DAVISON CO SD
History of Hotels and Banks and the town of Mt Vernon, in Davison county.
Additions or corrections to: Andrea Sindt (email@example.com)
Davison County SD;
A. T. Andreas; "Historical Atlas of Dakota", 1884
HOTELS -- Mitchell is noted for its fine hotels,
there being three which compare most favorably with the
best in the Territory, to wit, the Alexander Mitchell
House, the Sanborn House and the Bradley House. Besides
these there is a considerable number of less important
but well conducted and popular places of resort. The
Mitchell House, named in honor of Hon. Alexander Mitchell,
of Milwaukee, is one of the largest, most complete and
best known hotels in Southern Dakota. It was erected in
1881, by Colonel J. L. Davenport, a well known hotel man,
at a cost, complete, of $30,000. It is three stories in
height, with a mansard roof, situated on the corner of
Main and Third streets, and one of the most prominent
structures in the city. The main building has a frontage
of 118 by 92 feet. The rooms are all comfortable, well
lighted and ventilated, with lofty ceilings, and furnished
in the best manner. The dining-room is claimed to be the
largest in Dakota, with a capacity for seating 350 guests.
Every department of this fine hostelry is carefully managed,
and the determination of the proprietor is at all times to
make it emphatically a comfortable home for the public.
It is an honor to the city of Mitchell and the gentleman who
The Sanborn House, one of the finest in Dakota, was
commenced on the 15th of June, 1880, by Mr. J. V. Hamilton.
The first proprietor was Mr. Wells, The property has changed
hands a number of times. In November, 1882, the present
proprietor,E.F. Bond, purchased the property, already known
as the Sanborn House, and has since conducted it. The building
is 60 by 65 feet in dimensions, and two stories in height.The
location is a good one, convenient to business and to the railway
station. It is finely fitted up and furnished and kept in a
manner to make it a popular house. It has accommodation for about
The Bradley House, is another prominent and exceedingly
popular hotel, P. G. Somers proprietor. Mr. Somers settled in
Mitchell in May 1883. He had been a resident of Chicago,
where for some years he was connected in an official capacity
with a large rolling mill. For a time succeeding his arrival
he was connected with the Alexander Mitchell House,
contributing in an important degree to its popularity with
the traveling public. Subsequently he opened a restaurant
which he conducted until he leased the Bradley House, in
October 1883. Upon taking possession, he thoroughly
renovated and refitted the house, and has from that time
conducted it in such manner as to win a wide popularity.
The house is well located on Main street, convenient
to the railway station and the business center. The main
building is 60 by 30 feet in dimensions, with a large addition
the whole affording ample accomodations for the traveling
public. Further improvements are contemplated.
The Commercial House, a pleasant, home-like hotel, with
accomodations for thirty or forty guests, is well located on
First street. It is a well kept and popular resort, Mrs. A.E.
Breese, proprietor. Other prominent hotels are the American,
Gleason and Germania, and there is a large number of well
appointed restaurants and boarding houses. Probably no town
in Southern Dakota has better accomodations for the traveling public.
BANKS-- The pioneer bank of Davison County was
established at Mitchell in the spring of 1880 by Mr. S. F.
Goodykoontz, under the title of the Mitchell Exchange Bank.
This institution was carried on as a private banking-house
by Mr. Goodykoontz until April 1882, when it was merged
into the First National Bank, incorporated in that month.
The officers of this bank were S. F. Goodykoontz, president;
Capt. J. D. Feegan, Vice-president; J. F. Kimball, cashier;
J. H. Green and P. T. Mcgovern. In the autumn of 1883 the
bank passed under a different management; Mr. G. retiring
from the presidency to take the same position at the head of the
Bank of Dakota.
The new management of the First National was composed
of Gen. J.D. Lawler, president; Mr. H. Rowley, vice-president;
J. F. Kimball, cashier. This institution has a paid-up capital
of $50,000, with total resources, according to last published
statement, of over $200,000. Its business has been ably managed
and has steadily increased from the beginning, and its reputation
is solidly established as a reliable and well-conducted financial
The First National Bank wons and partly occupies the best
business block in the city. It is constructed of white
chalkstone, with trimmings of red brick. It is two stories
in height and of imposing dimensions. The position occupied
by the bank is on the corner of Main and Second streets,
and forms a conspicuous object among the fine buildings of the city.
The banking-house of Ormsby, Clute & Co. was established
in Mitchell in September 1882, constituting one of three
similar institutions located at Emmettsburg, Iowa, and at Huron
and Mitchell, Dakota Territory.
