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Women's History Collection

Letters, diaries, reminiscences, photographs, and organizational records bring history alive through the voices of women who participated in events as they happened. Whether it be a description of day-to-day activities on a family farm or letters which chronicle the lives of a prominent family, each is a part of our history. Donors to the State Archives are aware of the significance of women and their contributions to the history of our state, which can be seen in the increasing volume of women’s resources added to the archives collections in the past twenty years.

In addition to the collections cited here, the State Archives has many other resources in which women’s voices are found. Church records, county, city, and family histories, census records, naturalization records, school census records, the biographical file, the general photograph collection, the South Dakota Authors file, and South Dakota newspapers are some of the sources available.

Still more materials are found in other government record groups. Department of Education records documenting teacher certifications, Secretary of State photographs, Cosmetology Commission licensing records, County Mother’s Pension records, Board of Nursing records, the WPA nursery project, and the Commission on the Status of Women records all provide insight into the lives of South Dakota women.

In addition, scholars have used archives collections for a number of interesting topics devoted to women. Second generation homesteaders, women’s suffrage, the League of Women Voters, Congregational missionaries, South Dakota First Ladies, prohibition, women attorneys in South Dakota, lifestyles of pioneer women (daily duties and hygiene), and west river depression are a few of the subjects researched recently.


Abild, Ethel Dowdell Papers (H92-95, H92-96, H92-97) 1 cubic foot

Abild was a teacher and principal at several schools in eastern South Dakota before accepting the post of State Director of the Professional and Service Division of the Work Projects Administration, a position she held for 10 years. She was affiliated with the South Dakota Historic Writers Association, the Mitchell Art Study Club, Westerners International, and Pierre University Women. The collection is divided into three series: historical and travel manuscripts (1926-1988); personal papers (1913-1988); and musical arrangements (1961-1974).

Abbott, Hazel Belle Papers (H74-71) 13 cubic feet

Correspondence, Abbott family business records, clippings, manuscripts, research notes, and photographs, 1875-1970. Abbott was born in Bon Homme County, received her BA at Yankton College, and her Ph.D. from Columbia University. She devoted her last years to compiling a history of Bon Homme County.

Adams, Elsie Hammill Scrapbook (H82-28) 1 scrapbook

Scrapbook created by Adams, who was born in Miller in 1883, contains calling cards, paper dolls, and various other cutouts of birds and flowers.

Adams, J. C. Papers (H88-54) 30 pages

Photocopies of original letters, some of which were written by South Dakota State Senator J. C. Adams to his second wife, Irene, in Webster, 1887-1901. Topics of the letters include the greed of land speculation in Pierre and the surrounding area during opening of the Great Sioux Reservation, a visit to the Pierre Indian school that was under construction, temperance legislation, his hotel accommodations while in the capital city, and her suggestions regarding legislation for women.

Alkaire, Elizabeth Scrapbooks (H76-51) 2 folders

Newspaper clippings, ca. 1934-1948 (few items relevant to South Dakota); a sale bill from 1849; some family genealogical information; and pressed flora from Sullivan County, Indiana ca. 1901.

American Association of University Women Records (H94-75, H99-051, H99-136, H2001-061, H2002-036) 11.5 cubic feet

Minutes, a history of the SDAAUW, branch program booklets, by-laws, policies, branch reports, committee reports, workshop materials, officer lists, project files, correspondence, membership records, Rapid City Branch Records;1927-2000, scrapbooks and newsclippings ca. 1926-2000.

American Legion Auxiliary, Hughes County #745 Records (H2003-025) 0.5 cubic feet

This collection consists of minutes, reports, scrapbooks and correspondence for the years 1971-2003.

American Legion Auxiliary, SD Dept Records (H80-6, H95-41) 11 cubic feet

History, scrapbook, yearbooks, manuals, lists of officers, South Dakota Legionette, and miscellaneous, 1921-1982. Department of South Dakota histories, 1987-1993 consisting of typewritten pages and five 5x7 color photographs of the former presidents of the organization. These records document the annual events and membership.

American Mothers, Inc., SD Chapter Poster (H99-148) 1 item

South Dakota Mothers Hall of Fame Poster, 1943-1989; lists names of those inducted into the South Dakota Mothers Hall of Fame.

Amundson, Helen Matilda Jacobson Papers (H96-18) 7 items

Six color photocopies of original photographs and fifteen pages of typewritten transcripts of a Jerauld County homesteading reminiscence. Included in the reminiscence are names of neighbors, stories of prairie fires and blizzards, and experiences of daily life in Dakota during the 1800s. The use of this collection is restricted to "not for profit" reproduction, publishing or exhibition.

Anderson, Carol Young Papers (H92-120, H92-121, H92-122) 4 cubic feet

Anderson’s papers, ranging from 1943 to 1984, document her activities in the Democratic Party, the League of Women Voters, and the 1975 United Nations proclamation of the International Women’s Year.

Anding, Lizzette Teacher’s Certificate (H76-40) 1 item

Teacher's certificate issued by the Dakota Territory Department of Education in 1883 certifying that Anding attended State Normal School at Winona, Minnesota.

Andresen, Mera Papers (H94-27) 2 items

Consists of a University of South Dakota Alumni Association Certificate issued to Mrs. Andresen in 1969 celebrating the class of 1919’s 50th year reunion, and a class reunion picture.

Anthony, Susan B. Letter (H86-22) 1 item

Letter to Mrs. L. E. Wimans of Highmore, South Dakota, December 21, 1897, describing problems of the day and the women’s suffrage movement.

Ault, Barbara Family Letters (H88-5) 2 folders, 40-50 pages

Letters written to Barbara Ault of Monroe, Wisconsin, by her aunt, Catherine Shrake, and her nieces, Maggie and May Shrake, 1884-1891. The letters describe pioneer life in Brule County. Ault’s son transcribed the letters and provided notes, editorial comments, and family history. The Shrakes seemed to have prospered in Dakota, as the general tone of the letters is positive.

Aurora-Brule Porkettes Club Records (H97-22, H99-061) 1.1 cubic ft.

Three scrapbooks containing club memorabilia, 1989-1991; newspaper articles, photographs, and the club by-laws. This club is an affiliate of the South Dakota Pork Council Women, an affiliate of the National Pork Council, a group which promotes pork production in the United States.

Austin, Guy Warren Papers (H95-21) 13 cubic ft.

Family photographs and genealogical research materials ranging from the 1800s to 1978 documenting the Hurd and Austin families. Photographs include portraits, families, and leisure actives. Extensive family group sheets, pedigree charts, and background material provide a detailed account of this Madison man’s lineage.


Babcock, Cora D Reminiscence (H75-48)

A succinct account of five years, 1880-1885, of homesteading near Mitchell by a lone woman.

Bangs, Eva Audio Recordings (H76-98) 2 items

Audio cassettes of Mrs. Eva H. Bangs with her niece Miriam Arozena, October 1974, describing life in Rapid City and her family.

Bean, Mrs. Frank C. Letters (H75-403) 6 letters

Six letters, written in 1877 and 1878, relating to the death of Mrs. Bean’s husband, a freighter traveling between Yankton, Fort Pierre, and the Black Hills. The proprietors of the Grand Central Hotel in Fort Pierre wrote to Mrs. Bean advising her that her husband was gravely ill, and a month later he died. The letters pertain to Mr. Bean’s freighting team and to settling debts incurred during his illness.

Belknap, Anna Letter (H76-3) 1 item

Letter describing family activities written in 1888 by Rapid City resident Anna Belknap, to her cousin, Clark Belknap in Auburn, Iowa. Clark was 11 1/2 years old when he received the letter, and Anna’s age is not known.

Benson, Hazel Manuscript (H88-31) 1 item

This two-page manuscript, written ca. 1950 and entitled "Things My Grandma Told Me," consists of stories told to Benson by her grandmother which describe life in 19th-century South Dakota and Minnesota. Dates and precise locations are poorly supplied. The South Dakota portion of the recollections may have occurred in or near the town of Harrison in Douglas County.

Berry, G. Cleve Family Photographs (H92-22) approximately 400 items

Ranging from 1914 through 1945, this collection consists of 35mm negatives of original photographs retained by the Berry family. G. Cleve Berry, brother of South Dakota Governor Tom Berry, and his wife Jessie Iddings located on a ranch 24 miles west of White River in 1914. These photographs provide an excellent view of the Berry family, ranching and West river geography during a time period which is not yet extensively documented. Any reproduction, other than photocopies, must be approved by the Berry family.

Bettelyoun, Susan Bordeaux Papers (H92-11) 1 microfilm reel

Microfilm edition of original papers held by the Nebraska State Historical Society. Susan Bordeaux was born in 1857 to fur trader James Bordeaux and Huntkalutawin, a Brule Lakota woman. She grew up near Fort Laramie, Wyoming and was educated at Hamburg, Iowa. In her final years she lived at the Old Soldiers Home at Hot Springs, South Dakota. Here she met Josephine Waggoner, a Hunkpapa Lakota also of mixed-descent, who assisted Bordeaux in producing the manuscripts in this collection during the 1930s and early 1940s. Waggoner was interested in collecting the stories of "old timers," and Bettelyoun, though unable to write due to rheumatism, wanted to correct what she saw as the flawed and incomplete white history of the west.

