Thursday, June 17, 2021

Huron Dairy Products Company

Huron Dairy Products Co.

A milk bottle from Huron Dairy Products Co.

Huron Dairy Products Co. was located at 133-137 3rd St. SE by 1928 after being at 850 3rd St for a handful of years, managed by K. W. Greenquist at both locations.  Like many other local buildings, this one was designed by well-known architect F. C. W. Kuehn, a Huron-based architect.   Today, this building is the home of Dramstad Refrigeration and Electric.  Huron Dairy Products Co. appears to have gone out of business by 1940.

133 3rd St. SE today, photo courtesy of Google Earth.

Monday, June 14, 2021

R. O. Grover, Druggist

When I lived in Huron, South Dakota, Osco Drug was situated next to Newberry's on Dakota ave.  That particular location has housed drug stores for years and years, including that of R. O. Grover, "The Live Druggist."

Grover was a native of Linn County, Iowa, and the 29 year old pharmacist purchased the business from A. J. Bick in 1909.  But the history goes further back than that.

Interior of R. O. Grover's drug store

C. Y. Durand was operating a drug store in Huron as early as 1884; that business was located a few doors north of the "Osco Drug" location [see map to left].  Durand hired J. A. Bick as a clerk/pharmacist, and in 1890 Bick purchased the business from him.  Bick was described in the newspaper as "a practical pharmacist and thoroughly conversant with the drug business..." 

Bick, after 19 years in business, sold the drug store to R. O. Grover, "The Live Druggist," in 1909.  Grover, an Iowa native, had been running a similar operation in Pochahontas, Iowa.  The Dakota Huronite announced this change of ownership and said of Mr. Grover, "he is an experienced druggist, having been in the business for a number of years, and comes to Huron highly recommended by prominent citizens of his former home both as a citizen and business man."

Grover wasted no time being an innovative business man, introducing "Hot Soda" from the soda fountain as the cool weather rolled in.  42 different hot drinks were offered, including  hot chocolate and hot coffee with whipped cream.

This is the area of Dakota Ave. which housed the earliest R. O. Grover drug store.

In addition to his pharmacy products and services, and the popular soda fountain, Grover also carried a full line of office supplies.

Grover kept the business at its 239 Dakota location for a few years, relocating to the "Osco Drug" location in 1912-1913.  

In September of 1920, Grover sold his business to George Sherman and Carl Moe, Sioux Falls businessmen, and the drug store was known after that as "Sherman and Moe."  Carl Moe was formerly a Huron resident who had learned the trade under Holland Wheeler at Wheeler's Drug Store; Sherman was "one of the prominent druggists of the state," and had been in business in Canton before moving his business to Sioux Falls.  

In 1948, Sherman and Moe sold the business to Carl Fellows and Leonard Clarke, and it was known as "Fellows and Clarke Pharmacy."  Osco Drug was established there in 1965 before moving to the Huron Mall in 1978.

Sherman and Moe, located one door north of Newberry's.


Dakota Huronite, November 6, 1884
Huron Daily Huronite, January 7, 1886
Huron Daily Huronite, July 8, 1890
Dakota Hurnoite, April 22, 1909
Dakota Huronite, April 29, 1909
Huron Evening Huronite, September 29, 1920
Huron Daily Plainsman, June 15, 1980
1911-12 Huron City Directory
Sanford Fire Maps

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The Country Jans

The Country Jans were well-known entertainers in South Dakota during the 1970s.  Judging by the number of advertisements appearing in various South Dakota newspapers, they kept busy.

Janet Iverson and Jan Tchida have been entertaining together since about 1971.   Iverson was originally from the Vienna-Hazel area, and Tchida from Lake City, but both were living in Webster at that time.  Their first album was recorded at J and J Record recording studio in Cedar Falls, Iowa in 1974.

Iverson graduated from Hazel High School in 1967, and from Watertown Business University in 1968, and worked as a receptionist at St. Ann Hospital.  Tchida was a waitress before she entered the entertainment industry.

They are particularly pertinent to our family, as they frequented the Miller, SD area and usually stayed at my mother-in-law's house while in town.  My husband's first professional drumming job (in high school) was with them while playing one of those Miller dates.

