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Burke circa 1918.

BACK IN TIME: Early Burke

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This image is of Burke, the county seat for Gregory County, circa 1918, when the Methodist Episcopal Church was being constructed. It is from a postcard donated to the Dakotas Conference Archives at Dakota Wesleyan University by Robert Kolbe, of Sioux Falls. The Methodists began meeting at Burke in 1916, holding services at the A.C. Carroll Feed Store building. Under the leadership of the Rev. A.L. Wilson, the Burke Methodist Church was organized in 1917 and met at the Opocensky building. In October 1917, when the South Dakota Methodists held their annual conference, the district superintendent reported that “we have promise of the best church building on the Rosebud.” The Rev. Conway Boatman, appointed in 1917 to serve at Burke Methodist, planned the new church structure, seeing much of its construction and holding services at the Seventh Day Adventist Church. When he left in the fall of 1918 to serve as a missionary in India, the stucco work remained to be done. Rev. Boatman’s replacement, the Rev. Arthur Wilfred Peterson, succumbed to pneumonia or influenza in October 1918. In spite of these changes, the church building, which cost $15,000, was dedicated on July 20, 1919. (Photo courtesy of the Archives of the Dakotas Conference of the United Methodist Church, DWU)

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