During the spring of 1883 a few claim shacks were built
on what now comprises the town site of Britton; the squatters little dreaming
that three years of 'time would bring, them a railroad, a flourishing town and
county seat. Wm. Ross, of Stena township, while tramping over this portion of
Miller township the latter part of April, 1883, became tired and lay down. He
fell asleep, and awoke when the sun was fast sinking in the western horizon;
about twenty rods from him were eleven antelope quietly grazing, where Mr. Hindman's lumber yard now is, near the railroad, unconscious of the proximity of
a human being. In almost the twinkling of an eye they were over the hill and out
of sight. J. B. Squier and F. P. Squier, from Fargo, came here in the spring and
squatted on claims; J. B. on SE. 1, section 23; F. P. on SW. 1, section 24; D.
C. Bell on NE. , section 26, and Harry Plaisted on NW. 1, section 25. During the
summer Col. Britton came here to visit the Squires and conceived the idea that
it would be a splendid location for a town site. August 14, 1883, he chartered
the Dakota and Great Southern Railway, to extend from Tower City to Sioux City.
The road was surveyed through this county by November 15, 1883.
November 23, 1883, H. R. Turner script the W. 9 of SW.
1, section 24, and bought Bell's relinquishment of the NE. I, section 26; also
placed soldiers' additional homestead script on e. of NE. , section 26; and used
his homestead right on the west half of the same quarter section. Late in
December he engaged Thos. Allison to plat the script 160 acres on sections 24
and 26. He completed and filed the plat of the original town, Jan. 19, 1884,
with register of deeds of Day county. J. B. Squier made final proof January,
1884, and in February Sam Denton surveyed the same. It was named Fair View
Addition and plat filed April 9th, '84.
Harry F. Plaisted, having made final proof, engaged Sam Denton to plat his farm,
and filed his platted addition March 16, 1885, now known as Plaisted's Addition
The Britton Land And Trust Company.
April 6, 1885, the Britton Land and Trust Company was
incorporated by the following named gentlemen:
Capt. Vander Horck, of Ft. Sisseton; D. T. Hindman, of Britton; M. Jorgenson and
H. J. Dale, of Wilmar, Minn; S. J. Watkins, of Fargo, and H. R. Turner, of
Britton Lumber Company
In December, 1883, the above named company was
organized by Wm. Drury, of Verdurett, Ill. A. M. Byers and Iii. H. Holmes, of
Aledo, Ill., and D. T. Hindman, of Britton, the only resident member of the
company who conducts the business, being assisted by Wm. Sentman, from Altona,
Pa. In January, 1884, Mr. Hindman shipped 50 car loads of lumber to Andover and
engaged 50 teams to haul this immense quantity of lumber to the platted, or
really a paper town until then. The writer could see nothing in the future that
would ever justify this large outlay of capital, and like many others considered
"that man Hindman a leetle off," and the whole business a "wild cat" scheme; the
sequel shows Mr. Hindman's business capacity and judgment. The first building
was erected by Jno. P. Holman and Isaacs in February, 1884, to accommodate those
hauling lumber. Capt. Poor did the carpenter work. Mrs. Sexton was the first
woman to live in Britton. She and her husband came here from what is now Haupt
and took charge of the boarding-house. Our genial friend
Coppock, the pioneer barber, was there, and as now, shaving persons, when the
writer was introduced to him by Mr. Sexton about the middle of March. Early that
spring Sergeant Snyder, of Ft. Sisseton, purchased the boarding-house, which has
since been conducted by Mrs. Snyder, and known as the Snyder House. Sergeant
Snyder went with his command to Ft. Totten in 1884, and has served in the
regular army in Dakota over sixteen years. He comes home about once a year on
Pioneer Business Men
H. H. Downes, from Maryland, came through here with
Major Jewett's surveying party in the fall of '83. The following spring he and
Chas. E. Printup opened the first grocery store in Britton. The railroad not
being completed that year they quit business, and Mr. Downes returned east.
Returned here last winter and under the firm name of Downes & Co. Is doing a
large grocery business.
