On Sept. 14, 2002, the ladies of Mitchell’s Twentieth Century Club celebrated the 100th anniversary of the club’s founding with a luncheon at Countryside Living in Mitchell. Pictured standing, from left to right, is Maria Economos, Shirley Berry, Marian Matson, Sue Edinger, Doris Podhradsky, Corrine Larson, Ann Rittenhouse-Krall, Jean Culhane, Marge Bertsch, Mickey Brown, and Mamie Berry; seated, left to right, are Kathryn Crockett, Dottie Iverson, Dolores Eichman, and Virginia Rozum. President Iverson chaired the celebration, and members reported in 10-year segments on the history of the club. On May 2, 1902, 13 women met at the home of Mrs. David (Addie) Tiffany and established the club, which was devoted to educating its members and enriching the Mitchell community. Weekly meetings were held in members’ homes, with elegant refreshments and educational programs. In later years, monthly meetings were held in Mitchell restaurants. Efforts to improve Mitchell included securing signs for the streets and avenues, providing for needy families, and supporting the public library, Abbott House, and Senior Meals. From 1915 to the early 1960s, the club was affiliated with the General Federation of Women’s Clubs and participated in its projects, including establishing the Memorial Art Center in Brookings, which houses Harvey Dunn’s art. One of the oldest women’s groups in Mitchell, the club voted to disband after 114 years, holding their final meeting on Monday, July 11, 2016. Officers and members at this time were President Sue Edinger, Vice President Laurie Langland, Recording Secretary Kathryn Crockett, Treasurer/Corresponding Secretary Sharon Scott, Marge Bertsch, Dolores Eichman, Dottie Iverson, Ann Rittenhouse-Page, and Shirley Tanner. Honorary members were Pat Brick, Phyllis Lewis, Kay Meyers, Alice Simpson, Mildred Skogmo, Tee Tinan, Doris Podhradsky, Ruth Creasey, Marian Matson, Virginia Rozum, and Corrine Larson.
Published in the July 18th, 2016 Daily Republic.
In 1914 when the Gale Theater burned down it was moved to 214 North Main and remained there until the Gale was rebuilt in 1923 on its original location and renamed the Metropolitan Theater. The parent company that owned the theaters then, kept the 214 North Main location open and renamed it the Unique. The Unique ran discount movies and was considered a B movie house that showed mainly westerns and horror movies. The theater closed a couple years later. Winner Clothing Store later occupied the building.
Published in the October 31st, 2016 Daily Republic.
This postcard shows the Methodist Episcopal Church that was built in 1893 at the corner of Main and First Streets in Farmer, S.D. Postmarked on Sept. 10, 1917, at Alexandria, S.D., the note on the back of the postcard from John Schuetz, of rural Hanson County, to Theodor Muchow, of Ellis, S.D., provides a snapshot of the times: “Hello Ted how are you. I am Ok. What are you doing these days. I am making hay. There is not much grass there. Have you folks thrashed already. We thrashed out the shock. Our wheat went 23 bushel to the acre. It is too dry to plow here. News is scarce so I must close. Are you drafted already. Answer soon.” Schuetz died June 4, 1963, and is buried at Graceland Cemetery in Mitchell. Muchow died Dec. 29, 1968, and is buried at Trinity Lutheran Cemetery in Hartford, S.D. The Farmer Methodist Church closed in 1969, and the building was sold in 1975.
Photo credit line: Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU.
Published in the February 1st, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo of the Mitchell Barbershop Harmony Chorus was taken circa 1959 in front of the Siesta Motel where the group held their practice sessions. Pictured from left to right are Richard Goldammer, Jerry Ickes, Mr. Olson, Garvin Bertsch, Ed Carlson, Bob Ellingson, Dennis Schutt, Les Arnes, Henry Scott, Cliff Remig, and Reuben Uttecht. The group was started in 1955
Published in the December 5th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This image is of the Bethel Methodist Church in Gregory, circa 1922, when the parsonage, pictured at right, was being constructed to the north of the church. The Bethel Methodist Church was organized in 1905 and met in the Flynn Building in Gregory. The church was built and dedicated in 1908. After nearly 50 years of service, the building showed signs of deterioration. Fundraising for a new building began in September 1958, and the building was sold that October. This photo of two unidentified young people in the church windows was taken in January 1959, when the building was being dismantled. Church services were held in the Masonic Temple until the new church building was ready for use in July 1960. A new parsonage was purchased in September 1967, and the old parsonage was sold and moved.
