South Dakota

Brule County, South Dakota


A Chamberlain advice says: Henry Dulcos, a prominent farmer of this county committed suicide by hanging in the county jail. He had been adjudged insane and was temporarily placed in jail.
New Ulm Review., June 22, 1892 New Ulm, MN
Submitted by Robin Line

From Mason City (Iowa) Globe Basette June 17, 1943

Transcribed and submitted 10/14/2012 by Veronica Carnegie

Recovers From Wounds

Charles City – A letter received here by friends from Sgt. Leo Soulek asking that his address be changed form overseas to Ashford General Hospital, Ward 204, room 240, White Sulphur Springs W. Va.

He states “I’m recovering from bullet wounds received in action near Tunis, and after 13 months overseas the good old U.S.A. seems like paradise.”

From Aberdeen American-News July 5, 1957
Transcribed and submitted 10/14/2012 by Veronica Carnegie


By the Associated Press

South Dakotans enjoyed clear skies Friday after two blasts of severe weather that broke windows, battered crops and did damage to the town of Kimball estimated at more than $100,000.

The same weather system later sent hail and strong winds along a 40-mile path in southeastern South Dakota, causing extensive crop damage.

The Sioux Falls Weather Bureau said Friday that no more of this severe weather is foreseen for the immediate future. It said clear skies should prevail into the weekend.

The Wednesday night and Thursday morning storm was the second siege of violent weather this week. Early Wednesday, winds reaching 100 m.p.h. did extensive damage over central and eastern South Dakota.


The wind hit Kimball, a town of about 950 population, about 9:30 Wednesday night and did its damage in about three minutes, City Auditor Jim Owens said.

Destroyed were the ballfield grandstand and a 4-H exhibit building at the fairgrounds in town, a barn on the Al Geppert farm near town, and outbuildings at the Harry Konechne and Alfred Nord farms north of town.

The Konechne and Nord farm homes were also damaged by flying debris and Nord’s house was blown off its foundation. In town, the roof was blown off the Kimball Livestock Exchange. Trees were blown down, granaries were damaged and the town was without power most of the night because of damage to lines, Owens said.

Owens estimated damage at “several hundred thousand dollars.”

He said most residents took shelter about 30 minutes before the storm hit. Some people said they saw a twister hit the grandstand but they were not sure because it was too late at night, he said.




Shortly after midnight the storm moved into the southeast, cutting a swath several miles wide through fields between Freeman and Alcester. Hail damaged a school and many homes in Alcester and knocked out telephones and power lines for about 12 hours.

The area hit runs from about 35 miles southwest of Sioux Falls to about 30 miles south of Sioux Falls.

One observer said the storm left alfalfa fields in the Freeman area looking as if a lawnmower had been through them. Many farmers termed their oats a total loss. Corn fields were reduced to stubble, although it appeared the crops would recover enough for fodder this fall.

In the 30-mile area between Freeman and Viborg, crop losses were estimated at from 50 per cent to 100 per cent.

Turkey Creek, which runs through the valley that the storm followed, was out of its banks and some farms were temporarily isolated.


Rainfall estimates ranged from one to two inches for the relatively short storm.

At Alcester, storm hail destroyed the roof of the high school gymnasium and broke some 175 window panes in the school building. Observers estimated that 50 per cent of Alcester homes had some windows broken. Several farms were damaged and crops destroyed.

Neither telephone nor power service was restored until early Thursday afternoon.

Aberdeen (S.D.) American News Sept 10, 1982

Transcribed and submitted by Veronica Carnegie

Kimball Gets Its Doctor

Kimball SD (AP) – Residents of Kimball won’t be without a doctor this winter.

Kimball medical Development has worked out an agreement with a Chamberlain group to set up a medical clinic in town. Currently, the town’s only doctor travels south for the winter, leaving the town without a full-time doctor.

“We’re trying to keep people at home” instead of having them go to doctors in other towns, said Maynard Konechne, chairman of Kimball Medical Development.

Konechne said the clinic also should draw patients from surrounding towns, meaning potential new customers for the town’s merchants.

The back area of a dentist’s office is being remodeled for the two or possibly three new doctors secured through the help of Medical Institutional Services of Chamberlain, which brings medical services to towns not having doctors.

Local organizations have held bake sales, rummage sales and other fundraising events to help Kimball medical Development pay for the remodeling and other costs. Local townspeople donated their spare time to do the remodeling work.

Konechne is confident the new clinic will make it financially. “The business is here. All we need is a doctor year round.”

