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23rd issue of a Yankton paper, “The Gayville House” a large and first class hotel run by Iver Bagstad on the Temperance plan, was mentioned. The present building, which was a hotel until the 1950’s, was built by Iver Bagstad in 1879, so “The Gayville House” must have preceded it. Edward Anderson, a blacksmith, is also mentioned in this newspaper story so there were probably two blacksmiths. George Winters was one of the carpenters who hammered this little town into existence. In the summer of 1874, two young men in silk hats arrived at the depot—F.B. Hardin and his cousin. Hardin took a job as Gayville’s first school teacher, but his Cousin said that this country was good for nothing but Indians and grasshoppers and he returned on the next train to Ohio. Another Hardin, who had come and stayed, James E. Hardin, was the first depot agent and was also the town marshal. The family still has the official paper giving Marshal Hardin the authority to go to Minnesota to arrest someone for grand larceny. By 1880, Gayville had a population of 130. The great flood of 1881 was an historical event for Gayville, as well as the areas around. It was on relatively high ground so that the water did not rise so high in the buildings, but the whole town was flooded and people scrambled to every available place of safety. The hotel and homes, which had a second floor, were havens to those who came. Mr. Julius Berkeley lived in the hotel and was chief cook for the many who were housed there. Rescue boats came from Yankton and rowed right into the homes and took the occupants to the bluffs to stay with friends. Gayville started a municipal band in 1890 conducted by the Milwaukee depot agent until 1894. The band was still going in 1900 with a Mr. Woodside as conductor. In 1891, Gayville purchased a hand drawn hose cart from the Yankton Fire Department, when Yankton progressed to a fire wagon with horses. It carried 600 ft. of hose, brass bowled flares which burned kerosene, some small tin bells, and an attached wooden tool box. Both the Lutheran and Methodist Churches were built in 1891, also. The Farmer’s Elevator was established in 1899. A contract was let for a woodman lodge building in January of 1900 and by February 1st, the 28’ x 70’ building was going up rapidly. There were 48 members of the lodge. In 1904, Gayville had its first newspaper with a Mr. Granger as the first editor. Gayville in the last two decades, has become a residential town with many driving to nearby larger towns to work and others living in retirement on their savings and social security. In 1965, 1000 feet of new sidewalk was poured on the main street of Gayville with volunteers from both the town and rural area. Also, the town of Gayville started a clean-up, fix-up program with former banker “Red” Korteum as spark plug, and decided they badly needed new downtown sidewalks. To save money, they decided to do the work themselves. Local farmers were right in the middle of the work force. When the work was completed, they decided to have a day of celebration and since alfalfa hay has been a growing crop in the community, they named the celebration “Hay Days” and used hay as the theme of their decorations and parade. Hay is donated by the farmers for seats, parade barriers, etc. then it is auctioned off after the celebration and the money goes to the Hay Association for the promotion of their crop. Send Your Wishes Privately... All Available Online Condolences • Light a Candle • Donations • Send Flowers Guiding and serving families with compassion and trust. Kevin Opsahl Ron Mugge Funeral Home & Crematory, Yankton Memorial Chapels, Tabor, Menno & Tyndall 665-9679 | 1-800-495-9679 www.opsahl-kostelfuneralhome.com YANKTON COUNTY GUIDE 2019v9
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