The Southeast the Original Leader
To understand well the territorial conditions it is best briefly to refer to the great diversity and almost isolation of the three sections—the south, the north and the Black Hills. The original settlements began in the southeast corner or quarter, and for many years these expanded and held the capital, the activities and the aims of what may be called the growing commonwealth. It was here only that statehood was thought of, here only that there was an early school system, here where churches were organized and connected in policy and administration, where fraternal lodges were first organized and all the permanent associations and local institutions of a people were formed. This population grew with common ideas and purposes, each increment receiving its impulse and sentiment, as to law. government and ultimate aim from all that had preceded it. Here and by these people the early laws were made and the then judges appointed by the United States had their residences and held their courts within a short distance of one another. This was modified but slightly by the fact that Wyoming and other regions were temporarily attached to Dakota. When Dakota was mentioned it meant to every mind this southeast section and people. Indeed it was to the eastern part of our present state that the name of Dakota was immediately and by popular act and assent applied when Minnesota was admitted to the union with its diminished boundaries. To this region the missionaries of the various churches for white people first came. The Catholics, the Methodists, the Congregationalists, the Episcopalians, the Baptists and others reached and covered the ground opened for them. Soon these ecclesiastical bodies organized, each in its way, the governing powers—the conferences, the associations and the bishoprics—and with admirable energy and zeal carried forward the work of each. It may be said with all confidence that South Dakotans were never so sincerely and so generally religious in faith and practice as they were from 1875 to 1885. The Lutheran churches were, perhaps, the very first in their complete organization as well as the most numerous in active adherents. They were less noticed, as their organizations were almost entirely in the rural districts.
Besides the religious and political organizations that united the people in various ways, the fraternal, social and other bodies were not without great influence. While these do not attract the general public interest that the others create, they are the means of extending wide personal acquaintance and creating strong personal confidence, which operate as an indirect means and basis for union and useful work in other good lines. The beginning and organization of all these were also in the southeastern section to which population and leadership first came. There were Masons and Odd Fellows among the first population. In 1863 the first Masonic lodge was chartered and opened at Yankton. Others followed at Vermillion, Elk Point, Sioux Falls and Canton. These lodges were formed into the grand lodge of South Dakota and its officers were duly installed at Vermillion. July 21, 1875, by T. S. Parvin of Iowa, by authority of the grand lodge of that state. These details are given as a basis for another fact, there was a lodge at Bismarck and it refused to yield allegiance to this grand lodge, holding to its charter from Minnesota, and considerable discussion and some feeling followed—one of the first strong points of division in the territory. Oddfellowship was also duty organized in the southeast quarter, at Yankton, May 25, 1870, and within five years a number of lodges were instituted, including one at Fargo, N. D. The grand lodge of this order was duly organized at Yankton, October 13, 1875. By May 20, 1885, there were seventy-two lodges in the territory, much the larger number being in the south.
In the early territorial days the temperance order of Good Templars was organized at Yankton and elsewhere. Dr. Joseph Ward was chief of the Yankton body, and the writer later held that position. But this is not a history of secret or social and temperance orders. So much only is stated to bring into view forces, influences and societies that were active means or indirect agencies toward the making and holding South Dakota toward its separate goal as a state. It must, it seems, now appear to any student as was then felt as a' fact, that South Dakota would lead on toward independent statehood. The traditions were all in that direction, for all early tradition of struggle, of Indian wars, of pioneer life, of organization—religious, fraternal, educational and political— were in the southeast quarter. Here the people met with one another in all these fellowships and memories, and the ideas, the sentiments and the struggles of the beginnings grew in strength and power as the years passed. The most natural thing to be expected was that South Dakota would be a state.
Sections and Politics
There were now, in 1877, three distinct and, in settlement, separate sections in Dakota territory, and they were called South Dakota, North Dakota and the Black Hills. The Northern Pacific railroad had been completed to Bismarck in the spring of 1873, and settlement began actively along that line and the Red River of the North. There had been some settlement from very early days at and near Pembina, and a slight beginning at a few other points. Other railroads reached the Red river later and opened other doors. The occupation went on with increasing rapidity as it did from the same period in South Dakota. The settlement of the Black Hills was by a rush. There is no waiting for railroads when gold is found. The population in North Dakota was from Minnesota and Canada largely. They did not know South Dakota generally until they learned about it after their settlement in the north section. It was a vigorous, capable, speculative and effective people. There were leaders, too, of skill and daring. Most of the Canadians were from Ontario and secondarily from Wisconsin and Minnesota, and a superior people in education, industry and thrift. The professions were well and ably represented in all parts and the means of education were quickly supplied for the young, under the laws in force at the time. The early years upon the new soil were favorable, and great crops of "No. 1 hard" gave prosperity to trade and enterprise. It is, perhaps, hardly wonderful that the people believed their land and even themselves superior to all else on earth, and if they still act upon this doctrine, we shall certainly not find fault with them.
While in North Dakota there were very few who had resided in South Dakota, a few judges and officers at most, there was not a large per cent from either section in the Black Hills, though more from the south than the north. In the Hills there were many able men as well as adventurers, and capital soon secured the best mines. All the circumstances tended to create a sense of isolation and independence and to concentrate political power and action. The Black Hills, from the first, has generally acted as a unit. It is not surprising that as early as 1878-9 there was a sort of independent statehood movement there. Had the neighboring regions of Wyoming been occupied then as now, we might have possibly seen different boundaries between South Dakota and that state.
From these sections came to the legislatures and political conventions delegations out of harmony with the south, which still long held the majority in the apportionments by virtue of votes and population. The north and the Hills were made up of such material and feelings as more naturally to combine with one another and against the south, which, being a purely agricultural and stock section, was less active, speculative and daring. The south was relatively the conservative section, but the responsible one while the capital remained there. Indeed, it came about that the Black Hills people used to call the south "the cow counties" as a useful political characterization. It is clear that legislative bodies and conventions would now become much newer in membership and more frequent changes would appear. It took a week sometimes for all the members of a new house to become acquainted: and the numbers increased also. Occasionally in some body the north and the Hills, with a little help from the south, could attain control. There is not time for detailed history. As we know, territorial institutions began to be duplicated, which, whether realized by the north at the time, became a strong argument for division. Hut many more towns, north, south and west, wanted institutions than could be accommodated by any place or combination. Yankton was becoming, relative to settlement, far to one side, and was not the only town with a railroad—there were scores.
