Picture from The Tumbleweed 1940, pg. 20                                           Researcher- Linda Oster

The 1938-1939 Conference Basketball Champs, the Dakota Wesleyan University Team.
Top L to R: Coach Belding, Lester Greener, Carl Johnson, Glen Draisey, Davis Johnson, Don Ahern
Bottom L to R: Keith Miller, Louis Davis, Roland Cotes, Don Swanson, Charles SummersSometimes while doing research, a well written piece with the flavor of the day comes along. The following is from the same page in the DWU yearbook as the photo and meets those criteria. Note the long-time Mitchell names on the roster.
     “Perhaps one of the most impressive chapters in Wesleyan’s basketball history was written by the conference championship team of 1938-1939.
     Competing in the National Intercollegiate tournament for three consecutive years, the Tigers met and defeated the Texas West Teachers, ‘tallest college team in the world,’ for one of the greatest upsets in the 1938-1939 tournament.
     Featuring such basketball aces ‘Les’ Greener, Don ‘Slippery’ Ahern, and Glen ‘Slick’ Draisey, this Tiger team probably had as much or more individual color than has any other team in Wesleyan history.
     During the seasonal conference play this Tiger team won ten out of twelve games. To make the season even more interesting and successful the final conference game, the only thing standing in the way of Wesleyan championship, were the Yankton Greyhounds. Determined to keep the ‘Ham,’ win the conference and defeat Yankton College for the second time during the season, these cagers decisively whipped the Yankton boys 47-22.
     Glen Draisey, lanky tiger forward, paced the entire conference in individual scoring, garnering 151 points in 13 games. His closest competitor, Goodbarn of S.F. College, had 126.
     In addition to this, four men were chosen for the mythical all-conference five. They included Greener, guard; Ahern, guard; Davis, forward; and Draisey, forward. This closed one of the most colorful years in Wesleyan’s basketball history.” Tumbleweed 1940

Published in the February 10th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Last month Back in Time did a feature on the Commercial Bank which was established on January 6, 1897, in a wooden building located on the SE corner of Main and East Third Ave. The original two-story wooden building constructed in 1882, according to the cornice on the top of the building, was replaced in 1906 with a new three-story brick building at the same location. The old building was moved to the back of the lot. While doing research on the Johnson Furniture Company, this picture came to light. It shows the old wooden Commercial Bank building as it sat on East 3rd Avenue after being moved in 1906. The bank moved in 1961, to 208 East Third with the main entrance on the north side of the building. Other businesses occupied the brick building space until the Commercial Trust and Savings Bank building at 220 Main Street was destroyed by fire in 1981 and razed in 1982. The area where the old wooden building sat is now a parking lot behind Uptown Park which is the area of the brick Commercial Bank building built in 1906. 

Published in the January 20th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Back In Time 2024

Linda Oster, Researcher

Top: College Hall sits on the hill all alone on the campus of DWU in the early days of the University. Circa 1891
Bottom: Hersey’s photo from 1915 shows left to right: Graham Hall (built 1901-03); College Hall (completed in 1889); Science Hall (built 1911-12). Since 2019, Science Hall went by the name of Hughes Hall.
     Methodist settlers in 1883, founded Dakota University in Dakota Territory. They adopted the motto "Sacrifice or Service". This is symbolized in the collegiate seal of the altar, the ox, and the plow. On October 14, 1904, the institution assumed its present name of Dakota Wesleyan University
     It became the largest independent college in South Dakota by 1920. When the depression hit, DWU adjusted by accepting farm produce for tuition and the staff took pay cuts in an effort to still educate. Teachers were given housing in Graham Hall and coupons to purchase items in town.
     Change and tragedy are part of any institution’s life. College Hall burned on February 12, 1955. At the time it was the main administrative building of DWU and housed the offices of the Friends of the Middle Boarder Museum along with many pictures, books, manuscripts of FMB. The Museum was in the process of moving and many collections had been moved to another building. Brave fire fighters were able to save many of the Museum’s collections that had not been moved. The other two buildings have been torn down and the campus has a new look.
     The University is a growing, vital part of Mitchell, SD and boasts many famous graduates ranging from  chefs, governors, senators, writers,  presidential candidates, athletes, and leaders of industry and education. It competes in 18 intercollegiate varsity sports, and has to its credit championship teams. The McGovern Library and Center for Leadership and Public Service was dedicated on October 7, 2006, with many dignitaries attending including former President Clinton. In keeping with the motto of the school the pillars located on the north end of campus state, "This gateway is dedicated to pioneer men and women of the middle border who sacrificed that here the torch might be relighted"