Photo courtesy of the Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU
Published in the December 12th, 2016 Daily Republic.
At left in this photo of Main Street taken in 1971 from First and Main is the Town House Café at 103 North Main Street. The Mitchell National Bank thermometer at 217 North Main shows zero degrees on this cold yet busy day on Mitchell’s Main Street. Woelfel Jewelry is located at 218 North Main and the Pizza Pub was at 200 North Main. Snow is on the street. These street lights were replaced by the present- day “historical” street light poles.
Photo taken and provided by Dean Randall.
Published in the July 25th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1947 photo shows Jarold Shops (311 N Main). Paramount Theatre (313 N Main), The Scoreboard (315 N Main) and Feinstein’s Clothing Store. The Theatre was built in 1908 by O. L. Gale and called the Gale Theatre. In 1914, after a fire, it was rebuilt and renamed the Metropolitan. January 1925 the theatre was purchased by Finklestein and Ruben of Minneapolis, Minnesota. July 1929, it was purchased by Paramount Studios, who remodeled and renamed it the Paramount in 1932. The theatre was remodeled and renamed again in 1952 by Paramount who was locally known as the Minnesota Amusement Company. Jeff Logan bought it in 1972, and showed the last movie there in 1989. The building was later sold to ACT, who was finishing a remodel when it burned down in May, 2004.
Photo courtesy of Jim Blades.
Published in the February 15th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo was taken July 4, 1975 at the dedication of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village as a national historic landmark. Pictured from left to right are: Jerry Garry, South Dakota Congressman Jim Abnor and archeologist Darrel Fulmer standing in front of the Boehnen Museum. An article found in The Mitchell Daily Republic on July 23, 1937 titled “Excavate Arikara Indian Mound at Lake Mitchell” tells about the beginnings of the site and its findings at the time.
Published in the July 11th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This image is identified as “Thrashing on the farm of H.H. Field, 5 ½ [miles] N.E. Mitchell in Perry Township.” It was taken in September 1913. Federal and South Dakota census records show Hobart H. Field and his wife, Lottie (Schultz) Field, along with daughters Grace and Florence, living on the farm through 1935. By 1940 all were living in Mitchell. Florence worked as a book repairer on a WPA library project. Grace married Clarence Cunningham, who was a truck driver and then a Mitchell city policeman. All are buried in Mitchell’s Graceland Cemetery.
Photo courtesy of the Dakota Wesleyan University Archives, Jennewein Collection
Publiched in the November 28th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Shown is interior of Excelsior Autocycles, circa 1913, owned by George H. Spry located at 118 W. Railroad Street in Mitchell, SD. An ad in the 1912 Davison County Directory said that Spry sold Excelsior and Harley Davidson motorcycles and supplies and did repairing.
Published in the August 8th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1950s circa photo shows Rozum Motors located at Fifth and Main, the photo was taken from the balcony of the Elk’s building looking north. Standing in front of the trucks from left to right is Leo Rozum, John Beutner, Red Hartford, Dick Cox, Darrel Carlson and William Rishling. During WWII Rozum’s manufactured airplane parts in the basement, then after the war it became Precision Manufacturing Company. The building also housed their car dealership.
Published in the February 29th, 2016 Daily Republic
This sketch of the Boehnen Memorial Museum is from the “Friends of the Mitchell Prehistoric Indian Village Society” Gift Book Catalog of 1982. The caption states “In 1981, the society was able to raise over $40,000.00 for the construction of a new interpretive building on the site. This capital fund was made up by gifts from Lloyd L. Boehnen, Commercial Bank of Mitchell, David Boehnen, Mitchell Daily Republic, Mitchell Holiday Inn, Mitchell area Chamber of Commerce, Mitchell Lions Club, Mitchell Exchange Club, United Building Center, City of Mitchell, Randall Advertising and Coates Electric. The museum name was established by Lloyd Boehnen, the major contributor, in the honor of his parents, Leo J. and Elsie Boehnen. Visual displays of artifacts add to the audio-visual presentations, and guided tours of the site make the Village come alive and give visitor a closer tie with the early inhabitants of this land.”