The legislature of 1883 saw the prize of the capital as possible for some one of eight or ten towns. Governor Ordway was opposed to and by Yankton. He had failed to win popular favor in the south—perhaps with a capital far from Yankton he might realize some high ambition. From the first matters shaped favorably. Mr. Scobey, president of the council, wanted to plant the agricultural college at Brookings, his town, and Mr. Williams, speaker of the house, was a resident of Bismarck. We have always believed that the bill introduced and strongly advocated by Hon. Geo. H. Walsh of Grand Forks, to locate the capital at Huron, was but a play in the general plan. It soon resulted that a bill was passed to appoint a commission to locate the capital and, after a considerable more "play," Bismarck was chosen. Many other institutions were at the same session located or greatly aided, though not all this was in the plans of the combine.
The one conclusion, from all this, is that it made division of the territory certain. Had the capital been located at Aberdeen, it might have delayed or possibly defeated the division movement; its location al Bismarck decided the question in all the south, and we would have been resisting to this day the admission of the territory as one state if division had been refused.
And the act may he accounted as favorable to the north, for, had the capital been placed at Mitchell; Huron, Redfield, or even Aberdeen, the probabilities reach certainty that they would have led in a struggle for division. In any form the issue might rise, all the conditions dictated division. Probably no one doubts this now, and no one regrets, it in cither section. All did not then see what we do now. The struggle was for advantage and local gain. With the railroads now under construction, the sections in South Dakota will he at an end, except as there are local interests in all states. It must appear plain to every fair mind that the conditions in the vast territory pointed to the danger of graft, which might have grown greater, if all were held in one state. The sole excuse for writing upon these conditions is to justify the labor of South Dakota for division and show that it was wise under the test of time.
Education—The Earliest Schools in the Settlements
One's judgment of beginnings must be formed from a very different standpoint from that of work done now. A small population, reaching but about 14,000 in June, 1870, with little property and consequently very limited revenues and necessarily but slightly organized, could do little; but they really did some notable things. The American people think first, last and all the time about the education of their children. The person who has the authority and the opportunity to direct this sentiment in the best way possible is guilty of great dereliction if he does not do it. Its importance has never been overestimated. The words of Horace Mann are more true today than when he spoke them: "We must educate! We must educate, or perish by our own prosperity." It may be truly declared that the people in territorial days were more zealous, unselfish and self-sacrificing than they are now in this rich state. They would have a school, if it met in a log or sod shanty or in a room in a private home, or in the first little church. An impulse was given to educational effort in territorial days by the fact that the people came from Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and other states where revival in educational plans and efforts was active; where normal schools and colleges were opening and at work, and educational advantages were good and public sentiment vigorous. The lack of schools and their need of them here were as marked as their desire for homes. So private and denominational schools were opened early. There were doubtless many of these of which we have no record, just as there were in the later settled counties before public organization could be made or taxes levied. Both the American and the foreign elements of our early population were fairly educated, if their languages were unknown to others. So we can hardly get back to a time when the foreign elements did not have at least some form of school whereby their youth could learn to read the catechism and the service. The Sunday schools were early helpers to the same ends. These first private and church schools may be accounted the beginnings of our present great school system, and from that time to this South Dakota has had a high rank in freedom from illiteracy by every census.
When, July 10, 1859, the treaty became effective in the opening of the Indian lands to settlement in the southeast quarter, there were no families at Yankton and but a few at Vermillion, Bon Homme and elsewhere. Dr. Franklin Caulkins, who had for a time resided at Fort Randall, went to Vermillion in the fall of 1859 and toward spring was employed and taught there a private school in a room over McHenry's store. A division among the people led to the employment by a part of them of Miss Hoyt of Yankton, now the wife of Dr. Henry F. Livingstone of the latter city. Her school was held in the pioneer church building of the territory, erected by the efforts of Rev. Chas. D. Martin, a missionary of the Presbyterian church.
A group of settlers from Minnesota had formed a little community at Bon Homme in 1859, and there, in the spring of 1860, under the leadership of John H. Shober, erected the first school house in South Dakota. It was constructed of logs and had the primitive dirt roof, while its floor was the ground. In this school house, in the month of May, 1860, Miss Emma J. Bradford began and continued a three-months school, with ten pupils.
The Indian war began in 1862 and closed all the schools. Captain Nelson Miner of Vermillion commanded a troop of cavalry which was company A of the First South Dakota. Returning from service up the Missouri, they were encamped at Vermillion, and in midwinter 1864-5 these men erected a log school house at the foot of the big ravine in that town, and it long stood as an object of general interest. In this building, when completed, Amos Shaw of that company, and long an honored citizen of that town, taught a school. Schools have continued ever since in that city, which is honored also as the seat of the state university.
In 1864 an association of ladies in Yankton, under the leadership of Mrs. Edmunds, wife of Governor Edmunds, raised money and built of gravel and grout a two-room school house that was for many years known as "the brown school house," from the color with which its walls were stained. This was the beginning of Yankton's creditable record in public and collegiate education. The school house stood upon the present site of the United States post office building.
About that time Rev. Melancthon Hoyt, the pioneer Episcopal rector of Dakota, secured the opening of a parochial school in Yankton that, in its own buildings, for many years, did academic work in the education of Yankton youth.
Schools at Military and Other Posts
Prior to the above mentioned, and unrecorded beginnings in new settlements, there had been schools at some of the military and trading posts, wherein white children attached to the garrisons, sons and daughters of officers, traders, helpers and some French and half-Indian pupils, were given an elementary education. It was noticed in early territorial days, with surprise, as the writer remembers, that some of the scattered up-river younger Americans, French and half-Indians, could read and write, and a few of the older ones were leaders of influence among the Indians on account of their fair education. The very first regular school in South Dakota that we know definitely about was in the garrison of Fort Randall, situated just where the south boundary of the state touches the west bank of the Missouri. It was taught by a relative of Captain J. B. S. Todd, a close relative of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln, and had for its pupils half-Indian as well as white children. This school was during the winter of 1857-8.
The leading traders, and all white men who were financially able, who had half-white children, undertook, as they now do, to secure for them a good education. Among these were Manuel Lisa and the Picottes. One of the latter family was very influential in securing the treaty that first opened the territory, and by that document was granted land that included the east part of the present city of Yankton. Some of these children were usually sent to St. Louis schools, taught generally by sisters of their faith, and brought back the ability, which was at least partially used, to help others to acquire a beginning in education, also some womanly skill and training in better tastes and more decent living. Audubon, in his journal, relates that while proceeding upon his voyage up the Missouri river in 1842. they met William Laidlaw. bourgeois at Fort Pierre, and Andrew Dripps, Indian agent at Fort George (some twelve or fifteen miles below Fort Pierre, on the west bank), between the points where Vermillion and Elk Point are situated, taking Laidlaw's half-Indian children to St. Louis to be placed in school. Thus, some enlightenment followed the river and the early trade. 1 do not discuss here the Christian and educative work of Father De Smet, the famous Catholic missionary to the Indians, nor that of Rev. Stephen R. Riggs (Sept. 2, 1840). missionary to the Dakota Indians, nor that of Rev. Thos. S. Williamson, another missionary, and their descendants.