From Aberdeen Evening News July 7, 1933
Transcribed and submitted by Veronica Carnegie

Heavy Precipitation Through Territory; Two Hurt in Tornado

Mitchell, July 7 – (AP) – Heavy rains in the entire territory surrounding Mitchell brought additional crop relief, death to one farmer, and slight injuries to two residents of Platte from a tornado.
Frank Soulek, 27-year-old farmer and father of two children, was killed by lightening on his farm near Lake Andes last night.
Soulek had gone to the pasture to get the cattle. When he failed to return his wife notified neighbors and the sheriff and a searching party was organized.
About o’clock this morning the body was found in the pasture about 50 rods from the house. His watch had stopped at 8:15 and it was thought that he had been struck at that time.
Besides Mrs. Soulek and the two children, his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joe Soulek survive.
Two people were slightly injured by a tornado at Platte late Thursday afternoon and wind and hail caused property damage amounting to several thousand dollars.
Mrs. Glen Siddons and J.O. Dill received slight cuts and bruises when they were struck by falling boards from buildings.

Buildings Damaged

A restaurant building in which Mrs. Emma Lee operated a café, and a lumber shed at the Fullerton Lumber company were blown down and large plate glass windows in six business houses on Main Street were shattered.
A barn at the south end of Main Street owned by W. Crawford was damaged considerably and a cattle shed on the Jekel farm south of town was blown over by the wind.
Numerous windows in the Catholic church and school buildings were broken and trees were blown down and branches scattered about the streets and lawns.
Rain ranged from .61 inches at Marion to a downpour of 4.22 at Kimball. Mitchell received 1.63 inches.

Brule County News
John W. Ryan, Publisher
50 Years Ago
June 21, 1956
Transcribed and contributed by Veronica Carnegie
[note: Joseph John Konechne married Mary Ann Svoboda on September 19, 1929]

A pickup truck, currently owned by George Messer, will be the newest addition tot the Kimball fire department’s lit of equipment.

It was a happy Father’s Day for J. J. Konechne. His entire family of 12 children, their husbands, wives and children united to celebrate the day with him, the first reunion since 1934. The fifth son, Louis, arrived as a surprise on Saturday evening, the first time he had seen his father in ten years. Mr. Konechne, who is 83 years old, came to Brule County with his parents at the age of nine. His first wife, the mother of his 12 children, passed away in 1927. He was married to Mary Soulek in 1929.

Springfield (Oregon) News
No date on clipping
Contributed by Veronica Carnegie

Springfield, Oregon, News

The South Dakota farm boy thought the rural mail carrier who served his home had a fine job, so it became his ambition to become a carrier when he grew up.

After several detours, Leo Soulek got his carrier’s job in Springfield, and recently retired after more than 26 years on the job.

Soulek, born on a farm near Kimball, S.D., in 1910, tried farming the home place for awhile, but because of the nationwide depression combined with drought and grasshoppers which devoured the crops, he decided to seek other employment.

He went to Charles City, Iowa, where he found employment in the Oliver tractor factory. In 1932 he also took a Civil service examination for postal service and finished among the top three.

However, at the time the Charles City post office was hiring only married men. If Soulek had been hired he would have had to take a cut in pay from 90 to 65 cents an hour.

Some nine years later he took another exam and Soulek gained the top spot. This time he couldn’t be ignored and on Jan. 1, 1941, was named substitute city carrier and clerk.

In May of that year he enlisted in the U.S. Army infantry and was among those in the initial invasion of North Africa. He was wounded in action, suffering a severe injury of the ulnar nerve in his arm.

After initial treatment at a London hospital, he was sent back to the United States. After treatment at Walter Reed Hospital and Schick Hospital, in Clinton, Iowa, where he underwent an operation, he was discharged on Oct. 4, 1944.

His injury resulted in one pleasant experience – a stay at plush Greenbriar Resort at White Sulphur Springs, W.Va. During a four month recuperation he was able to sleep on intersprings, a rare treat for a serviceman.

When Soulek got back to Charles City he was appointed a regular clerk in the post office, but still yearned for an outside job, and found out about a vacancy in Springfield.

He got more outdoors than he bargained for, however, as he served an overburdened route of 800 boxes, starting at 13th and Main and extending to McKenzie Highway and Booth-Kelly and Camp Creek roads, a distance of 56 miles.

Names were not printed on the boxes, and he had to learn locations of each of his patrons.

