Canton in Lincoln County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
Augustana – The School on Wheels
Augustana was founded as Augustana Seminary in Chicago in 1860 by the Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran Augustana Synod. The school's purpose was "to educate young men for the holy ministry in the Lutheran church . . . (and) to prepare men for the profession of teaching." Attracted by a generous land offer from the Illinois Central Railroad Augustana moved to Paxton, Illinois in 1863, then to Marshall, Wisconsin in 1869. With the westward migration of many Norwegians during the Dakota boom the school moved again to northwest Iowa at Beloit in 1881. Growing enrollment and the offer of a three - story building by the citizens of Canton led to the academy moving to Canton in 1884, while the seminary remained in Beloit until 1890. President Anthony G. Tuve (1890 - 1916) organized the Augustana College Association in 1895 to support the school. Distinguished alumni include novelist Ole E. Rolvaag, physicist Merle A. Tuve, and South Dakota governors Sigurd Anderson and Archie Gubbrud.
In 1971 the newly formed Norwegian Lutheran Church in America voted to merge Augustana College and the Lutheran Normal School in Sioux Falls and to close the Canton campus. In 1919 the Church re-opened the institution at Canton with the name of Canton Lutheran Normal School, which later became Augustana Academy and operated as
The Old Main building of the Academy is an excellent example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture with its massive scale, rough cut granite, and arched openings. Designed by Omeyer and Thori of St. Paul it is a four-story building, 104 feet long and 60 feet wide.
Having received pledges totaling $10,000 from Augustana College Association members and $5,000 from the synod of the United Norwegian Lutheran Church, ground was broken in the late summer of 1901. Actual construction was begun the next year and the building was dedicated on October 4, 1903. The original Old Main housed classrooms, offices, 25 dormitory rooms, a gymnasium, and a chapel that would seat about 500 people. Total cost of the structure, with furnishings, was $48,492.99.
Augustana Academy was closed in 1971 and a total renovation of the building was completed in 1995 by the Metro Plains Corporation of St. Paul. It now houses 21 one bedroom apartments and five two bedroom apartments.
Erected 1995 by Augustana Academy Alumni, South Dakota Historical Society, and South Dakota Department of Transportation.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Canton SD 57013, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 4 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Hiawatha Asylum for Insane Indians (here, next to this marker); The Canton Ski Hill (a few steps from this marker); Canton (approx. 2.1 miles away); Tri-State Marker (approx. 14.7 miles away).
Categories. • Churches & Religion • Education •
Credits. This page was last revised on September 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on September 3, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. This page has been viewed 43 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 4, 2018, by Ruth VanSteenwyk of Aberdeen, South Dakota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.