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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 43 of 99)
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erect building-s on a larg-e scale to meet the requirements of their
rapidly increasing- business. The wholesale trade in fruits, liquors,
root beer, mineral waters and summer drinks is not inconsiderable
in amount. Perhaps no more striking- proof of the rapid strides the
wholesale trade has made during- the last decade could be mentioned
than the fact that Jewett Brothers & Jewett shipped into Dakota in
1884, the first carload of sug-ar, and during- the year 1898, shipped



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY. 397



into Sioux Palls alone one hundred and twenty carloads of the same
commodit} . If the annual amount of the wholesale trade of the city
should be expressed in dollars, it would undoubtedly surprise even
those who are eng-ag-ed in contributing- to the same. It g-ot into the
million column several years ag-o, during- the hard times, and since
the clouds of financial depression have rolled awav it has increased
with surprising- rapidity, three wholesale firms doing- a business of
upwards of a million dollars annually. The packing- house industry,
so long- of doubtful realization, is now an assured fact. Other indus-
tries upon which a larg-e amount of capital has already been ex-
pended, will soon be taken f:-om the doubtful list and add larg-ely to
the volume of trade.

Prophesy is at all times uncertain, but when all the elements of
fulfilment are discernible above the horizon, advancing- towards the
zenith with military precision in battle array, it is only calling- atten-
tion to the inevitable when the assertion is made, that the wholesale
trade of Sioux Palls, now in its infancy, will prove to be one of the
great factors in her future g-rowth and prosperity.

COMMERCIAL ASSOCIATIONS.

Board of Trade. — The first association which could be prop-
erly called a board of trade was org-anized in Sioux Palls, January 9,
188-1-. Associations had previously been formed for the advancement
of the commercial interests of the city, but they were short-lived and
accomplished very little in that direction. But at this time the busi-
ness men took hold of the matter and perfected a strong- org-aniza-
tion. Major E. G. Smith was its first president, and the board for
several years did some g-ood work in advancing- the commercial in-
terests in this locality. During- the time of its g-reatest activity
H. H. Keith and R, F. Pettig-rew were presidents of the board.
About the time the commercial depressions beg-an it was merg-ed into
or superseded by the

Commercial Club. — The members of this club for two or three
years made g-reat efforts to keep up the interest and promote the
objects for which the board of trade was orig-inally org-anized, but
like everything- else it financially had to yield to the force of circum-
stances, and after having- for several years been devoted almost ex-
clusively to social matters, it finally on the 3d day of January, 1899,
ceased to exist.

Business Men's League. — This org-anization was perfected in
April, 1897, and meets in the council chambers the first Tuesday in
each month. Since its org-anization the leag-ue has been activelv en-
g-ag-ed in promoting- the commercial interests of the city, and it is
not too much to say that no org-anization of its kind in the city has
been more enterprising- and successful than this leag-ue. It is a
business men's leag-ue in all that the name implies, and the people
of Sioux Palls are proud of its efficient manag-ement. Its first
officers were D. L. McKinney president, B. H. Lien vice president,
G. Schlosser secretary, and E. J. Daniels treasurer. In 1899, H. H.
Keith w^as elected president of the leag-ue.



308 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



Sioux Falls Jobbers' and Manufacturers' Association. —
This association was org-anized in Sioux Palls July 1, 1893, with the
following*- charter members: Jewett Bros. & Jewett, wholesale gro-
cers; Fred A. Miller, g-eneral ag-ent McCormick Havesting- Machine
Co.; B. C. McCrossan, wholesale fruit; C. G. Ferg-uson, manag-er St.
Olaf flour mills; Scott & Thompson, wholesale machinery; D. F.
Smith, sug-ar broker; Geo. E. Wheeler, Cascade Milling- Co.; Foley
& Wadsworth Implement Co.; W. W. Brooking-s, linen mills; Geo.
E. Hill, wholesale stoves and hardware; Brown &' Saeng-er, book
binders; Wuest Bros., cig-ars and tobacco; John W. Tuthill Lumber
Co.; Sherman Bros. & Bratagfer, threshing- machines; J. K. Haugfh-
ton, wholesale butter and eg-g-s; Eureka Milling- Co., oatmeal manu-
facturers; Halev & Chase, wholesale fruit; Hickev & MacNamara,
wholesale liquors; L. T. Dunning-, drugg-ist; Sioux Falls Candy Co.;
Sioux Falls Brewing- Co.; Sioux Palls Gas Co.

