DAVISON CO SD
History of churches, schools, newspapers, city of Mitchell
Additions or corrections to: Andrea Sindt (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Churches, Mitchell, Davison, SD
A. T. Andreas' "Historical Atlas of Dakota", 1884
The FIRST PRESBYTERIAN church claims precedence in Mitchell, members
of it having held religious services in the fall of 1879, at which
date some say a church was organized. The membership, at first small,
soon increased to respectable proportions, and in 1881 they were able
to commence the erection of a church edifice, which was completed in
1882. The value of the church property is placed at $4,500. The
intention is to soon erect a parsonage to cost $1,500.
The bell hanging in the tower of this church has an interesting
history. Miss Anna Robinson, of New York, on her death-bed requested
her father to dispose of the money she had laid up for the benefit
of some needy church. The father,hearing that the Presbyterian
Church at Mitchell, Dakota, was in want of a bell,proceeded to have
one cast at a foundry with his daughter's name upon it in
raised letters. When ready for use it was forwarded to Mitchell and
thankfully received by the church.
The PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL Church, known as St. Mary's Church, claims to
be the oldest religious organization in the city, dating from the early
part of 1880.
At that time a portion of Southern Dakota was included in the diocese
of Bishop Clarkson, of Nebraska, and this society was a mission charge
of the diocese. A house of worship was erected and dedicated in the
same year with the organization, and Rev. D. A. Sanford was the first
rector. The building is located on the corner of Lawler and Third
streets. The present rector is Rev. C. C. Harris, from Lincoln, Neb.,
who assumed charge on the first of November, 1883. A ladies aid
society, in a prosperous condition, is connected with this church. The
value of property is about $6,000.
The CATHOLIC Church of the Holy Family was organized in 1880 by Father
Hennesey, and in 1882 the congregation were able to erect a house of
worship, 37 by 74 feet, with arched ceiling, and furnished in a neat
and comfortable manner. The building and lots are valued at $7,500.
The communicants number about five hundred, and the church is in a
The FIRST BAPTIST Church was organized November 27, 1881, by Rev. J. P.
Coffman. The society struggled along for two years before they were
able to build a church. In 1883 a commodious building, 49 X 67 1/2
feet in dimensions,was erected. It is divided into an auditorium,
42 X 48 feet, and a large Sunday school room. The main audience room
is arranged in the form of an amphitheater,the seats gradually rising
from the pulpit, and furnished with Andrews; patent opera-house chairs.
The society has recently purchased a fine pipe organ at an expense of
$1,300. The value of the entire property is over $7,000.
The FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL Church was organized by Rev. C. E.
Hager on the 15th of October, 1882. In 1883 the society erected a
fine church edifice of large dimensions, with an ample auditorium
and several comfortable class-rooms.
The membership is about one hundred. The value of the property of the
society is about $8,000.
The FIRST CONGREGATIONAL Church was organized by Rev. John R. Reitzel,
who was followed by Rev. R. D. Atkins, the present pastor. The society
has a fine church edifice with a membership of fifty or more and a
large congregation. A flourishing Sunday school is maintained. Value
of property $4,000.
A FREE METHODIST SOCIETY was organized in 1883, under the leadership
of Rev. J. W. Sharp. The membership is between thirty and fifty, and
the society is erecting a house of worship during the present season.
Educational- Davison Co,SD
A. T. Andreas' "Historical Atlas of Dakota", 1884
The first school in Davison County was opened in 1879. At that time
there were no less than sixty, with about 1,500 pupils. The third
school in the county was the one which has grown into the present
large and prosperous one in Mitchell. The first teachers institute
for Davison County was held in Mitchell in September, 1883. The
city has the graded school system, managed by a board of education,
and the schools are under the instruction of a superintendent and six
A fine two-story school building was erected in 1880 at a cost of
It is divided into five large rooms, furnished in the best manner
with patent seats and all modern appliances, and has a seating
capacity to accomodate 200 pupils.
The grounds are commodious, planted with shade trees and
surrounded by a substantial fence. Additional grounds east of Main
street have lately been purchased at a cost of $2,250, upon which
a new building costing not less than $5,000 will be erected to
accomodate the increasing population. The school board now consists
of a president, secretary and eight members, two from each ward.
