Newspaper and Personal Sketches, Marshall County, South Dakota

The Dakota Daylight

     This paper was first issued by J. C. Adams & Son on May 2C, 1883. It was located in a sod shanty on Will Adams' claim. At the time of its first issue the nearest post office was Ft. Sisseton, twelve miles east, and the nearest railway station, Andover, thirty-five miles away. The Daylight was printed here, and the place known as Giles City, from May 20, 1883, to March, 1884, when it was removed to Britton. During the whole of that winter there was no mail route, and M. Baker, who was associated with the Adams', carried the mail to and from the fort in all kinds of cold and disagreeable weather. Mr. Baker and C. O. Jones as employee published the paper that winter, doing their own cooking and housework. During the first summer our genial friend, J. C. Adams, one warm summer day was quietly contemplating what the future might bring forth, and how to boom the country and Giles City in particular, when a stranger put 'n his appearance. "Is this Giles City and are you Mr. Adams?" quoth the stranger. "Yes, sir! Have a seat," replied Mr. Adams, with a bland smile. "Of all the infernal liars you take the cake. I supposed from what your paper stated concerning Giles City and its business, schools, etc., that you had quite a town and a chance to speculate in town lots, and here I find only a sod shanty on the wild prairie." Mr. Adams soon pacified his man by showing him in glowing colors the future possibilities of this valley and Giles City. His imagination did not make a mistake, except that it proved to be Britton instead of Giles City. Britton had not been thought of at that time. To Will Adams is due the credit of this work. He had only reached his majority, and to establish a printing office in a sparsely settled country required an unusual degree of energy and confidence. Mr. J. C. Moore, of Atlantic post office, hauled the furniture and necessary printing material from Webster. J. E. Dyer purchased the Daylight in 1884, and in August, 1885, sold out to J. W. Banbury, present editor and proprietor, who came from Ontario Co., Canada, to Manitoba in 1882, and in 1883 to Lisbon, Dakota.

Looking for a Home in Dakota--A Night in the Coteaus During a Terrible Snow Storm
[Personal narrative by Samuel Denton.]


The following particulars were recently related to the writer by Mr. Denton:
     "In June, 1882, Josiah True, Robert Lemmon and myself, rigged a boat on the running gear of a buckboard and with a good team left Avoca, Iowa, to hunt for a home in Dakota. We entered the territory at Sioux Falls and traveled north by the way of Watertown, Clark, Groton, Grand Rapids, Jamestown and Ft. Totten. Not finding a suitable location, we turned back at Ft. Totten and traveled in a southeasterly direction; but found nothing suitable until we reached Sacred Earth Gap, just east of Britton, where we found the first good drinking water after a three days' journey. On our way down here we camped at Bear Creek, where we discovered a bed about six feet square of tame onions, which had undoubtedly been planted by the Indians.' The next day we went to Frank Ford's, a short distance south, who had located' his home a month previously. From there we traveled south, to what is now Waverly Township, where we concluded to settle. This was in the latter part of July. Frank Ford's house was then the only one in the valley in this county, and ten miles from our location. We set about building sod houses and cut hay with the "Armstrong" mower and put it up with a wooden fork. As our locating here is given in the township history I will pass over to January 23, 1884. I had been down at Waubay at Mr. Barse's surveying, and on above date reached Ft. Sisseton by stage. The morning had been foggy and the weather turned colder in the afternoon and commenced snowing. . The snow was about eighteen inches deep on a level, and in the marshy places I frequently plunged through the snow waist-deep. I soon began to regret that I had not heeded the advice of my friends at the fort, and remained there until the storm had abated. But, fearing that my family might be suffering for the want of fuel, I redoubled my efforts, facing the blinding storm, to reach home, a distance of sixteen miles. There was no trail, and having observed the direction of the wind when I left the fort about 2 o'clock P. M., I was enabled to take a direct course home. About dark I reached the west side of the hills, three miles from home. In coming down a hill I suddenly discovered a wolf thirty yards distant. I stopped, somewhat startled at the sight, knowing that wolves were not common. I feared there might be a pack of them not far off; and not having a desire to have my bones picked I charged the foe with a pine stick, determined, if he stood his ground, to grapple with him; but he slunk off, gave a howl which was answered by an other wolf on the hill, and together they disappeared. I had been perspiring freely, and the delay had chilled me so that one of my legs clamped and made it impossible for me to reach home. It had now grown dark, and I retraced my steps a few rods to a gulch containing brush. The cold was intense and the storm continued with unabated violence. I dug down several feet in the snow and cleared a place to build a fire and camp for the night. I burnt several newspapers in my vain attempts to light a fire, when I finally succeeded with the last paper by holding my coat-tail over it to keep the wind from blowing it out. I soon discovered that instead of having my camp on the ground I was on the top of a plum-brush heap. I wound my watch, and every thirty minutes during the night I went after a handful of brush. I did this so that I might not go to sleep. I crouched over the fire and kept comfortable, although, as I learned afterwards, the thermometer went clown to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
     About 5 o'clock AM, I sketched with a piece of charcoal a skull and cross-bones on the hard snow near the fire, faced it, and then bid my camp adieu. The storm was still raging, and knowing my exact location I took my bearings by the direction of the wind and started for home. I plunged about in the gulch for two hours, the snow having drifted in during the night. After getting out I once more took bearings and started for home; suddenly I saw a house, a man chopping wood, and another man going round the house. I walked up to it and found it to be a large stone; the man chopping wood was but a weed nodding in the gentle breeze, while the man going round the house was another weed being whipped back and forth by the wind. The smoke I thought I had seen was snow drifting over the top. I now, for the first time, realized that hunger, cold and fatigue had affected my brain, and my chance to reach home was one in a thousand. Both my hands were already frozen and numb, and only by extraordinary-will power, and my wife and children perhaps perishing, did I move forward. I wanted to lie down and go to sleep, but knew if I did it meant certain death. I finally reached what I recognized to be breaking south of my house about fifty yards, but took it to be Mr. Brunskill's pasture, and wondered why he had moved it there. (I state these facts to give an idea of my mental condition.) I finally reached my house, but could not knock with my hands; neither could I speak, as the ice had frozen my whiskers so that my mouth was open and filled with snow. After awhile I kicked at the door. Just before reaching the house, while trying to collect my thoughts, I was taken with violent cramps of the stomach, and came within one of perishing before my own door. My wife took in the situation at a glance, and at once proceeded to thaw me out in snow slush. For two days was bathed with kerosene and then with glycerin to absorb the water collected in the blisters. This treatment proved a success to a certain degree. I still feel the effects of the great exposure and freezing. There are perhaps but few, if any, persons that ever came so near the brink of death by freezing and lived to relate their experience."