Bishop, Mrs. E.M. Papers (H74-133) 8 cubic feet

Letters, household and livestock account books, art work, scrapbooks, writings, and photographs created or collected by Bishop, ca. 1891-1938. Edna Sturtevant Bishop wrote poetry and short stories, some of which were published by magazines of the time. She also wrote for the Huron newspaper. The Bishops lived in Huron before moving to Fort Pierre in 1927. Letters between Edna and her husband Karl document economic hardships experienced by the family during the Depression. Other letters in the collection reveal Edna’s difficult relationship with her mother and relationships of the Bishop children, Allen and Mary Jane.

Blair, John Photographs (H96-45) approximately 220 items

188 glass plate negatives, 28 photographs, and several documents, ca. 1880-1919, 1940s. Blair was a photographer around Andrus in Bon Homme County. Included are numerous family and individual portraits as well as pictures of farm and leisure activities.

Blake, Laura Letter (H74-147) 1 letter

A single-page letter from Laura Blake of Pierre, to Mrs. J. W. DuBois of Oahe, South Dakota in 1924. Blake is accepting a position in the school.

Borglum, Emma Vignal Manuscript (H75-71) 1 item

A copy of an original manuscript in the custody of the Library of Congress in which Borglum describes a four month stay at Crow Creek Indian Reservation, 1899. Emma was the wife of sculptor, Solon Borglum.

Bos, Josephine F. S. Music Manuscripts (H96-39) 2 items

Handwritten music manuscripts entitled "A Lullaby" and "Baby’s Pony," undated. Lyrics are by Josephine F. S. Bos and music is by G. van der Wal. Bos was a graduate of Pierre High School in 1924.

Bower Family Papers (H91-78 and H97-12) 3 items

Photograph of the original Family Band, including Sidney, Nettie, Lulu, Rose, Mayo, Alice (Od), Father, Mother, Laura, and Quinnie Bower and a print of the cast of characters in Walt Disney’s 1968 production titled, The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band. Disney’s film was based on the book, The Family Band, written by Laura Bower Van Nuys, which detailed the Bower’s life in early Dakota. A later addition to this collection includes sheet music entitled, "My Little Boy’s Eyes," 1929, with words and music by Laura Bower Van Nuys.

Boyd, John Family Photographs (H96-22) 6 photograph albums

Photographs documenting three generations of a Lakota family of mixed descent from the Rosebud Reservation, ca. 1920-1990 (bulk 1940s and 1950s).

Breeden, Jane Rooker Papers (H74-22) 1 cubic feet

Correspondence, notes, manuscripts, and other papers relating to the woman suffrage and temperance movements in South Dakota and Illinois, 1870-1922.

Brennan, John R. Family Papers (H72-2) 2 cubic feet

The bulk of this collection dates from the period 1900-1917 when Major Brennan was Superintendent of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Material from the years previous to 1900 is from the Brennans' residence and business (Hotel Harney) in Rapid City. Items dating after Major Brennan's death in 1919 were collected by his wife, Jennie L. Brennan, and his family. Many family photographs.

Burke, Charles H. Family Papers (H86-16) 1/3 cubic foot relates to Burke’s daughter, Josephine.

Correspondence, diary, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, genealogical records, and family photographs, 1808-1980.

Burnett, Elizabeth C. Manuscript (H74-98) 68 typewritten pages

A manuscript entitled "History of the Red Cross Seal Commission of South Dakota--South Dakota Association--The South Dakota Tuberculosis Association." The manuscript was compiled by Elizabeth C. Burnett, with the assistance of Elizabeth M. Palmer, and covers the period from 1913 through 1939.

Byrne, Frank M. Family Papers (H92-98) 1 linear inch

This collection, largely photographs, relates to South Dakota Governor Byrne and his family.


Capitol Club Records (H76-14, H90-031, H91-004, H91-046, H98-007, H2000-003, H2002-053, H2003-009, and H2003-055) 8 cubic feet

Records of a social organization for the spouses of state legislators. The records consist of a history of the club; minutes; membership records, including a roster and directories; and scrapbooks, 1937-2003.

Carter, Myrtle Diaries (SC 47, MF 23) 2 items, 200 pages

Diaries of a McPherson County school girl, 1887 and 1891. Myrtle kept the diaries while attending school at Eureka. The entries are personal and often brief, but provide a good illustration of the social life of a young woman.

Chamberlain Register Newspaper Office Photograph (H94-51) 1 item

Photograph of the press room marked, "Aunt Ruth (Ruth Esther Griswold Prather) and Minnie Gray set the type by hand." The image is signed "Grace Theo Lawless."

Chestnut, Lottie Letter (H95-30) 1 item

Letter written to Lottie from her friend Vera, ca. 1908, containing a good description of a sod shanty.

Christian, Leola Manuscript (H74-124) 1 item

A fifteen page typewritten manuscript entitled "History of the South Dakota Branch of the International Order of the King’s Daughters and Sons, Years 1922 to 1961." Aberdeen resident Leola Christian was the branch historian.

Church Women United of South Dakota Records (H97-15) 4 cubic feet

Subject files, newsletters, and scrapbooks, 1947-1992. Church Women United is a national, ecumenical movement that brings Protestant, Roman Catholic, Orthodox and other Christian women together into one community of prayer, advocacy and service.

Collins, Mary Clementine Papers (H80-14, H94-14) 4 cubic feet

Collins was a prominent female Congregational missionary to the Lakota between 1875 and 1910. The personal papers contain genealogical material, Collins’ autobiography in her own hand, ordination papers, her will, and a certificate appointing her postmaster. The correspondence is most extensive for the 1880s and 1900s. Most of it is family and mission-related. Prominent correspondents are the American Missionary Association, the Department of the Interior (Indian Service), and the Indian Rights Association. Voluminous writings by Collins, in both English and Dakota, can be found under "Mission Work and Indians." Many photographs and pictographic drawings are also part of this collection. The material on Elias and Ethel Jacobsen consists of Ethel’s correspondence with her family, 1887-1898, 1933, 1937, some writings, and a sporadic diary; and Elias’s diaries for 1875-1885. Ethel Collins Jacobsen was a niece of Mary Collins. Also includes an account book for the Elk Butte Women’s Society, pamphlets, photographs, an American Missionary Association Indian Missions record book and a list of Indian names with their English translations.

Connor, T. Belle Manuscript (H75-179) 1 item, 9 typed pages

"Pioneers of Clay County: Historical Pageant of Pioneer Life in Clay County," 1937.

Coolidge, Grace (H74-138) 1 item

Letter, 1954. One signed typescript letter from Grace (Mrs. Calvin) Coolidge to Harry A. Robinson of Yankton. Mrs. Coolidge discusses a piece of sculpture done by Gutzon Borglum, and her memories of experiences in the Black Hills.

Cordts, Irene A. Manuscript (H88-61) 1 item, 22 typed pages

"A Lifetime of Caring and Sharing: Abbie Ann Jarvis, MD," 1988.

Corey, Elizabeth F Letters (H75-80) 1 cubic foot

Letters from Corey to her family, 1909-1919. The letters detail her day to day experiences for the ten year period following 1909 on or near her homestead on the Bad River, ten miles west of Ft. Pierre. These letters were the primary source material for "Bachelor Bess," an article written by her younger brother, Paul F. Corey, and published in 1974 in the South Dakota Historical Collections.

Culver, Rhoda Selway Diary (H89-1) 1 item

Travel diary of trip from western South Dakota to eastern Iowa by wagon and team, 1901.

Custer, Elizabeth B. Letters (H77-4) 10 items

Photocopies of Elizabeth Custer’s letters to Lawrence Fox, 1927-1928, are in reference to her husband, General George Armstrong Custer, and his life in South Dakota. On the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn in 1876, Mrs. Custer writes of the battle; her reverence for her husband and his troops, the 7th Cavalry; and her beliefs about why the event occurred.


Dahlin, Sherry Photograph (H88-92) 6 items

Photograph of Mrs. South Dakota contestant in costume she made using pheasant feathers, 1988.

Daughters of the American Revolution, South Dakota Chapter Records (H74-80, H93-94 through H93- 99) 2/3 cubic feet

Proceedings of the annual conference, 1920-1946; yearbooks, 1925-1976; programs, pamphlets, and citizenship manual, 1912-1970; and genealogical material, 1939. Records of the following clubs: Pierre (1925-1937); Redfield (1923-1943); Watertown (1912-1975); Rapid City (1939-1970); Mitchell (1930-1973); and Madison (1917-1958). Records include membership applications, meeting minutes, chapter histories, scrapbooks, photographs, club by-laws, financial records, original charters, regents reports, and honor roll certificates.

Deloria, Ella C. Manuscript (H75-271) 202 typewritten pages

The January 1954 edition of the South Dakota State Historical Society publication, The Wi-iyohi, announces a forthcoming book written by "Miss Deloria, of the famous Indian family." This collection consists of an undated and untitled 202-page carbon copy of a manuscript on the Dakota, primarily Teton, Indian culture, researched and written by Deloria, a Dakota woman of mixed descent. It is the first part of a final draft of a 392-page first draft version in the Ella Deloria Papers at the Dakota Indian Foundation in Chamberlain, SD. The location of the remaining pages of this final draft of the manuscript is unknown.