For the first three months here after taking over the route in October of 1946, he worked about 12 hours a day. He noted the local post office now has some 30 carriers, but when he started there were two rural routes, a mounted carrier and two foot carriers.

An inspector came in November and accompanied Soulek on the route. Flood conditions slowed delivery and it was 6 p.m. by the time they arrived back to Springfield.

The route was cut down to 300 boxes and was fairly easy until the city started to grow. By 1964 Soulek’s Route 2 was up to 82 miles and parts of Route 1 and Route 2 were cut off to form another route, which Soulek chose to service.

He noted that the fourth rural route out of Springfield post office was established on Feb. 17 of this year. After that Soulek’s route was cut from 70 miles and 680 patrons to 57 miles and 280 patrons.

During his 26 years on the job, Soulek used 18 cars, starting with a Ford in 1948. For five years he drove Comets, but had to quit when they “went sporty.”

Soulek, his wife, Mildred, and son, Allan (Chipper) live at 418 River View Blvd. They have two married daughters, Mrs. Theresa Bwojcik in Salt Lake City, and Mrs. Veronica Carnegie in Coos Bay.

Soulek’s present plans are to get a lot of work done around the yard and to paint the house.

Sioux City Journal - May 30, 1900
Transcribed and contributed by: AFOFG
Sad Case of Suicide
South Dakota Man Despondent on Account of Daughter's Elopement
Omaha, Nebraska, May 29.--A floater found in the river here was identified as the body of Henry C. Harding, of Pukwana, South Dakota. It is thought that the cause of his suicide was the elopement of his daughter, to which he strongly objected. He had become despondent over the matter, and concluded to end his life by drowning.

Thursday, December 5, 1956
The Daily Plainsman, Huron, S.D.


WESSINGTON SPRINGS, Dec. 5 -- Mitchell High School took top honors in District 3 declamatory contests here yesterday afternoon and evening, winning two superiors, single superior ratings were awarded contestants from Kimball, Huron, Parkston, Bancroft, Platte and White Lake.

Superior awards went to Duane Gall, Mitchell, and Robert Heck, Kimball, in oratory; Carol Erickson, Huron, and Mary Ann Luebke, Parkston, dramatics; Arlo Duba, Platte, and Donna Lou Star, Mitchell, poetry, and Edith Larkins, Bancroft, and James Mahoney, White Lake, humorous.

11 May 1903
Aberdeen Daily News

Kimball – United States Marshall Petrie arrested John Engbard here, charged with opening a letter from Judge E. L. Drury of Chamberlain, addressed to Engbard’s brother-in-law, Fred Runge. The complaint was made by the latter. Engbard had his hearing before United States Commissioner Tidrick at Chamberlain, who let him go under $200 bail while taking the case under advisement for ten days.

The Dakota Huronite, Huron, South Dakota
July 9, 1908, page 7
Contributed by Suzanne Folk

Pukwana Disaster

Little Town of Pukwana Nearly Laid Waste by the Tornado; Great Damage Done on the Ranch of Carpenter and Sanborn

Later reports from Pukwana say that about fifteen horses were totally wrecked and that every house in the town sustains some injury from the storm which struck there Sunday. Two elevators on the Milwaukee were blown down and covered the tracks so that traffic was stopped for a whole day.
The ranch of Carpenter & Sanborn suffered great damage, as many lately completed improvements amounting to about $100,000 were nearly destroyed. The Sanborn interested in this farm in Harry Sanborn formerly assistant superintendent here. The Sanborns are living on the ranch at the present time but are practically uninjured. A peculiar fact about the storm was that no one in the town was seriously injured and no one killed. The tornado was severe but luckily the inhabitants of Pukwana were not hurt.

Mitchell Daily Republican; Mitchell, (South) Dakota
November 10, 1886, page 2
Contributed by Suzanne Folk

Details of Miss Sanborn's Election in Brule County.
Gifford's Majority Too Solid To Be Overthrown.
Some Details of the Interesting Contest for Superintendent of School in Brule County
Special correspondence of the REPUBLICAN.

