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 40 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 40 of 99)
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elingf public. Since then it has been conducted by different ])arties,
the present manag-er being- Prank G. Chaphe.

Phillips House. — This hotel was built by Mrs. Hattie C.
Phillips in 1883, since which time it has been occupied for hotel pur-
])oses. It is quite a larg'e, well arrang-ed hotel, and receives a liberal
share of patronag-e. The present proprietor is John C. McNicol.

Parker House. — Mrs. C. F. H. Koepi)en built this hotel at an
early date, and it was known as the Koeppen Hotel for several years.
The late Joel Parker finally purchased the property, and remodeled
and enlarg-ed it, and g-ave it the name of Parker House. The pres-
ent proprietor is G. N. Park.

Christiania House. — This hotel located on the west side of
Phillips avenue between Eleventh and Twelfth streets, was built by
John Henjum. For some years a building- standing- upon the same
lot was occupied by him as a restaurant, but in the early eig-hties he
enlargfed it and used it for hotel purposes. Since his death, which
occurred several vears ag-o, it has been conducted by Mrs. Henjum,
or by her tenants, and has been well patronized.

Rockingham House. — This hotel located on the corner of Tenth
street and First avenue, was built in 1885, by A. M. Hodg-don, Init


was subsequently enlarg-ed and occupied by him for several years.
It has passed into other hands, but is still used as a hotel.

CoLiiMRiA Hotel. — At an early date in the settlement of Cen-
tral South Dakota, Ashton was the county seat of Spink county, and
the buildinu- known as the Columl)ia Hotel was erected there for a
hotel. When the Milwaukee railroad was built throuo-h this county
a station was established some two or three miles from Ashton, and
was named Ashton, and the old site was soon known as Old Ashton.
The Northwestern railroad company established the station of Red-
lield only a few miles from Ashton, and a town rapidily grew up and
secured the county seat. Old Ashton was, of course, abandoned,
and this hotel building- now^ fronting- north on Ninth street between
Dakota and Minnesota avenues, was taken down about nine years
ago and rebuilt on its present site.

FoRDE House. — This hotel fronting south on Eighth street, be-
tween Phillips and Main avenues, was built by Jack Forde in 1878.
It was occupied for sev^eral years for hotel purposes, and was well

Williams House. — This hotel was located on the east side of
Phillips avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets. It was built in
the seventies by H. D. Williams, and he kept the hotel for several
years, but as the city built up it became an undesirable location for
a hotel, and a few years ago, having served its full term of useful-
ness, it was removed and more desirable buildings took its place.

The American Hotel. — This hotel was built at an early day
on the west side of Phillips avenue, and on the next lot north of the
one where John McKee's harness shop is now located, and was called
the Sioux Falls Hotel. It was built by James Krebs, and removed
by him to its present location. Its days of usefulness as a hotel
have passed into historv.


United States Court House And Post Office.— Senator
Pettigrew at an early date in his senatorial career introduced a bill
in Congress for an appropriation for building a United States court
house and post office at Sioux Falls. Under its provisions $150,000
was appropriated for this purpose. This much having been secured,
a lively contest was at once set in motion in reference to its location.
Several sites were offered the government by different parties, each
one having its supporters in the city, and they were all the more in
earnest from the fact that it would probably settle the location of the
post office for all future time. The department at Washington sent
a person to Sioux Falls to examine the different sites. The time of
his arrival was known in advance, and every preparation was made
to entertain him and bring to his notice the special advantages of
each location. He went about the work in his own way, but the result
would seem to indicate that in some way he was convinced that the
commercial center of the city would soon be further south than it
was at that time. In any event the present location was determined
upon soon after his return.



The biiildino- is of Sioux quartzite, and was completed and
ready for occupancy in May, 1805, and on the I5th of that month the
|)ost office was removed from its old quarters to this buildinjj;". The
iirst storv is fire proof, and is wholly occupied by the post office.
The second and third floors are used for federal courts and officials
of the same.


Like all other appropriations the first one was not suflficient to
defray the expense of the building-, and another appropriation of
S20,0d0 was made by Congress.

