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Pierre in Hughes County, South Dakota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

John Sutherland and the Capital Fights

 
 
John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
1. John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker
Inscription. Born in Canada, John Sutherland taught school in Wisconsin and received his law degree from Brown University. He came to Dakota Territory in 1884. The young Scottish attorney led Pierre’s campaign committee to resounding victories in the “capital wars” of 1889, 1890, and 1904. In those raucous statewide elections, voters chose Pierre over Huron, Mitchell, Sioux Falls, Watertown, Chamberlain, and other challengers. Sutherland was a Progressive Republican. His 1904 capital campaign slogan, Stand Pat for Pierre, reflected his support for Theodore Roosevelt, whose 1904 re-election campaign theme was Stand Pat. In 1905, State Representative Sutherland introduced the legislation that started the construction of the State Capitol, which workers completed in 1910. Sutherland was president of the Pierre Board of Education and Pierre Board of Trade, as well as active in the South Dakota State Historical Society and Baptist Church. He died in 1941 and is buried in Pierre’s Riverside Cemetery. This house on the corner of North Huron and West Capital Avenues was the Sutherland family home. The building across the street to the east was dedicated the John Sutherland Building in 2010 in honor of his contributions.
 
Erected 2011 by State of South Dakota. (Marker Number 702.)
 
Location.
John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker (<i>tall view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
2. John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker (tall view)
44° 22.192′ N, 100° 21.171′ W. Marker is in Pierre, South Dakota, in Hughes County. Marker is at the intersection of West Capitol Avenue and North Huron Avenue, on the right when traveling west on West Capitol Avenue. Touch for map. Marker is located beside the sidewalk, at the northwest corner of the intersection. Marker is in this post office area: Pierre SD 57501, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First and Only Hanging in Hughes County (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Charles Hyde's Legacy (about 600 feet away); Hughes County Courthouse / Site of First Library in Pierre (about 800 feet away); Pierre Was A Cowtown / Reading Brands (approx. 0.3 miles away); Combat Wounded Veterans (approx. 0.4 miles away); Dedicated to You, A Free Citizen in a Free Land (approx. 0.4 miles away); South Dakota State Capitol (approx. 0.4 miles away); Soldiers' & Sailors' World War Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pierre.
 
Also see . . .  John Sutherland and the Capital Election Fights. Judged by modern standards, the 1889, 1890 and 1904 capital election campaigns were bare-knuckled brawls fought on the edge of legality. Con-artists visited competing towns offering blocks of votes for sale. Sutherland believed one of them might really have the votes. But instead of yielding
John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker (<i>wide view; Sutherland house in background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, August 18, 2016
3. John Sutherland and the Capital Fights Marker (wide view; Sutherland house in background)
to the vote-buying temptation, Pierre boosters tied the man up until the election was over. Competing railroads offered free train trips to Pierre and Mitchell for “important men” to influence their voting. South Dakota women quickly convinced the railroad bosses of their influence over their men’s votes and were immediately offered free train trips as well. As many as 5,000 people visited Pierre and Mitchell some days. Sutherland was elected to the state House of Representatives in 1904 to make sure funds were approved to build the State Capitol. That achieved, he didn’t seek re-election. Like most South Dakotans in the 122-year-history of our citizen Legislature, when his goals were accomplished, he returned to career and family life. (Submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Government
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on October 1, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on October 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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