Historical society event features special program

Historical society event features special program
Joanita Kant,�a museum director in South Dakota for over 18 years and�a former adjunct faculty member of�Mount Marty College in Yankton, will portray Margaret Wylie Mellette, South Dakota's first first lady on Feb. 4 at the Elk Point Country Club.

Hosted by the Union County Historical Society, the evening will begin with a social hour at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m., and program at 7:30 p.m. The theme for the evening is "Famous Persons in History," with attendees encouraged to come in costume, portraying their favorite historical figure. This production is open to the public.

Mrs. Mellette was the wife of Arthur C. Mellette, the last Dakota Territorial governor and first governor of the State of South Dakota. Mellette House in Watertown was built in 1883 for the Mellettes. It has been beautifully restored to its original grandeur and is open to the public from May to October.�


Kant has portrayed Mrs. Mellette since the early 1990s. In 1983, she edited and co-edited, along with Dr. Gerald Wolff of USD, the Civil War diaries of Arthur and Margaret Mellette. Proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to the Mellette House, which is operated as a non-profit organization.�

Currently, Kant is writing a pictorial review of Hutterian Brethen, including all four seasons of 2004 at over 40 colonies in South Dakota. Hutterites of South Dakota: the Schmiedeleuts is expected to be published in 2006. She currently lives on a cattle ranch in northern Nebraska, but has lived in South Dakota for most of her life.

A humanities scholar and an honors graduate of USD, Kant's visit is sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, please contact Sherri McKee at 712-568-3100 (days) or 605-565-2252 (evenings). Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 per couple/$12.50 per single. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door for $30 per couple/$15 per single.

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