EARLY LAWYERS. “CHIEF LITTLE BISON”, F.S. DELLENBAUGH, HOMESTEAD DRAWINGS AND THE TRIPP COUNTY COURTHOUSE FIGHT.
I never met W.J. Hooper but I considered him an intimate legal friend.
W.J. was an early 11th circuit trial and appellate lawyer who practiced in Gregory, South Dakota and when Dudley Herman returned from WW11 took him as a partner.
Hooper started his practice in Parkston, South Dakota and had no sudden influx of business from this German catholic community so he spent his time reading and memorizing the South Dakota Codes of Civil Procedure.
He became a Code Practice whiz.
That’s how I met him. For years anytime I thought I had discovered a new twist and turn in the law – there in the old cases- I would find “W.J/ Hooper, attorney for the appellant” Gregory, South Dakota.
Claude Maule, an early Winner attorney paid Hooper the highest accolade.
Maule related that Hooper took the plaintiffs side on a particular point of law and convinced the judge he should prevail/
At the very next term of court and before the same judges involving the same point of law he argued just the opposite point of law, and prevailed.
When I Left Dudley Herman I was taken in by Roscoe Knodell of Winner, South Dakota. Roscoe was one of the first lawyers in the Rosebud. He had attended Northwestern University and started his career in Lamro, South Dakota in 1910 as a lawyer and also editor of the Lamro newspaper. Roscoe’s mind was similar to W.J. Hooper but vastly different otherwise. Whereas Hooper was free spirit Roscoe was the original dyed in the wool tub thumping Methodist teetotaler I was a catholic beer drinking democrat
Roscoe showed me a letter from W.J. Hooper that he highly prized. Hooper had written to Roscoe asking him if he could remember a particular Supreme Court Case involving some arcane rule of law. Roscoe had replied with the correct citation and the reply letter from Hooper was his thank you note praising Roscoe for his legal memory.
Hooper was hired to try and argue cases from Burke to Martin and Kennebec to Kadoka across the whole wide expanse of the old 11th circuit.
It was often told that W.J. never had to rent a hotel room in all of his forays outside of Gregory because he had a dear friend of the opposite sex in every county seat town in the circuit.
In fact he also had such an arrangement in his home town of Gregory and some old timers would tell you that “Nepper” street had a special meaning for W.J.
Roscoe Knodell, on the other hand, was a male counterpart to Carries Nation. He regularly led anti drinking and gambling endeavors in Winner, South Dakota. He was outraged by Winner’s seeming lack of a Methodist’s idea of morality.
He was so anti Catholic that during the John F. Kennedy campaign of 1960 Al Welk and other Knights of Columbus Catholics paid him a visit and convinced him to stop peddling anti catholic material.
Roscoe was the most personally and politically conservative gentleman I have ever met. Unlike some who have followed however, he was never mean or vindictive and would never bend the law either right or left to fit his personal philosophy.
I never knew him to own a car. He always walked to work; cane in hand and never cheated a single soul. He was one of the most honest men I had ever met.
He and M.Q. Sharpe’s protégé, John Larson, always used lead pencils and kept them in a pencil box using them to write with until they were too short to hold, they were in fact real “nubbins”. I was reminded of my days at St Thomas grade school in Madison, South Dakota when Sister “Dynamite’s’ 1937 first grade class kept their pencils their own little pencil box.
Roscoe carried it even further. He never used good “store bought paper” to take notes; instead he would carefully open the envelopes of the mail he received and turn them inside out for note taking.
Republican to the core , a believer in all the WCTU stood for it was ironic that the two lawyers he helped the most were Bill Day and me ( a Catholic) both democrats who loved to have a good time in the local barrooms.
He welcomed me to Winner and let me use a spare room in that sparse office for free.
Now that office, 138 East Third Street had been moved from Lamro in 1910 where Roscoe had been a lawyer and editor of the Lamro paper. The office had no plumbing, central heating, just a large free standing oil stove, a table, a safe and a manual typewriter and Roscoe with his box of pencils and inside out envelopes for serious note taking.
In cold weather he would open the office, tear yesterdays daily calendar sheet from the Farmers State Bank calendar , use it to light the oil stove and retreat across the street to the Tripp County Courthouse where he would ” read law " in the law library until the office warmed. That heat was always turned off before the day was done and the same procedure was followed for over fifty winters in Winner.
