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 16 of 99)
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Having- secured one railroad, the enterprising- business men of
Sioux Falls set about the securing" of other lines into the citv.

During- the latter part of the year 1878, the Sioux Citv and Pem-
bina railroad had completed its line to Beloit, and, like all railroad
corporations, wanted a donation from the people residing- along- the
line as it proceeded to .build. It proposed to build to Sioux Falls
during the year 1879, provided an appropriation should be made bv
her people for that purpose. At this time the Chicagfo, Milwaukee
and St. Paul company was building- west from McGreg-or, and was
getting- its line within hailing- distance, and althoug-h the proposed
route entered Dakota south of Minnehaha county, it was thoug-ht ad-
\i sable to make the attempt to divert it from its course and secure
its extension to Sioux Palls.

A railroad companv was org-anized at Sioux Palls called the
Sioux Falls and Red River company, and had for its initial object the
■securing- of the Chicag'o, Milwaukee and St. Paul line of road. This
corporation consisted of B. P. Campl)ell, M. Cirig-sbv, Wm. VanEps,
C. K. Howard. J. M. W^ashburn, A. Gale, E. W. Caldwell, H. Cal-
lender, X. E. Phillips and T. H. Brown of Sioux Falls, and W. J.
Sibbison and R. S. Alexander of Dell Rapids.

As soon as incorporated, the company C(jnferred with the
manag-ement of the C, M. and St. P. R. R. Co.,in reference to secur-
ing- that line of road, but after brief neg-otiations it was found impos-



sible to diveri? it from its proposed route, or to secure any assuranct.'
that it would build a branch line to Sioux Falls.

During- the early part of 1879, the Pembina company manifested
a disposition to build to Sioux Falls, but at the same time it wanted
a donation, and submitted to the people at diiferent times, proposi-
tions for extendino- its line to Sioux Falls, and promised to have the
road in operation before January 1, 1880.

On the 26th day of July, it finally proposed that it would do
so if Sioux Falls would donate depot grounds and secure the rig-ht of
way from Canton. This offer was promptly accepted and the rig-ht
of way secured, and on the 18th day of December, 1879, the first
train over thiscroad arrived in Sioux Falls. During- the month of
October, 1879, the Sioux City and Pembina, and Dakota Southern
railroad companies consolidated, and on the first day of April, 1880,
the Chicag-o, Milwaukee and St. Paul company absorbed it into its
railroad system.

Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Passknc^ek Depot

Another road, the Southern Minnesota, during- 1879 was rapidly
coming- west throug-h southern Minnesota and it was thoug-ht desir-
able that this road should build down the valley of the Sioux to Sioux
Falls. It was not very g-reedy in its demand for a donation for
building-to Sioux Falls, butasked that depotg-rounds in. the villag-e and
the right of way for ten miles north of the corporation limits be
g-iven. This proposition was accepted, and the road secured and
com])leted into Sioux Falls in 1881, and was soon absorbed by the
Chicag-o, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Company.


rurltx(;t()x, cH:nAR rapids and xorthkrx


As early as iho 13th (la\ ol" August, 1SS4, P. P. Peck, then one
of the aldermen of Sioux lAalls, asked the city council, "to api)ro-
])riate S3()() to make a permanent survey of a line of railroad from
Sioux Falls east to a ])oint in Osceola or Lyon counties, Iowa, to inter-
sect with the Burlino-ton, Cedar Rapids and Northern railroad."
This was done by an unanimous vote, and a warrant ordered drawn
in the sum of SlOO, "to pay the incidental expenses of such survey."
A few months later a warrant was drawn for S40() to defrav the ex-
penses of the survey that had been made.

The foreo-oino- is the first record the writer has been able to iin<l
of anv attem])t made to o-et the Burlin«-ton line of road into Sioux

DiirinL;' ISSo the subject was discussed, hut no definite action

At a railroad meetino- held in Sioux Falls Januar\' 2, 18S(), the
Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroad Companv made a
proposition to extend its line to Sioux Falls durino- the vear bS8f).
To do this it required that a fund of S8(),()00 be raised bv the
people residing- along- the proposed route from Ellsworth to Sioux
Falls, and that the rig-ht of way and depot g-rounds be donated. Pre-
vious to this, the Sioux Falls, Iowa and Northern Railroad Company
had been formed, and the final result of this meeting- was to pass a
resolution as follows: '' Besoivaf, that it is taken to be the sense of
the meetintr that the officers of the Sioux Falls, Iowa and Northern
railroad be requested to draw a gfuarantee of the proposition here
submitted by President Ives, and present the same to the people of
Sioux Falls for their sig-nature, and that the chairman of this
meeting- appointacommittee of five for that purpose." This meeting-
was well attended and those present were in a mood to promise al-
most anything- to secure this road, in fact, some of them said, "Sioux
Falls could not prosper without it." An ag-reement was drawn up
andsig-ned by the committeeon the part of Sioux Falls, and bv Presi-
dent Ives on the part of the railroad company to carry into effect the
proposition as first made. It was estimated that Sioux Falls would
have to raise S50,00() of the S80,()00 asked for, and the contract was
made according^lv.

