Letcher’s Main Street, circa 1925
On the far left is JK Burg & Co. (tall brick building), a department store, built in 1902 and was torn down about 1985. Next to the right (two story building) was a dress and millinery store. Next to the right (one story wooden frame building) was the old telegraph office. Next to the right (also a one story wooden frame building) is a café. Next to the right (brick building with fake columns on the front) was the bank building, that burned down in the early 1930s. Next to the right (wood frame building) was a general merchandise store. Next to the right was the Shamrock Pool Hall. Photo courtesy of Ken Stach.
The annual Halloween party at Dakota Wesleyan University was celebrated at least as early as 1903 and was one of the most popular events on campus. The Phreno Cosmian reported that the 1913 Halloween party “eclipsed all previous efforts.” “New students witnessing for the first time the faculty on their annual rampage voted it the biggest event of the year thus far.” Festivities began at 8:30 that Friday night with everyone in costume. After their fortunes were told, students were paired up and then unmasked. Coffee and sandwiches were served, and then students passed through the tunnel, where they encountered wet bags and the skeleton known as “Old Maud,” and macaroni was dribbled down on them, “giving much the same feeling as angleworms.” Arriving in the basement of Science Hall, they made their way to the chapel (which is now the Patten-Wing Theatre in Hughes Hall), where the faculty performed a variety of musical numbers and comedy skits. This photo is of all the faculty ladies performing a “Ghost Drill.” “Coming in a long line, white and silent, they went through a drill of various positions. This was done in such a weird way that we felt it was certainly Halloween.” Submitted by the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives.
Published in the October 28th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Mitchell’s Main Street circa 1910 is captured in this photo, taken from the middle of the 100 block of North Main looking north towards Second Avenue. The Gale Building is shown on the northwest corner, First National Bank (still standing) on the southwest corner and Ferris Drug (Only Way Cleaners on 2nd floor) on the northeast corner of 2nd and Main Street. The Corn Palace was located at Fifth and Main at the time, you can see the top of a dome above the young man’s head. Notice the streets are not paved yet as this was done in 1912. The apparel of the day was large hats and long dresses for women and knickers for the boys.
Published in the December 9th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Decorating the old fashioned way…
This 1930 photo shows how they decorated the Corn Palace in the early years; scaffolding was erected around the entire building for the workers to work from. Decorators started decorating at the top and dismantled the scaffolding from the top as they finished each section. The second photo is the finished product, notice in the second photo that the Armory building (now City Hall) is not there yet.
Published in the November 3rd, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo, circa 1940s was taken on the west side of the old City Hall that was located on the corner of Second Avenue and Rowley Street. Policemen, Charles Stumm and William Sayles are pictured on early Harley Davidson motorcycles.
Published in the April 28th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo taken September 18, 1969 shows Andy Anderson, painting the dome on the Corn Palace. Anderson used the hook and ladder truck, on loan from the Mitchell Fire Department with a long handled roller to reach the top of the dome. The painting was done as part of the yearly decorating and sprucing up of the Corn Palace.
Published in the December 29th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This circa 1940s photo shows a group of motorcyclist racing at Glenwood Park, southeast of Mitchell in Hanson County. Glenwood Park was an entertainment hot spot at the time. They had car and motorcycle races, along with roller skating and dances.
Published in the August 12th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Shown is the delivery truck for the Coca-Cola Bottling Company, circa 1930. The Ellwein family owned the business and it was known as Mitchell Bottling Works until 1929 when the name was changed to the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. This photo was taken in front of the original plant on Kimball across the street from when the present building that was built in 1937 is located.
Published in the December 15th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This circa 1905 – 1912 photo shows the Christmas tree on the corner of Fourth Ave and Main Street. Looking at the tree it must have been a Charlie Brown Christmas! The Corn Palace was located at the Corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street at the time. On the right is a rooming house on the corner. The Carnegie Resource Center would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Published in the December 23rd, 2013 Daily Republic.
Deep snow covered Mitchell’s Main Street after the blizzard of January 12 and 13, 1888. The blizzard was known to many as the Children’s Blizzard because of the many school children that were trapped at school or perished trying to go home from school. This photo was taken looking north from First Avenue; the building on the left is the former Long Horn Bar that is scheduled to be torn down in the near future, due to structure issues.
Published in the January 14th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Erwin C. Paustian, professor of sociology and director of the Department of Rural Leadership at Dakota Wesleyan University from 1920-1925, took this photo in 1922 and included it in his study of the Methodist Episcopal churches in the Mitchell District of the South Dakota Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church. The men are not identified, but the photo is titled “The Necessary Pull.” Paustian wrote, “The great era of development and advance is upon the entire Mitchell District. In matters agricultural the people are progressive. In matters educational the people are not going to be far behind the best and most modern and efficient. In matters spiritual the work must not lag either. … Everything in the way of progress does not go without handicaps and misfortunes. Sometimes pushing becomes impossible and pulling is necessary. The Methodist workers on the Mitchell District need to be pushing folk but they must be pulling folk also and all pulling in the same direction and in a united way.” According to the 1925 Tumbleweed, DWU’s yearbook, Professor Paustian also served as chairman of the Commencement Committee, secretary and treasurer of the Athletic Board, director of the University Band, adviser to the Freshman Class, and janitor of Science Hall. For the 1925-1926 academic year, he was personnel secretary, before leaving DWU.
Published in the March 31st, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo, thought to have been taken June, 1912 at the Elks Lodge in Mitchell, South Dakota of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) and WRC (Women’s Relief Corps at their 29th Encampment. This was the fourth encampment to be held in Mitchell, the first being in the summer of 1886, then spring of 1892 and third in 1903. GAR members were veterans of the Civil War and the WRC were their auxiliary. Meetings for the encampment were held at City Hall and the newly constructed Elks Lodge. Construction of the Elks Lodge began in 1908 and finished in 1911.
Published in the September 9th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Down Town Super Service, circa 1950, located at 120 East 2nd Avenue, owned by Nelson Logan. Originally, there was a livery stable at the corner of Second and Lawler. The building was approximately 50’ x 100’ and faced Lawler Street. Sometime in the 1920s the livery stable building was torn down and George Logan built a gas station and auto repair shop on the roughly 90’ x 100’ lot. The original shop building was only 25’ deep with a private alley behind it running east to west alongside the Roxy Theatre. The gas station rented to various tenants over the years. In 1948, Nelson Logan expanded the shop utilizing the area of the private alley. He built 5 apartments on the second floor above the expanded shop. At about the same time, Nelson acquired the Hudson car franchise and turned the entire building into the Hudson dealership. This was after the war years when auto manufacturers were allowed to switch from war production back to making cars. There was a waiting list to buy new and used cars. Logan sold the Hudson dealership and leased the station to Milo Kelly in 1952, then Kenneth C. Lord (Down Town Cities Service) in 1955 and then Wally Meinke in 1958 .
The front, showroom part of the building became Roxy Service, a radio and TV shop selling Dumont TV’s operated by Nelson Logan. Logan closed Roxy Service about 1958. Sportsman’s Barber Shop, operated by A. D. Orton was also located in the building in 1950. In 1958, the barber shop area was leased to Stewarts Beauty Shop from Sioux Falls until 1961. Later tenants included Ilene’s Beauty Shop, Marilyn’s Designer’s Den and Showbiz Video.
The last gas station closed about 1960 and the building was used as a warehouse for the Roxy Theatre until 1986 when Jeff Logan demolished it to build additional auditoriums for the Roxy Theatre. The new auditoriums survived the fire in 2001 that burned the original Roxy Theatre building. The addition became part of the new Luxury 5 Cinemas.
Shown here is the southwest corner of Main Street and Fourth Avenue, circa early 1950s. Ruby Ann Bakery was located at 323 N. Main Street and was named for owner Phil Christen’s wife, Ruby Ann. The bakery was open circa 1940 – 1963. The building is currently occupied by Cell Phone Repair Pro. At 319 N. Main was OP Skaggs Grocery Store owned by Raymond and Roland Deaton, currently it is home to KORN Radio Station. At 317 N. Main Street was Feinstein Brothers Inc. (a women’s clothing store) owned by William, Abe and Saul Feinstein. Feinstein’s is now Einstein’s Costume Shop. 315 N. Main Street was Scoreboard Liquors owned by Arthur Smith. 313 was the State Theatre which burned down in 2005 along with the Scoreboard building.
