In July, 1891, a petition signed by a large number of the citizens of the village of Garretson was filed with the county commissioners, asking that the question of the incorporation of the city of Garretson be submitted to a vote of the citizens residing within the proposed limits as set forth in the petition; and the county commissioners finding the petition in full compliance with the requirements of the statue in such cases, an election was ordered to be held at the Hotel Garretson on the 25th day of July, 1891.  The election was held at the appointed time, and the people voted to incorporate, and on the 22d day of August, 1891, the city of Garretson was incorporated.  At the September meeting of the county board the vote of an election held in the city of Garretson for the election of city officers was canvassed, resulting as follows:  Mayor, John F. Sohpy; treasurer, M.H. Wangsness; police justice, F. Eastwood; city justice, Ed. Eastman; aldermen, D.J. Kennedy, J.O. Royce, W.H. O’Leary, E.E. Cross, J.Boldt, J. LaDue. 

The records of the city commence with November2, 1891, at which time a meeting was held and W.H. O’Leary was elected president of the council and D.J. Kennedy secretary pro tem.  G.W. Smith was then nominated and confirmed as city auditor; rules were also adopted for the government of the council. 

At a special meeting of the council on November 7, the bonds of the newly elected officers were approved; James Burries was nominated city marshal, but the council did not approve of the nomination, and Charles O’Leary was appointed city marshal.  It was decided to employ Joseph Kirby of Sioux Falls as city attorney; Dr. C.W. Locke was appointed city physician, and the Garretson Progress was made the official newspaper; ordinance No. 1, was introduced, fixing the salary of the city officials at one dollar each for mayor and aldermen, one hundred dollars for the auditor, and for the treasurer two per cent of all moneys collected.  At a meeting held December 14, Charles O’Leary was appointed street commissioner. 

February 1, 1892, the regular monthly meeting of the city council was changed from the first Monday to the first Wednesday in each month.  February 20, 1892, the council fixed the compensation for city marshal at $25 per month.  March 16, the council referred the matter of dividing the city into three wards and fixing their boundaries; the proposed grade of the streets as made by Surveyor D.C. Rice was taken up and laid over for further consideration.  April 6, council appointed judges of election, and ordinance dividing city into three wards was passed to its second reading; an ordinance vacating a portion of certain streets and alleys, and directing the mayor to deed the same to the Sioux City & Northern Railway company was also passed to its second reading, and on April 13 the ordinance was passed.  April 19, the council canvassed the votes for city officers; ninety votes were cast at this election, and John F. Sophy receiving fifty votes was declared elected mayor; A.J. Froelich was elected treasurer, Frank Eastman police justice, A.M. Olmem city justice; aldermen, 1st ward, Peter Doyle; 2d ward, John Nauth, W.H. O’Leary; 3d ward, Lars Jacobson, Charles Swenson.  May 4, the grade of the streets as proposed by Surveyor Rice was established by the old council, and on the same day the new council organized, and the appointments of D.J. Kennedy as city auditor and F.C. Callender as city assessor were approved.  Dr. C.W. Locke was appointed president of the board of health, and three standing committees were appointed by the mayor.  June 2, S.R. Short was appointed city marshal and street commissioner, and D.J. Kennedy city justice; the committee on Police was directed to build a calaboose.  At a meeting in July the council examined the assessment roll, and the assessed valuation of the real estate was $52,871, and the personal property $26, 055.  A city tax of eight mills was levied; a petition was received asking that a certain portion of the territory of the city “be excluded from the corporation;” the office of street commissioner was declared vacant owing to the sickness of Mr. Short, and his inability to perform the duties of his office, and John Stromme was appointed to fill vacancy; John F. Sohpy, Jr., was appointed city marshal to fill vacancy.  August 3, C.C. Murphy was appointed city attorney at a salary of $100.  There being a vacancy in the office of city justice and of one alderman in the 3d ward, a special election was held and Zane R. Biggs was elected city justice and C.H. Vickerman alderman.  December 7, 1892, the resignation of F. Eastwood as police justice was accepted. 

April 5, 1893, a petition of the citizens of Garretson was received asking that the city issue bonds in the sum of $4,000 to construct city water works, which was “tabled indefinitely.” 

