South Dakota School For The Deaf
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member MNSearchers
N 43° 32.813 W 096° 42.304
14T E 685391 N 4824106
Quick Description: In 2005, South Dakota School for the Deaf celebrated its 125th anniversary. Since 1880, many improvements and changes have occurred.
Location: South Dakota, United States
Date Posted: 5/20/2006 6:48:09 PM
Waymark Code: WMD51
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member GPX Navigators
Views: 31

Long Description:
The first superintendent was Reverend Thomas Berry. His tenure lasted less than a year due to his wife’s death and his subsequent decision to return to Buffalo, New York.

He began teaching in his study at the Alvacy Calvary Church in Sioux Falls. Upon receiving more students, he rented the Thomas Lodging House and took over the administrative duties, while Jennie Wright became the first teacher of the school.

Miss Wright was appointed the second superintendent when Berry resigned in the fall of 1881. By this time, the school was located on the land where it stands today. Jennie Wright served in the role of superintendent and teacher for only a short while – 10 days. On October 29, 1881, she relinquished her position at the school upon her marriage to Daniel Mingus. Mr. Mingus had a brother-in-law who taught at the Iowa School for the Deaf. His brother-in-law was deaf and after the wedding he applied for the superintendent position of the Dakota Territory. In 1881, James Simpson became the third superintendent. He served from 1881 to 1903. Under his administration, the school grew from one building with seven students to a well-equipped institution with an enrollment of 54.

In 1889, South Dakota became part of the United States, and the school was placed under the auspices of the Board of Charities and Corrections. In its first report, the school owned 30 acres of land, 22 of them under cultivation. By the time South Dakota had became a part of the union, the school had 54 students – 35 boys and 19 girls. A girls’ dorm was added to the main building and electric lights were installed. More land was added to the school and the farm was in full operation supplying the food needs of the school. Continue reading at...
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Marker Name: South Dakota School For The Deaf

Marker Type: City

Marker Text:
The Reverend Thomas Berry, an Espiscopal clergyman, took the first steps toward the establishment of a formal program for the education of deaf children in Dakota Territory. Berry taught at schools for the deaf in Maryland and New York before moving to Sioux Falls in the spring of 1880 where he became rector of Cavary Church. Because his wife was deaf, he had a deep concern for deaf people. He began a school in his home on November 9, 1880 with one pupil. After sending out an advertising circular, seven more children enrolled and the school outgrew the Berry home. By year's end Berry moved his school into a private dwelling. Known as Thomas Lodging House, it was located on the east side of Main Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets. A local committee solicited funds and raised $200 to pay the rent. Jennie Wright, from the Nebraska School for the Deaf, became the first teacher. Although neigher Reverend Berry nor Jennie Wright ever received a salary both were highly dedicated and both envisioned the same mission for the school: to provide all deaf children with a qaulity education and an opportunity to actively participate in society ad independent, freethinking citizens. In the January 181 legislative session at Yankotn the capital of Dakota Territory, a resolution was adopted recognizing Berry's school naming it the "Territorial School for Deaf Mutes." Funds were appropriated for operating expenses, but none for teacher or staff salaries. However, $2000 was earmarked for a new school building to be built just east of Sioux Falls. This appropriation was payable only if local citizens would contribute another $1000 for the project. The challenge was met, 10 acres of land were donated, and a two-story frame school building was built. It contained 14 rooms for 25 students. In the 1880's a school farm was established that grew to 115 acres. It provided vocational and educational benefits for students while furnishing foor products for the school kitchen including milk, eggs, meat, chickens, vegetables, and fruits from a seven-acre orchard. The farm was operated with student helpers until its sale in 1949. From te beginnis the cirriculum has always closely followed that of the public schools. Speech, lipreading, and writing, as well as sign language that was first introduced from Europein 1817, have been the methods of instruction and commucation within the school. Striving to meet the school's mission - to provide a quality education and an opportunity to actively participate in society - continues to be the goal of the teachers and staff on the 120th anniversity of its founding.


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