He was still lighting that stove every morning when he let me stay, rent free, in an empty room. As a gesture to me he had installed plumbing and r\ “running water” and electric heat. Roscoe had a corner on estate practice and he shared several with me to give me a start.
Roscoe the republican also introduced me to all of his old clients and thought they should vote for me in the upcoming state’s attorney’s race. Even though I was a Catholic Democrat. He showed me how to take a township map and keep track of people I had met listing their names and addresses by township.
W.J. Hooper and Roscoe Knodell, together with Claude Maule, Windsor Doherty, C.E.Talbot would be main characters in the Colome-Lamro-Winner courthouse fight in 1911 and they will later appear again when a Clearfield area citizen, while visiting an unmarried female neighbor’s homestead observed “a mans overalls draped over the back of a bedroom chair” and a legal morality play would develop all the way to the South Dakota Supreme Court. But more of that later- first the “Bought, but not paid for”, courthouse war.
In the election of June 1, 1909 in a contest between Colome and Lamro, the voters decided that Lamro would be the temporary county seat of Tripp County by a vote of 260 votes for Lamro and 187 for Colome. Winner was still a faraway dream.
THE COURTHOUSE FIGHT
Three thins would make Lamro and Colome lose and Winner win the fight for the Tripp County courthouse and county seat and make Roscoe Knodell put his frame office on skids and move it from Lamro to Winner.
Remember that Gregory County, the eastern most portion of the Rosebud Reservation, was opened for homestead settlement prior to the opening of Tripp County.
As such, towns like Fairfax, Boneseteel, St Charles, Herrick, Burke and Gregory were laid out, profits made, before the arrival of two of the elements that would weigh heavily in favor of Winner winning the courthouse contest. As the Railroad moved west so did many of the houses that had been built in the eastern Gregory County towns of Fairfax, Bonesteel, St Charles and Herrick. Many of them ended up being moved to Gregory.
Dallas however would serve as a dress rehearsal of what was to come.
The two most important elements were Frank, Ernest and Graydon Jackson, the famous Jackson brothers, sons of a former Governor of Iowa and President of the Royal Union Life Insurance Company, a legendary lender on the Rosebud.
The third, but most important element that caused Winner to win was the Jackson Brothers “clairvoyance” in knowing just where the Chicago and Northwestern was going to lay its tracks in its “Go west, young man, go west” manifest destiny through the opened portions of the Rosebud reservation.
Indeed the courthouse games would have a “stacked deck” long before Russ Read the creator of Winners gambling parlors would ever spin a roulette wheel or hire a croupier to handle the dice.
Consider, if you will, that the Indians had first choice on the homesteads in Tripp County and many an early white adventurer in the old west had taken Indian wives and families and they were the ones who exercised those first homestead choice rights.
Chris Colombe had leveraged his family’s Indian blood in to a money maker . Together with his white investors he fronted for, he had secured his Indian Homestead rights to the present location of Colome, S.D. an he and his white investors, Wickham H. Tackett, H.A. Slaughter, and W.A. Mesreve recorded their town site company on June 2, 1908 , prior to the legal entry time of the opening of Tripp county to all.
Oliver Lamoureaux with the backing of many of the same investors would secure his Indian choice and incorporated Lamro, guessing where the Northwestern tracks would be laid 12 miles west of Colome, before opening settlement to everyone lucky enough to win at the homestead drawing.
The use of “Indian fronts” to secure large grazing leases would continue even to the advent of Al Kary, Wilson and Tim Murray, and young Bill Janklow and yours truly with similar results as was told of the murder of Ed Yoak and “Bubb Bartoe” disease by Thomas Lyons in the Oklahoma territory.
A young Dennis Lyons, born in Lake County, South Dakota (my home county)and relative of Thomas Lyons who had met Jack Sully on his way to Notre Dame would write of his experience in his adventure to register for a Tripp County homestead at Dallas S.D.
“1908 I went to Chamberlain S. D. on an excursion train from Chicago, to register for the drawing of lots for choice. In this arrangement of lottery the names of all who had registered were placed in a container and two little girls drew the first names. The first 3000 choices were to cost $6 per acre, the next $4.50 and the rest $2.50. They had to use their choice in rotation beginning at number one. The first choice was filed by a lady named Mae Keiser, at the land office in Gregory S. D. on the morning of April 1st, 1909. The filing continued until Oct. 1st at midnight, when all land not filed on by choice was thrown open to Squatters Rights. During the period of filing a new industry developed, known as Locating. This was done by men who were experienced in traveling over prairie country and locating different quarter sections of land. They generally drove over the country and made a book showing the choice land. Then, when they took a prospective settler out to the land and showed it to him if he filed on it the one locating him got a fee.