On the 11th day of January, 1886, the city council convened in
special session to consider a petition that had been circulated and
larg-ely sig-ned, asking- the council to levy a tax on all the taxable
property in the city, sufficiently larg'e to raise SSO.OOD, or else sub-
mit to the people the question of bonding- the city in that sum to
secure the building- of this road to Sioux Falls.

The council referred the petition to the finance committee, with
instruction to report at the next meeting-, and then adjourned until
the next day. On the 12th day of January the committee reported,
recommending- the council to submit the question of bonding- the citv
in the sum of S5l),()i)() in aid of the road, to the electors of Sioux
Falls, and that the election be held on the 9th of February, 188{).



The council at once passed a resolution calling- the election, as
recommended by the committee. Within a day or two after this
action had been taken, it was discovered that S50,000 would not be
sufficient to meet the oblig-ations assumed by the citizens committee,
and a public meeting- was held to take the subject into consideration.

At this meeting- it was thoug-ht advisable to raise S60,0()0, as it
would require at least $10,000 to g-et the rig-ht of way and depot
g-rounds in Minnehaha county. A resolution was passed, requesting-
the city council to submit the question of bonding- the city in the
sum of 860,000 to a vote of the people. In a called session on the
20th day of January, the city council rescinded its former action in
the matter, and ordered the question submitted to a vote of the peo-
ple on the 16th day of February, 1886, in accordance with the terms
of the resolution adopted at the citizens' meeting-.

The election was held and resulted in there being- 709 votes cast,
of which 671 were in favor of issuing- bonds, and 38 ag-ahis/.

On the 26th day of February the vote was canvassed and the
bonds ordered issued — 120 in number, of S500 each, at 7 per cent, in-
terest, to become due in twenty years. On the 12th day of May the
city council directed the mayor and clerk to sig-n the bonds and de-
posit them in the Minnehaha National Bank. This issue of bonds
was at a later date destroyed, owing- to some informalities, and on
the 9th day of March, 1887, a new issue of bonds was made in the
same amount, to run for twenty years from date.

Burlington, Cedar Rapies and Northern Passenger Depot.


The road was completed into Sioux Palls on the 26th day of Oc-
tober, 188(), J. W. Bo3'ce drivino- the last spike at 11 o'clock A. m.,
and the ringing- of church bells and blowing- of steam whistles
announced to the people that the B., C. R & N. railroad was com-
])leted. A freigfht train arrived that day over the road, and the fol-
lowing- (lav, at 3 o'clock f. M.,a passeng-er train left for Kllsworth, to
connect with the throug-h train from Watertown, and on the 1st day
of Noveml)er, liS8(), reg'idar passeng-er trains commenced running-.

In securing- the rig-ht of way throug-h the county, and in g-etting-
the other towns along- the line to Ellsworth to donate their ]-)ro])or-
tionate share, re(|uired not a little work on the ])art of Sioux Falls.
Thomas H. Brow^n did a g'ood deal of this work, and is entitled to a
larg-e share of the credit in obtaining- this line of road.


On the 2(>th d:iy of April, 1S(S7, a public meeting- was iu-ld al
Cherokee, Iowa, to take action in the matter of inducing- the Illinois
Central Railroad Company to build a branch to Sioux Ealls. It was
a well-attended meeting- of the business men of Cherokee, and they
were alive to the advantag-es the city w'ould secure by the building- of
this road. A committee w^as appointed to confer with the officials of
the road, and to set before them the advantag-es that Cherokee had
over all other towns on the line as a terminus of a branch road to
Sioux Falls. The committee had also instruction to confer with the
people of Sioux Palls, and g-et them interested in the enterprise.

This may be said to be the initial step that culminated in secur-
ing- to Sioux "Palls a connection with the Illinois Central, althoug-h
the citizens of Sioux Palls had before this taken some action in the
same direction.