Charles Bailey

     The following sketch of Charles Bailey, the first settler in what is now Marshall County, was obtained by the writer from authentic sources and from persons acquainted with him before is arrival here.
     The Baileys, of whom there were several brothers, lived in Brown's Valley, Minn., whence the subject of this sketch waylaid a supposed rival in a love affair and shot him but not fatally. For this criminal offense he served some time in the penitentiary at Stillwater. He was finally pardoned before the expiration of his term, and in a few days married a young lady but fifteen years old, and engaged to work a Oman's farm. The proprietor called one day to see how he was getting along and found the house, locked. An investigation disclosed the fact that Bailey and his wife had skipped the country, taking the proprietor's oxen, wagon and other useful articles.
      The next heard of him was at Waubay where several old acquaintances happened to accidentally find him, where he had located a claim about the year 1879. This claim he sold and located in a timber gulch in what is now Victor Township, this county, and known as the Underwood farm (Sec. 12). He located here in 1881 and was the sole occupant of Marshall County for a time. The next year a few pioneers reached his neighborhood and settled there. This portion of Marshall County contained several gulches or coulees, which at that time embraced considerable timber. He sold a relinquishment of his claim to several different parties on the same day and pocketed - the proceeds and, like the Arabs, silently folded his tent and stole away, taking several horses with him. The horses, three in number, had been surreptitiously abstracted from their owners. An Indian coming from the Devil's Lake country met him and on his return to the Reservation described the missing horses; which, however, did their proper owners little good, as Bailey had then eight days the start, and pursuit was out of the question. The next thing heard of, his whereabouts was in the summer of 1883. The following account of his sudden demise and the cause leading' to it, is perhaps as nearly correct as any, as it was obtained by a gentleman who visited the locality where it occurred. It appears that after leaving Marshall County he located in the Mouse river country. His nearest neighbor was an old well-to-do bachelor who had considerable stock and money. -After a while this neighbor was missed by his friends and on inquiry at Bailey's they were informed that he had gone east to visit and that he, Bailey, had been engaged to look after his stock. This apparently satisfied the missing man's friends, as they heard him speak of a contemplated visit. This occurred along in the winter of 182-'83. Along the next summer the neighbors one day missed Bailey and his stock he was caring for. Some fifteen or twenty neighbors mounted on horses started in pursuit and soon came up with him. He was requested to explain his position in driving off his neighbor's stock; Bailey stated that he had received a letter from his neighbor ordering him to bring the stock to a designated point where he would meet him; on being requested to produce the letter he failed to do so, stating that he had lost it. It was determined that Bailey must return with them, to which he agreed without any hesitation. On their route back they had to cross a deep coulee and, as he was closely guarded, he requested that some of the men assist his wife in driving the stock over. Two guards, well armed, went ahead with Bailey, pleasantly chatting with him in their ascent on the other side; after reaching the top or bank of the coulee they stopped to rest some distance in advance of the other party, when Bailey suddenly struck one of the guards, felling him to the ground and, grasping the guard's rifle, started off at the top of his speed. The other guard, who was some distance away at the time, started in pursuit, calling Bailey to stop or he would shoot. Bailey replied, "Shoot and be d--d," at the same time discharging his rifle at his pursuer. The guard then fired twice, mortally wounding him. When Bailey was informed that he could live but a short time he made a confession of which the following is the substance: He had killed his neighbor in the winter, cut a hole in the ice on the lake near there and dropped him in, and when captured was on the way to British America with the murdered man's money and stock. Such was the crime committed for filthy lucre. Bailey is said to have been a genial, pleasant, and extremely hospitable man.
     Since writing the above we learned that he squatted on the banks of Skunk Lake, a fine location, previous to his location in Victor Township. He induced a Mr. Ross to purchase his claim at a handsome figure, who purchased it and built a large hotel in anticipation of a railroad that had been surveyed. He hauled his lumber from Wahpeton and spent a small fortune in building. After he had completed it he was informed that his claim and hotel were on the Indian reservation. Several surveys were made and Mr. Ross was out every dollar expended. Bailey, no doubt, knew that he had located on the reservation and did it to take in some one. The hotel is unoccupied and going, to ruin.

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