Sioux Palls Post Office and Postmasters. -The first post-
master in Sioux Falls after the militia had been ordered awav was
Edward Broughton, and the post office w^as located in a building


stcindini;- near the Emerson block. About the first day of Aug-ust,
1870, Charles Allen was appointed postmaster to succeed Broug-hton,
and removed the office into the barracks. Cyrus Walts was his
deputy and had charge of the business, and the letters received were
kept in a cig-ar box until called for. W. R. Kite.r was the next post-
master, and on the 1st day of July, 1872, he removed the office to a
building- he had erected on the west side of Phillips avenue between
Sixth and Seventh streets. But he did not retain the office long-,
John Bippus succeeding- him in 1873. He removed the office about a
block south, and it was then located a little north of the present loca-
tion of Dunning-'s drug- store. In 1875 he ag-ain moved the office,
this time to the brick building- just completed by E. A. Sherman on
the west side of Phillips avenue between Eig-hth and Ninth streets,
but the office had remained in this location only a few months when
Mr. Bippus removed it into a building- on the opposite side of the
avenue. April 1, 1876, A. T. Fleetwood succeeded Mr. Bippus, and
held the office for seven years, turning- it over to E. W. Caldwell on
the 1st day of April, 1883. While under Mr. Fleetwood's adminis-
tration the office was for several years located on the northeast corner
of Phillips avenue and Ninth street, but was removed from there to
the Sherman block, corner of Ninth street and Main avenue on May
11, 1884. During- his seven years of service he was not absent from
the office at any one time to exceed twenty-four hours. Mr. Fleet-
wood was highly esteemed as a citizen, and since October, 1885, the
old residents of Sioux Falls have not ceased wondering- as to his fate.
About October 1, of that year he left Sioux Falls to visit at Stoug-hton,
Wisconsin, g"oing- by the way of Milwaukee, where he arrived in due
time, but after his arrival there no trace of him has ever been found.

Mr. Caldwell's official career as postmaster terminated on July
1, 1885, when Willard P. Carr assumed the duties of the office under
an appointment from President Cleveland. He remained in office
until he was succeeded by Col. B. F. Campbell on the first day of
February, 1890. Col. Campbell, owing- to the number of applicants
for the office upon President Cleveland's second inaug-uration, was
permitted to hold over after the expiration of his commission until
the 15th day of September, 1894, when he was directed to turn over
the office to A. D. Tinsley, who was postmaster until Aug-ust 1,
1896, when the present incumbent, A. S. Ellis, took charg-e of the
office. On the 18th day of May, 1895, the office was removed from
the Sherman block to the g-overnment building- on the southeast cor-
ner of Phillips avenue and Twelfth street, where it has undoubtedly
found a permanent home. No city in the United States of the size
of Sioux Falls has a more commodious and better furnished post
office. The business of the office has made g-reat strides since Cyrus
Walts as deputy postmaster under Charles Allen kept the mail mat-
ter in a cig-ar box. The larg-e increase in business during- certain
years has been somewhat remarkable, but it will be noticed that
those were years of prosperity. The year 1884 showed an increase
of nearly twenty-five per cent over the preceding- year, althoug-h the
first nine months of 1883 the letter postag-e was three cents.

Free delivery was established July 1, 1887, and the office has


been under the ci\il ser\ice rules since March, 1S*)3, ami on Ma\- 5,
of the same year, it was desio-nated as a depository lor sur])lus
monev-order funds in this part of the state.

(")n the 31st day of Julv, 18<)3, over 5,()()(lletters, l)esides circu-
lars and papers, wx're (lroi>])ed in the office between the hours of 4:3i>
and 8:30 p. m.

Sioux Palls has always been fortunate in securing- i<-o(»!i ])ost-
masters. Business men have l)een selecteil for the ])lace, and the
office has always been conducted to the satisfaction oF the [)ul)lic.

