The Widmann Hotel was built in 1904, by Fred Widmann on the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. The four story hotel had 100 rooms, 36 having private baths. The Widmann also contained a large banquet room, lobby, and ladies parlor and elevator service. The building had a quartzite exterior. A horrendous fire in 1950 burned the hotel to the ground.
Published in the November 13th, 2017 Daily Republic.
On Sept. 12, 1939, Dakota Wesleyan University presented an honorary doctor of letters degree to John Gutzon De La Mothe-Borglum, better known as Gutzon Borglum, sculptor of Mount Rushmore Memorial. Borglum gave the Matriculation Day address to students assembled at the DWU Chapel in Science Hall, after which he was formally awarded the degree. DWU President Joseph Edge is pictured at left, shaking Borglum’s hand, at right, while Dean Matthew Smith, middle, looks on. The Rev. Cecil Semans described Borglum as an eminent man of genius – the artist, scholar, engineer, poet, philosopher, historian, and prophet – whom Badger Clark had called “Our ambassador to the future.”
Photo furnished by Laurie Langland, DWU Archives.
Published in the July 17th, 2017 Daily Republic
This early 1950s photo shows the Mitchell Fire Department’s American LaFrance fire truck in front of the fire station. Fire Chief Ace Wheeler is sitting on the bench and an unknown fire fighter is seated beside him. Across the street to the east is 1st Avenue Market (grocery store) the store later became Piggley Wiggly and burned down about 1956 and was rebuilt and is now Wholesale Electronics. The store was originally built in 1880 as a hotel (first called the Well’s House and later known as the Raymond Hotel).
Published in the March 6th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Does this make you want to buy insurance? This early photo was taken by local Mitchell Photographer, Jerome Wiltse. Wiltse was in business in Mitchell from 1884 to 1899. The Dakota Fire and Marine Insurance Company covered the entire Dakota Territory with George L. Ordway, Yankton, supervising officer. Photo donated by Cynthia Rubin.
Published in the May 15th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This 1904 Corn Palace or Corn Belt Exposition as it was called at the time was built in 1892 on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street. The Palace faced Fourth Street; a 42 x100 foot addition was added to the original building in 1893 to allow for the big crowds. The entertainment for the 1904 Exposition was Sousa’s Band who had just returned from their third world tour. Sousa’s Band was contracted to do two shows a day for six days, but Sousa was so delighted by the huge crowds that he divided his program so he could give three programs a day.
Photo donated by Cheri Duxbury Loest.
Published in the April 17th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo is of Artesian’s Main Street looking north. A building on the left hand side bares a sign that reads “Surenuf Restaurant”. Artesian was originally called Diana when founded in 1883; in 1887 the name was changed to Artesian City, named for the artesian aquifer there. In 1889, the name was changed to just Artesian.
Photo courtesy of Richard Naser.
Published in the August 14th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo of the Leet School was taken in 1900 of a Thanksgiving celebration that was held at the school. The school was built in 1883 near Letcher (about 22 miles northwest of Mitchell) by Jens Christopher and his neighbors. Along with being a school it was used for Lutheran Church services and a community center. After the school closed it was purchased by Richard Christopher and moved to his farm. In 2007 the school was dismantled and taken to Norway where it was reassembled and is now part of a museum.
Published in the October 9th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This undated photo shows the first Davison County Courthouse on the right. You can see the World’s Only Corn Palace that was located on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street on the left; this tells us this photo was taken after 1905 but before 1921 when the present Corn Palace was built.
Published in the November 20th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Schenk Noble Murphy Funeral Home that was located at 1421 North Main Street (now US Bank). In 1961, Noble Funeral Home relocated its business to 1421 N. Main and in 1963 they sold the business to Floyd Schenk and John Murphy of Yankton. In 1973, Dennis Will began his own business (Will Funeral Home) at this location until building a new facility at 210 E. Green Drive in 1975.
Published in the October 30th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Looking northwest, in this aerial view of Havens Street and Sanborn Boulevard circa 1940s photo shows the Texaco Truckstop and Café at 304 W. Havens. Just northwest of the truckstop is the Flaming Cabins owned by William Flaming (now Lone Tree Plaza). The small white building on the corner was a Socony Vacuum Oil. Across Sanborn Street on left the large white building was College Inn Restaurant at 723 S. Sanborn (now Ron’s Bike Shop). The small building at 801 S. Sanborn was Modern Cleaners.
Published in the October 23rd, 2017 Daily Republic.
On May 23, 1950, 300 members of the El Riad Shrine Temple of Sioux Falls took a train to Mitchell to participate in a parade and a special ceremonial to be held at the Corn Palace in Mitchell. This photo shows the band lining up for the parade in front of the Milwaukee Depot on Mitchell’s Main Street.
