South Dakota

Moody County, South Dakota

1881 History


HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,
Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881


The Legislative Assembly formed the boundaries of Moody County in 1873. The following summer the first County Commissioners were appointed, and the County was organized. The officers appointed were as follows: Commissioners-David Faribault, Harry Stoughton, Edward Pierce. Register of Deeds-M. D. L. Pettigrew. Treasurer and Judge of Probate--A. G. Hopkins. Sheriff-Thomas Davis. Officers were subsequently elected as follows: Commissioners M. P. Hopkins. Morris Bebb, David Faribault. Register of Deeds-M. D. L. Pettigrew. Sheriff-E. I. Heald. Treasurer-Marshall Morse.

HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,
Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881


The prosperous and enterprising town of Egan is a worthy illustration of the astonishing rapidity of growth which characterizes the communities of Dakota. At the date of the first publication of the Egan Express, May 27th, 1860, there was but one building other than that of the Express office, within a radius of one mile and a half, viz: the residence of Mr. Alfred Brown, about one-half mile from the location of the venturesome newspaper man. At date of this writing (autumn of 1881) Egan contains a population of nearly 500 souls, with business houses, churches, schools and all the evidences of a thrifty civilization.

The town was platted in April, 1880, by Alfred Brown, J. H. Eno and John Hobart, and was incorporated under special Act of the Legislative Assembly in April, 1881. H. A. Leinbach has recently platted an addition north of town. Egan contains within its limits the geographical center of Moody County. The townsite is located in section 7, township 106, range 49, the excellent judgment displayed in the selection being apparent even to the casual observer; its environs are pleasing and attractive, and the location itself is advantageously situated with reference to the main arteries of trade on either hand. The town is above high water mark, a fact which cannot fail to command favorable attention, since during all former floods, by which other places suffered more or less, the townsite of Egan rested complacently above the limits of danger. Another advantage which may be mentioned is the abundance of excellent water and the facilities for reaching it. On digging from four to five feet a coarse gravel is reached, and at a depth of from sixteen to twenty-four feet, the sparkling liquid is invariably found in almost unlimited quantities. The eccentric waters of the Big Sioux, with its unforeseen bends and unexpected curves, flow along the eastern side of the town.

The Southern Minnesota branch of the C. M. & St. Paul R. R. has established at Egan the largest coal house on the line west of LaCrosse, and is building an extensive depot, and otherwise investing in profitable improvements. A number of the Company's employes already have their residences in Egan. The first train reached Egan August, 1880.

As stated above, the Egan Express was started in May, 1880, being removed thither from Roscoe by J. H. Eno. The Express came into the possession of Messrs. Lanning & Shelden, the present proprietors, in May, 1881, and is a very creditable publication.
Geo. R. Lanning is the editor.

At present there are two church edifices, the Methodist Episcocopal and the Baptist, both of which congregations are in a prosperous condition. There are also a Congregational and a Catholic Society, each of which expects shortly to erect suitable places of worship.

The school building is well adapted to educational purposes, and the district is the only independent school district thus far established in Moody County. Miss Ella Waite is the Principal.

The Bank of Egan was established in October, 1881, by Melvin Grigsby, Esq., and Geo. M. Smith, of Sioux Falls, and is a much needed addition to Egan's commercial facilities. Mr. Smith is the efficient manager.

The business and professional interests of the community will be found to be well represented in the biographical sketches of its citizens which elsewhere appear.


President of the Council.-E. G. Boynton.
Councilmen.-E. G. Boynton, H. A. Leinbach, J. D. S. Smith, W. G. Kenaston.
Recorder.-W. S. Cobban.
Treasurer.-Dwight Haley.
Justice ofthe Peace.-W. T. Brown.
Marshal.-Chas. Pettit.
Street Commissioner.-Alfred Brown.