The education of half-breeds, then and now, all over the west, is generally due to their often but half-acknowledged white fathers, either directly as in many cases like the above, or in the Indian schools, which they especially favor. It was the writer's duty in 1889 to take temporary charge of an Indian school, known as Harrison institute, near Salem, Oregon, and he has before and since visited many others. As all know, one sees in these institutions everywhere a majority of half or quarter-breed Indian youth. Their names, very often that of their father, tell the story of the frontier from remote days, and how the employes, trappers and sometimes even agents, managers and traders, took Indians wives. No one else could meet the border conditions with them, or, being in their native land and speaking the mother-tongue, hardy and devoted, could so well serve the welfare of both. My original sentiment was hostile to all this, but I have seen that these relations often helped toward peace, assisted in treaty making, and formed the intermediate step between the wilder conditions and the white occupancy. While the Indian schools are for all of their race, this was the source of their suggestion, and is an influence that helps maintain them, though the motives of Christian civilization have done SO much.
These fathers and mothers arc often very dutiful to their children, and alike hold them in affectionate regard. There is base immorality, but there are very many honorable exceptions.
Sketch of Common School Legislation
If frequent legislation would create and maintain an efficient system of public common schools, there should have been happy results all the time; but much of the legislation has been mere repetition, and sometimes retrogression. As population increased it was usually necessary to reprint the pamphlet laws to meet the needs, and it became the custom to enact a new law at nearly every session of the territorial legislature. When the governor had selected a proper person, he prepared the new bill and it was passed. Sometimes the bill named the new superintendent, and he was thus legislated as well as appointed into office. Sometimes he was chosen by the voters. All the time the organic act (the law of congress creating and providing for the government of the territory) required that he should be appointed by the governor, the same as the other strictly territorial officers. It will be seen that the, laws after the first(1862) held a very general similarity, providing the same system and policy. Good improvements to this were made in 1879 and some others in 1881. That of 1883 made more radical changes, providing a township system, but some fifteen counties were excepted from its operation. The writer deems these exceptions a misfortune. The vigorous opposition to the township system came from the counties that did not have it and had no experience in its administration or observation of any of its conceded advantages. This power was joined by enough from township counties and led by a superintendent very hostile to that system, and the result, as usual, was a double or compromise plan. However, it left townships a single district when that was preferred ; and it so remains in many cases, though powerful influences were directed against it, for two years. The subsequent administration under Hon. E. A. Dye, state superintendent, and Hon. Geo. A. McFarland, assistant superintendent, and others, were in favor of the township system.
It should be stated that the successive governors of the territory and the stale were educated, intelligent and capable men in all respects, and have all been strong friends of popular education and desirous of building up the school system. The writer has known every one of them, more or less intimately, except the first, Governor William Jayne, and knows their general high purposes. There have been some peculiar views held by them at times that may be mentioned hereafter, and in one or two cases they were led by political conditions and mistaken expediency into courses that we regret for the cause of our common schools. This high commendation of our governors in respect to education applies alike to Republicans, Democrats and Populists.
South Dakota has been a strongly partisan territory and state, generally, in its political administration. This has affected school administration and legislation too greatly in some respects. The evils caused by this were in the main temporary and, while not irreparable in any case, have delayed the best advance. The entire state system, down through counties and into the districts, is too largely political, caused mainly by the fact that state and county superintendents must be chosen upon partisan tickets, and both are prohibited from serving more than two terms, while city superintendents and the presidents and faculties of educational institutions are expected to continue indefinitely long in service. The foregoing preliminary statements are made here, and some special cases may be mentioned as occasion may arise, should circumstances permit this paper ever to reach reasonable completion.
March 2, 1861, congress passed the organic act. the members of the legislature were chosen September 16, 1861, and Governor Jayne called them into session March 17, 1862. They enacted many good laws, and one of the best was "An Act for the Regulation and Support of Common Schools," approved May 13. 1862. While the law was not quite complete when put in practice, it contained many excellent provisions. One of these was the creation of union graded schools, under a joint board of two or more districts. The "county superintendent of public instruction," as the law styled that officer, was to be appointed by the board of county commissioners, and that board was required to divide the county into districts. It cannot be learned if any officers were appointed or schools opened under this law. Private schools were all as yet. The Indian war postponed everything.
The next school legislation was the act approved January 15, 1864. This act made the governor, secretary and treasurer a territorial board of education and appointed an annual meeting at the capital. The board was required to appoint a superintendent of public instruction, who, by law, was secretary of the board. This provision was retained many years. The school law was revised and enlarged in details.
The laws of 1864-5 slightly amended the foregoing. The act of January 12, 1866, revised and re-enacted the entire law; named Rev. Melanchthon Hoyt, Wm. Schriner and N. J. Wallace a board of education, with provision for electing such a board at each delegate election thereafter. The board did not qualify.
Hon. James S. Foster M had been appointed superintendent of public instruction in 1864, and continued in office without reappointment in 1866.
The act of January 11, 1867, named Hon. J. S. Foster as superintendent, and provided for electing a superintendent at each delegate election, and fixed the term at two years.
The act of January 3, 1868, named Mr. Foster again, as no delegate election had intervened. The entire law was revised and re-enacted.
The act of January 5, 1869, again provided for the election of the superintendent and repeated the entire law, with few changes.
Mr. Foster had now served nearly five years, and his successive appointments show that he was meeting the approval of the boards and the legislatures. Few records remain except in legislative proceedings or other documents.
T. McKendric Stuart, of Union county was elected as superintendent in October, 1868, and succeeded Mr. Foster in January, 1869. He served till August. 1869, when he left the territory. While it seems certain that Mr. Foster was appointed in the autumn of 1869 for the unexpired term, there is little of record. He had become active in other business, and probably gave little time to the office, performing the formal duties and advising by correspondence. In April, 1869, the present writer became a citizen of the territory, and he remembers that Mr. Foster was then superintendent.
The act of January 13, 1871, simply re-enacted the entire law. The provisions for union graded schools remain throughout the several acts, from the first, and appear last in this law of 1871.
Hon. John W. Turner of Clay county, a highly respected old man of the most kindly nature and earnest zeal in all his life, was elected by the people in October, 1870, and held the office during the years 1871 and 1872. But he soon appointed James S. Foster as his deputy, who performed most of the duties. "Father" Turner soon removed to Turner county, named in his honor, and built a mill on the Vermillion, where there was a postoffice named Turner, near where the Great Northern railroad now crosses the stream. He was an earnest friend of popular education and, living and dead, his name was revered by all who knew him. He was previously a member of the territorial board of education, being elected thereto in 1866.