The first officers were C. A. Jewett president, D. P. Smith sec-
retary, and P. A. Miller treasurer. On the 19th day of October,
1893, the railroad from Sioux Falls to Yankton being- completed, this
association, in order that the event mig-ht be properly celebrated,
g-ave a banquet to the railroad officials and all the business men along-
the line, entertaining* about seven hundred people. It was a success
in every way.

The purpose of the association is to advance the wholesale inter-
ests of the city, and its work has not been confined to g-iving- enter-
tainments. The freig-ht tariff for Sioux Palls, and railroad leg-isla-
tion h;
effect.

The officers elected in 1893 were re-elected in 1894. In 1895
J. K. Haughton was elected president.

INSURANCE COMPANIES.

Insurance Company of Dakota. — This companv was incor-
porated the latter part of February, 1883. William G. Taffinder,
Charles H. Wvnn, Homer W. Johnson, W. W. Brooking-s, Edwin K.
Sag-e, L. D. Henry, T. S. Goddard, C. H. Vincent, Andrew C. Phil-
lips, and H. L. Hollister were the incorporators. The capital stock
was $100,000, with the r\ght to increase it to S500,000 at the pleasure
of the company. A. C. Phillips was its first president and T. S.
Goddard secretary. The Daily Press published the foreg-oing- list
of charter members on the 24th day of February, 1883, and also said
that the incorporators were among- the leading- business men of the
city of Sioux Palls. Of these ten incorporators only one, C. H. Vin-
cent, is a resident of the city at this writing-; three are dead, and the
others are living- elswhere.

The first policy of the company was written on the 29th day of
May, 1883, and on the 1st day of July, 1883, the company had" re-
ceived in premiums the sum of $1,377.91. During- the balance of the
year the business g-radually increased under the g-eneral managfe-
ment of Mr. Taffinder.

At the annual meeting- of the stockholders in Januarv, 1884, the
following directors were elected: H. S. Hills, J. B. YounP-, C. H.



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY. 3')*)



Vincent, E. E. Sag-e, T. S. Goddard, D. J. Brown and J. P. Eastman.
H. S. Hills was elected president, Eastman vice president and D. J.
Brown secretary. During- the spring- of that year a chang-e was
made in the manag-ement. H. S. Hills resig-ned the presidency and
H. E. Hollister was elected in his place, W. C. Hollister was elected
treasurer and E. A. Ayerst of Iowa, an insurance man of larg-e ex-
perience, arrived in Sioux Palls the 17th day of May, 1SS4, and as-
sumed the duties of secretary.

Prom this time on the business of the company g-rew rapidly for
a few years. Its report for the vear 1884 showed the receipts to
have been S182,000, and the expenses $92,()30, (S10,0()0 of which was
for a ten per cent dividend declared and paid). At this time the
office was located in the Masonic Temple, and the office force num-
bered twenty-five persons.

The manag-ement of this company remained practically the same
until April, 1888. The volume of business was larg-e, but during- the
latter part of 1887, various rumors were afloat as to the solvency of
the institution, and the business methods of the company were
severely criticised. At the last mentioned date there was a consoli-
dation of this company with the Western Pire & Marine Insurance
Company; the new company retaining- the name of the Insurance
Com pan V of Dakota. The capital stock of the reorg-anized company
was S200,000.

After the reorg-anization, the affairs of the company became
more and more complicated and its business was at a stand still. On
the 22d day of Aug-ust, 1888, an entire new board of directors took
charg-e of its aifairs, and it was then hoped that the company would
soon secure the confidence of the public and the business become
prosperous. The new board consisted of A. M. Crosbv of Luverne,
Minnesota, J. M. Searle, E. G. Butts and P. W. Gail of Stillwater,
Minnesota, Georg-e E. Wheeler, Charles E. Johnson and C. C. Cran-
dall of Sioux Palls. A. M. Crosby was elected president, Georg-e E.
Wheeler vice president andC. C. Crandall secretary. But this reor-
g-anization did not restore public confidence, and within a few days
Mr. Crosby was appointed receiver of the company. His appoint-
ment did not meet with the approval of the creditors, and an appli-
cation was made by them for his removal and the appointment of a
new man in his place. This resulted in the resig-nation of Mr.
Crosby and the appointment of John Lewis of Sioux Palls on the
24th day of September, 1888, who at once proceeded to close up the
affairs of the company, and the Insurance Company of Dakota passed
into history.