Published in the July 5th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo shows the I.O.O.F. Hall that was located at 114 West Fourth Avenue. The building was built in 1909 by the Mitchell Odd Fellows. The Odd Fellows occupied the second floor, while the first floor was utilized by the Mitchell Auto and Supply Company and in later years by Reynolds Furniture Store. It was Mitchell Business School in 1940s before it became Reynolds Furniture Store. The building was later owned by Muth Electric Company who razed it in 2012. Odd Fallows was organized in Mitchell, April 20, 1880 with seven charter members and called themselves Chanka Lodge No. 21. This photo is from a souvenir Book of Mitchell with photos taken in 1911 by O.L. Leeland.
Published in the March 14th, 2016 Daily Republic.
The above photograph was taken by Hoyt Cox in 1904 of the newly constructed Mitchell City Hall at the northeast corner of West Second Avenue and North Rowley Street.
At the Southeast corner of north Rowley Street and West Third Avenue, seen in the left background, is Mitchell’s Carnegie Library, completed in 1903. In 1972, Mitchell opened a new public library at the southwest corner of North Duff Street and West Third Avenue.
The City Hall was a full three- story building constructed of Jasper granite and spanned 86’ x 112’. The building included two legislature halls, 21 large offices, 14 ample fireproof vaults, six large community rooms, and an auditorium that seated 1500 people. The building was lighted by electricity and heated by steam. In 1955 City Hall was remodeled and in 1960 it was razed, as reported in The Daily Republic of November 1, 1960, page eight.
The Carnegie Library, owned by the Mitchell Area Historical Society since May 16, 2006, is now called the Carnegie Resource Center and houses the historical society and the Mitchell Area Genealogical Society. From 1972 to 2006, the building served various purposes, including as the Oscar Howe Art Center and the Mitchell YWCA.
Published in the January 11th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1911 photo shows the interior of Diehl and Brown Drug Store that was located at 209 N. Main Street. The business was started in 1881 by L. O. Gale and bought out by V. B. Diehl and partner F. E. Brown in 1905. The store carried drugs and druggist’ sundries along with wall paper and paint, fancy china, lamps, musical instruments, picture frame, stationary and a jewelry department with a watch maker and a jeweler. Mr. Diehl purchased Brown’s half of the business in 1913 and ran the business independently until his death in 1915, then his family took over the business. The drug store was said to be the largest in South Dakota. 209 N Main is now part of the Geyerman Clothing Store.
Published in the March 7th, 2016 Daily Republic
Shown is the Gas Service Crew circa 1915, of the Mitchell Power Company (owned by a St. Louis Co.), which later became the Northwestern Public Service Company. E. J. Sherwood (straw hat) was the manager. Man at far right identified as Jack Melody, 2 Moriarty Brothers, others are unidentified. Mr. Sherwood also owned and operated Mitchell Roller Mills at 325 S. Burr from May 1920- October 1924. He later owned Sherwood Petroleum Company for many years.
Published in the June 20th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This Eastman Kodak Company, model 7a Studio Camera, was acquired by Photography Unlimited owners, Arlen and Anne Moke, in 1989 when they purchased the photography business of Bob Brown located at 519 North Main Street. The camera is one of two of the same model owned by Brown and is from the early 1900s. Restored by Arlen Moke, the camera is in working order and measures 14 inches wide by 20 inches high by 28 inches deep. The camera has an Ilex Optical lens and is mounted on a No.1a Semi Centennial stand which is 51 inches high. The wheel at the top left allows the operator to move the heavy camera vertically on the stand, almost down to floor level. Photo by Arlen Moke.
Published in the April 18th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo taken circa 1950 shows the City Bus No. 2 on its route near Eleventh Avenue and Duff Street. The City Bus Line started in 1946 and had three buses that would cover an area between the two hospitals, Dakota Wesleyan University and Main Street. Buses ran from 7 am to 7:30 pm, Monday through Saturday. The bus fare was 10 cents for adult and 5 cents for children.