The act approved January 10, 1873, makes the salary of the superintendent $600 a year, payable quarterly, but the act of January 15, 1875, repeals this provision and fixes the pay at five dollars per day for time actually employed.
The act of January 15, 1875, repeated the former law with few changes, but it put the whole into seventy-eight sections, when the previous number was ninety-one. It is, however, distinguished from all others by adopting by names and titles a list of texts books for use in all the schools. The book agent had reached Dakota) It is due to mention that the very first educational record appearing upon the books of the office of the superintendent is the minutes of the first meeting of the first hoard of education, in the office of Governor Newton Edmunds. December 13, 1863; present Governor Edmunds, Secretary John Hutchinson and Treasurer John O. Taylor, Superintendent J. S. Foster was clerk of the hoard. Mr. Foster presented his report, which seems to he lost. The hoard adopted a series of school books for the territory and adjourned.
There was. however, a report of the board of education, the first report of any kind about schools, made December 22, 1864, which states that there were then no organized public schools, but measures had been taken to put the machinery of the school system in working order. What were then commonly called the "lower counties," those along the Missouri in the southeast, had elected county superintendents.
The board advises that: "In selecting a site for a school house all personal feeling and selfish interest should be laid aside, and a pleasant spot selected, which may be easy of access and convenient for all, the grounds enclosed with a substantial fence and ornamented with shade trees."
In the report of December 12. 1865, only four legally organized districts arc found in the territory, three in Union county and one in Bon Homme county. The private schools had not given way to public schools. "In Yankton. Clay and Todd counties excellent private schools have been maintained, some of them numbering as many as seventy-five pupils and taught by experienced and competent teachers." This refers to Rev. Hoyt's school in Yankton. Within the five counties, in public and private schools, there were 382 pupils enrolled out of 621 of school age.
The report of 1866 mentions the time as one of "unexampled prosperity," but adds to that "few, if any, of the districts are so perfectly organized as to reap the full benefit of our present generally acceptable school law." The private school seems first in nearly every new community. The writer attended first and for many years "subscription schools," in Parke county, Indiana. Not even the university in its place was better than one of these under the same teacher for some three years. Miss Lavinia Tucker, that teacher, will be the heroine of a romance should he ever write one. The most enterprising and capable citizens have to join and work carefully to start and maintain a private school. Putting their money together, they will pay it to none but a capable and faithful teacher. They persist in this till by law they can secure as satisfactory results in the public schools.
These facts also lead me to feel sure that there were many private schools of which we have neither record nor tradition. They were all incentives to public schools; let us not reflect on them.
The act of February 17, 1877 again repeated the law in eighty-one sections, required that the territorial superintendent should be nominated by the governor and confirmed by the legislative council (the upper house, or senate). Thus it conformed to the organic law, which had in this matter been disregarded up to this time. This act continued liberal appropriations for blanks, institutes and printing reports, and again made the salary $600 per year.
Meanwhile Hon. E. W. Miller 133 of Union county was elected superintendent and served during 1873 and 1874. His reports are recorded in full in the office records and show the conditions and progress of education in the territory. Mr. Miller was a capable and active man and promoted the holding of institutes and sought to arouse public interest in education.
In 1874 Rev. J. J. McIntyre 133 of Turner county was elected, and discharged the duties of the office with vigor and ability during the years 1875 and 1876. and till February, 1877. W. E. Caton of Union county was appointed by the governor and held the office till 1879, with C. F. Mallahan of Elk Point as his deputy.
This reaches the time of my first appointment, and I served under successive reappointments until April, 1885. I add statistics of growth till that time:
1867 1872 1873 1874 1875 1876 1877 1878 Youths of school age (5-21) 1,550 3,946 7,500 6,312 8,343 10,396 11,046 12,201 Enrolled in public schools 421 1,973 3,500 4,006 4,428 5,410 6,431 7,156
These were the beginnings.
Observations and Recollections of the Early Days
From the spring of 1869 I began personally 10 learn about the conditions of local schools and of education in the territory. In 1872-3-4 a few of us used to speak one to another of the duty of attending the district school meeting in Yankton and seeing that proper officers were elected. Among all Hon. William Pound, United States attorney, was very active in this respect. We had young families and wanted the best schools available. Some of our children were sent to Rev. Hoyt's school. But the "brown school house" witnessed our presence at the annual meeting, though often only a half dozen in all. Thus 1 became related to the Yankton schools, and finally served about eleven years on the board of education of the city, till 1889, and was president of the board when we erected the "central" school building. It was a delightful service, with the able and unselfish members, who gave much time faithfully to the cause. Thus Yankton had first of all full graded schools and a complete and excellent high school of four years. Meanwhile, in the spring of 1873, Yankton Academy, the beginning Yankton College, was projected, and I joined in the movement with due enthusiasm and two hundred fifty dollars. Dr. Ward bad previous to this opened and taught a private school for part of the year 1870.
It was possible for me to know and I was well acquainted with every territorial and state superintendent from the first to the present time. With Mr. Stuart the acquaintance was brief. When county and other institutes were held it was convenient
for me often to attend and to take part in them. Right there and in all other relations to education I began and continued the doctrine of "thoroughness"—the quality of going through to the end, completeness, perfectness, mastery—for which I have not found a more significant or comprehensive term Thus I attended institutes under Mr. Turner, Mr. Miller, Mr. McIntyre and Mr. Caton. Of these Mr. McIntyre was the most systematic, scholarly and capable. In some of these Mr. A. W. Barber was active, a man of the most definite and clear ideas and always very helpful. Thus he and I were together learning about schools and often discussing points and seeing defects as well as the hopeful facts. I would sometimes get on the subject of language or spelling or reading. He was one of the best spellers in the nation, and strong in arithmetic and language, and most concise and apt in expression. We grew very intimate in friendship. It happened that along about 1875 the "spelling-school revival" reached Yankton. Dr. Ward and others, ministers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, editors and all took part. Finally it was arranged that Dr. Ward and I should "choose up," and I won first choice, taking Mr. Barber. Dr. Ward chose Miss Haskell, a scholarly and accurate lady. Then I choose a man little known, a German. It went on to some forty on each side. I cared little after the first three, for we felt that we could stand like Horatius and his two companions at the bridge. A learned minister pronounced well a long selected list. Good people fell out rapidly farther down the line, till Dr. Ward had ten left and I had six. Then it was nine and six, then eight and five, seven and five, six and four, five and four, four and three. My two were there yet and we were still able to smile and spell. Then it was reduced to three and three. I began to believe that Dr. Ward and Miss Haskell could spell all the words in the dictionary. Then they two were left, and finally my German friend (whose name I cannot recall), asked permission to write the word offered on a tablet before spelling it orally. This was refused and he missed. Scarcely a person in the great room full had left, and it was 11 p. in. At last, so easy a word, apparently, as "Catholicism" was offered to Dr. Ward and he thoughtlessly spelled it with an "o" after the "I." I immediately said "c-a-t-h-o-l-i-c-i-s-m," and it was but a little while till Miss Haskell fell before Mr. Barber upon some technical, not literary, word. After that they would not permit Mr. Barber and myself to spell, but assigned to us the task of collating and pronouncing the words. I am still of the opinion that Dr. Ward was a better speller than myself, but not better than Mr. Barber. He won reputation as a proof reader in the labor bureau and in work in the general land office, where he now remains.