Published in the January 7th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This photo taken in 1974 shows Porter Distributing Company located at 212 S. Langdon. The business was started in 1965 and is now a 2nd generation business at the same location. Pictured from left to right are Maurice Porter, Jim Bullis, Bob Porter, Lyle Stevenson, John Ell, and Jim Porter.
Published in the August 19th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This image is a postcard showing the former Methodist Episcopal Church in Canistota. The postcard is not dated, but it was taken after the church was built in 1896. The men at the side of the building and the children on the steps are not identified. The first Methodist church services at Canistota were conducted in 1883 by the Rev. J.P. Jenkins. The church was organized in 1884, and services were held in a school building until it burned. The C & NW Depot and an unfurnished saloon building were then used for church services until 1886, when the Methodists began meeting at the Presbyterian Church, which they used for several years. Construction on this building began in October 1895 and was completed in 1896 at a cost of $2,000. The Methodist parsonage was built about 1901. The Canistota Methodist and Presbyterian congregations began joint worship services, led by the Rev. Rodney Gist, in January 1966. They were joined by the Methodists from Riverside, a small rural community 7 miles southwest of Canistota, in February 1967. They formally joined in 1969 to become the United Church of Canistota. A new church building was constructed and consecrated in 1971, and the old Methodist Church building was sold at auction and dismantled.
Published in the June 9th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Oscar Howe served three and a half years with U.S. Army combat forces in North Africa, Italy, France and Germany during World War II. He was honorably discharged in 1945 and married Heidi Hampel, whom he had met in Germany. They had one daughter, Inge Dawn. This image shows Howe in his art studio at Dakota Wesleyan University, where he taught art while a student on the G.I. Bill. DWU published this image in its 1950 and 1951 yearbooks. While in Mitchell, Howe began designing the murals for the Corn Palace. He graduated from DWU with a bachelor’s degree in 1952 and went on to earn his master of fine arts degree at the University of Oklahoma. He was professor and artist in residence at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion for 25 years. An award-winning artist of international acclaim, he was featured on the television program “This is Your Life” in April 1960. Gov. Ralph Herseth named Howe artist laureate of South Dakota on Oct. 10, 1960. A full-blooded Yanktonai Sioux, Howe was born on May 13, 1915, at Joe Creek, a small community on the Crow Creek Reservation in South Dakota. He died on Oct. 7, 1983, at Vermillion. Photo submitted by the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives.
Published in the November 11th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Welcoming visitors to Mitchell, circa 1945 or 46 was this Black Hills stoned counter at the Custer Battlefield Highway and AAA Auto Club building which was located at 203 West Fist Avenue. We believe this photo was taken when a Lion’s Convention was in town. Lion W. D. Fisher is waving a six shooter from the Custer Battlefield. Items of General Custer’s and historic mementos were collected to display from various places along the Custer Battlefield Highway. The artifacts were later turned over to the city when the building changed owners. The building was the bus depot from the 1950s to 1978 when the Senior Citizens moved in.
This photo was taken in 1956, riding in the car are Lin Jennewein, a 1957 DWU graduate (on the left) and Anita Napier Yarrington, 1958 DWU graduate, representing the Phi Gamma Sorority in the Blue and White Days parade on Mitchell’s Main Street. Lin Jennewein was president of Phi Gamma for the 1956-1957 school year. Driving the car is Earl Erickson, father of the car’s owner.In the background is Dolan’s Standard Service, 522 North Main, owned by Buell Dolan (now occupied by the Scoreboard). To the right of the gas station is Automotive Supply Company at 514-16 North Main (now Northwestern Public Service).
Published in the February 16th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Shown is the C. E. Vermilyea Dry Goods Store, circa 1912, that was located at 214 North Main Street. Vermilyea’s Store sold women’s clothing, furs, tailor made suits and other dry goods. The store occupied two floors and was expanded to a 50 foot front in 1913. The corner stone of the building reads G. A. Clark, 1887. The building is now owned by Steve Clarke. Mr. Clarke has remodeled the second floor this last year into an apartment.
Published in the December 22nd, 2014 Daily Republic.
Shown is the decorating crew supervised by Doug Baldwin working on one of the murals of the 1974 Corn Palace. Roy Rogers, Dale Evans and the Blackwood Singers were the headlining act that year. The Corn Palace van is a sign of the times.
Published in the July 14th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Sitting in the cream wagon are Theodore F. King and Rev. David Powell. Theodore F. King hauled cream from outlaying stations to Mt. Vernon. Mr. King came to the Mt. Vernon area about 1900. Rev. Powell was the minister of the Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon. Standing at the back of the wagon is Ole Rygg and John Silvas. Photo donated by Florence Althen.
The first photo is of Rozum Motor Company, located at 5th Avenue and Main Street in 1939. In 1941 an eight lane bowling alley was opened at 510 N. Main in the basement of the building. Notice in the second photo, part of the windows and the brick wall were removed to put in a doorway. Mitchell Bowling Center owned by J. B. and Clarence Shearer had previously been located at 108 E. 3rd Avenue. Shearers’ purchased Mitchell Bowling Center in 1939 from P. W. Huntemer. Shearers’ later sold the business to Phil Thompson in 1949. The Bowling Center was located in this building until December 10, 1959 when it moved to the new building and was then called Village Bowl. Village Bowl burned down on July 16, 1975 and was rebuilt and reopened in 1976. The first Village Bowl was a 20 lane alley, while the second was built as a 24 lane alley. There were several other bowling allies in town as early as 1907. Scharnweber Brothers had a billiards and bowling parlor at 106 N. Main (bowling allies were on 2nd floor). The J. W. Elliott Billiards and Bowling Parlor was at 308 N. Main (bowling alley on 2nd floor), now Harve’s Pro Print. Scott Brothers opened a bowling alley, December 4, 1907 in the basement of the Widmann Hotel located the corner !st Avenue and Main Street.
The late Edmund Bernard St. John, Sr. was recently honored in Washington, D.C. as a Code Talker in WWII. Family members accepted the award on St. John’s behalf at the November, 2013 ceremony to honor Code Talkers. St. John enlisted in the United States Army on June 5, 1941, at the age of 21, and was active in the First Calvary Division at Fort Bliss, Texas, and California Camp Stoneman, Oklahoma and Austrailia. He was in first combat in New Guinea and in the Phillipines Islands. He was discharged on December 27, 1945. St. John received four bronze stars, two bronze arrowheads, one good combat medal and a purple heart for his bravery. He also received the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal. In South Dakota, we have nine Sioux Tribes, eight of the nine had Code Talkers.
Published in the April 21st, 2014 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the First National Bank, built in 1906, at 123 N. Main. The original First National Bank building, built at this location in 1882, burned down on September 19, 1884. This building was constructed by A. J. Kings, is a simple version of Renaissance Revival. The first floor was big white blocks while the second and third floors were a darker block. The front of the building was built with Sioux Falls quartzite, with three columns made of polished granite. In 1914, the building was extended to the west. The bank closed in 1930 when assets were liquidated because the bank ran out of money. The building is now occupied by Larry Jirsa Architectural Firm.
Shown west of the bank building is the Olympia Theatre. (This is the only photo that the Mitchell Area Historical Society has found of the Olympia Theatre.) The theatre appears to have been built circa 1907, showing moving picture shows and vaudeville shows. In 1909, the seating capacity was expanded to 400 seats. The building still stands, but the second floor has been removed, it now houses a custom woodshop.
Published in the February 9th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This October 3, 1931 photo was taken by Olie Leeland after a couple crashed their Model A Ford Roadster in to a platform on Mitchell’s Main Street that was being used for free street acts during the Corn Palace Celebration. The entire length of the car plowed under the platform; the windshield and top were sheared off just above the heads of the two passengers. Both passengers had minor injuries and were expected to fully recover.
