Bancroft news

Bancroft was bustling town, complete with hotel — and jail


Charles Borchard of Huron was the speaker Sunday at the Bancroft Presbyterian Church.

The countryside has changed a lot in the last week, so it must be fall. Some cornfields are already cut for silage, and others have turned to brown, with a lot of ears hanging down just waiting to be picked. Harvest season is upon us, with all the work to be done before Old Man Winter makes his appearance. Sure wish he wouldn’t come for a lo-o-o-o-long time yet.

I know that anyone who drives up around Bancroft can see that there is very little left of the town, but in 1925, and following years, it was a roaring town with the following businesses—believe it or not.

There was a railroad depot, a bank (that went broke in 1929-30), a hotel named Argyle House, plus one other, unnamed as far as I could see, a school system, with the mascot named the Bancroft Eagles, two grocery stores and a Masonic Hall.

There was a pool hall, barber shop, two blacksmith shops and a butcher shop. There were two cream buying stations, telephone exchange and a drugstore. There was a lumberyard, two gas stations, two farm implement stores, two grain elevators and two churches.

There were several baseball teams and a puffed wheat factory. (In 1935-36, K and K of De Smet took over the factory). One of three dormitories for men in Kingsbury County in the 30’s was located in Bancroft, the other two were in Iroquois and Hetland. Other Bancroft businesses included a livery, dray service and the post office.

And I mustn’t forget to list the jail. Stories differ as to whether the jail ever had any occupants, but if there were any, they were there only overnight. In later years there was an outdoor theater, which showed movies on Wednesday nights. There may have been others that I have not mentioned.


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