Mr. Foster had a good education and had been much engaged in teaching before coming lo Dakota in 1864, leading the well known New York colony. He was born at Salisbury, Connecticut, and in educational lines received the impulse given by Horace Mann.
.Mr. McIntyre was an educated minister of the Baptist church and a forceful thinker and speaker. I was surprised that he was not reappointed, in place of Mr. Caton, who succeeded him. He became well known, in his vigorous old age, at the Lake Madison Chautauqua, which be attended regularly. He was always a most respected and lovable man.
Driving about the country and settled parts of the territory, I was able often to visit schools in the country as well as the towns. I wish to commend very many of the pioneer teachers. There were educated and trained teachers, then as now, but not so many. The increasing immigration naturally had its fair share of teachers, except among those direct from Europe, who could not speak our language. As the tide of immigration rose, the proportion of teachers with it increased. There was at that time a vigorous educational revival in the northwestern states which added to our supply of teachers. Then Dakota became more and more favorably known, drew an intelligent class, and all members of the families. The towns supplied many teachers to the rural schools. So at least some of the schools were well taught and many of them were fairly instructed and managed. But there were schools under great difficulties. We saw the school of a young lady in a Scandinavian neighborhood in northern Yankton county. It was held in one of the rooms of a larger private home, where a dozen children assembled. The first great work was to teach the English language, and this began with the simple opening exercises. ''Good morning, children," was the teacher's greeting, and "Good morning. Miss—the reply. So pleasant phrases were taught and exchanged. The objects in the room were gone over and their English names pronounced several times each. There was even a little blackboard, which was simply a blacked board, and on it some of these words were written and were pronounced by one or all the pupils as called. Finally, a phrase and a little sentence were written and read by some at least. There is nothing remarkable about this, as all primary teachers do this and much similar work now. The difference was that the pupils were from seven to fourteen years of age, all in one class. After awhile the school adjourned to the woodpile out of doors, and every detail of that was gone over with English names, and log, stick, axe, chip, saw, wood, bark, splinter and other words were drilled upon with the objects in hand or view. Then the axe was used and little verbs like chop, split, pile were used. Then they went back and had a spelling lesson, part oral and part written. Then they all read from primers of the same grade, but the next week the larger children were to have a second reader. This is only a part. At lunch time they learned more English words, till they knew ''cheese from chalk." And then they went to barn or stable, and horse, ox, cow, calf, barn, hay. house, door and others were repeated over and over again. They were all learning to speak English ; over half their time was devoted to this end, and with it was some reading, some spelling and very little number work, except with the older. For the first seven weeks all were in one class; for the next six weeks there were two classes. The teacher had a fine spirit and a clear, distinct and kindly voice, and every child seemed earnestly working to learn to speak English as if the father and mother charged them every morning to do so. There was not an English speaking child in the little school. The district had decided to have a teacher who spoke English only. This in a general way describes many early schools. But in the larger number, many if not most were English-speaking children. In some, as in Hutchinson county, many schools were taught by German speaking teachers and changed more slowly to English.
In a school in another county was a bright and capable young woman. The school house had the ground for its floor. The seats were a few long benches; the desk a good sized box. It was one of the most orderly schools I ever saw. The pupils were as neat and clean as any we see now. The teacher believed in soap and civilization. She had a wash basin and towels and combs! Before that school opened every child had clean face and hands, and it was wonderful how neat and clean were their plain clothes. She gave advice about washing clothes at home, and even taught the use of the pocket handkerchief! Then the movements of the school were as orderly and precise as a model school or a company of regulars. Across the floor she had a line marked in the earth floor, and the three or four classes came out as called and "toed the mark" for their recitations. Result, success. They spelled orally and passed above one another as a missed word was correctly spelled. When the lesson was finished they numbered from head to foot of class and took places the next recitation accordingly. To those who were most delinquent, a small list of words was given to be written correctly. Here was a new idea. Yet people will not use oral spelling at all, and blame us old "educators" for remembering with pleasure the old spelling school in any form! All I have to say is that we learned to spell well in that way, though we later did more and more written work. Dr. Ward learned that way; so did Mr. Barker and Miss Haskell, and thousands more. Let it be said, too, that they learned much, indeed, by accurate writing. Both help.
School picnics were held in the early seventies. When the G. A. R. was organized in the territory, school children began to march with them, at least occasionally, and to learn patriotism by helping to decorate the graves of deceased soldiers of the union. Slowly but steadily flags began to appear, here and there, upon the school houses. Patriotism and love of country were brought here by our people as a part of their American legacy. At no time were the anniversaries of our independence more properly and loyally celebrated. There was wide spread and enthusiastic loyalty to the flag and the country, and in these celebrations those of foreign birth heartily joined. On these and like occasions, public education and the free common schools became topics for appeals to public pride.
School houses improved more and more rapidly and became the pride of towns. They were matters of frequent mention in the local newspapers.
In 1877, as before stated, I was a member of the house in the legislative assembly. When serving with the commission to codify the laws in 1876, I addressed Hon. J. J. McIntyre and requested him to send the draft of an improved school code to be made a part of the political-code. It was suggested that then, when the entire body of the laws was being revised and made complete, was an opportunity to secure the enactment of an excellent school law. His reply was that he had no draft or changes to offer. It was already in my mind to do something well in this line, if opportunity offered, but I was then wholly engaged and could not work upon it.
When in February, 1877, we were engaged busily in reading and passing the codes, Mr. W. E. Caton of Elk Point came to my seat against the bar of the house, informed me that he was appointed superintendent of public instruction and handed me his draft of the proposed school law. I looked it over carefully, saw that it changed the old law but slightly, and submitted it to the judiciary committee. The commission had previously decided to let the school law of 1875 stand unrepealed. Mr. Caton's proposed bill was introduced and was passed. It made reasonable appropriations for printing blanks, for institutes and for reports. Otherwise no particular advance was made.