About four o'clock in the afternoon of Thursday, May 12, 1SS7,
a deleg-ation of twenty-two g-entlemen arrived in Sioux Palls in the
interest of the proposed railroad from Cherokee. This deleg-ation
was made up of business men from Cherokee, Primg-ar, Sheldon and
Rock Rapids. They were expected to arrive the next day, but the
citizens were ready for them, and dodg-ers were at once circulated,
calling- the business men to assemble at the Cataract house that even-
ing- to confer with the deleg-ation reg-arding- the projected railroad

Representatives of all the various interests in the city responded
to the call, and the visitors were assured that nothing- would please
the people of Sioux Palls more, than to secure the railroad connec-
tion they desired.

Just prior to this time, it l)een intimated in railroad circles
that the Illinois Central had a project to extend its road from Port
Dodg-e to Sioux Palls, and from whatever point this road commenced
to build throug-h northw-estern Iowa, the people of Sioux P^alls were
determined to offer such inducements as to secure the connection.
R. P. Pettig-rew, A. Beveridg-e, C. R. McKinney, E. A. Sherman and
Major E. G. Smith were appointed on the part of Sioux P^alls to act
with the deleg-ations present from the several localities, with in-
structions to do everything- possible to secure the road.


The (leleo'.'Ltions retuiMUMl home the next (1<'l\-, and reported thev
had l)een enthusiastically received all alon.y- the line, and that the
people were alive to the importance of enerij-etic, concerted action, if
thev were to secure the road from Cherokee to Sioux Falls.

Sioux Falls had been fixed u])on by the Central, as the ultimate
terminus of the proposed branch, and whether it was to commence
at Fort Dodo-e, Tara, Manson, or Cherokee, (althou^-h her citizens
preferred it should be at Cherokee) she was reasonably certain of
the connection.

On the 22d day of May, 1887, the officials of the Illinois Central
visited Cherokee, and the advantag-es and feasibility of the route
from Cherokee to Sioux Falls were so strong-ly presented to them by
the people of that enterprising- city, that they secured an order di-
recting" Division Superintendent Gilleas to make a surxev of the
route at once.

On Wednesday, June 1, 1887, D. C. Rice of Sioux Falls, who had
l)een summoned to Cherokee, returned home and reported that the
route had been divided into three surveying" districts — one from
Cherokee to Sheldon, one from Sheldon west, and one from Sioux
Falls east; that he had charg-e of the one from Sioux Falls, and had
received instructions to push his work with all possil)]e vig-or, and
that he would commence the next day.

June 2, 1887, Superintendent Gilleas was in Sioux Falls, and he
said the survey would be completed over the entire route within two
weeks. On Wednesday, July 11, he ag"ain yisited Sioux Falls, ac-
companied by Wm. J. Knig"ht, attorney of the Illinois Central rail-
road, and it was soon known that they came with authority to con-
tract for the building" of the road from Cherokee to Sioux Falls
before January 1, 1888. As usual on occasions like this, a meeting-
was held at the Cataract house in the evening". It was larg"ely at-
tended by representative business men, and without any delay Mr.
Knig"ht made the following" proposition: ''The Illinois Central will
at once commence g-rading" and have its line from Cherokee to Sioux
Falls in operation l:)y January 1, 1888, if the city of Sioux Falls will
secure it depot g"rounds and the rigfht of way thereto from the cor-
poration limits." The pro})osition was accompanied with a state-
ment that the depot g-rounds wanted by the company was a strip of
land 300 feet wide and about 2,000 feet long-, on the east side of the
river north of Eig"hth street, between the river bank and the Omaha
track, and that the company desired the rig-ht of way to the packing-
house, polishing- works and quarries, and sufficient g-round for stock
yard and roundhouse purposes.

Before this, the people of Sioux Falls had ag"reed with the towns
east, throug"h which the road was to be built, that Sioux Falls would
secure the rig-ht of way in Minnehaha county. After the proposition
had been submitted bv Mr. Knig-ht, it was discussed fully by those
present and iinally submitted to a vote, and it was unanimously de-
cided to accept the proposition. A committee was then appointed,
consisting- of R. K. Pettig"rew, C. E. McKinney, E. G. Smith, E. A.
Sherman and C. O. Bailey, to obtain a g"uarantv that the ag"reement
would be carried out, and to arrang-e with the company in reference
to all matters contained in its proposition.


Allhoui^-li tliis project of l)iiil(lin<^' tlu' road from Clu'rokre to
Sioux Falls was heini;- carried on 1)\' the Illinois Central company,
still it could not do it directly, as its charter obtained from the State
of Illinois did not permit it to construct <an\- railroad lines outside of
the state, but it could ac([uire possession of railroads bv ])urchase or
consolidation. To avoid this inhibition, the Cherokee and Dakota, a
construction company, was incorporated, composed of ])rominenl of-
ficials of the Illinois Central.

