“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Wessington Springs in Jerauld County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Robert S. Vessey

Seventh Governor, South Dakota


—1909 - 1913 —

Robert S. Vessey Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, August 9, 2017
1. Robert S. Vessey Marker

Robert S. Vessey was born near Oshkosh, Wisconsin, May 16, 1858. His father was a minister-farmer with a family of 15 children. He attended common school, but dropped out at an early age to work and assist in the support of his father’s family. He became a lumber-jack at the age of 16. In 1882, he married Florence Albert. He moved to Jerauld County, South Dakota, in 1883, where he established ‘squatters rights’ on the S.E. Quarter of Section 12-107-66 in Pleasant Township. Here he erected a ‘claim shanty’. He was the father of six children: Florence and Frank (both died in infancy), Harvey, Verna, Bernice and Robert Junior. In 1885, Mr. Vessey, in partnership with a brother, established a mercantile business in Wessington Springs. Later, he sold real estate, was engaged in abstracting and banking. He was active in the Methodist Church and community affairs; helped to establish the Wessington Springs Seminary; was President of the Dakota Telephone Company and President of the Wessington Springs State Bank. He was elected to the Senate in 1904, re-elected in 1906 and served as President pro tempore of the Senate in 1907 Session. He was elected Governor in the Fall of 1908, serving two terms 1909-1913. In this office he gave challenging leadership to a growing State. The State House Building was completed during his term of office.
Robert S. Vessey Marker image. Click for full size.
By Ruth VanSteenwyk, August 9, 2017
2. Robert S. Vessey Marker
His death occurred on October 18, 1929 in Pasadena, California.

Erected 1967 by Dunham Historical Society, Wessington Springs Chamber of Commerce and State Highway Commission.
Location. 44° 4.502′ N, 98° 34.498′ W. Marker is in Wessington Springs, South Dakota, in Jerauld County. Marker is on Highway 34 0.3 miles west of Dakota Ave S.. Touch for map. Marker is located in a wayside park off State Hwy 34. Marker is in this post office area: Wessington Springs SD 57382, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Wessington Springs Roadside Park (a few steps from this marker); Rube Goldberg Ski Lift Gadget (within shouting distance of this marker); Jerauld County Courthouse (approx. 0.3 miles away); Stratton Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Wessington Springs, South Dakota Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Shakespeare Garden/Ann Hathaway Cottage (approx. 0.6 miles away); The Shakespeare Garden (approx. 0.6 miles away).
Categories. PoliticsSettlements & Settlers
<i>Gov. R.S. Vessey, cameo portrait</i> image. Click for full size.
Bain News Service (photograph courtesy of the Library of Congress), circa 1910
3. Gov. R.S. Vessey, cameo portrait
Credits. This page was last revised on January 22, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 19, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 80 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 19, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota.   3. submitted on January 22, 2018. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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