The annual city election was held April 18, 1893.  A.H. Rudd was elected police justice, and the following aldermen were elected; 1st ward, Henry Buck and Peter Doyle; 2d ward, H.L. Havdahl; 3d ward, Samuel Haren.  April 29, the council authorized D.J. Kennedy to employ S.B. Howe of Sioux Falls to prepare plans for city water works; D.J. Kennedy was appointed auditor, John F. Sophy, Jr., marshal, Charles O’Leary assessor, and Charles Nelson street commissioner.  During the year a good many meetings of the council were held to consider the grading of streets and other improvements of the city.  In September a seven-mill tax was levied.  In November a special election was held to determine whether or not the city would bond in the sum of $1,500 for fire purposes, which resulted in favor of bonding.  December 7, the resignation of C.C. Murphy as city attorney was accepted.  January 11, 1894, the council accepted the proposition of the Revere Rubber Co., to furnish the city with a chemical engine and a hook and ladder outfit.  February 7, 1894, the council refused to call an election to determine whether the city incorporation should be dissolved or not, as requested by a petition of the citizens, the petition not having the requisite number of signatures.  March 8, the chemical engine was accepted. 

At the city election in April, 1894, Dr. C.W. Locke was elected mayor; S.A. Aukerman treasurer; Edwin Eastman police justice; Stephen Reeves city justice; Peter Doyle alderman 1st ward; W.H. O’Leary 2d ward; M.E. Heiney 3d ward.  Charles O’Leary was appointed auditor; O.J. Berdahl assessor and John A. Stromme street commissioner.  July 5, the interest on the $1,500 fire bonds was raised from six to eight per cent.  December 7, bonds sold to W.H. Wilson of Sioux Falls. 

At the city election in April, 1895, the following officers were elected:  Aldermen, 1st ward, John F. Sophy; 2d ward, D.J. Kennedy; 3d ward, Soren Sevenson and John Steinmetz received the same number of votes, and upon drawing lots for the office Sevenson was successful; city justice, A.M. Olmem.  Mayor Locke appointed Charles O’Leary auditor, who was confirmed.  He then appointed not less than six different persons for assessor, all of whom the council refused to confirm, but at a subsequent meeting A.J. Froelich was appointed and confirmed.  C.C. Murphy as city attorney, and August Tradup as chief of police were appointed and confirmed. 

At the annual election in 1896, D.J. Kennedy was elected mayor; Ed. Keller treasurer; Ed. Eastman police justice; Z.R. Biggs city justice; alderman, 1st ward, H.P. Hatland, J.F. Sophy, Sr.; 2d ward, E.E. Cross, S. Reeves; 3d ward, A. Darrow, Sam Hagen.  The mayor appointed A.E. Patterson auditor; John Steinmetz chief of police and street commissioner, and J.E. Sophy assessor. 

The city officers in 1897 were:  Mayor, D.J. Kennedy; treasurer, Ed. Keller; police justice, Ed. Eastman; city justice, Z.R. Biggs; aldermen, 1st ward, C.M. Butts, A.P. Hatland; 2d ward, E.E. Cross, Thomas Wangsness; 3d ward, A. Darrow, W.H. O’Leary; auditor, A.E. Patterson; chief of police and street commissioner, John Steinmetz; assessor, Charles O’Leary. 

The city officers in 1898 were:  Mayor, E.E. Cross; treasurer, Ed. Keller; police justice, C.E. McCall; city justice, Z.R. Biggs; aldermen, 1st ward, C.M. Butts, A.J. Froelich; 2d ward, Thomas Wangsness, F.W. Royce; 3d ward, W.H. O’Leary, James Whealey; auditor, A.E. Patterson; chief of police and street commissioner, Embrik Olson; assessor, Charles O’Leary. 

The city officers in 1899 were:  Mayor, E.E. Cross; police justice, C.E. McCall; city justice H.W. Ward; aldermen, 1st ward, C.M. Butts, A.J. Froelich; 2d ward, Anfin J. Berdahl, F.W. Royce; 3d ward, James Whealey, W.H. O’Leary; auditor, A.E. Patterson; chief of police, John Steinmetz; assessor, Charles O’Leary (died in office July 30, 1899.)


     FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH.—This church was organized at Garretson, August 5, 1888, with a membership of eighteen.  In 1895, aided by the Church Building Association of New York, a very appropriate and commodious church building was erected at a cost of $2,400, in which services were held every Sunday.  The following ministers have had charge of the church:  The Reverends A.L. Hope, Decer, I.P. Duas, M.A. Ball and H.G. Adams.  In Connection with the church is a Sunday school which in 1895 numbered forty-eight, and also a Ladies’ Aid society.