Published in the June 5th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Pictured are members of the Farmers Union Association attending the 6th Annual Convention, October 5, 1921 standing in front of Mitchell’s City Hall (which was on Second Avenue, currently a parking lot behind the Carnegie Resource Center). The Farmer’s Association was concerned with the prices of hogs and grain that year and blamed the poor roads and rail freight costs for the low prices. The building on the right is the Mitchell Gazette Newspaper office.
Published in the Sept 11th, 2017 Daily Republic.
In May 2016, the Mitchell Area Historical Society (MAHS) received a request from Dean Munroe, grandson of Mark Scott, an early settler in rural Mitchell. The above photo was taken of the house in 1953. Munroe asked that MAHS try to find whether the house still exists and where it was located. This past Friday, August 11, 2017, MAHS member Kermit Black took Munroe to the site of the house which after much research had been located.
Published in the August 21st, 2017 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the South Side Market that was located at 701 South Sanborn. This photo was taken in 1954 when the market was owned by Spencer and Ruth Brudvig. The building was torn down and a new building replaced it which now houses Liberty Tax Service.
Published in the December 11th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This 1912 photo shows the Mitchell Power Company that was located at 110 West Third Ave. The brick building shown on the left is the Methodist Church. Mitchell Power Company was acquired by Northwestern Public Service in 1924.
Published in the December 4th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo of Mitchell’s Main Street was taken in the 100 block of south Main Street, circa 1900. The building on the right is the Widmann Hotel. The man with the wagon was probably a dray driver who would deliver people’s luggage and other things from the hotels and other places in town to and from the train depot. The building on the left with the sign on it is the former Long Horn Bar building (built in 1879) that was torn down a few years ago.
Published in the April 24th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the World’s Only Corn Palace in 1942. The theme for the murals by decorator, William Kearney, was Salute to Victory. This was the first year that grain and corn were not used for decorating purposes. Painted panels were used instead, for the reason that the world was at war and it was considered a waste of food to decorate the Corn Palace as it had been decorated in previous years. The 50th Anniversary of the World’s Only Corn Palace featured Gray Gordon and his “Band of the Year” with ten Broadway acts in “Salute to Victory” revue.
Published in the Nov 6th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Metzgerville Store and filling station was located at the intersection 11 miles south of Mount Vernon and 12 miles west of Ethan. The store was opened by farmer, Emil Metzger in 1932.
Published in the June 12th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken in front of the Mitchell Fire Department on the corner of First Avenue and Rowley Street, looking west, circa 1950s. The building has been expanded and now houses the Police Department and the Fire Department. The fire fighters planted and maintained the flower bed in the foreground. In the background is the Bus Depot, which had a Café in the basement and Mitchell Iron and Supply, owned by Darwin and Chuck Summers.
Published in the March 27th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Mitchell Retirement Home that was located at 101 South Main Street. This building began as the Navin Hotel and is now called the Navin Apartments. The retirement home was owned and operated by Ron Sr. and Arlene Gates. The business closed in May, 1990 when the residents all moved to the newly remodeled Firesteel Nursing Home that was also owned by Gates.
Published in the February 6th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is a photo taken in the Mitchell Recreation Center circa 1952 that was in the National Guard Armory (now City Hall). The “Rec Center” occupied the entire main floor where the Council Chambers and the City Offices are now located. Irene Broderick was the long-time director of the Center. There were pool and billiard tables, ping-pong tables, dance area and snack bar in the Center. Most off campus school activities took place there, like the Warbler signing party shown here.
Published in the July31st, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken at the Kenton farm, northeast of Mitchell on June 17, 1911. It was called the Hoosiers picnic because the family’s ancestors originated from Indiana. The Kenton and Rowley families had 70 relatives in attendance out of 200 attendees. For entertainment the Hoosiers played a game of baseball with the Plano team winning 15 to 10.
Photo courtesy of Dean Randall.
Published in the October 2nd, 2017 Daily Republic.
During the 1950s and early 1960s a favorite night time stop for coffee and a snack was the Coffee Stop located at 212 West Havens. There were no booths but there was a horse shoe shaped counter with stools. Owners over the time were Wayne Kiner, Jack Sturges, and Harold “Tex” Colvin. When Tex Colvin owned the shop the name was changed to Tex’s Car Broil.
Published in the May 22nd, 2017 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the Den Beste Drugstore ad from the 1956 Dakota Wesleyan yearbook. The drugstore was located at 400 North Main Street, the building is now part of the Palace Mall and the brick exterior is now covered in a blue enamel tiling. Robert Den Beste and his son, Gene moved their drugstore to this location in 1955 from 200 North Main Street. They sold their merchandise and prescriptions to White Drug in 1960.
