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

. (page 19 of 99)
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 19 of 99)
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Committees were appointed, and the work received such hearty sup-
port of the business men, that in a few days there had been over four
hundred dollars subscribed, besides donations of furniture and other
useful articles. The g'eneral expenses of the work such as board,
clothing- and transportation, were to be provided for by the super-

The first children were received February 16, 1893, and up to
June 1, 1895, there had been received two hundred and two children,
forty-three of them from Minnehaha county. All of these children
had been placed in homes, except seventeen, who still remained at
that time.

The Home is located a short distance south of the Baptist col-
lege, and althoug-h not pretentious in appearance, serves its purpose
in making- a temporary home for homeless and neg-lected children.
AVhen a child has been received at the Home, the first work of the
superintendent is to find a clean. Christian home for the child. The
society requires g-reat care to be exercised in so doing-, and when the
child has been placed in a home, it does not for this reason cease t(j
watch over it.

This institution is supported wholly by voluntary contributions.

Until May 1, 1895, the work had been carried on under the su-
pervision of the department of Minnesota. During- the session of
the legislature of South Dakota in 1895, an act was passed providing-
for the incorporation of associations to provide homes for destitute
children. Under this law, the South Dakota Children's Home So-
ciety became incorporated Angfust 20, 1895, with the following- 1)oard
of directors: For three vears. Bishop W. H. Hare, C. E. Baker,
W. B. Sherrard, Mrs. Hattie C. Phillips of Sioux Falls, A. S. Dis-
brow of Alce^ter, N. C. Mallory of Aberdeen, Mrs. J. K. Woods of
Rapid City, Coe I. Crawford of Pierre. For two years, W. H. Stitfier,
J. N. Hutchinson, C. E. McKinnev, Mrs. A. Beveridg-e of Sioux
Falls, Joseph Stone of Tyndall, S. R. Thrall of Huron, E. M. Will-
iams of Yankton, Geo. G. Ware of Dead wood. For one vear, J. O.
Dobson, D. B. Scott, C. S. Palmer, P. P. Peck, Amund Mikkelson,
Mrs. S. G. Tuthill of Sioux Falls, Mrs. Alice Gossag-e of Rapid Citv,
W. F. T. Bushnell of Aberdeen.


The object and scope of this association as now incorporated is
"to take charg-e of and place in family homes any children surren-
dered to them by parents or o-uardians,or delivered to them upon the
order of any court of record of this state, or by any board of countv
commissioners or other bod}- having- the care of the poor."

W. B. Sherrard has been superintendent and in charg-e of the
Children's Home ever since it was first located at Sioux Palls. He
has labored industriously and conscientiously, with his whole heart
in the work, and is entitled to the hearty support of all in his eifort
to find Christian homes for the poor little waifs of humanity. Since
May 1, 1895, Miss Allie Jewell of the Iowa Children's Home Society,
has been engag-ed as assistant superintendent of the South Dakota
society, and has active charge of the Children's Home at Sioux Falls,
and is well adapted for the work.

Mr. Sherrard, in speaking of the Home, said that the committee
of charities and corrections of the Cong'reg'ational convention held in
Sioux Falls in 1892, called attention to the fact, that before the state
recognized a child it had to become a truant, vagrant or criminal; and
put the following' inquiry to the convention: "Is it well to take a
young- criminal and try and keep him from becoming- an old criminal;
is it not better to keep him from becoming- a criminal at all?"

One of the objects of the Children's Home, in the languag-e of
Mr. Sherrard, is to prevent the child from becoming- a criminal at all.

The great g-ood this society is doing, commends it to the consid-
eration of all, and it hardly seems possible that the good people of
South Dakota will permit an institution of this character to lack in
material support.






xVt the second meeting' of the coiint\' commissioners of Minne-
haha county, held April 3, 1871, at the store of W. S. Bloom, in the
\ illag-e of Sioux Falls, James A. Hand was appointed superintendent
of schools. At a special meeting of the board on April 12, this ap-
pointment was rescinded for the purpose of appointing Mr. Hand
county attorney, and John Bippus was appointed county superin-
tendent of schools. The first official act of Mr. Bippus under this
appointment was to divide the county of Minnehaha into school dis-
tricts, and a report of the division he made was submitted to the
board of county commissioners at their next meeting, July 3, 1871.
This report was adopted by the board, and seven school districts
were created.

