, attorney g-eneral; A. S. Jones, superintendent of instruction;
W. H. H. Beadle, land commissioner. Judg-es of the supreme court.
A. G. Kellam, Dig-hton Corson, and John E. Bennett. Circuit judge,
H. H. Keith. Representatives to Cong-ress, (). S. (iifford, T. I).
Kanouse. State senators, C. E. McKinney, G. H. Johnson. Repre-
sentatives from Minnehaha county, Lewis Lyman, J. R. Manning-,
E. P. Beebe, and Lemuel Shaw. There was only one ticket in the
field in this county.

Before closing- its work the convention appointed an executive
committee, and empowered it, in the event of the ratification of the
constitution in November, to call the senators and representatives


elected tog^ether at such place as should be selected as the temporary
seat of o-()vernment, to org-anize as the leg-islature of Dakota, and to
exercise and perform the duties devolving- upon them as such leg-is-
lature under the constitution. The chairman of the committee was
Hug-h J. Campbell, and immediately after the canvass of the vote on
the 25th day of November, the committee directed the members elect
to meet at Huron on the 14th day of December.

A brief statement of what was done by this legfislature may not
be out of place here. Almost the entire number elected presented
themselves at Huron at the appointed time, and the oath of office was
administered to them by Hug-h J. Campbell. Both Houses proceeded
at once to elect the usual officers of such bodies. Immediately there-
after the two Houses met in joint session, and Mr. Campbell admin-
istered the oath of office to the state officers, including- the judg-es of
the supreme court. This completed the first day's work.

The next dav Governor Mellette delivered his messag-e to both
Houses assembled in joint session. The most remarkable feature of
this messag-e was, in substance, the declaration that the State of
Dakota a politic, created by the people, was a State not only dc facto,
but dc jure. Of course he did not mean to encourag-e rebellion
against the United States g-overnment, but did mean to be emphatic
enough in reg"ird to the claims of the people, to attract the attention
of Cong-ress. During- the same day the senate and house proceeded
to vote for United States senators. In the senate Ct. C. Moody re-
ceived 31 votes, being- the entire number of senators present. A. J.
Edg-erton and Hug-h J. Campbell were then placed in nomination, and
Edg-erton received 27 votes and Campbell 3 votes. In the house the
first ballot resulted in 52 votes for Edg-erton and 36 for Campbell.
The second ballot stood 70 for Moody and 60 for Campbell.

The third dav the senate and house met in joint session, when
A. J. Edg-erton and G. C. Moody were declared elected United
States senators.

A memorial to Cong-ress supplementary to those that had been
made bv and under the authority of the convention passed, and on
the 17th day of December, 1885, the leg-islature adjourned.

Prom this time on during- the years 188()-7-8, the attention of
Cong-ress was called to the condition of affairs in southern Dakota,
and urg-ed to enact such leg-islation as would result in the division of
the territory, and the admission of southern Dakota as a state. O. S.
Gifford, was territorial deleg-ate to Cong-ress during all this time, and
made g-reat effort to obtain the necessary leg-islation, but nothing-
was accomplished until the Spring-er enabling act was approved bv
President Cleveland on the 22d day of February, 1889. This act divided
the Territory of Dakotaonthe seventh standard parallel, and fixed the
time when and the place where each should meet to frame a constitu-
tion, how the constitutions should be submitted to the vote of the
people, and if ratified and republican in form and in compliance with
all requirements of the Constitution of the United States, they
should become the States of North Dakota and South Dakota.

The time fixed for the constitutional convention for South Da-
kota was July 4, 1889, and Sioux Palls was selected as the place Avhere
the convention should meet.



At the hour of 12 o'clock meridian, the mem hers elect of the con-
stitutional convention assembled in Germania hall in Sioiix Falls, and
were called to order by Diofhton Corson, one of the members. Prayer
was offered by the Rev. L. N. Stratton, and when the roll was called,
nearlv all the deleg-ates responded to their names. Chief Justice
Tripp then administered the oath, which was taken and subscribed
by the members. A. J. Edo-erton and S. B. VanBuskirk were nom-
inated for president of the convention, but no ballot was taken, Van
Buskirk withdrawin^j;- his name, and A. J.Edo-erton was unanimously
elected by acclamation. E. W. Caldwell was elected clerk pro tem.
On the 5th dav of Juh , the org-anization was completed by the
election of subordinate officers. P. A. Burdick of Vermillion was
elected chief clerk; Dr. A. W. Hyde of Brookin<jfs, enrolling- and en-
g-rossing- clerk; James Carney of Deadwood, serg-eant-at-arms; Rev.
J. A. Wakefield of Brooking-s, chaplain; Albert J. Keith, Charles C.
Walts and Frank E. Cloug-h, pag-es.

