Archive for January, 2017

University of South Dakota constructed an observatory one hundred years ago, in 1917.


Image from the Digital Library of South Dakota.

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I received a helpful suggestion to use the book Dakota Imprints to determine if The People’s Problem and Its Solution by William H. Lyon was the first book published in the Dakota Territory. It does not list Lyon’s book, but the first book it does include was published in the same year as Lyon’s, 1886.


Dakota Imprints lists items earlier than 1886, but they all appear to be Dakota Territory publications, broadsides, and an industry circular. The book that was published in the same year as Lyon’s was History and Resources of Dakota, Montana, and Idaho by Moses K. Armstrong.


Dakota Imprints and Armstrong’s book are in the Chilson Collection. Lyon’s book is in the William H. Lyon Papers.

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William H. Lyon

William H. Lyon


I recently found the note below in a book called The People’s Problem and Its Solution by William H. Lyon and copyrighted in 1886. This book was published by the author and printed by Press Job Print, Sioux Falls, Dakota Territory.


The note is: “Please accept this work with the complements of the author. It is believed to be the first book ever published in the territory of Dakota.”


How can I verify this claim?


Lyon’s book and picture can be found in the William H. Lyon Papers at the Archives and Special Collections.

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