Deming, Marguerite Manuscript (H74-128) 6 typewritten pages

"Pioneer Life in Jackson County, South Dakota," by Marguerite Deming Spearman. Description of homesteading in 1899, life in a sod shanty, pioneer schooling, a prairie fire, and Indian tales.

Diary, Unknown Author (H74-131) 1 item

Diary kept by a Fort Pierre woman during 1943. Names mentioned in the diary include Lotta Haas, Leah Hays Heaton, Mrs. Preston, Cpl. Bernard C. Preston, William Price, and Mrs. Bloom. The diary is completely personal, with little information other than daily routines.

Dickens Club of Pierre Records (H74-5, H96-40) 1/3 cubic feet

Papers, critics' reports, minutes, books, season programs, 1890-1956, photograph of "Dickens Costume Party," December 16, 1946.

Drake, Emilia Stoner Family Papers (H74-26) 2 folders, 1 scrapbook

Papers of Emilia Stoner Drake and her family of Woonsocket, South Dakota, 1890-1917. Mrs. Drake’s sister, Lulu, was married to Samuel A. Ramsey, a prominent South Dakota attorney. In 1892, he was the Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, and the collection includes a scrapbook of the clippings and broadsides from this campaign. Some of the correspondence and papers deal with the land owned by Mrs. Drake in Indiana and Wyoming, and Mr. Ramsey acted as her attorney in these matters. Other letters are from family members. One set in particular relates to the grave of baby Emelia Jane Stoner. Another relative, Minnie Stoner, is represented in the collection by address books and bank books.

Dubel, Zelda Zeuge Collection (H2001-035) 2.5 cubic feet

Genealogical letters from the Toedt, Brehe, and Weischedel families, primarily from the Sully County area (1965-1997).

Duchnaux-Lecompte Marriage Certificate (SC 7) 1 item

Marriage certificate of Napoleon Duchnaux and Sophie Lecompte, 1867. Both were Dakota of mixed descent.


Eldredge, Lucile Papers (H85-80, H88-71, H95-24) 1 cubic foot

Photographs of Mrs. Henry Ash, Crook City, Dakota Territory, 1876 and her daughter, Annie Ash Eldredge, ca. 1880, and two autograph books belonging to Annie Ash Eldridge. Ben Ash was a member of the first group of White men to illegally enter the Black Hills in 1876. Also includes letters, photographs, postcards, and newspaper clippings relating to the early history of the Black Hills area, especially Crook City. The letters, written in 1941, were to Annie Eldredge, who was writing a history of the Crook City area, and collected recollections of life in the area during the 1800s


Eldredge, Lucile Papers (H85-80, H88-71, H95-24) 1 cubic foot

Photographs of Mrs. Henry Ash, Crook City, Dakota Territory, 1876 and her daughter, Annie Ash Eldredge, ca. 1880, and two autograph books belonging to Annie Ash Eldridge. Ben Ash was a member of the first group of White men to illegally enter the Black Hills in 1876. Also includes letters, photographs, postcards, and newspaper clippings relating to the early history of the Black Hills area, especially Crook City. The letters, written in 1941, were to Annie Eldredge, who was writing a history of the Crook City area, and collected recollections of life in the area during the 1800s


Gage, Matilda Electa Joslyn Papers (MF 46) 1 microfilm reel

Microfilm copies of papers belonging to woman suffrage activist Matilda Gage, 1870-1970. The collection contains correspondence, woman suffrage materials, information on Susan B. Anthony, newspaper clippings, and a biography of Mrs. Gage. These papers were microfilmed by the South Dakota Commission on the Status of Women prior to their donation to the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe College.

Gage, Matilda Jewell Family Papers (H97-52) 14 cubic feet

Letters, photographs, financial records, scrapbooks, and subject files for the period 1876 through 1986. Included are Aberdeen historical items as well as the papers of her father, Aberdeen pioneer (1881) T. Clarkson Gage and her mother, Sophie Jewell Gage. Her unmarried cousin, Leslie Gage, will her papers to Matilda and they are also included, along with some papers of Leslie’s mother, Helen Leslie Gage. Gage, the granddaughter of prominent suffrage leader Matilda Joslyn Gage, was born in Aberdeen in 1886. It is believed that she was the inspiration for the character Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz books written by her uncle L. Frank Baum.

General Federation of Women's Clubs of South Dakota Records (H92-92, H93-43, H97-56, H98-17, H98-73,  H99-019, H2000-31, H2000-52, H2001-15, H2001-22, H2002-002) 24.5 cubic feet

This collection consists of records of the GFWC of South Dakota, 1899-1958, including the Pioneer Daughters Collection. Club records include by-laws, club histories, minutes, program reports, financial reports, and a treasurer's ledger. The Pioneer Daughters Collection is the result of a statewide GFWC effort to collect and preserve the stories of female pioneers in South Dakota. Arranged by county, this collection is the largest body of women’s histories in the State Archives. Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner describes this collection in "Dakota Resources: The Pioneer Daughters Collection of the South Dakota Federation of Women’s Clubs," South Dakota History, Vol. 19, (Spring, 1989): 95-109. The GFWC of South Dakota was organized January 16, 1900 and joined the national organization March 1, 1900.

General Federation of Women's Clubs, East Pierre Woman's Club Records (H2003-056) 2 cubic feet

The records for this club cover from 1921 to 2002 and  include booklets, minutes, and issues of the South Dakota Clubwoman.

George, W. H. & Edythe Papers (H75-180) 17 items

An article written by the Georges for presentation to the Minnesota Archaeological Society (with the advice of Dr. W. H. Over, director of the Museum at the University of South Dakota) entitled "Villages on the Banks of the Missouri River in South Dakota." Generally, the article describes the excavation of a site at Steamboat Creek, n.d. Besides the manuscript, this collection contains correspondence (1942 & 1964) between the Georges and W. H. Over, and Ernest E. Macgowan, a professional archaeologist. Archaeological methods and conclusions form the basis for the correspondence.

Geertgens Family Papers (H95-32) 5 items

Consists of a reminiscence of Florence Geertgens Simmons about her experiences homesteading in Perkins County in the early 1900s. The family attended the Lutheran Church near Strool. Also in this collection is a photograph of a large group of women (one of which is Mrs. Jacob Geertgens) and children.

Geeting, Julia Marvin Collection (H2002-022) 0.25 cubic feet

Geeting was born in Springfield, South Dakota and graduated from the Springfield State Normal School in 1900.  After her marriage to Charles Geeting they moved to Spencer, Iowa. Her collection consists of personal papers, correspondence, teaching certificates, Springfield State Normal School programs, family genealogy and photographs. ca. 1895-1974

Girl Scouts of America Photographs (H93-9) 5 items

Photographs of Girl Scout facilities on Farm Island, near Pierre, 1962.

Gleckler, Amelia C. Scrapbook (H74-43) 1 item

Amelia C. Gleckler moved to Pierre in 1882 after her marriage to William H. Glecker. The scrapbook (1882-1949) contains news clippings, invitations, programs, obituaries, announcements and other papers, mostly from the Pierre area.


Hall, Edna Papers (H75-315) 3 folders

On May 8, 1927, Charles Bintliff, a prohibition agent for the US Department of the Treasury, was killed in the line of duty. This collection, which includes five letters and claim forms, relates to Edna Bintliff Hall's subsequent claims for compensation.

Hall, Elizabeth Meadville McConnell Farrell Diary (H99-137) 1 item

Copy of the diary written by Eliabeth Hall while living in Dell Rapids, January 1, 1883 through January 7, 1884. She writes about her children, daily chores, her husbands’ activities and the weather.

Hammill, Ella May Papers (H77-46) 6 items

Family photographs and genealogical materials researched and collected by Hammill. A letter by Avery and Addie Hammill of Winabago Valley (16 miles from Miller), Dakota, to Mother and Cora, dated February 5, 1886, speaks of weather hardships and poor crops, making fresh butter, and the weariness of living a difficult life.

Hanson, Joseph Mills Family Papers (H74-17) 15 cubic feet

This unprocessed collection contains approximately fifteen cubic feet of correspondence, more than half of which was written to or by Annie Hanson, mother of Joseph Mills Hanson. A majority of the letters, detailing day-to-day family activities, are between Annie and Joseph. Letters written during the 1800s are mainly between Annie, her mother in New York, and Annie’s brothers Stephen in Omaha, Nebraska, and Abe in Washington, D.C. Major Joseph Randall Hanson and his wife Annie were early settlers in Yankton. The Major was a territorial legislator and was appointed Indian Agent for the Upper Missouri region by President Lincoln in 1865.

Hawkins, Thelma Scrapbooks (H85-96) 19 items

Scrapbooks, 1945-1978. Hawkins was one of a very few African American women living Pierre from 1945 until her death in 1986. Hawkins taught at the Pierre Indian School for many years before retiring in 1974. She was active in Girl Scouts of America, the American Association of University Women, the Trinity Episcopal Church, and the Pierre chapter of Business and Professional Women. Hawkins was also a member of the board of directors of South Dakota Public Television.