At that time I was just 21 years old and was only one of the many unexperienced on that train who little realized the significance of pioneering a new country.
Finally the lots were drawn and the papers published the list. There were few if any newspapers in the United States that were not read that day as people from every state in the Union had registered. But my name was not among those drawn. In the spring of 1909 the filings began. Many who had drawn numbers had no intention of remaining and developing a homestead so a profitable business of dealing in relinquishments sprang up. The system of handling these relinquishments was as follows: - First the holder of a number selected a quarter section and filed on it. He then had six months to establish his residence on the land. In this time he would have some dealer, known as a Real Estate man bargain with some prospective settler for the sale of his relinquishment. The money usually was left in some bank, subject to the filing of the relinquishment. When the settler's turn came to file after October 1st, the real estate man went to the land office (office of entry). The filing of the relinquishment cleared the land of any former entry. So the settlers’ office of entry was accepted. Then the bank released the money to the real estate man. The reason for all this formality was the fact that it was unlawful for anyone to directly sell his homestead right.
I was still more restless than ever to acquire a homestead, so I came to Dallas S.D. in September 1909, Dallas being 5 miles west of Gregory and on the boundary of the Reservation. On the 20th of Sept. I bargained for a relinquishment at $1600, besides the $6 to the Government for the Indians. On the 18th of Oct. I entered filing on the land. On this land a house and some fence was already built, and some hay was stacked. The original filing choice was #1196.
So at last I had taken the first important step in my life and the next one was to follow soon. It seemed to have a homestead with a house on it Implied that I should also have a wife. Having this matter under consideration for sometime before, the question was finally settled on April 5, 1910, and we got ready to start for the new home. This place was and still is 37 miles from the nearest town. My new wife had never been out of town over night in her life. “
A back east perspective of the Dallas homestead drawing was written by a reporter for the American Magazine in the November 1909 issue.
The Winners and Their Excitement
Of the drawing, of Judge Witten's patience and tact, of the two tiny girls, Dema Rose (the real Rose of the Rosebud) and Virginia Wagner, who kicked up the 114,000 sealed applications with their feet and picked out the first winners, and the two small boys, Wesley Teuth and David Haley, who relieved them for the last two days, the daily newspapers have told. But some of us, who stayed over to see what Dallas would be like when the drawings were finished, saw the best things of all, and the saddest.
one who had drawn along in the 80's who appeared first. He came in on an almost empty train. He was big and red cheeked and he wore his trousers inside his boot legs. He had brought his wife with him from away east in Iowa somewhere. She was plump and red cheeked and broadly smiling, too. Every ten paces or so he set her up against a doorway and rushed at somebody on one or the other side of the broad street.
"Hey!" he shouted, "my name is Anderson! I won Number Eighty-blank. You come up on the same train with me. I think you give me luck. I want to shake hands." Then he charged back at his wife and led her ten steps more, until he had exchanged felicitations with the notary who had sworn him in, with the restaurant waiter who had sold him his first Dallas sandwich, with the newsboy who sold him his first paper, with Alice-Where-Art-Thou, the chambermaid at the hotel, and with everybody else who looked like somebody he had seen before and with lots of people who didn't. He couldn't tell you why he had come back—for the farms are not to be allotted until spring— except that he "wanted the old woman to see that it was all true!"
The Losers—and How They Kept On Moping
There were a lot of these. And there were the others—the losers. They were cheerful enough by day, as you met them around town; cheerful even as you and I. But long after midnight, there was a constant lighting of matches, or the bobbing light-point of a lantern out by the shed where the typewritten announcements of the results of the drawing were posted. This lasted for three days after the last name was drawn; betokening one after another of the bitterly disappointed, going out secretly to look the whole list over again to make sure that there had not been some overlooked name—it was so easy to miss one name in six thousand. (They drew a thousand extra names to provide for forfeitures.)
These forlornly hopeful people made a cluster about the shed all day long, too—all the more pitiful because every one in Dallas who had won a chance knew of it, within ten minutes after the name was announced. The news traveled like a light flash.