The Country Jans with unknown accordion player, playing in Miller, South Dakota.  Unknown date.

Aberdeen American News, Sunday, July 14, 1974
Aberdeen American News from Nov. 28, 1976 
From the "Public Opinion" (Watertown, SD?) news archives: "1974 - 40 years ago", unrecorded date
Numerous other South Dakota newspapers I didn't keep track of

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

News from Huron in the 1890s

 The following is a transcript from an old letter I found in a box of papers and other ephemera.  It appears to be written by Eddie Kimball, son of Anna Kimball, to his friend Walter.

 Huron, S. D., March 8, 1890

Dear Friend Walter,

I received your letter last Aug. and have not answered it till now. I hope you will forgive me for neglecting it so long. I have been very busy at school and am obliged to study every night. For Prof. Rowe seems to try to think up things to give us plenty to do. Not long ago he said that we must do all of our written work with pen and ink. I am in the B Class in the High School. I still study Latin besides Geometry with Algebra.

As you asked me to tell about the boys I will try and say something about some of them. Lon Huntington is a member of the C class in the High School. He had been working in a grocery store for about two years before the commencement of this school year. Will Jones is in the D class and Ken McKinzie is a night office boy at the railroad office. He got tired of going to school. Harry Steel and Sanford Scuyler are the only members of the graduating class which I believe is your old class.

My father and mother staid [sic] at Duluth about a month and came home feeling a great deal better. As Papa did not feel well enough to ride over the prairie this winter, he gave up work the first of Dec. He intends to go somewhere for his health by the last of this month or the first of next. He has thought some of going to Airsonia [sic] or New Mexico. If so he will possibly come to Los Angeles. But he now thinks he will go to western North Carolina. We still own Pax but may sell him. I hope Papa won't.

Pierre got the capital, but Huron has not given up hope and will be in the race this fall. I expect we will leave the Great American Desert within a year or two; and if the capital comes our way next fall it will be a good time to sell. We have all had the grippe but mamma and she has been sick several times.

Grandma is just recovering, she had the grippe worse than any of us. Hope you have not suffered in the great floods that I have read about in the papers. We have had an unusual mild winter. Please tell how your father and mother are when you write again. Mother says she wishes your mother would write to her. We all send love to you all. I must close as it is supper time.

Your friend,

Eddie Kimball.

Dear Walter,
            Please tell May to write to me as soon as she can.
Anna Kimball

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Schooner Beer - Huron, South Dakota


Photo ca 1935. The brewery was located at 255 Columbia NE.

Dakota Brewing Company, headed by J. G. Dorsey, bottled carbonated beverages and "near beer" during Prohibition, which ended in December of 1933. In April of 1934, they began producing keg beer until an expansion of the plant in 1936 allowed them to add 12-ounce "steinies" and half-gallon picnic bottles to their products beginning in December. The expansion cost the company about $20,000 but they were able to hire 6 additional employees and procure two more trucks to distribute their beer throughout their territory, which included the entire eastern half of South Dakota. They could manufacture 160 cases (38,400 bottles) of beer per day at the beginning, and expected to increase that number to 200 cases per day once new employees were fully trained and summer came around.

Schooner beer was made from spring water, was all grain, with no rice, syrup, or coloring. It was described as having "a heavy body and a rich pure grain flavor."

Making the beer itself was a very particular process if you wanted to get it right, according to the plant's brewmaster, Joe Poellinger. Poellinger had a background that included 36 years of experience in the brewing business. Only spring water could be used, and there were multiple stages of production before it was sent to a large 35-degree cellar. In the cellar were 15 storage vats, each one holding 85 barrels. Here it aged for 3 months, a vital step. It was then filtered before being bottled and distributed.

Steinies were produced with used bottles, which were soaked in a warm soda solution to remove any impurities and old labels that might still adhere. From there they went to the patent machine, which had 16 fast moving brushes to swirl water through the bottles, 16 at a time. After a rinsing, they were ready to be filled.

