“EQUITY UNION CREAMERIES    A MIGHTY ORGANIZATION   Plant  Established By Farmers of the Northwest At Aberdeen In 1916 Was First Cooperative Centralized Creamery In World,” was the headline in the November 16, 1929, The Evening Republican. Equity continued to grow and expand its operations and opened a branch in Mitchell on March 22, 1926, with the first can of cream delivered on March 23.  The Mitchell branch located at 300 West 1st Avenue became very prosperous and rivalled the parent plant in Aberdeen.  Mitchell’s plant manufactured ice cream, and milk was bottled and distributed throughout the community.  The Mitchell branch was so prosperous that a new and bigger plant, (301 W 1st Ave.) was built in 1931 across the street in the current Sturdevant’s Auto Parts Store location. With the most modern equipment, a full basement designated for the manufacture of cheese, and space for offices on part of the second floor the cost was between $60,000 and $70,000.  Many efforts were made to have the best sanitary and ventilating conditions for the manufacturing and storage of the products which included bottled milk, cheese, butter and ice cream.  The design of the building allowed for natural light to light the two-story manufacturing area. This photo taken April 13, 1931, by Stair Photos shows the construction by Pioneer Construction Co. of the reinforced concrete basement area of the 301 W. 1st location.  Floyd Kings was the architect.  Equity opened a Co-Op Super Market on Saturday, June 16, 1945, that included a complete grocery department, ice cream store, locker plant and creamery. Milk sold for 9 cents a quart.  Equity closed in 1952.


Carnegie Resource Center Photo.

Published in the January 14th, 2020 Daily Republic.

One of the best shows in town was the paving of Mitchell’s Main Street in 1913.  It took many workers with muscle power to level the street, lay the crushed rock base, mix the paving material and place the concrete.  Water, cement and sand had to be hand-loaded into the mixer located in the center of the picture to produce the paving material.  Using wheelbarrows, the mixture was moved to the area where it was placed in sections across the width of the street, hand-trolled to smooth it and corn-broomed to provide the texture.


Carnegie Resource Center Photo.

Published in the January 28th, 2020 Daily Republic.

A Mitchell photographer, Eliason, shows teachers training in a Vitalizing for Agriculture class in August of 1919. Vitalizing the Teaching of Agriculture was a curriculum model developed by the Agricultural Extension Department of the International Harvester Company to help improve education in the rural schools.  It was based on the idea that lessons needed to be taught using real life experiences, objects and places. Applied lessons were the key; a student wouldn’t just learn what a screwdriver was, but what its uses were by using a screwdriver.  There were four yearly components to the plan with one unit taught throughout a year and then a rotation would start with the other three units each covered on a yearly basis. It was first presented in South Dakota at the Annual Conference of County Superintendents in 1919. The first state-wide campaign for better rural schools ever held in the US was staged in SD in the fall of 1919.  There is more information on the Vitalizing Agriculture Rotation Plan at the Carnegie Resource Center for those who would like a more in-depth explanation.


Carnegie Resource Center Photo.

Published in the January 21st, 2020 Daily Republic.

This is a view of South Main Street in Mount Vernon in 1909. The town was first named Arlandtown for C. Arland, the first postmaster in 1880, but the name was changed because mail became confused with that of Arlington. The new name, which honors the home of George Washington, was selected by its residents. The picture was taken by Leland Art Company.


Published in the February 18th, 2020 Daily Republic.

This postcard from the Summers Family Collection shows land buyers in their Brass Era autos, so called because these autos had large brass grills and polished brass trim, sitting in front of the Metropolitan Theatre at 311 N. Main.  The inscription reads, “Kelly’s Autos & Land Buyers.    Mitchell, SD.” Kelley’s Land Company was located on the second floor of the theatre from 1917 to 1931 had operated a business in Mitchell from 1901 to at least 1940 according to Polk’s City Directories. 


Published in the February 11th, 2020 Daily Republic. 

Corker’s Restaurant located at 111 North Main, Mitchell, SD in 1915.  Owner, Julius L. Corker, is
behind the counter with the hat, with Frank Worthen, Marcel DeGaillez, Roscoe Hartwell and
Cloyce Corker joining him.  Others unknown.  Various tobacco products are offered for sale
including Yo Cum Spana Cuba Cigars on counter for 5 cents, Velvet in the can for 10 cents,
Davenport, Camel, and Rex brands along with fresh bread in the display cases.


Carnegie Resource Center Photo

Published in the Jan 7th, 2020 Daily Republic

Modern Health Crusaders gather by the Corn Palace in 1926.  The group participated in a program that began around 1916 in schools and promoted healthy habits.   Various ranks existed within the program with each rank having certain tasks. These ranks had certain goals: Page- the first 5 weeks of the program, Squire- must do 54 chores per week for 5 weeks, Knight-must do 54 chores per week for 10 weeks, Advanced Order – repeat the first 15 weeks and able to wear a pin, Knight Banneret Constant – member for life and earned only after 4 years in the program. Chores included such activities as washing hands before each meal, washing face, ears and neck, keeping fingers, pencils and everything that might cause injury out of my mouth, protecting others if I spit or coughed, in bed 10 or more hours at night with window open, eat slowly and eat wholesome foods like vegetables, fruits and milk, and go to the bathroom regularly.  Participants could earn pins and certificates and had uniforms which included a helmet shaped cap with the double crossbar cross as its decoration. This was an effort by the National Tuberculosis Association, now the American Lung Association, to curb TB and other health issues.  Stair Photo


Published in the February 4th, 2020 Daily Republic.

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