It was all good, the bitter and the sweet together. We may be better than our fathers were, some of us. The best that Was in the fathers, though, is with us yet. It is a mighty United States—and healthy.
Along between Cleveland and Buffalo on the way back to New York there came a time in the lounging car of the Limited when it seemed as though the man sitting opposite was as lonely and as unoccupied as I was myself. And so I went over and sat beside him and began telling him some things about Dallas and the Dallas people, what the big Swede told about Eckstrom, and the rest. He was polite. But when I paused for breath, he said, " Really, how singular" and he picked up a newspaper and turned so that the light would fall on it properly and— so that his back would be toward me.
There was really nothing to be angry about. After two weeks in the Rosebud country, I had forgotten my east-of-the-Missouri manners That was all.speaking about West River- say “ Really, how singular” and turn away.
Times really haven’t changed- To East River residents West River is just “Really how singular” and Hoh Hum.
To demonstrate the difference between east river and west river fellow attorney Bill Day and I were traveling together for a hearing in Sioux Falls. As a break in the trip we stopped in Parker for a roll and coffee. The waitress brought the rolls and coffee and Bill said " put it on one bill and give it to me” Bewildered the waitress retreated a few steps and then returned saying “ are you sure you don’t want separate bills?.”
Bill looked at me and we both chuckled knowing we were east river for sure.
While these Indian entrepreneurs Colombe and Lamoureaux were leveraging their Indian rights to play the white man’s games the back east “lacey sleeved” set with their heart in the right place and their head “you know where” had other solutions to the “Indian problem”.
They would transport 8,000 South Dakota Sioux to South America, “lock stock and barrel" thus ending Tripp counties Indian problem forever.
Now dear reader have you ever heard of the “League of Political Educators”, F.S. Dellenbaugh, head of the American Geographical Society and “Little Bison” and his (1909 ) , 8,000 “ “starving and impoverished”, soon to be driven to extinction, South Dakota Sioux Indians? (Well, thanks to Royce McDowell, local history buff you will)
The Tripp County Journal of December 3, 1909 reported the following:
Boston, Mass., Nov. 17
To save the remnant of the Sioux Tribe of Indians from extinction by consumption and other diseases a colony of Indians will be established in Nicaragua ,early this year.
Chief Little Bison, a full blooded Sioux sailed from Boston on the steamer Esparia today for Nicaragua where he will receive deeds to 16,000 acres of land granted by the Nicaraguan government for the establishment of the colony.
The project is supported by F.S. Dellenbaugh, head of the American Geographical Society and several wealthy New York People The immigration of the Indians is expected to begin in January.”
“Little Bison” would be invited to speak at the League of Political Education at the Hotel Astor in New York City. They were all ears .
The New York Times reported that his speech was received with “ great applause”.
He told the “lacey sleeved set” that he had 16,000 acres in South America on which he would settle 8,000 starving and soon to be extinct South Dakota Sioux Indians.
He told them, “ (I) only want money to take them there, where they can care for themselves”
Indeed every lawyer who ever practiced at or near the reservation has been asked for a loan of “gas money” just to get back to the res for grandma’s funeral
Little Bison and his white wife set sail again for Nicaragua and were told they were not welcome. . The New York Times of February 7, 1910 reported: “Little Bison said he reached Costa Rica when the Nicaraguan revolution was at its most critical stage, the election of Dr. Madriz taking place about that time. The new President was suspicious of the Indian’s chief’s intentions, and appealed to the Costa Rican Government to prevent his entry into Nicaragua.. . . . (He) left tonight for New York where he will confer with F.S. Dellenbaugh, President of the American Geographical society, and then return to his people”
“Little Bison” was never heard from again and if he returned to “his people” to my knowledge he was never heard or seen again on the res.
It’s my guess that “Little Bison” was the original “wannabe.”
Chris Colombe and Oliver Lamoureaux was the real thing. Honest to goodness enrolled members of the Rosebud Sioux tribe descended from early French trappers Colombe beat the Jackson brothers to the punch in making the town of Colome a rival for the county seat of Tripp County.
Oliver Lamroureax would also make a play with his Lamro town site and of course the Jackson brothers with their “ clairvoyance” in knowing just where the tracks were to be laid weren’t going to be outsmarted by a pair of “breed Indians”.