Althoug-h the work of this convention was broug-ht into a limited
field, it did not conclude its labors and adjourn until the 5th day of

The enabling- act or "Omnibus Bill" as it was called, ])ro\ided,
that at the election of deleg-ates to the South Dakota constitutional
convention of 188M, the constitution of 1885, and also the articles and
propositions separatelv submitted, should be submitted to the vote
of the peo])le, and if it should ag-ain be ratified, then that constitution
should onlv be amended or added to in such matters "as relate to
the name and boundary of the proposed state, to the reapportionment
of the judicial and leg-islative districts, and such amendments as may
be necessary in order to comply with the provisions of this act; and
if a majoritv of the votes cast on the ratification or rejection of the
constitution shall be for the constitution irrespective of the articles
separately submitted, the State of South Dakota shall be admitted as
a State in the Union under said constitution, as hereinafter provided."

At the time of the election of delegates. May 14, 188*), the ques-
tion of the ratification of the Sioux Falls constitution was submitted,
and it was ratified l)y a vote of more than ten to one.

The members from Minnehaha countv to this convention were:
Wm. Van Eps, E. W. Caldwell and Clark (i. Coats.

The enabling- act required that if the constitution of 1885 sh(Mild
be ratified at the election in May, it should be the duty of the consti-
tutional convention of 188*) to provide bv ordinance for re-submitting-
it to a vote of the people on the first Tuesday in October. This re-
quirement the convention com])lied with, and the constitution was
ratified at the election by an almost unanimous \-ote, there being- onl\
3,247 votes ag-ainst it.

The vote on the prohibition clause was .V),50M l'(»\ and .v>,4.-^(.
ai>-ai)K^l. There was a majority of 21,588 ag-ainst minoritx rri)ri-

The vote for temporarv seat of g'overnment was as follows:
Pierre, 27,096; Huron, 14,944; Watertown, 11.970; Sioux Falls, 11,703;
Mitchell, 7,506; (i^hamberlain, 2,414; scattering-, 44.




Governors. — William Javne, 1861-3; Newton Edmunds, 1863-6;
A. J. Faulk, 1866-9; John A. Burbank, 1869-74; John L. Pennington,
1874-8; Wm. A. Howard, 1878-80 (died in office April 10, 1880;; N. G.
Ordway, 1880-4; Gilbert A. Pierce, 1884-7; Louis K. Church, 1887-9.

Secretaries. — John Hutchinson, 1861-5; S. L. Spink, 1865-9;
T. M. Wilkins, 1869-70; G. A. Bachelder, 1870-2; E. S. McCook,
1872-3 (assassinated September, 1873, by Peter P. Wintermute);
Oscar Whitnev, 1873-4; Geo. H. Hand, 1874-83; J. M. Teller, 1883-6;
Michael L. McCormack, 1886-9.

Chief- Justices.— Philemon Bliss, 1861-4; Ara Bartlett, 1865-9;
Georo-e W. French, 1869-73; Peter S. Shannon, 1873-81; A. J. Edo-er-
ton, f881-5; Bartlett Tripp, 1885-9.

Associate Justices. — S. P. Williston, 1861-5; J. S. Williams,
1861-4; Ara Bartlett, 1864-5; W. E. Gleason, 1865-6; J. P. Kidder,
1865-75; J. W. Boyle, 1864-69; W. W. Brookino-s, 1869-73; A. H.
Barnes, 1873-81; G. G. Bennett, 1875-9; G. C. Moodv, 1878-83; J. P.
Kidder, 1878-83 (died in office); C. S. Palmer, 1883-7; S. A. Hudson,
1881-5; Wm. E. Church, 1883-6 (resijrned); L. K. Church, 1885-7;
Seward Smith, 1884; W. H. Francis, 1884-8; John E. Garland, 1887-9;
William B. McConnell, 1885-9; Charles M. Thomas, 1886-9; James
Spencer, 1887-9; Roderick Rose, 1888-9; Charles P. Templeton. 1888-9;
Louis W. Crofoot, 1888-9; Frank R. Aikens, 1889.