Published in the March 9th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

West side of N Third Main Street -1947
Photo courtesy of Jim Blades       
Linda Oster, Researcher

Jarold Shops-clothing store (311 N. Main), Paramount Theatre (313 N. Main), The Scoreboard – sports bar (315 N. Main) and Feinstein’s Clothing occupied this space on Main Street. The site of the Paramount Theatre had originally been the site of a theatre built by  L.O. Gale, which opened on November 10, 1916, called the Gale Theatre. After a fire that destroyed the Gale on March 26, 1914, a new structure was built, and it was opened as the Metropolitan Theatre on May 3,1915. In January 1925, the theatre was bought by Finklestein and Ruben of Minneapolis, Minnesota. July 1929 saw another change of ownership with Paramount Studios purchasing and remodeling the building changing the name to Paramount in 1932. Paramount, locally known as the Minnesota Amusement Company,  remodeled a second time and renamed it the State Theatre in 1952. Jeff Logan bought it in 1972 and showed the last movie there in 1989. The building was sold to the Area Community Theatre group (ACT) who were doing a remodel in May 2004, when the building burned.  The building housed The Little Red Hen to the south of the State Theatre  and the Scoreboard to the north at the time of the fire.

Published in the March 30th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Mitchell Main Street looking North from 2nd and Main          Circa 1940’s                           

Linda Oster, Researcher

    A busy Main Street showed a prosperous city with many businesses occupying the street. On the west side of main sat Gambles boasting auto supplies at 201 N Main; the Time Theater at 203; Schirmer Pharmacy at 205; Medical Arts with many offices; Dahle at 207; Kresge 5 & 10 cent; Toggery men’s clothing at 211; Geyermans women’s clothing at 213; Oriental Chocolate Shop at 215; Mitchell National Bank at 217; and J.C. Pennys at 221-23. On  the east side of the street sat Larrison Brothers drug store at 200 N Main; Red Owl grocery store at 204-06; Newberry 5 & 10 at 208; Becker’s Clothing at 212; Burg Shoes at 216; Grigg Men’s Clothing at 220; and Commercial Trust and Savings Bank at 222.
     Notice the competition on going on between the theaters. On the left of the picture is a banner on the Time Theater advertising a Midnite Show at 11:30. They were showing Cecil B. DeMille’s 1939 production of Land of Freedom movie that dealt with the history of the United State from pre-revolution through 1939. Not to be outdone, the Roxy Theater located on Lawler is advertising a Midnight Show at 11:15 with a banner hanging from the roof between the drug store and the Red Owl grocery store. They have an arrow pointing to the theater  as well as a large sign on the top of the building pointing to the location. That small booth on top of the building also belonged to the Roxy and was used to advertise shows by broadcasting over a loud speaker.

Published in the April 13th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

   Mitchell, Dec 30, 1913                Mitchell Comrades of ’79                        Linda Oster, Researcher

Front Row: A. Hammer, Druggist; JW Beattie, Store Owner, Postmaster; Frank M. Hammer, Druggist; John O. Walrath, Businessman
Back Row: Thomas J. Ball, Mail Carrier & Postmaster; George A. Johnson, Attorney and Real Estate; Joseph T. Morrow, Businessman, Banker, Land Developer; JK Smith, Register of Deeds

