A Yearbook from the Southern State Normal School, Springfield, South Dakota, 1916

The Southern State Normal School in Springfield, South Dakota, also called the Springfield Normal School, offered a college education for those who had completed high school. A First Grade Teaching Certificate could be acquired in just one year of study, while a State Certificate and Life Diploma could be acquired in two years.1 If your ancestor was a teacher in South Dakota, he or she may have attended the Southern State Normal School or a similar institution of higher learning.


The Echo, Vol. 1 (Springfield, South Dakota: Southern State Normal School, 1916); private collection of Melanie Frick. This volume was generously shared with the author by a relative.

I am fortunate to have a copy of The Echo, a yearbook put forth by the Southern State Normal School in 1916. The Echo offers a treasure trove of information about those who were affiliated with the school from 1915-1916, as it includes photographs of most of the students and faculty as well as details about everything from an individual’s year of study, to school clubs and organizations, to inside jokes among classmates shared in the form of clever poems and quotations.2

For example, I learned that when sisters Andrea and Louise Nelson attended college there, they were both members of the Y.W.C.A. and the Southern Normal Literary Society, where Andrea served a term as Secretary.3 What startled me, however, was a class poem that named, “Louise, so dumpy and fat.”4 I do hope that was a joke well taken, because while Louise didn’t necessarily have a willowy figure, she was quite pretty and stylish! The Echo shared that she also played on the girls’ basketball team.5

As copies of The Echo are likely not accessible to most researchers, I would like to offer look-ups for anyone seeking information about the individuals listed below, who were named in The Echo as faculty, students, or graduates of the Southern State Normal School at Springfield, Bon Homme County, South Dakota:

Grover C. Allen
Dorothy Anderson
Bernice Aney
Ida A. Bakker
Rena Bakker
Edward Benesh
Lewis Benesh
Minnie Bowles
Ward Brown
Blanche Buck
Sunbeam Burton
Arthur B. Carr
Kathryne Clemens
Della Coate
Grace Berenice Cooper
Ida M. Cooper
Lillie S. Cooper
Myrtle M. Cory
Arch Crawford
Nellie Crockett
Eva Crow
Blanche De Melt
Beatrice Dinneen
J. Verdon Dougherty
Raymond Dougherty
Earl Dryden
Marion Duguid
Bertha Dykstra
Louise Eberle
Pierre Fisher
Gilbert G. Fites
Agnes Flyger
Gladys Flyger
Leta Ford
Gertrude E. Funk
Emmanuel Geraldson
Helen Glasner
C. Glassing
R. Glassing
Herbert H. Goodenough
Esther Gretschmann
Ruth Gretschmann
Lenora Groeneveld
Carl Hartman
Grace Hartman
Lassara R. Hartman
Ethel Harty
Helen Harty
Samuel Henderson
William Hennies
Carrie Hitchcock
Sam Hitchcock
Wilbur A. Hitchcock
Urban Holleman
Marshall F. Hoopes
Eulalia House
Launah House
Oran J. House
Mina E. Hubbell
James Hubregtse
Swannie Huisman
Nina B. Huyck
Esther B. Jaquays
Margaret R. Jaquays
Anna Johnson
Annette Johnson
E. Mary Johnson
E. Olivia Johnson
Clara Millicent Kadlec
E. Kaftan
M. Kaftan
Hermann J. Kaufmann
Dr. Chas. M. Keeling
Frank W. Kelsey
Mrs. Alta F. Kelsey
Arthur Kibble
Lilah R. Kincaid
Julia Kreber
Rose Kreycik
Carrie Kubal
Christine Kubal
Arthur Lawson
Bernice Locke
Viola Loken
Ella Lubbers
Cecelia Marie Lucas
A. Marks
Doris Marks
Lucille Maxwell
Mae Maxwell
Catherine McCollum
Julia McKenzie
Elma C. Melick
Marian Mentzer
Cecelia Michel
Marguerite Miller
Hartzell Mills
Hazel Mills
Howland Monfore
Gerald E. Muller
Nelson, A.
Nelson, Andrea Nelson
Nelson, Edith Nelson
Nelson, Louise Nelson
Nelson, Myrtle Nelson
Ida Nieuwenhuis
Howard Noble
Ellen O’Brien
Walter O’Donnell
Edythe Olson
Leoti Patrick
Helen C. Pattee
Milo Pattee
Lula Paulson
Adrian Ploos Van Amstel
Johannes Ploos Van Amstel
Beth Provost
S. Margaret Provost
Anna Qualm
Omer Rains
Amelia Reichert
Sylvia Richter
Winifred Robbenolt
Eugene Schneider
Ane Schultz
Frederick Schultz
Hazel Seaman
Floyd Slasor
Frances Slasor
Velma Slasor
Ethel Snowden
Janet Snowden
Rudolph Sorensen
Elmer Spurrell
Ida Spurrell
Harry S. Stein
Emma Stemmerman
Rachel Stephens
Dr. Roy G. Stevens
Glen E. Sunderlin
Frances Swihart
Anna Sykora
Emma Taff
Clarence Talsma
Grace Thomas
J. Thomas
W. Thomas
Lizzie Thompson
Julia Treat
Margie Treat
Grace Turner
Jack Turner
Shelby Turner
Beatrice Udlinek
Thomas J. Utterback
Bessie Van Den Berge
Van Heitsma
Minnie Vogt
Harold Wagner
Clara Wallace
Harriet Walpole
Lester Ward
Gustav G. Wenzlaff
Myra R. Wenzlaff
Wilbur Wenzlaff
Lorenzo C. Wicks
Mary Elizabeth Wood
Theodore Wrage
Mary Young
Elsie Zelenka