Haxby, Orpha LeGro Manuscripts (H75-149) 2 items, 11 pages

Homesteading in the Black Hills, n.d., and 1944. In a letter and a manuscript Haxby discusses the trip she made as a child with her family from Elk Point to Rapid City in 1876. In addition to the routines of travel, Haxby mentions the various supplies and furniture they brought with them and the problems of life on the trail.

Hegna, Audra Adams Papers (H90-123) 1 cubic foot

Correspondence, financial and family records, news clippings, real estate documents, and photographs, 1860s-1970s. Audra Adams was born in 1903 in or near Wallace, South Dakota. Her parents were Ezra Adams, a banker, and Lillian Shanks Adams, a pianist. Audra married Ed Hegna in 1930 and joined him in Montana, where they spent the rest of their lives. Other family members remained in South Dakota.

Herm, Clara O. Photographs (H94-61) 89 items

Photographs of Rosebud Indian Agency, 1941-1947. Includes views of Mrs. Herm, nurses, doctors, groups of Indian children, boarding schools, and individuals. Also included are photocopies of two news articles concerning Mrs. Herm’s career as a public health nurse. Mrs. Herm served as public health nurse at Rosebud Indian Agency from 1932 until her retirement in 1950.

Heron Family Papers (H94-50) 16 items

Consists of photographs and papers of John and Jane Knowlton Heron and their children, Claude, Grace, Hugh, Robert, and Laura. John, Jane, Robert, and Grace Heron immigrated to Pierre from Ontario, Canada in 1886, where John worked as a blacksmith. Among the papers are a Declaration of Intention certificate for Grace Heron, a brief family history written by Grace, and a brief account by Laura Heron Spencer of working in the book bindery in the old capitol building in Pierre.

Hoard, Lula (Mrs. Willis) Letters (H82-47) 11 items

Nine letters written to Mrs. Hoard by her brother Guy Winesburg while he was in the army in 1918; a retail business license issued to Mrs. Hoard by the South Dakota Division of Taxation and a letter to Mrs. Hoard and her husband from Arthur Mayer of the 164th Depot Brigade.

Hogan, Martin E. and Kate Letters (SC 34) 6 items

Letters written by a lieutenant in the US Army in Dakota Territory, and by his wife, 1871-1874. The letters describe living conditions and life on military posts at the Lower Brule Indian Agency, Fort Randall, and Fort Sully.

Horning, Harriet Photographs (H92-61) 11 items

Family photographs, ca. 1908-1960. Harriet Horning was Codington County Register of Deeds, 1946-1950; South Dakota Mother of the Year in 1952; and the first woman to serve as South Dakota State Auditor, 1958-1960.

Household Account Book (75-501) 1 item

This single notebook, written from January through July 1880, lists items bought and the amount paid for each. Entries include muslin, silk, cashmere, embroidery, needles, buttons, thread, paper and postage, as well as three cake recipes.

Humphrey Family Papers (H91-116) 5 cubic feet

Correspondence between Humphrey family members and between Hervey Humphrey and his business and political contacts, 1877-1900. Humphrey was editor of the Faulkton Times, Faulk County Commissioner, and served as South Dakota’s Adjutant General from 1897 to 1901. The papers contain important information concerning early settlements in Faulk County and territorial politics. Correspondence of the Humphrey children, while small in quantity, offers details of their lives in a pioneer household.

Hutchings-Koehler Family Papers (H78-54) 122 items

Septima Koehler (1848-1918), Aurora Koehler (1846-1928) and Josephine Hutchings (1863-1930) taught in Indian mission schools in South Dakota from the 1890s to the early 1910s. The collection includes approximately 100 brief essays written by Indian students at St. Elizabeth's School, Walworth county; 15 pamphlets and newspapers relating to mission activity in the state; and 7 photographs of students at St. Elizabeth's School and Indians at Rosebud Agency.

Hutton, William E. Family Photographs (H96-16) 200 items

Glass plate negatives of Egan, South Dakota family, ca. 1900. Photographs in this collection provide a remarkable view of both the Hutton family and the Egan area.


Irvine, Javan Bradley Family Papers (H72-3, H75-16, H90-87) 2 cubic feet

Capt. Irvine was stationed at Fort Sully, DT in the 1860s and 1870s, where he and his family met the Thomas L. Riggs family. The Riggs’s are mentioned frequently in the Irvine family letters. Capt. Irvine’s daughter, M. Louisa, later married Thomas L. Riggs, after the death of his first wife, Nina Foster. This collection of family letters (1859-1902) provides much biographical information in addition to his military experiences. Additions to the Irvine papers include manuscripts, a bible, photographs, 1806-1967, and two diaries written by J.B. Irvine, 1870-1873, containing numerous mentions of the Riggs family.


Jacobson, Hanna Caroline Confirmation Certificate (H75-300) 1 item

Confirmation certificate of Hanna Caroline Jacobson, born April 26, 1880 and confirmed November 18, 1894 at the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Union County.

Jencks, Mrs. Clifford Papers (H71-4) 2 items

In a 1910 letter to her daughter Maybel, Mrs. Jencks of Brushie, South Dakota describes a prairie fire and speaks of the marriage of her daughter Edna to John Kelsey. Also included in the collection is a photograph of the frame-sod homestead the Jencks family lived in at the time of the fire.

Jenney, Adeline Papers (H75-168) 10 items

Letters, biographical sketch, and membership/award certificates, 1956-1969. Jenney’s family moved to Valley Springs, South Dakota in 1917. An instructor at Yankton College, Jenney became the secretary of the South Dakota Poetry Society in 1933. In 1937 she became the editor of Pasque Petals, a position she held for over three decades. In 1958 she became Poet Laureate of the State by proclamation of the governor.

Johnston, Janice Case Photograph Album (H99-090) 1 item

Janice lived in Watertown and she took photographs of her home, her family, Mount Rushmore, and out of state views; 1934-1935.

Jones, Mildred McEwen Papers (H74-25) 1 cubic foot

Biographical and genealogical sketches and clippings mainly concerning early Beadle county pioneers. Compiled by Huron resident Mildred Jones.

Jorgensen, Mrs. Theodore Manuscript (H82-1) 1 item, 5 typewritten pages

Manuscript describing early Thrall Academy, and the author’s experiences there, entitled "Young People of the Prairie," ca. 1916.

Judy, Isabelle McGillvary Manuscript (H75-295) 1 item

In a one-page typed manuscript, Judy describes the effects of the hard winter of 1880-1881 on the new settlement of Forestburg, South Dakota.


Kalkbrenner, Mrs. Ray Manuscript (H76-94) 1 item, 43 typewritten pages

Manuscript entitled, "The Smithville Story." Contains the memories of Mrs. C. F. Bohnsack, nee Katie Franklin, of the Pothook Bar Ranch at old Smithville. Franklin was the older of two granddaughters of C. K. Howard. Kalkbrenner was a small child at old Smithville at a time when Bohnsack had reached adulthood and married.

Kelly, Ilma Letter (H75-68) 2 items

In a long and detailed letter, Kelly, a nurse in the American Expeditionary Force, describes her experiences on the French and Belgium Fronts as a member of a mobile hospital staff during World War I in 1918.

Kirk, Maud H. Letter (H74-143) 1 item

Consists of a single-page note written by Maud H. Kirk on June 14, 1877, while on board the steamer "Josephine." The note, stating all is well, was placed in a bottle and thrown overboard near Fort Buford.

Klein, JoAnn Kositzky Photographs (H94-63) 6 items

Two group photographs of the Women Accepted in Volunteer Emergency Service unit in which JoAnn served from 1944 to 1946, an informal photo of JoAnn with three other women in uniform, and copies of WAVES publications.


Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic Records (H77-3) 1 folder

Records of the General George A. Custer Circle No. 6, Chamberlain, 1932-1935. This women's organization was composed of descendants of Civil War Union veterans and nurses. Included are correspondence, lists of members and officers for 1932 and 1934, rituals, special programs, rules and regulations, order of meetings, and the proceedings of the 48th Annual National Convention.

Langemann, Irene, A Home without Roots [videotape] (H95-15) 1 item

A video filmed by Langemann with a running time of 30 minutes titled A Home without Roots: Destiny of a Refugee Family (1993). The film, focusing on Germans from Russia, describes Irma Schefelbein’s emigration from Kasakstan to Germany, the land of her forefathers. Irma, a 67-year-old woman, and 200 other emigrants from the Commonwealth of Independent States came to Potsdam, Brandenberg to live in old army barracks. They left because of unstable political conditions.

League of Women Voters Records (H75-75, H99-007 and H2002-022) 5 cubic feet

Minutes, correspondence, annual reports, circulars, committee reports, and other materials, 1922-1997. The LWV of the United States was organized in 1920, as was the first local SD chapter. However, it was not until the mid 1950s that a state league was organized.

Lee, Frances Papers (H78-52) 30 items

Legal documents, 1883-1945. Deeds and land records of a Pierre woman whose family homesteaded in Kingsbury county in the late 1870s.

