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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.

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

The final organizational meeting for the Tabor all school reunion will be held on Sunday, August 16, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. in the Community Center in Tabor. If anyone still needs to register, they should do so before the meeting so final plans can be made and the alumni booklet may be updated. There is still room for golfers or bean bag players, if any alumni would still want to register.

The mini Czech Heritage Village across the street from Sokol Park will be open to the public for tours on Sunday, September 6, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to noon for anyone that would like to take a tour. There will be Czech Heritage members available to give tours and answer any questions.

The Yankton Press & Dakotan is undertaking its 2015 "Heritage" edition, which will be released in late September. This year, we are undertaking a "70/40" edition, a two-part project commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II in 1945 and the 40th anniversary of the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War in 1975.

For this project, we are asking our readers to contribute their accounts and thoughts on these two wars. If you are a veteran of either conflict, we want to hear your story. If you weren’t a soldier in these conflicts, we would be interested in hearing your civilian memories from either war. Or, if you have a family member who was involved in either war, you are invited to submit your recollections of those experiences. We also want to hear from readers about their thoughts on the legacies of these two wars.

We also want to run photographs of soldiers from their days in service. Emailed digital documents would be preferred. If original images are sent to us, please include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. You could also bring the photos to the Press & Dakotan office at 319 Walnut and we will scan them in and get them back to you in minutes.

Please send your thoughts to us to: 70/40 Edition, 319 Walnut, Yankton, SD 57078; or email us Our deadline for this material is Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015. If you have any questions, contact Kelly Hertz at 665-7811 or

The Springfield College reunion will kick off with an open house at the College Museum, Friday, Sept. 18, 2015 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, 2015 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!

Descendants of Michael and Caroline Diede gathered at the VFW Post Home in Scotland on July 26, 2015, for their annual reunion and pot luck lunch. Shirley Diede, of Lesterville, led us in our table prayer and a bounteous meal was enjoyed by all.

Agnes Diede Ireland was our oldest guest present and Nathan Sayler was the youngest.

Others attending included: Ethel and Gary Jorgensen, Albuquerque, NM; Minnie Schenkel, Carol Ackerman, Barb Bruder, Linda Schenkel, Mike and Dre Diede, Bob and Malena Diede, DeWane and Betty Frohreich and Lois Anderson, All of Yankton; Dale and Brigitta Diede and Tami Johnson, Mission Hill; June Diede, Mark, Emily, Eisley and Treyton Sayler, Menno; Don and Grace Diede, Tim and Deb Diede, Springfield; Alan and Lillian Schenkel, Utica; Darlene and Filmore Mutschelknaus, Dick and Shirley Diede, Lesterville; Jim and Jan Kocer, Lester and Shirley Muehlbeier, Scotland.

Our plans are to meet again next summer on July 31, 2016. The last Sunday in July. All family members are welcome, please join us.

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 August 31, 2015.
Bon Homme County Coordinator ~ Tena Schroeder