Attorneys.-Geo. M. DeGroff, J. H. Eno.
Physician.-J. H. Schneider.
Hotels.- Taylor House, S. Taylor; Ida House, Smith & Tuttle.
General Merchandise.-D. Bidwell & Son, R. Isley.
Hardware.-John Hobart, C. F. Rathman.
Druggist.-O. E. Schneider.
Restaurant.-W. E. Gessell.
Grocery.-W. G. Kenaston.
Wagon Making.-A. J. Vallier.
Blacksmith.-J. M. Runyon.
Saloons.-P. Jordan, B. B. Skinner.
Livery.-Pettit Bros.
Newspapers.-Egan Express, Lanning & Shelden, Publishers; Geo. R. Lanning, Editor.
Shoemaker.-W.T. Brown.
Postmastsr.-S. R. Moore, Geo. E. Bidwell, Assistant.
Notion Store.-Geo. E. Bidwell.
Lumber.- John Paul, E. G. Boynton, Agent; Drew Bros.
Depot Agent.-W. H. Nichol.
Real Estate.-Geo. M. DeGroff, J. H. Eno.
Insurance-Lanning & Shelden, Geo. M. DeGroff.
Carpenters.-O. D. Fuller, A, S. Sumner, L. O. Payne, J. H. Tupper, R. C. McGregor.
Stone Mason.-Geo. J. Rose.
Meat Market.-Enos Karn.
Bank of Egan.-Grisby & Smith, Geo. M. Smith, Cashier.

HISTORY OF Southeastern Dakota, Its Settlement and Growth,
Sioux City Iowa: Western Publishing Company, 1881


Elsewhere in its proper place will he found an account of the location of Flandreau in 1857 by the Dakota Land Company, of St. Paul, Minn., together with the names of the principal stockholders and incorporators of the Company, as also an account of the expedition, beginning with flying colors at St. Paul, in May of that year. It will be observed that the town of Flandreau was named in honor of Judge Charles E. Flandrau, of St. Paul, there being latterly, however, a slight alteration in the orthography of the name by the insertion of an additional "e."

The predatory character of the noble red man, together with his native hostility to the innovations of the pale face, rendered abortive the speculative efforts of the Dakota Land Company, and brought their plans to a summary standstill in June, 1858, at which time the Indians rose in their might and drove the settlers from the valley of the Upper Sioux. Thus is chronicled the rise, decline and sudden fall of the old Flandreau, and years elapsed previous to the rise of the present new and prosperous Flandreau in its stead. About the only indications of former white inhabitancy are to be found digged in the side of the hill in the timber above the mill, on which spot a white man's cabin in all probability once stood.

The country in and about Flandreau was no doubt a favorite camping ground for the Indians, who came from localities far and near to the Great Pipestone Quarry, one mile north of Pipestone, in Pipestone County, Minn., and about fifteen miles east of Flandreau.

This celebrated region abounds in Indian folk-lore and traditions, more or less romantic and worthy of credence. It was here that the Pipe of Peace was obtained, and here to this day the Wards of the Government get the material from which their pipes and other articles are carved in many rude and fantastic designs. The Legend of the Great Pipestone Quarry has thus been beautifully immortalized by the poet Longfellow. (lengthy poem omitted)

For years after the abandonment of Flandreau in 1858, the Indians hunted and fished undisturbed by the white man, save by an occasional trapper,who, for the most part, adopted their modes of life and lived with them on friendly terms. Yet the inevitable could not long be postponed, and the harbinger of advancing civilization began once more to appear, this time predicating permanent redemption of the soil from savage uses, and foreshadowing the teeming industries and the church spires of the future. About the year 1869 the more civilized Indians of the Santee and Sisseton agencies, encouraged by the missionaries who labored among them, began to select claims in Moody County, and to make for themselves homes along the river. Thus we have the apparent anomaly of the Indians themselves giving the first impetus to the tide of civilization, which was soon supplemented by the establishment, in 1869, of a trading post at Flandreau by C. K. Howard, the well known merchant of Sioux Falls.

In 1871 the Indian Presbyterian Society erected the church edifice which was afterward sold to the United States Government, and which has ever since been used as a school building in which the young aboriginal ideas are taught "how to shoot." The Indians hauled the lumber for the building from Windom, Minn.

The present teacher of this Indian school is the Rev. John Eastman, an intelligent half-breed Indian, who is also a Presbyterian clergyman. Candor compels the admission that, although from thirty to forty Indian pupils are enrolled, comparatively few attend, the solution of the Indian problem through the avenue of education being no nearer reached at Flandreau than at other points where the experiment has been tried. Still much good is doubtless being accomplished in this way, and the money of the Government is well spent in this direction.