Lief, Augusta, Teacher’s Contract (H75-66) 1 item

Teacher's contract with the 64th school district of Union County, 1899.

Linstad, Otto Papers (H82-39) 1 folder and several photographs

This collection is primarily World War I clippings, photographs, and papers. A small portion relates to Mrs. Lindstad’s (Hazel Rood) activities in the American Legion Auxiliary. Hazel Rood was born near Ash Creek in present day Haakon County, July 31, 1889. She became active in the Pierre American Legion Auxiliary after her marriage to Otto in 1923. In 1927 she was elected President of the South Dakota Department.

Lonewell Extension Club Secretary's Record Books (H2002-052) 1.0 cubic feet

The Lonewell Extension Club was organized in the Oelrichs area to promote interest in homemaking and to sponsor 4-H club work. The Secretary's Record books cover the years from 1927 to 1994 and contain the membership information, meeting minutes, duties of officers, the clubs' constitution and by-laws and suggestions for meetings.

Lott, Lucie Emma Dickinson Papers(SC 48) 12 typewritten pages

Reminiscences of life in Vermont, South Dakota, California, and Michigan. The Dickinson family homesteaded in Edmunds County in 1885. At sixteen Lucie became the railway agent at Loyalton. Two years later she married the agent at Ipswich and continued working as the office clerk. The Lotts remained in South Dakota until 1907.

Lutheran Ladies Aid Society Photograph (H2003-017) 1 item

The Norwegian Ladies Aid Society was organized in Pierre in 1896 and changed its name to the Lutheran Ladies Aid Society in 1899. This 10 x 13 reprint includes all of the members in 1896.

Lutheran Memorial Church, Pierre, Records (H75-77) 4 microfilm reels

Women church members played active roles in the life of the Lutheran Memorial Church and in its predecessors, and in the Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Hayes, by their participation in women's organizations that were affiliated with the churches. Records include those of the Sunshine Circle and the Lutheran Ladies Aid Society.


Malone, Fanny Achines Manuscript (H75-330) 1 item

In a 22-page typewritten manuscript, Malone discusses her twelve years of homesteading with her husband, George Malone, in Lyman county (later Jones County). Natives of Michigan, the Malones moved to South Dakota in 1905 when parts of the Rosebud Reservation were opened to settlement.

Mann, Dorothy Photograph Collection (H2001-030) 0.25 cubic feet

One photograph album of black and white photos (1914-1925) including parade scenes in Chamberlain, the Missouri River bridge at Chamberlain, the State Game Lodge, White’s Mill near Mitchell and the Mann family.

Marion Family History (H86-21) 1 item

121-page typewritten manuscript by Cecilia Marion Cudmore (1976) in which she reminisces about her life near Fort Pierre. Cudmore, born in 1900, was the daughter of H. Marion, who operated a profitable truck garden on Marion’s Island in the Missouri River between Pierre and Fort Pierre.

Marriage Law Collection (H77-9) 3 items

Letter to Doane Robinson from Daniel M. Brown in 1911 asking for Robinson’s opinion on marriage legislation introduced in the 1911 session; a copy of the 1911 legislation; and an open letter written to the legislature in 1909 by Brown, Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Lead.

Mathieson, Joseph R. Family Photographs (H96-21) 93 items

Photographs collected by the Mathieson family, ca. 1889-1991. Images in this collection include: Eagle Butte, Pierre, Fort Pierre, and Philip, South Dakota; ranch scenes; cowboys; homestead claim shacks; Mathieson and Rousseau family members; and the Rousseau ranch. Joseph R.’s grandfather, George D. Mathieson, settled in Fort Pierre in 1879 and later served as a Stanley County Commissioner and state legislator.

Matteson, Grace Cotton Papers (H86-3) 4 cubic feet

Family letters, correspondence during Grace’s tenure as Hughes County Superintendent of Schools (1921-1924), family photographs, education publications (1920s), and greeting cards. The family letters, spanning three generations, provide an insightful view of family life from 1900 through 1930. Of particular interest are letters between Grace and her siblings regarding the care of their sister Bertha who was epileptic. The Cotton family moved from Indiana to Clay County in 1874. Two years later they moved to Turner County, where Grace’s parents remained until their deaths.

McCreary, Patricia Papers (H2003-033) 0.25 cubic feet

"Coal Bins and Chalk Dust" consists of information recollected by Grant County country school teachers. The stories were gathered and compiled between 2001 and 2002, but the memories of the teachers cover from the 1930s through the 1960s.

McGillycuddy, Fanny Diary (H74-140) 1 item

A 19 page typescript copy (April 11, 1877-October 31, 1878) of a diary recorded by the wife of Pine Ridge Indian Agent and Army Officer Dr. Valentine T. McGillycuddy while at Fort Robinson. Entries describe day-to-day activities as well as the surrender, death, and burial of Crazy Horse.

McGinnis, John Harvey Family Papers (H75-126) 6 items

Five-page typewritten family history and photos, 1897 and 1974. The manuscript describes John and Elizabeth McGinnis’s homesteading experiences in Hand County. Included in the collection is a wedding photograph and four images of the homestead buildings.

McKennan Nursing Graduates Photograph (H2003-002) 1 item

Sixteen female graduates of the McKennan Nursing School class of 1931 are pictured along with their names in this 8 x 10 photograph.

McMahan, Nellie Cole Papers (H80-11) 5 items

Autograph album, 1888-1896; a sheet of home remedies, 1889; McMahan’s diary, 1913-1915; a mortgage paper on the McMahan land, 1909; and a note of payment due, 1914. Nellie Cole McMahan (1870-1937) was born in Bon Homme County. She spent most of her life on a homestead near Delmont in Douglas County. The diary details the daily life of a Dakota homesteader - the weather, farm work, and occasional social events.

McNeil, Ida M. Anding Manuscript (H75-202) 1 item

This 4 page typescript discusses conscription, assignment of South Dakota troops to the regular army, and the home front during World War I, 1917. Ida Anding moved to Pierre with her family in 1896. In 1906 she began work for the South Dakota Department of History and in 1909 she designed and made the first official flag of the State of South Dakota. She is best remembered for her role as "Mrs. Pierre," the owner and operator of KGFX radio station in Pierre from 1922 through 1962.

McNeil, Mattie Diary (H88-27) 1 item, 12 typewritten pages

Typed transcript of a diary kept by Mattie McNeil in 1894 during a wagon trip to Yellowstone Park.

Mead, Corwin D. Papers (H75-509) 7 folders

The majority of this collection relates to Mead’s business activities in Pierre where he was a lawyer, judge and legislator. Folders 5-11, however, relate to Mead’s wife Ida Wicks Mead and his daughter Winifred. Particularly "The New Woman" in folder 9 and the typewritten manuscript on coeducation in folder 11, provide insights into the prevailing attitudes towards the roles of women from the 1880s to the turn of the century. Folder 6 contains a manuscript entitled, "What We Owe the Community," probably written by Ida Wicks Mead, and presented to the Woman's Club on October 7, 1899. Little is known about Ida and the three daughters, Mary, Winifred, and Ruth. All four women apparently received college educations. Ida maintained interests in literature, civic issues, and household issues. She was a member of the Pierre Woman’s Cub and the Dickens Club. Ida Mead died in 1920.

Medary Extension Club Records (H96-49) 1/2 cubic foot

Chairman handbook, four notebooks containing members accounts, and four secretary’s books from ca. 1936 through 1987.

Mellette Family Papers (H94-41) 1 microfilm reel

Microfilm copies of original papers located at the Mellette House in Watertown, where many are on display. Includes correspondence of former Governor Arthur Mellette, Margaret Wylie Mellette, the Mellette children, Samuel Elrod, and Wylie; invitations to various receptions, political and social events; articles in journals; scrapbooks; loose clippings; pictures; and a family Bible.

Metcalfe, Eugenie Photographs (H88-94) 6 items

A collection of images of the 1st WAVE reunion at San Francisco, CA in 1948 which documents Metcalfe’s Navy career. Sioux Falls resident Lt. Eugenie Metcalfe was an occupational therapist in the Medical Corps during World War II. After the war she served as president of the Prairie W.A.V.E.R.S. Unit #23 veterans organization.

Miller, Mary Ann Photographs (H93-11) 16 items

Picture postcards of Miller throughout her childhood(1946-1949, 1952-1962). A.C. Miller, her father, practiced law in Kennebec. He also served as a South Dakota legislator, Speaker of the House (1937-1940), and Lieutenant Governor (1941-1945).

Miller, Myra Morton Photographs (H88-88) 584 glass plates and several thousand black and white prints

Miller was an amateur photographer and artist who left an extensive photograph collection for the period 1910-1930. A rural Marshall County resident, she photographed life around her—children, farm animals and buildings, and other members of her family.

Morris Family Manuscript (H75-153) 1 item, 114 pages

Entitled "Pioneer and Indian Stories," the manuscript provides an account of ranching and pioneer life experienced by Rapid Valley homesteaders (1880). Authored by at least two of the Morris children, it was compiled by Rena E. Murphy.