Published in the December 19th, 2016 Daily Republic.
In 1980, Jeff Heppler and John Bush, recent South Dakota State University graduates, established James Valley Nursery. The above 1981 photo includes the retail store and small greenhouse which housed the fledgling business located then, and still today in 2016, at 600 West Spruce Avenue, but in much more building and greenhouse space. The new business sold plants and trees and also seeded lawns and planted foundation shrubs and flowers. Today it is known for landscape solutions, including hardscapes (paved patios and fire pits) and water features.
Published in the March 21st, 2016 Daily Republic
The first twin-engined aircraft to land in Mitchell on a regularly scheduled run sat down at the Mitchell airport on June 22, 1952. A crowd of nearly 1,000 people, including Mayor Richard Ellwein, Postmaster Tom Callan, members of the city council and other city officials. Flying in on the craft were O.L. Marquesen (top step), Walter Dixon (bottom step), Former Mayor Damon Clark, J. M.Patton (middle step), Milton Fishgold, president of the Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, Robert Graham, Dr. W. H. Fritz, Ryal Miller, a director of the airline, W. H. Fobes, regional manager of traffic and sales from Minneapolis, Harold Ricketts, former city attorney and Darwin Summers and W. F. Prouty, members of the City Council.
Published in the June 6th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Bussmus Construction Company installing the new scoreboard in the Corn Palace in 1981. Bussmus Construction was started in 1953 by owner O. L. Bussmus in 1953. The business constructed many buildings in Mitchell, including Mitchell Senior High School, Mitchell Public Library, Super City Mall and Bell Telephone company to name a few.
Published in the August 15th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1950 photo shows Western Chevrolet (417-425 North Main) and Dreamland Ballroom. Dreamland was built in 1921 and ran until the mid-1940s. In May, 1950 Western Chevrolet owner, J. J. Verschoor bought the Mizel Motor Company at 219 East First Avenue and moved Western Chevrolet to that location. Verschoor sold the Main Street building to Montgomery Wards, who planned to build another story on the building and add on to the south side, eventually tearing down the Dreamland building.
Published in the September 26th, 2016 Daily Republic.
The Gale Theatre (center) (311 North Main) was built in 1906 by druggist L. O. Gale, one of the co-founders of the Corn Palace. The three-story brick building had two balconies, eight boxes, twelve dressing rooms and seating for 1,200 – an ambitious capacity since the town’s population at the time was only around 4,000. The Gale caught fire and burned down on March 26, 1914 and was rebuilt in 1915 and reopened as the Metropolitan Theatre. Two doors down at 307 North Main was the Townsan Jewelry Store.
This 1906 photo was donated by Jean Geyerman.
Published in the August 1st, 2016 Daily Republic.
Pictured is the John F. Youtcey General Store in Loomis, South Dakota. Youtcey bought the store circa 1912 from F. H. Foss and sold the store in 1923 to Frank Phinney. Youtcey moved to Mitchell in 1923 and began selling Real Estate. If you have any information on the store, please contact the Carnegie Resource Center – 996-3209.
Photo submitted by Dean Randall.
Published in the August 22nd, 2016 Daily Republic.
Downtown Firesteel, Dakota Territory, 1879
H. C. Greene and brother-in-law, John Head founded Firesteel in 1873, by 1879 it contained 32 buildings. In 1879, the settlers moved all the buildings to Mitchell and by 1880 the trains arrived. The citizens had hoped the railroad would go through Firesteel, but when a representative of the railroad said they would not because of the potential for flooding of Firesteel, they decided to move the whole town.
Published in the September 12th, 2016 Daily Republic
Shown is the interior of the Town House Café that was located at 103 North Main Street. The business began in 1935 as the Majestic Bar, owned by Mike Props. In 1936, Peter Economos partnered with Props and it became known as the Town House Café and Lounge. The café and lounge was bought by Darwin Buus in 1985, and in 1994 purchased from Buus by Dale Snyder. The building became the VFW Club in 1997. The building was torn down in 2013 due to structural damage from an adjoining building.
Photo provided by Darwin Buus.