On Tuesday, July 12, 1887, a larg"e deleo'ation came over from
Rock Rapids for the purpose of seeintr what could be done in refer-
ence to the rijLrht of way nine miles in leng-th, in Minnesota. This
deleg-ation wanted Sioux Falls to take care of it, as they had all thev
could do at Rock Rapids, havino- to procure thirty-two miles of ri;^ht
of way in Lvon county besides dejiot o-rounds. The result of this
conference was an a«*reement that Sioux l'\alls should ol)tain \hr
riu-ht of way in Minnesota.

The followino" Thursday prominent officials of the Illinois Cen-
tral came to Sioux Falls and informed the people just what was
wanted to settle the question whether the road would be built or not.
Some of the recjuirements it was impossible to perform, and soon af-
ter, E. A. Sherman and R. F. Petti^jfrew went to Dubucpie to confer
further with the railroad officials, and obtain, if possible, such modi-
fications of the contract as would enable the people of Sioux lAalls to
enter into it, feeli no- assured that the\ could perform the oblio-ations

In this mission they were successful, and Mr. Sherman relunu-d
to Sioux Falls. On Tuesday, July 2<), 1887, he started out with a
contract of o-uaranty to ol)tain the sig-natures of the business men of
the city, and the amount they would be individually responsible for
if the road was built in 1887. The city had bond'^ed for S()(),(M)() in
building- the B., C. R. and N. railroad, and had promised the Willmar
and Sioux Falls company S()0,()00 more, and it looked like a big- job to
secure S40,0()0 for this road, and it was ]irobal)le that it could not be
obtained for a less sum.

Mr. Sherman put in a g-ood day's work, and at night had S3(), ()(»(»
subscribed. Thirteen men had subscribed SI, 000 each, and thirty-
four men S500 each. The next day he increased theg'uaranty to S-l-2,-
250, and then teleg-raphed the officials of the Illinois Central that the
guarant}' was completed in accordance with the Dubuque ag-reement.
Thursday evening- a public meeting- was held, but it was only neces-
sary as a ratification meeting-, and it is safe to say that a Sioux Falls
audience was never in a happier mood. A committee was appointed
to secure the rig-ht of way, consisting- of E. A. Sherman, R. F. I^etti-
g-rew, C. E. McKinney, H. M. Avery and R. (x. Parmley.

On Saturday, July 30, 1887, the gfuaranty was accepted by the
railroad officials, and the g-rading- of the road let, to be complete<l
within sixty days, and the people of Sioux Falls retired that niyht
assured of another connection with a great railroad system.

E. A. Sherman, R. F. Pettig-rew and R. G. Parmley went into
Minnesota to secure the rig-ht of way, in fact, all alongf the line as
far as Sioux Palls %vas to obtain it, and one of the committee re-



ported that when they were all tog-ether they could always secure
it. Pettig-rew and Sherman would g-et the men into their barns and
Parmley would g-o into their houses and b}- his bland smiles, winning-
deportment and entertaining- song's would so please the ladies that
when they came to the point of contracting- for the amount that
should be paid, they always found the wives more liberal than the
husbands. On the 12th day of Aug-ust, 1887, this commitee re-
ported that thev had secured the rig-ht of way throug-h Minnesota,
except for a short distance over the property of two nonresidents,
and that in so doing", had contracted to pay S(i,4()0.

The first iron rail laid on this road was on Mondav, September
26, 1887, at Cherokee, Iowa.

Monday, December 19, 1887, was a cold day, but nearly five
hundred men with two hundred teams were approaching- the ter-
minus of the Illinois Central in the city of Sioux Falls, laying- the
iron rail as thev advanced, and the whole city was ready for a burst of
enthusiasm when the last spike should be driven. At just 11:30
o'clock, P. M., ever^'thing- was readv, when Mayor Norton, wielding-
the sledg-e with with a few well directed blows, sent the last spike
home, and the whole ^city was soon made aware b}^ the g-reat com-
motion that followed'that Sioux Falls had an air line railroad con-
nection 'with-Chicag-o.

Illinois Central Passenger Depot

It had been previouslv arrang-ed that a banquet should be g-iven
the officials of the Illinois Central when the road was completed, and
the evening- of the Dth day of December had been fixed upon as the
time, and as Governor L. K. Church was to be in the city on that day,
it was made a dual affair in honor of the officials and his excellencv.


