Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Engle Family Postcards ~ Rosebud Registration, Yankton, South Dakota - 1904

Here we go! I'm ready and excited to begin sharing with you the amazing vintage Engle Family Postcards that I am so grateful to have in my possession. If you don't know the story of how I acquired these 100+ year-old postcards, I hope you will read the incredible story by clicking HERE. The story has to do with a second-hand market in Galway, Ireland, my family tree on the WikiTree website, and a wonderful new friend in Ireland named Ann.

The first postcard I'm sharing with you today happens to be the oldest postcard in my Engle Family Postcard collection. As you can see, it is dated July 22, 1904 and was addressed to Mrs. R. Engle, (W) Sioux Falls, S. D.

Engle Family Postcard

Engle Family Postcard

Mrs. R. Engle was Mrs. Sarah Amanda (Waterman) Engle, my maternal 2nd great-grandaunt.

Here's the transcription from front of the postcard:
Dear Mother -
Registered within 15 minutes after I struck the town.
W.B.E.
This postcard was from Sarah Amanda's son William Barker Engle (W.B.E.).

So, why was William in Yankton, South Dakota and what was he registering for?


I did some research to find out what this postcard was about and this is what I found.

On May 13, 1904, President Theodore Roosevelt signed a Proclamation. The Proclamation was titled Proclamation 526 - Opening of Sioux Lands of the Rosebud Reservation, South Dakota. You can read the Proclamation by clicking
HERE.

In essence, and according to this Proclamation, an agreement was made between the Sioux Indian tribe on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and a United States Indian Inspector named James McLaughlin. This agreement was approved by Congress on April 23, 1904. In this agreement, the Sioux Indian tribe relinquished their claim to about 382,000 acres of unallotted lands to the United States of America.

On August 8, 1904 at 9:00 am, these lands were opened under the homestead and townsite laws of the United States of America.

There was a procedure put into place for those interested in acquiring these lands. And it went as follows:


Beginning on July 5, 1904 at 9:00 am, and ending on July 23, 1904 at 6:00 pm, a registration was held at Chamberlain, Yankton, Bonesteel, and Fairfax in South Dakota for those who were interested in these lands.

Qualified registrants were eligible for a drawing which began on July 28 1904. The drawing determined the order in which qualified registrants would be able to enter the homestead lands following the opening of said lands in Gregory County.

It looks like William B. Engle registered in the nick of time for the drawing, as he arrived on July 22, a day before the registration period ended.


Thousands of people registered for these homestead lands. I found an interesting newspaper article in the California Digital Newspaper Collection website stating just how many people registered. The following article is from The San Francisco Call, Volume 96, Number 51, 21 July 1904.


San Francisco Call, Volume 96, Number 51, 21 July 1904
The San Francisco Call, Volume 96, Number 51, 21 July 1904
California Digital Newspaper Collection,
Center for Bibliographic Studies and Research,
University of California, Riverside, <http://cdnc.ucr.edu>

According to this article, before William B. Engle even had a chance to register, 46,670 people had already registered! Wow! And since he registered a day later than when this paper was published, the number was likely even larger than the stated 46,670 people.

There are two questions that I don't have an answer for at this point:

  1. Was William's name picked in the drawing?
  2. Was William B. Engle registering for himself, or as an agent for his Civil War veteran father, Richard Engle?
The postcard above is quite interesting because it shows a collage of pictures showing the Registration at Yankton, South Dakota. It also named the photography studio that took these pictures. I cropped the name of the photography studio to share here.

Engle Family Postcard

I saw a picture online that showed the Janousek  & Bruhn Photography Studio on a street in Yankton, South Dakota. If you'd like to see that picture, click HERE.

I also thought it would be interesting to crop some of the pictures from the collage and share those here too. They show the long lines of people waiting to register for these homestead lands.

Engle Family Postcard

Engle Family Postcard

Engle Family Postcard

The following poem was included in this collage of pictures.

Engle Family Postcard

Isn't it amazing how much a postcard can teach us about historical events?

I will be sharing more of these amazing Engle Family Postcards in future posts.

Thanks for reading!


© 2014 Copyright by Jana Last, All Rights Reserved

20 comments:

  1. You are so lucky to have the collections you have! Enjoyed reading about this postcard and the times. Have fun going through them, I know you will!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Cheryl! Yes, I am so grateful to have this collection of precious postcards. Thank you for stopping by!

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  2. Wow! What a time that must have been, Jana. Thanks for providing so much about the times, and the photos as well as the postcards. Amazing information.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Celia,

      It really was interesting to learn about the history of this postcard, and to know that a relative of mine was involved in registering for these homestead lands. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. They must have been printing those post cards on the spot. You are setting the bar high starting with the oldest card and one with so much history surrounding it. Looking forward to following this series, Jana.

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    Replies
    1. Yes, Wendy. They really must have started printing these postcards early on in the registration so people would buy them. Pretty smart business practice I'd say.

      I thought I'd start with the oldest card and end with the newest. We'll see how that goes. Thanks for stopping by!

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  4. GREAT post Jana -- and some nice detective work! I was waiting to see some of these postcards and they surely are not going to disappoint as you are clearly going to milk them for all the info they can provide and can lead to. Nice job!. I look forward to more as the year progresses. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you John! It's so interesting how much history a postcard can provide. That's one of the great things about vintage postcards. They give us a chance to see what life was like way back when. Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. Hi Jana! Love watching your genealogy journey! Have you sent copies of your "Historical Information" to any archives or historical societies?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! No, I haven't sent any of my research to any archives or historical societies. Although, I probably should send some copies of photos of my Ohio ancestors to the Ohio Historical Society.

      Delete
  6. Fascinating story, Jana, and to think you might never had known about it if it hadn't been for Ann! William must have had to move very fast to get to Yankton in time. Imagine all the people he would have met on the way who were doing the same thing. It must have been a somewhat stressful yet exciting time.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Linda,

      Yes, if it hadn't been for Ann, I never would have these amazing postcards. She's such a wonderful person! And I'm so grateful to her for her kindness and generosity!

      I imagine it was quite a busy and bustling time with all of those people converging on those towns for registration. And as you say, it must have been stressful and exciting all at the same time. Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Jana I been waiting for this. I know it is a feat getting it together. The Poem was funny! and historical. Pictures are Wonderful. Glad for the History lesson as well. Makes me want to learn more about the Prairie Life. Wonderful Job!

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    1. Thank you True! It was fascinating learning the background and history related to this postcard. It really is interesting that we can learn American history just by learning about a postcard. Thanks for stopping by!

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  8. This is so interesting and indeed intriguing. Was his number picked? Was he qualified? I want to know.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Brent! I wish I knew the answers to your questions. Sadly, I don't at this point. I am inclined to think that he wasn't picked, because I haven't seen any indication of the family living in these homestead land locations. I could be wrong though. More research is needed to confirm this. Thanks for stopping by!

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