     THE FIRST METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH.—This church was organized April 3, 1892, with a membership of six.  A few months later a building was purchased and fitted up for the use of the congregation, at a cost of about $500.  It is located on Main avenue and First street, and was dedicated on November 6, 1892, by Presiding Elder, W.H. Jordan.  Rev. W.F. Hart was the first pastor, and he was succeeded by the Reverends, E. Honeywell, N. Fawell, H.P. Eberhart, H.B. Clearwater and S.S. Hookland.  Services are held every Sunday.  There is a prosperous Sunday school connected with the church, also a Ladies’ Aid society.


     ST. ROSE CATHOLIC CHURCH.—This church was organized in the spring of 1892, by the Rev. Mr. Hardy.  Miss Rose Ganyon donated the site for a church and at a cost of $1,300, which was paid by subscription, and with donated labor, a church building was erected which is centrally located.  Prior to the completion of the church building services were held at the residence of J.F. Sophy.  Services are now held every second Sunday by the Rev. M.J. Martyn, and the average attendance is eighty.  There is a large Sunday school in connection with the church.  The following priests have officiated at Garretson since the organization of the church:  Reverends Rickland, Jerome, Brown, Link, Hendrick, Hogan, Mensing, O’Hora, Grabig, Sheehan, Feinler, and the present pastor, the Rev. M.J. Martyn.


     THE GARRETSON PROGRESS.—This newspaper was established at the city of Garretson, and its first issue given to the public on the 12th day of November, 1889.  It was a weekly newspaper, Republican in politics, and edited and published by Frank Eastwood, who remained in charge about three years.  For a few months in 1892, while the political campaign was in progress, a Mr. Hunt was in charge of this paper, and if there are any persons who were at that time candidates for office in Minnehaha county who did not get acquainted with him and loan him a few dollars, they must have been unusually hard pressed financially, or had little confidence in their election.  The write is on the list, but felt comfortable upon comparing notes with other candidates and finding what amount they had contributed to this newspaper enterprise.  After the campaign was over he sought a new field.  Dean P. Buell succeeded Mr. Hunt, and the first issue of the paper under his management was on the 23d day of December, 1892.  He remained in charge until February 17, 1893, when J.B. Morrison of Sioux Falls became the owner of the plant, and continued its publication until July, 1894, when it again came into the hands of Frank Eastwood.  He changed the name of the paper to that of the Minnehaha County Herald, and shortly after sold out to Messrs. Edmison and Jameson of Sioux Falls, who issued their first paper on the 24th day of August, 1894.  They published it until March, 1896, when they sold out to Henry A. Beardsley, who changed the name back to that of The Garretson Progress.  December 1, 1897, the Ward Brothers of Dell Rapids bought the paper and H.W. Ward took editorial charge of the same and has since been its editor and publisher.  During its entire career it has been chiefly devoted to local matters, and at times has been a good newspaper.  The present editor is energetically endeavoring to make it a good county paper, and it is pleasing to the writer to be able to say, that he is succeeding in doing so, and that the lively little city of Garretson has a newspaper worthy of the patronage of her citizens.


     SOUTH DAKOTA WEEKLY VINDICATOR.—This newspaper has been published at Garretson since September 1, 1898, by Geo. W. Bagley, who is making quite a success of the enterprise and has a good list of subscribers.  It is “a newspaper for the people, devoted to the advancement of the social and industrial interests of the state.” 



     BAGLEY, GEORGE W., was born in Brooklyn, Susquehanna county, Pennsylvania, April 12, 1847, but the following year moved with his parents to Illinois, and two years later to Floyd county, Iowa, and has lived in the West ever since.  He learned the printer’s trade, and for nearly forty years has been engaged in the printing business, most of the time as job printer.  For five years eh conducted a job printing office in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and also published The East Side Record and a French paper at that place.  In the spring of 1882, he came to Dakota, and started The Wentworth Bond at Wentworth, Lake county, and afterwards published the Dakota Letter at the same place, and later, The Lake County Independent, at Madison, South Dakota.  September 1, 1898, he commenced the publication of the South Dakota Weekly Vindicator, at Garretson, in which he still continues.  Mr. Bagley is a good printer and an able writer, is a genial, good fellow, and a good citizen.


