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

The City of Brandon

The City of Brandon Marker image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
1. The City of Brandon Marker
Inscription.  For hundreds of years, the land on which Brandon is situated was the home and hunting grounds of Native Americans. A prehistoric village site and numerous burial mounds are located nearby. Many early Brandon area settlers were of Norwegian descent; some staked claims before the town was even established. The first school in Brandon Township, which opened in 1873, was built of sod, with a dirt floor, tiny windows and a wooden shipping box for a teacher's desk. The entire cost of the school was $9.

The present city was founded by a railroad company to serve incoming settlers. Spikes for the new railroad in what was to become Brandon, Dakota Territory, were driven on July 15, 1878. Just two weeks later on August 1, amid a jubilant celebration, the first train steamed into the future town. The engine, decked with colorful flags and streamers, was greeted by a large noisy, crowd. On September 18, 1878, the Worthington and Sioux Falls Railroad Company filed a plat containing eight blocks with 130 lots. Land overlooking the Big Sioux River, originally homesteaded by pioneers Gustave and Ida Florell, became the new town site. The railroad
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depot was the first building erected and a post office soon followed. The railroad company later said that the small village was named for Brandon, Vermont, a town burned by Indians in 1777.

During its early years, Brandon grew slowly but steadily. In 1883, members built the first church, Norwegian Lutheran, to join the grain elevator, two retail stores and a blacksmith shop that had already been constructed that year. Other early businesses included a creamery, which sold butter as far east as New York City, and a bank which has operated continuously since its founding in 1905.

Minnehaha County's first improved park, McHardy Park, was created at Brandon in 1972 through a gift of 36 acres by Bryson and Hazel McHardy. The wooded park lies in a picturesque valley of the Split Rock Creek on the southeast edge of town. East of the park, the normally peaceful Split Rock Creek, was the site of a local tragedy. Two families, including a teenaged girl and an infant, attempted to ford the creek in July of 1879. The swift-moving current, swollen with summer rains, overturned their horse-drawn covered carriage, spilling six passengers into the rushing stream. Only the teenager and the infant's father escaped.

In 1973, to manage its increasing growth in population, Brandon became an incorporated city. Now in its second century of existence, it has become one
The City of Brandon Marker image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
2. The City of Brandon Marker
of South Dakota's fastest growing communities. Brandon's history suggests a bright and promising future.
Erected 1997 by the Minnehaha County and South Dakota State Historical Societies, city of Brandon, Splitrock Telecom Cooperative, Inc., Brandon Chamber of Commerce & Sioux Valley-Southwestern Electric Cooperative. (Marker Number 674.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Railroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the South Dakota State Historical Society Markers series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1873.
Location. 43° 35.338′ N, 96° 34.229′ W. Marker is in Brandon, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on Aspen Boulevard west of South Splitrock Boulevard (State Route 11), on the right when traveling west. Located by a scenic overlook. 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 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Brandon Veteran's Memorial (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Split Rock Creek Tragedy (approx. 0.2 miles away); McHardy Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fur Trapper Ambush (approx. 0.2 miles away); 1916 Brandon School (approx. ¾ mile away); Bergeson’s Homestead
The City of Brandon Marker & Scenic Overlook image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
3. The City of Brandon Marker & Scenic Overlook
(approx. 1½ miles away); Fortified Village (approx. 2 miles away); Eminija, Minnesota Territory (approx. 2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brandon.
The City of Brandon Marker, from the south image. Click for full size.
September 5, 2021
4. The City of Brandon Marker, from the south
Credits. This page was last revised on September 16, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 15, 2021. This page has been viewed 262 times since then and 139 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on September 15, 2021. • Mark Hilton was the editor who published this page.

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Dec. 7, 2023