Published in the Daily Republic June 24th, 2013
This photo was taken April 23, 1955 when the Farmers Union Coop Elevator Association grain elevator caught fire after possibly being hit by lightning. The 17,000-bushel elevator was located just east of South Sanborn and the Milwaukee Railroad tracks. The elevator, empty at the time of the fire, was termed a total loss by the co-op manager, James McDaniel, although a business office attached to the elevator was saved. The building was later torn down. Published in the October 6th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo taken in 1919 shows the Spear’s Moving Company, owned by Isaac Spears, moving a building from Main Street, down Third Avenue to another location, to be used as storage. Pulling the building is two Nash Quads. Notice in the background is the United Methodist Church. This photo submitted by Dodd Hanson.
Published in the October 7th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This circa 1940s photo was taken from the corner of First Avenue and Main Street. On the right is Kress Drugstore at 100 North Main, owned by Horace Kress. J. & P. Furniture Store was located at 102 North Main. On the left is Coast to Coast Store at 101 North Main, owned by John Parker. 103 North Main was the Majestic Bar, now the VFW. 107 North Main was Montgomery Ward Store and is now the American Legion.
Published in the December 30th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Mitchell’s Main Street, 1911
Shown are the 400 and 500 blocks of North Main. In the left hand corner is 401 N. Main, which was a large boarding house. Another boarding house was located at 413 North Main. On the east side of the street, the two white buildings are unknown as to what businesses were there. The Elks Lodge was on the corner of 5th Avenue and Main. Notice the Corn Palace is in the process of being decorated. The motif of the decorations had been changed to an Egyptian motif for the first time. North of the Corn Palace was the G. A. Vermilyan Feed Store.
The beauty of large porches can be seen in this photo as you traveled down West 3rd Avenue, circa 1950s. The house on the right is 308 W. 3rd Ave., the middle house is 312 W. 3rd Ave and the next one is 320 W. 3rd Ave.
This is the block across the street to the north of the current Mitchell Public Library.
Downtown Letcher, South Dakota.
This circa 1915 photo shows Blanche Ryan (driver wearing white), with a fellow teacher taking their students to a school picnic.
The Letcher House is a local hotel directly behind the cars, on the right in the background is John Van Metre and Son Hardware and Harness Shop.
This photo was donated to the Carnegie Resource Center by Kathleen Winsor Petit.
Published in the November 17th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken in 1958 during a South Dakota State Fire School Parade in Mitchell, South Dakota. Riding the 1919 LaFrance fire truck in front seat are Captain Clete O’Byrne and Chief Asa Wheeler, in back from left is Harvey Baldwin and 2 unknown firemen. The photo was taken near the intersection of Second Avenue and Main Street. Buildings in the background from the left are the First National Bank, Army Surplus Store and Time Theater.
Published in the August 11th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo shows a testing process to accept the new truck. The new vehicle was to pump 1000 gallons of water a minute. The truck was retired from service in 1983.
This photo, taken circa 1910, shows Artesian’s Main Street looking south. Artesian was founded in 1883 and was first named Dianna. The name was later changed to Artesian, because it is located in a natural artesian basin. This photo was donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Edith Wise. Published in the February 3rd, 2014 Daily Republic.
Mitchell Campground was located at 1600 West Havens on the Corner of Havens and Ohlman (where Cubby’s Convenience Store is now). This photo was taken in late 1930s about the time the business opened. Henry Lau opened the campground, which had cabins to rent, in the 1930s. There was also a service station and café. Henry’s son Harold joined the business about 1940. Harold and his brother were killed in a plane crash in 1946. The campground burned down a couple years after his death. Photo submitted by Roger Allen.
Published in the July1st 2013 Daily Republic
In 1969 KORN-TV of Mitchell built a new 1,565 foot-tower located 6 ½ miles south of Salem. The Mitchell TV station became the first full-time primary affiliate of ABC (American Broadcasting Company) in South Dakota; formally the station had been a NBC (National Broadcasting Company) affiliate. The studios were located on south Burr also known as Highway 37, south of Interstate 90.
Published in the August 4th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo shows George McGovern, then a 20-year-old college sophomore, standing in front of Mitchell High School with the car he used to recruit students for Dakota Wesleyan University. In 1942, when this photo was taken, the high school was located at 410 E. 5th Ave., according to the Polk City Directory. McGovern was born July 19, 1922, at Avon, S.D., but considered Mitchell, where he grew up, his hometown. He went on to fly 35 bombing missions in Europe during WWII, before graduating from DWU in 1946. He was a student pastor and then college professor before entering politics, serving in Congress, 1957-1961, and the Senate, 1963-1981. From 1961-1962 he was director of the Food for Peace program, appointed by President Kennedy. McGovern is widely known as the 1972 Democratic presidential candidate, but he also was an author, lecturer, and briefly an innkeeper. He garnered bi-partisan political support for national and international school lunch programs, thereby feeding and educating generations of children around the world. McGovern passed away on Oct. 21, 2012, at Sioux Falls. Submitted by DWU Archives.
Published in the June 2nd, 2014 Daily Republic.
In January 1968, South Dakota Senator George McGovern toured the newly-constructed Mitchell Area Vocational Technical School, located at 821 North Capital Street. The school’s name changed since opening in 1968, becoming Mitchell Vocational Technical Institute in 1989, and then Mitchell Technical Institute in 1993. Photos from this tour are part of the Senator George McGovern Collection housed in the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives in the McGovern Library at DWU.
Published in the January 13th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Andrew Jackson Kings moved to Mitchell with his wife in 1883 and started a contracting business. Among the many Mitchell Structures which he built were the first Corn Palace building, the first building at Dakota Wesleyan University (College Hall), Carnegie Library, Holy Family Church, the Elks and many more in and around Mitchell. The first Corn Palace was built at the corner of Fourth Avenue and Main Street in 1892, (this photo was taken during construction) the building was 100 x 66 feet. The outside of the Corn Palace was decorated in geometric patterns with native corn, grains and grasses. The inside however was artistically decorated by the women of Mitchell, who carried out all projects and exhibits with the same materials used for the outside. During the 1892 Corn Palace Exposition, the Phinney Iowa State band played for 10 day.
Published in the August 25th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Main Street of Armour, SD, circa 1900s. Apparently some type of contest is taking place with the barrels and the man with the bull. There is a man standing on a ladder behind the barrels, perhaps he is the judge. The sign on the side of the building on the right says it’s a real estate office and the sign on front says Reservation Land Office. On the left is the Billiard Hall, a hardware store and a drug and jewelry store.
This photo, taken in 1953 shows the Broadbent Funeral Home at 112 East Third owned by Walter H. Broadbent. Broadbent had previously been in business with his brother in the Broadbent Brothers Furniture Store located at 107 North Main Street (now American Legion). The furniture store was on the first floor, second floor was furniture and funeral home, and third was the floor coverings and offices. Next to the funeral home here is the Miller Jewelry and Watch Hospital owned by Walt Miller.
Published in the October 27th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the old Whittier School, located in the 400 block of West Second Avenue, circa 1900. In the background, the First Methodist Church can be seen, which was at 421 W. Fourth, facing north. Now the same building is a private residence. (Photo courtesy of the Mitchell Area Historical Society) .
Published in the January 6th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This poster, advertising a dance held on June 3, 1969 at the Roller Drome, was recently donated to the Carnegie Resource Center by Linda Gonsor Kaus. Mitchell’s Roller Drome hosted some of the biggest bands in the region and was a favorite spot for roller skaters. The Roller Drome was located at 1410 North Main. The Roller Drome was inducted into the South Dakota Rock and Roll Music Association Hall of Fame in April, 2014. The Rumblers are still playing for dances and will be performing on Halloween at the Shrine Temple in Sioux Falls.