Published in the May 8th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown are members of the Mitchell Fire Department on the 1919 American LaFrance pumper truck with chain drive, in front of the then fire station located at 216 East Second Avenue (where K.C. Hall is now located. The fire station was moved to its current location in 1921. The 1919 pumper truck was in service into the 1960s. Notice the steeple of the Holy Family Catholic Church can be seen between the branches of the trees.
Photo donated by Peggy Hofmeister.
Published in the September 18th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Bon Ton Bar (corner of 2nd and Main Street) after a fire destroyed the building on New Year’s Day in 1966. Four businesses were destroyed in the fire, including the Mon-Dak Chemical and Supply Company, Mac’s Card Room, the Rose Beauty Salon and the Merchandise Outlet Store. The Bon Ton was vacant at the time of the fire. The building contained six occupied apartments and four rented rooms.
Published in the January 30th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This 1929 photo shows the Logan building that was located at Fourth Avenue and Lawler Street. The building was built by George Logan (grandfather of Jeff Logan) and housed the Face-A-Lite Manufacturing Company that produced auto safety glass. The building was leased for County Offices during the construction of the Court House in 1935-36. Later it was sold to architect Walt Dixon, who added a second floor to the building and it became the Lawler Hotel. Lawler Hotel burned down in 1992.
Published in the January 3rd, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Charles Johnson Dray Truck circa 1930, the business was located at 106 North Main and was in business until the mid 1940s. Dray lines were used to deliver freight and people that would come in on the trains to their local destination.
Published in the January 9th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This 1956 photo shows the Blue Bell Super Market that was located at 216 West First Avenue. Steve Ptak came to Mitchell in 1933 and purchased the Alseth Grocery Store at 212 West First (now Food Pantry). In 1940 he built this building and moved the business, changing the name to Blue Bell Super Market. He sold the store in 1968 to Bill Anderson, who closed the store in 1974. The building was demolished last year and replaced by a parking lot.
Published in the December 26th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This postcard was distributed by the Mitchell Clothing Company, circa 1909, that was located at 303 North Main. A candy store was at 301 North Main. The second floor was occupied by dentist, Dr. Sweeney and Dr. Dix and also had many rooms rented to boarders. The Masonic Lodge was on the third floor until the new lodge was built in 1922. The building was constructed in 1887 and is still standing today. Notice the open stairway, which is now closed in.
Published in the February 27th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo taken July 30, 1916 by Mitchell photographer L. E. Stair shows Mitchell authorities searching 1500 migrant workers who rode the freight trains to work in the fields of North Dakota. The group was part of a group called Industrial Workers of the World. Word was passed on to Mitchell from Sioux City that there had been trouble with the group with firearms and shooting. None were found on the group because they heard that word had been sent ahead so they shipped their guns ahead of them. Photo submitted by John Roeder.
Published in the March 13th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo shows a scene on Ethan, South Dakota’s Main Street. Ethan was incorporated in 1883 and had a population of 100. In 1906, they started replacing their wooden walks on Main Street with cement. When Ethan was a booming town, there were four passenger and five freight trains going through every day.
Published in the July 3rd, 2017 Daily Republic.
This circa 1911 photo was taken by local photographer Ole Leeland, of the 200 block of North Lawler. On the left is the People’s Cash Store, the long white building is Jorgensen’s Livery Barn. Across the street the big brick building is the Mitchell Steam Laundry building that was built in 1910 and is still standing.
Published in the September 25th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Back in Time 2017
This Phillips 66 station was located on the northeast corner of First Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard. The building was owned by Phillips Petroleum. Cy Young was the jobber providing fuel to the owners and operators; the business was owned and operated over the years by Arnie Degen, Jerry Gebel, and Harlan and Carol Phinney. Phinney’s closed the business in 1974 due to the fuel crunch. Later it became Western Ag owned by Gordon Thompson, and then the State of South Dakota bought it for a weight station. The building is now occupied by American Garage Door.
Published in the May 30th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken on the corner of Second Avenue and Lawler Street on September 21, 1956. Shown is the Down Town Cities Service Station owned by Kenneth Lord. Also in that building, was Roxy Service (repaired radios and televisions) owned by Nelson Logan as well as apartments on the upper level. Across the street to the east is Loon Implement owned by Magnus Loon.
Photo courtesy of Jeff Logan.
Published in the March 20th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Longfellow School which was built in 1908. The six room building was located at 929 E. Second Ave and cost $19,519 to build. An addition was added in 1936. In 1952 an entirely new building was built and adjoined to the old building. This included complete renovation of the original six rooms and the gymnasium, plus the entirely new section at a cost of $347,266.93 and was completed September 1, 1953. A new Longfellow School was built at 110 N. Mentzer in 2009.
Published in the August 28th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Lake Mitchell public beach on the north side of the lake was used before the pool in Hitchcock Park was built. Mr. and Mrs. Wendell White operated the concession stand from 1953-1956 selling ice cold pop for 10 cents. A boat moved through the swimming area every few hours chlorinating the water.