Mother Gertrude Biographical Sketch (H75-111) 1 item

A two-page sketch of a Benedictine nun written by Rose A. O’Connor, Hospital Librarian at the Sioux City Public Library, 1931. Born as Mary Ellen McDermott in 1864, Mother Gertrude moved to Standing Rock Indian Reservation in 1890.

Murphy, Mary McKenna Family Papers (H2003-018) 0.25 cubic feet

The McKenna family moved from Iowa to Bon Homme County in 1878. This collection includes photographs and an autobiographical account of childhood and early adult life memories written by Mary in 1946 when she was 82 years old.


National Secretaries Association (International) Oahe Chapter Records (H97-36) 3 cubic feet

Subject files and scrapbooks, 1967-1990. Founded in 1942,the NSA is the world’s largest secretarial association. The first meeting of the Oahe Chapter was held in Pierre on April 18, 1967.

New York City Indian Association Annual Reports (H88-9) 2 folders and 20 bound volumes

Annual reports, 1907-1938. The NYCIA was a predominantly female group whose aims were to foster Christian ideals among American Indians through the support of missionaries and instructors to Indians. This group also published The Indian’s Friend.

Norton, Carrie More Papers (H75-335) 3 items

Manuscripts concerning Norton's hobby of bird watching in and around Faulkton, South Dakota, 1920.


Old Settlers Register (H76-66) 1 item

A list of various old settlers, both male and female, and the date they settled in Dakota. This photocopied document titled, "Register of Old Settlers, Homecoming Week, June 11 to June 17, 1911," refers to the 50th anniversary celebration of the Yankton County Old Settlers Association.

Olson, Alice Adelaide Letters (H75-336) 2 items

Letters testifying to Alice Olson's teaching ability, 1882.

Olson, Florence DeWolf Papers (H97-20) 1/2 cubic foot

Genealogy items, diaries, school records and notebooks, letters, teacher certificate and contracts, teaching aids, and family photographs (1869-1980 with the bulk limited to 1920-1940). After attending Northern Normal School in Aberdeen, DeWolf taught in the Hyde County rural schools of Bramhall and South Convent before teaching primary grades at Harrold. Her husband Clarence worked in road construction.

Olson, Irma Anna Israel Collection (H2002-008) 2.25 cubic feet

Olson was a South Dakota PTA President in the late 1950's. The records in this collection include correspondence, reports, and publications that were collected or generated by Olson during her time as president. ca. 1929-1969

Olson-Mann Family Papers (H90-52) 1/4 cubic foot

A collection of letters, obituaries, and a legal instrument. The letters explain how Andrew Olson-Mann (1863-1910) was adopted and tell of his reunion with his birth father. His sister Anna writes lengthy letters describing homesteading in McCook County. She gives an excellent account of housing, life on the prairie, and remarks on their crops and farm animals.

Opheim, Charlotte Johnson Papers (H76-7) 1 item

Affidavit dated 1941 in which Opheim relates the discovery of the Verendrye plate.

Oral, South Dakota Postcard (H94-52) 1 item

Titled, "Good Girls in Badlands, South Dakota, 1909." The image shows a sod house and tent with three girls sitting in the foreground and one woman in the background in front of the house and tent. The card is addressed to Miss Minnie Johnson of Clarkston, Washington. The text of the message expresses the writer’s dislike for the Badlands and is signed, "Lovingly Kate."

Osborne, Sara Jane Memoir (H92-85) 1 item, 6 pages

Osborne, a Pennington County resident ca. 1885-1890, describes meetings with local Indians and events surrounding the Wounded Knee Massacre along with other recollections of her life in this memoir.


"A Pageant of Local History" (H77-23) 1 item

A play presented at the Women's Day Re-dedication Program held April 21, 1948 in Pierre. The pageant consisted of approximately twenty episodes depicting historic events. It was sponsored by various Pierre area women's clubs, church groups, and civic organizations. The program was prepared to coincide with the arrival in Pierre of a traveling exhibit housing more than 100 of the nation’s historical documents known as the "Freedom Train." The purpose of the traveling exhibit was to "inspire and rekindle a patriotic interest in the great American Heritage of freedom."

Parker, Niles G. Family Letters (H75-25) 7 items

Letters written from Bangor, Dakota Territory to cousin Wm. O. Haskell, of Mason, New Hampshire, 1880s. Four of the letters were written by Niles G. Parker, editor of The Bangor Rustler; three were written by his wife, Marian A. Parker. The letters deal mainly with personal affairs, but also offer a glimpse into life in Dakota Territory.

Parmelee, David and Mary Papers (H92-59 and H95-25) 17 items

This collection offers a glimpse of life on the Rosebud Reservation in the 1800s. David taught at the day school at Cut Meat while his wife Mary assisted him. Included in the collection is a letter dated 1887 from the teacher and students of St. Mary’s School to the Parmelees; a letter dated September 2, the Parmelee’s wedding date, from Mary’s sister Mame; and Mary’s Memoriam booklet. In 1995 the Archives received 13 photographs dated 1916 to add to this collection.

Parnell Birthday Club (H2000-082 and H2001-012) 0.50 cubic feet

Yearbooks, secretary book, minutes, treasurer’s books, scrapbook, and recipes (1949-2000) from a club that was organized in February of 1949 and disbanded in 2000.

Pearson, Ralph Manuscript (H88-17) 1 item, 19 pages

"An Intensive Study of Divorce and Marriage in South Dakota," 1932.

Pickler Family Papers (H91-74) 65 cubic feet

Correspondence, subject files, financial records, journals, business records, photographs, scrapbooks, and speeches, 1865-1976. Major John Alfred Pickler and his wife, Alice Mary Alt Pickler, were prominent Faulk County pioneers. This collection contains documentation of the temperance and suffrage movements in South Dakota, in which both John and Alice Pickler were active. Alice’s correspondents included persons of national prominence in these crusades including Annie Wittenmeyer, Carrie Chapman Catt, Susan B. Anthony, and Henry Blackwell. The collection includes an extensive body of correspondence between state and national Equal Suffrage Association headquarters and field workers and local societies. Portions of the collection dating later than 1910 concern the household, school and business activities of by then widowed Alice Pickler, her children, and grandchildren. See article by Linda M. Sommer "Dakota Resources: The Pickler Family Papers and the Humphrey Family Papers at the South Dakota State Historical Society," in South Dakota History, Vol. 24 (Summer 1994): 115-134.

Pierre Indian School Photographs (H97-14) Approximately 250 items

This collection of images, dating from the 1920s through the 1960s, was collected by Winifred Echelberger, who taught at the school for 23 years. Views include students, staff, and class activities.

Pohrt, Richard A. Photograph Collection (H74-195) 217 items

Pine Ridge Reservation photographs, ca. 1900. Many views of women are included in this collection.

Porter, Grace Reed Autobiography (H88-24) 1 item, 35 pages

Autobiography, 1957. Porter was elected Superintendent of Stanley County Schools in 1908 and later served as Dean of Women at Dakota Wesleyan University from 1926 to 1933.

Pulles Family Papers (H94-69) 186 items-182 are photos

Photographs and papers of a Pierre family, ca. 1900-1970. Includes photographs of the Pulles and Hengel families and a 1970 press release announcing Catherine Pulles’s 50 years of service to South Dakota state government.

Putnam, Jennie Teaching Certificate (H76-67) 2 items

Teaching certificate from Clark County Normal Institute and certificate to teach in Brown County, 1892-1893


No entries


Republican Party, South Dakota Central Committee Records (H95-22) 1 cubic foot of Women’s Division records

Women’s Division files, 1956-1970, are included within the general subject files.

Riggs Family Papers (H74-18) 8 cubic feet

Thomas L. Riggs, a Congregational minister who entered the missionary field in 1872, operated Oahe Mission and Industrial School north of Pierre, ministering to the Cheyenne River and Standing Rock Reservation Lakota. Included in this collection are listings of native helpers, church records noting marriages and baptisms, records of church members and ministers, and copies of articles written by Margaret L. Riggs relating to women’s work among the Sioux.

Ringsrud, Olive A. Papers (H74-70) 1 1/3 cubic feet

Correspondence, scrapbooks, and news clippings, 1938-1971. Born in Union County in 1892, Ringsrud taught school for 25 years before being elected Secretary of State in 1938. She was reelected in 1940 and defeated in the Senate primary in 1942.

Robinson, Doane Papers (H74-9) 3 items

Folder 240 contains a two page manuscript, "The Woman Power of South Dakota Through Registration," dated December 29, 1917. Folder 54 contains a letter to L. N. Crill, February 4, 1922, giving a brief sketch of the women's suffrage movement in South Dakota from 1872 to 1898. Folder 52 contains correspondence with several state Woman’s Christian Temperance Union officials concerning funding of the memorial statue to Mother Sherrard in the South Dakota State Capitol (1908-1915).

Rowe, Edith Davis Papers (H88-43) 4 items, approximately 150 pages

Biographical accounts of John Davis, Walter Rowe, Lucy Davis, and Edith Rowe written by Edith Rowe. Rowe's family were Aurora county pioneers who came to Dakota in 1884. Her father, John Davis, served the state legislature from 1889 through 1891. Edith received a teaching degree from Madison Normal School and taught in Armour before joining the Pierre school system. Her husband, Walter Rowe, was instrumental in bringing telephone service to Pierre and Fort Pierre. These manuscripts provide an interesting account of pioneer life in Dakota Territory and early South Dakota.