Marshall Vincent, from Three Mile Bay,
New York, located a claim at Andover, which he sold to Wm. Mills. In March,
1883, erected the building now occupied by A. Lawrence, and April 9th opened a
flour and feed store. Mr. Vincent was elected county commissioner in 1884, and
ably represented the Britton District of Day county.
C. M. Furber, originally from Massachusetts, came here
from Andover and early in April '83 opened his hardware store; recently sold out
to H. H. Rice.
Tim Daylight Officewas built early in the spring see
history of the Daylight.
Wooddell & Palmerlee
Richard D. Wooddell and Albert S. Palmerlee, from Dodge
Center, Minn., came here in April and built their present business place, and
are doing a general merchandise business. They also handle horses and cattle. It
is a cold day when Wooddell has not a horse to trade or sell.
S. C. W. Hall, from Dodge Center, Minn., is their right
The following is a list of those not yet mentioned, now engaged in business in
The New York Cash Store was opened in August, 1885, by Wm.
Culver, from Livonia, Livingston Co., N. Y.
The business is conducted by his sons, George and
Marvin Culver. They have just completed a large store 24x80.
Richard S. Wilkins, from Princeton, Wis., came here in
'83 and located Maim on section 1. Opened his present business place in
December, 1884. H. L. Stokes, now over in the Missouri country, was associated
with him until March, the present year.
H. H. Downes & Co., groceries.
H. W. Hormann, from Westport, Minn., opened his general
merchandise store last May.
A. Lawrence, from Pontiac, Ill came here Oct. 12, 1884, and opened his present
Furber & Bell bought out H. H. Rice, July 1886.
S. S. Augur, from Stark Co., Ill., came here last fall, and last opened a
John Wallace, from Wilmot, Dak., opened his furniture store last March.
Chas. N. Pierce from Joliet, Ill., opened the first meat market in 1884.
A. G. Waterburry, from New York, in 1885, recently engaged in the butcher
Alonzo M. Noble, from Sioux Falls, opened the first bakery the beginning of last
John Glasaner, from Lisbon, opened a dairy and laundry last April.
G. W. Thiel, from Hartford, Wis., opened his harness shop May, 1885.
Oscar Rindermann, from Otter Tail Co., Minn., opened his shoe shop, Jan. 1st,
The Rose Brothers, from Lisbon, started the present
drug store in the summer of 1884. Later sold out to G. L. Baker, who originally
came from Bureau Co., Ill. Mr. Baker is the present postmaster, and sold the
drug business to Dr. Wm. E. Young.
Dr. Young, the pioneer physician of Britton, was born
in New Brunswick and graduated at Ann Arbor in June, 1882; came here from Lisbon
in 1884. Dr. A. H. Marsh, dentist, recently located here; came from Lisbon, Dak.
The Snyder House is mentioned elsewhere. The Dwight
House was built by Chas. Lancaster and G. L. Baker in 1884, and until recently
known as the Lancaster House. Mr. Lancaster disposed of his interest and went to
Webster. Last winter the genial and popular host, Chas. A. Dwight, for several
years landlord of the Dunn House, Montevideo, Minn., came here from Andover. His
father, Deloss Dwight, makes it his home with him. The Summit House was built by
the Quarve Brothers in the spring of 1884, who came here from Spring Grove,
Minn. The Quarve Bros. know their business thoroughly and conduct a first-class
Fearer Bros. of Wahpeton, have erected a large restaurant with a public hall
H. E. Henry, Home Nursery.
Geo. S. Vanderveer, North-western Chain of Nurseries.
The Fulton Brothers,, from Green Co.; Wis., came here from Wilmot, Dak., in June
Norman Sturgis, from Greenville, Mich., came here in May, 1885.
C. D. Gaylord, from Cleveland, Ohio, came here May 20, 1884.
Bank of Britton was established May, 1885, by N. J. Berston, from Yonkers, N.
Y., and L. Guillaudeu, from Jersey City, N. J.
Job. Voak & Co. opened their banking house last April, with J. J. Aplin as
cashier. Mr. Alpin was for many years cashier in Grundy County, Iowa.
