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Bon Homme County, South Dakota: its history and people

In 1996 a group of genealogists organized the USGenWeb Project, which consists of a group of volunteers working together to provide information through websites for genealogical research in every county from every state of the United States. The Project is non-commercial and fully committed to free access for everyone.

To contact the Bon Homme County, South Dakota GenWeb Coordinator with questions or submissions, send an email.

A Hovorka family reunion will be held Sun., Aug. 16, at the Dakota Territorial Capitol Replica, (South Douglas and Levee St. - Riverside Park), Yankton.

A potluck picnic will start at 12:30 p.m. Please bring lawn chairs and lawn games. Plates, silverware, tea, lemonade, and coffee will be furnished.

If you have any questions please call Cheryl Hovorka at 605-665-5635 or Joanie Hovorka Auch at 605-760-0675. All Hovorka relatives are welcome!

In December of 1890 a group of believers formed a congregation called the First German Baptist Church and met southeast of the current town of Avon. Over the years, the church moved into Avon and changed its name to First Baptist Church.

On Sunday, August 30, 2015 the current congregation will celebrate the 125th anniversary of the church. A day of worship and fellowship is being planned. We invite those who would be interested to mark your calendars for this special event.

The alumni of the Tabor High School will hold an all school reunion in Beseda Hall in Tabor on Sunday, September 6, 2015.

The Springfield College reunion will kick off with an open house at the College Museum, Friday, Sept. 18 from 6-9 p.m. Duane and Arlis Jansen will serve as co-hosts for the event. Refreshments will be served.

Registration begins at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 at the Community Center. The remainder of the morning will be for visiting and touring the museum. A catered lunch will be served at the Community Center at 12 noon. A short program will follow at 1 p.m. For Further information call 605-369-2626 or email

A number of "Friends of Pointer" are antique car enthusiasts or at least have an interest in restoring and driving vintage cars. If you have such a car, you are asked to bring it for a "Show and Shine" event Saturday. If you have questions about the event, please write or call Leonard Magee, former USD/S teacher and car enthusiast, who is chairman of the event. Leonard can be reached by phone at 605-369-2974 or by mail at 902 2nd St., Springfield, SD 57062.

The organizers of the event are hoping to break the record of 306 guests that was set in September 2013 and they hope to see you there!

Dear Families of Tyndall Cemetery:

The Tyndall Cemetery is urgently in need of some assistance. Interest rates have been dwindling for years and grave sales are few. Our operating costs depend on how many times each summer we have th egrass cut and what other grounds repairs are required to keep the cemetery presentable. The funds available for necessary upkeep are running low.

Our appeal to you for help is twofold. First of all, we'd like to ask that you consider a donation to the cemetery fun. All donations received will be put towards grounds keeping at the cemetery. Second, we ask that you inform us of any other persons or families that we may contact who have friends and/or family buried in the Tyndall Cemetery. We need to spread the word of the plights of the cemetery to all who might be interested in helping.

We ask that you help in preventing this important place falling into disrepair due to lack of funds and thank you in advance for your assistance.

Please make all donations to: Tyndall Cemetery Association, c/o Norma Wittmeier, 2106 Main St., Tyndall, SD 57066.

Judy Rueb, member Tyndall Cemetery Association

Bon Homme county, named for Bon Homme island, was created by the first legislature on April 5, 1862. It was organized by Governor Jayne through the appointment of Byron M. Smith, Laban H. Litchfield, and Henry Hartsough as commissioners. Bon Homme village was made the county seat by the organic act. Being upon the Missouri river, it was explored by the earliest voyageurs. Lewis and Clarke, in 1804, who found the island already named and known by its present appellation. The first settler was Zephyr Renconter, who built a trading station on Bon Homme island in 1828. He and his half Indian offspring continued to live there and in the vicinity for forty years. The modern settlement was made July 10, 1859, upon the opening of the reservation, by John H. Shober and a party from Mantorville, Minnesota. Shober and his party had attempted a settlement the previous year, but their log buildings were destroyed and thrown into the river by a detail of soldiers from Fort Randall, sent down to keep trespassers off the Indian lands. Among the settlers of 1859 were Mrs. Rounds and children, Dr. Wallace, Mr. Gifford and family, Nathan McDaniels and family, Thomas Tate, L. H. Litchfield, William Hammond, and Daniel P. Bradford. In the spring of 1860 these settlers built the first school house in Dakota and established a school of ten pupils under Miss Emma Bradford. The towns of the county are Scotland, Springfield, Tyndall, and Avon. Tyndall is the county seat. Two lines of the Milwaukee Railway cross at Tyndall. A state normal school is located at Springfield, founded in 1898. It is a rich agricultural section. Samuel G. Irish was first territorial treasurer. Laban H. Lichfield, United States marshal, 1863-70. Robert Dollard was attorney general from statehood until 1893. George W. Snow is lieutenant governor. James D. Elliott is United States district attorney. Florenzo G. Hale was regent of education 1893-6. The county contains 569 square miles and had 9,570 people in 1900.

Source: History of South Dakota, Vol. I by Doane Robinson, 1904


This website was last modified on July 27, 2015.
Bon Homme County Coordinator ~ Tena Schroeder