In April, 1872, F. W. Pettigrew come to the present townsite of Flandreau. M. D. L. Pettigrew came in June of the same year. F. W. Pettigrew took up what is now the townsite as a homestead and built a homestead house thereon in July, 1872. Mr. Pettigrew platted the town in 1873, and from that time dates the growth of this pleasant and prosperous little city. In the homestead house which he built in 1872, Mr. F. W. Pettigrew now has his real estate office, the building having been enlarged since the winter of 1872-3, when Mr. Pettigrew, E. I. Heald and Almond Campbell kept "bachelors' hall " therein, and entertained the traveling public, with now and then an itinerant preacher of the gospel. In this building was kept the first postoffice at Flandreau, which was established in 1872 under the name of West Bend P. O, Mr. F. W. Pettigrew being Postmaster.

The postoffice of West Bend was discontinued in the fall of 1873, and the postoffice of Flandreau was established. Marshall Morse was the first Postmaster of Flandreau P. O. Mr. Morse came to Flandreau in the latter year, and established a general store, and in 1874 William Jones, who had for several years before led the life of a hunter and trapper in and around the site of the future town, also began business in Flandreau. starting a store therein in connection with Mr. Howard, of Sioux Falls. Dr. Seals also established a store in 1873. The postoffice was kept by Mr. Morse
in the building now occupied by T. Freeman, merchant tailor. The growth of the community suffered a severe check by reason of the grasshopper invasion of 1874, which continued with more or less disastrous consequences for three years.

In 1875 M. D. L. Pettigrew built a small portion of the present Flandreau House. The growth of the town was very slow, however, from 1874 to 1878, in which latter year a new impetus was given to the settlement, which from that date has grown with a rapidity exceeding the most sanguine expectations. New business establishments of all kinds have sprung up as if by magic, church organizations have been effected, and both religious and educational facilities enlarged to a degree absolutely astonishing to those unaccustomed to the ceaseless activity of western ways. The close of 1878, found Flandreau a busy, bustling town, and since that time there has been a steady influx of new-comers.

Flandreau was incorporated under special act of the Legislature in 1879; its population in 1880 was 550; present population, estimated, from 600 to 700. The townsite is located on the northeast quarter of section 28, town 107, range 48.

The Moody County Enterprise iras started in 1878, by Funk & Smith, A. B. Funk being the editor. Its first publication was on June 27th of that year. April 1st, 1879, Mr. Funk left Flandreau, going to Spirit Lake, where he purchased the Spirit Lake Beacon, which paper he is still publishing. On the retirement of Mr. Funk, the Enterprise was purchased by Williamson & Middleton, and afterwards H. M. Williamson, the present editor, became sole proprietor. The Enterprise, as conducted by Mr. Williamson, is a highly creditable paper and deservedly ranks among the influential publications of Dakota. The first train of the Southern Minnesota Railroad arrived at Flandreau January 1st, 1880, and already the effects anticipated from this much desired addition to business and traveling facilities are being largely realized.

The Flandreau Flouring Mills, owned by Bates & Lindsay Bros., and of which Henry J. Jacobshagen is the manager, is one of the leading industries of the place, and turns out flour of a highly satisfactory grade, being mainly engaged in custom work. Work on the mills was first begun by A. H. Wheeler in 1878. Other industries are well represented in our biographical department.


The Methodist Episcopal Church of Flandreau was organized in 1879 by Rev. Mr. Suffring, of Minn. The present pastor is Rev. L. W. Miller. There is a membership of about fifty, and the society has a commodious church

The Second Presbyterian Church of Flandreau was organized June 30th, 1880, by Rev. A. K. Baird, of Iowa, Rev. R. H. Hooke is the present pastor. The membership is about thirty. An appropriate edifice was erected during the present year at a cost of about $1,800.

The Indian Presbyterian and the Indian Episcopal congregations each have suitable buildings. David Weston is the catechist of the Episcopal, Rev. John Eastman the pastor of the Presbyterian congregation.

The English Episcopals, the Baptists and the Catholics are each arranging for more perfect organizations, and will no doubt ere long be in possession of appropriate places of worship.