Rutledge Family History (H82-67) 1 item, 212 pages

A handwritten account of the Thomas Simms Rutledge branch of the Rutledge Family Record and History, written by Fred S. Rutledge in 1958. The manuscript describes the family’s homesteading ventures in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. Parkston, Delmont, and Woonsocket are mentioned.


Sacagawea Collection (H79-1) 8 folders

Correspondence, speeches, and clippings, 1904-1972. Sacagawea, an Indian woman famous for her role in the 1803 Lewis and Clark expedition, has been a continuous source of conflict for Western historians. The place and time of her death are the crux of the argument. This collection contains materials describing two schools of thought the South Dakota Theory and the Wyoming Theory.

Saint Ann’s Catholic Church of Miller Records (H92-43, H94-22 and H2003-031) 21 items

Biographies of women parishioners, 1989-1992, 1994, 2003. Each biography was written by the individual it describes or a member of that person’s family.

Schiefelbein, Virginia Running Papers (H90-55, H90-97, H91-29) 4 1/2 linear inches

Schiefelbein was a Gettysburg resident who taught school in the surrounding area, including the Cheyenne River Reservation. Among her papers are news clippings, correspondence, postcards, photographs, employment records, and school records. Of special interest are letters from Virginia’s childhood pen pal in France (written in both English and French) and letters from her brother Tom while he was in the Air Force. The school records include Virginia’s report cards from 1912-1917, an arithmetic booklet, and a history writing assignment. Photographs depict scenes at Four Bears Day School on the Cheyenne River Reservation as well as family photographs.

Shakespeare Club of Aberdeen (H2001-043 and MF 1894) 2 microfilm reels

The collection consists of meeting minutes for the Shakespeare Club of Aberdeen (1902-2001). The club met once a month to discuss Shakespearean writings.

Shakespeare and Art Club of Mitchell Records (H71-2) 38 items

Constitution, membership list, pamphlets and programs, and minutes, 1916-1971. Organized for "the mutual improvement of members."

Shaving, Anna and Jenny Swift Eagle Photograph (H94-42) 1 item

1910 photograph of Anna Bertha Swift Eagle and her sister Jenny who married brothers, William and Charles Shaving. All were members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe who lived north of LaPlante near a place called Virgin Creek.

Shaw Family Papers (H87-14) 3 items

Letter describing blizzard of 1888 in Charles Mix County, family photo, 1889.

Smith, Alice L. Papers (H94-17) 1 item

Consists of a handwritten reminiscence of Lyman County homesteading and family photographs. Included in the manuscript are descriptions of homestead life, blizzards, experiences with local Indians, rural schools, ranching, and entertainment.

Smith, Elizabeth Brown (H2001-038) 2.0 cubic feet

Biz Brown lived in Huron during her childhood and then moved to Mitchell after her marriage. This collection holds memory books, scrapbooks, and photograph albums (1906-1945). The notable items in this collection include photographs of women’s clothing, the Black Hills, and momentos that Biz saved from her attendance at Huron High School.

South Dakota Educational Association Records (H74-72) 4 volumes

Annual meeting programs and minutes, 1884-1915. The organization was founded to improve professionalism among its members and to advance school interests of the state.

South Dakota Parent Teachers Association (H99-218) 6.5 cubic ft.

Meeting minutes, pamphlets, bulletins, scrapbooks, photographs and newspaper articles; 1922-1990. The National Congress of Parents and Teachers was formed in 1897 and the South Dakota Chapter was organized in 1915.

South Dakota Press Women's Association (H2003-008) 2.0 cubic feet

Scrapbooks, publications, correspondence, minutes and photographs, 1948-1995.

South Dakota State Federation of Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Records (H97-37, H99-150, H2000-84, H2001-001,H2002-004) 6.25 cubic feet

Annual meeting proceedings, local club histories, national histories through 1960, subject files, local chapter yearbooks, photographs, copies of the by-laws and club constitution, resolutions, treasurer's records, meeting minutes, and the SDFBPW Bulletin, 1921-1997. The National Federation of BPW was formed in 1918 as the National Business Women’s Committee, and the South Dakota Federation of BPW organized in 1920.

South Dakota Sunday School Association Records (H74-119) 75 items

Minutes, annual convention programs, publications, and misc., 1875-1947. Publications include 25 issues of The Sunday School News (1917-1929) and 33 issues of Church and School (1903-1915).

South Dakota Veterinary Medical Association Auxiliary Records (H96-20) 8 linear inches

Minutes, correspondence, photographs, the group’s constitution and by-laws, annual meeting flyers, copies of SDVMA’s Vet Net Newsletter, pamphlets, certificates, and news clippings, 1960-1995. Organized in 1937, the SDVMAA sought to "promote good fellowship among the wives of licensed veterinarians and dealers in veterinary supplies and their salesmen."

South Dakota World's Fair Commission Records (H90-85) 1 item

Published minutes of the first meeting of the Board of Woman Commissioners for the World's Colombian Exposition held in Huron, December 17, 1891, are included in this small collection. Names mentioned in the article include: Mrs. J. E. Bennett, Mrs. William Duff Haynei, Mrs. George A. Silsby, Mrs. Marie J. Gaston, Mrs. L. Q. Jeffries, Mrs. A. C. Mellette, and Mrs. W. A. Burleigh.

Starbuck, Matilda Papers (H80-8) 36 pages

Two manuscripts and papers concerning the experiences of Starbuck in the Black Hills between 1876 and 1904. "My Trip to the Black Hills, October 15, 1876" deals with her journey from Lincoln, Nebraska to Custer, South Dakota. "Don't You Remember?" relates episodes from 1876 to 1904.

Steuerwald, Kay Riordan Oral History Transcript (H96-28) 1 item, 27 typewritten pages

Kay Riordan was born near Kennebec, South Dakota in 1915. In 1941 she became manager of the State Game Lodge in Custer State Park. From 1951 to 1993 she was president of Mount Rushmore Mountain Company, Inc. which managed the concession at Mount Rushmore National Memorial. Included in the interview are Mrs. Steuerwald’s comments on her background, her history, and the development of the Memorial. James G. Popovich, Chief of Interpretation at Mount Rushmore Memorial, conducted this interview with Steuerwald on December 3, 1992.

Stites, Clara Papers (H88-18) 3 items, 63 pages

Three manuscripts written ca. 1950-1955 by Clara Stites of New York, New York. Stites apparently moved to South Dakota with her family sometime in the 1880s, and settled near Sioux Falls. The three manuscripts in this collection appear to be pieces of her reminiscences of her life. One manuscript is entitled "The Yesterdays and Todays of Aunt Clara." The first part of the manuscript is subtitled "My Life in South Dakota." A number of other subjects are included. The second manuscript is entitled "Canal Days" and consists of her memories of living along the Erie Canal. The third manuscript discusses the battle of Springfield, New Jersey, during the Revolutionary War.

Swenson, Nancy Photograph (H95-29) 1 item

Photograph of Mrs. South Dakota, United States International, 1994.


Townsend, Lydia Letter (H75-184) 1 item

Letter written July 9, 1949 to Joseph W. Jackson, Madison, Wisconsin. At 72, in response to an inquiry, Townsend discusses the overland freighting business of her father, Donald Stevenson. Operating between St. Paul, Minnesota, and Ft. Rice, 20 miles south of Bismarck, North Dakota in the 1860s and 1870s, Stevenson began with only two ox-led wagons but soon expanded, fulfilling large contracts for the US Army. Eventually he settled on a ranch near Ft. Rice, his wife and family moving to the ranch in 1873. Townsend was born on the ranch in 1876.


U.S.O. Servicemen’s Committee of Pierre Records (H74-60) 1 folder

Incorporation records, by-laws, lists of members, minutes of meetings, and other papers, 1942-1945. This organization was the official representative of the USO in Pierre.


Veterans of Foreign Wars Ladies Auxiliary Records (H95-23) 1 item

Bound volume, the Department of South Dakota’s hospital book, listing the contributors to the hospitalization fund.

Vorhees, Alice Diary (H99-018) 1 item

Alice lived near Wessington Springs and included accounts of the weather, visitors, trips to town, household chores and illness in the family; March 16th through July 13th, 1897.

Voorhees, Angeline Papers (H96-4) 5 items

1883 diary written by Voorhees, who lived near Wessington Springs, and four unidentified photographs. Diary accounts describe weather conditions, outings taken, visitors who called, and other day-to-day activities. Early entries record the illness and death of Voorhees sister, Olive.


Waggoner, Josephine Papers (H75-57 and H75-17) 15 items

"The Bells of Yates" and fourteen handwritten notebooks containing Ben Arnold’s reminiscences of life in the American West, ca. 1864-1890, written by a Lakota woman of mixed descent. Waggoner was born at Grand River Agency, DT, in 1872 to Charles McCarthy and a Hunkpapa woman of the Kiglaske band named Itatewin (Wind Woman) who later married Benjamin Monroe Connor (a.k.a. Ben Arnold). After attending Hampton Institute for six years Waggoner returned to Standing Rock to serve as an interpreter in the church at St. Elizabeth Mission near present day Wakpala. Waggoner is also noted in the Susan Bordeaux Bettelyoun Papers listed above.