Oliver Lamroureax and his white friends, including H.F. Slaughter from Gregory had formed the Lamro townsite company in 1907 some three years before the Northwestern Railroad would extends its lines into western Tripp County.
An article in the Norfolk paper in 1907 described the early settlement of Lamro prior to the opening of Tripp county for settlement.
An article in the Norfolk paper in 1907 described the early settlement of Lamro prior to the opening of Tripp county for settlement.
The Norfolk weekly news-journal (Norfolk, Neb.) 1900-19??, June 07, 1907,
LAMOUREAUX, IN TRIPP COUNTY,
SOON WILL BOOM.
A BRISK -LOT SALE WAS HELD
A Stage Line Will Start From Gregory to Lamoureaux Next Week a score of Business Enterprises will be launched at Once.
Gregory , S. D , , May 31. Special to the News :
The now town of Lamourcaux In Trlpp county was launched in
practical and substantial manner ,A. number of business men who desired locations were driven out to the new town and allowed to select their lots at private sale.
Forty-six lots were sold in this manner at a reasonable figures to get the town under way.
A. stage line will start from Gregory to Lamonreaux , a distance of about twcnty-five miles , next week.
All the principal branches of business will be represented on the start. Work on the foundation for a bank building will begin next week. A lumber yard , hotel , restaurant , livery barns , general
merchandise stores , post office, newspaper , drug store , meat market , blacksmith shop and other business will start up at once. The Rosebud Telephone - company will begin the erection of a line to Lamoureaux at once.
Among those who purchased lots last Monday and who will put In initial businesses may be mentioned : Joy M. Hackler , .1. J. Bonekemper , F. M. Hulbert , Paponsek Co. , Ford Peters , Hall Bros. , A. A. Txignn , Dan Hall. .1. H. Kimball , G. P. Burpee , Geo.Lamoureaux , John Weaver , Win. Miller , Jos Selgmund , Ole FInstad , Chris ,John and Win. Colombo , Ole Dahl.W.D. Wilson , Rathmnn & Keller , I. P.Bnttelyoun , F. A. Phlnney , O. J.
Haugh , W. H. Tackott. Dan Smith , J.W. Ellenton , Ed Adklns , G. O. Van Meter and many others.
Lamoureaux hopes to be designated as the county seat and Is In the very heart of the great fertile Trlpp county to be opened
to homestead settlement and entry soon.
The money realized on the sale will be put back Into the town In the way of public improvements.\
Herrlck. S. D. , May 31. Special to
The News :
A quiet lot sale occurred on section 31 , In the exact center of
Trlpp county which Is soon to be opened for settlement by the government
Fifty lots were sold for $100 each , spot cash Just as rapidly as the
contracts could be signed. H. R.Slaughter , the promoter , took first
choice and will erect a bank , real estate office' and post office at once.
Attorney Van Meter of Herrick took second end , and will at once erect a 24-room hotel and a law office ; Otis Vaughn of Gregory , third , will establish a newspaper plant. A company took
fourth and will erect a 2lxOG general merchandise store ; others sold quietly and quickly , and every lot was paid for spot cash , or bankable note.
Over twenty businesses will start within sixty days , a petition has been signed by 150 residents , and will be presented to the governor soon , ready for the opening and organization. Lamoureaux hopes to bo designated the county seat , and perhaps will never be-moved as It is the center , and is surrounded by level land , and easy access. Contractor Troadway says the railroad can build easier across Trlpp county than across Gregory , nnd reach
the new town with very light cuts and one heavy bridge. The price of lots already purchased in favorite locations rose above par rabidly , and some refused fancy prices.
The Tripp County Journal of November 6, 1908 (published in Lamro) in an article enticing settlers to Lamro and its surrounding Tripp County land explained the early settlement of the area.
The paper related that the area began to be settled 20 years ago ( 1888).
First settlers were Oliver Lamoureaux and his brother who wintered at Dog Ear Lake.
He and his brothers, George, Paul and Will were the first permanent settlers.
Their father and grandfather were white men making the brother s quarter breed Indians.
They had come from the reservation near Butte Nebraska, long before the area opened settlement.
The Lamoureaux pastures would cover over over twenty miles of fenced in territory most of which was leased from the tube.
Oliver Lamoureaux had just leased his pasture to a Mr. Frost who would winter 1,000 head of cattle.