Meanwhile new counties were organized and the school system expanded upon the district plan. These districts were created in the parts of counties first settled and were generally large at first. The inhabitants were taxed to build the school house in each. So they progressively extended, one after another, in more or less irregular form and area. Then as the population increased they were divided, new districts were formed out of parts of others and boundaries were rearranged upon petitions. There were appeals to the county commissioners and often bitter struggles ensued. I never liked the plan.
Under Governor William A. Howard
In 1878, upon the expiration of the term of Governor John L. Pennington, President Hayes appointed Win. A. Howard of Michigan to succeed him. Governor Howard had been an active and influential member of congress from 1854. In the period when the struggle for Kansas was so fierce between freedom and slavery, he was a member of the commission of the house of representatives, under the chairmanship of Hon. John Sherman of Ohio, and during the latter's long absence he acted as chairman. The commission went into Kansas and made an extended investigation and report upon the outrages inflicted by the Missouri slave holders. He held oilier important trusts and performed many distinguished services in those times of trial and excitement, down to the beginning of the great civil war. He was the most unselfish man and public officer I ever knew, though we have had many such.
Early in the autumn of 1878 he sent for me and told me that after consultation with former Governor Edmunds and Rev. Joseph Ward, he wished me to serve as his private secretary, and desired later, at the proper time, to appoint me superintendent of public instruction. He kindly added that he desired my service as private secretary because he understood that I was very familiar with the laws of the territory and with the entire territory and its people. He said that he did not know that proper pay could be secured for the labor required, but he wished me to accept and agree to serve in both positions. Then we had a long conversation upon many points, in which I told him that if I served as superintendent I wished two things well understood. These were that the schools laws should be fully and adequately reformed, including the township system, and that I should stand strongly for the principle that no school lands should ever be sold for less than their appraised value, and never for less than ten dollars an acre, using the very phrases that I wrote for the committee of the convention in 1885 and are part of our constitution. Upon these points and others we agreed. Accordingly, I served as private secretary, but most actively while the legislature was in session. January and February, 1879. The three sections of the territory were represented fairly in apportionment and ably in many of the members of both houses. In the council were such well known men of experience as Geo. H. Walsh of Grand Folks, president. Newton Edmunds of Yankton, R. F. Pettigrew of Sioux Falls, W. L. Kuykendahl of the Black Hills, Win, M. Cuppett of Canton, S. G. Roberts of Fargo, and others. In the house were John R. Jackson,130 speaker, of Minnehaha county, John R. Gamble of Yankton, John Langness of Minnehaha, Alfred Brown of Bon Homme, and others. It may fairly be said that now, when all sections were represented, there was a change in the attitude and action of the legislature. Instead of sharp divisions and contests in either house, an early understanding appears to have been reached in both branches, and especially in the council a majority league acted together. From this time the struggles were with the governor and not so much with one another. There had been some trouble with Governor Burbank, but generally majorities in both houses acted with him, as they did with all early governors. There was not much conflict between the legislature and Governor Howard, and what there was arose mainly from efforts to establish new territorial institutions, to issue bonds, and other special legislation. It seems that from this time members sought special fame at home or generally among the people by being known as pronounced friends of the territory, as against political appointees sent here from other states to govern. Among the measures pushed was one by Mr. Pettigrew to establish and build a penitentiary at Sioux Falls. This was opposed by many because they believed the territory was not financially able to meet the expenditures, and not at all because they were opposed to locating it at Sioux Falls which was later done. Very near the close of the session this bill was passed, and the three days' period permitted the governor to use what was known as the "pocket veto." He did not sign it, and it was not necessary to veto it. This, and the defeat of the bond issue, caused great hostility on Mr. Pettigrew's part toward the governor. It was similar matters rather than the merits of the difficulty between Hon. E. A. Sherman of Sioux Falls and the governor that caused what feeling there was. I knew every thought and sentiment of Governor Howard toward Mr. Sherman, whom he held in kind regard and high respect, as he showed by appointing him territorial auditor. The fact was that as a government the territory was then poor. The financial condition was the burden of Governor Howard's message. The tide of immigration was rising toward the flood that came during the next five years. Expenses were increasing, but taxation was limited both by law and the low assessments. Governor Howard was experienced, not only as a lawmaker, but as a business man, and had been trained under the economic conditions of Vermont, his native state. There he had been a laborer and a cabinet-maker. He could join wood so perfectly that it looked like a single piece. All this tended to make him most prudent and strict in financial matters. Conflicts in views were thus unavoidable.
After the first general message all his communications to either house were in my hand writing, as dictated by him. whether in approval or veto of measures. All mere notes of transmission are signed by the private secretary; all messages by the governor. It soon came to be believed by several members of the council, if not in the house, that I influenced unduly and even advised and dictated his veto messages, and sonic hostility toward me was shown by some of these gentlemen. There was no man ever in public office in Dakota who more decidedly had views of his own than Governor Howard, and attributing his opinions to myself was extremely erroneous. Very naturally I came into sympathy with his general policy. Other members of the council, and especially former Governor Edmunds, often closely consulted with him. Such are the origins of many of those personal likes and dislikes, and even political broils, that we read so much about and do not understand. Some of the members became opposed to me for superintendent, but I was nominated and promptly confirmed. Still I have felt ever since the effects of such hostility originating then and later. Some men have doubted if I were ever of any use whatever to the territory or the state, but I have never retaliated in any way, believing that life is too short and duty too obligatory for hate and malice. In a way the experience of this legislature and that of 1881 was in preparation for the grand combinations that ruled in that of 1883, which accomplished so much. It should be said that the territory could have its criminals cared for by other .states, but its insane patients were practically turned out of doors by Minnesota, and no neighboring state would receive them. So the hospital for the insane was authorized while the penitentiary was not.
Hon. Alfred Brown strongly wished to secure the passage of a bill to create larger counties in the central and northern portions of what is now South Dakota. He drew the bill, then brought it to me for criticism, as I knew well all that region. Finally he requested and I rewrote the entire bill, making definite by lines of public land surveys all the county boundaries. I also favored his idea that counties should all be larger than had before been the general rule. In writing it out I left the names of the counties blank, and he later filled in the names of Kingsbury; Beadle, Hand, Hyde, Clark, Spink, Day, Brown, Hutchinson and others as he chose. The bill was passed. Though there was for a time some objection to the large area of Spink and Brown and attempts made to divide them, the plans failed of popular support and the boundaries remain. The county of Day was divided later, as the railroads had made the shape and size inconvenient.
