South Dakota

Brule County, South Dakota

County History



1904 County History







History of South Dakota, Volume 1 by Doane Robinson
B. F. Bowen & Co., Publishers 1904

Contributed by Vicki Hartman

Brule county was created by act of the legislature January 14, 1875, and was named for the Brule (Burned Thighs) band of Teton Sioux. The county was organized at once, but in May of that year all of the land in Brule county was withdrawn from settlement by executive order of President Grant and was not restored until 1879. Nevertheless the county organization was maintained bv the few settlers who remained. The first exploration occurred before 1800. A trading post was established on American island as early as 1822 and it is possible that Manuel Lisa had a post in the county much earlier. Brule City was founded opposited the mouth of White river in 1873 by D. W. Spaulding, Charles Collins, M. H. Day and others. The plan was to make it a great colony for Irish immigrants and a headquarters for the Fenian movement, but the plan was nipped in the bud by the executive order withdrawing the lands from settlement, made in the interest of the Indians for the purpose of keeping liquor remote from the reservations. When settlement was revived in 1879. Governor Howard reorganized the county. The railroad reached Chamberlain in 1880, and the county seat was removed from Brule City to Chamberlain in September. Agriculture and stock raising are chief industries. Seat of government school for education of Indians. Chamberlain, Kimball, Pukwaua and Bijou Hills are chief towns. A. G. Kellem. of this county, was judge of supreme court, 1889 to 1894; W. V. Lucas, member of congress, 1893-5; Nelson W. Eggleston. regent of education. 1893-6; A. S. Stuver, commissioner Soldiers Home, 1903. Area. 808 square miles. Population, 1900, 5,401.



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