Marshall County Bank was established January, 1886, by C. J. Harlow and G. H.
Craig, from Buffalo, N. Y. Mr. Craig is the cashier.
F. W. Blood, of Green Lake, Wis., built his present barn in 1884, and is the
Atchison Brothers, originally from the north of Ireland, came here from Lisbon,
in 1885, and built their present large barn the same season.
E. L. Howe came here from Dayton, Minn., and has just started his brickyard
south of town. We are unable to state the quality of the brick, but he being an
old hand at the business we predict success to his enterprise.
Lumber And Coal
The Dougherty Brothers came here from Green Bay, Wis.,
last February, and bought out W. J. Byse, near Britton. Are engaged in the
H. A. Salzer & Co. from LaCrosse, Wis., have a lumber
and coal yard. The Dakota Lumber Co. have just put in a lumber yard.
S. T. Miles & Son and John Voigt each have a first-class blacksmith and machine
James F. Mathews, from Norfolk, Ont., opened the first jewelry store last May.
John S. Johnson, from Nova Scotia, contractor and builder.
W. Stone,, from Orinoco, Minn., has recently started the first wagon shop.
Jno. D. Stanley, from Huron Co., Ont., came here in 1884, is now deputy sheriff.
Frank Hessel, from Heerenveen, Netherlands, came here in 1884, and has been
engaged as foreman in the Daylight office since.
Jno. McCullough, from Red Wing, Minn., opened his agricultural implement depot
J. T. Thompson came here in '84, and for a time was connected with the Daylight.
Thos. Taggart came here from Brown's Valley. Chas. Burgoyne, from Lisbon in
Legal Lights, Real Estate And Loan Agents
E. A. Cooper is the pioneer land agent of Britton and was appointed clerk of
District Court in 1885, and recently was succeeded by Thomas Plaisted, of Lowell
A. Sherin, from Peterboro, Ont., came here in 1884. He was formerly a minister
and preached the first sermon ever preached in Britton in Downes store in June
J. I. McCoy, from Mason Co., Ill., where he was admitted ~to the bar in 1880,
is in partnership with H. R.. Turner.
T. M. Plaisted who is now clerk of the Court.
Thos. B. McDonough, from Chicago, studied law in Chicago, was admitted to the
bar by the Supreme Court in 1880; came here in 1883 and settled on section 1, in
Stena township; was elected district attorney of our county last year. The Kirk
Brothers came here in 1885 from Sioux City, Iowa.
J. E. Dyer, from Spring City, Tenn., came to Dakota in the employ of the D. & G.
S. R. R., as auditor in 1883. Came to Britton July 1st, 1884; that fall was
elected Probate Judge of Day Co., and last July was elected Register of Deeds
and County Clerk of this county.
Mail Service And Stage Routes
In 1883 the Alta post office in Pleasant Valley was
established and the weekly mail carried by Chas. Coppock to and from the fort.
The next spring, 1884, W. Paul, of. Webster, ran a stage line, about one month,
from Britton to the fort, after which E. W. Blood carried the mail and
passengers until September. The settlers chipped in their mites, but Mr. Blood
lost money. He also, for a time, ran a stage line to Andover. About September,
'84, a daily mail was established between Britton and Fort Sisseton. The writer
lives within sight of Britton, yet it requires ten days to get the Daylight or a
letter. The mail going around via Webster, Andover and Haupt, Dayton and Stena
post offices, west of Britton, in this county, could only get Britton mail by
the way of Webster and Groton, a round about way of one hundred miles. With the
railroad and new mail lines all this has been changed.
This magnificent building was erected in the fall of
1884, and we may safely say that few large cities in the Territory can boast of
Three good school-houses were erected at the same time
in different parts of Miller township. E. A. Cooper taught the first school in
Britton in the winter of '83-84, and Geo. Hickman, then County Superintendent of
Schools of Day county, held the first public examination of teachers in Britton,
April 1st, 1885
White | Newark |
Stena | Britton |
Pleasant Valley | Waverly |
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