From 1877 to 1879 Mr. Amherst W. Barber was the very successful county superintendent of Yankton county. He and I were intimate friends and often discussed educational and other matters. From his study and experience he suggested certain important and useful amendments to the school law. He was careful to change it as little as possible. Its general plan and cope were left unchanged, but here and there a word, a phrase, a clause or section was inserted or changed that modified and much improved the efficiency of the law. When he had drawn the law it was introduced by Hon. John R. Gamble and was passed. Useful and excellent as were these amendments, the result was not "an elaborate school code," which it is called in Doane Robinson's history. That came in 1883, from my own work, and will be fully considered hereafter. The legislative council limited the pay of the superintendent to $600 a year, and all other expenses to $400, and the house finally concurred.
There was little means to work with and it was clear that if anything was to be accomplished it must be done by individual and personal effort and by creating enthusiasm and zeal among the county superintendents, teachers and people. The beginning in this was in a large institute to which all teachers were invited, held at Elk Point the last week in April, 1879. Having no money to aid them, it was mainly paid for by Union county. As conductor we secured the services of Professor (now President) Albert Salisbury of the state normal school at Whitewater, Wisconsin. The institute was a great success and its influence spread into several counties. Among the members of the institute and a must attentive student was Mr. E. E. Collins, later state superintendent. That was the beginning of a revival, a new campaign, a wide-spread movement. It could not all be done in a month or a year: it required ten years for the final accomplishment of all then planned and that followed in development. To write in detail of the duties would require a year of steady labor. At once several things were attempted : to raise the standard for teachers' certificates, to improve the responsibility of school officers in handling public money and property, and to have a stricter observance of the revised law in laying out and adjusting district boundaries. To these ends the county superintendents were personally visited as far as possible, and circulars were issued, while the correspondence was large. We did net have stenographers and typewriters in those days. The population increased rapidly. New counties were organized, and the rapid extension of the railroads created many new towns. The railroads went the main east and west lines, and there were long no cross lines between them. My office was at Yankton, and to reach Mitchell one must go via Canton. If Brookings or De Smet or Huron was to be visited, the all-rail route was via Sioux City, and Mankato. Minn. Several times a single absence was of six weeks or more in duration. When Volga was beginning I slept on some lumber in the partly constructed station there, and similar experiences were bad as the new lines were followed up.
Later a stage line connected Flandreau with Elkton in Brookings county; and a drive was often made from Mitchell to Huron. One line of institutes of six weeks' duration was Redfield, Faulkton, Brookings, to Flandreau by a drive, to Madison in one of the earliest trains run, thence by driving to Howard Saturday evening and on to Mitchell on Sunday, to meet an institute there. Each institute lasted one week, and I was usually the sole worker in each. Sometimes we could find a good primary teacher who would instruct in that line. The. entire institute was usually in one class. Upon the opening, a daily program was written upon one end of the blackboard, and for six hours or more each day I took up one subject or topic after another. A few minutes' interval occurred between subjects, and a recess of fifteen minutes occurred at the usual time in forenoon and afternoon. At all other times teachers and superintendents consulted me upon all manner of questions about school law, school government, principles of teaching, classification, contracts and all other points. With some of them I would sit in social conversation at meals; and as quick as supper was over school officers from the country and others would seek me to present the various problems that arose in their duties. Some of these, too, had the stories of their own that they loved to discuss. Others were in the habit of doing things as they had been accustomed to do them in Wisconsin, in Iowa or elsewhere, and thought their way was just as good as that required by our law. One treasurer of a district made his annual report to the school meeting, after the clerk had read his, by rising and saying orally: "All the money that has come into my bands as treasurer has been expended and paid out." That was his only "official" report. All degrees of irregularity were met with, but little dishonesty. Questions about school district boundaries were frequent, and my lack of authority at once to determine every one of them no doubt led many to believe that I was a "poor stick" for superintendent.
Often, too, generally one public address was given and courteously listened to by good crowds of teachers and people. Not infrequently I was asked to speak also on Sunday, and ministers sometimes united in this request. Usually these addresses would be upon the subject of temperance or some similar topic about, moral training. If a text were thought of it was usually part of some chapter from the Sermon on the Mount. I did not pretend to preach sermons. It was proper, too, to give some evening in the week to a social, which was due the young people for every reason. It would he remarkable if "a few words" were not asked for on such an occasion. In some one of these addresses I began, and later more and more strongly, to discuss the school land question, and was happy at first to gain one or two "converts."
Such was the round of duties for a few weeks at a time. My mail would follow me and I could find time to answer part of more important letters. Then I would be at home for a time, and then out again upon another tour of a few counties. This time it would be Fargo, Grand Forks, Grafton, Jamestown and others in North Dakota. Reaching Watertown one Monday somewhat late in the day, I went at once to the school house, where I found County Superintendent Frank Crane and an assistant deeply absorbed in the task of instructing an institute of Codington county teachers. Superintendent Crane and his helper expressed great pleasure in seeing me, and inside of three minutes had me at the blackboard. Never afterwards during the week could I find Superintendent Crane free enough from pressing business to resume the place at the blackboard. And so it was generally. "They have me or us all the time; they are very anxious to listen to you all the time you are here," was a common and very kindly greeting. The long drives across the prairies were a delightful rest between these periods of more pressing labor. Sometimes the considerate superintendent would get me out of town two or three hours behind his horses, for a relief. On the drive I would form some new acquaintances and have a word with some good men about the schools and the school lands, planting a little seed by the way.
In September, 1879. I had appointed an institute to be held in Deadwood. and had sought by correspondence to secure a large attendance, deeming a good acquaintance and understanding with the people of the Hills an important help in the territory. Being in North Dakota, I took the stage at Bismarck and in fifty-two hours' continuous travel reached Deadwood at midnight. Going by Centennial prairie we reached the high bluffs of the gulch above Montana City, as that lower part of Deadwood was called. I was out on the seat near the driver, and we went down that long and sometimes steep roadway at good speed. The roadway was narrow and often very close to the edge of the steep bluff, yet the horses went at a swinging trot, and a stone two inches through under the inner wheels would have tipped the coach dangerously toward destruction. But the stones were all gathered out and the downward way was easy. At the foot of the hill we came into the single street and passed through the narrows of Chinatown with its red lights. Thence up the principal thoroughfare, where it seemed more than half the houses were theatres and saloons. The streets were very light, and half the town was yet out. On Monday the institute met, and it was a pleasure to sec and know the excellent people who already had charge of schools in that region. That night about midnight my door at the hotel on Lee street was burst in and the cry of fire resounded. There was time to pack my grip, and going down stairs I found Judge J. P. Kidder, Nye Phillips and others, helped the judge carry his law books up to Judge Moody's residence, high on the western hillside, and next went with others to help friends in person and property through that dreadful night of flame and explosion. The institute was closed.
