History of Lawrence County South Dakota

In celebration of the Dakota Territory Centennial, the 186-page book “Lawrence County for the Dakota Territory Centennial, 1861-1961” serves as a comprehensive guide and a treasure trove of information for genealogists and historians alike, offering a detailed exploration of Lawrence County’s rich history, culture, and development over a century. Compiled with meticulous care by editor Mildred Fielder and published by Seaton Publishing Company in 1960, this book is free to read and download.

For genealogists, this publication offers an unparalleled window into the past, presenting an array of chapters that delve into the history of various towns within Lawrence County—Lead, Deadwood, Spearfish, St. Onge, Whitewood, and Central City—each contributed by authors who bring their unique perspectives and insights. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, from the enigmatic Thoen Stone to the evolution of mining, agriculture, dairying, ranching, and lumbering in the region, providing a rich narrative of the economic and social fabrics that have shaped the county.

The book is further enriched with a collection of illustrations that visually document the transformation of Lawrence County over the years. These include aerial views, historical maps, scenes from everyday life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and photographs capturing the essence of the county as it stood in 1960. These images serve not just as a visual accompaniment to the text but as invaluable resources for genealogists seeking to connect with the past and understand the context in which their ancestors lived.

Whether you are tracing your lineage back to the early settlers of the Dakota Territory, exploring the history of the Black Hills, or simply fascinated by the evolution of this unique region, “Lawrence County for the Dakota Territory Centennial” is an indispensable resource. It invites readers on a journey through time, offering insights into the pioneering spirit, challenges, and triumphs of the people who have called Lawrence County home. This publication is not just a record of history; it is an invitation to discover the stories, landmarks, and legacies that continue to influence the identity of Lawrence County today.

Lawrence County for the Dakota Territory Centennial

Table of Contents

  1. The Thoen Stone, by Frank Thomson, p. 11
  2. Lawrence County, South Dakota, by Mildred Fielder, p. 13
  3. Deadwood, by Judge John J. Gering, p. 21
  4. Lead, by Donald P. Howe, p. 31
  5. Central City, by S. Goodale Price, p. 49
  6. Spearfish, by James D. Jelbert, p. 59
  7. Whitewood, by Margaret AE. Furois, p. 69
  8. St. Onge, by Bernadine Hansen, p. 77
  9. Mining in Lawrence County, by Clarence N. Kravig, p. 87
  10. Agriculture, Dairying and Ranching, by Henry Frawley, p. 103
  11. Lumbering, by A. C. Polley, p. 115
  12. Black Hills Passion Play, by Clay C. Curran, p. 125
  13. Transportation, by Mildred Fisher, p. 135
  14. Education in Lawrence County, by Dorette Darling and Edward R. McLaughlin, p. 145
  15. Churches, by Judge Clarence P. Cooper, p. 157
  16. Sports, by Carlton O. Gorder, p. 167


  1. County aerial view across Centennial Valley, page 6
  2. Lawrence County map, 1959, page 8
  3. The Thoen Stone, page 10
  4. 1874 Map of the Black Hills, page 12
  5. Deadwood street scene, 1880’s, page 20
  6. Bust of Wild Bill, page 23
  7. Deadwood, July 1960, page 24
  8. Lead in 1880’s, page 36
  9. Lead, around 1910, page 36
  10. Lead, July 1960, page 40
  11. Open Cut at Lead, 1960, page 45
  12. Early cabin in Central City, page 48
  13. William Oates barn, Central City, 1878, page 48
  14. DeSmet mill, Central City, page 54
  15. Central City, 1960, page 56
  16. Spearfish in early 1900’s, page 64
  17. Spearfish, July 1960, page 66
  18. Crook City, 1876, page 70
  19. C.&N.W. Railroad buildings in Whitewood, 1905, page 70
  20. Whitewood, 1960, page 72
  21. Adolph Furois store in St. Onge, 1892, page 78
  22. St. Onge, July 1960, page 83
  23. Placer mining with sluice box, 1876, page 91
  24. Surface plants of Homestake Mining Company, 1960, page 91
  25. Hauling ore by horse power, Homestake, 1900, page 97
  26. Battery locomotive hauling ore, Homestake, 1958, page 97
  27. Drilling in Homestake mine, 1904, page 99
  28. Drilling in Homestake mine, 1956, page 99
  29. Slusher operation, Homestake, 1959, page 100
  30. Power shovel mucking ore, Homestake, 1953, page 100
  31. Spring house on Anderson ranch, page 108
  32. Modern dairy equipment, 1960, page 108
  33. Threshing on Frawley ranch, 1934, page 111
  34. Baling hay, 1960, page 111
  35. First load of wood. B.H.&Ft.P. Railroad, page 117
    36–Homestake Sawmill, Spearfish, page 117
  36. Loading pine logs on truck, Homestake Lumber Department, page 720
  37. Truck hauling logs. Homestake, page 120
  38. Crucifixion scene, from Black Hills Passion Play, page 124
  39. Last Supper scene, from Black Hills Passion Play, page 132
  40. Freighting by ox team, 1880’s, page 134
  41. Deadwood Central Engine No. 1, 1899, page 139
  42. Lawrence County Airport, aerial view 1960, page 139
  43. Galena schoolhouse, built 1882, page 144
  44. Lead High School, July 1960, page 154
  45. Congregational Church. Deadwood, built 1877, page 159
  46. Danish church near Whitewood, built 1887, page 163
  47. Bethel Lutheran Church, Lead, built 1955, page 163
  48. Central City hose team, page 166
  49. Lead and Deadwood baseball teams, 1894, page 166
  50. Queen City Athletes basketball champions, 1923, page 174
  51. Lead-Spearfish football game at Lead, 1956, page 174
  52. Milo Basker, mile runner, track, 1929, page 176
  53. Deer at feeding station in northern Black. Hills, page 178
  54. State Golf Tournament, Tomahawk Golf Course, Deadwood, 1941, page 182
  55. Skiing on Terry Peak, Stewart slope and rope tow, page 182


Fielder, Mildred, editor, Lawrence County for the Dakota Territory Centennial, Lead, South Dakota : Seaton Publishing Company, 1960.



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