United States District Attorneys. — Wm.E. Gleason, 1861-4;
Georo^e H. Hand, 1866-9; Warren Coles, 1869-73 (died in olficej; Wil-
liam Pound, 1873-7 (died in office); Hui^-h J. Campbell, 1877-85; John
E. Garland, 1885-8; William E. Purcell, 1888-9; John C. Murphy, 1889.

Surveyors-General. — Georg-e D. Hill, 1861-5; Wm. Tripp,
1865-9; W. H. H. Beadle, 1869-73i Wm. P. Dewev, 1873-7; Henrv
Esperson, 1877-81; Corte/ Fessenden, 1881-5; Maris Taylor, 1885-9.

United States Marshals. — William F. Shaffer, 1861; Georo-e
M. Pinney, 1861-5; L. H. Litchiield, 1865-72; J. H. Burdick, 1872-7;
Jolin B. Raymond, 1877-81; Harrison Allen, 1881-5; Daniel W.Maratta,

Delegates to Congress. — In 1861, J. B. S. Todd, Democrat,
the first candidate for delegfate to Con<^-ress, was elected over A. J.
Bell and H. O. Boo^-e, Republicans, Todd receiving*- 397 votes; Bell,
78; Boog-e, 110. In 1862, Governor Jayne and J. B. S. Todd were
opposing- candidates, Jayne receiving- 237 votes and Todd, 221. Todd
contested Jayne's seat and was successful. The succeeding- dele-
g-ates in Cong-ress were as follows: W. A. Burleigh, in 18()4, de-
feated his opponent Todd, for a third term. In 1866, Burleig-h was
again successful, despite the opposition of W. W. Brookings, also a
Republican. In 1868, there was a lively campaigfn, Burleig-h being- a
candidate on an Independent ticket for a third term, opposed by
S. L. Spink, Republican, J. P. Kidder and J. W". Tohey, Independ-


ents, and J. B. S. Todd, Democrat. Spink, the Republican nomi-
nee, was successful, and in 1870 was ag-ain a candidate, as was also
Dr. Burleiofh, ag-ainst M. K. Armstrong-, Democrat. The latter was
successful, however, and in 1872, was re-elected after a bitter cam-
paign, in which G. C. Moody and Judge Brookings were the op-
posing candidates. In 1874, J. P. Kidder was the Republican nomi-
nee, opposed by Armstrong-, who wanted a third term. Kidder was
successful, and in 1876, was re-elected over his opponent, Spink,
who in this campaig-n had been nominated by the Democrats. In
1878, Judge G. G. Bennett, Republican, was the successful candi-
date against Bartlett Tripp, and in 1880, R. F. Pettigrew, Republi-
can, defeated Capt. M. L. McCormack, Democrat. In 1882, John B.
Raymond, Republican, was elected over Judge Brookings, and in
1884 was a candidate for re-nomination, but after one of the hottest
political contests in the history of the territory, was defeated for
re-nomination by O. S. Gilford, who was elected, and in 1886, re-
elected and served four vears. In 1884, Judge Giiford was opposed
by J. R. Wilson, Democrat, of the Black Hills, and in 1886 by M. H.
Day. In 1888, Georg-e A. Matthews was nominated by the Republi-
cans and elected, but by reason of the territory being- organized
into the States of North Dakota and South Dakota in 1880, Matthews
ne\er had a seat in Con^rress.

Number of

Votes Cast



18()1 88.

1861 585





1862 458





1864 607





1866 743





1868 3,878





'here is no record

of the Red River V

alley vote

for 1866.



Soon after South Dakota had become a state, A. J. Edg-erton was
a])pointed United States district judge for the district of South Da-
kotti, and held this office until his death, which occurred on the 0th
day of Aug-ust, 1806, and on the 31st day of the same month he was
succeeded bv John E. Garland, who is" the present judge. W. B.
Sterling- was United States district attornev from 1880 to 1803, E. W.
:\liller from 1803 to April, 1807, when J. D. Elliott was a])pointe(l.

Online LibraryDana Reed BaileyHistory of Minnehaha county, South Dakota. Containing an account of its settlements, growth, development and resources ... Synopsis of public records, biographical sketches .. → online text (page 12 of 99)