At midni.yht Mayor Norton appeared at the l)an(iuet room with the
railroad officials, and as the governor and other invited quests were
])resent all sat down to one of the most ele.o-ant spreads Sionx Falls
had ever o-iven. E. W. Cakhvell was toastmaster, and called on
Governor Church to welcome the Central to Dakota, which he did in
a splendid speech. This was followed bv speeches froni U. R.Baile\-
anti Major E.O. Smith on the part of Sioux Falls. (leneral Manaj4;er
Jeifries then made the speech of the occasion, and eloquently as-
serted that notwithstanding- a majority of the stock and bonds of his
company was held by foreio-ners it was American to the core.
Speeches from F. R. Aikens, C. H. Winsor and E. G. Wrij[»-ht fol-
lowed, and the tratherino- dispersed after having- g-iven three cheers
and a tig-er for the Queen Citv.

On Thursday, December'22, vS30,00() was paid out in Si(.ux Falls
to the laborers on the new line of road.

Freig-ht trains commenced runnino- on this road in Jamiar\-, bSSS.
Cherokee accommodation 1
passeng-er train June 3, 188(S,

It only remains to add that Sioux Falls fulfilled all the ol)liga-
tions entered into by her citizens to secure this road, and that the
city council issued the warrants of the cit}- in the sum (^f S43,32*>..52,
to pav for the rig-ht of way and depot g-rounds,


On the 18th day of February, 188(), several business men of Ri})e-
stone \isited Sioux Falls to work up the interest among" her people
in building- a railroad to be known as the Willmar and Sioux Falls
railroad. They reg-istered at the Cataract House and then called
upon some of the most prominent business men in the cit\', extolling-
the enterprise they had in hand as only men can do who want a rail-
road. In the evening- a meeting- was held in one of the samj)le rooms
at the Cataract House and the project discussed in all its phases.
E, A. Sherman was chairman of the meeting-, and before it adjourned
it was decided unanimously to make a move to obtain the road, and
Andrew Beveridg-e, C. L. Norton and Cvrus Walts were a[)[)ointed a
committee to act for the city. A day or two after this meeting- a
local company was org-anized as the Willmar and Sioux Flails Rail-
road Company, with S2,()0(), ()()() capital to build the line, and among-
the directors elected were E. A. Sherman and H. T. Corson of Sioux
Falls. On March 11, 1886, articles of incorporation were filed with
the secretary of state of Minnesota, and on April (>, the local com-
pany ordered a preliminary survey to be made.

On Tuesday, July 20, 1886, a mass meeting- was held in Sioux
Falls to g-et an expression of the citizens and to see what could be
done to secure the road. The meeting- was quite larg-ely attended,
and resulted in passing- a resolution g-uaranteeing- ^5(),()(H) and the
rig-ht of way for the line in Minnehaha county to the Manitoba Rail-
way Company, if the company would build the road into Sioux Falls,

xVfter this time, during- the year 1886, conferences were held in
St. Paul with the Alanitoba management by prominent citizens of
Sioux Falls for the purpose of obtaining-, if possible, the assurance


that the road would come to Sioux Falls. Nothing- of a definite char-
acter was accomplished, althoug-h the people at this end of the line
were doing- everything- the>' could to aid in the project.

On the 8th day of January, 1887, it was reported that the survey-
ing- partv was west of Willmar, and coming west, and on the 7th day
of March, that the survey had been completed to Pipestone. March
24, the surveyors arrived in Sioux Falls, ha\'ing- completed the survev
of the entire line.

April 28, 1887, a meeting- was held in the court house by the citi-
zens of Sioux Falls, for the purpose of considering- a proposition that
had been made by President J. M. Spicer, which contemplated the
building- of the road to Sioux Falls. It was larg-ely attended, and the
utmost enthusiasm prevailed; and when it was known that the condi-
tions of securing- the road were a donation of 850,000, and the rig-ht
of way in Minnehaha countv, it was so g-ood a thing- that no discussion
took place and the proposition was accepted by a unanimous vote.
A petition to the city council was then and there sig-ned by upwards
of liftv taxpayers, asking- the council to levy a direct tax in aid of the
road, and j)ledg-ing- the sig-ners to use their best endeavors to secure
the name of every taxpayer in the city. William Van Eps, W. H.
Corson, P. P. Peck, N. E. Phillips and John Sundback were ap-
])ointed a committee to wait upon the county commissioners at once,
and urg-e them to call a special election, and submit the question of
levying- a direct tax in aid of the road to the electors of the county.

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 16 of 99)