Returning by the same stage line to Bismarck there were tour passengers, one of them a little taller than myself, another very short in stature, and a lady (she acted as such in every respect) who was a member of a theatrical troupe and had with her a silver cornet which she could play well. Frequently on the route she would wake the echoes from hill and plain with its music. We made arrangements for the journey. At night the lady had the rear seat, the short man the middle one. and the two tall men lay on a buffalo robe on the floor of the stage with overcoats for pillows and our heads to the front. It was a treasure coach; a mounted guard rode a hundred yards ahead and another a like distance in the rear, and one was with the driver. Each had a Sharp's rifle and a belt of cartridges. We were behind time all the way. There were eating stations at proper intervals, but the dinner place was reached about 4 p. m., the supper at 10 p. m., and breakfast at 10 a. m. At times in daylight the guard on the stage would spring to the ground and with his large pistol shoot a jack rabbit, and once or twice an antelope. These were taken aboard and left at the next station, and he said they kept all the furs to keep feet and hands warm in winter. His aim was unerring; the wild animal dropped dead when he fired, every time.
Early that winter the association of Congregational churches met at Yankton. Governor Howard delivered a notable address before it, which I was able, aided by my familiarity with his thought and language, to report almost literally to the Daily Press. Invited to speak, 1 talked briefly upon education and the school lands. Referring to the great Deadwood fire. I spoke with joy of the fact that the next morning there stood on the point of land in Deadwood, between the two gulches, two objects, the public school house and the Congregational church, untouched by the fire. From this I forecasted the great work of both for public education and righteousness in the future state. The applause showed the sympathy of all present for both causes, as much for the schools and the school lands as for their church. Subsequent history proved this remarkably.
Governor Howard's health had never been strong. In the winter of 1879-80 he failed noticeably, and late in the winter was seriously ill. I had come to know him well, and when at home called often and sometimes remained till late. Often, as often as a half a dozen times, at his request, I read to him the eighth chapter of Romans, and he would at times comment briefly as I read. Repeating a strong and comprehensive verse of the chapter he said: "Is not that great, remarkable? The unanswerable logic of eternal verity." Charitable, kindly, firm, he wanted only the right. Trusting wonderfully in God, he sought for personal and civic righteousness. His influence continues for these in the state. Going to Washington city, his illness returned and he died there in April, 1880. He was succeeded by Nehemiah G. Ordway of New Hampshire, who had long been sergeant-at-arms of the United States senate.
Under Governor N. G. Ordway
The duties, as broadly indicated in the preceding chapter, were continued and new fields of work were opened. An act of February 17, 1881, authorized parents of children in organized districts which did not maintain free public schools for the time that authorized taxes would sustain them, to send their children of lawful school age to any other public school in the county, for a period not exceeding six months in all, at the charge of their home district. One amendment to the school law authorized women to hold the office of county superintendent, and several women were soon after so elected. An act of March 3, 1881, authorized school districts to issue bonds, in an amount not exceeding $1,500, to build school houses. Another act authorized the printing of 3,000 copies of the school law, so amended, together with these special acts. Except this provision for special printing, the appropriations were the same as in 1879, six hundred dollars for salary and four hundred dollars for printing, travel and all other expenses. In the bill I had inserted a clause empowering and directing the superintendent to visit the capitals of the states of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan and there study the history and policy of these states concerning the management and disposal of their public school lands. This provision was adopted. The council, how ever, attached a proviso to the foregoing appropriations for salary and all expenses, that under no circumstances should more than one thousand dollars be paid for all salary and expenses. This was surplusage, for no money could be paid out that was not specifically appropriated.
On two different journeys, together taking some seven weeks, I visited Des Moines, St. Paul. Madison, Springfield, Indianapolis and Lansing, where I was in every case most courteously received and treated by the governors, superintendents and other officers and furnished all the information available. Some of the governors and other officers were older men and remembered the earlier days, and told their story of waste. There were also living then in several of these states aged men who knew all the facts of their history concerning school lands. Many of these had been superintendents, judges and other officers, and very frankly confessed the shame they felt that speculation and fraud, as well as gross improvidence, had robbed the schools of much of this great heritage. In state libraries I found old documents and reports that related to the mismanagement. These studies added details rather than general facts, which I previously knew, but they strengthened my purpose, increased my zeal and added to my enthusiasm in the cause. I was determined in a high ideal for the future state. The studies in Indiana convinced me finally that their township system was the best in the union for common schools. Thereafter I gave prominence to this feature in my talks with superintendents and others, while the school land issue was now formally stated and urged in nearly every address, or conversation, with those who showed an interest in education. It is not practicable to follow in detail all the work done, and general statements will show the nature of the advancing work.
By 1882 the south part of the territory was fairly settled to the Missouri river, and all parts of the Black Hills as well. Counties were organized in the north and the south as well as in the Hills, and the vast field demanded the utmost activity in visiting its different parts, in holding institutes and advising county superintendents and schools officers through them. Among other things, a territorial teachers' association was organized in the south and later another in the north, and ultimately one in the Black Mills. The association in the south did me the honor to elect me as its president two or three years in succession. Its work and influence were helpful in every way. There is not time now to collect and write its history, but it has been preserved by others and can be found in its later proceedings.
At Fargo, at Grand Forks, at Jamestown, at Grafton and Valley City institutes were held, and at these and other places in the north I delivered addresses in which the protection of the school lands was made a vital issue and the other topics were as vigorously and decidedly discussed.
Finally, in furtherance of these plans but mainly to secure the best possible administration of the law, which, though much improved, was still defective, I prepared and had printed at my own expense, because there were no public funds available, a circular of twenty-four pages, dated February 15, 1882. This circular is printed in the same volume of the historical society publications in which this memoir appears. To it the considerate attention of the reader is invited, and it is a fair and wholly true picture of the efforts and difficulties of those times. It is an effort to promote and secure the orderly transaction of all public school business. The circular in the main is a summary or digest of all the opinions, decisions and recommendations I had made in three years, especially in the preceding two years, upon the school law then in force, as amended by Mr. Barber's suggestions. It should have been stated in writing about that law, that it was not passed exactly as prepared and submitted, and some of the changes made after it left his hands caused some of the defects alluded to in the circular. The highest effort was made to state every point most definitely. The plainest language was used. Never in writing, even in a military report, did I so strive to make every statement clear, concise and accurate. There were but two typographical errors. Where the sentence reads. "The reports can be made clearly in writing," i. e., if they have no blanks, the word "meeting" was printed in place of '"writing," and where "show" was printed for "share." The circular has a final and authoritative tone, because it was a re-statement of scores of decisions previously rendered. Under "Who may attend schools," I always decided that a person over five and under twenty-one years of age, who is married, could not enter school as a pupil or be counted in the school census. It seems that some state tribunal has decided that under our present constitution and law a married women under twenty-one can be made subject to the discipline of a school mistress.
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