History of Bon Homme county, South Dakota
Progressive, substantial and prosperous is a phrase fully descriptive of the conditions of every activity of Bon Homme county; yet, do we ever pause, do we ever stop to think to whom do we owe our prosperity. who was it that paved the way, who was it that laid the firm foundation, that the waves of adversity may beat against, but with little effect? To the Pioneers of Hon Homme County, to the gray-haired fathers and mothers who are with is today, and to those who have answered the final call. These people, destitute as the country itself, brought with them that indominable pluck and energy which never fail of success, no matter where applied. Scarcely a day in the years gone by but presented difficulties before a weaker people would have turned in despair, but over and through it all they pressed onward until the broad prairies of Bon Homme County, a commonwealth by a survival-selected people of superior character, crowns their laborous achievement.
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The earliest settlement in the county, and one of the earliest in the territory, was made by a party of young men from Mantorville, Dodge County, Minnesota, who on their journey by way of Sioux City on the south side of the Missouri River, to Pike's Peak, under the leadership of John H. Shober, in 1858, observing the inviting appearance of the country in the vicinity of the site of the village of Bon Homme from the opposite side of the river, brought their journey to a halt, felled a large cottonwood tree, cut off a section large enough for the purpose and hollowed it out, for a canoe, which they named the "Gentle Annie," and in which they crossed the river to examine the country that had challenged their admiration as they viewed it from Nebraska bluffs. After looking over the land to their satisfaction, they determined to locate there in preference to the pursuit of their journey to Pike's Peak, and surveyed a townsite and named it Bon Homme.