     “There’s a feeling within us that loves to revert to the merry old times that are gone” is the motto of the Mitchell Comrades of ’79. By December 1879, many businesses and people from the village of Firesteel, having lost their bid for a railroad station,  had made their way to the newly established village of Mitchell. As winter weather set in with many blizzards, the supply of coal was very limited. A group of 16 young bachelors started meeting around a heating stove at the drug store to stay warm, share companionship, dreams and hopes of the future. Eventually, this group came to write a simple five article constitution establishing the first social club in Mitchell calling themselves “The Comrades of ‘79”, nicknamed the “Hot Stove” League. The purpose of the group was to keep their friendships with each other and celebrate their survival of the harsh winter 1879-1880 with a yearly reunion and banquet “upon the appearance of the first ‘blizzard.’ “(Article 5 of their constitution found an early edition of the Mitchell Capital)
 In addition to those in the above photo, the society members recorded in the constitution are as follows: W.E. Crane, physician;  A.J. Waterhouse, attorney; Ira Woodin, J.I. Merriam, H. G. Smith, and H.L. LaDue, occupations unknown; and J.F. Kimball, banker. Ed Devy was also included in other writings as part of the group, but is not found in any photos. He is listed in the 1883 – People of Mitchell publication.
     The first reunion and banquet was held on Friday, October 15, 1880, at the Odd Fellows Hall. The young men were proud of the fact that they cooked the meal without any women, decorated the hall and invited many guests. The event began at 9:00 p.m. with A. J. Waterhouse delivering a welcome and reminiscence address where he stated, “Old world forgotten, Firesteel, ‘with all thy faults I love thee still’ (quote from Lord Byron about England) for there first met and grew a little acquainted, and much acquainted the ‘Comrades of ’79.’ There first formed some friendships which may end with life.”( Early edition of the Mitchell Capital)  The speech  was followed by card playing and dancing. At midnight, dinner was served. A newspaper article in the Mitchell Capital stated, “Everything was done which would tend to make the occasion an enjoyable one.”  Nine of the original sixteen attended the last reunion on November 18, 1918.

Published in the March 2nd, 2024 Mitchell Republic. 

Linda Oster, Researcher

Brick manufacturing in Mitchell began shortly after the founding of the city.  The first account was noted in the 1880 edition of Industries of Mitchell under "Brick Manufactory."  A gentleman by the name of Spears found clay "equal to the best in the East."  He located his brick factory one and one-half miles east of Mitchell near the Jim River.  He built six kilns which could produce 100,000 to 150,000 bricks each.  His bricks were used to build the Hitchcock Block, Bourne Block, Lecher Building and many other prominent structures of the day. 
     By 1898 the Isaac Spears Brickyard was located at 909 N. Main St.  Mr. Spears was also involved in the ice business and later that of moving houses and grain elevators.   By 1902, James Spears, Isaac's brother, was listed as the brick manufacturer located at 905 N. Main St.  By 1911, there was no longer a listing for the Spears Brickyard and James Spears had retired.

Published in the April 20th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Linda Oster - Researcher

Charles Lindbergh made history on May 20–21, 1927, the day that he flew for 33 ½ hours from Long Island, NY to Paris, a distance of 3,600 miles; as a further bonus he collected $25,000 from Raymond Orteig who vowed to pay the first pilot to cross the Atlantic non-stop from the US to Paris that sum in 1919. It is claimed that his aircraft was specifically built to meet the Orteig challenge.
This flight turned him into a global celebrity. He was given parades to celebrate. President Calvin Coolidge awarded him a Distinguished Flying Cross and Congress gave him a Medal of Honor; he was promoted to the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve among many other honors bestowed upon him. At 25 years of age Lindbergh was the first Person of the Year for Time magazine. South Dakota was no different from the rest of the world and wanted to also honor Lindbergh and get a look at the now famous Minnesota native. Thus the stop in Sioux Falls, SD on August 27, 1927. Note tickets were $1.50 for a round trip on a Coach Train leaving from Mitchell at 6:10 am. and arriving in Sioux Falls 8:40 am. 

Published in the May 18th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

SW Corner of East 3rd Ave and Lawler in 1930   -   Photographer – Hersey Photo Service    -      Linda Oster-Researcher

The largest building on the corner is the Johnson’s Furniture Co.  constructed in 1922 with the third and fourth stories added in 1928. The first location of Johnson’s in 1907 was a half block from the railroad station on the west side of Main Street in a converted livery stable. The second location in the old Scallin Drug building and then in the Feinstein’s location. The Feinstein’s location was not ideal as it sat next to Raskins Grocery which had many rats in the back of the grocery.  Fred M. and Will Johnson were cabinet and violin makers from Sweden who started the business.  Fred eventually bought his brother’s share and his sons, Harold and Orwin (Orv) bought out their father in the 1930’s. Barbara Johnson Murray, daughter of Harold, and Alan Murray moved to Mitchell in 1965 and purchased the store. In 1977 the Murrays purchased the old telephone building and did extensive remodeling of the Johnson Furniture store. The store motto was, “We Make A Home Out of Houses.” Johnson’s Furniture shut down in September of 1995, with an auction to sell out their remaining inventory.