( This practice continued well into the 1960's with Al Kary, Wilson Murray and a lawsuit involving a young legal aid attorney, Bill Janklow)
In the same issue of the paper it was noted that David Colombe had bought the Chris Colombe ranch and the Chris was moving to Winona (Colome) " where he had an interest in that town"
Notwithstanding the advantage of having a full year’s head start, Chris Colombe and Oliver Lamoureaux must have looked over their shoulders and muttered “ who are those guys”.
Those guys were the Jackson Brothers and their friends. And they were “clairvoyant”. And had money- lots of money.
George Washington Kingsbury in his History of Dakota Territory, Volume 5 described Graydon Jackson and his brothers influence on the Rosebud:
“When he arrived on the present site of Dallas there was nothing but a tract of wild land, no collection of buildings giving evidence of a growing town. In fact, there were only a few buildings in Gregory county. His brothers soon afterward came and all filed on homesteads five miles south of Gregory. The town of Dallas was then located southeast of the present site of Dallas on Ponca creek, but when the railroad was built the town was left to one side and on the 1st of January, 1907, all of the buildings were removed from the old to the present town site of Dallas, drawn by teams. Jackson Brothers had purchased the town site in 1906 and from that moment have been most active in the development of the town. It was a bitterly cold winter when they moved the buildings. The snow was deep, rendering the task a difficult one, but they placed the buildings on steel cables and thus drew them over the frozen snow. Throughout the intervening period to the present the company has dealt extensively in farm lands and made many loans. They owned forty thousand acres in Gregory, Tripp and Mellette counties and are the owners of several town sites, including Dallas, Winner, and .Jordan, Carter, Chilton, Berkley and White River.. Jackson Brothers have carefully systematized their work and are following out carefully defined plans and methods in developing the towns in which they are interested, looking ever beyond the exigencies of the moment to the possibilities and opportunities of the future. In addition to his other interests Graydon B. Jackson is the vice president of the Bank of Dallas. ‘
The same history described his brother, Ernest Jackson .as a graduate of Iowa law School was President Western Townsite Co., Western Telephone Co., Western Abstract Co., Bank of Dallas; vice-president Carter State Bank, Roseland State Bank, Augusta State Bank, Bank of Winner; member of co-partnership, Jackson Brothers. United States Commissioner 1905-06 for the District of South Dakota. Republican; Episcopalian. Member Beta Theta Pi fraternity’.
The Jackson Brothers owned nearly every bank and lending company on the Rosebud. They were estimated to own between 40 ,000 acres and Oscar Micheaux estimated 126,000 acres which included the famous Mule Head Ranch in Gregory County.
The Jackson brothers knew that at least a $100,000. --profit in 1910 dollars was the stakes in this high stakes game for the county seat of Tripp county.
The Jackson brothers had knowledge in knowing how to move a town to fit the Railroad, after all they had first hand experience when they came to Dallas and moved the town from Ponca Creek to their digs.
Colome had the ready advantage. Lamro was already a thriving town with only the expectation of being a “depot” town . Although Lamro had won the temporary seat of county government and the courthouse that would not hinder the Jackson brothers if they could find a way to eliminate the division of votes between their town site , Winner, and the adjacent town of Lamro.
Money can solve a lot of problems and the promise of money was better than the real thing especially if the promise to pay was never kept.
It appears that before the actual vote the “fix was in” and worked. But more than the fact that it was successful in stopping the real challenge of Colome, after the votes were cast the Winner supporters refused to pay those big shots from Lamro who had participated in the fix.
As noted earlier Lamro had been the thriving town ( 750 residents) and the temporary county seat of Tripp County.
The Western Town site, (in fact the Jackson Brothers) was intimate with the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and was speculators in town site development. Is it any wonder the, when the RR was extending into western Tripp County that the Jackson Bros would find a way to cash in on its location of a town site? The terminus at the time was in Colome. Due to the sloppy design of American built steam locomotives they had to be resupplied with water often and locations were also determined by a wagon days one day travel and return , which meant that stations were planned every twelve miles.
Lamro was at the required distance, had water supply and soon boomed to over 750 inhabitants.
Notwithstanding the existence of the town of Lamro or more likely in spite of its existence the RR course was set to just miss Lamro, some twelve miles west of Colome and the RR’s friends, the Jackson brothers established a town site (now Winner) just two miles from Lamro.