Paving. — The first action taken for the paving- of streets in
Sioux Palls was in May, 1888, and the city let the contract to C. W.
Hubbard & Co., on the first day of June following-, for paving Phil-
lips avenue between Pifth and Twelth streets. The city at that
time was acting- under a special charter, and although the authority
to assess the adjacent property upon the front-foot plan was consid-
ered questionable, still the necessity for paving- Phillips avenue was
so pressing- and the public demand so importunate that the citN-
council decided to go on with the work upon that plan. It was de-
cided to pave with Sioux quartzite and to curb with Drake's jasper-
ite. The contract price for the paving- was S2.13 per square yard
and sevent}- cents per lineal foot for the curbing. The contract for
the curbing- was let to Tong-es & Co. The work was commenced at
Twelfth street, and about the first of October of that 3'ear it was
completed to Pifth street. A g-entleman of large experience in pav-
ing- matters, who was in the city about that time, remarked to the
writer that he did not believe there was a finer street of paving in
the United States; and we will add that there is certainly not a more
durable one. Some of the adjacent property owners refused to pay
the assessments levied ag-ainst their property, and litigation fol-
lowed. Since then considerable paving has been done in the city and
the same material has been used. The paving- on Phillips avenue
still looks as fresh as when first placed eleven years ag-o, and it will
undoubtedly be doing- good service after most of the buildings now
fronting- it shall have passed into history.

Street Railways.— In July, 1886, D. lOlwell asked the city
council for a franchise to built a street railway in the city of Sioux
Palls, and so well did he advocate his measure and the ordinance he
proposed seemed so fair, that the council granted him the fran-
chise. It had not more than done so, before it was discovered that
D. Elwell had secured a franchise that might prove more advan-
tageous to him than to the public, and the vote by which it passed was

Then commenced the offering of a series of amendments, and in
doing this Alderman Parmley distinguished himself. It was in the
committee of the w'hole, and when they had perfected it, by striking
from and adding- to its provisions until nothing- more could bethought
of that would be germane to the subject, the council passed it. IVIr.
Elwell was present, and said to the writer "this franchise as passed,
is good for anything but the building of a street railway," and, of
course, he did nothing under its provisions — he couldn't — he
wasn't a profane man.


On the 5th day of March, 1887, Pettigrew and Tate went before
the city council with a petition that the Ehvell franchise be repealed,
and a franchise for street railways in Sioux Palls be granted the
petitioners. This petition was referred to a committee.

On the 22d day of March, 1887, a man from Iowa by the name of
Hig-gfins appeared before the council and asked for a franchise for
street railways in Sioux Palls. He did not have his proposition
perfected in all its details, and asked the council for a little more time
to prepare a complete statement of what he w^anted and what he
would do.

At the next meeting- of the council on the 24th day of March, R.
P. Pettig-rew as well as Mr. Hig-g-ins was present. Both of these
trentlemen had their propositions perfected, but when Mr. Hig-g-ins
was informed that the council would insist upon a bond being- g-iven
for the faithful performance of the conditions of any franchise that
mig-ht be g-ranted, he said he w^as not prepared to do so, and did not
see why it should be required.

Mr. Pettig-rew said the requirement of a bond was reasonable,
and the franchise was g-ranted as he requested to the Sioux Palls
City Street Raihvay Company to construct and operate street rail-
ways in the city of Sioux Ealls for the term of twenty years, with
the privileg-e of renewal.

The company was incorporated, and the incorporators consisted
of R. P. Pettigrew, S. L. Tate, L. T. Dunning- of Sioux Palls, James
Crig-hton of Chicag-o and Elnathan Sawtelle of Evansville, Wisconsin.

The company, under the provisions of the ordinance g-ranting-
the franchise, was required to execute within ten days a bond of
$5,000 to the city of Sioux Palls, for the faithful compliance with the
conditions of the ordinance, and to file with the city clerk within
thirty days an acceptance of the terms and conditions in writing-
under the seal of corporation. This not having- been complied with
June 10, 1887, the city council by resolution declared the franchise
g-ranted under the ordinance forfeited.

A short time after this action had been taken, the company
executed its bond and filed the acceptance, as required, with the city
clerk, and the resolution forfeiting- the franchise was rescinded by
the city council and the franchise restored.

On Thursday, November 3, 1887, the street cars commenced
running- in the city of Sioux Palls — one of the cars yielding- a
revenue of $16.30 that day. November 4, the first mile of the street
railway was accepted by the city. The line w^as extended to South
Sioux Palls, and at one time it had about eig-ht miles of track.