Dakota Mutual Life Association. - This association was or-
g-anized on the 1st day of October, 1884. It was org-anized on the
mutual assessment plan, and its first directors and officials were men
of integ-rity and well known business capacity. Andrew C. Phillips
was its first president, and associated with him as directors were H.
S. Hills, C. E. McKinney, W. E. Alexander and A. R. Bryan. The
plan was defective, and after two or three years, the direction of its
affairs having- fallen into less competent hands, it became one of the
thing-s of the past, but it faded out of the business world sog-radually
that no one can fix the exact date of its demise.



400 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



Westp:kn Fire and Marine Insurance Company. — This
company was incorporated by Sioux Falls capitalists December 10,1886.
The office was located in the Van Eps block, and quite an exten-
sive business was done. J. H. Westover wna its president, and dur-
in<^ the month of April, 1888, it was merg-ed with the Insurance Com-
pany of Dakota, and as a matter of course, when this company failed a
few^ months later there was nothing- left for the Western Fire and
Marine to do but settle up its affairs.

The Fargo Insurance Company. — This Company was char-
tered in December, 1880, with an authorized capital stock of S100,000,
as a fire and hail insurance company, with headquarters at Farg-o, D. T.
Until the fall of 1884 it did a prosperous business, but that year the
hail losses were so gfreat that they crippled the company. About the
10th of September, 1886, it transferred its headquarters to Sioux
Falls, and commenced business in the Masonic Temple. At that
time the company had a larg-e amount of liabilities, and the real
purpose for chang-ing- its place of business to Sioux Falls was to ob-
tain new capital with which to continue its operations. Its managfers
were not very successful in g-etting- the people of Sioux Falls involved,
and its insolvency was soon apparent by judg-ments being- rendered
ag-ainst it which it was unable to pay. On the 20th day of January,
1887, an execution having- been returned by the sheriff unsatisfied,
supplemental proceeding's were commenced by a Chicag-o creditor,
and the company enjoined from transferring- any of its property.
On the 27th day of January, an examination was had, and it devel-
oped that the company's liabilities were at least $110,000, iind that it
was hopelessly bankrupt.

In 1885 the company had been so financially embarrassed, that
its manag-ment had soug-ht for and obtained new stockholders, who
soon found that after having- paid in their money they had $80,000 of
liabilities to pay off before the company could do business. This
they finally concluded to do, and the indebtedness was canceled. It
was after it had been ag-ain admitted into the business world that
unbusinesslike methods w^ere adopted by the manag-ement and the
integ-rity of some of its officials questioned. One of the victims in
1885 was W. P. Johnson, a banker of Toledo, la., who had put in
$30,000, which was a total loss.

In conclusion we will only add that this company which came to
Sioux Falls with g-reat flourish went into the hands of a receiver on
the 23d day of February, 1887, W. L. Baker being- appointed to con-
duct the funeral exercises. He did not find assets enough to defray
the incidental expenses of the receivership but did find about $200,000
of liabilities, which condition of affairs he reported on the 30th day
of June, 1887.

RACE FOR REGISTER OF DEEDS OFFICE.

An incident occurred in 1879 which will for a long- time to come
be referred to by the residents of Sioux Falls, and as it played an
important part in settling- the title to one hundred and sixty acres of
the land upon which the present residence portion of the city is prin-
cipally located, although it will hardlv classify with anything- else,



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTV. 401



we insert it here, believing- that as an interesting reminiscence it will
fully compensate for the abruptness of the order of its insertion.
Senator Pettig"rew, with his usual foresiifht and resource, was equal
to the occasion, as will appear from what follows, which is the result
of an interview with him.

In 1870, R. P. Pettio-rew purchased from Russell Bennett, of
Detroit, Michig-an, the southeast quarter of section 17, township 101,
rang-e 40, being 160 acres, embracing- the best residence portion of
the city of Sioux Palls, and received from Mr. Bennett a warrantv
deed of the tract. The record showed a g-ood title in Mr. Bennett
and that he purchased the land of Arkang- Reed and J. Reed, her
husband. They were half-breeds, Winnebag-o Sioux Indians; that
the purchase of this tract was made by Mr. Bennett previous to the
location of the scrip upon the same, by which the title was acquired
from the government; that several years afterward Mr. Bennett se-
cured a deed from Arkang Reed and J. Reed, her husband, for the
same tract. That the first deed was not delivered to Mr. Bennett
at the time of its date, but was deposited in escrow with parties in
St. Paul, to be delivered when the title was completed by the loca-
tion of the scrip.

