Down by the Old Missouri 1

Miller Studio postcard view, looking north towards the Hughes County Courthouse, showing the businesses on Pierre Street ca. 1920s.

100 Years Ago

Orville Wheelon and Sherman Gregory, two amateur radio cranks of Pierre, today received word that they had been awarded 13th prize in the free-for-all radio relay contest conducted throughout the United States and Canada on February 22, Washington’s birthday, by the American Radio Relay League. There were 7,240 contestants of whom 78 received prizes. The Pierre boys will receive as their prizes one pair of Latice Variometers, valued at $20, which they say will improve their receiving equipment nearly 50 percent and will put their station here on a par with many of the stations maintained by the large university stations. The contest consisted of receiving a 30 word message, signed by Warren G. Harding, now President Harding and delivering it in the shortest possible time. Speed and accuracy, to prove the worth of amateur radio stations in times of need was the main objective. To make the contest more difficult, the message was split into three parts and sent from as many different points. The last two words of the communication were sent first from Chicago. Then from a Pacific coast station 14 words representing the second, fourth, sixth, etc. were sent. The final installment of the alternative odd words of the message were sent from a station on the Atlantic coast. The message after it was received here was delivered to Mayor Binder, Governor W. H. McMaster and members of the legislature and was read at the Washington birthday program in the House of Representatives on the afternoon of February 22.

50 Years Ago

Morris Michaelson, Pierre Police Chief, who had undergone surgery at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis recently, and subsequently suffered a heart attack June 6, died Saturday morning about 9:50 a.m. He was 65 years old. Michaelson, who had been ill for several months and subsequently under treatment at Pierre hospital before going to Minneapolis, had been a member of the Pierre police force since 1941. He was made chief of police in 1951 and had served in that capacity ever since. Morris Michaelson was born on September 10, 1905, at Camp Douglas, Wisconsin, to Michael Michaelson and the former Tena Evenson. He married the former Hope Mathews of Miller in Pierre in 1932. Mr. Michaelson was Chief of Police for 20 years in Pierre and was on the force for 30 years.

25 Years Ago

Pierre Street merchants want to hear straight from the shoppers in downtown Pierre. A survey published in Tuesday’s Capital Journal asked 10 questions about shopping in downtown Pierre. People are asked to rate downtown Pierre overall for shopping and to rate Pierre Street stores on a variety of characteristics such as attractiveness, cleanliness, parking and shopping hours. Other questions involve changes that could be made that would result in increased shopping downtown, store hours, and events and reasons that brought people downtown. “We merchants always feel we have to have the pulse of the shoppers,” said Jill Bartlett of the Hollywood Shop in downtown Pierre. As a result of the last survey conducted by downtown merchants, shopping hours were extended from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and stores started staying open Thursday nights instead of Monday nights, she said. People can indicate in the surveys what type of business they would like to see located downtown. If people indicate they want a certain type of store in downtown Pierre, merchants will try to find someone who would have that kind of store, Bartlett said. It used to be that Pierre didn’t have any downtown restaurants, and people commented they wanted a restaurant downtown. Pierre will soon have three restaurants downtown, Bartlett said. Results will be tallied on June 21. Some stores are donating prizes to people who submit the surveys and have signed their name to it.

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