School district No. 1, comprised the entire township of Sioux
Falls; No. 2, nearly the entire township of Mapleton; No. 3, sections
one, and part of twelve in Benton, three sections in the northwest
corner of Mapleton, four sections on the east side of Lyons, and
twelve sections in Sverdrup; No. 4, ten and one-half sections in the
north and west part of Sverdrup, and eight sections in the south and
west part of Dell Rapids township; No. 5, the township of Wayne;
No. (), the township of Split Rock, and No. 7, the townshi]) of

These original districts were subsequently divided and subdi-
\ided and other districts organized as the population of the county
increased. There have been as many as one hundred and thirty dis-
tricts, but through consolidations the number has been reduced, and
at this writing 1899; there are one hundred and twenty-two school
districts in Minnehaha county in which schools are taught. The
number of persons of school ag^e (6-21 years) in the county is 7.100,
and the average attendance during the last school year was 3,619.



The South Dakota School for Deaf-Mutes was established in the
fall of 1880 under the name of Dakota School for Deaf-Mutes, and was
located at the City of Sioux Falls.

Mrs. D. F. Minofus, ncc Miss Jennie Wright, now a resident of
San Dieg-o, Cal., took the first steps tow^ard the establishment of the
school, which has g-rown to such proportions during- the past eig-hteen

Upon her arrival here, Mrs. Ming-us secured the co-operation of
Rev. Thomas B. Berry, an Episcopal minister, who had been in-
structor in the New York and Maryland schools for the deaf.

There were at this time four deaf children in Sioux Falls — Hester
Black, Willie Hanley, and two brothers, Lewis and Harry Garrison.
These children Mrs. Ming-us and Mr. Berry took into their care, and
soon added a fifth, Andrew Sieverson, from the vicinitv of Sioux

The work of educating- these children was carried on in a private
dwelling-, and the expenses were paid by private donations. In the lat-
ter part of the summer following-, Professor James Simpson, for three
years a teacher in the Iowa institute for the education of the deaf, and
brother-in-law of Mrs. D. F. Ming-us, came to Sioux Falls and as-
sumed the manag-ement of the school. A fund of SI, 000 was donated
by the City of Sioux Falls, besides an appropriation of 32,000 from
the territory, and a site of ten acres, which was the g-ift of E. A.
Sherman, R. F. Pettig-rew and L. T. Dunning-, all of Sioux Falls, and
Isaac Emerson of Melrose, Mass.

A frame structure 36x40 feet and a wing- 16x24 feet, containing-
fourteen rooms, was at once erected upon the site donated. This
building- was ready for occupancy October 21, 1881, on which date
the pupils were removed to it. There were then seven pupils, Sarah
Collins of Sioux Falls and Willie Richmond of Bon Homme county
having- been added to the previous inmates.

The first board of directors was made up of the following* gentle-
men: E. A. Sherman president; Amos F. Shaw treasurer; E. G.
Wrig-ht secretary and C. K. Howard, all of Sioux Falls, J. O'Brien
Scobey of Brookings, Rev. G. C. Pennell of Deadwood, C. A. Louns-
bury of Bismarck, V. P. Thielman of Parker and O. S. Gilford of

During its session of 1883 the territorial legislature appropriated
the sum of $12,000 for the erection of a new building-. At the begin-
ning of the term of 1884-5, the frame structure w^as vacated, and the
main building occupied.

Shortly after, more room was needed, and two years after secur-
ing the appropriation for the main building, another appropriation
from the territor}', this time S16,000, was obtained. The erection of
the boy's dormitory was then commenced, and was completed in the
spring of 1886. Both buildings were made of Sioux Falls granite,
the first being trimmed with with red bricks and the last Avith red
pipestone from the famous quarries in Minnesota.

The next appropriation secured for building's and improvements


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was the sum of S56,0()0, obtained in February, 1887. A shop buildino-
was erected, also a barn, lM)th built of Sioux Palls o-ranite. A water
tank holdino- 525 barrels, and a wind mill were put up, and twenty
acres of land adjoininjy;- the orig-inal site were purchased.