If Lamro was a contender Winner and Lamro would split the vote and Colome would win
Now if you thought present day politicians and lawyers were constructively and destructively creative all at the same time just listen to what the Jackson Bros and the Western Town site company conjured up to win this election.
If you should think that Railroad companies were free enterprise benevolent entrepreneurs who would let anybody but themselves and their cohorts profit from the location of their depots- Let me tell you about Blue Springs, Nebrasja, a thriving ear;y coty of 750,located in the Southeast corner of that state.
The Omaha Dailly Bee of August 2nd 1881 reported that the railroad after layin tracks through the thriving city of Blue Springs failed to establish a depot in the town, notwithstanding the offers that were made by the townspeople to build the depot at no expense to the railroad.
Instead the attorneys and officers of the railroad formed their own townsite company and located the depot at their own newly formed townsite, just one and 1/2 miles from Blue Springs.
The Jackson boys entered into the following contract to ensure that their townsite, Winner would win:
"This contract, entered into this 7th day of May, 1910, by and between the Lamro Town Site Co., Incorporated, party of the first part, and A. E. Kull, of Burke, S. D.( The Jackson’s Bros paid agent) party of the second part, wherein the party of the first part agrees to sell to party of the second part the following described property: The southwest quarter of section nineteen (19) in township ninety-nine (99) north, of range seventy-six (76) west, of the 5th P. M., for a consideration of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), to be paid for as per conditions hereinafter set forth: Party of the second part to deposit a certified check for two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) with the Lamro State Bank, said amount to be paid to the party of the first part on the first day of July, 1910. Provided, however, that ‘at least six of the following business institutions of Lamro, S. D., shall have moved to the town of Winner, S. D., or shall have in course of construction substantial business buildings in said town of Winner, S. D., to be occupied by them: Lamro State Bank; C. Kissling; Sas and Ketchmark; Smith and McGrivey; Hall & Greives; S. N. Opdahl, or Jay Weaver. Party of the second part further agrees to pay party of the first part two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) on the 15th day day of July, 191 o, for which amount a certified check has been de~ posited with the Lamro State Bank, provided that at least twelve of the business institutions now located on the Main street of Lamro, S. D., shall have moved to the town of Winner, S. D. Be it also provided that party of the second part shall deposit with the Lamro State Bank a certified check for $4,000.00 to be paid to the party of the first part on July 20, 1910; provided, however, that at least eighty per cent, of all the buildings now located in the town of Lamro, S. D., shall have been moved to the town of Winner, S. D. Party of the second part further agrees to assume a mortgage of $2,000.00 now on said land. The party of the first part to deposit with the Lamro State Bank a warranty deed conveying above described land to A. E. Kull, together with abstract showing clear title with all interest and taxes paid up to date, and free from all incumbrances except the mortgage above provided for, said deed to be delivered to A. E. Kull when the above payments shall have been made as provided for. Be it provided, that in case the party of the first part shall fail to move, or cause to be removed, the various buildings and business institutions as provided for, then in that case all checks and moneys having been deposited by the party of the second part as provided for in this contract shall be returned to said party of the second part, and this contract shall be made null and void.
The Lamro Town Site Co., Incorporated. By , President. By ,
Secretary. (Signed) A. E. Kull, Second Party."
The trial records indicate that the Lamro powers that be kept their word and most if not all of the businesses were moved.
The Jackson Brothers reneged after they had won the election and their cashier refused to honor the checks.
The Jackson Brothers hired an attorney to bring an action in equity to enjoin the cashing of the checks. This action went all the way to the South Dakota Supreme Court which ruled against the Jackson Brothers.
The Jackson Brothers then against refused to honor their agreement and Lamro sued in an action at law. A jury found in favor of Lamro, but the Jackson brothers again appealed to the South Dakota Supreme court.
So after two lawsuits and two appeals to the South Dakota Supreme Court the Jackson Brothers finally had to pay.
Those two lawsuits were in fact the only real fight between Lamro and Winner. Colome lost. Lamro had sold out and the Jackson Brothers bought the election.
Oh yes- the attorney for the Jackson Brothers at trial and appeal of both cases- W.J. Hooper of Gregory, S.D.
See: Western Townsite Co.v Lamro Townsite Co. 31 SD 54, 139 NW 777. Lamro Townsite Co. v Dallas Bank 151 NW 282)
Looks like Little Bison was the real thing.
A descendant ;;oves on San Juan Island off the coast of Washington State.