Published in the October 13th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Mitchell Fire Department, January 1, 1901 in their dress uniforms. The drill team placed first in 1901 as they had in 1893, 1894 and 1895. The banner hanging in the background had become a possession of the Mitchell team once they had won first place for three consecutive years, the banner is now stored at the Dakota Discovery Museum. Pictured are: Top Row-Fred Johnson, John Posey, Ed Schlimgen, Joe Vermilyea, Tom Briggs, Bill Duncan, Joe Swift, Roy McCurty, Henry Swindler (Davison County Sheriff from 1899-1902), 2nd Row- Art Wright, E. Halfhill, George Koehler, Otis Smith, John Sterges, F. Logan, Frank Parks, Clyde Kimball, Roy Perry, 3rd Row - A. Jackson, H. Carlson, N. O. Kingsbury, Bill Pratt, Jim Rogan, Bill Barber, Wm Slade, Luke Willeson, Joe Schlimgen, Front Row - George Liko, Frank Purty, Sig Schirmer, Ed Parcell and Jim Duncan.
Published in the July 28th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Methodist State Hospital circa 1930.
The Methodist State Hospital was built in 1917 and opened for patients in February, 1918. “The State Hospital” title did not indicate it was a South Dakota institution, but a Methodist State Hospital. The hospital opened their School of Nursing in 1918. In 1943 the hospital was approved for the Cadet Nursing Course and by 1945, 85 students were enrolled in the Cadet Nursing Course. At that time, there were 36 graduate nurses from the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing serving in the Armed Forces. The hospital closed in 1991 and was sold to Davison County. The hospital building shown here was demolished in 2010.
Published in the August 26th, 2013 Daily Republic.
The tablet placed by the Nancy Peobody Chapter, Mitchell, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1934. A little over a mile east of Mitchell on old Highway 16 near the original Firesteel Community. The site of the junction of two old trails - the Jimtown Trail first mail route of the James River Valley and the Fort Thompson Trail much used in the Black Hills Gold Rush. Close to this junction was Firesteel, the pioneer settlement and trading post 1874-1880. About fifty rods north, close to the Jimtown Trail is the site of the first frame house in Davison County built in 1873. This was the home of H. C. Greene and also the Firesteel Post Office and popular pioneer meeting place.
Published in the October 20th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This 1939 advertising board for the Corn Palace Festival Shows once stood proudly in front of the Corn Palace for all to see. It tells of the entertainment slated for September 25-September 30, 1939. The main act to perform was Paul Whiteman and his orchestra, plus Rosco Ates (the stuttering comedian from Hollywood), Hollywood Glamour Girls, The Olympic Trio, Hudson Wonders and Whitson Brothers. Admission was 25 cents for children, 75 cents for general admission and $1.25 for reserved seating. Mayors of 86 towns in South Dakota were invited to be guests of Mitchell’s Mayor, George Fredericks, to attend any of the Corn Palace Shows during the Festival. Lyle Swenson is shown here with the original 1939 advertising board, now housed in the Corn Palace Room at the Carnegie Resource Center, 119 West Third Avenue in Mitchell. The Carnegie Resource Center invites everyone to come in and see this board and numerous other Corn Palace memorabilia displayed there. Admission is free and hours are Monday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
This photo was taken in 1942 of the entrance to the Air Base located north of Mitchell. The Air Base closed after WWII and was given to the City of Mitchell. It is now Mitchell’s airport. The photo is from the Bob Brown Collection donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society.
Published in the July 29th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This photo taken in June of 1928 shows Dakota Central Telephone Company building at 115 East 3rd Avenue and the employees and other office personnel. Mitchell was the district office of 13 communities including Mitchell. This building was built in 1911 by the telephone company; Bonnie’s Dekor now occupies the building. This photo came from the family of Anna May Coffel, one of the employees in the photo.
The phone company is believed to have started in Mitchell in 1898 by F. B. Elce.
This photo was taken in 1975 of the Christmas decorations on the corner of Third Ave and Main Street. On the left is Woolworths. On the right, Saterlie Drug Store is on the west side of Main Street and Commercial Bank is on the east side of Main Street. The Commercial Bank was destroyed by fire in 1981 and the building was razed in 1982 and is now a park. Just past the bank building you can see the sign for Johnson Furniture at the corner of Third and Lawler. Published in the December 16th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This photo, taken in 1967, shows the pool, which was in Gainer Park located at West Third Avenue and Minnesota Street. Gainer Park was formerly known as West Side Park, and was named for William (Daddy) Gainer, a caretaker at the park for many years. The pool was first proposed for the park by the city leaders in 1917, there is no knowledge as to the year it was built or removed. If you have any information on the pool please contact the Carnegie Resource Center at 996-3209 or email Pam@mitchellcarnegie.com . This photo was submitted by Paul and Linda Kaus.
Published in the September 23rd, 2013 Daily Republic.
Olympic legend Jesse Owens was the featured speaker at Dakota Wesleyan University’s Blue and White Day banquet at the Masonic Temple on Oct. 15, 1960, in Mitchell. The “75” on the podium refers to DWU’s 75th anniversary, which was being celebrated that year. The young woman at Owens’ right is not identified. DWU published this photo in its 1961 yearbook, noting that Owens had the audience absolutely spellbound. The Daily Republic reported that he spoke on youth and athletics, and that the applause following his speech lasted for two minutes. Earlier in the day, a squadron of S.D. Air National Guard jets swept over Mitchell’s Main Street to begin the 100-unit Blue and White Day parade, which was led by Owens and DWU President Jack J. Early, north on Main Street to Kernel Stadium for the football game between DWU and Huron. In 1936 Owens became the first American track and field athlete to win four gold medals in a single Olympiad, which that year was held in Nazi Germany. Submitted by DWU Archives.
Published in the January 20th, 2014 Daily Republic.
The L.O. Gale building, located on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street, was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of April,1908. Gale had constructed the building after the first Corn Palace was torn down and moved to the corner of 5th Avenue and Main Street. Two businesses were housed in the building at the time, W. H. Bacon had a grocery and bakery store and Mrs. Anderson had a millinery store. Four families resided on the second floor of the building and Mr. and Mrs. Anderson lived on the first floor in the back of their store. All occupants were able to escape the fire thanks to a young boy who worked for Hardy, the baker next door, who lived in the Gale building and was returning home from work and awoke the residents to warn them of the fire. Firemen were able to rescue some of the millinery goods, but the Bacons grocery goods were completely destroyed. To the right is Hardy Bakery and Louis Beckwith’s house, which is now located on the Dakota Discovery Museum site.
Shown is the stage setting for the Bromley Evangelistic Meetings held March 15 to April 18, 1911 at Holiness Camp (also known as Riverside Camp), drawing crowds of 400 people to the camp. The South Dakota Holiness Association was organized in 1893. The Riverside location was purchased in 1906 by the association and was 4 miles east of Mitchell. In 1908 permanent buildings were erected. The South Dakota Holiness Association Campground was sold to the Church of Christ around 1980. The tabernacle was flooded in 1998 and is now property of a private owner. During its history, Nazarenes, Wesleyans, Free Methodist, Salvation Army, Faith Home, and many other holiness churches joined together for the annual revivalist events.
Published in the September 3, 2013 Daily Republic.
Dakota Improved Seed Company also known as Disco Seeds, Inc., was organized in 1903 under leadership of W. A. Wheeler. The warehouse was located at 800 North Lawler next to the Omaha railroad tracks. The card shown was sent out in 1912 for customers to return with their orders written on the back for the company. The business was purchased by Tri-State Milling Company of Rapid City in 1947, sold to the Pawnee Corporation, Pipestone, Minnesota, in 1969 and was purchased by Al Williams Corporation, Sioux City, Iowa in 1974. Disco Seeds went out of business late 1980s and was torn down about 1990. Published in the March 17th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken in 1955 of the Corn Palace during the redecorating season. On the right is Dolan’s Standard Service (owned by Buell Dolan) at 522 North Main Street, where the Scoreboard Restaurant is now located.
Published in the Sept 22, 2014 Daily Republic.
A twister nearly destroyed the Anthony Motel on May 21, 1962. The front of the motel on West Havens was still standing, but the twister ripped out the west and rear walls, leaving all of their rooms in shambles. Don Metcalf, the owner rebuilt in the weeks following, adding an extension to the front and a carport on the side of the motel. The tornado destroyed many Mitchell businesses and injured 32 people.