Up to the summer of 1887, the superintendent and his wife, with
an assistant part of the time, were the only teachers, but the school
had increased to such proportions that additional teachers were

The openino- of the school in the fall of 1887 saw three teachers,
a])p<)inted durino- the summer ready to take up the work. These
were Miss Emma Von Behren, Miss M. Prances Walker and Mr. H.
McP. Hofsteater. After a year of teaching-. Miss Walker resig-ned
her position and was succeeded by Mr. Prank R. Wrig-ht. After an-
other year Miss Von Behren resig-ned her position as teacher and ac-
cepted that of matron of the school, which position had been held for
live years b}- Miss Ida E. Wrig-ht. Previous to the appointment of
Miss Wrio-ht as matron. Miss Kate Harringfton held this position
for a short time. Mrs. M. L. Simpson was appointed to fill the va-
cancy caused by Miss Von Behren 's resig-nation. Mrs. Simpson had
been for several years a teacher in the St. Louis day school for the
deaf. Miss Von Behren held her position as matron until 1891, when
she resig-ned and was succeeded by Miss M. Prances Walker, form-
erly a teacher in the school. Mr. Wrig-ht also resig-ned in 1891, and
Miss Von Behren ag-ain became a teacher. In 1892, Mr. Hofsteater
resig-ned and Phil L. Axling-, one of the first g-raduates of the
school, was appointed to fill the vacancv.

An art department was created in the latter ])art of 1889, and
Charles A. Eocke, a g-raduate of the Iowa school for the deaf, was
appointed instructor. Pailure to obtain sufficient ])rovision for the
maintenance of this department, caused it to be (liscontinued, and
Mr. Eocke left the school in the spring- of 1892.

In Augfust, 1887, a boys' supervisor and a nig-ht watchman were
appointed, W. E. Dobson and H. J. Harlow filling- these positions.
Two years later both of them resig-ned, and C. R. Hemstreet and A.
T. Richardson were appointed. Mr. Hemstreet resig-ned in Jul\-,
1892, and was succeeded by John (xriffiths.

In the fall of 1889 the territory was divided and the states of
North and South Dakota were created. The following- winter the
North Dakota leg-islature established a school for her deaf children.
As a result of a conference between Governor Mellette of South Da-
kota and Governor Miller of North Dakota, the children of the last
mentioned state attending- school at Sioux Palls were sent home in
April, 1890. Prior to that time the pupils in the South Dakota
school numbered forty-seven. Thirteen belong-ed to North Dakota,
and before the close of the term one or two others had left the school,
leaving- thirty-two pupils. Within three years after, the number'of
])upils had increased to forty-eig-ht, while at the same time ten or
twehe had g-raduated, or left never to return as pupils.

During- the year 1892, a ninetv-ton round silo was built, and tin-
same year it was filled with corn ensilag-e, raised on the twenty acres
of land belong-ing- to the school. This ensilag-e constituted almost


the sole feed for ten cows and some fifty head of sheep. For the lat-
ter a frame addition to the barn was built in the fall of 1892, the bovs
of the school doing- the work with the assistance of a carpenter.

One of the first trades taug-ht in the school was printing-, a small
outfit being- purchased in May, 1887, and the publication of a small
paper was commenced in December of the same \^ear. About a year
after, carpentry and the tinner's trade were introduced. Farming-
operations have been carried on more or less from the first, and to-
day the results of the labor in this direction stand out very conspic-

Several of the older boys are instructed as thoroughh' as possi-
ble in practical farming and dairying. After one term the tinner's
trade had to be abandoned by reason of lack of funds to pay for the
services of a competent foreman. Printing- continued to be taug-ht.
The boys received their first lessons in the art from H. McP. Hof-
steater, one of the teachers, and in December, 1887, started a small
leaflet called The Advocate. The paper circulated first at home, but
in January following- it was enlarged and sent out as a fortnig-htlv,
under the title of The Dakota Advocate, and later it became a

A steam-heating apparatus was placed in the main building- as
early as 1885, and about two years after the completion of the bo3's'
dormitory the building was heated by steam. In January, 1891, elec-
tric lig-hts were placed in all the buildings, including- the barn.

The school term beg-ins on the second Wednesday in September
in each year, and closes on the second Wednesday in June following-.
All pupils return to their homes for a summer vacation of twelve
weeks. The course of study pursued in the school consists of the
English lang-uag-e, composition, history, arithmetic, geog-raphy,
grammar, physiolog-y, penmanship, drawing- and bookkeeping.

