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Brookings History

Brookings, 1881

Churches, Schools and Societies

Official Directory (1881)

Business Directory (1881)





A portion of this thriving town, and County Seat of Brookings County, was surveyed and platted on the 3d and 4th of October, 1879, six blocks being "laid off" into lots. Mr. Hopp moved the Brookings County Press to Brookings from Fountain on the 18th of the same month, and a general migration to the new town from Fountain began. The town of Brookings is only four miles south of the geographical center of the county. The question of the location of the County Seat came up at the election in November, 1880, the seat of the county government being as a result removed from Medary to Brookings. On the 2d day of October, 1879, the first railroad train—under the proprietorship of the Winona & St. Peter Railroad Company—crossed the line into Brookings County. The first issue of the Press at Brookings was under date of October 28, 1879. On the 17th, of November, 1879, the first car load of lumber arrived at Brookings. The town is located on section 26, town 110, range 50, and was incorporated under special act in April, 1881. G. W. Pierce, Drs. Kelsey and Higgins, G. W. Hopp, G. L. Smith, W. H. Skinner, R. H. Williams, W. H. Shortley and others, were among the first to select business locations.


The Sioux Valley Journal was established at Brookings in March, 1880, by J. M. Miles and W. H. Skinner, the latter gentleman retiring in January, 1881. Mr. Skinner now occupies the responsible position of Clerk of the Courts.


Business of all kinds is well and extensively represented, the buildings being exceptionally creditable in appearance. The private residences and hotels are also attractive in appearance, and aid materially in making up the tout ensemble of a prosperous, progressive and beautiful little city.

HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,

Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881






The Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in the autumn of 1879, its first pastor being the Rev. Mr. Dibbles, Rev. J. Jeffrey is the pastor in charge. As yet the Baptist Society has no regular supply. Both church organizations have handsome and commodious church edifices. The large and well furnished school building was erected in the spring of 1880.    Miss Van Dusen is the Principal. Both the religious and educational interests of Brookings are well attended to, thus forming an element of attraction for the most desirable class of immigration.


The Legislative Assembly, at its last session, passed an act locating a Territorial Agricultural College at Brookings, provided that the citizens donate eighty acres of land to the Territory for such purpose; which provision was duly attended to in September last, the designated number of acres being purchased by private subscription at a cost of $600, the land adjoining the town on the northeast—and, it is hardly necessary to state, the forthcoming appropriation is now confidently awaited. This will add greatly to the Territorial importance, as well as to the educational and financial prosperity, of this very enterprising town.


Brookings Lodge, A. F. and A. M., was instituted in the autumn of 1880, under dispensation from Grand Master George H. Hand, of Yankton. The Lodge's first officers were: George W. Pierce, W. M.; J. J. George, S. W.; W. G. Lockhart, J. W.; A. J. Dox, Secretary; George Morehouse, Treasurer; E. B. Hart, S. D.; J. O. Walker, J. D. The present officers are: George W. Pierce, W. M.; A. J. Dox, S. W.; W. H. Roddle, Secretary; George Morehouse, Treasurer; E. B. Hart, S. D.; J. O. Walker, J. D. The condition of this Lodge is excellent, and its prospects unusually flattering.


A Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows was expected to be organized during the season just ended, which organization has doubtless ere this been perfected.


The Brookings Cornet Band, although organized as recently as June of the present year, has made remarkable progress, and is a credit to the community, as is also the Brookings Dramatic Club, which afforded entertainments of a high order during the winter of 1880-81.


The Brookings County Agricultural Society and Mechanics' Institute was organized in June, 1880, the first annual fair having been held in September of that year. The second annual fair was held September 28, 29 and 30, of the present year. The grounds are extensive and convenient of access, a number of substantial buildings having already been erected. The officers of the Association are: President—T. Q. Loveland. Vice-President—Robert Hughson. Secretary—J. M. Miles. Treasurer—George W. Pierce.


Greenwood Cemetery Association was chartered June 10, 1881. The Directors are: L. L. Jones, C. W. Higgins, Knud Thompson, W. H. Roddle, T. R. Qualley. George W. Pierce is President; R. H. Williams, Secretary; George Morehouse, Treasurer.


HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,

Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881





Mayor.—R. S. Hadley.
Recorder— P. C. Johnson.
Treasurer—Geo. Morehouse.
Justice— R. S. Hadley.
Marshal—Orin Walker.

Councilmen—R. H. Williams, Geo. A. Mathews, Horace Fishback.




HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,

Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881








Attorneys—Mathews & Scobey, Natwick & Diamond, R. S. Hadley.
Agricultural Implements—Kelsey Bros., Thompson and Odegard, V. C. Dillingham.
Boots and Shoes—T. R. Qualley.
Barber—L. Chapman.

Books and Stationery—C. W. Higgins, E. E. Gaylord.

Banks—Bank of Brookings, Geo. Morehouse, Cashier; Brookings County Bank, Olds & Fishback.
Blacksmiths—Ed. Williams, M. B. Runyon.
Boarding Houses—S. J. Severson.

Contractors and Builders—R. W. McIntyre, L. L. Jones, A. H. Wellman.
Druggists—G. L. Smith, C. W. Higgins.
Drayage—A. A. Robinson.
Depot Agent—H. G. Smith.

Elevators—Van Dusen & Co., H. G. Lawshe agent; Winona Mill Co., C. W. Williams agent.

Furniture—E. E. Gaylord.

Flour and Feed—R. M. Crawford.

Fuel—Thompson, Odegard & Co.. Van Dusen & Co.

General Merchandise—R. H. Williams, C. G. Leyse & Co., Olds & Fishback, Magnussen & Oefstos, John Olson.

Groceries—G. W. Pierce, C. Garlick.

Horse Market—Lawshe & Pool.
Hotels—Brookings House, J. O. Walker; Commercial House, A. A. Aikin; Christiania House, Geo. G. Rude.

Hardware—A. J. Dox, P. C. Johnson, W. H. Roddle.

Harness and Saddlery—Adams Bros.

Insurance— Mathews & Seobay, Natwick & Diamond, Olds & Fishback.
Jewelers—Chas. Gagel, P. Hansen.

Lumber—Laird, Norton & Co., 0. C. Johnson, Agent; Youmans Bros. & Hodgins, W. G. Lockhart, Agent.
Livery—W. J. Pool, Howard & McMurphy.
Meat Market—Mudget & Roddle.
Millinery—Mrs. V. C. Dillingham. Mrs. R. S. Hadley.

Newspapers—Brookings County Press, Geo. W. Hopp, Editor and Proprietor;
Sioux Valley Journal, J. M. Miles, Editor and Proprietor.
Photographer—Y.. E. Gaylord.
Physicians—C. W. Higgins. G. J. Collar.

Real Estate and Loan—Mathews A Scjbey, Natwick & Diamond, Wilson, Toms & Co., W. H. Skinner.
Masons-K. P. Child, Olin & Dufoe.
Painter—W. J. Tucker.
Saloons— Deeth & Russell, William Madden.
Undertaker—E. E. Gaylord.
Veterinary Surgeon, S. N. Blair.
Wagon Making—Daniel Doughty.


HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,

Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881






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