The original institution in Iowa is conducted under the
firm name of Ormsby Bros. & Co.,and at Huron, under the name
of Ormsby, Graves & Co. The three institutions have
established reputations and are doing an extensive and
profitable business in each of the locations. At Mitchell
the house has erected on the corner of Third and Main
streets a fine and substantial two-story brick banking-house
finely finished and conveniently fitted up. In addition to a
legitimate banking business in all its branches, the firm is
extensively engaged in loaning money on real estate, principally
good farms; in fact, this may be called the prominent feature
of the business. Their transactions cover a wide expanse of
country extending over Northwestern Iowa, Southwestern
Minnesota, and Southern Dakota. Since the establishment of
the home office at Emmettsburg their aggregate investments in
this direction considerable exceed three million dollars.
It is probable that no firm in Dakota and few in the Northwest,
have placed more loans on farm property since the opening of
their business in Dakota. The gentlemen composing the firm
are prompt and accommodating. Mr. F. A. Huggins is the resident
manager at Mitchell.
The Bank of Dakota was originally established by
Mr. I. J. Gray, in December 1882. It has been re-organized
within the past year, and officered as follows: S.F.
Goodykoontz, President;J. H. Green, cashier. The institution
occupies a fine building of its own, in an eligible location
on Main street, and is doing a large and increasing business
in banking and real estate, loans, exchange, etc. It is one of
the solid institutions of the city.
The Bank of Mitchell was established as a private banking
house in November 1881, for the purpose of doing general banking
and real estate loan business, with Elijah Butterfield as
president, and W. C. Metcalf as cashier. The principal member
of the firm, Mr. Butterfield, is a wealthy resident of
Milwaukee. Mr. Metcalf is a resident of Mitchell, and also
a wealthy gentleman who has held several responsible official positions
in Davison county.
In 1882 the bank was re-organized under the laws of the
Territory as the Bank of Mitchell,with a capital of $25,000,
and a surplus of $10,000. It has from the first been considered
one of the soundest institutions in Dakota. The firm also has
a similar establishment at White Lake, in Aurora County, Dakota,
under the management of Mr. H. Huyssen. The Bank of Mitchell is
well located in the business portion of the city, occupying a
fine two-story building, constructed of red brick, with a heavy
plate-glass front. The interior is conveniently arranged and
handsomely fitted up.
Davison County, SD;
A. T. Andreas' "Historical Atlas of Dakota', 1884
MOUNT VERNON,-- The following statements concerning
the early settlement of this place and vicinity were furnished
by C. H. Arland, Esq., an early settler and prominent citizen.
Mr. Arland first visited this region on the 20th of Sept,
1879, when he located on Section 22, Town 103, Range 62.
He found, on his arrival, H. S. Edwards and family living
on Section 10 of the same town, having settled in May previous
and the Johnston brothers on Section 4, who also came in
May, 1879. These were the only inhabitants for many miles around.
Mitchell was just coming into existence.
The grade stakes of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul
Railway were set in this country in March 1880, and in July
following, Mr. Arland relinquished his right to the north
half of the southwest quarter of Section 22, Twon 103,
Range 62,to the railway company which entered the tract
with scrip. H. C. Burgess also made the same arrangement
with the south half of the same quarter section. The railway
was completed to this point in September 1880, and in December
1881 the company laid out the original town on the land described.
The place grew rapidly during the season of 1881. From
a point one and a half miles west of the town, in Ausust of
that year, Mr. Arland counted sixty buildings including sod
shanties. Within a radius of five miles around Mount Vernon,
in the winter of 1880-81 were living H. S. Edwards, W. R.
Miller, P. T. Gibson, F. B. Rowell, the three Johnston
brothers, M. Doherty, T. Gilleran, George Lewis, Dr. Abbott,
Anton Meyer and D. McLatchie.
A post-office called Arlandton was established in January
1881, and Mr. Arland appointed postmaster. In the spring of
1882 Mr. Arland and E. S. Johnston purchased the town site
from the railway company, and soon after the former sold
his interest to J. C. Tatman. In April 1882, he commenced
the erection of the Mt.Vernon House, and a little later Messrs.
Johnston & Tatman put up a large frame store building. W. S.
Tobey also erected a building for a general store. The
pioneer store was erected by Mr. L. George a little west of
the present town, in the fall of 1881. In May, 1882 he
removed it to the new town site. The Davison County bank
building was commenced in the fall of 1882, by C. Tatman,
and completed by him in the Spring of 1883.
The Methodist Episcopal denomination erected a church
edifice in the fall of 1883,and a fine school building was
put up in the same year at a cost of $3,500. It has a seating
capacity of 100.
The town boasts a lively newspaper, the "Gazette," established
by John M. Pease, first issued June 29, 1882. It is a six-column
quarto, and has an extensive circulation in both Davison and
ROME, EMSLEY, VICTOR and CHANKA are small post-offices
in different parts of the county.
The town is improving quite rapidly, and contains at the
present time about 500 people.
Copyrighted 2002 for Davison county South Dakota by:
Davison County Genealogical Society.