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Sioux Falls in Minnehaha County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

South Dakota School for the Deaf

 
 
South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
1. South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker
Inscription.  The Reverend Thomas Berry, an Episcopal clergyman, took the first steps toward the establishment of a formal program for the education of deaf children in Dakota Territory. Berry taught at schools for the deaf in Maryland and New York before moving to Sioux Falls in the spring of 1880 where he became rector of Calvary Church. Because his wife was deaf, he had a deep concern for deaf people. He began a school in his home on November 9, 1880, with one pupil. After sending out an advertising circular, seven more children enrolled, and the school outgrew the Berry home.

By year's end Berry moved the school into a private dwelling. Known as Thomas Lodging House, it was located on the east side of Main Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. A local committee solicited funds, and raised $200 to pay the rent. Jennie Wright, from the Nebraska School for the Deaf, became the first teacher. Although neither Reverend Berry nor Jennie Wright ever received a salary, both were highly dedicated, and both envisioned the same mission for the school: to provide all deaf children with a quality education and an opportunity to actively participate in
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society as independent, freethinking citizens.

In the January 1881 legislative session at Yankton, the capital of Dakota Territory, a resolution was adopted recognizing Berry's school and naming it the "Territorial School for Deaf Mutes." Funds were appropriated for operating expenses, but none for teacher or staff salaries. However, $2000 was earmarked for a new school building to be built just east of Sioux Falls. This appropriation was payable only if local citizens would contribute another $1000 for the project. The challenge was met, 10 acres of land were donated, and a two-story frame school building was built. It contained 14 rooms for 25 students.

In the 1880s a school farm was established that grew to 115 acres. It provided vocational and educational benefits for students while furnishing food products for the school kitchen including milk, eggs, meat, chickens, vegetables, and fruits from a seven-acre orchard. The farm was operated with student helpers until its sale in 1949.

From the beginning the curriculum has always closely followed that of the public schools. Speech, lipreading, and writing, as well as sign language that was first introduced from Europe in 1817, have been the methods of instruction and communication within the school. Striving to meet the school's mission - to provide a quality education and an opportunity to actively
South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
2. South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker
participate in society - continues to be the goal of the teachers and staff on the 120th anniversary of its founding.
 
Erected 2000 by the Minnehaha County Historical Society and the South Dakota Association of the Deaf.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical date for this entry is November 9, 1880.
 
Location. 43° 32.811′ N, 96° 42.18′ W. Marker is in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Minnehaha County. Marker is on East 10th Street (State Highway 42) west of South Jessica Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Located on the former grounds of the South Dakota School for the Deaf. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 N Krohn Pl, Sioux Falls SD 57103, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Josephine Martin Glidden Memorial Chapel (approx. ¼ mile away); Mount Pleasant Cemetery (approx. 0.3 miles away); Children's Home Society of South Dakota (approx. 0.3 miles away); Fort Dakota Soldiers (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cherry Rock Bridge (approx. 0.7 miles away); Military Road (approx. 0.8 miles away); Great Northern (approx. 0.9 miles away); The First "Flying Machine" (approx. 0.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sioux Falls.
 
South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker, from the west image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
3. South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker, from the west
South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker and one of the original SDSD buildings image. Click for full size.
March 26, 2022
4. South Dakota School for the Deaf Marker and one of the original SDSD buildings
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on April 3, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 2, 2022. This page has been viewed 181 times since then and 13 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on April 2, 2022.

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Feb. 22, 2024