History of Jefferson South Dakota

This history of Jefferson South Dakota provides a glimpse into the establishment, growth, and evolution of Jefferson, South Dakota, from its early days in 1859 up to the mid-20th century. This book, prepared by the Jefferson Centennial Committee, is a testament to the town’s resilience, community spirit, and development over a hundred years. Jefferson, strategically nestled between the Big Sioux River and the Missouri River, and bordered by the hills of Iowa and Nebraska, became a beacon for early settlers drawn by its promising land. The narrative begins with the arrival of the first white settlers among indigenous populations, highlighting the foundational role of families like Michael Ryan Sr., A. Christie, and Mr. Matthews.

As the book unfolds, readers are introduced to the transformation of Jefferson from a wilderness area to a productive farming community, underscored by the change of its name from “Alascat” with the advent of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad. The establishment of the Willow Post Office, the first doctor, hotel keeper, and the birth of the first white child in Jefferson are milestones that mark the town’s early growth. The narrative also delves into the significant role of the Catholic Church in community cohesion and development, alongside the evolution of essential services like the fire department, schools, and local businesses, showcasing the modernization and progress of Jefferson.

The centennial book covers Jefferson’s history, including its form of government, the volunteer fire department, postal services, and significant community events and personalities. Stories of epidemics, the telephone company, indigenous relations, and various community clubs and organizations paint a vivid picture of Jefferson’s social fabric and challenges over the years.

This history of Jefferson South Dakota serves as a gateway into the rich history of Jefferson, South Dakota, inviting readers to explore the journey of a community that has navigated through hardships and celebrated milestones, embodying the spirit of progress and unity. Through personal anecdotes, local legends, and detailed accounts, this history of Jefferson South Dakota provides an invaluable resource for understanding the town’s past, its people, and the legacy that shapes its present and future.

Table of Contents

  • History of Jefferson
  • Form of Government
  • Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department
  • Jefferson Post Office
  • Grandma Lafleur Reveals A Cemtury of Memories
  • Smallpox Plague
  • Jefferson Telephone Co.
  • The Indians and Grandma
  • Diptheria
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Church
  • Day of Enjoyment Provided at Big Celebration Held by Jeffersonians
  • Mothers Club
  • Rev. Charles F. Robinson
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Parochial School
  • St. Peter’s Catholic Altar Society
  • Early History of Jefferson Public Grade and Hisgh School
  • Jefferson Band
  • Today is Yours, by Mary Ellen Kelly
  • Mary Lucy Bell Isle Flageolle
  • Mary Chaussee
  • Margaret Connors
  • J. B. Brouillette
  • Mrs. Rosalie Loiselle la Breche
  • Joe L. Lambert
  • Joseph Montagne
  • Joseph and Marian La Fleur
  • O. B. Bernard
  • Benoni “Ben” Antoine Bernard
  • Michael Allard
  • Edward Montague
  • Isaac and Anne Bosse
  • Francis W. Ryan
  • Mose Beaubien
  • John Gary
  • Flavian Montague
  • Doctor P. H. A. Pinard
  • Alexandria Beavers
  • Alphonse Chicoine
  • William J. Wynn
  • Thomas Dennison
  • Frank Lambert
  • Ulric Ubal Bernard
  • Pierre Ulric Bernard
  • Mark Chicoine
  • Stephen Bertrand
  • Alphonse Gadbois
  • Ruben Rubida
  • The Charles La Breche Family
  • George La Brune
  • Mathew Curran
  • John Connors Family
  • Michael Ryan, Jr.
  • Alexis Bernard
  • The Joseph Crevier Family
  • Michael Ryan, Sr.
  • Adolph Mason
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Baptist Fountaine
  • Lawrence Curran
  • Eden Hummel
  • James C. Cates
  • Thomas Collins
  • On the Death of R. N. Authier
  • Kent Drug Store
  • Banking
  • Phyllis Choquette chosen Miss South Dakota
  • Jefferson, Sioux City Oasis, verge of going dry, now a busy community
  • Oil “strike” is Still in Doubt


Jefferson Centennial Committee, Jefferson history, 1859-1959, Akron, Iowa : Union County Shopper, 1959.


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