days gone by

1946: Rev. Brown’s granddaughters visit De Smet


August 3, 2011

Firefighters were called to an early morning blaze on Prairie Avenue at 5:23 a.m. Sunday. The fire destroyed a garage and damaged a shed belonging to Nick Bjorkman. The nearby house was not damaged. “I heard an explosion, saw the flames and called 911,” said Karen Brown, who had just finished her route delivering The Argus Leader. Brown said she and her husband, Earl, pounded on Bjorkman’s door and window to wake him up and alert him to the fire. Bjorkman said there wasn’t a car in the garage, but he lost a motorcycle. A boat was pulled out of the burning building. De Smet Volunteer Fire Department Deputy Fire Chief, Shawn Wolkow, said the cause of the fire is still under investigation by the South Dakota Fire Marshal’s office.

August 7, 1996

Bob Jensen of De Smet won the Elder F 30-foot title in the World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament in Gillette, Wyo. Jensen finished the tournament 15-1, throwing 57 percent ringers to take the title in his class. There were 1,537 players in various classes participating. The tournament ran July 22 – Aug. 3. At one point during competition, Jensen said he threw 30 ringers out of 40 tries for 75 percent, one of the best games of his career.

August 5, 1971

The coldest weather in the memory of many long-time residents made July an instance of endless variety for which the state has become known. Averages were six degrees below normal, according to the Crop and Livestock Reporting Service, with the extreme for east central South Dakota 39 degrees at Huron one night last week, with frost reported on car tops at Frankfort. The official thermometer being read by Bert Stewart of The News staff has recorded a low of 43 degrees Friday. Normal temperatures reported by the service average 72 at Huron and 67 at Brookings for the third week of July, in that period the temperature five degrees below normal at Brookings and two degrees below at Huron.

August 1, 1946

Two granddaughters of a pioneer clergyman of De Smet visited here overnight a week ago, stopping long enough the next forenoon to make inquiries about the homes of the parents and grandparents. The visitors were Mr. and Mrs. Clark H. Seavey and Dr. and Mrs. Samuel R. Cook, both of Sacramento, Calif. Mrs. Seavey, nee Eva McConnell, was born in De Smet vicinity, her sister having been Laura McConnell before her marriage. Their father was Elmer E. McConnell, who married Ida Brown, daughter of the Rev. and Mrs. Edward Brown, first pastor of De Smet’s first church, which bears the name First Congregational. The Browns lived on the quarter-section west of the H.O. Fritzel farm, the rise of ground being called Brown’s Hill in the early years. The McConnells had their home to the north, on the same land. A son of the clergyman, Mark Brown, founded The De Smet Leader as the second newspaper here, employed Carter P. Sherwood on it and sold out to him the next year. The Cooks had visited De Smet ten years ago.

August 4, 1911

Some are stacking grain – others making hay. The music of the steam thresher is again heard in the land.

Wm. Hunter left Saturday night with a car of horses and colts.

There will be English speaking services in Spirit Lake Church Sunday. Rev. J.E. Booth of De Smet will preach.


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