Published in the June 13th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Mitchell's Baseball Team 1950
Published in the October 10th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Shown is the interior of the Tick Tock Drive Inn Café that was located at 824 north Main Street in 1950. It was owned by D. Corbin Vittetoe. In the years between the Cafe and the Cleaners, it was occupied by Stedman's Grocery Store until 1965 when Leo Stedman started the dry cleaning store. The dry cleaner was called the Fabric Care Center. Plaza Cleaners currently occupies the building.
Photo donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Jim Blades.
Published in the May 31st, 2016 Daily Republic.
This undated photo shows Main Street in Alexandria, South Dakota. Alexandria was originally to be named Clarksville on land owned by Dearborn Clark. The name was changed to Alexander in honor of the president of the Chicago, Milwaukee Railroad Alexander Mitchell, then later changed to Alexandria. On the right is the Lawler House which was built by Lewis Meisch in 1883. Meisch came to Hanson County in 1881, and secured 320 acres of land by homestead and timber claim.
Photo Provided by Dean Randall.
Published in the February 22nd, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1967 photo of the Milliken Funeral Home located at 805 West Havens was built in 1961. Prior to that, the business had been located at 112 East Third Avenue. The business Broadbent Funeral Home originated in 1893 and was founded by Walter H. Broadbent. Ray Milliken went into partnership with Broadbent. In 1958 Milliken became sole owner of the business. George Bittner purchased the business and changed the name to Bittner Funeral Home in 1979. In 2015, Bart Fredricksen purchased the business from Bittner.
Photo by Jim Blades.
Published in the April 4th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This circa 1921 photo shows the White Line Bus owned by Pegump-Way Taxi Company, 113 West Fourth Avenue. The company was owned by Henry Pegump and Thomas Way.
Photo submitted by Patricia Hall.
Published in the September 6th, 2016 Daily Republic
Ransom Post of the local G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic, an association of Civil War veterans) erected a monument in Graceland Cemetery (Block 10) in 1909 for the memory of the unknown soldiers and sailors of the Civil war. The monument is eight feet high, made of granite, and is a handsome remembrance of the unknown heroes of the war. The work on the monument was done by the Mitchell Marble and Granite Company, located at 603 North Main.
Published in the May 2nd, 2016 Daily Republic.
On September 29, 1908 Judge William Howard Taft came to Mitchell during his run as Republican Candidate for President of United States. Mitchell’s streets were lined with people brought in by twelve special trains to see the candidate; approximately 25,000 were in town for the occasion. Taft arrived on a special train and was taken to a special platform (shown) near the Omaha Depot (now parking lot of Slumberland Furniture) for his speech. After his hour long speech he was taken for a royal tour of the Corn Palace before leaving town on his campaign train. The man on the platform identified by the( x ) was Frank Weller, a local businessman.
Published in the Nov 14th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo advertises the new wrecker used in the service department (circa 1951) at Mitchell Motor Company. Mitchell Motor Company located at 124 South Main Street began business in the summer of 1927. The business contained six departments – New Car Department, Used Car Department, Service, Parts, Body Shop, and Business Office. The main building was at 124 South Main Street, the used car store at 115 East First Avenue, the used car display lot at 104-6 South Main Street, and the body shop at 119 West Railroad Street.
Published in the October 3rd, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo shows Rockport Colony, 1910; Rockport Colony is southeast of Mitchell, in Hanson County. Rockport Colony was started by H. B. Stevens in 1873. He decided to start a “Army and Navy Colony”, any person who had not previously taken government land could become a member for $26. The Colony was later abandoned and in 1890 it was established as a Hutterite Colony by the mother colony, Old Elm Springs of Hutchinson County but was abandoned 1918 during WWI. It was re-established by Bon Homme Colony in 1934. Photo provided by Dean Randall.
Published in the February 8th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Shown is the Mitchell Motor Company at 124 South Main Street owned by Rodney Prather. Across the street to the south was their used car lot. Behind the main building was the body shop and parts department. East of the Used Car Lot is Mitchell Implement Company at 111 East Railroad Street. The Implement was distributors of John Deere farm equipment and did sales and servicing of DeLavel Separators and Milkers.