Photo courtesy of Carnegie Resource Center & South Dakota Society Daughters of the American Revolution.Photo taken between 1930 when the Chapter was organized and probably 1936 as it‘s from an issue of the 1937 Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine. Anyone interested in names of unidentified ladies or can identify any in photo please contact the Carnegie Resource Center at 605-996-3209 or Pam@mitchellcarnegie.com
Published in the Sept 29th 2014, Daily Republic.
110 Years Young
The Carnegie Library building, now the Carnegie Resource Center was built in 1903. On February 3, 1902, Andrew Carnegie agreed to provide the city of Mitchell, $10,000 to construct the library. An additional grant of $2,000 was later obtained from Carnegie to add aesthetic enhancements of decorative hand-carved oak elements on the interior, cut stained glass windows and wrought iron railings and fences. Additions were made to the building in 1930 and 1960. After the library materials were removed from the Carnegie building in 1971, it was leased to the Mitchell Area Arts Council for a dollar a year. After the Oscar Howe Museum moved out of the building, it was used by the YWCA for a few years and set empty until the Mitchell Area Historical Society got possession of the building in 2006.
Published in the September 16th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This circa 1955 photo shows the 400 block of North Main Street. On the left t 401 is Buche’s Store (dry goods and groceries), 405 is Red Owl Grocery Store, 413 is Moonlight Bar, 415 is Service Café managed by Phyllis Hefner, and 425 is Montgomery Ward’s Store. On the right side of the street, 400 is Den Beste Drug Store, 402 is Clark’s Radio and TV Store, 404 is Sear’s Store, 410 is Northwestern Public Service and Electrical Workers Union, 412 is Loon Motors owned by M.A. Loon, 414 is Chris’ Inn owned by Chris Bozekes, and 424 is Elks Lodge. You can also see the Corn Palace in the distance on the right.
Published in the August 5th, 2013 Daily Republic.
In 1904, Mitchell was in a tough fight with Pierre for the State Capitol. This is a State Capitol Campaign photo of the old City Hall taken by Hoyt Cox in 1904. It was built of jasper granite at a cost of $55,000. It was 86 x 112 feet in size; three full stories in height; contains twenty-one large office rooms, fourteen ample vaults, two legislative halls, each 66 x 90 feet, and six large committee rooms. Notice behind City Hall is the original Carnegie Library building that was built in 1903. The library had a large addition added on the back of the building 1930 and then another in the east side of the building in 1960. The library is now the Carnegie Resource Center, home to the Mitchell Area Historical and Genealogical Societies.
This photo was taken during Corn Palace week in 1942 looking north on Main Street. Only Way Cleaners was located at 503 North Main Street now Trudy David's Gift Shop. Kowall Tire Service was at 505 North Main Street. Mitchell Monument Works owned by W. P. Holleran was at 509 North Main Street. Carnival shows like the one shown (Igorot-the wild man from Borneo) were a big attraction for carnival goers of the day. Photo donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Sheila Letcher.
Published in the Sept 8th, 2014 Daily Republic.
The Mount Vernon Milling Company opened in Mount Vernon, South Dakota in 1893, with its product “Prairie Lily Flour”. Four Mount Vernon elevators burned down in a fire in 1904; most likely this is the building that replaced the one that was destroyed.
Published in the June 23rd, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo taken circa 1928 shows horses pulling the last shed out of the bottom where the lake is now located. Mitchell Lake was built in 1929, prior to that the land was owned by the Anderson Family and was farmland. The trees were cut down in the process of preparing the land and were made into lumber to be used in building the house located at 1022 North Main Street in Mitchell. This photo was donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Lee Anderson of Spearfish, SD.
Published in the December 2nd, 2013 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken June 23, 1939, and shows Kobes and Sons excavating to build a house at 1215 East Third Avenue for T. J. McComish. H. A. Kobes received $87.10 for his excavating work. The total cost of building the house was $1481.66. Notice in the back ground is St. Joe Hospital.
Pictured is the newly constructed 1921 Corn Palace during Corn Palace Festival Week, with the free street show on the south side of the building. The Flying Lavans lead the free street shows provided for the Corn Palace week-long Festival. The Lavans, considered one of the top two aerial acts in the country at the time, was made up of five men and one woman and used a 52 by 40 foot net rigging. Karl King and his band were the main attraction for the festival in 1921. Notice the fire escape ladder on the side of the building.
Published in the July 7th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo shows VFW members doing a bike safety check in front of City Hall at the corner of Second Avenue and Rowley Street. Kneeling on the left is VFW member, Chuck Summers and on far right is Police Chief Robert Kneeland. To the left of Kneeland is VFW member, Art Bernard; on his left is Mayor Damon Clark. The date of the photo is unknown, but Clark and Kneeland were both in office from 1948 – 1951. In the back ground is the Gazette building, which was a weekly newspaper at the time.
Published in the May 12th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo shows the Grand Opera House that was located on the corner of Railroad and Main Street and was established in the 1880s. Theater productions and medicine shows touring the country would perform at the Opera House. The building was condemned and torn down in 1912 after a wall collapsed on the south side. It was rebuilt in 1913 and is the current location of the Window Shop.
Published in theJuly 22nd, 2013 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken on November 8, 1927 after a fire destroyed the heating plant at Gurney Greenhouse. According to the 1923 and 1930 Polk City Directories the greenhouse was located on the corner of North Wiscons12th Avenue. Two threshing machine boilers were borrowed from Mitchell Iron and Supply Company to heat the greenhouse, saving the $20,000 stock of flowers until a temporary heat plant could be built.
Published in the May 5th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Mitchell’s Main Street in the 1960s, a picturesque view of a thriving and bustling Main Street USA. This is taken in the middle of the 100 block of North Main, looking north. On the left, you will notice Les’ Bar, Schiff Shoes, White Drug, Mitchell National Bank, Western Bank Building, Saterlie Drug , State Theatre, and Wards to name a few. On the right Tom’s Café, Frisco Café, Coast to Coast Store, Woelful Jewelry, Woolworth, Sears, Penney’s and the Corn Palace.
Shown is the first Davison County Courthouse with the bandstand that was located on the west side of the building. The first courthouse was built in 1883 and served until the present courthouse was built in 1937. This courthouse was constructed with a budget of $20,000.00, while the present one was constructed at a cost of $235,949.82. This bandstand was used weekly in the summer when the Municipal Band held concerts on the grounds.
Published in the March 10th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This picture of the early gymnasium and athletic grounds at Dakota University, as Dakota Wesleyan University was originally named, was published in the university's catalog for 1899. While the building date is unknown, previous catalogs noted that, with combined aid of students, faculty, and the citizens of Mitchell, funds had been gathered to fence an athletic field, grade a half-mile track, and build and equip a commodious gym adequate to all the needs of the best athletic training. By 1905. however, DWU wanted to expand or replace this facility, which was located west of Old College Hall, pictured in the background, to accommodate the growing needs of the school. A campaign to secure building and endowment funds for both a gymnasium and science building was undertaken in 1909. In June 1910, during the university's 25th anniversary, DWU broke ground for both buildings. Donations from Andrew Carnegie and the Rockefeller Foundation, along with $50,000 from James J. Hill of Minneapolis, helped bring Science Hall, which is now Hughes Hall, to completion in 1912. But economic challenges - drought, crop failures, and a scourge that affected hog production - along with a change in the presidency at DWU, delayed subsequent building of a gym. In 1917 the Rev. W. D. Schermerhorn was hired as DWU's president, and fundraising for the new gym was renewed as part of the endowment campaign. J. T. Morrow, a DWU trustee since 1900, pledged $30,000 for the gym in 1918, and the board voted unanimously to name the building Morrow Gymnasium. Architect Mr. Ellerbe of St. Paul was employed to draw up plans for a new gym for the existing foundation, located south of Old College Hall. A heating plant was added to the project in 1919. G. Schwartz and Co. of Rochester, MN., was employed for the general contract, and McGeary and Son of St. Paul was hired for the heating and plumbing. By November 1919, the heating plant was in operation, and Mr. Morrow had passed away. Mrs. Morrow promised to add whatever was needed above and beyond the Morrow's original $30,000 pledge to complete the gym, In January 1920, Morrow Gymnasium officially opened and was declared by President Schermerhorn to be the cause of great delight and satisfaction among the students. By that spring, the Mitchell community was using the gym as well. At their Nov. 23, 1920, meeting, the DWU trustees noted that people of the City of Mitchell had been very kind to the university during the past year. This undated photo of Morrow Gym shows the heating plant at the right. Morrow Gym was torn down in 1993. The heating plant remains and is the current Physical Plant.