The first school in Flandreau was taught in the summer of 1874 by Miss Hattie Pettigrew. The school building is at present adequate for the accommodation of the pupils, and meets the requirements of so valuable an institution. Miss Mary Taylor is the Principal.

Flandreau Lodge, No. 15, I. O. O. F., was instituted October 5th, 1878. Applicants for charter: F. W, Pettigrew, William Jones, E. I. Heald, H. C. Gardner, O. I. Huseboe. Present officers: Geo. Mumby, N. G.; F. M. Lighthizer. V. G,; Claus Juuge, R. S.; Wm. Jones, Treasurer. The Lodge has a membership of about thirty, and is in a flourishing condition.

Flandreau Lodge No. 11, A. F. & A. M.-instituted in the fall of 1878, under dispensation. Charter members: A. B. Funk, C. H. Gardner, W. A. Clark, M. Simpson, H. C. Gardner, R. L. Brown, C. M. Lake. Present officers: R, L. Brown, W. M.; W. A. Clark, S. W.; M. Simpson, J. W.; W. F. Gates, Secretary; J. A. Seaman, Treasurer; T. V. Nash, S. D.; L. Thompson, J. D.
Membership about thirty; in prosperous condition.

Flandreau Lodge No. 11, I. O. G. T.-instituted in the spring of 1881. Present officers: Dr. Frank Fluno, W. C; Mrs. S. J. Clark, W. V. C; John Hamilton, R. S.; (--) Van Scotter, F. S.; Miss Mary Taylor, Treasurer. This lodge has a membership of about forty, and is in excellent working order.


President Board of Trustees-E. Huntington.
Board of Trustees-E. Huntington, W. A. Clark, M. M. Jones, T. E. Miner,
Marshall Morse.
Secretary-T. E.Carter.
Treasarer-William Jones.
Marshal-Claus Junge.


Attorneys-H. A. Williamson. George Rice, R. J. SimenSon, A. D. Bubb.
Physicians-J. A. Seaman, F. J.Fluno, H. Goetting.
General Merchandise-Landon Nelson & Co., Wm. Jones & Co., Neperud
Bros., I. F.Winnek & Co.
Boots & Shoes-J. E. Thibau, A. Higgs.
Shoemaker-Lewis Hackett.
Hardware- R. L. Brown, C. C. Martin, Dickson & Few.
Agricultural Implements-T. E. Carter, I. B. Taylor, F. J. Shields.
Groceries-Geo. H. Few, Charles Hall, A. Moulton.
Furniture-A. Moulton.
Harness and Saddlery-W. A. Clark, S. A. Heath.
Saloons- Thomas Collins, P. E. Davis, Ole Erickson, A. Seaman.
Druggists-D. S. White, James Bray.
Barber-H. A. Bates.
Hotels-Flandreau House, M. D. L. Pettigrew; Sioux Valley House, C. H. Gardner; Central House, Thomas O'Neill.
Restaurant-A. S. Frink.
Bakery and Notions-Mrs. E. Close.
Livery-T. J. Haxton, Frank Willard.
Blacksmiths-Wm. Dunn. Dahl & Holden.
Flouring Mill-Bates & Lindsay Bros.
Coal and Wood-Lindsay & Bates, Cargill Bros.
Elevators-Cargill Bros., W. R. Hyde, Agent; Hyde. Hodges & Co., J. H.
McMillen, Agent.
Contractors and Builders-Mac Simpson, M. P. Lower.
Lumber-C. A. Coleman, L. K. Knudson, Agent: John Paul, P. E. Minier,
Millinery-Mrs. D. Mason, Mrs. D S. White, Mrs. A. Higgs.
Merchant Tailor-T. Freeman.
Newspaper-Moodv County Enterprise, H. M. Williamson, Editor and Proprietor.
Banks-Bank of Flandreau, C. E. Thayer, Cashier; Moody County Bank, T.
H. McConnell, Cashier.
Meat Markets-M. McDonnell, A. Schilling.
Jeweler-H. B. Wood.
Postmasters-M. Morse, M. M. Jones, Assistant.
Real Estate and Loan-F. W. Pettigrew, E. Huntington.


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