Government of Marshall County

The executive branch of our government consists of a governor, secretary and marshal, all appointed by the president, for four years; the auditor, treasurer and superintendent of public instruction are appointed for two years by the governor and council. The legislature consists of a council of twenty-four members and a house of forty-eight representatives. The district system of schools prevailed until 1883, when the township system was introduced. A county superintendent governs the school affairs of each county and issues four grades of certificates; 1st good for two years, 2nd eighteen months, 3d one year, and the probation certificate good for six months, and can be issued only once to the same individual. All candidates must be over eighteen years old.

The following extract was taken from the Monthly Bulletin of the Commissioner of Immigration of January, 1886:

School Statistics

The Superintendent of Public Instruction, Hon. A. Sheridan Jones, has kindly placed at the disposal of this office, the following statistics, taken from his forthcoming annual report for 1885:

Number of children enumerated in Territory between 7 and 20 years of age 87,563
Number school children enrolled 69,075
Percentage of children of school age attending school 80
Number of male teachers employed 1,284
Number of female teachers employed 2,861
Total number off teachers 4,145
Average monthly pay to teachers $34.76
Whole number of school houses 2,729
Whole number of schools 3,279
Yearly receipts for school purposed, to June 30, 1885 $2,141,756.79
Expenditures for common and higher schools, year ending June 30, 1885 $1,814,212.40
Cash, balance on hand 327,544.39
Total to balance receipts $2,141,756.79

The foregoing shows how the great cause of popular education goes marching on in Dakota.

The census for 1885 shows a population of 415,278, an increase of 207 per cent. in five years.

The Statehood movement, inaugurated in 1885, so far is a-dead letter. Congress has failed to recognize us as a State, for no valid reason known to us. The Democratic administration seems determined, in spite of our, half million inhabitants, to keep us out of the Union.

Soil and Climate of Marshall County, South Dakota

The productive soil and healthful climate of Dakota are now so well known that it would be superfluous to make remarks concerning them; but will let Col. Donan tell the story. The reader may modify it to suit himself.

Col. Donan’s Speech

The following characteristic speech was delivered by Col. Donan at a dinner given by the Clover Club of Philadelphia, Pa., on the evening of the 15th inst., and will be pursued with pleasure by all Dakotans:

[Philadelphia News.]

The man sitting next to Col. Burr was called upon, and after standing the chaff for ten minutes, struck out boldly and made an address so brimful of sense, nonsense, aptness and keen appreciation that everybody listened:

“Why, in such an assemblage of brilliant and famous men in every department of intellectual life,” said he, “I should be called upon to speak passes my comprehension. It can only be because you only wish to use my homeliness and clumsiness as a black velvet background on which the gems of your wit and grace and eloquence shall; by contrast, sparkle the more dazzling. I am a plain, horny-handed son of toil, a simple oat raiser on Devil’s Lake, Dakota, and I know of no better theme on which to talk, in my rustic, frontier fashion, than the great region of the far northwest, that sends through me, its unworthy representative, its greeting to your famous Clover Club.” (Cheers.)

Dakota’s wildest blizzards, as unenlightened down-easters, including some Philadelphia newspaper men, who should know better-sometimes term them, are used by gentle mothers to lull their babes to sleep. The sun shines ever with a mellow splendor that calls to mind the far-famed Happy Valley of Rasselas, and there is just enough frost in our winters to turn the elm leaves golden. No summer droughts or winter floods spread devastation over the fields and the hopes of our husbandmen. No army worms or grasshoppers sweep those fertile plains and valleys with nibbling desolation. No hailstorms rattle their ‘destroying musketry upon the (grains and fruits and plate-glass window-panes of that Elysium, except now and then just enough to furnish business to our ambitious young home Hail Insurance Companies. Bananas bloom in November, and young oranges are dug the day before Christmas. ‘ Raisins, striped stick-candy, tin horses and gunjun-rubber dolls ripen just in time for Santa Claus’ peddler wagon, with his reindeer team, and little round stomach that shakes when he laughs like a bowl full of jelly.

“Spring roses blooming on the plain, gentle Annie for New Year’s posies, and potatoes grow as big as beer kegs-I suppose most of the members of the Clover’ Club have some idea of that standard of measurement-at the roots of every tuft of prairie grass. Cabbage-heads, of full Congressional and Senatorial size, give forth the fragrance of the Jessamine and honeysuckle to humming birds as large as canvas-back ducks, and clad in all the prismatic glories of the aurora borealis. We hatch our own wild geese-and I think I have occasionally seen some of their descendants as far away from home as Philadelphia- of such dimensions that tenderfeet are liable to mistake them for’ winged hippopotami, on lakes of never-freezing rosewater and cologne. We wall up for wells the holes from which we pull, with steam derricks and Corlis engines, our radishes and beets, and make cowsheds and circus tents of our turnip-rind. Blizzards, tempests, tornadoes, hurricanes and rascally political breezes come to that modern Eden only as dimly-understood wailings from distant regions and people who do not know enough to find their way to the sole remaining quarter-section of Paradise in all the western world.

“This glorious Dakota land, through me, invites the Clover Club to come and see her. If you should make her a summer visit, we will turn her whole 153,000 square miles of domain into vast clover-patch in your honor. Every stalk shall be ten feet high, every blade “four-leafed ” for luck, and every head shall be heavy laden with the sweet honey and fragrance of welcome, and a royal western hospitality only surpassed on earth by that of our own deservedly famed Clover Club.

Marshall County lies just south of the 46th parallel of north latitude, the proposed line of division between North and South Dakota, and west of the Sisseton and Wahpeton Indian Reservation; is bounded on the south by Day County and on the west .by Brown County, and is included in the Watertown U. S. Land District.

Marshall County is twenty-four miles long from north to south, and twenty-four miles on its north boundary line, and thirty miles wide on its south boundary line, making an average width of twenty-seven miles. This area gives us 648 square miles or 414,720 acres of land. Although a small county, it is about one-half the size of Rhode Island.

The above estimate includes the military reservation.


Hickman, George; History of Marshall County, Dakota: Its Topography and Natural History, and Sketches of Pioneer Settlers, with the Names of Actual Settlers where They are From, and where They Live; Also the Military and Sisseton Reservations; J.W. Banbury, 1886.

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