Sesquicentennial Highlights

Excerpts from the Plain Talk

By Cleo Erickson
1936

Nearly 50,000 in South Dakota are now on WPA.  

 Vermillion High School has an enrollment of 250 according to H. W. Hartman, Superintendent.
 
Warren and Wayne Morse were hosts to the students and faculty of University High School for a watermelon feed at the farm two miles south of town.  Many fine melons were disposed of and the students and teachers are indebted to Warren and Wayne for the fine outing and good watermelon feed.

 The committee named by the City Council met with the Board of Directors of the Vermillion Golf Course to pick a site to recommend to the city council on which to build the $5,000 golf course that WPA funds have provided for.  Several sites were discussed and it was agreed that the last 50 acres "L" shaped of the Anton Huegner farm; a half mile north of the University was the most advantageous site available.  Mr. Hugener has offered to lease the acreage for a 10 year period, with an option to buy at the end of that time or to renew the lease for another 5 years.  The council will undoubtedly act on the matter at their next meeting.
 
The first agricultural fair was held in Clay County in 1870 and was repeated in 1871 and 1872.  The fairs were under the direction of A. A. Patridge.

 For a short time a colony of Mormons resided in Clay County in the winter of 1845-46 near what is now Burbank.

 A quarter of a century ago the people of our city and community are taking great interest in the recovery of the cargo from the steamboat Leadora, which took fire and sank in the Missouri river May 21, 1866.  The steamboat is located 50 rods north of the present course of the river and is four miles south and one mile west of Elk Point.  Work has begun about June 15th by the Cole Brothers., of Alcester, and E. E. Wenner, of this city and they have worked diligently every day since, sometimes employing four or five men.  From now on they expect to employ double that number.  Although some of the cargo salvaged soon after the steamer was sunk, it is supposed that there are still 100 barrels of whiskey and wine, groceries, dry goods and hardware remaining of the  original cargo, which should amount to considerable in the way of salvage.

 After several weeks devoted to alterations and remodeling, J. C. F. Elmore announced the opening of his new funeral home at the old Stinson residence on east Main Street.  Mr. Elmore has conducted a funeral home in Vermillion for the past 45 years and for the past 20 years has been assisted by Paul Wagner.

 There has been a decline of more than 3,000 people operating farms and ranches in South Dakota since last year.  The number given in 1936 is 71,132, compared with 74,221 in 1935.

 Did you know that Clay County had no courthouse until 1882?  The first road recorded was between Vermillion and Burbank.

 G. Meisenholder's are selling Fostoria glassware and the Baroque pattern is very popular.  The comport sells for 49 cents and the open jelly dish is 75 cents.  Silverberg's have house dresses and smocks for 98 cents in sizes 14 up to 52.

 DO YOU KNOW? By F. Belle Conrow  (Her short articles will appear in the following "Highlights")

 "That the first government appropriation for roads in Dakota Territory was made in 1865?  Out of this appropriation Clay County received a sum for the building of a bridge over the Vermillion River where the bridge now stands near the Dawson farm.  Previous to that a rope ferry furnished the only means of crossing.  On the west side of the river was heavy timber and there Deuell and Compton had erected a sawmill, the product of which was used largely for the building of houses in Vermillion.  The entire road appropriation for the Territory of Dakota was $185,000.  This included the bridge funds, also."
 
"That the first post office in Vermillion was organized in 1860?  Previous to that time, mail was brought in by new settlers or by men who had gone to Sioux City for supplies.  After two years a mail coach started coming from Sioux City three times a week."

 Thirty four residents of Clay County past 65 years of age and who need assistance to provide the necessities of life have signed the old age pension application blanks.

 The largest and flashiest neon sign yet to be erected in the business district here was installed in front of Davis Pharmacy on Tuesday.  The new sign throws considerable light in the evenings and can be seen for a considerable distance both directions on Main Street.

 The City Council took a 99 year lease on 80 Acres of land on the Anton Hugener farm, north of Vermillion.  The new lease was started on its way to state WPA headquarters at Pierre.
 
A landmark that has been obsolete to the city will be torn down.  The 110 foot chimney at the city building that also measures 8 feet through the butt will soon be taken down by Alfred L. T. Anderson.  In recent months, the protective layer of cement has begun to crack at the top and it was thought best to remove the whole structure before an accident occurred.
 
DO YOU KNOW "that many years ago there used to be a beautiful lake or lagoon, just south of Vermillion."  The river widened out, making this sheet of water about 30 or 40 rods wide and about a half mile long.  It was bordered on the south by the woods that have since filled in.  The lake was used for boating in the summer and skating in the winter".  

 Exciting new Studebakers thrill America.  T. H. Lass is selling them for $665.00 and up.
 
DO YOU KNOW "that not one business man left the city after the flood of 1881"?

 Sixty two applications for old age assistance by Clay County residents were acted upon and approved at a joint meeting of the County Welfare Board and County Commissioners here recently.  All 65 applicants have been receiving county assistance.

 Davis Pharmacy has Lucky Strike Cigarettes 2 packs for 35 cents.  Get your entry cards for your Lucky Strike "Sweepstakes".

Striking with a dull crunch and digging its way more than two feet into the ground, the last 57 feet of the old city chimney, just south of the municipal building, responded to one last tug on a cable by Alfred Anderson and landed on a clear spot on the ground.  The top half of the chimney literally crumbled when it struck the ground but the lower 25 feet still retained its oval shape.  The remains are now being broken up so the several thousand bricks may be used for other building purposes.

End 1936

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