Mr. Bennett's attorney in this transaction was Byron M. Smith,
of Minneapolis, and therefore he was familiar with all the facts in
connection with the title. Of course there was nothing in the ab-
stract to show that the first deed had been deposited and delivered
after the title was perfected, and as it was a quitclaim deed, there
was a serious difficulty in Bennett's title; but the second deed from
Arkang Reed and J. Reed apparently made the title perfect. But
the fact was that the second deed was from Arkang Reed, the daug-h-
ter of the original Arkang Reed, to whom the patent was issued, she
having married a man by the same name as that of her father, and
thus the second deed only conveyed a title to one-fourth interest in
the property. Byron M. Smith knew these facts, and after the
death of Mr. Bennett, whose evidence was necessary to protect the
title, secured a deed from the other three heirs of Arkang- Reed, the
first, from an attorney by the name of Shillock, who claimed to be
the attorney in fact for the heirs. The deed which Smith had ])ro-
cured was made to Milton D. Brown, of Minneapolis, and placed
upon record, and a suit commenced ag-ainst Mr. Pettigrew to recover
the property, some time in the spring of 1870. When Mr. Pettig-rew
came to answer in the case he claimed a chain of title from Arkang-
Reed and her husband, but upon taking the deposition of witnesses
discovered that the second deed only conveyed a quarter interest in
the property, and therefore he determined to hunt up Milton D.
Brown, ascertain who he was and what interest he had in the litiga-
tion, and after hunting several weeks found Mr. Brown livings- with
his mother near the Minnehaha Palls, about four miles from Minne-



apolis.

Brown knew nothing about the fact that the title had been
placed in his name; said he did not own any land in South Dakota,
had never made any investment there, and that he was willing to give
a special warranty deed of the tract involved, together with aifida-



402 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



vits dismissing- anv lawsuit that might have been commenced in his
name. Thereupon Mr. Pettigrew secured the services of Judge
Atwater, a prominent lawyer in Minneapolis, and procured a deed
from Brown. A few- hours afterwards, Brown having met Smith, he
returned and demanded a return of the deed from Judge Atwater,
and afterwards on the same day, gave another deed to the property
to parties in Minneapolis, who "started on the same train with Mr.
Pettigrew for Sioux Falls to place the same on record. Mr. Petti-
grew, mistrusting that an effort of this sort might be made, and
knowing of no other way by which his title might be defeated, per-
suaded the conductor and 'engineer of the train to allow him to go
upon the locomotive at Valley Springs, and to detach the locomotive
from the train when about four miles from Sioux Palls, giving as an
excuse of course, to the passengers that the locomotive ran into town
for the purpose of securing water. A large number of people were
at the depot, waiting for the incoming train, but saw nothing but the
locomotive, which ran through the station down to the water tank
and took on w^ater, as suggested. Mr. Pettigrew getting off the
train at the water tank, went to the recorder's office and recorded
the deed. Meantime the locomotive went back for the train and
brought it into the station. The attorney for Smith had telegraphed
for a livery team, and scrambling out of the train as fast as he could,
got into the carriage and drove furiously for the recorder's office,
Mr. Pettigrew standing on the corner watching his flight against
time. The attorney, whose name was Bottineau, rushed into the
register of deeds' office and said that he wished the deed which he
handed to the register recorded first. Thereupon the register in-
formed him that he would have to record the deed which had been
left with him by Mr. Pettigrew a few minutes before, before he
could record his deed. It dawned on Mr. Bottineau that Mr. Petti-
grew w^as on that locomotive wdiich had gone for water.

The deeds filed by Bottineau, although dated many months pre-
vious and acknowledged many months previous, were written in
Arnold's ink, the acknowledgment, signatures and description, and
the ink had not turned black. At Mr. Pettigiew's request the reg-
ister of deeds exposed the instruments to the air while they re-
mained in his office, and the color of the ink was changed during the
two or three days while in his possession.

LITERARY AND BENEVOLENT ORGANIZATIONS.