War Bonnet, Alice Manuscript (H94-60) 1 item

Reminiscences of the Wounded Knee Massacre and aftermath, December 1890. The manuscript is in Lakota, as told to and written down by Alice’s son, John William War Bonnet. An English translation was prepared by Vernon Ashley of Pierre.

W.E.B. Water Development Association Records (H95-1, H96-15) 3 cubic feet

Minutes, correspondence, news clippings, newsletters, and pamphlets, 1974-1994, collected by Mrs. A.D. (Mae) Zemlicka, one of the founders and the first executive secretary of WEB Water Development Association. She also served as Aberdeen City Finance Commissioner; assisted in organizing and was a member of the Aberdeen Citizens Water Advisory Board; an officer of the South Dakota Municipal League; vice-president of Elected Women in Municipal Government of the National League of Cities; and local and state president of the League of Women Voters.

Weeks, Isabell May Papers (H87-15) 1 folder, 58 items

Letters written by Mrs. Weeks to her parents in Michigan, 1872-1909. There are a few letters to and from other family members. The letters Weeks wrote from Yankton to her parents describe conditions and experiences of her life in Dakota Territory and South Dakota. Isabell May Weeks came to Yankton, DT, in 1872, as the bride of John A. Weeks. Mr. Weeks was a manufacturer and dealer in boots and shoes.

Welsh, Emma S. Papers (H93-22, H95-6) 16 items

Photographs, clippings, and a manuscript. The 167-page manuscript of Welsh’s memoirs titled, "We Pioneers," describing her experiences as a homesteader in Stanley County in 1902 and teaching in various South Dakota schools prior to 1902. Welsh remained in Stanley County until 1931 when she and her husband Edward moved to Madison, South Dakota. She was an original member of the Rustic Writers Club and enjoyed creative writing, publishing many of her poems. In 1995 a photograph of the Edward and Emma Welsh homestead west of Fort Pierre, South Dakota, ca. 1905, was added to the collection.

White, Dorothy Manuscript (H75-122) 1 item, 6 pages

Undated manuscript entitled, "Pioneer Days in Oelrichs, South Dakota" describing ranching and homesteading in the Oelrichs area by the granddaughter of John White, who settled in the area in 1890. White offers a sketch of ranching operations, the effects of the blizzard of 1888, a mock battle of Indians for a 4th of July celebration, and of the early and brief conflict between homesteaders and ranchers.

Williams, Anna E. Papers (H75-144) 4 items

A short biographical sketch of Ann Williams, a photograph taken of her in 1936 when she was 77 years old, and two photographs of her marriage certificate signed by Preacher Smith. The marriage of Miss Anna Card, then 16, and Edward Williams in 1876 was conducted in Deadwood by Preacher Henry Weston Smith. Edward Williams was a teamster and lumberjack from Laramie, Wyoming, and his wife was from Colorado. In 1881 the Williams moved to Miles City, where Mrs. Williams was a resident as late as 1936. Her husband died in 1907 in British Columbia.

Willy, Margaret and Milo Letter (H75-354) 1 item, 7 pages

Letter written June 8 and 11, 1888. The Willys were residents of Appomattox, Potter County, Dakota Territory. Margaret Willy taught school and her husband apparently practiced medicine. Their letter, addressed to William Spencer of Davidson, Potter County, deals with crops and gardens, county elections, and the band of Potter County politicos known as the "Gettysburg Ring."

Wilmart, Addie M. Photographs (H88-101) 21 items

Photographs of Pierre in the 1930s. Included are photographs of Mrs. Hyde, Mrs. Karcher, Mrs. Schubert, Alice Gerlach, Viola Maulding, and Mrs. Holden, wife of the Baptist minister.

Wilson, Irene Cushman Diary (H76-22) 19 items

Copies of various programs, clippings, and diary transcripts (111 typewritten pages) written 1890-1891, 1893, and 1908. Cushman’s family settled in Deadwood in 1878. She was a member of the first graduating class of Deadwood High School in 1886. In 1890 she married Albert D. Wilson. Diary entries detail Irene’s social activities.

Woman Suffrage Movement Papers (H74-16) 1 cubic foot

Letters, minutes, publications, misc. items, 1889-1925. These items were donated at various times by various people. Many of the papers come from the files of the South Dakota Universal Franchise League, and equal suffrage clubs in Pierre and Fort Pierre. Much of the correspondence is to or from Mrs. Ruth B. Hipple, one of the officers of the SDUFL, and editor of The South Dakota Messenger, an equal suffrage newspaper.

Woman's Christian Temperance Union Records (H92-128, H90-122, H90-7 through H90-12, H95-46, H96-9, H99-020) 6.25 cubic feet

Records of the SDWCTU historian, 1890-1991, including: histories of the World, National, State, and Local levels; newspaper clippings; regional district WCTU organizational, financial, and membership records; songbooks and sheet music; speeches; publications; and annual convention reports. Also includes records of the Prairie City, South Dakota treasurer, 1960-1986 and minutes of the Rapid City WCTU, 1891-1906.

Woman’s Relief Corps. Department of South Dakota Records (H74-15, H74-30, H74-45) 5 1/2 cubic feet

Minutes, ledgers, cash books, receipts, requisitions, letters, 1884-1927. An affiliate of the Grand Army of the Republic, a civil war veterans organization. The Lake Madison Veteran Association Ledger, 1887-1916, includes a list of WRC members who attended an annual encampment. The GAR collection also contains information about the WRCDSD.

Women Accepted in Volunteer Emergency Service, US Navy Photographs (H88-94) 10 items

Photographs of 1st WAVES reunion at San Francisco, California, 1948.

Women’s Clubs Yearbooks (SC 31) 29 items

Yearbooks from women's clubs in various South Dakota towns, 1908-1909, 1944-1956. Included are Big Stone City Round Table Club, Blunt Tuesday Club, Canton Woman’s Study Club, Chamberlain Travelers Club, DeSmet Woman’s Study Club, Deadwood Round Table Club, Draper Woman’s Club, Edgemont Study Club and Thursday Study Club, Faulkton Study Club, Gettysburg Woman’s Literary Club, Hot Springs Traveler’s Club, Irene Civic Club, Kennebec Woman’s Welfare Club, Letcher Civic Study Club, Milbank Makocha Study Club, Mobridge Arts and Travel Club, Sturgis Woman’s Literary Club, Vermillion Nautilus Club, Music Club, and Faculty Woman’s Club of the University of South Dakota, Wagner Woman’s Club, and the Wakonda Monday Club. The yearbooks contain lists of officers, members, committees, and other details about the groups.

Woonsocket Area China Painters Club Records (H99-143) 0.5 cubic feet

The club was organized in 1979 in Woonsocket by those interested in the art of china painting. The collection includes the club charter, program schedules and officers, newspaper clippings, memorials and photographs; 1979-1999.

Wuillemin, Jeanne L. Letter (H75-356) 1 item, 13 typewritten pages

Wuillemin recounts a homesteading trip which she and others made to Stanley County, South Dakota, in June 1906. The letter deals with such subjects as claim surveying, social life in Pierre, Hayes, and Manila, South Dakota, and railroad travel between Elgin, Illinois, and Pierre, South Dakota.

Wyman, Walker D. Frontier Woman Manuscript (H82-4) 1 item

The first draft of Wyman's book, "Frontier Woman: The Life of a Woman Homesteader on the Dakota Frontier, Retold from the Original Notes and Letters of Grace Fairchild, a Wisconsin Teacher Who Went to South Dakota in 1898," published by the University of Wisconsin-River Falls Press in 1972. The manuscript is heavily marked with editorial notes.


No entries.


Yoeman, Myrtle Letter (H75-84) 1 item

Letter to Grace H. Carpenter, June 24, 1905. In this typescript copy of the original letter, Yoeman offers a brief description of homesteading in Lyman County, discussing the coming of the railroad, the character of settlers, and the price of land.

Yokley, Annie L. Papers (H71-1) 2/3 cubic foot

Most of this material was collected by Mrs. Yokley during research for her book, Grass and Water, published by State Publishing Company, Pierre, ca. 1955. The book is a compilation of biographical sketches of pioneer South Dakota ranchers.

Young, Eugene Miner Papers (H90-114, H94-65, H96-44) 10 cubic feet

Letters and photographs (1880s-1980s) of a family who farmed near McLaughlin (1917) on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and later in Sully County. While the bulk of this collection relates to farming and other business ventures, there are a significant amount of letters documenting the family’s relationship with Young’s stepmother Carrie as well as genealogical material related to Mrs. Young’s (Ida Ingvaldson) family. Young’s daughter Carol married Dennis Anderson, and her papers are listed above.


Zenor, Miss Diary (H86-23) 1 item

Diary kept by Fort Pierre area homesteader, 1909-1910, detailing daily activities.

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