War news dominates pages in ’44-’45

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Posted: Thursday, August 1, 2019 1:08 pm

The earliest archives of the Union County Courier at the Elk Point-Jefferson Community Library begin in November of 1877, although the paper began in 1870. The Elk Point Leader debuted in 1890. The Leader bought out the Courier in 1913 and became the Leader-Courier.

The Jan. 6, 1944 paper reported on a $15,000 allotment from the Rural Electrification Administration to extend lines. Farmers whose animal units exceeded certain minimums were eligible for up to 5,000 feet of additional electric lines.

A South Dakota delegation appeared before a Congressional committee looking into flood control on the Missouri River, according to a front page story Feb. 17, 1944. M.Q. Sharpe told committee members the river rises to flood stage twice every year, in the spring when ice breaks up and again in June, causing millions of dollars in damage each time.

“This great uncontrolled river has always been a menace,” Sharpe said.

He urged Congress to accept the Army Engineers Corps’ plan for a series of dams to control the river. They did, passing the Flood Control Act of 1944 later that year.

Bert L. Smith American Legion Post No. 134 celebrated its 25th anniversary, as reported in the March 23, 1944 paper. Patriotic decorations and a huge birthday cake, trimmed with silver, greeted members as they arrived. L.W. Mead was the toastmaster, assisted by M.D. Johnson. Darell Card’s Orchestra and a girls sextet provided the music.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.