Photos are from the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives Published in the January27th , 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo, from the scrapbook of Dakota Wesleyan University student Ida Binger (ex 1916), is captioned “My first Thanksgiving at Graham Hall.” It was taken on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1912, in the dining hall of DWU’s women’s dormitory, Graham Hall. The DWU student newspaper, the Phreno Cosmian, devoted much space to DWU’s traditional Thanksgiving Day football games during those years. But the Nov. 30, 1916, Phreno published this poem, titled Thanksgiving Day, by South Dakota poet May Phillips-Tatro: Stir the fire, and let its light, Put all grief and gloom to flight; Not a sigh, And not a tear, On this day of all the year; Glad are we, Now to greet, Those we love, in friendship sweet; Merry voices, Laughter gay, On this glad Thanksgiving Day. In his book Dakota Literature (1928), DWU alumnus O.W. Coursey (1893) described Phillips-Tatro as a sweet-singing poet who came to Dakota Territory from the famous Authors’ Club of Minneapolis. Phillips-Tatro died at Bowdle, S.D., on April 16, 1902, at the age of 37. Submitted by the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives. Published in the November 25th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Free Methodist Church that was located at 604 S. Edmunds, built circa 1928. Circa 1980s, the former Christian Science Church that had been located at 120 W. Sixth Avenue was moved to Douglas Avenue and was attached to this building and is now the Grace Baptist Church. Free Methodist Church was organized in Mitchell in July, 1881 by Rev. J. W. Sharp and met in the Wills and Company’s Hall. Photo submitted by David Wright, whose father was a minister at Free Methodist Church in 1945.
Published in the February 24th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Shown is the 1906 Corn Palace, which was the second palace to be built and was built in 1905 at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Main Street. The main entrance was facing Fifth Avenue. This Corn Palace was torn down when the current Corn Palace was built at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Main Street. Notice that the Elks building is not there yet, it wouldn’t be constructed until 1908. Rumor has it that this building burned down but no such thing ever happened to this one or any other palace.
Published in the March 3, 2014 Daily Republic.
Cutting ice on Lake Mitchell was done during the winter to supply ice for the entire year to Ice House customers. Ice Houses had a driver go around from house to house to deliver to their customers. Residents could either call their order in or place a card board sign in their window as to how much they wanted the driver to leave. Young children would follow the drivers down the street and beg for ice chips to eat, like they would follow an ice cream truck in later years. This photo was taken on Lake Mitchell circa 1940s or 50s. This ad was placed in The Daily Republic on May 18, 1928. As the ad states the average bill for Mitchell families in the summer was only $2.84 a month, with this the family could store all their cold food items. The Ice Houses went out of business as electric refrigerators became more affordable.
Published in the January 21st, 2013 Daily Republic.
Known as the Realty Building in 1921, this building at 300 North Main housed Baron Brothers Department Store and Peterson’s Hardware Company. Peterson Hardware Company was owned by Henry A. Peterson, Matt and Nich Thune, Thos Eastcott, and Robert C. Raines. Woolworths opened at this location on November 25, 1916. The store was closed for 7 weeks for remodeling, after a fire on August 7, 1940 destroyed the interior and much of the goods contained in the store. Baron’s Brothers bought their business from C. E. Vermilyea. They were at this location until 1959 when they moved to the old Red Owl building, so that Woolworth’s could expand into that portion of the building. Woolworth’s closed in 1993. Numerous doctors and dentists offices were housed on the 2nd floor. The 3rd floor contained apartments.
The Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad Depot was built in 1909. This is looking north west from the railroad tracks. Notice the cart with the milk containers in the center. Three horse drawn taxi cabs wait on the east side of the along with one car to take passengers to their destination.
This image is of Burke, S.D., the county seat for Gregory County, photographed circa 1918, when the Methodist Episcopal Church was being constructed. It is from a postcard donated to the Dakotas Conference Archives at Dakota Wesleyan University by Robert Kolbe, of Sioux Falls. The Methodists began meeting at Burke in 1916, holding services at the A.C. Carroll Feed Store building. Under the leadership of the Rev. A.L. Wilson, the Burke Methodist Church was organized in 1917 and met at the Opocensky building. In October 1917, when the South Dakota Methodists held their annual conference, the district superintendent reported that “we have promise of the best church building on the Rosebud.” The Rev. Conway Boatman, appointed in 1917 to serve at Burke Methodist, planned the new church structure, seeing much of its construction and holding services at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. When he left in the fall of 1918 to serve as a missionary in India, the stucco work remained to be done. Rev. Boatman’s replacement, the Rev. Arthur Wilfred Peterson, succumbed to pneumonia or influenza in October 1918. In spite of these changes, the church building, which cost $15,000, was dedicated on Sunday, July 20, 1919. The second photo shows the Burke Methodist Church and parsonage in 1922. From the Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU.
Published in the May27th, 2014 Daily Republic.
The above photo (this building was located at the corner of Main Street and Railroad Street and is now a city parking lot) was taken at a later date, shows it mounted on a 1936 Reo Delivery pickup. The unit was a chain drive from the power take off. The unit was backed up to the building involved and a canvas chute was attached from the machine to the door or window and the smoke was sucked out as can be seen from both photos.
By the 1960s, portable fans were used and the truck was no longer necessary.
Published in the April 14th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo taken in June, 1914 shows men digging a flow well on the Nicholson farm near Artesian. The well was 300 feet deep and was very hard water. Water was piped from the well to the stock tank and run constantly. The well drilling rig was powered by a steam tractor. The barn in the photo was blown away in a tornado in 1924. Photo submitted by Charlotte Nicholson.
Published in the October 14th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Porter Motor Co, 601 North Main, Oldsmobile Dealer circa 1950, now the current location of the Chamber of Commerce. Porter Motor
Company owned by Leon Porter, was located at 200 East 2nd Avenue before it moved to this location at 601 North Main, circa 1948. In 1958 it was then known as Dakota Motor Company owned by Delmer W. Olson and Wilson Tire Company owned by Ernest G. Wilson. Olson later moved Dakota Motor Co. to 1409 North Main. In 1959 Wilson started selling Volkswagons and changed the name to Import Motor Company. In 1974 Wilson sold the business to Ray Case and Darwin Webb. Import Motors was at this location until 1976, when they built a new building at 1901 North Sanborn Street.
Pictured is the Budweiser Clydesdale team taking part in the sixth annual Stampede Rodeo parade in Mitchell on July 17, 1976. The wagon they are pulling was built in 1920. The team also performed at the rodeo each night that was a three day affair at the time. The 10-horse team required a six-man crew who would take care of the animals needs full-time. The team traveled 40,000 miles a year.
Published in the July 21st, 2014 Daily Republic.
This is the plague from when the 1955 LaFrance Aerial Truck was retired from service.
Shown is the cake baked by Darwin Buus for Mitchell’s Centennial Celebration in 1981. The cake was decorated by Chris Buus. The ingredients for the cake were: 180 pounds of flour, 256 pounds of sugar, 2 pounds of salt, 150 dozen eggs, 200 pounds of shortening, 9 pounds of baking powder, 1 pint of vanilla, 10 gallons milk and 12 ounces cream of tartar. This photo was submitted by Paul and Linda Kaus.
Published in the September 30th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Mitchell’s Main Street in the 1960s, a picturesque view of a thriving and bustling Main Street USA. This is taken in the middle of the 100 block of North Main, looking north. On the left, you will notice Les’ Bar, Schiff Shoes, White Drug, Mitchell National Bank, Western Bank Building, Saterlie Drug , State Theatre, and Wards to name a few. On the right Tom’s Café, Frisco Café, Coast to Coast Store, Woelful Jewelry, Woolworth, Sears, Penney’s and the Corn Palace.