METHODIST COLLEGE-- One of the two principal colleges of the
Methodist Episcopal Church of Dakota is to be located in Mitchell.
It will be a first-class institution, calculated to furnish a
thorough education in all the higher branches, including classical,
philosophical, scientific, normal, academic, law, medicine, business,
art, music, agriculture, technology, domestic economy and the
chemistry of the kitchen. It will add greatly to the prestige of the
Newspapers, Mitchell, Davison, SD
A.T. Andreas' "Historical Atlas of Dakota", 1884
Mitchell is well represented in the newspaper line. The Mitchell
"Mail" is the outgrowth of what was originally the Firesteel "Mail,"
a paper founded by J. W. Walsh in 1878, and published in the old
village of Firesteel, at one time a considerable business point,
situated at the confluence of Firesteel Creek with the James River.
When the new town of Mitchell was located on the railway, its superior
advantages attracted all the business of Firesteel,and the "Mail"
for a time was discontinued, but was revived in February,1883,
at Mitchell, by Messrs. Sherwin & Stockwell. On the 4th of July
1883 it became the property of its present proprietors,
Messrs. McBride & Sherwin. It is a seven-column quarto,
well filled with local and general news, published weekly and doing
a good business.
The "Republican" was established in October, 1880. It passed through
various changes, and eventually fell into the hands of S. D. Cook,
its present proprietor and editor. The weekly edition is a nine-column
folio, all printed at home, and has a large circulation. The daily
is a seven-column folio, issued every morning except Sunday, and gives
the Associated Press dispatches, together with a full digest of home
and Dakota news. The office includes the finest job printing
establishment on the line of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul
Railway west of Milwaukee. A handsome, two-story brick building was
erected by Mr. Cook in 1883, and the "Republican" can justly boast one
of the best and most conveniently fitted up establishments in the
Territory. Mr. Cook is a persevering, industrious and successful
business man, and has made his journal a power among its compeers.
The Mitchell "Capital" was established in 1879, by Mr. J. W. Walsh.
Like others, it has seen numerous changes, and is now the property
of Messrs. Ewart & Dean, under whose management it is rapidly
increasing its circulation and influence. It is a seven-column quarto,
cut and pasted like the metropolitan dailies. It makes a specialty of
local and Territorial news, and keeps abreast of the times in every
A well fitted-up job office offers first-class facilities for every
description of work in the printing line.The paper is one of the best
The city has a free reading-room under the management of the Women's
Christian Temperance Union, supported by voluntary subscriptions
from the people. In addition to a full assortment of the leading
periodicals of the day, the very complete library of Dr. Chapin is
also open to its patrons. The institution is highly prized by the
citizens of Mitchell.
Orders & Societies, Mitchell, Davison, SD
A.T. Andreas' "Historical Atlas of Dakota",1884
A lodge of A.F. & A.M. was institued at Mitchell in April, 1881, with
twelve charter members, and W. S. Warren as first master. The lodge
has steadily increased in numbers from the first, until its membership
at present numbers over fifty, including many of the prominent men of
A lodge of the I.O.O.F. was organized April 26, 1880, which makes it
the oldest secret organization in the city. The charter members
numbered seven, which have been increased to about seventy. The order
also has an encampment in Mitchell. They have an elegant hall in the
Burr block, in which Odd Fellows and Masons hold meetings alternately.
There is a flourishing lodge of the Knights of Honor in the place,
which claims to have been the first organized in Southern Dakota.
It is largely composed of prominent business men and its growth and
usefulness are both assured.
A lodge of the O.O. H. was established in the autumn of 1882, with four
charter members. The post has increased and flourished to nearly 200.
It is the oldest lodge of this order in Dakota.
Ransom Post, No., 7, G.A.R. , was organized by Colonel Wolf, in March
1882, with twenty charter members. The post has increased and flourish-
ed, the last report showing over sixty members. It was named probably
in honor of General T. E. G. Ransom, the lamented commander of the
Seventeenth Army Corps, who died of dysentery, at Rome, Ga, in the fall
Copyrighted 2002 for Davison county South Dakota by:
Davison County Genealogical Society.