A rack moved the bottles from station to station, first under tubes that filled them, then to the capper. After that, they were pasteurized to kill the yeast in the beer. The water for pasteurization had to be kept at a very specific temperature; too low would fail to pasteurize, and too high would ruin the beer. After pasteurization, the beer could be held at any temperature. Keg beer was not pasteurized and had to be kept at a cool temperature constantly, otherwise the yeast would continue to grow and the beer would lose clarity. After pasteurization, the steinies were moved to an automated labeling station where they were wetted and immediately slapped with a label. From there they were packaged into cases and distributed.


Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota. December 15, 1936.
Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota. December 16, 1936
Evening Huronite, Huron, South Dakota. February 28, 1938.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Lampe Market


It was in the early 1880s when Albert Lampe Sr, along with his wife and five children made the long and difficult trip from Wernigerode, Germany to Huron, South Dakota. Lampe's family had been in the food business for generations, going back more than 200 years and having owned his own meat market in Germany for 8 years, it was only natural that he would seek out employment in the same line of work once settled at Huron. He was hired by Jacob Schaller in December of 1882 as a buyer, butcher and packer in Schaller's shop.

Lampe continued working for Schaller until April of 1889 when he decided to go into business for himself in a building just north of Northwest Security National Bank, which was located at 3rd and Dakota. The business was so successful that he was able to construct a new building at 266 Dakota Avenue in 1906, and the business incorporated by 1913. ("Fashion City" would later locate at this site).

The business was so successful that in 1927 he had constructed yet a larger building, located at the corner of 4th and Dakota S., a building that many of us first knew as the "Sears and Roebuck" store. It was not so much the building that set it apart, but the setup of the business which was different than most and played a large role in its success.

The new Lampe's Market, showing just how large the building was.

Lampe's was a "vertical trust" – they did all the processing from providing the raw material to creating the finished product, all within their one organization. Imperative to this process was their 900 acre farm south of town where they raised the meat and killed it. The basement of their downtown store was a "complete packing plant." Taking full control of their products lowered their marketing costs and allowed them to offer their customers lower prices while controlling quality and accessibility.

And it wasn't just meat – the deli did their own cooking and processing; their bakery did the baking on site. The meat department also produced their own ham, bacon, sausage, and lard. The farm produced milk, eggs, and vegetables to sell at the store.

After considerable research, the Lampes settled on Ayrshire cattle both for meat and for dairy products. They also raised part of the food needed for their livestock right there on the farm. Besides cattle, they raised hogs, sheep, and chickens.

At the time of the formal opening of the new location they offered tours of the building, top to bottom, so that consumers could see how the products they buy were prepared and handled. This new building – four floors (basement, main, mezzanine, and second floors) – was well stocked and more than just a meat market. It carried a more complete range of grocery items including canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, bakery items, and deli foods than they were able to stock at the previous location.

The "old" meat market, at 266 Dakota av. was to remain open, at least for awhile.

Lampe's was indeed a "family affair," with Albert Lampe acting as president, Fred Lampe as vice-president, Henry Lampe as secretary-treasurer, Albert Lampe Jr as manager of retail sales, Gustav C. Lampe as stock buyer and farm manager, and Karl W. Lampe as manager of the order department.

Just a few months after opening the new building, Albert Sr passed away (August 27, 1927). Due to poor health, he had not taken an active role in the business for some time prior. Henry Lampe died the following year.

Ration lines during World War II

Like so many other businesses, Lampe's had its share of struggles during the Great Depression. In addition the family matriarch, Mrs. Lampe, died in 1933; Fred Lampe Sr died in 1939 – it was Fred who was president of the board of directors after his father's passing.

World War II also caused many complications for the business with rations and scarcity of some grocery items. Having their farm to supply their meat helped buffer them to a certain extent.

Hard times forced the sale of the building, ordered by the court in 1947. Sears and Roebuck Co. purchased the building and opened a large store with many different departments including hardware, sporting goods, paint, auto accessories, clothing and shoes, housewares, plumbing, appliances, and radios among other things. The space also included their business offices, and a mail order department was set up. This new store was managed by E. C. Sharp.