Fire destroys Woelfel Jewelry Store and Wilkens Ready to Wear on January 17, 1921. The fire started in the basement of Woelfels about 9:30 a.m. and quickly spread through the floor. By noon, Woelfel Jewelry (202 North Main) owned by Gustav Woelfel and Wilkins Ready to Wear (204 North Main) owned by Abraham Wilkins were a total loss. The building was owned by Mrs. Gustav Woelfel. Fireman fought fiercely and saved Becker’s Clothing Store (206-208 North Main Street), managed by Delvan Becker, although much of the merchandise was destroyed by smoke. To the south at 200 North Main, the Essex Building owned by George E. Logan, which housed Long and Hocum Pharmacy owned by Thurston J. Long and Marion Hocum was saved in part to the brick wall separating the two buildings. There were 3 apartments above the Woelfel Jewelry store that also burned. Woelfel moved his jewelry store to the Navin Hotel (corner of Main Street and 1st Avenue) until rebuilding in 1926 at the location of the fire. In 1928 Gustav Woelfel moved to Minnesota leaving his son Fred Woelfel and brother-in-law to run the store. In May 1945, Fred Woelfel purchased the store and stayed in this location until 1959 when he moved to 218 North Main, the present location.
This circa 1953 photo shows one of the Mitchell Transit buses at one of their regular stops in front of Snow’s Ice Cream Shop on Main Street. Mitchell Transit started in September 1946 and had three buses that went from several stops along Main Street to both hospitals, Hitchcock Park and Lake Mitchell. Buses ran from 7 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with 30 minute service to hospitals and schools. Fares were ten cents for adults and five cents for children.
Published in the December 8th, 2014 Daily Republic.
1892 Corn Belt Exhibition
The roots of today’s Corn Palace were planted in 1892 by the people and businesses of Mitchell, who worked together to create an attraction to lure people to the new city on the South Dakota plains. This colorized image of the 1892 The Corn Belt Exposition, as the first building was called, shows the fruit of the labors of 195 people who donated money for the facility, as well as local businesses that helped it become a reality. Today’s Corn Palace is the third such structure in downtown.
This famous photograph shows United States Marines raising the U. S. flag on Iwo Jima in WWII. The caption of the photo identified the soldier on the far left as "unknown", later he was identified as Jack Thurman of Mitchell, South Dakota. When the photo was taken, Jack was standing near the flag, the regiment asked Jack to join in the picture, as he was one of them, even though he was from another regiment. Jack was wounded twice on Iwo Jima.
Published in the November 10th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the interior of Reierson’s Grocery Store that was located at 303 North Main, now Hardcore Inc. The store and bakery was opened in 1912. The bakery went over so well that in 1916 Reierson’s opened another bakery at 519 S. Sanborn (now Wise Tires) which specialized in bake goods and also ice cream. Photo submitted by Roberta McEntee.
Published in the April 7th, 2014 Daily Republic.
L. O. Gale, an early pioneer of Mitchell, built a store (pictured) at the corner of Second Avenue and Main Street in 1881, which sold drugs, jewelry, books and stationary. Mr. Gale along with Louis Beckwith (another Mitchell businessman) came up with the idea of building the Corn Palace in Mitchell in the summer of 1892. The group also sought support from the Corn Belt Real Estate Association which was holding their annual meeting in Mitchell. The two businessmen canvassed the city for support and by the end of the day had raised $3700 towards building the new Corn Palace. Mr. Gale and Mr. Beckwith traveled to Sioux City to study the subject of the Sioux City Palace and met and hired Mr. Rohe of Lawrence, Kansas who had designed the decorations of the Sioux City Palace. The “Corn Belt Exposition” (now Corn Palace) was built and the exposition opened on the 28th of September and continued until the fifth of October. Published in the August 18th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken on October 6, 1931 during the Maccabees Convention in Mitchell, shows Mitchell’s Maccabees Drill Team. Maccabee’s were part of the fraternal group of the insurance industry also known as Knights of Maccabees and Ladies of the Maccabees. Teams from Aberdeen, Huron, Sioux Falls, Parkston and Mitchell competed at this time. Mrs. Barbara Reihson was the drill master of the Mitchell lodge. Mary Mackey Donaldson (2nd girl back), also known as Babe, was a member of the drill team. Photo donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Cheryl Titze of Mitchell.
Published in the November 4th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This picture is from the Daily Republic Newspaper publication of February 1, 1937, showing a newly constructed “Fire Department Smoke Eater” that was built and paid for by Chief Asa Wheeler from old parts of a threshing machine blower attached to an old automobile chassis. Wheeler got the idea for the “smoke eater” from the Minneapolis Fire School; there was only one other in the state. He hoped to sell it to the city and have it mounted on a truck chassis.
Mt. Vernon’s Main Street, looking south, circa 1908. The far right building is the train depot where livestock and grain was shipped by train daily. North of the depot was a restaurant.
This photo was donated by the Lyle Sunderland family.
New Aerial Fire truck arrives in Mitchell
The City of Mitchell voted to purchase a 1955 American LaFrance 85’ aerial ladder truck in the summer of 1955 for $36,750. It was financed through a bond on July 18, 1955. It arrived in Mitchell from Elmira, New York via railroad car on Tuesday, February 21, 1956.
Our question is “How did they get the truck out of this boxcar?
The L.O. Gale building, located on the corner of 4th Avenue and Main Street, was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours of April 28, 1908. Gale had constructed the building after the first Corn Palace was torn down and moved to the corner of 5th Avenue and Main Street. Two businesses were housed in the building at the time, W. H. Bacon had a grocery and bakery store and Mrs. Anderson had a millinery store. Four families resided on the second floor of the building and Mr. and Mrs. Anderson lived on the first floor in the back of their store. All occupants were able to escape the fire thanks to a young boy who worked for Hardy, the baker next door, who lived in the Gale building and was returning home from work and awoke the residents to warn them of the fire. Firemen were able to rescue some of the millinery goods, but the Bacons grocery goods were completely destroyed. To the right is Hardy Bakery and Louis Beckwith’s house, which is now located on the Dakota Discovery Museum site.
This photo of all of the full-time firefighters in the Mitchell Fire Division was taken and given as a present to each of them for Christmas in 1958 by then-Chief Dean Claussen. The men are, left to right, back row: Claussen, Capt. Cletus O'Byrne, Bob Hoffman, Lyle Swenson, Tom Jonasen and A.C. "Bus" Krimball. Front row, left to right: Capt. Clarence Hendrix, Jim Miller, Claude Thompson, Frank Durst and Capt. George Kraft. Swenson and Durst are the only members still living. (Photo courtesy of the Mitchell Area Historical Society)
Published in the May 19th, 2014 Daily Republic.
This photo, circa 1950 shows the Bus Depot at 203 West First Avenue. The Chamber of Commerce had formerly occupied the building. The bus depot moved in when the Chamber moved to the Corn Palace in 1948. The Bus Depot moved from the Widmann Hotel on Main Street to ease the traffic congestion caused by the 11 buses a day that were coming to Mitchell. The bus depot included a lunch room (in basement), information desk and checked baggage room.
Published in the December 1st, 2014 Daily Republic.
In November 1961, Sen. Francis H. Case was honored in Mitchell for 25 years in Congress. Pictured in the front row, from left, are Harold Schuler, Sen. Case’s legislative assistant; former Gov. M.Q. Sharpe; Rep. E.Y. Berry; Sen. Case, holding his 25-year plaque; and Rep. Ben Reifel. In the back row, from left, are former Gov. George T. Mickelson, former Gov. Leslie Jensen, Gov. Archie Gubbrud and Sen. Everett Dirksen (Ill.). At the dinner in his honor, Case vowed to go all-out for a complete Republican victory in 1962. However, he succumbed to sudden heart failure on June 22, 1962, at the age of 65. Case was born in Everly, Iowa, and at the age of 13 moved with his family to a homestead in Meade County, S.D., where his father was pastor of the Sturgis Methodist Church. In 1918 Case graduated from Dakota Wesleyan University, where he had edited the student newspaper and won the National Peace Oratorical Contest. After graduate school at Northwestern University, he launched his career as a journalist. He was editor of the Rapid City Journal and then editor and publisher of the Hot Springs Star, before taking over the Custer Chronicle. In 1936 he was elected to Congress, where he served until being elected to the U.S. Senate in 1950. A moderate Republican, he worked to bring more than 650 miles of interstate highway to South Dakota and is credited with being instrumental in locating I-29 in South Dakota rather than neighboring Minnesota. Lake Francis Case was named in his honor because of the leading part he played in development of the Missouri River. Submitted by the DWU Archives.