First Public Reading Room. — One of the residents of Sioux
Falls in 1875 was the late Mrs. Louisa Churchill Gale, wife of Arte-
mas (Tale. During the summer of that year she w^as in the habit of
taking daily walks about the little village, and had noticed the hos-
pitable looking wide open doors of the saloons, inviting within the
youth and homeless men by their bright allurements and apparent
good cheer. With Mrs. Gale to think was to act. She at once en-
listed the S3^mpathy and aid of several public-spirited citizens, and
secured a room over Williams Brothers' store on the site of the
present Edmison-Jameson building, for a public reading room, and
at once commenced fitting it up with chairs, tables, lights, draperies,



HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTV. 403



mottoes and pictures. Newspapers, relig^ious as well as secular, and
periodicals, were subscribed for, and books purchased, and the lirst
reading- room in the county was opened to the public. For more
than a year Mrs. Gale was in attendance, and the rooms were kept
open from nine o'clock in the mornino- until ten o'clock in the even-
ing-. But she was not permitted to prosecute her g-ood work without
obstacles being- thrown in her way. What petty persecution could
not accomplish, the g-rasshoppers did, the closing- of the reading-
room. A few years later Mrs. (xale erected a small frame house on
First avenue, and ag-ain established a reading- room, but owing^ to its
location and the want of public interest, she was compelled to aban-
don the project which was so dear to her heart. This building- was
afterwards remodeled, and is at the present time occupied as a
dwelling- house.

Ladies' History Club.— One of the oldest and most popular
and prosperous literary org-anizations in Sioux Falls is the Ladies'
History Club, which had its beg-inning- as early as December, 187'),
when the following- six ladies met with Mrs. A. M. Washburn at her
residence, namely, Mesdames W. A. Wilkes, C. L. Norton, C. H.
Vincent, D. S. Glidden, Alice Watson and Miss Belle Pettig-rew.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss a plan for a course of
reading- for the winter, and it was decided to take up Rngflish his-
tory, with Dickens for a g-uide. That which had beg-un for a recrea-
tion soon g-rew into a serious study as the members became inter-
ested and the club g-rew. For nearly three years the study was
almost exclusively confined to Eng-lish and American history and
literature, but later French history was taken up. During- the first
years, there was no reg-ular org-anization, but the meeting-s were held
regularly and the interest deepened. During- the winter of 1881,
when the town was blockaded, there was no abatement, though the
rooms in which meetings were held were for a time heated by burn-
ing screenings from the mill. In the midst of a storm a Dickens'
party was given. The club also gave a Longfellow and a Scott
evening.

In December, 1881, the membership becoming so larg-e, and the
work demanding more preparation, it was decided to draft a consti-
tution and by-laws, and to elect officers. Mrs. A. J. Watson was
elected president and Mrs. T. A. Robinson secretary; the former
holding- her position as president of the club until she removed from
Sioux Falls in the spring of 1884. From that time until October,
1885, Mrs. W. A. Wilkes and Mrs. D. S. Glidden officiated as presi-
dents, and Mrs. T. A. Robinson and Mrs. S. E. Blauvelt as secre-
taries of the club.

During the evening- of January 28, 1884, a Dickens party was
given at the residence of Edwin Sharpe, which was a grand success,
there being over one hundred characters represented in costume.

On the 12th day of October, 1885, the club was reorganized, a
constitution adopted and a new corps of officers elected. Mrs. R. F.
Pettigrew was elected president, Mrs. T. A. Robinson vice presi-
dent, Mrs. W. P. Carr secretary, Mrs. C. L. Norton treasurer. At
that time there were about thirtv members of the club. July 25,



404 HISTORY OF MINNEHAHA COUNTY.



1892, it joined the General Federation of Women's Clubs of the
United States, of which it is still a member. Mrs. D. S. Glidden
was for four years the state chairman of correspondence for the
Federation, and was succeeded by Mrs. W. G. George. Mrs. Nettie
E. Beattie is president at the present writino- (1897), Mrs. E. S.
Carter vice president, Mrs. W. H. Lyon secretary, and Mrs. G. W.
Burnside treasurer. The membership now numbers fifty.

The club for many years was entertained by prominent members
at their homes, and especially is Mrs. Glidden entitled to great
credit for her untiring- efforts in its behalf during- all these years.
At the present time reg-ular meeting's are held every Tuesday after-
noon in the Public Library rooms in the Norton-Murry block, and
social sessions are held every third week at the homes of the
members.

Sioux Falls Public Library. — The Sioux Falls Public
Library Association had a small beg-inningf, but not so small nor
obscure that its parentag-e is unknown. In December, 1879, a num-
ber of ladies met at the residence of Mrs. A. M. Washburn and
matured a plan for a course of reading during- the winter, which
course continued for two years. In December, 1881, an organization
was effected and was called the Ladies' History Club, with a view of
establishing- a public library. Previous to this organization a read-
ing*- club had accumulated about fifty dollars, to which was now
added about eighty-five dollars, and Mrs. Wilkes was appointed a



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 43 of 99)