     BENTSON, BENT R., is a native of Norway, and was born October 27, 1848.  He was reared on a farm and educated in the common schools.  In 1866, he emigrated to the United States with his parents, and after having remained three months in Wisconsin went to Decorah, Iowa, where he learned the brick mason’s trade, and worked at this and as a contractor for seven years.  In 1873 he came to Minnehaha county, where he engage din farming for about five years, and then worked at his trade as contractor and brick layer, living in Dell Rapids several years, where he was elected and served as alderman.  Since September, 1894, he has resided in Garretson engaged in the mercantile business, under the firm name of Bentson & Hatland.  He has been industrious and prosperous in his business, is a good citizen, and well liked by a large circle of acquaintances.


     BIGGS, ZANE R., was born in Crawford county, Illinois, March 29, 1851.  He attended school and worked on a farm until seventeen years of age, and then went to Burlington, Iowa, where he taught school for seven years, after which time he attended Illinois State Normal school for one year.  One the first day of June, 1877, he arrived in Vermillion, Dakota, and immediately came to Sioux Falls.  Very soon thereafter he took up a homestead in Minnesota, a short distance from Valley Springs.  He hired out the first year as a common laborer; the second year he broke up his land, and the third year he put in 156 acres of wheat, of which the grasshoppers harvested 80 acres, and the balance did not mature, so that he did not get one bushel of wheat.  On the first day of January, 1882, he went into the office of C.H. Wynn for two years.  In April, 1883, he was admitted to the bar, and in 1884 removed to Valley Springs and practiced law for five years.  He then went to Luverne, Minnesota, for one year, and in 1890 removed to Garretson, where he has since resided.  At Garretson he has practiced law to some extent, but thinks he is almost too honest to make a livelihood in his profession, and has during the last few years engaged in such business as offered a fair remuneration.  He was elected justice of the peace in Valley Springs, and has been city justice of Garretson and clerk of the school board.  He is an honest, industrious citizen.


     EASTMAN, EDWIN, is a native of Lafayette county, Wisconsin, and was born November 19, 1847.  He attended the district school when a boy, and worked on a farm until he was twenty-one years of age, and then settled down to farming in Minnesota until 1875.  On the 25th day of May, 1875, he came to Minnehaha county, and took up a homestead comprising part of section 31 in Palisade and part of section 6 in Red Rock.  In 1881 he went to Sioux Falls and kept the St. James hotel for six months.  In February, 1882, he went to Valley Springs and opened a drug store, and continued in this business for three years; then moved on to a farm in Red Rock township, and engage din farming until 1890, when he went to Garretson, where he has since resided.  He was elected justice of the peace in 1890, and police justice of Garretson in 1894 and re-elected in 1896.  He is always around when there is any stir in local politics and exercises his full right of citizenship.


     JOHNSON, NELS, is a native of Sweden, and was born June 26, 1834.  He emigrated to the United States and arrived in Missouri June 22, 1870.  He lived in that state until 1876, when he removed to Dakota and located in this county.  He then filed a homestead upon the northeast quarter of section 14, in Edison, but disposed of it and now lives in Garretson engaged in business.  He has been school director.


     McCALL, CHARLES E., was born in Norfolk county, Province of Ontario, Canada, June 5, 1841; attended the public schools until he was twelve years old, then Coburg college two years; was bookkeeper in a lumber yard several years; resided two years in Clinton, Iowa, and one year in Wisconsin; returned to Canada for a few years; in 1867 went to Augusta, Wis., where he kept a hotel until 1869; then removed to Rock county Minnesota, and engaged in farming, during which time he frequently came to Sioux Falls and hauled wheat to Sibley, Iowa, by ox-teams for C.K. Howard; in 1875 removed to Pipestone, Minn., and remained there engaged in farming until 1896, when he located at Garretson, where he has since kept the Hotel Garretson; he is also police justice of the city of Garretson.  Mr. McCall comes of a remarkable family.  His great grandfather died at the age of one hundred and eleven and his grandfather at the age of one hundred and six years and four months.  But longevity is not the only remarkable characteristic of his family.  At a fair in Canada forty-five McCalls between eighteen and twenty-two years of age got together, and were weighed; one weighed one hundred and ninety, one one hundred and ninety-two, the subject of this sketch one hundred and ninety-five, and the others over two hundred pounds each.  His great grandfather was a Scotch Highlander, and was six feet and seven and one-fourth inches in height.


