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

The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory

The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
1. The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker
Inscription.  On July 27, 1888, Thomas Ryan of Dubuque, Iowa, purchased land for the Rowena townsite in the SEĽ, Section 26, Split Rock Township from Nelson Webster. On October 10, 1888, Ryan platted the town into 43 city blocks and named the streets after various kinds of stone. He named the new town "Rowena" for the heroine in Sir Walter Scott's novel, "Ivanhoe".

Ryan contracted with Madison and Winfield Webster to open stone quarries on their adjacent farm. He formed the Minnehaha Granite Company and erected the "Mastadon Jasper Crusher", the first stone crusher in Dakota Territory. The artistry and skill of immigrant Welsh and English stone cutters was soon evident in the quartzite buildings designed by "Prairie Architect" Wallace Dow and others. Many miles of streets were paved with hundreds of railroad cars of cobblestones from area quarries, shipped to Omaha, Kansas City, Chicago, Detroit and other cities.

A post office was established October 17, 1888. The new town included a town hall, railway depot, the Dixon Hotel, a tenement, meat market, the "Black Diamond" saloon, a livery barn, creamery and blacksmith shop.

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the spring of 1889, a publication, the "Skyrocket", appeared and the first babies born in Rowena were named for the town: a boy Rowein Costine and a girl, Rowena Jones.

The Illinois Central Railroad built a stockyard which prospered because of its direct access to the Chicago markets.

Later two grain elevators, a store building and a quartzite bank building were added an in 1902 the Methodist Episcopal Church was built.

Following the Depression of the 1930's and the growing use of cement, the quarry industry declined and Rowena became a quiet trade center for area farmers.
Erected 1989 by the Minnehaha County Historical Society, the S. D. State Historical Society and the S. D. Department of Transportation. (Marker Number 502.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical date for this entry is July 27, 1888.
Location. 43° 31.271′ N, 96° 33.696′ W. Marker is in Rowena, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on South Dakota Route 42, 0.6 miles west of 483rd Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Brandon SD 57005, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow
The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
2. The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker
flies. Rowena Methodist Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Iverson Crossing Road (approx. 1.7 miles away); 1897 Bridge at Iverson Crossing (approx. 2 miles away); Banning's Mill and Crossing (approx. 2.1 miles away); Disperse (approx. 2.3 miles away); fruit (approx. 2.3 miles away); Sprout (approx. 2.3 miles away); Wilt (approx. 2.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Rowena.
The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
3. The Town of Rowena Dakota Territory Marker
Credits. This page was last revised on September 13, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 11, 2021. This page has been viewed 355 times since then and 142 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 11, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 23, 2024