PUKWANA, Nov. 9.—The most notable political contest ever carried on in Brule county was the one for county superintendent of schools which has just terminated in the election of Miss Alice J. Sanborn by an overwhelming majority. The putting forward of a woman for office was a new thing here, and there was much speculation and a variety of opinion as to what would be the result of the innovation. Miss Sanborn was nominated by the democrats on October 5th. She also received the nomination from a farmers' committee, but the "farmers' party" petered out early and cut no figure in the election. A good many people, perhaps a majority, shook their heads at first, said it would never do, and predicted her defeat. In due time she commenced a personal canvass of the county, accompanied by her staunch friend and supporter, Miss S. A. Richards. Together they went about the county getting acquainted with the voters. It soon began to be whispered by the knowing ones that they were making a most effective canvass, gaining friends everywhere. These ladies went with their own team, which they hitched and unhitched, harnessed and unharnessed, and fed and watered with their own hands. Such pluck and independence captivated the rural voters. They soon discovered, as one of their number expressed it, that Miss Sanborn was "no chicken;" she was in fact a "rustler!" "Rustler,"—magic word, dear to every true western heart! (It is applied to whosoever is possessed, according to the western idea, of enterprise, energy and grit.) From the moment the people discovered that the "lady candidate" was "a rustler," they were with her, and remained with her to the end.

Never did cause or candidate have an abler or more persuasive champion than was Miss Richards. Her eloquence silenced all objections. She became so identified with the cause that people became to regard her as a candidate as well as Miss Sanborn. One enthusiastic supporter declared that the people in his township, democrats and republicans alike, had "jest made up their minds to vote for them wimmin’" It must not, however, be supposed that there was little or no opposition. The opposition was active, persistent intense and bitter. Prof. H. H. Hiatt, the republican candidate, is a gentleman of ability, education and experience. That he was deemed worthy of the office by those who know him best, is shown by the fact that he carried his own township by a vote of 41 to 21. Upon the nomination of Miss Sanborn, Hiatt concluded that he had a walk-away, and that it was unnecessary for him to do any more work. He soon changed his mind, became alarmed, and henceforward was the most persistent worker in the county. He went from house to house, working early and late. There were other adverse influences at work. Some of the school teachers of the county evidently thought their merits had been overlooked in the nomination, and took sides against her. Every consideration that partisanship, prejudice, jealousy even malice could suggest was used by those opposed to her and pushed to the utmost. Following are samples of the arguments urged against her: that she was a woman; that she was for temperance and against saloons; that she couldn't endure the cold weather; that she was too young, (she is 25;) that she lacked ability; that she lacked experience; that she was a nonresident; that she came to Dakota just to get an office; that she would not be able to inspire the respect of the teachers; that she had better be washing dishes; that she was so little thought of in her own town, Pukwana, that she couldn't carry it. All these shafts "fell harmless and broken at her feet."

The most astonishing incident of this remarkable contest occurred on election day. The township of Richland is made up almost exclusively of Bohemians and there are three or four other large Bohemian settlements in the county. Soon after Miss Sanborn's nomination it was reported that under no circumstances would the Bohemians support a woman for office, and that the entire voting strength of that nationality would go to Hiatt. As the Bohemian voters are all democrats the defection seemed serious and likely to endanger Miss Sanborn's chances of success. There resides in this town, Pukwana a Bohemian merchant of intelligence, a democrat, who, it is said, could "control" the votes of many of his countrymen. He took a hand in the fight against Miss Sanborn, and gave out that he would go to Richland on election day to work against her, and that she would not have a vote in that town. On election morning Miss Sanborn and Miss Richards hitched up their ponies and themselves drove down to Richland. They remained at the polls nearly all day and say they were never in their lives treated with more politeness and kindness than by the Bohemians. The prominent merchant was there according to programme working against her. But he failed to "control" even his own brother who voted for the lady. The vote in Richland stood: Miss Sanborn, 37; Mr. Hiatt, 4; scattering, 2. The merchant came back sadder and wiser. He isn't "controling" so many Bohemian votes as he was.

The ladies spoke at three meetings and were as successful here as elsewhere in making friends. Republicans and democrats alike came to the support of the lady candidate; a corps of enthusiastic workers sprang up for her unsolicited, at every polling place, and she swept the county. The three railroad towns, Chamberlain, Pukwana, and Kimball gave majorities for her of 148, 31 and 39 respectively. The vote, unofficial, of the county is as follows: Miss Sanborn, 942, Hiatt 506. The count may vary these figures slightly. On the general ticket the democrats carried the county by only a small majority.

The superintendent elect is a native of the state of Wisconsin. She first came to Dakota and settled on the Crow Creek reservation a year ago last February. She is a graduate of Madison University, an experienced teacher, is possessed of fine abilities, good judgment, energy, a conscientious devotion to duty, and a temperament peculiarly fits her for the sometimes perplexing duties of the office she is to fill. That she will prove equal to the requirements of her new and responsible position those who know her best fully believe.


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