1 The Echo, Vol. 1 (Springfield, South Dakota: Southern State Normal School, 1916); private collection of Melanie Frick, 126. This volume was generously shared with the author by a relative.
2 Ibid.
3 The Echo, 75, 81.
4 The Echo, 52.
5 The Echo, 70.

14 thoughts on “A Yearbook from the Southern State Normal School, Springfield, South Dakota, 1916

  1. Wayne Goeken

    Hello Melanie,
    I just finished reading Grass of the Earth by Aagot Raaen–immigrant life in eastern North Dakota…I then googled “Normal schools”, i.e. teacher colleges and one thing led to another as I looked up Southern Normal School at Springfield, S.Dak. where my grandmother went to school. I ran across your blog re; the 1916 Southern Normal School Yearbook and while my grandmother Grace Huisman wasn’t in that year, I see that her younger sister Swannie Huisman is in the names you listed. My grandma Grace taught in my hometown of Scotland, Bon Homme, South Dakota until she got married in the mid 1920s when she had to quit teaching because married women weren’t allowed to teach in that school at the time. Anyway, I would be curious if there is anything of particular interest to note re: Swannie Huisman in the yearbook.
    Thank you,
    Wayne Goeken

    1. Melanie Frick Post author

      Hi Wayne, You had perfect timing with your search since I just shared this information last week! If your grandmother Grace Huisman attended the S.N.S. prior to 1916, she may have been a classmate of some of my older Nelson aunts, who were from Tabor. I will send you an e-mail with the information I have on Swannie Huisman next week – I believe there’s at least one photograph of her in there, if not more. Thanks for getting in touch!

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  3. Mary Ellen Warren

    Is there a copy of the yearbook close to Belle Fourche, SD? My father is on the above list., Walter O’Donnell. I am working on a cemetery walk and was digging what info I have and decided to google the Normal School. What luck. Dad was involved in sports. Any info would be truly appreciated. Hope I’m not too late.

    1. Melanie Frick Post author

      Thanks for your note, Thomas! I’m going to take a look at the yearbook soon and if there are any pictures of Della Coate, I will be sure to send them your way.

  4. Stan Heffner

    Hi, I have a friend whose father attended this school and is one your list of people. Walt O’Donnel. Any photos or information on Walt would be appreciated. Thank you, Stan Heffner.

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  7. Kelly House

    Hello My Great grandpa was Oran J. House and the other House’s listed I believe were siblings. Oran went on to be a professor at the college for decades after attending. Do you have any pictures of the House family you could send me? it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Kelly House

    1. ludemanr

      Dear Kelly,

      I grew up in Springfield during the 1930s, 40s and 50s, so I knew your great grandfather, Oran. Also Mel House who was a few years older than I. They iced on the north end of town in a chaulk rock house. Mel played baseball and was a lefty like me. My father, W.W. Ludeman, was dean and then president of Southern for many years. My mother, Joyce Holleman Ludeman was the sister of Urban Hollemanwho was a classmate of your great grandfather.

      How are you related to Mel House?

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