Numbering Buildings and Streets. — The city council of the
city of Sioux Palls was importuned at almost every session during-
the months of April, May and June, 1886, by one Ralph Jaybush for
authority to affix numbers to the residences and business building-s
in the city. Getting- tired of his entreaties, a motion w^as made and
carried that the matter be referred to the city attorney, with instruc-
tions to prepare an ordinance for this purpose, including- in the terri-
tory the east side of the Sioux river. The writer, then city attor-
ney, appreciating- the fact that the motion was made morein joke


than in earnest, neg-lected to prepare the ordinance. At the next
session of the council Jaybush was present and succeeded in o-ettin^-
the city attorney reprimanded by the mayor, and some of the alder-
men mildly informed him that he had better prepare that ordinance
if he expected to hold his position. Jaybush was happy. The citv
attorney concluded to prepare the ordinance, and did prepare and
submit one to the council July 2, 188(), which was referred to the
committee on streets and alleys. In the preparation of this ordi-
nance it was found to be impracticable, owing- to the manner the
streets were named. Phillips avenue was supplemented at the south
end by Third avenue; what is now Main avenue was then Main street
and Second avenue; and what is now Thirteenth street was then
Prank and River streets, and so on.

The city attorney concluded in drawing- the ordinance he would
give the council something- to think about in earnest, and after fixing
upon the corner of Ninth street and Phillips avenue as the center
from which to commence the numbering-, proceeded to change the
names of sev^enteen streets and avenues, making- all the streets to
run east and west, and all the avenues north and south, and g-iving-
one name to each of them. At a council meeting Aug-ust 6, Jaybush
was present and, of course, the subject came up, and the committee
who had the matter in charg-e called upon to report. They said they
had not examined the matter very much, but reported in favor of its
passag-e. The ordinance was then read, and the city attorney was
called upon to explain whv the names of so many streets and avenues
had been changed. Upon coming- to the chang-e made of Prank and
River streets to Thirteenth street, the city attorney said that he
presumed Prank street was named for Prank Pettig-rew, but Tslr.
Pettig-rew being- present at once broke in and said: "No, that street
was named after W. S. Bloom's dog- Prank." This remark seemed
to settle the question that it was more desirable to have the streets
named with some degree of system, than to retain the orig-inal names
given in honor of some pet canine or the fancy of the persons making
the original plats.

The ordinance was passed August 6, 188f), and Jaybush g-ot the
contract for numbering- the building-s.

The Auditorium. — The building- of an auditorium at Sioux Palls
dawned upon her citizens as a work of necessity during the summer
of 1808. A few months previous a deleg-ation of our citizens belong-
ing to the Business Men's Leag-ue attended the annual meeting of
the National Creamery Buttermakers' Association, and succeeded
in securing- its next annual meeting at Sioux Palls. As the time ap-
l)roached for the meeting, the promoters of the project beg-an to ap-
preciate the responsibilities assumed, having- assured the association
that the city of Sioux Palls had all the requisite accommodations for
such a meeting. The fact stared them in the face that there was not
a building- in the city that was adapted to or had the capacity of
meeting the demands of this association. Something*- had to be done,
and the leading business men of the city came to the conclusion that
it was time Sioux Palls had an auditorium of such capacity as would
accommodate anv association or convention which might wish to con-


vene in the city. It could not be built by subscription, and it would
not pay as an investment, except in a j^eneral way. As a matter of
course it could only be built by the city, and when the situation was
brouo-ht to the attention of the city council it was thouo-ht best by
that body to call a special election, and in that way obtain an expres-
sion of the electors whether an auditorium should be built by the
city. The election was called for Auo-ust 2, 1898, and resulted in a
vote of 594 for and 174 ag-aiusl the proposition. The city council
thereupon authorized the expenditure of the sum of $9,000 in the
Iniildinji' of an auditorium in accordance with certain plans and speci-
fications submitted by W. L. Dow, and the contract was let for its
erect-ion for the sum of $8,980. It was completed (except a little out-
side work) and ready for the inaug-ural ball, which was held on
Thursday evening-, January 19, 1899, and was a great success, and on
the 23d day of Januarv, following-, its doors were thrown open to re-
ceive the National Creamery Buttermakers' Association. The seat-
ing- capacitv of the auditorium on the second floor is about 3,000.
The tirst floor will undoubtedly be used in the near future for city
purposes — council rooms, city officials, and the fire department.