Published in the October 17th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Mitchell Fire Station was built in 1921 for $30,000 at the corner of Rowley and West First Avenue. The building was state of the art for the time with automatic door openers for the fire trucks. The second floor held the dormitory, recreation room, kitchen, chief’s office and reading room. The structure was built of oriental brick in a reddish tone, with green terra cotta trimmings. Leaded glass casement windows added to its beauty. This structure is now a part of the Police Department with the Fire Department built on the west side of it.
Published in the October 24th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo of the Methodist Episcopal Church at Bard in Hanson County was taken in 1922 and appears in the manuscript “The Story of the Mitchell District Told Today in the Interest of Tomorrow,” by Erwin C. Paustian, who at the time was director of the Department of Rural Leadership at Dakota Wesleyan University. Paustian wrote that the church had been closed for years and was in poor condition, but was showing new life due to the leadership of the men’s gospel team.
Bard was platted in 1887 as the town of Hanson by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad approximately six miles southeast of Mitchell in Hanson Township in Hanson County. The town name soon changed to Burton. Upon discovering there was a town named Berton in neighboring Miner County, the townsfolk settled on the name Bard, after landowner Mary Bard.
Beginning in 1887, Methodist Episcopal pastors served at Bard, Fulton, Farwell, and Fairview. Records indicate that this building had been a church in Alexandria before it was moved to Bard in 1899 and dedicated as the Methodist Episcopal Church. The Methodist youth were active in the Epworth League, and worship services and community programs were held in the building for many years.
Photo credit: Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU
Published in the January 18th, 2016 Daily Republic
Red Top Cab was purchased by Henry and Edna Pegump in 1918. Henry’s son Orville started driving cab for his father in 1922, at the age of 11. Pegump owned the business until 1949. Henry also worked for Noble and Sons Funeral Home, driving the hearse and ambulance.
This photo was submitted by Patricia Hall
Published in the August 29th, 2016 Daily Republic
Sons of Norway past president Glen Gedstad (left) on February 13, 1982, passes the gavel to new president Lyle Swenson. Also seen assuming offices are Art Victor, Dorothy Malde and Elaine Anderson. Sons of Norway started in Mitchell in 1980. The first president was Joyce Ryberg. Programs evolved around Norwegian history and culture and now encompasses all Scandinavian countries. The current president is Sherry Stilley. Other officers are James and Margo Taylor, Kermit Black, Robert Anderson and Steve Nordwall. In Minnesota, Norwegian immigrants founded Sons of Norway in 1895 with the simple idea of caring for and sharing with each other, a legacy appreciated today.
Published in the May 16th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Four Mitchell businesses were lost in a blaze on New Year’s Day in 1966. Destroyed in the fire were Mon-Dak Chemical and Supply Company, Mac’s Card Room, the Rose Beauty Salon, Merchandise Outlet and vacant - former Bon Ton Bar. The building also contained 6 occupied apartments and 4 rented rooms. All the occupants were evacuated without any injuries. The two building located at 124 and 122 North Main were a total loss, and is now a parking lot. Charlie’s Shoe repair is on the south side of the parking lot.
Photo by Jim Blades
Published in the April 11th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Can you help us identify this house? Looking for information of ownership and location. Contact Pam at the Carnegie Resource Center or call 996-3209 or email Pam@mitchellcarnegie.com .
Published in the November 7th, 2016 Daily Republic.
The Carnegie Library was built in 1903; this postcard was from that year and shows a vacant lot on which City Hall was built in 1904. There was an addition built on the library in the 1930s and another one in the 1960s. In 1972, the library was moved to the current location (Third Avenue and Duff Street). This building is now the Carnegie Resource Center, a project of the Mitchell Historical and Genealogical Societies.
Published in the January 4th, 2016 Daily Republic
Shown is an aerial photo of the George A Hormel meat packing company located at 915 East Havens. The company began as Erion Packing Plant in 1925. Mitchell Abattoir, Inc. purchased and expanded the business in 1931. Hormel’s acquired the meat packing plant in 1946. The plant was later known as Dakota Pork. Currently the plant is Performance Pets which produces dog food. Behind the plant can be seen the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific railroad tracks and South Dakota Concrete Products.