Published in the November 18th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Shown is the west side of Lawler Street between Third and Fourth Ave. On the right is the Post Office that was built in 1909 and used until the current Post Office was built in 1962. In the center is Educator School Supply that started business circa 1886. They were wholesale and retail dealers in school and office supplies. They were also printers and publishers, having a well equipped modern printing establishment and bindery. Educator Supply was sold in 1979 to John McLeod Sr., owner of McLeod's Printing and Office Supply. On the left is Sacony Vacuum Oil Company.
Published in the Sept 2nd, 2014 Daily Republic.
National Guard 100th Ordinance
Mitchell National Guard 100th Ordinance (now 665th Maintenance Company), poses in front of the National Guard Armory (now City Hall). The Guards used the building until 1960 when they built their current building out by the airport. Pictured from left to right are: Captain James Zard (Company Comander), Lt. Robert Rothlisberger, Sgt. Arnold Bullis (Platoon Sgt), Sgt. Wayne Uptagraft (1st Sgt.), Sgt. Francis Shaefer, Sgt. Clair L. Olson, Sgt. Wilbur Simantel, Sgt. Bob Anderson, Sgt. Bill Mahrt, Sgt. Bill Sayles.
This guard house was located on the Air Force Base north of Mitchell in 1942. By 1948 it was no longer used as an airbase and Bud Homan purchased the guard house and transformed the building into a restaurant, calling it The Brig (name used by U.S. Navy for jail). The Brig’s grand opening was held in February; in June of that year Mitchell’s City Council passed a resolution that forced Homan to remove the bars from the windows for fire safety. In 1951 Homan moved his building and built an addition at the present site (on North Highway 37) overlooking Lake Mitchell. The complete move took over a month to complete.
This photo taken in 1928 by Hersey Photo Service shows the temporary Municipal Bathing Beach at Lake Mitchell. This scene is looking northeast and shows the intake tower (still in use today) in the center of the photo. Notice the lake is still in the process of filling, being it was newly constructed. Photo donated by Bud Delancy.
Published in the July 8th, 2013 Daily Republic.
This circa 1899 photo shows the Goodykoontz house at 205 North Duff. This house was one of the first houses built in Mitchell in the early 1880s and is still standing. This photo was in a photo album donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Mildred Basham. The album was made for Dr. Chauncey S. Burr by Mrs. Nathaniel Davison, Christmas 1899. Burr was mayor of Mitchell from 1882 – 1884.
Published in the July 15th, 2013 Daily Republic.
Sitting in the cream wagon are Theodore F. King and Rev. David Powell. Theodore F. King hauled cream from outlaying stations to Mt. Vernon. Mr. King came to the Mt. Vernon area about 1900. Rev. Powell was the minister of the Methodist Church in Mt. Vernon. Standing at the back of the wagon is Ole Rygg and John Silvas.
Photo donated by Florence Althon.
From the Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU
This picture shows the Farwell Methodist Episcopal Church at its original location in Farwell, S.D., a community 16 miles northeast of Mitchell in Sanborn County. The parsonage is pictured at left. Circuit riders conducted services prior to 1883, when the Rev. Sanford Washburn was appointed to Farwell as part of the Mitchell Circuit. Worship services were conducted in sod homes, a granary, and the Farwell schoolhouse. Construction of the church building began in 1908 and was completed in 1909, under the leadership of the Rev. John Kearton. Throughout much of its history, Farwell was served by student pastors from Dakota Wesleyan University. In 1922, when this photo was taken, the Farwell Methodist Episcopal Church had 83 members, Sunday School enrollment of 70, and 25 members in the Ladies’ Aid. In 1939, denominations merged, “Episcopal” was dropped from the name, and the denomination became the Methodist Church. Denominations changed again in 1968, when the Methodist Church merged with the Evangelical United Brethren Church to form the United Methodist Church. On Oct. 11, 1986, the Farwell United Methodist congregation voted to close the church and transfer the building to the Friends of the Middle Border Museum in Mitchell. The final church service was held Oct. 26, 1986. VanderPol House Moving of Corsica transported the church building over a span of two days, arriving at the museum grounds on Feb. 19, 1987. Located on the DWU campus, the museum is now named the Dakota Discovery Museum. Many special events have been held at the relocated Farwell Church. On Oct. 30, 2003, George and Eleanor McGovern celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary a day early by renewing their vows at the Farwell Church.
Published in the March 24, 2014 Daily Republic.
Shown is a Corn Palace Festival display sponsored by Rozum Motors, in 1941, showing the new Ford vehicles for the year. Rozum Motors (shown on the right) was located at Main Street and Fifth Avenue (northeast corner). In front of the tent is a Ford half ton pickup, a Ford Coupe and a Ford Sedan. The tall building behind the tent is the Salvation Army building, which is still standing but is now empty, last business to occupy it was Jitter’s Coffee Shop. To the left of that is the Corn Palace.
Published in the October 21st, 2013 Daily Republic.
James Earle Fraser, a Mitchell native, is shown in his New York City studio, circa 1920. Fraser came to Mitchell, Dakota Territory with his father, when he was 4 years old (1880) and spent his childhood in Mitchell. His father was an engineer for the railroad and the family lived in a boxcar the first year in Mitchell, and later moved to an abandoned homestead southwest of Mitchell. Fraser enjoyed carving the chalkstone that was being quarried east of Mitchell. He is probably best known for designing the Buffalo head nickel. Some of his other works include “The End of the Trail”, “The Theodore Roosevelt Memorial”, “The Mayo Brothers”, “The Pioneer Woman”, and statues of Lewis and Clark (which are in the Dakota Discovery Museum here in Mitchell).
Ready for Business!
This photo shows L. E. Stair (on left), a long time Mitchell photographer (1889-1921), set up and ready to take patrons photos. At his photography business at 113 S. Main, Stair did personal portraits along with being photographer of the World's Only Corn Palace. Along with photography he also sold and serviced Brush and Oakland cars, Pope and Pierce motorcycles, typewriters, photo stock, galvanized soap and anything else he could make a buck on. He ran for Mayor of Mitchell in 1914 against Abner Hitchcock and was defeated. Lawrence E. Stair was born April 4, 1859 in Indiana and died February 23, 1948. at the age of 89. Stair's son, Karl Stair was a dentist in Mitchell.
Published in the November 24th, 2014 Daily Republic.
Some of the enlisted men in the ground crew in front of two of the DH-4 planes in the 50th Aero Squadron in World War I. The picture was taken at the Clermont-en-Argonne Airdrome in France in 1918.
Nelson Logan, (1896-1977) who built Mitchell's Roxy Theatre in 1933, is in the front row, fourth from the left in front of the plane on the right. Logan was a sergeant and served as an aerial gunnery instructor and armorer with the squadron. Logan was the father of Luxury 5 Cinemas owner Jeff Logan.
The DH-4 was the only American made plane to fly in combat in WW I. It was based on a British design but the Americans fitted it with the powerful new V-12 Liberty engine. With the Liberty engine, the two seated American DH-4 was fast as or faster than any single seat fighter of the time. Because of the placement of the gas tank between the two crew members, the plane was nicknamed the "flying coffin" although it suffered no more fires or accidents than any other plane of the time.
The 50th Aero Squadron is credited with making the first aerial re-supply drop in history and with finding the correct location of the "Lost Battalion" of the 77th Division. Lts. Geottler and Bleckley were posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for diving low into a valley under heavy enemy fire to find the surrounded 77th. They received 2 of only 4 Medals of Honor awarded to the Air Service in WW I.
The Dutch Cleanser girl emblem painted on the side of the planes was the 50th's emblem. The 50th said they were "cleaning up the Dutch." Submitted by Jeff Logan. Published in the June 16th, 2014 Daily Republic.