20 November 2013

NE/SD Family History Road Trip (part 5)

Day 7, Friday, Oct. 25

Our last day of planned family history activity began by heading to the small town of Kaylor, Hutchinson County, SD. West-southwest of Kaylor was the site of an earlier farm of JR Ogden, in Sharon Township. He was there from about 1879 to somewhere before 1885. It’s going to take another road trip to look at land records to sort out exactly who lived where when. Maybe a bunch of letters to courthouses would be easier.




Leaving Kaylor, we headed for Scotland—Scotland, SD that is, in Bon Homme County. My third-great-grandfather, John Gibbon had settled near there in about 1873. Originally from Scotland (probably from Aberdeenshire), he lived for several years in Ontario, Canada before moving to SD. One of my favorite pictures is him and his second wife seated outside there sod house with their grandson, William Ogden, my mom’s grandfather. John died in 1889, the year South Dakota became a state.



We started in Rose Hill Cemetery looking for the graves of Gibbons. We quickly located a Gibbon marker that marked the family plot William Gibbon’s family. He is one of three sons of John Gibbon, a 2nd great granduncle. There was also a very old marker for Margaret Gibbon with no years on it. That must be a marker for his sister because his mother, Margaret Gibbon died in Ontario. I suppose it’s possible that they put up a marker for her there in Scotland. It’ll take some more research to sort it out.




We looked around for quite a while to find the other Gibbon graves, but could find nothing. Since it was lunch time, we headed into town. We ate at a small “diner” in a corner of a gas station. It appears to be the place for lunch in town as several people came in to eat while we were there. After explaining what we were doing in town (I’m so lucky that my wife will talk to anyone), one of the women working there suggested we visit the City Finance office where the cemetery records are kept. 

We had some time to kill since the women who ran the office was out to lunch until 1. We started by doing some shopping at a small department store in town. The smell when we walked in took me right back to a similar store my Grandpa Ogden ran in Martin, SD when I was a kid. We bought some t-shirts for us and the grandkids (my stepson’s fiancĂ© is from Scotland, the country) and some post cards. We mailed the cards from the Scotland post office to the grandkids, who live in Hong Kong. Those may be the first pieces of mail ever sent from Scotland, SD to Hong Kong. We still had time, so we headed a little way west out of town to the site of John Gibbon’s farm in Washington Township.


By then we could visit the City Finance Department, which is located in a small office in the back of the fire station. Linda, the woman who works there, was very helpful. She pulled out her file of index cards, found the info on John Gibbon’s plot and gave us a cemetery map to show just where to look. Even with that help it took us a while to find the grave markers, but find them we did. John and his second wife, Isabella, are buried near his oldest son, James.




With that we had finished all of the family history work I had planned for us. We headed back to spend the night in Vermillion. Before checking into the hotel we stopped at the National Music Museum on the USD campus. They have a collection of over 15,000 instruments from around the world and from several centuries. Being a tuba player, my focus was on the serpents, ophicleides and other early low brass instruments. 



They also have pictures up of the members of the SD Bandmasters Hall of Fame. I was disappointed that my high school band teacher, Jack Knowles, is not included. Milo Hamilton, the band director from crosstown rival Stevens High is there. I played under him a few times in the all-city band.

(to be continued)

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