Businesses that occupied this same area were: Starting in the far left of the picture on Lawler Street were, Armour Creameries, Mitchell Oldsmobile Company and the Day and Night Garage which at one time was used for the Hubbard Motor Company. The Staehle Hardware Company was above the Johnson’s Furniture store along with a series of doctors and other offices, as well as, the Betts Grain office. The Dakota Central Telephone Company which later became Northwestern Bell sat on East Third Avenue to the west of the Johnson Building. White Eagle service station sat across the street to the north. 

Published in the January 27th, 2024 Mitchell Republic. 

Tokens from Bliss’ Cash Department Store at 215 N. Main.                 

Linda Oster, Researcher

     Tokens have been used since the time of the Romans and are usually intended for some specific kind of purchase, place of purchase or service. They were made of various kinds of metal, leather or even paper and their purpose was often to offset the shortage of legal tender coins and give merchants a way to extend credit that had to be used in their store; this helped guarantee future business. They are not to be confused with legal tender coins that are issued by a government. “In North America, tokens were originally issued by merchants from the 18th century in regions where national or local colonial governments did not issue enough small denomination coins for circulation. In the United States, Hard times tokens issued from 1832 to 1844 and Civil War tokens issued in the 1860’s made up for shortages of official money. Tokens were also used as company scrip to pay labor for use only in company stores owned by the employers.” wikipedia.org
     In the September 6, 1901, issue of the Mitchell Daily Republican there was an announcement that Cortis J. Bliss had taken over the Harker Brothers store. (That issue also told of the shooting of President McKinley.) The store was originally called C.J. Bliss. By early October it was called Bliss’ Cash Department Store. By February 8, 1902, he had a partner, John L. Arney, and the store was called Bliss and Arney. On June 30, 1902, the partnership was dissolved with Bliss going into the real estate and livestock buying business and Arney running the general store.
     It is very unusual for a store that was only in existence for five months to have issued tokens. Their tokens were issued in denominations of 5¢, 25¢, 50¢ and $1.00 and were only good for merchandise in the store. They measured 1 ¾ inches.

Published in the March 16th, 2024 Mitchell Republic

Unknown photographer- Main Street North from 3rd Avenue    Circa Early 1950’s   Linda Oster, Researcher

A busy Main Street is a good sign for the businesses.  Most of those pictured are no longer in operation or they have moved to other locations. The 1950 City Directory lists these businesses: on the left side as (west) is the Saterlie Drug Store in the Champney Building, Mitchell Florists, The Spudnut Shop, Army Navy Surplus Store, Sellers Typewriters and Music shop, Jarold shop, The Paramount Theatre, Scoreboard, Feinstein’s and Ruby Ann Food Shop; pictured on the east side: Baron’s department store, Woolworth’s, Thunes, Singer Sewing Center, Sumption Maytag, Pooley’s Radio Repair, Kelly’s Florists, Mitchell Liquor, North American Creameries and Blynn Shoes.

Published in the June 8th, 2024 Mitchell Republic. 

George Erhart started the SnowFlake Bakery around 1909. The bakery made deliveries and  advertised,  “Erhart’s ‘Eureka Bread’. Pure, clean, different and delicious –it really is best. For sale by all Grocers, or at the bakery.” In August, 1912, the bakery moved to 112 West First Avenue and remained at that location until 1932. Paul Hoffman worked for the Erharts from 1922 until he bought the business from Mrs. Erhart in 1929 after the death of her husband George from a heart attack that followed a 1928 car accident.  The bakery continued to prosper under Hoffman. He advertised fruit cake for 50 cents at Thanksgiving in 1931 along with “pies, cakes, rolls and all the goodies to make that Thanksgiving Turkey a success, can be gotten fresh at your grocers the morning of Thanksgiving.” He moved the business in 1932 to 114 North Main.  By 1947 Hoffman sold the bakery to Gerard C. Schoep from Platte.  Schoep was a Navy radarman recently discharged.  He served in seven battles in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theatres. Gerard wasn’t new to the bakery business; he and his father were bakers in Platte.  If anyone knows what happened to this business and would like to share the information for our files, please contact the Carnegie Resource Center at info@mitchellcarnegie.com or call us at 996-3209.