Prom this time on it will not be necessary for anyone to stand
in the rain or freeze in tents, while listening- to disting-uished polit-
ical speakers in Sioux Falls, and the city can now point to its splen-
did auditorium, and its capacious hotels as furnishing- the best ac-
commodations in the state for holding conventions and meeting's of
other larg-e bodies.

PiRES. — There never has been an extensively destructive fire in
Sioux Palls, and when everything is taken into account it is remarkable
that the city' has been so fortunate. Some good buildings have been
burned, but usually the fires have been limited to unsigditly, dilapi-
dated old building-s. Only a few large personal losses have been
sustained, and it is probable that Captain Willey has suffered more
in the burning- of the Commercial House and his liver v stable in 1883,
and the Merchants Hotel in 1896, than any other individual in the
city. His loss of property at the time the Commerical burned No-
vember 6, 1883, was estimated at $73,000.

PiRE Department. — Notwithstanding the size of the city of
Sioux Palls and the large property interests within its limits, there
has never been a paid fire department, but it has now, and has had
for several 3'ears the best and most efficient voluntar}' fire organiza-
tion in this section of the country. It has always been well officered
and well ecjuipped for business.

The department had its beginning in a bucket brigade about the
time of the village incorporation. The exact date of its organization
we are unable to give, as the records have been lost. A fire alarm
bell weighing 2,600 lbs, which is still in use, was received in October,

Captain E. Parliman was the first fire chief, and served until
May, 1883; Mark Bridge, May, 1883-5; John Hutchinson, Mav, 1885-7;
C. T. Jeffers, Mav, 1887-8; H. M. Averv, May, 1888 to Januarv 1892;
Jerry Carleton, 1892-5; P. W. McKeever, 1895-7; J. N. Carpenter,
1897; Andrew J. Carlson, 1898; James M. Tatman, 1899.



Before the construction of the waterworks, a Silsby fire enjjfine
had been purchased which is still retained, and in September, 18')3, a
Champion double tank chemical en^-ine was procured for the depart-

In 188*), the (xamewell fire alarm system was procured bv the
city, and there are fifteen alarm boxes, connected by about ten miles
of wire, of which James L. Kobbins had char^v until 1898.

AxxrAL Parade of Sioux Falls Fire Departmext.

The department has a hook and ladder company, a two-horse
combination hose wag^on, and sev'eral hose companies, besides the
chemical company, now in active service, with 128 active and 138
exempt members.

Since the waterworks were located north of the city, the fire pres-
sure has been all that could be desired, and the chemical en<jfine being-
always ready for service, all ordinary tires occurring in the city have
been exting-uished in short order.


Webber & Hawthorn (iRist Mill. — The first enterprise mak-
ing- use of the water power at Sioux Falls, that was carried to a suc-
cessful completion, was the Webber & Hawthorn grist mill, which
commenced operation in May, 1873. It was located on the east bank
of the river below the falls, "and the wheel pit of the polishing works
is now located in the same place as the wheel pit of this mill. The
basement was built of stone and the superstructure was of burr oak.
When this mill commenced operation it was thought to be a great
thing for Sioux Falls, and it was a matter of great convenience to
the people residing within a radius of ten or fifteen miles of its loca-
tion. It was a paying enterprise while it existed, but the high water
of 1881 carried it bodilv down stream.


Cascade Mill. — In September, 1877, Isaac Emerson, E. A,
Sherman and J, G. Botsford purchased the water power and five
acres of land on the east side of the river north of Eig-hth street.
The buildinjyf of the dam was commenced the 3d day of October,
1877, and was constructed in the most substantial manner. The fol-
lowing- year the mill was built, and the manufacturing- of flour com-
menced in September. It has been a financial success from the be-
g-inning-. After it had been operated about three years by the
parties who built it, Mr. Botsford sold his interest to Georg-e E.
Wheeler, who has since been its manag-er and treasurer. In 1887,
the electric lig-ht plant was purchased by the proprietors of the Cas-
cade Mill, and the Cascade Milling- Company was incorporated with
a capital of Sl50,()00, but the ownership of the property practically
remained unchang-ed. It has always been conducted on business
j^rinciples, and stands at the head of the list of successful manufac-

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 40 of 99)