South Dakota

Codington County South Dakota

Newspaper Items


Duluth News-Tribune - May 6, 1921
Transcribed and contributed by: AFOFG
South Dakota Woman 100 years Old Dead
Watertown, South Dakota, May 5.--Mrs. Gerland Johnson, 100 years old, believed to have been the oldest woman in South Dakota, died here today after a three day illness. She was born in Iceland on September 22, 1820.

SOURCE: Faulk County Record, Thursday, June 11, 1891, Page 3
Contributed by Harold Way


Three People Killed, at Hazel, S. D., by a Cyclone.

A special telegram from Watertown S.D., dated the 2d inst., says that about 3:30 o'clock that day a small, dark, funnel-shaped cloud suddenly appeared from the south and soon developed into quite a hurricane. It appeared close to the ground, and in its whirling motion people at once saw that it was a dreadful cyclone, and the roar which accompanied it was unto that of a huge fire, snapping and cracking in its onward course everything that came in its dreadful path.

Fortunately it struck the city on its extreme eastern limit, where the buildings are scattered, and the whole city is thankful that it did not come any closer. Six barns along an alley were demolished and utterly ruined. The path of the storm was only about one hundred feet wide, and it was miraculous that not a single house within the city limits happened in its way. Horses were lifted from the ground, hurled into the air and sent sprawling to the earth. Wagons were taken up bodily and hurled to atoms.

Five miles northeast of Watertown two houses and three barns were literally carried away. The debris from the storm as it left the city spread along its line for nearly a mile.

At Waverly, twelve miles northeast, two coal sheds were ruined, and the brick smokestack of the roller mills flattened to the ground.

O. P. Chandler and his son were in one of the barns when the storm struck it, and they were pinned under the boards until assistance came, but were only slightly injured.

Three people were killed at Hazel sixteen miles southwest of Watertown, and the storm is said to have been very severe in that vicinity. No other fatality has yet been heard of.

A heavy rain and some hail followed the storm, but no damage. This is Watertown's first experience with a cyclone, and many people were badly frightened. The damage to property in the county cannot be correctly estimated until the country places are heard from.

The victims at Hazel were Henry Cregar, his 7 year old son and Conrad Hagen, a neighbor. They, with four others were in a barn owned by the former when the storm came on. It first lifted the building from its eastern foundation, and all but these three escaped by running from the falling building. By a miracle they got beyond the flying timbers and escaped without a scratch. Death to those killed must have been instantaneous.

Mitchell Daily Republican, Mitchell, South Dakota
November 20, 1885, page 1.
contributed by Suzanne Folk

Special to the Republican.
Watertown, D.T., Nov. 19. - Two men employed on a farm near here belong to Alex Harris of Mitchell, got into a quarrel last night and Ben Solomon shot Peter Robey with a revolver so badly that he died a few hours later. The men had held grudges against each other and had been very quarrelsome. Robey was a Norwegian and formerly lived in Mitchell. Solomon was at one time a resident of Iowa.
Mr. Alex Harris, of this city, left for his farm Thursday night to investigate the matter.

The Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota
Friday, November 1, 1929

Booze Runner Held By Coroner's Jury In Death of Estelline Woman

Watertown, Nov. 1 -- Responsibility for the death of Mrs. Henry Moen of Estelline, fatally injured in an automobile collision southeast of Hayti late Wednesday, was placed upon Warren McNabb of Sioux Falls by a coroner's jury which heard evidence at an inquest at Lake Norden Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Moen died a few hours after being brought to a Watertown hospital.
Five others were more or less seriously injured in the accident. Miss Annie Danielson of Estelline, with a basal skull fracture and other injuries who was expected to die yesterday morning, was reported in better condition and probably will recover.
McNabb, badly hurt and under guard by Hamlin county officers in a hospital here is recovering. His companion, Norwin Peterson, sustained only minor injuries, but is also held. Thirty gallons of alcohol were found in the McNabb car after the crash.
State's attorney Harold O. Lovre of Hayti said this morning he expected to file criminal charges against both McNabb and Peterson.
In its verdict the coroner's jury said the accident occurred when the automobile driven by McNabb, who was at the time engaged in transporting about thirty gallons of alcohol and who was driving recklessly and at unlawful rate of speed smashed into the other machine.
The verdict charged McNabb with "driving on the wrong side of the road" when the accident occurred.


Semi-Weekly Reporter, Waterloo, Iowa
October 18, 1907, page 1.

Contributed by Suzanne Folk

Boot a Dangerous Weapon

Novel Question Will Be Decided in South Dakota Court.