Published in the April 3rd, 2017 Daily Republic.
Shown are members of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and WRC (Women’s Relief Corp) on the steps of the Carnegie Library. The groups met in the basement of the library until 1931, when the library was in need of more room, they then moved their meetings to the I.O.O.F. Hall. The building shown on the left is the Daily Republic.
Published in the August 7th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This house was built in 1887 by Louis and Helen Seaman at 300 East Third Avenue (on corner of Kimball). The property owners have recently applied to have the house placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Published in the December 18th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo of Farmer, South Dakota was taken during the Hanson County Fair. Farmer was platted in 1892 and during the early 1900s it had a lumber yard, elevator, hardware, store, implement business, garage, barber shop, restaurant, drug store, hotel, Methodist Church, Catholic Church, two banks, and several general stores. In 1893 Farmer had a population of 100 and in 1970 the population was 63.
Published in the June 26, 2017 Daily Republic.
This circa 1954 photo shows the Mitchell Fire Department using their ladder truck to connect a wire to the top of the J. C. Penney Company Store at Main Street and Third Avenue to the Commercial Bank building across the street to the east. The ladder truck could reach up to 85 feet.
Published in the January 23rd, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo shows Carey’s Roller Rink that was located in the 1600 block of Havens (Old Highway 16) in 1954. Merle Carey was the owner. The business was only around for a couple years.
Published in the May 1st, 2017 Daily Republic
This photo taken from a 1953 map put out by the Western States Publishing Company shows the truck owned by John Courier that was used in his trenching service. It was used by Courier to dig water mains, sewer lines, basements, foundations and gas and oil lines. John was a long time Northwestern Public Service employee and volunteer fireman. The house at 219 west Third Street was later used as the first Safe House in Mitchell.
Published in the September 5th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the Tourist Camp that was located in Hitchcock Park. The Tourist Camp was started in 1920 and was free until 1924. In 1924 campers were charged 50 cents a car to stay in the camp, the reason they started charging was to keep hobos out and make the camp safer. The camp would have 10,000 visitors a year. At the time First Avenue by Hitchcock Park was part of Highway 16. The camp was in business through the late 1930s.
Published in the July 24th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This 1977 photo shows the new offices of the Davison County Sheriff. The office was originally on the main floor of the Davison Court House where the Register of Deeds office is now. The move was made to the basement so the department could have a larger area. Previously most of the basement housed the Davison County Extension Offices, Civil Defense and storage.
Published in the February 13th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This shows a banquet held at the Corn Palace, circa 1950. Notice the balcony is still there, this is the north balcony, and there was also one on the south side and the mural of cornucopias above the stage. When the balconies were intact the Corn Palace could seat 5000 people.
Published in the February 20th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This circa 1911 photo was taken from the top of the Davison Court House. The white house belonged to William Smith, President of the Mitchell National Bank and was moved to the northeast corner of Seventh Avenue and Rowley. The house on the left belonged to Howard R Kibbee, President of the Commercial Bank and was moved to 908 east Birch Avenue. You can also see the back of the Elk’s building, (top) now the Word of Life Church. You can see the Corn Palace, which was located on Fifth Avenue and Main Street from 1905-1920. The Egyptian theme was predominate in the decorations for the year.
Published in the June 19th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo from the early 1900s shows a hunting party and their bounty of rabbits. Rabbits were so abundant in the area, that groups of 100 people would get together to hunt, this took place up through the 1930s. The rabbits caused an extreme amount of damage to the small trees planted in shelter belts. Today the hunting season is September through the end of February.
Published in the October 16th, 2017 Daily Republic.
This photo shows the building on the southwest corner of Lawler Street and Second Avenue. The building was originally a house owned by John Lowell at Firesteel. The building was moved to Mitchell in 1879 by R. F. Alterton for the use as a hotel. The hotel was enlarged and improved by various owners and went by several names including the Forrest City Hotel, Gleason House, Arlington House, Plotner House and Waverly House. In this photo it is a tire vulcanizing business, Foss Land Company and several other businesses as well as rooms rented on the second floor. The building still stands and is used today.
Published in the April 10th, 2017 Daily Republic.
Dakota Wesleyan University’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s operetta “Pinafore” was performed March 19-20, 1931, at Mitchell’s City Hall auditorium. It was declared a great success and a highlight of the spring term. Drama coach Helen Fishbeck directed the acting, and Prof. Thomas Williams directed the chorus and soloists. Student Pearl Fousek assisted Miss Fishbeck, and student Raymond Carhart directed the staging. The cast included student Evelyn Shuck, who later made her Hollywood movie debut as Evelyn Daw, starring opposite James Cagney in “Something to Sing About,” in 1937.
Photo furnished by Laurie Langland, DWU Archives.
Published in the July 10th, 2017 Daily Republic.