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Page 53 text:
ju Lilre deginning . .
Before the turn of the century, when the west was still the "wide open spaces" of rolling hills and great
expanses of prairie, the town of Midland was founded. In l89O, Charlie Russell came from Buffalo, New York,
to Pierre, during the capital boom in l888 and '89, In the spring of l89O, soon after the territory was closed
as a reservation and thrown open to white settlement, Mr. Russell organized a company, plotted a site, and
called the town Midland, because of its position midway between Pierre and the Black Hills. He opened a store
and later a hotel which was operated by Mrs. Emily Hall, mother of Mrs. Jennie Russell. Mrs. Hall had orig-
inally settled at the Nowlin site.
Wagon loads of goods were
freighted from Pierre to stock
the Russell store . Customers
were ranchers, cowboys, and
many Sioux who traveled the
Spotted Tail Trail from the
ln those days, Mr. Russell
said his doors were never locked
and nothing was stolen until
the railroad brought hobos,
civilization, and the need for
law and order.
Mr. Russell and Jennie Hall were married in i895 and their daughter Grace was the first white child born
in Midland . She was also one of the first two graduates of Midland High .
Life in this "promised land" seemed ideal to the few early settlers. A dream of prosperity, plenty of game,
wood, water, and sunshine was the bright hope of the future .
ln the midst of this peaceful existence, during the month of
Q November, came rumors ofa Sioux uprising . Scouts warned the pioneers
that the path of the war party would perhaps head through Nowlin.
Settlers, including Mrs. Hall and her three daughters, one of whom was
Mrs. Jennie Russell, spent a cold and fearful night on the banks of Bad
River. About fifty families gathered at Midland and began the long
sixty-mile wagon train trek to Ft. Pierre and safety. Spending the nights
sleeping on hay and under cattle sheds, and the days traveling their
weary way, the party arrived, after three days, at Ft. Pierre where they
remained until the spring of '89, when Mrs. Hall returned to Midland
and opened the hotel which she continued to operate for seven years.
One of the disastrous. events of the early day was the blizzard of
May 5, 1905 which wrote a tragic story across the pages of the westem
ranch life. Beginning as a rain which lasted two days, the storm came
suddenly, sending temperatures below zero. Bewildered livestock drifted
into creeks and draws and were covered with snow or died of exposure
ln the same year, another blow struck the pioneers . On July 4, Bad
River flooded its banks causing ranchers along the river to flee their homes
in the dark hours of the night or early moming . Lives were lost and much
Page 52 text:
Joe rings opening bell of
Freshie Larry Nemec in red
Calendar of Events
Annual Carnival. Jerry Nemec, Sonia
S .D .H .S . Press Meeting at Brookings
S .D .E .A . Convention
Presho basketball game, here, won
Junior Class Play "An Apple for Eve"
Philip basketball game, there, lost
Quinn basketball tournament
Belvidere basketball game, here, lost
Wall basketball game, here, won
Blunt basketball game, there, won
Draper basketball game, there, lost
Quinn basketball game, here, lost
Christmas vacation starts
Belvidere basketball game, there, lost
Interior basketball game, here, won
Wood basketball game, here, lost
Presho basketball game, there, lost
Quinn basketball game, there, lost
Philip basketball game, here, lost
Magazine Sales Begin
O'Neil Photo Company
Wall basketball game, there, won
Open Bible Church Party
Wood basketball game, there, lost
Seniors take Batson Tests
Magazine Sales end
interior basketball game, there lost
Blunt basketball game, here, lost
Draper basketball game, here, lost
District 30 Basketball Tournament
Navy Interviews Senior boys
Marine Representative here
Senior Class Play "Off the Track"
Lutheran Church Party
Typing Contest, Quinn, First place.
Junior-Senior Banquet and Prom
Skip Day--Black Hills
Class Day Exercises
School Picnic and School's Outl ll
Viking Five at District 30
Juniors pose before
,- ,W X rf
Kay Abel snaps her self
on Skip Day.
King and queen of carnival Bob Abel and Prom date shown
lead the royal court. participating in march .
School patrons and students at school picnic.
Page 54 text:
Q.. l 3
A symbol of those early days were the cowboys, many of whom are well known. They became members of
our present community. Of these rugged individuals, Mrs. Emily Hall wrote in her account, "l found them to
be the most generous and kind hearted class of people I have met." Mrs. Bastion, early hotel owner in this area,
gives almost the same opinion.
These cowboys rode the range and took part in the spring and fall roundups. Tom Jones was one of the very
early foreman of the wagons. Many an evening was spent around the campfire after a meal prepared by the
chuck wagon cook .
Through the severe blizzards, droughts, floods, and prairie fires, these hardy pioneers continued to live,
laugh, and share their sorrows. Many memories of those days are still alive in the hearts and minds of our people.
Although Midland was named in l89O,
it really had its start in the fall of 1906 when,
on December 16, the railroad was extended
from Pierre. This began the homestead caval-
cade which lasted until l9ll when one of
the driest yeals in the history of the west river
hit the country and sent many back east. In
about T919 much of the north side of main
street was destroyed by fire. These buildings
were later replaced by the C . E . Murray
Store and the Legion Hall.
Arriving on that first train was Julia
Talledge, still a resident of Midland. Julia
worked in the Nationcil Bank for many years,
and since has held positions at the state
capitol at Pierre and county offices in Philip.
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