Archive for March, 2013

Within the Chilson collection, there is a great wealth of information on the Battle of Little Bighorn. Within these books, there are a delightful little bunch of narratives regarding the animals of Little Bighorn, most of them focusing on Keogh’s horse Comanche.

One book, Marching with Custer by Elwood L. Nye, outlines the hardships the animals with Custer’s command experienced. In particular, the long march before the battle and the subsequent exhaustion of the horses is emphasized. Nye writes: “The ponies were so exhausted toward the end that when Custer ordered some of the scouts forward in pursuit of fleeing Sioux as the regiment approached the Little Big Horn, they refused to go because of the condition of their animals. Some of the scouts dropped out completely during the last few miles of the approach, saying their horses were too poor (meaning in too poor condition), to go on” (Nye 32). Included at the end of the book is a collection of woodcuts, drawings, and photographs of Custer mounted on a horse.

Another book, His Very Silence Speaks: Comanche—The Horse Who Survived Custer’s Last Stand by Elizabeth Atwood Lawrence, is a very detailed account of Comanche’s life, including his role in the regiment, the legends and stories that followed him, and the artwork created of him. In one amusing story, Comanche’s growing taste for alcohol is described. During his recovery after the Battle of Little Bighorn, Comanche was given whiskey bran mash. If he ventured into the soldier’s canteen, he was given buckets of beer to enjoy (Lawrence 107).

An old-fashioned narrative written from Comanche’s perspective, titled Comanche: The Story of America’s Most Heroic Horse by David Appel, is full of illustrations. Though it might not be entirely historically accurate, the pictures are lovely.

Comanche at Battle of Little Bighorn

Illustration from Comanche: The Story of America’s Most Heroic Horse page 221.

Works Cited:

Appel, David. Comanche: The Story of America’s Most Heroic Horse. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1951. Print.

Lawrence, Elizabeth Atwood. His Very Silence Speaks: Comanche–The Horse Who Survived Custer’s Last Stand. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1989. Print.

Nye, Elwood L. Marching with Custer: A Day-By-Day Evaluation of the Uses, Abuses, and Conditions of the Animals on the Ill-Fated Expedition of 1876. Arthur H. Clark Company, 1964. Print.

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Mabel and Edna Townsley

Edna and Mabel Townsley

Women’s History

The following collections in the Archives and Special Collections are by or about women:

American Association of University Women
Anderberg, Ina
Anderson, Rebecca Collection on Whiteclay, Nebraska
Beede Family
Breeden, Jane Rooker
Broughall, V.V.H. [textiles]
Cooper-Foote, Dorothy (Wright)
Cramer, Petrea Diaries
Dillion, Charles H. and Frances J. Scrapbook
Dimmick, Lauretta
Edelen, Mary B.
Egge, Ruth March
Faculty Woman’s Club
Hammond, Dephane
Jones, Mildred McEwan
Lommen, Grace D. Eldridge
Mills, Ellen S. [In Single Folder Collection]
Moses, Ruth West
National Organization for Women (NOW), Vermillion Chapter
Presidents Series (USD), Asher, Betty Turner, 1989-1996
Pyle, Gladys, 1890-
Pyle, Mamie I (Shields), 1866-1949
Rubida, Ruth
Shoemaker, Gretchen Gall
Smith, Effie Farris [In Single Folder Collection]
South Dakota Advocacy Network for Women
South Dakota State Fair [In Single Folder Collection]
Townsley, Mabel
Visser, Audrae, [In Single Folder Collection]
Wasesa Club, Vermillion, South Dakota
Weeks, I.D. and Virginia
Wheeler, Anna Johnson Pell
Williams, Elizabeth Evenson [In Single Folder Collection]
Women’s Research Conference – USD
Worthen, Bill [In Single Folder Collection]
Yellow Robe, Rosebud [In Single Folder Collection]

Some of the collections by women do not contain material that is gender-related. Other collections are not about women but contain some material about women. Check also our photograph collections, publication collections, organization records, alumni records, family histories, and genealogies.

Image from the Mabel Townsley papers


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Bad eggs

Verso of receipt

Verso of receipt

This gem presented itself in the Mary Jane Fine Collection of the Thomas Hunter Diaries in the Richardson Collection.

Printed on the back of a receipt from the G.F. Buche Co. Store, it explains the “ins and outs” of egg trading. The purchase price of a dozen eggs by Buche’s was 9 to 10 cents in 1934.

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The Faculty Woman’s Club collection has been processed and is available for research.

The Faculty Woman’s Club was a group at USD that was formed for female faculty members and wives of professors. On a program cover letter from September 21, 1954, program chairwoman Edith M. Eyres states that the Faculty Woman’s Club’s “purpose is simply to bring you and your family into the larger family of the University faculty, and to let you meet your University friends and enjoy their fellowship.”

Throughout its years of existence, the Faculty Woman’s Club has coordinated several events. Annually, they would hold a President’s reception, which was traditionally hosted at the university president’s house. Other annual events include salad luncheons, fall brunches, and spring parties. Occasionally, the Faculty Woman’s Club would arrange additional events for fundraisers. The proceeds usually went to a scholarship fund. One such event was Meeting of the Minds, which was a quiz competition that any faculty member or their spouse could participate in.

Meeting of the Minds News Story

Another charitable deed that the Faculty Woman’s Club organized was helping with the maintenance on the Danforth Chapel. They funded the insurance policy on the stained glass windows and also helped the Alumni Association raise funds for their restoration.

Below is a photograph from the dedication of a tree that the Faculty Woman’s Club donated.


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Old hazardous materials freezer.

Old freezer.

Out with the old

Out with the old.

In with the new

In with the new.

Our new freezer has been up and running for a few weeks now. Working great and full.

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