Published in the February 17th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Holy Family Church and Notre Dame Academy, located at 222 North Lawler as it looked circa 1918. The original church was built in 1882 and was moved to South Kimball when this church was built in 1906. The church has made many improvements in the last few years including work on the two side steeple towers in 2012. The Notre Dame School was opened in 1885 and that building was torn down and the one pictured was constructed in 1912, and high school students were admitted that year. In 1921 a southeastern addition was added to the school and academy. In 1956, the northeast side of the building was added. The Holy Family and Holy Spirit School systems were combined in 1999. The old school building was demolished in 2005, and a new gathering space, handicap accessibility, an elevator, new parish offices, small chapel, and new restrooms were built in 2008.

Published in the February 3rd, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Researcher – Linda Oster

     Louis and Mary Beckwith moved to Mitchell, Dakota Territory on April 22, 1882. They were business people and weren’t interested in homesteading. Louis Beckwith is one of the people responsible for getting the first Corn Palace to become a reality. They were very community minded and served in many capacities to benefit Mitchell.
     Their home is an example of the Italianate style. The house was moved in 1976 to the museum grounds of the Friends of the Middle Border Museum (now Dakota Discovery) which saved it from demolition. Those wishing to check it out can find the home sitting behind Dakota Discovery with its side listed as 352  Andrews St. and the front door facing South Duff. The interior of the home had to have extensive restoration because it had been made into a duplex in the 1930’s.
     Frank Purdy constructed the house in 1886. It is a two-story building which was said to be conservative for the time; it boasted porches that featured the latest in archetectural millwork. A little Queen Anne style which was popular in the early 1880’s shows up in the “hood over the south bay window, and the porches with fishscale shingles, fretwork and turned posts.”
      Sage green with dark green and oxblood red highlights was the original color scheme, but by the 1900’s a new color scheme with a soft yellow with grey trim showed off the house. By the 1930’s the house was painted completely white. It is now painted in colors close to the original color scheme. The interior of the home had a curved walnut staircase with curved walls for the library and hallway, detailed wooden floors in part of the house and carpets in the rest, Japanese transome screens, elaborate hardware and wallpaper of the period graced the inside of the home.
Friends of the Middle Border brochure -1983

Published in the January 13th, 2024 MItchell Republic.

Linda Oster, Researcher

Mitchell National Bank in 1886    Sign on left side reads Mitchell National Bank and on the right Davison Bros – Seaman – unreadable bottom                                     
     George Washington Davison and his brother Nathan Davison purchased the assets and building of the insolvent Bank of Dakota from Stuart Goodykoontz and set up a bank called the Davison Brothers Bank (1884-1886) with the original location on the site of the present Geyerman’s store. This bank merged into the Mitchell National Bank in 1886 having received their national charter October 22, 1886.  There were several partners in the Mitchell National Bank: the Davison brothers, L.N. Seaman and J.S. Terwilliger, realtors; and H.G. Chandler, hardware retailer; O.J. Raymond, grocer. Nathan Davison died in 1904 and G.W. Davison moved, but still served as bank president.
     William Smith became the new president in 1906 and served until 1923.  Under his aggressive leadership a new building with four Ionic columns was built down the street; before the bank bought these two lots, several other businesses had occupied the space at 217 North Main: a clothing store, print shop, Ray Hannett Bakery and Ratham Grocery. Today the building houses The Vault Clothing Store.
     Mitchell National Bank built a new building and moved to 403 North Lawler Street in 1977.  In 1984 the bank was sold to Norwest Bank and in 1998 Norwest Bank and Wells Fargo merged under the name of Wells Fargo.  For more details about Mitchell National Bank please stop at the Carnegie Resource Center. 

Published in the February 24th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Circa 1912       Linda Oster Researcher

The Washington Café’s sign on the back wall says, (314 N Main Street, formerly the site of the Little Red Hen and currently the Q Jewelry & Gifts store) “Try Our Hot Dinner Sandwich 15 cents” This café was owned and operated by Zina H. and Estelle Eager. They are pictured seated at the back of the café. As was common among store owners and operators, they resided on the second floor of the building. The café reopened on May 23, 1917, as the Grand Café and was open 24 hours a day.