Watertown, S.D., Oct 17.--Is the toe of a No. 10 boot a dangerous weapon in the eyes of the law? This is a question which State's Attorney C.H. Schull, of Codington county, has been called upon to answer, and he has concluded that it is sufficiently dangerous to be catalogued as such. Joseph Ronkey, a farmer living ten miles northwest of this city, has accused Carl Englebrecht and Carl Hoffman of assault and battery and with using a dangerous weapon upon the complainant's person. Ronkey was injured so as to confine him to his bed for a few days. It developes that the defendants used nothing more dangerous than the toes of their boots, having kicked the complainant and stamped on him when he was down. They are under arrest and will be prosecuted for resorting to undue violence and with the employment of dangerous weapons.


St. Paul Daily Globe (St. Paul, MN)
Feb. 27 ,1889


Charged With Adultery.
Special to the Globe.
Watertown, Dak., Feb. 26. - H. W. Scott, an ex-marshal and ex-street commissioner and a married man, was held to bail in the sum of $400 before Justice Pierce to-day to answer to the charge of
adultery; the alleged offense having been committed with a married woman by the name of Knowlton.

Aberdeen Daily News
Wednesday, July 18, 1917

A bad accident at Watertown was narrowly averted Sunday when a couple of inexperienced women though they knew how to run a car as well as anybody. They were Mrs. Poppen and Miss Pompey and the car turned turtle after getting beyond their control. Mr. Poppen rushed to their assistance and all three were pinned under the car. How they esecaped only with bruises and scratches, is a mystery.

Aberdeen American
01 Apr 1909

Woman Seriously Burned
Henry, March 27 - Mrs. W. B. Johnston was badly burned through the accidental overturning of a kerosene lamp. The little boy, 3 years old, overturned the lamp, setting fire to the window curtains and the carpet. In attempting to subdue the flames, Mrs. Johnston's clothing caught fire and she was badly burned from her ankles to the waist. The physician in attendance reported the first of the week that Mrs. Johnston was doing nicely and that she would doubtless recover.

Aberdeen Weekly News
Thursday, June 3, 1909

Albert Kazz, a Watertown delivery wagon driver, was thrown from his wagon in a runaway, and severely injured. The wagon was demolished.

Aberdeen Weekly News
Thursday, June 3, 1909

Attorney Charles H. Schull, who has sued nearly every newspaper man in Watertown for libel, except the Public Opinion people, has started his third libel suit against E. E. Kneedy, formerly editor of the Watertown Times.

Aberdeen Weekly News
Thursday, June 3, 1909

Leonard V. Snyder, proprietor of the Kampeska hotel and manager of the Fourth Rigoment [sic] band at Watertown, has commenced suit for a divorce from his wife.

Aberdeen (SD) Weekly News
Friday, March 25, 1910

South Dakota Man Sustains a Loss of About $6,000
Watertown, March 25 - Five horses, one cow, a large amount of veterinary medicine and tools, a large barn, a buggy and a wagon, aggregating in valuation of about $6,000, were destroyed last night by a fire on the premises of Albert Geer.

Mr. Geer was working in the second story of the building and sustained burns about his face and hands. He was able to get out three head of horses, but one of these was so badly inured it was necessary to shoot it.

A high wind spread the flames to all parts of the building before the department arrived.


Aberdeen Daily News

Wednesday, July 18, 1917


Three well known Watertown people were summoned by death last week. One was Elwood Taylor, 55 years old; another W. H. McDowell, a farmer of 52, living on a farm; and the third Mrs. I. C. Aatwater, a young woman of 23, who died of tuberculosis.


The Daily Huronite, Huron, South Dakota
April 12, 1888, page 1.

Contributed by Suzanne Folk


Fire at Watertown
Watertown, April 11 - this morning about 2:30 a fire was discovered in Kennedy's restaurant on Kemp's avenue. The alarm was sounded, but before any water could be turned on the building was doomed, and the whole row of wooden buildings was wrapped in flames. By herculean efforts the Williams-Pease block was saved, but the space between that and the alley on the west was entirely consumed. E.A. Brizee is the heaviest loser his entire stock of groceries being lost, valued at $1,500. Kennedy's store and restaurant and Stevens' meat market, with several other small concerns, are a total loss. The family of B. Williams living over Brizee's store, barely escaped with their lives. All the plate glass across the street was broken by the heat. The total loss cannot now be stated, but it is placed at $25,000 to $40,000, partly insured. The sky was cloudless and not a breath of air stirring, otherwise the Goss block and opera house would have gone, and very likely the Trust company's new building. It is hoped our waterworks will be completed before the next visitation. It is said that a fine brick block will soon cover the entire burnt district.


The Daily Huronite, Huron South Dakota
April 19, 1888, Page 1.

Contributed by Suzanne Folk


A big fire this morning destroyed the Goss block at Watertown. A fine row of brick buildings. The loss is large, but not fully ascertained. It is the second disastrous fire for that city within a few days. In the absence of water works, the flames had pretty much their own way.

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