During the whole period since the school was opened, the health
of the pupils has been g-ood. Every pupil has recourse to the bath
apartments at least once a week. They are always furnished with
g-ood, serviceable clothing, well-cooked and wholesome food, and com-
fortable beds. In study, labor, and recreation, constant watchful-
ness is exercised over their health, as well as their intellectual and
moral training-.

In Professor Simpson's report covering- the time from November
30, 1890, to June 30, 1892, he stated that they had obtained throug-h
the United States census office the names of over one hundred and
twent}' deaf persons between the age of six and twenty-one years re-
siding- in South Dakota. Of this but fifty-six had availed themselves
of the benefits of this school, while the remainder were g-rowing- up
to manhood and womanhood in total darkness. He thinks it is an
outrag-e on civilization, and a disgrace, and an exhibition of rank
ignorance on the part of the parents and guardians who refuse to
allow the afflicted children the benefits of the school. "Education is
necessary for every child, but more so for the deaf, for obvious
reasons." The proper age at which deaf-mutes should be sent to
school is between six and ten, according to health and growth.

The method of instruction in this school is known as the "com-


bined system," that is, sig-ns and the manuel alphabet are used in
teachino- all, and articulation is taug-ht to those only whose vocal
org-ans have not been sufficiently impaired to render them incapable
of utterance.

The number of pupils during- the school year of 1893 was forty-
eig-ht, and during- the school years of 18*)4 and 18*)5, there were in at-
tendance each year forty-seven pupils. At the close of the school in
June, 1805, the following- persons were in charg-e of the school: Pro-
fessor James Simpson, superintendent; Miss Hester E. Bridg-es,
matron; Phil L. Axling-, Mrs. M. L.Simpson and Miss M.F.Walker,

The school has been under the care of a board of directors, a
board of trustees and finally a board of charities and corrections.
This last mentioned board consists of five members, who have in
their charge besides the school for deaf-mutes, the state reform
school, the South Dakota hospital for insane, and the South Dakota

Governor Lee in his annual messag-e in January, 1899, said of
this school that "no state institution is conducted in a more ener-
getic and conscientious manner than the deaf-mute school under the
able manag-ement of Professor Simpson and his wife."


In July, 1881, a mass meeting- of Baptists in the southern half ol
Dakota Territory was held in Madison, and during- this meeting- a
committee was appointed to secure offers from different localities
for the establishment of an institution of learning- to be under the
guidance and control of the Baptist denomination. Edward Ellis,
A. W. Hilton, A. S. Orcutt, M. J. Lewis and B. Morse were ap-
pointed such committee. The citizens of Sioux Falls made an offer
of $6,000 in cash and land, for the location of the institution in the
City of Sioux Falls, which offer was accepted. A board of trustees
was elected, and the institution named Dakota Colleg-iate Institute.
The school opened September 18, 1883, in the basement of the Bap-
tist church, where it was held for two years. Professor Hardy C.
Stone was in charg-e of the work until his death February 11, 1885.
During- that year the school was reorg-anized and then became known
as the Sioux Falls University, and the Rev. E. B. MeredUh was
elected president. He held this position until January 1, 1.895, when
he was succeeded by Professor E. A. Ufford, who resig-ned after
having- been in charge one year, and Professor E. B. McKay took his
place and remained its president until his death, when Professor
A. B. Price, the present incumbent, was appointed.

The first class g-raduated in 1886, and each succeeding- year a
class has graduated from the academic department. President
Meredith and F. J. Walsh (who was a professor in this school for
seven years), placed all the friends of the institution under great
obligations for their untiring, self-sacrificing devotion to its inter-
ests. The faculty has been composed of an al)le corps of teachers,
and it is not too much to predict that not\/ithstan(ling the financial
embarrassment under which it has hitherto labored, it will soon take


a prominent position amontf the leading- institutions of learning- in
the Northwest.

The board of trustees have quite recently chang-ed the name of
this institution, and it is now known as the Sioux Palls Colleg-e.
The accompanying- illustration of the school building- makes it unnec-
essary to describe it, except that it is seventy-six feet long- and forty
feet wide. It is beautifully located southwest of the business por-
tion of the city, with ample g-rounds for colleg-e purposes; and one of
the most admirable features of its location is, that it is far enoug-h
from the city to secure the tranquility so desirable for a school,
while at the same time it is near enoug-h to make it pleasantly acces-
sible from the city.