     MURPHY,CHARLES COLUMBUS, was born in Portage, Wis., December 20, 1852.  He received his early education in the public schools, and then went to Madison, Wis., where he attended school two terms.  He then taught school several terms.  His first business was that of buying and selling produce for the pineries.  He attended the law school at Madison, Wis., two terms, and the law school at Quincy, Ill., one term.  In 1885 he went to LeSueur county, Minn., and remained there in the practice of law until 1886, when he removed to Adrian in the same state, where he continued in the practice of his profession until 1890.  He then lived in Clara City, Minn., but very soon removed to Garretson, S.D., where he resided until 1898, when he went to Sioux Falls, lived there a short time, and then removed to Wisconsin.  He was city attorney of Garretson two terms.


     OLSON, EMBRICK, was born in Wisconsin, November 13, 1857.  He attended common school and worked on a farm during his boyhood.  In 1878 he came to this county and located in Palisade township, where he pre-empted the north half of the southwest quarter of section 21.  He lived on this land for four years and then removed to Highland township where he was a member of the town board of supervisors for one year.  In 1890 he took up his residence in Garretson, where he has since remained.


     PRILL, FRED W., is a native of Germany, and was born April 6, 1864.  He came with his parents to Princeton, Wisconsin, in 1871; worked on a farm and attended school until he was of age, and then clerked in a store six years.  In 1889 went to Pipestone, Minnesota, and engaged in the mercantile business for one year, then removed to Garretson and opened a general store, where he has since remained.  When the fire department was organized at Garretson in 1894, he was elected chief, and re-elected in 1895.  He is a conservative and thrifty business man and an active citizen.


     PATTERSON, ARTHUR E., was born in Pembroke, Renfrew county, Ontario, Canada, July 21, 1853; emigrated to Minnesota and lived there from 1877 until 1889, when he located at Garretson, where he has since resided, engaged in the farm implement business.  He has been clerk of the school board since 1893, and city auditor since 1896.  He is a good official, a genial good fellow, and a good citizen.


     SOPHY, JOHN F., was born at Ogdensburg, New York, December 13, 1845.  When nine years of age he removed with his parents to Clinton, Iowa.  He attended the public schools and assisted in framing during his minority, and then for the next few years was engage din raising, buying and selling stock, and farming.  In 1871, he removed to LeMars, Iowa, where he remained until 1889, when he came to Garretson, where he has since been actively engaged in the lumber, fuel, grain and live stock business.  He has been a very active citizen, and the acknowledged leader of the residents who desired to make Garretson all that the advantages of location entitled it to become.  When Garretson was incorporated as a city in 1891, he was elected its first mayor, and held that position until the annual election in 1894.  His business qualifications, enterprise and energy united with a genial temperament, make him one of the most useful and respected citizens of the lively little city for whose advance and prosperity he has done so much.


     SOPHY, PETER, was born in Greenville county, Ontario, Canada, June 1, 1851; emigrated to the United States with his parents in 1855, and lived in Iowa and Minnesota until 1880, when he came to Dakota.  In 1890 he located at Garretson, where he has since been in business.  He is a quiet, conservative man, a good citizen, and well liked.


     WANGSNESS, MARCUS H., was born in Norway September 8, 1846.  In 1854 he emigrated to the United States with his parents, who settled in Wisconsin and engage din farming.  The subject of this sketch followed the same occupation in Iowa until 1877, when he removed to Moody county, Dakota, and took up a homestead and a timber claim where he remained seven years.  He then returned to Iowa and engaged with a brother in general merchandising at Normand until 1888, when he came to this county and opened a general store in Palisade.  In 1890 he removed his stock of good to Garretson, where he has remained in trade ever since.  In July, 1894, he became vice president of the Garretson State bank.  Mr. Wangsness is one of the most enterprising business men in Garretson and keeps a large stock of goods.  He has held the offices of school and city treasurer of Garretson, and is a good neighbor and respected citizen.


     WARD, HENRY WALTER, was born April 7, 1871, at Darlington, Wisconsin, and received his education in the high school at that place and at Marcus, Iowa.  In 1885 he commenced to learn the printer’s trade, and has been engaged in the printing business during the last fourteen years in Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota.  In 1889 he became one of the proprietors of The Clipper at Crawford, Nebraska, and remained as such for two years, when he sold out and bought an interest in the Gazette at Sibley, Iowa, acting as editor and business manager of the same until he sold out and in connection with his brother, David E. Ward, purchased the Dell Rapids Times August 1, 1892.  In December, 1897, he located at Garretson, and since then has had editorial charge of the Garretson Progress.  He is an enterprising newspaper man, and a good, reliable citizen. 



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