HAMILL, SOUTH DAKOTA
Roseland ( later hamill) was established as a townsite by the Federal government in Roseland Township, N 1/2 Sec 34, Township 102 N, Range 74 W. The town was started in April 1909 on the east side of No Moccasin Lake. Research indicates the first name of the town was Wamblee and the body of water was Wamblee Lake. Gould was the name the government used when the townsite was plotted, probably for the man who built the only store building on the east side of the creek. The post office was established May 15, 1909 and Roseland was chosen as the towns name. Due to much confusion with other post offices of similar names in South Dakota, the name Roseland was used for less than a year. On March 15, 1910 the postal department changed the name to Hamill after Gail Hamill, who was the first postmaster.
HAMILL COMMUNITY HALL
The Hamill Community Hall was built in 1962. The total cost of the building, cement, insulation, and wiring was approximately $10,000. All the labor was donated.
HAMILL CATHOLIC CHURCH
A the homesteaders came the spiritual needs of the Catholics were cared for by missionary and residential priests. Father Francis Guessen was one of the first priests to serve the Hamill community, coming from Gregory to celebrate Mass in the homes of Wm. McClintock and Charles McElhaneys until Father Anthony O'Hara was assigned to Winner and built the first church on the east side of the street where Noah Taylor's house was later located. This was in 1910. From the town's four thriving stores, parishioners in the true pioneer spirit secured wooden packing boxes for the altar which was designed and hand carved by Nick Koos.
Schools and education were important to the pioneers and many of the early rural schools were taught by mothers. In Roseland, the first school was held in the Print Shop and taught by Mr. Thomas and then by Maude Henderson, a homesteader. The first high school (for 9th and 10th grades only) was held in the old Lutheran Hall, just north of the present Lutheran Church.
HISTORY OF THE ROSELAND CEMETERY
Hamill was laid out as townsite on NW1/4 Sec 34 T. 102 R. 74 when Tripp Co. was surveyed and allotted to the Indians in 1908 and people registered in Fall of 1908 and were drawn numbers and in April 1909 were given chances to choose quarters of land and about same time sale of lots in different town sites. Hamill was known as Roseland post office because of wild roses around country. But because of confusion of mail with Rosebud Agency was changed about 1911 to Hamill because G.M. Hamill was postmaster.
THE EARLIEST BABIES WERE BORN HERE
The first white baby in Tripp Co. was Roseland (Condon) Jordan on Aug 20, 1909 to James and Louise Condon in Roseland (Hamill). Shortly after that the baby boy born in Tripp Co. was Calvin Leo born to Tom & Christine Hurd on Feb. 6,1910 at the homestead in King Township.
EDUCATION IN KING TOWNSHIP
Early homesteaders realized the importance of education. To make it possible for no child to have too great a distance to a school, one was built in the center of each 3 miles square and Franklin School District #11 was organized. Each school was named for the home nearest. (Hammon, later called Becket). Hanson, Mahoney, and Auble (Later Bice School). Lars Hanson, Paul Heying and Tom Hurd served for many years on the school board. After completing elementary education students enrolled in the Hammon schools were moved to the southeast corner of the section and was called the King School. It had to be closed in 1989 and there are no school in King Township. the Hanson and Mahoney school building were purchased by Wayne Nelson and moved to their farm near Ideal.
WATER-WATER (WHAT A PROBLEM)
Water quality and quantity was always a major problem for homesteaders in northern Tripp Co. Areas where water could be found for wells were few but they were made available for anyone who could come with barrels on stone boats or however for water. Snow was melted and saved as homes were completed, covered cisterns, made of cement or metal, were dug in beside the house to catch water from the roof. Water would run through the down spouts and charcoal filter and then be pumped out from the top. Water as needed had to be hauled from other sources for the cistern. In later years with roads and vehicles available it was hauled from Winner in large tanks. This was strictly for human use and used sparingly
3 1/2 Lbs. cracklings-1qt. cold water- 1can Levis Lye- 1 qt. hot water
Mix cracklings, cold water and lye and let set until dissolved. Add hot water and stir with wooden spoon until it starts to gel. Pour into mold, cover. Let set overnight and cut into bars. Dry for about a week before using. This was a basic recipe.
WESTMINISTER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
In 1910 a group of homesteaders got together to discuss the matter of a church organization. Many obstacles appeared immediately. Among them was a meeting place. The Hugh McEachran family offered the hay loft of their barn for a Sunday School and later in 1911, the church was organized Presbyterians in Winner discontinued their services, the building was offered to the Westminister people provided it would be moved into the country. The McEachrans family offered a plot of ground in the basement was dug & a foundation made and the building was moved. Ministers were shared with Ideal and for a time with Fairview and Pleasant Valley.
ZION LUTHERAN CHURCH-HAMILL
After two attempts that failed to organize a Swedish Lutheran Church at Hamill, the Scandinavians in and around Hamill were called together on May 4, 1913 for a Swedish worship. Immediately after the worship a business meeting was held and Zion became a new congregation in pastorate with Dallas. The first pastor was J.J. Richards and he served both congregations, having some 40 miles to travel between the two congregations. In 1914 two lots were purchased to build a church.
THE PIONEER CLUB OF HAMILL
The Pioneer Club of Hamill was organized in 1910 by 10 ladies-the purpose being to promote social contacts and civic improvement in a pioneer community. Their first objective was to build a hall, which they did and for the next 50 years this hall was the center of many activities. The club stressed recreation and social meetings along with civic duties. Many high school basketball games were played there. Many dances were held in the hall and in the early 50's and active square dance club was organized.
Source: Tripp County Historical Society, 7th Annual Auto Caravan, Heritage Tour, Sunday, September 18, 1977