Bishop Hare, on the 7th day of April, 1884, met by appointment
a few" of the most influential citizens of Sioux Palls in the parlors of
the Cataract house, to lay before them a project he had in view of lo-
cating- somewhere within his diocese an institution for the education
of voung- ladies. When they had all assembled, the Bishop made a
statement of what he wished to do, and said that he did not come to
g-et a bid and then g-o elsewhere to see if he could g-et more favorable
terms, but that he had come to the conclusion that Sioux Palls, tak-
ing- all thing's into consideration, was the most appropriate place for
the institution he was about to establish, and that he would locate it
at Sioux Palls upon certain conditions. He then proceeded to say
that he had a certain sum of money at his disposal for that purpose,
and that his proposition was one of business. That he should re-
quire, if his proposition was accepted, the most unqualified assur-
ance that it would be fulfilled on the part of the citizens of Sioux
Palls, and that he w^as willing- to gfive an ample bond that he would
faithfully perform all that he proposed on his part. He then laid be-
fore them the plans of the main building- as it now stands, and said
he W'Ould proceed at once to erect it, and have it ready for occupancy
as a school for young- ladies in September the following- year. But
before ag-reeing to do so he must have a donation of $10,000 in land
and cash. His estimate of the cost of the structure was in excess of
540,000. After having- made this proposition he left the room. The
citizens present, at once determined that the proposition was one
which the people of Sioux Palls could not afford to reject. A vote
was taken, and all present voted to accept the proposition, and ap-
pointed a committee to see that the land was obtained, and the bal-
ance of cash raised. The committee eng-ag-ed in the work assigned
them with great zeal, and only a few days elapsed before they had
secured the site for the buildings, and the necessary amount of

During the summer of 1884, the foundations were built, and on
the 11th day of September, the corner stone was laid, with such ec-
clesiastical and masonic ceremonies as were appropriate to the
formal beginning of such a great educational enterprise. A proces-
sion was formed at the Masonic Temple, composed of the Knights
Templar, Sioux Palls Chapter No. 2, the Blue Lodge and members
of the Grand Lodge, in the order named, numbering 140. This pro-


cession, at the head of which was the Canton hand, proceeded to
Main avenue, then south on Main avenue. Between Fourteenth
street and the railroad track it halted to receive the ecclesiastical
body, composed of sixteen clerg-yman and several lay members,
headed by Bishop Hare, which was approaching from the site of the
building-. The Knights Templars formed in open ranks and the ec-
clesiastical body passed through and took a position between the
Knights and the Chapter, after which the united procession marched
to the place of the final exercises. The initiatory ceremonies of lay-
ing- the corner stone were conducted by Bishop Hare. Psalm 145
was read responsively by the Bishop and the clergy, the Apostle's
Creed was recited and other exercises engaged in, after which the
Bishop deposited in a copper box in the cavity the articles that had
])een prepared for that purpose. The box was then sealed, and the
laying of the corner stone was committed bv the Bishop to the Ma-
sonic fraternity. The Grand Lodge took charge of putting the stone
in ]ilace. Wm. Blatt of Yankton, Grand Master, had charge of the
ceremonies, which were those prescribed by the ritual for such oc-
casions. At the conclusion of the ceremonies several addresses were
made. Bishop Hare gave the history of the enterprise, and addressed
the multitude present in a very feeling manner; and all who heard
him were convinced, that the enterprise so auspiciouslv begun, would
under his direction and care not only become in due time an educa-
tional institution of great advantage to Sioux Palls, but also a grand
memorial of the good Bishop's labors in behalf of the people under
his charge.

The Rev. W. J. Harris, D. D., followed the Bishop in an ad-
dress on behalf of the clergy, D. R. Bailey on behalf of the citv of
Sioux Palls, the Rev. S. G. Upd3^ke of Watertown on behalf of the
Masonic fraternity, and Judge C. S. Palmer and (xovernor (xilbert
A. Pierce made eloquent addresses, cong-ratulating the Bisho]), the
city of Sioux Palls and the people who would be able to avail them-
selves of the educational advantages of such an institution of learning.

The building was completed during the summer of 1885, and on
the 17th day of September of that year it was dedicated with appro-
priate exercises to the purpose for which it had been erected. Since

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 19 of 99)