Published in the January 6th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Photo of Bradley Young taken from the 1958 Mitchell High School Yearbook, the Warbler                     

Linda Oster, Researcher

     Mitchell has always prided itself on providing an education for its citizens. Evidence of this is shown in the early years of the community when it was still at Firesteel where the first school was held in a store building with Edmonia Greene as the teacher from 1874-1875. The first school in Mitchell proper was held in a building known as the Presbyterian Chapel from 1879-1880. Founders of Mitchell started planning for a school right away with a vote taken to assess taxes to pay for a school. John and Catherine  Lawler  donated land for the school that was built and named Whittier in 1880. It faced Sanborn street and was both elementary and high school. Mitchell continued its building of schools throughout the city and it still continues today to upgrade the buildings and curriculum. The story of Bradley Young School is a part of that history.
     When Bradley Young moved to Mitchell in 1917, he probably had no idea that one day he would have an elementary school named in his honor.  He came to Mitchell as manager of the first J. C. Penney store.  He was  respected for serving his community. He was a very accomplished man and his 21 years as a member of the Mitchell School Board, and 10 of those as its chairman is the reason he was honored with a school named for him.    
     It had been known for many years that the Junior High School building at the corner of Third Avenue and Sanborn Boulevard would need to be replaced.  In 1966, the Mitchell school board purchased 40 acres of land located north of 8th Avenue and west of Minnesota street from Edwin Cassem and Thelma Cassem Cropp.  The new Junior High School was built on this land in 1969, and dedicated on November 2. 
     In 1967, Plano Consolidated School was taken into the Mitchell School District.  The junior and senior high grades were moved to Mitchell, leaving only the first six grades at Plano.  In 1969, the remaining six grades were taken into the Mitchell school system and moved to the old Junior High School building.  The name was changed to Plano Elementary School.
     The Plano Elementary School remained at the old Junior High School location until the fall semester 1971 when it moved to rooms in the west end of the new Junior High School.  When this move was made, the school’s name was changed again to Bradley Young School.
     Bradley Young School existed from 1971 to 1979.  Mrs. Leona Klinkner was the principal at Plano and also taught kindergarten.  She was also the principal at Bradley Young School and taught 5th grade.  Several other teachers taught at both Plano Elementary and Bradley Young School:  Mrs. June Goldammer, Mrs. Georgia Gross, and Allan Biggerstaff.  In 1979, students attending Bradley Young School were absorbed into the existing grade schools in Mitchell.  Thus came to an end the existence of a very short-lived elementary school in Mitchell—Bradley Young School.

Published in the April 27th, 2024 Mitchell Republic.

Photo taken after 1882 from the Court House looking SE                          

 Linda Oster, Researcher

     When towns were young and just finding their way, streets did not necessarily have to follow squares and the compass reading. This photo taken from the Court House looking SE testifies to the fact.  An angle here or there lead to the fastest way between two points. Notice that three churches sat in this area: The Congregational Church, the Baptist Church and Holy Family Catholic Church.  Pictures taken a little later show houses built rather randomly in the area.
     Land for the City of Mitchell (75 acres) was purchased on May 5, 1879, two miles west of Firesteel Village by John Lawler, Sr., a wealthy bridge builder and Milwaukee Road stockholder  who was friends with Alexander Mitchell, head of the  Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad. The total land purchased was over 320 acres of government land, some of it purchased from men who had filed homestead rights nine days after the filing with military script. This land was the start of the new town of Mitchell.
     In 1882, H.C. Greene proposed a court house for the county. A vote was taken - 264 for, 56 against. The Court House was built to serve Davison County and that building served until 1937 when the current Court House was built. This detail helped date the photo shown as a note was written on the picture stating the location of the photographer and the direction he was looking.
Side note: South Dakota gained statehood November 2, 1889.

Published in the May 4th, 2024 Mitchell Republic. 

Linda Oster, Researcher.

GAR stands for the Grand Army of the Republic. This was a fraternal organization of veterans from the Civil War (Union Army, Navy, and Marines) The organization was founded in 1866 at Decatur, Illinois. At its height it had many community units in the formerly Union and western states. Albert Woolson, the last member, died in 1956 so the organization dissolved, but it was the forerunner of the current veterans groups.
“Linking men through their experience of the war, the GAR became among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, promoting patriotic education, helping to make Memorial Day a national holiday, lobbying Congress to establish regular veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak membership, at 410,000, was in 1890, a high point of various Civil War commemorative and monument dedication ceremonies.” Grand Army of the Republic - Wikipedia

Published in the June 1st, 2024 Mitchell Republic.