Published in the June 27th, 2016 Daily Republic.
“The Milwaukee Road doesn’t run here anymore” was painted in 1979 by Milt Kudlacek, art professor at Dakota Wesleyan University, 1958-1994. It shows the rail yards at Mitchell, with Holy Family Catholic Church in the background. Kudlacek was born in Chicago and grew up in Sioux Falls. He served on active duty in the South Dakota Air National Guard, 1951-1952, before earning his B.A. from Augustana College in 1954 and his M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1957. A prolific painter, he was described as the foremost impressionist in this geographic area who deserved to be listed in the top group of painters, according to “An Illustrated History of the Arts in South Dakota,” by Arthur Huseboe (1989). Kudlacek also was an effective teacher; several of his DWU students went on to become professional artists including Art Headley, Mike Sougstad, and Mel Spinar. Kudlacek was 68 when he died April 3, 1998, in Sioux Falls. DWU alumna LouOra Houk donated this painting to DWU, where it is on display in the McGovern Library with other works by Kudlacek.
Photo from: Dakota Wesleyan University Archives.
Published in the January 25th, 2016 Daily Republic.
This shows the Mitchell Congregational Church of Christ located at 301 East 4th Ave after an addition was made to the building in 1953. This building was built in 1907, after the church had outgrown the original 1882 building. The church bell was a gift from the Congregational Church of Fall Rivers, Massachusetts and is still being used today.
Published in the September 19, 2016 Daily Republic.
Mitchell Fire Department is shown doing evolutions. An evolution was a contest to help the firemen practice fire hose handling. This circa 1957 photo was taken on south Rowley facing north. On the right is Farmer’s Coop (now city storage) and Piggley Wiggley (now Wholesale Electronics). Berg Appliance was located at 122 West First Avenue. Furniture Exchange was at 116 West First Ave. The buildings on the north side of First Avenue have all been torn down and it’s now a city parking lot.
Published in the May 9th, 2016 Daily Republic.
Mitchell Stock Yards was located east of Foster Street and north of Havens circa 1935. Previously the stockyards had been located in the 900 block of east Hanson Street. Town’s people requested that it be moved from the Hanson location because of the stench. The stock yards were usually near the rail line for easy loading and unloading for transportation. The stock yards were moved to its present location on east Spruce Street in 1978.
Published in the May 23rd, 2016 Daily Republic.
This 1953 photo shows the first location of Woelfel Jewelry at 202 North Main Street. The original building burned in 1921 and was rebuilt in 1926. In 1959 the business was moved to its present location at 218 North Main Street.
Published in the Nov 21st, 2016 Daily Republic.
This photo shows the front of the Paramount Theater at 313 N. Main Street in September of 1950. Two years later, the theater would be remodeled and renamed the State. The theater was owned by Paramount Pictures Corporation and managed by H.J. Stone. “My Blue Heaven” premiered in New York City September 15, 1950 and was brought to Mitchell two weeks later for Corn Palace Week. In those days, Mitchell’s three theaters would have huge attendance during Corn Palace week, running continuous showings of the movie from noon to midnight. Each theater would promote to lure the thousands of Corn Palace visitors who came to town. This photo shows large hand painted signs on plywood mounted on top of the marquee with temporary lighting. The sign above the door says, “Welcome Corn Palace Visitors to Mitchell’s Leading Theater.” You’ll also note temporary speakers hanging below the marquee for announcements and playing music from the movie. Photo courtesy of Jim Blades.
Published in the March 28th, 2016 Daily Republic.
“Good Bye Old Mitchell Watch Our Dust” is the caption O.S. Leeland used to describe this photo he took in 1931. People are congregated on the street to watch the moving of the house in the middle of the street. On the right is the sign for Leeland’s business at 318 ½ North Main Street. Looking south other business signs seen are The Coxe Printing at 404 North Main Street, who were printers and stationers and sold office supplies. Further down the street at 406 North Main was the Gurney Company, which sold general merchandise, clothing, foods, guns, radio and electrical equipment, tires and tubes. WNAX Radio also had offices in the same building. This photo was donated to the Mitchell Area Historical Society by Gary Widmann.
Published in the April 25th, 2016 Daily Republic.