The new Sears & Roebuck store, formerly Lampe Market

The Lampe family built a new grocery store at 1950 Dakota Av. S., which many of us knew as Lewis Drug. This store opened in March of 1948. The operators of this store were: Karl W. Lampe, president; Emma Lampe, Secretary-Treasurer; G. C. Lampe, Farm Manager; Frederick Lampe, Store Manager; and Gertrude Lampe, Buyer.

In 1959 the store closed and this final building for Lampe Market was sold for $56,000. Two investors from Sioux Falls made the purchase, and eventually Randall's would open a store there.


The Evening Huronite, March 19, 1927
The Daily Plainsman, March 22, 1948
The Daily Plainsman, May 19, 1949
The Huronite and Daily Plainsman, June 28, 1955
The Daily Plainsman, Feb. 1, 1959
The WPA Guide to South Dakota

Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Maggot - Live Matter in a Dead Body - Issue #4

 The Maggot

Live Matter in a Dead Body”

Issue No. 4 November 24, 1941 Published by “The Maggots”

The Gay Nineties Revue”

In as much as it is the policy of THE MAGGOT to bring to light any true facts that we feel need presenting, we want to make it clear that we do not lay the responsibility for the over-conservative policies of the institution at the feet of only the administrators – no indeed – a good share of the credit is due our board of trustees with special recognition going to the executive committee.

Of the thirteen members on that fine body, seven are eligible for the degree “old faithful” each having served at least twenty years – in fact, the fortieth anniversary of one, namely the maternal parent of our illustrious political protege, will be observed next year. It is of extraordinary interest that this good member is the only one who holds a position on six of the trustee committees. No other trustee who has served only fifteen or twenty years and consequently whose conservatism can be doubted is allowed to take that much responsibility for running the school. Those irresponsible and unreliable liberals and new-comers who have served only four to eight years are allowed on at most three committees, and Carl Voigt, a truly liberal “scoundrel”, cannot be trusted on any committee. The “terrible thirties” are not as qualifying as the “gay nineties”.

Last year when we were without a president, what was the excuse that our good vice president presented for the slow action of the board? Oh yes, he said that it was so hard to get them together. Bear in mind however that all the members of the executive committee are Huron residents. It is a private hypothesis that the reason they couldn't get together was because one took his nap at two and another his at three, an thus anyone can see that a meeting was simply impossible.

As long as Huron college is run by a group of oldsters who are actually senile, we can never hope for a progressive school. The last issue of the Alphomega reminds us that we should be duly reverent of our faithful administrators and those who have given their lives to the institution, but how can we be expected to be reverent of policies that have not changed since the turn of the century.

In case the administrators and trustees are inclined to laugh this off, let us remind them that 90 per cent of the Huron business men questioned thought that the college was hopelessly outdated and run by antiquated, debilitated, senile individuals.

We Love Our Student Lounge

Yes, we love our student lounge! It has everything we need to lounge. There are some lovely, comfortable straight-back chairs to relax in; a few desks to write on; and some beautiful ebony black-boards to look at. We are right across the hall from the library where we can make all the noise we want. We could smoke too, only it seems the trustees are afraid it might stunt our growth. We might be able to have a nickleodeon too, only the faculty would probably move it down to that much-used lounge of theirs. We don't need a coke dispenser because the walk over to the store does us good, and besides all our organizations have plenty of money – they don't need the added income. Yes, this is a haven of rest for the scholastically weary.

The trophy room of our gymnasium is an ideal place for our proposed plan. Installation of a nickleodeon, a few pieces of appropriate furniture, distinctive decorations, and a coca-cola dispenser would satisfy any student body. Frequently planned evening get-togethers of “the gang” at such a place would help to “Keep the College on the Campus”, give the students a chance to become better acquainted with one another, and prevent the frequenting of suburban clubs.

We are convinced the “Little Student Union” would work, and why should any administration hesitate to put it into operation. Surely campus organizations would be only too glad to have such a place on our campus, and would assist financially in getting it started.

If we want to put Huron on top, we must keep abreast of the other schools. We must make at least a few improvements. This school has some fine incorporated rules an regulations, but evidently it has quite forgotten that is students no longer come to school via horse and buggy. Huron college NEEDS the “Little Student Union.”